Maduro: Venezuela Wins with Program of Economic Recovery

Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, assured that the program of economic recovery applied by the Executive is being a success thanks to the support of the people, only conductor to final victory.

During a speech screened the eve, the President recalled this Thursday begins the trial period in the border states with Colombia of the new paying system for gasoline and hydrocarbons.

The measure, deployed in 85 territories of eight states, looks to guarantee direct subsidy to the Venezuelan families and to end the illegal trade of fuel to Colombia, he stressed in his message, transmitted over national TV.

'The end of smuggling and robbery of gasoline has come for Colombian smugglers', underlined the head of State about the measure, to which are added youth sectors together with the state Petroleos de Venezuela.

It was also informed that some three million 385 thousand 837 motor vehicles are registered in the transport census that started on August 1, which seeks to regularize and reorder the latter which pursues the regularization and reordering the fuel subsidy by determining consumption levels.

The measure is also added to actions to do away with smuggling through the Colombia-Venezuelan border, scourge that each year causes losses for billions of dollars, according to estimates.

The head of State also informed that until this moment over 18 million 300 thousand Venezuelans have the Carnet of the Homeland, protective mechanism created by the Executive to give social benefits to all social sectors

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Geological Work Contributes to Cuba's Social, Economic Development

Havana, Aug 18 (Prensa Latina) Geological activity in Cuba contributes today to the main research projects that promote social and economic development of the country, revealed an official source to Prensa Latina.

As the director of Geology of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Enrique Castellanos, declared, besides prospecting and evaluating mineral resources, Cuban geological services contribute to other economic branches, such as construction, tourism and agriculture.

In the program of local production of construction materials, for example, the official detailed they are working in determining the existence of sand, stone and clay at regional level.

Most of the result of the 14 geological studies that should end next year, tributes to that project, he revealed.

That, he added, will be involved in the housing program, as investigations will be handed to local governments in order they know the availability of necessary inputs for the mini industries.

Another of the fields helped by geology, said the director, is agriculture. The natural fertilizer (agromena) obtained from the crushing of rocks present in Cuban soil, reduces import of fertilizers and increases food production without being aggressive to the environment.

Tourism, for example, benefits with the identification of sites of geological heritage.

In Castellano's opinión, these spaces become luxury opportunities for those interested in nature tourism.

Other studies of social and environmental impact also depend on the efforts of Cuban geologists.

Among them he mentioned the contribution of the Life Task, State plan to face climate change which concentrates on coastal areas whose vulnerability to sea level rise is increasing.

Related to this plan, recalled the oficial, it has been achieved to establish a geodesic and geodynamics network with high-tech equipment that allows to study the behavior of the soil in these zones.

Our studies, which could end in a couple of years, will help determine if the earth is sinking, in which case the sea will penetrate even more. If the contrary is revealed, the rising sea level could be compensated in that place, considered Castellanos.

A great contribution we are working on, he added, is the engineering-geological study in a community of eastern Santiago de Cuba province. There, we are looking to establish seismic microlocalization to later be able to establish the seismic risk.

As for the search and evaluation of mineral resources, for 2019 it is planned to carry out 26 works, thanks to which the State will have available the obtention of gold, limestone and marble, among other products, resumed the oficial.

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Cuban economy grows 1.1 percent in first half of 2018

Cuban Gross Domestic Product had a discreet growth of 1.1 percent at the end of the first half, when the county faced shortages in hard currency, said Miguel Diaz-Canel, President of the Council of State and Ministers.

In his closing speech of the first ordinary session of the IX Legislature of the National Assembly of People's Power (ANPP), the president said that the result "is encouraging in the midst of so many adverse factors.

He argued that the tense situation in the external finances remains, due to the failure to meet planned revenues from exports, tourism and sugar production, as well as the harmful effects of recent weather events.

Diaz-Canel said that such circumstances caused an impact on the arrival of inputs and raw materials, while stressing, therefore, the need to adopt additional measures to control the main assurances of the plan in this second part of the year.

He called for more focused work on import issues and other foreign exchange expenditures, and for maximum use to be made of available resources, without forgoing planned objectives such as those related to development and basic services to the population.

According to the President, thus addressing this situation will allow us to lay the foundations for making the 2019 economic plan objective, realistic and sustainable, based on solid and achievable foundations.

