Russia Denounces Deployment of US Forces near Venezuela

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday denounced the deployment of special commandos and military equipment from the United States near the border with Venezuela, and the preparations for a provocation, according to the most demanding rules of ''the military manual''.

Special forces and military equipment have been deployed near Venezuelan territory, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted.

She also referred to plans by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to supply weapons and ammunition to Venezuelan opposition.

The purchase of weapons and ammunition will take place in an Eastern European country and includes big-caliber machineguns, grenade launchers and portable antiaircraft systems, the spokeswoman denounced.

The military equipment will be supplied to Venezuela in early March, in several batches that will be delivered on a territory near the border of that country by cargo planes from an international company, Zakharova noted.

For that action, planes manufactured by the Ukrainian company Antonov are expected to be used, she clarified.

Zakharova pointed out that a large-scale provocation is expected on Saturday, as Washington has called and promoted a convoy of humanitarian aid that will try to cross the Venezuelan border, she stated.

That action might cause a clash between opponents to and supporters of the Venezuelan government, and would be aimed at creating a pretext for an action of force in order to oust Venezuela's legitimate president, Nicolas Maduro, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman warned.

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Cuba: US Planes Fly to Strategic Areas to Pressure Venezuela

The U.S. intends to manufacture a humanitarian pretext to initiate military aggression against Venezuela.

The Government of Cuba denounced Wednesday, through a statement, the escalation of pressures and actions of the U.S. Government in preparation for military action under the guise of humanitarian intervention in Venezuela, and called on the international community to mobilize in order to prevent consummation.

"Between Feb. 6 and 10, several military transport aircraft have been flying to the Rafael Miranda Airport in Puerto Rico; the San Isidro Air Base in the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean Islands that have a strategic location, most certainly without the knowledge of the governments of those nations," Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affair (Minrex), stated and added that "these flights took off from U.S. military facilities from where Special Operation Troops and U.S. Marine Corps units operate."

According to media circles, the U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and the Director of the National Security Council's Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs Mauricio Claver-Carone, counting on the connivance of the Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, designed the attempted coup d'etat in Venezuela by means of the illegal self-proclamation of an interim president.

The characters, personally or through the State Department, are pushing governments in order to force their support the arbitrary call to new Venezuelan presidential elections, while promoting the recognition of the illegal self-proclaimed interim president. However, due to the Bolivarian people's resistance to a coup, which has been demonstrated in massive marches supporting President Nicolas Maduro, the U.S. intensified its coercive economic measures against Venezuela.

Among them are, on one hand, the blockade in banks of billions of dollars, which belong to Venezuela; and, on the other hand, the theft of Venezuelan's oil revenues, which causes serious humanitarian damage and harsh deprivation to the Venezuelan people.

The U.S.-backed opposition lawmaker who declared himself president, Juan Guaido, declared his willingness to support a U.S. military intervention under the pretext of receiving "humanitarian aid," describing the sovereign and dignified rejection of that maneuver as "a crime against humanity."

In the process of fabricating pretexts against Venezuela, the United States presented a draft resolution in the United Nations Security Council which expresses concern about "the humanitarian and human rights situation... the recent attempts to block the provision of humanitarian aid, the existence of millions of migrants and refugees... the excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrators, the situation of regional peace and security rupture."

According to Minrex, the United States is paving the way to establishing "a humanitarian corridor" under "international protection," invoking the "obligation to protect" civilians and applying "all necessary measures."

"The United States adopted similar behaviors and pretexts in the prelude to the wars it launched against Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya."

The Cuban Government also pointed out that the U.S. Government intends to eliminate the Bolivarian Revolution, which represents an obstacle for the appropriation of the world's largest oil reserves and other strategic natural resources located in Venezuelan territory.

"The aggression and the coup against Venezuela harm 'Our America' and only benefit the interests of those who are determined to divide us in order to exercise their control over our peoples," Raul Castro, Cuban Army General, warned on Jul. 14, 2017, and explained that the U.S. Government "does not mind generating conflicts of incalculable consequences in this region, like the ones we are witnessing in different places.”

