“32 Kids and Counting” exposes Jamaica’s widening economic gap

32 kidsDid you see the touching story about Annmarie Richards, a woman who has taken in 32 homeless, abused and otherwise shattered youth and raised them as her own?

As the video of Annmarie’s story goes viral on the internet, we have to look at the underlying causes of the conditions that made her bold action necessary.

Despite what people are shown on television about Jamaica being the land of “don’t worry, be happy,” out of a population of 2.7 million people, a whopping 1.1 million people live below the poverty line and this number is steadily growing (The Gleaner, March 2014).

This is despite the fact that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been on the rise for the last couple of years, according to TradingEconomics.com, with tourism leading the pack as the top revenue producer for the country.

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Regime Change in Ukraine and the IMF’s Bitter “Economic Medicine”

yatsenyuk y obama

Source: GlobalResearch

Interim Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk meets President Obama at White House, March 2014 (White House photo)

In the days following the Ukraine coup d’Etat of February 23, leading to the ousting of a duly elected president, Wall Street and the IMF–in liaison with the US Treasury and the European Commission in Brussels– had already set the stage for the outright takeover of Ukraine’s monetary system. The EuroMaidan protests leading up to “regime change” and the formation of an interim government were followed by purges within key ministries and government bodies.

The Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Ihor Sorkin was fired on February 25th and replaced by a new governor: Stepan Kubiv.[right]

Stepan Kubiv is a member of Parliament of the Rightist Batkivshchyna “Fatherland” faction in the Rada led by the acting Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk (founded by Yulia Tymoshenko in March 1999). He previously headed Kredbank, a Ukrainian financial institution largely owned by EU capital, with some 130 branches throughout Ukraine. Ukraine Central Bank Promises Liquidity To Local Banks, With One Condition, Zero Hedge, February 27, 2014).

Kubic is no ordinary bank executive. He was one of the first field “commandants” of the EuroMaidan riots alongsideAndriy Parubiy co-founder of the Neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine (subsequently renamed Svoboda) andDimitry Yarosh, leader of the Right Sector Brown Shirts, which now has the status of a political party.  

Kubiv was in the Maidan square addressing protesters on February 18, at the very moment when armed Right Sector thugs under the helm of Dmitry Yarosh were raiding the parliament building.

A few days later, upon the establishment of the interim government, Stepan Kubiv was put in charge of negotiations with Wall Street and the IMF.

The new Minister of Finance Aleksandr Shlapak [left] is a political crony of Viktor Yushchenko –a long-time protegé of the IMF who was spearheaded into the presidency following the 2004 “Colored Revolution”. Shlapak held key positions in the office of the presidency under Yushchenko as well as at the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU). In 2010, upon Yushchenko’s defeat, Aleksandr Shlapak joined a shadowy Bermuda based offshore financial outfit IMG International Ltd (IMG), holding the position of Vice President. Based in Hamilton, Bermuda, IMG specialises in “captive insurance management”, reinsurance and “risk transfer.”

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No More Pinochets in Latin America – No to Extreme Right-Wing Coup Plotters in Venezuela!

Register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nlondon-no-more-pinochets-in-latin-america-no-to-venezuela-coup-plotters-tickets-11004852811

chavez 100Speakers to include George Galloway MP & Dr. Francisco Dominguez, looking at the recent wave of extreme, right-wing violence in Venezuela aimed at de-stabilising – & ultimately overthrowing – the country’s progressive, elected Government & the lessons of Chile over forty years on.

Part of the National VSC Speaking Tour of the Same Name.

More info at https://www.facebook.com/events/827246743956480/?ref=notif&notif_t=plan_user_invited.

Source:   No More Pinochets in Latin America

Related article:

Chile’s 9/11: Survivors recall horrors of Pinochet coup, 40 years on

At the UN ALBA Countries Demand an End to Regime Change Policy

HAVANA, Cuba, March 27

ALBAThe countries with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) demanded at the United Nations that the United States and NATO put an end to their change of regime policy as an instrument to overthrow governments that are contrary to their interests.

