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Showing posts with label Souther America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Souther America. Show all posts

US Blockade: Don’t Believe All that You Hear —Here's What’s Really Going On in Cuba

US Blockade: Don’t Believe All that You Hear —Here's What’s Really Going On in Cuba







The emails kept coming in… From farmers and students and chefs and academics whom I’d taken to that tiny island country over the past two decades to learn about her leadership in sustainable agriculture, cooperatives, and growing food in cities: What’s REALLY going on in Cuba?” they asked.

Yes, Cubans are feeling frustrated. Sixty years of an economic blockade by Washington, over 200 additional measures of economic strangulation by Trump, and now—for the past 17 months—a tourism economy shut down by COVID (now raging, thanks to the Delta variant) have plunged Cuba back to the dark days of the Special Period, when the Soviet Union collapsed and so too did Cuba’s economy. Except this time, Cubans who left government jobs for the hard currency lure of the tourism sector are out of work. People are feeling desperate.

Thanks to policy measures led by Raul Castro in 2011 that opened the country to small enterprise and cooperatives, Cuba’s economy pre-Trump and pre-COVID was flourishing, despite the punishing impact of the U.S. embargo.

Then came Trump. Then came COVID. Like a triple witching hour, investors long agitating to open socialist Cuba to capitalism began jingling in their pockets the coins of influence and paying very close attention.

Could Cuba’s current financial woes finally be the crack that lets the “capitalist light” come in? Could they get rid of this pesky and tenacious socialist government on their doorstep and open Cuba to investment? Well worth the cost of throwing some extra pesos to Cuban dissidents to go to the streets. Playing to international TV cameras with chants of “Down with the Dictator”.

Seriously? Anyone following Cuban politics knows why calling Cuban president Miguel D铆az-Canel Berm煤dez a dictator is absurd. His address to the nation (carried by BBC but not CBC) spoke eloquently to the false narrative being fed by global media.

Yes, in this difficult economy there are line ups for food. Are Cubans starving? No. Despite economic hardships, Cuba continues to look after her people and—through their Henry Reeves medical brigades—those of other nations.

The CNN reporter interviews protesters, then turns his camera to another group of Cubans, standing quietly on a corner with Cuban flags raised in defence of their country. They tell a different story, putting the blame for today’s hard times squarely on Washington.

“Yo soy Fidel (I am Fidel),” one man exclaims, a phrase embraced by Cubans on Fidel’s death in 2016 to express solidarity and respect for the ideals of the Cuban Revolution by saying Fidel lives within them. Shaking his head, the reporter closes with the comment: “One man even kept insisting to me that he was Fidel. “I am Fidel” he kept saying. But (with a half-smirk) everyone knows Fidel died in 2016. This is so-and-so for CNN in Havana…”

Tone deaf?

The Cubans I am speaking to on a weekly basis—although frustrated by a long lockdown and even tighter sanctions—know very well who is responsible for their country’s economic crisis. From Washington, U.S. president Joe Biden called Cuba a “failed state”. Ironic that.

Let’s be very clear: this battle has little to do with the Cuban people and all to do with how to run the economy. In the U.S., capitalism has a stranglehold on markets and communities. Rugged individualism is preached like a religion. We see how well that is working. In Cuba, state socialism charts a different course.

Choosing a socio-economic order is a sovereign matter between a nation and her people. Not investors from abroad.

It is time, Justin Trudeau, for Canada to show support for our friend Cuba, to stand shoulder to shoulder with this tiny Caribbean nation with whom we have shared strong diplomatic ties since 1946 and provide the important economic aid they so desperately need and so deeply deserve.

Shame on us if we do not…


Author: Wendy Holm | [email protected]
Wendy Holm is an award-winning Canadian agrologist, economist, farm journalist, and author living in British Columbia. She has been working in Cuba for 23 years.

Source: Straight








The emails kept coming in… From farmers and students and chefs and academics whom I’d taken to that tiny island country over the past two decades to learn about her leadership in sustainable agriculture, cooperatives, and growing food in cities: What’s REALLY going on in Cuba?” they asked.

Yes, Cubans are feeling frustrated. Sixty years of an economic blockade by Washington, over 200 additional measures of economic strangulation by Trump, and now—for the past 17 months—a tourism economy shut down by COVID (now raging, thanks to the Delta variant) have plunged Cuba back to the dark days of the Special Period, when the Soviet Union collapsed and so too did Cuba’s economy. Except this time, Cubans who left government jobs for the hard currency lure of the tourism sector are out of work. People are feeling desperate.

