El Papa Francisco llega a Estados Unidos

papa

22/09/2015

PAPA FRANCISCO |

El papa Francisco desembarcó este martes en Washington para iniciar una histórica gira de seis días a Estados Unidos en la que se reunirá con el presidente Barack Obama, hablará ante el Congreso y pronunciará un discurso ante la Asamblea General de la ONU.

El avión de Alitalia aterrizó a las 15H50 locales (19h50 GMT) en la base aérea Andrews, en la periferia de la capital estadounidense, proveniente de Santiago de Cuba.

Por la ventanilla del avión eran exhibidas las banderas del Vaticano y de Estados Unidos.

Al pie de la escalerilla del avión, Francisco fue recibido por el presidente Obama, su esposa Michelle y sus dos hijas, y numerosos obispos, incluyendo el cardenal Donald Wuerl, de la arquidiócesis de Washington.

Se trata de la primera visita de Francisco a Estados Unidos. El anterior papa que viajó al país fue Benedicto XVI en 2008. Paulo VI fue el primer pontífice a pisar suelo estadounidense, en 1965, y Juan Paulo II tiene el récord, con siete visitas.

El primer compromiso oficial de Francisco en Washington será una visita a Obama en la Casa Blanca, en la mañana del miércoles. Unas 20.000 personas son esperadas en los jardines de la sede presidencial, donde Francisco deberá pronunciar un discurso en inglés.

Francisco pronunciará el jueves un esperado discurso ante las dos cámaras del Congreso estadounidense, donde además deberá usar un balcón para saludar a una multitud que se estima podría superar las 50.000 personas. Francisco finalmente se reunirá con representantes de grupos católicos de caridad, antes de trasladarse a Nueva York.

El Papa llegó a Estados Unidos proveniente de Cuba, donde realizó una histórica visita de 72 horas en que pronunció tres misas (dos de ellas campales) y se reunió con el líder cubano Fidel Castro y con el presidente, su hermano Raúl.

Divisions over immigration are common ground between U.S. and Europe

  • Migrant woes US Europe Latino.jpg

    FILE – In this Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015 file photo, a Hungarian police officer looks through binoculars as he checks the border for refugees entering the country illegally next to the town of Roszke, Hungary. In the 28-nation EU, some countries have sought to block the unprecedented flow of migrants fleeing war or poverty in the Middle East and Africa. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios, File)

The United States and the European Union project themselves as models for the world when it comes to democracy and human rights. Yet a common issue — migration — is bitterly dividing each of them, testing whether they can maintain solidarity amid virulent debate over border controls, deportations and national values.

In the 28-nation EU, some countries have sought to block the unprecedented flow of migrants fleeing war or poverty in the Middle East and Africa, while Germany — the EU’s powerhouse — is bracing to handle 800,000 migrants this year and wants other nations to step up as well.

In the U.S., the influx of immigrants entering illegally has eased recently, but the political rhetoric is red-hot. Donald Trump, the leading Republican presidential candidate, is calling for mass deportation of millions of immigrants living in the U.S. without legal permission, and some of his rivals have joined in proposing to stop granting citizenship to children born to such immigrants and to wall off the U.S.-Mexico border.

In Europe, the future of the EU’s passport-free internal borders is now in question, and a rising death toll adds to the sense of urgency. More than 2,800 migrants have died this year trying to reach Europe, mostly at sea, according to the International Organization for Migration; the decomposing bodies of 71 migrants were found Aug. 27 in an abandoned truck near Vienna, apparently after suffocating.

On Hungary’s border with Serbia, some 300 flag-waving extremists marched to a crossing point a few days ago and shouted at frightened migrants — many of whom had just completed a daylong hike — to go back where they came from.

It was reminiscent of the scene in July 2014 in Murietta, California, where screaming anti-immigration protesters, some waving American flags, blocked buses of women and children headed to a Border Patrol processing center after making their way to the U.S. from troubled parts of Central America. “Return to Sender” was among the messages on the protesters’ signs.

So volatile is the issue that President Barack Obama has drawn fire from both the left and right for his moves on immigration.

Supporters of a crackdown were angered by Obama’s efforts to ease up on deportation of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. over the long term. Led by Texas, 26 states have sued to block that change in deportation policy.

In contrast, immigrant-rights groups note that Obama has overseen a record number of deportations and allowed the detention of many of the Central American mothers who flooded across the border with their children.

“Our historical narrative is that the U.S. is welcoming, that we are a nation based on immigrants,” said Cecillia Wang, head of American Civil Liberties Union’s immigrants’ rights project. “It’s incredibly sad and disappointing that we have lost sight of those values… and are detaining and deporting asylum seekers as a way of deterring other people.”

In Europe, where an estimated 364,000 migrants have arrived so far this year, there’s been relatively little use of deportations and detentions during the current crisis. New arrivals landing in Greece, Italy and elsewhere have not been turned back; many assume they will be allowed to stay in Europe indefinitely.

Demetrios Papademetriou, president emeritus of the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute, said this approach by the EU is workable and humane when the influx of migrants is modest, but may soon become unfeasible.

“Are we seeing the vanishing of the Mediterranean borders of the EU or not? In the next six months we’ll find the answer,” he said. “Europe has its back against the wall. It can’t say, ‘We’ll take in all of you and treat you well.'”

In Germany, which is accepting more migrants than any European nation, Chancellor Angela Merkel has argued that the EU risks betraying its core commitment to human rights.

“If Europe fails on the question of refugees, this close connection with universal civil rights will be destroyed and it won’t be the Europe we want,” she said.

In many EU countries, the debate has grown nastier due to the rise of nationalist and right-wing anti-immigration political movements. Such parties have won double-digit support in recent elections in Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Hungary, France, Britain and the Netherlands.

In Germany, by contrast, the major parties have taken a unified stance in support of welcoming refugees, and the far-right National Democratic Party won only 1.5 percent of the vote in the latest parliamentary elections.

“It’s a very sensitive issue, and here in Germany we’re trying not to politicize it,” said Astrid Ziebarth, a Berlin-based migration specialist with the German Marshall Fund. “There have been different opinions and stances, but a general agreement that we can manage the refugee situation.”

However, she said even Germany — while expected to accommodate most asylum-seekers from war-torn countries — is likely to rebuff many of the “economic” migrants arriving from non-EU Balkan countries such as Albania and Kosovo.

Just as the migrant crisis has created rifts among EU nations, immigration has sharply divided jurisdictions in the U.S. There are now about 11.3 million immigrants living in the country illegally, according to the Pew Research Center, down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007.

Scores of cities have adopted “sanctuary” policies that offer some sort of protection to immigrants who lack legal status. In some states, they can get driver’s licenses.

In contrast, Arizona, Alabama and a few other states enacted laws in 2010 and 2011 empowering local police officers to question people’s immigration status and demand that they show documentation. Federal authorities and immigrant-rights groups took court action that blocked many of the provisions, but the disputes highlighted the deep divisions over immigration enforcement.

The Republican Party itself is divided. While Trump leads the polls as he advocates mass deportation, one of his main rivals, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, supports changes that would provide a rigorous pathway to legal status for immigrants in the U.S. illegally. Many Democrats, including presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, go even further by advocating a pathway to full citizenship.

Overall, there have been far more deportations under Obama than under his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, with an increased emphasis in recent years on deporting people with criminal records and those who’ve just crossed the border. According to federal figures, there were 368,644 deportations in the 2013 fiscal year and 315,943 in 2014.

During those years, tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied minors from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador surged across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Authorities sought to place most of the unaccompanied children with relatives in the U.S., but many of the families were detained. The detentions and deportations have angered immigrant-rights advocates, who say many of those Central Americans were fleeing rampant violence and met the standards for obtaining asylum.

“These are incredibly traumatized women and kids who do not belong in detention,” said Karen Lucas, associate director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “The international community is watching us, and we will be judged as to how we respond.”

In recent years, the U.S. has accepted roughly 55,000 to 70,000 refugees annually from scores of countries. But it has been criticized for accepting only a small number of the 4 million Syrians who have fled their war-torn homeland — fewer than 1,500 thus far, according to the International Rescue Committee.

