By Juana Carrasco Martin| email@example.com
Published: Thursday 21 January 2021 | 12:10:53 am
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
They say that the color purple stood out at the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. The purple achieved with the mixture of red and blue -which distinguishes the Republican and Democratic parties-, symbolized in this case the search for a national unity so necessary for a good internal climate in the country. The US has supposedly reached the limit of division and chaos by the one who is already characterized as the worst leader in history, Donald Trump, who in order not to lose his egomaniacal habit said as a farewell: “I will come back somehow”.
It is a show, a spectacle of “democracy,” the presidential and vice presidential swearing-in ceremony. As such – this time without the usual crowds due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but replaced by 200,000 flags from the bars and stars located from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol – they heard popular entertainment industry figures such as Lady Gaga, performing the National Anthem in the area outside the Capitol, to Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks.
In the midst of this staging to glorify the great nation, the ceremony was opened by Senator Amy Koblucher, who gave way to Missouri Republican Roy Blunt, both of whom insisted on conciliation after the events of January 6. Their status as the top members of the Senate Rules Committee gave them that task.
Sonia Sotomayor, -the first Latina Supreme Court justice-, then swore in the first African-American, Asian, American and woman to become Vice President of the United States, the then Senator Kamala Harris, as an emblematic example of the possibilities of the American dream.
The Vice President said in her pledge that she will preserve and protect the Constitution against all enemies, domestic and foreign. This is an undeniable allusion to the events of January 6, when violent pro-Trump fanatics stormed the Capitol, a matter under investigation that is likely to leave many loose ends when it is concluded.
Trump faces impeachment in the Senate, now 50/50 Democratic controlled, for inciting the white supremacist mutineers who forced their way into Congress. The former did not attend the ceremony, but traveled to his residence and golf course in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
Joseph Biden was sworn in before Supreme Court Justice John Roberts: “I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States,” he said, with his hand on the Bible, “and to the best of my ability I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.”
Hugs and kisses despite the pandemic, behind the transparent fence, which is known to be armored.
The almost widespread rejection of extremists and the presence of 25,000 National Guards members, in addition to the Metropolitan Police and Security Services, were more than enough to stop the demonstrations of those who are still declaring fraud in the elections of November 3rd. Nevertheless, Washington D.C., taken militarily, gave an unprecedented image for a presidential inauguration and suggested the climate that underlies the apparent tranquility of the first day of the Biden administration.
On the other hand, the new president does not have a single member of his future government team confirmed by the Senate, a disadvantage that he also owes to the stubborn Trump and the obstacles Trump put in the way of a peaceful and normal transition.
Even now, the Senate, which began confirmation hearings for Cabinet members and other key positions requiring such certification the day before, will also be busy impeaching Trump.
The Presidential Address
For 21 minutes the new president spoke to the American peole and the world, which is why he represents the empire. One word prevailed in his call, as often as it was pronounced: unity or union. The nation needs it, and it needs it very much in the face of the challenges that have arisen in four Trumpist years, the last of which was marked by the unusual event of the pandemic and its economic consequences, and by the bloody wound of racism, the extremism of white supremacists and police brutality.
Biden also repeated another term over and over again, intrinsic to the mask behind which all kinds of social inequalities are hidden: democracy.
“This, America’s day. This is the day of democracy,” he said from the very beginning of the speech. “Democracy has prevailed,” he emphasized.
He placed the coronavirus pandemic, which has already taken the lives of 400,000 Americans, and white supremacy on the same plane of challenges or challenges to his government. He assured listeners that he would “confront and defeat” a promise he had already made during his campaign but that it remains to be seen whether he can fulfill it in the four years ahead.
An optimistic and daring vision of the future, although he also recognized in that linear discourse that the forces that divide American society are deep, real and not new: racism, fear, demonization.
The objective is always the same, even if the instruments to implement it are different from those of its predecessor. But it is the confession of faith of the so-called “exceptionality” as a nation: to rebuild the economy so that the United States will once again be the force for good in the world. “Egg dogs, even if they burn your nose,” my grandmother would say. [“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, wl]
I wonder if this statement is just for internal consumption, because the United States should put it into practice in its view of the world. We can see each other not as adversaries, but as neighbors, treat each other with respect, stop the yelling, calm the anger that is a constant struggle, that the nation is not a state of chaos, that unity is the path to follow… At this moment and in this place we are going to begin again to see each other differently, to see each other, to listen to each other, to show mutual respect… Each disagreement does not have to be a cause for an all-out war.
Without mentioning him by name, the absent former president was subtly named to speak of security, freedom, respect, honor and truth as goals and to banish the lies that seek power and profit, and he gave his word not to think of power, but of the common good.
Internal and external repercussions
“Together, we must revive our economy, reassert our leadership and competitiveness in the long term, and restore good governance as we chart a course out of these crises. And we are fundamentally optimistic that we can do just that if we work in partnership,” wrote U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue and President Suzanne Clark.
However, they added: “At the same time, the Chamber strongly warns against a return to excessive regulation or anti-competitive taxation.”
Stocks opened with gains on the first day of Joe Biden’s presidency: the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened with a gain of about 100 points on Wednesday; the S&P 500 Index opened with a gain of 0.6 percent; and the Nasdaq rose 1.4 percent thanks to a 14 percent increase in Netflix stock.
The Hill reported that Biden’s inaugural speech won immediate praise from some Republican Party senators, from whom the new administration will need the support to get its legislative agenda through Congress.
Among those legislators are Senators Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine); and Senators Mitt Romney (Utah) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania), the latter of whom said he is “praying” for Biden.
French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Biden and Harris, and welcomed them to the Paris Climate Agreement.
Interestingly, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, did not attend Biden’s inauguration because he said earlier that he would be working on resolving Senate objections to a quick confirmation of those chosen by the new president to lead that community.
Meanwhile, Frank Sinatra’s My Way was being heard at Andrews Base as former President Trump was leaving for Florida on Air Force One .
Joseph R. Biden – the second Catholic president of the United States – definitely takes office in turbulent times.
Ana María Domínguez Cruz
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Where were you? Who did you meet? These and many other questions make up the survey that, with rigor and specificity, is carried out on each person who, confirmed as positive to COVID-19 or as a suspect, arrives at a hospital in our country.
It seems routine, but it can be very overwhelming, both for the patient, who suffers from that indescribable mixture of fear, uncertainty and anxiety; and for the health personnel who, with the required clothing, approach him/her without wanting to violate the health protocols, although with the desire to make him/her feel better.
This is what Niurka Molina Aguila, a specialist in II degree in Hygiene and Epidemiology, tells us, who carried out numerous surveys of this type as part of her work at the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK).
“Do you know what is the most important and, at the same time, most overwhelming, especially for the patient? It is necessary to answer these questions by appealing to the memory as accurately as possible because it is urgent that the answers refer to the 14 days prior to detection. This is the only way we can properly follow the transmission chain,” she assures us.
It is hard to imagine, but this is the day-to-day work of epidemiologists and other specialists who have been working for months in the midst of a scenario as hostile as the one imposed by COVID-19 on the world.
“The greatest danger of this disease lies not only in the very act of suffering it, but in asymptomatic people who, precisely because they do not feel anything that alarms them, carry out their usual activities and have contact with others, and become carriers with the same risk of transmission as those who do manifest the symptoms.
“Who are these asymptomatic people? You, me, that one, her…, but fundamentally the young people. People over 59 years and children under one year are essentially symptomatic, the rest, adolescents, young people and adults of less age, can carry the disease without suspicion. Til/khat is why it is vital to respect to the letter the established biosecurity norms”.
