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Video: Bob Marley – Get Up, Stand Up (Live at Munich, June 1. 1980) — Guyanese Online

Bob Marley – Get Up, Stand Up (Live at Munich, 1980) – 40 years ago Bob Marley And The Wailers performing ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ live at The Open Air Festival in Munich, Germany on the 1st of June during the 1980 Uprising Tour. The audio and video have been carefully restored to ensure the […]

via Video: Bob Marley – Get Up, Stand Up (Live at Munich, June 1. 1980) — Guyanese Online

Featured

Chile’s Covid 19 Cases 90,000

30/05/2020

LATIN AMERICA

A health worker transports a COVID-19 patient at San Jose Hospital in Santiago, Chile, May 20, 2020. Chile’s COVID-19 Cases Surpass 90,000
People at La Latina neighborhood, Madrid, Spain, May 29, 2020. Spain: Tourist Activities Will Gradually Resume in July
Casa Nariño, the government Colombia: 13 COVID-19 Cases at the Presidency’s Headquarters

WORLD

A policeman stands guard outside the Supreme Court, Washington, U.S. US Supreme Court Rejects Church’s Demand, Supports Confinement
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, Teran, Iran, 2020. Iran Condemns US Removal of Nuclear Deal Exemptions
Citizens protest against the murder of George Floyd outside CNN, Atlanta, U.S., May 29, 2020. US: Man Shoots Detroit Protesters From Car and Kills Young Man

SPORTS

FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference during the football federation FIFA Chief Warns Against Restarting Football Too Soon
FC Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo to Donate Ventilators to His Hometown
NBA logo NBA Suspends Season After Player Tests Positive for Coronavirus

CULTURE

Luis Eduardo Aute, the voice of several generations in Spain Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute dies at 76
Withers in 1976 Bill Withers, Soulful Singer of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ Dead at 81
The 79-year-old has been accused by multiple women of unwanted verbal and physical contact. Placido Domingo Sexual Harassment Claims ‘Credible’: LA Opera

OPINION

The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega The Strenght of the Sandinista Model
New York police officers scuffle with protestors during a protest in response to the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died while in the custody of the Minneapolis police, in New York, USA, 28 May 2020. Venezuela’s Racist Opposition Wants to Import Trump’s Model
The phase I trials on its putative SARS-CoV-2 vaccine started on April 3. The Giant Virus in the Room: Corporate Vaccine Makers Need More Pandemics to Grow
TeleSUR La Nueva Televisión del Sur C.A. (TVSUR) RIF: G-20004500-0
Featured

Cuban foreign minister condemns death of African-American in US – Via Prensa Latina — The Cuban Window

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Thursday described as a brutal assassination the death of African-American George Floyd, who was a victim of a white police officer who pressed his neck with his knee in the US city of Minneapolis.

via Cuban foreign minister condemns death of African-American in US – Via Prensa Latina — The Cuban Window

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Endorse the May 31, 2020 Caribbean and Latin American Peoples’ Online Conference Declaration Now!

Please read and endorse this conference declaration by sharing  a comment on this post or sending an email to the jamaicapeacecouncil@gmail.com with “Endorse the May 31, 2020 Caribbean and Latin American Peoples’ Online Conference Declaration” as the subject.

Declaration

The peoples of Latin America and Caribbean have a common history.  Despite our differences in language which are legacies of colonialism that tend to divide and keep us apart, our history unites us around the common goal of overcoming the vestiges of domination by the metropoles. These vestiges of colonialism include the plundering of our natural resources, under-development of our economies, and the deliberate distortion of ‘our story’ in order to keep us in our places as the ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’.

It is in this crucible to reclaim our rightful place among humanity, that leaders such as Toussaint L’ Ouverture, Simon Bolivar, Jose Marti, Bussa, Nanny, Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle,  Marcus Garvey, Augusto César Sandino, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez emerged to unite our people, as a critical step towards integration and cooperation which are indispensable components of our struggle to move forward and bring into reality genuine peoples’ development for Our Americas.

We, therefore, outline in this declaration the following commitments towards carrying forward the mission handed to us in the legacy of our ancestors:

  1. Build unity among the social forces and peoples’ movements with regard to plurality, diversity and the right to freely choose their own form of organization;
  2. Strengthen the integration movement by linking and mobilizing broad sectors of societies across the region, especially the farmers, trade unions, students, youth, women, unemployed and other groupings for coordinated action and in solving problems they have in common.
  3. Develop a communication strategy to bypass the traditional media blackout on issues affecting the daily lives of the peoples within the region, in order to draw us closer together through the use of new communication technologies, including social media. In so doing, we will keep each other abreast of our common challenges and experiences while advocating peaceful solutions for our social and economic development.
  4. Encourage the broadening and strengthening of the mechanisms of cooperation, integration and communication between countries in the region which we have been forced to utilize for the containment of Covid -19 pandemic.
  5. Acknowledge Cuba’s internationalist assistance in the global deployment of medical personnel from the Henry Reeves Brigade (currently 26 brigades in 23 countries) and the development of medicines to safely treat Covid-19 patients, based on their fundamental principle that all lives matter and should be saved whenever possible. This Global Medical Mission to save humanity was also seen in action in Cuba’s medical intervention in West Africa which helped to stem the Ebola epidemic. Cuba was the first country to respond with medical and other support tothe Haitian people after the massive 2010 earthquake.
  6. Join the rest of world in endorsing the proposal and campaigning for Cuba to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for outstanding contribution to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic
  7. Encourage and support measures to build resilience against food insecurity, environmental and health threats.
  8. Endorse the United Nations and World Health Organisation’s call for discontinuation of all military aggression, the dedication of available resources to saving humanity and for the removal of cruel and illegal sanctions against nations such as Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, Zimbabwe, which are among at 39 countries  facing such a cruel obstacle to peaceful development.
  9. Cooperate with necessary measures to end or contain the pandemic while being vigilant in ensuring that the situation is not used as an opportunity to undermine our hard won democratic rights by enforcement of measures that are not in the interest of the majority, such as the unbridled use of force by agents of the state and bypassing of court rulings on the unconstitutionality of previously proposed regulations.
  10. Advocate economic growth strategies that benefit the majority of people and effectively utilize our available labour and talent, thereby eliminating poverty and unemployment.
  11. Place a high priority on the protection of workers’ rights across the region, ensuring that violation of our labour laws are not sacrificed on the altar of encouraging investments, whether foreign or local, which have never benefited the majority of people.
  12. Protect women and children across the region and raise our voices against the increasing murders of women in rising incidents of domestic violence in particular countries in the region and right across the globe during the COVID -19 lockdowns, which has left many women and children at the mercy of their abusers.
  13. Ensure that our region remains a ‘Zone of Peace’, in accordance with our CARICOM fundamental principle and the Tlatelolco Treaty of 2014, by resisting any attempt to divide and rule our countries in order to satisfy the interests of foreign powers and multinationals.
  14. Resist any attempt to violate the United Nations’ international law guaranteeing our inalienable right to self-determination, national sovereignty and non-interference in our internal affairs by external powers as has occurred in Honduras and Bolivia, and is being attempted in Venezuela and Nicaragua.
  15. Support and participate in the just demand for reparations for the enslavement of African people in the region and lobby for the elimination of its lingering effect which is manifested in the uneven distribution of resources and development opportunities.
  16. Monitor and support peoples’ struggles globally against all forms of “human wrongs” such as systemic racism, apartheid, genocide, xenophobia and repression, which, in the Americas, affect Black and indigenous peoples to the greatest extent, as reflected in the death toll from Covid 19, unemployment rates, homelessness, incarceration and incidents of excessive use of force by police and the criminal “injustice” system and war .
  17. Monitor and support the struggles for decolonization and economic independence of all countries within the region and elsewhere across the globe.
Featured

The pandemic is killing us. So is neoliberalism – What we need is a union

BY:Joe Sims|May 22, 2020

The pandemic is killing us. So is neoliberalism.

A lot of hope—and rightly so—is being placed in what a post-Trump country and world might look like. And yes, almost anything would be better. (As a popular lawn sign reads, “2020: Any Functioning Adult.”) Proposals for union-friendly organizing rights, student debt relief, a wealth tax, a green infrastructure bill (if not a Green New Deal), a rejoining of the Paris Climate Accord undertaken by a new administration would allow most everyone to breathe a sigh of relief. And breathing, in light of the 90,000 plus dead in this COVID-19 crisis, is not a thing to be taken for granted.

The scale and intensity of the crisis, however, and the public’s response to it, will determine what’s needed, party planks now contemplated be damned. With unemployment today at 25 percent or more, the shock to the capitalist system is profound. With a 3-to-1 ratio of African American and Latino to whites deaths, the racial implications are clear. Some, recalling William Patterson’s formula, that when are government is aware of the implications of its policy but does nothing, the result is genocidal. Overcoming these factors will be no small feat. But the question looms: how will this “overcoming” be defined?

International supply chains, for example, have been disrupted and with them perhaps the whole model of just-in-time production. There are now growing calls to bring parts production back home, and rightly so. What that will mean with respect to imperialist globalization is unclear. But it’s not a given that resuming domestic manufacturing will result in job creation. At least that’s the considered opinion of Columbia University professor and Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz in a recent interview. In his view, potential workers in newly constructed factories will be replaced by robots. In fact, Stiglitz says, the trend toward deindustrialization and a service economy will only deepen.

Big sections of the economy may be radically reshaped. Airlines, for example, along with nursing homes, theaters, restaurants, retail outlets, meatpacking factories, indeed, anything and everything that was done in confined spaces are in for a severe retrofitting. Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft are fast forwarding work-from-home alternatives, with possibly half of their employees working remotely in a decade.

Surprisingly, even the healthcare industry has been affected, experiencing the second largest job loss in April. According to some, 42 percent of all the current jobs lost will not be replaced.

The country is in the midst of a profound systemic crisis of capitalism.

The very future of work, already subject to restructuring by artificial intelligence, big data, and robotics, has not-too-certain prospects, particularly in light of predictions by Larry Summers, a current advisor to the Biden campaign.

Summers foresees a dramatic downsizing in general, with the airline industry being a case in point. Dismissing subsidizing employers to maintain current payrolls, the former Obama White House official remarked, “What conceivable logic is there to tell Delta Airlines that it has to retain every employee until October 1st? Delta airlines is years away from needing to retain the number of flight attendants that it has now. And there’s zero probability to want to have those flight attendants back.”

Summers went on to call for a strategic market-based culling. “Why does New Haven need 10 Indian restaurants when it only needs 4?” he asked.

The depth of the current crisis, which Summers thinks is at least twice if not three times as severe as the Great Recession, may also threaten the banking system. Stress tests, aimed at measuring a bank’s viability in times of crisis, he argues, are not credible. If Summers is right, Wall Street may be in big trouble.

There’s no going back to the way things were.

Importantly, both economists see the need for generous financial support for unemployed workers in the near term, with Summers arguing that the best stimulus lies in financing health care. But what will happen down the road? Here the two accept that there’s no going back to the way things were in terms of employment levels. Translated, that means the working class one way or another is going to pay the heaviest price.

Are there alternatives? Apparently not, if you’re stuck within the framework of liberal or neoliberal thinking. On the other hand, Jared Bernstein another economic advisor to the vice president say that the presumptive nominee “recognizes the need for an “urgent expansion” that better insulates the American economy from the “shocks that are coming fast and furiously” not as a direct result of the pandemic but from climate change and income inequality.”

Pressure is also coming from trade unions and progressive elected officials. Still demands for shortening the work week, socializing the hospital system or other industries, cancelling all debt—a debt jubilee—radically cutting the military budget, etc., so far have not entered the conversation. And they won’t, without mass public pressure and protest from the very ones most affected by the crisis—the growing army of the unemployed and their unions.

But it’s going to take more than public pressure. Along with such pressure, in fact by means of it, the balance of power in the country must be changed.

At this stage, a new Democratic administration is the only alternative to Trump’s neo-fascist impulse, even if the measures now proposed inadequately address what’s coming. However, for that door to be opened, even partly, the door to the Trump White House must be firmly and completely closed and the current occupant thrown out.

Can we advance if we fear to advance toward socialism?

Clearly, in light of the prognostications of some of the Democrats’ chief economists, the post-November political battlefield will be the site of intense class and democratic struggle. There are but two paths to solve the crisis—either on the backs of the rich or on the backs of the poor. In other words, it’s going to mean either more capitalism or more socialism. Can advances be made without massive public investments in health care, education, infrastructure, industry, housing, and science? Can we really advance if we fear to advance toward socialism?

A lot will depend on what happens in the Congressional elections as well.  Recall that in 2008 Democratic majorities in the House and Senate could not prevail in the battle for a larger stimulus.

The crisis today however, is on another scale of magnitude and the caring-for-each-other sentiments, a material force brought to the fore by the pandemic, give us much to build on. In this regard, Joel Wendland writes,

The interventions that have been undertaken, reliance on science, mobilization of public spirit of commitment and sacrifice, the re-organization of activity into necessary and essential services, the sense of solidarity and shared work toward the goal of resolving the crisis, the calls for re-directing production to needed goods, the immediate expansion of aid to workers in the form of extended unemployment, the provision of free test and care for victims of the pandemic, all serve as models for a socialistic model of democratic planning, expansion of publicly operated services for need not for commercial value, and economic waste.

He continued, “For example the collapse of oil markets and finance capital reveal how little we benefit from the existence of those sectors or how little we are harmed when they fall apart. The increased hostility toward price gougers and profiteers could translate into policy.”

In this broad democratic and socialist moment, the sole force capable of seeing this through are the workers and people most affected by the crisis. They, along with the broader movement that brought the new House of Representatives to power  in the midterms must give leadership to the fight.

It’s time to, as Bobby Seale once said, “seize the time.”

The pandemic is killing us. So is neoliberalism.

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100,000 dead – The cost of Trump’s failed COVID response

By People’s World Editorial Board

100,000 dead – The cost of Trump’s failed COVID response

As the nation mourns 100,000 lives lost, President Trump prefers to look away and cover his ears, repeating excuses for his failures and casting blame on everyone else. | AP

If the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States has not yet surpassed 100,000 when you are reading this, tragically, it soon will. In the space of the first five months of this year, we have long passed the milestone (just under 60,000) of Americans killed in the long Vietnam War. We know, of course, that some people died of the pandemic in the early part of 2020 before health authorities even knew what they were dealing with. We also know that others died at home, their families only at most suspecting what the cause of death might have been.

The United States leads the world in COVID-19 deaths. No advanced country was so unprepared for a health catastrophe as the U.S. under President Donald Trump. It’s hard even to say the numbers will abate in the coming weeks and months. We may not have peaked yet. With the president’s push to “reopen” the economy and secure his re-election in November, tens of thousands more in America could be exposed to the virus and require treatment. In new waves of infection, the death toll will continue to rise.

The bodies of some of the lost souls are loaded into a refrigerated truck in New York City, April 29, 2020. | Craig Ruttle / AP

It seems like no one in the White House ever heard of the Six P’s: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance (We threw in an extra P in honor of Vice President Pence and his coronavirus task force).

The prize for best preparedness no doubt goes to Vietnam, with a population of about 100 million, which shares a border with China and yet, because of its highly coordinated planning, has registered exactly 0 deaths from the coronavirus. This model needs to be studied closely.

Has your city been wiped out?

