View of Havana covered by the dust cloud from the Sahara, on Thursday June 25, 2020. Photo: Yander Zamora/EFE.

Sahara dust cloud a respite for Cuba, but keeps thermometers red

Help us keep OnCuba alive The large Sahara dust cloud affecting the Caribbean started dissipating slowly this Thursday over Cuba, but its influence continues preventing rains and is raising the temperature on the island, which has registered possible all-time records for June. The phenomenon, considered the largest in recent decades, has already covered the entire island, although it is expected that in the next few hours the concentration of dust will decrease and humidity will increase, the Cuban Institute of Meteorology (INSMET) reported. The INSMET forecasted, in addition, that the little cloudiness in general and the high temperatures will be maintained. The east and center of the country have been the most affected. Images published in the local press and on social networks show milky-hued skies instead of the usual blue, due to the high concentration of particles suspended in the atmosphere. The province of Guantánamo, in the easternmost part of the country, is the one that has felt the most harmful effects of the cloud, with a record of 37.4 degrees Celsius, unusual for this time of the year. The INSMET pointed out that 30.2 degrees were reached yesterday in Santiago de Cuba. In that eastern capital, dust limited...

Cayo Guillermo. Photo: melia.com

Cuba to open to foreign tourism on July 1, but only in its keys

Help us keep OnCuba alive here Cuba will reopen operations to international tourism in several of its nearby keys as of next July 1 within the progressive post-COVID-19 plan of de-escalation that started this Thursday in all the island’s territories, except for the provinces of Havana and Matanzas. The Cuban government announced last week the launch of a recovery process―which in its first stage includes three phases―after declaring the coronavirus pandemic controlled in the country, currently without active cases in 13 of its 15 provinces and in the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud. The reopening of tourism, one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic in Cuba, in the first phase will be only for the local market, with the application of a series of measures and hygienic-sanitary protocols, as explained by Minister of Tourism Juan Carlos García Granda in a television appearance. https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/coronavirus-tomorrow-cuba-starts-its-de-escalation-except-for-havana-and-matanzas/ Operations for foreign visitors will begin on July 1―in the second phase of the de-escalation―and as announced by the Cuban minister of tourism, as of this Thursday tourism agencies will be able to start marketing visits to the tourist destinations of Cayo Cruz, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Largo and Cayo Santa María....

Photo: Yander Zamora/EFE

Coronavirus: tomorrow Cuba starts its de-escalation, except for Havana and Matanzas

Help us keep OnCuba alive here Cuba will start tomorrow, Thursday 18, its progressive reopening plan after the coronavirus epidemic, except in the territories of Havana and Matanzas, the only ones in the country that still report cases of the disease, as announced this Tuesday by Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero. The first of the three phases that make up the “post-COVID-19 recovery stage will take effect after analyzing health indicators such as the incidence rate per inhabitant and the number of active cases in each province,” Marrero said in a state television report. https://twitter.com/DiazCanelB/status/1273215952189116417 Cuba, which closed its borders on April 2, but at no time has decreed mandatory confinement, to date has 2,273 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 84 deaths, with a recovery rate of 87.8% and 193 active cases of the disease at this time, the majority in the capital (154). “We are asking the population for the maximum collaboration in the need to not lower their guard, maintain physical distance and sanitary measures in order to start this gradual transition to normality, minimizing the risks,” said the prime minister in a meeting presided over by President Miguel Díaz-Canel. The government recently declared the coronavirus epidemic under control...

Cuban doctors wave Cuban and Italian flags after their arrival in Havana from Europe this Monday. Photo: Yamil Lage/EFE

Medical brigade that fought the pandemic in Lombardy arrives in Cuba

Help us keep OnCuba alive here A brigade of Cuban doctors who participated for more than two months in the fight against COVID-19 in Lombardy, the region of Italy most affected by the pandemic, returned Monday to Havana, where Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel welcomed them through a television broadcast they saw at the airport. The 52-member health brigade which is part of the Henry Reeve internationalist contingent ―specialized in disasters and serious epidemics―was the first to leave Cuba to assist in controlling the pandemic at the request of the Italian authorities. https://twitter.com/DiazCanelB/status/1270140921116594184 The reception of the brigade of 36 doctors, 15 nurses and a logistics specialist at José Martí airport in Havana had extensive media coverage in the Caribbean country, although it was marked by strict biosecurity measures according to established protocols. The reception President Miguel Díaz-Canel, accompanied by Prime Minister Manuel Marrero, Public Health Minister José Ángel Portal, and other high government representatives, participated through a video appearance in the official ceremony welcoming the medical brigade―broadcast live on state television. In his message, the Cuban president highlighted the “example” and the “intense, risky and heroic” work carried out by the doctors, as well as the “deep rejoicing” for their...

