European friends pay tribute to Che Guevara

The José Martí brigade of solidarity with Cuba visited historic sites in Santa Clara city in tribute to the 50th anniversary of Che´s fall in combat.

The tour included Ernesto Guevara Sculpture Complex, where brigaders from European countries learned about the Heroic Guerrilla; the Monument to the Taking of the Armored Train and the statue of Che.

This is the 47th edition of the contingent, made up by 86 members from Spain, Portugal, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Belgium, UK and Russia.

Young Frenchwoman Laureline Ferrère visits Cuba from the age of seven and is excited to be here, because she comes from a communist family and the example of her grandfather motivated her to come to the island not as a tourist, but as a brigade member.

Spanish Olaya Nunez, said when a teenager she felt a special attraction for Commander Ernesto Guevara, an idol for young people fighting for a better world, and this influenced her decision to study medicine, a profession she practices in her country.

For a long time I heard talking about Cuba and I wanted to come and witness the reality of this country and its Revolution and I was impressed how they fight to defend what they conquered with their effort and dedication, stated Portuguese Luisa Carvalho.

Since their arrival in Cuba on July 3, the group has undergone volunteer days in the countryside and debates with members of the Young Communist League and the Federation of University Students, they have also visited social projects, received lectures on the Cuban political and economic system and Cuba-US relations, among other activities that brought them closer to the reality of the Caribbean nation.

  • Published in Cuba

Wave of ‘more dangerous, skilled’ ISIS jihadists bound to hit Europe – UN counterterrorism chief

Europe will have to come to grips with an exodus of “dangerous and disillusioned” Islamic State jihadists, defeated in Syria and Iraq earlier this year and possibly seeking revenge, the head of the UN Security Council's counterterrorism agency has warned.

Scores of foreign Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighters, determined to come back to Europe, are “more dangerous” than previous waves of returnees, Jean-Paul Laborde told reporters on Thursday. Some may be eager to seek revenge after defeats on the battlefield, including in recent confrontations in Mosul.

 
© Dado Ruvic

The first wave of the returnees was mainly made up of young people who went to Syria and Iraq “for T-shirts and photos,” Laborde said, RTBF reported. They came back “disillusioned and dismayed.” The second wave may contain much more extreme individuals, who had more time to build contacts with criminal organizations that can assist them in committing attacks.

Between 40 to 50 percent of foreign fighters, who left for Syria and Iraq, have already left territories controlled by IS, Laborde added.

“On average, these people are much more committed, more experienced and more skilled,” he told reporters, as cited by Reuters.

“In spite of the travel restrictions ... still you will have a number of foreign terrorist fighters which will probably slip through the borders and go back, come back to these countries, especially with smuggling networks,” he added.

Over the last 18 months, the flow of departures of fighters from Europe to Syria or Iraq fell by some 90 percent, the UN official said, calling for international cooperation not only between EU member states, but also between countries involved in armed conflicts and their neighbors.

Some 5,000 EU nationals are currently fighting in Syria among the ranks of IS and other jihadist groups, a senior Syrian official said last month, warning that it’ll be a disaster for European security if these militants are allowed to return.

 
© Eric Gaillard

“We have statistics that about five thousand terrorists fighting in Syria have come from the EU countries,” Syria's Deputy Minister of Expatriates and Foreign Affairs Ayman Susan told Sputnik in mid-April.

“Imagine that these 5,000 terrorists will return to Europe ... they can do it,” the diplomat warned.

IS provides free passage to Europe to refugees willing to join the terrorist group, offering potential recruits up to $1,000 while actively infiltrating migrant communities in countries of destination, a British anti-extremism think tank warned in February.

The report by Quilliam think tank also found that underage asylum seekers are at increasing risk of being radicalized by IS preachers infiltrating refugee camps and local migrant communities.

“Groups such as Islamic State and Boko Haram recruit using financial incentives within refugee camps and work with smugglers and traffickers to facilitate the journey to asylum,” Quilliam said.

