Cuban scientists adapt diagnostic test to detect COVID-19

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

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 20 health professionals to fight pandemic in Cape Verde

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

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...

Forty years after the “Mariel” exodus

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,...

In Italy, second group of Cuban doctors

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 and Landy one year after their kidnapping in Kenya

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

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...

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

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...

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

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...

The coronavirus, protagonist of primaries in Florida

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...

Cuba to send doctors and pharmaceuticals to Nicaragua to face coronavirus

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...

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

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

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...

Cuba sanctions state enterprises for not helping with public transportation

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...

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

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...

Cuban government responds to suspension of Western Union’s sending of remittances

Cuban government responds to suspension of Western Union’s sending of remittances

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel this Friday responded to the suspension of the sending of remittances to the island from outside the United States applied by the Western Union company, a decision attributed to the hardline policies of U.S. President Donald Trump. “Another measure against the Cuban people. This is how the empire acts, with total arrogance and contempt, but no one will stop us,” the Cuban president wrote on Twitter. https://twitter.com/DiazCanelB/status/1233363817750507525?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1233363817750507525&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba%2Fgobierno-cubano-responde-a-suspension-de-envios-de-la-western-union%2F Díaz-Canel’s reaction comes a day after Western Union announced that as of this week, remittances can no longer be sent to Cuba from third countries, leaving only the possibility of doing so from the United States. The company justified its decision because of the difficulties to carry out this type of operations, in an apparent reference to the embargo that Washington imposes on Havana, strengthened by Trump with new sanctions that especially the last year have generated a strong impact on the Cuban economy. Among them, last September the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the prohibition of so-called “U-turn” transactions, preventing banking institutions under U.S. jurisdiction from processing certain transfers of funds to Cuba even if they originate and end outside the United States. It also decreed...

Cuba aspires to return to the Human Rights Council

Cuba aspires to return to the Human Rights Council

Cuba will try to again occupy one of the 47 seats on the UN Human Rights Council, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla announced this Tuesday. In an address at that forum, the foreign minister reaffirmed “Cuba's support for this Council” and that it has decided “to present its candidacy for membership for the period 2021-2023. I can assure you that we will continue to act here with our own constructive voice.” Cuba formed part of this intergovernmental body in two consecutive periods (2014-2016 and 2017-2019), after which the regulation did not allow another re-election. Cuba's main ally in Latin America, Venezuela, has just returned to the Human Rights Council, following an election that generated condemnation from the United States and other Western countries, as well as from prestigious international NGOs. https://twitter.com/BrunoRguezP/status/1232301349083197440?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1232301349083197440&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba%2Fcuba-aspira-a-regresar-al-consejo-de-derechos-humanos%2F The biggest criticism was that a government accused of suppressing its opponents, as well as having led the country into a humanitarian crisis, was being given a seat on the Council. Several countries accuse the Cuban government of the same. On the other hand, Minister Rodríguez denounced in his speech before the Council the measures with which the U.S. government has intensified in recent months the blockade of...

Cuban government criticizes U.S. sanctions against Russian company Rosneft

Cuban government criticizes U.S. sanctions against Russian company Rosneft

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez described the U.S. economic sanctions against the commercial subsidiary of the Russian corporation Rosneft for assisting Venezuela in its oil foreign trade as a “violation” of international laws. The sanctions issued this Tuesday by the U.S. Department of the Treasury against Rosneft Trading (based in Switzerland) are “a new violation of International Law and the universally recognized rules of commerce,” said the Cuban foreign minister through his Twitter account. https://twitter.com/BrunoRguezP/status/1229898658281349121?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1229898658281349121&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Foncubanews.com%2Fcuba%2Fgobierno-cubano-critica-sanciones-de-eeuu-a-empresa-rusa-rosneft%2F Rodríguez added that the U.S. authorities “have no right to impose unilateral measures on entities of other States that trade with Venezuela.” In this way and as expected, the Cuban government aligns with that of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, its main partner and supporter, who in the first place protested the decision of the U.S. executive. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza described the sanctions as “arbitrary” and said they “violate the right to free trade and free enterprise.” The White House announced the freezing of Rosneft Trading’s assets and the ban on financial operations with its president, Didier Casimiro, and warned other energy companies that similar measures will be taken if they collaborate with the Maduro regime. Rosneft is one of the most active corporations...

Study: Trump’s program for migrants causes long-term trauma

Study: Trump’s program for migrants causes long-term trauma

Migrant families, and especially children, who are waiting in Mexico for asylum in the United States, are facing severe stress and trauma with “long-term” consequences, warned Human Rights Watch (HRW) this Wednesday. When assessing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, known as “Remain in Mexico,” which the administration of President Donald Trump began implementing on January 29 last year, HRW warned that this policy exposes applicants to asylum to violence and diseases. The program allows Washington to return to the neighboring country those undocumented immigrants who arrive at the border and request asylum (no matter where they come from) to wait for their cases to be resolved in the U.S., which can take years. Fear and anxiety, a constant “We are beginning to believe that there is no safe place where we can go and be accepted,” said Nicola A., one of those interviewed between November 2019 and January 2020 for this study. Nicola confessed that asylum seekers feel “fear and anxiety in Mexico” because their kidnappers still persecute them, but they also fear being “separated and detained again in the horrible conditions of immigration detention.” https://oncubanews.com/mundo/america-latina/migrantes-cubanos-huyen-de-un-centro-de-detencion-en-mexico/ “I noticed that there were numerous people with lice, as well as people...

