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  • S Landreth
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    Cuba punches above its weight to develop its own Covid vaccines

    Suffering from the double pain of US sanctions and a pandemic, Cuba It has experienced the most serious economic crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Pharmacy shelves are barren. People queue for hours to buy chicken. Bread is hard to find.

    Nevertheless, the besieged island could become the world’s smallest country to develop its own coronavirus vaccine. Of the 27 coronavirus vaccines that are undergoing final-stage testing worldwide Two are cuba..

    “To gain our sovereignty, we need our own vaccine,” said Dr. Vicente Velez, director of the Finlay Institute, which developed the most advanced sovereign 2 of the country’s five vaccine candidates. I did. “In nine months, we moved from ideas to vaccines in Phase 3 clinical trials.”

    Currently, approximately 44,000 volunteers from Havana are participating in the Phase 3 trial of Sovereign 2. A similar number volunteers in Phase 3 of Abdullah, a vaccine named after the poem of José Martí, the official “national hero” of the island, in the eastern city of Santiago.

    In parallel with the clinical study is an “intervention study” in which 150,000 healthcare workers in Havana are currently vaccinated.

    Cuba’s “Biological Front” was founded in 1981. This was only five years after Genentech, the world’s first biotechnology company, was founded. At the heart of today’s vaccine efforts are the island’s top scientists, many of whom are trained in the former Soviet Union. These internationally mobile polyglots have every opportunity to migrate (and many do). Those who choose to work on the island are almost always followers of old schools.

    At a recent press conference, Dr. Beres explained why he was moving him, citing Ernesto “Che” Guevara. “A true revolutionary,” he said. “I am guided by wonderful love.”

    Dr. Gerald Gillen, who heads the development of two vaccines at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, loves chocolate, which he had to do without his favorite modifications for over a year (there’s nothing in the store). His monthly salary of £ 200 is one-hundredth of what he can earn abroad.

    “We have an offer,” said Dr. Mitchell Valdes Sosa, a Chicago-born neurologist and a member of the country’s Coronavirus Task Force. “But we feel a commitment to the development of the country, so we prefer to stay. We are not working to make some CEOs obscenely rich. I Are working to make people healthier. “

    Such idealism is not protection from the bitter geopolitical reality.

    The US embargo on Cuba limits the medical devices that the island can import. Various Cuban research teams working on vaccines share one spectrometer, an essential machine for quality control, that is powerful enough to analyze the chemical structure of vaccines. However, the British manufacturer of spectrometers, Micromass, has not been able to buy spare parts directly since it was acquired by the American company Waters.

    United Nations human rights reporter in the United States Lift island sanctions during a pandemic, For the past 12 months, the embargo Ramp up..

    And since the Trump administration put Cuba on the list of state sponsors of terrorism in the United States in January, it’s just a matter of finding a bank that is willing to process payments. Big problem..

    “The United States is trying to starve and submit Cuba,” said Valdes Sosa. “Not only is it difficult to buy things directly from the United States, but all these sanctions implemented by the Trump administration have also depleted many sources of income.”

    Cuba reported 12,225 confirmed cases and 146 deaths last year. This is one of the lowest cases and mortality rates in the hemisphere. However, a blunder occurred in November. When commercial flights were finally resumed after a long seven months, the government did not require visitors to undergo a PCR test for several weeks before boarding the plane. The effect was fatal. Thousands of Cuban Americans came from Covid’s hotspots like Florida to hug, kiss, and dance with their families during Christmas, and the incident surged.

    More cases were reported in January alone than in 2020 as a whole, and the island currently reports an average of 1,000 confirmed cases per day.

    To date, about 100,000 Cubans have received jabs, and the island lags behind the average Latin American vaccine deployment of 12% of those who receive at least one vaccination. And because there are no vaccines that have not yet been fully approved for use by the island’s regulators, critics say they will not participate in Covax, a UN-backed mechanism that distributes Covid-19 doses fairly around the world. Says that his decision was arrogant and left unnecessarily exposed.

    Cuba aims to produce 100 million doses of sovereign 2 this year. This is enough for people with surplus to export.

    If production hurdles are cleared, distribution logistics should be a strength. The island has a well-developed infrastructure for local community clinics World’s highest doctor-patient ratio..

    Cuban scientists are confident that widespread vaccination will be achieved this year, saying that Cuba will be one of the first countries in the hemisphere to achieve this.

