Cuban Parliament Maintains Links With Counterparts in 146 countries

The National Assembly of People's Power of Cuba maintains relations with parliaments of 146 countries of the five continents, links focused on the mission of promoting and defending the island’s foreign policy, deputies said here today.

In the first meeting of the Commission of International Relations of the 9th Legislature - installed on April 18 for the period 2018-2023 - the president of that working group, Yolanda Ferrer, said that the levels of interaction with the parliaments of the planet are different.

During the previous term (2013-2018), we developed these links from visits by delegations, inter-parliamentary meetings, and regional and global forums, among other ways, said the deputy, ratified in office last Saturday, in the first extraordinary session of the current period.

According to Ferrer, among the links with homologous entities are those that materialize with 32 from Latin America and the Caribbean, 48 from Africa and the Middle East, and 44 from Europe.

Regarding visits, he explained that in the 8th Legislature 222 delegations were received, 122 of them invited by the National Assembly, while the other 100 took place at the request of various agencies of the country.

According to the president of the International Relations Commission, in the analyzed stage, Cuban parliamentarians made visits to Russia, China, Serbia, Vietnam, Chile, Iran, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, and Japan.

Ferrer said that in the 9th Legislature work will continue to strengthen ties with parliaments of the planet, facing the mission of the working group to defend the foreign policy of the Cuban Revolution.

In that sense, on Saturday the National Assembly approved friendship parliamentary groups with 93 countries.

Today will be dedicated to the first meeting of the 10 permanent commissions approved on Saturday.

The 10 working groups are composed of 380 of the 605 deputies of the 9th Legislature, who were elected last March 11 in the general elections 2017-2018.

  • Published in Cuba

Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump and the Decline of the US Empire

"From the point of view of U.S. power, (Trump) is harming it, but from the point of view of U.S. elites, he's giving them everything they want," Chomsky said.

Renowned U.S. intellectual Noam Chomsky welcomed a teleSUR team into his office at the University of Arizona to discuss the presidency of Donald Trump and the decline of an empire.

RELATED: Noam Chomsky on Our Wonderful Indonesian Moderates

"From the point of view of U.S. power, (Trump) is harming it, but from the point of view of U.S. elites, he's giving them everything they want," Chomsky said, describing the current administration as a "two-level wrecking ball."

The political activist and cognitive scientist went on to describe the incumbent U.S. president as a "con man."

"Everyday there's one insane thing after the other... and while this show is going on in public, in the background, the wrecking crew is working.

"What they're doing is systematically dismantling every aspect of government that works for the benefit of the population. This goes from workers' rights to pollution of the environment, rules for protecting consumers, anything you can think of is being dismantled."

Chomsky reasoned that the ultra-wealthy, Wall Street and the constituents of those in power couldn't be more pleased with efforts made to increase their fortunes.

"That's why the stock market goes up: the stock market has not much to do with the economy, but it keeps booming because that's the rich people."

Chomsky pointed out that the decline of the United States, a trend tacitly expressed whenever Trump vows to "make America great again," began not recently but back in 1949 when China became independent.

The loss of China was followed, Chomsky said, by "McCarthyism, repression and the destruction of unions." It continued under President John F. Kennedy when he was weighing whether to escalate in Vietnam and said: "I don't want to be responsible for the loss of Indochina."

The decline of the U.S. empire further accelerated when Europe and other industrial societies reconstructed in the wake of World War II: "decolonization took place" and the empire has yet to recover, Chomsky said.

  • Published in World

The War Against Us: a Book of Love for the Struggle

Presented only a few hours ago in the Cuban capital, the book "The War against Us" speaks of love as the main weapon of revolutionaries to face that cultural war, of symbols, of thoughts against us and according to Martí, we had to win it with thoughts.  

We spoke with the author, the professor, writer and former agent of the State Security of Cuba, Raúl Capote Fernández.

A first assessment of "The War against Us ".

The book is born after the encounters we sustained after the accusation of the Reasons of Cuba in 2011 with universities, job places and mainly encounters we had with many youths in many places of the country. And we realized there was a group of knowledge, a group of topics to which new generations specially the youngest ones were unfamiliar with. And that’s the origin of the book, of the idea of filling those gaps a bit… to shape a little so that it helped as a tool in the war against us.

