The Wall Street Journal published a headline today that should strike fear into the heart of every crusaders in the fight for $15: “Robots Are Replacing Workers Where You Shop.” As the story explains, Wal-Mart is replacing some of its non-customer facing workers with robots, like bookkeepers who were responsible for counting and storing the […]
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejects the unbelievable
statement published today by the White House on 07/17/2017.
It is a document of a sort that has never been seen before, which, due
to its poor level and awful quality, makes it difficult to intellectually
understand the intentions of the assailant country. Without a doubt, the
government of the United States is used to humiliating other nations in
its international relations and believes that it will receive as a response
the subordination to which they are accustomed. The trench that the
government of the United States is digging in its relations with Venezuela
makes it difficult to rationally predict its actions for the entire international
The government of the United States, unashamedly, shows its absolute
bias towards the violent and extremist sectors of Venezuelan politics,
which favor the use of terrorism to overthrow a popular and democratic
The moral ruin of the Venezuelan opposition has dragged President
Trump to commit an open aggression against a Latin American country.
We know not who could have written, let alone authorized, a statement
with such a conceptual and moral poverty.
The thin democratic veil of the Venezuelan opposition has fallen, and it
reveals the brutal interventionist force of the U.S. government, which has
been behind the violence suffered by the Venezuelan people in the last
It is not the first time that we denounce and confront threats as ludicrous
as those contained in this unbelievable document.
We call on the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as
on the free peoples of the world, to understand the magnitude of the
brutal threat contained in this imperial statement and to defend the
sovereignty, self-determination, and independence, fundamental
principles of international law.
The original constituent power is contemplated in our Constitution and it
only concerns the Venezuelan people. The National Constituent
Assembly will be elected by the direct, universal, and secret ballot of all
Venezuelans, under the authority of the National Electoral Council, as
contemplated in our legal framework. It is an act of political sovereignty
of the Republic, nothing and no one can stop it. The Constituent
Assembly will go on!
Today, Venezuelan people are free and will respond united against the
insolent threat posed by a xenophobic and racist empire. The antiimperialist
thought of the Liberator is more valid than ever.
“The United States seems destined by Providence to
plague America with misery in the name of liberty”
– Simón Bolívar
http://ift.tt/eA8V8J The textbooks teach American children a very different version of some of the country’s most monumental events compared to what Native Americans actually experienced. At a young age, we are given the structure for what to celebrate. We are taught to celebrate a fantasy history that ignores and downplays the displacement and genocide of a people. Some […]
We again denounce the campaign of destabilization and creation of chaos against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, a campaign that, on the 27th of June, has escalated with the attacks against the Supreme Court of Justice and the Ministry of Interior, Justice and Peace, in the capital Caracas.
In the attacks, according to the Venezuelan authorities, a helicopter stolen from the airbase in La Carlota has made 15 shots in the area of the Ministry and then launched four teargas bombs against the Court, in a demonstration of cowardice, with truly terrorist acts. However, we salute the Venezuelan Government’s disposition to deter the attempts made by the violent forces that aim to spark a civil war in the country. These are the forces that the US imperialism defends under the pretext of “promoting democracy”.
The World Peace Council joins all the forces defending the nations’ sovereignty in resistance against the policy of interference, threats and aggressions that are the basis of US and their allies’ (or servants) foreign policy. In Latin America, this policy is growingly translating into the region’s militarization and in the support offered by the imperialist power to the most reactionary forces in the fascist, anti-patriotic right-wing, which goes to great lengths to take the power, although their actions cost the lives of compatriots, the destabilization and the surrender of their countries to foreign dominance.
The promotion of coups, either by force or disguised as judicial processes, is evidently a tactic of imperialism to gain control of the region back, since it is not pleased with the process of independence building, a process in which the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela plays a central role.
Facing the Venezuelan people’s brave resistance against the US interference and threats, the reactionary forces again recur to economic and media war, coup attempts and violence.
Therefore, we resolutely support the Venezuelan people’s determination to keep governing their destiny, with the most recent initiative being the call issued by the Government of President Nicolás Maduro for a people’s Constitutional Assembly, a form of participant democracy that is unknown by the imperialist powers trying to demonize the Bolivarian Republic.
We reiterate our solidarity with the Venezuelan people and the peace forces in the country, such as the International Committee of Solidarity (COSI), a member of the WPC.
On alert against the attempt of coup d’état, we support the Venezuelan people’s right to defend their independence in the quest for a peaceful and sovereign process that can build the solution for the crisis in the country.
President of the World Peace Council
U.S. television news programs (CNN, MSNBC, and Fox) have been pounding the war drums in the last few weeks and days, since North Korea successfully launched a long- range missile. The long drift to war with North Korea has seemingly become, overnight, a U.S. drive to war with North Korea.
With his usual bluster and saber-rattling, President Trump on his recent tour of Europe continued to threaten “severe action” against North Korea. Trump has made matters worse by devolving authority to battlefield commanders who inflame tensions with their own incendiary statements. Example: the U.S. commander in Korea, General Vincent Brooks, stated publicly “the only thing which separates armistice from war” with North Korea is “our self-restraint, which is a choice.”
Anyone is the U.S. could conclude, quite reasonably, that the U.S. is the aggrieved and threatened party; that North Korea obviously wishes to harm the U.S. people; that the U.S. confronts a new danger; that North Korea is the aggressor; that an innocent and remarkably patient U.S. is the intended victim.
