By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
On October 7, the American magazine Vanity Fair was awarded by the Tel Aviv regime with the exclusive right to a story about the Israeli special police force YAMAM. Today it one of the most sinister anti-terrorist units in the world because its repressive tactics have given it an unarguable prestige.
Under the signature of Adam Ciralsky, the publication included on October 7 a report entitled “From inside the most secret antiterrorist operation…”. The author relates his arrival at a fortified complex in the Ayalon Valley, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where YAMAM is headquartered.
That’s where a gang of anti-terrorist operatives, whose work for four decades has been shrouded in impenetrable secrecy. The journalist crossed through a uniformed Israeli border police combat post and entered an explosion-proof shed where his credentials were scanned, his electronic devices locked up, and a counterintelligence officer gave them a warning sermon.
“Don’t reveal our location,” “don’t remember our faces,” “forget our names,” and “try to forget everything you see,” were the basic instructions.
YAMAM is part of Israel’s national police. It is not subordinate to the Israeli army or Mossad (Israel’s CIA) or Shin Bet (Israel’s FBI). Its situation in Israel’s organization chart is more like Britain’s M.I.5, although recently the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has blurred some of the dividing lines between the tasks of these agencies. YAMAM’s main task, according to the hosts, is to thwart terrorist plans, engage with opposing militants during attacks, combat so-called crime syndicates and prevent border incursions
YAMAM is considered the most qualified agency of its kind in the West to confront a war of espionage. The organization has devised new methodologies to respond to terrorist incidents and mass shootings, which, until now, it only shared with a few of its politically-related counterparts around the world.
At a time when veterans of the so-called Islamic State or ISIS are attacking Western targets outside their strongholds in the Middle East, their expertise is in high demand. Increasingly, the world’s top intelligence and police chiefs are turning to YAMAM (the Hebrew acronym for “special police unit”).
Yet Israel, which, as an occupying power, faces international condemnation for its unequal war against the Palestinians, boasts that some senior government officials who are very critical of Israel on the world stage have begun to ask them for help with their most intractable security problems.
And now the Israeli regime has evidently felt that the time has come to share its experiences with other countries, for its own benefit of course.
The main objective assigned to YAMAM is to thwart terrorist plans against the government before they occur, to involve the military during attacks, to combat “crime syndicates” and to prevent border incursions. In contrast, the military forces are often called upon to confront protest demonstrations in the West Bank, using what human rights activists call exaggerated force.
But protests along the fence separating Israel from Gaza, said to be organized by Hamas, are met only by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) outside YAMAM. It is these IDF forces that are generally accused of killing unarmed Palestinians, according to Ciralsky,
When Hamas sends rockets or balloons carrying weapons to Israel, or when it launches rockets, it is the IDF that responds with devastating air strikes. Occasionally, members of YAMAM participate in these attacks, although to a large extent they play a secondary role.
For a year, the author and his team traveled to train and exchange tactics with their U.S., French and German counterparts in areas such as the retaking of passenger trains, frustrating suicide attacks, and disarming men armed with grenades or bombs.
YAMAM’s technology includes robots and drones, and dazzles the uninitiated. But so do the statistics: YAMAM performs an average of about 300 missions a year in which its commandos have prevented the explosion of no less than 50 “time bombs” carried by suicide bombers en route to their targets and hundreds of other attacks in early stages.
YAMAM is a lamentable manifestation of the most modern technology designed as part of the Israeli genocide against Palestine, a nation whose people legitimately aspire to their sovereign space.
October 25, 2018.
This article may be reproduced by quoting the periodical POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Posted: Saturday 07 May 2016 | 08:43:03 pm. Updated: Friday 22 September 2017 | 12:03:16 am.
By Juana Carrasco Martín
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The electoral campaign in the United States is reaching its climax in the selection of candidates by the two big parties. It’s a system that hides behind the spectacle their supposedly being defenders of the same interest, that of big capital, of the world of finance, of the arms industry, of the polluting sectors of the earth’s climate, of the exploiters of the workers of the courtyard and of the wealth and goods produced by professionals, workers and peasants in a good part of the world, where the transnationals of the empire plunder and intervene.
However, made invisible by the media that are part of the show, there are small parties, not infrequently persecuted, ignored, and excluded, that take the real interests of the working people to the streets and to the ballot boxes where it is possible to reach these workers.
A woman, small in her physique, with an easy smile, and simple words, convincing and firm, is the bearer of that other face, which is not exactly of the same coin. On the contrary, she reveals and denounces what actually happens in the United States this 2016.
Alyson Kennedy is a presidential candidate for the Socialist Worker Party (SWP), on whose ticked she is accompanied by Osborne Hart, a decision announced last February 12.
She doesn’t do it from the outside, nor from the theory of class struggle. Today, Alyson Kennedy is a Chicago worker in the textile garment industry at Walmart, the world’s largest chain of retail stores, denounced in many countries for the exploitative conditions to which it subjects its workers and employees.
“That’s why I, as a candidate for the Socialist Workers Party, and my running mate, Osborne Hart, and the other candidates for the Senate and other positions have been getting a good reception among the workers, because we are open to discussing a revolutionary perspective,” she says.
