Díaz-Canel tours areas in Havana hit by tornado (+Photos)

Source: Granma
January 28 2019

The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers tours areas in Havana hit by a tornado last night

diaz canel visits havana after storm.jpg

During the dawn hours, the President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, toured areas in Havana hit by a tornado last night.

The municipalities of Regla and Guanabacoa suffered the most damage during the severe storms that formed ahead of a cold front which crossed the provinces of Pinar del Río, Mayabeque, and La Habana.

“We are touring areas affected by the extreme weather phenomenon in Regla. The damages are severe; at this moment we lament the loss of three human lives, and 172 injured are being assisted. Several brigades are already working on the recovery,” Díaz-Canel stated.

According to preliminary data cited by authorities in the capital, on the Cuban television program Buenos Días, the deceased and injured were victims of partial or total collapses of their homes, falling trees, and other events related to the storm.

According to Prensa Latina, a tour of the city’s streets revealed many fallen trees and damage to buildings, partial interruption of electrical service, and closed streets, including the Malecón, due to high waves.

President Díaz-Canel reported on Twitter that a Council of Ministers meeting was held to evaluate the situation and adopt measures to move forward in the recovery from the severe damage left by wind, rain, and a tornado last night.

More photos:

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Havana Shaken

Source:  Granma
January 28 2019

A stormy night of strong wind and rain hits the capital city

havana shaken

Despite forecasts, a rapid change in the weather surprised many residents of the capital last night. In its last advisory yesterday, the Meteorological Institute stated, “This morning, in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, an extra-tropical low developed, extending southeast from which is a cold front. Over the next few hours, ahead of this front, a line of thunderstorms could form, and as these systems move east, the western portion of the country will be affected, tonight and into the dawn hours.”

Cubans, accustomed to such advisories were not alarmed, not suspecting the magnitude of the events to come after 8:00pm.

Residents were shaken by the tempestuous roar of the wind, one gust after another, increasingly strong. Telephone calls began to spread the news: A tornado had hit Luyanó; there was a locally severe storm in Cerro; and cars were underwater in flooded streets. The city was left in the dark night without stars…

Amidst the uncertainty, with sirens adding tension, Granma shares a few images of the painful view to which Havana awakens.

Several teams of reporters are on the streets, at this time, seeking more concrete information.

See more here:  Havana shaken

Jamaicans Should Understand What’s Happening in Venezuela

Source:  JSC
January 28 2019

by Al Grey, greyal2@yahoo.com

Probably the easiest way for young Jamaicans to understand what’s happening in Venezuela is for them to speak with an honest, objective and informed person who lived in Jamaica in the 1970s and who was old enough then to be aware of the real situation in the country.

If that is not possible, then there is a lot of information on the internet about this period in Jamaica’s life which can allow the honest, non-partisan mind to know the truth of the time. In addition, several informative books and articles, fiction and non-fiction, have been written about the CIA’s role in Jamaica in this period.  All one needs to do is google “the CIA involvement in Jamaica”.

Related:  CIA involvement in Jamaica 1976-1980

The script used then in Jamaica, which was basically the same one used in Chile leading up to assassination of the democratically elected President Dr. Salvador Allende in 1973, had three main components; paramilitary activity; propaganda in the mainstream media; and economic warfare.

This, in essence, is what we now see happening in Venezuela.  But of course, the stakes are much higher there, not only because of the huge oil, gas and gold reserves which the country boasts but also because of the leading role that the Bolivarian Revolution has played since Hugo Chavez’ electoral victory in 1998 in transforming the region into an integrated, anti-imperialist bloc.  Since Chavez’ victory there have been 15 progressive democratically elected governments in the region.

Related:  Why Is Venezuela a Key Geopolitical Target for The US?

psychological warfare in the media jamaica.jpg

Michael Manley’s image shown with a death mask in the leading Jamaican daily newspaper, the Daily Gleaner

The violence unleashed in Jamaica in that period had never been experienced on the small, relatively peaceful island before. Socialist Prime Minister Michael Manley was demonized in the media and blamed for all the ills of the country including those manufactured by individuals and organizations trying to destabilize the young nation.  Shortages of basic items like soap and toothpaste resulting from hoarding by the suppliers formed part of a broader economic and financial sabotage of the economy which led to the devaluation of the national currency – all occurring under the dictates of the model guided by the words of then US President Nixon for the destabilizing of Chile: “make the economy scream”.

