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38576CubaAhora NEWS FROM CUBA

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  • Nestor Garcia Iturbe
    19 jul
      News and Information about Cuba today

      CubaAhora  NEWS FROM CUBA 

      CubaAhora            sarahnes@...             Néstor Garcia Iturbe

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      Digest #11845


      Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:01 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

      "Walter Lippmann" walterlx

      At What Moment is Venezuela in Its Struggle
      By Manuel E. Yepe. Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.\

      The opposition, for its part, called for a plebiscite for the
      same first Sunday July 1. However it is illegal because it does
      not have the endorsement of the CNE, the only body legally
      authorized to carry out any electoral process in the country. It
      has a subversive character, and was designed to prevent the
      electoral process for the Constituent Assembly. Neither in the
      national constitution nor in any other Venezuelan law is the
      plebiscite a method of popular consultation.

      But at what point is the struggle to consolidate the Bolivarian
      revolutionary process initiated by Hugo Chávez in the
      interest of the full assumption by the Venezuelan people of
      sovereignty over the natural wealth, history and future of that
      Caribbean and South American nation?

      The National Directorate of the Bolivar and Zamora Revolutionary
      Current (CRBZ) of the Socialist Party [the PSUV: Partido
      Socialista Unido de Venezuela] in a communiqué made public on
      July 3 in progress declares that the conflict in Venezuela is at
      a new level, not because of the will of the revolution, but
      because it was imposed by the coup plan in progress after two
      months of unsuccessful coup attempts.

      The strategy is drawn up by the US State Department, the US
      Defense Department’s Southern Command headquartered in
      Miami and the Venezuelan economic and political right. To date,
      it has been observed using the deployment of different putschist
      weapons: the communicational, the psychological, the
      international, the economic, the institutional, and violence.
      They have tried and advanced each of them, as part of the fourth
      generation war, which combines the different forms of war. His
      greatest weakness has always been the lack of popular support.

      It is in the institutional environment in which more work and
      beat today, betting on eventual fractures in the Chavista block.

      Given its lack of popular support, the right has opted to
      implement several tactics at a time. One is to push the economy
      to raise prices, shorten and attack points of food supply and
      transportation in order to deepen the economic difficulties of
      humble people to push it to plunder.

      Another is based on deploying clashes to siege entire cities for
      several days, leaving behind a trail of death, destruction,
      looting, fire, terror and other images that hit the social
      fabric, reports the CRBZ.

      The radical aspect of the right-wing war is explained by the
      despair and the class character of the conflict. They seek
      desperately to regain political control and to lapse the
      historical project that is the Bolivarian revolution.

      “Faced with this scenario, it is essential to maintain the
      unity of Chavismo, to defend the revolution not only from the
      State, but also from the popular protagonism, involving people in
      the organized protection of institutions, territories, hospitals,
      food centers. To ensure that doctors, workers, comuneros and
      neighbors, take care of their spaces so that the right does not
      destroy what the people have built in the exercise of
      participatory democracy and safeguard their conquests for so many

      The other great purpose of Chavismo is to arrive on July 30,
      having started a process of participation and debate around the
      National Constituent Assembly. “We must activate
      assemblies in the territories, recreate politics from the
      grassroots, listen to criticism, build spaces for exchange that
      are not only to applaud leaders and repeat the same. That
      exercise will allow us to call the vote to the majorities on July
      30 and have better conditions to face the next steps. “

      Chavismo proposes to provide urgent answers to the material
      demands of people: gas, price stabilization, supply, drugs. And
      not from an electoral perspective, but from the imperative need
      to respond to needs that multiply in the territories and that are
      breeding ground for discontent, abstention and depoliticization.

      “We are in a decisive month,” the Chavistas reckon,
      “the right, by US design, will do everything possible to
      attempt its final assault. The revolution has the strength to
      resist and keep moving forward. It is necessary to use all those
      forces, in particular that of the protagonism of the people

      July 17, 2017.

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      "Cuba - Un Paraiso bajo el bloqueo"

      Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:55 am (PDT) . Posted by:

      "CubaNews Moderator" walterlx

      *US-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan Visits Villa Clara*
      Eduardo Luis Martin

      Santa Clara, Cuba, Jul 17 (ACN) The US-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan-Pastors
      for Peace are currently visiting places of historic, cultural and social
      interests in Villa Clara where its members are exchanging with
      representative of political and grass roots organizations, workers and

      The leader of the caravan and friend of Cuba, Gail Walker along with
      members of different regions in the United States told the press that the
      group once again ratifies its solidarity with the Cuban people and wants to
      transmit on behalf of the people in the US greetings, peace and friendship
      between both sides.

