In the course of next week, Correos de Cuba will put on sale in all its units and newsstands, the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba that was approved in the Second Ordinary Session of the IX Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power, at the price of one peso in national currency. Correos […]
by Pedro Martínez Pirez A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Journalist Lionel Martin, correspondent in Cuba for numerous news organizations from the United States and other Western countries, died in Havana on Friday night at the age of eighty-seven. His body was cremated this Saturday. Martin covered the events of the Cuban Revolution in an exemplary way and spread them through telegraphic, radio and television channels of his country and other western nations. Lionel Martin also worked for a period in the Latin American News Agency Prensa Latina, based in Havana. His death caused deep sorrow in the Cuban media and among the foreign press accredited in Cuba. Lionel Martin will always be remembered for his informative honesty and his attachment to the truth of the facts. adp El periodista Lionel Martin, corresponsal en Cuba de numerosas entidades informativas de Estados Unidos y otros paises occidentales, falleciò en La Habana en la noche del viernes a los ochenta y siete años de edad. Su cadàver fue incinerado este sàbado. Martin cubriò ejemplarmente los acontecimientos de la Revoluciòn Cubana y los divulgò a travès de cadenas telegraficas, radiales y televisivas de su paìs y otras naciones occidentales. Lionel Martin tambièn laborò durante un perìodo en la Agencia Informativa Latinoamericana Prensa Latina, con sede en La Habana. Su deceso causò hondo pesar en los medios informativos cubanos y entre la prensa extranjera acreditada en Cuba. Lionel Martin serà recordado siempre por su honestidad informativa y su apego a la verdad de los hechos. adp
Remarkable US Journalist Dies in Havana
June 29. 2019
FALLECE EN LA HABANA NOTABLE PERIODISTA ESTADOUNIDENSE
by Pedro Martínez Pirez
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Journalist Lionel Martin, correspondent in Cuba for numerous news organizations from the United States and other Western countries, died in Havana on Friday night at the age of eighty-seven.
His body was cremated this Saturday.
Martin covered the events of the Cuban Revolution in an exemplary way and spread them through telegraphic, radio and television channels of his country and other western nations.
Lionel Martin also worked for a period in the Latin American News Agency Prensa Latina, based in Havana.
His death caused deep sorrow in the Cuban media and among the foreign press accredited in Cuba.
Lionel Martin will always be remembered for his informative honesty and his attachment to the truth of the facts.
El periodista Lionel Martin, corresponsal en Cuba de numerosas entidades informativas de Estados Unidos y otros paises occidentales, falleciò en La Habana en la noche del viernes a los ochenta y siete años de edad.
Su cadàver fue incinerado este sàbado.
Martin cubriò ejemplarmente los acontecimientos de la Revoluciòn Cubana y los divulgò a travès de cadenas telegraficas, radiales y televisivas de su paìs y otras naciones occidentales.
Lionel Martin tambièn laborò durante un perìodo en la Agencia Informativa Latinoamericana Prensa Latina, con sede en La Habana.
Su deceso causò hondo pesar en los medios informativos cubanos y entre la prensa extranjera acreditada en Cuba.
Lionel Martin serà recordado siempre por su honestidad informativa y su apego a la verdad de los hechos.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Donald Trump’s government has been, for U.S. foreign policy, something like an elephant in a china shop. It’s not only because he concentrated on achieving benefits and privileges for his nation to the detriment of the rest of the world, however. It’s also thanks to the economic and military power they have achieved on the basis of the unjust global economic relations imposed by the current capitalist system.
Jeff Bezos, is founder and executive director of the Amazon emporium. In 2015 Bezos was the fifth richest man in the world and in 2017 reached the top of Forbes magazine’s list of multimillionaires. On his blog, Bezos published information on the struggles and internal discussions within Trump’s team around the inexorable march of the US towards war against Iran and the danger of John Bolton in the swarm that has developed. From them, I extract much of this data.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned Iranian leaders that any attack by Tehran or its people that results in the death of one member of the U.S. military will be met with a military counterattack by Washington. Such a warning was made from Baghdad in May, when he was visiting Iraq. The issue could become critical very soon as in recent days there were rocket attacks in Iraq against targets in which there are American personnel.
