Tanks In Washington Ahead Of Trump's Fourth Of July Pageant

Washington: Battle tanks were seen on a train in Washington on Tuesday ahead of a July Fourth celebration highlighting U.S. military might that Democrats say President Donald Trump may turn into a re-election campaign rally.

Amid questions about the cost and tone of the event, White House officials said the Republican president will avoid politics and stick to patriotic themes in his speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Thursday.

Reuters photographed M1 Abrams tanks and other armored vehicles atop flat rail cars in Washington on Tuesday morning, a sign of the military firepower that will be featured, differing significantly from past annual celebrations of the 1776 Declaration of Independence.

For decades, U.S. presidents have kept a low profile during the event, which typically draws hundreds of thousands of people to Washington's monument-lined National Mall for a concert and fireworks.

This year, Trump plans to speak at a military "Salute to America" that will feature military bands and flyovers from the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and Air Force One, the modified Boeing 747 that transports U.S. presidents.

The event could also feature M1 Abrams battle tanks, a B-2 bomber, F-35 and F-22 fighter jets, and the Marine One helicopter that transports the president, the Pentagon said. Air traffic at nearby Ronald Reagan National Airport will be suspended during the flyovers and the fireworks, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The antiwar group Code Pink said it had secured a permit to bring a "Baby Trump" blimp, depicting the president in diapers, to a protest in the Mall during his speech. The permit does not allow the balloon to be filled with helium so it can float.

Democrats in Congress have questioned whether Trump will turn a patriotic celebration into a taxpayer-funded campaign rally.

"That's absolutely ridiculous. This is all about a salute to America. The president is not going to get political," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Fox Business Network.

On June 18, Trump officially launched his 2020 campaign to seek a second four-year term. More than 20 Democrats are campaigning for their party's nomination to run against Trump.

The administration has not said how much Trump's pumped-up July Fourth celebration will cost. The Pentagon postponed a military parade planned for last November after it estimated it could cost $90 million.

The National Park Service is diverting about $2.5 million in entrance and recreation fees primarily intended to improve parks to cover costs associated with the celebration, the Washington Post reported, citing unnamed sources.

The agency did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the report.

"It is unacceptable that the Interior Department is failing to inform Congress about how it plans to spend taxpayer money to fund the president's lavish July Fourth plans, which reportedly include special access to the National Mall for the politically connected," Democratic Senator Tom Udall said in a statement.

A VIP section set up near the Lincoln Memorial will be open to government officials and lawmakers, according to a White House official speaking on condition of anonymity. In previous years, government officials and other VIPs have watched the fireworks from the White House lawn.

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Downing of US drone a ‘clear message’ to Washington — Iran’s IRGC commander

The head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards says the downing of a US drone over its territory was a “clear message” to Washington, proving Tehran will react strongly to any military aggression.

Just hours earlier, Iran claimed to have shot down a US RQ-4 spy drone over Hormozgan Province. This "was a clear message to America,” the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander-in-chief, Hossein Salami, told local media.

He added that any intrusion across the country's borders would be seen as a “red line” and would be met with strong resistance.

Iran is not seeking war with any country, but we are fully prepared to defend Iran.

Tehran said later that the drone had taken off from a US airbase in the region and had its tracking equipment turned off during the flight, contravening aviation laws.

A US Central Command (CENTCOM) statement confirmed that a Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV had been indeed shot down by Iranian surface-to-air missiles on Wednesday night. However, it said Tehran’s claim that the drone had invaded Iran’s airspace was “false” and that it was downed over international waters.

Meanwhile, Salami’s comments were reiterated by Iran’s Foreign Ministry which said that any “violations of Iran’s borders” would be responded to.

We warn of the consequences of such illegal and provocative measures.

It is the latest incident adding to heightening tensions between the US and Iran in recent months. Earlier, Washington blamed Iran for attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

However, these claims somehow contradict a statement by the company operating one of the ill-fated tankers. The ‘Kokuka Courageous’ owner – one of the vessels hit in the assault – said its sailors had seen “flying objects” in the sky before they were attacked.

