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Pompeo’s Visit: Be Wary Of Greeks Bringing Gifts


Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith (second right), speaks with United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo (right), on his arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport on Monday (January 21) for a two-day working visit. The welcome party included Opposition Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Lisa Hanna (left); and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert Roberts| Adrian Walker (JIS) Photo

KINGSTON, Jamaica, January 22, 2020 – In a little over a 12-month period, our country Jamaica has played host to 2 successive US secretaries of state: Former head of multi-national Exxon oil company Rex Tillerson, and yesterday, we rolled out the red carpet’ for his successor and former head of the infamous spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Michael Pompeo.

Ironically, the rolling out of the proverbial red carpet to Pompeo, is in sad and stark contrast, to the treatment that was meted out prime minister Andrew Holness, who along with the 4 other Caribbean heads of state when they met with Pompeo’s boss Donald Trump at his house in Mar-a-Lago, had to hold a ‘kotch’ near to the exit door of US president’s ‘winter White House’in Florida.

Jamaicans are known for the warmth and generosity of its people, but based on what transpired in the aftermath following Tillerson’s visit, it’s a matter of grave concern to us that we are again being ‘singled’ out to be part of the ‘sharp edge of the wedge’ in carrying out their age-old and diabolic tactic of divide and rule, which is part and parcel of United States of America’s foreign policy throughout the world.

On the eve of the Tillerson’s departure from our beloved island in February of last year, the banner headline in the Jamaica Observer screamed “US Ready to Help, America government promises to free Jamaica from Venezuelan oil ties” and what was our country’s response?

The unilateral seizure of Venezuela’s 49% share in Petro Jam’s oil refinery (which is now the subject of litigation in the courts) prior to the OAS vote which sought to delegitimise the second term of president Nicholas Maduro which Jamaica supported.

Secondly, we supported the ‘Trojan Horse’-like humanitarian aid to enter Venezuela while internationally recognised institutions such as the Red Cross and the United Nations took a firm stance against it.

Thirdly, prior to PM Holness’s visit to Mar-a-Largo, a decision was taken to close the Jamaican embassy in Venezuela, for reasons best known to foreign affairs minister Kamina Johnson-Smith and our prime minister.

Fourthly, Jamaica’s support for the US and self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ of Venezuela Juan Guido’s designated appointee Gustavo Tarre as its permanent representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) which severely undermines the credibility of the leadership of the Andrew Holness –led administration and our country’s reputation in the eyes of the world.

The quid pro quo of Jamaica’s ‘Spanish machete’ action against Venezuela, our sister country that stood with us during some of our most difficult times, in favour of the ‘empire’, is yet to be seen and which prime minister Holness has not yet seen it fit and necessary to reveal, to an anxious population.

The leadership of 8 countries, namely Jamaica, St Lucia, Bahamas, Belize, Haiti, Dominican Republic, St Kitts and St Maarten, whose majority populations and ancestral roots are from a continent and people that are deemed ‘shit hole countries’ by Pompeo’s boss Donald Trump, are once again being called on to be part of a ‘transactional practice’ immortalised in the words of ‘cold war’ warrior Henry Kissinger, which collective amnesia seems to be their rule of thumb.

A campaign is now on in earnest for the influential position of Organization of American States( OAS) secretary General, where their most supine and devout agent Luis Almagro, is up against a formidable duo with the kind of backbone and experience that is necessary to bring back some level of credibility to that august institution.

They are Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcias, the 4th female to have served as president of the UN General Assembly and ambassador Hugo de Zala who once served as chief of staff of the general secretariat of the OAS as part his 42 year stint as a career diplomat.

We must also never lose sight of the role of the OAS and its origins as an instrument of the USA policy in the region, akin to a diplomatic ‘battering ram’, operating in ways in which the United Nations, with all its shortcomings cannot be manipulated.

So it’s very important that the countries which constitutes CARICOM and numbering 15 votes be part of any design which the empire has in order to continue‘run tings’ in this 35-country body.

Given the present situation where the leadership of CARICOM with Prime Minister Mia Motley at its helm and who reflects the best, unvarnished traditions of the founding fathers of our regional body, exemplified in the words of Errol Barrow ‘Friends of all and satellites of none,’ it was incumbent that the seeds of division be sown among the ranks of our sister nations by the empire either through ‘bribery or bullying’ or some other nefarious combination.

Additionally, with the resurrection of the out-dated, calcified and rejected Monroe doctrine where an unholy cabal including Elliot Abram’s , Mike Pompeo and recently fired John Bolton, leading the charge against countries who they deem as a ‘Troika of Tyranny’ represented by our sister countries of Cuba , Nicaragua and Venezuela but which in the view of progressive humanity, represents the strongest bastion of resistance against the empire and its unfettered designs to run roughshod over the peoples of our region.

The OAS along with CIA which the current US secretary recently headed, represents just 2 of the tools that are utilised in carrying out regime change, as was the recent case in the military/political coup which removed democratically elected president of the plurinational Bolivian Evo Morales, for a more pliant agent of US imperialism and the local oligarchy.

Pompeo’s recent comments regarding the virtues of their OAS stooge Luis Almagro and those related to reviving some kind life, in the disastrous campaign of their surrogate and self-proclaimed president of Venezuela Juan Guido, to unseat the democratic and constitutionally elected president of the Bolivarian Republic, are clear indicators of what are the main agenda items in his 2-day sojourn in Jamaica land we love.

I will however offer one word of unsolicited advice to prime minister Andrew Holness who unfortunately along with foreign affairs minister Kamina Johnson Smith, is cast in the dubious and unenviable role as the leaders of the disrupters of CARICOM unity, that we have major issues along with our other bed-fellows which require urgent attention.

Our region has been cited by none other than the former head of the IMF Christine Lagarde, who on her last visit to Jamaica in November 2018, said ‘”youth unemployment in the Caribbean is the highest in the world , fuelling criminality” which further negatively impacts our beleaguered economies at a rate of 4% of gross domestic product per year.

If you add a bone-chilling murderous rampage which has seen Jamaica ‘s daily body count being equated to that of a war zone which is a clear and present danger to tourism our #1 foreign exchange earner , coupled with a wider Caribbean problem of the devastating impact category 5 hurricanes becoming the norm as a consequence of climate change , the ever present energy security issues, should leave us with little time or no time to ‘faas inna our neibors biz niz’, especially a neighbour such as the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela who stood with us in our darkest days when others did not care.

Let’s not allow the dream of Michael Manley, Errol Barrow, Forbes Burnham and Eric Williams, giants of the Caribbean and fathers of CARICOM, to turn into a nightmare and honour their memory especially as they stood up against the empire 47 years ago (19720, in its attempts at isolating our sister country Cuba, inspite of very challenging circumstances in their respective countries of Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad.

 

Scribe.brown@gmail.com

Source: https://www.wiredja.com/opinion/be-wary-of-greeks-bringing-gifts

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A new group of Cuban health professionals arrives in Jamaica

A new group of Cuban health professionals arrives in Jamaica.

Kingston, Jamaica, 23 January 2020. Full of expectations and with a firm vocation to serve those in need of medical assistance, a total of 40 Cuban nurses arrived in this capital.

The professionals from the Greatest Island in the Antilles received a warm welcome from authorities of the Ministry of Health and Wellness of Jamaica, who acknowledged Cuba’s significant contribution to health care provision in the country.

Nurses will practice their skills for three years in numerous institutions of the Jamaican public health sector. They aim to devote themselves in working with the community and for the community, by providing high quality, timely and efficient service.

The origin of this collaboration dates back to 1976, when at the request of the Government of Jamaica, Cuba sent a brigade of 14 doctors. This figure has considerably increased, and today there are 282 Cuban health collaborators, with a preponderant role of the nursing staff, serving at every corner of the island.

http://misiones.minrex.gob.cu/en/articulo/new-group-cuban-health-professionals-arrives-jamaica

Enfermeras cubanas se unen a Chain Hope para salvar vidas de niños jamaicanos

Enfermeras cubanas se unen a Chain Hope para salvar vidas de niños jamaicanos.

Kingston, Jamaica, 22 de enero de 2020. Dos profesionales de la salud cubanas que laboran en el Hospital Pediátrico Bustamante, ubicado en esta capital, se insertaron al proyecto Chain Hope, de visita en Jamaica, para ofrecer servicios de cateterización a once niños jamaicanos que se encuentran hospitalizados en el Cardiocentro de esa institución hospitalaria.

Durante una visita realizada al hospital el ministro de Salud y Bienestar de Jamaica, Dr. Christopher Tufton, intercambió con los miembros del proyecto, incluyendo las perfusionistas cubanas, quienes forman parte de la Brigada Médica de Cuba en la hermana nación caribeña.

Chain Hope es una organización médica internacional fundada en 1996 que brinda tratamiento a niños que padecen enfermedades cardiacas, potencialmente mortales, en los países en desarrollo.

 

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‘We Have So Much More to Do,’ Youth Climate Activists Declare as Global Elite Close Out Davos Forum

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/24/we-have-so-much-more-do-youth-climate-activists-declare-global-elite-close-out-davos

“It is time to get out of our comfort zones.”

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Luisa Neubauer, Isabelle Axelsson, and Vanessa Nakate take part in a "Friday for future" youth demonstration in a street of Davos on January 24, 2020

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Luisa Neubauer, Isabelle Axelsson, and Vanessa Nakate take part in a “Friday for future” youth demonstration in a street of Davos on January 24, 2020 on the sideline of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

Youth climate activists marched through the streets of Davos, Switzerland Friday as the World Economic Forum wrapped up in a Fridays for Future demonstration underscoring their demand that the global elite act swiftly to tackle the climate emergency.

Among those taking part in the march were Rise Up Movement founder Vanessa Nakate of Uganda and School Strike for Climate trailblazer Greta Thunberg of Sweden. Thunberg has already taken forum participants to task this week for their vacuous promises and insufficient plans to rein in planet-cooking emissions.

“As long as the science is being ignored, as long as the facts are not being taken into account, and as long as the situation is not being treated as a crisis, then world and business leaders can of course continue to ignore the situation,” Thunberg said at a news conference Friday.

Thunberg’s headline-grabbing voice is just one part of a loud and youthful chorus at the summit. One of the stages for this chorus has been the “Arctic basecamp,” a scientist-created concept to highlight at the annual forum the climate crisis’s particular threat to the region.

The basecamp hosted several young activists at this year’s summit, including Nakate, who talked to CNBC International about the discrepancy between the campers and the jet-setting forum-goers.

“We are just trying to show them that we are doing the right thing despite the fact that we are not sleeping or staying in the best conditions,” Nakate told the outlet. “And, as they are enjoying their first class (flights), they should know that there are people who are actually living in worse conditions.”

“So, we are practically representing those people who are already facing the impact of the climate crisis. It is time to get out of our comfort zones,” she added.

Nakate joined fellow Arctic Basecamp guests Kaime Silvestre of Brazil, Brooks Whiteman of England, Eva Jones of the United States, and Wenying Zhu of China for a roundtable discussion Tuesday with Rolling Stone.

During the discussion, Nakate expressed her frustration with the lack of concrete and sufficient commitments at summit, saying, “What they do is speak and promise but they don’t take action.”

Corporate media coverage of the climate crisis also came in for criticism, with Nakate saying the recent torrential rains falling in African nations have not received the scope of coverage as other disasters elsewhere in the world.

“I have no problem with them reporting other disasters, but we saw the California fires and they would report about them every day,” said Nakate. “We’ve seen the Australian fires, and they’ve been reporting about them every day, and donations have been coming out to those kinds of people. It really saddens me because there are people as well in African countries.”

That erasure of humanity was punctuated Friday, when Nakate said she was temporarily “cropped out” of a photo accompanying an Associated Press article. The omission, Nakate suggested, was intentional.

The original photo showed five climate activists. The four that remained—Luisa Neubauer, Greta Thunberg, Isabelle Axelsson, and Loukina Tille—are white.

In a video she shared on Twitter, Nakate said, “This is the first time in my life I understood the definition of racism….Does it mean that I have no value?”

“Africa is the least emitter of carbon but we have [been] the most affected by the climate crisis. But you erasing our voices won’t change anything.”

BuzzFeed reported on the photo change and included a comment from AP.

“There was no ill intent,” an AP spokesperson told the outlet. “AP routinely publishes photos as they come in and when we received additional images from the field, we updated the story. AP has published a number of images of Vanessa Nakate.”

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After Evo, the Lithium Question Looms Large in Bolivia

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales was overthrown in a military coup on November 10. He is now in Mexico. Before he left office, Morales had been involved in a long project to bring economic and social democracy to his long-exploited country. It is important to recall that Bolivia has suffered a series of coups, often conducted by the military and the oligarchy on behalf of transnational mining companies. Initially, these were tin firms, but tin is no longer the main target in Bolivia. The main target is its massive deposits of lithium, crucial for the electric car.

Over the past 13 years, Morales has tried to build a different relationship between his country and its resources. He has not wanted the resources to benefit the transnational mining firms, but rather to benefit his own population. Part of that promise was met as Bolivia’s poverty rate has declined, and as Bolivia’s population was able to improve its social indicators. Nationalization of resources combined with the use of its income to fund social development has played a role. The attitude of the Morales government toward the transnational firms produced a harsh response from them, many of them taking Bolivia to court.

Over the course of the past few years, Bolivia has struggled to raise investment to develop the lithium reserves in a way that brings the wealth back into the country for its people. Morales’ Vice President Álvaro García Linera had said that lithium is the “fuel that will feed the world.” Bolivia was unable to make deals with Western transnational firms; it decided to partner with Chinese firms. This made the Morales government vulnerable. It had walked into the new Cold War between the West and China. The coup against Morales cannot be understood without a glance at this clash.

Clash With the Transnational Firms

When Evo Morales and the Movement for Socialism took power in 2006, the government immediately sought to undo decades of theft by transnational mining firms. Morales’ government seized several of the mining operations of the most powerful firms, such as Glencore, Jindal Steel & Power, Anglo-Argentine Pan American Energy, and South American Silver (now TriMetals Mining). It sent a message that business as usual was not going to continue.

Nonetheless, these large firms continued their operations—based on older contracts—in some areas of the country. For example, the Canadian transnational firm South American Silver had created a company in 2003—before Morales came to power—to mine the Malku Khota for silver and indium (a rare earth metal used in flat-screen televisions). South American Silver then began to extend its reach into its concessions. The land that it claimed was inhabited by indigenous Bolivians, who argued that the company was destroying its sacred spaces as well as promoting an atmosphere of violence.

On August 1, 2012, the Morales government—by Supreme Decree no. 1308—annulled the contract with South American Silver (TriMetals Mining), which then sought international arbitration and compensation. Canada’s government of Justin Trudeau—as part of a broader pushon behalf of Canadian mining companies in South America—put an immense amount of pressure on Bolivia. In August 2019, TriMetals struck a deal with the Bolivian government for $25.8 million, about a tenth of what it had earlier demanded as compensation.

Jindal Steel, an Indian transnational corporation, had an old contract to mine iron ore from Bolivia’s El Mutún, a contract that was put on hold by the Morales government in 2007. In July 2012, Jindal Steel terminated the contract and sought international arbitration and compensation for its investment. In 2014, it won $22.5 million from Bolivia in a ruling from Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce. For another case against Bolivia, Jindal Steel demanded $100 million in compensation.

The Morales government seized three facilities from the Swiss-based transnational mining firm Glencore; these included a tin and zinc mine as well as two smelters. The mine’s expropriation took place after Glencore’s subsidiary clashed violently with miners.

Most aggressively, Pan American sued the Bolivian government for $1.5 billion for the expropriation of the Anglo-Argentinian company’s stake in natural gas producer Chaco by the state. Bolivia settled for $357 million in 2014.

The scale of these payouts is enormous. It was estimated in 2014 that the public and private payments made for nationalization of these key sectors amounted to at least $1.9 billion (Bolivia’s GDP was at that time $28 billion).

In 2014, even the Financial Times agreed that Morales’ strategy was not entirely inappropriate. “Proof of the success of Morales’s economic model is that since coming to power he has tripled the size of the economy while ramping up record foreign reserves.”

Lithium

Bolivia’s key reserves are in lithium, which is essential for the electric car. Bolivia claims to have 70 percent of the world’s lithium reserves, mostly in the Salar de Uyuni salt flats. The complexity of the mining and processing has meant that Bolivia has not been able to develop the lithium industry on its own. It requires capital, and it requires expertise.

The salt flat is about 12,000 feet (3,600 meters) above sea level, and it receives high rainfall. This makes it difficult to use sun-based evaporation. Such simpler solutions are available to Chile’s Atacama Desert and in Argentina’s Hombre Muerto. More technical solutions are needed for Bolivia, which means that more investment is needed.

The nationalization policy of the Morales government and the geographical complexity of Salar de Uyuni chased away several transnational mining firms. Eramet (France), FMC (United States) and Posco (South Korea) could not make deals with Bolivia, so they now operate in Argentina.

Morales made it clear that any development of the lithium had to be done with Bolivia’s Comibol—its national mining company—and Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB)—its national lithium company—as equal partners.