Some of these attacks came from areas where there are still clandestine ISIS (Islamic State) groups with improvised and imprecise weapons that could accidentally kill a US soldier.
Concern about an escalation is particularly intense in the Pentagon, where the absence of a confirmed Secretary of Defense has fuelled concern that White House and State Department hawks may push the military beyond its specific mission of destroying remnants of the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, which, in the current circumstances, increases the potential for conflict with Iran.
It has been reported on several occasions and by different means that Trump is somewhat isolated from anti-war views within his own regime. Government officials interviewed by the Washington Post said National Security Advisor John Bolton has dominated Iranian policy, maintaining strict control over the information that reaches the president and drastically reducing the meetings in which senior officials meet in the White House Situation Room to discuss policy.
The intensification of the “maximum pressure” campaign has triggered internal debates about how best to carry out the President’s orders. At the State Department, a discussion about how difficult it is to pressure Iran through sanctions ended with those with the harshest possible approach prevailing.
While State Department officials were cunningly trying to find the “weak spot” that would weaken Iran through sanctions, without putting so much pressure on Iran that it would withdraw from the nuclear deal. Others argued that Trump’s goal was to destroy the agreement at any price in order to pursue a more expansive policy that would paralyze Iran’s forces throughout the region.
However, Pentagon and State Department officials have complained of the difficulty of getting a presidential hearing for it under Bolton. As a result, arguments about policy do not reach the president.
Regional military commanders always ask for more troops and more ships, which increases the possibility of “accidents” and makes war more likely. John Bolton uses each and every small incident to send more troops!
Unlike his advisors, Trump always seems to minimize the importance of Iran’s actions. So the other scenario is to claim that Trump is a fool and the war hawks use him as a tool to implement their preferred policies.
Former high-ranking British espionage (MI6) official Alastair Crooke asserts that this second scenario is the real one. He says this is not because Trump consciously wants war, but because the hawks around him, particularly Bolton, corner him. Trump’s main mistake may be that he believes that Iran will ultimately seek an agreement.
Crooke argues that Bolton, and Netanyahu behind him, outperform U.S. intelligence on Iran. They transmit “intelligence” to the president and the media, just as Vice President Dick Cheney did in the run-up to the war against Iraq.
Bolton chairs strategic dialogue meetings with Israel (NSC) whose intention is to develop a joint action plan against Iran. This means that Israeli intelligence assessments are being sent directly to Bolton without going through US intelligence for assessment. In other words, Bolton holds the reins in his hands.
June 26, 2019.
This article can be reproduced by quoting the newspaper POR ESTO
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
“Until now,” says journalist Philip Giraldi, “June has been a lively month in light of the apparent diligence with which the United States intends to remake the world in its own image and likeness.
In an article published on June 20, 2019 on the website Unz.com (in Spanish it is identified as El Ojo Digital), Giraldi, who is also has a doctorate in European history and was a specialist in counterterrorism and a veteran officer in CIA operations in Europe and the Middle East, comments that there is an expectation that the White House is preparing to “do something” against Iran in the military field.
Recent incidents involving alleged attacks on Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were immediately attributed to Iran by the Secretary of State of the Trump regime, Mike Pompeo. It had so little regard for the evidence that even conventional US media that are invariably compliant with the standards set for them were left speechless. In its initial coverage of the situation, the New York Times echoed the government’s assertions but, if one reads the readers’ comments on what was published, one appreciates that 90% of those who bothered to express an opinion considered that the version disseminated is not credible.
Several commentators have recalled the entirely false Gulf of Tonkin incident that led to the escalation of U.S. participation in Vietnam in 1964. This fact that was frequently expressed in readers’ comments in both conventional and alternative media. Others recalled, instead, the false intelligence reports linking Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to the September 11, 2001 terrorists, as well as false reports about a secret Iraqi nuclear program and the existence of giant guiders capable of launching biological weapons over the Atlantic Ocean that proliferated in those days.
The final story dates back to early June, when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met privately with American Jewish leaders who expressed concern about the possibility of British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister. (Corbyn had been targeted by British Jews for being the first high-ranking politician in the UK to speak with sympathy or pity about the plight of the Palestinians.)