Also on rt.com US to send 1,000 additional troops to Middle East - Pentagon...

The incident comes amid a heavy build-up of US military might in the Gulf. On June 17, the Pentagon announced it was sending 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East theater. Washington has also used the so-called threat of Iran to justify sending an aircraft carrier strike group, a Patriot air defense battery and nuclear-capable bomber aircraft to the region.

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Trump Imposes 5% Tariff on All Mexican Goods Until It Solves Border Issue

The tariff is set to begin on June 10, unless Mexico somehow solves what Trump has called an emergency at the border.

President Donald Trump, in yet another example of foreign policy by tweet, said Thursday the United States will impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods coming from Mexico starting on June 10 until illegal immigration across the southern border is stopped.

RELATED Mexico Prepares New Retaliation Duties Against United States

"The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied, at which time the Tariffs will be removed," Trump said on Twitter.

In a statement issued by the White House, Trump said the tariff would increase to 10% on July 1, 15% on Aug. 1, 20% on Sept. 1 and to 25% on Oct. 1.

"Mexico’s passive cooperation in allowing this mass incursion constitutes an emergency and extraordinary threat to the national security and economy of the United States," Trump said in the statement.

"Mexico has very strong immigration laws and could easily halt the illegal flow of migrants, including by returning them to their home countries," he said.

This declaration comes as a surprise as the United States, Mexico, and Canada are currently in the midst of ratifying a new NAFTA deal that would update trade rules among the three countries. Dubbed the USMCA deal, to update the 25-year-old NAFTA, it had just been sent to the Mexican Senate where it was expected to be ratified easily. 

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he foresees no difficulties in getting it passed.

Mexico is one of the largest trading partners for the U.S. and according to the Office of the United State Trade Representative, trade between the two countries was estimated at US$671 billion dollars.

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Young musicians from Cuba and the US participate in “Together in Harmony” project

Havana, May 22 (RHC)-- More than 70 musicians, members of the Cuban American Youth Orchestra (CAYO), are getting ready for their first concert tour of Cuba.

Under the title of “Together in Harmony¨, the presentations planned for next weekend are sponsored by Classical Movements, a cultural exchange project between the Island and the United States with 25 years of experience, and the Institute of Music in the Caribbean nation.

According to Rena Kraut, founder of CAYO, the objective of this non-profit initiative is to provide educational and interpretive opportunities to musicians from both countries through workshops, artistic delegations and cultural exchanges.

 "I think that CAYO has a lot of potential in artistic diplomacy and the presentations in Cuba indicate mutual goodwill and the desire to strengthen the relationship between the two nations, through learning and cultivating the spirit of goodwill," he said. Kraut.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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United States: Detention Centers for Migrant Children?

Although hard to understand those facilities have worked for years.

The tragedy was described this Tuesday by a New Herald reporter, Monique O. Madam.

She wrote that three congress members from Florida asked to investigate a contract not submitted to examination for an amount of 341 million dollars.

It was granted to the company that runs a detention center for migrant children with headquarters in the Florida city of Homestead.

When did this happen? Under the authority of a Donald Trump’s man, the retired General John Kelly.

The latter defended and helped to implement the politics of separating minors from their parents after arriving to the frontier of the United States.

Those who oppose that have said that he should not be helping to control a company benefitted by that disposition.

Although the Homestead center is, mainly, for minors who arrived alone to the United States, they have been incarcerated in the place.

This Monday, in a letter to the Department of Health the democratic congress members, Donna Shalala, Debbie Wasserman, and Debbie Mucarsel, demanded to investigate how the treaty was granted.

“It’s disturbing that a critical contract is granted without an open tender procedure with the appropriate authorizations.

We respectfully request that your office carries out an audit on the recruiting process”, said the letter.

It adds: “we wish to ask you to clarify John Kelly’s participation and influence in this process.”