Such a conclusion — all of it — would be false. Almost nothing of what the U.S. mainstream media says about North Korea is true. Only a grasp of the history and the broader context can shed light on this Korea Crisis.
A few key facts:
• The U.S. refusal to accept the legitimacy of the North Korean government (DPRK) is part of its long-term policy that any state in the world that follows an independent course is subject to being overthrown by the United States. Economic independence and sovereignty are considered by the U.S. financial and corporate elite as an act of aggression. Therefore, the DPRK, Viet Nam, Cuba, the USSR and now Russia, Syria, Venezuela, China and others have all been targeted by the U.S. politically and militarily. U.S. policy insists that it has the right to curb independent states, to determine a country’s political leaders and socioeconomic system, and to use whatever means it takes – economic sanctions, sabotage, assassination, war — to achieve those goals.
• North Korea acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1985.
• In 1994, the DPRK agreed to freeze its nuclear program in return for the U.S. providing energy materials and generating stations. In January of 2002, President George W. Bush announced that the DPRK was part of the “Axis of Evil,” and subject to regime change and even nuclear annihilation by the US. By the end of 2002, the DPRK had essentially exited the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and began to develop nuclear weapons as a deterrent.
• The notion that North Korea poses a threat to the U.S. is false and absurd. It would be national suicide for the DPRK to start a war with the U.S. or South Korea, which have massively superior military capabilities. The DPRK has never threatened to start such a war, rather it has always asserted that it developed weapons of mass destruction in order to deter the U.S. and its allies from an (often threatened) U.S. attack such as those that decapitated Iraq and Libya. The constant denigration and demonization of the North Korean leadership (they are portrayed invariably as madmen, or clowns, or both) is a strategy to make the Big Lie of a threat from North Korea believable to an ill-informed and fearful U.S. public.
• The DPRK has offered to freeze its nuclear weapons program if the U.S. freezes its war practices targeting that country, actions aimed to precede negotiations. Russia and China have endorsed this approach. The US, however, refuses.
The U.S. is Provoking the Crisis
North Korea would not have a nuclear weapons program if it were not under increasing threat from the U.S., which has been trying to force regime change in the North since 1945 by war, subversion, diplomatic isolation, and economic strangulation.
A recent article noted that,
As University of Chicago history professor Bruce Cumings [a leading U.S. historian of the Korean War], writes, for North Korea the nuclear crisis
began in late February 1993, when General Lee Butler, head of the new U.S. ‘Strategic Command,’ announced that he was retargeting strategic nuclear weapons (i.e., hydrogen bombs) meant for the old U.S.S.R, on North Korea (among other places.) At the same time, the new CIA chief, James Woolsey, testified that North Korea was ‘our most grave current concern.’ By mid-March 1993, tens of thousands of [US] soldiers were carrying out war games in Korea…and in came the B1-B bombers, B-52s from Guam, several naval vessels carrying cruise missiles, and the like: whereupon the North pulled out of the NPT.” 
It is the U.S. that has been provoking the DPRK with its stationing of THAAD missile (“Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense”), a first-strike weapon, in South Korea over the last year. The U.S. is now testing the THAAD missiles. US-South Korea practice military maneuvers, which used to recur several times a year, are now almost incessant.
Moreover, the U.S. is further militarizing South Korea. Residents of the South Korean island of Jeju have strongly object to the South Korean military setting up a base on the island, with the possible deployment of the U.S. Navy’s newest Zumwalt-class destroyer “to deter North Korean aggression.”At the end of World War II, after the Japanese Imperialists had been defeated, Jeju Islanders rose up against the US-installed colonial dictatorship of Syngman Rhee. The U.S. responded by employing the former brutal Japanese military rulers to violently put down the protests.
It is the U.S. that, again and again, has refused talks with North Korea’s leadership.
In January , North Korea offered to “sit with the U.S. anytime” to discuss U.S. war games and its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Pyongyang proposed that the United States “contribute to easing tension on the Korean peninsula by temporarily suspending joint military exercises in south Korea and its vicinity this year, and said that in this case the DPRK is ready to take such responsive steps as temporarily suspending the nuclear test over which the U.S. is concerned.”
The North Korean proposal was seconded by China and Russia and recently by South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in. But Washington peremptorily rejected the proposal, refusing to acknowledge any equivalency between US-led war games, which U.S. officials deem ‘legitimate’ and North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests, which they label ‘illegitimate.” (Stephen Gowans, ibid.)
Having partitioned Korea in 1945, the U.S. permanently stationed about 40,000 of troops in South Korea after the end of 1950-1953 hostilities and the 1953 armistice. The U.S. still denies Korea a peace treaty, which the DPRK has insisted on. But peace was never the intention of U.S. imperialism. U.S. foreign policy sees Northeast Asia only through the lens of domination.
The permanent occupation of South Korea was aimed at geopolitical control of the region, including elimination of the DPRK and moving U.S. missile and military forces right up to the Chinese and Russian borders. The occupation was symbolized by the giant, yearly provocative military maneuvers by the U.S. and its regional allies, such as South Korea. Such rehearsals for real war with the DPRK have stepped up dramatically in recent months.
Few Americans grasp the enormity of the trauma suffered by millions of Koreans in the war of 1950-53. The war devastated dozens of Korean cities. The U.S. dropped over 428,000 bombs over the capital Pyongyang alone, and killed 1.2 million people. The U.S. war on Korea included the use of napalm. The U.S. war’s brutal and blatant violations of international humanitarian law remain unpunished.
