The White Privilege of the “Lone Wolf” Shooter

Source:  The Intercept
October 2 2017

by Shaun King

mandalay bay shooting oct 2017.jpgLAST NIGHT, THE United States experienced the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. At least 58 people are dead and over 500 more wounded. No, that’s not a typo: More than 500 were injured in one, single incident.

As tens of thousands enjoyed a music festival on the streets of Las Vegas, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada, was perched 32 floors above them in his Mandalay Bay hotel room. Paddock had 19 rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammo — supplies that are plentiful in a nation that has more guns than people. A few minutes after 10 p.m., Paddock opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd. They were sitting ducks.

No expensive wall along the Mexican border would’ve prevented this. No Muslim ban stopping immigrants and refugees from a few randomly selected countries from reaching our shores would’ve slowed this down.

Paddock, like the majority of mass shooters in this country, was a white American. And that simple fact changes absolutely everything about the way this horrible moment gets discussed in the media and the national discourse: Whiteness, somehow, protects men from being labeled terrorists.

The privilege here is that the ultimate conclusion about shootings committed by people from commonly nonwhite groups often leads to determinations about the corrosive or destructive nature of the group itself. When an individual claiming to be a Muslim commits a horrible act, many on the right will tell us Islam itself is the problem. For centuries, when an act of violence has been committed by an African-American, racist tropes follow — and eventually, the criminalization and dehumanization of an entire ethnic group.

mandalay bay shooting oct 2017 2.jpgA bloodied victim lies on the ground during a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas.:  Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

PRIVILEGE ALWAYS STANDS in contrast to how others are treated, and it’s true in this case, too: White men who resort to mass violence are consistently characterized primarily as isolated “lone wolves” — in no way connected to one another — while the most problematic aspects of being white in America are given a pass that nobody else receives.

Stephen Paddock’s whiteness has already afforded him many outrageous protections in the media.

While the blood was still congealing on the streets of Las Vegas, USA Today declared in a headline that Paddock was a “lone wolf.” And yet an investigation into his motivations and background had only just started. Police were only beginning to move to search his home and computers. His travel history had not yet been evaluated. No one had yet thoroughly scrutinized his family, friends, and social networks.

Stephen Paddock was declared a “lone wolf” before analysts even started their day, not because an exhaustive investigation produced such a conclusion, but because it is the only available conclusion for a white man in America who commits a mass shooting.

“Lone wolf” is how Americans designate many white suspects in mass shootings. James Holmes was called a “lone wolf” when he shot and killed 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. And Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and shot and killed the pastor and eight other parishioners, was quickly declared a “lone wolf.”

For people of color, and especially for Muslims, the treatment is often different. Muslims often get labeled as “terrorists” before all the facts have come out.

Just consider President Donald Trump. This morning, Trump tweeted, “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” That’s fine, but Trump doesn’t even seem angry. It’s peculiar that he didn’t call the shooter a “son of a bitch,” like he did the NFL players who took a knee during the anthem. He didn’t create an insulting nickname for Paddock, or make an immediate push for a policy proposal.

Compare that to how Trump treats incidents where he believes the assailants are Muslims. After a bomb exploded in the London subway, Trump tweeted that the attackers were “loser terrorists” — before British authorities had even named a suspect. He went on to immediately use the attack to push his Muslim ban.

We must ask ourselves: Why do certain acts of violence absolutely incense Trump and his base while others only elicit warm thoughts and prayers? This is the deadliest mass shooting in American history! Where is the outrage? Where are the policy proposals?

What we are witnessing is the blatant fact that white privilege protects even Stephen Paddock, an alleged mass murderer, not just from being called a terrorist, but from the anger, rage, hellfire, and fury that would surely rain down if he were almost anyone other than a white man. His skin protects him. It also prevents our nation from having an honest conversation about why so many white men do what he did, and why this nation seems absolutely determined to do next to nothing about it.

I spoke to two people this morning, one black and the other Muslim. Both of them said that, when they heard about this awful shooting in Las Vegas, they immediately began hoping that the shooter was not black or a Muslim. Why? Because they knew that the blowback on all African-Americans or Muslims would be fierce if the shooter hailed from one of those communities.

