US Ambassador To Panama Says He Cannot Serve Trump, Resigns

The ambassador declared the end of his 35-year career with the US government effective March 9.

The United States´ Panamanian Ambassador John D. Feeley announced his resignation Thursday, saying he could not serve under president Donald Trump.

RELATED: Racist: Massive Outrage over Trump 'Shithole' Migration Remark

"As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies. My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. That time has come," Feeley said.

In an open letter published on the embassy's website, addressed to the Central American president, Juan Carlos Verla and Vice President Isabel Saint Malo, the ambassador declared the end of his career with the US government effective March 9.

Throughout his 35 years in both the nation’s Marines and Department of State, the ambassador dedicated his efforts to supporting integration and maintaining good relations between the Americas. According to the letter, the US ambassador leaves his position with a feeling of immense gratitude to the foreign government and the citizens of Panama who shared a relationship of mutual friendship, respect and teamwork.

Feeley’s duties with the Panamanian government will be assumed by Deputy Chief of Mission, Roxanne Cabral, until a suitable replacement can be found.

 

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Racist: Massive Outrage over Trump 'Shithole' Migration Remark

Prominent figures in the U.S. and abroad have condemned Trumps remarks calling countries like Haiti and El Salvador "shitholes."

Haitian and U.S. activists as well as U.S. lawmakers, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, joined many in the U.S. and abroad in slamming President Donald Trump's latest immigration comments calling it "morally inadequate," and "racist". Earlier on Thursday during a meeting with Senate and House members, U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly asked "Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?"

RELATED: Trump Administration Revokes TPS for Salvadorans

The insulting comments generated an immediate backlash from journalists, political figures, and activists all over the globe.

in an an interview with CNN shortly after Trump's comments, Senator Sanders spoke of part of his personal story to highlight how Trump's comments affect not only immigrants but also first generation U.S. citizens. "I am a first generation American, and my dad came from what I guess Trump would call a shithole, that was a very rural and a very poor area from Poland," Sanders said and further expressed his admiration for immigrants coming to the U.S. at a young age. "I cannot believe the courage that that took."

@WajahatAli So we don't forget, in addition to calling Africa, Haiti and El Salvador "shithole countries," Trump also said all Haitians have AIDS, Nigerians live in huts, Mexicans are rapists and criminals and Muslims should be banned because, of course, "Islam hates us." Economic. Anxiety.

Prominent Haitian left-wing activist Rene Civil blasted the U.S. president for his comments calling him “a cancer on the world” and demanding that he apologizes to both Haiti and the African continent. "Haiti is not a 'shithole.' It's a great country. It's the mother of liberty,” Civil said in an interview with Reuters Thursday night as he kissed the Haitian flag. 

He also demanded Trump “apologize before the entire African continent as well as before Haiti, the country whose blood has been used by ancestors who have served with their minds and bodies to liberate the United States itself from slavery."

United States scholar Steven Salaita criticized Trump's remarks calling them "racist" and blasting Trump for likening "Blackness to shit." The countries targeted by Trump were overwhelmingly Black countries like Haiti, of which he said: they "have sent 15,000 people, they all have AIDS." 

@stevesalaita Trump calling Haiti and African countries "shitholes" is racist, period. He implies that poverty arises from innate cultural and intellectual deficiencies rather than from centuries of US/European enslavement, colonization, and genocide. He also likens blackness to shit. 

The American Civil Liberties Union also slammed Trump's comment a "racist", while National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP, lamented: "As our nation fights to move forward, our President falls deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of racism and xenophobia."

@ACLU There are no words for language like this except for one: Racist. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-attacks-protections-for-immigrants-from-shithole-countries-in-oval-office-meeting/

Meanwhile Latino journalist Julio Ricardo Varela responded to Trump by reminding him of the U.S.'s role in regional crisis and instability. "Last time I checked, the USA has an amazing ability to create shitholes," Varela claimed in relation to Washington's role in Central America. El Salvador was another country targeted by Trump's remarks.  

@julito77 Last time I checked, the USA has an amazing ability to create “shitholes.” Made in the USA. Central America is literally a region that the US started directly controlling well over a century ago. How no one is talking about this in depth right now doesn’t surprise me.

White House CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins argued that Trump's "shithole" comment "will resonate with his base." And this is probably true. President Trump ran on a racist platform, and during his campaign he didn't shy away from calling Mexican immigrants "rapists and criminals." Furthermore, after white supremacist violence in Charlottesville resulted in one dead woman, Trump refused to condemn white nationalism and described some of the neo-Nazi protesters as "very good people".