“As the German government calmly says that it expects 800,000 refugees and asylum seekers in 2015, it is vital for the U.S. to step up its response,” said the IRC’s president, David Miliband.

Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for tighter immigration controls, says both the EU and the United States face crucial choices.

“We can go down the road of accommodation and anarchy, or the path of law and the notion that sovereignty involves maintaining borders,” he said.

Stein contends that Obama — by easing U.S. deportation policy — has sent an unwise message of welcome to other would-be migrants.

“You can see into our future by looking at Europe today,” Stein said. “The Obama administration is setting the stage for a sustained, uncontrolled influx from all over the world.”

Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, hopes the U.S. draws a different message from the EU’s crisis and heeds Merkel’s advice to honor long-standing values.

“It’s not like she’s saying it’s going to be easy,” Tumlin said. “She’s saying we have to have certain principles.”

Brand New Embassy in Havana of No Use to US Tourists

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Dissidents See No Talk, No Change from Regime to Justify Opening in Cuba

On Monday, August 10, the State Department took to their official Spanish-language Twitteraccount to address concerns from curious US citizens eager to visit the island.+

State officials confirmed that current travel restrictions to Cuba are still in force, and individual travelers must fall within the 12 designated categories, ranging from family visits and religious activity to “support for the Cuban people” or professional research.+

While US citizens will be required to present their passports to Cuban authorities, Cuban Americans may face a different set of guidelines. “The Cuban government sets its own rules regarding dual citizenship,” State Department officials said in response to a question from@pavel1227.+

The State Department says they will resume answering questions regarding policy on Friday, after Secretary Kerry has arrived in Havana.+

“Thanks for participating with your questions on traveling to Cuba. Remember, John Kerry will travel to the US embassy in Cuba on August 14.”

Questions to Castro

The PanAm Post asked Cubans living on and off the island what they would ask Raúl Castro if given the opportunity.+

Berta Soler, leader of dissident group Ladies in White, says she would ask Castro why he hasn’t held fair and transparent elections, why he continues to hold political prisoners, and why he doesn’t respect human rights.

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José Daniel Ferrer, general coordinator for the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU), says he would ask the president if he has considered yet what his grandchildren and great-grandchildren will think when the dictatorship is over.+

Joisy García, a recent exile in Miami, says he would ask Castro why he hasn’t allowed multiple parties to participate in elections in a country that was founded on the notion of human rights.+

Ana Olema, a Cuban artist living in the United States, says she would abstain. “I have nothing to ask or talk about with that man,” she said.+

Closer Relations

With regard to the reopening of the US embassy in Havana, State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told EFE that “the act of August 14 is not the end of the differences between the two governments, but it does reflect the reality that the Cold War ended long ago and that dialogue is better than the distance.”+

Congressmen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) have bothharshly criticized the Barack Obama administration’s decision to reopen the embassy.+

“It is saddening and disheartening that President Obama and Secretary Kerry have chosen to carry on with this diplomatic charade and reopen a US embassy in Cuba, rewarding the tyrannical Castro regime,” Lehtinen said.+

“Secretary Kerry’s visit to formally open the embassy at the very heart of Castro’s brutality should have never happened until we saw substantive reforms in Cuba, such as independent and fair multi-party elections, freedom of the press, and the release of all political prisoners.”+

The US embassy in Havana is expected to open its doors on August 14

Díaz-Balart accused President Obama of “eagerly acquiescing to dictators while gaining precious little in return.”+

“The human-rights record of the Castro regime continues to be the worst in our hemisphere, with more than 3,000 political arrests occurring since President Obama’s December 17, 2014 announcement,” he said. “Pro-democracy leaders and human-rights activists, including the heroic Ladies in White, are routinely beaten by Castro’s thugs.”+

On Tuesday, August 11, Senator Marcos Rubio (R-FL) criticized Secretary Kerry for not inviting dissidents: “Cuban dissidents are the legitimate representatives of the Cuban people, and it is they who deserve America’s red carpet treatment,‎ not Castro regime officials,” he said.+

