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Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2002 09:12:37 -0500 (EST)
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Subject: [CubaNews] Radio Havana Cuba-30 January 2002

Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn't Fit

Radio Havana Cuba - News Update - 30 January 2002

 .

*COLOMBIAN PEACE SUMMIT GETS UNDERWAY IN THE CUBAN CAPITAL

*MEXICAN PRESIDENT VICENTE FOX ARRIVES IN HAVANA THIS WEEKEND

*POLLUTION REDUCED IN THE EASTERN MOUNTAINS OF SANTIAGO DE CUBA

*CUBA TO HELP CONSTRUCT FIRST FOOD PROCESSING PLANT IN EQUATORIAL GUINEA

*NEW CD BY PABLO MILANES PRESENTED IN MADRID

*PPG ANTI-CHOLESTEROL MEDICATION IN HIGH DEMAND IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

*BUSH STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS CALLS FOR MASSIVE MILITARY BUILDUP

*ISRAELI ARMY RESERVISTS REFUSE TO SERVE IN WEST BANK AND GAZA

*Viewpoint: JUSTICE IN THE STREETS

 .

*COLOMBIAN PEACE SUMMIT GETS UNDERWAY IN THE CUBAN CAPITAL

Havana, January 30 (RHC)-- Cuban President Fidel Castro presided over
the inauguration of a Colombian Peace Summit Tuesday evening, which
the island's foreign minister, Felipe Perez Roque, described as
"historic for Colombia, Latin America and the international
community."

The three-day meeting between Colombian government officials and
leaders of the guerilla Army of National Liberation, known by its
Spanish acronym as the ELN, is taking place at Havana's Convention
Center. It is being attended by some 100 participants from all levels
of Colombian society, as well as international observers, and is
designed to confront the obstacles to peace in one of the oldest civil
conflicts in Latin America.

In expressing his hope for a successful outcome to the summit, the
Cuban foreign minister also voiced his country's total opposition to
any kind of outside intervention in Colombia's affairs and underlined
how important it was to respect the South American nation's
sovereignty and independence. Felipe Perez Roque said that Colombia
could count on Cuba's support and that any foreign intervention would
only aggravate the situation and lead to far more serious
consequences.

ELN spokesperson, Ramiro Vargas, and Bogota's high commissioner for
peace, Camilo Gomez, are leading the two delegations. Representatives
from France, Norway, Venezuela, Switzerland, Spain and the United
Nations are also attending the Peace Summit, which wraps up tomorrow,
Thursday.


*MEXICAN PRESIDENT VICENTE FOX ARRIVES IN HAVANA THIS WEEKEND

Havana, January 30 (RHC)-- The president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, will
make an official visit to Cuba on February 3rd and 4th, at the
invitation of his Cuban counterpart, Fidel Castro.

The visit is designed to increase economic, social and cultural ties
between both nations. Mexico is the country that has the longest
lasting diplomatic relationship with Havana, going back some 100
years. It was also the only nation in the region that ignored pressure
from Washington to break diplomatic relations in the early 1960s.

In an exclusive, live interview with Radio Havana Cuba's Barbara
Betancourt on Wednesday morning, the Mexican head of state said that
he was looking forward to not only tasting Cuban coffee but also the
friendship of the Cuban people. He said there was still much to do to
bring both nations closer together in economic, commercial, diplomatic
and cultural aspects. And the Mexican president added that he wanted
to seek common positions with Cuba wherever possible.

President Vicente Fox will be accompanied by a large delegation, which
will include many trade and commerce representatives.


*POLLUTION REDUCED IN THE EASTERN MOUNTAINS OF SANTIAGO DE CUBA

Santiago de Cuba, January 30 (RHC)-- Pollution in the eastern
mountains of Santiago de Cuba registered a 33 percent reduction in
2001 compared to the previous year thanks to an action plan to
preserve and improve the environment.

According to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, the
surface of forest areas in Santiago de Cuba has increased 1.3 per cent
or 1,995 hectares due to the reforestation process taking place in the
region.

The decontamination of the mountains and the protection of the
environment is of great importance for the eastern part of the region
due to the fact that the province of Santiago de Cuba represents a
third of the mountainous region where some 20 per cent of the
population live.

