Nuclear subs, bear cubs & Fidel Castro's other legendary adventures in the USSR (RARE PHOTOS)
RT.com 13 Aug, 2016 21:44
The father of the Cuban Revolution and a central mover and shaker in Latin America, Fidel Castro has turned 90. On his birthday, RT shares some exciting stories of the prominent leader's visit to the Soviet Union.
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 23, 2016 12:32:26 GMT -5
Bolivia military academy ‘to fight US imperial oppression’ at home & globally.
RT.com 19 Aug, 2016 09:27
Bolivian President Evo Morales has established a new military academy in the eastern town of Warnes, and pledged it will deal with the US “imperial oppression” in Latin America and all over the world.
“While the empire's [as Morales refers to the US – ed.] military schools teach how to dominate the world, this school will help us learn to free ourselves from imperial oppression. We'll be a school for the defense of the people, and not the empire," Morales said at the opening.
The school will start working with 100 students, and will be accessible to officers from other Latin American countries.
The new academy’s “anti-imperialism” degree will be essential in order to be promoted to the rank of captain in the Bolivian Army, the local newspaper Pagina Siete has reported.
Initially, the idea of setting up such a school is that of the Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. He gave funds to build the school before his death in 2013.
Morales, however, is also known for his anti-US rhetoric: he expelled the US ambassador in 2008, accused Washington of triggering “congressional coups” like the looming impeachment trial of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, and said the US promotes global terrorism via military interventions.
The new school is set to rival the legacy of the US School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia Bolivian officials said. The school, which was later renamed as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, provides military training to government personnel in US-allied Latin American nations. It was not void of controversy – the FAQ section on its website in 1999 included flat denials it teaches torture.
“The School of Anti-Imperialism is a school that seeks to preserve life, unlike the School of the Americas, which brainwashed military officers into believing that the enemy was our people,” Bolivia's Defense Minister Reymi Ferreira said during the opening ceremony, as quoted by Telesur on Wednesday.
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 20, 2016 14:15:31 GMT -5
sadly I haven't been able to post as much as before..
Brazil Senate votes 61-20 to impeach President Rousseff for breaking budget laws.
RT.com 31 Aug, 2016 16:36
Nine months of political paralysis in Brazil have come to an end after the upper house of Brazil’s parliament decisively voted to strip Dilma Rousseff of her presidency for budgetary violations committed during her term.
Sixty-one senators voted for the impeachment, with only 20 standing by the president, who was suspended in May for manipulating data to conceal the scale of economic problems that have piled up since she assumed power five years ago.
But 68-year-old Rousseff was handed a lifeline after the Senate voted not to bar her from holding government office for the next eight years. According to the constitution, an impeached president faces this ban by default, but Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, presiding over the hearing, allowed a separate vote on the matter. Forty-two senators voted in favor of Rousseff, and 36 against, with three abstentions.
Conservative Vice-President Michel Temer, who has deputized for socialist Rousseff since her de facto ouster three months ago, was sworn in as president later on Wednesday, and will serve out the remaining two years of her term.
True to form, in her last speech Rousseff was defiant in the face of accusations, and made a futile call on the senators to “vote for democracy,” accusing her political opponents of staging a “coup.”
"Today's legal farce removes me from the position I was elected to by the people," Rousseff said in her personal blog after the impeachment. "The will of 61 senators has replaced that of 54,5 million people who voted for me."
Rousseff’s lawyer immediately said she would appeal the impeachment through the Supreme Court.
"Right now I will not say goodbye to you. I am certain I can say, 'See you soon,'" Rousseff said to a gathering of her supporters in capital Brasilia after the session.
Rousseff - the country's first female leader - is also the first Brazilian leader to be dismissed from office since 1992, when Fernando Collor de Mello resigned before a final vote in his impeachment trial for corruption.
Hard road ahead for Temer
While Rousseff’s budget-balancing tricks, which included delaying government repayments to banks to underplay the deficit, are thought to have also been used by her predecessors, the former guerrilla fighter’s popularity has cratered: Brazil suffered six consecutive quarters of negative growth and is mired in corruption scandals implicating officials close to the outgoing president.
Nonetheless, Rousseff’s ousting means a sea change for a country that was ruled by the left-wing Workers’ Party for the past 13 years. Its activists have been staging thousands-strong protests in support of the deposed politician, and are expected to resume them following the latest decision.
Meanwhile, Temer, a 75-year-old career politician, who is ironically himself barred from running for office due to electoral violations, faces an uphill task.
His financial reforms, reeling back from the lavish social spending of Rousseff’s administration, have curried favor with investors, but not the electorate, with his cabinet’s popularity ratings no higher than those of his predecessor.
American economic adviser David Riedel said that the country now had no chance but to embrace economic reforms, in the wake of a fall of commodity prices that led to the rise Rousseff, and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula.
“International investors will give Brazil the benefit of the doubt. So if they become more business-friendly, and investor friendly, and cut back on the profligate spending, which is an issue across South America, investors will give Brazil a second look,” he told RT.
Temer will also shoulder the difficult task of restoring Brazil’s credibility abroad, which has suffered in recent months, after years when the country was seen as the shining light of the continent’s economy. Temer is due to travel to China to participate in the upcoming G20 meeting in Hangzhou.
Sympathizers at home and abroad express fury
Meanwhile the government of longtime Rousseff ally Venezuela has already said that it is freezing relations with Brazil and recalling its ambassador following the impeachment. Ecuador and Bolivia have also called back its top diplomats in Brasilia.
Several experts interviewed by RT condemned proceedings, and claimed that Wednesday’s decision would give rise to a new cycle of active unrest.
“This was not a real trial for Rousseff. Most of the senators had made up their minds before, and there was no legal reason for the prosecution” said Maria Mendonca, from the University of Rio de Janeiro.