A brigade of 96 doctors and 198 nursing graduates traveled to Kuwait on Thursday. Photo: @MINSAPCuba/Twitter.

Cuba sends medical brigades to Kuwait and Guinea Conakry

Help us keep OnCuba alive here More than 300 Cuban health workers traveled this Thursday to Kuwait and the Republic of Guinea Conakry to assist in the control of COVID-19 in those countries. The two groups, mostly female, are made up of specialists with experience in other missions outside the island as part of the Henry Reeve international medical contingent. From Havana, 21 health workers (11 doctors and 10 nurses) left for Guinea Conakry, a country where Cubans already fought Ebola between 2014 and 2016, and with which Cuba has several cooperation agreements. https://twitter.com/BrunoRguezP/status/1268742898092314624 Another 96 doctors and 198 nursing graduates will join the 36 collaborators already working in Kuwait, specified the state-run Agencia Cubana de Noticias news agency. “Cuba, without neglecting the protection of its people, despite the fierce U.S. blockade and the dirty campaign to discredit the altruism of its medical cooperation, has not ceased in its effort to support the world,” First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Ana Teresita González said at one of the farewells. These are the 33rd and 34th brigades of the Henry Reeve contingent that have left from Cuba to help control the COVID-19 in response to requests from several governments....

The Cuban ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Roberto Blanco, thanked the solidarity aid. Photo: elcorreo.ae

United Arab Emirates sends medical aid to Cuba

Help us keep OnCuba alive The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sent an airplane with eight tons of medical supplies to Cuba this Thursday, to help the task of doctors and health personnel against the coronavirus pandemic. “By sending aid, the UAE authorities are sending a message of support and solidarity with Cuba and its front-line workers, many of whom have volunteered to fight the virus in other countries,” said the Emirati ambassador in Havana, Bader Abdulla Saeed Almatroshi. In statements reported by the official Emirati WAM news agency, the diplomat applauded the “courage and determination” of these medical professionals. https://twitter.com/UAEAid/status/1268483103280058368 In the past five years, the Arab country has sent 12 million dollars’ worth of aid to Cuba, while during the coronavirus crisis it has delivered more than 700 tons of supplies to some 62 countries, according to WAM. According to the latest data from the World Health Organization, Cuba has so far registered 2,092 cases of coronavirus and 83 deaths, well below the 35,788 infections and 269 deaths recorded in the Emirates. The Cuban government has consistently denounced the difficulties caused by the U.S. “blockade” for the arrival of aid and donations sent by third countries,...

Members of the Cuban medical brigade in Lombardy, Italy, in the farewell ceremony after completing their work in the fight against COVID-19. Photo: Cubadebate.

Cuban doctors are bid farewell with Lombardy’s applause

The brigade of Cuban doctors and nurses who arrived in Italy to collaborate in the fight against the coronavirus ended their mission this Saturday in the town of Crema (in northern Italy) and was bid farewell to the applause of neighbors and authorities. “We were shipwrecked and you succored us without asking us our name or origin. After months of mourning, anguish and doubts, now we see the light,” said Stefania Bonaldi, mayor of the municipality of Crema, in the region of Lombardy, the most affected by the virus in the European country. The brigade, belonging to the Henry Reeve medical contingent, with 37 doctors and 15 nurses, had arrived in the town on March 22 to help in the battle against the pandemic in a field hospital installed in the municipality at the beginning of the crisis and which will start being dismantled this Monday. In these two months they have collaborated in the Cream Intensive Care units and the radiology, pulmonology and pharmacy departments. The Cuban health workers were bid farewell with a ceremony of gratitude in the central plaza of the cathedral of Crema and with the applause and cheers from neighbors and local and regional authorities....

A sign announces the closure of the beach this May 14, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Ivonne Malaver/EFE.