“The workers know that they are being exploited, they know what is happening in the country and in the world,” says Alyson Kennedy, who points out that one of the aspects on which they give their views in this electoral campaign is to oppose U.S. participation in the Middle East. “And many workers are also open to hearing about the Cuban Revolution,” he adds.
She mentioned Cuba, what motivated her presence in our country, coinciding with the May Day celebrations?
I came to Cuba as part of a delegation of women workers who are fighting against police brutality, of which I have also been a victim, in the city where I live, Chicago.
“This is my first time in Cuba, although I know a lot about the island, my party does educational work on Cuba and for many years we fought for the freedom of the Five and we do educational work on the need to end the embargo (blockade).
“In spite of the short time I have been here I have been able to see the country concretely, and that will help me a lot to be able to explain to the workers there why Cuba is an example for us. If Cuba was able to create a Revolution and create a society that addresses the needs of the workers, we can do it in the United States as well,” emphasizes the socialist leader.
The reasons for seeing this possibility clearly and surely explains it: “We have a history of struggle also in the United States. The workers of the United States must become aware of what they have achieved through the struggle. We must realize the power we have and our own worth.
She closes her words to the readers of Juventud Rebelde with this committment:
“I want you to know, that we are back to redouble our efforts in the fight against the blockade, for the return of the occupied territory in Guantánamo, which is Cuban, and having been here helps us to realize why it is necessary to continue in the battle for our rights.
Printed version in Spanish:
PDF of the original also available
By Ana María Domínguez Cruz
Yuniel Labacena Romero
Posted: Saturday 20 October 2018 | 10:04:22 pm.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
So, I don’t agree with Article 68.
Aren’t we in the 21st Century?
Or are we still stuck in the 19th Century?
Love. That is the fundamental reason why two people decide to unite their lives and the basis on which, if they wish, they form a family. Legalizing this union or not is not the most important thing, some think, and jurists insist on the need to value marriage as a legal institution, guarantor of rights for those involved.
Cuba proposes in its Draft Constitution, specifically in article 68, that marriage is the voluntarily agreed upon union between two persons with the legal capacity to do so, in order to make a life in common…, which gives way to the possibility of equal marriage, and it is logical that controversy is awakened in the debates.
As Homero Acosta Álvarez, Secretary of the Council of State, recently pointed out at, the inauguration of the International Congress of Lawyers 2018, today’s draft was confronted with the choice of maintaining the concept of marriage as constitutional (a content barely regulated in the constitutions) or moving away from that and leaving its [further] development to the law.
“It was decided to maintain this configuration and to assume the challenge of the new concept, knowing that its inclusion could generate disagreements, due to cultural reasons, prejudices and stereotyped visions, these are not transformed overnight,” said the member of the Commission responsible for constitutional reform.
“If the Constitution proclaims broad recognition of the right to equality, why should it limit people of different sexual orientations from getting married? It will have to follow this concept anchored in visions already overcome by time or it will have to be modified and recognized as a right, as is gradually happening at the planetary level.
“The positions in front of this regulation are those who prefer to maintain the concept of the current Constitution; those who favor the current proposal in the Project; those who accept the civil recognition of de facto couples and not marriage. There are others who agree, but limit the right to adoption and, finally, some advocate the concept of “two or more persons”. In short, a diversity of criteria that have to be evaluated like others with the rigor and depth that is required,” he said.
A wonderful way to start thinking
Lilian, divorced and with two children, also agreed with the ideas explained by the Secretary of the Council of State. She thinks this variation of the concept of marriage is a wonderful way to begin to think. “Each person has the absolute freedom to love another and the most important thing is that affection takes precedence in that relationship. If it is a couple of the same sex, love is still the most important thing. And if now there is the possibility that the legal protection of their rights is guaranteed, it’s better.
She refers at this point to the fact that there are still those who believe that homosexuality is a disease, synonymous with promiscuity, brazenness and few moral values. “We are happy to the extent that we can live fully, without hypocrisy and without maintaining appearances. This is a step forward from the social and the cultural. We have to recognize love, and I see it as just,” she says.
For his part, Mario Román -who has lived with René Miguel for four years- values positively that these guarantees are believed, even when they aren’t interested in getting married. “Relationships have the same value. The same rights must be guaranteed for everyone, and marriage is that necessary justice when one of the two is missing, the other has legal protection. Cuba has always fought for equality and we cannot allow people’s sexual orientation to be a cause for discrimination,” he says.
Marta Emilia still remembers with sadness what happened in her neighborhood when Angel died. “We all knew that Victor was his partner for more than 15 years and that Angel’s family always turned their back on him because of his choice. Not even when he was hospitalized did anyone come, much less when Victor spent more than a year taking care of him at home. But when Angel died, nephews and cousins showed up to take the house and Victor was left homeless. That was wrong and I hope those stories won’t happen again.
According to Rafael, another interviewee, “our society is not prepared for this modification of the concept of marriage. Therefore, we must defend the ”original design of the family” and what the current Constitution states,” he says. “We have to think about the new generation, when they see two men or two women holding hands, in the street or kissing. That was always frowned upon and I still see it the same way,” he says.
From the poll carried out by this newspaper and from the comments left on our web edition, other criteria also emerge against it: the negative effects on the birth rate, the transformation of the traditional family model, the problem of adoption and the world’s own cosmovision. While these reasons are used in disagreement with what is stipulated in article 68, others believe that it is not possible to try to prohibit a decision of a personal nature.
