Hillary Clinton: Another of Her "Nudes?"

New uncomfortable revelation has just ruined the image of the supposed North American democracy.  

Thus wrote last Friday the journalist Roberto Casín in The New Herald whose article was named: THE MARIA RAMOS’S KITTEN.  

At some point in his text he refers the scandal of the electoral agreement between Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.

He added: "nobody with an ounce of self-respect endorses the old stereotype that some belong to the party of the rich and others to the party of poor."  

In his writing he asserted that the dividing line of money between Republicans and Democrats, if there was ever one, has already vanished.  

Casín added that certain honest voices among democrats admit that the concept is obsolete and that the party has been disconnected from the minds and hearts of the country.  

He said that the great ethical slap has just been delivered to the puritans of the politics of the former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, after the former chairman for the Democratic National Committee, Donna Brazile revealed in a book the existence of a secret agreement between her and highest echelon of the party that confirms the suspicions of Bernie Sanders‘s followers regarding the blockade to his nomination as democrat candidate for the White House last year.  

According to the pact, undersigned in August 2015, in exchange for helping the Committee to collect funds, Clinton obtained a huge control of the party machinery. The money in control, and it won't be illegal – claim the lawyers - although goes beyond the boundary of vile and immoral.  

And finally the Herald journalist meant that from now on the lady won't be able to do what María Ramos kitten does, throwing the stone and hiding the hand. Neither begs to the universe of her admirers to blindly believe in her.

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USA Announces New Restrictions on Travel and Trade with Cuba

The US government announced today greater restrictions for Americans interested in doing business with Cuba and traveling to the Caribbean island, in compliance with the presidential memorandum that reverses important aspects of the rapprochement between the two countries.

The State, Commerce and Treasury departments announced the adoption of 'coordinated actions' to implement the document signed by President Donald Trump on June 16 in Miami, Florida, which included vetoing Americans to make transactions with more than 180 entities of the Caribbean nation.

It also requires that all nonacademic 'people-to-people' educational trips be conducted under the auspices of an organization that is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

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Cuba: Yankees’s Hostility and Blockade are Still Ongoing

November 1st the UN General Assembly will put to vote once again the resolution "Necessity of putting an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba."

Counting this one there’ll be 26th occasions in which the resolution is passed; last year added the support of 191 States out of the 193 that integrate the United Nations. Only the United States and its partner Israel voted against it. But the blockade is still unscathed, in an open challenge not only to the consent and international right, but to the opinion of the North American people and the Cuban residents in that country.

After the hope raised by Obama’s modest but important steps toward an improvement on the relationships with Cuba, a few months of Trump have been enough to gear into reverse and undermined what had been advanced. On June 16th, in a hostile speech, filled with coarse lies and stupidities that reminded the most aggressive times of the imperial politics toward Cuba, the U.S. president announced the change in a Miami theater packed of Cuban origin counter-revolutionaries. His administration set new obstacles to the almost nonexistent possibilities that North American entrepreneurs had to trade and invest in Cuba and additional restrictions to its citizens to travel to Cuba. Let’s not speak about the hilarious sonic ray with which their diplomats were attacked in Havana, which dozens of North American scientists of several fields have classified as nonexistent.

In March 2016 the North American Department of Treasure announced that it would authorize the use of the dollar by Cuba in its international business and to banks of that country to grant credits to Cuban importers of authorized North American products. A flat joke. Even at present neither thing has been able to come true.

The blockade worsening is intact in the financial and extraterritorial way, what causes deep damages to Cuba’s economy and brutally blocks the people’s right to development. That also implies another flagrant violation of the international right, by applying North American laws to third-parties, expressed in fines to foreign companies having business with Cuba, the denial of banks and international financial institutions to carry out operations with Cuba for fear of being fined, as well as the persecution of Cuban international financial transactions.

A few examples on how operates the extraterritorial application of the blockade: on June 20th, 2016 the Dutch mail company TNT returned to the Cuban consulate in Madrid two postal shippings bound to the embassies of Cuba in China and Indonesia. On August 1st, 2016 the same company canceled the postal service to the Cuban consulate in Rotterdam, Holland. The firm alleged that the refund was due to the U.S. blockade against Cuba. The suspension of these services creates serious inconveniences in the delivery of documents to overseas Cuban residents.

