- Obama to Reverse Afghan Troop Surge
- NATO Sees Rift over Libya Bombing
- Gaddafi Forces Strike Misurata, Killing 4
- U.S. Voices “Concern” over Bahrain Trials
- Syrians Flee into Turkey Following New Raid in Dissent Crackdown
- Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Freed From Prison
- U.S. Pledges $40 Million for Central American Drug War
- Bernanke Acknowledges Slow Economic Recovery
- New York Times Reporter Alleges Obama Government Harassment, Surveillance
- Salvadoran Activist Killed After Protesting Mining Project
- Michelle Obama Visits South Africa
- Uninsured Man Explains Deliberate Jailing to Obtain Healthcare
HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 21 (acn) The vice minister of the Basic Industry, Juan Manuel Presa, said on Monday that Cuba will continue to boost the use of renewable sources of energy, particularly eolic (wind) energy.
Speaking to ACN, Presa added that in Cuba there are currently 100 wind-meter stations to collect reliable wind data at a height of 50 meters in order to assess the existing potential in the country. In this regard, he noted that it is possible to immediately install equipment of up to 600 MW in the northern coast of the central and eastern regions of the island.
Today, there are four wind farms in Cuba with 20 wind turbines that contribute 11.7mw to the national system and, according to studies, several farms could be created with a potential of more than 2,000 MW.
Tania Carbonel, director of the Center for Studies on Renewable Energy Technologies, of Havana’s Jose Antonio Echeverria Polytechnical Higher Institute, said that wind energy has many advantages. “It is very cheap and clean because it produces no air or water pollution since no fuel is burned.”
Carbonel added that recent high fossil fuel prices and the problem of pollution, has accelerated the research in the direction of alternative energies.
Major users of eolic power are Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Ireland, India, China and the United States. In some of these countries it provides nearly 10% of total electricity production.
According to the World Wind Energy Association, it is difficult to assess the total number or capacity of small-scaled wind turbines, but in China alone, there are roughly 300,000 small-scale wind turbines generating electricity.
This week the House Republicans added an amendment to a bill that would rescind new family travel regulations ordered by President Obama that loosened rules about travel to Cuba by family members. Here’s the note fromLatin America Working Group:
Today the House Appropriations Committee voted in favor of an amendment, put forth by Representative Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida (R-FL 21st), to the FY 2012 Financial Services Appropriations bill. This amendment, which passed by voice vote, rescinds changes that President Obama made in 2009 to Cuban-American family travel and remittances regulations. If this amendment were to become law, Cuban Americans would only be permitted to visit their families in Cuba once every three years, with a limited definition of what constitutes family, and with no humanitarian exceptions. Cuban Americans would also be limited in what they could send in remittances to Cuba. We would be back to Bush Administration-era regulations on family travel. This is totally unacceptable.
Over eleven hundred of you sent messages to your representatives yesterday. Those messages were not in vain. Each of the emails that you sent, and phone calls that you made, chip away at the monopoly that a minority in Congress has over this issue. Thank you.
Luckily, there are other hurdles that this amendment must face before it can become law. Today’s outcome does not mean that the President’s 2009 regulatory changes will be rescinded.The Financial Services Appropriations bill still has a long journey ahead of it, which means that we must be prepared for more fights moving forward. Today we took a step back, but let’s get our footing now for the challenges we will certainly face when the bill hits the House floor and when the Senate considers its version of the bill.
Let’s take a moment to be disappointed–no, more than disappointed. Angry. But only for a moment. We must save our energies for an ultimate defeat of this setback—and the continuing goal of achieving “travel for all.” Cuban Americans in south Florida and elsewhere should be especially furious at this action by a Cuban-American member of Congress limiting their right to be with their families; but we all have the right to be outraged.
Supporters of the embargo voted to — once again — divide Cuban-American families from their relatives in Cuba. If the amendment were to become law, most of the approximately 400,000 Cuban Americans who traveled to Cuba last year to see their families would be prohibited from doing so; and the remittances that help many Cuban families to survive and thrive in a difficult Cuban economy would be cut. It’s a cruel thing to do—mean-spirited and anti-family; it’s about punishing families in the United States and in Cuba because of their opposition to the Cuban government.
