Wednesday, October 27, 2010

LPP First Draft...


A Bad Move

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Particularly in the case of Sudan. Tyrants cannot be trusted.

From Foreign Policy:

On Monday, the Obama administration waived sections of a law meant to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers in Africa, paving the way for new military cooperation with four countries with poor human rights records -- despite their use of underage troops.
"I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Yemen of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the [Child Service Prevention Act]," President Obama wrote in a memorandum to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2008, President George W. Bush signed the law, which prohibits U.S. military education and training, foreign military financing, and other defense-related assistance to countries that actively recruit troops under the age of 18. Countries are designated as violators if the State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons report identifies them as recruiting child soldiers.

The original bill was actually sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) before being added to a larger bill led by then Senator, now Vice President Joseph Biden. The only countries where the restrictions under this law are still in place are now Burma and Somalia.

The only reason provided in the memorandum was that Obama determined it was in the "national interest" to waive the law for those four countries.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told The Cable that the Obama administration has decided that working with militaries that recruit child soldiers actually helps solve the problem more than ignoring those militaries would.

Great Interview With Fariñas

A great interview from the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders with Cuban hunger striker Guillermo Fariñas. Those that argue that Cuba's dissidents are relatively unknown on the island should read this very carefully.

Guillermo Fariñas: The Country is at a Crossroads

Winner of the 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Guillermo Fariñas became a dissident in the 1990s and then an independent journalist. As such, he campaigned for Cubans to have unrestricted access to the Internet and went on a series of hunger strikes. The last of these, following fellow dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo's death at the start of this year, was to demand the release of all the ailing political prisoners.

As the victims of the Black Spring crackdown of March 2003 continue to be released from prison, Fariñas was interviewed by Reporters Without Borders about the prize and about what he thinks is going to happen in Cuba now.
What is your reaction to getting the Sakharov Prize?
I am committed to the cause of democracy in Cuba. I think I have an even greater commitment to my fellow independent journalists who are still in prison, my fellow independent journalists who are in exile, my fellow independent journalists who fight with me here on the streets of Cuba, and my fellow independent journalists who have died and who have not been able to see a democratic Cuba that tolerates an independent press.

I also have a commitment to all those men and women, wherever they are in the world, whose goodwill contributes in one way or another to Cuban democracy, thanks to their solidarity and their attention to what happens in Cuba.

I am proud because the first international prize I received was the Reporters Without Borders prize.

What is your analysis of the current situation in Cuba?
We are living through a very special moment in Cuba, but not a particularly special one for the Cuban government. A million people will soon be unemployed, out of four million workers. This is more than a quarter of the population, almost 30 per cent. There is a significant degree of discontent and anger among the Cuban population.

I have noticed for example that when I go to the hospital, people who never said hello to me out of fear now do say hello. Because they no longer have any work.

We think this is going to swell the ranks of the opposition despite the fact that the government is sending people to Europe in order to have fewer dissidents. As regards our work as journalists, we want to show this reality.

The government wants above all to make changes in the economic domain rather than at the political level. But there is such a degree of discontent about the government's mismanagement at the economic level and such a lack of credibility that there will be a social explosion if the government does not move towards a political relaxation.

Friends of mine I studied with who became doctors (while I became a psychologist), they used to limit themselves to greeting me when we were at the hospital. But now they all want to greet me. Everyone says hello to me in the street, even the president of the CDR [Committee for the Defence of the Revolution], a paramilitary organization.
There is real discontent about the massive unemployment that is coming in Cuba. The people have already been warned and know who is keeping their job and who is not. But nothing has been done yet.

But this is unquestionably a different historic and social moment which we journalists want to experience and show.

Currently there are nine of us and we all write articles. Now it is harder to get the information out because the political prisoners, who were our main sources of information, have gone to Spain and suddenly we are covering mainly social issues. As regards repression, there has not been so much of that as late. But yes, the economic situation is rather precarious. As for ourselves, we have not received any assistance for about five months. The economic situation is very tough.

How is your health after all the hunger strikes you have carried out?
I have two ailments troubling me at the same time. It is a situation that has accumulated.

I had gallstones during the hunger strike. From the moment the gall-bladder was affected, everything was paralysed after 24 days and I had an emergency operation. They thought it was pancreatitis. They were a lot of hypotheses. It got worse. They had to do tests. I have been left with lasting effects. I have diarrhoea whenever I eat.