Regime change, misinformation and double standards

ALBA 3Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela agreed at the UN General Assembly that such a doctrine is one of the most serious threats against world peace and security, while it violates the UN Charter and International Law.  Bolivian permanent representative at the UN Sacha Llorenti said that the term regime change is being voiced a lot these days, as well as the double standard of those who try to maintain a world based on the supply of millions of dollars and the use of misinformation against elected governments that do not abide by their rules.

Cuban ambassador Rodolfo Reyes said that the aggressiveness of the United States and NATO could also be aimed at Latin American and Caribbean countries, a region recently declared a Zone of Peace. The ALBA nations also rejected unilateral measures such as those imposed by Washington and the European Union against Russia, which does not recognize the new Ukrainian government since it is the product of a coup.

Source: Cuban News Agency

Thirty-three Latin American and Caribbean Countries Sign Havana “Zone of Peace” Declaration

January 31, 2014

CELAC 2nd Summit Havana 2014Latin American and Caribbean heads of state adopted a landmark agreement pledging to make the region a “zone of peace.”

Leaders from the 33-nation Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) signed the Havana Declaration, promising not to intervene in other countries’ internal affairs and resolve disputes peacefully.

The agreement followed the two-day CELAC summit and recognized “the inalienable right of every state to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system.”

It put in writing the need to resolve differences “through dialogue and negotiation or other forms of peaceful settlement established in international law.”

The declaration also reiterated the need for total global nuclear disarmament and highlighted the ongoing importance of the 1967 Tlatelolco Treaty, which established the region as a nuclear-free zone.

And it emphasized the need to work for food security, literacy, education, the development of agriculture and the achievement of universal public health services.

The brainchild of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, CELAC was set up in 2011 to counter the US-dominated Organisation of American States, which expelled Cuba in 1962 in retaliation for its rejection of imperialism.

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Cuba: Art against Solitary Confinement . . . a tribute to all political prisoners

In a few days the building of Cuban Art from the National Museum of Fine Arts will exhibit the installation “do not thank the silence”, created by the renown Cuban artist Alexys Leyva Machado (Kcho). The idea was inspired by the experience of the Cuban Five in Unit Special Albergamiento (Special House Unit), known as El Hueco in FDC (Federal Detention Center) in Miami, where they remained for 17 months even though according to the regulation of U.S. prisons the maximum period is 60 days..

cuba solitary confinementThrough Kcho’s idea, visitors will discover one of the most sadistic edges of the American prison system and may remain locked up for 5 minutes in a cell about 15 feet long and seven wide with no more furniture than bunk iron with a fine mattress, and concrete seat and table. The toilet is metal and there is a sink and a “mirror” which returns your sad look.

These conditions are created to make people feel like junk, to degrade them to the lowest level,  commented René González and Fernando González to Kcho at a meeting held last Wednesday, March 19.

Kcho researched the topic in detail but the testimony of the two anti-terrorist fighters who have returned to Cuba, as well as drawings of Antonio Guerrero, were vital to the realism that distinguishes the work.

As you enter you feel the discomfort

“I feel that people will come spontaneously and most will want the full experience, including passage through the cell, which is optional.  As you enter the installation you feel, from the outset, the discomfort of being in a controlled, contained space, surrounded by fences and padlocks. That’s the idea,  said the artist.

kcho cuban artist“This will be like a big black cube” described Kcho “half covered by a translucent black curtain, so that you can see something, but likewise be hidden. There will be orange overalls with the name and the judgment of each Five printed on the back. ” Whoever decides to have the experience must remove all their belongings and get one of the uniforms, including flip flops. From that time receive a sentence similar to the treatment gap, that includes wives, their feet chained and called “walk” when taken out of the cell.

The work includes a lounge (also behind bars) for temporary exhibitions and a small “classroom” with desks where some of the audiovisual made on the subject of the Five in the 15 years of struggle for liberation is screened.

