First in the History of Guyana: Granger Ousted

Source:  TeleSUR
December 24 2018

David Granger GuyanaFile photo of David Granger, then leader of Guyana’s opposition, A Partnership
for National Unity (APNU) coalition, speaks during a rally in Georgetown
Nov. 14, 2014. | Photo: REUTERS/Girish Gupta

To win a motion of censure, the opposition referenced the losses in the petroleum industry and Granger’s warmongering attitude towards Venezuela.

The President of Guyana David Granger, has been censured by the Parliament, which means that the government will be dissolved and elections must be called for a successor in the next 90 days.

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This is the first time in the history of Guyana that a motion to censure has been successful, with 33 votes in favor and 32 votes against, and which has succeeded in ending the government in power.

To win a motion of censure, the opposition referenced the losses in the petroleum industry which were considered to have been conceded to the Exxon Mobile company.

The Progressive Party of the People pushed for the censure as they are opposed the government concessions and the warlike attitude Granger has been taking towards Venezuela.

For its part, Venezuela maintains its historical claim over the Esequibo region and is committed to maintaining a dialogue, a stance which has not been reciprocated by Granger.

Esequibo is an area of over 160,000 km, which is claimed by Venezuela but administered by Guyana. The claim dates back to colonial times when the area was taken through the interventionism of the United States and Great Britain and codified via the Paris Tribunal of Arbitration of 1899.

The Geneva Accords, however, recognized Venezuela’s sovereignty over Esequibo and annulled the finding of the Paris Tribunal of Arbitration. Despite that, the government of Guyana has violated the treaty on 15 occasions by granting concessions to foreign companies looking to exploit the region.

Haiti: Crisis and Resolution

Source:  Moorbeyz’ blog Haiti Action Committee
December 15 2018

Fanmi Lavalas Sattement

This is an unofficial translation by Haiti Action Committee

There is a grave crisis in contemporary Haitian society, in which the masses of our people are opposing an oligarchy determined to perpetuate a system of exclusion.

haitian flagThere have been many bumps in the road since February, 1986, when our people overthrew the Duvalier regime. Several coups d’etat have occurred, with the most damaging to the population having taken place in 1991 and 2004. Despite continued battering by the repressive and ideological machine, the more conscious and militant sectors of the population have stood firm; their resistance has been constant despite periods of setback.

At the present time, we are witnessing a general awakening of national consciousness. In addition to the population rising up to insist on better living conditions, with demands coming from many different sectors, including workers, peasants, educators, and students, the scandal involving the embezzling of the Petro-Caribe funds has provoked a big upsurge in mobilization against corruption and impunity. As so often occurs throughout history, the Petro-Caribe scandal has raised the awareness of the overwhelming majority about the unjust economic and political system, revealing the cause-and-effect relationship between this system and the sufferings of the Haitian people. Large masses of the population have come to understand with greater clarity and intensity the urgent necessity to take their destiny in their own hands.

Related:  Stand in Solidarity with the Haitian People

As usually occurs during periods of dynamic struggle such as the present, the oligarchy is fractured. Attempting to maintain the status quo, it is faced with internal contradictions regarding the strategy that would allow it to save “the system”—a sham institutional “democracy” set within a framework of an economic and social regime based on glaring inequalities, a stranglehold on political power that excludes the popular masses, and the pillage of national resources.

fanmi lavalas 5cFanmi Lavalas Political Organization is always closely tuned in to the various sectors of the population, and our conclusion is obvious: it is time for the political class to muster the courage to initiate a profound change in the paradigm and structures of governance that characterize the present system. This is a necessity that has a wide consensus as manifested by the ever-growing magnitude of anti-government mobilization that we are witnessing today. It is imperative that we respect the people’s aspirations for progress and for a just society. It is paramount that we stand in solidarity with the people’s protests demanding a new form of state. The nation deserves a new system that is more in harmony with the dreams of our founders, a new vision of the Republic

rooted in Justice, Transparency and Participation.

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The population is rejecting the usurpers who have derived their power from the fraudulent elections and who have discredited themselves with multiple scandals involving corruption and impunity. Our people are facing savage repression that continues to create victims among the disadvantaged masses, and that is heightening the insecurity that is poisoning daily life for the majority. Fanmi Lavalas Political Organization continues to stand firmly with the Haitian people to “chavire chodyè a” (overturn the cauldron). No cosmetic solution will bring an effective and lasting solution to the crisis in which we are plunged.This system has run its course. It cannot be patched up. It must be changed.

No cosmetic solution will bring an effective and lasting solution to the crisis in which we are plunged. This system has run its course. It cannot be patched up. It must be changed.

