As the Democrats Press for War, the Left Must Demand Peace and Social Transformation

Source:  Black agenda Report
January 11 2017
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“The Left’s job is to oppose the warmongers, not band with them.”

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The Democrats are whipping up war hysteria and “cynically seeking to harness people’s well-founded fears of Trump’s domestic policies in order to sabotage the possibility of a relaxation of international tensions.” Some folks have taken the bait. “Leftists that think they can exploit the split between the Trump troglodytes (fascists) and the Obama/Clinton/Old Line GOP War Party (fascists) will ultimately wind up caught in a pincer between the two.”

 

The most imminent threats to human survival

As is ordained by law, at the end of the week much of President Obama’s legacy will become Donald Trump’s powers, including the power to detain Americans indefinitely (forever) without trial or charge, an authority the First Black President secured from Congress in 2011. Obama’s wars become Trump’s wars, which, if Trump follows Obama’s example — and if he succumbs to the furious pressures of leading Democrats, old line Republicans and an openly aggressive and “politicized” national security establishment — will be expanded and multiplied. The most imminent threats to human survival under a Trump presidency flow, not from the billionaire’s own belligerent instincts and unpredictability, but from the momentum of Obama’s policies of ever-escalating confrontation with Russia and China — his deliberate “pivots” towards brinksmanship on all the geopolitical fronts of Empire.

“U.S. policy is to militarily intimidate the world into submission — a gangster’s game.”

It is the Democrats that have whipped up war hysteria and a new McCarthyism, attacking Trump from the Right to force him to keep Obama’s imperial “surge” moving forward. With western economic power fading fast, U.S. policy is to militarily intimidate the world into submission — a gangster’s game. For the Lords of Capital and their national security servants, Obama’s greatest achievement was to put the U.S. back on the offensive after George Bush’s defeat and humiliation in Iraq. From their perspective, Obama has already “Made America Great Again” with his “humanitarian” military intervention doctrine, trampling every principle of international law, including the sovereignty of nations, in Libya and Syria. Trump’s talk of “deal-making” with Russia and China threatens to slow the imperial offensive.

The ruling class realignment that congealed in the Clinton campaign’s Big Tent sees any relaxation of U.S. military pressures against Beijing and Moscow as a prelude to imperial collapse. For them, de-escalation is an existential threat. They don’t give a damn about the damage Donald Trump intends to inflict on what remains of the U.S. social safety net — and neither did Obama, who came into office scheming to forge a Grand Austerity Bargain with the Republicans. And, if his preventive detention bill were not enough, Obama’s support for creation of a “Ministry of Truth” — officially, a joint governmental commission to police the media for “foreign disinformation and manipulation” — screams out to high heaven that protection of civil liberties is not part of their agenda, either. Internet publications like Black Agenda Report, cited by the Washington Post as “fake news” and “minions” of Russia, will be punished for deviance from imperial “exceptionalism” and aggressive war policies.

“Trump’s talk of ‘deal-making’ with Russia and China threatens to slow the imperial offensive.”

This is all about war. The Democrats, massed corporate media and the fully mobilized legions of spooks and disinformation specialists are cynically seeking to harness people’s well-founded fears of Trump’s domestic policies in order to sabotage the possibility of a relaxation of international tensions. Leftists that think they can exploit the split between the Trump troglodytes (fascists) and the Obama/Clinton/Old Line GOP War Party (fascists) will ultimately wind up caught in a pincer between the two.

The ruling class is, indeed, in an acute political crisis, to match its larger, systemic crisis. The duopoly system that has served the rich so well for most of the history of the Republic has come undone, split at the seams, endangering the corporate-imposed national “consensus” on empire and war. The War Party, deploying every disinformation trick in the book, foments anti-Russian hysteria to create a mass base for its imperial agenda. They point fingers at phantom “minions” of Moscow in order to make leftists into political foot soldiers of the Pentagon, Langley and the military industrial complex. MoveOn.org moves to their beat, as does the entire Congressional Black Caucus, including Barbara Lee (D-CA), the nation’s most left-leaning congressperson. Fine; they are duty-bound to go down with the Bad Ship Hillary. But the social movement activists that allow themselves to be swept up in the Democrats’ offensive-from-the-Right against Trump are the biggest dupes of all.

“They point fingers at phantom ‘minions’ of Moscow in order to make leftists into political foot soldiers of the Pentagon, Langley and the military industrial complex.”

The Democrats are incapable of agitating for anything more than defense of Barack Obama’s “legacy” — chiefly, his doomed Affordable Care Act, which was already disintegrating from its own contradictions and whose final demise will create an acute crisis that cries out for single payer health insurance, the outcome Obamacare was designed to forestall. The Left should be making that demand right now, rather than helping Democrats join with Republicans to patch together an even worse private-based system, down the road.

The precariat economy that is emerging from Obama’s post-Meltdown restructuring, in which 94 percent of the new “jobs” are so contingent, inadequate and insecure they can hardly be called jobs at all, demands a National Minimum Income – a potentially transformative leap that the Left should be loudly championing, right now.