      The caravan is made up by some that have visited Cuba several times with
      the caravan and new young members that are in Cuba for the first time and
      wanted to get a look at the country’s reality and wanted to stretch out
      their fraternal ties and sympathy with the Revolution, feelings taught to
      them by Reverend Lucius Walker, she said.

      Bill Hill, veteran of the Vietnam war told ACN that he feels great
      satisfaction to know how the Cuban people move forward with its political
      and social project despite the obstacles imposed by the US economic,
      financial and commercial blockade.

      The members of Pastors for Peace was welcomed by the representative of the
      Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, ICAP, in Villa Clara, Iris
      Menendez who wished the caravanistas a happy visit in the province. The
      solidarity activists will visit the Ernesto Che Guevara Monument and the
      armored train among other historic sites.

      The activists will also tour Jibacoa in the mountainous municipality of
      Manicaragua and town of Placetas where they will meet with members of the
      communities and learn about the projects underway in the territory.

      Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:55 am (PDT) . Posted by:

      "CubaNews Moderator" walterlx

      *Raul Castro Receives Colombian President*

      Havana, Cuba, Jul 17 (ACN) Cuban President Raul Castro received on Monday
      in Havana, his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos Calderon who is
      currently on an official visit to the Caribbean island.

      Both Heads of States exchanged on the good state of bilateral relations,
      the process of implementation of the peace accords in Colombia and other
      issues of the international scenario.

      Accompanying the distinguished visitor was Foreign Minister Maria Angela
      Holguin Cuellar and other members of the delegation.

      On the Cuban side, was Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla and other
      members of the Cuban delegation.

      Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:30 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

      "CubaNews Moderator" walterlx

      USA: Three Republicans Refuse to Repeal Obamacare without Replacement
      Washington, Jul 18 (Prensa Latina) Three Republican senators announced
      today that they will vote against the process to repeal Obamacare, which
      represents the end for the Republican party'&#39;s efforts to abolish that
      health regulation.

      Susan Collins (Maine), Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), and Lisa
      Murkowski (Alaska), said this afternoon that they could not support the end
      of that law, passed during the management of Barack Obama (2009 to 2017),
      without having a replacement for it.

      'I did not come to Washington to hurt people, I can not vote to repeal
      Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses my concerns and the
      needs of West Virginians&#39;, said Moore Capito in a statement.

      'I do not think that it is going to be constructive to repeal a law that is
      at this point so interwoven within our health care system and then hope
      that over the next two years we will come up with some kind of replacement.
      That would create great anxiety for individuals who rely on the Obamacare
      and would cause the insurance markets to go into turmoil,' said Collins.

      The announcement made by the senators was another blow for the Republican
      Party, which is left without enough votes to repeal the current
      regulations, while the promise made by President Donald Trump's campaign
      moves away.


      Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:30 pm (PDT) . Posted by:


      Raúl receives Colombian President In a cordial conversation, the two leaders discussed the positive state of bilateral relations, the process underway to implement the peace accords in Colombia, as well as other issues on the international agenda
      Author: Granma | internet@... mailto:internet@...
      July 18, 2017 09:07:28

      Photo: Estudio Revolución Army Raúl Castro Ruz, President of Cuba's Councils of State and Ministers, yesterday morning, July 17, received the President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, who is making an official visit to the country.

      In a cordial conversation, the two leaders discussed the positive state of bilateral relations, the process underway to implement the peace accords in Colombia, as well as other issues on the international agenda.

      Photo: Ricardo López Hevia Accompanying the distinguished visitor was Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, and other members of the delegation.

      Also participating on the Cuban side was Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, minister of Foreign Relations, and other individuals.

      Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:30 pm (PDT) . Posted by:


      Breathing new life into Havana’s hospitals With the aim of improving the quality of services, two of the capital’s most well known hospitals, the Miguel Enríquez and Salvador Allende, are benefitting from a nationwide investment, repair and maintenance process, ongoing for the last four year
      Author: Nuria Barbosa León | internet@... mailto:internet@...
      July 18, 2017 10:07:25

      One of the renovated pavilions at the Salvador Allende Hospital. Photo: Jose M. Correa With the aim of improving the quality of services, two of the capital’s most well known hospitals, the Miguel Enríquez and Salvador Allende, are benefitting from a nationwide investment, repair and maintenance process, ongoing for the last four years.

      The Miguel Enríquez Hospital, known to most as the La Benéfica, is situated in the Havana municipality of 10 de Octubre and was inaugurated in 1983 as a mutualist clinic belonging to the Gallegos Society (immigrants from Galicia). At that time the institution offered medical, surgical, and dental services.