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OAS and the fear of Cubans voting YES

Last Tuesday, the OAS (Organization of American States) organized in its headquarter in Washington another show aimed at discrediting the Constitutional referendum to be held in Cuba next February 24th.

Having the OAS a hissy fit is, to some extent, a very good sign because you do not make a scene for legit processes, as rotten processes discredit themselves. That is why I believe those who are pulling the strings of this organization from the White House are pretty sure that the Cuban people are going to vote a resounding YES to the new Constitution.

It is no secret that the Cuban Revolution has survived all these years to the perennial siege of the empire thanks to the support of the citizens to a socialist democracy that prefers the benefits of the vast majority and champions the sovereignty and independence of the nation.

The Cuban democracy is the polar opposite of coup d’états, invasions, massive repressions similar to the times of Operation Condor, interference in the internal affairs of other nations, neoliberalism or inequality and other democratic practices promoted by the OAS throughout history.

It is reasonable that such organization tries hard to undermine the democracy in Cuba especially if we take into account Cuba’s democracy has nothing to do with the bipartisan plutocracy prevailing in the U.S., which champions the 1% of the world population or the sort of democracy the U.S. likes to see in Latin American countries whose main precept is the unconditional loyalty.

The best example of the aforementioned fact is the constant attack of the OAS against Venezuela, being the latter the nation with the highest number of democratic elections in the last two decades. However, social progress, solidarity, and Latin American integration are not part of the OAS concept of democracy.

The OAS “democratic” fairy tale is a fancy story for innocent and misled citizens of the world narrated by a band of cynical people who have filled their coffers for centuries by expropriating the natural resources of South American nations. It would be totally anti-democratic for the OAS if the people in Latin American open their eyes and realize they have been robbed.

Hence, it comes as no surprise that those heading the OAS in Washington are terrified with the strong possibility of the Cuban people voting YES and supporting their Revolution on February 24th. Such election would show that a world without an imperial master is perfectly possible and people can build a democracy to their benefits and master their own destiny.

Despite the growing impact of the right in Latin America and other regions of the world, the liberating alternative of Cuba is and will continue to be utopia transformed into reality; the antidote against the venom of trickeries of the self-proclaimed masters of the world.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

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Cuba To Welcome 5 Million Visitors In 2019

This year could be a banner year for Cuban tourism.

As the Caribbean island continues to court foreign vacationers, the tourism ministry announced that they expect over five million visitors in 2019.

If the island hits their goal, it will be the 12th consecutive year of growth in tourism numbers for the Pearl of the Antilles, with 7.4% growth between 2018 and 2019, said the ministry. Tourism incomes are estimated to exceed 3 billion dollars in Cuba in 2019 , according to the ministry.

Experts say that the expansion of accommodation choices – including five-star hotels in Havana – as well as the increase in competitively priced hotels and casa particulares has resulted in more interest for vacationers. Additionally, in November, Havana will celebrate its 500th year anniversary.

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“Five million is realistic,” said John McAuliff, executive director of Fund for Reconciliation and Development, in an email. “Americans are slowly waking up to the reality that they are still free to travel independently under the Support for the Cuban People license.”

Continuing, he said that “the number could go even higher if Congress ends all restrictions on travel by Americans. Under Democratic control, the House could match bipartisan support in the Senate to allow normal travel and agricultural sales.”

The top two tourism markets remain Canada and the United States, although Americans are still prohibited from visiting Cuba for tourism explicitly. (Americans can still travel to Cuba legally under one of these 12 permitted categories.)

Cuba has also launched promotional campaigns recently to attract more travelers from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain as well as emerging markets like China, Vietnam and South Africa.

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Although regulations dictate that Americans are not allowed to go on a ‘typical’ beach vacation while exploring the country, Steve Powers, owner of Hidden Treasure Tours in Long Beach, New York, said during last month's New York Times Travel Show that traveling to Cuba legally remains a great deal as compared to the rest of the Caribbean, thanks to cheap, commercial flights from the US.

