Cuba consolidates use of ozone therapies

Source:  Granma
November 23 2015

by  Nuria Barbosa León |

Ozone therapy is used across a broad range of medical specialties and at different levels of the healthcare system, for diabetes prevention, treatment and rehabilitation; hypertension, asthma, cardiac deficiencies and herniated disks

cuba ozone therapy

A patient receiving ozone therapy in the province of Mayabeque.  Photo: Elba Salazar

Ozone therapy is a complementary, combined adjunctive treatment used across various branches of medicine given its healing properties and efficiency, according to Dr. Vivian Borroto Rodríguez, Natural and Traditional Medicine specialist and president of the Cuban Ozone Society, speaking with Granma International.

”The illnesses which respond best to this method of treatment are advanced ischemic disorders, inflammatory and degenerative skeletal and joint conditions; viral and bacterial infections; the healing of wounds; and skin ulcers.

Ozone therapy is used across a broad range of medical specialties and at different levels of the healthcare system, for diabetes prevention, treatment and rehabilitation; hypertension, asthma, cardiac deficiencies and herniated disks, for example.

We have had excellent experiences in pediatrics using the therapy to treat children with cerebral palsy as well as cancer patients,” she notes.

How is ozone therapy applied?

cuba ozone therapy 2

Ozone generators use medicinal oxygen and low voltage electricity to obtain the correct dosage for the patient

Ozone generators use medicinal oxygen and low voltage electricity to obtain the correct dose for the patient. These generators are  provided by the Ministry of Public Heath to its nationwide network of healthcare facilities.

In order to apply the treatment, the patient must have their medical prescription, which should determine the dosage, while the whole process must be performed at a health facility by qualified personnel.

The therapy is not available for home use, but similar products in the form of syrups are available at local pharmacies and must be prescribed by a doctor.

When did use of this treatment begin in Cuba?

The use of ozone therapy in Cuba dates back to the 1980s, when it was used to disinfect polluted drinking water. Later the Ozone Research Center was created in order to demonstrate its effectiveness and the possibility of making the treatment available in all provinces and municipalities.

In the first decade of 2000, action plans were created to consolidate ozone treatment strategies within the field of Natural and Traditional Medicine, and in 2010, the therapy was officially approved as one of the 10 branches of this field.

Despite the fact that the Ozone Research Center was dissolved due to economic transformations being carried out in the country over recent years, in January 2011, a department was created within the division of physical and rehabilitation medicine, today globally recognized as the Cuban Ozone Therapy Society and affiliated with the discipline’s International Federation with whom there is collaboration on validating therapeutic protocols, research promotion and disseminating results.

Our main focus is working to provide the patient with a better quality of life.

Are there any upcoming international scientific events?

Over 200 experts from around the world will come together in Havana this November 27-29 for the First Cuban Ozone Society Congress, the Fifth Mexican Ozone Therapy Congress and the Fourth Congress of the International Medical Ozone Federation.

Under the maxim: “Regularization, unity and science for ozone therapy,” the event aims to discuss and promote strategies regarding the legalization and use of the treatment, while also facilitating knowledge exchanges in a friendly and cooperative atmosphere, which could contribute to strengthening relations between entities and specialists.

Also scheduled are two pre-congress workshops and a symposium. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, dentists, vets and technicians associated with the specialty, will be participating in the event.

What have been Cuba’s main achievements in this sphere over recent years?

First, the legalization of ozone therapy at a government level; its inclusion in teaching programs; integration into the protocols of health institutions; the standardization of the purchase of ozone medications; and the creation of an up-to-date bibliography of our research.

We have created a basic training scheme with the latest scientific knowledge across the entire country resulting in an increase in the use of this new method.

We promote scientific research on ozone therapy in order to disseminate experiences and knowledge.

The advance and consolidation of this practice on the island is tangible; today we have more scientific-technical material to show the world.

Source:  Cuba consolidates use of ozone therapies  Granma

Cuba: Trinidad’s B&B boom

Source:  Granma
November 24, 2015

by Juan Antonio Borrego |

Trinidad is a town in the province of Sancti Spíritus, central Cuba.

The rapid increase in private bed and breakfast inns and family run restaurants and cafes is transforming Trinidad’s tourist panorama, a regional paradigm for the preservation of its heritage and one of Cuba’s most famous destinations.

trinidad b&b boom.jpg

During tourist high season, Trinidad can receive up to 10,000 tourists in a single day.  Photo: Vicente Brito

If, in one of the countless surveys conducted, you are asked which city in Cuba has been able to double its tourist lodging capacity in a single year without constructing any new hotels, don’t think it’s some kind of mathematical trick, or unsolvable riddle, because the answer is Trinidad.

