Washington: the anti-Cuba conspiracy continues

The plot includes a letter that five former diplomats sent to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to reverse Obama’s policy toward Cuba.

El Nuevo Herald journalists, Nora Gámez Torres and Patricia Mazzei, wrote in Miami last Wednesday that their aim is to bring down measures geared at “softening the embargo”.

The text –typical of the extremist language– also asks Trump to hinder further collaboration “with Cuban security forces”.

Since then, the signatories show an interesting concern: that business interests hamper their ultra-right aims against Havana.

One can see this when they request Trump to in his first one hundred days of government, cancel as soon as possible the executive orders that lifted restrictions “to do business with the Castro regime”.

The letter was signed by Everett Ellis Briggs, former ambassador to Panama and Honduras, as well as special assistant to George W. Bush at the National Security Council (NSC).

Also signed were Elliot Abrams and Otto Reich, former Undersecretaries of State for Latin America, as well as Jose S. Sorzano, former ambassador to the United Nations.

Maybe one of the most noteworthy signatures was that of the pretty controversial former head of US diplomatic mission in Havana and current mayor of Coral Gables, James C. Cason.

“We want you to take a fresh look at politics toward Cuba”, stated the latter referring to Trump.

And then added “We have given too much, now the president-elect should step back and reconsider it”.

Although he immediately cleared up: “Not to break relations completely, but certainly to give nothing else”.

By the way, Cason’s statement reinforces criteria on apparent friction between rightwing hardliners and business sectors.

“We still have to wait and see whether principles win over profits”, he ascertained.

He went on to say: “So many enterprises are talking about what is profitable for them that is why we expect there could be an argument”.  

Herald journalists recalled that Trump has promised to put an end to the meltdown in bilateral relations if “Castro’s government does not offer concessions”.

On this regard, analysts on the Cuban issue have remarked that, Havana is not precisely which established an economic blockade on United States, nor has it invaded its territory or launched subversive programs against its authorities, set up radio and TV stations to defame its reality or built a military base on US soil.

What are those mistrusts from the far right?

According to experts on the subject, they are frightened by eventual recoil from Trump that will reverse the progress achieved with Cuban “exiles” who voted for him in Florida.

The letter by Washington’s former diplomats also criticised the performance of U.S. at UN, where its ambassador, Samantha Power, abstained for the first time at a voting that Cuba presents against US blockade.

“It’s scandalous”, commented Sorzano. “The administration abandoned its constitutional responsibilities to defend the law”, he added.

The signatories reach so far as to state that “there’s no need” to nominate an ambassador in Cuba.  
New pretext? Until, due to security reasons, hiring of its employees is not carried out as they determine.

At the same time, they suggested that a new manager be appointed “more in line with the views of the new Administration”.

The letter, revealed journalists Gamez and Mazzei, was coordinated by the so-called Center for a Free Cuba (CFC), which supports a hard-line and intransigent policy against Havana.

Hence other pending chapters before one can talk about a real improvement in Cuba-U.S. relations.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

Trump Considered a Threat to the Mexican Automotive Industry

The presidency of Donald Trump in the United States will be a threat to the Mexican auto industry, local sources say here today.

The previous week, the US president-elect threatened General Motors and Toyota companies to impose high tariffs on vehicles they ship from Mexico.

For its part, Ford Motors Company, under pressure from Trump, canceled an investment for 1.6 billion of a plant in San Luis Potosí.

For the Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry (AMIA) the threats are not minor, as 77 percent of the automotive assembled in Mexico are destined for the market of the northern neighbor.

From January to November 2016 Mexican vehicles accounted for 12.4 percent of the total number of cars sold in the United States, where plants in Mexico shipped one million 964 thousand units, according to figures released by the newspaper El Universal.

Automotive exports represent the highest value in the Mexican economy and generate a significant source of foreign exchange for the country.

  • Published in Now

Meryl Streep Criticizes Trump in the Golden Globe Awards Ceremony

Washington, Jan 9 (Prensa Latina) The multi-award-winning American actress Meryl Streep criticized US President-elect Donald Trump during her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. De Mille Award at the 74th Golden Globe Awards.