Pompeo was asked if, should Corbyn be elected, the United States would be willing to work with them to act against any inconvenience that might arise for Jews in the United Kingdom. The US Secretary of State replied: “It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to be elected… It’s possible. But you should know that we will not wait for you to do those things before we start to reject them. We will do everything in our power to avoid going to that extreme. It would be too risky, too important and too difficult to do anything after your choice has occurred.
There are some ambiguities in both the question and the answer, but it seems that American Jews want to join their British counterparts in overthrowing or containing such a high-level politician elected to such a high office because Corbyn is not pro-Israeli enough.
Secretary of State Pompeo agrees with them that something has to be done, including quite possibly taking some measures – probably covert – to ensure that Corbyn does not become Prime Minister. But as Pompeo might be thinking of subverting the institutions of America’s closest ally, it is, to some extent, good news that he is being ignored by the media.
June isn’t over yet, but it’s good that the U.S. hasn’t invaded Venezuela yet, despite the claims of opportunist and phony Senator Marco Rubio and the demented Senator Lindsey Graham, says journalist Philip Giraldi.
There were a number of questionable aspects to Pompeo’s version, not least because of the improbability of Iran attacking a Japanese ship while the Japanese Prime Minister was in Tehran making a visit. The attack itself, attributed to Iranian mines, also did not coincide with the damage suffered by the ships. These were well above the waterline, a detail that was pointed out by the captain of the Japanese ship, among others. The ship’s crew also saw flying objects, suggesting that missiles or other projectiles were the culprits, the kind fired by almost everyone in the area.
And then there is the question of motive: the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates want a war with Iran while the Iranians try to avoid a B-52 attack. So why would Iran do something that would practically guarantee a B-52 attack? Why would Iran do something that would virtually guarantee a devastating response from Washington?
June 24, 2019.
This article can be reproduced by quoting the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.
The death of Rosa Luxemburg marked the final step of world social democracy towards treason; it was not only a crime committed with full consciousness of its historical significance, but orchestrated in function of a class hegemonism of the German bourgeoisie and big capital, allied after the defeat in the First World War.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The death of Rosa Luxemburg marked the non-return of world social democracy towards treason; it was not only a crime committed with full consciousness of its historical significance, but orchestrated in function of a class hegemonism over the German working class by the bourgeoisie and big capital, allied after the defeat in World War I, to build a new right-wing order, the hard state of National Socialism (Nazi), which would lead Europe towards its dissolution as the center of the world.
In the cold dawn of January 15, 1919, Red Rosa wrote her last lines on the problem of the Revolution on the continent. And, although with pessimism, she referred to the hope that the masses would one day awaken from the nationalist and revenge lethargy hovering over the humiliated Germany of the time, and so the Revolution would show its true strength by saying: “I was, I am and I will be.”c
Being born in a country occupied by Russians, Germans and Austrians made Rosa Luxemburg look at the national question with distrust. The most “revolutionary” she heard from many of the insurgents against foreign power was based on the restoration of the Polish feudal state of the 15th and 16th centuries, which represented in then Europe one of the puresy reminiscences of the landowner’s system of servitude. That political creature, impervious to the ideas of the French Revolution, was devoured by three modern and authoritarian states that contained the nascent germ of capital.
For Rosa, then, the national question was a setback and she based her appraisals on the need to internationalize the socialist and workers’ underground movement, as a way to quickly win the emancipation of the oppressed classes. Living later in Germany, a country that based its strength as capital on the unity built by Bismarck, convinced her that nationalisms only engendered steps backward on the road to a Revolution that, given the state of things at the end of the 19th century, seemed imminent.
In fact, in Germany the Social Democratic Party became the strongest and most numerous left party in the world, generating expectations in all revolutionaries. The very advance of this force in parliament provoked the removal of ultra-conservative and monarchical elements from the public sphere. But it also favored the establishment of pacts between that left and the central power of the State. It was the beginning of the historical betrayal of social democracy from Marxist socialism.
