Cuba: For Peace and Against War

Source:  Granma
May 3 2019

The International Solidarity Conference for World Peace and Against War, held May 2 in the Cuban capital, was a great embrace shared by brothers and sisters from around the world

by: Bertha Mojena Milián | internet@granma.cu

rising up against imperialism 1.jpg

Photo: Dunia Álvarez

The International Solidarity Conference for World Peace and Against War, held May 2 in the Cuban capital, was a great embrace shared by brothers and sisters from around the world. Approved was a Declaration of international solidarity and for world peace, in which the Helms-Burton Act was condemned; and demanded were an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. government on Cuba for 60 years and the return of territory illegally occupied by the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo.

The declaration calls on the international solidarity movement to denounce the illegal nature of new sanctions levied on Cuba that violate the United Nations Charter and international law, and reiterated support for the struggles of peoples around the world for sovereignty and self-determination.

“Let us rise up against imperialist barbarism, for peace and a world without exploitation,” the document concludes.

“No matter how dark the path, the response of the Cuban people will be to resist and victory will always be ours,” reiterated the president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Fernando González Llort, who announced the “Hemispheric fernando gonzalez.jpgAnti-Imperialist Encounter of Solidarity, for democracy, and against neoliberalism,” to be held in Havana November 1-3.The call states, “Without neglecting or moving away from the specific agendas of multiple struggles, to which our organizations and movements are articulated, we are aware that it will not be possible to face the enemies of our peoples in isolation, dispersed.”

Thus, the call invites “the continent’s networks and platforms; popular movements of campesinos; women and feminists; trade unionists and excluded workers; environmentalists; youth and students; religious, indigenous, ethnic, regional, and LGTBI movements… all sectors committed to the struggle to stop the advance of the neoliberal right, to construct and defend a common emancipatory project.”

The International Solidarity Conference for World Peace and Against War began with a tribute to the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, received with a prolonged ovation. In thanking the more than 1,400 participants from more than 103 organizations in 57 countries, the general secretary of the Federation of Cuban Workers (CTC) and Party Political Bureau member, Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, reported that this May Day, more than six million Cubans marched across the island, demonstrating the people’s support for the Revolution, our ability to fight, and the conviction that we will always achieve victory.

The trade union leader observed that this type of gathering provides an opportunity to share experiences on social battles in many regions, disseminate ideas, and construct the consensus needed to confront the neoliberal offensive, and the escalation of U.S. attacks on the independence and self-determination of peoples.

He noted that Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba are being targeted directly by imperialism, given the determination of their peoples and governments to resist domination, despite efforts to discredit progressive government that have produced benefits for the people and made social gains.

Guilarte reaffirmed solidarity and support for the Bolivarian Revolution and its constitutional President; for Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, unjustly imprisoned in Brazil; and for all workers around the world struggling against capitalist exploitation.

Adan Chavez

Adan Chavez

A special guest attending the conference was Venezuela’s ambassador in Cuba, Adán Chávez, who thanked participants for the numerous committed and courageous demonstrations of support for the Bolivarian Revolution around the world, recalling that the attacks on his country began as soon as eternal

Comandante Hugo Chávez was elected President the first time, but that the region’s peoples have decided to be free, and any victories of the empire and its allies are circumstantial, insisting, “The attacks will continue, and we will continue defeating them.”

The Venezuelan diplomat also pointed out that Venezuela will not be a U.S. colony ever again, just like the Cuban people, the Nicaraguan, all those who fight for just causes, for their rights, because left political projects are moving forward, adding “The peoples are in the street, fighting, more and more united”.

gail walker.jpg

Gail Walker

For her part, Gail Walker, daughter of the beloved friend of Cuba, Reverend Lucius Walker, said that it was an honor to be one of the many people from the United States who have come to express their solidarity with Cuba.

