Venezuela: Maduro invites opposition to meet with government

Source:  Granma
December 4 2017

nicolas maduro nov 2017 2

“On 372 occasions I have called for a national dialogue,” said the president. | Photo: @PresidencialVen

Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, invited opposition members to meet with government representatives at Miraflores Palace, in order to strengthen formal talks and review the six point agenda agreed upon by both parties in talks held December 1-2 in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic.

“I want to invite Deputy Julio Borges, Deputy Luis Florido, Deputy Timoteo Zambrano and Deputy Luis Aquiles Moreno, representing opposition parties, Justice First, People’s Will, Democratic Action, and A New Time, to Miraflores Palace this week,” Maduro stated during the 98th episode of the weekly television program he hosts on VTV, Los Domingos con Maduro.

The head of state recalled that the Venezuelan government maintains a constant dialogue with all the country’s productive and social sectors, and highlighted the importance of consolidating formal talks with all political sectors for the well-being of the country.

“Now we need a political dialogue with all the country’s political actors, with all political forces and factions, I have insisted a great deal on there being dialogue and a permanent system of transparent dialogue regarding the country with the opposition,” he stated, according to AVN.

Maduro also highlighted the repeated calls he has made to oppositions sectors to participate in talks in order to achieve peace. “I have called for national dialogue on 372 occasions,” he stressed.

Elections in Cuba: More Than 85% of the Electorate Exercised Their Right to Vote

Source:  Cuba Inside the World & TeleSUR

The president of the National Electoral Commission emphasized that the day passed with tranquility, organization and discipline.

cuba's municipal elections nov 2017 3.jpg

Seven million 608,404 Cubans went to the polls this past Sunday to elect the delegates to the municipal assemblies of the Popular Power, reported on Monday Alina Balseiro, president of the National Electoral Commission (CEN).

Related:  Elections in Cuba: Like Nowhere Else!

This figure represents 85.94 percent of the eight million 855,213 citizens summoned to exercise their right to vote in the first stage of the 2017-2018 general elections, according to data offered by Balseiro at a press conference.

cuba's municipal elections nov 2017 2.jpgThe number of voters this past Sunday increased by 54,882 with respect to the elections of 2015.

– Of all the ballots deposited, 91.79 percent were valid, 4.12 percent were blank and only 4.07 percent were canceled.

– The provinces with the best percentages of valid ballots were Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo, Las Tunas, Granma and Sancti Spíritus.

-11,415 delegates were elected from the 12,515 existing districts.

-Of the total of elected, women represent 35.47 percent, while young people 14.36.

-The second round will include 1,100 districts next December 3, 67 less than in 2015.

Balseiro stressed that the election day passed with calm, organization, discipline and compliance with the law. He also thanked the agencies and institutions that supported the process.

cuba elections nov 2017.jpg

Deceptive Intelligence: CNN breaks story on Slave Trade in Libya; French Government voices concern for African Migrants

Source:  Ghana Today
November 25 2017

Gerald A. Perreira

 

libya slave trade

World turns blind eye to Libya slave trade – Reuters

The world we find ourselves in is complex and full of contradictions. It is easy to fall for rudimentary textbook propaganda based on simplistic dichotomies, such as ‘the good guys versus the bad guys’. If we are not aware of the complexities and nuances facing us, we can fall for this type of propaganda, whose sole aim is to keep us apart and destroy any type of unity that could strengthen our ability to defeat the enemy.

Hypocrisy and insincerity

When examining and assessing the latest information fed us by one of imperialism’s mouthpieces, CNN, there are important things for us, as revolutionary Pan-Africanists, to keep in mind. The first thing to note is the clear hypocrisy and insincerity which is nowhere more stark than CNN’s recent expose of “Libyan crimes against humanity” and French President, Emmanuel Macron’s call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to demand immediate action against this heinous “Libyan” crime.