Automatically, every time I eat.

Fortunately, I recovered.

The other illness is there. It is a thrombosis that is a result of the hunger strike. I have a thrombosis here and a thrombosis there.

The doctors say curing this should be done over a year and a half. You have to go slowly because if you do not, if it is done quickly – and there are drugs that can cure it more quickly – it could damage my heart and lungs, and that would not be helpful.

I was really very lucky because, for example, the doctor who looked after me during the hunger strike has been a family friend for years. He had gone to Venezuela but chance would have it that he came back then. And the doctor who operated on me had also by chance returned from Venezuela. We were friends. We had worked together, he, his brother and I, when I was working in public health. And State Security could not kill me or arrange to have me killed because the doctor on duty was a friend of mine.

Do you think independent journalists can have an influence on the situation in Cuba?
We have no Internet. We have no Internet connection. Most of the Cuban population does not have an Internet connection either.

But, for example, I have ten memory cards and everything we write, I give it to a university academic. And this academic circulates the memory cards throughout the university and people fill them up, they fill them up.

As a result, people are beginning to think, and that is important.

But thanks to universities that have Internet access, such as Havana University, when you travel by train or car or bus, suddenly people tell you, "I know you," or "I liked that article by you" or "I have it here." It is incredible.
Because technology undermines dictatorships.

LPP Archive...

Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas wins Sakharov human rights prize

Guillermo Farinas, the Cuban dissident who held a 135-day hunger strike earlier this year, has been awarded the European Parliament's Sakharov human rights prize.

 
Published: 12:36PM BST 21 Oct 2010
Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas wins Sakharov human rights prize
Guillermo Farinas Photo: REUTERS
The 48-year-old journalist and psychologist has often used hunger strikes, putting his own health at risk, as a means of protest to achieve greater freedoms in the Communist island of Cuba.
Mr Farinas is the third Cuban to receive the prize, after Oswaldo Paya in 2002 and the "Ladies in White" group of women whose husbands are jailed in Cuba, which received the award in 2005.
Jerzy Buzek, the European parliament president, will officially announce Farinas as the winner of the Sakharov Prize later Thursday. The award will be presented to the winner on December 15.
The 22nd Sakharov Prize, named after late Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, comes with a cash award of 50,000 euros (£44,000).
Birtukan Mideksa, the Ethiopian opposition leader, and Israeli rights group Breaking the Silence had also been on the shortlist for this year's award.
The decision to give this year's award to Farinas came four days before European Union foreign ministers meet in Luxembourg to discuss the 27-nation bloc's relations with Cuba.
Mr Farinas held a 135-day hunger strike earlier this year that left him near death but compelled the Cuban government to agree to release 52 political prisoners.
Another fast between 1995 and 1997 brought attention to his allegations of corruption at the hospital where he worked.
He also carried out a six-month hunger strike in 2006, but that time he failed to force the government to allow freer access to the internet.
S:telegraph.co.uk

Dissidents promote more citizen participation to reforms in Cuba...

27.10.2010 / 19:01 h
Havana, Oct 27 (EFE) .- Cuban opponents presented today at Havana a new foundation to promote more participation and dialogue of "independent civil society" in assemblies and spaces official response to the reforms of the government of Raul Castro.
With the name "Foundation for Participatory Change, the proposed project "tactical adjustments" in the dissent after the Government decided to speak to the Church Catholic, release political prisoners and undertake economic reforms.
The Foundation consists of members of various parties and opposition groups such as Agenda for Transition, the Council National civil rights and the Liberal Party Republic of Cuba, and hoped that its structure national coordinators and consultants by region.
The group believes that while the Cuban government has not changed his 'strategy', these steps give the idea of a "turning point in policy "of the island.
The Foundation president, Francisco Chaviano, said today press conference intended to "promote" and "convince" the groups of "independent civil society" to resume their "paper citizen ", interact with the authorities and contribute their view of changes in Cuba.
Among its fundamental objectives is to defend small and medium private enterprises and support the elections democratic country.
They also make a call to the dissent to "leave the trench "and resume its role citizens for" possible influence from constructive positions and sparingly in the popular area official government policy. "
According Chaviano, who is also spokesman of the opposition group Agenda for Transition, is intended "to collect information how the people think "surveys to give to Government representatives and the public.
"We would be presenting a different perspective of the country's situation to changes that are occurring, "he said.
S: EFE / abc.es / translate LPPNEWS FrontLine Results
NEW TAXES FOR THE CUBAN DICTATORSHIP, discourages prospective entrepreneurs

Indicated Writer matter   
Wednesday, October 27, 2010 12:55

"The Cuban government does not want a market economy and which will little is stifling private enterprise will exist,''said Jaime Suchlicki, director of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-  (ICCAS) at the University of Miami.
The Cuban authorities released the regulatory framework for reduce state templates and implement an ambitious new  tax scheme for self-employed or "Self-employed''with rates as high as 50 percent of total income.