The fines issued by the banks are several. On January 13th, 2017 Washington fined the Canadian Toronto-Dominion Bank with 516105 dollars. The office corresponding of the Department of Treasure alleged that 29 transactions related with Cuba of that institution went through the North American bank system between years 2007 and 2011.

In April 2017, a German supplier refused to give Medicuba S.A. a device used in the diagnosis of prostate cancer. The supplier argued that the blockade prevented him from selling it. There are many more cases.

The blockade causes a lot of damage for every passing minute in every last aspect of the life of Cubans. In education, culture, sport, food science and, of course, in the economic development. Regardless the perfection with which Cuban economy is steered. Likewise there would be unbridgeable setbacks caused by the blockade of the most powerful and aggressive military power which largest market is the nearest to the Cuban.

Because of the blockade, Cuban patients lack irreplaceable drugs, only produced by North American laboratories. Cuban boys and girls don't have for that same reason access to drugs or oncology and cardiologic devices produced in the United States, the champion of human rights.

Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff

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Marlies Mejías: To Olympus you get from Cuba and Through Power Shimano

At present it can be affirmed for sure that Marlies is the most complete cyclist of our national team. To his personal record and sixth Olympic position in Omniun, must be added the crown of in the second edition of Titan Tropic of Mountain Bike, besides showing strength in route races.

She has no limits. She fights every race as her last. Her physical appearance is far from that of a cyclist shifting from route events and track events, among them Omnium, considered the strongest and her top event.

We are speaking of Marlies Mejías García, (Santiago de Cuba, December 29, 1992), but since she was little and riding a bicycle in Güira de Melena.

Her intensity put her in the crosshair of several professional clubs, until Weber Shimano Ladies Power from Argentina, with athletes from different countries of the continent, signed her in late 2016.

I keep a unique professional relationship with Marlies. I admire her perseverance and courage, I have been with her in moments of sport and psychological slump… she always agrees to speak openly. Therefore she accepted a sprint of questions and answers with Cubasí:

After almost a year of contract with Weber Shimano, how have you adapted to the group dynamics?

It was really not difficult to blend in the group’s dynamics. On my arrival the board of the club told me that one of the objectives was that I would be taking the role as a leader. And fulfilling that role I had to adapt quicker.

Noticeable differences regarding the training systems you had in Cuba?

There are not many. My individual plan stayed the same, because Leonel still coordinates my system training. Of course, we have a rigorous competitive calendar planned by the Club and that system of competitions works as the most thorough of trainings.

Successful experience in the United States. How do you assess it?

Winning in the United States, compete a notch higher, to prove myself was a great experience. Before I considered many of these route athletes outstanding, almost unreachable. Now I can say we are at the same level, especially for well-trained I arrived. The results show Becoming the most successful cyclist in Weber Shimano bring additional pressure?

Indeed. It’s suffocating because being the team leader is great responsibility. We are talking of setting the example in the competitive ground, the image, the daily routines… for young girls as well as more experience athletes. It’s easy to say, but having everyone looking up to you on your performances in a totally professional context is not easy.

Which has been the most difficult race so far?

All races are a bit difficult, but in the U.S. a very strong route was Winston Salem.

What’s your opinion on Arlenis Sierra and her results with the European Astaná?

I’ve got that question a lot lately. Arlenis Sierra deserves all the admiration on my behalf. Her uprising has been spectacular; I think she is a great athlete and excellent route cyclist.

What are your expectations regarding your possible participation in the Titan Desert?

I’d very much like to participate in the Titan Desert because it would be a good start-off for next season. Besides giving a try against several of the best runners in Mountain Bike and cyclo-cross bikes would be also a unique opportunity.

On this regard Verónica Martínez, sport directress for Ladies Power, assured that if the Titan Desert doesn't overlap any competition of the club, there would be no problem for Marlies to run. “There are great champions who do route, MTB, cyclo-cross”, said the colleague Aliet Arzola.

Do you plan to keep doing route in main events and multiple games of the present Olympic cycle?

Yes I plan to continue in both competitions, I would never discard the tracks, although after Rio de Janeiro the Omnium has removed. Now I will put more attention to the route and the Mountain Bike, but I cannot stay away from the tracks. In fact, the Central American and the Caribbean Games of Barranquilla are my next objective.

How is life and communication with the rest of the girls and the directive of the Club?

