Cuban Aid Omission in Chernobyl Series Criticized in UK

London, June 17 (Prensa Latina) A British reader strongly criticized The Guardian newspaper on the omission of the Cuban aid to children victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster displayed in the homonymous TV series.

Millions of people have seen the series (…), it was not mentioned a paramount part of the story though. It is about that as a result of the 1986 catastrophe, Cuba stepped forward (1989 and 2011) and aided 20,000 Chernobyl children affected by cancer, according to a letter written by Dr. Doreen Weppler-Grogan.

The London reader highlighted the free nature of medical treatment, education, clothing, accommodation and other services provided by Cuba.

No other nation in the world implemented a similar massive program, the letter added, noting that in addition to the facilities offered in Cuba, some Cuban physicians traveled to Ukraine, and that the cooperation program continued even after the government replacement in such an old Soviet republic.

The letter also noted Cuba´s recent decision to resume medical assistance for Chernobyl victims´ descendants, despite the serious impact of the economic, commercial and financial US blockade against the Cuban economy.

Are not these enough reasons for being mentioned?, the reader asked.

The series aired by the US satellite television network and Sky has also been strongly criticized in Russia for its inaccuracies and misrepresentations when it comes to narrating the accident occurred on April 26, 1986, in a reactor of the Vladimir I. Lenin nuclear power plant, in the town of Chernobyl.


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Russia Reiterates Support for the Legitimate Government of Venezuela

June 17 (teleSUR) Russia reiterates its unalterable position regarding its support for the legitimate Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and the current authorities, led by President Nicolás Maduro.

This was announced by the secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Nikolai Patrushev, who confirmed to the Secretary General of the Council of Defense of the Nation (Codena) of Venezuela, M / G Pascualino Angiolillo Fernández, Moscow’s willingness to contribute to the dialogue between the Venezuelan authorities and the opposition.

RELATED CONTENT: Is the Dialogue in Norway Moving to Sweden?

The meeting between the secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Nikolái Pátrushev, and the Secretary General of the Codena of Venezuela, M / G Pascualino Angiolillo Fernández, took place this Monday morning.

Pascualino Angiolillo Fernández arrived in Russia to participate in the international meeting of senior security officers that will take place from June 18 to 20 in the city of Ufa.

RELATED CONTENT: Lindsey Graham Wants to Invade Venezuela to Put “Points on the Board” (Again)

The secretary of the Russian Security Council also stressed that interference in the internal affairs of other countries is inadmissible.

Among other topics, the meeting addressed the perspectives of Russian and Venezuelan cooperation in security matters, particularly in terms of domestic political stability and cybersecurity.

Source URL: Alba Ciudad

Translated by JRE/EF

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Iranian Lawmakers Condemn US Blockade Against Cuba

Tehran, June 17 (Prensa Latina) Iran´s Interparliamentary Friendship Group with Cuba has condemned the hardening of the US criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba through new sanctions.

‘We repudiate the US economic siege against the Cuban government and its people, including those hegemonic policies of Washington,’ the legislative group stressed in a statement.

After highlighting that the US economic siege against Cuba causes great material and human damage, the text called on all the responsible parliaments worldwide to use their capacities to counteract the US destabilizing and unilateral actions against Cuba.

The Group pointed out, in that context, that the US expansionist and inhumane policies against Cuba go against international law.

This Iranian organization added that they are confident in the Cuban government and its people will defend firmly and proud their independence and national sovereignty ahead of the intensified blockade.

As part of the unfair siege against Cuba, the US administration recently activated title III of the Helms-Burton Act, considered a legal monstrosity, which allows, among other actions, legal actions against Cuban and foreign entities outside the jurisdiction of the United States.


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This Is Not Journalism: Univision Warps Reality to Push US War Agenda

Feature photo | Univision’s Jorge Ramos shows a video he says his crew shot the previous day showing Venezuelan youth picking food scraps out of the back of a garbage truck in Caracas, during an interview at a hotel in Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 25, 2019. According to Ramos, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro cut short an interview when he showed Maduro the same footage during the interview at Miraflores presidential palace, before leaving two hours later without having his crew’s equipment returned. Photo | AP
Alexander Rubinstein

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June 17 (Orinoco Tribune) Alexander Rubinstein is a staff writer for MintPress News based in Washington, DC. He reports on police, prisons and protests in the United States and the United States’ policing of the world. He previously reported for RT and Sputnik News.