Something is deeply wrong when people feel a sense of relief that the shooter is white because they know that means they won’t suffer as a result. White people, on the other hand, had no such feeling this morning, because 400 years of American history tells them that no such consequences will exist for them today as a result of Stephen Paddock’s actions.

It is an exemplar of white privilege: not just being given a head start in society, but also the freedom from certain consequences of individual and group actions.

A Call to Hold President Trump Accountable before the UN General Assembly

International Network in Defense of Humanity

Caribbean Chapter

NDH CC 2.jpg

There is no such thing as “American Exceptionalism”! And therefore, the President and Government of the United States of America (USA) are just as subject to the rules of International Law as are the President and Government of any other country.

Thus, when– on Friday the 11th of August 2017 — President Donald Trump of the USA threatened a unilateral military strike against the sovereign and independent Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela he was breaching a rule of International Law that is so fundamental that it is enshrined in Article 2 of the United Nations (UN) Charter.

un logo.jpgArticle 2 (4) of the UN Charter stipulates that “all Members (of the UN) shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

But this was not the first or only time that President Trump and his Administration had committed a flagrant breach of the said Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter !

Indeed, since taking up the office of President of the USA in January of 2017, Mr. Trump has attacked the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on no less than four occasions by issuing Executive Orders and inflicting punitive and damaging sanctions against the Government and people of that sovereign, politically independent nation.

President Trump also went on the public record on Tuesday the 8th of August 2017 threatening the Government and people of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea) with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if — according to him — the Government of North Korea makes “any more threats to the United States”. This –it is clear — is a threat of a nuclear conflagration that will be much more horrific than the “atomic” decimation that the USA inflicted on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945!

And, as if to further emphasize his utter contempt for the precepts of International Law, Mr. Trump used the podium of the General Assembly of the UN on Tuesday the 19th of September 2017 to issue a further threat to “totally destroy North Korea”, and to publicly parade his arrogant determination to defy the many U N resolutions that have denounced the USA’s illegal and genocidal blockade of the Republic of Cuba and demanded its termination.

In light of the fact that the USA has proven itself to be, perhaps, the most aggressive and warlike nation in the history of the World — with a record of having initiated or participated in well in excess of two hundred major military assaults or wars against other sovereign, independent countries during the 241 years of its existence as an independent state–the international community of nations would be well advised to take President Trump’s illegal threats and attacks very seriously.

It is against this background therefore that we, the Members of the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity, would like to remind all member states of the United Nations of their Constitutional power to bring the issue of President Trump and his flagrant and dangerous breaches of International Law before the UN General Assembly for collective discussion and for the prescribing of an appropriate response by the World community.

Article 11 (2) of the UN Charter establishes that “the General Assembly (of the UN) may discuss any questions relating to the maintenance of international peace and security brought before it by any Member of the United Nations…..and……may make recommendations with regard to any such questions to the State or States concerned or to the Security Council or to both….”

Furthermore, Article 20 of the Charter provides that “special sessions (of the General Assembly) shall be convoked by the Secretary-General at the request of……. a majority of the Members of the United Nations.”

In light of the foregoing, we — the Members of the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity now hereby:-

(1) CALL upon the responsible and peace-loving Member States of the United Nations to join together in a collective effort to bring the issue of President Trump and his flagrant breaches of Article 2 of the UN Charter before the General Assembly of the United Nations ; and

(2) REQUEST that all responsible and peace-loving members of the human family support this CALL by:-

(a) attaching their signature, name and address to this CALL ; and

(b) forwarding this CALL to the Head of Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs of their country either via e-mail or by printing and sending a hard copy.

SIGNATURE : 

NAME  IN  BLOCK  LETTERS : 

ADDRESS:

Steph Curry Declines White House Invite, LeBron James Brands Trump A ‘Bum’

Source:  TeleSUR
September 23 2017

lebron james 1Cavs star LeBron James branded U.S. President Trump a “bum” in Twitter.
| Photo: Reuters FILE

Trump stated that he was uninviting Curry, following the basketballer’s comment that he would not visit the White House.