    “Once everything is in place, you don’t have to think too much,” said Dr. Gillen, “but when you’re in trouble, you have to think of new ways to innovate.”: https://sydneynewstoday.com/cuba-pun...e-cuba/170158/


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  • S Landreth
    replied
    Senate Intel vows to 'get to the bottom' of 'Havana syndrome' attacks

    Senate Intelligence Committee leaders on Friday pledged to “get to the bottom” of the mysterious “Havana syndrome” attacks following reports of a recent episode near the White House.

    According to a report from CNN, officials are investigating two suspected attacks on U.S. soil, one of which took place near the Ellipse, the grassy oval lawn just south of the White House, harming a National Security Council official.

    The suspected attacks, which first occurred in Havana, Cuba, in 2016, have since surfaced in a number of countries, leaving a number of U.S. diplomats and analysts with neurological symptoms ranging from vertigo to insomnia.

    “For nearly five years, we have been aware of reports of mysterious attacks on United States Government personnel in Havana, Cuba and around the world. This pattern of attacking our fellow citizens serving our government appears to be increasing. The Senate Intelligence Committee intends to get to the bottom of this. We have already held fact finding hearings on these debilitating attacks, many of which result in medically confirmed cases of Traumatic Brain Injury, and will do more,” Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a joint statement.

    Some 40 government officials have been hit by the attacks, which a government-funded report by the National Academy of Sciences determined were most likely caused by microwave radiation. The bulk of known cases have been State Department or CIA employees.

    The lawmakers said they would seek “to better understand the technology behind the weapon responsible for these attacks.”

    “We will focus on ensuring we protect our personnel and provide the medical and financial support the victims deserve. Ultimately we will identify those responsible for these attacks on American personnel and will hold them accountable,” they said.: https://thehill.com/policy/national-...ndrome-attacks

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  • S Landreth
    replied
    Castro's heir, President Miguel Díaz-Canel faces pressure to accelerate Cuba reforms

    The new leader of Cuba's ruling Communist Party may be the first born after its 1959 revolution but he is also a loyalist who is not expected to make significant changes to its one-party system and has moved only tentatively on market-style economic reforms.

    Snip

    Still, he has often appeared more modern than his khaki-clad elderly predecessors. As a young party chief in two provinces, Diaz-Canel bucked party orthodoxy by backing an LGBT-friendly cultural center, listening to rock music and sporting long hair.

    At a national level, as education secretary and then vice president, Diaz-Canel advocated for broader internet access and carried a tablet device to meetings. He now tweets regularly.

    And as president, the silver-haired, burly leader often appeared at events holding hands with his wife, who has forged a position of first lady that did not exist before in Cuba and quietly championed the fledgling private sector.

    In crisis, continuity

    Despite such nods to a more open, connected Cuba, Diaz-Canel has made "We are Continuity" the mantra of his government, which kicked off its mandate with a tightening of state control over the creative and economic sectors.

    Also he has reiterated the Communist party's dismissal of dissidents as a tiny U.S.-funded minority, calling them "lumpen mercenaries" on Monday and warning that people's "patience has limits."

    His presidency coincided with former U.S. President Donald Trump's move to tighten the decades-old trade embargo on the island.

    It was not until this year that his government forcefully resumed market-style reforms to the centrally planned economy launched by Castro a decade ago, pressured by a liquidity crisis that has spawned widespread shortages.

    Those reforms have included tentative measures to expand the private sector and a painful monetary overhaul reducing imports, increasing exports and reducing subsidies to state enterprises.: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/...reform-rcna721


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  • S Landreth
    replied
    Florida Republicans aim to jump-start Cuban reunification program from Guantánamo Bay

    South Florida Republicans announced Monday they’re introducing a bill in Congress that would jump-start a federal program that helps reunite Cuban families by resuming consular services on the island from Guantánamo Bay amid a growing backlog of applications.

    U.S. Reps. María Elvira Salazar, Carlos Gimenez, Mario Díaz-Balart and Stephanie Murphy, a Central Florida Democrat, are co-sponsoring the Cuban Family Reunification Modernization Act of 2021, which would restart processing claims under the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, known as CFRP. The humanitarian program allows eligible citizens and permanent residents in the U.S. to apply for their relatives on the island to join them in the U.S. while they wait for their immigration visas to be issued.