I think the communication is everything in a team. Luckily in my case and I believe that is the sensation in the general sense of all athletes of the club, that aspect is well among us and with the Club directives.

Do you feel nostalgias for mom, sister and niece?

I miss my family each passing second. The games and mischief of my niece, the energy and willpower my sister sends to me, riding next to her at times, mommy's cooking, her advice, voice and even the scolding. It’s very hard to spend so much time away from them.

Ambition in this new stage of your sport career

To keep growing as a cyclist. To participate in great races and reach the next Olympic Games in full shape, the best ranking possible.

Do you feel that the politics of sportsmen's recruiting opened a path to new horizons?

It’s difficult; to actually sign a contract carries along complex questions that range from reaching an agreement between Inder, our federation and the Club interested to many other tiny details. In any way I am grateful for the opportunity. I think it not only opened new paths to me but to the entire sport of cycling. It’s the chance to show ourselves. Arlenis and I, in Cuba there are other girls who are very good. It would be fine if they experienced the concept of professionalism in its entire dimension, to improve and realize how crucial is the team work in the route, the strategies, and escapes, to put your strength in function of another athlete, everything…

Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff

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Breaking the Blockade against Cuba: Interview with Claudia Camba

Ricardo Vaz: Can you tell us a bit of the history of Operación Milagro (“Operation Miracle”)?

Claudia Camba: Operación Milagro was borne out of another great Cuban internationalist mission, which was the literacy program “Yo Sí Puedo” (“Yes I can”), and more concretely in Venezuela, where this literacy program was called “Misión Robinson”. The Venezuelans, through this program, had the goal of teaching 1 million people how to read and write in six months. Throughout this time they had some major successes as well as big difficulties, and one of them was the participants’ vision. Almost all the illiterate taking part in this program were adults with vision problems.

To overcome this Cuba sent 1500 optometrists, to test the peoples’ vision and give them glasses. But even with glasses some people could not see, and after an examination it turned out that they had cataracts. That is how “Misión Milagro”, which initially was just between Venezuela and Cuba, was born. With this mission over 300.000 Venezuelans travelled to Cuba to have surgery, not only for cataracts but also for other eye problems.

RV: And this mission is later extended to Argentina?

CC: Later on, in 2005, Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro begin to wonder: why not extend this mission to the whole of Latin America? Our organisation, UMMEP (“Un Mundo Mejor Es Posible”, “A better world is possible”), had been conducting the “Yo Sí Puedo” literacy program in Argentina, and we were approached by Cuba about the possibility of articulating ourselves with “Operación Milagro”. For us it was an honour to accept this cooperation.

In the beginning the mission involved sending Argentinian patients to be operated in Cuba. The first airplane with Argentinian patients left at the time of the “Summit of the Peoples”, in November 2005. This summit was created to counter the Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata. Bush was coming to set up the ALCA free trade agreement and many Latin American presidents, with this newfound unity that had been forming, were prepared to strike a blow against Bush and the empire. One part of it was burying ALCA, and another was creating ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas), from the initiative of Venezuela and Cuba, in Argentina. That is why it was so symbolic that on that very day the first Argentinian patients left for Cuba.

RV: And what about the “Che Guevara” hospital in Córdoba, when does it appear?

CC: This initial version of Operación Milagro lasted around 6 months. It was ridden with difficulties, because as you can imagine, we were dealing with very humble people that did not have passports, had never left the country, some did not even know the neighbouring town. Argentina is a very big country, and to fly out of Buenos Aires you sometimes need to travel 2000 km to reach the airport. So the matter of passports and travels was very difficult.


Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro (Photo: Granma)

But in January 2006 Evo Morales triumphed in Bolivia, and declared that Bolivia was to join the ALBA agreements. Then Cuba replied that, under these agreements, hospitals would be built in Bolivia. We sent a letter to Fidel Castro proposing that, if this went ahead, then Argentinian patients could be operated in Bolivia. Being a neighbouring country, passports were not needed and a national ID document was enough. And that is how this began, this epic journey which involved Fidel, Evo and Chávez, through which 13 hospitals were built, 2 of them dedicated to patients from Argentina. Over 30.000 people from Argentina were operated in Bolivia.