The real nature of U.S. policy to the Korean peninsula is neo-colonial domination, through occupation and partition. This has been so since 1945. The U.S. has stooped to employ the same quislings that had run Korea as a Japanese colony. Prof. Cumings wrote in the London Review of Books:
To shore up their  occupation, the Americans employed every last hireling of the
Japanese they could find, including former officers in the Japanese military like Park Chung Hee and Kim Chae-gyu, both of whom graduated from the American military academy in Seoul in 1946. (After a military takeover in 1961 Park became president of South Korea, lasting a decade and a half until his ex-classmate Kim, by then head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, shot him dead over dinner one night.)
After the Americans left in 1948 the border area around the 38th parallel was under the command of Kim Sok-won, another ex-officer of the Imperial Army, and it was no surprise that after a series of South Korean incursions into the North, full-scale civil war broke out on 25 June 1950. Inside the South itself – whose leaders felt insecure and conscious of the threat from what they called ‘the north wind’ – there was an orgy of state violence against anyone who might somehow be associated with the left or with communism.
The historian Hun Joon Kim found that at least 300,000 people were detained and executed or simply disappeared by the South Korean government in the first few months after conventional war began. My own work and that of John Merrill indicates that somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 people died as a result of political violence before June 1950, at the hands either of the South Korean government or the U.S. occupation forces. In her recent book Korea’s Grievous War, which combines archival research, records of mass graves and interviews with relatives of the dead and escapees who fled to Osaka, Su-kyoung Hwang documents the mass killings in villages around the southern coast. In short, the Republic of Korea was one of the bloodiest dictatorships of the early Cold War period; many of the perpetrators of the massacres had served the Japanese in their dirty work – and were then put back into power by the Americans.
The most important new factor is the destabilizing THAAD missiles. According to the U.S. peace organization, Global Network, an authority on questions of war technology, the U.S. has recently deployed the THAAD “missile defense” system in Seongju, South Korea despite massive protests by South Koreans. It is claimed by U.S. authorities that THAAD is there to intercept missiles from North Korea. But many experts believe China and Russia are the real targets, given the enormous range of THAAD radar, which counterproductively intensifies unnecessary military tension in the region. The U.S. has also deployed other “missile defense” systems through the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East to encircle Russia and China. “Missile defense” is a key element in Pentagon first-strike attack planning.
De-escalate Tensions Now!
The U.S. Peace Council joins with other U.S. antiwar organizations in demanding that
• The U.S. must reverse course. De-escalate tension now. No more provocations from the US. The United States and South Korea must immediately cease military maneuvers in the region, providing North Korea with an opportunity to reciprocate. The THAAD missiles near the North Korea-South Korea border must be de-activated and removed.
• The United States must engage in good faith, direct talks with North Korea. Such talks should include the perspective of a peace treaty to end the Korean War. A commitment to denuclearization should not be a precondition for talks with North Korea.
• The United States and all states in the region must stop military actions that could be interpreted as provocative, including such actions as forward deployment of additional military forces by the United States, and the testing or assertion of territorial claims by deploying of military forces in contested areas by any state. Withdrawing U.S. naval forces newly concentrated near the Korean peninsula would be an important confidence-building step.
Korea — all of it — has a right to its sovereignty and independence. The recently elected South Korean leader, Moon Jae-in, represents a break with the repressive and reactionary leaders of the past. He campaigned on a number of progressive ideas — more independence from the US; more engagement with the North. But he has had to contend with bullying by a U.S. Administration bent on heightening tensions. The U.S. has no right to enforce the partition of the Korean peninsula and to block steps to unity and social progress desired by the people of Korea, North and South.
War can still be prevented, but only if the antiwar movement compels the U.S. to reverse course.
 More properly, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the DPRK. Here the terms will be used interchangeably.
 Stephen Gowans in “The Real Reason Washington is Worried about North Korea’s ICBM Test” (What’s Left, July 5, 2017 https://gowans.wordpress.com)
In a period of deep economic crisis, the Caribbean is facing socioeconomic challenges as well as new dangers and threats to peace, including possible eventual imperialist military interventions against sovereign countries of the region. There is also the frightening spectre of the revival of neoliberalism and fascism in its old and new forms.
Furthermore, the democratic and social achievements of the post-War period, including decolonization and national independence, social, economic and cultural development, and the expansion of the International Rule of Law and respect for national sovereignty have all been systemically and aggressively weakened since the 1990s.
Fortunately, these grave threats to peace, sovereignty, humanity and the natural environment have drawn the attention of the People of the Americas, and especially of the forces of peace and social progress. In this regard, the WPC Assembly while affirming its solidarity with the national political struggles of the progressive forces in South American sister nations such as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela, also reiterated its commitment to create awareness among the international public opinion and political leaders on the real benefits of eliminating nuclear weapons and achieving general and total disarmament at world level, and on the social, economic and environmental costs derived from its maintenance.
In light of such a scenario, the World Peace Council has been supporting, in all international forums, the end to foreign military presence and bases in the Caribbean as well as all modalities of regional militarization. In this regard, the Caribbean Peace Organizations, representing the genuine interests of the Caribbean People, will continue to protect our region and will keep protesting against foreign military bases in our region. This is consistent with our full support of the Declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by the Heads of State and Governments at the Second Community of Latin American and Caribbean Nations (CELAC) Summit Meeting held in Havana in January 2014, which is a true historical milestone, since it is the most profound and politically far-reaching agreement achieved in centuries by our Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration (CMPI) and the Cuban Movement for Peace and People´s Sovereignty (MovPaz) together with the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network In Defence of Humanity (NIDOH-C), invite all justice and peace loving people of our subregion to the First Caribbean Peace Conference in Barbados on October 6-7th, 2017.
