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Granma: Student dreams. US Journalists. Tricontinental etc

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  • John Clancy
    from: jclancy@smartchat.net.au subject: Granma: Student Dreams, US Journalists. Tricontinental etc © Copyright. 1996-2001. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. GRANMA
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2001
      from: jclancy@...
      subject: Granma: Student Dreams, US Journalists. Tricontinental etc
      ONLINE EDITION - January 24, 2001

      Dreams of students from 47 countries united in Camagüey

      * For more than 25 years this central eastern province has welcomed
      thousands of Third World youths to study a range of subjects

      FABIÁN Tulcanazo Sasi, 27, is about to begin
      specializing in gastroenterology, after finishing
      his studies in general medicine at the
      Carlos J. Finlay Institute of Medical Sciences in

      Ten years ago Fabián arrived to study to
      become a doctor through a scholarship offered to
      him by the Cuban government. He left behind
      his father (a painter), his mother (a housewife)
      and five siblings in Quito.

      However, the relationship that this short,
      pleasant South American has with Cuba started long
      before this. His primary school was named
      after José Martí, one of the great precursors of
      Cuban and Latin American independence.

      In 1987, while in ninth grade, he took part
      in the expedition called From the Amazon to the
      Caribbean by Canoe, organized by the late
      Cuban geographer Antonio Núñez Jiménez from
      Ecuador to the mouth of the great river on
      the Atlantic Ocean.

      Fabián is one of more than 700 youths from
      47 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean,
      Asia and Africa, who are housed in five
      different educational institutions in Camagüey. (A few
      years ago that figure exceeded 1,100.)

      At the moment the majority of those studying
      various specializations at Ignacio Agramonte
      University, the Carlos J. Finlay Institute
      of Medical Sciences and the José Martí Pedagogical

      The rest study in two schools or
      polytechnics training intermediate-level health service
      technicians, located in the city of
      Camagüey, and in one school of industry, located in the
      northern city of Nuevitas, one of the main
      Cuban ports.


      When Cuba entered the special period-a
      serious economic crisis directly caused by the
      disappearance of the European socialist
      bloc, the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the
      tightening of the U.S. blockade-the foreign
      scholarship students had the idea of organizing
      and intensifying their contribution to Cuba.

      This is how the Friends of Cuba
      International Work Brigades were set up, and on November
      30, 1990, they performed their first
      voluntary and productive day's work.

      Since then, many construction projects
      benefiting Cuban society or work in agricultural areas
      has provided the platform for this
      demonstration of youth solidarity.

      Francisco López Dominguez, representative in
      Camagüey for the Cuban Institute of
      Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), an
      organization which, among other things, is in charge of
      coordinating extracurricular activities for
      these students, stated that in the 10 years the
      brigades have been running, the students
      have managed to accumulate more than 71,000
      hours of voluntary work.

      This initiative did not, however, remain
      within the confines of Camagüey; it can be seen in
      other Cuban provinces and in other parts of
      the world.

      For example, Dr. Rosa Alvarado, an Ecuadoran
      who studied medicine in that province and
      was one of the founders of the brigades,
      promotes and administers free medical attention in
      indigenous communities. She does this on
      weekends, with the participation of various doctors
      from the country's capital, Quito.


      The majority of these youths arrived in Cuba
      as adolescents, 11, 12 or 13 years old, after having completed
      elementary school in their own countries.

      Their high school medical training took
      place on the Isle of Youth, south of Havana, separated
      from Cuba's main island by a strip of water.
      There, the government has built numerous
      schools to house students from the Third
      World. Further training takes place in various Cuban
      cities. By the time they graduate or finish
      training in a particular specialization, they have spent
      12 years or more in Cuba; for many of them
      this represents half of their lifetime.

      This means that in mixing with the
      population so closely they experience Cuban life in a very
      natural and spontaneous way. As one of the
      final year law students from Guinea-Bissau,
      Eduardo Victor Cá, said, "We are Cubans who
      were born abroad."

