High Life Expectancy for Diabetic Patients in Cuba

Havana, Cuba, Apr 1.- Eighty-four percent of Cubans with diabetes mellitus have a life expectancy of nearly 78 years, similar to that of those who have not suffered the disease, the Granma newspaper reported today.

According to the Granma report, that result is due to the comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach of Cuban medicine.

Eduardo Alvarez, a second degree specialist in Endocrinology and member of the national technical commission advisor of Diabetes Mellitus at the Ministry of Public Health, told the daily that the prevention of this pandemic has gained strength, starting from local doctors offices and family clinics.

Alvarez said that achievements of the national program for care of the disease include diabetic centers where patients are educated on how to confront this disease.

For his part, Dr. Manuel Raices, of the Cuban Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, stated that expanded use of Heberprot-P, a medicine for treating patients with diabetic foot ulcers, has shown notable results at 48 hospitals and more than 315 polyclinics.

More than 29,000 Cuban patients have benefited from the new vaccine, mainly in areas of primary health care. (Prensa Latina)


U.S. Citizens Take an Interest in their Country’s Blockade of Cuba

Havana, Cuba, Oct 22.- Journalists and representatives of NGOs and institutions of the United States took an interest on Monday about the consequences of the blockade of that country’s government against Cuba, a policy that is the main obstacle to the normalization of bilateral ties.

By way of a videoconference that linked the island’s Foreign Ministry with Havana’s Interests Section to Washington, participants learned about the damages caused by this criminal policy in sectors such as education, health and culture, explained by executives and specialists.

Such unilateral measures damage all Cubans, but in particularly painful way they damage the most vulnerable, said Esther Maria La O Ochoa, director of the Solidarity with Panama Special School, dedicated to the care of children with disabilities.

In spite of the willingness of the Cuban state to provide the resources necessary for this type of facility, “something they haven’t been able to block,” the center suffers from lack of wheelchairs, teaching aids, devices for students to access computing and specialized transportation, among other shortages.

Ninety five percent of students of the Solidarity with Panama school need to move by way of wheelchairs, and 10 of them suffer from progressive muscular dystrophy, noted La O Ochoa.

Washington’s unilateral measures also affect patients suffering from oncological diseases, which are the main cause of death on the island, and prevent the U.S. people to benefit from Cuban pharmacological products, like Heberprot- P ( for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers).

As an example, Lorenzo Anastos, deputy director for Research of the Oncology Institute, explained that during the previous year, the blockade complicated the purchase of radiotherapy equipment and systems, thus delaying by six months the treatment of 120 patients.

From Washington, Mavis Anderson, associate director of the Working Group for Latin American Affairs, which brings together 60 U.S. academic and religious institutions, called upon President Barack Obama on Monday to use his powers to improve US-Cuba relations.

Many sectors of the U.S. society support the normalization of bonds between the two nations, asserted the human rights, justice, peace and regional sustainable development.

Anderson said that the so-called “relaxation” of the blockade’s measures is not enough, and called for concrete actions to begin dismantling the mistaken policy with which several U.S. administrations have sought to subvert the Cuban project.

Among those actions, she mentioned the removal of Cuba from the spurious list of countries sponsoring terrorism, the elimination of barriers to U.S. visits to the Caribbean nation, and the carrying out of talks at the highest level to discuss matters of common interest.(ACN)

Fidel Castro’s Historic Defense Remembered in Cuba

Havana, Oct 15.-The historic defense by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, known as “La Historia me absolvera” (History Will Absolve Me) is being remembered today here on the 60 year anniversary of that statement.

On October 16, 1953, young lawyer Fidel Castro made a court appearance in handcuffs and under heavy guard, at the Saturnino Lora Civilian Hospital in Santiago de Cuba, in the eastern part of the country.

Fidel Castro was the main defendant in Case 37, dealing with the attack on the Moncada Garrison, the country’s second most important military fortress, attacked on July 26 of that year in an attempted overthrow of the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship.

“Justice must be very unwell, to have summoned illustrious judges from such a high level court to work in a hospital ward,” the defendant said as he faced the government maneuver to remove public opinion from the judicial process.

