How will we remember January 6?

US & Canada

It is a date that could go down in history as the day the United States started to repair its battered democracy

January 6 was a sad day for President Donald Trump and an exceptionally good day for American democracy. The dead and wounded will be remembered as a tragic outcome of the president’s violent rhetoric. But what happened that day – and I’m not just referring to the takeover of Congress by Trump’s supporters – could very well mark the beginning of an important period of renewal and strengthening of American democracy.

On January 6, the laws, institutions, and norms that limit presidential power in the United States were stress tested. Fortunately, they survived Donald Trump’s attempt to stay in the White House despite losing the election.

This is not to say that American democracy has passed through this crisis unscathed. It had already been weakened, and although the coup failed, Trump and his accomplices have left the country even more vulnerable and divided. What’s more, the blow to America’s international prestige is enormous.

On a day that was full of surprises we also got a letter and a speech that changed the course of history

But, as we have seen, Trump, along with some Republican members of Congress and the anti-democratic forces that actively participated in the coup attempt, were discredited even more. The seizure of the Capitol building by violent rioters incited by the president was, obviously, a historic event. Something like this hasn’t happened since British forces set fire to the Capitol in 1814. Fortunately, this time the occupation was short-lived.

But other very important things happened for US democracy on January 6. That morning we learned that the two Senate candidates running for office in the state of Georgia – Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff – had defeated their Republican rivals. Warnock will be the first black senator from Georgia – a southern state with a long history of segregation and racial discrimination. Jon Ossoff, 33, will be the first Jewish senator elected in a southern state since the 1880s and the youngest senator in the Democratic Party since Joe Biden was elected half a century ago.

The electoral wins of these two candidates mark a milestone that goes beyond the historic nature of their election. With those two additional votes, the Democratic Party, which already has a majority in the House of Representatives, will also have a majority in the Senate. This hasn’t happened since 1995. Control of Congress will give Joe Biden more freedom and accelerate the appointment of government officials that require Congressional approval and that of the federal judges whom the president proposes and the Senate can approve or reject. Of course, Biden also has much better chances of initiating meaningful and long-lasting economic and political reforms.

For the first time in four years, Mike Pence put his country’s democracy before Donald Trump’s personal interests

On a day that was full of surprises we also got a letter and a speech that – albeit not as dramatic as the televised occupation of the Capitol – changed the course of history.

Mike Pence, who as vice-president also serves as president of the Senate, sent a letter to his fellow senators. In the letter, the until-then submissive, obedient, adulating and, surely, long-suffering Mike Pence, informed senators that he would rigorously comply with the limited duty mandated by the Constitution in the process of certifying the electoral college votes for the president and vice-president. What Pence did not say in his letter, but everyone knew, is that this was not what his boss, the president, had ordered. Trump publicly reiterated that he expected Mike Pence (“who owes me so much”) to support the electoral fraud that he had mounted in collusion with Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and other Republican operators. Perhaps for the first time in four years, Mike Pence put his country’s democracy before Donald Trump’s personal interests. Had the opposite happened, the coup would have had a better chance of success.

The other surprise was the speech by Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the Senate. For four years McConnell had loyally supported Donald Trump. On January 6, he stopped. When the counting of the electoral votes began in the Senate, and before the invasion of the Capitol prevented further debate, McConnell gave a devastating speech that exposed, and effectively defeated, the coup that Trump and his allies were trying to perpetrate. If McConnell had aligned himself with the coup-plotters that day, we would now be speaking in a different tone about American democracy.

The defects of this democracy are in plain sight, as are all the challenges it faces. The reforms it urgently needs are also known. But will they be implemented? Will they be successful? We don’t know. But we do know that January 6, 2021 will go down in history as the day the United States began to reshape its democracy.

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European Left describes aggression against Cuba as inadmissible

Latin America

Brussels, Jan 13 (Prensa Latina) The Party of the European Left on Wednesday described as inadmissible the incorporation of Cuba to the US list of countries sponsoring terrorism and denounced the tightening of the US blockade, which it implies.

The organization founded in 2004, which includes European communist and socialist parties, repudiated the fact that the new hostile measure towards Cuba comes from an outgoing administration since Donald Trump ends his mandate on January 20, and from a country ‘with a past and present plagued by terrorist activities.’

