Putting indiscipline at bay is not only necessary, but imperative. Let us integrate that team called consciousness, which demands shame and good judgement.
By Madeleine Sautié | email@example.com
August 3, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
There was a day when Havana, still in the early stages of the pandemic’s de-escalation, awoke to the happy news that no new positive cases were being reported. Spirits, then, shot up, since the expected zero marked the result of a country’s enormous effort, say, among many workers, that of its doctors, in the first place.
Today, the faces are not the same, and concern is growing at the same time as the numbers and the courage to give so much. Unforgivable are the failures which, due to irresponsibility and disbelief, have modified the results we’ve achieved. Example: insolent disregard for a health system and the management of the Cuban state, applauded for the efficiency of its task, even by those who insist on seeing the erasures in an increasingly admirable health scenario.
Then comes the “must do”, the “have to take action”, as if banishing disobedience was only the business of a few. It is no secret that the legal provisions and police authorities have – as they have done from day one – a great weight in the fulfillment of the guidelines.
However, it is unthinkable that the solution lies only in the application of fines or in ensuring that the law enforcement officers are where every [act of] indiscipline is. It is enough to look out on the balcony, or to walk through our streets, to see, in a perfectly peaceful environment, where the police do not have to be, two or three people talking, one almost on top of the other, without nasobucos! -Will there really be a policeman for each of these cases?
There are two sides to this. On the first side, there are those who protect themselves and their family, compañeros and neighbors through good hygiene practices and distance, those who contribute to the dissipation of the virus; those who reverence with discipline the vigilance of the health personnel and value the happiness of living in Cuba, when the world suffers daily from overwhelming scenes.
The others, the ones who barely inform themselves, the irreverent ones who are aware of their own danger and that of the others; the ones who allow themselves to be spoken to from upstairs, and without nasobucos; the ones who know how to be attended to if the virus knocks on their door; the ones who are more bored than anyone else, who need to attend the party that another sorry person prepares.
Putting indiscipline at bay is not only necessary, but imperative. Let’s join that team called conscience, which calls for [both] shame and sanity.
By Orestes Pérez Pérez
August 12, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
On four occasions, Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz was in Argentina. His last trip abroad was precisely to that country, on the occasion of a Summit of Mercosur Presidents, held in the city of Córdoba, in July 2006.
Wearing his inseparable olive green uniform and almost without warning, Fidel arrived at the Ingeniero “Ambrosio Taravella” International Airport in Córdoba at around 8:30 pm on Thursday, July 20, 2006, where he was received by then President Néstor Kirchner.
Some witnesses tell of that historic visit, that until the last moment there was no news of the Cuban president’s arrival, which took place amidst the strictest security measures.
“This must be the only meeting in which I was not made a plan of attack. I had to disinform even my friends. I don’t think anyone knew if I was coming, not even me”, he commented in a speech delivered at the so-called “Summit of the Peoples”, on a cold night, typical of these southern winter months, at the University of Cordoba, the same one that was the scene of the remarkable University Reform of 1918, more than 100 years ago.
“You made a reform that made history, which was the most important, I am about to say the only one. But time has passed, and the world study system must be reformed,” said the Historical Leader of the Cuban Revolution, who was accompanied that night by Hugo Chávez and Hebe de Bonafini, head of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, the group that organized the event.
Thousands of people from Cordoba and other provinces of the country listened attentively to Fidel, who spoke with them for three hours about the most varied issues, including the urgent need for Latin American and Caribbean integration, social programs in Cuba, public education and the literacy campaign of the first years of the Revolution, among others.
Chavez, for his part, had promised to be brief. “I told Fidel, I’m just going to be his host,” he said to the crowd that applauded him and repeated his last name over and over again. Nevertheless, he reflected for several hours on the “Cordobazo”, the challenges of Mercosur and American imperialism. “Only the people make history,” he said that night in Cordoba.
The Commander-in-Chief had been in Argentina on three previous occasions: in 1959, invited by then-President Arturo Frondizi, at the Ibero-American Summit (1995) and in 2003, when he attended Kirchner’s inauguration, when he delivered his memorable speech on the steps of the Law School of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), before around 30 thousand people.
In this last trip Fidel visited -together with Chávez- the house where Che lived in Alta Gracia, where they shared anecdotes of the Heroic Guerrilla’s childhood and got to know closely the spaces he lived in during his childhood.
The peaceful mountain village, which enjoyed a sunny and somewhat hot day, unusual for the season, saw its usual mid-afternoon rest interrupted by the unexpected visit.
Since very early in the morning, that July 22nd, the people from Alta Gracia took over the streets of this mountain village, with 45 thousand inhabitants, 35 kilometers away from the capital of Córdoba, to take pictures, hug or -simply- shake hands with these two world leaders.
A sea of people, all surprised and incredulous, shouted and applauded the presence of Fidel and Chávez. For them, it was the most transcendental event in the history of that small town. For Fidel, perhaps without knowing it, his last trip abroad.
