2021 Latin America and the Caribbean in Review: The Pink Tide Rises Again

Photo: Bill Hackwell

Source: Internationalist 360

January 1 2022

By Roger D. Harris

US policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean continued in a seamless transition from Trump to Biden, but the terrain over which it operated shifted left. The balance between the US drive to dominate its “backyard” and its counterpart, the Bolivarian cause of regional independence and integration, continued to tip portside in 2021 with major popular electoral victories in Chile, Honduras, and Peru. These follow the previous year’s reversal of the coup in Bolivia.

Central has been the struggle of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America) countries – particularly Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua – against the asphyxiating US blockade and other regime-change measures. Presidential candidate Biden pledged to review Trump’s policy of US sanctions against a third of humanity. The presumptive intention of the review was to ameliorate the human suffering caused by these unilateral coercive measures, considered illegal under international law. Following the review, Biden has instead tightened the screws, more effectively weaponizing the COVID crisis.

Andean Nations

The unrelenting US regime-change campaign against Venezuela has had a corrosive effect on Venezuela’s attempt to build socialism. With the economy de facto dollarized, among those hardest hit are government workers, the informal sector, and those without access to dollar remittances from abroad.

Nonetheless, Venezuela’s resistance to the continued US “maximum pressure” hybrid warfare is a triumph in itself. Recent economic indicators have shown an upturn with significant growth in national food and oil production and an end to hyperinflationFurther, the government has built 3.7 million housing units, distributed food to 7 million through the CLAP program, and adroitly handled the COVID pandemic.

When Trump recognized Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela in 2019, the then 35-year-old US security asset had never run for a nationwide office and was unknown to over 80% of the Venezuelans. Back then some 50 of the US’s closest allies recognized Guaidó; now barely a dozen does so. Contrary to campaign trail inuendoes that Biden would enter into dialogue with the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, Biden has continued the embarrassing Guaidó charade.

The November 21 municipal and regional elections were a double triumph for Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution: the ruling Socialist Party (PSUV) won significantly while the extreme right opposition (including Guaidó’s party) was compelled to participate, implicitly recognizing the Maduro government.

Venezuelan special envoy Alex Saab was extradited – really kidnapped – to the US on October 16 on the vague and difficult to disprove charge of “conspiracy” to money launder. Swiss authorities, after an exhaustive 3-year investigation, had found no evidence of money laundering. Saab’s real “crime” was trying to bring humanitarian aid to Venezuela via legal international trade but circumventing the illegal US blockade. This egregious example of US extra-territorial judicial overreach is being contested by Saab’s legal defense because, as a diplomat, he has absolute immunity from arrest under the Vienna Convention. His case has become a major cause in Venezuela and internationally.

Meanwhile, Colombia, chief regional US client state, the biggest recipient of US military aid in the hemisphere,  and the largest world source of cocaine, is a staging point for paramilitary attacks on Venezuela. President Iván Duque continues to disregard the 2016 peace agreement with the guerrilla FARC as Colombia endures a pandemic of rightwing violence especially against human rights defenders and former guerillas.

On April 28, Duque’s proposed neoliberal tax bill precipitated a national strike mobilizing a broad coalition of unions, members of indigenous and Afro-descendent communities, social activists, and campesinos. They carried out sustained actions across the country for nearly two months, followed by a renewed national strike wave, starting on August 26. The approaching 2022 presidential election could portend a sea change for the popular movement where leftist Senator Gustavo Petro is leading in the polls.

In Ecuador, Andrés Arauz won the first-round presidential election on February 7 with a 13-point lead over Guillermo Lasso, but short of the 40% or more needed to avoid the April 13 runoff, which he lost. A victim of a massive disinformation campaign, Arauz was a successor of former President Rafael Correa’s leftist Citizen Revolution, which still holds the largest bloc in the National Assembly. The “NGO left,” funded by the US and its European allies, contributed to the electoral reversal. Elements of the indigenous Pachakutik party have allied with the new president, a wealthy banker, to implement a neo-liberal agenda.

In Peru, Pedro Castillo, a rural school teacher and a Marxist, won the presidency in a June 6 runoff against hard-right Keiko Fujimori, daughter of now imprisoned and former president Alberto Fujimori. Castillo won by the slimmest of margins and now faces rightwing lawfare and the possibility of a coup. Just a few weeks into his presidency, he was forced to replace his leftist foreign Minister, Hector Béjar, with someone more favorable to the rightwing opposition and the military.

In Bolivia, a US-backed coup deposed leftist President Evo Morales in 2019 and temporarily installed a rightist. Evo’s Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party successor, Luis Arce, took back the presidency last year in a landslide election. With the rightwing still threatening, a massive weeklong March for the Homeland of Bolivian workers, campesinos, and indigenous rallied in support of the government in late November.

