50 Years in the Making, We Must Again Confront and Reject U.S. Warmongering

Source:  Black Alliance for Peace (BAP)

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The need to break the silence

50 years ago, on April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King reconnected with the radical black tradition by adding his voice of opposition to the murderous U.S. war machine unleashed on the people of Vietnam. For Dr. King, his silence on the war in Vietnam had become an irreconcilable moral contradiction. He declared that it was hypocritical for him to proclaim the superior value of non-violence as a life principle in the U.S. and remain silent as the U.S. government engaged in genocidal violence against a people whose only crime was to believe that they could escape the clutches of French and then U.S. colonialism.

“As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems,” Dr. King said. “I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightly so, ‘What about Vietnam?’ They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

In his speech at Riverside Church, King not only criticized U.S. actions in Vietnam but identified the cultural pathologies at the center of U.S. society. “I am convinced that if we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values,” he said. “We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

50 years later, what rational person can honestly argue against the position that the U.S. is still the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet?

A militant anti-war and anti-imperialist movement

 But what existed in 1967 that helped put moral and political pressure on King was a militant anti-war and anti-imperialist movement; a movement that in many respects was born out of the black-led pro-democracy and social justice struggles and organizing in the South. Many of the young white activists who took up opposition to the war and built such organizations as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) cut their activist teeth while working with black activists in the South. From the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) to the Northern-based Black Panther party, the cutting edge of the Black liberation movement took an early and resolute oppositional stance against the war on Vietnam.

After almost three decades of pro-war conditioning by both corporate parties and the corporate media coupled with cultural desensitization from almost two decades of unrelenting war, opposition to militarism and war is negligible among the general population. The black public has not been immune to these cultural and political changes. And with the ascendancy of the corporatist President Barack Obama, during whose tenure the U.S. continued its militaristic bent unabated and in fact ratcheted up its aggressive posturing in some parts of the globe, particularly in the Middle East, there was a decidedly rightward shift in the consciousness of the black public and a significantly dampened anti-war sentiment among black people.

Politically the result has been disastrous for the society and for the U.S. anti-war movement. The bi-partisan warmongering over the last two decades has met very little opposition, and the traditional anti-war stance of the black population has almost disappeared.

Opposition growing among young people

But once again we are seeing opposition to militarism, violence and war developing among young people. And once again we are seeing young black voices making the connections between opposition to domestic state violence and the moral necessity to be in opposition to the U.S. war machine reflected in the policy statements from the Movement for Black Lives, BYP 100 and the Black Lives Matter network. Those positions are supported by the Black Left Unity Network, the Black is Back Coalition and other black formations. What is needed at this historical moment is for those forces to be galvanized and given more strategic focus.

What is needed is a Black Alliance for Peace (BAP).

The BAP must be a people(s)-centered human rights project against War, Repression, and imperialism that seeks to recapture and redevelop the historic anti-war, anti-imperialist, and pro-peace positions of the radical black movement. So, on April 4, we are calling for a new alliance to help revive the black anti-war and peace movement in the black community as an essential component of a revived broader anti-war and pro-peace movement. Moreover, this new movement is even clearer on the connection between state violence and repression and the global war-mongering of the U.S. The pivot to Asia, the rotating of NATO troops on the borders of Russia, the destabilization of the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM), continued support for apartheid Israel, police executions and impunity in the U.S. and mass incarceration are all understood to be part of one oppressive, desperate structure of global white supremacy.

Dr. King also called upon the nation to understand the link between the unfulfilled economic needs of the majority of the population ground down by the ravages of an unforgiving racialized capitalism and the ruling class commitment to direct public funds toward militarism. His call for a poor people’s campaign was the human rights foundation of his anti-war position.

