Sudanese Masses Pressure Military Regime to Relinquish Power

Source: borkena.com

December 29 2021

Sudan People demonstrate for democratic rule. December 25,2021 ( Photo : AA)

Since the October 25 coup by the military in the oil-rich state of Sudan, the democratic movement has held protests almost on a daily basis.

Interim Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, a technocrat with extensive ties to international finance capital, was overthrown during the late October putsch only to be reinstalled in a secret agreement with the Transitional Military Council (TMC) led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan which excluded the main opposition parties and mass formations which have guided the revolutionary movement since December of 2018.

Over the last three years, former longtime President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, was overthrown in an April 2019 coup led by the TMC which was designed to thwart a people’s takeover which would have inevitably involved a vanguard role for the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC). The FFC grew out of an alliance with the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA), the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors, along with dozens of other opposition forces from various political spectrums including the Communist Party (SCP). 

However, the massacre of demonstrators during June 2019 prompted a more engaged intervention by the African Union (AU) based in neighboring Ethiopia, where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sought to mediate the conflict. In several months the Sovereign Council was created ostensibly designed as a transitional body that within three years would result in a multi-party election creating a parliament and presidency through direct selection by the electorate.

However, the entire process has been derailed largely at the aegis of imperialist forces seeking to dominate the current and future situation inside the country. Under the previous administration of President Donald J. Trump, Prime Minister Hamdok was compelled to acknowledge the so-called “Abraham Accord” which is designed to expand the diplomatic recognition of the state of Israel in Africa and West Asia while undermining international solidarity with the Palestinian people. This measure has not been fully implemented diplomatically although there are reports of at least two exchanges of delegations between Khartoum and Tel Aviv.

These maneuvers by Washington and its allies have not pacified the FFC and other popular forces who have remained in the streets. Even the armed opposition groupings from the Darfur region of Sudan and the border areas of the now partitioned Republic of South Sudan, who signed on to the November 21 post-coup arrangements, are still within a highly precarious situation in their relationship with the military leadership. 

The latest round of demonstrations could only be suppressed by the deployment of the police, paramilitary units and the army. At a December 24 public rally called by the FFC, unnamed individuals set off teargas in the crowd in the effort to disrupt the meeting.

December 25 was marked by renewed mass demonstrations demanding the immediate resignation of Hamdok and the military from the reigns of state power. Actions were held in the three major cities surrounding the capital of Khartoum, Khartoum North and the twin-city of Omdurman. Additional protests extended to the east of the country around Port Sudan where organizations have put forward their own unique set of demands for the military regime.

Sudan Tribune reported on the level of repression carried out by the security forces saying: “The Sudanese government closed main streets leading to the Republican Place in Khartoum, shut down internet services, and deployed troops on the bridges linking the three towns of the capital Khartoum, Khartoum North and Omdurman. Five days after the last protests of December 19, the demonstrators again made their target the presidential palace which is the premises of the military-dominated Sovereign Council. In spite of the massive deployment of joint security forces including the police, the army and the Rapid Support Forces, the protesters marched towards the Palace chanting slogans to denounce the coup d’etat of Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.” (https://sudantribune.com/article253411/)

What has been notable in the demonstrations for democratic transformation since 2018 is the high level of participation of women in the revolutionary movement. Many have moved to the front of the actions challenging the discrimination and marginalization prevalent in Sudanese society. These women have been met with harsh repression where sexual assault has been utilized has a means to driving women off the streets. These attempts to suppress women through brutal attacks have not worked and instead has prompted manifestations by women exposing the crimes being committed by the military and the entire security apparatus.

The same above-mentioned report by Sudan Tribune emphasizes: “[W]omen participated in Saturday’s (Dec. 25) protest to show they were not intimated by the sexual violence and rape by the security forces on 19 December. The police used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the protests in the streets near the Republican Palace. Nonetheless, they failed to stop the demonstrators. The security authorities in Khartoum on Friday (Dec. 24) announced the closure of the bridges and streets leading to the sovereign and strategic sites…. ‘The people are stronger, and it is impossible to go back,’ they also chanted to voice their determination to continue the protests that started immediately after the first hours of the coup on October 25.”

Sudan and Regional Stability in the Horn of Africa

Meanwhile in neighboring Ethiopia, the U.S. is attempting to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The State Department and corporate media outlets based in the West have sought to create an atmosphere where the administration in Addis Ababa is considered brutal and illegitimate. 

In line with this approach by Washington, the Sudanese military junta has sided with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels fighting the elected government in Addis Ababa and other centers of authority throughout the Horn of Africa state. With the TPLF rebels in retreat, returning to their bases in the Tigray province by clearing out areas within the Afar and Amhara regions of the country, the Sudanese military regime is being placed in an even more unstable position. 

Funding from the U.S., the Gulf Monarchies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates along with Tel Aviv is contingent upon Gen. al-Burhan’s compliance with the imperatives of western imperialism. The mass democratic movement in Sudan, if it is to seize power, will inevitably be forced to shift the overall foreign policy of the country. Absent of fundamental changes in domestic and foreign policies, the nation of Sudan will remain subject to the manipulation by the capitalist centers of the West and their surrogates throughout Africa and West Asia.

During mid-to-late December, numerous news articles have appeared suggesting that the reinstalled interim Prime Minister Hamdok is threatening to resign from his tenuous post as head of the second iteration of the Sovereign Council. If Hamdok leaves, which the U.S., UN and the Gulf Monarchies do not want to happen, the military will be weakened even further politically. The lack of a political underpinning for the TMC is causing the armed forces to utilize heightened levels of repression against the democratic movement.

