Russian Minister Accuses U.S. of Openly Plundering Syrian Oil

The U.S. military deployment is centered around the oil fields in eastern Syria.

The United States openly controls and plunders the oil fields belonging to Syria and its people, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.

RELATED: Russian Ministers Meet With Italian Counterparts in Rome

 "The Syrian oil fields, the territories where the precious substance is produced, are controlled by the United States. There is shameless plundering of the riches that belong to Syria and the Syrian people," denounced Russia's defense minister in Rome, Italy.

Shoigu, who traveled to Italy with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to attend a 2+2 meeting with their Italian counterparts Luigi Di Maio and Lorenzo Guerini, also condemned U.S. sanctions that prevent oil supplies to the Syrians.

"That country needs fuel to have heat, hot water, and electricity. The United States, in addition to plundering their oil fields, prohibits them from supplying this substance," he said during a press conference after the meeting with the Italian ministers.

The main people affected by the conflict between the two countries is Syrian civilians, and this situation must be reversed as soon as possible, he concluded.

The denunciation bythe high Russian representatives adds to the repeated alerts of the Syrian government about the flagrant U.S. pillaging of the oil resources of that nation in the face of international silence.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad recently condemned the illegal presence of the U.S. in Syria. Washington's obsession with Syria's oil demonstrates the evident Nazi-style policies of President Donald Trump, Assad said.

Although on October 6, the head of the White House announced the withdrawal of American soldiers from northeast Syria, afterward he reversed the decision. He ordered that a "small number of soldiers" remain in the Arab country "in areas where there is oil" but without any solid legal argument to justify their stay in the country.

Currently, six of the 16 U.S. bases already evacuated are once again full of personnel, according to the Turkish news agency Anadolu. This new U.S. military deployment, according to the Turkish media, is centered around the oil fields in eastern Syria.

  • Published in World

Cuban opera performs in United States

The amazing building of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts will host, February 13-15, the Caribbean version of the opera The Clemency of Tito, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The award-winning work, which has been warmly received by Cuban specialized critics, will be made accessible to the American audience, which has a long tradition in this genre. Precisely, the artists will have before them the challenge of delivering, in a challenging scenario, a performance that integrates not only diverse artistic manifestations, but also originally European codes that have been seen through the Cuban perspective.

This occasion will mark the return of the El Publico Theater and several musicians from the Lyceum to Washington DC, and comes after the acclaimed Artes de Cuba Festival, held in 2018 at the same Kennedy Center.

The prestigious cultural institution, on the banks of the Potomac River and a few meters from the Watergate complex, is home to the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Opera of Washington. The creative activity carried out there is very extensive, with thousands of performances a year.
The Eisenhower Theater will be hosting the Cuban artists on this occasion.

"For us it is a challenge ... We are very happy to be in a place where a good opera is made. We bring a Cuban version (...), which means we are taking certain risks, because we are going to see what the more traditional audience says when they see we have mixed a little bit of Cuban music with the original Mozart music and on the other hand we have included dance," Ulises Hernandez, the director of the opera, said.

The presentation of talented artists on a renowned stage predicts memorable nights. (ACN)

  • Published in Culture

Russia alarmed by U.S. deployment of low-yield nuclear missiles on submarines

Moscow, February 7 (RHC)-- A Russian official says Moscow is alarmed by the U.S. Navy's decision to deploy low-yield nuclear missiles on submarines since they heighten the risk of a limited nuclear war.  Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters the deployment of the W76-2 warhead in the name of strengthening deterrence had caused Russia great concern over U.S. nuclear strategy.

Ryabkov said Russian rearmament and "promising models of military equipment" meant the U.S. warheads were not a direct threat to Russian security but were concerning nevertheless, Russian news agencies reported.

"The appearance on strategic carriers of low-power warheads means arguments previously voiced by the American side about the possible use of such a device are now being realized in metal form, as products.  "This reflects the fact that the United States is actually lowering the nuclear threshold and that they are conceding the possibility of them waging a limited nuclear war and winning this war.  This is extremely alarming."

The comments came after the U.S. Defense Department said earlier this week that the Navy had fielded a low-yield, submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead, something the Pentagon says is needed to deter adversaries like Russia.

Russia's misgivings over U.S. nuclear policy have grown since Washington pulled out of a landmark strategic arms accord, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), in August, citing violations by Russia that Moscow denies.  It means the New START accord, signed in 2010, is the last major nuclear arms control treaty between the world's two biggest nuclear powers.  It limits the number of long-range nuclear warheads they can deploy.

Low-yield nuclear weapons, while still devastating, have a strength of less than 20 kilotons.  The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, in August 1945, had about the same explosive power.  The argument for these weapons is that larger nuclear bombs are so catastrophic that they would never be used, meaning they are not an effective deterrent.  With less destructive power, the low-yield option would potentially be more likely to be used, serving as an effective deterrent, U.S. military officials have said.

