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Whether its Cuba, Remittances to the Caribbean, or Venezuela: TRUMP MUST BE RESISTED !

INTERNATIONAL  NETWORK  IN  DEFENSE  OF  HUMANITY
 
(CARIBBEAN  CHAPTER)
PRESS  RELEASE
It has become clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that President Donald Trump represents the most ugly and destructive segment of the United States establishment and their international system of imperialistic domination !
Where, for example, former President Barack Obama was able to recognize that the “Cold War” is over and that it is unjust and illogical for the USA to maintain an aggressive, isolationist policy in relation to the Caribbean nation of Cuba, the xenophobic and power-drunk President Trump now seeks to dismantle Obama’s initiatives and to reinstate the old backward anti-Cuba policies .
But Trump’s ugly and aggressive  agenda is certainly not limited to Cuba !
Indeed, Trump’s anti-Cuba stance is simply one component of an aggressive imperialistic agenda that is targeting the entire Latin American and Caribbean region !
 
This agenda manifests itself in the form of Trump’s inter-connected policies to :- build a wall along the USA’s border with Mexico; aggressively deport so-called undocumented Caribbean and Latin American migrants resident in the USA; impose an onerous tax on remittances that Barbadian and other Caribbean migrants in the USA send to their home countries; intervene in Venezuela in order to bring down the duly elected socialist Government of that nation; and the ugly list goes on and on.
But even more disturbing than these unwarranted and unjustified attacks on the nations and people of our hemisphere, is the threat that Trump represents to the very survival of the entire human race with his unenlightened and callous withdrawal of the USA from the Paris Climate Agreement and his refusal to participate in the global effort to combat climate change.
In light of the foregoing, it is critical that the Governments and people of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) recognize that we have a duty to lock horns with and resist Trump’s destructive agenda at every available opportunity.
And one of the forums in which our 15 nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM) possesses a decided advantage when engaging in battle with the Trump Administration and its destructive  regional policies is the Organization of American States (OAS).
It is therefore crucial that CARICOM takes a very firm and principled anti-Trump position at the upcoming (19th to 21st June 2017) OAS meeting in Cancun, Mexico on the issue of our sister Caribbean nation of Venezuela.
We simply must NOT allow the Trump Administration to have its way at this OAS meeting and thereby use the OAS as a mechanism for an illicit US intervention in Venezuela to effect the unconstitutional “regime change” that the Trump Administration so desperately desires.
Indeed, if we  can defeat Trump on the issue of Venezuela, we would have created a precedent that we will be able to use in a positive and inspirational manner to resist Trump’s other aggressive and imperialistic policies against Cuba; against our own Caribbean kith and kin resident in the USA; and against the economic interests of our own Caribbean states.
It is imperative that we recognize that our struggle for independence, sovereignty and justice in Latin America and the Caribbean is a collective and inter-connected struggle !
As the great Guyanese and Caribbean poet,  Martin Carter, so eloquently expressed it :-
This I have learnt:
today a speck
tomorrow a hero
hero or monster
you are consumed…….
all are involved !
all are consumed !
DAVID  COMISSIONG
COORDINATOR
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Viewpoint: Africa-Cuba Solidarity Reaffirmed At Namibia Conference

 

Close bonds between the people of the African continent and the Caribbean island-nation of Cuba have been centuries in the making.

Africans caught in the Atlantic Slave Trade were taken to Cuba where their presence made an indelible mark on the character of the political, economic and cultural fabric of the country.

Since the 1960s, in the early aftermath of the 1959 seizure of power by revolutionary forces led by Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and others, African independence and transformative struggles have constituted a major factor in Cuban foreign policy. President Castro noted in 1976 that socialist Cuba was populated by a Latin African people opposed to colonialism, racism and imperialism.

This historical tradition was reinforced at a recent conference held in Windhoek, Republic of Namibia which brought together African leaders and Cuban governmental officials to renew ties among the geo-political regions and to chart a way forward in the current period. The Fifth Continental African Conference of Solidarity with Cuba was convened June 6-8 and brought together over 200 delegates from 26 African states under the theme of “Intensifying Solidarity and Continuing the Legacy of Fidel and Che.”

The first of these conferences was held in South Africa in 1995 just one year after the demise of the racist-apartheid system that brought President Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) to power. Subsequent gatherings took place in Ghana during 1997, Angola in 2010 and Ethiopia, the headquarters of the African Union (AU), in 2012.

1967 marks the 50th anniversary of the martyrdom of Che Guevara in Bolivia while he was in the South American country assisting revolutionary forces fighting against the neo-colonial regime which was supported by the United States. The Cuban Revolution from its inception posed a challenge to American imperialist dominance over the Caribbean, South America and other colonial and neo-colonial territories around the world.

In November 2016, 90-year old former President Fidel Castro passed away in Havana. His funeral was attended by many African leaders including Namibian President Hage Geingob who paid tribute to the revolutionary leader in an address to the mourners.

Related:  NPP Ashanti Protests Over Ballot Paper ‘error’

In a statement to the Conference, Namibian deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah emphasized that: “The holding of this conference is all the more timely because it is taking place when retrogressive forces are bent on reversing the gains made recently to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States.” Under the previous U. S. administration of President Barack Obama, the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba after a breach of over 50 years raised expectations of a possible lifting of the economic blockade imposed by Washington in October 1960.

Without the abolition of the blockade relations cannot be fully normalized despite the exchange of diplomats and the reopening of embassies. The U. S. Congress would have to approve the liquidation of the blockade and there are political elements within the legislature which categorically opposes full economic and trade relations with Havana.

Nonetheless, the Fifth Continental African Conference supported the address by Namibian President Hage Geingob who said: “We applaud the positive development in this respect and we commend the U. S. government and Cuba for their efforts towards normalizing of ties. However, there is still much ground left to cover to ensure the complete lifting of the blockage against Cuba.”

Geingob emphasized the urgency of the conference to develop a unified African strategy in regard to supporting Cuba. In addition, the delegates passed resolutions demanding the return of Guantanamo Bay, which remains over a century later after the so-called Spanish-American war under U. S. control, to the Cuban people.

A co-founder of the ruling Southwest Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) Party, Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, who passed away just days after the conference, noted that: “Historically, Cuba assisted African countries in the fight against foreign domination. Through this patriotic support, Cuban people have shown us the meaning of solidarity, hence (we should show) our support for Cuba.”

African leaders viewed the current situation involving the status of U. S.-Cuban relations as being critical in light of the political character of the administration in Washington. President Donald Trump does have the prerogative of reversing the reforms instituted by his predecessor.

https://www.ghanastar.com/news/viewpoint-africa-cuba-solidarity-reaffirmed-at-namibia-conference/

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The Black Laws of Virginia ( Slavery ) — newafrikan77

Black Laws of Virginia Source: June Purcell Guild, ed. Black Laws of Virginia: A Summary of the Legislative Acts of Virginia Concerning Negroes from Earliest Times to the Present (Afro-American Historical Society of Fauquier County, Virginia: 1996) ___ 1638. Act X. All persons except Negroes are to be provided with arms and ammunition or be […]

via The Black Laws of Virginia ( Slavery ) — newafrikan77

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Open Letter to President-elect Donald Trump on Nuclear Weapons — Global Justice in the 21st Century

[Prefatory Note: The text below is an Open Letter to the next American president urging complete nuclear disarmament as an urgent priority. The letter was prepared under the auspices of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and its current list of signatories are listed below. It is hoped that concerns with nuclear weapons policy will rise […]

via Open Letter to President-elect Donald Trump on Nuclear Weapons — Global Justice in the 21st Century

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Eye-opening Video Report on VIOLENCE and RACISM in VENEZUELA — Barbados Underground

Submitted by David Comissiong Dear Sir / Madam Please see:- (1) The attached eye-opening video report of US journalist Abby Martin about the violence that is currently taking place in Venezuela and who is responsible for it. Ms Martin has just returned to the US from Venezuela where she went into the streets to view […]

via Eye-opening Video Report on VIOLENCE and RACISM in VENEZUELA — Barbados Underground

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LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN MUST REMAIN UNITED AND STRONG AT THE NEXT OAS MEETING ON VENEZUELA – Jamaica Peace Council Press Release

The Jamaica Peace Council wishes to commend the governments of the region for their principled stand in defense of the sovereignty of the Venezuelan nation at the OAS meeting in Washington D. C. on May 31. We applaud them for taking a position that is in keeping with the deep resolve of the Caribbean and Latin America that the region should remain a zone of peace where the sovereignty of nations is respected.

We take note of the fact that the basis on which United States of America (USA), Canada, Mexico, Peru and Panama are advocating intervention in the affairs of Venezuela is in no way unique to that country. Poverty, homelessness, massive unemployment and economic instability are no strangers to any of those five countries or to any other nation in a world which is still dominated by capitalism and imperialism. Visit any major city in the United States of America and you can witness homeless people sleeping under bridges and searching garbage bins for food. It is heart-rending to see this in New Orleans where nearly eleven years after the tragic experience of Hurricane Katrina, many people are still homeless. Furthermore, according to some noted US financial analysts, with strong backgrounds in hedge funds and derivatives, the US economy is contracting and on the verge of another recession similar to 1990/91 and 2008, which results from the cyclical nature of capitalist economies.   Yet no one has called for foreign intervention in that country.

The Venezuelan people, under the leadership of the late Hugo Chavez and the current president Nicholas Maduro, are pursuing a path of reduction of the stranglehold of multinational corporations on their natural resources of oil and important minerals, and are using the profits to improve the lives of the majority. It is their sovereign right to do so. Under Hugo Chavez, poverty was reduced from 70.8% (1996) to 21% (2010) and extreme poverty was reduced from 40% (1996) to a very low level of 7.3% (2010). Spending on social programs was increased by 60.6%. Education is free from daycare to University. The infant mortality rate dropped from 25 per 1000 (1990) to only 13/1000 (2010). 1.5 million Venezuelans had their eyesight restored through collaboration between Venezuela and Cuba under the Miracle eye-care program. President Nicolas Maduro has continued this trend of addressing the needs of the majority of the people.  In 2016, social spending was increased to 73 percent of the national budget, and as part of Venezuela’s Great Housing Mission, he built 370,000 homes, after delivering the one millionth home on January 1. The unemployment level is an average of 4.5 percent. Maduro responded to price gouging by raising the minimum wage several times during his tenure. It was reported by Telesur on April 30, 2017 that he again raised the minimum wage by 60% and increased food stamps by 15% to alleviate the economic pressure on the working people.

This assertion of their sovereignty has negatively affected the interest of the transnational oil companies. This is one of the main reasons for the imperialist media war and the economic blockade against Venezuela with the intention of creating uncomfortable conditions for  the Venezuelan people in order to manipulate them into facilitating an intervention and destroying the Bolivarian revolution. Some of the local business people and the right-wing politicians in Venezuela have joined forces with the multinational corporations to destabilize the country by hoarding goods, price gouging, violent demonstrations and paying workers to strike against their own interest. They are using the media to spread fake news in order to “manufacture consent”, that is, to brainwash people inside and outside Venezuela into supporting regime change, similar to that implemented in Iraq and Libya.

We urge the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean to remain united and strong at the next OAS meeting of the council of foreign ministers scheduled for later this month, despite the inducements and attacks from those who have ulterior motives in relation to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. We also urge the people and political leaders within our various territories to avoid treating this issue as a tribal political football game and to educate and galvanize their nations around the progressive stand being taken at the OAS as it is critical not only to the future of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, but to the future of all the countries of the region. We urge everyone to take note of the fact that those who are chomping at the bit to intervene in Venezuela did not take similar action against Apartheid South Africa. Neither are they contemplating regime change in Apartheid Israel. We must not allow them to disrupt the peaceful cooperation and respect for national sovereignty which we enjoy in our region.