I do not feel, but I suffer
Based on research carried out at the IPK since last year (which has not been published), when cases of the disease began to be reported in the country, it has been assessed during all this time that about 63 percent of the people identified as positive were asymptomatic. This figure, logically, increases as contact searches are carried out through active surveillance, that is, through research.
The also Master in Infectious Diseases specifies that this study covered Havana, fundamentally, but it will continue to evaluate the results according to a better work of prevention and control of COVID-19. “The disease has been known gradually, as people have become sick.
“Much is still unknown, and so describing symptoms is complex. We already see that sometimes the loss of taste and smell are the only symptoms, even, of the disease. Until it was proven in several patients, it could not be described as an associated symptomatology, and this has happened with other aspects.
“The main thing is to respect the established sanitary norms. We cannot get tired of repeating them and enforcing them, because it is the only way we have to make it clear that this disease will not disappear completely, but rather that we will live with it as a seasonal disease, like H1N1 or others.
-Even if they are asymptomatic, can these people suffer from the sequelae of the disease?
-Yes, it is possible. The sequelae left by COVID-19 have already been described in healthy people who suffered from it. Having symptoms or not, does not necessarily condition the appearance of the sequelae, but when in doubt it is better to avoid contagion.
-The vaccine is the hope…
-Because of our human condition, we need hope to move forward. Certainly, we are anxiously waiting for the vaccine, but the population must know that every vaccine has a time to raise the immunity of the organism. That we vaccinate ourselves today does not mean that tomorrow we are already immune to the virus, especially when new strains are reported from time to time.
“There are vaccines that require two doses, and completing the cycle is essential. However, from the appearance of new strains, it is preferred in not few cases to delay the application of the second dose, and this prolongs the immunization process”.
The doctor, also researcher and assistant professor, underlined that until there is not a high number, very high of vaccinated and immunized people, one will not be out of the greatest danger and never absent completely.
The Cuban population must be informed and correctly oriented, based on the results of the researches carried out and the patients’ reactions when they receive the vaccine.
“I do not intend to alarm, but it must be taken into consideration that another new strain of the virus may emerge and the vaccine may not have the capacity to face it, so it will be necessary to continue studying and creating.
“The health measures that are so much repeated today in the different media are for life, because from now on the world will no longer be the same as the one we knew before the pandemic.
“The family must insist on their children and demand that they respect these measures, because one of the greatest dangers of this pandemic is that health services will collapse, as has happened in other nations. Not only do they collapse because people get sick, but because they don’t avoid getting sick.
Molina Águila also mentioned the process of surrendering patients as convalescents. “Many times it is the time to complete the questionnaire that, when they first arrived at the institution, they could not continue with its completion”.
She emphasized that we should not go to closed places or places where crowds predominate, that the nasobuco should be worn correctly, that frequent hand washing should be deep, that when coughing or sneezing we should protect ourselves with our forearms, that we should maintain distance between one person and another.
“You, me, him, her… any one of us can transmit the disease without knowing it, and that’s what you have to understand. To the extent that someone who lives with other people takes better care of their health, their love and integrity cannot be questioned. These are not times to love as in the old days, but to demonstrate that by taking care of our life, we take care of the lives of others.
By Fernando M. García Bielsa
December 23rd, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The latest incidents of police brutality and racist killings in many U.S. cities are not a recent phenomenon. They are long-standing events, stemming from the days of slavery and, as now, developing alongside the violence of paramilitary and white supremacist groups.
The warlike projection of the country and its having reached the point of being permanently involved in a series of wars in various confines, has permeated the psyche of thousands of people and is reflected in a growing militarization at the domestic level. In addition to police brutality, it is clearly expressed in the proliferation of violent groups, as well as in government agencies such as the prison system, the militarization of the border with Mexico, and violence against immigrants.
In addition to the violent and racist tradition with which the U.S. nation was formed and the impact of imperial militarism, there are also the social fractures, polarization, and growing inequalities that this society has shown in recent decades. There are tens and tens of millions of people inserted in a vicious circle of residential segregation in unsafe neighborhoods lacking basic services.
The question of race and racism against Blacks has been a major factor in shaping American culture and policy from colonial times and the formation of the republic to the present. Much of national politics revolves around them. The historical and current location of African Americans is – in many ways – central to the country’s problems.
In turn, Black political movements and activism have historically been at the forefront of struggles for progressive change in the United States, a vast and diverse country where class and other movements have been co-opted or fragmented. This is influenced by historical reasons, immense institutional obstacles, as well as the dimensions of the country, the tensions arising from the multi-ethnic character of its population, and the growing weakness of the labor movement.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, so-called “communities of color” began to understand that society, as it existed, would never address their needs as they were perceived and felt. It was in this period that exploring their cultural heritage and building their own institutions became their greatest strength. The Black Power slogan had electrified Black communities across the country.
A dramatic transformation in the self-image of Black people began, in the context of one of the most effective social movements to date in the country, of racial pride, collective consciousness and community solidarity, with enormous repercussions in society as a whole.
After the impact of the great struggles and mobilizations of the Black civil rights movement, it became evident to sectors of power that the strength of such movements was being enhanced given the serious social problems in those communities. For this reason, since the 1960s, a whole series of government programs and assistance projects for the “development” of marginal areas and Black communities had been spreading.
Among the results of these programs was the strengthening of reformist groups and economic interests, as well as contributing in the long term to the formation of a whole layer of African American and Latino professionals and politicians with possibilities of access, public presence, and supposed representation of the interests of so-called ethnic minorities.
The Black bourgeoisie, including that which developed during the Obama administration, has continued to make false promises of inclusion. Except in the recent context in reaction to the wave of killings and police violence, organized political activism by African Americans has reached this stage after a long period of ebb.
Black groups have remained atomized, uncoordinated, focused on immediate economic and social concerns, and their energies have become diffuse, marked by the needs and life emergencies of their social bases, internal divisions, and the social polarization in their communities. External manipulations of all kinds do the rest.
The appearance of greater political influence by the Black population given the access of a few of their own to positions of some visibility has been misleading. Despite some advances in participation and representation, Blacks continue to fare worse than whites in having their political preferences and interests legislated.
The increase in class diversity that has taken place within these ‘communities’ and the nefarious role played by the Democratic Party in presenting itself as a champion of the underprivileged when in fact it is subject to the interests of the country’s financial elite, were felt.
The United States shows a growing number of very deep social divisions. Racism and the dangerous ideology of white supremacy is a serious obstacle to social cohesion, and is sometimes conducive to and at the root of serious outbreaks of violence. Demographic trends, some warn, suggest that the nation will not be sustainable in the long term unless marked inequalities between populations of diverse ethnic backgrounds are corrected.
Analyst Tim Wise said (on the Truthout website, March 2, 2012) that, in 25 or 30 years when non-whites will be half the population and the majority in several states, it will not be sustainable for the country to maintain that population as it is now. Blacks today are three times more likely to be in poverty than whites, twice as likely to be unemployed, with several times less assets and with an income less than the other half of the citizenry, and with nine years less life expectancy.
Behind that reality, repressive conceptions prevail. These are not only fed by overflowing militaristic mentalities or fears of ungovernability, but they are backed up by calculations of profit generation. These are derived from the so-called wars on drugs, mass incarceration in private prisons, outsourcing to private “security” agencies, and institutionalized repression against immigrants and marginalized populations.