“She is going to lead the process of what this government will do – so expect something pretty Earth-shaking,” Francisco Domninguez from the University of Middlesex. “Already there are protests on the streets. The Landless Workers Movement, the large trade unions will all come together, and this will be – in their eyes – a class struggle.”
‘Coup against democracy’: Bolivia, Venezuela & Ecuador recall ambassadors over Rousseff impeachment.
RT.com 1 Sep, 2016 01:37
Following Brazilian senators’ vote to strip Dilma Rousseff of her presidency, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador announced that they are recalling their ambassadors in protest against what they said was a “coup against democracy.”
On Wednesday senators voted to impeach Rousseff, who had been temporarily suspended in May on corruption allegations and illegal manipulations of the national budget. Following the vote and Conservative Vice-President Michel Temer’s being sworn in as the new Brazilian leader, several countries across Latin America vowed to remove their ambassadors from Brazil.
Venezuela condemned Rousseff’s impeachment saying it will not pursue relations with a government that stemmed from a “parliamentary coup d'etat.” Venezuela “has decided to definitively withdraw its ambassador in the Federal Republic of Brazil, and to freeze political and diplomatic relations with the government that emerged from this parliamentary coup,” the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Ecuador’s foreign ministry, in its turn, dubbed Rousseff’s ouster “a flagrant subversion of the democratic order in Brazil” saying it is withdrawing its representative to Brazil.
“Given these exceptional facts, the government of Ecuador has decided to call for consultations the charge d'affaires to the Republic of Brazil,” Ecuadorian government said in a statement, according to Telesur. Ecuador said that Rousseff’s removal from her post was a “spurious” procedure which failed to provide concrete evidence of her actually committing “crimes of responsibility”. Ecuador “cannot ignore the fact that many of the decision-makers in Rousseff's impeachment are being investigated for serious acts of corruption,” it said in a statement.
Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa personally took to Twitter to voice his anger over Rousseff’s impeachment: “Never will we condone these practices, which recall the darkest hours of our America.”
Bolivia followed suit saying it is also recalling its ambassador.
“We are recalling our ambassador to Brazil,” Bolivian president Evo Morales wrote on Twitter.
“We condemn the parliamentary coup against brazil’s democracy. We stand with Dilma, Lula and the population in this difficult time," Morales added referring to former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is facing corruption charges.
Bolivia’s foreign ministry confirmed the recall saying that the government “calls on all the countries of our region to reject these 'soft' blows to the state ... provoked by an opposition unable to achieve enough votes to form a government,” according to AFP.
The government of Cuba also criticized the impeachment describing it as an “imperialist” offensive against progressive governments in Latin America.
The US State Department, however, said strong bilateral ties with Brazil would continue adding that the country’s Senate acted within the constitutional framework.
“We are confident we will continue our strong bilateral relationship,” said the US State Department spokesman John Kirby. “This was a decision made by the Brazilian people and obviously we respect that ... Brazilian democratic institutions have acted within its constitutional framework.”
Meanwhile giving a speech before her supporters in capital Brasilia after the vote, Rousseff denounced the senators’ decision to remove her from her post and vowed to appeal her impeachment.
“They decided to interrupt the mandate of a president who had committed no crime. They have convicted an innocent person and carried out a parliamentary coup,” she announced. “Right now I will not say goodbye to you. I am certain I can say, 'See you soon!’”
In response to Caracas recalling its envoy and the freezing of relations with Temer’s government, Brazil withdrew its ambassador to Venezuela. In light of harsh criticism regarding Rousseff’s impeachment Brazil also recalled its ambassadors to Bolivia and Ecuador, Reuters reported.
‘Temer out!’ Pro-Rousseff protests rage across Brazil denouncing impeachment (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
RT.com 1 Sep, 2016 03:51
Supporters of Dilma Rousseff staged mass protests following the impeachment of the country’s first female president. As Michel Temer took charge of the country, pro-Rousseff rallies took place in at least ten states, with some resulting in violence.
The greatest act of civil disobedience took place in Sao Paulo, where protesters clashed with police on Avenida Paulista, in the downtown area; in Rio de Janeiro, where activists gathered in Cinelandia square; and in Brasilia, where activists rallied in the Praca dos Tres Poderes square.
The Pro-Dilma demonstrations and those against the effective president, Michel Temer, also took place in Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Norte, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Ceara, Parana and Para.
The biggest standoff took place in Sao Paulo where for a third-day a coalition of leftist groups continued staging protests that end up in clashes with authorities and rival groups. Organized through the use of social media, the Brazil Popular Front and People Fearless movement managed to mobilize thousands for the rally.
Scuffles with police in Brazil’s largest city took place as the pro-Rousseff rally was met with equal support by the pro President Michel Temer demonstration.
As the pro-Temer camp celebrated Rousseff’s impeachment with cakes and champagne in front of the headquarters of the Federation of Sao Paulo State Industries (FIESP), a pro-Rousseff group gathered near Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP). Clashes with police followed.
According to police, at around 8:30pm local time, the pro-Rousseff camp began to “set fire to piles of garbage and attacking police with stones” forcing military police to intervene with tear gas. The statement added during clashes at least one officer was wounded and taken to a hospital.
As scuffles continued protesters trashed shops, bank windows and attacked several bus stations. Some protesters even managed to vandalize police vehicles, Globo reports. They also attacked police lines with firecrackers.
In downtown Rio a protest organized by Frente Brasil Popular and trade unions seen more than five thousand people gather in Praca Floriano Peixoto Square (Cinelandia) to protest the impeachment vote by the Senate on Wednesday.
Shouting “out Temer” the activists held up signs against the new president that was sworn into office until 2019. Activists believe the impeachment was nothing short of a coup.
