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      Cuba Removed From List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

      29 May 2015 (Prensa Latina)

      A Press Statement by U.S. State Department spokesman, Jeff Rathke, informed of Cuba’s official removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

      In the official statement, the State Department spokesman noted that “The 45-day Congressional pre-notification period has expired, and the Secretary of State has made the final decision to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, effective today, May 29, 2015.”

      Cuba has been included on the unilateral list drawn up by Washington since 1982.

      In the statement he also noted that the “While the United States has significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions, these fall outside the criteria relevant to the rescission of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation.”

      In order to come into effect, the decision must be published in the Federal Register (the daily newspaper of the Federal government), although the diplomatic office has assured that the decision is effective immediately.

      Venezuela Increases Teacher Salaries by 50%

      20 May 2015 (TeleSUR English)

      Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a 50 percent salary increase for public school teachers across the country.

      The Venezuelan leader said Tuesday that that the salary increase, which were proposed earlier this month, is part of a series of economic measures aimed to combat an “economic war" being carried out by right-wing sectors of society.

      Maduro went on to note that the Venezuelan education system is designed to protect teachers in exchange for their contribution and service to society.

      “Teachers are the treasure of the country because they are responsible for teaching the children of the future,” Maduro said. Venezuelan Education Minister Hector Rodriguez praised the measure and promised to provide all retired teachers with pension benefits by the end of this year.

      As part of the Venezuelan social welfare program, 39,000 of 85,000 retired teachers and school personnel received pension benefits in 2014; the rest will receive them in 2015.In recent years, the Venezuelan government has made domestic education a key priority within the country’s national development plan.

      In 2014, the Venezuelan State invested 6.9 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in education and technology. The United Nations Organization for Education, Sciences and Culture (UNESCO) ranked Venezuela as the country with second highest university student enrollment in Latin America.

      Cuban Medical Brigade in Nepal Attended More Than Two Thousands Patients

      25 May 2015 (Granma News)

      One month has passed since the devastating April 25 earthquake in Nepal, Cities lie in ruin and the number of victims has surpassed 8,600. Anxiety remains fixed on faces, since the country continues to experience aftershocks.

      On the night of May 12, the same night a severe aftershock hit the nation, 49 members of the Henry Reeve International Contingent Specialized in Disasters and Large Epidemics Brigade No.41 arrived in Katmandu.

      The landscape was disheartening, Dantesque, I would say. The country didn’t need nature to punish it this way. Those who managed to save their lives in the most affected areas have lost practically everything, including their most cherished loved ones,” Dr. Luis Orlando Oliveros Serrano, head of the Brigade, told Granma.

      The day after setting foot in Nepal, the Cuban medical brigade moved quickly to the area occupied by the National Center for the Study of Ayurvedic Medicine, as directed by the country’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, in accordance with plans made by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ advance team.

      The brigade immediately set up a field hospital, which Dr. Oliveros described, “This center adjacent to a hospital has a capacity of 20 beds and excellent anti-seismic properties. We have installed all the equipment we brought from Cuba. Since the 18th, we have been offering all of the services for which the brigade is prepared: an operating room, an intensive care ward, x-rays, ultra-sound, a laboratory, sterilization facilities, a pharmacy, rehabilitation and out-patient consultations.”

      Additionally, he reported, the brigade is offering primary care in areas severely damaged around Katmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, with teams of comprehensive family doctors and specialists traveling to communities where they have treated more than 2,000 patients.

      While tragedy continues to walk the streets in, hope is also present, in many cases in the form of a white coat. Dr. Oliberos comments, “Everyday we very humbly receive demonstrations of gratitude, as shown by the very behavior of our brigade.”

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