This Conference will help our region to strengthen our Caribbean organisations and fights for peace, decolonization, Reparations, and the preservation of our cultural integrity, as well as our campaign against foreign military presences and bases in our region. In addition, it will provide us with an opportunity to express opposition to all forms of imperialist threats and aggressions against the Peoples of the Caribbean and Latin America, and to produce a consensus Declaration which will contain concrete actions and measures to be undertaken in pursuit of our overarching mission to transform our Caribbean into a Zone of Peace and Integration.
By the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration,
Trevor Prescod, President
David Denny, General Secretary
By the World Peace Council & MovPaz
Silvio Platero, WPC Regional Coordinator and President of Cuban MovPaz.
By the International Network In Defence of Humanity
David Comissiong, Coordinator of the Caribbean Chapter.
The Congress of the Cyprus Peace Council is convening at a time when where:
the imperialist order continues to provoke wars and misery all over the world,
- the global capitalist crisis is widening the gap between the wealth of the few and the poverty of the majority of the people,
- drug and human trafficking are booming,
- military spending and armaments show a huge increase despite the global economic crisis,
- the environment is under threat for the sake of capital’s profits,
- our own homeland not only continues to suffer from the tragic consequences of the treacherous fascist coup d’état, Turkish invasion, illegal occupation, and partitionist status quo, but is also from the destructive austerity policies that are increasing social inequalities, humiliating the people and making them poorer.
Having all of this in mind, the Congress of the Cyprus Peace Council held in Nicosia on 8th July 2017 under the slogan “Peace with Justice in Cyprus and the World” declares that it:
- Remains faithful to the principles and ideals of peace, justice and the building of a better demilitarized world, without wars and criminal warmongering alliances such as NATO; a world where scientific and technological achievements will be used to eradicate poverty, hunger and diseases; a world that will respect and protect the rights of the peoples and people, as well as the environment.
- Stands against the militarization of Europe, the EU’s coupling with NATO, the orientation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the European Union’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) and its military missions and interventions throughout the world. It calls for the dismantling of the military bases and removal of all nuclear weapons from the territory of our continent. It calls for cancellation of the plans for the use of nuclear power in Cyprus, and denounces plans for the promotion of a plant to produce electricity power through the use of nuclear energy in Akkuy, Turkey. At the same time, it strongly reacts to the European decisions that have turned the EU’s economy into a war industry, indeed on the pretext of generating jobs.
- Reiterates its belief in the Charter of the United Nations, International Law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and demands their implementation in practice.
- Welcomes the development of the World Peace Movement and the efforts to coordinate its activity. In this respect, it particularly welcomes the prominent role played by the World Peace Council, of which our own Council is an integral part and pledges to continue and step up as much as it can its own contribution to the universal effort.
- Conveys a warm greeting to the Cypriot people, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins, and calls on it to intensify the difficult struggle against the partitionist status quo for a free and reunited Cyprus, the common homeland of all its children. It expresses its anxiety and willingness for the talks to arrive at a conclusion based on principles and an agreed framework that will ensure a mutually acceptable, viable and workable solution based on International Law, the UN resolutions on Cyprus and the High-Level Agreements; a solution that will safeguard human rights and fundamental freedoms in conditions of lasting peace and security. It calls on the international community to put pressure on Turkey so that it abandons its intransigence and complies with the principles of the solution of the Cyprus problem.
- Considers as pressing the need to intensify our struggle for a solution that will lead to a united country within a federal, bi-zonal, bi-communal state with political equality between the two communities as set out by the United Nations, that will be characterized by a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and one single international personality; a solution that will guarantee fundamental freedoms and human rights for all Cypriots, in a country without foreign troops, guardians and bases. We recall that this is the basic demand of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and the only way for a just under the concrete circumstances solution to the Cyprus problem.
- Reaffirms, in relation to the above, its firm position in favor of the complete demilitarization of the Republic of Cyprus and the abolition of the British Bases.
- Strongly opposes the accession of Cyprus to the “Partnership for Peace” program, which is a branch of NATO and does not in any way serve the interests of Cyprus and its people, but instead puts the country in the entrance hall of the NATO war machine, which planned the 1974 twin crime committed against Cyprus. Such a development undermines peace, stability and the future of the children of Cyprus.
- Denounces the military cooperation of Cyprus with Israel and demands its immediate termination. At the same time, it calls for the immediate respect for the International Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982
- Denounces Turkey’s growing aggression towards the Cypriot people, an aggressive strategic part of the Turkish Government’s policy in pursuit of its goal of enhancing its role as a regional policeman to the benefit of the country’s ruling class and to serve wider imperialist interests.
- Expresses its gratitude to the forces all over the world supporting our people’s struggle and expresses its unwavering solidarity with all the peoples fighting against imperialism, for freedom, justice and peace.
- Expresses its support and solidarity with all peoples struggling against imperialism. In particular, it expresses its support and solidarity with the heroic and martyr Palestinian people who is resisting the barbarity of the state of Israel and struggling for its freedom and the recognition of a Palestinian state on the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as the capital. It expresses its support and solidarity with the suffering people of Syria, with the heroic Cuban people who is resisting the US aggression and American economic, commercial and financial blockade and with the Venezuelan people who is resisting the foreign interventions and interferences in their internal affairs and the US aggression.