Sudan and the International Situation

With the ascendancy of the current U.S. President Joe Biden in January 2021, the foreign policy of the State Department and the Pentagon has not shifted in its substance towards the African continent. The Trump administration sought to prop up the military regime in Sudan and the same approach continues under Biden.

As Trump was hostile towards the present government in Ethiopia, so is the Biden administration. The U.S. fears a genuinely revolutionary democratic Africa where the foreign policy of the post-independence states is based upon the interests of the majority of workers, farmers, youth and other popular strata within these developing countries. 

After two decades of direct occupation of Afghanistan, the U.S. was forced to leave in humiliating defeat during August 2021. The military adventures in the West Asian and African states of Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen are facing a similar fate as to the outcome of Afghanistan in Central Asia. Trillions in U.S. currency has been spent on these occupations and proxy wars while the national infrastructure of the urban, suburban and rural areas is in rapid decline.

Of course, the failure of imperialist war is paid for by the workers and oppressed in the U.S. struggling against rising impoverishment, racist bigotry, national oppression, gender discrimination, environmental degradation, among other social ills. Consequently, the antiwar and anti-imperialist struggle is essential in the efforts to overturn capitalist exploitation and national oppression.   

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Militant Solidarity With Cuba on Display in 80+ Cities Worldwide

November 15 2021

The images that mass media are not going to show today or tomorrow because they tell a different story. | Photo: Twitter/@CUBAONU

Demonstrators support Cuba’s productive revival and reject U.S. interference against peoples and revolutions that act with sovereignty.

Solidarity movements with Cuba, political parties, social groups, and Cuban emigrants in other countries celebrated on Monday the restart of the school year on the island, its economic-productive revival, and the Cuban people’s determination to defend their Revolution against destabilizing attempts plotted from the United States.

Cuban President, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, said through Twitter that “solidarity actions in more than 80 cities support the will of the Cuban people to build their own future.”

RELATED:  ‘Cuba Is Not Alone,’ International Solidarity Movements Stress

In an act in front of the headquarters of the Cuban diplomatic representation in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, political parties and social movements supported the reopening of activities and rejected the recent acts of interference by the White House.

The member of the Network of Intellectuals in Defense of Humanity, María Fernanda Barreto, stressed that Cuba is not alone and counts on the militant solidarity of people all over the world.

She explained that the U.S. government is attacking numerous sovereign countries for several reasons, among which she mentioned the loss of its hegemony and the emergence of new powers.

He added that to this is added the determination of its circles of power to impose on Latin America a relationship of subordination through the Monroe Doctrine, aimed against the resistance of several peoples and sovereign revolutions, such as the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and the Cuban Revolution.

He stressed that it is now more important than ever to unite against imperialism, which attacks Cuba to prevent the revival of the economy and tourism, a sector he valued as essential to overcome the obstacles of an economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the U.S. government for more than six decades.

Among those who demanded the cessation of the attacks against Cuba was Camila Fabri Saab, wife of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, kidnapped by the U.S. Government.

Since last November 11, several acts of solidarity with Cuba have been taking place in Syria, in which Palestinians residing in that nation have also participated.

In addition to demonstrating the failure of the U.S. blockade against Cuba, the participants denounce that Washington wants to set Cubans against each other in order to generate social chaos in Cuba.

This Monday, Cuba solidarity organizations in Greece gathered in front of the U.S. embassy in Athens to denounce the destabilization campaigns and the criminal policy of economic war against Havana.

Similar acts took place over the weekend and this Monday in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Ecuador, East Timor, China, Peru, Dominican Republic and other nations.

A few hours before the 31st edition of the solidarity caravan that has been organized since 1992 arrives in Havana, the organization Pastors for Peace similarly emphasized that “once again, Cuba leads as an example in health, science and humanism.”

Eritrea Versus AFRICOM: Defending Sovereignty in the Face of Imperialist Aggression

Eritrea Versus AFRICOM: Defending Sovereignty in the Face of Imperialist Aggression

The rapid expansion of AFRICOM on the African continent should be a cause for concern as African nations are quickly surrendering their sovereignty to the US. As the only country without a relationship to AFRICOM, Eritrea bears the brunt of US vilification. We must salute Eritrea’s ongoing project of national liberation.
 

The U.S. has built military-to-military relations with 53 out of the 54 African countries that include agreements to cede operational command to AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command. The broad network of AFRICOM military bases, as well as those from France and other world powers, are examples of how African states are surrendering their sovereignty through neocolonial relationships with Western countries. African self-determination and national sovereignty are impossible as long as the U.S. and its European allies are allowed to use military power to control African land, labor, and resources.

A major component of AFRICOM’s activities includes the indoctrination of African security forces through military training, including through the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance Program (ACOTA) (formerly the African Crisis Response Initiative) (ACRI) ),  Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) ,  International Military Training and Education (IMET) Program, and the numerous military exercises carried out by AFRICOM forces, including African Lion Cutlass Express Phoenix Express Obangame Express , and Flintlock , among many other exercises, which have included participation from almost every African country. As Netfa Freeman pointed out in a recent article, “an indoctrination about the inherent goodness of the U.S.-European role in Africa accompanies this military training with blindspots about the true legacy of colonialism.”