The focus of repressive state activity is directed against Black groups and progressive organizations, which has led to the violation of civil liberties, the criminalization of social movements, increased surveillance and infiltration of Black, Latino and poor Muslim institutions and communities, including the deployment of undercover police, informants and intimidation in homes and public spaces.
A woman protests in New York against the ban on Muslims in Trump. Photo: Stephanie Keith/ AFP.
Muslim communities in the country face an environment of growing intolerance and hostility since the September 11, 2001 attacks. State and local police forces gather information and spy on law-abiding Muslim citizens. They become targets of violence as an extension of racism and xenophobia to our day, virtually demanding submission and near abandonment of their cultural and identity expressions.
So far, anger and despair have replaced the organizational strength and momentum of the civil rights era.
U.S. society is deeply fractured politically and across class, regional, economic, ethnic, religious, and cultural interests. Racial issues intersect with class differences and class oppression, and are often instrumentalized for political purposes. Levels of violence resurface; disparities are enormous. There are pockets of the population where people live in constant paranoia.
Even after the great rebellions against racism and the successes of the civil rights movement in the middle of the last century, including the partial dismantling of many of the legal structures that supported segregation, racial inequality remains a palpable fact. The racial chasm is widening and has not been altered by changes in government.
Racial prejudice in the United States has a strong negative impact on the lives of African Americans. It expresses itself in forms of discrimination in all areas and conditions of existence: segments of the population caught in a vicious circle of residential segregation, inferior opportunities for education or health services, marginality, increasing rates of incarceration, and discrimination in employment. Black workers receive 22% less than white workers in their wages, with the same levels of education and experience. The average income of African American households is just over half that of white households.
In most cities and urban areas of the country there are separate areas where the Black population resides,. This reflect the historical racial segregation that shaped the country and the policies created in the past to keep Black people out of certain neighborhoods. Many of these slums have high levels of poverty and face an intense and unwanted police presence.
In such an atmosphere and because of such deep-rooted prejudices, any activity, no matter how innocent, in which a Black man is involved generates suspicion, alarm and often danger to his life. Consider also that the rate of Black citizens in prison is five times that of white citizens. Despite being only 13% of the population they constitute 40% of all incarcerated men.
Highly peaceful neighborhoods coexist with others where violent death ravages the usually poor. Entire communities of Black, Latino, Muslim or Asian populations feel their communities are under increasing police occupation.
U.S. society has not been able to address the root causes of the outrage and anger that consume millions and are behind the recent powerful demonstrations against repression and racism. Neither politicians nor public institutions have established effective government programs to mitigate at least these gross inequalities, ultimately produced by the prevailing capitalist system.
On the other hand, what that society has done quite effectively is to divide and co-opt many of the struggles and organizing efforts that were going on in those communities.
The re-emergence of a “new Jim Crow,” that is, of a climate of brutal segregation, based on the mass imprisonment and repeated police killings of unarmed Black men, shows that the old systems of repressive control have increased in the present, always maintaining the dividing line of skin color.
In contrast, white hate groups, nationalists and racists, as well as their armed paramilitary branches, proliferate and carry out violent actions, often being overlooked or even in collusion with authorities in certain regions. Many of President Trump’s words and actions have seemed to encourage such groups.
All of this demagogic rhetoric, which has a fascist slant and is a mirror of the country’s war policies, encourages desperate sectors to organize themselves into militias to wage crusades of various kinds. It is a propitious environment when more than 300 million firearms, many of them of high caliber, are in the hands of the population, when a part of the hundreds of thousands of war veterans live with their frustrations, resentments and traumas of their war experiences.
In this context, hundreds and hundreds of right-wing armed militias throughout the country are operating, whose ideology and motivations are a combination of paranoia, fear and aggressive claims of their rights to carry firearms, receptiveness to elaborate conspiracy theories and extreme anti-government anger. Many claim that the country’s government has been subverted by conspirators and has become illegitimate, and therefore see themselves as patriotic by organizing themselves paramilitarily, confronting the authorities, and fomenting racial warfare.
Many authorities, in conjunction with the media, continued to criminalize protests and progressive groups, going so far as to characterize minor actions as violent crimes and even “terrorism.
Raising alleged “security” interests, the so-called program to Counteract Violent Extremism (CVE) was begun under the Obama administration (2009-2017), that openly resembles the repression against radical groups and the COINTELPRO program of the 1960s and 1970s, and that was added to the actions deployed after the passage of the Patriot Act in October 2001 and other actions.
On the basis of sections of that law, federal agencies are able to make more and more inroads into areas of civil and personal life. The FBI, for example, can demand information such as telephone and computer records, credit and banking history, etc., without requiring court approval and without being subject to controls on the use that the feds make of such personal information.
Abuses and violations of the law often occur. Such is the case when attention is drawn to controversial sections of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which allow for the conduct of mass spying on Americans communicating abroad. Recently the National Security Agency (NSA) has admitted to improperly collecting several hundred million phone calls from U.S. citizens.
According to William I. Robinson, a specialist on these issues, in his January 2018 article Global Police State, as war and state repression are privatized, the interests of a wide range of capitalist groups converge around a political, social, and ideological climate conducive to the generation and maintenance of social conflict.
For some time there have been signs that the government was anticipating the possible occurrence of serious civil problems and disturbances.
A video entitled “The Urban Future and its Emerging Complexity,” created by the U.S. Army to be used in the training of special forces, is revealing of the mentality and attitude in state entities regarding citizenship and the so-called “problems” that the government must be prepared to face through the use of martial law.
Already in 2008, a report from the Army Defense College stated that in the face of the possibility of a wave of widespread civilian violence within the country, the military establishment planned to “redirect its priorities under conditions of exemption to defend domestic order and the security of the people.
In its 44 pages, the report warned of the potential causes of such problems, which could include terrorist attacks, unanticipated economic collapse, loss of legal and political order, intentional domestic insurgency, health emergencies, and others. It also mentioned the possibility of a situation of widespread public outcry that would trigger dangerous situations and that would require additional powers to restore order.
In recent years, the U.S. state has radically expanded its punitive and surveillance capabilities. To limit protests, control dissent and popular opposition, as part of the well-known actions of the FBI and local police forces in previous decades, the system used administrative and legislative methods, espionage and covert infiltration, discrediting actions, massive “preventive” arrests, police attacks even against authorized peaceful protests, and so on.
The FBI’s budget for funding undercover agents, much of it within progressive organizations, rose from $1 million in 1977 to several tens of millions today.
In the United States, Black deaths are not a flaw in the system. They are the system.
This is like saying “homemade terrorism,” almost always made for export, only this time the three cups of broth were in the halls of the U.S. Congress
This is what Joe Biden called the occupation, by force, of the Capitol in the United States. This is like saying “homemade terrorism,” almost always made for export, only this time the three cups of broth were in the halls of the U.S. Congress.
But this act of “domestic terrorism” had an agitator: Donald Trump, the president who reluctantly leaves the White House chair.
After that disaster, he called them intruders. The fact is that they played their part, or left the script; they no longer serve the game of lies; the change in attitude reminds us of the scene of the president throwing rolls of toilet paper at a Puerto Rican crowd after a hurricane on that neighboring island.
And it all happens in a country that extends the Cesarean finger to give or take life, issue certificates of democracy, or make spurious lists of countries that sponsor terrorism. Now they have no other honorable way out than to tear up the nomination sheet and sign up first.
However, President Trump only uncorked the bottle full of old demons: one of the flags that was carried by the “domestic terrorists” carried the symbols of 19th century slavery and racism.
