A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
President Donald Trump did not miss the opportunity and in a message for May 20 – that day when the Republic began in Cuba, mediated by a Platt Amendment that reduced its independence and sovereignty in favor of the United States and its geopolitical and economic interests – he expressed the hackneyed message about a country that claims to suffer under a “tired communist regime.”
So boring that it is not worth paying much attention to the statement on the official White House website.
However, that same Sunday, Hillary Clinton, his failed Democratic challenger, who still thinks and regrets the mistakes she made in the 2016 elections, spoke to the graduates of Yale University – her Alma Mater in law school – and was adamant in judging the situation in her country and the main value that the U.S. leaders have hoisted against Cuba as if we were suffering from it.
“Right now, we are living through a total crisis in our democracy,” the former secretary of state said. “There are no tanks on the streets now, but what is happening right now enters the heart of who we are as a nation. I say this not as a Democrat who lost an election, but as an American afraid of losing her country.”
Very serious in her assessment, Clinton said, “Our country is more polarized than ever. We ourselves have classified into opposing camps, and they divide how we see the world. There are more liberals and conservatives than there used to be and less centrists. Our political parties are more ideologically and geographically consistent…. There are more divisions of race and religion than ever before…”.
Roughly she said: “There are leaders in our country who shamelessly incite with hate speech, who fear change, who see the world in terms of zero-sum, where if some are winning, others must be losing. That’s a recipe for polarization and conflict.
An analysis of the speech at Yale shows that Hillary seemed sadder than angry and – not mentioning Trump at any point, everyone present knew that he was the target of the references – appealed to the trials of other American politicians. But the vision chosen is not flattering; what is more, it falls into the category of a worrying warning.
For example, she chose quotations from a new book by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Fascism: A Warning, and from two titles by Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University: In Tyranny and The Road to Freedom.
As is well known, Trump has attacked certain sectors of the press and accused them of being propagators of false news to the point that the term fake news is already recognised without translation in almost all languages, and the day before, in a tweet, he had described Mrs Clinton as ‘dishonest’.
“To abandon deeds is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis for doing so. If nothing is true, then everything is spectacle,” noted one of the former presidential candidate’s statements. That loudly sounding alarm was considered important by Mrs. Clinton, “because trying to erase the line between fact and fiction, truth and reality is a characteristic basis of authoritarianism.
And she didn’t limit herself to the opinions of Democrats, she also went to Rex Tillerson – who was recently appointed by Trump as Secretary of State – who, in a speech last week to the Virginia Military Institute, said that the United States was “on a path to renouncing our freedom,” if the leaders didn’t speak the truth. With pessimism to be reckoned with, Clinton said, “Maybe a little late, but he’s absolutely right.
And in today’s dissection of the United States, she continued: “There are certain things that are so essential that they must transcend politics,” and “evidence and facts that must alarm us all,” in what he called “waging a war against the rule of law and press freedom, delegitimizing elections, committing shameless corruption, and rejecting the idea that our leaders should be public servants undermines our national unity.
Of course, in the Clinton diatribe, the interests of a party, half-time in an election year lies behind, but the facts are the facts, and Hillary Clinton approached them from macroeconomic and social indicators: “You have learned that you don’t need to be an immigrant and be outraged when the father of a classmate… is unjustly deported” (…) “You don’t need to be a person of color to understand that when black students feel singled out and targeted, there is still work to be done. And you don’t need to experience the violence of a gun…. Enough is enough.
In the United States, children die in school because of the work and grace of an obsessive gun culture, dictated by the profits made by that industry and the politicians who respond to it because it fills their pockets. Trump is not the only culprit, but it is his turn to face it; however, it is far from his vision and interests.
More Americans die in these shootings than in the wars in which the empire is engaged, and no one doubts that life is the greatest of human rights.
A few days ago a black citizen was arrested for his Facebook messages against racist violence, and four students from the group that participated in an anti-gun demonstration in front of the office of Senate Chief Paul Ryan at the Capitol were also arrested, This clearly shows the lack of respect for freedom of expression that the empire’s administrator proclaims and protects its Magna Carta.
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, of the Southern District Court of New York, has just said that President Trump’s Twitter account is a public forum and blocking response messages with different opinions constitutes discrimination and violates the First Amendment to the Constitution; but a Justice Department spokesperson replied that they disagree with the court’s decision and is considering steps to be taken that will protect the president.
It was also reported that the National Security Agency (NSA), under the auspices of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), recorded more than 530 million phone calls in 2017, a dramatic increase in espionage from 151 million in 2016.
