by David Comissiong
1. Acquire and nurture in ourselves, our people, and our governments a deep knowledge of our history– especially making African and Afro-Caribbean history compulsory in our schools and educational institutions.
2. Engage in “self repair” as individual African men, women and children by summoning up the courage and self-respect to critically examine ourselves, with a view to identifying any vestiges within us of false notions of “white superiority / black inferiority” and ridding ourselves of them.
3.Think of the demand for Reparations as a Call for a fundamental transformation leading to a “just society” free of the inequitable racist economic and power relations that currently exist in our national societies and in the international arena.
4. In addition to our collective historic Reparations claim, pursue our demands for a “just society” through our own dynamic citizen activism aimed at all of the powers that be (including our own governments), insisting that we always be treated fairly and justly, and demanding reparatory justice for any actions that we adjudge to have been carried out illegally upon us.
5.Identify and take actions to destroy all still existing racist or discriminatory practices and institutions that continue to unjustly hold us back and exploit us.
6.Teach our people that the institution of enslavement was a crime against humanity and that ONE of the criminal injustices that we must be compensated for is the value of the unpaid work that was brutally and illegally extracted from our ancestors over many generations.
7. Encourage all of our political parties, trade unions, youth organizations, churches, women’s organizations, educational institutions and other relevant organizations to make Reparations part of their agenda and programs.
8. Work with all reparations Movements and national governments– both at home and abroad –in support of our cause, and encourage them to pursue the campaign for Reparations all over the world and in every available forum.
9. Involve the masses of our people in deciding on a) the extent of the damages done to us as a people; b) the need for a program of voluntary Repatriation to the continent of Africa; c) the type and the amount of compensatory resources to be claimed; and d) how these resources will be administered.
10. Build our Reparations campaign infrastructure by creating Reparations research institutions ; by encouraging CARICOM and the African Union to join forces in this cause; by calling upon our Governments to instruct their Ambassadors, Embassies, and High Commissions to engage in Reparations diplomacy in foreign countries and at the United Nations and other international forums; and by establishing national, regional and international interlinked networks of organizations and activists (including mass media networks) supporting reparations.
11. At the level of our Pan-Africanist civil society : prepare, file and prosecute reparations law cases and campaigns of mass activism against relevant European and North American governments, companies and institutions.
12. Call upon our governments to carry out the preparatory work for and commit themselves to a final and decisive historical, moral, and legal multilateral “Reparations Reckoning” with the governments of the relevant European and North American countries.
AND UNDERPINNING THE ENTIRE ACTION PLAN SHOULD BE THE PRINCIPLE THAT WE BLACK OR AFRICAN PEOPLE CAME ACROSS THE MIDDLE PASSAGE AS AN UNDIFFERENTIATED DISPOSSESSED MASS OF PEOPLE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE HOLD OF A SLAVE SHIP, AND THAT — IN THIS CONTEMPORARY ERA — WE ARE COMMITTED TO NOT LEAVING ANY OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS BEHIND IN SLAVERY-LIKE CONDITIONS OF POVERTY AND POWERLESSNESS.
Under the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), when the General Secretary of the OAS speaks he speaks for and on behalf of the Organization and its Member States, including the Caribbean nations of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Haiti, Grenada, Belize, St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Bahamas, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia.
And last Friday (the 13th of September 2018) — at a Press Conference held in Cucuta, Colombia — OAS General Secretary Luis Almagro spoke as follows :-
“With respect to a MILITARY INTERVENTION to OVERTHROW Nicolas Maduro’s regime, I don’t think any option should be ruled out ……….. Diplomatic action should be the first priority but we shouldn’t rule out any action.”
Thus, speaking for ALL 34 Member States of the OAS, Luis Almagro has declared that the constitutionally legitimate, democratically elected Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (a Member State of the OAS) is to be OVERTHROWN either by “diplomatic action” or by “military intervention”.
Needless-to-say, Almagro’s enunciation constitutes a gross VIOLATION of virtually all of the fundamental principles contained in the Charter of the OAS, namely — Chapter 1 (Nature and Purposes), Chapter 2 (Principles), Chapter 4 (Fundamental Rights and Duties of States), Chapter 5 (Pacific Settlement of Disputes), and Chapter 7 (Integral Development) — all of which commit the OAS and its Member States to the principles of respect for the territorial integrity of states, respect for national sovereignty, peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for the right of states to self-determination, and non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states.
It has now therefore become absolutely clear that Luis Almagro CANNOT be permitted to continue to hold the post of representative and spokesman of the OAS !
Indeed, every single self-respecting Member State of the OAS is now under a duty to denounce and repudiate the unlawful and offensive statement that the General Secretary of the OAS made in their names, and to go on to take action to REMOVE Luis Almagro from the post of General Secretary of the OAS !
Article 116 of the OAS Charter establishes that the General Assembly of the OAS may — by a two thirds vote of the Member States — remove the General Secretary “whenever the proper functioning of the Organization so demands”.
The duty of every single OAS Member State to take action in respect of this matter is therefore absolutely clear, and those of us who still believe that we are citizens of sovereign, principled, serious, and self respecting nations will be watching very closely to see how our Caribbean governments respond.
CLEMENT PAYNE MOVEMENT OF BARBADOS
CARIBBEAN PEACE MOVEMENT
JAMAICA PEACE COUNCIL
GLOBAL AFRIKAN CONGRESS
CARIBBEAN CHAPTER of the
INTERNATIONAL NETWORK IN DEFENSE OF HUMANITY
Nuestra propia autoestima exige que actuemos en contra de Almagro
De conformidad con la Carta de la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), cuando habla el Secretario General de la OEA, habla en nombre de la Organización y sus Estados Miembros, incluidas las naciones del Caribe de Antigua y Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Haití, Grenada, Belice, San Vicente y las Granadinas, las Bahamas, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad y Tobago, Suriname, San Cristóbal y Nieves y Santa Lucía.
Y el viernes pasado (13 de septiembre de 2018), en una rueda de prensa celebrada en Cúcuta, Colombia, el Secretario General de la OEA, Luis Almagro, expresó lo siguiente:
“Con respecto a una intervención militar para derrocar al régimen de Nicolás Maduro, no creo que deba descartarse ninguna opción (…) La acción diplomática debería ser la primera prioridad, pero no deberíamos descartar ninguna acción”.
Por lo tanto, hablando por TODOS los 34 Estados Miembros de la OEA, Luis Almagro ha declarado que el Gobierno constitucionalmente legítimo y democráticamente elegido de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela (un Estado Miembro de la OEA) debe ser DERROCADO, ya sea por “acción diplomática” o por “Intervención militar”.
De más está decir, la enunciación de Almagro constituye una GRAN VIOLACIÓN de prácticamente todos los principios fundamentales contenidos en la Carta de la OEA, a saber: Capítulo 1 (Naturaleza y Propósitos), Capítulo 2 (Principios), Capítulo 4 (Derechos y Deberes Fundamentales de los Estados), Capítulo 5 (Solución Pacífica de Controversias), y Capítulo 7 (Desarrollo Integral) – todos los cuales comprometen a la OEA y sus Estados Miembros a los principios de respeto a la integridad territorial de los Estados, respeto a la soberanía nacional, solución pacífica de controversias, respeto por los derechos de los Estados a la autodeterminación y no injerencia en los asuntos internos de los Estados soberanos.
¡Ahora por lo tanto ha quedado absolutamente claro que a Luis Almagro NO SE le puede permitir continuar siendo el representante y portavoz de la OEA!
De hecho, cada uno de los Estados Miembros de la OEA que se precie de serlo tiene ahora el deber de denunciar y repudiar la declaración ilícita y ofensiva que el Secretario General de la OEA hizo en su nombre, y ¡pasar a tomar las medidas para DESTITUIR a Luis Almagro del puesto de Secretario General de la OEA!
El Artículo 116 de la Carta de la OEA establece que la Asamblea General de la OEA puede -por el voto de los dos tercios de los Estados Miembros- destituir al Secretario General “siempre que el funcionamiento apropiado de la Organización lo exija”.
El deber de cada uno de los Estados Miembros de la OEA de tomar medidas con respecto a este asunto es absolutamente claro, y aquellos de nosotros que todavía creemos que somos ciudadanos de naciones soberanas, de principios serios y que se respeten, estarán observado muy de cerca para ver cómo responden nuestros gobiernos caribeños.
CLEMENT PAYNE MOVEMENT OF BARBADOS
CARIBBEAN PEACE MOVEMENT
JAMAICA PEACE COUNCIL
GLOBAL AFRIKAN CONGRESS
CARIBBEAN CHAPTER of the
INTERNATIONAL NETWORK IN DEFENSE OF HUMANITY
The OAS Secretary General, Luis Almargo supports Military Intervention to Overthrow the Sovereign Government of Venezuela , an OAS Member State-Will the Jamaican Government Vote to Support Almargo’s Military Intervention in Venezuela or will it oppose him and Remove him as OAS Secretary General?
The threat of military intervention in Venezuela that was recently made as an option by the pro-imperialist Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almargo, to overthrow the elected President of Venezuela 🇻🇪 is not only a threat to Venezuela’s sovereignty but it is also a threat to the sovereignty and independence of all Caribbean and Latin American nations.
For some time now, Almagro’s hostility towards the Venezuelan revolution and its people has been troubling as it demonstrates his lack of respect for the country’s sovereignty, independence and democracy. Indeed, his hostility also clearly demonstrates Almargo’s subservience and disposition to serve the imperial interests of Washington in helping the latter to destabilize and overthrow the constitutionally elected government of Nicholas Maduro.
However, Almargo’s recent open embrace of a military intervention at a press conference in Colombia whose right-wing government is also openly hostile to the Venezuelan government is also a stark reminder of the partisan biases and inappropriate judgement of Luis Almargo as Secretary General of the OAS towards the sovereign and legitimate Maduro government.
As such, the militarist pronouncements of Almargo should involuntarily open the eyes of those who may have failed to see his hostility and the ears of those in our region who may have refused to hear the criminal messages of Trump’s boy at the OAS that have glaringly violated the principles of peaceful resolution of conflicts and non-interference in the internal affairs of member states of the OAS.
Not only should Luis Almagro be reported to the UN for his obvious political and ideological biases towards the independent and sovereign people and government of Venezuela as is promised by the VP of Venezuela. More importantly, Almargo’s bellicose threats to a sovereign member country of the OAS requires that he be sanctioned and removed as Secretary General in keeping with article 116 of the OAS not only for his patent political biases against a member country but also for his equal failure to defend the principles and charter of the organization he leads including which includes the sovereignty and independence of member countries of the OAS.
Further, the Secretary General of the OAS is charged to provide impartial leadership to the regional body and to be fair to all of its member countries irrespective of their political orientation.
On the contrary, Luis Almargo has acted from the outset of his tenure more as an official of the US State Department than as the Secretary General of the OAS which has seriously tarnished the credibility, status and image of the regional organization in the eyes of many members and the world.
The latter disposition of Mr. Almargo should simply be unacceptable to all member states of the OAS with even a modicum of dignity whether they like or dislike the political philosophy of the Venezuelan government.
Contrary to the explicitly political opinions of Mr. Almargo that the “crisis” in Venezuela is the result of “ tyranny” and “dictatorship”, the fact is that the economic crisis which has resulted in thousands of Venezuelans fleeing to neighboring countries is the direct result of some of the most restrictive economic and financial sanctions imposed on Venezuela by powerful countries such as the US, Canada, the EU and the UK from which Venezuela has imported most of its foods, raw materials, clothes, medicines and medical equipment , fertilizers, sanitary napkins, baby foods etc and to which Venezuela exports oil, tourist services and other exports.
The fact is that Venezuelans are being punished for having exercised once again their sovereign right to democratically elect-on May 20th a president and a government that the US and the other cited imperialist countries dislike. Isn’t that the purpose of a democracy as opposed to a “ dictatorship”?
That’s the real reason why the US and the other imperialist countries have decided to collectively punish the Venezuelan people by shutting down the country’s ability to import and export vital goods and services from its traditional trading partners that are required for its economic survival and long term development. The latter is just another form of direct imperialist interference and destabilization of a sovereign member country of the OAS which too is openly supported by the OAS Secretary General. This is another reason why SG Almargo’s behavior must be vociferously condemned as criminal violation of Venezuela’s sovereignty and independence as a member state of the OAS.
Almargo knows that these economic sanctions are illegal, severe and punitive and are the direct cause of the economic crisis in Venezuela. He also knows like his American tutors do that neither “ tyrrany” nor “ dictatorship” exist in Venezuela. Indeed, he knows very well that the Venezuelan people democratically elected their president on May 20th fairly and squarely as confirmed by the reports of US and other Western election observers. Further, Almargo knows very well that it is the severe and vicious sanctions that are the direct cause of the shortages of medicines in hospitals and clinics, shortages of foods, and sanitary napkins and other consumer goods in supermarkets and other retail outlets, raw materials in factories etc. He, like his US tutors also know that the direct cause of the “ refugee crisis” that they desire to “solve”through military intervention to overthrow the democratically elected government of Maduro is unable to resolve the problem but will instead worsen it as the US invasion of Iraq, Syria and Libya did and continue to do many years after those military invasions.
However, as an agent of the US empire, Almargo knows that the real aim of the military invasion is not to “ help the suffering people of Venezuela” or “to end the refugee crisis” but is instead designed to strangle democracy in Venezuela by overthrowing the constitutionally elected government of Nicholas Maduro. That’s the real goal of Mr. Almargo who is at the service of President Trump and the other crazies in Washington who still believe that Latin America is “ the backyard of America”.
However, Almargo like his US backers cannot tell the truth about their real goals in Venezuela and so he like them must necessarily push the propaganda
line of the empire that the sovereign and constitutionally elected president of Venezuela and his legitimate government constitute a “ dictatorship” which they claim is the cause of the crisis. They push this lie hoping that it will mask their true plan and buy them legitimacy within the OAS and regionally to invade Venezuela.
Mr. Almargo, the discredited and dishonorable Secretary General of the OAS knows that the Venezuelan government is not a “ tyrrany” or a “ dictatorship” but is instead a constitutional democracy that has chosen a genuinely sovereign and independent anti-imperialist path to end its dependence on imperialist countries. The latter is what terrifies not only the US empire but apparently el senor Almargo who seems to have forgotten that his job is that of Secretary General of the OAS and not an Under Secretary of the US State Department.
Finally, Mr. Almargo and the American government have apparently agreed that the Secretary General of the OAS and not the US government should perhaps push the idea of military intervention once again so as to use the OAS as their cover for US military intervention into a sovereign member state of the OAS as was done in the Dominican Republic in 1965. The latter it seems is largely for two main reasons. First, there is virtually no political support for military intervention in Venezuela among Latin American and Caribbean governments and their peoples. Secondly, it seems that there is division even among the US ruling class and particularly among the military top brass at the Pentagon about a military intervention in Venezuela as they are worried about the blow back from such an intervention.
Thus, now more than ever is the time for all member countries of the OAS to unequivocally vote NO to military intervention, NO to Almargo as Secretary General and NO to US intervention in Venezuela under the cloak of Almargo’s OAS.
Specifically, the focus will be on the Caribbean governments and in particular Jamaica’s and others to see whether they are willing to give Mr. Almargo a pass for openly stating his willingness to intervene militarily in a member state of the OAS to overthrow its government in opposition of the principles of the OAS or whether they will hold him accountable by voting to remove him as OAS chief to protect the integrity and dignity of member states.
The fact is that the political leadership of the Venezuelan revolution is fighting for peace and political stability without which the country cannot develop while US and Western imperialism and Luis Almargo are peddling military invasion to destabilize the revolution, destroy lives and strangle the country’s sovereign development path.
