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ECLAC and ILO Stress Importance of Moving Toward a More Sustainable Development Model to Create New Job Opportunities

In a joint publication, the organizations forecast, for example, that the transition toward energy sustainability would create more than one million jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean by 2030.

 

23 OCTOBER 2018|PRESS RELEASE

Latin America and the Caribbean is the most biodiverse region in the world, but it is losing its natural wealth due to the environmental harm being caused by the current development pattern. That is why there is a pressing need to transition toward a more sustainable model, both from an environmental and labor point of view, which would enable access to new opportunities and improvements in employment, ECLAC and the ILO indicate in a new joint publication.

In the 19th edition of Employment situation in Latin America and the Caribbean (October 2018), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) address how urgently needed environmental sustainability – especially the decarbonization of the energy sector and the circular economy – can affect the world of work, and the challenges posed by this situation.

For example, the United Nations organizations project that the transition toward energy sustainability would create more than one million jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean by 2030. Similarly, the evolution toward a circular economy – in which the efficiency and lifespan of materials improve upon promoting durability and repairability, remanufacturing, reuse and recycling – would create 4.8 million net jobs by 2030, since job creation in those sectors reprocessing wood, steel, aluminum and other metals will easily compensate for the losses associated with the extraction of minerals and other materials.

However, environmental transitions also entail challenges for the world of work and the need to develop suitable skills among the labor force, ECLAC and the ILO warn.

“To achieve a transition with the capacity to create decent employment and which is fair for everyone, the complementarity of policies is key. Policies that aim for environmental sustainability must be accompanied by integrated legal frameworks and policies for social protection, skills development and gender equality, which promote social dialogue,” Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, and José Manuel Salazar, the ILO’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, stated in the document’s foreword.

The report explains that some regulations, legal frameworks and policies already exist, both at an international and national level, for fueling an environmental transition that optimizes the creation of employment and decent work. For example, some multilateral environmental agreements directly refer to international labor laws and regulations, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982), the International Tropical Timber Agreement (2006) and the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (2009). The Paris Agreement, of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2015), also includes key aspects from the world of work.

On a national level, based on a sample of seven countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, in six of them, the legal frameworks for the energy sector make explicit mention of skills development and research and development. In five of them, general reference is made to the world of work, and in four cases to job creation. However, in none of these countries is social dialogue mentioned, which is a mechanism for moving toward a just transition, ECLAC and the ILO indicate.

With regard to the current context, the document notes that after seven semesters of interannual increases in the open urban unemployment rate in Latin America and the Caribbean, in the first half of 2018 a reduction was seen for the first time, albeit a very small one of 0.1 percentage point. This is partially due to the fact that, since the third quarter of 2017, the urban employment rate has registered interannual increases of 0.2 percentage points, which had an impact on the unemployment rate in early 2018 upon coinciding with a slight deceleration in the growth of the labor force participation rate, which continues to be fueled by women’s increasing labor insertion.

According to both organizations, the unemployment rate lies above the projections that were made in late 2017 because the region’s economic growth was less vigorous than expected (the projection for 2018 fell from 2.2% at the end of 2017 to 1.3% in October of the current year). In this new scenario, it is expected that the average urban unemployment rate for 2018 will show little change from 2017, registering around 9.3% again.

In this context, labor market and social protection policies will continue to be crucial for protecting the well-being of the population, ECLAC and the ILO stress.

For queries or to request interviews, contact:

  • Source: https://www.cepal.org/en/pressreleases/eclac-and-ilo-stress-importance-moving-toward-more-sustainable-development-model
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Your Commander-in-Chief Is Lying to You: Veterans Issue Open Letter to Active Duty US Soldiers

By every moral or ethical standard it is your duty to refuse orders to “defend” the U.S. from these migrants.
Members of the Arizona national guard listen to instructions in Phoenix. The additional troops would bolster national guard forces already at the border. (Photo: Caitlin O’hara/AFP/Getty Images)

To All Active Duty Soldiers:

Your Commander-in-chief is lying to you. You should refuse his orders to deploy to the southern U.S. border should you be called to do so. Despite what Trump and his administration are saying, the migrants moving North towards the U.S. are not a threat. These small numbers of people are escaping intense violence. In fact, much of the reason these men and women—with families just like yours and ours—are fleeing their homes is because of the US meddling in their country’s elections. Look no further than Honduras, where the Obama administration supported theoverthrow of a democratically elected president who was then replaced by a repressive dictator.

“There are tens of thousands of us who will support your decision to lay your weapons down. You are better than your Commander-in-chief. Our only advice is to resist in groups. Organize with your fellow soldiers. Do not go this alone.”

These extremely poor and vulnerable people are desperate for peace.  Who among us would walk a thousand mileswith only the clothes on our back without great cause? The odds are good that your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. lived similar experiences to these migrants. Your family members came to the U.S. to seek a better life—some fled violence. Consider this as you are asked to confront these unarmed men, women and children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. To do so would be the ultimate hypocrisy.

The U.S. is the richest country in the world, in part because it has exploited countries in Latin America for decades. If you treat people from these countries like criminals, as Trump hopes you will, you only contribute to the legacy of pillage and plunder beneath our southern border. We need to confront this history together, we need to confront the reality of America’s wealth and both share and give it back with these people. Above all else, we cannot turn them away at our door. They will die if we do.

By every moral or ethical standard it is your duty to refuse orders to “defend” the U.S. from these migrants.  History will look kindly upon you if you do. There are tens of thousands of us who will support your decision to lay your weapons down. You are better than your Commander-in-chief. Our only advice is to resist in groups. Organize with your fellow soldiers. Do not go this alone. It is much harder to punish the many than the few.

In solidarity,

Rory Fanning
Former U.S. Army Ranger, War-Resister
Spenser Rapone
Former U.S. Army Ranger and Infantry Officer, War-Resister

 

Source: Common Dreams

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THE EMBARGO ON CUBA MUST END!!! #DOWNWITHTHEBLOCKADE – JAMAICA PATRIOTIC MOVEMENT

Image may contain: 7 people, including Carlos Daley

On behalf of our movement and our beloved country, Jamaica, we support the effort on behalf of the world community to vote tomorrow for the total elimination of the US embargo on Cuba.

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Long live the people of Cuba in their effort to build a socialist society where shooting at schools are absent, education is free, health care is free and young people are allowed to live without being kidnapped, raped or murdered on a daily basis.
We thank them also for their assistance over the years and hope for a long-lasting mutually beneficial relationship.

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Poverty is Hell (Lyrics) – Mighty Shadow

Mighty Shadow

 

Poverty is hell and the angels are in Paradise
Driving in their limousine where everything is nice and clean
A poor man living in a teeny-weeny hut
The children hungry, nothing in the pot
He gone by the neighbour to beg for some rice
The neighbour under pressure, “Boy, things ent nice.”
He gone in the big shot area to beg
police put a bullet in his teeny-weeny leg
He gone in the courts and he lost the case
The prosecutor say he have a bandit face

Poverty is hell! Poverty is hell!

Wake up in the morning and the baby cry
The sugar pan empty, the milk bottle dry
The little boy child on the mango tree
The mango green, hurting up his belly
The young girl bawling, she wouldn’t settle
She wipe she bumsie with stinging nettle
Toilet paper they never had
They used to tootoo in the gully by the old backyard
They rub she down and they put she to sleep
The rain come down and the house does leak

Poverty is hell! Poverty is hell!

Winston “Mighty Shadow” Bailey who passed on recently has left humanity with a tremendous legacy of music.

 

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Bases and Places – Poem by Mighty Gabby

Any country who has military bases in places
( Other than their own )
The rightful thing to do right now is…
Pack up…
Send them home !
If you claim to aim
At having
A lasting world peace
Don’t you think it’s time for ‘ subtle ‘
Occupation to cease?
Young people are tired
Of constantly making war
If they had a slogan it would be…..
‘WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?’
Guns and tanks and nuclear power
With soldiers in camuflage wear
Creates very weak economies……
Festers nothing but fear !
‘ Protecting ‘
Is your catch word
But protecting what?
Humans beings from being maimed
Or killed in some ‘Hot Spot’?
Your country can do with the revenue
You spend this way
A budget that doesn’t contract
But rather expands everyday
When you use terms like ‘ Our Country’ s interest’
I am totally amazed
It woud be an understatement to say
It leaves me in a daze
No War Machine
Can sucessfully
Manipulate an economy
Eventually justice will rise
To set the ocupied free
So if you know you
You have bases
In countries that are not your own
Gather your troops
Close all loops
And send your soldiers home !!

Written September 27th, 2018 ( sat ) in St. Kitts. From 7. 54 am to 8.06 am.
By Dr. Anthony Gabby Carter.

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Kinte’s Struggle to Get His Cancer Care Paid for via his NCB Health Insurance Policy – Dr Alfred Dawes

See the documentary Sicko at the end of this article.

One of my favourite TV series as a child was Roots. It chronicled the life of an African who was sold into slavery in America. Kunta Kinte struggled against his masters and ran away from the plantation several times, despite severe punishment. He was even whipped into submitting to his slave name and new identity – Toby.

I have always remembered his defiance and willingness to sacrifice everything in fighting to keep his identity and not be dehumanised by a cruel system.

Now years later I have met a real-life Kunta Kinte.

Whether it was sheer luck or ordained by destiny, Kinte Mendez was named after my childhood hero. Born in Dias, Hanover, to civil servant parents, Kinte attended Munro College then Mico Teachers’ College. He worked at a school in the community before pursuing further studies in Cuba.

Upon his return, he worked in several jobs before settling at Knox College. Married for three years, he planned to start a family. Unfortunately, a series of illnesses affected his wife and exhausted the couples’ finances.

In 2011, Kinte took out NCB Procare and ProVision critical illness, and life and disability policies on the advice of his mother, so as to prepare for any eventuality. To NCB, his new identity was Policy Holder 707-512000032 (PH 707).

In 2014, PH 707 noticed dark spots around his eyes and thickening of his ears. After visiting a doctor and receiving treatment, the illness cleared up for six months. But thereafter, the condition only got worse. Subsequent visits to other doctors failed to arrest the worsening of the condition.

Two years later, PH 707 suddenly developed poor vision. After visiting several other doctors, he was finally diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in May 2018, a lethal form of cancer that just recently led to the death of billionaire Microsoft founder Paul Allen.

He was urgently admitted to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) for treatment. Repeated tests confirmed his worst fears – he had a rare and very aggressive cancer that was endemic to Jamaica and four other countries in the world, Adult T-cell Lymphoma/Leukaemia (ATLL).

 

… A Deadly Cancer With No Known Cure

 

Adult T-cell Lymphoma/Leukaemia (ATLL) is a deadly cancer with no known cure. It is associated with a virus, HTLV-l, that is so common in Jamaica that we routinely screen pregnant women and donated blood for its presence.

Much of the knowledge about this virus and the diseases it causes were gained from the work of a team from the University of the West Indies led by our own world-renowned pathologist, Dr Barrie Hanchard.

Dr Hanchard and his team, with funding from the National Institutes of Health in the United States, showed that the cancer could show up first in the skin, but like all lymphomas/leukaemias, spread throughout the body, ultimately leading to death. Nobody has ever been cured of ATLL.

Confronted with mounting medical expenses, PH 707 claimed for the cancer benefits payable under his policy. The claim was denied.

Although the policy covered lymphomas, the medical director of the company advised the claims manager that this was a skin cancer and therefore should not be covered by the policy.

Kinte Mendez’s protestations, backed up by expert opinions from cancer specialists locally and overseas, fell on deaf ears. NCB would continue to treat this lymphoma as a skin cancer and he would have to take it up with their legal department if he didn’t like it.

 

DENIAL OF BENEFITS

 

This denial of benefits by a health insurance company is more common than imagined.

In his documentary Sicko, Michael Moore showed how the for-profit health insurance companies find every reason not to pay sick clients the funds needed for treatment. One former medical director spoke of the bonuses she received whenever she denied claims and saved the company money.

The math is simple. Collect premiums from as many clients as possible. Whenever said clients get sick, deny as many claims as possible to limit payouts and boost profits. Pay out mega profits to shareholders and market to new clients to sign up to replace the current clients dying from diseases covered by the plan. Repeat the above steps.

 

… #Iamkinte – Sacrificed On The Altar Of Gold

 

Left on his own, Kinte Mendez, NCB policyholder 707-512000032 (PH 707), has not given up. He purchases his chemotherapy medication in government pharmacies and transports them on ice to UHWI to cut down on costs.

Despite being barely able to see well enough to read a text message, he travels from Spaldings, Clarendon, to Kingston on buses, rushing to get home before the side effects of chemotherapy kick in.

He spends most of his days hidden away at home because of the growths on his skin, avoiding public stares and ridicule.

As he continues to pay his insurance premiums that contribute to the record billions of dollars of profits to the NCB Group, PH 707 has not given up hope that someone will overrule the decisions taken by a few employees of a mega corporation to sacrifice his life for a Christmas bonus.

He knows how aggressive the disease is but remains hopeful. Hopeful that his next round of chemotherapy will give him a fighting chance. But time is running out.

 

I CAN’T HELP HIM ALONE

 

PH 707 reached out to me to see how I could help. But I can’t. Not alone.

I can only let you know that his name is not PH 707. His name is Kinte Mendez – a living, breathing human being who has hopes and dreams like the rest of us.

A man who prepared for the worst and now that the worst has come, is being sacrificed on the altar of gold. #iamkinte.

This could have been me. If this practice is not stopped right now, we all are potential victims of this horrible extremist form of capitalism.

I am prepared to throw my weight behind Kinte in this fight. Because I know he cannot lose. For the only man who can defeat an enemy with unlimited resources is the man who fights with nothing to lose.

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Fidel Castro Ruz: The Common Good of Humanity as Global Objective – From “Our Duty is to Struggle”

From meeting held by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz with Intellectuals and Guests Participating in the Twenty-First International Book Fair in Cuba, at the International Conference Center in Havana on February 10, 2012, “Year 54 of the Revolution

Of everything we have just stated, we conclude that the Common Good of Humanity is the fruit of a suitable realization of the ensemble of the four basic central themes of collective life of human beings on the planet (which essentially are four social relationships). Just as they are defined by capitalism, guaranteed by the political forces and transmitted by the dominant culture, they are not sustainable and therefore they cannot ensure the Common Good of Humanity. On the other side of the coin, its applications contradict the reproduction of life. The concept of the Common Good of Humanity is a dynamic notion, because its contents must be permanently redefined.

One might object that is a utopia. Besides the fact that human beings need utopias and that capitalism has destroyed utopian thinking, announcing the end of history (there are no alternatives), one can state that the search for the Common Good of Humanity is really a utopia, not in the sense of an illusion, but in that it does not exist today, but it could exist tomorrow. At the same time, utopias also conserve their dynamic dimension: there will always be a tomorrow. Every political regime or religious movement identifying itself with utopia ends in catastrophe. We are dealing with a call to walk.11 In this sense, we are not dealing with “an inoffensive utopia.” This may be proven by the hundreds of thousands of social movements, citizen organizations, political groups, each in their specific location, struggling for improved relations with nature and for its protection, for peasant and organic agriculture, for social economy, abolition of illegal debts, collective appropriation of production means, primacy of work over capital, defense of human rights, for participative democracy and for giving value to cultures. The World Social Forums allow us to visualize this reality, and this gradually creates new global social awareness.

Nevertheless, it is a dynamic process that requires a coherent ensemble vision as the basis for convergence in action, with the goal of building a force capable of reverting the contemporary dominant system both in its economic dimensions as well as in its social, cultural, and political dimensions. It is precisely what the concept of “Common Good of Humanity” wants to express: theoretical coherence bringing together the four central themes of collective life on the planet and one vision that allows each of the social and political movements and initiatives to locate themselves within the ensemble.

Evidently, opting for alternatives to the current system and proposing a new paradigm for human development does not prevent adopting measures to resolve immediate problems, problems that are the products of capitalist logic. Thus, it was Rosa Luxemburg who proposed a dialectic vision of the relationship between reforms and revolution. So, one cannot underestimate the social policies that try to remedy the effects

  1. Eduardo Galeano writes on this subject, “I take two steps closer, it takes two steps away. I move forward 10 steps and the horizon escapes 10 more steps into the distance. I might always go on advancing and I shall never reach it. So what good is utopia? Precisely that: to walk.” (Maurice Lemoine: Le Monde Diplomatique, December 2010).

of neoliberalism. To find both a theoretical and a practical solution, one must deal again with the matter of transition.

Transition

As we know, Karl Marx applied the concept of transition to the passage between feudalism and capitalism, demonstrating how, little by little, the forms of the former were incapable of ensuring conditions for social survival and its progress and how new forms were born until they transformed the body of production methods and social formation. Nowadays the situation is different because if capitalism has developed new contradictions and if some forms of socialism appear, the process must be planned in order to accelerate it. We have no time for gradual evolution. Transition must be organized, taking into account the relationships of existing powers and the state of the production forces, but not just as a process, as a struggle.

For that reason, the basic matter is the definition of the goal: we are dealing with a transition towards a new paradigm to carry out the Common Good of Humanity, or production, reproduction and improvement of life. That fundamentally contradicts the goal of capitalism, not only in economic matters (universality of the law of value) but also in politics (the State at the service of the market) and in culture (consumer individualism). Transition is necessarily a process that takes its time. Not only that, capital as the monopolistic economic power is capable of inciting war (even to nuclear threats) of sacrificing millions of persons by hunger and of corrupting the political forces throughout the world to ensure its predominance, but its logic has penetrated culture, even that of the lower classes and workers’ organizations and that ensures the exercise of true hegemony.