By JUAN CARLOS CHAVEZ

jcchavez@elnuevoherald.com This email address is being protected from spam bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

According to regulations published Monday in the Official Gazette, only  the self-employed earning less than 5,000 pesos a year, about $ 188, is exempt from tax. To others, they impose a tiered fee based on their earnings up maximum of 50 percent to 50.000 pesos to obtain, approximately $ 2,300.
In addition, employers will pay the government the equivalent of 25 percent of salary for each employee.
According to official estimates, for activities such as marketing food and transport cargo and passengers are expenses deducted 40 percent on their entries. Teachers, flower vendors and computer programmers, among others, they considered as expenditure of up to 10 percent.
A state officials who are fired or "available''is offered as alternatives in the public sector occupy other places vacancy "must cover''or join the work own. Another possibility is to engage in agriculture with distribution of land in usufruct, and venture into "other forms of employment in the nonstate sector.''
It also provides a subsidy system in the event that the dismissed employee can not be "relocated."
All taxes shall be paid earlier this year in Cuban pesos to  Office of Tax Administration (ONAT). Authorities expect to increase their income slumping $ 1.000 million in 2011, according to government figures.
The regulatory framework establishes a monthly payment of 10 percent over sales or services rendered. Another requirement will be a contribution to Social Security 25 percent''on the basis of contribution select a worker,''the text of the Official Gazette.
In the case of leases of residential and commercial premises among others, will apply a tax of up to 20 percent. The Cuban authorities say that this tribute has character prevention, and avoiding "''concentrations of wealth and using "indiscriminate force''of the work.
Cornered by a severe economic crisis and lack of liquidity,   Raul Castro's government recently authorized at least 178 categories of self-employment. In 83 of them will be allowed  recruitment of employees who are not relatives or live with licensee. So far the payment for use of labor only authorized government entities, joint ventures and foreign companies.
The change occurs after Havana announced in mid- September that would eliminate, over a period of six months, more than half million state jobs.
Suchlicki said that adjustments to respond to the fact that Cuba is not is how to handle the crisis and the limited hard currency exacerbated by the decline in revenues associated with strategic items, such as tourism.
"The reasons why the Cuban government fired thousands of is that workers have no way of keeping them,''said Suchlicki. "And now that the market does not want them out of hand. They want something controlled and taking money away from people.''
Dissident economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe predicted that the beginning of the self-employed will be more difficult than expected by the scourge of the taxes levied and the many difficulties that must overcome in the near future.
"It seems that they [the Cuban government authorities] want to leave the entire burden for independent workers. Start this is so, it will not allow progress,''Espinoza said. "In addition, There is a culture of paying taxes. Which had been destroyed over  50 years.''
S: El Nuevo Herald / Dispatch Cuba Libre Digital / Receive OCR LPPNEWS FrontLine Results
Last updated on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 13:03

Cuba responds that the EU 'dream' if you think there will be changes...

Trinidad Jiménez Minister sees' normal caution expressed Havana "