A few years later, the following idea appeared, again from Cuba: given all our experience, with thousands of surgeries and plenty of doctors who did the pre- and post-surgical work in Argentina, why not gather these doctors and set up our own hospital in Argentina? This would have Cuba’s support, but not a Cuban medical team, because in Argentina the Cuban doctors’ degrees are not recognised. (This is absurd, since we are talking about the country with the highest development in terms of healthcare in Latin America and the Caribbean!).

With this idea in mind, we searched for a location, Cuba donated all the equipment and we inaugurated the Ernesto “Che” Guevara hospital on October 8, 2009, at first in a temporary location that was loaned to us. We started there and operated more than 7000 patients in that hospital. Two years ago we had the good fortune of being able to move to our own building, which has the advantage that it can be extended in the future, to make room for a university, lodging for patients. The campaign we are launching has to do with that.

RV: You have mentioned the relation between Operación Milagro and the literacy program “Yo Sí Puedo“. But how is it connected to another major component of Cuban internationalism, which is the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM)?

CC: The establishment of the mission in Argentina is deeply connected to ELAM and to the first Argentinian graduates from the school. Not in the stage where patients were being flown to Cuba but in the Bolivian stage. In this stage, when Fidel proposed setting up hospitals, he also urged that the first 50 Argentine graduates from ELAM be called to work in this mission. This was a very important task, because they did not have their medical degrees recognised in Argentina. Fidel was very worried, especially about their morale, since they had been trained to save lives and were barred from doing it. They were not able to practice medicine in Argentina, but they could do it in Bolivia. This would help their self-esteem since their situation was incredibly unfair.

Many of these doctors had been in Venezuela and founded, after a suggestion from Chávez, the so-called “batallón 51”. Seven of them joined us. Other doctors joined us later, and there was also the possibility of giving them scholarships to get specialty training in Cuba. This is the case of our current director, Lucía Coronel, who studied epidemiology. Besides her there are three general practitioners from the ELAM, an anaesthesiologist and an ophthalmologist. These are the ELAM graduates currently working with us in Operación Milagro. The other doctors are graduates from the universities in Córdoba. It is also interesting to witness how both groups come together, exchange ideas, make each other better, it is wonderful.


Operación Milagro
has allowed 50.000 Argentinians to regain their vision free of charge (Photo: Operación Milagro)

RV: Is there resistance from the Argentinian medical corporations to these Cuban-trained doctors? After all, they are taking away a potentially lucrative business!

CC: That is true. The pressure against us, if we look at it, we do not feel it will come from the government. Because we are solving a problem for the government, it is not in their interest to attack us. Those who seem to be getting emboldened, with the capitalists and the right-wing back in power, are the medical corporations. This is what is happening in Argentina. Now, what might happen? Throughout the years, they have pressured doctors not to join us. They never managed to do that with the Cuban-trained ones, of course. They tried to denigrate them, but the people love them, they are where they are supposed to be.

In our case, if the medical establishment attacks us I think it would backfire. Because imagine a hospital where every day people arrive from different parts of Argentina, especially from around Córdoba. If, suppose, they attacked us and we had to close (which will not happen because it is not possible), they will have their waiting rooms full of poor people. What we have been figuring out through the years is that the large waiting lists in the hospitals have worked to increase the prices of surgeries in the private sector, prices that may reach 20.000 or even 30.000 pesos (between 1000 and 1500€). The very doctors that are in the public hospitals many times also run private practices. So it might be in their interest to have large waiting lists, it is a matter of supply and demand using blind people to regulate the market. But at the same time these corporations have no intention of operating on anyone for free.

It is important to stress that this hospital is a hospital of the people. In other words, the people will defend it. But, of course, the corporations have their own interests, which is why we are struggling for socialism.

RV: Going back to a more concrete topic, how does the hospital run? In terms of funding, medicines, etc…

CC: The hospital runs thanks to the solidarity of Cuba. Essentially, up until now, the Cuban ministry of health donates every year the necessary medicines and supplies for the hospital to run, through the institution that manages medical services abroad. This is a lot of money. And when we were having financial troubles Cuba also helped us so we could keep going. Beyond that, we also get funds from donations. Some people do it through the internet, others leave it in a box we have in the hospital. Other countries have also offered their solidarity. For example, the Juntas Generales de Guipúzcoa, from the Basque Country, donated money for 3 years to buy a laser equipment, as well as medicines and supplies. Some laboratories also donate medicines and supplies and that is how we keep going. Trade unions and social movements also offer their contributions.