Related:  Calling Kaepernick ‘Son of a Bitch,’ Trump Urges NFL to Fire All Protesting Players

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James branded U.S. President Trump a “bum” after the latter said he was withdrawing a White House invitation to Golden State Warriors’ star Steph Curry.

Trump stated that he was uninviting Curry, following the basketballer’s comment that he would not visit the White House. Lebron added that there was not invite since Curry had already declined.


LeBron James 

✔@KingJames

U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!

10:17 AM – Sep 23, 2017


“I don’t want to go,” Curry expressed on Friday. “My beliefs stay the same.” Curry added that it was important for the team “to understand the magnitude” of the decision whether to visit the White House or not.

“Just like our country, every opinion counts and matters,” Curry said, according to an ESPN report.

“Based on the conversations we’ve had in the past and what people have said to the media, to each other, I know pretty much where everybody kind of stands on it,” he said.

“But we want to respect the opportunity to represent not only ourselves, our own beliefs, but our organization because we’re obviously in this position because we won a championship and we did something special together. So for us to just really take the time to understand the magnitude of this decision and the right thing to do, the right way to go about it is important.”

steph curry 1.jpgGolden State Warriors Stephen Curry Photo: AFP FILE

Curry again reaffirmed his stance, on Saturday, following a practice session.

“My stance is the same as it was,” Curry told ESPN.com. “And even kind of cemented even further about how things in our country are going, especially with [Trump] representing us in a very damaging way.

“I don’t know why he feels the need to target certain individuals rather than others. I have an idea of why, but it’s kind of beneath a leader of a country to go that route. That’s not what leaders do.”

Similarly, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said though he was “disappointed,” he was “proud” of the players for “taking an active role in their communities and continuing to speak out on critically important issues.”

The NBA Players Association also supported the Warriors’ decision saying: “The National Basketball Players Association defends its members’ exercise of their free speech rights against those who would seek to stifle them. The celebration of free expression – not condemnation – is what truly makes America great,” the union said in a statement

Calling Kaepernick ‘Son of a Bitch,’ Trump Urges NFL to Fire All Protesting Players

Source: Common Dreams
September 23 2017

By Jon Queally, staff writer

‘This is the President of the United States referring to an American who has exercised his right to protest racial injustice.’

kaepernick trump protest.jpgIn this Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams. (Photo: AP)

Civil libertarians, racial justice advocates, and NFL players from across the league expressed outrage overnight after President Donald Trump called on owners of professional football teams to fire players who express their political views.

In a veiled reference to quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who last season started a wave of protest by kneeling during pre-game National Anthems in protest of police killings of unarmed black men, Trump said during a campaign-style rally in Alabama on Friday night, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of the NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now?'”

Bishop Sankey, running back for the Minnesota Vikings who called the president’s behavior a “disgrace,” was among the many players in the league who condemned the president for his comments.

Kaepernick remains unsigned to a team this season and though Trump did not mention him specifically by name the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has remained a key target among right-wingers who express the opinion that black athletes should keep quiet about their political opinions.

Kaepernick’s mother

When asked by a reporter about the president’s insult that appeared to reference her son, Kaepernick’s mother reportedly responded by saying, “Guess that makes me a proud bitch!”

Meanwhile, ESPN journalist Jemele Hill, who also became a target of the White House recently after stating publicly she considers Trump a white supremacists (a widely held belief which plenty of evidence supports), took to Twitter and predicted that neither owners nor league officials would speak out against the president’s latest statement.

And King, making the argument that Kaepernick remains unsigned specifically for his protests last year, added:

“If you don’t understand Trump’s threats against the @NFL have EVERYTHING to do with Kaepernick being unemployed you aren’t paying attention”.

Football Players Stage Largest Protests for #TakeAKneeNFL

Source:  TeleSUR
September 25 2017

IN PICTURES: The “Take a Knee” protests were widespread throughout the NFL Sunday, including The Baltimore Ravens playing in the United Kingdom.

