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RHC Weekend-1/2 December 2001

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    Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn t Fit Radio Havana Cuba - Weekend News Update - 01/02 December 2001 . *DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF VIETNAM PAYS
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2001
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      Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn't Fit

      Radio Havana Cuba - Weekend News Update - 01/02 December 2001

      .

      *DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF VIETNAM PAYS HOMAGE TO JOSE MARTI

      *FIRST JOINT CONGRESS OF THE CUBAN ORTHOPEDICS SOCIETY AND THE
      AMERICAN FRACTURE ASSOCIATION CONCLUDES IN HAVANA

      *SOLIDARITY ENCOUNTER BETWEEN SPANISH-CUBAN INSTITUTIONS BEGINS

      *EVERYTHING READY IN HAVANA FOR THE 23rd LATIN AMERICAN NEW FILM FESTIVAL

      *AFTER AFGHANISTAN: WASHINGTON HAS BAGHDAD IN ITS SIGHTS

      *US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT MAY ALLOW FBI TO LEGALLY SPY ON GROUPS

      *NELSON MANDELA CALLS FOR ACCESS TO MEDICATIONS FOR AIDS PATIENTS

      *ISRAELI FORCES SURROUND PALESTINIAN CITIES

      Viewpoint:

      *BUSH AND AZNAR - BOSOM BUDDIES THROUGH THICK AND THIN

      .

      *DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF VIETNAM PAYS HOMAGE TO JOSE MARTI

      Havana, December 1 (RHC)-- Visiting Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister
      Nguyen Tan Dung placed a floral wreath before the Jose Marti Monument
      at Havana's Revolution Square Saturday morning.

      The Vietnamese dignitary, who began an official visit to the island
      on Friday at the invitation of Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage, said
      that the aim of his visit is to strengthen bilateral cooperation
      relations, especially in the areas of trade and the economy. He also
      expressed his interest in learning first-hand about the Cuban
      experience in building socialism.

      The Vietnamese deputy prime minister is accompanied by a large
      delegation made up of his country's ministers of agriculture,
      industry, culture, tourism, information, trade and construction, as
      well as leaders of the Vietnamese Communist party.

      During his stay on the island, which runs through Tuesday, the
      Vietnamese deputy prime minister is scheduled to meet with
      high-ranking Cuban officials, among them Foreign Minister Felipe
      Perez Roque, Communist Party's Political Bureau member Juan Carlos
      Robinson and Government Minister Ricardo Cabrisas.


      *FIRST JOINT CONGRESS OF THE CUBAN ORTHOPEDICS SOCIETY AND THE
      AMERICAN FRACTURE ASSOCIATION CONCLUDES IN HAVANA

      Havana, December 1 (RHC)-- The First Joint Congress of the Cuban
      Orthopedics Association and the American Fracture Association
      concluded on Friday at Havana's Frank País Orthopedics Complex.

      Among issues debated by the more than 800 delegates from 28 nations
      was the use of fixers to treat hip and other fractures. It was
      revealed that the United States, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Canada are
      among 36 nations benefiting today from the external fixers called
      RALCA, developed by renowned Cuban orthopedist Rodrigo Alvarez Cambra
      in 1971.

      The Cuban use of the technique, which has proven to be very effective
      in cases of fractures, bone tumors, congenital malformations, bone
      disease and joint obstructions, has avoided amputations and cured
      serious diseases in more than 85,000 patients.

      The production of high quality, recyclable RALCA external fixers in
      Cuba saves the island 250 dollars a piece -- the cost for each fixer
      on the world market.


      *SOLIDARITY ENCOUNTER BETWEEN SPANISH-CUBAN INSTITUTIONS BEGINS

      Havana, December 1 (RHC)-- The 8th Solidarity Encounter between
      Institutions in Spain and their counterparts in Havana began today
      here in the Cuban capital.

