July 7 (Orinoco Tribune) According to a report issued by the United States Department of Agriculture, the US government is attacking the gasoline supply to Venezuelan aiming at its agricultural sector and so attacking food production, which would lead to the total collapse of the Venezuelan population under the guise of illegal sanctions.
In the report, written on April 5 of this year, analyzed by the agricultural engineer Clara Sánchez and quoted by the investigative website “La Tabla”, the US predicts a serious decrease in Venezuelan production of most of the basic food items, shortage of agricultural inputs, quality seeds, fertilizers and an inability to grant credits.
“Without fuel you can not make the tractors work,” she wrote.
“When the US tries to cut off supplies of gasoline to Venezuela, it also does it to bring down national food production, massively and fast in the year 2020,” the researcher explained on her Food and Power website.
In this sense, La Tabla reported that the persecution of PDVSA is evident in the report, given that the report indicated that “low (oil) prices and the scarcity of resources due to COVID-19 are expected to exacerbate the falls in production and the shortage of fuel and inputs to become unmanageable.”
“The report acknowledges that the current geopolitical environment in Venezuela is driving new business partners outside of US and its transnational corporations’ food power. Russia, Turkey and China have become important suppliers,” La Tabla writes, icing the work of Clara Sanchez.
“The US regime is aiming at starving to death millions of Venezuelans in a criminal and disgusting strategy to — according to their weird understanding of the world — provoke the exit of President Nicolas Maduro. They can not really see that the US is in decline and all these actions against Venezuela and many other countries only accelerate its inevitable decline,” an international expert said to Orinoco Tribune.
The diplomat also referred to the U.S. government’s hostile actions, such as hindering access to banking operations, medical supplies, fuel, donations, and trade amidst COVID-19 exceptional situations.
July 7 (teleSUR) Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Ministry (Minrex) director for the U.S. Johana Tablada Tuesday denounced U.S. blockade worsening during the pandemic.
“In 2020, during the COVID-19 period in which the call to end the blockade grew, the United States applied 11 additional unilateral actions of the extraterritorial blockade,” Tablada tweeted.
The diplomat also referred to the U.S. government’s hostile actions as hindering access to banking operations, medical supplies, fuel, donations, and trade amidst COVID-19 exceptional situation.
The 11 new sanctions against Cuba’s economy summed to about 86 blockade actions in 2019.
“A major symbol of hypocrisy is this post by Senator Florida ‘Narco Rubio’, the politician who has contributed the most to the unilateral coercive measures of United States blockade to take away the livelihood of 11 million and strangle the economy of Cuba,” she added.
Tablada mentioned a message from Senator Marco Rubio, leader of opposition groups, and the head of hostile policies against the island. On the tweet, Rubio sent encouraging words to Cuban people amidst the crisis due to coronavirus.
Despite the U.S. blockade’s harm to Cuba’s social and economic development, the island sent over 30 brigades to 87 African, European, and Latin American nations to serve against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Havana, Jul 7 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban medical brigade working in Jamaica saved 823 lives in June as a support to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to data provided to Prensa Latina by the Cuban diplomatic mission in Kingston, the health workers carried out 48,251 medical consultations and 56,396 nursing services.
Despite the coronavirus limitations, Cuban health professionals performed 366 surgeries, 86 of which for patients with afflictions of the retina, as part of Operation Miracle program, to restore people’s sight.
In the context of the start of the post-pandemic stage, the Cuban health collaborators updated in meetings about the health situation and the work scenario in order to increase each day risk perception to fight Covid-19.
Trump and AMLO worked together to craft a new version of the 1994 NAFTA agreement.
July 7 (teleSUR) We should not underestimate the enormous symbolic and strategic importance of the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) in Washington on July 7.
Trump was elected in 2016 on an explicitly anti-Mexican platform. He called Mexicans “rapists” and threatened to end the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) while vowing to build an “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful wall” on the border with Mexico.
In contrast, in 2017, Lopez Obrador, as a presidential candidate, undertook a tour across the U.S. to express his solidarity with Mexican migrants threatened by Trump’s draconian immigration policies. The Mexican leader called Trump a “neo-fascist” and presented international human rights claims against the White House both in the United Nations (UN) and at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
Once AMLO was elected president in 2018, the expectation was that the two heads of state would inevitably collide, spoiling a long history of constructive bilateral collaboration. Surprisingly, however, Trump and Mexico’s president have gotten along really well.
Lopez Obrador made the first goodwill move. The Mexican leader could have easily used his political capital —after a landslide victory in July 2018— to stir up the masses against the bully in Washington.
Instead, he brandished a pen and wrote a letter to Trump in which he proposed “a new stage in the relationship between Mexico and the U.S., based on mutual respect and the identification of areas of mutual understanding and interests.”