By Marina Menéndez Quintero
August 10, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The biggest and most brazen robbery that the Venezuelan public treasury has ever suffered is taking place right now. And it has been the right-wing, disobedient and therefore non-functioning sector of the National Assembly that has lent itself out to play the role of the fig leaf and that part of the national money illegally confiscated by the United States is being handled by two foreign private companies.
Certainly, it has not been established -at least not publicly- if during the governments of the demolished Fourth Republic, there was ever such a large amount of embezzlement. Some people might be asking that…
But what makes the current move unprecedented is not only that it deprives citizens of the enjoyment of resources that belong to them. What is most reprehensible is that the action is at the service of interference and aggression by a foreign power.
Specifically, it is about $80 million that the Venezuelan State had deposited in Citibank, in the name of the Central Bank of Venezuela. Now it will be managed by the private American firms BRV Disbursement Co. LLC and BRV Administrator Co. LLC, which will get one million dollars for the work, according to the contract endorsed by that right-wing of the Venezuelan Parliament that continues to support the puppet Juan Guaidó.
However, it’s not the only money stolen. That item is part of the more than $340 million from Caracas that has been transferred just like that to an account at the New York Federal Reserve, on orders from the White House.
But what many are already calling the “policy of dispossession” of Venezuela’s public patrimony, applied by Washington against Caracas in the financial sphere as part of its strategy of harassment and multidimensional aggression, is even broader.
According to a detailed article published by the alternative website The Grayzone, Donald Trump’s policy against Venezuela has led to the confiscation from that country of up to 24 billion dollars in public assets located in the North, or in European Union countries allied with Washington.
The first major scandal was the virtual kidnapping of CITGO, a PDVSA subsidiary based in the US and considered the most important Venezuelan asset abroad.
As in the rest of the actions of this Ttype, the smokescreen has been the figure of Guaidó, and the excuse that resources are put in the hands of his non-existent “transition government”. The false argument that is gaining strength seeks to present Bolivarian Venezuela as a refuge from narco-terrorism, and its leaders as common criminals who must be punished and even imprisoned?
Under the same assumption, Venezuela has also just been stripped of the gold bars from the reserve that it had, supposedly in safekeeping, in the vaults of the Bank of England, the value of which could be as high as USD 3 billion that Maduro asked for in order to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Then Boris Johnson’s British executive recognized Guaidó as interim president… and there the gold has remained.
Meanwhile, other trials are continuing in Europe to take away Venezuela’s assets, which could total some $8 billion, according to unofficial sources.
The most dangerous thing is that the decision taken a dozen days ago by the British Prime Minister could set a legal’ precedent for other Venezuelan funds blocked abroad, especially in European countries that have joined the Trump campaign.
The total balance, until today, of the economic and financial war of the United States against Venezuela, also contemplates other punitive measures and therefore, is even greater.
Since the beginning of the sanctions in 2017 after Barack Obama decreed two years ago that the country was a “threat” to its national security, the economic losses suffered by the Bolivarian nation are estimated at 130 billion dollars.
And there are already rumors that show the tricks Washington can play with so much ill-gotten money.
It has been revealed that a tiny portion of the $80 million seized from Citibank -although still juicy since it amounts to $600 million in assets- would have been diverted by Trump to build part of the promised wall on the border with Mexico.
Everything indicates that Guaidó, the supposed interim president that few within Venezuela applaud, has not said much about “the participation” of the White House in the enjoyment of the embezzlement? although he will surely have access to the stolen goods.
Nevertheless, his so-called “ambassador” to the U.S., Carlos Veccio, has admitted that he worked with the Justice Department to establish an agreement defining the percentage that will go to Washington, The Grayzone says.
Ignoring even that the current Parliament without functions elected another opponent as its head – Luis Parra, voted by the majority present in the session last January – that right-wing sector of the National Assembly “approved” a week ago that those $80 million be part of what they have fallaciously named the National Liberation Fund: money that, if used for the purposes that Guaidó defends, will be gasoline to subvert and execute new acts of terror.
Otherwise, they will be a good starting point for the continued corruption of that opposition wing linked to the antagonistic parties of yesteryear.
In this regard, analysts have stressed that this money is not controlled by any entity and, moreover, its management by means of those two U.S. companies privatizes embezzlement and outsources it, supposedly taking Trump’s hands off the plate, although not others.
This modus operandi adds to the economic choking measures of the United States and sets the tone for what the Mission Truth website considers a “para-state”.
It is clear that Guaidó’s scarce popular support for the interior of Venezuela, and his lack of international prestige, even though he claims to have been recognized by 50 countries, cuts the wings off the Machiavellian project in the political order? Even though it continues to cut short the lives of Venezuelans with the vulgar theft that is executed through this, never before seen, financial plunder.
August 10, 2020
By Juana Carrasco Martín
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
It could be the agricultural implement factories, but that is not the case. They should increase protective measures for workers in the meatpacking industries, for employees in supermarkets, or for agricultural workers, but that is not their intention either.