Numbers are often hard to grasp. Well, the city of Roanoke, Va., has just under 100,000 people. So imagine that the entire city of Roanoke—every single person in town—has been wiped off the earth. If you’ve never been to Roanoke and can’t picture it in your mind, how about Kenosha, Wis., or Clinton, Mich., both of them inching up toward 100,000 population?

Here are the names of most of the American cities with a population between 90,000 and 100,000. Imagine every resident of any one of these cities dead, not to mention whole populations of hundreds of smaller cities. To list them all would be numbing, and most Americans are probably pretty numb already from the staggering loss of human life that could have been avoided so early on with rational, science-based policy coming from the federal government.

Miami Beach, Fla.; Lynn, Mass.; Plantation, Fla.; San Marcos, Tex.; Santa Monica, Calif.; Boca Raton, Fla.; Carson, Calif.; Hesperia, Calif.; Quincy, Mass.; Yakima, Wash.; West Albany, N.Y.; The Woodlands, Tex.; Lawrence, Ks.; Yuma, Ariz.; Roswell, N.M.; Livonia, Mich.; New Bedford, Mass.; Dearborn, Mich.; Brockton, Mass.; Sparks, Nev.; Portsmouth, Va.; South Gate, Calif.; Beaverton, Wash.; Lawton, Okla.; Ventura, Calif.; Vacaville, Calif.; Mission Viejo, Calif.; Allen, Tex.; Flint, Mich.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Compton, Calif.; Albany, N.Y.; Spring Hill, Fla.; Richmond Hill, N.Y.; Portsmouth Heights, Va.; Erie, Pa.; Columbia, Md.

Is your city next?

Community groups and labor unions organize a car caravan through Brattleboro, Vt., to show solidarity with essential workers and lift up calls for crisis responses that focus on workers’ health and welfare on May 1, 2020. | Kristopher Radder / The Brattleboro Reformer / AP

What happens after 100,000? The virus just goes after warm, available bodies. It doesn’t know from numbers. We’ll shortly be recording the next 10,000 deaths.

These cities rank in population between 100,000 and 110,000, in order from low to high. Do you live in one of them? Your city may be the next to go.

Renton, Wash.; San Angelo, Tex.; Davie, Fla.; Greeley, Colo.; Vista, Calif.; South Bend, Ind.; Las Cruces, N.M.; Hillsboro, Ore.; Edison, N.J.; Davenport, Iowa; Rialto, Calif.; Brandon, Fla.; San Mateo, Calif.; El Cajon, Calif.; Tyler, Tex.; Louisville, Ky.; Clovis, Calif.; Lakeland, Fla.; Wichita Falls, Tex.; Santa Maria, Calif.; Green Bay, Wis.; Burbank, Calif.; Sandy Springs, Ga.; Daly City, Calif.; Broken Arrow, Nev.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Norwalk, Calif.; Boulder, Colo.; Pompano Beach, Fla.; Palm Bay, Fla.; College Station, Tex.; Everett, Wash.; North Charleston, S.C.; Enterprise, Nev.; West Covina, Calif.; Waterbury, Conn.; Pearland, Tex.; Pueblo, Colo.; Richmond, Calif.; Centennial, Colo.; Murrieta, Calif.

Is a cure in sight?

A cure or vaccine for the coronavirus may not come for many months, maybe never. But a cure does exist for numbness. It’s called “action.”

Education, advocacy, sharing on social media, caravans, letters to the editor, communicating with your elected officials, voter registration and voting, campaign contributions, phone banking, precinct walking if and when it’s safe. On-the-job walkouts, sitdowns, strikes, demonstrations. Supporting your family, friends, and neighbors. Expressing gratitude for workers who remain on the job under highly stressful conditions. Writing articles about local developments for People’s World, and supporting PW financially. Solidarity.

And unity. Lots of it. To remember and honor our fellow Americans and those who came to our shores seeking a better life.

To protect life. To save democracy. To stop fascism.

Unity. Unity! Unity!!

 

Source: https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/100000-dead-the-cost-of-trumps-failed-covid-response/?fbclid=IwAR2o35Nu7fDLw6nJ2KTNCODmJ6Js2GoIJnhELahtWXqTtBCWMLuHsKu_BqM

 

Population data: World Population Review.

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Grassroots Action to Fight the Covid19 Crisis in the Caribbean and Latin American – May 31

On Sunday, May 31, 2020, the Caribbean and Latin American professionals and   community leaders will convene an online conference to discuss experiences and solutions to fight Covid 19 and future pandemics, especially at the grassroots level.

The pandemic has spread exponentially across South America, with Brazil now having the most significant number of active cases in the world.  Political leadership in confronting the pandemic in Brazil has been at best sporadic.  The government’s responses have proven ineffective, particularly for those living on the margins of society: the Blacks, poor, seniors, women, young people, and the unemployed. Recent information coming out of Brazil indicates that the indigenous peoples are severely threatened by the pandemic and could face extinction.

“It is about time we take the bull by the horns and tackle the issues in a fundamental way. We need to approach the situation from the bottom up, instead of from the top down as this has failed us every time,” remarked Mr. Mose Hyde, President of the Christian Workers Union.

This is the first time that a conference of this nature will be spearheaded by civil society and grassroots organizations across the various language groups in the Caribbean and Latin America. It will feature presentations by diplomats, economists, sociologists, doctors, lawyers, trade unionists, journalists,  community women and youth organizers, and other interest groups.

“While we reside in different countries, we all share the same history of being torn from Africa, enslavement and colonial domination. It is up to us to play a major role in figuring out what works for us,” added Mr. Hyde.

Mr. David Denny, another organizer, emphasized the importance of establishing the regional peoples’ network to support integration, peaceful cooperation and resilience against threats to the environment and human health. He noted that while the peoples of the region remain relatively isolated from each other, we are weak in facing the common issues that affect us and we are incapable of participating effectively in charting the way forward as a region.

“Our discussion will undoubtedly address the deleterious effects of illegal sanctions and military threats against countries in the region which have been condemned by Caricom, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean (CELAC) States, the United Nations, and the World Health Organisation, the Catholic Pope and most faith-based organisations, including Rastafari,” said Mr. Denny.

A stalwart in the trade union, reparations and peace and solidarity movements in Barbados and the region, Mr. Denny said that he hopes the conference will highlight the need for regional peace and cooperation to address the myriad of social and economic issues unmasked by the Covid19 crisis. He also hopes that the conference will enable peoples of the region to be more aware of subtle and overt threats to our United Nations enshrined right of nations to self-determination and to be free from internal interference in our affairs with the objective of regime change as has occurred in Grenada, Bolivia and Honduras, and is being threatened in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. This lack of awareness is hampering the growth of nations in the region and makes us easy pawns in a multitude of games that only serve to keep us in a position of dependence.

“We are in this together, despite our linguistic or regional differences which are legacies of colonialism,” noted Mr. Denny.

The online conference will take place on Sunday, May 31, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (GMT5/Jamaica time). It is being organised by the Caribbean Peace Movement, the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, the Christian Workers Union of Belize, the Jamaica Peace Council and the Global AfriKan Congress, with the support of several civil society and grassroots organisations across the region. The Haitian social movement Konbit ayisyen pou pwogrè (KAP) will be represented at the conference.You may join the conference by clicking on the following link.

 

Zoom Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82162618917

Meeting ID: 821 6261 8917

Password: 013604

Sign in early to guarantee you place.

If you already have the Zoom app on your device, you may just open it, click on “Join Meeting” and then fill in the Meeting ID and Password when prompted.

For more information contact:

Mr. David Denny

General Secretary

Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration

Email: ahsaki66@hotmail.com

Tel: 1 246 546 5697  (or) 1 246 286 4052

 

Mr. Trevor Brown

Member of the Steering Committee, Jamaica Peace Council

International Working Committee Caribbean Representative

Global AfriKan Congress

Email: scribe.brown@gmail.com

Tel: 1 876 834 4184

 

–  30  –

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Italy Recommends Cuban Medical Brigade for Nobel Peace Prize — HUMAN WRONGS WATCH

Human Wrongs Watch Cuban doctors held over five thousand consultations in Italy and discharged 210 Covid-19 patients after the severe outbreak in March. Homage to Cuban doctors in Plaza Duomo, Crema, Italy. May 23rd, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/@BrunoRguezP . 25 May 2020 (teleSUR)* — Italian authorities, ecclesiastic representatives, and social organizations acknowledged on May 23 […]

via Italy Recommends Cuban Medical Brigade for Nobel Peace Prize — HUMAN WRONGS WATCH

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“The Caribbean and Latin American Peoples’ Conference on our COVID-19 Experience and Lessons” kicking off regional peoples’ network on May 31, 2020

Image may contain: text

The online conference on May 31, 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Jamaica time (real time, not traditional) will kick off the thrust towards creating a Regional Peoples’ Network, from the grassroots right across all levels of society, to support Integration, Peaceful Cooperation and Resilience against Environmental and Health Threats. The theme of the conference is “The Caribbean and Latin American Peoples’ Conference on our COVID-19 Experience and Lessons”.

Speakers drawn from various countries in the region will share the COVID 19 experiences and lessons learned in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Haiti, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Bolivia and Martinique. A panel of healthcare professionals from Jamaica, Belize and New York will share their ideas on the way forward in preventing and coping with pandemics in the interest of saving lives. Another panel will discuss the way forward from an economic, social and cultural perspective. Apart from participating in the Q&A after each panel presentation, the audience will have the opportunity to contribute their ideas in breakout groups followed by a plenary presentation.

 

One of the highlights of the day will be a conversation with noted Jamaican economist Dr. Michael Witter who co-authored the book “Small Garden Bitter Weed” with his late colleague Dr. George Beckford.

The conference is being organised by the Caribbean Peace Movement,  the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, the Christian Workers Union of Belize, the Jamaica Peace Council and the Global African Congress. The Haitian social movement Konbit ayisyen pou pwogrè (KAP) will be represented at the conference.

You may join the conference by clicking on the following link.

Zoom Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82162618917
Meeting ID: 821 6261 8917
Password: 013604

NB. If you already have the Zoom app on your device, you may just open it, click on “Join Meeting” and then fill in the Meeting ID and Password when prompted.

 

You won’t want to miss this online conference. Please share.

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New York Botanical Gardens: Exploring the Conservation Status of Jamaican Root Tonic Plants — Repeating Islands

A report by Elizabeth A. Gjieli and Ina Vandebroek for The New York Botanical Gardens. Jamaican root tonics are fermented beverages composed of roots, bark, and other parts of various wild harvested plant species, which are consumed to strengthen the body, increase stamina, cleanse the blood, and improve libido. These concoctions are widely popular across Jamaica, […]

via New York Botanical Gardens: Exploring the Conservation Status of Jamaican Root Tonic Plants — Repeating Islands

 

A report by Elizabeth A. Gjieli and Ina Vandebroek for The New York Botanical Gardens.

Jamaican root tonics are fermented beverages composed of roots, bark, and other parts of various wild harvested plant species, which are consumed to strengthen the body, increase stamina, cleanse the blood, and improve libido. These concoctions are widely popular across Jamaica, and among the Jamaican diaspora in New York City, London, and Toronto. In order to produce the tonics, knowledgeable people collect bark, roots, and vines of plants from the forest, typically three days before or after the full moon. These plant parts are left to dry, and when they are ready for brewing, they are chopped and boiled in water. The boiling process can last a few hours to an entire day, depending on individual preference and the desired strength of the tonic. When this stage is complete, the concoction is stored in a bottle and left to ferment.

Despite their popularity today and an integral part of Jamaican biocultural heritage, the use of wild and (semi-) domesticated plants for these health tonics remains vastly understudied. Dr. Vandebroek and her colleague Dr. David Picking from The University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica are actively researching and documenting the ingredients of these tonics. The data collected in this project can be used to investigate the conservation status of these native and endemic species by mapping them in NYBG’s GIS Lab, led by Liz Gjieli.

3_roots boiling

More than 200 plant species used in root tonics have been recorded across five parishes in Jamaica. Since many species are collected deep inside forests, it is likely that some are vulnerable from a conservation perspective. GIS analysis showed that this was the case for several species, by analyzing the range of their naturally occurring geographic distribution. This is done by compiling all known occurrence records for a species, derived from NYBG’s C.V. Starr Virtual Herbarium and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), a repository of information from major herbaria worldwide. GIS software is used to map all of the known localities of the species and calculate an “extent of occurrence” (EOO) polygon. This polygon represents an estimate of the spatial area that a species occupies. Species with an EOO of less than 20,000 square kilometers, and which are also experiencing severely fragmented habitat or a decline in populations or range, are considered “vulnerable”. This is according to the global authority, the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

4_chainy root Smilax canellifolia

Identifying species that are potentially at risk with this rapid assessment will warrant further “on the ground” investigation into their proper conservation threat status.  With this analysis, we hope to contribute to preserving the valuable biocultural plant diversity of Jamaica.


Funding courtesy the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration Grant #HJ-161R-17 to Ina Vandebroek.

References:
IUCN. 2012. Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN.

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Questions for Mark Myers of KFC following “layoff” warning to staff amid COVID-19 pandemic

Jamaica: As sales drop by more than 50%, KFC, Pizza Hut set to reduce staff

I WATCHED a video of Mark Myers, head of Restaurants of Jamaica, where he speaks to his staff warning of impending lay-offs due to falling sales at his KFC and Pizza Hut locations.

He ends the video by saying how much the team means to him and imploring them to “keep safe”. I have a few questions for Mr Myers:

1) Are your stores losing money on falling sales or simply making less money?

2) How do you expect your employees who will be laid off to “keep safe” if they are not earning?

3) Does Restaurants of Jamaica have no reserves on which it can fall back on during this pandemic?

4) Did you compute the cost of paying your mostly low-salaried workers for a few more months versus the cost of reputational damage your business may suffer as a result of these planned lay-offs?

5) While I can see how your profits would be negatively impacted by shortened business hours, wouldn’t your expenses – light, water, security, etc – be likewise reduced?

6) Can you honestly say that your business had no alternative but to lay off staff? What about just making less profits but being humane?

Mr Myers, my small bucks may mean nothing to your bottom line, but I will spend my money with establishments that show that they value mankind over profits. I wonder if all of Jamaica chose to boycott your stores for even one day if you would then recognise the folly of your ways.

Lloyd’s COMMITMENT

On the other hand, I was delighted to read a story about Lloyd Pearson and Lloyd’s in Montego Bay; Mr Pearson said he will continue to pay his staff fully and just wants to sell enough to meet payroll demands. This commitment to his team must mean the world to them, and they are blessed to work for a man with such compassion and empathy for the plight of the common man.

Here is a small establishment – when compared to the mighty KFC – but a businessman who clearly has a heart and conscience and loves his ‘team’ not just by word, but by action.

Jamaica is a funny place, though: such is the hypocrisy that one can look for honours to be bestowed on Mr Myers in the months ahead, or perhaps his appointment to government think tanks or task forces, while poor Mr Pearson will have to await his well-deserved reward, hopefully, many decades down the road, in the afterlife.

Donkey was right when him seh di world nuh level.

Lydia Roberts

Kingston, Jamaica

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COVID-19 Exposes Stark Disparity Between the Standards of Living of Social Classes in Jamaica

No photo description available.

 

Two recent letters to a Gleaner newspaper have compelled me to respond. One is titled ‘Social distancing an uptown phenomenon’ and the other ‘Examine NHT matches-box housing’.

These letters bring into sharp focus the inequalities in housing that exist in our island. They bring to mind what our politicians of the past have spoken about, the “haves” and the “have-nots”.

