Once again, U.S. excludes Cuba from the Caribbean Series.

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Attacks on Cuban baseball are nothing new, and it is not surprising that the Caribbean Confederation of Professional Baseball (CBPC) has decided to forego our participation in the next Caribbean Series, in Puerto Rico, referring to supposed difficulties caused by the limited time available to process U.S. visas needed to travel to that nation.

The Caribbean Series, which began in Havana in 1949, and the CBPC, also founded in the same city, in 1948, were born of Cuban baseball’s prestige and our thinking, as has been documented in studies by researchers Felix Julio Alfonso, Oscar Fernandez, and Tony Perez, among others.

But the competition and its organizational structure function under the auspices of U.S. baseball, or in other words, the decisions of Caribbean baseball have been subordinated to the imperial master who hates Cuba and our baseball, conscious that the game is part of our identity and an undeniable symbol of our nationality.

In 2018, in Guadalajara, Cuba expressed its willingness to organize the 2020 tournament, and there CBPC president José Francisco Puello, told Granma: “My dream is to have the Series in Cuba, in Latinoamericano Stadium. It would be a show I wouldn’t want to miss. I don’t want to leave this position without making that wish come true.” Last year, in Panama, he once again told this newspaper of his aspirations, but recalling that there is no license allowing a contractual relationship with Cuba, he invoked his religious faith. “God willing it will be resolved and before I leave here, may the dream come true.” Continue reading

Who is Mikhail Mishustin Russia’s New PM?

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The new Premier Mikhail Mishustin doesn't belong to a political party and has always stayed away from politics.

Officials in the government describe the new PM as an effective administrator who has a very good knowledge of the economy.

Russia’s Duma (Parliament’s lower house) validated Thursday the nomination by President Vladimir Putin of Mikhail Mishustin as the country’s new premier and formally appointed him.

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On Wednesday, Putin had proposed Mishustin, a little-known technocrat and chief of the Russian Federal Tax Service, for the position of Russia’s PM.

The nomination came hours after the current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev resigned along with the whole Cabinet following the president’s proposals to amend the Constitution.

Mishustin, 53, is a trained engineer who also holds a Ph.D. in economics. He was the head in the 1990s of the board of the International Computer Club (ICC), a public non-profit organization which according to Russia’s news agency TASS, aimed to attract “advanced western information technologies to Russia.”

In 1998, he joined the state service, working in several government agencies, before becoming in 2008 the president of the Russian investment company (UFG).

In 2010, Mishustin was appointed director of the Russian Federal Tax Service. In this position, he declared war on “dirty data” and gained wide recognition as a result of his deep improvement and digitalization of the Tax Service, turning it into a modern and efficient institution. His management led to a drop in tax evasion and brought many small businesses into the formal economy.

Last year, Mishustin said in an interview that Russia needed to adopt artificial intelligence and digital technology, saying “if we don’t understand how this world is developing and what its rules are, if we insist our country is part of the old order, this new world will make us its victim.”

Over the years, Mishustin “has created a cutting-edge tax service from the ground up, using modern technologies and (means of) digital economy,” said the Speaker of Russia’s Duma Vyacheslav Volodin.

Officials in the government and businessmen describe him as a professional and competent administrator who has a very good knowledge of the economy, which makes him a good fit for the Cabinet in a time when Russia’s economy is not at its best.

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Diaz-Canel ratifies Cuba’s commitment to its émigrés.

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Havana, Jan 16 (P L) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Thursday ratified the island’s commitment to the process of normalizing ties with Cuban residents abroad, described by authorities as continuous, irreversible and permanent.

 

Through his Twitter account, the president shared a link to the website of Juventud Rebelde newspaper where Ernesto Soberon, Director General of Consular Affairs and Cuban Residents Abroad (DACCRE), states that the Cuban government recognizes, values, and counts on the work of émigrés, in defense of the Revolution.

