Sunday, June 27, 2010

LPP News Frist Drafth...

Tripping Over the Same Oil Rig

Advocates of unconditionally normalizing relations with the Castro regime have long-used scare tactics to lobby for U.S. oil companies to be permitted to drill off Cuba's shores.

They argue that the Chinese and others are drilling, which is potentially unsafe, and that therefore, the U.S. should be allowed to compete and "safely" do so.

However, the fact remains that there is currently no off-shore drilling in Cuba, nor is it commercially feasible by the Chinese or anyone else, as long as U.S. sanctions stand in place.

So why would they want U.S. oil companies, many of which have already had assets expropriated by Castro in the past, to expose themselves -- yet again -- to the same regime?

Perhaps it is because they think expropriations are a thing of the past.

Think again.

This week, Reuters reported:

Venezuela will nationalize a fleet of oil rigs belonging to U.S. company Helmerich and Payne, the latest takeover in a push to socialism as President Hugo Chavez struggles with lower oil output and a recession.

A former soldier inspired by Cuba's Fidel Castro, Chavez has made energy nationalization the linchpin in his 'revolution'. He has also taken over assets in telecommunications, power, steel and banking.

The 11 drilling rigs have been idled for months following a dispute over pending payments by the OPEC member's state oil company PDVSA. Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Wednesday the rigs, the Oklahoma based company's entire Venezuelan fleet, were being nationalized to bring them back into production.

Between communists and Catholics

By RAFAEL ROJAS 25/06/2010
The talks between Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino and General Raul Castro led some gestures , parades Damas de Blanco no "acts of repudiation " transfer of 12 political prisoners  detention centers in their places of origin of parole Ariel Sigler Amaya, pronouncements of cultural personalities island for the release of the opposition, trial and Darsi Ferrer to sentence under house arrest , not by insufficient and delayed no longer promising. Several media have ensured that the first time the Cuban government recognizes as an actor mediator national, but the truth is that those kinds of conversations between hierarchies of the Catholic Church and the Communist Party takes place, at least from the seventies and almost always referred to the issue of political imprisonment .

