French Congressman Lambert labels Blockade on Cuba Unacceptable

French Congressman Francois-Michel Lambert said today that the economic blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba is unacceptable and deserves international rejection.

In statements to Prensa Latina, the legislator for the southern department of Bouches-du-Rhone stated that this measure cannot be accepted due to its impact on the population and its extraterritorial character, expressed in the recently activated Title III of the Helms-Burton Law.

'The blockade causes difficulties for a normal life on the island and it is the people who suffer most,' he said in this capital shortly after receiving Abel Prieto in the National Assembly.

According to the president of the France-Cuba Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group, the tightening of the siege by Donald Trump's administration must be fought, taking into account its reach beyond the Greater Antilles.

We want to organize in France and in Europe a counteroffensive against the blockade and Title III, said the representative in the National Assembly of the group Liberties and Territories, who stated as a concrete objective to organize a meeting of parliamentarians.

According to the politician, there is still no definite date for the project that would bring together -preferably before the end of 2019- legislators from France and countries of the old continent, as well as Members of the European Parliament against that U.S. policy.

In Lambert's opinion, one thing to highlight in the case of the US blockade is that in France this measure is clearly rejected regardless of political positions.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba: under Siege, but Fearless

Cubans usually make a mockery of their own problems. It is a natural gift to solve with humor every hardship we face.

“Let the girl get in first. Help the pregnant woman. Take good care of old men and women. Let’s squeezed together a bit! As the song goes: “step by step.” Let’s help each other. Squeezed, but relaxed. Step on the gas, driver!

Dealing with transportation these days is like going out there into a battlefield with sensitivity, patience, and trust as your only protective shields. The U.S. blockade hurts once again. The Empire is there. It is all over again, this time his name is (Donald) Trump.

The full implementation of the Helms-Burton Act jeopardizes the arrival of diesel to the country with the purpose of triggering distrust, fear, and havoc in the Cuban society. Bus stops are busy. Buses do not show up. Workers, students, old men, women, and children are losing valuable time just waiting. Once again the Cuban people have decided to resist. Once again the Cuban people have decided to trust.

Before such temporary situation, the President of the Council of State and Minister Miguel Diaz-Canel announced a list of measures that are being implemented to ease the energy situation. In this regard, he suggested being creative, following strict discipline, and finding effective solutions to problems. These are times to confirm our revolutionary ideals and principles, and put Cuba as the top priority. These are times of solidarity, which makes us different worldwide.

“The best way to sort problems out is to tell people the truth,” stated the President. And the truth of Cuba lies on its people, history, and present time even though major foreign media strive hard to silence it.

The Cuban press removed any trace of fake news regarding alleged extreme measures and a regression to the Special Period in times of peace, and echoed a campaign against the U.S. blockade and aggressions. Our journalists and civil society quickly reported, contextualized, and became essential in the information management in every platform.

Restricting basic needs and discrediting the Cuban revolutionary government in every scenario are some of the failed attempts of the U.S. government to make the Cuban people and its Revolution kneel down.

The Minister of Economy and Planning Alejandro Gil stated in the information TV program Mesa Redonda that there is going to be a very different situation as soon as in October, especially with the arrival of new oil tankers at Cuban ports. Up until then, it is very important to keep discipline in the compliance with administrative standards which aimed at softening the energy crisis as well as facing the current situation with sympathy and solidarity.

Our enemies should have learned, once and for all, that Cubans do not fear threats. And our response to every attack will be always the same: We shall never surrender!

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

  • Published in Now

U.S. sanctions against Cuba causing fuel shortage

U.S. sanctions on oil shipments to Cuba are causing a fuel shortage in the Caribbean nation, said Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Monday.

Rodriguez denounced the imposition of stiff fines on vessels and shipping lines that supply fuel to Cuba, saying they were part of a larger plan to harm Cuba.

"Preventing fuel delivery to our country is part of the genocidal actions against Cuba. This harms our people and cause(s) hardships and difficulties that are currently affecting every Cuban family. The only one responsible is the U.S. government," Rodriguez said via Twitter.

