The coronavirus and the society of the global lie

Source:  La Santa Mambisa

February 28 2020

By Pedro Luis Angosto

During the past year, 277,000 cases of cancer were registered in Spain. Half of the patients will die within a period of less than five years, suffering for the rest of their life an unspeakable ordeal of comings and goings to the hospital, chemo and radiotherapy, pain and suffering and indescribable fear.

In an advanced and civilized society, research to cure or alleviate cancer, heart disease and degenerative diseases should occupy a preeminent place, devoting all possible economic means to them.

Similarly, in a civilized and fair world, the World Health Organization, instead of shushing, should denounce the very high prices of treatments for those diseases that are ruining state health systems, declaring the freedom of all countries copy any medication that serves to improve the lives of the sick and condemn the mafia and monopolistic distribution of new treatments by large laboratories.

It does not, look the other way, and the cure of those diseases that cause so much pain to so many people is postponed until the mafia wants.

Last year, almost seven hundred people died in Spain as a result of a work accident , resulting in serious injuries or illness due to work by several thousand people. The causes are clear, job insecurity, endless days, piecework, few safety and exploitation measures.

No state or global agency warns about the deterioration of working conditions or those victims, which could have been avoided with very little investment, open the news or occupy more of their time.

In 2019, six thousand Spaniards died of the flu, a disease as common as measles that kills thousands of people in Africa every year without WHO requiring Member States to provide the necessary vaccines – worth four bitches – to avoid That silent genocide. After all, most are black.

In 2018, more than forty thousand people died in Spain from environmental pollution , being directly attributable to the same cause the death of eight hundred thousand people in the European Union and almost nine million in the world, apart from the millions and millions suffering from diseases chronicles that drastically decrease their quality of life.

In 2017, more than six million children died of starvation in the world while in the western countries tons and tons of food are thrown away.

That same year, more than two billion people worked more than 15 hours for less than 10 euros a day. No informative, no newspaper, no radio has been days and days crushing insisting on that tragedy that daily martyrs half humanity and threatens to take us all into insufferable living conditions.

A few weeks ago, a virus that causes pneumonia emerged in a region of China and has a death rate of less than one percent. The media around the world, accompanied by the social networks of the global lie, decided that this was the most terrible problem that had plagued the world since the times of the 14th-century bubonic plague that decimated the population of Europe in almost one third.

There is no newscast, newspaper cover, no matter how serious it is or social network in which the coronavirus does not occupy a preferential and repetitive place to satiety, as if we did not have enough with the known diseases that really kill a lot of people after long periods of suffering and vital torture. I do not know how that new virus emerged, nor if it is new, I lack scientific knowledge for it, the only thing I know is what the specialists tell, and it is that it hardly kills or leaves important sequels. Despite this, as they know, the news continue to create alarm worldwide. Why?

I do not believe that anything that happens in the world is by chance, nor that the news innocently ignores the death toll from absurd wars that ravage the world of the poor every year.

We live in a time of relief, the hegemonic power – the United States – has for the first time since the end of the Cold War a serious competitor named China. That competitor was fed since the eighties by the Western powers due to its huge population, its poverty and the very low wages of its workers.

Forty years have passed and what seemed like a magnificent decision to end the Welfare States, reduce costs and increase wealth exponentially, has taken another look and now that poor power produces almost 18% of everything that is manufactured in the world and is in a position to make the great leap that puts it as the world’s first power, something that will be inevitable whatever Trump and his friends do because they have the capital, technology and necessary labor.

The suspension of the International Mobile Congress of Barcelona – Congress that will probably not be held again as we have known it in subsequent years – was not due to the coronavirus, but to the exhibition that the great Chinese techs were going to make about their advances in the 5G

It was to prevent in any way that the Chinese could show that there are fields in which they are already ahead of the United States and, of course, of Europe. There is no other explanation or other reason. With the cancellation of the Barcelona congress and apocalyptic information about the consequences of the expansion of the coronavirus, a further step was taken in the new cold war that Donald Trump has invented, making it clear to China that everything is worthwhile in the war and that its rise In the first place they are going to cost us blood, sweat and tears.

Coronavirus is a disease that does not yield alarming data, first because it does not expand to the rhythm of the great epidemics that the world has suffered, secondly because the mortality rates are not comparable to those of other pests such as the “Spanish flu”.

However, and within a medieval language, we are trying to create panic on a global scale and that is why every day they tell us the new case that has been discovered in Italy, Croatia, Malaysia or Torrelodones, one by one, has shown signs of brokenness or not.

It is about feeding the bug of fear on a global scale for strictly political and economic purposes, and never before as today, in the society of misinformation, have there been so many means to impose lies as absolute truths at the service of bastard interests.

Coronavirus is not the end of the world or anything like it, it is a normal disease, like so many and with little death, but the media manipulation concerned can lead to a crisis of devastating consequences.

