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Foreign relations of Cuba

Cuba's foreign policy has been fluid throughout history depending on world events and other variables, including relations with the United States. Without massive Soviet subsidies and its primary trading partner, Cuba became isolated in the late 1980s and early 1990s after the fall of the USSR and the end of the Cold War, but Cuba opened up more with the rest of the world again starting in the late 1990s when they have since entered bilateral co-operation with several South American countries, most notably Venezuela and Bolivia beginning in the late 1990s after the Venezuela election of Hugo Chávez in 1999, who became a staunch ally of Castro's Cuba; the United States used to stick to a policy of isolating Cuba until December 2014, when Barack Obama announced a new policy of diplomatic and economic engagement. The European Union accuses Cuba of "continuing flagrant violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms". Cuba has developed a growing relationship with the People's Republic of Russia.

In all, Cuba continues to have formal relations with 160 nations, provided civilian assistance workers – principally medical – in more than 20 nations. More than one million exiles have escaped to foreign countries. Cuba's present foreign minister is Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla. Cuba is a lead country on the United Nations Human Rights Council, is a founding member of the organization known as the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, a member of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Latin American Integration Association and the United Nations. Cuba hosted its September 2006 summit. In addition as a member of the Association of Caribbean States, Cuba was re-appointed as the chair- of the special committee on transportation issues for the Caribbean region. Following a meeting in November 2004, several leaders of South America have attempted to make Cuba either a full or associate member of the South American trade bloc known as Mercosur. Prior to achieving its independence, Cuba was a colony of Spain.

Prior to the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Cuba maintained strong economic and political ties to the United States. From 1902 until its abrogation in 1934, the Platt Amendment authorized the US to use military force to preserve Cuba's independence. In 1917, Cuba entered World War I on the side of the allies. Cuba joined the League of Nations in 1920. In 1941, Cuba declared war on Italy and Japan. Cuba joined the United Nations in 1945. Cuba joined the Organization of American States in 1948. During the Presidency of Fulgencio Batista, Cuba did not face trade restrictions. In mid-1958, the United States imposed an arms embargo on the Batista administration. Following the establishment of diplomatic ties to the Soviet Union, after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Cuba became dependent on Soviet markets and military and economic aid. Castro was able to build a formidable military force with the help of Soviet equipment and military advisors; the KGB kept in close touch with Havana, Castro tightened Communist Party control over all levels of government, the media, the educational system, while developing a Soviet-style internal police force.

Castro's alliance with the Soviet Union caused something of a split between Guevara. In 1966, Guevara left for Bolivia in an ill-fated attempt to stir up revolution against the country's government. On August 23, 1968, Castro made a public gesture to the USSR that caused the Soviet leadership to reaffirm their support for him. Two days after Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia to repress the Prague Spring, Castro took to the airwaves and publicly denounced the Czech rebellion. Castro warned the Cuban people about the Czechoslovakian'counterrevolutionaries', who "were moving Czechoslovakia towards capitalism and into the arms of imperialists", he called the leaders of the rebellion "the agents of West Germany and fascist reactionary rabble." In return for his public backing of the invasion, at a time when some Soviet allies were deeming the invasion an infringement of Czechoslovakia's sovereignty, the Soviets bailed out the Cuban economy with extra loans and an immediate increase in oil exports.

The relationship between the Soviet Union's KGB and the Cuban Intelligence Directorate was complex and marked by times of close cooperation and times of extreme competition. The Soviet Union saw the new revolutionary government in Cuba as an excellent proxy agent in areas of the world where Soviet involvement was not popular on a local level. Nikolai Leninov, the KGB Chief in Mexico City, was one of the first Soviet officials to recognize Fidel Castro's potential as a revolutionary and urged the Soviet Union to strengthen ties with the new Cuban leader. Moscow saw Cuba as having far more appeal with new revolutionary movements, western intellectuals, members of the New Left with Cuba's perceived David and Goliath struggle against US imperialism. Shortly after the Cuban missile crisis in 1963, Moscow invited 1,500 DI agents, including Che Guevara, to the KGB's Moscow Center for intensive training in intelligence operations. After the revolution of 1959, Cuba soon took actions inimical to American trade interests on the island.

