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NOVEMBER 30,  2018

PRESIDENT TRUMP CANCELS HIS MEETING WITH VLADIMIR PUTIN IN ARGENTINA

      WASHINGTON, D.C.  --
   US President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled a planned meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, shortly after estimating that it was a "very good time" for the meeting and after the Kremlin will confirm it. In a tweet, Trump said the meeting will not take place until the clash between Moscow and Kiev over the Russian takeover of three Ukrainian military vessels last Sunday is resolved. "Based on the fact that ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine by Russia, I have decided that it would be better for all parties involved to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin," Trump wrote on Twitter. "I hope for a significant summit (with Putin) again as soon as this situation is resolved!" He added.

     The president made the announcement minutes after taking off by helicopter from the White House to board Air Force One bound for Buenos Aires, where this Friday and Saturday will meet the world's leading leaders. But just before boarding the device perched in the residence's garden, Trump had said that the G20 summit would be a "very good time" to meet with Putin. "I will probably meet with President Putin. We have not canceled that meeting. I was thinking about that, but we have not done it. I think it's a very good time to have the meeting, "Trump told reporters. Earlier, in statements to the press from Moscow, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, had confirmed the meeting between the two leaders.

     He said it would start around noon on Saturday with "brief talks between the leaders," followed by exchanges between delegations from both countries that could last about an hour. "We need to think about how to start talking about the issues of bilateral relations, the issues of strategic security and disarmament and regional conflicts," Peskov said. "We do not have to agree on all the issues and, what's more, that may be impossible, but we need to talk. That not only interests our two countries, but the whole world. " The capture by Russia of three Ukrainian military vessels on Sunday off the Crimean coast, threatens to overshadow the Summit of the G20. The incident between Russia and Ukraine has focused international attention on the protracted conflict in the former Soviet republic, in which Moscow supports the insurgents in the east and completely controls the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula in the south.

BRAZIL'S PRESIDENT ELECT JAIR BOLSONARO MET WITH JOHN BOLTON

        RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL    --       The elected president of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro said today that in the meeting he had this Thursday with the US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, he discussed measures to face the crisis in Venezuela, which he refrained from mentioning. "We have to look for solutions for Venezuela. You have to take action ", affirmed the Brazilian leader in declarations that he granted to the press after his meeting with the important adviser of the president of the United States, Donald Trump. "We will do everything possible to (resolve the crisis by) the legal and peaceful ways because we feel the reflection of the dictatorship installed in Venezuela," the president-elect of Brazil added when referring to the flight to the neighboring nations of millions of Venezuelans fleeing from the political, economic and social crisis of his country.

     Bolsonaro said he agreed with Bolton that the 80,000 Cubans installed in Venezuela "are an aggravating factor". "Our diplomacy is going to act in Venezuela," he said. Bolsonaro added that he also talked with Bolton about Cuba, the "armament issue," geopolitics and internal affairs that affect one or the other country. "It was a great approach and another step that we took towards the USA. and that the USA took toward us. We intend to deepen these conversations to give, among other things, economic benefits, "he said. The president said that there is a possibility that Trump assist to his investiture on January 1, despite being a difficult date, and would be very honored if he does that.

     He added that he will accept the invitation he received from Trump on Thursday through the National Security Adviser to visit the United States and that he plans to do so in the first months of next year. "I intend at first to make a short trip to countries in South America, including Paraguay, Argentina and Chile, but the following trip would be to the United States, depending on my health conditions, since I have to undergo surgery in January," to reverse the colostomy he was subjected after being stabbed last September, he said. Bolsonaro said he took advantage of the meeting in Rio de Janeiro to convey to Bolton Brazil's concern with non-tariff barriers that hinder the exchange between both countries, since the intention is that his government can promote trade with everyone but without harming the Brazilian economy.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DEPUTY DELSA SOLORZANO: WE WILL NOT REST UNTIL THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN VENEZUELA CEASES

      BRUSSELS,  BELGIUM -     
The President of the Permanent Commission of Domestic Policy of the National Assembly, Deputy Delsa Solórzano, held a meeting with the Vice President of the Human Rights Commission of the European Parliament, Beatriz Becerra, who expressed concern about the arbitrary detention and the violation of the Parliamentary immunity of Deputy Juan Requesens and the situation of violation of Human Rights in Venezuela. Solórzano reiterated that the case of Juan Requesens, is a clear example of the violation of the laws, and that alarmed the Parliaments of the world, since he was kidnapped by officials of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN), passing over his parliamentary immunity, exposed to an endless humiliation that also went viral in the Government itself, irregularities denounced by its own defense so far as the process is flawed.

      In the same way, she stressed that the Venezuelan authorities clearly want to hide the truth of what happened to Fernando Albán and has sought to silence the issue through threats made by Tarek William Saab, appointed by the not recognized National Constituent Assembly, as Attorney General. She warned that the repression, persecution and harassment against those who think differently from the ruling party are intensifying every year, "since we assumed the commitment in the AN we have not rested for a single day in providing legal aid and investigating without distinction, every case that arrives. We see with concern as some uniformed men, who must inspire respect and security to all citizens, today dishonor uniforms and institutions and have decided to commit crimes against humanity that do not prescribe and we are convinced that sooner or later when justice is restored in Venezuela they will give explanations. "

     In this sense, the Parliamentarian insisted that violence is increasing under the complacent gaze of the Government led by Nicolás Maduro, who "applies a demagogue peace speech, but the facts expose the opposite. The food crisis has caused irreparable damage to hundreds of families, to the point that even members of them have lost their lives and cannot maintain a false theory of sabotage generated by private enterprise or external attacks, the truth is that they destroyed our productive apparatus and today 70 percent of what we consume does not bear the stamp, made in Venezuela. " She added that the reality in the health sector is not different, "it is much worse, because today we are paying the consequences of innumerable acts of corruption, that is why our hospitals have nothing, they are falling and the Government is the only responsible, it does not guarantee even the right to life. This is how, daily in my country are violated human rights and the right to protest, raise your voice for the constant abuses is a crime, because it decided Nicolás Maduro and his train ministerial. Delsa Solórzano informed that upon returning to Venezuela, she will present a balance sheet of the meetings she has held and the achievements accomplished.

NOVEMBER 29,  2018

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO URGES THE UNITED STATES TO INCLUDE VENEZUELA IN THE LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT SPONSOR TERRORISM

      WASHINGTON, D.C.  --
   Three US senators led by Florida Senator Marco Rubio urged the State Department to add Venezuela to the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, a designation that would expand the range of sanctions that could be applied. In a letter sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the senators said that President Nicolás Maduro's regime has partnered with organizations such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC and Hezbollah, and highlighted the fact that it has not taken measures to punish those officials who have been sanctioned by the Treasury of the United States for participating in drug trafficking.

     "It's not surprising that Maduro's dictatorship has aided and abetted terrorists. After years of cooperating with the FARC, the ELN and other drug terrorists, Venezuela has now become a "narco-state," the senators said in the letter, dated September 26. "In fact, Tareck El Aissami, who served as vice president of Venezuela until June 14, 2018, was sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury. UU As a "specially designated drug trafficker", and two of his nephews are turning 18 in an EE. UU prison for conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, "the document says.

     In addition to Rubio, the letter is signed by two other Republicans, Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Cory Gardner of Colorado. Rubio is one of the most influential voices in Washington in the US policy on Venezuela. The designation, which currently only applies to Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria, would facilitate the application of more sanctions against the oil country. In the past, the designation has been used to cancel arms exports, limit technology sales, impose restrictions on the delivery of economic aid and financial restrictions, among other actions.

THE UNITED STATES  SLAPS SANCTIONS ON NICARAGUAN VICEPRESIDENT AND  WIFE AND TOP SECURITY AIDE

        WASHINGTON, D.C.  --       The Trump administration placed stiff sanctions Tuesday on the wife of Nicaragua’s embattled leader and on his top security aide, sharply ratcheting up pressure on the Central American autocrat to back down from his political opposition and hold elections. The financial sanctions bar all U.S. banks and other entities from any economic dealings with Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo, President Daniel Ortega’s wife, who exercises much of the day-to-day power in Nicaragua. Also hit by the sanctions was Nestor Moncada Lau, a former state security official who is widely seen as Ortega’s second most trusted security aide, after Murillo. In an executive order, President Donald Trump accused Ortega of systematically dismantling democratic institutions, using indiscriminate violence against opponents and destabilizing the nation’s economy through corruption.

      Ortega, a former guerrilla leader of the leftist Sandinista Front, sent paramilitary squads of armed, masked gunmen to quell street protests that erupted earlier this year against his increasingly autocratic government. Murillo exercises partial control of the national police and the paramilitary forces, which a senior administration official said were credibly blamed for extrajudicial killings, torture and kidnappings. The official briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. Some 350 Nicaraguans have died in the protests, which largely subsided by July when paramilitary forces regained control of the streets and began a large-scale roundup of protesters.

     At least 500 people have been arrested on charges related to the popular uprising. For his part, Moncada Lau dispersed payments to the squads working to quell the street protests and engaged in acts of corruption on Ortega’s behalf, the official said. He said further sanctions against other members of Ortega’s inner circle will be forthcoming if Ortega does not heed the signal from Washington. “It’s a message to President Ortega to find an exit strategy and to begin a process for anticipated free and fair elections,” the official said. Ortega is not scheduled to hold new presidential elections until 2021. He has ruled since 2007, and since then has taken control of the supreme court, the national assembly, the electoral tribunal and other levers of power in the country of six million people.

CUBAN AGENTS ASSIST DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO TO INTERROGATE AND TORTURE OPPONENTS

      WASHINGTON, D.C.  -     
The Casla Institute claims to have evidence of at least eleven cases, so far this year, in which the torturers had a Cuban accent. Confirm these findings the suspicions of the OAS General Secretariat that there are Cuban agents - believe that some 46,000 - infiltrated the Maduro regime to protect it. "Torture cannot go unpunished," OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro said during the presentation of the report. He called on the International Criminal Court to respond to the complaints it has received from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay and the United States. Canada against the Maduro regime for these abuses. With the new cases, 106 occurred in 2018, there are 536 registered victims of torture, although the Casla Institute believes that the actual figure can triple.

      These abuses are committed mainly in the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence, dependent on the vice-presidency. The most common methods are beatings, chaining and simulated drowning. Casla has registered practices such as air deprivation covering the victim's head with plastic bags. And it has detected abuses like keeping someone hanging by the feet 72 hours. Interrogators use tear gas and electric shocks. There are many cases of psychological torture, such as fake shots to the head. "I have never seen so much evil as the one reflected in these denunciations," says Tamara Suju, director of Casla.

     One of the reported cases is that of Sorbay Padilla, wife of the retired colonel of the National Guard Oswaldo Valentín García Palomo. She was captured in Caracas in February along with three members of her family. For four days she was tortured to reveal the whereabouts of her husband, who opposed the regime. Hooded and with her hands tied behind her back, she was sprayed with tear gas and received electric shocks. She fainted several times and begged to be killed. Finally, she was abandoned on a road near her home. "The psychological trauma is the worst thing that the tortured suffer. There is no day that I do not remember what they did to me, "said Padilla during the presentation of the report. A novelty of 2018 is that the Venezuelan regime is torturing not only dissidents but also their families, whom they arbitrarily detain.

NOVEMBER 28,  2018

VENEZUELA'S FORMER TREASURER ALEJANDRO ANDRADE GETS 10 YEARS IN U.S. BRIBERY CASE

      WASHINGTON, D.C.  --
  A former national treasurer of Venezuela was sentenced in Florida on Tuesday to 10 years in prison for taking more than $1 billion in bribes to help wealthy Venezuelans exploit a rigged exchange system and move money to the U.S. and elsewhere, the U.S. Justice Department said. Alejandro Andrade Cedeno pleaded guilty in federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida, to taking cash as well as homes, cars, champion horses and luxury watches. Andrade, who admitted to a money-laundering conspiracy and agreed to help prosecutors, agreed to forfeit cash and assets including real estate, horses, vehicles and bank accounts, court records show. Andrade, 54, who was once a bodyguard to the late President Hugo Chavez, said he took the bribes to steer contracts to brokerage houses that conducted bolivar exchanges. Andrade chose which brokerages would sell bonds from the treasurer’s portfolio that were denominated in U.S. dollars. His conspirators could then “obtain substantial profits on the exchange transactions,” according to court documents.

       Even after Andrade moved in 2012 to Wellington, Florida, the bribes continued until last November, he said in pleading guilty under seal last Dec. 22. Andrade said that the bribes he took from conspirators included money from the billionaire Raul Gorrin Belisario, who bought the Globovision television network in 2013. “Since the beginning of this matter, Mr. Andrade has cooperated fully with the prosecutors, and he is eager to continue his cooperation,” said his attorney, Curtis Miner. Under his agreement, prosecutors can return later to court to ask U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg to reduce his sentence in exchange for his cooperation, Miner said.

       “There is a lot that is not known publicly about Mr. Andrade nor about the work that he has done in the past 10 years, which will be made known at a later date,” Miner said. “But, as Mr. Andrade told the judge today -- he has not been involved in any way with the government of Venezuela since 2011.” Gorrin, 50, was indicted on charges that he violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and conspired to launder money, using the proceeds of his crimes to buy properties in southern Florida and New York. The U.S. seeks forfeiture of two dozen Gorrin properties, including luxury homes and apartments. On Sept. 21, a federal judge declared Gorrin, a Venezuelan citizen with a home in Miami, a fugitive from the U.S.

ADMIRAL GRAIG  S. FALLER ASSUMES HIS POSITION AS THE NEW HEAD OF THE US SOUTHERN COMMAND

        MIAMI, FLORIDA  --       Admiral Craig S. Faller assumed today as the new head of the Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) of the United States, in a ceremony at the headquarters of that institution in Miami-Dade County, which was attended by the Secretary of Defense, John Mattis. The Secretary of Defense emphasized in his speech that the US Army It provides stability in the region and called for maintaining "collaboration" to face natural threats, such as hurricanes, drug trafficking or terrorism. "It is more in this hemisphere that unites us than what separates us," said Mattis, who, however, had critical words for the "irresponsible leadership" of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. Up until today and since January 2016, the SOUTHCOM commander was also Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, who retires after four decades as a naval officer and serving in different positions and missions.

     Under the command of Tidd, the Southern Command provided assistance to the Caribbean islands affected by hurricanes Matthew, Irma and Maria, collaborated in the search for the submarine ARA San Juan in Argentina and was part of the US aid. to Colombia during the transition period towards the peace agreement with the FARC. During the ceremony, which was attended by military representatives from several Latin American countries, Mattis said that Tidd worked to strengthen the trust between the armed forces of the hemisphere. In his opinion, Faller should take to the "next level" the cooperation commanded by Tidd, who stressed that in recent years the countries of the continent increased their contributions to fight against terrorism and violence in a region that he described as "critical" for US national security

      The already retired military asked in his speech to be attentive to the growing influence of China, which, through trade, try to penetrate the "sovereignty" of countries. "Every time you give it an inch they take a mile," Tidd said. Faller, whose appointment by President Donald Trump was approved by the Senate on October 11, was promoted to the rank of Admiral today and until now served in the Pentagon as chief military adviser and deputy to Secretary Mattis. He graduated in 1983 from the Naval Academy, has a master's degree in national security affairs and has served in numerous Navy positions and missions, in addition to the Pacific Command and the US Central Command. The new admiral assured that he will work "tirelessly to strengthen the trust" with the countries of the region so that human rights and "democratic values" are respected. "Let's go together," the new head of SOUTHCOM, one of the six unified commandos of the geographic scope of the US Armed Forces, said in Spanish to conclude his speech.

VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION CALLS FOR DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST NEW MANDATE OF DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA  -     
The opposition platform Frente Amplio Venezuela Libre announced Monday that it will not recognize the new mandate of  DICTATOR Nicolás Maduro, which starts on January 10. In an event called Free Venezuela Congress, the political party presented a manifesto in favor of political transformation in the country, the result of regional meetings held between the group and other sectors of society that seek proposals to get out of the crisis that the oil country.

      The text states that the meetings are part of the beginning of a stage of "reunification" of the forces willing to "face the dictatorship" and point out that January 10 is a date that represents "a historic milestone in this dark phase of the national life. " "For this reason, we organize from now on tactical, strategic and logistical instances to give way to the growing social unrest of the Venezuelan people (...) through peaceful street protests that increase the pressure on the dictatorship and stop usurpation" Maduro, we read in the manifesto, which was delivered to the president of Parliament, Omar Barboza.

       As a consequence of the multiple irregularities that occurred throughout the electoral process derived from the imposition of the Constituent Assembly, the Frente Amplio Venezuela Libre ignored the results of the elections held in May, for which it states that the new mandate of the dictator lacks of "legitimacy of origin". Likewise, the platform made a call to the "superior unit" to achieve the objective and defend the Constitution. He also demanded the Armed Forces to help "restore" the constitutional order. The manifesto published by the Frente Amplio Venezuela Libre also undertook to build an agreement to defend an "orderly and immediate transition" that guarantees compliance with the Constitution and defined Parliament as "the only democratic institution" capable of "guaranteeing and conducting the transition".

