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NY Transfer's RHC News Update-31 August 2001

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    Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn t Fit Radio Havana Cuba - News Update - 31 August 2001 . *CUBA CALLS FOR SLAVERY REPARATIONS AT CONFERENCE ON
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      Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn't Fit

      Radio Havana Cuba - News Update - 31 August 2001

      .

      *CUBA CALLS FOR SLAVERY REPARATIONS AT CONFERENCE ON RACISM

      *CUBAN DELEGATION TRAVELS TO INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT FAIR IN CHINA

      *CUBA REJECTS CONDEMNATION FOR THE ARREST OF EMIGRANTS RETURNED BY US

      *EXCHANGE BETWEEN CUBAN AND COLOMBIAN JOURNALISTS WINS PRAISE

      *HOTEL MANAGED BY WOMEN RECEIVES TOP CUBAN AWARD

      *FROM ORIENTE, A NEW LINE OF NATURAL HEALING PRODUCTS

      *FORMER BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT HUGO BANZER ACCUSED OF CORRUPTION

      *WOMEN MAKE THEIR VOICES HEARD AT DURBAN

      *EU COMMISSION FILES MORE CHARGES AGAINST MICROSOFT

      *PERUVIAN MUSEUM ANNOUNCES 27% OF ITS COLLECTION IS PHONEY

      *EAST TIMOR: FIRST INDEPENDENT ELECTION CONCLUDES PEACEFULLY

      *UNITED NATIONS ASKS AUSTRALIA TO ALLOW REFUGEES TO DISEMBARK

      Viewpoint:

      *DURBAN PROVIDES COLONIAL POWERS WITH FORUM FOR REDEMPTION

      .

      *CUBA CALLS FOR SLAVERY REPARATIONS AT CONFERENCE ON RACISM

      Durban, August 31 (RHC)--The Cuban foreign minister, Felipe Perez Roque,
      said in Durban, South Africa today that Cuba supported the right of Third
      World nations to seek compensation for colonial enslavement of their
      populations.

      Attending the United Nations Conference on Racism, which was inaugurated
      today by UN General Secretary, Kofi Annan, Perez Roque added that his words
      would antagonize Western nations who preferred to avoid the issue.

      The United States has boycotted the conference to protest the issue of
      slavery reparations being included in the agenda, as well as accusations
      against Israel of employing apartheid-like laws and programs against
      Palestinians, while European nations have downplayed the importance of the
      Durban gathering and not sent any heads of state.

      Cuban president Fidel Castro, who is leading a large delegation from the
      island to the conference, said that it was vital to hold such meetings to
      raise the level of consciousness on such issues. He added that the 1992 Rio
      conference on the environment was an important tool in bringing a focus to
      bear on the problems the world faced relating to pollution and natural
      resources.

      South African president Thabo Mbeki spoke to the more than 6,000 delegates
      from some 150 countries, saying that the conference was essential to gather
      together resistance to the racism of rich whites over poor blacks.

      In his address to the conference, Kofi Annan urged the delegates to put away
      their differences with each other and to focus on dealing with what he
      called the "worst elements in each of our societies." While acknowledging
      the crimes committed against Jews in the past and saying he understood why
      Israel would be so sensitive to criticism, he added that by the same token
      one cannot expect the Palestinians to accept forced evictions, occupation,
      blockade and now extrajudicial executions. His words were met with a storm
      of applause.

      In an indication of what international NGOs called a lack of respect for the
      past and present, only one European foreign minister is attending the
      conference: Germany's Joschka Fischer.


      *CUBAN DELEGATION TRAVELS TO INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT FAIR IN CHINA

      Havana, August 31, (RHC)--A delegation of Cuban business people left Cuba
      today to attend the Xiamen International Investment Fair, which starts on
      the September 8. In an interview with Prensa Latina, the Vice Minister of
      Cuban Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation, Ernesto Senti, who is
      leading the mission, said that there are 20 members of the delegation from
      all sectors of Cuban business.

      The group will first go to Beijing where it will attend a bilateral business
      meeting hosted by the Association of Industry and Commerce in China.

      Also in Beijing, the Cuban delegation will be received by high-ranking
      officials of the Commission of Economy and Commerce of the city, the State
      Corporation of Engineering and the National Machinery Corporation.

      Other activities in this Chinese city will include visits to special
      technological development zones, production and export businesses where they
      will discuss business opportunities in Cuba for Shanghai business people.


      *CUBA REJECTS CONDEMNATION FOR THE ARREST OF EMIGRANTS RETURNED BY US

      Havana, August 31, (RHC)--Yesterday's televised roundtable accused George
      W. Bush of being too tolerant toward the growing illegal trafficking of
      persons between Cuba and the US. According to the panelists, in the month of
      August alone, seven people died, six on August 1 and the other on the 17th,
      as a direct result of the US Cuban Adjustment Law.