While US authorities issued no invitations for opposition members to the official opening on Friday, the US government has invited some dissidents to a more reserved meeting at the ambassador’s home.+

Cuban Opposition Unites

Meanwhile, Cuban opposition activists met on Monday, August 10, at the Institute of Artivism Hanna Arendt in Havana to announce the creation of a new coalition for dissidents called the Roundtable for United Democratic Action (MUAD).+

According to local news site 14ymedio, the MUAD aims to “work within a new context in which dialogue and diplomacy serve as the key tools for a peaceful, civilized resolution of conflicts.”+

Encuentro entre #Maduro y #Obama podría iniciar una “nueva era” en las relaciones diplomáticas

 

Foto: Composición N24

(Caracas, 13 de abril – EFE).- El progresivo deterioro de las relaciones entre Venezuela y EE UU apunta a revertir su tendencia tras la Cumbre de las Américas celebrada en Panamá, donde los presidentes Barack Obama y Nicolás Maduro sostuvieron el sábado unareunión informal.

Según Maduro, fue un encuentro fortuito en el marco de la Cumbre de las Américas que abrió puertas a “la posibilidad de ir a un proceso de conversaciones” ante una relación que va de mal en peor.

“Pudiera abrirse en los próximos días la posibilidad de ir a un proceso de conversaciones”

La tensión aumentó el pasado 9 de marzo, cuando Obama emitió un decreto en el que se considera a Venezuela una “amenaza extraordinaria e inusual” para la seguridad estadounidense, ante lo cual el Gobierno de Maduro advirtió de una eventual intervención estadounidense.

La medida de EE UU cosechó, además, el rechazo de organismos regionales, algo que Obama escuchó en el desarrollo de la Cumbre en Panamá de boca de sus colegas del continente.

Según Maduro, ese decreto fue “rechazado con vehemencia en inglés, francés, portugués y español” en la cita continental, que tuvo lugar el viernes y sábado.

Ello, pese a que Obama dijo poco antes de ir a Panamá que en realidad Venezuela “no es una amenaza para EE UU” y envió a Caracas con ese mensaje al consejero del Departamento de Estado Thomas Shannon.

“Yo le he dicho a este enviado: tengo fe de que vamos a lograr una nueva era, tengo fe de que esta Cumbre de las Américas ya representa otro mundo“, sostuvo Maduro el jueves, antes de viajar a Panamá, al confirmar que se había reunido con Shannon.

“Lo primero que tienen que hacer” en EE UU es derogar ese decreto y “desmontar la maquinaria de guerra” que tiene en su embajada y desde donde “se dirige una guerra económica”, indicó.

Maduro ha dicho que en los próximos días informará en detalle lo que le dijo a Obama en Panamá en lo que fue, evaluó, un encuentro “serio” y “franco” de alrededor de diez minutos.

Con ayuda de traductores, ambos se dijeron “la verdad”, pero de forma “hasta cordial”, añadió Maduro y solo adelantó que le repitió que él y sus simpatizantes no son enemigos de EE UU, sino “revolucionarios apasionados” que quieren “construir la paz”.

Por la reacción de Obama a ello, añadió Maduro, “pudiera abrirse en los próximos días la posibilidad de ir a un proceso de conversaciones” y “abrir relaciones de respeto”.

Fuentes estadounidenses habían confirmado a Efe previamente que en la reunión, que efectivamente ocurrió en forma casual, Obama le dijo que deseaba “un diálogo pacífico entre las diferentes facciones políticas” venezolanas y que EE UU “no tiene interés en amenazar a Venezuela y sí en apoyar su democracia, estabilidad y prosperidad”.

