From: NY Transfer News <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2002 09:15:50 -0500 (EST)

Radio Havana Cuba-31 January 2002

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

Radio Havana Cuba - News Update - 31 January 2002

 .

*WASHINGTON LEANS ON ARGENTINA TO JOIN ANTI-CUBA CAMPAIGN FOR AID

*SPANISH UNITED LEFT PARTY LEADER ENDS VISIT TO CUBA

*VOLUNTEERS OUT IN THEIR THOUSANDS IN CAMPAIGN AGAINST DENGUE FEVER

*FOUR MORE WETLANDS PROPOSED FOR INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION BY CUBA

*WORLD SOCIAL FORUM GETS UNDERWAY IN BRAZIL

*PROTESTERS GATHER AS RICH AND POWERFUL MEET AT WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

*SHARON SAYS ARAFAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN "ELIMINATED" YEARS AGO

*ISRAEL CONSIDERS PLAN TO CLOSE OFF JERUSALEM

*INTERVIEW WITH MEXICAN PRESIDENT VICENTE FOX

*Viewpoint: TWO WORLD VIEWS

 .

*WASHINGTON LEANS ON ARGENTINA TO JOIN ANTI-CUBA CAMPAIGN FOR AID

Havana, January 31 (RHC)-- Argentine Foreign Minister Carlos Ruckauf
recently traveled to the United States, seeking economic assistance
for his beleaguered nation. But, according to Cuba's top diplomat,
Felipe Perez Roque, the U.S. placed conditions on its aid: jump on
Washington's anti-Cuba bandwagon at the UN Human Rights Commission.
During a roundtable discussion Wednesday evening -- broadcast live on
Cuban radio and television -- Felipe Perez Roque and other panelists
examined the pressures on Latin American countries, including
Argentina, to go along with the annual resolution against Cuba for
alleged human rights violations.

The Cuban foreign minister noted that his Argentine counterpart
spent only 30 minutes with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on
Monday -- coming out of the meeting with a statement that Buenos Aires
would jointly work with Washington on the issue of human rights in
Cuba. Perez Roque asked how it was possible that the Argentine
foreign minister could sell out so quickly and come to an agreement on
Cuba, when he supposedly met with U.S. officials to secure economic
aid for his bankrupt country.

Panelists on last night's roundtable discussion agreed that the United
States was turning up the heat on Latin American countries -- aimed at
getting their support for Washington's resolution in Geneva to condemn
Cuba. They pointed out that the Argentine Foreign Ministry has
apparently chosen to repeat last year's performance at the UN Human
Rights Commission -- when they voted along with the U.S. against Cuba
in exchange for Washington's support of a multi-billion dollar loan
from the International Monetary Fund.

Juan Antonio Fernandez, the Director of Multilateral Affairs at the
Cuban Foreign Ministry and one of the panelists, said that
Washington's resolution in Geneva is an annual circus, designed to
demonize Cuba and provide a rationalization for the U.S. blockade
against the island. He reminded the audience that Washington was voted
off the UN Human Rights Commission last year and, for the first time
in 50 years, does not have a seat on the Commission in Geneva.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry official also noted that Argentina is
undergoing a severe social and economic crisis, leading to scenes of
repression in the streets of Buenos Aires and other cities -- hardly
putting that country in a position to criticize anyone for alleged
human rights violations.


*SPANISH UNITED LEFT PARTY LEADER ENDS VISIT TO CUBA

Havana, January 31 (RHC)-- Cuban President Fidel Castro Wednesday met
with the coordinator of Spain's United Left Party, Gaspar Llamazares
and his delegation who were on an official visit to the island.

Llamazares had previously met with Cuban Vice-President Carlos Lage in
a general discussion of relations between his party and the Communist
Party of Cuba which had extended the invitation for the Spanish
dignitary to visit the island.

After meeting with the Cuban leader, the delegation accompanied him to
the Cuban television studios to attend a round table on the current
crisis in Argentina, and Buenos Aires' capitulation to the US
government in relation to Cuba, which was attacked in the Cuban daily
Granma in Thursday morning's edition.

The Spanish politician and his delegation left the island Thursday
afternoon.


*VOLUNTEERS OUT IN THEIR THOUSANDS IN CAMPAIGN AGAINST DENGUE FEVER

Havana, January 31 (RHC)-- In Cuba's massive offensive against the
mosquito that spreads the dengue fever virus, the entire student and
teacher faculty of a school that trains social workers in the city of
Santa Clara have joined thousands of other volunteers traveling to
Havana for a weekend fumigation campaign.

