Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba challenges Trump’s travel restrictions

first_imgMembers of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization/Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba received a warm and enthusiastic welcome in Philadelphia on June 12 at a gathering hosted by the Philadelphia International Action Center.  Their 30th Cuba Caravan will travel to Havana and Cienfuegos from June 22 to July 5, visiting 40 U.S. cities before they depart.A diverse audience of over 50 people attended the event at Calvary United Methodist Church. It was endorsed by Black Alliance for Peace; Comité Boricua Filadelfia-Camden; Socialist Unity Party; Struggle — La Lucha; Workers’ Solidarity Network; and Workers World Party/Mundo Obrero.In Philadelphia, some of those supporting the Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba were, left to right, Berta Joubert-Ceci, Michelle Strongfields, Gail Walker, Megan Murray, Carmen Guerrero, Pam Africa and Yahne Ndgo.Cuba is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its revolution in 2019.  This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Venceremos Brigade to Cuba, which will begin in late July and continue for three weeks.Since the successful Cuban Revolution in 1959, the U.S. government has imposed a criminal blockade on the socialist island. However, in recent months, U.S. imperialism has sharpened its attacks against Cuba and Venezuela, intensifying criminal sanctions against both countries, and supporting an attempted coup in Venezuela.Inspired in part by the revolutionary example set by the Cuban people, the Bolivarian Revolution began in Venezuela in 1999 to build a socialist society there, under the leadership of Hugo Chávez. The bond of solidarity between Cuba and Venezuela has been and still remains unbreakable.The solidarity event with revolutionary Cuba, Venezuela and other countries in Latin America and around the world under threat from U.S. imperialism took on new importance in light of the travel restrictions imposed June 4 by the Trump administration on U.S. residents traveling to Cuba. They ban group educational and cultural travel to the island, popularly known as “people-to-people” trips. Women speakers praise CubaAn impressive, multinational panel of women activists addressed a question posed by Philadelphia WWP moderator Megan Murray about what solidarity with Cuba means to them.  Pam Africa, minister of confrontation for the MOVE organization, stressed the humanitarian care Cuba has extended globally, setting an example for all. She spoke of the warm reception she received when traveling to Cuba on behalf of U.S. political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.Carmen Guerrero, immigrant activist with the Coalición Fortaleza Latina, responded: “Cuba is an example of ‘Si, se puede!’ (Yes we can!) for their policies of peace, brotherhood, liberty, humanity and justice. For people in my home country of Mexico, where we are dealing with many killings and disappearances, Cuba shows that when the people have the power we can do many things together.”Yahne Ndgo, activist with Black Alliance for Peace, told of her month-long experience living in Cuba earlier this year. There she found she couldn’t access funds from her bank account because of U.S. restrictions.  Just buying eggs for breakfast became a burden until her Cuban neighbors turned up at her door with eggs and other food to share.Ndgo said:  “I witnessed a human drive to be part of community versus what you see under capitalism where people are taught to extract as much as they can for themselves.  Cuba is the example that another reality is possible.”Berta Joubert-Ceci, of Comité Boricua Filadelfia-Camden, described her native Puerto Rico and Cuba as “two wings of the same bird.” She noted how these two countries and Venezuela all struggled against Spanish colonialism:  “Even before Trump, U.S. administrations have sought ‘regime change’ to regain power and destroy Cuba. They want to destroy the promise of socialism.”Taryn Fivek, International Action Center representative, who will participate in the upcoming Venceremos Brigade, explained: “Socialism is not just something you say or wear on a shirt, but what you do.  Cuba is a prime example. President Bolsonaro in Brazil just expelled all the doctors whom Cuba previously sent in solidarity to especially treat Indigenous populations who are now having their land stolen.  Sixty years ago this revolution challenged homelessness, poverty, the lack of health care, education and more. The U.S. doesn’t want people to see how Cubans have learned to liberate themselves.”Keynote speaker Gail Walker, executive director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, opened her talk by acknowledging a young Black woman in the audience who had just applied to study medicine at Cuba’s tuition-free Latin American School of Medicine. She said, “Cuba’s scholarship gifts to young people to study medicine are intended to be passed on as gifts to the communities they will eventually serve.”Walker recounted Cuba’s key contributions in the field of health care, which include developing treatment for diabetes, fighting Ebola in Africa and setting up clinics in Haiti.  She addressed Cuba’s contributions to hurricane preparedness, environmental justice, education and the struggle to combat homophobia. Walker noted that women comprise nearly half of the members of Cuba’s Parliament and three of six Cuban vice presidents. Another advancement Walker noted is that Cuba has taken measures to limit the scourge of gentrification plaguing countless Black and Brown communities in the U.S.  “Cuban law restricts any one individual from owning more than two houses — one in a municipality and one in the countryside or at the seashore.” Despite ban, ‘caravans will go on’Walker addressed the travel ban, noting that her father, the Rev. Lucius Walker, founder of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, who died in 2010, first initiated a people-to-people caravan to Nicaragua in 1988. There, two people were killed by a Contra attack and Walker was wounded.“The U.S. policies around Cuba, starting with the Kennedy administration, are nothing short of genocide,” stated Walker. “Trump’s policies are nothing but an extension of this.  He is trying to frighten people from going to Cuba, experiencing it and making up their own minds. Trump nixed the ‘people-to- people’ travel, but not the ‘solidarity-with-people’ visa travel option, which is usually selected by elements intent on supporting opposition inside Cuba to the current government.”Walker continued: “What Trump has done will have a chilling effect and to some extent it is working. But travel to Cuba is not a crime.  We have been indoctrinated about Cuba since birth with so many negative connotations thrown at us. Our intent is that people should see for themselves. We do this as an act of civil disobedience.”  In concluding, Walker emphasized: “We know we face potential fines and even jail terms, but the U.S. blockade and travel ban against Cuba are wrong.  They are criminal. We will continue to do caravans until we see this policy change once and for all.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Promissory note repayment will cost jobs