Read full article here

Declaration of the XX ALBA-TCP Summit 

Source: Internationalist 360

Final Declaration of the XX ALBA-TCP Summit Highlights Efforts Towards Real Latin American and Caribbean Integration

We, the Heads of State and Government and the heads of delegations of the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), gathered in Havana, Cuba, on December 14, 2021, to commemorate the XVII anniversary of the Alliance. By signing this Declaration, we renew our commitment to strengthen this mechanism of political coordination, based on the principles of solidarity, social justice, cooperation and economic complementarity, fruit of the political will of its founders, Commanders Fidel Castro Ruz and Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.

We ratify that the cardinal principle that must guide ALBA-TCP is the broadest solidarity among the peoples of our America, based on the thinking of Bolivar, Marti, San Martin, Sucre, O’Higgins, Petión, Morazán, Sandino, Bishop, Garvey, Tupac Katari, Bartolina Sisa, Chatoyer and other heroes of Latin American and Caribbean independence, according to the joint declaration of Commanders Chávez and Fidel on December 14, 2004.

We ratify our commitment to a genuine Latin American and Caribbean integration, which will allow us to face together the pretensions of imperialist domination and hegemony and the growing threats to regional peace and stability.

We advocate for a transparent, democratic, fair and equitable international order, based on multilateralism, observance of the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and International Law; that guarantees international peace and security and respect for the right of peoples to self-determination, territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in internal affairs and sovereignty of States.

We recognize the laudable work of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as a non-permanent member of the Security Council during the last two years, raising the voice of the peoples of the Caribbean and representing the struggle for just causes within this important organ of the United Nations.

We reaffirm the full validity of the postulates of the “Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace”, signed by the Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), at its II Summit held in Havana, in January 2014.

We underscore the need to continue strengthening CELAC as a genuine mechanism for political coordination, cooperation and regional dialogue based on the principle of unity in diversity, in order to face the common challenges we face. We ratify the results of the VI Summit of the Community, held in Mexico City on September 18, 2021, while commending the work of the Mexican pro tempore presidency to revitalize CELAC and reiterate our commitment to support its management.

Read full Declaration here

Venezuela Pushes for Stronger ALBA Economy at XX Summit

High-level delegations from the ten ALBA nations participate in the organization’s XX Summit in Cuba on Tuesday. (@RadioRelojCuba / Twitter)

Source: (venezuelanalysis.com)

December 12, 2021  –

The Venezuelan government has called on the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA-TCP) to draw up “commercial, financial and monetary plans” to strengthen post-pandemic economic development.

The proposal came during ALBA’s XX Summit in Havana, Cuba on Tuesday. The gathering likewise commemorated seventeen years since Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro founded the multilateral organization in 2004. It followed the XIX Summit held earlier this year in Caracas.

The latest summit was attended by the presidents of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Bolivia, respectively, as well as by high-level delegations from ALBA members Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Granada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia, which returned to the body this year after a left victory in its July elections. Delegations from non-members Haiti, Syria and Surinam were present as well.

The economy was top on the meeting’s agenda, with a number of representatives focusing on both the reactivation of their productive apparatus and debt relief after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I request that we make a new and stronger effort to articulate comprehensive plans for economic, commercial, financial, and monetary development between ALBA nations,” said Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro during the encounter. “We need to generate wealth in order to be able to distribute it,” he continued, encouraging “new investment to produce food, oil, gas, everything our peoples need.”

Equally, Bolivia’s president and economist Luis Arce, who brought 20 tons of humanitarian assistance to Havana, proposed creating two additional “gran-national” enterprises to produce food and medicine. Gran-national enterprises are mixed firms which operate under ALBA control across various countries. They are based on core values of solidarity and fair distribution instead of profit-making.

“It is time to push together, to sum up our forces. It is time to show solidarity, and Bolivia proposes and accepts the responsibility for drawing up a strategic plan to develop our economies,” Arce told those present, while also calling for the jumpstarting of ALBA financial arms such as the ALBA Bank and Sucre currency.

The summit’s final statement echoed the calls, as well as establishing “a more complete mechanism to alleviate foreign debt for developing countries, as well as the writing-off or refinancing of debt (and) the democratic transformation of international financial organizations.”

Similarly, the summit pledged to reactivate the ALBA Economic Zone project, as well as regional fisheries, agriculture and PetroCaribe projects.