Five years after Occupy Wall Street, the Left should finally call for the nationalization — not fragmentation — of the big banks, and creation of a public development bank to rebuild the national infrastructure without going into debt to private capital. Anybody that doubts masses of people will join in this demand doesn’t know their fellow Americans and their deep hatred for Wall Street banks.

“The social movement activists that allow themselves to be swept up in the Democrats’ offensive-from-the-Right against Trump are the biggest dupes of all.”

Ferguson set the new Black movement on a course of confrontation with the Mass Black Incarceration State, in all its manifestations. Obama’s legacy — and that of the Black misleadership class that has collaborated with mass Black incarceration for two generations – is to intensify intelligence gathering in Black communities, while dispersing Black population concentrations through gentrification. Trump or no Trump, there is no avoiding the logic of the movement’s central grassroots demand: Black community control of the police. Non-Blacks on the Left must support that demand.

There is no such thing as a genuine Left that supports imperialism, but there are plenty of fakers that do, including phony socialists. How sad — and maddening, at the same time — that a Donald Trump can speak of “cutting down” on “regime change,” while purported leftists rally to Obama’s “humanitarian” military interventionism, the lip-stick on the imperial pig. The Democrats want war so badly, they are fouling their bourgeois institutional nest and bearing down hard from the Right to prevent any let-up in tensions with Russia and China. The Left’s job is to oppose the warmongers, not to band with them.

There is no mystery to what the moment demands. What’s needed is Left movements for social transformation, not a farcical, Democrat-led anti-Trump pseudo-movement, whose real agenda is war.

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

Leaders Condemn ‘Persecution’ of Ex-Paraguayan President Lugo

Source:  TeleSUR

December 21 2016

lugo paraguay.jpg

Protestors carry a sign saying “Stay Strong Lugo!” during anti-coup protests in Asunción, Paraguay, June 2012 | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 December 2016 (13 hours 29 minutes ago)

Politicians from across Latin America and the Caribbean denounce attempts to block Paraguayan “Bishop of the poor” from running for president in 2018.

The largest forum of political parties in Latin America and the Caribbean, COPPPAL, has denounced a ruling preventing ousted Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo from running in the next election as part of the so-called Plan Atlanta, a campaign by Latin America’s resurgent right wing targeting democratically elected leftist leaders.

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RELATED:  Paraguay’s Ousted Leader to Run in 2018 Presidential Electio

Our peoples will resist the dismantling of their victories

“The restoration of conservative forces, through parliamentary coups, always preceded by media harassment, as was also the case with Fernando Lugo and Manuel Zelaya, has had its successes, but will not succeed because our peoples will resist the dismantling of their victories,” said the statement, signed by COPPPAL President Manolo Pichardo of the Dominican.

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Fernando Lugo, ousted in a parliamentary coup in 2012

In a ruling last week Paraguay’s right-wing dominated election tribunal, TSJE, declared that Lugo, who was ousted in what many describe as a parliamentary coup in 2012 which signaled the first of many legalistic attacks on democratically elected left-wing governments, is ineligible to run for president in 2018.

Bishop of the poor

COPPPAL, made up of left-leaning political parties in 29 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, said that the ruling was part of a “political prosecution” of the former Roman Catholic “bishop of the poor” and popular progressive president, who currently sits as a senator.

Lugo and legal representative of the left-wing coalition Guasu Front called the FSJE ruling “illegal,” saying that only the Supreme Court can rule on the constitutionality of his candidacy.

RELATED:  Paraguay’s Right Wing Go to Court to Prevent Lugo’s Re-Election

Lugo:  we came to stay and transform our history

“We always said that it will be the court that in the end will have the final say on whether our candidature is constitutional,” said Lugo in a statement released after the ruling.

The ruling comes months after current Paraguayan president, right-wing tobacco mogul Horacio Cartes of the Colorado Party, announced his intention to change the constitution in order to allow him to run again in 2018.

When he became president of Paraguay in 2008, Lugo broke the six-decade rule of the right-wing Colorado Party and was seen as part of the progressive wave of leaders elected through Latin America, sometimes called the “Pink Tide.”

In announcing his bid for the presidency in 2018 Lugo said, “The Front Guasu entered the political arena to stay, we did not come to do a fashion show or exhibitionism in Paraguayan politics, we came to stay and transform our history.”

Only a Counter-Coup Can Save American Democracy

Source: Information Clearing House
December 18 2016

By Paul Craig Roberts

The CIA has long engineered coups in other countries. Now we are approaching at breakneck speed a CIA coup in the USA.

When the presstitute media first published unverifired, unsourced leaks attributed to unnamed CIA officials, both the FBI and the Director of Homeland Security said that they did not embrace the accusation that Trump’s election was a result of Russian interference in the US presidential election.

Now suddenly we have a report from the Washington Post, a rag whose integrity is in doubt and a mainstay of anti-Trump propaganda suspected of being a CIA asset, that the FBI and Homeland Security are in agreement with the anonymous leaks to the presstitutes:

New revelations

“FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. are in agreement with a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the White House, officials disclosed Friday, as President Obama issued a public warning to Moscow that it could face retaliation.
New revelations about Comey’s position could put to rest suggestions by some lawmakers that the CIA and the FBI weren’t on the same page on Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s intentions.”