The blatant lie told by Jorge Ramos in the New York Times is part of a larger trend in Univision’s coverage, which reaches 60 percent of American households and makes Univision the largest Spanish-language network in the U.S.

by Alexander Rubinstein

Univision’s Jorge Ramos, sometimes called the “Walter Cronkite of Latin America,” flagrantly lied about his interview with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in February, the recording, which was leaked to Univision itself, reveals. The network’s reporting on other issues surrounding Venezuela is also characterized by unprofessionalism and overreaching, according to an account by one activist.

MintPress News previously reported on the discrepancies in Jorge Ramos’ account of what happened during his U.S. government-approved interview with Maduro.

RELATED CONTENT: Social Media Automation & Infowars by Venezuelan Opposition

Ramos said he was detained after the interview and was unable to release it because his equipment was confiscated. Last week, however, Univision published the full interview.

Analyzing the footage in comparison with Ramos’ account of what happened reveals not just discrepancies, but outright lies. Ramos took to the New York Times op-ed section after he returned to the United States, saying that it was a video he took of Venezuelans dumpster diving that “broke” Maduro and caused him to end the interview, confiscate his equipment, and detain him for three hours.

The day before I had recorded on my cellphone three young men looking for food on the back of a garbage truck in a poor neighborhood minutes away from the presidential palace. I showed those images to Mr. Maduro. Each frame contradicted his narrative of a prosperous and progressive Venezuela 20 years after the revolution. That’s when he broke.

About 17 minutes into the interview, Mr. Maduro stood up, comically tried to block the images on my iPad and declared that the interview was over.”

RELATED CONTENT: Sorting Out Reality from Fiction About Venezuela

The video from Univision directly contradicts that narrative, however. Ramos told Maduro that “Your revolution has failed terribly.” Maduro begins to try to counter the claim by talking about Venezuela’s public safety net which includes free housing for millions, and more. Ramos then cuts Maduro off, who then wipes his forehead in frustration.

WATCH: Univision’s Jorge Ramos lied about his interview with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. He said in a NYT op-ed that Maduro cut the interview off after he showed him footage of Venezuelans dumpster diving, but Ramos actually tried to show him it after the interview ended

— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) June 8, 2019

Looking at his laptop, Ramos then tells Maduro: “Let me show you the video of what I saw yesterday.”

That’s when Maduro ends the interview, telling Ramos “this interview doesn’t make any sense.” Maduro is already standing up and had already told Ramos “see you later” by the time Ramos took his laptop off his lap and attempted to show Maduro the video.

The blatant lie told by Ramos in the New York Times is part of a larger trend in Univision’s coverage, which reaches 60 percent of American households and makes Univision the largest Spanish-language network in the U.S.

Directing sources to lie
Following the stand-off over the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, one activist — who is unaffiliated with any of the groups that supported international law and the democratically-elected government of Venezuela’s claim over the embassy in Washington — showed up to support the Embassy Protection Collective’s attempt to keep the building out of the hands of Juan Guaido, the self-declared president of Venezuela.

The activist was carrying a flag of a socialist government allied with Venezuela when he was approached by a Univision reporter, the activist told MintPress News, initially off-the-record.

In an apparent attempt to tie the anti-war women’s group CODEPINK to supporters of the socialist government, the reporter asked the activist whether she could interview them and asked whether she could identify them as a member of CODEPINK.

The activist declined to identify as a member of the organization because they are not one, but agreed to the interview. The reporter took down the activist’s phone number and told them that she needed to check with her producer.

Later on, the activist got a phone call from the producer, who asked if they were a member of CODEPINK. The activist answered in the negative, and so the producer asked whether they would identify as a member of the group anyways. Once the activist refused again, Univision cancelled the interview.

Univision is a powerhouse in Spanish media, as is Ramos, while the embassy standoff was a major proxy conflict in the larger coup attempt. These narratives paint a grim portrait of the lengths to which Univision will go in violation of standard journalistic ethics in order to get a story that could help manufacture consensus in the U.S. for further conflict with Venezuela.