Claudia Camba participated in the XIV Spain Solidarity Meeting with Cuba, which took place in Bilbao from 9-11 June 2017 (Photo: Cubainformación)

RV: People sometimes do not understand, especially western people, that a country like Cuba that has its fair share of difficulties, maintains these solidarity programs…

CC: The key is to understand the difference between solidarity and charity. Solidarity means sharing what we have, and charity is giving away whatever is left. Not only that, solidarity will never bind anyone, or be a mechanism to colonise, or demand something in return, rather it will complement the existing knowledge. This is why Cuba has always sought to have sustainable hospitals and why we are also planning to set up a medical school, so that solidarity can keep multiplying beyond Cuba. In practice the hospital is Argentinian, there is only a Cuban doctor that works as a consultant, and then there are 15 Argentinian doctors. In other words, this goal of sustainability has been achieved.

Other than that there is the difference between two systems. It is hard to grasp it if we are looking from a capitalist perspective. This is like the tourist that goes to Cuba and evaluates everything with a capitalist mindset. Now, whoever understands that socialism is meant to place people front and centre, and not capital, will understand this. And on the other hand, if we want to talk about poverty, there are plenty of poor people in Argentina, as well as problems of children living in the streets, eating from rubbish bins, as well as child prostitution. In Cuba you will not find a child suffering from malnutrition, or sleeping in the street. Unicef recognised Cuba as the only Latin American country without childhood malnutrition. It is the country with the largest life expectancy and the lowest child mortality rate in Latin America and the Caribbean. Does every Cuban have a car? Surely not, but that is also not the case in Argentina. This is what I mean. Poverty can mean different things from a capitalist or a socialist perspective.

RV: Now turning to the “Súmate” campaign (“Join Us”), what are its goals?

CC: In our current hospital building we have the possibility of constructing two more floors on top. The idea is to start by building an area to lodge patients that come from the countryside. People come and sometimes have no place to stay, they have surgery and end up sleeping in the bus terminal. This is unthinkable, it is illogical, a health hazard for the person. So we are planning to build this not only for the people in the countryside nearby, but also to coordinate with other provinces further away, so that people can come in an organised fashion, have surgery, stay here, then return to their houses and have a doctor do a post-surgery check. This is the idea to begin with.

The second step is to create an auditorium for lectures, so that we can bring specialists from around the world to share their experiences with Argentinian doctors about everything that has to do with public healthcare. We want to strengthen public health system. And the accommodation will also work for them, because in the cities there is access to this kind of training, but not so much in the countryside. That means that they can never operate on patients because they have no way of receiving training, and we think that is something that we can help with.


The “Súmate” campaign in front of the Dr. Ernesto “Che” Guevara ophthalmologic centre in Córdoba (Photo: Operación Milagro)

RV: As far as I understand, the work involves more than just receiving patients. There is also outreach work to find patients?

CC: Indeed. The program is built on a premise from the beginning, which is called “active search” (“pesquisa activa”). Fidel, for example, talked about this when he was in Córdoba and gave a speech at the university. The point is that we do not simply wait for people to find us. Although we do have open consultations, on weekends the doctors go out, thanks to a network that social organisations set up in their neighbourhoods, and perform this active search. So the doctor goes there because there is something going on with peoples’ vision, and those that have a problem that we are able to deal with are forwarded to the hospital. This way we are breaking some of the biggest barriers in ophthalmology, which are geographical, informational or communicational. There are people who believe their problems have no solution! Especially older people. But blindness due to cataracts is reversible, so we need to go out and find them. This is what our doctors do.

RV: One last question: the blockade against Cuba also manifests itself through the media. This makes it so that nothing is said about Cuban internationalism and solidarity. Why do you think this is so? Why is it so dangerous for people to find out what Cuba is doing?

CC: Because it would reveal the humanism of socialism. Because it would reveal what a country that has been under a blockade for more than 50 years has been able to achieve. This is similar to the demonisation of Venezuela, omitting all that Venezuela has been doing around the world. For example, the PetroCaribe program in the Caribbean, or its response after the earthquake in Haiti. Venezuela also helped us in a lot of programs, with Cuba often providing the human resources and Venezuela the financial ones. All this solidarity is never heard of.

