Cuba Eco friendly Travel and Pandemic Safe

Cuba works to be a very safe tourist destination, minister says

Havana, Jun 19 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s Tourism Minister Juan Carlos Garcia stated that this country’s authorities are working to achieve a renewed and very safe destination, a message issued by the Ministry of Tourism said on Friday.

Garcia spoke on Thursday at the 65th Virtual Meeting of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Regional Commission for the Americas, as reflected in the official statement released during this event.

Despite this, the Cuban tourist system raised high commitments, whose example was to attend British cruise ship MS Braemar with 682 passengers and 381 crew members on board, to facilitate their return to the United Kingdom, a humanitarian operation in which those who participated did not get sick with coronavirus.

During these 100 days (since March 11, when social distancing was decreed due to the disease), 120 hotels remained active, to attend tourists stranded in Cuba and promoting health services in many cases.

The minister recalled that the Cuban tourism opened its doors this Thursday, in a first phase for the national vacationer, and as of July 1 for foreigners who could enjoy in Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Cruz and Cayo Largo).

He stressed that the facilities that reopen their doors must display the tourism certification, agreed between the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Public Health.

Such certification responds to the protocols stipulated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Trump Fights the Last War

If the president thinks the 2016 playbook is going to win the 2020 game, Joe Biden will make it to the Oval Office without ever having to leave his basement.

President Donald Trump delivers a statement in the Rose Garden at the White House on the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd, June 1, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)
If we think the 2016 playbook is going to win the 2020 game, Joe Biden will make it to the Oval Office without ever having to leave his basement.
It’s an old story: fighting the next war with the last war’s battle plan, as if prior success guarantees future victory. So here was President Trump after the Supreme Court gave him another thumping on Thursday, vowing to release “a new list of Conservative Supreme Court Justice nominees” in September — i.e., around the back stretch galloping toward the Election Day finish line.

The president reasons: “Based on decisions being rendered now, this list is more important than ever before (Second Amendment, Right to Life, Religious Liberty, etc.).” Lest we miss the characteristically Trumpian subtlety, he adds, “VOTE 2020!”

If you needed a laugh to get you through just-another-day-at-the-Apocalypse, our “Conservative” president then proceeded to post no fewer than 21 tweets describing the combined hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure spending he plans to shovel out to states he hopes to win in November.

By the way, with Trump in the White House and the McConnell-led Republican Senate having slyly buried periodic public debates over the debt limit, the nation is now over $26 trillion in the red. If you’re keeping score, that’s an increase of over $6 trillion since January 20, 2017. Obama spending was unprecedented, but Trump is on pace to exceed it. And don’t tell me about the unforeseen coronavirus crisis; debt was already accumulating mountainously before the lockdown, and the president keeps saying more infrastructure spending is imperative — it may be the only thing he and congressional Democrats can agree on.

The point being that the president is not a conservative, in the sense either of political ideology or temperament. He has some conservative sensibilities and has mastered some right-wing tropes. But he’s not a conservative thinker wedded to a conservative policy agenda. That’s hardly a revelation. He’s not wired to think in those terms. He’s not a progressive, either.

What is he, then? Does it matter? After all, he’s president not because of what he is but what he isn’t — which is Hillary Clinton. That’s fine, but Republicans and conservatives who’ve been supportive of Trump should not delude themselves that things have changed, that the president has evolved into a conservative because we’d like him to be one, or because he occasionally proclaims himself one.

The euphemism has always been that the president is “transactional.” Of course, that only makes sense as the simulacrum of fixed principles if there is something identifiable that the transactions are designed to advance. In the president’s case, that would be Donald J. Trump. That is not an original observation, either.

What conservatives and Republicans often gloss over, since it is not very flattering, is that we are transactional, too.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not singing from the Never-Trump hymnal. I am not accusing my fellow conservatives and Republicans of whoring themselves, of checking their principles at the door and making loyalty to the president their compass. Quite the opposite. The trick in this uneasy alliance has always been to maintain our principles while convincing the president to come around. Not because he necessarily agrees, since his agreements are fleeting. He has to be convinced that it’s in his interest to come around.

Which brings us to this business of fighting the last war.

When Donald Trump was a presidential candidate, his impulse — and, as we’ve seen, there is no seven-second delay between an impulse and its verbalizing — was to assert that his sister would be a “phenomenal” nominee should a Supreme Court vacancy open up. Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, the president’s older sister who has since retired from the Third Circuit federal appeals court, was a dogmatic supporter of abortion. Trump’s suggestion thus caused consternation on the right, particularly among legal scholars and social conservatives. He realized a retraction was in order, tout de suite.

The incident turned out to be significant. Trump was not necessarily persuaded by the virtues of originalism and limited government (though we can always hope). He did, however, grasp the power of the issue, its galvanizing effect on the voters he was wooing.