In the not-too-distant past, three houses were burnt to the ground. One had 70 occupants, one had 55, and the other had 40 occupants. A total of 165. These houses were originally built for a family of six. (One of these was in Sirgany in east Kingston).

Jamaica has 753 squatter settlements, which house over 800,000 squatters, identified by the Ministry of Housing. This approximates to 30 per cent of our population.

There are 3.4 million acres of land in Jamaica. Each acre can be divided into 10 housing lots, thereby creating 34 million housing lots in Jamaica. If the Government allocated a housing lot for every Jamaican, there would still be 31.3 housing lots left (or over 3 million acres of land).

The statistics show that 90 per cent of our crime emanates from our ghetto/inner-city/garrison communities. This costs the nation 7.5 per cent of gross domestic product, which translates to multiple billions of dollars annually.

The Rt Excellent Marcus Garvey in 1929, as the president of the People ‘s Political Party, championed the creation of an egalitarian society. Fast-forward to today, we have a deeply divided and crime-filled society.

We indeed have two Jamaicas today. One in which a family of four lives on an acre of land, and the other where 70 persons live on a quarter of an acre plot.

The challenge ahead for us as a nation is to create a homogenous society, where equal rights and justice prevails for ALL. Where equal opportunities are the societal standards. And where, as our anthem demands, true respect for ALL is the order of the day.

 

 

 

HERU ISHAKAMUSA MENELIK

High Commissioner

UNIA and ACL

Jamaica

 

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 UNDP Warns COVID-19 Means a Systemic Human Development Crisis while  US Prevents Cuba From Acquiring Pharmaceutical Raw Materials – and more regional news fromTelesur

29/04/2020

LATIN AMERICA

Sample of the products made by FarmaCuba, Havana, Cuba, April, 2020. . US Prevents Cuba From Acquiring Pharmaceutical Raw Materials
Migrant woman heads to Piura in national exodus . Lima, Peru, April 29. Peru: Authorities Report Increase in Femincides Amid Quarantine
Cuban Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), La Habana, Cuba. Cuba: Interferon’s Effectiveness Against COVID-19 Confirmed

WORLD

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Turkey Pledges Support to US in Fight Against COVID-19
Brazil Brazil Admits Country Is Getting Worse Due to COVID-19
People queue to buy vegetables, Guwahati, India, April 29, 2020. COVID-19 Means a Systemic Human Development Crisis, UNDP Warns

SPORTS

FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference during the football federation FIFA Chief Warns Against Restarting Football Too Soon
FC Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo to Donate Ventilators to His Hometown
NBA logo NBA Suspends Season After Player Tests Positive for Coronavirus

CULTURE

Luis Eduardo Aute, the voice of several generations in Spain Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute dies at 76
Withers in 1976 Bill Withers, Soulful Singer of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ Dead at 81
The 79-year-old has been accused by multiple women of unwanted verbal and physical contact. Placido Domingo Sexual Harassment Claims ‘Credible’: LA Opera

OPINION

Social Distancing = Communism: this is the ideological angle of Trump’s most belligerent storm-troopers. Trump’s Zealots: White Supremacists and Evangelicals Gearing up for a New Civil War?
 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L), Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (C) and Benny Gantz, former Israeli Army Chief of Staff and chairman of the Blue and White Israeli centrist political alliance (R) join hands A Machiavellian Fiasco: How ‘Centrist’ Gantz Helped Netanyahu
Peerzada Ashiq (L), Gowhar Geelani (C), and Masrat Zahra (R) are all Kashmiri journalists targeted by India India’s Charges Against Kashmiri Journalists Send Colleagues at Sword’s Point
TeleSUR La Nueva Televisión del Sur C.A. (TVSUR) RIF: G-20004500-0
Featured

Foreign Minister responds to the attack on the Cuban Embassy in the USA on April 30, 2020

Bruno rodriguez
Photo: MINREX

Statements by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla

Good afternoon:

As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs timely informed, around 2 o’clock today, that is, in the early hours in the morning of today, Thursday, April 30, 2020, a terrorist attack was perpetrated against the embassy of the Republic of Cuba to the United States in Washington. An unidentified individual shot at the building of the Cuban embassy in the US using an assault rifle.

None of the members of the staff of the mission was injured, who is safe and protected, but some material damages were caused to the building as a result of the numerous gunshots.

Cuba’s diplomatic mission in Washington has a security and protection system in place against any threat that may jeopardize the diplomatic officials, their relatives and the facilities.

The individual, whose identity has not been reported to the Cuban government, was arrested by the local authorities and remains under their custody.

We appreciate the professional behavior of the law enforcement agency officers who very quickly arrived at the scene of the incident.

Today, at noon time, I summoned the Charge d’ Affairs of the US embassy in Havana, Mrs. Mara Tekach, to discuss this serious incident.

I stated our strongest protest for the grave terrorist attack perpetrated against the Cuban embassy. I asked her: How would the US government react to such an attack against any of its embassies? I remember the unfair actions and threats made by the US Government without a minimal explanation or evidence on the so call “acoustic attacks” supposedly against American diplomats.

It is the obligation of all States to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of a diplomatic mission accredited to that country against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity or its normal functioning, as established by the Vienna Convention about Diplomatic Relations of 1961.

I demand utmost cooperation from the US government authorities to clarify the facts and the assurances that such incidents will not happen again or remain unpunished, including this incident that has just occurred

This attack against the Cuban embassy in the United States has in any case been encouraged by the increasingly hostile rhetoric against our country that has both publicly and systematically involved the US Secretary of State as well as high officials of that Department in charge of relations with the Western Hemisphere, and even the US embassy in Havana.

It is impossible not to establish a connection between such action and  the strengthening of the aggressive and hostile policy that the US applies against Cuba, or the tightening of the blockade, which includes non-conventional measures even in times of the COVID-19  pandemic, which affect the whole planet.

The accts to instigate violence against the Cuban medical personnel in third countries, as was the case recently in Bolivia, even with the participation of US officials; the slanders and demonization of the health staff, also encourage violent actions.

At the moment of the attack, as I expressed to the US diplomat, there were ten Cuban officials and diplomats inside the building, who were in grave danger.

It is likewise impossible to separate this type of actions from the effect of policies and speeches of hatred that promote division and social violence.

There have been serious historical antecedents of violent and hostile actions, including terrorist actions, against Cuban diplomatic officials assigned to the United States, both at the Washington mission and at the Cuban Permanent Representation to the United Nations in New York.

I also remembered that several groups and individuals have operated for many years and are still operating inside the US territory with impunity, who have in the past committed terrorist actions against Cuba,  something that is well known by the law enforcement agencies of the government of the United States.

I am surprise to see that more than 15 hours have elapsed from the attack against our embassy and neither the official US government authorities or the State Department have contacted our authorities; there has not been any  official statement, not even tweets, which are so frequent when referring to Cuba, from any US official or its embassy

I urge the State Department to adopt, with the utmost urgency, the measures necessary to ensure full compliance with the responsibilities it is entitled to under the Vienna Convention and ensure the security and safety of the Cuban embassy, the Cuban Permanent Mission to the United Nations, and the staff that works at both missions and the relatives accompanying them.

Finally, I offer the cooperation of the Cuban authorities to carry out the appropriate investigation.

Thank you, very much.

Cubaminrex

 

Source: http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2020-04-30/statements-by-the-minister-of-foreign-affairs-of-the-republic-of-cuba-bruno-rodriguez-parrilla

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We need grants, not loans, PM Browne tells IMF

By Shermain Bique-Charles
Shermainbique.charles@antiguaobserver.com

“It has nothing to do with us”, said Prime Minister Gaston Browne, about a decision by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to approve US $65.6 Million for Dominica, Grenada and St Lucia to address Covid-19 challenges.

Browne, who has had a wishy-washy relationship with the IMF, wrote to the financial entity earlier this month, requesting debt write-offs and grants to help the twin island state fight the coronavirus pandemic, but received no favourable response from the world body.

“We requested debt write-offs and grants. That is what the Caribbean needs, not loans,” he said

While the prime minister appeared to be grateful for what he called “small concessional loan windows”, he insisted that it cannot solve “our problem”.

“That cannot solve our financial problems that have been created over decades, by and large by repeated hurricanes recovery costs and exogenous shocks,” he added,

Furthermore, an adamant Browne said high debt and debit service ratios requires debt relief and grants to place these countries on a sustainable fiscal and financial pathway.

Meantime, the funding for Dominica, Grenada and St Lucia is being made available under the Rapid Credit Facility.

IMF financing support provides resources to the countries’ authorities for essential health-related expenditures and income support to ease the impact of Covid-19 on the population.

Dominica will receive US $14 million, while St Lucia gets US $21.4 million, and US $22.4 million goes to Grenada.

Tao Zhang, deputy managing director and acting chair of the IMF, said these countries are small states that are very vulnerable to shocks, including large natural disasters, with Dominica in particular still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Tao Zhang, deputy managing director and acting chair of the IMF (file photo)

“The Covid-19 pandemic poses a major challenge to Dominica, Grenada, and St Lucia. Their key tourism sectors have been hit hard by the shock. The contraction in tourism is expected to have a major impact on their economies, by causing ripple effects across all economic sectors, eroding fiscal revenues, and creating urgent balance of payments pressures. In addition, these three small states are also highly vulnerable to natural disasters,” Tao said.

The IMF, according to him will continue to engage these countries and stands ready to provide policy advice and further support as needed.

Dominica, Grenada, and St Lucia are members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), and the disbursements would support macroeconomic stability and facilitate the subsequent economic recovery of the region.

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It’s Our Blog’s Anniversary! 3 Years

Message from WordPress today:
3 Year Anniversary Achievement
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 3 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

Thank your WordPress.

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P.J. Patterson Centre for Africa-Caribbean Policy Advocacy calls for an “INTERNATIONAL SOLUTION, TO THE COVID PANDEMIC”

https://stluciatimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/PJ-Patterson.jpg

 

Kingston: Most Hon P.J. Patterson, Statesman in Residence at the P.J. Patterson Centre for Africa-Caribbean Policy Advocacy, located at The University of the West Indies, (UWI) has stated that given the level of global connectivity and interdependence, the fight against COVID-19 demands a multilateral response.

“Less than six months ago”, he adds, “the world became aware of the emergence in Wuhan of a new corona virus. For a short while, it was regarded only as a health problem which China had the capacity and adequate resources to handle. Subsequently, it became the global pandemic known as COVID-19, engulfing with deadly effect Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. To date, the global pandemic has infected 2,471 ,046 and killed 1 70,096 and even this now appears to be an underestimate. It is not possible to accurately predict how and when the pandemic will be brought under control.

The pandemic is just beginning to mutate in Africa where public health systems are fragile and poverty makes populations extremely vulnerable. Here as elsewhere people of African descent have suffered disproportionately, particularly in the United States, as minorities and migrants. Globally dispersed African peoples are seriously at risk in the Caribbean and Latin America.

for Africa-Caribbean Policy Advocacy, expresses its profound sympathy and condolences to the families of the many bereaved including those of deceased frontline staff in medical and emergency services worldwide.

“We commend and encourage continued co-ordination of health protocols to combat the virus across the African continent by the African Union and Ministries and National Centres for disease control supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). This coincides with a similar process taking place in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), with the involvement of CARICOM Presidents, Prime Ministers and Ministers of Health in advancing protocols to mitigate and control COVID-19”, states the former Jamaican Prime Minister.

Former Prime Minister Patterson also applauds the generosity of the government and people of CUba in sending hundreds of doctors, nurses and other health experts to countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Italy to be on the front-line in their fight against COVID-19. Cuba’s sustained training of its medical and technical personnel and those of other countries, and its scientific research in developing medicines, have enabled it to provide invaluable support to many other countries around the world.

Calling for an international response to the impact of the global pandemic7 “To date”, Mr. Patterson notes, “the response has been national in fOCUS, but it is clear this cannot address the international spread of COVID-19. Multilateralism and the institutions which give tangible expression to this approach are now fragmented and demoralized, consequent on the failure by the most powerful country to realise that putting one’s nation first cannot ignore that we all live in a single universe. This epidemic in the era of globalisation requires international solution, at a time where there is now a palpable vacuum in global leadership”.

In these circumstances, he states, the only thing certain is that the world we knew will no longer exist.

“The world that emerges will be entirely different from the one we all knew. Trade, travel, the workplace, health control, study will never be the same. The reconfiguration of global power and the restructuring of the global economy cannot be left to the market or the dictations of a few, determined to continue to shape the future by unilateral decisions without international consultation. In such a dispensation, the interests of the less developed, less powerful and most vulnerable will not be taken into account unless we take the decision to make our collective voices heard and our interests reflected in the new world order. Pandemics thrive on poverty, ignorance, hunger, stress and social inequities”

Against this background, the Centre holds that it is therefore incumbent on the peoples of African descent to forge through dialogue, a consensus agenda to articulate a vision of a re-ordered world in which their governments and regional organizations have a leadership role. “The crisis engendered by the COVID-79 virus provides the basis for the urgent mobilization of a trans-global coalition,” emphasises Mr. Patterson.

Accordingly, for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy is calling for a dialogue at the level of Heads of Government to agree on a common agenda and initiate a programme of international cooperation among countries in Africa and its global diaspora of people of African descent. The stated objectives are three-fold as follows:

The P.J. Patterson Centre calls on the African Union and CARICOM to:

The P.J. Patterson Centre holds that there is a compelling need for the African Union and CARICOM to act in tandem in the international organizations to ensure that the regions’ and rights and interests of their peoples, especially women, children and persons with disabilities, are actively defended.

“The prompt and pre-emptive actions taken by many countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean are to be commended, especially many led by women, whose actions in response to the pandemic have saved thousands of lives,” Mr. Patterson states.

In the current context of a global health and economic crisis, the P.J. Patterson Centre for Africa-Caribbean Policy Advocacy calls on CARICOM and the AU to actively combat global racism wherever in the world this is manifested, and to promote a deeper understanding of the historical processes that have engendered poverty and social injustice on our Planet Earth.

 

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Heed the Call for Regional and International Economic Bodies, such as CARICOM, OAS, OECS, ACS, CELAC Now!

grayscale photo of woman in panty
Photo: Tai’s Captures https://unsplash.com/photos/Lhb-zwQ-QGI

REMITTANCES TO the Caribbean and Latin American regions is immensely critical for the sustenance of millions of families.

In light of the foregoing, it is evident that the COVID-19 outbreak will result in a severe loss of economic and social gains globally. The growing threat of the pandemic has already begun to adversely impact critical sectors, resulting in a debilitating global economic slowdown. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean chief, Alicia Barcena, stated that “the effects of COVID-19 will cause the biggest recession that the region has suffered since 1914 and 1930. A sharp increase in unemployment is forecast, with negative effects on poverty and inequality”.

CALL TO INTEGRATE

Now more than ever, we must heed the call for regional and international economic bodies, such as CARICOM, OAS, OECS, ACS, CELAC, among others, to integrate and promote deeper regional solidarity during this harsh economic climate and anaemic growth trend, to ensure stability and buoyancy is recovered in the least possible time frame.

