Chinese students graduate from Spanish courses in Cuba


HAVANA,  (Xinhua) — A total of 100 Chinese students have recently graduated from Spanish language courses after their studies in Cuba as part of bilateral educational exchanges between the two countries, local media reported Thursday.

At a graduation ceremony held at University of Havana on Wednesday and attended by Vice President of the Council of Ministers Ricardo Cabrisas and Vice Minister of Higher Education Oberto Santin, Director of the course Olga Ofelia Gomez lauded “the discipline, the will, the effort, and the independence” of the Chinese students.

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Rongxian said educational exchanges between the two countries are increasing and becoming more productive.

Zhao thanked the Cuban government, the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban people for their hospitality to the Chinese students.

The courses, designed to improve communication skills in Spanish, opened in September 2008 for students majoring in Hispanic philology from 20 Chinese provinces.

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Clinton Says Cuba Not Ready For OAS


(AP) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that Cuba shouldn’t be allowed to rejoin the Organization of American States until it makes political reforms, releases political prisoners and respects human rights.

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Clinton said the charter of the Western Hemisphere bloc of nations requires members to adhere to democratic standards that the communist government of Cuba does not yet meet.

“Any effort to admit Cuba into the OAS is really in Cuba’s hands,” she said. “They have to be willing to take the concrete steps necessary to meet those principles.”

“If Cuba is not willing to abide by (the charter’s) terms then I cannot foresee how Cuba can be a part of the OAS and I certainly would not be supporting in any way such an effort to admit it,” said Clinton, who plans to attend the organization’s annual general assembly on June 2 in Honduras.

At that meeting, some countries want the organization to annul a resolution that suspended Cuba’s membership. Cuba was expelled from the OAS in 1962 after the communist revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.

“We’re hoping that the members of the OAS will abide by their own charter,” Clinton said.

The Obama administration has said it wants to engage with Cuba and eased some sanctions but has called on Cuba’s government, now led by Fidel Castro’s brother Raul, to reciprocate with reforms before moving ahead. Clinton said those steps would include moving toward democracy, releasing political prisoners and respecting “fundamental freedoms.”

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Azerbaijan to drill for oil in Cuba


Ria Novosti:

Azerbaijan plans to participate in developing oil fields in Cuba in line with a draft cooperation agreement, Azerbaijani Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfaz Garayev said on Tuesday.

The agreement was approved at a meeting of the Azerbaijani-Cuban intergovernmental commission in Baku on Tuesday and is expected to be signed in the “near future,” the minister said.

“This is certainly a very interesting direction. And we hope that the work which is due to be completed over the next year will become a reality,” Garayev told journalists after the meeting.

Last year, Cuba produced around 4 million tons of oil, while Azerbaijan’s oil production reached 45 million tons.

At the meeting the sides also discussed cooperation in medicine, food production, culture and tourism. The first meeting of the commission was held in Havana in November 2007.

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Confirmed two more cases of Swine Flu in Cuba


Cubaheadlines:

The Cuban Public Health Ministry reported on Thursday that two additional cases of Swine Flu A (H1N1) virus were confirmed on the island.

The Cuban Public Health Ministry reported on Thursday that two additional cases of Swine Flu A (H1N1) virus were confirmed on the island, both foreign medical students, as the only other documented case.

The two young Mexican students were part of a group of 15 that have been under observation after returning from vacations in their country. Of that total 11, have returned to their studies and four remain hospitalized and are responding favorably, said the authorities.

All 15 students have received anti-viral treatment with the drug known as Oseltamivir, and there have been no adverse reactions, states the Health Ministry.

The official note adds that controls have been stepped up at airports and sea ports as well as epidemiological vigilance throughout the county at the different health units.

To date the new flu virus has a presence in 34 countries and as of Thursday night the World Health Organization said 7,412 cases of H1N1 flu have been reported worldwide with 4,298 in the United States.

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More than 10,000 facilities across Cuba employ photovoltaic solar panels


Juventud Rebelde: More than 10,000 facilities across Cuba employ photovoltaic solar panels, including schools, family doctor offices, daycare centers and hospitals.President of the Cuba Solar Organization Luis Bérriz made the announcement at the 25th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Solar Energy Research Center (CIES).

Bérriz said that the CIES was the first institution in Latin America and the Caribbean to power buildings with solar energy.

CIES director Rubén Ramos told ACN that the center’s research shows that the available renewable energy potential in Cuba is several hundred times greater than the country’s energy needs.

Ramos spoke about some of the center’s achievements, like the implementation of solar driers and other dehydration technologies for wood, medicinal plants and other products, and the use of “hothouses” (temperature-controlled buildings used to grow seeds and vegetables).

Breéis also spoke about new innovations such as the development of an accelerated production technology to grow micro-algae for human and animal consumption, and the use of micro-algae cultivation systems to treat hog and poultry residuals.

The CIES is also very active in fostering community knowledge related to the environment and energy use.

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Iberostar Expands Presence in Cuba


DTCUBA: Havana.- Iberostar, one of Spain’s major tourist companies, will expand its presence in Cuba, where it will open a new hotel.

Company executives pointed out that the Iberostar Laguna Azul Hotel will open in Varadero beach in June.

The 814-room hotel will start up operations with 490 rooms.

It will be Iberostar’s third hotel in Varadero and the company’s sixth establishment in Cuba.

In that regard, the executives recalled that the joint management system allows Iberostar to import the inputs necessary to provide excellent services to its guests.

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Air France Operates in Cuba using Boeing 777-300ER planes


DTCUBA:

Air France, one of Europe’s major airlines, is flying to and from Cuba using Boeing 777-300ER planes, which are equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

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The new 472-seat planes (14 in the Affarires/Business class, 36 in the Alizé/Premium Tourist class and 422 in the Voyageur/Tourist) replaced the Boeing 747-400 planes that operated on that route.

The aircraft, which has a flight autonomy of 14,000 kilometers, can fly at a cruise altitude of 10,700 meters and can carry up to 60 tons.

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