Sign or Else: Venezuelans Coerced into Anti-Obama Petition

Maduro Employs Threats, Jail Time to Inflate Support for Mass PR Excercise

The government of President Nicolás Maduro is using desperate measures to coerce Venezuelans into signing a petition against the United States. The signature campaign calls for the repeal of Barack Obama’s executive order, which described Venezuela as an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the North American nation.+

On Sunday, April 5, authorities in the country’s southern Amazonas State arrested National Guard Second Sergeant Frank Manuel Muñoz for refusing to sign the petition convened by the Venezuelan government. On the day in question, the soldier was called at his home on multiple occasions by local commander José Miguel Alaña for him to come to headquarters to sign the document.+

After Sergeant Muñoz failed to present himself, a group arrived at his house to force him to comply. A subsequent confrontation between the soldier and his comrades led to Muñoz’s arrest.+

On Tuesday, Muñoz was presented before the Eighth Military Tribunal of Control in Puerto Ayacucho, where he was charged with insubordination and military disobedience, as outlined in the Organic Code of Military Justice. He was then transferred on Wednesday to the pretrial military prison at Ramo Verde, Miranda State.+

The government’s stated aim is for one-third of the country’s population to sign against the ruling made by the US president. But the coercive measures used along the way to secure Maduro’s objective constitute violations of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights.+

Al frente de la recolección de firmas está Jorge Rodríguez, uno de los presuntos respojnsables de la "lista Tascón" (Bachaconews)

It also emerged this week that employees of the PDVAL state food distribution network in Monagas State, eastern Venezuela, have been demanding that people sign copies of the government’s petition. Those affected by the situation showed the PanAm Post images of shoppers being asked to sign the document before they could buy anything.+

Tascón List Round Two

The latest episode of political pressure has revived memories of 2004, when Congressman Luis Tascón used data from local NGO Súmate to persecute and stigmatize all those who signed a petition asking for a recall referendum, as outlined in Article 72 of the Constitution, which enshrines citizens’ right to recall elected officials.+

The so-called Tascón list was used by government agencies to identify and fire those employees who disagreed with the policies of former President Hugo Chávez. The list was also used to withhold various state services from signatories on a discretionary basis.+

Perhaps the most well known use of the Tascón list involved lawyer and director of the Citizen Control NGO, Rocío San Miguel. In 2004, San Miguel, along with Magaly Chang and Thays Peñalver, was fired from her posts as a public employee in Venezuela’s border-control agency, for signing the recall petition against then-President Hugo Chávez.+

Rocío San Miguel es la víctima más conocida de la "lista Tascón" (Correo del Orinoco)

Eleven years later, and the lawyer is still waiting for international legal justice. Her case is with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, to punish the Venezuelan state for having fired her and her colleagues simply for exercising a democratic right.+

“Behind this new action by the government of Nicolás Maduro is again Jorge Rodríguez, who was the mastermind behind the Tascón list. The collection of signatures to ask for the revocation of Obama’s degree revives for the country a perverse and very painful episode, to pressure and persecute officials,” San Miguel says.+

Now mayor of the Libertador neighborhood of Caracas, Jorge Rodríguez was the one who announced the alleged signatures of 10,408,083 Venezuelans. The signatures had been submitted to a review process by the National Electoral Council and certified by the body’s president, Tibisay Lucena.+

Rodríguez was also a member of Venezuela’s highest electoral body in the era in which signatories’ details were leaked to all public agencies.+

“There’s a precedent of punishment. This is the greatest threat against Venezuelan society at the moment. What happened with the Tascón list is in the collective memory of Venezuelans, because we are all affected or know someone who was,” San Miguel explains.+

“Now it generates more fear, above all because we’re facing a state that controls the distribution of goods and social rights, from getting an ID card to buying diapers. In 2004, it meant reprisal, but now not signing can even mean the denial of access to buy food or medicine,” the legal expert adds.+

Media Offensive

The reprisals of the Maduro administration against those who have refused to sign the latest petition constitute, according to San Miguel, a flagrant violation of the Constitution. The fifth paragraph of Article 89 “prohibits any kind of discrimination for reasons of politics, age, race, sex, creed, or any other condition.”+

Despite this, in the same week as the collection of signatures was announced, a case came to light concerning a senior employee with state carbon production company Carbonorca, who was fired for refusing to add his name to the petition.+

“Superintendent of Cabonorca reports being fired for not signing against Obama.”

