Cuba: The most sustainably developed country in the world, new research finds

Source:  Morning Star Online

November 29 2019

The Capitol building in Havana

Cuba is the most sustainably developed country in the world, according to a new report launched today.

The socialist island outperforms advanced capitalist countries including Britain and the United States, which has subjected Cuba to a punitive six-decades-long economic blockade.

The Sustainable Development Index (SDI), designed by anthropologist and author Dr Jason Hickel, calculates its results by dividing a nation’s “human development” score, obtained by looking at statistics on life expectancy, health and education, by its “ecological overshoot,” the extent to which the per capita carbon footprint exceeds Earth’s natural limits.

Countries with strong human development and a lower environmental impact score highly, but countries with poorer life expectancies and literacy rates as well as those which exceed ecological limits are marked down.

Based on the most recent figures, from 2015, Cuba is top with a score of 0.859, while Venezuela is 12th and Argentina 18th.

The SDI was created to update the Human Development Index (HDI), developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and used by the United Nations Development Programme to produce its annual reports since 1990.

The HDI considers life expectancy, education and gross national income per capita, but ignores environmental degradation caused by the economic growth of top performers such as Britain and the US.

“These countries are major contributors to climate change and other forms of ecological breakdown, which disproportionately affects the poorer countries of the global South, where climate change is already causing hunger rates to rise,” Mr Hickel said.

“In this sense, the HDI promotes a model of development that is empirically incompatible with ecology and which embodies a fundamental contradiction: achieving high development according to HDI means driving de-development elsewhere in the world. For a development indicator that purports to be universal, such a contradiction is indefensible.”

Britain, ranked 14th in 2018’s HDI, falls to 131st in the SDI, while the US, 13th in the ul Haq index, is 159th out of 163 countries featured in the new system.

Mr Hickel added: “The SDI ranking reveals that all countries are still “developing” – countries with the highest levels of human development still need to significantly reduce their ecological impact, while countries with the lowest levels of ecological impact still need to significantly improve their performance on social indicators.”

The SDI is available at

Cuba 61. Respect Due!

December 30 2019

Jamaicans in Solidaritry with Cuba

fidel enetrs havanThe Cuban revolution will celebrate 61 years of existence on January 1st 2020.

Simply to have survived despite a US invasion while in its infancy, despite a brutal US economic and financial blockade in force since 1960, despite a constant international media campaign of lies and half-truths, despite biological warfare, the bombing of hotels, despite hundreds of assassination attempts on Fidel’s life; despite the numerous destabilization attempts including the use of social media conveying propaganda aimed at the toppling of the government and the ending of the Revolution – to have survived all this is no mean achievement.

A revolution by the humble for the humble

But Cuba has done much more than just survive. The Cuban people, regardless of colour or class, now have access to education up to the tertiary level at no cost to them or their parents. Student debt is alien to the Cuban culture. The Cuban people, again regardless of colour or class, have access to the best medical care that the society has to offer. In fact, in Cuba both education and health care are seen as basic human rights.

The Cuban revolution also made sports a right of the people. Before the triumph of the Cuban revolution on January 1 1959, sports in Cuba was limited to basically four professional baseball teams and a few outstanding individuals. Today, Cuba’s impressive sports infrastructure and massive participation level have allowed the small nation to become one of the leading countries in the world in terms of Olympic medals won per capita. From the start of the Olympic Games in 1896 up until 1956 — a span of over 60 years — Cuba won only four Olympic gold medals. However, starting from almost nothing, in its 61 years of revolution the nation has won 78 gold medals up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Cubans do not have to worry about crime and drugs – in fact, while their men and women know how to shoot in the cause of national defense, gun crime is virtually non-existent in Cuba, and Cuban society is basically drug-free, thanks to the Revolution.

The relatively low crime rate and the general peacefulness of Cuban society are due to the high level of education and the ability of the people to analyze and participate, with a well-developed sense of human empathy in formulating guiding measures taken by their egalitarian society.

In a separate article, we will look at many other achievements of the Revolution which we have not had the space to mention here.

Cuban Internationalism

The Cuban revolution boasts not just local or national achievements. Cuban internationalism is well known throughout the world, especially among the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized. Cuba’s contribution to the ending of the brutal apartheid system in South Africa is well documented. As Nelson Mandela noted when addressing Cubans in Matanzas in 1991:[i]

fidel y mandela 6I must say that when we wanted to take up arms, we approached numerous Western governments for assistance and we were never able to see any but the most junior ministers. When we visited Cuba, we were received by the highest office and were immediately offered whatever we wanted and needed. That was our earliest experience with Cuban internationalism.

