This morning the cables were full of reports about the unheard-of news that a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane had been hit at an altitude of 10,100 meters as it flew over Ukrainian territory, along a route controlled by the war-hungry government of chocolate king, Petro Poroshenko.
Cuba, which has always stood in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and in the difficult days of the Chernobyl tragedy provided medical care to the many children affected by the accident’s harmful radiation, and is always willing to continue doing so, cannot refrain from expressing our repudiation of the action of the anti-Russian, anti-Ukrainian and pro-imperialist government.
At the same time, coinciding with the Malaysian aircraft crime, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the nuclear state, ordered his army to invade the Gaza Strip, where, over the last several days, hundreds of Palestinians have died, many of them children. The president of the United States supported the action, describing the repugnant act as legitimate defense.
Obama does not support David against Goliath, but rather Goliath against David. As is known, young men and women from the Israeli people, well prepared for productive work, are being exposed to a death without honor, without glory. I am not aware of the Palestinian’s military strategy, but I know that a combatant prepared to die can defend even the ruins of a building, as long as he has his rifle, as the heroic defenders of Stalingrad demonstrated.
I only wish to express my solidarity with the heroic people who defend the last sliver remaining of what was their homeland for thousands of years.
Fidel Castro Ruz
July 17, 2014
Source: Liberation News
Hoy por la mañana las informaciones cablegráficas estaban saturadas con la insólita noticia de que un avión de la línea Malaysia Airlines había sido impactado a 10 100 metros de altura mientras volaba sobre el territorio de Ucrania, por la ruta bajo el control del gobierno belicista del rey del chocolate, Petro Poroshenko.
Cuba, que fue siempre solidaria con el pueblo de Ucrania, y en los días difíciles de la tragedia de Chernobil atendió la salud de muchos niños afectados por las nocivas radiaciones del accidente y siempre estará dispuesta a seguir haciéndolo, no puede dejar de expresar su repudio por la acción de semejante gobierno antirruso, antiucraniano y proimperialista.
A su vez, coincidiendo con el crimen del avión de Malasia, el primer ministro de Israel Benjamín Netanyahu, jefe de un estado nuclear, ordenaba a su ejército invadir la Franja de Gaza, donde habían muerto ya en pocos días cientos de palestinos, muchos de ellos niños. El Presidente de Estados Unidos apoyó la acción, calificando el repugnante crimen como acto de legítima defensa. Obama no apoya a David contra Goliat, sino a Goliat contra David.
Como se conoce, hombres y mujeres jóvenes del pueblo de Israel, bien preparados para el trabajo productivo, serán expuestos a morir sin honor ni gloria. Ignoro cuál será la doctrina militar de los palestinos, pero conozco que un combatiente dispuesto a morir puede defender hasta las ruinas de un edificio mientras tenga su fusil, como demostraron los heroicos defensores de Stalingrado.
Deseo solo hacer constar mi solidaridad con el heroico pueblo que defiende el último jirón de lo que fue su patria durante miles de años.
Fidel Castro Ruz
Julio 17 de 2014
11 y 14 p.m.
Source: Liberation News
Vladimir Putin chaired a Security Council meeting in the Kremlin.
The discussion focussed on the maintenance of Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
* * *
Opening remarks at the Security Council meeting
VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues.
Today we will consider the fundamental issues of maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country. We all understand how many political, ethnic, legal, social, economic and other aspects this topic encompasses.
Sovereignty and territorial integrity are fundamental values, as I have already said. We are referring to the maintenance of the independence and unity of our state, to the reliable protection of our territory, our constitutional system and to the timely neutralisation of internal and external threats, of which there are quite a few in the world today. I should make it clear from the start that, obviously, there is no direct military threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country. Primarily, the strategic balance of forces in the world guarantees this.
We, on our part, strictly comply with the norms of international law and with our commitments to our partners, and we expect other countries, unions of states and military-political alliances to do the same, while Russia is fortunately not a member of any alliance. This is also a guarantee of our sovereignty.