She noted that among those from the United States, marching with Cuba this May Day, were many visiting the island for the first time, and from a variety of sectors, including education and health, workers, community groups, and women. We are all here to express the continuity of our solidarity, she said, as progressive forces from different states, “united in love and solidarity.

lula da silva 3c.jpg

Lula da Silva

“Likewise, the president of the World Peace Council, Socorro Gómez, thanked those present for their support in the campaign to free former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, especially Army General Raúl Castro in his capacity as First Secretary of the Party Central Committee, and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez. “Their solidarity reaches deep into the hearts of the Brazilian people and is an incentive to free Lula and continue fighting for democracy in Brazil,” she reaffirmed.

On behalf of the International Democratic Women’s Federation (FDIM), its president Lorena Peña said, “It is time to take the offensive in resistance to interventionist imperialism, and overcome the media war and the dangerous actions of imperialism.” The fight must be constant, without making concessions to the opponents, she emphasized.

Jimmy Carter Lectures Trump: US Is ‘Most Warlike Nation in History of the World’

Source:  TeleSUR
April 13 2019

jimmy carter 3Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter makes remarks at a luncheon following
a morning symposium for the 25th anniversary of the Camp David Peace
Accords between Israel and Egypt. | Photo: Reuters

 The former president says peaceful China “ahead of us in almost every way.”

The only U.S. president to complete his term without war, military attack or occupation has called the United States “the most warlike nation in the history of the world.”

RELATED:  US Marks Anniversary of Its Defeat at Bay of Pigs by Imposing New Sanctions Against Cuba

During his regular Sunday school lesson at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, Jimmy Carter revealed that he had recently spoken with President Donald Trump about China. Carter, 94, said Trump was worried about China’s growing economy and expressed concern that “China is getting ahead of us.”

Carter, who normalized diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing in 1979, said he told Trump that much of China’s success was due to its peaceful foreign policy.

“Since 1979, do you know how many times China has been at war with anybody?” Carter asked. “None, and we have stayed at war.” While it is true that China’s last major war — an invasion of Vietnam — occurred in 1979, its People’s Liberation Army pounded border regions of Vietnam with artillery and its navy battled its Vietnamese counterpart in the 1980s. Since then, however, China has been at peace with its neighbors and the world.

Carter then said the U.S. has been at peace for only 16 of its 242 years as a nation. Counting wars, military attacks and military occupations, there have actually only been five years of peace in US history — 1976, the last year of the Gerald Ford administration and 1977-80, the entirety of Carter’s presidency. Carter then referred to the US as “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” a result, he said, of the US forcing other countries to “adopt our American principles.”

China’s peace dividend has allowed and enhanced its economic growth, Carter said. “How many miles of high-speed railroad do we have in this country?” he asked. China has around 18,000 miles (29,000 km) of high speed rail lines while the US has “wasted, I think, $3 trillion” on military spending. According to a November 2018 study by Brown University’s Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs, the US has spent $5.9 trillion waging war in Iraq,

Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other nations since 2001.

“It’s more than you can imagine,” Carter said of U.S. war spending. “China has not wasted a single penny on war, and that’s why they’re ahead of us. In almost every way.”

“And I think the difference is if you take $3 trillion and put it in American infrastructure you’d probably have $2 trillion leftover,” Carter told his congregation. “We’d have high-speed railroad. We’d have bridges that aren’t collapsing, we’d have roads that are maintained properly. Our education system would be as good as that of say South Korea or Hong Kong.”

While there is a prevalent belief in the United States that the country almost always wages war for noble purposes and in defense of freedom, global public opinion and facts paint a very different picture. Most countries surveyed in a 2013 WIN/Gallup poll identified the United States as the greatest threat to world peace, and a 2017 Pew Research poll found that a record number of people in 30 surveyed nations viewed US power and influence as a “major threat.”

The U.S. has also invaded or bombed dozens of countries and supported nearly every single right-wing dictatorship in the world since the end of World War II. It has overthrown or attempted to overthrow dozens of foreign governments since 1949 and has actively sought to crush nearly every single people’s liberation movement over that same period. It has also meddled in scores of elections, in countries that are allies and adversaries alike.

