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Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago — ended the isolation of Cuba from the rest of the world, December 8, 1972 – Caricom-Cuba Day

Ines Fors Fernandez, Sunday, December 17, 2017

 

On December 8, 1972, four brave and independent Caribbean nations — Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago — ended the isolation of Cuba from the rest of the world by establishing diplomatic relations with the Greater of the Antilles. Thanks to this act of bravery from four small in size but great in value countries, Cuba was not alone anymore.

As stated by then president of the Republic of Cuba, Fidel Castro Ruz, during the first Cuba-Caricom Summit held in Havana on December 8, 2002, “This unquestionably brave political decision, adopted by small and newly independent countries in a climate of hostility and enormous pressures, was a fundamental step toward breaking the diplomatic and trade blockade on Cuba in the region, and a breach in the isolation imposed on Cuba through the OAS [Organization of American States].”

This year on December 8, Cuba and Jamaica proudly celebrated the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations aimed at strengthening the already excellent ties between both governments and peoples. Links between Cuba and Jamaica can be recalled since our struggles for Independence, as an important number of our distinguished compatriots like our National Hero Jose Marti, General Maximo Gomez and General Antonio Maceo found asylum and support in Jamaica and worked from here for the definitive freedom of Cuba. That’s why the name of Jamaica is frequently mentioned in our history books, and from an early age our children develop sentiments of friendship and gratitude to this sister Caribbean nation.

Cuba and Jamaica have much in common: We have the same geography, share the same roots, have waged similar struggles, and currently face common challenges. During these 45 years of intense relations much has been done for the benefit of both peoples. Diplomatic and political ties have strengthened through the permanent dialogue, different exchanges and countless visits by both Cuban and Jamaican heads of state and government officials. Concrete positive results have been achieved as part of the efforts to increase the ties of friendship and solidarity.

The Cuban Government and party, interpreting the sentiments of our people, has always been at the disposition to assist the Government of Jamaica in the noble task to increase the quality of life of its people. Of course, one cannot talk about bilateral collaboration without mentioning the fundamental contribution by former Prime Minister Michael Manley and Fidel Castro Ruz, as well as other honourable prime ministers, legislators and ministers.

There have been diverse spheres in which both governments and peoples have cooperated during these 45 years. Up to the present, Cuba and Jamaica have signed 14 collaboration agreements in different areas like health, education, construction, and for the economic and scientific-technical cooperation.

To Cuba, a Third-World country with limited resources, cooperation is not about to give what it has left, but to share what it has with those nations in need. Our Cuban collaborators came to Jamaica guided by this principle, and their selfless work is widely paid back with the brotherly love of the Jamaican people.

The hundreds of Cuban doctors, nurses and teachers that have worked and continue to work in Jamaica can be found in both urban and remote rural communities. Collaboration in the health sphere started in 1976 with 14 doctors who were placed at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital, Westmoreland.

In 1991, the bilateral cooperation in the field was relaunched. Under the agreement between the Ministry of Health of Jamaica and the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba, more than 1,300 Cuban health professionals have worked in all regions of Jamaica.

On different occasions, Cuban health specialists and researchers have assisted Jamaica in different campaigns: In 2006-2007, five Cuban investigators joined the fight against malaria in Jamaica; in 2014, two Cuban lecturers from the Institute of Tropical Diseases travelled to this country to train Jamaican health care personnel in the fight against Ebola. In the same year, Cuban professionals supported Jamaicans in the strategy to treat and end the chikungunya virus.

Thousands of Jamaicans have also benefited from Operation Miracle, a noble campaign to treat all those persons from the region affected with curable eye diseases. From 2005 to 2010, Jamaica was among the countries that sent patients to receive eye surgeries in Cuba. During this period, 5,906 Jamaicans travelled to Cuba and 4,698 of them received surgeries to restore their eyesight.

On July 28, 2009, an ophthalmology centre was established in Kingston and the first Cuban Brigade arrived on January 10, 2010. Up to the present, the Operation Miracle Brigade has carried out 113,404 consultations, and 16,361 patients have received surgeries, 6,305 of them from cataracts.

At present, 194 Cuban health collaborators work in Jamaica under the Agreement for Technical Cooperation and Operation Miracle. As well as Cuban teachers, they permanently feel the sentiments of sincere gratitude from the Jamaican people and this constitutes their main engine to continue contributing to the Government’s efforts to enhance the quality of health care services in Jamaica.

Under the scholarship programme of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, 118 Jamaican students have graduated from medical sciences specialities, mostly as medical doctors. Each year, a group of Jamaican students are granted these scholarships targeted at those youth who do not have the financial resources to pay for their studies. This year, eight students were awarded this possibility. There were also eight in 2016 and seven in 2015.

Overall, and up to 2016, 640 Jamaicans have graduated in Cuba in different areas — 296 in health care specialisations; 205 in tertiary education; 77 in sports education and 14 as teachers.

Just this year, cooperation in education is celebrating its 20th anniversary. During Congress Pedagogy 1997, held in Havana, first steps were taken and a letter of intent was signed between the ministers of education of both countries. The document set the foundation for the establishment of collaboration in the field. The first Cuban teachers arrived in Jamaica in 1998 to work at primary and secondary-level educational institutions.

In 2000, an agreement was signed with the HEART Trust to have Cuban lecturers in technical centres and to also send Jamaican students to be trained in technical specialities in Cuba.

During these fruitful years, 300 Cuban teachers have worked in all regions of Jamaica, in 29 primary schools, 17 secondary schools and three universities, teaching mainly Spanish but other subjects too. Currently there are 59 Cuban teachers working with the same enthusiasm and dedication of the first day.

Both the governments of Jamaica and Cuba currently undergo efforts to take the economic-commercial relations to the same level as the political-diplomatic ties. Concrete results have been achieved with specific accords and ongoing negotiations between Cuban and Jamaican enterprises that will lead to an increase of trade exchanges benefiting the two economies.

The future ahead is one of strong bilateral/multilateral efforts and advancement as new challenges and projects are settled like the development of trade and commerce, the improvement of sea and air connectivity, the strengthening of our capacity to reduce disaster risks, the promotion of energy integration and sustainable tourism, as well as the cooperation on multi-destination tourism, among others.

Furthermore, Cuba and Jamaica will continue advancing in the project for the creation of the Regional School of Arts of the Caribbean — a noble idea proposed during the V Caricom-Cuba Summit aiming to create an arts educational centre in Jamaica at which talented Caribbean youth can have access to a high level of free artistic training.

The different struggles endured by Cuba during the years of the revolution have received the valiant and permanent defence of the Jamaican people. In our long battle to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against the people of Cuba for almost 60 years, Jamaica’s solidarity has been key at regional and multilateral fora. The Cuban people deeply treasure the fact that the Parliament of Jamaica has adopted resolutions against this cruel policy for nine consecutive years.

The Cuban people shall never forget the heartfelt mobilisation of the Jamaican people during the sad hours that followed the demise of the historical Leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro, and the participation of a high-level delegation led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the State funeral, or the sincere sentiments of condolence extended by close friends of Cuba and Fidel, like former prime ministers P J Patterson and Portia Simpson Miller.

Much has been done during these decades of fruitful relations, and certainly much is left to be done to further strengthen these ties. Cuba commits to continue working with the Government of Jamaica and to keep on supporting its people in the various areas it currently does.

Cuba will also remain confident of the steadfast friendship and solidarity of the Jamaican Government and beloved people. The sympathy of the Jamaican people for Cuba can be felt by us all in this land and it’s among our most treasured possessions.

We can continue repeating the words of appreciation expressed by Fidel Castro during his visit to Jamaica to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Michael Manley, in 1998: “Our eternal gratitude for your support; our deepest thanks for the lessons we have learned here in Jamaica.”

 

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

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Treachery! – Award of Excellence to PM of Dominican Republic

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen (left) confers President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina Sánchez with the Order of Excellence during a State luncheon at King’s House recently. (Photos: JIS) 

In support of David Commissong’s letter in the Jamaica Observer of December 7, 2017, titled ‘J’cans should protest honour given to Dom Rep president’, I wish to state that I do a radio programme entitled Bitter Sugar, which takes its name from the book Bitter Sugar written by Maurice Lemoine, a French journalist.

A summary reads: “The book is dedicated to the memory of Millien Beaubrun, Haitian cane cutter, murdered on 7th July 1980, shot in the back with 15 bullets of an M-1 rifle, at the Palmajero Military post on the Catarey sugar factory property in the Dominican Republic. His crime was unpardonable. He had refused to continue to work without pay. He said no to slavery.”

Millien Beaubrun is one of the millions of our Haitian brothers and sisters who have been murdered in the Dominican Republic on the cane plantations.

Did Prime Minister Andrew Holness, or his advisors, have knowledge of these facts before they gave honour to the president of the Dominican Republic who visited the island recently?

Holness, history will never forget such treachery!

Miguel Lorne

Monica Bernard Building

75 East Street

Kingston

headstartp@hotmail.com

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STATEMENT FROM JAMAICAN ORGANIZATIONS IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE BOLIVARIAN REVOLUTION

Last Sunday December 10, 2017, the people of Venezuela spoke, as over 9 million voters (0ver 47% of registered voters) cast their ballots to elect the mayors in 335 municipalities in all the national territory.

Congratulations Venezuela, on an exemplary democratic exercise where 3 elections were held over a period of 6 months with the highest level of international election scrutiny, confirming the position of former United States president Jimmy Carter that, ‘Venezuela has one of the fairest elections in the world.

A position which was further underlined by the more than 50 representatives from the Council of Electoral Experts of Latin America(CEELA) who gave their seal of approval to the National Electoral Council(CNE) final count of 308 seats for the ruling PSUV, 26 for the opposition parties and 1 for an independent party.

The people of Venezuela have spoken in no uncertain terms of their support for dialogue and peace as the foundation on which they will build the kind of society where the fruits of their labour are enjoyed by all, and not only by  the  local oligarchs and its foreign masters.

Lets  honour the legacies of Bolivar,  Marti , Chavez and Fidel as we stand in solidarity with our Bolivarian brothers and sisters against  US imperialism and their local minions, and  their efforts to thwart the progress of our sister country’s  path  for economic independence, a better life for its people and regional cooperation based on peace, solidarity and internationalism.

 

Jamaica Peace COUNCIL

Jamaica Cuba Friendship Association

Friends in Solidarity with Venezuela

Jamaica LANDS

Friends of Cuba

Venceremos

 

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Chavismo Triumphant in Municipal Elections: 15 Key Factors – Mision Verdad

In its first bulletin, the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced the participation of 9,139,564 voters, 47.32 percent of those registered in the electoral roll. Although the results of several municipalities in the country had not been defined at the time of the announcement, 97.02 percent of the tally sheets had been processed and awarded more than 300 of the 335 municipalities to Chavismo in this electoral event.

Another relevant fact: Chavismo also won the governorship of Zulia, the demographically most important state in the country whose election for Governor had to be repeated.

In a first analysis of these results it is appropriate to analyze a set of factors:

1. Triumphant run for Chavismo

From the end of July of this year until December 10, in only 140 days, there have been three electoral processes in Venezuela: the election to the National Constituent Assembly, elections of governors and the latter municipal elections. In these three processes, Chavismo has remoralized and re-empowered its electoral mobilizing capacity with clear victories. This is not a minor fact, understanding that the anti-Chavez narrative inside and outside Venezuela consistently accused chavismo of not wanting to measure themselves electorally.

In fact, Chavismo increased its vote considerably in these elections: 945,746 more votes compared to regional elections this year. The opposite happened with the opposition, which fell sharply by 2,103,575 in total votes at national level, which refutes the weak argument of anti-Chavismo about abstentionism on both side, which the private corporate media said was the main factor in these elections.

The mediocre media also repeats the myth that Chavismo did not have opponents in these municipal elections. Another fallacious argument, since multiple opposition candidates ran. This is how Chavismo finished with 3,767,827 votes more than the anti-Chavez aspirants to mayorships, a comparative figure that exceeds the votes obtained by the revolutionary forces in the municipal elections of 2013, the governor elections in 2012, and all of the election won by Chavismo since the presidential elections of 2012.

Other important data:

  • Chavismo obtained 6,517,605 votes in total (70 percent), the opposition 2,749,778 votes in total (29 percent).
  • The Bolivarian Revolution won 308 mayoralties (92 percent), while the opposition won 25 (7 percent) and only two for other parties (1 percent).
  • More than 72 political parties received votes. Jorge Rodriguez, head of the Zamora 200 Campaign Command, at a press conference said this confirms that the opposition participated in the process.

2. Political peace and votes

The aspirations of those looking to push Venezuela into a civilian confrontation sponsored by anti-chavism was dismantled in these elections. The power of the vote as a political weapon has managed to contravene the imposition of violence that destabilized Venezuela during 2017. On this particular aspect, President Nicolas Maduro has focused tiressly on seeking electoral ways to prevent the naked violence that has deteriorated the political and social fabric of the country.

3. The electoral readiness of Chavismo

Chavismo once again put to the test their abilities as conveners and electoral mobilizers, establishing their force as an undisputed, very difficult to defeat kind of political force, even in times of economic and social adversity. This implies that the political capital of Chavismo has not been eroded. This result infers, in addition, that the Chavista identity has been reaffirmed as well as the increasingly efficient use of its mobilization structures. It is also noticeable according to the electoral behavior from important social strata, that in Venezuela the economic context does not have a directly proportional impact on the political, although it does condition the climate of a secondary election like the municipal ones.

4. Some statistics are reset again

The Venezuelan opposition and in particular Julio Borges and other anti-Chavez leaders have insisted, even up to the month of November, that the rejection of Chavismo is equal to or greater than 80 percent of the population. The figures of electoral participation and the results that place Chavismo as a loose political majority leave these affirmations without a mathematical basis, a fundamental basis for the propaganda of international media and the sanctions of foreign governments.

5. Did abstention win?

Certainly the participation of 47.32 percent of the electoral registry leaves, as has seldom happened in times of chavismo, an abstention higher than 50 percent. This will be an element used by the anti-chavista narrative to delegitimize the results and the vitality of the Venezuelan political system. The most negative electoral precedent was in the parliamentary elections of 2005, when anti-Chavismo withdrew and participation was 23 percent. These municipal elections were atypical in the sense that they were not held in conjunction with the governor elections, which also weakened the convening power of the participating organizations. The last regional elections with the low participation were the regional elections of 2012 with 52.85 percent. For the Venezuelan electoral standards, in these elections the participation was relatively low, but higher than the standards for elections in other Latin American countries whose “healthy democracies” do not receive pressures and sanctions from the big centers of global power. The most emblematic case comes from Chile, where mid-November presidential, parliamentary and regional elections were held and abstention was almost 55 percent.

6. The capitals

Chavismo won at least 20 of the 24 state capitals in the country, including the Capital District, Caracas. It won municipalities among the most densely populated in the country (Maracaibo, Barquisimeto, Puerto Ordaz, Valencia, Sucre, among others) and stands in emblematic cities of different states, deepening its political reach in territories that had not seen Chavista victories in municipalities for years.

7. Polarization persists

Chavismo and the opposition political parties remain the two solid pillars of the electoral arena in Venezuela. The electoral results diluted all political aspirations of independent opposition candidacies and others who called themselves Chavistas but ran in parallel. In the case of this second group, they did not significantly diminish the support of the Chavista base to the PSUV and dissident Chavismo showed itself to be a phenomenon with digital presence (in digital media and networks) rather than as a real political force and mobilizer. The most significant case was the victory of Erika Farías in Libertador with 66.17 percent of the votes (491,328), which cleared the doubts about whether the candidacy of Eduardo Saman could contest for a good part of the electoral mass of Chavista Caracas outside the PSUV.

8. Management in the current context

A mobilizing element of Chavismo in these elections has been the response capacity of the central government within the framework of the current economic situation. Despite not being able to fully control the escalation of prices of basic staples, the political and economic management of the government focused on protecting the population through the CLAPs and the Carnet de la Patria, focusing on social programs and serving the population that faces a daily battle with speculation. This undoubtedly was a mobilizing factor of the Chavista vote.

9. Chavismo did defeat the opposition

Prior to these elections, three of the 24 parties that make up the Venezuelan opposition decided not participate in the municipal election: Democratic Action, Justice First and Popular Will, organizations that call themselves the most important within the opposition. With this they tried to create the perception that Chavismo was going uncontested in these elections. However, the vast majority of their local leaders were placed on the ballots for other parties and did not camouflage their participation in this contest, improvising alliances with other organizations and also counting on the logistical and financial resources of their parties, who in theory were not participating. The result of such a fatal strategy was an ambiguous presentation to the electorate of the opposition standard-bearers.

10. Division in anti-Chavismo

The lack of political cohesion of the opposition is being felt, to the point of maximizing its tactical dismemberment. In these municipal elections, the divisions of the opposition vote among several anti-Chavez candidates competing for the same municipality were evident. The phenomenon of fragmentation was national and this dramatically minimized their chances. The internal struggle in anti-Chavismo due to the personal aspirations of its leaders made it impossible for them to put forward unified single candidacies in many of the municipalities, thereby sacrificing the aspirations of their own followers of winning or maintaining municipalities for the opposition.

11. The abstention factor

Anti-Chavismo continues to grapple with the dramatic effects of its violent escalation earlier this year, which fragmented the opposition across the board from its leaders to its followers. Many of these have separated from the Democratic Unity Table (MUD) because of the violence of 2017, now seeing this organization as politically inconvenient, however many supporters of this coalition have withdrawn support for its leaders once they stopped their destabilizing acts to dialogue with the Chavismo in “search of electoral guarantees.” For this second group, radicalized by triumphalist expectations created, the MUD was “domesticated” by Chavismo and they are now assumed to be “traitors.” Opposition abstention increased the chances for Chavismo in many municipalities.

12. The local management factor

Many municipalities in the hands of the MUD have passed into the hands of Chavismo, which is also explained by the exhaustion of the coalition as a vehicle for local management. The emblematic case is the Sucre municipality in Miranda state. The political malpractice of opposition mayors, who declared themselves “without resources” and have allowed their municipalities to collapse so as to blame the central government, had the outcome of the “abstention punishment” of the anti-Chavista electoral base. MUD in smaller communities is not a real reference for “change” and improvement of the basic life conditions of the population.

13. The inertia of electoral depression

Anti-Chavismo looks demoralized, politically disarticulated and clearly demobilized. A general sense of uneasiness, which became more pronounced after the regional elections in October, weighed on them during the municipal elections. Opposition people don’t feel driven by their leaders and are generally characterized by political apathy.

14. The year 2017 ends

President Maduro has been presented as the main Chavista contender for presidential elections next year. Ending 2017 as the leading political strategist, overcoming unprecedented challenges and against all odds. He also consolidated a broad social base that has been remoralized, reorganized and mobilized, after Chavismo was insistently singled out as a political force on the verge of disappearance. Put another way: there are few references that can be said to have made such a political turnaround in the recent history of the country, and Maduro has achieved it.

15. Presidential Elections

The call for presidential elections will be determined by the National Constituent Assembly and the dialogues that Chavismo is holding with the opposition in the Dominican Republic. Anti-Chavismo has not consolidated a visible leadership that brings together its political forces with a view to next year, and in fact, the mere fact that this stage of dialogue has begun has deepened its internal divisions.

In closing

The challenges of anti-Chavismo are still consolidating a solid leadership and unity, reaching higher levels of tactical and strategic cohesion and, on the other hand, establishing itself as a real alternative force, with a single project. As a political group they have not achieved any of this in 18 years, since they have appeared briefly and intermittently “united”, but now he will have to consolidate everything in just months. Its only real strength is a social base with great discontent for the economic situation.

For Chavismo, the challenges point to the need to restore economic governance, make social protection mechanisms more efficient, relaunch and reinforce the relationship between the leadership of Chavismo and its bases, and on the other hand, to promote the Chavista identity to further remodel its political fabric, which looks revived and organized with the recent electoral victories.

 

http://misionverdad.com/MV-IN-ENGLISH/chavismo-triumphant-in-municipal-elections-15-key-factors

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Congratulations To The Victorious PSUV of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela!

FROM: CLEMENT PAYNE MOVEMENT OF BARBADOS & CARIBBEAN PEACE MOVEMENT

Congratulations To The PSUV !

