‘Extremely dangerous’: Hurricane Willa bears down on Mexico as it nears category 5

Hurricane Willa, a huge and life threatening storm that’s approaching category 5 status, could devastate Mexico’s western coast, forecasters warn.

The hurricane has grown rapidly as it made its way across the Pacific Ocean, its winds increasing from 40mph to 155mph in 48 hours. The US National Hurricane Center has warned that the storm system and could “produce life threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall” in Mexico on Tuesday.

@RyanMaue Hurricane Willa in the Pacific off of Mexico is still rapidly intensifying on its way to Category 5. It will turn NNE into the coast of Mexico and may landfall on Tuesday as a Major Hurricane.

@NWS From 40 mph Tropical Storm to 155 mph Hurricane in 48hrs, Willa is another example of rapid intensification in a tropical cyclone. Wind shear will weaken the storm slightly before landfall Tue, but Willa will bring life-threatening storm surge and winds to the Mexico coast.

READ MORE: Before & after PHOTOS show horrifying devastation of Hurricane Michael

Willa is expected to reach category 5 status on Monday – the highest classification for hurricanes. Forecasters predict it will make landfall between the resort towns of Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

READ MORE: Migrant caravan using women & children as human shields to break into Mexico – Pompeo

Some areas could see up to 18 inches of rainfall, likely triggering flash flooding and landslides in mountainous areas. A hurricane warning has also been issued for Mexico’s western coast between San Blas and Mazatlan.

@weatherchannel rapidly intensified and is expected to strike Mexico as a this week. Tropical Storm will also pose a threat of flooding: https://wxch.nl/2yU56Fk

Meanwhile, tropical storm Vicente, forecast to strike the south of Mexico, is expected to be reduced to a tropical depression by Monday night or early Tuesday. It will still produce heavy rainfall and flooding in parts of the south and southeast.
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Trump Offers Mexico US$20 Million to Stop Migrant Caravan

Mexico refused Trump's offer, but sent anti-riot police to repress the caravan anyway.

After Mexican authorities used public force to stop the migrant caravan from entering Mexico from the Guatemalan border, Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior Alfonso Navarrete revealed that US President Donald Trump offered them US$20 million to stop undocumented migration.

RELATED: Mexico, Guatemala Police Suppress Migrant Caravan at Border

In interview with Radio Formula, Navarrete said Mexico’s relationship with Trump’s government has been harsh “because they’re demanding things that the country, of course, won’t accept … like stopping the migrant caravans and carry out massive deportations.”

“We were offered US$20 million to stop the migrant caravan because their arrival would be on the same dates as the day of the elections in the US. We’re not a wall for immigrants,” declared Navarrete in reference to the November 6 mid-term elections.

The secretary said Trump offered money from ‘private funds,’ not public, but the Mexican government clearly said it won’t accept “a cent of a dollar” for that purpose and won’t fall for their “dirty game.”

He also explained the government is doing efforts to incorporate immigrants to regularization programs and safeguard them from possible dangers during their journey through Mexico.

“We have delivered 80 thousand registry numbers to illegal immigrants, but limiting their stay in the country,” he said.

Even though images of security officers beating up immigrants trying to cross the border made the news worldwide, Navarrete said they were given the order to never harm them and carry out only defense actions.

Trump’s government suggested a similar offering to Mexico in exchange for deporting 17 thousand undocumented immigrants as part of an effort to “address the crisis in our southern border,” according to Katie Waldman, national security spokeswoman.

But the Mexican government didn’t accept the money to be Trump’s wall against immigrants anyway. After security forces violently prevented hundreds of immigrants from the Honduran caravan to enter the country, President Donald Trump praised Mexico’s actions and said its southern neighbor had acted in such a way because they “respect US leadership.”

“And I want to thank Mexico! Mexico has been so incredible! And the leaders of Mexico! You know why? Because now Mexico respects the leadership of the United States!” said Trump.

The US is trying to establish Mexico as a ‘safe third country,’ a filter that would be in charge of handling asylum petitions for Central American immigrants. Doing so would retain a considerable number of them, possibly fostering the appearance of refugee camps at its borders.

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Large Cuban Participation in Mexico's Book Fair

A large selection of Cuban books, music and plastic arts is currently present at the Zocalo Book Fair, which will run until October 21.

