U.S. and Latin American allies trying to steal Ecuador vote by spreading fake news

U.S. and Latin American allies trying to steal Ecuador vote by spreading fake news

Feb 19 (Radio Rebelde) A report by an investigative news website says the United States and its Latin American allies are trying to steal Ecuador’s election from popular socialist candQidate Andres Arauz by disseminating fake news and slanderous remarks to undermine him.

The Grayzone website said in a report that the overwhelming victory of Arauz in the first round of Ecuador’s presidential election earlier in the month had prompted the US State Department, the right-wing government of neighboring Colombia, and the Organization of American States (OAS) to mobilize to prevent him from taking office.

Arauz won the first round of the February 7 election with 33 percent of the votes, a full 13 percent greater than the second-place candidate, conservative banker Guillermo Lasso.

Incumbent President Lenin Moreno, whose term in office ends on May 24, broke records of unpopularity and garnered just an eight-percent approval rating.

The investigative news website said the opponents of the socialist candidate were pushing for a vote recount under the supervision of the OAS, while simultaneously launching a smear campaign based on blatant disinformation to link Arauz to a Colombian rebel group in an attempt to disqualify him.

Ecuador’s U.S.-backed government of right-wing Moreno is “pushing to persecute me with crude lies… blackmailing and cheating justice,” the Grayzone quoted Arauz as saying.  The report said Moreno had traveled to Washington, DC just two weeks before the election to meet with top officials from the US government, as well as the coup-sponsoring general secretary of the OAS, Luis Almagro.

The Grayzone said the Moreno administration’s top electoral body was “openly conspiring” with the second- and third-place candidates, meeting privately with them, and giving them a massive public platform to conduct a recount of the vote in the specific precincts where they had lost.

Elsewhere in the report, the website also accused the Colombian government of spreading fake news to try to prosecute Ecuador’s leading presidential candidate.  “Just five days after the February 7 election, amid the recount chaos, Colombia intervened directly in Ecuadorian politics,” the report said. “The right-wing government of President Ivan Duque, who has been credibly linked to drug cartels and death squads, sent its chief prosecutor to Ecuador on an official state plane in a desperate attempt to disqualify socialist Andrés Arauz.”

The website said the head of Colombia’s justice department, Francisco Barbosa, a close ally and personal friend of Duque, amplified fake news stories published by conservative media outlets in his country, claiming that rebels from the so-called National Liberation Army (ELN) had funded Arauz’s campaign to the tune of $80,000.

Colombia’s right-wing media outlets also circulated a video purportedly showing ELN guerrillas endorsing the Ecuadorian leftist.  The viral video was later dismissed as clearly fabricated.

Ecuador’s ex-foreign minister Maria Isabel Salvador, who also served as the nation’s ambassador to the OAS, responded to the fake footage and said the Colombian government’s absurd attempt to link Arauz to ELN rebels was similar to a tactic used a decade ago against socialist former President Rafael Correa, the most popular politician in the country.

“What are they trying to do? Prevent the victory of hope and truth,” Salvador stated.  “I remember like it was yesterday the same slander used by the government of Colombia and its media outlets.”

Arauz is a staunch follower of Correa, who remains a strong political force in the country despite a graft conviction that sank his hopes of campaigning to become Arauz’s deputy.  Arauz has promised to return the country to a socialist path after a four-year hiatus under Moreno.

Viewed as highly politicized and with no legal basis, the two-week recount process has the full backing of the U.S. State Department and will be overseen by the OAS, which inspired a military coup targeting Bolivia’s democratically-elected socialist government in November last year.

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Cuban Star to show his talent in Mexico’s professional baseball

Havana. Feb 20 (Prensa Latina) The Tabasco Olmecas, from the Mexican Professional Baseball League, signed Cuban young talent Cesar Prieto, 21, to play the 2021 season.

Prieto, the batting leader of Cuba’s 2020-2021 Series, is one of our foreign reinforcement, the Mexican franchise highlighted in Twitter when it announced the signing of the Cuban second base player.

At 21, Prieto who plays for the Cienfuegos Elephants is viewed as one of the island’s top prospects. In the regular season in Cuba he was the leader in hits (128) and batting average (.403).

He also hit 21 doubles, seven triples and seven home-runs; batted int 51 runs and scored 78 times, besides receiving 31 walks with only 11 strikeouts in 318 times at bat.