With the application of the Tascón list, the Venezuelan state repeatedly violated the first article of the American Convention on Human Rights, which enshrines non-discrimination on any grounds, including political character.+

The persecution of employees for not signing the decree against Obama violates the same principle. Labor sanctions against those who refuse to sign also violate Article 13 of the legal text, which enshrines freedom of thought and expression.+

In the case of San Miguel and her colleagues, the Venezuelan state has also been accused of violating Article 25 of the convention, related to judicial protection. No Venezuelan court has yet punished the alleged wrong-doing, despite the legislative means to do so.+

“After 11 years, we continue to wait for reparation and the truth. The road has generated irreparable damage, but we trust that international justice will value our rights. The important thing is that episodes like that of the Tascón list aren’t repeated in the history of the country,” the Citizen Control director added.+

Aside from the threats, the government has orchestrated a massive media campaign, both in public and private outlets and on social media, using the the hashtag #ObamaDerogaElDecretoYa (Obama revoke the decree now). Television and radio channels are broadcasting day and night a government commercial employing the music of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” It’s unknown whether royalties have been paid to the former Beatle’s estate.+

Judge Dread

Employees of other state institutions have been directed to participate in signature drives — among them the Scientific, Criminal, and Penal Investigations Body, who received a direct order this week from Chief Detective José Gregorio Sierralta to that effect.+

Sierralta has further designated a supervisor for each state level department to ensure compliance. On Monday, April 6, this over-eagerness was extended to all those who visited police departments to report crimes: officers were directed to set up booths outside their front entrances to collect signatures from the general public.+

It was a similar story in Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice, where employees of all stripe — from janitors to judges — were obliged to take part in an event where they were ordered to sign the petition, which the government will reportedly send to US authorities.+

“They passed through each one of the rooms and offices giving the same speech. They said that each one of us knew what could happen if we didn’t sign, because although no one said it openly, many of us don’t agree with the government,” said one lawyer at Venezuela’s highest court, who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal.+

“But to keep our jobs, we have to avoid giving our opinions. We simply couldn’t refuse to sign,” she added.+

#DictaduraEnVenezuela “El saboteo del chavista a la VII Cumbre de las Américas”

PANAMÁ, El saboteo chavista a la VII Cumbre

La radiografía del saboteo
comunista en Panamá

 

■ La campaña “Obama deroga tu decreto ya”.

■ La estrategia, denunciar la injerencia de Estados Unidos, protestar contra Obama en las calles de la capital panameña y apoyar a Maduro en un foro paralelo, o “alternativo”, llamado “Cumbre de los Pueblos”, programado en Panamá entre el 9 y el 11 de abril.

Panamá.- Mientras el gobierno tiene una vasta comitiva que lo represente en la VII Cumbre de las Américas y en foros paralelos que se realizarán en Panamá, la oposición contará con pocas personas: Lilian Tintori, esposa de Leopoldo López; Mitzy Capriles, esposa de Antonio Ledezma; los dirigentes de Voluntad Popular Carlos Vecchio y Darío Ramírez, y algunos diputados del Parlatino. Son pocos, pero tienen objetivos claros: que se condene las prácticas represivas de Nicolás Maduro, que se pida la libertad de los presos políticos y conseguir garantías electorales.

Ramírez, responsable de las Juventudes de VP, admitió que en Panamá se ha desarrollado un intenso trabajo de lobby por el oficialismo y la oposición para ganar apoyo, en lo que llamó “la cumbre más tensa de la historia”.

“Hay una medición de fuerzas dura. Ya no se trata de estar de acuerdo o no con un modelo político. Se trata de desenmascarar a una dictadura, de luchar por los presos políticos y contra la tortura. Venezuela luchó contra las dictaduras de América Latina. Hoy esperamos que lo hagan por nosotros”, dijo.

Libertad de presos políticos:

El secretario ejecutivo de la MUD, Jesús Torrealba, aseveró que Tintori y Capriles cuentan con todo el respaldo de la alianza y detalló los objetivos de su viaje a Panamá: uno, pedir a los países del continente que fijen posición a favor de la libertad de los presos políticos y que luchen por el respeto a los derechos humanos en Venezuela; y dos, exigir garantías electorales claras.