Steering Committee

Jamaica Peace Council

 

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Cuba joins organizing committee for World Festival of Youth

Photo: Granma

Cuba has become a member of the international organizing committee for the 19th World Festival of Youth Sochi-2017, elected during the third preparatory meeting held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The good news joins another announcement made earlier, regarding the decision to dedicate the event to Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, in recognition of his example, lasting legacy, and decisive contribution to the preservation of the tradition of these festivals and the defense of their founding principles.

In a dialogue via Internet with ACN, Cuba’s José Ángel Maury de Toro, secretary general of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), reiterated that this decision was unanimous, and is fully supported by anti-imperialist and progressive youth represented in the broad organization.

In terms of the organizing committee, Maury de Toro explained that four national preparatory committees were elected for each region; plus Ecuador which hosted the previous edition in 2013; the WFDY as the international entity; and three regional bodies, including the Organization of Continental Latin American and Caribbean Students (OCLAE).

This last group is headed by Cuba’s Federation of University Students, thus adding to Cuba’s presence on the international organizing committee, which is coordinated by the WFDY and will set up shop in Russia this coming August, to iron out details and assure the success of the event.

Maury de Toro explained that, during the meeting in Sri Lanka, the schedule of workshops and seminars was completed, and documents related to next steps in the preparatory process were approved, to guide work leading up to the Youth Festival which will take place this coming October 15-21, in the Russian city of Sochi.

The Festival’s central maxim was approved and reflects the main goals of the 19th edition: “For peace, solidarity, and social justice we struggle against imperialism. Honoring our past, we build the future.”

The event will celebrate the centenary of the triumph of the October Revolution in Russia; the 70th anniversary of the Festival movement; and the 60th of the sixth World Festival of Youth held in 1957, in Moscow, then the Soviet Union’s capital.

In addition to Fidel Castro, the Festival will be dedicated to other important figures, including Ernesto Che Guevara, on the 50th anniversary of his death in combat in Bolivia, and the recently-deceased Mohamed Abdelaziz, who devoted his life to the struggle against colonialism and for the independence of Western Sahara.

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Fidel’s contribution to environmental protection recognized

Cuba undertakes actions to protect biodiversity and terrestrial ecosystems. Photo: Nestor Madruga Sosa

Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro’s strong defense of the environment and his contribution to tackling the global challenge of climate change were recognized June 5, during the national act for World Environment Day.
“It is impossible to celebrate World Environment Day in Cuba without recalling the legacy of Fidel,” stated Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, a Party Central Committee member and minister of Science, Technology and Environment (Citma), who spoke about the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution’s comprehensive approach to environmental issues, as seen in more than 50 of his public speeches, including his remarks to the Communist Party of Cuba’s 7th Congress.
The minister recalled how, facing an adverse international context and subjected to a cruel blockade by the U.S. government, Cuba has not only made the struggle to save the environment the focus of government policy, but has also worked with other nations in the region on this issue; above all by training human resources to tackle the effects of climate change.
In this regard, Pérez Montoya emphasized comprehensive efforts undertaken in the province of Sancti Spíritus to combat the drought currently affecting the country, reduce water consumption and pollution, and preserve ecosystems.
Comandantes de la Revolución, Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, a member of the Party Political Bureau and a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers; and Guillermo García Frías, president of the Central State Enterprise Management Organization (OSDE) for the Protection of Flora and Fauna, presided the event in Sancti Spíritus, the third to take place in the province since 2000.
Meanwhile, United Nations resident coordinator and Development Programme representative, Myrta Kaulard, highlighted Cuba’s willingness to undertake actions toward protecting the island’s biodiversity and terrestrial ecosystems, preserving the oceans, guaranteeing drinking water for the population, and promoting renewable energy.
Also participating in the act were José Ramón Monteagudo Ruiz, first Party secretary in Sancti Spíritus; Inés María Chapman Waugh, president of the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources, and Teresita Romero Rodriguez, president of the Provincial Assembly of People’s Power.
Presented during the event were National Environment Awards which went to the Villa Clara based Architecture and Engineering Enterprise; DIMARQ Design and Engineering Enterprise from Ciego de Ávila; as well as to Dr. Luis Joaquín Catasús Guerra and Comandante de la Revolución Ramiro Valdés Menéndez; while the provinces of Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Sancti Spíritus and Ciego de Ávila, were recognized for their outstanding achievements in the field.

http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2017-06-06/fidels-contribution-to-environmental-protection-recognized

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ICAP President attends Africa’s Fifth Continental Cuba Solidarity Conference

ICAP President and Cuban Hero Fernando González attended Africa’s Fifth Continental Cuba Solidarity Conference. Photo: Prensa Latina

PRETORIA.— Decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba Fernando González expressed his satisfaction with Africa’s Fifth Continental Cuba Solidarity Conference recently held in Namibia, describing the event as successful. He also highlighted the documents approved by participants expressing the continent’s support for Cuba.

González, President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), noted that the event, which took place from June 5-7 in the city of Windohek, was dedicated to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, whom he described as a “constant presence during the debates,” while speaking to Prensa Latina.

According to the Cuban official, in-depth discussions took place during the event, culminating in a series of declarations containing an action plan for African countries to increase their solidarity work with Cuba. Such initiatives include dedicating one day every month to solidarity work with the Caribbean nation, and denouncing the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on the island by the United States in their respective parliaments, as well as calling for the return of the territory illegally occupied by U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo.

González also highlighted the Namibian government’s support of the Fifth Continental Cuba Solidarity Conference and participation of its President, Hage G. Geingob, who inaugurated the event, during which he paid tribute to Fidel Castro, who according to the African leader became a symbol of true and selfless friendship.

Geingob went on to note that the event’s maxim: “Intensifying solidarity and continuing the legacy of Fidel and Che,” was extremely appropriate given that the world needs leaders with the strong moral character, principles and leadership qualities these iconic individuals possessed.

González also noted that in addition to the Final Declaration, participants approved three resolutions in support of the people of Western Sahara and their struggle for independence, the Palestinian cause and in defense of the people of Latin America, above all Venezuela’s Bolivian Revolution and its President Nicolás Maduro. (PL)

http://en.granma.cu/mundo/2017-06-09/icap-president-attends-africas-fifth-continental-cuba-solidarity-conference

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Puerto Rico, a U.S. disaster in the Caribbean

On Sunday June 11, Puerto Ricans will vote on whether or not to remain an Associated Free State of the United States. Photo: AFP

SAN JUAN.— In San Juan, chants of “the debt is illegal” and “colonial dictatorship” fill the morning air, as students from the University of Puerto Rico block a palm-lined avenue.

Across the street, a board of overseers imposed by Washington is meeting with student representatives to hear their demands as they mull ever deeper cuts to pull this “Greece of the Caribbean” out of bankruptcy.

To some, it’s a necessary corrective to get a stumbling Puerto Rico back on its feet.

But to others like Mariana de Alba, a 27-year-old law student at the protest, it all smacks of colonial subjugation.

“What they’ve come to do is to cut back the public budget and the island’s public services to give it to the big bond holders, to pay off a debt that we don’t even know whether it is legitimate,” she says.

The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico — made up of seven members appointed by the US president and one by the island’s governor — is tasked with getting a handle on the territory’s crushing $74 billion debt.

But in an island proud of a cultural identity expressed in its language, food and music, the board is widely seen as having an intolerable stranglehold on Puerto Rican life.

As in Greece, where the arrival of the European “troika” repulsed much of the population, Puerto Rico had long shrugged off the dangers of unrestrained borrowing — until the crash.

But unlike its Mediterranean counterpart, Puerto Rico is not independent.

A former Spanish colony that became an American territory at the end of the 19th century, the island of 3.5 million has had its own government since 1952 when it became a “free associated state,” or commonwealth, of the United States.

On Sunday June 11, its inhabitants will vote on its relationship with the United States, in a non-binding referendum.

Puerto Rico declared bankruptcy in early May.

The bankruptcy — the largest ever by a local US government — caused barely a ripple in the United States, but in Puerto Rico, it has fueled joblessness and protests.

At the University of Puerto Rico, closed since the end of March by student protests, chairs and desks have been chained to its gated entrance.

“They have to stop making blind cuts,” said Alba.

In the face of this financial morass, the two parties that have alternated in power since the 1950s — Governor Ricardo Rossello’s New Progressive Party and the opposition Popular Democratic Party — are blaming each other for the mess.

But relaunching the island’s economy is likely to be more difficult under US President Donald Trump, who is pushing for deep cuts in food assistance and medical insurance programs for the poor. (Excerpts from AFP)

http://en.granma.cu/mundo/2017-06-08/puerto-rico-a-us-disaster-in-the-caribbean

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Toronto Intellectuals Meeting on Venezuela

A report from Professor Keith Ellis

 

On May 25, 2017, the Consulate General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela honoured a group of intellectuals living in the Toronto area, by inviting them to a “Meeting of Intellectuals in Support of Venezuela,” indicating that the meeting would have the additional honour of the presence of the Venezuelan Ambassador to Canada, M/G Wilmer Omar Barrientos Fernández.

The meeting, with an attendance that was too large for the room, focused on the image of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to which people living in countries such as Canada are being subjected.  A willfully distorted image of it is fabricated by a steady stream of news items that is made biased by a deliberate international mission to depose the country’s government.  The media’s role is to support a prolonged and persistent attempt to renew and make successful the coup d’état attempted against President Hugo Chávez Frías in 2002.  We here in Canada can attest to the implacably harsh negativity regarding conditions in the Republic, as they are conveyed to the public by the big media; and we may imagine that for the government to have survived to this point it had to be enjoying the firm support of a majority of the population of which we are left uninformed by the media sources that buzz continuously into the ears of the ill-informed North American public.  An evening such as that spent in the articulate and fact-filled company of the Ambassador goes a long way to explaining some fundamental reasons why this support prevails.

We hear here a great deal about food, or rather the absence of it, in Venezuela.  Food is a basic necessity and its empathetic connections make of it a ready tool for propaganda.  The corporate media master the art of focusing cameras on a Caracas store, zoom in on some empty shelves; they also have the facilities for making the necessary arrangements for distributing their gloomy pictures of empty shelves throughout the prosperous, well-lit world, including, of course, throughout Canada.  These pictures are of one certain time, and are confined to one locale. They do not care about historical perspective, not even of the immediate history of the shelves, of how they came to be emptied or of what happened to them the day after the photographs were taken.  Nor do the photographs say anything about the state of the shelves in other parts of the country.  They certainly do not reflect the bright red shirts and the confident smiles with which lively throngs of Venezuelans speak of the paradox of their country as one in which the rich are protesting and the poor are happy.

The unrelenting quality of this attack itself, coming at the government from forces that are allied to external and internal wealth, signifies that the government could not have survived to this point without enjoying the firm support of the majority of the Venezuelan population.  We come to understand too that the North American people are left uninformed by the aggressive media about the realistic aspirations and the struggles of this large sector.  An evening such as the one recently spent in the articulate and fact-filled company of the Ambassador goes a long way to explaining some fundamental reasons why this support prevails, not in the face of hostile words only, but also of sabotage of all kinds and murder committed against a cross section of supporters of the revolution.