Feature photo | Univision’s Jorge Ramos shows a video he says his crew shot the previous day showing Venezuelan youth picking food scraps out of the back of a garbage truck in Caracas, during an interview at a hotel in Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 25, 2019. According to Ramos, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro cut short an interview when he showed Maduro the same footage during the interview at Miraflores presidential palace, before leaving two hours later without having his crew’s equipment returned. Photo | AP

Source URL: Mint Press

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China Ratifies Willingness to Strengthen Legal Cooperation with Cuba

Beijing, June 18 (Prensa Latina) The Chinese Minister of Justice, Fu Zhenghua, has ratified the will to deepen friendship and legal cooperation with Cuba, when welcoming the Secretary of the Cuban Council of State, Homero Acosta, official sources reported on Tuesday.

The Chinese Minister also expressed interest in learning about Cuba’s experience in reforming the new Constitution, proclaimed on April 10, according to a statement from Havana’s embassy in Beijing.

Acosta, for his part, shared the experiences gathered during this process and updated Fu on the tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba almost 60 years ago.

He explained that the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act has the primary purpose of choking the Cuban economy and causing serious harm to the people.

However, he emphasized the determination of Cuba to withstand and not be frightened by the intensification of Washington’s hostile policy.

Acosta arrived on Monday in Beijing from Vietnam and is making an official visit until Friday 21.

His agenda includes meetings with officials of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese Law Society, as well as the Chinese Communist Party and the local Foreign Office.

He is accompanied by Cuban Vice Minister of Justice Rosabel Gamon and Yumil Rodriguez, Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the Council of State.


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Syrian Friendship Association Ratifies Support to Cuba

Damascus, Jun 17 (Prensa Latina) The Syria-Cuba Friendship Association has declared its firm support to the Cuban people and government for their resistance against the US blockade.

According to a statement, it was pointed out that ‘our people have the moral duty to unite and support each other to face this inhuman offensive. The media, political and economic war by the United States against Cuba, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, China and other sovereign nations prove it so.

For 60 years, the Cuban Revolution led by the eternal leader Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz has been example of resistance against the US attempts to foster a political and economic system change in Cuba, the statement read.

Reiterated and nearly unanimous calls by the international community to put an end to this irrational, economic blockade against Cuba prove that the reason is on our people´s side, the Association stated.

‘Our Association will go on defending and proving the truth about Cuban society as part of the duty to champion the Cuban people in their legitimate demand to put an end to the oldest and broadest system of unilateral sanctions ever imposed against any country,’ according to the statement.


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Venezuela Reveals Evidence of Guaido-led Misuse of ‘Aid’ Funds

Jorge Rodríguez speaks at a press conference, revealing documents and photos of corruption actions carried out by Juan Guaido and his allies.
Jorge Rodríguez speaks at a press conference, revealing documents and photos of corruption actions carried out by Juan Guaido and his allies. | Photo: Reuters

Jorge Rodríguez revealed documents, Whatsapp screenshots and photos backing his government’s assertions that Juan Guaido and his allies are profiting from the political and economic standoff.

June 17 (teleSUR) Vice President of Communication, Tourism, and Culture of Venezuela Jorge Rodríguez, presented Monday evidence of the network of corruption led by the Venezuelan lawmaker Juan Guaido.


Why Was Guaido Barred from Holding Public Office for 15 Years?

Rodriguez revealed screenshots of conversations between Roberto Marrero and a person whom they call “Rossana de Cúcuta” in which he tells Marrero that he does not have enough money to hire assassins from other countries in Latin America to promote destabilization in Venezuela, to which Marrero promises to pay between US$500,000 and US$700,000 per day in order to hire the hitmen.

For these payments, Marrero also communicated with Guaido, telling him to ask Colombian President Ivan Duque to indicate a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to handle funds up to US$1 trillion.

He noted that Rossana Barrera was in charge of helping people with criminal records enter Colombia as military deserters to obtain the funds.

According to the right-wing media outlet PanAm Post, Guaido placed Barrera and Kevin Rojas in charge to handle the aid funds for Venezuelans in Colombia. Barrera is the sister-in-law of the Popular Will party lawmaker, Sergio Vergara, right-hand man of Guaido.