Last year, Germany’s ACI Systems agreed to a deal with Bolivia. After protests from residents in the Salar de Uyuni region, Morales canceled that deal on November 4, 2019.

Chinese firms—such as TBEA Group and China Machinery Engineering—made a deal with YLB. It was being said that China’s Tianqi Lithium Group, which operates in Argentina, was going to make a deal with YLB. Both Chinese investment and the Bolivian lithium company were experimenting with new ways to both mine the lithium and to share the profits of the lithium. The idea that there might be a new social compact for the lithium was unacceptable to the main transnational mining companies.

Tesla (United States) and Pure Energy Minerals (Canada) both showed great interest in having a direct stake in Bolivian lithium. But they could not make a deal that would take into consideration the parameters set by the Morales government. Morales himself was a direct impediment to the takeover of the lithium fields by the non-Chinese transnational firms. He had to go.

After the coup, Tesla’s stock rose astronomically.

This article was produced by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

More articles by:

Vijay Prashad’s most recent book is No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism (New Delhi: LeftWord Books, 2015).

After Evo, the Lithium Question Looms Large in Bolivia


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Pompeo at the OAS: Remake of an old drama

This is what the youth in Cuba do, expressing themselves as a continuity of their Revolution. Photo: Razones de Cuba

The United States is once again demonstrating an outright stance of heightened interference in the countries that make up the region that Martí referred to as Our America. This time it was the debut, in the theater of operations that is the OAS, of Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State of the nation in which the most people believe in the existence of angels, as told in the U.S. political drama seriesThe Newsroom.

Taking advantage of the occasion in Washington, where the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) met June 4-5, Pompeo offered the same discourse as that of 195 years ago, with the same themes of continental domination expressed on December 2, 1823, in the well-known Monroe Doctrine, summarized in the phrase “America for the Americans.” Thus he spun a web of lies and insults about Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Like someone who, without explanation, jumps from one topic to another, he lashed out against the island which has built a socialist Revolution just 90 miles from the empire, the same where children are shot down because guns finance the government, and its presidential campaigns.

It was disturbing to hear Pompeo state: “Young Cubans born under a dictatorship are uninterested in hollow revolutionary slogans. They demand educational opportunities free from political constraints or a totalitarian regime’s repression.”

And he added: “They want what youth everywhere else wants: opportunities to use their talents, to exercise their voice, achieve their potential, and build a bright future for themselves. As democratic societies, we must support young people in Cuba and elsewhere in the hemisphere in their hopes for democratic change.”

Pompeo consciously lies, because he knows that the Cuban state guarantees children’s education up to University without charging a penny, while young Americans can’t be sure if today will be their last day at school, as a shooting massacre could happen at any time.

Young Cubans express their support for the continuity of the Revolution not in slogans, but in deeds. A total of 87.6% of deputies to the Cuban Parliament were born after the triumph of January 1, 1959, and close to 90 deputies are aged between 18 and 35 years old. What hurts the empire, Pompeo, his boss, and the OAS, which ultimately represent the same thing, is that at the “Phoney” Summit held in Peru in April, it was those same young people who raised their voices in defense of the humane, revolutionary and socialist work of their homeland and cried out for an America as Bolívar and Martí dreamed.

Pompeo forgets, or pretends to, the performances in recent days of some 200 Cuban artists at the Kennedy Center. There, in this cultural hub of the U.S., presented were young creators from the island who represent the result of its national arts education system, an indisputable example for the region and the world. The Havana Lyceum Orchestra of the University of the Arts, and the National Ballet of Cuba, which performed for the first time in the United States 40 years ago, precisely at the Kennedy Center, are examples that demonstrate that, as a result of solid training, young Cubans can appear on global stages, without restrictions being imposed by their government.

And this is the case not only in the cultural sphere. There are numerous young Cubans who, shortly after graduating from the island’s Medical Schools, carry a message of humanism to places around the world, saving the lives of those who, otherwise, would be lost, as their countries do not provide universal, free healthcare.

Meanwhile, Mike Pompeo tries to ignore the young Cubans who enter universities each year, to begin degrees in social sciences, economics, and the exact sciences, and then decide, due to the inspiration gained, to train the generations that follow behind them. In short, he forgets and ignores too many things about the Cuba we defend.

 

Source: http://en.granma.cu/mundo/2018-06-08/pompeo-at-the-oas-remake-of-an-old-drama

 

Photo: RT

The red carpet was rolled out and a reception organized, complete with music, for the impostor Juan Guaidó upon his arrival in Colombia, where he traveled in violation of Venezuelan law, since his sentence for promoting violence forbids travel abroad. As if that were not enough, Colombian President Ivan Duque welcomed him saying: “Your presence honors us. You will always have a friend in Colombia.”

Later, he would join the select group that, along with the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, gathered in that nation to plot against Bolivarian Venezuela. Arriving from Miami, a group of Venezuelan counterrevolutionaries expressly requested that Guaidó ask Mike Pompeo for a U.S. military intervention in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Pompeo recalled that, last September, 12 countries on the continent gave their support to re-activation of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) in view of the situation in Venezuela, adding, “The United States and Colombia will continue to work with these countries bilaterally to restore democracy.”

Under the umbrella of “Reciprocal Assistance,” the U.S. intervened in Guatemala in 1954 to overthrow Jacobo Arbenz; invaded Cuba in April 1961, which backfired to become the first defeat of imperialism in the Americas; the Marines landed in Santo Domingo in 1965; the U.S. turned a blind eye to British aggression in the Malvinas, while supporting the coup in Chile and the death of Salvador Allende in 1973. The U.S. organized the uprising that ended the life of Maurice Bishop, in Grenada, in 1983, and intervened in Panama in 1989, in Ecuador in 2010, and Brazil during the government of Dilma Rousseff. The current illegitimate government in Bolivia and the war against Venezuela are part of this shameful record.

Guaidó is also going to the Davos Economic Forum, disregarding his sentence; along with Duque and Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno, but after the arrival of Donald Trump, whose impeachment trial is unfolding in the nation he leads.

http://en.granma.cu/mundo/2020-01-22/provocative-meeting

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Trump administration’s quid pro quo to Jamaica delivered by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo?

These videos clearly indicate the true purpose of Mr. Pompeo’s visit to Jamaica. Any comment would be superfluous. Give them a few minutes to load.

 

JIS video of joint press conference with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on January 22, 2020.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressing an audience of political and private sector leaders during his vist on January 22, 2020 https://youtu.be/wTCNgWW96g8

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98-year-old New Haven activist and army veteran Alfred Marder still fighting for peace and justice

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T&T joins Barbados in skipping meeting with US official in Jamaica

Trinidad and Tobago will join Barbados in boycotting a meeting set for Tuesday in Jamaica with the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

The Ministry of Communications issued a statement signalling the country’s support for Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley who announced that she will not send her foreign minister to the meeting as only some regional heads were invited. Mottley, who is the chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), deemed the move divisive.

According to the release issued on Monday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said he is standing in solidarity with Mottley.

“PM Mottley has the full support of the Government and the people of Trinidad and Tobago in outlining our principles and vision of Caribbean unity. In the expectation of Caribbean unity, the Prime Minister of Barbados speaks for Trinidad and Tobago,” said Prime Minister Rowley.

Dr Rowley has repeatedly stated that Trinidad and Tobago stands on its proud history of fairness on the world stage ranging from opposition to apartheid in South Africa to opposing the US invasion in Grenada.

The US Secretary of State will be in Jamaica for a two-day official visit to discuss recent flare-ups in the Middle East and matters pertaining to Venezuela. The visit comes a year after Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness and a few other CARICOM headers met with US President Donald Trump in Florida.

Trump had promised investment opportunities to those leaders who voted against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro at a meeting by the Organisation of American States (OAS).

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Antigua and Barbuda Stands with CARICOM Chair Mia Motley on US Invitation

Mike Pompeo official photo.jpgThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is standing in solidarity with Prime Minister, The Hon. Mia Motley on her position on not sending a representative to the announced US Secretary State meeting in Jamaica.

The Hon E.P Chet Greene said, “We are very much in support of, and identify with the sentiments expressed by the CARICOM Chair, PM Motley of Barbados. As a government, we stand in support of this position.”

“To this end, Antigua and Barbuda will not be around the table when some Caribbean leaders meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Jamaica this week,” Minister Greene said.

PM Motley made her declaration over the weekend when she stated, “As chairman of CARICOM, it is impossible for me to agree that my Foreign Minister should attend a meeting to which members of CARICOM are not invited” and suggested it was an attempt at divide and rule among CARICOM countries “if some are invited and not all”.

Antigua and Barbuda reiterates its stance on fostering stronger intra-regional relations and a common regional approach to international relations.

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Global Afrikan Congress Displeased with Pompeo’s divide and rule visit to Jamaica

Mike Pompeo official photo.jpg

I am writing on behalf of the Global African Congress (GAC), to vehemently express our displeasure of the Jamaican government willingness to accommodate the USA government objectives to achieve the following:

  1. Divide and rule the Caribbean; create chaos and social instability in our regional institutions and economy;
  2. Continuation of Trump’s administration war-mongering policy and criminal aggression against the sovereign states of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua; and,
  3. Manipulation of Jamaica’s mute Prime Minister in order to get the USA puppet candidate elected to the post of Secretary-General of the Organization of the American States, despite the fact that several CARICOM members States have already endorsed a candidate.

CARICOM, since its formation 1973 has consistently and persistently pursued a regional coordinated foreign policy that reflects the region’s best interests. There was a rapid and unhealthy departure from this progressive united regional position last year at the behest of the United States and Canada in the formation of the Lima Group of States.

The Lima Group was absolutely clear in presenting a policy position that posed a great danger to the system of international law that is so critical to the well-being and public interests of small developing member state such as ours in the Caribbean region.

The Jamaican Prime Minister should be demanding an unreserved apology from President Trump, for referring to us as “Shithole countries” and his endless anti-Black and anti-Brown racism and bigotry including calling for police brutality against racialized people and putting children in cage.

Pompeo is a racist and a pathological liar well known for his warmongering against our sister member’s states Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, and he should be told so in uncertain terms.

What do we have in common with Pompeo? Absolutely nothing! He is from a country, a class and race that enjoys the unjust enrichment resulting from the genocide of Native people and the trans-Atlantic trafficking of enslaved African and Slavery, which are counted among the most atrocious crime committed in the history of humanity.

History will judge Prime Minister Andrew Holiness and the quintessential question, what is the common good of Pompeo’s visit for the Caribbean people? Will Prime Minister Holiness respect the goals and principal of the United Nations Charter and the principles of international law, to maintain International Peace and Security, the promotion of friendly relations between states, international co-operations in solving problems, the Sovereign Equality of states – the peaceful resolution of disputes, the prohibition of the use or threat of use of force against territorial integrity or political independent of any state and non-interference in their domestic affairs, essential requirements for preserving the Greater Caribbean as a Zone of Peace and cooperation, in accordance with the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.  (Para. 21)

History will judge Prime Minister Holiness on the quintessential question, what is the common good of Pompeo’s visit for the Caribbean people?

I hope he’s on the right side of history!

Cikiah Thomas

Toronto, Canada

January 20, 2020

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“If some are invited and not all, then it is an attempt to divide this region.” – Hon. Mia Motley, Prime Minister of Barbados

2019 Mia Mottley.jpg

“I am conscious that when Errol Barrow stood and remarked that “we shall be friends of all and satellites of none,” little did he know that that statement would be embraced by every single Prime Minister of government that succeeded him. It is as valid today, perhaps even more so than it was at the time of its initial delivery.

And I say so conscious that principles only mean something when it is inconvenient to stand by them. Conscious that this region must always cheek itself to ensure that we not become the pawns of others, the satellites of others, but that we keep every most and uppermost in our minds what we must do for our people without simply becoming pawns on a chessboard for others to be able to benefit from.

I am conscious that in the next week, questions will be asked as to whether the Barbados Foreign Minister happened to be missing in a meeting in Kingston in Jamaica that will take place on Tuesday.

We don’t look to pick fights. I don’t look to pick fights, but I am conscious that if this country does not stand for something, then it will fall for anything.

As chairman of CARICOM, it is impossible for me to agree that my Foreign Minister should attend a meeting with anyone to which members of CARICOM are not invited. If some are invited and not all, then it is an attempt to divide this region.

But that sense of commitment to principle and that sense of commitment to the thesis expressed by him [Errol Barrow] that we have lived by, “friends of all, satellites of none,” is really what inspires us to this position today.

And therefore, it didn’t take a lot of thought as to what our decision should be because this country does not pretend to be what it is not and does not pretend to have that which it doesn’t.
But it does aspire to be sincere and to be correct and to be moral and to be principled.

Barbados first, as expressed by both Grantley Adams and Errol Barrow has come to mean for us that Barbados must stand for something.

And I give thanks, that that expression of leadership to that person who first gave us the right to vote, then that person who gave us the right to independence, has been followed for the most part by this country and its leaders.

Similarly, the understanding that we shall not loiter on colonial premises or loiter on any premises where we are not wanted, continues to be as relevant today as it was then.

The expression delivered to the President of the United States of America, who offered to pay our dues to join the Organization of American States when Mr Barrow politely refused and said, “in our part of the world where I come from, if you cannot afford the dues, you do not join the club”. That is the Barbados first to which I speak.”
Enclosed is a link to the audio (http://bit.ly/2ugIGzO) and the video (https://youtu.be/H0tXIegOUU4) clips from the Saturday event.

The full speech can be found at: https://youtu.be/0YrU1tgZH9o.

Thanks to Global African Congress

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Pompeo Comes to Pump up Votes for OAS Puppet Almagro

Mike Pompeo official photo.jpgHugodeZela.jpg

Photos above: Mike Pompeo, Luis Almagro, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés,
Ambassador Hugo de Zela, 

Mike Pompeo, current US Secretary of State and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, makes a 2-day working visit to Jamaica this week to pump up votes for the re-election of Luis Almagro as General Secretary of the Organisation of American States (OAS) on March 20, 2020. Pompeo is on a tour which included an address to the OAS Permanent Council where he touted Almagro as “Secretary General par excellence” and  “a model for all other Secretaries  General,  inclusive of the UN Secretary General”. Almagro has proven that he can be counted on to use the OAS as a regime change mechanism by undermining countries in Latin America which have the gall to assert their sovereignty by electing governments of their choice, controlling their natural resources, establishing bi-lateral agreements with other countries regardless of US diktats and investing in social programmes which benefit the majority of the people.

Pompeo is not confident that the other two candidates, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés and Ambassador Hugo de Zela, will be equally reliable allies in carrying out the US regime change policy which has still not been successful in Venezuela despite all manner of pressure and interference.

Ecuadorean María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, the 4th woman to have been elected to serve as the president of the UN General Assembly and the 1st since 2006, “has more than 20 years of multilateral experience in international negotiations, peace, security, defence, disarmament, human rights, indigenous peoples, gender equality, sustainable development, environment, biodiversity, climate change and multilateral cooperation” according to her biography posted on the United Nations website. As holder of several ministerial positions in Ecuador, she was instrumental in many progressive changes which included serving as Special Adviser to the President of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Constitution of Ecuador in 2008.  On behalf of Ecuador, she promoted the adoption of the resolution entitled “Indigenous women: key actors in poverty and hunger eradication” at the fifty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women.  She played a leading role in several UN conferences on Climate Change and Sustainable Development and facilitated the adoption of key elements in one of the outcomes entitled, “The future we want”. She chaired the work of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Geneva, and at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP 21) on Climate Change in Paris.


Ambassador Hugo de Zela, Peruvian Ambassador to the United States and former chief of staff of the General Secretariat of the OAS,  has racked up 42 years of service as a career diplomat. He was a member of Peru’s delegation in border negotiations with Ecuador (1997-1998). According to his resume which is available on the Embassy of Peru’s website, Hugo de Zela was previously in charge of the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy, supervising elections in the region and also served as representative and advisor at the OAS for the Central America crisis and its process towards peace. He participated in various missions in cases of interruption to democratic processes in Haiti, Guatemala and Venezuela, among others.

Pompeo’s visit is most disturbing as by the very act of handpicking regional foreign ministers for a meeting in Jamaica, he is continuing to disrupt the unity of CARICOM and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) which have both declared the regions a zone of peace and have established standards for peaceful cooperation between our countries for development of our peoples, giving primacy to respect for national sovereignty and the right to self-determination. The puppetry with Almagro has already caused significant disruption, violence and death in countries like Bolivia and Venezuela. It has affected our peaceful relationship with Venezuela which existed irrespective of party in power.

Our Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minister of Foreign Affairs must in a dignified manner tell Pompeo that we are a sovereign nation that is committed to peace, unity and national sovereignty within the region and that we consider any attempt at puppeteering with us an affront. They must tell him that the people of the nations of the region “run tings”.

 

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Mike Pompeo’s Visit to Jamaica Raises Concerns

Mike Pompeo official photo.jpgThe visit of Donald Trump’s Secretary of State or SOS, Mike Pompeo to Jamaica on Tuesday, January 21 is cause for concern not only for Jamaicans but also for all Caribbean peoples and governments.