Rosa, who never felt Polish – much less German – encouraged this powerful left to extend eastwards, capturing countries under the aegis of old feudal empires, such as Russia. She saw in the mass movement of 1905 against the Tsar the beginning of the end of the crowned heads and the other European Caesars. However, the pragmatism of leaders and ideologues of social democracy, such as Karl Kautsky, would clash with Luxembourg’s theory of socialism as a new culture, whose idea is placed beyond nationalism.
For Kautsky, the struggle against capital was one of “attrition,” inasmuch as the strikes were only intended to move power momentarily, but never to bring about its downfall, and the young socialist movement “would not know what to do with the vacuum of authority.” But she saw in this what it was: an unprecedented concession to conservative power by the leadership of a party that was beginning to abandon its bases, while reviewing Marx’s thesis 11 on Feuerbach (Transforming the World). Historical facts demonstrated the lucidity of the Polish revolutionary, as opposed to Kautsky’s reformism, in heated and dangerous polemics.
Many of those who, at the height of the 21st century, are surprised by the anti-popular cutback policies applied by the non-Marxist European left, forget that this betrayal began a long time ago. Perhaps it is not a bad memory, but a voluntary forgetfulness in order not to recognize the cynicism with which the revolutionary question has been handled since then by elements sold out to the interests of capital.
Marx warned that the original accumulation product of the plundering of the third world gave the European workers (a part of them) the possibility of becoming bourgeois and, therefore, defending interests far from total emancipation, guided only towards a nationalist, local question of selfish improvement of their living conditions. The European worker will thus support not only a conservative pseudo-socialism, but also the hard fascist who guarantees a middle-class standard of living, as we are seeing in today’s Europe.
That is exactly the explanation of German social democracy, the model on which that same continental tendency was built during the Cold War (1945-1991), as a wild card against the Marxist socialism of Eastern Europe.
Social democracy should not surprise us, because since the beginning of the First World War, the budget for the Army was approved in the German parliament, the same that would kill workers and peasants of the other rival imperialist nations of Europe. That fact marked Rosa Luxemburg’s distance when she founded the Spartacus League, the germ of the German Communist Party, which would be hated by social democrats, ultranationalists and monarchists alike.
The German failure in the trenches, which showed the impossibility of the “confluence” project. It put the country on the verge of a total civil war, with revolutionary forces ready to drive for power. However, years of social-democratic government and conservative trade unions that agreed with the existing powers prevented the necessary unity of action.
A poster placed in every corner of Berlin appealed, in those hungry early morning hours of December 1918: “Whoever wants bread, let him bring the head of Rosa Luxemburg”. The black legend of Nazism began by blaming the revolutionary socialists for national disaster, as it would later do with the Jews. Worst of all, this poster was sent to hang by the president of the Republic and leader of the social democratic party, Rosa’s former comrade.
Days later, a group of Freikcorps (antecedents of the Nazi SS assault troops) advanced on a lonely 47-year-old woman, who had her skull slashed with rifle butts, and then threw her blood-dripping body into a Berlin canal. A Spartacist comrade sent an obituary to Lenin, leader of Bolshevik Russia, saying that she “took her revolutionary condition to the extreme.
The Rose was uprooted, but not hope, much less History.
By Celalba Yamarte
Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at 15:33
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
A documentary about life in Nepal raised a stir after the statements of one of its protagonists. “I have three husbands and that’s how I’m happy,” said the woman called Tsepal, a common reality in the Himalayan region.
Polyandry is the counterpart of the most famous polygamy. In this case, it is the women who have several partners. They have been allowed to marry whom they want and live together in the same house. In some cases, husbands are blood brothers.
Tsepal’s story is not far from her friends, although not all of them have their courage. In fact, she believes she can be president of her country because she is capable of running a home with three husbands and four children.
The rites and traditions in her community are very well-determined. In fact, the woman stated that there is no jealousy between her husbands. When one of them requires intimacy, she calls on her with a broad smile.
Way of life
Experts affirm that polyandry aims to control the birth rate of this population. It is practiced where more men than women are available for marriage. Generally, the wedding is transacted in an arrangement between members of the same ethnic group.
In the case of Tsepal, her three husbands combine the care of the crops with the work of the house. So she is never alone, perhaps that is the key to the happiness she expresses of her way of life.