- Condemns imperialist interventions wherever they are being waged. It denounces in particular the ongoing bloodshed being committed against our neighboring and friendly Syrian people. The main cause of the dramatic conflicts in Syria is the imperialist’s plan, and especially US imperialism, to impose changes to serve specific imperialist plans for the establishment of a “New Middle East” and for the control of the region’s rich resources.
- Expresses its solidarity with the thousands of refugees from Syria and the countries of North Africa who are either confronting death in the Mediterranean Sea because of the closure of borders by the countries of the European Union or are trapped in miserable conditions in refugee concentration camps. It demands from all the EU Member States that first, they should make a decisive contribution towards ending the bloodshed in Syria and, second, that they assume their share of responsibility in accommodating refugees and to create humane and dignified open reception spaces.
- Joins its voice with the Middle East peace-loving fraternal movements calling for the Middle East to be declared a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical and biological). We call on Israel to sign and respect the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
- Demands an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Western Sahara, Afghanistan and, of course Cyprus, as well as the immediate termination of outside interferences and interventions which, on the pretext of existing or non-existent issues relating to minorities, are inciting nationalist and chauvinist outbursts and cultivating civil war conflicts aiming at destabilization and the changing of the borders of states.
- The struggle is continuing, together will all the peoples and peace-loving forces for PEACE AND JUSTICE IN CYPRUS AND IN THE WORLD.
The Congress of the Cyprus Peace Council calls on all the members of the Peace Council, as well all those who feel the need for promoting peace in Cyprus and in the world, to support the efforts to upgrade its role for a more effective intervention by the movement. The Cyprus Peace Council, improving its organizational capacity in the period ahead, is aiming to:
– decentralize its activity by reactivating its district branches, which are responsible for defining actions and fulfilling their obligations according to the statutes of the CPC.
– making new members from trade union, educational and environmental organizations, from personalities from the arts and letters, sports and from all levels of education, as well as from Members of Parliament, Mayors, doctors, journalists and figures from the mass media.
– strengthen the movement’s bicommunal action with the participation of more of our Turkish Cypriot compatriots,
The Cyprus Peace Council, aiming at developing the peace-loving, anti-imperialist and anti-war sentiment and sense of solidarity among the Cypriot people, in the period ahead is aiming at strengthening the struggles:
– for a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem, for freedom and the reunification of Cyprus in conditions of permanent peace and security,
– for the full demilitarization of Cyprus,
– to rid the Middle East from weapons of mass destruction,
– for denuclearization and disarmament,
– for the dissolution of the NATO imperialist machine and to rid the peoples from imperialist wars,
– for cooperation with fraternal peace movements through the World Peace Council,
– for promoting peace in Cypriot society in collaboration with personalities from the fields of culture, education, media and health.
On Saturday, New York-based Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) said it was “very concerned about reports of racist violence by right-wing, anti-Government forces targeting members of the Afro-Venezuelan community.”
IBW called on the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus to investigate these reports and to support the Caribbean Community’s (Caricom) position by demanding that U.S. President Donald Trump’s Administration “cease and desist interfering in Venezuela’s domestic affairs, and in undermining its national sovereignty.”
The group also condemned recent efforts by the Organization of American States’ (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro and a “small group of powerful states in the OAS who are relentlessly attacking the Venezuelan Government, openly supporting the Opposition forces, and are attempting to divide and weaken the solidarity of the 15 Caricom member states of the OAS on their stance towards the crisis in Venezuela.”
IBW lauded the prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, for upholding “Article 15 of the OAS Charter, which says that ‘no state, or group of states, has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state.’”
The OAS Charter says “this principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.”
The Institute of the Black World 21st Century urged all Caricom countries to “resist pressure from Washington and from the OAS, and continue to stand firm in their united and principled position concerning the crisis in Venezuela.”
In a statement from the conclusion of recently concluded 38th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of Caricom, held in Grenada earlier this month, Caricom leaders “reaffirmed their guiding principles of adherence to the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy, as well as for the fundamental principles of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of states.”
Published by Alma By Prensa Latina The World Peace Council has denounced today the aggressive policy of the new U.S. administration against Cuba, which resorts to threats and blackmail to try to reverse the revolutionary process on the island. Through a letter, posted on the website of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples (ICAP), […]
Cuba hosted its First Itinerant Poetry Festival of Our Americas, culminating this weekend with participants reciting poems that condemned the unprovoked U.S. aggression against the Cuban people and the U.S. imposed blockade which has lasted well over half a century.
Poets from Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Portugal, and the United States joined the message of Cuban writers and artists who poetically slammed the retrograde nature of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration toward Cuba and, essentially, the world.
Unwilling to succumb to an entirely fatalist perspective, the poets also conveyed poetic messages of cultural unity between the people’s of Cuba and the United States. Indeed, Fidel Castro and other Cuban revolutionaries forged close ties and showed solidarity with anti-imperialist activists residing in the behemoth to the north. Among those illustrious figures were Malcolm X, Mabel Williams and Robert Williams, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Leonard Peltier, Randall Robinson and others.
The president of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, Alex Pausides, thanked all participating poets and translators from the United States. He emphasized the need to express messages of peace, justice, and beauty in a time when some are absorbed by illogical compulsions to promote political policies detrimental to the survival of the human species.