To continue reflecting on transition, it is important to analyze the processes taking place right now. In fact, the measures that today are called “transitional” are thought of in two different ways: either as steps towards a new paradigm or as an adaptation of the existing system to new ecological and social demands. It is not the vocabulary we use that makes the difference between the two trends; it is real policies that make the difference. In the two cases, we can use concepts of transition to socialism, Twenty-first Century Socialism, the Socialism of Buen Vivir (the art of living well), even revolution, but having different contents in the political plan.

What is being experienced in Latin America, with the progressive regimes, clearly states the problem, with differences depending upon the cases. There are countries opting for a clearly social democratic solution, where capitalism is the tool for economic growth, including national and international financial capitalism and where social justice is translated by social redistribution programs, often important and effective ones, of part of the capital gain (Brazil, Argentina, Nicaragua).

Others, with more radical language, also have important social programs, dedicating to them up to 15 or 17 per cent of the national budgets; they increase tax collection but do not seek a new paradigm for development. Through conviction or by force, they seek an extractive model to create wealth, technological and financial dependence on multinational corporations, favoring single-crops, especially to produce agrofuels, following policies advantageous for social groups having the backing of the banks and internal and external business ventures. Pragmatism guides many decisions. Perhaps, as Vice President Álvaro García Linera of Bolivia used to say, because capitalism still has at least 100 years of life left.

In fact, a post-neoliberal adaptation of capitalism is approaching, facing new demands through a reconstructed State and with several degrees of popular participation (Ecuador, Bolivia, and in part, Venezuela). Compared to the past or to purely pro-capitalist countries (Mexico, Chile, Colombia) we can see highly appreciable progress and facing the options of the rights and the threats of the empire, we cannot make any mistakes in our political positions.

All that we have achieved, partly thanks to the international economic situation (prices for natural resources, a situation which of course strengthens the continent’s place in the international division of labor) and partly due to audacious social and cultural policies, cannot be denied. Millions of people are being helped to exit from poverty, and that is a positive result because the hungry do not suffer or die in the mid or long term; they are dying today. Nevertheless, that does not necessarily mean adopting a new paradigm. Those kinds of policies can be registered within the logic of capitalism, like anti-cyclic neo-Keynesian actions. That kind of reality was acknowledged by Ecuadorean leaders at the end of the first five-year period of the “Citizen Revolution,” “We have not achieved profound changes in the model of accumulation and the structure of ownership.”12

Another view is to associate social policies with effective post-capitalist structural transformations: agrarian reform, respect for nature, popular participation, and participative democracy; recovery of sovereignty of natural resources, support for family farms, popular control of the main production means, food sovereignty, effective acknowledgement of indigenous cultures and identities, regionalization of the economies, etc. In this case, transition takes on another meaning.

It is obvious that Venezuela cannot be asked to immediately close down its oil wells, even though we know that this activity contributes to the production of more greenhouse effect gases; nor can we ask Indonesia to destroy all the palm plantations tomorrow; nor Bolivia to close its mines; nor Ecuador to think that developing mining activity could defray the prompt decrease in oil production as a source for the social policies.

But what we should demand is the definition of transition, including an economy based on the usage value and not the exchange value, radical measures to protect nature, even prohibiting extractive activities in certain regions (the basic Yasuní philosophy is moving in that direction), respect for the rights of local communities, notably the indigenous communities and a constructive dialogue with them. The complementing of such policies will be the acceleration of continental regionalisation to build stronger alliances to deal with multi-

  1. Presentation of the report on the five-year period by Fander Falconí, Quito, January 19, 2012.

nationals, today ties to a system that is always more integrated and which laughs at national laws, never complying with commitments and imposing their logic on governments incapable of reacting correctly.

The experience in the Philippines during the last 10 years is conclusive: despite a mining law, ecological destruction has been horrifying; entire communities were driven from their territories, the numbers of jobs promised were not respected and in the first 8 years, the State recovered only 11 per cent of the royalties it should have received during the decade.13

Several of these elements are present in the new Latin American constitutions and in some real policies that, according to Samir Amin can be considered as “revolutionary advances,” but up to now we cannot see a true change of paradigm. But, in a certain way, one can wonder if for the progressive countries on the continent, the first in the world where there were new anti-neoliberal directions, there existed another view, subjectively and objectively.

In fact, the definition of development has not changed much and it is summarized in the growth of productive forces, production, and consumption, with traditional measures. Many of the political actors have not left the culture of capitalist development, even when they would like to fight against its most negative effects and even though they make up social and cultural views of considerable sizes. In reality, they share the idea that productive forces cannot be developed without going through the logic of the capitalist market. That is also what leaders of the Chinese and Vietnamese Communist parties are also thinking, with a very special theory of the transition towards socialism. In several parts of the world, from Indonesia to Sri Lanka, from Angola to Mozambique, experiences with a socialist bent finished by adopting neoliberalism, probably to a great extent under the international force of the system. The socialist countries of Europe lost the “Cold War” and adopted

  1. Alyansa Tigil Mina, A Legacy of Disasters. The Mining Situation in the Philippines, 2011.

the worst form of development of the capitalist model: rapid but with inequalities.

At first glance, the Cuban experience seems to substantiate those who are doubting socialism, since a rigid Soviet type system adopted and imposed at the end of the 1960s did not allow full socialist development of the material bases for life. Truly revolutionary social and cultural achievements were attained, solid enough to resist the test of time, but not sustainable in the long term without the parallel development of production forces with the participation of the workers, as Che had envisioned.14 To correct this situation, as the measures for change adopted in 2011 indicate, it not an easy task: it deals not only with the economic order but also with political and cultural orders. Nevertheless, the partial difficulties of one experience are clearly not sufficient argument to continue adopting a model that is always more destructive of the planet and the lives of a large part of humanity. The originality of the Cuban situation is that changes are coming from abroad.

Proof of the existence of the possibility to carry out another form of human development is evidently the main task of a socialist project. The new paradigm for the collective life of humanity on the planet, made concrete in the guidelines of its fundamental elements, seems to be the suitable path. We are not dealing with an illusion because there are many successful partial trials and many struggles to broaden them. In several social movements, like those within the progressive Latin American governments, there are persons and groups struggling so that this new paradigm should be the goal.

The culture of economic growth and the absence of a sufficiently clear socialist view of the development of productive forces were the first two obstacles for transitions of the progressive countries of Latin America, towards a new paradigm. But there is a third element: the relationship of strength between these countries and the monopolistic capitalism which is always more concentrated in the multinational corpora-

  1. Carlos Tablada, El marxismo del Che y el socialismo del siglo xxi (Panama:

Ruth Casa Editorial, 2007).

tions. These multinationals possess technical superiority and considerable financial power. They have legal instruments that are capable of imposing themselves without any consideration for local laws. The support their respective political centers receive, especially in the United States and the European Union, and the dominant logic of international organizations such as the WTO, the World Bank, the IMF, place these States, especially the small ones, in a situation of inferiority. Only a process of regional integration will allow for a real counterweight to be constituted.

However, in Latin America, there is an initiative that steps beyond the logic of capital: ALBA. Its principles: complementariness, solidarity, and non-competition, applied to concrete social economic relations. Even though it is limited to less than 10 countries, it is of prime importance because it is registered in the logic of the new paradigm. The potential role of the social movements, recognized as an integral part of the process, can help following through, in the fundamental direction. It is on a regional scale that progress towards a new paradigm has its best chance of being carried out and ALBA has this potential.

The other initiatives for integration on the sub-continent, promoted by the progressive regimes, even though they do not share the ALBA philosophy, are taking a notable step towards “disconnecting,” according to the concept of Samir Amin. Whether it is Mercosur, the sucre as currency for exchanges, UNASUR as the coordinating body for South America and, recently, CELAC—which joins Central America and the Caribbean without the presence of the U.S. and Canada—; all these efforts manifest the desire to disassociate from the economic and political influence of the North. It is not an exit from the logic of the capitalist market, but it is an important step towards a break in monopolistic concentration and in this way we are dealing with a phase that could signify transition towards a new model.

Similar ideas exist in Asia (Shanghai Group, Chieng Mai initiative) and in Africa, indicating a new dynamic. Nevertheless, these shall only be a fundamental step if they open up onto a new paradigm; that will not be done without new awareness, fortunately accentuated by the crisis, organized and sustained social struggles and daring political initiatives. Those are the conditions for the survival of Mother Earth and Humanity.

For these realities and future outlooks, we are proposing the preparation of a Universal Declaration of the Common Good of Humanity parallel to the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, taking up again the principles of a new paradigm capable of guiding the post-capitalist era. It would serve as a collective memory for a change of paradigm, not as a false consensus among opposites, but the instrument for struggle and the source of hope for the future.

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President of Cuba opens official account on Twitter @DiazCanelB

Official account @DiazCanelB
Official account @DiazCanelB Photo: Twitter

The President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel, this October 10th has sent his first tweet from his official account @DiazCanelB.

Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez

@DiazCanelB

Estamos en , el lugar donde con mayor suma de sentimientos patrios y


In his message, Díaz-Canel said: “We are in La Demajagua, the place where we have the greatest amount of patriotic feelings #SomosCuba and #SomosContinuidad”.
The Cuban president had announced at the last Congress of the Union of Journalists of Cuba that before December he would be on the social network Twitter, and precisely at this historic date fulfilled his promise.

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REGGAE SALUTE TO OUR NATIONAL HEROES MADE ITS MARK AT SABINA PARK!!!

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The people came from all over Jamaica to experience the first Reggae musical salute to our National Heroes. The music from all sounds kept the bar busy. All were satisfied. Thanks the police officers for their support; the function was problem free.  Norma from Ray Town Sundays assisted with the usage of bar and barriers, a fixture on the Jamaican musical scene and the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports f granted an extension of one hour, allowing the event to end at 3 p. m. Plans are in place for the second annual event. The youth of Kingston want to ensure it remains as a symbol of their respect for our heroes who gave their lives for our political independence.

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Venezuela drops US dollar, will use euro for international transactions

Venezuela drops US dollar, will use euro for international transactions

Venezuela is abandoning the US dollar, with all future transactions on the Venezuelan exchange market to be made in euro, Tareck El Aissami, the country’s Vice President for Economy, announced.

The sanctions, recently introduced by Washington against Caracas, “block the possibility of continuing to trade using the US dollar on the Venezuelan exchange market,” El Aissami said, adding that the American restrictions were “illegal and against international law.” 

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The American “financial blockade” of Venezuela affects both the country’s public and private sectors, including pharmacy and agriculture, and shows “just how far the imperialism can go in its madness,” the vice president said.

Venezuela’s floating exchange rate system, Dicom, “will be operating in euro, yuan or any other convertible currency and will allow the foreign exchange market to use any other convertible currency,” El Aissami said.

The vice president added that all private banks in Venezuela are obliged to participate in the Dicom bidding system.

The government is going to sell 2 billion euros between November and December to allow the public to purchase the European currency “at a real, non-speculative rate,” he said.

Washington isn’t hiding its desire to see Venezuela’s socialist President, Nicolas Maduro, whom it’s accusing of a crackdown on the country’s opposition, removed from power. Trump administration even spoke of the possibility of the so-called “humanitarian intervention” into the country.

Last year, the US imposed sanctions prohibiting trading new debt and equity issued by the Venezuelan government and state oil company, PDVSA. The Department of Treasury also introduced several rounds of restrictions againt Venezuelan top government officials. Maduro was among those blacklisted and called it “an honor.”

The US pressure has contributed to the severe social and economic crisis in Venezuela in recent years as it was hit by hyperinflation, the devaluation of the national currency and a shortage of basic necessities.

The harsh situation forced more than 2.3 million to people leave the country this summer in search of better life in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, according to the UN.

Source: https://www.rt.com/news/441448-venezuela-drops-dollar-currency/

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Aisha Comissiong’s Reflections on Dancin’ Africa achieving NIFCA Gold for the dance entitled “Refugee”

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A few months ago someone in authority said to me in a casual conversation about the annual NIFCA dance competition- “Why every year you all feel you have to bring these deep dance pieces telling a story… you all should bring pieces that are just about movement “.

Part of my response to this person was to inform them that there’s no way that I could have an opportunity to reach a large section of the population of Barbados and not use that opportunity to present something that will make THEM go home and think about life/humanity/the world/self, so I’m sorry, but that suggestion would have to be made to someone else.

Now I say that to say this :  before the Dancin’ Africa Junior company took to the stage on Monday night to perform “REFUGEE”– a piece created about and dedicated to the children currently swept up and being displaced in what has been called the worst refugee crisis since World War II— I asked the children to sit in their own spaces, and to focus, reflect and think deeply about the dance they were about to perform.

You see, before coming to the NIFCA dance finals, we had spent some time together looking at videos and pictures, and talking about the refugee crisis and the anti-immigrant/anti-refugee rhetoric that has/is being spewed about.

To my surprise, a few of the young female dancers started to break down in tears. I went over to ask what was wrong, and the response was that “the refugees, all they’re going through, it’s just not fair!”

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And then, when I reached the Frank Collymore Hall , parents of the young dancers came up to me and thanked me because — according to  them– I now had their children educating them and their siblings about the refugee crisis ! And for me this was so thrilling to hear that, as far as I was concerned, we had already achieved a win!

People seemingly forget what a powerful educational tool the Arts in general and  Dance in particular can be. As a choreographer I don’t create in a vacuum and I don’t create just “fuh so”!

In these last moments before the performance I realized that in my own way I could have a positive influence on the younger generation who are now in the process of deciding what their contribution to humanity will be. We don’t exist in this world alone and therefore we should see ourselves as world citizens –  we should see the world as our home.  And just because something does not  affect us directly  that does not mean that it should not have an effect on us!

It melted my heart to see how compassionate these 9 – 12 year olds were. We need more human beings like that in the world. Just imagine, at their young ages they are already wishing that they could put the suffering refugees on a plane and bring them to safety.

My question is therefore :  when do we stop caring, at what age do we become hardened humans? I told my young charges that I hope that this experience will inspire them to go out there and make a change in the world. Art has the power to do that.

All of that aside, I now want to publicly express   huge CONGRATULATIONS to my “babies” for a well-deserved NIFCA GOLD medal. It truly was a moving performance! Those persons who are familiar with my style of presentation already know it was a full theatre trow dung!

Furthermore, in light of the fact that “Refugee” was  a dance piece  I had requested to be pulled at one stage because I didn’t think the children were ready for it– a request that the young dancers and their  parents and children both said no to– I think we have a lot to be proud about.

I give thanks to Jennifer Sealy and Dancin’ Africa, and to the parents for not only trusting me with their children but for being so very supportive. And of course I thank  my father, without whom  none of this would ever be possible.

Last but not least, my little shining stars: Samantha, Tai, Chemaya, Tori, Amara, Zakiya, Brianna and Naiobi. In less than two months, with the most hectic schedule any child could have, how you all managed this deserves some serious big ups and love ups!

And a special shout out to Chemaya who sprained her big toe a few days before the NIFCA finals but decided that  that was not going to stop her from dancing! She wasn’t able to perform her role in it’s entirety but what she could do we’re so happy she did…the piece just would not have been the same without her!

Onward to bigger and better achievements next year young ladies !

AISHA  DAYO  COMISSIONG

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Telesur Round-up October 15, 2018

“We have to defend cultural development and artistic creation from banalities, vulgarities and paradigms that some try to impose from the outside,” Diaz-Canel, President of Cuba.

15/10/2018

LATIN AMERICA 

Fernando Haddad of the Workers‘Creepy,’ Says Haddad of Bolsonaro in Interview Ahead of 2nd Round of Brazil’s Elections
Residents walk past damaged cars after flash floods hit the southwestern Aude district, in Villegailhenc, France.At Least 13 Killed by Flash Floods in Southern France
Nearly forty years after his death, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero was honored with the highest form of tribute in the Catholic religion and canonized a saint.Salvadoran Bishop: More than a Saint, a Voice for Latin America

WORLD

A foundation of a ruined home is pictured following Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, U.S., Oct. 12, 2018.Rescue Teams in Florida Search for Survivors on Mexico Beach
Julian Assange accepted political asylum from the Latin American country in 2012 to avoid extradition.Ecuadorean Embassy Partially Lifts Assange’s Internet Isolation
Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza at the Presidential Palace in Gitega Province, Burundi June 7, 2018.Burundi Accuses Belgium of Ordering Hit on Independence Hero

SPORTS 

Late bloomer Bolt finally hits his stride.Late bloomer Bolt finally hits his stride
Prize money won by France in JuyFrance: Part Of World Cup Prize Will Finance Women’s League
She learnt drifting "on the streets of Palestine" in 2010, before moving to Dubai where she now lives.Palestinian Champions ‘Drift’ Car Racing for Women

CULTURE 

President Diaz-Canel addressed the first conference of the National Culture WorkersDiaz-Canel: Cultural Development, Not Art Commodification
Tightrope walker "Mustafa Danger" of Morocco performs during a circus promotional event in downtown Santiago, Chile.Daredevil Funambulist Performs First Stunt in Latin America
Bolsonaro was noted along with several other politicians including U.S President Donald Trump.Roger Waters: Brazil’s Bolsonaro ‘Neo-Fascist on The Rise’

OPINION

US President Donald Trump and US Ambassador Nikki Haley at the 73rd UNGA, 2018.Venezuela and the US: Contrasting Worldviews at the UN
In August of this year, 24 people were killed in a bus crash 30km east of Quito, when it overturned after striking an overturned vehicle. Death on the Road: Riding With the Wind
U.S. President Donald TrumpTrump’s Sanctions Have Cost Venezuela $6B Since August 2017
TeleSUR La Nueva Televisión del Sur C.A. (TVSUR) RIF: G-20004500-0
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Ramaphosa pledges to accelerate return of lands to black South Africans

Ramaphosa pledges to accelerate return of lands to black South Africans

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to speed up the controversial land reform proposed by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) earlier this year.

