Venezuelan FM Rejects Statements by His Colombian Peer

 The Venezuelan Foreign Minister rejected his Colombian counterpart's discussion of Venezuela's internal affairs with representatives of the US Government in Washington.
The Venezuelan Foreign Minister rejected his Colombian counterpart’s discussion of Venezuela’s internal affairs with representatives of the US Government in Washington. | Photo: EFE

The Venezuelan diplomat denounced that these theories aim to distract attention from the growing internal problems of the Colombian government.

July 16 (teleSUR) Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has rejected the statements made by his Colombian counterpart, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, who is fulfilling an agenda in the United States.

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During his visit, Holmes Trujillo reiterated the accusations of an alleged connection between the Venezuelan government and Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN).

In this regard, the Venezuelan diplomat denounced that these theories aim to distract attention from the growing internal problems of the Colombian government.

The strategy of trying to distract public opinion from the crisis of the peace process, the growing drug industry and the violence unleashed in Colombia, using Venezuela as a wild card, no longer works for them. They look like a broken record. But also a very bad and very scratched record’ Arreaza wrote.

According to press reports, the visit by the Colombian Foreign Minister to the United States includes among its points the treatment of the Venezuelan issue with authorities of the northern nation.

The Colombian Foreign Ministry announced meetings in Washington with members of the U.S. Treasury Department, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, security advisor John Bolton and Elliot Abrams, special representative for Venezuela.

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Cuban Minister Talks Sustainable Development with UN Authorities

United Nations, Jul 15 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, met with UN Assistant Secretary General Amina Mohammed on Tuesday and reaffirmed Cuba’s commitment to Agenda 2030.

He also met with the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Achim Steiner.

The meetings are part of the activities carried out by the Cuban Minister in the context of the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Malmierca addressed the negative consequences of the unjust economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States against Cuba for the cooperation between the United Nations System and the largest of the Antilles, as well as for the implementation of Agenda 2030.

In the meeting with Mohammed, both parties ratified the will to continue strengthening cooperation ties and promote South-South and triangular cooperation initiatives, in pursuit of common development goals.

For her part, the Assistant Secretary General of the multilateral organization recognized Cuba’s achievements in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the valuable contribution that the Caribbean country is making to other states of the South.

Meanwhile, in the meeting with Steiner, it was highlighted that Cuba maintains excellent relations with UNDP and the will to continue strengthening them was ratified, especially in the context of the reform process of the United Nations Development System.

In the same way, the Cuban representative expressed his gratitude for the important aid provided by UNDP in the area of humanitarian assistance in the face of natural disasters and, in particular, for the recovery of Havana after the devastating tornado in January of this year.

He then extended an invitation from the Government of Cuba to participate in the celebrations for Havana’s 500th Anniversary.

Steiner expressed satisfaction for all the years of joint work and the willingness to continue supporting Cuba in order to promote its national priorities.

In this regard, he acknowledged the important achievements of the island in terms of the implementation of Agenda 2030, and whose objectives will be reflected in the new Framework for Cooperation of the United Nations System in Cuba and the UNDP Country Programme Document that should enter into force in 2020.

During these meetings were also present the alternate permanent representative of Cuba to the UN, Ana Silvia Rodriguez, and officials from the diplomatic mission of Cuba and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment.

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Historic Days in the Cuban Parliament

Historic Days in the Cuban Parliament

July 15 (Radio Rebelde) The Third Period of Sessions of the IX Legislature of the Cuban Parliament is considered historic this Sunday, both for the approval of three important laws and for the debated issues, of citizen interest.

It was a parliamentary exercise that had the active participation of the president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, even in the debate and subsequent approval of the Electoral, National Symbols and Fishing bills.

It is the first time that the legislature approves three legislations in the same session, where also members of the National Electoral Commission were elected by secret and direct vote, on the proposal of the president, according to the Electoral Law.

This was the opinion of the president of the National Assembly of People’s Power, Esteban Lazo, who emphasized the popular character of this body, composed of deputies ‘elected by the people and for the people’.

This was the first time the Assembly had been convened after the approval in February of the new Constitution of the Republic, which granted six months to the legislative body to elect the body in charge of organizing and supervising elections, referendums and other acts requiring popular vote.

The parliamentary session also put a strong emphasis on economic issues.

It turned out that the Gross Domestic Product grew in 2018 by 2.2 percent, while the plan was a modest 1.2 percent increase.