The authorities are also educating the population in an attempt to
stop people from cutting trees, as well as how to avoid forest fires.


*CUBA TO HELP CONSTRUCT FIRST FOOD PROCESSING PLANT IN EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Malabo, January 30 (RHC)-- Cuba will help construct the first food
processing plant in Equatorial Guinea next month, according to the
island's Ministry of Agriculture.

A delegation from the Guinean Chamber of Commerce is scheduled to
arrive in Havana this week and meet with Cuban authorities on the food
processing plant.

Relations between Cuba and Equatorial Guinea were suspended in the
1980's and later improved in 2000 with the signing of cooperation
agreements in the health sector, as well as exchanges of professors
and experts in the agricultural field.

The Cuban embassy in Malabo was closed in 1990 for economic reasons,
reopening in April of 2001.


*NEW CD BY PABLO MILANES PRESENTED IN MADRID

Madrid, January 30 (RHC)-- "Pablo Querido" is the name of Cuban
singer/songwriter Pablo Milanes recent CD which features stars such as
Argentinian Fito Paez, renowned Mexican Armando Manzanero and Peruvian
Tania Libertad.

The CD which was presented on Wednesday in Madrid, has an written
introduction by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Colombian Gabriel Garcia
Marquez which reads: "This CD is a house without doors which Pablito
Milanes carries with him everywhere and invites his friends worldwide
to sing alongside him."

The launching of Pablo's CD in Madrid also included the participation
of renowned Spanish singer Joaquin Sabina and Argentinian Alberto
CortÚs.


*PPG-5 ANTI-CHOLESTEROL MEDICATION IN HIGH DEMAND IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Santo Domingo, January 30 (RHC)-- The sale of the Cuban
anti-cholesterol medication PPG-5 has increased in the Dominican
Republic where it is sold in 1,500 drug stores throughout the
country. According to the manager of the Dominican medical firm,
Manuel Hidalgo, they have been purchasing 2,000 boxes of the
medication from Cuba's Dalmer laboratories each year, with the amount
increased to some 7,000.

Recent studies have demonstrated that the use of PPG-5 medication
prevents vascular diseases and improves blood circulation, which is
also known to stimulate sexual activity, mainly in men.
PPG or policosanol is a product that is made out of sugar cane
derivatives aimed at reducing the level of cholesterol in the blood.
A recent report revealed that PPG is also highly in demand in Chile.


*BUSH STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS CALLS FOR MASSIVE MILITARY BUILDUP

Washington, January 30 (RHC)-- U.S. President George W. Bush has
called for a massive military buildup in response to what he called
"terrorist threats" against the United States. During his annual State
of the Union speech, delivered Tuesday night before both houses of
Congress, the U.S. president warned that Washington's 'war against
terrorism' is "only the beginning."

Observers on Capitol Hill said Bush seemed to be outlining a rationale
for future military action -- specifically naming three countries as
possible targets: Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Calling the countries
"an axis of evil," the U.S. president told Congress that he was ready
to act quickly against what he said were countries threatening the
'American Way of Life.'

The Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces chose not to even
mention the Enron scandal, which many say is linked to the Bush
administration. And observers say he conveniently neglected to mention
the situation in the Middle East and Washington's unconditional
support of Tel Aviv, which has been widely condemned internationally.
In response to last night's State of the Union address, Iranian
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said that the U.S. president "should
back up his assertions with evidence instead of repeating old and
unfounded claims." He added that Bush "intends to divert public
opinion from the Middle East issue and to prepare the domestic grounds
for continuing his support of Israel in its brutal oppression of the
Palestinian nation."

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a top adviser to the Iranian government,
said that Tehran would not be threatened by the U.S. president's
"aggressive language."

In Baghdad, a leading Iraqi lawmaker said that Washington was laying
the groundwork for another U.S. assault on Iraq. Salim al-Qubaisi,
head of the Iraqi parliament's Foreign and Arab Relations Committee,
said that the Bush administration has been threatening Baghdad from
time to time "to prepare world public opinion for a new aggression
against Iraq."

North Korea's news agency published a commentary on Wednesday, calling
Bush's reference to the country as a threat nothing more than an
attempt to justify Washington's military presence in South Korea. Even
South Korea's president jumped in, responding to the U.S. president's
words by stressing the importance of peace with its neighbor to the
north. In Seoul, President Kim Dae-jung said that his country's
economic future depends on North-South relations."


