Cuba stopped producing some 7,000 tons of pork in first quarter of year

Executives from the Cuban agricultural sector affirmed that production has been depressed “due to the low availability of animal feed accessible to producers, a phenomenon that affects the meat mass stipulated for each specimen before its marketing.”

In the first quarter of this year, some 7,000 tons of pork, one of the foods most in demand by Cubans, were not produced in Cuba, according to executives from the island’s agricultural sector.

Regla Ferrer, national director for pork production of the Livestock Higher Organization of Business Management (OSDE), belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the monthly production volumes of this product remain above 9,000, “a figure much lower than the more than 12,000 tons required,” the official daily Granma reported.

Ferrer explained that the production of pork has been depressed “due to the low availability of animal feed accessible to producers, a phenomenon that affects the meat mass stipulated for each specimen before its marketing.”

He also said that liquid feed, “one of the promising alternatives being undertaken,” could not continue being used in animal feed due to the paralysis of tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “because this sector provided the grosss of organic raw material for the elaboration of said feed.”

This is why a breach of the previewed plan for the year is already foreseen, which had been 170,000 tons.

As a palliative, she commented, “emphasis has been placed on the sowing of national food to supply the feed deficit,” while promoting “the generation and dissemination of the raising of dark-coated pigs (Cuban), more adaptable to the island’s conditions and accessible inputs such as the royal palm’s fruit.”

In addition, she stated that “the first three genetic centers for this purpose will be located in (the provinces) Pinar del Río, Sancti Spíritus and Granma,” but noted that “this is a long-term project.” Meanwhile, she said the aim is for farmers who have Cuban pigs “to start contributing to local self-reliance.”

Regarding chicken production, Norberto Espinosa, president of the Livestock OSDE, pointed out that “it is relevant” that this year all Cuban provinces “have started to produce chicken,” although he said it is still being done “in a very incipient way.”

According to Espinosa, to date only 1,098 tons have been produced, “a very small number compared to the 300,000 tons of this product that Cuba imports annually to satisfy domestic demand.”

The executive pointed out that Cuban production must benefit from four foreign investment businesses, “which, it is estimated, can generate about 100,000 tons of chicken for the country, which would be subtracted from the amount currently imported.”

Finally, OSDE executives said that the production of eggs on the island “had an increase of 40 million units compared to the same period the previous year,” and that in the coming months “it should maintain this rhythm, which augurs a compliance with the plan set at 1.912 billion eggs.”

Both eggs and chicken are two of the products most sought after by Cubans today. Both are sold by the government through the ration book, while a part, especially chicken, is sold in stores in convertible pesos (CUC), which generates long lines at a time when the island is going through a difficult economic situation and is trying to contain the spread of COVID-19

Trump wants churches open, says GOP crafting new coronavirus bill

President Trump says Republicans are working to draft a new coronavirus bill and that he plans to pressure states to allow churches to reopen as the pandemic ebbs.

Trump said he met on Thursday with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to discuss priorities for the legislation — after Trump and McConnell flatly rejected a $3 trillion bill passed by House Democrats on Friday.

“We just had a meeting with Mitch McConnell and the group and we’re working on a package of very positive things,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for a trip to Michigan.

Trump said he separately plans to push states to allow churches to resume operations as local authorities gradually end two months of mandated business closures and quarantine rules.

“The churches are not being treated with respect by a lot of the Democrat governors. I want to get our churches open, and we’re going to be taking a very strong position on that very soon,” he said.

After four major coronavirus bills, Trump is pushing for a payroll tax cut in new legislation and McConnell wants liability protections for companies that reopen. But Democrats who hold the House insist on state bailouts, which Trump and Republicans are wary of granting.

Republicans also are skeptical of a Democratic proposal to extend a $600-per-week boost in unemployment insurance pay through January. Members of both parties, however, expressed interest in additional stimulus checks and new infrastructure spending.

Each of the prior pandemic bills was drafted during late nights of bargaining among the White House, McConnell and congressional Democrats.

McConnell’s office and the White House did not immediately offer additional information on the Thursday meeting.