At least according to figures from the Ministry of Tourism’s (Mintur) provincial delegation, which recently reported an exponential rise in rooms in this part of the country, despite the fact that not a single hotel has been completed in the last five years.

The miracle

According to various experts speaking to Granma International, “the miracle” has been possible due to the unlikely boom in private bed and breakfasts – some 952 according to the latest survey – turning Trinidad in to a national reference for the development of non-state tourist options, which have been taking off in this territory ever since the activity was politically supported in the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines of the Party and Revolution, ratified in the Sixth PCC Congress, in April 2011.

Declared a UNESCOs World Heritage sites  since 1988 and currently one of the country’s most charming destinations, Trinidad is – along with Viñales, in Pinar del Río – one of the regions with the largest concentration of B&Bs, family restaurants and cafeterias in Cuba (some 1,115 in total).  It occupies a relatively small area and has a small number of inhabitants per square kilometer.

19th century buildings

The B&B boom, as some are calling it, is evident in the areas surrounding the Plaza Mayor, where the 19th century buildings have been converted into lodging and dining establishments; a phenomenon also visible in the nearby town of La Boca; the sea port of Casilda, on the high peaks of Topes de Collantes standing at an altitude of over 800 meters; and which is also beginning to flourish toward the east, in the always popular Valle de los Ingenios.

Over 10,000 tourists in a single day

trinidad's b&b boom2.jpg

Trinidad is one of the regions with the largest concentration of b&bs, family restaurants and cafeterias in Cuba Photo: Sotolongo, Carlos Luis

Despite being 22 weeks pregnant, everyday Liset Esquerra dreams of discovering new clients in her restaurant Sabor a mí, a modest house located near to the old convent of Saint Francis of Assisi, today the National Museum of the Fight against Bandits, from where you can practically inhale the aroma of coffee coming from the Don Pepe café or feel the buzz from the La Botija restaurant.

“Location isn’t enough to succeed,” states the Social Communication graduate, “nor is it about getting rich in one month, you have to compete hard, study the different languages, make sure you have all the necessary supplies and work morning, noon and night.”

Reiner Rendón, Mintur representative in the province, notes that today, Trinidad wouldn’t be able to receive all the tourists who arrive to the region – up to 10,000 in a single day during high season – if it weren’t for the 1,355 private rooms and service infrastructure which have been emerging over recent years.

An essential component

According to the director, more than a complement to state activity, private sector services have become an essential component for the development of the industry in the region, and important part of Trinidad’s tourist product, given the unique, quality offers they provide.

Even though the municipality has a network of hotels located across the Ancón Peninsula, the city of Trinidad, and the heights of the Topes de Collantes – which have seen noteworthy results thus far this year and are scheduled to undergo development works – today the non-state sector receives almost half of all tourist arrivals to the region, having grown 41.5% as compared to 2014, and contributes more than 50% of the municipality’s budget.

Sector directors agree that there is sufficient demand to be exploited by all service providers, while state and private offers complement each other and strengthen the region’s exceptional synergy, which offers beaches, history, culture, relaxation and adventure all within a radius of a few kilometers.

A question of co-existence

Despite the lack of a wholesale market offering basic supplies essential to service providers, and water storage problems, over 6,000 individuals are registered as self-employed in Trinidad, the majority linked to the tourist sector, which not only provides employment, but also higher salaries, and the opportunity for home improvement.

The transformation of Trinidad’s tourist panorama has also contributed to attracting more visitors to the city’s cultural centers, museums, galleries, crafts markets, as well as its nightlife centers, which include salsa on the stairs of the Casa de la Música, folklore performances at the Palenque de los Congos Reales and a club located within the Ayala Cave.

For Reiner Rendón, a good example of how the state sector has been obliged to respond given the impact of private offers, is the reaction of the Palmares Group, which, he reported, is carrying out improvement works to its various facilities, redirecting efforts toward leisure and entertainment, and redesigning its food offers.

Some 839 contracts between tour operators, Cubatur, Havanatur, Viajes Cubanacán, Ecotur and private B&Bs and restaurants, is another example that friendly coexistence between the two sectors is possible.

The goose that laid the golden egg

Architect Lázaro Morgado recently traveled to the Louvre Museum in Paris, to receive the Golden Gesture Award presented by the International Hall of Cultural Heritage’s Committee of Experts, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the restoration of his restaurant Sol Ananda.