Miami-Dade and Broward will also start their post-COVID-19 reopening

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that Miami-Dade and Broward, the two counties most affected by COVID-19 in the state, which already has more than 43,000 cases, will enter phase one of the economic reopening next Monday, May 18. DeSantis said it is a “small but important step” for both counties that in terms of the coronavirus have faced greater and different “challenges” than other areas of Florida due to their intense tourist activity. The governor mentioned the influx of cruise ships and planes with people from other parts of the country and the world, as well as the celebration of the Superbowl, the football finals, last February as reasons why the situation of the coronavirus epidemic is worse here than in the other Florida counties. Phase one means that most nonessential businesses and offices will be able to open their doors on Monday following special security protocols coming from the recommendations of health experts. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez announced at a press conference with DeSantis and Broward Mayor Dale Holness that bars, spas, gyms, cinemas, beaches, pools, tattoo and massage parlors will not be able to open yet. Health authorities confirmed 808 new cases and 48 more deaths from...

The Cuban drug Itolizumab used in the treatment of COVID-19. Photo: Courtesy of CIM/Granma.

Cuba uses monoclonal antibody to control “cytokine storm” in COVID-19 patients

Cuba is using the humanized monoclonal antibody Itolizumab within the COVID-19 protocol for patients’ medical care to stop the so-called “cytokine storm,” an uncontrolled reaction of the immune system that can have fatal consequences. The drug, which is commonly used to treat other conditions such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, has been used in 70 patients from nine Cuban hospitals, the director of Clinical Investigations of Cuba’s Molecular Immunology Center (CIM), Tania Crombet, affirmed to the daily Granma. “It has been used in patients classified as critical, serious and care, with a high risk of aggravation. The best results have been seen in critically and seriously ill patients,” assured the doctor. Scientific studies have linked this “cytokine storm” with hyper inflammation and the appearance of acute respiratory failure syndrome or adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which has been described as the leading cause of COVID-19 mortality. The director of Clinical Investigations of the CIM, belonging to the BioCubaFarma Business Group, explained in the interview that the drug “can reduce the secretion of a group of mediators of the inflammation, known as pro-inflammatory cytokines.” This, according to the specialist, would ultimately allow “stopping in time” the consequences of the cytokine storm,...

Photo: Getty Images/Archive.

Cuban scientists adapt diagnostic test to detect COVID-19

Cuban scientists adapted “in record time” a diagnostic system already existing in the country so that it can identify cases of COVID-19 based on antibodies, the state-run BioCubafarma group producer of medicaments reported this Thursday. Designed by researchers from Havana’s Immunoassay Center (CIE), the diagnostic test uses the ELISA technique, which identifies small particles and germs that cause disease, and is based on SUMA technology (Ultra Micro Analytical System), produced by the CIE during the 1980s. SUMA is an advanced Cuban diagnostic technique that uses small amounts of samples and saves reagents. In the country it is applied above all in the Neonatal Screening, Blood Certification and Epidemiological Surveillance programs. https://www.facebook.com/BioCubaFarma/posts/2277742392521522 Thanks to this technology, Cuba became the second country in the Americas to have a complete diagnosis and care program for congenital hypothyroidism. It is currently used in several countries, including Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and China. However, this test must still complete the established protocol for its production and large-scale application in the detection of the coronavirus. This was explained by Rebeca González, institutional communicator of the CIE, who told the Agencia Cubana de Noticias news agency that after completing the development stage, field tests...

Cuba is developing a version of the antiretroviral Kaletra for use in COVID-19 patients. Photo: @medsolcuba/Twitter

Cuba developing its own version of an antiretroviral for use in coronavirus patients

Cuba is developing, with “satisfactory” preliminary results, its own version of the antiviral Kaletra, with the aim of eliminating its import and guaranteeing a stable supply of the drug, created to treat HIV-AIDS and now used in COVID-19 patients. The Cuban retroviral prototype, a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir, is still “in the development stage,” although the first tests have already yielded “satisfactory preliminary results,” one of the leaders of the research at the state MedSol laboratories said to the Agencia Cubana de Noticias news agency. “Three pilot batches have already been prepared, the physical chemical analysis has been carried out and then the comparison will be made with the leading product,” explained Adalberto Izquierdo, head of the research and development group of the Novatec enterprise, belonging to MedSol. https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/cuba-has-medicines-for-thousands-of-possible-cases-of-covid-19/ The successful production of the antiretroviral in Cuba would save the island money and time, under the restrictions of the United States embargo, which hinders the acquisition of goods abroad, including medicines and medical devices that have more than 10% U.S. components. According to Cuban specialists, this version of the drug could “even be exported” in the long term. However, to produce it, Cuba must first overcome several obstacles, including...