Editora Abril (Abril Publishing House), Collage Ediciones Vigía (Vigía Publishing House) and Citmatel represent the stand of the Cuban Book Chamber at the literary event.

A selection of contemporary Cuban fiction, a varied catalogue of Ernesto Che Guevara's texts and children's literature characterize Casa Editora Abril's options.

'We want Mexican readers not only to acquire good literary works, but also to learn the essence of Cuban culture,' Mayra Garcia Cardentey, representative of the Abril publishing house, told Prensa Latina.

Garcia stressed that the Cuban program for the Zocalo Fair also includes book presentations and meetings with the Mexican Movement of Solidarity with Cuba.

They will also give conferences at universities and youth educational centers in the Mexican capital.

Collage Ediciones adds novelties of Cuban visual arts with a varied sample of art catalogs and specialized volumes.

For its part, Ediciones Vigia proposes peculiar handmade books, with a sustainable conception of literary production.

Renowned Cuban authors such as Roberto Manzano, Carilda Oliver Labra, Edel Morales, among others, are part of the options from this publishing house that is committed to using recycled materials.

Citmatel' digital novelties complete Cuban cultural options at the Zocalo Book Fair.

A diverse catalogue of Cuban cuisine, Afro-Cuban religion, scientific literature and national films make up the options from this publishing house, which develops digital media.

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Trump Threatens To Close US-Mexico Border Over Migrant "Onslaught"

Washington: US President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to send the military to close its southern border if Mexico fails to stem the "onslaught" of migrants from Central America, in a series of tweets that blamed Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.

The attack comes with Trump's Republicans fighting to retain control of Congress in the November 6 vote, and as thousands of migrants from impoverished Honduras were marching north through Guatemala toward the United States.

"I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS," Trump said.

"In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!"

The tweets came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepared to embark on a tour of the region that will see him visit Mexico ahead of its December inauguration of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as well as Panama.

Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration and building a wall that stretches the length of the 1,954-mile (3,145 km) border a keystone of his presidency, but his animus toward Mexico had cooled since Obrador's election in July.

Despite their sharp differences, the US and Mexico have made progress on several issues, including the signing of an updated transcontinental trade pact, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

But, possibly with an eye on November 6 polls that will determine whether Republicans retain control of Congress, Trump returned to the fiery rhetoric that has marked his past relations with Mexico.

"The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA," he said.

Caravan presses on

It was not immediately clear what form of military deployment Trump had in mind. The president announced plans in April to send thousands of National Guard troops to the border, where they could remain until his promised wall is constructed.

At least five US states later refused to send the troops amid an outcry over a policy to separate migrant children from their parents, since discontinued.

Exhausted after tramping in the sun and rain, an advance group of the Honduran migrants on Wednesday took refuge in a church-sponsored shelter in the center of Guatemala City.

Their objective now is to regroup and press on towards the border with Mexico.

A caravan of vehicles carrying more than 2,000 migrants left last Saturday from the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula after organizing themselves on social media.

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Cuban Singer Silvio Rodriguez to Attend inauguration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

Renowned Cuban singer/song-writer Silvio Rodriguez says he will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Mexico's President-Elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on December 1st.

Answering a question by a fan on his Segunda Cita blog, Rodriguez said he was invited to the ceremony and that he intended to travel to Mexico to attend.

The Cuban musician has shown his support for Lopez Obrador in the past, and was with him at the Zocalo, Mexico City’s largest square, when López Obrador called to protest against the electoral fraud that declared Felipe Calderon the winner of the 2006 presidential election.

When Lopez Obrador’s landslide victory was imminent on July 1, 2018, Silvio Rodriguez wrote a supportive message: “It seems like the first polls give victory to Andres Manuel. Congratulations to our Mexican brothers and sisters. Great inspiration for the concert. Thanks, Mexico!”

In February 2018, Rodriguez posted a picture of him and the candidate with a quote from Emir Sader’s ‘Latin American Oligarchic Liberalism,’ and declared Lopez Obrador was the only one who could “rescue” the country “from the disgrace brought by the neoliberal governments and the Free Trade Agreement with the United States.”