Needless to say, the bitter battles that have been ensuing between the Venezuelan revolution and its decidedly anti-imperialist path on the one hand and its arch enemies, namely,US imperialism, Western imperialism, Luis Almargo, and the regional and global oligarchies on the other, is a narrative of the latter group of powerful forces bent on obscuring, suppressing and distorting the truth about the Venezuelan people and their embrace of their revolution in very difficult circumstances in order to conceal their criminal class interests to dominate the land of Bolivar and Chavez.
Chavez was known for speaking his mind and stirring up controversy, which is one reason why people speculate about his death. His comments regarding the earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 were particularly direct; he claimed that the United States Navy induced the Haiti Earthquake using a weather weapon, accusing the United States of “playing God.” A Spanish newspaper quoted Chavez as saying that “the US Navy launched a weapon capable of inducing a powerful earthquake off the shore of Haiti. This time, it was only a drill, and the final target is destroying and taking over Iran.” (source)
When I first came across this comment about Iran, I was immediately reminded of a similar accusation made by Four Star U.S. General Wesley Clark Made, who revealed plans by the United States to invade several countries — a plan which would end with the invasion of Iran. You can see the video here.
This isn’t just crazy talk. Chavez had a long military career, and was well respected in his work. He’s also not the only person to suggest that the United States is, and has been, manipulating and controlling the weather for years.
For example, in 2010, then-president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the U.S.’s High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) was responsible for the devastating floods in Pakistan, and that Western countries have been causing drought in various parts of the world, including Iran.
According to The Telegraph, Ahmadinejad emphasized that “according to reports on climate, whose accuracy has been verified, European countries are using equipment to force clouds to dump their water on their continent,” and are “prevent[ing] rain clouds from reaching regional countries, including Iran.” (source)
Renowned Pakistani columnist Nusrat Mirza accused the U.S. of artificially causing the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, calling the radiation leaks resulting from damage to nuclear plants the U.S.’s “second nuclear attack” on the Japanese nation. He argued that the March earthquake was artificially caused by the U.S. X-37B spaceplane just six days after it was launched. (source)
Weather Modification Is No Conspiracy Theory
Weather modification is far from a conspiracy theory, as Professor Michel Chossudovsky, the University of Ottawa’s Emeritus Professor of Economics, tells usin an article he wrote for The Ecologist several years ago:
Rarely acknowledged in the debate on global climate change, the world’s weather can now be modified as part of a new generation of sophisticated electromagnetic weapons. Both the US and Russia have developed capabilities to manipulate the climate for military use.
Environmental modification techniques have been applied by the US military for more than half a century. US mathematician John von Neumann, in liaison with the US Department of Defense, started his research on weather modification in the late 1940s at the height of the Cold War and foresaw ‘forms of climatic warfare as yet unimagined’. During the Vietnam war, cloud-seeding techniques were used, starting in 1967 under Project Popeye, the objective of which was to prolong the monsoon season and block enemy supply routes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
The US military has developed advanced capabilities that enable it selectively to alter weather patterns. The technology, which is being perfected under the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), is an appendage of the Strategic Defense Initiative – ‘Star Wars’. From a military standpoint, HAARP is a weapon of mass destruction, operating from the outer atmosphere and capable of destabilising agricultural and ecological systems around the world.
Weather-modification, according to the US Air Force document AF 2025 Final Report, “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025,” “offers the war fighter a wide-range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary” which include the triggering of floods, hurricanes, droughts, and earthquakes. It goes on to explain the value such technology holds for military operations:
Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally. . . . It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog and storms on earth or to modify space weather . . . and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of [military] technologies.
The report also provides details of governmental spraying schedules, chemical orders, and correct nomenclature used in airline operating manuals. It provides support for its notion of “heavy involvement of governments at the top level in climate control projects.”
In 2007, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) published a statement that included “Guidelines for the Planning of Weather Modification Activities.” Acknowledging that the modern technology of weather modification began in the 1940s, it notes is still “an emerging technology.” The document states that “in recent years there has been a decline in the support for weather modification research, and a tendency to move directly into operational projects.” It makes no mention of military application, however.
Obtained from the NASA archives, a document prepared for the Interdepartmental Committee For Atmospheric Sciences by Homer E. Newell, a mathematics professor and author who became a powerful United States government science administrator with NASA, also outlines weather modification efforts, successes, and recommendations for future applications. Bear in mind, this was over 50 years ago.
In 2010, Dr. Arnold Vermeeren, an assistant professor at the Delft University of Technology in the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, compiled a 300-page history of weather modification programs titled “CASE ORANGE: Contrail Science, Its Impact on Climate and Weather Manipulation Programs Conducted by the United States and Its Allies.” It was prepared for the Belfort Group by a team of scientists but presented anonymously, then sent to embassies, news organizations, and interested groups around the world “to force public debate.” It is another great document to look if you want more information.
In November of 1978, The United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation argued in a report that this is a ‘National Security‘ issue. This is important because, in the United States, whenever something becomes a ‘national security issue’ it is immediately classified and hidden from public eye. Some historians estimate that the United Stats classifies up to half a billion documents every single year. It’s well known that the CIA and other government organizations and, as the quote below states, Federal agencies are involved in these programs.
According to the report:
In addition to specific research programs sponsored by Federal agencies, there are other functions related to weather modification which are performed in several places in the executive branch. Various Federal advisory panels and committees and their staffs – established to conduct in-depth studies and prepare comprehensive reports, to provide advice or recommendations, or to coordinate Federal weather modification programs – have been housed and supported within executive departments, agencies, or offices.
Rosalind Peterson, President and Co-Founder of the Agriculture Defense Coalition (ADC) and an ex-United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) employee, made this statement at a 2007 United Nations hearing on global warming:
One of the things that is affected by climate change is agriculture, but some of what we are seeing is manmade, but manmade in a different way than you may guess. Weather modification programs, experimental ones done by private companies, done by the US government, done by states across the United States, are underway; there’s more than 50 of them in operation across the United States. All of these impact agriculture because they change the micro-climates needed for agriculture to survive. None of these programs that I know of today, and this all public record, are available at anytime with oversight. . . . International corporations are modifying our weather all the time, and they’re modifying it in ways that cover thousands and thousands of square miles. Most of it is chemically altered, so that what happens is that we are putting chemicals, ground based chemicals that are shot into the air, or chemicals coming from airplanes, that change and modify our weather. (source)
A couple of months ago, HRH Princess Basmah Bint Saud, the daughter of King Saud and an active humanitarian, compared geoengineering science and programs to weapons of mass destruction, arguing that their implementation is like setting off a bomb without the nuclear explosion. I wrote an article about it, also outlining how geo-engineering proposals are now part of mainstream academic science.
For example, If we look at SPICE, a United Kingdom government funded geoengineering research project that collaborates with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Bristol, some of the proposed particles to spray in the air include:
- Sulphate/Sulphuric Acid/Sulphur Dioxide
- Silicon Carbide
- Calcium Carbonate
- Zinc Oxide
They refer to it as Solar Radiation Management, and the idea is to spray these chemicals into the atmosphere in order to combat the effects of global warming by deflecting them away from Earth’s surface. In mainstream academic circles, there is still a harsh resistance to the idea that the manipulation of our climate and weather is and actually has happened, but with all of the documentation and statements given from various people who are ‘in the know,’ this is hard to believe.
What is happening is not ‘open’ and transparent to the public, which is very concerning. I’ll leave you with this final statement given to us by M. Granger Morgan, the head professor of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University:
I want to reiterate what John said, which is I think that any research in this area needs to be open. I think it would be truly disastrous if, you know, we discovered a few years from now that there was a “black program” that some government had stood-up to sort of learn on-the-quiet how to do this. . . .
We do stuff in the stratosphere all the time, of course, and so it’s not as though the stratosphere is absolutely pristine. But you don’t want to have people going off and doing things that involve large radiative forcings; or go on for extended periods; or, for that matter, provide lots of reactive surfaces that could result in significant ozone destruction. (source)
There is much more evidence out there, but I wanted to offer a small sample of research to inform readers about these programs and to make clear why arguments made by Chavez and others are not only plausible, but quite sound. Even if you don’t believe the United States is using this technology for ill intent, all of this information at least begs the question, why isn’t geoengineering and climate control a topic of discussion/interest at major climate summits?
“The debate on climate change does not acknowledge the role of climatic warfare, namely the deliberate manipulation of climate for military use.
“HAARP is a weapon of mass destruction, capable of destabilising agricultural and ecological systems globally.”
“‘Climatic warfare’ potentially threatens the future of humanity, but has casually been excluded from the reports for which the IPCC received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.” It has also been excluded from the November 2015 Paris Climate Summit.”
– Professor Michel Chossudovsky (source)
Crime in Jamaica, especially violent crime has reached a fever pitch. It has gotten so bad that the (slim and always fleeting) gains made after the Tivoli debacle, that is to say, the drastic reduction in murders, have been lost. We see this year on year, and it reached near its maddening heights last year […]
Le mois dernier, certains se sont ému de la venue en Martinique d’un personnage hautement politisé et diabolisé pour ses actions passées et présentes. Un homme qui dans son cheminement intellectuel est passé d’un positionnement ancré dans une différenciation imprimée dans nos consciences par des siècles de colonisation Européenne, entre l’homme d’Afrique et ses descendants […]
It is difficult to compress all that one would like to say about Comandante Fidel Castro into three minutes. I have therefore chosen to touch briefly on one aspect of his contribution – the development of women.
Fidel Castro can truly be considered the liberator of the Cuban women. Women played an integral role in the whole process that led to the Cuban Revolution. Among them were Celia Sanchez, Haydee Santamaria, Vilma Espin and many others. Reflecting the spirit of the Cuban heroine Mariana Grajales, women formed columns in the revolutionary struggle in the Sierra Maestra and on the ground in various communities across the country. As activists they did not confine themselves to feminist issues. Maruja Iglesias, leader of Frente Civico de Mujeres Martianas pointed this out when she said, “We are not fighting for [just] women’s rights. We are fighting for the rights of everyone.”
Fidel placed a high priority on changing the conditions of women in the development of revolutionary Cuba. In 1960, he saw to the formation of the Federation of Cuban Women which was led by Vilma Espin.
Prior to the Cuban Revolution, women, especially black Cuban women, occupied the lowest rung of the social ladder in the patriarchal society. Unemployment and illiteracy were rife among women. They made up 17% of the labour force and they earned less than their male counterparts doing the same jobs. There were few opportunities for them to progress.
Under Fidel Castro’s leadership, women benefited from equal access to education, employment and quality health care. Life expectancy among Cuban women is now 80 years and infant mortality is at the remarkably low rate of 0.02%. Women workers have up to one year maternity leave and their spouses also enjoy paternity leave.
Today in Cuba, 44% of the workforce is made up of women, 53% of the scientists are women, 80% of the prosecutors are women, 66% of the technicians and professionals are women, 46% of the leadership of the economic sector are women (2% before the revolution) and approximately 53.2% of the parliamentarians are women. Cuba holds second place globally with regard to percentage of women in parliament while the United States is ranked 102.
Ines Maria Chapman and Beatriz Johnson
It is also a credit to Fidel’s leadership of revolutionary Cuba that two of the vice Presidents, elected this year, are women, black women – Inez Maria Chapman and Beatriz Johnson.
Let us not forget also that the leader of negotiations in the normalisation of relations with the US is a woman, Josefina de la Caridad Vidal Ferreiro, a diplomat, who is Director General of the U.S. Division in Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Fidel’s legacy of leadership of the Cuban revolution continued in the presidency of Raul Castro and now Miguel Díaz-Canel. The spirit of Fidel lives on in the Cuban people and all peace-loving people throughout the world. He has shown what is possible when a nation claims its sovereignty and places a high priority on the development of its people, including women.
Fidel dedicated his life to peace, humanity and protection of the environment. He is a shining example to the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. His spirit moves among us as we condemn imperialist attacks aimed at turning back progress in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Ecuador, as we condemn the attempted assassination of Nicolas Maduro, and as we defend Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, Daniel Ortega, Evo Morales and all the progressive leaders of the region.
It is less important to praise great leaders like Fidel and more important to emulate them in accordance with the historical imperatives before us. Perhaps that is why Fidel insisted that no monuments be erected and no buildings be named in his honour. The Cuban men, women and children demonstrated a keen understanding of the message he was sending when, as they celebrated his life and work, they marched in the streets declaring “Yo soy Fidel.” (I am Fidel.)
Before Columbus: How Africans Brought Civilization to America By Garikai Chengu – Global Research, August 10, 2018 Global Research 12 October 2014 Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2014. On Monday [October 13 2014], America’s government offices, businesses, and banks all grind to a halt in order to commemorate Columbus Day. In schools up and down […]
[Português] For the end of the massacre of the Palestinian people and of the Israeli leadership’s impunity; for a Free Palestine, now! In a provocative, irresponsible measure that goes against all of the democratic and progressive forces’ efforts for a fair political solution to the situation in Palestine – where a people faces heroically one […]
In a provocative, irresponsible measure that goes against all of the democratic and progressive forces’ efforts for a fair political solution to the situation in Palestine – where a people faces heroically one century of colonization and five decades of Israeli military occupation – the US opened up its Embassy in Jerusalem on the 14th of May, as ordered by President Donald Trump.
The unilateral step is a blatant violation of international law and of UN resolutions. Hence, only the US has arbitrarily recognized the historical city, which Israel occupied and illegitimately annexed by force, as this country’s capital, running over the principles put forth in successive negotiations for the conflict’s solution, one which would have a shared Jerusalem.
With fair reason, Palestinians have responded with intense protest, to which the Israeli occupation forces reacted with the usual brutality. The Israeli armed forces’ attacks have already killed at least 55 people and wounded thousands this Monday, the 14th, alone. The US provocation of establishing its Embassy in Jerusalem and the Palestinians’ massacre by the Israeli armed forces constitute a revolting affront to all the peace-loving peoples.
For over one month the Palestinians have been protesting, especially in the Gaza Strip, against colonialism and occupation, reaffirming the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, after 70 years in exile, of dispossession and genocide. Since then, the Israeli forces have been shooting to kill unarmed demonstrators and journalists reporting on the protests, alleging that they are protecting the borders. There are over 100 fatal victims during this round of protests.
The UN estimates that around 70% of Gaza’s population is comprised of refugees from the villages destroyed or occupied by Israel during its creation, seven decades ago. On the 15th of May, a day after Israel celebrates its establishment, the Palestinians mark the Nakba, the catastrophe, the genocide, the massacre of 15,000 people, the destruction of over 500 villages and the expulsion of 750,000 people that became refugees (a population today estimated at around five and seven million people scattered throughout the world).
We must reaffirm, with renewed vehemence, the complete rejection of the persistent colonization and military occupation of Palestine by Israel. While we denounce, with indignation, another episode of Israel’s massacre of the Palestinian people, we do not loose sight of the fact that this is a strategy of the Zionist aggressive, racist and criminal leadership of that country, which persecutes even those who inside Israel dare to oppose such a genocidal policy.
As the World Peace Council has repeatedly done, we express, therefore, our unwavering solidarity with the Palestinian people and all the peace forces that, in Palestine, in Israel and all over the world, struggle for a just solution to the question of Palestine.
We reaffirm the urgency of the two-state solution that the Zionist policy and the imperialist complicity try to bury, fulfilling the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination and the establishment of the State of Palestine within the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital; for the refugees’ right of return and for the liberation of over 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners in the occupation’s cells!
We demand accountability for the Israeli leadership for the persistent crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Palestinian people, beginning with the apartheid regime itself, going through the systematic and grave violations of the Palestinian people’s human rights.
For an end to the siege of the Gaza Strip and of the Israeli repression!
For an end to the Zionist colonization and the Israeli military occupation of Palestine, now!
Long live a Free Palestine!
President of the World Peace Council
15th of May 2018
Poor Peoples Campaign demonstration in Washington D. C.
