Minnesota Yoruba Cuba Association

Providing access to the religious and cultural practices of Osha-Ifa.

Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola October 21, 2014

Filed under: Mantengase Informado! — dcid28 @ 7:31 PM

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

OCT. 19, 2014

Cuba is an impoverished island that remains largely cut off from the world and lies about 4,500 miles from the West African nations where Ebola is spreading at an alarming rate. Yet, having pledged to deploy hundreds of medical professionals to the front lines of the pandemic, Cuba stands to play the most robust role among the nations seeking to contain the virus.

Cuba’s contribution is doubtlessly meant at least in part to bolster its beleaguered international standing. Nonetheless, it should be lauded and emulated.

The global panic over Ebola has not brought forth an adequate response from the nations with the most to offer. While the United States and several other wealthy countries have been happy to pledge funds, only Cuba and a few nongovernmental organizations are offering what is most needed: medical professionals in the field.

Doctors in West Africa desperately need support to establish isolation facilities and mechanisms to detect cases early. More than 400 medical personnel have been infected and about 4,500 patients have died. The virus has shown up in the United States and Europe, raising fears that the epidemic could soon become a global menace.

It is a shame that Washington, the chief donor in the fight against Ebola, is diplomatically estranged from Havana, the boldest contributor. In this case the schism has life-or-death consequences, because American and Cuban officials are not equipped to coordinate global efforts at a high level. This should serve as an urgent reminder to the Obama administration that the benefits of moving swiftly to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba far outweigh the drawbacks.

The Cuban health care workers will be among the most exposed foreigners, and some could very well contract the virus. The World Health Organization is directing the team of Cuban doctors, but it remains unclear how it would treat and evacuate Cubans who become sick. Transporting quarantined patients requires sophisticated teams and specially configured aircraft. Most insurance companies that provide medical evacuation services have said they will not be flying Ebola patients.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday praised “the courage of any health care worker who is undertaking this challenge,” and made a brief acknowledgment of Cuba’s response. As a matter of good sense and compassion, the American military, which now has about 550 troops in West Africa, should commit to giving any sick Cuban access to the treatment center the Pentagon built in Monrovia and to assisting with evacuation.

The work of these Cuban medics benefits the entire global effort and should be recognized for that. But Obama administration officials have callously declined to say what, if any, support they would give them.

The Cuban health sector is aware of the risks of taking on dangerous missions. Cuban doctors assumed the lead role in treating cholera patients in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake in 2010. Some returned home sick, and then the island had its first outbreak of cholera in a century. An outbreak of Ebola on the island could pose a far more dangerous risk and increase the odds of a rapid spread in the Western Hemisphere.

Cuba has a long tradition of dispatching doctors and nurses to disaster areas abroad. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Cuban government created a quick-reaction medical corps and offered to send doctors to New Orleans. The United States, unsurprisingly, didn’t take Havana up on that offer. Yet officials in Washington seemed thrilled to learn in recent weeks that Cuba had activated the medical teams for missions in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

With technical support from the World Health Organization, the Cuban government trained 460 doctors and nurses on the stringent precautions that must be taken to treat people with the highly contagious virus. The first group of 165 professionals arrived in Sierra Leone in recent days. José Luis Di Fabio, the World Health Organization’s representative in Havana, said Cuban medics were uniquely suited for the mission because many had already worked in Africa. “Cuba has very competent medical professionals,” said Mr. Di Fabio, who is Uruguayan. Mr. Di Fabio said Cuba’s efforts to aid in health emergencies abroad are stymied by the embargo the United States imposes on the island, which struggles to acquire modern equipment and keep medical shelves adequately stocked.

In a column published over the weekend in Cuba’s state-run newspaper, Granma, Fidel Castro argued that the United States and Cuba must put aside their differences, if only temporarily, to combat a deadly scourge. He’s absolutely right.

 

First Secretary of the Cuban Interest Section, Jesús Perz Calderón, visits Minnesota June 1, 2014

Filed under: Mantengase Informado! — emetrece @ 3:42 AM

On behalf of the Minnesota Yoruba Cuba Association we want to thank you for making the visit to Minnesota by the First Secretary of the Cuban Interest Section, Jesús Perz Calderón, a huge success. He fulfilled an extraneous itinerary that was put together by a diverse group of our local community. He left with a great impression of the work being done here to educate, develop leadership, create new alliances, and establish networks that can advocate towards the normalization of US – Cuba relations.