These are just some of the violations of those political and civil rights of American citizens, of the laws that privilege a government and a system of the rich and for the rich. Also, much can be said about the pressures, arm twists, unilateral sanctions, aggressions, wars and military interventions that call into question its self-given role as the perfect state, capable of judging and punishing others, and closing its eyes to its own domestic macro-problems and enormous flaws.
By Graziella Pogolotti
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The information panorama is beginning to show signs of preparations for the forthcoming commemoration of the fifth centenary of the founding of Havana. Many of us were eagerly awaiting this promising announcement, because the passing of time has left scars in a city endowed with unique values and the deterioration of the environment is inevitably reflected in the behaviour of the citizens who live there.
In this context, I think it is right to begin the urgent rescue operation with the restoration of order and cleanliness and to offer concrete answers to the most pressing demands of daily life in the neighborhood. Thus, from the grassroots level, it is possible to appeal to the committed and participatory action of the inhabitants.
The rediscovery of the urban values that have characterozed, through an incessant secular accumulation, the profile that makes the capital unique, cannot be postponed and is no less important. Eusebio Leal’s stubborn preaching has helped to place the heritage legacy forged in colonial times in the place it deserves.
In the remote days of its foundation, Havana was a disorderly agglomeration of adobe and wooden shacks, located next to the port, subject to devastating fires and the threat of the freebooters. With the passage of the fleets and the construction of the defensive system, streets were laid out and houses became larger. The image of the city was configured with its palaces in dialogue with the squares. Moderately baroque, the façade of the cathedral has a space of perfect proportions, open and intimate, like a theatre. After all, the need to preserve urban planning imposed the requirement to delineate regulations through municipal ordinances. Oriented in various directions, the roads, still in use, connected the centre of the city with the surrounding territories.
The expanding city grew westward in successive stages. In search of a more favorable climate, the wealthy built mansions next to the Calzada del Cerro. They would then go to Vedado, Miramar, Cubanacán. In the uninterrupted movement in space and time, stylistic and epochal marks crystallized. They form a treatise on architecture and urbanism, a vocation for modernity tempered by the local context.
The first Industrial Revolution unleashed, in the nineteenth century, the excessive growth of cities. Faced with the danger of a polluting proletarianization, Baron Haussmann made Paris the spectacular scene that we know today. The initial notions of urban design were being established, which has now become a complex transdisciplinary knowledge, aimed at restoring the human dimension to the habitat with the participation of technical knowledge for the management of construction, hydraulic infrastructure networks and waste disposal, adequate road traffic and the social sciences, particularly sociology.
With a modernizing will, Vedado was born presided over by a clear notion of integral urban design. The layout of the main avenues favored rapid communication with the city. Mandatory regulations determined the height limits of the buildings and the lawn area that separated the houses from the sidewalks, conducive to a lifestyle and gave a unique visual characteristic of the area.
In the middle of the last century, financial speculation over land value threatened to subvert the harmonious coherence of the whole. The Revolution was able to preserve its original character for many years, contrary to what happened in other countries where a predatory gigantism destroyed significant historical legacies.
The effects of the economic difficulties, from the special period onwards, partly lacerated the assets we had managed to preserve. Aside from legislation, improvised interventions appeared everywhere. However, in essence, the original imprint of the area remains. We are still in a position to safeguard it if we become aware of its value, because the very rich built heritage of Havana extends beyond the colonial zone. This is how the writers perceived it in some of the best pages of our literature, and it also manifests itself in the latent and underground memory of our popular music.
The approaching half-millennium poses an immense challenge. To assume it wisely and turn it into a collective will is a way of growing. It can’t all be done at once. It will have to be tempered as much as possible, according to the available resources. However, the most important thing, however, is to take into account the imminent while considering the perspective of the future based on the key factors that are unique to the region.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
HOLGUIN: When fatality hovers over a community and takes human lives, the borders between any position, both religious and existential, fade in the face of solidarity and humanism. Everything revolves around the comfort of the mourners, the material and sentimental support they need.
These signs of brotherhood between the human beings were on prominent display during Monday night and Tuesday morning, when the people, in a massive way, joined in the sorrow of the relatives of the two couples of shepherds whose mortal remains returned to their native land, so that their bodies could rest close to their loved ones.