      The event, which runs through Wednesday, December 5th, will also be
      attended by representatives from institutions in Italy and France.
      The aim of the gathering is to review the implementation of
      cooperation agreements signed between municipal authorities from
      various Spanish cities and local Havana authorities.

      Participants will tour municipalities in the Cuban capital, where
      cooperation projects are currently underway with those nations'
      sponsorship.


      *EVERYTHING READY IN HAVANA FOR THE 23rd LATIN AMERICAN NEW FILM FESTIVAL

      Havana, December 1 (RHC)- Everything is ready for the 23rd Latin
      American New Film Festival, which begins Monday in the Cuban capital.

      The event's organizing committee reports that expectations are
      running high among movie lovers, including Cubans as well as foreign
      visitors who travel to the island this time of year to attend the
      prestigious Havana film festival.

      Films in competition include titles such as "Y Tu Mamá También" (And
      Your Mother, Too) by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron and the Cuban
      films "Nada" (Nothing) and "Noches de Constantinopla" or
      Constantinople Nights.

      As in the past, the Havana film festival also exhibits movies from
      other parts of the world outside Latin America. Spanish productions
      are highly valued by the Cuban public. Among the Spanish films at the
      festival this year, movie lovers will have the opportunity to enjoy
      "Juana la Loca" (Joan, the Crazy Woman) and "Lucia y el Sexo" (Lucia
      and Sex) by Spaniards Vicente Aranda and Julio Medem, respectively.

      The annual Havana film festival, which this year runs through
      December 13th, is also a unique opportunity for filmmakers and arts
      critics from Latin America to exchange information and learn from
      each other experiences.


      *AFTER AFGHANISTAN: WASHINGTON HAS BAGHDAD IN ITS SIGHTS

      Washington, December 1 (RHC)-- According to news reports in the
      United States, Washington has Baghdad in its sights and may use the
      momentum of its so-called "war on terrorism" to attack Iraq in the
      near future.

      A top State Department official said on Friday that the United States
      was "on a roll" in its campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan
      and that President George W. Bush planned to force Iraq to open its
      borders to United Nations inspectors looking for "weapons of mass
      destruction."

      At the same time, other administration officials hinted that Bush was
      looking at options involving the building up of opposition groups to
      Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, but that such an initiative would
      take time to develop because "there isn't a ready-made opposition"
      now.

      Speaking with reporters in Washington, Deputy Secretary of State
      Richard Armitage suggested that military action against Iraq was not
      imminent, but would come -- in his words -- "at a place and time of
      our choosing."

      The remarks were part of what has been a steady drumbeat of bellicose
      comments toward Iraq this week, including statements by the U.S.
      president that have concerned some European and Arab allies. A number
      of European leaders this week called on Bush not to pursue a military
      course against Iraq. U.S. allies in Europe and the Arab World have
      expressed concern that an attack against Iraq could harm efforts to
      negotiate a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
      Other Arab leaders have also warned that a wider war in the Middle
      East will incite the imagery of a Western assault on Muslim nations.

      Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell denied
      reports that something is on the verge of happening militarily
      against Iraq, saying it "has no particular substance to it."


      *US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT MAY ALLOW FBI TO LEGALLY SPY ON GROUPS

      Washington, December 1 (RHC)-- U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft
      is reportedly considering a plan to relax restrictions on the FBI's
      spying on religious and political organizations in the United States.

      According to this morning's edition of The New York Times, the
      proposal would loosen one of the most fundamental restrictions on the
      conduct of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and would be yet
      another step by the Bush administration to modify civil-liberties
      protections.

      The report notes that surveillance guidelines were imposed on the FBI
      in the 1970's, following disclosures that the FBI had run a
      widespread domestic surveillance program, called Cointelpro, to
      monitor antiwar activists, the Black Panthers and the Rev. Dr. Martin
      Luther King Jr., among others. Since then, the guidelines have
      defined the FBI's operational conduct in investigations of domestic
      and foreign groups that operate in the United States.