Thanks to policy measures led by Raul Castro in 2011 that opened the country to small enterprise and cooperatives, Cuba’s economy pre-Trump and pre-COVID was flourishing, despite the punishing impact of the U.S. embargo.

Then came Trump. Then came COVID. Like a triple witching hour, investors long agitating to open socialist Cuba to capitalism began jingling in their pockets the coins of influence and paying very close attention.

Could Cuba’s current financial woes finally be the crack that lets the “capitalist light” come in? Could they get rid of this pesky and tenacious socialist government on their doorstep and open Cuba to investment? Well worth the cost of throwing some extra pesos to Cuban dissidents to go to the streets. Playing to international TV cameras with chants of “Down with the Dictator”.

Seriously? Anyone following Cuban politics knows why calling Cuban president Miguel D铆az-Canel Berm煤dez a dictator is absurd. His address to the nation (carried by BBC but not CBC) spoke eloquently to the false narrative being fed by global media.

Yes, in this difficult economy there are line ups for food. Are Cubans starving? No. Despite economic hardships, Cuba continues to look after her people and—through their Henry Reeves medical brigades—those of other nations.

The CNN reporter interviews protesters, then turns his camera to another group of Cubans, standing quietly on a corner with Cuban flags raised in defence of their country. They tell a different story, putting the blame for today’s hard times squarely on Washington.

“Yo soy Fidel (I am Fidel),” one man exclaims, a phrase embraced by Cubans on Fidel’s death in 2016 to express solidarity and respect for the ideals of the Cuban Revolution by saying Fidel lives within them. Shaking his head, the reporter closes with the comment: “One man even kept insisting to me that he was Fidel. “I am Fidel” he kept saying. But (with a half-smirk) everyone knows Fidel died in 2016. This is so-and-so for CNN in Havana…”

Tone deaf?

The Cubans I am speaking to on a weekly basis—although frustrated by a long lockdown and even tighter sanctions—know very well who is responsible for their country’s economic crisis. From Washington, U.S. president Joe Biden called Cuba a “failed state”. Ironic that.

Let’s be very clear: this battle has little to do with the Cuban people and all to do with how to run the economy. In the U.S., capitalism has a stranglehold on markets and communities. Rugged individualism is preached like a religion. We see how well that is working. In Cuba, state socialism charts a different course.

Choosing a socio-economic order is a sovereign matter between a nation and her people. Not investors from abroad.

It is time, Justin Trudeau, for Canada to show support for our friend Cuba, to stand shoulder to shoulder with this tiny Caribbean nation with whom we have shared strong diplomatic ties since 1946 and provide the important economic aid they so desperately need and so deeply deserve.

Shame on us if we do not…


Author: Wendy Holm | [email protected]
Wendy Holm is an award-winning Canadian agrologist, economist, farm journalist, and author living in British Columbia. She has been working in Cuba for 23 years.

Source: Straight


Bolivia’s former interim president Jeanine Anez arrested over 2019 coup

Bolivia’s former interim president Jeanine Anez arrested over 2019 coup

Jeanine Anez, who seized power in Bolivia as an interim president after the November 2019 ousting of then-president Evo Morales, has been arrested on suspicion of sedition, the new government has announced.

Anez's arrest warrant was issued by a court on Friday and was executed on Saturday morning, Minister of Government Carlos del Castillo announced on Twitter. He hailed the development as a step forward in giving the Bolivian people the justice they deserve.

Bolivian media showed images of the politician being taken into custody. Anez and other members of her government have been accused of sedition, terrorism and conspiracy over the way they took and held on to power. Meanwhile Anez denounced the Bolivian government, saying her arrest was “abuse and political persecution”, denying that a coup ever happened in the country. A number of police officers were spotted around Anez’s home in the city of Trinidad, northeast of La Paz, on Friday after the news of her imminent arrest broke.



Police have arrived at the home of Jeanine A帽ez in Trinidad, Beni. Local residents have also arrived to witness the imminent arrest of Bolivia's former coup President. pic.twitter.com/RyXbpmflY4— Kawsachun News (@KawsachunNews) March 12, 2021


Anez served as the leader of Bolivia after violent mass protests in 2019 forced Morales to resign and flee the country. The uprising was triggered by allegations of election fraud, which were later revealed to be largely unsubstantiated. The Anez government deployed the military against Morales’ supporters, who staged counter-protests, and it temporarily gave the troops immunity from prosecution for their actions as they quelled the dissent.