The protesters walked to the door of the Federation of Industries of the State of Rio de Janeiro (FIRJAN) yelling pro-Rousseff slogans. Along the way, the crowd was accompanied by police as the march went on to close two of Rio’s main roads. Protesters began to disperse by 9:00pm after occupying the square in front of the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (Alerj).
Thousands have also cheered on Rousseff in Brasilia where the Brazilian Senate voted 61-20 to impeach Rousseff over corruption allegations, following three days of debates. As Michel Temer was officially sworn in as Brazil’s new president, crowds in Praca dos Tres Poderes square condemned the lawmakers’ decision to oust the democratically elected president.
‘No to coup d’etat!’ Thousands demand Temer’s resignation across Brazil (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
RT.com 5 Sep, 2016 01:51
Mass protests have taken place across Brazil as tens of thousands took to the streets denouncing the “coup” that resulted in Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment. The largest rally in Sao Paulo turned violent with police intervening to disperse the crowd.
Brazil has once again been rocked by a fresh series of large-scale protests. The largest demonstrations took place in cities like San Paulo and Rio-de-Janeiro, according to the Globo TV Channel. Smaller demonstrations were held in Curitiba and other Brazilian cities. Rallies were also staged in the capital Brasilia.
Demanding that President Michael Temer resign, some 50,000 people took part in the demonstrations in San Paulo, while several thousand participated in Rio de Janeiro, according to organizers’ estimates.
The official numbers have not been yet released.
The demonstrators also called for new elections, shouting: “Out with Temer!”
Footage showed huge crowds of people marching through the cities with some carrying placards reading ‘No to coup d’etat’. Initially thought peaceful, a number of demonstrations turned violent at some point.
The group turned violent at a subway station and began damaging turnstiles and throwing rocks at anti-riot police at the end of the demonstration, the public safety department said.
Police said they had to fire tear gas to prevent vandalism at the end of a peaceful march, sparking all-out panic and scuffles. Stun grenades and water cannon were also used by police.
When asked about the protests that were taking place in Brazil, the effective president Michael Temer downplayed the scale of the events.
“There are 40, 50, 100 people, nothing more than that,” he claimed during the G20 summit in China. “They are small groups, not popular movements of any size… In a population of 204 million Brazilians, they are not representative.”
Sunday’s protests were the largest string of demonstrations to take place in Brazil since Temer was sworn in to replace Rousseff.
Last Edit: Oct 20, 2016 14:24:13 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 20, 2016 14:26:02 GMT -5
Ecuador: Kirchner talks Dilma's impeachment at ELAP summit in Quito.
Ruptly TV Sep 30, 2016
Former Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner addressed a conference on the last day of the third Latin American Summit of Progressives (ELAP) in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, Thursday.
SOT, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Former Argentinian President (Spanish): "How are they expecting for poverty numbers not to grow when the inflation rate is reaching 50 percent; when the salaries are reassigned way under that inflation rate; when services are increased by 800 percent; when we are paying vulture funds?"
SOT, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Former Argentinian President (Spanish): "And the key issue that we [leftist governments] have not achieved - and I think it has been something that the new right wing movements in the region are taking advantage of - is that despite the fact that we were able to build a political integration, we couldn't achieve the same integration in economic terms."
SOT, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Former Argentinian President (Spanish): "My government suffered eleven 'bank runs', and we managed to overcome that, because at the end their goal was to oust me, just like they did it with Dilma, they wanted to remove me from my position."
SOT, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Former Argentinian President (Spanish): "What they (right wing movements) did to Dilma, they also tried to do it to me during my two presidential terms. The sexism and discrimination in demonstrations against me were very similar to the ones against Dilma. She and I personally talked about this."
SOT, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Former Argentinian President (Spanish): "When you go out of your country and you are able to closely observe the opposition demonstrations against the (Ecuadorian) government or governments that represent different progressive processes, you can tell there is a model this opposition is copying. They are similar. It is like they are following a prefabricated plan coming from outside."
Last Edit: Oct 20, 2016 14:31:07 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 20, 2016 14:27:26 GMT -5
Venezuela brands US ‘biggest violence exporter in the world’
RT.com 24 Sep, 2016 14:27
Latin American nations accused the US of “neo-colonialism” at the UN General Assembly, with Venezuela going as far as calling Washington “the biggest exporter of violence in the world,” while also arguing for the removal of stumbling blocks to development.
Ecuador and Nicaragua joined Venezuela in their condemnation of the US at the 71st UN General Assembly in New York.
The mood was largely centered around the economic exploitation of countries in the south by the developed north. The United States, with its history of fomenting unrest and regime change in Latin America – took center stage.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez in particular said capitalism is the main “producer of violence and unhappiness” as she spoke in support of rebalancing global power dynamics through the BRICS.
With her country in turmoil, Rodriguez reminded the delegates about the cost of war.
“The United States is the biggest exporter of violence in the world,” she said as quoted by Telesur channel. “The United States has about 800 military bases across the world. Capitalism is the biggest obstacle for peoples to develop. It's a lethal formula against peace.”
Rodriguez has also taken a stand against Washington’s meddling in Venezuelan politics, particularly with regard to a motion by the opposition who want to hold a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro.
Venezuela’s foreign minister recalled Operation Condor, in the 1970s, where right-wing dictatorships orchestrated mass killings at home in order to stop the public from being influenced by communism and the Soviet Union.
While the US never openly admitted its role in the operation, the CIA acknowledged it was aware of it and various publications and witnesses alleged Washington’s key organizational, financial and technical roles.
Rodriguez likened the current coup in Brazil to “a new operation Condor,” before moving onto US support of Israel and declaring that “there won’t be peace in the Middle East if it denies Palestinians their rights.”