When Justice Antonin Scalia unexpectedly passed away in February 2016, the candidate realized that the campaign had shifted. It would no longer feature the usual vaporous debate over Supreme Court nominees. Now, the election might well turn on the concrete question of whether a Republican or Hillary Clinton should be the one to fill the pending vacancy. Indeed, the vacancy in its suddenness pushed to the front of voters’ minds the advanced ages of many remaining justices, and the likelihood that the next president would have more than one vacancy to fill.

Donald Trump was fast on his feet. He sized up the esteem in which Republicans hold the Federalist Society, as well as the consternation among his base supporters that a President Hillary Clinton would replace the iconic Scalia with a progressive activist. Trump saw that it was demonstrably in his interest to become the champion of conservative judges in the Scalia mold. He was deft enough to see that leaning on the Federalist Society for this purpose would not only signal the right nomination instincts but also earn him some credibility with skeptics who saw Trump as a New York limousine liberal.

It worked. To his detriment, though, the president has never allowed himself to acknowledge how narrow — I think, how miraculous — his victory was. Hence, the babble about “the Electoral College landslide.” More to the point, the president now seems not to see how unique were the conditions of the 2016 battleground. Replication of that battle’s plan is not a path to 2020 success.

Let’s put aside that there is no vacancy on the table, no sense of urgency to preserve the Scalia legacy. In just the last few days, the Supreme Court has demonstrated, yet again, that stacking the tribunal with ostensibly conservative lawyers does not assure conservative results.

Once again, Chief Justice Roberts joined the four-justice liberal bloc to preserve a signal Obama policy achievement. Last time it was Obamacare, this time it’s DACA. Though sold to the Right as a rock-ribbed conservative, Roberts essentially held that a new president may not reverse the last president’s illegal acts in the same peremptory manner in which those acts were imposed. Or, if you prefer, even if Obama himself conceded that he had no authority to issue a decree, Roberts will treat the decree as legitimate law. I wouldn’t bet the ranch that the chief justice would be as solicitous if Trump were to start issuing similar “policy memos” that usurp legislative power, but just imagine what a Biden administration could make of the new dispensation.

What about the president’s responsive tweets, quoted at the top? With due respect, the rights to armed self-defense, life, and religious exercise are not at stake because of a failure to nominate and confirm reliable conservative jurists. They are at stake because Republicans cling to the fantasy that the Supreme Court is our highest legal institution. In reality, it is a super-legislature: It is the last word on vital policy matters that should be decided democratically; and its members are life-tenured — politically unaccountable even as they do politics rather than law.

Democrats get this.

The liberal justices typically vote as a bloc. Like good legislators, what they care about is the result. They are all brilliant lawyers, so once they decide what progressive policy result should be achieved, they transmogrify as needed into originalists, textualists, procedural sticklers, organic constitutionalists, sweet-mystery-of-life liberty fetishists — you name it, they can play it.

Likewise, Chuck Schumer and the other Senate Democrats demand to know how every nominee would rule on Roe v. Wade, on guns, on health care, on boys in the girl’s bathroom, on the environment, on the due-process entitlements of “migrants,” jihadists, and sundry anti-American transgressives, etc. All prospective justices bob and weave, but Democrats are unapologetically relentless in grilling Republican nominees. None of this GOP pablum about how “it would just be so wrong to probe how a jurist might grapple with an issue that might come before the Court — because we must respect the integrity and independence of the judicial process.” Democrats say, “How are you going to vote? That’s what we need to know.” Republican nominees must ritually incant that “Roe is settled law because, um, stare decisis”; Democratic nominees must simply show up for work on the first Monday in October.

It will not do for one side to honor jurisprudential protocols and fret over the Court’s reputation, while the other side remorselessly pursues its “Change!” agenda. While President Trump is neither a political philosopher nor a juridical theorist, he is often more perceptive than egg-heads and swamp denizens when it comes to that kind of brute power dynamic.

This is not about the legal acumen of the nominees; it is about the political nature of the institution. Somebody on the Republican side better figure that out. If we think the 2016 playbook is going to win the 2020 game, Joe Biden will make it to the Oval Office without ever having to leave his basement


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Cuba Re-Opens For International Visitors July 1

Cuba will re-open for international flights on July 1, officials say, with the first flights arriving at Los Cayos from Canada.

“Cuba would like all Canadians as well as travel agents and tour operators that the time you have been waiting for is here!” said Lessner Gomez, Director for the Cuba Tourist Board, “Cuba with all its natural charm, vibrant culture and kind people await you all with open arms. We are ready to welcome you back!”

Over the past few months the Cuban government has focused its efforts in on the battle against the pandemic. During this time, government officials took steps to improve all hotels and tourism infrastructure. Hygiene and sanitary protocols were put in place in order to ensure the safety of the Cuban people and its international visitors, as tourism activities are reactivated.

