UNEXPECTED CUBA

EMILY MORRIS

La experiencia de los antiguos países del CAME ha demostrado que el éxito de la transición de la economía socialista a la de mercado no está garantizado y que los costos sociales pueden ser altos. Visto sin ideas preconcebidas, el caso cubano sugiere que otra manera podría ser posible, a pesar de todo.

 What is the verdict on Cuba’s economy, nearly a quarter of a century after the collapse of the Soviet bloc? The story generally told is a simple one, with a clear message. It describes a cyclical alternation of government policy between moments of pragmatic capitulation to market forces, which account for any progress, and periods of ideological rigidity and re-assertion of state control, which account for all economic difficulties. [1] After the dissolution of the Comecon trading bloc, US Cuba watchers were confident that the state-socialist economy faced imminent collapse. ‘Cuba needs shock therapy—a speedy shift to free markets’, they declared. The restoration of capitalism on the island was ‘inevitable’; delay would not only hamper economic performance but would inflict grave human costs and discredit Cuba’s social achievements. Given his stubborn refusal to embark on a course of liberalization and privatization, Fidel Castro’s ‘final hour’ had at last arrived. [2]

READ MORE: http://www.cubadebate.cu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/NLR32201-2.pdf

Cuba to Release Cholera Vaccine by 2015

"Cuba is a brilliant example of how knowledge and scientific knowledge can combine," stated US Nobel Prize Winner Peter Agre. (Photo: EFE/Archive)

“Cuba is a brilliant example of how knowledge and scientific knowledge can combine,” stated US Nobel Prize Winner Peter Agre. (Photo: EFE/Archive)

 Cuban medical research continues to prove to be one of the most effective in the world.

Cuba will release a new preventive vaccine against cholera in 2015, a state-owned pharmaceutical group who developing the drug announced Sunday.

Gustavo Sierra Gonzalez, the Vice President of the BioCubaFarma told the daily Juventud Rebelde that the clinical trials had been very successful, and that the proper health registration for the drug is expected to come next year.

Gonzalez said that the Cuban population would be vaccinated and that the drug would also be hand to the World Health Organization (WHO) for global use.

“Starting 2015, we will start protecting the whole population of the country and we are already prepared to increase its production to export it to other nations, including delivering it to the WHO,” he added.

Although a few cases of the disease were reported on the island, public health officials were able to control it rapidly and prevent its spread.

“Although the level of attention provided to those people who contracted the virus on the island makes it so that they practically do not run any risk because they are quickly treated, this illness can kill,” said Gonzalez.

The export of medicine and medical equipment represent about US$900 million every year for the island, making it the second biggest export industry for Cuba after the nickel.

Cuban medical research has already developed four vaccines, including a vaccine against advanced lung cancer developed in 2012 with clinical tests carried out in over 80 countries. Although the drug does not cure cancer, the tumors have been found to reduced in size, improving the health and life expectancy of the patients.

The Molecular Immunology Center, located in Havana, also created the Meningitis-B vaccine in 1985, as well as for Hepatitis-B and Dengue later on.

According to a 2010 Science Magazine article, written by Stanford University scientists Paul K. Drain and Michele Barry, Cuba had better health indicators than the United States, with 20 times less resources per capita, thanks to effective preventive approaches and a pharmaceutical model that is not based on profit.

The Punishment of Cuba

The USA as Judge, Jury and Executioner

by WILLIAM BLUM
For years American political leaders and media were fond of labeling Cuba an “international pariah”. We haven’t heard that for a very long time. Perhaps one reason is the annual vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution which reads: “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”. This is how the vote has gone (not including abstentions):
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This year Washington’s policy may be subject to even more criticism than usual due to the widespread recognition of Cuba’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

Each fall the UN vote is a welcome reminder that the world has not completely lost its senses and that the American empire does not completely control the opinion of other governments.

Speaking before the General Assembly before last year’s vote, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez declared: “The economic damages accumulated after half a century as a result of the implementation of the blockade amount to $1.126 trillion.” He added that the blockade “has been further tightened under President Obama’s administration”, some 30 US and foreign entities being hit with $2.446 billion in fines due to their interaction with Cuba.