Just two days ago, the country accused the US of spying on the Non-Aligned Movement summit. Venezuela’s air force said it spotted two US aircraft circling near the island Margarita, allegedly “collecting information [and] carrying out intelligence operations on the summit,” according to Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez. He added that there were a total of 32 airspace violations in 2016 alone.
Nicaraguan Vice President Moises Halleslevens also spoke at the UN and emphasized the responsibility that developed countries have to those that are less economically well off.
"The international community still needs to be responsible for the millions of human beings on earth, where this right is still a dream. The developed countries have to fulfil once and for all their formal commitment to help development,” he said, adding that no self-determination is possible without first eradicating neo-colonialism.
The ideas were also floated by Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Guillaume Long, who sided with Halleslevens on development, adding, “it’s a political issue”.
He urged the creation of an international body to monitor transnational firms and eradicate tax havens. “We believe that guaranteeing human rights goes hand in hand with reducing poverty and inequality," Long added.
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 20, 2016 14:28:55 GMT -5
Latin America is the most unequal continent in the world – Ecuadorian FM.
RT.com 3 Oct, 2016 17:03
Latin America is not necessarily the poorest continent in the world, but it is the most unequal and damage caused by neoliberalism is largely to blame, Guillaume Long the Foreign Minister of Ecuador told RT’s Chris Hedges.
RT: Ten years ago we saw the rise in Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, etc. challenging free trade agreements, pushing through social programs, and so on. That was a moment of hope, when many thought that they have broken free from the chains of American imperialism and corporate power. Could you describe that moment, what they did?
Guillaume Long: We have to start from the terrible damage caused by neoliberalism in Latin America, particularly in 1980’s and 1990’s. Neoliberalism in the US is sometimes called deregulation. I think neoliberalism is more complete, because there is an ideological component of it. Neoliberalism was very harmful to Latin America. It started with [Augusto] Pinochet in the 1970’s, and then in the 1980’s democratization in Latin America was permitted, because the Cold War was won, but it was conditioned on economically towing the line of the neoliberal ideology, and it was terrible.
Neoliberalism, I would argue from my left-wing perspective, is bad in most contexts: it has been bad in Europe, in another parts of the world; it has kind of dismantled the welfare state. But in a context where you already have a weak state, where institutions are not really consolidated with a kind of strong feudal remnants, such as in Latin America, where you don’t have a strong social contract with institutions, with modernity - neoliberalism just shatters any kind of social pact. And it meant more poverty, more inequality, huge wave of political instability.
In Ecuador before Rafael Correa was elected in 2007 – between 1996 and 2006 – that decade we had seven presidents. Now we’re back talking about impeachments again. We had three impeachment processes in ten years; a huge banking crisis, in 1999 – we lost our currency, because of neoliberalism, we switched to the dollar; several hundred thousand Ecuadorians left the country because of their assets, current accounts were frozen. It was bad in Argentina in 2001. It was bad in Bolivia. It was terrible – you had the water wars there. Latin America hit rock bottom. I think we realized that, as our people came to terms with that moment of the history and decided to rebuild their societies and to fight foreign interventionism, even I would say even imperialism; tackle what the main issue is still in Latin America, which is inequality.
Latin America is not necessarily the poorest continent in the world, but it is certainly is the most unequal continent in the world. A lot of Latin America’s structural problems have to do with that inequality. If you look at the kind of obscene wealth living side by side with total squalor in shanty towns – that is very much a feature of Latin America, which is also one of the most urbanized countries to stereotypes.
…So it was all about the recuperation of the nation state, the re-foundation in our case of a democratic republican state project, moving away from a neoliberal fundamentalism, it is kind of deregulation in an already deregulated environment. It is just anarchy. An in that kind of anarchy the powerful people, people with wealth, have even less checks and balances on their power.
RT: Throughout most of Latin America the internal security forces serve as a kind of Praetorian Guard for the oligarchic elite. That is why they exist. They are also riddled with various officials who work directly for the CIA and US intelligence. That was a problem in Ecuador as well, wasn’t it?
GL: Yes, we’ve been seriously infiltrated throughout the history by particularly the US, but probably other powers also.
It is about building a new state, a new democratic modern state that is sovereign, that is accountable to its own people that is not just serving the interest of a tiny little elite and foreign powers. That is what we’ve been doing.
I think we’ve been largely successful at this. It depends how you’re going to measure success. If you’re going to measure it in terms of longevity and how long these governments were in power, and in our case we’re still are in power and we’re going to win in February next year – then you’re looking at more or less, depending on what – in Venezuela has been maybe 17 years; in Ecuador now ten, in Argentina it was 13, in Brazil 13 – if you’re going to measure success in terms of political success, it was very successful. And if you’re going to measure success socio-economically, it is very successful too… Right now there is the whole kind of spin on the issue – that there is an end of the cycle, that we can discuss that. But broadly speaking these Latin American processes were successful – they reduced poverty, reduced inequality, they asserted sovereignty…
Last Edit: Oct 20, 2016 14:29:31 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 22, 2016 13:44:30 GMT -5
Ecuador cuts off internet for Assange over impacting US election.
RT America Oct 19, 2016
The government of Ecuador says it disconnected the internet connection used by Julian Assange after WikiLeaks "published a wealth of documents, impacting on the US election campaign." RT correspondent Polly Boiko has the report.
Venezuelan opposition-led legislature votes to begin political trial against President Maduro.
RT.com 25 Oct, 2016 18:23
The opposition-led National Assembly has voted to begin proceedings to impeach President Nicolas Maduro for “constitutional violations.” Proceedings are unlikely to be effective, but the decision will further raise tension in the politically deadlocked country.
"If Maduro doesn’t understand that he has to respect the constitution, we have all the right to ask him to step down,” Henrique Capriles, the leading opposition figure said on the eve of Tuesday’s vote.