“The positions of Comey and Clapper were revealed in a message that CIA Director John Brennan sent to the agency’s workforce Friday. ‘Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,’ Brennan said, according to U.S. officials who have seen the message.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-blames-putins-personal-grudge-against-her-for-election-interference/2016/12/16/12f36250-c3be-11e6-8422-eac61c0ef74d_story.html?utm_term=.ad62c36e39ca

Hyping the story

Note, that this claim comes from the CIA. It has not been verified at this time of writing by the FBI and Homeland Security. Indeed, please note that the Washington Post, which is hyping this story of intelligence agency consensus, reports:

“The CIA and the FBI declined to comment on Brennan’s message or on the classified intelligence assessment that CIA officials shared with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month, setting off a political firestorm.” In other words, the CIA might be putting words in the mouths of the other intelligence officials.

Note also that Hillary says that Putin interfered against her because he has a grudge against her for her interference in his reelection by fomenting protests against him with the Western-financed Russian NGOs. If what Hillary claims is correct, then any Russian interference, for which proof remains absent, was directed against Hillary in order to settle a score and has nothing to do with any Russian influence over Trump or 200 Internet sites as falsely and maliciously reported by the Washington Post.

Unverified, unsourced, anonymous assertions

All the CIA officials making claims of Russian interference, according to the Washington Post, continue to speak “on the condition of anonymity.”

So we have a coup against the president-elect based solely on unverified, unsourced, anonymous assertions made by the public knows not who.

Rep. Davin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which has oversight over the CIA, has said that neither he nor the committee have seen any evidence from the CIA in support of the claims he reads in the media. He has asked the agency to brief the Intelligence Committee on the alleged evidence but has had no response.

According to the Washington Post, “Nunes said: ‘We have not received any information from Intelligence Community (IC) agencies indicating that they have developed new assessments on this issue. I am alarmed that supposedly new information continues to leak to the media but has not been provided to Congress.’”

Rep. Nunes statement makes it completely clear that the CIA is using the presstitute media to launch a coup against president-elect Trump.

CIA director John Brennan’s audacity suggests that he expects the coup to succeed. Otherwise, he is dead meat along with Bezos, The Washington Post and the rest of the presstitute media.

Trump’s critics on the left and right and among the liberals and progressives have stupidly played into the CIA’s hands. I tried to warn them not to judge Trump by the past associations of his appointees as no change was possible without strong knowledgeable appointees. Those who romanticize Bernie Sanders are out to lunch. A person as weak as Sanders proved to be, completely collapsing in the face of his stolen presidential nomination by Hillary, could not possibly have prevailed over the powerful oligarchic groups that rule America. When we finally get a president-elect strong enough to bring change from the top down, the leftwing-liberal-progressive elements join the CIA in denouncing him!

If the generals Trump has announced as his appointees have been too marginalized within the military by the neoconservatives to be able to provide US military protection against the CIA’s coup against the president-elect, do not expect Donald Trump to be inaugurated as President of the United States on January 20.

We are at the point that only a countercoup against the CIA and the Hillary forces can save American democracy.

High treason is alive and well in the United States, and it is operating against American democracy and president-elect Trump.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect JSC’s editorial policy.

Cristina Fernandez: Macri, You Are Argentina’s Problem

Source:  TeleSUR
November 16 2016

  • Former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez leaves her home to go to court in Buenos Aires, Oct. 31, 2016.

    Former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez leaves her home to go to court in Buenos Aires, Oct. 31, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez fired sharp words at her conservative successor, Mauricio Macri, accusing him of being the country’s “problem” after a slew of fraud accusations from her political rivals targeting her and her family reached a new frontier: her 87-year-old mother.

OPINION:  Macri Tilts Argentina’s Media Landscape in his Favor

“Macri, my mom is 87-years-old and for more than 50 years she has lived with my sister in the same neighborhood and in the same house, which is her only property,” Fernandez began an open letter to the president Tuesday, adding that some of her colleagues could testify to how the elderly woman lives a simple life off her late husband’s pension.

“What is it that you want to invent?” Fernandez continued. “Are you trying to make Argentines believe that the country is bad and they are worse of … because of my mother?”

“Don’t you think that’s a bit much?” she added.

The letter is a response to accusations from one of Macri’s allies that Fernandez’ mother, Ofelia Wilhelm, was involved in “defrauding the state” when she was a union leader, a role she held for three decades, according to her daughter.

Elisa Carrio, a member of Congress in Macri’s Cambiemos coalition, filed a complaint against Wilhelm Monday alleging irregularities in a 2005 contract the country’s state postal service Correo Argentino — re-nationalized by Fernandez’s late husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, in 2003 after being privatized under the dictatorship — made with the cooperative El Albadon, which was created by the union of real estate employees known as AERI with which Wilhelm worked. A judge will now review Carrio’s request for an investigation.

In her letter, titled “It’s not my mother, it’s your father and you,” Fernandez blasted Macri of scapegoating problems in the country.

“No Macri,” she wrote. “The problem in Argentina continues being the same as always: you all.”

