Tag Archive: Cuba


Published time: November 04, 2013 14:32
Edited time: November 04, 2013 21:23

A US Navy doctor shows the feeding tubes and cans of Ensure nutritional liquid given to detainees on hunger strikes or not eating inside Camp Delta in the Detention Center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (AFP Photo / Paul J. Richards)

A US Navy doctor shows the feeding tubes and cans of Ensure nutritional liquid given to detainees on hunger strikes or not eating inside Camp Delta in the Detention Center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (AFP Photo / Paul J. Richards)

An independent report has charged that medical personnel, working under the direction of the Department of Defense and CIA in military defense facilities, violated medical ethics by participating in the torture of detainees.

The services provided by American doctors and psychologists included “designing, participating in, and enabling torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” of detainees, according to the report.

The 19-member task force concluded that since September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense (DoD) and CIA ordered medical professionals to assist in intelligence gathering, as well as forced-feeding of hunger strikers, in a way that inflicted “severe harm” on detainees in US custody.

The authors of the 269-page report, entitled “Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the ‘War on Terror’” is based on information from unclassified, publicly available information.

The task force revealed that a “theory of interrogation” emerged in US detention facilities, including Guantanamo Bay detention camp, that was based on “personality disintegration” as a means of breaking down the resistance of the detainees in an effort to extract confessions and information.

Over time, new interrogation methods were developed by interrogators and psychologists from techniques used in the pre-9/11 Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) program that was designed for training US troops to withstand interrogation and mistreatment techniques in the event they were captured.

The interrogators and medical professionals transformed torture-resistant tactics into abusive methods of interrogation, which they employed on detainees. This included so-called ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques, such as waterboarding, which involves covering a restrained detainee’s face with a towel and then soaking it with water. The technique is said to induce a feeling of drowning and complete helplessness.

The detainees are not permitted to receive treatment for the mental anguish caused by their torture.

The report also gave special mention to the Bush administration, which declared that the legal safeguards regarding the treatment of prisoners of war set down in the Geneva Convention did not apply to the “unlawful combatants” (i.e. terrorists) in the War on Terror.

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CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds

Doctors were asked to torture detainees for intelligence gathering, and unethical practices continue, review concludes

CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds

An al-Qaida detainee at Guantanamo Bay in 2002: the DoD has taken steps to address concerns over practices at the prison in recent years. Photograph: Shane T Mccoy/PA

Doctors and psychologists working for the US military violated the ethical codes of their profession under instruction from the defence department and the CIA to become involved in the torture and degrading treatment of suspected terrorists, an investigation has concluded.

The report of the Taskforce on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centres concludes that after 9/11, health professionals working with the military and intelligence services “designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees”.

Medical professionals were in effect told that their ethical mantra “first do no harm” did not apply, because they were not treating people who were ill.

The report lays blame primarily on the defence department (DoD) and the CIA, which required their healthcare staff to put aside any scruples in the interests of intelligence gathering and security practices that caused severe harm to detainees, from waterboarding to sleep deprivation and force-feeding.

The two-year review by the 19-member taskforce, Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror, supported by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the Open Society Foundations, says that the DoD termed those involved in interrogation “safety officers” rather than doctors. Doctors and nurses were required to participate in the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike, against the rules of the World Medical Association and the American Medical Association. Doctors and psychologists working for the DoD were required to breach patient confidentiality and share what they knew of the prisoner’s physical and psychological condition with interrogators and were used as interrogators themselves. They also failed to comply with recommendations from the army surgeon general on reporting abuse of detainees.

The CIA’s office of medical services played a critical role in advising the justice department that “enhanced interrogation” methods, such as extended sleep deprivation and waterboarding, which are recognised as forms of torture, were medically acceptable. CIA medical personnel were present when waterboarding was taking place, the taskforce says.

 

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Vendors await customers at their private imported clothing outlet, Havana, Oct. 5, 2013.

Vendors await customers at their private imported clothing outlet, Havana, Oct. 5, 2013.

 

 

Reuters

A government statement issued through official media said home-based theaters and video games will “stop immediately in any type of self-employment,” a local euphemism for small business.

The statement said “the showing of movies, including in 3D salons, and likewise the organization of computer games, has never been authorized.”