There are many benefits to Jesus’ visit. Not only does it reignite a twelve-year absence of visits from Cuban diplomats to Minnesota, but it leaves a lasting impression on-the-ground. The meetings and presentations held from March 26 – 28 not only informed the First Secretary of the work we are individually doing locally, nationally and globally, but they also allowed us to recognize each other’s efforts in order to design collaborative proposals. Our future work inspired by these encounters will allow us to move forward in unison towards bettering diplomatic relations between nations.

As many of you may know, Jesús Perz Calderón’s visit stems from a letter Ofunshi Oba Koso, President of the Minnesota Yoruba Cuba Association, wrote to President Obama. Ofunshi’s letter requests Obama to initiate direct, high level dialogue with the Cuban government, exercise his executive authority to remove Cuba from the United States’ list of state sponsors of terrorism, and utilize his executive authority to lift restrictions on the Cuba travel ban that limits religious, educational, and cultural licenses. Ofunshi’s voice was heard and the reception Jesus received by all of you reified the solidarity that makes our local community unique.

Below are some pictures from Calderón historical visit to Minnesota, from panels and lectures to roundtables and one-on-one meetings. We encourage you to continue developing the initiatives set forth during Jesus’ visit that aim towards building bridges between the United States and Cuba.

Jesus Perz Calderón meeting with UMN and SPAN students at La Raza Cultural Center

Jesus Perz Calderón meeting with UMN and SPAN students at La Raza Cultural Center

Jesus Perz Calderón with UMN students and members of the MN Cuba Committee at La Raza Cultural Center

Jesus Perz Calderón with UMN students and members of the MN Cuba Committee at La Raza Cultural Center

Jesus Perz Calderón with Dr. Theo Stavrou, Director of SPAN at the University of Minnesota

Jesus Perz Calderón and Ofunshi Oba Koso with Dr. Theo Stavrou, Director of SPAN at the University of Minnesota

Jesus Perz Calderón and Ofunshi Oba Kozo discussing US-Cuba relations and academic exchanges with Klass van der Sanden of the Institute fro Global Studies at the University of Minnesota.

Jesus Perz Calderón and Ofunshi Oba Koso discussing US-Cuba relations and academic exchanges with Klass van der Sanden of the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota

Jesus Perz Calderón with Eric Schwartz, Dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Jesus Perz Calderón with Eric Schwartz, Dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota

Jesus Perz Calderón and Ofunshi Oba Koso with Father Dease at the University of St. Thomas

Jesus Perz Calderón and Ofunshi Oba Koso with Father Dease at the University of St. Thomas

Jesus Perz Calderón with the students and faculty of St. Thomas University

Jesus Perz Calderón speaking to local religious leaders at the Leaders of the Westminister Church.

Jesus Perz Calderón speaking to local religious leaders at the Westminister Church

Jesus Perz Calderón with local religious leaders the Westminister Church.

Jesus Perz Calderón with local religious leaders the Westminister Church

Jesus Perz Calderón speaking with Sandy Pappas, President of the Minnesota Senate

Jesus Perz Calderón meeting with Sandy Pappas, President of the Minnesota Senate

Jesus Perz Calderón enjoying dinner at the Dakota Jazz Club with Ofunshi Oba Koso, Nachito and Aurora Herrera, Carol Engebretson Byrne of the MN International Center, Richard Frevert of Heartland Concert Artists and friends.

Jesus Perz Calderón enjoying dinner at the Dakota Jazz Club with Ofunshi Oba Koso, Nachito and Aurora Herrera, Carol Engebretson Byrne of the MN International Center, Richard Frevert of Heartland Concert Artists, and friends

 

 

Nota Informativa del Ministerio del Interior May 24, 2014

Filed under: Mantengase Informado! — dcid28 @ 6:05 PM

Nota Informativa del Ministerio del Interior (MININT)

6 de mayo de 2014 23:05:00

El pasado 26 de abril, fuerzas del Ministerio del Interior detuvieron a los ciudadanos de origen cubano y residentes en Miami, Estados Unidos, José Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodríguez González, Raibel Pacheco Santos y Félix Monzón Álvarez, cuando planificaban ejecutar acciones terroristas en el territorio nacional.

