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September 10, 2013 
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With profound sorrow we received the news today of Saul Landau's death. He was not just a known U.S. intellectual and filmmaker, but was also a dedicated friend of Cuba and of the Cuban Five, and of many other just causes. 
There is not enough space to describe all of the achievements of Saul's rich life but for us in the movement to free the Five his initiatives and collaborative support over the past several years has been instrumental in advancing the work towards their inevitable freedom.
Saúl's brilliant mind was a deep spring that constantly percolated new concepts which he presented with a forceful and passionate certainty. This is what Saul brought to the struggle to free the Cuban 5. Saúl became a source of reference by reaching out to personalities, actors, former elected officials, and more. His sense of wit, humor and irony were reflected in the numerous short videos he produced with Danny Glover about the case.

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10 September www.democracynow.orgSaul and Fidel
The award-winning journalist, filmmaker, author and professor Saul Landau has died at the age of 77. His death was confirmed by the Institute for Policy Studies where he was a senior fellow and vice chair of the IPS board. Landau made more than 45 films and wrote 14 books, many about Cuba. “He stood up to dictators, right-wing Cuban assassins, pompous politicians, and critics from both the left and the right,” IPS Director John Cavanagh said in a statement from the group. “When he believed in something, nobody could make him back down. Those who tried would typically find themselves on the receiving end of a withering but humorous insult.” Landau’s recent film, "Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?" exposed U.S. support for violent anti-Castro militants.

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chong3Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 234 August/September 2013

In mid-July, the Panamanian government seized the Chong Chon Gang, a North Korean cargo boat travelling from Cuba to the Panama Canal. The Panamanian forces claimed to have been tipped off about a drugs cargo. On board, however, were 10,000 tons of Cuban sugar and 240 metric tons of ‘obsolete defensive armaments’, according to the Cubans’ own statement.

The seizure was greeted with condemnation and sensationalist media headlines about violations of UN sanctions on arms sales to North Korea. The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a public statement listing the contents of the shipment as: two anti-aircraft missile batteries, nine disassembled rockets, two MiG-21 aircrafts and 15 MiG engines – ‘all manufactured in the mid-90s – to be repaired and returned to our country’. The statement asserted Cuba’s need to ‘maintain our defence capacity in order to preserve national sovereignty’, and the country’s ‘firm and irrevocable commitment to peace, disarmament – including nuclear disarmament – and respect for international law’. The cruel, punitive US blockade of Cuba has been robustly denounced in the UN General Assembly for two decades and yet nothing is done to lift it – so there is little reason for Cuba to adhere to sanctions against North Korea in any case.

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Cuba Standardlabiofam tvcamaguey co cu

Cuba began construction of the third of three biotech plants in West Africa this week, as part of a trilateral program funded by Venezuela to battle malaria in the region.

Ahead of a groundbreaking ceremony in the capital of Ghana on Aug. 5, officials of Cuba, Venezuela and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met to discuss feasibility, cost, and investment architecture of the program, ECOWAS said in a press release. Another meeting is planned for Venezuela.

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Jamaican doctors
HAVANA, Cuba — The Jamaican medical system will be boosted by the injection of 68 newly trained medical doctors within weeks.
The Jamaican doctors graduated from the Medical Faculty of the University of Santiago de Cuba last Tuesday in a short and spicy ceremony that lasted an hour and 13 minutes, much less than any of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean.
 
And while there were no elaborate verbal utterances by those authorised to speak, the ceremony was resplendent with fascinating oral and cultural presentations, that saved the hundreds who witnessed it from boredom.
The Jamaicans started their course of study in November 2006 with 70 students under the Cuban education assistance programme, but two returned to the island by year-end for personal reasons.
 
Of the 68 graduates in an overall field of 717, including 373 Cubans, almost half the number of Jamaicans walked away with first class honours.

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Cuban Brigade in Haitiwww.cubamas.wordpress.com

As an Indiana working-class native, I was deeply moved after Haiti’s devastating earthquake of 2010.  I was in Cuba at that time in my forth year of medical school at the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM).

The school sought out a group of Americans from the 2010 graduating class to incorporate into the “Brigada Medica Cubana.”  This is a famous brigade that rushes to the aide of neighboring and developing countries after a disaster.

One of these new doctors and 2010 ELAM graduate, Dr. Gregory Wilkinson, still works as a general practitioner in Haiti, servicing the dilapidated communities from tents.  He is completing a family practice residency program.

Wilkinson comes from Oakland, Calif., studied at Merritt Community College, and then sociology at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. With Jamaican roots, Wilkinson said he is proud and eager to complete the medical school’s scholarship requirement of working in an underserved community, as he is doing in Haiti.

Dr. Wilkinson shared his story with me about how he adapted to his new home.

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25.03.13 Ewan Robertson Venezuelanalysis.com Sucre

Uruguay has requested to join the regional SUCRE currency, a move that will bring it into greater cooperation with the leftist ALBA alliance of Latin American nations.

The SUCRE is the regional currency used by the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) to allow for international transactions between member states without having to use the US dollar.

In effect since 2010, transactions in the virtual currency are conducted between central banks, while exporters are paid and importers charged in local currency. The system is used by Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

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assange The decision by Ecuador’s President Correa on 16 August to offer diplomatic asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange exposes sharply the moral and political chasm on human rights between, on the one hand, the progressive socialist government of Ecuador and its allies in the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA), and on the other, the corrupt and vicious British state.

The high-handed threat by British Foreign Secretary William Hague that the UK has a legal basis, under the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, to enter the Ecuadorean Embassy and arrest Assange, has provoked fury throughout Latin America. ‘We are not a colony!’ stated Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino and described the British threats as ‘unacceptable and a menace to all the countries of the world’.

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Reported by Joseph Manzaneda, Coordinator of Cubainformación.

Translated by Rock around the Blockade

On 23 May, the Cuban ‘dissident’ ex prisoner Diosiris Santana described a scene of police brutality towards several of his compatriots: ‘They were dragged on the floor, hit in the face and arm, one has been left with a broken nose and foot’ (1).

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