Food sovereignty delegation to Venezuela: Come see for yourself!

Source:  Revolucion Alimentaria

October 16 2019

What’s going on right now in Venezuela? Come see for yourself how Venezuelans are coping with US economic sanctions designed to cause a social implosion. Sensationalized reports of Venezuelans eating zoo animals and rotten garbage present a distorted picture of what is happening in Venezuela. The media also omits serious analysis of the role of the food distribution program known as CLAPs run through a government-community partnership reaching millions of Venezuelans. There is no doubt, however, as indicated in a recent report by CEPR, that the US-imposed sanctions are indeed causing collective hardship and even death.

January 3 – 12, 2020

Join us for a special delegation (January 3-12, 2020) dedicated to studying the actual conditions on the ground and the struggle for food security and food sovereignty in Venezuela, at a time when the Donald Trump’s administration has initiated a new series of sanctions against the food programs that Venezuelan state has created 

The Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle of New York, invites historians, artists, videographers, writers, political analysts, health professionals, agricultural production experts and other activists to join a delegation to Caracas, Venezuela this coming January 2020. Witness: communities organizing themselves in the face of manufactured food shortages to grow and distribute their own food; participatory democracy in action through community councils, ‘comunas’ and other forms of citizen organization; community-run art, media, education, health and nutrition efforts; alternative markets and fairs featuring homemade products and agroecologically produced foods; parks, natural areas, historic sites, and other reclaimed public spaces.

Come bear witness to the effects of the economic warfare and the sanctions against the Venezuelan people imposed by Donald Trump’s administration as well as the inspiring resistance to these, as Venezuelans push for food sovereignty in response to crisis. Come see the real “threat” posed by Venezuela – as living proof that another world indeed is possible. As the Venezuelan people assert, “Venezuela is not a threat – we are hope!”

Believe Absolutely Nothing the US Government and Media Say About…Anything

Source:  Black Agenda Report

by Glen Ford

Sept 19 2019

Believe Absolutely Nothing the US Government and Media Say About…Anything

In any alliance with corporate oppression and militarism, Black America squanders reservoirs of respect among the Earth’s peoples. We betray ourselves and become Black Gringos.

“The epic struggle for Black self-determination is inseparable from the struggle for peace and a livable planet.”

There was a time, not so long ago, when most Black Americans of all classes were highly skeptical of every word that emanated from the mouths of white folks in power in the United States. A substantial body of Black opinion believed nothing at all that appeared in the corporate media – which, back then, we simply called the “white press.”  It was a wise and healthy skepticism, learned over generations of enduring a constant stream of lies and slander against Black people from politicians and mass media of the two governing parties. These organs and mouthpieces of rich white people’s power were no more to be trusted, as Malcolm X counseled, than “foxes” (Democrats) and “wolves” (Republicans). The logic of the collective Black domestic experience extended to international affairs, as well. We empathized with the “colored” peoples of the world under attack by the U.S. government and media. If white politicians and press lied about us, we knew they were probably lying about their foreign non-white victims, as well. And we were right.

“The organs and mouthpieces of rich white people’s power were no more to be trusted, as Malcolm X counseled, than ‘foxes’ (Democrats) and ‘wolves’ (Republicans).”

Then came the Sixties and our grassroots movement’s victories over official American apartheid. One of the governing parties (the foxes) opened its doors to Black participation, and big business media began putting Black faces in front of the cameras. Racial euphemisms replaced outright slander against Blacks and the lies became more nuanced. But it was not until the advent of the First Black President that African Americans lost much of their traditional skepticism of U.S. government motives, at home and abroad.When Barack Obama threatened to bomb Syria in retaliation for an alleged — and provably false – chemical attack on civilians, in September of 2013, polls showed more Black Americans than whites wanted the bombs to fall. Although only minorities of Americans of all races favored bombing Syria, it was the first time in the history of U.S. polling that Blacks were more bellicose than whites.

Only a decade earlier, in the run-up to President Bush’s 2003 assault on Iraq, the Zogby polling organization had asked a representative sampling of Americans the question: “Would you favor an invasion of Iraq if it resulted in the death of thousands of Iraqi civilians?” Large majorities of white men and nearly a majority of white women were in favor of such an invasion, as were 16 percent of Hispanic Americans. But only 7 percent of African Americans  said, “Yes” – meaning, the U.S. government and media demonization campaign against Iraq had been effective among only a very marginal segment of African Americans. Blacks still empathized with the masses of Iraqi civilians, while whites definitively did not.

“With the advent of the First Black President, African Americans lost much of their traditional skepticism of U.S. government motives, at home and abroad.”