Militarism has a direct impact on working people and the poor. Even Republican president Dwight Eisenhower understood this when he issued what in today’s right-wing U.S. culture would read as a radical statement:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”

There must be an alternative to the neoliberalism of the Democrats and the nationalist-populism of Trump. We need an independent movement to address both the economic needs of poor and working people and the escalating attacks on the Black community, immigrants, women, unions, the LGBTQ community, refugees, Muslims, the physically and mentally challenged, youth, students, the elderly, Mother Earth – all of us. We need a new movement to end the wars on black people and people around the world. The BAP is a significant step toward helping to revive the anti-war, anti-imperialist and anti-state-repression movement in the U.S. Let us on this 50th anniversary re-dedicate ourselves to building a movement for social justice that rejects the de-humanizing effects of war on everyone.

Ajamu Baraka, National Organizer, Black Alliance for Peace

Jamaica: New Foundations Congratulates President Maduro and the Venezuelan People on their Electoral Victory

Source:  New Foundation
May 26 2018

maduro wins may 2018.jpgThe New Foundations, a long established and registered group of the People’s National Party, in the face of deafening silence by the usual vocal groups, is expressing on behalf of those comrades and democratic minded Jamaicans who are joyed by the results and wish to proudly and openly express congratulations to President Nicolas Maduro Moros, as the newly democratically re-elected President of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The elections of last Sunday, 20th May, 2018, were monitored by over 150 international observers and were declared to have been free and fair. The Opposition’s boycott was only because they knew that they faced certain defeat and we are confident that if there had been fully contested elections, more Venezuelans would have turned out at the polls to ensure a still resounding victor for President Maduro, whose policies have admittedly and unapologetically been skewed and directed to improving the quality of life of those who are in greatest need and not pandering to the Venezuelan oligarchy and the super-rich as previous right-wing governments had done in the past.

We say that the victory of President Maduro is a tremendous victory for the Venezuelan people and in particular those in the three lowest economic quintiles, for democracy and the right to self-determination in this hemisphere and for the anti-imperialist struggle against economic re-colonization.

Youth from across the world condemn U.S. imperialism

Source:  Granma
October 19 2017

By Lissy Rodríguez, Special correspondent | internet@granma.cu

October 18 saw the International Anti-imperialist Tribunal, a space created to denounce imperialist crimes, as part of the 19th World Festival of Youth and  Students

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SOCHI, Russia.– October 18 saw the International Anti-imperialist Tribunal, a space created to denounce imperialist crimes, as part of the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students.

Terrorist acts that the United States has perpetrated against Cuba

The Cuban case was presented by Elián González, who referred to the more than 700 terrorist acts that the United States has perpetrated against Cuba resulting in thousands of dead and injured.

He stressed that subversion on the island involves non-governmental organizations, universities, USAID, counterrevolutionary representatives and Freedom House, considered a vehicle for the work of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. From 1996 through 2015, Elián noted, USAID allocated 284 million dollars to its Cuba program.

The Sahrawi people

Omar Hanesa, representing the Sahrawi people, denounced the illegal Moroccan occupation of their land and demanded justice for the crimes committed against them over decades. He also called for the release of political prisoners sentenced to more than 20 years for defending their people’s cause.

Related:  Cuba Backs Independence for Africa’s Sahrawi People

More than 150 unpunished murders

Similarly, Angela Correa from Colombia denounced the more than 150 unpunished murders of young communists at the hands of government agents in her country, and demanded an observation mission in the face of the avalanche of violence. In addition, she condemned the attacks on Venezuela and the increased military presence in the nine U.S. bases on Colombian soil.

During the day, witnesses from countries such as Brazil and North Korea also lodged their complaints before the Anti-imperialist Tribunal.

250 Cubans among  20,000 anti-imperialist youth gathered in Sochi, Russia

Sources:  Granma, WFDY, Russia2017.com

October 13, 2017

19th wfdy program.jpgThe youth of today has the challenge of making the world of tomorrow a better place,said Saber Chowdhury, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in his address to the participants of the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students. In his welcome letter Chowdhury stated:

“I am happy to learn that over 20 000 young people from 150 countries of the world are meeting here, in Sochi to tackle the most complicated issues of our time. You are our hope for a better future. You have the talent, the energy and the creativity to build the future. In other words, you are the power that will be able to make tomorrow better than today”.