To all the comrades, all the militants, all the foot soldiers and generals of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) we say – well done, well done, well done!

As far as we – your brothers and sisters of the islands of the Caribbean are concerned – you deserve nothing but praise and congratulations for rising to the challenge of facing down the merciless and unprincipled hordes of imperialism and oligarchy, defending the homeland, and earning the support and confidence of the broad masses of the Venezuelan people.

What wonderful news it was when we learnt that the PSUV and its allies had won 308 of the 335 municipalities; 23 of 24 state capitals; and the governorship of the state of Zulia!

What a resounding victory for Socialism, for Internationalism, for humanity itself! What a victory for President Maduro. And what a victory for us as well – those of us in the progressive forces of the Caribbean who have kept the faith and struggled with and for the great Bolivarian Revolution of “our America”. Those of us who are aware that the Bolivarian Revolution is our Revolution as well.

Surely the great and eternal Commander Hugo Chavez must be smiling today!

And yes, we know that it would be wise for all of us to remain aware that this is only one accomplishment in a massive and difficult mission that lies ahead. Indeed, we are only too well aware that many are the enemies and the challenges that President Maduro and his fellow Bolivarian revolutionaries will have to face in the weeks and months ahead. But even while we keep a watchful and wary eye on the future, surely this is a time for celebration.

And so, we summon our great Caribbean poet– Martin Carter– to address the following immortal words to President Maduro and our PSUV brothers and sisters:-

 

“Comrades the world is loud with songs of freedom
Mankind is breeding heroes every day
On high the scarlet banner flies aloft
Below the earth re-echoes liberty!”

 

Warm regards,

DAVID COMISSIONG
President
Clement Payne Movement

&

Caribbean Peace Movement

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Venezuela Election: Socialists Win Zulia Governorship, Nearly Sweep State Capitals

Venezuela

The PSUV and allies took 308 of the 335 municipalities up for grabs in Sunday’s election.

Candidates for Venezuela’s Socialist Party took 23 of 24 state capitals as well as the governorship for the state of Zulia, election authorities announced, as they released partial results in Sunday’s municipal election.

“These elections were accompanied by 9,139,564 voters,” announced Sandra Oblitas, vice president of the National Electoral Council, or CNE, amounting to 47.32 percent voter turn out.

CNE officials presented partial results for the capitals of the 23 states as well as Caracas, with candidates for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) taking all but the top mayor position in Tachira state.

Omar Prieto of the PSUV also won the governorship for the state of Zulia, leaving the PSUV in all but four of the country’s 23 states. The post in the key state was vacated after the opposition politician who won the Oct. 15 regional elections refused to be sworn in by the Constituent Assembly.

Overall, the PSUV and allies took 308 of the 335 municipalities up for grabs in Sunday’s election.

 

 

 

 

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Trump Continues Obama’s Wars Against Democracy – Eric Zuesse, Global Research

U.S. President Trump’s bold support for the apartheid dictatorship of Israel against the nation’s non-Jews, fits into a larger picture of the supremacist nation that America itself has increasingly become. His immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, had repeatedly referred to the United States as being the only indispensable nation — that all others are “dispensable” — such as when President Obama addressed America’s future military leaders, at West Point, on 28 May 2014, by telling them:

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.

He was telling the military that America’s economic competition, against the BRICS nations, is a key matter for America’s military, and not only for America’s private corporations; that U.S. taxpayers fund America’s military at least partially in order to impose the wills and extend the wealth of the stockholders in America’s corporations abroad; and that the countries against which America is in economic competition are “dispensable” but America “is and remains the one indispensable nation.” This, supposedly, also authorizes America’s weapons and troops to fight against countries whose “governments seek a greater say in global forums.” In other words: Stop the growing economies from growing faster than America’s. There is another name for the American Government’s supremacist ideology. This term is “fascism.”

The reality, not talked about in public (since America isn’t a democracy), is that the United States Government propagandizes against foreign governments and then perpetrates coups and/or military invasions against them, in order to impose the U.S. empire’s dictatorial stooges, and then to crush whatever democracy had existed there. This U.S. fascism didn’t happen only in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and Chile in 1973, but it happens also today, long after the ‘anti-communist’ excuse for it had ended in 1991.

Examples will be cited here, and the silenced lessons will be drawn from them, about the actual nature of the post-1952 U.S. Government — the global fascist victory that has increasingly emerged after the immediate ashes of fascism’s global defeat in 1945. This far-right, imperialist or “neoconservative,” international ideology has risen like a phoenix from those physical ashes of World War II, and has increasingly won — led by the U.S. Government — against the shrinking democratic world, and now seriously threatens to bring World War III to finish it, against the now non-communist lone nation of Russia, after the U.S. and its so-called ‘capitalist’ (but actually and increasingly fascist) NATO military alliance had won the ideological Cold War, and the communist Soviet Union broke up and ended its Warsaw Pact military alliance in 1991, while the U.S. secretly continued its side of the Cold War and has already brought into its anti-Russian NATO alliance virtually all of the Warsaw Pact nations, and all nations except Russia from the former Soviet Union.

The grim global reality is that the U.S. Government has become the world’s leading fascist nation. (And people around the world — outside the U.S. — already know it.)

When U.S. President Barack Obama came into office in 2009, one of the first international problems he had to deal with was a Honduran coup (probably — but not provably — pre-approved by the U.S. White House) that occurred on 28 June 2009, overthrowing the democratically elected progressive President of Honduras and replacing him with a junta who were selected by that country’s dozen aristocrats (or “oligarchs”), who practically own the country. On 16 October 2013, I headlined “Hillary Clinton’s Two Foreign-Policy Catastrophes”, and the main “catastrophe” detailed there was her having assisted those oligarchs (Honduras’s aristocratic families) to keep their new dictatorship in power despite the U.S. Ambassador’s cable to Clinton, from Honduras’s capital, informing her that there would be no legal way to do it. She ignored his comment, persisted at propping up the imposed regime; and Obama remained publicly silent and followed-through by his actions with his Secretary of State’s position, which position was to keep the oligarchs in power despite the opposition not only of the Honduran public but of almost every government in the world against the newly installed Honduran dictatorship — and the U.S. regime kept the coup-regime in power and thus forced the end of Honduras’s brief democracy — and promptly, and for years afterward, Honduras’s murder-rate and drug-trafficking soared.

Then, in February 2014, Obama himself perpetrated a very bloody coup in Ukraine overthrowing the democratically elected Government there and replacing it with a racist-fascist anti-Russian regime that promptly began a years-long ethnic-cleansing program to eliminate the people in the regions of Ukraine that had voted the most heavily — ranging from 75% to over 90% — for the President and legislature whom Obama had overthrown. (Getting rid of these Ukrainian voters was necessary to Obama because if they still lived in Ukraine, then the Obama-installed Ukrainian regime would quickly be elected out of office, and his coup-regime on Russia’s doorstep would end.)

Donald Trump constantly criticizes both Obama and Clinton for many things, but as the U.S. President he continues their most evil policies, and he sometimes imposes far-right policies that are even worse. One of the instances of this is Honduras, where Trump continues Obama’s policies, even in the face of its now especially clear recent repudiation by Hondurans at the election-polls: the Trump regime had actually trained the Honduran regime on how to rig the vote-count in preparation for the latest Honduran national election, which occurred on November 26th. However, since that election, the many public demonstrations against the official outcome, by courageous Honduran democrats and sometimes in the face of police bullets, are making unexpectedly embarrassing the U.S. dictator’s support of the Honduran regime’s crackdowns against the Honduran public.

Regarding the Ukrainian regime that Obama had imposed, candidate Trump was anti-Obama, and on 1 August 2016 in Harrisonburg PA he said, about Crimea, “You want to have World War III to get it back?” (He assumed that ‘we’ had ‘had’ Crimea, but his pro-imperialist audience went along with that aggressive nationalistic and obviously false assumption.) However, on 2 February 2017, President Trump’s official policy regarding this matter turned out to be the exactly the same policy as Obama’s, when CNN headlined “UN Ambassador Haley hits Russia hard on Ukraine” and reported: 

The US ambassador to the United Nations offered a strong condemnation of Russia in her first appearance at the UN Security Council on Thursday, calling on Moscow to de-escalate violence in eastern Ukraine and saying that US sanctions against Moscow would remain in place until it withdraws from Crimea.

“The United States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea,” said Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump’s envoy to the world body. “Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.”

In other words: Trump’s policy is that only if Russia repudiates and rejects the 90%+ desire of the residents of Crimea to be Russians and not to be expelled from Crimea or else killed by the rabidly anti-Russian Obama-imposed Ukrainian dictatorship, will Trump even so much as consider ending the U.S. economic and other sanctions against Russia. This is Obama’s policy, and Trump’s policy. And NATO’s pouring U.S. and other hostile troops and weapons near and even onto Russia’s borders is likewise ‘justified’ by this position.

Trump likewise continues Obama’s policy against Syria, which is a nation that has long been a crucial ally of Russia, though not on Russia’s border as Ukraine is. Obama came into office with a secret plan to conquer Syria, and it was fully operational by 2012, when some dissidents within the U.S. intelligence community privately objected up the chain-of-command, against Obama’s then-increasing reliance upon Al Qaeda in Syria for providing the training and leadership of the U.S.-and-Saudi-selected-and-funded ’moderate rebels’ who were America’s “boots on the ground” to bring down Syria’s Government, which was and remains led by Bashar al-Assad.

However, just as Victor Yanukovych had won the Presidency of Ukraine in 2010 on the promise of keeping Ukraine as a free and independent sovereign nation answerable only to Ukrainian citizens, Assad won Syria’s first-ever democratic election in 2014 by promising to keep Syria as a free sovereign nation answerable only to Syrian citizens — but as one that’s allied with both Russia and Iran, against the U.S. and its pro-jihadist allies. In repeated Western-sponsored polling of Syrians, even during the U.S.-Saudi-UAE-and-allied invasion of Syria by tens of thousands of imported foreign jihadists who demand Sharia law for Syrians, every poll shows that well over 50% of Syrian citizens want Assad to continue leading the country. But America’s dictators have different ideas.

As regards Ukraine, the U.S. stooge-regime is trying to outlaw the teaching and speaking of the Russian language there, and to encourage the takeover, by force, of orthodox churches (considered “pro-Russian”), by Catholic and Protestant ones there.

As regards Syria, the Trump Administration has repeatedly indicated its intention never to end the U.S. military occupation of Syria, though this would (if the U.S. military occupation of Syria were to become permanent like in Afghanistan and Iraq) entail a war, in Syria, between Syria’s invited defender Russia, versus Syria’s uninvited enemy the United States occupiers there, which would quickly escalate into a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia — WW III. The U.S. regime expects to ‘win’ such a war.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-continues-obamas-wars-against-democracy/5622325

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

This article was originally published by Strategic Culture Foundation.

Featured image is from SCF.

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IF JERUSALEM IS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL, THEN WASHINGTON IS BOLIVIA’S CAPITAL – Lalu Hanuman

Secretary of CAAP, Lalu Hanuman (R), speaking to Dr. David Abdullah, Director of MEMO. (Photo: Barbados Advocate)

Trump recently declared Jerusalem as being Israel’s capital. The Bolivians have a much stronger moral claim to Washington as their capital, than Zionists have to Jerusalem as their capital. After all, the ancestral cousins of the indigenous peoples of Bolivia only relatively recently lived on the site of Washington D.C. before they were forcibly removed and indeed murdered by the ancestors of the current occupants in the sixteenth century. Whereas the Zionists now claiming Jerusalem as theirs, had their ancestors expelled from Jerusalem by Roman [read Italian] forces two thousand years ago.

The innocent Palestinians who are today paying for German [read Hitler’s] crimes by having had the State of Israel imposed on them by the United Nations in 1947, despite having been in occupation of the land of Palestine for some two thousand years, and protecting the holy sites in Jerusalem for that period, are today either living in the bombed prison that Gaza constitutes. Otherwise they are living in Bantustans under Zionist military occupation in the West Bank, or since 1948 languishing in squalid refugee camps in neighbouring countries. Others are  living as second-class citizens in the apartheid state of Israel.

Morally the State of Israel if it were to be established anywhere, should have been in either Italy or Germany – or perhaps even in England given the sordid Balfour Declaration.

The Jerusalem declaration by Trump is a flagrant breach of international law. From the United Nations Partition Resolution 181 of 1947 to the present, there have been numerous United Nations Resolutions that assert that Jerusalem is either to be under international control, or in effect divided between Israel and a Palestinian State. Israel seized East Jerusalem in the 1967 war that it initiated, and has since then illegally annexed East Jerusalem. Israel has denied its resident Arab population house building permits, while granting permission to thousands of Zionists to build there, in manifest breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 which prohibits countries from moving populations into territories occupied in a war. Article 49(6) of the convention clearly states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

The timing of Trump’s recent declaration is a convenient distraction from his domestic woes, and indeed a useful distraction also for Netanyahu who is facing corruption allegations. But in the words of the Arab League, it is “oxygen and nutrition to terrorists”. These sentiments were echoed by Palestinian Authority officials who condemned Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying the decision would bolster extremists’ calls for holy wars. This will have global implications, including for us here in the Caribbean as it is the imposition of the State of Israel on stolen Palestinian land which has ultimately led to the coming into existence of groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Revealingly Israeli Dr. Yair Hirschfeld, one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, said he believed that while Trump’s declaration may be a dangerous move, this might be an opportunity to restart talks with the Palestinians, “who may now have more realistic expectations”. Manifestly the intent behind Trump’s declaration is to further Zionist objectives and to destroy any slim Palestinian chances for a viable state, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We in the Caribbean must call upon our Governments to immediately recognise East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital, because to paraphrase Trump’s Jerusalem declaration “it is the right thing to do”.

Article by Lalu Hanuman, Attorney-at-law and Secretary of the Barbadian based “Caribbean Against Apartheid in Palestine”.

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The Palestinian Committee for Peace and Solidarity (PCPS) Salutes Global Solidarity with Against Trump’s Declaration on Jerusalem

The Palestinian Committee for Peace and Solidarity (PCPS) salutes all peace loving people all over the world for their position of solidarity with the Palestinian people and their condemnation of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as “capital of Israel”  which constitutes a violation of International law and all relevant UN resolutions about Jerusalem which consider Jerusalem as part of occupied the Palestinian land and its eastern part and as a capital of future Palestinian state.

The PCPS is calling upon  WPC member organisations to continue their actions of solidarity with  the just struggle of Palestinian people in order to end the occupation and for an independent State within the borders of June 4th 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital , for the right of refugees to return according to the UN resolution 194 and the release of the Palestinian political prisoners from Israeli jails.

While we appreciate the statements of condemnation , we urge you to take up practical actions to isolate US imperialist policies and aggression against the peoples of the world and to force Donald Trump to  cancel his decision and at the same time exercise pressure on the governments in the countries, to recognize Palestine, as well as in the UN, as full member State.

                                                                        Ramallah/Palestine 9th December 2017

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World Peace Council Denounces the Drive to a New War in the Persian Gulf!

WPC denounces the drive to a new war in the Persian Gulf!

We support the just peace and demand the end of imperialist manoeuvres in the
region!

The developments in the Middle East over recent months have taken a sharp turn
towards militarisation and outright conflict – and even the start of a new war in the region due to the meddling of the US, Saudi and Israeli governments in fanning the flames in the region.

The recent decision by the US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel, his decision in declining to certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)’s interim approval; the continued provocative statements of Israeli Premier, Benjamin Netanyahu; the Israeli military aggression on Syrian territory; the attempt by the Saudi government to plunge Lebanon into a deep crisis by forcing the visiting Lebanese premier, Saad Hariri, to resign his post while blaming Iran of destabilising policies towards Lebanon add up to create a more dangerous atmosphere in the Middle East. To this potent mixture we should add the continuation of the imperialist aggression in Yemen, where thousands ofcivilians have been killed and tens of thousands of innocent people are trapped in a war imposed on them by the reactionary governments of the neighbouring countries and the Saudi led coalition.

The “declaration of war” on Iran by the Bahraini government also represents a very dangerous development that could well engulf another part of the region in a devastating war. It is in such a tense situation that we witness the US actively and directly encouraging the development of closer and more open ties between the Israeli and Saudi governments as the spearhead to their powerful military alliance in the region directed against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The WPC is seriously concerned about the provocative statements and threats emanating from US Imperialism directed against Iran which have taken on an increasingly dangerous dimension since Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia – where he finalized a massive $300 billion arms deal – and then Israel, in May 2017. Two weeks ago, the Executive Committee of the WPC meeting in Hanoi stated its serious concern about the new threats of the US administration and Israel against Iran, in the light of the possible retreat of the US from the international accord on nuclear activity signed by its previous administration and the other permanent UN Security Council members. The dangers of anescalation of the conflict are clearly reflected in the sharply deteriorating relations betweenSaudi Arabia and Iran.

The WPC strongly denounces the US, the EU, NATO and Israel for playing an
especially negative role in the developments spreading destabilization, militarism and war in the Middle East, along with the ruling reactionary forces in Turkey and the Persian Gulf monarchies (particularly Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) that actively promote the interests of the monopolies, using all political, economic and military means at their disposal. The WPC demands the end to all of the above and supports the right of the people of the Middle East to freely decide their matters alone and without outside interference.

The WPC calls upon all of the peace supporting forces of the world to intensify their
campaigns directed towards the prevention of a new war and military adventure in the Middle East. We defend the principles of the founding Charter of the UN, which are being trampled and abused by imperialism.

The WPC reaffirms its solidarity with the people of Iran and its peace loving forces,
against any foreign interference in their affairs and in support of their struggle for social, political and people’s rights in all spheres.

The WPC calls for the strengthening of the struggle against imperialist wars and
militarism, for peace and disarmament and for the solidarity with the just causes of the
peoples of the region

.
The Secretariat

WPC Athens

8th December 2017

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Hail the Man Michael Manley on His Birthday – Conversation with Friends

Today, December 10, 2017, friends shared reflections on Michael Manley.  As we posted back and forth, we realized that he was not appreciated enough for the many initiatives  that changed the lives of the Jamaican people.

We share some of the posts below:

Happy birthday to the best Prime Mininster we have had in our 55 years of Independence. He had the guts to stand up against imperialism, defend our national sovereignty, defend the anti-apartheid movement, break the isolation of Cuba in the region, promote integration, stand with the Non-Aligned Movement, establish relations with the Soviet Union, support national liberation movements in Latin American and all over the world, give us a strong and progressive voice in international fora such as the UN…………..

Here at home he dared to break down racial and social barriers, remove the stigma against children born out of wedlock, establish the Minimum Wage Act, promote worker participation and the formation of cooperatives, strengthen the role of the trade unions with the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, establish the Maternity Leave Act, enter bilateral relations with Cuba and the Soviet Union thereby creating opportunities for young people to obtain full scholarships to study in Cuba and the Soviet Union, promote community organisation and enterprise, introduce price control, promote support for local industry………… he tried to lead us to full political and economic independence and he was punished for it. Hail the Man! HM

❤👊🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🥇

Well said. You have excluded the eastern giants who are on the verge of becoming the Number 1 economy in the world – the Chinese. ‘Joshua’ forged those relationships. That is now one of the mainstays of our economy. TB

❤👊🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🥇

Happy Birthday Michael Manley! You lit the contemporary fire for self reliance and anti-imperialism in our country. Eternal respects to you Joshua! M

❤👊🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🥇

Happy earth strong Michael, I will always remember the land lease program the micro dams, the AMC, also the many other programmes that were introduced to women at community levels such as baking, wine making and garment construction.  Also the Pioneer Corps. CR

❤👊🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🥇

National Youth Service….. promoted volunteer work on Labour Day where May 23 was an official holiday in tribute to the 1938 Workers Struggle. TB

❤👊🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🥇

But his peers hated him. They fled the island in droves, wrecking the economy and we still have not recovered. Those who fled were not much better off in Miami They ended up being poorer. WN

❤👊🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🥇

Indeed, indeed, a man with a vision and the requisite will to make it a reality, albeit, briefly. However, the seeds sown in the 70s have borne fruit and continues through those of us who were beneficiaries then. Let’s all continue to make a positive difference in service to our Jamaican people. Bless. R

❤👊🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🥇

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a Giant of post Independent Jamaica, our beloved Michael Manley. Many of us benefited from his free education policy at the tertiary level. He was the architect of land reform and massive housing projects. The NHT is one of his enduring legacies. Long live his memory. Blessings DR

❤👊🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🥇

I was just saying to a friend that I had forgotten to mention free education right through to university. He was disputing it and promised to check and get back to me. That was major. That is how many students from poor backgrounds made it to university.