We in Africa are used to being victims of countries wanting to carve up our territory or subvert our sovereignty. It is unparalleled in African history to have another people rise to the defense of one of us…. Your [Cuban] presence and the reinforcement of your forces in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale was of truly historic significance.

In addition, Cuba’s medical assistance to the rest of the world has saved millions; and thousands of the poor, from all over the planet, have graduated as doctors and other health care specialists from Cuban universities without paying a cent to Cuba. Specifically, more than 400,000 health professionals have participated in missions outside of Cuba since 1963, including those carried out after hurricanes, earthquakes and the battle against the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa. Since 1963. a total of 1,923,712,555 consultations have been made, according to figures released by the Cuban Ministry of Public Health.  There are currently about 29,000 medical personnel in 65 countries.

Cuba remains a model of moral fortitude, courage, cultural richness, unity, solidarity, sovereignty, internationalism and dedication to building a just society based on the highest ideals of man.

Congratulations to the heroic Cuban people. Respect due!

May their influence continue to spread and continue to lay the basis for the better world envisaged by Fidel; one in which human dignity, happiness, love and solidarity take centre stage over corporate greed, war, hatred, racism, disunity, mindless consumerism and egotism.

fidel michael and maurice

fidel y daniel

fidel hugo y evo


[i] Nelson Mandela, in How Far We Slaves Have Come, by Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Pathfinder Press, pp. 19, 23.


The Latin American and Caribbean Left in 2019

Source:  Popular Resistance

December 28 2019

By Angel Guerra Cabrera, La Jornada, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau
Image result for bolsonaro and macri

Macri and Bolsonaro

A gang of bandits arrived in Brazil’s Government thanks to that coup. The same as the Macri Administration in Argentina, they immediately started to govern for the one percent and the defense of the national sovereignty and social welfare set up by the Workers’ Party was taken to pieces.  Uncontrolled financial speculation was unleashed, as well as selling natural resources and public goods to transnational companies. Though these were the most devastating defeats for the left in this analyzed period, they were not the only ones. In 2009, the Manuel Zelaya Administration was ousted by a military coup openly orchestrated by the United States, for having joined the Petrocaribe oil alliance, the ALBA treaty, and fostering a decent and sovereign foreign policy for Honduras. Four years later, Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo was overthrown by a parliamentary-media coup. He was a prominent progressive supporter.It was confirmed in 2019 that the end of the progressive cycle in Latin America and the Caribbean was nothing but a fallacy. The overwhelming victories of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico and Alberto Fernandez in Argentina would be enough to refute it. Nevertheless, the alleged end of this cycle was based on real and very sad but at the same time exemplary facts for popular, progressive, and revolutionary forces. After all, popular governments in this region following Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez in 1999 seemed to be not only moving backward but at a standstill as two very serious defeats were suffered by Our America’s popular movement by 2016: The victory of a neoliberal and pro-imperialist coalition headed by Mauricio Macri in Argentina; and a media-judicial-parliamentary coup d’état staged against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil on August 2016.

Moreover, Lenin Moreno’s treason to his comrades of the Citizen Revolution, the Ecuadorian people, and to his own rhetoric since he joined Rafael Correa’s first term in office until he was elected President himself, moving his country back to neoliberalism and unprecedentedly surrendering to Washington. Similarly, Brazilian ex-president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was unfairly and evilly sentenced to prison on April 2019, an evident maneuver of the U.S. Empire and local oligarchies to prevent his certain victory on the October presidential elections taking place that same year. As a result of it, Jair Bolsonaro came to be a reinforcement of extreme right-wing positions not only in the region but around the world; as well as to the deepening of neoliberal policies and even more servile behavior towards imperialism, brought to their own countries by Chile’s Sebastian Piñera and Colombia’s Ivan Duque.

Regional organizations such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)—today dissolved—and the intergovernmental mechanism for dialogue and political agreement CELAC—at a standstill—also suffered hard blows as a consequence of these events. Coming to existence after 2004, they had been able to help make important steps towards unity, integration, and achieving of sovereign policies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, Petrocaribe and ALBA were impacted by the decline in oil prices and, above all, by the increasing economic war staged by the United States against Venezuela and Cuba.