The concerns related to the US Secretary of State’s visit come against the background of his recent address to the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States or OAS in which he only openly and shamelessly supported the re-election of Luis Almargo, the current loyalist, anti-sovereign, pliant and wrecklessly pro-imperialist Secretary General of the OAS who has spared no effort to deliver to the US whatever its geopolitical objectives are in the Caribbean and Latin American region. In other words, it must be clear that Almargo is the US puppet in chief at the OAS who uses it as it was intended, namely, to advance the interests of US imperialism against the interests of the governments and peoples of the region. That’s precisely why Almargo constantly attacks and opposes the sovereign rights of nations like Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia under President Morales’ leadership to seek their own path to self-determination and development. That’s why Almargo lied about fraud in the October elections in Bolivia that reflected Morales hands down victory and that’s why he openly supports the right-wing coup against President Morales. That’s also why this tried and tested lapdog of the US empire recently launched a campaign to attack and discredit Cuba’s globally prestigious international medical program that has delivered health care services to millions of poor people all over our region and the world.

Thus, for all those reasons and more the US Secretary of State Pompeo who along with his president cannot provide to date a credible narrative for the assassination of the Iranian General Soleimani and who is still silent about the involuntary removal of the respectable US diplomat to the Ukraine called Almargo “ a model for Secretaries General including the UN Secretary General.”

Consequently, the upcoming visit of the US SOS Pompeo to Jamaica, where he will have bilateral meetings with Jamaica’s PM Holness and Foreign Minister Johnson Smith as well as bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers from Haiti, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and St. Lucia is of the gravest concern.

Firstly, why is it that Jamaica and the other countries are selected by Pompeo is an immediate concern for CARICOM UNITY? Secondly, why are Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Guyana and other CARICOM countries not invited to these bilaterals with Mr. Trump’s envoy to our region?

Thirdly, is this a case of the old tried and tested imperialist tactic to once again “divide and rule” CARICOM governments and nations about yet another geopolitical objective of the US empire? Finally, what exactly is this particularly geopolitical objective of the US empire that sparks Mr. Pompeo’s visit to Jamaica?

According to reports, the US SOS Pompeo will seek to lobby (read dictate) to the cited Caribbean nations that they should vote for the empire’s “ model for Secretaries General” Almargo so that he can continue to promote and defend the US empire’s geopolitical interests in our region. The latter simply means that if re-elected Almargo will enforce imperialism’s interests of isolating and harassing governments like Cuba and Venezuela that assert their sovereign interests and applaud and reward those like Jamaica and Haiti who put the empire’s interests above those of their peoples.

Ultimately, the most important question is not whether US imperialism desires Almargo to be re-elected as SG, nor is it whether the empire’s emissary meets with the cited Caribbean governments to lobby them to vote for their puppet at the OAS. On the contrary, the real question is whether the governments of the countries that the US emissary meets with will allow the empire to so openly interfere in their domestic affairs and whether they will allow the US empire to divide CARICOM UNITY to re-elect a SG who has no respect for their sovereignty, their right to self-determination and the national dignity of their peoples.

Further and most importantly, the question is whether the US empire’s select seven (7) nations are going to allow Pompeo and the empire to trample on article 6 of the Treaty of Chaguaramas which requires the achievement of two intertwined goals ,namely, (a)the achievement of greater efficacy “in dealing with third States” such as the US in this case and (b)the effective coordination of CARICOM member states “foreign and foreign economic policies” both of which have been cornerstone policies of CARICOM since its founding in 1973.

The latter will be the test once again of the mettle of CARICOM but more so the seven (7) states including Jamaica that the US empire consciously selected so as to garner their votes to re-elect an obvious traitor of the best traditions of sovereignty, self-determination, independence and dignity that our peoples demand of their governments.

As such, those traditions require a resounding NO vote for Luis Almargo as SG which is a YES vote for sovereignty and dignity of the suffering peoples of our region!!

Lastly, it’s worth noting the words of the former arch reactionary US SOS Henry Kissinger that “ America doesn’t have friends only interests.” The latter is particularly true for all those CARICOM governments who may consider the US empire as their friends or may consider themselves as friends of the US empire as they get ready to vote for the next SG of the OAS. Clearly, the US knows it’s interests which is why Pompeo is pushing for Almargo’s re-election as SG of the OAS, the question is how well CARICOM knows its own interests!
Contributed

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NO WAR WITH IRAN! US OUT OF IRAQ! END REGIME-CHANGE SANCTIONS ON IRAN! – Statement by the US Peace Council

 

Friday January 3, 2020

On January 2, 2020, the Trump Administration recklessly escalated its war on Iran by the drone assassination of Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, Commander of Iran Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force. The assassination, ordered directly by President Trump, is a lawless action against an official of a sovereign state — Iran — with which the US is not officially at war. It occurred on the territory of yet another sovereign state — Iraq — with which the US is not officially at war.

This reckless act is bound to lead to Iranian retaliation and possibly to an all-out war in the region. It is clear that we are no longer on the “brink of war with Iran,” but the war has actually begun.

The decision by Donald Trump and the Pentagon to launch new air assaults on the Iraqi territory in the past week has ignited nationwide resistance by Iraqis who demand to reclaim their full sovereignty and refuse to allow Iraq to be used as a U.S. base in a U.S. war on Iran.

The Trump Administration’s path to all-out war with Iran didn’t start on December 27, 2019, when a US “contractor” (mercenary) was killed. Rather, it started in January 2017 with Trump’s inauguration: First, he selected as top foreign policy advisers such war mongers as John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, who called for war on Iran. Then he pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA) and embarked on the “maximum pressure” campaign, imposing illegal, severe economic sanctions on Iran and forcing US allies to join in. Since then, he has launched cyberattacks on Iranian facilities and has worked to isolate Iran diplomatically. His public comments have been bullying and contemptuous of a sovereign nation.

The Trump Administration is now further escalating the war by sending thousands more troops to the Middle East, in the name of “preparing against retaliation” by Iran. He has already ordered 750 more US troops to the Middle East and potentially 3,000 more. This is in addition to the 5,200 already in Iraq that push the US agenda against Iran, Syria and Yemen. Many more troops will be needed if the US expands the war.

But the current US policy toward Iran is part of a bigger and longer picture. It is part of the 1953 overthrow of the democratically elected Iranian government, the insertion of a dictator Shah for 26 years. After the Shah was deposed in 1979, the US supported the Saddam Hussein’s 8-year military aggression against Iran as part of US-engineered takeovers of independent countries in the Middle East — through wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan.

Every US president over the last 30 years has ordered the bombing of Iraq. More than a million Iraqis have died during the past three decades years as a consequence of U.S. occupation, bombings, and sanctions. Tens of thousands of US troops have either been killed or suffered life-changing injuries. The US government has spent more than $3 trillion of our tax dollars in the on-going occupation and bombing of this oil-rich country.

Trump Administration’s policy against Iran has also tightened the US alliance with two of Iran’s mortal enemies, Israel and Saudi Arabia; has ramped up tension in the region, has concentrated military forces in the Persian Gulf; and has armed the Saudi monarchy in its genocidal war on Yemen.

Since Trump took office in 2017, US aggression against the rest of the world has also been put into overdrive. The Trump Administration’s foreign policy — supported by much of Big Business and wrapped in the deceitful cover of “Making America Great Again!” — vastly expands Pentagon spending and profitable US arms exports; bullies allies to buy more US-made weapons and join with US military operations; and threatens wars on any state refusing to bend the knee to Washington. The US has been ripping up any multilateral treaty that imposes even the mildest constraints on its aggressive behavior, while flouting international law and the UN Charter.

Given the fact that the US has invaded and initiated war on more than a dozen countries since the beginning of this century and has imposed coercive sanctions — economic warfare — on dozens, all in violation of international law, we should recognize that today the US is the greatest threat to peace in the world.

On Saturday, January 4th, people from around the United States will be organizing local demonstrations to demand: TROOPS HOME FROM IRAQ! NO WAR ON IRAN!

WHAT WE NEED TO DO URGENTLY:

1. Show up on Saturday January 4.

2. Phone Congress 202-224- 3121. Phone your House member and your US Senator. Take Action to Prevent War with Iran!

3. Phone the White House: 1-202-456-1414 (Switchboard) 1-202-456-1111 (Comments). Say No war with Iran! The Administration must hear that millions of us are unalterably opposed to an insane war.

4.  Write Letters to the Editor. Express your opposition to war with Iran. Bring all the troops stationed in Iraq home safely, now.

5. Hold Vigils and organize Rallies in your area and your cities against war with Iran.

6. Take photos of yourself holding “No War with Iran!” signs. Post them on Twitter and Instagram. Send them to your House Representative and Senator. Encourage others to do the same.

 

U.S. Peace Council • P.O. Box 3105, New Haven, CT 06515 • (203) 387-0370 • USPC@USPeaceCouncil.org
• https://uspeacecouncil.org • https://facebook.com/USPeaceCouncil/

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Updates on Latin America and the World from Telesur

Demonstrators are pepper sprayed by a member of the security forces during clashes between supporters of former Bolivian President Evo Morales and the security forces, in La Paz, Bolivia November 15, 2019. The Pro-Evo Upheaval in Bolivia: How is it Affecting the Canadian Political Scene?
Supporters of Bolivia The Organization of American States Has Deceived the Public, Terribly, on the Bolivian Election
Demonstration in support of Bolivian President Evo Morales after he announced his resignation on Sunday, in Buenos Aires. Bolivia in Crosshairs of US Counter-revolution

 

An employee works at the kayak factory in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 17, 2019.  Argentina: Lawmakers Approve Solidarity Law to Resolve Crisis
Baltasar Garzon to Be Evo Morales Baltasar Garzon to Be Evo Morales’ Lawyer to Invalidate Warrant
The protestants affirm that these changes will fundamentally harm “those on foot” and assert that this will also be disastrous.  Colombia: Protests Against Tax Reform and Police Repressio
An anti-racism campaign artwork by Italian artist Simone Fugazzotto featuring three side-by-side paintings of apes is presented by Italian soccer league Serie A during a news conference in Milan, Italy, December 16, 2019. Italy’s Football League Apologizes for Anti-Racism Ape Campaign
The Russian national flag (R) and the Olympic flag are seen during the closing ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Russia, February 23, 2014. Russia Banned for 4 Years From Olympics, 2022 World Cup
Argentina and Uruguay BDS Movement Urges Uruguay, Argentina To Drop Football Match in Israel

 

Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and regional minister Antoni Comin hold a news conference in Brussels. EU Parliament President Lifts Ban on Top Catalan Politicians
According to procedure, the approved legislation is now on hads of the Senate, but it is unclear when the Republican-controlled chamber will pass it. US House Votes for NAFTA Update
30-yea-old Ito reporeted her sexual assault publicly and become a symbol of the #MeToo movement. Japanese ‘MeToo’ Activist Wins Lawsuit Against Rapist

 

TeleSUR La Nueva Televisión del Sur C.A. (TVSUR) RIF: G-20004500-0

 

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“We underestimated the ability of Maduro to stay in power…” – Ambassador Francisco Santos confessing that he had to ‘invent’ things to keep Venezuela in the U.S.’ mind.

 

 

The Colombian Ambassador to Washington acknowledged that although

Last month, an audio was made public in which Ambassador Francisco Santos confessed to the Colombian Foreign Minister that he had to ‘invent’ things to keep Venezuela in the U.S.’ mind.

The Colombian Ambassador to the United States, Francisco Santos, said on Monday that he ‘underestimated’ the Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, and his ability to stay in power, and acknowledged that they miscalculated his departure from the government.

While at the Colombian Embassy in Washington,, among a small group of journalists, Santos said that “we underestimated the ability of Maduro to stay in power and his ability protect their environment, which is Caracas, and the rest of the country.”

The former vice president of Colombia (2002-2010) excused himself by attributing the “dollarization” to the fact that in Venezuela there are things that according to Santos, a year ago were not in the nation.

He said that one of his roles as Ambassador to Washington was to keep Venezuela in an important place on the foreign agenda in the United States; however he acknowledged that although “the sanctions are fulfilling their role, they have not yet achieved the breaking point, and that’s what you keep looking for. ”

Last month, a conversation between Francisco Santos and Foreign Minister Claudia Blum was made public in a local newspaper in Colombia, where the ambassador criticizes the Government of President Donald Trump and Iván Duque, and makes a strong statement about the Venezuelan political situation.

In the audio, Santos revealed that the situation in Venezuela was “a bit halted”, but that he had prepared to reactivate it by inducing European parliamentarians to take an interest in the border activity to keep the idea of ​​the ‘crisis’ in their minds. In addition, he confessed to Blum: “It is my turn to invent things so that they have Venezuela in the top of mind (in the head). That is the task with which I am with Venezuela.”

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza confirmed, after hearing the audio, the complicity of interference with the affairs of Venezuela.

Santos also reiterated his support for Juan Guaidó , claiming that it is an advance that the Venezuelan opponent has the recognition of 60 countries.

Guaidó, in an interview published Monday in the newspaper El País, said he did not accept a breakdown of the opposition, despite the fact that he himself states that “31 deputies are out, one is in prison and 30 in exile”, and that one or another “spectrum of the opposition” is in at an “alleged dialogue table”.

He acknowledged that he did not have enough support from the Venezuelan Armed Forces, and that although he had the support of an important group at the time, “some backed out.” Hence, he stressed: “You have to analyze the messages to the armed forces, you have to improve them, not that they are worthless, but that you have to look for alternatives.

 

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Colombian-Ambassador-to-US-Admits-He-Tried-to-Overthrow-Maduro-20191217-0002.html?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=whatsapp&utm_source=im

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OAS’s Almagro on mission to discredit the International Reputation and Respect for the Peaceful Cuban Medical International Cooperation Program.

 

The current Secretary General or SG of the Organization of American States or OAS, Mr. Almagro is quite in keeping with the pro-US and pro-imperialist tradition of the organization that he leads.

However, perhaps unlike the previous Secretary Generals of the OAS who largely gave or tried to give a semblance of fairplay in conducting OAS affairs on behalf of its member countries, Almagro has made it clear from the start that he is a proud and unabashed puppet of the US government and the regional oligarchy.

SG Almagro is obviously willing to do any and everything requested of him by the class enemies of the people of the region in order to advance the reactionary agenda of turning back progress whether it’s in Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Brazil or elsewhere in the region.

Apparently now, this tireless puppet of US imperialism has set his eyes on another project of his US masters and the local oligarchs. This time the goal is to try and discredit the international reputation and respect for the peaceful Cuban Medical International Cooperation Program.

Indeed, this international medical program is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious global solidarity programs of the Cuban Revolution that has for decades provided vitally needed medical services to scores of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa saving lives, curing diseases, training local medical personnel usually in some of the remotest areas in these countries.

This internationalist medical program of the Cuban Revolution has sent thousands of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to provide medical assistance to by now millions of peasants, workers and poor people in all these countries many of whom have never seen a doctor, dentist or nurse in their lives. Motherless, despite these practical achievements in providing health care services to some of the most vulnerable populations on earth, Mr. Almagro has decided that his mission as imperialism’s emissary at the OAS is to attack and discredit the mission of Cuba’s international medical program of solidarity with the world’s peoples.

As such, the big question is why would the SG of the OAS take time out of his busy schedule to attack and discredit a medical program that has almost single handedly brought Ebola in West Africa under control saving hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of lives in Africa? Why would Mr. Almagro want to discredit a medical program that is usually one of the first to send doctors and other medical personnel to save lives in countries that are ravaged by natural disasters such as the earthquakes in Haiti, Ecuador and Nepal a few years ago? Why would he want to discredit the prestige and respect of Cuba’s medical program that has helped millions of poor and working people over the decades in countries like Brazil, Jamaica, Grenada, Barbados, Venezuela, Guinea Bissau, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and so many more where imperialism and the local oligarchs have done everything to decimate health care services by underfunding it and by underinvesting in the training of doctors and other medical personnel and health facilities to provide quality health care services to their peoples?

I believe that the answer is resoundingly simple, US imperialism and the local oligarchs are worried that everywhere Cuba’s doctors, nurses, dentists and other medical personnel go to save the lives of the victims of poor health of imperialism and the local oligarchs, there is another nail in the heart of capitalism and imperialism and another star ⭐ in the banner of Cuba’s revolution.

The US empire and their allies are no doubt equally concerned that through Cuba’s internationalist medical program, their long standing strategy to isolate the Cuban people and their Revolution has lost traction and appeal amongst the world’s poor and workers who have tangibly benefitted from the Cuban Revolution since without it there would be no internationalist doctors and nurses to save their lives and cure their diseases. Hence, SG Almagro, a totally discredited and undignified servant of the US empire is obviously deployed to lie, misrepresent and distort Cuba’s internationalist program under the guise of the OAS.