The Ambassador, in film and in words, allowed us to reflect on such fundamental matters as food production and distribution.  Food is a basic necessity, and its empathetic connections make it a ready tool for propaganda.  The big media master the art of focusing for long periods on store shelves, zooming in on empty ones, which are not difficult to improvise, cameras carefully endowing them with no light, no music, nothing but gloom.  Dante’s Inferno is the approximate model.  The facilities for making the necessary links to distribute such pictures throughout the prosperous well-lit world are always available.  Thus CNN, NBC, BBC, CBC, etc., immediately and synchronously regale their populations and those of their dependencies with these fresh items of entertainment.  These pictures are usually of one certain time and are confined to one place.  They do not care about historical perspective, not even about the recent history of the shelves: how they came to be emptied or what happened to them.  The above paradox encapsulates other paradoxes that have their resolution in planning and action inspired by the will to serve the people and the people’s democratic interests.

The Ambassador explained very well the thoughtful and physical measures that have to be taken by the government in order to ensure that food supplies reach all the people and that these supplies are not cornered by the opposition elites whose habit is to monopolize and who resent the fact that some of what was theirs to gorge on or speculate on is now participating in the general nourishing of healthy bodies.

The international cameras cannot find medicines in Venezuela, just as they couldn’t in Cuba not long ago; but, with the revolution, Venezuelans have access to healthcare that is unprecedented in their history; and Cuba, their collaborator, has equaled the life expectancy rates of the great, powerful country.  The international cameras that film for export cannot find those hundreds of thousands of new houses that many millions of Venezuelans never dreamed they would have to call home, with beautiful, durable ownership.  And the support of energy, agriculture, trade and healthcare that Venezuela gives to its Caribbean and Latin American brothers and sisters is far removed from the sight of this main stream media.

An item of common ownership, the glue to all this, not always photographable, is something that Venezuelan leaders have insisted on developing and connecting to the country from the earliest days of the Republic: its culture.  Now thriving, protected and cherished, it has found a warm, stimulating and accommodative national home, now securely supported by successive governments of the Chavista stripe.  Simón Bolívar, Andrés Bello, Andrés Eloy Blanco, Rómulo Gallegos, Alí Primera, poets of the calibre of Crespo, Osuna, Antillano, Calzadilla, Márquez and many more, think and write and work in a manner that associates them firmly with the revolution.  Indigenous cultures, leading world-class conductors, a profusion of youth orchestras and other musicians, sportsmen and women are striving to overcome the effects of elitist divisive tendencies.

The Ambassador’s arguments and examples, welcomed and supported by the consensus of the views expressed by members of the audience, pictured Venezuela as meriting the optimistic solidarity and informed hard work of people of this hemisphere and beyond.

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David Has Defeated Goliath at the OAS

INTERNATIONAL  NETWORK  IN  DEFENSE  OF  HUMANITY  (CARIBBEAN  CHAPTER)
Press Release

 

The resounding diplomatic and political victory that our Caribbean Community ( CARICOM) nation states won against the powerful quintet of the United States of America (USA) , Canada, Mexico, Peru and Panama at the Organization of American States (OAS) meeting that was held in Washington D.C on Wednesday 31st May 2017 may be likened to the biblical triumph of the pure and principled David (the little shepherd boy) over Goliath, the mighty and power-drunk warrior!

The issue at stake was the fate of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and both the David-like CARICOM states and the Goliath-like “quintet” of large and powerful states came to the meeting armed with a draft resolution.

The CARICOM draft resolution was based on an understanding that at the heart of the conflict in Venezuela is a determined effort by an economic elite to wrest political power and control over massive petroleum resources from the hands of a socialist Government that – for the first time in Venezuela’s history – has been sharing these resources with millions of impoverished citizens.

Our CARICOM Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers are not naïve neophytes! And they are aware that the wealthy Opposition forces in Venezuela are pursuing a conscious policy of orchestrated violent street protests that are designed to produce personal injuries and loss of human life, that can in turn be magnified and used by the all-powerful Western media as a propaganda tool against the Government of Venezuela.

As a result, the CARICOM draft resolution radiated respect for the sovereignty of Venezuela and demanded an immediate cessation of violence, adherence to the rule of law and constitutional processes, absolute respect for human rights, and the implementation of a process of dialogue in the country.

This fair and principled draft Resolution effectively challenged the interventionist “might makes right” posture of the “Goliath quintet” and their draft Resolution, and led to a stalemate which was only broken when the CARICOM states proposed that the meeting be adjourned and that an effort be made to honestly discuss and negotiate a mutually acceptable draft Resolution. 

The “Goliath quintet” – desperately seeking a way out of a humiliating diplomatic defeat by a group of micro states – accepted the CARICOM proposal !

This brilliant diplomatic triumph has showcased CARICOM at its very best – standing up for such critical international law principles as respect for national sovereignty and independence; courageously speaking truth to power; expressing solidarity with the universal struggle for social justice; and acting collectively and in unity.

And this is how it should be! This is how it always should be where the Caribbean people and their Governments are concerned.

Indeed, if there is one people on the face of this earth who possess both a right and a duty to stand up for the inter-linked principles of freedom, independence, social justice and human dignity it is us – the people of the Caribbean!

 

We, after all, are the descendants of a people who were subjected to the most horrendous forms of the denial of freedom, justice and human dignity.

 

Our history has therefore  prepared us for and given us a great purpose and mission in this troubled world – and we must dutifully fulfill that purpose and mission.

 

We, who have never invaded any foreign country or ever committed any acts of assassination, genocide or other crimes against humanity, are uniquely qualified – morally and otherwise – to confront the big powers of this world and to speak up for principles that are critical to the survival of human civilization !

We must therefore humbly and modestly recognize and accept this as our duty– a duty that we perform in honour of our ancestors who suffered so much for the cause of freedom and human dignity. And we must therefore always be prepared to stand resolutely against all those who seek to deflect us from performing this sacred mission that our history has bequeathed to us.

 

It is against this background therefore that I now  hereby call upon all Caribbean people to– with one voice— denounce the four former Central American Presidents who recently arrogantly and perversely publicly attacked our CARICOM Governments for the stance that they took at the May 31st OAS meeting.

 

The former Presidents in question – Felipe Calderon of Mexico, Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, Mireya Moscoso of Panama, and Alfredo Cristiani of El Salvador – are all multi-millionaire doctrinaire Capitalists who have been accused of or implicated in wrongs ranging from the massacre of students and intellectuals (Cristiani), extra-judicial killings in a so-called “drug war” (Calderon), corruption scandals (Moscoso), and constitutional abuses (Arias). Furthermore, three of them hail from nations with sordid records of genocide and crimes against humanity.

 

The “Open Letter” that they so arrogantly addressed to the political leaders of our CARICOM nations is a one-sided, extremist document that is riddled with half truths, distortions and outright lies. Every self-respecting citizen of the Caribbean should recognize it for what it is– an outrageous piece of right-wing propaganda, and reject it out of hand !

DAVID  COMISSIONG

COORDINATOR

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Is Your Cost of Living Rising? Why the Elites Aren’t Worried About Inflation

peoples trust toronto

http://ift.tt/2blEBwG

In our household, we measure real-world inflation with the Burrito Index: How much has the cost of a regular burrito at our favorite taco truck gone up?

The cost of a regular burrito from our local taco truck has gone up from $2.50 in 2001 to $5 in 2010 to $6.50 in 2016.

That’s a $160% increase since 2001: 15 years in which the official inflation rate reports that what $1 bought in 2001 can supposedly be bought with $1.35 today.

My Burrito Index is a rough-and-ready index of real-world inflation. To insure its measure isn’t an outlying aberration, we also need to track the real-world costs of big-ticket items such as college tuition and healthcare insurance. When we do, we observe results of similar magnitude.

Our money is losing its purchasing power much faster than the government would like us to believe.

View original post 978 more words

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Monsanto and the Causes of Cancer: Did Former US EPA Official Influence the European Food Safety Authority’s Verdict on Glyphosate Herbicide?

Source: Monsanto and the Causes of Cancer: Did Former US EPA Official Influence the European Food Safety Authority’s Verdict on Glyphosate Herbicide?

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Familiar strangers: the black radicals who civilised Britain — That’s How The Light Gets In

When the story of radical politics in Britain during the second half of the 20th century comes to be written by future historians, pride of place will surely be given to the black activists drawn from the post-war generation of migrants from the Caribbean and the Indian sub-continent. This thought occurs after reading reviews of […]

via Familiar strangers: the black radicals who civilised Britain — That’s How The Light Gets In

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T&T film continues to resonate with audiences across the world

This production raises many questions about what happened in Grenada.

Repeating Islands

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 10.55.13 AM

The feature length documentary “Forward Ever: The Killing of a Revolution”, directed and produced by Bruce Paddington, continues to resonate with audiences across the Caribbean, the Diaspora and internationally at venues like the British Library, the British Film Institute, the ReelWorld Film Festival, Toronto and the Pan African Film Festival, Los Angeles.

The film was produced by a talented team of dedicated professionals – Princess Donelan (producer Grenada), Luke Paddington (co-Director/editor) and Oliver Milne (camera), along with the generous involvement of the people of Grenada, especially those who lived through the period. The film includes testimonies from witnesses at the killings and never before seen archive footage.

unnamed

In recognising the passions and commitment of colleague who made the film possible, Paddington also expressed his pleasure with its ongoing success:

“it was always designed to be an educational project, to tell the story of this exciting, yet tragic period to as…

View original post 82 more words

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Some of Our Favorite Links

http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/discursos/ (Fidel’s Speeches over the years from 1959 and his reflections)
http://www.chavezcode.com/ Chavez Code (online newsletter)
http://www.plenglish.com/  (Prensa Latina)
www.icap.cu  (Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples)
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Call for CARICOM and Regional Media Practitioners to Visit Venezuela on Fact Finding Mission

Submitted by David A. Comissiong, Coordinator, International Network In Defense of Humanity Caribbean Chapter It is critically important that the Governments and people of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) acquire an accurate understanding of precisely what is going on in our sister Caribbean nation of Venezuela — a nation that the powerful United States of America […]

via Call for CARICOM and Regional Media Practitioners to Visit Venezuela on Fact Finding Mission — Barbados Underground

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Caribbean Nations to Protest Money Launderer Label

The Curaçao Chronicle reports that the 15-nation Caribbean community is angry at the United States for labeling most members of the regional trade bloc as money laundering jurisdictions and plans to mount a stiff lobbying effort in Washington, according to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque (shown below, left). He says that the United States’s […]

via Caribbean Nations to Protest Money Launderer Label — Repeating Islands

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Cuba Warns Caribbean Nations about Protectionism, Climate Change Dangers — Repeating Islands

A report from the Latin American Herald Tribune. Cuba sounded a warning on Saturday about the dangers of extreme commercial protectionism, the threat of climate change and building walls that will not solve the problems of poverty in the region, during the inauguration of the 5th Ministerial Meeting of countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) in […]

via Cuba Warns Caribbean Nations about Protectionism, Climate Change Dangers — Repeating Islands

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ALBA TCP: unity, regional coordination capacity and the integration process — The Cuban Window

Post By @CubanWindow At a time when Latin American left wing governments are receiving the siege from the north that is not assumed as part of the continent and insists on exporting a model of democracy that does not fits even to us, Havana is today the seat of the 15th Political Council Of the Bolivarian […]

via (UPDATE) – ALBA TCP: unity, regional coordination capacity and the integration process — The Cuban Window

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Hands off Venezuela

The Charter of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s 91st plenary meeting in December of 1981 under article 36/103 titled;’ Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and interference in the Internal Affairs of States’, is very explicit in its language and tone.