But three highly significant events can be described as the most outstanding issues during this year and they represent undeniable victories for the revolutionary and progressive forces, besides the two mentioned above victories in Mexico and Argentina. First, large people’s protests across the continent since the first quarter of the year, cornering governments in several countries of the region, particularly Chile’s Piñera and Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe-Ivan Duque. The stability and public order existing in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Mexico are opposite to the lack of unpopular right-wing governments, all of them hanging by a thread and basically sustained with the United States’ support. The fact is that neoliberalism cannot govern south of the Rio Grande without brutally violating the rules of liberal democracy. A second issue is Cuba’s and Venezuela’s brave resistance and struggle for their own development, each of them with their own set of circumstances against Washington’s relentless and increasing economic war, marked in Venezuelan by an ongoing coup and serious violent counter-revolutionary events. Third, the relevant role played by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) defending the principles of the rule of law, evidenced on December 19 when the United States and Luis Almagro were defeated in the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as other events along this year. Bolivia’s coup d’état, the defeat of Uruguay’s Broad Front, and some other issues are pending for our next article.

The Real Interests of the United States and the Transnational Corporations in Latin America and the Caribbean

Source:  Granma
December 2019


Image result for us in latin americaThe history of Latin America has been one of plunder and the theft of our natural wealth.
Our America is again suffering escalating aggression by U.S. imperialism and local oligarchies. The region is experiencing a sad reality involving dangerous turmoil and socio-political instability, promoted by Washington. The hemisphere’s most reactionary forces are attacking sovereign governments with coups, methods of unconventional war, brutal police repression, militarization, unilateral coercive measures, rigged judicial persecution of progressive leaders, while proclaiming the validity of the Monroe Doctrine and McCarthyism.

What are the real interests of the U.S. and corporations in the region? Freedom, democracy, human rights? No. Their goal is to preserve imperialist domination of our natural resources


Since European empires first found important resources in the Americas, plundered and colonized our lands, the history of the region’s countries has been the theft of their natural wealth, a story similar to that of other geographical areas on the planet. In our case, Spain, France, Portugal and England came first, in the colonial period; later, the United States and giant transnational corporations. Once our formal independence was won, imperialist economic domination continued, and continues, in most nations in the hemisphere.

“Just like the first Spanish conquistadors, who gave Indians mirrors and trinkets for gold and silver, the United States trades with Latin America. To conserve that torrent of wealth, to seize more and more of America’s resources and exploit its suffering peoples: that is what is hidden behind Washington’s military pacts, military missions and diplomatic lobbies,” warned the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, in the Second Declaration of Havana, February 4, 1962.

Progressive governments challenged monopoly interests when they nationalized, and recovered for the people, a large portion of their natural resources. These economic emporiums, which see the world as a cake to be divvied up, cannot accept losing the “juicy slice” that is Latin America and the Caribbean.

Natural resources

Suffice it to say that several countries in the region hold a significant portion of the world’s mineral deposits: 68% of the world’s lithium (Chile, Argentina and Bolivia), 49% of silver (Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Mexico), 44% of copper (Chile, Peru and, to a lesser extent, Mexico), 33% of tin (Peru, Brazil and Bolivia), 26% of bauxite (Brazil, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela and Jamaica), 23% of nickel (Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba and Dominican Republic), and 22% of iron (Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico), according to the Natural Resources report: Situation and trends for a regional development agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean, compiled by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Hence the strategic importance to U.S. interests of this part of the world, also the region closest to its national borders. Any direct or indirect intervention, under any pretext, would be less costly as compared to others carried out in Africa or Asia, although these are not renounced either. A look back at regional history shows the astonishing clarity of the phrase expressed by Simón Bolívar in 1829: the United States “appears destined by providence to plague America with miseries in the name of freedom.”


The term petro-aggression refers to the tendency of oil-rich states to be targeted by foreign aggressors, using pretexts of all kinds. The recent wars in the Middle East (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria) promoted by the United States and its allies have this character.