”The greatest beneficiary is the city,” stated Morgado at the Mezzanine du Carrousel restaurant, where he received the accolade, who highlighted the importance of knowing how to modify the city’s cultural heritage in accordance with the new forms of economic management, just as he has done with the former residence belonging to Sergeant Major, Don Martín de Olivera, on the corners of Real and Desengaño streets.

Tackling the destruction of such valuable and vulnerable heritage has become a genuine obsession in Trinidad since judge Saturnino Sánchez Iznaga formally proposed before local authorities, more than a century ago, the demolition of the Béquer Palace – one of the most lavish of the many which were built throughout the island according to Domingo del Monte writer, lawyer, and literary critic of the time. More recently the Office of Conservation, Culture, Physical Planning and Housing, and the municipal government, have granted some exceptions to preservation regulations.

The appearance, as if by magic, of arbors, awnings, bars and even modern rooftop swimming pools on buildings located within the heritage site; the inappropriate use of spaces and infractions committed during the construction process, figure among the list of abuses which have increasingly required resolution recently.

Experts note that when dealing with modifications made to structures in the historic center which covers 50 blocks and includes over 2,000 buildings, the vast majority of houses representative of 18th and 19th century national architecture, the solution isn’t always as easy as it might seem, an opinion also shared by others such as local Trinidad resident Ana María Gutiérrez.

”People think they have the right to change their kitchen, lounge and house-front” she warns “but if we do whatever we like, then we ourselves would be killing the goose that lays the golden eggs,” she commented.

Source:  Trinidad’s B&B boom  Granma

CAAP: How Israeli Apartheid Negatively Affects the Caribbean

On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for Palestine to be partitioned between Arabs and Jews.

On this, the 68th anniversary of this partition, the Caribbean against Apartheid in Palestine, CAAP, in Barbados, invites you to an evening of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

CAAP 2015 (1)

Solidarity with Palestine 8c

Jamaicans demonstrate in support of Palestine in front of the US Embassy, August 2014

palestine an d the un

Professor Richard Wolff: Global Capitalism – November 2015 Monthly Update

Co-sponsored by Democracy at Work, Left Forum, and Judson Memorial Church
These programs begin with 30 minutes of short updates on important economic events of the last month. Then Wolff analyzes several major economic issues. For November 11th, these will include:
“Immigration, Unaffordable Cities, and Bernie’s ‘Democratic Socialism’”

Visit here for much more audio and video presentations by Professor Wolff: Professor Richard D. Wolff

Latin American Countries Seek to Build First Regional Satellite

Source:  TeleSUR
21 November 2015

arsat 1 argentina's satellite

A computer rendering shows ARSAT 1, the first satellite built by a Latin American country (Photo: AFTIC Argentina)

Improving communication between the countries of Latin America is considered an essential element in the development of regional integration.

In an effort to facilitate regional communication and integration, the head of Arsat, Argentina’s state-owned satellite company, held a meeting with ambassadors from throughout Latin America to discuss the construction of the first Latin American satellite.

Matias Bianchi, president of Arsat, recently spoke with the Nodal news outlet to share the company’s efforts to pioneer new methods of communication aimed at promoting regional integration.


“We have to find a way to work together as a region and maximize our efforts. This is not a commercial endeavor but instead one that focuses on integration … The idea is that by joining forces, we have more weight as a region against the interests of the rest of the world,” said Bianchi in an interview published Friday.

Since the arrival of the so-called “pink tide” of progressive governments in Latin America, great efforts have been made to lessen the ties between the region and the United States, promoting integration between the countries of the region instead. These efforts have led to the creation of regional bodies such as the Union of South American Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

Social investment

Progressive governments in the region have also prioritized social investment, including the expansion of communication infrastructure. Both Venezuela and Bolivia have launched communication satellites, however both were build and launched abroad by China.

“In Latin America there is a great need to develop the satellite industry. We have countries with complex geographies and high population densities, where a satellite helps bridge the digital divide in areas that are not easily reached by ground infrastructure,” said Bianchi.

Arsat, Argentina’s state-owned satellite company, was created in 2006 by the late former president of Argentina, Nestor Kirchner, and only employed 50 people. Since then the company has grown to over 500 and has built and launched two of its own satellites.

Communications infrastructure

Arsat is now seeking to cooperate with other countries to continue expanding communications infrastructure. Bianchi said the recent meeting with ambassadors was fruitful and Arsat continues to cultivate relationships with governments throughout the region, in particular with those of Venezuela, Bolivia, and Chile.

“One proposal we made to them is to join in the construction of the next satellite, that they take a portion of the capacity for themselves and through that capacity we would sell them, there would be a technology transfer from us to them, so that each country can then contribute their knowledge from the portion where they have greater capacity,” Bianchi told Nodal.