“We are making history and celebrating the return of your land today. We are righting the historic injustice and returning the land to its rightful owners,” the president said at the handover of 4‚586 hectares of land to the community of KwaMkhwanazi at Empangeni in northeastern KwaZulu-Natal.

Ramaphosa admitted that his government has been too slow in the process of restitution and redistribution of farmlands, stressing that land is a key pillar for economic emancipation and freedom.

“We are commencing a rolling mass land distribution program in our country. We will be returning land in a massive way. This Mkhwanazi land is the first‚” the president said. “Today we are making history‚ celebrating the return of the land to our people in this area.”

The KwaMkhwanazi community had been evicted from the lands the previously possessed in several steps: the first, shortly after World War I, and then in the 1940s when commercial cane and timber operations were expanded.

The land reform has become a hot issue both domestically and internationally since the South African government announced plans to change the constitution, allowing the expropriation of land without compensation. The new law would allow for land to be taken from white farmers and redistributed to the landless black majority.

The policy is reportedly aimed at eliminating a significant inequality in land ownership in South Africa. The reform evoked intense international debate along with numerous media reports of alleged violence against white farmers, including murders. The step also raised deep concerns about the decline in food production and international investments in the economy. However, the government says the land reform is absolutely lawful and will not threaten stability of South Africa.

https://www.rt.com/business/441269-ramaphosa-accelerate-massive-land-reform/

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US Should Pay Reparations to the Cuban People for 56 years of Damages from the Blockade – Cuban Permanent Mission to the UN

 

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Cuba condemns and rejects in the strongest possible terms an anti-Cuban event promoted by the United States at the United Nations headquarter.

New York, 14 October 2018. The U.S. Department of State issued a press release on 12 October, informing of the Government’s intention to use the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber of the United Nations to hold an event aimed at launching a Campaign called “Jailed for What?” against Cuba on Tuesday, 16 October 2018.

This action at the ECOSOC Chamber, a Major Organ of the Organization, seeks to tarnish the name of the United Nations in an act against a Member State, in contravention of the purposes and principles of the Charter.

The very nature of the press release distributed by the Department of State clearly shows the objectives pursued with this event, by announcing the start of an insulting and fallacious campaign against Cuba.

The event constitutes a political farce of the worst taste, staged on false arguments and with supporting actors, some of Cuban origin, who with a dark history at the service of a foreign power, join the escalation of anti-Cuban actions by the current U.S. Administration, engaged in justifying the genocidal policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade against the island. This policy constitutes the main obstacle to Cuba’s development and a flagrant violation of the human rights of its people. It would be therefore worthwhile for the United States Government to transform its ignominy campaign into sincere forgiveness and reparation to the Cuban people for the damages caused by the 56 years of the application of the blockade.

In view of these events, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, H.E. Mrs. Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo, has sent a letter of protest dated 13 October to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. António Guterres, and to other senior officials of the Secretariat. In the said letter, she recalls that the rules concerning the use of conference rooms clearly set out the holding of events that are solely in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations and further justified by their relevance to the work of the Organization.

The Ambassador’s letter states that the aforementioned event flagrantly violates the above rules and the Charter of the United Nations, and therefore has Cuba’s total rejection. Consequently, it “calls for the cancellation of the event planned by the United States within the perimeter of the United Nations premises and for an internal investigation to be conducted in order to determine accountability for the said violations”.

Cuba prides itself on its human rights record, which denies any manipulation against it. The United States lack the morals to give lessons, and much less in this matter. That country, with poor adherence to international human rights instruments, has a pattern of systematic violations of all human rights, including the use of torture, detention and arbitrary deprivation of liberty, as is the case of the Guantánamo Naval Base, an illegally occupied Cuban territory; the murder of African-Americans by police officers; the death of innocent civilians by their intervention and occupation forces; xenophobia and repression and the imprisonment of immigrants, including children separated from their families.

Cuba condemns and rejects in the strongest possible terms this new anti-Cuban action by the United States Government and hopes that the Secretariat will enforce the established rules, will act in accordance with the UN Charter and consequently, will cancel the holding of this event in the premises of the Organization.

Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations.

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Death toll in Haiti earthquake rises to 15; 333 injured — National Post

PORT-DE-PAIX, Haiti — The death toll from a 5.9 earthquake that hit Haiti over the weekend rose to at least 15 people with 333 injured, according to updated figures released Monday by authorities, as rescue crews worked to help victims spooked by strong aftershocks.

Haiti’s civil protection agency said in a statement that it will soon deploy 70 soldiers to the Nord-Ouest and Artibonite provinces that were hardest hit, noting it already sent 14 soldiers along with nurses and doctors to the area over the weekend.

Thousands of people along Haiti’s north coast have dragged mattresses and chairs outside, fearing new aftershocks. Many wondered how they were going to rebuild from Saturday night’s quake and a strong 5.2 magnitude aftershock on Sunday that had residents in the coastal city of Port-de-Paix and elsewhere worried about returning to their cracked cinderblock homes for fear they would collapse.

Among them was Marc-Sena Docteur, a 24-year-old carpenter whose girlfriend died in the earthquake.

“Now I’m left with a 9-month-old baby with no aid at all,” he said. “I’m still crying. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.”

The walls of the room that the couple had been renting for a year collapsed, and he and the baby have been sleeping outdoors since the quake.

Sunday’s aftershock caused panic on streets where emergency teams were providing relief to victims after cinderblock homes and rickety buildings toppled in several cities. The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the aftershock was located 9.8 miles (15.8 kilometres) north-northwest of Port-de-Paix.

Among the dead were a 5-year-old boy crushed by his collapsing house.

Impoverished Haiti, where many live in tenuous circumstances, is vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes. A vastly larger magnitude 7.1 quake damaged much of the capital in 2010 and killed an estimated 300,000 people.

Etanvie Dimorne, a 50-year-old mason, said people have to rebuild stronger given the earthquakes that have hit Haiti. He lost his home in Saturday’s quake and is now sleeping under a tarp in someone’s yard.

“Last night it rained,” he said. “I have to sleep under difficult conditions.”

President Jovenel Moise urged people to donate blood and asked international aid agencies to co-ordinate with local agencies to avoid duplicated efforts. The government did not provide an estimate of the damages.

The USGS said Saturday’s quake was centred 12 miles (19 kilometres) northwest of Port-de-Paix, which is about 136 miles (219 kilometres) from the capital of Port-au-Prince.

It was felt lightly in the capital, as well as in the neighbouring Dominican Republic and in eastern Cuba, where no damage was reported.

In Haiti, officials have struggled to shore up buildings despite the two major fault lines along Hispaniola, which is the island shared with the Dominican Republic.

The damage from the temblors was visible. In Gros-Morne, one bed was covered in rubble, while the exterior walls of some homes were cracked. Others tilted at precarious angles.

Pierre Jacques Baudre, a farmer and father of seven, said he was afraid to return to his home after one wall built with rocks and cement crumbled.

“The house can fall at any time,” he said.

The civil protection agency issued a statement saying that houses were destroyed in Port-de-Paix, Gros-Morne, Chansolme and Turtle Island.

Damage was also reported at the Saint-Michel church in Plaisance and the police station in Port-de-Paix. Parts of a hospital and an auditorium collapsed in Gros-Morne, where parliamentarian Alcide Audne told The Associated Press that two of the deaths occurred.

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PORT-DE-PAIX, Haiti — The death toll from a 5.9 earthquake that hit Haiti over the weekend rose to at least 15 people with 333 injured, according to updated figures released Monday by authorities, as rescue crews worked to help victims spooked by strong aftershocks. Haiti’s civil protection agency said in a statement that it will […]

via Death toll in Haiti earthquake rises to 15; 333 injured — National Post

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‘Speak Now’ – Taylor Swift sets off storm by getting political — peoples trust toronto

https://ift.tt/2OeE5Ha October 8, 2018 By Jill Serjeant LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Taylor Swift’s decision to break her silence on politics triggered a storm on Monday, with fans and commentators divided over whether one of pop music’s biggest stars should have spoken out. Swift, 28, has notably stayed out of the U.S. political fray in contrast […]

via ‘Speak Now’ – Taylor Swift sets off storm by getting political — peoples trust toronto

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What Does China’s ‘Ecological Civilization’ Mean for Humanity’s Future?

Chinese leader Xi Jinping

 

China’s leader affirms an ecological vision aligned with progressive environmental thought. Whether it’s mere rhetoric or has a deeper resonance within Chinese culture may have a profound global effect

 

Published on Saturday, February 10, 2018 by 

In his inaugural speech, Chinese leader Xi Jinping called for or an “ecological civilization” that ensures “harmony between human and nature.” (Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Flickr/cc)

Imagine a newly elected President of the United States calling in his inaugural speech for an “ecological civilization” that ensures “harmony between human and nature.”  Now imagine he goes on to declare that “we, as human beings, must respect nature, follow its ways, and protect it” and that his administration will “encourage simple, moderate, green, and low-carbon ways of life, and oppose extravagance and excessive consumption.” Dream on, you might say. Even in the more progressive Western European nations, it’s hard to find a political leader who would make such a stand.

And yet, the leader of the world’s second largest economy, Xi Jinping of China, made these statements and more in his address to the National Congress of the Communist Party in Beijing last October. He went on to specify in more detail his plans to “step up efforts to establish a legal and policy framework… that facilitates green, low-carbon, and circular development,” to “promote afforestation,” “strengthen wetland conservation and restoration,” and “take tough steps to stop and punish all activities that damage the environment.” Closing his theme with a flourish, he proclaimed that “what we are doing today” is “to build an ecological civilization that will benefit generations to come.” Transcending parochial boundaries, he declared that his Party’s abiding mission was to “make new and greater contributions to mankind… for both the wellbeing of the Chinese people and human progress.”

It’s easy to dismiss it all as mere political rhetoric, but consider how the current President of the United States came to power on the basis of a different form of rhetoric, appealing to the destructive nationalism of “America First.” In both cases, it’s reasonable to assume that the rhetoric doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Just as Trump’s xenophobic vision spells potential danger for the world, so could it be that Xi’s ecological vision could offer a glimpse to a hopeful future?

A transformative vision

In fact, this is just the type of fresh, regenerative thinking about transforming the current global economic system that many in the environmental movement have been calling for. And this hasn’t been lost on some leading thinkers. David Korten, a world-renowned author and activist, has proposed expanding the vision of Ecological Civilization to a global context, which would involve—among other things—granting legal rights to nature, shifting ownership of productive assets from transnational corporations to nation-states and self-governing communities, and prioritizing life-affirming, rather than wealth-affirming, values.

Within a larger historical context, it’s not too surprising that this vision of “harmony between human and nature” should emerge from China. As I’ve traced in my book, The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning, traditional Chinese culture was founded on a worldview that perceived an intrinsic web of connection between humanity and nature, in contrast to the European worldview that saw humans as essentially separate from nature. Early Chinese philosophers believed the overriding purpose of life was to seek harmony in society and the universe, while Europeans pursued a path based on a different set of values—which have since become global in scope—driven by “conquering nature” and viewing nature as a machine to be engineered.

Furthermore, Xi’s rhetoric does seem to be grounded in at least some reality. Two months before Xi’s speech, China announced they were more than doubling their previous solar power target for 2020, after installing more than twice as much solar capacity as any other country in 2016. This new target—five times larger than current capacity in the U.S.—would entail covering an area of land equivalent to Greater London with solar panels. They are similarly exceeding their wind power targets, already boasting more capacity than all of Europe.

As a result, China has recently halted previous plans for building more than 150 coal-fired power plants. In electric cars, China is leading the world, selling more each month than Europe and the U.S. combined, with more aggressive quotas on gas-guzzlers than anywhere else in the world, including California. Additionally, China has the world’s most extensive network of high-speed trains, and has already passed laws to promote a circular economy where waste products from industrial processes are recycled into inputs for other processes.

China’s industrial avalanche

Some observers, however, are far from convinced that China is on its way to an ecological civilization. Economist Richard Smith has written a detailed critique of China’s quandary in the Real-World Economics Review, where he argues that China’s political-economic system is based on the need to maximize economic growth, employment, and consumerism to an even greater extent than in the West. These forces, he claims, run diametrically counter to the vision of an ecological civilization.

There are compelling arguments for why this makes sense. Beginning in the 19th century, China suffered more than a century of humiliation and brutal exploitation from Western nations as a result of its relative military and industrial weakness. After Mao Zedong’s death in 1978, Deng Xiaoping transformed China’s economy into a hybrid of consumer capitalism and central planning that catapulted China to its current prominence on the world stage. Astonishingly, China’s GDP is more than fifty times greater than at the time of Mao’s death, the result of a growth rate approaching 10% per year for four decades.

This achievement, perhaps the most dramatic economic and social transformation of all time, is bringing China back to the dominant role in global affairs that it held for most of history. Within a decade, China’s GDP is expected to surpass that of the US, making it the world’s largest economy. It is just in the early stages of a profusion of record-breaking industrial megaprojects of a scale that boggles the mind. It plans to extend its influence further through its Belt and Road Initiative, a vast infrastructure and trading project encompassing sixty countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, envisaged as a 21st century version of the famed Silk Road.

This industrial avalanche comes, however, at great cost to China’s—and the world’s—environmental wellbeing. China is by far the world’s largest consumer of energy, using over half the world’s coal, a third of the world’s oil, and 60% of the world’s cement. Astonishingly, China poured more cement in three years from 2011 to 2013 than the US used during the entire twentieth century! China is also the world’s largest consumer of lumber, as Smith describes, “levelling forests from Siberia to Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Congo, and Madagascar.” These are just some of the forces that draw Smith to the conclusion that Xi Jinping’s vision of an ecological civilization is untenable. “The hyper industrialization required,” he writes, “to realize this China Dream of great power status compels him… to let the polluters pollute, pump China’s CO2 emissions off the chart, and thereby bring on the ecological collapse not just of China but the whole planet… Xi Jinping can create an ecological civilization or he can build a rich superpower. He can’t do both.”

Intimately placed between heaven and earth

Or can he? That is a crucial question with ramifications for all of humanity. While it is clear that future economic growth at anything close to China’s historic rate is untenable, there is a more nuanced question that poses the possibility of a sustainable way forward for both China and the world. Once China has regained its status as a leading world power, can it achieve yet another transformation and redirect its impressive vitality into growing a life of quality for its people, rather than continued consumerism? Is it possible that Xi Jinping is sowing the seeds of this future metamorphosis with his vision of an ecological civilization?

There is urgent awareness among thought leaders around the world that continued growth in global GDP is leading civilization to the point of collapse. Movements are emerging that call for “degrowth” and other approaches to a steady-state economy that could allow a sustainable future for humanity. But how can we break the death-grip of a global system built on continually feeding the growth frenzy of gigantic transnational corporations voraciously seeking a never-ending increase in profits to satisfy their shareholders? Along with the grassroots citizen movements emerging around the world, is it possible that China could pioneer a new path of sustainability, steering its citizens back to the traditional values that characterized its culture over millennia?

Even if China could achieve this redirection, the continuous human-rights abuses of its authoritarian government raise further questions. An ecological civilization—as envisaged by Korten and many others in the environmental movement—seems inconsistent with a centralized bureaucracy forcing its rules on citizens through coercion and repression. For China to genuinely move in this direction, Xi would need to be prepared to devolve decision-making authority and freedoms back to the Chinese people. It’s a tall order, but not necessarily inconceivable.

For those living in the West, it would take a tremendous dose of cultural humility to accept philosophical leadership from China on the path to a flourishing future for humanity. But, if we are to get to that future, we must recognize the structural underpinnings of Western thought that brought us to this imbalance in the first place. A thousand years ago, Chinese philosopher Zhang Zai expressed a realization of connectedness with the universe in an essay called the Western Inscription, which begins with these words:

Heaven is my father and earth is my mother, and I, a small child, find myself placed intimately between them.

What fills the universe I regard as my body; what directs the universe I regard as my nature.

All people are my brothers and sisters; all things are my companions.

Is it possible that this deep recognition of human interconnectedness, rooted in traditional Chinese culture, could form the philosophical basis for a future ecological civilization? The answer to this question may ultimately affect the future wellbeing, not just of China, but of the entire human family.

Source: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/02/10/what-does-chinas-ecological-civilization-mean-humanitys-future

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Warnings of More ‘War and Unilateral Aggression’ as Pompeo and Bolton Launch Joint Attack on Global Cooperation

Published on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 by Common Dreams

After ditching a treaty with Iran to rebuff an ICJ sanctions ruling, Bolton announces review of international agreements to prevent future court decisions

From right: National Security Adviser John Bolton, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attend a meeting at the White House on May 17, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)From right: National Security Adviser John Bolton, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attend a meeting at the White House on May 17, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

Amid mounting concerns about possible war with Iran after the Trump administration ditched a decades-old bilateral treaty in response to an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on Wednesday that U.S. sanctions violate it, National Security Adviser John Bolton announced a review of all international agreements that could lead to more binding decisions by the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.

