A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
President Donald Trump did not miss the opportunity and in a message for May 20 – that day when the Republic began in Cuba, mediated by a Platt Amendment that reduced its independence and sovereignty in favor of the United States and its geopolitical and economic interests – he expressed the hackneyed message about a country that claims to suffer under a “tired communist regime.”
So boring that it is not worth paying much attention to the statement on the official White House website.
However, that same Sunday, Hillary Clinton, his failed Democratic challenger, who still thinks and regrets the mistakes she made in the 2016 elections, spoke to the graduates of Yale University – her Alma Mater in law school – and was adamant in judging the situation in her country and the main value that the U.S. leaders have hoisted against Cuba as if we were suffering from it.
“Right now, we are living through a total crisis in our democracy,” the former secretary of state said. “There are no tanks on the streets now, but what is happening right now enters the heart of who we are as a nation. I say this not as a Democrat who lost an election, but as an American afraid of losing her country.”
Very serious in her assessment, Clinton said, “Our country is more polarized than ever. We ourselves have classified into opposing camps, and they divide how we see the world. There are more liberals and conservatives than there used to be and less centrists. Our political parties are more ideologically and geographically consistent…. There are more divisions of race and religion than ever before…”.
Roughly she said: “There are leaders in our country who shamelessly incite with hate speech, who fear change, who see the world in terms of zero-sum, where if some are winning, others must be losing. That’s a recipe for polarization and conflict.
An analysis of the speech at Yale shows that Hillary seemed sadder than angry and – not mentioning Trump at any point, everyone present knew that he was the target of the references – appealed to the trials of other American politicians. But the vision chosen is not flattering; what is more, it falls into the category of a worrying warning.
For example, she chose quotations from a new book by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Fascism: A Warning, and from two titles by Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University: In Tyranny and The Road to Freedom.
As is well known, Trump has attacked certain sectors of the press and accused them of being propagators of false news to the point that the term fake news is already recognised without translation in almost all languages, and the day before, in a tweet, he had described Mrs Clinton as ‘dishonest’.
“To abandon deeds is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis for doing so. If nothing is true, then everything is spectacle,” noted one of the former presidential candidate’s statements. That loudly sounding alarm was considered important by Mrs. Clinton, “because trying to erase the line between fact and fiction, truth and reality is a characteristic basis of authoritarianism.
And she didn’t limit herself to the opinions of Democrats, she also went to Rex Tillerson – who was recently appointed by Trump as Secretary of State – who, in a speech last week to the Virginia Military Institute, said that the United States was “on a path to renouncing our freedom,” if the leaders didn’t speak the truth. With pessimism to be reckoned with, Clinton said, “Maybe a little late, but he’s absolutely right.
And in today’s dissection of the United States, she continued: “There are certain things that are so essential that they must transcend politics,” and “evidence and facts that must alarm us all,” in what he called “waging a war against the rule of law and press freedom, delegitimizing elections, committing shameless corruption, and rejecting the idea that our leaders should be public servants undermines our national unity.
Of course, in the Clinton diatribe, the interests of a party, half-time in an election year lies behind, but the facts are the facts, and Hillary Clinton approached them from macroeconomic and social indicators: “You have learned that you don’t need to be an immigrant and be outraged when the father of a classmate… is unjustly deported” (…) “You don’t need to be a person of color to understand that when black students feel singled out and targeted, there is still work to be done. And you don’t need to experience the violence of a gun…. Enough is enough.
In the United States, children die in school because of the work and grace of an obsessive gun culture, dictated by the profits made by that industry and the politicians who respond to it because it fills their pockets. Trump is not the only culprit, but it is his turn to face it; however, it is far from his vision and interests.
More Americans die in these shootings than in the wars in which the empire is engaged, and no one doubts that life is the greatest of human rights.
A few days ago a black citizen was arrested for his Facebook messages against racist violence, and four students from the group that participated in an anti-gun demonstration in front of the office of Senate Chief Paul Ryan at the Capitol were also arrested, This clearly shows the lack of respect for freedom of expression that the empire’s administrator proclaims and protects its Magna Carta.
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, of the Southern District Court of New York, has just said that President Trump’s Twitter account is a public forum and blocking response messages with different opinions constitutes discrimination and violates the First Amendment to the Constitution; but a Justice Department spokesperson replied that they disagree with the court’s decision and is considering steps to be taken that will protect the president.
It was also reported that the National Security Agency (NSA), under the auspices of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), recorded more than 530 million phone calls in 2017, a dramatic increase in espionage from 151 million in 2016.