Activists converged on state capitals around the U.S. on Monday to begin six weeks of non-violent protests calling for new programs to help the millions of Americans who live in poverty, an overhaul of voting rights laws and other social change.
Reports by police from seven state capitols and Washington, D.C., showed more than 200 people had been arrested or cited during the first day of the so-called Poor People’s Campaign. In many instances, police said protesters were cited for blocking traffic. In Washington, the two leaders of the campaign were among the protesters arrested outside the U.S. Capitol. Campaign leaders said the protests would cover 35 states.
A statement from the campaign said the Rev. William Barber and the Rev. Liz Theoharis, its two co-chairmen, were among those arrested outside the U.S. Capitol for standing in the middle of a street. Police had no immediate confirmation of arrests there or a specific number of those stopped.
“We’re living in an impoverished democracy,” Barber said. “People across the country are standing up against the lie of scarcity. We know that in the richest country in the world, there is no reason for children to go hungry, for the sick to be denied health care and for citizens to have their votes suppressed. Both parties have to be challenged — one for what it does and one for what it doesn’t do.”
Barber is a North Carolina minister and former president of the state NAACP chapter. Theoharis is co-director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice in New York.
In Alabama, twelve (12) people were arrested for blocking thec street in front of the State Capitol in Montgomery.
In Missouri, 88 people were issued summonses in Jefferson City for obstructing a lawful police order to move after they blocked a downtown street. Police in Raleigh, North Carolina, led off 49 people after they walked out into the street in front of the legislative building, held hands and refused to depart until each was taken away and cited.
Officers cited 10 protesters at the Iowa Capitol who gathered in and around the staff offices of Gov. Kim Reynolds when they refused to leave the building at the close of business hours.
The campaign cast the protests as a “reignition” of the Poor People’s Campaign, the 1968 movement started by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others to challenge racism, poverty and militarism. According to the campaign, protesters will spend the next 40 days engaged in nonviolent action, including the mobilization of voters and holding teach-ins.
The first teach-in is scheduled for Tuesday in Washington. It is to feature Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund and a part of the 1968 campaign.
By Associated Press Poor Peoples Campaign demonstration in Washington D. C. Activists converged on state capitals around the U.S. on Monday to begin six weeks of non-violent protests calling for new programs to help the millions of Americans who live in poverty, an overhaul of voting rights laws and other social change. Reports by police […]
By Hassan Isilow
Thousands of South Africans on Tuesday marched to condemn the killings of Palestinians by Israeli security forces at Gaza border.
“We are coming here to condemn and express our anger at the Israel apartheid regime,” Mohammad Desai of Boycott Divestment & Sanctions group (BDS) told a large crowd in Cape Town.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 60 Palestinian demonstrators have been martyred and thousands more injured by cross-border Israeli gunfire in one of the deadliest single day massacres in the country’s history.
Desai said Palestinians stood with South Africans during the struggle against apartheid and gave them resources to fight the white minority rule. He said South Africans has all the rights to reciprocate the support.
“The UN has failed us all; resolution after resolution, Israel ignores them. It’s time now for an International solidarity movement to stand up against the atrocious Israeli regime,” deputy secretary general of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Jessie Duarte, told local TV eNCA.
Another march was held outside the U.S. consulate in Johannesburg to condemn the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
The embassy relocation coincides with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment in 1948 — an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or the “The Catastrophe”.
Duarte said Israel is “currently perpetuating inhumane action against Palestinian people and it must stop.”
Photos published on social media showed protesters carrying a coffin draped in Palestinian flag to show their condemnation of the killing of Palestinians.
In a statement on Monday, the South African government condemned the killing of protesters in the Gaza Strip.
On Monday, the South African government ordered the immediate recall of its ambassador to Israel, Sisa Ngobane, following the fatal violence perpetrated by Israel troops in Palestine.
Israel has not yet responded in kind.
Thousands of Palestinians staged mass rallies on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border on Monday to commemorate the Nakba anniversary and protest the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
For the past decade, the United States has been quietly assisting opposition groups in Nicaragua, helping them organize resistance to the country’s popular leftist president Daniel Ortega.
U.S. officials hope the country’s opposition groups will create a new political movement that can defeat Ortega at the polls or pressure him into stepping down from power. They fear that without their support, Ortega’s opposition will remain weak and divided, making it impossible for anyone to mount a successful political campaign against the Nicaraguan president.
“Our assistance programs are primarily directed at civil society, in order to limit engagement with the central government,” State Department official Juan Gonzalez told Congress in September 2016.
The assistance programs appear to be having some effect, especially now that opposition groups are leading majorprotests against the Nicaraguan government. After the Nicaraguan government passed a number of mild reforms to the country’s social security program in April, Ortega’s opponents organized a series of protests that quickly turned violent.
Observers estimate that as many as 45 people died in the protests.
Since the protests began, U.S. officials have declared their support for the opposition, blaming the Nicaraguan government for the violence. They have not said if any of the protesters have benefited from their assistance.
While questions remain about the extent of U.S. involvement, it is no secret that the United States has historically played a heavy-handed role in Nicaragua. During the early 20th century, U.S. marines occupied the country for two decades. When the marines left in the 1930s, they handed things over to the Somoza family, which ruled Nicaragua with U.S. support from the 1930s to the 1970s.
During the late 1970s, the Sandinistas ousted the U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship in a popular revolution. Following the revolution, Ortega led a new government that began putting more resources into education and health care, helping to increase literacy and reduce child mortality.
To prevent the revolution from succeeding, U.S. officials directed two major campaigns against the Sandinistas. During the mid-1980s, the Reagan administration organized a terrorist war against Nicaragua, backing counterrevolutionary forces (“contras”) that tried to overthrow the new Nicaraguan government. As the contras waged their campaign of terror, U.S. officials began supporting Ortega’s political opponents, helping them gain political power through the country’s presidential election in 1990.
In the following years, U.S. officials remained closely involved with their political allies. U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks reveal that U.S. officials continued working to keeptheir political allies in power while preventing the Sandinistas from regaining political power. Before the presidential election in 2006, U.S. diplomats spearheaded a multi-faceted campaignto steer campaign funds to their political allies while discouraging voters from voting for Ortega.
In spite of these efforts, U.S. meddling was not enough to tilt the presidential election in favor of U.S.-backed candidates. Ortega won, bringing him back into office and providing the Sandinistas with an opportunity to revive their revolution.
U.S. diplomats in Nicaragua were stunned by the result. They called for an intensification of programs to confront Ortega. “We need to take decisive action and well-funded measures to bolster the elements of Nicaraguan society that can best stop him before he lulls the majority of the Nicaraguan people into complacency, or threatens them into silence,” they reported.
In September 2016, U.S. official Marcela Escobari told a congressional committee that U.S.A.I.D. was working with more than 2,000 “young people” and over 60 civil society organizations to help them play a more active role in Nicaraguan politics and society. “These efforts are allowing them to exercise their political muscle and see results,” she said.
It has not always been easy for U.S. officials to mobilize opposition, however. Since returning to power, Ortega has created a number of popular social welfare programs, providing Nicaraguans with free education, free health care, and various home-improvement programs. The programs have been quite effective, raising incomes and significantly reducing poverty.
The programs have also bolstered Ortega’s popularity, especially among the poor.
In September 2016, a report by the Congressional Research Service described Ortega as “the most popular political figure in Nicaragua.”
That same month, State Department official Juan Gonzalez acknowledged that Ortega was supported by the majority of the population, attributing his support to “a lot of the social investments that he has made in the country.”
Regardless, U.S. officials have not abandoned their efforts to remove Ortega from power. While many officials acknowledge that Ortega has maintained favorable economic policies for U.S. investors and businesses, they insist that he is not doing enough.
Earlier this year, U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Laura Dogu complained that international investors face too much risk in the country. She said the country’s cheap labor, which she called its “main competitive advantage,” was losing its appeal. “As more activities are done by robots, the cost of labor becomes irrelevant,” she said.
Dogu insisted that the Nicaraguan people must accept sweeping economic reforms if they want their country to remain relevant in the global economy. She called for more vocational training for young people and the introduction of genetically engineered crops into the country. “Nicaragua can choose to capture emerging markets and growth industries… or can chose to be left behind as other countries seize those opportunities,” she said.
But the bigger problem, according to U.S. officials, is that Ortega remains the leader of Nicaragua. As long as he remains president, they fear that they will never be able to move the country in their preferred direction.
They view Ortega as a “relic” of the Cold War, as U.S. Senator Marco Rubio once called him. The time for leftist revolutions in Latin America is over, they believe. And with leftist leaders being driven from officethroughout the region, U.S. officials hope Ortega will be next.
On Sept. 6, I locked myself out of my apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. I was in a rush to get to my weekly soccer game, so I decided to go enjoy the game and deal with the lock afterward.
A few hours and a visit from a locksmith later, I was inside my apartment and slipping off my shoes when I heard a man’s voice and what sounded like a small dog whimpering outside, near my front window. I imagined a loiterer and opened the door to move him along. I was surprised to see a large dog halfway up the staircase to my door. I stepped back inside, closed the door and locked it.
I heard barking. I approached my front window and loudly asked what was going on. Peering through my blinds, I saw a gun. A man stood at the bottom of the stairs, pointing it at me. I stepped back and heard: “Come outside with your hands up.” I thought: This man has a gun and will kill me if I don’t come outside. At the same time, I thought: I’ve heard this line from policemen in movies. Although he didn’t identify himself, perhaps he’s an officer.
I left my apartment in my socks, shorts and a light jacket, my hands in the air. “What’s going on?” I asked again. Two police officers had guns trained on me. They shouted: “Who’s in there with you? How many of you are there?”
I said it was only me and, hands still raised, slowly descended the stairs, focused on one officer’s eyes and on his pistol. I had never looked down the barrel of a gun or at the face of a man with a loaded weapon pointed at me. In his eyes, I saw fear and anger. I had no idea what was happening, but I saw how it would end: I would be dead in the stairwell outside my apartment, because something about me — a 5-foot-7, 125-pound black woman — frightened this man with a gun. I sat down, trying to look even less threatening, trying to de-escalate. I again asked what was going on. I confirmed there were no pets or people inside.
I told the officers I didn’t want them in my apartment. I said they had no right to be there. They entered anyway. One pulled me, hands behind my back, out to the street. The neighbors were watching. Only then did I notice the ocean of officers. I counted 16. They still hadn’t told me why they’d come.
Later, I learned that the Santa Monica Police Department had dispatched 19 officers after one of my neighbors reported a burglary at my apartment. It didn’t matter that I told the cops I’d lived there for seven months, told them about the locksmith, offered to show a receipt for his services and my ID. It didn’t matter that I went to Duke, that I have an MBA from Dartmouth, that I’m a vice president of strategy at a multinational corporation. It didn’t matter that I’ve never had so much as a speeding ticket. It didn’t matter that I calmly, continually asked them what was happening. It also didn’t matter that I didn’t match the description of the person they were looking for — my neighbor described me as Hispanic when he called 911. What mattered was that I was a woman of color trying to get into her apartment — in an almost entirely white apartment complex in a mostly white city — and a white man who lived in another building called the cops because he’d never seen me before.
After the officers and dog exited my “cleared” apartment, I was allowed back inside to speak with some of them. They asked me why I hadn’t come outside shouting, “I live here.” I told them it didn’t make sense to walk out of my own apartment proclaiming my residence when I didn’t even know what was going on. I also reminded them that they had guns pointed at me. Shouting at anyone with a gun doesn’t seem like a wise decision.
I had so many questions. Why hadn’t they announced themselves? Why had they pointed guns at me? Why had they refused to answer when I asked repeatedly what was going on? Was it protocol to send more than a dozen cops to a suspected burglary? Why hadn’t anyone asked for my ID or accepted it, especially after I’d offered it? If I hadn’t heard the dog, would I have opened the door to a gun in my face? “Maybe,” they answered.
I demanded all of their names and was given few. Some officers simply ignored me when I asked, boldly turning and walking away. Afterward, I saw them talking to neighbors, but they ignored me when I approached them again. A sergeant assured me that he’d personally provide me with all names and badge numbers.
I introduced myself to the reporting neighbor and asked if he was aware of the gravity of his actions — the ocean of armed officers, my life in danger. He stuttered about never having seen me, before snippily asking if I knew mynext-door neighbor. After confirming that I did and questioning him further, he angrily responded, “I’m an attorney, so you can go f— yourself,” and walked away.
I spoke with two of the officers a little while longer, trying to wrap my mind around the magnitude and nature of their response. They wondered: Wouldn’t I want the same response if I’d been the one who called the cops? “Absolutely not,” I told them. I recounted my terror and told them how I imagined it all ending, particularly in light of the recent interactions between police and people of color. One officer admitted that it was complicated but added that people sometimes kill cops for no reason. I was momentarily speechless at this strange justification.
I got no clear answers from the police that night and am still struggling to get them, despite multiple visits, calls and e-mails to the Santa Monica Police Department requesting the names of the officers, their badge numbers, the audio from my neighbor’s call to 911 and the police report. The sergeant didn’t e-mail me the officers’ names as he promised. I was told that the audio of the call requires a subpoena and that the small army of responders, guns drawn, hadn’t merited an official report. I eventually received a list from the SMPD of 17 officers who came to my apartment that night, but the list does not include the names of two officers who handed me their business cards on the scene. I’ve filed an official complaint with internal affairs.
(The department released some of this information to The Washington Post after an editor’s inquiry.)
To many, the militarization of the police is primarily abstract or painted as occasional. That thinking allows each high-profile incident of aggressive police interaction with people of color — Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray — to be written off as an outlier.
What happened to them did not happen to me, but it easily could have. The SMPD sent 19 armed police officers who refused to answer my questions while violating my rights, privacy and sense of well-being. A wrong move, and I could have been shot. My complaint is not the first against the department this year.This spring, the local branch of the NAACP and other concerned residents met with SMPD to discuss several incidents of aggressive policing against people of color. The NAACP asked SMPD for demographic information on all traffic, public transportation and pedestrian stops; so far, the department has promised to release a report of detailed arrest data next year.
The trauma of that night lingers. I can’t un-see the guns, the dog, the officers forcing their way into my apartment, the small army waiting for me outside. Almost daily, I deal with sleeplessness, confusion, anger and fear. I’m frightened when I see large dogs now. I have nightmares of being beaten by white men as they call me the n-word. Every week, I see the man who called 911. He averts his eyes and ignores me.
I’m heartbroken that his careless assessment of me, based on skin color, could endanger my life. I’m heartbroken by the sense of terror I got from people whose job is supposedly to protect me. I’m heartbroken by a system that evades accountability and justifies dangerous behavior. I’m heartbroken that the place I called home no longer feels safe. I’m heartbroken that no matter how many times a story like this is told, it will happen again.
Not long ago, I was walking with a friend to a crowded restaurant when I spotted two cops in line and froze. I tried to figure out how to get around them without having to walk past them. I no longer wanted to eat there, but I didn’t want to ruin my friend’s evening. As we stood in line, 10 or so people back, my eyes stayed on them. I’ve always gone out of my way to avoid generalizations. I imagined that perhaps these two cops were good people, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what the Santa Monica police had done to me. I found a lump in my throat as I tried to separate them from the system that had terrified me. I realized that if I needed help, I didn’t think I could ask them for it.
Editor’s note: The Santa Monica Police Department told The Washington Post that 16 officers were on the scene but later provided a list of 17 names. That list does not match the list of 17 names that was eventually provided to the writer; the total number of names provided by the SMPD is 19. The department also said that it was protocol for this type of call to warrant “a very substantial police response,” and that any failure of officers to provide their names and badge numbers “would be inconsistent with the Department’s protocols and expectations.” There is an open internal affairs inquiry into the writer’s allegations of racially motivated misconduct. After this essay ran online, Police Chief Jacqueline A. Seabrooks released anadditional statement. “The 9-1-1 caller was not wrong for reporting what he believed was an in-progress residential burglary,” she wrote. “Ms. Wells is not wrong to feel as she does.”