In response, the U. S. refused to supply its former trading partner with much needed oil. Relations between the countries deteriorated rapidly. In April 1961, following air attacks preparing for the Bay of Pigs Invasion by CIA-trained Cuban exiles, prime minister Fidel Castro declared Cuba to be a socialist republic, moved to develop the growing relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union. In 1962, Cuba was expelled from the Organization of American States. Shortly afterwards, many nations throughout Latin America broke t

History of fountains in the United States

The first decorative fountain in the United States was dedicated in Philadelphia in 1809. Early American fountains were used to distribute clean drinking water, had little ornamentation, copied European styles. In the 20th century, American fountains ceased to distribute drinking water. In the late 20th century, the musical fountain, where the dance of water is controlled by a computer and is accompanied by lights and music, became a form of public entertainment in Las Vegas and other American cities. Philadelphia built the first citywide water system in the United States, which began operation in January 1801. Underground aqueducts carried drinking water from the Schuylkill River, twin steam pumps propelled it into a water tower at Centre Square, now the site of Philadelphia City Hall. Scottish-born architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe designed the system along with the Greek Revival pumping house/water tower. Centre Square was converted from a meadow into a public park, an ornamental fountain was added, 1808–1809.

Sculptor William Rush carved a wooden statue, Allegory of the Schuylkill River, to adorn the Centre Square fountain. The first monumental fountains in the United States were built to mark the termini of aqueducts bringing fresh drinking water into New York City. A cholera epidemic in 1832 and the disastrous Great Fire of New York, in 1835, persuaded the government of New York City to build the Croton aqueduct to bring abundant fresh water into the city; the Croton Dam and reservoir were finished in 1841, bringing water 40 miles from the Croton River to New York City. In commemoration, the Croton Fountain in City Hall Park, was turned on on October 14, 1842 and jetted water 50 feet into the air. A second fountain in Union Square was connected to the system; the first fountains were simple, without sculpture, spouted water up into the air. They no longer exist. In 1848, Boston completed its own new water system, an aqueduct from Lake Cochituate 20 miles to the Boston Common, where the first fountain was located.

A parade and festival were held to mark the fountain's opening on October 25, 1848. The ceremony included schoolchildren singing an ode written by American poet James Russell Lowell for the event; the ode began: "My name is Water: I have sped through strange dark ways untried before, By pure desire of friendship led, Cochituate's Ambassador: He sends four gifts by me, Long life, health and purity."In contrast to the first American fountains, which were simple and functional, in the 1850s, more decorative fountains were constructed as part of a nationwide effort to beautify American cities by building parks and fountains inspired by European models. For example, the Bethesda Fountain was created to adorn New York City's new Central Park, which project had been begun in 1858 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, to create a vast natural landscape in the heart of the city. In the middle of the park was one formal element: a mall adorned with elm trees and a terrace with views over a lake.

In 1863, the park commissioners decided to build a monumental fountain for the central basin in the middle of the mall. The sculptor was a little-known American artist, Emma Stebbins, whose brother was the head of the New York Stock Exchange and President of the Board of Commissioners, who lobbied on her behalf, her fountain was based on the biblical verse from the Gospel of Saint John, in which an angel touched, or "troubled", the waters of the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, giving it healing powers. She wrote about the fountain: "We have no less healing and purification sent to us through the blessed gift of pure, wholesome water, which to all the countless homes of this great city comes like an angel visitant." It was criticized by some writers when it was opened in 1873: the New York Times called it "a feebly-pretty idealess thing", but the fountain became a popular favorite, featured in many films and in recent times in Tony Kushner's play Angels in America. Fountains built in the United States between 1900 and 1950 followed European models and classical styles.

For example: The handsome Samuel Francis Dupont Memorial Fountain, in Dupont Circle, Washington D. C. was designed and created by Henry Bacon and Daniel Chester French, the architect and sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial, in 1921, in a pure neoclassical style. The Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, Chicago was one of the first American fountains to use powerful modern pumps to shoot water as high as 150 feet into the air; the Fountain of Prometheus, with sculpture by Paul Manship, built at Rockefeller Center in New York City in 1933, was the first American fountain in the Art-Deco style. After World War II, fountains in the United States became more varied in form. Some, like the Vaillancourt Fountain in San Francisco, were pure works of sculpture; the modernist French-Canadian Armand Vaillancourt built his monumental fountain at Embarcadero Plaza in San Francisco in a cubist style, though it was intended as a political statement - the official title is "Quebec Libre!", the artist was arrested at the time of the opening for painting political slogans on his own fountain.

Other fountains, like the Frankin Roosevelt Memorial Waterfall, by architect Lawrence Halprin, were designed as landscapes to illustrate themes. This fountain is part of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington D. C. which has four outdoor "rooms" illustrating FDR's Presidency. Each "room" contains a waterfall.