The campaign to eradicate the Aedes Aegypti mosquito will be
concentrating its efforts on Havana's 15 municipalities today,
fumigating every single residence for the third time in three weeks.
Street fumigation is also taking place.

Cuban public health authorities have taken unprecedented steps to
prevent the type of epidemic that has hit other nations in the region
- especially in Central America - and appear to be gaining ground. The
number of confirmed cases of dengue fever infection have dropped and
it's hard to find a mosquito in Havana these days. Most of those
affected are suffering from the less dangerous viral dengue, but there
have been cases of the potentially fatal hemorrhagic dengue and health
authorities are taking no chances. All those infected by the
hemorrhagic strain have been admitted to the capital's Tropical
Medicine Institute for care.

More than 1,100 students and 104 professors from Santa Clara were
welcomed by colleagues at the social workers school in the Havana
suburb of Cojímar, Thursday.


*FOUR MORE WETLANDS PROPOSED FOR INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION BY CUBA

Havana, January 31 (RHC)-- Cuba is preparing for World Wetlands Day on
February 2nd by seeking international recognition of four more wetland
sites on the island.

Some 20 percent of Cuban territory is covered by wetland ecosystems
with the Cienaga de Zapata being the most well-known. Zapata is
renowned for its bird population and is within easy reach of the
capital, Havana.

The proposed new sites include the Cienaga de Lanier which is in the
south of the Isle of Youth and consists of 88,000 hectares of wetlands
and 38,000 hectares of marine platform as well as a number of
biospheres.

The 48,000 hectares of wetlands surrounding the Cauto River - Cuba's
longest river located in easternmost Granma province - are also being
proposed for international sponsorship and protection. It's special
features are the diversity of its marine life and aquatic birds.

The other two sites under review are the Maximo-Caguey wetlands to the
north of the city of Camaguey, famous for its pink flamingos, and the
Buenavista falls and caves area in the province of Villa Clara which
seeks greater protection against the effects of tourism expansion in
the nearby La Bruja and Santa Maria keys.

Although Cuba has a record of good preservation and environmental
policies it lacks the resources to implement them. International
agencies such as UNESCO have stepped in the past to sponsor sites, but
more protection is needed, say Cuban wetland experts.


*WORLD SOCIAL FORUM GETS UNDERWAY IN BRAZIL

Porto Alegre, January 31 (RHC)-- Delegates to the World Social Forum
began meeting on Thursday in Porto Alegre -- searching for
alternatives to neo-liberal globalization. The meeting is taking place
in Brazil to coincide with the World Economic Forum underway in New
York City.

Under the slogan "Changing the World is Possible," participants at the
anti-globalization summit are attending a series of seminars to
discuss the current international situation. They plan to develop
social and economic alternatives to free-trade globalization, which
they say favors rich nations and threatens the world's poor.

Among the seminars and workshops in Porto Alegre will be discussions
on the world economy, the tragic events of September 11th in the
United States, the Argentine economic crisis and world peace.

One of the organizers of the World Social Forum, Bernard Cassen,
stated that "the shipwreck of Argentina is a real example of the
ravages of economic liberalization. He said he works with a group that
supports a tax on financial transactions to help the poor.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Luis Inacio "Lula" da Silva --
the leader of Brazil's Worker's Party -- said that while the economic
forum in New York is meeting to figure out ways to make more profits
and accumulate wealth, the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre is
discussing ways to distribute wealth more equitably. Da Silva also
condemned the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, which he
called Washington's plan to economically annex the region.


*PROTESTERS GATHER AS RICH AND POWERFUL MEET AT WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

New York City, January 31 (RHC)-- While business leaders and CEOs of
the world's major corporations gathered in New York City for the World
Economic Forum, protesters are preparing to give them a hardy welcome.
According to organizers of the demonstrations, thousands are expected
to protest the summit of the world's wealthiest, which runs through
Monday, February 4th.

One group that is leading protests in New York City is A.N.S.W.E.R.
(Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). In a statement released
Thursday, the group said that the World Economic Forum "will celebrate
war in Afghanistan and the Middle East, attacks on civil liberties and
corporate tax cuts." The organizers are calling for a protest march
near the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Saturday.

Some 6000 police and Federal agents are providing security for the
event, which observers say has turned the luxurious hotel into an
armed camp. One protester told reporters that there are only about
3000 delegates to the event -- giving every rich and famous delegate
an average of two armed bodyguards.

Another group at the event, Students for Global Justice, stated that
the aim of the World Economic Forum is for the world's richest CEOs
"to collaborate with the world's most powerful politicians in setting
the global economic agenda." Others said that the five-day gathering
in New York City is nothing more than greedy corporate leaders
discussing how to fatten their bottom lines.