Open Letter to the People of Iran from the American People
We, the undersigned, apologize for Donald Trump’s reckless, baseless, and dangerous decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement and we pledge to do everything we can to reverse that decision.
We are ashamed that our government has broken an agreement that was already signed not just by the United States and Iran, but also by France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China, and then approved by the entire UN Security Council in a unanimous vote. We are ashamed that our government has broken a deal that was working, a deal with which Iran was complying, a deal that was making our entire world safer and could have moved our nations closer towards the path of friendship.
Unlike our president, we believe that a deal is a deal. Unlike our president, we want to resolve the conflicts in the Middle East, not escalate them. Unlike our president, we want our nation’s resources to be dedicated to enriching people’s lives, not enriching the weapons makers. Unlike our president, we want to live in peace and harmony with the people of Iran.
We understand that our nation already has a dreadful history of meddling in the internal affairs of your country. The 1953 coup that overthrew your democratically elected government was unconscionable. So was US support for Iraq’s Saddam Hussein when he invaded Iran in 1980, including selling him material for making chemical weapons that were used against you. The 1988 shooting down of an Iranian civilian airliner, killing all 290 passengers and crew, was unconscionable. So, too, are the decades of covert actions to overthrow your government and the decades of sanctions that have brought such needless suffering to ordinary Iranians.
We understand that the US government has no business interfering in your internal affairs or in the Middle East in general. We should not be selling weapons to nations guilty of gross human rights violations or sending our military to fight in faraway lands. With all the flaws in our own society–from massive inequality and racism to a political system corrupted by monetary influences–we should clean up our own house instead of telling others how to govern themselves.
We will do everything in our power to stop Donald Trump from strangling your economy and taking us to war with you. We will ask the UN to sanction the United States for violating the nuclear agreement. We will urge the Europeans, Russians, and Chinese to keep the deal alive and increase their trade relations. And we will work to rid ourselves of this unscrupulous president and replace him with someone who is trustworthy, moral, and committed to diplomacy.
Please accept our hand in friendship. May the peacemakers prevail over those who sow hatred and discord.
Click this link sign the petition: https://www.codepink.org/an_apology_to_the_people_of_iran?
The confirmed missile attack on the evening of Sunday 29 April on a number of Syrian airbases has raised the tension massively in the Middle East. According to “Tishreen”, Syrian newspaper, quoted from sources claiming: “The recent attack on the headquarters in Aleppo and Hama provinces started from the British and American bases in northern Jordan, and nine ballistic missiles were fired in the attack”.
Although no country has formally taken responsibility for this act of aggression, the fingers are all pointing to the Israeli military as being behind it. Just hours before the attack, Mike Pompeo, the new US Secretary of State, was visiting Israel before departing for the Saudi Arabia another warmonger country and advocate of the “New Middle East Plan”, the war of aggression against Iran as a means of changing the balance of forces in the region.
The Trump administration is considering – based on its agreements with Israel and Saudi Arabia – to announce its withdrawal from the JCPOA (Nuclear Deal with Iran) or at least force a renegotiation with additional terms which will be detrimental to the Iranian side.
Israel along with the US administration are fabricating new pretexts with regards to Iran’s nuclear activities, for the above purpose and neglecting the statement of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), made on Tuesday 1 May, that it has no evidence of Iran’s attempt to achieve nuclear weapons.
The WPC believes that unless the plans by the US and its allies in the Middle East are not stopped in their tracks, the Persian Gulf Region and the whole Middle East will be in danger of being engulfed by war and destruction. The WPC believes that in these critical conditions
it is its duty to call upon the forces of peace internationally to be vigilant and to mobilize public opinion globally against this military adventure directed from any quarters, defending peace in the Middle East. The escalation of the aggressiveness of US imperialism and its allies will lead to a disaster for the peoples of the Middle East and would plunge the whole region into a generalized war and destruction. It is our belief that all problems and disputes in the Middle East should be resolved through dialogue and negotiations in the context of the UN Charter and against the imperialist interference.
The WPC calls on all peace loving forces around the world to prioritise a campaign against the imperialist plans in the Middle East, preventing a regional conflict of global dimension.
The WPC believes that the struggle of the Iranian people and of all peoples of the region for peace with social justice and for peoples’ and democratic rights, will be undermined if we are not able to block the destructive policies of the US administration and its allies (e.g. NATO, EU, Israel, Saudi Arabia). We call on the members and friends of the World Peace Council and all consequent and genuine peace organisations across the world to effectively mobilize public opinion against the start of a new imperialist war in the Middle East. Our urgent action is vital! Tomorrow will be too late! Act NOW!
World Peace Council
7th May 2018
This presenter shares some interesting insights into social interaction between the sexes and the unique impact of the socialist way of life on building the self-confidence of women.
Spokesperson for Russia’s foreign ministry Maria Zajarova during a press conference. | Photo: EFE
Russia has criticized calls to boycott the Venezuelan elections scheduled for May 20 and accused the United States of isolating the country to promote regime change.
“The upcoming elections are a great opportunity to achieve civil reconciliation. To lose or ignore them in a premeditated way is shortsighted, and of course, counterproductive,” spokesperson for Russia’s foreign ministry María Zajárova told reporters.
According to Zajarova the boycott announced by some members of the opposition is a response to U.S. foreign policy.
“The calls to boycott the elections from abroad don’t stop. As the date for the vote approaches, Washington not only does not renounce its objective of change the government in the country, but it also increases pressure on Caracas through unilateral measures in an attempt to isolate,” Zajarova explained.
She insisted that the final goal of U.S.-sponsored economic sanctions “is to provoke a debt crisis and as a consequence worsen the socio-economic situation… to create the bases for widespread popular discontent.”
The decision to hold early elections in Venezuela was one of the results of a series of talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition representatives to establish an agreement for “democratic coexistence.”
Some opposition parties backed out of the agreement shortly after new sanctions were announced by former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his Latin American tour.
Following the move, some parties vowed to not participate in the elections. Despite these statements, however, 14 of 18 political parties in Venezuela signed the democratic guarantees agreement before the May 20 elections and former governor, and opposition member Henri Falcon and several others have entered the presidential race with incumbent Nicolas Maduro.
Former Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who served as the mediator during the talks, has also criticized the Venezuelan opposition for abandoning dialogue and failing to participate in the election.
Demonstrators march during a May Day protest against austerity measures in San Juan, Puerto Rico. | Photo: Reuters
Thousands of protesters took to streets in Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, to protest government’s austerity measures, school closures, and slow recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on the International Workers’ Day Tuesday and were confronted by brutal police repression.
Hundreds of protesters were met with the helmeted police officers wearing gas masks in Hato Rey neighborhood, San Juan’s banking center as they formed lines to block the protesters from moving forward. The officers indiscriminately shot rubber bullets and dispersed tear gas on peaceful protesters.
“We’re overwhelmed,” Carlos Cofiño, a 20-year-old political science student, told the New York Times as he prepared to march. “We need to express our indignation and let the government know that there are people who are suffering.”
Vanessa Rivera, a 25-year-old university student who was overwhelemed by the gas, called the police’s actions “an injustice,” the NPR reported.
Rivera said that it was outrageous that the Puerto Rican government continues to bow to the demands of the U.S. federal oversight board which has proposed some crippling measures to the island’s government such as cuts to pensions, public health programs, and schools.
“The financial oversight board acts as if they control us,” she told the NPR. “It’s as if they can say whatever they want and that’s what has to happen.”
The federal control board, which oversees the bankrupt Puerto Rico government’s finances, ratified a rise in tuition fee on Monday.
Police detain a man during a May Day protest against austerity measures, in San Juan, Puerto Rico May 1, 2018. | Reuters
Defending the police, Gov. Ricardo Rossello said they were left with no choice. “Freedom of expression cannot come at the expense of people’s safety and well being,” the governor said, holding up a rock he said had been hurled by protesters. “This kind of violence damages the good name of Puerto Rico.”
Adria Bermudez, told the Associated Press, that she was protesting the increase in the undergraduate cost per credit from US$57 to US$115. She called on government officials and legislators to stop implementing more austerity measures and reduce their salaries instead.
“The measures are aimed at the middle class and low middle class,” she said. “The rich don’t suffer.”
Puerto Rico, which is already under massive debt of US$72 billion because of an economic recession that has lasted 11 years, has seen exploitation at the hands of vulture and hedge fund corporations, who have loaned large sums of money in lieu of high-interest rates, and other such damning financial schemes.
Those loaners are now seeing these large corporations profiting off of the island in the form of disaster capitalism, months after hurricane Maria hit the Caribbean island.
In January, Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Roselló Nevares, introduced neoliberal policies Senate Project 825 and Congressional Project 1441 in the U.S. colony, which call for a structural overhaul of the education system.
United States Armed Forces arrive in Argentina Wednesday to begin joint military exercises on May 2 and 3. The exercise was organized in the framework of the Proliferation Security Initiative that aims to curtail the global trafficking of weapons of mass destruction. Argentina is one of 105 countries that endorse the initiative.
Detractors have pointed out that President Mauricio Macri failed to ask Argentine Congress for approval to allow the entry of the foreign troops. The ministry of defense has argued it is a “theoretical” exercise, and that no congressional approval is required because the military personnel entering the country are defense technicians and military intelligence.
According to Elsa Bruzzone, defense specialist of the Center of Military Men for Argentine Democracy (CEMIDA), “the government searches for any excuse to bypass Congress and they don’t say where the exercises will take place because they fear popular reaction.”
According to local media the exercise involves a truck supposedly carrying weapons of mass destruction to a coastal province of Argentina. The South American country’s military and national security forces will have to launch an operation with U.S. forces in which they evaluate possible actions to avoid a potential catastrophe.
Military exercises between Argentina and the U.S. have been restarted since Macri’s administration. Since a diplomatic impasse between Argentina and the U.S. in 2011, during Cristina Fernandez’s government (2007-2015) joint exercises between the countries were halted.
In 2011 a military plane carrying weapons and communications devices landed in Ezeiza, near Buenos Aires. Argentine authorities seized the plane’s cargo and accused the U.S. of trying to smuggle military objects, arguing much of what was found in the plane was not reported in a previous memo.
Bruzzone explains joint exercises are part of the security and defense cooperation agreements signed between Macri’s and Barack Obama’s governments, which also include the installation of military bases in Argentine territory.
“Those agreements establish the installation of a military base in Ushuaia, disguised as a scientific base, and has as its objective the Antartida, the greatest reserve of frozen fresh water in the world… they also establish the installation of a base in the Triple Frontier, in Misiones, were the Guarani aquifer is, the fourth largest water reservoir,” Bruzzone said.
Pedrito doesn’t go to gym class, he has a doctor’s note excusing him from 45 minutes of physical activity, because of his asthma. Yoandry doesn’t go out on the school yard either, since a similar document sites an orthopedic problem. What they and their parents don’t know is that they are condemning themselves.
No one picks them for their team in a street game, they can’t handle the ball; they watch a rousing stickball competition from the sidelines, and when they do get a chance, they strike out or don’t make it to first base. Their circle of friends is getting smaller. They are good students, so people begin to predict that they will be scientists, like those who have given our country prestige in this field. But, if those exhausting days arrive, in an effort to provide humanity with a medication as effective as Heberprot-P or a vaccine to eradicate an infectious disease, they may tire quickly, begin to feel aches and pains, that prevent them from making a greater contribution to society.
No child should be denied Physical Education, and the school – its principal, teachers, and staff – and the family are responsible for this. Reasons abound, but the first is simply that movement is an excellent pedagogical tool, that lays the foundation for the development of basic human skills.
We cannot forget that our bodies are fundamentally composed of liquid, and just as stagnant water is not healthy, the same thing happens with our fluids. The regular practice of physical activity protects our anatomy and allows us to take on any task, with energy and vitality, be it one that required physical or intellectual work, which in turn contributes to our emotional stability, diligence, and perseverance. To these advantages of physical activity, three others of much importance must be added: a sense of security, collective spirit, and responsibility.
When we enjoy ourselves, and get excited about an accomplishment in sports, these elements are present. The pride we feel in the scientific role our country plays in the world, or in our Revolutionary Armed Forces that guarantee the country’s security, is also related to the way we were raised, how we shape and prepare our bodies and minds. But where does this begin? In P.E. – which we could very well call the basic cell, or the foundation, of the human edifice.
Back in the 16th century, during the Renaissance, the philosopher Michel de Montaigne, who is considered the creator of the essay as a literary genre, stated, “It is not a mind, it is not a body that we educate, it is a person, who we should not divide in two.” Two centuries later, Jean Jacques Rousseau affirmed that the body and mind are one, saying, “A weak body weakens the mind.”
As soon as we let out our first cry coming into the world, our evolution begins. Logically it is biological, and a point is reached when “involution,” regression, begins. To be clear: we begin to age. And at this moment, what we failed to do on the schoolyard, in that big, fresh air classroom, cannot be recuperated.
Physical education, in any of its formats, is the only effective way to preserve physical strength, the capacity to do physical work, and maintain optimal health. This is what delays the apparition of the negative effects of aging and improves quality of life.
The sooner physical education begins, the greater the benefits in advanced age.
Cuba has options to ensure that children like Pedrito and Yoandry are not denied Physical Education. The P.E. teachers who work in therapeutic environments that serve students with health problems cannot always become involved in the regular curriculum, which is why 28 programs exist in the country’s municipalities that focus on specific chronic diseases.
Additionally in place is a comprehensive system of health promotion, that includes Physical Educational staff to address the needs of older adults, pregnant and nursing women, and aerobic exercise groups. Ours is one of the few nations in the world that has Physical Education established in the elementary school curriculum.
No matter the fact that solid arguments illustrate its importance, without teachers, there is no Physical Education. This is the person who promotes an inclusive environment, for the little guy, the overweight – the person who promotes and demands participation, convinced that in his or her school there is a future Olympic champion or a PhD scientist. If equipment is not available, and many times it is not, the professional educator must be creative. Teachers are the first to afford physical activity the importance it deserves, and make sure others understand that no other academic review or activity should take its place.
Within the vast legacy Fidel left us are his ideas on the subject, as if he were one of these teachers. (He would have been a favorite.) On September 4, 1964, he stated, “One can observe certain shortcomings in our athletes that are the consequence of the lack of physical education precisely at the age when human beings’ muscles and physical conditions begin to develop… that is, as a child… Physical Education is an essential part of the basic education of children.”
A worker sorts a green leaf tea before it reaches the main processing floor at the Kitabi Tea Processing Facility in Rwanda. Photo: A’Melody Lee / World Bank | Source: UN News Centre
While the global economy has kept up modest growth, the total number of unemployed people will likely remain high in 2018 – at above 192 million – and it will be harder to find a decent job, the United Nations labour agency on 22 January 2018 reported.
The World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2018, a flagship report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), examines employment and social trends for the world as a whole and for each region, and analyses structural transformation and implications for future job quality.
The report says the global economy grew 3.6 per cent in 2017, after hitting a six-year low of 3.2 per cent in 2016. The recovery was broad based, driven by expansions in developing, emerging and developed countries alike.
Future growth is likely to stay below four per cent, as economic activity normalizes in most major economies without significant stimulus and fixed investment remains at a moderate level.
The projected fall in the 2018 global unemployment rate would also mark a turnaround after three years of rises, and would remain essentially unchanged in 2019, according to the report.
However, with a growing number of people entering the labour market to seek employment, the total number of unemployed is expected to remain above 192 million in 2018, and that number would likely grow by 1.3 million in 2019.