In its negotiations with the Church , the Cuban Government has freed political prisoners as bargaining chips
The Catholic Church is strengthened and consolidated its mediating position
In October 1978 came the so-called " first dialogue "between a sector of the exile and the Government of Fidel Castro , who managed , in addition beginning of the migrants travel to the island , the release of 3600 prisoners of conscience , almost all arrested 17 years ago. Two leaders exile involved in the process, Catholic scholar Mary Cristina Herrera and the Jewish banker Bernardo Benes, have narrated Church's role in that negotiation. That understanding had to diplomatic detente favor of President Jimmy Carter , the emphasis on human rights, but also the parallels between Catholics and Communists in Cuba and Latin America, generated by the boom  of the Theology of Liberation.
For 30 years, relations between church and party , agencies by the Office of Religious Affairs  the latter, have been flowing while tense. On more than one hand , the Catholic hierarchy has demanded more space communication to do their pastoral work and has questioned several government policies , from those that promote intolerance and authoritarianism to those that support sexual diversity and the right abortion. Not infrequently, the Cuban government has limited leadership Civic Church , despite its willingness to recognize as main institution of the Cuban civil society, as was found in the years before and after the visit of Pope John Paul II 1998.
That said, we should recognize the benefits of dialogue Catholic to the democratization of Cuba, without hiding their limits. It exists in both hierarchies , the Communist and Catholic , a harmful tendency to have that dialogue as "national" or as if in the same representing all the voices of Cuban society . It question, as he likes to tell Fernando Savater, an application of retóricade figure synecdoche the process of political representation by which a party claims the right to speak for the whole. The exclusions of this dialogue are evident, as is apparent, for example, in the most important publications of both institutions : liberal opponents or critics , or Social Democrats are stigmatized or silenced in them.
Recognition the Catholic Church as the basic institution of civil society has sense given that it has a congregation or religious identification , however flexible it may be, more than half  Cuban population , both within and outside the island . Such recognition visible, at least one piece of ideological plurality of Cuba, doctrinally as Catholicism , whether in Rome or in Havana  Miami, could not support the Marxist-Leninist ideology and order institutions of Cuban socialism. The Church does not publicly opposed  to this ideology or that system, and provides for legitimate , but not hidden its philosophical or moral disagreement with them.
Without  But this recognition also involves concealment or marginalization of other churches , institutions or associations of such religious , racial or cultural , that are also part of that society civil . Quite a few times the official speech presented to the Catholic Church  as the boundary of pluralism, ie, as if that facility was the only tolerable alternative " for being " truly representative "- thereby justifying intolerance, and not other institutions or associations of civil society , but of opposition organizations of political society . Bridging distances, this arrangement tends to reproduce the hegemony of the Catholic church  civil society , the hegemony of the Communist Party in society  policy.
I could not valued the recent dialogue between Church and  party in Cuba without measuring their actual scope . This time , unlike of other negotiations in the recent past , the Church has not asked better conditions for his pastoral work , but release of prisoners politicians. It is, therefore, an amnesty application can not met with an editorial Granma welcome Mamberti chancellor or the academic debate Catholic Week . It is not  choice but to conclude that the Government's commitment to mediation of the Church has been, until now , ambivalent, only 12 prisoners were transferred, not released , and the same week that were the first transfers the police arrested 38 opponents for more than 48 hours, to prevent the leader's home meet  Héctor Palacios liberal .
There are , apparently , a difference between the current situation and 30 years ago , when the government granted  increased release of political prisoners of the past half century. Then Havana traded from the stability and nation-building and international must now negotiate from uncertainty and domestic issues and foreign . The worst of a totalitarian system trading or trading in its decline appears not so much unreality of what is called as the precariousness of what they offer in return remain unchanged. The deterioration of political rights in Cuba is such that even the most generous amnesty solves it.
In all negotiation not only weigh costs and benefits of what is demanded and  what is granted : it is also symbolic and effective exchange side . It is clear that the Cuban government decided to encourage revocation of the common position of the European Union through willingness to Rome and Madrid. Although little has been offered a perverse use of time - two days before the meeting foreign ministers in Luxembourg were the last transfer -the Church is strengthened , consolidated its position as mediator with the families of prisoners , the opposition , exile and much of the insular citizenship and the international community.
In its negotiation  with the Church , the Government showed that prisoners understand political and currency. The transfers and suspension of acts of repudiation against the Ladies in White were just a score of possibility of relaxation of European policy towards the island, encouraged by Madrid and Rome. In addition to wait until the last minute Cuban leaders have resisted the temptation to send messages contradictory canceled the trip to the island of UN rapporteur Against Torture , Manfred Nowak and released Sigler , condemned Ferrer and sent him home.
Negotiations with a  dictatorship , it might seem , are like that. But none the less tragic piece of that trade is the freedom of 200 opponents peaceful , unjustly imprisoned for crimes of association and consciousness.
Rafael Rojas is a historian and exiled Cuban Mexico. He has won the First Prize Essay Isabel Polanco Republics  air .
S: / translate LPPNEWS
President of UN General Assembly visit Cuba
June 25, 2010 , 8:42 pm ET HAVANA, June 25th, 2010 (AFP ) -
The president of the UN General Assembly , Libyan Ali Abdessalam Treki , held early next week a visit officer in Cuba, where he will meet with government officials , reported on Friday, an official source.
Abdessalam will meet next Monday with Foreign Minister Cuban , Bruno Rodriguez , the only program of its activity visit , whose length was not specified , announced by the Centre Press International the local chancery .
The president of the UN General Assembly will come to the island from Venezuela, where he evaluated with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez South American country performance in meeting the Millennium Development Goals , 10 years of that force in place.  LPPNEWS
Chavez promised to strengthen Al Asad Relations between Venezuela and Syria
CARACAS - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his Syrian counterpart  Bachar Al -Assad on Saturday in Caracas ratified its " brotherhood " and desire  encourage their cooperation "strategic" , that beyond the economic translates into a vision " imperialist " and the defense of same causes.
Al Asad , which opened in Caracas his first tour Latin America, his host considered a "brother "," a symbol of  resistance and dignity in Latin America and a supporter of the "causes just " the Arab world.
"There are few politicians who are brave to say 'No' when necessary (...) Chávez was part of the either just causes in Latin America , in our region or the world whole , "praised Al Asad , citing as examples the Palestinian conflict, the war between Lebanon and Israel in 2006 or the Syrian claim on the Golan Heights in the hands of the Jewish state .
Chavez, who awarded his guest with the Order of the Liberator Simon Bolivar Considered "one of the liberators of the new world , called for further specific projects in the construction of an "axis between Caracas and Damascus. "
"We are called upon to play a key role in release of the world against imperialism, against the hegemony neoliberal capitalism and now threatens the survival of the species human , "insisted the Venezuelan president.
Al Asad considered Venezuela is the "heart "that links Syria with Latin America explained that for this reason Caracas elected as the first stage of his tour,  that will also take him to Cuba , Argentina and Brazil.
"We hope  a strategic relationship with Latin America and want to start here in Venezuela. We share the desire for freedom and to reject impositions from outside when making decisions, " said Al Asad.
In  their statements, both presidents agreed on the defender agreement between Iran , Turkey and Brazil to reach a settlement Tehran's nuclear program , which was rejected by the major powers  and did not prevent new sanctions against that country.
In addition, both leaders spared no criticism of Israel , whom they called "The terrorist, "and supported the "resistance of any people that their land is occupied , "referring to Palestinian claims .
In  the economic , Al Asad held that its relationship with Venezuela, which  began in 2006, specifying go successfully.
On Saturday,  two governments signed several cooperation agreements , including include a joint venture to create a production and distribution Syrian olive oil , and another to share knowledge and technology for cotton cultivation and trade .
The two countries further agreed that the financing fund for joint projects will have a capital of 100 million dollars and looks forward to her become a binational bank .
Syria and Venezuela, high South American oil producer , already have a joint project to build a refinery in the Syrian region of Homs with a capacity to process 140,000 barrels of crude a day .
According to Chavez, Venezuela will take at least 33 % interest in these facilities  and Syria , Iran and perhaps a Malaysian company , will own the rest.
The  President did not elaborate on the quantum of investments required nor the origin of processed oil, but estimated that in 2013 the refinery be operating .
"Chavez is a symbol of resistance of the revolution on the hegemony of colonialism and the offense. Venezuela became the father of a first great leader who was Simon Bolivar and (...) President Chavez is not going to be the last, " concluded Al Asad , who imposed on their host the Order of the Umayyads, the highest distinction  Syrian government.
On Sunday, Assad will meet with the community Syrian living in Venezuela , which has around 700,000 people before travel to Cuba. S: Traslate Results LPPNEWS

