By Juventud Rebelde
Posted: Monday 26 March 2018 | 11:09:09 PM
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
In the first quarter of 2019, the Vietnamese Thai Binh Investment Trading Corp, which has been operating in the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM) since 2016, will start producing sanitary pads and disposable diapers.
In a statement to the Cuban News Agency, Vi Nguyen Phuong, director general of the consortium, said the factory, which is currently under construction, will produce 40 million diapers and 150 million sanitary pads annually.
The investment, which totals more than nine million dollars, aims to provide local consumers with high quality, Cuban-made items, said Thai Binh, a company that has been present in the country for almost 20 years.
To meet the growing demand from domestic customers, the company decided to expand its investment activities in the ZEDM, where it also plans to build a powder detergent plant with a capacity of 50,000 tons annually, the directive said.
He argued that this new project will be under the form of a joint venture, in partnership with the commercial company Industrias Nexus S.A. of Cuba, a proposal that they plan to submit to the Mariel Office next April to become operational in 2020.
Today, Vietnam is Cuba’s second largest trading partner in the Asia-Pacific region and its main supplier of rice. The two countries have a relationship of more than half a century, which will be strengthened by the visit to Cuba of Nguyen Phu Trong, secretary general of the Communist Party of Vietnam, from 28 to 30 March.
By Tania Rendón Portelles (ACN)
Tuesday, 17 July 2018 11:25
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
The protagonist of this story, Rosalba, may have several names, as there are many who, faced with an unexpected pregnancy, find themselves in the difficult situation of what to do: have a child or wait longer.
Many people in the home intervene and give their opinions left and right, and while Rosalba can hardly sleep and stress upsets her, she tries to listen to the views of each one to make the best decision.
Now, she regrets her own lack of care and that of her partner, and is afraid of using abortion as a contraceptive method, but at the same time, she has not yet planned or wanted to become a mother.
Rosalba will not be the first or the last woman between this three and two, and there is a question that she expects, without surprises, every time someone knows her condition: are you going to take have the baby or not?
In Cuba, contrary to other Latin American countries, social and moral acceptance of abortion, as well as its practice, is common.
The last National Fertility Survey was conducted in the Greater Antilles in 2009 by the National Statistics and Information Office. It highlights the high prevalence of these situations in Cuba, which has led specialists to say that these procedures are currently used as contraceptive methods.
In other words, abortion becomes an alternative to the non-use – or misuse – of different methods to avoid pregnancy.
Although the archipelago lacks an abortion law, its practice has been decriminalized since 1965. Up to 10 weeks of pregnancy you do not need to give any reason to opt for this practice.
The use of abortion as an alternative to avoid being a mother or having more children has also been due to the fact that medical professionals are safe and reliable to perform this procedure.
Here in the Caribbean nation, abortion or curettage is safe, comfortable and free, despite the discomfort it can cause in patients or the complications that sometimes occur.
Today, Cuban birth control is centralized from the primary health care level, which is a guarantee for any procedure in this regard. It includes counseling and family planning consultations, with the expectation of reducing unwanted pregnancy, maternal mortality, and infant mortality.
It is a strength for Cuban women their right to decide about their bodies. Specialists, however, warn that this practice should not become a common occurrence.
Even when school-based sex education campaigns are implemented, contraceptive methods are offered at very low prices, and it is emphasized that avoidance is best, there is generally little knowledge related to sexuality, especially among adolescents.
It is almost always women who decide whether or not to continue the pregnancy, partly because of their empowerment achieved and partly because of men’s lack of responsibility for reproduction and the consequences of unprotected sex.
It is also recognized that there are multiple causes involved in the decision to be a mother or to have more children. These include: unsuitable age for pregnancy, pregnancy very close to the last birth, ignorance, misuse, failures and limited availability of contraceptives, obstacles to personal projects, prejudice and poor material and family conditions.
Hence, the best method will always be protection, something that Rosalba understood very well, for whom the termination of her pregnancy was traumatic.
Whoever has gone through that tough time knows how difficult it is to make that decision, she shared with ACN.