*SHARON SAYS ARAFAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN "ELIMINATED" YEARS AGO

Jerusalem, January 31 (RHC)-- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said
in an interview on Thursday that Tel Aviv should have "eliminated"
Yasser Arafat in 1982 when it had the Palestinian leader under siege
in Beirut. Quoted by the Israeli newspaper Maariv, Sharon said: "In
Lebanon, it was agreed that Arafat would not be eliminated. To tell
the truth, I'm sorry we didn't kill him."

Serving as Israel's defense minister during the 1980's, Ariel Sharon
directed the invasion of Lebanon -- sending tanks and troops to the
outskirts of Beirut where they blocked Yasser Arafat and fighters from
the Palestine Liberation Organization. Arafat and the PLO members were
finally able to leave Beirut after an internationally-brokered
agreement was reached with Tel Aviv.

Now Israel's prime minister, Sharon's comments have drawn angry
condemnation from Palestinian officials who have accused him of trying
to carry out a decades-old vendetta against Yasser Arafat. One
Palestinian cabinet member, Saeb Erekat, said that "for prime
ministers to openly announce their gangster intentions is a reflection
of what kind of government we're dealing with."

Reaction to Sharon's comments was also swift in other parts of the
world. Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique, whose country currently
holds the European Union's presidency, condemned the Israeli prime
minister's statement. Pique told reporters in Madrid that if Sharon
indeed said that Arafat should have been killed years ago, he deplores
and rejects such comments.

Observers noted that Israeli troops and tanks have forcibly confined
the Palestinian leader to his office in Ramallah for the past two
months, refusing to allow him to leave the area. They point to the
similarities when Tel Aviv trapped Arafat in Lebanon 20 years ago --
but Israeli officials have publicly stated that, this time, they have
no plans to kill him.


*ISRAEL CONSIDERS PLAN TO CLOSE OFF JERUSALEM

Jerusalem, January 31 (RHC)-- The Israeli government is studying a
plan to surround Jerusalem with fences, roadblocks, electronic
surveillance and increased police checkpoints. The plan, known as
"Enveloping Jerusalem," was developed by Israel's National Security
Council and is being considered by top government officials.
Critics of the plan say it would in effect repartition Jerusalem,
without actually ensuring Israeli security.

The government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon denies that there would
be any physical or de facto division of Jerusalem between Jewish and
Palestinian neighborhoods, but it acknowledges that movement into, out
of and around the city would be more difficult under the plan.

Police and security officials reportedly had proposed fences or walls
to divide parts of Jerusalem. But for Sharon and right-wing members of
his government, a wall would signal a willingness by Israel to cede
part of the city to the Palestinians and would symbolize a return to
pre-1967 borders, before Israel captured East Jerusalem and the West
Bank from Jordan.

Tel Aviv insists that Jerusalem is the "eternal, undivided capital" of
Israel and firmly rejects Palestinian claims to East Jerusalem as the
capital of a Palestinian state.

The Jerusalem security plan would cost about 35 million dollars and
involve hundreds of additional troops patrolling the 33-mile municipal
boundary that Israel has drawn around Jerusalem. According to Israeli
media, the plan calls for separating Jerusalem from the West Bank by
means of roadblocks, ditches and other barriers, including fences.
Other areas will be under the control of video cameras, thermal
sensors and patrols with night surveillance equipment.

One observer said that if the plan is approved, Jerusalem will once
again become The Walled City -- noting that it didn't work in the past
and won't work now.


*INTERVIEW WITH MEXICAN PRESIDENT VICENTE FOX

Mexican President Vicente Fox phoned Radio Havana Cuba Wednesday
morning and gave us an interview concerning his upcoming visit to the
island, to begin Sunday, February 3. The following are highlights
of President Fox's comments to Radio Havana Cuba.

RHC: President Fox, this would be your second visit to Cuba. Your
first visit was in 1999, in your capacity as Governor of the Mexican
State of Guanajuato.

FOX: "This time, I would visit Cuba in my capacity as President of
Mexico at the invitation of President Fidel Castro, who extended his
invitation for me to visit Cuba the very day I sworn in as president
of Mexico, December 1st, 2000. Today, fortunately we are in a position
to respond to that invitation, which for us is very important."

RHC: What is the aim of this second visit?

FOX: "The objective of this visit is to strengthen our trade relations
with Cuba, and promote our mutual investments. In fact, for the first
time we can now speak of Cuban investment here in Mexico. On the other
hand, Mexican firms have also made important investments in Cuba. What
we want is to further promote this type of relationship for the
benefit of both nations. We want to further boost bilateral trade
relations, which in its current state we consider to be rather
incipient. We think that there is great potential to do very much more
in terms of trade cooperation with Cuba than we have accomplished thus
far."