The aforementioned congress members were concerned that the participation of the General in the Administration increased the number of minors in the facility.

Also about the time “those children spend under the custody of the Government.”

The referred piece of writing was published two weeks after the Miami Herald disclosed other agreements tied to the company Comprehensive Health Services, a branch of Caliburn International, belonging to the DC Capital Partners.

The board of such company is integrated by former National Security officials, diplomats and military.

According to sources from the Security and Exchange Commission of the United States, the board receives 100,000 dollars yearly.

That announcement was made a month after John Kelly was seen entering the Homestead detention center in a golf cart.

The Child Welfare Agency of Florida “cannot investigate any allegation of the abuses.”

Maybe for that reason, repressive bodies didn't accept the request of the aforementioned democratic lawgivers. All of this despite a new law that “orders” to authorize that kind of officials.

Crystal clear, the incredible presence of variants of concentration camps for migrant minors in North American soil pushes to disguise them at any cost.

Let’s just remember the tragedy of thousands of children during the stampede of Central American citizens, or the daily drama to understand the life of that community.

And who told you they are alive? As the great and unforgettable writer Eduardo Galeano would ask again.

The Repeated U.S. Failure and the Option of Invasion to Venezuela

Desperate due to the chain of continuous failures in the coup attempt against the Bolivarian Revolution, the puppeteers pulling the strings of the marionette, Juan Guaidó, have now ordered him to resume, as a political weapon, the threat of a military invasion to Venezuela.

The other next option on the table seems to be – said Guaidó last Saturday in another of his "liberal" manifestations, where only a few hundred followers attended -, to contact "the South Command of the United States in order to establish a direct and wide relationship regarding cooperation."

Spokesman of Bolton and Marcos Rubios, where he should have said invasion, Guaidó used the euphemism "cooperation" because, according to him, besides the fake excuse of the already existent invasion of Cuban soldiers, all of the sudden, in the White House have discovered that in Venezuela there is a presence of the Army of National Liberation of Colombia (ELN for its Spanish acronym).

Attached to the new script of lies, Guaidó accused Maduro of facilitating "tools and intelligence resources" to the ELN this would make "the régime a sponsor of terrorism."

Guaidó’s new revelations were made a day after the other marionette from Washington, the Colombian president Iván Duque, affirmed that his country is "in high alert to avoid the ELN guerrilla to continue receiving weapons, ammunition and economic support from the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro", and that the acting Secretary of Defense of the United States, Patrick Shanahan, assured that last week the Pentagon had analyzed a wide range of military options.

But not everything is threats. Last Thursday, through an official statement, the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (NBAF) denounced the installation of a false positive in the frontier on the Colombian side whose Ministry of Foreign Affairs invented a supposed incursion of the Venezuelan army in his territory; and this same Saturday, the Minister of Defense, Vladimir Padrino warned that a United States Coast guard craft had carried out patrolling rounds in Venezuelan waters, an action that he added “won't be accepted.”

“We are not asking, it’s not a favor, we demand U.S. military authorities to respect the jurisdictional waters and sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”, said the minister according to a Reuters news.

The puppeteers of the torn marionette should swallow their imperial pride and force their imagination in search of new options to put on the table. The option of the provocations could unleash, in the event of a war of the United States and its allies in Venezuela, a regional catastrophe without precedents.

Setting aside the loyal Armed Forces, the homeland of Bolívar holds a weapon that no army or coalition, no matter how powerful it is, can defeat: the desires of an entire people to defend the achievements, their independence and sovereignty. Everything the swindler Guaidó has lacked since his proclamation last January 23rd until today.

Six Years After the Death of Chávez, Venezuela Defends itself with Courage

The world is a unique witness of a Venezuela challenged by imperial aggressions and still goes ahead with dignity. We will keep carrying the flag of the free peoples that raise their voice against the imperial meddling, said President Nicolas Maduro in Tweeter this Monday.