Streep, deserving of three Oscars and 19 nominations for the precious statuette, not to mention the name of the New York billionaire, spoke last night about the mockery that the then Republican presidential candidate did last November of the disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski .

'Not because it was good (Trump's performance), but because it was effective,' she said. 'It broke my heart when I saw it and I still can not get it out of my head because it was not in a movie; it was in real life '.

'When the instinct to humiliate is modeled by someone on a public platform,' he added, 'it infiltrates the lives of all because it grants permission to others to do the same.

Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence, and when the powerful use their position to intimidate others, we all lose, 'the actress said in a gesture of disapproval.

He insisted in his speech that the Americans need 'a press with principles for the powerful to respond'.

Streep echoed the speech shortly before by fellow actor Hugh Laurie, who joked that there would be no more Golden Globes if Trump kept up his political proposals.

'You and all of us in this room belong to the most vilified segments of society at this time. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners and the press, 'Streep said.

After mentioning several actors who were born outside the United States, Streep said: 'Hollywood is crawling with foreigners and if we throw them all, you will have nothing to do but football and MMA.'

Meryl Streep's speech ended with a loud ovation offered by the standing audience.

  • Published in Culture

Trump calls UN club for people to 'have a good time'

President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at the United Nations on Monday days after the Security Council voted to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Taking to Twitter, he said the U.N. has “such great potential,” but has become “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!”

@realDonaldTrump The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!

Trump also gave a stark warning to the U.N. after Friday’s vote, saying “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th," referring to the day he takes office.

The president-elect has taken a more pro-Israel stance since telling the Associated Press in an interview last December that he wanted to be “very neutral” on Israel-Palestinian issues. However, since getting into the thick of his presidential campaign, he has moved toward favoring Israel. He has said the Palestinians have been "taken over" by or are condoning militant groups.

The Obama administration abstained from Friday’s vote, brushing aside Trump’s demands that the U.S. exercise its veto power and providing a climax to years of icy relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. slammed the resolution on Monday, suggesting the incoming Trump administration and Congress should take a close look at how much money the U.S. hands over to the U.N.

Ambassador Ron Dermer doubled down on Israel's claim the U.S. orchestrated the resolution vote before abstaining last week in an interview with Fox News' “Special Report.” Still, he gave few specifics. "We have that evidence... we're going to present it to the new administration, and if they choose to share it with the American people, that'll be their choice."

The ambassador responded to calls from some prominent Republicans to stop all U.S. funds bound for the U.N. "I think a new president and Congress that wants to make sure that every penny of your money is going to something that protects and defends and advances U.S. interests -- I think there's a lot of changes that could happen at the United Nations," Dermer said.

This year the U.N. Security Council has approved over 70 legally binding resolutions, including new sanctions on North Korea and measures tackling conflicts and authorizing the U.N.'s far-flung peacekeeping operations around the world. The General Assembly has also approved dozens of resolutions on issues, like the role of diamonds in fueling conflicts; condemned human rights abuses in Iran and North Korea; and authorized an investigation of alleged war crimes in Syria.

Trump's criticism of the U.N. is by no means unique. While the organization does engage in large-scale humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts, its massive bureaucracy has long been a source of controversy. The organization has been accused by some Western governments of being inefficient and frivolous, while developing nations have said it is overly influenced by wealthier nations.

  • Published in World

Nearly 50 people shot in Chicago over long holiday weekend

Five people were wounded in shootings in Chicago early Monday, bringing to almost 50 the number of people shot in the city since Christmas weekend began Friday afternoon. 

Much of the violence happened in areas "with historical gang conflicts on the south and west side of Chicago," said Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department.

He also referred to the department's "strategic subject list," which is generated daily from a computerized algorithm and assigns a score from 1 to 500 based on such factors as a person's arrests and the activities of his or her associates. Those people with a score in the upper 200s or higher are considered in danger of being shot or of shooting someone else.