If I am not mistaken, he also made healthcare free.

He also nationalized some businesses and hotels and introduced the Bauxite Levy. Before those changes, ordinary people did not go into hotels unless they worked there. The more we think about it, the more we realize how great his contributions were. HM

Rex Nettleford would call it SMADDITIZATION. HM

 

❤👊🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🥇

Only our phenomenal scholar Rex could have thought of such a unique Jamaican word being so deeply embedded in the culture as our people….. love it.

Paradoxically, though Michael Manley made education accessible to so many poor Jamaicans. It was many of those very same new “SMADITIZEES” (I hope I got it right Rex) as lawyers, educators, doctors etc who became some of his most vocal opponents.

Michael Manley said it in, I believe, his last interview. However, to his everlasting credit he also said he was at “peace” with his decision to pursue that and other policies to uplift those whose chances keep growing thinner! M

❤👊🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🥇

Tell the friend disputing “free education right through to university” to ask me. 👍🏽 I’ve lived it! WDLH

❤👊🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🥇

In adding to Micheals Manleys contribution. I refer you to a well written article by Arnold Bertram Sunday Gleaner Section G entitled ,”the fight to integrate commercial banks.”
In light of what is taking place around the world, including the upsurge of dislike of groups of people (blacks included),  I believe it is important in the technologically driven, hustle and bustle driven world to be reminded of the history, lest the children of the future slip obliviously right back into it . “Educacion es la unica forma de ser libre” Jose Marti’s words. A

❤👊🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🥇

THE WORD IS LOVE, MICHAEL! WE LOVE YOU MICHAEL FOR ALL THE THINGS YOU DID TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF ORDINARY JAMAICANS. YOUR LEGACY IS SAFE IN OUR HANDS. THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES.

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Haitian National, Myrtha De Sulme, Explains The Dominican Republic’s Injustice Against the Haitian People Which Should Have Disqualified the Prime Minister from Receiving Jamaica’s Highest Honour

On Saturday, December 9, Myrtha De Sulme was a guest on Professor Verene Shepherd’s popular morning talk show “Talking History” on Nationwide News Network. In this post, we share the conversation in which Myrtha spoke passionately about the historical background to the unjust mass deportation of black persons of Haitian descent who were either born in  the Dominican Republic or have lived there for decades, having gone there to work on the sugar-cane plantations. Subtitles have been used to highlight important aspects.

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Nationwide: The recent visit of the President of the Dominican Republic has sparked some degree of outrage among some people in Jamaica and the region, primarily because of the country’s treatment of Haitians.  Could you help our listeners to understand the history of Haiti-Dominican Republic relations, and explain why this history should have influenced Jamaica’s recent actions?

Myrtha DeSulme: Well, we have to start with Haiti’s independence, because the circumstances are important.

Historical Background to Haiti-Dominican Reublic Relations

Haiti won its independence in 1804, and it is:

  • the only country to ever win its independence as a result of a slave rebellion,
  • the first country to abolish slavery,
  • and the second country in the entire hemisphere to gain independence, after the US.

Haitians actually managed the unprecedented feat of singlehandedly beating all of the superpowers of their time, France, Britain, and Spain, who were all vying for the richest colony the world had ever known. After a 13-year war, they were finally able to wrest the colony from France, and declare themselves a Black Republic. But Haiti continued to be surrounded by hostile colonies, which refused to recognize a free Black republic, or Black people’s right to rule themselves, for that matter. The Haitians were therefore alone against the entire world, and constantly under threat. Remember that the whole world was suffering under the scourge of slavery and colonialism at that time, so Haiti had absolutely no allies.

In 1822, the Haitian rulers decided that in order to forestall any attempt by the European colonizers to return and attack them through the Dominican Republic, which was still a Spanish colony, it would be prudent to close that border, by expelling the Spanish, and taking over the DR. So the Haitians actually helped to free the Dominicans from Spanish colonialism, but the Dominicans considered that they were still occupied, because the Haitians took over from the Spanish to unite the island.

How the Dominican Republic’s Anti-Haiti and Anti-Black Stance Began

So, when the Dominicans got their independence in 1844, it wasn’t from Spain, but from Haiti. That consequently resulted in a fierce anti-Haitianism. When they were forging their identity as a nation during their struggle for independence, they identified with everything that was NOT Haitian. Haiti was Black and African. The Dominicans became obsessed with being seen as a White nation. Therefore, what essentially characterizes Haiti is its pride in its forefathers and its African heritage, its cultural and spiritual richness, which helped it to win independence. While what characterizes the Dominican Republic is it’s rejection of its Blackness, and its aspirations to being White, Spanish, and Catholic.

One of the most telling indicators of this is that both Haiti and the DR had statues of Columbus as the centerpieces of their capital cities, at the spot where Columbus landed. In 1986, after the popular uprising which overthrew the 29-year dictatorship of the Duvaliers, Haitians threw their statue of Columbus into the sea. Haiti, of course, is replete with statues of its Black heroes, while there are no Black statues in the DR, and Columbus continues to hold pride of place in their main square.

The Role of  US Occupation of Both Countries

This is the context in which the US entered the fray to play a very deleterious role, starting with their occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934, and simultaneous occupation of the DR from 1916 to 1924. The US was cultivating sugar, and they imported Haitians to work in the Dominican sugar cane plantations.  Many of these Haitians, who are being denationalized today have either been in the Dominican Republic since the 1920s, giving their lifeblood in the most inhumane conditions, to build up the enviable economic situation of the DR today, or they are descendants who were born in the DR, have never been anywhere else, know nothing else, do not speak French or Creole, and have no links to Haiti. Yet they are being forced to leave everything they have literally slaved for their entire lives, and tear their children and grandchildren from the only country, culture, and language they have ever known, to go and live in a desert wasteland in Haiti, because they have nothing and nowhere else to go. These people have been rendered stateless.

The Dominican Republic’s 2005 Supreme Court Ruling

Up to 2005, the DR had a jus soli law, which is what prevails in the US. It meant that anyone born in that country would be granted citizenship. In December 2005, the Dominican Supreme Court ruled that children of persons in an irregular migratory situation would be prevented from acquiring Dominican nationality based on the principle of jus soli recognized in the Dominican Constitution. Since then the authorities adopted a set of standards and judicial decisions which aim to denationalize people born in the DR, who descend from Haitian migrants.

Over the years, these practices have gradually expanded to other branches of the Dominican State. The process began with the practice of registry officials refusing to register the birth of children of Haitian migrants born in the Dominican Republic.

Case of the Yean and Bosico Girls vs. the Dominican Republic

In 2005, A Dominican lady of Haitian origin, by the name of Juliana Deguis Pierre, submitted an application to the Inter-American Court of Human rights (IACHR) against the Dominican State, charging that her children’s human and civil rights were being violated because they  were being denied their  birth certificates. Without the birth certificates, they could not get their cedula, which is their national identification card, without which they were deprived of a juridical personality. Without this legal personality, the children could not attend school, travel, or access health services. In fact, they became stateless non-entities, with no legal status and no rights. The Dominican court stated that there would be no mechanism to appeal this decision. This is known as the “Case of the Yean and Bosico Girls vs. the Dominican Republic”. In September of 2005, the IACHR ruled against the DR, on various grounds, that it was violating its own constitution, and had no right to maintain the girls in a situation of continued illegality and social vulnerability.

The court declared:

“The Authority of the State to determine who has a right to be a national is limited by their obligation to prevent, avoid, and reduce statelessness; and the fact that a person has been born on the territory of a State is the only fact that needs to be proven for the acquisition of nationality, in the case of those persons who would not have the right to another nationality if they did not acquire that of the State where they were born.”

The DR’s response in December 2005, was for the Dominican Supreme Court to decide to flout the international court’s ruling by now entrenching in law, that not only would the Yean and Bosico girls and others in the same situation, be denied their legal documents, but that ALL children of persons in an irregular migratory situation would be prevented from acquiring Dominican nationality.  The DR effectively rescinded its jus soli law.

The 2010 Amendment of Dominica Republic’s Constitution – Article 18

In 2010, the DR went one step further. It amended its constitution to add Article 18, which states that the only people who could obtain Dominican nationality were:

  • the sons and daughters of a Dominican mother or father,
  • those who had Dominican nationality before the new 2010 Constitution entered into force,
  • and persons born within the national territory, with the exception of the sons and daughters of foreign nationals who are members of diplomatic and consular representations, of foreign nationals in transit or of foreign nationals residing illegally within Dominican territory.

Now here comes the clincher: ”A person in transit is any foreign national defined as such under Dominican law.” You will see in a minute why that clause is important.

The 2013 Constitutional Court judgment 168/13 – retroactive to 1929

In 2013, the DR went even further. The Constitutional Court passed judgment 168/13, which established that only persons born in the Dominican Republic to Dominican parents or legal residents would be considered citizens. This interpretation was applied retroactively to all persons born between 1929 and 2010! This is where the “person in transit is any foreign national defined as such under Dominican law”, comes in handy for them. Because this clause is then extrapolated to the absurd implication that some who came in the 1930s could be considered to be “in transit” for over 80 years! This deprivation of Dominican nationality and legal status generates multiple human rights violations, because all human rights effectively derive from the right to citizenship.

The new interpretation of the Constitutional Court retroactively and arbitrarily deprived the right to Dominican nationality to 300,000 people who had been considered Dominicans during all of their lifetime, many of whom were registered at birth as Dominican nationals by the relevant authorities, and who throughout their lives had been granted identity documents such as IDs, electoral ID cards, and passports. But since the 168/13 judgement, these documents are now being denied to them, or even taken away. With no other nationality, this process has meant that these 300,000 people have effectively been rendered stateless.

The Impact of the 2013 Constitutional Court judgment 168 on the Lives of the 300,000 Persons it Affects

Without the cedula, or ID card, persons are not being allowed to register before the Civil Registry. Parents are unable to obtain birth certificates for their children. Seniors find that after years of backbreaking work in the horrific and degrading conditions of the sugar plantations, which have built up the DR economy, not to mention their contributions to social security, they cannot even access their pensions.

Adults are unable to pay contributions to Social Security. People cannot get married or divorced. They cannot register the birth of their children. They are unable to obtain travel documents such as passports. They cannot open a bank account. They are unable to perform contracts, to buy or transfer property, to perform an affidavit, or to vote or run for public office. They cannot even buy a SIM card for their cell phone!

It is virtually impossible for them to get work, and when they do they are exploited by their employers, who knowing that they have no other options, break the law, and pay them less than the minimum wage; or worse, after months of exploitation, they call immigration to deport them in order to avoid paying them.

These persons effectively have become aliens and prisoners in their own land, subhuman non-entities, who are afraid of even leaving their homes, for fear of being kidnapped by soldiers and thrown over the border. They are socially dead, and made all the more vulnerable to discrimination and violence by racist discourse and intolerance. Mass and arbitrary rounding up and deportations, accompanied by the terror of these people’s communities being attacked and set on fire by hoodlums incited to violence by the hostile political climate, all add up to an ethnic cleansing.

The climate of hostility also affects those who are critical of the Dominican court’s judgments, and have defended the right of Dominicans of Haitian descent to Dominican nationality. The expressions used against journalists, intellectuals, human rights defenders, and public figures critical of the judgment have taken an alarmingly aggressive tone, thereby fueling racism and xenophobia. They have been called “Traitors to the Homeland,” and public demonstrations have been staged under the slogan “Death to the Traitors.”  These threats and acts of intimidation elicited no response from the Dominican authorities.

Rank racial profiling has become the law of the land. Based on the national origin or migratory status of their parents, their skin color, or their French-sounding surnames, people’s human rights are being violated. The DR has conducted collective expulsions to Haiti where even people in possession of Dominican identification cards have been expelled. The identity checks that trigger deportations are not based on a person’s documents, but merely on the fact that they “look Haitian.”

During its fact-finding mission, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights did not receive any complaints from Dominicans of foreign descent, who were not of Haitian descent, who had faced barriers in recognition of their nationality, in access to the civil registry, or their identity documents.

Since July 2015, about 240,000 Dominican-Haitians and migrants, including those with legal visas to work or study have been arbitrarily and brutally rounded up, detained in degrading conditions, mistreated, and deported. They are sometimes even kidnapped on the street, and their family members have no idea what happened to them. Children end up being separated from their parents, or just left behind, as they are not allowed to collect them. People who have never been to Haiti before are stripped of their belongings, and thrown over the border, losing whatever possessions they had worked for all of their lives.

The magnitude and protracted nature of this problem, and the repeated, ongoing human rights violations, mean that these people are forced to live in constant fear of being arrested and expelled from their own country by not having identity papers, which has led to a constant uncertainty, impacting their physical and psychological integrity.

The Inter-American Court gave the Dominican Republic six months to overturn the local court’s ruling. The IACHR ruled that the policies, laws and practices of the Dominican Republic were not in compliance with the international obligations that the State voluntarily undertook in the area of human rights, because every person has a right to nationality.

Law 169-14 of May 2014

In May of 2014, the Dominicans responded to international outrage by passing Law 169-14, in which they claimed that bureaucratic deficiencies in the Civil Registry, had led to the registration of tens of thousands, who had wrongly been granted Dominican identity documents, making them assume that they were Dominican nationals. They then tried to hide behind a legitimate-sounding regularization process, which I’m  sure you’ve heard about from the DR Ambassador, whereby the mechanism provided to rectify this situation, was that  persons who were never registered before, or those who were previously registered but were now being denied their documents, were being ordered to register in the books of foreign births, that is Dominican Nationals were now being asked to register as foreigners, in their own land, supposedly to regularize their situation, but all this law was in effect doing was reaffirming the measures that led to the denationalization in the first place.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asked the government of the Dominican Republic to rescind those laws, nullify any norm of any kind that establishes the denial of Dominican nationality to persons born in its territory, and guarantee the right to nationality of those persons who already had that right under the domestic legal system in force between 1929 and 2010.

Rather than abide by the court’s ruling, in November 2014, the DR finally decided to go rogue, abandon all pretense, and shockingly withdraw its membership from the IACHR, which is the highest human rights institution in the hemisphere, thereby depriving hundreds of thousands of survivors of human rights abuses of any hope of justice.

CARICOM’s Response

In November 2013, in response to the denationalization ruling, CARICOM announced that it would “suspend consideration of the request by the Dominican Republic for membership of the Caribbean Community”. This was reiterated by the Jamaican government under Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, and most forcefully by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Jamaican governments of all stripes have no prouder boast than to claim that Jamaica was the first country to declare a trade embargo against South Africa, which is literally halfway across the world, in protest of Apartheid. Could it be because Jamaica had no economic interests in South Africa? The Honourable Alexander Bustamante and Norman Washington Manley were highly ethical men, and I could not for a minute think that they would allow crass economic considerations to stand in the way of principle.

Jamaica’s Award  to The Prime Minister of Dominica

It is, however unfortunate, that spurred by economic interests, this Jamaican government is not only pointedly ignoring the Apartheid taking place right next door, but is conferring its highest honour on the perpetrators! The Dominican Republic has enshrined racism into law. It is openly practicing apartheid against Dominicans of Haitian descent, by operating within a context of structural discrimination based mainly on racial and ethnic criteria.

So my last word will be that the cause of respect for human dignity and human rights is the cause of every man, woman, and child, and we all need to rally around it! Not just when our economic interests are not at stake!

 

 

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Reflections Aroused By Miss Jamaica 2017 – David Comissiong

 

ANGELA   DAVIS

I have not come to tell you you are beautiful.
I believe you are beautiful,
but that is not the issue.
The issue is they want you dead.
They need your skull
to decorate the tent of the Great Chief,
beside the skulls of Jackson and Lumumba.
And, Angela,
we need your smile.
How your executioners mislead themselves!
You are made of rough and glowing stuff,
a rustproof impulse,
capable of lasting through suns and rains,
through winds and moons
in the unsheltered air.
Angela, I am not before your name
to speak to you of love like an adolescent,
or to desire you like a satyr.
That,alas, is not the issue.
I merely say that you are strong and plastic
enough to leap at (and fracture) the neck
of those who have wanted, still want, and will always
want
to see you burned alive bound to the south of your
country,
bound to a cindered post,
bound to a leafless oak,
bound to the burning cross alive bound to the South.
Angela, I say your name, vociferate. I join my hands
not in pleas, entreaties, supplications, prayers
to your jailers for your pardon
but in applauding action, hand meeting hand,
hard and strong, very strong,
hand meeting hand so you will know I’m yours !

(Nicholas Guillen)

 

I am thinking about you,
Angela Davis
I am thinking about you and
what I want to do
is to command the drying pools
of rain
to wet your tired feet and
lift your face
to the gift of the roof of
clouds we owe you.

(Martin Carter)

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Friendship Medal conferred by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba on Matthias Brown, Jamaica

 

 

Matthias Brown, a longtime friend of Cuba, was presented with the Friendship Medal on behalf the  Council of State of the Republic of Cuba by H. E. Ines  Fors Fernandez, the new Cuban ambassador to Jamaica, at the Annual General Meeting of the Jamaica Cuba Friendship Association on Sunday, November 26.

Matthias had a deep love for Cuba from childhood as an uncle, after whom he was named, visited that country many years before the revolution. Young Matthias, who was from a family of sugar workers read everything he could about Cuba. It was no coincidence that later, as an organiser of the sugar workers co-operatives in Westmoreland, he became a strong defender of the Cuban doctors in the 1970s when the local doctors organised a vicious campaign of misinformation against them. Between 1977 and 1979, Matthias went to Cuba twice. This gave him an opportunity to observe the progress of the Cuban Revolution.

Matthias was one of those who continued to sensitize and educate people about Cuba during the early 1980s. He also led demonstrations in defense of the Cuban doctors who were providing services that the poor people of Westmoreland could not otherwise afford. In July 1982, he was arrested on trumped up charges of illegal possession of a firearm, shooting,  and wounding with intent. He spent twenty days in the Savanna-la-Mar lock-up and was beaten by politically affiliated police with whom he had had several clashes during the previous election campaign. After a harrowing experience with many court appearances which drew large crowds, the case was eventually thrown out.

Matthias’s support for Cuba did not wane after that experience. In 1988, he spearheaded the organisation of the Association of Clubs under whose umbrella the Westmoreland branch of the Jamaica Cuba Friendship Association falls. The JCFA branch annually organises a commemoration of the Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs) invasion in which Cuba defeated the attackers. Matthias Brown is a role model and mentor of the young people of the community.

Read more  at: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnx5ZXNjdWJhfGd4Ojc2MDZlYzAwZTgxMzA0MTE

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Declaration of OSPAAAL with regard to United States’ Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as Capital of the State of Israel

Having learned about the unilateral decision of the President of the United States of moving the Embassy of the United States to Jerusalem and recognizing this city as capital of the State of Israel, the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAAL) condemns in the strongest terms that serious and flagrant violation of International Law, which also violates the numerous resolutions of the United Nations that acknowledge the national rights in defense of which the Palestinian people have fought heroically for 70 years.

This arbitrary and provocative decision, made precisely when there have been advances in the path toward the Palestinian national unity, seeks to grant legitimacy to the occupied Jerusalem and to the entire Palestinian territory seized by the Zionist colonialism. It also annuls every possibility of restarting the peace negotiations that already lasted 25 years without results, and cancels any opportunity for the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the formula of two States favored by world consensus. Furthermore, it offends all Arab and Islamic peoples and will have very negative consequences for stability and safety in the Middle East.

OSPAAAL Executive Secretariat makes an urgent appeal to all its member and friendship organizations, to the peace and justice-loving associations and organizations identified with the defense of the Palestinian cause, to express their firm rejection to such a grave decision.

 Let us show militant tricontinental solidarity with the legitimate right to the free and sovereign Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, within the existing frontiers prior to the Zionist war of aggression of 1967!

 In the defense of the just cause of the Palestinian: not one step back!