"Despite the media campaigns against Venezuela, we face with courage and rebelliousness the mean violations of the United States. We have the solidarity of the peoples of the world", he wrote.

That is the case of countries like China, Cuba, Bolivia, Iran and Turkey, among others that keep supporting Maduro’s Government. In addition, the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitri Medvedev, denounced early this week the resume on behalf of the United States of an open politics to bring down Latin American governments that are a nuisance to them, like in the case of Venezuela.

"From Washington are heard statements admitting a military intervention and provocations take place on the borders", said the Prime Minister, when commenting events that have occurred in the South American country.

Trump has found the support of some countries to military intervene in Venezuela using the "Monroe Doctrine" from 1823: "America for North Americans", that is, to them the entire Western Hemisphere belongs to the United States like a “backyard”.

On the other hand, Maduro has tirelessly denounced the inquisitional process of the world far-right against the Bolivarian Revolution with the objective of seizing the South American country and its resources at any cost necessary.

We just have to revise history to realize the great cut Washington wins in this dirty game. Let’s remember the excellent business it represented for the Power Elite in the United State and especially large companies, World War II.

As Jacques R. Pauwels explained brilliantly in his time, thanks to the victory in World War II, "the United States industry recovered intact its investments in Germany and captured the Nazi scientists and their technology."

Yankee companies took advantage of the opportunity and in 1945 they began to recreate the world with the American way.

Today, the Imperial Elite, trapped in domestic contradictions, at the threshold of the next elections, needs a successful military adventure as well as an enemy that raises the horror and hatred of manageable people: the Satanized "socialism."

Six years after Hugo Chavez's disappearance the best homage that Venezuelan can offer is to keep on building Socialism and keep his legacy alive with the unconditional support to President Nicolas Maduro, the leader for which they voted in elections in May of last year.

The people recognizes that those who were behind the coup-d’état of 2002 against Chávez are the same who at present attempt against this revolutionary government. Just like then, in less than 48 hours, they went on out in the streets and put Chávez again in his office, today they will defend their rightful and constitutional President because Venezuela belongs to Venezuelans.

Chávez closed his eyes on March 5th, 2013 but he opened the eyes of millions in Latin America. Nobody thinks he’s gone forever...

What has Happened in Latin America? Understanding the Imperial Counteroffensive

With the essay "The imperial geopolitics of the development in Latin America: an overcome model?", Cuban researchers Yazmín Bárbara Vázquez Ortiz and Olga Rosa González Martínez, from the Center of Hemispheric Studies and the United States of Havana University have just won the International Prize of Essay Pensar a Contracorriente, in its XVI edition. With talked to them, to understand the imperial avalanche and reconquest in the region, as well as the chances for the left-wing to face this challenge. And we do this at a key moment: when threats of an armed intervention on behalf of the United States or of a fratricidal war, they are enraged with the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela.

Which are in bold strokes, the mechanisms that characterize the imperial geopolitical positioning in Latin America, from the perspective of the development?

Yazmín: To speak of the Model of Imperial Geopolitical of Development, we must specify, above all that it’s a group of mechanisms that work together, and have not just an economic nature. Although they include the Free Trade Treaties, the Aid Development Programs (with domestic scope like FORTAS and International like those of USAID), those mechanisms applied in the cultural dominance are also essential to understand the reach that have, in the field of dominance and political subversion, the model we are speaking about.

For example, the articulation of messages issued from the media, international consultant, think tanks, and international institutions like the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, with more or less technical level have in two impact directions. The first one, to discredit the programs, the politics generated from governments or left-wing forces, those who think of a future of human and social development from the socialization of the wealth and power, with transformations that must be done to this purpose, in every geographic levels and structural dimensions and of needed social actions that are transformed in essential processes. The second, aimed at socializing and building up approval about alternative proposals to these on-line with the interests at heart of transnational capital and the imperial project of the United States government.