According to data from the Venezuelan corporation Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), the Hugo Chávez Frías Orinoco Oil Belt is the largest oilfield in the world. On December 31, 2010, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) made official the certification of these reserves conducted by the country’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mining. In this way, OPEC “revealed the true situation of the oilfields that exist in the Hugo Chávez Frías Oil Orinoco Belt, with the certification of 270,976 million barrels (MMbls) of heavy and extra-heavy crude oil… With this certification, in addition to the certified reserves of 28,977 MMbls of light and medium crudes, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela totals 299,953 MMbls, attesting to the fact that the country holds the largest reserve of crude on the planet,” states PDVSA in its Oil Sovereignty Notebooks Collection.

According to the publication, Venezuela has 25% of OPEC’s reserves and 20% of those known on a world scale – oil that could provide for the country’s development over the next 300 years, at a recovery rate of 20%.

Likewise, in 2007, Petróleo Brasileiro S. A. (Petrobras) announced the discovery of substantial oil and natural gas resources in reservoirs located beneath an impermeable layer of salt on the country’s coastline, deposited 150 million years ago. The discoveries in Brazil’s pre-salt reserves are among the most important in the world, during the last decade. These reservoirs contain a large volume of excellent quality light oil, with significant commercial value, according to information from Petrobras.

The Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy highlights that the pre-salt field is currently one of the most important sources of oil and gas on the planet, and that around 70% of the nation’s reserves are located in these areas.


Who doubts that the recent coup in Bolivia, promoted by the United States, was motivated by economic and political interests? The nationalization of hydrocarbons and strategic companies led by President Evo Morales meant economic freedom for Bolivia, but also a blow to the energy monopolies. For imperialism it was intolerable that the Bolivian people recover earnings from oil and gas, or that U.S. companies lose out on the business of mining a coveted mineral like lithium, in the nation with 30% of the world’s deposits.

This metal is referred to as “white gold” or “the mineral of the future” for many reasons. Its chemical properties make it the lightest solid element known, with half the density of water, excelling as an efficient conductor of heat and electricity. These electrochemical properties make lithium ideal for electric batteries (Li-Ion batteries), essential to the manufacture of electronic devices (cell phones, tablets, etc.) and electric cars, among other uses.

Access to this mineral is now at the center of global disputes. “Coincidentally,” the world’s largest known reserves are located in the so-called Lithium Triangle, in the border region between Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Some 68% of the global reserves are concentrated here, and Bolivia has 30%, with the largest deposit on the planet in the Uyuni salt flats; Chile has 21%, and Argentina 17% of the total, according to a study published in the Revista Latinoamericana Polis, quoted by RT.

Some analysts are already predicting future wars over lithium, as has occurred with oil. Another sign to alert those of us south of the Rio Bravo, all the way to Patagonia, as to the importance of defending the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, against the voracity of the United States and local oligarchies. Only regional unity can prevent a new predatory war and the balkanization in Our America.

Image result for us in latin america

Colombia Holds National Strike, Concert & Marches in Medellin

Source:  TeleSUR
December 22 2019

“Medellín Resists Singing”, was born after a first version held in Bogota
on December 8th | Photo: Reuters

Three types of marches took place in Medellin this week, including the concert “Medellin Resiste Cantando”, which gave the right tone to this Sunday’s event.

After 30 days of a nationwide strike in Colombia due to the approval of the new tax law, the protests continued, although with less intensity, in Medellin, where the concert “Medellin Resiste Cantando” was also held.

RELATED:  Colombian Gov’t Responsible for Crimes Committed by ESMAD

Three types of marches took place in Medellin this week, including the concert “Medellin Resiste Cantando”, which gave the right tone to this Sunday’s event.

The mayor’s office in that city prepared a security operation through the national police, despite the peaceful and artistic nature of the demonstrations.

The Secretary of Security, Andrés Tobón, said that the demonstrations would have a positive behavior; however, he noted the police presence behind the three mobilizations that walked the city.

During the event, mobilizations went on in complete normality, according to the first report released by the Unified Command Post, the place where Medellín authorities meet to follow up on this type of event.

Pre-march gatherings began at 9 a.m. locally at “El parque del Poblado, Parque de los Deseos, and the San Javier Cemetery, respectively.

From there, the peaceful demonstrators followed the established routes until they reached San Juan, between Ferrocarril and Carabobo roundabout where the concert began at approximately at 2pm.

“Medellin Resiste Cantando”, as the organizers called the event, was born after a first version held in Bogota last December 8th with the participation of thousands of people. In fact, several of the artists who accompanied that concert were also in Medellín’s.

