Fidel Jr. Back in the News

Seeks closer ties with major Russian city

By Felipe Pagliery  (Progreso Weekly) 

Fidel Castro Diaz Balart
Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart and Ambassador Emilio Losada García meet with Novosibirsk Mayor Anatoly Lokot.

HAVANA TIMES – Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, the Cuban leader’s eldest son, met Friday (March 27) in Novosibirsk with the city’s mayor, Anatoly Lokot, and the region’s governor, Vladimir Gorodetsky, to discuss closer relations between Cuba and the region in general and its scientific institutions in particular.

[The visit to Russia by Fidelito, as he is known in Cuba, comes a month after his encounter at a Habano cigar party with US billionaire Paris Hilton in Havana.]

Castro was accompanied by the Cuban ambassador to Russia, Emilio Losada García, and the first secretary of the Cuban Embassy, Daniel Carrasco Vivanco.

Vladimir Gorodetsky
Vladimir Gorodetsky

During their stay in Novosibirsk, the Cuban representatives toured the scientific center known as the Novosibirsk Technopark, the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science (SBRAS), the Institute of Chemical Biology and Basic Medicine of the SBRAS, and Novosibirsk State University (NSU). They also met with representatives of the city’s scientific community.

The city of Novosibirsk is in southwestern Siberia. It is Russias third-largest city, after Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Castro, 64, has a background in nuclear physics, having studied in the former Soviet Union at Moscow’s Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy. He holds two doctorates in science and is scientific advisor to the Cuban government.

Castro told his hosts that the Novosibirsk region is of great interest to Cuba in several areas, especially the development of biotechnologies and metallurgy.

This was his second visit to Novosibirsk since the mid-1980s, Castro told the press. At that time, “we toured Akademgorodok [the region’s scientific center] and met with physicists. I got a very good impression from the city and the people.

Cuban ambassador to Russia Emilio Losada García with Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart.
Cuban ambassador to Russia Emilio Losada García with Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart.

“Like last time, our greatest interest today is Akademgorodok, with its bio- and nano-technology research and innovative projects. We are also interested in the training and exchange of researchers.

“In a new phase, we intend to expand cooperation in science, industry and business. Your background and experience constitute a good basis for the establishment of joint projects.”

Several decisions were made at the meetings, among them

— an exchange of specialists in crude oil extraction and refining;

— a study by the Novosibirsk health authorities of the advances in medicine developed in Cuba, and greater cooperation between Havana and Novosibirsk in the field of health care;

— the presence of a Novosibirsk delegation at the Havana International Fair in November;

— Cuba’s participation in the international expositions held in Novosibirsk;

— increased tourism from the Russian city to the Caribbean island, and expanded cultural and educational exchanges;

— greater cooperation in all fields of endeavor, an effort that Ambassador Losada called “a priority.”

Mayor Lokot said that he would be happy to designate Novosibirsk as a sister city of Havana. Alluding to the recent contacts between Cuba and the United States, he pointed out that Minneapolis and St. Paul have been Novosibirsk’s sister cities since 1989.

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31 thoughts on “Fidel Jr. Back in the News

  • Talk about going off on a tangent! What does your response have to do with my post?

  • Over at Thorntree, Cuba Branch, there was a recent discussion about living conditions in Cuba. A recent, first time, visitor reported that in effect Cuba was a Third World hell hole. This generated dozens of replies from regular visitors to Cuba, many of whom also often travel to other nations in the Caribbean, Central- and South-America, Africa, South- and South-East Asia, etc. For the most part, in comparison with typical Third World nations, for example, Indonesia, they reported that daily and typical life of most Cubans is much better. Sure, they don’t live on the level of the First World, but much much better than most of the so-called “Free World” countries they visit. Many of the folks who reported this are no fans of the Cuban Revolution, either. Nevertheless, they are honest in their assessments.
    I have visited, and even stayed with, Cuban friends whose daily living situation runs the gamut from truly distressed to First World standards (even w/in the same family, with two brothers living in squalor, but their two sisters with homes on the levels of the First World (i.e. nice furniture, Haier refrigerators, newer stoves, stereos, flat-screened tv’s, CD players, nice decor, recently repainted, etc. etc.) The conditions which tie the Cubans with better standards of living together is that (a) they are ambitious, and work on the side, in addition to their $20/month state job (or are self-employed, either part- or full-time) or (b) they have family members living abroad (Mexico, Spain, Italy, France, the U.S., Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil or Canada) who send remittances
    home. If there is one big problem, it is that after a half-century of working for the state (“The State pretends to pay me, and I pretend to work!”), many folks lack either the ambition, or the imagination, to figure out alternatives. One friend who is constantly complaining about his poverty-sticken state really does have talents which, if put to use, could give him a far better life. (He knows all about medicinal herbs. I’ve given him a camera and suggested he take fotos of them as he walks down the street, write up a page on each, put them into a book and self-publish it. Unfortunately, he seems locked in negative mode.
    One of the principal errors of the Revolution was to abolish mid-sized and small businesses in 1968. Fortunately, this error is in the process of being rectified.
    What you (implicity) call for is democracy, but it is really “demockracy,” in that its nature has been utterly subverted here in the U.S. by the wealth and power of the big corporations and the “to big to fail” investment banks who have successfully bought most politicians, especially on the national and state levels. Any student of history can tell you this has happened time and again, beginning with the Greek city-states (and probably long before them, but lost in the sands of time), going up through the Roman Republic, and continuing to our own times. At least in the U.S. real wages (adjusted for inflation), with minor dips, kept going up from the founding of our nation, in1776, until the early 1980’s. The last 35 years, though, have seen a dramatic redistribution of the wealth towards the top 1% at the expense of the American middle- and working-classes. Ditto in politics. With what it now costs to mount a campaign, all but the most wealthy, or those backed by the $$$ of the large multi-national corporations, can forget about obtaining political office–and power. Although Cuba is no New Jerusalem, nevertheless, even with its one party state, it contains more real democracy, and the potential for real democracy, than the U.S.