Last week, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel unveiled a package of measures designed to cope with the fuel shortage, including temporarily scaling back production at several state-owned companies.

Also Monday, Rodriguez warned the U.S. government might try to distract attention from an economic downturn in the United States by creating conflicts abroad, days after U.S. Secretary of State blamed Iran for recent drone attacks on Saudi Oil facilities.

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Why is Cuba in a better position, compared with the “Special Period,” to face present challenges?

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez detailed on Wednesday in a special TV appearance the strengths of the island to overcome the ongoing economic adversities, derive from the aggressive policy of the United States, especially under Donald Trump’s administration, and refuted the idea we are experiencing another Special Period in times of peace.

To face such difficult conditions “we have an economic and social development strategy adopted in the last two Party Congresses,” a conceptualized economic and social model to which we aspire and defend. The foundations are laid to elaborate an economic and social development plan until 2030 and keep moving forward long term.

According to the Cuban President, we are in much better conditions since:

- We approved a new Constitution, which is being implemented already.

- The vast majority of the population support and trust the leaders of our Communist Party.

- Cuba produces 40% of its oil consumption, nonexistent in the Special Period in times of peace and guarantees that our power plants —fundamental core of our electricity generation— can work properly.

- The development attained by tourism, exceeding the 70 thousand rooms despite the blockade, which ensures significant income in convertible currencies.

-We have the export of services, an example of it is the health sector.

-Foreign investment has grown as a dynamic factor in our economy, especially in nickel, in oil, in mining, in tourism, at Mariel Special Development Zone, in the food and the tobacco industry.

-Despite the worsening of the blockade, the main investors in the island have remained.

-An economy which is more present in the international market, where the development tourism and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry are strengths.

-The country now has greater construction capabilities, in hydraulic networks, transportation, and communications. There are also the infrastructure and reserves we have in storage and import substitution.

-Cuba has diversified its economic, commercial and financial relations, with Venezuela, Russia, China, Vietnam, as well as with the European Union, with the entire area of ​​Latin America and the Caribbean, with countries in Africa...

-We have private businesses as complement to state activity, this sector has grown strong.

"Cuba is far from being isolated, we are indeed a country that the world sees with awe and respect," said Diaz-Canel.

CubaSí Translation Staff

Cuba launches anti-Trump signature drive in solidarity with Venezuela

According to Xinhua, signatures collected in Cuba this week will be added to millions of signatures already collected in Venezuela as part of the "No More Trump" campaign to raise awareness about the impact of Washington's sanctions on the economy of the South American country.

"Cubans will join signature drive demanding the end of the brutal aggression on Venezuela," Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said via Twitter.

Consuelo Baeza, a leader of the Workers Central Union of Cuba, said the measure also aims to signal that Havana's close ties to Caracas "will remain unchanged despite the attacks and threats" of the Donald Trump administration.

More than 10 million Venezuelans have signed a letter that will be delivered to the secretary-general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, denouncing coercive U.S. tactics and claiming the right "to live in peace without foreign interference."

Sanctions barring Venezuela from carrying out trade and financial transactions have made it difficult to import basic foods and medicines.

The White House backs Venezuela's far-right opposition and its bid to oust Maduro from power.

  • Published in Cuba

PM Skerrit calls for removal of blockade against Cuba

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is calling on the United States (US) government to remove the unjust blockade against Cuba.

He was speaking during a ceremony held at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Over 60 Cuban construction brigades were recognized at that ceremony.

They have been on island for the past 14 months to assist in the country’s recovery efforts post Hurricane Maria.

The United States currently imposes a commercial, economic, and financial embargo against Cuba. The United States first imposed an embargo on the sale of arms to Cuba on March 14, 1958, during the Fulgencio Batista regime.

“I will always stand in defense of the sovereignty of the Republic of Cuba,” Skerrit said. “Cuba has a right to self-determination and we will continue to call on the United States government to remove this unjust blockade against the Cuban people and the great people of the Cuban Revolution.”

He continued, “I will do so as a matter of principle and as it is said we can always negotiate words, but we must never negotiate principle.”