The U.S. military uses the myriad security challenges facing the African continent as an important justification for AFRICOM’s existence, and the most prominent of these justifications is the threat that the U.S.-led “war on terror” is seemingly addressing. However, these security challenges and terror threats are actually driven in large part by the presence of foreign militaries on the continent. Before September 11, 2001, Africa seemed to be free of transnational terror threats . Since then, U.S. military efforts on the continent have grown in every conceivable way, from funding and boots on the ground to missions and outposts, while at the same time the number of transnational “terror” groups has increased in linear fashion . Despite this increase, extremist groups are active in less than 10 of the 54 countries in Africa. Justifications for AFRICOM’s presence on the continent, such as the rise of terrorist groups, ignore that the Pentagon and the CIA have recruited and trained extremists to fight as their proxies on many occasions.

It is clear that the African heads of state with working relationships with AFRICOM are surrendering their sovereignty and inviting a destabilizing presence.

Eritrea is the only country on the African continent without US military relations. In 1977, the last Americans at Kagnew Station, the U.S. military station in present-day Asmara, Eritrea, officially left the US’s listening post in the region. Kagnew was initially acquired through a deal with the Ethiopian government in 1943, an important geostrategic location for the US Navy during the Cold War. At the time, the Eritrean Armed Struggle for Independence against imperial Ethiopia (1961-1991) was ongoing; it was fear of heightened violence and warfare in Eritrea that led to the US’s ultimate and official withdrawal from Asmara and its closure of Kagnew in 1975.

This history is important in understanding the West’s contemporary vilification of Eritrea, as it is the only country on the African continent without a relationship with AFRICOM. We can’t and shouldn’t ignore the significance of this vilification as it relates to any African country’s sovereignty and the refusal to govern based on directives from the United Nations (or its allied entities). Eritrea’s defense forces are not only organized, but soldiers’ military training, skills, and expertise do not come from France, the United States, or any other major Western power. This is a notable difference from other African countries. Even the African Union’s standing army, the African Standby Forces, operates according to the UN’s notion of peacekeeping 

Today, a focal point of critique when it comes to Eritrea is its national service program, “Sawa,” which high school students complete in their final year (12th grade). In its conception in 1994, national service was supposed to be for a limited time period. However, conditions in Eritrea changed when the former political party of Ethiopia, the TPLF, an organization that initially claimed anti-imperialist aims , became a client to US interests in the Horn of Africa. This led to a border conflict and warfare from 1998 – 2000, which ended the period of peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia after formal Eritrean independence in 1991. Post-war, Eritrea was in a no war-no peace situation, whereby the specter of territorial infringement was a real possibility in a TPLF-led Ethiopia that consistently preached a vision of an Abay Tigray (Tigrinya for “large Tigray”) — a dream to expand into and occupy Eritrea, making it a Tigrinya ethno-state. For many, national service in Eritrea is ongoing.  

National service is not a totally uncommon feature of modern day nation-states; countries from South Korea to Israel have national service, which include a military training component. But these countries are seldom critiqued for requiring military service of their citizens. The origin of Eritrea’s national service program, “Sawa,” in 1994 came from a need to give youth work post-war. Decades of colonialism and war left a nascent Eritrean society with purposefully destroyed infrastructures in an effort to de-skill Eritreans both technically and militarily. We can tie this to the US’s goal of “policy [and] security interests in Eritrea” when it sponsored the UN resolution to federate Eritrea with Ethiopia in 1952, setting off Haile Selassie’s imperial expansionist project in the Horn. These historical-political events are germane to understanding what it means for an African country like Eritrea, whose policies largely focus on developing human capital and capacity and protecting national sovereignty, and which chooses  not to have US-European military relations.

It is helpful and interesting, then, to link Max Weber’s theory of states (and sovereignty), in which he posits that one feature of a legitimate state is a standing army, with how Jemima Pierre theorizes the manifestation of white supremacy and racism in Africa. What does it mean for African people to be organized and possess the military capabilities to defend themselves and their nation? We must eradicate the legacies of imperialism enacted through mechanisms like AFRICOM, which often manifest in unfounded accusations about terrorism and the levying of unjust sanctions . And we must salute and support Eritrea’s project of national liberation.

Dina M. Asfaha is completing her doctorate in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on medical practices and mutual aid pioneered in the Nakfa trenches of Eritrea during Eritrea’s liberation struggle against imperial Ethiopia (1961-1991), and how these social practices continue to inform the contemporary framework of Eritrean sovereignty.

Tunde Osazua is a member of the Africa Team of the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) and the coordinator of BAP’s U.S. Out of Africa Network, which is the organizing arm of the U.S. Out of Africa: Shut Down AFRICOM campaign.

China is Not Colonizing Africa

Source: Black Agenda Report

December 1 2021

China is Not Colonizing Africa

Narratives are Amplified with Badly Photoshopped Falsehoods

International media cannot be trusted to give accurate information. Skepticism is especially warranted when China is the topic and allegations of colonizing Africa make headlines.

International media are reporting that the Ugandan government has turned over Entebbe airport to a Chinese bank in order to make payment on a loan. “Museveni to surrender Uganda’s only international airport over Chinese loan,” claimed The Guardian . Similar headlines have appeared widely and all repeat as fact an allegation that Uganda will lose its airport to Exim bank.

Uganda has not defaulted on the $200 million loan yet the false bad news continues to be reported. Despite denials from China and Uganda the story continues to circulate and is now accepted as being true.

The bad journalism resonates despite inaccuracies in these accounts because they repeat a now familiar trope, that China offers “debt traps” to African nations and has become the 21st century colonizer of the continent. In reality, Africa is colonized by the same nations which began their exploitation by carving up the continental at the 1884 Berlin Conference.

It is a French billionaire, Vincent Bolloré , who controls 16 West African ports through bribery and influence peddling. France also controls the CFA currency of its former colonies. Canadian companies control gold mining in Burkina Faso, Mali and Democratic Republic of Congo. Decades after the struggle for independence, British soldiers are still stationed in Kenya .