The government banned the private sale of imported goods last month, a measure that potentially affects some 20,000 small businesses and their employees who sell clothing, hardware and other goods brought in informally by travelers, some of whom visit the Caribbean island regularly carrying merchandise from the United States, Spain and Latin American countries.

President Raul Castro, who replaced his brother Fidel in 2008, has instituted a series of market-oriented reforms to Cuba’s Soviet style economy where the state still employs 79 percent of the five million-strong labor force.

“These measures are corrections to continue bringing order to this form of management, fight impunity and insist people live up to the law,” the government said on Saturday.

“In no way does this mean a step backward. Quite the contrary, we will continue to decidedly advance in the updating of our economic model,” it said, adding that would only be possible “in an atmosphere of order, discipline and obedience.”

The import ban has created a fury among entrepreneurs and the public who have tired of buying high priced and low quality clothing from state-run establishments.

Saturday’s closing of private theaters will add fuel to the fire as they have been overwhelmingly welcomed by the public.

Marlene, a Havana housewife, said her neighbor was planning to open a 3D salon.

“The state has no 3D theaters, so what is their problem. Sometimes the government seems to want to make our lives worse for the fun of it,” she said, asking her last name not be used.

 

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NBC News

Cuba shutters private theaters, threatens other businesses

 

Franklin Reyes / AP file

People watch a 3D movie at a private movie theater in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.

Cuba closed dozens of home-based movie theaters on Saturday and reaffirmed its plans to end the private sale of imported goods as communist authorities pressed for “order, discipline and obedience” in the growing small business sector.

A government statement issued through official media said home-based theaters and video games will “stop immediately in any type of self employment,” a local euphemism for small business.

The statement said “the showing of movies, including in 3D salons, and likewise the organization of computer games, has never been authorized.”

The government banned the private sale of imported goods last month, a measure that potentially affects some 20,000 small businesses and their employees who sell clothing, hardware and other goods brought in informally by travelers, some of whom visit the Caribbean island regularly carrying merchandise from the United States, Spain and Latin American countries.

President Raul Castro, who replaced his brother Fidel in 2008, has instituted a series of market-oriented reforms to Cuba’s Soviet style economy where the state still employs 79 percent of the 5 million-strong labor force.

“These measures are corrections to continue bringing order to this form of management, fight impunity and insist people live up to the law,” the government said on Saturday.

 

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NBCNEWS.com

Courtesy IHS Maritime

 

A shipment of weapons system components hidden in sugar containers was intercepted on its way from Cuba to North Korea after being searched on suspicion of drugs. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

A North Korean cargo ship was stopped near the Panama Canal and searched on suspicion of drugs, but it was carrying something sweeter — the apparent parts of a surface-to-air missile system, hidden inside containers of brown sugar.

The State Department said any shipment of arms or related material aboard the freighter would violate at least three U.N. resolutions.

The ship was on its way home from Cuba. Panamanian authorities said the captain of the ship tried to kill himself after officials boarded it Monday and began searching the containers that were supposed to contain the sugar.

The captain of the North Korean ship Chong Chon Gang tried to kill himself as the vessel was searched, according to Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli.

Independent defense analysts and U.S. officials said Tuesday that the equipment appeared to be a radar control system for surface-to-air missiles, and that the behavior of the crew suggested the equipment was being shipped covertly.

 

But Gordon Chang, the author of “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World,” said it didn’t matter what was in the cargo hold.

“What’s important is that the North Koreans were able to smuggle dangerous equipment into our hemisphere,” he said.

Panama said it seized the ship on suspicion of drugs as it headed for the Panama Canal. Reuters reported that Panama had also detained 35 members of the crew.

President Ricardo Martinelli went so far as to post a picture of the weapons equipment on Twitter “so that the world knows that you can’t transfer non-declared, war-like material through the Panama Canal.”

“The Panama Canal is a canal of peace, not of war,” he said.

A State Department spokesman said that the United States supported Panama’s decision to seize the ship and offered Washington’s help if Panama needs it.

Staff at IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, a respected military affairs magazine, said the picture appeared to show a radar system for surface-to-air missiles — specifically an RSN-75 Fan Song fire-control radar system for a family of missiles known as SA-2.