However, Prieto’s greatest achievement in the 2020-2021 season was set the astonishing record of 45 consecutive games batting hits, to break the previous mark of Rey Isaac (37).

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Cuba improves health protocols, produces Covid-19 vaccine candidates

Havana, Feb 21 (Prensa Latina) Cuba is currently improving its health protocols to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, while producing its most-advanced vaccine candidate, ¨Soberana 02¨, on a large scale, in order to begin phase III of clinical trials in March.

During the latest meeting of the temporary working group, it was insisted on the need to speed up the results of the PCR tests, as well as the corresponding transfers of positive cases to isolation centers.

At present, Cuban provinces are focused on improving active screening, increasing health controls and hospital capacities, creating new molecular biology labs, and applying restrictions on mobility.

In addition, as part of national strategy, the country is developing four vaccine candidates, of which Soberana 02 is the most advanced and is already being produced on a large scale to begin phase III of clinical trials in March.

On Saturday, BioCubaFarma Business Group President Eduardo Martínez toured the Biocen plant where a new batch of the Cuban vaccine candidate is being produced on a large scale.

During the visit, Roselyn Martinez, deputy director of Industrial Operations at the Finlay Vaccine Institute, said that production represents another milestone in the development strategy of Cuban Covid-19 vaccines.

The Cuban biopharmaceutical industry completed the first batch of 150,000 Soberana 02 doses, a scientific-technological milestone for the country, and announced that the second batch was already being produced.

According to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), Cuba may become the first Latin American country to produce its own vaccine and once the candidates are concluded, it could also benefit the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Costa Rica, Cuba to cooperate in television and radio broadcasting

Costa Rica, Cuba to cooperate in television and radio broadcasting

San Jose, Feb 19 (Prensa Latina) Costa Rica and Cuba on Friday signed a framework cooperation agreement between the National System of Radio and Television S.A. (SINART) and the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT) for the exchange of audiovisual materials.

Executive president of SINART Lorna Chacon and the Cuban Ambassador in Costa Rica Jorge Rodriguez signed the document at the headquarters of the Costa Rican autonomous institution, in compliance with strict sanitary measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The deal establishes the exchange of audiovisual and radio contents (documentaries, entertainment, educational and informative programs) generated by each of the parties, and the promotion and dissemination of the contents exchanged through television, radio and websites, as well as their social networks.

Likewise, it contemplates mutual support and assistance for the production of content, the promotion and dissemination of cultural, educational and informative activities, as well as the provision of technical advice and training activities.

Finally, it allows for specific cooperation projects coordinated by both sides.

Chacon told Prensa Latina that the signing of the agreement facilitates to formalize the exchange of audiovisual materials initiated since 2020, and makes us think of co-productions such as those carried out with public systems of other Latin American countries.

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Danish lawmakers condemn US aggressions against Cuba

Danish lawmakers condemn US aggressions against Cuba

Copenhagen, Feb 19 (Prensa Latina) Lawmakers of the Danish Red-Green Alliance party on Friday condemned the US blockade against Cuba and demanded the exclusion of the country from a list of those sponsoring terrorism published during the Trump administration.

Parliamentarians Christian Juhl, Soren Sondergaard and Bruno Jerup denounced the US aggressions against Cuba, and asked Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod to speak out against Washington’s policy.

‘We urge FM Kofod to reject Cuba’s inclusion in such a list, and to work actively so that the US economic, commercial and financial blockade comes to an end,’ refers a communiqué sent by the politicians to local press media.

Likewise, the text describes as unreasonable the accusations and attacks by the United States against Cuba, as well as the actions promoted by the White House to damage its economic development.

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Cuba reiterates its commitment to a fair and equitable global order

Havana, Feb 20 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez reiterated on Saturday the island’s commitment to continue working for a democratic, fair and equitable international order, on the occasion of the World Day of Social Justice.

Through his Twitter account, he emphasized that the island will insist on this path to respond ‘to the peoples’ demand for peace, sustainable development and justice’.

On November 26, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared that, as of its sixty-third session, February 20 of each year will be celebrated as the World Day of Social Justice.

According to the official United Nations website, the celebration promotes the international community’s efforts to achieve sustainable development, eradicate poverty, promote full employment and decent work, universal social protection, gender equality and access to social welfare and justice for all.

Given the current epidemiological situation and the progress of information and communication technologies, the UN decided that the 2021 theme for celebrating the date would be ‘A Call for Social Justice in the Digital Economy.’

