By Jack Phillips January 23, 2022 Updated: January 23, 2022
A Miami judge issued a warrant that gives officials the ability to seize the Crystal Symphony ship if it enters U.S. waters. Passengers and crew on board told news outlets that the cruise ship diverted to the Bahamas instead of returning to South Florida.
Xivi Medina, a vendor aboard the Crystal Symphony, told NBC Miami that there are no passengers on board now. The only people on board are crew members and vendors.
“The company is going to take care of getting all the crewmembers back home,” said Medina. “Obviously they’re [going to] do it little by little, but the company is buying the tickets to get each of the crewmembers back to their respective countries.”
Elio Pace, a singer performing on the Crystal Symphony, also wrote that the ship was diverted.
“Would you believe me if I told you that yesterday, Friday, (the night of my second show) after all arrangements had been set for flights, car hire, etc by all disembarking passengers and crew, we were notified by the captain that the ship was no longer sailing to Miami and was instead diverting to Bimini in the Bahamas where we would arrive tomorrow, Sunday, and disembark from there?” he wrote on Instagram.
A passenger wrote on Twitter to travel agent Mundy Cruising: “Can you help me change my flight to Heathrow from Miami as we are stuck on Crystal Symphony which has changed route and is now heading for Bahamas instead of Miami.”
In a court complaint, Peninsula Petroleum claimed that Crystal Cruises owes the firm $4.6 million dollars in unpaid fuel bills, including $1 million from the Crystal Symphony alone, according to Local10.
According to court documents, “Peninsula has not been paid for the maritime necessities provided to the vessel, and therefore proceeds to arrest it.” A Miami-based judge issued a warrant saying officials can seize the ship, NBC Miami reported.
J. Stephen Simms, the lead attorney representing Peninsula Petroleum Far East, told Bloomberg that U.S. marshals and a court-appointed custodian are ready to seize the ship if it comes into port in Florida. Crystal Cruises’ parent firm, Genting Hong Kong, filed for provisional liquidation last Wednesday, according to the news outlet.
The Crystal Symphony cruise left Miami on Jan. 8 for a 21-day through the Bahamas. It was supposed to return to Florida on Jan. 29, media reports say.
Crystal Cruises announced earlier this week that it was suspending operations through late April. Besides Crystal Symphony, it has two other ships currently cruising, which end their voyages on Jan. 30 in Aruba and on Feb. 4 in Argentina.
“Suspending operations will provide Crystal’s management team with an opportunity to evaluate the current state of business and examine various options moving forward,” said the company in a statement earlier this week.
The Epoch Times has contacted Crystal Cruises for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
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There is a phenomenon being observed in America today, “an attempt at changing reality” to foster a new Marxist revolution, said Mike Gonzalez, an author of two books on this topic.
According to Marxist thought, “reality is just put together by our conceptual framework,“ Gonzalez told EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program.
“So what we see with Black Lives Matter, what we see with the 1619 Project … is to replace the American narrative, to replace the idea of America from: all men are created equal, we’re all free … with this idea that we’re an awful country, that our history is hideous, that our system is racist itself—that the system must be changed.”
Most people believe that reality cannot be changed because they believe in an ultimate and fundamental truth, in natural law, or in God, but Marxists do not believe in any of that, Gonzalez said.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) used the death of George Floyd as an excuse to change society, Gonzalez explained, “to dismantle the organizing principle of society”—in the words of BLM co-founder Alicia Garza.
Gonzalez said that the concept of Black Lives Matter is “unimpeachable.”
“Seven billion people on earth matter. And we’re all children of God. But I think it’s important—given our history—to affirm that the lives of our black co-citizens, compatriots, matter because we know the history.”
But Black Lives Matter is also the movement and the organization BLM Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF), said Gonzalez, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
The BLM founders say that they were trained Marxists
Patrisse Cullors, a BLM co-founder said in an interview with Real News Network in 2015, “We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia [Garza] in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists.”
“Cullors trained for a decade as a radical organizer in the Labor/Community Strategy Center, established and run by Eric Mann, a former member of the Weather Underground, the 1960s radical faction identified by the FBI as a domestic terrorist group,” Gonzalez wrote for the Heritage Foundation.
The group, originally called “Weathermen,” explained in its 1969 foundational statement that they were dedicated to “the destruction of U.S. imperialism and the achievement of a classless world: world communism.”
Alicia Garza, a co-founder of BLM, was trained by the School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL), an institution founded by Harmony Goldberg, Ph. D., a scholar in cultural anthropology, Gonzalez said.