PetroCaribe distributed crude and fuel to Caribbean nations under long-term and low-interest payment agreements. The project was halted in 2018 as US sanctions severely hit Venezuela’s struggling oil sector. On Tuesday, the Venezuelan president stated that the flagship initiative will “return stronger-than-ever sooner rather than later.” Maduro had previously promised the project would be relaunched in the first half of 2020.

Counter-Intervention Observatory established

The ALBA Summit went on to take aim at US intervention in the region, blasting the “genocidal” blockade against Cuba and the “massive, flagrant and systematic violation of human rights” through unilateral coercive measures against a number of the alliance’s members.

“Not even a thousand sanctions will defeat the dignity of the Venezuelan, Nicaraguan and Cuban people,” said Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel at the meeting.

From Cuba, ALBA Executive Secretary Sacha Llorenti unveiled a Counter-Intervention Observatory which will reportedly look to “periodically analyze the role of non-governmental organizations and funding in destabilizing efforts,” as well as study how the “neoliberal coercive measures” are being levied against member nations.

The observatory comes as a response to Washington’s Summit for Democracy last week, which unveiled over US $424 million of funding for the region. According to US President Joe Biden, the resources will be channeled into media projects, “defending free and fair elections and political processes,” fighting corruption, “bolstering democratic reformers” and “advancing technology for democracy.” Most ALBA nations were not invited to Washington’s virtual gathering, and Managua, Havana, La Paz and Caracas have all accused Washington of funding destabilization efforts in their countries of late.

ALBA fights the Covid-19 pandemic

The fight against the coronavirus pandemic was also high on the agenda in Havana, with member nations congratulating the island on developing its three vaccines, as well as recognizing the efforts of the ALBA Bank in creating a vaccine bank and Venezuela’s CONVIASA airline for setting up air-bridges between member states. Likewise, the summit saluted the region’s healthcare workers for their frontline work.

For his part, recently re-elected Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega used the opportunity to blast “US imperialism,” claiming that in addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, “savage capitalism and imperialism is the worst pandemic the world has suffered.”

Other issues discussed included backing the Caribbean’s historic claims to compensation for the “genocide” and “horrors” of the slave trade; pushing for “more ambitious” commitments on climate change after a “disappointing” COP26 Summit in Glasgow; and congratulating recent leftwing electoral victories in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Venezuela and Honduras.

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
RESIST!

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.

Cuba: Sharing in solidarity where other bring weapons

Source:  Granma

December 16 2019

Photo: Estudios Revolución

Speech by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, during the political-cultural event commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement, at the University of Havana’s Grand Stairway, December 14, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution

(Transcript: Presidency of the Republic)

Good evening.

This event is turned around: Maduro, Ralf and Daniel spoke just a bit and now I am going to have to speak a little more. (Laughter)

Dear Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee;

Dear ALBA-TCP heads of state and government;

Dear heads of delegations and guests:

Students of our universities, the present and future of the Cuban nation. To you and to all young people of Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean, we address you today!

Fidel & young Chavez

We have come here, to our glorious Grand Stairway, to celebrate 15 years of ALBA-TCP, because this alliance has its roots in the first meeting of two giants of Our America: the Comandante en jefe of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, and the then (young) leader of the Bolivarian Movement 200, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.

That meeting, which changed the history of Latin America and the Caribbean and impacted the world, took place December 13-15, 1994.

As is occurring today, we were living complex, uncertain days for the region and the world. And it was here nearby, in the University of Havana’s Aula Magna, where for the first time the analyses and premonitory proposals were heard of what, with time, joint effort, and the advance of progressive governments, would emerge in 2004 as this paradigm of solidary integration that we know as ALBA-TCP.

We also choose the Stairway, the door to our University, one of the oldest in America, because the present and future of Cuba and much of the rest of the world pass through here every day, young people from sister nations, students who share classrooms and dreams with our sons and daughters.

We firmly believe that universities cannot be disconnected from our world or its pressing problems. Here Fidel became a revolutionary, here he spoke to his Latin American contemporaries, with Hugo Chávez, here we study and think about the best possible world that we revolutionaries have set out to set our minds to winning.

Sisters and brothers:

Exactly one year ago, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America met with the objective of establishing common positions in the face of the evident intensification of aggression against our nations. The forecasts of that moment were not exaggerated.

US destabilization campaign

The government of the United States and its allies launched, and insist on continuing, a ferocious, unscrupulous destabilization campaign in the region.

They are doing so by resuming the brutal application of the Monroe Doctrine, to which the current administration in Washington has openly and arrogantly committed itself.

They have escalated their actions against the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, violating the most elementary principles of international law. They have gone so far as to designate who can speak on behalf of Venezuela and make decisions on the country’s funds and real estate outside its territory. Never before in history has democracy been so offended, speaking in the name of democracy while trampling it.