An antibubble is a droplet of liquid surrounded by a thin film of gas, as opposed to a gas bubble, a sphere of gas surrounded by a liquid. Antibubbles are formed when liquid flows turbulently into the same or another liquid, they can either skim across the surface of a liquid such as water, in which case they are called water globules, or they can be submerged into the liquid to which they are directed. Antibubbles are a common but unrecognized phenomenon, in part because of their resemblance to air bubbles, in part because of their transient, or short-lived, nature. With certain solutions, they can be made to last much longer. Antibubbles can be created by allowing a tap to drip into a container of water to which a drop or two of soap has been added. Being inherently unstable, they are difficult to form; the soap reduces the water's surface tension and allows the skin of air surrounding the droplet to remain in place for more than just a fraction of a second. Just as soap bubbles, with air inside and air outside, have negative buoyancy and tend to sink towards the ground, so antibubbles, with water inside and air outside have positive buoyancy and tend to rise towards the water surface.

But again, just as soap bubbles can be filled with a lighter gas to give them positive buoyancy, so antibubbles can be filled with a heavier liquid to give them negative buoyancy. Using a drinking straw to drop droplets of sugar solution onto soapy water will produce antibubbles that sink. Antibubbles pop when they touch the bottom or the side of the vessel containing the liquid; this can be prevented by tipping a few teaspoons of sugar into the soapy water and giving it some time to dissolve. This will produce a denser layer of sugary water at the bottom of the container. Antibubbles made from sugar solution will sink through the water and rest on top of the denser layer at the bottom. Antibubbles made; the layers of an antibubble are water, which it is submerged in, the water trapped in the air. The behavior of antibubbles differs from that of air bubbles in three primary ways, provides a ready means of identification: Antibubbles are held in place by surface tension, move across the surface of the water.

They can be seen to ricochet off other objects in the water and off the sides of a container in a manner similar to that of billiard balls. Under ordinary circumstances, antibubbles are short-lived. An air bubble with a soap skin may last several minutes. Antibubbles have lifetimes of a few seconds or less. Antibubbles with a lifetime of at least tens of hours can be produced by adsorbing colloidal particles at the air-water interfaces of the antibubble. Antibubbles refract light in a different manner than air bubbles; because they are water droplets, light entering them is refracted back toward its source in the same manner as rainbows are produced. Because of this refraction, antibubbles have a bright appearance. If antibubbles can be stabilized they can be used to form a long lasting froth — antifoam. Possible uses for antifoam are as a lubricant or using the thin passageways permeating antifoam as a filter for air or other gasses. Antibubbles themselves could be used for chemical processes such as removing pollutants from a smokestack.

Replacing the air in antibubble shells with another liquid could be used for a drug delivery system by creating a shell of liquid-polymer around a drug. Hardening the polymer with ultraviolet light would create a drug filled capsule; the lifetime of surface antibubbles can be prolonged indefinitely by making the water under them vibrate. These are used as a model of quantum mechanical behavior. Dorbolo S, Caps H, Vandewalle N. "Fluid instabilities in the birth and death of antibubbles". New Journal of Physics. 5: 161. Bibcode:2003NJPh....5..161D. Doi:10.1088/1367-2630/5/1/161. Het Panhuis M, Hutzler S, Weaire D, Phelan R. "New variations on the soap film experiments of Plateau I: Experiments under forced drainage". Philosophical Magazine B. 78: 1–12. Bibcode:1998PMagB..78....1P. Doi:10.1080/014186398258320. Kim PG, Stone HA. "Dynamics of the formation of antibubbles". Europhysics Letters. 83: 54001. Bibcode:2008EL.....8354001K. Doi:10.1209/0295-5075/83/54001. Postema M, de Jong N, Schmitz G, van Wamel A. "Creating antibubbles with ultrasound".

Proc IEEE Ultrason Symp: 977–980. Tufaile A, Sartotelli JC. "Bubble and spherical air shell formation dynamics". Physical Review E. 66: 056204. Bibcode:2002PhRvE..66e6204T. Doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.66.056204. PMID 12513583. Weiss P. "The rise of antibubbles". Science News. 165: 311–312. Doi:10.2307/4015222. JSTOR 4015222. Poortinga A. "Long-lived antibubbles: stable antibubbles through Pickering stabilization". Langmuir. 27: 2138–2141. Doi:10.1021/la1048419. PMID 21250742. Stong CL. "The amateur scientist: Curious bubbles in which a gas encloses a liquid instead of the other way around". Scientific American. 230: 116–120. Doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0474-116.

Wolf-Dieter Ahlenfelder

Wolf-Dieter Ahlenfelder was a German association football referee. Between 1974 and 1988 Ahlenfelder refereed 106 games in the Bundesliga as well as 77 2. Bundesliga games. Ahlenfelder is best remembered for the game between SV Werder Bremen and Hannover 96 in the 1975–76 Bundesliga season when he called half-time after 32 minutes instead of the regulation 45. After complaints by the players Ahlenfelder questioned his assistant who confirmed that it was indeed too early to call half time, he still stopped it a minute early. Questioning revealed that Ahlenfelder had been drinking during his lunch before the game and felt a little confused, he was soon allowed back as a referee. Ahlenfelder was popular with Bundesliga players because of his direct nature; when told by former German international Paul Breitner that he is "refereeing like an asshole" Ahlenfelder replied to Breitner "could it be that you are playing like an asshole?". When players took longer than he desired to get up after being fouled Ahlenfelder would tell them "get up, the under-soil heating isn't switched on anyway".