The fact that overwhelming numbers of Blacks also perceived George Bush and his party as hostile to African American lives and interests, certainly made them more empathetic towards Bush’s foreign victims, and the specific reference to “civilians” in the Zogby question is significant. But the erosion of Black internationalism – or, at least, Black American solidarity with other peoples of color in the world – is palpable and inarguable. Two years before the false-flag Syria chemical attack crisis, half of the Congressional Black Caucus voted against a bill that would have halted Obama’s murderous and totally unprovoked bombing of Libya– an African country! – with virtually no protest from Black America.

Obama has retired to the luxurious haunts of the rich and famous classes that he served so well as president. Catastrophically, however, his replacement in the Oval Office by overtly racist Donald Trump is viewed as such an existential threat that much of Black America has made common cause with the FBI, the CIA and the worst warmongers in the Democratic Party in a hysteria to be rid of the Orange Menace. Russiagate is perhaps the most successful psychological warfare operation in U.S. history, and has largely neutralized Black America’s traditional aversion to U.S. imperial aggressions.T he Democratic Party and most of the corporate media have for the past three years been furiously mobilized behind a CIA-instigated “resistance” that is NOT directed against Trump’s pro-rich, anti-Black and poor people policies, but rather seeks to solidify public support for U.S. military and economic domination of the world — an imperialism of planetary terror and blackmail and domestic austerity and deprivation.

“The erosion of Black internationalism is palpable and inarguable.”

Black America cannot possibly achieve anything meaningful by siding with corporate Democrat Foxes and CIA Rattlesnakes in their ongoing coup against the Orange Peckerwood and his legions of crackers. Russiagate is a stealth assault on all who disagree with the corporate narrative and rich people’s version of Truth. The only victors will be the oligarchy of Fat Cats and military-industrial complex Wolves. African Americans are admired the world over as a people that Fight the Power, not as conniving co-conspirators with humanity’s enemies. The Foxes need Black votes to get their turn at stealing the eggs, but their leaders have assured the Fat Cats that there will be no Medicare for All, no dignified minimum wage, no forgiveness of college debt, no Green New Deal, no relief from gentrification and no retreat from half a century of militarized policing and mass incarceration of Black America.

There will certainly be no let-up in the campaign of starvation that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of mostly Black, brown and indigenous Venezuelans, a bipartisan, 20 year-long aggression; or the Dem-Rep tag-team’s multi-generational siege of Iran, a country that has not invaded anyone in centuries; or the Clinton-Bush-Obama-Trump military occupation of Africa, which has killed more than six million in Congo, alone.

“The Foxes need Black votes to get their turn at stealing the eggs.”

The Foxes want to annihilate Russia, while the Wolves would blot out China. Neither can accept a world in which the U.S. ruling class is not supreme over the planet. In an alliance with such evil, Black America loses more than its soul – we squander the reservoirs of respect that generations of African American fighters for human dignity have earned among the Earth’s peoples. We become Black Gringos, while still at the bottom of the American heap – a most ignominious end to our saga.

We find our real allies in struggle against the Lords of Capital — the Fat Cats that have made our world a killing field. The epic struggle for Black self-determination is inseparable from the struggle for peace and a livable planet. Join the Black Alliance for Peace, the Black is Back Coalition and the Black Agenda Report team at the People’s Mobilization to Stop the US War Machine and Save the Planet, September 20 – 23rd, in New York City.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Journalism of the left in times of the right

Source:  Granma
March 13 2019

The truth can be silenced, if it does not reach everyone, or is drowned out by lies shouted louder

walter martinez telesur.jpgWalter Martínez is one of those journalists who struggles everyday to spread the truth on his teleSUR program. Photo: panorama.com.ve

As children, one of the first things we learned was that there is strength in unity. Be it from “Once upon a time” tales or the stories of Mama Oca, we came to understand that all together we could move mountains, while alone, the road was steeper.

Later, something simple, that could be so easily understood at an early age, became increasing complicated as the years went by, as we divided ourselves as independent, sometimes selfish, beings, in search of our own wellbeing.

What may appear as no more than a bedtime story is applicable in all spheres of life, even politics, as the people of Latin America should know.

The conservative restoration

The years when Hugo Chávez began a project in Venezuela to put those who were last first – joined by 11 progressive governments across Latin America and the Caribbean, beginning in 1998 – may seem like a long time ago, given the current panorama.

But, as Basque political analyst and journalist Katu Arkonada said on teleSUR: “The 2009 coup against Mel Zelaya in Honduras; the parliamentary coup against Fernando Lugo in Paraguay in 2012; the 2016 impeachment of Dilma in Brazil; and the electoral victory of Macri in Argentina, allowed the attempted conservative restoration to be partially accomplished.”

A restoration which now includes Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian Trump, as the new head of state is known, who is creating a military government, according to the eminent intellectual Frei Betto.

In Ecuador, since the end of Rafael Correa’s administration, the left has been split, and the Citizens Revolution social project dismantled.

Venezuela, for its part, is facing a difficult moment and a fierce media campaign intended to create confusion and fear, to destabilize the country and discredit the government of Nicolás Maduro, democratically elected by a clear majority.