      After the triumph of the Revolution it became a clinical-surgical hospital run by the people, for the people, and at the end of 1974 was renamed after Chilean doctor and political leader Miguel Enríquez Espinosa (1944-1974, who died fighting against the bloody military dictatorship in Chile).

      Today, the institution has 425 beds, admits an average of 11,000 patients, offers 80,000 consultations across 34 specialties, and treats some 95,000 emergency cases, every year.

      The hospital was first expanded during the 1980s. On December 31, 1988 Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz inaugurated a new eight-story building adjacent to the main site, with a capacity of 265 beds; as well as another newly renovated facility in the surgical department with 12 operating theaters, a burn unit, and diagnostics center.

      Repairs to the Miguel Enríquez Hospital. Photo: Nuria Barbosa Meanwhile, in efforts to implement the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines of the Party and Revolution approved during the Communist Party of Cuba’s Seventh Congress in 2011, healthcare facilities throughout the country are currently being renovated and repaired as part of a nationwide transformation process being carried out across the entire sector.

      Three new 26-bed wards have been opened at the Miguel Enrique Hospital; one in the Surgery department, the second in Geriatrics, and a third in Internal Medicine - all of which had been closed since 2003. These works have contributed to increasing the hospital’s efficiency, guaranteeing surgical procedures, and improving emergency services.

      This first phase also saw repair and maintenance works to the staff cafeteria, and emergency department, as well as a bloc which includes 100 beds, transitional and intensive care units, clinical laboratory, X-ray services, and two surgical patient preparation areas, both with 24 beds.

      Meanwhile, 10 new operating theaters were inaugurated in January 2017, all equipped with modern technology for minimal access, neurological, ophthalmological and oncological procedures; while clinical and non-clinical fittings and furnishing were replaced for increased comfort in waiting and consultation areas.

      At present, the laundry room, sterilization unit, and two other hospital wards are undergoing maintenance.

      According to staff, the severe, progressing, and mild burns units, as well as another operating theater, teaching areas, doctors on-call rooms, and a storage/dining facility, should be completed by July 26, National Rebellion Day, an historic date for Cubans when, in 1953, Fidel and a group of revolutionaries attacked the Moncada Garrison in Santiago de Cuba.

      The hospital has also received 93 new medical devices, including two chemistry analyzers, two gasometers, Rx remote controls, a C-Arm X-ray System, six artificial kidneys, state-of-the-art neurosurgery microscopes, and anesthesia and MRI machines.

      In 2013 the center had a total of 35 computers with out-dated software and no intranet. Now all have intranet access, with servers for authorized users, browsing and Internet services, as well as the GALEN computerized medical records system.

      Similar things are happening at the Salvador Allende clinical-surgical teaching Hospital, located in the Havana municipality of Cerro, and opened in 1897 as a health facility under the name “La Covadonga,” belonging to the mutualist society of Asturian immigrants.

      This institution, set on grounds covering an expanse of 136,000 square meters, offers services in 30 specialties, is composed of 40 buildings divided into pavilions, and has 24 wards and 432 beds, which received 12,788 patients in 2016.

      Two wards are set to receive an additional 20 beds, as well as undergo repairs, which should be completed this year. Meanwhile, filter and hydro-pressure machines have been installed to supply high-pressure soft water to washing machines, the main sterilization unit, and boilers. Repairs have also been carried out to the incineration room, where equipment there, along with the Exciplex laser, has undergone maintenance works.

      Meanwhile, repairs to the clinical and microbiology laboratories, as well as the building which houses outpatient consultation facilities, are set to be completed by December.

      Maintenance work has also been carried out in the surgical unit, three admissions wards, the gastroenterology and pathological anatomy departments, the center for brain conditions, and emergency room.
      Similar projects are also being undertaken in areas dedicated to nuclear medicine, sterilization, teaching rooms, the kitchen, and various admissions wards.

      These two well known, free, public hospitals are clear proof that the investment process is fulfilling its objectives by continuing to improve health indicators, increase the quality of services and patient satisfaction, and making the island’s healthcare system more efficient and sustainable, which together contribute to guaranteeing the social development of the country.

      Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:31 pm (PDT) . Posted by:


      Social security in Cuba, a civil right The country’s Social Security budget set to double by 2030
      Author: Yisel Martínez | informacion@... mailto:informacion@...
      July 18, 2017 12:07:59

      Cuba is already one of the countries with the oldest populations in the region, with over two million people 60 years of age or older living on the island. Photo: Yaimí Ravelo

      There are currently around two million people 60 years of age or older in Cuba. Statistics from the latest Population and Housing Census show that the island is set to have the oldest population in Latin America by 2025.