Also present at the event were Dr. Armando Hart, former Cuban Minister of Culture and organizer of the 1961 National Literacy Campaign, and Antonio Guerrero Rodriguez, one of the Cuban Five, anti-terrorist activists, unjustly imprisoned in the United States for 16 years. Though imprisoned, Guerrero continued to pursue his poetic explorations.
The festival’s penultimate session featured Cuban poet Nancy Morejon reading a special welcoming note to the poets from the United States. She emphasized that the ties between the two neighboring countries, despite Washington’s overbearing temperament, dates back to Jose Marti’s admiration for Walt Whitman’s literary work and the friendship cultivated between Cuban poet Nicholas Guillen and African-American poet Langston Hughes.
The festival ended to the Troubadour lyrics of Alberto Faya, who recited a collection of songs based on Afro-Cuban, Venezuelan folklore and insular campesino traditions.
On Sunday, Venezuelans took part in a historic dry run vote for the National Constituent Assembly. Described as the largest one in 18 years, thousands of people across the country took part, chanting and waving signs in support of President Nicolas Maduro and the National Constituent Assembly.
“I have never seen a situation where opening times for a practice run of an election have to be extended,” Jorge Rodriguez, head of the Zamora 200 Campaign Command, said at a press conference.
“It is clear that the majority of Venezuelans want peace, dialogue and a future,” he said, adding, “Today a new machine has been born, one that will push forward a new history, a new dawn.”
Supporters have expressed the belief that changes to the constitution will bring peace and stability to the country.
Voters queued outside the practice polling centers from as early as 5 a.m. to test voting equipment and receive instructions for the upcoming July 30 official vote.
Nearly 1,942 voting machines were deployed in the dry run to help voters learn how to use the machines.
Venezuelans lined up well into the evening to take part in the process.
“I already voted. It was wonderful, quick,” Maria Canela, a resident of the La Candelaria neighborhood in Caracas told AVN on her way out of the Andres Bello High School.
“This is a truly democratic, participatory and civic process. We are peacefully and joyfully taking part in the dry run,” she added. Some 496 polling centers were authorized in all the municipalities of the country, 55 of which functioned as pilot centers, according to the National Electoral Council.
Tibisay Lucena, president of the CNE, said Sunday that the voting exercise was particularly important to ensure that the voters can exercise their right to vote in safe conditions.
She explained that part of the exercise was to identify those localities within the municipalities where the safety of voters could be threatened during the electoral event.
“We continue to evaluate measures that protect the lives and physical safety of voters because there have been expressions of fear about going to vote … We assure people that we will continue to look for measures so that they can come out and vote peacefully on voting day,” Lucena said.
While there were some reports of violence, the dry run vote was largely carried out in a festive mood.
President Nicolas Maduro described the event as the “biggest and most impactful dry run of all dry runs that have taken place in the last 18 years” in a tweet Sunday.
Calling it “a hymn to peace,” Maduro said the people of Venezuela through their extensive participation in the constituent electoral process have shown that the way to solve the country’s problems is through peace and urged the opposition to dialogue instead of violence.
“This has been the biggest and most passionate electoral dry run.”
“Compatriots, let’s give peace a chance, let’s give the constituent an opportunity. I ask that we give the opportunity to the only way we have for peace,” said the head of the state.
“The people want freedom, they have said yes to peace and no to violence, no to traitors, no to the guarimbas,” Maduro said at a press conference.
The dry run vote for the National Constituent Assembly coincided with a symbolic referendum called by the opposition which asked people to vote whether they want a constituent assembly or not; whether they want the armed forces to support the existing constitution and the decisions of the national assembly; and whether they want immediate general elections.
Venezuelans in other parts of the world also participated in the non-binding referendum.
Opposition leaders claimed that more than 7 million Venezuelans participated, 98 percent of whom opposed the assembly, but short of the 11 million they had hoped for in a country of just under 20 million eligible voters.
Last week, the G20 summit in Hamburg saw massive attacks on fundamental democratic rights. The police placed the city under a virtual state of siege, which was accompanied by drastic infringements on freedom of opinion, assembly and the press, to a degree that is unprecedented in Germany in recent decades.
Read more: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/07/17/hamb-j17.html
Since Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 elections, the corporate press, the Democratic Party, and a host of self-proclaimed left-wing groups that operate in the Democrats’ orbit have attempted to prove that Trump’s election was the product of bigotry and backwardness in the white working class.
This false narrative is further exploded by a new report titled “Battlefield Casualties and Ballot Box Defeat: Did the Bush-Obama Wars cost Clinton the White House?”
Published in June by Douglas Kriner of Boston University and Francis Shen of the University of Minnesota Law School, the study concludes that the Democratic Party lost the 2016 election because working class voters in poorer areas hit hardest by military casualties from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan saw the Democratic Party as the primary party of war and militarism. They abstained or voted for Trump as a result.
November the 25th, 2016 will go down in human history as the day the world lost one of its greatest leaders. The historic leader and Commander-in-Chief of the Cuban Revolution, former President of Cuba and First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Fidel Castro Ruz, who died at 90, belonged to the rarest breed of finest revolutionaries. He made an invaluable contribution in the struggle for the emancipation of humanity.
The class of people who live from the economic exploitation of the labour and resources of others hated him, precisely because he firmly fought for an end to their system of
WHEN the world had two political poles, a statement that sounded obvious was sometimes made: “Let’s unite the best of capitalism and socialism in a single system.” If both have their defects and virtues, why not just discard what doesn’t work? The idea is attractive, it would be an idyllic society. But what prevents this? Why are we still talking about socialism and capitalism? Behind the apparently self-evident concept lies another: you can’t extract the best of capitalism as if it were a damaged spot on a piece of fruit. The virtues of this system are based on its defects.
