Ecuador’s President Rejects US Interference in Venezuela

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Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno. | Photo: EFE

Source:  TeleSUR

August 15 2017

“We express our respect for the self-determination of nations and of non-interference,” said Moreno.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno called for respect of the principle of non-interference in the sovereign affairs of other states, in relation to threats issued by the United States against Venezuela.

RELATED: Ecuador Demands Respect for Venezuela’s Sovereignty

“We express our respect for the self-determination of nations and of non-interference,” said Moreno Monday during the televised address he gives every week.

Moreno’s words follow a threat made Friday by U.S. President Donald Trump that the country was exploring “many options regarding Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”

Dialogue

For his part, Moreno said that “the sustenance of democracy is dialogue,” reiterating calls made to the opposition by the government of President Nicolas Maduro for dialogue, with the intention of maintaining peace in the country.

Maduro has repeatedly called on the opposition to engage in dialogue with the government in order to reach a peaceful solution to the situation in the country, but some sectors of the opposition have instead insisted on violent street protests.

RELATED: The World Reacts to Trump’s Military Threat Against Venezuela

Deep solidarity

Moreno expressed his deep solidarity with the Venezuelan people, lamenting the deaths of more than 120 people during opposition protests.

“Our deepest wish is that soon (Venezuela) will attain peace and that not one more drop of blood is spilt,” he said in the message.

Above ideology

“Above all rights, above any ideology, life is sacred and untouchable,” he concluded.

Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry had previously criticized Trump’s military threat in Venezuela, and rejected “any threat of a possible interference.”

Trump’s announcement also triggered a criticism in other countries in Latin America, including Colombia, as President Juan Manuel Santos said during a meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence he rejected any military interference in Venezuela or any country in the region.

Venezuela Defends ‘the Poor and Powerless’: Barbados Activists

Source:  TeleSUR

August 2 2017

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A supporter of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution prays as she holds a doll depicting former President Hugo Chavez. | Photo: PSUV

Activists from the Caribbean island denounced U.S. attempts to destabilize the Bolivarian Revolution.

Members of the Friends of Venezuela Solidarity Committee (Barbados) and the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration on Wednesday announced support for Venezuela against U.S. intervention.

RELATED:  Ecuador Supports Peaceful Dialogue in Venezuela

“We recognized and support the election of the Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly(ANC). We also support this Assembly that embraces a wide cross section of Venezuelan People,” activists said in a joint statement.

They also denounced Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, which is calling for the removal of democratically-elected President Nicolas Maduro, and called on Barbados and other Caribbean countries to support the ANC.

“The peace loving people of Barbados and the Caribbean will protect the Bolivarian Revolution that defends the poor and powerless people of the Americas,” the statement said.

The Bolivarian revolution helps the poor in the region

“This Revolution has created the condition for many Caribbean Countries to deal with our problems of energy, health, education, housing and many other social problems that have affected the poor and powerless in our region.”

Despite the fact that over 8 million people voted in the ANC election held last Sunday in support for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Venezuela, the U.S. government called the election a “sham” and imposed new sanctions.

The governments of Colombia, Spain, Canada, Argentina and Peru joined Washington in denouncing the vote, while Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Russia and others recognized the ANC as a democratic process.

RELATED:  International Community Rejects Intervention in Venezuela

We will continue to support Venezuela

“Our Movements can see that the Government of the United States of America and its fascist friends are trying very hard to create the condition for a Libya-style intervention in Latin America. We also condemn the Governments of the U.S. and Colombia for interfering with the internal politics in Venezuela,” the activists said.

The groups also mentioned that they are prepared to defend the Bolivarian Revolution, fight against fascism and oppose any U.S. intervention in Venezuela.

“We will also continue to support the Government of Venezuela in the fight against the economic war as well as the media war that have created some problems for the Venezuelan People,” they added.

94% of Brazilians Say Temer Doesn’t Represent the People: Poll

Source:  TeleSUR

August 13 2017

michel temerSenate-imposed Brazilian president Michel Temer. | Photo: Reuters

Some 86 percent of respondents consider the impeachment of democratically-elected President Dilma Rousseff as a clear indicator that democracy is being ignored.