OSPAAAL Executive Secretariat

Havana, December 7, 2017

 Declaración de la OSPAAAL ante la decisión de los Estados Unidos de reconocer a Jerusalén como capital del Estado de Israel

Al conocer la decisión unilateral del Presidente de los Estados Unidos de trasladar la embajada norteamericana a Jerusalén y reconocer a esta ciudad como capital del Estado de Israel, la Organización de Solidaridad de los Pueblos de África, Asia y América Latina (OSPAAAL) condena en los términos más enérgicos la que constituye una grave y flagrante violación del Derecho Internacional, así como de las numerosas resoluciones de las Naciones Unidas que reconocen los derechos nacionales en cuya defensa el pueblo palestino ha luchado heroicamente durante 70 años.

Esta decisión arbitraria y provocadora, tomada justo cuando se registran avances en el camino hacia la unidad nacional palestina, busca conceder legitimidad a Jerusalén ocupada y a todo el suelo palestino usurpado por el colonialismo sionista, descarrila toda posibilidad de retomar las negociaciones de paz que ya acumulan un trayecto de 25 años sin resultados, suprime cualquier oportunidad para la solución del conflicto israelo-palestino mediante la fórmula de los dos Estados favorecida por el consenso mundial, ofende a todos los pueblos árabes e islámicos, y tendrá muy negativas consecuencias para la estabilidad y la seguridad en el Medio Oriente.

El Secretariado Ejecutivo de la OSPAAAL formula un llamado urgente a todas sus organizaciones miembros y amigas, a las asociaciones y personas amantes de la paz y la justicia que se identifican con la defensa de la causa del pueblo palestino, a expresar categórico rechazo ante tan grave decisión.

Solidaridad tricontinental militante con el legítimo derecho al Estado Palestino libre y soberano, con Jerusalén Oriental como su capital, dentro de las fronteras previas a la guerra de agresión sionista de 1967.

Respecto a la justa causa del pueblo palestino: ¡ni un paso atrás!

Secretariado Ejecutivo de la OSPAAAL

La Habana, 7 de diciembre de 2017

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Report from the 18th Congress of the Greek Committee for International Détente and Peace

clip_image002

 

Press Release

The 18th Congress of the Greek Committee for International Détente and Peace (EEDYE) concluded successfully on 2nd and 3rd December at the town hall of Chaidari/Attica its deliberations.

The Congress was attended by 278 delegates coming from 58 Peace Committees from all over the country (out of which the 18 were from the capital area).

The 18th Congress of EEDYE dealt with the current situation in Greece and our neighborhood, in regards to peace and the involvement of the Greek government with the imperialist plans, namely through the “bilateral defense agreement” with the USA, the upgrading of existing US and NATO military Bases and regional Headquarters, as well as new actions and plans to host US military helicopters and drones on Greek soil.

The Congress demands:

  • Disengagement of Greece from the imperialist plans
  • Close down of foreign military Bases and headquarters
  • Disengagement from NATO and EU

The Congress adopted the Report of the outgoing Secretariat and issued a resolution in solidarity with the just cause of the Palestinian people.

At the end of the Congress a new National Council with 63 members was elected which elected in its first session the new Secretariat of EEDYE composed by:

President: Stavros Tassos

General Secretary: Elpida Pantelaki

Vice-Presidents: Nikos Zokas, Giorgos Lambrakis, Dionisis Plessas

Organizing Secretary: Grigoris Anagnostou

Treasurer: Aggeliki Samouri

Members of Secretariat: Marganelis Christos, Adrianos Boukouris, Evgenia Panagiotopoulou, Iraklis Tsavdaridis

Athens 4th December 2017

The Press office of EEDYE

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The World Peace Council Responds to Pres. Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital of Israel

 

Photo: Socorro Gomes, President WPC

Athens December 7, 2017

Statement of the World Peace Council

The World Peace Council (WPC) condemns strongly the decision of US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel and transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The US decision is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions on the status of the city as part of occupied Palestinian territories. The decision is proof of the bias of the leader of world imperialists and of his open support to the Israeli occupation and of its continuation.

The WPC denounces vehemently to the peace loving people of the world this act of trying to change the facts on the ground unilaterally and arbitrarily. The situation in the whole Middle East will be affected if the USA will maintain its position which is triggering the escalation.

WPC reaffirms its principled position for a just and viable solution of the conflict with the immediate end of the occupation of Palestine by Israel and the establishment and recognition of the independent State of Palestine within the borders of pre-4th June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital. We demand the right for the return of the refugees according to the UN resolution 194 and the release of all Palestinian political prisoners from Israeli jails.

We demand the recognition of Palestine as a full member State of the UN!

 

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South Africa Peace Initiative’s (SAPI) statement on Meeting between Pres. Jacob Zuma and King of Morocco Mohammed VI

Maps of Africa Pictures and Information
SAPI is bewildered at a decision by the South African President Jacob Zuma to agree to meet Moroccan King Mohammed VI during the AU-EU Summit held in the Ivory Coast recently.
Democratic South Africa (SA) has held a progressive view on Morocco’s continued illegal occupation of West Sahara (SADR), over many years and correctly demanded decolonization of the territory from Moroccan occupation.
Morocco’s retaliation against measures of democratic SA took in this regard was, among others, to downgrade diplomatic relations with Tshwane. Since Morocco’s dubious return to the AU and its underhanded activities to  try and get the SADR kicked out of the AU; and, generally, trying to undermine SADR democratic right of self-determination, Morocco has attempted at every corner to sow division and undermine the unity of the continent in the matter of decolonization of West Sahara.
We suspect Morocco is seeking to use SA’s stature on the continent to further this objective. Therefore, we think it was ill-advised for President Zuma to have agreed to meet the King of Morocco. These activities have the potential of undermining long held progressive and internationalist positions of the movement and state in South Africa. Thus, this also goes against our movements long held view to relentlessly campaign for the decolonization of West Sahara and mobilise the widest possible forces to realise this objective. Zuma’s ill-advised meeting with King Mohammed VI undermines these perspectives. It will take much more than just this so-called ‘ice breaking’ meeting to convince us – the majority of the progressives, that Morocco is finally ready for genuine discussions with the leadership of Frente Polisario for the attainment of the goal of decolonization of West Sahara.
We expect the 54th ANC Conference next week to reaffirm our position, with regards to solidarity with West Sahara and further expand the frameworks for mobilization against Morocco and urge our state to follow suit.
We stand firmly  behind the West Sahara’s demand for Morocco to leave the territory of West Sahara and implement the multilateral resolutions of the UN and others around this matter.

‘South Africa shall never [rest] until the rest of the continent has realized its freedom’, so said Nelson Mandela.

End
Che Matlhako
SAPI Coordinator
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Message from JPC on the 45th Anniversary of Caricom-Cuba Relations

CARICOM SG Ambassador Irwin LaRocque addressing the Opening Session of the last CARICOM-Cuba Summit in Havana.

FLASHBACK: CARICOM SG Ambassador Irwin LaRocque addressing the Opening Session of the last CARICOM-Cuba Summit in Havana.

On December 8, 2017, the region will celebrate the 45th anniversary of Caricom-Cuba Day, which signifies the defeat of the imperialist effort to keep Cuba isolated from the other nations in the Caribbean.  The development of diplomatic ties and bonds of friendship between Cuba and its Caribbean neighbours have borne much fruit based on bi-lateral agreements which have been signed. Among the many benefits have been academic scholarships to pursue studies in various fields of endeavor in Cuba, The Miracle Eye-care programme, an opthalmology centre and internationalist assistance in the form of nurses, doctors and teachers who work in areas where the need is most dire.

At the Caricom-Cuba Summit in Santiago de Cuba in December 2008, Fidel Castro was conferred with the Honorary Order of the Caribbean Community in recognition of his unconditional support for progress and the welfare of the region. As we recognize this important occasion in the history of the region for the second time since Comandante Fidel Castro’s passing on November 25, 2016, we must pay special tribute to him for his indisputable commitment to peaceful cooperation between nations, the well-being of humanity and the protection of the environment. He has left an indelible legacy to the Cuban people, the Caribbean nations and people all over the world.

 

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Ambassador Ines Fors Fernandez – Surrounded by Jamaican Friends of Different Ages Who All See in the Cuban Revolution a Source of Inspiration

Dear friends, brothers and sisters

Believe me that I feel honored to be here with you today, for the first time in a national solidarity meeting, surrounded by Jamaican friends of different ages who all see in the Cuban Revolution a source of inspiration.

You are the human expressions of the solidarity that the Cuban Revolution has spread all over the world for decades. Your goodwill; voluntarism and support to Cuba for years are easily appreciated, considering your simple presence and most of all, by friendship actions carried out by all of you. 

We are aware that solidarity is a mutual value. We can proudly affirm without any further interest, Cuba has contributed to make human rights a reality for many other peoples of the world. In the case of Latin America and Caribbean, Cuban solidarity has been addressed by assisting the region’s peoples in their struggle against lack of healthcare, illiteracy and other issues which have been brought about by huge inequalities in wealth distribution in our area. Our contribution has been present, mainly in the social sectors like health and  education, but also in the productive sectors like agriculture and construction, with a positive impact for the nations.

Millions of human lives have been saved. Millions of peoples have recovered sight. Today they are able to read and write. Thousands of foreign professionals have been trained and graduated in Cuba. It is the result of joint efforts between our country with several governments of the region.  Jamaica is not an exception and we are proud of it.

Dear friends

The personality of Fidel Castro, to whom this meeting is paying tribute one year after his passing, played a key role in showing that there is another way of governance, where people are the main protagonists of changes.

Today several leaders talk about changes in their political speeches as their way to reach government. In the case of Cuba, all changes to be done took place in 1959, when Fidel decided to change course of history. From that moment on, we were completely free and owners of our own destination. Triumph of the Cuban Revolution is seen as one of the relevant events in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean during XX century.

Fidel gave us the value of consensus and unity, of listening to the people, of feeling a part, and doing it with pride. Fidel brought us here. Now it’s our time to go on. We should learn to understand his legacy without dogmatism, together, among all, according to new circumstances in today’s world. We will do it but without abandoning our principles, our democracy, and our achievements.

Sisters and brothers

This month, on November 1st  we achieved a new and overwhelming victory in the United Nations Organization. The resolution which calls for an end of the blockade was supported by 191 out of the 193 member countries of the organization. The international solidarity received is an example of the fairness and greatness of our effort, principles we have defended for years and the solidarity Cuba has offered to other peoples of the world.

The economic, financial and commercial blockade must be dismantled by the USA, without attempting to impose conditions on Cuba. It represents the main violation of human rights of Cuban people, as well as the main challenge to our economical development.

We should denounce the constant threat to peace in our area which existence of Guantanamo Naval Base and other military bases in the region represent.

It is an illegally occupied territory, but most of all, an offense to the Cuban people’s sovereignty. I encourage you to support this struggle with increased visibility, using available mass media, social media and new web platforms.

Amigos:

Next month, December 8th, 2017  will  be the forty-fifth anniversary of the links between the Caribbean Community and Cuba. The date evokes the memory of the establishment of diplomatic relations of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago with Cuba in 1972. I feel lucky for being appointed to one of these four countries whose governments decided to oppose orders coming from the north and openend a new chapter in international relations in the Caribbean.

Cuba will never forget such a noble gesture of our Caribbean sister nations, which was a result of a high politically courageous decision.

We have planned a set of actions to commemorate this historic anniversary, which will last from December 8th until January 18th, 2018 when we celebrate the 59 anniversary of triumph of Cuba Revolution.

Many have been the achievements in these years of Revolution in all orders, despite the challenges we are still facing. Cuban people have shown that they are capable of resisting; they have shown that their patriotism continues to be firm.

The measures announced on November the 8th by the current US Administration shows its ignorance about the history of Cuba and the relations with the United States as well as the patriotism and dignity of the Cubans. It is regrettable that the new administration of the United States has decided to return to the old policy of hostility towards Cuba.

Once more we denounce the measures to intensify the blockade.  We reaffirm that any strategy that seeks to destroy the Revolution, whether through coercion and pressure or through subtle methods, will fail, as they have failed during the last 55 years.

Cuba is willing to continue negotiating pending bilateral issues with the United States on the basis of equality and respect for the sovereignty and independence of our country. We will never resign ourselves to giving up the construction of our Socialism. We will continue the  path we have chosen in a sovereign way, in which power emanates from the people.

Dear sisters and brothers,

Allow me to ratify our most firm conviction of being faithful to the ideas of Fidel; to continue building a prosperous and sustainable Socialism; to remain deeply internationalist; and in that endeavor, we are sure that we can continue to count on your permanent support.

As our Apostle said, “one just principle from the depths of a cave is more powerful than an army.” We have a great faith that the noblest principles should prevail and sooner or later they will prevail.

Your solidarity is an inspiration for our people.

This hard battle, waged with the weapons of principles, faith, morals and ethics, will be won.

Let´s continue the example of Fidel who never lost faith in victory.

Long live Fidel!

Long live Raúl!

Long live the Solidarity Movement with the Cuban Revolution!

 

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Words about Fidel by Cuban Consul Rigoberto Zarza

I am completely sure we all know who Fidel, the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, is.  Many things and ideas can be said about Fidel owing to intense life he lived defending Cuban people’s interests and defying external hostility. The fact that he survived many attempts of murder and eleven USA administrations trying to overthrow the Cuban Revolution says a lot about his political view, his firmness of principles and his intellectual capacity. Only the passing of time could silence such an exemplary life.

His leadership in the fight for a better and more just world requires no discussion at all. Fidel surpassed, along with our heroic people, all kinds of challenges, difficulties, sacrifices and dangers in front of powerful adversaries and he led the extraordinary socio-economical changes that the country experienced for the benefit of its population. He put into practice an active foreign policy of principles, actions and solidarity with peoples who fought for independence and progress.

On a world-wide scale, Fidel promoted the Third World battle against the current international economic world order, particularly against foreign debt, wasting of resources on military spending, and neo-liberal globalization, as well as efforts for unity and the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean. Undoubtedly, he changed the course of history and left an indelible mark on his country, our region and the world.

Jamaica had a special meaning for him, especially from the 70’s. Jamaican people continue to benefit from the contribution of Cuban medical and educational staff  to Jamaica’s health and school services through a process of technical cooperation, started by initiative of Fidel, sharing what we have and not what we have left. That is the principle.

The embassy is deeply honoured by activities you have carried out to pay the tribute he deserves during this year in which we have lived without his physical presence. This function is another example of your admiration of his personality, our country and the cause we all defend. Thank you for devoting this annual solidarity meeting to remembering his legacy, which will be eternal for all of us.

 

 

Featured

Election Theft in Honduras/Thousands Protest Trump Land Cuts to Utah Monuments  ……….and more from Telesur

05/12/2017

LATIN AMERICA 

A soldier stands guard on a street in the neighbourhood of Nezahualcoyotl in Mexico City.Mexico’s National Security Law Under International Criticism
People hold portraits of those who disappeared during ArgentinaGrandmothers of Plaza de Mayo Identify ‘Granddaughter #126’
Police use tear gas against opposition protesters.Cuba Denounces Human Rights Violations in Honduras

WORLD

IACHR commissioners are scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C., to discuss human rights violations in Puerto Rico.IACHR to Investigate Human Rights Violations in Puerto Rico
UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, Jeffrey FeltmanUN Political Affairs Official Arrives in North Korea for Rare Diplomatic Visit
The order is the largest gun retrieval requests in a decade, up from 2,892 last year.FBI Issues Order for Seizure of More Than 4,000 Guns From Ineligible Owners

SPORTS 

Runner up Venus (L) and winner Serena Williams pose at the 2017 Australian Open.Serena Back on Court, Joins Venus for Anti-Violence Event
An additional nine disciplines were added on Monday including fencing, rowing, swimming and weightlifting.Athletes Gather in Nicaragua for 2017 Central American Games
Since their triumph at the 2016 Paralympic as table tennis champions, Abdullah Ozturk and his brother, Ali, have turned to coaching future Paralympians.Paralympic Champions Encourage Independence to Disabled Youth

CULTURE 

Rapper, actor, TV host LL Cool JLL Cool J Is First Rapper to Receive Kennedy Center Honor
Some of the signs at the protests in Utah, Dec. 2, 2017.Thousands Protest Trump Land Cuts to Utah Monuments Ahead of Visit
A performer holds aloft the Communist Party of China flag during an event in 2011 to celebrate the  90th anniversary of its founding.China’s Movie Big-Wigs Schooled in ‘Socialist’ Storytelling

OPINION

The majority of Honduran people evidently want new leadership and voted for it.Election Theft in Honduras
Argentines march with banner thats reads, "Malvinas belongs to Argentina."Brexit Washes up on the Malvinas in Argentina
A general view of the Capitol Dome in Washington, D.C.The Real Causes of Deficits and the US Debt
TeleSUR La Nueva Televisión del Sur C.A. (TVSUR) RIF: G-20004500-0
Featured

Israel To Coordinate With Google, YouTube, To Censor Palestinian Videos Of Conflict

http://ift.tt/eA8V8J The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Member of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely, held meetings this week with representatives of YouTube and Google, to find ways of cooperating to censor Palestinian videos from occupied Palestine, videos she dubbed as “inciting violence and terrorism.”Israeli daily Maariv said Hotovely will be working with Google and YouTube officials in a […]

via Israel To Coordinate With Google, YouTube, To Censor Palestinian Videos Of Conflict — peoples trust toronto

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Suriname envoy at Kolkata ghat from where ancestors set sail

Our thanks to Peter Jorden for bringing this item to our attention. A report by Jayanta Guptal for the Times of India. On February 26, 1873, sailship Lalla Rookh set off from what is now known as Suriname Ghat with 410 passengers on board. Nearly all of them were from places that are now in Uttar Pradesh and […]

via Suriname envoy at Kolkata ghat from where ancestors set sail — Repeating Islands

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Added to the Storm’s Toll, Guilt and Heartache for Puerto Ricans Who Fled

Our thanks to Peter Jorden for bringing this item to our attention. A report by Rick Rojas for the New York Times. She had traded in her new normal in Puerto Rico — no electricity, no internet, no classes — for the suburbs of Long Island and the comforts of a Residence Inn. Aurelys Alers-Ortiz traveled […]

via Added to the Storm’s Toll, Guilt and Heartache for Puerto Ricans Who Fled — Repeating Islands

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Poverty rises from 44.3% to 52.3% in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria

Photo: Prensa Latina

Behind images of the country’s lush natural landscapes, great highways or metropolitan cities, poverty was, until recently, a hidden reality in Puerto Rico – currently standing at 52.3% following Hurricane Maria.
According to some experts the destruction caused by the storm revealed the true face of poverty on the Caribbean island, subjected to the colonial rule of the United States for the last 119 years.
If there was any doubt about the country’s true socio-economic situation, the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) recently announced that poverty levels have risen from 44.3% to 52.3% since the Hurricane hit on September 20.
According to statistics from the UPR Cayey Campus’ Census Information Center (CIC), 9% of people that lived on the poverty line before the storm had fallen below it, in the months following the natural disaster.
The situation has also been aggravated for many working people whose expenses have increased and incomes decreased, after hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the island, either because they work less hours due to power shortages or because they have lost their jobs.
Director of the CIC, José Caraballo, noted that Hurricane Maria exacerbated poverty levels in Puerto Rico, which is why more than half of the population is potentially living below the poverty line.
If recovery efforts in the country continue to be prolonged and more people lose their jobs and incomes, it’s possible that the 254,905 people earning 20 to 50% above the poverty threshold could fall below it, which could see the poverty rate increase to 59.8%, according to the economist.
Caraballo noted that the poverty rate among citizens 17 years of age or younger was the highest among all age groups, at 57% in 2016.
He also highlighted disparities in child poverty rates between different municipalities, such as Maricao (82%), Barranquitas and Comerío (74%), in the central mountainous region, as well as Patillas in the south, where indices are much higher, compared to those located close to the capital, like Toa Alta (35%), Gurabo and Guaynabo, both registering 37%, where poverty rates are lower.
The economist explained that despite the destruction caused by the hurricanes, when looking at poverty rates by age, children continue to be the most vulnerable.
Caraballo noted that municipalities where seven to eight of every ten children live in poverty should be prioritized during the recovery process.
These are marginalized boys and girls crying out for the same opportunities as privileged children, he noted.
Despite U.S. domination, with an economy that has been in freefall for the past eleven years, and a public debt of some 73 billion USD, the reality in Puerto Rico is one of total defenselessness. (PL)

 

http://en.granma.cu/mundo/2017-12-01/poverty-rises-in-puerto-rico-following-hurricane-maria

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CIA Agent confessing to killing Bob Marley is false.