This amalgamation, undoubtedly, will allow for cost-sharing and risk pooling initiatives, resulting in prompt and effective mobilisation of resources and funds to critical areas. The adoption of countercyclical fiscal policy regionally, in which governments increase spending and cut taxes during a depression, should also definitely aid in such a recessionary environment. With its utilisation, it promotes an inducement for growth, as it provides an opposing force to cushion frequent economic shocks during volatile periods, when businesses and consumer spending lessens dramatically. This increases aggregate demand, thereby facilitating economic recovery.

The Caribbean and Latin American region is filled with vast potential to counteract any crippling circumstances we might face. The fight against COVID-19 demands a regional response. I know, innately, that individual governments are safeguarding their own interests, but I firmly believe that the efficacy of these countries’ initiatives will be further strengthened through regional coordination to effectively mitigate, and win our fight in counteracting, this highly resistant outbreak.

It is hoped that as the pandemic continues to create paths of chaos and instability Caribbean governments will be ultra-prudent and make a concerted and urgent effort to fight together, at all costs, to ensure normality, and that economic viability is achieved throughout the region in short order.

TARA HENRY

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Cuban Ambassador responds to claim of xenophobia by Jamaican students – extending solidarity arm as long as Jamaica needs it

Dr. Christopher Tufton (right) is seen here with Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica Inés Fors Fernández (left) as they welcome the team of 140 Cuban medical professionals to support Jamaica in its national COVID-19 response efforts. The team came into the island on Saturday, March 21. (MOH photo

THE EDITOR, Madam:

 

In its April 27 issue, The Gleaner reports that “approximately 40 Jamaican medical students in Cuba are pleading with the Holness administration to come home, claiming that food shortages, xenophobia, and limited sanitation products continue to threaten their mental and physical health.”

 

It is no secret to anyone that food, hygiene products and many other supplies and items necessary for the normal development of the economic and social life of any country are in short supply in Cuba. For more than 60 years, my people have faced one of the most ruthless blockades in the history of humanity, imposed by the richest and most powerful country in the world against a small and poor country that refuses to get down on its knees. Even the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic has not deterred the US government from continuing to strengthen its economic siege against Cuba.

 

Even in such difficult circumstances, the Cuban people continue to practice solidarity to help other peoples in the world, including Jamaica. Currently 433 health professionals and 77 Cuban teachers serve in this sister land. As a result of a fruitful cooperation that has been going on for decades, hundreds of Jamaican professionals from various specialties have been and continue to be trained in Cuba.

 

Today, when Covid-19 has paralyzed teaching activities in all Cuban higher education centres and poses a serious threat to life, the desire of Jamaican students who are in Cuba to return to their country seems completely legitimate to us. However, we are deeply shocked by the unsustainable reference to xenophobic behaviour by the Cuban people as part of the arguments used to justify the return to Jamaica.

 

Xenophobia, according to the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), supposes all kinds of distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference motivated by race, colour, lineage or national or ethnic origin that has the aim or result of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, under conditions of equality, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other areas of public life. It is usually expressed with discriminatory actions or openly hostile and deliberate expressions of hatred towards foreigners.

 

Few things are as alien to the Cuban people as xenophobia. From our National Hero José Martí we learned that “Homeland is Humanity”. It is in that spirit that our internationalist fighters have shed their blood and our health professionals have saved lives in countries geographically distant but close by the certainty of shared feelings and ideals. We were, we are and we will continue to be, a people of solidarity.

 

The brotherhood between the peoples of Cuba and Jamaica is beyond doubt. It has passed and will pass any test, no matter how difficult it may be.

 

Cubans are and will be here, sharing what we have – whether it is a lot or a little – and extending our solidarity arm as long as Jamaica needs it.

 

H.E Mrs. Inés Fors Fernández

Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba

Featured

Discrimination against Domestic Workers on the Rise in Guatamala, Bondholders in Argentina Reject Debt Restructuring Proposal, while Teachers Reject Resuming School Year in Chile – and more news from Telesur

20/04/2020

LATIN AMERICA

 Floridalma Contreras,  Domestic, Maquila and Related Workers Guatemala: Discrimination Against Domestic Workers Rises
Argentina Argentina: Bondholders Reject Debt Restructuring Proposal
 Chilean Teachers Chile: Teachers Reject Resuming School Year Over COVID-19

WORLD

US President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks on the Coronavirus pandemic during a coronavirus task force news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing room at the White House in Washington DC, U.S., April 19, 2020. Trump Was Real Time Informed During COVID-19 Outbreak in China
About 60 percent of all children around the world are currently in a country that is maintaining some level of a lockdown. COVID-19 Lockdowns Harmfully Impacting Millions of Children: UN
Protesters observed the social distancing rule to fight coronavirus, and called on Gantz not to join in a coalition led by an indicted PM. Israel’s Anti-Netanyahu Protesters Demonstrate Despite Pandemic

SPORTS

FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference during the football federation FIFA Chief Warns Against Restarting Football Too Soon
FC Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo to Donate Ventilators to His Hometown
NBA logo NBA Suspends Season After Player Tests Positive for Coronavirus

CULTURE

Luis Eduardo Aute, the voice of several generations in Spain Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute dies at 76
Withers in 1976 Bill Withers, Soulful Singer of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ Dead at 81
The 79-year-old has been accused by multiple women of unwanted verbal and physical contact. Placido Domingo Sexual Harassment Claims ‘Credible’: LA Opera

OPINION

Central American migrants move forward after crossing the Suchiate River on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas, in southeastern Mexico, on January 23, 2020. Immigrants in the United States Have Always Been Essential
Elena Flores is the elected union president of Adepcoca (the Departmental Association of Coca Producers). We Call for the Immediate Release of the Political Prisoner and Afrobolivian Leader, Irene Elena Flores Torrez
The undersigned organizations and prominent individuals condemn the false claims of criminal charges by the US government against President Maduro. Open Letter to Condemn Trump Admin’s Hypocritical Indictment on Drug Charges of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, High-Ranking Officials
TeleSUR La Nueva Televisión del Sur C.A. (TVSUR) RIF: G-20004500-0
Featured

Bolsonaro Closes Brazil’s Embassy in Venezuela and Wants Borders Reopened Despite Coronavirus Pandemic Saying It is Worth the Risk – and more news from Telesur

18/04/2020

LATIN AMERICA

President Jair Bolsonaro leaves the Palacio do Alvorada, Brasilia, Brazil, March, 27, 2020. Bolsonaro Closes Brazil’s Embassy and Consulates in Venezuela
Construction workers request help from the Mexican government outside the National Palace, Mexico city, Mexico, April 17, 2020. Mexico Prohibits Cremation of People Killed by COVID-19
President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro. Brazil’s Bolsonaro Wants Borders Reopened, Says Worth Risk

WORLD

Robotics experts show prototype of lifesaving ventilator, Herat, Afghanistan, April 15, 2020. COVID-19 May Exacerbate Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan
Tom Moore(C), a retired civil servant and Second World War veteran, talks with members of the 1st Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment, after completing his final lap at his garden in Bedfordshire, Britain, on April 16, 2020. 99-year-old Veteran Raises Millions for UK’s Health Workers
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo New York Governor: Trump Is ‘Passing Buck’ on Pandemic Response

SPORTS

FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference during the football federation FIFA Chief Warns Against Restarting Football Too Soon
FC Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo to Donate Ventilators to His Hometown
NBA logo NBA Suspends Season After Player Tests Positive for Coronavirus

CULTURE

Luis Eduardo Aute, the voice of several generations in Spain Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute dies at 76
Withers in 1976 Bill Withers, Soulful Singer of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ Dead at 81
The 79-year-old has been accused by multiple women of unwanted verbal and physical contact. Placido Domingo Sexual Harassment Claims ‘Credible’: LA Opera

OPINION

Central American migrants move forward after crossing the Suchiate River on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas, in southeastern Mexico, on January 23, 2020. Immigrants in the United States Have Always Been Essential
Elena Flores is the elected union president of Adepcoca (the Departmental Association of Coca Producers). We Call for the Immediate Release of the Political Prisoner and Afrobolivian Leader, Irene Elena Flores Torrez
The undersigned organizations and prominent individuals condemn the false claims of criminal charges by the US government against President Maduro. Open Letter to Condemn Trump Admin’s Hypocritical Indictment on Drug Charges of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, High-Ranking Officials
Featured

Colombia: Not Even the Pandemic Halts Killing of Social Leaders – and other news from Telesur

19/04/2020

LATIN AMERICA

Residents of a Colombian town amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  Brazil, Ecuador Record Highest Death Tolls From COVID-19
Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari. Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff Dies of COVID-19
Protest against the assassination of social leaders, Colombia, 2019. Colombia: Not Even the Pandemic Halts Killing of Social Leaders

WORLD

Chinese scientists at the forefront for the search of a vaccine for the coronavirus. China Denies the Coronavirus Came from One of Its Labs
Putin Assures Russians that COVID-19 Situation is Under Control Putin Assures Russians that COVID-19 Situation is Under Control
U.S. Black people are being disproportionately affected by coronavirus. US Blacks Toll Hit by COVID-19 Grows as More Data Emerges

SPORTS

FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference during the football federation FIFA Chief Warns Against Restarting Football Too Soon
FC Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo to Donate Ventilators to His Hometown
NBA logo NBA Suspends Season After Player Tests Positive for Coronavirus

CULTURE

Luis Eduardo Aute, the voice of several generations in Spain Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute dies at 76
Withers in 1976 Bill Withers, Soulful Singer of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ Dead at 81
The 79-year-old has been accused by multiple women of unwanted verbal and physical contact. Placido Domingo Sexual Harassment Claims ‘Credible’: LA Opera

OPINION

Central American migrants move forward after crossing the Suchiate River on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas, in southeastern Mexico, on January 23, 2020. Immigrants in the United States Have Always Been Essential
Elena Flores is the elected union president of Adepcoca (the Departmental Association of Coca Producers). We Call for the Immediate Release of the Political Prisoner and Afrobolivian Leader, Irene Elena Flores Torrez
The undersigned organizations and prominent individuals condemn the false claims of criminal charges by the US government against President Maduro. Open Letter to Condemn Trump Admin’s Hypocritical Indictment on Drug Charges of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, High-Ranking Officials
Featured

Playa Giron remembered: Cuba’s solidarity in the world – a vision of “sharing not what was left over but of sharing the little that they had”

In this April 1961 file photo, Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro jumps from a tank as he arrives at Giron, Cuba, near the Bay Of Pigs. On April 17-19, 1961, the beach was the stage for one of the most memorable chapters in the struggle between Washington and Havana: the invasion of Cuba by a CIA-trained band of armed exiles. (Bohemia Magazine/AP)

But he is no ‘one battle’ hero trading on former glories. He is a veteran of numerous campaigns and is still as enthused today about the revolution he witnessed 52 years ago as he was then. Rejoicing in the equality that was achieved for everyone in socialist Cuba Dreke praised every aspect of a revolution made by the people for the people.

He is a living representative of Cuba’s selfless internationalism and determination to struggle to maintain the revolution and their independence. He spoke movingly of his rights as a black man – rights not given because of how much money he had – but because he had the human right to be treated the same as every other Cuban.

He talked about Cuba’s solidarity in the world – a vision of “sharing not what was left over but of sharing the little that they had”.

“Cuba will continue to struggle in this world for peace “he said “We created a socialist revolution under the noses of the empire and we will defend it. When Cubans go to other countries we are all volunteers. We don’t go to steal petrol or destroy a people’s dignity. We go in defence of dignity and the right to freedom and a better life” he said to thunderous applause.

Cuban leader Fidel Castro (lower right) sits inside a tank near Playa Giron, Cuba, during the Bay of Pigs invasion, April 17, 1961. (Raul Corrales/Granma/CP/AP)

After the triumph of the revolution then (vice president) Richard Nixon met Fidel Castro in New York in 1959 for a brief meeting – which lasted about 30 minutes – and in which Nixon treated Castro as dirt. Afterwards he sent a classified memorandum to then President. Eisenhower stating that Castro was just another Communist and that “we should get rid of him”. And so began the war that continues to this day.

On April 17 1961, the day following air strikes by the US led mercenaries, a CIA trained invasion force consisting of more than 1500 men, landed on the southern coast of Cuba in Playa Giron in the Matanzas Region,

This area was chosen for the invasion for two strategic reasons: firstly, the area which is surrounded by swamps provided natural barriers and therefore protection against Cuban forces and secondly, this area with only limited access would give them an opportunity to defend themselves against attack.

The brigade consisted of members of Cuba’s past ruling class and former Batista allies. In total the counter revolutionaries owned in pre revolution Cuba: 27 square miles, 10000 houses and buildings, 70 factories, 10 sugar refineries, 5 mines, 2 banks and 2 newspapers.

Dreke told of the Cuban plans made to ensure that if the invasion was successful the Cubans would resort again to guerrilla warfare having carefully deployed troops throughout the island. As it was, tactical superiority and the determination of the people and the armed forces ensured the invasion was immediately defeated and most of the rebels captured.

Kevin Courtney from the NUT drew on the inspiration of Dreke as a student leader in Cuba to praise our student demonstrators today and the need for all of us to build on the inspirational march on the 26th. Recognising the first thing the Cuban’s did as revolutionaries was to prioritise education as a means to achieve social justice, he reminded the audience that it is still their priority today and how important education professionals are viewed in socialist Cuba.

Andrew Murray from Stop the War coalition celebrated this landmark in history of anti imperialist struggle by relating it to the struggles today in the so called ‘war on terror’. The war on Libya is an ambitious attempt to rehabilitate the doctrine of liberal intervention – a strategy that has already seen millions killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Recognising this is not an international war but a neo-colonial war fought by neo colonial powers he ridiculed the lack of intervention in states like Bahrain and Yemen where western power interests are at one with the state.

Award winning journalist Reinaldo Taladrid Herrero, was born 3 months after the Bay of Pigs and represented yet another Cuban generation dedicated to the fight for social justice for the people. He spoke of the legacy of that victory both at home and abroad. “Even with the blockade imposed by the most powerful country in the world Cuba has always responded to disasters or health needs around the world – from the hills of Pakistan to the continent of Africa – the spirit of Playa Giron lives on to this day” “It represents not mission impossible but the building of something new” he said to applause “and if all you people here in London tonight can celebrate the victory of poor people against the empire then truly another world is possible”

The meeting ended with a call for everyone to support the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, demand justice for the Miami Five and continue to struggle for Cuba’s right to its own sovereignty and self determination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:http://en.cubadebate.cu/news/2011/04/21/playa-giron-remembered/

 

 

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#GlobalDayofActionInSolidarityWithVenezuelaApril192020 #EndSanctionsAsHumanityFightsCOVID19 #EconomicSanctionsKillAndStarvePeople

 

 

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The Jamaica Peace Council endorses the #GlobalDayOfActionInSolidarityWithVenezuelaApril192020

The Jamaica Peace Council endorses this Day of Global Solidarity with Venezuela.

We call for the immediate lifting of economic sanctions against Venezuela, Cuba and Iran especially against the background of the global emergency with COVID-19.

We call for the immediate withdrawal of the US ships which are currently threatening the peaceful nation of Venezuela.

We call on the US and UK to return the assets of the Venezuelan people which they have seized unjustifiably intensifying the hardship of the people during the current pandemic.

We call on the US and their allies to respect the will and sovereignty of the Venezuelan people and the government which they have duly elected.

We call on the US to immediately withdraw the trumped up narcotics charges against President Nicolas Maduro and other members of the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela, and instead  to go after the Columbian drug lords who are the highest suppliers of narcotics to the US which is the world’s greatest consumer.