According to the think tank, IS is clearly aware of the value of migrant routes in the Eastern Mediterranean as it offers free passage and “a degree of security” to those willing to join IS.

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Kadima! En Marche!

After having successively elected an agent of the CIA and an employee of the emirs of the Gulf to the Presidency of the French Republic, the French have been ripped off a third time, this time by an Israeli product. They believe that they have chased away the spectre of fascism by voting for a candidate supported by NATO, the Rothschilds, all the companies of the CAC40 and the unanimous Press. Far from understanding their mistake, they are still in a trance, and will probably not wake up before the end of the general elections.

As soon as his victory was announced, democratically elected President Emmanuel Macron defined a distance between himself and the People. Refusing to mingle with the crowd, he took a long, solitary walk across the courtyard of the Louvre where his supporters were gathered.

The team of elected French President Emmanuel Macron has managed to hypnotise the French nation. They managed to fabricate the election of their protégé with two thirds of the votes cast – a young man, only 39 years old, whose party was created on the Internet just one year ago, and who had until then never stood in any election.

Steele & Holt

This exploit was realised by the team of Steele & Holt, a mysterious company whose name refers to the TV series Remington Steele, a police procedural in which the director of a detective agency asks a thief (Pierce Brosnan) to play the rôle of her boss in order to serve as her cover.

Don’t bother trying to find out who is hiding behind this company – you’ll find nothing. Except for the fact that its two main clients are AXA and the Rothschild family. Everyone knows that Emmanuel Macron worked for the Rothschilds, but it’s a well-guarded secret that they organised his party. As for the insurance company AXA, it is presided by Henri de La Croix, fifth Duke of Castries, who is also president of the NATO think-tank (the Bilderberg group), the Bosphorus Institute (Turkey’s think-tank) and, in France, the Institut Montaigne (a right-wing think-tank).

Henry Kissinger also incidentally invited Macron to the annual meeting of the Bilderberg group in 2014, along with François Baroin and Christine Lagarde.

The Bosphorus Institute made it possible to identify and corrupt various personalities from the right and the left who lent their support to Macron.

The first meetings of the new party were held in the offices of the Institut Montaigne, whose headquarters were declared as the personal address of the Institut’s director.

Kadima !

The name of the new party - En Marche !, was chosen in order to have the same initials as its candidate. Otherwise, it would have been called En Avant ! In Hebrew - Kadima ! When it was pointed out to general Ariel Sharon that the name of his new party evoked the name of Mussolini’s party - Avanti ! - he retorted that that was not the case at all. En Avant ! was the order he gave to each of his special teams, for example when he invaded Beirut against the advice of his military staff.

Kadima ! and En Marche ! are centrist parties assembling personalities from the right and the left. Ariel Sharon was a well-known « centrist » who created his party in order to break away from Benjamin Netanyahu. Sharon was a colonialist who wanted to create a Palestinian state on the model of the South African Bantustans. For him, apartheid was the only way to preserve Israël. On the other hand, Netanyahu is a Talmudist. He refuses to accept the idea of sharing Palestine with the goyim. For him, they must be expelled, if they can’t be exterminated.

We will no doubt learn later why Macron wanted to break with the Socialist Prime Minister, Manuel Valls. For the moment, it’s enough to note the insistance with which Valls attempted to join En Marche ! and the flippancy with which Macron rejected him, to see that there is a serious conflict between them.

Fascism En Marche

In order to launch Macron, Steele & Holt – in other words NATO and the Rothschilds – relied on the old pro-US network of the Fondation Saint-Simon. Together, they staged the « peril Le Pen », so that many electors who are strongly opposed to Macron nonetheless voted for him for fear of a possible victory by the « foul beast ». Since there was little for which they could blame Marine Le Pen, they accused her of the crimes of her father... and many others.

This manipulation shows that in our « showbiz society », form is more important than content. Indeed, what are the characteristics of fascism ? The end of the class struggle, thanks to corporatism, which unites bosses and workers in the same organisations, the end of the right-left dialectic thanks to a unique party, and consequently, the end of all opposition by the use of force.