      Fabián chose to specialize in
      gastroenterology for two reasons: "One is that in order to do this
      I must first study internal medicine. In
      other words, I will receive a strong and extensive
      training. The second one is that in our
      underdeveloped countries, infectious gastrointestinal
      diseases are widespread. That's why I think
      that specializing in this area will be very

      In a few months he will return to Ecuador as
      a fully qualified specialist. "I'm sure I will leave
      Cuba with a happy heart, but not necessarily
      a tranquil one, as I will not be able to give
      anything back to this country, to these
      people who have given me everything I needed to
      become a highly skilled professional. Not
      even the two years of social service that Cubans
      graduating from university go on to

      At the end of the conversation with Fabián,
      the journalist asks him to imagine that he is just
      about to board the plane back to his native
      Quito, and asks him, "What would you say to the
      Cuban people?" This is what he replies:

      "I would ask the Cuban people to continue to
      be as strong as they have been so far, as they
      are the bastion of this world's poor. I
      would thank them eternally for having trained me as a
      good man, as a man of science and of

      "We must combine our dreams to realize the
      dream of Bolívar and Martí of a united, free and
      sovereign America."



      Javier Sotomayor | Documentos | Revistas | Correo-E | Inglés |
      Francés | Portugués | Alemán


      January 25, 2001

      Leading members of U.S. journalism schools visit Cuba

      DEANS and directors of U.S. journalism and
      communication schools visited Granma
      International on Tuesday, January 16, to
      exchange ideas and experiences on the press in
      general and on printed and online editions
      in particular.

      The group decided to travel to Cuba in
      response to an invitation extended by Julio García
      Luis, dean of journalism at the University
      of Havana, during a meeting of their association
      in Mexico.

      During their brief stay on the island, they
      met with the University of Havana's rector, Juan
      Vela; National Assembly President Ricardo
      Alarcón; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs'
      North American director, Dagoberto
      Rodríguez. During these meetings members of the
      group had the opportunity to pose questions
      about Cuban processes and expressed their
      desire for an end to their country's
      measures against Cuba, a normalization of relations and
      normal academic exchange between the two

      They also visited the University of Havana's
      School of Journalism, the José Martí
      Journalism Institute, the Journalists' Union
      of Cuba, Juventud Rebelde newspaper, and the
      International Press Center.

      The group, which visited Havana January 14-
      17, included Jo Ann Huff Albers from
      Western Kentucky University; Jo Ellen Bass
      from the University of North Carolina at
      Chapel Hill; Pamela Creedon from Kent State
      University; Joe Foote from Arizona State
      University; Loren Ghiglione from the
      University of Southern California; Terry Hines from
      the University of Florida; Marilyn Kern-
      Fortworth from Florida A&M University; Janet
      Keefer from Drake University; Deryl Leaming
      from Middle Tennessee State University;
      Dean Mills from the University of Missouri;
      Will Norton from the University of Nebraska
      at Lincoln; Stephen D. Reese from the
      University of Texas at Austin; William Slater from
      the University of Nevada at Reno; John
      Soloski from the University of Iowa; James D.
      Spaniolo from the University of Michigan;
      and George Thottam from Iona College. Editor
      Gabriel Molina and assistant editor Miguel
      Comellas welcomed the group on their visit to
      Granma International.


      January 25, 2001
      Tricontinental Solidarity Conference
      BY MARELYS VALENCIA (Granma International staff writer)

      AFTER 35 years, the Organization of
      Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin
      America (OSPAAAL), has reaffirmed that its
      founding principles continue to be vital for
      peace and self-determination, and for these
      reasons it has announced the upcoming
      Tricontinental Conference entitled "For a
      Just and United World."

      During a special session in Havana of the
      Executive Secretariat of that organization,
      important government and political
      representatives from three continents all denounced
      imperialist interests that injure the
      independence and interests of poor countries, and only
      succeed in worsening situations such as the
      Arab-Israeli conflict.