Even more so concerning Cuba, because Cuba is the model of what can be achieved. Imagine how much more it could do without the economical and media blockade! It is our task to break the blockade. And we, Argentinians involved in solidarity with Cuba, feel that these missions are a way to breach the blockade bit by bit. Every time we get to a poor neighbourhood the people are made aware of Cuba, they are introduced to this very small island called Cuba that is big when it comes to solidarity. And that is how they get to know for the first time what Cuba is all about.

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America should strengthen, not abandon, relationship with Cuba

The drawdown in personnel from the American embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington in the wake of mysterious attacks on U.S. officials is a setback to the efforts begun by President Obama to reverse a five-decade policy of isolation that failed to advance U.S. interests. But whether the perpetrators of the alleged attacks, be they rogue elements of Cuban security forces or perhaps a third country like Russia or North Korea, are successful in damaging ties between the United States and Cuba will depend on how the U.S. government and American businesses, travelers and civil society respond.

The Trump administration has said its withdrawal of personnel is not intended to impede engagement, but rather to safeguard the health and security of American diplomats. Although courageous State Department diplomats pleaded to maintain the U.S. mission at full strength, the drawdown is a step any administration would have taken in the face of a danger to American personnel that it could not identify or mitigate. The expulsion of Cuban diplomats, however, was a more contentious step, given that the United States does not necessarily believe the Cuban government authorized the alleged attacks.

How long it will be before the American and Cuban embassies are fully staffed again is impossible to predict. Both governments remain at a loss to explain the source and method of the alleged attacks, which have apparently caused hearing loss and brain injury. The FBI has not detected any devices inside or outside American diplomatic residences in Havana or been able to replicate in lab tests the effect of the suspected attacks.

Inevitably, diplomatic engagement will be hampered during this period. Cuban travel to the United States will also diminish as the understaffed U.S. embassy reduces consular services for Cubans seeking a U.S. visa. Still, other forms of engagement do not have to end. On the contrary, now is the time for advocates of greater ties to stop those in either country seeking to drag the relationship backward.

Most importantly, supporters of engagement should make sure the alleged attacks do not dampen U.S. travel to Cuba. Since the diplomatic opening nearly three years ago, travel to the island has soared. The low crime rate in Cuba makes it among the safest places in the world to visit, but the State Department is now discouraging all travel to the island. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged that no U.S. private citizens have been affected by the alleged attacks, but since some apparently occurred at hotels where American citizens would stay, the State Department was required to issue a travel warning.

The cultural and natural splendor of Cuba should continue to motivate Americans to travel to the island. Even those skeptical of governmental engagement should feel comfortable visiting the island for cultural exchanges, as the hospitality industry is the sector with the largest entrepreneurial engagement and private employment. Private sector establishments, which employ about one-third of Cuban workers, depend on spending by foreign visitors to thrive. As Cuba recovers from Hurricane Irma, continued engagement has a humanitarian imperative as well.

Americans also have an incentive to visit Cuba before the Treasury Department issues new regulations governing travel there, as mandated by President Trump in June. The regulations are a few weeks overdue, and it is unclear when they will be issued. Treasury officials who oversee sanctions prefer to prioritize countries like Russia, Iran and North Korea, rather than proctor whether Americans step foot on a Caribbean beach.

Similarly, U.S. companies should not overreact and abandon the island. U.S. corporate leaders regularly complain about the challenges of navigating the bureaucratic and political thicket in Cuba. The travel warning and reduction in embassy commercial officers could cause some companies to delay or reconsider their Cuba plans. Savvy outfits, however, will look beyond the current diplomatic imbroglio and consider the first-mover advantage and long-term value of investing in Cuba. For its part, the Cuban government, which continues to signal its appetite for engagement with foreign companies, should expedite to the extent possible the approval of business petitions. The conclusion of a few high-profile deals could move other companies from the sidelines and beget more deals.

Finally, U.S. civil society, which has been instrumental to the process of normalization, should intensify engagement with their Cuban counterparts. Universities, sports leagues, cultural institutions, human rights groups, and research centers like the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, which is developing a lung cancer vaccine in collaboration with a Havana medical center, daily demonstrate how American engagement with Cuba enriches the lives of people in both countries.

The perpetrators of the alleged attacks on U.S. officials apparently wanted the U.S. and Cuban people to drift apart again. Whatever the origin of the illnesses afflicting U.S. diplomats, Cuban opponents of President Raul Castro’s opening to the United States will be pleased if Americans disengage from Cuba, and critics of normalization in the United States are cheering the renewed tensions. For the benefit of the Cuban people and Americans with a stake in the relationship with Cuba, it is important that the latest developments do not derail the historic reconciliation between the two countries.