While the first of these three characteristics might have been applied to the vision of Jean-Marie Le Pen, none of them are valid for his daughter – however, the first two are applicable to the vision of Emmanuel Macron. He is supported by all the major bosses of the CAC40, as well as by the CGT. He does not question the capacity of the right- and left-wing parties to defend the values to which they claim to adhere, but calls their leaders to join him in his party to defend their common interests. There can be no doubt that if the general elections go the way Macron hopes, the destruction of the opposition will begin. Indeed, the unanimous support of the written Press for candidate Macron, and the campaign against dissenting Internet sites, give us a taste of things to come.

History repeats itself – in 1940, the French supported Philippe Petain in order to preserve themselves from Nazism, but it was Petain who installed fascism. In 2017, they voted for Macron in order to preserve themselves from fascism, yet he will be the one who installs it.

A hijacked campaign

It’s true that some electors were disturbed both by the unusual personality of the candidates and by a wealth of propaganda methods which have never been used in Europe since the Second World War.

At the age of 15, Emmanuel Macron had a sexual relation with his drama teacher, who was 23 years older, moved in with her, and then married her 15 years later. Marine Le Pen inherited the presidency of her party from her father – she first of all cleaned it up, and then excluded him from it. In psychoanalytical terms, Macron married his mother, and Le Pen killed her father.

Above all, Emmanuel Macron’s team did not hesitate to accuse his rivals of the worst forms of treason, without any logic, certain that the local and national Press – which it already controls in its entirety – would not dare to express the slightest criticism. The right-wing candidate, François Fillon, is now perceived as a thief, although not one of the accusations levelled against him has been verified. Marine Le Pen is considered to be the incarnation of fascism, although she has never supported the positions with which she is charged.

A solitary victory

As soon as his election was announced, President Macron gave a short speech from his campaign headquarters – a string of platitudes pronounced with the ponderous demeanour of a man who has suddenly felt the weight of his responsibilities descend upon his fragile shoulders. Then he offered himself a new moment of theatre with his supporters in the courtyard of the Louvre. He crossed Paris in a procession of limousines with tinted windows. He took a long, solitary, inaccessible walk across the courtyard of the Louvre to climb onto the podium which had been built in his honour. There, at the base of the pyramid, like Bonaparte, he delivered a new speech, once again consisting of verbiage, but this time in a frenzied tone - a man who has never seen combat. Finally, he gathered together with his family and a few militants to sing La Marseillaise.

Contrary to all his predecessors, at no time during this evening did he shake any hands. No-one was ever allowed to approach him. He allowed none of the political personalities who had supported him to appear alongside him and share his victory. They will only be able to collect the bounty of the betrayal of their respective parties by betraying them again and supporting him during the general elections in June.

It will only be when President Macron has a firm grasp on all the reins of power that he will allow France to wake up. It will be too late.

Forward, march !

May Day protests kicked off in Berlin

Berlin was bracing itself on Monday for traditional May Day protests on the 30th anniversary of widespread violence.

In 1987, far-left rioters battled with police for 12 hours, looting shops and burning cars. They were fighting against what they called a "bourgeois" celebration of the 750th anniversary of the founding of Berlin.

Rioting on May 1 then became a regular tradition in Berlin, starting in West Berlin and spreading to the East following reunification in 1990. In 1989 protests 364 police officers were injured. In 2000 the extent of the violence led to an attempted ban on protests the following year. In 2009 after a few years of relative calm, 273 police were injured with some rioters facing attempted murder charges for throwing Molotov cocktails.

Left wing protests ahead of May Day (picture alliance/B. Pedersen/dpa-Zentralbild)

Tens of thousands celebrate Witches Night

Young leftist groups in Berlin often use the night night before May Day, known as Walpurgisnacht or Witches' Night - a pagan ritual to usher in spring - to go on violent, often drunken rampages through Prenzlauer Berg.

This year, as in the past several years, Walpurgisnacht was relatively calm, which police saw as a hopeful omen for May Day proper. However, the fire brigade attended to several car burnings through the night.

