Doing the impossible: Holding FIFA Accountable

Source: counterpunch.org

by BINOY KAMPMARK

fifa logo 2There is a sense of frustration in bringing that unruly and labyrinthine football entity known as FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) into the world of squeaky clean finance. It resists two terms with an almost tribal enthusiasm: accountability and transparency. Both concepts are intrinsically linked – that of transparency being a means to keep accountability on the straight and narrow; accountability making it easier to be transparent. The operating rationale of FIFA has been to reject both concepts. When the football players start dribbling the ball, the bureaucrats are forgotten.

Academics have ventured into this field with ponderous unease and postulated several models of accountability (Roger Pielke Jr. in Sport Management Review suggests seven), though this is by no means reliable. A rather simple view is put forth by R. Grant and R. O. Keohane in the American Political Science Review (2005), though their recipe is intended as a broad splash over a range of fields. Accountability “implies that some actors have the right to hold other actors to a set of standards, to judge whether they have fulfilled their responsibilities in light of those standards, and to impose sanctions if they determine that those responsibilities have not been met.”

Part thief and part bargain hunter

The whole point of FIFA is that it resists theorisation on an easy model in a world of opaque global governance. It is, in itself, an organism of considerable sophistication, part thief and part bargain hunter. It also plays the best of games, having voices within it who sing the song of transparency without having the vote to push it through. Its church is broad enough to tolerate dissent without actual change.

Michael GarciaMichael Garcia (photo), the ethics chief beavering into FIFA’s bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, reminded those who cared to listen that his report ought to be released in full. How utterly idiosyncratic of him, and how demonstratively ignorant. According to Hans-Joachim Eckert, head of the adjudicatory arm of the ethics committee, only four people have laid eyes on Garcia’s 350-page report, and the fewer eyes the better. It could be destined for the archives, the incinerator, or a lonely life as a Continue reading

Barbados: Thank you Cuba

by David Comissiong

David ComissiongI have had the distinct pleasure of meeting and conversing with the great President Fidel Castro of Cuba on three occasions. Indeed, I can still vividly remember the first of those occasions — we were in a trade union conference hall in Havana, surrounded by a press of excited Latin American trade unionists– and all I wanted to do was to tell Fidel “thanks”!

I desperately wanted to tell him thanks for the tremendous effort and sacrifice that the nation and people of Cuba had made to the liberation of the African continent by sending tens of thousands of Cuban soldiers (and many of Cuba’s most sophisticated weapons) to join with the liberation fighters of Angola in a titanic fifteen year armed struggle against the white racist army of apartheid-era South Africa.

mandela and sisulu in prisonI wanted to tell him– and by extension the entire Cuba people– “thanks” for the critical role they played in securing the release of Nelson Mandela; bringing about the end of Apartheid; and ensuring the independence of Angola and Namibia.

That evening in Havana, I spoke to Fidel, not only as a Barbadian, but as a son of Africa who could not fail to recognize and acknowledge that what Cuba had done was virtually unprecedented in the annals of world history! You see, throughout history,many foreign  armies had gone to Africa to destroy , plunder, colonize and enslave Africa and Africans : this was the first time that an army had gone to Africa to shed its blood to liberate the sons and daughters of Africa!

Fidel:  Cuba’s sacred internationalist duty 

On that occasion, Fidel thanked me for my words of gratitude, and spoke of Cuba’s sacred internationalist duty towards his African brothers and sisters. Well, I wish I was near to Fidel once again , or perhaps near to Fidel’s brother, President Raul Castro, so that I could thank them yet again for the critical humanitarian contribution that Cuba is currently making to Africa by sending no less that 62 doctors and 103  other medical personnel to West Africa to fight the deadly Ebola virus.

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Fidel: Maduro’s deserved congratulations

nicolas maduro-en-la-onu-24-de-septiembre (1)On Tuesday, September 23, I listened to the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela speak at the UN General Assembly. He spoke for 12 minutes. It was impeccable.

Last night, the Venezuelan delegation traveled to the Bronx where an enthusiastic population was awaiting them. Hugo Chávez who had also been there, left among them indelible memories.

At the height of the current international situation, numerous people have expressed profound ideas and thoughts.