‘No state or group of states has the right to intervene in any form or for any reason whatsoever in the internal and external affairs of other states’.

Article F is even more precise, ‘ The duty of a state to refrain from the promotion, encouragement or support, direct or indirect of rebellious or secessionist activities within other states, under any pretext whatsoever, or any action which seeks to disrupt the unity or undermine or subvert, the political order of other states’.

The question therefore that we need to ask ourselves is how therefore can the United States of America, flagrantly disregard the statues of this august institution and ascribe unto themselves much greater powers than that of the 192 member country institution which the UN represents, in piloting a bill within their senate recently  of USD20M (twenty million) in support of a ostensible “Venezuelan Humanitarian Assistance and Defense of Democratic Governance Act”.  The bill which had bi-partisan support was piloted by both Republican senator Marco Rubio(FL) and Democrat Ben Cardin(MD) respectively, with the support of republican hawk John Mc Cain,Dick Durbin, John Comyn and democrats Bob Mendez, Bill Nelson, Tim Kaine and Chris Van Hollen ,is broken down in 2 parts. The first USD 10M will be to provide ‘ humanitarian assistance’, while the second part is for  ‘democracy promotion’, where USD 500,000.00(half a million) is designed ‘to carry out activities with the Organization of American States(OAS) to ensure credible international international observation that contributes to free, fair and transparent democratic electoral processes in Venezuela’, while the remaining’ USD9.5M, is to carry out the activities directly through non-governmental organizations to defend internationally recognised human rights, support the efforts of independent media outlets, facilitate open and uncensored access to the internet and to combat corruption’.

Other note –worthy aspects of the bill, deals with strengthening the Caribbean Energy Security Iniative(CESI), which was first mooted by former Secretary of State John Kerry just before former president Barak Obama visited Jamaica 2 years ago, who saw it as a way of combating the influence of the Bolivarian Republic as regional power among our energy-dependent Caribbean nations. More sinister, were their  fears of the Russian oil company Rosneft  dealings with Venezuelan state-owned entity PDVSA, which currently amounts to between USD 4-5 of debt where a default on the Venezuela side, would open up the possibilities for control of PDVSA subsidiary CITGO Petroleum Corporation, that currently ‘ controls critical energy infrastructure in 19 states in the United States’.

The authors of the bill   also saw it fit to draw the attention of US president Donald Trump into the fray, by prodding him to ‘take all necessary  four steps to prevent Rosenft from gaining control of five critical United States interstate energy infrastructure’.

If anyone was fooled by the sophistry and double-speak in the content of the US senators bi-partisan bill, the real intentions were as clear as the  ‘emperor without clothes’, when  White House National Security adviser H. R. Mc Master, held a high-level meeting with the Julio Borges, leader of the Venezuela opposition-led National Assembly, who according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, ‘talked about the need for the government to adhere to the Venezuelan constitution, release political prisoners, respect the National Assembly and hold free and democratic elections.”

Why then is the necessity for this escalation of an interventionist and ‘scorched earth’ approach to resolving the conflict in our sister country by the USA, with the support of the most rabid right-wing elements within the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) opposition coalition, which so far has resulted in 40 persons killed, over 400 wounded and infrastructural and property damages estimated to run into millions of dollars, in the beleaguered oil-dependent economy.

This is against a background where:

  1. No other country in the western world have held more free and democratic elections than the Bolivarian Republic since Hugo Chavez became president in 1998, which elicited the comment from former US president, Jimmy Carter, ‘that elections in Venezuela represents the best( fairest) in the world’ (including his own country) when as part of international election observer teams and in particular, the Carter Centre, observed the democratic proceedings in our sister nation.
  2. 17 of the more moderate opposition parties have sat down to discuss with the government the ‘nuts and bolts’ of a National Constituent Assembly announced by President Nicholas Maduro on May 1, 2017, where ironically in 2013, the MUD coalition along with the other opposition parties in a joint statement, strongly advocated for the same constituent assembly which they saw as a necessity in order ‘to change a regime that has lost legitimacy’.
  3. That a recent poll taken by polling organisation Hinterlaces in Venezuela, showed that 65% of the citizens agreed that presidential elections should be held when its constitutionally due in 2018, despite calls from the opposition to have an early vote.
  4. That 61% of the population also believed those involved in protest violence should face jail time.
  5. Pope Francis recent call for a return to dialogue between the government and the opposition as a way of dealing with the conflict has been roundly criticized by Henry Capriles, leader of the opposition MUD coalition.
  6. Repeated calls by the government for peaceful dialogue and negotiations with the opposition, as a basis for reducing and ending the conflict have been rebuffed, with the more radical elements of the opposition resorting to violence in an effort to oust president Maduro.

Peace is an indispensable path to progress for all peoples and opposite rings equally true. The events in our sister country over the past month or so, gives us cause and reason to reflect on whether history is about to repeat itself in our region, which has been declared a ‘Zone of Peace’ by the Community of Latin America and Caribbean Countries(CELAC), courtesy of a modern day version of the Monroe Doctrine.

Venezuela, like Chiledemocratically elected  left-leaning regimes that campaigned on a platform of transforming their society through state control of vital resources, which would be used to improve the general welfare of masses of their people. In the case of Chile whose president was Salvador Allende, it was the copper mine resources which was the largest then in the world and a key element in the development of strategic industries in the world, while Venezuela with its then president Hugo Chavez, sat on by far, the largest reserves of oil in the world, where even at production levels of 3 million barrels output per day, is conservatively estimated to last at least another 285 years. In both Chile and Venezuela  also, the key areas of the economy such as finance, banking, manufacturing ,distribution and the media were still for the most part, firmly in the hands the private sector that were hostile to the progressive governments of the day.

Both leaders were true to their words and election promises where they both nationalise these key       natural resources to use for the betterment of their people. However in both countries  by taking such a course of  action, severely disrupted the earnings of  US multi-national corporations Anaconda and Kennecott in respect of  Chile and Exxon, Mobil and Connoco Phillips in the case of Venezuela.  This and other actions which any progressive government would take to strengthen its hand , incurred the wrath of US administrations at that time, which prided themselves on  US exceptionalism across the world.

Additionally, in the case of Chavez,  used the enormous oil wealth at his disposal to transform the lives of  not only the working people and the poor in Venezuela  but to challenge the hegemony of USA in our Americas, by being a major player in the building of institutions such as  Operation Milagro, Petro Caribe, Telesur, Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas(ALBA) Community of Caribbean and Latin American Countries(CELAC) with the countries in the region being the beneficiaries.

The campaigns therefore to restore the status quo  ‘by any means necessary’, began in earnest vis a vis the USA and these respective states, namely  Chile and Venezuela.

Allende died in 1973 while defending himself in a coup, which was organised by right-wing elements within the military, with the support of the US administration and the subsequent reign of terror and death that was unleashed on the civilian population by military Junta led by general Agosto Pinochet, marked a new low in the cruelty of man to his fellow human being.

Chavez died of natural causes in March 2013   but not before his administration was subjected to a campaign of disinformation and economic warfare, much like what is currently being experienced by Maduro, that resulted in his  removal in a coup in 2002. The celebration in Washington for his ousting was short-lived, as the Venezuelan working people along with patriotic elements within the military ,restored him to his rightful place as head of state, a mere 24hours after the coup .

In Jamaica, there is a saying that ‘yuh haffi  tek sleep an mark death’ and the distinct parallels between the  situation in Chile then and Venezuela now, requires us to take more than a passing interest.

Chile 1970-1973 Venezuela (1998-today)
US, funds opposition parties including Patria y Libertad fascists and opposition unions 1.Organize and fund opposition Tens of millions pumped to opposition and movements through the USAID, NED and US groups
Secret US directive to stop investment, credit, organize labor and capital strike. Shortages become common. 2. Make the Economy Scream Access to credit limited, accounts closed in the US, production and investment slows, hoarding of goods, shortages become common.
As it did with Cuba, US looks to have Chile isolated at the Organization of American States(OAS) 3. Isolate diplomatically US works with regional allies, opposition to have the OAS ‘Democratic Charter’ applied against Venezuela
Private media bombards Chileans with rumors, negative information about Allende government. CIA calls ‘Psychological War’. 4.Psychological Warfare through Media Private and mass media reflect events, reality with pro-opposition bias, present elected government as dictatorship.
Opposition controlled houses declare Allende in violation of constitution, thwart attempts to fix economy 5.Create institutional Crisis Opposition-controlled Assembly disobeys constitution, declare Maduro in violation of constitution, oppose attempts to fix economy.
Protests continue, government in dead lock, economic war takes toll.Media,US call for intervention. 6. Call for Intervention Protests continue, government in deadlock, economic war takes toll. Media, US and opposition call for ‘humanitarian intervention’.
After combination of tactics to demonize government, demoralize support, escalate violence and topple president 7. Overthrow by Any Means Opposition  continue effort to demonize government, demoralize support, escalate violence to topple president

What would also be uppermost in the minds of the opposition and their US masters, is the fact that of the 19 elections that the Venezuelan people have faced since the advent of Hugo Chavez Frias in 1998 , whether it be for local, regional, national or constitutional reasons, the opposition has only being successful in 2.

The US Senate bi-partisan bill therefore, should be seen as bare-faced attempt by the US to up the ante, in their undeclared war against the sovereign and democratically elected government and people of Venezuela, totally unfazed by the levels of death, destruction and chaos that has so far been visited on the society, which to them is seen considered as mere ‘collateral damage’, in the desperate push for regime change as was the case in Iraq and Libya to name a few countries of recent memory.

Regrettably, this indecent push was bolstered and given some kind of’ legitimacy’ by the former US President  Barak Obama, designating  Venezuela ‘a threat to the national security of the USA’, since 2015.

As part of progressive humanity  we  say ‘hands off Venezuela’,  as the” humanitarian”, “democracy” and  “media” concerns that the both democrat and republican senators have enunciated , would be better served if the spotlight was trained on mainland USA, where Independent Senator and losing candidate for democratic party presidential nomination in 2016 Bernie Sanders, in his revealing book ‘Our Revolution’, laments that,  ‘in a country with 88 trillion in wealth  fully 19.7 per cent of American children are living in poverty- which gives the United States the distinction of having the highest child poverty rate of almost any major country on earth’. ‘ the number of homeless children in our public schools has doubled now, numbering 1.4 million homeless kids drifting from school to school, as their parents try to find temporary housing in which to live”.

This is what he had to say about the US soldiers who had put their lives on the line in defending USA’s imperial interest abroad, ‘we must end the travesty of veteran’s homelessness, while significant gains have been made over the past 6 years, the fact that on any given night, there are some 50,000(fifty thousand) homeless veterans on the streets is a national disgrace”

The further lack of ‘humanitarian’ concerns in the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’ is also reflected in this damning expose which ‘Our Revolution’ zeroed in on, ‘In America today, 43.1 million people are living in poverty- 13.5% of our entire population, while in ‘2015 police officers killed at least 102 unarmed black people, five times the rate at which they killed unarmed whites’.

In relation to ‘democracy’ in the USA, this is what Senator Sanders had to say ‘As many as 6 million Americans, largely poor and minority, who have served their time in jail, were not able to vote in the 2016 elections . This has nothing to do with criminal justice; it is a partisan political decision, when people do their time, their rights as citizens in a democratic society should be reinstated’. In addition, the disenfranchisement of millions of voters during the last presidential elections due to “skulduggery” on the part of both Republican and Democrat parties alike is routinely accepted as ‘part and parcel’ of the imperfections of US democracy at work.