@KarenAttiah I hope every media outlet that is going to produce outraged pieces about Trump’s “shithole" comments takes a long and hard look at its coverage of black and brown countries.

Even lawmakers from Trump’s own party blasted his comments. Republican U.S. Representative Mia Love, a daughter of Haitian immigrants, said the comments were "unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation's values" and called on Trump to apologize to the American people and to the countries he denigrated.

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US: The trite book on Trump

The columnist of El Nuevo Herald, Alejandro Armengol, wrote on Saturday that the US government is a sort of episode where stars are constantly exchanging blows.

He wrote so after reading Michael Wolff’s most recent book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

Armengol also refers in his article that “this is the portrait of the chief of liars inside the White House in his uneducated, grotesque buffoon’s role. It is the book he deserves.”

The journalist also states that the book could trigger record sales, multiple rushed translations and the controversy of the hour.

And he also added that any attempt made by Trump’s lawyer requesting the author and the publishing house “to stop the revelation or dissemination” of the book has done nothing but speeding up the launching date.

According to the article, the book reveals 200 testimonies of high-ranked officials within the White House and an interview to the President.

Armengol points out passages of the book have been leaked to the press, and highlights Washington is the center of madness.

Trump, favored by Republicans, must start his second year in office, which promises to be tougher than the first one.

Thus, while some came up with this book to break the current Republican administration, it could certainly weaken even more the already depressed image of multimillionaire President of the United States.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz // CubaSi Translation Staff

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Jeff Flake says no evidence of ‘sonic attacks’ in Cuba

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake says the U.S. has found no evidence that American diplomats in Havana were the victims of attacks with an unknown weapon.

Flake, a Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, met with high-ranking Cuban officials in Havana on Friday. He spoke with The Associated Press on Saturday morning.

The Cubans told Flake the FBI has told them its agents found no evidence that mysterious illnesses suffered by U.S. diplomats resulted from attacks, despite the Trump administration’s description of the incidents as attacks.

Flake says classified briefings from U.S. officials have left him with no reason to doubt the Cuban account. The U.S. has pulled most of its staff from Havana in response to the incidents.

Cuban and FBI officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Palestinians Reject United States Threat

Ramallah, Jan 3 (Prensa Latina) The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the threat of US President Donald Trump to cut off financial aid to Palestinians if they do not resume negotiations with Israel.

According to Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the presidential spokesman, 'Jerusalem and its sacred places are not for sale, neither for gold nor silver.'

Peace and real negotiations must be based on Arab and international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative that leads to the establishment of the independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital, the spokesman said.

If the United States has any concern for its interests in the Middle East, it must abide by the principles and resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations, otherwise, Washington will push the region to the abyss, Abu Rudeineh added.

The US government announced yesterday that it will cut funds to the Palestinians and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) as a means of pressure to resume peace talks with Israel.

Ramallah ended the negotiations on the matter after the US recognition, contrary to international law, of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

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Trump Hits Democrats With No Solution to Dreamers Without the Wall

Washington, Dec 29 (Prensa Latina)US President Donald Trump threatened today lawmakers to veto any initiative on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, without first obtaining funds for his controversial border wall with Mexico.

The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed wall on the southern border and the end of the horrible chain migration and the ridiculous Lottery Immigration System. We must protect our country at all costs!, wrote the President in his account of the social network Twitter.

The comments of the Head of the White House come after immigration activists and progressive groups threw strong criticism against the so-called "blue party" for not demanding legislative protection to the so-called "dreamers" in the newly proposed bill for temporarily financing the government.

The Democrats had promised not to leave Washington D.C. during the holidays at the end of the year, without achieving a deal in this regard.

We will not leave here without a solution for the DACA, said the leader of the minority in the House of Representatives and legislator for California, Nancy Pelosi, in early December.

Left-wing groups like Credo Mobile and Democracy For America criticized Pelosi and Senate minority leader Charles Schumer for failing to secure a clause in the bill to cover dreamers. Existing since June 2012, the DACA grants legal protection against the possibility of being deported, according to official sources, to some 800, 000 young people, the so-called ´dreamers´.

In addition, it allows those who arrived without documents to the United States when they were children to stay in their territory, and obtain work permits, renewable every two years, if they meet different requirements.

However, the US Government, through the Secretary of Justice, Jeff Sessions, announced the end of the DACA on September 5, which triggered several protests.

Afterwards, Trump granted Congress a six-month term to deal with the issue until March 5, but did not describe how he wants it to be done and left the determinations in the hands of senators and representatives.