    It first went into effect in 2007, but has been halted indefinitely since the U.S. government began scaling back personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Havana in 2017, when several diplomats got sick with a mysterious illness that some believe was a targeted attack. Ultimately, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services office in Havana was shuttered in 2018, leaving no U.S. staff in Cuba to process CFRP applications.

    The program is still in effect, however, and over 100,000 applications have piled up and remain in limbo. While the Biden administration has said it is reviewing all policies toward the island, it has also said Cuba policy is not a priority.

    “The Cuban people are suffering under the chokehold of socialism, families remain separated by the brutal Castro regime, and the situation is more dire than it has even been after the sonic attacks in Havana essentially shut down U.S. consular services on the island,” Salazar said in a statement to el Nuevo Herald.

    The announcement comes on the last day of Cuba’s Communist Party Eighth Congress, during which Raúl Castro officially stepped down as the leader of the party and President Miguel Díaz-Canel was named the new chief. The four-day conference, which is happening behind closed doors, is taking place amid one of Cuba’s worst economic crises, rising inequality and broad public discontent.

    If it becomes law, the new bill would allow for pending and new claims to be processed in the U.S. Naval base in Guantánamo Bay, where officials would conduct in-person interviews and provide other pre-screening services. It doesn’t allow for Cubans to apply for asylum at the base and it gives the naval station’s commander the power to close down services if “a high number of Cuban nationals” try to show up without an appointment, according to a memo from Díaz-Balart’s office.

    “In contrast to the chaos at the border, codifying this program will ensure an orderly, secure, and safe way for Cubans to have their applications processed on the island,” Díaz-Balart said in a statement, alluding to the increase in the number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border from their countries of origin.

    Laura Hernandez, a spokeswoman for Diaz-Balart’s office, said the lawmakers plan to file the legislation on Tuesday.

    In a statement, Murphy added that she was proud to help lead the legislation.

    “My parents and I were fortunate to escape a brutal communist regime and we were welcomed by this country together as a family,” said Murphy, adding that if the bill becomes law, it would “swiftly and lawfully” reunite Cuban families.

    Gretel Moreno, a Hialeah resident who has been waiting for years for her brother and other family members to reach the United States, said the proposal was “excellent news.”

    “It was time for them to listen to the suffering of our people,” she said. “We have been suffering separation for years and there are truly dramatic cases, of children separated from their parents and on the verge of being forcibly recruited into the Cuban army.”

    Aniuska Garcia, who also lives in Hialeah, said she hopes this bill will become law, noting that currently, Cubans must travel to Guyana for visa interviews — a long and expensive trip.

    “Many of us do not have enough resources to pay for a trip to Guyana for our relatives to do their interviews. Hopefully all this is not on paper and promises,“ she added.: https://this.kiji.is/757049872837296...22757532812385


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  • S Landreth
    replied
    Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
    I should be able to post the 2nd set of pictures today.

    Until then….

    got to find those pictures again

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  • S Landreth
    replied
    Cuba replaces 2 high-ranking ministers ahead of Communist Party Congress

    Cuba has replaced two high-ranking ministers in the days before the Communist Party Congress, in which Raúl Castro is expected to retire from politics.

    Cuban state media reported Thursday that Leopoldo Cintra, 79, minister of the armed forces, would be replaced by Álvaro López, 77. Both men fought alongside Fidel Castro’s rebels during the revolution and later rose through the ranks of the military.

    The sudden departure came two days after officials announced that Ydael Jesús Pérez, 48, would be replacing Gustavo Rodríguez, 57, as minister of agriculture. Authorities also announced several economic reforms, including one that would allow Cuban ranchers to sell beef after meeting state quotas, something that has not been permitted since the early years of the revolution.

    The replacements come as Cuba’s ruling party prepares to convene, starting Friday, for a four-day event in which leaders will discuss the island’s economic model and reforms. Castro, 89, who is the party’s first secretary general, a position considered more powerful than president, has previously said he will retire, potentially paving the way for a younger generation of party leaders.

    The event comes as Cuba is in the throes of its worst economic contraction since the collapse of the Soviet Union and frustration on the island is mounting. Long lines for increasingly scarce supplies of food have once again become commonplace. Some have resumed embarking on perilous journeys across the Florida Straits, hoping to reach the U.S.