The role of committed media and journalists

So, given this discouraging panorama, what is the role of committed media and journalists? How can we advance the struggle when giant media corporations like O Globo, in Brazil, or Clarín, in Argentina, defend capitalist interests?

Surrender will never be the solution. We must fight, use our revolutionary self-criticism, reach the people; portray the governments that have reduced poverty, provided health, education, and jobs.

This lesson is a pending issue for the left in countries where today neoliberalism is being imposed on our peoples.

Argentine journalist and intellectual Stella Calloni, in an interview with Granma, noted that the left is going through a difficult moment; that in her country telling the truth can be very expensive, as the 3,000 media workers dismissed for “ideological differences” know well.

This is happening in Brazil, too, where television broadcaster O Globo controls 80% of the country’s stations. Journalist Beto Almeida, told Granma, that reporters are suffering persecution, highlighting the case of his two colleagues Juca Kfouri and Jean Wyllys, whose lives have been threatened.

Venezuela offers another example of the damage that new media can do if used maliciously. The truth, if it does not reach everyone, and is drowned out by lies shouted louder, can be silenced. Infamous fake news reports, spread by unethical professionals who prioritize impact over accuracy, influence individuals with manipulative, manufactured scenarios.

The need for journalists of the left to come together

Given this reality, Stella Calloni emphasizes the need for journalists of the left to come together to tell the stories that don’t make the headlines, “We are coming up with ways nows, for example, bringing together all individuals who have web sites to struggle as alternative media, bringing them together to have an amalgam of voices to tell what is happening and is not known.”

Brazilian sports reporter Juca Kfouri commented, “Journalism is characterized by its attempt to make a better world,” and given this premise, he continues to denounce what is going on in his country, despite the threats, using football to raise consciousness.

It is clear that, in the current scenario, more than ever the courage is needed to open the eyes of readers, viewers, radio listeners, knowing how to use media weapons is an urgent challenge. Calloni, in comments made during the International Journalism Forum, emphasized that information is a weapon of war, and reaffirmed that we are facing a cultural battle, with painful results, in which discredit is stronger than a bullet. The right knows how to use these weapons well. The facts show it. Numerous studies show that WhatsApp played a key role in Bolsonaro’s electoral victory. A similar case is that of U.S. President Donald Trump. As journalist Rosa Miriam Elizalde expressed in a recent lecture: “We are facing a new media architecture. While the mass media imposes the agenda, others deal with the personal and emotional base. Today public opinion is not built exclusively with published opinion, but with shared opinion. ”Social media move emotions, which in turn move voters who go to the polls without confirming what they read, accepting Facebook posts as unquestionable truth.

Thus the importance of finding new ways of communicating, while preserving ethical practices of the trade, without resorting to crude manipulations. Seeking, as Calloni said, “a creative way to resist.”

Life online and offline

IN CONTEXT:Many times the debate within the left is lost, counterpoising taking the street versus taking the internet, as if they were mutually exclusive. If there is a central task on the left, it is to understand that life online and offline are not separate, they are a continuum, part of a single body, and the internet can be many things, except an intangible, ethereal world apart. Cyberspace is the heart of a supranational system that is directly related to physical space, in at least three dimensions. First, its communication routes, nodes, and servers (physical infrastructure) are located somewhere geographically. Second, the protocols or rules of the game that allow people to connect – domains – have a national identity and involve zones of sovereignty, state control, and their own language. And third, cyberspace emphasizes physical geography in a special way: with services, navigation devices, technical gadgets, and mobile devices, which create an interactive map of interconnected channels of information, technology, and people. People have nationality, obey laws, and are also physically present somewhere.

It is not chaos, there are laws. This scenario is regulated by hierarchies and the main network nodes (internet) located in a specific physical spot, which accentuate the disparities of contemporary society, establishing a new map in which center and periphery are clearly located. Of course, notions of time and space, of power and freedom, the individual and the collective, the public and private, national and international culture, and the productive and unproductive, but all within this hegemonic capitalist framework. Within this structure, the development of new models of mediation is encouraged, impacting subsystems of production, distribution, and consumption, on the one hand, and the mechanisms of social reproduction and power, on the other.

Source: Lecture by Rosa Miriam Elizalde during the International Journalism Forum, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Cuba’s Mission Truth and the foundation of Prensa Latina.

How USAID prepared conditions for a soft coup against the government of Nicaragua (Part I)

Source:  La Santa Mambisa /  Cubadebate
December 17 2018

usaid in nicaragua.jpg

The strategy of USAID in Nicaragua is long-term, covering the period 2010-2020 and with a focus on the presidential elections of 2021. The stategy is being implemented through the achievement of three general objectives:

  1. Increase the participatory capacity of the opposition in the political scenario of the country, through the formation of a new opposition leadership and strengthening of the right-wing media to boost the media war.
  2. Form anti-government awareness in vulnerable sectors of society, with emphasis on the Caribbean Coast, a region cataloged by the US Department of State as a priority area for its political objectives in the Nicaraguan territory.
  3. Develop a new youth leadership and control over independent media.

