By Medea Benjamin
On May 16, the Biden administration announced new measures to “increase support for the Cuban people.” They included easing travel restrictions and helping Cuban-Americans support and connect with their families. They mark a step forward but a baby step, given that most U.S. sanctions on Cuba remain in place. Also in place is a ridiculous Biden administration policy of trying to isolate Cuba, as well as Nicaragua and Venezuela, from the rest of the hemisphere by excluding them from the upcoming Summit of the Americas that will take place in June in Los Angeles.
This is the first time since its inaugural gathering in 1994 that the event, which is held every three years, will take place on U.S. soil. But rather than bringing the Western Hemisphere together, the Biden administration seems intent on pulling it apart by threatening to exclude three nations that are certainly part of the Americas.
Under the truce, warring sides have accepted to halt all offensive military operations in Yemen and across its borders.
They have also agreed for fuel ships to enter into ports in the Hudaydah region, and for commercial flights to operate from the airport in the capital, Sana’a, to predetermined destinations in the region.
The parties have further agreed to meet under the auspices of the UN Special Envoy to open roads in Taiz and other governorates.
The first nationwide truce in six years coincided with the start of the holy month of Ramadan and includes provisions to improve the freedom of movement of civilians and goods, across the war-torn Arab nation.
(Left) US Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2003 justifying US invasion and occupation of Iraq. (Right) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in 2022 justifying Russian invasion and occupation of Ukraine.
By Ann Wright
It would not be easy. But from my own experience, I can tell those Russian diplomats that a heavy load will be lifted from their consciences if they do.
Nineteen years ago, in March 2003, I resigned as a U.S. diplomat in opposition to the President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. I joined two other U.S diplomats, Brady Kiesling and John Brown, who had resigned in weeks previous to my resignation. We heard from fellow U.S. diplomats assigned to U.S. embassies around the world that they too believed that the decision of the Bush administration would have long term negative consequences for the U.S. and the world, but for a variety of reasons, no one joined us in resignation until later. Several initial critics of our resignations later told us they were wrong and they agreed that the decision of the U.S. government to wage war on Iraq was disastrous.
WFP food distribution in Raymah (credit: Julian Harneis CC BY-SA 2.0
By Kathy Kelly
The ghastly blockade and bombardment of Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is now entering its eighth year.
The United Nations’ goal was to raise more than $4.2 billion for the people of war-torn Yemen by March 15. But when that deadline rolled around, just $1.3 billion had come in.
“I am deeply disappointed,” said Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. “The people of Yemen need the same level of support and solidarity that we’ve seen for the people of Ukraine. The crisis in Europe will dramatically impact Yemenis’ access to food and fuel, making an already dire situation even worse.”
People gather in Rome to call for peace, February 15, 2022 | Photo Credit: Reuters
By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies