Brazil: Lula’s defense rejects another accusation in Odebrecht case


Brasilia, Apr 4 (Prensa Latina) Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s defense rejects an unfounded accusation about a peobable decision by the former president that the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (Bndes) favored the company Odebrecht.

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Brazil: Lula’s defense rejects another accusation in Odebrecht case

Brasilia, Apr 4 (Prensa Latina) Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s defense rejects an unfounded accusation about a peobable decision by the former president that the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (Bndes) favored the company Odebrecht.

Lula has not committed any crime and the accusation against him is ‘frivolous and without real foundation,’ said lawyer Cristiano Zanin, part of the defense of former workers leader.

According to the G1 news portal, Judge Vallisney de Souza Oliveira, of the tenth Federal Court of Brasilia, scheduled for May the hearing of witnesses’ statements in a criminal process that investigates whether Lula and 10 other people acted so Bndes favored the construction company Odebrecht .

In total, more than 40 witnesses registered by Lula’s defense will be heard by videoconference between May 26 and June 8. Among the deponents are ex-minister Miguel Jorge and advisers Paulo Okamotto and Clara Ant.

Given this announcement, Zanin insisted that ‘former President Lula has not committed any crime and this accusation, like the others, is frivolous and without real foundation.’

He explained that ‘the own witnesses registered by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), such as collaborator Marcelo Odebrecht, declared that the accusations against Lula are unfair’.

He stressed the defense witnesses will surely reinforce this scenario, which should lead to the former president’s acquittal.

Lula, the nephew of his first wife, Taiguara dos Santos, businessman Marcelo Odebrecht and others are accused by the Prosecutor of the Federal District of crimes such as criminal organization, money laundering, corruption and influence peddling.

Such irregularities were investigated after the so-called Operation Janus of the Federal Police.

In the complaint against Lula, the MPF affirms that the ex-president acted with the Bndes ‘and other Brasilia organs’ to favor Odebrecht in loans for engineering works in Angola.

In exchange, indicates the Prosecutor’s Office, the contractor paid the amounts involved of up to R $ 30 million (about $ 5.6 million dollars).

At all times, the defense of Lula denounces that the founder of the Workers’ Party faces judicial and political persecution that separates him from the political scene and left him out of the presidential elections of October 2018.


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Cuba reinforces veterinary surveillance before Covid-19


Havana, April 4 (Prensa Latina) Epizootiological surveillance is one of the lines of work of the Cuban health authorities, which are currently engaged in a tenacious fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19.

Sergio Pino, head of the Animal Health Department in Cienfuegos province, located some 246 km from the capital, explained that the country follows the same protocol for this purpose, which is why all veterinary services are kept open.

‘For now, Covidd-19 has not been declared a zoonosis (a disease that passes from animals to humans), nor is there any evidence that it infects animals that are affected or of economic interest,’ Pino said.

However, in Cuba there were indications that more care would be taken to detect it in time, said the expert.

Among the measures that strengthen the epidemiological surveillance system is training with respect to the new coronavirus and the application of a diagnostic algorithm to detect it in time, in case it occurs in animals or in humans who interact with them, Pino said.

Also keeping strict control of wildlife and livestock, he said, as cited by the Juventud Rebelde newspaper.

He said that early detection is the key to preventing a crisis, and recommended that if your pet or breeding animal shows respiratory symptoms that are strange or inconsistent with common conditions, it should be isolated from the herd and people.

In addition, the border veterinary service was activated, and extreme supervision was provided during the opening of containers, especially those from one of the affected countries.

Pino insisted on the need to check the regulations aimed at addressing the risks associated with legal and illegal trade in wildlife, an issue from which we are not exempt, and which can be a window to the transmission of epidemics if we are negligent.

He noted the importance of maintaining biosecurity in laboratories, clinics, markets and state farms and in the private sector, not only in the face of Covid -19, but to prevent other diseases.


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Chaos erupts on plane when Moscow-to-NYC flight is suddenly canceled


Fliers desperate to escape Russia erupted in a near-riot Friday when officials canceled Aeroflot’s last Moscow-to-New York flight — even though the plane had already begun taxiing on the runway. “People are starting to panic and go crazy,” one passenger, Montana-born ballet star Julian Mackay, 22, said in a cell-phone video he recorded from his…


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European Parliament thanks Cuba’s solidarity in the face of Covid-19


Brussels, April 3 (Prensa Latina) The European Parliament’s Group of Friendship and Solidarity with Cuba thanked on Friday the decision of the Cuban government to send medical brigades to countries of the so-called old continent affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

We deeply appreciate the help in containing the pandemic outbreak, a gesture of solidarity that shows the altruistic spirit of a people that does not give its surplus, but shares what it has, said the group formed on 19 February for the 9th Parliamentary term.

MEPs highlighted the presence of 50 Cuban health professionals in the battered Italian region of Lombardy and around 40 in the principality of Andorra.

They also pointed out that this cooperation in times of the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is part of the characteristic generosity of Cuba, despite the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States, which has been in place for six decades.

‘Since 1963, Cuba has sent more than 400,000 health professionals to 164 countries and has been present in the most serious health crises. Proof of this was the medical assistance it provided after the devastating earthquakes in Pakistan (2005) and Haiti (2010), as well as during the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014,’ they said.

The Friendship and Solidarity Group of the European Parliament also recognized the support of Cuban doctors to several Latin American and Caribbean nations.


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