Gospel Star Edwin Hawkins Dies, Aged 74

Los Ángeles, Jan 16 (Prensa Latina)The North American gospel music star Edwin Hawkins has died at his home in California, at the age of 74.
The Grammy-winning singer had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, his publicist said.

Hawkins was regarded as a pioneer of urban gospel music, blending gospel hymns with secular sound. He is best-known for the 1969 hit Oh Happy Day.

The following year the Edwin Hawkins Singers backed Melanie on her top 10 hit Lay Down (Candles in the Rain).

How Hawkins got his big break

Edwin Hawkins came from a musical family. His father played the Hawaiian steel guitar while his mother was a pianist.

It was while Edwin was studying interior design in the late 60s that he unexpectedly got his big break.

He co-founded the Northern California State Youth Choir. Their first album merged gospel and rhythm-and-blues, and included Oh Happy Day.

The catchy song caught the ear of a local DJ and became hugely popular on local radio. It was released as a single, became a crossover hit, sold seven million copies and changed the young musician's life.

The track went on to win a Grammy for best soul gospel performance and was covered by everyone from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley.

  • Published in Culture

US Ambassador To Panama Says He Cannot Serve Trump, Resigns

The ambassador declared the end of his 35-year career with the US government effective March 9.

The United States´ Panamanian Ambassador John D. Feeley announced his resignation Thursday, saying he could not serve under president Donald Trump.

RELATED: Racist: Massive Outrage over Trump 'Shithole' Migration Remark

"As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies. My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. That time has come," Feeley said.

In an open letter published on the embassy's website, addressed to the Central American president, Juan Carlos Verla and Vice President Isabel Saint Malo, the ambassador declared the end of his career with the US government effective March 9.

Throughout his 35 years in both the nation’s Marines and Department of State, the ambassador dedicated his efforts to supporting integration and maintaining good relations between the Americas. According to the letter, the US ambassador leaves his position with a feeling of immense gratitude to the foreign government and the citizens of Panama who shared a relationship of mutual friendship, respect and teamwork.

Feeley’s duties with the Panamanian government will be assumed by Deputy Chief of Mission, Roxanne Cabral, until a suitable replacement can be found.


  • Published in World

US Rewards Allies in Jerusalem Decision with Special Party

Only seven countries voted in line with Washington's interests: Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Guatemala and Honduras.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced Tuesday that Washington will organize a reception “for the countries who chose not to oppose the U.S. position.” 

RELATED: Israeli Ruling Party Votes to Annex West Bank and Seize Last Palestinian Lands

Haley was referring to a vote on a U.N. resolution to condemn the U.S. unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

East Jerusalem was illegally annexed by Israel after the 1967 war. Before U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration, Israel stood alone in claiming sovereignty over it. The eastern part of Jerusalem remains mostly inhabited by Palestinians who face house demolitions and evictions as part of Israel’s attempt to control the city.  

The U.S. unilateral recognition sparked waves of protests across Palestinian territory that have resulted in the deaths of at least 12 Palestinians and more than 600 arrests and detentions. The move also sparked condemnation of world leaders across continents as most viewed Washington's move as the end of a two-state solution. For decades, East Jerusalem was seen as the future capital of a Palestinian state.

Before the Jerusalem vote took place, Trump said the U.S. will not continue to give “hundreds of billions of dollars” to countries who voted against the U.S., adding “let them vote against us ... We’ll save a lot.”

In spite of Trump’s comments, only seven countries — other than Israel and the U.S. — voted in line with Washington's interests: Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Guatemala and Honduras.

After the vote, Haley said the United States "will remember this day” and threatened the U.N., vowing to “remember it (the vote) when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations.”

The “exclusive” invitation includes countries that chose to abstain from the vote, among them Mexico, Argentina, Canada and Australia. 


  • Published in World

Cubans will be able to send SMS to the United States

The Telecommunications Company of Cuba, S.A., ETECSA, announced that, from December 8, 2017, from any mobile phone in Cuba, it will be possible to send international messages (SMS) to any mobile phone in the United States.

Until today, the United States was the only country Cubans were not able to send the SMS, though they could make phone calls both to cell phones and landlines. The cost of this service will be 0.60 CUC, similar to the rest of the international destinations.

For the sending of text messaging to the United States, the user must, at the time of entering the telephone number, dial, the "+" sign, the United States code, 1, the locality code and the cellular number.