The latest Ipsos poll published by one of Brazil’s most widely read newspapers, State of Sao Paulo, has indicated that democracy is not being respected in the country, showing that the nation is currently being governed by politicians who usurped power, according to Brasil 24/7.

RELATED:  Brazil’s Michel Temer Hits a New Low with a 2% Approval Rating

The poll shows that 86 percent of respondents consider the impeachment of democratically-elected President Dilma Rousseff a clear indicator that the terms of democracy have been systematically ignored in Brazil.

Some 94 percent of respondents consider that the current federal government, led by senate-imposed president Michel Temer does not represent the will of the people.

Published a little more than a year prior to the 2018 presidential election, the poll textually noted that “the wave of negativism contaminates public perception about democracy: only half of the population considers that this is the best system for Brazil, and a third affirms that it is not.”

In an odd twist, the research also showed that while 74 percent of the population is against compulsory voting, just 6 percent of voters feel that they are being properly represented by politicians whom they voted for.

While nine in every 10 voters agreed that Brazil has enough resources to be a first world country, they also concurred that the country is prevented from attaining such status due to “corruption.”

Rupak Patitunda, a researcher who helped coordinate the poll, stated that public opinion clearly illustrates that the type of democracy practiced in Brazil “is not representative,” adding that the “expectation” of this type of government is not adhered to by politicians.

Bribery charge investigation

The poll comes one week after Temer held meetings with 35 representatives of the lower house; lunched with 58 rural caucus members; dined with 100 lower house members renowned for having little influence in the government body, hence, are prone to vote in accordance with those who support their projects; and relieved 10 ministers of their duties for a 24-hour period just to get enough votes in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies to beat a bribery charge investigation.

From early June to the end of July, Temer’s administration also authorized some US$1.3 billion in parliamentary amendment projects in order to appease lawmakers and secure the votes he needed to beat the bribery charges.

RELATED:  35 Million-Strong Stike Against Temer’s Neoliberal Reforms Brings Brazil to a Halt

The people should unite

After a period of sharp political polarization, no less than 88 percent of respondents agreed that “people should unite behind common causes and not fight over political party A and political party B,” for such battles do not address the “real problems” of the country.

The data obtained from the latest Ipsos poll is part of a public opinion project called Brazil Pulse, which has been undertaken since 2005. A total of 1,200 people were questioned in 72 municipalities between July 1 and 14. The margin for error is three percentage points more or less.

US Trade Unionist Unmask Mass Media Lies on Venezuela Assembly

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Trade union leaders Judy Gonzalez, Estela Vazquez and John Patafio. | Photo: Still from Interview; Youtube; Rosana Silva

6 August 2017
Source:  TeleSUR

“We visited several polling places and that was when we were just so moved by what was going on,” said the president of the New York State Nurses Association.

Three representatives from trade unions in New York were among the many international observers to attend the Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly vote July 30 to monitor the election proceedings.

RELATED: Venezuela to Install Truth, Justice and Reparations Commission

Estela Vazquez the executive vice president of the 1199 SEIU Health Care Workers Union East, the country’s largest health care union; John Patafiothe vice president of the Transport Workers Union, and Judy Gonzalez a registered nurse and president of the New York State Nurses Association were interviewed by Rosana Silva on their experiences before and after their visit to Venezuela and their thoughts on the ANC.

The three had been invited by the Venezuelan Transport Workers Union to witness the voting process and most importantly to talk to Venezuelans and just “see what’s going on.”

Misinformation

Prior to arriving in the Bolivarian state, the three were warned by American Airline’s crew members of the “dangerous” situation they were walking in to.

“We had a sort of a culture shock on the airplane,” explained Gonzales who heads the NY union that includes 40,000 members across the state. “The staff on the airplane was basically hysterical. They told us that we absolutely shouldn’t go. We should get back on the plane; don’t get off the plane. That if we stepped off the plane we’d be robbed, we’d be kidnapped, we’d be raped, they’d steal our kidneys … we were absolutely putting ourselves in danger … they really did scare us.”

