U.S. attempts ‘soft coup’ in Cuba

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this By Rosa Miriam ElizaldeFrom Resumen EnglishDec. 10 − Invasions get bad press – those close-ups of foreign boots marching over a beach or a neighborhood like El Chorrillo in Panama in 1989, where they still don’t know the total number of people who the U.S. troops killed. After more than a century of relentless experience, U.S. military interventions in Latin America have fallen into disrepute, lost their glamor, gone out of style. Now they prefer to use soft coups.Cuban youth denounce the waging of a media campaign against the island as part of a soft coup d’état scrip financed by the United States, Nov. 30. Credit: Alejandro Azcuy DominguezThe soft coup consists of decorating a minority to look like a majority, broadcasting their complaints, stirring up controversies and confrontations, and wearing down the true majority running the government until it’s possible to take them down through some farce: a judicial one in Honduras, a parliamentary one in Brazil, or an electoral one in Bolivia, or forcing a foreign intervention, as they are attempting in Venezuela, and as some dream of doing in Cuba.The soft coup is more complicated than the coups done through invasions by the Marines, but, in contrast to that, it has modern-day local color, with archetypes of the evil dictators as the bad guys, a bunch of good guys with “freedom fighter” stereotypes, so that it looks like a re-edited version of an epic film and, complete with false narratives of civic heroism, and with all of them, good and bad guys, performed by actors in a Grade Z action movie to play on those great tools for domination: corporate media and social media platforms.Well, that’s what Cuba has been going through in these past days. Fake artists barricaded themselves in a house in the San Isidro neighborhood of Old Havana, in a context in which a lot of things have gotten all mixed up together: legitimate needs of dialogue with cultural authorities, confusions, political opportunism, the pandemic, and economic tensions aggravated by a whole panorama of measures the Trump regime imposed: cutting off remittances, stopping ships carrying fuel, financial sanctions. …In a few hours, the operation of the “artists” was deactivated without anyone suffering so much as a scratch. But from this starting point, we’ve seen another rerun of an old movie: the Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Havana using his personal auto to transport these “artists,” while high-level functionaries of the State Department call these local employees of the soft-coup apparatus their colleagues. Some of those involved made a display of their liking for Donald Trump, whom they proclaim as their president, and of receiving financing from the U.S., federal government funds intended for the “promotion of democracy.”As researcher Tracy Eaton has documented, the United States government has spent between $20 million and $45 million annually since 1996, when a blank check was given, for financial support to local groups and international observers with the goal of instituting “regime change in Cuba” under Section 109 of the Helms-Burton Act.More than $500 million have been directed to these operations by this means, although this is not the only route for this money, nor even the most common one for stirring up “dissidence” in Cuba. No one knows for sure how much these undercover operations receive, nor what the total sum is that has been sent to San Isidro for this attempt to throw a lighted match into the gunpowder.A good chunk of change also goes to a cluster of online media platforms created by the U.S. government to do “dis-information” about Cuban affairs.  Hundreds of internet publications have appeared in Florida since 2017 with “Cuba” as part of their online names.  The objective is to add weight and volume to the toxic information about Cuba, repackaging the same agenda for different audiences and portraying the opinions of the United States as if they were something coming from Cubans themselves.This differs from other periods in the so-called Fourth Generation Warfare or Unconventional Warfare in that the new Soft Coup laboratories operate simultaneously in the physical, psychological, perceptual, and virtual realms, so that, after the confusion settles, only a cultural scorched earth remains.USAID calls the tuneThe Guardian recently interviewed the correspondent of one of these Florida digital media outlets, which had received a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) subsidy of $410,710. The ADN Cuba journalist told the Guardian, a British newspaper, that the measures taken last month by the White House to forbid remittances from being sent to Cubans by family members in the U.S. are “perfect,” because most of the money ends up in the state treasury — a shocking lie. [ADN is a Florida-based counterrevolutionary news agency.]“If I were in the United States, I would have voted for Trump,” added this “impartial reporter,” who has been carrying fuel to the San Isidro fire for weeks, just as many others have done. It’s not the same as invading a country, but it is still a flagrant attempt to disguise a violent minority as a freedom-seeking majority.In the midst of all this, the reality of what is actually happening in truly cultural terms in Cuba has been concealed from the poor misinformed world audience. Right now, more than 1,800 films and more than 800 scripts have been entered in the International Festival of New Latin American Film in Havana. We prepare this annual festival, which is intended to keep culture alive without allowing the effects of the soft coup to resonate beyond the dense mass of misinformation.“Hate is a long wait,” said French-Caribbean-African writer René Maran. And also, almost always, a big failure.Source: La Jornada, México, and Cubadebate; translated: Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau; edited: Workers World.last_img read more