The U.S. and its allies have little to offer except exploitation in the form of extraction and military control through the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). It is China that pursues development projects with new railroads in Nigeria and Angola, and a highway in Kenya. The only narrative that makes the colonizers look good is a smear against China. The U.S./EU/NATO formation still has a hold on African nations and corporate media continue to act as governmental spokespeople and endlessly repeat whatever they are told.

The terms on Chinese loans are better than those of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). China doesn’t demand austerity in return for project funding, interference is not the goal. The difference is well known and clear and explains why news about China and Africa is so negative and why falsehoods are so readily accepted.

This particular fake news broke just days before the Forum on China-African Cooperation (FOCAC) was scheduled to take place in Dakar, Senegal. Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Senegal just weeks earlier and repeated the usual anti-Chinese screeds. The most basic journalistic standards are not followed with these stories which appear at opportune moments. Allegations of Chinese debt traps should be viewed with great skepticism.

Black/African people are very much interested in the condition of their brothers and sisters all over the world. This dynamic is generally a positive one but it also creates a susceptibility to believe in lies when they are spun well enough. The Chinese as colonizer trope has been repeated too often and information about Africa is too scant for most people to analyze these news stories correctly. We are left with nothing but “China is bad” tales that are accepted because of well meaning but misdirected concerns for Africans.

The story of Uganda is particularly complex. The Ugandan government is a U.S. puppet, a full fledged participant in the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), and a terrorist nation which invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo and killed millions of people. While it is important to dispel myths about China it is also important to do so without covering up for Uganda and nations like it.

That is why the Black radical tradition must be nurtured and revived. Without it the world is viewed through the eyes of imperialism’s lackeys and media manipulators. All the truth about African nations and their relations with the rest of the world must be known and clearly understood. Africa is a key part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI certainly benefits China and its involvement in African countries is obviously a benefit to them. What is needed are impartial journalistic standards free of state run falsehoods and political discernment that reveals useful information.

While the airport story was told and retold, China announced a plan to provide African nations with 1 billion doses of Covid vaccines. The project involves donations and joint ventures which will waive the intellectual property rights that have hampered vaccinations in Africa. Neither the United States or its allies have attempted to do anything similar on behalf of the countries we are told live under Chinese subjugation.

The media do indeed have the power to make the innocent look guilty and the guilty appear innocent. The intricacies of international financing cannot be left to scribes for powerful countries. Events taking place at this juncture in history require far more.

Margaret Kimberley’s is the author of Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents  . Her work can also be found at patreon.com/margaretkimberley    and on Twitter @freedomrideblog. Ms. Kimberley can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com

#NoMore U.S. in Africa: BAP Statement to Nov. 21st Rallies for Ethiopia

Black Alliance for Peace

November 21 2021

We in the Black Alliance for Peace stand in uncompromising opposition to the U.S.-led imperialist aggression against Ethiopia and by extension against her neighboring countries Eritrea, Somalia, and beyond. U.S. policy against Ethiopia cannot be understood without putting it within the broader context of U.S. imperialism’s geostrategic interest in the Horn of Africa in particular, and the whole of Africa in general. 

It is not lost on the Black radicals and revolutionary Pan-Africanists that the U.S. settler colonialist state is an extension of Western Europe and as such it is motivated by a white supremacist, imperialist worldview. 

In spite of its benevolent rhetoric, the U.S.’ unwavering commitment to full spectrum dominance reveals the only true intentions it has for Ethiopia and for our homeland, Africa. Since the 1950s African movements against colonialism and for continental unity, have been sabotaged by U.S. administrations of both parties. Leaders such as Patrice Lumumba of Congo were assassinated by the CIA, and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana was overthrown in a CIA orchestrated coup. Ten years  ago, the U.S. led the NATO bombing of Libya  which decimated the country, killing not only the leader Muammar Gaddafi but also an untold number of Libyans. This was the first operation of its U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM, that has since been responsible for thoroughly militarizing the continent of Africa, including waging an unmitigated drone war in Somalia.

The relative instability in Ethiopia can only be sustained through U.S. support. The empty rhetoric from officials like U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken represents the propaganda aspect of the hybrid war waged against Ethiopia.

It is important that we see the sanctions, media misinformation, and arrogant ultimatums by U.S. imperialism for what they are; the desperate machinations of a global power in crisis. 

Western imperialism is being confronted by people-centered expressions of resistance in Africa and globally.

This week a French military convoy from Ivory Coast transiting across Burkina Faso towards Niger (a source of uranium for France) was stopped by 10,000 demonstrators demanding that the French forces evacuate from the region. The convoy had already been stopped on November 17th in the Burkina Faso city of Bobo Dioulasso and on the 18th in the capital of Ouagadougou. The imperialist press won’t cover this resistance.

Now expressions of solidarity from around the world are standing up for the Horn of Africa. 

While the Black Alliance for Peace is committed to peace, we understand there can be no peace without justice, and we will stand in solidarity with all peoples (and nations) who strive to liberate themselves from all forms of neocolonial oppression. 

BAP takes a resolute anti-colonial, anti-imperialist position that links the international role of the U.S. empire to the domestic war against poor people and working-class Black people within the United States.

We unequivocally support and uplift mutual cooperation, solidarity, and peace among all parties and people in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the broader Horn of Africa region. We support African-led, localized conflict resolution that is not tied to advancing imperialism, neo-colonialism or any other nefarious Western agendas.

We must all transform our mobilizations into organized protracted struggle that forges a transcontinental cooperation that will save ourselves from the greatest threat to peace and stability on the planet, the U.S. government. 