Having adopted a 10-point resolution that agreed on Maduro’s culpability last week, the National Assembly called for the President – in power since 2013 – to face deputies in a week’s time. Maduro is almost certain to ignore the summons.
Elected last year, Congress has been deprived of its powers by a decision of the Supreme Court, which has consistently backed the incumbent over allegations of vote-buying.
"Legally, the National Assembly does not exist," said vice-president Aristobulo Isturiz on Tuesday.
The latest crisis comes after the electoral commission blocked a proposed referendum to recall Maduro before the end of his term, slated for 2019, accusing organizers of forged signatures.
In turn, the opposition called the move a “coup d’etat” from the government, and said it was planning nationwide street protests akin to those that helped bring down Communist rule in Poland in the 1980s.
The government then imposed legal restrictions on eight leading opposition figures. The move has been criticized by twelve American states, from longtime Maduro detractors US and Mexico, to erstwhile ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ sympathizers among the left-wing governments of Uruguay and Chile.
After years of dealing with failing health, Fidel Castro, leader of the Cuban revolution who steered the country through decades of a US economic blockade, has died, state media report.
Castro died in Havana on Friday at 10:29pm local time, Cuban television said. His death was announced by his brother Raul, who took the reins after Fidel stepped down.
“According to the will expressed by comrade Fidel, his body will be cremated", Raul said.
Castro led the country from 1959 to 2006, when an intestinal condition nearly led to his death. He ceded power to his brother first provisionally, and then formally in 2008. In his last years, he mostly stayed out of the public eye, only occasionally providing commentary on events in Cuba.
His passing marks the end of an era for many. Castro was the last remaining leader from the group of old school communist leaders including Chinese Mao Zedong, Korean Kim Il-sung and Soviets Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev.
Dictator or national hero, Castro was called many things along the way, as he rose from being a student activist protesting against oppressive regimes to becoming the president of Cuba.
In February 1959, the Cuban Revolution brought Castro to power as the prime minister. He was backed by the so-called 26th of July Movement, and Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara. Together, they managed to oust US-backed President Batista.
After failing to maintain ties with Washington, Cuba became isolated from its neighbor as the US chose to cut all trade links with the Caribbean state. In 1961, the island nation fended off a CIA-backed invasion known as the Bay of Pigs.
Upon taking office, Castro quickly found a new ally, as the Soviet Union supplied Cuba with arms, cars, and industrial equipment to keep it running.
But the nations’ alliance brought more than mutual benefits. Cuba and Russia became key players in the Cuban Missile Crisis – arguably the most dangerous confrontation of the Cold War, which almost ended in a nuclear show-down.
In October 1962, Castro agreed to house Soviet nuclear missiles on Cuban territory, a move that followed the deployment of US missiles in Turkey. Washington was furious over the development, and pledged to use force if necessary to prevent it. The countries’ leaders, Kennedy and Khrushchev, eventually agreed to a compromise.
The US government has always been open about its feelings toward communist Cuba. It remains unknown how many times the CIA tried to assassinate Castro, but some Cuban officials set the number as high as 600. This figure includes the notorious incident when Castro’s cigarettes were found to be stuffed with explosives.
After passing power to his brother Raul, Fidel was still considered the main moral authority in Cuba. Occasionally, he also met with foreign dignitaries like Pope Francis in 2015 and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in February.
Under Raul’s leadership, Cuba has experienced a slow transformation as he has introduced some market-style economic reforms in the largely socialist country. He also agreed to restore diplomatic ties with the United States in December, taking a step away from decades of rivalry. Fidel was skeptical about the rapprochement, but did not oppose it.
Russia: Castro was a 'moral example for all' - Russian Communist Party leader.
Ruptly TV Nov 26, 2016
The leader of Russia’s Communist Party, Gennadi Zyuganov, said “Cuba and Fidel have become a moral example for all people”, as he was commenting on the death of Cuba’s former leader and revolutionary Fidel Castro in Moscow on Saturday.
SOT Gennadi Zyuganov, First Secretary of the Central Committee, Head of the Russian Communist Party (Russian): "I would like to express my deep and sincere condolences to the fraternal Cuban people, to all of us and to all the citizens of the planet. The Titan, the genius, the outstanding politician of the today’s world – one of the most outstanding ones – has died. I knew him well and we were friends with Fidel Castro. I helped Cuba to build a modern industry, the factories in Moa, the nickel factories in Las Tunas. Together we discussed programmes for health and education development, and I am proud that Cuba has become a symbol of social policy beyond Latin America."
SOT Gennadi Zyuganov, First Secretary of the Central Committee, Head of the Russian Communist Party (Russian): "Fidel dedicated his entire life to the service of freedom and independence. America has been continuing to block this unique island for 50 years. They have been organising tens and hundreds of attempts against Fidel’s life for 50 years. And nevertheless, the security services, the institutions and the Almighty took care of Fidel. He did so much for all people and we will be able to realise the value of it only over the years, but his deeds will outlive centuries. Cuba and Fidel have become a moral example for all people and for any politician."
Russia: Flowers and cigars pepper Moscow's Cuban embassy after Fidel's death.
Ruptly TV Nov 26, 2016
Mourners came to pay their respects outside the Cuban embassy in Moscow, Saturday, after former Cuban leader and revolutionary Fidel Castro passed away in Havana on Friday.
Last Edit: Nov 27, 2016 20:22:35 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Plane with Russian journalists on way to Peru tracked by Swiss fighter jets (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
RT.com 18 Nov, 2016 17:51
A plane carrying members of the Russian press to the APEC summit in Peru was intercepted and tracked by Swiss fighter jets as soon as it entered the country’s airspace, journalists on board said.