Los detenidos reconocieron que pretendían atacar instalaciones militares con el objetivo de promover acciones violentas. Con tales fines, desde mediados del 2013, tres de ellos habían realizado varios viajes a la Isla para estudiar y modelar su ejecución.

Declararon además, que estos planes se han estado organizando bajo la dirección de los terroristas Santiago Álvarez Fernández Magriñá, Osvaldo Mitat y Manuel Alzugaray, quienes residen en Miami y mantienen estrechos vínculos con el connotado terrorista Luis Posada Carriles.

Se realizarán las gestiones pertinentes con las autoridades estadounidenses competentes para investigar estos hechos y evitar oportunamente que la actuación de elementos y organizaciones terroristas radicados en ese país pongan en peligro la vida de personas y la seguridad de ambas naciones.

 

Declaracion del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba

Filed under: Mantengase Informado! — dcid28 @ 5:59 PM

Declaración del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba
El Minrex rechaza enérgicamente la manipulación de un tema tan sensible como el terrorismo internacional para convertirlo en instrumento de la política contra Cuba y demanda que se excluya definitivamente a nuestro país de esta lista espuria, unilateral y arbitraria que es una afrenta al pueblo cubano y desacredita al propio Gobierno de los Estados Unidos

Autor: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores | internet@granma.cu
30 de abril de 2014 22:04:35

El 30 de abril, el Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos publicó su Informe por Países sobre Terrorismo correspondiente al año 2013, que reiteró la absurda designación de Cuba como “Estado Patrocinador del Terrorismo”, por trigésima segunda ocasión.

Sin embargo, al Departamento de Estado no le queda otra opción que reconocer en su propio informe que en el 2013, “el Gobierno de Cuba apoyó y auspició negociaciones entre las FARC y el Gobierno de Colombia con el objetivo de lograr un acuerdo de paz entre ambas partes”; que “no hay información de que el gobierno cubano haya suministrado armamento o dado entrenamiento paramilitar a grupos terroristas”; y que “miembros de ETA residentes en Cuba fueron reubicados con la cooperación del gobierno español”.
Pero aún así, consideraciones de carácter político y la necesidad de justificar a toda costa el bloqueo, fracasado y unánimemente rechazado por la comunidad internacional, se imponen a la racionalidad una vez más.

Como único pretexto para apoyar esta calumniosa acusación contra Cuba, el Departamento de Estado alude a la presencia en nuestro país de “fugitivos” de la justicia estadounidense, ninguno de los cuales, vale aclarar, ha sido acusado de terrorismo. A algunos de estos ciudadanos se les concedió asilo legítimamente, mientras que otros que cometieron delitos en los Estados Unidos, fueron debidamente juzgados y sancionados, y decidieron residir en Cuba tras el cumplimiento de sus sentencias.

El Gobierno de Cuba ratifica que el territorio nacional nunca ha sido utilizado ni se usará para acoger a terroristas de ningún origen, ni para organizar, financiar o perpetrar actos de terrorismo contra ningún país del mundo, incluyendo los Estados Unidos. De igual forma, rechaza y condena inequívocamente todo acto de terrorismo, en cualquier lugar, circunstancia y cualesquiera que sean las motivaciones que se aleguen.
Es el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos el que emplea el terrorismo de Estado como un arma contra países que se oponen a su dominación, utiliza métodos repudiables como la tortura y emplea tecnología militar avanzada, incluidos los aviones no tripulados, para ejecutar extrajudicialmente a supuestos terroristas, incluso ciudadanos estadounidenses, y han causado además numerosas muertes de inocentes entre la población civil.

Cuba es uno de esos países que, por defender su independencia y dignidad, sufrió durante décadas las consecuencias de actos terroristas, organizados, financiados y ejecutados desde el territorio de los Estados Unidos, con un saldo de 3 478 muertos y 2 099 discapacitados.