The administration handed over to the legislative body on October 8 a long list of demands that must be fulfilled before reaching a pact on the dreamers, who have in their Democratic congressmen their biggest and constant defenders.

The Senate will address in January the situation of such young people, assured the Republican of the second highest rank of that entity, John Cornyn.

Since his election campaign, Trump insists on building a wall on the border with Mexico, one of his most controversial promises rejected by pro-immigrant activists and questioned by its very high costs and dubious utility to stop the entry of irregular immigrants.

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Trump: The Triumph of an Eventual Failure

A protest against the tax reform plan outside the Capitol in Washington DC, U.S. capital.

Miami Diario a website informed this Monday that the U.S. Congress approved "the largest cut of taxes in history", after giving the green light to the long expected tax reform.

The reform fueled by the president was passed after a last minute modification, due to an “error procedure” before its approval by the Senate.

The result of the voting was 224 republican votes in favor and 201 democrats against.

This way Republicans finished the largest tax cut in decades, said observers.

In a brief speech after the final vote, Trump remembered that he had promised a great cut of taxes for Christmas, something supposedly now fulfilled.

Next he pointed out: "I’d like to thank the members of the Congress who supported this historical bill that represents an extraordinary win for the families, the workers and the American companies”, in answer to the first integral tax reform in the United States since 1986.

The leader added: "By reducing taxes and reform the broken system, now we are pouring rocket fuel into the engine of our economy. The United States has won again, and we are growing like never before", and he rejoiced in his first legislative victory since his arrival to the White House.

Donald Trump thanked all those who made possible the passing of his tax reform, among them the republican Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell as well as Senator Susan Collins.

Paul Ryan, president of the House of Representatives in his speech eulogized the leader and he even qualified his leadership as "exquisite."

On the other hand, the leader of the Higher Chamber, Mitch McConnell praised the president and assured that “he has put an end to the excess of regulation of the American economy”.

What was approved reduces significantly the contributions to the tax office.

Among the most controversial aspects, the legislation also revokes the command of individual insurance required by the sanitary reform of the former President Barack Obama since 2019, and it allows the drilling in a part of the National Wild Life Refuge of the Arctic.

Trump who has been pressing the Republicans of the Congress for months to achieve his first victory in the Legislative after several failures that still echo in Washington, has fulfilled a great tributary reform before the end of the year.

To this end, nevertheless, among other machinations, the republicans have had to resort to an unorthodox legislative technique to get to pass a legal reform of such proportions, or block any kind of obstruction from the democrats in the Senate, where conservatives have a very tight majority.

The democrats have assured that this measure will "destroy the country" and they have warned the republicans that they will "regret" what they have passed.

Observers remember that among Trump’s catastrophic failures appear, his intention of eliminating the well-known sanitary program best known as (Obamacare), to block the entrance to the country to millions of Muslims, and the most recent Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), among others.

Based on polls, several sources remember that Trump’s administration is the less popular ever in the United States in the last decades.

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China: 'US Has No Right to Act as Human-Rights Judge'

"We urge the United States to impartially and objectively look upon China's human-rights development and to stop acting as a so-called human-rights judge," said China's Foreign Ministry. 

Chinese officials have slammed the U.S. Treasury Department for sanctioning public security official Gao Yan, insisting that the United States has no right to act as a "human-rights judge."

RELATED: China Releases Human Rights Report on US: 'Terrible Problems'

In March 2014, Yan was head of the Chaoyan Detention Center, in Beijing, where rights activist Cao Shunli was detained and interrogated, according to Reuters, before dying in hospital while in police custody.

Human-rights groups have said that Shunli was both tortured and prevented from receiving medical care before she died.

U.S. President Donald Trump has now issued an executive order targeting Yan, blocking the property of foreign nationals involved in human-rights abuses.

Four Russians, including the head of the republic of Chechnya, were also placed on the sanctions list known as the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 U.S. law which inters the bank assets of those targeted.

In response, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said: "We urge the United States to impartially and objectively look upon China's human-rights development and to stop acting as a so-called human-rights judge." 

She went on to state that the Asian country's police maintain public safety according to Chinese laws and the United States should refrain from using its domestic jurisprudence to determine which foreign nationals should be sanctioned.

Beijing officials have often criticized Washington for scrutinizing China's human-rights record. Earlier this year, China's State Council released its own report, denouncing the United States for its "terrible human-rights problems."

"With the gunshots lingering in people's ears behind the Statue of Liberty, worsening racial discrimination and the election farce dominated by money politics, the self-proclaimed human-rights defender has exposed its human rights 'myth' with its own deeds," the report said.

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