      Population aging is the result of increased life expectancy and a decline in fertility rates worldwide, aspects which in Cuba’s case, represent important social achievements when compared with other developed countries. However, they also imply challenges for the island’s demographic, economic, and social order.

      For example, in 2021, retired people are expected to outnumber those of working age. In order to tackle this demographic situation a series of measures have been adopted and will be gradually implemented in the country.


      Ever since the triumph of the Revolution, the Cuban state has guaranteed protection to all citizens through its Social Security System composed of general and special regulations, as well as a Social Assistance plan.

      The Cuban state protects orphan children. If a child loses both parents they receive benefits until they finish their studies. Photo: Julio Martínez Molina

      According to Haydee Franco Leal, deputy director general of the National Social Security Institute (INSS), speaking with Granma International “This last set of regulations protects elderly persons who have little to no resources or support, as well as those unable to work, whose income is unable to cover their basic needs, and those without relations able to support them.
      “The state intercedes through these institutions; providing benefits in the form of financial aid, services, as well as other supports.

      “The general program is aimed at protecting workers in the case of illness, workplace and non-workplace related accidents, maternity, disability, old age, and their relations in the case of death,” added Franco.


      Special programs protect people involved in activities or productive processes or services, the nature of which require that Social Security be adapted to their specific conditions.

      “In Cuba, these special programs have been extended in line with the updating of the country’s socio-economic model. Today, some are linked to the state sector, including those which protect members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and combatants from the Ministry of the Interior. Meanwhile, others related to the non-state sector include self-employed workers, usufructuaries, members of agricultural production cooperatives and non-agricultural cooperatives, as well as a plan for artists and creators,” explained the INSS Deputy Director General.

      Given population trends in Cuban society, in late 2008, Social Security Law No. 24, which had been in force in the country since 1980, was modified.

      The measure was essential given the declining number of people of working age and its growing impact on the availability of human resources.

      As such, Social Security Law No. 105 was approved and came into effect in 2009.


      The new regulations increased retirement age by five years, with Cuban women entitled to retire once they reach 60 years of age, and men 65, while both are eligible for a state pension after having worked for a minimum of 30 years.

      Such measures led to an increase in the number of employed people and delayed the problem of a declining workforce which would have affected the country in 2015.

      Meanwhile, increasing the time period over which an individual’s pension is calculated has also encouraged people to remain in their jobs.

      “Pensions are calculated on the basis of an individual’s five highest paying salaries over their last 15 years of work. A rate of 60% applies for their first 30 years of work, with a 2% increase for every year after that until reaching 90%, which is the maximum pension a worker is entitled to in the country,” explained Franco.

      Another change within Law No.105 is related to full disability pensions. Unlike the old law, today a Cuban worker who suffers an accident or is left incapacitated is entitled to a full disability pension, no matter how long they have been employed, just as long as they have been working.

      “Likewise, a person who retires has the right to rejoin the workforce and receive a salary and pension at the same time, with rights similar to those of other workers,” she explained.

      Haydee Franco Leal, deputy director general of the National Social Security Institute notes that the Cuban state provides protection for all citizens through its Social Security System.
      Photo: Ismael Batista

      “Another new feature is related to protection of surviving spouses. Before only female widows were protected, but benefits have now been extended to men as well, meaning that anyone over the age of 65 or with a disability, who depended on their deceased spouse, has the right to a pension which can be combined with their standard retirement,” noted the INSS Deputy Director General.

      Changes have also been made to cases involving orphans. If both parents should die, the child receives benefits until they finish school. In the case of the death of just one parent, following a review of the family situation, the child may be awarded benefits until they conclude their studies.


      Cuba’s demographic trends present a great challenge for the country today - with a declining number of people of working age, and a rise in those over 60; a situation which implies more social spending and fewer hands to produce material and spiritual wealth.

      Cuba’s current social security budget stands at over six billion pesos, a figure which is scheduled to double by 2030 as the state plans to allocate more resources to Social Security in order to guarantee that its citizens are protected.

      In this regard, measures being undertaken to address the island’s population trends are based on three fundamental objectives:

      “This first is linked to stimulating fertility rates and working toward population replacement in the medium-term. The second is related to dealing with the needs of a growing number of people aged 60 and over, as well as promoting their participation in the economic, political, and social life of the country. And the third, to efforts directed toward seeing the largest number of people fit for employment,” added the INSS official.

      Today, we must think of population aging as one of Cuban society’s achievements and work harder to increase efficiency and productivity in order to build a better society.

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