It should also be noted that in Cuba, the illegal termination of pregnancy is criminalized, i.e., outside health institutions, as established by the Criminal Code since 1979.
Previously, since 1965, the procedure had been hospitalized, after many women died on the island due to poor home practices; however, in 1968, the official figures for abortion in the country began to be recorded.
There remain several questions which need to be answered, even in the face of the high number of abortions. A few are collected in a 2014 research study by the University of Havana:
To what extent has safe abortion and its social legitimization created a “culture of abortion” among Cuban women? Do they really know the risks involved in abortion? Do men and women receive age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and services? Is there awareness that prevention is better than action?
Despite the possibility of betting on safe and legal abortion, an inalienable right conquered by Cuban women as a result of the Revolution, this option does not eliminate its risks and consequences for women’s health.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
“Despite the unknowns, as far as we know, the recent increase in brain injuries suffered by several U.S. diplomats may have been caused not by sonic attacks from host countries, but by their own superiors at the Pentagon or by the CIA running some kind of undercover program to create super spies.
Such is the revelation contained in a study sponsored by the Strategic Culture Foundation, a Russian-based global think tank that has investigated the background to alleged acoustic attacks on U.S. diplomats, first in Cuba and more recently in China.
The study concludes that speculation Cuban and Chinese state agents may have used some sort of sonic weapon against U.S. diplomats falls further into the realms of fantasy and science fiction. The authorities of both nations deny the existence of such a weapon and any such activity in their territories. U.S. experts who examined their diplomats evacuated from Cuba found no causal explanation.
Significantly, however, the examination by U.S. doctors who studied the Cuban cases revealed that all individuals may have had a common experience related to their brain injuries.
Clearly, instead of speculating on the possibility that a foreign agency might have caused the ailments of US officials, who were known to be engaged in spying under diplomatic cover, they should have focused their suspicions on their own side. That is to say, to have specified whether these individuals had undergone any high-tech training directed by the Pentagon or the CIA.
It has been reported that the Pentagon’s Advanced Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is investigating brain stimulation devices to greatly improve the learning ability of its agents.
Last year, DARPA reported the successful use of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS) devices to increase cognitive skills in experimental monkeys. Subjects treated with such head-hooked devices were reported to show a significant increase in learning and intelligence compared to individuals who did not receive treatment. DARPA reported a 40% increase in learning capacity among macaque monkeys undergoing brain stimulation.
According to one of the program’s leading researchers: “In this experiment, we target the prefrontal cortex of the brain with individualized noninvasive stimulation mounts. That brain region controls many executive functions, including decision making, cognitive control, and contextual memory retrieval. It’s connected to almost every other cortical area of the brain, and stimulating it has widespread effects.
On the positive side, the Pentagon seeks to boost human intelligence and learning, which is nothing new. For decades, U.S. military intelligence agencies, as well as Hollywood in its science fiction films, have cherished the idea of harnessing the human brain and exploiting the increased levels of its intelligence.
But the quest for superior intelligence may well have unintended harmful side effects. Note that the Pentagon researcher cited above said that stimulation of the prefrontal cortex of the brain could have “far-reaching effects. These effects, in addition to increasing intelligence and learning skills, could be lethal, since the area of the target brain of the experiment is crucial for the control of “executive functions”.
The CIA is known to have carried out drug and hypnosis programs such as the famous MK-ULTRA in the 1950s and 1960s aimed at finding “super spies” and “super killers”.
It is also known that the Pentagon, in recent research, has been using electronic brain stimulation devices to improve the cognitive performance of monkeys. It is therefore conceivable that he has also carried out unpublished research experiments on human beings.
At no point during the investigative phase has any information been provided on the work assignments of the “diplomats” concerned in Cuba and China. They don’t even know each other’s identities. They were probably all involved in espionage duties.
It seems unlikely that the Pentagon or affected personnel will publicly declare that they were subjected to any brain stimulation devices. In any case, staff could easily be silenced by career warnings or other repressive, administrative or military methods.
July 19, 2018.