Katia, married for the second time, says that the myth that having a child in a homoparental home will lead to homosexuality must be banished. “Those who today have relations with people of the same sex did not learn it in their homes, where they lived with their father and mother. Besides, that’s not the issue the constitutional reform is talking about; there’s no need to mix things up,” she says.
And Felicia says our society has yet to go through the necessary transformations in its thinking. “Even in the treatment of men towards women we lack much. It’s enough to listen to some flirtations compliments that become offensive. Tolerance is not the concept, but acceptance and respect for coexistence among all.
Julio César González Pagés, who holds a doctorate in historical sciences, recognizes that, one hundred years after the approval of the Divorce Law in Cuba, which was very controversial, it is magnificent that this good news arrives. “The country is placed in a position of advancement, because it is something that is closely related to human rights. On a global level, very few countries have endorsed this in their Constitutions, which is why Cuba would be among the few that grant that right.
“First and foremost, the concept of respect for the equal rights of all must prevail. It is not a question of imposing oneself, but of dialoguing among all and contributing to a full education among citizens. It is praiseworthy that, in a nation where homophobic thought was deep-rooted, it now there is a determination that this does not happen again and that we are seeing ourselves as an inclusive society.
“It is also important to stress that this is not just a right for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, but for everyone, because it is the respect that we have for all rights. It is not a question of all people rushing out to get married, because many, homosexual or heterosexual, are not interested in formalizing their relationship in this way at this time, but the existence of the right is the essential thing”, he points out.
The modification reflected in article 68 – which departs from heteronormativity and machismo – is in line with the Conceptualization of the Cuban economic and social model of socialist development. This defines as principles that sustain the model and its main transformations respect for diversity and confronting all forms of discrimination due to skin color, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation.
It is praiseworthy that in a nation where there was a deep-rooted homophobic thought, it is now demonstrated that there is a will that this not happen again and that we are seen as an inclusive society.
It is also due to a culture of rights and social justice that the Cuban Revolution has promoted. It has has won for its citizens what in many nations are unthinkable guarantees, such as safe, legal and free abortion; equal pay for equal work for women and men; maternity and paternity leave; family planning services; sex education in school…
But there are more elements. In the words of the advisor of the Ibero-American and African Network of Masculinities, this is related “to the policy carried out by the country from the campaigns carried out against homophobia and transphobia. Legislation shows that educational and awareness-raising campaigns in respect to free and responsible sexual orientation and gender identity work if there is the political will of the country and the movement of people.
González Pagés warns that there is lots of opposition from groups of people who only see the couple as a means for reproduction or who only accept the family scheme of decades ago, made up of mother, father and children. “They do not understand that the family today includes grandparents, uncles, single mothers, among other archetypes, and that the legalization of a union does not necessarily entail having children.
“This process must not lead to aggressions, offenses or impositions. All processes have people in favor and others in disagreement, which are also included. But in the end, the logic of an educated, educated, highly literate country will mean reason will prevail, as has happened with other laws.
“The new rights of the 21st century cannot frighten us. We are not a backward-looking country because part of the population disagrees, on the contrary. The difference exists and what it is about is to argue, to convince, to dialogue and in no case to impose by force”.
The specialist recalls that Cuba has always been an advanced country, with controversies and confrontations regarding many issues, such as racial and gender discrimination. “Every movement generates these reactions and you have to be prepared for that. Some believe the birth rate will fall in the country because they think this is a process of proselytism in favor of marriage between people of the same sex, but that’s a mistake, it is not so.
“It is a question of legalizing unions that already exist, and so that people do not feel unprotected,” warns the specialist, who assures us that he is proud that “our Draft Constitution is advanced and revolutionary, among other reasons for making this modification. It shows we have a society with all and for the good of all, as is embodied in the Preamble to the Draft Constitution.”
According to the study Deconstructing Myths about Same-Gender Couples from the National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex), the scarce work carried out in the country denotes the existence of similar characteristics among families made up of heterosexuals and homosexuals (commitment, capacity to resolve conflicts, distribution of roles and functions, shared feelings and intimacy, among other indicators).
The criteria shared by the interviewees with whom this newspaper spoke, as well as article 68, are in line with other postulates of the Draft Constitution, particularly article 40. It states that “all persons are equal before the law, are subject to equal duties, receive the same protection and treatment from the authorities and enjoy the same rights, freedoms and opportunities, without any discrimination for reasons of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic origin, skin color, religious belief, disability, national origin or any other distinction injurious to human dignity”.
Perhaps for this reason, Gina, who has been together with Dania for three years, will not rush to a law firm to legalize her union. “We are not interested in getting married, but it is a right, a protection, an option for those who need it in their life history; and that our Constitution, like others in the world, includes it, has great value”.
Another of the interviewees tells us: “The stigmata and social schemes must crumble, because the treatment between people is sometimes hostile, unjustly. It is not necessary to hide if you love someone and acting cleanly is what favors peaceful coexistence. When ten years pass, we will be able to analyze what has happened on the island and if the taboo persists, but legally recognizing what already exists is a step forward.
Law cannot remain a perpetual slave of social backwardness, even though at some point it may collide with part of the social spectrum. In its transforming mission, it is also responsible for promoting development.