Lastly, it also appears that the US empire and its local allies are terrified that the more encounters the ordinary folks of the region have with Cuba’s life savers and curers of their diseases, the more the ideas of the Cuban Revolution may be planted in their minds to effect their own revolutions so that they can be free one day to use their resources without being told by the IMF, the World Bank or the US ambassadors in their capitals how much they can or cannot allocate to their health care budgets and other budgets like the Cuban government does freely each year!

So Mr. Almagro, you may serve imperialism and if that is what you want your legacy to be that’s fine but you should NEVER forget that the Cuban Revolution and it’s medical program will live forever in the hears and minds of the millions of grateful peasant, working class and poor families who have been served by this magnificent program created by a free and sovereign country called Cuba under the nose of a frightened and anxious empire!

 

Contributed by Bongo

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To Share is Everlasting: Poem by Michael Heslop

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/19/Castle_Romeo.jpg

If you have seen a crime, you cannot be made to unsee it,

You must either speak out about the crime or keep silent about it,

Your action either way is a political act since there is no neutrality in the battle for what is right,

Silence is the act to set the criminals free to commit more crimes and speaking out is the act to make them pay for their crimes,

If you heard warriors planning to wage war, it is equally impossible to unhear what you heard,

Your task must be to expose to the world the plans of the Warriors,

To keep silent about what you heard or to speak out about the Warriors plans are political acts,

Silence is the way of cowards and speaking out is the way of the courageous,

Silence leads to death and mayhem and speaking out has a fighting chance to save lives through peace,

If you feel pain in any form, there is no way to erase what is already felt,

There is only two paths to the sufferer of the pain:

To either rebel against the boot on your back and the system that keeps it there or to cry and complain about your pain to the Lord and anyone else who will listen,

The two paths are political acts though the first seeks to end the pain and the latter seeks a palliative for it,

Likewise, to fight for what is right leaves no room to un-fight for it,

It’s possible to abandon the fight against what is wrong though the fight for what is right cannot be abandoned since life itself depends on what is right,

To fight for what is right is equally a political act of struggle as it is to abandon the struggle for what is right,

The first political act is required for revolutionary change and the latter political act is encouraged by the enemies of revolution to slow its march to victory,

To love someone is love already committed, it is not possible to take back that love already shared with someone,

It’s possible to end that love but it is never possible to un-love the loved,

Sincerity requires that the shared love be embraced though hypocrisy pretends that the shared love never was,

The shared love simply cannot be unshared even when it’s ended!

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Human Progress –  poem by Prof. Emeritus Keith Ellis

They used to speak

of Bolivia’s bitter boulders,

its reclusive mountains,

its obstinate place among

the sombre sites of need,

and yet a nest for a flock

of hatchers of plots against

the bearers of the flag of hope.

And then, oh monstrous,

those hatchers eliminated forever

the physical presence of

a main blazer of that hope.

 

But what is this that

now in Bolivia in 2010 I see?

White-winged black, mixed or white cherubs,

far from anywhere in their Cuba,

lightened by the spirit of Che,

flitting, like astronauts in weightless training,

among sun-reflecting friendly boulders,

in accessed mountains of streams and greenery,

until they glide down to welcoming doors,

solicitous of occupants’ well-being,

translating questions absolutely new,

of ophthalmic diagnosis, or sorting out

anybody just plain not feeling well,

to lift them to the hospital in Yayagua.

 

There, next to Evo, the angel Dausá,

the ambassador, chief of cherubs,

gleaming, resplendent,

adorned as son of the sun

by the progeny of Tavantinsuyu,

toasting the erasure

and the correction.

(2010)

 

El progreso humano – Keith Ellis

Solían hablar

acerca de las piedras amargas de Bolivia,

sus montañas reclusas,

su lugar obstinado entre

los sombríos sitios de la adversidad;

y sin embargo un nido para una bandada

de hembras de complots contra

los portaestandartes de la esperanza.

Y luego, ¡oh monstruoso!,

esas hembras eliminaron para siempre

la presencia física de

un principal portador de esa esperanza.

 

Pero ¿qué es esto que

veo ahora en Bolivia en 2010?

Querubines negros, blancos o mestizos, de alas blancas,

lejos de cualquier sitio de su Cuba,

aligerados por el espíritu del Che,

revoloteando como cosmonautas en entrenamiento ingrávido,

entre rocas amistosas que reflejan el sol

en montañas asequibles de arroyos y verdura,

hasta que se deslizan a puertas acogedoras,

solícitos por el bienestar de los habitantes,

traduciendo preguntas absolutamente nuevas

de diagnóstico oftálmico, o elegiendo

a los que sencillamente no se sentían bien,

para transportarlos al hospital en Yayagua.

 

Allí, junto a Evo, el ángel Dausá,

el embajador, jefe de los querubines,

reluciente, refulgente,

adornado como hijo del sol

por la progenie de Tavantinsuyu,

celebrando la tachadura,

la corrección.

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CARICOM Leaders reject Violence in Bolivia and call for Respect of the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples

A Bolivian indigenous woman, supporter of Bolivian ousted president Evo Morales, holds a Wiphala flag—representing native peoples—during a protest against the interim government in La Paz on November 15, 2019.

A Bolivian indigenous woman, supporter of Bolivian ousted president Evo Morales, holds a Wiphala flag—representing native peoples—during a protest against the interim government in La Paz on November 15, 2019. (Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

Resolution rejecting violence in Bolivia and calling for full respect of the rights of the Indigenous Peoples in the Plurinational State of Bolivia

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and those of the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS);

BEARING IN MIND that international and hemispheric conventions on Human Rights contain the values and principles of liberty, equality and social justice that are intrinsic to democracy.

HIGHLIGHTING the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which in its Article 1 states that “Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Human Rights Law”; the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; and the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (AG/RES. 2888 (XLVI-O/16), which, in Article XII, states that “Indigenous peoples have the right not to be the object of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, or related intolerance. States shall adopt the preventive and corrective measures necessary for the full and effective protection of that right.”

TAKING NOTE of the deep concerns about the human right situation, including violence in racist and discriminatory ways, expressed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in its preliminary observations on December 10, 2019, after its visit to Bolivia;

ALSO NOTING the findings of the IACHR that, following the electoral process a wave of violence occurred, and serious allegations were made of human rights violations, including arbitrary detentions and arrests, massacres and murder, wounding of the civilian population, criminalization and persecution of political opponents, violations of freedom of expression.

RECALLING the declaration, “Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas” [AG/DEC. 79(XLIV-O/14)], which reaffirms that progress in promoting and effectively protecting the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Americas is a priority for the OAS;

RECALLING ALSO Article 9 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter which states that “The elimination of all forms of discrimination, especially gender, ethnic and race discrimination, as well as diverse forms of intolerance, the promotion and protection of human rights of indigenous peoples and migrants, and respect for ethnic, cultural and religious diversity in the Americas contribute to strengthening democracy and citizen participation”;

RECOGNIZING that, notwithstanding improvements over the last decade, the indigenous peoples in Bolivia have suffered from historic injustices as a result of, inter alia, their colonization and the dispossession of their lands, territories and resources thus preventing them from fully exercising, in particular, their right to development in accordance with their own needs and interests;

EMPHASIZING THAT the inherent rights of indigenous peoples in Bolivia, which derive from their political, economic, and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories and resources, must be respected and promoted;

REAFFIRMING that indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind.

CONSIDERING the importance of eliminating all forms of racial discrimination and/or violence that may emanate therefrom that may affect citizens of the Americas including and especially indigenous peoples, and taking into account the responsibility of States to combat them;

AFFIRMING that any existing doctrines, policies and practices based on advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racist ideas, religious, ethnic or cultural differences, are scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust;

WELCOMING the agreement signed between Bolivian authorities and the IACHR to install an independent group of international experts to investigate the acts of violence that occurred between September and December 2019.

RESOLVES TO:

CONDEMN the human rights violations and the use of violence against any citizen of Bolivia, especially any and all forms of violence and intimidation against Bolivians of indigenous origin;

FURTHER CONDEMN intolerance of symbols, traditional vestige, religious practices and unequal treatment or mention of any element of indigenous civilization;

UNDERSCORE the need for the authorities of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to fulfil their inherent responsibility as a part of the community of nations to protect all human rights for everyone in Bolivia;

URGE the authorities of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to respect, comply with and effectively implement all their obligations under international law as they apply to indigenous peoples, particularly those related to human rights;

REITERATE the  call made by the Permanent Council of the OAS on November 20, 2019,  in CP/RES. 1140 (2259/19) rev. 1, to all political and civil actors in Bolivia, including all authorities, civil society, the military and security forces, and the general public, to immediately cease from violence, preserve peace, and seek a frank dialogue to promote national democratic reconciliation; and

CALL UPON the Bolivian authorities to ensure full and unrestricted observance and protection of human rights and to ensure that any violators thereof are held to account, in accordance with international human rights law as reflected in Resolution, CP/RES. 1140 (2259/19) rev. 1, of the OAS Permanent Council.

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JCFA to Trump: Join the Majority of Humanity by Lifting the Blockade against Cuba

Head shot of Trump smiling in front of the U.S. flag. He is wearing a dark blue suit jacket, white shirt, light blue necktie, and American flag lapel pin.Resolution adopted at the Annual General Meeting of the Jamaica Cuba Friendship Association held in the auditorium of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica on Saturday November 30, 2019.

We who are gathered at this Annual General Meeting of the Jamaica Cuba Friendship Association  three  years, following the anniversary of the transition of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel, call on the administration of the United States of America to unconditionally lift the criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade of our sister country, whose anachronistic retention, is a bare-faced and arrogant repudiation of international law, a systematic violation of the Human Rights of the Cuban People and an act of Genocide under the 1948 United Nations ‘Convention on the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’.

The US blockade violates international law, is contrary to the purposes and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, constitutes a flagrant transgression to the peaceful development of Cuba’s right to self-determination, a permanent threat to the stability to the country, a unilateral act of war.

This criminal blockade along with its extra-territorial application of the Helms- Burton and Torricelli Acts of almost six decades, constitutes the single and primary obstacle to the development of the economy of Cuba, where its estimated that USD 922,630,000.00 (taken against the devaluation of the US dollar in relation to the gold standard) of punitive damages have been inflicted on the courageous Cuban people, for standing up in defense of their sovereignty and the right to a particular path of economic and social development.

Despite the unprecedented choke-hold on a single nation by imperialism, Cuba, because of its astute leadership and the determined and resilient spirit of its people, has made phenomenal gains in all sectors of industry and in the delivery of health, housing and education to its people. Not only that, Cuba is known for internationalist support to nations across the world, fighting Ebola in Africa, eradicating illiteracy in some Latin American countries, and providing support in education and healthcare through the deployment of doctors, nurses and other specialists.

This beacon of hope for all of us who struggle for a better world, has developed cures to several common diseases which afflict people all over the world. Cuba also delivers immediate non-military responses to nations in and outside the region to cope with the effects of natural disasters. In many cases they are the first to respond to the needs as they arise. Imagine what Cuba could do without this cruel and crippling US blockade?

The region has been designated a Zone of Peace under the Tlatelolco Treaty for Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean. The continued existence of the US military base at Guantanamo Bay contravenes this treaty. It is a constant threat to the peace and stability of Cuba and the entire region.

We therefore urge the US to join the majority of humanity’s people, which for 28 consecutive years has been reflected in the United Nations, to lift the economic blockade, in honoring this beacon of peace and progress that Cuba represents to the world and to retreat from the path of aggression manifested in the blockade and the maintenance of the military base at Guantanamo.

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International Criminal Court to Launch Full Investigation Into Israeli War Crimes — Russia News Now

(MEE) — The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor said on Friday that she wanted to open a full investigation into alleged war crimes in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. “I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine,” Fatou Bensouda said in a…

(MEE— The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor said on Friday that she wanted to open a full investigation into alleged war crimes in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

“I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine,” Fatou Bensouda said in a statement.

“In brief, I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”

Bensouda added that before opening the probe she would ask the Hague-based tribunal to rule on the territories over which it has jurisdiction, as Israel is not a member of the court.

The matter of the court’s jurisdiction must be settled before the ICC can proceed with the investigation.

“This foundational question should be decided now, and as swiftly as possible in the interests of victims and affected communities,” she said.

Bensouda added that “there are no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice”.

Israel’s Attorney-General Avichai Mandelbit objected to the ICC’s decision, saying that the court does not have the jurisdiction to put Israelis on trial for war crimes.

“Only sovereign states can delegate criminal jurisdiction to the court. The Palestinian Authority clearly does not meet the criteria for statehood under international law and the court’s founding statute,” Mandelblit said.

The Palestinian Authority is recognised as a non-member state by the United Nations, which permits it to sign treaties and enjoy the majority of benefits similar to full member states.

In 2015, the PA signed the Rome Statute that governs the ICC. However some countries, such as the United States and Syria are not signatories and therefore shielded from prosecution in the Hague over war crimes. Israel is also not a signatory.

Palestinians Welcome Decision

Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian official, welcomed the ICC decision.

“The Palestinian people have invested their faith in the International Criminal Court as an independent venue that can guarantee them some justice and redress for the multitudes of war crimes committed against them by their occupier, Israel,” Ashrawi said in a statement.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, said the decision to open an investigation “was the only possible outcome arising from the facts”.

“Israel’s legal acrobatics in an attempt to whitewash its crimes must not be allowed to stop international legal efforts to, at long last, hold it to account,” the group said in a statement.

On 5 December, the ICC issued a report after five years of active preliminary investigations and examination of evidence into Israeli violent actions against Palestinians.

Bensouda has one year left in the ICC’s general prosecutor office.

This is a developing story…

By MEE staff Republished with permission / Middle East Eye / Report a typo

This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.

from http://theantimedia.com/international-criminal-court-to-launch-full-investigation-into-israeli-war-crimes/

 

via International Criminal Court to Launch Full Investigation Into Israeli War Crimes — Russia News Now

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No one can erase Cuba’s loving contribution in Bolivia and Ecuador

Photo: Dunia Álvarez

These past few days, doctors lending their services in Bolivia and Ecuador have returned to the homeland, leaving behind their patients, families with few resources, but very grateful to those who treated their ailments, living as neighbors in their communities.

“We have lived days of deep sadness, of harassment, of physical mistreatment,” said Dr. Nirza García Valdés, a General Surgery specialist, who worked in the Bolivian department of Santa Cruz, referring to the period immediately following the coup against President Evo Morales Ayma.

“But even in the moments of greatest danger, we did not weaken. We stayed in our positions until the last moment, supporting the health of the sister Bolivian people until it was no longer possible to continue,” said García, a native of Bayamo, in the province of Granma.

“We return victorious. We do not feel defeated. We come with our heads held high, with our mission accomplished, because no coup, nor any regime that may take charge of Bolivia’s fate, can erase our impact.

“The lives saved are there, the grateful patients are there, and the results achieved by Cuba and its international collaboration will always be there.”

Alfredo Escobar Bernal, gastroenterologist, thanked the Cuban government for not abandoning brigade members to suffer the consequences of the coup in Bolivia on their own.

When the coup was consummated, he explained, he was in Santa Cruz and lived moments of uncertainty, along with other colleagues, given the tension that eventually triggered very serious confrontations among Bolivians.

“There were situations in which we felt the support of people who recognize the value of Cuban collaboration, but at other times, supporters of the coup took advantage of our presence to defame Evo Morales and his government.

“I had no doubt that, at all times, we were protected by our country’s authorities through diplomatic channels, and by personnel responsible for the medical mission. They were always aware of our safety.”

As of November 18, 431 health professionals had returned to the country from Bolivia, with the arrival of another group expected shortly. Also returning are members of the Cuban medical brigade in Ecuador, where the government cancelled the bilateral agreement in this sector.

Earlier this month, before the UN General Assembly, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla clarified that our country’s health collaboration programs, which are facing attacks by the current United States administration, are serving “the neediest communities, based on the solidarity and completely voluntary disposition of hundreds of thousands of Cuban professionals; conducted as established in cooperation agreements signed with the governments of these countries; and have enjoyed, for many years, the recognition of the international community, of this organization itself and the World Health Organization, as an outstanding example of South-South Cooperation.”

 

Source: http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2019-11-19/no-one-can-erase-cubas-loving-contribution-in-bolivia-and-ecuador

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“We Refuse to be Burned”: 500 Years of Resistance, Colonization, and Coups in Bolivia —

by Maya Ajchura Chipana

I am writing this because I don’t see many Bolivian voices represented in the media. Here is my story.

I saw Evo Morales speak once in La Paz. So many people came out. The boys climbed trees to trying to get a glimpse of him. After each speech, there was a translation in Quechua and Aymara.

My father worked for Evo’s campaign. He and my aunt traveled from village to village explaining to people in Quechua the importance of voting and of a socialist government. The people voted because they believed in change.

Evo was the first democratically elected Indigenous president of a nation that has the highest percent of Indigenous people in all of South America. He gave people hope, and he made people believe Indigenous people can be leaders and teachers, and that we can be taken serious, too. That’s why he is so precious to us.