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Cuban ambassador thanks MEPs for their solidarity

Cuban ambassador thanks MEPs for their solidarity

Brussels, Feb 19 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s Ambassador to Belgium Norma Goicochea on Friday acknowledged the support of MEPs from various countries to the Cuban Revolution and its causes, including the fight against the US blockade.

The diplomat thanked in a letter the work of the Group of Friendship and Solidarity with Cuba of the European Parliament, a year after its constitution in the 9th Legislature.

‘Therefore, I am pleased to extend to each and every one of you our deep gratitude for the affection you profess for our beloved homeland and its people. As the poet says, ‘only love begets wonder,’ she noted.

Goicochea set out in the letter that despite the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences, the group chaired by Javier Moreno worked to promote relations between the European Union (EU) and Cuba and maintained its support for the rejection of the US economic, commercial and financial blockade.

‘The Group’s unconditional support will never be forgotten by our people because of its relentless fight against the US genocidal and illegal blockade imposed for six long decades to my country,’ underscored the ambassador to Luxembourg and the EU.

She also highlighted the initiatives of the European Parliament Group to support the petition to award the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize to the Henry Reeve Cuban Medical Contingent; in addition to having sent a letter to High Representative Josep Borrell for rejecting Cuba’s inclusion in the US list of countries sponsoring terrorism, a decision she described as immoral.

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MEPs call for mediation with the US in favor of Cuba

Havana, Feb 18 (Prensa Latina) European lawmakers urged the head of European Union (EU) diplomacy Josep Borrell to mediate with the United States to exclude Cuba from the terrorist list, the country’s Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday.

According to the Cubaminrex official website, members of the Intergroup of Friendship and Solidarity with the Cuban People in the European Parliament sent a letter to express their opposition to consider Cuba as a sponsor of this scourge.

The president of that group, Javier Moreno, asked Borrell to ‘raise the issue and the urgency of eliminating the US economic and commercial blockade against Cuba in the course of his contacts with President Biden.’

‘We firmly believe that the EU should continue to promote dialogue, cooperation, political openness and mutual understanding between the EU and Cuba,’ he noted in the text.

In addition, the also president of the Spanish Socialist Delegation in the European Parliament underscored in the letter that this action aims at ‘creating many difficulties for the Cuban people and for the commercial and economic relation between the European Union and Cuba.’

‘This last-minute measure is an act of gratitude to the radical groups of Cuban-Americans residing in the United States who oppose Cuba’s government and represents a new attack against it,’ the letter refers.

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U.N. EXPERT: SANCTIONS KILL VENEZUELANS

UN US sanctions Venezuela

UN expert details crushing human toll of US sanctions on Venezuela

Red Lines host Anya Parampil speaks with Alena Douhan, UN special rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, about her recent trip to Venezuela.

ANYA PARAMPIL·FEBRUARY 16, 2021The Grayzone

In her first interview since the publication of the preliminary findings of her mission to Venezuela, Professor Douhan discusses her main takeaways from the visit, her method for investigating, as well as the response to her report.

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Solidarity movement in Brazil repudiates US blockade against Cuba

Brasilia, Feb 18 (Prensa Latina) Entities of the movement of solidarity with Cuba delivered on Thursday in different consulates of the United States in Brazil an open letter repudiating the US blockade against Cuba.

Addressed to President Joe Biden, the US Congress and the American people, the letter demands the lifting of the blockade, which has been in force for almost six decades to correspond in this way to the international regulations on mutual respect and the international laws for the peaceful coexistence of peoples.

In that regard, it affirms, ‘the accentuated interdependence among peoples in a globalized world demands that economically and militarily more powerful countries should not unilaterally attack other peoples in order to subject them to unilateral blockades, sanctions and coercive measures.’

The friendship associations indicate that in the midst of the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is ‘imperative to lift the multifaceted economic, financial and commercial war against the sisterly nation of Cuba.’

They recall that the blockade has implied six decades of horror, which despite its different and perverse refinements, it cannot break the unbreakable determination of its people; nonetheless, it causes damage to Cuba’s development, loss of human lives by terrorist actions arranged by mercenary groups settled in Miami.

The content also highlights that during 2020, the work of the Cuban doctors of the Henry Reeve Medical Contingent brought health and solidarity to over 40 countries of all continents in spite of the tightening of the blockade and the extraterritorial sanctions against third countries.

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