Chavire chodyè a” (Overturn the cauldron) means that we consider this moment to be exceptional. The deterioration of the political situation, the degradation of the economy and public finances, the failure of the state and its institutions, the lack of legitimacy and the absence of credibility at all levels of the state apparatus, make illusory if not impossible an end to the crisis by so-called constitutional means. The conditions for a new beginning that will put the country back on track, in keeping with the demands of the overwhelming majority, require an exceptional approach. For Fanmi Lavalas this includes:

1) Obtain the resignation of Jovenel Moise through a general mobilization

2) Resignation of Jean Henry Ceant and all his ministers

3) Assess the dysfunction and lapses in the Parliament

4) Put in place an executive and a government of public safety to ensure a transition for a period of 36 months.

This transition government will consist of credible personalities, engaged in the struggle against exclusion and corruption, who share a vision of a new method of governance. Among the priorities to be included:

  1. a) Improve the living conditions of the population by the sound and efficient management of current priorities pending the installation of an elected government.
  2. b) Create a constituent assembly for a new fundamental charter that will define the features of the new Republic.
  3. c) Organize a necessary national dialogue.
  4. d) Create the conditions that will end impunity and allow for a trial of those who have absconded with the Petro-Caribe funds.
  5. e) Take all measures to revise the Electoral Law and appoint a new electoral council charged with organizing elections to close out the transition period

The transition aims to implement fundamental reforms that would allow a democratic process and would make possible free, honest and credible elections. The transition must restore confidence between the people and the state. In this light the demands of the popular masses must be taken into account on all issues. True to its commitment to social justice and participation, Fanmi Lavalas will play its role alongside the population in continuing to promote the dialogue that is indispensable among the sons and daughters of the same land.

Executive Committee of Fanmi Lavalas
Dr. Maryse Narcisse
M. Joël Vorbe
Dr. Jean Myrto Julien
Agr. Anthony Dessources

Assange: Ecuador Engaging in Espionage, Funnels Info to FBI

Source:  TeleSUR
December 13 2018

julian assange 7.jpg

Julian Assange said that he is being spied on and details of his daily life are being sent to the FBI in the U.S.

The WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, through a video conference Wednesday, said that he is a victim of espionage in the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been living since 2012.

RELATED:  Julian Assange’s Lawyers Blocked From The Ecuadorean Embassy

“There are espionage actions (…) That information has been sent even to the FBI, in the United States,” Assange said through a video conference made from the United Kingdom, as part of an appeal hearing held Wednesday before the Ecuadorean justice system.

He also denounced the Ecuadorean authorities’ threats and objections about his work as a critical journalist, which he characterized as “illegal, with terrible precedents” for the practice of journalism.

Assange said he is living in “solitary confinement” where he is subjected to different restrictions regarding visits from third-party and access to the internet. The restrictions have started affecting his health.

In October, the whistleblower sued the government over their violating his fundamental rights during his stay in the country’s London embassy as an asylee — this was rejected by an Ecuadorean court Monday.

The lawsuit challenged the new rules, which required him to pay for medical bills, phone calls and to clean up after his pet cat. Assange’s lawyer said that his client would be appealing the decision and that another hearing would take place in the near future.

He is also fearful that Ecuador can be pressured by the United States to terminate his asylum. Assange’s lawyer Carlos Poveda, said Wednesday that there is no guarantee that Assange will not be extradited to another country where his life will be in danger.

Assange’s possible handover was also hinted at by former President Rafael Correa in an interview with RT. Correa, during whose leadership Assange was granted asylum in the embassy, also mentioned that he is an Ecuadorean citizen since 2017 and deserves his fundamental rights to be protected by the country.

Assange’s fear is not unfounded, as a report by New York Times revealed that Lenin Moreno, current president of Ecuador, discussed the possibility of handing Assange over to the U.S with Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign head.

Top leaders in the Democratic Party have also requested that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brief the Congress on his talks with Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia that took place in November, stating that they are “deeply concerned” about whether the talks included Assange.

Brazil’s New Foreign Minister: Climate Change is Marxist Ploy

Source: TeleSUR
November 15 2018

ernesto araujo brazil foreign minister.jpgErnesto Araujo (r), Brazil’s new foreign minister does not believe in
climate change. | Photo: Reuters

Brazil’s new Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo believes that climate change is a ploy by “cultural Marxists” to asphyxiate Western economies and protome China’s growth. He also characterized climates science as “dogma”. His appointment was confirmed by Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro Wednesday.

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“This dogma has been used to justify increasing the regulatory power of states over the economy and the power of international institutions on the nation states and their populations, as well as to stifle economic growth in democratic Capitalist countries and to promote the growth of China,” he wrote in his blog post in October.