first_imgNewsLocal NewsPromissory note repayment will cost jobsBy admin – April 17, 2012 566 LIMERICK-born economist, Tom McDonnell, believes that recent moves to negotiate a deal on the Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide promissory notes, is a positive move.Mr McDonnell was speaking at Mary Immaculate College. He did, however, warn that the structure of the deal and in particular the interest rate, would be crucial to Ireland’s debt sustainability“As it stands, the promissory notes will cost €47 billion over the next 20 years. Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “It is welcome that the Government is now prioritising this issue and realises that the current structure of Ireland’s debt burden and the promissory note payments has to be renegotiated with a view to easing the burden on the Irish state and ensuring Ireland’s debt sustainability into the medium term. “However, the structure of any deal is crucial.  We don’t yet know exactly what will come about and in particular there is no information regarding what the interest rate on payments might be.”Mr McDonnell was speaking before addressing a public meeting on promissory note that was hosted by the Limerick One World Society.“The promissory notes constitute our remaining €30.6 billion bill for the private debts of Anglo and the INBS – a bill due to be paid by the Irish people through higher taxes and lower public spending: he pointed out.  “While most of the Anglo/INBS bondholders have now been repaid, we will be footing the bill for that repayment for years in terms of lower public spending and higher taxes – taxes which will be used to pay for bank debt rather than for improved public services or infrastructure. He said that over 2% of GDP will be sucked out of the economy each year up to 2023 to meet the promissory note repayments, which will mean more job losses and more pressure on a battered economy and society.“TASC (an independent, progressive think-tank dedicated to promoting equality, democracy and sustainability in Ireland through evidence-based policy recommendations), has suggested that the Government seek to convert the promissory notes into a low-interest long-term government bond – sometimes called a ‘bullet bond,” which is repayable over a longer period, such as 50 or even 100 years and has long argued that at least some of the former Anglo’s private banking debt that was socialised should be written-down.”He concluded that the outcome of the negotiations being conducted by the Department of Finance and the ECB will have a long-term impact on Ireland’s debt sustainability and economic recovery. Advertisement Facebook Twitter Emailcenter_img Print WhatsApp Linkedin Previous articleCharged with breaching court order at Newcastle WestNext articleIGB identify owners of dead greyhounds adminlast_img read more