ANALYSIS:  Argentina: Mauricio Macri’s Dubious Dictatorship Ties

Legal harassment

Fernandez, her daughter and some of her political allies have faced a barrage of accusations of fraud in recent months in what critics have condemned as a tactic of legal harassment aimed at tying left-wing leaders up in court proceedings that sully their names and keep them away from political organizing. Fernandez has personally been accused of public administration fraud linked to the Central Bank’s sale of U.S. dollar futures contracts at below-market rates during her presidency. She and her supporters argue that the allegations are baseless.

Meanwhile, Macri has been embroiled in controversy over revelations earlier this year that he was one of the global power players at the center of the Panama Papers scandal. The president came under fire and faced an investigation questioning whether or not he “maliciously” failed to report his connection to the offshore company Fleg Trading, in which his brother and father were also directors. According to the more recent Bahamas Leaks, the Macri family business, Grupo Socma, also invested in a Bahamas-registered online tourism company, raising further questions about possible tax evasion.

Elites

Grupo Socma has also been the subject of controversy due to its ties to Argentina’s military regime of the 1970s and 80s. Among Socma’s dozens of companies were various businesses that benefited the Macri family economically by providing services to the dictatorship regime — including, ironically, the postal company Correo Argentino, privatized under the dictatorship in 1979, that has been used to target Fernandez’ mother. Grupo Socma’s corporate empire expanded over six fold during the dictatorship.

Fernandez didn’t let Macri’s dubious corporate dealings slide in her letter responding to accusations against her mother, arguing that Argentina’s “problem” begins with elites like him and his family.

“Your father and others like him who stabilized the debt of their companies while the genocidal dictatorship disappeared millions of Argentines,” she wrote. “You all, who have more offshore accounts and companies than hairs on my head.”

Fernandez concluded her letter with an unrelenting attack on the failure of Macri’s austerity policies less than a year into his term in office.

“I ask, what if you tried putting a little bit of the energy you spend chasing me, my daughter and now my mother and solve the problems that you guys, always you guys, have caused for millions of citizens?” she wrote. “I am sure that things would go better for the government and for Argentina.”

Venezuela’s Dialogue: A Win for Maduro and the Revolution

Source:  TeleSUR
November 13 2016

Recently there have been a handful of moments where Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution looked like it was on the brink of being defeated. Vilified in the media and under attack from right-wing forces and their imperialist allies, even the staunchest supporters of the process initiated by Hugo Chavez over a decade-and-half ago wondered aloud if there would be a coup or a foreign military intervention.

RELATED:  Venezuelan Government and Opposition Hold ‘Successful’ Talks

maduro viviendo.jpgPresident Nicolas Maduro was dealt a very difficult hand after the sudden and tragic death of Chavez and the collapse of the price of oil which hit Venezuela hard — despite efforts to diversify the economy — the country was highly dependent on the income and cash that came from the sale of oil on the international market.

But the Bolivarian Revolution has endured and with the recent talks between the government and the opposition, it looks like things have taken a turn for the better, giving the government some breathing room.

Right wing  obsession

Of course, the right wing — with its history of sabotage and its obsession to overthrow the progressive government — cannot be trusted and can renege on any and all agreements at any moment or come up with new efforts at sabotage, aided and abetted by U.S. imperialism, which has also been relentless in its battle to destroy Venezuela’s 21st century socialism.

This, however, does not negate the fact that the talks have far exceeded expectations and should be seen as a victory for the Maduro government and the Bolivarian Revolution.

Dialogue –  a victory

While the government has certainly offered its share of concessions to the opposition, the fact that the talks are even happening at all should be seen as a victory for the revolution. For months the opposition refused to heed Maduro’s call to participate in dialogue.

Though the opposition insisted that talks be limited to political questions, with polls showing Venezuelans wanted politicians of all stripes to get on with fixing the country’s economic problems and leave the political games aside, they accepted that economic issues would form part of the talks.

RELATED:  Media Deliberately Omits Critical Info to Demonize Venezuela

This too was a big win for the revolution, as the number one element undermining support for the government are the shortages of food, medicine, and basic products.

Sabotage against the Venezuelan economy

In the last round of talks, the government and the opposition coalition agreed to work together to “combat sabotage, boycott and aggression against the Venezuelan economy,” or what President Maduro has called an “economic war.”

By signing on to this agreement, the opposition has acknowledged that there is indeed an economic war afoot. Key leaders of the opposition consistently denied there was sabotage taking place, alleging instead that the shortages were entirely the fault of the government and their economic policy.

There should be no illusions that the right wing will suddenly end their economic sabotage, but the dialogue process has made it much more difficult for them to continue and justify their destructive course.

The two sides also agreed on a roadmap to “normalize the constitutional relations between the different powers of the state.”

National Electoral Council

The parties agreed to jointly name two new representatives to the National Electoral Council when the terms of two sitting members expire in December. With this, the right-wing coalition and their friends in the private media will no longer be able to claim that elections are rigged.

The deal also says that both parties will work to bring the National Assembly into compliance with a ruling by the Supreme Court.

The opposition-controlled parliament has been operating without legitimacy for months after they defied the Supreme Court, but the leadership steadfastly refused to acknowledge the ruling.