NOVEMBER 27,  2018

UNITED NATIONS APPROVES $9 MILLION IN HUMANITARIAN AID TO CRISIS-STRICKEN VENEZUELA

      GENEVA, SWITZERLAND --
 The United Nations on Monday announced $9.2 million in health and nutritional aid for crisis-stricken Venezuela, where hunger and preventable disease are soaring amid the collapse of the country’s socialist economic system. It is the first U.N. emergency funding for the government of dictator Nicolas Maduro, which blames the country’s economic problems on U.S. financial sanctions and an “economic war” led by political adversaries. Government critics celebrated the move as a recognition by Venezuelan authorities that the country faces a humanitarian crisis - something Maduro has denied in the past - and a step toward treating a population starved of basic services.

     But some worry the funds could fuel the corruption of the ruling Socialist Party, which was put on display last week when a former Venezuelan treasurer told U.S. prosecutors he took $1 billion in bribes. The U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will support projects to provide nutritional support to children under five years old, pregnant women and lactating mothers at risk, and emergency health care for the vulnerable, CERF’s website said. “CERF allocations are made to ensure a rapid response to sudden-onset emergencies or to rapidly deteriorating conditions in an existing emergency,” according to CERF’s website. CERF mainly funds projects in countries at war or experiencing other crises like natural disasters, a U.N. official told Reuters, adding that other U.N. agencies may have provided funding to Venezuela through separate programs.

      Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Aid for Venezuela’s crisis has until now been focused on South American nations that have received most of the 3 million Venezuelans who have left the country amid a mass exodus since 2015. CERF’s website shows it has provided $6.2 million for “Venezuela’s Regional Refugee and Migration Crisis.” Many governments have been wary of providing direct aid to Venezuela, where officials face sanctions from the United States and Europe for alleged wrongdoing including corruption, human rights abuses and drug trafficking. “I celebrate them finally accepting aid,” exiled opposition legislator Jose Manuel Olivares, a doctor and activist on health issues, said in a telephone interview, but added: “This is a government of profoundly corrupt institutions, and (the funds) could end up in a public official’s bank account in a foreign tax haven”.

MEXICO WILL DEPORT THOSE WHO TRY TO 'VIOLENTLY' ENTER THE UNITED STATES

        TIJUANA, MEXICO  --       Mexico pledged to shore up security near its border with the United States and local authorities said that 39 migrants were arrested after a peaceful march devolved into chaos when U.S. agents fired tear gas into Mexico to stop some migrants who tried to breach the border. Mexico’s Interior Ministry said Sunday it would immediately deport those who tried to “violently” enter the U.S. from Tijuana. Meanwhile, Tijuana’s municipal government said that more than three-dozen migrants were arrested for disturbing the peace and other charges stemming from the march and what followed. The vast majority of the more than 5,000 Central American migrants camped out for more than a week at a sports complex in Tijuana returned to their makeshift shelter to line up for food and recuperate from an unsettling afternoon.

     The situation devolved after the group began a peaceful march to appeal for the U.S. to speed processing of asylum claims for Central American migrants marooned in Tijuana. Mexican police had kept them from walking over a bridge leading to the Mexican port of entry, but the migrants pushed past officers to walk across the Tijuana River below the bridge. More police carrying plastic riot shields were on the other side, but migrants walked along the river to an area where only an earthen levee and concertina wire separated them from U.S. Border Patrol agents. Some saw an opportunity to breach the crossing. A reporter saw U.S. agents shoot several rounds of tear gas after some migrants attempted to penetrate several points along the border. Mexico’s Milenio TV showed images of migrants climbing over fences and peeling back metal sheeting to enter.

      Throughout the day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopters flew overhead, while U.S. agents on foot watched beyond the wire fence in California. The Border Patrol office in San Diego said via Twitter that pedestrian crossings were suspended at the San Ysidro port of entry at both the East and West facilities. All northbound and southbound traffic was halted for several hours. Every day more than 100,000 people enter the U.S. there. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that U.S. authorities will continue to have a “robust” presence along the Southwest border and that they will prosecute anyone who damages federal property or violates U.S. sovereignty. “DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons,” she said.

BRAZIL FILLS OVER 90 PERCENT  OF DOCTOR VACANCIES AS CUBANS HEAD HOME

      BRASILIA, BRAZIL   --     
As Cuban doctors in Brazil begin to head home amid a diplomatic spat between Havana and the South American country’s far-right president-elect, Brazil’s health ministry said on Friday that it had filled nearly all of the resulting vacancies. The first of thousands of Cuban doctors left Brazil on Thursday after criticism by incoming President Jair Bolsonaro prompted Cuba’s government to sever a cooperation agreement, leaving millions of Brazilians without medical care. Many of the Cuban doctors worked in poor, rural parts of Brazil, where few Brazilian physicians want to be.

     The health ministry said in a statement that it had managed in three days to get 92 percent of the Brazilian doctors needed to replace the departing Cubans, signing up 25,901 physicians. More than 17,500 had been enlisted, while almost 8,000 had already been allocated to specific municipalities, the statement said. The health ministry said earlier in the day that a web portal to handle inscriptions, open until Dec. 7, had suffered cyber attacks, which had caused some problems, but the site was now stable.

      Bolsonaro has said the Cuban doctors were being used as “slave labor” because Havana took 75 percent of their salaries. He said the program, which began in 2013, could continue only if they got full pay and were allowed to bring their families. Bolsonaro, an admirer of U.S. President Donald Trump, was elected last month by Brazilians fed up with rising crime and rampant corruption that reached new highs during almost a decade-and-a-half of leftist governments with close ties to Cuba. Cuba has a respected health service and generates major export earnings by sending more than 50,000 health workers to over 60 countries. Even though they received only a fraction of their salaries, the money was good for the doctors by Cuban standards.

NOVEMBER 26,  2018

JOHN BOLTON  TO MEET WITH BRAZIL'S PRESIDENT ELECT JAIR BOLSONARO THIS WEEK, MISSION? TO CONFRONT  CUBA

      WASHINGTON, D.C.  --
 President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton will meet next week with Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro to discuss a regional strategy in confronting Cuba and Venezuela. The White House said Wednesday that Bolton will travel to Brazil to meet with Bolsonaro before he takes office next year, while Trump visits nearby Argentina to meet with leaders of the world’s largest economies at the G20 summit. “Look forward to seeing Brazil’s next President @JairBolsonaro in Rio on November 29th. We share many bilateral interests and will work closely on expanding freedom and prosperity throughout the Western Hemisphere,” Bolton wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

       The White House said Bolton and Bolsonaro will also discuss how to combat China’s push to gain political and economic influence, expanding trade and improving regional security. Since taking over leadership of the National Security Council, Bolton has ratched up pressure on Cuba and Venezuela, as seen by his recent Troika of Tyranny speech where he called the leaders of those countries, along with Nicaragua, “clowns.” He also said the United States “looks forward to watching” their governments fall. “These tyrants fancy themselves strongmen and revolutionaries, icon and luminaries,” Bolton said during the Miami speech. “In reality they are clownish, pitiful figures more akin to Larry, Curly and Moe. The ‘Three Stooges’ of socialism are true believers, but they worship a false God.”

      Bolsonaro has been similarly harsh with Venezuela and Cuba. He has threatened to break off diplomatic relations with both nations and accused Cuba of treating health professionals like slaves. He warned that Cuban doctors working in poor and remote regions of Brazil would only be able to stay if they could receive 100 percent of their pay and their families could join them. José Cárdenas, who served in the National Security Council under George W. Bush and regularly speaks with Trump administration officials, said the new relationship has the potential “to really shake things up” in the hemisphere. After years of strife between the United States and region’s biggest economy, the opportunity to develop a strong US-Brazil partnership is one of the most important developments in U.S. relations with Latin America in decades, he said. “It’s been somewhat of a Holy Grail for US regional diplomacy that has invariably frustrated US policymakers,” Cárdenas said. “The Brazilian people have always been positively inclined to the US, but their Foreign Ministry has always been suspicious about US intentions.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP AUTHORIZES THE MILITARY TO PROTECT BORDER PATROL, IF NECESSARY

         WASHINGTON, D.C.   --       United States President Donald Trump has authorized the military troops deployed along the Mexican border to use force “if necessary” to protect the border patrol, the White House said on Wednesday. However, the Pentagon insisted that the troops will not carry firearms. “The president’s authorization ensures that the Department of Defense can act to protect those who protect us,” the White House Deputy Press Secretary, Hogan Gidley, told EFE. So far, the nearly 5,900 military personnel deployed along Mexican border could only use force against immigrants in self-defense, but Trump’s authorization opens the door for them to use it “if necessary” to “protect” agents of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

      “If force were required to protect CBP, they are now authorized to use it,” a White House source, who requested anonymity, told EFE. The White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, sent a letter on Tuesday to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, communicating the authorization of the president. However, Mattis stressed on Wednesday that until now CBP has not “called for any lethal force” to protect their agents, and clarified that the military will not carry “firearms.” “They’re not even carrying guns so, just relax. Don’t worry about it, okay?” Mattis told reporters at a press conference. Trump insisted on Wednesday in a tweet, without providing evidence, that there are “criminals” among the Central American immigrants of the caravans that are heading since several weeks to the United States.

      The deployment along the border of thousands of soldiers has served his government to mark muscle before the arrival of the caravans. However, in reality the role of soldiers is limited by law, so they have dedicated themselves to strengthening the border fence that separates the US and Mexico and to help CBP in the transportation of supplies. Mattis argued that Trump’s order does not violate the 1878 law known as “Posse Comitatus,” which prohibits the use of soldiers for security and public order tasks at the national level. “There’s no violation here, at all. We’re not going to arrest, or anything else,” he said. The Pentagon Chief insinuated that the only thing the military could do would be to prevent someone (an immigrant) from hitting someone (of the CBP) and then handing him/her over to others for their arrest, but without using firearms.

THE HEAD OF RUSSIAN OIL COMPANY ROSNEFT, IGOR SECHIN, TRAVELS TO VENEZUELA AND CLAIMS DICTATOR MADURO FOR PENDING CRUDE SHIPMENTS

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA --      
The head of Russian oil company Rosneft, Igor Sechin, traveled to Caracas this week to meet with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and complain about delays in oil shipments designed to pay loans, commented on Saturday two sources with knowledge of the conversation. The visit, which was not publicly reported, is one of the clearest signs of tension between Venezuela and Russia, one of its key creditors. In recent years, Moscow has become the lender of last resort in Venezuela. The Russian government and Rosneft have delivered at least 17 billion dollars in loans and lines of credit to Caracas since 2006, according to Reuters calculations.

      State oil company Pdvsa is paying almost all of those debts with oil, but a crisis in its oil industry has left it in trouble to meet its obligations . Sechin and a large delegation of executives met with PDVSA officials at a hotel in Caracas this week. Rosneft's president also met with Maduro and chided him for the delay in oil shipments in exchange for loans. "He brought information that shows they were fulfilling their obligations to China, but not to them," said a source with knowledge of the talks.

      "They are running in PDVSA because of this," added the source, who requested anonymity because she was not authorized to speak with the press. Venezuela's oil output has fallen to just 1.17 million barrels per day, down 37 percent in the last year, according to reports from secondary sources to OPEC. That collapse has complicated Pdvsa's efforts to send some 380,000 bpd to Russian entities, as he had agreed, according to documents from the Venezuelan oil company to which Reuters had access. The closure of a dock in Venezuela's main oil export port, through which most of the shipments go to Rosneft, has delayed millions of barrels of crude since August. Sechin delivered graphics to Maduro about shipments of oil to Russian entities compared to China, the two sources said.

NOVEMBER 21,  2018

TAL CUAL: TERMS OF NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT BY JOSE ANTONIO GIL YEPES

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA --
 Once again, the Government is interested in holding talks with the Opposition to buy time and image; without anything changing. It is a strategy to legitimize the swearing-in of Nicolás Maduro on January 10, 2019, in the eyes of some 50 countries that did not recognize the results of his reelection. Yet, the Opposition may be reluctant to start talks due to the defeats it suffered between 2016 and 2018. However, global statistics show that the most common practices in the processes of change from authoritarian regimes are electoral participation and negotiation. Then the Opposition cannot escape this challenge and it will need to refocus at psychological level under this perspective and overcome it by demanding a negotiation process that suits it and a fair agenda.

     A convenient process would be referring to it as "negotiation," never as "dialogue"; choosing the venue: Venezuela; being accompanied by friendly and unfriendly countries in order to facilitate the spread of experience; setting the date as soon as possible in order to wrap things up before January 10 of next year, in case the Government does not accept a fair agenda. The fair agenda starts by rejecting the previous agenda and by recognizing that repeating the election does not have a solid foundation. Maduro won that election because of the people who didn’t go vote. In addition, it is more likely that the countries that have not recognized the election of Maduro do so because there are too many resources in Venezuela.

     The fair agenda contains the following highlights: the appointment of new Supreme Court justices in replacement of 13 previously appointed in a express manner by the Government, of new directors for the National Electoral Council (CNE), of a new Attorney General, Comptroller and Ombudsman, all of them unconstitutional by the Congress; the elimination of the National Constituent Assembly and the swearing-in of the President before the Congress. With this agenda, the Opposition always wins: If the Government does not accept it, it would be exposed as undemocratic and to further sanctions. If it does, it would be the beginning of the end of its hegemonic autocracy. In this case, members of the Opposition would need to refocus at psychological level again because the Government would only accept to share its power in exchange for "guarantees" or, in terms of political theorist Robert Dahl, "a lower share because, if not, it won’t share anything at all."

U.S. CONSIDERS ADDING VENEZUELA TO TERRORISM SPONSORS LIST

         WASHINGTON, D.C.   --      The United States is considering adding Venezuela to its list of state sponsors of terrorism but no final decision has been made, a person familiar with the deliberations said on Monday. Adding Venezuela to the list could limit U.S. economic assistance and impose financial restrictions on a country already suffering from hyperinflation, mass migration and shortages of food and medicine. Discussions on the issue have moved forward in recent days with strong lobbying from Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who has long pressed the administration to take a tougher stand against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the source said. A time frame for a decision on whether to add Venezuela to the terrorism list had not yet been determined, the source said.

     A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it would be a challenge for the Trump administration to provide concrete proof linking the Maduro government to terrorism if it decides to put Venezuela on the list. The four countries currently on the list - North Korea, Iran, Sudan and Syria - have been found to “have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.” Rubio and two other Republican senators sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in September urging him to name Venezuela a state sponsor of terrorism and accusing it of links to Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, but they offered no proof.

     A State Department spokesperson said it “consistently and on an ongoing basis reviews available information and intelligence, from many sources, on possible state-level involvement in terrorism, evaluating all credible, verified, and corroborated information in its entirety.” A senior U.S. official told Reuters earlier this month that the Trump administration was “looking at all potential avenues” to pressure Maduro’s government. “The regime really understands that the world is getting smaller for them. And that’s the kind of pressure that is needed to really change minds in the regime. The sanctions are having an effect,” the official said.

OAS DELEGATION CALLS THE VENEZUELAN IMMIGRATION CRISIS SAD

      BOGOTA, COLOMBIA      
A mission composed of delegates from 17 member states of the OAS that yesterday visited the two main border crossings of Colombia with Venezuela described as "sad" the situation faced by the thousands of immigrants from the Caribbean country fleeing the crisis. "We have seen the Venezuelan crisis, the faces of children, women, desperate parents crossing a border with empty suitcases only to return with a little food to live a few days. It is very sad, "US Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) Carlos Trujillo told reporters.

     The diplomat is part of a mission composed of representatives of Argentina, Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, the United States, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia and Uruguay who visited yesterday the border crossings of Paraguachón, in the department of La Guajira, and Cúcuta, capital of Norte de Santander. At the end of the tour in Cúcuta, Trujillo said that "it is an obligation of the OAS" to help find a solution to the critical situation faced by Venezuelans arriving in Colombia. "We hope that in the coming weeks this peaceful solution can be fulfilled by a multilateral diplomatic forum like the OAS," he said.

     For his part, the ambassador of Peru in Colombia, Ignacio Higueras, said that the experience was "valuable" because it allowed them to "know the reality and the challenges" faced by Venezuelan emigrants. He also noted that the mission of the OAS "allows to visualize the problem" and to understand how the countries of the region are facing it, as well as "to summon the international community to be interested in this crisis and to offer support". According to the manager of the Frontier with Venezuela of the Presidency of the Republic, Felipe Muñoz, he recalled that data released 10 days ago by the UN show that three million Venezuelans have left their country, of which 2.4 million are in Latin America and of these close to one million have settled in Colombia. To analyze in depth the Venezuelan migration crisis, the OAS delegates will continue their agenda in Colombia with a meeting tomorrow at the Chancellery in Bogotá.

NOVEMBER 20,  2018

 VENEZUELA'S SUPREME COURT IN EXILE CALLS FOR DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO TRIAL ON CORRUPTION CHARGES

      WASHINGTON, D.C. --
 Venezuela’s Supreme Court in exile on Monday asked their country’s armed forces and Interpol to detain DICTATOR Nicolás Maduro, saying there was probable cause to put him on trial for corruption and other crimes. Speaking from Colombia’s capital, the court — which isn’t considered legitimate by the administration in Venezuela — said Maduro had overseen a web of corruption that allowed Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht to defraud the country to the tune of $2.5 billion. “This criminal organization scheme needs to be investigated not just in Venezuela but internationally,” the court said. The ruling comes after Venezuela’s former prosecutor general, Luisa Ortega, presented documents last week outlining Maduro’s role in what she says is widespread and systemic fraud.

