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NY Transfer's RHC News Update-01 Aug 2001

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    Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn t Fit Radio Havana Cuba - News Update - 01 August 2001 . *FIDEL CASTRO ATTENDS GRADUATION AT NEW SOCIAL WORK
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2 12:01 AM
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      Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn't Fit

      Radio Havana Cuba - News Update - 01 August 2001

      .

      *FIDEL CASTRO ATTENDS GRADUATION AT NEW SOCIAL WORK SCHOOL

      *ONE DEAD, SEVEN MISSING AFTER SMUGGLER'S FLORIDA-BOUND BOAT CAPSIZES

      *CESSNA LIGHT AIRCRAFT FROM FLORIDA CRASH LANDS IN COJIMAR

      *COMMISSION ON PUBLIC HEALTH REVIEWS QUALITY OF LIFE, CAUSES OF DEATH

      *CUBA WELCOMES NEW BRITISH AMBASSADOR

      *US POLITICIANS BLAST BUSH'S PLAN TO BOYCOTT CONFERENCE ON RACISM

      *ITALIAN PARLIAMENT TO INVESTIGATE POLICE BRUTALITY AT G8 SUMMIT

      *COLOMBIAN COURT ORDERS AN END TO HERBICIDE SPRAYING OF CROPS

      Viewpoint:

      *ISRAEL WAGES A BARBARIC WAR ON PALESTINIAN CIVILIANS

      .

      *FIDEL CASTRO ATTENDS GRADUATION AT NEW SOCIAL WORK SCHOOL

      Havana, August 1 (RHC)--Cuban president Fidel Castro, Tuesday attended the
      second graduation ceremony of the new network of social workers that the
      island has been training to confront some of the social problems brought
      about by Cuba's decade-long economic crisis.

      A total of 565 graduates were congratulated by the Cuban leader who also
      thanked them for the work they will be putting into their jobs in the
      future. The primary focus of these new social workers will be on children
      from disadvantaged families who live in overcrowded conditions and thus
      spend much of their time on the streets. The total number of workers in this
      field now number 1,078 across the nation, with more students being trained
      at the school, located in the Havana suburb of Cojímar.

      Fidel Cuban president also presented diplomas he had signed, and copies of
      Che Guevara's "Bolivian Diary" to the most outstanding graduates.


      *ONE DEAD, SEVEN MISSING AFTER SMUGGLER'S FLORIDA-BOUND BOAT CAPSIZES

      Havana, August 1 (RHC)--An overloaded boat smuggling Cubans to Florida
      capsized in stormy waters early Wednesday morning, with one confirmed death
      and seven missing passengers, including two children, according to reports
      from Miami.

      Reuters news agency said that twenty-one passengers were rescued by a
      passing vessel and the US Coast Guard, which then began a search for the
      missing. A Coast Guard officer, Luis Diaz, said that everyone had known for
      the past 48 hours that weather conditions would be bad, which makes the
      smugglers "negligent, irresponsible, greedy -- you name it," he said.

      Attracted by large sums -- up to $10,000 a head -- paid by relatives of
      Cuba's illegal migrants, the smugglers are using faster boats that can
      outrun US Coast Guard cutters and are increasingly difficult to intercept,
      US authorities say. A full boat can bring as much as a quarter of a million
      dollars.

      The traffickers also reportedly treat their cargo like cattle, forcing
      passengers to swim ashore to avoid problems if they are seen, and even
      throwing Cubans overboard to slow down any pursuing Cuban Coast Guard boats
      that seek to prevent the trade in human beings.

      The Cuban Coast Guard works in close contact with the US Coast Guard in an
      effort to stem the trade, and those caught smuggling are severely punished.

      Per the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, any Cuban migrant landing on US dry land
      is entitled to legally remain. The US returns illegal migrants apprehended
      at sea to Cuba where, if they are not sought by the island's authorities for
      previous crimes, they are processed and released.

      This enticement has resulted in the deaths of many Cubans, including the
      mother of Elián González, and is a major source of conflict between both
      nations. In 1998 a smuggler's speedboat broke up in rough seas off Miami,
      killing 14 people aboard. Six people have died in smuggling operations so
      far this year, with many others injured in rough seas or from beatings by
      the smugglers.