The recent invocation against Venezuela of the obsolete Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) – which never served to safeguard the interests of the region – is another warning that peace, democracy and security are being threatened.

What else is the purpose of reviving an institution like TIAR, which backed coups, established military dictatorships and was unable to support one of its members when an extra-regional power occupied its territory and unleashed a war?

The determination of the Venezuelan people

The United States coordinated attacks on the homeland of Bolívar and Chávez without understanding that the determination of its people is strengthened even more in the face of foreign aggression. They failed and will continue to fail before the solid civil-military union and the courage of millions of Venezuelans, who have always sworn to be loyal, and never traitors. (Applause)

Photo: Angélica Paredes

Here is our brother Nicolás Maduro, representing that victorious, firm union.

Long live the Bolivarian Revolution! (Exclamations of: Viva!)

We reiterate our solidarity with the Sandinista Popular Revolution, which with its president at the forefront, Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra, is resisting imperial attacks on Nicaragua, despite the threats, and advancing on the path of reconciliation, peace and just development for its country.

Long live the Sandinista Revolution! (Exclamations of: Viva!)

We celebrate the release of the Brazilian workers’ leader and former President of that country, compañero Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, and at the same time we call on everyone to continue demanding his full freedom, the recognition of his innocence and the restitution of all his political rights.

Despite imperial conspiracies and the politicization of judicial systems, corruption, and the discrediting of politics by agents of imperialism, neoliberalism and the media, Lula’s example shows that we will always find a way to fight for truth, dignity and solidarity in order to defeat lies.

Bolivia, the absent brother, deserves special mention.

The faithful pawn of the US:  the OAS

The coup against constitutional President Evo Morales Ayma confirmed that the United States and reactionary forces do not hesitate to violate, by any means, the people’s freedoms and human rights to reverse emancipatory processes in the region. As always, they used their faithful pawn: the Organization of American States (OAS).

It is no surprise that the first foreign policy move by the coup plotters in Bolivia, following the imperialists’ script, was to leave ALBA.

In countries like Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil, we watch with pain and indignation as the number of deaths rises and injuries reach thousands, with eye injuries increasing to hundreds of young people, as a result of repression as brutal as that we remember from the dark days of military dictatorships. Social activists, journalists and former guerrillas are murdered. Cases of violence, torture and rape of detainees now number in the hundreds.

Several of the military and police authorities who today are the protagonists of this horrible repression were trained at the now defunct School of the Americas. Those who persecute leftist and progressive leaders were trained in the current International Academy for Law Enforcement, also made in the USA.

The people’s resistance

Day by day, we follow with admiration the dramatic course of the people’s resistance and the growing mobilizations.

From this podium, we emphatically denounce the complicit, shameful silence of many, the distortion and cover-up of what occurred in Bolivia by the corporate, oligarchic media.

And here today, Cuba reaffirms our support and solidarity with compañero Evo Morales Ayma. (Applause) Long live the governments and peoples who uphold dignity and sovereignty by welcoming and supporting the persecuted leaders! (Exclamations of: Vivan!)

Our health personnel who served in Bolivia are closely acquainted with the brutality of the coup plotters, whose repressive forces, led directly by the United States, physically assaulted two collaborators, while 54 were unjustly detained, some for several days.

Members of the Cuban Medical Brigade were, for absolutely no reason, humiliated, searched and stripped of their belongings. The coup authorities incited hatred against Cubans.

The cowardice of these repressors contrasted sharply with the dignity and courage of our self-sacrificing professionals, who deserve recognition for their unwavering stance, a product of Cuba’s internationalist tradition. (Applause)

They are all back, ready to defend the homeland, and take on the next mission.

Once again, “the tiger lurks”

The events that have transpired in Bolivia sound the alarm and alert us. Once again “the tiger lurks,” as Martí said in his magnificent essay Our America:

“The colony continued to live within the republic; and our America is being saved from its great errors (…) by the superior virtue, fertilized with necessary blood, of the republic that fights against the colony. The tiger waits, behind every tree, crouched in every corner”.

In our recent visit to Argentina, to attend the inauguration of Alberto and Cristina, we held a valuable dialogue with important intellectuals and artists in that country.

From all of them, we heard the most formidable criticism of neoliberalism “the tiger that lurks” and its serious consequences for the peoples of America that have been destroyed by neoliberal experiments.

Argentine filmmaker and current Minister of Culture Tristán Bauer has just documented the serious social costs of neoliberalism in the four years of the Macri administration, in a documentary titled: Tierra arrasada.

Others present recalled that these processes are supported by a powerful media network that progressive projects must confront in an unequal battle. And proposals were made to promote a kind of cultural strategy that addresses this asymmetry.