 

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Reblogged from  :   Family Survival Protocol – Microcosm News

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Interesting  how  quick  Washington is  to  claim adherence  to the  Constitution to  get their  way against a  Citizen  who  allegedly  violated  it.  While  all violations of  said  Constitution  by the  government against  it’s  Citizens is belittled  and  downplayed.  Isn’t  it  ? 

~Desert Rose~ 

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Fugitive Edward Snowden still at Moscow airport, says Russia’s Putin

Edward Snowden is still inside the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday – the first official word on the fugitive’s whereabouts in more than two days.

Putin said Russia has nothing to do with Snowden’s plans, and appeared to pour cold water on demands from Washington to hand him over to U.S. prosecutors.

“As regards handing him in – we can hand over foreign nationals only to a country with which we have an agreement about handing over criminals,” Putin told reporters at a press conference in Finland. “We do not have such an agreement with the United States.”

Russia and the United States have cooperated on similar exchanges in the past, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said at a briefing on Tuesday, adding that the U.S. has handed over “hundreds” of people in similar cases.

Confirmation of Snowden’s location added to speculation that Snowden is seeking permission to fly to Cuba then onward to another country – most likely Ecuador, to which he has already applied for political asylum.

Meanwhile, he remains beyond the reach of American efforts to extradite him – placing a strain on U.S. relations with Russia, Ecuador, and China, where irate officials have denied they assisted his escape from Hong Kong on Sunday.

No one had bought a ticket under Snowden’s name for a daily Aeroflot airlines flight from Moscow to Havana on Tuesday, airline employees told NBC News before the plane took off. The next flight to the island nation 90 miles from the U.S.  is scheduled to leave on Thursday.

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Republican-controlled chamber also limits president’s attempt to reduce nuclear weapons in version at odds with Senate bill

Detention center at Guantanamo Bay

The House voted down – by 249 to 174 – an amendment to close the naval detention centre by 31 December 2014. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a sweeping, $638bn defence bill that would block President Barack Obama from closing the US detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, and limit his efforts to reduce nuclear weapons.

Ignoring a White House veto threat, the Republican-controlled House voted 315-108 for the legislation – which also authorises money for aircraft, weapons, ships, personnel and the war in Afghanistan. It must be reconciled with a Senate version before heading to the president’s desk.

Despite last-minute lobbying by Obama counter-terrorism adviser Lisa Monaco, the House soundly rejected Obama’s repeated pleas to shutter Guantánamo. In recent weeks, the president implored Congress to close the facility in Cuba, citing its prohibitive costs and its role as a recruiting tool for extremists.

A hunger strike by more than 100 of the 166 prisoners protesting against their conditions and indefinite confinement has prompted the fresh calls for closure. Obama is pushing to transfer approved detainees – there are 86 – to their home countries and lift a ban on transfers to Yemen. Fifty-six of the 86 are from Yemen.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Flash Flood  –  Storms

1,900 Homes Damaged by Torrential Rains in Cuba

1,900 Homes Damaged by Torrential Rains in Cuba

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Flash Flood Cuba Province of Pinar del Rio, [Pinar del Rio-wide] Damage level Details

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Flash Flood in Cuba on Sunday, 09 June, 2013 at 16:47 (04:47 PM) UTC.

Description
The torrential rains in western Cuba over the past week caused “severe losses” to agriculture and damaged more than 1,900 homes in Pinar del Rio province, the hardest hit by the storm, official media said Saturday. Though authorities have not yet reported the total amount of damage, the local press estimated Saturday that more than 1,900 homes were damaged and another 437 are still underwater, while more than 2,600 people remain evacuated because of the floods. Corn, sweet potato, cassava, melon and cucumber crops suffered the principal losses, though still not quantified, while tobacco crops seem to have had no outright losses but have suffered “the ill effects of excess dampness,” according to the state-run National News Agency. Growers in Cuba’s so-called land of tobacco, Pinar del Rio, fear that over 13,000 tons of the leaf could be lost to damage from the humidity and the possible collapse of storehouses where the tobacco is dried.