I know this much for sure, as an African revolutionary I do not look to the devil for the truth. I know that the devil does not lie some of the time; he lies and deceives all of the time. In whatever form the devil manifests himself, I do not deal with him. He can come in the guise of the imperialists and White Supremacists themselves, or their mouthpieces such as CNN, BBC, Fox News or any of the mainstream corporate media outlets. We should never forget their role as cheerleaders and purveyors of the fake news that laid the groundwork for the invasion and destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriya. Therefore, let us ask ourselves the burning question, why are they providing us with this information, and why now? Why are the imperialists suddenly feigning concern for the plight of Africans?

A counter -revolution

In my first article on the invasion of Libya, published March 2nd, 2011, titled, Libya, Getting it Right: A Revolutionary Pan-African Perspective, I said that “the conflict in Libya is not a revolution, but a counter-revolution. The struggle is fundamentally a battle between Pan-African forces on the one hand, who are dedicated to the realization of Qaddafi’s vision of a united Africa, and reactionary, racist Libyan Arab forces who reject Qaddafi’s vision of Libya as part of a united Africa.”

Events have proved this analysis correct. Muammar Qaddafi and the Revolutionary Committees Movement of the Al Fateh Revolution had a monumental task on their hands: to conscientize and reposition the Libyan people for a significant role in the revolutionary Pan-African project for a United States of Africa. This is a battle for all African revolutionaries. In Sub-Saharan African countries, where almost the entire population comprises Black Africans, we face the same battle. Here in the Caribbean, it is no different. So, when Qaddafi urged his people to look towards a United States of Africa and a revolutionary Pan-African perspective, he had to face Libyans who rejected this program in favor of Libya and the entire North African region joining the Barcelona Project, a Mediterranean-European alliance, whose aim is to take North Africa out of Africa.

The hidden agenda

Prejudice against dark-skinned Africans exists all over planet earth. Even in countries where the population is almost 100% Black African, we have to contend with ‘shadism’, a hangover from colonialism and plantation culture, where Africans with lighter skin shades are held in higher esteem than Africans with darker skin shades. However, to say that “Arab Libyans” are selling “Africans” is overly simplistic and deliberately misleading. There is a hidden agenda here – beware. The objective is to ignite hostilities between so-called Arab-Africans and so-called Sub-Saharan-Africans. There is a debate amongst Africans about who is an African. On the one hand, there are those who limit the definition of African to Black Africans in the Sub-Saharan region of the continent. On the other hand, there are those of us who believe that Africa is one, and we will resist any attempt by the imperialists to redefine and further balkanize Africa. Rather than becoming part of the European Community, North Africans promoting the Barcelona Project would be better off seeking out their African roots. This is what Muammar Qaddafi told all Libyans.

Those who today call themselves “Arabs” have a historical, ancestral and moral duty to recognize their Africanity. Those “Arabs” who live in countries on the African continent and those who live in the region outside of the continent, need to explore and reexamine their history. The region they inhabit, erroneously named “Middle-East” and “Levant” by the European colonizers cannot be divorced from Africa. I agree with Islamic theologian and historian, Dr. Wesley Muhammad, that the area known as “Middle-East” or “Levant” is more aptly named ‘Afrabia’.

Anyone interested in more information on this and the Aryanization of Christianity and Islam, should refer to the brilliant works of Dr. Wesley Muhammad, especially his book ‘Black Arabia and the African Origins of Islam’.

The North Atlantic Tribes Organization (NATO) deeply fear this type of awakening and the unity of purpose and action it could lead to in this oil rich and wealthiest region of the world.