Bolivia: The Resources of the Dictatorship

Source:  Internationalist 360
December 22 2019

by Atilio A. Boron

The very serious situation in Bolivia has multiple facets, each one more aberrant. They all have a common denominator: the systematic violation of human rights, public freedoms and individual rights and guarantees. These are the foreseeable results of any dictatorial regime, and without doubt the government that has taken over Bolivia today is a dictatorship, imposed by an old-style military coup while discarding the subtler tools of the “soft coup”.

Here the spotlight was not on corrupt judges and legislators but on the police and military who have been trained and equipped by the United States for decades. They were the executioners of the coup d’etat that destroyed not only a government but also the hard-won democracy in Bolivia.

US involvement

It is obvious that this operation had been in gestation for a long time, since the frustrated coup attempt and secession in 2008. This project was never shelved and was updated in the last year on the eve of the presidential election, with the invaluable collaboration of the media – overwhelmingly in the hands of the opposition – who acted as the spearhead of the coup, creating the “climate of opinion” that would justify the assault on the Palacio Quemado by the fascist hordes. But unlike 2008, this time nothing was left to chance: the United States played hardball and in early September sent Ivanka Trump to the northern Argentine province of Jujuy in a plane loaded with weapons, supplies to foment unrest, and money – a lot of money – to hire thugs under the command of Luis F. “Macho” Camacho, that ravaged the main cities and created the social chaos required to justify the coup and the invasion of the Palacio Quemado with a Bible, to exorcise Pachamama and to desecrate the Wiphala. The White House “donation” was sent to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the center of operations for white supremacists, racists to the core, and U.S. agents operating in Bolivia.

Bolivia is home to the most important lithium deposits in the world

However, Bolivia goes beyond revenge of the white minority and the colonized mestizos against the indigenous people. It cannot be ignored that this country is a highly coveted prey for the empire for several reasons, but very mainly because it is home to the most important lithium deposits in the world. And this resource has acquired exceptional importance due to its growing use by new military technologies, something that is fully recognized in reports from various U.S. government agencies. Bear in mind that if the price of lithium in 2012 was US$4,220 per ton (having reached US$16,500 in 2018) the HSBC bank estimates that by the end of this decade it will be around US$10 or US$12,000.

All of the United States’ interventions in the Middle East were aimed at pillaging the immense oil reserves of the countries in the region. Their involvement in the coup in Bolivia has a single purpose: lithium. A resource that is now strategic for the US military industrial sector requires the abandonment of all legal and ethical scruples, as was the case in Iraq, Libya and Syria. Consequently, massacring a defenseless people, burning the homes of Evo’s supporters, extorting them by kidnapping their relatives, abducting  and disappearing opponents, pursuing them like ferocious animals, and liquidating every source of independent information is part of the repertoire of policies that the empire and its lackeys: Áñez, Murillo, Camacho, Mesa apply and will continue to implement in the foreseeable future unless a huge popular insurrection puts an end to this nefarious regime.

Among these policies is the persistent persecution of senior officials of the government of Evo who have taken refuge in the Mexican embassy in La Paz and are denied safe conduct to leave the country without detriment to their physical integrity. They are Government Minister Juan Ramón Quintana; the intellectual and former minister Hugo Moldiz; the Minister of Culture Wilma Alanoca; the governor of Oruro Victor Hugo Vázquez; the director of e-government Nicolás Laguna; the Minister of Defense Javier Zavaleta; the Minister of Justice Héctor Arce, the Minister of Mining Félix César Navarro, and the Deputy Minister of Rural and Agricultural Development Pedro Damián Dorado.

This brutal dictatorship established by the White House and its baleful cronies are acting like mafias: capturing hostages so that they can commit their evil deeds unhindered. It is crucial that international pressure forces the satraps installed in La Paz to cease this practice. Human rights organizations from all over the world, private as well as public, including the United Nations agencies, must exert pressure on the coup leaders to end political persecution and grant safe conduct to those who require it. Furthermore, they should make it known to Áñez and her gang that their crimes will not go unpunished, and that sooner or later they will have to account for them before a court. And their punishment, we are confident, will be exemplary.