The video from aboard the Russian plane was posted online by one of the passengers, with Swiss military insignias clearly visible on the escorting plane in the footage.
“We’re flying above Switzerland. At some point, the plane with the delegation and the journalists is being blocked from three sides by three fighter jets,” Andrey Kolesnikov, editor-in-chief of Russian Pioneer magazine, wrote on Facebook.
Kolesnikov said that the jets were from the Swiss Air Force, as “the flags at the tails and missiles underneath the wings were clearly visible.”
The jets approached the passenger plane so closely “that one could see the unsmiling faces of the pilots,” he added.
One rash move from any of the pilots could have led to a tragedy, the journalist wrote.
At some point, Kolesnikov said that there were fears that the jets would attempt to force the Russian plane to land.
But after the fighter jets escorted the journalists’ plane for 10 minutes, they pulled away. “When they apparently reached the Swiss border, they withdrew at once. And they did it beautifully, I must say," Kolesnikov wrote.
Kolesnikov called the incident “unprecedented,” also reporting that the plane with the journalists onboard has landed in Lisbon, Portugal, for a scheduled refueling.
He later told RT that a similar incident had taken place over Switzerland six years ago, but the fighter jets had maintained a much longer distance from the Russian government plane.
“I understand journalists are stress-resistant, including myself, but some people on board might have suffered a heart attack because of what they saw,” he said.
“The pilot [of the Swiss jet] was clearly visible as we shot him through the window. He spotted us and even waved his hand, but then diverted for a short while and returned to his position right under our plane’s wing. As a person, I felt unpleasant and uncomfortable,” Kolesnikov added.
However, the captain of the Russian jet calmed the media down, saying that “the practice of escorts of special flights in Swiss airspace [has existed] for a long time and isn’t unique.”
“On this air route, we are regularly accompanied by jets from this country’s Air Force,” the pilot told TASS.
Swiss jets acted in accordance with a preliminary agreement with the Russian side and posed no threat to the Il-96 plane and its passengers, he added.
Moscow demands explanation for Russian media plane being shadowed by Swiss fighter jets.
RT.com 19 Nov, 2016 12:36
Moscow has asked the Swiss government for an explanation for the deployment of fighter jets to meet a civilian Russian plane carrying journalists to a summit in Peru, saying it is particularly concerned by how perilously close the warplanes shadowed it.
“We have sent a note asking for clarifications and expressing our puzzlement over the incident. We asked that such incidents be prevented in the future,” the Russian embassy in Bern said on its Twitter page.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Russia was concerned about how close Switzerland’s military aircraft had come to Russia’s civilian plane.
“We expect those explanations and will react accordingly when we get them,” she told Rossiya-24 news channel.
Switzerland said later on Saturday that close encounter had been just a “routine check.” The Swiss Defense Ministry confirmed that the Swiss jets flew alongside the Russian plane for seven minutes, adding that it was one of the checks that are usually conducted around 400 times a year to double-check the identity of planes belonging to foreign governments, as reported by Reuters.
“It’s like police patrols in the street checking a car to make sure it wasn’t stolen,” a Swiss Defense Ministry spokesman told Reuters.
Earlier on Friday, Swiss fighter jets shadowed a Russian plane for several minutes, according to some of the journalists who were on board the aircraft. The reports included footage of the Swiss jets.
The plane, which belongs to the Russian government’s special fleet, was taking journalists to cover an international summit in Lima, the capital of Peru. Some officials from the Russian delegation to the event were also on board.
CIA planned to hand Falklands to Argentina & airlift islanders to Scotland.
RT.com 20 Jan, 2017 15:00
Secret CIA documents show the US had plans to either give the Falkland Islands to Argentina and repatriate the islanders to Scotland or allow them become Argentine citizens because the spy agency thought the UK would lose the 1982 war.
The papers, called ‘Solution to the Falkland Islands crisis,’ appear to the show the intelligence agency felt the UK had seriously underestimated the capabilities of the Argentine military when the two countries fought a short but savage war over the South Atlantic archipelago.
The documents comprise just a few pages of 12 million formerly-classified internal papers published by the CIA this week.
The Falklands plan was written by Henry Rowen, then head of the National Intelligence Council.
“For a period of three years the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands will be given a chance to consider whether they wish to remain on the Falkland Islands or whether they wish to relocate to an area of British jurisdiction, either in the UK or elsewhere under British sovereignty, with a relocation grant of $100,000 per person,” he said.
He said it was probable “that many residents will find this sufficient inducement to relocate to some other area, perhaps in Scotland or elsewhere where conditions may be similar to the Falkland Islands.”
Rowen said that any citizen who did not wish to leave “will be free to remain and become Argentinian citizens at the end of three years.
“The cost of the relocation grants to be paid to any residents of the Falkland Islands wishing to relocate elsewhere will be borne fifty/fifty by the Argentinian and British governments,” he added.
In the end the British won the Islands back at a combined cost of 907 British, Argentine and Falklands Islander lives.
Venezuela shuts down CNN for ‘misinterpreting & distorting truth’
RT.com 15 Feb, 2017 22:36
Venezuela’s media watchdog has ordered CNN’s Spanish-language channel off the air across the country, accusing it of engaging in a propaganda war. Nicolas Maduro said earlier the channel is “sticking its nose” in the country’s internal affairs and “manipulating” information.
The Venezuelan National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) has opened an “administrative sanctioning proceeding” against the CNN Español news channel for allegedly attempting to violate the “peace and democratic stability” of the country.
The sanctions were imposed “due to the content” that has been disseminated by the international news outlet in a “systematic and repeated way” in the channel’s daily programming, said a statement released by Conatel.