Cuba sends medical brigade to fight COVID-19 in Cape Verde. Photo: @cuba_coopera/Twitter.

Cuba sends 20 health professionals to fight pandemic in Cape Verde

Cuba sent a team of 20 health professionals to Cape Verde this Wednesday to provide services in the fight against the coronavirus caused by COVID-19 in that African nation, state media reported. The group, made up of 5 doctors, 10 nurses and 5 epidemiologists, belongs to Cuba’s Henry Reeve emergency brigade, which for the last 15 years has assisted in natural disasters and health crises in various countries. https://twitter.com/CubaMINREX/status/1253058595379384322 *Caption: First Henry Reeve internationalist health brigade leaves for Cape Verde. More information via 👉 https://t.co/ikMSyCbJsI#CubaSalvaVidas pic.twitter.com/13m20YidE2 - Cuban Foreign Ministry (@CubaMINREX) April 22, 2020 With this departure, Cuba has already sent medical personnel to 21 countries since the health alert for the coronavirus began. A Cuban medical brigade of 79 health workers was already posted in Cape Verde and now it will be joined by this new group to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixty-eight 68 positive cases have been reported in that country. The head of this brigade, Dr. José Antonio Sánchez, highlighted shortly before traveling the commitment of his group to carry out this mission and return healthy to the island. So far, and since the COVID-19 health crisis began, Cuba has sent 1,218 health professionals...

Cuba stages unprecedented virtual race from home due to COVID-19

About 1,500 Cuban and foreign runners this Sunday staged an unprecedented virtual race from their homes where they remain confined by the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the suspension of the half marathon scheduled for this date in the tourist resort of Varadero. Olympic champions and sports glories of the island such as high jumper Javier Sotomayor, sprinters Alberto Juantorena and Ana Fidelia Quirot, as well as javelin thrower María Caridad Colón and hammer thrower Yipsi Moreno joined the initiative along with personalities of culture and sports lovers. https://www.facebook.com/javier.sotomayor.102/posts/10217387357570863 After the start at ten in the morning through the national radio station Radio Reloj and Tele Rebelde TV channel, the participants in the virtual race ran or jogged between one and three kilometers, according to the spaces available in their residences. https://www.facebook.com/100011062847835/videos/1062250110820407/ Promoted by the Cuban Track-and-Field Federation chaired by Alberto Juantorena, the call for this virtual race was made several days ago by the organizers of the Varadero Half Marathon, who encouraged participants to run, jog or simply move around in their homes. “It will help us to be better prepared physically to meet social isolation, with the responsibility of cutting the chain of contagion of the new coronavirus, and...

Photo: EFE / File.

Forty years after the “Mariel” exodus

Speaking about “Mariel” in Cuba is now synonymous with a business park to attract foreign investment, but 40 years ago, that area located about 50 kilometers west of Havana was the point of departure of an exodus that went down in history as one of the great migratory crises with the United States. This episode had begun two weeks earlier, on April 1, 1980, when a group of Cubans using a vehicle forcibly entered the headquarters of the Peruvian Embassy in Havana demanding political asylum. The Peruvian government granted diplomatic protection to these people and refused to hand them over to the Cuban authorities, who were demanding their arrest for the death of the embassy security guard, a Cuban worker who died amid initial incidents from a gunshot. A group of Cubans request political asylum during the occupation of the Peruvian embassy in Havana, Cuba. Photo: EFE/Archive. Faced with this refusal, the island’s government withdrew protection from the diplomatic representation and, in the face of general perplexity, in the days that followed an avalanche of people arrived, exceeding 10,000. They all wanted to be allowed to leave the country. Sea bridge The bilateral crisis with Peru,...

