Cuban Diva Omara Portuondo Kicks Off World Tour in USA

Los Angeles, USA, Apr 19 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Diva Omara Portuondo will give on Friday in Los Angeles, California, the first concert of her world tour, which will run until 2020.

‘Omara is Cuba’ is the name to the journey that will start at Regent Theater and has scheduled dates, on a first stage, in several American cities and then she will continue the tour in Europe and Asia.

For November, the ‘Bride of Feeling’, as Omara Portuondo is also known, has scheduled performances on stages in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay and will close this year with a great concert in Cuba.

During the tour, the Cuban diva will be accompanied by talented local musicians such as pianist Roberto Fonseca, percussionist Andres Coayo, drummer Ruly Herrera and bassist Yandy Martinez.

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Nicaragua Calls for Unity in the Face of Unilateral US Sanctions

Simferopol, Apr 19 (Prensa Latina) Strengthening Latin American and Caribbean integration and unity is a must today to withstand increased U.S. unilateral sanctions against Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, a minister of the latter nation underscored on Friday.

Latin Americans should strengthen integration, always with a strategic vision to gain respect in international trade and cooperation environment, the Nicaraguan Minister of Development, Industry and Commerce Orlando Solorca told Prensa Latina.

According to Solorca, who is also president of the Central America and Latin America Integration, the application of US unilateral sanctions against his country, Venezuela and Cuba goes, precisely, against international trading system.

The implementation of such measures breaks the basis of the multilateral trade system and the Latin American integration, warned the minister, who is attending the 5th International Economic Forum in Yalta, Crimea.

According to the Nicaraguan official, who participated in a panel with representatives of Guatemala, Mexico and Argentina, insofar as the Latin American nations strengthen their integration, they will take more advantage of the potential they have and will be more respected. mh/iff/ymr/to

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One Year of Diaz-Canel’s Presidency Amidst US Aggression

President Miguel Diaz-Canel at the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement Summit in Havana, Cuba, December 14, 2018.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel at the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement Summit in Havana, Cuba, December 14, 2018.

The Cuban president has faced new challenges with the support of the whole nation and the solidarity of brotherly peoples.

April 19 (teleSUR) Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel celebrates one year in office Friday, faced complex situations of natural disasters and a United States foreign policy that is trying to double down on the Revolution.

RELATED:
Mexico, China Vow to Protect Firms Against US Sanctions on Cuba

“I assume this responsibility with the conviction of the Cubans. … We will be faithful to the example of the historical leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro,” Diaz-Canel said in his first official speech last year and called for Cuban unity to continue constructing a prosperous socialism.

President Diaz-Canel faced a complex scenario May 18 when flight 972 of Cubana de Aviacion on a flight from Havana to Holguin crashed, killing 112 people on board. Subtropical storm Alberto, in Cuba, left at least 10 people dead and caused severe infrustructural damage.

Despite these national challenges Diaz-Canel has continued to advocate a unified left within a now right-dominated Latin America.

At the 26th Meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum held July 15, 2018, he advocated for unity among progressive and leftist forces amongst neoliberal policies and the hegemonic stance of the United States toward Latin America, particularly Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

“The Lima Group reiterated once again its interference in the Venezuelan government and indicated an alleged a negative influence by Cuba,” President Diaz-Canel said and explained that the Latin American right is “following the U.S.’s perverse instructions. Our response is dignity against Monroe Doctrine,” said the president at the forum. 

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Memorial de la Denuncia@MemoriaDenuncia

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Primera derrota del imperialismo en #AméricaLatina Solo la grandeza del pueblo #cubano fue la que hizo posible que tan solo en 60 horas de duros combates fueran derrotados los invasores al atardecer del #19abril #1961 #CubaSocialista #SomosCuba siempre #Venceremos 169:32 AM – Apr 19, 2019See Memorial de la Denuncia’s other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacy

“The [U.S.] Imperalism’s first defeat in Latin America. Andnly the Cuban people’s greatness made it possible that the invaders were defeated within only 60 hours of hard fighting, at dusk on April 19, 1961. Socialist Cuba. We are Cuba, we will always win.”

Communist Party First Secretary Raul Castro has expressed his satisfaction with the management of the government.