In the 1983 -- 84 Ahlenfelder was awarded the Golden Whistle. In an interview in 2007 Ahlenfelder stated that he missed the attention he received while refereeing, he stated that modern referees were too colourless and restricted by the rules of the game, exposed to constant surveillance and criticism. Ahlenfelder, who suffered from diabetes in his life, died on 2 August 2014 in Oberhausen, the city of his birth. By profession he was a merchant. Profile at

Aglasterhausen station

Aglasterhausen station is the terminus of the Meckesheim–Neckarelz railway in Aglasterhausen in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. It is located in the network administered by the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar, it is classified by Deutsche Bahn as a category 7 station. It was opened with the Odenwald Railway from Heidelberg to Würzburg as a through station on 23 October 1862; the section from Aglasterhausen to Obrigheim was closed on 25 September 1971, turning Aglasterhausen station into a terminus. It has been the terminus of line S51 of the Rhine-Neckar S-Bahn since June 2010; the Grand Duchy of Baden State Railway, which operated railways in Baden from 1840 to 1920, when it was integrated into Deutsche Reichsbahn, commenced operations of the Baden Odenwald railway between Heidelberg, Meckenheim and Mosbach on 23 October 1862. With the opening of the Neckar Valley Railway on the Neckargemünd–Neckarsteinach–Eberbach–Neckarelz–Mosbach route on 24 May 1879, the Meckenheim–Neckarelz route became more and more neglected.

The Aglasterhausen–Obrigheim section was closed at the timetable change on 25 September 1971. Südwestdeutsche Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft took over the line from Deutsche Bundesbahn under a fixed 20-year lease on 1 January 1982. With the transfer of responsibility for the Elsenz Valley Railway and the Schwarzbach Valley Railway to the Rhine-Neckar S-Bahn, the line was electrified, Aglasterhausen station was modernised and a raised platform was installed there. At the same time, the second track was removed; the track now ends at a buffer stop. The original station building still exists and it has been renovated; the station is served by line S 51 of the Rhine-Neckar S-Bahn every hour from 5am to midnight, Monday to Friday, with extra trains in the peaks. The extra trains run only between Meckesheim. Class 425 EMUs are used. Thomas Estler. Eisenbahnreiseführer Baden-Württemberg. 2, Hohenlohe, Schwäbischer Wald, Kraichgau. Stuttgart: Transpress. ISBN 3-613-71106-0. Hans-Wolfgang Scharf. Eisenbahnen zwischen Neckar, Tauber und Main.

1: Historische Entwicklung und Bahnbau. Freiburg: EK-Verlag. ISBN 3-88255-766-4. Hans-Wolfgang Scharf. Eisenbahnen zwischen Neckar, Tauber und Main. 2: Ausgestaltung, Betrieb und Maschinendienst. Freiburg: EK-Verlag. ISBN 3-88255-768-0. Gerd Wolff, Hans-Dieter Menges. Deutsche Kleinbahnen und Privatbahnen. 2: Baden. Freiburg: Verlag=EK-Verlag. ISBN 3-88255-6536. Peter-Michael Mihailescu, Matthias Michalke. Vergessene Bahnen in Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart: Konrad Theiss Verlag. Pp. 25–27. ISBN 3-8062-0413-6

Foreign relations of Kenya

Kenya maintains relations with various countries around the world. Its closest ties are with its fellow Swahili-speaking neighbors in the African Great Lakes region. Swahili speaking neighbours include countries in the East African Community such as Burundi, South Sudan and Uganda. There's the DRC which has a significant Swahili speaking population. Kenya's relations with other states vary; the government of Ethiopia established political links in the colonial period with Kenya's British administration, today it is one of several national bodies with a diplomatic presence in Nairobi. Relations with Somalia have been tense, although there has been some military co-ordination against insurgents. Elsewhere, the Kenyan government has political ties with China, India and Brazil, it maintains relations with Western countries the United Kingdom, although political and economic instabilities are blamed on Western activities. Kenya has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations since 1963; the nation became a Commonwealth republic in 1964.

Kenya is a member of the UN and hosts the UN Office in Nairobi, the UN Headquarters in Africa. The office was established in 1996. List of diplomatic missions of Kenya List of diplomatic missions in Kenya List of presidential trips made by Uhuru Kenyatta Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Mission of Kenya to the United Nations United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website