      They also demanded a greater focus on
      Vieques, where the U.S. Navy continues its military
      exercises, and they proposed to reinforce
      solidarity with sub-Saharan Africa, given the tense
      moments it is experiencing and the drastic
      situation that faces its population.

      Important political figures also condemned
      the U.S. blockade of Cuba, and in the case of
      Central America agreed on the need for
      follow-up of the Guatemala peace accords, 15% of
      which has so far been completed. Attention
      was also given to the peaceful struggle for the
      unification of the Korean peninsula, one of
      the most relevant issues in recent Asian history.

      In a message recognizing OSPAAAL's 35th
      anniversary, President Fidel Castro said that the
      world is scourged by an unstoppable crisis
      in the main centers of power. He described the
      present situation as cruel and unjust,
      excluding human beings.

      Fidel stressed that the genocidal blockades,
      aggressions and incessant violations of countries'
      internal affairs all continue, in a message
      in which he branded humanitarian interventions a
      "mask for imperialism."

      The text, read by José Ramón Balaguer,
      member of the Political Bureau, in the conference
      room at the Habana Libre Hotel where the 1st
      Tricontinental Conference was held in 1966,
      underlined that disunity and everything it
      involves is a threat to independence.

      One of the meeting's proposals refers to the
      need to establish stronger links between
      OSPAAAL and the Movement of Non-Aligned
      Countries, with the aim of gaining greater
      influence in international forums and other
      meetings and organizations devoted to defending
      the interests of the Third World nations.

      Various personalities who have dedicated
      their lives to solidarity with different causes in the
      three continents, and the struggle against
      colonization and apartheid, were decorated at the
      event with the El Mehdi Ben Barka Order, in
      honor of an outstanding Moroccan
      revolutionary kidnapped and assassinated in
      1965 by his country's secret police while he was
      president of the organizing committee for
      the 1st Tricontinental Conference. The Solidarity
      Order was granted post mortem to Patrice
      Lumumba, who was prime minister of the Congo.
      Others who received the Order were Cuban
      citizens Melba Hernández, Osmany Cienfuegos,
      René Anillo and Ramón Pez Ferro, who were
      closely tied to OSPAAAL's work during its
      first decades and made valuable
      contributions to the anti-imperialist causes of Africa, Asia
      and Latin America.


      "The Arab people are all brothers. We have
      never been aggressors, but we will not stop
      fighting for our just cause, nor will we
      cease to support our brothers* It is Israel's destiny to
      suffer defeat no matter how long it takes,"
      expressed Abdallah Al Amahr, assistant general
      secretary of the Arab Socialist (Ba'ath)
      Party of Syria, in the Arab Union of Cuba.

      In reference to the activities which took
      place in Cuba such as those held for OSPAAAL's
      35th anniversary and the meeting of the
      FEARAB-América executive committee, Al Amahr
      said that the island was chosen because of
      the role that the Arab League plays here and also
      because of Cuba's support for those
      countries' struggles to achieve sovereignty and

      The delegation arrived in Havana on January
      14, and one of its main objectives was to
      analyze, under Cuba's direction, a series of
      issues of common interest, and to strengthen the
      ties of friendship between the two

      The delegation presided by Al Amahr visited
      centers of economic, social, cultural and
      historical interest and held conversations
      with José Ramón Balaguer, member of the
      Communist Party of Cuba's Political Bureau.

      * Navil García Alfonso


      January 26, 2001

      La Bodeguita del Medio: an export product

      BY ORLANDO GOMEZ BALADO (Granma International staff writer)

      "THE Cuban ambassador in Warsaw must be
      feeling great satisfaction today. After years of
      more or less hidden contempt, ridicule and
      fear over one of the world's last Communist
      countries* Warsaw is crazy for Cuba. First
      came the fascination with the music of the Buena
      Vista Social Club, then came the discovery
      of other Cuban artists* Together with the music,
      we remember the rum and the cigars (some of
      us even remember the sweet, juicy Cuban
      oranges with their green and brown peel)*
      One week ago in a basement on Zbawiciela
      Square, the first Cuban restaurant in our
      city was opened: La Bodeguita del Medio."