Cuba bid farewell this Sunday to a brigade of 38 doctors and nurses heading to Piedmont, in northern Italy, to help fight the coronavirus in that region heavily affected by the pandemic. Photo: EFE/Ernesto Mastrascusa

In Italy, second group of Cuban doctors

A second Cuban health team made up of 21 Cuban doctors and 16 nurses and a logistics coordinator arrived in Italy this Monday to help combat the coronavirus pandemic and will be assigned to a new hospital installed in the city of Turin. The 38 health professionals from the Henry Reeve brigade that the Cuban Ministry of Public Health sent to Piedmont arrived at the Turin Caselle airport after the region’s president, Alberto Cirio, asked for help through the Cuban embassy in Italy. https://twitter.com/JoseCarlosRguez/status/1249644668536709121 The Cubans will be assigned to an old industrial building that has been converted into a hospital for COVID-19 patients who need to be hospitalized for semi-intensive care. The brigade is made up of epidemiologists, anesthesiologists, resuscitators, general practitioners, and nurses specializing in intensive care. Their arrival in Italy was made possible by a flight contracted by La Stampa newspaper’s foundation for solidarity works “Specchio dei tempi” and the Lavazza coffee company, at the request of the region. Since last March 24, another Cuban health team made up of 37 doctors and 15 nurses has been working in the field hospital in the town of Crema, in the province of Cremona, in the region of Lombardy....

Cuban doctors Assel Herrera (left) and Landy Rodríguez (right), kidnapped on April 12 in Kenya, allegedly by members of the extremist group Al-Shabaab. Photo: Archive.

Cuban doctors Assel and Landy one year after their kidnapping in Kenya

The two Cuban doctors kidnapped in Kenya by the Somali jihadist group Al-Shabaab this Sunday will have been a year in captivity in Somalia, while the Kenyan government reiterates that they are still “alive” and efforts to free them continue despite the coronavirus pandemic. “We are working every day to ensure that they return home alive. We are very aware of what the families are suffering,” said the spokesman for the Kenyan Executive, Cyril Oguna. This Sunday surgeon Landy Rodríguez and general medicine specialist Assel Herrera will have been in captivity for a year, after their kidnapping by suspected members of Al-Shabaab in the Kenyan city of Mandera (northeast), near the border with Somalia and the target of numerous jihadist attacks in the past. https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/al-shabaabs-kidnappings-chronology-of-the-wait/ On April 12, 2019, the two doctors were traveling, as usual, in a convoy to the Mandera hospital, accompanied by armed escorts, when they were intercepted after a shooting in which one of the guards who watched over their safety was killed. Although Kenya mobilized the Army and Police to pursue the kidnappers, its troops “failed to provide an effective response to the attack and Al-Shabaab had all day to move the two kidnapped doctors...

Cuba detains eight for subtracting facemasks and other sanitary means from a warehouse

Eight Cubans were detained in Havana accused of subtracting facemasks and other articles of sanitary use to sell on the black market, amid the current epidemiological situation caused by the coronavirus, the state media reported this Sunday. Those involved are workers in a warehouse of medical means in the Cuban capital, drivers linked to the Ministry of Public Health and a transportation division, as well as other citizens with no labor links, according to the note issued by the provincial Prosecutor's Office published by the newspaper Tribuna de La Habana. The subtraction includes 455 boxes of facemasks with a total of 4,550 units and other medical resources that were reserved in the Basic Unit of Ensume Warehouses for emergencies in the event of disasters, the report specifies. In addition, it says that during the investigations the authorities seized 3,505 facemasks, medical gowns, scalpels, suture thread, surgical forceps and other medical means, in searches made at the homes of some of those involved. The Havana Prosecutor's Office indicated that the eight accused, in provisional custody for crimes considered “serious,” will have their rights and guarantees respected, but warned that their responsibilities will be individualized and that “the full weight of the...

Aid from e-commerce giant Alibaba could not reach Cuba due to the U.S. embargo against the island. Photo: cubachina.wordpress.com

Alibaba’s sanitary aid to Cuba thwarted by U.S. embargo

Cuba denounced this Wednesday that the restrictions of the U.S. embargo thwarted the donation of masks, ventilators and tests to detect the coronavirus sent by the Chinese electronic giant Alibaba to the island. “For Cuba, things are always more difficult. Even in times of pandemic, we Cubans are not allowed a breather,” said the Cuban ambassador to Beijing, Carlos Miguel Pereira, who tells how the transport company hired by Alibaba decided to not call at Cuban ports. https://twitter.com/JuantonioFdez/status/1245301139656114178 The U.S. entity “declined at the last minute the shipment” for Cuba hindered by the regulations of the “blockade,” as Havana calls the economic, financial and commercial embargo that Washington has maintained since 1962, strengthened since the arrival of President Donald Trump to the White House in 2017. The siege prevents, among other restrictions, the island from using the dollar in international transactions, prohibits Cubans from purchasing a product with more than 10% of U.S. components, and establishes a penalty of 180 days before entering the United States for ships calling at Cuban ports. The Trump administration has tightened restrictive measures against Cuba to try to suffocate its already fragile economy in retaliation for alleged aid to Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Help...