In 2018, the island welcomed 4.78 million visitors with less than one million of those travelers arriving by cruise ship.

  • Published in Cuba

Who Benefits from the Tornado of Lies in Facebook?

Fake News are now plentiful in Facebook and seek to reaffirm the already old opinion trend on the uselessness of the state to solve national problems that has been used by Cuba’s enemies to justify the blockade and other aggressive politics against the Island.

The last electric poles had not yet reached the ground in the different neighborhoods affected by the tornado on January 27th and Facebook was already pondering the great "humanity and solidarity" of alleged freelancers opposed to the inexistent inaction of the state.

Nothing more biased and ridiculous if we take into account the role that has always played the Cuban government in the face of similar catastrophes which is exemplary for almost all countries worldwide and it has been recognized, more than once by different international organizations. Cubans, like nobody else, has not just demonstrated to be solidary with its own people, but also, with the peoples of other countries.

Likewise, the presumed disorder and "inaction" of the state becomes motive for certain donations that rather than solidarity hide the manipulation of the topic of the so-called "humanitarian help", a plot largely used in the past by the U.S. to give reason for invasions against those countries that don't bend to their hegemony.

The best example in this sort of media approach is evidenced right now in Venezuela, where after a cruel economic battle directed from the U.S. against that country, now the puppet stringed from the White House seeks to use the unfortunate help offered by the U.S., and the nations rallied behind them to pull the Venezuelan people out of the crisis.

Needless to say that after almost 60 years of relentless blockade against Cuba, worsen in the last weeks it’s at least revolting to become an accomplice of such trick.

Let’s not forget that, shortly before the passing of the devastating tornado in Havana, the Task Force for the internet in Cuba directed from the United States had activated the campaign to influence the referendum of the Constitution scheduled for next February 24th therefore is not strange to see in social networks associated to the lies about the tornado the hashtag #yovotono.

We must repeat that shortly before the end of last year, in a budgetary report of the Broadcasting Board of Governors of the United States, it became public the plan of using «native» and «unmarked» Cuban Facebook accounts to spread content fabricated by the U.S. government.

The objective of these contents was to set confusion among those who still naively believe that social networks are a trustworthy source of news. Neither humanitarian, neither solidary, their true objective is to incite dissatisfaction and cause riots and public disobedience that, besides attempting against the civic harmony, pouring fuel to new campaigns of lies against Cuba.

We must bear in mind the international context in which this tornado of lies occurs. Last Friday, the fascist U.S. National Security Advisor, John Bolton, was crystal clear when he repeated that the publicized massacre against the Venezuelan people is only the first step of the war of that country against what he calls the "troika of tyranny" that also includes Nicaragua and Cuba.

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Russia follows US in suspending nuclear deal

Russia has suspended the cold war-era intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty after a similar move by the US.

Vladimir Putin announced the decision on Saturday and also instructed the government not to initiate disarmament talks with Washington.

Moscow’s relations with the west are strained over a number of issues, including Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine as well as charges of meddling with the presidential election in the US and allegedly being behind a nerve agent attack in Britain.

“The American partners have declared that they suspend their participation in the deal; we suspend it as well,” the Russian president said during a televised meeting with foreign and defence ministers.

The US announced on Friday it would withdraw from the INF treaty with Russia in six months unless Moscow ended what it said were violations of the landmark 1987 arms control pact.

Putin said Russia would start work on creating new missiles, including hypersonic ones, and told ministers not to initiate disarmament talks with Washington, accusing the US of being slow to respond to such moves.

“We have repeatedly, during a number of years, and constantly raised a question about substantiative talks on the disarmament issue, notably, on all the aspects,” Putin said. “We see that in the past few years the partners have not supported our initiatives.”

During the meeting, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, also accused the US of violating the INF and other arms deals, such as the non-proliferation treaty.

Putin said Russia would not increase its military budget for the new weapons and it would not deploy its weapons in Europe and other regions unless the US did so.