Brett Wilkins is an independent journalist and activist based in San Francisco. His work, which covers issues of war and peace and human rights, is archived atwww.brettwilkins.com. 

The Cuban Revolution will confront the aggressive U.S. escalation, and prevail

Source:  Granma

April 18 2019

by Granma | internet@granma.cu

Revolutionary Government Declaration

Today, April 17, is the anniversary of the launching of the United State’s 1961 military invasion at Playa Girón. (Bay of Pigs)

bay of pigs us defeated

Bay of Pigs:  First military defeat of imperialism in America

The Cuban people’s resolute response in defense of the Revolution and socialism, within only 72 hours, produced the first military defeat of imperialism in America.

 

Strangely, the date was chosen by the current U.S. government to announce new aggressive measures against Cuba and to reinforce their implementation of the Monroe Doctrine.

The Revolutionary Government rejects, in the strongest terms possible, the decision to now allow action to be taken in U.S. courts against Cuban and foreign entities, and to aggravate impediments to entering the United States faced by leaders and families of companies that legitimately invest in Cuba, in properties that were nationalized. These are actions established in the Helms-Burton Ac,t which was denounced long ago by the international community, and which the Cuban nation has repudiated since its promulgation and implementation in 1996, with the fundamental goal of imposing colonial tutelage on our country.

Limits on remittances

We repudiate, as well, the decision to reinstate limits on remittances that Cuban residents in the U.S. send to their families and friends, to further restrict travel by U.S. citizens to Cuba, and impose additional financial sanctions.

We strongly denounce references that attacks against U.S. diplomats have occurred in Cuba.

They attempt to justify their actions, as is customary, with lies and coercion.

Army General Raúl Castro stated this past April 10: “Cuba is blamed for all evils, using lies in the worst style of Hitler’s propaganda.”

The U.S. government resorts to slander, to cover up and justify the obvious failure of its sinister coup maneuver, designating in Washington an impostor “President” for Venezuela,

They lie shamelessly

They accuse Cuba of being responsible for the strength and determination shown by the Bolivarian Chavista government, the country’s people, and the civic-military union defending their nation’s sovereignty. They lie shamelessly, alleging that Cuba has thousands of military and security troops in Venezuela, wielding influence, and determining what happens in this sister country.

They have the cynicism to blame Cuba for the economic and social situation Venezuela is facing after years of brutal economic sanctions, conceived and implemented by the United States and their allies, precisely to economically asphyxiate the country and cause suffering within the population.

Pressuring governments in other countries

Washington goes so far as to pressure governments in other countries to attempt to persuade Cuba to withdraw this unlikely supposed military and security aid, and even to stop lending support and solidarity to Venezuela.

The current U.S. government is well-known, within the country itself and internationally, for its unscrupulous use of lies as a tool in domestic and foreign policy. This is an old habit among imperialism’s practices.

Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

The images are still fresh of President George W. Bush, with the support of current National Security John Bolton, indecently lying about supposed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a lie that served as the pretext to invade this Middle Eastern country.

Recorded in history, as well, are the bombing of the Maine anchored in Havana, and the self-inflicted Gulf of Tonkin incident, episodes that served as pretexts to unleash brutal wars in Cuba and Vietnam.

We cannot forget that the United States used fake insignia painted on the planes that carried out bombings here as a prelude to the Playa Girón invasion, to hide the fact that they were U.S. aircraft.

It should be clear that the U.S. slanders are based on an absolute, deliberate lie. Their intelligence agencies have more than enough evidence, surely more than any other state, to know that Cuba has no troops in Venezuela, and does not participate in military or security operations, even though it is the sovereign right of independent countries to determine how they cooperate in the area of defense, which is not a U.S. prerogative to question.