“Los gobernantes siempre hablan de que en Venezuela la crisis debe solucionarse en el ámbito electoral, pero debemos ejercer presión. ¡Que digan la fecha de las elecciones! Exigiremos verdadera observación electoral, no acompañamiento, que al final no es más que turismo”, expresó.

Informó que pedirán que la Unasur, la OEA y el Parlamento Europeo supervisen las elecciones parlamentarias.

Lilian Tintori participará mañana en el Foro Hemisférico de Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil y Actores Sociales que se organiza en el marco de la cumbre en la que estarán los presidentes, que escucharán su intervención de cuatro minutos. Confirmó que tendrá varias reuniones, públicas y privadas. De acuerdo con un diario local el presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, participará en el foro ciudadano, informó el asesor adjunto de Seguridad Nacional de la Casa Blanca, Ben Rhodes.

Tintori prometió sumar voluntades para evitar que Venezuela caiga en una crisis humanitaria: “Pero no habrá diálogo con ningún gobierno si primero no se libera a los presos políticos. Un país no resuelve solo una crisis de esta magnitud. No es injerencia: la lucha por los derechos humanos no tiene fronteras”.

Dijo que el gobierno tiene una agenda para desprestigiar a la oposición, con dirigentes que enviará a Panamá y a través de laboratorios en las redes sociales. “No nos preocupa, nosotros tenemos testigos, argumentos y pruebas”.

Varias ONG, entre estas Provea y el Centro de Derechos Humanos de la UCAB, también denunciarán en Panamá violaciones de derechos humanos en el país. Recordarán la importancia de la OEA y la Unasur para la estabilidad institucional en Venezuela; pedirán que el Estado venezolano retire su denuncia a la Convención Americana de los Derechos Humanos e impulsarán un diálogo en el país que también incluya a la OEA.

Despliegan activistas para protestar contra Obama:

Dos frentes definió el oficialismo en su campaña para “torcerle el brazo al imperio” en la VII Cumbre de las Américas.

En lo interno constituyó un “comando antiimperialista”, que recogió las firmas contra el decreto, 8 millones asegura Jorge Rodríguez, jefe del comando. Y en lo internacional lanzó una ofensiva que incluyó lobby con países del Caribe, América Latina y Europa.

La última fase consiste en la movilización de 825 activistas oficialistas, financiados por el gobierno, y la entrega, por el presidente Nicolás Maduro, de una carta en la cual piden al mandatario estadounidense que derogue la resolución contra 7 funcionarios del gobierno, acusados de violación de derechos humanos.

La estrategia, denunciar la injerencia de Estados Unidos, protestar contra Obama en las calles de la capital panameña y apoyar a Maduro en un foro paralelo, o “alternativo”, llamado “Cumbre de los Pueblos”, programado en Panamá entre el 9 y el 11 de abril.

La Unión Nacional de la Mujer, aupada por el Instituto Nacional de la Mujer, trasladará a 200 representantes que debatirán sobre geopolítica, integración, paz y derechos humanos, informó su coordinadora, Suzany González.

Marchas y caravanas:

Los partidos del Polo Patriótico enviarán cada uno 15 delegados a la Cumbre de los Pueblos. En total, 165 dirigentes, porque la alianza está integrada por 11 partidos, incluido el PSUV. Sin embargo, el PCV y el PSUV llevarán las delegaciones más numerosas: 50 dirigentes cada uno. Por los comunistas irán la JPCV, el Movimiento de Mujeres Clara Zetkin, el Movimiento Sindical Cruz Villegas y el Frente Campesino Nicomedes Abreu.

El secretario de Masas del PCV, Douglas Gómez, y el secretario general de PPT, Rafael Uzcátegui, informaron que sus representantes saldrían hoy a Ciudad de Panamá.

El diputado del Parlatino Carolus Winner representará al PCV, mientras que Ilenia Medina, secretaria de organización de PPT, a esta tolda política.

“Habrá marchas, caravanas y tribunas antiimperialistas”, anunció Uzcátegui. Indicó que desde Nicaragua partió una caravana, lo que implica que los gobiernos del Alba y la Unasur se unirán a las manifestaciones antiimperialistas.