“The process of transferring the main responsibilities to the new generations is going well, very well, without any setbacks or surprises, and we are sure we’ll continue that way,” Castro said during an event for the Cuban Revolution’s 60th anniversary, reports CubaSi.

In terms of diplomacy and international cooperation, Diaz-Canel himself has traveled to Russia, North Korea, China, Vietnam over the past year, and was in Laos in November 2018.

He also attended the 39th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of Caribbean Community (Caricom) held this in Jamaica and the 7th Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) held in Nicaragua.

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Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez@DiazCanelB

The 58 anniversary of the Giron Victory motivates and inspires us. Faithful to its historic legacy, #Cuba and the Cuban Revolution reiterate their strong determination to confront and prevail over the aggressive escalation of the United States.#NoAlaLeyHelmsBurton #SomosCuba5889:31 AM – Apr 18, 2019452 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Due to President Donald Trump’s hostile actions towards the Cuban revolution, Diaz-Canel has been working to strengthen the national economy. In that sense, he led projects aimed at attracting foreign investment, increasing exports, substituting imports, and combating corruption.

Regarding the recent U.S. decision to implement the Helms-Burton Act, which threatens countries and companies doing business with Cuba, Diaz-Canel said April 13 that any new difficulty will be overcome with the strength of the Cubans and their solidarity with other affected nations.

“Cuba continues to trust in its strength and dignity as well as in the strength and dignity of other independent and sovereign nations,” he said and commented that the U.S. people “should be ashamed of those who act to fringe universal law.”   

One of the most important achievements of the president’s term so far has been the communal construction and ratification of the country’s new constitution approved by popular vote Feb. 24.

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Venezuela’s Arreaza Decries Ecuador’s Persecution of Patiño

"We are victims of a fierce persecution that is carried out to hide the corruption of Moreno and his close circle," Patiño tweeted.
“We are victims of a fierce persecution that is carried out to hide the corruption of Moreno and his close circle,” Patiño tweeted. | Photo: Twitter / @PaolaPabonC

“No desperate measure will prevent the Ecuadorean people from returning to power,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Twitter.

April 19 (teleSUR) Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza condemned the Ecuadorean government’s lawsuit against former Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño.

RELATED: 
Ecuador Issues Interpol Red Notice on Ex-Foreign Minister, Critic of Assange Arrest

“The persecution against leaders of the Citizen Revolution in Ecuador has been constituted in an updated modality of the Condor Plan of the 20th century. All our solidarity with the partner @RicardoPatinoEC. No desperate measure will prevent the Ecuadorean people from returning to power,” Arreaza said on Twitter Thursday night.

On Thursday, April 18, the Ecuadorean Attorney General’s (AG) office announced the solicitation to Interpol for the capture of the former foreign minister Ricardo Patiño, a vocal critic of the current government who served under former President Rafael Correa and is wanted for the crime of “instigation.”

Judge Flavio Palomo, of the AG office based in Latacungo, Ecuador, issued the judicial decision to place Patiño in preventative detention and announced the state’s intent to issue a red notice from Interpol to detain the former government official who left to Peru via road Wednesday prior any legal action being issued against him.

Four days prior to his leaving, judge Beatriz Benitez of Latacunga ruled out preventative detention for the former minister. Head of the AG office, Diana Salazar, responded that her lawyers will be investigating Benitez.

Jorge Arreaza M@jaarreaza

La persecución contra líderes de la Revolución Ciudadana en Ecuador se ha constituido en una modalidad actualizada del Plan Cóndor del s. XX. Toda nuestra solidaridad con el compañero @RicardoPatinoEC. Ninguna medida desesperada evitará que el pueblo ecuatoriano vuelva al poder1,8026:02 PM – Apr 18, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy2,242 people are talking about this

“On Saturday (April 13) the Prosecutor’s Office requested an arrest warrant against Ricardo Patiño while he was still in the country, on a well-founded basis. A judge dismissed it,” claimed Salazar over Twitter.

Patino said he is being persecuted for a speech he gave in an internal meeting of the political movement Citizen Revolution in October 2018 where he called for members “to accompany the Ecuadorean people on the streets, on the roads, to the public institutions without using violence.” 

According to the Attorney General’s office, this statement amounts to “instigating people,” a crime that could land a person in jail for up to two years, according to Ecuador’s Organic Penal Code (COIP).