    State media reported that Cintra’s replacement came at the recommendation of Castro and Miguel Díaz-Canel, the island’s president, but released few other detail. López is considered one of Castro’s most devoted acolytes. Though considered part of the “historic” generation of rebel leaders, he is younger than many others in their late 80s and 90s.: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...ss/ar-BB1fH7DP


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  • S Landreth
    replied
    Support Cuba's emerging market economy by ending the embargo

    Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel recently announced the country’s most sweeping market liberalization in decades. The reforms are desperately needed: Cuba’s already stagnant economy has contracted 11 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. policy makers should encourage further reform by liberalizing America’s trade relations with Cuba.

    Socialist economic systems are defined by state ownership and control of the major industries, businesses and resources. Cuban socialism is no exception. Until the recently announced reforms, private industry was restricted to only 127 types of businesses.

    The reforms replace that list with a list of 124 activities prohibited to private enterprise. Not surprisingly, politically sensitive industries such as education and the news media remain prohibited, as do other major sectors like health care and construction-related professions, including engineering and architecture. However, according to the Cuban government, the reforms will allow self-employment and private enterprises in more than 2,000 professions.

    Cuba has slowly allowed more private enterprise in tourist-related industries for years. Cubans were allowed to rent out rooms in their apartments to visitors starting in 1997. Initially, no more than two rooms could be rented out and entrepreneurs could employ no one outside of their family in the rental business. These restrictions were later eliminated.

    Similarly, private restaurants were allowed in 1993, but initially were limited to 12 seats and prohibited from serving seafood and beef. In 2011 these restrictions were relaxed and the estimated number of private restaurants in Havana alone grew from 74 to more than 2,000 by 2015. Reforms over the last decade have led to an estimated tripling of private-sector employment, to about 600,000.

    When I was conducting research for the book “Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way Through the Unfree World,” which I co authored, I slept and ate in both state-owned and privately run Cuban hotels, residences and restaurants. The incentive created by profits to improve quality and service and to invest in capital improvements for the future was evident in the private businesses. Meanwhile, state-run businesses, which do not depend on their customers for their continued existence, were run-down, had poor service and served awful food.

    However, even though profits motivated restaurant owners to better serve their customers, owners were constrained by the limited supplies they could get from the state-dominated supply chain. As a result, a Cuban sandwich, which is delicious in Miami, is just bland ham and cheese in Havana.

    The new reforms fall far short of the full liberalization that the Cuban economy needs. So bottlenecks and inefficiencies will limit their ability to achieve the full benefits of private enterprise, much as I experienced in Cuban restaurants. But as more sectors become private, overtime, these inefficiencies will diminish.

    Cuba’s path to reform may end up like China’s reform path, which Deng Xiaoping began in 1978. China gradually allowed increasing amounts of free enterprise over more than a decade. First, town and village enterprises were allowed and farmers could sell a portion of their crops in markets. Then, according to Bradley M. Gardner’s book, “China’s Great Migration: How the Poor Built a Prosperous Nation,” self-employment and small businesses of up to seven people were allowed in urban areas. Gradually these restrictions were loosened and firms grew. Chinese private industry expanded around an inefficient state sector and eventually overtook it to produce the majority of China’s output. In the process, international trade with the United States and other developed countries grew substantially.

    The U.S. government should encourage the growth of the private sector in Cuba by repealing its 60-year-old embargo and allowing U.S. businesses to trade with the newly freed Cuban entrepreneurs. That would help spur growth in Cuba’s private sector and might lead to additional reforms. Economists Peter Leeson and Russell Sobel looked at more than 100 countries from 1985 to 2000 and found that economic freedom spreads from free countries to their less-free but geographically close trading partners.

    The decades old embargo never unseated the Castro regime. Instead, it only gave the Cuban government a scapegoat for the country’s largely homegrown economic troubles. It is time to change course and encourage Cuban economic freedom by ending the embargo and practicing free trade with the small but growing Cuban private sector.: https://thehill.com/opinion/internat...g-the-blockade


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  • S Landreth
    replied
    Hope Biden is able to clean the mess IQ45 left behind……..
    • Cuba opens up its economy to private businesses

    Cuba has announced it will allow private businesses to operate in most sectors, in what is a major reform to its state-controlled economy.

    Labour Minister Marta Elena Feito said the list of authorised activities had expanded from 127 to more than 2,000.

    Only a minority of sectors would be reserved for the state, she said.

    The communist country's economy has been hit hard by the pandemic and US sanctions introduced by the Trump administration.

    Last year its economy shrank by 11% - its worst decline in almost three decades - and Cubans have been facing shortages of basic goods.

