Cuban leader slams 'unjust, arrogant' US sanctions

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Wednesday railed against new "unjust and arrogant" U.S. sanctions, this time penalizing ships supplying oil from Venezuela.

"Trump strikes again: 6 vessels sanctioned for shipping oil from Venezuela to Cuba. Enough of unjust and arrogant sanctions," Diaz-Canel said via Twitter.

Diaz Canel sanciones EU Venezuela 06042019

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday announced it was including six vessels -- five sailing under the Venezuelan flag and one, under the Panamanian flag -- on its list of ships penalized by its Office of Foreign Assets Control for doing business with the island.

U.S. President Donald Trump has unraveled his predecessor's rapprochement policy toward Cuba and reimposed sanctions on the island.

His administration has also accused Cuba of supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose government is also the target of U.S. sanctions.

  • Published in Cuba

Trump threat: Against our Beautiful and Beloved Mexico

In his usual rude language, Donald Trump said he will regard drug traffickers as illegal groups operating in Mexico.

Such statement was immediately retorted by the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Thus, the AFP repeated the essence of his words:

In his morning press conference he asked Trump for "cooperation, not interventionism in the fight against drug trafficking."

However, he rejected controversy on the eve of Thanksgiving, "a very special date for Americans."

"In my case, I don't want to discuss anything today or tomorrow. I just want to say cooperation yes, interventionism no," he said before sending a "hug to the American people."

With this position, the president further stressed the difference between a true statesman and a barbarian from the north.

What Trump said, AFP added, unleashed criticism among different political sectors in Mexico, which they even believe it "could lead to a US intervention."

Earlier, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard rejected any meddling by his northern neighbor on Twitter.

“Mexico will never admit any action that means violation of its national sovereignty. We will act firmly. ”

I have already transmitted our position to Washington, as well as our determination to fight back organized crime, Ebrard said.

“Mutual respect is the basis of cooperation,” he wrote.

AFP recalled that Mexican-American ties share a border of almost 3,200 kilometers, and both nations have experienced moments of tension during 2019, especially due to a large traffic of undocumented migrants from Mexico to the United States.

After Trump suggested the possibility of increasing the cost of Mexican import tariffs, Mexican troops were deployed to stop irregular migration.

Now, facing this new grumbling of the rumbled and brutal North that hates all of us, Mexico's honor is endorsed.

Recently exalted when that nation saved the Indian president of Latin America, Evo Morales, from the fascist claws.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

  • Published in Now

Trump launches Nato meeting with attack on 'nasty' France

US President Donald Trump launched a two-day Nato meeting on Tuesday (Dec 3) with a blistering attack on France's criticism of the alliance and on "delinquent" members that don't pay their way.

At a news conference held to celebrate Nato's success in cajoling European allies to boost their defence spending, Trump could not resist lashing out at President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron had tried to shake up the agenda for the London summit by branding the 70-year-old Western alliance "brain dead", but Trump slapped him down and warned that he could see Paris "breaking away" from Nato.


"Nato serves a great purpose," Trump said, at a joint press appearance with alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

"I think that's very insulting," he said of Macron's comment, branding it a "very, very nasty statement essentially to 28 countries".

"Nobody needs Nato more than France," he said. "It's a very dangerous statement for them to make."

Asked whether the US alliance with Nato was shaky, Trump denied it, but said: "I do see France breaking off... I see him breaking off."

Trump defended Stoltenberg, boasting that Nato members have massively increased their defence spending thanks to his pressure - but then reiterated his complaints about European spending.

"When I came in, I was angry at Nato, and now I've raised US$130 billion," Trump said, referring to the sum Stoltenberg says Canada and European members will have added to defence budgets by next year.

"And yet you still have many delinquent - you know I call them delinquent when they're not paid up in full," he said. Only nine of Nato's 29 members spend 2 per cent of their GDP on defence.

Trump cited in particular Germany as falling short, spending only 1 per cent to 1.3 per cent.

Leaders of the 29 allies are descending on London to lock horns over spending and how to deal with Russia in a major test of unity as Nato seeks to assert its relevance.

If the Macron comments set an angry tone for the meeting, there are also expected to be clashes with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was also furious with the French leader.

"First of all, have your own brain death checked. These statements are suitable only to people like you who are in a state of brain death," he said last week.

French officials summoned the Turkish envoy in Paris to complain while a US administration official predicted that many members would tackle Turkey over its purchase of a Russian S-400 air defence system.

Turkey, in turn, has warned it will block a Nato plan to defend Baltic countries unless the alliance recognises a Kurdish militant group as terrorists, Erdogan said before the summit.

It was reported last week that Ankara was blocking Nato's new Baltic defence plan, demanding greater support in its fight against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

Nato has mooted a plan to bolster the defences of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia against a potential attack from Russia, though details remain unclear.

Macron and Erdogan will come face to face on Tuesday in a four-way meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose spokesman said he would be emphasising the need for Nato unity.