There is a story making the rounds on social media that a former CIA agent has admitted to killing the king of reggae, Bob Marley. This story is false although reggae fans and conspiracy theorists have allowed it to go viral. A former CIA agent did admit responsibility for the death of celebrities like Marilyn […]

via CIA Agent confessing to killing Bob Marley is false. — 24 Karat Reggae

Featured

ExxonMobil to Fund Guyana Lawsuit Against Venezuela …….and more from Telesur

02/12/2017

LATIN AMERICA 

ExxonMobilExxonMobil to Fund Guyana Lawsuit Against Venezuela
A bouquet of flowers and banners in support of the 44 crew members of ArgentinaFamilies of Missing Submariners: ‘Don’t Abandon Search’
A logo for oil giant Shell on a garage forecourt in central London, in the United Kingdom. Foreign Firms Exploiting Brazil Oil Exempted From Paying Taxes

WORLD

A bombing in Nigeria claimed by Boko Haram.Nigeria: Suicide Bombers Kill At Least 13
U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis testifies before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to serve as defense secretary in Washington, U.S. January 12, 2017. US Defense Secretary: Support for Kurds in Syria May End 
Two Israeli Air Force F-15I RaIsrael Bombs Syrian ‘Military Targets’ near Damascus

SPORTS 

The LGBTI community wave a rainbow flag during a march in support of gay marriage, sexual and gender diversity in Mexico City.FIFA to Release Guidelines for LGBTQ People Attending 2018 World Cup
A presenter holds the official match
ball for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.FIFA Announces Groups for 2018 World Cup in Russia
Kaepernick, the 29-year-old former New England Patriots quarterback, garnered national headlines for kneeling during the U.S. national anthem during the 2016 seasonKaepernick Wins Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

CULTURE 

A performer holds aloft the Communist Party of China flag during an event in 2011 to celebrate the  90th anniversary of its founding.China’s Movie Big-Wigs Schooled in ‘Socialist’ Storytelling
Adriel Luis, curator of digital and emerging media for the center, told the NBC that Smithsonian reached out several immigrant communities during the filming of the video.Smithsonian Recounts US Immigrant Experience in a New Video
Simmons is the latest man occupying the highest levels of the entertainment industry who has faced accusations of gross sexual misconduct.Another One Bites The Dust: Russell Simmons Steps Down in Disgrace After Rape Claim

OPINION

A statue commemorating the struggle against slavery at Jamaica’s Emancipation Park in Kingston.Does Jamaica Offer Reparations Precedent for Caribbean?
The reparation movement in the Caribbean encompasses modern-day demands.Tri-Continental Nations Support Caribbean Quest for Reparations
Houthi movement supporters protest the Saudi led assault on Yemen on March 26, 2017.The Houthis: Revolutionaries Pegged as Religious Extremists
TeleSUR La Nueva Televisión del Sur C.A. (TVSUR) RIF: G-20004500-0
     
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West eyes Recolonization of Africa by Endless War; Removing Gaddafi was Just First Step – By Dan Glazebrook

Dan Glazebrook is a freelance political writer who has written for RT, Counterpunch, Z magazine, the Morning Star, the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Independent and Middle East Eye, amongst others. His first book “Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis” was published by Liberation Media in October 2013. It […]

via West eyes recolonization of Africa by endless war; removing Gaddafi was just first step – By Dan Glazebrook — winstonclose

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Slavery of BLACKS is Back!

SAY SOMETHING!!!!! The press is saying very little about this! Repost!!!!! This is no laughing matter! I’m so grieved! We WILL NOT be silent! This must stop!!! So what are we gonna DO? #REPOST #Repost @bishopjakes (@get_repost) ・・・ The slave trade that is going on in Libya, and even globally, is an atrocity that has […]

via Slavery of BLACKS is Back! — Barbados Underground

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Jamaica is a historical bulwark of solidarity with Cuba – Barbara Iglesias, Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP)

 

Barbara Iglesias, ICAP representative

Dear friends, members of the Solidarity Movement with Cuba, personalities and representatives of friendship organizations and institutions.

It is a great honor to be back in this sister country and to share with you in this National Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba. Receive on this occasion a renewed greeting and a very warm hug from the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, leading institution in the beautiful task of honoring and tightening the bonds of purest and noble feelings of solidarity,  aid and cooperation with all the peoples of the world, particularly those of Latin America and the Caribbean. We greet with great joy, the celebration of this Meeting and the your presence, always enthusiastic and combative, that accompanies us, inspires us, encourages us and commits us. We greatly appreciate the efforts to successfully develop this meeting.

During all these years, we have had the privilege of sharing memorable moments. Unforgettable are the various activities and initiatives carried out as part of the struggle for the liberation of our Five Heroes, today happily back in their homeland, thanks to the work of friends like you.

Jamaica is a historical bulwark of solidarity with Cuba. Its sympathy and support has always accompanied generations of Cubans, from the difficult days of our independence struggles, to the heroic battles against the genocidal blockade and the crusades against the media war of the transnational disinformation.

For this reason, it is a jubilant celebration, in a country where Cuba has so many supportive friends that throughout these years have fostered and strengthened unbreakable bonds of friendship and fraternity; but it is above all, a celebration full of hope and propitious opportunity to make vows because this everlasting friendship continues to bear fruit in beautiful realizations.

Our struggle now, to improve our socialism, to preserve sovereignty and independence, to defend our gains and achieve higher levels of development, is no less difficult than in past years, but we are better prepared, we have more experience, with the strength and value of our cause, with the unity of our people and with a culture of resistance sustained in the decision not to surrender and to  resist at any price that it is necessary.

We also celebrate with you the resounding triumph of truth, justice and sovereignty of Cuba in recent days, during the presentation of the Report “Need to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the US Government against the people of Cuba “, which again received the majority support of 191 nations. The painful, insulting and arrogant speech of the American ambassador, had a worthy answer from the world.

For all these reasons, for the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood that unites our two peoples; I wish to ratify to you, on behalf of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, our deep gratitude and undying friendship.

Receive also on behalf of the Cuban people, the deep appreciation for the heartfelt signs of solidarity and affection through the various messages and offers of help after the passage in the island of the powerful Hurricane Irma. Our people realize a colossal effort in the recovery of the severe damages caused by this meteorological phenomenon and we remain united in the face of the climatic adversity.

Today, the broad movement of solidarity with Cuba at the world level reaches nearly two thousand friendship associations in 153 countries, but solidarity carries in itself a reciprocal value. What Cuba has done and is doing in this matter is nothing more than fulfilling its own debt to humanity.

Dear sisters and brothers:

Today is a day of special significance. We commemorate the first anniversary of the transit towards the eternity of our Commander in Chief, Fidel Castro Ruz, and we received from the sister land of Costa Rica, a special tribute to his memory.

Fidel, our Fidel, yours, and that of millions of people in the world who honor his legacy, taught us that ideas can be more powerful than weapons and that the road is not force, nor war. It reaffirmed our humanist and internationalist spirit. His permanent optimism, his tireless vocation as a fighter for justice and equality, and his infinite faith in victory, guided and accompanied us in every task and in every battle, and always led us to victory, even in the most adverse circumstances.  His example of courage and loyalty to the principles, will always endure and will lead us constantly in our revolutionary action.

Today we ratify before his memory, our attachment to the principles of fraternity, brotherhood and solidarity among human beings.

We urge you to continue carrying out actions around the solidarity priorities, such as the fight against the blockade, that is reinforced today with new measures approved  by President Donald Trump in conspiracy with the Miami Mafia;  the demand for the return of the territory illegally occupied by the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo; against media campaigns to promote the subversion and in defense of peace, social justice, integration, sovereignty and independence of the peoples under the principles of fraternity and solidarity.

For that reason, I also ask you to strengthen the solidarity work with the use of new technologies, and from social networks; a new way in the ideological battle, to continue spreading real information about Cuba, the process of updating the socioeconomic model, the consequences of the blockade and helping to neutralize any defamatory campaigns against the revolution and to denounce the subversive plans against our revolutionary project.

Fidel taught us that it is possible to overcome, and resist all pressures, and that example should accompany all the tasks ahead.

We call on you to continue promoting the initiative that on the 17th of each month there will be actions in your country against the blockade and in support of the just causes of other peoples.

This is an occasion to reiterate our sincere gratitude for maintaining in such a high place, your commitment to solidarity with Cuba and its Revolution. You are an example of friendship, solidarity and faithful loyalty. The strength of the Cuban Revolution also lies in the millions of friends who, like you, defend it at any price and in the most adverse circumstances.

Today, our people, as the first stage of the electoral process we have chosen, autochthonous and genuine and in a real exercise of true democracy, is choosing the candidates for delegates of the people, those who nominate in the public assemblies, to represent us and fulfill the mandate of the people and for the people. Our vote will be for ratification of this socialist, humanistic and internationalist model that we are building and will seal our commitment with Fidel, with Raul, with the Revolution’s historical direction, and with all the heroes and martyrs who gave us the independence and social justice that we enjoy today.

I conclude my words, mentioning what our eternal historical leader, Fidel Castro Ruz, said at the closing session of the First World Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba, held 23 years ago, and I quote:

“We understand what it would mean for all the progressive forces, for all the revolutionary forces, for all the forces that love peace and justice in the world that imperialism managed to crush the Cuban Revolution, and for that reason we consider our duty more elemental and our most sacred duty with you to defend the Revolution, even at the cost of life”.

Long live the Cuban Revolution!

Long live solidarity and brotherhood among our peoples!

Long live the example of Fidel and Che!

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

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Crucial Message on Developments Worldwide from the World Peace Council’s Executive Meeting in Hanoi, November 23-25, 2017

Photo: Socorro Gomes, President of the World Peace Council

The meeting of the Executive Committee (EC) of the World Peace Council (WPC) took place successfully in the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Hanoi, from November 23-25, hosted by the Vietnam Peace Committee. The first EC Meeting after the 2016 World Assembly of the WPC in Sao Luis/Brazil was attended by 44 delegates representing 26 organisations from the same number of countries.

Great Socialist October Revolution Changed the Course of Humanty

The EC dedicated a special session to the 100th anniversary of the Great Socialist October Revolution and its service to the struggle for Peace, as decided by the last Assembly of the WPC. The overwhelming conclusion of the meeting was that this extraordinary and most significant event of the 20th century changed the course of humanity and opened the way for further social, economic and political transformations and revolutions, proving that peoples’ struggles can win and create new societies free from imperialist domination and exploitation. Therefore the October Revolution remains a source of inspiration for the peoples.

Signficance of Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam

By holding our EC in the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, we express our deep respect and appreciation to the Vietnamese people, who fought victoriously against Japanese fascists and French colonialists, as well as against the US imperialists in their wars in Vietnam. They have made remarkable achievements in building Socialism and in national development, despite the still-lasting consequences of the war, including millions of victims of the toxic “Agent Orange”, which  as used by the US Army. The WPC expresses its whole-hearted solidarity with the Vietnamese people for all the above.

World Situation – Threats to Peace and Stability

The WPC EC meeting reviewed the world situation regarding threats to peace and stability, growing imperialist aggression and wars in several parts of the world. We also reviewed the response of peoples and peace movements, expressing our gravest concern about the growing dangers of a catastrophic conflict of world dimension, including the use of nuclear weapons.

In a context of a prolonged economic crisis of the system, of grave threats of war, of the continuity of long and catastrophic imperialist wars, aggressions, destabilizing maneuvers and the planet’s accelerated militarization, while also fascist and reactionary forces emerge in various countries, the WPC discussed and set up goals and campaigns that can touch the peoples’ consciousness and raise awareness.

The international scenario remains unstable, full of tensions and threats, which become more dangerous as the crisis deepens, as a consequence of the contradictions of an unequal political, economic and social system. Two opposing vectors characterize the international situation. On one hand, we face the imperialist and hegemonic forces’ offensive and competition to dominate the world and take over the peoples’ and nations’ resources. In this offensive, the imperialists and their willing allies act with fury. On the other hand, there are many indications of the potential of the peoples’ struggle and the resistance of organisations and movements and the forces of peace and social progress. The WPC shall strive for the broadest possible alliance and joint actions that would embrace all these struggles for common objectives. At the same time, specific efforts should be made to uncover the root causes of wars, misery and inequality, promoting and strengthening the progressive and anti-imperialist forces and their actions.

The “Pivot to Asia” Policy of the US

The “Pivot to Asia” policy of the US, for shifting 60% of their military power to the region is being further implemented by the new US President. This is along with the powerful 7th Pacific Fleet of the US Navy, the more than 200 US Military Bases in the region, including Japan and South Korea, the bilateral military agreements of the US, upgraded for troops to be deployed in various countries, as is already the case with tens of thousands of US troops in the region. The particular interest of the US and its allies in the area is geostrategic control of the whole area, its sea routes and natural resources, avoiding fatal conflicts. It is also in order to contain the emerging PR China.

The WPC supports all struggles against the US military presence and maneuvers in the region. In Okinawa, a struggle involving broad sectors of society is further growing against the construction of a new US Marine Corp Base in Henoko/Nago City. The WPC express its solidarity with these movements in Okinawa and mainland of Japan.

Nepal has been moving towards the political stability with the local government elections and the forthcoming federal and provincial parliamentary elections. Despite of foreign interference for not moving into the promulgation of a new constitution, attempts to provoke conflict among the various cast and communities inside the nation and provocation of ethnicity based federal states, the constitution is being implemented.  While heading towards the parliamentary elections, a perspective exists to have a new progressive government with the vast support of the Nepali people. The WPC would respect this desire of the Nepali people and would like to express its good wishes for the success.

The WPC is following with concern the developments in the South China Sea, particularly about the territorial disputes between several neighbouring countries. We support the peaceful settlement of differences bilaterally and multilaterally between all involved parties. We call upon all sides to refrain from any unilateral actions which may further complicate the situation; we reaffirm our principled position for the respect and implementation of International law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which guarantees the sovereign rights of all countries. We are strongly against the militarization of the area as well as the military presence and actions of non-regional powers, notably the US, which has clearly its own motives and interests. We demand their withdrawal from the region and call upon all sides to de-escalate militarily the situation.

The World Peace Council expresses solidarity with and support to the people of Laos in their efforts to get rid of the consequences of decades of wars, especially unexploded  ordnances dropped during the end of 1960s and the beginning of 1970s when three million tons of bombs were dropped on Laos. Thirty percent of the cluster bombs did not explode, nowadays some of the farmers working in their fields or children playing with the tennis ball sized bombs are maimed or killed by those “Bombies”. Furthermore, the presence of those unexploded ordnances in almost all provinces hampers the development of the country.

We express our sympathy with the Rohingya people of Myanmar, who are facing a huge humanitarian crisis caused by the government of the country, and who are being chased and are running away for their lives with serious complaints of policies of ethnic cleansing. We demand that the government ensure the safety of the civilians and take immediate steps to end the violence in order to restore normal socio-economic conditions, including the return of the refugees to their homes.

The WPC EC expresses its serious concern about the growing religious strife and fundamentalism in South Asia which are used to divide the peoples’ struggles. We call upon the social organizations to be alerted about this explosive situation and to mobilize against such divisive agenda.

Demand for the Withdrawal of the USA and NATO from Afghanistan

The WPC reiterates its demand for the withdrawal of the USA and NATO from Afghanistan, as a condition to allow the people to decide freely and without interference about their internal affairs.

Situation in and Around the Korean peninsula is Becoming “Explosive”

The situation in and around the Korean peninsula is becoming “explosive”. All military threats and provocations should stop immediately. All parties concerned should take steps for a diplomatic and peaceful solution without delay. We denounce the presence of 28.000 US troops in the South of the peninsula with all kind of highly sophisticated weapons, including nuclear armaments as well as the establishment of a new US base on Jeju Island. The deployment of the THAAD umbrella by the US in South Korea openly advocates for a first strike option without the possibility of retaliation. It also poses threats to the PR China and the Russian Federation. The WPC stands firm in its solidarity with the Korean people for its desire for Peaceful National reunification and for the right of the DPR of Korea to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity together with its natural resources.

Abolition of all Nuclear Weapons 

The WPC reaffirms its principled position on the abolition of all Nuclear Weapons and its opposition to the testing of any nuclear armaments. The Stockholm Appeal, a major historical initiative of the WPC, signed by hundreds of millions of people concerned with the threat of use of these arsenals, remains current and continues to be a guideline for our action. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (adopted July 7. 2017) is a milestone leading towards their total elimination, the long cherished aspiration of the Hibakushas and the peoples of the world. The treaty recognizes that nuclear weapons are inhumane with catastrophic consequences if ever used again, and they are counter to the U.N. Charter and International law.  All states should sign the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons without delay.

Nuclear weapon states and their allies did not sign the treaty. We have to develop further public opinion that would exert pressure on them into abandoning the policy of “nuclear deterrence”.

At the same time we underline the fact that the USA is the only country which has used such weapons in history. Moreover it does not refrain from a first nuclear strike option, on the contrary it has introduced it also to NATO, which has adopted it. We support the proposal for a mutual suspension of the military exercises around the peninsula by the US-Japan-South Korea with the removal of the THAAD and the suspension of the nuclear program by DPR of Korea. The WPC is stating once more its clear disagreement with any sanctions imposed on the DPR of Korea as they constitute an effort to strangle the people.

Fascist Tendencies 

The case of Ukraine is the most relevant, contemporary episode in the European continent showing fascist tendencies, as well as the imperialist actions of siege and provocation and its attempt to encircle Russia.  The right-wing regime in Kiev, supported by the US and the EU, plays into the strategy of strengthening the imperialists’ presence in Eastern Europe and in order to confront Russia. The World Peace Council supports the Ukrainian people’s struggle. We resolutely oppose the fascist regime and express unreserved solidarity with Ukrainian communists and other progressive forces which are subjected to hateful persecution.

We also follow with concern the persecution suffered by the anti-imperialist peace loving forces in Turkey, particularly the member of the WPC, the Peace Association of Turkey which got banned in 2016 by the government in the aftermath of the attempted coup. We demand its immediate reinstatement. Turkey’s government is allied to US and European imperialism in the region and promotes a reactionary, conservative and aggressive agenda against its own people and neighbors. As a historical and strategic member of NATO, Turkey harbors US nuclear warheads and directly supports extremist forces and terrorists who are fighting in Syria.

We reaffirm our solidarity with people of Cyprus and the WPC position taken at the last Assembly for the re-unification of the island and an end of the Turkish occupation, in a common fatherland for all Cypriots (Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots), without foreign troops and bases, without custodians and guardians, in a re-unified and country with one sovereignty, one citizenship and one international personality, as described in the relevant UN resolutions. We furthermore reject and denounce the efforts to bring Cyprus directly or indirectly into NATO, which was also involved in the invasion and partial occupation of the island in 1974.

The WPC denounces the presence of the NATO armada in the Aegean Sea, with the pretext of the flood of refugees and migrants and the plans of NATO in the area. We condemn the actions of the Greek government which, while renewing the US-Greece military agreement on the Basis of Souda (Crete), is offering facilities for the deployment of US military helicopters on Greek soil and the perspective of hosting drones in Crete.

Day by day the Aegean Sea is becoming a graveyard for hundreds of families fleeing from wartorn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The Greek islands are being converted into refugee camps, without sufficient or adequate resources to receive and host these people. A key issue in this tragedy remains the EU regulations of the Schengen and Dublin II agreements, together with the EU-Turkey agreement. We denounce the hypocrisy of the EU and the governments of many of those countries across which the refugees are traveling that are openly hostile to the refugees.