IFRSIC mulls sponsor refunds

first_imgThe original guidance, IFRIC 14, says that a plan sponsor can benefit from a refund where it has ‘an unconditional right’ to that asset. Critics of IFRIC 14 argue, however, that puts too much focus on recognition of an asset and not enough on measurement issues. “There is almost a step missing in its logic,” Simon Robinson, a principal at consultancy Aon Hewitt, said. “It is quite binary. Once you have the right to a refund, that’s it. “It doesn’t consider the amount of a refund. Rather it just tells you to recognise the present value of the surplus using the IAS 19 methodology, which is a big leap. I’m not sure that logic hangs together.” The lack of an explicit formula or mechanism for calculating a pension scheme’s minimum funding requirement has proved challenging in the UK environment for businesses applying IFRIC 14. Clive Fortes, a pensions accounting expert with consultancy Hymans Robertson, told IPE: “A lot of auditors have taken the view that you can recognise a surplus if there is a theoretical possibility that the company can access the surplus – even if it needs to wait for the last member to die to do so,” he said. “You don’t see many companies restricting any IAS19 surplus an asset. In our experience, companies are looking for a mechanism that means they aren’t precluded from recognising a surplus.I suppose it boils down to asking the question: does this feel like an asset?”  Fortes added that because financial statements are prepared on the basis that a business is a going concern, auditors tend to apply IFRIC 14 in the context of an ongoing scheme. “This has tended to push the focus away from what happens on a winding-up of the scheme so that surpluses are typically recognised unless it isn’t blindingly clear that the company can access the surplus,” he said. Staff at the International Financial Reporting Standards Interpretations Committee (IFRSIC), the body responsible for developing guidance on the application of IFRSs, have recommended that the committee should approve an amendment to its asset-ceiling guidance. The move has been prompted by doubts over whether defined-benefit plan sponsors should factor in possible future actions by a scheme’s trustees ahead of recognising a balance-sheet asset.The IFRS Interpretations Committee had received a request to clarify whether the right of pension plan trustees to increase member benefits or wind up a plan affect an employer’s unconditional right to a refund of plan contributions. The committee’s staff wrote in a meeting paper: “We think that the fact that any surplus could be decreased or extinguished by uncertain future events is not relevant to the recognition of an asset, because this fact may affect the amount of the right but does not affect the existence of the right.” last_img read more

Jose expects big things from Blues

first_img Chelsea are certain of topping the table for another week even if Louis van Gaal – Mourinho’s one-time mentor – masterminds a victory for Manchester United over the Blues at Old Trafford on Sunday. Mourinho and United endured rare trophyless seasons last term and, while silverware appears a great challenge for Van Gaal, for Chelsea it seems within reach after a scintillating start to the campaign. “Last time we won a lot,” said Mourinho, referring to his two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups from June 2004 to September 2007. “It’s not good for a team that’s won nothing to be compared with a team that won everything. “(But) at the same time I have also to be honest and say that this team is showing great quality in its football and, if we manage to win also titles, it can be better, but let’s see.” It is quite a statement from a manager who identified numerous flaws in the first season of his return last term, despite guiding the Blues to within four points of champions Manchester City. Mourinho has apparently addressed many of those unsatisfactory elements, particularly with the addition of prolific striker Diego Costa – a fitness doubt for Old Trafford – and midfield playmaker Cesc Fabregas. The most pleasing thing for Mourinho is playing well and getting the rewards. He added: “If you get results and you are not happy with the quality of the game, it’s not perfect. If you play amazingly well, but don’t get results, it’s not perfect too. “It’s difficult to say that Chelsea are not playing good football. Press Association Jose Mourinho believes his Premier League leaders have the potential to be even better than the vintage Chelsea of his first spell, but warned his players they have won nothing yet. “It’s important for us as a group to have that feeling that we are getting results, but at the same time we are playing well.” Much was made of Mourinho’s Chelsea being physical and direct during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, but he insists he works with the players at his disposal. “We are trying to play a football adapted to the qualities of our players,” he added. “This is something people sometimes don’t understand. If you are a team that has players that are killers at counter attack, you have to play that style. “If you have players very strong with a low block (defensive line) and direct football, you have to play that style. “If you have people like Eden (Hazard) and Oscar and Fabregas, these kind of players, you need the ball. “You need to control the game by having the ball and by using their intelligence and creativity.” A player like Nemanja Matic has allowed Fabregas to flourish, but Mourinho believes the Serbia midfielder is more than an uncompromising presence. “They start together the eight Premier League matches and the three Champions League matches – 11 matches together,” Mourinho added. “There are teams and players that don’t do that during the whole season. People change a lot and players don’t have this situation of the chance to improve together. “They understand each other very, very, very well. People sometimes can look to a physical guy like Matic and think he’s a physical player. “He’s very technical. He plays fantastic football. He thinks very quickly, he executes very well. Together they are playing really well.” Mourinho also has leaders throughout his team, like during his first spell. He added: “I like all of them to communicate. I like all of them to have a voice. I think communication on the pitch is very, very important.” Didier Drogba’s return has, in part, been about facilitating the development of Chelsea’s young players. “Didier was always a fantastic example of a team player, of a club man, of a dressing room man,” Mourinho added. “At the age of 36, after so many years of experience, he has even better conditions to be a key man.” Mourinho learnt from, and by, experience when at Barcelona working as Van Gaal’s assistant. Sunday’s match will be the second competitive clash between the pair, the first coming in the 2010 Champions League final which Mourinho’s Inter Milan won against Van Gaal’s Bayern Munich. The Portuguese recalled “good memories” of the Catalan Cup win while at Barcelona, when Van Gaal gave him the run of the team. “I took the team, but he was in the stands,” Mourinho added. “I accept that as a gift for somebody that was giving everything and was working hard. “He was there to support. He was in the stands. He came down at half-time to the dressing room to listen to my team talk. “He didn’t want to interfere, because probably he thought that was right.” last_img read more