      Cuba has rejected accusations by the US that it has violated bilateral
      migratory agreements by imprisoning the three Cubans who were returned to
      the island by coast guards at the beginning of the month. The detainees were
      imprisoned for stealing a vessel in order to leave the country illegally.
      Washington is not fulfilling its promise to issue 20,000 legal visas
      annually and to return the rafters intercepted on the high seas.

      The three repatriated Cubans left the island in early August but their
      stolen vessel had no food and they looked for help from the US Coast Guard
      who returned them to the island where they were arrested.

      Eighty-seven launches used for illegal trafficking have been seized so far
      this year by Cuban authorities.


      *EXCHANGE BETWEEN CUBAN AND COLOMBIAN JOURNALISTS WINS PRAISE

      Bogota, August 31 (RHC)--The President UPEC, the Cuban Union of
      Journalist's, Cuban National Assembly member, Tubal Paez, today praised the
      continued exchange between Cuba and the directors and representatives of the
      major media outlets in Colombia.

      In an interview with Prensa Latina in Bogota at the end of the last day of
      his visit to Colombia, Paez emphasized the interest among Colombian
      journalists in topics relating to the reality of Cuban life. He also had
      meetings with the director of the Bogota newspaper The Weekly Voice, Carlos
      Lozano, and the news head of the privately owned radio station Cadena
      Radial, Juan Gossain.

      During an interview for national radio, the leader of Cuban Communication
      workers reiterated the importance of the Congress of Latin American and
      Caribbean journalists to be held in Havana next October. According to Paez,
      members of Cuba's Union of Journalist are eager to debate themes relating to
      neoliberal globalization with Colombia and other countries in the region


      *HOTEL MANAGED BY WOMEN RECEIVES TOP CUBAN AWARD

      Camaguey, August 31, (RHC)--The Grand Hotel in the eastern province of
      Camaguey has been awarded the National Quality Prize. The prize includes a
      trophy, a diploma and $5,000 which must be used for improvements in
      maintenance and management of the hotel. The competition included 79 hotels
      in the Islazul chain. The prize-winning, three-star Grand Hotel in Camaguey
      is managed completely by women and it is recognized within the Islazul chain
      that the success of the hotel is due to its all-woman management team. The
      Hotel was judged on customer satisfaction, the quality of service and the
      social impact of the work, management and opportunities for improvement
      within the system.


      *FROM ORIENTE, A NEW LINE OF NATURAL HEALING PRODUCTS

      Santiago de Cuba, August 31 (RHC)--The Oriente Pharmaceutical Laboratory in
      Cuba's eastern province plans to diversify its normal production line to
      incorporate natural products derived from bees and plants. Although the main
      work of the laboratory is the production of medicines and cures, the factory
      also works on the development of natural substances which they reconstitute
      as the fundamental ingredient of their products. These products made from
      natural substances are in very high demand from the Cuban population.

      Among the products is the natural revitalizer Jalex, rich in vitamins,
      proteins and mineral salts, and the diet supplement Jalca, used to treat
      osteoporosis because of its high calcium content.The pharmaceutical company
      in Oriente produces hundreds of different kinds of tablets, bandages and
      medical solutions and more recently a line of natural healing products.


      *FORMER BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT HUGO BANZER ACCUSED OF CORRUPTION

      La Paz, August 31 (RHC)--In Bolivia, a public accusation of possible
      corruption levelled against former president Hugo Banzer has caused a
      political uproar.

      Banzer, who retired due to ill health recently, has been blamed by former
      Defense Minister Fernando Kieffer for the illegal purchase of a Beechcraft
      airplane for the inflated price of $3 million. The plane was destined for
      use by the nation's Civil Defense.

      In a TV interview denying involvement, Kieffer said that the ex-president
      personally negotiated the terms of the sale with the purchasing company,
      Panagra. He added that he was neither present at nor a participant in the
      negotiations. The former defense minister said that he had remained silent
      about the deal because he assumed that Banzer would take responsibility now
      that someone else was being accused of promoting it. However, no words had
      been forthcoming from Banzer -- who is in the United States undergoing
      treatment for cancer -- and Kieffer said he decided to speak up for what he
      added was "the good of the country" and well as for what he said was his
      honor and his family.

      Following the revelation, the principal opposition party, the National
      Revolutionary Movement, demanded an independent parliamentary investigation
      into the affair. It is now seen as unlikely that Banzer will go down in
      history as the impeccable statesman that his party, the National Democratic
      Action, were hoping he would.