As a posthumous tribute to the work and memory of the marriages of Norma Suárez Niles and Jesús Manuel García Oberto, and Gelover Martín Pérez Avalo and Yoneisi Cordovez Rodríguez, the parishioners of the Church of the Nazarene in this province went to the Los Álamos funeral home and the main hall of the Provincial Art Center, respectively, to accompany their families in sorrow and unite in their faith.
Both places were also visited by co-workers, neighbors, friends and the highest authorities of the Party and the territorial government, as a sign of solidarity over their loss.
Alina Rodriguez Ochoa, an English professor at the University of Medical Sciences and a member of the Church of the Nazarene, was found interpreting for Canadian faith brothers who were on vacation in Havana and who, after learning of the tragedy,decided to travel to Holguin.
She assures us that at this moment her place is at the side of the mourners and she recognizes the dedication of each person in accompanying those who suffer today in their grief.
“Amidst the sadness at the loss of our brothers and friends, we tried to support everything because the district director has been left without his board of directors. My family is supporting the home so that I can be here today. My son is only 15 years old and wanted to stay with the three children of my deceased pastors, my husband is in charge of the home doing the necessary chores and my mother, although she is very old, also helps,” said Alina.
Ruth Collins, from Nova Scotia, Canada, expressed her deepest sorrow at the physical loss of the pastors.
“Our brothers in Canada are praying all the time,” said the member of the Oxford Church of the Nazarene.
The leaders of the congregation also expressed their shock. Luis Ramon Batista Ramirez, superintendent of the work of the Church of the Nazarene in the Cuba-East district (from Ciego de Avila to Maisi), said:
“We are very emotionally affected, not only by our companions and brothers and sisters of faith, but by all those who lost their lives in the accident. This is very painful for the Cuban and international community. I thank God for the collaboration that has come from churches, neighbors, friends…. all always supporting.
As a result of the death of the married couple, ten children under the age of 16 were orphaned. The Superintendent expressed the responsibility that the Church assumes with these children in its decision to “never abandon them, to keep them in our lap, we will always help them. Although we will not be able to replace their parents, we will do everything we can to help them in their education, so that they may continue to know God and do everything possible for them until they become men and women.
Meanwhile, Héctor Rafael Ortiz Hidalgo, a priest of the Church and member of the Ministerial Studies Board, remembered his deceased brothers as “unblemished people, of faith, with conviction; people in whom both the church and the neighbors had enormous confidence.
The priest also acknowledged the help of the Government of the province, “which has been unconditional” and stressed: “The Church-Government relationship has been tremendous: they have provided us with cars, supplies, all the facilities to do the work that we have carried out during these four days, with doctors and psychologists. The Church of the Nazarene is very grateful to you.
In this hour of grief, it is very difficult for family members to agree to give statements to the press. Nevertheless, Milagro Suárez Niles, sister of Norma Suárez Niles, overcame the feeling that overwhelms her to thank all those who, in different ways, in numerous spaces and at different levels, have shown themselves sensitive to her loss:
“We have felt the solidarity from the Council of State, in the figure of President Miguel Díaz-Canel; from the Church at the national level, from the comrades in the Government… Everyone has been very attentive. Unfortunately we don’t have the being we want next door. Therefore, I recognize the company of the brethren of religion, because they have prayed that we may have calm. Everybody sees me and hugs me, kisses me. I am left with the satisfaction that my sister was happy the days before the accident, sharing and celebrating with her colleagues. That gives me strength in the midst of the pain that will never happen,” said Milagro.
According to Ernesto Herrera Pelegrino, who has been very close to the congregation during these days for professional reasons, there have been many expressions of support for the relatives and homage to the victims in many communities in the territory.
“The shepherds who worked in the Estrada neighbourhood (Urbano Noris) were among the dead. There the people spontaneously made a book of condolences, brought flowers to the church and formed a kind of reminder. Many people joined the parishioners in their grief to remember those pastors who made an impact with their example and dedication. In the community of La Calera, near Velasco, a funeral service was held for one of the shepherds who died. In the midst of the pain, these expressions have been very beautiful as a gesture of solidarity,” said the young journalist.
These are signs of sensitivity and humanism of a people who, diverse in their religious positions and thoughts, unite in the face of pain, “in a tight context”, as the Teacher [Jose Marti] taught us.
By Graziella Pogolotti
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Here and there, in private commercial establishments, the use of English advertisements is spreading, as if by blast wave. This presence begins to invade public space. In these circumstances, it is essential to remember that Spanish is the official language in our country. Identity bearer, an essential component of our culture, it integrates the constitutive factors of the sovereign nation. Moreover, the law imposes a requirement that all citizens must use it it.