Day 28/10/2010
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said in the early hours of yesterday to the United Nations forum EU 'dreaming if you think you can normalize relations with Cuba as long as the so-called common position. " This is the first Castro regime's official response to the offer to open dialogue by the European Union, expressed on Monday in Strasbourg.
During the discussion which was approved at the headquarters  UN, almost unanimously, a resolution condemning new-van nineteenth and-trade embargo that keeps half a century United States on the island, the Cuban foreign minister urged the EU to "Deal with their immigration policies, the deportation of minorities  and the police response to demonstrations against the crisis "in Instead of showing concern for human rights in Cuba.
Foreign ministers of the Twenty-commissioned  the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, to liaise policy with the Cuban authorities to explore possible ways forward in the bilateral relationship.
The "diplomatic language"
Despite the displeasure with the Castro regime has responded to the decision  European Union, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trinidad Jimenez, no reply to his Cuban counterpart and preferred to adopt a stance yesterday conciliatory, when asked by reporters in Madrid. To Jimenez 'is normal to Cuba expressed some caution, and caution also expressed the EU itself. " The minister said "we need to know read the statements in perspective "and consider the Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has expressed "in language commonly used in diplomatic circles "to indicate that is "waiting for what the fruits of the dialogue that the EU will start "and see" how far it will get that new relationship. "
Jimenez insisted that the agreement of the Twenty has been "a good step and a good sign," and reiterated its belief  to be a new relationship.
From Brussels, sources close to the High Representative for EU Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton, no wanted to argue on account of the chief's statements Cuban diplomacy and referred to the mandate given by Ministers European probe how to move in relation to Cuba.
S: ABC.es / LPPNEWS FrontLine Results

Thousands of people come to the Plaza de Mayo to dismiss Kirchner

Supporters of former president gathered outside the house Rosada to pay homage to the pending arrival of their remains

Soledad Gallego-Diaz | Buenos Aires 28/10/2010
Thousands of people congregate from early morning  in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires pending the arrival of remains of former President Nestor Kirchner, who passed away this morning in his family home in El Calafate, south of the country, a victim of a massive heart attack. Flowers, posters with messages of encouragement and affection for President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentine flags, flooding and near the Casa Rosada, in which living American patriots are supposed to install the hood burning.
Peronist activists and trade unionists, members of associations and civic organizations defending human rights, many of them with homemade signs that say "Force, Cristina" or "Cristina, no  're alone, "took to the streets as the deadline ended  to carry out population census, which required them to be confined to their homes, and headed toward the city center to express their shock and pain. Among the first to reach the  Square included the representatives of the Grandmothers and Mothers May, two associations with which Nestor Kirchner has always had a great  relationship.
In the early hours of the night and had formed rows  several hundred meters and is expected throughout the morning and  the next day hundreds of thousands of people come to the square to try to pay homage to former president died. "It will be a huge show of grief and support for the president, "asserted a union leader, who arrived at the plaza in front of a large group chanted Peronist militants.
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has announced his arrival in the capital in same plane that carries the remains of her husband, accompanied by her son, Max, who lives in El Calafate. His daughter Florence, who studies New York Theater, will also be in the coming hours to the capital Argentina. Many Latin American leaders have announced that they move to Buenos Aires to give his condolences to Cristina Fernandez and pay tribute to those who had been appointed secretary a few months ago  UNASUR general. Among them are Rafael Correa of Ecuador; Sebastian Pinera, Chile, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela or Evo Morales  Bolivia, who rushed back from its current tour in Tehran. The big question is whether President Lula da Silva, heavily involved in the last hours of the Brazilian electoral campaign, find time to move to the capital of Argentina.
In the vicinity of Congress of Deputies, small groups of youths hanging also Last night the streetlights some black flags in mourning for the death Kirchner, elected in the last election legislation. "You have to absorb the blow," claimed Philip Martin while their colleagues, many of them excited until tears, stressed their desire to "accompany the president" in these difficult days. In a special program offered by television public, a large number of artists, from the actress Cecilia Roth singer Susana Rinaldi, also expressed their grief and emotion for death of Nestor Kirchner.
The opposition has offered full support for the president to make you feel strong enough to carry fulfilling its institutional role and fulfill its mandate, which does not end  until next year. The country will remain until the official mourning next day 29.

Wake in the Casa Rosada

The Argentines ensure the former president Kirchner from Nestos Thursday at noon (local time) at the Casa Rosada, as confirmed by Wednesday Argentine Labor Minister Carlos Tomada. The former leader will be buried Friday in Rio Gallego, his hometown and  Kirchner developed that virtually his entire political career until  become the first politician in the nation.
While it is still will be clear when the remains of the former leader to Buenos Aires, what a fact is that after the funeral will be transferred back to  the province of Santa Cruz. The de Kirchner will be the first viewing of an Argentine president to be held in the Casa Rosada. Until now all took place in the U.S. Congress, where, in reality, were prepared to receive the remains of former Peronist president.
Taken  urged his countrymen to join the family in funeral. "While nothing we do will be able to repair this immense grief, we must accompany our President, the children of former president and his entire family, "said the minister.
S: elpais.com / translate LPPNEWS FrontLine Results