"We can see this as likely the tale of three egos," said Amanda Sloat, a former senior diplomat and a fellow of the Brookings Institution, warning that Trump, Macron and Erdogan were the figures to watch.

The summit also comes at an unexpectedly awkward moment for Johnson, with Britain in the midst of a frenetic election campaign.

Normally a summit like this would give the PM of the day a boost but with Trump deeply unpopular among many British voters, his visit is a potential banana skin for Johnson.

The substance of the meeting is thin, with only one three-hour session planned, where leaders are expected to sign off on a set of decisions already taken by Nato foreign and defence ministers.

These include making space a full domain of conflict - alongside land, sea, air and cyber space - as well as a new report on how the alliance should approach China and its growing international assertiveness.

What is likely to be more significant in the longer run is the fallout from Macron's broadside, in which he complained Nato talks too much about money and not enough about strategic priorities.

In response, Germany has suggested setting up an expert panel to look at how Nato can be adapted to address political questions more effectively.

  • Published in World

N Korea Launches 2 Projectiles In Thanksgiving Message To Trump

Seoul: North Korea fired two projectiles on Thursday, using the start of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States to telegraph its frustration over Washington's refusal to grant sanctions relief.

The short-range projectiles were launched from Ryonpo on the North's east coast around 5 p.m. local time, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. They added that the projectiles, presumed to have been fired from a super-large multiple rocket launcher, traveled a distance of about 235 miles and reached an altitude of 60 miles.

"This type of act from North Korea does not help efforts to alleviate tensions on the Korean Peninsula," the JCS said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described Pyongyang's actions as a threat to the region and the world.

"We will remain in close contact with the United States, South Korea and the international community to monitor the situation. We will increase our vigilance to preserve the safety and assets of the Japanese people," he told reporters.

The launch continues a more aggressive posture by North Korea over recent months as talks with Washington hit a stalemate. Pyongyang has warned that its patience is running thin, and has given the United States until the end of the year to change its "hostile" policy and salvage the dialogue process.

Last month, North Korea test-fired what it said was a new "super-large" multiple rocket launcher. And earlier this week, North Korea said its troops carried out artillery drills near its disputed sea border with South Korea.

Thursday's launches appeared timed to coincide with the Thanksgiving break and the two-year anniversary of Pyongyang's test of an intercontinental ballistic missile known as the Hwasong-15, emphasizing the message to President Trump, said Rachel Minyoung Lee, senior analyst at North Korea-focused website NK Pro.

"All in all, I think North Korea may be on a path toward more militaristic actions until the end of the year," she said. The regime had not issued official pronouncements on the United States since Nov. 19 and appeared to be letting its weapons do the talking, Lee added.

Pyongyang has threatened to resume long-range missile and nuclear tests, which leader Kim Jong Un agreed to freeze after he met with Trump in Singapore last year. Relations deteriorated after a follow-up summit in February ended without an agreement on nuclear disarmament in exchange for sanctions relief.

Earlier this month, North Korea accused the United States of "betrayal" for continuing to hold military exercises with South Korea, and said it no longer felt bound by its previous promises.

Pyongyang has conducted more than a dozen shorter-range ballistic missile tests since April, though Trump has repeatedly played down their significance.

Kim has called for relief from the international sanctions that hobble his economy, but the United States says North Korea has not taken sufficient disarmament steps to justify easing the pressure.

"The deadlock in nuclear talks with the United States is pushing North Korea to ramp up the level of provocation," said Shin Beom-chul, a researcher at Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul.

North Korea has previously used U.S. holidays to send messages to Washington. It launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4, 2017.

  • Published in World

US headed for ‘economic disaster’ worse than in 2008, Peter Schiff tells Boom Bust

US President Donald Trump said a deal between Washington and Beijing is more likely, following a phone call between the negotiators of both countries on Tuesday.

RT’s Boom Bust brings in Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital to talk about the possibility of reaching a preliminary deal in a trade war that has dragged on for 16 months.

“I don’t think that Trump is trying to make a deal,” the veteran broker says, explaining that “Trump just wants the stock market to go up.”

As long as the stock market is going up “he couldn’t care less about a deal with China,” Schiff continues, suggesting that “if the stock market started to tank he might feel some type of pressure to actually deliver a deal…”

Schiff points out that the money-printing will continue “as far as I could see, and that’s what is driving stocks and will continue driving stocks until something causes that to change.”

Trade Lifting Markets? & ECB Edging toward FinTech?

Another problem, according to Schiff, is that the American consumer is deep in debt, and the “only reason he could spend is because the Fed is keeping rates low enough.”

He explains that credit continues to flow despite the lack of legitimate savings to finance it. “So, this whole house of cards is going to come tumbling down and the consumer is going to be right in the center of that.”

All these factors combined mean that "the US is headed for a worse economic disaster than the one we had in 2008,” according to Schiff.

  • Published in World

The Day Trump Became Rocky Balboa

President Donald Trump once again proved that he is "a truly stable genius" after posting a photo montage on his Twitter account with his face superimposed on the body of actor Sylvester Stallone in his role as boxer Rocky Balboa.