One might suppose that there is a temptation among new traders to please visitors from other countries who are increasingly coming to us, even though not all of them are native English speakers.
This is an erroneous assessment. The motivations of travelers are manifold. Many enjoy the attractions of nature, the sun and the beach. Others prefer to frequent the cities, interested in the heritage values that make them unique and in the behaviour of a communicative, streetwise, welcoming and friendly people, as those who have spent time with us since colonial times have recognised. In the built environment and in the people who inhabit it, they discover the values of a different culture, built up through a specific history.
Unconsciously, the environment around us influences the use of language. I was a young graduate looking for a job when I was offered the opportunity to collaborate on the development of a spelling manual. The author of the text had previously conducted a survey among students to detect the most frequent errors. There were not when writing the word beer, despite the c, v and z, so committed in our Latin American speech. At that time, the competition between the most recognized brands was manifested in an advertising display in the streets and on television. The spelling was indelibly engraved on everyone’s retina.
According to the press, the President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel, stressed in words spoken by the Ministry of Education, the need to attach the importance it deserves to the development of reading habits through the conduct of a teacher, who must always carry a book before the schoolchildren who must follow his example.
The issue becomes more important in times of increasing dominance of audiovisual communication. It has been the subject of international analysis and research. Among us, the issue demands first-rate attention in view of the deterioration in the use of the language, which is of concern to a wide range of social sectors. In various ways, there has been a need to give due weight to language learning, not only through the use of grammar, but also through training in the comprehension of literary texts.
The mastery of the language associated with human communication and the ability to forge in the students the exercise of independent, critical and creative thinking, open to access to knowledge and to the permanent search for innovation, is a fundamental demand of this era. It constitutes an inseparable part, together with history and mathematics, of the triad of disciplines which, beyond the instrumental, are distinguished by their formative character.
Preserving the potential richness and expressiveness of the word and designing strategies based on the present and, above all, with a view to the future of the creatures that are being born, when the dominant telegraphic messages in the use of mobile phones supplant the art of conversation, block productive dialogue, interfere with the transmission of knowledge, castrate the creative impulse of imagination and limit the sensitive approach between humans, are urgent demands.
The complexity of the challenge involves the family and the school, but transcends compartmentalized institutional boundaries. Since dawn, communication has presided over the entirety of our existence, just as much as the oxygen we breathe. It manifests itself in the most intimate part of the home, in the streets, in the provision of services, in the formulas of civilized coexistence, in the fabric of the information networks that connect us with the reality of the country and with the paths of international events. Understanding the magnitude of the problem is an essential step in the search for solutions.
Culture and identity embrace the territory of spirituality, the residence of the values that define us as a people. They last and are transmitted through the language we have inherited. Let us take care of it in the messages that animate our streets, in the media, at school and in the workplace. We can do it right now. In the meantime, to be precise
Published: Wednesday 23 May 2018 | 09:46:02 PM
Alone, as befits criminals of his ilk, Luis Posada Carriles has died. He leaves with bloodon his hands and without paying for his crimes, but also without having achieved his purposes.
By Marina Menéndez Quintero
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
It is not known whether the CIA, to whom he owes so much for his dirty work, will send him flowers. Nor, if there are any close relatives to mourn him.
An article in the El Nuevo Herald newspaper that reflects the news says that he died at the age of 90 at the Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, in Broward, with his health deteriorating from cancer of the throat and fractures from an accident.
It is known that he had previously been in a veterans’ home (where those who do not have a caregiver are supposed to go), and that he left two children who did not have close relationships with him.
I have heard it said that a close relative living on the island was embarrassed by the blood ties that – they were the only thing – united her with him…
Luis Clemente Posada Carriles does not even deserve a single one of these, or any other line, although it should come as no surprise that the remnant of the retrograde ultra-right and violent claque that survives in Miami – among the dignified Cuban majority who want the best for their homeland – regrets his departure. No one but the human remains of the 2506 Brigade – whose men fuelled the defeated invasion at the Bay of Pigs – could announce that they would make an “honor guard” of him.
Posada did not deserve to leave as he has, without paying for his crimes against Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and El Salvador, among other countries he helped to spread with his death.
Although we Cubans repudiate him for the Barbados crime and the 73 lives he took in that attack – a reason to condemn him – Posada leaves a record that will freeze the blood of anyone who, even as the years go by, wants to know his criminal record.