Related:  Destabilization in the Caribbean

Fortunately for the people of Venezuela, the experiences of Iraq, Afghanistan, and especially Syria and Libya, are too fresh in the minds of the peoples of the world for them to be fooled again. In addition, we are moving towards a multipolar world as the savage warmongering US empire is imploding, being isolated and recognized for what it is, and for its historical role as the purveyor of incessant destruction of other peoples and their lands under the guise of spreading ‘democracy’.

“You can fool some people sometimes
but you can’t fool all the people all the time,

so now we see the light,
we gonna stand up for our rights”

Related: Stir It Up: Marley, Manley & the Destabilization of Jamaica

 

OAS Interventionist Resolution Against Venezuela Defeated

Source:  TeleSUR
January 25 2019

almagro y pompeo.jpgOAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro and the US Secretary of State,
Mike Pompeo. | Photo: EFE

A total of 18 countries rejected the interventionist statement proposed by Argentina at the OAS.

In a new episode of U.S. Interventionism in Latin America, the Organization of American States (OAS) held Thursday a session to affirm an interventionist declaration against the constitutional government of the president of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro and in favor of the unconstitutional and illegal actions of the Venezuelan right-wing who is supporting the self-proclaimed ” interim president” Juan Guaido.

RELATED:  Venezuela Rejects ‘Dangerous’ Resolution by the OAS

A total of 18 countries rejected the interventionist statement proposed by Argentina, in a meeting headed by the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The statement urged the countries members of the OAS to recognize the opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido as president, who proclaimed himself in an act that is unconstitutional and void.

Only 16 out of the 34 countries that are members of the OAS supported the U.S.-sponsored statement. Pompeo gave an interventionist speech alleging that “the time of debate is done,”  and called “illegitimate” the presidency of democratically and constitutionally elected President Nicolas Maduro.

In the meeting, “the scene was that of Secretary of State (U.S.), Mike Pompeo, at the head of all alongside the Secretary-General, Luis Almagro, dictating practically the policies that the rest of the allied governments were dedicated to repeating,” said teleSUR correspondent in Washington, Alina Duarte.

The speech given by the U.S. and its right-wing allies is based on an alleged humanitarian help for Venezuela to be given to Guaido, but the sanctions imposed mainly by the U.S. on Venezuela is what has brought a difficult situation to the South American country.

The OAS has been placing pressure on the Bolivarian government of Venezuela for years, and the Secretary-General Almagro, was one of the first officials to recognize Juan Guaido almost immediately after he had sworn himself in.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza thanked U.S. activist Medea Benjamin, member of the non-governmental organization (NGO) Codepink, who denounced the attempted coup against the Bolivarian government when she interrupted the meeting and shouted slogans against the regime change attempt.

“With her protest, she revealed the macabre coup plan against Venezuela, we will always prevail, thank you!” said the Venezuelan diplomat. During Pompeo’s speech, the activist held up a banner that had the message “a coup is not a democratic transition!”

Putin Warns US: Hands Off Venezuela

Source:  RT
January 24 2019

Rick Sanchez reports on the latest developments in Venezuela’s intensifying political crisis. Then RT America’s Dan Cohen reports on the increasingly shrill back-and-forth between Washington and Caracas as well as Russian voices joining the mix, with President Putin denouncing the present US interference in Venezuela as “a gross violation of the fundamental norms of international law.”

Why Is Venezuela a Key Geopolitical Target for The US?

Source:  TeleSUR
January 25 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro denounced that the real objective of the United States behind imposing a new government in the South American nation is to appropriate the energy and mineral resources of this country.

Why Is Venezuela a Key Geopolitical Target for The US?

“They have the ambition for oil, gas and gold. We tell them: these riches are not yours, they are for the people of Venezuela and that’s how it will be forever,” Nicolas Maduro warned on Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the Venezuelan capital Caracas shortly after opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido illegally declared himself “interim president” and received support for his unconstitutional move from the U.S., Canada and other right-wing governments in the region.

RELATED:  Latin American Right-Wing Offensive: Interview With Axel Kicillof

A deeper look into the reasons behind such right-wing flood to support the parliamentary coup reveals that the objective behind such endorsement of an internationally illegal act is behind the publicly stated humanitarian reasons and in fact about robbing the country of its riches after two decades of progressive and sovereign policies by the Bolivarian government that limited Washington’s access to such resources.