The Minister of Economy, Alejandro Gil, announced the progress of the economy in the first quarter of this year, where exports are growing, although much remains to be achieved in this regard.

In his speeches, President Miguel Diaz-Canel underscored the difficult conditions imposed on Cuba by the economic, financial and commercial blockade applied by the United States for almost 60 years.

The president emphasized that the encirclement policy is reinforced by the latest anti-Cuban measures of the White House that prohibit the visits of tourists, cruise ships, yachts and private U.S. airplanes to Cuba.

When Cuba was expecting a million cruise passengers this year, the final figure will be cut in half by Washington’s sanctions,’ said the Economic Affairs Committee, one of Parliament’s 10.

It was also reported that for the same reason tourism activity decreased in June 20.33 percent.

But Diaz-Canel said the U.S. siege does not disturb the sleep of Cubans, who are determined to build a prosperous and sustainable socialism.


(PL)

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US ‘Veterans for Peace’ visit Nicaragua, Establish Chapter

VfP delegation meeting FSLN figure Doris Tijerino
VfP delegation meeting FSLN figure Doris Tijerino | Photo: El19Digital

“I would like to underline the importance that your visit to Nicaragua has at this moment, not only for July 19, which is a very important date for us, and not only for the Sandinistas, but for the people in general”, senior member of the ruling FSLN, Doris Tijerino said.

July 15 (teleSUR) The anti-war group, Veterans for Peace (VfP), have sent a delegation to Nicaragua from the U.S. On Sunday they held meetings with Sandinista leaders. The aim of the nine day visit is to establish a Nicaragua chapter for the veterans of the country’s civil war who wish to campaign for peace.

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Veterans for Peace is an organisation of former soliders who now campaign against war. Their delegation held meetings on Sunday with a senior member of the ruling FSLN, Doris Tijerino, where they discussed the social achievements of Nicaragua’s leftist government, and the events of the attempted coup last year.

Tijerino stressed the importance of the visit ahead of Nicaragua’s ‘Liberation Day’ on July 19th, the 40th anniversary of Sandinista victory against the US-backed Somoza dictatorship.

“I would like to underline the importance that your visit to Nicaragua has at this moment, not only for July 19, which is a very important date for us, and not only for the Sandinistas, but for the people in general and in particular for people like the peasants unionized in ATC [union], the workers who also have their own union organizations and the immense majority of the people who, as you know, did not possess neither material goods nor even the possibility of imagining a better life ” said Tijerino to the U.S. based peace group.

Ahead of the visit, VFP set out what they hoped to achieve during the trip, revealing plans to establish a sister peace group in the Central American country, stating on their website; “Our delegation will participate in the founding meeting of the Nicaraguan chapter of Veterans For Peace, made up of former Sandinista soldiers and former CIA-backed counter-revolutionary soldiers (“Contras”). We will spend time with renowned Vietnam veteran and peace activist Brian Willson, who lives in Nicaragua and is helping to organize the VFP chapter there.”

On what they plan to see during the trip, they said, “We will meet with grassroots community groups and agricultural workers collectives. We will spend a few days in the capital Managua. We will visit several regions, including Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast, where we will meet with Afro-Caribbean and Indigenous communities. We will meet with government officials and learn about ongoing covert U.S. intervention in Nicaragua.”

Nicaragua has come under increasing attack from the Trump administration, who has placed economic sanctions on the country. The sanctions came after social conflict arose following attempts by armed US-backed protesters to violently overthrow the elected Sandinista government in 2018. The opposition has since accepted the government’s invitation for peace talks, but have refused to call for an end to the U.S. economic sanctions.   

The delegation arrived in Nicaragua on the 12th of July and will stay till the 21st of July.

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Diaz-Canel Walks Santa Clara Along with its People

Havana, Jul 15 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, along with hundreds of people, walked through emblematic sites of the central city of Santa Clara, which is celebrating its 330th anniversary this Monday.

The President, surrounded by people, walked from the founding site of the city, the Church of Carmen, to the central Leoncio Vidal Park.

During the walk he shared with the people of Santa Clara and visited the pedestrian boulevard, the headquarters of the Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba (UNEAC), the Central Hotel and enjoyed the performance of troubadours, repentistas and other artists.

He also paid tribute to Marta Abreu, considered a benefactor of Santa Clara, before the statue that stands in the center of the city.

Diaz-Canel participates in the solemn session of the Municipal Assembly of People’s Power dedicated to the event.