Cuban delegates

Leaving Cuba for Sochi were 250 delegates who know that  millions of Cubans will be with them, along with Martí, Mella, Villena, José Antonio, Che, Fidel…

The persistent rain of the last few days did not dampened the spirits of those preparing for the trip with activities at the Medical Sciences Preparatory School in Casablanca, including book presentations, discussion, and workshops.

Maidolis Ojeda, from the province of Matanzas, noted that, “it is a source of pride to represent all our country’s youth. We will go to Russia to defend our Revolution and denounce imperialism.”

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Alegna Peralta González, a twelve grade student from Sancti Spiritus, thinks that for her, being a delegate to the World Festival of Youth and Students is both expectations and responsibilities

Expectations are high among the young Cuban men and women attending the 19th Festival to defend Cuba’s reality and to share their thoughts and experiences with the youth of the world.

They are scheduled to present in 20 different workshops, cultural events, expositions, and panel discussions devoted to Fidel and Che. Planned meetings with delegations from Russia, Vietnam, and Venezuela will be of special interest.

The Cuban people are aware that their 250 representative are taken from the best of the country’s youth from all sectors of the society and will follow closely the news coming from the historic XIX World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi, Russia.

Related:  Young Cubans Heads to Sochi: Alegna Peralta’s Passions

At the moment the city is expecting over 50 000 visitors, including the participants, volunteers, organizers, technical personnel, guests and speakers of the WFYS 2017. The 19th World Festival of Youth and Students has a chance of becoming the largest event in the festival history both in terms of number of delegations and number of participants. To this day, the largest festival took place in Moscow in 1957 with 34 000 attending.

Due to this, the event program has been expended and stretched outside the Olympic Park. Additional headquarters are put in place as well as a corporate assistance centre to service all clientele groups of WFYS 2017.

The Festival takes place 14–22 October in the Olympic Park of Sochi.

Pan African solidarity with the Cuban people

Source:  Pambazuka News

A Statement by the North American Delegation to the 8th Pan African Congress on the passing of Comrade Fidel Castro Ruiz

PanAfrican Wire

The Pan African Congress – North America

His anti-imperialist policies, socialist initiatives and strong internationalism have earned him a lasting place in world history.

November 30, 2016

 

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The North American Delegation to the 8th Pan African Congress would like to express its solidarity with the Cuban people at the moment when Comrade Fidel Castro joined the ancestors. For over 60 years Comrade Castro gave leadership to first a rebellion and then a revolution after which he was appointed as Prime Minister and later as President and Commander-in-Chief of Cuba, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and Secretary General of the Non Aligned Movement. His anti-imperialist policies, socialist initiatives and strong internationalism have earned him a lasting place in world history.

Leadership 

Noted for many of the internal social policies which addressed the quality of life for Cuban people such as increasing the literacy rate to 98% and decreasing the infant mortality rate to 1.1%, Comrade Castro and the Communist party of Cuba gave leadership to the peoples of the Caribbean, Central and South America. Castro was an undying opponent of all forms of colonialism and provided moral and political support to the Puerto Rican Independence movement.

Unswerving support for the anti-colonial struggles

Among the African descendants, Fidel will be remembered for his unswerving support for the anti-colonial struggles.  Soon after the decisive victory of the revolution, in the early 1960s Comrade Castro and the revolutionary leadership introduced a call for a “Marshall Plan” type program for Latin America. To counter this, the John F. Kennedy administration launched the Alliance for Progress to stifle the progressive initiatives of Cuba to support the oppressed of the American hemisphere.