Those making this accusation have more than 250,000 soldiers and 800 military bases abroad, some of them in our hemisphere.

This government also knows, as Cuba has repeatedly stated publicly, that the more than 20,000 Cuban collaborators, more than 60% women, are undertaking in this South American country the same work currently being done by another 11,000 professionals from our country in 83 nations; contributing to the provision of social basic services, fundamentally in healthcare, which has been recognized by the international community.

It should also be absolutely clear that our firm solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is Cuba’s right as a sovereign state, and also a duty that is part of our tradition and among the irrevocable principles of the Cuban Revolution’s foreign policy.

No threat of reprisal against Cuba, no ultimatum or pressure on the part of the current U.S. government will dissuade the Cuban nation’s internationalist vocation, despite the devastating human and economic damage caused by the genocidal blockade to our people.

Thuggish threats and ultimatums have been used in the past

It is worth remembering that thuggish threats and ultimatums have been used in the past, when Cuba’s internationalists supported liberation movements in Africa, while the United States supported the opprobrious apartheid regime. Cuba was expected to renounce its solidarity commitments with the peoples of Africa in exchange for a promise of forgiveness, as if the Revolution needed to be pardoned by imperialism.

At that time, Cuba rejected the pressure, as we reject it today, with the greatest disdain.

Army General Raúl Castro recalled this past April 10, “Over 60 years, facing aggression and threats, Cubans have shown the iron will to resist and overcome the most difficult circumstances. Despite its immense power, imperialism does not possess the capacity to break the dignity of a united people, proud of its history and of the freedom conquered with so much sacrifice.”

The Caribbean as a Zone of Peace

The Cuban government calls on all members of the international community and U.S. citizens to put an end this irrational escalation and the hostile, aggressive policy of the Donald Trump government. Member states of the United Nations rightly demand, year after year almost unanimously, an end to this economic war. The peoples and governments of our region must ensure that the principles of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace prevail, for the benefit of all.

miguel diaz sept 2018c.jpgThe President of the Councils of State and Ministers Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez declared this past April 13, “Cuba continues to have confidence in its strengths, its dignity, and also in the strength and dignity of other sovereign, independent nations. But Cuba also continues to believe in the people of the United States, the homeland of Lincoln, who are ashamed of those who act beyond the boundaries of universal law, in the name of the entire nation.”

Once again, Cuba repudiates the lies and the threats, and reiterates that its sovereignty, independence, and commitment to the cause of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, are not negotiable.

Two days before the commemoration of the 58th anniversary of the victory at Playa Girón, a historic site within our national territory, where mercenary forces backed by imperialism bit the dust of defeat, the Cuban Revolution reiterates its resolute determination to confront the aggressive escalation of the United States, and prevail.

Havana, April 17, 2019.

Díaz-Canel: The Association of Caribbean States must continue to be the mainstay of Greater Caribbean unity

Source: Granma
April 1 2019

Photo: Estudios Revolución

Speech by Miguel M. Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, at the VIII Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States, in Managua, Nicaragua, March 29, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution

(Council of State transcript / GI translation)

Compañero Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra, President of the sister Republic of Nicaragua and of the VIII Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States;

Compañera Rosario Murillo, Vice President of the Republic of Nicaragua;

Distinguished heads of state and government and heads of delegations;

Her Excellency Ambassador June Soomer, general secretary of the Association;

Dear delegates and guests:

Our national poet, Nicolás Guillén, a singular voice among the great voices of this region, dedicated a short poem to the sea that joins us, with which I would like to greet you. It is entitled “The Caribbean” and goes:

In the aquarium of the Great Zoo,

swims the Caribbean.

This enigmatic marine animal

has a crystal crest,

a blue back, a green tail,

a belly of compact coral,

gray hurricane fins.

In the aquarium, this inscription:

“Be careful: it bites.”

This verse of Guillen’s speaks of the crystal crest that makes our Caribbean fragile. And also of the fierce beast that lives here. Fragility and ferocity distinguish us. Fragility and ferocity unite us. And unity, we know well, makes us strong.