“(Patino) had given a speech in which he instigated people to take over public institutions and close roads,” says Salazar.

Patiño said that an investigation that many are calling ‘lawfare,’ or using the courts for political persecution, will not find anything against him from the ten years he served in the government of former President Correa. “They have not found anything nor will they find it, we are honest people,” the ex-diplomat has said.

“We are victims of a fierce persecution that is carried out to hide the corruption of Moreno and his close circle #INAPapers. We will fight, and keep fighting while walking tall. Here,” Patiño tweeted.

Ecuador’s current administration under President Lenin Moreno is also accusing Patiño of supposed ties to Swedish information activist Ola Bini and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Bini was placed under 90-day preventative detention last week by Ecuadorean authorities for allegedly working with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to “destabalize” the government.  

Assange was stripped of his asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London without warning and immediately arrested by British police on April 11. He is wanted by the United States on charges of espionage for revealing thousands of documents and video footage of potential war crimes committed by U.S. officials over the past two decades.  

Bini’s defense and family have said his arrest and subsequent detention violate his human rights and that the Swede has no connection to WikiLeaks, but is merely a friend to Assange.

The Interpol “red notice” issued by Ecuador “is effectively a request by a member state for other states to help locate and arrest a person wanted in a criminal matter, so that person can be extradited,” Interpol states. Over 13,000 were issued in 2017.

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Melia Hotels Rejects US Hardened Sanctions against Cuba

Havana, Apr 19 (Prensa Latina) Spanish hotel chain Melia Hotels International has issued on Friday a statement rejecting the latest US sanctions against Cuba that harden the 60-year economic, financial and trade blockade on the island.

Following the full application of the Helms-Burton law, including its controversial Title III, the company has stressed its will to keep operating in Cuba where it has over 35 hotels.

In its statement, Melia assures it will continue to work for the development of a more sustainable tourist industry on the island.

It recalls it legitimately operates in Cuba and in another 44 countries based on an impeccable, professional and responsible management for the past 30 years in the island, which it considers an exceptional destination that should continue to be opened to international tourism.

The statement adds that although it regrets the uncertainty and juridical insecurity created by the White House announcement, Melia will keep on operating with full normalcy in Cuba.

Melia thanks the firm support and the positive reaction of the Spanish government and the European Commission to protect affected foreign companies.

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Russia: US Wants to Revive Monroe Doctrine, Persecute Venezuela

Zajárova says Venezuela does not represent a threat to international stability and security.
Zajárova says Venezuela does not represent a threat to international stability and security. | Photo: Reuters file

The Russian ministry representative cited the United States’ warmongering as “an act of overt aggression against a sovereign state.

April 19 (teleSUR) Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zajárova warned the U.S. government against continuing on the path of antagonism and issuing threats to countries in Latin America.

RELATED: 
Maduro: Venezuela to Overcome Sanctions Against Central Bank

“It seems that Washington is looking back on time and plans to return, not even 50 or 60 years ago, but 200, since John Bolton has declared again in public about  the resurrection of the Monroe Doctrine, which declared Latin America ‘the zone of exclusive interests of the U.S. ‘ in the colonial era,” the spokeswoman stated.

“They do it so that the policy of those states is in their interests, to take advantage of the region’s very rich resources outside the legitimate legal scope and the norms of international law, only according to their own criteria.”

Moscow pointed out that any use of force by Washington, in relation to Venezuela, “is not something abstract, but a possible reality.”

The Russian ministry representative cited the United States’ warmongering as “an act of overt aggression against a sovereign state – the failed landing of U.S. contractors in Cuba in 1961 – with the landing of the allies in Normandy.”

Bolton, after the announcement of new sanctions, vowed that the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua will inevitably fall.

“The excuses that the U.S. wants the spread of democratic principles in the world after it destroyed Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya, seem absolutely hypocritical and do not convince anyone,” Zajárova highlighted. “In other words, they demand the absolute obedience of all Latin American countries, as if they were not sovereign States.”

Russia, as a result, yet again, has urged Washington to reevaluate and abandon the plans of force towards Caracas.

“Despite the complexity of the socioeconomic and humanitarian situation in Venezuela, it does not represent a threat to international stability and security, what can not be said about ultimatums to a legitimate government and public promises to use force against a sovereign state by other states.”