Trump followed suit. Rather than railing against a new “radical leftist” president south of the border, Trump called the Mexican leader to congratulate him warmly on election day. Immediately afterward, he sent a high-level delegation to meet with AMLO’s transition team in Mexico City and quickly set to work forward with bilateral trade negotiations.
Of course, Trump has continued to insult Mexicans and immigrants while applying pressure on the Mexican government to control the flow of migrants north. The U.S. president, however, has not taken a single action against the AMLO administration or violated Mexican sovereignty, something which is not a small feat, given the White House’s tendency toward neo-imperialist policies, such as with Venezuela and Iran, for instance.
The biggest risk to the bilateral relationship was the possible end of free trade. Trump promised time and again to end NAFTA, calling it a “job-killing failure.” And Lopez Obrador, and the Mexican left in general, had for decades blamed NAFTA for having destroyed the countryside and fragmented the national industrial policy.
Mexico’s former president Enrique Peña Nieto salvaged negotiations by succumbing to Washington’s whims in 2017. He was desperate to avoid the economy’s collapse on the eve of the 2018 elections, which would have ruined any possibility of his party retaining the presidency. But once AMLO won, the alarms sounded, given that it was not entirely clear how Trump would respond to a stronger Mexican president committed to defending the sovereignty of his country.
Miraculously, the two presidents reached a deal and the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was born. Both Trump and AMLO put their ideologies aside and worked together to craft a new version of an agreement that would facilitate the growth and prosperity of an increasingly integrated North American economy.
Mexico is the United States’ third most important trading partner and the U.S. is Mexico’s first, with US$670 billion in goods of services cross the border each year. Neither country could afford to simply end NAFTA with nothing to replace it. Therefore, both sides compromised on key issues, Mexico on domestic content of auto manufacturing, and the U.S. on Mexican oil sovereignty, all in the interest of regional development.
If NAFTA had not been replaced with the USMCA, the prospects for economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic would be even direr. If Trump and AMLO had fallen into the temptation of tweet fights, political bravado, and sterile competition, the economies of both Mexico and the United States would be on the verge of collapse today. Fortunately, reason and long-term self-interest have prevailed.
Lopez Obrador chose Washington for his first foreign visit since his election as a testament to the deep ties uniting both nations. Fears that Trump will use the landmark meeting to boost his reelection campaign or humiliate the Mexican president are misplaced.
They underestimate the dignity and the political savvy of Lopez Obrador, who will insist on being treated as an equal and will not hesitate to defend the rights and interests of Mexicans who inhabit both sides of the Rio Grande.
The stark contrast between the politics and ideology of these leaders only highlights the summit’s historical importance. Despite the forces pulling the two countries apart, our mutual bonds are even stronger.
Havana, Jul 7 (Prensa Latina) The minister for Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX), Rodrigo Malmierca, on Tuesday denounced the illegal and inhumane nature of the US blockade against Cuba and the tightening of economic measures against the Caribbean island.
In a message on Twitter, Malmierca noted that the Government of the United States has introduced 11 new measures to hinder Cuba’s economic revenues amid the health crisis caused by the new coronavirus.
He added that as the US implements those measures, its representatives send hypocritical messages of ‘support’ for our people.
For his part, Cuban Construction Minister Rene Mesa also denounced the negative effects of Washington’s blockade on the construction sector.
From April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020, the tightening of the US blockade caused damages worth 238 million dollars, 87% of which was concentrated in the production of goods and services, Mesa noted.
The US economic, commercial and financial blockade was imposed on Cuba nearly 60 years ago, and local authorities have denounced that mass, flagrant and systematic violation of human rights of the Cuban people.
Out of the 111 collaborators that make up the three brigades, 76 will work in Equatorial Guinea, 19 in Sao Tome and Principe and 16 will travel to Sierra Leone.
Cuba’s foreign affairs minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla Monday announced the arrival of three Cuban medical brigades in Equatorial Guinea, to assist COVID-19 patients.
“Henry Reeve Brigades leave for Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe and Sierra Leone, where they will help in the fight against COVID-19,” Parrilla Tweeted.
Out of the 111 collaborators that make up the three brigades, 76 will work in Equatorial Guinea, 19 in Sao Tome and Principe and 16 will travel to Sierra Leone.
They would assist COVID-19 patients in Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, and Sao Tome and Principe.
“The departure of 76 Cuban health professionals to Equatorial Guinea along with 19 to Sierra Leone and 16 to Sao Tome and Principe is Cuba’s most recent contribution in international cooperation with our African brothers to mitigate and confront COVID-19.”
“In a context that imposes cooperation and solidarity, our health professionals honor the historical ties that bind us to these nations,” Parrilla added.
Several governments and personalities have nominated the Henry Reeve Brigade for the Nobel Peace Prize, given their altruist work in many countries.
