Cuba denounces smear campaign led by the US government

For several weeks, the United States Government has been conducting a new smear campaign as part of its policy of growing hostility towards Cuba, Granma newspaper reported today.

For this purpose, it uses the arrest of the counter-revolutionary José Daniel Ferrer, a salaried US agent, with a long history of illegal and provocative acts against public order.

According to the report, the Embassy of the United States in Havana is the main entity responsible for the attention, orientation and financing of Ferrer's conduct, clearly interfering in Cuba's internal affairs.

The head of that diplomatic mission, Mara Tekach, personally leads the open instigation of violence, breach of the peace, and to disregard for law enforcement by this citizen, the report reveals.

It also denounces that the US diplomatic mission in Cuba and in particular its chargé d'affaires, have concentrated efforts in recent months on failed attempts to recruit mercenaries, promoting division and confusion among the population.

It is also dedicated to identifying the areas of the economy against which to direct Washington's coercive measures, and slander and discredit the Cuban government and the Revolution.

It is nothing new for the US administration to use such individuals for its subversive political activity against Cuba and launch smear campaigns with unscrupulous support from the mainstream media.

According to Granma, Ferrer was arrested on October 1, along with three other individuals, in response to a complaint lodged by a citizen who accuses them of kidnapping him for an entire night and severely beating him, leading to his hospitalization.

The article assures that Ferrer, who is awaiting trial, has received a visit from his wife and children, and denies references to his physical disappearance, alleged physical abuse, torture, or that he is receiving insufficient food.

These are pure lies deliberately conceived by the United States Government and its Embassy in Havana, it highlights.

The text points out that Ferrer has received proper medical attention, performs regular physical exercise and, upon request, is provided religious assistance.

Before his activity at the service of the United States Government, José Daniel Ferrer had a criminal record and violent behavior totally void of political motivations.

He has a police record dating back to 1993, including physical attacks against other citizens, including women, and public disorder, behavior that has increased in recent years.

  • Published in Cuba

WBSC draw confirms groups, schedules for Baseball Americas Qualifier, Last Baseball Qualifier

The winners of the Baseball Americas Qualifier and the Baseball Last Qualifier will join Japan (host team), Israel (Europe/Africa), Mexico (Premier12) and Korea (Premier12) in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games baseball competition.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today revealed the groups and schedule for the Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier, and the schedule of the Baseball Last Qualifier, following a live draw conducted at Hotel Agora Regency Sakai, in Sakai, Japan, on the eve of the 3rd WBSC Congress.

“After today’s draw, all the teams know their Road to Tokyo 2020,” said WBSC Secretary General Beng Choo Low. “The excitement and expectation for the historic baseball return to the Olympic Games will escalate with these two qualifiers, setting the table for an unforgettable baseball event in Tokyo 2020.”

WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier

Group A: No. 2 USA, No. 11 Puerto Rico, No. 12 Dominican Republic, No. 15 Nicaragua

Group B: No. 5 Cuba, No. 9 Venezuela, No. 10 Canada, No. 14 Colombia

The WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier will be held in Arizona, USA, from 22-26 March.

The 12-game Opening Round will be played from 22-24 March, and the top two teams of each group will advance to the Super Round carrying the result of the game played between each other. The top National Team in the tournament final standings will gain a berth for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Baseball Last Qualifier

The WBSC also announced the schedule of games of the six-team WBSC Baseball Last Qualifier, to be held in Taichung, Taiwan, from 1-5 April.

World No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 8 Netherlands, No. 20 China, the top finisher of the Oceania Pre Qualifier and second and third place of the Americas Qualifier will play a single round robin for the final spot in the Olympic Games.

The winners of the Baseball Americas Qualifier and the Baseball Last Qualifier will join Japan (host team), Israel (Europe/Africa), Mexico (Premier12) and Korea (Premier12) in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games baseball competition.

  • Published in Sports

Pelosi Says Trump Is 'In Her Wheelhouse' If He Tries to 'Intimidate' Whistleblower

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview on CBS' "Face The Nation" on Sunday that US President Donald Trump is "in her wheelhouse'' if he tries to ''intimidate'' the whistleblower, the major ''witness'' in the ongoing impeachment probe against the president.

"I will make sure he does not intimidate the whistleblower. I told the president, "you're in my wheelhouse when you come after the whistleblower", Pelosi said.

Trump has numerous times requested the House Committee, publicly and on his Twitter, to disclose the identity of the so-called whistleblower, who alleged that during his 25 July conversation with Wolodymir Zelensky the president ''put pressure'' on his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate into potential corruption crimes involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son in Ukraine.

The whistleblower has preferred to act on the condition of anonymity, but it turned out later that the information he provided about the phone call was, in fact, "something he heard from somebody else".

  • Published in World

Global debt set to hit record $255tn by end of year

Global debt now hovers near a record of over $250 trillion (Dh918tn) and is set to exceed $255tn by the end of this year, the Institute of International Finance said in a new report.

“Spurred by looser financial conditions, the ballooning global debt load increased by $7.5tn” in the first half of 2019, the Washington-based organisation said.

“With few signs of a slowdown in the pace of debt accumulation”, the IIF expects the trend to continue, largely driven by the US and China, which accounted for over 60 per cent of the increase.

The world’s debt pile is now more than three times' (320 per cent) global gross domestic product. Emerging markets debt also hit a record of $71.4tn.

Non-financial sector debt — borrowing by governments, households and other businesses — accounts for $190tn, or 75 per cent, of total debt and is growing faster than the global economy.

Within the non-financial sector, government debt increased by 1.5 per cent in the first half. It is expected to top $70tn by the end of this year, an increase of around 6 per cent from 2018 “driven mainly by the surge in US federal debt”, the IIF said.