PanAm Post’s editor-in-chief, Orlando Avedaño obtained receipts that “show excesses and, several, very strange invoices signed on the same day and with identical writing styles, almost all without a stamp,” for almost a million dollars worth in hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, and lavish lifestyle.

Rodriguez assured the money that is used for these purposes is the money, goods, and resources of the Venezuelans themselves, so it directly affects the health, infrastructure and other sectors of the country.

The communication minister added that although at the beginning opposition lawmakers Gaby Arellano and Jose Manuel Olivares were responsible for fomenting acts of violence on the country’s border, they have now been replaced by Rosana Barrera and Kevin Rojas of the Voluntad Popular party.

Finally, in the case of the deputy Freddy Superlano and his assistant on Feb. 23 in Cúcuta, Rodriguez presented photographs of the two women involved in the poisoning of the lawmaker and the death of his assistant. The women are also suspected of the theft of US$ 750,000, a case that has not been thoroughly investigated by Colombian authorities, according to the senior Venezuelan minister. 

The acts of violence financed by such corruption were carried out on Feb. 23 at the border of Colombia with Venezuela , disguised as the supposed humanitarian aid delivered from the United States.

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Cuban, UK Businessmen Foster Bilateral Cooperation

Havana, June 17 (Prensa Latina) With the participation of the President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, a business forum started on Monday among Cuban and UK businessmen to analyze mutual interest projects.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Ricardo Cabrisas, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment; and on the British side, Lord David Triesman, Co-president of the Cuba Initiative Group. For two days, businessmen will discuss, at the National Hotel, possible investment projects in several sectors to strengthen economic cooperation.

Triesman, by taking part in the Forum, strongly condemned the economic, commercial and financial US blockade against Cuba, which he considered as an offense and humiliation.

As part of the work program, the UK delegation will talk with Cuban Ministers and businessmen, according to a statement by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment.


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UN Praises Cuba as Model for Sustainable Policies

A Cuban farmer rides a cart pulled by oxen near the village of Artemisa, some 80 km (50 miles) west of Havana February 6, 2010.
A Cuban farmer rides a cart pulled by oxen near the village of Artemisa, some 80 km (50 miles) west of Havana February 6, 2010. | Photo: Reuters

Minister of Science, Technology and Environment Elba Rosa Perez added that despite the U.S. blockade the Cuban government will keep defending life on earth.

June 6 (teleSUR) Cuba is a world reference for its constant efforts to preserve and take care of the environment, and for prioritizing a model of sustainable development,  Consuelo Vidal-Bruce, resident coordinator of the United Nations’ (U.N.) System in Cuba said on Wednesday during a visit to Santa Clara whilst celebrating World Environment Day.

Cuban Campaign Seeks To Eradicate Patriarchal Norms

The senior official praised the programs implemented on the island for the protection of natural resources, such as water, soil, coastal areas, forests and the increase of renewable sources of energy, among others, making Cuba an example to follow for other nations.

The U.N. Resident Coordinator also gave a special mention to the “Task Life” (Tarea Vida), a state-sponsored plan meant to address climate change, specially designed for the needs of the Caribbean archipelago and its specific geographical conditions.

Vidal described the plan as one of strategic importance for the present and future of the island.

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US Sanctions in Venezuela: Help, Hindrance, or Violation of Human Rights?

By Tanya L Zakrison and Carles Muntaner

June 16 (Orinoco Tribune) We read with interest the Review about Venezuela’s public health crisis (1) and could not agree more emphatically with the authors. However, the root causes of this economic crisis, specifically, the impact of the US economic sanctions, deserve further inquiry. Since 2014, 43 unilateral, coercive measures have been applied against Venezuela by the US Administration. These have effectively paralyzed the economy, blocked oil exportation globally, and frozen Venezuelan financial assets abroad while denying access to international financial systems. This loss in oil revenue and assets has amounted to a shortfall worth billions of US dollars, prohibiting the importation of essential, lifesaving products.