The U.S.-EU-NATO axis of domination will ultimately find its deathbed in Africa at the hands of the Pan-African masses.

U.S. out of Africa!

Shut down AFRICOM!

No compromise!

No retreat!

Banner photo: Refugees, who arrived recently from Ethiopia, setting up their shelter in Sudan. (UNFPA/Sufian Abdul-Mouty)

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Era of US Domination of Latin America Coming to an End

Source:  Popular Resistance
August 9 2020
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance.

us dominatiuon in la over 2

Above photo: Marcha en Venezuela contra las sanciones de Trump – Reuters.

Despite its failings at home, the United States intervenes in countries across multiple continents seeking to control their governments and resources.

This week, we look at the US’ latest efforts in Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Bolivia to undermine their independence and force them to serve the interests of the US government and transnational corporations.

In all three countries, the US has displayed a lack of understanding of the people and their support for their revolutionary processes, and as a result, is failing. As US empire fades, so might the Monroe Doctrine come to an end.

Sandanista- FSLN rally in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua: USAID Multi-Year Destabilization Plan Exposed

A US Agency for International Development (USAID) document revealed by reporter William Grigsby describes covert plans to overthrow the democratically-elected Nicaraguan government in the next two years. USAID seeks to hire mercenaries “to take charge of the plan . . . to disrupt public order and carry out other [violent] actions before, during, and/or after the 2021 elections.”

USAID is creating Responsive Assistance In Nicaragua (RAIN), allotting $540,000 in grants to remove the Sandinista government in what it calls “Nicaragua’s transition to democracy.” Daniel Ortega won the 2016 election with 72 percent of the vote in what election observers from the Organization of American States (OAS), a US tool, described as taking “place in a calm, smooth and pacific manner, with no large incidents.”

Brian Willson, who has opposed US efforts to dominate Nicaragua since the 1980s Contra war, concludes the US realizes Ortega will win the 2021 election. In fact, this week, a poll showed support for Ortega’s party, FSLN, at 50% and for the opposition at 10%. One of USAID plans, as they tried in Venezuela in 2018, is for the opposition to boycott the election since they know they will lose, then call it illegitimate and create a political and economic crisis.

The real goal is not a democracy but domination so US transnational corporations can profit from the second poorest country in the hemisphere by putting in place a neoliberal economy to privatize public services, cut social services, and purge all traces of the Sandinistas. USAID also plans to “reestablish” the police and military to enforce their rule. Another goal is to stop Nicaragua from being the “threat of a good example” for its economic growth, reduction of inequality, poverty, illiteracy and crime.

Ben Norton points out in the Grayzone that “the 14-page USAID document employed the word ‘transition’ 102 times” making clear the intent is regime change.  A “sudden transition without elections,” a euphemism for a coup, is one of three possible regime change scenarios.

John Perry writes about “US interference in Nicaragua, going back at least as far as William Walker’s assault on its capital and usurpation of the presidency in 1856.” Since the 1979 Sandinista Revolution, the US has sought to take back control of Nicaragua.

USAID and its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) have been funding the opposition. NED financed 54 projects from 2014-17 to lay the groundwork for a 2018 coup attempt, which  also involved USAIDWiston Lopez writes the US has provided “more than 31 million dollars between the end of 2017 and May 1, 2020.” When the attempted coup in 2018 failed, the US also put in place illegal unilateral coercive measures, known as economic sanctions, supported by both Democrats and Republicans, to try to weaken the country.

The USAID’s RAIN program outlines the usual regime change steps, e.g. remake the police and military as enforcers of the new neoliberal order, move “quickly to dismantle parallel institutions,”  i.e. the Sandinista Front, the Sandinista Youth, and other grassroots institutions, and implement “transitional justice measures,” i.e., the prosecution of current government officials and movement leaders.

A new area of attack is a disinformation campaign against Nicaragua’s handling of COVID-19. The opposition misrepresents the government’s response and puts forward false death statistics in an attempt to create chaos. As Wiston López points out, “Since March the US-directed opposition has focused 95% of their actions on attempting to discredit Nicaragua’s prevention, contention, and Covid treatment. However, this only had some success in the international media and is now backfiring since Nicaragua is the country with one of the lowest mortality rates in the continent.”

The US media fails to report on the success of Nicaragua in combating the virus using a community-based health system. Nicaragua has been building its health system for the last 12 years and took rapid action to prepare for the virus. Nicaragua did not impose a lock down because it is a poor country where 80 percent of people are in the informal economy and 40 percent live in rural areas. People must work in order to eat.

Stephen Sefton puts the failure of the United States so far in context. At its root, the US does not understand the people of Nicaragua, their history of fighting US domination, and their ability to overcome right-wing puppets. It also misunderstands what the Sandinista government is doing to better the lives of the people in every sector of the economy. Sefton concludes, “The US government has failed notoriously to meet the needs of its own people during the current pandemic but can still find money to try and destroy a small country whose success makes US social, economic and environmental policy look arbitrary, negligent and criminal.”

Nicolas Maduro kicks out Donald Trump. Photo by Ben Norton.

Venezuela: Bipartisan Failed Regime Change

Ever since the 1998 election of Hugo Chavez, successive US administrations have tried and failed to dominate Venezuela. The bipartisan nature of this policy was on display on August 4, when Elliot Abrams, the notorious coup-monger for multiple presidents, testified in Congress. Not a single Senator criticized the attempt to illegally overthrow a democratically-elected government.