It is inadmissible that a country that has distributed ‘democracy’ by means of cannon shots and coups d’états dares to accuse Cuba that spreads solidarity throughout the world by means of multiple actions, among them its medical brigades, of being a sponsor of terrorism, the party referred.

According to the European Left, the inclusion of Cuba on the list brings consequences, in particular the tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against the country, a policy that the organization depicted as criminal.

We condemn this cynical, opportunistic, inhumane and interfering decision, which violates International Law, and which constitutes another message of hatred for an administration that has shamed the United States, the European Left’s members pointed out.

Likewise, the organization’s representatives also expressed their expectation that the incoming government will reverse the Trump measure and that the European Union will take a stand against it.

The Party of the European Left reiterated in the text its solidarity with the people and government of Cuba and support for their right to peace and development.

‘Enough of the criminal blockade,’ the European Left’s members concluded.

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Syria war: Suspected Israeli strikes on Iran-linked targets ‘kill dozens’

Love & Peace

Israel has carried out a wave of air strikes on Iran-backed militia positions in Syria overnight, in the fourth such attack in two weeks.

The Syrian state news agency Sana said Israeli aircraft attacked the eastern Deir al-Zour and Albu Kamal regions.

It did not mention any casualties, but the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 14 Syrian soldiers and 43 allied militiamen were killed.

Israel has not commented, but it often attacks Iran-linked targets in Syria.

The chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Gen Aviv Kochavi, told Israeli media last month that it had struck more than 500 targets during 2020 “on all fronts, in addition to multiple clandestine missions”.

“The Iranian entrenchment in Syria is in a clear slowdown as a result of IDF activity, but we still have a long way to go to complete our goals,” he said.

Israel has accused its enemy of building up a force inside Syria and using the country to smuggle advanced weapons to Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.

Iran is believed to have deployed hundreds of troops to Syria and to have armed, trained and financed thousands of Shia Muslim militiamen – from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen – to support forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in the nine-year Syrian civil war.

Sana reported that Israel had carried out “air aggression” around the city of Deir al-Zour and the town of Albu Kamal, which is near the Iraqi border, at 01:10 on Wednesday (23:10 GMT on Tuesday).

It said the damage was still being assessed and accused Israel of “directly interfering to support terrorist organisations”, particularly the jihadist group Islamic State (IS), which is active in the area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict in Syria through a network of sources on the ground, reported that 18 Israeli strikes had targeted military storage facilities and a base on the outskirts of Deir al-Zour, military installations in Albu Kamal, and warehouses outside Mayadin.

At least 57 people were killed, including 14 Syrian soldiers, 16 Iraqi fighters and 11 Afghans, and many others were wounded, the group said.

Forces linked to Hezbollah and the Fatemiyoun Brigade, an Afghan Shia militia, operated in the areas that were attacked, it added.

Iran’s state-run Arabic TV channel, Al-Alam, quoted a source as saying, “no Iranians, Syrians, or members of the Fatemiyoun Brigade were martyred”.

An unnamed senior US intelligence official told the Associated Press that the air strikes had been carried out with intelligence provided by the US and that they had targeted warehouses being used as part of a pipeline to store and stage Iranian weapons.

The warehouses also served as a pipeline for components that supported Iran’s nuclear programme, according to the official.

Omar Abu Layla, the Europe-based head of the activist DeirEzzor24 news website, tweeted that the warehouses had contained a shipment of missiles and other weapons brought to the Deir al-Zour area by the Fatemiyoun Brigade in recent weeks for distribution among Iran-backed militias.

He described the air strikes as “a painful blow that indicates how much the Israelis are monitoring Iranian movements in every inch of Syria”.

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Capitol riots: Trump says his speech was totally appropriate

US President Donald Trump has said his speech before last week’s deadly Capitol riot, when he urged his supporters to march on Congress, was “totally appropriate”.

Mr Trump dismissed as “ridiculous” efforts by Democrats in Congress to impeach him for inciting insurrection.

He leaves office on 20 January, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on an article of impeachment on Wednesday.

“I think it’s [the impeachment procedure] causing tremendous danger to our country and it’s causing tremendous anger. I want no violence,” Mr Trump said.

He was speaking as he left the White House for a visit to Texas to inspect a section of the border wall with Mexico. It was his first public appearance since the violence at the Capitol, in which five people died and dozens of people were injured, including at least 60 police officers.