Padura presents his reedited novels at Havana Book Fair

Padura presents his reedited novels at Havana Book Fair

The first installment of a tetralogy of reedited novels by Cuban writer Leonardo Padura under the title Las cuatro estaciones (The Four Seasons) this Sunday was added to the literary offers of the 29th Havana International Book Fair. Padura, winner of the 2012 National Prize for Literature and that of the Princess of Asturias in Literature in 2015, is one of the most internationally acclaimed Cuban writers, but paradoxically his work has small print runs in Cuba and readers devour his books every time they appear in some literary space on the island. The Book Fair has included in its program this year the detective novel duet of Pasado perfecto (Havana Blue) and Vientos de cuaresma (Havana Gold), which have as their protagonist Detective Mario Conde, the most famous character in Padura’s literary work. Two other novels―Máscaras (Havana Red) and Paisaje de otoño (Havana Black)―will reappear in the second volume to round off this new edition published by the label of the publishing house of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC). “In these years of so many conflicts and complex social situations, I created Mario Conde, a character who embodies a different way of seeing life,” Padura...

Crisis and lines for fuel and toiletries throughout Cuba

Crisis and lines for fuel and toiletries throughout Cuba

Cuba is once again experiencing fuel shortage problems that have caused long lines at gas stations throughout the country, while Cubans are also struggling these days to get toiletries and other basic products such as detergent and toilet paper. The supply of diesel and gasoline has had moments of instability since last September the authorities denounced that the new U.S. sanctions were hindering the arrival of oil ships to the island, but the crisis has worsened since the end of last week. For now, and unlike what happened at the end of last year, the Cuban executive has not issued any statement to explain if new measures or restrictions will be adopted, although the managers of some gas stations are explaining to customers that they only have a limited amount of daily fuel to sell to private individuals who pay in cash. Once that amount runs out, private individuals must wait until the next day because the rest of the supply is reserved for state vehicles and other entities that have prepaid cards. https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/cuba-reorganizes-transportation-in-face-of-energy-crisis/ The WhatsApp of solidarity Since the problems began, groups have multiplied in mobile applications such as WhatsApp or Telegram in which users share information about where...

Caravan today in Miami to protest suspension of flights to Cuba

Caravan today in Miami to protest suspension of flights to Cuba

The Alianza Martiana group, which is in favor of a “normalization” of relations between Cuba and the United States, has convened an automobile caravan that this Saturday will pass through Calle Ocho in Miami, Florida, to demand that the Trump administration restore charter flights to the island. “What’s important is the will to defend the rights to travel to Cuba and visit the family. Those are also human rights,” Max Lesnik, president of the Alianza Martiana, whose headquarters is located in this Florida city, told EFE this Friday. The caravan, under the slogan “Nothing and no one against the Cuban family,” will pass through the famous Calle Ocho, the meeting point of the anti-Castro Cuban exile. The call is for “the cars to travel the route with posters for family reunion.” Also “against the Trump measures that affect Cuban families,” said Lesnik. “In healthy peace and without seeking conflict with anyone, not even with those who defend Trump,” he said. https://www.facebook.com/CafeCubanAmericansForEngagement/photos/a.176876845768054/2534534796668902/?type=3 *Important*: This Saturday, February 8 at 11:00 AM, demonstration in #Miami in favor of #No restrictions to trips to #Cuba. 12 St. SW between 97 and 95 avenues. Raise your voice! See you there! <3 Posted by Cuban Americans...

Cuba authorizes sale of automobiles with 10 percent discount

Cuba authorizes sale of automobiles with 10 percent discount

The Cuban government announced this Thursday that it will sell imported vehicles in freely convertible currency to individuals as of next February 24 with a 10 percent discount, as part of the measures put in place in order to collect foreign exchange and alleviate the economy’s liquidity crisis. The commercialization of automobiles was already being carried out in the country since 2014, but then they were only sold in Cuban convertible pesos. In announcing the new measure, Cuban Minister of Transportation Eduardo Rodríguez said that decision is based on “the legitimate need of many citizens to have a means to move when public transportation, logically, fails to cover the entire vast demand for daily mobility.” The minister acknowledged that this decision will not have a direct impact on the majority of the population, but explained that the revenue generated from the sales will go to a fund to acquire spare parts in order to reinstate buses and other vehicles of the public transportation service that today are paralyzed, as well as restoring the investment plans for those means. https://oncubanews.com/cuba/un-carro-solo-un-carro/ For the time being, only in Havana Minister of Finance and Prices Meisi Bolaños specified that the prices are the same...

U.S. vetoes entry of Meliá CEO for doing business in Cuba

U.S. vetoes entry of Meliá CEO for doing business in Cuba

The United States has forbidden Meliá CEO Gabriel Escarrer from entering the country as a result of the application of the Helms-Burton Act due to the activity of one of the group's subsidiaries in Cuba, where two hotels in the Holguín region operate. The company confirmed the ban this Wednesday, advanced by Vozpópuli. The hotels, under management between Meliá's subsidiary and two Cuban public entities, are located on a plot of land expropriated by the Cuban regime in the late 1950s from the Sánchez Hill family, which has requested compensation. According to the Spanish company, the family also initiated a lawsuit in Spain that was dismissed by the first instance courts. https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/melia-admits-pressures-for-working-in-cuba/ Last October the U.S. Department of State imposed on Escarrer a series of conditions to enter the country, which the company believes are not acceptable and are contrary to European regulations. Title III of the Helms-Burton Act provides that any U.S. citizen or company, whose properties in Cuba had been expropriated by the Cuban government, can file lawsuits against third parties who own, control or obtain benefits with those properties, sources from the Pérez Llorca office have explained. That section of the act had remained without effect since...

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