Sunday saw the largest protest from NFL players yet, as some 24 players from the Baltimore Ravens took a knee at Wembley Stadium in London during the U.S. national anthem, while players from the Jacksonville Jaguars and other Ravens players, who did not kneel, locked arms throughout.

The players were responding to U.S. President Donald Trump’s insults and threats against those athletes who choose to take a knee to protest racism in the United States.

teleSUR takes a look at some of these historic protests by U.S. professional athletes.

NFL: International Series-Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville JaguarsSome 24 Baltimore Ravens took a knee in London, making it the largest protest to date.Photo:Reuters

take a kneel2.jpgThe NFL Players Association has defended its players saying they have the right to peacefully protest and raise social consciousness. Photo:Reuters

take a kneel 3.jpgMembers of the Detroit Lions take a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Photo:AFP

take akneel 4.jpgDuring a visit to the southern state of Alabama Friday, Trump attacked NFL players, calling them “sons of bitches” for choosing to kneel during the national anthem. Photo:Reuters

take a kneel 6.jpgMembers of the New England Patriots kneel on the sidelines as the national anthem is played before a game against the Houston Texans in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo:AFP

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens - NFL International SeriesJacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens form a circle as they kneel during national anthem in London. Photo:Reuters

take a kneel 8.jpgSome members of the Washington team took a knee in protest. Photo:Reuters

take a kneel 9.jpgIndianapolis Colts players kneel during the playing of the national anthem. Photo:Reuters

take a kneel 10.jpgThe Cleveland Browns team stand and kneel during the National Anthem before the start of their game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Photo:Reuters

 

 

 

Cuba will never accept any preconditions or impositions

Source:  Granma,  | internet@granma.cu
September 22, 2017 16:09:30

Speech by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, during the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla

 

Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla sept 2017.jpg

STATEMENT BY H.E. Mr. BRUNO RODRÍGUEZ PARRILLA, MINISTER OF

FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA, AT THE SEVENTY SECOND SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY. NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017.

Mr. President:

Mr. Secretary General;

Allow me to reiterate to you Cuba’s, support to your work at the helm of the United Nations and as a guarantor and advocate of international peace.

Heads of State and Government;

Distinguished delegates;

I would like to express my deep condolences to the relatives of the deceased and the victims of hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as our disposition to increase our cooperation, to the extent of our modest possibilities, with the brother peoples and governments of Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, small Caribbean islands which suffered a terrible devastation; with the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Virgin Islands and Anguilla.

I call upon the international community to give the highest priority to this situation and mobilize resources to assist the small Caribbean Island States and territories which have suffered such devastation.

We would like to convey Cuba’s warmest feelings of solidarity to the government and people of Mexico, particularly to the victims and their relatives, who were affected by both earthquakes, and reiterate to them our disposition to assist the population and support the recovery works with our modest efforts.

We also want to express our sorrow to the U.S. people, as well as our heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the deceased and to all of the victims of hurricane Irma.

Mr. President:

I want to convey the testimony of the people of Cuba, who are currently carrying out a colossal effort to recover from the severe damages caused by hurricane Irma to housing, agriculture, the power system and other services. Despite the all encompassing preventive measures – which included the evacuation of more than 1.7 million persons- and the full cooperation of all citizens, we suffered the loss of ten persons.

Strengthening the unity and solidarity of our noble and heroic people

The painful damages to services as well as the loss of social and personal goods as well as the hardships endured by families that spent many hours without electricity or water, contributed to strengthen the unity and solidarity of our noble and heroic people.

The moving scenes of rescuers saving a girl and giving her back to her mother; of a little boy picking up a bust of Jose Marti from the rubble; of students helping families they had not met before; of soldiers from the Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior doing the toughest jobs; of local leaders heading the most difficult tasks have become all too familiar.

During a visit paid to the area that suffered the most severe devastation. President Raúl Castro issued an appeal which literally read, and I quote: “These have been tough days for our people who, in only a few hours, have seen how what was built with great effort has been destroyed by a devastating hurricane. The images received during the last few hours are too eloquent, just as much as the spirit of resilience and victory of our people that are reborn in the face of every adversity.”