Muammar Qaddafi’s persistent struggle

Minister Farrakhan said many years ago, reflecting on periods of unity in our history, “we did it before and we can do it again”. Muammar Qaddafi persistent struggle to forge a United States of Africa was starting to pay off. He was on the verge of creating an African currency that would have shifted the global economic imbalance, preparing the way for Africa to take its rightful place in the world. Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Ivory Coast, was openly supporting Qaddafi with this radical move. Gbagbo believed that those who were serious should declare a United States of Africa and the others could follow. Fear of this emerging African unity, especially between countries in the north and south of the continent, prompted France to orchestrate Gbagbo’s removal from power at the same time as the NATO led invasion of Libya. Genuine African unity, resulting in anything more than talk, will always be opposed, no matter what the cost, by the forces of White Supremacy.

As we now know, even those Libyans who opposed Qaddafi’s drive for a United States of Africa, did not support the overthrow of the Jamahiriya. It is a well-substantiated fact that the rag-tag and opportunistic conglomerate of reactionaries, including monarchists, Arab supremacists and al-Qaeda linked Islamists, such as those from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, constituted an insignificant minority. The Libyan Revolutionary Armed Forces could have easily contained these retrograde forces, if NATO had not bombed them into power. Without the backing of France, the US, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and their satellites, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, the so-called Libyan rebels amounted to nothing when confronted with the overwhelming support of the majority of Libyans for Muammar Qaddafi and the Al Fateh Revolution. This revolution brought dignity, stability, prosperity and liberation from foreign domination to all Libyans, from the fairest to the darkest in complexion. One thing you knew as soon as you stepped off the plane at Tripoli Airport was that the Libyans – all Libyans – were in control of their country! It was people power, seemingly chaotic and misunderstood by outsiders, but a truly participatory democracy to those who lived it and experienced it. The majority of Libyans were aware of this and supported Al Fateh.

Demons unleashed in Libya

Knowing who the so-called rebels truly are, it came as no surprise to me, that in addition to the long list of crimes against humanity attributed to these scoundrels, they would auction Black Africans as slave labor.

Following the heroic battle of Sirte, back in December 2011, in an article titled, Demons Unleashed in Libya: NATO’s Islamists Continue Program of Ethnic and Ideological Cleansing”, I wrote about the horror that was taking place. A horror that was instigated by the Anglo-Franco-American Imperialists, under the watchful eye of the UN – all of whom are now shedding crocodile tears over the sale of African migrants in Libya. In that article, I wrote about the “complete whiteout by the corporate media regarding all news from Libya”. I stated that, “Even the United Nations, an architect of the nation’s destruction, says 7,000 prisoners are held without trial or charge, most of them Black, many of them tortured. Any known Qaddafi loyalists who have not been able to get out of Libya have to stay underground. Death squads scour the land. Truckloads of bodies are being carted away, as the now feuding armed gangs, each with their own command structure, and none adhering to anything the Western installed NTC says, introduces the only policy they ever had – exterminate Qaddafi and all those loyal to him.”

These are NATO’s thugs.
I went on to note that, “In addition to loyalty to the Leader, and defense of their country against foreign invaders, having black skin and asserting one’s Africanity has become a crime in the new Libya. Ethnic cleansing is continuing unabated. Every day Black Africans from Libya and other parts of Africa are hunted down. Thousands have been brutally tortured and executed. Rape of Black women is a favored weapon of NATO’s Islamists. Many of the female bodies found show signs of rape, beatings and torture. Large numbers of Black Africans make up the ranks of the Green Resistance.”

I quoted one Tripoli resident as saying:
“Everyone is terrified of the NTC and their armed gangs. We have seen with our own eyes what they are capable of – they are animals. All around us people are being rounded up and imprisoned. We have no way of knowing how many have been murdered. Anyone who is associated with Qaddafi or suspected of loyalty to him is at risk. Even people who have worked for people who are known supporters of the leader have been rounded up and tortured. I personally know of many persons who were just working for people associated with the leader who have been taken away and never seen again. If you are black you are an immediate suspect – these rebels call black Libyans “abd” means slave and they are rounding them up just because they are black – it is making me sick and ashamed.”