      These words are taken from an article
      published on January 12 in the cultural pages of
      Gazeta Wyborcza, one of Poland's most
      important and largest circulation (800,000 copies)
      daily newspapers. It was written to mark the
      opening of the first Bodeguita in Eastern
      Europe, which is an almost exact replica of
      the original in the Cuban capital.

      But Warsaw is not the first city outside the
      island to have a Bodeguita del Medio. The
      restaurant's parent company, Cuban hotel
      group Gran Caribe, has been authorizing
      franchises around the world for the past
      four years, with growing commercial success and
      public popularity. There are currently 15
      copies of La Bodeguita del Medio and El Floridita
      pulling in customers in eight different
      countries, with some countries, like Mexico, already
      having three.

      The restaurants are achieving great
      international acceptance with their authentic Cuban food,
      music and ambience. Even in France, a
      country renowned for its own native gastronomic
      excellence, an establishment was opened in
      November 1999.


      La Bodeguita del Medio in Paris is run under
      a franchise license issued by F.T.B.-Filial de
      Gran Caribe, and is operated by Bleu Caribes
      of France. It was declared the country's best
      foreign theme restaurant during the year
      2000, out of more than 12,000 establishments
      throughout a country that leads the way in
      world gastronomy. The restaurant was presented
      with a "nightlife trophy" at the famous
      Parisian Lido Cabaret, with numerous personalities
      from the French world of culture and
      gastronomy in attendance.

      During the presentation, the excellent
      quality of La Bodeguita's service and the popularity it
      has achieved with the French public in a
      very short time were emphasized. This event has
      been staged for the past six years and
      presents awards to the country's best exponents of
      gastronomy. The year 2000 was the first time
      that the best foreign theme restaurant category
      has been included.

      At the end of the competition, three
      establishments were nominated as being outstanding. In
      addition to La Bodeguita, there was a
      Japanese restaurant in the Reunion Islands and an
      Indian restaurant in the city of Toulouse.
      The Cuban theme restaurant eventually emerged as
      the ultimate overall prizewinner.

      The event was transmitted by French
      International Radio and was also covered by magazines
      such as Paris Nuit, Pariscope, V.S.D. and
      others. These awards, promoted by the Paris
      Nightlife Academy, are considered an
      important distinction among gastronomy

      F.T.B.-Filial's president, Roberto Marrón
      Duque de Estrada, told Granma International:
      "This franchise project, which began four
      years ago, has demonstrated that Cuba is able to
      participate successfully in world
      gastronomy's most demanding markets. This is evident
      from the results achieved in Mexico, Milan,
      Paris, the Canary Islands, Dubai and the other
      Bodeguitas and Floriditas, which now total
      15 establishments operating in three continents."

      In response to questions about how Cuba
      would benefit from these agreements, Marrón said
      that the firm operating the franchise
      receives the right to use the trademark and image of
      one of the world's most famous
      restaurant/bars. The franchise package also includes the
      know-how, a complement of five specialized
      restaurant workers with expertise in cocktails
      and bar service, the training of local
      personnel and the supply of furniture, decorations,
      rum, Havana cigars and other products.

      "In exchange for this, the franchise holder
      pays a monthly royalty equivalent to 5% of their
      sales," he commented, adding that during the
      present year work is to be carried out on
      opening further Bodeguitas in Guadalajara,
      Caracas, Toronto, Lisbon, Barcelona, Qatar,
      Geneva, Rome, Moscow and Asuncion, Paraguay.

      Congratulations to Gran Caribe on this
      franchise system that, in addition to allowing wider
      appreciation of authentically Cuban
      gastronomic pleasures, is also a means of expressing our
      friendship and culture to the world's

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