While attacking the Workers’ Party (PT), Araujo wrote in another post, “criminalizing everything that is good, spontaneous, natural and pure. Criminalizing the family on charges of patriarchal violence. Criminalizing private property. Criminalizing sex and reproduction, saying that any heterosexual act is rape and every baby is a risk to the planet because it will increase carbon emissions.”

Climate experts had expressed their disappointment over Bolsonaro’s choice, hoping for a more pragmatic pick.

“Brazil has played a very significant role in the Paris agreement. It would be really bad for the country’s image if he brings with him his ideology,” said Carlos Rittl, the executive secretary of the Brazilian Climate Observatory.

Bolsonaro is intent on opening up the Amazon to corporations which can wreak havoc for the environment and Indigenous people who reside there.

For Rittl, Brazil is not the United States and if the country “becomes a pariah on the global climate agenda, it would be extremely bad for our business, especially agribusiness. When they go to Europe to negotiate a deal, climate safeguards will be on the table.”

66,000 Yellow Vests Protest Macron’s Austerity in France

Source:  TeleSUR
December 15 2018

yellow vest protesters.jpg“Yellow Vest” protesters wave French flags in demonstrations against
Macron’s economic policies. | Photo: Reuters

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of French cities Saturday in the fifth weekend of nationwide demonstrations against Emmanuel Macron’s government, despite calls to hold off after a gun attack in Strasbourg earlier this week.

RELATED: French Workers Go on General Strike in Support of Yellow Vests

Police fired water cannon and tear gas in the afternoon to disperse groups of protesters in sporadic, brief clashes with riot police on the Champs-Elysees and adjacent streets.

The Interior Minister said around 69,000 police were active on Saturday with a reinforced presence in the cities of Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Saint-Etienne. According to authorities, the number was down compared to last Saturday. As of 5 p.m. local time, authorities counted 66,000 protesters throughout France. Last Saturday, official forces said 126,000 joined demonstrations.

Protester Loic Bollay, 44, said the protests were more subdued than in previous weeks but the movement would go on until the demonstrators’ grievances were addressed.

“Since the Strasbourg attack, it is calmer, but I think next Saturday and the following Saturdays…it will come back.”

The “yellow vest” movement started in mid-November with protests against fuel tax increases, but it quickly became a wider mobilization against Macron’s austerity policies and reforms that affect working-class people. Students, professionals, union workers, pensioners, and general citizens have joined the movement.

RELATED:  France: Pensioners Protest Against Macron’s Economic Policy

Macron, dubbed the “president of the rich,” has faced several episodes of intense social protest since the beginning of his presidency in May 2017.

During the Yellow Vests’ mobilization on Saturday, Dec. 8, at least 1,500 people were detained and 135 injured.

This Saturday, in Paris, a group of protesters gathered in the Opera square and knelt with their hands behind their heads in a reference to the over 140 students of Mantes la Jolie who were intimidated and humiliated by French police last week.

yellow vest protesters kneel.jpg

Yellow Vests kneeling with their hands on their heads, making reference to the students of Mantes la Jolie.

In Paris, where thousands marched in splintered groups, 168 had been arrested until 5 p.m., according to a Paris police official.

In a televised address to the nation Monday, Macron announced wage increases and tax cuts for pensioners in an attempt to end the movement but many said they would maintain pressure.

This Saturday, the Champs Elysees is again the epicenter of the Yellow Vests’ call. All subway lines in the vicinity have been cut off and the bus lines diverted. Various monuments, museums, and Parisian shops have closed their doors.

Indigenous Groups in Brazil Rise in Opposition to Jair Bolsonaro

Source: Internationalist 360°

https://peoplesdispatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/EleNao-Brazil.pngIllustration by @nana/ Twitter

  • A number of indigenous candidates from various political groups from the Amazon region called for the creation of an Indigenous Parliamentary Front

Ahead of the first round of the elections in Brazil on October 7, indigenous communities openly declared their opposition to the right-wing candidate, Jair Bolsonaro. A number of indigenous candidates from various political groups from the Amazon region called for the creation of an Indigenous Parliamentary Front to resist the possibility of the formation of a right-wing government under Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro’s racist remarks and stances have been a major reason for such a development.

Bolsonaro, the candidate of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), had earlier said that he would not give an inch to indigenous reservations. He also regards the current area under reservations for indigenous nationalities to be too high and has vowed to scrap it. According to certain reports, Bolsonaro has been endorsed by big business ventures which want to scrap sovereign land rights given to indigenous communities over 118 million hectares, especially in the Amazon region. These rights prevent such capitalists from exploiting the resources in these areas. The agribusiness lobby (large landowners, cattle ranchers and producers of grains for export markets) too is targeting the indigenous land demarcated by the 1988 constitution for the expansion of their industries. The 2010 census in Brazil shows that there were 896,917 indigenous people in Brazil (0.47% of the population of 190.7 million in 2010) and they occupy around 13% of the national territory, which the powerful agribusiness lobby is eager to exploit.