Even the book begins like that telling a story of one of those encounters where a student asked me a group of ideas, a group of things I was speaking about. I also realize that when I spoke to them about the CIA, they didn't know what I was talking about, for them it was something very distant, the vision they had of the CIA was almost always related to attacks, rather the terrorist actions than with the topic at hand, the war of symbols, the cultural war, of that war against us for so long time. 

That was the drive, although later I found interesting to add a few more topics: how this war started against Cuba, the role Cuba had played, maybe in history, for the first time facing a cultural war. The book is also part of a research I’m making on that topic. How in the 1895 War when Martí prepares the Necessary War the empire is also getting ready to dominate the former Spanish colonies and the whole effort they begin to win first, the battle of symbols. How they even changed, within the United States the image about the Cuban revolutionary fighters. How to turn an insurgent island into a peaceful one, docile, easy to manage and mainly, to convince the North American public opinion of the fairness of what they planned to do. Cuba underwent that experience, as Puerto Rico did, and the same happened to the Philippines, of facing that first attempt of war in field of ideas. 

The book portrays in its pages how they did it through Europe, how they steered the war against socialism in East Europe, how they even did within the United States with the counter-cultural movement which is very interesting, how they were able to transform that entire movement of struggle for civil rights, against the war of Viet Nam, how they changed it into a movement Light, how they were able to transform many of the most belligerent sectors in that confrontation into commerce, in market turning-points, like the rock music movement. 

The book comprises how the media was built, those large press media, maybe a topic that deserves a book to go deeper but… as the European press agencies were created, many agencies that people today consider free. How were they created by the CIA in certain moments, how they bought journalists, how they bought the great intellectuals from Europe so they joined the ranks against socialism, how they used cinema (…) which played a very important role in the construction of the North American capitalism and the image they want to sell worldwide.  

I also make reference to the levels achieved by the North American cultural penetration everywhere, the positive features about it, and the negative as well. (…) And my idea on how we should face that: what we can do to have countermeasures to the plan devised by the empire to the end the Cuban Revolution.

Why Dedicated to the Cuban Youth? 

The book with all intentions is written as a tool to fight. That was what I intended, a book of a Cuban teacher for his students.  

It’s written in the simplest fashion, I tried to make it comprehensible for everybody. And I hope it’s useful that really helps to wage this war. 

The book speaks of war, but the entire story revolves about love. How to understand that opposition?

I believe that it’s the main weapon we revolutionaries have. It’s our weapon of victory.  

The human being has faced for centuries the permanent hatred of what it is a class-divided society. I believe that the society divided in classes, the exploitation to which man has been subjected for years, man in every social economic body that have existed through the history of mankind, that hatred has tainted the human being. That hatred has taken the human being to degrees of separation, to war degrees. And capitalism above all has been a system marked by hatred; it has been marked by the scorn towards what’s humane. I think that war can only be won from love. 

I think that war can only be fought by freeing man of that huge burden that crushes it, that fact of being merchandise. The great founders of Marxism said it with clarity, Marx said: What relationship might be between one merchandise and another one, what relationship of solidarity might be between one merchandise and another one. Man transformed into merchandise is nothing but that; he competes to have a space, to be sold, to be bought. However, the man we propose, the different man, the man of socialism, the man of communism, should be a man endowed with great feelings of love. And it’s not me who said it, Che said it and Martí also, it is one of the main bases of Martí’s ideology, the role of transformation love plays in the human being.  

Only healing the soul of man after many centuries of disgrace, so many centuries of exploitation, so many centuries of misery, it can lead us to victory. It’s not only what can be done regarding economic transformations, it’s not only, even, what can be done regarding political transformations. If that doesn't go hand in hand with a transformation of the human being, of that new man Che spoke about, of that man different of socialism, gifted with the virtues, of all the human being was created for, if we don't achieve that it would be pointless, we could not reach what we intend to, to make the world a better place. 

  Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés



  • Published in Specials

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

Palestinians Reject United States Threat

Ramallah, Jan 3 (Prensa Latina) The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the threat of US President Donald Trump to cut off financial aid to Palestinians if they do not resume negotiations with Israel.