     In particular, she said Maduro received $35 million in illicit campaign contributions from Odebrecht in exchange for giving them lucrative construction projects — many of which were never started or are incomplete. The court asked Interpol to arrest Maduro if he leaves the country, saying it was the only way to ensure justice could be served. The Venezuelan “state has been kidnapped, which has turned it into a failed state," said exiled Supreme Court President Miguel Ángel Martín. That the people who call themselves Venezuela’s “legitimate” Supreme Court are forced to meet in neighboring Colombia speaks to Venezuela’s ongoing power struggle. In July 2017, Venezuela’s opposition-controlled congress appointed 33 judges to the high court.

    Before they could be seated, however, Maduro accused the magistrates of treason and said they could face 30-year jail sentences. Two of the judges turned in their resignations, one is under house arrest in Venezuela and the remaining 30 fled across the Americas to Chile, Panama, Colombia and the United States. While the court’s rulings will be shrugged off in Venezuela, the exiled judges hope foreign governments will recognize their authority. The court said it will be sharing its Monday ruling with the United Nations, the Organization of American States and at the Summit of the Americas, a gathering of the leaders of the Western Hemisphere set to take place this weekend in Peru.

ANTI-MIGRANT PROTEST IN TIJUANA, MEXICO

         TIJUANA, MEXICO  --      Some 150 people turned out in the Mexican border city of Tijuana on Sunday to protest the Central American migrant caravan shouting xenophobic slogans and calling for law and order. Convened via the social networks by the so-called “Citizens movement against the chaos of the migrant caravan,” somewhat over 100 people gathered in Cuauhtemoc traffic circle in Tijuana at the same time that a previously-scheduled demonstration of support for the caravan was cancelled. The caravan of several thousand migrants set out from Honduras a month ago heading northwards through Guatemala and Mexico with the ultimate goal of crossing the US border.

    Waving Mexican flags, the demonstrators climbed onto the monument to the last Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc shouting “Mexico, Mexico! and “Tijuana, Tijuana!” as well as slogans calling for “defending” the country and the city in the face of the Central American influx. “Wake up, Mexico. We don’t want problems. Out with the ‘maras’ (Central American groups and/or gangs) – Mexico for the Mexicans,” were some of the slogans chanted by a number of demonstrators. “The migrants entered (Mexico) by violating Mexican sovereignty and humiliating us. We’re not going to permit them to stay here and enter Mexico and Tijuana as they please. For a better Tijuana we must not allow bussed-in criminals to come here,” said one masked demonstrator wearing a Mexican soccer team’s jersey. The protester said he was a Tijuana resident, adding that “We’re not against a migrant wanting to get ahead; the only thing we’re calling for is order and respect for the law.”

     Another demonstrator said that Tijuana “did what they didn’t do in the rest of Mexico” and applauded the demonstration last week when residents of Playas de Tijuana ran a number of migrants out of that district. He also accused caravan organizers of manipulation and obtaining resources by mobilizing the migrants. Yet another demonstrator said that when a number of migrants broke down a border gate and entered Mexico from Guatemala, “they became worthy of repression, but we Mexicans have been tolerant.” “We already have 6,000 Haitians working in Tijuana, there are already Hondurans and Guatemalans and this isn’t a caravan, it’s an invasion,” he added. The municipal delegate for Tijuana’s central zone, Pablo Genaro Lopez, said that the protest was conducted in an orderly manner.

BRAZIL TO BEGIN SELECTING REPLACEMENTS FOR CUBAN DOCTORS

      SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
--    Brazil's Health Ministry said Friday that it will soon start selecting local doctors to replace the more than 8,000 Cuban physicians working in areas where medical services are scarce. Cuba announced this week it is recalling the physicians in the "More Doctors" program after Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro set conditions unacceptable to the island's government. He said the program could continue only if doctors get their full pay directly rather from the Cuban government and are able to bring their families with them.

      The doctors generally receive a fraction of the salary paid to the Cuban government. The ministry said it will start this month "to select professionals for the 8,332 positions that will be abandoned by the Cuban doctors." The government launched the More Doctors program in 2013 because local doctors could not be found for many positions. Earlier this week, former Health Minister Alexandre Padilha said Cuban doctors were in 2,800 cities and towns — and they were the only doctors in 1,700 of those towns.

     He said the pullout of Cuban physicians "will have an immediate and terrible impact on the health care system." Bolsonaro told reporters on Friday that the Cuban doctors should be required to prove the quality of their training by getting their diplomas validated in Brazil. "I never heard of a Brazilian authority being treated by Cuban doctor," the president-elect said. "Must only the poor be treated by professionals whose qualifications are not guaranteed? This is unjust. It is inhuman."

NOVEMBER 19,  2018

LUIS ALMAGRO, OAS SECRETARY GENERAL, URGES THE ICC  TO INVESTIGATE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN VENEZUELA

      WASHINGTON, D.C. --
 
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, affirmed that if the International Criminal Court (ICC) were to act without giving in to political commitments and pressures, there could be a positive impact for Venezuelans victims of persecution and tortures in the country. "Those of us who work in international institutions are aware of the bureaucratic and concrete challenges that exist to enforce the universal jurisdiction of international human rights law, but we must work to make international institutions more relevant to people, especially victims of inhumane acts," indicated Almagro in an opinion column published in The Washington Post.

     He assured that the OAS works to help Venezuelans victims of crimes against humanity in Venezuela. The secretary general of the OAS noted that the ICC prosecutor has the opportunity to act in accordance with international law, to do the right thing and to defend the victims. The Venezuelan people need help from abroad and the ICC must be an external force that changes the trajectory of the Venezuelan dictatorship. Specifically, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda must act to bring justice to Venezuela, he said. The Rome Statute, of which Venezuela is a State party, grants the court jurisdiction to prosecute crimes against humanity, which include torture, murder, rape and enforced disappearances.

      The secretary general of the organization indicated that it is necessary to exercise force or the "status quo" will continue in the country. The Nicolás Maduro regimen, he warned, will carry on to commit crimes against humanity, subjecting opposition demonstrators. More dangerously, it will continue to enjoy impunity while the world remains inactive. "Although we have a strong international human rights regime, unfortunately, justice does not occur by default and inertia. Justice must be sought and persecuted with persistence for the victims of the Maduro dictatorship who can not find it for themselves, "he concluded.

IOM SAYS THAT THE VENEZUELAN EXODUS COULD INCREASE "MODERN SLAVERY" IN LATIN AMERICA

         WASHINGTON, D.C.   --     The regional specialist of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Águada Maríntoday, pointed out the risk posed by the "precarious migration" of Venezuelans to the increase of slavery in Latin America during a conference held in Montevideo. The expert stressed that the three pillars of "modern slavery" are: demand, supply and impunity. " The immigration issue is closely related to these crimes , because it provides that offer that criminals are looking for," Marín said in his presentation. In this regard, he stressed that to understand this point we must study "what are the profiles" of people who fall into slavery and the social context.

      "We are in a migratory context like we have never seen before, we arrived last week to have three million Venezuelan citizens outside of Venezuela," said the regional specialist of assistance and protection to migrants, who to highlight even more this figure recalled that in The Mediterranean crisis "the highest peak" was 1,800 people . Regarding Latin America , Marín highlighted that the latest studies estimate that there are two million slaves in the region, a figure that is low compared to the 40.3 million in the world. However, the representative of the IOM said that this information is partly due to the low identification rate in the region, so one of the challenges for the Latin American countries is to seek more bilateral agreements, as this It would facilitate both international investigations and judicial processes between nations.

      Regarding Uruguay , the presidential assistant secretary, Juan Andrés Roballo , declared that the country is a territory of "destination, transit and emission", which is why all state agencies should "refine and deepen" their work. "We have a renewed adequate legal framework, we have practices, protocols and we also have the challenge of inter-institutional actions, as well as the awareness of the whole community, because we have conditions in our country so that these things do not happen, but they happen and we have to lend much attention, "the politician added. On the danger that foreigners who come to Uruguay fall into forced labor, Roballo said that people who move to this South American country seek to "live with dignity" and that the authorities have to "pay special attention" to be able to guarantee that. "It is a main obligation to provide them with what is necessary from the point of view of documentation, the formality to be able to access the work and not have to do it informally," he concluded.

MISSION OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES MEMBERS WILL VISIT THE COLOMBIAN-VENEZUELAN BORDER TODAY

      WASHINGTON, D.C.    ---  
A mission from member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) and representatives of this organization will travel TODAY, MONDAY,  to the Colombian-Venezuelan border to examine the effects of Venezuela's migration crisis, a source familiar with the visit said today. The source, who requested anonymity, told Efe that the group will move to the Colombian cities of Maicao and Cúcuta, on the border with Venezuelan territory.

     There, the delegation will examine reception centers for Venezuelan migrants and evaluate the policies applied by the Colombian authorities to deal with the arrival of these people, as well as "assessing their vulnerability," the source said. In both municipalities, the mission plans to meet with local authorities before leaving for Bogotá. This visit is in response to "an invitation from the Government of Colombia through the Inter-American Council for Integral Development to the member countries of the OAS to observe the situation of the humanitarian crisis, evaluate its effects and have a rapprochement on international cooperation." A total of 16 of the 35 member states of the OAS have accepted the Colombian invitation to carry out this visit.

      The source considered that due to its volume the Venezuelan migration crisis has "a regional impact never seen", with which, he stressed, it also needs to be addressed with a regional approach, which is available to the OAS. According to UN figures, the number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the world has reached 3 million. The United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have indicated that the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean host 2.4 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants, while the other 600,000 are They spread in other regions.

NOVEMBER 18,  2018

CUBA ACCUSES THE UNITED STATES OF TRYING TO SUFFOCATE IT ECONOMICALLY WITH NEW SANCTIONS


      HAVANA, CUBA 
-- 
Cuba today denounced the "aggressive decision" of the US by adding twenty-six companies of the island to the list of companies with which the Americans are prohibited from negotiating, and accused the government of Donald Trump of trying to "economically suffocate" the island. For the Government of the island this is "an arbitrary list" whose "true nature is to continue hardening the 'blockade', economically suffocate Cuba and try to demonize it with dishonest accusations," said the director for the United States of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Carlos Fernández de Cossío. Last Tuesday, the US State Department added twenty-six Cuban companies, including sixteen hotels, to a blacklist of entities connected to the Cuban Armed Forces with which it prohibits its citizens and companies to conduct business. This announcement is the most notable restriction to the bilateral opening process, from the measures ordered by US President Donald Trump in his speech in June 2017.

     The US justified this upsurge of sanctions against the island for the alleged Cuban role in the Venezuelan crisis. In statements published on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the island, Fernandez de Cossio recalled that the world almost unanimously rejected the US embargo "as a demonstration of the isolation and discredit of US policy of aggression against Cuba." The list was created following the order Trump issued in June 2017 to prohibit transactions with companies controlled by Cuba's military, intelligence and security services, a restriction that exempted the US cruise lines and airlines. So far, the list affected 180 entities, including the Army's business conglomerate, the S.A. Business Administration Group. (GAESA), which is estimated to control around two thirds of the island's retail trade; and its Gaviota group, which handles around half of the country's tourism capacity.

     Among the hotels sanctioned there are two managed by the Spanish company Iberostar, the Grand Packard Hotel, recently opened in Havana, and the Bella Vista in Varadero, and an establishment that has not yet opened its doors: the SO / Havana Paseo del Prado, in the capital. Americans who visit the island will not be able to make purchases in seven shopping centers subject to sanctions in places like Cayo de Santa María or Cayo Coco. The State Department warned that it will continue to "periodically update" the list. The sanctions and restrictions imposed on the trips of Americans to Cuba have caused a drop in the arrivals of foreign tourists to Cuba, which expects to receive 4.7 million travelers this year, therefore, it is carrying out now an intense promotional campaign in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Tourism is the second source of income for Cuba behind the export of “professional services,” which represents a contribution of 10% to GDP and generates half a million jobs.

AUTHORITIES IN NORTHERN MEXICO DECLARE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR MIGRANTS

    TIJUANA, MEXICO   --      Tensions over the arrival of Central American migrants increased on Friday when the mayor of the Mexican border city of Tijuana and the governor of the state of Baja California warned that there will be zero tolerance for visitors who violate the law.
Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum, of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), tried to justify his statements, which were published on Friday, in which he expressed his rejection of the presence of Central American migrants and his intention to have them deported. “We want Article 33 of the Constitution to be applied to them. Tijuana is a city of migrants, but we don’t want them this way,” the official said, alluding to the precept of the Mexican Constitution that provides for the expulsion of foreigners.

     Later he clarified that he was referring only to those who violate the laws and not to those who conduct themselves with order, and he only labeled “potheads” against those who smoked that drug and not to all the migrants. “We are anti-potheads, just as we are anti-drunks,” he said. In an interview the official said he would hold a citizen consultation to decide whether to continue receiving migrants and what to do with those already in the city. He also indicated that the consultation could take place when the federal government sends the resources to help the Central Americans, for which the state requested $4 million.

     He stated that Tijuana is experiencing a problem caused by the federal government, which “indolently allowed the entry of many people” in reference to the entry “without any order” of thousands of migrants on Oct. 19 from Guatemala. He questioned why Central Americans decided to come to Tijuana when it is known that it is very difficult to cross into the United States and that there are other borders crossings, closer to the center of the country, where migrants have converged before continuing their march north.
But there was no response from him, nor from the municipal secretary of Public Security, Marco Antonio Sotomayor, about the brawl that started early Thursday morning when a group of residents arrived at a migrant camp in the area of the beaches in Tijuana to scold the Central Americans and demand their departure.

CORRUPTION IN 42 STATE COMPANIES AGGRAVATES THE FOOD CRISIS

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA   ---   The NGO Transparency Venezuela today released a report detailing the performance of 42 state companies that were sheltered by corruption and has aggravated the food crisis that overwhelms the oil country, and blames the governments of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro for this situation. In this report, which investigates the performance of 576 state-owned companies, with special emphasis on 160 of the mining, hydrocarbons, public services and agrifood areas, their rules, financial results, managers and cases of corruption that have been analyzed are analyzed. publicly denounced.

     "The agricultural raw material and food, in the last nineteen years, have been managed as instruments of political domination and proselytism of the ruling class," says the letter. In the case of the agri-food sector, the case of the Spanish company Agroisleña, expropriated in 2010 and baptized by Chávez as Agropatria, stands out. Until then, it provided services to agricultural producers to whom it sold raw materials, equipment, fertilizers and offered technical assistance. "Eight years after the creation of Agropatria, an entity attached to the Ministry of Productive Agriculture and Land, it shows a marked involution characterized by: becoming a monopoly of agricultural inputs product of the denial of foreign currency and the non-cancellation of the debt to the companies of the same branch, "says the document.

     Also, the report indicates that due to the fall in their functions, the company now converted into Agropatria has "unsupplied" and "abandoned" the agricultural sectors that have to do with vegetables, roots, tubers, fruit and veterinary medicine, among others . In addition Agropatria, according to the report, "conditions the sale of inputs (materials) to the delivery of part of the crop of farmers and their associations to their silos." Farmers, says the report, complain about the quality of the products sold in the company, now state, for "ineffective", among other criticisms that include "speculative" prices. It is underlined: "The state Agropatria imposed, since 2017, the conclusion of a contract through which farmers commit to sell 30% of their harvest, as a condition to sell inputs."

NOVEMBER 17,  2018

UP TO 2,000  CUBAN DOCTORS COULD STAY IN BRAZIL AFTER THE END OF MORE DOCTORS PROGRAM

      BRASILIA, BRAZIL
-- 
A group of 196 doctors returned to Cuba on Thursday after three years of service in Brazil, the first after the Havana announcement of withdrawing from the Más Médicos program due to criticism from President-elect Jair Bolsonaro. According to a report by the official Cuban News Agency (ACN), the doctors arrived "happy after fulfilling their mission", but also "worried about the fate that awaits that country with the new president-elect."

      Brazilian diplomatic sources indicate that all Cuban doctors will return to their country before December 24, although they estimate that some 2,000 could stay in Brazil due to romantic and family relationships, which would allow them to obtain a residence permit. reported AFP. Around 20,000 Cuban doctors worked in Brazil for five years, and the Cuban decision affects about 8,000 who currently do so. The withdrawal of the program "will be supported by our doctors, because the principles and dignity are not negotiable," said Cuban Deputy Minister of Health, Regla Angulo, when receiving the doctors at the Havana International airport.

     Cuba announced on Wednesday its sepqration from the Brazilian program “Más Médicos,” in which it has participated since its creation in 2013 through the Pan American Health  Organization (PAHO), mainly due to statements by Bolsonaro, who announced changes he will make after his arrival in power next year. On January 1 Bolsonaro will announce the individual hiring of the Cuban doctors and the requirement of a revalidation of their titles, as well as the increase in salary and that they can count on a family company, so that they can continue practicing in the country.

BRAZIL'S PRESIDENT ELECT  JAIR BOLSONARO OFFERS ASYLUM TO CUBAN DOCTORS WHO WANT TO STAY IN THE COUNTRY

    BRASILIA, BRAZIL   --      Brazilian President ELECT  Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday his government will offer political asylum to thousands of Cuban doctors who do not want to return to Cuba after discontinuing the More Doctors program. Bolsonaro's announcement follows the Cuban government's decision to suspend the Mais Médicos program, which allowed doctors in that country to provide services to remote and poor Brazilian communities. "When I become president, if one of these doctors will decide to claim asylum, he will have it," the future Brazilian head of state assured at a press conference in Brasilia, the country's capital. Bolsonaro also said that the Workers Party (PT) governments initially collaborated with Lula da Silva, and later with Dilma Rousseff, threatening immediate Cuban deportation doctors who applied for asylum in Brazil, and few attempted the procedure.