In this sense, Olga Mesa Castillo, Doctor of Juridical Sciences, titular professor and consultant to the Faculty of Law of the University of Havana, remembers that since the promulgation, in 1975, of the Family Code as an independent legal text of the Civil Code, our country was ahead in regulating institutions such as that of civil marriage. We did so in a liberating manner, stripping it of the requirement of physical-sexual capacity; of divorce for just cause, and without guilt; and with a special regulation on de facto union, equating it with civil marriage.
Furthermore, the President of the Cuban Society of Civil and Family Law, of the National Union of Jurists of Cuba, comments that the protection of concubinage was also introduced, and the country was a pioneer in including in its 1940 Constitution the equalization of de facto union with civil marriage.
“Marriage in Cuba today is a voluntary union, without a contractual, legal or business sense, and is not exempt from duties and rights. It is legislated that upon the death of one of the members of the couple, the one who survives is protected by law for the enjoyment of some economic or material benefits,” he says.
The National Law Prize winner regrets that, in a general sense, the population has not worried about knowing about legality and worse still, that many have decided to live outside it, not only concerning marriage but also paternity.
“Marriage means that you are fortunate enough to have a person in your life who also protects you from a material point of view. As a consensual union, there are already same-sex couples who live together and if they want to formalize it before the law, I see no problem in that. On the contrary, problems arise if you want to resort to the law when there is no remedy.
The incorporation of a broader concept of marriage is only the first step on the road to the approval of a new Constitution that will ensure greater legal guarantees for the specific LGBTI population. As Mariela Castro Espín, director of Cenesex, has warned, article 68 is not about taking away the rights of heterosexual couples, but about giving them to those who had been denied them.
Homero Acosta Álvarez recalled: “This is not the first time we have faced these challenges. Let us remember in history the conflicts to recognize women’s right to vote or the establishment of divorce or, in our case, to incorporate the equality of rights between men and women and the equal responsibility of spouses, according to our Family Code.
“In our opinion, Law cannot remain a perpetual slave of social backwardness, even though at some point it may collide with part of the social spectrum. In its transforming mission, it must also promote development,” he said.
Nadia Murad won the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 for her fight against the rape of women in war contexts.
Author: Ana Laura Palomino García | firstname.lastname@example.org
October 23, 2018 20:10:41
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“My pain is like a hundred deaths. I sadly sentenced a 14-year-old girl to BBC MUNDO, after living such a traumatic experience as being a sex slave.
My words do not find the way to express in prose so much pain. Her phrase, however, reminds me that her story is multiplied into others, to the shame of humanity.
Nadia Murad won the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 and understands very well the sorrow of this young woman. The recognition is undoubtedly an honor, but this woman bears the cross of having been a sexual slave of the terrorist group Islamic State (IS). Since then, her struggle has not ceased, and she travels the world as an activist against the rape of women in contexts of war.
When collecting the award I remembered that “thousands of women are still imprisoned in the hands of IS mercenaries.” For this reason, “my survival is based on defending the rights of persecuted communities and victims of sexual violence. One prize and one person cannot do it. We need an international response,” she told the Spanish daily El País.
Murad is part of Yazidism, a minority religion that dates back to 2000 B.C. and has its origins in the teachings of Iranian prophet and reformer Zoroastro.
This group within Iraq has been persecuted and its members forced to convert to Islam, or die at the hands of terrorists.
It was from the year 2014, when the Islamic State began the extermination against the Yazidis and Shiites, using all kinds of vexations against them.
Nadia’s nightmare began on a normal day, in that place she called home, when IS terrorists came to her village in Iraq and killed most of the men while women under the age of 45 were kidnapped, she confessed to the BBC.
Murad suffered the same fate as almost all of these young women. They were already in the hands of the terrorists and at night the sale of the girls began among the IS terrorists, most of them to be sexually enslaved. This inhumane practice is part of the propaganda to attract more followers to the organization.
“They began to walk around the room, looking at us, while we shouted and asked for compassion. They surrounded the prettiest girls and asked them: “How old are you? They looked at their mouths and their hair. They are all virgins, aren’t they? they asked the guard, who nodded and said, “Of course, like a merchant proud of his products,” Murad recalls sadly for El Diario.
After living hard experiences, she managed to flee from her captors and began a fight without rest, at the risk of her own safety.
This battle, as she repeats in each of her speeches, will not cease until the creation of a specialized tribunal to try those responsible for the crimes committed by terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
Murad tries to make the world aware of what’s going on with her people. She tells her story over and over again. She does everything she can because her experience is not lived by another adolescent or girl, neither in Iraq nor anywhere else in the world.
The self-proclaimed Islamic State has destroyed the lives of some 3,000 Yazidi girls and women, according to El País newspaper. Raped, locked up and sold as simple objects, they try to recover their souls when they manage to escape from their kidnappers.
I will be the last. The history of my captivity and my struggle against the Islamic State is a book written by Murad as a testimony of her experiences. In this way, she aims to reach a wider audience and raise awareness.
She has travelled to different countries in order to meet with the leaders of those nations. However, the response has not been as expected and, while world leaders make a decision, there are still girls and women being kidnapped.
Nadia has urged the international community to “work together with the determination to show that genocidal campaigns will not only fail, but will also hold perpetrators accountable and that there will also be justice for survivors.