Skerrit said Dominica’s commitment to Cuba and its people, its independence and its sovereignty is unquestionable.

“This is why we have always opposed sanctions on countries, because sanctions only bring hardship to the ordinary men and women of countries,” he stated. “But not withstanding the sanctions on the Cuban people, see what they have done to humanity, see the contributions they have made to the world.”

Furthermore, he said the Cubans who have been assisting Dominica for the past 14 months have been exceptional ambassadors of the Cuban Revolution and the Cuban government.

“You have touched the lives of many ordinary citizens in Dominica, who, without you, would have had a difficulty in getting a roof back over their heads in quick time,” Skerrit said.

Meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Chandler Hyacinth said the Cubans have made their mark.

“You have made your mark, 185 homes rebuilt,” she said.”The 14 rooms at the Dominica State College (DSC) that they re-covered and the primary schools that they reconstructed, in particular the Colihaut Primary School and now the Salisbury Primary School and you also did some work at the Dublanc Pre-School.”

She thanked the Cuban team immensely for their contribution to the country’s resilience building efforts.

“In particular, we admire and we give praises to you for the quality of work that you have delivered, the dedication and commitment that you have shown towards the efforts. We have learnt from your commitment and dedication to task,” Hyacinth stated.

  • Published in Cuba

Venezuelans Continue Protests against US Blockade

Caracas, Sep 2 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela is continuing on Monday another day of protests in rejection of the coercive measures signed by US President Donald Trump against this South American nation.

Students, workers and the people in general will gather in the central Simón Bolívar Square to sign a petition against the Washington blockade.

On Sunday, Carmen Zerpa, councilwoman for Libertador municipality in Caracas, highlighted how important is to participate in the signature gathering against the executive order issued by the Trump administration.

'Let's understand how important is for us to call for these sanctions be lifted,' Zerpa told the press.

She expressed gratitude for the will of the Venezuelan people who have participated in this process led by the Bolivarian Government, collecting signatures house-to-house, in major squares and in other areas of the city.

'People were moved, because they understood that it is an outrage, it is of serious harm to the nation and that is why the people have been deployed,' she added.

  • Published in World

Cruise lines sued in the US under law of blockade on Cuba

Five new lawsuits were filed Tuesday in the United States against three cruise lines (Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise and MSC Cruises) under Title III of the controversial Helms-Burton Law against Cuba.

The Seatrade Cruise News website reported that two plaintiffs took that legal step in the southern state of Florida, after a federal judge yesterday rejected a motion requested by another cruise company, Carnival Corp., to dismiss a lawsuit against it, also under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.

Helms-Burton, which was approved by the US Congress in 1996, codifies the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington against Cuba almost 60 years ago.

Although it entered into force at that time, all administrations since then suspended the application of the aforementioned title, which allows US nationals to sue those who 'traffic' with 'North American properties' on the Caribbean island.

Through this section, that the executive of the Republican Donald Trump decided to activate this year, there is the possibility of promoting legal actions against individuals and entities, including from third countries, that invest in Cuban territory in nationalized properties after the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959.

One of the plaintiffs of this Tuesday is Javier García, who also filed in May the aforementioned claim against Carnival Corp. and now takes a similar step against Norwegian Cruise and Royal Caribbean, on the grounds that he owns the port of the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba.

In addition, lawsuits were filed against Norwegian Cruise, Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises on behalf of Havana Docks Corporation, a company belonging to Michael Behn that claims to be the 'legitimate owner of certain commercial real estate' in the Port of Havana.

Like Garcia, Havana Docks Corporation also filed a claim against Carnival Corp. on May 2, the same day the Trump administration allowed the activation of Title III as part of its hostile policies against Cuba.

This last cruise line asked Judge James Lawrence King to dismiss García Bengochea's claim, arguing that he had sufficient permission from the Treasury Department to do business in Cuba, but in his ruling yesterday the magistrate said that he was not persuaded.

The decision of the US Government to allow the application of Title III occurred despite the fact that numerous voices inside and outside the United States condemned this resurgent action of the blockade, which is mainly aimed at depriving the Caribbean country of foreign investment.

  • Published in Cuba
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