Cuba Observes International Yoga Day
• by Reno Massoby
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
This weekend the celebration of International Yoga Day took place in Havana. The activities took place in the Círculo Social Gerardo Abreu Fontán of this city.
Yoga is one of the most important legacies of our culture, and we are very proud that the United Nations has designated this day to celebrate it, at the request of the Prime Minister of India, Rajendra Modi and with the support of more than 170 countries, explained His Excellency Mr. C. Rajasekhar, Indian Ambassador to the Island.
From 9.00 am to 5.00 pm massive sessions were held and the physiological, therapeutic and ethical aspects of Yoga, which are becoming an effective remedy against everyday stress, were discussed.
Organized in coordination with the Cuban Yoga Association, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, International Yoga Day was also celebrated in 7 provinces of the country where the Association has its headquarters.
Parkland students’ pressure even reached the White House, where President Donald Trump met with several of them and their parents on Wednesday.
Author: Sergio Alejandro Gómez | firstname.lastname@example.org
22 February 2018 20:02:57
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Hundreds of young people, with tears in their eyes for the friends they lost and, also, although it may seem contradictory, for the good fortune of having survived; human chains guarded by the police evacuating the danger zone and Valentine’s Day balloons and teddy bears lying on the ground. Those were the images that toured the world after the massive shooting at a school in Florida that left 17 dead and about 20 injured on February 14.
Those same faces today throughout the United States are demanding “Never Again” about tragedies like the Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland and for the enforcement of stricter gun control laws.
“No matter how many people die. Legislators in power don’t take action,” Ryan Deitsch, one of the surviving students who met with legislators, told reporters.
Now is the time to get on the right side of this, because it’s not something we’re going to sweep under the carpet,” Emma Gonzalez told NBC News Meet the Press.
But what were isolated appearances in the media and spontaneous displays of pain, has become a whole movement that is already known by the label #NeverAgain.
The young people touched a sensitive fiber of public opinion and began to mobilize in city councils demanding a change in gun control laws.
They soon won tens of thousands of fans on social networks and made frequent appearances on national television. They also received millions of donations from celebrities like George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, and Steven Spielberg to fund future demonstrations.
A march is being called in Washington for March 24, which they hope will have a national repercussion.
Its impact is greater than previous initiatives, since the voice of young people comes in the midst of a politicized scenario in which the issue of arms is diluted in political conflicts and economic interests that go beyond the traditional parties.
The legitimacy of the lawsuits, which in many cases come from the families of victims or survivors of the massacre, are putting politicians like Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who has received more than $3.3 million from the National Rifle Association (NRA) to buy his votes on the weapons issue, on the ropes.
During a public assembly in Sunrise, Florida, the father of one of Parkland’s victims challenged Rubio to tell the truth and acknowledge that “guns were a factor in his son’s death.” Rubio tried to sneak away and responded that if he believed that a ban on assault weapons “would have prevented this from happening, he would have supported it.> His response was booed by the audience.
Then, student Cameron Kasky told the senator, “It’s hard to look at you and not see the barrel of an AR-15 and not see Nikolas Cruz,” referring to the assault weapon used in the shooting and the 19-year-old perpetrator, who acquired the rifle legally despite a history of violence. “Can you tell me right now that you won’t accept a single donation from the National Rifle Association?”, she added.
Parkland student pressure even reached the White House, where President Donald Trump met with several of them and their parents on Wednesday.
The president was pressured to declare that he will seek “solutions” to the problem.
But so far, some of his ideas are on the way to authorizing teachers to carry weapons in schools and be more severe with the background check of prospective buyers.
That is precisely the vision that the NRA supports to divert attention from the main problem that American students now denounce:”guns are not only a variable of the situation, but they are the key to the problem.”
RAZONES DE CUBA [clearH=10]
“Did you smoke marijuana and want to go to war? The Army allows it .“ That is the call or promotional announcement that the Latino press recently began to reproduce in the US, as part of a broader recruitment effort for the military.
This was the title of a recent report by the Miami newspaper El Nuevo Herald, where it is announced that, given the order to increase the number of US military personnel. and the increase in the number of North American states that have legalized or decriminalized the use of the herb, the Army will grant exemptions to those who have consumed that substance and want to enlist in military adventures of the superpower.
According to the rep[ort, the number of exemptions granted by the army to marijuana smokers amounted to half a thousand this year compared to 191 in 2016. He adds that this type of flexibility was not granted for three years and it’s justified by the need to fulfill the order to increase the forces that the White House has given. The army added that almost 69 thousand recruits this year, some 6,000 more than in 2016.
The only requirement is that addicts have to commit not to use the drug while serving in the armed forces. “As long as they understand they can not do it while doing military service, I’ll give them all the exemptions they want,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Snow, head of the army’s recruiting command.
He added that exemption figures will increase as the states where the drug is allowed increases. Currently, in eight, the possession of marijuana is legalized and in 13 other states, it has been decriminalized, which means that the possession of a small amount is the equivalent of a traffic infraction or another minor crime that is not punishable by jail. Another 29 together with the national capital and the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam allow consumption for therapeutic purposes.
According to the report, recently Congress and other areas have expressed concern about the drop in the quality of new recruits. Army data reveal that more than 8,000 recruits received exemptions in 2017, compared to 6700 last year, mostly for reasons of physical or mental health.
In this sense, it stands out that the exemptions for marijuana use represent 25% of the total of those granted for misconduct in the fiscal year that ended on September 30. They also represent 50% of the general increase in exemptions granted to those who needed it for some type of misconduct.
In addition to the poor quality of recruitment, it is suspicious that armed forces that have been accused in the past of having a “hallucinogenic arsenal” that they have used in recent wars to manipulate their own forces, the civilian population, and its adversaries, so it is betting on the massive use of addicts for future war adventures.
According to the book “Drugs in war”, by Polish author Lukasz Kamienski, the Vietnam war was “the first real pharmacological war” with consumption among US military personnel that reached levels never previously seen. The study points out that in 1973, the year of US withdrawal from the Asian country, 70% of the soldiers took some drug, be it marijuana, dexedrine, heroin, morphine, opium, sedatives or hallucinogens.
He points out that no less outlandish have been later US projects. like the one to bombard enemy forces with pheromones to sexually uncontrol the soldiers or the one to use viagra with the members of their own special forces to make them more aggressive. Pheromones are chemical substances that cause specific behaviors in other individuals.
The Polish scholar describes as hypocritical that there are “very restrictive anti-drug policies … and in other cases official policies of distribution of these substances to soldiers in war”.
The call for marijuana addicts to enter the US Army triggers alarms when military budgets increase to exorbitant levels, when Washington establishes a foreign policy of threats of extermination against its enemies, of sanctions against adversaries and superpowers, of revenge and reprisals, and the executive’s capacity for strategic leadership is questioned.
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