A critique of the system that has made prisons a lucrative business that needs offenders

“But it is not only for the Five-said Kcho it is also for the countless and unknown Cubans who have suffered during these fifty years of fighting the United States for Puerto Ricans and all political fighters who have faced the empire. It is also a critique of the system that has made prisons a lucrative, cynical business, a system that needs offenders whom they allegedly seek to reform. ”

rene fernando kcho y olga 1

Kcho: “I’ll be the first to live the experience, I’ll stay that opening night. I’m from little sleep, so I will apologize license to keep a notebook for painting. I will endure only so many hours locked “.

kcho construction underwayKcho: “This work is an indictment of an unjust regime that makes man trash. The U.S. has more than 2 million prisoners and the system operates as a business. Prisoners are needed to make it profitable. In the case of Herman Wallace, for example, the Black Panther who was freed only when he was about to die and spent over 40 years in solitary confinement. ”

kcho construction 2Kcho: “The background to this work is in one I did in 1999 for House of the Americas which was called “Do not thank silence”. It was a great boat cage, a prison.  In 1990 he  made another cage that is in the Fine Arts Museum – it also talks about the detention. It is a call not to be complicit in this silence that reigns in prisons. That silence is bad.

kcho fernando 2

Fernando: “Part of the punishment is solitary confinement, you never see anyone, you have to wait to feel a key to see if your scream made case and ask the guard for cleaning chemicals. In my last experience they almost always said this was apparently due to financial problems. ”

kcho rene 2Even within the Hueco (Hole) they applied various schemes explained as safety, said Fernando and René to Kcho, including the chains that bound both hip and feet.

kcho y fernando 3

This was the first meeting with Fernando and Kcho since his return to the country on 28 February after serving his full 15 years, 5 months and 15 days.

rene fernando y kcho 3

“No thank to silence” will be opened shortly in the National Museum of Fine Arts. Its dimensions, bars and locks, security cameras and the presence of similar employees in El Hueco objects, multiply the realism of the work.

kcho with keysAmong the pieces that multiply the realism of “no thanks to silence”, is the ring stand with multiple keys (see right hand Kcho) and the “line” which consisted of a long rope made from a piece of sheet which is tied at the tip a toothpaste tube (see left hand René), this served to switch to, under the door at full speed, “magazines and a whole lot more,” according to testimony of Antonio Guerrero in the series of watercolors I die as I lived.

Source: Kcho: arte contra la injusticia http://www.trabajadores.cu/20140324/kcho-cuestiona-sistema-penitenciario-norteamericano/

Samir Amin: The Russia-Ukraine Crisis and the Triad Imperialist Policies

samir amin 3Source: Monthlyreview

by Samir Amin

Moscow, March 2014

1. The current global stage is dominated by the attempt of historical centers of imperialism (the US, Western and Central Europe, Japan — hereafter called “the Triad”) to maintain their exclusive control over the planet through a combination of:

  1. so-called neo-liberal economic globalization policies allowing financial transnational capital of the Triad to decide alone on all issues in their exclusive interests;
  2. the military control of the planet by the US and its subordinate allies (NATO and Japan) in order to annihilate any attempt by any country not of the Triad to move out from under their yoke.

In that respect all countries of the world not of the Triad are enemies or potential enemies, except those who accept complete submission to the economic and political strategy of the Triad — such as the two new “democratic republics” of Saudi Arabia and Qatar!  The so-called “international community” to which the Western medias refer continuously is indeed reduced to the G7 plus Saudi Arabia and Qatar.  Any other country, even when its government is currently aligned with the Triad, is a potential enemy since the peoples of those countries may reject that submission.

2. In that frame Russia is “an enemy.”

Whatever might be our assessment of what the Soviet Union was (“socialist” or something else), the Triad fought it simply because it was an attempt to develop independently of dominant capitalism/imperialism.

After the breakdown of the Soviet system, some people (in Russia in particular) thought that the “West” would not antagonize a “capitalist Russia” — just as Germany and Japan had “lost the war but won the peace.”  They forgot that the Western powers supported the reconstruction of the former fascist countries precisely to face the challenge of the independent policies of the Soviet Union.  Now, this challenge having disappeared, the target of the Triad is complete submission, to destroy the capacity of Russia to resist.

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