"Ninety percent of those fatally wounded had gang affiliations, criminal histories and were pre-identified by the department's strategic subject algorithm as being a potential suspect or victim of gun violence," Guglielmi said.

The shootings Monday included a man shot in each leg in the North Lawndale neighborhood, a man shot in the hand in Englewood and two people in the Park Manor neighborhood who were shot, one in the head, authorities said.

Monday morning's shootings came after two brothers were killed and five other people were wounded while shooting dice at a family Christmas party in East Chatham late Sunday.

That mass shooting, and the others on Christmas, added to the tolls this year in Chicago, where more than 700 homicides have been recorded and more than 4,000 people have been shot -- a level of violence not seen in Chicago since the late 1990s, according to Chicago Tribune and police data. Last year, 488 people were killed in Chicago.

The holiday weekend began with five teenagers shot within feet of each other in the South Austin neighborhood. At 3:30 p.m. Friday, a 16-year-old boy was shot; a little more than an hour later, four other teenagers were shot on a nearby block. Their conditions had stabilized, officials said Monday.

  • Published in World

Trump wants veto for ‘extremely unfair’ UN resolution on Israel

President-elect Donald Trump is opposed to the resolution before the UN Security Council condemning Israeli settlements, and wants the US to veto it.

The resolution proposed by Egypt says the "establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace," according to a draft put forward on Wednesday.

It also demands of Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed,” Trump announced Thursday morning on Twitter.

@realDonaldTrump The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed....cont: https://www.facebook.com/DonaldTrump....

In a lengthier statement, posted on his Facebook page, the president elect argued that “peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations.”

“This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis,” Trump concluded.

Israel presently controls all of the territory of the old Palestine Mandate, which the UN Resolution 181 (II) partitioned into two states – one Jewish, one Arab – in 1947.

A war fought in 1948-49 resulted in the establishment of Israel, while the remaining Arab territories in the West Bank and Gaza were incorporated into Jordan and Egypt, respectively. Israel gained control of both territories during the June 1967 war against Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

While the West Bank and Gaza are considered occupied territories, and have been administered by the Palestinian National Authority since 1994, Israel considers all of Jerusalem its capital – including the eastern part of the city, held by Jordan until 1967. The proposed Egyptian resolution explicitly denies this claim.

During the campaign, Trump promised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

  • Published in World

‘There are ‘angry white men,' but is ‘Trump the answer’?

Does Donald Trump have the power to bring real change, fix the ills of the US, and get the Black and Hispanic vote; or is just duping angry, scared white men and selling Americans a lot of crud? Analysts discussed this on RT America’s News with Ed Schultz.

Former US President Bill Clinton and US President-elect Donald Trump are trading insults in the wake of the Electoral College vote.

Giving an interview to the local Record-Review newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, Clinton harshly criticized Trump.

The ex-President said: “He doesn’t know much. One thing he does know is how to get angry, white men to vote for him.” The statement was followed by Trump’s answer on twitter saying that Clinton ran a failed election with an unlimited budget.

@realDonaldTrump Bill Clinton stated that I called him after the election. Wrong, he called me (with a very nice congratulations). He "doesn't know much" ...

Conservative commentator Ernie White, and Brad Bauman, a partner at the progressive lobbyists the Pastorum Group, joined RT America’s Ed Schultz to discuss the matter.

RT: Brad, what’s your reaction to Bill Clinton stepping up on the political stage with the negative comment about the incoming President?

Brad Bauman: President Clinton has a right to be angry. I think it is ok to share that anger. Let’s be very, very clear: there is a grain of truth to what President Clinton said. I would have probably taken it a little further and said that what Trump is best able to do – is to dupe angry white men. To dupe scared, white men into believing that somehow he has the power to fix all that ills our country, when in reality he’s selling us all just a lot of crud, frankly.

@RT_com ‘He doesn’t know much’ – Trump fires back against Bill Clinton http://on.rt.com/7y9g

RT: Ernie, what’re your thoughts on that?

