Florida-Venezuela: Unmasked fanatics

The Florida governor, Rick Scott, confirmed that the US does have close links with Venezuela’s extreme right.

A well-known secret has come out to light with the fierce support of multimillionaire Scott to “violent citizens” of the aforementioned country.

Johanna A. Alvarez, journalist from El Nuevo Herald, reported that he is going to attend a rally in Miami to “demand the freeing of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.”

Just over three years ago, Lopez led violent actions that caused deaths, injured people, and several material damages.

The new show is now labeled Freedom Rally and, intriguingly, it was convened at a local restaurant from the city of Doral.

According to what is announced, Scott would grant his recognition to Carlos Vecchio, coordinator in the so-called Partido Voluntad Popular (Party of People’s Will), who will receive it on behalf of Lopez.

El Nuevo Herald reported that talking about Venezuela’s situation is not new for the Florida governor, especially in Leopoldo Lopez’s case.

In late March, he had written that Venezuela was forced to release him, but he did not mention any of his crimes.

Recently, El Herald and other extreme-right media published:

During the rally in Miami, Governor Scott will grant the Freedom Award 2017 to Leopoldo Lopez, who has been world news due to “his unknown health status.”

Later, it was spread the news Lopez was very sick in jail, but it was immediately refuted by a video.

The video showed Lopez was very healthy and he claimed not to understand why he must give proof of life at that time.”

His wife, Lilian Tintori, and his mother Antonieta Mendoza, saw him on Sunday and talked to him during a familiar visit.

El Herald recalled he was sentenced to almost 14 years in 2014 for inciting to violence during the extreme-right riots that year.

It was now reported that Governor Rick Scott would lead a rally supporting Venezuelan opposition leader and those who protest against President Nicolas Maduro.

Florida’s newspaper Orlando Sentinel helped to detail better the fierce enemy of Venezuela.

The newspaper published that on December 23rd, 2014, Spanish news agency EFE revealed that Scott invested around 70 millions USD by the end of his electoral campaign in 2010.

He was, by then, backed by the Neo-Nazi party Tea Party.

It is very intriguing that EFE did not notice such fact.

It all happens when Washington is releasing the allocation of some millions USD for its sacred “Venezuelan opposition.”

So predators from the Oval Office in the White House hide their masks and decided to react without traces of morality.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / Cubasi Translation Staff

Why did Trump bomb Cheyrat?

During the bombing of Cheyrat, I observed that it was no more than a show of power, and that the Secretary of State had used the attack to bring pressure to bear on its allies and force the real organisers of this war - the United Kingdom - to reveal themselves. However, we know a little more today.

President Trump, who has to face up not only to the opposition of his country’s ruling class, but also to that of the deep US State, used this attack to « restore the credibility » (sic) of the White House.

In the summer of 2013, President Obama accused Syria of having used poison gas in the Ghouta, thereby crossing a « red line ». And yet he mentioned no consequences, and hid behind the Congress in order to do nothing. His impotence was all the more conspicuous in that, by virtue of the declaration of war of 2003 (the « Syrian Accountability Act »), he had all the power to bomb Syria without any further authorisation from Parliament.

By accusing Syria, in his turn, of having used poison gas, this time in Khan Cheikhoun, and by bombing them immediately, Donald Trump demonstrated the « credibility » that his predecessor lacked.

Aware that Syria was not guilty, either in the Ghouta or in Khan Cheikhoun, he managed to warn the Syrian Arab Army in advance so that they had time to evacuate the base before the strike.

Based on this action, he began negotiations with the deep US State, or at least with one of its spokespersons, Senator John McCain. A representative of Israël, Senator Lindsey Graham, was also present during the discussions.

The Europeans were of course surprised to learn that Donald Trump had acted as a « warlord », thus confirming his status as the President of a member state of the UNO. We have to keep in mind the particular context of the United States, where the deep State is composed primarily of military figures, and only incidentally of civilians.

According to our information, it would seem that President Trump has agreede to give up – for the time being – the dismantling of NATO and its civilian chapter, the European Union. This decision implies that Washington still considers - or pretends to consider – that Russia is its main enemy. Also the deep US State seems to have agreed to give up supporting the jihadists and pursuing the British plan of the « Arab Springs ».

To seal this agreement, two neo-conservative personalities should soon enter the Trump administration, where they will handle European policy :

- Kurt Volker, Director of the McCain Institute (Arizona State University) will apparently be nominated as Director of the Eurasian bureau for the Secretary of State. Volker, an ex-military judge, was President Bush Jr’s ambassador to NATO during the war in Georgia (August 2008).

- Tom Goffus, one of McCain’s assistants at the Senate Committee for Armed Services, will be nominated as deputy assistant for the Secretary of Defense, and tasked with Europe and NATO. Goffus is an Air Force officer who has already occupied this type of function on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the National Security Council.