José Martí, who lived in that country for 15 years, observed with concern the division and hatred. He learned of a marriage that was stoned to death because it was a white woman married to a black man. He saw children selling newspapers in the cold of New York. He saw the struggles between Democrats and Republicans and the role of money in the elections. He felt with pain the separation between rich and poor, and the imperial appetites for devouring other peoples. He did not hesitate to affirm that the United States of America was not the model to follow for the emerging Republics of Our America, since that giant already had feet of clay.
When he prepared for the Necessary War, he knew that this one is not only for Cuba and Puerto Rico, but “to save the already doubtful honor of English America”. Martí was not only a revolutionary for Cubans, he is also a revolutionary for the American people.
The images of the assault on the seat of American democracy confirm the future of José Martí’s thinking, that which opens the door to the spirit of Lincoln and closes the way to the dangers of the adventurer Cutting, the ancient face of those who now feed the supremacy of some men over others.
Many of those who attack Cuba, and tear their clothes in the name of freedom, now keep a strange silence. They turn their faces away, as if this matter were of minor importance, something very domestic that does not deserve to raise its voice, much less to fill its head with ashes.
Only this time, from the pages of Don Quixote, an old certainty jumps out: “The truth thins, but does not break, and always walks on the lie like oil on water”. This is one of the realities that floats: the shamelessness of “domestic terrorism”, made in the very house of the empire.
Assault on the Capitol: “democracy” in the U.S. again in question
Holguin authorities take action to combat price violations
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Holguín: With the COVID-19 on the prowl, a large group of rogue traders, whom Mercury himself would classify as a bunch of profiteers, have raised the prices of agricultural products and various items. In the face of this, the population is crying out to stop the mistakes of those who only think of their own pockets.
Solicitous, as it should be in times where half-baked positions are not admitted, the authorities of this province deploy actions to curtail the excesses that hurt, above all, the lowest income compatriots.
To the hard and without pause
Among the abusers sanctioned in recent days is a worker at a point of sale of agricultural products in the ccs Manuel Angulo. He was operating in the area of El Coco, near the provincial capital, and did not have the Commercial Authorization. It had been withdrawn a month ago for breaking the prices, which he ignored once again. This time, the outcome was the confiscation, among other products, of about 240 pounds of pork, valued at 5,470 pesos. Thus, what was intended for profit ended up in the 8 de Marzo maternity home.
In this effort, the agents of the National Revolutionary Police acted legally and with no ostentation. Access to reports on their work reveals that recently, in only 48 hours, they faced 111 cases related to the excessive increase in prices. These people had in their possession 4.5 tons of agricultural products and other merchandise, including coffee and animal feed. As expected, some of the violators could not justify the origin of what they were offering.
Dionisia Milagros Portelles, who heads the province’s Integral Direction of Supervision, points out that the body of supervisors works intensely in all the municipalities, which is why, in December and the first week of January, upon finding severe alterations in prices, they levied more than 1,700 fines amounting to more than 719,000 pesos.
As we proceed with absolute respect for the law, in several cases the confiscation of the goods was the result. Thus, for example, several people in the municipality of Calixto Garcia failed in their attempt to continue spoliation of the fellow citizens through the high prices at which they sold children’s shoes, socks, women’s sandals, razors and other items.
The abusive vendors frown and even blaspheme, but the people go out to stock up appreciate and applaud this action. They have had the opportunity to access, without excessive expenses, food, fruit, vegetables, ham, and sheep and pig meat, among other foods.
Ramiro Andrés Hampton agrees with this way of stopping the rampages of the abusers and speculators.
The “harassment” of the good
Abnalie Rondón says that the work of the authorities facing the price changers will not be efficient without the collaboration of those affected. “We have to let them know that we are not willing to put up with them. And since they have reached such a point of arrogance, one cannot be afraid to denounce them. We have allowed them too much until now”.
And it is true that denouncing unscrupulous procedures that affect the community is a civic attitude that needs all the support of those responsible for putting things in order. Addressing this issue at a recent working meeting attended by the media, the first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party in Holguín, Ernesto Santiesteban Velázquez, said that it would be unforgivable not to act in a hurry when the population brings to the attention of the authorities acts that hurt it.
Not believing in the power of collective vigilance was the mistake of an individual who, these days, transported in the vehicle driving packages of razor blades and blister packs of various types of medicines, among them diclofenac sodium plus paracetamol, ibuprofen, amoxicillin, tadalafil, vitamins and metronidazole and nystatin eggs. It was intended to be profitable and will now be processed by their recipients.
The same thing happened to a citizen residing in a rural area of Banes. Along with salt packs, he was taken care of by five plastic fumigation backpacks with all the attachments.
Similarly, acts of speculation and hoarding that lead to outrages continue to find a retaining wall. A resident of the Miraflores neighborhood in Moa knows this well, who was engaged in the illegal sale of a wide range of clothing for children and adults, jewelry, perfumes, wipes, USB cables, hearing aids and even nasobucos.
Staff at the Citizen’s Portal, a digital site of the Provincial Government, assures us that through this communication channel, notifications about price violations by cart drivers and other self-employed workers are constantly arriving.
It is not to prohibit, but to control and order
In view of the irregularities found in points of sale belonging to cooperatives, the ANAP in Holguín has undertaken a thorough review of the matter. This is aimed, above all, at identifying the productive forms that have fallen into the harmful game of lending their legal personality to the profiteers. “It is not a question of erasing these points from the commercial scene, but of controlling them, so that they can fulfill their true function. We must take into account that they will play an important role in the food offers in the context created by the new policy of commercialization of agricultural products”, says Amaury Velázquez Zaldívar, president of ANAP in the province.
Along with the actions of the inspectorates, dialogue with self-employed workers is also expanding, a sector in which, unfortunately, the greatest number of violations have been reported. An example of this effort to walk the right path are the meetings held by officials from the Provincial Directorate of Labor and Social Security with those who sell in bazaars in the city of Holguín to explain, once again, the regulations to be taken into account.
In the provincial capital, most of the points of sale of agricultural products operated by self-employed people show a total lack of supply, since those in charge know about the verifications in progress. But when a potential customer approaches, an attentive “public servant” appears from the vicinity with the product offers he keeps hidden.
Intelligence and perseverance are required to maintain this confrontation. It cannot be overlooked that many ask themselves if this attack against opportunism will be something specific, when avoiding inflation has to be a constant in order to achieve order in the economic environment.
Indications from the President
We can no longer postpone what the people ordered at the last Party congresses. We need to implement everything that is pending without delay, shake up the business system, ensure order, and intelligently deal with rising prices.
We also called on the necessary private and cooperative sectors. We must banish the selfishness and exclusive pursuit of personal gain that drives some to fish in the troubled river of the needs of the majority, abusively raising prices.
This people, noble and hard-working, has survived all the imperial fences and abuses with an extraordinary dose of solidarity and generosity that is now an inseparable part of the national being. Selfishness is an attitude that will not prosper in our Homeland.
UNEDITED TRANSLATION OF COMMENTS AT GRANMA WEB PAGE:
Very well by the authorities and Holguinero police but WHAT ABOUT HERE IN HAVANA? It seems that there are only exhortations from the bosses to the rogues to behave well, and if not, why don’t they publish the cases like in this article of what they do in Holguin?
lesther veloso santos said:
January 7, 2021
everyone looks at the prices of these people and the mistake that the Cuban government has made with the rise in food prices essentially and the urban transport that even if you earn your salary does not give you the bill you have to criticize yourself and correct yourself because the bill does not give and there we will see …..
josé julio said:
January 7, 2021
I think that we really have to take the necessary measures to stop this kind of actions, that far from helping our society what they do is to destroy & attempt against the implemented laws. Everything that is exposed in this journalistic work is very well. Yes, because for many years we have been burdened with this great problem & the evil really continues. Sometimes they even call the telephone number assigned to make any complaint of this nature & many times it is “eternally” busy or nobody attends to it.