      "We can not admit it, we can offer them asylum," said the newly-elected president. The announcement of asylum may benefit some of the 11,000 Cuban physicians who now serve in Brazil and that, following the decision of the Cuban government to suspend its participation in the initiative, they must return to their country because of "the threatening and derogatory words"pronounced by Bolsonaro about the project. The initiative of the socialist governments of the PT, Cuba's key ally in Latin America, calls for the hiring of foreign professionals to help the Brazilian people in remote, isolated and poor areas. Jair Bolsonaro said the suspension of the program was "unilateral" announced by the Cuban dictatorship "without taking into account the damage that it can cause in the poor population of Brazil."

     The conservative politician said that Brazil must check the contract to determine whether a sanction is possible if the contract is unilaterally terminated by one of the parties. Bolsonaro added that Cubans are represented by the nearly 20,000 doctors who form Brazil annually, and by doctors from other countries The President-elect of Brazil added that he had never concealed his rejection of the "More Doctors" program for humanitarian and labor law reasons, because Cuban clinicians, in his opinion, had to travel without family members and only receive 30% of their salary, and the remaining 70% are for the Government of Cuba "It is inhumane to keep these professionals away from their families, many women are here while their underage children can not go to Cuba," Bolsonaro said, pointing out that he also rejected the program, "because 70% of Salary can be confiscated by the Cuban dictatorship ". Over five years, around 20,000 Cuban employees visited more than 113 million people in more than 3,600 Brazilian communities

IN JANUARY MORE COUNTRIES COULD  WITHDRAW AMBASSADORS FROM CARACAS IN RETALIATION AGAINST NICOLAS MADURO DICTATORSHIP

      WASHINGTON, D.C.   ---   January 10 is a very serious date. At least for the international community. In the Venezuelan Chancellery they do not suspect it. They know that many countries are going to withdraw ambassadors. Caracas will be covered with commercial aggregates in charge of business. This will be the scenario. It says a high source of the Chancellery. Very close to the Minister Jorge Arreaza. So the statement of the Spanish Chancellor, Josep Borrel, that until January 10 Spain will recognize as legitimate the presidency of Nicolás Maduro, is a point of foreign policy not only shared by Madrid, the Group of Lima, and other countries faced to the Chavez government, but it extends further. Already, as it is known, the countries that make up the Lima Group are at the level of business managers.

     The issue is that the attempt showed them a reality that they did not consider of such magnitude. Because both in Europe and in America the position is firm, the source points out, that when accepting the appointment of new ambassadors is to appear as cooperating countries of the regime, given that the nominations have to go through the Foreign Policy Commission and the National Assembly, as dictated by the Constitution. The source says that the proposal to appoint Roy Chardeton as ambassador to the Holy See, and change 29 other ambassadors, including those from Hungary, Serbia and Greece, has put the matter on the table. The Government wanted to implement changes and found this reality. And why did it wants to make the changes in the embassies? Because the power groups aspire to manage respective quotas in the embassies, in foreign service. That on the one hand. And, on the other, because the salaries and salaries of the diplomatic corps abroad have not been paid for six months. There are those who prefer to return to Venezuela.

     The issue is that the attempt showed them a reality that they did not consider of such magnitude. Because both in Europe and in America the position is firm, the source points out, that when accepting the appointment of new ambassadors is to appear as cooperating countries of the regime, given that the nominations have to go through the Foreign Policy Commission and the National Assembly, as dictated by the Constitution. The Government has tried to circumvent the constitutional fence. But it has not found support in other countries. Moreover, even in Canada, the ambassador is treated as a consul. In Costa Rica the same thing happened. In Argentina, the same. Of course, these are countries that are part of the Lima Group, more belligerent against Maduro. Only one country in Africa, if anything, and Nicaragua and Bolivia, for example, would accept the government's candidates, the source points out. Maybe they would spread the placet. But that is not the case for European nations.

NOVEMBER 16,  2018

VENEZUELANS BLAME NICOLAS MADURO FOR THE ECONOMIC CRISIS AND BELIEVE A CHANGE IN GOVERNMENT IS NEEDED (ATLANTIC COUNCIL POLL)

      WASHINGTON, D.C.  -
--  
A new survey by the Atlantic Council confirms once again why the world should focus on addressing the social, political and economic crisis in Venezuela. The lack of medicines and food, along with inflation and insecurity, is aggravated by the growing problems that make life intolerable. The lack of confidence of Venezuelans in the government means that their institutions are seen as the least prepared to coordinate the distribution of assistance if a humanitarian corridor is established. The Maduro government is seen as responsible for the current economic crisis. Without a change in government, more than half of Venezuelans see no improvement on the horizon. A similar number also expressed dissatisfaction with the National Constituent Assembly.
     Key findings: 1- Deteriorating Quality of Life. More than eight in ten Venezuelans believe their quality of life has worsened, with a growing number of people citing mounting concerns over the provision of public services including health (up from 28 percent in March 2018 to 29 percent in September 2018) transportation (up from 13 to 29 percent), electricity (up from 13 to 24 percent), and lack of potable water (up from 5 to 13 percent); 2-Recognizing the Humanitarian Crisis. Nearly eight in ten Venezuelans agree the country is experiencing a humanitarian crisis. Seventy-eight percent of polled individuals agreed, including over 8 in 10 self-identified independents and even 4 in 10 government supporters.

     3- Delivering Humanitarian Assistance. Institutions not aligned with the government are seen as best positioned to deliver assistance, if it were to materialize. Forty-three percent of individuals believe the church could best coordinate any such help, a reflection of the relative confidence in the church with regard to other institutions. 4- Placing Blame for Economic Failure. Venezuelans overwhelmingly see Nicolás Maduro as solely responsible for the hyperinflation and see him and his measures as unable to stop the economic crisis. Nearly 56 percent of Venezuelans do not see an economic solution as possible without a change in government, including over 1 in 4 government supporters and nearly 6 in 10 independents.

BLOOMBERG:  VENEZUELA'S OIL DECLINE, FROM POWER TO DISASTER

    WASHINGTON, D.C.  --       BOil is at the center of the Venezuelan economy. It represents 95 percent of the country's export earnings and funds the regime of President Nicolás Maduro. Even as world prices rose to more than $ 80 a barrel last month, the nation's production plummets. Shale producers in the US increased supply by 23 percent last year, while in Venezuela, the owner of the world's largest oil reserves, the economic collapse caused production to fall by 37 percent. As Venezuela's oil production plunges to 1 million barrels per day, the lowest level in seven decades, the country is running out of money to pay for food and medicine.

     Salaries cannot keep up with hyperinflation, estimated at an absurd 1.37 million percent. Living in a country where the price of food can change in a matter of hours led more than 1.5 million Venezuelans to flee in the last 4 years. The United Nations estimates that there are 3 million Venezuelans living abroad, including some 2.4 million distributed in Latin America and the Caribbean. Those who seek to leave the country and cannot afford the black market rates can face long lines of days to obtain passports. The situation worsened in August of 2017, when US President Donald Trump imposed financial sanctions against Venezuela and its state oil company PDVSA in an attempt to punish Maduro for economic mismanagement and endemic corruption. US banks became more careful in giving credit to US refiners to buy Venezuelan crude, fearing a possible total ban on imports.

     The decline in Venezuela's production has reduced the country's influence in Latin America. Where once Venezuela provided subsidized oil to its neighbors, it now needs to accumulate everything it produces to pay the bondholders, as well as China and Russia, which have lent nearly $ 69 billion in the last decade in exchange for oil . Until now, the government's solution was a selective noncompliance estimated at $ 6.1 billion in international securities. The loans granted by the Development Bank of China and the Russian oil company Rosneft Oil have been renegotiated or paid with delays. A bonus that PDVSA continues to pay is one guaranteed by its interest in Citgo, its American refining arm that makes money. Without cash, Venezuela pays its debts to China and India with oil. The maneuvers have not been enough to stop a fall in exports of crude oil that pay debts and provide the necessary cash for the economy to work. Shipments dropped almost a quarter in the last year.

HUNDREDS OF CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRANTS ARRIVED AT U.S. BORDER

      TIJUANA, mEXICO ---   Migrants in a caravan of Central Americans scrambled Wednesday to reach the U.S. border, arriving by the hundreds in Tijuana, while U.S. authorities across the border were readying razor wire security barriers. Authorities in Tijuana were struggling to deal with a group of 357 migrants who arrived aboard nine buses Tuesday and another group of 398 that arrived Wednesday. Josue Vargas, an immigrant from Honduras who finally pulled into Tijuana Wednesday after more than a month on the road, said "Mexico has been excellent, we have no complaint about Mexico. The United States remains to be seen."

     U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, meanwhile, went to visit U.S. troops posted to the border in south Texas, and said the deployment provides good training for war. That didn't deter arriving groups of Central Americans from going to a stretch of border fence in Tijuana to celebrate. On Tuesday, a couple of dozen migrants scaled the steel border fence to celebrate their arrival, chanting "Yes, we could!" and one man dropped over to the U.S. side briefly as border agents watched from a distance. He ran quickly back to the fence. Tijuana's head of migrant services, Cesar Palencia Chavez, said authorities offered to take the migrants to shelters immediately, but they initially refused. "They wanted to stay together in a single shelter," Palencia Chavez said, "but at this time that's not possible" because shelters are designed for smaller groups and generally offer separate facilities for men, women and families.
 
      But he said that after their visit to the border, most were taken to shelters in groups of 30 or 40. With a total of three caravans moving through Mexico including 7,000 to 10,000 migrants in all, questions arose as to how Tijuana would deal with such a huge influx, especially given U.S. moves to tighten border security and make it harder to claim asylum. On Wednesday, buses and trucks carried some migrants into the state of Sinaloa along the Gulf of California and further northward into the border state of Sonora. The bulk of the main caravan appeared to be about 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) from the border, but was moving hundreds of miles per day. The Rev. Miguel Angel Soto, director of the Casa de Migrante — House of the Migrant — in the Sinaloa capital of Culiacan, said about 2,000 migrants had arrived in that area. He said the state government, the Roman Catholic Church and Escuinapa officials were helping the migrants. From Sonora, some migrants said they had already caught buses from to Tijuana. About 1,300 migrants in a second caravan were resting at a stadium in Mexico City, where the first group had stayed last week.

NOVEMBER 15,  2018

NICARAGUAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY APPROVES THE ENTRY OF CUBAN MILITARY PERSONNEL AFTER "URGENT" REQUEST OF DANIEL ORTEGA

      MANAGUA, NICARAGUA  -
--  
The National Assembly of Nicaragua authorized on Tuesday the entry to the military of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and other countries, "for the purpose of humanitarian exercises, training, and exchange of experiences," reported El Nuevo Diario. The entry has been authorized thanks to 74 votes of the parliamentary ruling majority and its allies, out of a total of 92, in response to an urgent request from President Daniel Ortega, whose government faces the worst crisis since his return to power in 2007, he said. an EFE report. "Today we approved a decree of urgency sent by the highest authority of our country, President Daniel Ortega, in this approval is present a plan made by the Army of Nicaragua about exchanges for training and humanitarian purposes," said the first secretary of the Board of Directors of the Nicaraguan parliament, Gloria Dixon, through government means.

     The Assembly also approved the entry of military from the US, Taiwan and the Central American countries, in the midst of a sociopolitical crisis that has left hundreds dead in protests against Ortega. All the armed forces will arrive in Nicaragua in the first semester of 2019, as part of an annual exercise "of training and exchange of experiences", according to the Legislative Power. Although the entry of foreign troops into Nicaraguan territory is approved every six months by the Assembly, regardless of the political context, this causes controversy since the social outbreak last April 18. The socio-political crisis in Nicaragua has left between 552 and 558 "political prisoners" after demonstrations against Ortega, in addition to 325 to 528 dead, according to humanitarian organizations.

     The government recognizes 273 prisoners, which it presents as "terrorists", "coup" and "common criminals", as well as 199 victims. Critics of the regimes of Cuba and Nicaragua have accused Havana of exporting the repressive methods with which Managua has confronted the demonstrators and with those who have handled the situation in general. The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) have blamed the Ortega government for "more than 300 deaths," as well as extrajudicial executions, torture, obstruction of the medical attention, arbitrary arrests, kidnappings and sexual violence, among other violations of Human Rights. Ortega denies being responsible and insists that he won an attempted "coup d'état".

A TOP VENEZUELAN OFFICER CALLS TO RISE UP AGAINST DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO

    CARACAS, VENEZUELA  --       Venezuelan journalist Indira Crespo revealed a document in which the corvette captain of the National Navy of Venezuela and training director of the Navy, Miguel Ángel León Correa, calls on his comrades to rebel against the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro. It is a private report sent to the commander-in-chief of the Navy where León Correa requests the dismissal and argues his reasons for doing so.

     "The military high command lost their dignity and self-respect, allowing themselves to buy the conscience with benefits and benefits, putting their personal and family interests above the interests of the country," reads the document, dated November 6. Navy training director says that in the Bolivarian National Armed Forces has been given "a stream of opportunist satraps who, like vile parasites, have seen in the constant adulation of the current government the most expeditious way to climb in power and reach positions for which they are not trained and this has generated cancer in a situation of metastasis that is destroying us. "

      The text talks about torture, lack of independence and how the Chavez regime handed over the country to Russia and other countries. "Even, the handling of all information on the level of operational readiness of Cuban military personnel, putting the security of the nation at high risk". León Correa says in the document that the National Constituent Assembly is illegal and that "the President of the Republic was re-elected in an early election at his request, as a result of the control exercised over all the powers of the State." For all these reasons, at the end of the letter, the naval corvette captain says: "My call is a rebellion of conscience of those who read this document, to fix their position, do the right thing and learn to say without fear." agree 'when something goes against their principles and professional ethics. "Enough of so much injustice against the people and the homeless are those who suffer," says León Correa.

CUBA ORDERS THE WITHDRAWAL OF ITS DOCTORS IN BRAZIL AFTER WORDS OF PRESIDENT JAIR BOLSONARO

        HAVANA, CUBA --  Ministry of Public Health of Cuba reported the departure of the contingent of Cuban doctors, framed in the program "More Doctors", of the Republic of Brazil, due to the "threatening and derogatory" statements of Jair Bolsonaro, recently elected President."

     The Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) of Cuba has taken the decision not to continue participating in the Más Médicos program and has informed the Director of PAHO and the Brazilian political leaders who founded and defended this initiative", reads the release. The island made the decision to return to more than 11,000 Cuban doctors after Bolsonaro questioned the preparation of the specialists and conditioned his stay in the program "to the revalidation of the titles" and imposed "as the only way individual recruitment."

     "Whoever comes here from other countries earns a full salary. Cubans earn approximately 25% of salary. Is the rest going to fuel the Cuban dictatorship? "Declared Bolsonaro on November 3. If you want to receive this and other information on your cell phone download Telegram, enter the link https://t.me/globovision_oficial and click on + Join . Also follow our profile on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter .

NOVEMBER 14,  2018

DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO AGAIN CHALLENGEDS THE UNITED STATES: "VENEZUELA WILL NEVER FOLLOW THE ORDERS OF THE EMPIRE"

       CARACAS, VENEZUELA  -
-- 
   "We will continue producing gold, selling gold and obtaining important gains in gold," said the dictator. He responded to the sanctions applied by the Donald Trump government related to the sector. Venezuela's dictator Nicolás Maduro said the country will continue to produce and sell gold despite what it considered a "persecution" of the United States, after the country sanctioned the "illegal transactions" of its government, related to this mineral. .

"     Venezuela will never follow the orders of the US empire and Venezuela will continue to produce gold, selling gold and obtaining significant profits in gold for public health, for the home of the people, for the happiness of the people," he said in a transmission through the state channel VTV . He also indicated that "Venezuela is an auriferous power" that could become the second or first reserve of world gold, and that is why the United States intends "to illegally pursue Venezuelan gold." Last Thursday, the United States announced sanctions for the "illicit transactions" of the Maduro government, related to the gold sector, through an executive order signed by President Donald Trump.

     The decree's text explains that the measure is justified "in light of the actions by the Maduro regime and associated persons to plunder Venezuela's wealth for fheir own corrupt purposes, to degrade Venezuela's infrastructure and its natural environment through bad economic management and confiscatory mining and industrial practices. " Such measures were later described by Maduro as "demented, crazy and schizophrenic" and ensured that they end up harming the private sector and "cornered" the entrepreneurs.

VLADIMIR PADRINO LOPEZ, NICOLA'S MADURO MINISTER OF DEFENSE, URGED THE ARMED FORCES TO DEFEND THE NATIONAL TERRITORY WITH "FIRMNESS"

    
CARACAS, VENEZUELA  --   The Venezuelan Defense Minister, Vladimir Padrino López, asked the Armed Forces for "firmness" and not hesitate to use force when the "territorial integrity" of the country is attacked, a call made after the death of 3 soldiers in a confrontation in the border state of Amazonas (south). In a visit to soldiers stationed in the state of Táchira, near Colombia, the official recommended to the military to have "a lot of clarity" when "using arms" in the defense of the nation. "(But) very firmly, we can not be hesitating to use weapons when they have to be used, especially when our territorial integrity is violated," he added.

     He also emphasized that the force must be used in accordance with the Constitution and the laws in force in the country. Padrino López made special emphasis on the "violence that comes from Colombia", without pointing to any specific group, and said that Venezuela cannot "allow" it to settle in its territory. "We have to expel it wherever it is, get it out of here," he said. The petition comes only 4 days after the attack of a group not yet identified to a patrol of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB, militarized police) in the state of Amazonas, which resulted in 3 dead and 10 others wounded. According to the defense minister, the incident occurred in retaliation for the capture of several members of a paramilitary group.