Finally, in relation to the media this is what he had to say, ‘No sane person denies that the media plays an enormously important role in shaping public consciousness and determining political outcomes. The current media situation in America where a handful of giant corporations control the flow of information is a very serious threat to our democracy”. Senator Sanders continued, ‘ in 1983, the largest fifty corporations controlled 90 per cent of the media, today as a result of massive mergers and takeovers, six corporation control 90 per cent of what we see hear and read’ . He ended with a quote from A.J. Liebing in 1960 which is applicable then as it is now, ‘Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own the press’.

My simple advice to the current US administration is this, ‘charity begins at home’.

Trevor G Brown

Scribe.brown@gmail. com

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Why black Americans love Fidel Castro

November 27, 2016 More on Freedom Fighter Fidel Castro Why black Americans love Fidel Castro When it came to matching words with deeds on the topic of racial equality, the most stalwart leader of the Western hemisphere, over the course of the 20th century, was Fidel Castro. I say this as a black American who […]

via More on Freedom Fighter Fidel Castro — Din Merican: the Malaysian DJ Blogger

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Black People Have Always Resisted!

Enslaved Africans resisted, or rebelled, against their position as slaves in many different ways. Each expression of resistance by enslaved individuals or groups counted as acts of rebellion against the system of slavery. The many instances of resistance show that slaves were not victims of slavery who accepted their situation. Instead they proved their strength […]

via Black People Have Always Resisted! — newafrikan77

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Freed Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Phones Maduro, Backs Venezuelan Sovereignty

Oscar Lopez Rivera being interviewed on teleSUR. (teleSUR)

Oscar Lopez Rivera being interviewed on teleSUR. (teleSUR)

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Caracas, May 18, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Newly released Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera held a televised phone conversation with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Wednesday in which he voiced his solidarity with the South American country.

“For many Puerto Ricans, the future of Venezuela is be decided by the Venezuelan people and not by the United States or any other power,” Lopez told the Venezuelan leader during a live broadcast on Latin American multi-state network teleSUR.

The 74-year-old Puerto Rican independence fighter was released early Wednesday after serving 35 years in a US prison on dubious seditious conspiracy charges over his ties to the Puerto Rican Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN).

His 70-year sentence was commuted by outgoing US President Barack Obama in January in response to a torrent of appeals by social movements and international figures, including Pope Francis and President Maduro, among others.

Following Lopez’s release, the Venezuelan head of state became the first world leader to talk with the lifelong revolutionary.

“Long live free Puerto Rico!” Maduro exclaimed. “Long live Venezuela! Long live President Maduro!” Lopez replied.

In addition to expressing his excitement at seeing Lopez walking free, the Venezuelan leader offered his country’s diplomatic support to the cause of Puerto Rican independence.

“Be assured that from all the trenches, from the Non-Aligned Movement and the UN Committee for Decolonization which we [both] preside over, we are at the service of the dignity and the future of Puerto Rico,” Maduro vowed.

In past years, the Venezuelan government has campaigned actively for Lopez’s release alongside other regional governments and grassroots movements throughout the world.

In 2015, Maduro offered to release jailed far-right opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez – sentenced to over 13 years for leading 2014’s violent anti-government protests – if President Obama granted the Puerto Rican independence activist’s freedom.

Earlier Wednesday, Lopez Rivera held a press conference in which he thanked all those who worked for his liberation, including Pope Francis, Argentina’s Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Uruguayan ex-President Jose “Pepe” Mujica, as well as the governments of Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba.

He also expressed solidarity with Venezuela as well as “those who defend the Bolivarian Revolution” and urged an end to US intervention in the South American country.

“I ask the US to stop interfering in Venezuela, to stop using people and structures to reach countries and create a hostile environment with violence,” he declared.

Following a visit to Chicago, where he spent part of his youth, Lopez plans to return to Puerto Rico where he intends to tour the island’s 78 municipalities and put his skills to use as an organizer.

PUBLISHED ON MAY 19TH 2017 AT 11.07AM

https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13137

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CARICOM Defies Pressure and Stands With Venezuela

Caribbean 360 reports that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), represented by Sir Louis Straker, has served notice that no amount of pressure will lead the regional grouping to turn its back on troubled Venezuela, even as at least four member states break ranks on the matter. The issue is a key talking point for regional foreign […]

via CARICOM Defies Pressure and Stands With Venezuela — Repeating Islands

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Open Letter to Hon. Andrew Holness: Venezuela, a Friend in Need and Deed

I am a Jamaican by birth residing in Jamaica. It is my deep regret that the Jamaican representative at the Caricom and Organisation of American States level voted for an anti-President Nicolas Madura resolution on April 3, 2017.

I hope that our representative is not considering supporting the same type of resolution at today’s Caricom meeting in Barbados against the wish of most Jamaicans and the peace-seeking Government and people of Venezuela.

It is known that the Venezuelan Government is democratically elected for five years, and it is a sovereign country with a constitution and has the fourth-largest oil resources in the world. It is known and appreciated that this oil resource under the Bolivarian Government control has greatly benefited Jamaica’s economy in recent times via the PetroCaribe agreement.

I, on behalf of many Jamaicans, beg that the Jamaican representative vote for the peaceful existence of the present Government of Venezuela as a friend in need and deed.

Paul Works

works.paul@yahoo.com

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Touching Phone Call Between Released Puerto Rican Independence Activist Oscar López Rivera and Cuban 5 Hero Turned ICAP President, Fernando González Llort

By: Iliana García Giraldino Photos: Karoly Emerson

 

Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera, who was definitively released this Wednesday after more than 35 years as a political prisoner in the United States, will visit Cuba in November to personally thank the people who acsupported the struggle for his release. The news was heard in a telephone conversation between the Puerto Rican patriot and Fernando González Llort, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), during a jubilant meeting with more than 200 people at the organization’s headquarters, where there have been carried out over the years numerous acts in support of this cause.

Fernando, who shared a cell with Oscar for four years, after several unsuccessful attempts to connect by telephone – which increased the anxiety of the audience and himself – finally managed to communicate and exclaimed: “Brother, how are you? Good to hear your voice again! ” He then explained to Oscar the celebration that was taking place at that time at ICAP.

He conveyed to the Puerto Rican hero the emotion of everyone knowing that he has total freedom, following serving jail time for his militancy for the independence of his beloved homeland. Fernando expressed joy  that he be will received in Cuba with love in November.

“In this same place, on previous occasions I announced that on this terrace we would see you enter victorious someday, because we were always sure of the victory, of your cause, which is the cause of the independence of Puerto Rico”, Fernando added.

Oscar’s responses were not heard by the amplification of the act, so Fernando was telling them. The Puerto Rican patriot sent a greeting to the Cubans expressing his gratitude for supporting the cause of his release.

At the end of the telephone contact, Fernando asked Oscar “Do you hear the applause and exclamations of all here?”, while the audience continued a loud ovation and repeated “Viva Oscar!

Remembering the time spent together in the prison and the feeling of frank brotherhood and camaraderie between them, Fernando, smiling, recommended that Oscar take care of himself and not forget to continue making bars “and rice with pigeon peas.”

Then Edwin González, delegate of the Mission of Puerto Rico in Cuba, intervened, affirming that after years of struggle the great Puerto Rican patriot is finally free. He found a happy people because of this event, and also a colony in crisis, he said, asserting that Oscar remains a militant, ready to continue the struggle for independence of his beloved island.

It was another day of burning solidarity, of enthusiasm for the new victory, of happiness for Oscar, his daughter Clarisa and all his relatives, for the joy of all those who in Puerto Rico, Cuba, the United States and the world demanded the release of the Boricua patriot, who, after many, many years of confinement – 12 alone – can walk the streets of his country, approach the coast and enjoy the landscape, as he dreamed so much behind the bars. The sea and the monarch butterflies, which he has longed for, are also celebrating today.

Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera thanked Cuba for solidarity in a telephone call this Wednesday with Fernando González Llort, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), during a ceremony in celebration of the definitive freedom of the Puerto Rican patriot, who will visit Cuba in November to personally thank the accompaniment to the struggle for his release.

Source: ICAP Information Service

 

 

 

 

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Fighter for Puerto Rico’s Independence from US, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Released After 35 Years Unjust Imprisonment and Shortly After His Country Filed Bankruptcy

Oscar Lopez Rivera freed after 35 years following Barack Obama’s decision to shorten commuted his sentence.

“I want to enjoy Puerto Rico, my family. But I like to work. I have some skills – organising, helping young people – that I want to share with people,” Lopez Rivera said [EPA]

Oscar Lopez Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist and one of the longest-serving political prisoners in US history, has been released from house arrest in Puerto Rico.

Lopez Rivera was sentenced to 55 years in prison in 1981 for his involvement with FALN, a Puerto Rican group that claimed responsibility for dozens of bombings in New York, Chicago, Washington and Puerto Rico in the 1970s and 1980s, which caused few injuries. He was never tied to specific bombings.

Thousands of supporters are expected to cheer Lopez Rivera’s release later on Wednesday at a celebration in Puerto Rico.

Supporters of the 74-year-old, who spent 35 years in prison, are also expected to honour him next month in New York City’s massive Puerto Rican Day parade.

Lopez Rivera was placed under house arrest after former US President Barack Obama commuted his sentence before leaving office in January. There has been a campaign to free Lopez Rivera over the years, drawing support from Pope Francis, former President Jimmy Carter and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“We have to thank him for giving his life for our island,” Nelson Cortes, a New York-based waiter who supports Puerto Rican independence, told the Associated Press news agency. “It’s exactly what we need right now.”

But others were less enthusiastic.

“I’ve had long hours in the middle of the night trying to figure out what I am missing, why he has all this support,” said Diane Berger Ettenson, 70, who was six months pregnant when her husband, Alex Berger, was killed in a still-unsolved 1975 explosion that killed four people and wounded 60 at Fraunces Tavern, a restaurant in New York’s financial district.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/puerto-rican-nationalist-lopez-rivera-set-release-170517090251072.html

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Financial Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Top 25 US Banks Have 222 Trillion Dollars Derivatives Exposure

Frightening

peoples trust toronto

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

The recklessness of the ?too big to fail? banks almost doomed them the last time around, but apparently they still haven?t learned from their past mistakes. Today, the top 25 U.S. banks have 222 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives. In other words, the exposure that these banks have to derivatives contracts is approximately equivalent to the gross domestic product of the United States times twelve. As long as stock prices continue to rise and the U.S. economy stays fairly stable, these extremely risky financial weapons of mass destruction will probably not take down our entire financial system. But someday another major crisis will inevitably happen, and when that day arrives the devastation that these financial instruments will cause will be absolutely unprecedented.