What remains of the colonial mentality in America must disappear before our peoples disappear, with their dreams of emancipation and integration, postponed since Bolivar’s times.

Disseminating ideas and values to defend our conquests

It is essential to disseminate ideas and values to defend our conquests. And it is also necessary to join together in the area of communication so that the colonial mentality does not engulf us with its ammunition of false symbols, like the mirrors that the conquerors gave to our noble, original inhabitants, in exchange for the natural wealth with which they have built their power.

The magnificent ideas that were presented in just two hours, during the meeting with Argentine friends, confirm the enormous potential of the imaginative Latin American intelligentsia, whose best exponents have always been allies in the battle for social justice.

Compañeras and compañeros:

Even in the face of the most brutal U.S. pressure, Cuba won a resounding victory at the United Nations, when 187 countries voted in favor of our resolution condemning the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade.

Those who did not have the courage to resist U.S. pressure and did not dare to condemn the blockade of Cuba bear the responsibility of supporting a policy that no people on earth approves, because it is criminal, because it violates the human rights of millions, because it is extraterritorial, illegal and outrageous.

And because what they are doing to Cuba, today, they will do tomorrow to other nations, as has been proven more than once in recent years. No one is exempt from the empire’s whip, and to allow others to be beaten is to open the way to lashings for all.

We are pleased to know that this attitude does not reflect what the fraternal peoples of Brazil and Colombia truly feel.

In victories such as the UN condemnation of the blockade, ALBA has been and must continue to be a front of unity and resistance to the empire, to coups and to interventionist positions that shame the honorable men and women of our continent.

Progressive victories in Mexico and Argentina

Likewise, we salute and are encouraged by progressive victories in Mexico and Argentina, where new governments have already shown, in a very short period, their commitment to peace, democracy, development and social justice for the peoples, and to the genuine unity and integration of Our America.

In recent months we have heard ridiculous accusations of the Cuban and Bolivarian revolutions, in a malicious attempt to justify what they refuse to understand: the profound reasons for popular revolts against neoliberalism that continue to take place in several countries of the region. They do not surprise us.

The popular demonstrations are the result of struggles against inequality and social injustices accumulated over the years. And they are here to stay, and will increase if their causes are not addressed.

Pushing the “de-historization” of time

Those who repress refuse to see in these demonstrations the real causes, because, in order to maintain power, neoliberalism attempts to prevent us from developing historical consciousness, pushing the “de-historization” of time. That is why ideologues, like Francis Fukuyama, insist that history has ended.

They try to tell us that capitalism is eternal. So, they want to perpetuate social inequality, misery, exclusion. Time is history! And ours is based on Bolívar, San Martín, Sucre, Martí, Che, Fidel, Chávez, Sandino, the struggle against slavery, against Spanish domination, against invasions and against the blockade of Cuba by genocidal imperialism.

Neoliberalism has forced the world economy to move from production to speculation. While the world Gross Domestic Product is growing at an annual average of 1% to 2%, financial profits grows more than 5% a year. While eight hundred and twenty million people are threatened with death by hunger, twenty trillion dollars are stashed in tax havens!

Brutal dehumanization and global colonization

Neoliberalism produces what Marx foresaw: people have no value as human being, but on the basis of the commodities they hold. This is brutal dehumanization.

Neoliberalism does not promote globalization, but global colonization. Its purpose is to make the world a great market to which only the rich have access, the rest are excluded; they are disposable beings, condemned to an early death.

Neoliberalism is based on competition, socialism on solidarity. Neoliberalism in the private accumulation of wealth; socialism in the sharing of wealth. Neoliberalism in defending the interests of capital; socialism, human rights and those of nature.

The United States and the Latin American oligarchies cannot forgive us for constructing models that are inclusive and committed to the people despite pressure and the sieges of sanctions and blockades.

Building solidarity models

We can give them the formula: We don’t build models for the 1%. We don’t build exclusion models. We are building solidarity models and practicing integration. (Applause)

And we are not forgiven for uniting in solidarity as Latin Americans and Caribbeans without imperial tutelage.

They do not forgive us not only for choosing to assert independence, freedom, sovereignty over our resources and self-determination, but also for demonstrating that we are capable of defending this choice.

Sharing in solidarity where other bring weapons

They do not forgive Cuba for defending the philosophy of sharing in solidarity what we have, of taking health and literacy where others bring weapons, of teaching people to read and write, or restoring sight and saving the lives of those who have never had quality health services.