Photo: EFE.

Brazil summons Cuban doctors who are still in the country to combat COVID-19

The Brazilian government summoned this Thursday the Cuban doctors who decided to remain in the country after the end of a questioned binational cooperation program, to provide care in isolated and remote municipalities and help combat COVID-19. After several months of announcements and negotiations, the Ministry of Health published this Thursday in an extraordinary edition of the Diario Oficial de la Unión the decree by which it allows Cubans to enroll in the healthcare program in remote and impoverished areas, known as Doctors for Brazil. The island’s physicians will be able to fill the quotas that were not accepted by the Brazilians to provide care in the most isolated municipalities of the country or in medical centers in the peripheries and to reinforce the campaigns against COVID-19, a pandemic that has so far left 77 dead and 2,915 confirmed cases in Brazil. The quotas had initially been offered to doctors trained in Brazil or to Brazilians and foreigners graduated abroad but with a recognized degree in the country, and the offer has now been extended to foreigners who have not approved their training in the country. In this situation are the close to 1,800 Cuban doctors who preferred to stay...

A woman goes to vote in the primaries in Pensacola, Florida, on March 17, 2020. Photo: Mike Kittrell/EFE

The coronavirus, protagonist of primaries in Florida

Gloves, some masks, a safe distance, a lot of disinfectant and, above all, few voters is what has been seen this Tuesday in the electoral centers of southeast Florida, open, as in the entire state, for primaries marked by the coronavirus pandemic. Many have chosen to stay home so as not to take risks with COVID-19, something that civic organizations feared would happen and that is why they asked for the extension of the vote by mail, but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ruled this out. Others like Jorge José Atucha decided to exercise their democratic right and go to the polls. “There are many people who are in quarantine or are at home and it is possible that this is affecting, although people are going out,” the 72-year-old citizen of Cuban origin who voted at a center in Doral, a city ​​of Miami-Dade County, told the EFE agency. Few voters and very few protected persons EFE visited half a dozen voting centers in different places in Miami-Dade on Tuesday and could verify that the vast majority of voters did not wear facemasks or protective gloves. Not many were hidden behind their masks to avoid getting infected. Voting in Florida, one...

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, his wife and vice president. Photo: AP.

Cuba to send doctors and pharmaceuticals to Nicaragua to face coronavirus

The Nicaraguan government announced this Monday that Cuba will send a brigade of doctors and pharmaceuticals to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic, which so far has not presented a single case in the Central American country, according to authorities. In an address, the first lady and vice president, Rosario Murillo, affirmed that Cuba will send “virologists, epidemiologists, intensivist clinical doctors, all this following the protocols, treatments and everything corresponding in relation to the 22 medicaments they have successfully applied in different countries, and mainly in China.” Murillo did not mention the treatment that Cuba will send to Nicaragua, however, Interferon Alfa 2B is one of the drugs with which COVID-19 has been treated in China. Interferon is among the products classified as “star of Cuba’s biotechnology,” and is also used in the Caribbean country for viral infections caused by HIV, the human papilloma virus, as well as hepatitis types B and C. “They were also requested by some regions of Italy, of Spain, we understand that there are other States that have already requested the medicaments, which have been applied successfully according to these protocols, in China for example,” said the first lady. Murillo also stated that the medicament “arrived...

Spaniard Álvaro de Marichalar’s Cuban stopover during his trip around the world on jet ski. Photo: abc.es

A Spaniard traveling the world on jet ski makes stopover in Cuba

Spaniard Álvaro de Marichalar is sailing with his jet ski on the coasts of Cuba, during this week’s stopover of his voyage to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the first trip around the world of Magallanes and Elcano. After arriving Monday to the city of Baracoa from Haiti, and escorted by professionals from the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba, Marichalar stopped at several places on the Cuban coast until he reached Cayo Guillermo, on the island’s central north coast. https://twitter.com/DeMarichalar/status/1209924513921732608?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1209924513921732608&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba%2Fun-espanol-que-viaja-el-mundo-en-moto-acuatica-hace-escala-en-cuba%2F From there he began a journey to Havana this Friday, where he plans to arrive at dawn on Saturday. “Arriving in Cuba is very important in this journey, because it means honoring a sister nation, like all Latin America but perhaps more, because of the temporary proximity,” said the 58-year-old navigator and businessman from Navarra. Coinciding with the historical date of the 500 years of the first circumnavigation, Marichalar began his peculiar trip around the world on jet ski on August 10 in Seville, and it will take him approximately two and a half years, he said. His traveling concern has led him in this new project to go around the world to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the...