Goldberg is also an expert on Antonio Gramsci (pdf), the founder of Italy’s communist party in the 1920s and a Marxist intellectual. She understands Gramsci’s theory of the war of position, the concept of recruiting people, organizing them, training them, and convincing them to replace one culture with another culture, Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez cited the words of Gramsci, who said that in the West, in societies with strong civic society, you need to have a war of position.
Gramsci likened political “warfare” to military warfare, where the war of position is akin “to trench warfare, settling in for a long-term struggle with strategic smaller victories to gain more territory bit by bit,” as opposed to the warfare of movement which is like “a rapid military attack,” Bradley Thomas, a libertarian activist, and writer wrote for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).
“In other words, you have to take the worker, infiltrate them, indoctrinate them, teach them that the family was a form of oppression, teach them that the nation-state was a form of oppression, teaching that private property led to war and more oppression. And that is what we have today, except here in America, we practice it through the lens of the race with critical race theory,” Gonzales said.
The core of Marx’s thought is that the family, the nation-state, private property, as well as the beliefs in God and religion, had to be abolished, Gonzalez said, adding that the workers at that time didn’t agree with any of that.
From the mid-19th century all the way till 1917 when the first Marxist revolution succeeded, the workers during these 70 or so years liked the nation-state, were patriotic, loyal to God, and really liked private property, Gonzalez continued.
Therefore, the Marxist revolution failed miserably in Central and Western Europe—exactly the place where Marx had said that it would succeed, Gonzalez explained.
“These communist thinkers in Italy and Germany came up with the idea that Marx had been right on the strategy on getting rid of the nation, state, and private property but his tactic needed to be upgraded.”
“Marx’s tactic was that it was going to be the material forces of society, economics was going to determine everything,” but these communist intellectuals in the 1920s in Europe realized that it was culture—not economy—which accounts for how man behaves, Gonzalez said. “The Marxism we see in America today—it’s that type of Marxism.”
“The communists who trained the founders of BLM organizations … took their cues from these cultural Marxists of the 1920s from Europe.”
At a gathering of Maine progressives in 2019, Garza said: “America itself was founded on violence, steeped in white supremacy and predicated on theft and genocide.
“When we talk about fighting white nationalism, fighting white supremacy, we’re not talking about fighting white people. We’re talking about changing how we’ve organized this country so that we actually can achieve the justice that we are fighting for. I believe we all have work to do to keep dismantling the organizing principle of this society, which creates inequities for everyone, even white people,” Garza said according to Maine Beacon.
“In 2020, we had months of de-stabilization. And … with critical race theory, there’s been a real attempt at changing our culture from within,” Gonzalez said.
According to the U.S. Crisis Monitor, in 2020 after the death of George Floyd, 633 riots took place, Gonzalez said. The Insurance Information Institute said that these riots were the costliest civil unrest in U.S. history with insured losses estimated at over $2 billion.
BLM activists were involved in 95 percent of the 633 riots for which the identity of the perpetrators was known, according to Gonzalez.
The Epoch Times reached out to Black Lives Matter for comment.
The results of the riots have been felt until today, the expert noted.
“The jump in the murder rate in 2020 was astronomical. It was 30 percent,” Gonzalez said. “It was the highest increase in the homicide rate in history,” he added. “We know from statistics that over 50 percent of people murdered are African Americans.
“So this is a lot of additional black lives that were lost. Don’t they matter?” Gonzalez asked rhetorically.
BLM had a plan when it carried out protests and riots in 2020, Gonzalez continued.
The organization proposed federal legislation in July 2020 called the BREATHE Act. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D- Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D- Mass.), called for defunding the police and replacing them with a new approach to community safety. Cullors, the BLM Executive Director described this approach as a “new, non-punitive, and non-carceral approaches to community safety that would incentivize states to shrink their criminal-legal systems and center the protection of Black lives,” according to a BLM report.
BLM also partnered with the musical Hamilton and Sprite soda brand to increase the voter turnout in the 2020 election, the report said. The organization has been spreading its curriculum that promotes critical race theory in the country’s 14,000 school districts, Gonzalez wrote in his book.
The organization has millions in financial resources obtained through fundraising. “Across our entities and partners, we have raised just over $90 million in one year, 2020” with the average donation of $30.64, the BLM report said, while their expenses such as staffing, operating and administrative expenses, civic engagement, programs, and field expenses, rapid response, and crisis intervention, and its “get out the vote” campaign amounted to $8.4 million.
BLM sent out 127 million emails related to their activities in 2020 which resulted in 1.2 million actions taken, according to its report.
The author explained why he penned these books that expose the Marxist infiltration in America.