RHC: Last year, Cuba and Mexico took joint, concrete action to
strengthen bilateral cooperation in the area of investment, including
the signing of an agreement to promote and protect mutual investments
and meetings between officials from the Chambers of Commerce of Mexico
and Cuba and a session of the Mexican-Cuban Mixed Cooperation
Commission.

FOX: "That's what this is all about, to strengthen our bilateral
economic, commercial and diplomatic ties. It is important that we
discuss and analyze our respective positions regarding relevant
international issues. We also want to see the political relationship
between our two peoples further strengthened."

RHC: This upcoming visit takes place at a time when our two nations
are celebrating this year the 100th anniversary of bilateral
relations.

FOX: "In fact, this year marks the 100th anniversary of Mexican
relations with Cuba. It's important that based on this we now promote
a new and lasting relationship, which provides ever-new possibilities
to strengthen ties between our two peoples."

"But, even in the framework of this harmony that has always prevailed
in the Mexican-Cuba relationship, we have differences. We maintain a
very mature relationship and that is why we can address our
differences in a serious, sensible manner. Sometimes, when our
opinions on one specific issue differ, we get together and discuss it
frankly."

RHC: President Fox, Mexico represents Latin America as a non-permanent
member of the United Nations Security Council.

FOX: "Yes, Mexico is now a member of the UN Security Council and that
implies a great deal of responsibility. Mexico currently plays an
active role within the new system of international relations. For me,
it's very important to get together with President Fidel Castro to
discuss these international issues, so that we exchange our views and
at best, adopt a common position with respect to those issues. In the
event our opinions differ, we are both certain that such a difference
would never be a motive to damage the long-standing and friendly
relations which are highly valued by our two peoples."

RHC: Finally, President Fox, could you comment on the role that your
nation expects to play as the Latin American representative at the UN
Security Council?

FOX: "The Mexican position in the end is that we advocate a
tireless search for peace and harmony among nations. We promote
dialogue, constructive negotiation and the continuous search for world
peace."

RHC: Thank you very much, President Vicente Fox, for this exclusive
interview with Radio Havana Cuba.


*Viewpoint: TWO WORLD VIEWS

Two very different views of the world are being expressed today in the
work agendas of gatherings in two very different parts of the world.
The different geographical locations are symbolic because one is in
the north, in rich, opulent Manhattan, while the other is taking place
in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre.

But the differences run far deeper than landscape and temperature. The
fact is that the two encounters belong to different worlds; not only
in points of view, but in way of life, ideals, interests and
aspirations.

The World Economic Forum, which for three decades met in the Swiss
city of Davos and now, for security reasons is being held in New York,
functions like an elegant, exclusive club of some 1000 permanent
members who pay $30,000.00 each for the honor. Invited guests are
powerful impresarios, millionaires, heads of state, and personalities
from the world of culture and the sciences.

The meeting in Brazil's Porto Alegre, which is taking place for the
second time, is something totally different. The gathering's slogan
sums it up: "Changing the World is Possible." There are no permanently
affiliated members, rather the meeting is an opportunity for all the
region's personalities, independent institutions and non-governmental
organizations to express their concerns about the state of the planet
and the future of humanity.

In Manhattan, participants will nibble on crab tarts and will be
entertained by Elton John and on Saturday they will dine at New York's
exclusive Club 21, after having debated world-shaking topics like "The
Integrated Mind" and "Dance and Diversity".

Meanwhile in the Third World city of Porto Alegre, the agenda includes
discussions on hunger, the denial of the cultural rights of millions
of people and the daily violation of human guarantees.

Personalities like Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Rigoberta Menchu and
Adolfo Perez Esquivel will share their experiences on defending the
dignity of human beings, sometimes at the risk of their own lives, in
an attempt to build a world which encompasses other worlds and not
just that of the intellectual, economic, academic and cultural icons
featured in the Manhattan meeting.

Two world visions, or two different worlds? The fact is that the two
meetings that began on Thursday themselves reflect the dramatic
polarization of humanity, the unjust division that capitalism has
created between North and South, producing a system based on the
exclusion of the majority in exchange for the well-being of a tiny,
powerful few.

But as long as the possibility of another world exists -- a world in
which there is room for all -- the struggle will continue for peace,
full human, economic, social and cultural rights, and the existence of
principles and values that elevate all human beings. And gatherings
will continue around the world bringing together those who dream and
struggle to turn those dreams into reality until their demands are
heard even in the exclusive clubs of the world's most rich and
powerful.

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

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