“John Bolton and the Trump administration are turning us away from international accountability and cooperation and towards war and unilateral aggression.”
—Win Without War

Bolton also revealed that President Donald Trump “has decided that the United States will withdraw from the optional protocol on dispute resolution to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” which gives the ICJ authority to hear diplomatic disputes.

As motivation for the withdrawal, he pointed to “a case brought by the so-called state of Palestine” challenging Trump’s widely condemned decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem.

While Bolton, a longtime warmonger, insisted that “the United States remains a party to the underlying Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” critics quickly raised alarm about what the developments could mean for the future of U.S. diplomacy, especially with Iran and the Palestinian Authority.

“Bolton is basically announcing that the U.S. is becoming a rogue state,” tweetedjournalist Aaron Rupar. “The drums of war can be heard in the distance.”

“John Bolton and the Trump administration are turning us away from international accountability and cooperation and towards war and unilateral aggression,” concluded Win Without War.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had provoked similar alarm on Wednesday morning when he announced Trump’s decision to terminate the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran after the ICJ ordered the administration to ease sanctions impacting humanitarian aid and aviation safety.

Earlier this year, as tensions were rising after Trump left the Iran nuclear deal, Reutersreported that Bolton and Pompeo were backing the administration’s “offensive of speeches and online communications meant to foment unrest and help pressure Iran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant groups.”

Addressing reporters at the White House on Wednesday, Bolton declared, “The United States will not sit idly by as baseless politicized claims are brought against us.”

The Palestinian complaint announced by the ICJ last Friday argues that Trump violated the Vienna Convention when he moved the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem earlier this year because the treaty requires embassies to be located on the territory of a host state and Israeli control of Jerusalem is disputed.

While Bolton pointed to the case as a reason why the U.S. is withdrawing from the protocol, he later said the move “really has less to do with Iran and the Palestinians than with the continued consistent policy of the United States to reject the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, which we think is politicized and ineffective.”

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Official Nicaragua response to UN Human Rights Report

Nicaraguan government rejects partisan, biased report of the Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights

CONSIDERATIONS OF THE STATE OF NICARAGUA ON THE REPORT TITLED

“VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND ABUSES IN THE CONTEXT OF PROTESTS IN NICARAGUA. APRIL 18 – AUGUST 18”

PREPARED BY OUNHCHR, DATED AUGUST 24, 2018.

REFERENCE

Note of August 24, 2018, of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OUNHCHR), informing the State of Nicaragua – (hereinafter “the State”) -, of its report entitled “Violations of human rights and abuses in the context of the protests in Nicaragua. April 18 – August 18 “, requesting the comments that the State considers pertinent, for which they established a term of 72 hours.

In this regard, the State expresses its disagreement with the period of 72 hours, which was granted for the State to present our observations to the aforementioned report, because obviously there is no equity, nor equivalence of that period of time with the time used by the OHCHR to prepare it, which leaves the State at a procedural disadvantage, intended to limit our defense; however, despite that intent, and being within the deadline granted by the OHCHR, the State is able to present the following:

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

The title of the report prejudges the State’s actions by assuming as given alleged human rights violations and incorporates in itself baseless a priori assertions, lacking objectivity. Likewise, the concept of protests is maintained as the context in which those events occurred, negating that what happened in Nicaragua was an attempted coup d’état aimed at breaking the constitutional order.

The Government of Nicaragua rejects the proposed report submitted by the OHCHR, because it goes beyond the scope of the visit for which it was invited by Note of June 19, 2018, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so that the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights might accompany the Verification and Security Commission, created in the National Dialogue.

Nicaragua has not invited OHCHR for an on-site visit for the purpose of observing human rights, nor does the resolution of the General Assembly 48/141 invoked in the aforementioned report grant them this faculty. Therefore, the OUNHCHR breached its remit in issuing this document, thus violating clause 3 sub-section a) of the aforementioned resolution, which obliges it to “respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and internal jurisdiction of States.”

LEGAL AND SOCIAL CONTEXT

Nicaragua’s Political Constitution establishes that we are an independent, free, sovereign, unitary and indivisible State; constituted in a Democratic and Social State based on Law, which promotes and strengthens freedom, justice, equality, solidarity, social responsibility and the promotion of its people’s dignity through its legal system, all of this based on respect for human rights Human and the pursuit of the common good.

All Nicaraguans are obliged to preserve and defend the independence, sovereignty and national self-determination, foundations of the nation and its people’s inalienable rights; any foreign interference in the internal affairs of Nicaragua or any attempt to undermine those rights, is a threat the life of the people.

In this regard, we reiterate that, according to Article 144 of the Political Constitution, the Executive Power is exercised by the President of the Republic, who is Head of State and Head of Government; in this same vein, Article 146 of our Constitution mandates that a legitimate Government is established by universal suffrage, equal, direct, free and secret. Through the process of free elections held on November 6, 2016, the President of the Republic and the Vice President of the Republic were elected democratically for a period of five years, currently exercising their constitutional term of office and their legitimate functions, as well as the authorities of the other Powers of the State.

On the matter of Citizen Security, our Political Constitution in its article 97 indicates the nature, model and mission of the National Police, as well as its subordination to the President of the Republic. This institution is an armed body of a civil nature and its mission is to guarantee internal order, the security of people and their property, the prevention, prosecution and investigation of crime and other legal provisions for which it is regulated by the Political Constitution, its law and other laws that regulate police action.

According to article 138, clause 9, subsection b, of the Political Constitution, the Public Prosecutor’s office is an independent institution, with organic, functional and administrative autonomy, is in charge of indictments and the representation of the interests of society and of victims of crime in the criminal legal process.

As of April 18, 2018, a series of events took place in our country, aimed at creating a situation of chaos and social, economic and political instability, attacking and violating citizen security, life, psychological and physical integrity of the persons, public and private property, the tranquility of families, the normal functioning of the Government and its institutions, private entities and the right to free movement of all the Nicaraguan people, creating terror, fear and intimidation, in an effort to undermine the legitimacy of the Government of Nicaragua and break the constitutional order, attempting a coup d’etat against the Government of President Daniel Ortega, in a de facto way by means of violence.

In this sense, Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that: “1. Every person has duties regarding the community, since only within it can they develop their personality freely and fully. 2. In the exercise of their rights and in the enjoyment of their freedoms, every person shall be subject only to the limitations established by law for the sole purpose of ensuring the recognition and respect of the rights and freedoms of others, and of satisfying the just demands of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society. 3. These rights and freedoms may not, in any case, be exercised in opposition to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. ”

In accordance with the above, Article 24 of our Political Constitution establishes that the rights of each person are limited by the rights of others, by the security of all and by the just demands of the common good; likewise in its article 53, it recognizes the right to peaceful assembly, the right to meet, demonstrate and hold public marches, all in a peaceful manner and in accordance with the law.

ON THE CONTENT OF THE DENOMINATED REPORT

The Government of Reconciliation and National Unity (GRUN), wholly rejects the report in question submitted by the OHCHR, considering it subjective, partisan, prejudiced and notoriously biased, drafted under the influence of sectors linked to the opposition, and lacking the due care to compose an objective document.

The report in question indicates only results, effects and does not analyze causes. On April 18th, there were social protests, in which no one died. However,

the media, manipulating information, published a false news report about the death of a university student in the Central American University (UCA), which never happened, information that served as a trigger for the violent events that took place on April 19. Groups interested in destabilizing and breaking up the country’s constitutional order, having nothing to do with any social demands, from that day onwards initiated public disorder, which resulted in murders, havoc, arson, looting and riot.

The State of Nicaragua categorically expresses its position that the events described by the OHCHR did not occur within the context of social protests, but rather within the context of an attempt to break the constitutional and institutional order so as to change the legitimately elected authorities and overthrow the government (in other words, a failed coup attempt).

From that false news, the preconceived plan began of the political unrest with the participation of armed gang members manipulated and financed by groups interested in causing chaos, which on April 19 provoked three deaths; one of a police officer Hilton Rafael Manzanares who was shot dead with a firearm, while he restored public order and freedom of movement near the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI); Darwin Manuel Urbina who died as a result of blunt trauma caused by the firing of an artisanal mortar, a supermarket worker, not involved in the public disturbances; and Richard Eduardo Pavón Bermúdez who was not a university student, but a Sandinista supporter who died near the Tipitapa town hall trying to defend the building and its installations.

These events just described were the first deaths that occurred in the context of the violence and demonstrate that the so-called protests were violent from the start, with conventional and artisanal firearms, they were not peaceful, nor were the protestors university students, as the report in question falsely states in paragraph 14.

Throughout the report in question, OUNHCHR characterizes the so-called protests as peaceful, replicating the discourse of the groups promoting the attempted coup and the media that have served as their spokespersons. Contradicting itself, the same report recognizes the use of non-lethal weapons by demonstrators and in other paragraphs it tries to justify their use of lethal weapons. If the so-called protests had been “peaceful”, how does one explain the death of 22 national police officers, with a pattern of being shot by firearms aimed at the head and thorax.

This criminal pattern of violence was repeated in some of the country’s main cities, which revealed the existence of prior planning and organization.

The State of Nicaragua repeats that the results of the events that occurred in our country show that violent actions carried out by groups promoting the attempted coup involved armed individuals who intentionally used violence against police officers,

public officials and the population in general, and caused damage to public and private property, creating destabilization and terror, seeking from the first moment to overthrow the government and break up the constitutional order.

The State of Nicaragua reaffirms that it is not State Policy to repress peaceful social protests and even less to use excessive and arbitrary force by the National Police; it is enough to mention the many marches that have occurred in the country, in which no one was killed or injured.

We reject the glib, baseless assertions against the State of Nicaragua and, in particular, against the National Police, founded on simple allegations of confused events still in the process of investigation by the competent authorities of the country.

We call into doubt the report in question because it lacks truthful information despite the fact that the explicit methodology used, exhibits throughout excessive reliance on questionable and inaccurate sources, citing for example, “available information”, “according to reports”, “lacking other analysis” “could be” “probably” and so on.

The report in question without any objective foundation bases its claims on the say-so of non-governmental organizations, news media, anonymous reports and social networks or any other source lacking in objectivity and unverified, and the High Commissioner in the report in question turns them into sources of irrefutable truth, without complying with even minimum standards required by a serious and responsible investigation.

We have indicated how other reports using non-governmental organizations with a politicized vision of the Government as sources of information thus reduce the credibility of their information and conclusions.

The report in question omits that the expressions of violence had different phases, obeying the strategy of a coup d’etat whose victim has been the people of Nicaragua, through the violation of their rights to life, physical and psychological integrity and, freedom of movement, work, education, safety, health and truthful information.

The violent events that have occurred have not been at the level of peaceful protests, but have violated the Constitution, the laws and the rights of the population, where the Government has seen the urgent need to re-establish order and restore to society its legitimate rights.
Source: https://afgj.org/nicanotes-official-nicaragua-response-to-un-human-rights-report

The report in question when it refers to the lack of independence of the Powers of the State, does not offer any objective criteria to support such a claim. It should be noted that the Constitution establishes harmonious coordination between the

powers of the State, in accordance with the systemic and integral vision of State policies.

In relation to the supposed limitations that the OHCHR indicates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in its role as a safeguard to the life and integrity of the representatives of international organizations, has guaranteed security and movement in accordance with the terms and objectives of the visit for which they were invited, in their role of accompaniment to the Verification and Security Committee of the National Dialogue.

In relation to the context prior to April 2018 indicated in the report in question; The Government of Nicaragua affirms that the wave of terrorism and coup-related violence that struck Nicaragua was the expression of a plan by the extreme right-wing sectors of the country and those who governed in the period from 1990 to 2007, who have always wanted to achieve power, and by failing to achieve this democratically, opted for violent means, in alliance with international actors who financed and supported the actions of these groups.

In the last eleven years, Nicaragua has been the safest country in Central America and the second safest in Latin America and the Caribbean; with a police internationally recognized for its work protecting people, families and communities, guaranteeing high levels of security and stability that stand out in the region.

The opportunist movement trying to provoke a coup d’etat took advantage of the Indio Maiz fire to initiate its violent and destabilizing actions. They launched a massive offensive in news media and on social networks to manipulate information and blame the Government for a supposedly slow and inadequate response, which was totally false, because the Government’s response was effective and timely.

When their first coup attempt exploiting the Indio Maíz fire failed they used the social security reforms as a new pretext to deploy a previously organized plan, with the participation and financing of some sectors of the United States Government.

A fundamental component of the terrorist groups’ activity was to set up roadblocks and destroy streets and highways with the clear aim of destroying the country’s economy, creating terror and enabling the overthrow of the Government; the roadblocks turned into centers of organized crime, from where criminals mobilized to commit crimes of murder, kidnapping, torture, arson, extortion, assault, rape and other dangerous crimes.

The report in question when referring to the dismantling of these roadblocks by members of the National Police, does so in an ill-intentioned way under the name of “clean-up operation”, pretending to criminalize, delegitimize and stigmatize the

constitutional functions of the National Police. This term of reference is used by various non-governmental organizations and other sectors opposed to the constitutionally constituted Government, to denote alleged extrajudicial executions, excessive use of force and firearms, arbitrary detentions, torture and ill-treatment.

The elimination of the roadblocks in different parts of the country was based on the constitutional powers of the National Police, to restore the free movement of people, access to basic services, citizen security and the normal development of productive, commercial and economic activities.

Paragraph 26 of the report in question, distorts what really happened in Morrito given that the groups promoting the attempted coup simulated a peaceful march so as to attack Morrito’s municipal Police Station in a vile and cowardly manner with firearms, killing four police officers and a primary school teacher, kidnapping 9 police officers and wounding with firearms 5 municipal workers.

The State reaffirms that in Nicaragua there is no policy of repression; On the contrary, peace has been restored and consolidated. We assert that the people of Nicaragua demand that justice be done for all the crimes and the damage caused.

The State of Nicaragua through the country’s judicial institutions is making every effort to see that justice is done and reparation to the victims is assured.

The Public Prosecutor’s office complying with its constitutional mandate, representing society and the victims of crime, has proceeded to investigate the acts of violence that have occurred since April 18th this year, in faithful compliance with the principles of objectivity, legality and proportionality and has indicted those persons against whom sufficient evidence has been found to demonstrate in court their participation in serious criminal acts.

The actions of the Public Prosecutor’s office are governed by constitutional and criminal law and the law of criminal procedure and are based solely on the analysis of the evidence gathered during the investigation; complying with international standards for the investigation and the exercise of action against criminals.

Every indictment by the Public Prosecutor’s office complies with the requirement to indicate the elements of conviction on which it is based and also, for each accusation, it presents a case file to exchange information and evidence with each defendant’s lawyer and offers a copy of all the prosecution evidence to the defense, guaranteeing the right to defense, later these elements of evidence are presented to the judge in oral and public hearings.

In this regard, the State of Nicaragua, through the judicial authorities, has guaranteed to each accused person the appointment of a defender of their choice, failing which a public defender has been appointed. Likewise, defenders and family members have had access to public hearings as required by law.

In all the accusations and exchanges of evidence and in the trials carried out, the Public Prosecutor’s Office has presented testimony by witnesses and experts, incriminating items, scientific, laboratory, documentary, audio and video evidence to demonstrate the individual participation of each defendant.

The report in question aims to make the international community believe that in Nicaragua the authorities have unjustly accused “peaceful protesters” and human rights defenders. The State of Nicaragua repeats that no one has been accused or persecuted for participating in or supporting peaceful protests or for exercising defense of human rights.

The report in question indicates that the Public Prosecutor’s office presents undercover agents as evidence to demonstrate crimes of terrorism and organized crime. In this regard, it is important to clarify that the investigative technique of the undercover agent, is established both in internal legislation and in international instruments of the United Nations in the area of organized crime and terrorism, legitimized by the dangerous nature of these crimes and these Conventions have encouraged countries to use these special techniques.

It is worth noting the lack of objectivity of the so-called report, reflected in paragraph 34, related to the approval of the Law against Money Laundering, Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction; trying to make it appear that this law targets critics of the government. On this matter, this law was passed to comply with one of the 40 recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force. In the Mutual Evaluation carried out in Nicaragua by the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America in 2017, it was recommended that the characterization of criminal terrorism and its financing should be adjusted to international standards, and should present advances by July 24th 2018. This law was not promulgated specifically for the events of April 2018 and does not apply retroactively.

In relation to the alleged resignations of some prosecutors of the Public Prosecutor’s office, the so-called report manipulates some routine resignations not related to the context, and that happen in any institution, whether public or private, thus intentionally trying to create confusion among the population and weaken its trust in institutions. The State repeats that none of the prosecutors who have resigned from the Public Prosecutor’s office have worked on the investigation of the cases mentioned earlier.

The OUNHCHR states in its document that it coordinates actions with the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, and in this regard, it replicates the

unfounded assertions of the IACHR in relation to the numbers of the dead, injured and arrested; with regard to this, the State of Nicaragua rejects the irresponsible manipulation by both organizations of the numbers of deaths in the context of the failed coup attempt.

On the allegations of alleged violations of the right to health, related to the lack of access to medical care in hospitals, clinics and health centers of the Ministry of Health; on this matter, at the request of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the State of Nicaragua provided that body with a detailed list indicating the name and surname, date and place, and procedure practiced on each person attended, in which it proved that the right to health and access to health care centers were guaranteed.

The State of Nicaragua has denounced the falsehoods expressed by some people in relation to this issue, reproduced by non-governmental organizations, by news media hostile to the government, by the IACHR and, in the report in question, by the OUNHCHR; however, the report in question deliberately omits the effects on the right to health caused by the roadblocks, in particular the deaths resulting from the obstruction of patient transfers to different health units, for example pregnant women, children and elderly people with chronic diseases; for example the young pregnant woman Lilian Jackeline Martínez Valerio, who was being transferred by an ambulance that was held up at the roadblock of San José de los Remates in the Department of Boaco.