“…What these rebels have done to their own people is disgusting – some of the acts of torture I can’t even speak about. There has been a lot of rape. I wept when I learned of what these animals did to the leader’s female bodyguards – they are not human and that is why there is so much fear. Any known Qaddafi loyalists who have not been able to get out of Libya have to stay underground. Libyans are afraid to talk to other Libyans – anyone could be an informer. It feels like the last days are upon us – Libya has been turned into a living hell.”

The imperialist media, including CNN was completely silent regarding all of these crimes against humanity, despite the fact that genocide in the form of an ethnic and ideological cleansing pogrom was unfolding right before our eyes. There was no outcry from the UN or the North Atlantic Tribes. No time or motive for outcry – having shared the spoils, these callous warlords had already moved on to their next victim – Syria.

So why now?
Could it be that the Green Resistance is gaining ground? Could it be that although they killed Qaddafi and buried him in an unmarked grave (they know why), his dangerous (for them) ideas are better known now than before? Could it be that Muammar Qaddafi’s vision for a United States of Africa could once again re-surface?

Prior to the overthrow of the Jamahiriya, thousands of Africans travelled to Libya to work, and they prospered. Employment opportunities existed across a range of occupations, including teachers, librarians, nurses, hotel workers, chefs, mechanics, electricians, construction workers and unskilled laborers. They were able to send money home to their families. African businesses and companies also traded extensively in Libya. There was zero tolerance in the Jamahiriya for the mistreatment of Libyan or migrant workers or anyone for that matter. I know of many foreigners who received favorable judgements in employment disputes.

The destruction of this most prosperous and just African country was led by France, who now dares to call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the crimes committed against African migrants “by Libyans”. This is devil-speak. The same devil who, in the words of the Honorable Minister Farrakhan, “unleashed the demons” that are now committing these and other heinous crimes, is trying to sow more discord by talking about “Libyan crimes”. Where was CNN and the French government when these same gangs of demons were committing the atrocities described above?

Deceptive intelligence

We have known since the first day of NATO’s invasion that this was perhaps one of the most racist and atrocious crimes of the 21st century. The question that we must ask ourselves is why CNN, the French government and others who led the charge in 2011, are all of a sudden concerned about the plight of Africans in Libya. Minister Farrakhan calls it “deceptive intelligence”, and warns us that, “every time the serpent raises its head it should be de-capitated”.

Let us resist this crude attempt to divide and ruin us yet again. Let us not be distracted and misled by imperialist propaganda. Let us make sure that our enemies do not set our agenda, causing us to react to their devious attempts to pit us against each other. Let us set our own agenda for our second liberation. Crimes against Black Africans and Qaddafi loyalists, of every complexion, began in Libya in 2011, and continue to this day, unabated. Thousands languish in detention centers, Libyans of every complexion and migrants from all over Africa. Those carrying out these crimes on the ground are the foot soldiers and thugs of the criminal masterminds of the hell that is now Libya. Arrest warrants should be issued immediately for Nicolas Sarkozy, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, David Cameron, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Emir Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani to name but a few.

I end with a message to “All our Brothers and Sisters in Africa and the Diaspora” from long time Revolutionary Committee Movement member, Dr. Salem Zubeidy:

“This letter is addressed to our brothers, officials, and residents of the sub-Saharan African countries, who are characterized by dark features….

There have been many reactions and statements by African leaders, politicians, organizations and institutions following an investigation published by CNN that there are markets for the selling of Africans of dark skin in Libya …

No one stopped to question the validity of this report, and where is the market? When did this happen? Where do the (alleged) slaves go?

Then, no one asked how the channel got to the supposed market, and how was it able to video the “auction”? What is the purpose of the American channel to broadcast such a program that distorts an entire people, and accuses them of committing a heinous crime that is not accepted by a reasonable mind and not approved by any logic?

We can find explanations and justifications for a US channel harboring suspicious purposes in fueling separation and instigating seditions.