Abrams was criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for his inability to remove President Maduro from power. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) was most open about the coup attempt describing it as “a case study in diplomatic malpractice” and claiming Trump botched a winning play in a comedy of errors that strengthened Maduro. After the hearing, Murphy posted a series of Tweets admitting the coup and how it could have been done better.

clip from Murphy’s embarrassing comments was shared widely including by the Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez and Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. When Vijay Prashad asked Arreaza his reaction, he described the US openly admitting crimes and said the “confessions” of Murphy, Gen. John Kelly, John Bolton, and Elliot Abrams “are priceless evidence for the complaint we raised at the International Criminal Court.”

Elliot Abrams testified that he would continue to work very hard to remove Maduro hopefully by the end of the year.  This echoed a statement by President Trump at SouthCom headquarters in Florida. Sen. Murphy’s comments are consistent with those made by Joe Biden who says he would be more effective at removing Maduro than Trump. Biden described Trump as soft on Maduro because he considered talking to him.

Elliot Abrams announced the US will be starting a media war against Venezuela. The reality is the US has been conducting a media war against Venezuela for more than 20 years.

Venezuela is moving ahead with elections for the National Assembly on December 6, 2020. Unlike 2018, more parties are agreeing to participate including the larger Democratic Action and Justice First parties, as well as a new Communist Party alliance and the hard-right Popular Will party, which was US puppet Juan Guaidó’s former party. There will be 105 political parties contesting for 277 National Assembly seats, 110 more than the current term. Venezuela uses a combination of majority winners and proportional representation. Venezuela also requires half the candidates to be female, and they use electronic voting confirmed by paper ballots with a public citizen audit on Election Day.

Juan Guaidó and others allied with the United States said they would boycott the election. Guaidó cannot risk running because he is likely to be defeated. The US is encouraging a boycott and then will claim the election was not legitimate as it did in the last presidential election. After December, Guaidó will not hold any elected office making his fraudulent claim to the presidency even weaker.

These events come after two major embarrassments for the US in Venezuela. Operation Gideonan attempt by mercenaries to invade Venezuela was foiled on May 4, leading to their arrests and the arrests of their co-conspirators. The State Department abandoned the mercenaries, and this week two former Green Berets were sentenced to 20 years in prison after admitting their guilt. It was evident that Guaidó was heavily involved in this failure adding to his failed presidential takeover and tainting him beyond repair.

The second defeat was Iran and Venezuela working together to deliver oil and equipment for Venezuelan refineries. Five Iranian oil tankers passed by the largest US armada in the Caribbean since the invasion of Panama. Southcom has been repeatedly sending warships into Venezuelan waters. The solidarity of Iran and Venezuela overcame the naval blockade, undermined US sanctions, and sent a shudder through the US by showing other nations they can defy the United States.

Venezuela has a strong history of struggle against imperialism but the US’ economic war is costing their economy hundreds of billions of dollars and leading to the premature death of Venezuelans. In addition, the United Kingdom is refusing to release more than a billion dollars of Venezuelan gold held in the Bank of England that was to be used for food and medicine. The UK court ruled against Venezuela but they are appealing the decision.

Bolivians protest the postponement of the election.

Bolivia: US Dictator Fears Democratic Vote

On November 12 2019, a US-backed coup in Bolivia removed President Evo Morales who had just won re-election. The self-proclaimed President Jeanine Añez, a right-wing Christian, leads a de facto government involved in massacres, persecution and imprisonment of political leaders. It is destroying the social and economic model and achievements of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS Party) led by Morales.

The OAS played a crucial role in the coup with their false analysis of Morales’ re-election. The western media reported the false OAS analysis without criticism. Now, studies by MIT and the Center for Economic and Policy Analysis have shown that Morales clearly won the election and should have remained in power. For months the Washington Post claimed Morales’ re-election was a fraud, but finally, in March, it acknowledged the election was legitimate. Similarly, the New York Times admitted in July that Morales won the election.

Many have called this a lithium coup because the element is plentiful in Bolivia and critical for batteries. This was made evident when Elon Musk, the head of Tesla, said on Twitter “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.” Tesla would benefit from cheap and plentiful lithium for electric car batteries.

The people of Bolivia are struggling to restore democracy. The fraudulent report by the OAS led to a three-week conflict between right-wing Bolivians protesting alleged fraud and pro-government, mostly indigenous, demonstrators defending Morales. The military and police sided with the right-wing coup. The coup government threatened legislators and their families while repressing the people. There were racist attacks against the majority Indigenous population and the Wiphala, the indigenous flag, was burned in the streets. When she took power, Áñez, surrounded by right-wing legislators, held up a large leather bible and declared, “The Bible has returned to the palace.”

The US recognized the coup government, similar to its recognition of the failed coup leader, Juan Guaidó in Venezuela. Añez claimed she’d be transitory until the next election, but at the direction of the US, she is putting in place deep roots and has delayed elections.

The repression has galvanized the MAS party, as well as peasant unions and grassroots organizations who continue their struggle to restore Bolivian democracy. The pressure led to elections being scheduled. Initially, Áñez said she would not run but reversed herself and is now a candidate while she is trying to outlaw the MAS party and its candidates.

Elections were scheduled for May 3, but have been postponed twice allegedly due to the pandemic, but really because this is an ongoing coup.

It is true that the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Bolivia hard with horror stories about people unable to get medical treatment. Immediately after the coup, the Añez government expelled the Cuban doctors. The coup-government is unable to manage the health system. Corruption is rampant in the purchase of medical equipment. The health ministry has had three ministers during the crisis. The situation is dire with overcrowded hospitals, lack of basic supplies, and corpses in the streets and in their homes with nowhere to be buried.