He tortured in Venezuela as Commissar Basilio de la terrible DISIP; he tried to assassinate Fidel in the Paraninfo of the University of Panama in November 2000, in an action frustrated by the denunciation of the Commander in Chief who had killed a thousand istmeños [people from the isthmus]; bought mercenaries of Central American origin to blow up hotels in Cuba in 1997, with explosions that killed Italian tourist Fabio Di Celmo; he participated in the scandal known as Contragate in the 1980s, during the dirty war against Sandinista Nicaragua.
He was trained by the Central Intelligence Agency at Fort Benning, and in 1967 the agency sent him as an advisor to the secret services of the dictatorships of Argentina, Chile, El Salvador and Guatemala.
The atrocities he committed were many, but perhaps what best revealed his lineage was the lack of modesty in the statement he gave to a New York Times journalist in the wake of the Havana attacks.
Then he said that, despite this, he slept “like a baby”.
None of this, not even the evidence that proved his links to the attacks on Havana hotels and was presented in the face of the judicial farce in El Paso, Texas, in 2011, was taken into account by the jury, before which he was barely taken as an illegal immigrant, after the shameful pardon granted to him by former Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso, and his illegal entry into the United States. It was the only time he ever sat in the dock.
There, where the CIA and successive administrations sheltered and protected him, he found refuge again, and today death knocked on his door.
Remembering these events would not be enough to do justice to the dead whose lives were reaped by Posada, but it once again denounces the impunity granted to him by Washington’s representatives and hawks, the protagonists of that state terrorism that was targeted as a policy against innocent nations of Latin America, with the help of abject beings such as Luis Posada Carriles. They’ll have to answer to that one day.
As for him, there’s no reason to think he’s gone away happy.
Beyond life, he can’t sleep like a baby anymore. And if he can see from there, he’ll be martyred to see that we’re still here. We are what he wanted to destroy.
By Lázaro Fariñas
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
They say you can catch a liar faster than a man who limps, and it’s true. There are people who have the knack, also the hobby, of telling lies one after the other. They are mythomaniacs, i.e. sick people, who can’t stop lying. There are times when they do it unnecessarily. Sometimes they hide nothing and yet they lie anyway. Personally, I have known several people who have suffered from this evil and what I have really felt is pity, what is called someone else’s grief. They claim things that are simply uncertain, and even though they know that what they are saying is not true, they cannot stand it and they claim it.
Donald Trump, the president of the United States, is one of those people. He’s a rounded mythomaniac who lies all the time. Many media outlets in this country have taken it upon themselves to bring the president’s lies to the public eye. The TV comedians make fun of him, they do it every night on their shows. The man is the laughing stock of night comedians.
A few months ago, reporters accompanying him on the presidential plane asked him directly about a payment made on his behalf by his personal lawyer to a pornographic actress and he flatly denied that he knew anything about the deal. In fact, he told reporters to ask his lawyer. But now the liar has just been discovered. He himself admitted, just a few days ago, in an affidavit, that he had disbursed the $130,000. Failure to declare it last year is simply a criminal act. What will happen?
The actress known as Stormy Daniels had, years ago, an affair with the then millionaire Donald Trump, when he had no intention of running for president of the United States. According to Daniels, they had sex on that occasion, and so that it would not come to light, Trump’s lawyer reached an agreement with her and made a payment of $130,000 so that she would not talk about what had happened between her and her client. Trump didn’t want it to be known that, just three or four months after his wife gave birth to his son, he had cheated on her and with nothing less than a porn actress.
When the meeting between the two took place, it was only a personal problem, but when the agreement and payment were made, it would have become a major problem if it became known, since, only days before the 2016 presidential elections, such a scandal would have erased all chances of him winning the presidency.
Michael Cohen, was Trump’s personal attorney. But was more than just a lawyer, he was Trump’s problem solver. He’s a lawyer who only had Trump as his client and maybe one or two others.
Cohen had long been in the FBI’s sights until, about a month ago. The authorities picked him up early in the morning from his hotel room and broke into his office and private home. The FBI took with them as many phones, computers and documents as they could find at all three locations. The case is now being investigated by the New York State Attorney’s Office. But that is not the only problem Mr. Cohen faces. The lawyer who represents the pornographic actress in all these legal proceedings just a few days ago brought to light a whole series of bank transactions and videos of the former presidential lawyer who has turned the case on its head.
It turns out that Michael Cohen, for just over a year now, has been receiving millions of dollars from individuals and corporations, apparently, for selling access or ways to influence the President.
