The year in Cuba
Campaign News | Saturday, 30 December 2006
Most Important Events During 2006
January: "Year of the Energy Revolution"
This strategic program was prioritized during the year. Its main objective is to guarantee efficient generation of electricity and maximize savings. The work was centered on generators, improvement in the distribution network and the allotment of twelve million more efficient and low consumption domestic appliances, which also improved the living conditions of the population.
March: Second Place in the World Baseball Classic
The Cuban baseball team performed brilliantly, out performing all predictions, showing the world that the island's baseball players have as much talent and quality as those of the Major Leagues. They came second, behind Japan.
April: Fidel, Chavez and Evo in Havana's Revolution Square
The Presidents of Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales signed the incorporation of Bolivia into the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas or ALBA and the three nations into the People's Trade Treaty. After signing the agreements they spoke to thousands of Latin American students and Havana residents gathered in the Jose Marti Revolution Plaza.
May: The Secretariat of the Cuban Communist Party was Reinstated
The Political Bureau of the Cuban Communist Party agreed to reinstate the Secretariat with the objective of strengthening the work of the Central Committee, its auxiliary body and subordinated institutions, in the execution and control of the political guidelines and the island's ideological and social cultural development.
THE BOOK "100 HOURS WITH FIDEL" LAUNCHED
French-Spanish writer and journalist Ignacio Ramonet presented in Cuba the first edition of the book of long conversations with the Cuban leader. Later further editions were published with comments and expanded personally by Fidel.
Permanent Cuban Solidarity
The traditional international solidarity by Cuba during 2006 had brilliant results with the work carried out by the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade which returned last May after offering their services free of charge for seven months in Pakistan and treating 1,743,244 people severely affected by the earthquake there. Another brigade left about the same time for Indonesia to help the victims of another earthquake incident. Afterwards came Operation Milagro, which is a program that assists low-income people with eye ailments. In Education, the Cuban teaching method "Yo Si Puedo" or "Yes I Can" literacy program was extended to 22 nations and received the 2006 UNESCO Prize.
July: Fidel at meeting of MERCOSUR
In July, Cuban President Fidel Castro attended the 30th MERCOSUR Summit, held in Cordoba, Argentina, as a special guest; this began the revitalization of regional accords, broadened by the incorporation of Venezuela. Fidel and Chavez visited the house where legendary guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara lived in Alta Gracia and participated in a solidarity activity sponsored by the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo.
The Proclamation by President Fidel Castro was made public on July 31st about his health and his delegation of responsibilities to First Vice President Raul Castro. The document called on the Cuban people to continue united and to advance in the country's economic and social-cultural development and requested that his 80th birthday activities organized by the Guayasamin Foundation be postponed to December 2nd. During the following months, Fidel, as he promised in the Proclamation, strictly followed medical advice to guarantee his full recovery. During his recovery he has carried out important State issues, worked on expanding the book "100 Hours with Fidel" and received various important foreign dignitaries.
September: World Solidarity with the Cuban Five
Faced with the political manipulation of the legal process against the five Cuban political prisoners in the US for fighting terrorism, international solidarity has intensified. In September and December the international community carried out a number of activities to break the wall of silence in the US. What was particularly important was the demonstration held in front of the White House on September 12th. There is a big difference between Washington's severity in the treatment of the Cuban Five and their relatives, with the White House protection offered to international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles detained in El Paso, Texas. Meanwhile Venezuela continues to request his extradition with the objective of trying him for the bombing of a Cubana airliner over Barbados, killing the 73 people on board.
Havana, Venue of the 14th NAM Summit
With the participation of representatives from 118 member nations, among them about 50 Heads of States and Government, the Non Aligned Movement was held in Havana. Cuba assumed the presidency for the second time.
19th Congress of the Cuban Workers Confederation
The important labor meeting made a critical appraisal of the Cuban workers movement and expressed its willingness to increase efforts in discipline during working hours and the fight against negative practices left over from the so called special period.
November: A Condemnation of Washington's Blockade Against Cuba
For 15th consecutive occasion the UN General Assembly approved (by 183 votes against 4) a resolution demanding an end to the Economic, Financial and Commercial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States of America, whose effects have cost over 86 billion dollars.
December: 50th Anniversary of the
Landing of Granma Yacht and 80th Birthday of Fidel
The historic date that marks the birth of the Rebel Army and the beginning of the war for liberation was the occasion to carry out the activities organized by the Guayasamin Foundation to honor President Fidel Castro on his 80th birthday. An international colloquium on the life and work of Fidel Castro was held in Havana with the participation of some 2,000 figures from numerous countries. The military parade and rally held in the Revolution Plaza and the military march in Santiago de Cuba closed the event.
Visit of the US Congressional Delegation
A US bi-partisan Congressional delegation visited the island for three days. After their visit the group said that it is time for a change in US policy against Cuba.
6th Congress of the Federation of University Students
Almost at the end of the year, the 6th Congress of the Federation of University Students closed their year of work. The Cuban youth debated and adopted agreements related to the role of the universities in achieving the invulnerability of the Revolution and student's social vocation. First Vice President Raul Castro considered this Congress as the best so far and pointed out that only the Cuban Communist Party can replace Fidel Castro.
Cuban Economic Growth
In the report presented before the Cuban Parliament by the Minister of Economy and Planning, Jose Luis Rodriguez, it was revealed that the island's GDP grew 12.5 % in 2006, the highest since the triumph of the Revolution, and the highest in all Latin America and the Caribbean, according to CEPAL. In the country's 2007 budget resources equivalent to 22.6 percent of its GDP will be destined to education and health, four times more than the average in Latin America. (Taken from ACN).