      US officials report that the smugglers are mostly Cuban Americans, without
      any concern about politics or human beings, many of them fugitives or former
      drug traffickers. Some hold their passengers captive until the families pay
      up and they are not averse to killing them if the money is not forthcoming.


      *CESSNA LIGHT AIRCRAFT FROM FLORIDA CRASH LANDS IN COJIMAR

      Havana, August 1 (RHC)--Cuban civil aviation authorities are investigating
      the unauthorized crash landing of a light aircraft which originated at the
      airport in Marathon, Florida.

      The Cessna 172, with just the pilot aboard, landed on a rough road along the
      coast near Cojimar east of Havana. The pilot, identified in US press reports
      as Milo John Reese, 55 years old, survived the forced landing and was taken
      into custody by Cuban authorities who transported him to a hospital
      immediately where he was treated for light injuries.

      Reese was apparently making his first solo flight in a rented aircraft when
      he suddenly flew south toward the Cuban coastline. As he landed at 16:52
      local time, a tire burst and the plane flipped over.


      *COMMISSION ON PUBLIC HEALTH REVIEWS QUALITY OF LIFE, CAUSES OF DEATH

      Havana, August 1 (RHC)--The National Assembly commission charged with
      reviewing the island's public health care program and the quality of life of
      the population, heard Tuesday that a large number of infectious diseases had
      either been eradicated or substantially reduced by Cuba's primary health
      care system.

      The commission, which is chaired by Vice-President Carlos Lage, learned that
      the primary causes of death on the island in the nation has moved from
      infectious diseases to non-transmittable chronic illness such as heart
      disease, malignant tumors and accidents. Each of these were affected by
      behavioral conditions and habits. Bad diet was primarily responsible for
      those who suffered cardiovascular difficulties, along with smoking, which is
      estimated to be responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths in Cuba. The
      commissioners were told that 36.8% of the island's population are smokers.

      The Cuban Health Minister, Carlos Dotres, reported that educational programs
      are in place to tackle the health issues associated with smoking,
      alcoholism, sedentary lifestyles, eating habits, air and water quality and
      workplace stress. These programs especially target children before they
      become addicted to cigarettes and alcohol. The National Assembly commissions
      are currently reviewing every aspect of Cuban life in a process that brings
      to account those responsible for industry, education, health care, tourism,
      the judiciary etc. prior to a general meeting of the entire Assembly.


      *CUBA WELCOMES NEW BRITISH AMBASSADOR

      Havana, August 1 (RHC)--The vice-president of the Cuban Council of State,
      Juan Almeida Bosque, along with deputy Foreign Minister, Angel Dalmau
      Fernández, Tuesday received the new British Ambassador to Havana, Paul
      Webster Hare.

      After the new ambassador had presented his credentials, he laid a floral
      wreath at the base of the José Martí monument in the capital's Plaza de la
      Revolución.


      *US POLITICIANS BLAST BUSH'S PLAN TO BOYCOTT CONFERENCE ON RACISM

      Washington, August 1 (RHC)--Several members of the United States Congress
      have blasted the Bush administration for threatening to boycott the upcoming
      International Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa.

      In a heated debate late Tuesday, African-American representative from
      Georgia, Cynthia McKinney, stated that considering the fact that 30 percent
      of the US population is of color and all Americans have had to directly
      confront racism, the Bush administration is either politically simple-minded
      or ill-intentioned to ignore the Conference.

      McKinney, a member of the House Subcommittee on Human Rights, asked whether
      it was simply a question of a White House full of latent racists.

      California Democrat Barbara Lee noted that the United States as a nation has
      still not responded to problems intimately tied to racism and economic
      inequality, adding that Washington's non-participation in the Durban
      conference and unwillingness to respond to those problems would send a
      sinister message to the international community.

      Donald Payne, democratic representative from New Jersey, said the US
      government's refusal to participate would constitute a disaster.


      *ITALIAN PARLIAMENT TO INVESTIGATE POLICE BRUTALITY AT G8 SUMMIT

      Rome, August 1 (RHC)--Italy's lower house of Parliament has agreed to set up
      a commission to investigate the violence that erupted during the G-8
      gathering in Genoa, but the Senate has refused to approve a motion to
      censure Interior Minister Claudio Scajola.