Bolsonaro’s vice-presidential candidate, Antonio Hamilton Mourao, a retired army general, has also evoked protests with his racist remarks against indigenous communities. These comments by the candidates come at a time when violent attacks against indigenous activists are high in the Amazon region. This has been among the factors that have prompted members of the indigenous communities to propose a clear political line against Bolsonaro.

Challenges facing the Latin American left

Calls for Lula’s freedom are being heard across Latin America. Photo: Ntn24.com

Forces on the left are mobilizing in Latin America and the Caribbean to confront the right wing offensive which, encouraged and financed by the United States, is underway in the region, with the use of strategies meant to foment political destabilization and discredit progressive governments in power and former elected leaders.
Political leaders, intellectuals, and representatives of social movements are evaluating the unfavorable correlation of forces developing over the last few years, and charting action plans, taking the victory of progressive candidate

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in Mexico, as a positive sign.
“The storm arrived and shut the window opened at the end of the 90s… The question now posed, for the Brazilian left especially, is how to open the window again,” recently wrote Valter Pomar, a member of Brazil’s Workers’ Party and a professor of International Affairs at the Federal University, in his essay on how to move forward.

In his opinion, the left needs strong candidates to challenge the right in elections, but this is not enough since the strategic “utility” of legislators and government leaders rises and falls in accordance with political perspectives and the level of organization outside of the institutional environment, implying the need for a change in methods on the left, and a recovery of spaces lost alongside the working class.

In Latin America, “The challenge for this possible left is that of building alternatives to capitalism in the economic field, where the current plan is the Uber-ization of the economy; total deregulation – except when the state is needed to dismantle a progressive gain; but above all, build alternatives in the cultural field, challenge capitalist hegemony in the cultural (and media) environment to construct a people, not consumer citizens deluded with false middle class hopes,” writes political analyst Katu Arkonada on the teleSUR blog.

Likewise, essayist, journalist, sociologist, university professor, and political analyst Olmedo Beluche, wrote in Rebelión: “Without nationalization of the national banking and financial system, without state control of foreign trade; and without the nationalization of large industries, that is, without truly socialist measures, Latin American governments in general are at the mercy of the bourgeoisie, of imperialism, and economic sabotage, as the case of Venezuela has repeatedly shown.”

This contradiction, he argues, explains the limitations of the left and the difficulty it faces in responding to the offensive being mounted by national right wing forces supported by U.S. imperialism, plus the reformist attitude of leaders who docilely accept the formalities of bourgeois institutions.

The majority of analysts agree that the progressive cycle on the continent is in crisis, but not coming to an end. Although some popular governments were removed from office via elections (Argentina) or through semi-legal or judicial maneuvers (Brazil), the progressive era’s hard core of change has not collapsed: Bolivia and Venezuela, accompanied by Nicaragua and the Cuban Revolution.

“The two projects, along with Nicaragua and Cuba, which propose going beyond capitalist relations in the long run, are on their feet, indicating that the strategic battle of our time is defending these processes,” as was made clear during the 24th annual meeting of the São Paulo Forum, held in Havana this past July.

At this gathering of the region’s political forces, proposals were made for sustained action based on the idea that government positions won by the left must reinforce their legitimate hegemony and build popular power. Peoples with political consciousness are always the best antidote to the return of the right in the Americas.

STRATEGIES FROM THE LEFT

– Systematically and creatively disseminate the economic, social, and political gains of popular governments that, for one reason or another, have suffered reverses, as well as those which have endured.
– Strengthen a constructive, serene debate on the historic, political, and ideological limitations of each process.
– Seek more efficient mechanisms for organization, consciousness building, and political participation of the social base committed to post-neoliberal change.

– Renovate relations between government political parties and popular movements with nationalist and patriotic positions, taking a favorable position on the need for a state that assures democratic functioning in the construction of consensus.
– Build consensus among segments of society that share, or could share, demands, interests, and revolutionary or progressive change.

– Strengthen the cause of Puerto Rican independence, as a symbol of the anti-colonial struggle to be defended.
– Build active participation of the people and national majorities in the political process of each country.

– Provide decisive support and encourage liberation efforts and anti-capitalist ideas within social movements.

– Promote efforts to advance the integration of what Martí called Our America.
– Support, in all international spaces available, any action taken to reduce the level of domination and hegemony of the United States in our countries, as essential and possible.