To comply with these objectives, USAID allocated an approximate amount of 68,414,563.00 USD, to which was added an increase in 2016 of 7,995,022.00 USD, aimed at strengthening the execution of the following programs:

 Training in data journalism and data visualization

This program is being executed by the North American International Research and Exchange Board (IREX), with funds in addition to the Open Society. An initial budget of 3 850 000.00 USD is foreseen for the period 2015-2020, to which a budget of 890 000.00 USD for a total of 4 740 000.00 USD was added in 2016.

It is implemented in Nicaragua through the “Voices for All” initiative promoted by IREX itself with the participation of the local NGO Fundemos.

This project is mainly aimed at negatively influencing Nicaraguan public opinion and building a communication matrix against the government of Daniel Ortega that maintains a level of discontent as a trend in the population.

 Institutional Strengthening Program

This project was executed by the North American contractor Dexis Consulting Group and Chemonics in the period 2013-2018, with an initial amount of 6,498,767.00 USD, to which was added an increase in 2016 of 2,500,000.00 USD, totaling 8,998,767.00 USD to the present.

The purpose of the program was to strengthen the mobilization capacity of the Nicaraguan opposition organizations in order to accompany the media campaigns that were generated and other mobilization actions that merit it according to their interests.

 Civil Society Grants Program

It was executed by the local NGO Ethics and Transparency in the 2013-2017 period with an amount of 1 980 000.00 USD. The program was aimed at training and reactivating opposition organizations to demand the implementation of constitutional reforms and to organize media actions with the purpose of discrediting the electoral processes, as well as to denounce supposed cases of corruption committed by government institutions.

– Program for Strengthening the Media

This program is being executed by the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation under the cooperation agreement No. 524-A-14-00001 for the sum of 1,600,000.00 USD during the period 2014-2017, subsequently adding an amount of 930,000.00 USD to an initial total of 2 530 000.00 USD.

The program was directed in this first stage to undermine the image of the government of Nicaragua in the face of the presidential electoral process of 2016, through the training and financing of independent media.

Subsequently, in 2017, the USAID / Nicaragua office decided to extend the program until 2020, adding a fund of USD 3 700 000.00, for the electoral process of 2021, readjusted after the outbreak of the coup in April to demand an advance of elections.

 Local Governance Program

It is executed by the North American NGO Global Communities during the period 2016-2018, with an initial amount of 25 999 763.00 USD, adding in 2016 an increase of 2 950 000.00 USD for a total of 28 949 763.00 USD.

It was aimed at wearing down the government by generating political pressure from the municipalities. The activities of the program were focused on promoting civil disobedience and instability in the administrative entities governed by the Sandinista Front, using local entrepreneurs linked to the opposition as agents of social change.

 Democratic Leadership Development Program (DLDP)

Executed by the NDI under cooperation agreement No. 524-A00-10-00003-00 during the period 2016-2018, with an initial amount of 18,000,000.00 USD and in 2016 received an increase of 1 655 022.00 $ USD , totaling 19 655 022.00 $ USD.

It is one of the most important USAID programs in the country and its purpose was to create a mass of young critics to the Sandinista government that would serve as agents of change so that in the medium and long term they could assume the generational replacement of the traditional opposition, taking account for the natural wear of the latter.

 Promotion of Economical and Social Development in Nicaragua

The program was executed by the local NGO Nicaraguan Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUNIDES) under the cooperation agreement No 524-A-11-00001 in the 2011-2016 period, with a total amount of 2 491 011.00 USD

Its initial purpose was to strengthen the international image of this Nicaraguan NGO, also created by USAID itself to give it a public credibility in the national and international economic and financial sector, in particular its director Juan Sebastian Chamorro. This would allow it to be used, in the medium and long term, as a spearhead against the government’s economic policy, generating an unfavorable state of opinion through the academic work they carry out.

Burkina Faso: demonstrations in honor of murdered journalist

December 14 2018

Twentieth Anniversary of the Murder of Investigative Journalist Norbert Zongo

Norbert Zongo 3.jpgNorbert Zongo, also known under the pen name of Henri Segbo or H.S., (31 July 1949 – 13 December 1998) was a Burkinabé investigative journalist who managed the newspaper  L’Indépendant in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Under Zongo’s  supervision,

L’Indépendant exposed extortion and impunity within the government of Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré. He was assassinated after his newspaper began investigating the murder of a driver who had worked for the brother of Burkinabé President Blaise Compaoré.