Watch: Glenn Greenwald’s Exclusive Interview with President Evo Morales

December 16 2019

On November 10, Evo Morales, who served as president of Bolivia for 13 years and presided over extraordinary economic growth and a reduction of inequality praised even by his critics, announced that he was resigning the presidency under duress, with implicit threats from the Bolivian military. Morales later made clear that he viewed these events as a classic right-wing military coup of the kind that has plagued the continent for decades, explaining that he was removed from his position by force and then ultimately pressured by a police mutiny and military threats to flee his own country. Morales went to Mexico, where he was granted political asylum, and lived under heavy security in Mexico City until being granted refugee status in Argentina. On December 3, I sat with Morales in Mexico City for an hourlong interview that was wide-ranging in scope: not only about the events that led to his removal and exile from Bolivia, but also broader trends in regional and global politics, as well as the role played by the U.S. in Latin America.

Bolivia’s MAS Leader: “Our Advantage is Not to be Afraid of Death in Defense of the Country”

Source:  Orinoco Tribune
December 19 2019

Bolivia's MAS Leader: "Our Advantage is Not to be Afraid of Death in Defense of the Country"Bolivia’s MAS Leader: “Our Advantage is Not to be Afraid of Death in Defense of the Country”

Rodolfo Machaca is from the Political Directorate of the Movement to Socialism (MAS). During his time in Argentina to meet with Evo Morales, he gave this exclusive interview, assuring that in the face of next year’s elections, even without a definite candidate, they have “almost 40% of the votes”.

The arrival of Evo Morales to Argentina was accompanied by a massive arrival of leaders of his party, the Movement to Socialism (MAS), to meet with him and outline the policy to face the coup in Bolivia.

Among those who traveled to Buenos Aires for these days was Rodolfo Machaca from the Political Directorate of the MAS, former Deputy Minister of Interculturality and leader of the Single Trade Union Confederation of Peasant Workers of Bolivia (CSUTCB). In dialogue with NOTAS, he denounced the dictatorship of Jeanine Añez which continues to violate human rights, persecuting the population and delivering the country’s natural resources to multinationals.

However, he was optimistic about next year’s elections. He said that the MAS, even without defining a candidate, already has close to 40% of the voting preference. “We are being persecuted but there is no longer fear that they will catch us, stop us, torture us. Because we carry the blood of Tupac Katari,” he said.

– Although at first from Argentina there was important coverage of the events that occurred after the coup d’etat of November 10, has there been a decrease in the information flow about how the situation of Human Rights continues within the framework of Jeanine Añez’s dictatorship?

  • First, in the case of the media, I think this has been planned very well, with a lot of strategy, so that television channels and traditional radios do not broadcast anything. They’ve turned their backs on the poor.

Military and police killings, were covered by them but never reported. They were complicit in this massacre of the indigenous brothers. They were complicit in the coup d’etat that the Americans gave us through the neoliberal and civic parties.

Except for some radio stations that are from the original towns that have been persecuted.

– Are those radios still working?

  • Some have been silenced, others are working again but are still harassed and persecuted.

– And with respect to Human Rights in general?

  • Regarding Human Rights, the coup and its ministers do not care. They are not interested if one dies, if one is injured, if his family is crying. In cold blood they want to exterminate us, the indigenous peoples, that is proven.

Thousands have been injured and those injured have not been treated promptly. And the dead continue to add up. Nobody says anything about it, families prefer to bury their loved ones, cry and grieve.

But we are sure that tomorrow, the day after, these family members are going to protest and bear witness to how they have been attacked, persecuted and how their right to life has been silenced.

This is how human rights are in Bolivia. Some human rights representatives are complicit in the dictatorship. So we, the peoples, have nothing except the Ombudsman’s Office.

RELATED CONTENT: Evo Morales: “Unfair, Illegal and Unconstitutional. It Doesn’t Scare me” on the Arrest Warrant Issued by Bolivia’s Dictatorship (Lawfare)

– In addition to repression and persecution, the dictatorship has attempted to advance against the conquests achieved during the process of change. What have been the main actions taken by the de facto government in this regard?

  • They have taken the attitude of trampling the rules of the State, the laws. They have violated all administration procedures. By decree they have passed the administration of some strategic companies into private hands. That has its penalty, its sanction. They have dared to do that.

For example, the Bolivian Aviation Administration (BoA) was handed over to the Amazon company that is a private company, belonging to them. One of Amazon’s partners is the former president who escaped to the US, Gonzalo Sánchez de Losada (years ago).
Another case: when new consuls and ambassadors were appointed. These procedures should be carried out through Parliament, but they did so directly. So we can continue enumerating. The same happened with the procedures in the Ministries.