     An incident near the border with Colombia left three Venezuelan officers dead and 10 wounded. But the opposition accused the Colombian guerrilla Army of National Liberation (ELN) of these deaths, while asking the government of Nicolás Maduro "to fulfill the duty of ensure the sovereignty of the nation. " Padrino Lopez had already warned on Tuesday that Venezuela will not renounce its "offensive power" to "enforce" its sovereignty, in statements in which it also regretted not having been able to exchange information with Colombia after the attack. However, Colombia has stated that it will provide Venezuela with "all the collaboration" necessary to ensure the punishment of those responsible for the murder of the military.

VENEZUELAN MILITARY HIGH COMMAND WANTS TO PREVENT ITS TROOPS FROM BEING IDENTIFIED

        CARACAS, VENEZUELA   --
 The Operational Strategic Command of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) issued a series of "recommendations" to its subordinates for the safeguarding of its troops, following the death of three soldiers in the border state of Amazonas caused by a paramilitary group (ELN) last week. In a document with seals and signatures of the institution, made public by Venezuelan journalist Nelson Bocaranda in his account on the social network Twitter, a series of measures are read that include the recommendation not to leave the garrison during the night. In addition, it suggests that military identification be separated from personal documents to avoid being related to the FANB by those identified as "anti-social", among other warnings.

     "The height of the highs, a military revolution that asks its military not to wear a uniform or go out at night for fear of violence that the government cannot control." (Minister of Defense Vladimir) Godfather says to the gang Please, do not attack us Ok, please repeat '", wrote Bocaranda. At the end of last week, the dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, ordered to reinforce the protection plans of the border with Colombia. "Rest assured that as president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and commander-in-chief of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) I will do justice to this criminal attack on Amazonas and I will reinforce the plans for the maximum security of our borders. and the entire national territory, "he said after the death of the three troops.

      During an event in which he decorated the soldiers wounded in this attack and the relatives of those who died, Maduro insisted that Venezuela is "victim" of "70 years of war" in Colombia, said an EFE report. He instructed the Minister of Defense and the head of the Strategic Operational Command of the FANB, Remigio Ceballos, to "refine" the planning of the movement of the Venezuelan troops "to guarantee control" of the 2,219 kilometers of border. "If we have to increase the number of military and military units, we are going to do it, we are going to do it." Colombia has abandoned all its borders for decades, the former president (Juan Manuel) Santos, before leaving the president declaration that he was going to move 5,000 soldiers (...) was a lie, "he added.

NOVEMBER 13,  2018

THE RISING WAVE OF MURDERS IN SOUTHERN VENEZUELA IN THEI DISPUTE OVER GOLD

       CARACAS, VENEZUELA  -
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  A series of mass killings in southern Venezuela is raising international concern as the country's political and economic crisis continues to provoke an exodus of migrants. On October 14 , at least seven miners were killed in clashes between armed non-state factions near Tumeremo , Bolívar state , towards the border with Guyana . Three weeks later, on November 4 , guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) ambushed a troop of members of the Venezuelan National Guard , killing three and injuring ten, near the city of Puerto Ayacucho , capital of the state of Amazonas , near the border with Colombia .

     These attacks were in retaliation for the arrest of the ELN commander, Luis Felipe Ortega Bernal , also known as Garganta (Throat). The two incidents were added to a growing number of violent deaths in the vast "mining arch" of the country, an area of 122,000 square kilometersin the southern basin of the Orinoco River . While the murders of Bolívar and Amazonas occurred hundreds of kilometers away, many Venezuelans consider them linked, given that both events occurred in areas exposed to intensive, legal and illegal mining.

      The deaths pose pressing questions about the effects of Venezuela's general socio-economic disintegration in the sparsely populated but mineral-rich south. They also highlight the growing presence of ELN guerrillas in these regions at a time when their peace talks with the Colombian government are at a standstill. The new Colombian president , Iván Duque , suspended the already hesitant negotiations with the guerrillas, who are estimated to have almost 2,000 fighters in Colombia , shortly after taking office in August..

UNITED NATIONS: NUMBER OF MIGRANTS, REFUGEES FROM VENEZUELA REACHES 3 MILLION

    
 UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK  --   The United Nations says there are now three million refugees and migrants from Venezuela who have left the country due to its crumbling economy, violence, hyperinflation and shortage of food and medicines. Of the three million, 2.3 million have left Venezuela since 2015, according to United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesman William  Spindler who added that the exodus has accelerated in the past six months. "The main increases continue to be reported in Colombia and Peru," Spindler said on Thursday.


     More than one million refugees and migrants are in Colombia. Peru has more than half a million, Ecuador over 220,000, Argentina 130,000, Chile over 100,000 and Brazil 85,000, according to the UN. In Colombia, there are around 3,000 arrivals each day, and the Bogota government says four million could be living there by 2021, costing it nearly $9bn. Venezuela exodus takes its toll on Colombian economy "People go crazy over the caravan of Central Americans entering Mexico, trying to reach the US. That's four, five, maybe 6,000 migrants, that's how many we get every four days," Father Francesco Bortignon, who has given shelter to Venezuelans, told Al Jazeera from Cucuta, Colombia.

      The World Bank says the crisis has already cost Colombia almost half a percent of its gross domestic product in 2018: $1.2bn. Earlier this year, Ecuador and Peru announced tighter entry rules, with the former declaring a state of emergency in three northern states which receive up to 4,200 Venezuelans daily. "I have nowhere else to go," said Daleny Gonzales, a Venezuelan migrant in Colombia. "They are telling us we can't stay here. But I don't know where else to go."

VENEZUELAN PUBLIC EMPLOYEES PROTEST FOR UNJUSTIFIED DISMISSALS

        CARACAS, VENEZUELA   --
 Dozens of Venezuelan public workers took to the streets today, this time to denounce "unjustified" dismissals, in the middle of the serious economic crisis that the country is going through and of the labor conflict that employees have been dependent on the State since last June. "I ask Major General César Vegas (President of the Caracas Metro) to please desist from these dismissals, to reflect, because he knows that these dismissals have a political content," worker Juan Ovalles told reporters from a protest in an important avenue in the east of Caracas. Ovalles did not say how many Caracas Metro workers have been fired, although some spokespersons say they are close to 60.

       According to Ovalles, most of the people dismissed from their jobs "enjoy a very good reputation" and were "sufficiently trained" personnel. "Mr. General César Vegas, as a military man, we know and we have proven that he is totally unaware of what metropolitan matter in Caracas is," he continued. In addition, underground employees reported the lack of cleanliness in the facilities of this transport and said that it is due to the lack of policies and resources for its maintenance. Pablo Zambrano, a member of the Intersectorial of Workers of Venezuela and secretary of the Federation of Health Workers (Fetrasalud), said that the dismissals are not only taking place in the Caracas Metro, but "in other institutions."

     "This is one of the reasons why workers have come together," he said, referring to the fact that more and more sectors dependent on the state are joining the protests for wage demands that began at the end of June. Zambrano considers that all the measures taken by the Government of Nicolás Maduro "are directed against the working class," but added that there are even private companies that have also worsened the benefits of their workers. He also denounced that "they have created armed groups to intimidate women" who work in hospitals and prevent them from protesting. Meanwhile, the employees of the main morgue, also dependent on the State, together with other forensic workers, protested in another sector of eastern Caracas to ask for salary improvements, in rejection of "threats" from the Labor Inspectorate. Local media also reported protests by workers of the state-owned telecommunications company CANTV, as well as by kidney patients in states such as Lara and Zulia.

NOVEMBER 11-12,  2018

WORLD LEADERS COMMEMORATE IN PARIS DE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR

       Paris, France   -
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 Leaders from all over the world commemorated the centenary of the end of World War I in Paris under the rain, in a solemn ceremony in which President Emmanuel Macron urged them to add their hopes instead of their fears. US President Donald Trump, Russian Vladimir Putin, Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others, participated in the commemorations, which reached their peak at the Arc de Triomphe and conclude with a Peace Forum. The church bells rang throughout France at 11.00 am (10.00 am GMT), at the same time that a hundred years ago the trumpets that announced the ceasefire on the battlefields sounded.
 
    The ceremony, which involved some 70 heads of state and government, was held at the Arc de Triomphe, at the foot of the tomb of the unknown soldier, which represents the ten million combatants killed in World War I. The presidents, among them the president of the Spanish government Pedro Sánchez and King Felipe VI, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or the Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu, arrived in the rain to the Champs Elysees first by bus and then on foot in a cortege presided by Macron and Merkel. Trump and Putin arrived by themselves, the first aboard his black armored limousine, known as "The Beast."


      More than 10,000 police and gendarmes were deployed in the French capital to guarantee the security of the leaders and their delegations, in a city under permanent threat of attacks since 2015. This did not stop three Femen activists from breaking through the security barriers on the Champs-Elysees and approaching the Trump convoy. The women, who were arrested, were bare-chested and carried messages such as "Fake Peace Maker" or "Hypocrisy" written on their body. " 'Let's not forget!' "Let us add our hopes instead of opposing our fears", Macron urged in a solemn speech and urged his peers to reject "the fascination for retreat, violence and domination" in memory of the fighters of the 1914-1918 war. Let's not forget!", Added the president, before reviving the "eternal flame" in the tomb of the unknown soldier, which commemorates all the French soldiers fallen for their homeland.

PRESIDENT IVAN DUQUE ASKS IN PARIS MULTILATERAL COOPERATION TO FACE THE VENEZUELAN MIGRATION CRISIS

    
 PARIS, FRANCE --  Colombian President Iván Duque highlighted in Paris on Sunday the importance of multilateral cooperation to deal with the Venezuelan crisis and asked the international community to continue supporting Colombia with "resources" to face the migration challenge. "We have a policy of open arms with the Venezuelan brothers because they are fleeing from a humanitarian catastrophe," Duque said at a Forum for Peace organized by President Emmanuel Macron in the French capital. But we hope that "the international community will continue to support us, obviously with resources aimed at providing humanitarian assistance to people in need, but at the same time allowing us to coordinate with other countries a much more articulate response," he added, speaking to the press after delivering a speech on multilateralism.

     Colombia has received nearly one million Venezuelan migrants in less than two years, from the 2.3 million Venezuelans who have left their country since 2015, according to the UN. The solution to this crisis "cannot be Colombian", "it must be global", he said. However, Duque must first "face the main cause" of this migration crisis, which according to him the "tyranny" of the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. "The crimes are flagrant," he said, and said he hopes "there will be a formal investigation, and with all the evidence that will dictate a sanction." "The crimes are flagrant," he said, and said he hopes "there will be a formal investigation, and with all the evidence that a sanction should occur." It would be a demonstration that the multilateral justice system can be applied to these cases that are evident in the eyes of the world," he said.|

     In his speech, Duque also spoke about peace, following agreements with the former FARC guerrillas, and reaffirmed his strict conditions to resume dialogue with the ELN, the country's last rebel group. "I have said very clearly that our government is ready to talk with the ELN if they release all the hostages and if they put an end to criminal activities," he later told reporters. "Otherwise, what they will receive is all the offensive and dissuasive capacity of the State," he added. The Colombian president, who took office in August, will be on an official visit in France until November 13.

MORE THAN 2,000 MIGRANTS FROM CENTRAL AMERICA CARAVAN LEAVE MEXICO CITY AND HEADED NORTH

        MEXICO CITY, MEXICO --
 More than 2,000 migrants from the US-bound caravan, which arrived in Mexico City at the start of the week, left Friday headed north after the United Nations rejected their request to provide them with buses, while the rest of the roughly 5,000 Central Americans plan to make their departure over the weekend. Representatives from the caravan told a press conference that they are negotiating with authorities from the capital’s metro system to provide them with free transport to help them depart at 5 pm on Saturday.

     “We want to tell the UN that we don’t want to see them ever again. They’re only there to say they’re going to help, but it’s a lie. They haven’t helped us in any way,” a young migrant said. “How is it possible that 192 countries that make up the UN cannot help a caravan by providing buses, while the country’s people have helped us with food?” he asked, referring to the humanitarian aid that has been provided to them in the capital. After a vote carried out on Thursday night, the migrants, who have camped since last weekend inside a soccer stadium here, decided to leave Mexico City on Friday “on foot or by bus.” On Friday morning, however, the head of the Mexico City Human Rights Commission, Nashieli Ramirez, told reporters that the migrants agreed to stay one more day.

     Nevertheless, more than 2,000 migrants who disagreed with the decision chose to leave the stadium and head toward Queretaro, a city located northwest of the capital. “More than 2,000 left. May God be with them. No one can be stopped,” said a spokesperson for the Pueblo Sin Fronteras (People Without Borders) organization, which has provided support to the caravan. Another one of the migrants who spoke during the press conference said they would “hold the UN responsible” if any of them died during their trip north, as the United Nations office in Mexico City rejected their request of providing them with safe transportation.

NOVEMBER 10,  2018

ECUADOR PENDING INTERNATIONAL ARREST WARRANT AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT RAFAEL CORREA

       QUITO, ECUADOR   -
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  The Attorney General of the State of Ecuador has ordered the opening of a judicial investigation for embezzlement (misappropriation of public funds) against former President Rafael Correa, in relation to the case of the kidnapping of an opposition politician. This Friday sources of the Prosecutor's Office reported that it is clear from a document that includes numerous graphics on the cause that has led to an order to open a trial against the exmandatario and three other former officials of the previous Ecuadorian Government and that has been published on Twitter by the fiscal entity." Crime related to a possible misuse of public funds that the former president would have made to carry out the kidnapping of the former ex-ambassador Fernando Balda in Colombia in August 2012, in which case he is a fugitive from justice in Belgium.

     The National Court of Justice (CNJ) of Ecuador is also awaiting a record of the hearing held on Tuesday in one of its rooms in Quito to issue an international arrest warrant against former President Rafael Correa. Correa, who has been living in Belgium for a year, faces a request for preventive detention in his country ordered Monday by the judge of the Criminal Chamber of the CNJ Daniella Camacho, as well as an appeal to Interpol to locate him and extradite. On June 18, Camacho ordered Correa to appear every two weeks, starting on Monday, before the CNJ Secretariat in Quito as a precautionary measure after being criminally linked to a case of attempted kidnapping by ex-legislator Fernando Balda.

      The Ecuadorian law does not establish a specific deadline for carrying out the aforementioned procedures , so it is a procedure that could be extended over time. Once the arrest warrant or red notice to Interpol has been issued, of which the Ecuadorian National Police is also informed, a diplomatic channel is opened. The extradition frameworks in Ecuador generally apply to fugitives required for crimes such as embezzlement (misappropriation of public funds), bribery and concussion, the sources said. The Ecuadorian president replied that this arrest warrant is part of a political "plot" that had been known for months.

SALE OF VENEZUELAN CRUDE TO THE UNITED STATES FELL 19 PERCENT IN OCTOBER

    
 CARACAS, VENEZUELA --  Venezuela's crude sales to the United States dropped 19 percent in October since September due to lower exports of improved oil from the country's largest producing region, the Orinoco Belt, according to Tuesday's Refinitiv Eikon data. A chronic lack of investment, a new administration led by the military in the state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA, known as PDVSA, and the sanctions imposed on the company by the government of US President Donald Trump, have contributed to lower exports of Venezuelan oil in recent years. Especially to the United States.

      Shipments of Venezuelan crude to the United States exceeded 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September, as PDVSA raised cash to pay creditors, including bondholders and US producer ConocoPhillips. But they fell last month to 489,282 bpd, as several oil breeders who turned the country's extra-heavy oil into an exportable product were stopped for maintenance work. The main oil port of Jose, Venezuela, has also been partially out of service since the end of August, after a collision of oil tankers, which limited exports.

       In addition to decreasing month by month, the volume of Venezuelan oil received last month in the United States was 9.6 percent lower than in October 2017. Customers in the United States received a total of 30 shipments of PDVSA and its joint ventures in October versus 38 in September. The largest importer was the US unit of PDVSA, Citgo Petroleum, followed by the refining firm Valero Energy and Chevron Corp. PDVSA and its joint ventures last month continued to export to the medium and light crude grades of the United States that used to be refined in the country, such as Santa Barbara and Mesa 30. The shipments were received by Citgo, according to the data. Venezuela's total crude production fell for the fourth consecutive month in September to 1,434 million barrels per day, placing the annual average at 1.53 million barrels per day, the lowest in more than six decades, according to figures reported to the OPEC.

LACK OF WATER HITS SEVERAL HOSPITALS IN THE CENTER OF CUBA

        MIAMI, FLORIDA   --
 The deterioration of the hydraulic infrastructure in the center of the country is hitting several hospitals in the region, which cannot function normally because they suffer from daily rationing of the water supply to cuts in the supply of more than three days, according to workers and users of those centers. "We have a problem with the water supply. The authorities are trying to solve it with pipes, but since three days ago no operations are being carried out, "said a Cardiocentro worker Ernesto Che Guevara, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

      This hospital complex, located in Santa Clara and the only one of its kind in the center of Cuba specializing in heart disease, has been paralyzed for more than 72 hours due to the lack of drinking water. The Cardiocentro serves patients from Villa Clara and Cienfuegos to the province of Camagüey. The same employee explained that the problem not only affects the Cardiocentro but also all the hospital facilities in that city. The aqueduct networks of the country are very deteriorated, authorities have said, so other hospitals in the region also suffer similar problems. This is the case of the provincial hospital of Cienfuegos, Gustavo Aldereguía Lima, and Camilo Cienfuegos, in Sancti Spíritus, who have had to ration the water to avoid interruptions in the service. The facilities of these medical centers have several decades of use and have not been practically repaired. This is coupled with a serious problem with water leaks, which are common throughout the country.