A Russian oligarch, the AT&T company, an American biopharmaceutical corporation and a Korean aeronautics corporation have been some of the clients who have paid those millions to a strange anonymous company whose only employee and owner is the former presidential lawyer.
This has not been a story or a way to try to discredit the lawyer or the president, the same people who have paid have confirmed the payments and why they did it. It’s as if there was a sign on Cohen’s office or on his website saying, “Influence is being sold with President Trump.
Of course, now, the question that falls from the cracks and that the American press wants to know is whether the lawyer took all the money or shared it with his client. The press in general, which has been keeping track of the President’s lies and claims that there is a moral vacuum in the White House. They cannot believe that Donald Trump, the client, did not know what his lawyer Michael Cohen was doing. And I don’t believe it either.
By Marina Menéndez Quintero
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
NOT in vain Nicolás Maduro, a candidate of the Bolivarian forces who seeks re-election, has said that the main task of another term will be in the economy.
This Sunday’s elections in Venezuela are taking place under a foreign siege rarely seen, largely responsible for the narrow economic and financial situation, while the lack of supplies, rising prices and emigration are being manipulated to blame the Bolivarian executive for a crisis that it has not created, but that other war.
In addition to the U.S. sanctions, which have been preventing transactions with the main Venezuelan company – PDVSA – since August. There has been pressure from a European Union that is questioning the presidential elections along with more than a dozen Latin American nations, which are also following a political strategy forged in Washington: to ignore and illegitimize the elections, the only way which the Bolivarians can peacefully defeat the conspiracy against their political, economic and social system.
And the age-old U.S. gamble to justify armed aggression has been defeated, so far. Thus, the falcons also have their sights set on the elections.
At the international level, their appetites found a fence in the countries of the Caribbean and the members of ALBA which, within the framework of the OAS, have prevented the completion of the interventionist stratagem based on the allegation of a “lack of democracy” in Venezuela.
That speech was later accompanied by questioning of the calling of these presidential elections, under the argument – equally invalid and interfering – that they were premature. After using the issue to attack Latin American and Caribbean unity with the formation of the anti-Venezuelan Lima Group, ago the OAS three weeks ago still called for an extraordinary meeting of its executive council to implement new measures of punishment against Caracas.
Of course, such a position used as a breeding ground the most twisted right-wing opposition within the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD). Their leader, Julio Borges, served the diners a snack on a plate with the frustration of the dialogue he had with the government in the Dominican Republic at a time when, as he said, the agreements were ready.
It could not be surprising that these U.S. acolyte parties, after the lists of candidates for the presidency came out, were absent. It was the only way they had of calling the electoral tournament illegitimate. Now they now accuse it of being fraudulent, since three opposition candidates (Henry Falcón, from Avanzada Progresista-AP, Movimiento al Socialismo-MAS and the Partido Socialcristiano-Copei; Reinaldo Quijada, from Unidad Política Popular 89-UPP89; and Javier Bertucci, independent) inflicted a defeat on them when they registered [to participate] in the electoral battle against Maduro.
But their reluctance to nominate candidates could also have another cause: the division of positions in the face of some elections that some of the MUD parties rejected and others wanted to embrace, which is why they could not be able to run with a single candidate either.
Meanwhile, the imperial desire for intervention encountered decisive obstacles, from Venezuela’s borders inwards. These included in the lucidity and courage of the more than eight million citizens who, in July 2017, came to vote for the Constituent Assembly and in whom, later, they gave a large majority to the candidates of “Chavismo” during the gubernatorial elections, and in that of mayors.
They stopped the Manichean discourse of imperialism and those who join it, about the alleged political isolation of Nicolas Maduro within the country. What “dictatorship” was that?
It is that same long light that must be present today to that part of the electorate that wants peace and stability, but also a better life for Venezuela.
To understand it in the midst of so much media harassment and daily narrowness will be as compelling a test of consciousness as the vote for the Constituent Assembly was.
If it then threatened a violence that the Bolivarians had the courage to stoically endure, so as not to create chaos and offer a stepping stone to intervention, the scenario today, amidst economic scarcity and the financial crisis, is equally overwhelming.
Community social programs such as the Local Councils for Supply and Production (Clap) have been the government’s alternative for alleviating the lack or increase in the price of basic food products, at the mercy of right-wing entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, in the external area, Caracas was seeking respite with a new currency: the Petro, whose digital character allows it to carry out the necessary transactions and circumvent the banks supervised by the powerful OFAC (U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control).