Advantages and disadvantages
Another quality of polyandry, says Tsepal, has to do with child support. Having several husbands, all of them must provide the means for the development of their children, such as food, health care and education.
But her sisters-in-law are not as happy as she is. They think there could be a problem if Tsepal doesn’t take care of her three husbands properly. Intimacy and children would be an obstacle if Tsepal doesn’t please all three, they say.
Sunday, June 16 2019 08:29
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The #MeToo movement that exploded worldwide in late 2017 inspires several works on display this year at the Basel Art Fair, the largest in the world.
Visitors discover inflatable mannequins in white airbag dresses created to protect women from harassment in the workplace, and details of alleged sexual crimes of some 170 public figures displayed on four long walls dotted with red.
Women artists are at the center of the scene of this 50th edition, with their works and in-your-face installations expressing the anger and exasperation of persistent gender inequalities and the abuses and harassment condemned by society.
The Spaniard Alicia Framis has filled a room with delicate white mannequins with dresses made of airbag material, which are activated to protect different parts of the female body.
The work entitled “Life Dress” consists of dresses to “protect women in all work situations where there is some kind of abuse,” Framis told AFP.
The 52-year-old artist said she spoke with victims of harassment and abuse and her stories inspired the design, using “fashion to protest against violence.
While Framis turns to humor, Los Angeles-based artist Andrea Bowers opts directly for anger with her large archive project “Open Secrets.
It consists of photographic prints with red backgrounds, each mentioning the name and trade of the public figure accused of sexual harassment or abuse, her public response to the accusations, and details of the case.
Culture of Rape
Hollywood ex-producer Harvey Weinstein, whose alleged crimes launched the #MeToo movement, has two full panels dedicated to his long list of alleged crimes.
U.S. President Donald Trump also appears in the work, as do his predecessors Bill Clinton and George Bush senior, two Supreme Court justices, actors, journalists and musicians, among others.
“I think the #MeToo movement is perhaps one of the most important feminist movements of my life,” Bowers told AFP, referring to his inspiration for the play.
Bowers, 54, who presents herself as a feminist activist artist, said she was shocked to realize “what it was like growing up for me in that culture of rape where young men were allowed to sexually rape me and my friends.
With the #MeToo movement, this kind of behavior is finally “being recognized,” she said. “I hope it’s a historic change.
During the premiere earlier in the week, many men stopped in front of the work that covers two wide walls, on both sides, in the middle of the fair’s large exhibition space.
“You can see a lot of men standing here and a little insecure about how to react,” said Vanja Oberhoff, a young German art investor. “It’s a very powerful work,” he told AFP.
But not all reactions are positive.
Helen Donahue, who in 2017 tweet photographs of her body with marks for alleged abuse by independent columnist Michael Hafford, expressed indignation that Bowers used one of her images.
“It’s great that my damn photos and trauma are headed to the Basel fair. Thank you for exploiting us for the +arte+ ANDREA BOWERS,” he tweet Thursday.
Bowers, who insists on the importance of trusting survivors, quickly issued an apology for not asking Donahue’s permission before using the photo and removed the panel from his exhibit.
By Vladia Rubio/CubaSí
Sunday, June 16 2019 05:49
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Deyanira is in her third month of pregnancy and the fatigue and vomiting do not leave her alone. Neither does Osniel.
It’s not a mistake. She didn’t skip a line while reading. Osniel, the husband of the first-time mother, feels afflicted with symptoms similar to hers, but when his stomach turns as if he were on the roller coaster, he tries to hide the situation although sometimes the paleness betrays him.
And it is not that this young and future father is a hypochondriac. No mental illness afflicts him. He is simply going through what others are going through, even if they keep quiet about what they will say and even how they will look at them.
However, scientific research has shown that some parents, especially first-timers, are afflicted with the so-called Couvade Syndrome or empathic pregnancy.
As a result, it has been proven that they suffer interesting biological changes that bring them sensations similar to those of their partner.
They experience an elevation of estradiol levels (estrogen involved in the maternal behavior of mammals associated with tenderness and similar emotions) and a decrease in testosterone levels.