     The official press points out that in the Camilo Cienfuegos hospital in Sancti Spíritus the 400,000 liters that are stored in the cistern are not enough to satisfy the needs because it is wasted. A recent report by the newspaper Escambray indicates that "cascades" are heard during the day, in reference to the leaks in rooms and queries spill all the water that accumulates in the deposits. The director of the hospital, Eduardo Pedrosa Prado, also explained the water restrictions they suffer. When the company Acueducto stops pumping water to the medical center, the decision is made to cut the internal pumping at 10 o'clock at night. The hospital runs out of water until 5 in the morning, because otherwise the water stored in the cistern would not be enough for the next day. "I already know that health is free, but even if it is, or precisely because it is everyone's right, hospital centers should have quality," he adds.

NOVEMBER 9,  2018

LUIS ALMAGRO: NO INTERNAL ACTOR CAN BE LENT AGAIN FOR A SUPPOSED POLITICAL DIALOGUE WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO

       WASHINGTON, D.C.   -
-- 
  The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, through his account on the Twitter social network, shared a video where he states that "crimes against humanity are constantly being experienced in the country," noting that "Venezuela needs justice and democracy. " Through the video published, he points out that "there can be no complacency with the dictatorship," and that " no internal actor can be lent again for an alleged new political dialogue ."

      "The death of Fernando Albán is the allegory of the fall of a whole country, of Venezuela. What the regime did to Fernando is not a common crime, it is a crime against humanity, Maduro and his accomplices threw the country by the precipice of totalitarianism and organized crime we know that the path of justice is not easy, because the dictatorship under which Fernando died has not been defeated yet, "said Almagro on the death of First Justice Councilman, Fernando Albán. He said that before the impunity should be added the International Criminal Court (ICC) "to the fight against impunity should be added the International Criminal Court. The OAS General Secretariat has documented extensively allegations of crimes against humanity in relation to which the Venezuelan dictators have not yet responded. Torturers, murderers. "

     "The leaders and international institutions that claim to be committed to human rights must assume their responsibilities, specifically including the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, who we hope will fulfill her responsibility and open an investigation promptly of the dictatorship against the Venezuelan people. " On the release of Lorent Saleh, he pointed out that the Maduro government "uses political prisoners as currency." "Day after Albán's death, the opposition Lorent Saleh was released. Many others remain prisoners of conscience for a heartless dictatorship. Venezuela does not need more martyrs, it needs justice and democracy, it needs the dictatorship to leave now. Therefore it would be an error on my part to greet or express satisfaction to the regime for freeing a political prisoner, when there should be no political prisoners; I will not consider the release of Lorent as a gesture of goodwill, which helps generate a climate of trust for dialogue, we can not fall into the game of dictatorship that uses political prisoners as currency, "he said.

COUNCILOR FERNANDO ALBAN'S FAMILY ASKS THE UNITED NATIONS TO HELP TO INVESTIGATE HIS DEATH

    
 CARACAS, VENEZUELA --  The family of the Venezuelan councilman Fernando Albán, who was murdered a month ago when he was in state custody, today, November 8, asked the United Nations, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Parliament of his country to help to achieve an independent investigation into his death. "We demand that an independent investigation be carried out with the participation of experts appointed by the next of kin for the purpose of establishing whether we are in the presence of an extrajudicial execution," according to a statement from Albán's family, who "committed suicide", according to the past. October 8 the Office of the Prosecutor. In the text, which is the first pronouncement made by the family and that was disseminated by the party in which the councilman, Primero Justicia (PJ), pointed out that in Venezuela there is no system that can guarantee that justice is done in this case.

     "Fernando died 'in the custody of the State', he was known as an opponent of the government and his supposed 'suicide' was verified in 'unexplained circumstances', all of which falls within the specific scenarios of 'potentially illicit death'," the statement released by PJ, which also includes the opponent Henrique Capriles. On October 8, the attorney general, Tarek Saab, reported on the suicide of Albán after throwing himself into the void from the 10th floor of the headquarters of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin), where he was detained for allegedly being involved in theattack against President Nicolás Maduro. Saab said, the councilor requested to go to the bathroom, "and being there was launched."

     That same Monday, the Interior Ministry said that Albán was "in the waiting room" of the police building and "was thrown through a window of the facilities falling into the void." The Venezuelan opposition immediately rejected this version and assured that it was a murder, while denouncing that during his detention he was tortured. In the statement made by the family today also ensures that was, along with the councilman, "victim of a cruel persecution since 2016" and that such a situation forced "his wife and children to go into exile in another country." They also question whether the prosecutor has spoken of "suicide" immediately after the death occurred without "having conducted a previous investigation and that his statement is" contradictory "with that of the Ministry of the Interior. "We demand justice for Fernando Albán", culminate in the document.

THE BANK OF ENGLAND REFUSES TO RELEASE VENEZUELA'S GOLD WORTH $550 MILLION

        LONDON, ENGLAND     --
 The Bank of England (BoE) is reportedly refusing to release gold bars worth just over $550 million to dictator Nicolas Maduro, who fears that U.S. sanctions against Venezuela would restrict access to that gold in the future, according to media reports. Maduro is attempting to repatriate at least 14 tonnes of gold the BoE is currently storing, the British newspaper The Times and Reuters reported citing unnamed sources. The BoE is said to be holding on to the gold for now because British officials are insisting on a clarification from the Venezuelan government about its plans for the gold to prevent money-laundering, The Times reported. “There are concerns that Mr. Maduro may seize the gold, which is owned by the state, and sell it for personal gain,” the newspaper said.

     Venezuela’s gold stored at the BoE was reportedly used as collateral until last year, backing loans up to several billion dollars from global banks, The Times added. Another official told Reuters anonymously that this gold repatriation attempt by Maduro has been a two-month ordeal, noting that it has been difficult to get insurance for such a large gold shipment. “They are still trying to find insurance coverage because the costs are high,” the official said. Reports of Maduro’s attempt at gold repatriation follows the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision last week to introduce a new round of sanctions against Venezuela, which bans U.S. citizens from making deals with anyone involved in “corrupt or deceptive” gold sales from Venezuela.

     The economic situation in Venezuela has been dire, with the country in its fifth year of recession and annual inflation running at more than 400,000%. This has forced many people to leave their homes in search for a better life, creating a massive exodus of around two million people, according to reports. Maduro has stated in the past that his administration is a victim of an “economic war,” which is driven by his opposition and Washington. Gold repatriation is not new for Venezuela, with Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chávez already bringing home around 160 tonnes of gold from American and European banks back in 2011. Majority of that gold has since then been reportedly quietly sold off. Turkey has been one of the principal buyers of Venezuela’s gold, according to American officials, who claim that Turkey has been selling that gold to Iran despite U.S. sanctions against the country.

NOVEMBER 8,  2018

US HOSPITAL SHIP COMFORT SERVES MORE THAN FIVE THOUSAND PEOPLE INCLUDING VENEZUELANs IN NORTHERN PERU

     LIMA, PERU   -
-- 
   More than five thousand people, including Venezuelans, were treated by the United States Navy hospital ship USNS "Comfort", in the five days it has traveled the northern regions of Piura and Tumbes, the defense minister reported on Monday, José Huerta. The operation of the hospital ship "has not only been oriented to the population of the north, but also to our Venezuelan friends that we have welcomed in our territory," said the minister in the northern city of Paita, Piura. Since arriving in Peru, doctors on board have performed more than five thousand assistance in the regions of Piura and Tumbes, he added. According to immigration authorities since January 2017 some 550,000 Venezuelans entered Peru. Last October, the deadline for citizens of that country to enter and remain in Peruvian territory without the need to present a passport ended.

     Many of them, not finding work in Lima, have moved to the interior of the country. The crew of the USNS "Comfort", is composed of more than 200 doctors, nurses and military technicians from the United States and other nations. It was foreseen that they would treat about 750 patients per day and perform about 20 daily operations, but over a thousand attentions per day were exceeded. Among the ship's health personnel, there are three doctors from the Armed Forces of Peru. The medical assistance mission of the "Comfort", called "Promesa Durarera", started on October 11 from the Naval Station of Norfolk (Virginia, USA) en route to Central and South America. The itinerary includes the towns of Esmeraldas (Ecuador), Paita (Peru), Riohacha and Turbo (Colombia) and Puerto Castilla (Honduras).

    Its goal is to help alleviate pressure on the medical systems of host nations, in part because of the increase in migrants crossing their borders, and to provide care to the most vulnerable communities. The president of the Council of Minister, César Villanueva traveled to Paita to thank for "the valuable support of the American doctors". "We have come with the defense minister and the military high command to express our gratitude to the United States government because the humblest people are being treated," he said in a brief speech inside the hospital ship. It is the third time that the "Comfort" vessel arrives in Peru: In 2011, it visited the port of Paita, where it provided medical treatment to 7,352 patients, while in 2007 it visited the port of Salaverry, benefiting 9,223 patients.

VENEZUELAN OIL PRODUCTION IN "FREE FALL"

    
 CARACAS, VENEZUELA --  Venezuela’s crude production was in “free-fall” and could soon fall below 1 million barrels per day (bpd), the International Energy Agency’s Executive Director Fatih Birol said on Tuesday. Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the Africa Oil Week conference in Cape Town, Birol also said that he hoped oil prices would not rise above current levels this year because it would be bad for the “fragile” global economy. OPEC member Venezuela last year produced more than 2 million bpd, but a deep economic and social crisis has seen output plummet as millions flee the South American country. Asked whether the current oil price of around $73 per barrel was sustainable, Birol said he hoped there would be no further increases this year. “I hope that prices do not rise again because this will not really be good news for the global economy which is very fragile,” he said, as U.S. sanctions against Iran and Washington’s trade spat with China add to price volatility.

     U.S. natural gas prices have jumped to their highest in nine months as forecast cold weather across much of the country has reminded traders of the risks posed by low gas inventories going into winter. Gas stocks have fallen well below the five-year range since the summer and are now at the lowest level for the time of year since 2003, according to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Until the past few days, traders appeared unconcerned about low inventories because output is growing rapidly and the development of El Nino over the Pacific should lead to a warm winter over the northern part of the country. But the much colder than normal temperatures forecast across much of the United States in the next fortnight are a reminder that El Niño is not the only influence on weather and heating demand.

     Even if the coming winter proves warmer than average, there is still scope for extensive and extended cold periods that could put further pressure on gas stocks. Natural gas futures prices for gas delivered in December have jumped to almost $3.57 per million British thermal units from just $3.19 on Oct. 30 and just $3.00 on Sept. 28. Higher gas prices will encourage owners of gas-fired power generators to run them for fewer hours in the next few weeks to conserve scarce gas stocks, while coal-fired power plants are likely to run more. Working gas stocks in underground storage were reported at 3,143 billion cubic feet on Oct. 26, some 17 percent lower than the 3,766 bcf at the same point last year (“Weekly natural gas storage report”, EIA, Nov. 1).

THE ELN HAS BEEN EXPLORING VENEZUELAN TERRITORY FOR FIVE YEARS AND NOW IS EXPANDING TO CONTROL MINES AND BORDER CROSSINGS

        CARACAS, VENEZUELA    --
 THE ENL (EJERCITO DE LIBERACION NACIONAL)  MOTIVATION IS mainly economic NOW, says the Colombian organization Fundación Ideas para la Paz, which has mapped in the country the presence of the ELN and dissidents of the FARC that seek to control mines and fuel and food. The presence of Colombian guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has become strong and grows since 2013 in southern Venezuela, when the first group made timid raids from Apure state towards Amazon, border with Colombia.A 2017 report by the Colombian organization Fundación Ideas para la Paz (FIP) indicates that the ELN as well as FARC dissidents, specifically Frente 16 and Acacio Medina, has moved to areas of high strategic value for funding.

      In the case of Colombia, to the departments of Guainía, Vichada and Arauca and, in Venezuela, to Apure, Bolívar and Amazonas, where on Sunday they ambushed the military and murdered three of them , after the capture of Luis Felipe Ortega Bernal, aka Garganta , commander of the ELN Eastern War Front. The Venezuelan government has insisted on denying the presence of the ELN and dissidence of the FARC in Venezuela , despite the fact that the Colombian Foreign Ministry appointed Ortega Bernal as "a recognized leader of the ELN, whose criminal record earned him a blue circular from Interpol. , for multiple crimes committed in our country. "A map of the presence of irregulars, drawn by the IFJ, depicts the presence of the ELN in Amazonas from Puerto de Atabapo, passing through the Ventuari River, towards the Yapacana National Park, where gold mines are found.

     The FIP's inquiries locate the ELN mainly in the Amazon and on the border with Bolívar, in the areas of exploitation of coltan that are part of the Orinoco Mining Arc. Although they do not depict the incursion of the ELN in the south of Bolívar, the Deputy to the National Assembly, Américo De Grazia, has denounced the presence of the irregulars in the auriferous deposits of the south of the entity. "The ELN operates in Bolívar, Amazonas, Apure and Táchira at their ease. Why in those states? Because the Government intends to use infantry to the guerrillas to face any foreign intervention. That is the political reason, but the guerrillas are self-financing with drugs, extortion and kidnapping, collection of vaccines and now with diamond, coltan and gold. " The parliamentarian maintains that the ELN operates in the south of the entity since November 2017, despite the fact that military authorities have rejected the existence of guerrillas in the country.

NOVEMBER 7,  2018

NIKKI HALEY SLAMS UN OVER ITS CONDEMNATION OF CUBA EMBARGO: "YOU'RE LITERALLY HURTING THE CUBAN PEOPLE

     UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK    -
-- 
  U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed the U.N. Thursday as they once again voted overwhelmingly in support of a resolution condemning the U.S. embargo on Cuba. The U.S. and Israel were the only countries to vote against the resolution. Haley spoke during the U.N. General Assembly ahead of the vote. "Cuba and its allies do the same thing every year,” she said. “They propose a resolution blaming Cuba's poverty, repression and lack of freedom on the United States. They falsely blame America for all kinds of evil things, even genocide."

     She emphasized that the resolution did not help the Cuban people and reiterated the reasons the United States had for the embargo. "This resolution changes nothing,” she said. “It doesn't help a single Cuban family. It doesn't feed a single Cuban child. It doesn't free a single Cuban political prisoner. Those who support this resolution every year have it wrong. Our reason for the embargo is and has always been Cuba's denial of freedom and the denial of the most basic human rights for the Cuban people. Haley also dispensed with the objection that softening U.S. policy towards Cuba would aid the people.

     “Supporters of the resolution claim that a change in U.S. policy would somehow transform life for the Cuban people,” she said. “But the government of Cuba doesn’t agree. It responded to the softening of our Cuba policy under President Obama with more, not less, political repression of its people.” “You're not hurting the United States when you do this," she told those supporting the resolution. "You're literally hurting the Cuban people by telling the regime that their treatment of their people is acceptable." Following the vote, Haley said that “the U.N. has lost, it has rejected the opportunity to speak on behalf of human rights.

BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT JAIR BOLSONARO ANNOUNCES FREEDOM FOR CUBAN SLAVE DOCTORS

    
 BRASILIA, BRAZIL --  The new president-elect of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has just declared that his goal is not to end the Mais Médicos Program (More Doctors in Portuguese), but to decree the freedom of Cuban doctors enslaved within that arrangement. He invited them to stay in Brazil to work as free people, with legal residence and full payment of their salaries, bringing their relatives from Cuba and studying to revalidate their titles. On May 13, 1888, slavery was officially abolished in Brazil by the Ley Áurea (Golden Law in Portuguese), being the last country to eradicate this form of exploitation. But forced labor and human trafficking continued to exist in Brazil as a modern form of slavery that the leftist parties claimed to be willing to eradicate. On the contrary, they opened the door to a new modality of that monstrosity by importing Cuban medical professionals to finance their cronies of the Cuban dictatorship.

     Since the Brazilian courts obstructed it, the Cuban dictators and the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT) leaders fabricated a fraudulent international scheme with supposedly private corporations and false educational programs of international health organizations. This clever deceitful “mechanism”, created to siphon off resources to Castroism, can compete with the Odebrecht plot. By violating national and international legality, these Brazilian and Cuban “progressive” leaders disguised as humanistic motivations their true purposes: to foment electoral cronyism with these doctors’ patients (who were blackmailed with losing these medical services if the PT lost the elections) and ensure an annual multimillion-dollar support of Brazil to the Cuban dictatorship with billions of dollars extracted from the slave exploitation of the Cuban doctors.

     The enslaved physicians imported through this system cannot move freely, cannot bring their relatives or establish unauthorized relations with Brazilians or other foreigners; they are watched and in turn are required to watch their colleagues and report on the political behavior of patients and local leaders, and to make political proselytism in favor of the PT in their places of work. This is how, in addition to using them as political “monitors” for the ruling party, they are also used as political and ideological commissars in favor of the PT and the Cuban regime to influence the perceptions of the population and their voting intentions. They are paid between 15 and 25% of their nominal salary (a few hundred dollars), unlike the pay earned by the few doctors of other nationalities who are also part of the program and receive their full salaries.