But the world becomes blind to these problems. Perhaps this is because there are others that are considered “more important,” such as economic crises or political conflicts between great world powers. Meanwhile, wars, violence and the pains they cause continue waiting for a common effort, for human sensitivity, so that stories like those of Nadia and the thousands of girls turned into sexual slaves are not repeated and we never have to listen again: “I ask the world to do something for us”.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
More than any other presidency in the modern history of the United States, Donald Trump’s has been a permanent threat of socio-political shipwreck. He has deliberately excited and fuelled conflicts, involving xenophobic and racist currents in society, with an always nasty political discourse. Trump’s eccentricities have been widely highlighted by the press, but his attacks on the U.S. military presence in the world and its commitments to that end have received far less attention.
Such is the essence of an essay by journalist and historian Gareth Porter, published on the website TRUTHDIG.
Trump had come to the White House with a commitment to end U.S. military interventions. This was based on a worldview in which wars for military domination have no place. In the last speech of his victory tour in December 2016, Trump promised: “Let’s stop tearing down foreign regimes that we shouldn’t have been involved with. Instead of investing in wars, we will invest in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure…”.
At a meeting in the summer of 2017, where Defense Secretary James Mattis defended new military measures against the Islamic State in North Africa, Trump expressed his displeasure at the endless wars and Mattis claimed that “we are doing it to prevent a bomb from exploding in Times Square,” to which Trump replied, furiously, that the same could be said about anything that happened in any country on the planet.
Trump’s national security team was so alarmed by his questioning of military commitments and troop deployments that they invited him to the Pentagon. They were hoping to make him better understand their arguments with the usual rhetoric of the international democratic order based on the rules of globalism.
Ignoring decades of wars in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, Mattis and other high-ranking officials argued that “this order is what has kept the peace for 70 years.” Trump shook his head in disagreement and diverted the discussion to a subject he found particularly irritating: economic and military relations with South Korea. “We spend $3.5 billion a year there to keep troops in South Korea,” complained Trump. “I don’t know why they’re there. Let’s bring them all home!”
In September 2017, while Trump threatened to destroy North Korea in tweets, he privately held an opinion against the presence of troops in South Korea and his determination was to eliminate it, according to Bob Woodward.
Political-diplomatic events with the two Koreas in early 2018 reinforced Trump’s view that U.S. troops should withdraw from there, so he accepted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s offer to hold a summit.
Trump ordered the Pentagon to study options for the withdrawal of these U.S. troops. That idea was viewed by the media and most of the U.S. national security elite as completely unacceptable. But the Pentagon’s military and intelligence specialists long knew that U.S. troops were not needed to deter North Korea or defend against an attack through the demilitarized zone.
Trump’s willingness to practice personal diplomacy with Kim was driven by his ego, but also by the idea that it would contribute to ending or attenuating the deployment of troops in South Korea. Obviously, such a thing could not happen without a clear rejection of the national security ideology that had dominated Washington’s elites for generations.
Bob Woodward tells in his book “Fear in the White House” that Trump was eager to put an end to the three great wars inherited from Barack Obama: in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, about which he said in July 2017 that he was very tired.
“We should proclaim victory, end wars and bring our troops home,” he said, repeating the political tactic with which Washington covered up its defeat in Vietnam in 1966.
Trump feared he would be held responsible for the consequences of defeat in a war. This was the same fear that had led Lyndon Johnson to abandon his strong resistance to large-scale intervention in Vietnam in mid-1965 and Barack Obama to accept a major escalation in Afghanistan that he had been objecting to.
Trump’s mercantilist worldview poses economic dangers for the United States that may lead him to reject the tactics of multiple permanent wars. But his unorthodox approach has encouraged him to challenge the essential logic of the U.S. military empire more than any previous president. And the final years of his administration will surely bring him more struggles over these issues with those in charge of the empire, predicts Gareth Porter in Truthdig.
October 22, 2018.
This article can be reproduced by citing the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.
October 20, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Maylén Díaz Almaguer, the only survivor of the airplane crash of May 18, is being assisted by a multidisciplinary group from the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital in Havana, with the participation of specialists from other institutions.
According to the doctor, the patient continues the process of recovery and stabilization of organ functions, oral nutrition and infection control.
Neurological rehabilitation measures and respiratory mechanics are also maintained.
The healing process of soft-tissue injuries is also consolidated, with good evolution and the emotional state and level of cooperation of the patient with the medical treatment is adequate.
At the request of the relatives, the parts relating to the evolution of Maylén Díaz Almaguer are kept private.
Since August 1, Diaz Almaguer has received treatment and rehabilitation in the Ameijeiras. Previously, she was cared for at the General Calixto García University Hospital, where she received treatment and rehabilitation.
The accident occurred on Friday, May 18, when the Boeing 737-200 of the Mexican company Damojh, rented by Cubana de Aviación, fell to the ground just moments after taking off from Havana’s José Martí international airport, in which 112 people, including the crew, lost their lives.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced what could already be described as the beginning of World Cold War II, with Washington and Beijing as the first belligerents but soon the stage will be global.
Pence spoke at the Hudson Institute, a think tank specializing in interdisciplinary issues related to international relations, culture, defense, economics, technology, and other strategic issues. Like most NGOs in the U.S., the Hudson is funded by tax-deductible contributions from large taxpayers.