The WPC reiterates its firm position against NATO, as an instrument of the imperialist domination and the armed wing of the US and EU imperialists. NATO expansion to the east, its encirclement of Russia along its borders, with the deployment of troops from the Baltic Sea to Bulgaria and the installation of the Missile Defense Shield” in Poland and Romania, is aggressively and deliberately escalating the tension. This goes hand in hand with the sanctions of the US and EU against Russia. NATO is developing and increasing its arsenal aiming at nuclear first strike capacity against its opponents. It has decided to increase its military expenditure of all members to the 2% of the annual GDP of each. We struggle for and demand the dissolution of NATO on a global scale, while supporting the struggle of the peoples in each member state to disengage from it. The European Union, alone and/or with NATO, is acting against its peoples. Its Common Security and Defense policy constitutes a dangerous tool for foreign intervention and imperialist aggression in many parts of the world.

The reactionary and imperialist plan for the “New Middle East”, endorsed by the US, NATO and the EU, with their open military intervention and in cooperation with the reactionary regimes of the region, has added new suffering on millions of people who fled for their lives to all neighboring countries. Their aim was and is the control of energy resources and supply lines, and the geostrategic control of the area with new borders and new compliant regimes.

We express our condolences to the families of the recent terrorist attack in Egypt where hundreds of civilians lost their lives and we condemn this coward inhuman act.

The war-mongering and interventionist policy of the great powers, allied with local reactionary forces, is ever more intense throughout the Middle East. Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon and Yemen are targeted by imperialist aggression and destabilizing interventions. We take positive note of the significant successes of the Syrian people in their fight against terrorism and foreign intervention. We declare our solidarity with the progressive and  peace loving people and their organisations in Syria, and reassert their inalienable right to build for themselves a secular, sovereign and democratic country, in which people with different creeds can live together, with a legitimate government and with territorial integrity. The WPC reiterates its condemnation of the US and its European allies, Turkey, Israel and the despotic Gulf monarchies, which have supported directly or indirectly, financed and trained mercenary and religious extremist groups to attack Syria, at the cost of millions of lives.

We express our serious concern about the new threats of the US administration and Israel against Iran, in light of the possible retreat of the USA from the international accord on nuclear activity   signed by the previous US administration and the other permanent SC members of the UN. The dangers for an escalation of the conflict refer also to the deteriorating relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. From WPC side we reaffirm our solidarity with the people of Iran and its peace loving forces, against any foreign interference in their affairs and in support of their struggle for social, political and people’s rights in all spheres.

The WPC is seriously concerned about the provocative statements and threats emanating from US Imperialism directed against Iran that have taken on a very dangerous dimension since Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia – where he finalized a massive $300 billion arms deal–and then Israel in May 2017.  These days, another war crime is being committed with the biggest current humanitarian crisis, according to the UN in Yemen. A country which is under heavy attack and aggression by a Saudi led “coalition” which today is resulting in hundreds of thousands of cases of hunger and malnutrition and a pandemic of Cholera in the year 2017, apart from the thousands of civilians who have been killed by the bombardments. The WPC denounces the aggression against the Yemeni people, which is being fully supported by the USA and demands the end of the siege and the right of the Yemeni people to decide alone and freely their matters.

We denounce the regime of Israel for its continuing and expanding occupation of the Palestinian lands  with the support of imperialism, in order the control of the entire neighborhood. This continues to be a key element in the strategy of domination and of prevention of peace in the Middle East. The WPC reiterates its solidarity with the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people against the genocidal and oppressive policy of the State of Israel, which subjects the people to cruel oppression. We defend the inalienable right of the Palestinian people for the establishment of their independent and sovereign State with the borders prior to the 4th June, 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to UN resolutions. We demand the dismantlement of the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank and the elimination of the Separation Wall, as well as the freedom of seven thousand Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons, and the fulfillment of the right of return of refugees in accordance with the UN resolution 194. We call for the recognition of the State of Palestine as a full member of the UN by the UN member states.  The WPC shall explore and launch a campaign under the slogan: END THE OCCUPATION NOW!

The WPC expresses its solidarity with the peace loving forces in Israel, who face the authoritarian regime of the country while struggling side by side with the Palestinian people for the common cause.

The WPC EC expresses its solidarity with the Lebanese people for the defense of the integrity and stability of the country and denounces the plans to convert it into a theater for agendas of  foreign forces. We demand the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from the Lebanese Shebaa farms.

US Continuing the Unacceptable and Dangerous Policy of the Obama Executive Order Against Venezuela

We express our serious concern about the turbulence in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela provoked by the economic war of the local oligarchy in compliance with the aggressive stand of the new US administration which continues the unacceptable and dangerous policy of the Obama Executive Order calling Venezuela a “threat to  US foreign policy and its security”. We denounce the open intervention in the domestic affairs of the country and the threat of a US military intervention in Venezuela, especially after the election of the National Constituent Assembly. We hope that the Assembly will help to open ways in solving the problems in a peaceful and democratic way and at the same time for the deepening the transformations for the interests of the vast majority of the Venezuelan people. We condemn the recent decision of the EU Foreign Ministers who imposed sanctions on Venezuela which constitutes an act of escalation of the interference of the EU in the country.

Solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Cuba, CELAC ZONE OF PEACE

We reiterate our solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico, the colony of the US in the Caribbean, in  their struggle for the right to self-determination and against the multi-faceted oppression of its citizens.

We are following with concern the developments in Brazil, where after the parliamentary coup in 2016 against the elected President, an anti-people government took over with clear and open purpose of serving local and international capital and a reactionary agenda.

The WPC expresses its solidarity with the people of Argentina in the exercise of their sovereign rights over the Malvinas islands and condemns the gross violation by the old colonial rulers.

One year after the passing away of the historical leader and Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro, we pay our tribute and homage to the leader who did not only change through his decisive contribution the life of the Cuban people, but with his modesty and wisdom he served as a revolutionary leader of world dimension, as one of the few such personalities of the 20th century. The WPC reaffirms its unconditional demand for the immediate and permanent closure of the US Guantanamo Base, which is occupied against the will of the Cuban people, and for the return of the territory to Cuba. We declare our sincere and unwavering solidarity with the Cuban people and its revolution, in defending its achievements and for ending the criminal US blockade and all other attempts at destabilizing interference.

The WPC salutes the peoples of Latin America& the Caribbean and expresses its solidarity with the struggle for the sovereign right to decide for themselves alone and free from foreign machinations and subversion their own future and path of development. We underline the important decision of CELAC which declared the region a “Zone of Peace,” reflecting the genuine feelings and aspirations of the vast majority of the population of  the Western Hemisphere.

We express our solidarity with the Colombian people in their desire to achieve just peace and to live with dignity after the signing of the peace accords between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – the People’s Army (FARC-EP). At the same time,  we denounce absolutely the cowardly murder of peasants, FARC members and leaders of the Colombian social movement which are taking place in contravention of the accords.

Solidarity with Africa

The African continent continues to experiences varying degrees of instability as a direct result of imperialist intervention in pursuit of an agenda to exploit its resources. It is continuing to be marked by both internal and external problems as a result of the machinations local and multinational big capital that have dragged the continent into wars and created political instability, and the outright threats of imperialism. The US Africa Command (Africom) continues to draw parts of the continent into conflict and its expansionist policies have resulted in a widening of the footprint of militarism. Many governments have been drawn into geopolitical games of intra-imperialist positioning and imperialism seeks to conquer more resources and markets for its multinational corporations.

In West Africa France continues to hold sway and has a strategy of dominance because of the historic colonial relations, language and others that have existed for many years. Turkey has also over the last period set itself the target of engaging the continent in order to present itself as a genuine friend of the continent with “no intentions and history of colonialism and dominance”. Erdogan has amongst others convened a Turkey-Africa Summit to mobilize support for his goals and markets for the Turkish bourgeoisie. The EU  has set itself a program of so-called promotion of democracy and has bankrolled processes the promotion of democratic elections in many African countries. China has been viewed by many Africans as a threat because of the historical relations of imperialism and its propaganda in the continent.

The WPC reaffirms its solidarity with the people of Western Sahara. We condemn the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara and underline our solidarity with the just struggle of the Saharawi people, for their inalienable right to self determination under a free and democratic referendum.

It is with these convictions that the Executive Committee of the WPC is determined to formulate resolutions and motions that push forward broad unity in actions for peace, democracy, social justice and solidarity between the peoples. This way, we will strengthen the peoples’ solidarity in the struggle for peace, against imperialism!

The WPC is sending out a message to the peoples of the world, to the Peace loving people in all countries, from Hanoi, the capital of the heroic Vietnam, whose people under the wise leadership of Ho Chi Minh fought heroically, face to face US Imperialism victoriously by liberating and unifying the country. No matter how strong the enemy might appear or be, the peoples have the power to resist and to win, since they constitute the only “super-power”
Hanoi 25th November 2017

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Jamaica – land of Marcus Garvey, Paul Bogle, Sam Sharpe, Nanny, George William Gordon, Bob Marley , Peter Tosh , Rex Nettleford, and Norman Girvan – disgraced

My dear Jamaican Brothers and Sisters,
I was recently appalled to learn that the Government of Jamaica– led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness– has conferred Jamaica’s Order of Excellence  on President Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic.
Any Jamaican government that is so lacking in racial pride and respect for humanity and civilized values that it would confer a national honour on President Medina of the Dominican Republic– a political leader who is currently presiding over a racist genocidal mass deportation of hundreds of thousands of Black Dominicans of Haitian ancestry– has done Jamaica and Jamaicans a grave disservice !
Prime Minister Andrew Holness and his  administration are guilty of  an act of infamy, and have seriously undermined the historic and sacred mission of the Jamaican and Caribbean people to be champions of Black dignity and human rights.
Surely Mr Holness knows that the Government of the Dominican Republic has effectively stripped some 300,000 black Dominicans of Haitian ancestry of their citizenship rights and has presided over the deportation of some 200,000 of such persons to Haiti over the past two years.
Surely he is aware that many of these people know nothing about Haiti; have no family connections there; don’t speak French or Haitian creole; and have ended up in Cholera-stricken refugee camps in Haiti.
Surely he is aware that the widespread anti-Black, racist sentiment that the policies of the Dominican Republic Government have given rise to has led to several Black Dominicans being lynched in the Dominican Republic and to a wave of unlawful racist violence against Black Dominicans?

Any yet he still goes ahead and disgraces the land of the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey, Paul Bogle, Sam Sharpe, Nanny, George William Gordon, Bob Marley , Peter Tosh , Rex Nettleford, and Norman Girvan in this manner?

I humbly and sincerely believe that it is now incumbent on the people of Jamaica to reassert the honour of their nation by protesting this outrage and letting the world know of their disapproval and disavowal.
 
DAVID  COMISSIONG
Citizen of the Caribbean
and President of the Clement Payne Movement (Barbados)
P.S.
 
An outline of the predicament facing Black People in the Dominican Republic is as follows:-
 
Over the past two years, the Government of the Dominican Republic has orchestrated and /or presided over the mass deportation to neighbouring Haiti of close to 200,000 dark-skinned residents of the Dominican Republic.
These persons (men, women and children) were selected for deportation on the ground that – even though they might have been born in the Dominican Republic – they are the children of so-called undocumented Haitian migrants and are therefore not eligible for Dominican citizenship.
This recent chapter in the troubled relationship between the white and mulatto establishment of the Dominican Republic and its black native sons and daughters of Haitian ancestry began on the 25th of September 2013– the date on which the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic decreed that some 300,000 dark-skinned persons born in the Dominican Republic of Haitian parentage were to be stripped of their Dominican citizenship and the rights that go with it.
According to the Constitutional Court, such people were to be considered “persons in transit” even if they were born in the Dominican Republic and had lived there all their lives.

The Court also ordered the Dominican Government to review the birth and citizenship records of all persons going back to the year 1929; to cancel the citizenship of all those whose parents had been undocumented immigrants from Haiti; and to deport them.
This ruling of the Constitutional Court received widespread condemnation from a variety of governments, hemispheric organizations such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS); international courts like the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and the Inter American Court of Human Rights, and by international human rights advocacy bodies such as Amnesty International.
Indeed, so trenchant was the criticism and denunciation that the government of the current president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, felt compelled to pass a new law which purported to soften the barbarity of the Constitutional Court’s ruling by stipulating that if the targeted persons voluntarily presented themselves to the relevant governmental authorities and applied for (and were granted) registration as “foreigners” within the Dominican Republic that they would not be deported.
Needless to say, this “new law” was also roundly condemned by international human rights bodies for continuing the policy of stripping native-born dark-skinned Dominicans of their citizenship status and rights.

Indeed, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Judicial organ of the OAS) actually ruled that both the decree of the Constitutional Court and elements of the “new law” were illegal and null and void.
Sadly, but predictably, the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic responded by arrogantly and lawlessly declaring that the Dominican Republic’s accession to the jurisdiction of theInter American Court of Human Rights had been an unconstitutional act, and that the Inter American Court therefore had no jurisdiction in relation to the actions of the Government of the Dominican Republic.
The ultimate result of these legal machinations was that some 300,000 Black people of Haitian descent were effectively deemed non-citizens of the Dominican Republic and became, in effect, “stateless”persons. Many, if not most, of these people know little or nothing about Haiti – they were not born in Haiti;are not citizens of Haiti; do not speak French or Haitian Kreyol, and do not possess family networks in Haiti to whom they can connect.
And so it was against this background that in 2015 the Government of the Dominican Republic quietly commenced a mass deportation program.
Over the past two years, dark-skinned Dominicans of Haitian ancestry have been subjected to a reign of terror, as white and so-called mulatto Dominican Police and military personnel have targeted their homes and places of work, arresting suspected “persons in transit” and transported them to the border for immediate deportation to Haiti.
In addition to such “official” deportations, there has also emerged the phenomenon of “unofficial” deportations. This phenomenon consists of armed gangs of civilians – known as “tigerres” – who take it upon themselves to violently apprehend and “deport” dark-skinned persons suspected of being of Haitian ancestry.
This mass deportation program has been so heartless and barbaric that the International Organization for Migration has reported that thousands of unaccompanied minors have simply been deposited over the border with Haiti.
As indicated above, many of the deportees have no family support structures in Haiti, and this has resulted in the establishment of several extremely poorly-resourced refugee camps on Haitian territory to house such deportees.
Bear in mind that the Haitian authorities – still struggling with the devastating effect of the 2010 earthquake and of more recent hurricanes – is in no position to provide for these refugees. And the predictable outcome has been the outbreak of Cholera in several of these camps.

But as bad as the situation is now, it has the potential to get worse – much worse !

All of us in the Caribbean  would be well advised to take cognizance of the fact that this governmental crack-down on the Black people of the Dominican Republic is occurring in a country that has long exhibited deeply rooted traits of extreme anti- Black and anti-Haitian racism.
And it should be noted that the last time there was a governmental crack-down of this magnitude against people of Haitian ethnicity in the Dominican Republic – the 1937 crack-down by President Rafael Trujillo – close to 30,000 black people of Haitian ethnicity were massacred. It is this type of scenario that responsible and right-thinking members of our Caribbean community  must take urgent steps to forestall.
It goes without saying that this heartless and noxious policy of the Dominican government offends several of the most important principles of International Law.

Ever since the enunciation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, with its ringing pronouncement that “everyone has the right to a nationality” and that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality”, and the establishment of the International Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons in 1954, International Law has taken a stance against any measures that throw people into a state of “statelessness”.An important International Law measure to avoid “statelessness” is to provide nationality to children born on a country’s national territory, in circumstances in which such children would otherwise be stateless. This norm is stipulated in the 1961 United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. It also appears in several regional human rights treaties, including the American Convention on Human Rights, the European Convention on Nationality, and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the child.

The ruling of the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court and the so-called “new law” of President Medina’s government therefore go against the grain of this entire trend of International Human Rights Law.
The ruling also offends the well-known legal principle that prohibits the retroactive application of legislation. The Constitutional Court’s ruling is actually based on a 2010 law which it has interpreted in such a manner that it is given a retroactive application going back as far as 1929. This is clearly morally, ethically and legally wrong.

The time has come for us to say enough is enough. The people of Haiti have suffered oppression and
discrimination for far too long. We have also had too many centuries and too many manifestations of anti-
Black racism. It must all stop now. Let us do what is necessary in this case to demonstrate an attitude of
zero-tolerance of all manifestations of anti-Black racism.
DAVID  COMISSIONG
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Third World Band – Cultural Ambassadors Par Excellence of our own Civilization

Third World Band publicly acclaim the magnificent performance of the Third World band performed "last Friday night at the Naniki Music Festival"

DAVID COMISSIONG  CRITIQUES  THIRD  WORLD’S  PERFORMANCE  AND  NATANGA  SMITH’S  REVIEW  OF  THE  CONCERT  IN  THE  NATION  NEWSPAPER

 As the whole of Barbados knows, I am a passionate believer in the “valuableness” and beauty of our Caribbean and Pan-African Civilization: and so, when I witness or experience an exemplary manifestation of that Civilization I am obliged to publicly acknowledge it and bring it to the attention of my fellow citizens.

It is against this background therefore that I would like to publicly acclaim the magnificent performance of the Third World band last Friday night at the Naniki Music Festival, and to take issue with Ms. Natanga Smith’s review of the concert in the Sunday Sun newspaper of 15th January 2017.

From the moment Third World announced themselves on stage with the classic “Sattamasagana” — a mystical song of deep spiritual longing for and connection with the African heartland — it was clear that we, the audience, were not experiencing just another pop band , but the stellar representatives of a particular culture imbued with a particular historical and spiritual ethos. In other words, we were experiencing cultural ambassadors par excellence of our own Civilization!

And just in case some of us may have missed the point, Third World immediately followed up with their international hit song “Reggae Ambassadors“, thereby declaring to all and sundry their proud commitment to this indigenous Jamaican / Caribbean art-form, and their determination to represent this music and the culture that it derived from all over the world.

Third World then proceeded over the next two hours to hold up before our very eyes the history, beauty, and spiritual depth of our Caribbean and Pan-African Civilization. They gave us our history — the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion and the post-Emancipation struggle for Black dignity — with “96 Degrees In The Shade“; they explored our deep ancestral connection to Africa with “Kumina” and with a brilliant display of Conga drumming; they revelled in the deep rootsical spirituality of “Jah Glory”, “Dreamland” and “Irie Ites“; and they confronted us with the militant call to cultural authenticity and activism of  “Uptown Rebel“.

But that was not all! The leader of the band, Stephen “Cat” Coore, transformed us — the audience — into a choir and enjoined us to sign tributes to our heroes– Nelson Mandela, Sir Garfield Sobers, Muhammad Ali, and Bob Marley among others.

Cat also pointedly signaled to us that our sense of national and racial consciousness must remain connected to a universal appreciation of all humankind when he followed the band’s brilliant exposition of African percussion with an equally brilliant rendition– on the cello — of a composition taken from the classical European canon of Bach, before proceeding to move us deeply with his stately, profound renditions of “Rasta Man Chant”, “Rivers of Babylon” and “Redemption Song“.

How Ms. Natanga Smith could witness such a performance and characterize it with such phrases as “flat at times”, “needed to up the ting”, “there was nothing much to shout about”, and “the crowd seemed to be in a slumber”, is really beyond me. In addition, I find it unbelievable that she would consider the performance of the young Antiguan singer, Asher Otto, and her “Itchyfeet” band to have been better than Third World’s. Perhaps Ms. Smith — a native of Jamaica — was unduly motivated by a sense of false modesty in relation to this truly outstanding Jamaican band?

It is true that Ms. Otto did a relatively good job, but to compare her with Third World is really akin to the proverbial comparison between chalk and cheese.

Where all of the six members of Third World were engaged in presenting a total performance– visual and musical– Ms. Otto’s musicians exhibited very little emotion or animation on stage, and Ms Otto herself interacted minimally with her musicians and also danced minimally on stage. In other words, there was much that was lacking in the presentation of Ms Otto and her band as a performance spectacle.

Furthermore, unlike Third World, who consciously established the theme of “love” as the central motif of their performance (ending their set with “Now That We Found Love What Are We Going To Do With It?” ), there was no particular theme to Ms Otto’s performance. Nor was there much variety for that matter — it was a set of American style soft rock and R&B songs, all delivered with  similar raspy voiced vocals. And while it was clear who and what Third World represented, there was virtually nothing in Ms Otto’s performance that evoked her Antiguan homeland or even the wider Caribbean.

I am not trying to unduly knock young Asher Otto here. As stated above, she gave a very commendable performance, but the reality is that there is much she could learn from observingThird World and taking notes.