Conatel has ruled that CNN’s reporting often “lacks proof” and fuels a “climate of intolerance” by distorting the truth in an “inadequate manner” – in contradiction to the provisions of article 58 of the Venezuelan constitution, which states that everyone has the right to timely and impartial information.
The move comes after a joint investigation by CNN and CNN Español claimed to have uncovered serious irregularities in the issuing of Venezuelan passports and visas inside the embassy in Baghdad. On February 6, CNN Español broadcast a report fingering Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami as one of those allegedly responsible for the scheme.
The Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, accused CNN of launching a “propaganda war” against her country, after the channel reported about alleged passports sales to people linked to terrorism and drug trafficking. She accused the channel of spreading “an absolute lie” calling such an approach “a pity.”
“CNN en Español launched a psychological warfare operation, a war propaganda operation, mounted absolutely on falsehoods,” she said. Rodriguez also demanded action from the broadcast authorities and the legal team.
Prior to Conatel’s announcement, President Nicolas Maduro indicated that he wants the channel “out” of the country for its “manipulation” of news.
“CNN, do not get into the affairs of Venezuelans. I want CNN well away from here. Outside of Venezuela. Do not put your nose in Venezuela,” Maduro said, as cited by El Nacional. “Some media like CNN tried to manipulate. They cannot manipulate! That is our business, of the Venezuelans.”
Post by TsarSamuil on Apr 26, 2017 13:55:11 GMT -5
Russian escapes Colombian guerrillas by disarming, shooting his abductors.
RT.com 24 Apr, 2017 12:20
A Russian-Armenian captive has escaped from Colombian guerrilla fighters in a shootout worthy of an action movie. The man disarmed his guard and seriously injured five of the militants, in the process receiving a gunshot wound himself, the rebels say.
The man, identified as Arsen (Levon) Voskanyan, a dual Russian-Armenian citizen, took his rescue operation into his own hands and broke free from Colombia’s second largest militia, the National Liberation Army, which is more commonly known by its Spanish acronym, ELN.
At the time of Voskanyan’s heroics a convoy was actually on its way to release him at the request of the Russian embassy in Colombia.
Voskanyan seized one of the militants’ guns and opened fire at the others, injuring five people. He was wounded by return fire, but managed to hide in the jungle. The incident happened on Wednesday, but the group only reported it on Saturday.
“Mr. Voskanya Arcen Levoni (sic) disarmed a comrade and attacked the unit that was transferring him, resulting in five ELN comrades getting seriously wounded, and the Russo-Armenian fled, also wounded,” the group’s central command said in a statement.
The ELN has no information on the escapee's whereabouts.
Voskanyan had been captured in November 2016. The ELN says he was catching poisonous frogs to sell on the international drug market.
The armed group is Colombia’s second largest after FARC, and is considered a terrorist organization by many countries, including the US and EU states.
FARC signed a peace deal with the government back in November, bringing an end to a 52-year conflict. The ELN, though, is still negotiating terms of a similar agreement with Bogota.
‘Burn her alive’: US reporter tells RT about death threats from Venezuela opposition protesters.
RT.com 8 Jun, 2017 09:58
A US journalist covering mass opposition protests in Venezuela told RT she received numerous death threats during her work on the ground. She says protesters threatened to lynch and burn her alive if she tried to contradict their narrative.
Abby Martin, the host of the Empire Files investigative program on the pan-Latin American TeleSUR TV network has been reporting on the events of the opposition riots in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.
“Here in the Western press we hear one narrative that [Venezuelan President Nicholas] Maduro’s forces are cracking down and killing en masse peaceful protesters. The reality on the ground is very different. There are tens of thousands of people peacefully protesting either with the government or against the government,” Martin told RT.
However, some protesters are involved into actions called ‘guarimbas’, which means making “giant flaming barricades,” Martin said, adding that by this a small contingent of protesters are “provoking an international response from media and state forces.”
Martin said she saw firsthand what those people do.
“They attack police lines with Molotov cocktails and explosives. And these are the same people who are attacking hospitals, carrying out political assassinations.”
Martin said that what her crew did was “simply reporting on the opposition violence.”
“We just reported on this and the result of this was a <…> lynch mob, death threats. I’ve never had so many death threats in my life. It [the mob] actually calls ‘Lynch her, Lynch her, burn her alive’.”
Martin said she saw mobs at the protests burn alive those people whom they see as infiltrators.
“It’s no small thing to be called an infiltrator. It was extremely scary and dangerous. The second you try to contradict their narrative, they threaten to kill you.”
According to Martin, it is very dangerous to be a state journalist on the ground.
“They [opposition protesters] did threaten me. They asked: ‘Where are you from?’ And I said: ‘I am American.’ They said: ‘Good. Film what the government does to us! Don’t film what we do!”
And threats are being transformed “into real-life actions,” Martin said.
“It’s extremely scary. They don’t want their narrative to be punctured,” she added.
Martin said there were “major opposition figures, academics, Emmy award-winning journalists, people based in Miami” among those who issued threats.
“We are a centerpiece of viral fake news campaign against us, saying that we [journalists] were actually spies turning protesters in to the intelligence services to get them arrested,” she said.
A TeleSUR journalist was attacked with Molotov cocktails and “was rained down with bullets and shot in the back with a live round from the protesters,” Martin said. She was apparently referring to Adriana Sivori, a teleSUR correspondent, who was injured during the protests in the Latin American country on Monday.
Venezuela saw a surge in protests in March 2017 which left dozens dead.
Maduro opponents say that his intention to negotiate with the opposition is in fact an attempt to delay regional and municipal elections scheduled for later this year.
Maduro’s government says the opposition refuses to engage in negotiations, but is instead trying to oust him by any means.
Maduro is convinced the unrest in the country has been triggered by external forces, particularly that of the US, with him even telling US President Donald Trump to “get out of Venezuela” on May 20.