On behalf of the government and the people of Cuba, I sincerely appreciate the genuine expressions of solidarity and affection expressed by numerous governments, parliaments, international organizations and representatives of the civil society.

I would like to convey my profound gratitude for the numerous offers of assistance that we have received.

Mr. President:

I still keep vivid and emotional memories of the imposing presence of Fidel Castro Ruz, the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, and the great validity of the ideas he expressed before this Assembly.

On behalf of our people and government, I would like to express our gratitude for the feelings of respect, affection and admiration we have received from all latitudes.

Mr. President:

Inequality, poverty and hunger

On Tuesday last, President Donald Trump came here to convince us that one of his purposes is to promote the prosperity of nations and persons. But, in the real world, the wealth owned by eight men altogether is equivalent to the wealth shared by 3.6 billion human beings, who make up the poorest half of humanity.

In terms of turnover, 69 of the 100 biggest entities of the world are transnationals, not States. The turnover of the world’s ten biggest corporations is higher than the public revenues earned by 180 countries combined.

Seven hundred million persons live in extreme poverty; 21 million are victims of forced labor. In 2015, 5.9 million children died of preventable or curable diseases before reaching the age of 5. A total of 758 million adults are illiterate.

Eight hundred and fifteen million persons suffer from chronic hunger -tens of millions more than in 2015. Two billion are undernourished. Even if the precarious decreasing growth rate of recent years rebounds, 653 million persons will continue to face hunger by the year 2030, and this will not be enough to eradicate hunger by the year 2050.

There are 22.5 million refugees. Humanitarian tragedies associated to migrants flows worsen and increase amidst a clearly unjust international economic and political order.

Cruel and ineffective 

The construction of walls and barriers as well as the laws and measures adopted to prevent the waves of refugees and migrants have proved to be cruel and ineffective. There is a proliferation of exclusive and xenophobic policies that violate the human rights of millions of persons and fail to solve the problems of underdevelopment, poverty and armed conflicts, which are the main causes of migration and refugee claims.

Military expenditures have increased to 1.7 trillion dollars. That reality belies those who claim that there are not enough resources to eradicate poverty.

However, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development lacks the means for its implementation, due to the egoism and lack of political will of the United States and other industrialized countries.

What is the miraculous recipe that President Donald Trump recommends to us in the absence of the financial flows of the Marshall Plan? Who will contribute the resources for that? How can this be reconciled with the “America First” idea advanced by Presidents Reagan and Trump?

President Trump ignores and distorts history and portraits a chimera as a goal to be pursued. The production and consumption patterns proper of neoliberal capitalism are unsustainable and irrational and will inexorably lead to the destruction of the environment and the end of the human species.

Can anyone forget about the consequences of colonialism, slavery, neocolonialism and imperialism?

A new inclusive international economic order

Could the several decades of bloody military dictatorships in Latin America be referred to as an example of a successful capitalism? Does anyone know of any recipe of neoliberal capitalism that has been better applied than those which destroyed the Latin American economies in the 1980s?

It is both indispensable and urgent for the United Nations to work in order to establish a new participatory, democratic, equitable and inclusive international economic order, as well as a new financial architecture that take into account the needs and peculiarities of developing countries and the asymmetries that exist in world trade and finances as a result of centuries of exploitation and plundering.

Industrialized countries have the moral duty, the historical responsibility as well as sufficient financial and technological means for that.

Climate change

Not even the rich will enjoy the announced prosperity if climate change is not stopped.

Cuba regrets the decision taken by the government of the United States, which has been historically the principal greenhouse gas emitting government in the planet, to withdraw its country from the Paris Agreement.

In 2016, and for the third consecutive year, the average global temperature increase records have been broken, which confirms that climate change is a threat to the survival of humanity and the sustainable development of our peoples.

We reiterate our solidarity with the Small Island Developing States, particularly from the Caribbean and the Pacific, which are the most affected by climate change and for which we claim a just, special and differentiated treatment.