The hormonal variations that are presented to them at the same time that to their companion can generate symptoms similar to those of her as the well-known nausea and vomiting.
At the same time, knowing the good news that they will be parents, the glucocorticoids decrease, a hormone associated with cortisol, which is released as a result of stress.
In parallel with the above, they secrete more prolactin (the hormone related to the ability to breastfeed) and this results in lack of appetite, fatigue, intolerance to certain odors, drowsiness and weight gain.
After the birth of the child, it has also been observed that in certain first-time parents the levels of oxytocin rise as happens in the mother, and this leads to a closer bond with the newborn.
Among the first scientists to investigate the subject, biologist Katherine Wynne-Edwards, from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, notes that along with psychologist Anne Storey, she verified the role of prolactin in the sensations and feelings of the “pregnant father”.
Another study carried out by Dr. Arthur Brennan of Kingston University in London confirmed the decisive role of prolactin, to the point that levels of this hormone increased when parents carried their babies.
It seems to be, according to some experts, that being close to the pregnant wife can influence those unique sensations experienced by some parents. It happens that the saliva and sweat of pregnant women emit chemical signals that impact hormonal changes in their partners.
Husbands who are physically farther away from the bellies do not receive the above-mentioned influences or perceive them in a very slight way.
They assure that the paternity also influences in the brain to the point of increasing the gray matter as a consequence of the many new conduct that they incorporate following the birth of the baby.
All these new ways of doing things are reflected in changes in the brain. This is what Dr. Juan Blanco López states in his thesis to obtain the scientific degree “Men. Masculinity as a risk factor. An ethnography of invisibility”, from the Spanish university Pablo de Olavide.
Although, obviously, men do not experience the arrival of the new being with the same changes that happen in the body and mind of the woman -who, moreover, must give birth to her child-; they are besieged by fears, curiosities and doubts about how to assume the role of parents.
They are so overwhelmed by these feelings that some even suffer from so-called postpartum depression.
In the journal of the Spanish Association of Neuropsychiatry, Dr. Emilia García Castro states in her article Psychology and Psychopathology of Parenthood: “The latest studies have shown that there is indeed postpartum depression in men. It is said to affect between 5% and 10% of fathers, presenting symptoms similar to those of mothers, and is more common in those who do not live with their children or are first-time fathers…… ».
Although they are undoubtedly curious, the perhaps most important changes are not those mentioned so far. Those who really deserve applause are those who have occurred in the ways of conceiving paternity.
Although traditionally, the father figure was seen as the one in charge of giving permission, the voice of authority, and also the provider; interesting transitions in that order have been taking place for some time now.
At present, parents, as a trend, show a cultural transition in their role, opening more spaces to demonstrations of affection and tenderness towards their descendants, at the same time that they are also in charge, to a certain extent, of offering welfare care, that is to say, those referring to cleanliness, food and others.
On an international level, and obviously also on this Caribbean island, there is a growing understanding that children are the equal responsibility of mother and father. Both have the same rights and duties with respect to their offspring.
In Cuba, where paternity research began to glean since the middle of the last century, although an archaic hegemonic masculinity continues to prevail, transitions in that order are also evident.
Stereotypes persist, but the National Gender Equality Survey revealed that 40 percent of men and women interviewed stressed the importance of the father during the childhood of their children.
However, the burdens we dragged poked their hairy ear when nearly 60% said they “agreed” or “partly agreed” that babies need to be closer to their mother than to their father. Fifty-one percent said a man can’t give them the same care as a woman.
A lot has been studied, but there is still a lot of research to be done regarding fatherhood, especially considering that they are increasingly behaving according to their condition of being emotionally active, sensitive beings. Therefore, more and more people are convinced that kissing their son, showing him their tenderness, nothing is left to them and it does contribute to their stature as contemporary parents.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
“From Syria to Yemen in the Middle East, from Libya to Somalia in Africa, from Afghanistan to Pakistan in South Asia, all forming a U.S. air curtain descending on a huge swath of the planet with the declared goal of fighting terrorism. Its main method is summed up in surveillance, bombardments and more constant bombardments. Its political benefit is to minimize the number of “United States boots on the ground” and, therefore, American casualties in the never-ending war on terrorism, as well as public protests over Washington’s many conflicts. It’s economic benefit: plenty of high-performance business for arms manufacturers for whom the president can now declare a national security emergency whenever he wants and sell his warplanes and ammunition to preferred dictatorships in the Middle East (no congressional approval required). Its reality for several foreign peoples: a sustained diet of bombs and missiles “Made in the USA” that explode here, there and everywhere.