Born of this strength, sustained only by unity, is the very timely Managua Declaration adopted by this meeting, with the title: “Joining forces in the Caribbean to confront climate change,” an issue that has generated growing concern over the last few decades.

As the Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, warned almost 30 years ago, during the Earth Summit held in Río de Janeiro, in 1992, “An important biological species is in danger of extinction as a result of the rapid and progressive elimination of its natural living conditions: man.”

The Caribbean knows this well since it often suffers the impact. Surely for this reason, since its Second Summit in Santo Domingo, in 1999, the Association of Caribbean States has included among its lines of work agreement and cooperation on climate change and disaster risk reduction.

The causes of climate change have been identified by the scientific community and recognized by practically all governments.

But neither efforts made or international commitments in environmental matters are sufficient to stop the alarming increase in global temperature and stabilize it in the area of 1.5ºC, as developing countries demand.

More developed nations, who are mainly responsible for today’s unsustainable situation, must honor the commitment to provide at least 100 billion USD a year to support the work of developing countries.

The global commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must prevail based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, within a framework of international cooperation that ensures the resources and necessary transfer of technologies to developing countries.

Required is the modification of patterns of production and consumption that have been imposed on us, and the promotion of a fair, democratic, and equitable international economic order, to confront climate change and achieve sustainable development.

Mr. President:

Each of us understands what is being talked about. The intensity and persistence of natural phenomena of various kinds in the Greater Caribbean constantly punish us with the adverse effects of climate change, particularly developing small island states.

Living with hurricanes has conditioned our lives; modifying our geographies and affecting migration. And it has also educated us in the need to devote more study to these phenomena that plague us and work to reverse the damage they cause. The Cuban Revolution was obliged to learn this lesson very early on, the hard way, during Hurricane Flora in 1963, which left the former province of Oriente under water and took the lives of more than a thousand people.

More recent history has shown that, in the worst moments, working together has saved us. We firmly believe that only our unity and mutual cooperation will allow us to face the dangers and effects of meteorological events and assume the subsequent recovery.

Solidarity must be a fundamental principle for the members of the Association of Caribbean States

Along this very line of thought, today, I would like to reiterate the unwavering support of Cuba, under all circumstances, to the right of small island states and developing nations to receive special and differential treatment in access to trade and investment.

We also support the just and necessary demand to receive cooperation according to a nation’s real situation and needs, and not on the basis of per capita income statistics that classify them as middle income countries and exclude them from access to financial resources, indispensable for development.

We welcome the election of Barbados as President of the Board of Directors of the Association’s Council of Ministers. We express our fraternal congratulations for this and for the country’s willingness to contribute during this period.

Dear delegates:

The President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the National Security Advisor declare that the Monroe Doctrine is as relevant today as the day it was written, and that it is the country’s formal policy, as in the time of expansion and intervention of the United States in our region, of military aggressions and impositions.

These statements and consequent actions challenge our Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by heads of state and government, in January 2014, in Havana, on the occasion of the Second CELAC Summit.

We declared then our permanent commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes in order to banish forever the use of force, and threats to use force, in the region; to strictly comply with the obligation not to intervene, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any other state; to foster relations of friendship and cooperation among ourselves and with other nations, regardless of differences in political, economic, and social systems or levels of development; to practice tolerance and coexist in peace as good neighbors; to the intention of Latin American and the Caribbean states to fully respect the inalienable right of all to choose their own political, economic, social, and cultural system, as an essential condition for ensuring peaceful coexistence among nations; to the promotion in the region of a culture of peace based, among others, on the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Culture of Peace.

The Proclamation also urges all member states of the international community to fully respect these purposes and principles in their relations with CELAC member states.

In this context, our nations must continue working together. It is our duty to protect peace, amongst us all, and preserve what has been achieved, confident that the current situation of confrontation and threats will be overcome.