There Pence formulated what many observers compared to Winston Churchill’s 1946 “Iron Curtain” speech. The U.S. Vice President, recognizing, in fact, Washington’s defeat in the current trade confrontation with China, proclaimed what amounts to a declaration of cold war:
“China now spends as much on its military as the rest of Asia combined and has prioritized capabilities that erode U.S. military advantages on land, sea, air, and space. China wants to drive the United States out of the Western Pacific and prevent us from coming to the aid of our allies. We hoped that economic liberalization would lead China to greater partnership with us and the world. But it opted for economic aggression, which in turn encourages its growing army. (…) Beijing is conducting a comprehensive and coordinated campaign to undermine support for the President, his agenda, and our nation’s most cherished ideals. (…) China is also applying this power more proactively than ever before to influence and interfere in this country’s domestic politics and politics. Worst of all, China has embarked on an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading up to the 2020 presidential election. To put it bluntly, President Trump’s leadership is working and China wants a different American president. (…) There can be no doubt: China is meddling in America’s democracy.
“But should China endure the insult and retreat? Of course not,” says an editorial in the Global Times, the English-language Chinese newspaper sponsored by the People’s Daily, which is itself an organ of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. “If China were to respond belligerently to recent US provocations and define Pence’s speech as a declaration of Cold War, it would become a reality.
“China must firmly safeguard its rights and legitimate interests, from trade to defense, and take its own measures against American provocations. We must refrain from increasing friction with the U.S. and not increase the atmosphere of strategic confrontation. Do not allow the conflict with the U.S. to dominate China’s foreign relations or determine the path to be taken by the Chinese government.
“In fact, U.S. efforts to contain China is limited and a trade war will inevitably harm the United States. It would be a stupid choice. It is not realistic to establish a NATO-style organization to attack China. It is impossible to isolate and contain China, given the expansion of its business abroad and in domestic markets.
“It will be difficult for the White House and Congress to mobilize a campaign against China in U.S. society. Gone are the days when the public was willing to step forward in the so-called national interest. As long as China remains calm in the face of hysterical U.S. political elites, the so-called Cold War will not take shape,” the Global Times editorial explains.
“At that point, China should play tai chi with the United States. This is the unique strategic wisdom of the Chinese nation. We must make America feel the pain of trade war and not allow unscrupulous action in the South China Sea and Taiwan Straits. But we must act calmly. China will continue to open up. A deteriorating outside world will not change that picture. China is not the Soviet Union, and the United States cannot deal with China the way it did with the Soviet Union,” the GlobalTimes editorial concludes.
It has been a reprehensible practice in the United States, during many election campaigns, for the ruling party to manipulate some kind of threat of war from abroad in order to obtain public support for the government through subliminal stimulus. No one should be surprised if, on the occasion of the mid-term elections to be held on November 6, something just like this in North America.
October 17, 2018.
This article may be reproduced by citing the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.
Learn about the victory of a grandmother’s love in the voice of attorneys Anahita Sanchez and Rodolfo Echevarria.
By IPS Cuba, Feb 24, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
HAVANA: Lawyers linked to the case where a Cuban court awarded custody and care of three minors to their grandmother, a lesbian woman who lives with her partner, note that the sentence recognized in some way the union between people of the same sex.
This was expressed in an interview with IPS Cuba by lawyers Rodolfo Echevarría and Anahita Sánchez, who were in charge of the legal representation of Eumnice Violeta Cardoso, the grandmother of three children who were orphaned.
The event transcended as a victory for the community of lesbians, gays, bi, trans en intersexuales (LGBTI), which is waiting for the legalization of equal marriage and respect for other rights such as homoparental adoption.
It all began in March 2016, when Vioem Karen Díaz Cardoso, the daughter of Eumnice Violeta and mother of two girls and one boy, aged nine, eight and six respectively, died after fighting lymphatic cancer.
To determine the custody and care of the three children, the grandmother and the children’s father, Guillermo Gomez, went to court.
In October 2017, the family room of the Tribunal Municipal Popular de Boyeros, a municipality on the southern outskirts of Havana, mediated the family conflict and left custody and care in the hands of the grandmother.
The news broke last January in international news media and Internet social networks.
“In the ruling, which is the binding and obligatory part of the sentence, the court confers the guardianship and care only in favor of Eumnice. That has to be well clarified,” said Echevarría, because current local legislation does not recognize same-sex couples or homoparental families.
“Although the sentence recognizes in its first Considering the active role of Isabel (the couple of Eumnice), who is also the godmother of children, in the upbringing of minors, “he detailed.
“Nor is there any sign of “discrimination” in the sentence, that is, indirectly there is a recognition of the union between these two people, because it refers to the godmother of the children, her partner, also plays a fundamental role in the care of the three minors,” he continued.
“Perhaps that is the novelty of the sentence,” said the lawyer.
And he clarified that the father was not deprived of parental authority. “He has duties and rights also with respect to these minors,” he said.
Do we say they are lesbians?
Both jurists admitted that they had doubts about whether or not they should address the homosexuality of the grandmothers when filing the lawsuit.
“In self-consultation with my conscience, I said to myself, “Do I put all the data related to this family?” recalled Echevarría.