During the great financial crisis of 2008, derivatives played a starring role, and U.S. taxpayers were forced…

View original post 1,014 more words

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The Tireless Women of Standing Rock

ALL PHOTOS BY CELINE GUIOUT ‘Miracles Are Happening’: Photos of the Tireless Women of Standing Rock by Zing Tsjeng PHOTOS DEC 7 2016 Thanks to the efforts of Standing Rock protesters, the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline has been diverted. Photographer Celine Guiout went to Standing Rock to shoot the women who made it happen. Over […]

via The tireless women of Standing Rock — idealisticrebel

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The US Missile Attack Against Syrian Targets: Statement of the World Peace Council

http://ift.tt/eA8V8J The World Peace Council denounces and condemns the recent missile attacks of the USA against Syrian targets on 6th April, as an act of further escalation of the imperialist intervention in Syria and the region, based on the alleged use … Vía Global Research http://ift.tt/2oWXZ9r

via The US Missile Attack Against Syrian Targets: Statement of the World Peace Council — peoples trust toronto

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World Peace Council denounces persecution of Gloria Ramírez and Atílio Borón in Mexico

We reject the US persecution of the feminist Gloria Inés Ramírez and the Argentine researcher Atílio Borón in Mexico!

It is with revolt and repudiation that the World Peace Council denounces the persecution suffered by the vice-president of the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) and former Colombian senator Gloria Inés Ramírez and the Argentine sociologist Atílio Borón, a committed critic of US imperialism .

During a visit to Mexico for the 21st International Seminar “The Parties and a New Society”, Atílio Borón and Gloria Inés, well-known activists of the common causes of humanity, social justice, human and gender rights, and peace, against the militarization of the planet, were detained at Mexico City airport for a few hours on March 22 and 23, where Mexican authorities interrogated them, responding to an alert issued against them by the United States.

Borón also denounced that he had difficulties in communicating his whereabouts because his cell phone was withheld. Both have gone through similar situations recently, for example, in Panama City, according to the former Colombian senator from Marcha Patriotica, who was then going to Cuba. The repeated questions to both concerned mainly their political militancy, an unacceptable inquisition carried out by the authorities, at the request of the United States.

The World Peace Council affirms its deepest condemnation of the persecution and attempted embarrassment of the militants at the behest of US imperialism, who tried to intimidate and follow not only Borón and Glória Inés but other militants and activists who denounce the same treatments in the region.

Their combative action against inequalities, oppression, the policy of domination and the threats on which the US imperialism and its allies are based will not be intimidated. We denounce in the strongest terms the political persecution, a flagrant violation of human rights, and the subservience of the Mexican and Panamanian authorities to the practice we disavow.

We demand the end of this practice and the verification of the facts by the international authorities responsible for the protection of human rights, including political rights. We also express our firm solidarity with the vice-president of the WIDF and the researcher Atílio Borón, two friends of the World Peace Council and brave advocates for human rights, justice and peace.

Socorro Gomes
President of the World Peace Council

via World Peace Council denounces persecution of Gloria Ramírez and Atílio Borón in Mexico — Centro Brasileiro de Solidariedade aos Povos e Luta pela Paz

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Noam Chomsky on 9/11

On November 23, 1963, the day after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Fidel Castro gave a talk on Cuban radio and television.[1] He pulled together, as well as he could in the amount of time available to him, the evidence he had gathered from news media and other sources, and he reflected on this evidence.

via The American left and the reality of 911: Beyond their wildest dreams — OffGuardian

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President of the World Peace Council issues statement against US military presence in the Amazon

{Português} {Español} Against the US military presence in the Amazon! With great concern, we follow the news according which Brazil, Peru and Colombia will include US troops in a joint military exercise in the Amazon border region, in November. It is symptomatic that this invitation for US participation was made by Brazil, according to the […]

via President of the World Peace Council issues statement against US military presence in the Amazon — Centro Brasileiro de Solidariedade aos Povos e Luta pela Paz

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Return the territory occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base to Cuba

Closing the prison and the return of territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base were demanded by 248 activists attending the 5th International Seminar for Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases. Photo: Jorge Luis Merencio

GUANTÁNAMO.— Support for the Cuban people in their demand that the United States government return territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Basewas reiterated by María do Socorro Gomes, president of the World Peace Council.

On speaking during the Fifth International Seminar for Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases, Socorro also called for support of Cuba’s fight for an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against the country for over 50 years.

The president of this international movement, which campaigns for the independence, sovereignty, and integrity of the world’s nations, called for increased solidarity with the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, currently under U.S. imperialist attack, in collusion with other nations and the Organization of American States (OAS).

The United States has more than 800 military bases spread over five continents (accounting for 95% of the world’s total), with the aim of promoting wars, plundering the resources of peoples, blackmailing governments and global domination, the Brazilian pacifist stressed.

The hosting of this seminar in Guantánamo is of particular importance due to the historic participation of this province in the struggles for national independence, and because it is here where the United States illegally occupies part of Cuba’s territory, stated José Ramón Balaguer Cabrera, member of the Party Central Committee Secretariat and head of its International Relations Department.

Silvio Platero Yrola, president of the Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples (MOVPAZ), highlighted the participation in the event of 248 guests and delegates from a total of 32 countries. Among those present was a group of young international students currently studying at the Guantánamo University of Medical Sciences, the host venue of the seminar.

The event included several presentations: The Trump Government, the Middle East and the U.S. Military Base in Guantánamo, by retired colonel of the United States Army Ann Wright; and The Current State of the Foreign Military Presence of Imperialist Powers, by MOVPAZ collaborator Dr. Carbonell Vidal.

Also attending the Fifth Seminar were Denny Legrá Azahares, member of the Party Central Committee and its provincial secretary; and Emilio Matos Mosqueda, vice president of the Provincial Assembly of People’s Power.

No to military bases in Latin America

The intentions of the U.S. government to install new military bases in Latin America were denounced during the 5th seminar.

These efforts are acquiring greater force in Argentina, where the government of is opening the door to the possible establishment of new military installations in the country, according to remarks made by writer and journalist Carlos Aznárez, director of Resumen Latinoamericano.

The push for these military bases is justified with a number of pretexts, among them the need to support “humanitarian aid interventions” – a sign of the times. Faced with these plans, the continent’s people must mobilize to support adherence to the mandates of ALBA, Unasur and CELAC, which have declared the region a Zone of Peace, and not a launch pad for imperial powers, Aznárez said.

During the event, other presentations were discussed, all corroborating that the objectives of such foreign military bases include functioning as espionage and rapid response centers, for training and monitoring, and providing logistical support to military actions, as well as to apply coercion and extortion on local governments and peoples.

Delegates also paid their respects to Mariana Grajales in the Plaza de la Revolución which bears her name, and participated in a plenary session in the Rubén López Sabariego Cultural Center.

FINAL DECLARATION

The call made by pacifists, anti-war activists, and honest persons from the entire world, was to continue demanding that the United States return to the Cuban people the territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base, and end the economic, commercial, financial blockade of the country, as emphasized in the Final Declaration of the 5th International Seminar for Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases.

The document demanded the closing of other bases and military enclaves around the world, and called for the immediate withdrawal of foreign occupation troops from countries where they have been deployed.

It denounces economic, political, and military aggression and intervention by U.S. imperialism and its NATO allies in numerous countries, alerting peoples to the danger of a nuclear world war that could wipe out humanity.

Taking into consideration this dangerous context, the document calls for expanding efforts to disseminate the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, and to strengthen the struggle against terrorism, a phenomenon created and encouraged by imperialism to destroy peoples who do not bow down before them.

The Final Declaration likewise calls for condemnation of interventionist actions by imperialism and the local oligarchy in Venezuela directed toward destroying the Bolivarian Revolution, an offensive which is threatening peace in the entire region.

http://en.granma.cu/mundo/2017-05-10/support-expressed-for-cubas-demand-to-return-territory-occupied-by-the-guantanamo-naval-base

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OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF THE CARIBBEAN ON VENEZUELA FROM BARBADOS

My dear Caribbean Brothers and Sisters,

I am writing this OPEN  LETTER  to you because as a Citizen of the Caribbean I am extremely concerned about the unprincipled  attack that has been launched against the legitimately elected United Socialist Party (PSUV)  Administration of President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela by wealthy extreme right wing political forces in Venezuela, aided and abetted by the economic and political establishment of the United States of America (USA) and by a variety of quisling right wing political actors throughout our region.

As we are all aware, Venezuela is a “Presidential Republic”, and in the year 2013 the people of Venezuela elected Nicolas Maduro to be their President for a 5 year term that will end in 2018. Yet, as soon as the right wing Opposition parties managed to win a majority of the seats in Venezuela’s law making Assembly in December 2014, these Opposition forces publicly declared that the only mission they were interested in was to force President Maduro out of office as soon as possible .

In other words, even though they had  requested voters in the various constituencies to elect them to be national law makers or legislators, they were publicly declaring that they had no interest in carrying out any law-making functions other than to use their time and energy to somehow get rid of President Maduro before his lawful, constitutional term of office comes to an end in 2018.

And this is precisely how they have behaved over the past two years :- they have refused to carry out their law-making functions, thereby causing the system of government to become dysfunctional; they have unlawfully refused to respect and adhere to the rulings of the Supreme Court of Venezuela, and in particular to the Supreme court directive that they should not swear in some three National Assembly members whose elections had been marred by electoral fraud; and they have consumed themselves with a series of ill-conceived and futile schemes to have President Maduro and his Administration ( his cabinet of Government Ministers and Administrators) removed from office.

And now that all of their legislative scheming has come to naught, they have determined that the only way left to them to remove President Maduro before his term ends in 2018 is to create an impression that Venezuela has descended into a vortex of chaos, violence and governmental repression, as a justification for a USA sponsored and supported military coup against President Maduro and his PSUV administration. (In other words, they are trying to repeat the strategy that they used in 2002 when they staged a coup against the late President Hugo Chavez and temporarily removed him from power).

We should all therefore have a clear understanding of precisely what  these so-called “street protests” that have re-emerged in Venezuela over the past six weeks are and mean.

These consciously designed manifestations of public street-level violence are orchestrated by wealthy elitist Opposition politicians who go so far as to pay lawless ruffians to carry out such acts as setting up barriers across public streets; violently attacking Police officers; vandalizing and setting fire to public, government-owned buildings; attacking and causing physical harm to members of the public; and the list of outrages goes on.

And most of these violent street protests are organized to take place in municipalities that are politically controlled by Opposition politicians who are only too happy to facilitate them.

It is also to be noted that in light of the fact that Venezuela has  some 335 different municipalities, that these violent street protests– in a handful of municipalities– are relatively few in number. However, this is of little consequence, since the way in which the Western news media reports on these matters is designed to give their international audience the impression that the whole of Venezuela is enmeshed in these protests !

Furthermore, whenever these street protests result in the death or injury of any person, the News reporting is slanted in such a way as to suggest that a peaceful civilian protester was subjected to unlawful, heavy-handed violence by repressive agents of the state! This then leads to a chorus of international denunciations of the Government and calls for “intervention” on “humanitarian” grounds.

This is all very cynical and orchestrated, and it is being played up for all it is worth, particularly within the Washington D. C. based halls of the Organization of American States (OAS).

As we should all know by now, the OAS is a regional organization that was established by the USA in the 1940’s, and is still very much an organization in which U S power and influence predominates. And to make matters worse, Luis Almagro, the current Secretary General of the OAS, is a virulent right wing former Foreign Minister of Uruguay who possesses a deep hatred of President Maduro and his PSUV administration.

Almagro has therefore been using his position of authority and influence within the OAS to get that organization to declare that the Maduro administration has destroyed the Constitutional order of Venezuela and is repressing the human rights of the Venezuelan people, and that as a result some type of political or military intervention to restore order and constitutionality is justified.

This evil plan by Almagro was unwittingly given a boost by the Supreme Court of Venezuela when on the 29th of March 2017 they responded to the unlawful and dysfunctional behaviour of Venezuela’s National Assembly by invoking a provision within the Constitution which permitted the Supreme Court to temporarily take over the functions of any organ of the nation that was failing to carry out its constitutional responsibilities.

