NATO is engaging in aggressive military buildups in Eastern Europe close to Russia’s borders that indicate preparations for a potential major conflict in the region, all the while waging a “demonizing” campaign of Russia’s own military excercises, the Russian permanent representative to NATO said.
“It is clear for us that such activities not only ensure a reinforced military presence of the allies in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders but in fact represent an intensive mastering of a potential theater of military operations, accompanied by the development of necessary infrastructure, the representative, Aleksandr Grushko told reporters on Thursday.
Grushko noted that over 40,000 troops will be engaged in various NATO exercises in Eastern Europe between the months of June and November.
The 48th contingent of the United States-Cuba Friendship Caravan, organized by Pastors for Peace, arrived in Havana yesterday to deliver a symbolic donation of important drugs and medical supplies, as well as demand the end of the “economic, political, and cultural embargo.”
The group traveled through 50 cities in the United States to do solidarity work and speak on the realities of the ongoing embargo, promoting the normalization of relations between the two countries.
The most recent caravan has traveled in the context of a renewed wave of U.S. aggression toward Cuba, as the new administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has rolled back several gains made in recent years toward normalization, and has heightened anti-Cuba rhetoric.
On Friday the visiting group, mostly from the United States, is paying tribute in Havana to the founder of Pastors for Peace, Reverend Lucius Walker. Reverend Walker, who died in 2010 is considered by many in both Cuba and in the United States to be a tireless fighter in defense of Cuba’s revolution and against U.S. aggression.
The Cuban Parliament’s International Relations Commission issued a statement this July 11, as deputies meet to discuss the nation’s development in the lead up to the Ninth Period of Ordinary Sessions of the Eighth Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP)
Journalists at the Perijanera 95.1 community radio station say that a group of opposition protesters attacked their offices at the headquarters of Corpozulia, the local development organization, in the community of Machiques de Perija on Monday afternoon.
Pedro Gonzalez told the Ministry of Communications that the attackers looted and set on fire several parts of the building, causing extensive damage to the radio’s installations. The attack also damaged a meeting space for the Yukpa Indigenous people, as well as offices of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples and Fundacomunal, which supports the region’s Community Councils and Food Committees. He said the violence was led by members of two right-wing parties, People’s Will and Justice First, with the backing of local cattle ranchers.
Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend dashed hopes that the impending collapse of the Islamic State group might mean the end of U.S. military involvement in Iraq, when he said on Tuesday that the United States is “interested” in maintaining a US military presence in Iraq after the eventual defeat of the Islamic State group.
“I would anticipate that there will be a coalition presence here after the defeat of the Islamic State group,” the general said on Tuesday. “This fight is far from over… there’s still hard work to be done.”
He said decisions over post Islamic State group plans for a U.S. presence in the country are in a “final decision-making” stage.
He claimed that US coalition forces were needed to prevent a “replay” of 2011 when U.S. forces began to withdraw from Iraq following a decade of bloody, devastating invasion and occupation. With Iraq left in a destabilized condition, the Islamic State group quickly rose up as a regional power.
Palestinians from across the political spectrum have hailed the decision by South Africa’s ruling party the African National Congress, ANC, to downgrade ties with the Israeli government in protest of the decades-long occupation of Palestine.
The decision to demote the South African embassy in Israel to the level of a liaison office will mean that the country won’t have full diplomatic status in Israel, according to ANC officials who made the decision at a major policy conference in Johannesburg earlier this week.
The Oliver Tambo Resolution — named in honor of anti-apartheid hero and ANC president from 1967 to 1991 — was meant to display the party’s “unwavering and steadfast commitment for the struggle” of the people of Palestine while condemning Tel Aviv’s wanton disregard for international law, continued illegal occupation of Palestinian land and egregious abuses of the Palestinian people’s human rights.
Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales, called for greater Latin American integrationin in order to be competitive and resiliant in a tumultuous global economy, according to Prensa Latina.
Morales said that Latin America has an “enormous responsibility” as a region with a wealth of natural resources to integrate economically in order to resist the efforts of dominant global industrialized economies, such as the United States, to gain control over this natural wealth.
Speaking at the opening of new offices of the Financial Fund for the Development of the River Plate Basin, the President accused the United States and other dominant economies of engaging in subversive efforts to provoke internal conflicts in Latin America, using the resulting division as a means of controlling politically and economically.
He said that the only way of overcoming efforts at control and division in order to stand strong in the face of a difficult global economy is regional integration, by working together with “solidarity and complementarity” to solve poverty.
Morales spoke of the uphill battle faced by Bolivia following their decision to nationalize natural resources, as they looked to industrialize and aquire technology and trade with China, North America, Europe, and other regions of the world as an example of the need for regional economic solidarity.
He called for “technological liberation” in the region in order to self-finance, develop, and produce the needed technology to gain full sovereignty over resources.
A writers and artists union statement from Cuba denouncing the renewed U.S. anti-Cuba stance has found a sympathetic ear among public figures, cultural workers and intellectuals in the United States, showing that President Donald Trump’s new policy is hardly proving itself an asset in Washington’s efforts to stir up hostility against the country’s socialist government but is instead provoking a new wave of solidarity with the people of Cuba.
In the letter from the Cuban Secretariat of the Union of Writers and Artists dated June 18, the Cubans denounced Trump’s “outdated, obsolete speech, loaded with falsehoods and stereotypes” redolent of the long-gone Cold War, echoing the types of extremist calls for right-wing terrorism that have done so much damage to the people of the Caribbean and Latin America.
Trump’s missive was lauded by an aged and diminished community of counter-revolutionary Cubans, including veterans of the failed CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion, and aligned with what Cuban President Raul Castro has called an aggression by “imperialist political and economic interests (trying) to prevent the exercise of self-determination by its people.”
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced on Thursday that it will be sending several thousand more troops to Afghanistan, saying they did not see an end to the operations “in the near future.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told press that the 13,000 troop force currently occupying Afghanistan was “too low,” and that several thousand more troops will be added to operation “Resolute Support” through 2017 “and beyond.”
“Our military authorities have requested a few thousand more troops for the mission in Afghanistan and today I can confirm that we will increase our presence in Afghanstan,” the Secretary General said Thursday.
“We do not believe that this operation in Afghanistan will be simple and we do not think it will be peaceful this year or next or in the near future,” he continued.