Any nation that is part of an alliance gives up part of its sovereignty. This does not always meet the national interests of a given country, but this is their sovereign decision. We expect our national legal interests to be respected, while any controversies that always exist, to be resolved only through diplomatic efforts, by means of negotiations. Nobody should interfere in our internal affairs.
However, ever more frequently today we hear of ultimatums and sanctions. The very notion of state sovereignty is being washed out. Undesirable regimes, countries that conduct an independent policy or that simply stand in the way of somebody’s interests get destabilised. Tools used for this purpose are the so-called colour revolutions, or, in simple terms – takeovers instigated and financed from the outside.
The focus is of course on internal problems. Any country always has plenty of problems, especially the more unstable states, or states with a complicated regime. Problems do exist, still it is not clear why they should be used to destabilise and break down a country – something we see rather frequently in various parts of the world.
Frequently the forces used here are radical, nationalist, often even neo-fascist, fundamental forces, as was the case, unfortunately, in many post-Soviet states, and as is the case with Ukraine now. What we see is practically the same thing.
People came to power through the use of armed force and by unconstitutional means. True, they held elections after the takeover, however, for some strange reason, power ended up again in the hands of those who either funded or carried out this takeover. Meanwhile, without any attempt at negotiations, they are trying to supress by force that part of the population that does not agree with such a turn of events.
At the same time, they present Russia with an ultimatum: either you let us destroy the part of the population that is ethnically, culturally and historically close to Russia, or we introduce sanctions against you. This is a strange logic, and absolutely unacceptable, of course.
As for the terrible tragedy that occurred in the sky above Donetsk – we would like once again to express our condolences to the families of the victims; it is a terrible tragedy. Russia will do everything within its power to ensure a proper comprehensive and transparent investigation. We are asked to influence the militia in the southeast. As I have said, we will do everything in our power, but this is absolutely insufficient.
Yesterday when the militia forces were handing over the so-called black boxes, the armed forces of Ukraine launched a tank attack at the city of Donetsk. The tanks battled through to the railway station and opened fire at it. International experts who came to investigate the disaster site could not stick their heads out. It was clearly not the militia forces shooting at themselves.
We should finally call on the Kiev authorities to comply with elementary norms of human decency and introduce a cease-fire for at least some short period of time to make the investigation possible. We will of course do everything in our power to make sure the investigation is thorough.
This is exactly why Russia supported the [UN] Security Council Resolution proposed by Australia. We will continue working together with all our partners to ensure a complete and comprehensive investigation. However, if we get back to such scenarios in general, as I have said, they are absolutely unacceptable and counterproductive. They destabilize the existing world order.
Undoubtedly, such methods will not work with Russia. The recipes used regarding weaker states fraught with internal conflict will not work with us. Our people, the citizens of Russia will not let this happen and will never accept this.
However, attempts are clearly being made to destabilize the social and economic situation, to weaken Russia in one way or another or to strike at our weaker spots, and they will continue primarily to make us more agreeable in resolving international issues.
So-called international competition mechanisms are being used as well (this applies to both politics and the economy); for this purpose the special services’ capabilities are used, along with modern information and communication technologies and dependent, puppet non-governmental organizations – so-called soft force mechanisms. This, obviously, is how some countries understand democracy.
We have to give an adequate response to such challenges, and, most importantly, to continue working in a systematic way to resolve the issues that carry a potential risk for the unity of our country and our society.
In the past few years, we have strengthened our state and public institutions, the basics of Russian federalism, and we have made progress in regional development, in resolving economic and social tasks. Our law enforcement agencies and special services have become more efficient in combatting terrorism and extremism; we are forming a modern basis of our ethnic policy, adjusting approaches to education; we are constantly combatting corruption – all this guarantees our security and sovereignty.