Vulnerable employment is on the rise
The report also notes that the number of workers in vulnerable forms of employment, such as own-account workers and contributing family workers, is likely to increase in the years to come.
Globally, the significant achievements had been made in reducing vulnerable employment but progress has essentially stalled since 2012.
In 2017, about 42 per cent of workers, or 1.4 billion, worldwide were estimated to be in vulnerable forms of employment. This share was expected to remain particularly high in developing and emerging countries, at above 76 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively.
Worryingly, the number of people in vulnerable employment is projected to increase by 17 million in each of 2018 and 2019.
Slow pace of reducing ‘working poverty’
Similarly, the global labour market has seen only weak progress in addressing the problem of ‘working poverty,’ or living under poverty lines despite employment, the report says.
In 2017, extreme working poverty remained widespread, with more than 300 million workers in emerging and developing countries having a per capita household income or consumption of less than $1.90 per day.
“In developing countries though, progress in reducing working poverty is too slow to keep up with the expanding labour force. The number of workers living in extreme poverty is expected to remain stubbornly above 114 million for the coming years, affecting 40 per cent of all employed people in 2018,” explains ILO economist Stefan Kühn, lead author of the report.
Emerging countries, on the other hand, achieved significant progress in reducing extreme working poverty, which is expected to affect less than 8 per cent, or around 190 million, of workers there in 2017.
The incidence of extreme poverty should continue to fall, translating into a reduction in the number of extreme working poor by 10 million per year in 2018 and 2019.
Nevertheless, moderate working poverty, in which workers live on an income of between $1.90 and $3.10 per day, remains widespread, affecting 430 million workers in emerging and developing countries in 2017.
The report also looks at the influence of population ageing. It shows that the growth of the global workforce will not be sufficient to compensate for the rapidly expanding pool of retirees. The average age of working people is projected to rise from just under 40 in 2017 to over 41 in 2030.
“Besides the challenge of a growing number of retirees creates for pension systems, an increasingly ageing workforce is also likely to have a direct impact on labour markets. Ageing could lower productivity and slow down labour market adjustments following economic shocks,” says the ILO’s Director of Research Department a. i., Sangheon Lee. (SOURCE: UN).
Human Wrongs Watch While the global economy has kept up modest growth, the total number of unemployed people will likely remain high in 2018 – at above 192 million – and it will be harder to find a decent job, the United Nations labour agency on 22 January 2018 reported. A worker sorts a green […]
A report by Amy B. Wang for the Washington Post. In the early hours of May 3, 2014, Emile Wickham and three of his friends went out to eat in downtown Toronto for Wickham’s birthday. The group chose to celebrate at Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant, a mainstay in the area for nearly two decades, in part because they […]
Less than a year after entering the White House, President Donald Trump announced the new National Security Strategy of the United States on December 18, 2017. On presenting the document, Trump said that his country has entered a “new era of competition,” in which its global leadership is threatened by Russia and China, although he noted, “We will attempt to build a great partnership with these and other countries.”
The document constitutes the strategic guide for the U.S. government’s foreign and security policy over the coming years. Politicians, analysts, and academics from around the world are attempting to assess its 68-page content, in order to determine the implications it will have for their countries and regions. The National Security Act of 1947 states that these reports have both a public and a “classified” version.
The public version of the security strategy has been freely available since 1986. As such, this is a carefully drafted document that presents the vision the United States government wishes to impose on the rest of the world. On this occasion, an attempt is made to define what could be considered the “Trump doctrine” for foreign and security policy, which has a marked imperialist character. The document presented defends the President’s nationalist electoral platform of “America First,” which has meant in practice “The Military-Industrial Complex First,” aimed at reestablishing U.S. global hegemony.
THE “FOUR PILLARS” OF THE STRATEGY
Four vital national interests or “pillars” are identified, which will be the focus of the United States over the coming years, confirming the militarist course of the current administration. According to the document these are summarized as follows:
I. Protect the American People, the Homeland and the American Way of Life: Border control will be strengthened and the immigration system reformed to protect the country and restore its sovereignty. Threats will be confronted before reaching borders and causing harm to the population.
II. Promote American Prosperity: The economy will be rebuilt to benefit U.S. workers and companies, which is necessary to restore national power. Work will be focused toward free, fair and reciprocal international economic relations. The U.S. will use its dominance in the energy sector to ensure that international markets remain open.
Both pillars are presented with a seemingly noble intention, but a strong demagogic character. The broad argument of the document attempts to justify discriminatory policies against minorities that contribute to the U.S. economy, and instigate xenophobic practices and sentiments that divide U.S. society.
III. Preserve Peace through Strength: U.S. military strength will be reinforced to ensure it is the biggest in the world. All state tools will be used in a new era of strategic competition – in the diplomatic, information, military and economic domains – to protect its interests. U.S. nuclear arsenal and infrastructure will be modernized.
IV. Advance American Influence: U.S. influence abroad should continue to extend to protect the American people and boost prosperity. Diplomatic and development actions will seek to achieve better results in all areas – bilateral, multilateral and intelligence – to defend U.S. interests, identify new economic opportunities and face competitors.
Regarding these last two national interests, the document reveals that the use of force will continue to be predominant, combined with the strategy of “public diplomacy.” The proposed objective of modernizing U.S. nuclear strength and infrastructure presents a threat to international peace. In the introduction to the report, Trump notes that his administration is “making historic investments in the United States military,” in reference to the bill he signed a week prior to the announcement of the Strategy, which allocates 700 billion dollars to the Pentagon for 2018 defense spending.
APPROACH TO LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
The region is evaluated in the section devoted to the “Western Hemisphere,” focusing on alleged threats to security and attacking Cuba and Venezuela. It is claimed that “democratic states connected by shared values and economic interests” will be able to “reduce the violence, drug trafficking and illegal immigration that threaten our common security, and will limit opportunities for adversaries to operate from areas of close proximity to us,” in reference to Russia and China, identified in the Strategy as the main threats to the United States.
The text notes that challenges remain such as transnational criminal organizations that “perpetuate violence and corruption, and threaten the stability of Central American states including Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.”
Referring to Cuba and Venezuela, it is claimed that their “governments cling to anachronistic leftist authoritarian models that continue to fail their people.” The text goes on to add that Russia continues to support its “radical Cuban allies as Cuba continues to repress its citizens,” and that China and Russia support the “dictatorship” in Venezuela, thus undermining the respectful and collaborative relations that exist between our countries.
U.S. allies in the region are invited to build together “a stable and peaceful hemisphere that increases economic opportunities for all, improves governance, reduces the power of criminal organizations, and limits the malign influence of non-hemispheric forces.” A series of priority actions in the political, economic, military and security fields are also outlined.
The Trump administration proposes to “isolate governments that refuse to act as responsible partners in advancing hemispheric peace and prosperity,” adding the desire to see the people of Cuba and Venezuela “enjoy freedom and the benefits of shared prosperity,” of the rest of the “free states” of the hemisphere. It is noted that the United States will “encourage further market-based economic reforms,” and continue supporting efforts to combat crime.
Once again, neighboring countries are treated with contempt, ignoring the values and culture of their peoples. The document is a true manual of imperialist “modesty” in the style of the Monroe Doctrine and the confrontational phase of the Cold War. It also demonstrates the apparently low priority given to our region, by dedicating just a single page of the report. However, one can not underestimate the aggressive and disrespectful rhetoric against Cuba and Venezuela, without recognizing in the least their contribution to guaranteeing regional peace and security, much less their social achievements.
Faced with the risks and threats outlined in the Strategy, the Cuban people will maintain their socialist course and continue to defend the thought of Martí and Fidel regarding a united “Our America.” Such was stated by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, on December 21, 2017, at the close of the 10th Period of Ordinary Sessions of the National Assembly of People’s Power 8th Legislature: “the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have a duty to move toward the political, economic and social integration of Our America. As I have stated in various forums, working for “unity within diversity” is an imperative need.”
Regarding the setback in relations with the United States, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and President of the Councils of State and Ministers, made it clear that our country is not responsible for the deterioration, and ratified that “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, and continue the respectful dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest with the U.S. government.” However, he emphasized an unquestionable reality: “The Cuban Revolution has withstood the onslaught of 11 U.S. administrations of different kinds and here we are and will remain, free, sovereign and independent.”
After the long and sad night of neoliberalism in the 1990s – which bankrupted entire nations like Ecuador – and ever since Hugo Chávez was elected President of the Republic of Venezuela at the end of 1998, the right wing and submissive governments of the continent began to collapse like a house of cards, as popular governments, committed to Good Living Socialism, extended across the length and breadth of Our America.
At its peak, in 2009, of the ten Latino countries in South America, eight had left wing governments. Meanwhile, in Central America and the Caribbean there was the Farabundo Martí Front in El Salvador, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Álvaro Colom in Guatemala, Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, and Leonel Fernández in the Dominican Republic. In countries like Guatemala, with Álvaro Colom, or Paraguay, with Fernando Lugo, it was the first time in their history that the left had come to power, in the latter case even breaking with centuries of constant bipartisanship.
In May 2008, UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) was born, and in February 2010, CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) was created, with 33 members. Of the 20 Latino countries of CELAC, 14 had left wing governments, that is 70%.
The first part of the 21st century undoubtedly saw years of gains. The economic, social and political advances were historic and amazed the world; all this in an environment of sovereignty, dignity, autonomy, with our own presence on the continent and in the entire world.
Latin America experienced not an era of changes, but a real change of era, which also substantially altered the geopolitical power balance of the region. For this reason, it was essential for the powers that be and the hegemonic countries to put an end to these processes of change that favored the vast majorities, and which sought to secure the region’s second and definitive independence.
Although by 2002, the government of Hugo Chávez had to endure a failed coup d’état, it is really since 2008 that undemocratic attempts to end progressive governments have intensified, as was the case of Bolivia in 2008, Honduras 2009, Ecuador 2010, and Paraguay 2012. Four attempts at destabilization, two of them successful – Honduras and Paraguay – and all against governments of the left.
Starting in 2014, and taking advantage of the change in the economic cycle, these disjointed destabilization efforts consolidated and constituted a true “conservative restoration,” with never before seen right wing coalitions, international support, unlimited resources, external financing, and so on. The revival of the right has deepened and has no limits or scruples. Today, we have the economic boycott and harassment of Venezuela, the parliamentary coup in Brazil, and the judicialization of politics – “lawfare” –, as shown by the cases of Dilma and Lula in Brazil, Cristina in Argentina, and Vice President Jorge Glas in Ecuador. The attempts to destroy UNASUR and neutralize CELAC are also evident and, not infrequently, brazen. Not to mention what is happening in MERCOSUR. Attempts to overcome the failure of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) agreement at the beginning of the century are seen in the Pacific Alliance.
In South America, at present, only three progressive governments remain: Venezuela, Bolivia and Uruguay. The eternal powers that have always dominated Latin America, and that plunged it into backwardness, inequality and underdevelopment, return with a thirst for revenge, after more than a decade of continuous defeats.
THE MAIN PILLARS OF THE CONSERVATIVE RESTORATION STRATEGY
The reactionary strategy is articulated regionally and is based on two fundamental pillars: the supposed failure of the left economic model, and the alleged lack of moral fiber of progressive governments.
Regarding the first pillar, since the second half of 2014, due to an adverse international environment, the entire region suffered an economic slowdown that turned into a recession in the last two years.
The results are different between countries and sub-regions, reflecting the different economic structures and economic policies applied, but the economic difficulties of countries like Venezuela or Brazil are taken as an example of the failure of socialism, even when Uruguay, with a leftist government, is the most developed country south of the Rio Grande, or when Bolivia has the best macroeconomic indicators on the planet.
The second pillar of the new strategy against progressive governments is morality. The issue of corruption has become the effective tool to destroy the national-popular political processes in Our America. The most emblematic case is that of Brazil, where a well-articulated political operation succeeded in removing Dilma Rousseff from the Presidency, only to be shown to have nothing to do with the issues that she was accused of.
There is great global hypocrisy surrounding the fight against corruption.
THE LEFT, VICTIM OF ITS OWN SUCCESS?
The left is perhaps also a victim of its own success. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), almost 94 million people were lifted out of poverty and joined the regional middle class during the last decade, the vast majority as a result of the policies of left governments.
In Brazil, 37.5 million rose above the poverty line between 2003 and 2013, and now form part of the middle class, but those millions were not a mobilized force when a Parliament itself accused of corruption impeached Dilma Rousseff.
We have people who overcame poverty and now – due to what is often called objective prosperity and subjective poverty – despite having seen their income level greatly improve, ask for much more, and they feel poor, not in reference to what they have, worse still to what they had, but to what they aspire.
The left has always struggled against the current, at least in the western world. The question is, is it fighting against human nature?
The problem is much more complex if we add to this the hegemonic culture constructed by the media, in the Gramscian sense, that is, to have made the wishes of the masses functional to the interests of the elites.
Our democracies should be called media democracies. The mass media are a more important component in the political process than the parties and electoral systems; they have become the main opposition parties to progressive governments; and they are the true representatives of business and conservative political power.
It does not matter what suits the majorities, what has been proposed in the election campaign, and what the people – the principal element in every democracy – have decided at the polls. The important thing is what the media approve or disapprove in their headlines. They have replaced the Rule of Law with the Rule of Opinion.
IS THERE A “STRATEGIC CHALLENGE”?
The regional left faces the problems of exercising – or having exercised – power, often successfully, but exhaustingly.
It is impossible to govern by pleasing everyone, and even more so when so much social justice is required.
We must always be self-critical, but it’s also about having faith in ourselves. Progressive governments are under constant attack, the elites and their media do not forgive us any error, they seek to lower our morale, make us doubt our convictions, proposals and objectives. For this reason, perhaps the greatest “strategic challenge” of the Latin American left is to understand that every transcendental work will have errors and contradictions.
9:27 a.m. May Day march winds up in the capital
This year’s May Day march in the capital has come to an end, but the celebration of Cuban workers continues throughout the country under the banner: Unity, Commitment and Victory!
9:20 a.m. Scenes from Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución
The Joy, commitment, and revolutionary spirit of the entire Cuban people filled Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución this May Day.
9:17 a.m Cuban youth march for their Revolution
Today, International Worker’s Day, Cuban youth are marching in support of their Revolution under the banner: Unity, Commitment, and Victory
8:54 a.m. The Cuban Five march with the people
Decorated Heroes of the Republic of Cuba and anti-terrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States, also known as the Cuban Five, accompany their compatriots on this joyful May Day of commitment and unity.
PHOTO: Radio Habana Cuba
8:50 a.m. Cuba-Venezuela forever! Students from the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela march alongside the Cuban people this May Day.
8.32 a.m. Scenes from Granma
Correspondent Dilbert Reyes shares photos of May Day celebrations underway in Granma province. FOTOS: Dilbert Reyes Rodríguez
Photo: Dilbert Reyes
Photo: Dilbert Reyes
Photo: Dilbert Reyes
8:22 a.m. CTC Secretary General addresses the Cuban people
Minutes before the May Day march began in the capital, CTC Secretary General Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento spoke before thousands gathered in the Plaza de la Revolución.
At this historic time for the homeland, we workers are undertaking this massive national mobilization under the maxim: Commitment and victory, and based on the organic processes underway in the lead up to the 21st CTC Congress, set to be held next year, stated the trade union leader.
“We are called here today to commemorate transcendental occasions and the legacy of our union leaders, whom we honor today. Here, we express our thanks for their commitment and loyalty,” he noted. Guilarte de Nacimiento went on to state that the spirit of the Cuban people will be present in squares across the island, where islanders will reject the U.S. blockade against the country.
8:17 a.m. A brief history of the Cuban Workers’ Federation (CTC)
The Cuban Workers’ Federation (CTC) was founded in 1939 and played a key role in the establishment of the Constitution of 1940, the most progressive of its time in the Americas. High-jacked by the island’s oligarchic governments during the 1940s, the CTC became an instrument to exploit Cuban workers. Following the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959, the trade union movement began to strengthen with the CTC playing an important role in the construction of a new society in Cuba.