According to Bianchi, Argentina is one of only 10 countries in the world that can build satellites and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere. Argentina recently approved the Law of the Development of the Satellite Industry, which includes a 20 year development plan and makes support for the industry a state policy.

Source:  Latin American Countries Seek to Build First Regional Satellite

Latin American Rightwing Celebrates Win in Argentina

Source:  TeleSUR
22 November 2015

marci celebrates

Mauricio Macri, presidential candidate of the Cambiemos (Let’s Change) coalition, with his daughter Antonia on his shoulders, and his wife Juliana Awada wave to supporters after the presidential election in Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 22, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Argentina’s election results Sunday came as a blow to the international left, while being welcomed by the right-wing in Argentina and abroad.

In a fiercely fought presidential race, ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli lost to the right-wing opposition challenger Mauricio Macri in a run off vote.

Daniel Scioli argentina

Daniel Scioli

In his speech conceding defeat, Scioli said, “The people have chosen an alternative.”

“I have defended my ideas and our achievements with much convictions, (but) the results show a definitive tendency,” he said.

After Scioli’s speech, The newly elected vice president Gabriela Michetti promised to “build new things on what has already been built.”

“Above all I want to thank Mauricio (Macri), because he trusted me and I know that he is committed to a government for everyone,” She said.

Moments later, Macri himself addressed the nation, starting his victory speech with, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

“I am here because you all decided it … We can build trust, something we need here in Argentina,” he said.

Macri continued by praising his supporters and vowing to introduce sweeping reforms. “Us Argentines know that the country we dream of, we have to build together … We have to build an Argentina with zero poverty, we have to confront the drug smuggling,” he said.

“With our vote we’re going to change history… we did it, we did it together,” he added.

Cristina Fernandez

cristina fernandez 3Incumbent President Cristina Fernandez has congratulated Macri on his victory, and said she will hold an official meeting with him Tuesday

On the streets of Argentina, Scioli supporter Maria Rosa Soria said the defeat was a bad sign for the country.

“If the results stay like this it’s a real setback for the country,” she told Reuters shortly before the final results came in.

Macri supporter Angela Torres said the victory “feels like a dream.”

“A new Argentina is on its way that will be better in every sense,” Torres stated.

Welcomed by the right-wing

Beyond Argentina, Macri’s win has been met with disappointment by Latin America’s progressives, and welcomed by the right-wing. The victory for Macri is the first time in Argentina’s history the right has taken power through the ballot box, rather than through undemocratic means.

Even before final results were released, Venezuelan opposition figure and Lilian Tintori and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera had already congratulated Macri. Since then, right wing leaders from across the region have joined a chorus of approval for Macri, including Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan right-wing opposition figure Henrique Capriles.

“We’re paying a lot of attention to electoral results, but its very important that across Latin America the social movements be strengthened … so such organizations need to be much more involved in politics,” analyst and journalist Kintto Lucas told teleSUR.

Lucas noted Macri’s new government is likely to struggle to impose reforms without negotiating with the opposition.

“But, he will try to apply pressure through international mechanisms, but of course other countries won’t agree,” Lucas said.

Newspaper El Pais commented on the election by noting Macri has vowed to suspend Venezuela from the Mercosur bloc – a move that would be fiercely opposed by Uruguay and Brazil.

ANALYSIS: The New Contours of Latin America’s Right

Cuban lung cancer medicine receives Innovation Award

Source:  Granma
November 19 2015

By  Orfilio Peláez |

The product shows positive results in prolonging and improving the quality of patients’ lives.

cuban lung cancer medicine receives award

The medication Vaxira to treat advanced large cell lung cancer is developed by Cuba’s Molecular Immunology Center. Photo: Yaimí Ravelo

The medication Vaxira to treat advanced large cell lung cancer, developed by Cuba’s Molecular Immunology Center, received the Prize for Creativity and Technological Innovation 2015, awarded by the Cuban Industrial Property Office (OCPI).

Registered in Cuba since 2012 after being approved by the Center for State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices (Cecmed), the product shows positive results in prolonging and improving the quality of patients’ lives, and has low toxicity levels resulting in less of the unpleasant side effects associated with other necessary therapeutic procedures.

The safety of the product allows it to be administered over long periods of time through the primary healthcare system, and is also suitable for elderly people suffering from the disease.

Vaxira is patented in 17 countries, while clinical trials are currently underway to assess its possible use in treating varieties of breast and ovarian cancer

Source:  Cuban lung cancer medicine receives Innovation Award Granma