Bolivia is located in the heart of South America. There are 36 Indigenous languages spoken, and the two main ones are Quechua and Aymara. On my father’s side we are Quechua and my grandmother, like 10 million other Bolivians, spoke Runasimi, Quechua. She passed away without ever learning the Spanish language. Like a majority of Bolivians, we identify first as Quechua and then as Bolivian.

Bolivia is a very rich country, especially in minerals. There are tin, silver, gold, dismuth, zinc, and iron reserves. Oil and gas are the main forms of resource exploitation. Before the nationalization of the gas fields, there were three main industrialists: Simon Patiño, Mortiz Hochschild, and Carlos Aramayo. Simon Patiño had accumulated so much wealth they even nicknamed him the “Andean Rockefeller.”

I wondered, with all this resource wealth, how did Bolivia get be so poor? How did it get to be the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere next to Haiti?

Like many Indigenous Bolivians, I come from a family of miners. My grandfather was a miner in the town of Pulacayo, which was the location of one of the biggest miner uprisings in the early 1940s. In the 1978 book Let Me Speak!, Bolivian feminist, Indigenous rights activist, and wife of a miner, Domitila Chungara, recalls one of the great leaders of her time explaining to her and other miner union workers, the situation in Bolivia:

Compañeros, the ten thousand workers of Siglo XX produce 300 or 400 tons of tin per month.” He says. She recalls him taking out a sheet of paper that represented everything miners produce. Then tearing the sheet of paper into five equal parts, he says that out of these five equal parts, four go to foreign capitalists, while Bolivia keeps one part. Then he takes the last tear of paper and says, “Now this fifth part is also distributed according to the system in which we live, so the government takes almost half for transportation, customs, and export expenses, which is another way to make the capitalist earn a profit. Then the government again grabs some for its own benefit, for the armed forces, the salaries of the ministers and their trips abroad. And they invest money in foreign cities, so that when they fall from power then they can go to another country as millionaires. And the little bit that’s left over is for social security, for health, and for hospitals.

This is the history of Bolivia, a country whose riches are stolen for the benefit of others.. When Evo Morales won the presidency in 2009, it changed the course of history for Bolivia and the lives of Bolivia’s poorest. He was the first democratically-elected Indigenous president. Out of 527 years of settler colonial occupation, Evo Morales gave Bolivia 13 years and nine months of Indigenous leadership—until he was deposed by an unlawful coup led by the old oligarchy.

For the first time in 2009 Bolivia was officially secular, recognizing indigenous spiritual beliefs. Now that Evo has been forced to step down, opposition leaders are bringing back their Catholic bibles and under the name of God sending military forces to violent attack and oppress indigenous people.  The day after Jeanine Añez appointed herself interim president, police in riot gear fired tear gas to disperse a large crowd of protesters, as fighter jets flew low overhead. Añez came to power like so many before — with a sword in one hand and bible in the other. The thousands taking to the streets under Wiphala flags do so against a president who has admitted on her Twitter of dreaming of a Bolivia free  from indigenous “satanic rites.”

Evo’s  support doesn’t come from the city or the middle classes who voted for Carlos Mesa, Bolivia’s former president infamously known for ordering brutal crackdowns against protest that left 60 dead, during the so-called “gas wars.” Evo’s base is from the cocaleros and campesinos. He himself a cocalero, someone who grows the sacred indigenous coca leaf plant.

The coup against Evo comes after the uprisings against Sebastian Piñera in Chile, the uprising against the IMF Austerity package in Ecuador and uprisings against the ring wing racist government in Brazil. So when the Bolivians raise their Wiphalas, the flag that represents the four Suyus — or the four corners of South America (Chinchawuyu, Antisuyu, Cuntisuyu, and Collasuyu) altogether composing Tawantinsuyu — they are definitely not alone.

I recently spoke with my sister Cecilia Lazzaro, who is studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  “On Monday thousands of Argentines marched from the Obelisco to the Bolivian embassy,” she said. t Everyone was upset, she told me. To her, there are similarities betweenBolivia recently and  what happened on March 24, 1976 in Argentina, when the armed forces ousted Isabel Peron, were frightening. She said at that time the two main newspapers in Argentina, La Nacion y Clarin framed what was happening not as a coup: “They didn’t use the word coup.”This same language is now being used to describe what is going on in Bolivia. “Evo was leaving office,” the headline read.

We should challenge what the Western media is telling us. It makes sense that the United States would denounce Morales under the name of “democracy,” because they want Bolivia open for business. And just as the Spanish conquistadors enslaved Indigenous people to profit off of gold using religion as an excuse, the new Bolivian oligarchy will do the same with lithium and the country’s natural resources.

When my father was a young boy, my grandfather was part of the miners revolution in Pulacayo, a mining town where miners fought for better working conditions. My father told me that when Evo was first elected in 2006, the dream of my grandfather and all those miners from Pulacayo came true. It was the first time he felt change was possible.“I cried,” he said, “because if my grandfather was still alive, I knew he would be happy right now, too, because Indigenous people can be heard now. “

After Evo’s coup, I am most worried about the open racism. It is a similar feeling I had when Trump was elected in the United States. I see videos online of the police and those from the opposition parties burning the wiphala flag; and it hurts me because this is a hate crime, it is a racist act. When I talked to my father about what the burning of the flag means for us Indigenous people, he says, “It’s like if they burned something sacred, like a little piece of your heart. When there is a coup, they want to burn everything, even the Indigenous person they want to burn.”

We refuse to be burned.

 

 

via “We Refuse to be Burned”: 500 Years of Resistance, Colonization, and Coups in Bolivia —

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A Must Watch Video with Lee Camp On MSM Lies About Bolivia

Do we now topple governments to keep access to Instagram? Lee Camp digs into Bolivia coup
Sitting on top of vast amounts of lithium, an element essential for electric cars and mobile phones, may be a bad thing. Just ask Bolivian President Evo Morales, who was forced flee from a US-backed military coup, Lee Camp says.

There is a well-established trend for heads of state in Latin America, Camp argued in the latest installment of “Redacted Tonight”. If your profits from extracting mineral riches to reduce poverty and curb the influence of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, you get ousted. And the people who replace you are often right-wing, corporate friendly and have training form the US Army’s School of Americas.

Morales fits the pattern perfectly, and his fate may have something to do with Bolivia having vast amounts of lithium, the material crucial for production of electric batteries, the host said. In fact, just before his ouster, a major joint project with a German firm to develop Bolivian lithium was canceled due to public protest.

The theory is not without its critics, but seeing Washington stage a coup over batteries his hardly a stretch, Camp jokes.

I knew that one day we would be at war because of Instagram. ‘My battery died and now I can’t look at pictures I took of my breakfast!’ Well, I guess we should just invade Bolivia then.

 

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The coup in Bolivia: Five Lessons – Atilio Borón

Here is a brief list, as events develop, a prelude to a more detailed analysis in the future.

First: No matter how well the economy is managed in an exemplary fashion, as the Evo government did – with growth, redistribution, investment all assured, and all macro and microeconomic indicators improved – the right wing and imperialism will never accept a government that does not serve their interests.

Second: Manuals published by various agencies in the United States, and their spokespeople disguised as academics or journalists, must be studied, so we recognize signs of an offensive in time.

These writings invariably highlight the need to destroy the reputation of popular leaders, with accusations of misappropriation, corruption, dictatorial behavior, and ignorance, which in the specialized jargon is known as character assassination.

This task is entrusted to social communicators, self-proclaimed “independent journalists,” who given their quasi-monopoly control of the media drill such defamations into the brains of the population, accompanied, as seen in this case, by hateful comments directed toward native peoples and the poor in general.

Third: Once the aforementioned has begun, next come right wing political leaders and economic elites demanding “a change,” an end to Evo’s “dictatorship,” who, as the unpresentable Vargas Llosa wrote a few days ago, is a “demagogue who wants to eternalize his term in power.”

I suppose he is toasting with champagne in Madrid, watching coverage of the fascist hordes looting, burning, chaining journalists to posts, cutting a female mayor’s hair and covering her with red paint, destroying result reports from the last election, fulfilling the mandates of Don Mario, freeing Bolivia from an evil demagogue.

I mention this case because Vargas has been, and is, the immoral standard bearer of this vile attack, a horrendous crime that has crucified a popular leadership, destroyed democracy, and established a reign of terror run by hired gangs, to punish a worthy people who have the audacity to seek freedom.

Fourth: “Security forces” now enter the scene. In this case we are talking about institutions controlled by numerous military and civilian agencies of the United States government.

These professionals train the local forces, arm them, conduct joint exercises and educate them politically. I had the opportunity to verify this when, on Evo’s invitation, I presented a course on anti-imperialism for high ranking officers in the nation’s three armed forces.

On this occasion, I was horrified by the degree of penetration, among these individuals, of the most reactionary U.S. slogans, inherited from the Cold War era, and by the open irritation they felt given the fact that the country had an indigenous President.

What these “security forces” did was to withdraw from the scene and leave the field open for the uncontrolled action of fascist hordes – like those in Ukraine, in Libya, in Iraq, in Syria – to overthrow leaders who annoyed the empire – or attempt to do so, in the last case – and thus intimidate the population, activists, and government figures themselves.

In other words, a new socio-political phenomenon: a military coup “by default,” letting reactionary gangs, recruited and financed by the right, impose their rule. Once terror reigns, and the government is defenseless, the outcome is inevitable.

Fifth: Bolivia’s security and public order should never have been entrusted to institutions such as the police and the Army, colonized by imperialism and its lackeys in the national right wing.

When the offensive against Evo was launched, a policy of appeasement and not responding to the provocations of fascists was chosen.

This served to embolden the right wingers and increase their confidence. First, they demanded a recount; then, cried fraud and called for new elections; finally insisting on elections without Evo – as in Brazil, without Lula.

At last, Evo’s resignation. Given his refusal to accept the blackmail, terror was sowed with the complicity of police and the military, forcing Evo to resign. By the book, straight from the book. Will we learn these lessons? (From the author’s blog)

 

Source: http://en.granma.cu/mundo/2019-11-11/the-coup-in-bolivia-five-lessons

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Thousands Join World Climate Strike as UN Summit Approaches

Activists hold placards during a Global Climate Strike rally in Athens, Greece, Sep. 20, 2019.

 

Protesters around the world are demanding their governments tackle the global warming issues now.

Thousands of people from all over the world took to the streets to join the “Third World Climate Strike” on September 20, a protest triggered by the Fridays for The Future (FFF) movement, which demands from governments concrete actions to resolve the ongoing environmental emergency generated by increased global warming.

RELATED:

Brazil Will Not Take The Floor At The UN Climate Summit

In Europe, Asia, Africa and Noth  America, hundreds of environmental, social, labor and human rights activists were hosting rallies in many cities throughout their countries.

These demonstrations are taking place a few days before the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opens the Climate Summit in New York on September 23, a high-level meeting in which countries were invited to present concrete and realistic plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent in the next ten years.

In Brazil, a South American country where the burning of the Amazon has increased due to the auspices President Jair Bolsonaro provides for the transformation of rainforests into arable land, citizens carried out demonstrations in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Amazonas, Alagoas, Bahia, Amapa, Ceara, Federal District, Parana and Rio Grande do Sul, among other states.

“Deforestation caused by the devastating expansion of agribusiness, livestock, mining and pollution of rivers contribute to accelerate global climate change… Amazon rainforests deforestation is progressing at a rate of three soccer stadiums per minute,” said the Brazilian Climate Coalition, which joins organizations such as Greenpeace, Fight for the Forest, Families for Climate, the Landless Workers Movement and the Worker’s Party.

Bill McKibben

@billmckibben

Look at the massive, gorgeous crowd in Kampala Uganda for . The planet’s running a fever and the antibodies are kicking in! https://twitter.com/ZaynRahm/status/1175005263239241729 

Zayn Rahman@ZaynRahm

Uganda has come out for the #ClimateStrike. Amazing

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In Germany, 1,700 companies joined the climate strike by making it easier for their workers to attend the marches. The same happened at educational institutions where academic activities were suspended so that their students could go to demonstrations.

In the United Kingdom, hundreds of people took to the Westminster neighborhood in London, where the seat of the Government is located. With banners, slogans and songs, they demanded that the right-wing Prime Minister Boris Johnson put in place measures aimed at tackling the climate crisis.

“Young people and workers are coming out to say enough is enough. I’m proud to be joining London’s largest climate crisis mobilization to demand action,” the Labor leader, Jeremy Corbyn, tweeted.

“This climate strike is inspiring – full of people who are demanding change to protect our planet and their future. Labor will honor that demand by kickstarting a Green Industrial Revolution.”​​

Greta Thunberg

@GretaThunberg

Over 50’000 in according to early reports

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This week, Greta Thunberg, the sixteen-year-old Swedish environmental activist whose actions were generated from the FFF movement, has participated in several public actions aimed at raising awareness about the environmental emergency.

On Thursday, for instance, she and a group of activists demanded that the U.S. Congress, which is the world’s biggest emitter of gases and chemicals that foster climate change, take concrete action and show leadership to confront climate change.

On Friday, tens of thousands of people in Australia and South Pacific island nations also staged protests calling for urgent action on climate change.

Schoolchildren, teachers and parents gathered in Sydney holding placards that read “Time is running out,” “Human change, not climate change”, “There is no Planet B,” and “If not now, when?”​​​​​​​

 

Source: Telesur

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Mexico, Uruguay Support Deal Reached in Venezuelan Talk

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez at the signing of the agreement between the government and right-wing oppostion in the country. Sept. 18, 2019

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez at the signing of the agreement between the government and right-wing oppostion in the country. Sept. 18, 2019

 

The governments of Mexico and Uruguay released a joint statement Thursday to “reiterate” their support for dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition parties.

The governments of Mexico and Uruguay released a joint statement Thursday to “reiterate” their support for dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition parties, applauding the Maduro administration for the release of legislator Edgar Zambrano as part of the negotiations between the two sides up until now.

RELATED: 

Venezuela Urges the World to Support Peace Dialogue

“The Governments of Mexico and Uruguay reiterate, as we did on February 6 in Montevideo, that dialogue and negotiations are the only acceptable way to reach a peaceful solution to the situation that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is going through,” read a statement published by Mexico’s foreign relations office.

Last February, the two countries offered to act as mediators to the national dialogues, a measure that was eventually taken up by Norway, which has faciliated the talks in both Oslo and also Barbados in the Caribbean.

This week, the government and opposition leaders announced several agreements that were fruit of this round of talks that began in August. On Monday, Venezuelan Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez said that the accord included the return of Socialist Party lawmakers to the National Assembly, the establishment of a new electoral body, the release of certain prisoners, and harnessing oil sales to buy medicines and food supplies for Venezuelans – a measure the current government has long-enacted.

Most importantly, both side agreed to reject the illegal United States blockade on the South American country, and to defend Venezuelan rights over the Esequibo region.

The Uruguayan and Mexican presidencies urged for continual dialogue among the Venezuelan factions in a “civil and peaceful” manner “so that real and democratic solutions are reached based on trust between the parties.”

Completing a part of the deal, the Maduro administration released legislator Edgar José Zambrano on Tuesday. Zambraon played an important role in the failed coup attempt of the presidency, along side self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido, on April 30 of this year. This was a move that the Uruguayan government under Tabare Vazquez and Mexico, under Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said they “valued.”

“We value the release of the National Assembly Vice President Edgar Zambrano.”

The two administrations ended by reiterating their “firm commitment to collaborate and support any type of initiative for inclusive dialogue between Venezuelans that prioritizes peace and unrestricted respect for human rights.”

Source: Telesur

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#GlobalClimateStrike_SaveTheCockpitCountry #StewartTownIsCockpitCountry #NoMiningInCockpitCountry #NoMiningInStewartTown Jamaica

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WORLD

Activists hold placards during a Global Climate Strike rally in Athens, Greece, Sep. 20, 2019. Thousands Join World Climate Strike as UN Summit Approaches
People hold placards during the Global Climate Strike at Raadhuspladsen in Copenhagen, Denmark September 20, 2019.  Germany Accepts Climate Protection Deal Amid Worldwide Protests
A group of climate activists attend a news conference at U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 17, 2019 Australia ‘Sets Standard’ as Thousands Join #ClimateStrike
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“The blockade is a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of all Cuban men and women.” – H.E. INÉS FORS FERNÁNDEZ, Cuban ambassador to Jamaica

STATEMENT BY THE CUBAN AMBASSADOR TO JAMAICA, H.E. INÉS FORS
FERNÁNDEZ, ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE DRAFT
RESOLUTION “NECESSITY OF ENDING THE ECONOMIC, COMMERCIAL AND
FINANCIAL EMBARGO IMPOSED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AGAINST CUBA”

THE 74TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

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 On November 6 th and 7 th, the United Nations General Assembly will be
examining for the twenty-eighth time in a row the draft resolution entitled
“Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo
imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.”
 The economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba for
nearly six decades is the most unfair, severe and prolonged system of
unilateral sanctions ever applied against any country.
 At current prices, damage accumulated during almost six decades of
applying this policy have reached the figure of $138,843.4 million.
Taking into account the depreciation of the dollar in regards to the price
of gold on the international market, the blockade has caused harm
quantifiable at over $922,630 million.
 In this past year, tightening the blockade has continued to be the central
pivot of US government policy towards Cuba, with ever more notable
effects in its extraterritorial application.
 The US Department of State has on three occasions expanded the
“Restricted List of Cuban Entities and Sub-Entities”, object of additional
sanctions to taxes due to the blockade regulations. This measure has
caused considerable damage to the country’s economy because of its
effects of intimidating the international business community.
 On April 17 th 2019, the US Department of State announced its decision
to permit the possibility under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act to take
judicial actions in US courts against Cuban enterprises or companies or
against Cuban individuals or third countries that do business with
properties nationalized in the 1960s. This decision ended the practice
assumed since 1996 by earlier US governments and by President Trump himself in the first two years of his mandate, which suspended
this possibility every six months.