Nuclear weapons

Mr. President:

The U.S. government has come here to tell us that, in addition to prosperity, the other two “beautiful pillars” of international order are sovereignty and security.

We all share the common responsibility to preserve the existence of human beings in the face of a nuclear threat. An important contribution to the achievement of that goal was the historical adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons under the auspices of the United Nations, which proscribe the use and the threat of use of those weapons that have the capacity to annihilate the human species.

Obviously, the United States strongly opposed this treaty. It announced that it will invest 700 billion dollars in military expenditures and is developing an extremely aggressive nuclear and military doctrine based on the threat to use and the use of force.

NATO member States attempt against international peace and security and International Law by promoting military interventions and non-conventional wars against sovereign States.

As was pointed out by the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz: “Let the philosophy of plunder disappear and the philosophy of war will also disappear!”

Manipulating the concepts of sovereignty and security

The illegal imposition of unilateral coercive measures and the use of financial, legal, cultural and communication instruments to destabilize governments as well as the denial of peoples’ right to self-determination have become customary.

The covert use of ICTs to attack other States increases, while several developed countries strongly oppose the adoption of international treaties that would regulate cooperation in order to achieve a safe cyberspace.

The U.S. President manipulates the concepts of sovereignty and security to his exclusive benefit and to the detriment of all others, including his allies.

The attempt to resort to military threats and force to stop the irreversible world trend to multi-polarization and polycentrism will seriously jeopardize international peace and security, which should be defended and preserved through international mobilization.

The principles of sovereign equality, respect for the territorial integrity and non interference in the internal affairs of States should be observed. The UN Charter and International Law admit no re-interpretation.

The United Nations reform should pursue the principal goal of responding to the pressing needs of peoples and the great disadvantaged majorities. Multilateralism should be protected and reinforced in the face of the imperialist interests of domination and hegemony.

The democratization of the Security Council, both in terms of its composition and its working methods, is a most urgent task.

The strengthening of the General Assembly and the recovery of the functions that have been usurped from it are indispensable.

An exceptionalist and supremacist vision

Mr. President:

The “patriotism” invoked in the U.S. statement is a perversion of humanism, the love and loyalty to the homeland and of the enrichment and defense of national and universal culture. It embodies an exceptionalist and supremacist vision of ignorant intolerance in the face of diverse political, economic, social and cultural models.

In developed countries, the loss of legitimacy of political systems and parties worsens and electoral abstentionism is on the rise. Corruption, whether legal or illegal, has turned into metastasis. So is the extreme case of the so called “special interests” or corporate payments in exchange for benefits in the country that spends the highest amount of money in electoral campaigns and where, paradoxically, a candidate with the lowest number of popular votes can be elected or entitled to govern with a negligible support by voters.

There has been and increasing and unheard-of use of science and technology to exercise hegemony, mutilate national cultures and manipulate human behavior, as is the case of the so called “big data” or psychometry, used for political and advertising purposes. Seven consortia keep a strict control of whatever is read, watched or heard in the planet. Technologies are being monopolized. The governance of digital networks is dictatorial and discriminatory and, despite appearances, the digital divide between rich and poor countries is increasing.

The opportunities and rights of youths, migrants and workers are curtailed and their human rights are openly and systematically violated.

Pattern of systematic violations of human rights

The day before yesterday, the U.S. Vice-president, Michael Pence, ridiculously ignoring the functions of the Security Council and attempting to establish new prerogatives, said that this organ should modify the composition and methods of the UN Human Rights Council, which “doesn’t deserve its name” because “a clear majority of the Human Rights Council members fail to meet even the most basic human rights standards”. I suppose he is not including, in this case, his own country, which will in fact deserve to be included because of its pattern of systematic violations of human rights, namely the use of torture, arbitrary detentions and imprisonment -as occurs at the Guantanamo Naval Base-, the assassination of African Americans by law enforcement agents, the killing of innocent civilians perpetrated by its troops and the xenophobia and repression against immigrants -including minors- as well as its scarce adherence to international instruments.