Cuba, América Latina, el Caribe y el mundo jamás olvidarán que es el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos el que sigue dando refugio a terroristas de origen cubano, como Luis Posada Carriles, autor intelectual del primer atentado terrorista contra la aviación civil en el Hemisferio Occidental, que provocó la explosión en pleno vuelo, frente a las costas de Barbados, de un avión de Cubana de Aviación, el 6 de octubre de 1976 y el fallecimiento de sus 73 pasajeros. Paradójicamente, mantiene en prolongada e injusta prisión a los luchadores contra el terrorismo, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino y Antonio Guerrero, por delitos que no cometieron.

El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores rechaza enérgicamente la manipulación de un tema tan sensible como el terrorismo internacional para convertirlo en instrumento de la política contra Cuba y demanda que se excluya definitivamente a nuestro país de esta lista espuria, unilateral y arbitraria que es una afrenta al pueblo cubano y desacredita al propio Gobierno de los Estados Unidos.
La Habana, 30 de Abril de 2014

 

Letter to the President March 26, 2014

Filed under: Mantengase Informado! — dcid28 @ 4:14 AM

A letter sent to president Barack Obama asking to initiate direct, high level dialogue with the Cuban government. Exercise his executive authority to remove Cuba from the United States’ list of state sponsors or terrorism. Exercise his executive authority to lift all restrictions on people-to-people travel between the United States and Cuba.

 

TORONTO WITNESSES THE LAUNCH OF CONGO GLOBAL VOICE

Filed under: Mantengase Informado! — dcid28 @ 3:56 AM

Congo Global Voice

By David Albertyn

On January 30, 2014, in the dimly lit, casual setting of Clave Social, Torontonians beheld a call to action by Congo Global Voice, in the official launch of their campaign to promote solidarity with the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The event kick started the multi-city tour that will build the foundation for the Congo Global Conference, to be held in Toronto during Congo Week from October 23 to 25 of this year.

After some mingling, some snacks, and perusal of Congolese literature, artwork, and films, the evening began in earnest with the screening of Cuba: An African Odyssey, a film that not only details the deep connection between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cuba at the time of Congo’s independence, but also brilliantly contextualizes each country’s standing internationally during the cold war era. The film focuses on a fascinating incident in Congo’s…

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Minnesota Yoruba Cuba Association/Asociacion Yoruba Cuba de Minnesota May 31, 2012

Filed under: Mantengase Informado! — emetrece @ 10:13 PM

The Minnesota Yoruba Cuba Association was born from the religious, cultural, academic and intellectual rectification process of its board members. Upon arrival to the United States in 2003, Ofunshi struggled with the confusion and disorientation that is common in the migrant experience. His uncertainties led to conversations with professor of political science Dr. August Nimtz, Santero and dancer Rene Thompson, musician and songwriter Frank Rivery, and anthropologist Dr. Melisa Riviere. Informal conversations led to conferences, talks, panels, consults and ceremonies at universities, art galleries, nonprofit organizations, and community centers. Each board member engaged independently in a series of observances and presentations that related to themes addressed by the Minnesota Yoruba Cuba Association until it only made sense to formalize these gatherings and presentation under the umbrella of the Minnesota Yoruba Cuba Association.

La Asociación Yoruba Cuba de Minnesota nació del proceso de rectificación religioso, cultural, académico e intelectual del comité organizador. Al llegar a los Estados Unidos en el 2003, Ofunshi choco con el fenómeno de confusión y desconocimiento que ocurre en la diáspora personal del traslado, en el cual realizo conversaciones con el profesor de ciencias políticas Dr. August Nimtz, santero y bailarín Rene Thompson, el músico y cantautor Frank Rivery, y la antropóloga Dra. Melisa Riviere. A base de estos encuentros se crearon conferencias, charlas, talleres, consultas y ceremonias en ambientes tanto universitarios como en galerías de arte, organizaciones sin fines de lucro, y en centros comunitarios. Cada uno del comité organizador por su parte observaba y presentaba material relevante a la Asociación Yoruba Cuba de Minnesota de manera separada en su área de destreza. Con el tiempo se nos vislumbró la posibilidad de formalizar estos encuentros bajo la sombrilla unida de la Asociación Yoruba Cuba de Minnesota.