What’s striking about these action guidelines, especially the second one is the way to build approval that uses conceptions (what to understand by development), values (how to guide the individual behavior to achieve it), ideals (what project should the family and society bet to progress) which has as essential objective the dispute of senses for the cultural change. A process that has won over the symbols, speech, and practices that from the left-wing have shown capacity to mobilize society for the political change. Olguita may speak further on how a model of political communication for the cultural change have taken shape from the action of the aforementioned mechanisms and others, more aggressive that are in motion today.

That same way of acting, I assume has been toward the entire region, but taking into account particularities and specific objectives in each country. How has it been expressed especially against the progressive and liberating processes of the region, and among them, against the Bolivarian Revolution?

Yazmín: The particularity that has had the application of these mechanisms in countries with progressive and liberating processes has been, on one side, the insert of a series of instruments that hinder the realization of the development programs, as well as of politics set with this end and on the other hand, the combination of all these with those politics aimed at guaranteeing “the necessary political changes to access development.”

In the first case, beyond the media offensive to damage the reputation of the programs, plans and politics for the development, boycott processes,—economic war (like in Venezuela), the blockade (like in Cuba)—, juridical instruments have been set, sanctions with international reach, manipulation of international institutions, as they did to lower oil prices with OPEC. All of which seeks to create certain lacks of materials and other elements from which later the uneasiness is worked, along with the “need” of change and ideas on how to do it. Very similar to Danny Glover’s statements on the U.S. position towards Venezuela today: I create the problem, I attack you and then I will come to save you. Only that this salvation is designed and conditioned on the needs of the great capital to enter our economies and the United States guarantees an area of geopolitical support against China, Russia and the challenges they impose to the perpetuation of the imperial hegemony.

To the mechanisms that are already articulated to those mentioned seeking to guarantee “the necessary political changes to access development”, have been added those that are included in the promotion of security, as condition of development from the Initiatives for security deployed in the continent. From these last mechanisms it has been worked the criminalization of the social protest, to eliminate those they cannot convince, those who fight against transnationals and their expropriation processes. Likewise, the processes of “institutional strengthening” have worked through actions of “independent” attorney’s offices, in processes of judicialization of politics that invalidates left leaders like Lula, with chances of recovering the government, or the case of Cristina, Correa that during their time in office limited the capacity to expropriate the natural resources in the countries they governed and they impacted in their rescue for the social progress, with nationalizations.

Today we have corporations meddling in government functions and in the mechanisms of alleged integration as the Initiative for Prosperity and Security of the Northern Triangle. The corporation of politics is part of what promotes the Model of Imperial Geopolitics of Development, together with civic and community empowering, but only in the economic area, as labor force or entrepreneurs subordinate to the chains of global value.

A proposal where many and dissimilar actors participate: ranging from agencies and foundations of the United States, think tanks, churches, corporations, among other that act at territorial, national and regional level.

This process promotes since 2017, as part of the actions of the South Command in Latin America, Internet, the coordination of the mechanisms aforementioned by North American military forces. It’s part of the scheme applied in Venezuela in an attempt to create approval to legitimate the intervention for the national political change.

After studying this phenomenon, what do you think the left-wing in Latin America can do to face and overcome this challenge?

Olguita: I don’t intend this to be a unique answer neither to offer a recipe, I believe the most important thing is that the left-wing comes together, that works in block that makes a balance of its mistakes and that elaborates projections in different areas. Latin America has proven in the last few years that it’s not just reaching the government via elections. It’s about once the Executive Power is attain a process of revolutionary radicalization must occur in the broadest sense of the word. Like Che Guevara said, “the enemy must not be given an inch”. There are spaces that cannot be given freely, it’s necessary to speak to people, to work with the lowest ranks, in the neighborhoods, to speak face to face. The media is important, social media are useful, but the space within the community cannot be lost, there is where the right-wing and the United States have been working hard. Everyone who is strategically thinking of its future should go beyond the debate of public policies and include all the actors who influence in the creation of approval and the mobilization.

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