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USA Announces 'Assistance' for Venezuela

The United States announced on Thursday, it would give 20 million dollars in ''humanitarian assistance'' to the Venezuelan population, while the South Amnerican government denounces Washington's attempts to promote violence and a coup d''état.

A day after the US president, Donald Trump, recognized as president 'in charge' of the South American nation to Juan Guaido, deputy of the National Assembly declared in contempt by the Supreme Court, ignoring the constitutional Government of Nicolás Maduro, the American Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced that sum.

The United States, which imposes economic sanctions on Venezuela, pressures the regional nations to join its campaign of hostility against Caracas and is denounced for its attempts to promote destabilization and subversion in that territory, refers to the money as destined to 'cope with the severe shortages of food and medicines'.

Without referring to any of the punishments applied by Washington unilaterally to hit the economy of the South American nation, a note from the State Department mentions the existence of a political and economic crisis of which it blames the Maduro Government.

The National Assembly of Venezuela has highlighted the need for immediate international humanitarian assistance. In response, the United States is ready to provide emergency assistance, adds the text on the Parliament declared without a valid board of directors by the Supreme Court of Justice.

As a continuation of the interventionist stance repeatedly condemned by Caracas, the State Department said to ask the Venezuelan authorities 'to immediately implement the economic and political reforms necessary to put an end to hyperinflation, shortages of supplies and corruption.'

This announcement also comes a day after Pompeo challenged the Venezuelan president's decision to break diplomatic relations with the United States as a result of Washington's interventionism.

Maduro denounced on Wednesday that the Donald Trump administration is conducting an operation to impose a coup d'état with a puppet government and gave 72 hours to the staff of the US embassy to leave their country.

In response, Pompeo issued a statement in which it states that the United States maintains diplomatic relations with Venezuela and will carry them out 'through the government of interim President Guaido.'

Since the beginning of this month, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry warned about the destabilizing actions of the United States to promote the ignorance of the legitimate and democratic institutions of the Latin American territory in an attempted coup d'état.

Declassified documents, testimonies of officials and journalistic investigations confirm the interest of the northern nation to regain control over the energy and mineral resources that belong exclusively to the people, the institution said in a statement.

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USA Asks to Discuss Venezuela Issue at UN, Despite Opposition

The United States delegation asked the United Nations Security Council to summon a meeting next Saturday on Venezuela, issue that is not considered object of discussion in that organism by members like Russia.

The situation in Venezuela is a domestic problem of that country and does not have to be debated in the Security Council as it is not part of its agenda, told reporters Moscow's permanent representative to the U.N, Vassily Nebenzia.

China also defends the thesis of the non-interference in domestic affairs of United Nations member states. The ambassador of South Africa to the U.N., Jerry Matjila, said it is difficult to find a unified position on that issue in the Security Council.

Any member of the Council can ask for a vote of procedure to block the meeting asked by the United States, for which a minimum of nine votes is needed to summon the meeting.

Besides China, Russia, United States, United Kingdom and France cannot call their vetoes.

Diplomatic sources point to the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, hopes to participate in the meeting asked to be scheduled for Saturday. Washington does not have an ambassador to the U.N. since the departure of Nikki Haley on December 31 last.

This Thursday, the U.N. General Secretary, Antonio Guterres, stressed the urgent need that all relevant actors commit to a political dialogue, inclusive and credible in Venezuela and called to reduce tensions and prevent violence.

The eve, Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro denounced that the United States leads an operation for a coup d'Etat that aims to impose a parallel government in that nation which subordinates to their interests.

Those declarations of the Venezuelan head of State refer to the recognition by the U.S. government of the self-proclaimed head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as 'president in charge', found in contempt by the Supreme Court.

In that way, they pretend to treat as illegitimate the new constitutional period of Maduro, elected by the majority.

Washington accepted a president by non-constitutional ways, rejected Maduro, while announcing the cessation of diplomatic and political bilateral relations.

  • Published in World
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