“The fact that I spent the first 12 years of my life in a communist country in Cuba has made me recognize them right away. … I know how culture was destroyed. I know how a country was destroyed. America is my country. I don’t want to see happen to America [what has happened] to the country of my birth.”
Ella Kietlinska is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.
Joshua Philipp is an award-winning investigative reporter with The Epoch Times and host of EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program. He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare, subversion, and historical perspectives on today’s issues. His 10-plus years of research and investigations on the Chinese Communist Party, subversion, and related topics give him unique insight into the global threat and political landscape.
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In Gov. Ron DeSantis’ fight to eradicate “wokism” from schools and the workplace, a bill has made it through committee that has promise of making it to his desk to become law.
HB 148 or the “Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees Act (WOKE),” which the governor said would “do a number of things that are very important”, is now being heard by the judiciary committee.
The bill’s goal is to prohibit Critical Race Theory (CRT) from being taught in schools or used in employee training sessions, the bill’s sponsor Republican state Senator Manny Diaz Jr. said.
Diaz said the bill is designed to protect individual freedoms in the workplace and would prohibit employers from subjecting employees to any type of certification process, examination, or any other “required activity” that is centered on any number of race-related concepts.
DeSantis described them as things that could create a “hostile working environment.”
“This corporate CRT, it’s basically corporate sanctioned racism,” DeSantis said at an October 2021 press conference.
It is DeSantis’ belief that the current law allows employees to claim violation of their civil rights, but if it doesn’t the law will be changed to address “harassment.”
Diaz said the bill is to make sure that training and testing is objective and that guilt is not assigned to a person because of their “ethnic background or the color of their skin.”
In a written statement Diaz said, “The aim of this is to clearly have those discussions, to talk about the tough conversations, and have it done in a manner where there’s an open dialogue.”
“I think that we have to go back to the premise that all of us are created equal and we should be judged on our individual merits or deeds not a blanket statement,” he continued.
Even though it does not mention CRT by name, the bill does seek to ban it as part of Florida’s curriculum standards.
Over the summer the State Board of Education passed a CRT ban even though it is not currently taught in Florida public schools.
Diaz said that the bill is in part due to he and other legislators fielding calls from parents with concerns about CRT potentially being taught in the classroom.
“A lot of us have heard from individual parents with concerns,” he said. “The measure is a preemptive attempt to provide clarity.”
During the committee hearing on Jan. 18 Sen. Shevrin Jones, a Democrat, said that the proposed legislation would “suppress teachers’ freedom to teach certain subject areas.”
“All this legislation is going to do is to promote ignorance of race-related content and other content that children should know about and should have access to,” Jones, a former classroom teacher said during committee.
“I think what you see now with the rise of this woke ideology is an attempt to really delegitimize our history and our institutions,” DeSantis said. “It (CRT) will tear at the fabric of our society and our culture and things that really we’ve taken for granted.”
However, some House Democrats are saying no to the bill because it could lead to “frivolous lawsuits.”
Democratic State Sen. Tina Scott Polsky, an attorney, fears that the bill is “turning the Legislature into the thought police.”
Polsky told committee members that part of the bill dealing with employer training is “awful for the business community.”
“Now we’re telling a company if they want to teach anti-discrimination, they want to teach diversity, they want to teach unconscious bias, which is a course in the Florida Senate, that they will potentially be creating the cause of action from a disgruntled employee,” she told the committee on Jan. 18.
“I do this all the time; people bring lawsuits because they get terminated and they’re really upset. And they try to find a reason as to why they were terminated.”
To date similar legislation has been proposed in 22 states and signed into law in five—Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee. Some supporters of SB 148 say they would like to see it mirror Oklahoma and Iowa’s legislation.
Florida groups that are opposed to the bill include the National Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Florida’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) of Florida, and Equality Florida.
The state ACLU weighed in on the billon their website after the Jan. 18 meeting.
“Gov. DeSantis and his allies in the Legislature are trying to prevent students and employees from having an open dialogue about our country’s history—one that acknowledges the role of racism in the United States and includes the experiences and viewpoints of people of color and other marginalized communities,” the statement said.
The union is concerned about “historical erasure and censorship” that would “threaten everyone.”
“The proposal is part of a new nationwide attempt to erase the history and lived experiences of marginalized communities,” the statement read. “This is also a blatant attempt to suppress speech.”
The ACLU went on to advocate First Amendment protections such as shared ideas and that banning discussion of gender and race discrimination “oversteps the state’s authority to determine school curricula”, and creates government censorship and overreach.”
