Congressman McGovern: Cuba and U.S. Can Have Normal Relations

Havana, May 17 (Prensa Latina) In times when the U.S. Government keeps strengthening its hostile policy against Cuba, a U.S. congressman visited Havana and stated that normal relations are possible for the two countries.

‘That’s what most of the U.S. public thinks and representatives of congress too,’ democratic representative for Massachusetts James McGovern asserted during his recent visit to Havana.

McGovern, who is also the chairman of the House Rules Committee, said that he is aware of the fact that the administration of president Trump doesn’t share that opinion, as his hostile actions show. However, he said the administration’s vision lacks support in the United States.

Washington has imposed new sanctions on Cuba to exacerbate the economic, commercial and financial blockade in force for almost 60 years. Also threatening is the complete activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which seeks to prevent foreign investment in Cuba.

‘I, and many others, believe that the best option is to have good relations,’ he stressed.

According to McGovern, the U.S. Government should lift the blockade and the travel restrictions that keep Americans from traveling freely to neighboring island. He also added that the United States should cancel the Helms-Burton Act, which is aimed at a change of regime by means of the economic asphyxia.

‘I am committed to improving our relations; the outlook is favorable at the House of Representatives, where the Democrats are in majority. However, the same might not be true for the Senate, which is controlled by the Republicans and Trump would surely block any initiative in that direction; but we must keep working until we have the appropriate conditions in the future,’ he said.

According to the congressman, normal bilateral relations are part of his country’s objectives.

The opinion of the Massachusetts politician is valid, considering that even in the hostile scenario imposed by Trump, over twenty agreements on issues of common interest are being fully implemented. Those agreements were signed during the administration of Barack Obama, who in 2015 and 2016 – the last two years of his term in office – fostered rapprochement between the two nations.

Another advantage of good relations is the high number of commercial flights and cruise ships belonging to U.S. companies that have earned good income as a result of those operations.

His agenda included meetings with Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including General Deputy Director for U.S. Affairs Johana Tablada, in addition to a meeting with students of the Higher Institute of International Relations.

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Cuban Duo Gente de Zona Announces Launching New Album

Havana, May 17 (Prensa Latina) Cuban singers Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcom, members of the urban music duo Gente de Zona, announced the eve their new phonogram will come out on May 24.

Under the title Otra cosa (Something Else), the album features the musical production of Malcom himself, along with Angel Arce, Alejandro Arce and Motiff.

Cuban and foreign guests collaborated in the phonogram’s realization, such as Franco de Vita, Mau and Ricky, Gustavo Lima, Kelvis Ochoa, Gilberto Santa Rosa, El Chacal, El Micha, Silvestre Dangond, Farina, Ana Mena, Zion and Lennox, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Pancho Amat.

In statements to local media, Malcom said that the album will reach all digital platforms after two years of preparation, with a varied musical proposal without being far away from the group’s style and identity.

According to the singers, Otra Cosa, is also a statement of how their sound is defined worldwide, by the mixture of Cuban and Caribbean rhythms.

The first advance of this album was heard in March under the title El mentiroso (Liar),featuring the Colombian Dangond.

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Venezuela Welcomes Norway’s Announcement On Beginning of Dialogue

Caracas, May 17 (Prensa Latina) Vice-President of Venezuela, Delcy Rodriguez, celebrated on Friday Norway”s pronouncement on a first rapprochement for political dialogue between the Caracas government and the opposition based in the European country.

In a message posted on Twitter, the senior official reiterated the intention to develop talks proposed by President Nicolas Maduro.

The president ratifies and reaffirms the path of dialogue as the only way for understanding among Venezuelans in the framework of the defense of peace and respect for sovereignty, Rodriguez wrote.

According to a press release issued by the Government of the European nation, this week the representatives began an exploratory phase among the main Venezuelan political actors as a formula to achieve a solution to the Venezuelan context.

Norway commends the parties for their efforts. We reiterate our willingness to continue supporting the search for a peaceful solution,’ the text stressed.

This week, the Venezuelan president announced that the vice-president of Communication, Culture and Tourism, Jorge Rodríguez, remained in an important mission in Europe.

The president of the National Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, revealed that part of the national opposition was willing to dialogue with the government in secret.

The political leader confirmed that after months of refusal, representatives of the right asked the Executive to start negotiations to solve the political crisis.