Díaz-Canel said a plan will be sought that will encourage, despite the difficulties, the continued development of priority programs in pursuit of growth and progress, as long as it contributes to the gradual restoration of the nation's financial credibility. (ACN)

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Officials Arrested for Oil Sabotage in Venezuela

Caracas, Jun 27 (Prensa Latina) Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, announced today the arrest of 11 officials of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), linked to alleged sabotage actions that caused losses of 14 million USD to the country.

At a press conference broadcast by Venezolana de Television, the head of the Public Prosecutor's Office informed that the detainees were working at the Jose Antonio Anzoategui Crude Oil Storage and Shipping Terminal, in the northeastern region of the country, and affected the operation of joint ventures of the Orinoco Oil Belt.

Saab explained that on June 14, those responsible for the Operational Coordination of the Belt and the Improvement Division incurred the crime of negligence in improperly planning the discharge and distribution of naphtha (a mixture of hydrocarbons).

The criminal action led to the cessation of supply of the additive to two companies operating in the Carabobo state division, and for that reason, they stopped producing 175,000 barrels of oil, with an economic damage amounting to 11.3 million USD.

Also, between June 16 and 17, serious mistakes were made in the loading of two vessels, Aries Sun and Nerissa, which had to move 400,000 barrels of Zuata 300 crude and 1.8 million barrels of Merey crude, respectively, stated the Attorney General.

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Most Brazilian Voters Are Confident in Lula to Improve Economy

For most Brazilian voters, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is the best prepared precandidate to make the national economy grow, according to a survey published on Friday.

The poll, carried out by the Datafolha institute, shows that 32 percent of those surveyed consider that the founder and historic leader of the Workers' Party (PT) has the best conditions among all precandidates to the presidency of the Republic to boost Brazil's economic growth.

Like in the surveys on vote intention, the second best precandidate is the representative of the extreme right wing, Jair Bolsonaro (15 percent), followed by former Presidential Candidate Marina Silva, from Sustainability Network (8 percent).

Regarding the voters' wish for Lula to run in the October elections, 49 percent responded favorably and 48 percent think that he should not be authorized to do so.

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Let’s See. How is Cuba Doing?

Better, a lot better, as we all know, better than all the other suffering and exploited countries around them.

Miami. – Today in this world filled with turmoil, especially in our region, Cubans remain unaltered in their busy everyday lives making their society better whether they are aware or unaware of that fact. I have just returned from Havana, where the heat and the crushing humidity are everywhere. This reminds us that we are getting closer to the hottest season of the year, accompanied, thanks God by the famous cloudbursts of May. And I say, thanks God, because this year has been prodigal in rains, always welcomed by crops, as well as other trees and plants, especially the flowers, either in the countryside as in the city.

And in the city, in Havana, where I stay the longest, rains drag the dust off streets. A thick layer of dust accumulates in streets after only a week without heavy rains. The dust rarefies the atmosphere and makes heat unbearable. Although already late at night it freshens up the atmosphere and sleeping becomes pleasant.

The morning dawns are clear, although with the passing of hours, around noon, as usual in the entire Island, and the entire tropic, clouds gather, rain threatens, the result of high temperatures is palpable and the steam, and the lucky ones seek and find some shelter in the shades, wherever they can find it, especially if there’s some breeze with it, no matter how faint it is.

In this time of the year cloudbursts at times become storms that you come with blinding lightnings and deafening thunders that scare and wreck havoc, sometimes severe, to the electric devices, especially coolers and refrigerators, if you are careless enough to leave them plugged in to electricity before leaving home. Which brings along the great doubt –just like that of Hamlet¬--, to unplug or not unplug?

Ah!, how those beneficent storms are cursed by hundreds of thousands of compatriots –both young and old--, if that happens while exiting school or your workplace when they soak us through and through and mess with our shoes. Especially if you happen to be very tired, in afternoon hours, complicating a lot more your return home.

Thank goodness for umbrellas and raincoats that lately have been available for purchase in stores, and so many have gotten used to wearing. And thank goodness for some improvement in the public transportation system at least in Havana. The private sector, the almendrones (vintage cars), are still going strong, although due to complaints of those paying for their ride, and the subsequent actions of competent authorities, they have been able to diminish and regulate the avarice of the owners of the same cabs.