In relation to the work of the Institute of Legal Medicine, the report in question does not present any evidence to support the assertion of reported irregularities on the part of the Institute of Legal Medicine and the assertion that the records of victims did not meet the forensic standards. Contrary to these claims, the Institute of Legal Medicine has complied with its legal medical obligations established by the Law even in conditions of insecurity, nor has it been guilty of “irregularities”.

Autopsies have been performed with scientific-technical rigor 24 hours a day and immediately, complying with the national technical regulations and laws governing the matter; when the case has required it, the protocols of Minnesota and Istanbul have been applied for the corresponding legal and medical procedures.

The victims assistance office gave assistance, accompaniment and information to relatives of the deceased, to victims, to representatives of human rights organization, to religious representatives and to the general population 24 hours a day. It accompanied and provided care 24 hours a day to family members throughout the process of forensic identification of the dead and the handing over of bodies of the deceased.

The Institute of Legal Medicine has informed the population daily, through the media, about the deceased it has received, of the bodies unidentified, of those

who have been identified, of the corpses of deceased removed by their relatives and of those who still remain in the morgue as unidentified or as people identified but not removed by their relatives.

Relatives of the deceased, of people disappeared, victims and representatives of human rights organizations have all recognized the technical and scientific skills, respect for human rights and the quality of the care provided by the Institute of Legal Medicine.

In order to facilitate access to justice, the Institute of Legal Medicine informed the population via a communique about its readiness to receive at any time the body of any person who died in acts of violence after April 18th, 2018 and subsequently to follow established legal procedures.

The Institute of Legal Medicine has allowed and facilitated representatives of human rights organizations, family members and private doctors to confirm the veracity of the autopsies, by verifying the injuries present in the corpse; in all these cases, the veracity of the results of the autopsies carried out by the experts of the Institute of Legal Medicine was corroborated.

In no case has the Institute of Legal Medicine changed the nature of violent death to natural death. In all the autopsies, the medical legal opinions issued in the context of the acts of violence after April 18, 2018, noted the main cause of death was “Gunshot Wound”, a few cases were “Stab Wounds, Strangulation and chemical asphyxia due to exposure to toxic gases by fire “; the manner of death in all these cases was “homicide”.

The assertions by OUNHCHR in its final report on the Institute of Legal Medicine is unacceptable, because they are not true, they are very general statements, glibly formulated, unverified and with no technical component to support them.

The report in question, with no legal or technical basis, repeats the claim of excessive and arbitrary use of force by the police, indicating the excessive use of non-lethal weapons by members of the National Police to cause injuries and even death. Likewise, the report constantly alleges the use of conventional weapons resulting in injury or death to dissolve protests or peaceful demonstrations. The report in question is not based on specialized expert investigations, or on the criteria of experts in the use of weapons or control of crowds.

The use of force and of firearms has its legal basis in Law 872, “Law of Organization, Functions, Career and Special Social Security Regime of the National Police”, as well as in the “Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officers.”

In accordance with the law, the police force used non-lethal neutralizing weapons, weapons with non-lethal ammunition, and use of dissuasive weapons

(stun guns, tear gas) in order to minimize the risk of death and injury, in response to the high levels of armed violence, and following the Principles of congruence, opportunity and proportionality.

The use of force and of firearms, was proportional to the type of resistance faced, in the most extreme conditions, and we offer some examples:

Armed masked groups operating with firearms, lethal artisanal firearms menacing death and injury, and molotov firebombs. They traveled in vehicles mostly stolen from individuals or state entities. These groups besieged and destroyed police units, buildings for services to the public, houses, murdered and seriously injured people, mostly linked to public administration activities or government supporters; likewise, they committed robberies, with intimidation, of vehicles, weapons and other goods.

Organized crime, drugs traffickers and non-governmental organizations financed criminal groups, such as: Los Mariguanitas, Los Plots, Los Galanes, Los Puenteros, Los Panzones, Las Malvinas, February 26, Los Cajetas, Yeguas Negras, Adiack, Las Tortuguitas, Sabanetas and Boca Negra, among others.

The local offices of the National Police were subjected to road blocks, barricades, armed attacks, siege, harassment and kidnappings, having been concentrated in their stations by decision of the President of the Republic, at the request of the National Dialogue Table. It should be noted there were armed attacks against the police stations in Matagalpa, Jinotepe, Masaya, Leon, Jinotega, Diriamba, Sébaco, Nagarote, Nindirí, among others; and, too, the massacre and kidnapping of police officers in Mulukukú, El Jicaral and Morrito.

Destruction, arson and looting of offices of public institutions, municipal buildings, police units, installations of the Sandinista National Liberation Front and houses of FSLN leaders and public officials; as well as the destruction and looting of ambulances, health centers, mobile clinics, maternity homes, schools, and municipal equipment and machinery.

From April 18th to date, 22 police officers were murdered, all as a result of injuries caused by firearms, and hundreds have suffered serious injuries caused by firearms, and artisanal weapons that use lethal ammunition.

None of these activities could be described as “peaceful”, or that the confrontations took place with unarmed people making demands or exercising rights through protests or demonstrations.

A large number of photographs, videos and testimonies exist revealing the truth about these activities that can only be described as criminal or terrorist.

The concentration of the Police in their stations generated a freedom of action for criminals, resulting in an increase in criminal activity.

The National Police in compliance with its constitutional mandate, and ready to restore public order and citizen tranquility, within the framework of respect and defense of life and physical integrity of people, the protection of their property and freedom of movement, states categorically that it has never been ordered to use conventional firearms against the people who were participating in incidents or at the time the incidents occurred.

The police forces participating in restoring public order and tranquility for the citizenry are duly educated and oriented, having as their main mission and objective the protection of people’s lives and physical integrity, whether or not they are participating in the events, as well as that of their material goods.

The operations or police actions were carried out by police forces specially trained to restore order using techniques of deterrence, defense and protection, crowd control and the dispersion of unauthorized gatherings involving violence, looting, or any other kind of disorder.

In relation to supposed shock groups, mobs or pro-government armed elements mentioned by the report in question, the State repeats that the National Police is the only armed body in charge of fulfilling its constitutional mission, and is not assisted by civilian personnel, third parties or civil organizations for the restitution of duly constituted order, in accordance with our legislation.

The fulfillment of its constitutional mission is reserved exclusively for professional police personnel and volunteer police officers, equipped and trained for those purposes. Civilian personnel working in the institution, are hired for their technical, scientific or professional abilities.

In all interventions to restore order and tranquility for people, only professional police forces and volunteers take part, consequently, we deny the existence of alleged para-police groups, pro-government armed groups, mobs or shock forces.

The State of Nicaragua reaffirms that in police actions, even in serious and violent disturbances of citizens’ tranquility or dispersion of protesters, it does not employ elite shooters or precision shooters, commonly known as snipers, because they are unnecessary and incompatible with the mission of restoring public order and preserving life.

The State of Nicaragua protests in the most energetic terms to the OUNHCHR for reproducing with no scientific or technical evidence these statements by groups promoting the attempted coup d’etat.

The report in question alleges a pattern of arbitrary arrests by police authorities, especially children and adolescents. This statement is baseless, considering that the sources cited are either media publications hostile to the government or opposition supporters anxious to create chaos and misinform the population.

When they took place, arrests of individuals complied with legal provisions and were made in the context of serious disturbances to public order. All the actions committed are duly qualified as crimes in our Criminal Code: terrorism, murders, homicides, organized crime, destruction of public or private property, looting, arson, robbery in its different forms, kidnapping of people and public transport buses with their passengers, among others.

The detention, registration and release of people arrested were in full observance of constitutional rights and applicable norms. The arrests were made of people caught in the act, and even when they were using weapons, like mortars, they received respectful treatment whether they were adolescents, women or adult males.

In relation to forced disappearances and illegal detention centers, indicated in the report in question, the State only records one complaint about the disappearance of a person named Bismarck de Jesús Martínez Sánchez, an ornamental worker for Managua’s municipal authority, who was kidnapped, tortured behind the municipal stadium in Jinotepe, Carazo, and apparently killed by the terrorists on June 29th 2018.

In Nicaragua there are no illegal or clandestine detention centers. The assertion in the report in question is baseless. The official detention centers are located in the police stations and the national penitentiary system.

In Nicaragua, citizens enjoy their rights and constitutional guarantees. There is not a single documented case demonstrating that detainees have been subjected to torture or sexual assault. With respect to the right to freedom of expression, the Government of Nicaragua repeats the existence of full freedom of expression, which is manifest in the actions of multiple written, oral, digital and television social media, many of which are opposed to Government policy, reporting without prior censorship and with no restriction.

Examples of this are the multiple quotes from local news media in the report’s footnotes used by the report in question itself as sources of information.

CONCLUSIONS

Based on all the above, we express our disagreement and rejection of the report in question by the OUNHCHR, considering it inadmissible for exceeding its remit, taking into account that the OUNHCHR was invited to accompany the Verification and Security Commission created in the National Dialogue Table. Likewise, we express our disagreement for it being partisan and biased, using subjective statements, taking as sources news reports and information published by news media hostile to the government, as well as other sources with a clearly defined political position, information that the report treats as reliable without prior investigation and verification. The State of Nicaragua does not agree with the content and the recommendations of the report in question, because they are based on partisan and biased assessments and information, which lead, consequently and logically, to needless, baseless recommendations

Nowhere in the report in question, does one note any concern for the acts of violence on the part of the groups promoting the failed coup who, in trying to take political power in the country through their failed coup attempt, have violated the constitutional order, disrespecting the rights to life, personal integrity, freedom of movement, the right to work, health, education and public safety of people in general and have damaged the national economy. The State of Nicaragua, works and will continue to work for peace and stability, so that truth and justice prevail, as well as the constitutional order, the social order and the Human Rights of all Nicaraguans and people who are in our territory.

Managua, 26 de agosto del 2018.

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Cuban President Diaz-Canel Meets Robert De Niro in New York

The two-time Oscar winner said, “ … Good neighbors talk, good neighbors share, good neighbors do not build walls, and that culture serves to build bridges.”

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel met with renowned U.S. actor Robert De Niro Friday where the importance of cultural ties between the two countries was discussed. The actor asked the governments of Cuba and the U.S. not to build cultural walls between people and rather build bridges to connect them.

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The meeting took place in New York City in the Dakota Building in front of which musician John Lennon was assassinated. Apart from De Niro, the producer and executive director of the Tribeca Film Festival Jane Rosenthal, Katie Holmes, Alex and Carol Rosenberg, founders and organizers of the Havana Film Festival in New York, and other artists, philanthropists, and cultural promoters from the U.S. were present.

Criticizing the current Trump administration’s approach to Cuba, De Niro added, “While there are many problems between the two countries, I hope they eventually disappear, but the current (U.S.) President is not helping with the situation.”

Diaz-Canel expressed his gratitude for being invited by the U.S. artists and wished for more cultural ties in the future. He also recalled artistic links between the two countries giving examples like links in jazz, Ernest Hemingway’s closeness with Cuba, etc.

The president congratulated the successful Festival Artes de Cuba held at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. in March which saw the participation of more than 400 Cuban artists.

He also highlighted Cuba’s artistic education system which is universal, free and of high quality, despite the U.S. blockade on Cuba.

De Niro also expressed his fondness for Cuba, a country he has visited twice. “I love going to Cuba. I did not know I was so known there. People took pictures of me, they followed me — I was surprised. It was something wonderful,” he said.

Both the Cuban president and the actor reiterated their support for building stronger cultural ties, since according to De Niro, “politics comes and goes, but culture remains.”

Source: https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Cuban-President-Diaz-Canel-Met-Robert-De-Niro-in-New-York-20180930-0006.html

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On Dealing with China

 

A Self-Confident China

Ever since China’s economic reforms began in 1978, the goal of US foreign policy has been to “manage” China’s rise so that it might become a worthy member of the community of nations dominated by the US and its allies. Republic and Democratic administrations alike have sent Beijing essentially the same message: The US supports a “peaceful, stable, and prosperous” China that will play by the rules internationally while reforming internally so as to become less autocratic if not democratic.

For a time, especially in the early decades of reform under Deng Xiaoping, China did seem to conform to Western expectations. It made no attempt to challenge US predominance in the Pacific (or anywhere else), its military modernization was of modest proportions, and its singular focus was on rapid economic development. Granted, the crackdown at Tiananmen in 1989 showed that political liberalization was not in the cards for China for some time. But overall, China’s behavior gave US and other leaders cause for optimism, particularly as the economic reforms opened China up to international trade and then investment, and as China began joining various regional and international organizations.

What foreign leaders failed to perceive was that China’s rise was not going to embrace liberalizing political changes—that actually China would instead seek to become a major economic player while sustaining the party-state system and preventing the equivalent of an Arab Spring. China’s growing wealth, founded on a distinctive “market socialism,” would also present a new model of development for Third World countries to follow, alternative to the Washington Consensus and its insistence on “structural adjustment.” The notion that prevailed in the US, for example in 2005, that China could be a “responsible stakeholder” in international affairs, meaning it would support US policy priorities, simply did not wash in Beijing. The stronger China became, the stronger the drive for influence, power, and an equal seat at the table: a “new type of great-power relationship,” as Xi Jinping would later tell Barack Obama.

Trump and China

That is China’s world that Donald Trump stumbled into. He was far from ready to “manage” China’s emergence. Far from it, he had no idea about China, his only experience having been as landlord of a Chinese bank with an office in Trump Tower. Inexperience and an emerging “America First” mentality led Trump to cast China as a villain as far back as 2011, when he told CNN that China was an “enemy” and needed to be punished for its unfair trade practices. He also held China responsible for a climate change “hoax,” lost US jobs, and currency manipulation. Shift to the present and we can see that Trump’s approach to China hasn’t changed: China remains the villain, preventing North Korea’s denuclearization, stealing US intellectual property, building up its military, and still refusing to level the playing field on trade. His national security and intelligence community may be focused on Russia, but Trump is riveted on China, notwithstanding his supposed friendship with Xi Jinping.

Thus we have the National Security Council, in its 2017 strategy paper, casting both China and Russia as the leading threats to the US. What that assessment is doing is giving Beijing and Moscow incentives to tighten their relationship. Militarily, Russian sales of sophisticated arms are increasing, as are large-scale joint exercises. Economically, their trade has greatly expanded. Clearly, they are sending Trump a message even though Sino-Russian cooperation is well short of an alliance.

Meanwhile, the US-China trade war seems to be providing China with another gift: new diplomatic successes. China’s relationship with Japan has suddenly warmed; Prime Minister Abe Shinzo will be visiting Beijing in October, after he and Xi issued a joint statement in defense of the World Trade Organization and globalization, both of which Trump detests. Economic ties with Germany and South Korea have also improved in the wake of US-China differences. The “China threat” narrative is also harming US businesses and consumers, undermining any prospect of a nuclear deal with North Korea, ceding Asia-Pacific commercial opportunities to China, and preventing cooperation on climate change.

The difficult task of promoting improved human rights conditions in China is now even more difficult. On the rare occasion when Washington raises its voice to defend human rights, it is more easily ignored by Beijing. An example is the US threat of sanctions in response to the incarceration and “reeducation” of as many as one million Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province. The threat is hardly likely to register with Beijing while a trade war is going on. And it puts the onus on the Europeans to prioritize human rights over another hefty trade package with China. So far they don’t seem anxious to sacrifice profits for Muslims.

Coming to Grips with China

China’s role in world politics is changing dramatically. It no longer seeks to “hide its profile and bide its time,” as Deng Xiaoping had advised. To the contrary, many Chinese foreign policy specialists speak of a post-American world, one that is not merely multipolar but in which China is the US’s equal. Some Chinese specialists maintain that China will soon eclipse the US in the Asia-Pacific balance of power. In this new Asia order, China has the ability to defend its territorial claims in nearby waters, and possibly even deter the US from protecting Taiwan. China can step in when US relations with longtime allies fray (e.g., South Korea and Turkey), challenge US policy on high-profile issues (e.g., Iran and North Korea), be the lead voice on globalization, have the financial resources to buy economic dominance and strategic access in developing countries, and be a global leader in energy conservation.

America’s China problem is therefore no longer about “managing China’s rise.” It is about finding ways to more deeply engage China on common problems, such as climate change and energy, while also establishing rules of the road to avoid military confrontations in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait. Neither of these paths excludes standing up for human rights (by either side, it should be added), negotiating better trade and investment terms, and confronting aggressive behavior in or beyond East Asia. What they do exclude is treatment of the other as an enemy. Inevitably, China is going to be a global military power to match its widening economic reach, which now extends to Latin America. The US will have to adjust to that new reality and invest more in common security than in containment and trade wars. And that adjustment, as two former US officials and Asia analysts have recently written, starts with “a new degree of humility about the United States’ ability to change China” (Kurt M. Campbell and Ely Ratner, “The China Reckoning,” Foreign Affairs, March-April 2018.)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/20/on-dealing-with-china/

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A Year In China With Ian Goodrum – Millennials are Killing Capitalism

In this episode we talk to Ian Goodrum, who is a writer and editor at China Daily, an English-language newspaper based in Beijing. Who says that unlike his previous jobs at US newspapers, he no longer has to keep his communism a secret.

We talk to Ian about Western Media’s representations of China, about notions of objectivity and subjectivity with regard to media, and about the ways and reasons through which certain situations in China can be exaggerated by the Western press.