 Since the implementation of this decision, Cuba’s economic activities
have been powerfully affected, especially Cuban relations with foreign
trade operations and those dealing with foreign investments. No citizen
or sector of the economy escapes the negative effects of this unilateral
policy which hinders the development to which every country is entitled
to construct in a sovereign manner.
 Added to the foregoing are the provisions of the Office of Foreign Assets
Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department and of the Bureau of
Industry and Security (BIS) of the US Commerce Department to
eliminate, as of June 5 th 2019, the general permits for “people to people”
group educational travel and the permits to non-commercial aircraft and
passenger and recreational ships for temporary stays, including cruise
ships. This measure, besides severely limiting travel by US citizens to
Cuba, directly attacks the emerging Cuban private sector.
 All of these actions were made for the deliberate and declared objective
of causing economic harm and depriving Cuba of financial resources.
 The behavior of the current United States government is an insult to the
international community which has for 27 consecutive years condemned
the blockade against Cuba within the framework of the United Nations.
It ignores successive resolutions by the United Nations General
Assembly and the declarations of the heads of State or Government of
the European Union-Latin America and the Caribbean, the African
Union, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
(CELAC), the Group of 77 and China and the Non-Aligned Movement,
among other organizations that have demanded an end to the blockade
against Cuba.

 The policy of blockade against Cuba continues to represent an
impediment to the development of all the potential of the Cuban
economy, for the implementation of the National Economic and Social
Development Plan, and for attaining Agenda 2030 and its objectives for
Sustainable Development.

 The blockade is a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the
human rights of all Cuban men and women. Because of its declared
aim and the political, legal and administrative framework upon which it is
sustained, these sanctions qualify as an act of genocide according to
the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide of 1948 and as an act of economic warfare according to the
Naval Conference of London of 1909. Moreover, it is in violation of the
United Nations Charter and International Law.
 The United States must, without any conditions, put an end to the unfair
blockade which for nearly 60 years has been causing suffering to the
Cuban people.
 In our battle to lift the blockade, Cuba has received the support of
Jamaica, which has joined the denunciation of this illegal policy within
the United Nations as well as in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
and in other international fora.
 Once again, the Cuban people and Government reiterate their gratitude
to Jamaica and its people, while requesting the valuable contribution of
this beautiful country to lift the blockade of the United States against the
Cuban people.

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Tribute to Ambassador Elinor Felix

Image result for Elinor Felix photoWe in the Jamaica Peace Council are saddened by the loss of Ambassador Elinor Felix who was devoted to the Vision and Mission of a peaceful world. Elinor, the shortened French version of Eleanor,  is an uncommon name for a most uncommon human being. It is uncanny how much she embodied the meaning of her name which we came across on two websites.

Whatisthemeaningofname.com defined Elinor as one with a friendly nature and a desire to please. The website also says, among other things, that Elinor is expressive, diplomatic and easy-going.

The website Urban Dictionary (UD) defines Elinor as an awesome person and eternally loyal friend with great strength of character, an irresistible smile and the most beautiful eyes – a person who gives the best hugs in the world.

The authors of these two websites unwittingly captured the essence of our Elinor in both her personal and professional life.

Elinor was also the name of one of the heroines in Jane Austen’s novel “Sense and Sensibility”. Ambassador Elinor Felix was indeed a heroine for us in the way she dealt with her illness with stoicism and in the outstanding way in which she represented Jamaica as a diplomat in Cuba, despite it. She was an advocate of regional and global peace and participated in many of our discussions on preserving Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace. She will truly be missed by all who had the opportunity to interact with her in different spheres. We remember and salute her on her birthday July 15, 2019 and wish we could dance with her again.

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US Police Arrest 4 Remaining Members of Venezuelan Embassy Protectors

Code Pink organization said such action is in violation of international law and conventions.

US Police broke into Venezuela embassy in Washington Thursday to arrest the four remaining members Venezuelan Embassy Protection Collective, Code Pink organization announced saying that such action would be in violation of Vienna Convention and breaking international law.

Four amazingly courageous embassy protectors are still inside the Venezuelan embassy. Heroes.

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Showdown At The Venezuelan Embassy: Federal Authorities Back Down After Threatening To Evict Peace Activists Inside By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, From Inside the Venezuelan Embassy

 

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Showdown At The Venezuelan Embassy: Federal Authorities Back Down After Threatening To Evict Peace Activists Inside

Showdown At The Venezuelan Embassy: Federal Authorities Back Down After Threatening To Evict Peace Activists Inside By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, From Inside the Venezuelan Embassy

Screenshot by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

Updated: May 15, 2019

by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, from inside the Venezuelan embassy
Popular Resistance
May 15, 2019

Writing on Day 36 of the campaign to prevent a US-sponsored coup by protecting the Venezuelan Embassy from illegal takeover.

Events reached a climax this Monday, as well as a new level of absurdity, when for the first time, federal authorities cut the locks and opened the embassy doors to tell us we were being evicted, based solely on orders from a fictional Venezuelan ambassador named Carlos Vecchio. (Vecchio is a member of the tiny, right-wing Popular Will Party in Venezuela, and is living in the US in exile out of fear of arrest in Venezuela for his role in organizing violent protests that resulted in over 100 deaths.)

It began around 5 or 5:30pm when the DC Metropolitan Police, along with federal authorities, began negotiating our eviction and possible arrest with our lawyer, Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, outside the embassy. They presented her with an order, not signed by any US agency (or any person for that matter) on plain paper without even a letterhead, saying that we were trespassing in the building and were required to leave.

“Required by whom,” Mara asked, and maintained that we were in the embassy legally, with the permission of the elected Venezuelan government, and that we were not violating any laws.

The police refused to allow her to talk to us, but they did allow her to watch from the doorway when around 7PM, the authorities cut the chains and bike lock placed on the embassy’s front doors by the legitimate embassy staff back when diplomatic relations were severed.

When the authorities opened the door, four of us were right there in the lobby (the authors of this report, along with Adrian Pine and David Paul), and we immediately began chanting, “We are here legally! You are breaking international law!”

There were US Marshalls present, members of Federal Protective Services, and a spokesperson from the State Department. They began to read the illegal eviction order, and as soon as they mentioned Vecchio’s name, we interrupted and told them it was an illegal order, that a fictional ambassador from a non-governmental group of coup plotters cannot give legal orders regarding the legitimate Venezuelan embassy.

They then asked us if we would leave voluntarily. Each of us, in turn, said “no.” We then attempted to open a dialogue with them, to let them know we are here legally, and that the only way we would leave voluntarily is if presented with a mutual Protecting Power Agreement (PPA), signed between the US and Venezuela guaranteeing the protection of both this embassy and the corresponding, vacant US embassy in Caracas. Such PPAs are historically common when diplomatic relations break down between two countries. In that even, neutral third countries agree to maintain staff at each respective embassy, protecting it until relations can be reestablished.

They listened. Then the State Department spokesperson simply repeated, “Will you leave voluntarily?”

Again we said no. We told them that entering the embassy was in the violation of the Vienna convention, and that further action could set a precedent that would put all embassies around the world at risk, including US embassies and their personnel.

They let us continue speaking.

We explained to them that removing us and taking over the embassy would also escalate the conflict between Venezuela and the United States, and that this could lead to a military conflict, creating chaos in the region and resulting in many lost lives, including that of US soldiers. “We do not want Latin America to turn into another middle east,” we said. “This would be a quagmire and would cost the US trillions of dollars. And with Russia and China allied with Venezuela, it could potentially lead to a global conflict. So be very careful. Your actions right now are important. If you cross this threshold, your name could very well go down in history as the officers who violated international law and started World War III.”

They glanced back and forth at each other with seeming concern over what they were hearing.

But the spokesperson simply repeated, “Will you leave voluntarily?”

Again we said no. We told them, “Listen. The coup plotters cut off our power. They cut off our water. The secret service outside has allowed these terrorists to surround us, to assault us, to prevent food and water from getting inside. They have tried all this on us, and we are still here. If this hasn’t forced us to leave, what do you think will? Please understand we are staying until a mutual PPA is reached between the two countries. Either that or you will have to carry us out on stretchers.”

We continued for quite some time with similar themes about the Vienna convention, and that we were concerned about the personnel in US embassies around the world. We said we hoped the State Department shared our concerns. We told them that the precedent set by violating the Vienna convention would embarrass President Trump and become his legacy. We told them that John Bolton was already making a fool of Trump by misjudging the situation in Venezuela, that the people of Venezuela will not give up their independence or their sovereignty, and that they want peace with the United States. We told them there’s no reason for the US to be enemies with Venezuela, but that if they—right here and right now—cross this threshold by removing us, they could set in motion something they might regret.”

Silence. More glances. Then once again, “will you leave voluntarily?”

We continued, presenting them with an alternative. “Why violate international law,” we asked them? “International law already provides a peaceful resolution to this conflict through what are known as mutual Protective Power Agreements, or PPAs, which have been standard diplomacy since the 1870s.” We educated them that there are currently 29 PPAs in place around the world. “When there’s a peaceful path already established,” we said, “it will be especially bad for your careers and reputations if you violate international law in such a major way that could lead to war.”

Silence this time.

For good measure we added, “Following an illegal order is no defense to criminal prosecution. So we suggest you close the door, go back to your superiors, and discuss with them what we’ve just told you.”

The officer who was acting as a spokesperson left. Another officer took his place.

“Will you leave voluntarily?” he asked us.

We explained the same things to this new officer. Ten minutes later the first officer returned. We told them both that our position hadn’t changed, that we will leave voluntarily only when presented with a mutual PPA.

The officers thought for a moment. Then they informed us that they were going to close the door behind secure it. They said they would station a federal Marshall outside the door.

We told them, “Make sure the entire embassy compound is under police protection because these violent terrorists have broken in three times and have yet to be prosecuted.” He replied that they would, but added that if we changed our mind, all we had to do was knock on the front door and they would let us leave peacefully.” They then shut the door and placed plastic zip ties–the same ones typically used for handcuffs– around the handles of the door.

Mara, our attorney, walked the embassy compound with the police to ensure it was fully protected. It was.

The secret service has been removed from duty, replaced with DC Metro police and officers of Federal Protective Services, which is part of DHS. Finally, for the first time, Federal authorities are now protecting the embassy—and us—from the terrorists who have been attacking us.

Monday and Tuesday night we slept peacefully for the first time in weeks.

What Social Movements Around The World Should Do

We urge social movements around the world to show their solidarity with the Embassy Protection Collective by going to US embassies to demand respect for the Vienna convention and the rule of law, and to urge the US and Venezuela to sign a mutual Protecting Power Agreement (PPA).

Furthermore, people in the United States need to become the media, because despite this being a truly unique event in US history where US citizens have gone into a foreign embassy in DC to prevent a US-orchestrated coup, the corporate media has barely covered the story.

Lastly, people should contact their members of congress. Tell them to support a mutual Protecting Power Agreement, or PPA, the usual procedure for protecting embassies when diplomatic relations break down.

Time is of the essence. Resolution of this conflict should not be a unilateral decision by John Bolton, Elliot Abrams, and Mike Pompeo. It’s up to social movements and people everywhere to elevate this issue to international dialogue.

• National Mobilization at the Venezuelan Embassy in DC, Saturday May 18th at noon

• A Statement from the Embassy Protection Collective

Updated: May 15, 2019

Venezuelan Embassy: Jesse Jackson, Activists Deliver Food Amidst Violence

News2Share on May 15, 2019

Today marked a small victory for the “Embassy Protection Collective” as their allies – with the support of Rev Jesse Jackson – managed to deliver four bags of food, water, and batteries to the four remaining people inside the Venezuelan Embassy.

The coalition of activists including CODEPINK and ANSWER Coalition had previously been blocked by Juan Guaidó supporters and police in their efforts to make deliveries like this one.

It appears that Jackson’s presence caused the police to stand down. One Guaidó supporter attempted to physically stop the delivery by trying to take the food and physically hold the rope, but activists including Ajamu Baraka managed to hold him back long enough to make the deliveries.

Filmed by Ford Fischer

From the archives:

Embassy Protection Collective Activists Face Eviction From Venezuela Embassy (updated)

Humanitarian Aid Blocked from Entering Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D.C. by David Swanson + Medea Benjamin: Venezuelan Embassy’s Power Cut

A Military Psy-Ops Campaign in the Heart of Washington is Directed at U.S. Citizens by Pat Elder + Abby Martin on Failed April 30th Coup in Venezuela (Updated)

Chris Hedges: From the Bolivarian Revolution and Hugo Chavez to US sanctions and the Overt Attempt to Overthrow Venezuela

Embassy Protection Collective Activists Occupying the Venezuela Embassy in Washington, DC

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THE  SPIRIT  OF  MAURICE  BISHOP  AND  THE  CARICOM  FOREIGN  MINISTERS  MEETING IN GRENADA

 

In this 40th anniversary year of the 1979 Grenada Revolution, the fates smiled upon our Caribbean Community (CARICOM) when it was confirmed  that the 22nd Regular Meeting of CARICOM’s Council For Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) would  be held in Grenada on the 13th and 14th of May 2019, thereby ensuring that the assembled Caribbean Foreign Ministers would find themselves in a space steeped in the spirit of Maurice Bishop — the great hero and martyr of the Grenada Revolution — and would therefore be impelled to take cognisance of Bishop’s signal contribution to the edifice of CARICOM’s collective Foreign Policy — the notion that  our Caribbean region should be legally constituted in International Law and universally respected as a “Zone of Peace”!

It would do us well to recall that a mere seven months after Maurice Bishop’s People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) came to power in March 1979, Grenada attended the 9th Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) at La Paz in Bolivia, and secured the adoption by the OAS of Resolution 456 (1X-0/79) decreeing the Caribbean a “Zone of Peace”.

(Bishop was acting against the background of a 1978 United Nations General Assembly Resolution which resolved that the member nations of the UN should establish “zones of peace in various regions of the world under appropriate conditions to be clearly defined and determined by the States concerned in the zones, taking into account the characteristics of the zone and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”.)

Thus, in the operative part of the 1979 Resolution that Grenada successfully piloted through the OAS, the General Assembly of the OAS (inclusive of the governments of the United States of America and Canada) resolved as follows:-

” 1. To express its deep concern over the heightening of tension in the (Caribbean) sub-region resulting from the recent increases in military activity in the Caribbean area.

  1. To repudiate the concept of the region, or any of its sub-regions, as a sphere of influence for any power.
  1. To stress its support for the principles of ideological pluralism and peaceful co-existence, which are essential to the peace, stability and development of the region.
  2. To call upon all states to recognize the region as a Zone of Peace, and to devote all their efforts, in appropriate regional and international forums, to the advancement of this concept.”

And, having established this solid International Law foundation for the principle that the Caribbean must at all times be treated and respected as a Zone of Peace, Maurice Bishop then proceeded in the following years to further elucidate the specific elements of the definition of a Caribbean Zone of Peace. For example, in the 29th of June 1981 speech that he delivered in Grenada to CARICOM’s then “Standing Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs”, he enunciated :-

” Some of the substantive requirements to be satisfied in order to have our Caribbean effectively become a Zone of Peace include the following:-

   (1) Prohibition of nuclear weapons in the region.

   (2) An end to all aggressive military manoeuvres in the region.

   (3) The dismantling of all foreign military bases in the region.

   (4) The decolonisation of all of our territories and the establishment of machinery to end all forms of aggression, including assassinations, mercenary invasions, propaganda interventions and diplomatic and economic pressures.”

Unfortunately, as we are only too well aware, Maurice Bishop — the great apostle of Peace in the Caribbean– himself became a casualty of some of the worst forms of violence and national subversion that we have ever witnessed in our region, and was assassinated in October 1983.

But the principle that he had planted so firmly in the soil of International Law with that 1979 OAS Resolution lived on and was taken up after his tragic death by other Caribbean statesmen– chief among them being Barbadian Prime Minister, Errol Walton Barrow. 

Indeed, in 1986-some three years after the assassination of Maurice Bishop-Prime Minister Errol Barrow reignited Bishop’s noble Zone of Peace mission in a historic speech to the opening ceremony of the CARICOM Heads of Government conference in Guyana. On that unforgettable occasion, the Barbadian national hero stated as follows:-

“My position remains clear that the Caribbean must be recognized and respected as a Zone of Peace…I have said, and I repeat that while I am Prime Minister of Barbados our territory will not be used to intimidate any of our neighbours: be that neighbour Cuba or the USA. And I do not believe that size is necessarily the only criterion for determining these matters. It is important to let people know where you stand…in what is a moral commitment to peace in our region.”