      A week after the Italian Parliament's right-wing majority refused to open an
      investigation, legislators finally agreed on Monday, when President Carlo
      Azeglio Ciampi publicly called on authorities to shed full light on charges
      of police brutality. The original refusal to investigate sparked bitter
      divisions between the government and the left-of-center opposition.

      But in a heated debate in Italy's Senate, legislators voted 180 to 106
      against a motion to censure Scajola, whom the opposition has likened to
      former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Repression during the G-8 Summit
      has also led to a judicial investigation in which Genoa district attorneys
      are currently interrogating police officers involved.

      Judicial authorities in the Italian city have sent numerous orders to the
      national and international press to present audio, video and photographic
      material related to the police raid on the school that served as
      headquarters for representatives of some 800 anti-globalization groups.

      According to eyewitness accounts, Italian police were extremely violent and
      out of control during the raid. Agence France Presse, Reuters, Associated
      Press and Italy's ANSA news agency have reportedly already received the
      judicial order.


      *COLOMBIAN COURT ORDERS AN END TO HERBICIDE SPRAYING OF CROPS

      Bogota, Washington, August 1 (RHC)--Indigenous communities. environmental
      activists and huan rights groups in Colombia have achieved a first victory
      against the Colombian government's herbicide program against illicit crops.
      Authorities in Bogotá have reluctantly obeyed a federal court order to cease
      fumigations in the indigenous communities of Colombia's southern Putumayo,
      Caqueta and Guaviare Departments.

      The court ruled that the US-made herbicide used in the fumigations is
      harmful to human health and the environment. President Andres Pastrana has
      insisted, however, on continuing the fumigations in what he calls industrial
      illicit crop plantations.

      As the controversy continues in Colombia, a group of Colombian members of
      Congress, Governors and environmental activists are in Washington, DC to
      lobby against the fumigation. Though the US State Department claimed this
      week that the herbicide in use is not harmful to human health, the Colombian
      delegation has cited numerous specific cases of illnesses related to the
      fumigation, as well as the destruction of legal food crops.


      *Viewpoint: ISRAEL WAGES A BARBARIC WAR ON PALESTINIAN CIVILIANS

      In the worst day of violence since the beginning last September of the
      current Intifada, Israeli tanks and troops killed ten Palestinians in the
      West Bank and Gaza Stripon Tuesday. Two of the dead were children.

      Thus Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon prosecutes his brutal war against
      Palestine with total impunity, for although the massacre attracted
      world-wide disgust and condemnation -- even including mild words of censure
      from Washington -- the international community continues to allow Tel Aviv
      to kill Palestinian children because Israel is protected by the United
      States.

      Sharon continues to violate all the norms of conflict by targeting primarily
      civilians, sending out assassination squads, provoking mass violence by
      sending troops into sensitive religious areas, and blockading the West Bank
      and the Gaza Strip from food and medical supplies. He is slowly and
      deliberately starving and impoverishing an entire nation in an overt effort
      at genocide.

      Sharon's object is clearly to provoke an overall uprising that would be an
      excuse to send in the troops to reoccupy all the Palestinian territories.

      And the Palestinian people are expected to take it all on the chin? What
      nation would not fight off its enemies? What nation would not defend the
      right of its people to self-determination and the sovereignty of its
      territories? Are Palestinians expected to forget the horrors of Sabra and
      Chatilla?

      Ariel Sharon took power based on his promise to deal harshly with a
      Palestinian Intifada that he himself provoked. His power play was
      successful, and his subsequent murders of Palestinians -- he doesn't even
      hide the fact that he seeks to assassinate Palestinian leaders -- are all
      part of his barbaric agenda.

      Sharon is dangerous to the stability of the entire Middle East, and the
      unconditional support he receives from Washington must end. The United
      Nations and the European Union are finding new voices to resist US hegemony.
      They should focus on Israel's US-sponsored war against an entire people and
      not beat about the bush -- genocide is genocide. Let them start using the
      word.

      (c) 2001 Radio Habana Cuba, NY Transfer News. All rights reserved.

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