January 7, 2021
I think it is very good that prices are within the reach of citizens, but the quality of bread has not been resolved, pork does not appear, fruit is not on the market, food is very scarce and of poor quality, beans and rice are very scarce and of poor quality, medicines are still lacking and the pension that we receive the people who no longer work is not enough for us with the prices that are hit and reduced. We need products to feed ourselves, medicines. Water, electricity and other essential elements to live decently the few years we have left. What is published in the press is not a reflection of the reality we are living. People need to solve their needs for food, medicine, housing, water and light in order to be able to talk about and deal with politics and what is happening in other countries. There are many organizations and officials dedicated to solving the problems but the results are only partially and sporadically appreciated, there is no stability and guarantees for a normal and decent life for the elderly and life is running out.
January 7, 2021
Hopefully, they will be able to control the prices in all Cuba. The task is hard because all the barrow drivers are slowing down the change since in the end they want to continue making the most of it. In the end I hope that someday the pyramid will be really ordered because if everyone raises prices in the end it will be the same. The barber or handyman will continue to earn more than an engineer working for the state. The biggest problem that the order will have, apart from inflation, is the widespread corruption that exists today in our country.
Aimara Perez Rodriguez said:
January 7, 2021
In Holguín alone, I deployed those actions throughout Cuba, all the money that they increased for us is being taken by those people, the individuals.
January 7, 2021
Good article, many of these things not only happen in the provincial capital in the municipalities but also mainly in the “public servants” merchandise It would be good to check also the ice cream, the Coppelia ice cream ball, the most delicious, most popular ice cream is at 5.00 CUP and the own account raised to 8.00, how do you understand this?
January 7, 2021
The same thing happens in Havana, in the park Fe del Valle in Boulevard de San Rafael there are the sellers with their tables depending everything that is sold in the stores of all x 1. But they these products increased the value how 5 times. An example a pqte of Sponge to scrub (Which there is nowhere) in all x 1 cuc, cost 1cuc or 25 mn; they have them each individual sponge costs 30.00 MN. Like other products you don’t see in the stores. It is an abuse that these merchants have to the people buy and resell. Be careful with them. Greetings
MAYRA PINAR said:
January 7, 2021
Hello, this price increase is very diabolical because here in Pinar del Rio, the sellers of household goods that are really resellers and do not count propistas because they acquire the goods from one hand to another the prices are hot, hot please who revises that nobody sees it the responsible authorities this where this, on the other hand the cafeterias neither to speak, the pizerias by the same style and I join to the commentary better they had not raised the salaries, anyway neither we have left to pay a ball of ice cream in the coopelia that neither quality has to five pesos.
January 7, 2021
Here in Santiago de Cuba, also the rogue sellers and abusers are for the free, and the inspectors know where it is sold expensive
Juana Carrasco Martín |Juana@juventudrebelde.cu
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Moving trucks leave the White House loaded with large boxes containing the occupying family’s belongings until January 19, evicted by the decision of U.S. voters and the Electoral College, no matter what the outgoing tenant Donald Trump did and did not do to stay in place.
No tricks, unsuccessful lawsuits about alleged fraud and even the seizure of Congress by its white supremacist fanatics, some armed, and willing to do anything, as the gallows erected in front of the Capitol pointed out. A Pew Research Center poll says that about 70 percent of Americans now disapprove of how he has done his job.
Trump takes his stuff, but leaves behind a legacy of worse stuff than anyone would want. I will not speak of the mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic; nor of the internal chaos in a nation more divided than ever before; nor of the discredit of his unilateral and unconsultative policies on the international stage.
I will limit myself to the adverse legacy of injustices, aggressions, revanchist measures, outrageous decisions on the human rights of a people, contained in their policy against Cuba.
The President who is now taking office, Joe Biden, is also carrying this burden, destined during the four-year term of office to please an anti-Cuban clique, which as of January 20 will be his neighbors in Miami, in exchange for their votes and whose aim is to destroy a nation, a people, a social, political and economic system that they viscerally hate.
Over the past few weeks, Mike Pompeo and other retreating officials have exaggerated anti-Cuban actions to multiply the damage and put obstacles in the way of any reversal. In a low and final blow he registered Cuba on the exclusive, sinister and politically motivated list of “countries sponsoring terrorism,” a deliberate lie that has earned the revulsion of various personalities and organizations worldwide.
The final straw came last Friday when the Treasury Department included the Cuban Ministry of the Interior and its head, Brigadier General Lázaro Alberto Álvarez Casas, on a list of those sanctioned for “persecuting or punishing dissidents”, meaning the salaried and discredited acolytes of San Isidro.
“The United States will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to address the terrible human rights situation in Cuba and elsewhere,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
Both measures against the clock add up to more than 230 approved against Cuba in four years of (dis)government, trying to dent and sink 62 years of resistance that serves as an example to the world and, what hurts them most, to a united nation moving against the tide.
A review, without going deeply into all the nooks and crannies of the operations from Washington to affect the economy of Cuba, allows us to define that the intensification of the blockade and the advertising of lies were centered on ruining the tourist industry, stopping Cuban medical collaboration and cooperation, closing family remittances, paralyzing investments by third parties, financing and trade of the world with and from the island.
The enforcement of all the evil instruments of the Helms-Burton Act was the tool used during these terrible 1461 days by Trump and his people, in which they reversed, or more appropriately, curtailed the policy of rapprochement inaugurated by Barack Obama when, on December 17, 2014, together with Army General Raul Castro, they announced the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, and in two years there were certain achievements of mutual benefit, in favor of a better neighborhood.
Trump’s unseemly anti-Cuban dossier includes organizing, orienting and financing small groups to defame the Revolution and try to turn them into “the leaders” of a subversion that produces a change in the political model on the island. We have already seen how they have defended them…
But the story began early, not with this sin of an idiotic slander, but with aggressive prohibitions and sanctions, including collusion with other governments in the region to attack the Cuban economy and make it as worn out as possible, which in the last year joined the damage caused by the Covid-19.
He did everything possible to bring the situation up to his promise as a presidential candidate made in Miami to hard-line Cuban Americans, and to directors of the terrorist Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF), in September 2016: to break relations with Cuba.
On June 16, 2017, in Miami, he signed the so-called Presidential National Security Memorandum on Strengthening U.S. Policy Toward Cuba. It restricted the travel of US citizens to the Caribbean country and also prohibited economic, commercial and financial transactions between US companies and Cuban companies linked to the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the intelligence and security services.
The ban on cruise ships that successfully traveled to Cuban ports was among the first restrictive measures. They reaffirmed the exorbitant fines on companies that violated the blockade – a practice reinforced by Obama – and strictly enforced the ban on the use of the dollar in Cuba’s international transactions.
By November 2017, Trump had completely changed the policy on U.S. travel to the Caribbean nation, which, with the easing of the previous administration’s blockade rules, allowed 12 categories of specific activities, although tourism remained prohibited.