RELATED:  Why Venezuela Suspended the Recall Referendum Against Maduro

The opposition overplayed its hand, believing itself to be the new dominant political force, they failed to act on their campaign commitments to address the economic crisis in the country, though now they deny they ever promised anything of the sort.

Playing political games

In the year that they’ve been in control of the legislative branch, they’ve done little actual legislating. Instead of proposing solutions, they set out to play political games, like the recall referendum to oust Maduro and the attempt at an amnesty to free what they call “political prisoners,” but in reality are people who were jailed for fomenting violence that led to real-life murders of Chavistas.

As a result of the talks, the opposition has now been forced to retreat from its game of brinkmanship.

Together these steps completely undermine accusations that the Maduro government is a “dictatorship.”

Right-wing division

Perhaps most importantly, however, the talks have once again served to expose the deep divisions that exist in the right-wing opposition coalition.

They released a statement that the talks were going in “the right direction,” but parties within the coalition, such as the party of imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, have come out against the talks.

Lopez’s party, Popular Will, slammed the dialogue process as “futile” and called for the National Assembly to restart an impeachment bid against Maduro.

Fragile opposition

It was the launch of the talks that led the parliament to abandon its bid to try to impeach the president and it is unlikely the parties that make up the coalition will be able to agree to relaunch this effort as long as the talks are ongoing.

The truth is the opposition, known as the Democratic Unity Roundtable, is united in name only. The coalition is made up of a dozen or so parties, many of which fiercely dislike and disagree with each other, limiting their ability to actually operate in concert and dramatically weakening their power.

Private media outlets have gone to great lengths to portray an image of a besieged but resilient opposition. But the situation the opposition finds itself in is a monster of their own creation.

If the opposition could have, they would have already ousted Maduro. But their ineptitude led them to pursue a number of failed strategies, including demanding the president’s resignation and later trying to reduce Maduro’s term in a flagrant violation of the constitution.

President Maduro

Even the constitutional mechanism to remove a sitting president appears to be off the table now with Henry Ramos Allup, head of the National Assembly, recently admitting that the effort to oust President Maduro via a recall referendum was effectively dead.

There are voices within the opposition, such as Maria Cornia Machado, that still want to try to hold the recall. Her frustration was palpable in a recent series of tweets, where she appeared to lament the fact that the moment to oust Maduro had escaped them.

Machado has threatened to call for more street protests if a date for the referendum isn’t set, as has opposition leader Henrique Capriles.

OPINION:  Venezuela Re-Declared a Dictatorship by US Media

However, the talks have also served to marginalize these elements of the opposition. There is widespread support for the ongoing dialogue, including from the United States government, which puts people like Lopez, Machado and Capriles out of step with their masters in Washington.

No widespread appetite for violent protests

More importantly, Venezuelans simply do not have the stomach for another round of violent protests like those seen in early 2014 that saw 43 people killed. Though some elements of the opposition’s base will heed the call for violence, there is no widespread appetite for the kinds of social clashes some elements of the opposition would like to see, including their failed attempts at the “taking of” Caracas and Venezuela in the past months.

Despite the ongoing economic challenges, a large segment of the Venezuelan population recalls life under right-wing governments and have no desire to go back to those days. They are hoping these talks will produce results so that the revolution can continue to move forward.

Within less than a month, the Maduro government has gone from being under attack to having the strategic advantage, that too should be understood as a clear victory for the Bolivarian Revolution.

In essence, the right wing and imperialist efforts to defeat the revolution in 2016 have failed.

U.S. subversion against Cuba continues

Source:  Granma
October 24 2016

by Sergio Alejandro Gómez | internet@granma.cu

Even while the ink of Barack Obama’s new Presidential Directive on Cuba is not yet dry, an announcement for new subversive projects against Cuba was published on the U.S. State Department website

us subversion against cuba.jpg

Funding announcement posted on U.S. State Department website. Photo: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/263310.htm

If you mix the same ingredients any number of times, the result will always be the same. The United States, however, is attempting to change its Cuba policy while maintaining the same subversive recipe.

Even while the ink of Barack Obama’s new Presidential Directive on Cuba is not yet dry, an announcement for new subversive projects against the island, containing all usual ingredients of the typical aggressive and interventionist policies of the past, was published on the U.S. State Department website on October 21.

Using the guise of assistance projects

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, is offering funding opportunities for projects which supposedly promote “democratic changes” in the spheres of civil, political and labor rights in Cuba.

Washington has historically used the guise of assistance projects to hide their subversive plans, not only against Cuba, but also communities which do not respond to the geo-strategic interests of the U.S.; while the country maintains relations with some of the nations with the worst human rights records on this planet.

The Bureau is offering those interested in interfering in the internal affairs of the island, some 5.6 million dollars, subject to availability.

USAID

We want to engage “openly and honestly with the Cuban people,” stated U.S. National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, on October 14, in regards to the new presidential policy directive; adding that in order to do so, the so-called “democracy assistance” programs in Cuba will be made more “transparent.”

The final part of the directive contains terms almost identical to those used by various government bodies, in particular the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which funnels billions of dollars into projects aimed at defending Washington’s interests around the world.