Vazquez, “But our experience has been different since we arrived Saturday, despite the propaganda of blood running in the streets, and fires and shootings all over the city of Caracas, that was not the case.”

“I’ve been here three days and I have to say, it’s propaganda. There’s a lot of propaganda and they’re taking some instances and they’re creating a very powerful message and it’s being repeated in very powerful media stations and good people are believing it,” agreed Patafio.

The union leaders traveled throughout Caracas unimpeded, visiting polling stations, hospitals, as well as working class sectors.

RELATED: 4 Venezuela Constituent Assembly Members You Need to Know About

Come and see for yourself

“I would say that (people) need to come and see for yourselves what is happening in Venezuela. You cannot rely on CNN or any other international communication or papers like the New York Times or the Washington Post, because they are only reflecting the story of the ruling classes, the oligarchy of this country, that want to preserve their interests,” Vazquez explained.

“They’re reflecting the voices of the 1 percent, while 99 percent of the Venezuelans support the process, support their government and they want peace and they want to continue the social gains they have made under the Bolivarian Revolution,” Vazquez concluded.

“The few areas where we saw violence, it seemed to be the more middle class areas, and the violence was centered in those areas for a few blocks … but it was only in those areas,” Patafio said, adding that any evidence of “violence was one way,” that the videos he saw showed opposition supporters instigating the acts, while the police was pinned with the violence.

RELATED:Venezuelan Armed Forces Repel Anti-Government Attack

The participation was impressive

“What we did see,” Vazquez countered, were thousands arriving to a makeshift polling station erected in the stadium in Caracas. “Thousands of people arriving there from communities in Miranda, because they could not vote in their own neighborhood because the so-called ‘opposition’ was practically holding people hostage and preventing them from voting and exercising their right to vote.”

“The participation was impressive. So I found it surprising when I saw headlines the next day talking of high absenteeism in Venezuela and that is not the truth,” Vazquez said.

“The way the voting went, was they divided everybody into sectors. They had workers sectors, they had Indigenous sectors, they had sectors based on your profession or job, they had sectors based on where you lived … They had hundreds and hundreds of slates, so clearly, there was a race going on,” said Gonzalez.

“We visited several polling places and that was when we were just so moved by what was going on. We were just overwhelmed by the number of young people and women who were basically running the vote,” she said adding that the transparency of the whole process was incredible.

“I’ve been through a lot of union elections, I know what to look for when there’s cheating, I didn’t see any cheating. I saw a very open process; I saw the people that were controlling it, were people from the community, earnest. So, I thought it was fine,” Patafio agreed.

“One thing that I did think was significant is that I didn’t see any international media. No reporters from the New York Times, no cameras from CNN, no cameras from Fox Television, or any other international media … covering the poor working class neighborhoods that are the backbone of this revolutionary process in this country,” the Health Care Workers Union vice president said.

RELATED:Venezuela Rejects Interference by Mercosur in Its Affairs

Peace and self-determination

All three of the representatives were amazed by the care the government had exerted, and attested that the presence and evidence of Chavismo still runs strong, with free or low-cost health care, housing, and transportation continuing to receive financial support from the administration.

“I think there is a crisis, right, an economic crisis and to some degree it needs a political solution and I think the Constituent Assembly is an attempt to find a political solution to a serious economic crisis,” Patafio stated.

“(Venezuelans) know what they want and they wanted to determine their own fate. And, for me, self-determination became very clear,” he said. “They wanted to make sure that people know that it’s peaceful, but they also wanted to make clear that we’re going to determine what’s going to take place in Venezuela. And they were really holding onto that and that’s what I saw at the polling stations.”

Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly Explained

President Nicolas Maduro made his call for a new Assembly at the end of a trade union march on May Day.