What did Mr Trump say in his speech?

During his speech at the rally in Washington on 6 January, Mr Trump repeated his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud during the 3 November presidential election and urged his supporters to march on Congress.

“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength,” he told the crowd of several thousand supporters.

He said Vice-President Mike Pence should have “the courage to do what he has to do”, claiming without foundation that Mr Pence had the constitutional power to overturn the votes which were being formally tallied in Congress that day.

“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” Mr Trump said.

Dozens of people have since been detained in connection with last week’s violence. Of the five who lost their lives, one was a police officer and one was a rioter shot dead by police.

Meanwhile, a third US lawmaker has said he has Covid-19 after sheltering with maskless Republicans in a safe room during the events of 6 January.

What is happening with efforts to remove Trump from office?

The House of Representatives will vote on Tuesday to ask Mr Pence to invoke the 25th amendment to the constitution to remove Mr Trump from office – an idea Mr Pence is said to oppose.

That vote is expected to fail, and so the House will then consider an article of impeachment against Mr Trump for “incitement of insurrection”.

Democrats have the majority in the House, so the impeachment vote is likely to pass. If it does, Mr Trump will become the first president in US history to be impeached twice.

However, the impeachment will only lead to his removal from office if a two-thirds majority votes in favour of his conviction in the Senate.

That would need the assent of a substantial number of Republicans and so far, few have shown any willingness to vote against a president from their own party.

Speaking on his visit to Texas, Mr Trump brushed off the threat of removal from office under the constitution.

“The 25th amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration,” he said.

Do Republicans leaders back impeachment?

According to the New York Times, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has told confidants he is pleased Democrats want to impeach the president.

The Kentucky senator believes the punishment will make it easier to cleanse Mr Trump from the Republican party, reports the newspaper.

Mr McConnell has also told associates he believes the president committed impeachable offences, reports the Washington Post.

Neither Mr McConnell nor his Republican counterpart in the House, Kevin McCarthy, plan to whip votes for or against impeachment, according to US media.

On Tuesday afternoon, one of the most senior House Republicans, Liz Cheney, said she would vote to impeach Mr Trump.

The Wyoming representative said in a statement: “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

Ms Cheney, the number three Republican in the lower chamber and the daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney, said Mr Trump had “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, lit the flame of this attack”.

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UN Security Council addresses threats to peace due to terrorist acts

Politics & Laws

United Nations, Jan 12 (Prensa Latina) The UN Security Council is holding an open debate this Tuesday to address threats to international peace and stability caused by terrorist acts.

Just amid the Covid-19 pandemic, threats to international security and the danger of more conflicts are increasing, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has repeatedly warned.

It also impacts efforts to fight terrorism and violent extremism, according to a UN report released in June 2020.

Terrorist groups use the pandemic to promote their propaganda and narratives, and include more people to their violent actions, the report states.

Tuesday’s debate will also focus on international cooperation to combat terrorism, 20 years after the adoption of Resolution 1373.

The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1373 in September 2001, following the terrorist attacks that took place in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, on September 11, 2001.

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Biden’s last major hire is career diplomat Burns to run CIA

Politics & Laws

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Monday tapped a former career diplomat in William Burns to lead the CIA as the Democrat raced to put a national security team in place days before his inauguration.

Burns, who speaks Arabic and Russian, was ambassador to Moscow from 2005 to 2008 and led secret talks that paved the way to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal under former Democratic President Barack Obama.

The Biden administration would be keen to revive the nuclear deal abandoned by Republican President Donald Trump and also to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for a cyber attack on U.S. government agencies last year. The Kremlin has denied responsibility.

Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for nearly five years, would also head an agency advising Biden on where he can cooperate with China and where to confront the world’s rising power.

“Bill Burns is an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the world stage keeping our people and our country safe and secure,” Biden said in a statement announcing Burns to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

Biden, who vowed as a candidate to pick a team of tested officials ready to serve on day one, is unlikely to have a full complement of national security officials when he takes office on Jan. 20 because of an unusually chaotic transfer of power. Trump contested Biden’s November election victory with false claims of voter fraud and delayed a normal transition.

Burns must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, where Biden’s fellow Democrats will soon have a narrow majority.

Burns has been confirmed by the Senate for five prior jobs over 33 years and navigated tricky politically perilous assignments such as heading the State Department’s Middle East division during the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq without much personal controversy.