Ian also discusses how the Chinese government has been able to lift hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty, in a period when the rest of the world has seen an increase in extreme poverty. He discusses Chinese trade relations with other countries in the global south and how they differ from Western relations.

Ian briefly talks about the differences between Communist parties in leadership in comparison to social democratic parties and also shares his take on the market reforms that many refer to as China’s turn to capitalism, as well as his thoughts on the current direction of the Chinese economy and society.

Finally Ian discusses current conditions and struggles in China.

 

Source: http://millennialsarekillingcapitalism.libsyn.com/episode-22-a-year-in-china-with-ian-goodrum

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Clara Belle Drisdale Williams – first African-American graduate of New Mexico State University.

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Clara Belle Drisdale Williams [1885-1993] was the first African-American graduate of New Mexico State University.

Many of her professors would not allow her inside the classroom, she had to take notes from the hallway. She was also not allowed to walk with her class to get her diploma.

She married Jasper Williams in 1917. Their three sons became physicians.

She became a great teacher of black students by day, and by night she taught their parents, former slaves, home economics.

In 1961, New Mexico State University named a street on its campus after Williams.  In 2005 the building of the English department was renamed Clara Belle Williams Hall. In 1980 Williams was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws degree by NMSU, which also apologized for the treatment she was subjected to as a student. She died at 108 years old.

 

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Colonialism in the 21st Century

The Dutch government in Holland has been accused of engaging in a system of apartheid on the small island of Bonaire which it administers from the mainland.

Two human rights activists from Bonaire who was in Grenada last week launched a scathing attack on the manner in which Holland was seeking to enforce its rule on the island which is referred to as part of the ABC islands in the Caribbean.

President of the “We Want Bonaire Back Foundation”, James Finies and head of the We Dare to Care Foundation, Davika Bissessar-Shaw visited Grenada last week to take part in a United Nations (UN) Convention at the Radisson Beach Resort in Grand Anse, St. George with the hope of getting signed onto its non-self government territory list.

The two concerned citizens charged that the world was witnessing a reintroduction of colonialism taking place in Bonaire under the Dutch and that in the coming years it will be difficult to find a native Bonairian on their tiny island.
Holland was accused of using high taxes, high cost of living, and an unfair education and healthcare system to help dwindle the local population.

In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper, Finies said the locals are engaged in a struggle to regain their autonomy which they said was taken away by Holland but they are running out of time.

“Our people are out of business, the local business sector is taken over by the Dutch because they tax them on their property. There is no property tax for new businesses, so all the new businesses coming from Europe, from the Dutch – they don’t have to pay tax”, he said.

“We paying tax on our properties but they (the foreigners) don’t have to pay tax. So, our jobs are being wiped out now, everybody is losing everything…families losing their land, people losing their lands and houses”, he added.

According to Finies, the Dutch government in Holland is also tinkering with the education system in Bonaire by changing their native language of Papiamento that is used by locals to Dutch.

He also said that the healthcare system cannot be afforded by the average Bonairian and as such people are dying and the already small population is being further depleted.

He spoke of locals now having to fly to Colombia to receive medical treatment instead of the much closer and cheaper Curacao.

“So, our people are now sent to Colombia and Colombia is three to four hours away. So, almost all our emergency patients die because they wouldn’t make it…and what it cost…a flight to Curacao is about $500 now a flight to Colombia cost $14,000…”, he said.

Finies also accused the Dutch government of introducing new laws against the beliefs of the people of Bonaire such as the law of Euthanasia in which a person who is sick and old now “have the right to take your life”.

“… Our people are Christian believers. So, what they do now they … are asking our people to sign…(to kill themselves) so they are passing away, they are dying. We cannot do nothing about it because … we have no power to decide nothing, to change nothing,” he said.

Noting that the population of Bonaire has increased by 400% in recent years mainly by Dutch Immigrants, the human rights activist told THE NEW TODAY that the greatest fear of locals is that their small island will be a “white” territory in the next five to six years.

He said that Holland has opened up the Immigration Policy to allow anyone who is Dutch to come and stay on the island at anytime they wish to do so.
“Before, when we had our autonomy, we regulated the immigration by allowing some people (to) come to the island but they (Holland) open it to Dutch, European … and they coming in now as they wish – meaning they don’t need any of those regulations anymore.

“So, they come in the island … meaning our population is doubled with immigrants. Immigrants from the Dutch have come in, they’ve taken our jobs over because they have power, and they decide what you are capable of.

“So, we’re not capable of anything anymore, so they put anybody on top of you and take your jobs.

According to Finies, it is his intention to get the international community like the United Nations, CARICOM and other world bodies to be aware of what Holland is doing to Bonaire and to place pressure on the Dutch government to abide with international laws on autonomy for small island states.

“We have no autonomy now…we lost our power, democratic power because there’s no laws, no stipulation, nothing that we have the right to change (anything) Holland has the ultimate power and … so we don’t have any representation (at any) level”, he said.

Like Finies, Bissessar-Shaw is accusing Holland of being hypocritical on the situation in Bonaire as they have just signed onto the United Nations Security Council decree to protect human rights but is doing the complete opposite to the small island.

She said Holland is “committing human rights violation” on the tiny island of Bonaire.

She noted that pension and wages in Bonaire is half of what it is in Holland, there is no social benefits for the local population and that “the only thing that we get from Holland is  all the laws, the taxes.”

She expressed fears that if the international community does not come to their assistance soon and help Bonairian to regain their autonomy then the locals will be no more soon.

Bissessar-Shaw said: “What we figure out is that sooner or later, the Bonairian will cease to exist and it will become a white island. They are already practicing apartheid on our island because all the shops and all the businesses are pro-Dutch.

“They demoted all our local Bonairian and they put the Dutch (in charge) but not only that part ….regular Bonairian like a painter or a gardener, a fisherman whatever, now the Dutch are also coming in on that level too (to take the work),” she added.

According to Bissessar-Shaw, Holland is making it very difficult for local Bonairian to maintain any semblance of independence from the mother country.
She explained: “There are three things a Bonairian do to survive because they are very simple, quiet people and very typical small Island (people). They fish, they eat goat, and they have a lot of donkey. Everything that the Bonairian can survive on without being dependent on Holland like they did a 100 years ago or 60 years ago, Holland take away the Goats, they make a law, no goats must be in the street.

“Their excuse is that they (the goats) eating out the vegetation…If people hungry, they would just go catch a goat, they stopped that – there are some people that will still rare the goat – they eat fish, the common fish, now the Dutch decided to implement a law to protect those fish.

The female human rights activist indicated that the plan of her organisation is not to break ties off completely from Holland but to have Bonaire’s autonomy back.

“The people don’t want to break off ties completely from Holland. We had our autonomy before 2010, our own Parliament could make their own laws and own rules. Holland outsmarted the politicians … so we want to reverse back where we were before 2010, not independence, because if we are a part of the Kingdom (of The Netherlands) we still have all the benefits – they have an obligation (under) Article 73 of the United Nations Convention on Human Rights to take care of us, build schools, build roads, develop our place and not to control and take over the island,” she said.

Time is running out, Bissessar-Shaw said, and they have decided to seek all the help they can get to regain their autonomy from the Dutch government on the mainland.

 

Source: https://thenewtoday.gd/local-news/2018/05/21/colonialism-in-the-21st-century/#gsc.tab=0

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Letter to Prime Ministers Rutte, Wever-Croes, Rhuggenaath and Marlin-Romeo re 73rd UN General Assembly from Bonaire

To:       Mr Mark Rutte, Prime-Minister of the Netherlands

Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes, Prime-Minister of Aruba

Mr. Eugene Rhuggenaath, Prime-Minister of Curacao

Mr. Leona Marlin- Romeo, Prime -Minister of St Maarten

Bonaire October 1, 2018

 

Excellency,

We took note of the recent publications in which the Dutch government took the Aruba, Curacao, and St Maarten prime-ministers under the motto: One Kingdom – Four Countries to the 73rd UN GA meetings or was it propaganda,that the Netherlands put the Dutch-Caribbean prime-ministers in front of the Caribbean-war-propaganda-campaign against their own Caribbean brothers and sisters? Mr Rutte, prime-minister of Netherlands address in the UN  seems to be a farce, and the Caricom countries should be aware, this is not an internal matter, because the Kingdom is ruled by the Dutch parliament and has never met to the true intentions of the decolonization treaties of the UN and there none other countries in the Kingdom then the Netherlands and all the other islands are subordinated to them. And as such the Netherlands continued the colonization of the former Netherlands Antilles under a rigid modernized colonial agenda since 10-10-10 and are in violation with the UN principles and charter.

 

The hypocrisy is that Dutch Prime Minister Rutte and Foreign Minister Blok, who took front row at the UN GA and who both publicly discriminated against the Dutch-Caribbean people, used the Aruba prime-minister Mrs. Wever- Croes to mask their intentions. And this time the Dutch-Caribbean prime-ministers were not only used as ornaments but hosted a side-event: “Strengthening International Cooperation on Maritime Security in the Caribbean region”.

 

This letter serves as a serious warning to all Caribbean nations. This Dutch orchestrated show at the UN GA meetings using our own Caribbean leaders, the prime-ministers from Aruba, Curacao and St Maarten in high-level meetings is high-level propaganda for more division in the Caribbean, which is aspiring and seeking integration and unity, to keep the islands under the control of The Hague.

 

The Dutch Minister of Defense Mrs. Bijleveld, who was also part of the UN GA show, just recently got the instruction from the Dutch parliament to seek support from the US, France, and Great-Britain for a robust militarization of the ABC islands that will spark provocation with neighboring Venezuela which could lead towards a war in the peaceful Caribbean and Latin America, wiping out the local population of the ABC islands, and which will be dividing and destroying the rest of the Caribbean.

 

Mrs. Bijleveld, seems to have been given another mayor task in the imperialistic endeavors of her nation,  is highly experienced in such strategy and tactics as she was the State-secretary of Kingdom Relations in a previous Dutch government that successfully blackmailed, bullied, and extorted the  Netherlands Antillean politicians and leaders by threatening to end the financial guarantee and aid to the islands and thus divided, destroyed, and dissolved the Netherlands Antilles on the symbolic Columbus Day of colonization of the Americas, October 10, 2010 (10-10-10). What can we expect of the future? Will 2-2-2020 be the deadline for the full execution of this demonic plan?

The defenseless smaller islands Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba were annexed, re-colonized, embedded and integrated under unequal rights in the Dutch constitution against the wishes of the peoples, and keep up to today the peoples in this imposed colonial status, despite legal democratic rejection by the peoples through referenda. The autonomy of the other islands Aruba, Curacao, and St Maarten were reversed at that same time to a colonial level, and now as a mockery to democracy they are parading prime-ministers who are subordinated to the Dutch politicians and parliament at the UN level, meanwhile the Dutch have the full and ultimate power over the islands’ budget and judiciary system, and can simply overrule any local government with an unilateral instruction from The Hague.

To summarize: before the Netherlands put the Dutch-Caribbean prime-ministers in front of this Caribbean-war-propaganda-campaign against their Caribbean brothers and sisters, all these prime-ministers were and are intimidated, bullied, extorted by the current Dutch State-secretary of Kingdom Relations, Mr. Knops whose military credentials (tactical officer, lieutenant colonel who was active in the Iraq war) predispose him to a less than democratic approach, for example:

  • The Aruba prime-minister Mrs Wever-Croes and parliament are currently under an undemocratic budgetary financial supervision and under threat of a next instruction from The Hague;
  • The Curacao prime-minister Mr Rhuggenaath and parliament are under an undemocratic budgetary financial supervision and heavy threat of intervention by The Hague;
  • St Maarten prime-minister Mrs Marlin-Romeo and parliament are currently under an undemocratic budgetary control and government is steered by The Hague, abusing the post hurricane Irma chaos and need for financial aid for the reconstruction with a cynical quid-pro-quo attitude.

 

Our hope is that these Dutch-Caribbean prime-ministers and parliamentarians who promised the people who voted for them to stand with them, open their eyes and realize who put them there and where they come from. In standing side by side with the oppressor on the wrong side of history as in consenting to and even cooperating with crimes against humanity, they qualify as traitors, betraying not only the ones who voted for them, but also betraying their ancestors, and all those in the Caribbean who died and suffered in the struggle for freedom and equality.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

James Finies

President Nos Ke Boneiru Bek

(We Want Bonaire Back)

C.C:

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. A Guterez

The Chair and Members of the Special Committee on Decolonization

The Chair and Members of The Security Council of the United Nations

The Chair and Members of Caricom Caucus at the United Nations

The Secretary-General and Members of Caricom

Parliaments Aruba, Curacao and St Maarten

Island Councils Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba

COPPPAL

CELAC

UNASUR

OAS

Secretary General SICA

Parlatino

 

Photo: James Finies – Human Right Activist and President of We want Bonaire Back Foundation

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Cuba President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro at Riverside Church

 

President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel and Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro speak at the famous Riverside Church in Manhattan September 26, 2018. Moderators Gail Walker and Frank Velgara. Drumming by the Healing Drum Collective.

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A Warm Welcome to Presidents Diaz Canel and Nicolas Maduro at Riverside Church, Harlem, New York

President Díaz-Canel repeated Fidel’s historic visit to the Riverside Church back in 2000. Photo: Leticia Martínez

Located in Upper Manhattan, New York, and bordering the renowned neighborhood of Harlem, the Riverside Church has been the scene of memorable speeches by numerous historic leaders, such as Martin Luther King, who on April 4, 1967, delivered his famous sermon entitled “A Time to Break Silence (Declaration Against the Vietnam War); and Nelson Mandela, shortly after his release in 1990.

Harlem became a symbol of solidarity with Cuba on September 18, 1960, when then Prime Minister, Fidel Castro Ruz, arrived in New York heading the Cuban delegation to participate in the 15th Session of the UN General Assembly. Due to the attacks of the Eisenhower administration, which forbade him from leaving the island of Manhattan, the Cuban leader was welcomed at Harlem’s Hotel Theresa, where he held meetings with Malcom X, and with the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, among other personalities.

Doctors Joaquin Morante and Sitembile Sales, who trained at Havana’s Latin American School of Medicine, expressed their eternal gratitude to Cuba. Photo: Leticia Martínez

Forty years later, on September 8, 2000, the leader of the Cuban Revolution would repeat the visit to this New York neighborhood, on the occasion of the UN Millennium Summit,and deliver a speech at this same church.

DÍAZ-CANEL REPEATS FIDEL’S HISTORIC VISIT

The President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba received a warm welcome in the historic Riverside Church, where he was surrounded by friends of the island.

He was also joined by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro Moros, who was welcomed with cries of “Long live Venezuela!”

Two young doctors, Joaquin Morante and Sitembile Sales, who trained at Havana’s Latin American School of Medicine, thanked Cuba for its solidarity and commitment to train young people from all over the world for the benefit of those most in need in their own countries. “We will follow the example of the Cuban people,” they noted.

Next to speak to the enthusiastic crowd was President Nicolás Maduro. “I came to New York, to the United Nations, to bring the truth of the Venezuelan people. I also wanted to return to this historic church in Harlem and reiterate our love and commitment, and share this moment with our brother Miguel Díaz-Canel and the people of Cuba,” he stated.

“We have been victims of immense imperialist aggression, but today I can say that the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela is still standing, alive and victorious,” Maduro concluded, to huge applause.

President Miguel Díaz-Canel began his speech by reiterating the fraternal relations and common struggle of Cuba and Venezuela. “Today at the United Nations, two sister peoples raised their voices. Venezuela denounced all the aggression to which it has been subjected and also ratified its decision to continue the Bolivian revolution, as a legacy faithful to Comandante Chávez,” he noted.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro Moros was welcomed with cries of “Long live Venezuela!” Photo: Leticia Martínez

“Cuba also raised its voice with Venezuela, to support Venezuela, to support Nicaragua, to support Puerto Rio, to support Latin America, to support the Palestinian and Saharawi people, and to support all the just causes of the world. And also to denounce, once again, the unjust blockade that, for almost 60 years, the United States has imposed on us,” he continued.

“For Maduro, for Venezuela, for the Cuban delegation, it is very emotive to be here with you, friends of Cuba and Venezuela here in New York. Miracles like these happen in this city only here, in the Riverside Church,” the Cuban President stated, before stressing that this meeting, in a cathedral of faith and solidarity, was a gathering of brothers and sisters, of friends, of equals.

“Fidel taught us that to cooperate with other exploited and poor peoples was always a political principle of the Revolution and a duty to humanity,” Díaz-Canel explained.

“Cuba also owes a lot to international solidarity and to the help of many friends and activists here in the United States, among whom are many Cuban residents,” he continued.

“The most recent demonstration of this was the fight for the return of the Five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters and, before that, the return of little Elian to Cuba,” the Cuban leader noted.

He stressed that bilateral relations with the United States continue to be characterized by the economic blockade, which constitutes an obstacle to the development of the Cuban people and has caused huge deprivation to Cuban families.

The solidarity event concluded with performances by local dance groups in honor of the guests.

 

Cuban President speaks at Riverside Church

Díaz-Canel and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro spoke at an event organized in solidarity with the two nations, in the emblematic New York church

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US blockade continues to hurt Cuba’s economic, social development

by Ines Fors Fernandez

 

The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States of America against Cuba for almost six decades is the most unfair, severe and extended system of unilateral sanctions ever applied against any country.

The Government of the United States has imposed a serious setback to the bilateral relations with Cuba based on President Donald Trump’s signing of the ‘National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States toward Cuba’ on June 16, 2017, thereby renewing the tightening of the blockade.