The Syrian President Bashar al- Assad ( left) , talking to his counterpart Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

Photo: President's Press

President Hugo Chavez repudiated today by the State of Israel  not return to Syria the Golan Heights, Syrian territory was taken by the Israeli government for more than 40 years.
" The Golan Heights belong to the Syrian people , "said President Chavez in an act with a pair of Syria, Bashar Al Assad , from  Miraflores Palace .
Chavez said that one day genocidal state of Israel will  put in place . " And may there be born a democratic state, with ideas that can be shared . "
He noted that the Israeli government has " become the murderer arm of the U.S. empire . A threat to people fighting for their freedom. "
Israel annexed the Golan Heights forty years ago, after called the Six Day War . Since then, he has never wanted direct negotiations with Syria.

Chávez, Venezuela tough image

Syrian President Bashar al- Assad said , for his part, his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez image showed "Resistant" of Venezuela in the international environment , after stating that strengthen the relationship with the South American country .
Assad , who faces a drop in domestic production oil and droughts that have affected agriculture , began a visit  in Latin America which seeks to expand diplomatic ties Damascus. Assad will also travel to Argentina, Brazil and Cuba.
"President Chavez came to promote this relationship was built over 100 years , first because there few politicians who are courageous, to say no when necessary say no ' Syrian president said through a translator at the Palace of Miraflores.
The Syrian president said Chavez has revealed resistant Venezuela's image , which has created a position Venezuela in the international map . "
Assad added that Venezuela, an OPEC member , was not limited to conserve and preserve the lives of Syrian immigrants , but also supported their causes fought in his country.
"I am very happy to cross the Atlantic for the first time and start my  visit here in Caracas and visit this beautiful and rugged country at the same  time , Assad added .
S : News 24/Con information agencies / translate results LPPNEWS