“Bill will bring fresh leadership to a CIA that has been marginalized during the Trump years,” said Sir John Sawers, former head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.

Democrats who will chair Congressional intelligence committees in the new Congress welcomed Burns’ nomination.

“As a career diplomat under Democratic and Republican presidents, he has established himself as a smart and tested public servant who is free from political interference,” said incoming Senate intelligence committee chair Mark Warner.

“I believe that our nation will be more secure and better prepared to confront the threats we face thanks to his service,” said House intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff.

Still, a congressional source said Burns will likely face questions about Iran’s nuclear program and the 2012 attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, in which two American diplomats and two CIA contractors were killed. Burns was a senior State Department official at the time.

Biden has called on lawmakers to confirm his national security team as close to his inauguration as possible. Yet a push this week by congressional Democrats to impeach Trump over a violent assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6 by his supporters could further delay action on the appointments.

Biden took months to settle on a CIA pick. One early contender, former Central Intelligence Agency deputy director Michael Morell, faced opposition for backing the use of drone strikes and torture following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in Wilmington and Susan Heavey in Washington; Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball, Arshad Mohammed and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Angus MacSwan, Chizu Nomiyama and Grant McCool)

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Deal between Spain and UK plans to eliminate Gibraltar border checkpoint


The document describing this framework agreement, which EL PAÍS has seen, contemplates demolishing any “physical barrier” between the British Overseas Territory and La Línea in Cádiz

On December 31, just a few hours before Britain definitively exited the European Union, Spain and the United Kingdom, along with Gibraltarian representatives included in the British delegation, reached a preliminary agreement that will change relations between the British Overseas Territory and Spain more significantly than any other event of the past 300 years.

Gibraltar, which sits at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, was ceded to Britain in 1713 during the War of Spanish Succession, although disputes over sovereignty and authority issues remain to this day. In the Brexit referendum of 2016, Gibraltarians overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU.

Eliminating the physical barriers between Spain and Gibraltar will require reinforcing harmonization

In a statement released on December 31, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab described the new agreement as “a political framework to form the basis of a separate treaty between the UK and the EU regarding Gibraltar.” He said the document would be sent to the European Commission to initiate negotiations on a formal treaty reflecting the contents of the deal.

The document describing this preliminary agreement, which EL PAÍS has seen, contemplates demolishing any “physical barrier” between the British territory and Spain, in a reference to the 1.2-kilometer boundary separating Gibraltar from the Spanish city of La Línea de la Concepción, in Cádiz province. This border has traditionally been known as La Verja, or the fence, and it was closed for 13 years under Franco, from 1969 to 1982. Customs checks are conducted by officials on both sides, and greater border fluidity has been a long-standing demand of local residents and businesses.

The “Proposed framework for a future EU-UK legal instrument setting out Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU” also talks about implementing a double-key system (controlled by both Gibraltarian and Spanish officers) for entry through the port and airport of Gibraltar, which would in effect be joining the Schengen area, a European free-travel zone made up of 26 countries (22 from the EU, plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein). As a part of this zone, the international boundary would no longer be at La Verja, but at Gibraltar’s port and airport. The UK is not a part of Schengen.

The document, to be distributed to the 27 members of the European Union, contains guidelines for negotiating a formal treaty on Gibraltar that should be ready to enter into force six months from now.

These are the main points of the agreement:

Sovereignty. Articles 1 and 3 underscore that the framework is “without prejudice to the issue of sovereignty and jurisdiction” of Gibraltar, and that the future treaty will safeguard the respective positions of Spain and the UK on this matter. In his letter presenting the agreement, the British ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow demands “effective bridging arrangements” to prevent new barriers in relations between the EU and Gibraltar while work on the future treaty is underway.

Mobility. According to the preliminary agreement, the future treaty will contain provisions to enable the implementation of the most relevant aspects of “the Schengen acquis” in order to eliminate controls on the movement of people between Gibraltar and the Schengen area, by eliminating all physical barriers.

Role of Spain. Spain, as a member of Schengen, will be in charge of the implementation of relevant Schengen checks. These will not be implemented by the UK (Gibraltar). The document insists that Spain will be responsible before the EU for applying the relevant aspects of Schengen in Gibraltar, including the Schengen Borders Code and the protection of its external limits.