FORMER PRESIDENTS REQUEST LOPEZ OBRADOR AMD JAIR GOLSONARO TO FULFILL COMMITMENTS OF THE LIMA GROUP ON VENEZUELA

        LIMA, PERU   --
Some twenty former presidents of Spain and Latin America today asked the presidents-elect of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, to "prevent the presence" of the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, in their respective investiture. In a statement, a review is made of the resolutions taken since August 2017 by the Lima Group and other measures by organizations and groups of countries that have to do with "the situation of Nicolás Maduro Moros, who exercises de facto the government of Venezuela " The ex-rulers remember that Brazil and Mexico are members of the Lima Group and "respectfully" ask the elected presidents López Obrador and Bolsonaro "to be consistent and maintain compliance with the commitments adopted" on Venezuela.

     They also mention that Maduro has been denounced before the International Criminal Court by a group of Latin American and European countries and that the Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela in exile has sentenced him to 18 years in prison and three months for the crimes of corruption of his own and laundering. That "legitimate" court asked the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to capture Maduro, the former governors add, before asking the future presidents of Mexico and Brazil to "prevent the presence of Nicolás Maduro Moros in their respective upcoming inaugurations, "

     "As declared by the elected government of Mexico, his friendship relations are 'with all the peoples of the world,' and the Venezuelan people, whom Maduro Moros no longer represents, have been victims of this and their regime, which have transgressed the most elementary universal norms of humanity, "concludes the statement. The statement was signed by Óscar Arias, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez and Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica), José María Aznar (Spain), Nicolás Ardito Barletta and Mireya Moscoso (Panama), Belisario Betancur, Andrés Pastrana and Álvaro Uribe (Colombia). Enrique Bolaños (Nicaragua), Alfredo Cristiani (El Salvador), Fernando de la Rua (Argentina), Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón (Mexico), Osvaldo Hurtado, Jamil Mahuad (Ecuador), Luis Alberto Lacalle (Uruguay), Tuto Quiroga (Bolivia) and Juan Carlos Wasmosy (Paraguay).

NOVEMBER 6,  2018

DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO ANNOUNCES A MASSIVE EXPLOITATION OF GOLD, BUT PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS SANCTIONED IT  

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA   -
-- 
 DICTATOR Nicolás Maduro announced that next year he will obtain some 5,000 million dollars for the exploitation of gold from the legendary "Dorado" in the so-called "Mining Arc," but the administration of Donald Trumpo announces new sanctions that will prevent him from continuing with his plan. "We have a very important gold plan that aims at a record income in the next year, more than five billion dollars a year in gold alone," Maduro said in a meeting he held this Friday at the Miraflores Palace with his economic team. The meeting was broadcast nationwide on radio and television.

     He added that his government has negotiated and established international markets on the basis of gold. «Gold comes to strengthen international reserves, to strengthen national finances for development». The countries are Turkey and China. Maduro has launched the gold plan as an alternative source of income different from that of oil whose production is in sharp decline and no longer provides the dividends needed to stay in power. He stressed that there is a struggle with illegal mining that takes place in the south of the country where the Orinoco Mining Arc is located. In his speech he emphasized promoting foreign investment and organizing an eco-sustainable mining.

     However, John Bolton, National Security Adviser of the United States said that the U.S. sanctions the illegal transactions of the Nicolás Maduro regime, related to the gold sector of Venezuela and that it will expand the list of companies linked to the military and intelligence services of Cuba with which the Americans can not negotiate. More than a dozen entities swell that list. "The Government of the United States will remain firmly on the side of the Cuban people and share with it its aspiration for real democratic change. President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that imposes new and harsh sanctions in order to prevent US citizens from getting involved with those who make fraudulent and corrupt transactions with Venezuelan gold, "said Bolton.

THE LEADERS OF CUBA AND NORTH KOREA ADVOCATE FOR CLOSER COOPERATION

    
 PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA --  Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have met in Pyongyang "in an atmosphere of camaraderie and friendship" and have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation, the North Korean news agency KCNA reported today. Kim and his wife also received the Cuban presidential couple upon their arrival at the guest house of State Paekhwawon of the North Korean capital, in the framework of the three-day visit that the Cuban president made to the Asian country. The Cuban and North Korean leaders subsequently held a solo meeting in which they called for "further expansion and development of cooperation and exchanges in various fields, such as economy, culture, public health, science and technology to meet common interests", according to detailed KCNA.

     Kim and Díaz-Canel expressed their support and reciprocal solidarity and exchanged views on issues of common interest and on the international situation, and reached "a consensus" on all of them, said the aforementioned newspaper. The North Korean leader also offered a banquet to the Cuban leader and his companions in which he described his visit as "a turning point in the demonstration of the will to always continue the friendship between the two countries," which are "in the same trench in the struggle to defend their sovereignty and dignity. " Díaz-Canel responded to Kim in a speech in which he stressed that his visit "in a historical period of heritage of the revolution in Cuba is an evident sign of the fixed position of the Cuban party and government to invariably develop bilateral relations," picked up the North Korean state media.

      On Sunday night, Diaz-Canel and his wife also attended a musical performance in Pyongyang with Kim and the first North Korean lady. In the concert, the most recognized ensembles of the Asian country performed, such as the state choir Benemérito, the Samjiyon orchestra, the electronic band Moranbong and the Wangjaesan artistic ensemble, and both Korean and Cuban songs were performed, among them "Guantanamera" or "Cuba yes , Yankees no. " Korea del Note and Cuba have maintained good and close relations since they entered into diplomatic ties for the first time in 1960. The Cuban president visits Pyonyang as part of an international tour that began on November 1 with a first stop in Russia and will continue until November 12 with stops in China, Vietnam and Laos.

VENEZUELA REINFORCES TROOPS IN AMAZONE STATE AFTER MILITARY ATTACK

        CARACAS, VENEZUELA  --  
Defense Minister General Vladimir Padrino said on Monday that the border state of Amazonas was reinforced with troops, after three soldiers were killed and 10 wounded in an incident that occurred over the weekend after the capture of "nine Colombian paramilitaries." Venezuela and Colombia share a 2,200-kilometer border and have tense political relations for more than a year, while recriminating each other's crimes committed in border areas.

      On Sunday, Padrino reported on Twitter that three Venezuelan military personnel were killed and 10 wounded by an armed group on the Puerto Ayacucho-El Burro axis, in the southwest of the country. The incident occurred when the group was traveling in vehicles after a military operation, according to a report from the National Guard of Puerto Ayacucho that Reuters had access to. "We reject this vile act," said Padrino in a statement on state television.

      In addition to strengthening the Amazonas state with troops "we are going to look for the paramilitary criminals wherever they are. I tell them now: “leave Venezuela, leave Venezuela, there is no space, there is no space, there has never been space for you,” the minister emphasized without providing new details of what happened on Sunday. The wounded are out of danger, said Padrino. The defense minister also said that these and other incidents could be resolved if he had contacts with Colombian authorities. With Colombia "there is no communication with the armed force, with the minister. I got tired of asking the Minister of Defense of the previous government to talk, it is important to talk, and it has not been possible," he said. "Recklessly, the government of Colombia has refused to talk about things that are common sense," he added.

NOVEMBER 5,  2018

 THE US GOVERNMENT ASKS ITS ALLIES TO PLACE MORE PRESSURE ON CUBA, VENEZUELA AND NICARAGUA REGIMES  

      WASHINGTON, D.C.   -
-- 
 The US Government asked ITS allies yesterday to renounce any approach to the Cuban regime for its role in the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. "The Venezuelan regime is controlled by the Cuban dictatorship, which is why we ask our allies in the region to pressure Cuba to know that we consider it responsible for the situation in Venezuela," said National Security Adviser John Bolton. during his speech in Miami in which he announced a new round of sanctions to officials and public and military institutions of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. In Washington, the trip of the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, to the island is viewed with suspicion on November 22 and 23 and, although he did not cite Spain directly, Bolton was very clear in his criticism of any approach to the regime that leads today. Miguel Díaz Canel. Nor did the White House support the Moncloa's support to former President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who said in September that the Venezuelan immigration crisis "has a lot to do with the economic sanctions imposed by the United States."

     Bolton, responsible for advising President Donald Trump on international security matters, accused Cuba of being the central part of «a troika of tyranny», in which it included Venezuela and Nicaragua. "That triangle of terror has caused a lot of human suffering and drives regional instability," Bolton said at the Freedom Tower in Miami. "We will take the necessary measures against these three regimes to defend the rule of law," he added. The North American president signed yesterday a decree by which imposes sanctions to the purchase of Venezuelan gold, that considers a source of income for the regime. In addition, Bolton advanced that in the coming days the White House will impose sanctions on a score of companies with ties to the army and intelligence of Cuba. Since his arrival in the Government, Trump has been retracing the path of opening to the island initiated by Barack Obama after restoring diplomatic relations in 2015.

     When Zapatero accused the US in September of being responsible for the exodus of almost 2.5 million Venezuelans, Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States, based in Washington, recommended him in an interview on channel NTN24 "not to be imbecile." The Spanish government later requested "respect" to the efforts of the former president of the Government. According to the US Government, one of the main reasons that Nicolás Maduro remains in power is the infiltration of 22,000 Cubans into Venezuelan government and military institutions. As the crisis deepens in the South American country, the neighboring countries and the US. they study contingency plans such as the possibility of a multilateral mission to facilitate the distribution of humanitarian aid to internal and external exiles and to fight against drug trafficking in Venezuela.

DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO ORDERS TO START BLOCKING BANK ACCOUNTS  OF  VENEZUELANS ABROAD

    
 CARACAS, VENEZUELA --    The regime of Nicolás Maduro ordered the banks to start blocking the BANK accounts of Venezuelans who make transfers from abroad if they do not report that they are outside the country, a measure described as "abusive" and "asphyxiating" by activists. The Superintendent of the Banking Sector Institutions (Sudeban) disclosed on Friday the instructions that financial institutions must use to prevent operations that their clients make from abroad if they do not notify that they are outside Venezuela. "The implementation date indicated in the present instructional is from Sunday, November 25, 2018 to Saturday, December 1, 2018 and in the following weeks, "said Sudeban in a circular dated November 2 last.

      The circular and the instructions "Clients who access Internet Banking from the Outside", published by the Venezuelan news portal La Patilla, are related to the measure announced by the Venezuelan regime on August 27. This measure indicates that if financial entities detect transactions of customers who have not notified their exit from the country, by means of IP addresses (Internet protocols) outside of Venezuela, they must "carry out a special conditioning in a preventive manner that denies access to make transfers online of the instruments belonging to said client ".

     On those situations, the Bank Superintendent Antonio Morales, said that the objective is to encourage the use of foreign exchange houses authorized by the Chavista regime for sending and receiving remittances, a money coveted by the Venezuelan government in the face of the drought of resources suffered, according to the portal Banca y Negocios. The hyperinflation of Venezuela is galloping and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that it will reach 1, 300,000 percent at the end of 2018, with a fall of 18 percent of the Internal Product Gross (GDP). That situation has emptied the pockets of Venezuelans who also face a serious shortage of food and medicine and has driven them to leave the country. The UN estimates that about 2.3 million have left Venezuela. Many of them send money to their relatives. The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) said that in 2017 remittances were more than $ 2 billion and this year it may increase to $ 6,000 million.

OIL-RICH VENEZUELA RUNS SHORT OF GASOLINE, TRIGGERING LONG LINES AND PROTESTS

        CARACAS, VENEZUELA  --  
the country with the world’s largest oil reserves has A SHORTAGE OF GASOLINE THAT resulS in long lines OF VEHICLES WAITING to fill up THEIR TANKS.  This situation remings reporters of the 1970s gasoline scarcity in the U.S., but  the CONGESTIONS in THE bloked streets  ARE  ORIGINATING  protest against the government of Nicolas Maduro. “Yes, the gasoline shortage is real. The refineries that produce gasoline for the domestic market, mostly Complejo Refinador Paraguana (CRP) in Falcon state and El Palito, in Carabobo, have seriously diminished their gasoline runs,” said Rafael Quiroz Serrano, a Venezuelan oil expert and economist that has advised the Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro administrations. “The last figures I have seen mean that only 33% of the installed refining capacity, of 1.3 million oil barrels a day in six in-country refineries is being used.”

     That means the Venezuelan domestic market, which was consuming 400,000 gasoline barrels a day, is at least 50,000 barrels short. And the Venezuelan driver is suffering in what some are calling an effort to keep foreign supporters Cuba and China, happy. Ivan Freites, a union organizer for oil workers, said Wednesday during an interview with the Globovision television network, that the government devotes oil to shipments for China and Cuba and not for local consumption. “What I have heard, from somebody that works in a directive capacity in PDVSA, is that, yes, there is an order, to prioritize shipments to China and some Caribbean clients, which include Cuba”, Quiroz adds.

       The areas outside of Caracas have been suffering from gasoline shortages for a while now, in what Quiros describes as an entirely political decision. “I have relatives in the Venezuelan Andes, and they have told me it takes them three days of standing in a long line to fill up. So, clearly, the priority, the preference was for Caracas. Because of its political weight, being the seat of government, the capital and all that. It even says so in a stanza of the national anthem, follow the example Caracas has given. People in power simply think that if something, say gasoline shortages, does not happen in Caracas, it just didn’t happen in Venezuela. But now, today, we are seeing otherwise: gasoline lines in Caracas,” Quiroz told LAHT during a lengthy telephone interview.

NOVEMBER 4,  2018

BELIEVE IT OR NOT!  THE RUSSIAN BEAR WANTS TO REESTABLISH MILITARY BASES IN CUBA AND DEPLOY MISSILES

       MOSCOW, RUSSIA   ---  The Russian Government wants to recover its military presence in Cuba where it sees a strategic position to deploy at least three bases and even install "adequate missile systems." Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko told Sputnik that "that should be the answer" to the intention of the US government "to get out of the INF treaty, signed with Moscow in 1987." "We have to go back to Cuba, we need three military bases there, one for electronic intelligence to be able to control and understand what the US is doing, a base for our multifunctional nuclear submarines, and if the US leaves the INF treaty, we could deploy suitable missile systems there, which would contribute to Cuban security and the international fight against terrorism, "said the military official.

     For Korotchenko, "an agreement is needed between (the governments of) Cuba and Russia for strategic cooperation and military alliance." According to the media, the expert did not rule out the topic being addressed during the visit to Moscow of Miguel Diaz-Canel, who will meet on November 2 with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both Moscow and Havana have given little information about the talks that the two leaders will hold. Recently, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs limited itself to saying that a "Joint Declaration between the two presidents on the topics of the international agenda will be signed."

     The Kremlin, in turn, said that "it is planned to address the state and perspectives of Russian-Cuban strategic cooperation in different areas, as well as to exchange views on current international and regional issues." However, the military issue would have been addressed in the last Cuban-Russian Intergovernmental Commission for economic-commercial and scientific-technical cooperation. In the same, held between October 29 and 30, a loan of 50 million dollars for the acquisition by the Cuban side of Russian military equipment and weaponry, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, was previously agreed. For Sputnik, it is assumed that the matter can be dealt with by Diaz-Canel and Putin in their meeting scheduled for this Friday. The media also does not lose sight of the fact that "the trip to Moscow of the Cuban leader has as a backdrop a new escalation of tension between Havana and Washington" amid the vote in the UN General Assembly of the draft resolution of Havana to end the embargo.

JAIR BOLSONARO THREATENS TO BREAK DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH CUBA AND END BUSINESS WITH THE "DICTATORSHIP"

    
  RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL --    --The elected president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, doubted on Friday that he will maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba once he assumes the presidency and criticized again the situation of Cuban doctors of the Mais Medicos program in his country. "What type of business we can do with Cuba? Are we talking about human rights? "Bolsonaro asked in an interview in Correio Braziliense . Bolsonaro gave as an example a Cuban doctor from Mais Medicos, whom he called "a woman dressed in white" because she has not passed the revalidation exam so that her degree is valid in Brazil. "He has two or three children. They are in Cuba. You cannot come here. Is not that torture for a mother, staying a full year away from her young children? "He asked.

     "Bolsonaro is the worst nightmare for Cuba", say Cuban doctors in Brazil. The president-elect compared how doctors from other countries that are part of the Mais Medicos program receive all their salary and Cubans receive just 25 percent. The rest of the money goes to Cuba to finance "the dictatorship," he said. Bolsonaro gave as an example how during the government of Dilma Rousseff doctors who sought asylum in Brazil were deported to Cuba immediately. "Can we maintain diplomatic relations with a country that treats its own in that way?" Bolsonaro asked, adding that if Cuban doctors are going to continue working in the Mais Medicos program, it should be with full salary, with the possibility of carrying to their relatives with them and revalidating their title so that it is valid in Brazil.

     Bolsonaro has been very critical of the agreement sealed in 2013 that allowed the arrival of more than 18,000 Cuban doctors to Brazil under the government of Dilma Rousseff. At that time, the Workers' Party, an ally of Havana, allowed that through the intermediation of the Pan American Health Organization, Cuba would keep about 75 percent of the $ 3,300 that Cuban doctors receive in Brazil. Cuba prohibits that the relatives of Cuban doctors stay more than three months in Brazil, something that contrasts with the rest of the relatives of the doctors who participate in the program who can stay as long as they wish with their relatives. "Until now they have not told us anything. There has been a very suspicious silence since Bolsonaro won, "said a Cuban doctor who works in the state of Bahia.