Last Edit: Jun 10, 2017 8:07:46 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
2 killed, 8 captured in foiled ‘terrorist attack’ on Venezuelan army base – Maduro.
RT.com 6 Aug, 2017 16:31
At least two fighters have been killed and eight others captured after a group of armed men in military uniforms stormed a Venezuelan army base, president Nicolas Maduro announced, calling the attack an act of “terrorism.”
At 4:30am, a group of 20 armed men stormed the Paramacay military base in the city of Valencia. The insurgents managed to reach the weapons depot before the alarm alerted the troops, sparking a fierce gun battle.
“Today we had to defeat terrorism with bullets,” Maduro announced on state television, claiming that the attack was “paid for by Miami and Colombia,” where large Venezuelan expat communities reside.
The news of the attack came shortly after footage was released on social media, showing a group of men in military uniforms. The video also showed a man who identified himself as Juan Carlos Caguaripano, a former National Guard captain, who called for an uprising against the government and demanding the “immediate formation of a transition government.”
After an intense battle that lasted for over three hours, the troops killed 2 militants, wound another, and capture seven more armed men, Maduro said.
The military is now searching for the remaining ten attackers who managed to escape.
“We know where they are headed and all of our military and police force is deployed,” Maduro said, according to AP, vowing to ask for “the maximum penalty for those who participated in this terrorist attack.”
Venezuela's defense minister described the attackers as a “paramilitary” expedition of civilians dressed in uniforms. While failing to identify those killed or captured, Vladimir Padrino Lopez did reveal that one of the attackers was a lieutenant who had deserted.
Commenting on Caguaripano’s call to action video that widely circulated on social media, Lopez said he was a former officer who was discharged three years ago after “being charged with rebellion and betraying the homeland.”
He claimed the attackers were recruited by “right-wing extremists” working for certain foreign governments.
“Today’s terrorist attack is no more than a propaganda show,” Lopez said.
Sunday’s incident comes amid ongoing and escalating tensions in the country.
Venezuela's crisis entered a new phase after the inauguration of the Constituent Assembly (CA), which during its first order of business Saturday, dismissed from office the main opposition figure and Chief Prosecutor Luisa Ortega.
The formation of the new assembly comes against a backdrop of violent street protests and clashes which has claimed over 150 lives over recent months. The CA has been widely criticized by opposition figures who say it is aimed at stripping them of power. Meanwhile, the US government targeted several senior Venezuelan officials with economic sanctions which president Maduro called "illegal, insolent and unprecedented."
White Cossack: How are you, Nikolov? I heard it's a hot summer in Sweden this year. Do you enjoy it? Regards, Yaroslav
Jul 20, 2018 5:51:43 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Very very hot...sometimes around 31-35...and it has been going on since month of May, everything is scorched yellow and dry, things are dying or dead, this is abnormal summer..must be global warming, usually have rainy dull summers, this feel like south eu
Jul 30, 2018 10:49:17 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: large forest fires, not where I live, but have country-wide BBQ ban..which I find ridiculous...not to enjoy this warm summer? pffft..
Jul 30, 2018 10:50:42 GMT -5
White Cossack: You enjoy it, huh.
Jul 30, 2018 12:41:41 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Bbq is basic slavic right
Aug 3, 2018 10:18:31 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: @ussrstrong: I blame general low activity on social medias, all the people sit there today
Oct 10, 2018 12:53:50 GMT -5
reznik: @proto-Orchid: very true. What's worse, is that the system is designed specifically to keep those people dormant in their echo chambers. Nothing new to learn for them there, just stupid cat videos and such. Sad.
Oct 14, 2018 5:48:26 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: Its the substitute for going out, meeting and spending your time with friends in real life. Its just part of the story. When I was younger I remember people were meeting to play team sports, but today you see completely autistic people jogging with iPhone.
Oct 14, 2018 18:18:38 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: Then they come back home, put pictures on Instagram or Facebook to show off how they spent their time jogging, and as mental satisfaction they get few likes or hearts, or whatever social medias have today, which is a measure of how good their life is. Sick
Oct 14, 2018 18:21:43 GMT -5
Pan-Slavic Patriot: Sto Latz! Today marks 100 years of Polska! May there be 100 more! Wish I could have gone to the Independence March to celebrate this year, of all years. Theres always the next one to look forward to...
Nov 11, 2018 6:56:57 GMT -5
prawiomir: Hello. : )
Nov 25, 2018 17:19:11 GMT -5
Pan-Slavic Patriot: The latest flare up in the Ukraine-Russia conflict is painful to watch. Two brothers pit against one-another by foriegn elites, for what? Money and power... Sad.
Nov 30, 2018 3:17:07 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Seems like its loosing momentum? lets hope...
Dec 29, 2018 9:15:04 GMT -5
Farm needs Production with alu: To Direktor: Herr Wasilij Rosinov Adresse: Kasachstan, 110 006 Kostanay, ul. Schewchenko, 64 Tel: +7 (3142) 54 09 89 Fax: +7 (3142) 54 65 53 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.ivolga.kz
To Ms. Yuliya Ryaskina Please place this email to concerning Managemen
Feb 27, 2019 23:01:32 GMT -5
Marcinko: Looking for contacts to research Marcinko name in Slovakia.
Jun 3, 2019 0:37:57 GMT -5
White Cossack: Nikolov, my dear.. What's up
Jul 28, 2019 9:08:27 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Bought a 3rd book shelf, for some reason I'm crazy about buying lots of books..
Aug 12, 2019 15:49:41 GMT -5
kooratz: I don't shout , it's considered rude, here in the US. I do shout a few things though, for one, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, IS RUINING OUR NATION!
Sept 13, 2019 20:32:33 GMT -5