These are just some of the violations of those political and civil rights of American citizens, of the laws that privilege a government and a system of the rich and for the rich. Also, much can be said about the pressures, arm twists, unilateral sanctions, aggressions, wars and military interventions that call into question its self-given role as the perfect state, capable of judging and punishing others, and closing its eyes to its own domestic macro-problems and enormous flaws.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Actress Charlize Theron said she is considering leaving the United States for the sake of her two adopted children because she is concerned about racism in the country, where “she is much more alive than people thought.”
Separated from actor Sean Penn since 2015, the actress is the single mother of two children, a boy, Jackson (6), and a girl, August (2), adopted in South Africa.
Concerned about the issue of racism in the United States, she said that “it exists and is much more latent than people thought.”
“We can no longer deny it. We have to raise our voices. There are places in this country where if I were offered a job there, I wouldn’t take it,” he continued. “I wouldn’t take my kids to certain parts of America and that’s pretty problematic.”
Interviewed by Elle magazine, she said she has only her mother, Gerda, to help her raise her children. “I’m so lucky to have her, without her I’d feel so alone in all this,” she said.
“Many times I look at my children and tell them: if this continues, I will have to (leave the United States). Because the last thing I want is for my children to feel insecure,” added the 42-year-old star, born and raised in South Africa during the apartheid era in that country.
“They’ll have to know that it’s a different climate for them than it is for me, and how unfair it is,” the Oscar winner said of her children.
Theron is promoting her new comedy, “Tully”, which will be released on May 4.
On the other hand, in the cover interview for Elle magazine, Theron spoke about the difficult adoption process she faced.
“I never saw the difference between raising an adopted child and a biological child. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything,” he said. “It was always my first choice, even when I was in a relationship.”
The actress recalled that she suffered “a lot during the process”. “Among the hardest times in my life was when I filed the adoption papers; it really destroyed me emotionally,” she said. “There were so many situations that didn’t work and you get attached and you get excited and then you get devastated.
Theron remembered that she had always dreamed of adopting a child. “I’ve always been aware that there are many children in the world who don’t have families,” she said.
(With information from Ansa)
By Graziella Pogolotti
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The information panorama is beginning to show signs of preparations for the forthcoming commemoration of the fifth centenary of the founding of Havana. Many of us were eagerly awaiting this promising announcement, because the passing of time has left scars in a city endowed with unique values and the deterioration of the environment is inevitably reflected in the behaviour of the citizens who live there.
In this context, I think it is right to begin the urgent rescue operation with the restoration of order and cleanliness and to offer concrete answers to the most pressing demands of daily life in the neighborhood. Thus, from the grassroots level, it is possible to appeal to the committed and participatory action of the inhabitants.
The rediscovery of the urban values that have characterozed, through an incessant secular accumulation, the profile that makes the capital unique, cannot be postponed and is no less important. Eusebio Leal’s stubborn preaching has helped to place the heritage legacy forged in colonial times in the place it deserves.
In the remote days of its foundation, Havana was a disorderly agglomeration of adobe and wooden shacks, located next to the port, subject to devastating fires and the threat of the freebooters. With the passage of the fleets and the construction of the defensive system, streets were laid out and houses became larger. The image of the city was configured with its palaces in dialogue with the squares. Moderately baroque, the façade of the cathedral has a space of perfect proportions, open and intimate, like a theatre. After all, the need to preserve urban planning imposed the requirement to delineate regulations through municipal ordinances. Oriented in various directions, the roads, still in use, connected the centre of the city with the surrounding territories.
The expanding city grew westward in successive stages. In search of a more favorable climate, the wealthy built mansions next to the Calzada del Cerro. They would then go to Vedado, Miramar, Cubanacán. In the uninterrupted movement in space and time, stylistic and epochal marks crystallized. They form a treatise on architecture and urbanism, a vocation for modernity tempered by the local context.
The first Industrial Revolution unleashed, in the nineteenth century, the excessive growth of cities. Faced with the danger of a polluting proletarianization, Baron Haussmann made Paris the spectacular scene that we know today. The initial notions of urban design were being established, which has now become a complex transdisciplinary knowledge, aimed at restoring the human dimension to the habitat with the participation of technical knowledge for the management of construction, hydraulic infrastructure networks and waste disposal, adequate road traffic and the social sciences, particularly sociology.