The small room was full of high level officers openly hostile to the defendant, who represented himself and proved iniquitous the prosecution charge of having promoted “an armed uprising against the constitutional government.”

Marta Rojas, then a young reporter in Santiago de Cuba attending the trial, recalled today in Granma newspaper that Fidel Castro explained in detail “with a firm and energetic voice” the economic, political, and social program of the Revolution he would lead just a few years later. (Prensa Latina)

FAO Praises Cuba’s Food Security Efforts

Havana, Cuba, Oct 16.- The representative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Havana, Theodore Friedrich, described as positive the island’s efforts to guarantee food security.

The UN official spoke at a monthly panel in Havana, organized by the Dulce Maria Loynaz Cultural Center and dedicated to World Food Day.

Friedrich also referred to Cuba’s achievements in the struggle against hunger, as it is one of the countries to have already achieved that objective, and the meeting of the Millennium Development Goals. He said, however, that the Caribbean nation still faces challenges particularly in the area of sustainability based on local food production, since the island still imports large amounts of foods from the foreign market.

Doctor Theodor Friedrich acknowledged Cuba’s academic and technological potential as he said that both aspects must contribute more to food production in order to achieve food security and sovereignty. (ACN)

Cuba Calls for Efforts to Fight Illiteracy in the World



Havana, Oct 4.- Cuban ambassador to the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), Maria de los Angeles Florez, called for bigger education efforts in the world, where there are millions of illiterate persons.

While some advancement was achieved with regards to the objectives pursued by world literacy initiatives like Education for All in the period 2003-2012, we are still far off from the goals we are committed to, said Florez at the 192nd UNESCO Executive Council.
The UN General Assembly adopted an initiative to increase by 50 percent literacy indicators for 2015 and improve the quality of education, but the most recent UNESCO statistics talk about 774 million illiterate adults in our world.
The Cuban diplomat called on UNESCO member nations to take new actions and use methods like the literacy program “Yes, I Can,” which has been implemented in 28 countries of Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The advancement and challenges posed on education and the suggestions made to improve  educational levels by 2015 are at the center of discussions by the UNESCO Executive Council meeting underway till October 11.(ACN)

South Nations Demand at UN End of US Blockade of Cuba

Havana, Sep 27.- Leaders of Latin American, African and Asian countries demanded at the United Nations General Assembly the lifting of the over-50-year US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba.

During the session prime ministers and heads of state described the US blockade as policy of genocide, illegal, failed, a relic of the Cold War period, anachronistic and obstacle to development, among other terms.

Representing Latin America, the leaders of Bolivia, Antigua and Barbuda, Uruguay, El Salvador, Guyana, Trinidad-tobago demanded the end of the US siege which has inflicted huge damage on all Cuban economic and social sectors, particularly health and education.

Meanwhile, the representatives of South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Chad, Mozambique and Gabon, and for Asia, the leaders of Sri Lanka and East Timor also called for the end of the US blocakde at the plenary session attended by 193 states, the overwhelming majority of which have repeatedly voted a Cuban resolution since 1992 demanding the lifting of the Uss anti-Cuba measure.

In his remarks at the forum, Bolivian President Evo Morales criticized the US administration for ignoring the claim by the international community against the US blockade of the island.(ACN)

Physicians Graduated in Cuba Contribute to Health Strategy in Nicaragua

Havana, Cuba, Sep 21.- Some 450 physicians graduated in Cuba presently contribute to a strategy aimed at perfecting the health system in Nicaragua, in coordination with authorities of this sector.

Health Minister Sonia Castro highlighted that these youngsters were trained in a model of community health care, in prevention work, which adapts 100% to the programs of the government of Daniel Ortega, the Prensa Latina news agency reported on Friday.

Castro and Youth Minister Bosco Castillo presided over a meeting with professionals graduated from Havana’s Latin American Medical School, which has affiliate institutions in several Latin American countries, with the purpose of coordinating actions favorable to the improvement of the quality of health in this territory.

During the meeting, under way at the National University of Engineering, Bosco recalled that, so far, 930 youngsters of scant economic resources have graduated as physicians in Cuba alter being selected starting from 2007 by the government of Nicaragua to carry out these studies.(ACN)