The US area codes can be found in the Yellow Pages of the Cuba Telephone Directory

  • Published in Cuba

Donald Trump: His new risky setback

Miami Diario website informed on Tuesday that a federal judge decided to override President Trump’s order to deny funds for “sanctuary cities.”

The judge, William Orrick, of the San Francisco Courtroom in California, who temporarily blocked the executive order deemed as unconstitutional.

Orrick said the head of state cannot impose new conditions to funds previously approved by US Congress.

The Department of Justice of that country issued a communiqué, where it stated that “Orrick exceeded his authority” by blocking Trump’s order.

Therefore, it appealed the ruling before the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court headquartered in San Francisco, court below the Supreme Court.

That order was issued during Donald Trump’s first week in the White House geared at stopping the migratory flow.

What are “sanctuary cities”?

They are those cities that treat immigrants with fewer rigors, that is, cities that limit just how much local law enforcement officials comply with federal immigration authorities.

Those places are under the scrutiny of the government and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has dedicated substantial efforts to eliminate them.

Among the cities with those characteristics are for example: Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, administered by the Democratic Party.

It’s timely to recall that the said executive order establishes the reduction of the federal budget for those cities, in case they reject to pursue and arrest the immigrants.

Under it, Trump approves that local authorities act as immigration officers up to the maximum range allowed by the law.

In United States there are more than 300 sanctuary cities that somehow protect the illegal aliens who live there.

Then, as El País daily drew attention in its European edition last April, now it is the fourth time in which this executive order is blocked in the courts.

In other words, a huge setback for both President Donald Trump and his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.

Dangerous road that could lead the head of state to a juncture with an almost impossible exit.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials

Trump, Marco Rubio and the Cuban Migration

Since his presidential campaign Trump has been Benton creating a climate of racial, religious and political hatred within and outside the United States.  

He broke up with the Paris Agreement about climate change and did the same regarding UNESCO. He refused to certify Iran’s fulfillment of the nuclear agreement, despite the fact that no one objects the strictest execution of his terms by the Persian country. Now he is travelling through Asia immersed in selling weapons and heating up with his very presence and words the dangerous conflict with Pyongyang that could be solved through the dialogue, but with Trump’s provocations can lead to a nuclear war.  

The aggressive imperialistic group Trump represents is not willing to accept that the United States cannot longer exercise the hegemony almost alone as it did after the collapse of the Soviet Union neither admit the irreversible fact of the multipolarity. He can’t accept disagreements, even less from small countries.  

For that reason he is tearing apart most of Obama’s softening measures regarding Cuba, although the main argument his predecessor used to carry them are still intact: that the blockade and hostility politics had not worked (to attain a régime change). As an aftermath, Obama proposed to the Congress the lifting the genocidal measure. He hadn’t become socialist. He expressed an idea shared by most North Americans and Cubans residents in the United States who have made great part of the establishment, as evidenced on the shower of critics this week after Trump’s announcement of detailed Anti-Cuban measures.

Likewise Trump breakaways from the agreement with Iran although the latter meets is to the letter, the Department of State expels almost the entire personnel from the Cuban Embassy without any explanation, beyond vague reference to the already huge lie of the sonic attack. What’s more critical it leaves with hardly any personnel the consulate with the ultimate purpose to hinder the travel of North Americans to Cuba and of Cuban residents in the U.S. As if traveling restriction weren’t enough for the North Americans as well as for Cuban residents in the island, he has forced them to move to third countries to request a North American visa.  

Nevertheless the verbal attacks Marco Rubio directed during the republican pre-campaign to the presidency, Trump has made peace with the senator and keeps a romance with the old hard core of counterrevolution of Miami, a minority group within the Cuban community and far from the feelings of this very community but with economic and political power in Florida, enriched with the Anti-Castro industry. The real estate magnate has given Rubio and the representative Mario Díaz-Balart an important share in the politics design toward Cuba and Venezuela. It seems as if both legislators understand each other directly with general McMaster – National Security advisor and expert in counter insurgence - and with the CIA and the United States Southern Command.  

But as Washington blocks the relationship of Cubans from both shores, Cuba takes more steps to facilitate it line with the politics of migratory upgrade started on January 14th, 2013. It eliminates bureaucratic red tape, it authorizes the entrance of thousands of migrants who left the Island illegally and who since January 1st, 2018 will be able to meet their relatives in Cuba. It decides to grant the right to Cuban citizenship to children born abroad from Cuban residents in other countries, an important benefit in the case of France and Germany who don't allow them to obtain their citizenship.  