With a modernizing will, Vedado was born presided over by a clear notion of integral urban design. The layout of the main avenues favored rapid communication with the city. Mandatory regulations determined the height limits of the buildings and the lawn area that separated the houses from the sidewalks, conducive to a lifestyle and gave a unique visual characteristic of the area.
In the middle of the last century, financial speculation over land value threatened to subvert the harmonious coherence of the whole. The Revolution was able to preserve its original character for many years, contrary to what happened in other countries where a predatory gigantism destroyed significant historical legacies.
The effects of the economic difficulties, from the special period onwards, partly lacerated the assets we had managed to preserve. Aside from legislation, improvised interventions appeared everywhere. However, in essence, the original imprint of the area remains. We are still in a position to safeguard it if we become aware of its value, because the very rich built heritage of Havana extends beyond the colonial zone. This is how the writers perceived it in some of the best pages of our literature, and it also manifests itself in the latent and underground memory of our popular music.
The approaching half-millennium poses an immense challenge. To assume it wisely and turn it into a collective will is a way of growing. It can’t all be done at once. It will have to be tempered as much as possible, according to the available resources. However, the most important thing, however, is to take into account the imminent while considering the perspective of the future based on the key factors that are unique to the region.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
In the political lexicon of the United States, since the presidency of Donald Trump, the mysterious concept of a “Deep State” has become fashionable. It’s understood as a kind of mystical adversary that the president’s cabinet must face.
The term has been used to refer to an allegedly secretly operating network of public officials working to prevent Trump from pursuing his policies. The expression is also used to allude to a de facto power of public employees whose stay in office is beyond the control of the president.
But its definition varies according to who uses it. It generally implies the existence of a secret and invisible nebula that operates from the bowels of government and that would be responsible for leaks of sensitive information from public offices, including those of intelligence and those of advisers and analysts directly subordinate to the President.
“The deep state has to stop with its shit,” Roger Stone, Trump’s old political adviser, told The New Yorker magazine on the eve of the president’s inauguration January 20.
He was referring to information published by The New York Times, citing U.S. officials, indicating that the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies were investigating Stone and other Trump collaborators for alleged links to Russia.
Stone denied having had such links, and blamed the “deep state” for the information disclosed.
Different media supporting the government have handled the concept, especially after it was revealed that the Micheal Flynn, Trump’s then- National Security Adviser, had withheld information about his contacts with Russia, which, according to the press, led to his having to resign shortly after taking office.
“The deep state never sleeps. It’s always doing something to undermine Trump’s administration,” said an article on Breitbart News, a right-wing Web site whose founder and former executive, Stephen Bannon, a controversial Trump trustee who was repeatedly accused of anti-Semitism and racism and who served as the White House’s chief strategist.
“The Deep State is here,” Ed Rogers, a Republican columnist in his Washington Post column, wrote a week earlier. “It is a worrying phenomenon to have the anti-Trump organizations and Democratic officials aligned conspiring to work actively against the government in office,” he said.
However, there is no shortage of analysts who reject the idea that in the US there can be a “deep state” acting in the shadows. “The term comes from a kind of conspiracy theory that does not capture what is a normal tension between bureaucrats who have been running political programs for years and who may want to change things themselves,” says Gordon Adams on BBC World.
According to many analysts, the “Deep State” actions that overwhelm Trump derive from the basic contradiction between the federal government and the invisible power of the military and corporations defined by former President Dwight Eisenhower as the Military-Industrial Complex. This tension is manifested, for the time being, as a confrontation between the White House and the intelligence community, in which the latter acts, by definition, in a reserved manner.
When he was Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon defined the government’s goal as the deconstruction of the administrative state, which he believed had been set up by the political left to defend its interests through bureaucratic regulations that must now be corrected.
“If you look at the cabinet appointments, you’ll see that they were made with a goal of deconstructing the administrative state,” Bannon said in a meeting with conservative politicians.
Proof of this is that many people chosen for Trump’s Cabinet have had conflicting positions with those traditionally assigned to the departments for which they were appointed.
For example, for the Environmental Protection Pgency, he chose someone with interests linked to the fossil fuel industry who doubts the existence of climate change. As Education Secretary, he selected a millionaire who is an enemy of public education and public schools. For the Health Department, he chose a doctor who believes that the problem is that “there is too much government involvement in health care.
There are those who appreciate that this conflict of interest between senior government officials and civil service officials supports the existence of a “deep state” operating against Trump as an unpredictable, ignorant person, one incapable of fulfilling the mandate of the dominant forces of the system… much less the mandate of the citizenry.
May 25, 2018.