Odds & Ends: Darren Criss Hops on the Hairspray Live! Beat & More

first_imgDarren Criss(Photo: Chris Hastings/NBC) View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Darren Criss to Go Behind the Scenes for Hairspray Live!In case you were looking for yet another reason to get excited for Hairspray Live! on NBC, here you go. Audience Choice Award winner and frequent Culturalist Challenge Top 10 maker Darren Criss will give fans a behind-the-scenes look throughout the December 7 broadcast. Criss will drop in during the pre-show special and in moments between the performance with updates, and will also host a Facebook Live digital companion show. Make sure to have all your devices at the ready to watch the show, watch Criss and (of course) live tweet.Idina Menzel & Jennifer Nettles Go Rum-Pum-Pum-PumAt the 2014 CMA Country Christmas special, country superstar Jennifer Nettles wished to be best friends with Idina Menzel before dueting on the then-ubiquitous “Let It Go” with the blazing supernova. Two years (and a Broadway debut) later, it looks like she’s gotten her wish. Nettles and Menzel reunited at the annual show on November 28 to perform “The Little Drummer Boy,” which appears on Nettles’ new album. Watch the energizing performance, featuring a meteor shower, pint-sized So You Think You Can Dance alum J.T. Church as a nimble drummer boy and plenty of screlting, below.Anthony Rapp Will Study Space MushroomsIf you were hoping to be the first person to play an openly gay astromycologist lieutenant on screen, find a new goal (also, that’s a weirdly specific goal). Rent and If/Then favorite Anthony Rapp has been tapped to join the cast of Star Trek: Discovery as Lt. Stamets. For those wondering, astromycologists study fungi in space. Someone has to, right? The CBS All Access digital series, which will also star Doug Jones and Michelle Yeoh, is set to premiere in May 2017.Ann Harada Finds Her Host of HunksA Christmas Eve miracle! The lineup is now set for the previously announced return of Christmas Eve’s Holiday Hunkfest. Ann Harada will reprise her performance as Avenue Q’s Christmas Eve for the December 12 event, which will feature the talent (and bodies) of Bandstand-bound Corey Cott, Colin Cunliffe, Aaron C. Finley, Santino Fontana, Jordan Gelber, Aladdin Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart, Devin Ilaw, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Donald Jones Jr., Michael Mindlin, Ryan Silverman, Howie Michael Smith and Bobby Conte Thornton. Proceeds will go to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.P.S. Here’s the full clip of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson singing and rapping a Lin-Manuel Miranda tune in Moana. As the demigod himself says, you’re welcome!last_img read more

Dutch consultant tenders €60m in equity mandates using IPE Quest

first_imgTwo €30m equity mandates – one for developed markets and a second for emerging markets – are being put out to tender by a consultant in the Netherlands on behalf of a charity, according to IPE Quest.The first search is for all or larger-cap equities within global developed markets, using a core style and passive process.The preferred benchmark is the MSCI World.Firms should have a track record of at least two years, though a five-year record is preferable, according to the search. The closing date for responses is 22 April at 5pm UK time.A shortlist will be drawn up on 27 April, with the deadline for submissions of RFPs on 7 May.The second mandate is for all or large-cap equities within emerging markets, using the MSCI EM as the preferred benchmark.For this mandate, asset managers should have a track record for the asset class of at least three years, with five years’ experience preferred.The deadline for responses to the emerging market search is 23 April at 5pm UK time.The shortlist for this mandate will be selected on 26 April, with RFPs to be submitted by 6 May.The consultant said the charity was looking to incorporate ESG factors into its equity exposure, excluding names rather than taking a best-in-class approach.As passive investors, the consultant said there was no problem with tracking error caused by exclusions.For both mandates, managers should have at least €1bn in assets under management in the relevant asset class and €10bn or more in assets overall.The charity’s board is set to make its final choice for both mandates on 27 May, according to the search.The IPE news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information direct from IPE Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 7261 4630 or email [email protected]last_img read more