Double key for entry. Gibraltar will be the first to decide whether to allow or deny entry to a traveler, using its own database. After that, Spain will decide whether it allows or denies entry into the Schengen area (which Gibraltar will be a part of), using the Schengen database. “Both decisions will be cumulative,” reads the text, meaning that both authorizations will be required to enter Gibraltar.

Port and airport. Spain and Gibraltar will conduct people and baggage checks at the port facilities, besides other controls on cruise ships and at the marina. Similar procedures will apply to air travelers. Spanish and Gibraltarian officers will share office space at an airport facility created for this purpose, according to the text.

Transition period. During a “reasonable period of implementation” lasting four years, Spain will seek operational assistance from Frontex, the European border agency, to conduct tasks relating to Schengen controls and the protection of external borders, in what will be a joint mission. In the event that, after four years, one of the parties (Spain or the UK, including Gibraltarians) is not happy with the results, the agreement will be terminated following a period of consultations.

Visas. Spanish embassies and consulates will have the power to issue short-term Schengen visas of up to 90 days to people seeking to enter the European border-free area through Gibraltar. Spain will inform Gibraltar of the visas it has issued, and the latter “must align itself with the EU’s visa policy.” Spanish embassies and consulates will also issue long-term visas of more than 90 days to people with permits granting them residency in Gibraltar, although they could be delivered to applicants through the corresponding British embassy. Spain will also be in charge of handling ETIAS, the new European Union Travel Authorization System due to go into effect in 2022, and which will introduce security screening and entry fees for travelers to the EU from countries whose citizens do not require a visa.

Residence permits. Gibraltar authorities will be able to issue residence permits that “will only be valid to reside in Gibraltar.” The document warns that Gibraltarian authorities must take into account any potential opposition formulated by Spain. The government of Gibraltar must guarantee that its residency policy will adapt to Spanish and European standards, and be based on “the existence of real links with Gibraltar.”

Return and asylum. Travelers rejected at the border in Gibraltar will be subject to Schengen rules on sending them back to their countries of origin. Gibraltarian authorities will have the power to grant asylum, but their decision will be subject to consultation with the European Commission to ascertain that it aligns with EU legislation.

Judicial and police cooperation. Spain and Gibraltar will conduct joint surveillance of external borders through fluid judicial and police cooperation that will be reinforced.

Customs union. The future treaty will include a “bespoke solution” based on adapting the EU’s customs union to Gibraltar, which had been excluded from the border-free zone until now. The customs checkpoint at la Verja will be eliminated, but there will be a need for safeguards to avoid distortion in the internal market, particularly in the economy of the nearby Spanish region of Andalusia. To that effect, Gibraltar will have to apply “substantially” the same duties and trade policy measures as the EU, which includes customs, excise and value-added tax legislation, prohibitions and restrictions for security reasons, and sharing reliable statistics on its imports with the EU.

Safeguard mechanism. Specific customs procedures will be formalized on Spanish territory, although there will be control points at the port and airport of Gibraltar. Customs officials from Spain and Gibraltar will work together to monitor the latter’s imports. A mechanism will be implemented to monitor the application of EU customs legislation, and if breaches are detected, controls could be reintroduced. “Eliminating the physical barriers between Spain and Gibraltar will require reinforcing harmonization,” says the document, adding that the small volume of goods moving from Gibraltar to the EU should mean that the paperwork will not represent an excessive administrative burden.

Tobacco. The document discusses excise duties for “sensitive products” (tobacco, alcohol and fuel) and the need to adopt measures that will guarantee a level playing field and “ensure the traceability of tobacco products.” The document calls for administrative agreements between Spain and Gibraltar authorities to develop mutual cooperation in this area.

Environment. Gibraltar, says the text, will not adopt or maintain any measure that weakens the EU’s environmental protection levels. Mutual cooperation on this issue will be reinforced.

Cohesion fund. The agreement could include the creation of a financial cohesion mechanism between Gibraltar and the surrounding Campo de Gibraltar covering training. skills and employment. The EU’s funds could contribute to this mechanism.

Cross-border workers. The definition will be as broad as possible and include both employees and self-employed workers. They will be guaranteed the same treatment as nationals in terms of employment, pay and working conditions. Their work permit will give them preferential access to the labor market regardless of their situation, working authorization will not be limited by types of occupation, and it will be possible to change employers. The application may be filed either by the worker or the employer, and just the fact of filing it could include the right to personal mobility as part of the job-seeking process. Successful applicants will receive a physical document accrediting that they are cross-border workers.