The lawyer was concerned that the other party might use the fact that it was a homosexual couple to allege alleged harm to children because of same-sex relationships.
“And I said to myself… why not? You have to put the patch on before the hole comes out. They are in a relationship as a couple and that doesn’t in any way affect minors,” she recalled.
“To introduce that element, she obviously had to have the consent of Eumnice Violeta. She always agreed, even asked that this information be introduced in the lawsuit,” she continued.
Attorney Sanchez described the court’s reaction on the day of the hearing as “impressive.”
“When the grandmother finished speaking, with very personal and moving experiences, the godmother stood up and explained. Everyone ended up crying, and the two of them embraced,” she shared.
“It was a very nice process, because the court didn’t have the slightest doubt that they have a relationship. But that didn’t mean that they were deprived of their rights, on the contrary,” she said.
The lawyer maintained that “the judiciary didn’t show any kind of opposition, neither in the act of appearance nor in the sentence” because of the sexual orientation of the grandmothers.
An exceptional case
The case of Eumnice arrived in April 2017 at the hands of Rodolfo and Anahita, two professionals from the Law Firm Specialized in Cassation Resources, thanks to the recommendation of a colleague who assessed the sensitivity of the problem.
“They had been given little hope, and the granting of guardianship and care to grandparents is certainly unusual,” Echevarría said, as the law states that custody should be vested in the father after the mother’s death.
However, “this is not the first case of detachment of custody and care in favor of the extended family, such as grandparents, although they have not been abundant,” said the lawyer.
Due to the very nature of the work in the law firm where they work, which handles cases from all over the country, Rodolfo and Anahita affirm that there will have been three or four similar cases in the rest of the Cuban provinces.
Nor do they believe that he is the only one in Havana, although “there are many judges who have not yet had any in their jurisdiction. Since it’s not the first, it’s not that many,” Sánchez said.
In fact, the first setback faced by the family was that the Popular Municipal Court of Old Havana, in an unusual intervention by the Attorney General’s Office, alleged a lack of competence to deal with the case and ordered its transfer to the municipality of Boyeros, where the children’s father resided.
New paths in family law
As professionals, Echevarría and Sánchez maintain that the positive solution to this case brought them great satisfaction.
“Law has to go hand in hand with these new family paths. There are reconstituted, assembled families, and there is already a recognition of the role of the extended family,” Echevarría reflected.
For the lawyer, “the right has to look at the new paradigm shifts, from a nuclear family based on the ties derived from marriage, to a family that is sustained by affection.
The family rooms today reinterpret current but outdated Cuban norms and apply international agreements signed by the country to solve family law cases, pending the postponed revision by parliament of a draft of a new Family Code to replace the one drafted in 1975. (2018)
U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton announced that on September 20 President Donald Trump signed the new National Cyber Strategy plan that officially authorizes the U.S. government to conduct offensive cyber attacks.U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton announced that on September 20 President Donald Trump signed the new National Cyber Strategy plan that officially authorizes the U.S. government to conduct offensive cyber attacks.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton announced that on September 20 President Donald Trump signed the new National Cyber Strategy plan that officially authorizes the U.S. government to conduct offensive cyber attacks.
“We are going to do a lot of things in an offensive way and I think our adversaries need to know that,” Bolton said at a press conference. This document will contribute to “ensuring a secure internet”; according to Bolton, the competent bodies will now be able to “identify, counter, dismantle, degrade and deter actions contrary to national interests.”
“People who have perpetrated or are preparing to perpetrate hostile actions against us in cyberspace” should be concerned, the National Security Adviser said, emphasizing that responses to these aggressions will not be limited to cyberspace, but also include legislative responses, economic sanctions and military actions.
“The president has decided that the new plan is in our national security interest, not because we want more offensive operations in cyberspace, but precisely to create the deterrent structures that will show our adversaries that the cost is too high,” he said.
The document accuses Iran, Russia, China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), among others, of using cyberspace as an instrument to attack the U.S. And Bolton mentions examples of attacks “perpetrated” by Russia and the DPRK.
Last July, special prosecutor Robert Mueller of the U.S. Department of Justice accused 12 members of Russia’s Senior Intelligence Board (GRU) of “pirating” Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign for the 2016 U.S. elections.
According to the Associated Press (AP), Russian hackers obtained military secrets from Washington, including its unmanned aircraft and critical defense technology. The group of hackers tracked at least 87 people working in sensitive areas of the country’s military sector such as drones, missiles, rockets and poachers, among others.
The Office of Personnel Management, an independent agency of the U.S. government, reported that hackers have made several attacks on major U.S. websites, including the Pentagon’s computer network, the Twitter and YouTube accounts of U.S. Central Command (Uscentcom), and that pirates stole access data from millions of U.S. officials, including employees of the Department of Defense.
Moscow refutes these accusations and considers it an invention. The Russian government has repeatedly said that the accusations are “absurd” and represent an attempt to divert attention from U.S. domestic affairs and its responsibility for attacks on installations, companies, military and civilian units, public and private services in Russia, Iran, the rpdc and China.
The Russian Chancellery reiterated the call to “organize a meeting of the bilateral cybersecurity working group to examine these problems with the participation of specialists from Russia and the U.S.”.