Rodolfo-Machaca.jpgNow, the bidding and industrialization of Bolivia’s lithium that had been planned very carefully by President Evo Morales, is now in line to be cancelled. By decree they want to deliver that wealth of ours to multinational corporations.

The monetary reserves we had, the resources we had, have been used by them: their salaries, their bonuses.

All this will have fatal consequences for their group of political parties as well as for the State. They are delivering up strategic resources. It’s a disaster.

– Are social programs such as the Juancito Pinto subsidy or Renta Dignidad still valid?

  • They are at risk. If they [the coup] stay longer, they will surely be dismantled.

– In a first stage after the coup, there was a certain disarticulation between the popular movements and the MAS as a party that was later reversed in the Extraordinary Cochabamba Assembly where unity was agreed upon for the elections. How was that process?

  • Their plan is to make the MAS acronym disappear (referring to the sign/logo). Neoliberals know that MAS without a candidate has almost 40% of the vote. Without campaigning. That is strong. That is why they now attack the acronym of the party to eliminate us. But that is not going to happen.

And another measure is to prosecute political leaders. They are looking to decapitate us.

President Evo is already out of the country; the second man of the party, Gerardo García, has been arrested, is a political prisoner; and now we are in the hands of the third head, Juanita Ancieta de las Bartolinas; and then myself, the fourth man of the party.

Right now it is up to us, but they are seeing how to prosecute us, how to initiate a trial.

But something more interesting is this: we have lost our fear. There is no longer afraid of death. They have killed our brothers, they are already more than 45 dead in the whole country. But there is no fear.

With courage, we will carry out the elections. We will defend our political party with blood.

Their disadvantage is that they are afraid of dying. And our advantage is not to be afraid of death to defend the country, for defending our indigenous, native, peasant brothers. For defending our president Evo. With blood we will defend them.

RELATED CONTENT: Reuters Shields OAS Over False Claims That Sparked Bolivia Coup

On the other hand, the stronghold of MAS, of the political party, is the Pact of Unity: the peasants, the bartolins, the natives. They [the coup] are taking on the task of dividing and parallelizing other confederations to weaken us. But the shot is coming out of the butt. They can decapitate us but the masses, the bases, they will not be able to.

The reaction has been formidable. “Keep going,” they told us. Then with that force we are re-shaping ourselves. The meeting in Cochabamba was a surprise for them.

  • This historic attitude of the Bolivian people is notable, since before Evo Morales was president, to go out and give their life for a cause. What you said about not being afraid to die to defend the project, where does that tradition and that culture of struggle come from?
  • Historically we have been trampled and humiliated. Historically we have been mistreated by these neoliberal governments. That has made us understand that if we are subjected, we will cause suffering for our future generations. And we don’t want that to happen anymore.

They slaughtered us in 2003 for being peasants, for being indigenous, for being humble, of lower class and native people. Now they want to repeat that, to continue to dominate us now as then and then laugh at us, sell our wealth, and party. What they want is to give our natural resources to multinationals behind our backs.

That will generate the suffering of the generations that follow us, they will judge us.

Rodolfo-Machaca-2.jpgThat is why we prefer to defend it with our lives, with blood. We will not let it pass. They worked us with fright, but we lost our fear. We are being persecuted but there is no longer fear that they will catch us, stop us, torture us. Because we carry the blood of Tupac Katari. We are Aymara. We are Quechua.

Only then, without raising a stick, we will face them. We come from those revolutionary roots.

– President Evo Morales arrived in Argentina a few days ago, how important is his presence here both to face the electoral campaign and to the resistance to the coup?

  • We are very grateful to the Argentine brothers and sisters for understanding the historical struggle we have made. They have accompanied us since before the indigenous people rose to power, in this case represented by Evo Morales.

They have continued to accompany us. How many times have they come to Bolivia to support us, to share our joys, and in recent times, our cries, our sorrows.

For us President Evo represents our blood, our brother. We can not abandon him. He a reference, a symbol. That is why everything they have done hurts us a lot.

But we are there and that is why we come here to greet him, to reach him and to tell him that he is not alone.

Brothers, with your support we are sure that we will succeed. Evo is struggle, he is strength, he is our image and our future. There can be many leaders by your side and many more in the future. But he is like an elder brother who has brought us to the path of struggle, we cannot release him or leave him alone. That’s why our tears but our strength too. That is why our bravery to face future struggles with blood.