Authorities of the province, located on the extreme west end of the island, called for immediate “recovery” action and eliminated the “alarm” phase established Wednesday due to the intensity of the rains that began last week as part of a wide low-pressure area over the extreme southeastern Gulf of Mexico. The downpours, which were later associated with the path of Tropical Storm Andrea to Florida, left an accumulated 422 millimeters (17 inches) of rain in six days, 188 percent more than the historical average of rainfall during the month of June in the region. Meanwhile dams in the province showed a rise in water level from 50 percent to 85 percent of capacity after the rains. Cuban media said this Saturday that there are no longer areas left incommunicado by the floods, and a large number of the more than 600 electrical outages reported have been fixed. Besides Pinar del Rio, rainstorms affected the western provinces of Artemisa, Mayabeque and La Habana.

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HISPANICALLY SPEAKING NEWS

1,900 Homes Damaged by Torrential Rains in Cuba

Photo: Torrential rains in Cuba

The torrential rains in western Cuba over the past week caused “severe losses” to agriculture and damaged more than 1,900 homes in Pinar del Rio province, the hardest hit by the storm, official media said Saturday.

Though authorities have not yet reported the total amount of damage, the local press estimated Saturday that more than 1,900 homes were damaged and another 437 are still underwater, while more than 2,600 people remain evacuated because of the floods.

Corn, sweet potato, cassava, melon and cucumber crops suffered the principal losses, though still not quantified, while tobacco crops seem to have had no outright losses but have suffered “the ill effects of excess dampness,” according to the state-run National News Agency.

Growers in Cuba’s so-called land of tobacco, Pinar del Rio, fear that over 13,000 tons of the leaf could be lost to damage from the humidity and the possible collapse of storehouses where the tobacco is dried.

 

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Chávez Dies, Leaving Bitterly Divided Nation

Egilda Gomez/Associated Press

Over nearly a decade and a half, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela built a political movement and a government that were centered on his outsize personality. More Photos »

By
Published: March 5, 2013

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela died Tuesday afternoon after a long battle with cancer, the government announced, leaving behind a bitterly divided nation in the grip of a political crisis that grew more acute as he languished for weeks, silent and out of sight in hospitals in Havana and Caracas.

 With his voice cracking and close to tears, Vice President Nicolás Maduro said that he and other officials had gone to the military hospital where Mr. Chávez was being treated, sequestered from the public, when “we received the hardest and most tragic information that we could transmit to our people.”

Mr. Chávez’s departure from a country he dominated for 14 years casts into doubt the future of his socialist revolution. It not only alters the political balance in Venezuela, the fourth-largest foreign oil supplier to the United States, but also in Latin America, where Mr. Chávez led a group of nations intent on reducing American influence in the region.

Mr. Chávez changed Venezuela in fundamental ways, empowering and energizing millions of poor people who had felt marginalized and excluded. But his rule also widened society’s divisions, and his death is sure to bring vast uncertainty as the nation tries to find its way without its central figure.

When a president dies, the Constitution says that the nation should “proceed to a new election” within 30 days, and that the vice president should take over in the meantime. The election is likely to pit Mr. Maduro, whom Mr. Chávez designated as his political successor, against Henrique Capriles Radonski, a young state governor who lost to Mr. Chávez in a presidential election in October.

But there has been heated debate in recent months over clashing interpretations of the constitution, in light of Mr. Chávez’s illness, and it is impossible to predict how the post-Chávez transition will proceed. Mr. Chávez was given a diagnosis of cancer in June 2011, but throughout his treatment he kept many details about his illness secret, refusing to say what kind of cancer he had or where in his body it occurred. He had three operations from June 2011 to February 2012, as well as chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but the cancer kept coming back. The surgery and most other treatments were done in Cuba.

Then on Dec. 8, just two months after winning re-election, Mr. Chávez stunned the nation by announcing in a somber televised address that he needed yet another surgery.

That operation, his fourth, took place in Havana on Dec. 11. In the aftermath, grim-faced aides described the procedure as complex and said his condition was delicate. They eventually notified the country of complications, first bleeding and then a severe lung infection and difficulty breathing.

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dies

Published on Mar 5, 2013

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died on Tuesday after losing the battle against cancer. The 58 year-old socalist leader had surgery in December of last year in Cuba and since his return to Venezuela last month, Chavez had not been seen or heard from. RT’s Liz Wahl and Lucy Kafanov bring us more on this breaking news.