As an answer to the voices and forces that see in this an opportunity to falsify the facts, and play down the Libyan people’s accomplishments, side by side with their African brothers and sisters in the golden times of the al-Fateh Revolution, it behooves us to clarify some points:

  1. Libya, which you know has been hijacked since the Fall of 2011, and its capabilities are being controlled by criminal gangs that had been enabled by means of the Western war machine of NATO, after destroying the foundations of the state.
  2. Libya was the Bureau of the liberation movements, which trained, armed and equipped thousands of young people in the southern regions of Africa, Rhodesia, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola, and enabled them to return with their full military gear, with Libyan advisers, to fight the battles of liberation.
  3. Libya offered total support to the struggle of Cabral in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde and dispatched Libyan officers as volunteers to fight alongside him, some of whom are still living witnesses amongst us.
  4. Libya presented absolute support for revolutionary and progressive regimes in African countries seeking liberation from imperialism and neo-colonialism in the Congo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Chad, and others.
  5. Libya alone has resisted the Barcelona process, which had as an objective the separation of the light-skinned in the north of the continent linking them with the Mediterranean in the so-called “Mediterranean Organization” and established the CEN-SAD in response to the Barcelona process, to prove the unity of the continent.
  6. Libya fought the battle for the unification of the continent and the affirmation of its freedom, identity, and dignity through pressing for the establishment of the African Union.
  7. Libya embraced African political opposition movements, supporting their programs and bringing many of their leaders to power.
  8. Libya represented the ongoing battle for peace, development, and construction. It convened dozens of meetings, organized dozens of mediation affairs and reconciliations. It also invested huge sums in important projects in most countries of the continent …

We can go on in more detail, but we just want to tell you and the world that your Libyan brothers and sisters cannot accept to disassociate themselves from their continent, no matter how the enemies of Africa try.”

A full statement from Libyan People’s National Movement (LPNM) can be found at:

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2017/11/21/libyan-peoples-national-movement-statement-on-the-slave-trade/

Gerald A. Perreira is chairperson of the Guyanese organizations Black Consciousness Movement Guyana (BCMG) and Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP), International Secretary for ARM (African Revolutionary Movement) and executive member of the Caribbean Chapter of the Network for Defense of Humanity. He lived in Libya for many years, served in the Green March, an international battalion for the defense of the Al Fatah Revolution, and was an executive member of the World Mathaba based in Libya. He can be reached at mojadi94@gmail.com.

US Report: US Sanctions on Cuba Hurting the Pockets of Americans

Source:  Cubadebate
November 29, 2017

US opportunities for export to Cuba white paper.jpgCuba Trade magazine and the United States Agricultural Coalition for Cuba released on Wednesday a report on the Opportunities for US Agriculture Exports to Cuba: a white paper, which explains how 16 US territories could benefit if Washington eliminates restrictions on the sale of food to Cuba. island.

The text is based on current and historical data from national and state offices, federal agencies, academic analysts and information from the Cuban government to illustrate the potential net benefits of agricultural trade with the neighboring country.

Richard Roffman, editor of Cuba Trade , said the white paper provides some of the most convincing evidence to date of the damaging effects that US sanctions are having on the pockets of the Americans themselves.

The negative impact that these trade barriers continue to impose on agriculture can be multiplied in all industrial sectors of the United States, Roffman added, who said that lawmakers will soon see the great value that ending such limitations would have for countries.

A major barrier to trade with Cuba

According to the document, published on the magazine’s digital page, there are several reasons why US agricultural products only account for a small percentage of Cuba’s imports, and among the main ones is the requirement that all shipments be paid. in cash, in advance.

In the breakdown by state, the report found that Alabama, for example, made sales to the island for $ 45 million in 2016, but has the potential to reach $ 98 million to lift existing restrictions at present.

Other territories that reported some type of trade with the largest of the Antilles last year, and that would see multiplied transactions, are Illinois, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and Virginia.