Last November, 2017, the departments of Commerce, Treasury and State issued new regulations and provisions to put into effect the aforementioned memorandum. The measures applied further restricted the right of US citizens to travel to Cuba and it imposed additional obstacles on the limited opportunities of US business community in Cuba by setting up a list of 179 Cuban entities with which US natural and juridical persons are prohibited from carrying out transactions.

The new sanctions against Cuba have caused a notable decrease in visits from the US and they have generated greater obstacles on Cuban companies’ economic and commercial relations with potential US and third-country partners. These measures not only affect the Cuban state economy but also the country’s private sector.

The strengthening of the extra-territorial application of the blockade has been another distinctive manifestation of the tightening of this policy, with marked effects on Cuba’s international financial and loan relations. The permanent persecution of Cuban financial transactions and bank and loan operations with Cuba have intensified on a world scale.

The economic, commercial and financial blockade constitutes the principal obstacle for the development of all the potentials for the Cuban economy. It hinders the implementation of the country’s National Plan for Economic and Social Development as well as the Agenda 2030 and its sustainable development goals. It is the principal hurdle for the development of Cuba’s economic, commercial and financial relations with the US and the rest of the world.

The accumulated damage resulting from the blockade’s application for almost six decades reaches the figure of US$933,678,000,000 taking into account the depreciation of the dollar as compared to the price of gold on the international market. At today’s prices, the blockade has caused damage that can be calculated at over US$134,499,800,000.

This policy of economic aggression, along with the promotion of internal subversion corroborates the aim of the US Government to destroy the economic, political and social system that has been freely chosen by the Cuban people.

The blockade constitutes a massive, blatant and systematic violation of the human rights of all the Cuban people and qualifies as an act of genocide, according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948. It violates the United Nations Charter and International Law and constitutes an obstacle for international cooperation.

It is imperative that the United States comply with the 26 resolutions adopted by the international community within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly in the framework of the General Assembly of the United Nations and put an end, without any conditioning, to its policy of blockade.

The blockade violates international law. It is contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. It constitutes a transgression on the right to peace, development, and the free determination of sovereign states. In its essence, and by its objectives, it is an act of unilateral aggression and it is a permanent threat to the stability of a country.

Cuba and its people trust on the continued support of the international community in their legitimate claim to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States of America.

 

Ines Fors Fernandez is ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Jamaica.

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Scotland’s Glasgow University received millions from slavery, now it plans to pay reparations

by Nduta Waweru

September 24, 2018

face2faceafrica.com

In a rare move by an institution of education, Scotland’s Glasgow University has admitted to receiving millions of dollars from slavery in Africa and the Caribbean.   It is now putting in place structures to pay reparations in a move that has been lauded as great across the world.

This information was made available in a report called Slavery, Abolition and the University of Glasgow, which was prepared by the History of Slavery Steering Committee put together to determine the university’s connection to people who benefited directly from slavery.

According to the report, although many of the staff in the University were against slavery and that the University neither had any enslaved person nor did it trade in goods produced by enslaved people, funds from people who had benefitted from proceeds of slavery were given to the university in the form of gifts and bequests and used in supporting academic activity by the students.

The University of Glasgow acknowledges that during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it received some gifts and bequests from persons who may have benefitted from the proceeds of slavery. Income from such gifts and bequests has been used in supporting academic activity undertaken by the students and staff of the University

The report further listed some of the people who graduated from the university and went ahead to become slave-owners in the Caribbean. One of the adversely mentioned people is Robert Cunninghame Graham who graduated from the University and had become a rector in the 1780s.

Robert Cunningham Graham of Gartmore (1730-1798).

Graham owned and ran a plantation in Jamaica, where enslaved people worked extreme hours and at terrible conditions. He was also known to have sired many children with enslaved women, enslaving and even selling these children to be enslaved in other plantations.

“It is possible that there were some of the people that Graham sold were his own children… It is possible that Ardoch may have been one of Graham’s children, for the young enslaved man was named for a Scottish estate in Graham’s family, an estate which Graham later inherited. It seems likely that only Graham could have been the source for this unusual name for an enslaved child,” the report says.

Upon his return to Scotland, Graham was made the rector at the University until 1787.  As per the report:

A year after stepping down from the Rectorship Graham made a gift of £100 to the University of Glasgow to establish the Gartmore Gold Medal, to be awarded every two years for the best student work on ‘Political liberty’. By the time that Graham served as Rector and endowed a prize for the best student work on liberty he had been a slave-owner for nearly forty years, owning many people like Ardoch, Beniba and Martin, and he had made his fortune from their labour and from his trading and selling of the sugar they and other enslaved people produced.

Graham’s gift is among the 16 bursaries, endowments and mortifications donated between 1809 and 1937 that have a direct link to the profits from slavery, 11 of which generated subsequent income for the university until today. Some of these endowments were recived from former slave owners who had received compensation for losing slaved when slavery was abolished.

It is against this background that the University has laid out a series of activities as part of the reparative justice programme. It is also planning to  increase the “racial diversity of students and staff and to reduce the degree
attainment gap” as well as to create an “interdisciplinary centre for the study of historical slavery and its
legacies, including modern slavery and trafficking”.

Also part of the recommendation is the collaboration between the University and the University of West Indies (UWI).

The move has been welcomed by UWI vice-chancellor and chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, Professor Hilary Beckles.

“I have looked closely at the report, reading it within the context of the University of Glasgow-University of the West Indies framework for mutual recognition and respect. The approach adopted by the University of Glasgow is commendable and is endorsed by the UWI as an excellent place to begin. Both universities are committed to excellent and ethical research, teaching and public service. I celebrate colleagues in Glasgow for taking these first steps and keenly anticipate working through next steps,” Beckles, one of the three external advisors to the report, said.

Sir Geoff Palmer, Scotland’s first black professor, not only welcomed the report but also called on institutions that had benefited from the slave trade to make amends.

“Now, I think the country faces a very uncomfortable question which the Glasgow University report has raised once more: to what extent did slavery make Scotland great? We can have all the equality laws and anti-racism legislation we like, but if no other institutions, firms or organisations which also benefited from slavery declare this and seek to make amends then it’s all meaningless,” he said to the Guardian.

The conversation about reparations for slavery has been ongoing for years. In 2016, Jamaica demanded Britain to start making reparations for slavery, stating that it is the duty of the previous colonial master to alleviate the continued suffering of the Caribbean people.

A regional body known as the Caribbean Reparation Commission was set up to establish the case for reparations by the governments of all the former colonial powers. It set up a ten-step plan for the same.

An American researcher, Thomas Craemer of the University of Connecticut calculated how much reparations could cost and he ended up with an estimate of between $5.9 trillion and $14.2 trillion in 2015. And this is just in the United States of America alone.

For Africa, reparations were at  $777 trillion in 1999 as per the recommendations of the African World Reparations and Repatriation Truth Commission.

While the move by Glasgow University is in the right direction, it is just a drop in the ocean as far as reparations for slavery is concerned.

Thanks to Cikiah Thomas of Global African Congress for sharing this article with us.

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ICS: CARIBBEAN CONFERENCES 23 — Repeating Islands

The Institute of Caribbean Studies, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras recently announced its CARIBBEAN CONFERENCES 23 lecture series, to be held during the first semester of the 2018-2019 academic year. The conferences will be held at Amphitheater 108 of the Carmen Rivera de Alvarado Building (CRA 108), School of Social Sciences, UPR-RP (unless they are […]

via ICS: CARIBBEAN CONFERENCES 23 — Repeating Islands

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Prime Minister Mottley Talks Digital @BITT Conference — Barbados Underground

Today’s speech by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at the Bitt Conference is one that we would never have heard under the former government. The disruptive explosion of Fintechs across the globe is well documented – the race to transform Barbados from an analogue to digital space finds Barbados playing catchup. Many will criticize the prime […]

via Prime Minister Mottley Talks Digital @BITT Conference — Barbados Underground

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US Intervention in Latin America in the 21st Century – a JALANDS compilation

Many people may be familiar with the history of US intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean, including countless acts of aggression against Cuba since the triumph of the Revolution, the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, the economic warfare and CIA-backed violence in Jamaica from 1975 to 1980, the invasion of Grenada in 1983, and arming the Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

There was the infamous “Operation Condor” unleashed across all of South America, where the US supported right-wing dictatorships and their repression of social movements. Thousands of people were murdered at the hands of the CIA and their local collaborators.

At the turn of the 21st century, the Left had overcome many challenges to rise to power in countries all across Latin America. The sovereignty of democratic peoples has been treated as some sort of threat to the pride of the arrogant imperialists. Lately, they have again shown signs that they will stop at nothing to subordinate our peoples to their hegemony.

In line with their interests, the imperialists have conducted misinformation campaigns to turn people of the world against progressive governments. They have spread lies to demonise the people of Haiti, as well as the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua in particular, as they have been doing with Cuba for decades. The next target may be Bolivia.

It is necessary for us to compile this information so that persons can see the patterns of deliberate actions taken by the US to destabilise countries in the region. It is important to remember that lives are lost, and more are at risk, due to this dangerous game that the empire is playing against our peoples. It is also necessary to dispel the lies that they tell in their attempts to justify their actions.

Please note: This is a compilation, not an article. It will be updated with additions over time. Click the link below for more on this topic.

https://www.jalands.org/media/compilations/us-intervention-latam-21c/

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Dutch Help or Recolonization of the Former Netherlands Antilles?/Yudansa Hulandes o rekolonisashon di e anterior Antia Hulandes? – Open Letter (in both languages) to Mr. Knops and Mrs. Van Ark, State Secretaries of Kingdom Relations and Social Affairs and Employment, Bonaire

Map of Bonaire

Dear Mr. Knops and Mrs. Van Ark,

We took notice of several expressions, declarations and publications that came out of the last meetings held in Bonaire and The Hague and that greatly alarmed us.

On September 6, Mr. Knops visited Bonaire in remembrance of the discovery of our island on the same day in 1499 and behaved in a comparable way as his ancestors have done over the centuries since the colonization of our islands: he came to (over)see if the subservient local politicians and government comply with the instructions of the colonial master. The great news that the master, Mr. Knops, was satisfied was celebrated extensively by him and the submissive subordinated Bonerian government, humiliating the Bonerian people on their day. The irony of the celebrations’ theme, “From Generation to Generation” was not lost on the people who from generation to generation have suffered under colonial rule. Mr. Knops, true to the colonial tradition, made some promises to our beggar-politicians which could help them win the upcoming elections, and he shone, even scintillated, as the example of the next generation of Dutch colonizers.

Back in The Hague last week, after the show in Bonaire, it was business as usual for Mr. Knops, this time assisted by Mrs. Van Ark. Without shame or regret it was maintained by both, that although all reports show that about half of the population is living way below the poverty line, that there is no need for alleviation, no need for swift action to establish a minimum to guarantee a humane existence. In line with the colonial tradition they both blatantly blamed the islanders for the poverty. It became clear the policies are not to eradicate poverty but to create, promote, and maintain poverty. Poverty is the business model; the aim is to keep and make our people poor by laws and policies as to collect international funds you need poverty. Mr. Knops’ statements are very clear: he cannot do magic or manipulate the dot on the horizon because it is impossible to keep our people in poverty and eradicate poverty at the same time.

The hypocrisy of Mr. Knops reached its summit when he said that the actions in Bonaire, St. Maarten, and St. Eustatius should not be understood as recolonization but as aid, help, assistance to the islands. What help, Mr. Knops, is the illegal removal of the elected government in St. Eustatius and replacing it with appointees from The Hague; what assistance is it to topple the elected government in St. Maarten and force it to accept measures against its interest using the post-Irma chaos; what aid are the few dollars spent whereas measures to alleviate poverty are refused?

To conclude, Mr. Knops admitted to me in our encounter last January on Bonaire during his inaugural visit as State Secretary, that he does not know and does not want to know our common history and colonial past, and that he is only looking forward in the future. Now I understand that by his actions, that he is right: he is innocent, from his perspective as he is acting in accordance with his laws. Because colonialism and racism are part and parcel of the Dutch mind, he is innocent, as were his predecessors, as were our ancestors which by his constitution and laws were de-humanized, declared non-human, and were legally traded as cattle and herring. Because he said he does not know the history, I would like to remind him, that through these inhumane, criminal actions, the Dutch rose from being an insignificant fishing village to one of the world’s richest nations; through the blood, sweat, and tears of our enslaved ancestors. The VOC / WIC are listed as biggest company ever in the world’s history, about 10 times bigger then Microsoft and Apple, and they were not selling software. We understand by now why he does not want to know his history. It is because it would confront him with his criminal origins and would expose his actions of today as crimes against humanity no matter that he has legalized them as a constitutional act, a method not very different from the way the Nazi’s legalized their actions against those whom they regarded as belonging to an inferior race.

I hope that this letter is the dot on the horizon that will grow into the rising sun that will brighten the future and shed light on the past as darkness is not eradicated by darkness but by light. The Netherlands is signatory to the United Nations Charter and as such cannot continue to ignore their violations of the different resolutions to end colonial rule. Mr. Knops and Mrs. Van Ark, you are in the position to make that change on behalf of The Netherlands.

Respectfully,

James Finies

 

Estimado Sr Knops I Sra Van Ark,

Nos a tuma nota di varios ekspreshonan, deklarashonan I publikashonan ku a sali enkuanto e ultimo reunionan tene na Bonaire I Den Haag ku a alarma nos.

 Riba 6 september, Sr Knops a bishita Bonaire den konmemorashon di e deskubrimento di nos isla riba e mesun dia na 1499 I a komporte na manera similar ku su ansestornan a hasi durante siglonan despues di kolonisashon di nos islanan: e la bini pa inspekshona ku e politikonan I gobierno lokal subordina ta kumpli ku instrukshonan di e maestro kolonial. E gran notisia ku e maestro kolonisado, Sr Knops, tabata satisfecho a wordu selebra ekstensamente dor di dje I e sumiso I subordina gobierno Boneriano, humiyando e pueblo di Bonaire riba nan dia. Ironia di e tema di selebrashon “Di generashon pa generashon” no a bai perdi bao di e habitantenan ku di generashon pa generashon a sufri bao di e yugo I dominio kolonial. Sr Knops, fiel na su tradishon kolonial a hasi algun promesa na nos politikonan-limosnero ku por yuda nan gana e elekshonan ku ta na kaminda, I Sr Knops a briya, komo ehempel di e generashon nobo di kolonisadonan Hulandes.

Bek na Den Haag siman pasa, despues di e show na Bonaire, tabata manera kustumber pa Sr Knops, e biaha aki asisti pa Sra Van Ark. Sin berguensa o resientimiento nan a para ariba ,nan tur dos, ku apesar ku tur raportnan ta mustra ku kasi mitar di e poblashon ta biba lew bao di linja di pobresa, ku no tin nesesidat pa alivio, no tin nesesidat pa un akshon rapido pa establese un minimo sosial pa garantisa un eksistensia humano. Den mesun linja di tradishon kolonial nan tur dos deskaradamente a akusa e habitantenan di e islanan ku ta nan mes ta kausa di pobresa. A bira evidente ku e maneho no ta pa eradika pobresa pero pa krea, promove I mantene pobresa. Pobresa ta un modelo di negoshi ekonomiko; e obhetivo ta pa tene I hasi nos pueblo pober pa ley I maneho pa por kolekta I hanja fondonan internashonal mester di pobresa. Sr Knops su deklarashonan ta basta kla: e no por hasi magia o tover I e no por move e punto na horizonte pasobra ta imposibel pa mantene nos pueblo den pobresa I alaves eradika pobresa na mes momento.

E hipokresia di Sr Knops a jega e punto mas haltu ora ku e la bisa ku e akshonan na Bonaire, St. Maarten I St. Eustatius no mester wordu konsidera komo rekolonisashon pero komo ayudo I asistensia pa e islanan. Ki yudansa Sr Knops ta eliminashon illegal di e gobierno demokratikamente elegi di St Eustatius I remplase nan ku personanan apunta pa Den Haag; ki asistensia ta pa deroka e gobierno elegi di St Maarten I forsa nan pa asepta medidanan kontra nan interes usando e kaos kausa pa Irma; ki  yudansa ta e tiki sen ku lo gasta na luga di medidanan pa alivia pobresa ta wordu rechasa?

Pa termina, Sr Knops a atmiti na ami durante nos enkuentro Januari ultimo na Bonaire durante su bishita inaugural komo Sekretario di Estado ku e no sa I no kier sa di nos historia komun I pasado kolonial, I ku e ta wak solamente dilanti den futuro. Awor ami ta komprende pa su akshonan, ku e tin rason: e ta inosente, for di su perspektiva pasobra e ta akta di akuerdo ku su leynan. Pasobra kolonialsimo I rasismo ta parti integral di e mentalidat Hulandes, e ta inosente, meskos ku su antepasadonan, kaminda nos ansestornan pa nan konstitushon I leynan a wordu de-humanisa, deklara komo no-humano, I a wordu legalmente bende manera baka I haring. Pasobra e no sa e historia, ami lo ke rekorde, ku ta pa medio di e akshonan inhumano I kriminal aki, Hulanda di un pueblo piskado insignifikante a bira un di e paisnan mas riku di mundu; dor di sanger, sodo I lagrima di nos ansestornan esklavisa. E kompanianan VOC/WIC ta figura komo e kompania mas grandi di historia di mundu di tur tempu, 10 biaha mas grandi ku Microsoft I Apple, I nan no tabata bende software. Awor nos ta komprende dikon e no ke sa su historia. Ta pasobra e lo wordu konfronta ku su origin kriminal I lo ekspone su akshonan di awendia komo krimen kontra humanidat I no ta importa ku nan a legalisa nan komo aktonan konstitushonal, mesun metodo no masha diferente ku e Nazi-nan a legalisa nan akshonan kontra tur ku nan tabata konsidera ku ta pertenese na un rasa inferior.