Oil

According to the CIA World Factbook, as of Jan. 1, 2017, Venezuela had the largest proven oil reserve estimate of any country, including Saudi Arabia.

As of November 2017, the South American nation had 300,900,000,000 barrels of proven reserves in the “Hugo Chávez” Orinoco Oil Belt. After the inauguration of Nicolas Maduro for a second term, Donald Trump government began to consider expanding its sanctions on Venezuelan crude to add pressure against the constitutional president.

Oil analysts have indicated that the objective, beyond preventing the sale of oil to China, is to ensure a stable source of oil to serve the U.S. market that is increasing and that its own current production can not supply. On Jan. 16, the U.S. Department of Energy revealed that its reserves decreased by 2.7 million barrels, reaching 437.1 million.

In terms of proven gas reserves, Venezuela had 198.3 trillion cubic feet in 2017, according to the Ministry of Petroleum. The new proven reserves are distributed in 2.3 trillion cubic feet of the traditional areas of Maracaibo, Maturin, Barcelona, Cumana and Barinas, and 718.7 trillion that lie in the blocks of the Oil Belt.

Mining resources

Venezuela has denounced the international campaign promoted by the United States against the Mining Arc where the reserves of gold, diamonds and other minerals such as coltan are concentrated.

The campaign against the Mining Arc has sought to increase the levels of economic suffocation in Venezuela by presenting Venezuelan gold as a product of trafficking and corruption.

In 2018 Venezuela advanced in the certification of more than 30 gold fields in the country, with which it aimed to establish itself “as the second largest gold reserve on the planet”.

During  2018 and despite the sanctions, the South American nation received a 200 percent increase in its non-oil exports compared to 2017, mainly gold sold to Holland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, the United Kingdom and especially to Turkey. In the first months of 2018, Venezuela exported 23.62 tons of gold to the Eurasian nation, valued at US$900 million.

By representing an alternative to oil and one of the largest proven gold reserves in the world, the U.S. has renewed its interest in appropriating this mineral and obstructing the commercial exchange that Venezuela maintains with Russia and Turkey in the Mining Arc.

As President Nicolas Maduro denounced Wednesday, Washington’s real objective in Venezuela is to seize the immense natural and mineral resources of the South American nation.

Political Beacon in Latin America

In 1998, commander Hugo Chavez Frias had a pivotal electoral triumph that changed the fate of Latin America for around 20 years, from that time to this date, there have been up to 15 progressive democratically elected governments in the region.

Commander Chavez and Nicolas Maduro first as foreign affairs minister and then as president have been crucial in the integrationist efforts in Latin American, guided by the ideals of Simon Bolivar of a united continent. With the cooperation of other countries and presidents such as Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff, Rafael Correa, Evo Morales, Nestor Kirchner, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Manuel Zelaya, Fernando Lugo, Daniel Ortega, Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, Venezuela pushed forward for the regional integration of the continent.

RELATED:  The Case for the Legitimacy of Maduro’s Second Term

During these years some bodies of regional integration bodies were created such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), The Union of South American Nation (UNASUR), The Bank of the South, the News Network teleSUR, and the Southern Common Market to enforce South American trade bloc (MERCOSUR), all organizations that sought to create a more unified and independent Latin American and the Caribbean community.

From that moment a series of efforts began, in order to destabilize these governments. Soft coups against progressive presidents started, the first one against Chavez in 2002 which failed, then another against Honduras’ Manuel Zelaya in 2010, followed by a parliamentary maneuver against Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo, and partially ending with a parliamentary coup against Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

These processes have been defined as “lawfare”, such as the current legal wrangling against Lula, to which we can add the more recent ones against Rafael Correa and Jorge Glas in Ecuador and a very similar process against Cristina Kirshner in Argentina.

The domino effect rising of right-wing governments in Latin America, and defeating the “National Popular governments” continues in the region, and Venezuela is one of the last standing defenses, along with Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, and El Salvador.

This is why a destabilization mediatic and a political and economic campaign has been unleashed against Venezuela, and all the “National Popular governments” of Latin America, for years. Defeating Venezuela, one of the first progressive countries and governments in the region, is so important for the U.S. and the local right-wing oligarchies. It would be a defeat to progressivism in the region.