The same can be said for Barbados’ Philip Seven. He too exhibited great vocals, but his was a juke-box type performance— he merely stood on stage (or moved minimally) and sang song after song after song, reproducing the record versions of the songs as faithfully as possible, and not– among other things– permitting his musicians to stretch out and display their prowess with substantial solos.

This is a common mistake that so many of our artistes continue to make. We, the audience, do not pay good money to come and hear a juke-box! Rather, we wish to experience an entertaining multi-dimensional live performance unfold on stage.

Philip Seven also made the mistake of not adequately interacting with his musicians on stage. In fact, unlike Third World and Asher Otto, he did not even introduce the members of his band to the audience, much to the detriment of the several young musicians who were on stage with him and who need to get their names “out there”.

Again, I am not trying to unduly knock Philip Seven— in spite of the flaws that I have pointed out, the truth is that he too acquitted himself quite well. It is just that there is so much more that he could add to his performance, and I hope and trust that he too learnt something from observing the magnificent Third World.

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United States bans most government scientists from travel to Cuba

By Richard StoneNov. 28, 2017 , 4:50 PM HAVANA—To celebrate its 80th anniversary, the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK) here is throwing a birthday bash: a conference next week that several U.S. collaborators were planning to attend. All but one has backed out, says IPK virologist María Guadalupe Guzmán. Some, she says, were […]

via United States bans most government scientists from travel to Cuba Via http://www.sciencemag.org — The Cuban Window

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Jamaica’s Governor General and Prime Minister: Urge President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina Sanchez to stop Mass Deportation of Black-skinned People of Haitian Heritage

JIS photo: President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina Sanchez

The Jamaica Peace Council views with concern the conferring of the Order of  Excellence by the Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen on the President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina Sanchez on Monday, November 27, during his one-day state visit to Jamaica.
We are concerned because Danilo Medina Sanchez heads a government that has been implementing a heartless and racist policy which has led to mass deportation of nearly 200,000 persons of Haitian heritage from the Dominican Republic. The persons deported were either born in the Dominican Republic or have lived there for most of their lives. This is even more heart-rending because of the circumstances in Haiti where there has not been a full recovery from the horrific 2010 earthquake and other subsequent natural disasters resulting from hurricanes. With 1.5 million Haitians having been rendered homeless by the 2010 earthquake, and with a vast number still living in tents or on the streets, Haiti is in no position to cope with the mass deportations from the Dominican Republic. Neither is Haiti prepared to deal with the social and economic pressure of the impending deportations from the United States of America.
This inhumane action on the part of the government of the Dominican Republic is based on a ruling of the Constitutional Court which decreed on the 25th of September, 2013 that some 300,000 dark-skinned persons born in the Dominican Republic of Haitian parentage were to be stripped of their Dominican citizenship and would be subject to deportation. The ruling of the Constitutional Court is a crime against humanity which has been condemned by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organization of American States (OAS);  Inter-American Human Rights Commission, Inter American Court of Human Rights, and Amnesty International.
We urge the Governor General and Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who was in turn awarded with the Dominican Republic’s Order of Merit of Duarte, Sánchez and Mella in the rank of Grand Cross with Gold Breast Star, to urge Medina Sanchez to take immediate action to repeal the racist ruling of his Constitutional Court which has rendered 300,000 black-skinned people stateless. Statelessness is a matter of grave concern to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR).
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Jamaican Grandmother threatened with deportation after 50 years in Britain

The Guardian reports on the case of Paulette Wilson, who had been in Britain for 50 years when she received a letter informing her that she was an illegal immigrant and was going to be removed and sent back to Jamaica, the country she left when she was 10 and has never visited since: Last month, she […]

via Grandmother threatened with deportation after 50 years in Britain — Repeating Islands

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Defend Net Neutrality – Without it Our Voices will be Stifled on the Internet

Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now

When you go online you have certain expectations. You expect to be connected to whatever website you want. You expect that your cable or phone company isn’t messing with the data and is connecting you to all websites, applications and content you choose. You expect to be in control of your internet experience.

When you use the internet you expect Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked.

In 2015, millions of activists pressured the Federal Communications Commission to adopt historic Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open — allowing you to share and access information of your choosing without interference.

But right now this win is in jeopardy: Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to destroy Net Neutrality. In May, the FCC voted to let Pai’s internet-killing plan move forward. By the end of the summer, the agency was flooded with more than 20 million comments. The vast majority of people commenting urged the FCC to preserve the existing Net Neutrality rules.

Time is running out: The FCC will vote on Pai’s proposal on Dec. 14. Join the millions who have already spoken out against it.

What is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is the internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online.

Net Neutrality means an internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that ISPs should provide us with open networks — and shouldn’t block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t interfere with the content you view or post online.

Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open internet.

What would happen if we lost Net Neutrality?

The internet without Net Neutrality isn’t really the internet. Unlike the open internet that has paved the way for so much innovation and given a platform to people who have historically been shut out, it would become a closed-down network where cable and phone companies call the shots and decide which websites, content or applications succeed.

This would have an enormous impact. Companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to decide who is heard and who isn’t. They’d be able to block websites or content they don’t like or applications that compete with their own offerings.

The consequences would be particularly devastating for marginalized communities media outlets have misrepresented or failed to serve. People of color, the LGBTQ community, indigenous peoples and religious minorities in the United States rely on the open internet to organize, access economic and educational opportunities, and fight back against systemic discrimination.

Without Net Neutrality, how would activists be able to fight oppression? What would happen to social movements like the Movement for Black Lives? How would the next disruptive technology, business or company emerge if internet service providers only let incumbents succeed?

Didn’t we already win strong Net Neutrality rules?

Yes. After a decade-long battle over the future of the internet, the FCC adopted strong Net Neutrality rules based on Title II of the Communications Act, giving internet users the strongest protections possible.

But ever since then opponents have done everything they can to destroy Net Neutrality. And Chairman Pai — a former Verizon lawyer — is moving fast to destroy the open internet. He must be stopped.

Why is Title II so important?

Courts rejected two earlier FCC attempts to craft Net Neutrality rules and told the agency that if it wanted to adopt such protections it needed to use the proper legal foundation: Title II. ​In February 2015, the FCC did just that, ​giving ​internet users the strongest possible Net Neutrality rules when it reclassified broadband providers as common carriers under Title II. Title II gives the FCC the authority it needs to ensure that companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon can’t block, throttle or otherwise interfere with web traffic. Title II preserves the internet’s level playing field, allowing people to share and access information of their choosing. These rules have ushered in a historic era of online innovation and investment — and have withstood two court challenges from industry.

But Chairman Pai wants to ditch Title II and return the FCC to a “light touch” Title I approach. Translation: Pai wants to give control of the internet to the very companies that violated Net Neutrality for years before the FCC adopted its current rules in 2015. Title I would do nothing to protect internet users like you.

Who’s attacking Net Neutrality?

Big phone and cable companies and their lobbyists filed suit almost as soon as the Net Neutrality rules were adopted. Free Press jumped in and helped argue the case defending the FCC — and on June 14, 2016, a federal appeals court upheld the open-internet protections in all respects. However, the ISPS are still trying to challenge these rules in court.

Meanwhile, industry-funded Net Neutrality opponents in Congress have done everything they can to dismantle or undermine the rules. Legislators have introduced numerous deceptive bills and attached damaging riders to must-pass government-funding bills.

The millions of people who spoke out in support of Net Neutrality are fired up and ready to fight back — and you can join them here.

Why is Net Neutrality crucial for communities of color?

The open internet allows people of color to tell their own stories and organize for racial and social justice. When activists are able to turn out thousands of people in the streets at a moment’s notice, it’s because ISPs aren’t allowed to block their messages or websites.

The mainstream media have long misrepresented, ignored and harmed people of color. And thanks to systemic racism, economic inequality and runaway media consolidation, people of color own just a handful of broadcast stations. The lack of diverse ownership is a primary reason why the media have gotten away with criminalizing and otherwise stereotyping communities of color.

The open internet allows people of color and other vulnerable communities to bypass traditional media gatekeepers. Without Net Neutrality, ISPs could block speech and prevent dissident voices from speaking freely online. Without Net Neutrality, people of color would lose a vital platform.

And without Net Neutrality, millions of small businesses owned by people of color wouldn’t be able to compete against larger corporations online, which would deepen economic disparities.

Why is Net Neutrality important for businesses?

Net Neutrality is crucial for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open internet to launch their businesses, create markets, advertise their products and services, and reach customers. We need the open internet to foster job growth, competition and innovation.

Net Neutrality lowers the barriers of entry by preserving the internet’s fair and level playing field. It’s because of Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online.

No company should be allowed to interfere with this open marketplace. ISPs are the internet’s gatekeepers, and without Net Neutrality, they would seize every possible opportunity to profit from that gatekeeper position.

Without Net Neutrality, the next Google or Facebook would never get off the ground.

What can we do now?

Chairman Pai wants to replace the agency’s strong rules with “voluntary” conditions that no ISP would ever comply with. Pai unveiled his plan in a closed-door meeting with industry lobbyists in April 2017 and officially kicked off a proceeding on May 18, 2017, when the FCC voted along party lines to move this proposal​ forward. Since then the agency has been swamped by tens of millions of comments from internet users who want to keep the protections in place.

Pai is ignoring the public outcry, and the FCC will vote on his Net Neutrality-killing plan on Dec. 14. Urge the agency to ditch this plan, and tell your members of Congress to condemn Pai’s attack on the open internet.

The Trump administration is doing everything in its power to clamp down on dissent. If we lose Net Neutrality, it will have succeeded.

 

Source: https://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now

Also visit: http://www.theopeninter.net/

 

 

 

 

Featured

Houston Exploiting Undocumented Day Laborers Post Harvey……  and more from Telesur

28/11/2017

LATIN AMERICA 

The case has been advocated at meetings by not only the IACHR, but also Amnesty International, the United Nations as well as scores of social rights groups.IACHR Requests Humane House Arrest for Argentina’s Milagro Sala
Interstate highway 45 is submerged from the effects of Hurricane Harvey seen during widespread flooding in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 27, 2017Houston Exploiting Undocumented Day Laborers Post Harvey
Despite the multi-faceted challenges confronting the region, Caribbean tourism continues to grow at record pace. Despite Hurricanes, Caribbean Tourism Sector Booms: Caribbean Tourism Organization Stats

WORLD

LebanonIsrael Will Target Hezbollah’s Nasrallah for Assassination if There’s War
ZimbabweNew Zimbabwean President Mnangawa Dissolves Cabinet
Pope Francis with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.Pope Avoids Rohingya Refugee Crisis During Trip to Myanmar

SPORTS 

Miami Dolphin players are shown taking a knee during the national anthem.NFL ‘Take a Knee’ Protest Still Going Strong on Week 12
A handout from the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.Convertible Stadium Design Unveiled for Qatari World Cup
Messi poses with FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu during the signing of his new
contract in BarcelonaMessi Renews Barcelona Contract Until 2021

CULTURE 

Although hundreds of attacks are reported annually,
the true figure is believed to be in the thousands, Tania Singh, vice president of Make Love Not Scars said.Indian Acid Attack Survivors Take the Stage in Fashion Show
“Coco” is the fourth-best Thanksgiving opening of all time, trailing only “Toy
Story 2”, “Frozen” and “Moana.”Día de Muertos-Inspired Film Tops US Box Office on Debut
This year’s event has drawn attendees from 30 African countries and a dozen Caribbean and South American nations.Venezuela Hosts African Cultural Solidarity Festival

OPINION

The late revolutionary Cuban leader Fidel Castro.China Is Most Promising Hope for Third World: Fidel
PLO offices in Washington, D.C.Why the US Wants to Shut Down Palestine’s PLO Office
A government food distribution event in Venezuela.The Speculative Assault on Venezuela
TeleSUR La Nueva Televisión del Sur C.A. (TVSUR) RIF: G-20004500-0
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Monsanto Caught Ghostwriting Stanford University Hoover Institution Fellow’s Published Work

Newly-released documents, dubbed the Monsanto Papers, give the public a behind the scenes look into how far Monsanto will go to control public perception, news media and scientific research into the key ingredient in its Roundup product, glyphosate.

The documents, which include internal emails and memos, reveals among other things, how Henry I. Miller, a Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, allowed Monsanto to ghostwrite an editorial he published in Forbes.com and claimed as his own in 2015.

The 2015 editorial attacked the decision by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, to classify glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.

For two years, Miller was believed to be the writer of those words. But now, emails between Miller and Monsanto employees show the company wrote the piece and Miller added a couple of words to it prior to publication.

In a statement provided by Monsanto, Scott Partridge the company’s vice president of global strategy, said, “That was a collaborative effort, a function of the outrage we were hearing from many people on the attacks on glyphosate. This is not a scientific, peer-reviewed journal. It’s an op-ed we collaborated with him on.”

http://ift.tt/eA8V8J

Roundup product, glyphosate. Vía BlackListed News http://ift.tt/2fxoRx8

Read more: via Monsanto Caught Ghostwriting Stanford University Hoover Institution Fellow’s Published Work — peoples trust toronto

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Alert: Imported banana floods Abuja markets ……..it does not get spoilt easily

Imported banana, with low prices, has flooded Abuja markets, raising concerns about the country’s food security, the livelihoods of banana farmers and traders as well as the health of consumers. An investigation by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at various markets and supermarkets in Utako and Maitama districts of Abuja on Tuesday revealed that the […]

via Alert: Imported banana floods Abuja markets Continue here — 360post

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Resolution adopted at the Annual General Meeting of the Jamaica Cuba Friendship Association on Sunday November 26, 2017

We who are gathered at this National Meeting of Solidarity Organizations with Cuba, exactly one day and one year, following the anniversary of the transition of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel, call on the administration of the United States of America, to unconditionally lift the criminal economic blockade of our sister country, whose anachronistic retention, is a bare-faced and arrogant repudiation of international law, a systematic violation of the Human Rights of the Cuban People and an act of Genocide under the 1948 United Nations ‘Convention on the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’.

This criminal blockade along with its extra-territorial application of the Helms Burton and Torricelli Acts of almost 6 decades, constitutes the single and primary obstacle to the development of the economy of Cuba, where its estimated that USD822,280,000.00( taken against the devaluation of the US dollar in relation the gold standard) of punitive damages have been inflicted on the courageous Cuban people, for standing up in defence of their sovereignty and the right to a particular path of economic and social development.

We equally condemn, the illegal occupation of the 45 square –mile territory of the sovereign state of Cuba, Guantanamo Bay, which was achieved through coercion and skull-duggery of the infamous Platt Amendment of 1903 which in the words of Fidel ‘ Since the triumph of the revolution in January 1959, the revolutionary government has denounced the illegal occupation of that part of our territory occupied by the United States…but at the same time the United States has transformed the occupied territory of the Guantanamo Naval Base into a permanent source of threats, provocation and violation Cuba’s sovereignty, with the aim of creating obstacles for the victorious revolutionary process. The base has always been part of the plans and operations conceived by Washington to overthrow the revolutionary government’.’

We also stand resolutely with our brothers and sisters of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, who are engaged in a titanic struggle with US imperialism and the local ‘running dogs’ of the oligarchs, to turn back and reverse the social and economic gains of the people, which was given its greatest impetus by Hugo Chavez and maintained by current president, Nicholas Maduro.

From this rostrum we say ‘Hands off Venezuela’ president Trump and your oil cabal, let the process of dialogue  between the government and the non-violent sectors of the opposition continue, as the only  way of resolving the differences that exist in our sister country.

Our Latin American and Caribbean Region is declared a zone of Peace and we will not stand idly by and see our region been militarized by an empire, whose history of death and destruction via regime change, has left painful and deep scars on our collective consciousness.

Be it therefore resolved that at this November 26th National meeting of solidarity organizations with Cuba, in our undying tribute to the legacies of Simon Bolivar, Jose Marti, Hugo Chavez and Fidel, we will continue to stand up and be counted in solidarity, with all those who struggle for a better world and in the words of Fidel, ‘Humanity can learn from those who have broken their chains, those who have chained humanity for centuries cannot teach humanity anything.’

 

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Clement Payne Movement Denounces FTC Decision to Approve Sale of Barbados National Terminal Co. Ltd. (BNTCL)

The Clement Payne Movement denounces BOTH the initial decision of the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration to privatize our state-owned Barbados National Terminal Co. Ltd. (BNTCL) by selling it to Mr Kyffin Simpson’s SOL group of companies and the recent decision of the Fair Trading Commission to approve the said sale. Indeed, we consider […]

via Clement Payne Movement Denounces FTC Decision to Approve Sale of BNTCL — Barbados Underground

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Open letter Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) from Clement Payne Movement

A  DEMAND  THAT  BIDC  CANCEL  ITS  DOMINICAN  REPUBLIC  TRADE  SEMINAR
 
It has recently been drawn to the attention of the officers and members of the Clement Payne Movement that on Monday 27th November 2017 our state-owned Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) will be hosting a Trade Seminar entitled “Doing Business in the Dominican Republic”, devoted to encouraging Barbadian trade with and investment in the Dominican Republic. Furthermore, it is our understanding that this BIDC Trade Seminar is scheduled to be held at BIDC headquarters in Bridgetown and is expected to feature trade specialists from the Dominican Republic.
The Clement Payne Movement is totally opposed to the BIDC hosting any such Trade Seminar on behalf of the Dominican Republic , and is calling upon the BIDC to immediately cancel the said Trade Seminar.
Indeed, we wish to remind the BIDC that the Government of the Dominican Republic is currently engaged in a racist anti-Black mass deportation programme against hundreds of thousand of black Dominicans of Haitian ancestry, and that the political leadership of our Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has denounced this exercise in state-sponsored criminality.
In addition, several Caribbean civil society organizations, inclusive of the Caribbean Pan-African Network (CPAN) and our Clement Payne Movement of Barbados have issued Calls for a Caribbean-wide boycott of the Dominican Republic, as a punitive strategy to bring home to the Government of the Dominican Republic that the Governments and people of CARICOM will not tolerate any manifestation of anti-Black or anti-African racism and discrimination.
If Management of the BIDC is not aware of the issue in question, we now present you with the following relevant background information:-
Over the past two years, the Government of the Dominican Republic has orchestrated and /or presided over the mass deportation to neighbouring Haiti of close to 200,000 dark-skinned residents of the Dominican Republic.
These persons (men, women and children) were selected for deportation on the ground that – even though they might have been born in the Dominican Republic – they are the children of so-called undocumented Haitian migrants and are therefore not eligible for Dominican citizenship.
This recent chapter in the troubled relationship between the white and mulatto establishment of the Dominican Republic and its black native sons and daughters of Haitian ancestry began on the 25th of September 2013– the date on which the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic decreed that some 300,000 dark-skinned persons born in the Dominican Republic of Haitian parentage were to be stripped of their Dominican citizenship and the rights that go with it.
According to the Constitutional Court,such people were to be considered “persons in transit” even if they were born in the Dominican Republic and had lived there all their lives.

The Court also ordered the Dominican Government to review the birth and citizenship records of all persons going back to the year 1929; to cancel the citizenship of all those whose parents had been undocumented immigrants from Haiti; and to deport them.
This ruling of the Constitutional Court received widespread condemnation from a variety of governments, hemispheric organizations such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS); international courts like the Inter-American Human Rights Commission and the Inter American Court of Human Rights, and by international human rights advocacy bodies such as Amnesty International.
Indeed, so trenchant was the criticism and denunciation that the government of the current president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, felt compelled to pass a new law which purported to soften the barbarity of the Constitutional Court’s ruling by stipulating that if the targeted persons voluntarily presented themselves to the relevant governmental authorities and applied for (and were granted) registration as “foreigners” within the Dominican Republic that they would not be deported.
Needless to say, this “new law” was also roundly condemned by international human rights bodies for continuing the policy of stripping native-born dark-skinned Dominicans of their citizenship status and rights.