The idea cannot deliver what it promises, and the same options remain in place. We maintain a way of life that damages every corner of the planet or we seek an alternative to solve the problem at its roots.
In politics, as in life, trying to find a middle ground is tricky. But those who prefer to straddle the fence exist.
Cubadebate talked about political centrism with the Cuban intellectual, Enrique Ubieta, who responds to simple questions with dissertations on the history, relevance, and possible implementation of a “third way” in Cuba.
Is it possible for centrism to represent the best of both capitalism and socialism?
Capitalism is not the sum of its negative and positive components, of elements that can be saved or discarded. It is a system, that at one point was revolutionary and today is not. It engulfs and links everything: advanced technology, the most sophisticated wealth, and the most absolute poverty. The elements that contribute to greater productivity are the same ones that alienate human labor. Those that generate wealth for a few, produce poverty for the majority, on the national and international level. Establishing such a goal seems fallacious to me. The “best of capitalism” doesn’t exist, as if it could be cleaned up, as if a good capitalism were feasible. There are very bad versions, like fascism and neoliberalism, but I am not aware of any good version. Capitalism is always savage.
On the other hand, socialism, as opposed to capitalism, is not an organic total, a reality already constructed, but rather a path that cannot, all at once, leave behind the system it is trying to replace. We try this and that, we adopt new structures, advance and retreat, eliminate what doesn’t work, correct errors over and over again – a path to another world, in the middle of the jungle, because capitalism is a hegemonic system. What characterizes it is its expressed, conscious intention, to replace capitalism.
Does a center exist? On what principles is it founded? In the capitalist electoral system, a left and a right supposedly exist, but this left – with social democracy as its ideological framework, which was Marxist in its origins, and sought to reform capitalism until it gradually disappeared – functions today within the system and has rejected Marxism. This left differentiates itself from conservative parties with its social policies and its non-prejudiced understanding of diversity. The centrist formula functions within the capitalist system as an electoral option. The voter is managed like a customer since elections function like a market, and are full of right wing parties and left wing parties that alternate in office, but implement similar policies, and thus the system constructs a false “third way.”
But real alternatives are not within a system, they are counterpoised. They are capitalism or socialism. A center does not exist; there is no neutral ground between the two systems. Social democracy places itself within capitalism, but pretends to be a center, attempting what I have described as impossible, taking the best from both systems. In reality, it proposes an alternative method, not a fundamental change. Beyond a few isolated cases, like what Olof Palme could have been in Sweden, in a very rich country, which even without colonies, as part of the capitalist system benefited from the colonial and neo-colonial system.
Social democracy which appeared to triumph, made no sense when the Soviet Union collapsed and the socialist camp disappeared. Not even in Sweden could it be maintained. (Olof Palme was assassinated). Since then, the system has no need for it, and it needs to remake itself. The third way of Tony Blair is a center that has moved to the right, accepting and implementing neoliberal policies, allying itself with imperialism in its wars of conquest. The history of social democracy is essentially European.
What role do centrist politics play in Cuba?
In reality, what is this center? It is a political orientation that appropriates elements of revolutionary discourse, adopts a reformist position, and in the end, brakes, detains, and creates obstacles to the development of a true revolution.
In other cases, as in ours, centrists attempt to use the political culture of the left that exists within Cuban society, because you can’t get anywhere here with an ultra right wing discourse, trying to win adherents. You need to use what the people interpret as fair, and with this left wing discourse begin to introduce capitalism through the back door. This is the role the center would have within a society like the Cuban.
Using different terminology in different contexts, positions similar to centrism have been present in Cuban history since the autonomy tendency attempted to derail the independence revolution of 1895… Why do you think there is a kind of resurgence of centrism in Cuba today?
In Cuban history, there is a very clear dividing line between tendencies, between reformist and revolutionary forces. This is a longstanding discussion in the history of Marxism, but today I will just refer to the Cuban tradition.
Reformism is represented by autonomism and annexationism. There are writers who insist on saying that annexationism aspired to a radical solution to win independence from Spain. In this case, the term “radical” is misused, because the roots of the problem were not addressed. Being annexed by the United States was a radical solution in appearances only, since advocates intended to protect the privileges of a social class here, avoid the economic damage of a longer independence war, and maintain the status quo via domination by another power which would guarantee order.
The two tendencies, annexationism and reformism, had as a basic premise an absolute lack of confidence in the people – the fear of “the mulatto horde,” as the autonomists said.
Sell-out reformism has existed throughout the history of Cuba, into our times; it has not disappeared. The Revolution of 1959 swept it away as a real political option, but the class struggle has not vanished. If the bourgeoisie, or those who aspire to be, attempt to retake power in Cuba, that is the class that has been created outside of the country or that which could be gestating within, it is going to need an outside force to back it.
There will not be an autonomous capitalism in Cuba; it doesn’t exist anyplace in the world, much less in a small, underdeveloped country. Cuban capitalism, as in the past, can only be semi-colonial or neo-colonial. The only way the bourgeoisie could retake and maintain power in Cuba is by way of an external power. That is the only option to multiply their capital, and we already know that the bourgeoisie’s homeland is capital.