There is no need to be afraid of dialogue, because dialogue does not mean capitulation or surrender, it simply means talking about issues that are common to find a meeting point,’ he said.

International media had reported on possible secret talks between government representatives and the Norwegian-based Venezuelan opposition.

Although it had not been confirmed until today, agencies such as Reuters ensured the presence of leaders from both sides separately with a team of mediators from the European country with experience in negotiations.

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Cuba Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Agrarian Reform Law

Providencia, Cuba (Prensa Latina) The 60th anniversary of the signing of the Agrarian Reform Law by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, who eradicated the latifundia and distributed the land to the peasantry of the island, was celebrated here this Friday.

During a political-cultural act in the eastern province of Granma, the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, said that the signing of the law in the heart of the Sierra Maestra, marked a milestone of enormous importance for the country, because ‘more than an agrarian reform there was an agrarian revolution.

‘No matter how hard the enemies of the Revolution try to distort history, the irrefutable truth is that the Agrarian Reform Law was absolutely fair, it eliminated the scourge of large estates,’ said Machado Ventura.

Likewise, he added that the signing of the referred legislation brought socialism to the fields of the largest of the Antilles, and was a triumph of the ideas of proletarian leaders of the nation who never made a distinction between the factory worker and the furrow worker.

For her part, the young peasant farmer and Master of Science in Education Yaneisis Fonseca referred to the situation of rural men and women before the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, and how with the enactment of the Agrarian Reform Law the peasants became owners of their land.

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Who’s behind the pro-Guaido mob that besieged Venezuela’s embassy in Washington?

dc venezuelan embassy opposition protesters

The intimidation tactics by the pro-coup embassy besiegers not only failed to deter the peace activists around the embassy, they left Venezuela’s D.C.-based opposition with a serious PR problem. After a week of hateful outbursts, a handful of marketing strategists emerged as de facto spokespeople for the mob.

by Jeb Sprague and Alexander Rubinstein

This article was originally published at Mint Press.

May 16 (The Grayzone) After a rough and revealing start, the reins of the campaign to seize Venezuela’s embassy in Washington are being taken over by a group of well-connected marketing and online strategists.

In this article, we will examine the backgrounds of these individuals, the platforms they use to disseminate their message, and the tactics they have employed to clamor for an embassy seizure that violates international law. We will also address how they may stand to benefit directly from an escalation of Washington’s hybrid war and a potential regime-change scenario in Venezuela.

Washington serves as a magnet for many elite and upper-middle-class professionals from countries that have been targeted by U.S. regime-change efforts. In their home countries, some of these elements may function as the shock troops or intellectual beacons of empire, forming the front lines of American-backed color-revolution-style destabilization campaigns. In the U.S., some upwardly mobile members of the diaspora also become lobbyists for regime change. They position themselves as the true voices of “the people” of their nation, while the poor and working class majorities of those countries are left behind, ignored by the corporate media and unable to travel north.

This sensibility is perfectly reflected by the crowd of pro-coup Venezuelan exiles and diaspora members that has besieged the Venezuelan Embassy in a bid to starve out the American activists who have staged a round-the-clock protest inside.

In early April, peace activists were invited by Venezuela’s government into its embassy in D.C., after the Trump administration ordered the country’s diplomats to depart. Over twenty wound up taking up residence in the embassy, hoping to prevent an illegal seizure of the building.

On April 30 – the same day self-proclaimed “president” Juan Guaidó staged a failed military coup – pro-Guaidó Venezuelans initiated their siege of the embassy. As they converged on the premises, some unleashed a wave of violentmisogynistic, and racist attacks on peace activists both inside and outside the building.

Some of the pro-Guaidó militants are believed to have since carried out physical attacks, made death threats, and harassed the family members of embassy defenders. Some are also believed to have committed acts of property destruction, wrecked the tents of activists, and ransacked an embassy office while promoting ultra-Zionism and praising President Donald Trump and the policeTeleSUR’s correspondent Alina Duarte has faced a torrent of threats from some of the pro-Guaidó extremists, returning home one night to find that someone had attempted to break into and enter her apartment.

