Belarusian President Congratulates Diaz-Canel

‘The electoral results in Cuba clearly showed the unconditional support by the Cuban citizens for the political path based on the ideals of the Cuban Revolution, the immortal ideas of Fidel Castro and the outsanding achievements in his many years at the helm of the Cuban Councils of State and Ministers.’

Minsk, Apr 20 (Prensa Latina) Bealrusian President Alexander Lukashenko congratulated the new President of the Councils of State and of Ministers of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez on Thursday.

In his message, Lukashenko also issued a warm message for Cuban Communist Party (PCC) First Secretary Raul Castro Ruz, saying that ‘I trust that the achivements of the Cuban Revolution can be preserved and multiply, and turn into a trustable support for the herioc Cuban people to reach the protection of their interests, the independent development of Cuba, and to defend independence successfully.’

‘I am sure that a strategic bilateral cooperation, which is quickly expanding, has a great potential,’ Lukashenko pointed out.

‘Together, we are going to achieve even better results in politics, trade, the economic spheres and other forms of cooperation’, he said in reference to the election on Thursday of Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermudez at an important meeting of the Cuban Parliament.

Lukashenko also sent a warm message to the first secretary of the Central Committee of the PCC, Raúl Castro Ruz, in which he congratulated him and the Cuban people for the successful ending of the elections, which concluded with the election of the new president.

‘The electoral results in Cuba clearly showed the unconditional support by the Cuban citizens for the political path based on the ideals of the Cuban Revolution, the immortal ideas of Fidel Castro and the outsanding achievements in his many years at the helm of the Cuban Councils of State and Ministers,’ Lukashenko added. Lukashenko concluded by saying that due to the joint work, Belarusian-Cuban relations reached a qualitatively new and strategic level.

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A Day Dedicate to Voices at 2nd Cuban Festival Matanzas Jazz

Matanzas, Cuba, Apr 20 (Prensa Latina) The 2nd Matanzas Jazz Festival dedicated its second day to voices with the performance of important vocal groups in this western province, such as the Chamber Choir and Conjunto Nuestra América.

Today, the event will close with luxury night performances by Bobby Carcassés with the group Ákana, Alberto Lescay and his group, as well as a Jam session by the group Mestizaje.

Friday’s program began with a master percussion class by teachers Enrique Plá, an institution in Cuban drums, and Miguel Angel ‘Miguelón’ Rodríguez, president of that event.

The festival opened with performances by the Afrocuba folkloric group, and a recital by the local Concert Band.

The main venue is the José White Concert Hall in the 300-year-old city, with special programs in the Colonial Patio of the Hermanos Saíz Association.

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Evo Morales Refutes OAS Insults Against Cuba

“Operator of the empire will never understand there are free peoples that decide their destiny with sovereignty and dignity. Never again submissive to the empire,” said Morales.

La Paz, Apr 21 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian President Evo Morales, rejected today recent insults of the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, to Cuba and described him as operator of the Empire.

“Trump’s employee, @Almagro_OEA2015, insults Cuba and describes as a ‘dictatorship’ a government elected democratically: Brother Miguel Diaz-Canel,” said the head of State in the Twitter social network.

“Operator of the empire will never understand there are free peoples that decide their destiny with sovereignty and dignity. Never again submissive to the empire,” said Morales.

On April 19, Miguel Diaz-Canel was elected president of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba by the People’s Power National Assembly in its ninth legislatura, that sessionesd at the Convention Center of Havana and obtained 603 of 604 possible, equivalent to 99.83 percent.

In his speech, Diaz-Canel reaffirmed confidence in the force and wisdom of the people to face the challenges of the Revolution and the construction of socialism, and assured he would give continuity to the legacy of historical leader Fidel Castro and the ideas of Raul Castro.

On Thursday, OAS Secretary General emitted a communiqué called “Cuba: An illegitimate transition,” in which he described the presidential succession as a dictatorship.

Almagro did not recognize the sovereignty and independence of the people of the Caribbean island who elected democratically its president.

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Miguel Díaz-Canel Receives President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro

Havana, Apr 21 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel received today Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who arrived last night on the island with the aim of strengthening the brotherhood between the two countries.

After the reception and the ceremonial ceremony at the Palace of the Revolution, both leaders began the official talks.

Before the meeting, Maduro paid tribute to the Cuban National Hero, José Martí, in the Memorial that bears the name of the independence leader.

In brief statements to the press, the president reiterated the support of his country to the island and Diaz-Canel, who on April 19 assumed the position of president of the councils of State and Ministers.