Morales was forced to go into exile after the Bolivian security forces sided with his opponents, with Anez’s 'interim' conservative government later taking power in the South American country. However, she withdrew her candidacy from the next election in 2020 one day after polls showed the pro-Morales candidate in the lead.

The Movement for Socialism (MAS), Morales’ political party, made a comeback by winning the November 2020 general election and securing the presidency for Luis Arce.




Jeanine Anez, who seized power in Bolivia as an interim president after the November 2019 ousting of then-president Evo Morales, has been arrested on suspicion of sedition, the new government has announced.

Anez's arrest warrant was issued by a court on Friday and was executed on Saturday morning, Minister of Government Carlos del Castillo announced on Twitter. He hailed the development as a step forward in giving the Bolivian people the justice they deserve.

Bolivian media showed images of the politician being taken into custody. Anez and other members of her government have been accused of sedition, terrorism and conspiracy over the way they took and held on to power. Meanwhile Anez denounced the Bolivian government, saying her arrest was “abuse and political persecution”, denying that a coup ever happened in the country. A number of police officers were spotted around Anez’s home in the city of Trinidad, northeast of La Paz, on Friday after the news of her imminent arrest broke.



Police have arrived at the home of Jeanine A帽ez in Trinidad, Beni. Local residents have also arrived to witness the imminent arrest of Bolivia's former coup President. pic.twitter.com/RyXbpmflY4— Kawsachun News (@KawsachunNews) March 12, 2021


Anez served as the leader of Bolivia after violent mass protests in 2019 forced Morales to resign and flee the country. The uprising was triggered by allegations of election fraud, which were later revealed to be largely unsubstantiated. The Anez government deployed the military against Morales’ supporters, who staged counter-protests, and it temporarily gave the troops immunity from prosecution for their actions as they quelled the dissent.

Morales was forced to go into exile after the Bolivian security forces sided with his opponents, with Anez’s 'interim' conservative government later taking power in the South American country. However, she withdrew her candidacy from the next election in 2020 one day after polls showed the pro-Morales candidate in the lead.

The Movement for Socialism (MAS), Morales’ political party, made a comeback by winning the November 2020 general election and securing the presidency for Luis Arce.




Sovereign Debt: Venezuela announces deal with individual creditors

Sovereign Debt: Venezuela announces deal with individual creditors


CARACAS, Venezuela: The Venezuelan government announced on Friday an agreement with individual creditors to restructure terms of its sovereign debt.

Because the government has been in default for three years, the deal is intended to ease terms of the debt so it could fulfill its financial obligations.

The Ministry of Economy, Finance and Foreign Trade said the deal is proof of “the permanent will of the issuers to comply with their obligations, regardless of the effects that external factors may have caused on the payment capacity of the issuers.”

It said the agreement was based on a proposal by the government in September that consisted of interrupting accruing interests in exchange for negotiating a restructure of the defaulted debt.

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said at the time that the country is committed to fulfilling its obligations despite international pressures.

"Venezuela has always been characterized by faithfully fulfilling its payment obligations for foreign debt services, despite the multiform criminal aggression perpetrated against the country," said Rodriguez.

The announcement Friday mentions that the deal is no longer available in its current form to creditors who refused to negotiate in September.

But the ministry made clear the Venezuelan is willing to talk and negotiate with creditors “with the purpose of achieving a debt restructuring in accordance with the rights and interests of all parties.”

And for creditors in countries with tense diplomatic and financial relations with the Venezuelan government, the announcement said: “For those bondholders who may have some type of limitation arising from their respective laws, national regulations or others and that limits them to establish contact with the issuers, it will be expected until such limitation is overcome in order to establish the conversations to which there may be the place.”



CARACAS, Venezuela: The Venezuelan government announced on Friday an agreement with individual creditors to restructure terms of its sovereign debt.

Because the government has been in default for three years, the deal is intended to ease terms of the debt so it could fulfill its financial obligations.

The Ministry of Economy, Finance and Foreign Trade said the deal is proof of “the permanent will of the issuers to comply with their obligations, regardless of the effects that external factors may have caused on the payment capacity of the issuers.”

It said the agreement was based on a proposal by the government in September that consisted of interrupting accruing interests in exchange for negotiating a restructure of the defaulted debt.

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said at the time that the country is committed to fulfilling its obligations despite international pressures.