There isn’t even an equal standard for health-care workers, and Blacks and Latinos are infected with the new coronavirus three times more than their white counterparts, according to a New York Times analysis of the records of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The study also found that minority workers were 20 percent more likely than white workers to care for suspected or confirmed Covid-positive patients. The rate rose to 30 percent specifically for Black workers. In addition, they also reported inadequate or reused protective equipment (PPE) at a rate 50 percent higher than that reported by white workers. For Latinos, the rate was twice that of white workers.
Although the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is not over, and, on the contrary, there is a resurgence of infections in those states that prematurely relaxed or lifted restrictions on social or physical distancing – to be more precise – those that set about economic movement brought, in not a few cases, a priority that projects good times for… the Pentagon and the war industry.
The reality surpasses logic in the Trump administration. Making money continues to be the interest and not the care of people’s lives. That is why national security is being relieved, leaving aside a total battle against the enemy SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and continuing to bet on a war, or all the necessary ones, anywhere in the world against a supposed enemy that allows them to manufacture bombs and war equipment of all kinds.
When the numbers of infected and dead in the United States are terrifying -4,941,796 people infested, so probably this Sunday it will reach five million-, Congress has already discussed the Pentagon’s budget. We remember that independent Senator Bernie Sanders, published an opinion in The Guardian, in which he presented a true picture, a warning and a call:
“At this unprecedented moment in America’s history–a terrible pandemic, an economic crisis, people marching across the country to end systemic racism and police brutality, growing inequality of income and wealth, and an unstable president in the White House–now is the time to bring people together to fundamentally alter our national priorities and rethink the very fabric of American society.
The fact is that they approved $740 billion in spending and ignored Sanders’ proposal to cut 10 percent and target it to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged in the U.S. population, which would have been $74 billion for housing, education and health care, essentially. And the Vermont senator cited a Republican hero, General Dwight Eisenhower, who said in 1953 “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired means, in the final sense, a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its workers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
The current situation is much more critical: a quarter of the U.S. population is living from paycheck to paycheck, and now from the pandemic subsidy check, which in July has not yet been approved by Congress; between 22 and 40 million fear eviction for not being able to pay the rent, 40 million also live in poverty, and 87 million lack adequate health insurance.
Sanders is not the only one busy with waste. California Democratic Representative Ro Khanna is proposing that money for the “modernization” of intercontinental ballistic missiles go to research on the anti-Covid vaccine. California Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee is calling for a $350 billion cut in the war budget.
Even Eisenhower could not change the military-industrial complex of which he warned, and even less do Sanders, Khanna and Lee, although they appeal to the emergency caused by the new coronavirus, when the President of the country, Donald Trump, daily minimizes the magnitude and lethality of the pandemic and only takes advantage of it to lead the situation in order to be re-elected next November.
Among his most recent manipulative expressions are assuring that children “are practically immune” to COVID-19, and almost assuring that they will have a life-saving vaccine by November 3 – election day – because he is pushing it with all his might, even though he says it is not to win at the polls, he wants to save lives?
Trump, who has long sought exclusivity on potential vaccines, announced in May that the huge task of delivering the vaccine will be in the hands of the military in conjunction with the CDC. At the time he said it would be at the end of the year, but the circumstances surrounding the election campaign, which are not in his favor, have led him to make the hasty declaration that in November he has the salvation of the world in his hands?
There is a reality, in these dramatic times and when the number one enemy should be the pandemic. The Department of Defense is not accountable for its expenditures, while its contractors are making huge profits, as always, under the cover of a circumstance long highlighted by critics of the system. The main recipients of war industries’ contributions to their respective election campaigns are the members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.
To make matters worse, the new coronavirus has served to compensate arms manufacturers for alleged losses in profits as well. For example, General Electric, which has laid off 25 percent of its workforce, received $20 million to expand its development of “advanced manufacturing techniques,” and Spirit Aerosystems received $80 million to expand its domestic manufacturing after laying off 900 workers.
Some analysts warn that military expenditures could be reduced if the billions spent on the new Cold War with China were not available; if the Pentagon’s requests to buy the controversial and clearly imperfect F-35 fighter planes from Lockheed Martin were not met; or on Trump’s new warrior invention, the Space Force.
Included in the waste is General Dynamics Electric Boat’s $126 billion nuclear submarine program, the new Ford class aircraft carrier built by Huntington Ingalls for $13.2 billion, and its launch system that remains unlaunched but earns a profit for General Atomics. By the way, Bloomberg reported that the ship’s toilets are frequently clogged and can only be cleaned with specialized acids that cost about $400,000 per flush…).
The clogging is greater in those Pentagon priorities, when it becomes known from a June article in Tom Distpach, that in February 2018, the Government Accountability Office, which to some extent oversees federal spending, warned that the Defense Department’s health care system lacked the capacity to handle routine needs, let alone wartime emergencies, and within the ever-increasing military budget, military health care has grown next to nothing.
The 41,361 individuals linked to the Department of Defense, both military and civilian employees, infected with COVID-19, and in a staff mostly in the 18-24 age range we have not found the recognized number of deaths, will they be the humane and disposable part of that budget “oversight”?