With 88.5% of the votes counted, Lenin Moreno, of the governing PAIS Alliance, had a ten point lead over his closest political rival, ex banker Guillermo Lasso, but one point short of the 40% needed to win in the first round of Ecuador''s Sunday presidential elections. The National Electoral Commission reported that Moreno was leading the vote count 39,11% by 28,31% Lasso, leader of the right wing Creating Opportunities Movement, while Cynthia Vireti, of the Social Christian Party, comes third with 16,32%.
According to the Electoral Law, for a hopeful to win in the first round he must get 50% of the vote, or a minimum of 40% with a ten point lead on top of the runner-up.
Gabriela Rivadeneira at the press conference in Quito. Photo: AndesGabriela Rivadeneira, the head of the Ecuadorean National Assembly, announced Wednesday that she was sent a lethal explosive device in the mail. »Today I received in my office an envelope addressed to me with a CD that turned out to be a medium-range explosive with lethal capability.« According to Rivadeneira, the first female head of the National Assembly and former member of Pachakutik, the device »fortunately did not explode« and is now being investigated by district attorney's office.
The Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow published a statement on the situation in Venezuela:
The situation in Venezuela remains tense. The radical wing of the anti-government camp, which took control of the national parliament, has toughened its aggressive rhetoric and has set a course for “civil disobedience.” Preparations are underway for demonstrations, due in the coming days, that are fraught with – or have been deliberately orchestrated in advance to involve – clashes with law enforcement bodies and provocations leading to violence and casualties.
This January 12, theWhite House published a statement by outgoing U.S President Barack Obama on the ending of the so-called “wet-foot/dry foot” policy and the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program, both of which offer preferential treatment to Cuban migrants, encouraging unsafe and disorderly migration. The statement reads as follows:
Statement by the President on Cuban Immigration Policy
Today, the United States is taking important steps forward to normalize relations with Cuba and to bring greater consistency to our immigration policy. The Department of Homeland Security is ending the so-called "wet-foot/dry foot" policy, which was put in place more than twenty years ago and was designed for a different era. Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with U.S. law and enforcement priorities. By taking this step, we are treating Cuban migrants the same way we treat migrants from other countries. The Cuban government has agreed to accept the return of Cuban nationals who have been ordered removed, just as it has been accepting the return of migrants interdicted at sea.
The World Federation of Trade Unions, representing 92 million workers in 126 countries all over the world, expresses its class solidarity with the workers of Trinidad and Tobago State Petroleum Company, Petrotrin, who have decided to go on a strike, defending their right to a wage increase.
Foto: Ismael Francisco / CubadebateWorldwide, revolutionary movements, political movement, communist and socialist parties issued statements about the death of Cuban Comandante Fidel Castro. We publish here some of them.
WFTU General Secretary George Mavrikos: On behalf of 92 million members of the WORLD FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS, I would like to convey to the cuban people,to the CTC, to the State and Party leadership of Socialist Cuba, our deepest condolences from the bottom of our hearts for the Comandante Fidel’s demise. He was a leader who, along with Che, along with all his comrades, fought and beat the imperialists and their instruments. For the WFTU has been the greatest honor Comandante Fidel’s own presence in its Congresses and his great speech to the delegates of the 10th WFTU Congress. For the World Working Class will always be IMMORTAL.
Message from the President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Army General Raúl Castro, notifying the Cuban people and world of the death of the late leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro:
Dear people of Cuba:
It is with deep sorrow that I come before you to inform our people, and friends of Our America and the world, that today, November 25, at 10.29pm, Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz passed away. In accordance with his express wishes Compañero Fidel’s remains will be cremated. In the early hours of the morning of Saturday 26, the funeral organizing commission will provide our people with detailed information regarding the posthumous tributes which will be paid to the founder of the Cuban Revolution.
To achieve the signing of this Definitive Agreement, we Colombians have lived through more than seven decades of violence, half a century of open war, thirty-three years in peace processes, five years of debates in Havana, the disenchantment of the October 2 Plebiscite and the most historic effort to achieve the majority consensus of the nation.
Comandante Timochenko during the peace agreement ceremony in Bogota. Screenshot: TeleSur
Read the whole speech of Comandante Timoleón Jiménez: Click here
In a different scenario from the previous ceremony (on 26 September) today in the Colon Theatre of Bogota, some eight hundred guests have witnessed the signature of the new Final Peace Agreement between the FARC-EP and the Colombian Government.
The »sounds« of this ceremony were also different. While in Cartagena the protocol seemed to have been very strict, here in Bogota, people didn’t seem to follow »procedures« so strictly. Indeed when the presenter announced, that after the signature it would be Comandante Timoleon Jimenez, leader of the FARC-EP to take the floor, the audience erupted in a noisy and warm applause and chanting.