Without any message accompanying the image, the photo went viral with jokes as well as speculation about his political meaning.


The New York Post confirmed that the tweet was published while Trump plays golf at his Florida club in Mar-A-Lago, and said that Stallone is a declared fan of the president, whose candidacy he joined in 2016 through an interview in Variety.


Among the many interpretations of the bizarre message is the fact that on the same day the image was uploaded, 35 years had passed since the premiere of the movie Rocky IV.


The image was read by some as a reference to the multiple political battles that wages the New York tycoon in the face of his re-election, from the political trial against him which is getting ready in the House of Representatives and was also associated with the announcement that he will declare as terrorist organizations to drug cartels in Mexico.


The British newspaper Daily Mail, related the photo with the president’s state of health taking into account that the president had recently paid an unannounced visit to Walter Reed Medical Center, which unleashed versions that Trump would suffer heart problems.


During the exam, the president himself boasted that doctors praised his physique during his exam. “The first thing they do is say:‘ Take off your shirt, sir, and show us that beautiful chest. We want to see. We have never seen a chest like this,”he said during a campaign meeting in Florida.


According to observers, the background of the boxer Trump image coincides with that of the public that gave him a warm welcome at the BB&T Center of Sunrise, nearly 50 kilometers north of Miami, where the president, in addition to promising that he would be in power four more years, he badmouth the Democrats, called the press corrupt and repeated his usual slanders against Cuba, and Venezuela.


The person-on-the-street interview carried out by a television station in Miami discussed the president's tweet as something incredible, ridiculous, and very typical of someone like Trump.

There were even those who related the meaning of the picture with the mental state of the current resident of the White House. Another feature of his megalomaniac schizophrenia?


What can be expected from a president of the United States who confuses reality with the most banal fiction of mass culture?

Trump’s Impeachment Inquiry Remains Tricky

Like drops of water falling onto the stone for a long time, strong eye-opening facts are cornering Trump at the U.S. House of Representatives.

Or so it believes AP journalist Jill Colvin.

The new fact is that Trump may now provide a written answer about the serious accusations included in the already popular impeachment.

He is being accused of pressing the Ukraine government to investigate his political rivals.

Via Twitter, the President said: “I will strongly consider” Nancy Pelosi’s offer to testify.

“She also said I can do it in writing. Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax.”

I like the idea and in order to get the Congress focused again “I will strongly consider it,” he added.

During the CBS TV show Face the Nation, Pelosi invited Trump to speak all the truth that he wants before the House Intelligence Committee and tell all of his version.

Thus, Pelosi rejected Republicans’ allegations that the impeachment inquiry is devious.

Simultaneously, Chuck Schumer, Democrat leader in the U.S. Senate, confirmed Trump should allow all those around him to go the Committee and testify under oath.

“What is he hiding?” Asked Schumer, but no one answers just yet.

And everything is happening when the House of Intelligence Committee is getting ready for week 2 of public hearings.

Observers recall that the most important witness —Gordon Sondland, ambassador of the U.S. before the European Union and one of the few people who talked to Trump about the issue and testified before Congress — must attend.

As others cannot cooperate in the inquiry, some believe that Sondland “is pretty much involved in the heart of the process,” especially if Trump withheld military assistance to Ukraine to impose an investigation on Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Several witnesses heard the telephone call where Trump and Sondland, apparently, talked about the need to put pressure on Kiev.

In closed-door depositions last Saturday, Tim Morrison, former employee at the National Security Council, revealed that Sondland told him he was speaking directly with Trump.

According to Morrison, Sondland and Trump had spoken five times when the military assistance to Ukraine was withheld.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials

Trump shifts US appeal courts further right

Washington, Nov. 25 (Prensa Latina) US President Donald Trump has managed to shift the country's appeal courts further to the right with the aid of the Republican majority Senate, The Hill reported this Monday.

According to the source, in addition to bringing two extreme conservatives to the Supreme Court, Trump's greatest judicial impact could be in the courts of appeal, where the number of judges appointed by Republicans now surpass those appointed by Democrats in most circuits.

Since he took office on January 20, 2017, along with the successful appointment of Supreme Court magistrates Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, Trump has nominated and had confirmed two Supreme Court justices, 44 Circuit Court judges, and 112 District Court judges.

Trump's pace of filling vacancies in the main appellate courts, with the help of the Republican-controlled Senate, surpassed the numbers of all other presidents in recent decades, The Hill warned.

During recent weeks, judges appointed by Republicans became a majority in the courts of the second and eleventh circuits, with which over half of the twelve circuit courts in the country are now under the control of magistrates elected by that force.

As federal judges have appointments for life, Trump's nominee volume means that more magistrates are ready to continue their legacy for decades after he leaves office, the publication added.

Daniel Epps, a professor at the University of Washington Law School, told the media that this would appear to be one of the most successful aspects of Trump's administration.

  • Published in World
Subscribe to this RSS feed