The White House Must Present Proof of 'Obscene' Hacking Claims

Presidential Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has called on the White House to present the Kremlin with proof of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential elections. 

"It's time to either stop talking about [these claims] or present some evidence. Otherwise it looks obscene," Peskov told the RIA Novosti news agency Friday.

Peskov's words came after U.S. President Barack Obama personally commented on allegations from U.S. government officials that Kremlin-backed hackers had targeted the U.S. Democrat party.

Some 20,000 emails were leaked from Democratic National Convention (DNC) systems in July, embarrassing senior party figures and forcing chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign.

Obama said that the hack pushed the focus of the presidential race onto "[Democrat presidential nominee] Hillary Clinton's emails, the Clinton Foundation, and the political gossip of the Democratic Party." 

President Obama also promised that the United States would retaliate to Russian cyber-attacks.

“I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections … we need to take action,” Obama said in an interview to National Public Radio on Friday. “And we will – at a time and place of our own choosing.

Russia has denied any involvement in the hack, with Peskov previously labeling the claims as "nonsense."

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Economic sanctions» or the white-collar war

The United States and the European Union have launched an undeclared war against Syria, Iran and Russia – it is known by the alias «economic sanctions». This appalling tactic killed more than a million Iraqis during the 1990’s, without arousing any suspicion in Western public opinion. It is used today, patiently, against any state which refuses to be dominated by the unipolar world order.

In the past, conventional war strategy included the siege of a city or a state. It was used to isolate the enemy, to prevent him from using his resources, to submit him to famine, and finally to gain victory. In Europe, the Catholic church firmly condemned this tactic as criminal, in that it killed civilians first, and the military forces only afterwards.

Today, conventional wars include «economic sanctions», which are used for the same purpose. From 1990 to 2003, the sanctions levied against Iraq by the UN Security Council killed more than a million civilians. In fact, it was a war led by the bankers in the name of the institution whose purpose was supposedly to promote peace.

It is probable that several of the states which voted for these sanctions were not aware of their extent nor their consequences. What is certain is that when some members of the Security Council asked for the sanctions to be lifted, the United States and the United Kingdom opposed the motion, thereby assuming the responsibility for a million dead civlians.

After numerous international civil servants had been fired for their participation in the massacre of a million Iraqi civilians, the United Nations began to think about the manner in which they could make the sanctions more effective in terms of the objectives announced. In other words, to ensure that the sanctions would effect only the political and military sectors, and not civilians. There was talk of «targeted sanctions».However, despite much research on the subject, no-one has ever practised sanctions against a state which affected its leaders and not its population.

The effect of sanctions is linked to the interpretation that the governments make of the texts which define them. For example, most of the texts evoke sanctions on products which may be used both by civilians and the military, which leaves plenty of room for interpretation. A rifle may be forbidden for export to a certain state because it can be used for war as well as hunting. But a bottle of water can be drunk by a mother as well as a soldier. Consequently, the same texts – according to the political circumstances and the evolution of the government’s will – can lead to extremely different results.

The situation is all the more complicated in that the legal sanctions of the Security Council are augmented by the illegal sanctions of the United States and the European Union. Indeed, while some states or intergovernmental institutions can legally refuse commercial relations with other states, they can not establish unilateral sanctions without waging war.

The term «sanction» gives the impression that the state which is submitted to them has committed a crime, and that it has been tried before being found guilty. This is true for sanctions decreed by the Security Council, but not those decided unilaterally by the United States and the European Union. These are purely and simply acts of war.

After the war against the British in 1812, Washington created the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is tasked with waging this white-collar war.

Currently, the main states which are victims of sanctions are not the targets of the United Nations, but exclusively those of the United States and the European Union. They are Syria, Iran and Russia. That is to say the three states which are fighting the jihadists supported by the Western powers.

Most of the sanctions that have been decreed are without direct links to the contemporary war against Syria. The sanctions aimed at Damascus are mainly linked to its support for the Lebanese Hezbollah, and to the asylum granted to the Palestinian Hamas (which has since joined the Muslim Brotherhood, and is now fighting against Syria). The sanctions against Iran were allegedly imposed against its military nuclear programme, even though it was closed down by the Ayatollah Khomeiny thirty years ago. They continue to be levied despite the signature of the 5+1 agreement, which was supposed to resolve this problem, which does not in fact exist. Those levied against Russia sanction the incorporation of Crimea after it had refused the Nazi coup d’état in Kiev, qualified as a «democratic revolution» by NATO.

The most rigourous sanctions currently levied are those affecting Syria. A report drawn up by the UN Office for the Coordinaton of Humanitarian Affairs in Syria, financed by the Swiss Confederation, and made public four months ago, observes that the US and European interpretation of the texts leads to the deprivation, for the majority of Syrians, of many medical care products and also food resources. A great number of medical products are forbidden, since they are considered to be of double usage, and it is impossible to pay for the importation of food via the international banking system.

Although the situation of the Syrian people is not as catastrophic as that of the Iraqis in the 1990’s, it is nonetheless a war waged by the United States and the European Union, by financial and economic means, exclusively against the population living under the protection of the Syrian Arab Republic – with intent to kill.

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U.S. further eases Cuba trade and travel restrictions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday announced new measures to further ease trade, travel and financial restrictions on Cuba as President Barack Obama seeks to make his opening to the communist-ruled island irreversible before he leaves office in January.

The changes, the latest in a series of new rules since the two former Cold War foes began normalizing relations in December 2014, will allow export to Cuba of some U.S. consumer goods sold online and let U.S. firms improve Cuban infrastructure for humanitarian purposes, the U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments said in a statement.