According to the directive, “The USAID will co-lead efforts with State to ensure that democracy programming is transparent and consistent with programming in other similarly situated societies,” as if the mere act of making these programs more transparent, without changing their subversive nature, would automatically make them acceptable for Cuba.

Off-island activities

The new announcement helps to dispel doubts surrounding euphemisms by the U.S. government: “DRL’s programmatic emphasis aligns with the U.S. government policy to promote human rights in Cuba,” reads the announcement. It continues by noting that “DRL prefers creative approaches” to fulfilling its objectives and that approved activities “should have potential for short-term impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms.”
Among activities typically funded by the DRL the announcement highlights: “Capacity building on and off the island. Off-island activities sometimes include short-term fellowships.”

To promote regime change

Cuba recently denounced the true intentions behind the World Learning program, offering surreptitious summer scholarships to Cuban youth and organized outside of the state apparatus, which aim to create an alternative leadership movement to promote regime change on the island.

“Access to software that would be easily accessible in an open society, or the adaptation of software for the Cuban technological environment,” is another priority area.
The most recent example of such projects was the case of ZunZuneo revealed by U.S. news agency AP, in 2014.

Cuban Twitter

USAID financed the creation of an alternative cell-phone messaging service, which came to be known as the Cuban Twitter, targeting the island’s youth with apparently inoffensive messages on sports and culture. However, the app was really designed to create a platform among this sector of Cuban society, which could be used to launch future destabilization initiatives.

According to the DRL announcement, projects can be submitted by “a U.S.-based or foreign-based non-profit organization/non-governmental organization (NGO), or a public international organization,” among others.

However, the document clearly states that no project involving the participation of the island’s legitimate institutions will be accepted: “DRL does not fund programs for Cuba that are directed towards supporting Cuban government institutions, individuals employed by those institutions, or organizations controlled by government institutions.”

Supposed objectives

The clearest demonstration of the masked interests of DRL funded programs lies in their supposed objectives on the island: “Programs should support the realization in Cuba of the rights and principles enshrined within the following Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” including “the prohibition of torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment…The right to a free and fair trial before an independent and impartial tribunal; the right to privacy; the freedom of movement within one’s country; the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;” in addition to “the right to work in conditions of dignity with fair remuneration and the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of the workers’ interests.”

The announcement also notes that the “DRL strives to ensure its projects inter alia advance the rights and uphold the dignity of the most vulnerable, marginalized or at-risk populations.”

Guantanamo

Anyone who stays informed as to what’s happening in Cuba, and is aware of the negative propaganda continually published by the mass media, will know that the island’s recently approved Labor Code is at the vanguard of global labor rights.

In Cuba, men and women receive equal pay for equal work, while employee maternity, paternity, and social security rights, which private sector workers also enjoy, are achievements which are still only a dream in various other countries across the world.

The only acts of torture perpetrated in Cuba are carried out in the territory illegally occupied by the Naval Base in Guantánamo, under U.S. control, where 60 individuals are currently being held, all deprived of their most basic legal rights.

African American minority in the US targeted 

It seems like a waste of money, even for a power like the United States, to allocate 5.6 million dollars to helping supposedly excluded minorities in Cuba, when African Americans in the U.S. are being targeted by police and the unemployment rate among this sector is double that of the country’s Caucasian population.

Neither does the U.S. recognize the Convention of the Rights of Migratory Workers and their Families, employing degrading practices in blatant violation of human rights against those traveling to the country in order to improve their economic situation.

U.S. maintains the highest child poverty rate

While the nation’s rich continue to amass more wealth, the U.S. maintains the highest child poverty rate among all industrialized countries, and continues to violate the rights of thousands of migrant minors; indiscriminately separated from their parents.

Washington should take care when using such explosive ingredients in its failed subversive recipe against Cuba, as it won’t be the first time the mix ends-up blowing up in their hands. One might think that Obama’s policy change toward Cuba would include abandoning “failed policies,” but everything seems to indicate that some powerful sectors of the U.S. refuse to “leave the past behind.”

Daniel Ortega, an iconic regional leader with a Bolivarian vision

Source:  El19digital
November 11 2015

daniel ortega 11.jpgSteadfast in his principles

The road traveled by Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra in these 70 years of life has not been easy. Despite the obstacles and complex situations which have arisen throughout his life, Daniel has remained steadfast in his principles, values and beliefs, which determine his character as a statesman and Latin American leader.

As a propeller of Latin American and Caribbean unity, and Peace and Justice for the peoples of the world, Daniel has transcended the borders of Nicaragua and is recognized internationally as a revolutionary leader whose voice is a light on the way that people must travel to reach their full independence and self – determination.

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On this day, November 11, 2015, as he celebrated his 70th birth anniversary, diplomats, politicians and analysts who have known him for many years report that Daniel is, of course, as is Chavez and Fidel, a symbol of Latin American and Caribbean Unity  that continues to struggle for equality, the restoration of rights and freedom for the great majority of the people of the region.

A Bolivarian, a builder of the Patria Grande

Javier Arrúe, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Nicaragua, says that Daniel is a continuation of the integration and independence of Latin America and the Caribbean, initiated by Simon Bolivar and continued by heroes like Marti and Sandino, who were also builders of the Patria Grande.

in that sense, Arrúe noted that “Commander Daniel is one of those historical men, one of those men who continue to set the path of Latin America and the Caribbean peoples who are struggling for freedom , for sovereignty, for Integration “.