The CTC is composed of a congress, National Council, National Committee, National Secretriat, national trade unions, provincial committee, trade union enterprise bureau, and trade union office. There are 18 national trade unions in Cuba representing almost three million workers.
Membership is voluntary and Congresses are held every 5 years to elect the Secretary General and new members of the National Council, Committee and Secretariat. 96% of Cuban workers are members of the CTC which works to defend the rights and interests of the people and the Revolution. The organization’s official newspaper is Trabajadores (Workers) published weekly nationwide.
8:10 a.m Viva Cuba, Viva Fidel
“We have reasons and grounds to make this May Day a day of support for the Revolution and tribute to Fidel, “ stated CTC General Secretary Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento. “Like never before, the strategic battle in the productive field requires the support of the workers.”
8:07 a.m. Cuba marches for continuity
This May Day the Cuban people are leading a massive, colorful, vibrant, conscious march, reaffirming to the world the unity and commitment of the island’s workers to the new government, Raúl and the Party.
This according to Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, a member of the Party political bureau and Secretary General of the Cuban Workers’ Federation (CTC), noting that “to talk about the impact of the Cuban Revolution, one must necessarily, talk about its workers’ movement.”
7:50 a.m. We are all Fidel
Residents from the capital march through the Plaza de la Revolucion to chants of “Todos somos Fidel” (We are all Fidel).
7:30 a.m. May Day parade kicks off in Havana
This year’s May Day parade kicks off in the Cuban capital presided by First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz and President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.
7:18 a.m. The José Martí (ITM) Technical Military Institute receives honorary standard
Officials and workers from the José Martí (ITM) Technical Military Institute, received the standard for Outstanding Work, awarded by the Cuban Workers’ Federation (CTC), in recognition of their contribution to recovery efforts following Hurricane Irma.
The flag was presented to Colonel Manuel Osoria Neyra, director of the institution, by CTC Secretary General and member of the Party Political Bureau, Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, who praised the work of officials, soldiers, sergeants, civil employees and students in response to the call made by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz to work with sacrifice and dedication to repair Havana’s infrastructure.
7:08 a.m Cuban youth to close May Day parade
A bloc of some 50,000 students, young workers and soldiers will close this year’s May Day march through Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución, according to Diosvany Acosta Abrahante, a member of the Young Communist League (UJC) National Bureau. She noted that the group will be led by athletes from high performance training schools, including those set to participate in the Central American and Caribbean Games Barranquilla 2018.
7:01 a.m. May Day parade kicks off in Santiago de Cuba
6:50 a.m. How was May Day first celebrated in Cuba?
According to the book Historia del Movimiento Obrero Cubano 1865-1958, in solidarity with strikers in Chicago and following the decision, adopted in Paris in July 1889, to celebrate the first International Workers’ Day on May 1, 1890, the Workers’ Association of Cuba joined the global celebration with some 3,000 workers congregating at the old Parque de Marte (today Plaza de la Fraternidad) in Havana before marching along some of the capital’s main avenues.
6:20 a.m. The history of May Day
May Day – or International Workers’ Day – grew out of the 19th-century movement for labor rights and an eight-hour work day in the United States.
At the height of the Industrial Revolution, thousands of men, women and children were dying every year from poor working conditions and long hours.
In an attempt to end these inhumane conditions, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (which would later become the American Federation of Labor, or AFL) held a convention in Chicago in 1884. The FOTLU proclaimed “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1, 1886.”
On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers (40,000 in Chicago alone) from 13,000 business walked out of their jobs across the country. In the following days, more workers joined and the number of strikers grew to almost 100,000.
Today, May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and unofficially celebrated in many more, but ironically it is rarely recognized in the country where it began, the United States of America.
6:15 a.m. Santiago de Cuba ready to march
Residents of the Heroic City of Santiago de Cuba will be showing their support for Fidel and new President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, in a genuine celebration of workers, and a united and victorious people, reports correspondent Claudia González Catán.
6:13 a.m. International Brigades participating in May Day celebrations in Cuba
Friends from around the world have travelled to Cuba to join workers from the island as they celebrate International Workers’ Day. Photos of solidarity brigades from Brazil, the Congo and Canada can be found on the
Cuban Workers’ Federation official Facebook page. …………………………………………………………………………………….
6:05 a.m. Plaza de la Revolución ready for the May Day march
Cuban youth gathered at Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución express their commitment to continuing the island’s historic and Revolutionary process, reports correspondent Thalía González.
6:00 a.m. Cuba prepares to march this May Day
From the early hours of Tuesday, May 1, people of all ages have been making their way to plazas (squares) across the island where May Day parades will be taking place. Many carry posters or signs, while some hold photos of Fidel, Raúl, Jesús Menéndez, or other figures of historic importance. Follow Granma on social media as we provide live coverage of May Day celebrations across the island this 2018.
Cuba’s new President Miguel Diaz-Canel (left), and former President Raul Castro, salute, after Diaz-Canel was elected as the island nation’s new president, at the National Assembly in Havana, Cuba, on Thursday, April 19. Castro left the presidency after 12 years in office when the National Assembly approved Diaz-Canel’s nomination as the candidate for the top government position. (Photo: AP)
MUCH has been said and published by the foreign media about the recently concluded general elections in Cuba and the designation of Mr Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez as President of the Councils of States and Ministers, succeeding Army General Raul Castro.
A lot more has been written on Cuba´s electoral system, at times with not-so-accurate information leading to biased articles or comments.
The Cuban election system is different from others around the world, and it is relatively young institutionally. Established in the 1976 Constitution, which took effect on February 24, 1976, the People’s Power structure has been in place for more than 40 years.
Unity is among the main elements that characterise elections in Cuba as it is essential to maintain our nation’s independence. The country is led by a single party that is not electoral in nature, it does not nominate candidates, but serves as the guiding force in state affairs and society.
Last April 18th, the National Assembly of People’s Power was constituted, with 605 representatives elected by the people and representing all provinces and municipalities. It is the second in the world with the largest presence of women with 53.22 per cent and it has a representation of black and mixed-race legislators of 40.49 per cent.
In the case of the Council of State, the average age decreased to 54 years, and 77.4 per cent of its members were born after the triumph of the Revolution. Three women were elected vice- presidents of the Council of State, two of them of black race, not only for being black, but for their virtues and qualities, which is a further demonstration of the fulfilment of the objectives of the Revolution.
The fact that today Cuba has a new president is not only the result of an electoral process. There is a great deal of responsibility and symbolism in this transition from one historical generation to another, which was not forged in the Sierra but has risen to the occasion to preserve the victory, without losing the way, to found, transform and triumph.
Speaking of newly-elected President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, Army General Raul Castro has explained that “his rise to the highest state and governmental responsibility of the nation has not been the result of chance or haste. In his gradual promotion to higher positions (…) it was ensured the transition through different party and governmental responsibilities with intentionality and foresight, so that he would acquire a level of comprehensive training that, together with his personal qualities, would allow him to successfully assume the leadership of our state and government, and later the highest responsibility in the Party”.
Furthermore, there is much humility in those who leave to others the leadership of the great work of the Revolution to which they have given their all to now accompany those bearing the crucial responsibility, in Raúl Castro’s case, as the highest authority in the political vanguard.
In President Díaz-Canel own words: “Raúl, who firmly prepared, steered, and led this process of generational continuity, without attachment to positions and responsibilities, with a high sense of duty and the historic moment, with serenity, maturity, confidence, revolutionary resolve, with altruism and modesty, remains through legitimacy and his own merit at the forefront of the political vanguard”.
Cuban people and Government remain committed to the social and economic development of the country and to the same fundamental principles that have guided us all up to the present. And such and as it was stated by President Diaz-Canel: “We will continue to live on, with a sense of the historic moment, changing everything that must be changed; emancipating ourselves on our own and through our own efforts; challenging powerful dominant forces in and beyond the social and national arena; defending the values in which we believe at the price of any sacrifice; with modesty, selflessness, altruism, solidarity, and heroism; fighting with courage, intelligence and realism; never lying or violating ethical principles, and the deep conviction that Fidel transmitted to us with his concept of Revolution.
Her Excellency Inés Fors Fernández is Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Jamaica.
Your music speaks to your commitment to build a better world. So, we ask you to respond to the Palestinian call for human rights, dignity and freedom by canceling your July 31 and August 1 shows in Israel.
Palestinians living under Israel’s system of occupation face a nightmare of daily humiliations, roads divided between Jews and Palestinians, a military court system where children are taken from their homes in the middle of the night and abused, and massacres of unarmed protesters. Israel openly institutes two sets of laws for two groups of people — the definition of apartheid — and is the only country in the world with a juvenile military court system.
Palestinians are calling on the international community to support their struggle for freedom and equality in the same way that was effective in ending South African apartheid. In accordance with your lyrics: “people for peace more than people for war, and people for justice it’s never too far,” we ask you to cancel your July 31 and August 1, 2018 concerts in Israel. Just as artists’ refusal to play Sun City helped end South African apartheid, you canceling your shows in Israel can make a significant impact towards ending Israeli oppression and violence.
Please join the artistic boycott of Israel by canceling your Israeli concerts.
Sign the petition: http://www.codepink.org/ziggy?
Ines Maria Chapman and Beatriz Johnson
Esteban Lazo, president of the National Assembly of People’s Power, invited Alina Balseiro, president of the National Electoral Commission, to report the results of the vote that took place to elect the Council of State. All deputies present exercised their right to vote and their ballots were all valid, stated Alina. The results were as follows:
Voting for all candidates on the slate: 602 ballot papers
Voting for selected candidates on the slate: 2 ballot papers
President: Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez: 603 votes (99.83%)
First Vice President: Salvador Valdés Mesa: 604 votes (100%)
Vice President: Ramiro Valdés Menéndez: 604 votes (100%)
Vice President: Roberto Tomás Morales Ojeda: 604 votes (100%)
Vice President: Gladys María Bejerano Portela: 604 votes (100%)
Vice President: Inés María Chapman: 604 votes (100%)
Vice President: Beatriz Johnson: 603 votes (99.83%)
Source: http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2018-04-19/minute-to-minute-continuity-of-the-revolution-with-a-new-council-of-state-in-cubaCuba is being hailed as becoming more progressive as the country takes leaps toward diversity and moves away from its white dominated legacy.
Cuba now has more Black leadership with two Black women vice-presidents in Inés María Chapman and Beatriz Jhonson. The women will take up residence and signal a major changing of the guards by taking on these leadership positions, reports the New York Times.
Cuba’s newly appointed President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermudez took office last week.
So, the would-be “Emperor” of Barbados has finally deigned to set a date for General Elections after subjecting our country to a seven and a half week demonstration of utter contempt for our system of governance — the system of Parliamentary Democracy.
Barbados — as Mr Freundel Stuart well knows is a Parliamentary Democracy.
The Constitution of Barbados makes it clear that Parliament (comprised of the House of Assembly and the Senate) is the fundamental institution around which the office of Prime Minister and of every other cabinet Minister revolves.
Section 64 of our Constitution makes this clear when it asserts that “the Cabinet shall be …..charged with the general direction and control of the government of Barbados and shall be collectively responsible therefor to Parliament”.
As does Section 65 of the Constitution which establishes that the very existence of the Prime Minister is based solely on him being the person who — in the judgment of the Governor General — is best able to command the confidence of a majority of the members of the House of Assembly.
So, in light of the foregoing, how was it possible for Mr Stuart, his Cabinet colleagues, or our newly appointed Governor General for that matter, to consider it permissible to rule over Barbados for an extensive seven and a half weeks after the dissolution of Parliament, without setting a date for or decreeing a General Election to establish a new Parliament ?
Who — in the absence of a functioning Parliament — was Mr Stuart and his fellow Democratic Labour Party ministers accountable to over the past seven and a half weeks ?
A proper respect and regard for the principles of Parliamentary Democracy would have impelled Mr Stuart, his Cabinet colleagues, and our Governor General to recognize that where a governmental administration has permitted the life of Parliament to run its full course and to be dissolved, that they were under a duty (established by the Constitution and owed to us, the people of Barbados) to IMMEDIATELY set a date and issue writs for a General Election.
That they seemingly did NOT appreciate this, and instead, subjected our country to seven and a half weeks of unaccountable Cabinet rule was unconscionable !
Mr Stuart, his Cabinet colleagues, and indeed their party — the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) — thoroughly discredited themselves over the past seven and a half weeks in the eyes of all right thinking Citizens who believe in the tenets of Parliamentary Democracy.
Indeed, their contempt for democracy has become so obvious and offensive that perhaps they should now do the decent thing and remove the word “Democratic” from the name of their political party !
ONWARD TO GENERAL ELECTIONS fellow Citizens, and let us ensure we elect thirty Members of Parliament who understand what DEMOCRACY entails and who truly appreciate that we — the people of Barbados — are the real and permanent owners of the country, and that the temporary political administrators that we vote into office are merely there to serve us and must always be accountable to us.
So, the would-be “Emperor” of Barbados has finally deigned to set a date for General Elections after subjecting our country to a seven and a half week demonstration of utter contempt for our system of governance — the system of Parliamentary Democracy. Barbados — as Mr Freundel Stuart well knows is a Parliamentary Democracy. The […]
The World Peace Council, the Journalists for Peace Union of the Dominican Republic, and the Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples, as WPC Regional Coordinator for the Americas and the Caribbean, call to the Regional Meeting of peace organizations attached to the WPC, to take place in Moca, Dominican Republic, on September 12-15, 2018.
The meeting will be held in a regional political context signed by the strengthening and sharpening of the imperial offensive against the progressive and social change processes of the region, in conspiracy with the national oligarchies and the Organization of American States (OAS), with the purpose of re-establishing neo-liberal and neoconservative policies through the enforcement of violent methods, economic war, and strong media campaigns of discredit against the leftist political forces and their main leaders.
The brotherly Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has been facing for years a brutal political, economic and media war waged by imperialism and its allies in Latin America and the Caribbean with the purpose of overthrowing the Revolution with non-conventional war methods and the imminent threat of a military intervention of the United States government.
The hardening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba and the new decisions of the United States government that have imposed a backward movement in the process of normalization of relations between the two countries initiated in December 2014, is another evidence of the reactionary spirit moving the present Washington administration, which also seeks to give life anew to the Monroe Doctrine of such unfortunate memory for our peoples.
There is concern due to the increase in the budgets for military expenses and the arms race, and also because of the increased military presence in Latin America and the Caribbean through the re-establishment and opening of new military bases and installations in the region and the positioning of the 4th Fleet in the seas of the continent.
Under these circumstances, the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as Peace Zone approved by all Heads of State and Government participating in the 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC, its Spanish acronym) in Havana, Cuba, in January, 2014, gains new significance.
One of the purposes of the Regional Meeting will be to draw a balance of the work since the last continental meeting held in Toronto, Canada, in July 2015, as well as to analyze the present political situation in the region and promote new initiatives and actions among the peace organizations in the region in favor of peace and to denounce the aggressions of imperialism and its lackeys.
The meeting will also be the framework for the Fourth Trilateral Conference of Peace Organizations of North America among the United States Peace Council (USPC), the Canadian Peace Council (CPC) and the Mexican Movement for Peace and Development (MOMPADE).
The Journalists for Peace Union of the Dominican Republic, as host of the meeting, is actively working to ensure to all participating organizations and representatives the best conditions for the success of those events.
For more information, please contact: Silvio Platero, Regional Coordinator for the Americas and the Caribbean (firstname.lastname@example.org y email@example.com) and to Juan Pablo Acosta, President of the Journalists for Peace Union of the Dominican Republic (firstname.lastname@example.org),
For peace and solidarity among the peoples.