According to Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the presidential spokesman, 'Jerusalem and its sacred places are not for sale, neither for gold nor silver.'

Peace and real negotiations must be based on Arab and international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative that leads to the establishment of the independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital, the spokesman said.

If the United States has any concern for its interests in the Middle East, it must abide by the principles and resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations, otherwise, Washington will push the region to the abyss, Abu Rudeineh added.

The US government announced yesterday that it will cut funds to the Palestinians and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) as a means of pressure to resume peace talks with Israel.

Ramallah ended the negotiations on the matter after the US recognition, contrary to international law, of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

  • Published in World

Impeachment Process of VP Glas Authorized by Ecuador's Assembly

Jorge Glas has been sentenced to six years in prison for corruption linked to the sprawling Odebrecht case in what his supporters are calling a 'political witch-hunt.'

A body within the Ecuadorian National Assembly has given the greenlight for an impeachment trial to take place against former Vice-President Jorge Glas after he was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption.

RELATED: Mother of Convicted Former Ecuador VP Appeals to Pope

Four of the seven lawmakers that make up the Legislative Administration Council voted in favor late Tuesday of the motion to authorize the prosecution commission within parliament to begin the impeachment process against Glas. 

The news comes just days after the Constitutional Court unanimously endorsed the launch of impeachment proceedings against the suspended official. The council had previously failed to pass the motion three times becausee of a lack of support in the top court. 

Glas, who was also the vice-president under former president Rafael Correa, now has five days to present his defence against the impeachment to the assembly. He can delegate a lawmaker to carry out his defence, which is likely to be the case given that he is already being held in preventive detention.

Roberto Gomez, from the right-wing opposition CREO movement leading the case against Glas, also has five days to present his own arguments for impeachment, which will be analyzed to consider whether it meets the parameters established in the constitution.

Glas has been in detention since October, when charges were brought against him over receiving bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in return for awarding the scandal-ridden firm lucrative state contracts.

RELATED: Correa: Lenin Moreno is a 'Wolf in Sheep's Clothing' who was 'With the Opposition

Glas was elected vice-president in the second electoral round last April, with President Lenin Moreno as leader of the left-wing Alianza Pais. He served as vice president since 2013 under Correa, who has been critical of the trial against his ally, accusing the courts of many irregularities and saying that Glas is "innocent."

Lenin ran his presidential campaign under the leftist agenda of his predecessor but has largely broken from Correa and worked to appease right-wing political and economic actors in the country.

Correa and his supporters have accused the new president of “betraying” the ideals of the ruling party AP, which was founded by Correa more than a decade ago and argue that prosecuting Glas is a entirely political.

Odebrecht allegedly paid US$33.5 million in bribes to secure contracts in Ecuador. The opposition says that Correa's government was slow to investigate, although he rejects that.

  • Published in World

‘Merkel is on a destructive course, refuses to correct her policies’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s momentum is clearly downward, and she is going to be in an even weaker position if snap elections are called. She should step aside and recognize time has been called, political experts told RT.

After talks on forming a coalition government collapsed, Chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to seek advice from German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The president will now try to persuade the members of the failed coalition to rethink their decision and return to talks.

RT talked to political experts about the uncertain future Merkel's currently facing.

RT: Merkel says she'd prefer a snap election to the formation of a minority government. Would that not be a retrograde step?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) speaks to media after the exploratory talks about forming a new coalition government collapsed in Berlin, Germany, November 20, 2017 © Hannibal Hanschke

Steven Meissner, independent political observer: It will be a step backward for her. I don’t think there is any chance that she will be able to make the 34 percent that she made in September. Her momentum is clearly down. The voting population will be fairly disappointed in the outcome of her negotiations. Her standing has been hurt. She is on the way out. I said this on the eve of the elections that her days are numbered, and it is becoming more and more apparent to other observers that her days are numbered. If they have to go through another election, I would guess a number something like 29 to 30 percent is all she will do. In other words, she is going to be in an even weaker position than she is right now. Ideally, the CDU before they go into another election should have a new candidate and start over with a fresh face, but they are not going to be able to do that very quickly.