Cuban residents abroad have an important role to play to contribute to the development of the country. They have knowledge, a good part of which was acquired in Cuba, and experiences with which they can contribute to the development of our country, he said.

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Putin outlines social solutions and calls for Constitution changes.

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Moscow, Jan 15 (P L) Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday focused his annual state-of-the-nation address before Russia’s two-chamber parliament (Federal Assembly) on internal socio-economic aspects such as demography, health and education, while considering proposed amendments to the Constitution.

 

During his speech at the Manege Central Exhibition Hall, Vladimir Putin noted that it was necessary to prepare for demographic problems in the near future.

To do so, the Russian president proposed greater support for parents, including guaranteed enrollment in kindergartens, and decent incomes for families below the poverty line.

In this regard, Putin recalled that the fertility rate per woman in 2019 was 1.5, very close to the 1.7 recorded in 1943, during the World War II, but above that observed in the 1990s, of barely 1.12.

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Cuba sends message of solidarity to Australian people and government.

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A message expressing deep sorrow in the wake of devastating fires in Australia was sent Wednesday by Esteban Lazo Hernández, President of Cuba’s National Assembly and Council of State, to Tony Smith, Speaker of the country’s House of Representatives

“On behalf of the National Assembly of People’s Power, our people and myself, I wish to express our most sincere condolences to the families of the deceased, to the Australian Parliament and people given the damage caused by the incident,” reads the letter published on the National Assembly’s website.

Lazo lamented the loss of human life, harm to the nation’s ecosystem, the deaths of millions of animals and the severe economic damage caused by this major disaster.

“Once again we witness with concern the harmful effects of climate change on our planet, causing great droughts, enormous fires with the destruction of millions of hectares of forests, melting ice and other phenomena that seriously threaten life,” Lazo wrote.

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Experts pay more attention to trade war between China and US

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Brussels, Jan 15 (P L) Most experts are paying close attention today to the trade war between the United States and China, as it affects the rest of the markets and seems to show some signs of solution.

 

China’s international trade decreased 3.4% in 2019, as it was affected by the dispute with the United States, where foreign trade dropped 10.7% according to official statistics.

Data from the Chinese General Customs Administration show that the total volume of China’s trade with other countries was 31.54 trillion yuans (4.57 trillion dollars).

In addition exports grew 5% in 2019, to 17.23 trillion yuans (2.5 trillion dollars), while imports increased 1.6%, to 14.31 trillion yuans (2.08 trillion dollars).

This shows that despite the trade war, China continues its growing economic spiral, on which many economists agree.

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Punishing travel, a constant goal in Trump’s policy against Cuba.

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By Martha Andrés Román Washington, (Prensa Latina) US president Donald Trump and his administration continue their attacks against travel to Cuba, by pushing restrictions on charter flights that will make it even more difficult to visit provinces outside of Havana.

 

In a statement released on Friday, the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, informed he asked the Department of Transportation (DOT) to suspend until further notice all public charter flights between the United States and Cuban destinations other than José Martí International Airport of the island’s capital.

The statement added that nine airports in the neighboring country will be affected, and said operators of that service will have a period of 60 days to discontinue all affected flights.

Also, Pompeo added that the DOT will also limit charter flights directed to the aforementioned Havana air terminal, which will be defined in an order to be issued in the near future.

This action is a new blow for the already affected air communication between the two nations, because by a similar measure last December 10, when the Trump administration canceled all flights of US commercial airlines to Cuban destinations outside the capital.

From the beginning of this restriction, charters saw their trips increase, mainly due to the demand of thousands of Cuban-Americans who need to visit their relatives in different provinces of the country away from Havana.

That alternative still present will disappear next March with the new decision, which will impose more restrictions on families, because routes that previously delayed only the time of travel by plane, will demand much longer movements by land from the capital to the final destination.

The Republican executive said he seeks to prevent the government of the Caribbean country from having access to income from US travelers; and mentioned as grounds for adopting these measures alleged violations of human rights and the support of the Antillean country to the constitutional government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.