At the same time, he stressed that the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and head of state until April 19, Raul Castro, remains in the forefront of efforts to ensure the continuity of the Revolution in the largest of the Antilles

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Maduro: ‘Venezuela Will be Strengthened by May 20 Elections’

"Yankee imperialism is obsessed with the Bolivarian Revolution," President Nicolas Maduro said, condemning foreign interference.

“Yankee imperialism is obsessed with the Bolivarian Revolution,” President Nicolas Maduro said, condemning foreign interference. | Photo: Twitter Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Defensa

“Yankee imperialism is obsessed with the Bolivarian Revolution,” President Nicolas Maduro said, condemning foreign interference.

April 20 (teleSUR) Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says Venezuela will “emerge triumphant” from the May 20 presidential elections, which will serve to strengthen the country.

“Rain or shine, we’ll have elections on May 20,” Maduro told a press conference on Friday. “We do not care about what foreign countries say.

“No matter what the governments of Santos and Macri tell us, the Venezuelan people will emerge triumphant from this electoral process.

“In Venezuela, rain, thunder or lightning on May 20, there will be elections and the Venezuelan people are going to vote.”

Maduro emphasized that Venezuela was fully complying with all laws and norms to provide proper electoral guarantees for the elections.

Yankee imperialism is obsessed with the Bolivarian Revolution,” the president said, condemning foreign interference.

“The only thing we ask from the world is respect, that no country tries to get involved in our internal affairs… we are totally willing to re-establish relations with all nations so long as they respect us.”

Addressing Panama, which recently cut diplomatic ties with Venezuela, Maduro said that he is “completely willing” to re-establish relations as soon as Panama is ready.

Operations to counter the economic war affecting Venezuela’s national currency value and product availability have so far been successful, Maduro said.

He noted that “‘Operation Paper Hands’ has been a total success,” and that officials “have arrested more than 125 people and we are looking for 75 more involved in the business of affecting the price of the national currency and economy.”

The president also congratulated Bolivian President Evo Morales for his assumption of the pro tempore presidency of regional integration bloc the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), and said that “Latin American revolutionaries will defend Unasur.”

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First National Seed Fair Begins in Cuba

Havana, Apr 20 (Prensa Latina) The First National Seed Fair begins today here to promote exchange of experiences and knowledge, to raise the yields of the country’s main crops.

More than 140 exhibitors from all agricultural areas are participating in this event. They exhibit their productions in two pavilions of 1,124 square meters, the general director of Seed Production and Marketing Company, Manuel Rodriguez, said.

The research centers at the Ministry of Agriculture conducting studies on seeds, as well as the country’s other institutions related to the development of seeds, have a prominent role in the fair.

This fair will be held until April 22 at the exhibition area of the Rancho Boyeros Fairgrounds Company.

According to Rodriguez, specialists will give 41 keynote speeches and workshops on the wide range of researches and production of seeds, by using conventional and biotechnological methods, for which there will be two demonstration areas.

Cuba strengthens the production and quality of seeds for many crops through the execution of an investment program that includes the modernization of 11 existing biofabrications in the sector, to produce more than 30 million vitro plants per year.

Fairground Company general director, Adolfo Aroche, told Prensa Latina that this event takes place in the context of the 85th anniversary of the Rancho Boyeros exhibition center, the oldest in Cuba, which grows and modernizes every year and puts into operation one hundred percent of its facilities.

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Iraq, Iran, Syria and Russia Hold Anti-Terrorism Meeting

Baghdad, Apr 20 (Prensa Latina) Senior military officers from Iraq, Iran, Syria and Russia agreed to maintain and expand anti-terrorist cooperation during a meeting in this capital, local media reported today.

‘Cooperation in intelligence for common goals and anti-terrorist missions restored stability and security, and should form the basis for future cooperation,’ Iranian Defense Minister General Amir Hatami said.

Our coalition has played an important role in defeating the extremist Islamic State, not only in Iraq, but also in Syria, he added.

The Iranian minister previously met with Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandes, deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Units.

This armed group, made up of volunteers, played a key role in supporting the Iraqi Army to defeat the terrorist contingents.

Hatami also met with Iraqi Chief of Staff, Gen. Othman al-Ghanimi, during which the latter assured that Baghdad will expand cooperation with Tehran in the fight against terrorism.

Al-Ghanimi praised Iranian aid in the fight against terrorism and expressed confidence that Iran will stand by Iraq in reconstruction era.