Since 2013 have traveled abroad more than 769 254 Cubans, 79% for the first time. So far in 2017, it has been achieved 28% of growth in comparison with the same period of 2016.  

In 2016 a total of 428 000 Cuban resident abroad, 329 000 of them coming from the United States, while in year 2015 Cuba was visited by 378 000 Cubans and 285 000 North Americans. The increment of overseas Cuban residents who decide to establish their permanent residence in Cuba is still steady.  

The irregular emigration has decreased to the minimum since Washington eliminated the infamous wet feet dry feet politics, which confirms the posture of Havana that always considered it the trigger of that dangerous and chaotic emigration.

Amilkal Labañino Valdes / Cubasi Translation Staff 

  • Published in Specials

Threat to the world

Trump is testing all kinds of experimental actions in an attempt to destroy the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, not to mention the likely catastrophic consequences of this.

In an unspoken argument, nonagenarian and brilliant US expert Noam Chomsky affirmed, a few months before the presidential elections of his country, that if Donald Trump were elected, the world would be more than ever led to a Third World War.

The chauvinistic interests of great power that sponsored the assumption of the controversial personage have been willing to play until the last card to take U.S. to the top of the world dominion, even to the detriment of its allies, no matter the consequences that derive from this.

Thus, in a double standard policy, he says he hopes to foster a dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, but torpedoes any action that would lead to a detente in the peninsula.

The policy of sanctions and perennial threat of aggression have failed with a small nation, but with a great scientific development that has allowed it to have the nuclear weapon and the continuation of a program that, although it is not broadly known, will try to take North Korean spaceships to space, even to the Moon.

Both Russia and China have opposed the continuous punishment of Pyongyang from an international policy aggravated by the stubbornness of an empire that does not want to acknowledge that a small country be willing to face its power.

Thus, United States, I mean Trump, is testing all kinds of experimental actions trying to destroy that socialist nation, no matter the likely catastrophic consequences that could derive from this, even the damage to China and Russia, which have stated they won’t stand idly by and do nothing before such aggressive US action.

In this context, a few hours ago, the president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Council of the Russian Federation, Konstantín Kosachev, denounced Washington’s war rhetoric against Pyongyang, stressed that Moscow would not allow U.S. to carry out experiments near its borders, and warned that Democratic Korea would not stand idly by before a possible military aggression from United States and its allies, which would be “very bad” for the entire world.

“The North Korean leaders will do everything possible to protect themselves from a foreign interference”. Should Pyongyang makes use of “the possibilities it has”, all this would end very badly, not only for the region, but for the entire world as well, including U.S., he reiterated.

The Russian official considers that Washington feels “somewhat more comfortable” in the crisis on the Korean peninsula, because it is at a “significant geographical distance”, so it can “afford to conduct experiments”, but Russia, which shares borders with the Korean peninsula, cannot allow U.S. and other countries that occupy radical positions here, experiment with North Korea in this way”.

In his opinion, Washington and its allies are largely responsible for the rise in the Korean crisis, which solution is definitely not military, and added that as long as U.S. and other countries remain “openly talking about the possibility of an intervention and overthrow of the regime that exists” in North Korea, Pyongyang “will continue developing its nuclear program”.


The crisis on the Korean peninsula was approached last week at UN Security Council, where Russia remarked again its opposition to new sanctions against Democratic Korea and that a military option was inadmissible, in response to the United States, which had announced it would present a resolution in that extent.

China joined Russian statements, claiming that military means are not an option before the DPRK, and “it has always firmly opposed chaos and conflict on the Korean peninsula. From that point of view, military response should not be an option”.

Pyongyang, for its part, has dismissed Washington’s threats, as well as the international pressures and sanctions against it, claiming that the more blockades it receives from the United States and its allies, the faster it will advance in its nuclear program.

Likewise, Moscow-based news agency Sputnik reported that Russia showed U.S. the red line regarding Democratic Korea, at the same time that another Moscow outlet, Nerzavisimaya Gazeta, considered that the military might of its country would not allow Donald Trump “to cross the nuclear threshold and begin a war against North Korea”.

In that context, in a comment from US news agency AP, it is inferred the imminence of an attack against Pyongyang, and it recalls that one of the main questions in the global political scenario is whether Donald Trump will repeat in North Korea the actions of former American President Harry Truman, who made the infamous decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan in 1945.

On the other hand, General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Armed Forces, pointed out during the Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado, that many people have termed the use of military options (against North Korea) “unimaginable”.