Carmen Herrera while working on the adaptation of her work, executed in 1987. Photo: Jonathan Marder & Company/EFE.

Carmen Herrera, the 104-year-old Cuban painter, will have a mural on the streets of New York

The streets of East Harlem, in New York, one of the areas where the largest Latino population in Manhattan is concentrated, at the end of April will have a huge mural by Carmen Herrera, the 104-year-old Cuban artist whose work started being recognized just about fifteen years ago. The piece is titled Un Dos Tres and is more than 16 meters long and 5 meters high and will be located on the facade of the Artistic and Academic College of East Manhattan. As of April 18, students of the Publicolor program, a project designed for young people belonging to communities at risk of exclusion, will be responsible for materializing it. “I am very proud to offer this image to the Spanish Harlem (as the area is known),” Herrera said in a statement, adding: “In particular, I am proud that Publicolor students, many of whom speak Spanish, such as I, are being the ones to create it.” Un Dos Tres is a “free adaptation” the artist has made of a 1987 painting titled Diagonal, with black and white lines to form several square and rhomboid figures. https://oncubanews.com/cultura/artes-visuales/subastan-cuadro-de-la-cubana-carmen-herrera-por-29-millones-de-dolares/ “I selected several images and reduced my options to the one that best suited...

A state transportation inspector at a bus stop in Havana. Photo: Joyme Cuan/Tribuna de La Habana/Archive.

Cuba sanctions state enterprises for not helping with public transportation

The Cuban authorities have applied 773 sanctions to enterprises, most of them state-owned, whose “unsupportive” officials did not stop their vehicles to pick up other people, in the middle of the economic crisis and the shortage of fuel affecting the island. The measures were announced by the General Directorate of Provincial Transportation of Havana (DGTPH), which has deployed dozens of inspectors at the saturated bus stops in the Cuban capital to control that vehicles belonging to enterprises and state agencies, provided they have room, stop and transport citizens who need it. Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel called on the drivers of state vehicles months ago to help alleviate the problems that the shortage of fuel is causing in the already overflowing public transportation. https://oncubanews.com/cuba/baja-la-actividad-del-transporte-en-2019-en-cuba/ Last October, a state media published a photo of the president’s official caravan stopping to pick up people waiting for a transport on a street in western Havana, and around those same days Díaz-Canel was publicly outraged with officials with state cars that pass by the crowded stops. Buying a car is a luxury within the reach of very few in Cuba, where the State has exclusivity on the importation of new cars and taxes them several...

Illustrative image. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

U.S. deports 119 Cubans, the second group during Trump administration

Immigration authorities in the United States deported 119 Cubans on a single flight to Havana, the second largest group repatriated during the Donald Trump administration, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency reported this Tuesday. Néstor Yglesias, spokesperson for ICE, told EFE that immigrants were deported last Friday, without giving further details. Last September, 120 Cubans were deported on another flight as part of an agreement signed during the last days of the presidency of Barack Obama (2009-2017) whereby the island promised to receive returnees. ICE explained then that it was the “largest” group expelled from the country under said joint declaration, signed on January 12, 2017. https://oncubanews.com/cuba-ee-uu/eeuu-deporta-120-cubanos-en-la-mayor-expulsion-hasta-la-fecha/ “The United States...will deport to the Republic of Cuba, and the Republic of Cuba...will receive all Cuban citizens who...the United States considers have tried to enter or remain in that country irregularly,” notes the 2017 statement. On that date, Obama also canceled the “dry foot/wet foot” policy enacted in 1995, whereby Cubans who touched U.S. territory were favored with the Cuban Adjustment Act and could stay in the country and even obtain permanent residence, while the others were deported to the island. Shortly before the elimination of this benefit, an unusual arrival...

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