About 12,000 people descended on Prenzlauer Berg's Mauerpark on Sunday night, but police said there relatively few incidents.

In the district of Wedding about 3,000 people demonstrated against rising rents, largely without issue - just three demonstrators were arrested.

Der Auftakt zu den Maifestspielen in . Gegen Verdrängung und hohe Mieten demonstrieren etwa 1500 durch den Wedding.

 

More than 20 demos

More than 20 large-scale events were planned for May 1 throughout Berlin, though police were focusing their efforts on the main "Revolutionary May Demo" event.

Organizers of the event refused to register their protest with police, normally a requirement in Germany, but police said they would nonetheless tolerate the protest and would deploy about 5,400 officers.

Their planned route for the parade would go through the heart of Kreuzberg street festival MyFest, which could make policing the event difficult.

Police were implementing a truck ban in areas of Kreuzberg, fearing a possible repeat of the December terrorist attack, but did not erect concrete barriers.

Early rallies on Monday got off to a peaceful start. From about 10am trade unionists started marching for workers rights in Berlin, joined by Berlin mayor Michael Müller. According to union figures about 14,000 showed up.

About 200 Antifa protesters turned up to a counter-rally against a right-wing Alternative for Germany party rally. Police called in extra reinforcements at about 1pm to deal the tense situation, local media reported.

Myfest kicked off 10am and was attracting tens of thousands of people. They had  concerts across seven stages planned and hundreds of food stalls. The main cause for concern there were the high winds which were battering Berlin.

 

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Paintings on Cuba Exhibited at European Parliament

The European Parliament hosted a four-day exhibition of paintings on Cuba made by painters Francisco Arredondo, from Cuba, and Linda Starbatty, from Germany, said today diplomatic sources.

Norma Goicochea, Cuban Ambassador in Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, visited the exhibition that tackles Cuban religion and culture.

Arredondo said that the paintings show his view on the African cultures prevailing in Cuba, which he represented with symbols, rites and signs.

Arredondo added that the color is used as a symbol to express feelings and emotions, to share representations and ceremonies as means to balance the composition.

Meanwhile, Starbatty's paintings show buildings and landscapes from the cities of Baracoa and Havana, with the evident influence of Yoruba religion and Cuban culture.

  • Published in Culture

Terrorist threat higher in Europe than anywhere else except war zones – EUCOM chief

The threat posed by violent extremism is higher in Europe than anywhere else in the world, apart from actual war zones and hotspots, US European Command head General Curtis Scaparrotti said, commenting on Wednesday’s terrorist attack in London.

“The number of threat streams that we have of this type within Europe – it’s probably higher in Europe than any other part of the globe, with the exception of the places we’re actually physically fighting [terrorists], like Syria […] Afghanistan and Iraq,” the senior US military leader in Europe, who is also NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

He said that Europe is faced with a “difficult challenge” posed by extremists.

 
©

Europe is challenged by both the flow of terrorists returning from Syria and other places. They’re challenged by an internal threat of those inspired by ISIS [Islamic State or IS] or directed by ISIS and this is another, an example of the attacks that we’ve seen in Europe in the past year. It’s a difficult challenge.”

On Wednesday five people, including the assailant, were killed in the attack in central London, after a car plowed into pedestrians near the British Parliament. Police identified the attacker as 52-year-old British citizen and Muslim convert Khalid Masood, born Adrian Russell Ajao. Eight more people were detained in connection with the case in raids at six different UK locations.
IS claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the terrorist group’s ‘news agency’ Amaq.

Scaparrotti expressed his condolences to those injured or killed in the tragedy, noting that the United States is ready to further support its NATO ally, the UK.

 
© Denis Balibouse

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to these victims and their families impacted by this senseless attack. We strongly condemn this attack, and will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our NATO ally, and our partners, to defeat terrorism,” he stated.