"I would probably change that statement a bit and say it would be horrible and it would cause (a large number) of deaths we have never seen in our lives. What I mean is that anyone born after World War II has never seen a loss of lives as big as the one that could happen, if a conflict on the Korean peninsula starts”, he assured.

But despite admitting how horrible a war is, the top officer stated the possibility that there are very few options to avoid the beginning of a nuclear conflict.


Sputnik also brings up the road map presented by Moscow to de-escalate the conflict, plan that foresees the reduction of mutual and gradual threats and acts of provocations between both parties to strengthen peace in the region.

According to Igor Morgulov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, the initiative has been developed “in coordination with China, a nation concerned about the events on the Korean peninsula”. In addition, the peaceful solution of tensions is also backed up by Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea, since a nuclear conflict in the Korean peninsula would affect the South Korean population too.

This denies those claims from American military that Russia was not going to interfere in an aggression against North Korea, because the zone of radioactive contamination would not reach U.S., but both Koreas, Japan, and large areas of China and Russia’s Far East.

And if Washington thinks that Beijing and Moscow will swallow a nuclear cloud in silence, that’s probably a big mistake for Trump, as it has been confirmed by Russian analysts, who consider that “If Washington were certain that Beijing and especially Moscow would remain neutral” in case of an attack of the American country against North Korea, then the country of Kim Jong-un would have ceased to exist for a long time".

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials

Maduro, an Extraordinary Man

Nicolás Maduro is very far from being the dictator he is accused of by the "western" corporate octopi, media weapon of the fourth-generation war against Venezuela.

The expression has also been coined by some presidents with no shred of morals to judge the Venezuelan leader.

I know they lie because I have seen Maduro speak several times in Venezuela, at a meeting, or within his group of collaborators or at a dinner with the Chavista political-military Staff and a group of intellectuals and artists from several countries. The man I’ve seen is noble, modest, intelligent and eloquent forged the persuasion since his early years as a revolutionary activist and later union leader of Caracas Metro System, where he drove buses. He listens carefully, he is fraternal with his comrades and with the people, and very warm with the militants supporting Venezuela.

I’m sure anyone can think the same if they see him and observe carefully his speeches on television. I even made a test with two friends: a psychologist and another art critic, both academic with PhDs who don’t know Maduro in person and they have barely watched him in the news, politics is not among their priorities.

Of course, both are genuinely progressive and fully aware of the huge deceit the “media” throws at their audiences. I sent both the interview to Maduro on August 18th by the Venezuelan veteran journalist and revolutionary José Vicente Rangel. I asked my friends to watch it closely and with critical eye. They both agreed with few differences in the following: he is a good man and, besides his reach as a leader, it’s evident he cannot be a dictator.

I have no doubt that unprejudiced people who can watch his press conference three days later can say the same. I have taken these two appearances of the leader as an example for taking place at a decisive moment of his presidency and of the Bolivarian Revolution, in the turmoil of the work of the Constituent National Assembly (ANC for its acronym in Spanish), when contrary to the media version, we saw a winning leader, in full control of the situation, loaded with proposals and a revolutionary process capable of overcoming big losses, like the one suffered at the legislative elections of 2015, and stand up again proudly and put into practice at the exact moment such a risky initiative as the elections to the ANC.

The serenity, patience and confidence you see in Maduro in both documents, make the man greater who has just delivered an important defeat to the unconventional war against Venezuela lead by the United States and the far-rights. Their objective is to end the dangerous example the Bolivarian revolution is to the world. Not less important, to seize their oil and natural resources. Venezuela is at present the four scenarios where a world war can start if we can’t stop it on time with a great international mobilization.

Maduro intends to reestablish the dialogue with the opposition with the CELAC as background and he asks Pope Francisco that the Vatican resumes the mediation. The proposal is supported by the true spirit of Latin-Caribbean unity and integration which CELAC represents. Opposite to the servility shown by the OAS, an imperial creature. He speaks of economic, political, and moral recovery of the revolution as immediate objectives. The former baseball player and rocker and former chancellor remembers many times that Venezuela needs and wants peace but it’s well armed and equipped with a magnificent Russian system of antiaircraft defense. He assures that the electoral calendar will be met as the Constitution demands and he highlights that the election of governors will be in October and that all opposition parties candidates have already nominated. No honest man can deny that he is a democrat and a man of institutions.

Maduro already deserves greater respect and admiration for the single deed of having worthy and creatively led so far the direction of the revolution and the State passed onto him by the great Hugo Chavez and the Venezuelan people.

Amilkal Labañino valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff

Subscribe to this RSS feed