Published 2 August 2017 by Granma

Since the first graduation in 2005, to date, over 28,500 medical students from 103 countries have studied and graduated, completely free of charge, from ELAM

The Latin American School of Medicine. Photo: Cubadebate

One hundred and seventy medical students from the U.S. have graduated in Cuba, thanks to the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), an initiative launched by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro.

Speaking exclusively to the Cuban News Agency (ACN) Zenia Díaz Catalá, director of the ELAM project general secretariat, noted that since the first graduation in 2005, to date, over 28,500 medical students from 103 countries have studied and graduated, completely free of charge, from ELAM.

Dr. David Floyd from the U.S. graduated from the school in 2017, and expressed his gratitude to the Cuban government, people, and teachers and workers affiliated with this noble project, which also stands as an example of how integration among communities from around the world can contribute to creating a more humane world.

It’s been an incredible experience for me. I’m impressed by the link between theoretical and practical study, which is different from the U.S. system and that of other countries, noted the young doctor.

In Cuba you learn by touching the patient, and solidarity is really important. In my country, students don’t help each other, here both the students and professors support one another and are extremely professional, stated Floyd, an African American man who studied on the island for six years, including pre-med courses.

The young doctor completed his degree at the Salvador Allende Faculty of Havana’s University of Medical Sciences, which saw a total of 52 international students graduate this year - 25 from the United States, according to the institution's dean, Dr. Suiberto Echavarría, speaking with ACN.

David Floyd senior, father of the recent medical graduate, expressed his joy, pride and eternal gratitude for the opportunity his son has been given to study medicine in Cuba, where the training system is centered on humanist ethics and principles.

Meanwhile, Díaz Catalá noted that the ELAM program currently includes 4,690 students from 112 nations enrolled in 21 of the country’s medical sciences universities, 83 of whom are from the United States. (Excerpts from ACN)

Published 31 July 2017 by Granma

THE British Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) has launched a campaign to overturn a ban on applications from Cuban students by one of the biggest educational institutions in the UK.

The Open University (OU) has been exposed for operating a policy of barring applications from Cuban students, due to U.S. blockade laws against Cuba.

The Open University says it is operating a “restricted countries” list in its admissions process because it fears it may be fined by the United States Treasury Department if it breaks U.S. blockade laws and allows Cuban students to study there.

open university

Read more British university rejects Cuban students citing U.S. blockade laws as justification
Published 1 August 2017 by teleSUR
 
Venezuelans voted Sunday for representatives of the National Constituent Assembly, amid what the government has called a targeted media campaign to destabilize the country and destroy its sovereignty.

International media outlets rushed to discredit the vote, sharing grossly misrepresentative accounts of the historic electoral process.

The U.S. newspaper Washington Post, for instance, wrote "the decision to hold the vote appeared set to prolong and deepen the suffering of the people of Venezuela" — despite assurances from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that the purpose of the election was to ease economic and political conflicts with the opposition.

The Washington Post also insisted the nation’s 2.8 million state workers "risked losing their jobs if they did not vote."

The media outlet went even further, claiming the internal and democratic election represented "a direct challenge" to the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump after it demanded that the government cancel the vote.

It said Maduro "defiantly followed through Sunday with his pledge" to hold the election, "creating a critical new stage in a long-simmering crisis that could mint the Western Hemisphere’s newest dictatorship."

These inflammatory comments, however, do not acknowledge that the right to call a National Constituent Assembly is included in the country's Constitution and supported by several articles of its text. Indeed the absolute independence of the members of the Constituent Assembly to make changes to the Constitution is protected under these articles.

Germany's Deutsche Welle meanwhile said the election "will cement a socialist dictatorship" — ignoring the fact that Venezuelans have the right to call for a Constituent Assembly and that the new Constitution will need to be approved by the people.

The British media outlet BBC referenced the recent deaths during violent protests in Caracas, placing the full responsibility for the clashes between protesters and security forces.

But Venezuelan Armed Forces have denied these accusations. In a press conference Sunday, Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez said that none of the injuries or deaths could be attributed to the Armed Forces. The article also ignores the eight members of the Armed Forces who were severely injured while protecting Venezuelans' right to vote.