As a result, the airlines began to shut down travel to Cuban airports, which had been resumed on August 31, 2016, after 55 years of isolation. Other bans followed. On December 10, 2019, the Trump administration ended the bridge established three years ago between the US and several provinces in Cuba by suspending regular flights to those destinations except for Havana.
In addition to being a coup de grace against family ties and the state tourism industry, the impact on small private businesses (transportation, the well-known palates, rental houses, artisans, and many other businesses) directly or indirectly linked to tourism was notable.
Since assuming the presidency of his country, Trump extended, year after year, the Law of Trade with the Enemy, a regulation that serves as the basis for the blockade laws, and maintained his authority to sanction through executive decrees.
By establishing sanctions against the Venezuelan oil sector, Trump was also establishing a measure to deprive Cuba of fuel with the intention of delivering a coup de grace in the midst of the terrible 2020, which together with the decision to re-impose the limit of up to ten percent on U.S. components for products that the island can import, points against any development sector.
The Trumpist push to impose limitations of all kinds was made despite the fact that U.S. legislators and various economic sectors rejected the restrictions, which hardened the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington against Cuba, which also hurt sectors of the U.S. economy and the rejection of the blockade by a part of the Cuban migration wishing to have no obstacles of any kind to their family relations.
Perhaps one of the most monstrous actions linked Trump to equally aberrant rulers in our hemisphere. The accusations against Cuban medical cooperation justified countries like Brazil, Bolivia under the coup d’état and Ecuador, closing the doors to solidarity and also to the right to health of the most humble of their peoples by putting an end to the agreements that made possible the presence of hundreds or thousands of Cuban doctors, and put pressure on others to follow that inhumane path in the midst of the pandemic.
Trump definitely closed down spaces for dialogue and cooperation, and any possibility of advancing, as intended, toward a “civilized coexistence”.
This is, in short, the abusive legacy that Donald Trump leaves to Joe Biden.
By Manuel Yepe Menéndez
January 1, 2021
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
In the middle of the 19th century, the Republican Party, representing the interests of the nascent U.S. industrial capital, won the military battle against the Southern Democratic Party, which represented and defended the slave plantation and slavery itself.
However, the southern institutions-including its religious system that justified slavery and defined whites as superior social beings-did not disappear. The defeat suffered by the South permeated southern society, which since then has seen the North as foreignizing, secularizing, and foreign: an enemy to be fought. The civil war, which for the North ended in 1865, had just begun for the South.
The assassination of Abraham Lincoln by a Southerner in that year meant the first questioning of the power of the North. This situation has continued until today.
The South, since then, has been discriminated against by the power of the North. As the family farm became extinct, replaced by agribusiness, those displaced farmers who opposed the new capitalism – which, by paying low wages to Mexicans, made it impossible for the farmers to prosper – became allies of the South.
A southern nationalism opposed to the north developed in the south. If one thinks of the United States as a single nation, this phenomenon may go unnoticed. But, in reality, they are two nations with different dynamics.
The southerners were free traders because the plantations in the south depended on cotton exports to Europe. Those in the north who industrialized were protectionists, influenced by an ideology of self-employment oriented to depending on the work of farmers in the field, with or without slaves. In the south, which extended along the east coast to Virginia and reached the gates of Washington, it dominated the plantation.
The South’s military defeat in the Civil War did not mean the defeat of the South’s institutions, nor its ideology. The North became industrialized and today depends on finance, banks and mortgages since the industries disappeared when they were sold to the Third World. The South, on the other hand, continued to be agricultural until the 1920s when large-scale oil extraction began in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama. Therefore, it was in the South where, little by little, the powerful oil power group developed.
In the south, whites were mostly poor but considered superior to slaves. There the Ku Klux Klan emerged in 1866, which soon became the terrorist organization that channeled white supremacist hate in the United States and whose function was to keep alive those practices that the new anti-slavery laws prohibited. The ban on voting for Blacks was maintained and only after a new intervention by the North with federal troops a century later were the civil rights of Blacks legally recognized.
Nationalist and conservative ideology spread in the South as part of the tradition of identifying with the past. The “founding fathers” recognized slavery and did not question it. Even the text of the Constitution, in its original version, allowed slavery.
One element that cannot be ignored is the religious aspect. The ideology of revanchism is based on the religion of Southern Baptists, for whom the South had been God’s chosen people in their struggle against the North. For them, they lost the civil war because God was testing them. The expansion of the country before and after the civil war was led by Southerners. And the same thing happened in the states bordering Canada, where a northern European Lutheran tradition joined with local racist attitudes. Many Southerners left for Alaska. The state of Utah is populated by Mormons, a racist theology with southern bases from that right-wing Arizona tradition.
Blacks and ethnic groups have been influenced by this ideology through the “prosperity gospel” that this movement has emphasized since the 19th century.
When people in North America talk, especially during election periods, about blue states and red states they are referring to two nations.
That’s why it was said that, according to the Southern view, Barack Obama embodied the interests of the North as a northerner (from Chicago), Black, and an ally of the world of finance – the three elements that the Southern right identified in the struggle against the North. On the other hand, to Donald Trump, who was defeated in 2020, was attributed the status of defender of the interests of the red states, because he had assured majority electoral support in the most industrialized states.
By Fernando M. García Bielsa
JANUARY 17, 2021
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
The new President of the United States, Joseph Biden, when he takes office will have to face numerous challenges, and in the immediate future he is obliged to pay attention to severe and serious problems such as the pandemic, the recession, climate change and serious fiscal tensions in order to solve urgent social and economic needs. It will also need to obtain some tangible results in its first months, especially in the economy and in the fight against the coronavirus, and show that once again bipartisan action is possible.
He is called to govern a country whose international credibility has been damaged by the ups and downs of its politics and the unstable management of the outgoing president. Likewise, the United States suffers serious structural problems, and is in a moment of serious political, economic and health crisis, with a very polarized society, the discredit and dysfunctionality of many of its institutions and the prospect of obstruction in Congress, where it has a tiny majority. In addition, given the loss of reputation of the electoral system and Trump’s sustained campaign on alleged fraud, part of the citizenry considers Biden’s presidency illegal.
In addition, President Biden’s powers may be somewhat diminished, as he may not be considered to have a strong “mandate” due to the narrow margin of his electoral victory. During this next four years he will face a strong Republican action to obstruct his administration, despite the fact that he and his government will not move away from the neoliberal political orientation shared by both parties of the system, the Democrat and the Republican.
A short list of the challenges facing U.S. society, along with the urgency and severity of the impact of the pandemic and the worrisome trends that are emerging, includes the endless wars that are bogging down the country, the economic crisis, the huge fiscal and trade deficits, a serious deterioration of infrastructure, persistent racial hatred and tensions, the flawed approach to immigration policy, the dangers of growing inequality, environmental degradation, the loss of citizen privacy and the loss of legitimacy of the institutions of the system.
But also the high degree of financialization of that society, which does not work for the real and productive economy, the big financial bubbles linked to an enormous public debt waiting to unleash a major disaster with dire consequences for society as a whole; a flawed and outmoded electoral political system and a two-party system that is full of divisions, far removed from the real problems of the people and overwhelmed by the fractures in society; the growing ineffectiveness and stagnation of the political and legislative game in Washington.
The situation is equivalent to a crisis of political representation.
Massive inequality has made the struggle for survival a central and daily component for millions of people. The public consciousness of many of them has become twisted by their own situation, by their fears and fanaticism, because they have felt repeatedly deceived and abandoned by both parties in the system, and by the manipulative action of the right wing media and their social networks.