At the same time, places that did not report any type of sale in those 12 months could trade products for millions of dollars, including Arkansas – with a potential of 51 to 60 million – Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Dakota. North.

Obsolete trade restrictions

For Arkansas Republican Representative Rick Crawford, this report highlights how much American agricultural businesses can earn if “obsolete trade restrictions, such as a credit ban, are removed.”

The congressman, the main sponsor of the Agricultural Exports Law to Cuba, pointed out that the requirement that only cash be used makes export transactions almost impossible, because foreign importers do business almost exclusively with financing and credit.

In turn, Senator John Boozman, also a Republican from Arkansas, said he will continue to advocate opening that market and breaking down the barriers faced by producers to send “safe and high quality food to Cuba . 

A press release on the document noted that the white paper is sent to all members of Congress, to members of the legislatures in each of the 16 states covered in the report and to senior executives of the largest agricultural companies in this country, among other readers.

Marcus Garvey’s Glowing Praise of Lenin

Source:  TeleSUR  The Russian Revolution and the Caribbean
November 20 2017

by Earl Bousquet

The Caribbean, then called the “West Indies”, expressed solidarity with and admiration for the Russian revolution and its leader when it shook the world in 1917.

History records that Marcus Mosiah Garvey, the Jamaican who led the largest organization of Black people in the Western hemisphere ever, quickly dispatched a letter from the United Negro Improvement Association, on behalf of its millions of members in the United States, the Caribbean and South America.

 

unia parade in harlem 1924Marcus Garvey’s UNIA parade in Harlem 1924

marcus garveyGarvey’s letter to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin expressed support from the UNIA on behalf of all the workers of the Caribbean region, which was under complete colonial rule.

The colonial rulers resisted his attempts to organize the tens of millions who were not only UNIA members, but also unattached workers of all types on all islands and in all British colonial territories across the region.

Lenin the “Greatest”

Following Lenin’s death in 1924, Garvey also heaped glowing praise on the leader of the Russian Revolution.

In a speech in New York on Jan. 27, soon after Lenin’s death, Garvey said, “‘One of Russia’s greatest men, one of the world’s greatest characters, and probably the greatest man in the world between 1917 and 1924, when he breathed his last and took his flight from this world. We as Negroes mourn for Lenin because Russia promised great hope not only for Negroes but to the weaker people of the world.”

IN DEPTH: Russian Revolution at 100

lenin and the october revolution.jpg

 

Zimbabwe Ruling Party Replaces Mugabe as Leader with Ousted VP

Source:  TeleSUR
November 19 2017

Robert Mugabe 5.jpg
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. | Photo: Reuters FILE

Grace Mugabe has been expelled from the ZANU-PF party as well.

Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF has removed President Robert Mugabe as head of the party, replacing him with Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had recently been ousted as the country’s vice president. Mugabe remains the president of the country.

RELATED:  What Next for Zimbabwe After Robert Mugabe: Division and Hatred? Or ‘One Love?’

Grace Mugabe, the president’s wife, as well as Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Ignatius Chombo and Patrick Zhuwao, Mugabe’s nephew, were expelled from the party.

The meeting, held by ZANU-PF’s Central Committee, the highest decision-making body in the party, comes one day after a march of tens of thousands of people, in favor of ousting the long-serving leader. Protesters waved Zimbabwean flags and hoisted placards with slogans like, “Mugabe Must Rest Now,” and “No to a Mugabe Dynasty.”

However, the army reiterated that their action is “not a coup” and “not against President Mugabe,” but against “criminals” within his sphere and those who support Grace Mugabe’s political ambitions, which splintered the party ahead of its upcoming national congress to select a new leader before planned presidential elections in 2018.

Regarded across Africa and the diaspora as one of the last liberation fighters against European colonialism on the continent, a struggle epitomized in Bob Marley’s song “Zimbabwe,” Mugabe is said to have asked to serve the rest of his presidential term until next year’s elections when he will voluntarily step down. Mugabe made a public appearance days after the army came onto the streets and was seen in photos shaking hands and smiling with the army general who led the military action.