“Students and employees deserve to have a free and open exchange about our history and its impact on our communities,” it said.
“Legislators should not interfere with a student or employee’s right to receive and inclusive education just because certain aspects of our history make some people uncomfortable.”
A similar House bill, HB-7 is awaiting committee action as well.
Jannis Falkenstern is an Epoch Times reporter who covers the state of Florida.
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The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative passed in 1948 for foreign aid to Western Europe. The United States transferred over $13 billion (equivalent of about $114 billion in 2020) in economic recovery programs to Western European economies after the end of World War II. Replacing an earlier proposal for a Morgenthau Plan, it operated for four years beginning on April 3, 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild war-torn regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, improve European prosperity, and prevent the spread of communism. The Marshall Plan required a reduction of interstate barriers, a dropping of many regulations, and encouraged an increase in productivity, as well as the adoption of modern business procedures.
The Marshall Plan aid was divided among the participant states roughly on a per capita basis. A larger amount was given to the major industrial powers, as the prevailing opinion was that their resuscitation was essential for the general European revival. Somewhat more aid per capita was also directed toward the Allied nations, with less for those that had been part of the Axis or remained neutral. The largest recipient of Marshall Plan money was the United Kingdom (receiving about 26% of the total), but the enormous cost that Britain incurred through the “Lend-Lease” scheme was not fully re-paid to the USA until 2006. The next highest contributions went to France (18%) and West Germany (11%). Some eighteen European countries received Plan benefits. Although offered participation, the Soviet Union refused Plan benefits, and also blocked benefits to Eastern Bloc countries, such as Hungary and Poland. The United States provided similar aid programs in Asia, but they were not part of the Marshall Plan.
Its role in the rapid recovery has been debated. The Marshall Plan’s accounting reflects that aid accounted for about 3% of the combined national income of the recipient countries between 1948 and 1951, which means an increase in GDP growth of less than half a percent.
After World War II, in 1947, industrialist Lewis H. Brown wrote (at the request of General Lucius D. Clay) A Report on Germany, which served as a detailed recommendation for the reconstruction of post-war Germany, and served as a basis for the Marshall Plan. The initiative was named after United States Secretary of State George C. Marshall. The plan had bipartisan support in Washington, where the Republicans controlled Congress and the Democrats controlled the White House with Harry S. Truman as president. The Plan was largely the creation of State Department officials, especially William L. Clayton and George F. Kennan, with help from the Brookings Institution, as requested by Senator Arthur Vandenberg, chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Marshall spoke of an urgent need to help the European recovery in his address at Harvard University in June 1947.
The purpose of the Marshall Plan was to aid in the economic recovery of nations after World War II and to reduce the influence of communist parties within them. To combat the effects of the Marshall Plan, the USSR developed its own economic plan, known as the Molotov Plan, in spite of the fact that large amounts of resources from the Eastern Bloc countries to the USSR were paid as reparations, for countries participating in the Axis Power during the war.
The phrase “equivalent of the Marshall Plan” is often used to describe a proposed large-scale economic rescue program.
In 1951 the Marshall Plan was largely replaced by the Mutual Security Act.
Sanity, the sacred responsibility of ruling leaders with their citizens, as well as International Law, advise that weapons and explosives cannot be unloaded or handled in civilian ports in any nation in the world. The Castros knew of such a prohibition, and even so they ordered to dock a ship loaded with weapons and explosives in the very heart of the capital and the main city of Cuba.
The explosion of the La Coubre cargo ship in the Port of Havana actually demonstrated that the Castro Brothers, who had recently taken power in Cuba, were very dangerous characters capable of committing massive assassinations to attract the attention of the World to them and their supposed purposes of justice and freedom, not only in Cuba, but also in increasing number of nations of The Americas and Africa since then.
Información original en Español
El sano juicio, la responsabilidad sagrada de los líderes gobernantes con sus ciudadanos, tanto como la Ley Internacional, aconsejan que no se puede descargar ni manipular armas y explosivos en puertos civiles en cualquier nación del Mundo. Los Castro sabían de tal prohibición, y aun así ordenaron atracar un barco cargado de armas y explosivos en el corazón mismo de la capital y la principal ciudad de Cuba.
La explosion del carguero La Coubre en el Puerto de La Habana en realidad demostró que los Hermanos Castro quienes recientemente se habían hecho del poder en Cuba, eran personajes muy peligrosos, capaces de cometer asesinatos masivos para atraer la atención del Mundo sobre ellos y sus supuestos propósitos de justicia y libertad, no solo en Cuba, sino además en número creciente desde entonces de naciones de Las Américas y Africa.