The United States has now graduated from demanding “simply that the president [of Venezuela, Nicolás] Maduro renounce his legitimate position” to insisting that “he must leave power before the end of the year, and if this ultimatum is not fulfilled, they could use force,” the spokeswoman further explained.

Zajárova also noted that Washington “increasingly ignores” international law, “openly” violates the Charter of the United Nations and adopts unilateral positions to perpetuate the rhetoric of exceptionality.

“The harsh and aggressive tone of the representative of the armed forces (head of the US Southern Command, Craig Faller) again confirms our fears,” the Russian ministry official said during Thursday’s briefing.

Zajárova rejected the sanctions against Venezuela and said they are a threat to peace, stability in the region and ultimately internationally. 

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US Friendship Network with Cuba Demands Respect for the Island

Washington, Apr 19 (Latin Press) The National Network of Solidarity with Cuba (NNOC) in the United States has demanded on Friday that Washington puts an end to aggressive policies of regime change against the island, and respect its sovereignty and self-determination.

NNOC strongly condemns the aggressive and hostile statements of Donald Trump’s government regarding its Cuba policy, expressed the group of organizations in a statement to which Prensa Latina had access.

The text criticized the announcements made by National Security Advisor John Bolton, who two days ago said in Miami, Florida, that new restrictions will be imposed on travel, banking, and sending remittances to the Caribbean country.

Regarding Bolton’s speech, the network called the attention to the fact that it was pronounced on the anniversary of the failed mercenary Bay of Pigs invasion, in the western Cuban province of Matanzas 58 years ago today.

It also pointed out that Bolton’s references to the Monroe Doctrine ‘were a scandalous example of Trump’s provocative and ignorant policy toward Cuba, as well as an insult to the many people in the United States (including Cubans and Cuban-Americans) who support normal relations with our neighbor.

NNOC stressed that instead of joining the will of the world community, which has been demanding the end of the blockade against Cuba since 1992, Trump is acting to harden that siege by enforcing Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.

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Mexico Slams US Decision to Apply Helms-Burton Law to Cuba

Mexico, Apr 18 (Prensa Latina) Mexico’s government in an official statement released Thursday by almost all the national media, rejected the decision of Donald Trump”s administration to fully apply the Helms-Burton Act to Cuba.

The statement from the Foreign Ministry states that ‘the Government of Mexico regrets the US decision to apply for the first time in history Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, allowing US citizens to file lawsuits, starting May 2, against companies that use properties confiscated after the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

The measure could affect foreign companies doing business in and with Cuba, it adds, so the Mexican government will protect Mexican companies which do or have an interest in doing business with Cuba and which could be affected.

As it has historically done, Mexico rejects the application of unilateral trade laws with an extraterritorial character, which violate the norms of international law. In this regard, Mexico endorses its support for the end of the economic and commercial blockade imposed against Cuba. For its part, Mexico’s solidarity movement with Cuba also issued a condemnation on behalf of its affiliates in the 32 states of the nation condemning and rejecting the measures announced by the U.S. government to reactivate Titles III and IV of the Helms-Burton Act.

With it, the statement adds, the United States intends to ban trips to Cuba by US citizens, including those of Cuban origin, and to limit to a minimum remittances sent by these latter to their relatives in Cuba.

This is an illegal extraterritorial measure that must be rejected and condemned. We reiterate our solidarity with the Cuban people and their government, and we know that like Bay of Pigs, Donald Trump’s government and his mafia will fail.

The movement also condemns and rejects the decision of the United States to revive the imperialist doctrine Monroe raised by Bolton during a meeting with the Cuban mafia in Miami.

They will never destroy the Cuban revolution, nor the Cuban people, dignified successor of Fidel Castro. We reiterate the solidarity of the Mexican people with Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

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Nicaragua Received 33,000 Tons of Wheat Donated by Russia

Managua, April 18 (Prensa Latina) In the port of Corinth, Nicaragua”s main maritime entrance, a shipment of 33,000 tons of wheat donated by Russia is being unloaded this Thursday.

On Wednesday, the ship Pretty Jack is docked at this anchorage in the northwestern department of Chinandega, considered the safest in Central America. The first part of the grain that the Eurasian country destined for the Nicaraguan people arrived in its warehouses.

The Nicaraguan Company of Exports and Imports (Enimex) said this year there will be three more shipments of the same origin and conditions to complete the figure of 133,000 tons.

