Author: Redacción Internacional | firstname.lastname@example.org
January 30, 2018 03:01:42
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The signing of the Peace Agreement negotiated in Havana opened the doors of civilian life and political struggle to the FARC guerrilla, which is now a political party with the same acronym by which it was identified for more than a quarter century.
The Common Revolutionary Alternative Force recently launched its campaign for this year’s presidential and legislative elections. Timoleón Jiménez, leader of the former guerrilla secretariat, heads the list to occupy the Casa de Nariño [Colombia’s presidential palace}.
The Peace Agreement establishes that the FARC are entitled to ten Congress seats, regardless of their results at the polls.
USAtells its citizens to reconsider trips to Cuba, one of the safest countries in the world
Author: Sergio Alejandro Gómez | email@example.com
January 10, 2018 23:01:15
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Although Cuba is one of the safest destinations in the world, and meets all international standards, the United States on Wednesday recommended that its citizens “reconsider” possible trips to the Greater Antilles.
The State Department changed its old alert system with a ranking that places all nations on four levels, where the first only involves “taking normal precautions” and the fourth receives the warning “do not travel.”
Cuba, whose citizen security indicators are among the best in the region, was located at level three, with the suggestion of “reconsidering visits” because “there are serious risks to their safety and protection.”
Venezuela, Honduras, Haiti and Guatemala are among the Latin American countries given the same classification.
As on September 29th of last year, when an unjustified travel alert was issued against the Island, the argument used by Washington once again was the occurrence of alleged “attacks” against US diplomats in Havana, about which there is no any evidence.
“Because the safety of our personnel is at risk and we can not identify the source of the attacks, we believe that US citizens may also be exposed to danger,” says the Department of State website.
However, after months of both US and Cuban investigations, evidence to support the hypothesis of the so-called “acoustic attacks” is still lacking.
Three State Department officials acknowledged before a US Senate hearing last Tuesday that the causes and reasons for the health conditions alleged by their staff in Havana are still unknown.
Also, a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), cited by the Associated Press, argues that there is no evidence that “sonic attacks” have been carried out against US diplomats in Cuba.
On Tuesday, Josefina Vidal, General Director for the United States of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, criticized on Tuesday the State Department for continuing to use the word “attack” when it lacks evidence to support that.
“Cuba is a safe, peaceful and healthy country for Cubans, for foreigners, for accredited diplomats and for the millions of people who visit us every year, including the Americans,” said Vidal.
SAFER THAN IN THE UNITED STATES
Despite the unilateral measures taken by the administration of Donald Trump to strengthen the blockade and limit travel between the two countries, in 2017 there was an increase in visits by Americans to Cuba.
According to official figures from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, between January and November of last year 579 288 people traveled from the United States, for an increase of 248.7% in relation to 2016.
The increase in visits has occurred in a security environment, as recognized by travelers, specialized sites and tour operators.
«I have always felt safe in Cuba. I spent a month there recently and I felt more secure than in Los Angeles,” American journalist Walter Lippmann told Granma.
“Under the current law, it is still illegal for Americans to travel as tourists,” Lippmann recalled.“But anyone who visits the island, no matter the route, will find that they are in what is probably the most peaceful country in the world.”
Daniel Howell, a professor at the University of New York and a specialist in Cuban literature, told this newspaper that Cuba is objectively a very safe country, because there are almost no crimes, especially compared to the United States, which has one of the highest rates of highest violence in the first world.
According to figures from the Brady Center Against Armed Violence, about 93 Americans die every day from the use of firearms. Last year, one person killed 58 others in Las Vegas, using more than a dozen assault rifles that can be purchased without difficulty in that country.
“It does not make sense to recommend to Americans not to visit Cuba. I think they use the supposed sonic attacks to scare away tourists, but this does not make sense,” Howell added.
DISAGREE WITH THE MEASURE
Although Cuba was placed in one of the most negative categories, without the support of objective data, some lawmakers of Cuban origin reacted indignantly, expecting a worse rating.
“The Department of State should not minimize Cuba’s threat to American citizens. Lowering the level of travel warning to the Island is irresponsible, especially when there are still so many unanswered questions about the attacks against US diplomats in Havana, “Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a well-known supporter of the anti-Cuban ultra-right of Miami.