RT: Why is she calling for the snap elections?

SM: She is between a rock and a hard place. Where is she going to go? This Jamaica coalition has basically not been doable. A minority government in Germany on a federal level has never been done. Nobody really thinks that that would work or would be stable. In other words, within a year or two, it would probably collapse anyway, and you would have elections. If she had any real honor as a leader, she would have stepped back on election night, and she didn’t. So I don’t expect her to step down now either… she could step back and say I’m giving it up to a new leader of the party, and he or she will go into the election with better chances than she will...

RT: Could you explain the situation with the possible snap elections in Germany? What does it mean? Is it a step back for Merkel?

Dr. Max Otte, professor for general and international business administration at the University of Applied Sciences, Worms: It was very surprising to me. So far, she has always clung to power. I thought she would have sought another negotiated solution, so this is a surprise. Everybody is putting this to FDP. In the end, the Jamaica coalition, comprised of Greens, FDP, CDU/CSU was a very unlikely and strange construct. That cannot work, and we can see that the country is in some turmoil here. This is indeed an unprecedented situation.

Migrants take selfies with German Chancellor Angela Merkel © Fabrizio Bensch

RT: The German president has called this an unprecedented situation in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, and he is calling for fresh negotiations. How likely is it they will lead to anything new?

MO: The FDP is really for a change in the course. The FDP is maintaining its senses. I think it could have the power to bring the CDU back to its senses. It is unfortunate that the FDP was singled out as a culprit in this. I think they have a very sensible direction. We don’t know if there is going to be new elections, but if there are going to be new elections, I am pretty certain the FDP and probably also the AfD - the opposition party that came into a parliament with 13.6 percent of votes - will gain because there is quite silent and significant part of the population that wants a change in the immigration policy. I would be surprised if we had fresh elections, but Merkel has apparently stated that we are going to have them…

The Greens want this immigration policy to continue, and I think this is a big detriment for Germany, so the FDP had to walk out because there was no possibility of a consensus… Merkel is apparently closer to the Greens than to the FDP, which is really not surprising, but it’s a shame for the country. Why not form a minority government with the CDU/CSU being tolerated by the AfD and the other parties? That’s a very sensible option, but nobody talks about that. Everything is in the air, and we just have to wait and see how things develop.

RT: How likely is it that Merkel will win again if there are snap elections?

MO: I was surprised that she actually called for fresh elections because I think that she will lose further. I think she is past her prime and she should step aside. She hasn’t recognized the call of time. And sometime now or later the reality will hit her. I think she should resign, she has completely failed and this is the receipt for it.

  • Published in World

Senate committee to interview Trump Jr. behind closed doors

Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will privately interview Donald Trump, Jr., Thursday -- and are expected to ask about his meeting with a Russian lawyer in New York City during last year's presidential campaign.

Senators had sought to interview the president's son publicly in July but he instead offered to be privately interviewed and provide documents.

"We look forward to a professional and productive meeting and appreciate the opportunity to assist the committee," Trump, Jr.'s attorney, Alan S. Futerfas, said in a statement.

Last week, Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California issued a joint statement confirming the interview with the president's eldest son was imminent.

Trump, Jr., has acknowledged he met with a Russian lawyer -- who he said had damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton that could help his father's presidential campaign. He released emails this summer that showed it was "part of Russia and its government's support for [President Donald] Trump."

Also attending the meeting were Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, now a senior adviser to the president, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Kushner and Manafort have already been interviewed by the Senate Committee on Intelligence.

The Senate and House intelligence committees are investigating Russian election meddling and any ties to Trump's campaign, but the judiciary panel wants to investigate whether any federal criminal statutes that ban solicitation from foreign nationals were violated.

Feinstein told reporters Wednesday the committee staff will conduct the interview, and a public hearing will be conducted later. Feinstein said she doesn't plan to attend the interview.

Other committee members, including Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, said they plan to attend.

"There are penalties if he lies, and he presumably is aware that he is testifying with very severe penalties if he fails to tell the truth, so we presume he will," Blumenthal told reporters.

  • Published in World
Subscribe to this RSS feed