They also lift limits on the amount of Cuban rum and cigars U.S. travelers can bring home for personal use.

The measures are contained in the latest Obama administration order on Cuba to sidestep the Republican-controlled Congress.

The U.S. Congress has resisted Obama's call to lift Washington's more than five-decade-old economic embargo on Cuba.

Other changes announced on Friday include allowing U.S. companies to provide safety-related services for commercial aircraft in Cuba, where U.S. airlines are beginning regularly scheduled flights, and allow Cuban pharmaceutical companies to apply for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.





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Obama Faces New Hindrance to Close Guantanamo Prison

The plan by US President Barack Obama to close the military prison at the naval base in Guantanamo is today facing a new obstacle after the Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, rejected the President''s proposal.

According to government officials who prefer to remain anonymous, the Attorney General's office objects to a measure that would allow convicts to declare themselves guilty through a video conference and would allow them to serve their sentences in other countries, without ever setting foot on US soil.

Lynch explained that these proposals by the White House would violate established rules on criminal justice procedures.

If they manage to reduce the population at the prison at Guantanamo naval base, a military facility set up in Cuba's southeastern region against the will of the Cuban Government and people, Obama would keep his political promise of closing the prison before finishing his second term of office.

A recent editorial published by the newspaper 'The New York Times' highlighted that the failure to close the prison in Guantanamo was a shameful stain on the US Congress, which has hindered all efforts to close it.

The prison, where 80 detainees remain, has ruined the image of the United States as champion of human rights and is a deplorable example to other governments inclined to violate international law.

Under the title of 'The Broken Promise to Close Guantanamo' the editorial quotes Thomas Pickering, a US veteran diplomat, who recently denounced the severe treatment and even brutal procedures, such as the force feeding of the detainees, who are kept in stainless-steel cells in solitary confinement.

Obama: We are here to extend a hand of friendship

¨We are here to extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people, ¨ said Barack Obama, President of the United States, during a speech broadcasted live on Cuban TV from the Alicia Alonso Grand Theater of Havana.

The US president addressed the Cuban civil society with the presence of his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, along First Vice-President Miguel Diaz-Canel, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and several other Cuban top officials.

Obama started his speech by citing in perfect Spanish a verse of Cuba´s National Hero Jose Marti, ¨cultivo una rosa blanca¨ which he use to offer a peace greeting to Cubans.

We are here to bury the last vestige of the Cold War, of that era of conflicts between the US and Cuba, said Obama when acknowledging the contradictions between the two countries for over 50 years.

¨Our differences are real and important,¨ he said before listing the cultural values between shared by the two societies, and common points in History, religion and sports

We are like brothers that have been estranged for a long time though we share the same blood, he said.

It is time to lift the embargo, was his plead to the US Congress, because it is an obsolete burden to the Cuban people

He said that isolation policy doesn't make any sense in the 21st century, while adding that the US ¨doesn't have either the capacity or the intention to impose changes in Cuba¨

He encouraged Cubans to work hard, put their talents into it, to build a better future for their children. He added that broader access to internet will enable Cubans to take full advantage of the technological potential the web offers

We should not fear change, but embrace it, he said when stressing the importance of the process towards the normalization of relations between Cuba and the US, and reiterated his willingness to look into the future ¨with hope and respecting differences¨

He praised the quality of the health and education systems as well as the changes taking place in Cuba as part of its process of updating its economic model.

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Reporters Describes Obama''s Visit to Cuba as Historic

Hundreds of local and foreign reporters meet in this capital today to give coverage to the visit to Cuba of US President Barack Obama, an event considered historic not only by the involved countries, but also world nations.

Obama is the first U.S. president to visit this nation in about 90 years, and, above all, in favor of an economic and political rapprochement with the Caribbean country, recalled Notimex news agency general director Alejandro Ramos in a statement to Prensa Latina.

According to the Mexican expert, the arrival of the U.S. president confirms that there is willingness between the two nations to find ways of tolerance and solutions for aspects of common interest, despite the existence of very different visions.

Ramos also said that it represents a different stance by Washington towards Latin America.

In the case of Cuba, Ramos said that the Caribbean country is opened to a dialogue that brings possibilities to rapprochements in the economic and cultural sectors, but without relinquish to its legal demands as the end of the over 50-year-old U.S. economic, commercial, and financial blockade of Cuba.

For his part, Brazilian Marcelo Ninio, from Folha de Sao Paulo, considers that the event to which he gives coverage this Sunday is important and should have been made a long time ago.

From the press room opened at Habana Libre Tryp hotel on the occasion of the Obama's visit, the Brazilian reporter said that about 10 colleagues from his country are present for this historical moment, which will contribute to a better environment in Latin America.

Laura Becquer, from Cuban Granma daily, highlighted that for the first time a U.S. administration recognized a failure the political isolation towards Cuba, to which joined the Latin American pressure to include Cuba in the continental diplomatic mechanisms.

This event is also a result of the resistance of the Cuban people during over 50 years of blockade, a policy that is still in effect despite of this visit and the executive measures approved by the US administration, said Becquer.

For his part, Franco Ordoñez, from the US McClatchy editorial group, said that many US citizens are moved by the changes in relations between the two countries, and business people, and scientists see possibilities of exchange with Cuba.

Those criteria are shared by reporters from television channels, radio stations, news agencies, and Internet websites, who arrivfe in Cuba various days ago to follow the U.S. president's activities.

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