Norbert Zongo was born in the Koudougou region, French Upper Volta on 31 July 1949 into the Gnougnoossi family, a prominent subset of the Mossi people. While in secondary school in 1964, he created a newspaper, La Voix du Cours Normal, writing bulletins on his exercise sheets with information gleaned from morning broadcasts from Radio France Internationale, BBC World Service, and other international radio stations.

Education

School officials eventually banned his publication after it discussed political topics.  After high school, Zongo pursued legal studies at University of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire and journalism at the University of Benin in Togo. The latter university expelled him and he was imprisoned in Burkina Faso after Zongo published his political novel Le Parachutage. He was able to finish his education in journalism at the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon.

Zongo was a supporter of human rights and also helped found the Movement for Human and Peoples’ Rights, an organization in Burkina Faso.

Norbert Zongo’s remains are buried in Gounghin Military Cemetery located just east of Ouagadougou.

In 1971 Norbert Zongo began his career as a teacher in Ouagadougou, Kadiogo Province.

Author

le parachutage norbert zongoZongo was also a writer. His first novel Le Parachutage was a thinly disguised political critique of Togo’s President Gnassingbé Eyadema set in the post-colonial era. In the preface of the novel in 1988, Zongo mentions being arrested and beaten for writing it. He followed this novel with the colonial setting for Rougebeinga two years later, which was also political satire of leadership.

In 1991, Zongo, after working for the national daily paper Sidwaya, founded La Clef with Saturnin Ki. It was the first newspaper in Burkina Faso to openly criticism the government, with Zongo contributing under the pseudonym Henri Sebgo (or H.S.). The paper folded in 1993. That June, Zongo founded the weekly L’Indépendant, which primarily covered government corruption. In 1996, he began investigating a series of fraud and graft cases involving several mining and manufacturing companies with ties to top political officials and President Blaise Compaoré’s family. His resulting work severely embarrassed the government. The following year, Zongo directly criticized the Parliament’s decision to amend the Constitution to allow Compaoré to seek a third term.

A suspicious disappearance

In December 1997, a suspicious disappearance and possible murder of David Ouedraogo, who happened to be the driver of François Compaoré who was President Blaise Campaoré’s brother, prompted Zongo to investigate. Ouedrago was tortured and killed for allegedly stealing large sums of money.  Zongo reported the case and wrote small excerpts every week for his newspaper. He began getting death threats and the government ignored them.  His wife, Genevieve Zongo, confirmed that he was receiving death threats from 1997 to his death in 1998. She was told that Norbert would often be followed by a car while on his motorbike. Zongo was also approached to convince him to drop his investigation, but he continued until his death.

On December 13, 1998, four bodies were found shot and burned in a Toyota Land cruiser on the side of the road in Sapouy, Ziro Province. The remains were identified as Norbert Zongo; Zongo’s brother Yembi Ernest Zongo; Blaise Ilboudo, a colleague; and Abdouleye Ablassé Nikiema, who was Zongo’s driver.  Zongo’s death triggered a national crisis and violent protests within Burkina Faso.

In January 1999, François Compaoré, President Blaise Compaoré’s brother, was charged with murder and harboring the body of the victim in connection with the death of David Ouedraogo, his chauffeur, who had died as a result of torture in January 1998. The charges were later dropped by a military tribunal after François Compaoré appealed against them.

Six presidential body guards were identified as suspects in the murder. In August 2000, five members of the presidential security were charged for the murder of Ouedraogo. Marcel Kafando, Edmond Koama and Ousseini Yaro, who are also suspects in the Norbert Zongo case, were convicted and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Edmond Koama died on January 4, 2001. Marcel Kafando was the only one who was charged for the crime, but the charges were later dropped on July 19, 2006. Marcel Kafando passed away three years later, in 2009. The judgment was called “scandalous” by Reporters Without Borders.

In 2013, the case was appealed for the family to have justice for their loss under a court system that was not under control of Burkina Faso. It was believed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights that Burkina Faso’s government covered up the case and violated the revised treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which allows freedom of expression and journalism.  The ACHPR determined that the case should be reopened in order for the victim’s families to be compensated for their losses.

Memorial to Zongo in Sapouy

During his funeral, about 20,000 people walked 10 kilometers from the mortuary to the cemetery to pay tribute to him and solidarity with his cause.[23][14] In 2006, Zongo’s case was determined closed with no one found guilty, which enraged civil rights defenders and citizens of Burkino Faso.

Norbert Zongo’s widowed wife, Genevieve continued to keep his newspaper, the L’Indépendant, alive after his death. She remains the primary publisher and editor in memory of her late husband.

In 2014, it was determined that Norbert Zongo’s case was unfairly excused due to a bias in government.