      The New York Times story says that some government officials who
      oppose the change said the rules had largely kept the FBI out of
      politically motivated investigations, protecting the bureau from
      embarrassment and lawsuits. But Attorney General Ashcroft and the
      current FBI director, Robert Mueller, reportedly favor the change.

      The relaxation of the guidelines would follow administration measures
      to establish military tribunals to try foreigners accused of
      terrorism; to seek out and question 5,000 immigrants, most of them
      Muslims, who have entered the United States since January 2000; and
      to arrest more than 1200 people, nearly all of whom are not connected
      to the events of September 11th.

      Under the current surveillance guidelines, the FBI cannot send
      undercover agents to investigate groups that gather at places like
      mosques or churches unless investigators first find probable cause or
      evidence leading them to believe that someone in the group may have
      broken the law. Some officials are now saying they need broader
      authority to conduct surveillance of so-called terrorists, no matter
      where they are.

      The proposed review of FBI guidelines has apparently created a rift
      in the Justice Department. Several senior career officials have
      complained that they had not been consulted about the proposed change
      -- a criticism they have expressed about other Bush administration
      counterterrorism measures.

      When the Justice Department decided to use military tribunals to try
      accused terrorists and to interview thousands of Muslim men in the
      United States, the officials said they also were not consulted.

      This morning's edition of The New York Times says that some
      complaints seem to stem from the FBI's shifting status under Attorney
      General John Ashcroft. Weakened by a series of blunders that took
      place before September 11th, the FBI has been forced to follow orders
      from the Justice Department. In the past, the FBI director had far
      more independence and authority to make his own decisions.

      Political analysts point out that the FBI and other intelligence
      agencies have long carried out surveillance on domestic groups within
      the United States -- and that these changes and new measures will,
      from a judicial standpoint, merely make them legal.


      *NELSON MANDELA CALLS FOR ACCESS TO MEDICATIONS FOR AIDS PATIENTS

      Cape Town, December 1 (RHC)-- Former South African President Nelson
      Mandela called on Saturday for AIDS victims to be given access to
      drugs that fight the disease and said heads of state must take the
      lead in raising awareness of the illness.

      Today, December 1st, is World Aids Day and many activities are taking
      place internationally to commemorate the date. In Cape Town, South
      Africa, Nelson Mandela visited a clinic for AIDS patients and told
      reporters that those who are HIV positive must receive the proper
      treatment and drugs to help them resist the pandemic. The 83-year-old
      African statesman took a number of infected and dying children into
      his arms and later answered questions from Black and white school
      children at a local community meeting hall.

      Nelson Mandela told the children that that the government should
      provide drugs to prolong the lives of people already infected with
      HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS. He said, "We
      must combine various strategies, firstly giving people the necessary
      drugs to try and prevent the disease taking the upper hand."

      South Africa has more people living with AIDS than any other country
      in the world -- nearly five million people, or one in nine of the
      country's population, are affected -- and the government has been
      widely criticized for its handling of the crisis.

      This week, AIDS activists and doctors took the South African
      government to court in a bid to force it to provide a drug called
      nevirapine that could cut the risk of pregnant women passing on HIV
      to their babies by up to 50 percent. Government lawyers argued the
      cost of providing such treatment would cripple the public health
      system given the numbers of those affected with HIV.

      The former South African president said that heads of state and
      governments should lead the fight against AIDS, which has already
      infected more than 40 million people worldwide.

      Hundreds of gatherings are being held across South Africa to mark
      World Aids Day, which will culminate with the Flame for Life
      ceremony, in which Deputy President Jacob Zuma will light a candle in
      Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.


      *ISRAELI FORCES SURROUND PALESTINIAN CITIES

      Jerusalem, December 1 (RHC)-- The Israeli army has reportedly taken
      up positions around the West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus.
      According to both Israeli and Palestinian security sources, the
      movement of troops and tanks came just 24 hours after a Palestinian
      suicide bomber, who was from Jenin, blew himself up on a bus, killing
      himself and three other people.