As for Syria, this agreement, if ratified by both parties, should mark the end of the US war against the Syrian Arab Republic – a war that was pursued thanks to the initiative of the United Kingdom and Israël, with their allies (Germany, Saudi Arabia, France, Turkey, etc.). Little by little, the phony « Friends of Syria », which united 130 States and international organisations in 2012, began shrinking. There are only 10 left today.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis Visits Djibouti

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis arrived today for a short visit to Djibouti, a strategically important country on the Horn of Africa which hosts the United States'' only permanent military base on the African continent.

Camp Lemonnier, home to some 4,000 US soldiers and contractors, is vital to US military operations in Somalia against terrorists groups like Al-Shabaab, and also provides support for US operations in Yemen, where special forces regularly carry out drone strikes against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Mattis is scheduled to meet with Djibouti's president, Ismael Omar Guelleh, during his trip as well as with General Thomas Waldhauser, commander of US troops in Africa.

  • Published in World

Problems to Cover Credit Increase Stress Among US Citizens

U.S. citizens have higher levels of stress today than they did 10 years ago, and most of them point to problems to cover their credits as responsible for that situation.

According to a study by CreditCards.com, a site dedicated to providing services and information on the use of credit cards, 65 percent of U.S. citizens lose sleep over monetary issues.

A decade ago, according to the study quoted by the press, that problem was nine percent less than the current record of affected.

The most common stressing factors are health care and payment of bills related to that topic, followed by retirement savings.

For a long time medical care has been a hot topic, and whether it is around the choice or simply the cost of maintaining your own care, we have seen a big leap in that area, said analyst Matt Schulz.

In addition to the above issues, U.S. citizens are very concerned about education expenses, mortgage bills and credit card debt.

  • Published in World

Cuban and US Nautical Authorities To Exchange Experiences

Cuban Authorities for recreational nautical activity and directors of Cruising World Magazine exchanged insights for a growing US interest in sailing across this archipelago.

The editor-in-chief of Cruising World magazine, Mark Pillsbury and its publication specialist David Gillespie, debated with some executives of Cuban enterprises for recreational nautical activity like Marlin Marinas and Nauticas.

During this meeting, both parties had the possibility to deal with the increasing desire of US tourism boat owners (thousands upon thousands) to dock in Cuban ports and be aware of Cuba’s reality.

The meeting -with the attendance of 3,500 people from 73 nations, 46 percent from the United States (1987 yachties)- was held at Ernest Hemingway International Club in Cuba, which will be celebrating its 25 anniversary on next May 21. The Club President, Jose Miguel Diaz, held the meeting with the magazine editors, and also the fruitful debate on the possibilities for Cuban yatchmen.

Both parties agreed that USA's economic, trade and financial measures against Havana still unchangeably remain, requiring only 12 special categories approved by the US Treasury Department to visit Cuba.

Precisely, the dialogue with the US representatives concludes with a trip or Cruising World Rally, in which 60 boats were present, with 267 people from 22 states of the American union, with presence of representatives from four countries.

  • Published in Cuba

End the Cuba trade embargo and support US exports

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join a “people-to-people” trip to Cuba, visiting not only Havana but smaller towns, such as Ceinfuegos and Trinidad. We met with Cubans from many walks of life, in their businesses, on their farms and in their homes.

The Cuban government has slowly opened their economy to private enterprise, especially in the visitor sector, and has lifted restrictions on technology and access to a world of information. The new influx of American visitors, eating at private restaurants, staying in bed-and-breakfasts booked on Airbnb and supporting artists and musicians is slowly changing the Cuban economy.

But as relations between the U.S. and Cuba are starting to thaw, the trade embargo remains, leaving U.S. companies on the outside as our competitors from abroad gain a foothold.

While the 1962 trade embargo appears to have trapped Cuba in the 1950s, it is a superficial view supported by the sight of old American cars and the few signs of post-1960 construction in city centers. Behind that old facade are modern products from countries from across the globe — Samsung refrigerators, LG flat-screen TVs, French and South Korean cars and smartphones. While Cuba trades with China, Canada, Europe and Brazil, there are no American cars on the road manufactured after 1961, no GE appliances, no parts for their fishing boats or construction materials. Our minor footprint is in the form of food products, like Tabasco sauce and Coke — though the Coke comes from Mexico, not Atlanta.

Meanwhile, there is an underground economy that imports products into the country on every flight from Miami. Mountains of shrink-wrapped products are included as “luggage” by Cubans traveling with U.S. visas. Ask a restaurant owner how he has Costco salt and pepper grinders on each table, and he will tell you it is the same way he has umbrellas from Home Depot: He pays a big surcharge to bring the items back from his regular visit to Florida.

While I am old enough to remember the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis, most Cubans, like most Americans, are not. It is hard to explain how an island of 11 million people can still be seen as a threat to peace and stability in the region. In fact, we know it isn’t.

A Gallup poll in 2015 found that almost 60 percent of Americans support ending the trade embargo. As far back as 2009, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — not exactly a bastion of liberalism — testified before Congress that “The U.S. embargo on Cuba is one of the biggest foreign policy failures of the past half century and should come to an end.”