Cuba, in particular, has been subject to an irrational and perverse tightening of the blockade by the United States, whose administration has unleashed, at the same time, a campaign of distortions, lies, and pretexts to sustain a policy of persecution and harassment that the international community openly rejects and condemns.

I would like to express our profound gratitude to all the countries of the region for their opposition to this irrational, illegal, and cruel policy against our people.

Beyond political or ideological differences, I call on all Caribbean governments to defend peace and oppose military aggression and the escalation of coercive economic measures against Venezuela that seriously damage its citizens and put the stability of the entire region at risk.

We also reiterate our solidarity and support for the government of Reconciliation and National Unity of the Republic of Nicaragua in the face of destabilization attempts, and we celebrate the negotiation process to ensure peace and preserve the social and economic gains achieved in this sister nation.

Faithful to our vision of defending unity within diversity, as on innumerable occasions the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raul Castro Ruz, has asserted in forums like this one, we call on you to continue working together, concentrating on all that unites us, incomparably superior to the little that separates us, and to prioritize the fulfillment of agreements reached by the XXIII Council of Ministers regarding the strengthening and revitalization of the Association.

The Association of Caribbean States must continue to be the mainstay of Greater Caribbean unity, which is the only alternative given the enormous challenges we face.

Member states of this organization share the responsibility to avoid damaging the consensus that we have built together over the years, and to continue fostering solidarity, as an indispensable premise to develop actions on all the issues that are part of the organization’s mandate.

Cuba will continue working in favor of this unity and for the consolidation of our Association, and hope that this important meeting will contribute decisively to the effort.

Thank you very much!

Cuba Hosts 21st International Graphic Humor Biennial

Source:  Prensa Latina
March 31 2019

Havana, Mar 31 (Prensa Latina) Graphic humorists from 43 countries are competing in Cuba from March 31 to April 3 in the framework of the 21st International Graphic Humor Biennial in San Antonio de los Baños, southwest of Havana.

My country never learned the lessons of the American War in Viet Nam

Venezuela:  Peace is Possible

Source:  Popular Resistance

RESIST!

“I dream, Peace is Possible
through a nightmare of wars,
No matter how brief the Dream”

~ by Daniel Shea © 3/26/19
    Viet Nam Veteran

daniel shea 2c.jpgI arrived in Caracas Venezuela on March 10th 2019 with Margaret Flowers & Kevin Zeese after the three of us had to scramble to find alternatives flights to Venezuela via COPA Airlines, Panama to Caracas.

The reason we sought alternative flights was because American Airlines cancelled our flights from Miami to Caracas fearing reported power outages.

The electricity blackout was real but flights were still operational during daytime hours as we were soon to find out.

We were determined to join our place as delegates on the U.S. Peace Council and to witness for ourselves the extent of U.S. Corporate Media reports of massive civil unrest, of a starving population resorting to eating garbage and government violence to subdue protests.

We were on a mission, to listen, to observe, and to attempt to assess the root causes of opposition grievances and whether there might be avenues for talks to address their concerns and find compromises and produce a peace to the advantage of all concerned.

Our main mission was to express our Solidarity with COSI – Venezuela, the Committee of International Solidarity and Struggle for Peace.

I, a Viet Nam Marine Corp Veteran of 1968, and I, as a former Board of Directors of Veterans For Peace International and the current President of  Veterans For Peace Chapter 72 of Portland Oregon have lived the hell of war, and wish never to have anyone live through that experience.

Unfortunately, my country never learned the lessons of the American War in Viet Nam, that it was criminal to send our armed forces to invade another country.

Viet Nam held no vital interest except the desire of imperialists to dominate Asia as a colonial power.  Viet Nam was no eminent threat to our nation.

We left defeated, as war criminals who killed, estimates ranging from 4 to 6 million Vietnamese, mostly innocent civilian, women and children.