Sperando ku e karta aki lo ta punto na horizonte ku lo krese konberti den un solo saliente ku lo briya e futuro I tira luz riba e pasado, pasobra skuridat no lo wordu eradika ku skuridat pero dor di luz. Hulanda ta firmante di e karta I tratadonan di Nashonan Uni I komo tal no por sigui ignora e violashon di e diferente resolushonan pa kaba ku gobernashon kolonial. Sr Knops I Sra Van Ark, boso ta den posishon pa realisa e kambio aki na nomber di Hulanda.

Atentamente,

 James Finies

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OUR REPARATIONS ACTION PLAN

by David Comissiong

1. Acquire and nurture in ourselves, our people, and our governments a deep knowledge of our history– especially making African and Afro-Caribbean history compulsory in our schools and educational institutions.

2. Engage in “self repair” as individual African men, women and children by summoning up the courage and self-respect to critically examine ourselves, with a view to identifying any vestiges within us of false notions of “white superiority / black inferiority” and ridding ourselves of them.

3.Think of the demand for Reparations as a Call for a fundamental transformation leading to a “just society” free of the inequitable racist economic and power relations that currently exist in our national societies and in the international arena.

4. In addition to our collective historic Reparations claim, pursue our demands for a “just society” through our own dynamic citizen activism aimed at all of the powers that be (including our own governments), insisting that we always be treated fairly and justly, and demanding reparatory justice for any actions that we adjudge to have been carried out illegally upon us.

5.Identify and take actions to destroy all still existing racist or discriminatory practices and institutions that continue to unjustly hold us back and exploit us.

6.Teach our people that the institution of enslavement was a crime against humanity and that ONE of the criminal injustices that we must be compensated for is the value of the unpaid work that was brutally and illegally extracted from our ancestors over many generations.

7. Encourage all of our political parties, trade unions, youth organizations, churches, women’s organizations, educational institutions and other relevant organizations to make Reparations part of their agenda and programs.

8. Work with all reparations Movements and national governments– both at home and abroad –in support of our cause, and encourage them to pursue the campaign for Reparations all over the world and in every available forum.

9. Involve the masses of our people in deciding on a) the extent of the damages done to us as a people; b) the need for a program of voluntary Repatriation to the continent of Africa; c) the type and the amount of compensatory resources to be claimed; and d) how these resources will be administered.

10. Build our Reparations campaign infrastructure by creating Reparations research institutions ; by encouraging CARICOM and the African Union to join forces in this cause; by calling upon our Governments to instruct their Ambassadors, Embassies, and High Commissions to engage in Reparations diplomacy in foreign countries and at the United Nations and other international forums; and by establishing national, regional and international interlinked networks of organizations and activists (including mass media networks) supporting reparations.

11. At the level of our Pan-Africanist civil society : prepare, file and prosecute reparations law cases and campaigns of mass activism against relevant European and North American governments, companies and institutions.

12. Call upon our governments to carry out the preparatory work for and commit themselves to a final and decisive historical, moral, and legal multilateral “Reparations Reckoning” with the governments of the relevant European and North American countries.
AND UNDERPINNING THE ENTIRE ACTION PLAN SHOULD BE THE PRINCIPLE THAT WE BLACK OR AFRICAN PEOPLE CAME ACROSS THE MIDDLE PASSAGE AS AN UNDIFFERENTIATED DISPOSSESSED MASS OF PEOPLE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE HOLD OF A SLAVE SHIP, AND THAT — IN THIS CONTEMPORARY ERA — WE ARE COMMITTED TO NOT LEAVING ANY OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS BEHIND IN SLAVERY-LIKE CONDITIONS OF POVERTY AND POWERLESSNESS.

 

 

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OUR SELF RESPECT DEMANDS THAT  WE  ACT AGAINST OAS’S LUIS ALMAGRO ! (In English and Spanish)

Under the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), when the General Secretary of the OAS speaks he speaks for and on behalf of the Organization and its Member States, including the Caribbean nations of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Haiti, Grenada, Belize, St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Bahamas, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia.

And last Friday (the 13th of September 2018) — at a Press Conference held in Cucuta, Colombia — OAS General Secretary Luis Almagro spoke as follows :-

“With respect to a MILITARY  INTERVENTION to OVERTHROW Nicolas Maduro’s regime, I don’t think any option should be ruled out ……….. Diplomatic action should be the first priority but we shouldn’t rule out any action.”

Thus, speaking for ALL 34 Member States of the OAS, Luis Almagro has declared that the constitutionally legitimate, democratically elected Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (a Member State of the OAS) is to be OVERTHROWN either by “diplomatic action” or by “military intervention”.

Needless-to-say, Almagro’s enunciation constitutes a gross VIOLATION of virtually all of the fundamental principles contained in the Charter of the OAS, namely — Chapter 1 (Nature and Purposes), Chapter 2 (Principles), Chapter 4 (Fundamental Rights and Duties of States), Chapter 5 (Pacific Settlement of Disputes), and Chapter 7 (Integral Development) — all of which commit the OAS and its Member States to the principles of respect for the territorial integrity of states, respect for national sovereignty, peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for the right of states to self-determination, and non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states.

It has now therefore become absolutely clear that Luis Almagro CANNOT be permitted to continue to hold the post of representative and spokesman of the OAS !

Indeed, every single self-respecting Member State of the OAS is now under a duty to denounce and repudiate the unlawful and offensive statement that the General Secretary of the OAS made in their names, and to go on to take action to REMOVE Luis Almagro from the post of General Secretary of the OAS !

Article 116 of the OAS Charter establishes that the General Assembly of the OAS may — by a two thirds vote of the Member States — remove the General Secretary “whenever the proper functioning of the Organization so demands”.

The duty of every single OAS Member State to take action in respect of this matter is therefore absolutely clear, and those of us who still believe that we are citizens of sovereign, principled, serious, and self respecting nations will be watching very closely to see how our Caribbean governments respond.

SIGNED:

 

CLEMENT PAYNE MOVEMENT OF BARBADOS

CARIBBEAN PEACE MOVEMENT

JAMAICA PEACE COUNCIL

GLOBAL AFRIKAN CONGRESS

CARIBBEAN CHAPTER of the

INTERNATIONAL NETWORK IN DEFENSE OF HUMANITY

 

Nuestra propia autoestima exige que actuemos en contra de Almagro
De conformidad con la Carta de la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), cuando habla el Secretario General de la OEA, habla en nombre de la Organización y sus Estados Miembros, incluidas las naciones del Caribe de Antigua y Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Haití, Grenada, Belice, San Vicente y las Granadinas, las Bahamas, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad y Tobago, Suriname, San Cristóbal y Nieves y Santa Lucía.
Y el viernes pasado (13 de septiembre de 2018), en una rueda de prensa celebrada en Cúcuta, Colombia, el Secretario General de la OEA, Luis Almagro, expresó lo siguiente:
“Con respecto a una intervención militar para derrocar al régimen de Nicolás Maduro, no creo que deba descartarse ninguna opción (…) La acción diplomática debería ser la primera prioridad, pero no deberíamos descartar ninguna acción”.
Por lo tanto, hablando por TODOS los 34 Estados Miembros de la OEA, Luis Almagro ha declarado que el Gobierno constitucionalmente legítimo y democráticamente elegido de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela (un Estado Miembro de la OEA) debe ser DERROCADO, ya sea por “acción diplomática” o por “Intervención militar”.
De más está decir, la enunciación de Almagro constituye una GRAN VIOLACIÓN de prácticamente todos los principios fundamentales contenidos en la Carta de la OEA, a saber: Capítulo 1 (Naturaleza y Propósitos), Capítulo 2 (Principios), Capítulo 4 (Derechos y Deberes Fundamentales de los Estados), Capítulo 5 (Solución Pacífica de Controversias), y Capítulo 7 (Desarrollo Integral) – todos los cuales comprometen a la OEA y sus Estados Miembros a los principios de respeto a la integridad territorial de los Estados, respeto a la soberanía nacional, solución pacífica de controversias, respeto por los derechos de los Estados a la autodeterminación y no injerencia en los asuntos internos de los Estados soberanos.
¡Ahora por lo tanto ha quedado absolutamente claro que a Luis Almagro NO SE le puede permitir continuar siendo el representante y portavoz de la OEA!

De hecho, cada uno de los Estados Miembros de la OEA que se precie de serlo tiene ahora el deber de denunciar y repudiar la declaración ilícita y ofensiva que el Secretario General de la OEA hizo en su nombre, y ¡pasar a tomar las medidas para DESTITUIR a Luis Almagro del puesto de Secretario General de la OEA!
El Artículo 116 de la Carta de la OEA establece que la Asamblea General de la OEA puede -por el voto de los dos tercios de los Estados Miembros- destituir al Secretario General “siempre que el funcionamiento apropiado de la Organización lo exija”.
El deber de cada uno de los Estados Miembros de la OEA de tomar medidas con respecto a este asunto es absolutamente claro, y aquellos de nosotros que todavía creemos que somos ciudadanos de naciones soberanas, de principios serios y que se respeten, estarán observado muy de cerca para ver cómo responden nuestros gobiernos caribeños.

CLEMENT PAYNE MOVEMENT OF BARBADOS
CARIBBEAN PEACE MOVEMENT
JAMAICA PEACE COUNCIL
GLOBAL AFRIKAN CONGRESS
CARIBBEAN CHAPTER of the

INTERNATIONAL NETWORK IN DEFENSE OF HUMANITY

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OAS’s Luis Almargo’s threat to overthrow President Maduro of Venezuela is also a threat to the sovereignty and independence of all Caribbean and Latin American nations.

By Bongoman

The OAS Secretary General, Luis Almargo supports Military Intervention to Overthrow the Sovereign Government of Venezuela , an OAS Member State-Will the Jamaican Government Vote to Support Almargo’s Military Intervention in Venezuela or will it oppose him and Remove him as OAS Secretary General?

The threat of military intervention in Venezuela that was recently made as an option by the pro-imperialist Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almargo, to overthrow the elected President of Venezuela 🇻🇪 is not only a threat to Venezuela’s sovereignty but it is also a threat to the sovereignty and independence of all Caribbean and Latin American nations.

For some time now, Almagro’s hostility towards the Venezuelan revolution and its people has been troubling as it demonstrates his lack of respect for the country’s sovereignty, independence and democracy. Indeed, his hostility also clearly demonstrates Almargo’s subservience and disposition to serve the imperial interests of Washington in helping the latter to destabilize and overthrow the constitutionally elected government of Nicholas Maduro.

However, Almargo’s recent open embrace of a military intervention at a press conference in Colombia whose right-wing government is also openly hostile to the Venezuelan government is also a stark reminder of the partisan biases and inappropriate judgement of Luis Almargo as Secretary General of the OAS towards the sovereign and legitimate Maduro government.

As such, the militarist pronouncements of Almargo should involuntarily open the eyes of those who may have failed to see his hostility and the ears of those in our region who may have refused to hear the criminal messages of Trump’s boy at the OAS that have glaringly violated the principles of peaceful resolution of conflicts and non-interference in the internal affairs of member states of the OAS.

Not only should Luis Almagro be reported to the UN for his obvious political and ideological biases towards the independent and sovereign people and government of Venezuela as is promised by the VP of Venezuela. More importantly, Almargo’s bellicose threats to a sovereign member country of the OAS requires that he be sanctioned and removed as Secretary General in keeping with article 116 of the OAS not only for his patent political biases against a member country but also for his equal failure to defend the principles and charter of the organization he leads including which includes the sovereignty and independence of member countries of the OAS.

Further, the Secretary General of the OAS is charged to provide impartial leadership to the regional body and to be fair to all of its member countries irrespective of their political orientation.

On the contrary, Luis Almargo has acted from the outset of his tenure more as an official of the US State Department than as the Secretary General of the OAS which has seriously tarnished the credibility, status and image of the regional organization in the eyes of many members and the world.

The latter disposition of Mr. Almargo should simply be unacceptable to all member states of the OAS with even a modicum of dignity whether they like or dislike the political philosophy of the Venezuelan government.

Contrary to the explicitly political opinions of Mr. Almargo that the “crisis” in Venezuela is the result of “ tyranny” and “dictatorship”, the fact is that the economic crisis which has resulted in thousands of Venezuelans fleeing to neighboring countries is the direct result of some of the most restrictive economic and financial sanctions imposed on Venezuela by powerful countries such as the US, Canada, the EU and the UK from which Venezuela has imported most of its foods, raw materials, clothes, medicines and medical equipment , fertilizers, sanitary napkins, baby foods etc and to which Venezuela exports oil, tourist services and other exports.

The fact is that Venezuelans are being punished for having exercised once again their sovereign right to democratically elect-on May 20th a president and a government that the US and the other cited imperialist countries dislike. Isn’t that the purpose of a democracy as opposed to a “ dictatorship”?

That’s the real reason why the US and the other imperialist countries have decided to collectively punish the Venezuelan people by shutting down the country’s ability to import and export vital goods and services from its traditional trading partners that are required for its economic survival and long term development. The latter is just another form of direct imperialist interference and destabilization of a sovereign member country of the OAS which too is openly supported by the OAS Secretary General. This is another reason why SG Almargo’s behavior must be vociferously condemned as criminal violation of Venezuela’s sovereignty and independence as a member state of the OAS.

Almargo knows that these economic sanctions are illegal, severe and punitive and are the direct cause of the economic crisis in Venezuela. He also knows like his American tutors do that neither “ tyrrany” nor “ dictatorship” exist in Venezuela. Indeed, he knows very well that the Venezuelan people democratically elected their president on May 20th fairly and squarely as confirmed by the reports of US and other Western election observers. Further, Almargo knows very well that it is the severe and vicious sanctions that are the direct cause of the shortages of medicines in hospitals and clinics, shortages of foods, and sanitary napkins and other consumer goods in supermarkets and other retail outlets, raw materials in factories etc. He, like his US tutors also know that the direct cause of the “ refugee crisis” that they desire to “solve”through military intervention to overthrow the democratically elected government of Maduro is unable to resolve the problem but will instead worsen it as the US invasion of Iraq, Syria and Libya did and continue to do many years after those military invasions.

However, as an agent of the US empire, Almargo knows that the real aim of the military invasion is not to “ help the suffering people of Venezuela” or “to end the refugee crisis” but is instead designed to strangle democracy in Venezuela by overthrowing the constitutionally elected government of Nicholas Maduro. That’s the real goal of Mr. Almargo who is at the service of President Trump and the other crazies in Washington who still believe that Latin America is “ the backyard of America”.

However, Almargo like his US backers cannot tell the truth about their real goals in Venezuela and so he like them must necessarily push the propaganda
line of the empire that the sovereign and constitutionally elected president of Venezuela and his legitimate government constitute a “ dictatorship” which they claim is the cause of the crisis. They push this lie hoping that it will mask their true plan and buy them legitimacy within the OAS and regionally to invade Venezuela.

Mr. Almargo, the discredited and dishonorable Secretary General of the OAS knows that the Venezuelan government is not a “ tyrrany” or a “ dictatorship” but is instead a constitutional democracy that has chosen a genuinely sovereign and independent anti-imperialist path to end its dependence on imperialist countries. The latter is what terrifies not only the US empire but apparently el senor Almargo who seems to have forgotten that his job is that of Secretary General of the OAS and not an Under Secretary of the US State Department.

Finally, Mr. Almargo and the American government have apparently agreed that the Secretary General of the OAS and not the US government should perhaps push the idea of military intervention once again so as to use the OAS as their cover for US military intervention into a sovereign member state of the OAS as was done in the Dominican Republic in 1965. The latter it seems is largely for two main reasons. First, there is virtually no political support for military intervention in Venezuela among Latin American and Caribbean governments and their peoples. Secondly, it seems that there is division even among the US ruling class and particularly among the military top brass at the Pentagon about a military intervention in Venezuela as they are worried about the blow back from such an intervention.

Thus, now more than ever is the time for all member countries of the OAS to unequivocally vote NO to military intervention, NO to Almargo as Secretary General and NO to US intervention in Venezuela under the cloak of Almargo’s OAS.

Specifically, the focus will be on the Caribbean governments and in particular Jamaica’s and others to see whether they are willing to give Mr. Almargo a pass for openly stating his willingness to intervene militarily in a member state of the OAS to overthrow its government in opposition of the principles of the OAS or whether they will hold him accountable by voting to remove him as OAS chief to protect the integrity and dignity of member states.

The fact is that the political leadership of the Venezuelan revolution is fighting for peace and political stability without which the country cannot develop while US and Western imperialism and Luis Almargo are peddling military invasion to destabilize the revolution, destroy lives and strangle the country’s sovereign development path.

Needless to say, the bitter battles that have been ensuing between the Venezuelan revolution and its decidedly anti-imperialist path on the one hand and its arch enemies, namely,US imperialism, Western imperialism, Luis Almargo, and the regional and global oligarchies on the other, is a narrative of the latter group of powerful forces bent on obscuring, suppressing and distorting the truth about the Venezuelan people and their embrace of their revolution in very difficult circumstances in order to conceal their criminal class interests to dominate the land of Bolivar and Chavez.