Thus far, Cuba sent over 30 brigades to African, European, and Latin American nations to serve against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Havana, Jul 5 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel sent a message of congratulations and appreciation to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on the occasion of its 47th anniversary.
The Caribbean Community was created on July 4th, 1973, with the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago, to transform the Caribbean Free Trade Association into a Common Market.
The group is made up of 15 member states and five associates from The Bahamas, in the north, to Suriname and Guyana, in South America, with great diversity in their levels of economic and social development.
The secretary general of the bloc, Irwin LaRocque, issued a communiqué on Saturday recognizing the capacity of resistance of the peoples in the confrontation with the coronavirus, and lamenting the loss of human lives.
In his message for the commemoration, LaRocque highlighted the integration of Caribbean institutions that have allowed an effective management against the disease by implementing policies and programs agreed by the heads of government and the various ministerial councils.
For his part, the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, greeted the anniversary and evoked Fidel Castro’s ideas about the need to strengthen the unity of the Caribbean region.
Havana, Jul 6 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel highlighted on Monday the 30th anniversary of the founding of the São Paulo Forum, a space for unity and integration of the revolutionary forces of Latin America.
The president tweeted to point out that Simón Bolívar and José Martí nurtured Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez with the ideology of the revolutions they forged, and that ‘unity and integration were their great obsessions.’
These principles must be followed by the current generations, Díaz-Canel emphasized, and added that the São Paulo Forum must also sustain itself on those values.
The Encounter of political parties and movements in Latin America and the Caribbean, which came to be known as the São Paulo Forum a year later, was held between July 2nd and 4th, 1990.
Created at the initiative of Fidel Castro and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the meeting sought to become a stage for concerted action by left-wing forces in the region, in the face of the advance of neoliberalism.
Mónica Valente, the executive secretary of the Forum, told the Granma newspaper that ‘political and social leaderships matured’ and ‘anti-imperialist and anti-neoliberal political parties and movements were strengthened’, in the celebration of the 30th anniversary.
‘The ideas and guidelines of the São Paulo Forum remain valid and up-to-date, they are essential for the fight against poverty and hunger, especially in the post-pandemic world’ of Covid-19, she added.
Havana, Jul 5 (Prensa Latina) Following two new medical discharges, the number of patients recovered from Covid-19 in Cuba rose to 2,229, the Ministry of Public Health said on Sunday.
Francisco Duran, director of Epidemiology for the entity, reported both statistics during his daily press briefing on the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in Cuba.
The total number of recoveries represents 94 percent of the 2,372 confirmed with the disease in Cuba, said the doctor, who also reported three new cases after the 2,000 tests carried out yesterday.
He also highlighted that there were no deaths on Saturday, just like during the week, and the death toll generally remains at 86.
On the other hand, Duran pointed out that of the patients diagnosed with the disease, 52 present a stable clinical evolution, two were evacuated to their countries of origin, and three are in serious condition.
As usually, Duran stressed the importance of complying with protective measures and government guidelines to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
July 5 (Orinoco Tribune) The Russian government labaled the decision of the London High Court to recognize the coup leader Juan Guaido and deliver the Venezuelan gold to him as “outrageous”.
On Thursday, a High Court of the United Kingdom decided to deliver 31 tons of Venezuelan gold -valued at more than a billion dollars- to opposition leader Juan Guaido and his fictitious officials, thus ignoring the legitimacy of the Constitutional President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro.
“We note with concern that the High Court in London decided to recognize Guaidó as the ‘interim president’ of Venezuela and provide him with access to this country’s gold reserves held by the Bank of England. This decision is outrageous, ” said María Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
In a statement issued this Saturday, Zakharova has denounced the fact that the London court” has not even tried to make a legal evaluation of Guaidó’s claims, but simply followed the position of the British Executive.”
The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry has stated that Moscow is studying with great interest the legal arguments of the London High Court; however, she regrets “these arguments simply do not exist.”
“British law is silent when political expediency is at stake,” she added, before pointing out that such actions violate the interests of the Venezuelan people, who already suffer sanctions that are in violation of international law.
Additionally, Zakharova also called on the international community to do their utmost to create a breeding ground for national dialogue in Venezuela.
For its part, the Government of Caracas has warned this Saturday that London, by stripping Venezuelan gold deposited in the Bank of England, violates international law and steals the resources of Venezuelans . Meanwhile, it has assured that Venezuela “will fight for all legal channels” for the return of its resources.
Along these same lines, the Venezuelan Prosecutor’s Office has issued the order to apprehend and freeze assets to a group of individuals appointed by Guaidó for their alleged relationship with the retention of Venezuelan gold at the Bank of England.
fmk / rha / mkh / hnb
Featured image: Russian MFA spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. File photo courtesy of @mfa_russia