This is how William J. Astore, a retired US Air Force lieutenant colonel and now a history professor, interprets the cult of bombing on a global scale that he views in his country, as well as the fact that U.S. wars are being fought more and more from the air, not on the ground, a reality that makes the prospect of ending them increasingly daunting, and finally asks: What is driving this process?
“For many of America’s decision-makers,” Astore says, “air power has clearly become a sort of abstraction. “After all, with the exception of the September 11  attacks by four hijacked commercial airliners, Americans have not been the target of such attacks since World War II. On the battlefields of Washington, the Greater Middle East and North Africa, air power is almost literally always a one-way street. There are no enemy air forces or significant air defenses. The skies are the exclusive property of the U.S. Air Force and its allies, so we are no longer talking about “war” in the normal sense. No wonder Washington’s politicians and military see it as our strength, our asymmetric advantage, our way of settling accounts with wrongdoers, real and imaginary.
It could be said that, in the 21st century, the count of bombs and missiles replaced the Vietnamese era body count as a metric of false progress. According to U.S. military data, Washington dropped no less than 26,172 bombs in seven countries in 2016, most of them in Iraq and Syria. Against Raqqa alone, the “capital of terrorists,” the United States and its allies dropped more than 20,000 bombs in 2017, reducing that provincial Syrian city literally to rubble. The Raqqqa bombing coupled with artillery fire killed more than 1,600 civilians, according to Amnesty International.
After Donald Trump took office as president, having promised to get the U.S. out of its endless wars, U.S. bombing has increased, not only against the Islamic state in Syria and Iraq, but also against Afghanistan. Civilian casualties increased even when “friendly” Afghan forces have been mistaken for “enemies” and also liquidated.
Somalia’s air strikes on Yemen have also been on the rise under Trump, while civilian casualties due to U.S. bombings continue to be underestimated by the U.S. media and minimized by the Trump administration.
This country’s propensity to believe that its ability to rain infernal fire from the sky provides it with a winning methodology for its wars has proven to be a fantasy of our age. Whether in Korea in the early 1950s, in Vietnam in the 1960s, or more recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, the United States can control the air, but that dominance simply has not led to ultimate success. In the case of Afghanistan, weapons such as the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB, the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. military arsenal) have been celebrated as game changers even when they changed nothing. (In fact, the Taliban only continue to strengthen, as does the branch of the Islamic state in Afghanistan.) As is often the case when it comes to U.S. air power, such destruction leads neither to victory nor to the closure of anything; only to even greater destruction.
“Such results are contrary to the logic of air power that I absorbed in my career in the U.S. Air Force, from which I retired in 2005,” says Professor William J. Astore.
June 19, 2019.
This article may be reproduced by quoting the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.
June 15, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
June 15 was designated by the UN General Assembly as the World Day for Awareness of Old Age Abuse.
Elder abuse is a social problem that affects the health and human rights of millions of older adults around the world, a single or repeated act that causes harm and suffering.
The World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that the magnitude of this problem is quite wide, since according to a study conducted in 2017, at least 15.7% of people over 60 were subjected to some form of abuse.
The agency indicated that the number of violence against older adults could be even higher, but of 24 cases of abuse in old age only one is reported, justified by their fear of notifying their relatives, friends or authorities of the abuse.
In 2018, the WHO revealed that psychologically abused older adults accounted for 11.6%, economic abuse 6.8%, neglect 4.2%, physical abuse 2.6%, and sexual assault 0.9%.
Faced with this problem, the UN agency has urged taking precautions so that this does not continue to happen, and thus mitigates the consequences.
Among the measures taken are “awareness campaigns for the public and professionals (detection of possible victims and aggressors), inter-generational programs in schools, interventions to support caregivers (e.g. stress management, respite care).