The garbage collecting services at homes as well as solid waste collection, like the remains of the trimming of trees and plants, the rubble left by construction sites has lessen enough. At least in Playa municipality where I live. I know that in other areas of that same municipality and other municipalities of the capital it’s not like that. There was a time not so long ago that that situation dragged for years, was unacceptable, dangerous and harmful for everyone, in all areas of all municipalities of the capital. The population's outrage forced the change we have seen.

Procrastination, that is, the lack of care and interest, on behalf of the responsible authorities to improve basic public services and other services and necessary procedures exasperates the population. That makes the population lose patience with them and the trust in the very ones.

But in Cuba authorities step forward, sometimes later than sooner, but they step. Cuban society, as socialist and revolutionary as it is sees the positive changes that are crucial to make of it, despite the griefs, a better society where they can live in peace, healthy, fed, educated, enjoying life, seeing the tangible results of so many decades of sacrifices, in the whole of its society, as well as in themselves, and in their children, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters and the rest of relatives.

One can feel that Cubans -Cuba--, in its vast majority, is still well; now with a new generation of men and women taking control of the State and the Government, certain of the path they chose, freely chosen, and in their dreams. Better, a lot better, as we all know, better than all the other suffering and exploited countries around them East, West, South, as well as… up North.

Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

Chomsky: Trump Driving US to Another Economic Crash

A surge in Wall Street stocks after Donald Trump’s election and a billionaire-packed cabinet will lead to a 2008-like economic crisis.

The United States is heading toward another large economic crash as President Donald Trump packs his cabinet with billionaires and former executives in Wall Street, renowned political scientist and linguist Noam Chomsky said in a recent interview.

RELATED: Donald Trump's Cabinet One of Wealthiest in Modern History

In an interview with AlterNet, Chomsky pointed to the staggering number of Wall Street chiefs who have been appointed in his cabinet. "Anti-establishment is kind of a joke," Chomsky concluded. "Take a look at Trump and take a look at who's appointed for the cabinet."

He pointed to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin who "comes from Goldman Sachs, a major investment firm where he was for almost 20 years."

As a result, Wall Street has been cheering for Trump and his administration, Chomsky argued. “As soon as Trump was elected, and since, stock values in financial institutions escalated to the sky.”

Stocks like pharmaceuticals, banks and prisons have all soared under the promise of tax reform and less regulation.

Investors are “delighted he’s going to eliminate regulations, let them make more profit; of course, it’ll lead to another crash, but that’s somebody else’s problem. The taxpayers will take care of that.”

Trump has repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” and fight against the establishment but as far as most experts and observers are concerned his administration is the richest in the country’s history.

RELATED: The Trump Silver Lining: Black, Muslim, Native American Unity

He had also promised to better the lives of working class people but his tax plans suggest that the top one percent and the wealthy in the U.S. are poised to benefit the most from his administration while white workers, who helped vote him in, will continue to suffer.

Trump has also introduced a new healthcare bill, which would replace the so-called Obamacare. Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle have slammed the plan as a disaster and vowed to vote it down when introduced.

The bill would see millions of people losing their healthcare insurance, which would affect the very same people who voted for Trump: the poor white working class.

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Nestle Close to Signing off on Factory Worth Millions in Cuba

The factory, worth US$50 to $60 million, will help cater to a surge in tourism and replace imports with locally made products. 

Swiss firm Nestle (NESN.S) is close to reaching a deal with Cuba on forming a new joint venture to build a $50 million to $60 million factory to produce coffee, biscuits and cooking products, company Vice President Laurent Freixe said on Tuesday in Havana.

Freixe, head of Nestle's Americas division, was visiting the Communist-ruled island to negotiate the new investment in the Mariel special development zone west of Havana as well as to renew for another 20 years an existing joint venture producing ice cream.

Cuba has upped its drive to attract foreign funds in a bid to stimulate the economy in recent years, introducing a new investment law and creating the Mariel zone, which offers companies significant tax and customs breaks.

Nestle has been one of the largest investors in the country since it opened the door to Western capital in the 1990s after the fall of former benefactor the Soviet Union.

"The idea is to create a new joint venture to produce and distribute these products mainly for the Cuban market but also with the idea of exporting some products," Freixe said in an interview.

Nestle's new factory, set to begin operations in the second half of 2019, will cater to growing demand after a surge in tourism and help replace imports with locally made products, Freixe said. It will employ around 300 people.

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