Cuba

Cuba is a world leader in healthcare. Photo: socialmedicine.org. Cuba became the first country in the world to be recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) for officially eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis on June 30. “This is a major victory in our long fight against HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and an important step towards having an AIDS-free generation” said Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General.
Havana, Cuba, July 1. The US and Cuban governments announced on July 1 the official restoration of formal diplomatic ties by reopening embassies in each country. The two countries will open embassies as of July 20. The respective US and Cuban special interest sections, which function as diplomatic delegations, will be upgraded to embassies, with ambassadors soon to be appointed.
Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and a member of Cuba's National Assembly, attended the recent national consultation of the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society. Green Left Weekly's Denis Rogatyuk spoke with her about recent developments of the Cuban Revolution. *** Cuba has just been removed from the list of state-sponsors of terrorism. How do you think this will affect Cuba’s relations with the United States?
As Nepal struggles to revive from the catastrophe caused by the April 25 earthquake that registered 7.8 on the Moment Magnitude Scale and its aftershocks, Latin America's socialist governments are busy soothing the wounds of the Nepalese people. The orange-coloured team of Venezuelan aid workers and white-coloured medical team from Cuba have brought to the people of Nepal the spirit of Argentine-born Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and Venezuela's late revolutionary president Hugo Chavez.
Photo: Ladyrene Pérez/Cubadebate. An estimated 1 million people marched on May 1 in Havana, Cuba, to celebrate International Workers´ Day, TeleSUR English said.

Cuban President Raul Castro casts his ballot in April 19 municipal elections. Photo: Granma. More than 7.7 million Cubans out of 8 million registered voters cast their ballots on April 19 to elect nearly 12,600 delegates out of about 27,000 candidates to the country’s Municipal Assemblies, TeleSUR English said the next day.

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela began his visit to Panama City for the Summit of the Americas with a visit to the impoverished neighbourhood of El Chorrillo to lay a wreath at the monument to those killed by the US bombing of the community during the 1989 US invasion of Panama. The seventh Summit of the Americas, held in Panama City on April 10 and 11, was widely hailed as a victory for left-leaning and progressive forces in the region, particularly Venezuela and Cuba.
US bars UN torture investigator from jails and Guantanamo The United Nations special investigator on the use of torture criticised the US on March 11 for stalling for over two years in granting the international human rights body access to inmates at Guantanamo Bay and other federal US prisons.
Western Sahara is recognised by the United Nations as the last non-self-governing territory in Africa. Between 1973 and 1991 it was at war, as the pro-independence Polisario Front fought first against colonial rulers Spain, and after 1975, against Morocco, which invaded with Spanish encouragement. In 1991, a United Nations-sponsored ceasefire was supposed to bring peace, based on a referendum on independence. However, the UN-promised referendum has never been held. Overt support from France, and more tacit support from the US, has enabled Morocco to have it indefinitely postponed.
The Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) is an anti-imperialist trading bloc first formed by the left-wing governments of Venezuela and Cuba to promote trade on the basis of solidarity rather than competition. It has since expanded to include 11 nations, with Venezuela and Cuba joined by Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Grenada and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Honduras was an ALBA member, but was forced to withdraw when a 2009 US-backed coup installed a right-wing dictatorship.

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