While the American media and public focus on Iran, the United States military is preparing for war with Russia, according to an exclusive report by Newsweek.

On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin held a ceremony at the Kremlin to welcome 23 new foreign ambassadors to Moscow, including Washington's new envoy, John Sullivan.  Putin said peace and security on the planet largely depended on the stability and predictability of relations between Russia and the United States based on equality, mutual respect of sovereignty and non-interference in each other's affairs.  "We are ready for meaningful dialogue with the American side, including in the sphere of arms control and strategic stability," Putin said.

Edited by Ed Newman
  • Published in World

China accuses U.S. of creating panic over coronavirus

Beijing, February 4 (RHC)-- China has accused the United States of creating panic across the world over the fast-spreading coronavirus, which has caused over 360 deaths since early January.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the U.S. has caused fears over the spread of the virus by imposing travel restrictions and evacuations from China.

In particular, China accused the United States of spreading fear by pulling its nationals out and restricting travel instead of offering significant aid.  This move by the U.S. comes just weeks after the two countries reached an historical trade agreement.

Washington has “unceasingly manufactured and spread panic,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters, noting that the WHO had advised against trade and travel curbs.

“It is precisely developed countries like the United States with strong epidemic prevention capabilities and facilities that have taken the lead in imposing excessive restrictions contrary to WHO recommendations,” she added, saying countries should make reasonable, calm and science-based judgements.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking in Geneva, again said travel bans were unnecessary.  “There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade,” he told the WHO’s Executive Board.  “We call on all countries to implement decisions that are evidence-based and consistent.”

Chinese delegate Li Song said the international community needed to treat the new virus outbreak objectively, fairly and not “deliberately create panic” among the general public.

Li said China had shared information about the virus with self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as sovereign territory, but he criticised the Taiwanese authorities for what he described as their “lies and excuses” for not attending WHO meetings.

The death toll in China from the newly identified virus, which emerged in Wuhan, capital of the central province of Hubei, rose to 361 as of Sunday, up 57 from the previous day, the National Health Commission said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) last week declared the flu-like virus a global emergency and it has since spread to 23 other countries and regions, with the first death outside of China reported on Sunday, that of a 44-year-old Chinese man who died in the Philippines after travelling from Wuhan.

Wuhan and some other cities remain in virtual lockdown with travel severely restricted, and China is facing increasing international isolation.

Edited by Ed Newman
  • Published in World

US Envoy Threatens to Assassinate New Quds Force Commander

“If Ghaani follows the same path of killing Americans then he will meet the same fate,” U.S. envoy Brian Hook told the Arabic-language daily Asharq al-Awsat.

The U.S. envoy to Iran Brian Hook has threatened Iran's Quds Force commander Esmail Ghaani with the same fate as his predecessor, Qassem Soleimani, if he followed the latter's path.

RELATED: Netanyahu, Pence Slam 'Anti-Semitic' Iran at Holocaust Memorial

AccordIng to the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Hook and the rest of the Trump administration will not tolerate Soleimani's approach any further. The U.S. representative said the Trump administration will take similar action against Ghaani if seeks to replicate Soleimani's approach. 

“If Ghaani follows the same path of killing Americans then he will meet the same fate,” U.S. envoy Brian Hook told the Arabic-language daily Asharq al-Awsat.

He said in the interview in Davos, Switzerland that Trump had long made it clear “that any attack on Americans or American interests would be met with a decisive response.

The U.S. military assassinated Qassem Soleimani using a drone near the Baghdad Airport on January 3rd. Soleimani's death was said to be in response to his plans to allegedly attack the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. 

In retaliation for the Soleimani assassination, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards fired 22 missiles at the U.S. forces in Iraq on January 8th. The U.S. initially denied any casualties; however, a report leaked shortly after claiming as many as 11 U.S. soldiers were wounded.

Following the death of Soleimani, General Esmail Ghaani was named the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force. He was considered Soleimani's number two and a close confidant of the late Quds Force commander. 


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US recognition of Guaido proves stance against Venezuela

Caracas, Jan 7 (Prensa Latina) The recognition by the United States of the parallel swearing-in ceremony of Juan Guaido as National Assembly President, proves yet again that Venezuela cannot expect anything from that government, the Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Diosdado Cabello, stated.

During a special broadcast of his radio program Con El Mazo Dando, Cabello reviewed what happened on Sunday at the National Assembly (in contempt), and noted that Washington will seek any pretext not to recognize the parliamentary elections to be held this year.

He warned that it is necessary to be prepared, as the White House will not approve any process that does not respond to its interests.

