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

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.

 

‘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.”

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


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

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

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