Social Security. The agreement will include a chapter on coordinating social security benefits for individuals who work in Gibraltar and reside in Spain and vice-versa. Provisions will be similar to those included in the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK, and never inferior in terms of protection levels and rights.

Personal data. In order to facilitate the flow of personal data, European legislation on this matter will continue to apply to Gibraltar, while adapting to any changes.

Dispute resolution. Differences over the implementation of the agreement will be arbitrated by a dispute mechanism agreed to in the general Brexit treaty between London and Brussels.

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President exalts Cuban people’s resistance against subversion

Latin America

Havana, Jan 11 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel praised the resistance capacity of people in the island against destabilization attempts financed by the United States.

The President shared an article published by the local press via Twitter, denouncing the links between the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the subversive campaigns against Cuba.

‘Both the NED and USAID are perverse monsters that assiduously strive to attack heroic Cuba, but the resistance of the Cuban people is not broken in the face of so many imperial attacks,’ the head of state wrote.

The article shared by the president cites data that the NED published on its website, according to which between 2006 and 2010 the foundation allocated 7,946,650 dollars to promote Cuban counterrevolution.

Also, according to the article young Cubans are the main recipients of these programs, with funding of more than two million dollars for communication and political activism in the communities.

According to official sources, the NED annually invests 30 million dollars to support political parties, unions and non-governmental organizations and media against the Cuban State.

For its part, the White House has allocated more than 500 million dollars in the last 20 years for subversion on the island.

Diaz-Canel has repeatedly rejected the articulation of a soft coup against the country as part of ‘an old imported script with new actors.’

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Trump riots: Democrats plan to introduce article of impeachment

Politics & Laws

US Democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his role in Wednesday’s invasion of the US Capitol.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would move forward with impeachment if Mr. Trump did not resign immediately.

The charge of “incitement of insurrection” is set to be introduced by House Democrats on Monday.

They accuse Mr. Trump of encouraging a riot in Congress in which five people died.

President-elect Joe Biden said impeachment was for Congress to decide but said he had thought “for a long time President Trump was not fit to hold the job”.

he White House dismissed the impeachment as a “politically motivated” move that would “only serve to further divide our great country”.

Nearly 160 House of Representatives Democrats have signed on to the bill, which congressmen Ted Lieu of California and David Cicilline of Rhode Island began drafting while they were sheltering in place during Wednesday’s chaos at the Capitol.

If the process does go ahead, it would be the second time the House has pursued impeachment against President Trump.

In December 2019, the lower chamber impeached Mr Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But the Senate acquitted him on both charges in February 2020.

No US president has ever been impeached twice. However, the prospect of an impeachment conviction seems remote because of Mr Trump’s Republican broad support in the Senate.

One moderate Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump simply “needs to get out”. And Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a regular critic of Trump, said he would “definitely consider” impeachment.

But there is so far no indication that enough members of the president’s party would agree to convict him.

[Complete Article]

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Spain’s Cervantes Institute will pay tribute to renowned Iberian poet

Arts & Style

Madrid, Jan 9 (Prensa Latina) The Cervantes Institute of this capital will hold a tribute to the poet Jaime Gil de Biedma next Monday, as a closing of the commemorative events for the 30th anniversary of his death, the institution reported.

The agenda includes the deposit in memoriam of his dossier in the Caja de las Letras (Chamber of Letters) and the premiere of the new show ‘Vals del aniversario’ (Anniversary Waltz), stared by the singer-songwriter Silvia Comes and dedicated to that writer of Generation of ’50, with some of his poems set to music.

The Spanish intellectual published his first book, ‘Segun sentencia del tiempo’ (According to Time Sentence), in 1953, which was followed by other titles such as: ‘Compañeros de viaje,’ 1959 (Travel Companions), ‘En favor de Venus,’ 1965 (In Favor of Venus), and ‘Moralidades,’ 1966 (Moralities).

In the opinion of experts, in his work he uses colloquialism and irony to approach to social and existential issues, and in his compilation volume of essays entitled ‘El pie de la letra’ he studies writers such as Baudelaire, Jorge Guillen or Luis Cernuda.

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