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General Elections

The nomination of President Fidel Castro as candidate for deputy to the National Assembly of the Peoples Power highlighted a good part of the electoral environment in the country during the electoral process on the island.

The first stage was held from September 1st to November 15th, corresponding to the first nomination and later election of the municipal delegates. In this occasion 15,236 people were elected by the over 96 percent of people over 16 years of age that went to the polls.

On December 2nd, with the constitution of the 169 municipal assemblies and the approval of candidates for the provincial assemblies and the deputies of the national assembly, the second stage of the process began. On January 20th, the Cuban people will vote for 1,201 provincial delegates and 614 deputies to the National Assembly.

Operation Milagro Treated 1 Million People with Eye Ailments

Operation Milagro promoted by Cuba and Venezuela has treated 1 million people from 31 Third World nations to recover their eye sight. This free eye rehabilitation program for low income people, included the islands donation of 37 surgical centers to 8 nations, and work on the installation of another 7 is underway.

The Milagro Mission, initiated by Presidents Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez began in July of 2004 and its objective is to benefit 6 million low income people from Latin America in a period of ten years.

Tragedy in the Eastern Region

Between October 11th and November 5th Tropical Storm Noel caused intense rain to hit the eastern part of the country.

The number of homes destroyed or partially damaged reached 21,987, over 13,000 kilometers of roads, and railways were severely damaged as well as that caused to agriculture, services and other goods.

The loses were estimated at some 499 million dollars. The amount of rain in some areas made many people recall Hurricane Flora in 1963.

Strong Cuban Response to Bush

Before the new provocations of the Bush Administration against Cuba, the daily word on the island was courage, said Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque responding in October to US President George W. Bushs speech in which he announced an escalation of its anti Cuba policy with more blockade, subversion and attempts to isolate the island.

With the US presidents attempts to starve out the Cuban people by sickness and hunger and provoke a change by force, the island proclaimed several demands: 1) US must respect Cubas right to independence, sovereignty, and self determination, have its own laws and decide on its own political system, 2) stop its anti Cuba policy of aggression, 3) stop interfering in Cubas internal affairs and fabricating and financing internal opposition 4) end its radio and television war 5) immediately stop, without conditions, its economic blockade 6) lift the travel restrictions on the American people to the island and allow Cuban Americans to travel freely to the island to visit their relatives 7) stop stimulating illegal immigration.

Cuba Announced It Would Sign Human Rights Pacts

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque announced that Cuba would sign two important international pacts. The first: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the second: the Civil and Political Rights. The sovereign decision was the ending of manipulation on the human rights issue by the US government and the elimination of the special relator for the island after the creation of the current Human Rights Council.

The human rights issue in Cuba, so manipulated over the years by the US to justify its blockade and its continued aggression policy against the island entered into a period of crisis.

Exemplary Cooperation Cuba-Venezuela During 2007.

The governments of Cuba and Venezuela advanced in their plans of cooperation within the framework of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, ALBA. On January 16 agreements were signed in the sectors of Transportation, Communication, Finance, Agriculture, Mining, Industry, Tourism and Energy and in October new accords were penned with 14 initiatives for a major bilateral economic integration in oil exploration, installation of an undersea cable and the basis for the construction of the petrochemical complex among others. The one that stands out is the remodeling, expansion and modernization of the Camilo Cienfuegos oil refinery inaugurated on December 21st in the south central city of Cienfuegos.

In the first stage the installation, after several years in inactivity, it has a capacity of processing 65,000 barrels of oil a day. On December 21st, both nations signed 14 new cooperation texts in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba that includes such areas as oil, petrochemical, mining and agriculture, fishing, maritime transportation and light industry and construction materials.

Important Agreements at the 4th PetroCaribe Summit

The 4th PetroCaribe Summit held in the city of Cienfuegos, characterized that real and effective project as a cooperation model among developing nations guided by solidarity and special and differential treaty to nations with scarce energy resources. The 11 Heads of State or Government present in the meeting approved the final document in the important event, headed by President Hugo Chavez and First Vice President Raul Castro, whose text adopted the new and important proposal formulated by the Venezuelan President in order for the 17 signatory states to pay with goods and services the accumulated debt as beneficiaries of the oil sent by Caracas.

He stressed the studying new ways of energy savings and in the creation of technical groups to delve into the development of an infrastructure and of projects in the supply of gas and petrochemical products. All of the accords are examples of the continued expansion of the Bolivarian project born in June 2005.

Intense Pre-Olympic Year

2007 was characterized by the Cuban participation in a number of world championships, world cups and pre-Olympic tournaments in numerous sports disciplines, among them weightlifting, track and field, chess, rowing, canoeing, cycling, diving and volleyball. The island has obtained, up to now, Olympic spots in 12 disciplines.

Its outstanding performance was second place for nations in the Pan American Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where they won 59 Gold medals, 35 silver and 41 bronze medals and only surpassed by the United States.

We should also mention second place for the Cuban baseball team during the World Cup held in Taipei, defeated by the United States in the finals.

(Cuban News Agency)

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