Constant communication and coordination with all relevant stakeholders in the tourism industry has been a priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to keep them informed on all updates and current activities. A new promotional campaign will also be launched across Cuba Tourism Board social media platforms to reactivate and invite tourism to Cuba.

China to Increase U.S. Agricultural Imports after Secret Trade Talks: Report

China will increase its purchases of U.S. agricultural products following secret talks between the two nations held in Hawaii, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

China is a vital market for American soybeans, corn, ethanol, meat, and other agricultural products. But Beijing, which committed to buying $36.5 billion in American agricultural goods under the terms of a phase-one trade deal signed by President Trump and Chinese premier Xi Jinping, had only purchased $4.65 billion worth through the first four months of 2020.

The talks on Wednesday, attended by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chinese foreign-policy chief Yang Jiechi, were intended to smooth conflicts over the trade deal.

“During my meeting with CCP Politburo Member Yang Jiechi, he recommitted to completing and honoring all of the obligations of Phase 1 of the trade deal between our two countries,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter following the meeting.

The Chinese commerce ministry did not respond to Bloomberg‘s request for comment.

Phase one of the trade deal went into effect just before the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, China ballooned into a global pandemic. Relations between the U.S. and China have soured considerably since then, with American officials blaming China for not preventing the spread of the virus. The two nations were already in the midst of a trade war, with each imposing tariffs on exports from the other.


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Oklahoma Supreme Court rejects bid to stop Trump Tulsa rally


The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Friday rejected a bid to effectively stop President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa Saturday by requiring everyone inside the arena to maintain social distancing of at least six feet and wear a face mask.

“It is not the duty of this Court to fashion rules or regulations where none exist,” the court wrote in a unanimous decision.

The petitioners did not establish that they have a “clear legal right” to the relief requested, wrote Chief Justice Noma D. Gurich, who was first appointed by a GOP governor but reappointed by a Democrat.

The justices also cited a lack of any mandatory language in the state’s reopening plan, which provides social distancing guidelines for entertainment venues but does not require them.

The action was brought by John Hope Franklin for Reconciliation, a nonprofit that promotes racial equality, and the Greenwood Centre, Ltd., which owns commercial real estate, and on behalf of two local residents described as having compromised immune systems and being particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, Tulsa’s GOP mayor confessed to feeling anxious about the potential spread of the coronavirus by people attending the rally.

“As someone who is cautious by nature, I don’t like to be the first to try anything. I would have loved some other city to have proven the safety of such an event already,” Mayor G.T. Bynum wrote.

The city’s health director, Dr. Bruce Dart, has said he would like to see the rally postponed, noting that large indoor gatherings are partially to blame for the recent spread of the virus in Tulsa and Tulsa County.

The rally was originally scheduled for Friday, but it was moved back a day following an uproar that it otherwise would have happened on Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in the US, and in a city where a 1921 white-on-black attack killed as many as 300 people.

Marc Lotter, the Trump campaign’s strategic communications director, told MSNBC on Friday that the rally “is really a celebration of an America that’s reopening.”

He said the campaign asks that supporters stay away from the rally if they or a family member are in a high-risk category for serious complications from the coronavirus.

That message has not been widely echoed by the president or his campaign, which has encouraged supporters to attend, and Lotter said the campaign would not require wearing face coverings.

“If you want to make that choice to come here, celebrate your First Amendment rights as well to assemble, to let your voices be heard and to celebrate an America that’s reopening and this president then you’re encouraged to come here,” he said.

Oklahoma venue asks Trump campaign for health plan before rally

Oklahoma has seen a recent spike in coronavirus cases, setting a daily high on Thursday of 450.

Health officials on Friday reported 125 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tulsa County, which is the most of any county in Oklahoma.

Statewide, there were 352 new cases and one new coronavirus death reported Friday, raising the state’s total number of confirmed cases since the pandemic began to 9,706 and its death toll to 367.

The actual number of people who have contracted the virus is likely higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest that people can be infected but not feel sick.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks.

But for others, especially older adults and people with pre-existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal, and has killed nearly 120,000 Americans to date.


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Cuba accuses US of provocative meddling in internal affairs


Havana, June 19 (Prensa Latina) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) on Friday accused the Embassy of the United States and its charge d’affaires of clear provocative meddling in Cuba’s internal affairs.

The Director of Bilateral Issues of the United States General Directorate of the Foreign Ministry, Yuri Gala, told the chargé d’affaires, Mara Tekach, that her behavior is a flagrant violation of the rules of International Law and diplomatic relations of States.

In the statement, MINREX rejected the letter by Mara Tekach sent in complicity with common criminal José Daniel Ferrer.

When presenting him with a note of protest, Gala emphasized that the behavior of the embassy and, in particular, the chargé d’affaires, are not surprising.

According to the statement, Gala recalled the US diplomat ‘represents a government known for its deplorable record in the field of human rights, both in its territory and in other countries.’


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