However, this has not been enough to stop an aggression that will only be satisfied with the overthrow of the Bolivarian Revolution. Until 15 days ago, US Vice President Mike Pence called on the countries of the region to “sanction” Nicolas Maduro.
Hence the necessary role of the masses, and the importance of these elections. No “dictation” of foreign powers can have more force and more weight than the vote of the people. Don’t those who attack claim to defend democracy?
However, the political elites of the hemispheric right and the State Department will try to disregard any outome that may be the result of the Bolivarian victory.
It will be necessary to see how the nations captured by the White House in its campaign react if the vote in favor of Maduro and the Revolution were as profuse as the polls showed.
Attendance at the polls will also be crucial to certify the popular support of these elections. The last call of the most reactionary in the divided and almost non-existent MUD has been to abstain, while the Bolivarian forces said they aspired, in principle, for ten million votes; a figure, in fact, high, taking into account that the historical level of the Bolivarian forces in elections is just over eight million votes.
Of course, the electoral roll has increased since Bolivarian leader Hugo Chávez obtained 8.1 million votes in 2012 against right-wing Henrique Capriles Radonski. In those historic elections, just over 18 million Venezuelans were eligible to vote. Today, more than 20 million people are registered. Only they can attest to their democracy.
Against all odds, the presidential elections are being held this Sunday to assert national sovereignty and, like so many other times in that country, morer than its future will be decided.
Ultimately, achieving the defeat of the Bolivarian Revolution is the “turning point” that right-wing hemispheric forces are seeking to achieve. They aim to ensure, as in the “golden times” of Francis Fukuyama, that the end of history has come and that in Latin America the “backwards march” has taken place… Even if once again it is the wrong prediction.
More than 200 personalities from institutions and different countries around the world are part of the Accompanying Mission that will testify to this Sunday’s elections.
Today, the members of the legislative councils of the various states and municipalities are also elected and nominated by various political organizations at the national and territorial levels.
This is the 24th election in Venezuela in the last 18 years.
By Juana Carrasco Martin
Posted: Saturday, May 19, 2018 | 10:49:46 AM
Translated and edited by
Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
This Friday, at least ten homes in Texas did not see their children return from school. A shootout at Santa Fe High School at 7:40 in the morning resulted in the tragic death of 10 students and one teacher, and an as yet undetermined number of wounded among its 1 400 students.
A witness told KTRK-TV in Houston, that a man pulled the fire alarm and when the students left their classrooms they were shot to death. There is one person in county custody and a second “person of interest” was also arrested, Houston County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez confirmed. Authorities also said that explosive devices were later found in and near the school.
Fear once again grips American schools and that society when, on average, there has been a weekly gunfight so far this year on a school stage.
A student who identified herself as Paige to the Houston television station, in addition to saying, “I was very, very scared,” said she was not surprised by the facts: “It’s been happening everywhere. I always felt it would finally happen here, too.
That is a terrible reality, confirmed by the facts. CNN reported that this is the third shooting in Santa Fe in the last eight days and 22 in the past 20 weeks of 2018. On Wednesday, at Dixon High School in Illinois, a former Dixon High School student opened fire near where graduation was taking place; and on May 11, a 14-year-old boy in Palmdale, California, began firing a semiautomatic rifle shortly before school began at Highland High and injured a person.
“We mourn the terrible loss of life and send our support to all those affected by this absolutely horrible attack,” said Donald Trump, who was at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association in Dallas, Texas, on May 4, and gave the NRA the first speech by an American president since 1983 – following the example of Ronald Reagan, a cowboy of arms from Hollywood movies, who also became president.
The president, who received a contribution of $31 million from the powerful arms lobby for his election campaign, told them, “You supported me, and I’m going to support you now,” they have a “true friend in the White House,” and added, “I can proudly say to the NRA that I will never again disappoint it,” while describing them as “the true American patriots of the NRA who defend our rights, our freedom, and our great American flag.
The empire’s administrator defended the personal carrying of arms, insisted on his proposal to arm “highly trained teachers” to prevent further shootings in schools, and emphasized: “The Second Amendment will never be under siege while I am president.
A press report on that NRA meeting stated: “Paradoxically, weapons were banned from the convention site, under orders from the Secret Service, the elite police force charged with protecting the high authorities in the United States.