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Hugo Chavez: Venezuela hits out at ‘historic enemies’ as leader’s condition worsens

Venezuela’s vice-president has accused the country’s “historic enemies” of infecting Hugo Chavez with cancer after the government admitted a grave worsening of the “Commandante’s” condition.

Hugo Chavez: Venezuela hits out at 'historic enemies' as leader's condition worsens

Mr Maduro accused one diplomat at the American Embassy in Caracas of running ‘destabilisation projects’ Photo: Reuters

By Girish Gupta, Caracas

6:53PM GMT 05 Mar 2013

Nicolas Maduro, the vice-president and Mr Chavez’s chosen successor, appeared on television to say that the collapse of leader’s health was down to an “attack” by outside forces.

Mr Maduro then accused the US of trying to exploit the power vacuum caused by Mr Chavez’s disappearance. The vice-president named one diplomat at the American Embassy in the capital, Caracas, accusing him of running “destabilisation projects” and giving him 24 hours to leave the country. Venezuela later announced the expulsion of a second US official for conspiracy.

“Special measures” were now in hand to prevent any “conspiracies” from succeeding, added Mr Maduro, who said Mr Chavez was undergoing his “most difficult hours” since he flew to Cuba for his fourth round of cancer-related surgery.

He spoke as generals, state governors and ministers gathered in “Miraflores”, the presidential palace in Caracas, apparently to prepare for further developments.

Earlier, a sombre communiqué had acknowledged the “worsening” state of Mr Chavez’s health. Ernesto Villegas, the information minister, appeared on television to say that a new respiratory infection had complicated the president’s cancer.

 

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Correo del Orinoco Engish Edition
Fri, 01 Mar 2013 14:18 CST

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced the heightening of measures against economic sabotage in the country last Friday after meeting with President Hugo Chavez, currently recovering from cancer surgery in the military hospital Dr. Carlos Arvelo in Caracas.

Maduro reported that the convalescing head of state gave orders to confront sectors of the Venezuelan private sector that through hoarding and price-hiking have been attempting to sow instability in the country.

“The President was very clear in saying that we have to increment the actions to confront the economic war that the bourgeoisie is waging against the people. It’s a real economic war and we must continue winning it”, Maduro said in a press conference.

Friday’s meeting with Chavez lasted for more than 5 hours and included the presence of Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, Science Minister Jorge Arreaza, Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas, and the head of the national intelligence service Miguel Rodriguez.

While details on the actions that will be taken against those members of the business community who engage in illicit activity were not forthcoming, Maduro said that they would be formulated “to favor the public and our national interests”.

For months, Venezuela has seen a shortage of some basic commodities as unscrupulous businessmen seeking to subvert government price-controls on staple products withhold the commodities from the shelves.

The products are then either sold on the black market at double the price or shipped illegally to Colombia as contraband. Many retailers are also taking advantage of a recent devaluation in the country’s currency, the bolivar, to raise prices exponentially.

Vice President Maduro said last week that his discussions with Chavez included proposals on how to limit inflation in the country, maintain economic growth and ensure food security for the population. “These are topics that will be decided upon and implemented in the coming weeks in order to strengthen agricultural and food production and solidify productive in-vestment as well as industrial development”, Maduro said.

The Venezuelan VP also suggested that many of the problems associated with the market in recent months have their origins in external interests. “The attacks against the economy in general have as their source the enemies of our country. Some of them have Venezuelan ID cards, others have documents from other countries”, Maduro imputed, adding that the conspiracy “will be dismantled”.

With respect to the health of President Chavez, the VP reported that the head of state is rigorously following his medical program. “The President is receiving his treatment. He has a problem with respiratory insufficiency that is being treated intensively”, Maduro informed. “He is making an effort with extraordinary spirits, with a smile and bright, vibrant eyes… We left [the meeting] full of energy and strength that we are passing on to the people”, the Vice President added.

Chavez was operated on in Cuba on December 11 after a relapse of the cancer that first appeared in his pelvic region in June 2011. He returned to Venezuela on February 18 and has since been receiving treatment at the Military Hospital Dr. Carlos Arvelo in the capital Caracas.

 

 

Earth Watch Report  –  Space

 

15.02.2013 Event into space Cuba Province of Cienfuegos, [Rodas area] Damage level
Details

Event into space in Cuba on Friday, 15 February, 2013 at 18:15 (06:15 PM) UTC.