On the morning of October 29, 2017, François Compaoré was arrested at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport, based on a May 2017 international arrest warrant.[26]

The Committee to Protect Journalists’ Africa program coordinator, Sue Valentine, stated “We praise Burkinabe authorities for taking this step (arresting three presidential soldiers involved in Zongo’s murder) and call on them to ensure that the mastermind of this murder is identified and prosecuted. After 17 long years, the family, friends, and colleagues of Norbert Zongo deserve a thorough and transparent investigation leading to full justice.”

Reporters Without Borders’ head of its Africa desk, Cléa Kahn-Sriber, said, “This ruling constitutes a major turning-point in the Zongo case, which has suffered appallingly from the impunity tolerated for all these years by Burkina Faso’s justice system.”

Reporters Without Borders, who avidly campaigned for Zongo’s case, stated, “This has always been a highly political case. Zongo was killed by members of the presidential guard. François Compaoré, the brother of President Blaise Compaoré, is implicated. The authorities never stopped protecting the killers. The president has got what he always wanted – injustice.”

The Independent Commission of Inquiry released the following statement: “Norbert Zongo was assassinated for purely political motives because he practiced investigative journalism. He defended a democratic ideal and had chosen to become involved, with his newspaper, in the struggle for the respect of human rights and justice, and against the poor management of the public sector and impunity.”

Many Burkinabé journalists accredit Zongo with being the first writer in the country to practice investigative journalism..

  • The singer Alpha Blondy wrote a song, Journalistes en danger, about the assassination of Zongo.
  • In 2012, a memorial was erected at the Highway N6 (Ouagadougou – Léo) near Sapouy, at the site of his murder.

In 2001 Zongo was posthumously given the Integrity Award for his work to expose government corruption.

Cuban Ambassador in Washington responds to Wall Street Journal

Source Editorial WSJ / Cuba Network In Defense of Humanity
May 7 2018

jose cabanas cubaRegarding your editorial “Cuba Gets a Castro Convertible” (April 23): The U.S. corporate press has always been predictable in its articles on Cuba and even more so when it comes to its editorials. Newspapers such as yours were against Cubans being free from Spanish power in the 19th century. Later on, they commended local corrupt politicians who supported the invasion— first militarily and then economically by American companies during the first half of the 20th century. Finally, those newspapers relentlessly demonized the Cuban Revolution since 1959. However, I was caught off guard by the sordidness of the language used by your editorial board when referring to my country. It is the typical exercise of those who are left without arguments.

There is still a financial, economic and commercial embargo imposed on Cuba intended to starve our population into submission. However, the information blockade has decreased. Americans massively travel to Cuba and 75% of them support a better relationship with our country.

Your renewed efforts to promote the business of the “dissidence” in Cuba will not have the slightest success. History is wise and has forgotten (and will forget) the names of the annexationists of Cuban origins, but any educated human being who inhabits the earth today will be able to tell you about Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, Jose Marti, Antonio Maceo, Julio Antonio Mella, Ernesto Guevara and Fidel Castro ; those are the names of the pro-independence figures.

To maintain a part of the audience you still have, before criticizing Cuba again, or any other Latin American or Caribbean country for that matter, please start by looking at yourselves in the mirror.

Jose Ramón Cabanas Rodriguez

Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba

Washington

Maduro warns that the US Embassy is a center of conspiracy against peace in Venezuela

Source:  AVN
May 18 2018

maduro warns May 2018.jpgPhoto: Presidential Press / Archive

The Embassy of the United States in Venezuela has become a center of conspiracy against peace and democracy in the country, said Friday the President of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro.

“Venezuela is at the center of a worldwide media aggression and imperial aggression by the United States, Venezuela has become the obsession of the clan that governs Washington.” The US Embassy in Venezuela is a center of permanent conspiracy against stability, the democracy and peace of our country, “he said during a meeting with international supporters for the presidential elections on Sunday 20-M.

In the activity, transmitted by VTV, he specified that the media aggressions of which Venezuela is a victim have two lines: the first is the manipulation, misrepresentation and lies against the country.

He explained that the second line is that of silence , not to mention the electoral campaign carried out by the different candidates for the Presidency of the Republic and whose elections will take place this Sunday.

The national leader questioned: “Why so much obsession with Venezuela and with Maduro, why do not they worry about the problems of their countries or other serious problems?”

He emphasized that in spite of the attacks against the country, Venezuela has neutralized and defeated these aggressions. He also added that nothing and nobody can stop the democratic will of the people of Venezuela and that will be evident in the electoral process this Sunday.

“I am sure that the people of Venezuela will go out to vote massively and will exercise their right to choose for the conspirators and coup plotters who are out there thinking about last minute blows: nothing and nobody, whatever they do, will stop to the Venezuelan people to go out and vote, “he said.

More solidarity with the people and government of Venezuela from Cuba

Yesterday, at the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), an event was held to reiterate solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which is facing imperialist threats and the criminal acts of its oligarchic right wing opposition

Source:  Granma
August 22 2017

by: ICAP | informacion@granma.cu

icap in solidarity with venezuela.jpgYesterday, at the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), an event was held to reiterate solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which is facing imperialist threats and the criminal acts of its oligarchic, right wing opposition.