We can’t let this happen. Stay tuned for next steps, responses, and actions. We’re counting on you.
In what authorities call a dispute over control of drug trafficking routes and timber resources, paramilitaries linked to organized crime have used death threats and violence to cause a general exodus of the campesino community of La Laguna, in Coyuca de Catalán municipality of southern Mexico’s Guerrero state. In a caravan of seven trucks, 30 adults, the majority women and elders, with 77 children, fled the night of April 21 from the hamlet in the Sierra Madre del Sur to Puerto Las Ollas, some five hours away on rugged mountain roads. There they remain, having been granted refuge by local residents.
Prominent Mexican journalist and commentator Miguel Angel López Velasco was shot dead along with his wife and son in Veracruz early on the morning of June 20. Gunmen broke into the family’s home in the port city’s Playa Linda section, killing López, 55, his wife Agustina Solano, and their son, Misael López Solana, 21. López worked as an editor at Notiver, the city’s biggest newspaper, covering corruption, crime and drug trafficking. He wrote a widely read column called “Va de Nuez” under the pseudonym Milo Vela.
A “peace caravan,” which has spent a week travelling through Mexico to protest against drug-related violence and the “war on drugs,” crossed the border into the US at Juárez-El Paso on June 11. Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, who led the National Citizen Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity, por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad, appealed for a similar citizen mobilization in the US. “The US has a grave responsibility in all this, when its citizens remain silent, they are imposing war on us,” said Sicilia, whose son was recently killed in drug-related violence. “Americans have to realize that behind every puff of pot, every line of coke there is death, there are shattered families.” Sicilia and his convoy of about 20 vehicles began their journey in Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City, and have criss-crossed the country, holding rallies against the escalating violence and militarization along the way. (RFI, Spain, June 12; BBC News, AP, June 11)
Health workers in Colombia’s remote southeast report that an outbreak of respiratory disease has struck one of the Amazon’s last nomadic tribes—whose numbers have already been decimated by flu and malaria. Around 35 members of the Nukak-Maku people, including nine children, have been admitted to the hospital at departmental capital San José del Guaviare. Local health director Héctor Muñoz told Colombia’s RCN radio that the hospital is well over capacity, leaving some Nukak with only make-shift beds. Many members of the tribe have been living in a refugee camp on the outskirts of San José since being pushed out of their rainforest home by illegal armed groups and drug traffickers. Since they first emerged from the forest in 1988, more than half the tribe has been wiped out.
from World War 4 Report blogs by Weekly News Update
More than 5,000 agricultural workers blocked the Trans-Amazonian highway in the northern Brazilian state of Pará on June 15 and 16 to push demands for land, government aid and an end to violence against activists. They continued the action after one protester was run over and killed on June 15, but they agreed to open up the highway on June 16 as the result of an agreement for Presidency Minister Gilberto Carvalho and representatives of the Mining and Energy Ministry and the Agrarian Development Ministry to meet with them on June 20.
Aerial photos released by Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency, FUNAI, June 22 reveal evidence of one of the world’s last “uncontacted” tribes, in the Vale do Javari region of Amazonas state, near the Peruvian border. (See map.) The photos show four large communal thatched huts surrounded by crops of corn, bananas, peanuts and other subsistence foods. FUNAI director Aloysio Guapindaia said the agency, which took the photos in an overflight of the settlement, will work to keep the tribe isolated and safe from outside encroachment. The tribe is thought to belong to the Pano linguistic group, which straddles the borders of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia.
Rufino Machaca Quinto, a representative of the Natural Resources Defense Front protest organization, announced after a meeting with leaders of the Mines and Energy Ministry (MINEM) in Lima June 23 that the government has agreed in principle to overturn Supreme Decree 083–2007, which gave approval to a controversial mining project in the southern Peruvian region of Puno. Overturning the decree has been a key demand of the Aymara protest movement in Puno. However, more meetings with MINEM chief Pedro Sánchez Gamarra and other cabinet ministers are planned, and the decision is not official yet. The Front’s director, Walter Aduviri, emphasized that the movement has other demands—including a halt to oil exploitation in Puno and the planned Inambari hydro-electric project—and that the protests will continue until these are met as well. (Radio Onda Azul, Puno, June 23; Mariátegui blog, Lima, June 21)