Now,even though the Supreme Court had the lawful constitutional authority to take this action, they had really committed a tactical error, since this gave the unprincipled, demagogic Opposition forces the opportunity to suggest that President Maduro was behind the Supreme Court ruling and that he  was attempting to establish a dictatorship.

Of course nothing could have been further from the truth, and as a result of an intervention by Maduro’s Attorney General and by the country’s National Defense Council the Supreme Court was persuaded– in the interest of national peace and security– to rescind its ruling.

But, even though the Supreme Court’s ruling was rescinded within two days, Luis Almagro and his right wing cohorts in the OAS were able to use this issue to cynically inflict as much harm as possible on the legitimate Government of Venezuela.

And what has been particularly worrying is that at several stages in his wicked campaign against Venezuela Luis Almagro has been able to secure the cooperation of five CARICOM member states of the OAS: namely, Barbados, Jamaica, Bahamas, St Lucia and Guyana.

A particularly egregious example of this “cooperation” is to be seen in the manner in which Barbados and Jamaica joined with Almagro and the US client states of the region to stage an illegal and unconstitutional OAS meeting on the 3rd of April 2017, before going on to compound their folly by voting for an equally illegal anti-Venezuela resolution at the said illegal meeting ! The eminent Caribbean statesman, Sir Ronald Sanders, subsequently described these events as “a coup d’ etat followed by a lynching”.

This is a matter that should deeply concern all right-thinking citizens of our Caribbean Community (CARICOM), for our region  has a proud tradition of standing up for principle in the international arena and of courageously speaking truth to power.

Please recall that it was four small Caribbean states — Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago– that in December 1972 defied the mighty USA and broke the diplomatic isolation of revolutionary Cuba. Furthermore, over the years CARICOM has proudly and defiantly held firm to a collective regional position in defense of Cuba and against the American blockade. Why then should we now abandon the tradition of a collective CARICOM foreign policy position and fail to give the legitimately elected Venezuelan government the solidarity and support that it deserves?

What right thinking and fair minded Caribbean citizen can doubt that the United Socialist Government of Venezuela has earned the principled solidarity of the Caribbean people and Governments, in light of the record of such Venezuelan contributions to the Caribbean as Petro Caribe, Operation Milagro,  the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA) , Telesur, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the list goes on.

Furthermore,we should all be aware that our  fifteen (15) CARICOM nations possess the numerical strength  within the OAS to provide Venezuela with iron-clad protection against the machinations of the USA and their OAS client states. Indeed,if we hold firm to a collective CARICOM position the USA and the other right wing forces in the OAS will never be able to win the majority vote that they need in order to set up a military invasion of Venezuela !

It is against this background therefore that I am hereby appealing to ALL CARICOM citizens to contact their respective Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and to let them know that we are calling upon them to do the right thing by maintaining a collective CARICOM position of solidarity with the legitimate Government of Venezuela in the OAS and in every other international forum.

Please telephone your Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs; send them an e-mail or a letter; or meet them in person on the street, in the precincts of Parliament or in their offices– and let them know that we are counting on them to live up to the shining example that Eric Williams, Michael Manley, Forbes Burnham and Errol Barrow set so many years ago.

KINDLY  NOTE  THAT  A  LIST  OF  E-MAIL  ADDRESSES  AND TELEPHONE  NUMBERS  OF  RELEVANT PRIME  MINISTERS  AND FOREIGN  AFFAIRS  MINISTERS  IS  ATTACHED  HERE-UNDER.

If we all do our duty as principled and engaged Citizens of the Caribbean we can win a truly historic and meaningful victory for the future of our burgeoning Caribbean and Latin American Civilization.

Please act with the urgency that the situation demands.

I now look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. I and our Chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity may be reached at — clementpaynechambers@gmail.com.

Yours in the struggle.

David Comissiong
Coordinator
International Network In Defense of Humanity (Caribbean Chapter)

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Mr. Stone – poem by Prof. Keith Ellis

When we were thirteen we were his stature,

but we didn’t tease or nickname

the frail gentle man who wandered the street

speaking in soft politeness to everyone

and receiving reciprocated gentleness

in his shell-shocked hell-locked trances

that drew us fearfully to him,

like to the Apocalypse when Deacon Evans preached.

A tailor he had wanted to be,

his hands made for passing

gently over soft wools,

smooth serges, and the tough khaki

which he himself did not wear,

his disposition ready to praise

the expectant and sacrificing customer

for his tasteful economy,

his ears made for the whirr

of his machine oiled for long life

and, while it rested,

for the singing of three little birds

by his fresh open window.

What made him go

to that first big war?

“Me noh know, they come.

–My friend Bertie was going,

an him did hear say, the Gleaner say,

we should go serve the King, an the Empire.

Him didn’ come back at all. Didn’ make it.”

Is not like him tek faas go there too,

they came to fetch him from his Mile Gully,

not the Mile Gully in Manchester with Post Office

but the one later served by Dressikie Postal Agency

when letters came for Mr. McFarlane or somebody else there,

and they enticed the small nineteen-year-old

with bugle and drum and show of tidiness.

In the marches he strained

with the rifle’s weight to keep pace,

as his little feet swam in oceanic boots

and the green khaki absorbed the sun,

needling him with Kingston heat he had never felt

in his cool riverside Mile Gully.

Bugle and drum and left right left

was all the preparation, and then the ship,

crossing in the other direction,

pulling him up toward the cold, disgorged him

among men reddened by the zeal for war.

Young Stone, trembling, exposed among them,

with no ancestral memory to steady and incite him,

neither once more unto the breach

nor the urging half a league onward.

With cause too he was tropically clad:

Bertie’s were words of abstract airiness,

they went well and away with blue skies.

These reddened men in this sullen clime

knew well the substantial cause.

From school days with torpedo

they liked to puncture the proud boast

stamped on newly ubiquitous competing German goods:

D                R         G                  M

Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster

(German   Reich Registered Design)

and convert it in smearing fury into

Dirty         Rotten German    Make.

Young Stone could not catch the fire.

His less flammable skin marked him

for indignities inflicted by those comrades-in-arms

to which even his like-shaded illustrious compatriot,

Chief Minister-to-be and hardened

by Cecil Rhodes, was not immune.

Without the musty garb of bellicose tradition,

without the scissors of imperial trade,

our essential tailor stood naked among his peers.

Shieldless to shells, ears wide open to every explosion,

the hellish sulphuric haze invading his nostrils,

warning of more lethal stuff to be breathed,

eyes scaled to witness too late but with luck

the soaring trajectory, the searing landing,

imagination wandering to the other side,

feeling their anguish, multiplying his,

immersed in nothing but war.

The Gleaner welcomed him back

among “our stalwart victorious

fighting men,” lamenting “those

who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

He took up his tailoring dream,

but its soft whirr soon made

of the well-oiled machine

intolerable misfiring engines of brutal tanks.

Indoors became worse than the trench

in which he had cowered in unwanted closeness:

he couldn’t see anything from there

of the incoming shells, or hear in time

the reports of the mortars and big guns.

So Mr. Stone took to the hungry neighbourhood streets,

available to all for conversation,

his speech in short quiet spurts,

like the start stop of a sewing machine,

and with its trace of the accent of the trenches.

He was missed during his monthly three-mile

trip to Gayle Post Office, where the Royal Mail came,

to collect his monthly veteran’s two shillings and sixpence ($3.50 U.S.).

We would have walked with him,

his erect walk, with military intimations, though slow,

his shirt buttoned up to the neck for neatness,

his bursting shoes,

but we couldn’t withstand along the way

all the exploding shells, all the bombardments,

all the projectiles whistling through the sky

that in panic he would make us notice,

his hands cupped over his ears,

his eyes wide with terror.

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US Musician Herbie Hancock Performed in Jazz Festival in Havana – Artistes Called for Peace

Herbie Hancock in concert. Photo: Sonia Almaguer

Those participating in the global concert for International Jazz Day, held in Havana’s Alicia Alonso Grand Theater, highlighted the value of music as a global platform to promote peace.
Organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – whose director general, Irina Bokova, traveled to the Cuban capital to witness the event – presented in collaboration with the Cuban Ministry of Culture, Cuban Music Institute and the Thelonious Monk Institute, the concert saw contributions from over 50 outstanding artists from the United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, with U.S. jazz icon Herbie Hancock and Cuba’s Chucho Valdés headlining, while the role of host was assumed by popular U.S. actor and winner or four Grammy Awards, Will Smith.
The gala, which saw the participation of Miguel Díaz-Canel, first vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, as well as Culture Minister Abel Prieto, was an example of the what cooperation can and must do to achieve spiritual growth.
“While some beat the drums of war, right here, right now, and in many places only the drums that will be heard are those which invite us to coexistence and solidarity, to harmony and understanding,” stated Cuban poet, Miguel Barnet, upon inaugurating the concert.
Barnet, president of the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists, also reminded attendees, and those watching the live broadcast of the concert from hundreds of countries around the world, how “jazz has become part of our identity, conversing with son and bolero, it takes on meaning in what we call Cuban jam sessions, accompanies ritual drumming and songs brought over from Africa by our ancestors, merges with rumba, unveils new paths through the creation of young musicians trained in our art schools, and represents us with dignity and pride in numerous settings both within and outside the island.”
Speaking before the audience, Bokova, Hancock, and special guest celebrated producer and composer Quincy Jones, highlighted jazz’s commitment to freedom, respect for diversity and ethics.
At various moments throughout the concert, an important one being the performance by indisputable jazz legend Oscar Valdés -, the past and present legacy of the genre known as Afro-Cuban jazz was celebrated, starting with the group Manteca established in 1947 and featuring outstanding talents such as Mario Bauzá, Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie, who rocked the New York jazz scene, followed by the explosion of Maraca, a Timba all star Cuban band led by Orlando Valle, as well as the Cuban flavored choir performances of John Lennon’s classic “Imagine,” and the iconic “Guantanamera.”
During the gala, as a way of shining a light on common roots and possible dialogue, Rodríguez Fife’s “Bilongo” was sung by Richard Bona from Cameroon, in addition to a Northwest African flavored changüí, spiced by the strings of Pancho Amat’s tres, the lute of Tunisian Dhafer Youssef, a singer with an impressive vocal register, and William Roblejo’s violin.
The rhythms then moved on from Afro-Cuban to three other interesting zones of Latin jazz: firstly the English version of “Soberana rosa” by Sting and Dione Warwick, performed by Brazil’s Iván Lins; followed by the Consuelo Velázquez’s infallible “Bésame mucho” performed by Korea’s Youn Sun Nah, together with the subtle melodies of renowned violinist Regina Carter and double bassist Esperanza Spalding, and a friendly scat duel between the latter and the ineffable Bobby Carcasés.
Meanwhile, Hancock perfectly summed up the performance of “Blue Monk” by pianists Chucho Valdés and Gonzalo ­Rubalcaba, describing it as the art of two creatures who have expanded the legacy of the maestro, and are both indisputable icons of contemporary jazz in their own right.
Attendees to the concert will undoubtedly never forget the performances by U.S. saxophonists Kenny Garrett and Antonio Hart, as well as by their compatriots singer Cassandra Wilson – with her deep, golden voice-, Christian Sans (piano), Ambrose Akinmusire  (trumpet), bass players Marcus Miller and Ben Williams, and drummer Carl Allen; as well as vocalist Kurt Elling. They will also surely recall how jazz has grown with force and originality across other latitudes, with outstanding performances by Lebanon’s Tarek Yamani, Peruvian saxophonist Melissa Aldana, Mexican drummer Antonio Sánchez, Russian saxophonist Igor Butman, Italian trombone player Gianluca Petrella, Japanese trumpeter Takuya Kuroda, and guitarist Marc Antoine from France.
Credit for the gala’s success is also owed its musical directors, Emilio Vega and U.S. maestro John Beasly, as well as Alexis Vázquez, vice president of the event’s organizing committee.

http://en.granma.cu/cultura/2017-05-04/a-call-for-peace-during-jazz-festival-in-havana

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Celac: Declaration of the Meeting of Social Movements and Political Forces

Photo: Web

The denunciation of attempts at militarization and interference by the United States, the right to independence of Puerto Rico, the lifting of the blockade of Cuba and the return of the territory occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base were some of The key points of the Declaration approved by the Encounter of social movements and political forces that is celebrated in Dominican Republic.