The intimidation tactics not only failed to deter the peace activists around the embassy, they left Venezuela’s D.C.-based opposition with a serious PR problem. After a week of hateful outbursts, a handful of marketing strategists emerged as de facto spokespeople for the mob. They are now delegated for interviews with national media outlets, deploying a combination of liberal-sounding language and identity politics to deflect from the presence of violent, sociopathic elements within the mob, some of whom will also be identified in this article.

The well-groomed spokespeople for regime change

Dilianna C. Bustillos (also known as Dillianna Bustillos Vivas) has become a poster child for the pro-Guaidó mob. A senior manager at Oracle, she previously worked for MarketBridge and for the advocate marketing firm Influitive. Oracle, a computer technology corporation and one of the largest companies in the world, also works closely with aerospace and defense companies. In 2018 it had global revenues of $39.83 billion.

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Cuba Ratifies Cooperation with IAEA for Peaceful Ends

Havana, May 17 (Prensa Latina) Cuba”s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez asserted on Twitter his country’s willingness to continue working with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to promote the use of nuclear technologies for peaceful ends.

The Foreign Minister highlighted that as IAEA founding member Cuba has excellent relations with the UN watchdog.

As proof of that, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano is fulfilling a working visit to the island since last Wednesday and today he was welcome by Rodriguez at the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry.

Founded in 1957, the IAEA is a world agency of cooperation on the field of nuclear energy, with the aim to promote use of atomic energy under conditions of physical and technological safety.

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Maduro Confirms Dialogue with Venezuelan Opposition in Norway

Maduro took part in the Military Allegiance March with 6,500 members of the military in Aragua, Venezuela. May 17, 2019
Maduro took part in the Military Allegiance March with 6,500 members of the military in Aragua, Venezuela. May 17, 2019 | Photo: teleSUR

The Venezuelan leader reiterated his calls for a national dialogue to achieve peace in the country and maintain respect for sovereignty.

May 17 (teleSUR) The President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro announced Friday that a new process has begun to initiate a dialogue with the country’s opposition, aided by mediation efforts from Norwegian representatives.

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From the northern state of Aragua, the leader revealed that the Minister of Communications and Information Jorge Rodriguez and the governor of the state of Miranda, Hector Rodriguez, joined the delegation that traveled to Norway “to explore the beginnings of a dialogue with the Venezuelan opposition and to map out a peaceful agenda for the country.” 

The head of the Venezuelan state led the Military Allegiance March along with 6,500 military personnel who are “combat ready, and physically and mentally trained for the civic-military union,” he highlighted. 

“The Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) will continue walking the path of the Republic, of unity, of cohesiveness, of building the future,” Maduro said as he reiterated his call for the defense of national sovereignty. 

“I will never give up, I will never betray the people, and I will always be at the front of every battle that I’m called to. I am content with the future of Venezuela and the FANB,” he emphasized. 

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Cuban FM Highlights the Work of Cuban Doctors in Mozambique

Havana, May 17 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez, today highlighted the solidarity work of a Cuban medical brigade in Mozambique, where they have made more than 20 thousand consultations among the victims of hurricane Idai.

In a message on the social network Twitter, the head of the Cuban diplomacy added that the Cuban doctors carried out 260 surgical operations in 40 days of work in a field hospital.

‘Just as Fidel Castro would say: In international relations we practice our solidarity with facts, not with beautiful words,’ the Cuban Foreign Minister wrote in his account @BrunoRguezP.

Since the end of March, a medical brigade from the Caribbean nation traveled to Mozambique to help counteract the impact of Hurricane Idai that left close to 500 dead, thousands of homeless people and a lot of material damage.

The group of 40 physicians includes surgeons, anesthesiologists, orthopedists, epidemiologists, general practitioners, nurses and specialists in electromedicine, who joined the 372 employees of the island who serve in the African country.

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US Press Reaches All-Time Low on Venezuela Coverage


by Daniel Kovalik

May 13 (Counterpunch) As famed Latin American author Eduardo Galeano once wrote, “every time the US ‘saves’ a country, it converts it into either an insane asylum or a cemetery.” Of course, as we look over the wreckage left by the US in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, we see that this statement is demonstrably true. And yet, now that the US is poised for another intervention, this time in Venezuela, the press is right there again to cheer it along.