READ MORE: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/11/21/the-punishment-of-cuba/

Cuba: “Zero Tolerance” to injustice

or the Cuban State and civil society, crimes related to people trafficking and other forms of sexual abuse are of maximum priority, and confronted with policy of “Zero Tolerance,” according to the second report presented on November 18, on the legal actions and structures to combat these phenomena, published on the Ministry of Foreign Relations official website, Cubaminrex.

The Attorney General of the Republic and Peoples´ Court, a group of organisms affiliated with the Central State Administration, in addition to non-governmental organizations such as the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) and National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex), play a key role in this effort.

The text noted that in 2013 Cuba provided protection to 2,231 girls and boys, victims of alleged acts of sexual abuse, 0.09% of a population of over 2 million children. In the same year the media contributed to the promotion of information regarding sexual health such as “the development of healthy sexuality for all citizens and against the objectification women, girls and boys.”

READ MORE: http://www.granma.cu/idiomas/ingles/cuba-i/19noviembre-tolerancia.html

Cuban resort hotel voted Best All Inclusive in the world.

Royalton Cayo Santa Maria

Travelers looking to book their all-inclusive winter holiday may want to check out TripAdvisor’s latest ranking of top resorts around the world, in which the Royalton Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba took the top spot.

In the online review site’s annual Travelers’ Choice All-Inclusive Resort list, TripAdvisor users were nearly unanimous in their praise for the adults-only Royalton Cayo Santa Maria resort in Cuba, which earned a five out of five-bubble rating from its 1,236 reviews.

Guests praised the resort for its cheerful, helpful staff, white sand beaches and infinity pools and for doing away with traditional buffets and offering full restaurant-style service.

Services include 24-hour butler service, a pillow menu, a choice of three restaurants that serve Caribbean and international cuisine, access to fitness facilities and daily entertainment on the beach.

READ MORE: http://www.royaltonresorts.com/en/cayo-santa-maria/photos-videos.aspx

Oncologists from Around the World to Meet in Havana

Preclinical and clinical evaluation of new drugs for treatment of cancer will be one of the topics to be discussed at the Oncology Congress Havana 2014, taking place at Havana’s Convention Centre between days 19 and 22 of this month.
Members of the organizing committee of the event gave a press conference at the National Institute of Oncology and Radiology, and said that it will involve about 400 delegates, including over 150 from other nations, and from almost every continent.

The agenda contains such important issues as the use of biomarkers and personalized oncology, immunotherapy to treat malignancies, and prevention and control, including items as sensitive as the diagnosis and treatment of emerging tumours in childhood.

Dr. Jorge Luis Soriano, president of the Congress’ Scientific Committee said that prior to the event 12 courses will be held in which some the nearly 50 teachers from the18 countries that are invited, will take part.

He stressed that the selected topics correspond to the needs to face cancer in Cuba; as this disease since 2012 is the leading cause of death in the country.

He further stated that in 2014, 40,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed nationwide, making our country into one of the highest incidence rates in Latin America.

Dr. Teresa Romero, head of the Cancer Control Section of the Ministry of Public Health, said that the disease is chronic, but by working in an integrated way sufferers can have a life expectancy similar to people who are not suffering from it, and they can live to between 78 and 80 years.

Oncology 2014 will take place simultaneously with other events, including the 4th International Oncology Nursing Symposium and  the International Symposium on Basic Cranial Surgery.

The New York Times Condemns US Policy of Brain Drain to Cuba

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Washington, Nov 17:  An editorial released by The New York Times condemned brain drain from Cuba encouraged by the United States, and particularly the program that encourages the immigration of doctors during official mission abroad.

This is the sixth time in almost more than one month that the Editorial Committee of the New York newspaper analyzes the issue about Washington policies towards the Caribbean island.

According to The New York Times, there are many reprehensible aspects of the U.S. failed policies regarding Cuba and the blockade it has imposed for decades, but the program aimed at generating brain drain, is hard to justify.

Entitled “A Cuban Brain Drain, Courtesy of U.S.,” and published in English and Spanish language, the U.S. daily recognizes that only in 2014, about 1,278 physicians, a record number according to the figures given by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), emigrated from Cuba.

The publication also states that between 2006 and 2014, Washington’s illegal programs caused the immigration of about 5,490 Cuban physicians.

READ MORE: http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3280941&Itemid=1