In her opinion, the new classification is less drastic than that of last September 29, when the US authorities, despite lack of evidence, said that their citizens “could be at risk of being victims of sonic attacks” and recommended abstaining from everything about traveling.
Michele Thoren Bond, an undersecretary of the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the State Department, was consulted on Wednesday in a teleconference.
“We made a careful examination, we consulted with our experts and this has been the conclusion regarding Cuba,” she said after pointing out that the new classification is not due to “a change in the situation on the island, but to the need to be consistent.” in classifications of risks in different countries ».
Quoted by several media, she explained that category four includes countries where there is “a high probability of life risks.” Eleven nations have that classification: North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Libya and Mali.
The legislators of Cuban origin, opposed to the rapprochement between the two countries, would be pressing for Cuba to appear in the fourth level and thus achieve an even more drastic reduction in the flow of people between the two nations.
Counseled by some of them, including Senator Marco Rubio, the Trump administration has already taken unilateral measures such as reducing the categories of approved trips and drawing up a list of products and places banned for Americans in Cuba.
In addition, under the pretext of the supposed acoustic attacks, the State Department reduced the personnel of its embassy in Havana to the essential and paralyzed the consular services. He also demanded the withdrawal of 17 Cuban officials from Washington.
These actions have a “high cost for our population, Cuban emigration and the American people,” recently reported Josefina Vidal. (With the collaboration of Ernesto Gómez, Dayron Rodríguez and Jeiddy Martínez)
By Alfonso Nacianceno firstname.lastname@example.org
January 26, 2018 22:01:19
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Firearm sales skyrocket whenever a massacre, like the one caused by Stephen Paddock on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, takes place in the United States. It’s a sad truth that weighs heavily on its population.
The 58 deaths caused by this 64-year-old retired individual who fired into a crowd of more than 22,000 concertgoers at a country music festival gave rise to angry protests against firearms. However, the tycoons who showcase their novelties in any of the three arms fairs scheduled for 2018 in the U.S. consider theirs a serious line of business. It’s marked by deals worth millions and millions of dollars that benefit the U.S. economy and which, therefore, they are unwilling to abandon.
Never mind the feelings of those who are still mourning over the horrifying deaths of so many people. They only expected to have an enjoyable evening. The U.S. gun industry held its biggest annual fair for four days, just a few miles from the killing fields. Despite the general public’s astonishment and annoyance, Shot Show featured its products along 20 kilometers of aisles, adding to a history of more than 40 events, half of them held in Las Vegas, according to an AP report about the characteristics of this mega-event.
Over 1,700 exhibitors signed agreements and made deals worth millions, whereas the organizers tried to placate peoples’ logical concerns by assuring us that only gun manufacturers and dealers were allowed into the premises, the firing pins were removed from all guns on display, and there was no live ammunition.
Beyond any arguments behind the appeals for calm, absent from the show this time was the company Slide Fire, the leading manufacturer of bump stocks —attachments that enable rifles to fire faster— an invention used by Paddock in the deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in U.S. history. The Texas-based company has not said why it was not among the exhibitors, nor has it confirmed its presence at the National Rifle Association (NRA) meeting.
Even if Slide Fire’s bump stocks were not on display, the show presented other accessories made to enable gun users to mimic fully automatic fire and reduce noise.
In the wake of the massacre in Las Vegas, and as discussions about gun control continue, Pennsylvania hosted the Guntoberfest gun show, another huge shop window with similar interests as those of Shot Show’s. In addition to this recent exhibition, they have already planned for another two meetings of rednecks, as gun industry leaders are usually nicknamed.
Marine West, devoted to displaying the state of the art in heavy military equipment, will have a venue in Anaheim on February 7 and 8. And April 9 to 11 will see the third of these conventions at Camp Pendleton, the major West Coast base of the United States Marine Corps.
Figures provided by the Centers for Disease Control of that country—also in charge of recording the number of deaths by firearms—reveal that 33,000 die of gunshots every year; two thirds of the annual 12,000 homicide victims are African-Americans; and people between the ages of 15 to 64 are more prone to suffer fatal accidents.
The American citizens themselves have coined two lapidary sentences to describe the situation of helplessness that they are exposed to every single day:
“There are more guns than people in the United States… Carrying a gun is as common as having a flowerpot at home”.