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‘Hands of Paper’ and Colombia’s Cash War Against Venezuela

Cash contraband seeks to launder money and supply Venezuelan bolivars to financial markets along the Venezuelan-Colombian border.

Cash contraband seeks to launder money and supply Venezuelan bolivars to financial markets along the Venezuelan-Colombian border. | Photo: Reuters

It is vital for the global corporate oligarchy to undertake unconventional forms of economic warfare so as to get control of Venezuela’s wealth and its geostrategic position.

April 20 (teleSUR) On April 17, Venezuela‘s Vice-President Tareck El Aissami reported that in the Hands of Paper Operation – an exceptional measure taken at a critical moment – 86 people were detained, among them Colombian nationals linked to cash contraband and exchange rate speculation against the Venezuelan bolivar.

El Aissami said the operation targeted networks affecting Venezuela’s economic system and impacting Venezuelans’ quality of life. The government’s security and crime prevention units have been investigating for months.

Statistics So Far:

  • On April 16, 125 search warrants were executed, with 596 businesses across Venezuela to be searched
  • A total of 22 vehicles and properties were sequestered that had previously formed part of the logistical resources of the contraband operation
  • Among the detained are 31 people directly associated with Carlos Eduardo Marron, owner of the Dollar Pro website, who was arrested on April 12
  • Police and intelligence forces are looking for 112 other people directly linked to the financial mafias
  • A total of 1,133 bank accounts were frozen in 19 national banks, with 90 percent of the accounts held in Banesco Universal Bank
  • In the bank accounts, 3 billion Venezuelan bolivars were confiscated and the financial trail indicates a balance of more than 20 billion bolivars so far this year

Vice-President El Aissami said many businesses had been visited, a great number of them ghost companies. He also confirmed that authorities have confiscated cash, including foreign currency in dollars and Colombian pesos.

Transnational Actors

The operation had as a central player Carlos Eduardo Marron, accused of spreading false exchange rate information, money laundering and conspiracy. “This individual was responsible for rigging and imposing the criminal dollar rate to strike against and destabilize Venezuela’s financial system,” El Aissami said.

Marron is director of event company Venelatin Productions, based in Miami, with operations in the United States, Colombia, Panama and Peru. The firm is linked to the ticket trading business Tuticket, based in Coral Gables in southern Florida. By means of these economic activities, Venelatin Productions fomented the circulation of foreign currencies and their speculative accumulation.

The La Tabla investigative website reports that Marron is also director of a Panamanian company created in 2007 jointly with Ramon Marron Moreno and Raquel Azpurua de Marron, members of the editorial committee of Gentiuno magazine. The publication’s directors include journalist Eleonora Bruzual, Marianella Salazar and writer Alfredo Coronil Hartman, stepson of former Venezuelan President Romulo Betancourt. This network was not merely financial and economic, but also sought to deepen the political impact of the devaluation induced by business networks hidden behind web portals and communications media.

Irregular Financial Platforms

Also worthy of note is the role of Banesco Universal Bank in the exchange rate fraud scheme that’s part of the multifaceted war against Venezuela. This bank is based in the Venezuelan capital and has been operating since 2013 in Colombia. Since 2015, it has served as the Cucuta exchange rate mafias’ best ally at different levels and in various dimensions.

In both countries, each experiencing significant migration, family remittances are an important component of the Gross Domestic Product, because it is a way to accumulate foreign currency. For years, that accumulation has worked via the banks which hold onto foreign currency and serve as foreign exchange offices beyond Venezuela’s borders. That’s how the so-called ‘exodus’ of Venezuelans has turned into big business for certain financial operators, who take advantage of the accelerating devaluation of Venezuela’s bolivar to capture more foreign exchange on the parallel market.

Also of note is that, from the bank accounts that have now been closed, transfers were made to people who took the cash to the border where they exchanged it at up to three times its value. For that reason, the government is trying to intensify investigations into banking entities that lend their technological platforms for criminal financial activity as a political tactic affecting Venezuela’s economic sovereignty.

Many people cross the Colombian-Venezuelan frontier so as to exchange bolivars at higher rates. The prerequisites are to have cash in hand and a bank account in Venezuela, preferably in Banesco Universal Bank, so as to be able to get cash the same day.

The Colombian Front

The Colombian government has allowed the criminal structures that form a regular part of their economy to control exchange rate business along the border with Venezuela. That’s why El Aissami accused Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos of protecting the mafias in Cucuta and Maicao responsible for the boycott of Venezuela’s currency.