Description
(Translated by Google, the information not confirmed!) In Cuba eyewitnesses living in a localitaa in the central region of the island have reported seeing an object that fell from the sky and exploded causing a roar that shook the houses in the place. This was revealed by the Cuban television, which at this time is spreading the testimonies of citizens. The witnesses, inhabitants of the province of Cienfuegos, the cameras have reported seeing a bright light, combined with a large flying object which then explode in the sky. Explosion in the sky in Cuba: a new meteorite falls to Earth? “Cuban specialists are examining the area for possible remains Rodas minerals falling from the sky, the TV station added.”

Celestial Object  Explodes  Above Cuba

RaiNews 24.it

(translation By  Desert Rose)

Per le strade di Santa Isabel de Las Lajas (Cuba)

Traffic on a  road  in  Santa Isabel De Las Lajas (Cuba)

 

 

Cuba, 15-02-2013

 

residents of central Cuba have stated that they saw an object that fell from the sky and that exploded with a great roar, that  shook the houses in the  area: Reports and  testimonies were  collected by local television.

 

In a sstatement issued this morning  in Rodas , municipality of the province of Cienfuegos, stating  the witnesses have described having  seen a sizable object with  very intense light  comparable to the headlights  of a bus, before exploding in the  sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esplode corpo celeste a Cuba

Vota:

Votata: 36volte,

Indice di gradimento: 4.38

Residenti di una località’ nella regione centrale di Cuba hanno dichiarato aver visto un oggetto che cadeva dal cielo e che è esploso con un grande fragore, che ha fatto tremare le case del posto: lo si apprende da testimonianze raccolte dalla televisione locale.

Per le strade di Santa Isabel de Las Lajas (Cuba)Per le strade di Santa Isabel de Las Lajas (Cuba)

Cuba, 15-02-2013

Residenti di una località’ nella regione centrale di Cuba hanno dichiarato aver visto un oggetto che cadeva dal cielo e che è esploso con un grande fragore, che ha fatto tremare le case del posto: lo si apprende da testimonianze raccolte dalla televisione locale.

In un servizio diffuso questa mattina da Rodas, comune della provincia di Cienfuegos, i testimoni hanno descritto una luce molto intensa che è arrivata ad avere dimensioni importanti, paragonabili a quelle di un autobus, prima di esplodere in cielo.

 

Earth Watch Report  –  Epidemic Hazards

2 18.01.2013 Epidemic Hazard Cuba Capital City, Havana Damage level
Details

Epidemic Hazard in Cuba on Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 at 17:19 (05:19 PM) UTC.

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Updated: Friday, 18 January, 2013 at 04:09 UTC
Description
Cuban authorities have confirmed that 51 people have become infected with cholera in the country’s capital, Havana. The Health Ministry says it is the largest outbreak of cholera in over 40 years. In an official communique, the Cuban government announced that health workers had reported a significant increase in the number of acute diarrhea cases in some parts of the city. Many of these cases were found to be among people with cholera. The Health Ministry says it has identified the source – an asymptomatic food vendor who had become infected in eastern Cuba during a previous outbreak of cholera. Asymptomatic means showing no symptoms. According to official Cuban media, health care professionals have been visiting dwellings door-to-door in Havana, checking for signs and symptoms of the disease in an attempt to stop its spread. A 46-year-old man died of probable cholera at the beginning of this month. There has been a considerable rise in the number of diarrhea cases in Havana. Restaurants and cafes have been closed in the center of the capital, where authorities have only allowed sealed foods and drinks to continue to be sold. According to Cuba’s National Center for Medical Sciences Information (Centro Nacional de Informacion de Ciencias Medicas), since Sunday January 6th, authorities detected an increase in acute diarrhea cases in the municipalities of Cerro (part of Havana) and then later in other parts of the city. Some of these patients had signs and symptoms that pointed etiologically to suspected cholera. This triggered the activation of the state’s anti-cholera program. Health officials wrote “The microbiological analysis performed by the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine determined that the causal agent was the enterotoxigenic bacteria Vibrio Cholerae O1 Tor, serotype Ogawa (with 51 cases confirmed to date).” Cuban authorities added that thanks to their emergency anti-cholera measures, the current outbreak is in the “phase of extinction”.