Borrowing from non-financial companies increased by 1 per cent in the first half and is also expected to increase by 6 per cent from last year to over $75tn, due to growth in “net borrowing by the Chinese corporate sector”.

Over the past decade, global debt has increased by over $70tn. In mature markets, the rise has been driven mainly by governments. For emerging markets, the bulk has been in non-financial corporate debt, but data shows that half of that borrowing is by state-owned enterprises.

“Sovereign-related borrowing has been the single most important driver of global debt over the past decade,” the report said.

Global bond markets have increased to over $115tn, from $87tn 10 years ago. Government bonds now make up 47 per cent of the market, compared with 40 per cent in 2009. In contrast, bank bonds have dropped to below 40 per cent from over 50 per cent in 2009.

Central banks have been lowering rates in an attempt to spur borrowing, as 60 per cent of the world’s countries are expected to see below-potential growth next year, the report said.

However, countries with high levels of government debt, such as Lebanon, may find it harder to turn to fiscal stimulus. Moreover, emerging market economies that have increasingly relied on foreign-currency borrowing, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey, may be exposed to risks if growth slows further.

High debt burdens could also curb efforts to tackle climate risk. Global climate finance flows amount to slightly over $1tn, far short of the average $3.5tn that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates is needed annually.

In separate research published earlier in the week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said “yield curve inversion, global manufacturing recession, trade wars and rising debt defaults have raised the spectre of an imminent global economic recession”. It said the biggest vulnerability for markets in the coming decade “comes from today’s bond market bubble", adding that responses to the next slowdown will be inflationary.

  • Published in World

Cuban president visits town near US military base

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel is making his first trip to the town of Caimanera, the closest point in Cuba to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

Díaz-Canel arrived in the town of about 10,000 people Thursday morning for a series of meetings with local officials.

He began with a visit to a newly renovated 3D movie hall.

Diaz-Canel assumed power in April 2018 and has made several dozen similar trips around Cuba to check on public services and infrastructure, accompanied by Cuba’s state-run media. Some international media were invited to cover the trip.


  • Published in Cuba

Cubans in the US to celebrate Havana's 500th anniversary

Members of the Alianza Martiana, which brings together Cuban emigree organizations in Miami, United States, will travel to Havana to participate in celebrations to mark the city's 500th anniversary.

According to a press release from the organization, 35 of its members will leave tomorrow for the Cuban capital to join 'these festivities of national and popular pride.'

They will also show their support for the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba, and demand the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against the island, and the end of travel restrictions on US citizens, the text added.

The blockade has been imposed for over 55 years and has been condemned by the vast majority of the international community, as demonstrated by the most recent vote in the United Nations General Assembly on a Cuban resolution demanding an end to this hostile policy.

The visitors' program in Havana includes a meeting with the President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, Fernando Gonzalez, and the Director of Consular Affairs and Cuban Residents Abroad of the Foreign Ministry, Ernesto Soberon.

  • Published in Cuba

Anti-Cuban Mafia in Miami pulling the strings behind Bolivia’s coup d’état

Bolivian digital media Erbol released a series of 16 audio recordings involving directly opposition leaders plotting a coup d’état against the government of President Evo Morales. The coup has been coordinated by the U.S. embassy in that country.

According to the audio recordings, the U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Bob Menendez would be involved in the coup as they had direct contact with opposition groups whose goal was to bringing about a change in the leadership of Bolivia. In this regard, retired officers, and the former mayor of Cochabamba and refugee in the U.S. after being accused of corruption back in 2009, Manfred Reyes Villa, was also mentioned as one of the masterminds in an operation orchestrated from abroad.

The audios also mention the calls of opposition leaders to burn down buildings belonging to the government party and incite a general strike throughout country. In this line, an eventual attack against the Cuban Embassy would be part of the operation, a situation very similar to the coup d’état occurred in Venezuela with President Hugo Chavez in 2002.

Local media point out that such destabilizing plan would have been coordinated by the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia before the presidential elections and confirm U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have had direct contact with the opposition in Bolivia in a strategy to overthrow (Evo) Morales.

The plan focused on Evo Morales. If he won the elections held last October 20th, a civil-military transition government would be established by the new government. The new government would claim fraud in the electoral process and would not concede defeat in Morales’ win.

In the audio recordings leaked via social networks, the opposition leaders called to burn down governmental buildings and attack the Cuban Embassy in that nation.

The audio leaking went public amid the political crisis after Evo Morales’ electoral victory, who is accused of committing fraud by the opposition.

Some weeks ago, Evo Morales had warned about alleged plans to execute a coup d’état against him and his government had audio recordings to prove him right. Neither the opposition in Bolivia nor the U.S. Embassy has said a word so far on the audio leaking.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials

UN General Assembly Debates Cuba Draft Resolution against U.S. Blockade

Since 1992, the resolution presented by Cuba in this forum has been supported by the majority of the participants and the international community

Today and tomorrow, for the twenty-eighth time, Cuba will submit to the United Nations General Assembly the draft resolution “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”.

In the main organ of the United Nations, once again, there will be an overwhelming rejection of a genocidal, criminal, and unjust policy that hinders the sustainable development of Cuban society and arbitrarily harms the Cuban people, who decided 60 years ago to determine their destiny.

U.S. Blockade’s Most Inhuman Side

In a backdrop of extreme hostility on the part of the Donald Trump administration, Cuba will win with the support of the nations of the world that defend the right to the self-determination of the peoples and respect for multilateralism.

More than 35 speakers will use the floor during the explanation of vote this Wednesday. The Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, will address the Assembly on Thursday to express the reasons of his people and state.

Cuba will not cease in its demand for the elimination of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States, and it will once again present a draft resolution that since 1992 has had the overwhelming support of the international community.

  • Published in Cuba
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