Take care of him, Argentine brothers and Argentine sisters. Protect my brother, I know he will be fine and that we will return to take him from here to Bolivia.

Source URL: NOTAS Periodismo Popular

Translated by JRE/EF


Bolivia: De-Facto Govt Continues Political Persecution

Source:  TeleSUR
December 20 2019

Former Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks during a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 19, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

The political persecution of members of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party in Bolivia continues, this time three members received direct attacks on their physical integrity and the invasion of private property, including a kidnapping.

Since the coup d’état of Nov. 10, the de facto government in Bolivia has been carrying out political persecution against members of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party and its supporters, including its leader, the former president, now a political refugee in Argentina, Evo Morales.

RELATED: Coup Leaders in Bolivia Issue Arrest Warrant for Evo Morales

On Friday, the attack on the physical integrity and property of three members related to the MAS party was made public, among them the kidnapping of Marcial Escalante, vice president of the Movement Toward Socialism-Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples (MAS-IPSP) of Yapacani, in the department of Santa Cruz.

The Eco Alternativo Network of Argentina, made up of journalists who cover what is happening in Bolivia in the context of the coup, denounced the kidnapping of Escalante, claiming that plainclothes policemen entered his home at dawn on Friday and also they beat his wife and took some material objects.

Escalante was released on Friday afternoon and further details are unknown.

Meting with Morales in Argentina

The leader had attended a meeting with other members of the MAS party with Morales in Argentina, and it is presumed that this could be the reason for his kidnapping.

In another incident, the former personal and family assistant for Morales, Luis Hernan Soliz Morales was arrested in the city of La Paz, after the Public Prosecutor’s Office found phone calls that Soliz had received after Morales resigned from the presidency on Nov. 10,  in the context of the mass protests following the coup.

Soliz’s lawyer said that his defendant’s house was raided and that no elements were found that could compromise him. He also said that the reason for the calls between the two involved were related to work pending before the resignation of Morales, he told Erbol, a local media outlet.

Meanwhile, the residence of the former Minister of the Presidency, Juan Ramon Quintana was searched by members of the police and prosecutors. He is charged with alleged crimes of sedition, terrorism and terrorist financing.

The former minister was not at home, and unofficially it is known that he would be at the Mexican embassy in Bolivia, as were other former authorities of the Morales administration.

This political persecution has its origin in the accusation of the de-facto government of Jeanine Añez last Nov. against Morales, who was accused of inciting violence from his asylum in Mexico, a country that first received him, during the demonstrations following the coup against his government.

The complaint is based on supposed evidence that includes a video in which a voice attributed to Morales is heard, but whose authenticity has only been demonstrated by a single way presented by the Añez government, and not by other independent sources.

Since then, the investigation process for the crimes of sedition and terrorism has been carried out throughout the country against militants and leaders of the MAS party.

This week the Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest warrant against Morales, who was the first indigenous president in the history of the Andean country and is currently a refugee in Argentina.

Brazil Poll Shows Growing Rejection of Bolsonaro

Source:  TeleSUR

December 20 2019

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro looks on as he leaves the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil December 12, 2019.Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro looks on as he leaves the
Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil December 12, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

The far-right government’s positive rating had already declined in Ibope’s four previous polls this year, falling from 35 percent in April. Its negative rating has risen from 27 percent in April.

The approval rating of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s government is dropping steadily and its negative rating is climbing, a CNI/Ibope poll showed on Friday, as his combative political style and a weak recovery weigh on his popularity.

RELATED: Brazil: The Bolsonaro Clan Is Investigated for Money Laundering

The number of Brazilians that rate his government as great or good has slipped to 29 percent from 31 percent in September, while those that view it as bad or terrible have increased to 38 percent from 34 percent in the previous poll, the new survey said.

Public confidence in Bolsonaro’s governing style has dropped since he took office in January, the poll said. A majority of those polled, or 53 percent, do not approve of the way he is governing Brazil, up from 40 percent in April and 50 percent in September. Those who approve of his governing style has fallen to 40 percent from 51 percent in April and 44 percent in September.

The number of Brazilians who said they trusted Bolsonaro has also dropped off, within the margin of error, to 41 percent from 51 percent in April and 42 percent in September. Those who have no trust in him rose to 56 percent from 45 percent in April and 55 percent in September.

The survey polled 2,000 people and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point. The poll commissioned by industry lobby CNI was carried out Dec. 5-8.