We call on the US to cease weaponizing COVID-19 by blocking of the urgently needed medical supplies to Venezuela and other nations in the region.

We call on the US to desist from its warlike posture and join with the rest of the world in saving lives, especially in its own country which is now leading the world in deaths from COVID-19.

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Caricom Demands End of US Sanctions Against Cuba and Venezuela #GlobalDayofActionInSolidarityWithVenezuelaApril192020

At an emergency Summit, CARICOM also condemned the U.S. decision to suspend funding to the WHO.

The members of the Caribbean Community -CARICOM-, called this Wednesday for the lifting of the U.S. sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela.

“All countries must be part of the global effort to combat Covid-19,” the region’s heads of government agreed during the emergency Summit convened by Caricom.

The meeting, which took place via videoconference, also condemned the U.S. decision to suspend funding to the World Health Organization.

“It is unfortunate that the resources of the WHO are under threat, in days that demand unity in leading the fight against the pandemic.” Caricom said in a statement.

During the Summit, convened by Barbados, the health situation, food security and protection of the elderly from disease were also addressed.

In general, “the region has responded quite well to the pandemic,” the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CPHA) Executive Director, Dr Joy St John, said at the meeting.

According to the CPHA Executive Director, the early implementation of measures in the region helped to contain the virus. But a more coordinated approach is needed to address the next phase of the virus.

CARICOM will consider a proposed protocol on the reopening of borders. Once the decision is taken, all Member States will at the same time adhere to this proposal.

They also agreed that the inter-regional transport of people and goods by air and sea will also be scrutinized.

They made particular reference to the operations of regional air carriers, which have been adversely affected by the measures taken to contain the virus.

 

Source: https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/caricom-demands-end-us-sanctions-against-cuba-and-venezuela-20200416-0001.html?fbclid=IwAR35CMGTkHUJYanpH3hldGkblHYNwcbEHHwYVV_83b3qBnetZRfvE6ySjTI
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ICAP message to the World Movement of Solidarity with Cuba in the time of Covid19 #BlockadeNoSolidarityYes

Havana, 9 April, 2020

To the World Movement of Solidarity with Cuba.

Dear friends,

With deep humanistic conviction, the government and people of Cuba offer the world, once again, the example of militant Solidarity at a time when the planet is facing the global pandemic of the new Coronavirus Sars Cov-2, Covid-19, which has already claimed the lives of more than 70 thousand people in the world in a very short time.

In the time of Covid-19 the eyes of the world look with hope to Cuba and Cuba, in the midst of an inhuman and genocidal blockade, did not hesitate to respond that with an army of white coats made up of more than 593 health professionals, of them 338 Women, organized in 15 brigades of the Henry Reeve Contingent, already provide their services in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, faithful to the Martian and fidelity maxim, ratified by our President Miguel Diaz Canel Bermudez. “Cuba does not go around begging, sisterly”.

Contrary to our humble gesture, President Trump encourages insulting anti-Cuban campaigns to try to discredit the principles of humanity and solidarity on which our medical collaboration defending health care as a human right rests.

This is the time in which the inefficiency of consumer societies of the capitalist system is reveled,   as a result of the anti-popular policies of neoliberal governments subordinated to big capital and US imperialism. Humankind demands solidarity as never before. It is urgent to unite and promote international cooperation.

Our institute proudly recognizes the support of the friendship associations, political organizations, members of Parliament, trade unionists and other political forces that make up the World Movement for Solidarity with Cuba, to our collaborators in the countries where they are already campaigning against Covid 19, as well such as the messages of appreciation sent to the government of Cuba and its people for the solidarity, humanist and altruistic dimension of the Revolution.

For our doctors also our special recognition, respect and admiration wherever they are. They are confronting this pandemic with altruism inside and outside Cuba, as a response of the call of the Cuban government to spread the humanitarian seed of Marti and Fidel, in opposition to actions like those of the United States and other NATO countries, which they spend huge military budgets to the detriment of the living conditions of their populations, fostering fear, hatred and hopelessness.

In the same line, we appreciate the permanent solidarity of the entire Movement that, now in the times of the new Coronavirus, has not stopped acting to demand the lifting of the blockade against Cuba, much more criminal in the current circumstances, also demanding the full application of Resolution “Necessity to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America”, approved in 2019 at the UN by the vast majority of its members.

Together we generate this battle that today tests solidarity between peoples and governments and when it happens, we will embrace with great joy for the victory against the pandemic that is striking us today, to give life to life and celebrate in brotherhood the 60th anniversary from our ICAP.

Fraternally,

Fernando González Llort.

President

ICAP message to the World M… by siempreconcuba on Scribd

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#EndSanctionstofightCOVID19inVenezuela #GlobalDayofActionInSolidarityWithVenezuelaApril192020

 

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#GlobalDayofActionInSolidarityWithVenezuelaApril192020 #NoMasBloqueo #EndtheBlockade

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Cuba develops vaccine to combat COVID-19

 

SOURCE – CMC – The director of research at the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Cuba, Dr Gerardo Guillen, says a clinical trial is now being held for a vaccine aimed at activating the immune system to combat COVID-19.

Speaking during a recent television interview, Guillen said that the drug, called CIGB 2020, is undergoing trials at the Luis Diaz hospital in Havana with volunteer patients suspected of being carriers of the disease.

He says the drug is nasally and sublingually administered to strengthen these areas and encouraging results have already been observed regarding the activation of the innate immune system, which is very important to successfully combat this disease.

He added that CIGB 2020 is a drug that is inserted, along with another Cuban vaccine developed by Finlay Institute, in a field of research that has been much debated in contemporary science, which is the development of specific vaccines to stimulate innate immunity, which is powered by the new coronavirus.

“Our researchers have been able to make lab technologies available to this research in record time and after these first results we will continue with the trials and analyse the results,” Guillen said.

Meanwhile, up to Tuesday, there were 766 positive COVID-19 cases across the island.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, 599 out of those 766 patients are in stable condition.

Source: https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/04/15/cuba-develops-vaccine-to-combat-covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR1deLHw1TDFJIO5m3atmO0jSLuqhgrZP4mYjVBkOJwpP4XlCqJXV8NNO2I

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Italy to Cuba: Capitalism provides what is superfluous, while socialism provides what is necessary

Cuban doctors arrive in Italy to join the fight Covid-19. Photo: RT

Expressing gratitude for the assistance being provided by a brigade of Cuban doctors in the Italian region of Lombardy, the Italian region most affected by the new SARS COV-2 virus, the nation’s Communist Party sent a message to the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, and to President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.

The letter notes the great value of the brigade’s cooperation, with the Italian public health system at a time of serious national emergency.

“After years of cuts in public health allocations, our health system is today in great difficulty, despite the selflessness and relentless work of our doctors and health workers, in the trenches fighting the coronavirus today, as well.

Sent “on behalf of the Central Committee and the entire Party”, the letter offers thanks to “a small island subjected for many years to a total economic blockade by the world’s greatest power. One of the nations that is providing a great lesson in solidarity and humanity. Your doctors have cured the sick in 64 countries around the world. Thanks to the teachings of Comandante Fidel, they testify to the value and superiority of socialist society.”

The missive asks that a fraternal embrace be conveyed to the extraordinary doctors, the Communist Party, the people of Cuba, and tall those who have worked to protect the socialist society and country, against all attacks. “For 60 years you have been an example and an invaluable resource for all peoples of the world.”

In the final lines of the message, the Italian Communists insist they are more united than ever in the construction of a world of peace and social equality, and emphasize that today, thanks to Cuba, “Also in Italy it has been understood that capitalism provides what is superfluous, while socialism provides what is necessary.”

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Caricom calls emergency COVID-19 summit

Photo: CARICOM

To develop a common strategy to confront the COVID-19 pandemic is the proposed focus of an emergency meeting of the Community of Caribbean States (CARICOM) member countries, convened by Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, serving as pro tempore president of the orgnaization, Prensa Latina reports.

The convocation issued cited the need for urgent measures to combat the disease and a common approach, conceived as “a marathon and not a sprint,” because the fight against the pandemic will be a long one.

Cuba has once again responded to the Caribbean, and in fact, several medical brigades from the Henry Reeve Contingent Specialized in Disasters and Serious Epidemics are already providing medical assistance to a dozen of these sister countries. Caricom reports more than 1,500 infections with the new coronavirus, a figure that may rise, hence the need for all member countries and partners to join forces.

The bloc will hold its fourth Special Emergency Meeting by videoconference, to plan joint efforts to increase the number of microbiology labs in the region and approach the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to acquire the necessary medical materials and equipment.

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“THE ONLY WAY TO GET FREEDOM IS TO FIGHT FOR IT ” – NANNY GRIGG, 1816

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The Bussa Rebellion of Barbados was remembered on Tuesday 14th April 2020 — the 204th Anniversary of the Rebellion. Nanny Grigg was one of the architects of the BUSSA REBELLION– she provided her fellow revolutionaries with intelligence reports and encouraged them to emulate the Haitian Revolution by fighting for their freedom

 

Case Study 2: Barbados (1816) – Bussa and Nanny Grigg

Bussa Statue

Bussa

Very little is known about Bussa (also known as Busso or Bussoe). He was born a free man in Africa in the 18th century, captured and brought to Barbados as a slave.  His existence is documented in historical records but there are no details about his life. It is not known if he was married or his exact age. What is known, is that he was a head Ranger at Bayley’s Plantation. He was also brave, strong and determined to enforce change.

On Sunday, 14th April, 1816, he led a rebellion against the British sugar cane Planters involving over 400 enslaved people. The uprising had been carefully planned for some time, following the rejection of an Imperial Registry Bill in November, 1815. It was executed by enslaved people at plantations scattered around Barbados.

The rebellion was the first in 124 years and resulted in a battle between the enslaved people, the planters and the First West India Regiment.  Bussa was killed in battle and the revolt was quelled, due to the superior weapons of the army. This slave rebellion, however, was the most significant revolt in the history of Barbados and changed the social and political climate of the island.  Bussa became a symbol of the right to live in freedom.

Nanny Grigg

Little is known about Nanny Grigg, other than she was valued at £130, which was expensive for an enslaved person. She worked at the Simmon’s plantation. She was a literate woman and knowledgeable about the Barbadian revolution. She was one of the senior enslaved people who helped to plan the uprising. Nanny Grigg told her followers that the only way to obtain freedom was to fight for it.

Source: The Abolition Project http://abolition.e2bn.org/resistance_51.html

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Brazil: Chloroquine Studies Suspended After 11 People Die – and other Latin America updates from Telesur

15/04/2020

LATIN AMERICA

A doctor holds the drug chloroquine. Brazil: Chloroquine Studies Suspended After 11 People Die
Journalist Victor Fernando Alvarez Missing Journalist Found Murdered in Mexico
Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez Argentina Extends Mandatory Lockdown Until April 26

WORLD

A woman waits outside the Jose Rodriguez Infectology Hospital, Guayaquil, Ecuador, April, 03, 2020. G7 to Back Debt Relief for the Poorest Countries If China Joins
children without family protection in the care of the Cuban state, complying with preventive measures UNICEF Advocates for Child Care During COVID-19 Crisis
Healthcare professionals work with patients of COVID -19 at the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, April, 2020. Scientists Prove That COVID-19 Can Survive Over 60 Degrees

SPORTS

FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference during the football federation FIFA Chief Warns Against Restarting Football Too Soon
FC Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo to Donate Ventilators to His Hometown
NBA logo NBA Suspends Season After Player Tests Positive for Coronavirus

CULTURE

Luis Eduardo Aute, the voice of several generations in Spain Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute dies at 76
Withers in 1976 Bill Withers, Soulful Singer of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ Dead at 81
The 79-year-old has been accused by multiple women of unwanted verbal and physical contact. Placido Domingo Sexual Harassment Claims ‘Credible’: LA Opera

OPINION

Central American migrants move forward after crossing the Suchiate River on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas, in southeastern Mexico, on January 23, 2020. Immigrants in the United States Have Always Been Essential
Elena Flores is the elected union president of Adepcoca (the Departmental Association of Coca Producers). We Call for the Immediate Release of the Political Prisoner and Afrobolivian Leader, Irene Elena Flores Torrez
The undersigned organizations and prominent individuals condemn the false claims of criminal charges by the US government against President Maduro. Open Letter to Condemn Trump Admin’s Hypocritical Indictment on Drug Charges of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, High-Ranking Officials
TeleSUR La Nueva Televisión del Sur C.A. (TVSUR) RIF: G-20004500-0
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Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples (Movpaz) strongly condemns the most recent warlike stance of US Pres. Donald Trump against Venezuela and Cuba

No photo description available.

MovPaz President Silvio Platero

The Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples strongly condemns the most recent warlike escalation undertaken by the President of the United States Donald Trump against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Cuba.

In recent days, precisely when the world endures the blows of the COVID-19 pandemic – the frightening statistics of which as to the number of infected and deceased reveal the vulnerabilities and abysses created by the capitalist model, focused on consumption and economic profit and not on the human beings – the Yankee imperialism increases its attacks against our nations with the purpose of crushing us and thus achieve its 200-year old pretension of controlling our destiny one way or the other.

In its effort to achieve said interest the present USA administration has not ceased to become defiant, and particularly against the land of Bolívar and Martí it designs and puts into practice recycled and new stratagems that impact because of their perversity. (It is not necessary to recall all the aggressions perpetrated against the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean since the formulation of the pernicious Monroe Doctrine in 1823, and even before),

The truth is that almost since Trump’s arrival in the Oval Office in January, 2017, a wide number of sanctions and all kinds of measures were enforced against both revolutionary processes. Different officials and the President himself do not cease to repeat the same thing: that all the options against Venezuela are on the table, including the military attack, and that they are going to put an end to the socialist Cuba by intensifying as never before the wide network of sanctions that make up the more than 60-year old trade, economic, and financial blockade.

Only a few hours ago the paroxysm of the present White House tenants reached especially dangerous levels for the entire region. The display of naval military forces in zones close to the Bolivarian Republic, and the statement that Cuba and the brotherly South American nation participate in drug traffic, in addition to being an insult not to be allowed by the international community reveals that those falcons’ hotheads are plotting any invention and pretext to unleash all their hatred and contempt against us.

Days ago, along that same line, they called the legitimate government headed by Nicolás Maduro drug dealer, to which they added – in the worst Old Western style – that they would pay millionaire sums for any information that would contribute to oust and capture President Maduro and other chavista leaders. Such gangster-like behavior has to be condemned, with full vehemence, by the peace movements in the world.

In the case of Cuba, the Trump administration has enforced over 200 measures with the purpose of crushing the revolution. The Program of Undercover Actions signed on March 17, 1960 by President Dwight Eisenhower, and the Memorandum elaborated by the Assistant Secretary of State Lester Mallory a few days later, on April 6 – bases on which the attack platform represented by the blockade was elaborated and fully outlined by the Proclaim 3447 signed by John F. Kennedy on February 3, 1962 – reappear more violently under the stamp of the main danger to world peace that is undoubtedly President Trump.

From the largest of the Antilles we call upon the most diverse sectors of the universal society to prevent the growth of imperialist greed at a time when the only possible task is to unite in order to stop the horror caused by this coronavirus.

