Cuban Literacy Program Benefits Over Eight Million People in 30 Countries

Leonela Ines RelysIn 1997, when renowned Cuban educator Dr. Leonela Ines Relys Diaz arrived in Haiti in order to prepare a group of facilitators for their work in classroom literacy, it would have been difficult to imagine that a few years later Cuba would become, according to Fidel Castro, “the educational capital of the world”.

This feat has been achieved in part because of the extremely successful Cuban literacy method Yo Si Puedo or Yes I Can which has been implemented in 30 nations of the world where eight million people have learned to read and write using it’s methodology according to Dr. Cesar Torres, director of the Latin American and Caribbean Pedagogic Institute, which leads that initiative.

It began in Haiti

According to Cuban educator Dr. Leonela Ines Relys Diaz, in 1999, she went to Haiti to implement, for the first time, a radio broadcast literacy programme.  The project was hugely successful.

FidelTwo years later, according to Leonela, “in March 2001, Fidel told us about the idea for creating a literacy method linking letters and numbers, based on the fact that many people do not know how to read or write, but do know how to do simple arithmetic.  In Haiti, where we did a literacy program by radio, we made some studies and I began to work on a small primer, as the Commander had asked me to.

“A team was created with the participation of the Educational TV Channel, Pueblo y Education Publishing House, the Young Communist Union, the Ministry of Education, and the Latin American and Caribbean Pedagogical Institute.

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NYT: On Cuba Embargo, It’s the U.S. and Israel Against the World — Again

Source:  New York Times

It’s ironic that a policy designed to isolate Cuba has wound up isolating the United States in profound ways (NYT)

cuba vs the blockadeA little-known former American ambassador on Tuesday addressed the General Assembly to perform a dreaded task: defending the issue that has isolated the United States diplomatically like no other, the Cuban embargo.

“This resolution only serves to distract from the real problems facing the Cuban people,” Ronald D. Godard admonished, before the United States voted against a non-binding resolution submitted yearly by Havana calling for a repeal of the sanctions Washington has imposed on the island for more than five decades.

Only Israel sided with the United States, although the Israelis were happy to forgo a turn at the podium to defend their position. Of the 193 members of the United Nations, 188 backed Cuba. The three abstentions — Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau — are not widely regarded as diplomatic heavyweights.

The yearly vote, which usually goes largely unnoticed in the United States, is worth paying close attention to this year. Under growing pressure from neighboring countries to normalize relations with Cuba, the White House is considering what steps it might be able to take in that direction during President Obama’s remaining time in office.

Cuba has been sending increasingly clear signals that it wants a rapprochement. In his speech to the General Assembly on Tuesday, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla called for a new era in bilateral relations.

A mutually respectful relation

“We invite the government of the United States to establish a mutually respectful relation, based on reciprocity,” he said. “We can live and deal with each other in a civilized way, despite our differences.”

Diplomats from Zambia, Belarus and Tanzania were among those who chose to take to the podium to condemn the embargo. But the interventions by envoys from Colombia and Brazil were particularly significant. Colombia, perhaps Washington’s staunchest ally in the region, has become increasingly vocal in challenging the United States on its Cuba policy. The Brazilian representative warned that, henceforth, no regional summit could exclude Cuba.

The United States raises valid concerns about the state of human rights and personal freedoms in Cuba when this vote comes up each year. But its draconian policy toward Havana has prevented American officials from engaging countries in the region on a constructive dialogue about Cuba. It also continuously gets in the way of regional initiatives.

It’s ironic that a policy designed to isolate Cuba has wound up isolating the United States in profound ways. If anything it boosts Cuban diplomatic standing. Perhaps next year even Israel will be persuaded to break ranks?

UN Thanks Cuba for Support in Fight against Ebola

October 29 2014

José Luis Di FábioDr Jose Luis Di Fabio, representative to Cuba of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), thanked the Cuban government for its prompt response to the call made by the United Nations to face the Ebola fever virus.

The ALBA-TCP Summit 

In the opening on Wednesday in Havana of the Technical Meeting of Specialists and Executives for the Prevention and Fight against Ebola, presided over by Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, Second Secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party and Vice-president of the councils of State and Ministers, Di Fabio acknowledged the actions of countries on the occasion of the declaration of the Extraordinary Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas-People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), recently held in Havana.ALBA TCP Ebola summit havana Oct 2014 3Cuba brought together  254 representatives of 32 nations in Havana

The official of these international organizations of the United Nations praised the Cuban Public Health Ministry for the call to this meeting, which brings together at Havana’s Convention Center 254 representatives of 32 nations, and for its contribution to the training of human resources from different parts of the world.

Cuba has implemented a national plan for the prevention and fight against the Ebola fever virus

Roberto Morales, member of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party and Minister of Public Health, explained that Cuba has implemented a national plan for the prevention and fight against the Ebola fever virus, with the general objective of preventing its introduction and spreading.

