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Pretoria, Dec 12 (Prensa Latina) The South African people, especially the residents of Pretoria continued today with the posthumous tribute and massive parade before the coffin of former President Nelson Mandela, who lies at the amphitheater that bears his name at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Public viewing of the casket is scheduled to last nine hours today and Friday, before the remains of the also known as Tata Madiba are carried to the southern province of Eastern Cape on Saturday, Dec. 13.
That day, in the Waterkloof airbase, about 1,000 activists from the African National Congress (ANC) will pay their last respects to Mandela in a final farewell in his hometown Qunu, some 900 kilometers from this capital.
This will be an additional tribute to a man who transformed Union Buildings from a symbol of racism and repression, to a badge of peace, unity, democracy, and progress, President Jacob Zuma said yesterday.
Almost 100 foreign leaders, including Cuban President Raul Castro, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and the head of the White House, Barack Obama, attended on Tuesday, Dec. 10, a massive memorial ceremony at the FNB Stadium in Soweto.
On Wednesday, Dec. 11, tens of thousands of people danced and sang in Cape Town, the second largest city in the country, in tribute to Mandela at a ceremony that brought together famous artists, such as Johnny Clegg and Annie Lennox.
Nelson Mandela died on Dec. 5 in Johannesburg at the age of 95, after his health conditions deteriorated since early 2013 due to lung problems resulting from his long period in prison.
Thousands of people went yesterday to the Union Buildings executive headquarters, to express respects and honor the well-known as the father of a democratic South Africa.
sc/iff/jvj Modificado el ( jueves, 12 de diciembre de 2013 )
Havana, Dec 4 (Prensa Latina) Cuba reiterated its willingness to engage in dialogue with the United States to find a solution “on reciprocal bases” to the case of U.S. citizen Alan Gross, who is serving a sentence here for violating Cuban law.
Josefina Vidal, director for United States Affairs at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a note released yesterday that the dialogue should include Cuba’s humanitarian concerns related to the case of the four Cuban antiterrorism fighters unjustly held in U.S. prisons.
Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, and Fernando Gonzalez are currently serving long and unjust sentences for crimes they did not commit and that were never proven, the diplomat said.
The Five, as these five men are known, were arrested along with Rene Gonzalez in 1998, for monitoring organizations that executed and financed actions against Cuba.
Their imprisonment has a high human cost for them and their families. They have not seen their children grow up; they have lost mothers, fathers, and brothers; they are facing health problems; and they have been separated from their families and their country for more than 15 years, Vidal said.
The official referred to the release issued by the office of the State Department spokesperson on Dec. 2, which insisted on Gross’ immediate and unconditional release, arguing that his freedom is unjustified.
Alan Gross was arrested, tried and sentenced for violating Cuban laws by introducing a U.S. government-financed program aimed at destabilizing Cuba’s constitutional order by establishing illegal and covert communication systems with non-commercial technology, she explained.
According to Vidal, these actions constitute serious crimes that are severely punished in most countries, including the United States.
She also said Gross has been treated decently and humanely since his arrest.
Cuba understands the humanitarian concerns surrounding the case, but the U.S. government has direct responsibility for Gross’s situation and that of his family, and as such, should work with the Cuban government to find a solution, she said.
The note also refers to U.S. media reports on a letter on the case that 66 U.S. senators, Democrats, Republicans and independents, sent to U.S. President Barack Obama.
A document to that respect was signed in Ryad, the Saudi capital city,
by the Deputy Minister of Public Health, Mohammed bin Hamza, and Cuban
Ambassador, Enrique Enríquez.
Following the signing ceremony, the Saudi official praised the
development and prestige of the Cuban Health Services and the
importance that Saudi Arabia attaches to Cuban cooperation in this
In turn, the Cuban Ambassador told of the Island´s readiness to deepen
mutual relations and said the agreement will allow for the expansion
of highly skilled Cuban medical services in that Arab nation.
The new agreement will allow Cuban physicians to work permanently at
Saudi hospitals and substantially expands a document signed last June
Lawyer Pertierra said recalled that Credit Suisse was fined 536 million dollars by the US for crossing the line in the economic blockade against Cuba and some months back the Italian bank Intesa San Paolo was fined three million dollars by the US Government for conducting financial operations in which Cuba was involved.
London´s Lloyds Bank is another of the victims of the US Government. For conducting normal bank operations in which Cuba participated, this well-known bank was fined 80 million dollars by Washington.
Having Cuba as a client is too risky and financially expensive to the world’s banks as a result of the illegal US persecution of the Caribbean island’s financial transactions, Pertierra said and noted that the forced closing of normal consular services by Cuban diplomatic offices in the United States poses a tragedy for the Cuban family.
Cubans on both sides of the Florida Straight hope for normality. That means coming and going and gathering as families and friends, just as the Mexicans, Salvadoreans and the Irish do, just to mention a few nationalities, the noted lawyers added.