Last October 10, through the Russia-Nicaragua Joint Commission, both governments signed agreements aimed at strengthening bilateral economic and trade relations.

The contribution coming from Russia will guarantee the supply of flour for the production of bread in Nicaragua throughout the year, commented Juan Pablo Estrada, president of the National Chamber of Bakers, at the beginning of this week.

At the same time, the union leader pointed out that the consumption of bread at the national level fell by 30 percent since the beginning just a year ago of violent actions organized by opposition groups.

Therefore, and despite the good news that represents the donation of grain from Russia, estimated that the growth projections of the item for this year will not be met.

Estrada denounced that one of the main foreign supermarket chains operating in the country stopped buying bread from the national industry.

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Descargan en Nicaragua 33 mil toneladas de trigo donadas por Rusia 

Managua, 18 abr (Prensa Latina) En el puerto de Corinto, principal entrada marítima de Nicaragua, avanzan hoy las tareas de descarga de un envío de 33 mil toneladas de trigo donadas por Rusia.

Este miércoles atracó en ese ancladero del noroccidental departamento de Chinandega, considerado el más seguro de Centroamérica, el buque Pretty Jack en cuyas bodegas arribó la primera parte del cereal que el gigante eurasiático destinó al pueblo nicaragüense.

La Empresa Nicaragüense de Exportaciones e Importaciones (Enimex) precisó que durante el presente año habrá tres envíos más con el mismo origen y condiciones hasta completar la cifra de 133 mil toneladas.

El pasado día 10 a través de la Comisión Mixta Rusia-Nicaragua ambos gobiernos firmaron acuerdos tendientes al fortalecimiento de las relaciones económicas y comerciales bilaterales.

El aporte proveniente de Rusia garantizará el abastecimiento de harina para la elaboración de pan en Nicaragua a lo largo del año, comentó a principios de esta semana Juan Pablo Estrada, presidente de la Cámara Nacional de Panificadores.

Al propio tiempo el dirigente gremial señaló que el consumo de pan a nivel nacional descendió un 30 por ciento desde el comienzo hace justo un año de las acciones violentas organizadas por grupos opositores.

Por tanto, y a pesar de la buena noticia que representa la donación del cereal procedente de Rusia, estimó que las proyecciones de crecimiento del rubro para este año no se cumplirán.

Estrada denunció que una de las principales cadenas extranjeras de supermercados que operan en el país dejó de comprarle pan a la industria nacional.

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Russia Reiterates its Condemnation to US Unilateral Sanctions against Cuba

Simferopol, Apr 18 (Prensa Latina) Russia has reiterated Friday its strong condemnation of the application of unilateral sanctions by the United States, commenting on the recent White House announcement of a new package of punitive measures against Cuba.

We reiterate we are against unilateral sanctions and that the restrictions can only be legitimate if they are endorsed by the UN, declared the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zajarova, to a question from Prensa Latina, at the 5th International Economic Forum in Yalta.

The current US administration revived the Monroe Doctrine and applies it to its fullest extent in those aspects convenient for it to crush the sovereignty and independence demonstrated by the states, denounced Zajarova.

The spokeswoman said this is done to put the policy of those nations into the interest of the US position and, of course, to take over the rich resources of the region through actions outside the legal framework of trade relations.

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We are against any sanction. They can only be applied on a UN decision and international law, where the interests of a group of nations are taken into account, the official spokeswoman said.

Zajarova recalled that Russia observed the measures applied in relation to Cuba during Barack Obama’s administration. It was a different policy from the current one, she added.

That is why we consider this is not a state-level policy, nor a policy that responds to US people’s interests, but one that serves a specific political group, the diplomat remarked when commenting on anti-Cuban measures.

Everything in this case depends on the position of the nations in the region and whether they can concede to the pressure of the United States, said the diplomat, commenting on the support expressed by some countries for Washington’s policy of sanctions against Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Cuba’s history, in its struggle against the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States, should teach many, declared the spokesperson, in a clear allusion to the international community’s rejection of the U.S. blockade against Cuba.

As soon as you surrender to the pressures, stopping the country that imposes them is impossible and the only rule is to keep sovereignty, legality, respect for international law and independence, based on democratic instruments of which Washington talks so much, she stressed.

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