Now, when in some countries Cuban cooperation has been interrupted, as a result of imperialist and oligarchic conspiracies, we note with concern that millions of Latin Americans have been stripped of their human right to health. The oligarchies don’t care and they bend under pressure from the pathological Yankee campaign.

The only military and security forces that interfere in the internal affairs of countries and threaten Latin America and the Caribbean are those of the United States.

Cuba will resist all threats. We have been hardened in the struggle. We have a united people. We count on the solidarity of the world, of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, and especially of our brothers and sisters in ALBA.

We will not renounce socialism! We will not renounce solidarity! We will not renounce friendship! We will not renounce dignity! (Applause)

ALBA compañeros:

I reiterate the embrace of this noble, courageous and solidary people, in this beautiful city that has just completed 500 years of history and struggle. A city to which you can always return to receive the affection of those who do not surrender, will not surrender, and will continue the vibrant Revolution that brought us thus far.

Let us conclude as such events always do, on this historic stairway, with a celebration of life, of the future that is prepared here to make possible the better world for which so many generations have given their blood and their very lives.

We are Cuba!

And we are also Latin America and the Caribbean, all united by ALBA-TCP!

Always onward to victory!

(Ovation)

Elections in Dominica: The decision of the majority should be respected

Quote

Having learned about the preliminary results of today’s general elections in Dominica, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said that the decision of the majority of the population should be respected. According to the disclosed data, the victory went to the candidates of the Dominica Labor Party led by Skerrit. After the general election went well, local media reported that this political party won in 18 constituencies, three more than […]

via OAS again: Dominica’s Prime Minister asks to respect election results – CHAMOSAURIO

Haitians Reject Visit of US Representative as US Interference

Source:  TeleSUR

November 21 2019

Image result for haitians protest visit of kelly craftSocial and political organizations in Haiti reject the visit of the United States
ambassador to the United  Nations, Kelly Craft

Dozens of people were brutalized by security forces as they were protesting Kelly Craft’s visit.

Social and political organizations in Haiti rejected the visit of the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, who arrived in the country on Wednesday.

RELATED:  UN Peacekeeping 15-year Mission Ends With Mixed Legacy in Haiti

Videos on social media showed protesters expressing anger over what they call the U.S.’s interference in Haitian politics, signaling Craft’s visit as its latest instance.

Social organizations have been calling out the U.S. for backing up the widely unpopular President Jovenel Moise and demanding an immediate end to the meddlings in the nation’s internal affairs.

A spokesman for the Consensual Alternative for the Refoundation of Haiti, Andre Michel, categorically rejected Craft’s visit and her country’s repeated calls for dialogue.

‘We will not negotiate with corrupt people, with those who perpetrated the La Saline massacre. Resignation and nothing else,” Michel said in a reference to the president.

Craft is visiting Haiti “to highlight the support of the U.S. for a more peaceful, secure, prosperous and democratic future for the Haitian people,” U.S. diplomatic mission in Port-au-Prince said.

The representative of Washington met with  Moise and some of the island’s political and economic leaders, with the alleged purpose of encouraging the adoption of urgent measures and form a government “in the service of the people”.

“A fully functioning government must fight corruption; investigate and prosecute human rights abusers, including those responsible for the La Saline and Bel Air killings; and combat narcotics and human trafficking,” the representative said following the meeting, apparently ignoring that the president himself is accused by his own people of these abuses.

“President Moise and other democratically elected leaders have an obligation to come together, put aside differences, and find an inclusive solution for the benefit of the people of Haiti,” she added.

How many more diplomats will President Trump send to #Haiti to prevent Haitians from draining the #shithole?
What in the neocolonial hell is this? He sends Kelly Craft – a rich white woman to convince poor black people that fighting against misery and oppression is undemocratic.

On the other hand, dozens of people were brutalized by security forces as they were protesting Craft’s visit near the Toussaint Louverture International Airport.

Police officers, who have been accused by some to be funded and trained by the U.S. and to take their orders directly from the U.S. embassy, fired shots in the air forcing protesters to the ground before beating and kicking them, demonstrators said.

As the crisis faced by Haiti is deepening, this visit is the fourth time a U.S. official goes to the island so far this year.

In June, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs deputy assistant secretary Julie Chung met with Moise, as well as a mission led by Carlos Trujillo, former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS).

In March, just after strong anti-government protests paralyzed the capital, deputy secretary of State for Political Affairs, David Hale, met with government and opposition officials; shortly after followed by Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

The U.S. has been constantly supporting the Haitian president who is accused of financial crimes, including fraud, money laundering, and embezzlement of hundreds of million of dollars meant for the country’s development.

And now, Dominica

Al Grey, greyal2@yahoo.com

December 2 2019

Honduras was a member of ALBA – then, in 2009, there was a coup and the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya was ousted by the military.