To the diplomat, Bolivarian Daniel is a man who has led a life with an absolutely crystal clear position consistent with the path of the Sandinista revolution which favors the excluded and ignored by society.

“Daniel is a historical reference of dignity, sovereignty, courage, clarity , ” says Arrúe.

The ambassador also explained that the Venezuelan people appreciate the Nicaraguan leader, because he has expressed and demonstrated his infinite solidarity with the Venezuelan people and the Bolivarian revolution.

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Daniel, building strong ties between the peoples of the world

The Latin American and Caribbean peoples are not the only witness to the solidarity of Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra. People of the world such as the Palestinians suffering constant attacks from the powers of the empire, are present every day in the mind and heart of the revolutionary leader.

Muhammad Amrro, new Ambassador of Palestine in Nicaragua recognizes that Daniel has transcended borders of America and is widely known in the Middle East.

Particularly with Palestine, Amrro says that Daniel has cultivated a close friendship with his people, forging strong historical ties and championing the cause of the Palestinian people in all international forums.

“The Commander Daniel Ortega has played a key role, both being in government before and then after in all forums for Palestine. We also remember in the 80s when he was in the area doing mediation for the war in Iraq. These historical ties have been strong, very good and the role of Nicaragua and President Daniel Ortega have always been in favor of the Palestinian cause, in favor of the struggle of the Palestinian people to create their own state in the middle east and to have our freedom and our sovereignty , “said the Palestinian ambassador.

” In every forum he has never stopped at any time, throughout these years of talking about the Palestinian cause, (that) we must recognize the State of Palestine “reiterates the diplomat, noting that Nicaragua has played an important role in favor of Palestine.

“This we value and appreciate as Palestinians because almost all Nicaragua vote is in favor of recognizing the State of Palestine based on international law. That relationship has always been very good, historic, very strong and we continue the work we have done through our ambassadors here at all levels. We are working to further strengthen these relations between peoples, between the two revolutions, between the two states , “said Amrro.

 

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Cuba:  we see Daniel as a loyal and consistent brother

“Cubans see in Daniel a brother who has always been ours, very loyal, very consistent with Fidel, Raul,  . . .  he has always been there for us in defense of the Cuban Revolution,”said the ambassador of Cuba in Nicaragua, Eduardo Martinez.

The diplomat said that Daniel has had a fruitful life not only for the Nicaraguan people, but for humanity and the revolutionary people.

Martinez recalls that over the years Daniel has remained loyal to Cuba and its people.

“He was a voice that is listened to with great respect in international forums, when he goes, when he speaks, and even when he does not go to the  United Nations, because one doesn’t always have the possibility of being there physically, but there is his message because other government officials are speaking for him, whether it be the Vice President, the Chancellor, the Ambassador, it is the voice of Commander Daniel representing the Sandinista revolution, the Sandinista people; condemning the blockade; in the struggle for the liberation of the Cuban Five, defending the Palestinian people; defending the just cause of the Puerto Rican brother people.

“Consequently, I think that’s what most admired from the international point of view – the projection of Commander Daniel Ortega as anti – imperialist, revolutionary, firm and never-faltering “.

For the Cuban diplomat, the Nicaraguan president maintains a line of thinking with consequential action.

“That is admirable in the case of Comandante Daniel who has devoted many years of his life to this fight … this is why we admire and respect him, in Cuba he is a beloved figure, “says Martínez.

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The ambassador also highlights the close friendship of Comandante Daniel Ortega with leaders of the Cuban Revolution, Commanders Fidel and Raul Castro.

” It’s a brotherhood of many years, we always remember that the Nicaraguan revolution triumphed in 1979, exactly 20 years after the victory of the Cuban revolution; we always remember all the support over all those years, even in preparing the struggle of many guerrillas of the Frente Sandinista, including Daniel himself, in Cuba.  That formed, forged a friendship and a very strong brotherhood between our leaders, which today remains among Fidel, Raul, Daniel and Compañera Rosario.  There is a brotherhood that transcends any kind of conjunctural situation and is really of the heart,” said the ambassador.

” That’s nice, because in the end we are human beings and human beings who have a historical responsibility.  As Commander, Daniel  was able to transcend his era.  If we are able to leave that mark on international relations, I think we are worthy of admiration,” he added.

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Bulwark of Nicaraguan international policy

To Deputy Jose Figueroa, Commander Daniel is an important foreign policy stronghold for NIcaragua. Figueroa recalls that Daniel played an important role in the peace processes in Central America.

“The Comandante Daniel Ortega we saw in the processes of Contadora, in the negotiation processes for Peace in Central America, the peace agreements in Nicaragua; and in times of opposition also Commander Ortega was an outstanding international leader.  We also saw him with a strong stance defending the position of Cuba, the rights of Puerto Rico, pronouncing our opposition on  the US bases in Cuba, we saw him in the Non-Aligned Movement, as an outstanding leader and most recently Commander Ortega has also been present with great force in the formation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) with President Chávez, along with Commander Fidel, with Evo Morales and other leaders of the ALBA ,” Figueroa said.