Santa Clara is internationally known as the City of Che in honor of Commander Ernesto Guevara, who on the eve of 1959 led the struggle for the liberation of the city during the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.

The mortal remains of Commander Che Guevara, who occupied important posts in the revolutionary government, rest in a memorial in Santa Clara, along with those of those who were his comrades in Bolivia’s guerrilla feat.

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Venezuelan Delegation Arrives in Barbados to Continue Dialouge

Venezuelan delegation including Jorge Rodriguez and Jorge Arreaza reached Barbados for dialogues.
Venezuelan delegation including Jorge Rodriguez and Jorge Arreaza reached Barbados for dialogues. | Photo: Twitter / @jorgerpsuv

Venezuelan delegates arrived in Barbados to continue dialogue with the opposition facilitated by Norway.

July 15 (teleSUR) The Venezuelan delegation arrived in Barbados Monday to continue the negotiations with the spokesperson of the country’s opposition. 

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Jorge Rodríguez, the Vice President of Communication, Tourism, and Culture of Venezuela informed about their arrival on Twitter. 

“We have arrived at generous Barbados to continue the dialogue of peace. Together with Pope Francis, we hope that all of us will commit our efforts to the construction of a peaceful mechanism for the settlement of disputes and the aggression against our worthy people will be deactivated,” he wrote. 

He also said that the presence of Pope Francis at the negotiating table will help in solving the difficulties between the Venezuelan government and the opposition. 

The Venezuelan official also indicated that they trust in the facilitation of the Government of Norway and thanked the hospitality of the people and Government of Barbados.

The talks come after the self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido has attempted several U.S.-backed coups since late January. 

On July 8, delegates from the government and the Venezuelan opposition arrived in Barbados to continue with the peace dialogue which began in Norway on May 14, a process whose main purpose is achieving a peaceful solution to the political impasse in the South American country.​​​​​​​

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UK Is Called to Act against US Anti-Cuba Measures

London, Jul 15 (Prensa Latina) Cuban residents in the United Kingdom condemned the new escalation of sanctions by the United States against Cuba, and called on the British Government to comply with its own laws against Washington”s extraterritorial measures.

In a letter sent to the conservative parliamentarian and minister of State for the Americas at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alan Duncan, Cubans in the UK charged that the British bank HSBC is revising the organization’s account because it made a donation to the victims of the tornado that hit Havana in January 2019.

We received a communication warning us that the organization may not utilize HSBC products or services for activity involving Iran, Sudan, North Korea, Syria, the Crimea/Sevastopol Regions, or Cuba, says the letter, to which Prensa Latina had access.

In that regard, the text calls on the conservative Government to comply with its own regulations prohibiting the extraterritorial imposition of US blockade on Cuba for more than five decades.

We refer specifically to Decree 3171 approved in 1996 on the ‘Protection of Trading Interests’ with regards the extraterritorial legislation of the US. This legislation grants the British government the power to penalize legal and natural persons who make use of US legislation in British territory, as a measure to counteract its effects, the letter adds.

Cubans in the UK warned that on 2 May 2019, Title III of the Helms-Burton Act entered into force, specifying that US citizens and companies may file lawsuits in US Courts against Cuban or foreign companies that currently benefit from properties nationalized after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in January 1959.

It is an unprecedented, prepotent, arrogant and threatening law, applied exclusively to Cuba, warned Cubans in UK, which thanked the British Government for preventing its application within its territory, as well as its willingness to collaborate with Cuba in projects of mutual interest. In their letter to Minister Duncan, the Cuban residents in the United Kingdom pointed out that the US blockade has caused damage to Cuba’s economy for more than 900 billion dollars.

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Blockade Forces Venezuelan Kids To Leave Argentinian Hospital

Isabella, 22 months old, needs a liver transplant right away in Argentina, and due to the U.S. blockade the Venezuelan government can’t transfer the funds for it.
Isabella, 22 months old, needs a liver transplant right away in Argentina, and due to the U.S. blockade the Venezuelan government can’t transfer the funds for it. | Photo: @fundalatin – Twitter

The Argentinian organization Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo condemned the conditions faced by Venezuelan children in the Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires, who they report are being affected by the U.S. blockade against Venezuela.

July 15 (teleSUR) The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo organization issued a statement in which they expressed  their concern and rejection at the fact that Venezuelan children are being forced out of the Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires, as a consequence of the U.S. blockade of Venezuelan funds coming from the state oil company PDVSA and its subsidiary company Citgo. The blockade has seized Venezuelan funds and has made almost impossible for the government to cover the high cost of medical services outside the country. 