Likewise, there is a widespread desire for change and the rebirth, expansion and ramification of forces and tendencies that feed the divisions in the country, while racial and other forms of violence, white supremacist hate groups and heavily armed militias and paramilitary groups with connections in the police and other security bodies are spreading. According to imprecise figures such groups have some 50,000 members.
This is a reality that the new President will have to deal with. He has no easy task ahead of him and in some areas he would have to confront the oligarchic elite and the entrenched interests in both parties, something that is highly unlikely given his political background.
The shameful episode of the violent takeover of the Capitol by the hordes of Trump sympathizers of a fascist nature has exposed the false illusions and cracks in the country. It is striking how little resistance, bordering on complicity, was encountered by the rioters among many of the security guards as they marched into the hall. Although unusual and logically rejected by the vast majority of citizens, according to some polls, these actions were viewed with sympathy by almost one in five respondents in the nation. Along with these events, hundreds of people demonstrated outside legislative buildings in several states across the country against Biden’s confirmation.
This episode shows the seriousness of the legitimacy crisis that has been eating away at the U.S. political system for decades. Political violence has been an enthroned feature of U.S. affairs since its inception, but in recent years there has been a renewed receptivity to it, along with an erosion of confidence in the institutions and in the supposedly democratic channels.
Such developments may be mere precursors of more serious events; of a violent and turbulent period. Clearly the institutional breakdown that is taking place is not resolved by Trump’s departure. Some analysts go so far as to say that the country has not experienced a crisis of this intensity and magnitude since the years before the Civil War in the second half of the 19th century.
At the same time, according to a Reuters/Ipsos survey conducted in conjunction with the Center for Policy at the University of Virginia, one-third of Americans believe that “the United States must preserve the predominance of its white European heritage. There has always been a wide range of resentment in the country, with political expressions that cannot tolerate the growing diversity in that society.
These and other problems are not only projected into the future, but are a present reality, including the great differences between regions of the country, the economic, ethnic, and cultural imbalances, and the sense of abandonment and hopelessness of tens of millions. Such problems are part of the explanation and conditions that made it possible for a demagogue like Donald Trump to become President in 2016.
Many of these problems and tendencies are derived from or related to the process of decline that is manifested in the economy and in the degree of predominance of the United States in the concert of nations, to a great extent derived from the negative impact accumulated by decades of gigantic military expenditures, of endless wars and the disproportionate over-expansion of imperialism in all corners of the planet, as well as the consequent imbalances and growing inequalities generated by neo-liberal globalization within that society.
In the immediate term, some recent events should presumably improve Biden’s possibilities for management and for promoting his legislative program to some extent. Among them, the loss by the Republican Party of its majority in the Senate and the many cracks that exist within it, catalyzed during the catastrophic end of the government of Donald Trump, stand out in the first place.
Despite this, it is to be expected that the magnate will dedicate part of his time to hindering the new President’s administration. Trump has had to leave the government but the latent weight of the 74 million Americans who voted for him is there. They will continue to be a tremendous political base, with tendencies to reject Washington’s elites and the status quo, destabilizing and potentially manipulable for right-wing political projects. What we now call Trumpism will remain even if Trump’s figure is ultimately damaged, to a greater or lesser extent, or discredited by his involvement in the unprecedented revolt at the heart of the Capitol.
Recently some notorious Republican politicians have been abandoning the ship driven by Trump, but mostly they do it measuring consequences with a view to eventually inheriting his mantle. They cannot disengage much from their agenda without alienating the eventual support of the tens of millions who fervently follow the former President.
Aside from the not inconsiderable spread and entrenchment of violent right-wing groups, the xenophobic agenda and rejection of political and financial elites that Trump has exploited remains extremely popular with his broad base of supporters. Many are following him, inside and outside the institutions. An imminent battle over the future direction of the Republican Party and even its eventual division is predicted, which could in the medium term generate consequences and even question the continuity of the two-party oligarchic system.
The electoral victory and the correlation of internal forces do not constitute a clear mandate
Despite all the hype of the US electoral process and the decisive impact of the money spent, there is no doubt that Joseph Biden was elected in 2020 largely because of the massive rejection of Donald Trump, further weakened by the economic and health crisis just before the election. The usual formula of voting for the lesser evil was imposed on millions of people.
The announced and expected blue wave (pro-democracy) did not happen. Biden’s victory was relatively narrow in several states, the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives was reduced, and although a functional predominance is assumed in the Senate, this body, which by its nature is eminently conservative, has been divided with its seats distributed equally, with 50 senators from each party. Its advantage is quite small and fragile, especially when both right-wing Democrats and liberal Republicans could occasionally join the opposing party in voting on measures that do not suit their preferences. This makes the projection of the legislative program more complex.
More than half of the states in the Union have Republican-dominated governors and/or legislatures. There is concern about the role that the Supreme Court and the judicial body can play at various levels, all of which are clearly conservative.
Given Trump’s role as a catalyst for many of the nation’s rifts, Biden made his point by emphasizing that he would, on the one hand, reverse Trump’s right-wing policies while, at the same time, promising the very difficult task of restoring unity in the nation and governing for all Americans, regardless of their partisan color.
This now appears to him as a straitjacket. The President will have to move between two opposing waters: between his alleged courtship with Republican sectors that supported him, and on the contrary he will have to avoid alienating himself from the combative progressive wing of the Democratic Party, the followers of Bernie Sanders and the traditional party base among workers, African Americans, environmentalists and others.
In the weeks leading up to the inauguration, it became clear that it is the traditional elite who are in charge. Favored by it are the bulk of those chosen for the cabinet and the most important positions. For the moment, there is a great deal of ignorance and contempt for the progressive sector.
Biden is an accomplished politician of the oligarchic elite who comes into office with the remarkable gravitation of a class of billionaire donors from Silicon Valley and Wall Street. He was the most conservative of the candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination in the recent election. He will have to govern a country in decline, with many tears, and during a long period of economic recession and fiscal stress. He will be governing with a divided Democratic Party and one in which reconciling differences with the progressive wing presents him with the challenge of not alienating other sectors of his coalition and avoiding a collapse in the parliamentary elections of 2022.
Maintaining the continuity of neoliberal capitalism and the corporate profit rate will be a central concern of the economic policy of the Biden Administration, in part due to the influence on it of the financial sector, the giants of advanced technology, the transnationals and the Democratic establishment.
Domestically, despite enormous levels of debt and an untouchable increase in the military budget, there is a marked need for increased federal spending on health care, aid for the unemployed and businesses, and support for troubled state and local governments. It is believed that given the existing level of inequality and the low dynamism of the economy, Biden could attempt to soften the edge of neoliberal policies through monetary manipulation, without abandoning the general neoliberal orientation characteristic of the spheres that control the Democratic Party.
Even after the pandemic is over, he is likely to face persistent economic weakness and a desperate need for more public investment. The massive injection into the economy of fiat money, of large issues of paper money without real backing, will surely continue, which would increase in the medium term the risks for the stability of the dollar and of the economy itself.
Several important analysts consider the orthodox centrist policies that the Biden administration is likely to adopt as anachronistic and unsustainable, given the growing fractures and conflicting trends in the country and the erosion of the credibility of neoliberalism. The next period of Biden’s government could well be a mere interval in the trajectory of continued ascent and empowerment of extreme right-wing positions in the country.