It could be stated that, through television screens, millions of people participated in this historic event.

I decided, the following day, to send a message of congratulations to the Venezuelan President, but not knowing his itinerary I asked our Minister of Foreign Relations, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, who is also in New York, to deliver the message to the Venezuelan President.

For my part, I didn’t even expect that at the same time that I asked Bruno if he had delivered what I had written that morning, he would inform me that Maduro was about to begin another speech before the General Assembly. Listen to it! I told him. I immediately switched on TeleSur and there he began his second speech to the General Assembly and his third in New York. This time he spoke for half an hour and left no crucial point unaddressed. Hugo would have been proud to see one of his revolutionary sons saying what he said and how he said it.

That is why I mention only two speeches in the letter and not three. I add only that when Bruno delivered my message, Maduro only asked if I had any objection to it being published. “Of course not” I responded that “it is a great honor”

Fidel Castro Ruz
fidel's signature

September 25, 2014
11:15 a.m.

Source:  Granma International

Evo Morales Inaugurates First UN World Conference of Indigenous Peoples

world conference on indigenous people logo 1

The Bolivian president said the “capitalist system” is the greatest threat to indigenous movements.

world conference on indigenous people 1

Tadodaho Sid Hill, Chief of the Onondaga Nation, delivers the ceremonial welcome to participants at the opening of the high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

evo morales president of boliviaPresident Evo Morales provided the opening remarks at the first United Nations World Conference of Indigenous People this Monday. The event is considered a special meeting as part of the ongoing U.N. General Assembly.

In his opening remarks, President Morales warned that capitalism is the greatest threat to indigenous movements around the world.

“The fundamental principles of the indigenous movement are life, mother earth, and peace, and these principles of the worldwide indigenous movement are permanently threatened by a system and model, the capitalist system, a model which extinguishes human life and the mother earth,” he stated.

indigenous people youthPresident Morales, himself one of the first indigenous persons to be elected president of a country in the Americas, proceeded to list a number of advances made in Bolivia under his leadership that he says have directly benefited indigenous peoples. Benito Juarez a Zaptecan from Oaxaca, Mexico, was the first indigenous president of Latin America in Mexico from 1858 until 1872.

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At the UN: World Leaders Reject US Blockade of Cuba

Leaders from Latin America, Africa and Asia expressed their strongest rejection of the US economic blockade of Cuba   during high-level debates at the United Nations General Assembly.

nicolas maduro at the un 50During the session attended by 193 UN member nations, Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro described the over-50-year US’s anti-Cuba policy as anachronism of the Cold War period.

Maduro recalled how much damage the US blockade has inflicted the Cuban people, despite its rejection by the international community during 22 years in a row.

evo morales at the un 5Bolivia’s President Evo Morales said the US blockade of Cuba is the most severe, unfair and prolonged package of sanctions ever imposed against a country ever.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma demanded the island’s economic freedom, whose authorities estimated the damage by the blockade at one trillion, 112 jacob zumabillion 534 million dollars. And Sir Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa said the blockade has no ethics and is unfair given its impact on the innocent people of Cuba.

The UN forum will consider a new Cuban resolution on October 28 demanding the lifting of the US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba. A similar resolution was adopted last year with an overwhelming majority of 188 out of 193 UN member states.

Source:  Cuban News Agency

Maduro Meets with Community Leaders in the Bronx, Invites Puerto Rico to join ALBA

Source: venezuelanalysis.com

Yesterday evening after presenting at the United Nations Summit on Climate Change, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro seized the opportunity to visit community leaders, local activists and grassroots groups in an event hosted by Hostos Community College of the South Bronx, in New York City.

maduro in the bronx hostos says welcomeAround 1,000 people attended the event, which was organized by Citgo, and many arrived early to wait outside for good seats and to hold signs welcoming Maduro as “president of the people.”

maduro in the bronx the crowdThe Bronx community

The atmosphere was festive, Gabriela Sierra Alonso, a journalism student in attendance, told venezuelanalysis.com. “People were carrying messages of solidarity, chanting, and handing out fliers. Because it was at Hostos, a big part of the Puerto Rican community was there, particularly those fighting for the release of political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera.”

maduro in the bronx 2 Continue reading