The USA is the country with the highest number of infected and deceased. There is a unanimous opinion that Trump badly managed the situation at the start of this illness, which he described as a plain flu with his characteristic arrogance and not listening to the scientists and experts from his own nation. No one can calculate how many lives could have been saved if, from the beginning, he would have acted with common sense and effectiveness. And if that were not enough, the real estate tycoon just accused the World Health Organization (WHO) and China of causing this pandemic. In fact, Trump’s sole concern is how he succeeds in re-installing himself another four years in Washington. Shamefully, it is the election hopes that determine the actions of those who conduct the biggest economic and military power of the planet.

Only hours ago Pope Francis, like numerous personalities and leaders of different religions and political trends expressed from Rome that these are times to leave behind conflicts and aggressions that endanger the human species.

The Cuban Movement for Peace, conscious that this is an exceptional moment to foster solidarity among all nations as sole pillar on which to structure effective strategies against this illness, declares likewise that nothing or nobody will be able to destroy the Cuban Socialist Revolution, constructed on profound and unyielding convictions and principles.

Neither our people nor the Venezuelan one will lose sleep or the capacity to found. Each internationalist brigade of the Henry Reeve Brigade, displayed to save lives on any corner of the planet, will be a new and eloquent testimony that we shall overcome.

Havana, April 13, 2020

***

 

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Bolivia, African and Indigenous Unity Across Borders: An Interview with Pambana Bassett

on by Cindy Forster

https://live.staticflickr.com/4348/36699682182_56a6eb7b2f_b.jpgThe affinities of the original peoples and the peoples of the African Diaspora are profound. At the same time they are odious to those in power. Journalists and people from the grassroots are always searching for our sisters and brothers in struggle, which is why we went to Bolivia.

Nothing happens in Bolivia without the labour force of the indigenous people and even more so of the indigenous women. Everywhere, in the city and in the countryside, the original people are the beating heart of the country. They won the elections on October 20 and immediately suffered the worst atrocities after the forced resignation of Evo Morales Ayma on November 10.

I share with Bolivians the dreams of the majority for a different world. The goal is to ensure a transparent process for the May 3 elections, which have just been postponed. It is imperative that the poor be able to vote for their truth. They want to choose the path that is right for their children, for future generations, and for the planet.

I was born and raised in Zimbabwe. It has a recent history of revolutionary struggle that drove out the British colonizers. As a teenager, I was involved in Black Power struggles in the United States. I have had the honour of experiencing and participating in the struggles in Belize and Jamaica in recent years. Our sisters and brothers in the Caribbean have consistently led efforts to stop U.S. intervention in our hemisphere. From the grassroots to Caribbean leaders like CELAC and ALBA, we have fought against the Organization of American States, led by the infamous U.S. puppet, Luis Almagro.

On December 18, the heads of state and prime ministers of the Caribbean passed a resolution that won the support of the majority in the OAS. The OAS resolution denounces the racist violence that the coup regime has unleashed in Bolivia.

Last week, 13 Caribbean states called for the postponement of the meeting of the Organization of American States, where the next Secretary General was to be chosen. They said that a meeting in Washington could expose them to the (Novel) Coronavirus. Their request was denied. Meanwhile, both the OAS Commission and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have suspended their meetings because of the danger it may pose.

Bolivia is extremely important for the African Diaspora because it is a land of unusual struggles. It consists of 36 indigenous and African nations. They described their native cultures which are tens of thousands of years old. They have a love for the land, care for the crops and respect the forces of the sun, moon, waters and air. We have seen the quinoa and bean fields planted in the highland soils. To us in the Caribbean and the southern United States, the Andean lands do not seem suitable for cultivation, but Bolivians work hard and for thousands of years these lands have borne fruit.

With the same strength, Bolivians struggle against empires. For us, it is obvious that on November 10 of last year, the United States government promoted a military coup in Bolivia. We are deeply outraged. Our ancestors also resisted colonial invasions and our grandparents and parents are still in these struggles, calling on us to express our solidarity with clarity and sincerity. As is known, in Bolivia during the fourteen years of Evo Morales, a democracy was born in which the people participated directly. The social movements are the protagonists of the Process of Change and have not bowed down to the coup leaders. They have a strong trade union movement that has achieved the presidency, a beautiful labour code and decent wages that have been multiplied by 6, without inflation. At the same time, in Belize the striking black dockworkers are protesting against transnational companies and laws that despise the workers. But in Bolivia, the majority have come together to achieve a project of sovereignty.

For us the Process of Change is like a dream. It teaches us that our lives can be changed if we, the poor, are in charge of our States. We spoke with people who come from the heart of the struggles in the first years of this 21st century. In the maelstrom of neoliberalism, the people rose up unarmed to achieve a different process guided by themselves.

It was a historic moment in December when Belize and Jamaica joined 16 other Latin American and Caribbean nations in denouncing the coup regime. The OAS resolution against racist violence by the de facto government was initiated by CARICOM. It reflects our historical conscience. Beyond the Caribbean, we are the descendants of Africa, people kidnapped and brought to the Americas in chains. In our collective memory we know how terrible slavery is. We suffer genocide and the plundering of our territories by a handful of rich people. As violently uprooted communities we feel what it is like to live through the separations of our families, only to die in white mines and plantations.

Bolivia suffered at the hands of the same elites, but today the different indigenous nations have won recognition of their ancestral practices, their spiritual beliefs, their worldview that is based on cooperation and respect for Pachamama. From the news we know that the regime of the coup president and her followers despise that indigenous world. Thirty-six people have been killed, the vast majority of them indigenous, and there have been more than 890 injured and 1560 detained. Graffiti can be seen on prison walls denouncing “political prisoners”.

People from the grassroots have told us that the coup took them by surprise. The poor knew well of the brutality of neo-liberal policies, and the strategizing by the Latin American right wing under the tutelage of the U.S. They knew that the paramilitary forces were mobilizing and also, that the multinational corporations never forgave the Movement to Socialism for the distribution of national wealth during the years of Evo Morales. But they were taken by surprise by the desecration of democratic norms after October 20. They were taken by surprise by the falsified reports from the OAS that alleged fraud. The people now understand that the right wing is willing to resort to any outrage to crush the Process of Change.

We came to Bolivia because on television you see the right wing burning the ballot boxes, repressing and killing journalists and massacring the poor. They have raped girls and women. If the coup regime continues, it will surely repeat such violence. MAS defends dignity, from the peasant world to all the cities where indigenous and poor people live. Although they know that the right wing will respond to a MAS victory with cruelty, the dignified bases of MAS are sure that they will win.

As representatives of the popular masses we have to emphasize the interventionist plans of the USA. The DEA and USAID, expelled from Bolivia because of their military and aggressions against national sovereignty, are now participating in the electoral process of the coup regime. We are informed that USAID is plotting fraud in the elections and that the CIA is the power behind Añez’s throne.

The people we know in Bolivia see MAS as an iteration of their millennial struggles. One campesino from these struggles told us that in fourteen years, they built their own happiness. Now, we have seen constant meetings in the countryside in different communities, and meetings involving several communities where they exchange ideas to analyze their destiny and reach agreements.

In these times, while there is greater concern about the virus, people proudly speak of all the MAS programs that returned national resources to the poor. Today, the Añez regime has destroyed the most essential assets and universal health care. Previously, the country’s enormous wealth went to those in need, and now it goes to the bank accounts of the rich. It is a class war as well as a repossession of power by racists. The poor are defending the tremendous advances of the MAS era and, again and again, telling us that they are going to triumph over this dictatorship. We will be watching as a Latin American and Caribbean people, as a people of African descent.

Source: https://libya360.wordpress.com/2020/04/02/bolivia-african-and-indigenous-unity-across-borders-an-interview-with-pambana-bassett/

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How Vietnam contained the pandemic – Population ofnearly 100 million, 245 Covid 19 cases and zero death

By Joshua Hanks
April 8, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has started to reveal stark differences in the emergency responses of countries all over the globe. The U.S. now has the most COVID-19 cases in the world after a slow and uncoordinated response by federal and state governments.

Shortages of ventilators, ICU beds and personal protective equipment have put pressure on a medical system that was already struggling to meet basic needs. Especially in rural areas and communities of color, hospital closings and shortages of staff and funding have put many at an elevated risk for the ravages of COVID-19.

In Chicago, while about 32 percent of the city’s residents are Black, over 70 percent of those who have died from the virus are Black.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are reportedly impersonating medical staff in order to detain undocumented workers, increasing the terror in im/migrant communities and further discouraging migrants from seeking out testing and medical care

Nevertheless, despite the vast wealth and resources at the disposal of superpowers like the U.S., some less developed countries are faring better, including ones under onerous U.S. sanctions

Cuba, China and India’s Kerala state, all led by communist parties that attach great importance to public health and the needs of the people, have much lower rates of infection than the U.S

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has also mounted a highly successful response, perhaps more so than anywhere else in the world. By April 6, Vietnam, with a population of nearly 100 million people, had just 245 confirmed cases and zero deaths. (worldometers.info/coronavirus/)

New York City, the global capital of high finance, has nearly 70,000 confirmed cases and close to 2,500 deaths out of a population of 8.6 million. What could Vietnam, a country the U.S. tried to wipe off the map 50 years ago, be doing that the wealthiest city in the world’s wealthiest country is not doing

An article published on March 30 by the World Economic Forum, by no means a left-wing group, reveals some answers

Vietnam’s University of Science and Technology has developed a fast and affordable test kit that costs about $15 and returns results within an hour. Now 20 countries around the world are seeking to order tens of thousands of them

Vietnam has also focused on effective, nonpharmaceutical methods to contain the virus. On Feb. 1, it suspended flights to China and decided to keep schools closed after the Lunar New Year break. It then instituted a 21-day quarantine of Vinh Phuc province north of Hanoi, where a large number of residents had worked in Wuhan, China, the initial epicenter of the outbreak

It has since mandated 14-day quarantines for everyone arriving in the country and cancelled all foreign flights. Quarantine centers have been set up on the edges of cities providing 100 percent of the medical care, food and shelter for those in quarantine, including foreign visitors

A British citizen staying at a quarantine center in Son Tay said about the experience: “Suddenly it all becomes very human, we’re guests in a country doing their best to protect themselves and are extending us that courtesy. Such is the good nature of Vietnam. Outside, everything is peaceful. The location is quiet, the soldiers work tirelessly to sterilize the rooms daily, log our temperature and clear out our bins. … So far, this feels more like a holiday camp than a quarantine. In our room, we share snacks, fruit, and start getting deliveries from loved ones.” (VNExpress International, March 17)

These quarantine centers are also available to people who have not traveled abroad. When cases appear in a neighborhood, the entire street is sanitized and the residents put under a two-week quarantine, with the government providing free, fresh food and medical care.

Susan Schnur, a member of Workers World Party who travelled in Vietnam from March 5 to 17, reported that screenings in the airports were much more thorough and stringent than in the U.S. Hand sanitizer was almost everywhere, even in rural areas. People were “chipper” about following the measures set out by the government to contain the virus

Vietnam has also used social media and information technology to combat the spread of the virus. Almost 90 percent of the people have either a smartphone or a mobile phone. The government uses an app and other channels to swiftly alert the public to new cases and areas with potential transmission, to help people get tested and to provide scientifically accurate, up-to-date information on best practices to reduce exposure.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health produced a catchy music video to inform people of proper handwashing techniques and other measures to reduce transmission

“Imagine a government that’s actually good on social media and inspires a TikTok movement. And, no, screaming all caps in Twitter doesn’t count,” wrote Linh Dao Smooke of the website hackernoon.com.

Between 2002 and 2018, 45 million Vietnamese people were lifted out of poverty. From 1990 to 2015, life expectancy rose from 71 to 76 years. Vietnam now has a higher vaccination rate than the U.S. Medical care is inexpensive, with the government paying 100 percent for poor people and ethnic minorities in disadvantaged areas

Vietnam sets an example for both developing and wealthy countries fighting COVID-19.

Source: https://iacenter.org/2020/04/11/how-vietnam-contained-the-pandemic/

Featured

The working class is striking for safety

By Martha Grevatt
April 8, 2020

Whether they are organizing walkouts, sick-outs or sit-ins, workers in a whole range of so-called “essential” occupations are in a life-and-death fight against dangerous working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From shopping to heavy industry

Actions include gig workers, like the Instacart “Shoppers” who walked out on March 30 all over the U.S. Their demands are basic: personal protective equipment,  soap and sanitizers. They also want $5 per order “hazard pay,” along with “income replacement” pay for anyone with a doctor’s note or a preexisting condition making them vulnerable to infection. Instacart has denied most of these demands made by Gig Workers United.

Shoppers, who customers pay to go to a supermarket and shop for them, are classified as “independent contractors” and not even covered under existing worker protection laws. In fact, they are super-exploited workers. They are angry at Instacart’s announcement it will hire 300,000 more shoppers in the midst of the pandemic while refusing the safety demands.

General Electric workers in Lynn, Mass., held work stoppages and protests outside the plant, calling on GE to hire laid-off workers to make much-needed ventilators. They are demanding safe working conditions and additional paid sick leave and have a petition for supporters to sign. In this time of mass unemployment, they are still working because military equipment produced in the plant is deemed “essential.” (Local201.org)

Their union, the Union of Electrical Workers-Communication Workers (IUE-CWA), held a solidarity action with the Lynn workers outside GE’s corporate headquarters in Boston. The company — which had $95 billion in revenue in 2019 and is slated to get a slice of the fed’s multitrillion dollar bailout — can well afford to retool its plants to make more ventilators than GE currently manufactures.

“If GE trusts us to build, maintain and test engines, which go on a variety of aircraft where millions of lives are at stake, why wouldn’t they trust us to build ventilators?” asks IUE-CWA Local 86004 President Jake Aguanaga. His plant in Arkansas City, Kan., has more than half its workforce on indefinite layoff. (Vice.com, March 30)

Often when workers demand safe conditions, bosses retaliate. After learning that a coworker had tested positive for COVID-19, Travis Watkins, who worked for a third-party contractor at a General Motors plant in Grand Rapids, Mich., warned workers their jobs were unsafe. For his stand — “A safe working environment is a basic human right” — he was fired on March 18. (tinyurl.com/sohclk4)

Food processors hit with walkouts

Food processing plants, which exploit many migrants and workers of color, were already notoriously dangerous before COVID-19. Now they are death traps with little or no sanitation, few breaks to allow hand-washing and people working elbow-to-elbow

These conditions prompted a walkout April 3 at the Pilgrim Pride poultry plant in Timberville, Va., after workers learned an employee there tested positive. Workers want the plant shut down for two weeks to allow the worker and anyone who had contact with them to self-quarantine. They want PPE, which the company has refused to provide.

The same day another walkout took place at Raymundo’s in Chicago where several hundred workers, mostly Latinx women, make flan and gelatin. They won union recognition last year with the Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and are now also demanding paid time off and a safe, fully disinfected workplace to come back to.

Earlier, on March 31, some 1,000 meatpackers walked off the job in Greeley, Colo., for similar demands. While this largely immigrant workforce speaks 27 different languages, the members of UFCW Local 7 came together in unity.

The push to close unsafe, nonessential construction sites is continuing, with 13,000 union carpenters in Massachusetts on strike. Construction workers everywhere are being told they have to keep working on a range of building projects exempted from governors’ stay-at-home orders. The director of Chicago Women in Trades: National Center for Women’s Equity in Apprenticeship and Employment, Lauren Sugerman, stated in a letter to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker: “Building a casino, a luxury condo, a high-rise office building, a sports arena, school or commercial building is not essential during a pandemic such as COVID-19.” (coshnetwork.org)

On the frontline of the crisis — and the struggle for safety

Kroger pharmacy workers had a safety walkout in Morgantown, W.Va. They also hung plastic curtains to create a barrier between themselves and potentially infected customers, which the company ripped down. After the walkout, Kroger installed plexiglass sheets, but workers still need gloves and social distancing and are demanding hazard pay.