Analyzing 76 total press articles of the “elite” press from January 15 to April 15, 2019, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) could find not one voice that opposed Trump’s regime plans in Venezuela. Meanwhile, 54 percent openly supported these plans.  Of course, this should not be all too surprising given the press’s usual complicity in past US war efforts — e.g., by pushing such war lies as the Gulf of Tonkin, the killing of babies in Kuwait, the WMDS of Iraq and the alleged Viagra-fueled rapes in Libya.  The current war lies are coming fast and furious from such outlets as CNN which lied about seeing Maduro forces lighting aid containers on fire at the Colombian border (it was in fact opposition forces which did so as the NYT admitted two weeks later), and which claimed that US puppet Juan Guaido actually won the presidential election against Nicolas Maduro when in fact Guaido never even ran for president.

What is quite stunning, however, is the total unanimity of the press in uncritically covering and supporting the ongoing coup in Venezuela. This is baffling because the same press outlets which have been rightly critical of Trump for all of his stupidity, lying and meanness, have suddenly found him brilliant, true and benevolent when it comes to Venezuela. This is particularly remarkable given that his partners in this crime are Neo-Con John Bolton; former CIA Director Mike Pompeo who recently joked that the CIA’s true motto is “We lied, We Cheated, We Stole”; and convicted liar Elliott Abrams.  As for Abrams, he is infamous for his role in the illegal funding of the Nicaraguan Contras; his covering up of the El Mazote massacre in El Salvador in which around 1000 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed by US-backed forces; and his aiding and abetting the US-backed genocide in Guatemala.

And yet, somehow, we are to believe from our “free” press that this band of rogues is going to deliver democracy and human rights to Venezuela.  Never mind the fact that Trump himself is President after losing to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes, and that the US, in the words of former President Jimmy Carter, no longer has a functioning democracy.  As for Venezuela, on the other hand, Carter has said that its electoral system is “the best in the world.”

Meanwhile, this same captive press incessantly tells of us of all the deprivations and travails in Venezuela while refusing to explain how, as UN Expert Dr. Alfred de Zayas has concluded, this state of affairs is largely the result of brutal US sanctions.   Recently, respected economist Jeffrey Sachs co-authored a report showing that, since August of 2017, over 40,000 Venezuelans have died due to the US sanctions which have deprived Venezuela of food and life-saving medicines.   But few would know any of this because the voices of de Zayas and Sachs are never heard in the mainstream press.

Also unheard are any of the 6 million Venezuelans who voted for Nicolas Maduro in May of 2018, many of whom turn out for massive pro-government demonstrations.  Instead, the press gives ink and air time only to mostly white, well-off and English-speaking individuals who support the opposition, giving the false impression that Maduro has no support.

Moreover, in Orwellian fashion, the press refuses to call the current push for a military uprising in Venezuela a “coup,” while the same time referring to Maduro invariably as “repressive” and as a “dictator,” and his government as a “regime.”

In short, instead of giving two sides of the story, the press gives us one, ignores crucial facts and tells us how we should be viewing the situation in Venezuela.  This is not journalism at all, but naked propaganda, and it is shameful.

The fact that, despite all of the US pressure and threats, and despite all of the lies, the Venezuelan people have not risen up en massein support of Juan Guaido – a man 80 percent of Venezuelans never heard of until he declared himself president with the US’s urging – should tell one that things are not as we are being led to believe.  What we are seeing in Venezuela is but another attempted coup made in the USA, and it is the same type as the ones that brought such scoundrels as General Pinochet to power in Chile.  But one would never know this from our trusted press which has decided that it is the mouthpiece for the State Department instead of a check on a President and a nation run amok.

Daniel Kovalik teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and is author of the forthcoming, The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela, How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil, with a Foreword by Oliver Stone.Join the debate on FacebookMore articles by:DANIEL KOVALIK

Daniel Kovalik teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

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Cuba Has a Total Commitment to Peace, Cuban FM Says

Havana, May 16 (Prensa Latina) Cuba”s Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, highlighted Thursday in Twitter the island”s permanent commitment to the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

Cuba has as paradigm the peaceful solution of controversies to banish forever the threat and use of force in Latin America, Rodriguez wrote.

‘Cuba is committed to peace’, stressed the Head of Cuban Diplomacy.

The document was approved by all the Heads of State and government of the Latin American region gathered in Havana in January 2014, during the 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

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