Fidel y malcolm 5.jpgIt was among African Americans in the USA where the solidarity was manifest in numerous ways. Castro encouraged African Americans to visit Cuba, as a non-discriminatory country, and provided refuge for Pan African revolutionaries such as Robert Williams. Up to today, Assata Shakur is being protected in Cuba by the Cuban state. His visit to Harlem in 1960, talks with Malcolm X and other African-American leaders reaffirmed the growing ties between the two communities.

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A decade later he was one of the first to support President Salvador Allende against the right-wing elements of the Chilean military. In many ways it was the solidarity of the African progressive forces that cautioned the USA against an open invasion after the Bay of Pigs debacle in 1961. After that it was reported that there were over 600 attempts at the life of Comrade Castro by the US intelligence services.

Deep and abiding ties to Africa

Comrade Castro had deep and abiding ties to Africa, beginning with his connections to the African descendent community in Cuba. After visits in the 1970s to Guinea and Algeria, he led Cuba to become a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, and encouraged revolutionary movements everywhere, including Vietnam and Palestine. Comrade Castro actively supported the liberation forces of Africa and sent military advisers to assist Angolan President Agostinho Neto in 1975. Cuba then strengthened its support of the revolutionary forces in Mozambique and Southern Africa. In 1977 Comrade Castro was able to tour Algeria, Libya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Angola and in each country was warmly greeted as a true friend of African liberation.

fidel-y-neto-2During the period of the Reagan and Thatcher counter-revolution, the CIA and apartheid intensified their efforts to crush the freedom fighters in South Africa and Namibia. When the United States and South Africa increased their support for the forces of UNITA in Angola and the MNR in Mozambique, the Cuban government dispatched over 25,000 troops to Angola which led to a major victory at Cuito Cuanavale. Fidel Castro personally worked with the commanders on the ground, and his military clarity during the battles at Cuito Cuanavale led to the decisive victory. This was the battle that changed the history of Africa and ended white minority rule in Namibia and South Africa. Afterwards Castro rightly stated that, “The history of Africa will be divided into before and after Cuito Cuanavale.”

Support for Reparations

Comrade Castro supported the Global Reparations campaign and his support for the position of the Caribbean position at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban in 2001 shifted the position of most of the progressive forces in Latin America to support the reparative claims of African descendants in the Americas. Pan Africanists remember Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolutionaries for their strong support for the health programs in Africa at a moment when the IMF and the World Bank called on governments to cut health expenditures. It was this tradition which was manifest in 2014 when Cuba dispatched thousands of doctors to West Africa to assist Africans in containing the Ebola virus.

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The North American delegation of the Global Pan African movement salutes the bravery and focus of Comrade Fidel as we pledge to continue the fight against capitalism and racism.

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Hasta la Victoria Siempre!  Patria o Muerte!  Venceremos!

17th Latin American and Caribbean Students Congress set for August

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 1 (acn)

OCLAEFrom Caracas, capital of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Latin American and Caribbean Continental Student Organization (OCLAE) officially announced its 17th Congress on Monday afternoon.

Ricardo Guardia, president of the OCLAE, highlighted that the continental call will initiate preparations for the Latin American and Caribbean Student Congress (CLAE), to be held in Managua, Nicaragua, on August 17-22.

The objective is to get together to build a participatory, wide, plural and unitary Congress, an anti-imperialist, pro Latin American and Caribbean forum, on par with the present the region is living and that contributes to the efforts of emancipation, to the project of integration and to the forging of the Big Homeland, he emphasized.

The meeting in Nicaragua in August will be dedicated to late Bolivarian leader Hugo Chavez and his struggle, and will represent the return of the CLAE to the Central American arena after 30 years, with the purpose of re-articulating and strengthening the student movement in that sub-region.

The regional student platform was set up in 1966, in Havana. At present it groups 36 organizations, which represent over 100 million students from 23 countries.

Source: Regional Student Forum Convened from Caracas