Today a situation exists that favors this kind of centrist tactics, promoted in Cuba from the North. The generation that made the Revolution is ending its historic-biological cycle. Some 80% of Cubans never lived under capitalism. Just imagine. Cuba is a country trying to build a society different from one which the people have never experienced. This is a period of change and new, previously rejected elements are being introduced in the conception of the socio-economic model. It is within this context that pro-capitalist forces construct their pseudo-revolutionary discourse, only for show, attempting to link up with changes underway in the country.
Does the updating of Cuba’s economic, social model have any relation to centrism?
It does not. I’ll appeal to concepts I found in the philosophy of Argentine Arturo Andrés Roig. It is imperative to differentiate two planes: discourse and discourse directionality, meaning and direction. I recall that when I studied the decade of the 1920s, I noticed that Juan Marinello and Jorge Mañach said almost the same things. They addressed very similar concepts, because they were intellectuals and part of the vanguard of Cuban thought and art. But if you follow the course of their lives, you understand that those words with similar meanings had very different intentions. Marinello joined the Communist Party and Mañach founded a party with pseudo-fascist tendencies. One fought for social justice and socialism, while the other longed, too late, to become the ideologue of a national bourgeoisie which no longer existed. I don’t believe that this rupture was only the result of a later evolution; it was already implicit in the differing historical directionality of their discourses.
It is absolutely imperative to differentiate directionality, today more than ever, because we live in a very contaminated, promiscuous linguistic environment, in a global society which has assimilated the discourse and traditional gestures of the left, especially since WWII. The class struggle is covered up, and we must unmask our interlocutors.
What do the Guidelines propose? Seeking an alternative route of our own to advance toward socialism, since no universal model exists, and every country, every historical moment, is specific. Cuban socialism means a Cuban path toward a society that is different from capitalism, in a hostile world, facing poverty, an implacable blockade, and with few natural resources, except for the knowledge of its citizens.
This is Cuba’s real situation. We propose to maintain and expand the social justice we have achieved, and to do so, we must revitalize our productive forces. We therefore establish limits on the accumulation of wealth and property, and we are concerned about the mechanisms used to enforce these limits. On the contrary, centrists, with language similar to ours, suggest that we have abandoned the idea of social justice, but demand more profound changes that would lead to the dismantling of the minimum achieved in terms of justice. The “deepening” demanded by centrists, from both the economic and political point of view, is a return to capitalism. Divergent, critical opinions can and must be heard, but they must all be directed in the same direction, toward the same horizon.
When someone says that socialism has not been able to eradicate corruption or prostitution, it saddens me, because it’s true. But at the same time, one should ask: What would capitalism do about this? Make it worse. When the accusation is not directed toward strengthening the system we have in the country – the only one which can correct its defects, deficiencies, and errors – but rather toward its destruction, the criticism is counterrevolutionary.
Because everything we do will not be fine. We are going to make mistakes, of this we can be sure. One who moves forward makes mistakes. What’s important is to have the capacity to rectify and be clear about the direction of what we are doing, why we are doing it. If at some moment we lose our way, we will need to check the compass. May everything we can do now, and what we discuss, be marked by the clarification of what we want and where we are headed.
Is it possible to be both centrist and at the same time revolutionary?
Absolutely not. A reformist is not a revolutionary. Which doesn’t mean that a revolutionary can’t make reforms. Revolutionaries made the land reform, the urban reform… Being a reformist is something else.
Reformists believe in statistics, in the exhaustive descriptions of their environment that ends up making it incomprehensible. A minimal description of this room’s walls does not allow us to understand where we are, because this room is located in a building, in a city, in a country. That is, in order to be useful, the description presupposes a broader perspective. To be a revolutionary one must take the flight of a condor, which is what Martí demanded.
Reformists are descriptive; they believe that reality is limited to what can be seen and touched – that is why they are confused and fail. In politics, a reformist can only sum up the social environment’s four visible elements. The revolutionary adds a fifth subjective element, that cannot be detected in plain sight – an element reformists do not take into account, because they have no confidence in the people. We can summarize this fifth element recalling the historic reunion in
Cinco Palmas of the eight survivors of the Granma expedition. In Raúl’s words, “He (Fidel) embraced me and the first thing he did was ask how many rifles I had, after that the famous phrase: Now, yes, we have won the war!” This is leaping over the abyss, as Martí said.
This is what differentiates a revolutionary from a reformist. And a centrist is worse than a reformist, because in a certain way, he is a fake.
In the European tradition, all this conceptual, theoretical, political drama that has been concocted since the 19th century gives these debates some weight. In Cuba the underlying foundations of these debates are revealed much more clearly. And all of this talk of melding capitalism with socialism, trying to stay on a revolutionary plane of discourse, but in practice counterrevolutionary, in one way or another, from my point of view, is also evidence of a certain level of cowardice, of inability to fight for something you believe in. These people believe in a project that is opposed to ours, but don’t have enough political strength, or the courage, to say so openly. (Cubadebate)
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.
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.
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 […]
[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 […]
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 […]
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.
Jamaica Peace Council
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
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 !
Report on press conference hosted by Charge d’Affaires of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Jamaica.
St Vincent’s Minister of Health, Hon. Luke Brown exposes Ian Boyne’s motive for verbally attacking Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.
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.
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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 […]
This production raises many questions about what happened in Grenada.
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.
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…
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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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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:
- 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.
- 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’.
- 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.
- That 61% of the population also believed those involved in protest violence should face jail time.
- 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.
- 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
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 […]
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 […]
“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
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 […]
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.