"Venezuela has always been characterized by faithfully fulfilling its payment obligations for foreign debt services, despite the multiform criminal aggression perpetrated against the country," said Rodriguez.

The announcement Friday mentions that the deal is no longer available in its current form to creditors who refused to negotiate in September.

But the ministry made clear the Venezuelan is willing to talk and negotiate with creditors “with the purpose of achieving a debt restructuring in accordance with the rights and interests of all parties.”

And for creditors in countries with tense diplomatic and financial relations with the Venezuelan government, the announcement said: “For those bondholders who may have some type of limitation arising from their respective laws, national regulations or others and that limits them to establish contact with the issuers, it will be expected until such limitation is overcome in order to establish the conversations to which there may be the place.”


Joe Biden injected hope into Venezuela’s opposition, Guaid贸's envoy says

Joe Biden injected hope into Venezuela’s opposition, Guaid贸's envoy says


MIAMI – Opposition leader Juan Guaid贸's envoy to the United States, Carlos Vecchio, said Friday that President Joe Biden took a very important step when he granted Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans.

Vecchio said that with TPS Biden is making a statement to condemn Nicol谩s Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Ch谩vez as the leader of the socialist Bolivarian Revolution in 2013.

Maduro has blamed Venezuelan poverty on U.S. sanctions on the state-run oil company. Guaid贸 blames failed socialist policies and repression for pushing the once-prosperous democracy into a humanitarian crisis.

“The main problem of Venezuela is not the sanctions,” Vecchio said. “The main problem of Venezuela is Maduro.”

China and Russia support Maduro, 58, and his unrelenting attacks to stay in power. U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has said Biden supports Guaid贸, 37, as Venezuela’s leader.

Guaid贸, whose term expired on Jan. 5, Henrique Capriles, and other opposition leaders have managed to stay out of prison. Vecchio is among the interim government officials who are unable to go back to Venezuela over the fear of becoming political prisoners.

“With this protection now we will be more stable, in order to help us to raise the voice in favor of Venezuela,” Vecchio said. “And to bring more people, congressman, senators and the institution of the United States, to put more pressure to find a political solution in Venezuela.”

The story is familiar to the Cuban exiles who found refuge in South Florida when their efforts to remove Fidel Castro failed.

Meanwhile, Maduro is unable to stabilize the economy, so he announced ambitious plans to move to a fully digital economy. In the streets of Caracas, Venezuelans are mostly relying on the U.S. dollar.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas designated Venezuelans for TPS until September 2022 when it’s likely Biden will grant a renewal of the policy.

“The living conditions in Venezuela reveal a country in turmoil, unable to protect its own citizens,” Mayorkas said in a statement during the announcement.

Read More from the source, Local 10 

MIAMI – Opposition leader Juan Guaid贸's envoy to the United States, Carlos Vecchio, said Friday that President Joe Biden took a very important step when he granted Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans.

Vecchio said that with TPS Biden is making a statement to condemn Nicol谩s Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Ch谩vez as the leader of the socialist Bolivarian Revolution in 2013.

Maduro has blamed Venezuelan poverty on U.S. sanctions on the state-run oil company. Guaid贸 blames failed socialist policies and repression for pushing the once-prosperous democracy into a humanitarian crisis.

“The main problem of Venezuela is not the sanctions,” Vecchio said. “The main problem of Venezuela is Maduro.”

China and Russia support Maduro, 58, and his unrelenting attacks to stay in power. U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has said Biden supports Guaid贸, 37, as Venezuela’s leader.

Guaid贸, whose term expired on Jan. 5, Henrique Capriles, and other opposition leaders have managed to stay out of prison. Vecchio is among the interim government officials who are unable to go back to Venezuela over the fear of becoming political prisoners.

“With this protection now we will be more stable, in order to help us to raise the voice in favor of Venezuela,” Vecchio said. “And to bring more people, congressman, senators and the institution of the United States, to put more pressure to find a political solution in Venezuela.”

The story is familiar to the Cuban exiles who found refuge in South Florida when their efforts to remove Fidel Castro failed.

Meanwhile, Maduro is unable to stabilize the economy, so he announced ambitious plans to move to a fully digital economy. In the streets of Caracas, Venezuelans are mostly relying on the U.S. dollar.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas designated Venezuelans for TPS until September 2022 when it’s likely Biden will grant a renewal of the policy.

“The living conditions in Venezuela reveal a country in turmoil, unable to protect its own citizens,” Mayorkas said in a statement during the announcement.

Read More from the source, Local 10 

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