In a Thursday morning speech on the Senate floor, McConnell blasted House Democrats for authorizing proxy voting on Friday, saying that “there will be enormous constitutional questions around anything the House does if they fail to demonstrate a real quorum [of 50 percent attendance].”

The Democratic reform allows House lawmakers to vote for up to 10 colleagues.

McConnell did not mention elements of emerging GOP legislation on the floor, but knocked Democrats for holding few House gatherings, despite senators continuing to show up on Capitol Hill.

“I’m wondering if we should send senators over there to collect their newspapers and water their plants,” McConnell said. “About the only product to emerge from their lengthy sabbatical has been an 1,800-page, $3 trillion messaging bill that couldn’t even unite their own conference.”

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Peddling easily disproven lies about abortion and racism

According to a new documentary, Norma McCorvey, a.k.a. “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, made a deathbed confession that her pro-life conversion and activism was all an act, funded by anti-abortion organizations. I had a few off-the-record conversations with McCorvey over the years, and nothing in those chats felt scripted to me. You can never really know, I suppose. My guess is that McCorvey was a troubled woman, thrown into the middle of one of the most contentious Supreme Court cases in history, who shifted her positions in search of public approval.

Whatever the case, her later stances have no bearing on the debate over abortion. The fact that pro-life groups paid McCorvey to speak is not a big revelation nor a big deal. Nor do her vacillating claims tells us anything valuable about the constitutional validity of Roe v. Wade or the morality of dispensing with human life for convenience.

Yet Laura Basset at GQ would have her readers believe that McCorvey’s deathbed admission tells us everything Americans need to know about the pro-life movement.

Basset’s baffling and ahistorical central claim is that pre-Reagan Republicans were pro-abortion because they were racists and post-Reagan Republicans were pro-life also because they were racists — which is quite convenient.

For starters, there’s a historical problem embedded in the thesis:

Before Roe, Republicans and white evangelicals generally supported abortion rights, much in the way libertarians do now, because to them it meant fewer mothers and children dependent on the government for support. Segregationists, meanwhile, had their own racist reasons. George Wallace, the longtime Republican governor of Alabama, four-time presidential candidate and outspoken segregationist who is often compared to Donald Trump, backed the legalization of abortion in the late 1960s because he claimed black women were “breeding children as a cash crop” and taking advantage of social welfare programs.

Indeed, Wallace shared many of the racist and eugenic attitudes of early progressives, and was a long-time Democrat. GQ has since corrected the mistake, depriving Basset’s piece of its central premise. Not to worry. Contemporary liberals like to designate Wallace the forefather of modern conservatism because it comports with their favored ugly stereotypes, but it’s a rickety argument. Between the years 2012 and 2016, for example, black mothers terminated 136,426 pregnancies and only gave birth to 118,127 babies in the city of New York. Perhaps the rhetoric from Democrats justifying abortion is different, but the results would have greatly pleased the former governor of Alabama.

Basset then turns to the late 1970s to close the circle, and the results are no better. Jerry Falwell, Paul Weyrich, and other movement conservatives, she claims, would abandon outright racism and troll for another powerful issue to galvanize grassroots “white evangelicals” who wanted to “keep schools white.” (Modern progressives believe their obsession with race is shared by everyone, living and dead.) Someone forgot to tell the March for Life organizers, who first marched in 1974, to wait around for Weyrich.

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Venezuela to escort Iranian ships laden with humanitarian aid

Caracas, May 21 (Prensa Latina) The National Bolivarian Armed Force (FANB) will escort in its jurisdictional waters and air space all Iranian ships laden with humanitarian aid for Venezuela, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino announced.

‘When those ships enter our exclusive economic zone, they will be escorted by FANB vessels and planes to welcome them and thank the Iranian people for their solidarity and cooperation, amid the difficulties caused by Covid-19,’ Padrino told Venezolana de Television.

In that regard, he noted that Venezuela and Iran are sovereign and independent nations, allies in peace and international diplomacy, and ratified that the humanitarian aid will be received, as happens with Russia, China and other countries.

Padrino pointed out that the nations have the right to trade freely among them guaranteed, always under the principles of respect and mutual recognition.

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