The impact of the US sanctions on the Venezuelan population cannot be overstated. More than 300 000 Venezuelans are at risk due to a lack of lifesaving medications and treatment. An estimated 80 000 HIV-positive patients have had no antiretroviral therapy since 2017 (2). Access to medication such as insulin has been curtailed because US banks refuse to handle Venezuelan payments for them (3). Thousands to millions of people have been without access to dialysis, cancer treatment, or therapy for hypertension and diabetes (2). Particular to children has been the delay of vaccination campaigns or lack of access to antirejection medications after solid organ transplants in Argentina. Children with leukemia awaiting bone marrow transplants abroad are now dying. Funds for such health-assistance programes come from the PDVSA state oil company. Those funds are now frozen (4). Food imports dropped by 78% in 2018 compared to 2013.2 The very serious threat to health and harm to human life caused by these US sanctions are thought to have contributed to an excess of 40 000 deaths in 2017–18 alone (2).

The UN Human Rights Council reported that “the use of economic sanctions for political purposes violates human rights and the norms of international behavior. Such actions may precipitate man-made humanitarian catastrophes of unprecedented proportions. Regime change through economic measures likely to lead to the denial of basic human rights and indeed possibly to starvation, has never been an accepted practice of international relations.”(5). These sanctions fit the definition of collective punishment of the civilian population, as described by the Geneva (Article 33) and Hague conventions, to which the USA is a signatory (2). These sanctions are also illegal under international and federal US law (2). Given the intentional action to destroy a people, in part or in whole, the US economic sanctions and their effect on the preventable mortality of Venezuelans fit the UN definition of genocide (6).

Furthermore, the US State Department recently boasted about the economic hardship that they have caused through their now expunged communiqué, released on April 24, 2019 (7). They assert that “US policy has and continues to prevent the Venezuelan Government from participating in the international market and has led to the freezing of its overseas assets” (7). US National Security Advisor John Bolton stated that they are backing the illegal coup in Venezuela, as “it will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela” (8). As the sanctions caused the overall loss of $38 billion in the past 3 years, more cuts in imports of medicine, food, medical equipment, and inputs necessary to maintain water, health, and sanitation infrastructure are foreseeable in the immediate future (9). These measures will undoubtedly cause further grievous harm to the Venezuelan population (3).

Global peace is fragile given the bellicose stance of the US government in provoking destabilization in multiple countries as we head into an election year. Public health practitioners have a long tradition of resoundingly condemning the collective punishment of populations, the violation of international law, and the premature death and suffering that result from punitive economic measures. In fact, we have been successful at building bridges of mutual respect and understanding between populations when government-level diplomacy has failed—for example with the case of Cuba (10). Pointing to the economic failures of Venezuela as justification for further economic sanctions, causing further economic failures, is a cyclical, fallacious argument and not a legitimate public health approach. We agree with the open letter of American scholars who call for the non-intervention of the USA in the internal affairs of Venezuela, an end to the sanctions, and a negotiated settlement free of foreign coercion (11). Our role as public health practitioners is to avert population-level harm caused by our policies, both at home and abroad, while seriously investigating the upstream (and root) causes of the causes.
1. Page KR Doocy S Ganteaume FR Castro JS Spiegel P Beyrer C
Venezuela’s public health crisis: a regional emergency.
Lancet. 2019; 393: 1254-1260
2. Weisbrot M Sachs J
Economic sanctions as collective punishment. The case of Venezuela.
Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washingon; 2019
3. UN Human Rights Council
Report of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order on his mission to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Ecuador.
Date: Aug 3, 2018
Date accessed: June 6, 2019
4. teleSUR
Second Venezuelan child dies as us blockade stops transplant.
Date: May 24, 2019
Date accessed: May 31, 2019
US sanctions violate human rights and international code of conduct, UN expert says.
Date: May 6, 2019
Date accessed: May 31, 2019
6. UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect
Date accessed: June 6, 2019
7. US Department of State
Fact sheet: US actions on Venezuela.
Date accessed: June 6, 2019
8. Rowell A
John Bolton: “Big difference” if “US oil companies invest in & produce oil in Venezuela”.

John Bolton: “Big difference” if “US oil companies invest in & produce oil in Venezuela”

Date: Feb 4, 2019
Date accessed: May 31, 2019
Venezuela loses $38 billion for US sanctions.
Date accessed: June 6, 2019
10. The Editors of MEDICC Review
US-Cuba Health and Science Cooperation: They Persisted.
MEDICC Rev. 2018; 20: 4-5
11. Chomsky N
Open letter by over 70 scholars and experts condemns US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela.
Date accessed: May 31, 2019

Source URL: The Lancet

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