The event, prior to the V Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), had the objective of supporting the need for the existence and continuity of this important regional integration body; And to reinforce the denunciations against imperialism. It also promoted support for the right to sovereignty, self-determination, peace, unity and integration of each country.

It was also the stage for leaders of social movements and political forces to raise the voice of the people against imperialism, for sovereignty and self-determination and for the defense of peace, unity and integration of the Patria Grande, said the organizing committee of the event.

A feature of this meeting was the reiteration by many participants of their strongest support for the work being done by Celac in the area of ​​integration and the call for the entity to facilitate greater participation to the peoples in these unitary and solidarity efforts.

For example, Halim Khan, leader of the solidarity movement with Cuba in Guyana, proposed that the entire region eliminate visas to facilitate access to work wherever it exists and to exchange crops to ensure food security.

Another participant in the meeting, Dominican trade unionist Juan Hubieres, president of the National Transportation Federation New Option, told Prensa Latina that CELAC should be strengthened to act better in the framework for which it was created.

Through two working groups prior to the meeting, the following topics were discussed: sovereignty, peace, unity and integration; And the reality of human rights in the region.

Meeting of Social Movements and Political Forces

“FOR PEACE, UNITY AND THE INTEGRATION OF OUR AMERICA”

DECLARATION OF SANTO DOMINGO

The social movements and political organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean, meeting on 23 and 24 January 2017 in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, endorse this document of fervent support for the Fifth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), together with the hope that it will further contribute to the consolidation and strengthening of this important mechanism for concerted action and joint action of our countries, in defense of the interests and rights of Nations and peoples.

CELAC represents a ray of hope for the Latin American and Caribbean countries that we must coordinate efforts to jointly combat the great evils that afflict us, such as: poverty, hunger, unemployment, lack of access to health services, education and Violence against girls and women, violation of the most basic rights, cultural and media warfare, citizen insecurity, the scourge of drugs, neoliberal policies, illegal and predatory Multinational corporations, destruction of the environment, unequal exchange and obstacles to communication against hegemony, among other evils.

We add our militant effort to the common struggle for national sovereignty, democracy, sustainable development and the guarantee of all human rights for all our citizens. This becomes more indispensable when the right-wing offensive on the continent and the recent rise to power of the US president increases the risk that, along with his hegemonic, misogynist, racist, xenophobic and imperialist preaching, the threats and threats will multiply and execute Of aggression characteristic of the old policy of the great club and interventionism, which so many tragedies have caused our peoples throughout history.

We strongly denounce these grave threats, call for alertness, the most determined solidarity and the unity of our peoples, and call for spaces of dialogue between governments and social movements to confront these and other challenges.

We endorse the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, as agreed in 2014 by the Heads of State and Government at the Second Summit of CELAC.

We reject the implementation of military bases by countries and organizations outside the region, the reactivation of the Fourth Fleet, the implementation of a new Condor Plan, joint military exercises with foreign powers and organizations, such as NATO, and we demand the withdrawal of the MINUSTAH of Haiti, the first country to rise against colonial domination and with which we are permanently in solidarity.

We condemn the criminalization of social protest and persecution by paramilitary groups against progressive governments, organizations and leaders. In that sense, we demand the freedom of the deputy Milagro Salas and the political fighter Simon Trinidad, and we demand justice for the case of the 43 normalists of Ayotzinapa.

We support the resistance and struggle of Puerto Rico for its independence, still absent from CELAC, and we celebrate the pardon of Oscar López Rivera, fruit of the battle of his people and of international solidarity for his liberation.

We strongly support the sovereignty of the Argentine Republic over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas.

We join the worldwide demand for the immediate and unconditional lifting of the genocidal blockade against the sister Republic of Cuba by the United States Government and the return of the territory occupied by the Guantanamo Naval Base.

We express our unconditional support for the Bolivarian Revolution and the legitimate government led by President Nicolás Maduro. We demand the repeal of the interfering Executive Order of the United States Government that qualifies Venezuela as a threat to its national security.

We salute the recent electoral victory of the Sandinista Front in Nicaragua and the re-election of President Daniel Ortega. We are alerted to the attempt to undermine the stability of the government of El Salvador.

We call for the urgent need to eradicate poverty, hunger and social inequality, to build just and inclusive societies that guarantee access for all to health, free and quality public education, decent housing without forced evictions, Decent work and respect for achievements and rights at work, promotion of culture and identity, opportunities for young people and students, and effective participation of the people. We sympathize with the struggles of teachers and students throughout the region, including educational reforms.

We support the efforts of the Colombian people to achieve peace with social justice, after five decades of bloody war, within the framework of the agreements reached between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP, and the beginning of the dialogue with the Liberation Army of National. The peace of Colombia is the peace of the continent.

We are guided by the unequivocal conviction that the most effective resource is the unity of nations and peoples, and in this spirit we reiterate our militant commitment to make every effort to put that popular force on its feet and thus create an insurmountable barrier against The pretensions of US imperialism and its allies.

To advance towards the conquest of our definitive national and social liberation, which from the immortality continue us pointing the guides and precursors of that cause, encourages us to adopt the present Declaration and to subscribe it with the highest spirit of Latin American and Caribbean solidarity, with eternal commitment To the legacy of the undefeated Commander Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez and inspired by the heroic resistance of women like Mama Tingó, the Mirabal Sisters and all our heroes and martyrs of the Great Homeland.

Santo Domingo, January 24, 2017

http://www.caribflame.com/2017/01/celac-declaration-of-the-meeting-of-social-movements-and-political-forces/

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International Workers Day May 1, 2017 – Yesterday, Today, Social Transformation

The Jamaica Peace Council salutes working people of Jamaica and the world on International Worker’s Day (aka International Labour Day) which is celebrated in most countries on May 1. The rights that working people in many countries, including Jamaica, enjoy today were achieved through intense battles between the owners of enterprises and their employees which sometimes resulted in the violent use of the security forces in an attempt to crush the incipient workers’ movements. How did International Labour Day come about?

Historical background

On May 1, 1886 in Haymarket, Chicago, a massive strike began, leading to a peaceful workers’ meeting on May 4 to discuss their demands for an 8-hour work-day and safe working conditions. It was disrupted by police and many deaths and injuries resulted. This was an important benchmark in the workers’ movement internationally and so three years later, May 1 was designated International Workers Day to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre, based on a proposal from the French socialists. The day is usually used to highlight critical issues in the labour movement.

The USA and Jamaica celebrate Labour Day on other dates

Approximately 80 countries worldwide celebrate International Workers Day or Labour Day on May 1. Two of the exceptions are the United States of America and Jamaica.

In the case of the United States, Labour Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. From the inception of International Workers Day, political and business interests had reservations about it as they associated it with the socialist emphasis on the working class. As a result, there was an attempt to play it down. That may explain the change in date. If you ask many US citizens outside of the labour movement what Labour Day means to them, they are likely to reply that it is just another holiday and there are massive sales in the stores. Few will know the true significance.

In Jamaica’s case, in 1961 we began to celebrate Labour Day on May 23 in honour of the birth of the national labour movement which culminated our own 1938 labour struggles, and as a replacement for the celebration of the colonial Empire Day on May 24. The day used to be mainly observed by the labour unions and the political parties they spawned; but since 1972, it gained wider national participation and has come to be identified as one of voluntary work island-wide.

What will today be like around the world?

On April 4, 2017, Telesur reported that  “various immigrants’ rights groups and labor unions have allied to organize the largest U.S. May 1 demonstration in the past 10 years.”  The groups made the announcement in a press conference on Monday, April 3, in Washington, D.C.

The 35 million people strong pre- Labour Day strike in Brazil, organised by the Unified Workers Central and The Workers Party of Brazil against President Michel Temer’s neoliberal reforms on Friday, April 28, is expected to continue into May 1.

In Venezuela, the efforts by the right-wing allies of multi-national oil corporations and imperialist governments to intensify turmoil in the society, in a bid to overthrow the democratically elected government, will continue to be resisted by the people with the support of numerous allies across the globe. No other government in the history of Venezuela has provided more benefits to working people and their families than the  Chavista government, now led by President Nicholas Maduro. Not only that, no other Venezuelan government has benefited working people of Latin America and the Caribbean, the way that the Chavista government of Venezuela has, with the Petrocaribe agreement and partnership with Cuba to provide the Miracle Eyecare Programme.

In Barbados, the Caribbean Movement for Peace will hold a May Day event in recognition of their 1937 rebellion led by Clement Payne and the International Workers’ March in Cuba, and in solidarity with the government and people of Venezuela.

As May 1, 2017 dawns,  working people in war-torn countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine and Somalia will wake up to a continuation of the devastating effects of the senseless wars which have destroyed their infrastructure and left them with grief, post-traumatic stress disorder, injuries, homelessness, joblessness and the stigma of being refugees in other countries.  It is estimated that approximately 75 million children are out of school because of war – the worst humanitarian crisis since World War 2.

In other countries, including Jamaica, May 1, 2017 will find working people experiencing an uneasy peace, under pressure from high taxation, a rapidly increasing cost of living, layoffs, unemployment, underemployment,  hopelessness (especially among youth), poor health services, high crime rates and rampant violence and murders. We are also seeing an increase in mendicancy, child labour, prostitution and pornography, as people become more desperate in their efforts to survive. Is it any wonder that the real architects of the lottery scams found fertile ground in Third World countries such as ours?

A striking contrast is our neighbouring country Cuba, which despite the crippling burden of the US blockade, provides better conditions for workers than even the United States. Cuba equates, and in some cases surpasses, First World countries on most, if not all, of the critical indicators on the UN Human Development Index. Workers hold pride of place in Cuba and the celebration of Labour Day on May 1 is a big deal, attracting celebrants from all over the globe.

 Towards Social Transformation

Whichever date Labour Day is celebrated, it is an important occasion to reflect on the history of the labour movement, the need for local, regional and world peace, and the role the working people must play in bringing about social transformation. In this reflection, we must also ponder whether the International Monetary Fund addresses the interest of the working people and whether it assists or hinders our social transformation.

The New Dynamics Of Market Crashes – By Teemu Paivinen — Guyanese Online

The New Dynamics Of Market Crashes Or Why The Next Financial Crisis Could Be Much Worse. Our economy is built on a requirement for perpetual growth and because no one wants to find out what happens when the growth stops, we’ve just kept piling on debt to keep the growth going. In practice this has lead to […]

via The New Dynamics Of Market Crashes – By Teemu Paivinen — Guyanese Online