Indeed, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Judicial organ of the OAS) actually ruled that both the decree of the Constitutional Court and elements of the “new law” were illegal and null and void.
Sadly, but predictably, the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic responded by arrogantly and lawlessly declaring that the Dominican Republic’s accession to the jurisdiction of theInter American Court of Human Rights had been an unconstitutional act, and that the Inter American Court therefore had no jurisdiction in relation to the actions of the Government of the Dominican Republic.
The ultimate result of these legal machinations was that some 300,000 Black people of Haitian descent were effectively deemed non-citizens of the Dominican Republic and became, in effect, “stateless”persons. Many, if not most, of these people know little or nothing about Haiti – they were not born in Haiti;are not citizens of Haiti; do not speak French or Haitian Kreyol, and do not possess family networks in Haiti to whom they can connect.
And so it was against this background that in 2015 the Government of the Dominican Republic quietly commenced a mass deportation program.
Over the past two years, dark-skinned Dominicans of Haitian ancestry have been subjected to a reign of terror, as white and so-called mulatto Dominican Police and military personnel have targeted their homes and places of work, arresting suspected “persons in transit” and transported them to the border for immediate deportation to Haiti.
In addition to such “official” deportations, there has also emerged the phenomenon of “unofficial” deportations. This phenomenon consists of armed gangs of civilians – known as “tigerres” – who take it upon themselves to violently apprehend and “deport” dark-skinned persons suspected of being of Haitian ancestry.
This mass deportation program has been so heartless and barbaric that the International Organization for Migration has reported that thousands of unaccompanied minors have simply been deposited over the border with Haiti.
As indicated above, many of the deportees have no family support structures in Haiti, and this has resulted in the establishment of several extremely poorly-resourced refugee camps on Haitian territory to house such deportees.
Bear in mind that the Haitian authorities – still struggling with the devastating effect of the 2010 earthquake and of more recent hurricanes – is in no position to provide for these refugees. And the predictable outcome has been the outbreak of Cholera in several of these camps.

But as bad as the situation is now, it has the potential to get worse – much worse !

All of us in the Caribbean  would be well advised to take cognizance of the fact that this governmental crack-down on the Black people of the Dominican Republic is occurring in a country that has long exhibited deeply rooted traits of extreme anti- Black and anti-Haitian racism.
And it should be noted that the last time there was a governmental crack-down of this magnitude against people of Haitian ethnicity in the Dominican Republic – the 1937 crack-down by President Rafael Trujillo – close to 30,000 black people of Haitian ethnicity were massacred. It is this type of scenario that responsible and right-thinking members of our Caribbean community  must take urgent steps to forestall.
It goes without saying that this heartless and noxious policy of the Dominican government offends several of the most important principles of International Law.

Ever since the enunciation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, with its ringing pronouncement that “everyone has the right to a nationality” and that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality”, and the establishment of the International Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons in 1954, International Law has taken a stance against any measures that throw people into a state of “statelessness”.

An important International Law measure to avoid “statelessness” is to provide nationality to children born on a country’s national territory, in circumstances in which such children would otherwise be stateless. This norm is stipulated in the 1961 United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. It also appears in several regional human rights treaties, including the American Convention on Human Rights, the European Convention on Nationality, and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the child.

The ruling of the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court and the so-called “new law” of President Medina’s government therefore go against the grain of this entire trend of International Human Rights Law.
The ruling also offends the well-known legal principle that prohibits the retroactive application of legislation. The Constitutional Court’s ruling is actually based on a 2010 law which it has interpreted in such a manner that it is given a retroactive application going back as far as 1929. This is clearly morally, ethically and legally wrong.
It is against this background therefore that we are calling on Management of the BIDC to cancel this  Trade Seminar and by so doing to assist in the Campaign to rescue our black brothers and sisters from the inhumane life and death  predicament that they now find themselves in.

The time has come for us to say enough is enough. The people of Haiti have suffered oppression and discrimination for far too long. We have also had too many centuries and too many manifestations of anti-Black racism. It must all stop now. Let us do what is necessary in this case to demonstrate an attitude of zero-tolerance of all manifestations of anti-Black racism.
DAVID  COMISSIONG
PRESIDENT
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Tillerson speaking on the coup in Zimbabwe Calls for Africa’s Support Against North Korea – video

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hosted discussions with foreign ministers or their representatives from the African continent, including the African Union Commission Chairman, in Washington, D.C. on November 17, 2017. The discussions were based on three themes: trade and investment, security, and good governance. The objective of the meeting according was to “advance the U.S. agenda, working with African partners, to promote a shared commitment to open markets; free and fair trade; democracy and the rule of law; and effective responses to global terrorist threats” …….. and to build “on President Trump’s working lunch with African leaders in September at the UN General Assembly.”

 

LEST WE FORGET: NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Excluded from US-Africa Summit in 2014


Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters in Marondera about 80km ( 50 miles) east of the capital Harare, Feb. 23, 2014.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters in Marondera about 80km ( 50 miles) east of the capital Harare, Feb. 23, 2014.

U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting a summit of African leaders in an effort to strengthen American ties with the continent. But Zimbabwe, which desperately needs investment from abroad, will not be represented because of President Robert Mugabe’s tainted human rights record.

Trade and investment issues are an important part of the three-day U.S.-Africa summit taking place this week in Washington.

Talking to African journalists by telephone ahead of the meeting, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the summit was a “historic event.”

“The theme of the summit is “Investing in the Next Generation.” We think this reflects the common ambitions that we share with the people and governments of Africa, to leave our nations better for future generations by making gains in peace and security, and good governance and economic development. So this is going to be an extraordinarily productive and fruitful discussion,” she said.

But one of those missing that fruitful discussion is Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe. The 90-year-old Zimbabwean leader is subject to U.S. travel and financial sanctions because of “his poor human rights record and history of alleged election rigging”.

He joins Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, Eritrea’s Isaias Afwerki and the Central African Republic’s Catherine Samba-Panza on the small list of African leaders excluded from the summit.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, who heads the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, said Zimbabwe stood to lose a lot by not being represented at this meeting.

“So the meeting in Washington is important for trade among those countries that are meeting Obama. And also for countries that are looking for foreign direct investment, they will be meeting with American conglomerates that want to invest in developing economies such as Nigeria – Africa’s biggest economy, followed by South Africa. So it is important that such countries meet particularly in America where the heartbeat of international economy is,” said Ruhanya.

Zimbabwe’s economy has alternated between depression and weak growth for nearly 15 years, ever since Mugabe’s government began to forcibly drive white commercial farmers off their land. Foreign companies are generally reluctant to invest in the country because of political turmoil and Mugabe’s nationalistic economic policies.

Christopher Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC, Aug. 4, 2014. (Sebastian Mhofu/VOA)

Christopher Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC, Aug. 4, 2014. (Sebastian Mhofu/VOA)

 

Zimbabwe’s deputy foreign affairs minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa, agreed with Ruhanya that the summit was crucial for Africa.

But when it comes to Zimbabwe, he said the government was at peace not being present for the discussions.

“Of course, we as Zimbabweans we are not invited. We have no misgivings when America decides to exclude us. It is a country which has been uncomfortable with an assertive nationalist. We brook no strictures from anybody, including America,” said Mutsvangwa.

I asked Ruhanya if Mugabe’s exclusion had something to do with his “assertive nationalism.”

“No, it has nothing to do with uprightness to the West or otherwise. But it has to do with how he governs his country. The kind of economic undergrowth that we have seen has nothing to do with the West. America is averse to authoritarian regimes, averse to patrimonial regimes, that is why Mugabe is not there. That is why he was not invited by Obama. Also to do with the election of last year,” he said.

The Obama administration was one of the Western governments that refused to recognize Mugabe’s re-election in July 2013, which the opposition MDC party says was rigged.

 

Source: https://www.voanews.com/a/zimabawe-mugabe-excluded-from-us-africa-summit/1971435.html

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BBC – Zimbabwe’s inauguration: ‘Best Black Friday’

http://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-africa-42107256

By Clare Spencer, Lucy Fleming and David Molloy

We’re ending our coverage of the inauguration of Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who in his address to a packed stadium, vowed to serve all citizens.

It is the culmination of a dramatic 10 days in Zimbabwe, with a military takeover, mass demonstrations and Robert Mugabe’s resignation after 37 years of authoritarian rule.

Mr Mnangagwa did pay tribute to Mr Mugabe, calling him “a father, mentor, comrade-in-arms and my leader”.

You can read the moments from his speech that excited the crowd in the post below.

But we finish with some humour. This image is being shared on WhatsApp, making reference to Black Friday, a shopping day following the Thanksgiving holiday when shoppers can find amazing bargains.

A meme on WhatsApp about Emmerson Mnangagwa's inauguration

WhatsApp

 

Here are the key moments from his speech that were applauded by the 60,000-strong crowd.

 

I am required to serve our country as the president of all citizens regardless of colour, creed, religion, tribe, totem or political affiliation.”

In acknowledging the honour you have bestowed upon me, I recognise that the urgent tasks that beckon will not be accomplished through speeches. I must hit the ground running.”

We should never remain hostages of our past. Let us humbly appeal to all of us that we let bygones be bygones readily embracing each other in defining a new destiny of our beloved Zimbabwe.”

The principle of re-possessing our land cannot be challenged or reversed. The dispossession of our ancestral lands was the fundamental reason for waging the liberation struggle.”

My government is committed to compensating those farmers from whom land was taken in terms of our laws of lands.”

Our economic policy will be predicated on our agriculture, our command agriculture, which is the mainstay and on creating conditions for investment-led economic recovery that puts a premium on job, job, job creation.”

The liquidity challenges, which have bedevilled the economy, must be tacked head on, with real solutions being generated as a matter of urgency. People must be able to access their earnings and savings as and when they need them.”

As we focus on recovering our economy, we mush shed misbehaviours and acts of indiscipline which have characterised the past. Acts of corruption must stop. Where these occur, swift, swift, swift justice must be served.”

Gone are the days of absenteeism…days of undue delays and forestalling decisions and services in the hope of extorting dirty rewards. Those days are over.”

I stand here today to say that our country is ready and willing for a steady re-engagement with all the nations of the world.”

As we build a new, democratic Zimbabwe, we ask those who have punished us in the past to reconsider their economic and political sanctions against us. Whatever misunderstandings may have subsisted in the past, let this make way for a new beginning.”

I wish to be clear, all foreign investments will be safe in Zimbabwe.”

Brothers and sisters, the people of Zimbabwe, the task before us is much bigger than competing for political office. Let us all play our part to build this great country, together, as Zimbabweans.May God bless Zimbabwe, I thank you.”

And our vote for the best cartoon goes to Kenyan cartoonist Gado, alluding to Mr Mnangagwa’s nickname “the crocodile”.

The Crocodile Takes Office in Zimbabwe – Gado https://buff.ly/2mXFYLt

Summary

  1. Emmerson Mnangagwa sworn in as Zimbabwe’s president
  2. He vows to serve all Zimbabweans
  3. Tells investors their money will be safe in Zimbabwe
  4. Promises to compensate farmers who lost land
  5. But says the land policy cannot be reversed
  6. Former President Robert Mugabe did not attend
  7. But his successor paid tribute to him

http://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-africa-42107256

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The Myth of the “Clean War”

Published on Saturday, November 25, 2017

Trump’s worldview promises low-cost military success. The blasting apart of civilian lives in Iraq says otherwise.

“If we think that remote warfare is the way to go because it kills neither ‘our’ people nor innocent civilians, then we are deluding ourselves.” (Photo:  Susan Melkisethian/flickr/cc)

Many previous columns in this series focus on the transition in the western way of war since 9/11 from tens of thousands of “boots on the ground” to “remote warfare”. This has mainly involved a much more intensive use of air-power, including armed-drones; the utilisation of long-range artillery and ground-launched ballistic-missiles; and the much wider use of special forces and privatised military corporations.

The change has been consistently analysed by a few non-government organisations, most notably the Remote Control project and Drone Wars UK, whose specific concern is armed drones.

The states pursuing this kind of offensive war see three advantages, two military and one political:

* Their own forces take minimal casualties, meaning fewer bodybags and funeral corteges

* They believe that the tactic works in practice

* There is very little media coverage of this type of war, and in the case of some countries, most notably Britain, there has been a long-term political convention that the role of special Forces should not be subject to public debate or even scrutiny.

The U.S. Air Force is on track to triple the number of bombs dropped in Afghanistan this year compared with last year.Warfare by “remote control” also seems to be working, not least in the three-year war against Islamic State. It is now clear that Donald Trump’s policy of devolving more authority to the United States military in the wars it is fighting is having a much wider effect. For example, the Pentagon has quietly increasing its forces in Somalia by adding several hundred special-forces troops (as Politico reports) and ratcheting up airstrikes (as Military Times reports), while airstrikes against an al-Qaida offshoot in Yemen are continuing.

In Afghanistan, the build-up of forces is even more substantial. More US troops have arrived amid concern over the Taliban’s ability to extend its territorial control. But less noted is the substantial increase in the US use of air-power and armed-drones since Trump took office. A US media outlet states:

“The U.S. Air Force is on track to triple the number of bombs dropped in Afghanistan this year compared with last year, new figures reveal as the White House opens a new front in America’s longest war. The military dropped 3,554 weapons against the Taliban as of Oct. 31 – already nearly three times the 1,337 dropped in 2016 and nearly four times as the 947 fired in 2015.”

Operation Jagged Knife, a recent offensive by the US airforce, included B-52 strategic bombers and – for the first time in Afghanistan – the advanced F-22 stealth strike-aircraft.

Promise and reality

All this is in the context of the presumed defeat of ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria, which is seen within the Trump team as proof of victory. Since 2014, the Pentagon believes it has killed over 60,000 ISIS fighters, but acknowledges fewer than 500 civilian casualties. This is the way to fight future wars, it believes. The expanded operations in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia are further examples of the path to be taken. In this Trumpian worldview, “clean wars” will be the order of the day. But a closer look shows that things are not so simple, in two distinct aspects: the outcomes of the “war on terror“, and its more recent reality. A brief digest of principal events since 2001 illustrates the first point:

* On 29 January 2002, George W Bush’s state-of-the-union address was akin to a victory speech in the wake of the termination of the Taliban regime and the suppression and dispersal of al-Qaida after 9/11 – yet the war in Afghanistan has just entered its seventeenth year

* On 1 May 2003, the US president  gave his “mission accomplished” speech after the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq – yet that very month a nascent insurgency began to spread across the country, which would also last years

* In 2008, when Barack Obama was elected, the war in Iraq looked sufficiently under control for him to order wholesale troop withdrawals, but in 2014-17 the US has again been at war in the country

* In 2011, Nato chiefs thought that the downfall of Libya’a Muammar Gaddafi they had engineered would be followed by peace and stability, but it provoked more conflict, while the US’s SEAL-team killing of Osama bin Laden that year didn’t mark the end of al-Qaida, a scion of which the US is now bombing in Yemen.

On the ground

The dangerous myth of the “clean war” should be seen in a second aspect. The results of military action in the last three years illustrate the second point, and expose the dangerous myth of the “clean war”. Airwars, the monitoring group, finds the US-led wars in Iraq and Syria have involved over 28,000 airstrikes, split more or less evenly between the two countries, using over 103,000 bombs and missiles. Airwars has done its best to assess the likelihood of civilian casualties, and currently puts these at a minimum of around 6,000 – far larger than any Pentagon figures. Where Iraq is concerned,  Iraq Body Count says that over 179,000 civilians have died in the last fifteen years.

ISIS’s loss of most of its territory has been followed by reports of a concentrated air-war ranged against its forces, whose effects include the widespread destruction of both western Mosul and Raqqa. The extent of damage is hardly surprising. In the last part of the Raqqa campaign, Airwars says:

“Between October 1st and 17th – when the last strike was reported – the US-led alliance says it fired 2,384 munitions at Raqqa, much of it the result of US artillery strikes. Between 266 and 355 more civilians were credibly reported killed in the city as a result according to local monitors – including more than 90 women and children.”

Yet it has been hard for analysts to assess the more general claim of the “clean war” with any accuracy, in that they were dependent largely on data provided by US Central Command (USCC). The best efforts of NGOs like Airwars and Iraq Body Countnotwithstanding, their findings could be discounted or ignored.

One in five of the coalition strikes we identified resulted in civilian death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition.That is at last beginning to change, as these groups’ work is supported by on-the-ground assessments from experienced journalists who have gone at great pains to travel to areas now controlled by government forces after ISIS’s retreat. Their reports confirm sceptics of the “clean war” myth. The most substantive account available so far is a long report in the New York Times(see Azmat Khan & Anand Gopal, “The Uncounted”, NYT, 16 November 2017).

Over a fourteen-month period to July 2017, they visited 150 sites of attacks across northern Iraq, and interviewed hundreds of witnesses, survivors and family members. They later compared their findings with data from USCC itself. In all, they were able to coordinate data from 103 airstrikes. Their conclusions warrant a longish extract:

“We found that one in five of the coalition strikes we identified resulted in civilian death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition. It is at such a distance from official claims that, in terms of civilian deaths, this may be the least transparent war in recent American history. Our reporting, moreover, revealed a consistent failure by the coalition to investigate claims properly or to keep records that make it possible to investigate the claims at all. While some of the civilian deaths we documented were a result of proximity to a legitimate ISIS target, many others appear to be the result simply of flawed or outdated intelligence that conflated civilians with combatants. In this system, Iraqis are considered guilty until proved innocent.”

The fighting against ISIS, especially in the densely packed streets of Raqqa and western Mosul, was intense. In Mosul in particular, the Iraqi army’s special forces took very heavy losses. It was not just the utter determination of the ISIS paramilitaries to fight, but their willingness to die for their cause that proved so difficult to counter. It was in those circumstances that air-power was used relentlessly. In an objective sense it may be what you would expect, even if you may question the war as a whole.

That, though, is not the point, which is that the entire air-war has been presented as a “clean” operation – which it evidently was not. If we think that remote warfare is the way to go because it kills neither “our” people nor innocent civilians, then we are deluding ourselves. And that delusion in turn makes it even less likely that we will get the kind of scrutiny and political debate we need on the direction and long-term consequences of this new way of war.

Paul Rogers

Paul Rogers is professor in the department of peace studies at Bradford University, northern England. He is OpenDemocracy’s international-security editor, and has been writing a weekly column on global security since 28 September 2001; he also writes a monthly briefing for the Oxford Research Group. His books include Why We’re Losing the War on Terror (Polity, 2007), and Losing Control: Global Security in the 21st Century (Pluto Press, 3rd edition, 2010). He is on twitter at: @ProfPRogers

 

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/11/25/myth-clean-war

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Remembering Puerto Rican–Americans on Thanksgiving

Published on
Because if you don’t have water and electricity, you don’t have liberty.

“Puerto Ricans are American citizens,” writes Cole. “Unless we are going to go whole hog and admit that some citizens have fewer rights than others, then our country needs to do a better job of restoring electricity and other services on the island after the devastation of this year’s hurricane.” (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Many Puerto Ricans are spending Thanksgiving on the mainland, away from home and family and friends, as climate refugees. I guess this catastrophe is something that should be on our minds on this day of feasting.

Thanksgiving was a northern, regional holiday until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln promulgated its as a way of creating a national symbol to incorporate even the alienated South. Thanksgiving needs to continue that work of national integration today, with regard to Puerto Rico. It should be remembered that they didn’t ask for us. We invaded during the Spanish-American War of 1898 on the grounds that we regretted their lack of liberty under the crown. Then we kept the island as a territory and gave the inhabitants citizenship.

If you don’t have water and electricity you don’t have liberty.

Puerto Ricans are American citizens. Unless we are going to go whole hog and admit that some citizens have fewer rights than others, then our country needs to do a better job of restoring electricity and other services on the island after the devastation of this year’s hurricane.

There are 20 states that are smaller in population (i.e. fewer Americans live there) than Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has more Americans in residence than do Nebraska or Kansas.

Being made homeless or left without food, or potable water, or electricity, is something that happens to someone else, not to you. Until it does.

Many of Puerto Rico’s power plants are operating at 50% efficiency all these months later. Only about half of Puerto Ricans have electricity. They can’t read this blog post. Worse, if they need medical equipment to operate in hospitals, it doesn’t.

Some 20% of Puerto Ricans do not have drinkable tap water.

Roads, infrastructure, medical care and personal security are all still inadequate all these weeks later.

On Thanksgiving, we are one voice as Americans. In Spanish that is Somos una Voz. That’s the site Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez among others created to help these stranded Americans. Let’s all pitch in.

 

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/11/23/remembering-puerto-rican-americans-thanksgiving