Health care workers have been staging sit-downs at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital, the busiest in the state. They want PPE. Represented by National Nurses United, they serve the most underserved population — the poorest, who are often also people of color, and the most likely to not have health insurance. Chicago has one of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country.

Dozens of nurses walked off the job at Brighton Rehab and Wellness Center in western Pennsylvania’s Beaver County after learning that 36 residents and six workers had tested positive. They had not been given N95 masks to wear. Their union, Service Employees Union (SEIU) Healthcare Pennsylvania, says the walkout will continue until its members are provided the necessary protection.

While health care workers risk their lives, the Trump administration, acting at the behest of the for-profit American Hospital Association, killed a provision in the recent stimulus bill to force the Office of Safety and Health Administration to create an emergency rule setting COVID-19 safety standards for health care workers.

But the workers aren’t backing down, as NNU began a strike April 6 at 15 hospitals in six states run by the international chain HCA Healthcare. The union is calling HCA out for its “lack of preparedness” in failing to provide PPE to frontline workers.

Others walking out include auto dealership mechanics in New York City and Amazon workers in Detroit, Chicago and New York. (See related article this issue

From health care workers to gig workers to warehouse workers, the working class is rising up in a fight for their lives.

 

Source: https://iacenter.org/2020/04/11/the-working-class-is-striking-for-safety/

 

Featured

Haiti faces a coronavirus catastrophe – numbers are low as only the elite are being tested

By G. Dunkel
April 8, 2020

The predictions are grim, and the figures are totally misleading: As of April 5, 6 p.m., Haiti reported only 21 COVID-19 cases and one death. The Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, reported 1,745 cases and 52 deaths. (worldometers.info/coronavirus/)

Haiti has only 130 ICU beds. Dr. Paul Farmer, head of Partners in Health, a nongovernmental organization, believes that only 30 of them are fully functional and there are at most 64 ventilators in the country.

Both Haiti and the Dominican Republic have about the same population — 10 million. According to the World Bank, the Dominican Republic has nearly 20,000 physicians; according to Haiti’s National Institute of Statistics, Haiti has only 911. A significant number of Haitians go back and forth between Haiti and the Dominican Republic every day, as workers or traders, which makes it even harder to trust the official COVID-19 numbers for Haiti.

What the numbers really signify is that Haiti only tests the elite or foreigners, who manage to get treated by one of its rare doctors in a hospital, while testing in the Dominican Republic is broader. But it’s also an admission that COVID-19 does exist in Haiti.

Almost 6 million people in Haiti live on less than $2.41 a day, the poverty line, according to the World Bank. The government of President Moïse Jovenel has called for people to isolate themselves, stay home, frequently wash their hands and engage in social distancing. And the U.S. government has given Haiti, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, $2.2 million to help it clean up its water supply and provide aid to the laboratories doing the testing.

But on $2.41 a day or less, it is hard to feed yourself and your family and buy the soap, and in many instances the water, needed to wash your hands. Most poor Haitian families live in a single room, which makes social distancing impractical, especially since their neighbors are just a wall away.

If people don’t go out to work, they starve.

Dr. Ernst Noël, of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, in Port-au-Prince, believes that a projection of 800,000 deaths from COVID-19 is not an exaggeration. (tinyurl.com/rybspdl)

Cuba, which has been the object of a U.S. boycott for the past 60 years, sent a team of 345 doctors and medical workers to Haiti last week. That was their concrete international solidarity with Haiti.

Progressive Haitian organizations have been struggling for much of 2019 and the early part of 2020 against the corrupt, U.S.-imposed regime of Jovenel and his Bald-Headed Haitian Party, bringing at times hundreds of thousands of people into the streets. They see their struggles, on one hand, as part of the four centuries of struggles against slavery, colonialism and neocolonialism in the Caribbean, whose main instigator is currently the United States, and on the other hand, as part of their international solidarity in defense of Cuba and Venezuela.

Source: https://iacenter.org/2020/04/11/haiti-faces-a-coronavirus-catastrophe/

Featured

Belarus’s President Warns Global Elites Using COVID-19 Crisis to Try to Reshape World Order

by 

Belarus has been one of the few nations in the northern hemisphere to resist introducing nation-wide quarantines and other large-scale restrictions in its battle with the new coronavirus, instead preferring a targeted response.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has expressed concerns over how powerful nations and interests may try to use the coronavirus pandemic to reshape the world to their own advantage.

“I once asked the question: is this pandemic, this coronavirus, a man-made phenomenon? I don’t know the answer yet, but I have my suspicions. Are politicians and others using this situation for their own purposes? You and I both know the answer to that question. You already see how it is used today…Doesn’t it seem to you that the powerful forces of the world would like to remake the world, without a ‘war’ (Emmanuel Macron has already called it a war), through this so-called ‘corona-psychosis’, or ‘info-demic’? Many people are asking: ‘what will happen after the pandemic?’” Lukashenko said, speaking to Mir TV in an interview airing Friday.

Lukashenko has insisted that Belarus’s economy continue to operate as normal, even if this means risks to his political popularity, saying he could imagine what would happen to the country after the pandemic is over if it were to shut down.

Dollar

“What will happen to us? Other countries will survive. Russia has oil and gas which the world including China needs. China is a huge, powerful economy. America has the [dollar] printing press – they’ve thrown in $2 trillion and plan to spend $2 trillion more. My friend [UN Secretary-General] Antonio Guterres, a sincere man, has proposed printing money worth ten percent of global GDP. Even as things are the dollar is gradually losing its value, and here it will just drop, giving rise to inflation. Where we will come out of this with our [Belarusian] ruble we know,” the president explained.“Moreover, who will receive these $20 trillion? Where will this money end up? Will it not be a case of the rich getting richer, while the poor get poorer? I think it will. We’ve been pushed to shut down and sit and eat through the small reserves we have. Even in Russia it cannot be said that its currency reserves are so large,” Lukashenko said.

“And then, having printed out this 10 percent of global GDP, those who stay on their feet will come to us and say ‘here is a little for you, but now you will do what we say’. That’s how the world can be reshaped,” he warned.

The president noted that he has no doubt that the world will be a different place when the pandemic ends. His main concern now is what place Belarus will have in this new world.

Belarus has 351 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection to date, as well as 4 fatalities. The country has rejected broad coercive restrictions to fighting the virus, preferring a strategy of pinpoint measures including quarantine for people with the virus and testing anyone coming into contact with them. Belarus’s factories and farms remain open, as do educational institutions, shops, restaurants and other public amenities, and the country has not closed its borders with its Russian neighbor.

https://sputniknews.com/europe/202004031078824468-belaruss-president-warns-global-elites-using-covid-19-crisis-to-try-to-reshape-world-order/?fbclid=IwAR2J-hHiVVD307LEIS6lD7edb_GOlZLdCKoCwaOpFmz6VaSnvg_02lPJN7M

Featured

Could COVID-19 be the Perfect Cover for Mandatory Biometric ID?

Now that the state and its media have falsely characterized the coronavirus as a pandemic closing in on the 1918 flu pandemic (falsely attributed to Spain), it is time for the global elite and their technocrats to force not only highly-profitable (for Big Pharma) vaccines on the world but biometric IDs as well. 

“As countries begin to lift coronavirus lockdowns, biometric identification can help verify those who have already had the infection, and ensure that the vulnerable get the vaccine when it is launched, health and technology experts said,” reports Reuters. 

A biometric ID system can keep a record of [the infected] and those getting the vaccine, said Larry Dohrs, Southeast Asia head at iRespond, a Seattle-based nonprofit that launched its technology last month.

The pretense for this—as it was for the US decimation of Libya, Syria, and Iraq—is “humanitarianism,” according to iRespond and Simprints, a British NGO partnered with Johns Hopkins University’s Global mHealth Initiative, the latter connected to the US military and its “Dark Winter” and “Event 201” pandemic scenarios (see Whitney Webb: All Roads Lead to Dark Winter). 

Total surveillance requires 24/7 monitoring of individuals—especially those included in the Main Core database of activists and political enemies of the state—and biometric technology introduced during the hysteria of an exaggerated health threat fits the bill. 

ID2020—a project initiated by the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill Gates and Microsoft, transnational pharmaceutical corporations, and technology firms—is pushing the concept that every human on the planet needs biometric verification because “to prove who you are is a fundamental and universal human right,” according to the ID2020 website. 

“What they really want is a fully standardized data collection and retrieval format, and cross-border sharing of identities of the entire population of the planet, in order for the stand-alone AI-powered command center to work without a hitch, and for purposes of calculating everyone’s potential contribution, and threat to the system,” explains OffGrid Healthcare. 

If you believe this is dangerously close to China’s “social credit” system, you’re not far off the mark. 

Introducing this totalitarian technology under the cover of a supposed pandemic rife with speculation and a dearth of hard numbers is a near-perfect cover for “patient ID technology” producing data on individuals shared with the state and its corporate partners. 

A vaccine ostensibly designed to combat COVID-19 will become mandatory and those who resist will be blacklisted as public health criminals. They will be locked out of society, similar to Chinese citizens suffering under China’s totalitarian social credit system. 

Martin Armstrong believes the healthcare-industrial complex and the state will surreptitiously introduce a nanotech ID and tracking chip along with a cocktail of vaccine toxins, or they will sell it to the public as a way to identify those presumably infected.

The proposal is a digital certificate that verifies if you have been vaccinated and was developed by MIT and Microsoft. They are looking at merging this with Bill Gates’ ID2020. It is entirely possible that this scare has been a deliberate plot to get people to accept these digital implants. Refuse, and you will be prohibited from social gatherings. Like 9/11 conditioned us to be x-rayed before entering a plane, now the next stage is to embed digital markers that they have been using in dogs and cats.

COVID-19 is the perfect Trojan horse for a control freak state itching to not only micromanage the lives of ordinary citizens but also ferret out critics and potential adversaries and punish them as enemies of the state. The latter is the primary objective. History is replete with examples—from Stalin and Mao to Hitler and Mussolini, with lesser autocrats and dictators along the way. 

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Kurt Nimmo writes on his blog, Another Day in the Empire, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Source: https://www.globalresearch.ca/covid-19-perfect-cover-for-mandatory-biometric-id/5709146
Featured

Judge prohibits Brazil’s Bolsonaro from lifting quarantines – and other regional updates from Telesur

10/04/2020

LATIN AMERICA

Argentina Puebla Group to Analyze COVID-19 Crisis in Latin America
Public transport buses in Havana, Cuba. 2020. Cuba: Government Implements New Measures to Prevent COVID-19
Soldiers disinfect subway cars, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 23, 2020. Brazil: Judge Prohibits Bolsonaro From Lifting Quarantines

WORLD

An oil pump in operation at dawn near Midland, Texas, U.S., April, 2020.  OPEC Reaches Agreement Amid Health and Economic Crisis
Each shack is barely 10 square meters and many are overcrowded with up to 12 people. Bangladesh Orders Lockdown in Rohingya Camps Over COVID-19
These impacts risk reversing limited gains made on women UN Chief Warns About the Impacts of COVID-19 on Women

SPORTS

FC Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo to Donate Ventilators to His Hometown
NBA logo NBA Suspends Season After Player Tests Positive for Coronavirus
Venezuela Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas Set Triple Jump World Record: 15.43 m

CULTURE

Luis Eduardo Aute, the voice of several generations in Spain Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Eduardo Aute dies at 76
Withers in 1976 Bill Withers, Soulful Singer of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ Dead at 81
The 79-year-old has been accused by multiple women of unwanted verbal and physical contact. Placido Domingo Sexual Harassment Claims ‘Credible’: LA Opera

OPINION

When it came to the threat of retaliation, PM Narendra Modi succumbed to Donald Trump Modi Proposes, Trump Disposes
New York City has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the United States. Coronavirus: Announced Tragedy in the US
Palestinians manufacture protective coverall suits in a small sewing factory in Gaza City, 30 March 2020 Solidarity in the Age of Coronavirus: What the Arabs Must Do
Featured

Prime Minister Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago opposes US warships in region

 

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. -
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. –

THE Prime Minister has rejected any idea of US military intervention in Venezuela in light of US President Donald Trump’s vow to send a fleet of warships to the region to curb alleged illicit drug shipments by the Venezuelan Government.

The Southern Command of the US Navy is set to double its force in the Caribbean, off the coast of Venezuela.

The US Government has laid narco-terrorism charges against Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and several colleagues, and putting a US$15 million bounty on his head. President Trump alleged Maduro was in cahoots with Colombia’s FARC rebel group to flood the US with cocaine during the uncertainty of the covid19 pandemic.

Maduro rejected this claim, saying Trump was trying to distract his population as the virus ravages the US.

Dr Rowley, who recently met Venezuelan vice president Delcy Rodrigues here despite TT’s border closure, told Monday’s briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s that nothing has changed in TT’s stance on Venezuela.

“Our position remains the same. TT remains a part of Caricom and we resolutely defend that position, saying we view the Caribbean as a zone of peace. That has not changed, and we do not expect it to change.”

He then seemed to criticise Trump.

“So if there are others who believe it should be different, we don’t have any control over that. Insofar as we have any involvement, we continue to reside under the umbrella of the UN, where these matters are not ones of size and strength, but one of compliance with the rules-based principle, where those rules are determined for all – large, small, big, little, weak, strong – and if the rules are observed, we should have nothing to fear.”

Rowley expressed his concern that in today’s world it is not uncommon for such rules to be disregarded in the Venezuelan case and others.

“We will continue to stand by the request, the demand, urgings, for rules-based action only.

“We are talking here about non-intervention and absence of military solutions to political problems in this way.

“So these tensions have come to our borders. We do not have the wherewithal to prevent that, so we simply have to rely on the principles of international justice and international observance of the rules we have agreed to prior to these difficulties arising.”

This all came amid reports of gasoline shortages in Venezuela and Venezuelan migrants returning home from nearby Colombia, where they lost their jobs in the covid19 lockdown.

The US has offered to ease sanctions levelled over alleged election-rigging by the Maduro regime, on condition that Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido both step down in favour of an interim government, pending fresh elections.

 

Source: https://newsday.co.tt/2020/04/06/rowley-opposes-us-warships-in-region/

 

Featured

Free political prisoner and Afrobolivian leader, Irene Elena Flores Torres.

We call for the immediate release of the political prisoner and

Afrobolivian leader, Irene Elena Flores Torres.

Elena Flores es la primera lideresa afrodescendiente detenida por las autoridades del Gobierno de facto.

Elena Flores es la primera lideresa afrodescendiente detenida por las autoridades del Gobierno de facto. | Foto: La Prensa

Please send signatures to chiapassupportcommittee@gmail.com

Elena Flores, the elected union president of Adepcoca (the Departmental Association of Coca Producers) and a single mother of young children, has been harassed and jailed without cause by the racist, misogynist and anti-labour coup regime of Jeanine Añez.

She has been imprisoned for more than 25 days under deplorable conditions. The regime has subjected her to a smear campaign with continued threats of violence.