Asked by committee Chairman John McCain whether there is any “connection” between the increased European terrorism threat and the inflow of refugees from the globe’s hotspots, Scaparotti said he is particularly concerned by the criminal groups that smuggle asylum seekers into Europe illegally.

He stated that apart from people whose identities it is difficult to establish given the circumstances of their arrival into Europe, these groups “are more than willing to move equipment, personnel, weapons” to carry out terrorist plots.

Before reports of the London attack broke on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hosted a meeting of 68 nations of the global anti-IS coalition, aimed at finding ways to defeat the jihadists and reduce the spread of terrorism on a global scale.

READ MORE: Brussels district hosts 51 NGOs with suspected terrorist links – report

While stressing the importance of IS’ defeat, Tillerson warned against a possible spillover of the terrorist threat to other areas once the group is defeated in the Middle East.

“As we stabilize areas encompassing ISIS' phony physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria, we also must prevent their seeds of hatred from taking root elsewhere,” he said, as cited by Military.com.

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Hungary Training 3,000 Civilians to Hunt Down Migrants

Orban would undoubtedly support Trump in his bid to build a wall at the Mexican border.

U.S. President Donald Trump made promises to enforce border security, specifically with neighbors Mexico. This has yet to come to fruition. But on the other side of the pond Trump will find a kindred spirit in Hungarian authorities.

RELATED: ICE Agents Arrest Immigrant Rights Activists in Vermont

The European country is training thousands of civilians to provide extra security for its southern border. Hungary shares a border with Croatia and Serbia in that area. These states are not a part of the 'free travel' schengen group – a coalition of European countries that seemingly operate without borders. The more than two dozen states in this group have discontinued the use of passports and promote borderless travel throughout.

The 523 km border to the south of Hungary is secured with a razor-wire fence and is already heavily patrolled, an ordered given by Prime Minister Viktor Orban two years ago. The government stated that this measure has already prevented thousands of illegal crossings. But they are eagar to shore up the sector regardless. Hungary has employed the services of 3,000 civilians to train in combat and arrest techniques. This, they say, is to provide reinforcement for the 10,000 security forces who are currently charged with patrolling the area.

RELATED: US Bans Large Electronics From 8 Muslim Country Airline Flights

Orban would no doubt support Trump – who he has enjoyed positive exchanges with – in his bid to build a wall at the Mexican border. “He invited me to Washington, I told him that I hadn’t been there for a long time as I had been treated as a ‘black sheep’, to which he replied, laughing: ‘Me too’.” The prime minister said in an interview published online by business daily Vilaggazdasag that Trump made it clear to him that “he thinks highly of Hungary.”

Trump and Orban also share other ideologies. Hungary along with Poland, Czechia and Slovakia are less than receptive to immigrants entering Europe from Africa and the Middle East.

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Brussels installs memorial to mark attack anniversary

A Belgian artist is installing a metal sculpture shaped like rising waves near the seat of the European Union to honor the victims of the militant attacks on Brussels a year ago that killed 32 people and wounded hundreds.

On March 22, 2016, three Islamic State suicide bombers targeted Brussels airport and a metro train in the capital, the deadliest such attack in Belgian history. It followed coordinated attacks on Paris four months earlier that killed 130 people and sent shockwaves across Europe and beyond.

The sculpture by Jean-Henri Compere is called "Wounded But Still Standing in Front of the Inconceivable" and is constructed from two 20-metre (66 feet) long horizontal surfaces rising skywards.

"Well, it means we've been wounded down to the ground, but we have to stand up and say 'no' to those acts that are not believable, that are not bearable," Compere told Reuters at the memorial site.

Compere said the sculpture could also symbolize two plane wings, or a subway train.

"It's a piece that should stay in the city," he said. "I want that the sculpture lives with the city, that it takes on its sheen, that it gets through the years, because time helps us build ourselves back up."

The memorial will be unveiled on March 22, exactly one year after the attacks.

"I like the fact that it's supposed to visualize the strength of the city and the resilience of the city," said U.S. citizen Evan Lamps, 31, who works in Brussels.

  • Published in Culture
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