      The former president's son-in-law, Luis Alberto Valle, is under
      investigation for corruption and abuse of power as the previous mayor of the
      capital, La Paz. As he is currently a member of the Bolivian parliament he
      cannot be prosecuted, but the investigation is going ahead in spite of
      accusations that the new government of Jorge Quiroga is protecting Valle.
      According to the Bolivian daily La Prensa, the case is a test to see how the
      new president will abide by his promise to combat corruption on every level.

      In other news relating to Bolivia, the government has announced that it will
      completely shut the country down on September 5 to ensure that a national
      census is carried out with the utmost efficiency possible. Everyone will be
      required to stay at home, the borders closed, and all transportation halted,
      announced the National Statistics Institute Friday.


      *WOMEN MAKE THEIR VOICES HEARD AT DURBAN

      Durban, August 31 (RHC)--Women from every corner of the globe have arrived
      in Durban, South Africa, to testify on violence, economic injustice,
      cultural genocide and other forms of racism against them in the UN
      Conference on Racism.

      A World Women's Court on Racism that was convened by NGOs across the world
      will present evidence collected by organizations in South Africa, Algeria,
      Croatia, the United States, India, Kenya, New Zealand, Palestine, Senegal,
      Thailand and the Ukraine.

      A non-governmental organizations, the Committee for the Human Rights of
      Asian Women, has convened these international courts every year since 1992.
      They provide a public forum for women to expose abuse against them.

      Naomi Kipuri from Kenya described the discrimination suffered by the ethnic
      Keniata Masai whose women have to travel 20 kilometers every day to collect
      water, while tourists bathe in fresh water only meters from their
      communities on land that belonged to their ancestors.

      Native American Pamela Kingfisher, of the Cherokee nation, described how her
      people had been forced from their lands in a system preventing women from
      passing their lands on to their children. Instead, their children were taken
      from them to be educated in U.S. schools where their culture was ignored.
      She explained she had lost her language because her mother was one of these
      displaced children.

      Korean Kim Jon-in from the Korean Association for Human Rights denounced the
      racial discrimination against Koreans in Japan, and a 74-year-old Filipina
      woman, Fidencia David, described how she had been turned into a sex slave by
      invading Japanese soldiers during the Second World War when she was only 14
      years old.

      None of these abuses were new, said organizers, which made the racism of
      today even worse.

      Delegates to the UN conference on racism said the gathering begs the
      question: What is race? Since the human genome has been discovered and
      mapped, it has been found that 99.8% of all human beings share exactly the
      same genetic make-up. What biologists and geneticists have suspected all
      along has now been proven: the human species is one race, and physical
      differences provide no scientific justification for racial discrimination.


      *EU COMMISSION FILES MORE CHARGES AGAINST MICROSOFT

      Habana, August 31 (RHC)--Share indexes fell on Wall Street yesterday with
      the news that the European Commission would be expanding its charges against
      Microsoft Corporation for including Media Player in its program, which
      limits user preferences.

      The operating systems of Window 2000 and Windows XP both include such
      software, which gives them an unfair advantage over competitors, says the
      new complaint. Media Player permits one to see and hear audio and video
      files on the computer.

      The Commission said it would not attempt to block the distribution of the
      new Windows XP system, but would energetically pursue Microsoft under
      anti-trust legislation. Due to its current monopoly on the world market,
      Microsoft maintains an unfair advantage over its competitors, claims the
      Commission.

      The charges brought against Microsoft are separate from those brought
      against the software giant in the US, in which 17 states have filed
      anti-monopoly cases against it. Microsoft was found guilty as charged in a
      June court ruling.

      The Wall Street effect on the second most important corporation in the US
      was to drive prices down, ending the day with a slide of 100 points.
      Microsoft's share price dropped from $5.18 to $3.15 after the announcement
      was made.


      *PERUVIAN MUSEUM ANNOUNCES 27% OF ITS COLLECTION IS PHONEY

      Lima, August 31 (RHC)--According to the Peruvian Institute for the Defense
      and Protection of the Consumer, a large number of the most important gold
      items that are housed in the Museum of Gold in Lima are fakes.

      A total of 4,257 pieces have been found to be phoney, with doubts shed on
      another 92 pieces, according to a report issued by archaeologists working
      with the Catholic University. A sign in English and Spanish has been posted
      on the museum's door warning visitors that not all of the pre-Incan funeral
      masks, idols and plates they will see are made of real gold.

      The museum was set up by Miguel Mujica Gallo who died recently at the age of
      91. Toward the end of his life he acquired pieces that were not genuine,
      apparently taken advantage of by unscrupulous people who found it easy to
      fool an aged man rapidly losing his sight. Some 27% of all the items he left
      have been found to be not genuine.

