Cuban borders to continue closed until further notice

Travelers authorized to exceptionally enter Cuban territory must spend 14 days in quarantine in isolation centers in Havana before going to their destination province.

A note published on the website of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) recalls that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuba’s borders remain closed.

Humanitarian flights are excepted from this measure, as well as Cuban citizens residing in the national territory who were stranded in other countries at the time of the epidemic’s outbreak after being authorized.

For such procedures, “authorization must be requested at Cuban consulates” and “travelers must obtain their reservation on humanitarian flights that take place and that generally originate in Europe in Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid, Paris or Amsterdam,” MINREX explained.

The information issued this Tuesday warns that the authorization for other Cuban citizens, who it considers “non-habitual residents,” or for foreigners is carried out in an exceptional manner and its authorization is the responsibility of the authorities in Cuba who analyze the reasons for the request.

Whatever the cause, travelers authorized to enter Cuban national territory must spend 14 days in quarantine in isolation centers in Havana before going to their destination province.

Authorities question Russian owner of ship linked to deadly Beirut blast

Security officials in Cyprus have tracked down and questioned the Russian businessman believed to have abandoned the lethal cargo of ammonium nitrate that caused the explosion in Beirut Tuesday, according to a report.

Igor Grechushkin, 43, who has been identified as the owner of the ship MV Rhosus, which abandoned the shipment in 2013, was questioned at his home in the Mediterranean island nation on Thursday afternoon.

“There was a request from the Interpol to locate this person and ask certain questions related to the cargo,” Cyprus police spokesman Christos Andreou told Reuters. He said the results of the interview were being passed on to officials in Beirut.

The cargo ship’s captain, Boris Prokoshev, told authorities the load of the combustible chemical fertilizer ended up in Beirut when Grechushkin ordered him to make an unscheduled stop there to pick up extra cargo.

The businessman lives in Cyprus with his wife and 20-year-old son.

Police officials in Cyprus would not comment further on the outcome of their interview.

The explosion destroyed much of Beirut’s waterfront, killing at least 137 people — including at least one American — and injuring as many as 5,000. It was the country’s worst peace-time disaster.

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The USA violates market rule with ban on apps, China denounces

Beijing, Aug 6 China accused the United States today of violating market principles with its plan to ban the use of mobile applications developed here, arguing that they pose a security risk.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, condemned the move and denounced that it is rather intended to protect U.S. monopoly in the field of high technology.

He said that Washington does not have elements to proceed with this measure and urged its authorities to create conditions for the normal development of economic and commercial activities of foreign companies.

Wang responded this way after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced yesterday the extension of the program called ‘Clean Network’ directed against China.

Through this plan, the White House wants to ban mobile applications such as WeChat and Tik Tok because it considers them to be ‘an unreliable and significant threat to the personal data of U.S. citizens.’

It also intends to prevent apps made in the United States from being pre-installed or available for download on phones and wireless devices made in China by firms like Huawei.

Pompeo’s announcement follows President Donald Trump’s pressure on Tik Tok, also over alleged security risks. Earlier this week, the U.S president told Chinese technology company ByteDance to sell its popular platform to Microsoft, or else he would shut it down in mid-September.

Frictions between the world’s first and second powers are worsening, and the issue of mobile applications is just one of the ingredients that stir them the most.

In recent weeks, the United States imposed sanctions on Chinese companies for alleged abuses of Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region and charged two Chinese citizens with alleged theft of data from the Covid-19 vaccine and military technology secrets.

In addition to this, Pompeo made a controversial statement on Hong Kong and called on Washington’s allied countries to use ‘more creative and energetic ways’ to pressure the Communist Party of China.

That call is interpreted by local analysts as the prelude to a new Cold War and the resurgence of McCarthyism, which is why they agree that China must remain alert for the possible outbreak of military clashes with the United States in the near future.

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