  • I see you know very little of Cuba and it’s history. It’s evident in your posts.

  • Hahahahaha

  • Your generosity is welcome and needed.
    The sad part is that it was Castro style socialism that drove Cuba to the ground and made it a beggar country.

    I find it interesting that those who are well off are looking to move to Cuba and those who are suffering in Cuba are looking to leave.

    Its a never ending wonder to walk into a supermarket with someone newly arrived and watch as they stare in wonder at all the fresh produce.

    I council you against moving to Cuba. As a foreigner things may be easier for you. But there are many hardships due to scarcity that even money cant solve.

  • Fidel is the best thing that ever happened to Cuba,the cause of the disaster in Cuba is the country you chose,AMERICA, you traded your honor for disaster,America is the cause of hardships in your excoubtry, started with Kennedy, but true to honor Cuba survived, so your parents left and took you to the land of opportunity,do you hear gun shots every night? lots of coke in your hood? how are your kids doing?I’ve been to Miami and all over Cuba, I’ll take Cuba any day,

  • So you now are part of the great country, congratulations,why do you question my visits to Cuba? I have been there at least 25 times, and yes I see the hardship,on my last trip last month I brought 40 pairs of childrens’shoes and when I leave, all I bring back is Rum and cigars,I donate all my clothes to the locals,not the workers at hotel but locals in the hills and also very generous with money,my wife and I look forward to our 2nd home, we call.I would love to live in Cuba,enjoy your new country ,good luck

  • ummm Bruno….I am Cuban. I lived the disaster that is your fantasy. I came to Miami with my parents when I was young. And I’ve been back to visit family. But I see the real Cuba, the hardship behind the Potemkin Village put out for the tourists.

    It’s sad that the revolution destroyed Cuban culture. If you want to experience Cuban cuisine, it’s a sad truth that you need to visit Miami. Not only are many of the ingredients no longer to be found in Cuba, many of the recipes have been forgotten there (it makes me cry) Try and get “Tasajo” or “rope vieja” in Havana….

    ….Funny moment about America you make. Because Cubans LOVE Americans, and everything American. It’s why they keep coming here

  • Really emagicmtman…how can you say that with a straight face? Russia and China a “positive” force in the world? How so?

    You believe these two countries, which persecute their citizens (Russia jails and murders critics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia) prevent free access to information….literally “rewrite” history (as in the case of the Tiananmen Square massacre) This is the force you consider good?

    …at least you got one thing right. You placing a question mark in “the triumph of the revolution?”, as it was no triumph at all! It destroyed my country and it’s rich culture.

    Ahhhh. If only Jose Antonio Echeverria had succeeded in his 1957 attack on the presidential palace, Cuba would never have been saddled with the disaster that was Castro!

  • Yikes! Has it been 56 years since I saw both the young Fidel and the even younger “Fidelito,” in their suite at the Habana Hilton (later the Habana Libre) being interviewed by Edward R. Murrow only a few months after the triumph of the Revolution? [A film of the interview is posted on YouTube.]
    In the long run re-establishing links with the Russians is both prudent and perceptive. Russia, China, and others are beginning to form a new bloc which, if successful, will be a positive force in the world.

  • Just because you can’t visit Cuba for UNKNOWN reasons, why question someone who can and does and did,and why am I wasting my time writing to someone who’s never been there? I commented I’ve been at least 25 times,twice this year and oh yes, when I travel I make sure I wear a Canadian Emblem so as not to be thought to be AMERICAN !!

  • What Cuba did you visit? Even if you’ve never been there, which despite you comments I suspect you have not, you need only look at pictures of Havana to see how Fidel has run the country into the ground.

  • I just gave you a nice reply on how many times I’ve been to Cuba,you must have missed it.You’re the one who said you used to live in Cuba in your answer to Dan.

  • Re-read it. I am talking about YOU.

  • Not by your previous letter, you stated you’d never been there, read it !!

  • At my casa particular in central Havana, the lights go out at least once every two weeks. Don’t be so sure about who has visited more often. I used to live in Cuba.

  • I used to live in Cuba genius.