For the Sandinista deputy, Commander Daniel enjoys great prestige and great moral authority as a statesman and as a Latin American leader.

“Commander Ortega is recognized not only because of the level of commitment he has displayed throughout his political history but also because of his good governance as head of the presidential administration in Nicaragua. His work is also recognized in many other areas such as public safety, tourism, foreign investment and public-private partnership,” says Figueroa.

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Nicaragua knows that it is on the right track

The General (R) Alvaro Baltodano, presidential adviser for investments argues that Commander Daniel has favored in his government in the last two presidential terms a  philosophy of dialogue and a partnership model, leading the country in the right direction.

According to Baltodano this approach has gained the support of more than 70% of the country’s population and is recognized internationally as well as at the level of financial multilateral organizations.

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Respected by the World Bank and the IMF

“The alliance sees President Ortega working with the private sector closely; sitting with the national social movements of Nicaragua,  while progress is seen in the fight against poverty … the multilateral organizations, which measure all countries with a parameter and the parameters say that Nicaragua has made progress in the fight against poverty,” Baltodano said.

” the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, say the economy walks well, the rating agencies have given us a better level. The president is clear that that is not enough, we must do more, we must make qualitative leaps, and he has proposed making large strategic projects in Nicaragua, strategic projects are not created if there is no will to do it,” added General (R) Alvaro Baltodano.

Reference of Latin American revolutions

History has linked Daniel and Nicaragua, one cannot speak of Daniel Ortega and not mention Nicaragua, and vice versa.

Aminta Buenaño, Ambassador of Ecuador in Nicaragua, expressed the fraternal greetings and wishes for health and prosperity at the 70 birth anniversary of Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra.

As she says, “Daniel Ortega for Ecuadorians is a reference of Latin American revolutions, (he) is a very important historical reference, which should be taken into account when speaking of integration, sovereignty, justice and equity in Latin America. ”

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Buenaño argues that Daniel is a very important partner in the framework of the ALBA countries for his willingness to cooperate, support and his solidarity especially with Latin America.

“In this regard, Ecuador has a special predisposition, a special friendship toward Nicaragua, to President Daniel Ortega, who during his tenure has displayed consistent credibility, a sense of justice to his word and especially a commitment to the development of this beautiful country Nicaragua, a country which has been a cradle of poets and revolutionaries,” said the diplomat.

” with his words, his actions, his historical struggles, Commander Daniel, has marked a line inside which means that important strategic geopolitical space. He is ALBA. ALBA is a fundamental space for all countries seeking integration and economic sovereignty of our region. In this sense Commander Daniel Ortega is a leader also in the struggle and history of ALBA ,” says Buenaño.

For the ambassador of the South American country, Daniel Ortega has developed a tenacious struggle against poverty and for equity and distribution of wealth, “so we feel we are following the same path, the same path and all are countries that are united in regional bodies such as the CELAC and ALBA “.

Daniel is the best son of Sandino

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Former Foreign Minister, Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann said that Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra is a reference figure not only in Latin America but the world.

“Even in the past, most recondite corners of the world Daniel is known, Daniel is respected, Daniel is admired for his fidelity to the ideals, for those wonderful ideals for which our heroes and martyrs fought , and being hands down the best son of Sandino and the undisputed leader always of  the Sandinista National Liberation Front, that much resonance was worldwide ,” says the priest.

Brockmann stresses that President Daniel is also a leader in environmental protection of mother earth and in the fight for equality and dignity of every human being.

The former foreign minister’s role has been filled by Rosario Murillo.

“I always find that she has also contributed much to complement the necessarily more masculine vision of Daniel … That I would have mentioned in several countries, they tell me, but father how is this done … being like Daniel, and listening to women?  And Daniel is lucky Rosario also helps you to have this more holistic view of human beings , “he said.

 

Vice Halleslevens: Commander Daniel has transcended the borders of America

On the occasion of the birth anniversary of President of the Republic, Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra, Vice President Omar Halleslevens,  said that the Sandinista leader and current president has transcended the borders of Nuestramérica and has become a true Latin American leader.

daniel-ortega-y-putin

“I think Daniel has become truly known in Nicaragua today, … Daniel is an undeniable leader for all he has done for this country through discipline, because in these things, often discipline is important,” said General (R) Omar Halleslevens.

General Halleslevens confirms that Daniel is a leader for Latin America because of his continued participation in the life of the country , because as a leader he has been developing successful public policies, … “that’s completely undeniable, that’s a fact Daniel Ortega has for a while in this country, and hopefully, we will have many more decades of leadership as he has been demonstarting and that the people will continue to have all these victories and successes that has been occurring every day,…these pockets of extreme poverty, these pockets still hungry in our country, are gradually reduced as blissfully is happening in Nicaragua and that has been recognized by international organizations , “says Halleslevens.

According to the Vice President, Daniel has managed to lead the country in the right direction. “Today we have robust macroeconomic indicators which show that tourism is growing, foreign direct investment is growing every year, the stability that the country continues to deepen and that all this is for the welfare of the people of Nicaragua.”

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