“They’re afraid of a government that defends the interests of the great majority of Mexican people, defends the national interests of Mexico, and brings Mexico closer to Latin America,” wrote Rodriguez in a post.

“But that’s the hope of most of Mexican people and also Latin America, defeating neoliberalism and subordination to the U.S. to confirm a fair and sovereign Mexico,” he continued.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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AMLO Promised to Create 'Civil Guard' to Combat Violence Instead of Army

Mexican President-elect AMLO announced that the government will create a national “civil guard” to combat violence in the country and curb the army’s role in the civil sphere.

On Saturday, the President-elect of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) promised the citizens of the country that the military will never be used against civilians while paying tribute to the massacred students during the Oct.2, 1968 protest. He also proposed to reform the army to guarantee peace and prevent tragedies like 1968 mass murder.

RELATED: Ayotzinapa 43: Four Years After The Crime That Shocked Mexico

While giving a speech at Plaza Tlatelolco, AMLO said, "In this historical square we commit ourselves never to use the Army to repress the people of Mexico. We are going to suppress the General Staff and create a civil guard that will limit the use of force and guarantee human rights."

50 years ago, the same Plaza witnessed a macabre event on Oct. 2, 1986, when armed forces fired on a peaceful demonstration by the students, leaving at least 300 unarmed students dead, hundreds injured and more than 1000 detained. The students were protesting against the government of President Diaz Ordaz.

A federal court described the massacre as a genocidal event. A Mexican government institution, the Executive Commission for Victims’ Assistance, admitted for the first time in last week that the 1968 massacre was a state crime. In the recent times, Mexico faced the worst wave of violence with at least 85 people being killed per day on an average.

The army will not be returning to the barracks in the near future as the federal police do not have sufficient resources and that would leave the people vulnerable as argued by AMLO. The new “national civil guard” would be composed of members of the police and two military estates.

The Civil Guard will be created on the national level to unify the different security forces such as the army, navy and Federal Police.

The President-elect, who will assume his role and enter office on Dec.1, said during the rally, "in the investigations of the repression of '68, it appears that the General Staff was used" as a shock force against the students.” The details of the massacre have not yet been fully clarified even five decades later.

Obrador also vowed to support Mexican youth and their education by providing a monthly subsidy for students and creating more free public universities. According to him, unemployment and lack of opportunities ate the reasons that attract the youth towards “criminal activities”.

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Ayotzinapa Parents Condemn Exoneration of Eight Suspects After Filing 'Mistake'

This is part of "the government's strategy to simulate that it is punishing those responsible... which is why we condemn those facts." 

The parents of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students launch a protest, on Thursday, after the judicial system exonerated eight people who were being investigated in relation to the missing pupils. The decision was taken on a technicality regarding how the investigation was filled by the Attorney General's Office.

RELATED: Ayotzinapa 43: Four Years After The Crime That Shocked Mexico

This is part of "the government's strategy to simulate that it is punishing those responsible... which is why we condemn those facts," said the spokesperson for the parents, Meliton Ortega, who is also one of the parents of the 43.

A Judge in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas freed eight people involved in the investigation, by saying that the judicial files were integrated in a wrong way, by the Attorney General's Office (PGR). 

This "mistake" on the filing confirms, for the parents, that the intention of the Federal Government was to "detain them only to liberate them after," as expressed by Ortega, during the march in Iguala, the city where the 43 students disappeared from on September 26, 2014.

Ortega said the relatives will continue to fight for truth, and that their spirits were lifted after Wednesday's meeting with President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). "By every means possible, we will reach the end, we will arrive at the truth in the investigation and we will continue to demand that it be an investigation that will allow us to clarify the case and see the whereabouts of the students," Ortega said.

The parents of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa students held a meeting with AMLO, who reaffirmed his commitment to establishing a truth commission to investigate the disappearances.

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Peña Nieto Rejects U.S. Blockade against Cuba at UN

President Enrique Peña Nieto has reiterated on Tuesday Mexico''s rejection of the United States'' economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba during his speech at the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations.

In this regard, he assured the end of this policy would bring benefits to the entire region.

Peña Nieto also advocated dialogue as the way to solve the differences between Washington and Havana.

On the first day of the Assembly's general discussion, Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno also called for the lifting of the blockade on Cuba.

  • Published in Cuba
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