The same as with the previous restriction, this Friday’s announcement raised voices of condemnation against the Washington decision, which denounced that with it the Cuban people and families in both nations are harmed, while also limiting freedom of travel for Americans, who are forbidden to go to Cuba as tourists.
‘Who will be harmed by this? Families, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters. The Trump administration is hurting Florida and Cuban-American families … again’, said Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor on Twitter.

The Trump administration’s ‘New Year’s gift’ to the Cuban people highlights the cynical nature of current politics and a serious disconnection between the stated goal of ‘supporting the Cuban people’ and the real-time effect damaging it, said in turn, Collin Laverty, president of the Cuba Educational Travel organization.

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Telesur: Voice and image of those who fight and resist.

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Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel condemns threats against the international television news channel teleSUR on his Twitter account

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez strongly condemned “threats made against the voice and image of the peoples who fight and resist the imperial onslaught,” insisting, “From Our America and the world: Viva teleSUR!”

The Cuban leader was reacting, on his Twitter account, to plans announced by the impostor Juan Guaidó, under U.S. guidance, directing his venom against a channel that carries the message of our peoples around the world and expresses the views of those resisting efforts to subvert progressive governments and derail integrationist projects.

Guaidó is the same Venezuelan congressman who posed and signed photos revealing his ties with the paramilitary group Los Rastrojos, and who just recently, in a real performance, was seen trying to scale the fence of the National Assembly headquarters in Caracas, then playing the victim, said he wasn’t let in.

Rightly so, teleSUR president Patricia Villegas responded to his threats to block the channel’s transmissions, stating, “The deputy is talking about something he knows nothing about, and clearly does not understand.”

In his recent display of bravado, Guaidó threatened to “take teleSur off the air,” attacking the channel founded in 2005 by Bolivarian leader Hugo Chávez, which broadcasts the voices of countries of the South, answering the avalanche of lies that are transmitted every day by the corporate media at the service of the United States government and local oligarchies.

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Santiago de Cuba rises with José Martí example.

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Santiago de Cuba, Jan  (P L) Although these days the proximity of the 167th anniversary of his birth on Tuesday 28 makes his presence more real than ever, José Martí is in this city not only the mystery that accompanies us.

Beyond that poetic definition of José Lezama Lima, the Apostle of Cuban independence glows here in multiple ways and in unexpected places, from the Mausoleum that keeps its ashes in the patrimonial cemetery of Santa Ifigenia to the humblest neighborhood school.

When the nation vibrates indignantly before the humiliation to the Apostle by vandals in the capital, the city where the lifeless body of the Major General of the Liberation Army arrived on May 27, 1895, after his fall at the hands of Spanish colonialism in Dos Ríos, with utmost reverence for his legacy.

To the privilege of guarding with infinite zeal the mortal remains of the Delegate of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, the people of Santiago also incorporate evidence of the admiration and respect for the most universal of Cubans who can be felt throughout its urban geography.

In the immediate vicinity of the former Moncada Barracks, assaulted by Fidel Castro and young revolutionaries on July 26, 1953 with the sacred idea that his imprint would not die in his centennial, an upright sculpture evokes he who was considered the intellectual author of that epic.
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Cuban doctors extend work to rural Suriname.

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Paramaribo, Jan 13 (P L) Members of the Cuban Medical Brigade are currently working in rural and difficult to reach places in Suriname, as a sign of the bonds of friendship in 40 years of relations.

 

A group of four health professionals left last Sunday 11 for the town of Nikerie, more than 180 kilometers west of the capital, to offer their services to a population lacking primary health care.

Around 50 specialists have joined the Cuban collaborators’ brigade in this nation, who since their arrival last June have been receiving lessons in the local language, with the aim of interacting and contributing to the well-being of patients.

The Cuban collaborators in Suriname are in a phase of rotation through the different hospitals of the nation, in order to contribute to the health system in different specialties. Continue reading