The coup-government is using the virus to try to delay elections because polls show the MAS candidate, Luis Arce, is far ahead and likely to win in the first round of elections with Áñez coming in a distant third. Áñez has sought to prosecute Arce to keep him from running, so far unsuccessfully.  On July 6, the Attorney General of Bolivia charged Evo Morales with terrorism and financing of terrorism from exile and is seeking preventive detention.

Since mid-July, thousands of Bolivians have been protesting the postponement of elections. They are holding sustained protests throughout the country and blocking many roads. Indigenous and peasant groups, agricultural groups, along with women and unions are joining together calling for elections.  Morales, Arce, and the MAS Party have denounced the delay.

Domination Will Not Reverse Decline

Evo Morales said in a recent interview “The United States is trying to make Latin America its backyard forever. We know about the hard resistance of the peoples of Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua. The struggle of our peoples is very important. The United States wants to divide us in order to plunder our natural resources. The peoples no longer accept domination and plunder. The United States is in decline, and yet it lashes out.”

The US is weakening as a global power and its failures in Latin America are both a symptom of this and are causing further decline. The US’ violations of international law are obvious and are being challenged. But the US is an empire and it will not give up the Monroe Doctrine easily.

As citizens of Empire, we have a particular responsibility to demand the US stop its sanctions and illegal interference in Latin America and elsewhere around the world. In this time of multiple global crises, we must demand the US become a cooperative member of the world community and work peacefully to address the pandemic, recession and climate crisis.

Structures to do this exist to help with this such as the global ceasefire and the Paris Climate agreement. And on the anniversary of the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, we must add the Nuclear Ban Treaty as another effort the US must join.

Raul Congratulates the Communist Party of Vietnam

Sources: Cuban News Agency, invent-the-future.org, vovworld.vn

The struggle of the Vietnamese people against colonialism and imperialism was clearly an inspiration to Fidel and the Cuban revolutionaries.

Cuba's revolutionary legend Fidel Castro in Vietnam during American war - ảnh 3

As Fidel explained in a discussion on why the Cuban revolutionaries decided on the route of armed struggle,

“Vietnam has definitely demonstrated to the world, to every revolutionary, and all the people confronted by imperialism, how, even with modern technology, a strong and massive weaponry, and even with a coalition of forces well-armed like those deployed by the United States in Vietnam, it is impossible to break down a revolutionary movement and its guerillas supported by the people.

I believe today nobody can deny that the United States failed in its war against the heroic people of Vietnam .  And I believe that this is one of the greatest favors the Vietnamese people have offered the world”

With his famous statement: “For Vietnam, Cuba is willing to devote all our blood”, Cuba’s revolutionary legend Fidel Castro became a symbol of the comradeship and brotherhood between Vietnam and Cuba. He was the only foreign head of state to visit the liberated zone in Quang Tri province during the American (Vietnam) war. The visit was made in September 1973 at his own proposal.

Related: Cuba’s revolutionary legend Fidel Castro in Vietnam during American War

tankForty five years ago, on the 29th of April 1975, the joint forces of the North Vietnamese Army and the National Liberation Front entered the southern capital of Saigon, where they were greeted with the open joy of a population which had endured untold misery over the course of decades at the hands of foreign invaders and puppet governments. Just a day later, at around 10:45am, a North Vietnamese tank crashed through the gates of the presidential palace and raised the red flag. The head of the collapsing South Vietnamese regime, Duong Van Minh, reportedly told North Vietnamese colonel, Bùi Tín, “I have been waiting since early this morning to transfer power to you,” to which Bùi Tín replied: “There is no question of your transferring power. Your power has crumbled. You cannot give up what you do not have.”

The Vietnamese defeat of the world’s biggest imperialist power, the USA, was an incredible achievement that was the culmination of decades of heroic and brilliant struggle.

The beginning

Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh: ‘On lynching & the Ku Klux Klan ...90 years ago, on this day, 3 February 1930, at a meeting in Kowloon (China) convened by Nguyen Ai Quoc (the famous Vietnamese revolutionary later to be known as Ho Chi Minh), the Indochinese Communist Party was formed, uniting the three existing parties of the Vietnamese left.  It was this Communist Party, guided by Ho Chi Minh that led the people in the struggle to defeat the seemingly invincible US and to inspire the Cuban revolutionaries to later do the same in their homeland.

On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, several organizations throughout the world have sent congratulatory messages to Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong.

The Communist Party of China’s message affirmed that China attaches great importance to developing relations with Vietnam, and is willing to join Vietnam in strengthening the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), message to Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the PCV, confirmed the commitment of the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz, of loyalty and brotherhood with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, heir of the legacy of Ho Chi Minh ‘.

0-Raúl Castro-VietNam.jpg

In commemorating the landing of Granma and the creation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, on December 2, 1960, Fidel declared the popular decision to officially establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam.  The Cuban and Vietnamese governments will commemorate the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, which constitutes an expression of our deep friendship and an example of the will to be united in the face of the challenges imposed by the current international scenario.

Related:  Fidel Castro: A Great Friend of Vietnam,  Pictorial

Exclusive Interview: Ex-President Manuel Zelaya – The Crisis in Honduras

Source:  Dear Kitty Some blog & The Real News
January 2 2020

Zelaya interviewed jan 2 2020

Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in a coup d’état in 2009, talks to Laura Carlsen about the origins and consequences of the crisis in His country

 

Story Transcript

LAURA CARLSEN: To talk about the current crisis in Honduras we’re here in the offices of the LIBRE party with the former president and leader of the LIBRE Party Manuel Zelaya. 