Despite recent pronouncements by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and other regional organizations declaring Latin America a zone of peace, over 2.5 million people have been murdered in Latin America since the year 2000. The startling numbers were released Thursday by the Igarape Institute, a Brazil-based think-tank focused on security and development issues.
“The sheer dimensions of homicidal violence are breathtaking,” the report noted. Despite having just eight percent of the world’s population, Latin America is home to a whopping 33 percent of worldwide homicides.
Twenty-five percent of all global homicides are concentrated in four countries – Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela – all of which are preparing for presidential elections this year, according to The Guardian.
Robert Muggah, one of the authors of the study, said “The overall trend right now in Latin America is one of increasing homicides and deteriorating security. Latin America is a large area and there are lots of variations. But as a region – including Mexico down to Central America and South America – the rate of homicide is set to continue increasing up until 2030. The only other places we are seeing similar kinds of increases are in…some war zones.”
For example over the past two decades Mexico has been breaking every year’s record in the number of murders in the country and 2018 is on its way to become the deadliest in two decades.
Recent government figures show that nearly 7,667 people have been killed in Mexico so far in 2018, a 20 percent rise from 6,406 violent deaths reported in the first quarter last year, making this the most violent year in nearly two decades.
The report also highlights how young people living in Latin America are disproportionately affected by the violence. Almost 50 percent of all homicide victims are between the ages of 15 and 29.
Muggah pointed out that “In addition to having these exceedingly high, epidemic levels of homicide, the vast majority of these homicides are committed with firearms. Over 75% of homicides are gun-related,” while the global average is about 40%, Muggah pointed out.
The plan was presented in front of the Federal Police Headquarters in Curitiba where Lula has been imprisoned since April 7.
Brazil’s Workers’ Party has confirmed former President Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silvais still the party’s presidential candidate for October’s general elections and has released a series of documents with details about his governmental plan if elected.
The plan is divided into seven key points and list issues to be solved through consultations with the population. The issues include:
1. The international system, sovereignty, and national defense.
2. Integration and national cohesiveness, as well as providing public services.
3. Justice and the rule of law in the country.
4. Improving the quality of life of citizens.
5. How to increase the availability of consumable goods.
6. The reduction of inequality and assurance of social inclusion throughout Brazil.
7. Economic and sustainable development, how to use natural and industrial resources, guaranteeing wealth for all.
The plan was presented at the Federal Police Headquarters in Curitiba where Lula has been imprisoned since April 7.
Marcio Pochmann, an economist, and president of the Perseu Abramo Foundation said: “It’s fundamental that this government plan impedes the dismantling of the nation and sale of national assets. He emphasized that the government program has been constructed over the past 18 months, amid high levels of unemployment and a sharp increase in poverty. “We are organizing this great program so that it is implemented democratically starting in January 2019.
Despite his conviction and imprisonment on corruption, events that many legal experts and observers attribute to lawfare and a salacious mainstream media campaign, Lula has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Vox Populi, Ibope, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos.
Lula’s two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.
The award was officially presented at a ceremony in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on 21 April 2018, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the opening of Amnesty International’s national section in the country.
“The Ambassador of Conscience award celebrates the spirit of activism and exceptional courage, as embodied by Colin Kaepernick. He is an athlete who is now widely recognised for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“Just like the Ambassadors of Conscience before him, Colin Kaepernick chooses to speak out and inspire others despite the professional and personal risks. When high profile people choose to take a stand for human rights, it emboldens many others in their struggles against injustice. Colin Kaepernick’s commitment is all the more remarkable because of the alarming levels of vitriol it has attracted from those in power.”
THIS IS AN AWARD THAT I SHARE WITH ALL OF THE COUNTLESS PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD COMBATING THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS OF POLICE OFFICERS, AND THEIR USES OF OPPRESSIVE AND EXCESSIVE FORCE
Take a Knee
During the 2016 pre-season of the American National Football League, Colin Kaepernick knelt during the US national anthem, as a respectful way of calling for the country to protect and uphold the rights of all its people. The bold move was a response to the disproportionate numbers of black people being killed by police. It sparked a movement that follows a long tradition of non-violent protests that have made history.
While the polarised response to the “take-a-knee” protest has ignited a debate about the right to protest and free speech, Colin Kaepernick has remained focused on highlighting the injustices that moved him to act. His charity, the Colin Kaepernick Foundation, works to fight oppression around the world through education and social activism, including through free “Know Your Rights” camps which educate and empower young people.
Eric Reid, professional American football player and Colin Kaepernick’s former teammate, continued to show his support, as he presented Colin Kaepernick with the Ambassador of Conscience award.
The Ambassador of Conscience Award is Amnesty International’s highest honour, recognizing individuals who have promoted and enhanced the cause of human rights through their lives and by example.
Take a Knee protests around the US
We know that we can’t speak for all of our fellow Caribbean citizens, but we would like to publicly declare that one of the major things that we hold on to as sons and daughters of the Caribbean to give ourselves a feeling of pride, accomplishment, and hope for the future, is our Caribbean Community (CARICOM) !We Caribbean people currently live in an era that is filled with much disappointment and despondency. In many of our countries, several of our most important national institutions have precipitously declined and fallen into various states of crisis and dysfunction, and many of the most precious social gains that previous generations had fought for and won have slipped away from us.Truth be told, even our once mighty world championship West Indies cricket team has fallen from its exalted perch and is no longer the automatic and constant source of pride and accomplishment that it used to be.But in the midst of such decline and disillusion we Caribbean people can still celebrate the fact that we have managed to keep our regional integration institution (CARIFTA / CARICOM) going for a solid half century now, without ever having any member state break away, or without falling victim to any crisis — financial or otherwise — that threatened the destruction of our splendid regional headquarters and Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.And we say “a solid half century” because it was on “Labour Day” in the year 1968 that the CARIFTA agreement — the agreement that would morph into the 1973 CARICOM Treaty of Chaguaramas— came into effect.So, this year of 2018 is the very very significant 50th anniversary year of our CARIFTA / CARICOM regional integration institution ! And we want to emphasize that it has been 50 years of accomplishment ! Not — admittedly — unrelentingly constant and ever increasing accomplishment, but accomplishment none the less.Indeed, we would like us all to recognize that CARICOM constitutes the highest institutional expression of the Caribbean people’s historical struggle against enslavement, genocide, colonization, racial and social oppression, big power domination, exogenously imposed separation and division, poverty, and under-development.CARICOM — properly understood — constitutes the zenith of a super-human effort on the part of our people to construct an autonomous Caribbean Civilization out of the detritus of centuries of colonialism — a Caribbean Civilization that is built upon and that exemplifies and upholds the principles of freedom, national sovereignty, self determination, anti- racism, anti-imperialism, people empowerment, and the inalienable right to human dignity and to personal and national development.Let us recall, for example, that when the four great Caribbean politic! al leaders of the decade of the 1970’s — Trinidad & Tobago’s Eric Williams, Barbados’ Errol Barrow, Guyana’s Forbes Burnham, and Jamaica’s Michael Manley — met at Chaguaramas in Trinidad in October 1972, that they not only decided to transform CARIFTA into a Caribbean Community (CARICOM), but that intrinsic to that process were their simultaneous decisions to commence the practice of coordinating the foreign policy of all CARICOM member states and presenting one unified CARICOM front to the outside world — commencing with such “outside” international organizations as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Economic Community (EEC) –and to defy the mighty United States of America (USA) and establish diplomatic relations with the revolutionary Republic of Cuba.In other words, these historic leaders of the Caribbean were clearly and boldly establishing that at the very core of CARICOM would be a commitment to unity, self-determination, Third World solidarity, and a courageous willingness to speak truth to power and to stand up and champion important principles of International Law.So that is our record ! That is our heritage ! That is what we are entitled to celebrate !But even as we celebrate our CARICOM in this 50th anniversary year, we would like to draw to the attention of our fellow Caribbean citizens some recent very disturbing happenings that should cause all of us to pause and take stock !After some 45 years of our CARICOM functioning as THE solid and outstanding bloc of nations within the OAS, we suddenly learnt — a mere 7 months ago — that a rival bloc of nations had emerged in the OAS in the form of the so-called “Lima Groupof States”.It was in August of 2017 that, on the invitation of one President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of P! eru — one of the most corrupt Heads of State in the world — some eleven OAS member states met in Lima, Peru and established the ” Lima Group of States” and dedicated themselves to do the bidding of the Capitalist establishment of the USA by engaging in a hostile and illegal “regime change campaign” against the current Socialist government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.To date, the most striking so-called “achievement”of the Lima Group has been its collusion with the corrupt President Kuczynski in withdrawing President Nicolas Maduro’s invitation to attend the 2018 “Summit of the Americas” that is scheduled to be held in Peru — a thoroughly illegitimate and despicable act, but the type of thing that the corrupt Kuczynski is known for.(Incidentally, it has since transpired that the president who definitely will NOT be attending the Summit of the Americas is the said Kuczynski himself : on the 21st of March 2018 Kuczynski was forced to resign from office in disgrace, in order to avoid impeachment on several charges of corruption! )The tragedy for CARICOM in all of this is that two of our CARICOM member states — St. Lucia and Guyana — broke ranks with CARICOM and actually joined corrupt President (now former President) Kuczynski and his johnny-come-lately Lima Group of States, and no less than three other CARICOM member states have gone on record as being “supporters” of the Lima Group —Barbados, Jamaica and Grenada.Surely and truly, Errol Barrow, Michael Manley, Forbes Burnham and Eric Williams must be turning in anguish in their graves !How do we go from leading the entire Western Hemisphere in 1972 by breaking the USA’s diplomatic isolation of Cuba and extending recognition to the Fidel Castro-led government, to becoming sheepish followers of the likes ! of corrupt Kuczynski in a thoroughly unprincipled and cowardly attack on a socialist Third World government that is determined to wrest its people’s precious petroleum resources from the hands of greedy American multi-national corporations ?How do we justify or rationalize that type of supine, divisive, and myopic behavior in the 50th year of existence of our regional integration institution? How can we countenance an imperialistic big power like the USA using a lackey like Kuczynski to break up our precious “CARICOM Consensus” and employing a few errant CARICOM governments to do their dirty work ?If Prime Ministers Chastanet, Holness, Stuart and Mitchell, and President Granger don’t know any better, it is up to us — the masses of ordinary citizens of the Caribbean Community, the true heirs of Manley, Barrow, Williams and Burnham — to speak up and admonish them, and set them right in this 50th anniversary year of our CARIFTA / CARICOM regional institution.And it is particularly important that we make this intervention now — approximately one month before the Summit of the Americas — if we are to ensure that all of our governments attend that important convocation solely and exclusively as members of our CARICOM bloc of nations, and equipped with ONE common and righteous CARICOM foreign policy position on Venezuela and on every other important international issue.CARICOM is too important to us — too critical to our future — for us to sit back and allow it to be divided and brought into disrepute by a small group of unwise, neophyte, temporary politicians.Let us ensure that we do not permit our still mighty and impressive CARICOM to go the same way that our ONCE mighty and impressive West Indies Cricket Team so unfortunately went !Cari! bbean people wake up and protect your CARICOM !
Read more at https://blackeducator.blogspot.com/
If you want to see an example of staggering hypocrisy in the criminal justice system, consider the contrast between Fate Vincent Winslow, a prisoner in Louisiana, and John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who is a former speaker of the House of Representatives.
A decade ago, an undercover police officer approached Mr. Winslow, a homeless black man, and asked for help buying marijuana. Mr. Winslow desperately needed the money, so he helped the officer buy two dime bags for a $5 profit. For that, he is serving life without parole for distribution of marijuana in the infamous Angola prison.
Last week, Mr. Boehner announced that he will join the board of Acreage Holdings, a marijuana cultivation and distribution company, citing the drug’s therapeutic benefits for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. This is the same John Boehner who declared himself “unalterably opposed” to legalization in 2011 and who voted to prohibit medical marijuana in the District of Columbia in 1999.
The tide has turned. Thirty-nine states have legalized marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes. The legal marijuana industry raked in$9 billion in sales last year and is expected to bring in $11 billion this year. Nevada netted $30 million in tax revenue in the first six months of legal sales, while Colorado has earned more than $500 million in tax revenue since recreational marijuana sales became legal there in 2014.
The problem here is not Mr. Boehner’s evolution in thinking on marijuana. Drug policies should be informed by science, and Mr. Boehner’s shift on marijuana mirrors that of a majority of Americans who now support legalization.
The problem is with race. As white people exploit the changing tide on marijuana, the racism that drove its prohibition is ignored. So are the consequences for black communities, where the war on drugs is most heavily waged.
In the early 20th century, the campaign to prohibit marijuana was built on racist myths and xenophobic propaganda. Henry Anslinger, the head of what was, in 1930, called the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, reportedly said that “reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”
Richard Nixon’s war on drugs continued the trend. Consider what his former aide John Ehrlichman told Harper’s Magazine: “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” he said. “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.”
This narrative, reinforced over decades of marijuana prohibition, is reflected in racial disparities in marijuana arrests. In 2010, black people were nearly four times as likely to be arrested on charges of marijuana possession as whites, even though they use the drug at about the same rate.
The National Council on Reparation welcomes the decision of the UK government to make an apology and grant compensation to our brothers and sisters who had been denied the rights and benefits to which they were entitled as citizens of the UK. Although there was no formal recognition of their British citizenship, the government has promised to ‘put this right’. The result reached in the Windrush matter demonstrates that, regardless of how powerful a state may seem, pressure from ordinary folk can force a reversal of its inhumane policies. We, in the reparation movement, will never lose sight of our ultimate goal, which is to see an apology followed by action to deal with justice with the crimes committed against the fore parents of that very Windrush generation.
The ship HMT Empire Windrush was not the only one to transport our people to work and build Britain. Less than two centuries ago, other British ships transported our enslaved ancestors to work in the Caribbean. The difference being that then they were unpaid forced labourers. They were the great grandparents of the Windrush generation who are in their 80s today.
We call on Britain to accept that now is the right time to acknowledge and address past wrongs. In the name of justice, Britain cannot now recognise the work and worth of the Windrush generation, while hiding from the forced labour of their enslaved fore parents. There is not only a bloodline connection between the two groups, but Britain has profited greatly from the former, and immensely for centuries from the latter.
Move Beyond Apology
The move beyond apology to compensation for present and past generations is more than justified. Britain must acknowledge that justice is whole and cannot be meted out in degrees. The call for justice for the Windrush generation echoes the call for Britain righting its earlier wrongs. She cannot build a monument in Whitehall outside her Houses of Parliament to the memory of Jews and their Holocaust, and ignore her own crimes against humanity, and the dehumanising of African people over centuries, of which the consequences are still being suffered.
The reparation claim for compensation for trans-Atlantic slavery is indistinguishable from Windrush demands. The lesson learnt from this unjust immigration scandal is that when a just cause is supported by the weight of public opinion, British ships cannot withstand the Windrush.
Let us join hands and demand reparations now!
Bert S. Samuels
Member of the Reparation Council of Jamaica
By Ras Miguel Lorne
This past week there was a massive 70th anniversary celebration of the Commonwealth in England. At a time when Britain is parting ways, politically, with the European Union she seeks to get closer to her long-time babies — those whom she ruled and exploited with murder and violence to build her empire; many of whom still hang on to her skirt tail in making their highest court the British Privy Council, even though its judges have described us as a burden in many ways.
We can well understand why Britain would want to celebrate, but how can countries like Kenya, Uganda, Jamaica, etc, celebrate colonialism and the legal murders carried out against our freedom fighters? Is this not a blatant disrespect to our ancestors who shed their blood at the hands of the British to give us some of the freedoms we have today.