“Se trata de un acontecimiento histórico porque Obama llega golpeado a Panamá: no logró abrir una embajada en Cuba, enfrenta un reclamo de América Latina por su injerencia contra Venezuela y tiene abiertos frentes en varios países del mundo”, dijo Uzcátegui.

La Central Socialista de Trabajadores, afín al presidente Nicolás Maduro, contará con 60 delegados y los movimientos sociales, 400, según voceros oficiales.

Judge refuses to lift hold on #Obama’s immigration action

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    Martha Mateo holds her two-year old daughter Jennifer in her arms as she leads a group of peaceful protestors in chants outside of the federal courthouse Thursday, March, 19, 2015. The Justice Department might face sanctions if a federal judge determines its attorneys misled him about whether part of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration was implemented prior to it being put on hold by the judge. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen last month halted Obama’s plan. The president’s plan would spare from deportation up to 5 million people in the U.S. illegally. (AP Photo/The Brownsville Herald, Yvette Vela)

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    Over 100 hundred people demonstrated in front of the Federal Courthouse in Brownsville, Texas, Thursday, March 19, 2015. The Justice Department might face sanctions if a federal judge determines its attorneys misled him about whether part of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration was implemented prior to it being put on hold by the judge. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen last month halted Obama’s plan. The president’s plan would spare from deportation up to 5 million people in the U.S. illegally. (AP Photo/Brownsville Herald, Brad Doherty)

A federal judge in Texas has kept in place a temporary hold on President Barack Obama’s executive action that sought to shield millions of immigrants from deportation, rejecting a U.S. Department of Justice request that he allow the action to go ahead.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville refused late Tuesday night to lift the preliminary injunction he granted on Feb. 16 at the request of 26 states that oppose Obama’s action.

Hanen’s latest ruling upholds the status quo — that the Obama administration is temporarily barred from implementing the policies that would allow as many as 5 million people in the U.S. illegally to remain.

The Justice Department had already appealed to a higher court, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, to lift Hanen’s injunction. The appeals court was scheduled to hear arguments on whether the injunction should be lifted on April 17.

In his order Tuesday denying the government’s request, Hanen said the government hasn’t “shown any credible reason for why this Directive necessitates immediate implementation.”

There was no immediate comment from the White House.

The coalition of 26 states, led by Texas, filed the lawsuit to overturn Obama’s executive action, arguing that it is unconstitutional and would force them to invest more in law enforcement, health care and education.

Justice Department attorneys have argued that keeping the temporary hold harms “the interests of the public and of third parties who will be deprived of significant law enforcement and humanitarian benefits of prompt implementation” of the president’s immigration action.

Obama announced the executive orders in November, saying a lack of action by Congress forced him to make sweeping changes to immigration rules on his own.

Before ruling on the injunction, Hanen said he first wanted to hear from federal prosecutors about allegations that the U.S. government had misled him about the implementation of part of the immigration plan.

The first of Obama’s orders — to expand a program that protects young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children — had been set to take effect Feb. 18. The other major part would extend deportation protections to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for several years. That provision was slated to begin on May 19.

Hanen issued his initial injunction believing that neither of those orders had taken effect. About a month later, the Justice Department confirmed that more than 108,000 people had already received three-year reprieves from deportation and work permits, but DOJ attorneys insisted the moves were made under 2012 guidelines that weren’t blocked by the injunction. The DOJ apologized for any confusion, but Hanen seemed unconvinced during a hearing last month and threatened to sanction the attorneys.

He wrote Tuesday that while the federal government had been “misleading” on the subject, he would not immediately apply sanctions against the government, saying to do so would not be “in the interests of justice or in the best interest of this country” because the issue was of national importance and the outcome will affect millions of people.

“The parties’ arguments should be decided on their relative merits according to the law, not clouded by outside allegations that may or may not bear on the ultimate issues in this lawsuit,” Hanen wrote.

In a separate order Hanen, told the government it has until April 21 to file to the court and plaintiffs detailed information about its March advisory about the 108,000 three-year reprieves.

The order asks the government to produce “any and all drafts” of the advisory, including information on when each draft was written, edited or revised. Hanen also asked for a list of each person who knew about the advisory.

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