*ISRAELI ARMY RESERVISTS REFUSE TO SERVE IN WEST BANK AND GAZA

Jerusalem, January 30 (RHC)-- More than 60 Israeli Army reservists,
half officers and all of them combat veterans, have publicly refused
to continue serving in the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- charging that
Israeli occupation forces are abusing and killing Palestinians.
A petition signed by the reservists and published in the daily
newspaper "Yedioth Ahronoth" states that the reservists will no longer
serve "for the purpose of occupying, deporting, destroying,
blockading, killing, starving and humiliating an entire people."

According to reports from observers in Tel Aviv, there have been cases
in the past of Israelis resisting military service or refusing to
serve in certain areas for reasons of conscience. But what makes this
case unusual is that such a large number of reservists have publicly
come forward at the same time. And organizers of the petition -- two
young army lieutenants who have both served previous tours of duty in
occupied territories -- say their goal is to collect 500 signatures
and launch a broad social campaign against Israeli atrocities.

Reserve Lieutenant David Zonshein, one of the two men who drafted the
petition, told reporters that Israeli troops are ordered to shoot
people and destroy houses that could have people inside. In statements
to the daily newspaper "Yedioth Ahronoth," Zonshein and other
reservists said that troops had opened fire on Palestinian children
and other civilians who posed no apparent danger to their lives.
Another former combat soldier who refused to serve during Israel's
invasion of Lebanon in 1982 said the current refusals are similar to
previous conflicts. Ram Rahat, a 45-year-old accountant, said it
demonstrates that people who have gone through army reserve duty in
occupied territories "and see the reality of what is going on there,
are starting to get fed up with it."


*Viewpoint: JUSTICE IN THE STREETS

Argentinean Foreign Minister, Carlos Ruckauf, was recently the center
of worldwide press attention: first of all because he rushed to
Washington begging for financial help to bail out his country and
secondly because Buenos Aries province, where Ruckauf was governor for
the last two years, is unable to meet its financial commitments.
Ruckauf flew to the U.S. capital carrying with him a letter from
President Eduardo Duhalde addressed to his counterpart, George W.
Bush, asking for financial help for Argentina.

As their country's economy implodes, Argentinean leaders are
desperately turning to the United States for help and it can be
expected that in exchange Buenos Aries will look even more to
Washington when determining foreign policy.

For Ruckauf, it couldn't have been easy to hold conversations in
Washington while Argentina's largest province, Buenos Aires, was
forced to announce that it was unable to pay its Euro debt in the
equivalent of 25 million dollars.

But many in Argentina blame the foreign minister for missing funds and
bad administration during his term as governor of Buenos Aires from
December of l999 to January of 2002.

Both Ruckauf and Duhalde are facing difficulties as they solicit help.
The Argentinean president had to publicly admit that he cannot meet
the commitment he made when he took office, to return to citizens
their frozen dollar savings accounts.

Former president Fernando de la Rua, on December 3rd, froze all dollar
accounts in an attempt to stem the massive flight of capital.
The new president also had to admit that a bankrupt nation is in no
condition to placate the masses of irate citizens who rushed to banks
around the nation demanding to withdraw their life's savings.
In the end, Dunhalde pledged to slowly unfreeze the accounts, but in
devalued pesos, further enflaming an already angry public.

It's not by chance that street demonstrations have erupted throughout
the nation with protesters blocking traffic and demanding jobs.
Housewives, retirees and others have taken to banging on pots and pans
to demand change.

Neither Duhalde from the presidential palace nor his foreign minister,
Ruckauf, who is now on an international mission to gather financial
aid, appear to have the political support of Argentineans who are
angrily demanding work and the restitution of their savings.
The rapidly growing numbers of massive street demonstrations
underscore the lack of confidence Argentineans have in their political
leaders.

Nor do Argentineans now appear willing to believe that the United
States and the International Monetary Fund are key to the economic
salvation of their country.

It has become clear that IMF economic policies have only helped to
sink Argentina...along with corruption, incompetence and the demagogy
of politicians.

(c) 2002 Radio Habana Cuba, NY Transfer News. All rights reserved.

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