      The revelations have illustrated the importance in Peru of illicit traffic
      in archaeological objects -- both real and false. Member of parliament Luis
      Iberico, who heads an investigating commission, announced that a whole
      network of traffickers in pre-Colombian objects probably exists in what he
      called a "serious fraud." He commented that the case of the Museum of Gold
      was likely to be only the tip of the iceberg, as there were frequent
      complaints about such traffic in fraudulent objects.

      He further questioned whether the false items found were purchased as such
      or whether they are copies of the genuine items that were stolen from the
      museum and sold abroad.

      The Museum of Gold, which also houses one of the most important collections
      of textiles, ceramics, metals and weapons in the world, is one of the major
      tourist attractions in Lima.


      *EAST TIMOR: FIRST INDEPENDENT ELECTION CONCLUDES PEACEFULLY

      Habana, August 31 (RHC)--The president of Brazil, Fernando Henrique
      Cardoso, has congratulated the special representative to the United Nations
      in East Timor, Brazilian Sergio Vieira de Mello, for a job well done in
      ensuring peaceful elections on Thursday.

      The former Portuguese colony that was annexed by Indonesia has shown it has
      the "political maturity and noble challenge" to construct a new independent
      and democratic country, said the Brazilian leader. He pledged his nation's
      help in the reconstruction and development of East Timor.

      Militia extremists ran amok in East Timor in 1999, destroying a large part
      of the capital Dili and killing thousands.

      Sixteen parties were represented at the polls yesterday. The results will be
      made known on September 5.


      *UNITED NATIONS ASKS AUSTRALIA TO ALLOW REFUGEES TO DISEMBARK

      Canberra, August 31 (RHC)--The United Nations High Commissioner for
      Refugees, Mary Robinson, has asked the Australian government to allow the
      immediate disembarkation of 460 undocumented refugees stranded on a
      Norwegian cargo ship out at sea after being rescued following the sinking of
      their boat earlier this week. She said they should be allowed to land for
      humanitarian reasons.

      Australian Prime Minister John Howard garnered great criticism Tuesday by
      turning away the cargo ship. There are 43 children among the mostly Afghani,
      Iraqi and Iranian refugees, many of whom were reported by the ship's captain
      to be suffering from dehydration and dysentery when they were rescued.

      The New Zealand government has offered to accept some of the refugees if
      Australia and Norway follow suit.

      One of the most surprising aspects of the case is the fact that East Timor
      has offered to take in the refugees and look after them on a temporary
      basis. Immigration rights observers say that this has shamed Canberra into
      taking action.

      This is the first time in its history that Australia has turned away a
      vessel containing refugees. However, say immigration activists, once they
      are on dry land, undocumented arrivals are placed in holding camps while
      their cases are reviewed -- sometimes for more than a year. Conditions are
      very bad in the camps and suicides have occurred, they report.


      Viewpoint:

      *DURBAN PROVIDES COLONIAL POWERS WITH FORUM FOR REDEMPTION

      The third World Conference Against Racism began Friday in South Africa, the
      nation that seven years ago put an end to decades of brutal racial
      discrimination.

      The U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, the first African American to hold
      the position, refused to attend the conference in Durban and instead took
      sides with Israel's criminal regime, which objected to the conference
      including discussion of its racism against the people of Palestine.

      Israel has ordered the slaughter of Palestinian leaders and rejoices at the
      killing of more than five hundred Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank during the
      second uprising, or Intifada, of the people of Palestine.

      The United States said in the event it decides to attend the conference at
      Durban, it would only be sending a low-rank delegation.

      Washington's indecision is purposely aimed at minimizing the significance of
      the gathering and thus influencing other nations -- particularly rich ones
      -- to follow their lead and express themselves in a similar manner.

      Italy is the only European nation sending its foreign minister to the
      conference. No head of state or high government official from any northern
      industrialized country is participating.

      Some fifteen heads of state -- most of them from the African continent --
      are attending, including Cuban president Fidel Castro, who is the only one
      from Latin America, and the President of the Palestine National Authority,
      Yasser Arafat.

      Although the draft of the final declaration, which was discussed in previous
      meetings, does not equate Zionism to racism; it shows concern for acts of
      racial discrimination perpetrated by the Israeli state against Palestinians.
      It should be recalled that the United Nations had previously passed a
      resolution equating Zionism and racism, which was later repealed in 1991
      under pressure from Washington.

      Other issues for discussion that are dividing North and South are slavery
      and the compensation and apologies requested by African states from former
      colonial powers that refuse to address their responsibilities.

      The size of its delegation and the fact that it is led by its head of state
      indicates how seriously Cuba takes the conference on racism. It would serve
      the world well if the colonial powers would also take the gathering as
      seriously and face up to the terrible crimes of their past. Thus, they might
      improve their relations a little more with the Third World and settle down
      to help them develop in the spirit of contrition intead of arrogant
      posturing.

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

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