Peru: Indigenous Communities Take Over Airport in Oil Dispute

indigenous communities in peru take over airportThe indigenous communities say they will consider taking over oil wells if the company does not respond.

Indigenous community members, numbering in their hundreds took control of a small Amazonian airport inside Peru’s biggest oil block Tuesday as part of a dispute with Argentine energy firm Pluspetrol and the government over pollution and use of local resources.

The airport is in the district of Andoas in Peru’s northern region of Loreto.

Indigenous leader Tedy Guerra said in an interview with Reuters that “Right now there are about 500 of us at the airport … flights have stopped.”

No clashes with the police who stepped aside

He added there had not been any clashes with police, who stepped aside.

The airport is mostly used by the private Pluspetrol company which produces around Continue reading

Cuba To The Rescue – Neighbour To Help Jamaica In Ebola Fight

las may gleaner cartoon ja seeks cuba helpThe Cuban government is next week scheduled to begin a comprehensive plan to assist Jamaica with its Ebola preparedness and response as the world continues to grapple with the deadly disease that has infected more than 10,114 persons and killed 4,912.

Two Cuban experts will travel to Jamaica to conduct a two-week training programme for health-care and other frontline workers. Additionally, 30 Cuban health-care workers will arrive in Jamaica next month to work alongside Jamaica’s health team and other Cuban health workers already in the island.

Read more at:  Cuba to the Rescue  The Gleaner, Jamaica

National Production Soars in Ecuador

rafael correa 22Favorable results of import substitution are occurring in Ecuador.

As part of a larger policy of import substitution to change the nation’s productive model, it has been revealed that Ecuador has managed to reduce imports of primary materials and other goods by US$1.7 billion dollars, since the beginning of this year. The reduction of imports far surpasses the initial goal of US$849 million dollars.

The achievement is the result of agreements signed between the Ecuadorian government and 905 businesses across the country to support national production.

In the industrial sector alone, Minister of Industries Ramiro Gonzalez said that savings of US$872 million have been reported.

ecuador worker“Businesses are aware of the great effort that the government is making to change the national productive model in the country,” said Carlos Eduardo Benitez, a representative from the Ministry Coordinator of Production and Competition in an interview with TeleSUR English.

Ecuador first

flag of ecuadorThrough the campaign Ecuador First, the Ministry has put into place quality controls to make national products more competitive for export and attractive for internal consumption. The campaign has proved successful, as internal consumption has increased by US$132 million.

The manager of the private business Cauchos de Quito, Francisco Fuentes told TeleSUR English, “Many clients have told us, ‘ok, we will try this. If it works we will move forward and stop importing.’ So in a way, it is benefiting the country and its efforts to change the whole productive model.”

Revenues from exports have surpassed US$268 million since the agreements were signed in January, as part of the plan to aggregate value to goods and create more employment.

“The country has efficient productive capacity,” said manager of the Metal Ecuadorian Company, Robin Figuero Diaz. He went on to say that this “can satisfy the Ecuadorian market and that of neighboring countries with certain products.”

Increase in domestic production has yielded profits of US$475 million. With continued government support, the economy is expected to further diversify and expand its productive apparatus for internal and external consumption.

Source:  TeleSur

Dilma and Cristina to Strengthen Mercosur Trade Bloc

cristina y dilma 5After Dilma’s re-election in Brazil, she contacted the Argentine president wanting to further develop the important Latin American trade bloc.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff spoke to her Argentine counterpart Cristina Fernandez on Monday to organize a bilateral meeting during the G20 summit, as well as thank her for her congratulations.

Both Rousseff and President Cristina Fernandez will be in Brisbane, Australia at the G20 summit on November 15 and 16 and plan to discuss “the strengthening of Mercosur,” according to Brazilian  presidential spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro.

Fernandez tweeted on Sunday that Rousseff’s victory was a great win for social inclusion and regional integration.

A strong Brazilian and Argentine relationship

The Argentine Casa Rosada announced that Fernandez and Rousseff will “continue with the same good feeling” and nothing will change in the strong Brazilian and Argentine relationship.

Rousseff also signalled she will continue to give strong support to Argentina in their struggle with the vulture funds.

mercosurlogoA senior Argentine official told La Nacion newspaper that “Mercosur is stronger with Dilma and Brazil’s influence will be more important.”

Good news for the trade bloc

Rousseff’s victory is good news for the trade bloc, if the centre right candidate Aecio Neves had won, it would have signalled a radical shift with Brazil’s relationship with Argentina and with Mercosur, jeopardizing its unity.

The Governor of Buenos Aires, Daniel Scioli also praised Rousseff’s win.

“Here you have the people’s answer. We want development, we want to take care of our achievements and not return to the past, that explains Dilma’s triumphs,” he said to a rally of supporters.

Source:  TeleSur