Ernie White: First of all, President Trump won the election, and he won the election by having all people vote for him. He won the election by winning the electoral votes that he needed to win. He didn’t spend his time in California, where he knows those 56 electoral votes are not going to go to him. He spent his time in places where the electoral vote matter. He didn’t spend his time in New York – those votes weren’t going to go to him. If the system was not electoral college, Trump would have gone to those states, and he would have campaigned. So Trump did what he had to do to win the election – that is what he did. We’re very excited. Look at these terror attacks going on – we’re very excited to have President Trump...

RT: Bill Clinton is admitting that there are “angry white men” out there. Hillary didn’t get them, and Trump did. That is what he thinks the election was all about. What did Trump do with these “angry white men?”

EW: Trump won the women’s vote too. Hillary was supposed to win the women’s vote. Guess what, Trump next time is going to start digging in that Black vote, the Hispanic vote, as well. You know why? Because people are going to see that change that he promises, real change in America, and not the change that Obama brought to us, which was nothing more than just socialism, which is something that we’re really tired of. We want our country back!

@realDonaldTrump Especially how to get people, even with an unlimited budget, out to vote in the vital swing states ( and more). They focused on wrong states

RT: Brad, where do you go to rejuvenate those union workers? What would be your advice at this point?

BB: The very first thing that I think we need to do is: we need to acknowledge the fact that the so-called angry white men that exist in our country have a right to be angry. Because they were told, we were all told, that if you work hard, you play by the rules, you go to college, etc. – you’re going to be able to provide for your family. And guess what? Millionaires and billionaires, like the ones that Trump is putting into his cabinet, have made sure that every piece of economic power goes straight to the top in this country, and they’ve been sold a ‘bill of goods.’ And I agree because I am angry too. But guess what: Trump is not the answer here.

RT: I’ve heard a number of people saying in the African-American community that Barack Obama did not address Black youth unemployment. When Ferguson, Missouri, was burning, he stood silent only to send the Attorney General down there. Ernie, what would be your advice to Donald Trump to reverse the numbers of Black youth unemployment in America?

EW: The first thing Trump did during the election was – he started going to the church; he started to go to the Black leaders in the churches - started to talk the communities. He is going to start working with the crime elements that are happening in our community. And the one thing he is going to do is start bringing jobs back to our community. Yet, we don’t have white collar jobs, but we need jobs that we can work with our hands again. Those are the factory jobs, those are the kinds of that are going to come back to community –we’re going to see a change.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

  • Published in Specials

Sylvester Stallone 'flattered' by Donald Trump job link

Actor Sylvester Stallone has said he is "flattered" by reports that Donald Trump may offer him an arts post - but would prefer a role helping veterans.

Several publications suggested last week that the president-elect would offer the star a top job in the arts.

In a statement, Stallone said he was "incredibly flattered to have been suggested to be involved with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)".

But the star said he would prefer to highlight issues faced by US veterans.

"I believe I could be more effective by bringing national attention to returning military personnel in an effort to find gainful employment, suitable housing and financial assistance these heroes respectfully deserve," the statement said.

'Better painter'

Stallone, famed for his role in the Rambo and Rocky films, is also an artist.

He has created hundreds of artworks and last year exhibited at the Modern Art Museum in Nice, France.

In 2013, a collection of his paintings went on display at The Russian Museum in St Petersburg.

At the show's opening the star said, if he had the choice, he would spend his life drawing instead of acting.

"I think I'm a much better painter than an actor," he said.

The Oscar-nominated actor studied art before his film career took off.

In an interview with Variety earlier this year, Stallone said: "I love Donald Trump. He's a great Dickensian character. You know what I mean? There are certain people like Arnold [Schwarzenegger], Babe Ruth, that are bigger than life. But I don't know how that translates to running the world."

Established in 1965, the NEA is an independent federal agency which distributes government grants to arts organisations.

The NEA has come under threat in the past from previous Republican governments, including Ronald Reagan's administration.

  • Published in Culture
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