  • Still way less than good old USA

  • For someone whos’ never been to CUBA, you seem to know a lot about that beautiful country and their HONEST AND CARING PEOPLE. I AM NEITHER LYING OR DELUSIONAL
    although you sound like you are.Typical American attitude

  • Moses, mentiroso. I spend more time in Cuba than you, and beat you there by ten years. I can’t remember the last apagon I’ve seen – and you call them common place ? Save your cataclysmic descriptions for less informed, more brainwashed audiences. They’re very easy to find.

  • You better check the murder rate again in Cuba. Far from “nil”.

  • Soooo….not having toilet paper and collapsing buildings is “doing well”? Electrical blackouts and transportation disasters are common place and that’s “doing well”? Have you visited a Cuban classroom? How old were the textbooks? How many computers did you notice? I’m guessing that you are either lying or delusional. By the way, I’ll match passports stamps with you to count how many different countries any day.

  • Manuel, better tell the WWF and Greenpeace about Fidel’s environmental destruction, not being as well informed and objective as you, (ahem), they seem to believe that Cuba is among the more environmentally conscious countries. By the way, how are the Guatemalan and Jamaican nanotechnology fields these days ?

  • Oh yeah ? Then why is Cuba everywhere you look these days, including the cover of the last issue of TIME ? Just wait until the Yumas see Cuba for themselves. Even though on average they have absolutely no comprehension of the conditions or history of Latin America, when they see that Cuba is not the Communist hellhole they have been lied to about for 50 years, they might start putting 2 and 2 together.

  • Probably just another island to you and I hope it stays that way,and many Americans travel to Cuba and enjoy good cuban cigars and good rum,you really should try it,on second thought with your answer and attitude.STAY HOME BTW your own country is also collapsing,murder rate in Cuba? nil compared to USA, no guns,low crime,good education , hot ladies,and heavy penalties for drugs, again maybe you should stay home

  • Ohhhhh you are so wrong, I started going to Cuba in the 90’s,been there at least 25 times and plan on going until AMERICAN INFLUENCE takes over and returns it to the W—house
    before Fidel kicked out the Americans,best place in the world, safe polite,sure they are hurting but look at your own country,crime is nowhere you have in your country, education ? A-1 I suspect you’ve never travelled anywhere except for a war zone.

  • The top story in the Siberian Times was headlined: “Fidel Castro Sent to Siberia.” Oh, consummation devoutly to be wished! In permafrost, I thought for a moment, waiting to be resurrected with other mastodons? No, alas, it is his son, namesake and spitting image, Cuba’s premier niño bitongo, now 66 years old. (Coincidentally, that is also Prince Charles’ age. Well, at least Charles is still the heir apparent; Fidelito is not even the heir presumptive).

    Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, scientific adviser to the Council of State and former head of Cuba’s (failed) nuclear program, was supposedly sent to Siberia to strengthen “economic and academic” ties between Cuba and Siberia. The story noted Fidel père’s special interest in this project.

    The story did not, however, mention Cuba’s historical ties to Siberia, which actually do exist thanks to that amazing artificer of ties between unrelated countries which nonetheless share totalitarian affinities, the real basis of all “solidarity” and “internationalism” in the Communist underworld. During the 1980s, Cuba sent 30,000 Cuban lumberjacks to Siberia to replace the aging denizens of the Gulag and complete the great work of deforestation begun by Stalin and replicated by Castro in Cuba. That, at least, was the official version of the story. How apt Cubans were for such work in subzero temperatures has yet to be explained, or whether Cuba’s prevailing interest in this fraternal enterprise was disposing of yews or disposing of “Jews” (i.e. Cubans).

  • Sorry man,the average American could care less about Cuba. It’s just another Island in the Caribbean.
    Cuba is crawling to the USA begging to be taken back into the fold as its sugar dady Venezuela is collapsing

  • BRUNO writes, “and is doing quite well without the American influence”. Bruno, I am guessing, knows very little about Cuba and has likely never been there.

  • Guess the American embargo to Cuba has America wiping egg off their face,Cuba survived and is doing quite well without the American influence, although it would be better for both countries if a truce were declared, but what to do about the ELEPHANT in the room called ‘GITMO’ I remember Obama saying, ‘I WILL CLOSE DOWN GUANTANAMO PRISON IN ONE YEAR’ Anyone remember that ?
    Just sayin !!!

  • My Guido was a Cossack and the blacksmith of the sword making, his swords were blessed. He was a leader in his community and sang Russian songs on the radio and at weddings . Those ties were cut when he died of a botched surgical procedure.He spoke seven laguages and believed in unifieing the slavic languages.
    Today Russians here are because of hate propoganda in denial and too out numbered , the invading secret society is guilty of hate and war crimes not to mention there sodomistic views.
    That said , I for one am shouting from the roof tops with only God at my side,
    Probably one of the few remaining, I do get comfort from the natives aboriginals,
    who shared with Russians peace and tranquility these lands for thousands of years.
    I appreciate this story because maybey all hope is not lost for the Russian and Natives who were communists and kept things real free from Demonacracy that plagues my life.
    Thank You

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