Bolivia was a member of ALBA  –   then, a few weeks ago, there was a coup led by the military and the democratically elected President Morales was ousted.  He is now in exile in Mexico.

Under their new leadership both Honduras and Bolivia have withdrawn from ALBA.

Related:  Honduras Coup 10 Years Later: Country in Crisis

chavez y maduro 2Venezuela is a founding member of ALBA.  There have been several failed coup attempts in this country since the days of President Hugo Chavez whose pro-people policies irked the US government.  There has also been a relentless economic war with savage US sanctions, and an ongoing international media campaign of deception against the democratically elected leadership of the country.

Related:  Venezuela Remembers Failed Coup Attempt against Hugo Chavez
Venezuela Rejects Coup-Mongering Calls From the US

miguel diaz 10cCuba is a founding member of ALBA.  Having faced decades of terrorism, including the famed Bay of Pigs invasion, the bombing of hotels and biological warfare, all while facing hostile US economic sanctions which have cost the country billions of dollars, the Trump administration now openly engage in regime change tactics in their vain effort to do what their predecessors have failed to achieve.

Related: Díaz-Canel: Cuba will not renounce its sovereignty or independence

daniel ortega May 2018Nicaragua is a member of ALBA – in the 1980s they were forced in a bloody war against counter-revolutionaries, the Contras, trained and financed by the US.  As noted by Noam Chomsky, “Ronald Reagan used them (the Contras) to launch a large-scale terrorist war against Nicaragua, combined with economic warfare that was even more lethal. We (the US) also intimidated other countries so they wouldn’t send aid either.”

The Contras were defeated.  Only recently, modern day Contras took to the streets destabilizing the country for a few months until the situation was again brought under control by President Daniel Ortega.  Nicaragua remains a member of ALBA, but only after years of bloodshed and destabilization efforts similar to those we are now seeing in Venezuela.

correa slams new mental forms of colonialismEcuador was a member of ALBA until President Raphael Correa (photo) left office.  His successor, Moreno, vice president under Correa, turned back the gained made by Correa and openly embraced anti-people neoliberal policies.  So, there was no need for sanctions, destabilization or a coup. Moreno took on a self -imposed coup status.

The English-speaking members of ALBA are, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

roosevelt skerrit 4

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister Dominica

Recent events in Dominica on the eve of national elections; the blocking of roads, the burning of tyres, the use of social media promoting anti-government sentiments, the popularising of the call for free and fair elections prior to the elections, – all alien to Dominica’s culture – are standard tactics for US-backed coups in the region, and  suggest that the footprints of Washington, fixated on having their lackeys in power, will be seen if we look closely.

Related:  Skerrit calls on UWP and its leadership to end ‘lawlessness’ in Dominica

Related:  Dominica: What Is Behind the Conflict Over Friday’s Elections

According to Wikipedia, countries with observer status in ALBA include Haiti, Syria and Iran while Suriname  was admitted to the organization as a guest country at a February 2012 summit.

Skerrit calls on UWP and its leadership to end ‘lawlessness’ in Dominica

Source: Dominica News
December 3 2019

Prime Minister Skerrit (FILE)

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has called on the leader of the opposition Lennox Linton, former Prime Minister of Dominica and Edison James to bring an end to what he describes as “lawlessness” in the country.

His call came during an address to the nation on Monday night.

The 2019 General Election is scheduled to be held in three (3) days and there’s been protests action in the country in which a number of citizens expressing their desire for electoral reform for free and fair elections – a demand which the United Workers Party (UWP)  and the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) have been spearheading for a long time.

Videos on social media showed residents of Marigot which is represented in parliament by UWP leader Lennox Linton, blocking main roads in Marigot and burning debris on the streets.

“I am calling on Lennox Linton, Edison James and the UWP to bring an end to this lawlessness,” he remarked. “I am calling on them to tell their supporters to stop.”

Skerrit continued, “I am calling on Linton and the UWP to put Dominica first.”

He said the government of Dominica has every confidence that local security forces are fully competent and committed to exercise in the skills and restraint required in the face of these acts of provocation.

“They will maintain safety and law and order in our country,” Skerrit stated. “They will not let the situation get out of hand and a few people tarnish Dominica’s good name.”

He reminded everyone that the laws under which these elections are taking place have governed national elections in Dominica, “No matter which party was in government or opposition.”

“In 41 years of Independence Dominica elections have always been free and fair, this time will be no different,” Skerrit indicated.

Meantime, he said that the DLP cancelled all political meetings last night.

“We take this step, not because of widespread violence or the breakdown of national law and order, which there is not, but because it is the prudent and cautious course of action in light of today’s political developments,” he said.