The Zimbabwe parliament

Military leaders are also set to meet with Mugabe later on Sunday, with a Catholic priest expected to mediate between the army and president, who has rejected a deal to step down, CNN reported, citing an official.

The Zimbabwe parliament is set to meet on Tuesday and could vote to start impeachment proceedings against Mugabe.

On Wednesday, the army seized power in the capital, Harare, but denied they had carried out a coup stating they were attempting to strike a deal with the president to resign.

The elder statesman put the African nation into a tailspin after firing his Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was tipped as his successor.

Zimbabwe’s Indigenization Minister Patrick Zhuwao said the veteran leader “is willing to die for his principles.” Mugabe has been the elected leader of Zimbabwe for 37 years.

RELATED: Mugabe Stripped of WHO Goodwill Ambassadorship

Ousting former president Ian Smith

After having been imprisoned for over a decade by colonial forces, as well as being prohibited from attending the funeral of his three-year-old son, Michael Nhamodzenyika, Mugabe helped lead the Chimurenga Bush War from Mozambique to oust former president Ian Smith and his white minority government.

He’d come under fire for reclaiming land to distribute more equitably among his compatriots. By 2013, despite the British government withholding the white farmer’s compensation package, Mugabe had lived up to his end of the bargain, expropriating or confirming for redistribution most of their land.

The United States imposed a credit freeze on Zimbabwe in 2001. The European Union followed suit in 2002 by imposing sanctions in the form of an asset freeze and travel ban. The measures led to a major trade deficit and adversely affected the country’s healthcare system.redistribution

Four million and counting

Source:  Granma
November 6 2017

by National news staff | informacion@granma.cu

As the tourist high season begins, the island has already received four million visitors thus far this year, according to Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism

four million and counting.jpg Photo: Juvenal Balán

In a November 6 press note, Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism reported that the island has received four million visitors thus far this year; 54 days before the same figure was reached in 2016; and proof of Cuba’s growing popularity as a tourist destination.

Meanwhile, despite the impact of Hurricane Irma and campaigns to deter international visitors from traveling to the island, concerted efforts by different sector entities have ensured continued interest in Cuba.

In this sense, several key resorts including Cayo Santa María, Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo, reopened this November 1, marking the beginning of the tourist high season on the island, with improvements made to facilities and all destinations fully operational, according to the press note.

Good outlook for tourist high season 

good outlook for tourist high seasonWith over 12,000 rooms nationwide, the Gran Caribe hotel chain is focusing its attention on tourist high season, which officially begins on November 16.

During a press conference at Cuba’s Hotel Nacional, one of the chain’s iconic establishments and a symbol of Cuba’s hotel industry, Gran Caribe directors expressed their confidence in a successful high season.
Eduardo Acosta, the entity’s president, noted that Gran Caribe expects to see positive results in the coming months, with this year’s winter period expected to be more successful than that of 2016.  He went on to highlight the hard work undertaken to repair and improve facilities and infrastructure following Hurricane Irma.

According to the group’s Vice President, Cristina León, Gran Caribe focused its efforts on refurbishment, painting, exteriors, nightclubs and restaurants across its 14 establishments in Havana.  Meanwhile, repairs were also carried out in the company’s hotels in Varadero – Cuba’s number one beach resort – above all to terraces, beach huts, bars and pools; while exterior and communal areas were repainted, and furniture replaced.

Directors went on to note that damage caused by the hurricane to establishments in Jardines del Rey (Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo), demanded serious and professional work, the results of which can be seen today.
These actions will mark the 2017-2018 winter season; offering clients a renewed image, and inviting them to return and discover that we have not only changed but are also a unique destination in the Caribbean, stated the officials.
With a record four million international visitors, the outlook is good for the tourist high season. (ACN)