Thank you very much for talking to us, Mr. President.

There is very little coverage on the international level of what is happening now with these demonstrations –and they’ve been going on for months. 

What is your evaluation of this stage of opposition here in Honduras and what possibilities do you see for making a real change?

MANUEL ZELAYA: Well, we have to look at where we’re coming from, what we’ve gone through and what the demands and the expectations are in the short, medium and long term. I think that there’s a rupture in the democratic order from ten years ago– the constitution of the republic was broken. Instead of restoring the social pact, instead of seeking common ground between the opposing sectors, they imposed on us a single idea, a single tyrannical, dictatorial way of violently running the country.

Read more here

Sanctions kill more people than bombs or wars … Sara Flounders

December 16 2019

RT:  So joining us to understand sanctions a little better we’re being joined by Sarah Flounders she’s the co-director of the International Action Center in New York City.

Sarah thank you for being with us today. So you say in your article that sanctions actually kill more people than bombs or guns.  Can you explain that to us.

SF:  Yes sanctions are war. They are actually directed at the poorest, the most defenseless, those who are older, sick; the youth, and as such they have a deadly consequence.

If the most basic medicine, or if you create artificial famine – and that is what they do – it actually helps to spread disease by preventing the most basic medicine.  And it happens in country after country. 39 countries, a third of the population of the world, think of the impact and there are countries where it’s well known – Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, China and so on.  And there are all kinds of countries around the world that we don’t know and that you see on the sanctions list; and this is true for Zimbabwe or Laos or Guinea.  We could go on – Mali, Nicaragua, one country after another, that suddenly can’t get the most basic material.

RT:   And Ajama Baraka has actually said on on this very program that sanctions he said softens a country for military invasion.  What recent invasions can you point to that can prove that point is that a true thing.?

SF:   Well when you look at the impact in Venezuela certainly sanctions were used absolutely to try to undercut support for a very popular government.   We could look at Syria where sanctions since 2003 were an economic destabilizing force and and created great dissension within the country.  So it can be a precursor to military action, to using contra and reactionary forces; and at the same time the economic strangulation is meant to undercut support for popular and for elected governments around the world.

It happens without us being aware of it here and that’s why we need really a grassroots International People’s Campaign which is exposing this as an act of war.

….

TIME Magazine Won’t Say It, But Maduro Is The Man Of The Year

Source: Educate

December 20 2019

By  Iroel Sánchez, La Pupula Insomne, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau.

TIME Magazine Won’t Say It, But Maduro Is The Man Of The Year

On January 4, 2019, the governments of the now decadent Grupo de Lima announced that from January 10 – the date on which Nicolás Maduro would be proclaimed President of Venezuela –they would no longer recognize the Bolivarian government as the representative of the Venezuelan people  Maduro won in an election whose numbers were better in terms of majority and participation than those legitimized by several of the leaders who questioned him.

From that moment on, the actions, sanctions, and statements against Maduro’s government followed one after the other without pause. Visible was an open presence of the United States government, in the person of its President, its Vice President, its Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor.

Facing constant, intense all-round hostility

The recognition by Washington and a group of its allies to a self-proclaimed president in opposition to Maduro, plus economic sanctions, which have ranged from the confiscation of billions of dollars in funds owned by the Venezuelan government in the United States, Latin America, and Europe to the persecution of its finances and trade around the world.  The constant calls and blackmailing of the military to bring about a coup d’état against the Bolivarian government and a systematic demonization and production of false news about what is happening in the country, form a scenario in which all the weapons of the fourth-generation war have been used.

The highest point was the attempt to violate the Venezuelan borders from Colombia and Brazil combining the use of violence, the announcement of “humanitarian aid” without considering Venezuela’s authorities. In addition the fabrication of incidents to blame them on the Bolivarian government, a concert with stars of the mainstream of Latin music and the presence there of several Latin American presidents along with Cuban-American senator Marco Rubio who tweet in a state of total euphoria images of the dismemberment of Libyan leader Gadaffi. A month later, the sabotage of the national electrical system that left the entire country without electricity for several days.

Measuring Maduro’s success

Because of the magnitude of these events and challenges, it is necessary to measure the success of Nicolás Mauro:

  1. He managed to maintain the civic-military union and grow in the popular militias to a total of three million members.
  2. Oil production has begun to recover after falling to 700,000 barrels per day, surpassing one million one hundred thousand, plus a substantial increase in gold exports.
  3. The opposition is today more divided than ever, several opposition congress people accuse the self-proclaimed “interim president” of corruption and an important part of them joined an agreement with the government to politically stabilize the country.
  4. The situation of violence, shortages, large queues and galloping hyperinflation has been overcome and the country, even with great difficulties, lives in an environment of stability.
  5. The crisis of neoliberalism has taken to the streets large rebellious crowds in Ecuador, Chile and Colombia, countries that had joined the siege led by Washington against Venezuela.
  6. The coup d’état in Bolivia instructs the left on the need for unity of the revolutionary forces and radicalism in not making any concessions to Washington’s pawns.
  7. Since the Sao Paulo Forum in Caracas in July Venezuela has been leading a process of concertation of leftist forces in Latin America and beyond that is rearticulating social movements and progressive forces, the most recent result of which is the launch of an International University of Communication to provide communicators with the technological and cognitive tools for contemporary ideological struggle.

An extraordinary achievement

Time magazine won’t say it, but Maduro is the man of the year. He has led the resistance against one of the greatest imperialist offensives in history and has maintained the initiative, succeeding in sustaining the unity of the internal revolutionary forces and international alliances in favor of multilateralism, sovereignty and popular interests.