    Ms Feito said just 124 economic activities would be exempt from private involvement although she did not mention which ones.

    "That private work continues to develop, is the objective of this reform," Ms Feito was quoted by AFP as saying. She said the move would "help free the productive forces" of the private sector.

    Experts on Cuba's tangled and complicated economy say the step essentially opens up almost all economic activity on the island to some form of private enterprise, the BBC's Will Grant in Havana says.

    This will be a significant shot in the arm for those families and individuals who harbour hopes of moving beyond just the very small businesses into medium-sized ventures, he notes.

    Apart from hundreds of thousands of small farms, Cuba's non-state sector is composed mainly of small private businesses run by artisans, taxi drivers and tradesmen. Around 600,000 people, around 13% of the workforce, joined the private sector when the opportunity arose.

    However a large number of private businesses are involved in the island's tourist industry, which has been hard hit by the pandemic and sanctions.

    Given how slowly reforms tend to move in Cuba, it may still be some time before the change is noticeable in daily economic life, our correspondent says.

    Cuba placed back on US terrorism sponsor list

    Some 60 years of hostility between the US and Cuba were eased in 2015 when then US President Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro agreed to normalise relations, allowing US citizens to visit the island and empowering local businesses.

    But Obama's efforts were rolled back by his successor, President Donald Trump, with the support of hawkish Cuban-Americans who saw Mr Obama's historic opening as an appeasement of Castro's communist regime.

    New US President Joe Biden - who was Barack Obama's vice-president - has previously signalled that he wants to improve US-Cuban relations but observers say it is not clear how high it might be on his priority list.: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-55967709


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  • S Landreth
    replied
    I should be able to post the 2nd set of pictures today.

    Until then….

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied
    Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
    I’m not a smoker, but some friends are. Where we got them while in Cuba and how we got them back to the states.
    Originally posted by S Landreth View Post

    I forgot. It wasn’t any problem getting Cuban cigars back to the states from Cuba. I think at the time anyone traveling into the states could bring back as many Cuban cigars as they wanted for their use.

    The problem I had was bringing Cuban cigars I purchased in Hong Kong back to the states. I would remove the bands and would place them in ziplock bags. Whatshername would bring the boxes and bands back in her luggage. Then I would distribute them to friends.

    I told our guide that I want to purchase some cigars while in Cuba and she took me to a shop that only sold Cuban cigars and rum but I think they were only sold to Cubans. She told me to show her what I wanted and the amount I needed and she would get them for me. Later that evening she brought everything I wanted at a better price than what I would have had to pay at the shop if I was allowed to purchase them.

    Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
    Found all of whatshername’s Cuban pictures from her samsung


    Back on track,………

    Some of whatshernames pictures.

    Our Cuban guide was great and knew how far she could push us. She was able to get us a table at El Cocinero (http://www.elcocinerocuba.com/en/) which is one of or was one of the most popular restaurants in Cuba. They refurbished an old cooking oil plant and modified it to a restaurant which was owned by a hand full of artists which the government held the majority of shares.

    They did a great job refurbishing the building but even a better job with the food. Might be some of the best Cuban (prepared) food I had ever tasted and I grew up in Miami and was able to eat it often.

    Little more about the food and OUR guests. It was nice. The food offered at this restaurant is something that the average Cuban cannot get. The Cuban government controls the fishing vessels but (some of) these fishing vessels will sell on the black market before they give their catch to the government.

    Soooooo, the guide requested that she and the driver be allowed to sit with us for dinner. Of course we agreed. It was good company.

    Some pictures of our meal are below. Besides the building itself the only picture I am sure of is the girlfriend’s mojito.






    2nd set of pictures later.

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  • S Landreth
    replied



    Found all of whatshername’s Cuban pictures from her samsung

    More later: https://havana-club.com/en-ww/

    Last edited by S Landreth; 08-09-2020, 06:07 AM.

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  • S Landreth
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr Tinkles View Post
    ….nobody ever reads his posts


    Originally posted by Mr Tinkles View Post
    What

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  • Mr Tinkles
    replied
    What a f*cking Coward!

    Leave a comment:


  • S Landreth
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr Tinkles View Post
    ….nobody ever reads his posts


    Originally posted by Mr Tinkles View Post
    Landreth,

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr Tinkles
    replied
    Lets not hide behind the facts Landreth, you Scum

    Current USA Strategic nuclear warheads: 1750

    Who's first Landreth...Thailand?

    Leave a comment:

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