'This is the scenario that they always seek, to promote chaos to justify an intervention. There were expressions full of hatred from the lawmakers of Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) and especially their wish for a drone to come,' Cabello noted.

He stressed that 'imperialism and its opposition lackeys have only one way of acting, under the law of the strongest without either principles or values.' Regarding the election of the new leadership of the Parliament, held prior to Guaido's parallel act, Cabello said that it was a defeat for imperialism, as the White House's candidate failed to secure the votes necessary to be elected and his own political force turned its back on him.

He added that the divisions at the core of the Venezuelan right wing are a blow for the United States and its allies.

  • Published in World

Internet and the dirty U.S. war on Cuba

Funds allocated by the U.S. government to promote regime change in Cuba are euphemistically camouflaged as "pro-democracy programs" to finance mercenary groups, scholarships to train young Cubans as fake leaders, and a dirty Internet war.

One of the most widespread falsehoods disseminated about Cuba is to present the Cuban Revolution as an enemy of the Internet. This lie is based on distortions of our condemnation of U.S. strategies using telecommunications in its anti-Cuban efforts, while the fact is hidden that Wall Street does everything it can to limit our people’s access to those technologies.

Our e-mails, tweets, online presentations and Facebook posts contribute to the massive volume of data generated every day on the Internet. Today, analysts can construct models capable of predicting political preferences, sexual orientation, etc, all from the information that users themselves provide on social networks.

It has been documented that the Political Action Group (GAP) which is part of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Special Activities Center, carries out projects that include the creation of communications and Internet access structures in countries or regions targeted for aggression.

In Bolivia, more than 68,000 fake Twitter accounts were created in the days leading up to the coup of November, 2019. Meanwhile, Iran suffered a wave of violence, during which the same tactic used in Bolivia was repeated: armed groups, perfectly coordinated, used the technique of "swarming" to communicate, organizing actions with text messages establishing meeting points for attacks. The aggression came to a halt when the government shut down the Internet and wireless networks, as occurred during the 2009 elections, in what became known as the Green Wave.

In February of 2018, the so-called Cuba Internet Task Force was created, following instructions outlined in a Presidential memorandum on national security, released June 16, 2017. The website Razones de Cuba has documented that the CIA’s Political Action Group and institutions on the task force have highly qualified specialists who, based on models previously developed through Big Data, sent sector-specific messages to Cubans.

In June of 2019, a Twitter storm supposedly organized by Cuban users, called on our telecommunications company Etecsa to lower Internet prices. The same source reveals that an attempt was made to present this as an initiative by students, computer engineers, etc, but the alleged activists actually lived in Florida, Texas, Tennessee and Georgia. Another attempt at manipulation occurred in connection with the Constitutional Referendum, using the hashtag #YoVotoNo on Twitter.

Linked with counterrevolutionary sites and networks, thousands of false accounts flooded the island with their message, prefabricated commentators conducted "analyses" of the "Cuban situation," using well studied resources, seeking to emotionally mobilize previously identified audiences, via humor, indignation, and surprise.

The recent campaigns to discredit revolutionary artists, and the cowardly defacing of monuments to José Martí, are part of this war, with its digital correlate, that seeks to create the conditions for a "Green Wave" on the island.

The controversial Helms-Burton Act of 1996 established the obligation to fund these destabilization programs. The figure has varied under different U.S. administration since then, but the average allocation is close to 20 million dollars annually.

These funds to promote regime change in Cuba, are euphemistically camouflaged as "pro-democracy programs," which finance mercenary groups, scholarships to train young Cubans as fake leaders, and the dirty Internet war

Specifically, the Task Force, activated two years ago, given the importance of digital platforms, seems to be a defensive action by a government that has run out of ammunition in its rhetoric about how Cuban authorities deny the population access to technology, and is using this form of aggression, as illegal and interventionist as Radio and TV Martí. These are the risks for our insertion into the cyber world, but the Revolution will continue to prepare its citizens to detect these maneuvers, while expanding access to this new scenario for its social base.

Cuba: Foreign Ministry strongly condemns US bombing in Iraq

Havana December (RHC)-- Cuba rejected on Friday the attack, ordered by US President Donald Trump, against the airport of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, which resulted in several deaths.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rogríguez wrote onTwitter that the island strongly condemns the airstrike and the use of missiles for selective assassination.

The Foreign Affairs Minister stressed that this action represents a severe escalation in the Middle East region where a conflict could break out with incalculable consequences for international peace and security.

The Pentagon confirmed that the attack was aimed at annihilating top Iranian military leader, General Qasem Soleimani, who has great prestige in countries of the region for commanding actions against terrorist groups such as the so-called Islamic State.

His assassination provoked strong rejection in the governments of Iraq and Iran and massive protests, especially in Tehran.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
  • Published in Cuba
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