Who’s Attacking Whom
The United States Government, its intelligence services and institutions, companies linked to the military-industrial complex, have been developing a strong offensive against the Islamic Republic of Iran for a decade.
In 2010, a cyberattack on an Iranian nuclear power plant caused damage to the plant’s cooling system, which could have led to a serious incident with unforeseeable consequences. This is considered to be the first computer attack to cause damage to the physical world.
Various sources claim that the Stuxnet virus affected the centrifuges of the Iranian nuclear system. Once inside the plant, the pressure of the centrifuges increased until they failed without being detected, confusing the technicians who believed it was a physical failure. The intention was to sabotage and delay the development of the Iranian nuclear program; today there are elements to consider that the US and Israeli special services were involved in the attack.
Although it may seem like a matter of science fiction, in addition to attacks on infrastructures, cybercriminals can directly attack human life, pacemakers can be hacked that have a wireless function and end the life of an “enemy”, declared sources close to the company.
According to the CBS 60-minute program, in 2007, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, during George Bush’s term in office, his doctor ordered that the wireless function of his pacemaker be deactivated for fear of being hacked and killed.
FireEye, a research company in areas related to cybersecurity protection, is closely linked to cia through Robert Bigman, ex ciso (director of information security) of this agency, with whom it has signed numerous contracts for investigations into the use of malware, zero-day exploits (cyber attacks that occur on the same day a vulnerability is discovered in the system) and apt tactics (technical solutions to the Advanced Persistent Threat, apt).
FireEye has been singled out as possibly responsible for manufacturing fake attacks with the aim of singling out Russia and Iran as cyber-crime countries.
Russia was accused in 2017 of carrying out a global cyberattack that caused billions of dollars in losses in Europe, Asia and America. “The attack spread rapidly around the world”; in a communiqué the United Kingdom accused Russia of being behind this cyber aggression, an accusation that was supported by the White House.
“This has nothing to do with Russia,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said immediately during a visit to China. “Microsoft said it directly, that the source of the virus was the intelligence services of the United States.
Now that “we realize that a genie has come out of the bottle (…) he can turn against his parents,” “(…) it is necessary that the issue be addressed immediately on a serious political level,” Putin added.
Microsoft’s legal director, Brad Smith, noted that the event occurred because the National Security Agency (nsa) developed a way to penetrate Windows operating systems that ended up in the hands of pirates.
The “terabyte of death” and other cuties
The U.S. Department of Defense has repeatedly announced that a major cyber attack of unknown magnitude could occur at any time on a global scale. Pentagon spokesman Alan R. Lynn said that a few years ago receiving a one- or two-gigantic attack was an important issue.
“We are currently facing 600 gigabyte cyber attacks and cyber offensives that we could not even imagine before,” he said.
The Pentagon speaks of an eventual massive effect of one terabyte (one thousand gigabytes). “It’s only a matter of time before such an attack occurs,” warned Lynn.
On 12 May last year, the extortionist WannaCry virus infected 200,000 users in more than 150 countries. WannaCry is a computer program whose purpose is to “hijack” files from a computer and then “ransom” them from users in exchange for money.
“The size of the attack makes us think that it may not be lone wolves,” blogger José Luis Camacho told Russia Today, arguing that attacks of this magnitude require significant funding.
Part of the code of this virus corresponds to an NSA “cyberweapon” called EternalBlue, according to Bleeping Computer. With this tool, the attack takes advantage of a well-known security breach in the Windows operating system that makes it possible to take control of a computer.
Approved Plan Justifies Cyber Attacks Against Alleged Opponents
Trump repealed the so-called “presidential directive 20,” a confidential document signed by Obama and made public in 2013, when former NSA analyst Edward Snowden exposed 1.7 million files on U.S. espionage programs.
That regulation forced the Pentagon and intelligence agencies to obtain approval from other government departments before launching cyber attacks. Now that door has been left open and the Pentagon receives the authorization to act aggressively, leaving behind, according to Bolton, “the defensive position maintained until now.
The document legalizes hacking and cyber-attacks against other nations. What then can be expected of experts in manufacturing pretexts, false flag attacks, self-aggressions, simulated attacks or permitted aggressions in order to achieve dark purposes, as some point out that what happened on September 11, 2001?
The new plan opens one more scenario of danger for world peace, humanity must close ranks to stop the war madness from extending to cyberspace.
Cuba promotes the peaceful and legitimate use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the opportunities that cyberspace offers for the development and well-being of humanity.
As Brazil celebrates its second round of presidential elections, the parties begin to announce their alliances
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The Socialism and Freedom Party announced on Tuesday that it will support the presidential candidate of the Workers’ Party, Fernando Haddad, for the second round of elections to be held on October 28.
“To defeat Bolsonaro and defend rights, in the second round the PSOL defends the vote for Haddad and Manuela. AgoraÉHaddad”, says the publication in the party’s social networks.
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s representative at the polls will have to face the utlraderechista Jair Bolsonaro in the next election day. After the vote on Sunday, October 7, Bolsonaro got 46 percent of the votes, while Haddad got 29.3 percent.
To advance towards Brazil’s presidency, candidates will have to resort to political alliances with other parties.
Meanwhile, former Democratic Labour Party candidate Ciro Gomes, who received 12.5 percent of the vote, said he would not support Bolsonaro.