      This latest development also took place as Israeli Prime Minister
      Ariel Sharon was in Washington to prepare for talks with U.S.
      President George W. Bush, who has criticized recent Israeli military
      incursions into Palestinian areas.

      Observers say that the Israeli move is also likely to complicate the
      work of U.S. peace envoy, Anthony Zinni, who is in on a mission to
      secure a ceasefire between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

      Israeli army radio quoted Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer as
      saying that the two cities surrounded by Zionist troops are -- in his
      words "terrorist hot spots." Palestinian officials said they were
      bracing for a possible Israeli incursion into the cities.

      The Palestinian National Authority said it was working "in its full
      capacity" to stop attacks against Israeli civilians and had ordered
      its security agencies to "bring the perpetrators to justice." The
      Palestinian Authority also called on Israel "to stop its assaults and
      to stop assassinations, which only increase tension."


      Viewpoint:

      *BUSH AND AZNAR - BOSOM BUDDIES THROUGH THICK AND THIN

      The current visit to the United States by Spain's President José
      María Aznar has stirred euphoric reactions given his sharing of
      similar positions with U.S. President George W. Bush, despite some
      minor differences.

      The Spanish visitor still walks the streets of New York, but before
      his return to Madrid, the local press has not missed an opportunity
      to stress Aznar's good relations with his U.S. counterpart.

      When Bush paid his first visit to Europe last June, Aznar behaved as
      the most gracious host in the world, offering the U.S. president a
      stay at the Quintas de Mora Ranch, Aznar's holiday place.

      During the Bill Clinton administration, the Spanish government
      surprised local observers by immediately granting the U.S. a permit
      to enlarge the Rota Naval Base, despite an ongoing dispute over who
      would pay the salaries of Spanish workers at the military base.

      During his current stay in Washington, Madrid's top representative
      did not miss any chance to highlight his converging positions with
      those of George Bush, which include the Spanish offer of sending
      troops to Afghanistan in an open show of support for the so-called
      "international anti-terrorist coalition," led by Washington.

      It appears that the recent encounter in Washington between Bush and
      Aznar focused largely on the war against Afghanistan and its
      repercussions.

      However, to Aznar's concern, the Pentagon has openly expressed its
      disagreement with having any other foreign troops in Afghanistan, in
      what is considered an attempt to clear the country of any witnesses
      that may impede Washington's continued covert actions in the region.

      Thus, the supposed privilege of sending troops to Afghanistan is thus
      far being enjoyed only by Russia, whose soldiers are deployed in
      Kabul with the alleged mission of supporting humanitarian efforts and
      the refurbishing of the former Soviet embassy in that country.

      Aside from the presence of Russian troops in Kabul before any other
      European military force, nobody will be able deprive Aznar of his
      moment of glory this week after reiterating his support to Washington
      in its struggle against terrorism, at any time and with all its
      consequences, as he himself has said.

      During their meetings and meals together, Bush and Aznar discussed
      the issue of the extradition of eight alleged members of the Al Qaida
      organization, headed by Osama Bin Laden, who were recently detained
      in Madrid. The Spanish leader conditioned the extradition on respect
      for Spanish laws and the U.S.-Spain bilateral treaty, though he
      hurried to say that Washington has not yet made an official
      extradition request.

      Article 7 of the Spanish-U.S. Extradition Treaty stipulates the
      possible delivery of persons provided that Washington guarantees that
      the death penalty will not be applied.

      However, the United States has already announced that terrorist
      suspects might go before military courts, ensuring that the severest
      sentences would thus be handed down -- including, of course,
      execution.

      Aznar will soon return to Madrid to put the finishing touches on
      Madrid's participation in the war against Afghanistan, which includes
      13 planes for "humanitarian aid," though the announced 1500 troops
      will have to stand by until Pentagon generals lift their current
      prohibition before Spain can join in the further destruction of the
      Central Asian country and its long-suffering people.

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

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