Sunday, December 25, 2005

Cuba Has New Reasons to Celebrate

Havana, Dec 25 (Prensa Latina) Cubans begin to celebrate as of Sunday the 47th anniversary of the Revolution, with new reasons including higher incomes and employment facilities, as a sign of a rising economy despite the US blockade.

Since early morning, recreation activities for all tastes and ages, including 450 artists and musical groups, will be carried out in the area surrounding the Jose Marti Revolution Square, in Havana.

An increase in the Gross Domestic Product, 11.8 percent in 2005, is also a bright indicator meaning progress in services, mainly in the public health field, with doctors from the Island collaborating with more than 60 nations.

Tourism has bright prospects, too, as this past year the country received 2.3 million foreign visitors.

Minimum wages, pensions and social security payments were increased this year, benefiting more than five million people.

There are also new initiatives under test to develop the electric power system, which are based in saving and efficiency, a revolution that will mark year 2006.

The Island moved forward despite the battings of three hurricanes and the worst drought in the last one hundred years.

It was a period of impressive results vis a vis the dangers of an increasingly hostile US policy and even higher oil prices.

Meanwhile, the victory in the UN, with 182 votes for a Cuba-proposed resolution against the US blockade, is another reason inspiring Cubans to celebrate.

It meant the most categorical international rejection of these stepped-up unilateral measures imposed by the US.

Also in 2005, at least 5,000 intellectuals from around the world, including eight Nobel Prizewinners, declared themselves to be against Washington attempts to condemn Havana in the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Surveys show that the triumph of Evo Morales in Bolivia and recent achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela also encourage Cubans as they see other rays of hope in the South.

The New Year will also mean challenges in consolidating the economic upward trend and several social projects.

It will be another year of struggle for just causes, including the release of The Five anti-terrorist Cuban fighters held in US prisons.

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