The documentary Venezuela, oscura causa, by Hernando Calvo Ospina, was screened, while Venezuelan ambassador in Cuba, Alí Rodríguez, thanked participants for their many expressions of solidarity with his country, denounced imperial ambitions to control the country’s natural riches, and reaffirmed his people’s determination to defend their independence and sovereignty.

International media campaign against Venezuela

Graciela Ramírez, president if the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity for the Peoples, condemned the international media campaign against Venezuela in which reality is manipulated and lies repeated.

Also speaking was Silvio Platero, president of the Cuban Movement for Peace and Peoples’ Sovereignty, who reiterated the support for Venezuela expressed by the World Peace Council.

Lilia María Zamora, acting director of ICAP, noted, “This past July 30, with the victory at the polls to install the National Constituent Assembly and return peace, stability, and dialogue to the country, the people of Venezuela dashed the empire’s plans, and offered the world another example of true democracy.”

During the event presided by ICAP Vice President Elio Gámez, participants also observed a moment of silence to honor victims of recent terrorist attacks in Europe.

 

USA: The Striking Audacity of the Coup-in-Process

Source:Information Clearing House
December 18 2016

By Paul Craig Roberts

Unsubstantiated stories have been planted throughout the presstitute media by anonymous CIA officials that Donald Trump’s electoral victory was the result of Russian intervention. This absurd claim has now been elevated to the even more absurd claim that Putin himself oversaw and even conducted the manipulation of the US presidential election.

A history of lies

No evidence has been provided for these amazing claims. The presstitutes are reporting unsubstantiated wild accusations that portend both a constitutional crisis in the US and a crisis with Russia. We know that the presstitutes lie. The presstitutes lied when they reported contrary to the weapons inspectors in Iraq that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. They lied about fake evidence of yellowcake and alumninum tubes. They lied about Saddam Hussein’s al-Qaeda connections. They lied about Iranian nukes despite the unanimous report of all US intelligence agencies that Iran had abandoned interest in nuclear weapons years ago. The presstitutes lied about Assad using chemical weapons against the Syrian people. They lied about Gadaffi. They lied about Russian invasion of Ukraine. They lied about the cause of the Russian/Georgian conflict. They lied about the Sochi Olympics. Now the presstitutes are claiming that Russian interference determined the outcome of the US presidential election and the Brexit vote.

Formenting a coup

As a result of the prestitutes’ lies, millions of peoples have been killed and dislocated. This blood is all on the heads of the American media. So we know for a proven fact that the US media has no integrity and no conscience.

Now the presstitutes have surpassed their previous level of criminality. They are part and parcel of formenting a coup against the president-elect and throwing the country into a crisis of unknown proportion.

Tomorrow the Electoral College meets to cast the ballots for president. There is a well organized effort to disrupt this normally routine procedure. Based on CIA lies spread over the country by the presstitutes, 62 electors have requested a CIA briefing prior to the vote on Russian interference in the election. As there is no formal CIA report and no evidence in support of the allegations, the briefing would consist of the allegations.

A Harvard Law School professor, Lawrence Lessig, involved in the Stop-Trump movement, has promised free legal defence of electors who break with precedent and cast their votes differently from the majority vote of their states.

This effort, which presents a grave and continual threat to the Constitution, to domestic tranquility, and to international stability, is said in a nationwide media ad campaign to be necessary in order to block Trump from presenting “a grave and continual threat to the Constitution, to the domestic tranquility, and to international stabilithy.” https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-12-15/long-shot-bid-to-block-trump-arrives-at-electoral-college-monday

Obama

If the effort tomorrow fails, President Obama has put in motion a second shot at blocking Trump’s inauguration with his order to the CIA to produce a report on Russian election meddling prior to January 20. This report could be used to delay the inauguration or to convey to the Amerian public and peoples abroad so many doubts that Trump’s effectiveness as a leader would be undermined.

And of course, the constant assaults on Trump can result in his assassination by a “lone nut” patriot incensed over having in office a president declared by the New York Times to be a Putin stooge and useful idiot for the Russians. This is the newspaper of record’s characterization of the president chosen by the American people.

A fight between rival oligarchic interests

Professor Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research adds another dimension to the struggle —a fight between rival oligarchic interests. Trump and his announced Secretary of State want the business deals that result from normal relations with Russia. The military/security oligarchs want the immense budgets and power that comes from positioning Russia as a dire threat. Even if Trump survives the CIA’s challenge to his election, his cabinet appointees will have to survive confirmation fights and, if they do, ongoing challenges to their efforts to change policies from policies that favor oligarchs enriched by war to policies that favor oligarchs enriched by peace.

In other words, whatever the outcome tomorrow and January 20th, the fight is ongoing.