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Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro greets supporters during a meeting in Caracas, Venezuela July 29, 2017 | Photo: Reuters

Eight other members are being chosen by Venezuela’s Indigenous peoples according to their own traditions. Here is how it came about and how it works:

Background

President Nicolas Maduro made his call for a new Constituent Assembly at the end of a trade union march on May Day, one month after the Venezuelan opposition began a series of protests which often turned violent and had already left dozens dead. He emphasized three aims:

  1. Overcoming the current conflict in Venezuela
  2. Restoring peace in the country
  3. Giving the people, especially working people, the chance to decide on Venezuela’s future

That same day, he published Decree 2830, which laid out several other aims:

  1. Restore cooperation between public powers
  2. Develop a post oil economy
  3. Give constitutional status to the social Missions
  4. Strengthen the justice system to tackle corruption, impunity, speculation, etc.
  5. Give constitutional status to the Communes etc, as new forms of democracy
  6. Defend Venezuelan sovereignty against foreign intervention
  7. Promote pluriculturalism over racial and social hatred
  8. Recognize youth rights
  9. Preserve biodiversity and promote ecological culture

The decree invoked Articles 347 and 348 of the current Bolivarian Constitution, which clearly give the president the power to call for a constituent assembly. The argument used by the opposition that he should have called a referendum first, as happened in 1999, is a political one. Maduro could have done that. But there is no requirement in the current Constitution for him to do so.

The nomination of candidates took place from May 30 to June 2.

Would-be candidates had to gather signatures from 3% of their electorate in support of their standing.

No serving member of the government or other public office holder can be a candidate.

55,314 names were put forward. 6,120 candidates met the conditions and were accepted by the National Electoral Council as candidates, 3,546 for the territorial vote and 2,574 for the sectoral vote.

The campaign for the election ran from July 9 to July 27. The vote is on Sunday July 30, from 6am to 6pm, although anyone lining up to vote at that time will be allowed to vote.

Breakdown

The 545 seats in the Constituent Assembly break down like this:

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Territorial Vote

364 members of the Constituent Assembly will be elected from geographical areas, with one seat for each municipality in Venezuela, and two extra for each municipality which is a state capital, in other words the larger cities. The central Caracas area, with by far the largest population, will elect 7 members.

The electoral system here is mixed: first-past-the-post for the first seat in each municipality, and proportional for the extra seats in the larger ones.

Sectoral Vote

This is the most novel aspect of this election, and the one that has caused most uproar among opponents. Apart from the eight Indigenous members, who will be chosen in the two days after the main election by a variety of assemblies in different Indigenous regions of Venezuela, 173 members will be elected from seven different sectors of society. The idea here is to give these different sectors a chance to elect members who who will speak directly to their specific interests. These seats are divided as follows:

8 for Campesinos and Fishers

5 for Business people

5 for the Disabled

24 for Students

28 for Pensioners

24 for Communal Councils

79 for Workers

The workers’ sector is itself sub-divided thus:

17 for public administration

14 for service sector

12 for social area

11 for commerce

11 for self-employed

6 for industry

4 for construction

2 for oil industry

2 for transport

This has been described as an attempt to deepen the kind of participatory democracy mentioned in the 1999 Bolivarian Constitution, but developed more explicitly after 2005 by the government of Hugo Chavez. However it is anathema to those who believe representative democracy – electing representatives every four or five years and leaving it to them – is the only acceptable form of democracy.

Next Steps

The new Constituent Assembly will be sworn in within 72 hours of the results being announced. It will at first work with the procedural rules used by the 1999 Constituent Assembly. One of its first tasks will be to draw up its own rules and procedures.

There is no fixed time limit for the assembly to finish its new draft constitution. This is likely to be a development of the 1999 Bolivarian Constitution rather than a wholly new document.

Once the draft is agreed, it will have to be put to a national referendum to see if the Venezuelan people as a whole accept it or reject it.

Depending on what the assembly proposes, and what the electorate approves, there may then be new presidential and parliamentary elections, possibly by the end of this year or next year.

This will be the 21st set of elections held in Venezuela in the last 18 years of the Bolivarian revolution. The voting system used will be a version of the electronic system used in most of these earlier elections, which the Carter Center once described as one of the most reliable and transparent in the world.

Ten keys to the Constituent Assembly in Venezuela

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Nicolás Maduro went for broke. “Come rain or shine, there will be a National Constituent Assembly,” the Venezuelan President stated. And so it was.