We left another war legacy, the legacy of spraying 20 million gallons of Agent Orange Dioxin over Viet Nam a deadly toxic chemical weapon that continues to take lives and causes many debilitating birth anomalies and diseases including cancers affecting both Vietnamese and U.S. Veterans and their families.

We have 58,320 U.S. Soldiers names, including eight women carved in black granite in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC as a cold reminder of the consequences of War.

Thus, every U.S. War, whether a so-called humanitarian military intervention or regime change assualt on another nation, it is like a bullet striking my heart, opening old wounds, that trigger my PTSD causing depression, anger, and even suicidal urges to end the nightmare and shame of my country’s bullying violence and terrorism that threaten the nation’s of the world with our way or the highway.

I have chosen to walk a path of Peace, to rejected violence and war, thus raise my voice as a Veteran For Peace, challenge those who beat the drums of war, oppose dishonest diplomacy at the point of an arsenal of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

I guess it is no surprise that the U.S. Peace Council would invite two Veterans For Peace members Gerry Condon a former GI Resister and current President of VFP International  and myself to join their delegation.

It didn’t take long before the delegation were invited to meetings with various government ministries, popular people’s projects or cultural programs, but most obvious was that the so-called crisis and massive unrest was just not happening.

That is to say, that in Caracas these popular myths of violent unrest in the U. S. Media were not true.

Our observation was the unrest was a lie manufactured by the U.S. State Department and the Trump Goons, VP Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton and Special Envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams the infamous 1980s criminal conspirator in the Iran Contra Scandal and lying to Congress.

One has to put much into perspective, there was an electricity blackout when I arrived on the 4th day of the outage and lasted an additional two days.

Was it a crisis, of course it was but it didn’t cause unrest, it brought people together, just like in the USA when a national disaster strikes, people go out of their way to help each other, the same in Venezuela.

I was humbled by the tenacity of the Venezuelans to persevere under this difficult hardship, the government trying to ease their burden declared taking the days off during the blackout, making them Blackout Holidays and you saw families in the streets, going to the parks, lovers holding hands, taking walks and meeting friends but no unrest.

Why the lies, why these threats of regime change intervention?

What are the Venezuelan Opposition Parties grievances, would they be willing to sit down for peace talks to find comprises.

Sorry to say, we were not able to get a meeting with opposition leaders to discuss the possibility.

What did seem apparent, was that the United States had their hands so far up the self declared president of Venezuela, Juan  Guaido’s ass, he nor the opposition parties couldn’t venture far from the uncompromising position the United States was dictating, Maduro must go “Or Else”.

The “Or Else” is the real crisis, was the dark cloud hanging over all of Venezuela, the threat of U.S. Military Intervention.

Donald Trump doesn’t give a shit about democracy or the suffering of Venezuelans, or he would lift the Sanctions at the root of much of the economic crisis, that and the drop in Oil Prices in the global market.

The real interest of the United States in Venezuela is it’s Oil and they have made that pretty clear in their own public statements.

““It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela,” ~ Bolton told Fox News in an interview.

I will be giving a report back on Venezuela Saturday March 30th 2019

Eye Witness Report Back from Venezuela
Dan Shea of Veterans For Peace &
U.S. Peace Council Delegate
3:00 PM at Sunnyside Community House
3520 SE Yamhill St, Portland, OR 97214

Please join me, both in Solidarity with the Peace Loving People of Venezuela and in Solidarity with the March 30th Mobilization taking place in Washinton, DC as officials of NATO come to celebrate 70 years of war making!

We Say No to NATO, War and Racism!

!!!!!!!HANDS OFF VENEZUELA!!!!!!!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1338452059613197/?ti=cl

Trump’s divide-and-rule Caribbean tactics

Source:  CGTN
Marh 21 2019

United States President Donald Trump’s invitation to five Caribbean leaders to meet him at his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago will likely be seen in the region as a classic American tactic of divide and conquer.