The de facto government is responsible for stealing a presidential election and ordering 36 deaths and at least 890 illegal detentions. They have carried out forced disappearances, rape by military and police, and three massacres in Sacaba, Senkata, and Ovejuyo. The Añez government censures media, attacks and tortures journalists, and celebrates the violence of white supremacists who are granted immunity from prosecution.

 

In the Yungas where the majority of Afrobolivians live, US interventionism disguised as anti-narcotics, together with illegal gold mining operations, has sown paramilitary violence.

 

Who is Elena Flores?

Elena Flores is a highly respected Afrobolivian and union leader. She began union work in her youth, carrying out many leadership roles in the Association of 35,000 coca leaf farmers of the Yungas, 5,000 feet below the city of La Paz. Flores says she always dreamed of leading the Association, which since 1983 had been led only by men. When she was elected in August last year, she won on a platform of ousting paramilitaries and uniting the three regions of the Inquisivi and the North and South Yungas. She is a strong labour leader and profoundly dedicated to the wellbeing of women.

Flores is a single mother and would of course want to be protecting her family during the dangerous times of the coup regime and the coronavirus pandemic.

She denounced the criminality of the former union leadership, who are trained in paramilitary tactics and bankrolled by the Bolivian right and the U.S. The former union leaders refused to leave office or hold elections. They created cocaine networks, and ran vast corruption schemes using the considerable income of the union.

More recently, Flores’ enemies have served as paramilitaries under the direction of the army and police of the Añez regime. They enter the city of La Paz as one contingent of the right-wing “shock groups” and “pititas”, made up of mobs of conservative neighbors. Añez calls them heroes and has taken smiling photos with them.

Since the coup, Flores has been at the forefront of denouncing the Añez regime’s militarisation, harsh repression and disregard for democracy. She vows to protect and unify her unionised, campesino, Indigenous and Afrobolivian region.

The current situation of women political prisoners

Since March 4th Elena Flores has been imprisoned at the Centro de Orientación Femenino de Obrajes or Centre for Women’s Guidance.

María Eugenia Choque Quispe is also detained there, the 60-year-old president of the Supreme Electoral Board who was falsely accused by the coup regime of committing fraud (she is also a social worker and professor of Indigenous women’s histories).

Another Indigenous woman in that prison is Patricia Hermosa, a lawyer and notary for Evo Morales. Hermosa has been imprisoned ever since she tried to file the formal papers for Evo’s candidacy for the Senate. His candidacy is entirely legal but has been blocked by the de facto government.

Numerous other political prisoners have been jailed since the November 10th coup that brought to power Jeanine Añez.

The so-called crimes of Elena Flores

Flores led a takeover of a Health Centre, el Centro de Especialidades de Atención Integral, which rightfully belongs to the union of which Elena Flores is the elected president.

The clinic had fallen under right-wing paramilitary control thanks to the previous union leader, Franklin Gutierrez. He installed corrupt networks and refused to hold elections, in complete contempt of Adepcoca’s governing statutes.

Elena Flores has been targeted by the regime because she is a Black woman leader, a key union organiser, and an elected leader in the coca growing region. She appeared at the side of Evo Morales repeatedly during the months leading up to October elections. The Yungas has always been a strong base of the Movement toward Socialism (MAS).

The coup government’s false charges

The regime’s court imprisoned Elena Flores for aggravated robbery, harming public property, forced entry, and preventing the State from exercising its services.

They charge her for an offense they allege took place in July, 2019. More than six months later, the coup regime filed against her. Strangely, the legal team presented photographs taken in November as evidence, and the coup judge accepted them. Flores’ lawyer argues that she was not given adequate notice of these charges and has been denied due process.

The coup regime

The coup regime was launched by the United States, working with racist oligarchs and Luis Almagro’s Organization of American States (OAS). They aim to protect multinational business interests and return the country to neoliberalism, racism and general misery.

The civilian shock groups who built a climate of chaos for years before the coup, in 2019 attacked Indigenous women and cut off their braids, likewise tearing at Afrobolivian women’s afros.

In the months following the coup, the de facto government has institutionalized their hatred of women by dismantling social programmes that were destined to young mothers. They have destroyed public health care that in the last 14 years had tremendously decreased infant and maternal mortality.

Within days of the coup, Añez made evident her misogynist goals through systematic rape of women and girls by the security forces, including after they had murdered them.

The Añez regime must release Elena Flores. She must return to her family, community, region and union work. Her people have been robbed of her leadership.

Please send signatures to chiapassupportcommittee@gmail.com

For further reference

https://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?o=rn&id=347106&SEO=denuncian-nuevo-caso-de-persecucion-politica-en-bolivia

https://www.telesurtv.net/news/detenida-bolivia-lideresa-cocalera-partidaria-mas-20200304-0025.html

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/Bolivia-in-Crosshairs-of-US-Counter-revolution-20191111-0004.html   –https://thegrayzone.com/2019/11/14/oas-us-coup-bolivia-evo-morales/  –https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/02/the-oas-has-to-answer-for-its-role-in-the-bolivian-coup

http://cepr.net/images/stories/reports/bolivia-elections-2019-11.pdf

https://www.cepr.net/report/observing-the-observers-the-oas-in-the-2019-bolivian-elections/

https://www.celag.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/ee-uu-y-la-construccion-del-golpe-en-bolivia-1.pdf
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/26/bolivia-dismissed-its-october-elections-fraudulent-our-research-found-no-reason-suspect-fraud/

https://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?o=rn&id=330893&SEO=revelaciones-corroboran-golpe-d

 

We call for all the de facto government’s charges against Elena Flores to be dropped immediately and for Flores, Choque, Hermosa, and all political prisoners to be released.

 

In solidarity,

Chiapas Support Committee

 

Please send signatures to chiapassupportcommittee@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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St. Vincent’s Prime Minister Announces Plans To Bring Home Sailors Stranded Due To Pandemic

St. Vincent’s Prime Minister Announces Plans To Bring Home Sailors Stranded Due To Pandemic

Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, April 7, 2020 (CMC) – Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, says his administration plans to bring home Vincentian sailors, who have been stranded on cruise and other ships, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are Vincentians, who are still out there, who want to come home, just as Vincentians, overwhelmingly, took the opportunity on come home, between the 18th and the 28 [of March], when we had the last flight,” said the Prime Minister, on the weekend.

Gonsalves said some employers want charter flights to bring these Vincentians home. “But, clearly, from where they are coming, it is going to be important that they be tested, and that their employers, for instance, in the case of a cruise ship, who may like them to come, they’ll have to organise, here, under our own supervision, in quarantine facilities, after they had been tested, properly, overseas.

“We can’t deny our citizens the right to come home, but we have to put the parameters and the protocols in place, under which they can come,” he said.

The prime minister said he knows some people will say that he should let Vincentians, who are overseas, stay where they are, adding “And there is merit in that. But there is the consideration, on the other hand. We are not rushing on that, because we will ask for certain tests to be done and certain protocols to be clearly and precisely established.”

Gonsalves admitted that the country has had some difficulties, especially with nationals, who have returned from overseas — especially sailors, who have been breaking their quarantine.

He said these are “good people, who have made important contributions to their families and to this country…. We can’t just turn out back on them, they are citizens of our country, but they have to understand they cannot — you are on quarantine, you have to stay on quarantine”.

“It’s irresponsible to break the quarantine. You have been spoken to, you have been advised, the overwhelming majority are following the advice, but there is a small group. I am not saying, if you don’t hear you will feel, because that’s not the language for the prime minister. I say that the authorities are responding to any recalcitrance,” Gonsalves warned.

Source: http://pridenews.ca/2020/04/07/st-vincents-prime-minister-announces-plans-bring-home-sailors-stranded-due-pandemic/

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Coronavirus death rate for New Orleans is double that of New York City

New Orleans has emerged as one of the country’s coronavirus hotspots, with a death rate per-capita double that of New York City, according to a troubling new report.

Gary Wagner, an economics professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, said the parish of Orleans, which encompasses the Big Easy, saw a coronavirus death rate of 37.93 per 100,000 people as of Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Meanwhile, the death rate for the Big Apple was 18.86 per 100,000 people, the outlet reported.

Louisiana has reported more than 12,400 cases as of Sunday with the death toll climbing over 400, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The state is second only to New York for the number of deaths per capita, the newspaper reported.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards attributed his state’s troubling death rates to the prevalence of other health conditions among residents, according to the report. The state sees high rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and kidney disease.

“We have more than our fair share of people who have the comorbidities that make them especially vulnerable,” Edwards told the outlet.

Dr. Alex Billioux, the state’s public health chief, said they’ve taken aggressive steps, such as increasing testing, to prevent Louisiana from becoming the next Italy, which has seen more than 15,000 deaths.

“We all look at the video of what’s going on in settings like Italy. We really, really, really hope that we are doing what we need to do to not be on that trajectory,” Billioux told the outlet. “By the end of this epidemic, every family is going to be touched.”

Carondelet Street lies deserted in the early afternoon in New Orleans
Carondelet Street lies deserted in the early afternoon during shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of coronavirus in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Source:https://nypost.com/2020/04/05/coronavirus-death-rate-for-new-orleans-is-double-that-of-nyc/?fbclid=IwAR2y5tK_uee0VmPdquecANKbA9ik3KvjumABvG6puCXNrvhxWmqFZxZwbxs
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CORONAVIRUS: Racial Dis­par­ities No Surprise, So Now What?

By Erin BillupsAll Regions

As snapshots of the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on communities of color continue to emerge, the reaction from the country’s leaders paints a picture of how entrenched racial health disparities are in the United States.

“We’ve known literally forever that diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma are disproportionally affecting the minority population, especially African-Americans,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID director and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. “The things that get people to ICU’s, that require intubation and often lead to death, they are just those comorbidities that are unfortunately, disproportionally prevalent in the African-American population.”

 

Maya Clark-Cutaia is a PhD clinical researcher at NYU College of Nursing and a practicing registered nurse, treating patients from Black and Hispanic communities, many of whom live in low-income neighborhoods. Pointing to her own research, Clark-Cutaia explains that the higher disease burden is partly a consequence of what is not available to those who simply have less.

“In some of the work that we have done, at least 50 percent of the patients report an inability to maintain dietary restrictions due to a lack of time and convenience, especially when managing multiple chronic conditions,” said Clark-Cutaia. “These patients also report financial constraints, citing that their income is inadequate to meet their basic daily needs.”

Dr. Mary Bassett, Director of the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, says Black and Hispanic communities also have a greater risk of COVID-19 exposure. “People who live in crowded conditions, who have to travel on crowded public transportation to work, who work in places where the six-foot rule doesn’t make sense, who have a role as essential workers, which doesn’t just include doctors and nurses. It includes the people who are checking out our groceries at the supermarket, it includes people who are delivering the packages to our houses,” said Bassett. “Many low wage workers, insecure workers who lack health insurance coverage and are disproportionately people of color, are still out there working.”

Bassett, who is the former health commissioner of New York City, says the impact on Black and Brown Americans has been years in the making. “The framework in which we’ve been working was not adequate to prepare or protect ourselves,” said Bassett “It made us at risk. The sort of glaring rise in income inequality that has occurred over the last 30, 40 years is hurting us.”

The lack of health insurance too, is a major driver of the rising rates of uncontrolled chronic illnesses. “We still have 29 million Americans who don’t have health insurance and we have like 10, 11 million people who are undocumented, who aren’t eligible under the Affordable Care Act,” said Bassett. “So, there are a lot of people whose access to health care is compromised. They don’t get tested and they don’t come until they’re very, very sick, to hospital. These are all things that created vulnerabilities that we could identify, even before the numbers of COVID infections began to soar.”

Another determinant of health outcomes is the air we breathe. “We know that for African Americans, they are much more likely to be exposed to harmful air pollutants,” said Connor Maxwell, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress. A recent study out of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that long term exposure to pollution is linked to a 15 percent increased risk of death due to COVID-19, which attacks the respiratory system.

During Tuesday evening’s White House coronavirus briefing, Dr. Fauci called the situation sad, “there is nothing we can do about that right now except to try to give them the best possible care to avoid those complications,” said Dr. Fauci.

Health equity experts like Dr. Bassett say there is plenty more that can be done, including tracking who exactly is getting sick. “The CDC releases data by age and sex, but they have not been releasing data by race. These are known fissures in our society along which many inequities track, in terms of our health, that reflect a long history of segregation, discrimination. We have to have the data in order to identify what appear to be very large disparities.”

Bassett says the data will help direct resources where they are needed most. She says she also expects the data will reveal other disparities about who exactly is dying within these communities.

“Another thing to keep in mind is that the age distribution in the black versus white population is really different,” said Bassett. She says currently about 20 percent of White Americans are 65 and older, while only 10 percent of Black Americans are older than 65. “That reflects the much higher rates of premature death. So when we are talking about people dying, we have been just talking about the numbers and not age adjusting. And it matters how old you are when you die. So I suspect that we’re seeing deaths among blacks at a younger age.”

Conducting clinical trials for potential COVID-19 drugs in hospitals serving marginalized communities, is another way Bassett says those most vulnerable could be served in the midst of a pandemic. “There’s a long history of that kind of conversation that took place during the AIDS epidemic about the right of access to clinical trials. That was sometimes the fastest way for people to get access to what turned out to be effective treatments.”

Clark-Cutaia too, is calling for additional planning and investment in communities of color, including creating culturally appropriate public health messaging on the increased risks for COVID-19.“We need to meet these communities where they are. There need to be testing sites in their areas,” she said. “We should discuss advanced care plans, in addition to methods to keep yourself healthy. We then need to determine what resources patients need to achieve these goals and again make them available.”

These experts say vulnerable populations also need to feel protected. One place to start, says Maxwell, is greater access to protective gear. “We need to be ensuring that there is an equitable distribution of resources, that medical supplies like PPE and ventilators are going to the communities that are facing the most demand for treatment right now especially communities that have higher rates of asthma and other respiratory issues.”

Pointing to efforts taken by hospitals in Boston, Bassett says employers could put their essential workers up in hotels near their places of work to cut down on commutes and exposures. “If you don’t want to go home to your family worrying that you may be bringing COVID home with you, you can stay in a hotel room. Those sorts of things show not only that we respect the sacrifice and the risk that people who work in our hospitals system are taking, but that we’re going to step up to make sure that they don’t have to spread that risk to their family.”

Spectrum News Congressional Correspondent Eva McKend contributed to this article.

Source: https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/exploring-your-health/2020/04/09/racial-disparities-no-surprise–so-now-what–exploring-you-health

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The Solidarity Hand of Cuba – poem by Nidia Labrada Sosa

Image may contain: 1 person, text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This poem was  written by Nidia Labrada Sosa, member of the University Chair of the Senior of Sancti Spiritus based on the help Cuba offered to passengers of the British cruise Braemar S.

#cubaSalva #Solidarity SiBlocking
Brothers
Brothers from all over Cuba
must be proud
of the government we have
And the honorable gesture,

This solidarity hand
that our Cuba extended
to this group of people
that no one offered it to him.

It is the sovereign hand
of a people with dignity
from an island that demonstrates
that homeland is humanity,

Cuba is small on the map
and very big in your action
this is the genuine fruit
of our Revolution,

That thousand people
who suffered the unspeakable
yes they will believe it exists
a better world possible,

And that one: “I LOVE YOU CUBA”
written in white and red
touched the hearts
and tarnished the eyes too.

FIDEL; your solidarity humanism
for the blessed world
Makes them join more
to the grateful side.

You must be proud
the seed you’ve sown
It pays wonderful fruits
that with your life you paid.