July 30, 2017, marked a historic date, not only for the Bolivarian Revolution, which came to power less than two decades ago, but for a nation that has been struggling for its independence and self-determination for over 200 years.

Several lessons

The vote that day offered us several lessons to understand the complex scenario facing the country, and the possible evolution of events:

More than eight million Venezuelans voted

1. Venezuela has a Constituent Assembly. Despite the boycott declared by the right wing and the international maneuvers against it, the support of more than eight million Venezuelans at the polls endows the constitutional mechanism activated by the Bolivarian government with legitimacy. The opposition’s bid was to prevent the Constituent Assembly by all means and it failed. They now run the risk of being left out of the Assembly that will shape the future of the country, although few doubt that some kind of dialogue is essential to resume the road to peace.

Calm elections

2. The elections were held amid relative calm. The number of people killed during the day varies according to the source.

Most speak of at least ten dead. However, after more than a hundred victims in the past few months, some of them burned alive by opposition extremists, the election day balance sheet was far from the “bloodbath” predicted by some international analysts.

The Armed Forces ensuring Venezuelans’ democratic exercise of the right to vote

3. The Armed Forces are committed to constitutional order. The plan to preserve the integrity of polling stations, for which more than 230,000 troops were deployed, as well as the extraordinary measures taken by authorities, were key to ensuring Venezuelans’ democratic exercise of the right to vote. In addition, this is a further sign that, unlike in the past, the current Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela are committed to constitutional order and are the main guarantors of the country’s stability.

The right has limited rallying power

4. The right has less strength than had appeared. The opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), the main instigator of the violence, promised to hold the “mother of all protests” to prevent the Constituent Assembly. Its limited rallying power in the days leading up to the elections, and the impotence of its leaders faced with the popular mobilization to vote, are proof that it overestimated its forces.

The silence of the mass media

5. The mass media were left without news. Venezuela was, until the vote, one of the topics receiving most coverage in the international media. Hundreds of journalists from the most important chains are present in the South American country. However, when the reality was different from the coverage they had prepared (a pitched battle and the beginning of civil war), they offered a revealing silence. Instead, they devoted themselves to reporting minor issues and so far practically no outlet has provided coverage of the massive turnout of eight million Venezuelans, who had to cross rivers or stay up through the night, in order to exercise their right at the polls.

The turnout exceeded expectations

6. The turnout exceeded expectations. Amid the polarization of the country and the instability provoked by the extreme right, the number of Venezuelans who went out to vote was not envisaged by the opposition or their international backers. Even the Bolivarian authorities recognized that the figure was a pleasant surprise. As a means of comparison, the more than eight million votes cast on July 30 exceeded the 7.7 million obtained by the MUD in the legislative elections that gave it control of the National Assembly in 2015.

A concerted strategy

7. There is a concerted strategy to disregard the democratic process in Venezuela. The United States, Spain, and several Latin American nations, including Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay, Guatemala, and Panama, did not even wait for the results of the elections before refusing to recognize them and the new Constituent Assembly.

US destabilization efforts

8. The United States is actively working to destabilize Venezuela. Before the elections, Washington sanctioned 13 Bolivarian officials with the aim of intimidating the government in the lead-up to the Constituent Assembly vote. After learning of the results, the U.S. government announced another series of measures including sanctions against President Nicolás Maduro. Some U.S. media have speculated regarding possible sanctions on the Venezuelan oil sector, which has been in the White House’s sights from the start.

Another vote of confidence for Chavismo

9. A significant number of citizens gave Chavismo another vote of confidence. In the midst of the economic war, the decline in international oil prices, and internal destabilization, the popular support received shows just how much the Venezuelan people appreciate the transformations initiated by Hugo Chávez. It is difficult to think of another government in Venezuelan history that would have resisted a similar onslaught.

A platform to call for dialogue

10. The Constituent Assembly alone can not solve underlying problems such as the economic crisis, inflation, shortages, and violence. However, the constitutional powers with which the Assembly is invested constitute a platform to call for dialogue between the different actors in the country’s political and social life, to ensure justice for the victims of the crimes committed by violent sectors, and to once again put the country on the path to progress and peace.

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.