The invitation appears linked to the support of the five – Jamaica, Haiti, The Bahamas, St. Lucia and the Dominican Republic – for a U.S.-backed vote at the hemispheric Organization of American States (OAS) to withhold recognition of “the legitimacy” of the new term of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Other Caribbean nations that either abstained or voted against were left off the list, though it has become the custom for American presidents to meet Caribbean leaders as a broader group, mostly within the 15-member entity known as the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM. Of the five, only the Dominican Republic is not a member.

Related: CARICOM Reiterates Support for Peaceful Resolution in Venezuela

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump would use Friday’s meeting to thank the leaders for their support for peace and democracy in Venezuela. Trade, energy and security were also mentioned as agenda items.

Meeting with UN chief

Washington has clearly been irritated by CARICOM’s efforts to champion a negotiated solution to the crisis in Venezuela where Maduro is facing a challenge from opposition leader Juan Guaido who proclaimed himself interim president in January when the president was due to begin his second term following last year’s  elections.

CARICOM even sent a delegation to see United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to press its case.

At a summit in St. Kitts and Nevis in late February, the regional bloc reiterated its stance. “The people of Venezuela must be allowed to decide their own future in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter – non-intervention, non-interference, prohibition of threats or use of force, respect for the rule of law, human rights and democracy,” a statement said.

The Maracaibo oil platform in Venezuela, which is operating a cheap oil program for the Caribbean and Central America. /VCG Photo

All this flies in the face of the American stance, with Trump on Tuesday, after meeting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, reaffirming that “all options” are being considered in his drive to topple Maduro, who is presiding over an economy that is in shambles.

CARICOM has, publicly at least, maintained a unified position of non-interference in Venezuela, despite the split vote at the OAS. Apart from the four CARICOM Trump summit invitees, Guyana also voted yes but will not be represented at Mar-a-Lago, perhaps because President David Granger, whose government faces an early election after losing a no-confidence motion, is undergoing medical treatment.

For the record, St. Vincent, Dominica, and the Grenadines and Suriname voted no; Trinidad and Tobago, which has become home to thousands of Venezuelan refugees, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis abstained, while Grenada, where the U.S. last staged a military intervention in the region, was not present.

A confidante of Dominica’s prime minister was among the first to react to the summit invitations with a warning that the unity of the region could be under threat. Unnamed CARICOM sources were also quoted in the Trinidad Guardian newspaper as saying the meet­ing “is an ob­vi­ous move to di­vide CARICOM on the Venezuela is­sue, at least.

“There’ll no doubt be an at­tempt for the five coun­tries to emerge in sup­port of Guai­do and they’ll get some good­ies,” the sources claimed.

Caribbean flags displayed at a West Indian Day Parade in New York. /VCG Photo

St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Allan Chastenet did not mention Venezuela when he issued a brief statement that said his focus in Florida would be on security, energy, and expanding trade and investment opportunities.

Some nations feel a sense of loyalty to Venezuela, whose preferential energy initiative known as PetroCaribe, had served as a financial lifeline for them, particularly during the global financial crisis when oil prices soared. However, its impact has declined as the Madura administration battles falling oil production and a deteriorating economy. In addition, the program has become embroiled in a corruption scandal in Haiti, which was memorably disparaged by Trump, allegedly, as well as African nations.

Reset of relations

Many feel that the U.S., despite portraying the Caribbean as its third border, has neglected the region, which struggles with some of the highest debt-to-GDP ratios in the world.

Meanwhile, the area has seen opportunities for economic support from Venezuela and China. No surprise then that the White House release talked about “countering China’s predatory economic practices,” though that reference may have made for uncomfortable reading in the capitals of three of the summit countries which have excellent relations with Beijing.

The summit, however, does offer the United States an opportunity to reset its relations with the Caribbean, though one can never be sure whether Trump will rise to the occasion.

(Top image: A banner displayed at a West Indian Day Parade in New York. /VCG Photo)