Trump has ignored student-led mass protests across the country to force tighter gun control following the tragic February 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which a 19-year-old boy massacred 17 students and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Now, another boy, identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old student who is said to have been bullied by his classmates, is the assailant, and the media report that screenshots of his social networking accounts show pictures of weapons, photos with Nazi symbols and a t-shirt with the slogan “Born to Kill”, which – according to several students at the local CW39 television station in Houston – he was wearing at the time of the incident. The weapons used were his father’s and perfectly legal….
Nothing will stop this tragic nonsense as long as the interests of the arms industry prevail and the United States is an armed society, licensed to kill in its own backyard, formed by the absurd example that comes to it from a State that organizes, foments and executes wars against other peoples anywhere in the world, because it considers itself the police and executioner-avenger of the planet.
Posted: Monday 14 May 2018 | 07:55:29 PM
By Lázaro Fariñas
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
It seems that not only by going to Seville you lose your seat. For example, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did not go to that city, but he did go to Africa, and he lost his seat. The man, in the best Trumpist style, was called and fired. It was so humiliating that they were not even kind enough to wait for him to recover from a bad stomach acquired in that region.
Worse still, to further publicized information no one needed to know. It is known that there had long been a series of disagreements between Tillerson and the President, and on countless occasions there was a rumour that he was going to be fired at any moment. Donald Trump never forgave the Secretary of State for publicly calling him a moron at the end of a meeting with several cabinet members. Vengeful as he is, the President waited for the most inopportune moment to humiliate him.
It must be said that this gentleman was at least called on the phone, since with FBI Director James Comey, they didn’t even have that courtesy and the man learned of his dismissal on television in the middle of a meeting with his subordinates in California.
When Tillerson returned to Washington, he was no longer Secretary of State, having already been replalce in that position by that time by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Who’s Mike Pompeo?
When this man was appointed by Trump to the position of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he was a Congressional Representative from Kansas since 2011.
For some time he was in the Armed Forces where he held the rank of captain. He studied at the Military Academy in West Point, where he graduated as an engineer, and then was admitted to Harvard Law School, graduating as a lawyer, a career he practiced for a while and then went into business, until he came into politics in 2010.
Pompeo, whose paternal grandfather was born in Italy, was a member of the Congress of the Italian-American Delegation. He belongs to the ultraconservative group known as the Tea Party, a group that is on the far-right of the Republican Party.
This gentleman’s credentials as an ultraconservative are impeccable.
He supports the killings being committed by the Israelis against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. He supports the method of torture by drowning [euphemistically called “waterboarding]/ He is against the closure of the torture center at the Guantánamo Naval Base. He was against the agreements that were signed with Iran. He opposes women’s right to abortion and he says that life begins at conception. He does not accept same-sex marriage. He iss a distinguished member of the National Rifle Association. He opposes the health care law that benefits the poor known as Obamacare. He does not believe in climate change, and opposes the United States signing the greenhouse gases treaty. I really don’t even know how you can be so reactionary.
At his Senate confirmation hearing, Pompeo moderated some of his positions. Of course, I knew he would not be confirmed if he held such an uncompromising position.
It is very difficult to know how this new Secretary of State will act.
It will be necessary to see if he can maintain a good diplomatic relationship with the rest of the world and if he can even stay in office having a boss as unbalanced as the one he has, a boss who likes to humiliate those under him; also, a boss who constantly contradicts himself and who constantly criticizes, lies and names his own employees.
Pompeo has a lot going against him. He declared a few days ago that he is in favor of Israel and of the crimes that that nation is committing against the Palestinians, in his favor he has the fact that he has tried by all means to avoid a war against the Democratic Republic of Korea.
He recently visited that country and met with its President. Now we’ll see if he can get Trump to heed his advice so that he doesn’t screw up with unheard of blunders when it comes time for him to sit down with the North Korean President. It is known that the White House narcissist does not like to take advice. Let’s hope he does listen to them at that next meeting, because if he doesn’t, everything that has been put forward so far to avoid war would go down the worst of roads.
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Cuba expresses its strongest condemnation of the criminal repression by the Israeli army of the defenceless Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, which has killed at least 52 people and injured more than 2,400. This is yet another serious and flagrant violation of the UN Charter and international humanitarian law and a further outrage against the Palestinian people.
Cuba reiterates its rejection of the unilateral action of the Government of the United States to establish its diplomatic representation in the city of Jerusalem, in open disrespect of international law and United Nations resolutions, which further aggravates tensions in the region.
The Revolutionary Government reiterates once again its unreserved support for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the creation of two states, which would allow Palestinians the right to self-determination and to an independent and sovereign state on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.