And ever since those heady days of the 1980’s, the political leaders of the Caribbean have continued to adhere to the stipulation contained in the United Nations Resolution of 1978 that they should “define” and “freely determine” the specific content of our Caribbean Zone of Peace, “taking into account the characteristics of the zone and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”.

The most significant development in this regard has been the January 2014 Zone of Peace Declaration which was unanimously adopted in Havana, Cuba by the member states of the Community of LatinAmerican and Caribbean States (CELAC)– a hemisphere-wide organization which includes virtually all of the independent nations of the Caribbean and the Americas, with the exception of the United States of America and Canada.

True to the United Nations stipulation, our Governments looked to the Charter of the United Nations for additional principles to flesh out the International Law concept of the Caribbean being a Zone of Peace and enunciated– among other things– a “permanent commitment” to solve disputes through peaceful means “with the aim of uprooting forever the threat or use of force in our region”;  the commitment  not to intervene, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any other State and to observe the principles of national sovereignty, equal rights, and self-determination of peoples; and a commitment “to fully respect the inalienable right of every State to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system, as an essential condition to ensure peaceful coexistence among nations”.

It is therefore precisely these “Zone of Peace” principles that our CARICOM Heads of Government were able to look to for guidance when, on the 23rd of January 2019, events in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela– centred around Juan Guaido declaring himself President of the Republic– precipitated a profound concern about  our region descending into armed conflict.

Indeed, it is this Maurice Bishop engineered Zone of Peace concept and the principles embedded therein that our Heads of Government have stressed again and again in the several written and verbal Statements that they have issued on the crisis situation in Venezuela, as they have attempted to contribute to a peaceful resolution of the matter.

And so, it is vitally important that we should always keep in mind that we are building on the work of those that went before us and that laboured to create a path for us!

Although I participated in the COFCOR meeting, it would not be possible for me to determine with any certainty to what extent the Foreign Ministers, my fellow CARICOM Ambassadors, the CARICOM Secretariat staff, and the other regional officials who engaged in two days of intense deliberations in Grenada on the 13th and 14th of May were conscious of the fact that we were standing on the shoulders of the late Maurice Bishop and  were being willed to validate the great and mighty work that this hero of our Caribbean Civilization had commenced way back in 1979 : but it is precisely that type of consciousness that we will need in CARICOM if we are to fulfill the immense and sacred duty that has been entrusted to us.

DAVID  COMISSIONG

Citizen of the Caribbean

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 “A world of peace is possible” – Declaration from the Sixth International Seminar for Peace and for the abolition of foreign military bases

“For a world of peace without bases, facilities and foreign military enclaves”

The Sixth International Seminar of Peace and for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases was held in Guantanamo, Cuba, on May 4 to 6, 2019 with the presence of 90 foreign participants from 35 countries, among whom were present leaders of the World Peace Council (WPC) and its member organizations, as well as personalities, fighters for peace, anti-war and solidarity friends of Cuba from Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Botswana, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Dominica, Egypt, United States, Spain, Philippines, France, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, Iran, Italy, England, Comores Islands, Jamaica, Japan, Nicaragua, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Palestine, Paraguay, Peru, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Dominican Republic, Russia, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela and Zambia.

The Seminar, organized by the Cuban Movement for Peace and the Sovereignty of Peoples (MOVPAZ) under the auspices of the World Peace Council (CMP), also had the decisive contribution of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and the Organization of Solidarity with the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America (OSPAAAL), the co-sponsor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center and the International Committee Peace, Justice and Dignity to Peoples.

The event took place in the context of a growing complex international situation characterized by the increase of all types of aggressiveness and interference of US imperialism, the European Union and NATO in their efforts to impose their hegemonic dictates at the expense of freedom, independence and sovereignty of the peoples of the world.

In the execution of such disastrous objectives, the expansion, strengthening and modernization of foreign military bases and aggressive installations of a similar nature, constitute a fundamental component, as they are instruments of direct and indirect intervention in the internal affairs of the countries where they are located, as well as, of permanent threat against neighboring countries.

The United States continues being the country with the largest number of bases in the world and, together with its NATO allies, has the largest nuclear arsenal and the biggest contingent of military forces in the history of mankind.

Imperialism continues to unleash wars and warlike conflicts of different intensity in various parts of the world, while increasing contradictions, tensions, the genocidal blockade and “diplomacy of sanctions” against the nations that they consider adversaries such as Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and, in Latin America, against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

It promotes scenarios of political and social destabilization in the Middle East with its unlimited support to Israel against the cause of the Palestinian people as well as in Africa, where they continue to generate waves of disproportionate and disorganized migration to European countries, with a large number of dead and missing persons.

The Administration of President Trump, in consonance with the previous US governments, worsen the more conservatives positions and of confrontation in foreign policy that characterizes his existing presidency, which increases the possibility of major new conflicts at a global scale.

The revitalization of the Monroe Doctrine as the essence of US policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean has as its main purpose the reformulation of its mechanism of domination focusing in the progressive, popular and democratic governments of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua; and with it to strongly hit the solidarity and sovereignty integration processes that started 20 years ago and are being threated today.

In this regard, the US imperialism and its national oligarchic allies and traitors, develop a fourth generation war that roughly combines war and economic blackmail with strong media campaigns aimed at demoralizing the leaders and progressive political forces through the use of fake news.

This reality, which is emerging today in different countries of the region, represents a serious threat to peace and to political and social stability at a regional scale, which is why the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, approved by the II Summit of Latin American and the Caribbean Community of States, CELAC, held in Havana in January 2014, is now more valid in such circumstances.

Considering all of the above, this Sixth International Seminar calls on all pacifist and progressive forces to multiply actions and initiatives against imperialism and its wars and interventionist policies that continue putting in serious danger the future and destiny of all humanity.

From this perspective, and in consonance with the agreements of the Regional Meeting of the Americas and the Caribbean of the World Peace Council, the participants in the seminar reaffirmed their form resolute support for the Global Campaign against foreign military bases and pledged to multiply the actions in support to February 23, date in which United States imposed its first base on Cuba, declared as “Global Day of actions against foreign military bases”

Likewise, the peace fighters gathered in Guantanamo,
COMMIT THEMSELVES TO:

  • Reinforce the denunciation against the aggression and economic, political and military interference of US imperialism, the European Union and NATO.
  • Continue to alert the peoples of the world about the dangers of a global nuclear conflagration of incalculable consequences for humanity, calling on them to mobilize permanently.
  • Strengthen the demand for the closure of bases, facilities and foreign military enclaves and the immediate withdrawal of foreign occupation troops from the countries where they are deployed.
  • Continue to demand that the United States return to Cuba and its people the territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base and demand the lifting of the genocidal and criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade and categorically reject the application of Title III of the Helms Burton Act intended to suffocate the brave Cuban people.
  • To demand the closure of military US bases in the free and independent Syrian territory.
  • Extend even more, the spreading of the content of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, according to its existing regional political context.
  • Strengthen the fight against terrorism in any of its forms and continue denouncing the link of that scourge with imperialism.
  • Reinforce the denunciations of the actions against the environment and the health of the populations where the foreign military bases are located.
  • Continue expressing the widest solidarity with the countries and peoples under occupation and colonial rule in the Caribbean and in South America, Africa and the Middle East, where there is a foreign military presence as in Puerto Rico, Malvinas Islands, Georgia, South Sandwich Islands and Palestine.
  • Maintain and expand the denunciation of the interventionist actions of US and European Union imperialism and the counterrevolutionary oligarchy in Venezuela aimed at stopping and destroying the Bolivarian process. This represents a clear threat to peace in the region. To condemn any attempt of military aggression against Venezuela getting together in a campaign to denounce the criminal blockade.
  • Also, denounce the imperial actions against Nicaragua and reinforce solidarity with its people and government.
  • Support the Lula Free international campaign and develop national and international actions to denounce the great injustice committed with his imprisonment, and highlight the goals achieved of Brazil during Lula´s presidency.

The participants in the Sixth International Seminar of Peace and for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases, agreed to transmit their fraternal greeting and recognition to the people of Guantanamo and its authorities for the warm welcome and support provided for the successful completion of the event.

Likewise, they also extended their solidarity to all the Cuban people who continue their great effort to achieve a more just, prosperous, democratic and sustainable socialist society and paid homage to the memory of the undisputed leader of the Cuban Revolution, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz.

Guantánamo, Cuba, May

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A Climate Emergency Manifesto to avert climate catastrophe — The New Dark Age

16 May 2019 — MROnline We only have one planet. Let’s save it. Now! Originally published: GUE/NGL (European United Left/ Nordic Green Left ) (April 2019) Introduction The latest IPCC Special Report (October 2018) is our last alarm bell for stopping mass human and environmental destruction caused by human-induced climate change. Its findings were alarming-rapid, […]

A Climate Emergency Manifesto to avert climate catastrophe

16 May 2019 — MROnline

We only have one planet. Let’s save it. Now!

Originally published: GUE/NGL (European United Left/ Nordic Green Left ) (April 2019)

Introduction

Cover of the Climate Emergency ManifestoThe latest IPCC Special Report (October 2018) is our last alarm bell for stopping mass human and environmental destruction caused by human-induced climate change. Its findings were alarming-rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes before the year 2030 are what is required if we are to have any chance of staying well below 1.5° global warming. The failure of governments to adequately deal with this man-made crisis is already impacting millions of lives, and the most vulnerable worldwide are always hit the hardest. Short-sighted market logic has delayed an adequate response for way too long. We need unprecedented political will to achieve an ecologically just Europe, where we accept our full climate responsibility and where our climate is not sacrificed for the profit of the few.

Climate action is our number one priority in GUE/NGL. We do not see it as a stand-alone struggle; it includes struggles for decent jobs, high living standards and gender and racial equality. We oppose polices that subordinate essential natural resources of life and common goods, like water, energy, air, a clean environment and health, to the forces of profit-seeking. We fight against capitalism, neoliberal policies and corporate capture.

The panic button needs to be hit to declare climate emergency. We need serious action now; there is no more time to waste.

Why the EU must aim for net-zero emissions by 2050

A legal basis for Climate Justice

The principles of climate justice are central to how we approach climate action, ensuring that the transition is fair and leaves no one behind. The struggle for climate action is deeply intertwined with all human rights struggles as well as the ecological crisis. Climate justice needs to have a legal basis and be a fundamental value in the legal systems of the EU and Member States. Only then can climate litigation succeed in ensuring our targets meet the science and are not just political compromises. Only then, can all policy work towards strong and ambitious climate goals, through the prism of climate justice.

  • Insert climate justice into the legal bases of the EU and Member States and ensure climate policies follow the principles of climate justice
  • Ensure just transition is at the heart of climate action, alleviate energy poverty, guarantee the right to equal access to energy and stop policies that burden vulnerable and marginalised people
  • Ensure a long-term vision and road map to achieve all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and use the SDGs as essential benchmarks for all legislative actions in every policy field, acknowledging that climate goals are related to all other SDGs
  • Give people, especially the youth, a voice in our climate policies and prioritise inclusive climate education
  • Gender proof our climate mitigation and adaptation policies and create gender-sensitive and inclusive climate policies
  • Revise the EU 2050 long-term carbon-neutral strategy to focus on climate justice, 100% renewables and early action to reach carbon neutrality by 2040 at the latest

An End to Fossil Fuels

EmissionsA rapid and clear expiry date for fossil fuels is urgently needed to keep global warming well below 1.5°C. We believe in a right to energy, and this becomes a right to renewable energy when considering the human right to live in a safe and habitable environment. Instead of continuing to allow the fossil industry to set the agenda, we need command and control policies at EU and Member State levels. Our only chance lies in a sustainable, decentralised and accessible energy supply, which provides jobs and guarantees our energy sovereignty. We cannot afford to be shy in investing in this renewable future.

  • Immediately revise of our 2030 targets to commit to a reduction target of at least 65% of greenhouse gases, and revise all other climate and energy targets to what is scientifically necessary to curb global warming well below 1.5°C
  • Commit to a fossil fuel phase out date, which includes gas, by 2030 and a rapid phase out nuclear energy and first generation biofuels, including palm oil and soy, as well as excluding the fossil fuel industry completely from all decision-making processes
  • Move away from false ‘solutions’, gas and nuclear reliance and start realising the potential of natural carbon sinks, reject geoengineering and techno-fixes, such as carbon-capture and storage, which facilitate dirty industries
  • Increase investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy savings in all sectors
  • Enshrine the right to renewable energy, so that energy that does not harm our planet is accessible and affordable to all

Resist the Constant Growth Model

Cracked earthGlobal capitalism dictates constant growth, and all growth is reliant on natural resources, which are, of course, limited. Ending the constant growth model is a big task, and so immediately, measures must be taken to counteract the constant growth model. This means regulating to ensure sustainable production and sustainable systems all around us and fight for new economic and social policies. Allowing GDP to be the sacred indicator of social progress is ignorant of the ecocide this unregulated growth creates. All sectors, as obliged by the Paris Agreement, must decarbonise. To do this, we need new production models that fully incorporate the polluter pays and circular economy principles and resist the harmful unsustainable forces of global capitalism.

  • Implement a European green rule: privilege environment and climate over the free market, end the quest for profit and rethink the functioning of our society according to ecosystem’s limits
  • Rapidly shift to sustainable agriculture and fisheries, including shorter supply chains, full environmental compliance and food sovereignty. This means a swift move away from the current agro-industrial intensification model, including the patenting elements of life, towards ecological, sustainable farming and fishing practices and local, sustainable food systems that promote genetic diversity
  • Completely transform the direction on the EU’s trade, commercial and investment policies, ensuring only environmentally and socially sustainable trade and investments. This means no trade without ratification and implementation of the Paris Agreement, including climate and environment clauses in trade deals, and proper regulation of the climate impact of imports and exports
  • Ensure that the true meaning of circular economy principles are fully implemented in all legislation and processes; promote local consumption and production based on these principles of reuse, recycle and repair to stop planned obsolescence business strategies; adapt consumption to the limits of the Planet
  • Properly fund social services and increase smart and green spatial and urban planning and ensure accessibility, social justice and equity in the allocation of public services. radically rethink transport, focusing on zero-emission public transport which should be free for all and promote active mobility
  • Protect and invest in our biodiversity and carbon sinks, by prioritising sufficient funding for the conservation and restoration of woodlands, peatlands and other habitats, particularly protecting native species; adopt control and surveillance measures on a European scale for the pests and pathogens that are decimating European forests and create specific support measures to prevent and fight forest fires

Direct the Transition

Market ‘solutions’, such as carbon markets, have been successfully pushed for by industry to become the prevalent logic in the EU. Market approaches are inherently incapable of effectively reducing emissions and have led us to the standstill where we are now. They create hands-off, ‘cost-effective’, fake responses to climate change, completely shirking governments of the responsibility to direct the rapid transition to a sustainable society. Carbon credits are a right to pollute, and we utterly reject this concept. Dirty industries must be directly regulated and renewables massively endorsed. The polluter pays principle must apply, the costs cannot be externalised to society and the environment. This means that the companies that extract and sell fossil fuels must pay up, as well as the big polluting industries. Nature, biodiversity and a habitable planet are not commodities that require cost-benefit analyses, their value cannot be monetised, nor can it be ignored.

  • End the liberalisation agenda of the EU for energy, recognise it is as a common good and promote the socialisation of the energy sector; allow for massive state investment into public renewable energy
  • Democratise and decentralise energy and ensure an expansion in community-level energy projects
  • Reject all market-based climate policies because they are climate delaying tactics; stand for goal-based direct regulation on greenhouse gas emissions by directly setting and monitoring legally binding emissions reduction goals for each sector
  • Stop reforming the broken market system and immediately abolish the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)
  • Democratise and decentralise energy and ensure an expansion in community-level energy projects
  • Introduce binding regulations on emissions for shipping and aviation—offsetting schemes such as CORSIA cannot be considered as climate action; directly regulate shipping and aviation in climate policies by mandating emissions reduction goals and emissions performance standards; ensure public investment into alternative sustainable fuels for both and ensure that these industries are properly taxed
  • Encourage Member States to green their tax systems making sure that the big polluters pay their share, not the people. Regulate financial markets so that financial actors comply with strict sustainability and social criteria that works towards the necessary transitions

Investment Not Austerity

Pristine lakeClimate action needs to be about public investment, not austerity. We reject the neoliberal notions of leaving climate action up to individuals; we place the responsibility firmly on governments and lawmakers, to lead with public investment and ensure that the private sector can only invest sustainably. Climate justice means the burdens and benefits of action must be distributed fairly. People cannot be left picking up the tab to the advantage of the Big Polluters. Ambitious climate action must mean a Just Transition, a framework of social interventions to make sure that no communities or regions are left behind in the transition to a clean planet. A massive mobilisation of funds is needed for the green transition, including its direct and indirect consequences.