WOW!  INFLATION IN VENEZUELA REACHED 500,000% IN SEPTEMBER

         WASHINGTON, D.C. --  
In Venezuela reached 500,000% in September, in one of the worst economic crises in recent history, according to a World Bank report released this Friday in Bogotá. "The economic crisis in Venezuela can be classified as one of the most severe in recent economic history, with annual hyperinflation close to 500,000% as of September 2018 and the significant reduction in real wages," the agency said in a report on the Venezuelan migration in Colombia. In the text "Migration from Venezuela to Colombia: impacts and response strategy in the short and medium term," the World Bank says that the departure of Venezuelans to Colombia correlates with hyperinflation. "This has led to an increase in poverty levels, affecting approximately 90% of the population," the document added.

    About 1.9 million people emigrated from Venezuela since 2015, fleeing the economic and political crisis that the country is going through, according to the UN. In recent years, Colombia has received more than one million Venezuelans, of whom 820,000 have been regularized. As indicated in October by the Venezuelan Parliament, with an opposition majority, annualized inflation (September 2017 - September 2018) climbed to 342,161%, the highest so far this year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), for its part, estimates that hyperinflation will reach 1,350,000% in 2018.

    Analysts attribute the outbreak of inflation to an uncontrolled issuance of money without support, in a country in recession since 2014 due to falling prices and oil production. Crude contributes 96% of revenues in Venezuela. The Venezuelan economy contracted 14% last year and is expected to retreat 18% this year, according to the IMF. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro launched a program of reforms in August in response to the acute crisis, which includes a 3,400% wage increase, a 96% devaluation of the bolívar -the local currency- and increases in gasoline prices and the taxes. It also put into circulation new bills that subtracted five zeros from the bolivar, devoured by inflation.
 

NOVEMBER 3,  2018

RUSSIA AND CUBA VOW TO EXPAND THEIR 'STRATEGIC' TIES


        MOSCOW, RUSSIA   ---  The leaders of Russia and Cuba vowed Friday to expand what they called their “strategic” ties and urged the United States to lift its blockade of Cuba. In a joint statement issued after their talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel denounced U.S. “interference into domestic affairs of “sovereign” nations” and spoke in support of closer integration between Russia and Latin American nations. Diaz-Canel, who replaced Raul Castro in April in a historic changing of the guard in Cuba, hailed the “brotherly” ties between Russia and Cuba and invited Putin to visit next year.

     During the Cold War, the Soviet Union poured billions of dollars in supplies and subsidies into Cuba, its staunchest Latin American ally. But ties withered after the 1991 Soviet collapse as Russia, hit by an economic meltdown, withdrew its economic aid to Cuba. Putin, who visited Cuba in 2000 and 2014, has sought to revive ties with the old Caribbean ally. Following the Kremlin talks, Putin and Diaz-Canel vowed to expand political, economic and military ties between Russia and Cuba. Cuba’s defense minister, Leopoldo Cintra Frias, is set to visit Moscow later this month to discuss specific plans for military-technical cooperation.

     Sergei Storchak, Russia’s deputy finance minister, said Russia could offer Cuba a 38 million-euro ($43 million) loan to help fund its military modernization. Soviet warships and military aircraft regularly used Cuban bases during the Cold War, and Cuba hosted a Soviet electronic spying outpost in Lourdes, near Havana. In remarks apparently directed at the United States, Putin and Diaz-Canel criticized the use of unilateral sanctions as a destabilizing factor in global affairs. Putin said he and Diaz-Canel discussed expanding economic ties, including Russia’s participation in the modernization of Cuban railways. The Russian leader also mentioned Russian companies Rosneft and Zarubezhneft tapping for oil off Cuba and a contract for the Inter RAO energy company to build new generator units at a Cuban power plant.

US RESTORES SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN

      WASHINGTON, D.C.  --    -- The Trump administration has announced it has restored sanctions on Iran's vital oil industry as it grapples with an economic crisis that has sparked sporadic protests over rising prices, corruption and unemployment. The oil sanctions will come into effect on Monday and will target the country's largest source of revenue in the most punishing action taken since the Trump administration withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement in May. The decision will also affect Iranian shipping and financial transactions. It is the second lot of sanctions imposed since May, after the US targeted Iran's financial transactions involving US dollars, automotive sector and the purchase of commercial airplanes and metals, including gold.

       The White House insists the sanctions are not aimed at toppling the Islamic Republic, but at forcing Iran to dramatically alter its policies in the region, including its support for militant groups across the Middle East and its development of ballistic missiles. The renewed sanctions have already taken a heavy toll, with Iran's currency, the rial, losing half its value since April and the prices of fruit, poultry, eggs and milk skyrocketing. Protests erupted across the country in December, with some demonstrators chanting against the Government and clashing with police.

      Sporadic demonstrations have been held in recent months, including strikes by workers, teachers and truck drivers. "All the prices are going higher every day … I cannot imagine what will happen after [new sanctions are imposed]," elementary school teacher and father of three, Pejman Sarafnejad, 43, said. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi told state TV on Friday that the Government was not concerned with the new sanctions. "America will not be able to carry out any measure against our great and brave nation … We have the knowledge and the capability to manage the country's economic affairs," he said. The nuclear accord struck under the Obama administration, which was also signed by Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, was lifted, crippling international sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program.

UNCHR REINFORCES BORDERS OF PERU AND ECUADOR DUE  TO MASSIVE ARRIVAL OF VENEZUELANS

         UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK -   The United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) said today that it has reinforced its presence in strategic points on the border between Peru and Ecuador , and between Ecuador and Colombia, due to the strong increase in the arrival of Venezuelans in recent days at the first country. The massive arrival of Venezuelans to Peru was due to the expiration of the entry deadline on October 31, so they could later process the Temporary Permit for Permanence (PTP), a document that allows them to work and have access to educational and health services. Only that day there was a peak of more than 6,700 Venezuelan entrants to Peru, through its main border control post with Ecuador in the department of Tumbes, said spokesman Babar Baloch .

      That figure tripled the levels of daily entries recorded the previous week, so UNHCR decided to allocate additional personnel to Tumbes to work in the areas of protection, identification and assistance of people with specific needs, such as the sick or disabled. Likewise, attention is paid to children who have arrived alone or who were separated from the adult with whom they were traveling. UNHCR said that Peruvian authorities are processing 1,000 daily asylum requests from Venezuelans and that since Monday, the Special Commission for Refugees has been working 24 hours to deal with the increase in applications.

      Since 2014, 150,000 Venezuelans have applied for asylum in Peru. In the days leading up to the deadline to process the PTP, Venezuelan citizens had to wait between two and three days to complete the migratory formalities and mandatory vaccinations, and many of them remained during that time in the open. So far, 100,000 Venezuelans have obtained the PTP . The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that it has also increased its assistance in the Peruvian city of Tumbes and that it provides shelter and transportation to Venezuelans who go to other cities. In Ecuador, the entrance of Venezuelans has increased through the border posts of Rumichaca and San Miguel, for which they crossed about 97,500 during October, which led UNHCR to increase its aid in the distribution of food for the most vulnerable cases.

NOVEMBER 2,  2018

PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNS A DECREE WITH NEW AND "HARSH" SANCTIONS AGAINST THE REGIME OF DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO


         WASHINGTON, D.C.   ---  The White House on Thursday announced new sanctions against Venezuela, a country that accused Cuba and Nicaragua of being part of a "troika of tyranny." "Today I am very proud to share that President Trump signed an executive decree to impose new and harsh sanctions against Venezuela," said National Security Adviser John Bolton. In his speech, Bolton denounced Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua as "the troika of tyranny" and said the US president will take "direct actions against these three regimes." According to the existing sanctions neither Venezuela nor the state oil company PDVSA can trade debt in the United States, which in practice closes the market to the country.

     "Under the leadership of President Trump, the United States will take direct actions against these three regimes to defend the rule of law, freedom, and minimum human decency in our region," the official said in a speech. Bolton said that the United States looks forward to "seeing how each vertex of the triangle falls: in Havana, in Caracas and in Managua." The counselor said that while that day arrives, the people of the region "can be sure that the United States is with them against the forces of oppression, totalitarianism and domination." Bolton also announced that the State Department added more entities linked to the Cuban military or intelligence services to the list of companies with restrictions in the United States. Aa

     "The State Department added two dozen additional entities, which are owned or controlled by the Cuban military or intelligence services, to the list of entities with which financial transactions are prohibited for people in the United States." he claimed. Bolton said the measure includes concrete actions to prevent US dollars from reaching the Cuban military and the security sector and intelligence services. This speech occurs just when in the UN, the General Assembly rejected an attempt by the United States to criticize the history of human rights in Cuba. "In this government, there will be no more secret channels between Cuba and the United States. Our policy is transparent for the American people and the world to see, "the official added.

US QUALIFIES MADURO, ORTEGA AND DIAZ-CANEL (RAUL CASTRO) AS THE THREE STOOGES OF SOCIALISM

      MIAMI, FLORIDA. --    -- From the University of Miami Dale, Bolton assured that "I am here to give a message from President Trump regarding the LATIN  AAMERICAN regimes, we will not approach the despots, dictators and tortured. We will not reward the murderers, we will defend the freedom of our neighbors. The tyrannies in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba met their opponent. " "We are working hard to strengthen ties with presidents of the region. The reason to ally with these different leaders is that they think like us, demonstrate the commitment of the region to free markets and transfers of governments, and we oppose the forces of the totalitarianism of socialism, "he said.

     "President Trump believes that the problems of Latin America are due to the effective implementation of socialism. We will never take a photograph next to the image of Che Guevara as President Barack Obama did, "said Bolton. The Trump adviser indicated that "Our concern is with sanctions and their effectiveness, our policy is transparent. We have strengthened our sanctions against Cuba's intelligence forces. the Department of State added two dozen additional entities, which are owned or controlled by the Cuban military or intelligence services, to the list of entities whose financial transactions are prohibited for people in the United States.”

     "Venezuela has applied the same methods of repression of Cuba and created the humanitarian crisis. Maduro and his cronies are the only ones to blame for this situation that could have been prevented, "said Bolton. Regarding the mining industry in Venezuela, the president of the NSA announced that "Today I am very proud to share that President Trump signed an executive decree to impose new and harsh sanctions against Venezuela's economic networks to prevent corrupt transactions. with the gold sector. " When asked about the possibility of an intervention against the government of Venezuela, if the sanctions do not work, Bolton clarified "I do not think that will happen". Bolton considers "The peoples of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba are great fighters. While the figures of totalitarianism are closer to the three stooges than to heads of states. The three stooges of socialism. "

PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNED ANOTHER DECREE WITH NEW AND SANCTIONS AGAINST THE VENEZUELAN GOLD INDUSTRY

         WASHINGTON, D.C.   - The government of President Donald Trump on Thursday called the governments of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua to form a "troika of tyranny" and announced new sanctions to the three nations. Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, said that these three Latin American governments represent "destructive forces of oppression, socialism and totalitarianism." He said that the three "have finally run into their partner" with the Trump government, AP reported.

     The sanctions against Venezuela prohibit US citizens from trading gold exported from the South American country. The new measures against Cuba consisted of adding more names to those already on the blacklist. Bolton spoke in Miami, home to thousands of people who have fled the three countries. According to the existing sanctions, neither Venezuela nor the state oil company PDVSA can trade debt in the United States, which in practice closes the market to the country. "Under the leadership of President Trump, the United States will take direct actions against these three regimes to defend the rule of law, freedom, and minimum human decency in our region," the official said in a speech, AFP reported.

     Bolton said that the United States looks forward to "seeing how each vertex of the triangle falls: in Havana, in Caracas and in Managua." The counselor said that while that day arrives, the people of the region "can be sure that the United States is with them against the forces of oppression, totalitarianism and domination." He also announced that the State Department added more entities related to the Cuban military or intelligence services to the list of companies with restrictions in the United States.  He also announced that the State Department added more entities related to the Cuban military or intelligence services to the list of companies with restrictions in the United States.

NOVEMBER 1ST.,  2018

PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS HE MAY SEND 15,000 TROOPS TO U.S.-MEXICO BORDER

         WASHINGTON, D.C.   ---   President Trump said Wednesday that he would deploy as many as 15,000 military personnel to the border with Mexico in response to caravans of Central American migrants making their way northward, doubling the figure Pentagon officials have announced would be operating there. “We’ll go up to anywhere between 10 and 15,000 military personnel on top of Border Control, ICE and everybody else at the border,” Trump said in remarks to reporters before departing Washington for a campaign rally in Florida. “Nobody’s coming in. We’re not allowing people to come in.” Trump’s comments came a day after the general in charge of the border deployment said 5,239 active-duty troops would be heading to the border with more potentially to follow, in addition to the 2,092 members of the National Guard already there.

     It wasn’t clear whether Trump’s 15,000 figure included the National Guard deployment.
If the deployment reaches 15,000 troops, it would be roughly equivalent to the size of the U.S. military’s presence in Afghanistan and three times the size of the presence in Iraq. Already, the deployment is believed to be the largest of its kind in more than a century. “The number of troops deployed will change each day as military forces flow into the operating area, but the initial estimate is that [the Defense Department] will have more than 7,000 troops supporting DHS across California, Arizona and Texas,” U.S. Northern Command said in a statement issued shortly after Trump spoke.

     The Pentagon has identified about 7,000 troops that could be deployed to the border with Mexico if needed, with the first support troop deployment already underway. Critics say the president’s decision to announce the deployments just days before the election is a political stunt designed to fire up a base concerned about immigration. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, rejected the criticism on Tuesday, saying the military was deploying to support the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection. “The support that we provide to the Secretary for Homeland Security is practical support based on the request from the commissioner of customs and border police, so we don't do stunts in this department,” Mattis said. 13 bases in Arizona, California and Texas close to the operations area near the border that will serve as primary logistics hubs for the deployment. In addition, the command listed 38 units from 14 bases that had been identified to deploy to the southwest border.
 

HIGH-LEVEL DELEGATIONS OF CHINA AND RUSSIA IN CARACAS TO PROTECT THEIR INVESTMENTS AND OIL LOANS

      CARACAS, VENEZUELA --    -- The delegations are there "to make sure their investments are secure, to discover why Venezuela is falling behind with its oil debt payments and what can be done about it," an official at the presidential palace told Argus. Beijing and Moscow are the main political and economic patterns of Venezuela. In both cases, Venezuela's state oil company Pdvsa seems to have been delayed in the oil shipments linked to the loans. The Venezuelan firm is currently in default of payment of all its debt, except a 2.020 bonus backed by its US refining unit, Citgo, and a $ 2 billion dollar agreement with ConocoPhillips, independent of the US. The Chinese group, led by financial executives of the Development Bank of China (CDB), is reviewing Venezuela's economic strategies, including the introduction in August of a new currency and a controversial instrument backed by commodities called petro, and the loosening of the currency and price controls.

     The Chinese revision was agreed at the 16th meeting last month in Beijing of the China-Venezuela High Level Joint Commission that oversees projects funded by China in Venezuela. The results of the review will determine how quickly China is disbursing a new $ 5 billion loan to joint ventures in which the Chinese state-owned company CNPC has a minority stake along with the majority shareholder Pdvsa. These include the 130,000 b / d Sinovensa crude mix project in Jose, the 15,000 b / d PetroZumano project in eastern Venezuela and the 400,000 b / d PetroUrica project stuck in the Orinoco heavy oil belt. Caracas has borrowed more than $ 54 billion in oil-backed loans from China since 2007-08, and still owes Beijing $ 23 billion that PDVSA is paying with oil shipments.

     Pdvsa oil debt payments were expected to increase in October to roughly 340,000 b / d from around 164,000 b / d in September, after Beijing denied a Venezuelan request for an extension of a two-year agreement to a moratorium. about registered oil shipments as the main payment. By contrast, exports to China appear to have declined slightly in the first half of October, and payments of Venezuelan oil debt to Rosneft have also been interrupted since September, a Pdvsa mid-level marketing executive added. PDVSA blames delays in the delivery of a tanker collision in late August that damaged a key dock at Jose's export terminal, cutting up to 300,000 b / d of loading and unloading capacity. The dock remains out of service because of US sanctions, PDVSA can not access the credit to import the necessary spare parts.

FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF PDVSA ABRAHAM EDGARDO ORTEGA PLEAS GUILTY IN THE US FOR CORRUPTION

        
WASHINGTON, D.C.   - -A former executive director of Venezuela's state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA), pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in an international scheme to launder $ 1 billion worth of misappropriated funds. Ortega, 51, of Venezuelan nationality, who was executive director of financial planning for PDVSA, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 9, 2019 by District Judge Kathleen M. Williams of the Southern District of Florida, who accepted his statement today.

     As part of his statement, Ortega admitted that in his post at PDVSA, he accepted $ 5 million in bribes to grant a priority loan status to a French company and a Russian bank, which were minority shareholders in joint ventures with PDVSA. Ortega received the payment of this bribe scheme with the proceeds of a currency exchange scheme, through which $ 1,200 million were embezzled, through bribery and fraud by PDVSA. Ortega also admitted that in his post at PDVSA, he accepted $ 12 million in bribes for his participation in an embezzlement plan of PDVSA that involves a loan and a currency exchange contract.

     Ortega admitted that he worked with a co-accused to launder $ 12 million that he received as a bribe. Ortega admitted that he and his co-accused laundered $ 12 million through a sophisticated false investment plan that received money from a payment made to look like an investment in a fund, but, in fact, the payment was actually laundered out of the fund. Ortega admitted that they surrounded and supported this scheme of fake investment laundering through accomplices of money managers, brokerage firms, banks and real estate investment firms in the United States and elsewhere, which operate as a network of professional money launderers. . Ortega's co-conspirators indicted on August 16 include former PDVSA officials, third-party money laundering professionals and members of the Venezuelan elite, sometimes known as "boliburgues."

 

 

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