In matters of foreign policy there will surely be more space for multilateralism, diplomacy and some accommodation with allies, while continuing the United States’ claim to recover its global primacy and domination by threat and force. It is above all in this sphere that the new president has nominated some notorious neoconservatives and interventionist liberals. With Biden, the military budget will be increased, troops will be maintained in the Middle East and, in an adverse geopolitical framework, a hard line will be maintained towards China. The United States will continue to be the biggest exporter of arms, and new military and subversive interventions abroad could be expected.
At first sight, Biden is favored to begin his administration when he succeeds a government like that of Trump, which generated so much controversy, so much polarization and a mediocre performance in a period in which the divisions in the country were sharpened. However, the many expectations generated for a new administration could soon work against him.
In a memo circulated among the major U.S. media, Biden’s advisors describe such executive actions as an urgent readiness to address the most serious crises in the nation’s modern history
Author: Digital Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
January 17, 2021 10:01:43
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Amidst preparations for the inauguration, President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team is today preparing a set of urgent measures for the first 10 days of the administration.
In a memo circulated Saturday to the major U.S. media, Biden’s advisers describe such executive actions as an urgent readiness to address the most serious crises in the nation’s modern history.
Ron Klain, the incoming chief of staff to the next White House chief, wrote in that document that the orders will focus on ‘the Covid-19 health crisis, and its resulting serious impact, climate change and racial equity.
The official said the provisions will be accompanied by a ‘strong’ legislative agenda and are intended to provide relief to the millions of Americans struggling with these serious issues.
He added that the president-elect will take steps not only to reverse the worst damage of Republican President Donald Trump’s administration, “but also to begin to move our country forward.”
The new head of state will begin implementing the measures on Wednesday, the day he takes office, with what Klain said would be about a dozen executive orders on the issues mentioned.
The president-elect also plans to bring the country back into the Paris climate change agreement and undo the ban on travel to the United States by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, a measure implemented by Trump.
Biden will also issue a provision for mandatory use of masks as a requirement for staying on federally owned land or facilities and on interstate travel, and will also extend a pause on evictions and mortgages.
He even plans to take steps to mitigate the spread by expanding Covid-19 testing, protecting workers, and establishing clear health standards.
The White House will spend the remaining eight days instructing its cabinet to push for economic assistance to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and to take executive action on issues such as reunification of children separated from their families after crossing the border, among others.
The effort comes as the Senate prepares for President Trump’s second impeachment, in the early days of the Biden administration.
Although the transition team has not outlined many components of its upcoming legislative agenda, the next White House chief implemented a $1.9 trillion plan to combat the damage from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, a top priority for the new administration.
(Source: Prensa Latina)
One of the last crimes of the multimillionaire Donald Trump has triggered worldwide and domestic condemnation, at the same time as it once again proves those who warned that Hitler was back because of the racist, ultra-right-wing, xenophobic, nationalist and isolationist positions of Trump were right
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Five fatalities, at least a dozen injured police officers, 70 people charged, more than 125 files opened, rewards of up to $50,000 for information about fugitives from justice, damages in the millions for the multiple destructions inside the facilities of the U.S. Congress, a newly-militarized city with more than 25,000 troops and walled up in the face of new threats, are the results of the quantitative analysis of the scandalous assault on the Capitol on January 6.
One of the latest crimes of billionaire Donald Trump has triggered world and internal condemnations, while giving reason, once again, to those who – since his unexpected electoral victory in 2016 – warned that Hitler was back due to his racist positions, ultra-rightists, xenophobes, nationalists and isolationists of the new president, who associated him so much with the fascist, that he also made intentional use of lies to trap the will of millions in Germany and try to bring the world to its knees.
A January 14 Los Angeles Times editorial reflected that, although Trump has never really led the far right, it fell in love with him after finding common ground in his rhetoric, which explains why 74 million supported him in 2020 after seeing his “authoritarian impulses” on display for four years in office.
One week after what many have called “a historic act of domestic terrorism,” media around the world are alternating news of the global pandemic’s resurgence and its current increased threats. These are impacting Americans with record numbers of 4,300 deaths a day, and with the horrors surrounding the acts of violence that shook Washington and U.S. democracy, following the president’s call to prevent, by force, the legislative recognition of Joe Biden’s triumph as president-elect.
While the sessions in Congress for the second impeachment against Trump are taking place in a Capitol that looks like a military camp, with soldiers sleeping in hallways, rooms and staircases, police closures are proliferating throughout the city, in response to indications, detected by the FBI, of new armed rallies before Joe Biden’s inauguration, not only in Washington, but in all 50 states.
The proclivity to allow disorder and let it go has generated suspicions and accusations. It was clear in recent days that the mobilization would attract thousands of people, the security apparatus was surprisingly small. Some wondered whether it was “mere incompetence or a strategy” that was premeditated. Then came the version that when the Capitol Police asked for help from the Department of Defense, led by people with no credentials other than their total loyalty to Trump, it imposed severe restrictions on the mission of the District National Guard, which had no riot gear or ammunition.
Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy alleged that Congress did not ask for riot control assistance and was concerned about the image that the presence of uniformed personnel in the building might convey, despite the fact that, until then, President Trump had not shaken his hand in sending in the military when those protesting are Black Lives Matter supporters.
This time the Pentagon took almost three hours to authorize the deployment of riot police and National Guard reinforcements,. While congress members and senators were being evacuated, the building ended up being taken over by the rebels. Among the garbage and the disorder caused, racist insignias and symbols appeared next to Trump’s hats and flags, and a large gallows with the rope prepared: “Let them cut off their heads,” read a banner, according to local correspondents.
Two months before the Trump’s coup against Congress, US columnist and Nobel Laureate in Economics, Paul Krugman, analyzed in his commentary The United States: A Failed State, the possible impact of Trump’s electoral failure. He predicted “that we are in serious trouble. Trump’s defeat would mean that, for the time being, we would have avoided falling into authoritarianism; and yes, the risks are that great, not only because of who Trump is, but also because the modern Republican Party is that extreme and undemocratic.”
Krugman denounced, during the 2020 election campaign, the Republican strategy based on false conspiracies and trying to scare voters by talking about bad things that are not happening, through “damn lies and Trump rallies.”
The day after the election, another New York Times commentator, Thomas Friedman, wrote an article entitled In the Election, There Was a Loser: America, a view that held that “we have just lived through four years of the most divisive and dishonest presidency in American history, one that attacked the two pillars of our democracy: truth and trust. Donald Trump has not spent a single day of his term trying to be the president of all the people and he has broken the rules and shattered the norms in a way that no president has dared; like last night, when he falsely warned of electoral fraud and called on the Supreme Court to intervene and stop the vote, as if such a thing were even remotely possible.
Using the social network platforms, the stands as President and the freedom of expression as an alibi, Trump and his serial manipulators fomented hatred, attempted against migration, undermined confidence in the democratic processes and fed populism and authoritarianism, taking advantage of the macabre techniques of Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda of Adolph Hitler’s Germany. Goebbels used the media to offer biased information, to multiply invented, unreal things, and to make people believe them as unquestionable truths, to expand, to inflame and to manage the genocidal Nazi ideology. More than seven decades later, Trump’s media terrorism took advantage of the fact that today lies reach further, faster and more people than ever before, with technologies.
The end? A broken country, a questioned democracy, a diminished, isolated international authority; a polarized, nervous, fractured society, which appeals more and more to drugs and medicines in the face of so much stress. It is no less concerned with the violence and terrorism generated by the hatred engendered and fueled by Trump, who lived by the lie. The fascists of yesterday and today confirm that delirium is also a deadly virus.
Showcases of “democracy” with which the United States has pretended to give lessons to the world are broken.