At the same time, we should keep these issues in mind. If necessary, we have to quickly develop and implement additional measures. We need to have a long-term plan of action in these areas, strategic documents and resolutions.
In this regard, I would like to draw attention to several priority challenges.
The first is working consistently to strengthen interethnic harmony, ensure a competent migration policy, and react rigidly to inactions by officials and crimes that may be triggered by interethnic conflicts.
These are challenges for all levels of government, from the federal to the municipal. And, of course, it is extremely important for our civil society to take an active position and react to infringements on human rights and freedoms, helping to prevent radicalism and extremism.
We are particularly relying on civil society for effective help in improving the system of state governance with regard to ethnic policy and educating young people about the spirit of patriotism and responsibility for the fate of their Fatherland, which is particularly important. We discussed this in great detail recently at a meeting of the Council for Interethnic Relations.
By the way, I want to clearly state that – with the help of the civil society – we will never entertain the thought of improving our work in these areas solely by cracking down, so to speak. We will not do that under any circumstances; we will rely on civil society, first and foremost.
Our second important challenge is protecting constitutional order. Constitutional supremacy and economic and legal unity must be ensured throughout all of Russia. Federal standards as defined by the Constitution are inviolable and nobody has the right to break the law and infringe on citizens’ rights.
It is important for all Russians, regardless of where they live, to have equal rights and equal opportunities. This is the foundation for a democratic system. We must rigorously observe these Constitutional principles, and to do this, we must build a clear system of state authority, striving to ensure that all its components function as a united whole, precisely and systemically; this should include increasing local authorities’ role as part of Russia’s overall government mechanism. And naturally, reinforcing the efficacy of the work of the judicial system, the prosecutors, and the regulatory and supervisory authorities should strengthen Russia’s statehood.
The third key challenge is sustainable and balanced economic and social development. At the same time, it is fundamentally important to take into account territorial and regional factors. I mean that we must ensure priority development for strategically important regions, including in the Far East and other areas; we must simultaneously reduce drastic gaps between regions in terms of the economic situation and people’s living standards. All this needs to be taken into account when developing federal and sectorial programmes, improving inter-budgetary relations and building plans to develop infrastructure, selecting locations for new plants and creating modern jobs.
I also feel that we must think about additional steps to decrease the dependence of the national economy and financial system on negative external factors. I am not just referring to instability in global markets, but possible political risks as well.
Fourth, our Armed Forces remain the most important guarantor of our sovereignty and Russia’s territorial integrity. We will react appropriately and proportionately to the approach of NATO’s military infrastructure toward our borders, and we will not fail to notice the expansion of global missile defence systems and increases in the reserves of strategic non-nuclear precision weaponry.
We are often told that the ABM system is a defence system. But that’s not the case. This is an offensive system; it is part of the offensive defence system of the United States on the periphery. Regardless of what our foreign colleagues say, we can clearly see what is actually happening: groups of NATO troops are clearly being reinforced in Eastern European states, including in the Black and Baltic seas. And the scale and intensity of operational and combat training is growing. In this regard, it is imperative to implement all planned measures to strength our nation’s defence capacity fully and on schedule, including, of course, in Crimea and Sevastopol, where essentially we need to fully recreate the military infrastructure.
Originally posted on what's left:
“You need an event along the scale of the current event in order for you to be able to go in. After all, had we gone into Gaza three months ago, out of the blue, everyone would have said: Why are you entering Gaza?” Israeli finance minister, Yair Lapid, July 19, 2014 
By Stephen Gowans
The most recent eruption of Israeli military aggression against the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza, and the Palestinians’ consequent retaliation, is part of a permanent war of Zionist aggression against Arabs in Palestine that began soon after the UN promulgated its partition plan for Palestine on November 29, 1947. Formulated over the vehement objections of the Arabs, the plan allocated 56 percent of Palestine to a Jewish state, though Jews made up only one-third of the population and owned only six percent of the land, and 42 percent of the land to…
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