When I see people like Uhuru Kenyatta present this must be accepted as a victory for the British. Knowing the extent that his father, Jomo, and the Mau Mau Warriors fought the British for freedom in the early 1950s, how can he now participate in the celebration? His father fought to get out, now he dresses up to go in.
Because the Mau Mau, who were dreadlocked warriors, in Kenya, defeated the British by 1955 the British carried out viscous, grudgeful and spiteful behaviours against our Rastafarian community in Jamaica. Many brothers and sisters here in Jamaica were killed, shot down or jailed for daring to say that Haile Selassie I is our God — a son of the Nile Valley Civilisation from whence human beings descended. Rastafarians were denied entry to schools, jobs, or even being passengers on public buses. We were classified as “south sea cannibals”, “deluded creatures”, and programmes such as rearmament were suggested by the British governor.
So, therefore, when our Prime Minister Andrew Holness goes and celebrate with Britain it makes his apology to Rastafarians for Coral Gardens, etc, artificial and meaningless. To celebrate with Britain also makes the Act of Parliament to decriminalise our national heroes a mere poppy show and lacking in understanding of their struggles. It was Britain who ‘lawfully’ saw to the death of Paul and Moses Bogle and the 437 brothers and sisters in the mass graves that are buried behind the Morant Bay Courthouse.
The time and money spent celebrating with Britain would have been best spent to exhume the mass graves and carry out DNA testing, using samples from the families of St Thomas, so as to identify our freedom fighters and give them a proper send-off.
The celebration of the Commonwealth is not just 70 years, but over 500 years of shameful acts overseen by the monarchs of England and their ancestors against Africans, at home and abroad. To celebrate with them runs counter to the call for reparation and is a ringing endorsement of Britain’s policies.
Our pride and dignity have been seriously compromised by Andrew Holness, his Government, and the Opposition in Parliament, and makes a mockery of what is called democracy in Jamaica.
The crumbs from the Commonwealth table cannot appease the blood of our martyrs. The journey continues….
Source: Jamaica Observer
Photo: Meeting of Cuba’s new Council of Ministers (Granma)
How easy it is for the Nation Newspaper’s columnist of East Asian descent, Mohammed Iqbal Degia, to get up on his journalistic soapbox and assume a posture of being “blacker” than all the Pan-Africanists and Afro-centrists of Barbados by self righteously railing against what he characterizes as the Republic of Cuba’s inexcusable deficiencies in tackling and eradicating black inequality and anti-black racism.
But the “super black”Mr Degia conveniently doesn’t tell us what he is comparing Cuba’s record in tackling black inequality and anti-black racism with !
As we all know, in 1959 revolutionary Cuba — a society with a large minority black population — inherited a socio-economic system that was severely disfigured by entrenched black inequality and anti black racism from the pre-Revolutionary era. And therefore, if we are to assess the record of the Cuban revolutionary government in dealing with and transforming that negative heritage, we would have to make comparisons with other white majority / large black minority societies such as the United States of America, Columbia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the United Kingdom, France and the list goes on. And the reality is that not a single one of these countries have come anywhere close to Revolutionary Cuba in dismantling anti-black racism and black inequality !
The “super black” Mr Degia seems to be demanding that by now Cuba should have eradicated black inequality and all vestiges of anti-black racism. But let’s be honest — which nation on the face of this earth can be credited with having eradicated black inequality and anti-black racism?
Can we make such a claim for our own Barbados — a nation that possesses a 95% black population? Do we possess a society of racial equality in Barbados? Have we rid Barbados of all or even most aspects of anti-black or anti-African sentiments and discrimination? I, for one, think not.
No-one — certainly not me — is claiming that Cuba is some exemplary post-racial paradise, but I truly find it hard to think of any other nation that has made a more solid contribution to the cause of Black dignity and upliftment over the past half century.
Perhaps Mr Degia could tell us– in measuring a country’s commitment to the cause of black dignity and equality– what weight should we attach to the fact that thousands of Cuban soldiers (most of them being volunteers) sacrificed their lives on the very soil of Africa fighting the forces of white supremacy?
Or what weight do we attach to the fact that for several decades now literally tens of thousands of Cuban doctors, nurses, engineers, and a host of other technicians have served in Haiti and in a plethora of other Black and African countries in an effort to contribute to their development?
In addition,what weight should we attach to the fact that Cuba has opened its schools and universities — free of cost — to hundreds of thousands of of black and African students over the course of the sixty odd years of the Cuban Revolution?
You say — Mr Degia — that Cuba made mistakes in its approach to fighting racism. You imply that it was a mistake for the revolutionary leadership to believe that the establishment of socialist programmes geared towards fostering social equality and delivering education, health, housing and other social services to the people at the bottom of the social ladder would be enough to disrupt and rectify the inherited racist social structure. Well, maybe it was too optimistic to think that a sheer commitment to socialist equality and human development would be enough, but which country has not made mistakes in its approach to fighting racism ?
Mr Degia, you write vaguely and glibly of a white Cuban elite that represses black Cubans. But — tellingly — you provide not a scintilla of evidence, other than your nonsensical pointing out that the three Presidents of Revolutionary Cuba thus far have been white. In case you don’t know Mr Degia, two of those Presidents– the Castro brothers– were the historical leaders of the Revolution, and they happened to be white.
Though, truth be told, it is really difficult to think of Fidel Castro as merely a “white” man, for at an ideological level Fidel was such an enemy of the system of white capitalist supremacy that most of us consider him nothing less than a “black brother”. In fact the great Black Power advocate, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) once described Fidel as the blackest man in the Americas !
Pray tell us Mr Degia, when was the last time you heard news of a police officer in Revolutionary Cuba shooting down an unarmed black man? Or when was the last time you heard of the state intelligence or law enforcement agencies of Revolutionary Cuba setting out on a campaign to subvert and bring down black office-holders? If you are looking for a society that is oppressive of black people, Mr Degia, you are looking in the wrong place— you have to shift your gaze a little further North.
Permit me to conclude — Mr Degia — by sharing with you the following FACTS about the racial make-up of the governmental administration that was elected to office in Cuba less than a week ago :-
(1) The National Assembly
The President of the National Assembly or Parliament of Cuba– Esteban Lazo Hernandez — is a black man, and of the 605 Deputies, some 36% of them are black or of African descent.
(2) The Council of State
The Council of State or Cabinet comprises 31 members, and close to half of its members (45.1 % to be precise) are black or of African descent.
(3) The Leadership of the Council of State
The leadership of the Council of State consists of eight persons — a President, a First Vice President, five other Vice Presidents, and a Secretary. Three of the eight members of this leadership cohort are black, including the First Vice President.
All the facts underlie that Cuba is making progress — very substantial progress — in solving the historic problem of racial inequality that the Revolution inherited ! I wish the same could be said for several other countries that are well known to us.
The José Martí Project of International Solidarity sponsored by UNESCO was created in 2003 when approved by the General Conference of that international organization, and has the support of the Organization of Iberian American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI, the Spanish acronym) and other international institutions of different nature that have joined this Project, governed by a qualified leading organ of more than thirty renowned and outstanding intellectuals from different countries who make up its World Council.
The Project is coordinated by the Office of Cuba’s Martí Program, and is currently regarded as the sole supranational initiative in today’s world to promote the study, knowledge and dissemination of information on the life and work of a paramount figure in the field of ideas.
Since its start, the José Martí Project has propitiated a large international movement aimed at expanding the legacy of the Apostle and National Hero of Cuba. This has already become evident in the convoking capacity and in the number of activities connected with Martí that take place in the most dissimilar world regions and countries, including the awarding of the José Martí International Prize of UNESCO.
The Project’s work programs are drawn up for three-year periods, which are conceived to culminate with the celebration of a world forum of plural ideas such as the one we are hereby convoking.
On this occasion it will be the 4th International Conference FOR WORLD BALANCE, to take place at the Palace of Conventions of Havana on January 28-31, 2019.
The event that preceded it, the Second International Conference WITH ALL AND FOR THE GOOD OF ALL (January 2016) was attended by more than one thousand delegates from 53 countries of all continents. The papers, oral presentations and reflections of this forum were gathered in a digital book that has been distributed to universities and libraries in different places of the world. The same will be done with this conference we are convoking for January 2019.
Those who register in this world meeting of plural thought will receive diplomas accrediting their participation, with the corresponding academic credits.
The 4th International Conference FOR WORLD BALANCE is, in addition, an extension of the debates of the World Congress of Humanities held in August, 2017 in the city of Liege, Belgium, which was sponsored by UNESCO and the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences.
The following themes will be debated in this world forum, among others:
- The importance of the intercultural dialogue.
- The arts: perspectives of diversity
- The role and challenges of the new social movements.
- The struggle for peace.
- Solidarity as bulwark of coexistence.
- The need to stop the unceasing destruction of vital ecosystems for the existence of our species.
- The scarcity of drinking water and the rural population drift.
- Risks and hopes offered by the technological and scientific development, particularly the information and communications technology (ICT)
- The access to education and culture for the exercise of basic human rights under the circumstances of the 21st
- The struggle against all forms of discrimination – of gender, race, creed, age and social condition – that validate inequality and criminalize the struggle for social justice.
- Health as the inalienable right of all human beings.
- The role of feminine organizations in the transformation of society. The right of women in society
- The role of the youth, students and their organizations. Their insertion in the process of changes
- The trade union movement and its role in the struggles for a better world under the new situation created by the global crisis
- The need to imagine and construct new economies based on harmonious relations among the human beings and their environment, aimed at a sustainable development.
- From theory to practice: incorporation of realities for social equity projects
- Integration and solidarity in Latin America and the Caribbean. Possibilities and dangers
- Religious organizations. Ecumenism, its contribution to peace and to the earthly world longed for by human beings of good will
- Indigenous populations and the ethnic minorities: the need of policies of inclusion and respect in the face of exclusion and marginalization
- Drug consumption and drug traffic. Causes, consequences and opposition to that widespread scourge
- Promotion of participative democracy as means for the construction of new societies
- Need to oppose terrorism in all its forms.
- Justice as universal value of peace.
- The ethical framework of reference for social action in the face of the crisis, based on the best contributions of Latin American thought, from Simón Bolívar and José Martí to the most relevant thinkers of the 20th century and our days.
Each one of these fields and themes can and must be the object of multiple initiatives and variants by the participants. All of them shall be welcome.
The Conference’s scientific program will include– in addition to the work commissions according to themes, where the presented papers will be discussed – special participations, panels on issues of international interest, a symposium on bioethics and development, a wide spectrum youth forum and other modalities of reflection.
We call upon all progressive intellectuals in the world, upon educators, artists, writers and journalists; upon all social fighters, union leaders, leaders of political parties, of juvenile, feminine, peasant, indigenous and professional organizations, parliamentarians, and upon non-governmental organizations moved by principles of justice and equity; universities and other educational, scientific, religious and cultural institutions, and upon governments formed by persons of good will, to disseminate information on and participate in this meeting convoked in the light of José Martí’s ideas, which intends to contribute to the efforts to sensitize the international public opinion to create a world conscience against the evils endured by humankind today and which endanger the very existence of our species.
For the purpose of preparing the documents and including them in the Program, the participants who will present papers must register them with the Organizing Committee before November 30, 2018. The registration information must include the paper’s title, author’s data and abstract with a maximum of 100 words in Arial 12 type, indicating what audiovisual device will be required for the presentation. It cannot be assured that the abstracts received by the Organizing Committee after November 30, 2018 will be printed in the Program of the event.
You may consult the Forum’s website: http://www.porelequilibriodelmundocuba.com for more details and to register.
In Photo: Tania Parra (visiting representative of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP); Rev. Onkphra Wells, President, Pan African Coalition of Organisations (PACO); and Indira González, the Charge D’affairs of the Venezuelan Embassy who received the gift of art work in memory of Orlando Figuera from PACO.
As the anniversary of the burning of the young black Venezuelan chavista, Orlando Figuera, draws nigh, the Barbados- based Pan African Coalition of Organisations (PACO) presented to the Venezuelan people a symbolic work of art created by its president Rev. Onkphra Wells who is both a sculptor and musician. The presentation was made at the Pelican Arts Centre in Barbados on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. The gathering was a reception organised by PACO to receive Tania Parra, a senior officer of the Caribbean division of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), who is on a working tour through six sister Caribbean nations.
The Burning of Orlando Figuera by Right-wing Protesters in Venezuela in 2017
Orlando Jose Figuera was burned alive on May 20 in Caracas’ Altamira neighborhood, one of the capital’s affluent areas, after opposition protesters suspected that the 21-year-old Black man was a government supporter.
Venezuela’s Minister of Communication and Information, Ernesto Villegas, announced the news on his Twitter account Saturday evening.
“Orlando Figuera, stabbed and burned alive by minds diseased by hate in Altamira on May 20, just died of cardiopulmonary arrest,” Villegas wrote, adding that international mainstream media has continued to paint the opposition protests as “peaceful” despite cases like Figuera’s.
Figuera’s mother, Ines Esparragoza, blamed the opposition for the tragedy and her son’s suffering ahead of his death in a video shared on Villegas’ Twitter, saying as she began to cry that the attackers treated her son like an animal.
“Why does (National Assembly chief) Julio Borges allow this, and (opposition leader) Henrique Capriles allow this?” she questioned.
“Who am I going to blame?” she continued. “The opposition. Because they are the ones that threw gasoline on my son like an animal … if it wasn’t my son it would have been someone else.”
Figuera suffered first and second degree burns on 80 percent of his body, as well as stab wounds in various parts of his body. He later died while receiving treatment for his injuries.
Venezuela’s ombudsman, Tarek William Saab, condemned right-wing violence on his Twitter account, calling Figuera “the fourth victim of unpunished hate crimes” amid ongoing opposition protests, launched in early April with the intent of toppling the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
“Orlando Figuera beaten, stabbed and burned alive by ‘demonstrators’ is the symbol of hate crimes in Venezuela,” Saab wrote. “As long as the Venezuelan justice system fails to give maximum sentences against murderous lynchers, hate crimes will increase.”
12 April 2018
The South African Communist Party (SACP) and COSATU in Gauteng Province calls on workers in the public and private sector to sacrifice their resting period over the weekend to attend the funeral of Mama Winnie Mandela to be held this coming Saturday at Orlando Stadium. We recognise that Gauteng province is a predominantly workers' and working class province.
This clarion call recognizes that most workers could not attend the memorial service held yesterday due to the fact that their employers expected them to be at work.
We recognize that weekends are the only times that workers have to rest and spend time with their families away from brutal class exploitation.
We therefore call on workers and all communists, in their overwhelming numbers, to join millions of the revolutionary people to pay their last respect to the mother of the nation, uMama Winnie Madikizela Mandela.
Whilst we applaud the remarkable work done by the provincial government yesterday with a befitting memorial service, we appeal to the hosting Premier, Honourable David Makhura, who is also Acting Provincial Chairperson of the ANC, to decisively intervene and ensure that our law enforcement agencies create favourable conditions for a swift and smooth access to Orlando Stadium.
We are deeply convinced that workers and the working class broadly may feel alienated and estranged from Orlando Stadium considering heavy handed security arrangements as was certainly perceived during the government memorial service held yesterday.
We appreciate the revolutionary role played by uMama Winnie Madikizela Mandela to unite the working class and revolutionary people during difficult times of our struggle for national liberation to create a non-racial, non-sexist, united and prosperous society free of all forms of exploitation.
Issued by the SACP and COSATU Gauteng province
Jacob Mamabolo – SACP Gauteng Provincial Secretary
The Empire Windrush arriving at Tilbury Docks from Jamaica (Picture: Getty Images)23 April 2018
Last evening, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked Trinidad sending people scampering out of buildings and houses and calling upon the name of the Lord. Venezuela and Grenada were also affected. It was the hardest earthquake we’ve ever experienced lasting over a minute. The house SHOOK so hard, I thought that it was going to rend […]