The CNN, a longtime critic of the Venezuelan government, argued the Constituent Assembly was controlled by Maduro and that the "vote would give the president immense political power."

This statement fails to take into account that no other state institution may interfere in the new legislative body. Only the 545 officials elected by the citizens from different sectors of society can draft the new Constitution.

CNN also reported that Maduro would replace Venezuela's National Assembly — a situation that has never been stated in the decree to call for an open and direct vote.

Canada's Globe and Mail said "voters broadly boycotted" the election, ignoring the numerous of photos and videos of people lining up to vote at dawn and even wading through swamps to reach the voting centers. The article also does not include the countless reports of seniors and people with disabilities eagerly casting votes across the country.

"Caracas was largely shut down with deserted streets and polling stations were mostly empty, dealing a blow to the legitimacy of the vote," said the Globe and Mail without any evidence.

The Guardian joined the mainstream criticism, calling the election an action that will "seal the demise of the oil-rich nation’s democracy."

Again, the article failed to acknowledge the thousands of people who fought to earn the opportunity to be candidates in this historical event, including candidates from the LGBT community, student organizations and women and campesino groups.

Finally, the New York Times reported on the election with the headline: "As Venezuela Prepares to Vote, Some Fear an End to Democracy."

The article reported, "Maduro is pushing a radical plan to consolidate his leftist movement’s grip over the nation," forgetting that candidates are not voted for according to their political parties but through individual candidacies.

In one of the bluntest accusations, the newspaper argued Maduro "has refused to negotiate with street protesters," a claim that blatantly ignores Maduro's ongoing calls for peaceful dialogue and guidance from the Vatican.

It concludes by accusing the president of Venezuela of seeking an "unchecked authority not seen since the juntas that haunted Latin American countries in decades past," as Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution have vowed to fight the same external interference that brought the U.S. backed dictatorships to the region in the 60s.

Published 29 July 2017 by Venezuelanalysis

With Constituent Assembly elections due to take place on July 30th, the Guardian published a piece titled “Venezuela elections: all you need to know”. But instead of breaking through the fog of falsehood and misinformation that is typical of the mainstream media’s coverage of Venezuela, the Guardian comes up with another propaganda piece laden with lies, distortions and omissions. In this article we go through the Guardian’s piece, clarifying the falsehoods, adding the conveniently omitted information and questioning the whole narrative that is presented.

What is happening on 30 July?

To be fair to the Guardian, there is one almost-informative paragraph, where the electoral procedure is explained. In a previous article the Guardian stated that

“[…] election rules appear designed to guarantee a majority for the government even though it has minority popular support”,

instead of presenting said electoral rules and letting the reader decide if they are so designed. This time they do present the rules, only omitting to say that everyone not currently holding public office can run for a seat. But then the Guardian brings in the propaganda artillery to ensure the reader’s conclusions do not stray too far off from those of the State Department.

“[…] voter turnout will be exclusively pro-government – and likely very low, given that Maduro’s approval rating hovers around 20%” (1)

Read more The Guardian’s Propaganda on Venezuela: All You Need to Know

U.S. insurance company American International Group (AIG) became the latest victim of the arbitrary policy, after being fined over 148,698 USD

Published 28 June 2017 by Granma

officeofforeignassetsandcontrols

So far this year the U.S. Department of the Treasury has imposed four fines on national and foreign companies for allegedly violating the economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba.

The latest victim of this over 55 year old policy is U.S. insurance company American International Group (AIG), which was fined more than 148,698 USD.

According to the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the company committed 29 blockade violations after providing coverage for several goods shipments to or from Cuba, or linked to an entity on the island. 
This is AIG’s second penalty in three years after the U.S. government accused its Canadian subsidiaries, in May 2014, of violating blockade regulations 3,560 times from January 2006 through March 2009.

Since the arrival of President Donald Trump to the White House last January 20, Washington has issued three sanctions related to the blockade of Cuba, two of these in the month of June.

Read more U.S. reinforces blockade, imposes fourth fine this year

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