Lions saddened to learn of Alex Karras’ condition

first_imgALEX KARRAS (AP Photo/File) “The entire Detroit Lions family is deeply saddened to learn of the news regarding the condition of one of our all-time greats, Alex Karras,” Lions president Tom Lewand said in a statement released by the team late Monday night. “Perhaps no player in Lions history attained as much success and notoriety for what he did after his playing days as did Alex.The 77-year-old Karras has been suffering from dementia. He is among the many former NFL players suing the league regarding the treatment of head injuries. Detroit drafted him 10th overall out of Iowa in 1958 and he was a standout for 12 seasons.Karras may be even better well known for his work as an actor, including being a lovable father in the 1980s sitcom “Webster.” He also played the role of Mongo in the 1974 comedy classic “Blazing Saddles,” in which he said, “Mongo only pawn in game of life,” and punched out a horse.Recently, his wife said his quality of life has been made worse because of head injuries sustained during his playing career.Susan Clark said earlier this year that her husband couldn’t drive after loving to get behind the wheel and he could no longer remember recipes for some of his favorite Italian and Greek dishes he used to cook.Clark, who also played the wife of Karras’ character on “Webster,” has said he was formally diagnosed with dementia several years ago and has had symptoms for more than a dozen years. She and Karras were among those who filed suit nearly six months ago in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.“This physical beating that he took as a football player has impacted his life, and therefore it has impacted his family life,” Clark said earlier this year. “He is interested in making the game of football safer and hoping that other families of retired players will have a healthier and happier retirement.”The NFL has said it did not intentionally seek to mislead players and has taken action to better protect players and to advance the science of concussion management and treatment.Karras played his entire NFL career with the Lions before retiring in 1970 at age 35. He was a first-team All-Pro in 1960, 1961 and 1965, and he made the Pro Bowl four times. He missed the 1963 season when he was suspended by NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle in a gambling probe. Karras was recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a defensive tackle on the All-Decade Team of the 1960s.“We know Alex first and foremost as one of the cornerstones to our Fearsome Foursome defensive line of the 1960s and also as one of the greatest defensive linemen to ever play in the NFL,” Lewand said. “Many others across the country came to know Alex as an accomplished actor and as an announcer during the early years of ‘Monday Night Football.’“We join his legions of fans from both sports and entertainment in prayer and support for Alex, his wife Susan, and his entire family during this most difficult time.” by Larry LageDETROIT (AP) — Alex Karras’ condition has deteriorated and the NFL team he played for is extending its sympathies.The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News reported the former All-Pro defensive lineman and actor has been given only a few days to live because of recent kidney failure.last_img read more

Morocco denies withdrawing as African Cup host

first_imgAbraham Chaloub, a staff member of the national Guinean soccer team, shows his passport after he was tested for Ebola by Moroccan health screening team at the arrivals hall of the Mohammed V airport in Casablanca, Thursday, Oct 9, 2014. The soccer team is in Morocco to prepare the CAN competition. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco has denied reports it has withdrawn as host of next year’s African Cup of Nations, although it wants the tournament postponed.Morocco wants Africa’s premier football event postponed because Moroccans could be threatened by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, information minister and government spokesman Mustapha Khalfi said on Thursday.The Confederation of African Football insisted the tournament should carry on as planned in January and February 2015.CAF has canceled all football in the three worst affected Ebola countries — Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone — until further notice, but says it is following the advice of the World Health Organization that travel bans will not help curtail the outbreak.CAF President Issa Hayatou will travel to Morocco next month to meet officials over their concerns, but the African football body said there can be no postponement.“CAF has registered the request and wishes to state that there are no changes of the schedules of its competitions and events,” CAF said.CAF has apparently reached out to at least two other countries to ask if they would step in at short-notice if Morocco refuses to host on the original dates of Jan. 17-Feb. 8.Ghana’s sports minister said on his official Facebook page that his country was approached to possibly host, and CAF also asked South Africa if it could be on standby, according to a CAF letter to the South African Football Association which was published in the South African media.Morocco feels large groups of football supporters and other travelers from West Africa — where Ebola has killed more than 4,500 people in its worst outbreak ever — would put it at risk.“There is no way we can be lenient with the health and safety of the Moroccan citizens,” Khalfi said at a government media briefing on Thursday, repeating Morocco’s request for the cup to be postponed.He didn’t say when Morocco wanted it postponed to.Khalfi was repeating concerns expressed by Morocco’s health ministry, which originally advised Moroccan authorities to request a postponement from CAF.“Football is just a game and we can’t play with the health of Moroccans,” health minister Houssaine Louardi said this week. “There is no zero risk when it comes to Ebola.”last_img read more