The world economy has changed since the early 1960s, so we can never account for 70 percent of Cuban imports like we did before the embargo. However, we should see some new American cars on the streets of Havana amongst those from Europe and Asia, more agricultural goods and technology products.

Change is coming to Cuba, and America should recognize what’s good for business and be a trading partner in that process.

Lavrov: US antimissile deployment in Asia-Pacific ‘disproportionate’ to Pyongyang threat

South Korea’s decision to deploy the THAAD antimissile system from the US is disproportionate to the threat posed by North Korea, which was voiced as justification by both Seoul and Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“We have drawn attention to the serious risks posed by the deployment of the US global antiballistic missile system in Asia-Pacific,” Lavrov said after meeting his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida in Moscow. The two ministers met alongside their respective military colleagues, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada.

 
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors arrive at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea © USFK

“We have voiced our assessments, according to which, if one wants to deal with threats posed by DPRK, the creation of such ABM system as well as pumping weapons into the region are a response far from proportionate,” Lavrov said.

He added that both Moscow and Tokyo condemn Pyongyang’s violation of resolutions of the UN Security Council restricting its missile and nuclear development. Russia believes that international sanctions imposed against North Korea for defying the council “should not be perceived as an instrument of punishment, but rather a stimulus for steering the situation back into political and negotiations track.”

South Korea decided to deploy the THAAD system, due to be fully operational by August, saying it was necessary to protect from a possible missile attack by North Korea. The deployment angered China, which believes that the American system compromises its national security. Beijing is reportedly retaliating against Seoul with a round of economic measures, hitting Korean tourism and export to China.

Russia has similar concerns over the US deployment of ABM shield in Eastern Europe. Washington claims the system is needed to protect European NATO members from an attack by Iran and has brushed aside criticism from Moscow.

 

  • Published in World

Trump's Historically Brutal Budget Guts EPA, Boosts Military

"You see reductions in many agencies as he tries to shrink the role of government," said White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

Ahead of its formal release Thursday, the White House unveiled key details about U.S. President Donald Trump's first budget proposal which would gut key departments, going as far to entirely eliminate 19 federal agencies, all in the name of boosting military spending and increasing "border security".

RELATED: Bolivia’s Evo Bashes Trump’s ‘Inhumane’ Defense Budget

While nothing in the budget is a surprise — even before taking the oath of office Trump and his surrogates hinted at many of the proposed cuts — the sheer breadth and depth of the proposed cuts are unprecedented.

With this initial budget — which only deals with discretionary spending for fiscal year 2018 and will be followed up by a more detailed budget later this spring — Trump is closer than any previous U.S. president to fulfilling the infamous goal of notorious far-right Republican anti-tax guru and Honduran coup supporter Grover Norquist of cutting government "down to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub."

"You see reductions in many agencies as he tries to shrink the role of government, drive efficiencies, go after waste, duplicative programs," White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters. "If he said it in the campaign, it's in the budget."

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The biggest cuts would see the Environmental Protection Agency funding reduced by almost 30 percent, the State Department and Department of Agriculture cut by 29 percent each, the Department of Health and Human Services — which oversees Medicare and Medicaid — slashed by 23 percent and the Department of Labour funding diminished by 21 percent.

Funding for the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development would be cut by 14 and 16 percent respectively.

Trump would also entirely eliminate funding to 19 federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal assistance to low-income citizens.

These cuts will mean thousands of federal workers will be fired, with some estimating that the cuts could mean up to 20 percent of the 2.79 million federal employees could lose their jobs.

RELATED: Trump's Defense Budget Loves Gitmo and Israel, Hates Renewables

"You can't drain the swamp and leave all the people in it," Mulvaney told reporters.

At the same time, Trump plans to boost the Department of Homeland Security budget by 7 percent — largely focused on fulfilling his promise to deport millions of undocumented workers — and increase military spending by 10 percent, meaning US$52.3 billion more in 2018 for U.S. wars around the world.

Also included is a request that Congress immediately approve US$1.5 billion to begin construction of his notorious border wall, with an additional US$2.6 billion when the rest of the 2018 budget is presented in mid-May.

The largest single increase in spending would go to the Department of Transportation, which would see funding boosted by over 13 percent.

Some of the spending increases would actually be directed at moving towards the privatization of key government functions.

The Department of Education, while cut overall, would receive US$1.4 billion in new monies for new "school choice programs," while the Department of Veterans Affairs could see an overall boost of more than 10 percent, much of that new funding which would go toward expanding a program allowing eligible veterans to seek private health care.

Most dramatically, perhaps, Trump is proposing to entirely privatize the national air traffic control system.

Trump will formally present this first phase of the 2018 budget process to Congress on Thursday where it is expected to undergo intense and lengthy scrutiny by both Republicans and Democrats.

  • Published in World
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