Investigative writer Oscar Javier Forero reports that criminal activities such as drug trafficking, which give dynamism to Colombia’s economy, have created an informal alternative financial market to the banks: one which operates like them but is unsupervised and unregulated. These are the foreign exchange offices.

Cash contraband seeks to launder money and supply very large quantities of Venezuelan bolivars to the financial markets along the Venezuelan-Colombian border so as to constantly devalue the bolivar and thus ensure extraordinary profits as a result.

Since there is a shortage of Colombian pesos, the value of the Colombian currency remains stable and stimulates the extraction of products from Venezuela (including bolivars in cash) and this also stimulates scarcity and under-supply.

Oscar Javier Forero says the total amount of money circulating along the frontier axis of San Antonio-Ureña-Cucuta is unknown, but in 2015 Colombia’s Congress calculated that it was around US$7 billion annually.

The actions of the Colombian elite against Venezuela are part of a global plan in which their drug trafficking generates great quantities of money to grease not just the Colombian economy but, above all, the economies of the United States and Europe. Along the Colombian-Venezuelan frontier, the link is self-evident between the illicit drugs economy, paramilitary activity and other parallel economies in Colombia. This interaction works as a financial warfare mechanism to damage Venezuela’s sovereignty in accordance with the geopolitical objectives of the United States.

In that context, the powerful private Banesco Universal Bank serves as a faithful, technologically competent intermediary, guaranteeing the deposit and disbursement of these irregular flows of money that provoke a brutal devaluation of Venezuela’s currency.

It is vital for the global corporate oligarchy to undertake unconventional forms of economic warfare so as to get control of Venezuela’s wealth and its geostrategic position enabling Colombia’s criminal economy to finance itself. It was to neutralize this offensive against Venezuela that the Hands of Paper Operation was carried out, an operation described by Venezuela’s government as ‘one of the biggest in Venezuela’s history.’

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Singer Kylie Minogue Launches Video Clip with Gente de Zona

Havana, April 20(Prensa Latina) The Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue together with the Cuban popular duo Gente de Zona launched an audiovisual version of her single Stop Me From Falling,available Friday on digital platforms.

‘I am happy to share this work with my fans,it was fun to film the video in the beautiful Cuba together with Gente de Zona, I hope you to enjoy’ posted Minogue in her Facebook.

The video clip directed by the English producer Sophie Muller fuses the style of the also song writer and actress with the urban sound and melody of the Latin singers, well known for their hits together with the Puerto Rican Mac Anthony( La gozadera) and the Italian Laura Pausini ( Nadie ha dicho).

Stop Me from Falling keeps the original sound with the Latin gentle touch which match verses in English and Spanish as ‘do not say no, you want it too, I die for you and Gente de Zona’, quoted the Australian Singer.

The clip was filmed in locations of the Havana Historical Centre ,scene of another featurings of the Cuban duo with popular artists as the Mexican Jesse & Joy(3 A.M) the Colombian Fanny Lu(Lo que dios quiera)and the Spanish Los del Rio(Mas macarena) and Enrique Iglesias(Bailando).

Images highlight tropical weather, architectural beauty and the coloring of the city landscape, as well as the interpretation of Cuban dancers in a happy and fest environment.

The single is part of the Minogue’s new disc ‘Golden ‘,number 14 of the 49 years old Australian singer who is considered one of the most sold singers of all times.

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Cuban Will Continue to Be an Example

Lima, April 20 (Prensa Latina) The prize winning poet Hildebrando Perez Grande noted that Cuba will continue to be an example of sovereignty and dignity after the election of Miguel Diaz-Canel as the Cuban president, demonstrating a legitimate expression of the people’s will.

In statements to Prensa Latina, the coordinator of the Peruvian Chapter of the Intellectual and Artists in defense of Mankind Network congratulated the election of Diaz-Canel as the president of the Councils of State and of Ministers.

‘Cuba will always be on 26, the brand-new government headed by Diaz-Canel will continue the revolutionary process rooted in Marti’s doctrine and enriched by the invaluable contribution of Fidel, Raul, Camilo and Che,’ the poet noted.

Perez Grande underlined that for our Americas, ‘Cuba, example of unity and heroism, will remain as a model of sovereignty and dignity before the clashes of imperialism and its allies’.

According to the outstanding poet, winner of the Casa de las Americas award, ‘Cuba was not alone and will never be in its struggle against the U.S. blockade and in its legimate claim to recover Guantanamo Navy base.

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