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For the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the economic and commercial blockade “has an impact on the cease of these medical treatments, the expel of the relatives of the patients from the houses they were living on and the decision of kicking the Venezuelan kids out of the Italian hospital of Buenos Aires. All which implies a very serious risk to the health of these patients”. 

For example, “Isabella, a 22 month old Venezuelan toddler, awaits  a liver transplant in the Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her condition is really fragile and it could get worse if the government of Venezuela can’t transfer the funds for her surgery and treatment”, the Venezuelan NGO Fundalatin posted in its twitter account.

Fundalatin@fundalatin

Isabella ya tiene 22 meses de nacida. Tiene complicaciones post-trasplante de hígado. Su condición es muy delicada y necesita seguir su tratamiento en Argentina, sin demoras. La persecución financiera contra Venezuela debe cesar.#ElBloqueoMata51110:44 AM – May 31, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy

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The human rights organization Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo called on the Argentinian government and the hospital authorities to take actions so the patients can continue with their treatment, and they rejected the U.S. sanctions against Venezuela for considering they go against the human rights to health and life for the Venezuelan citizens.

The Venezuelan kids in the Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires were part of a program funded by PDVSA-Citgo, that has benefited Venezuelan and other patients of different nationalities with cancer and several other chronic illness, that couldn’t afford to pay for a bone marrow transplant among other surgeries and treatments. The program also benefiting Argentinian citizens. 

“This program needs to continue with the labor of integrated health coverage that also allows Argentinians to access international medical attention. The program was one of the best examples of cooperation between two brother countries”, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo stated in their letter.  

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Cuba Strengthens Ties with its Citizens Abroad

Havana, July 15 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has reaffirmed his country’s willingness to strengthen ties with its citizens living abroad.

After announcing on Twitter the start of the annual meeting of Cuban consuls in Havana, the official said: ‘We assess together the priorities of consular work and attention to Cubans living abroad.

He also ratified ‘Cuba’s willingness to continue working to strengthen ties with our nationals abroad.

In a similar communication previously published, the Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated that revolutionary diplomacy is committed to the call of Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel to think like a country.

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International investors recognize Cuba’s guarantees, despite pressure from Washington

“We must develop an export vocation in all entities. We need to substitute imports, because the less we spend, the more money to re-circulate within our own productive processes,” said Miguel Diaz-Canel, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, during a discussion with deputies on the National Assembly’s Public Services Committee

Author: Nuria Barbosa León | internet@granma.cu

july 11, 2019 10:07:56

“We must develop an export vocation in all entities. We need to substitute imports, because the less we spend, the more we have to re-circulate within our own productive processes,” said Miguel Diaz-Canel, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, during a meeting of the National Assembly’s Public Services Committee, in which deputies received updated information on Law No.118 that governs foreign investment in the country.

Legislators learned that the portfolio of business opportunities promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment includes more than 500 projects in different sectors, among which tourism stands out.

The introduction of foreign capital in our economy is today an essential part of our development strategy, which is why this is one of the main lines of attack pursued by the United States government, he said. But despite the pressures on international investors and companies in our country, all have maintained a firm position in rejecting the extraterritorial nature of U.S. laws, mainly the Helms-Burton.

“No one has pulled out; some have submitted new projects and have said that they are willing to close businesses elsewhere to stay here, because of the potential to start new projects and security in Cuba,” Diaz-Canel said, explaining that business people know how much we are affected by the tightening of the criminal blockade and financial persecution, but they have confidence in the commitment of the Revolution’s leadership to fulfill obligations.

The President emphasized the need to attract capital, technology, and knowledge to advance economic growth. “We will not invest in just anything, but in key, prioritized sectors, very well defined in Cuban law, always defending our sovereignty and independence.”

Prior to the President, Ministers Eduardo Rodríguez Dávila (Transportation), Betsy Díaz Velázquez (Domestic Commerce), Manuel Marrero Cruz (Tourism) and Deputy Minister of Communications Ernesto Rodríguez reported on joint ventures in their sectors, currently providing mutual benefit, while difficulties were also recognized, such as delays in responding to international investors, in processing and documentation, and insufficient experience in contracting the purchase raw materials.
Nonetheless, investors continue to show interest in Cuba, given citizen security here; our highly qualified workforce; and the population’s human values ​​, including commitment and dedication to professional activity.

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