  • Establish a Just Transition Fund and ensure decent green jobs are created in vulnerable regions particularly; ensure that no community or region suffers disproportionately from the transition to a clean planet
  • Revise how Europe spends its funds, take account of the Ecological deficit we create and ensure a massive public Green Investment Plan
  • End all direct and indirect subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, including quantitative easing at the European Central Bank
  • Ensure public interest research and development on environmentally-friendly low-carbon technologies and introduce the adequate incentives

Ambitious Global Action

Climate action needs to take place at the global level too, with an ambitious and coordinated global response. Those who contribute the least to climate change, are the ones who suffer the most from its consequences. This is why it is essential that the EU and Member States act on their historic responsibility in emitting greenhouse gases and take full account of their financial and technological resources. We must do more and reach low carbon neutrality by 2040 at the latest whilst helping adaptation efforts. Climate justice at the international level should be based on effective partnerships and international solidarity. The Commission and the Council negotiate about climate on behalf of all EU Member States, but Member States need to become more active and involved at the international level and loudly advocate the principles of climate justice.

  • Take responsibility for our historical share in global warming; compensate for the climate debt we have built up and ensure the most vulnerable countries are sufficiently resourced to adapt to global warming and rising sea levels
  • Limit our global ecological footprint to help protect our oceans and forests worldwide, and support measures to protect and recover these lungs of the earth
  • Call for a legal, universal definition of climate refugees, ensure that there are safe and legal ways to the EU and that their right to asylum is respected in every Member State. Call for a legal and universal definition of internally displaced people due to climatic reasons, ensuring that our foreign policies are oriented towards protecting their rights.
  • Secure equitable and sufficient flows of climate finance under the Paris agreement and ensure grants are the financial instrument favoured over loans. Ensure that the Green Fund is replenished to €100 billion
  • Ensure that all development and trade policies include, and are streamlined with, climate goals, and ensure a readily available funding mechanism for Loss and Damage
  • Advocate for an International Convention on Fossil Fuels to keep them in the ground
  • Oblige the European Union and all its Member State to act with high ambition at international climate conferences, play a more active role in the yearly global summit, and act on the COP conclusions every year and; that Member State and EU use their climate diplomacy to spur other global actors to pursue adequate decarbonisation strategies

Together we Fight for Change

As one of the richest continents and main contributors to climate change, Europe has a duty to ensure rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. We are in dire need of just and sustainable structural reforms throughout society—bearing in mind the historical responsibility of the rich, big polluters. Making capitalism just a bit greener will not succeed in halting climate change, it will only delay climate action further. To date, dirty industries have been influencing our climate policies. Now we need our climate action to be accountable to the people, not the climate confusers. We need to place people and the sustainability of the environment above profit. If we do not implement radical system changes right now, the commercialisation of the earth will continue to put the interests of the multinational companies first. This puts our planet and ourselves atan unacceptable risk. We have a responsibility to avert the climate crisis with urgency and preserve the earth for future generations. The only effective response is to immediately address this crisis as a climate emergency. Together we can change the system to save the climate!

via A Climate Emergency Manifesto to avert climate catastrophe — The New Dark Age

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Honduras: Doctors, Teachers Continue Strike After Repression

 Protesters hold an anti-government sign in front of a group of police during a protest Tuesday in Tegucigalpa.

Protesters hold an anti-government sign in front of a group of police during a protest Tuesday in Tegucigalpa. | Photo: EFE

Teachers, doctors and health personnel called to continue a national strike Tuesday to reject the reforms of Congress that will privatize the education and health system.

RELATED:
Honduran Police Clashes with Protesters over Health and Education

The day of national protest continues the activities that began last Thursday when a controversial piece of legislation was approved to dismiss a massive amount of public teachers, doctors and health personnel. The measure also calls for the privatization of health and education services.

On Tuesday, the Honduran police repressed a series of protests in the streets of the capital city of Tegucigalpa by teachers, doctors and students. The education and health sectors remain in firm opposition to the reforms that the National Congress seeks to approve to restructure both sectors.

The protesters defend the “right of Hondurans to education and public health,” while the president of the Colegio Medico Hondureño said they are demanding the repeal of the entire decree, not one or two articles, and that “it is not negotiable.”

The Law of Restructuring and Transformation of the National Health and Education System, approved last week by the National Congress, was interpreted by the Medical Association of Honduras (CMH) and other related entities as the beginning of a series of mass dismissals of teachers and doctors from the public sector.

Hundreds of thousands of people are marching this May Day to protest these and other neoliberal reforms by the government.

RELATED:
Honduras: Displaced People at ‘State of Emergency’ Levels

In one of its articles, it was established that the Secretariats of both sectors could “proceed to cancel the appointment agreements and the termination of service provision contracts, in the context of the decisions taken in the process of administrative restructuring.”

After a series of legislative debates and even physical altercations, Congress approved two controversial laws, although the medical union and the teachers’ organizations allege that the stability of their members is in danger, while maintaining that the reforms push for the privatization of the educational systems and health.

The state-run medical and pension system was already robbed of around US$350 million by President Juan Orlando Hernandez and a ring of politicians within his National Party between 2013 and 2014, diverting funds the party and the president’s 2016 campaign.

The teachers’ union says in addition to the approval of the laws, the way in which is was done, by hand vote is “embarrassing” and violates legislature voting procedures. Members of the medical union agree and say the policy is null because lawmakers didn’t follow voting protocol.

Source: https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Honduras-Doctors-Teachers-Continue-Strike-After-Repression-20190501-0014.html

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U.S. lies and threats against Cuba denounced around the world

Photo: Osval 

Voices around the world continue to condemn new U.S. sanctions on Cuba, in particular the recent activation of the Helms-Burton Act’s Title III.
The government of Mexico reiterated its rejection of the re-activation of this stipulation in violation of international law, and reaffirmed its commitment to legally protect Mexican companies that may be affected. In an official communiqué, the Ministry of Economy recalled that, in order to counteract the extraterritorial effects of the Helms-Burton, Mexico enacted a law that specifically protects commerce and investment from foreign regulations that contravene international norms, in effect since October 1996.
“Like other countries, Mexico has analyzed the relevant legal procedures to file complaints for violations of international law that the Helms-Burton Act represents,” the Mexican government states.
The Islamic Republic of Iran also confirmed its support for the Cuba. “Washington demonstrated, once again, that it resorts to illegitimate mechanisms to pressure independent countries,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abas Musavi said.
According to Prensa Latina, a professor at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law, Pan Deng, commented that the Trump administration is attempting to pressure Cuba and affecting the entire international community.
Deng said that Title III is a throwback to the colonial era that violates the principles of the world trade, creating barriers to the exchange of goods and services between different states.
The “Friends of Cuba” organization in Belgium adopted a resolution calling on the European Union and its member states to use all possible means to protect companies and citizens from the consequences of legal suits in U.S. courts, filed on the basis of Title III.
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, yesterday once again tweeted his appreciation for “the widespread international rejection of the Helms-Burton Act by governments, companies, and individuals.”
As our President Miguel Diaz-Canel affirmed: “The U.S. government’s threats, sanctions, measures, falsehoods, and lies against Cuba have found no support among political, academic, cultural, business, or religious sectors, inside or outside U.S. territory.”

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A Criminal Affair: United States Imposes War on the Venezuelan People — Russia News Now

Spring Donation Drive CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight. Illustration by Nathaniel St. Clair To replace Venezuela’s government with one to its liking, the United States uses special war-making tools. The plan is to make Venezuelans suffer enough so…

via A Criminal Affair: United States Imposes War on the Venezuelan People — Russia News Now

A Criminal Affair: United States Imposes War on the Venezuelan People

This post was originally published on this site

Spring Donation Drive

CounterPunch is a lifeboat piggybank-icon of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight.

Illustration by Nathaniel St. Clair

To replace Venezuela’s government with one to its liking, the United States uses special war-making tools. The plan is to make Venezuelans suffer enough so that, desperate, they will accept whatever government is presented. Troops and weapons aren’t required. That approached worked in Chile in 1973, but so far in Cuba it hasn’t – after almost 60 years.

The process has advanced. Citing a report from Venezuela’s National Survey on Living Conditions, analysts Mark Weisbrot and Jeffrey Sachs noted recently that 40,000 more Venezuelans died in 2018 than in 2017. The death rate jumped by 31 percent.

The purpose here is to establish that the U.S. government actually intends to make Venezuelans suffer.  U.S. deeds and officials’ words are revealing. Those responsible need to be called to account.

Interviewed on October 19, 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo conceded that U.S. sanctions against Venezuela “sometimes have an adverse impact on the people of Venezuela.”  But on March 11, 2019 he was celebrating: “The circle is tightening, the humanitarian crisis is increasing by the hour. I talked with our senior person on the ground there in Venezuela last night … You can see the increasing pain and suffering that the Venezuelan people are suffering from.”

Answering a reporter’s question in early 2018 about U.S. policies on Venezuela, a U.S. Embassy official in Mexico City commented that“The economic sanctions we’ve imposed on the Venezuelan government have caused it to stop making payments as much on its sovereign debt as on PDVSA, its oil company … we are seeing a total economic collapse … Therefore, our policy is working.”

Interviewed later that year, former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield declared that, “If we are going to sanction PDVSA, it will have an impact on the entire people … [A]t this moment perhaps the best resolution would be to accelerate the collapse, even if it produces a period of suffering of months or perhaps years”.

Beginning in 2014, the U.S. government instituted economic sanctions. Venezuela was vulnerable. Oil prices had plummeted and inflation had skyrocketed. Contributing to inflation were reduced oil prices, hoarding of merchandise by commercial interests, andcurrency manipulation, which, according to Venezuelan economist Pasqualina Curcio, “is one of the main weapons of war that imperialism has used.”

From 2014 on, Venezuela’s economy contracted by more than 50 percent. Oil production, two million barrels per day in 2017, had fallen to 431,000 bpd by March, 2019. Oil exports provide the government with 95 percent of its income, which pays for social support.Venezuela importstwo thirds of the food consumed there. Difficulties in paying for imported food promote suffering.

Economic sanctions became a weapon of war. Countries now aligned against Venezuela once supplied 46 percent of the medicines needed there, with the United States providing 34 percent. Those countries were the source of 45 percent of food imported by Venezuela; the United States accounted for 33 percent.

Trouble mounted for Venezuelans after the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 113-278 in December, 2014. It authorized the president to use executive action to “impose … sanctions … with respect to any foreign person … acting on behalf of [Venezuela’s] Government.” The term “foreign person” applies to banks and financial institutions abroad.

Sanctions were announced in March, 2015 (by President Obama) and in April 2017; March, May, November of 2018; and January, March, and April of 2019.Theytarget income generated from Venezuela’s oil exports, assets abroad; access to imported goods and credit; and ability to secure, reschedule, or repay loans. Foreign banks are crucial to U.S. purposes. U.S. dollars are the currency of choice in international trade, and Venezuela must use dollars. To avoid penalties, the banks enforce U.S. mandates on transactions involving dollars.

Beginning in 2016, banks refused to handle Venezuelan transactions. They included Commerzbank of Germany, Credit Suisse, the Panamanian and Shandong branches of the Bank of China, Germany’s Deutsche Bank, Citibank, Novo Banco in Portugal, and Russian banks. Sanctions in January 2019 barred U.S. financial institutions from facilitating foreign sales of Venezuelan oil and gold.

Comprehensive reports from economist Pasqualina Curcio and by others detail multiple instances of foreign banks refusing to process individual Venezuelan purchase orders. Among them are: 300,000 vials of insulin, food costing $29.7 million destined for the government’s food-support program, another order of, food, medicines and other supplies costing $39 million, and a $9 million intended purchase of dialysis equipment for 15,000 patients.  

Sanctions also blocked delivery of blood products for hemophilia patients, immunoglobulin for 200 children with Kawasaki disease, equipment for surgical repair of congenital heart malformations, and hospital drugs and anesthetic supplies obtainable in Turkey. JP Morgan held up $28.1 million to have been used for leasing food transport ships.

U.S. sanctions also led to the immobilizing – actually stealing – of Venezuelan resources through which citizens might have been protected from sickness and food shortage. Citibank, the Bank of London, Novo Banco, Japan’s Sumitomo bank, North Street Capital (a hedge fund firm), and the Bank of England confiscated Venezuelan assets. The latter bank holds onto Venezuelan gold worth $1.36 billion.

Targeting the state-owned PDVSA oil company, U. S. sanctions in January, 2019 enabled the confiscation of $7 billion in assets belonging to PDVSA’s U.S. affiliate CITGO. The fiction was presented of their transfer to the nonexistent government of U.S. puppet Juan Guaidó. Through sanctions, Venezuela’s government lost access to CITGO income and dividends valued at $11 billion, also to imported diluents, other additives, and repair materials – all essential for producing oil.

Weisbrot and Sachs report that as late as 2018 the United States purchased 35.6 percent of Venezuela’s oil exports. Sanctions now block imports of PDVSA oil by U.S. refineries and those of other countries. U.S. sanctions interfere with payments from third countries on imported Venezuelan oil.

Pasqualina Curcio reports that since 2013 U.S. “coercive measures” have deprived Venezuela of $114.3 billion. Of this, $92.9 billion are losses due to inflation and reduced oil production. The remaining loss of $21.5 billion stems from “unilateral coercive measures, financial blockades, commercial embargoes, and the theft of CITGO assets and other resources.”

Now Venezuela’s government can’t pay for food, medicines, and hospital and school supplies. It can’t rehabilitate water and electricity systems. According to Weisbrot and Sacks, food imports in 2018 amounted to “just $2.46 billion,” down from “$11.2 billion in 2013.” The likelihood of further decline in 2019 implies that “people with untreated HIV, diabetes, kidney failure, severe hypertension, certain types of cancer – 300,000 in all – are at extreme risk of death.” Recent sanctions represent “a death sentence for tens of thousands of Venezuelans.”

They point out that in 2019, “Imports of goods are projected to fall by 39.4 percent, from $10 billion to $6.1 billion.” Oil income will be 67 percent lower than in 2018.  What’s happening is“collective punishment of the civilian population.”

Rapporteur and “independent expert” Alfred de Zayas in September, 2018 submitted a comprehensive report on Venezuela to the United Nations Council on Human Rights. It highlights U.S. violations of international law. At issue are “principles of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states.” He mentions U.S. disregard for the United Nations Charter, the General Assembly’s Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States adopted in 1974, the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Program of Action, and various General Assembly resolutions.

But more to the point: the U.S. government is abusing innocent Venezuelan people, and many die. U.S. officials, it seems here, engage in crimes against humanity. They disregard precepts of moral law.

To be violating prevailing ethical and legal norms apparently doesn’t matter to the U.S. government. But in an alternative world of justice, they do matter. A first step in making things right would be to bring into public view the purposes of U.S. intervention in Venezuela and methods being used. Ideally, the notion would get around that for current U.S. leaders, Venezuela’s oil and U.S. regional domination mean more than does human survival. Calling them to account would come next – in theory.

What’s possible is to approach some of those who have gotten a pass on complicity with crime. They would be the congresspersons who voted for Public Law 113–278 and/or aren’t dealing with its grim consequences.  Living in all states, they are accessible.

When those activists now fending off sham diplomats at Venezuela’s Embassy in Washington eventually leave, they and others, logically, would get into a traveling mode. Congresspersons would be confronted in their states with demands to undo the Law.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

From https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/15/a-criminal-affair-united-states-imposes-war-on-the-venezuelan-people/

 

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THE REAL POWER BROKERS BEHIND BOTH PARTIES IN JAMAICA – NON-BLACK JAMAICANS, YET THEY SPEAK AND PLAN FOR US.

The Top Private Sector Bosses. Above are pictures of some of them.

Their kids never get shot.

They all live in the prime and expensive suburbs.

They travel abroad for medical treatment when they get sick

Some have bank accounts that are registered abroad and the income earned from some of their businesses does not come to Jamaica.

They are part of the less than 100 persons or entities that own Jamaica.

They all financially support both parties.

They are mostly hidden from the public, only showing up in the
financial gleaner when buying up properties.

Most of them are now buying up reggae assets and investing heavily in REIT (real estate) in Florida and the stock market.

They are efficient in evading and paying little or no taxes.

They are the ones who support and insist that the government stick with the IMF. We owe most of our debt to them (the Private Sector). We are paying out over 240 billion dollars to them yearly irrespective of who is in power.

Questions: How can these people understand how our people live? How can they understand waiting 11 hours in our dilapidated hospitals? How can they understand the hurt felt when parents have to migrate to feed their kids – the trauma our kids go through? How can they understand when parents have to bury their kids? How can they understand the stress impact of not finding a job? How can they understand not earning enough to survive? They don’t know our story!!!

Our heroes did not sacrifice their lives for them. They did that for the majority of black Jamaicans. The corruption of our governments is also a part of their design. They benefit also.
The tribal quarrel between both parties is only a farce to see who best can serve the interest of the Private sector using our people as cannon fodder.

Source: Jamaica Patriotic Movement