Skerrit continued, “We are taking this precaution to ensure that innocent Dominicans going about their business and labour’s supporters attending public meetings do not fall victim to supporters of the United Workers Party.”

He said further, that as a mature and responsible political party, the DLP is concerned about the well-being of all Dominicans.

“We will not put a single individual in harm’s way or at risk,” Skerrit said.

 

Fidel Castro and his ideal of integration for Latin America

Source:  La Santa Mambisa
November 25 2019

“What is the history of Cuba but the history of Latin America ? And what is the history of Latin America but the history of Asia, Africa and Oceania? And what is the history of all these peoples but the history of the most ruthless and cruel exploitation of imperialism in the entire world? These words formed the speech of the then young Fidel Castro in 1962 when the revolution was just a girl and Cuba had been expelled from the Organization of American States (OAS).

He then said: “In many Latin American countries, the revolution is inevitable today. That fact is not determined by anyone’s will; it is determined by the appalling conditions of exploitation in which the American man lives, the development of the revolutionary consciousness of the masses, the world crisis of imperialism and the universal movement of struggle of the subjugated peoples. ”

Almost 60 years later, these words echo in the ears of those who listen again to the speech and reflect that history of struggle and resistance shared by the peoples of Latin America .

Integration

For Fidel Castro it  was very clear the path to be taken to change the face of misery and dispossession that the region looked and still sports. Achieving unity and integration were fundamental in their strategic vision and gave continuity to the proposals of important independence leaders such as Simón Bolívar and José Martí.

His thesis on the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean, affirmed that the political and economic union between their nations would contribute to seek their own development and avoid the influence of the United States in the region.

“Yesterday we were huge colony; we can be tomorrow a great community of closely united peoples. Nature gave us insurmountable riches, and history gave us roots, language, culture and common bonds as no other region of the Earth has, ”said the Commander in Chief on one occasion.

The president of the Institute of History of Cuba, Yoel Cordoví Núñez said that in Latin America and the Caribbean, Fidel Castro Ruz reaches a relevant place for his critical thinking towards capitalism, neoliberalism and anti-imperialism.

This researcher points out that there is no politician who, like Fidel, exemplified in the twentieth century the foundations of a Latin American emancipatory thought and considered the faithful legacy of vital importance when the ideology of nations between neoliberalism and socialism is redefined in the area.

For Fidel, unity was always an indispensable factor in achieving any victory: “These peoples of America know that their internal strength is in the union and that their continental strength is also in the union. These peoples of America know that if they do not want to be victims of tyranny again, but want to be victims of aggressions again, we must unite more and more, we must increasingly strengthen ties from town to town. ”

Under these principles of unity and integration, Fidel devised the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), in December 2004, which gave way to the founding summit, in Caracas seven years later, of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) This first was followed in 2005 by Petrocaribe, in 2007 the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).

Internationalism

Another of Fidel’s principles was “not to give what we have left over but to share what we have.” Relevant are the achievements that the Commander in Chief promoted in Latin America with the modest help of Cuba in the fields of health, sports and education.

Internationalism was configured as a practice of the foreign policy of the Cuban Revolution. The medical aid of the Island has been in various natural disasters such as Hurricane “Jean” in Nicaragua, floods in Bolivia, the passage of Hurricane Mitch through Honduras and Guatemala, the cholera epidemic that hit Peru, among many more.

Another of the projects devised by Fidel was the creation in 1999 of the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), allowing thousands of humble young people from Latin America to train as professionals.

On the other hand, in 1999, Haiti asked Cuba to collaborate for the literacy of its inhabitants. In that occasion a total of 150,000 Haitians learned to read and write. Then, with the creation of the audiovisual method “I can do it” in 2001 millions of people in the region have been literate. Thanks to its application, countries such as Venezuela and Bolivia declared themselves free from illiteracy.

For Fidel being internationalists “is paying off our own debt to humanity. Who is not able to fight for others, will never be capable enough to fight for himself. ”

For the political scientist, Atilio Borón without the Revolution led by Fidel Castro, the history of Latin America and the Caribbean would have been completely different, which shows the impact of fidelist thinking in the region.

“We would not have had Lula, Dilma, Chávez, Maduro, Nestor, Cristina, Lugo, Rafael, Evo,” Mel “, Daniel, Sánchez Serén, Tabaré, the” Pepe. ” And before they had not had Allende, Velasco Alvarado, Juan J. Torres, Goulart, Torrijos, Roldós, on a list that would be endless if we included the popular and revolutionary leaderships that sprouted throughout the region under the influence of the Revolution Cuban. “