  • Published in Cuba

Cleveland Extends an Economic Olive Branch to Cuba

In the midst of escalating diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and Cuba, the city of Cleveland is trying to build business ties with the island nation.

In Havana last Friday, representatives from the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority signed a non-binding "memorandum of understanding" with the country's maritime authority aimed at laying the groundwork for potential future trade. 

"The money is starting to flow down there," said Darrell McNair, chairman of the Port Authority. "You don't want to be last to the party in a situation like this." In recent years, ports in other statesincluding Virginia, Alabama, Texas, and Louisianahave reached similar agreements. Cleveland, he said, is the first northern port city to do so.

Although the agreement is not a guarantee that Cuba will do business with the Port of Cleveland, McNair said it puts the city in an advantageous position" if the U.S. ever lifts its embargo on Cuban trade.

"I think it's unlikely given the current political environment," said Gustavo Arnavat, Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C. Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba have flared in recent weeks, with the U.S. State Department accusing the Cuban government of failing to protect U.S. diplomats from a series of mysterious "health attacks." And in June, President Trump tightened restrictions on Cuba that President Obama had previously loosened.

On the other hand, Arnavat said there is as slight possibility that relations could thaw under Trump. "The President is a 'dealmaker,'" said Arnavat. "If the Cubans come to the president with the right deal, the president may in fact turn around and encourage the Congress to get rid of the embargo."

If that day ever comes, said McNair, cities that have made efforts to establish a relationship with Cuba will have an advantage.

"You just don't wake and decide to do business with this country and expect it to happen overnight," he said. Before the signing of the memorandum of understanding last week, he said, the Port Authority had been in talks with Cuban economic officials for over a year.

Despite the current diplomatic friction, McNair was upbeat about prospects for warming U.S-Cuba relations. "We're not politicians," he said. "We do believe there will be an opening in the trade relationship."

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United States: Jungle or Hell?

After a large caravan of tear-moving events, a monstrous event took place in Las Vegas.

The largest city in the State of Nevada is one of the main domestic tourist destinations.

Two Associated Press (AP) journalists, Sally Ho and Regina García Cano wrote a chronicle on what happened.

Their introduction synthesizes the tragedy by saying, "a man kills dozens in concert in Las Vegas."

They say he fired from the 32nd floor of one of his hotels against an outdoor festivity where nearly 22 000 people attended.

Sally Ho and García Cano assessed it as "the worst shot slaughter in the modern history of the United States."

And they add, it turned the esplanade into a field of death from which there was not many options to escape."

With the result that, according to the first count, 58 deaths and near 515 wounded.

“I cannot get into the mind of a psychopath right now”, said the chief of police Lombard Joseph.

Assistants to the festival ran for their lives after interpreting the blasts as fireworks.

SWAT team agents entered the aggressor's room who had committed suicide.

His name, Stephen Craig Paddock, 64 years old, who had with him, at least, 17 firearms, including rifles.

Still some wonder how this person transferred that amount of weapons to the tourist hotel.

There was another detail. Who took claim for the attack? A terrorist gang, the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

Dozens of ambulances carried the wounded, while some people put the victims in their vehicles and took them to the hospital.

Some of the victims were bullet injured, others tramped by mob at moments of panic.

In a speech to the nation, President Donald Trump qualified the attack as "an act of pure evil".

He didn't mention the hairy issue of the free sale of weapons in several domestic stores, although he did ordered flags to be half mast high.

Before Sunday, the worst shooting had taken place by mid 2016 at a gay disco in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people died.

Looking at the new tragedy           that took place in the United States, experts in the matter wonder the following:

Does this government have the face to demand something from others nations around the world?

Should not they perhaps start by establishing order at home before laying behavior guidelines to their neighbors?

This government harshly questions Havana and Caracas for their respective political, social and economic systems.

But not a word on the brutal influence of the National Rifle Association in their electoral processes.

Everybody knows that that multimillionaire organization throws millions of dollars to the two parties, in particular to the Republican Party.

They are plentiful and they already overflow the reasons that support a very justified question: In reality, what does it mean the United States today, A jungle or hell? The facts speak for themselves.

Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff

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