There are also “policies on residential care to define and improve the level of care, dementia training for carers,” among others.
Among the efforts that WHO called on citizens to prevent abuse from proliferating are “mandatory reporting of abuse to authorities, self-help groups, shelters and emergency shelters, counselling programs for those who inflict abuse, hotlines to provide information, and caregiver support interventions.”
The Red Cross launched a campaign that seeks to raise awareness to end the abuse of older adults, with the slogan: “Although you do not know, it is also mistreatment,” which calls for making visible that these actions that are unjustifiable.
The UN said that the number of older people, i.e. those aged 60 and over, is expected to double by 2050 and triple by 2100: from 962 million in 2017 to 2.1 billion in 2050 and 3.1 billion in 2100, so it is important to prevent the growth of elder abuse from continuing.
By Lissett Izquierdo, Cubadebate journalist. Graduated from the University of Havana (2014). She worked at the Cuban News Agency from 2011 until September 2018.
and Ferrer Ariel Ley Royero
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The Cuban economy plan for 2020 will have a new conception: it will be elaborated without specific directives or limits, since it will come out of the active participation of workers in each company, informed Alejandro Gil, Minister of Economy and Planning (MEP), this Wednesday.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the VIII Congress of the National Association of Economists and Accountants of Cuba (ANEC), at the Havana Convention Center, the Minister argued that planning will become a collective construction, in which the potentialities of the country’s entities are identified.
Gil reminded the delegates and guests that up to the moment a global model of the economy was made, from which the specific directives for sectors came out, that is to say, the requests for goods and services, as well as the pre-defined level of imports and exports that the economy would have.
According to Gil, now “there is no straitjacket,” but we will have to be objective, realistic and conscious. This new way, demanded for years by the workers, also requires a change of mentality, because “there will be those who are used to the numbers coming from above,” said the minister.
For this reason, he said, this process – which is currently taking place in the labor collectives – will require the support of ANEC and the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC). “The plan that is built has to be by nature more efficient than the one that came from the top down.
Gil ratified that for next year, in the midst of the restrictions that the country presents and the tightening of the blockade imposed by the United States, growth and development can be guaranteed due to the existence of human capital, a national industry with potentialities to be better exploited and a more diversified foreign trade.
Among the priorities, he mentioned activities related to food production, housing programs, transportation, computerization and medicines. The financing of national industry will also take precedence.
In the words of the head of the MEP, one of the problems that hinders the performance of the Cuban economy is the persistence of a mentality that is highly dependent on imports. In recent years there has been a trend towards increasing purchases abroad, which has an impact today, he argued.
He explained that goods are imported that with efforts can be produced within the country. For example, animal feed for pigs, because when there are failures in their purchase, the production and commercialization potholes appear, as happened in the last quarter of last year.
“The economy must prepare itself to gradually reduce these purchases, although it will not be resolved immediately,” he said.
In agreement with Gil, one of the ways to strengthen national industry is to promote productive chains, based on policies and financial incentives. It has also been conceived to strengthen local development projects, based on the use of the endogenous resources of the territories.
Another topic discussed by the Minister of Economy was that of investments. He commented that not infrequently there are differences between feasibility studies and yields. In these studies, scientific rigor must prevail, he said.
He added that the return on investment is little analyzed, when the most important thing is the examination of the expected result of the investment and how it impacted the economy.
Economists committed to the development of their country
In the opening remarks, Oscar Luis Hung Pentón, president of ANEC, reiterated the commitment of the more than 80,200 members of the organization to the process of updating the Cuban economic model.
In reviewing ANEC’s performance in recent years, Hung Pentón highlighted the activity of improvement, especially of officials and specialists in the state sector of the economy, as well as the development of science.
On the other hand, the working links between ANEC and the Permanent Commission for the Implementation and Development of the Guidelines constitute an expression of the close communication existing today between the governmental structures, directly involved in the transformations of the economy, and the prevailing Cuban economic thought in the civil society, said the expert.
The meeting was attended by Jorge Cuevas Ramos, member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Party and Head of its Economic Department; Meisi Bolaños, head of Finance and Prices; and Abel Prieto, director of the Martiano Program Office and president of the José Martí Cultural Society.