Mr. President:

We reaffirm our strongest condemnation against all forms and manifestations of terrorism and reject the double standards in combating them.

The urgent search for a just and lasting solution to the conflict in the Middle East is based on the exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the existence of a free and independent State within the pre-1967 borders, with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

The situation in Western Sahara requires an effort in conformity with the UN resolutions to guarantee the Saharan people’s exercise to self-determination and respect for their legitimate right to live in peace in their own territory.

Cuba reaffirms its support to the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the war in Syria without any foreign interference and with full respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The threats to international peace and security resulting from the expansion of NATO’s presence along the Russian borders are on the increase. We continue to reject the unilateral and unjust sanctions imposed against that country.

We demand respect for the so called Nuclear Agreement signed with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

War is not an option

We reject the threat to totally destroy the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the home to 25 million human beings. War is not an option in the Korean peninsula; it would threaten the existence of hundreds of millions of persons in this area as well as in neighboring countries; it would lead to a nuclear war of unpredictable consequences. Only through dialogue and negotiation would it be possible to achieve a lasting political solution that should take into account the legitimate concerns of all the parties involved. We support the total denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, without any foreign interference, with absolute respect for sovereign equality and territorial integrity of States and strictly abiding by the principle of not using or threatening to use force.

Threats to Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace

Mr. President:

New threats are hovering over peace and stability in Latin America and the Caribbean, in open disrespect for the “Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace” signed in Havana by the Heads of State and Government of our region in January, 2014, on the occasion of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

We reiterate what was expressed by President Raul Castro Ruz about the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on July 14 last:

“The aggression and putschist violence against Venezuela harms all of Our America and only serve the interests of those set on dividing us to exercise their control over our peoples, unconcerned about causing conflicts of incalculable consequences in this region, like those we are seeing in different parts of the world.

The Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution

“Today we warn that those attempting to overthrow the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution through unconstitutional, violent and putschist methods will shoulder a serious responsibility before history.

We strongly reject the military threats against Venezuela, the Executive Order that designates it as a threat to the national security of the United States and the unilateral, unjust and arbitrary sanctions applied against it.

We reiterate our unwavering solidarity with the Bolivarian and Chavista government and people and its civic-military union led by the constitutional President Nicolas Maduro Moros.

We denounce and condemn the NICA Act Initiative, promoted in the U.S. Congress as part of an interventionist behavior which is intended to impose an economic blockade against the people and the government of Nicaragua, to whom we reiterate our support.

We express our solidarity with former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, victim of a political persecution intended to prevent him from running for direct elections by means of a judicial disqualification. Lula, President Dilma Rousseff, the Workers*

Party and the Brazilian people will always find Cuba on their side.

We reiterate our historical commitment with the free determination and independence of the Puerto Rican people.

We support the legitimate claim of Argentina for the sovereignty over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.

Cuba will continue to contribute, to the extent possible, and at the request of the parties involved, its efforts to achieve a stable and lasting peace in Colombia.

We will uphold our commitment to share our modest achievements with the peoples of the South, including the efforts of the 41 652 cooperation workers deployed in 63 countries to struggle for the life and health of human beings.

A setback in U.S.-Cuba bilateral relations

Mr. President:

On June 16 last, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, announced the new Cuba policy of his administration, which is a setback in U.S.-Cuba bilateral relations and undermines the bases established two years ago to advance towards a new type of relation between our countries, characterized by respect and equality.

The U.S. Government has decided to tighten the economic, commercial and financial blockade by imposing new obstacles to the already limited possibilities its business community had to trade with and invest in Cuba as well as additional restrictions on U.S. citizens willing to travel to our country.

Those decisions ignore the support from broad sectors in the U.S., including the majority of Cuban émigrés, to the lifting of the blockade and the normalization of relations. They only serve the interests of a group of Cuban origin, based in South Florida, which is an ever more isolated and minoritarian group that insists in harming Cuba and its people for having decided to defend, at all costs, the right to be free, independent and sovereign. Today we reiterate our condemnation of the measures aimed at tightening the blockade and reaffirm that any strategy intended to destroy the Revolution will fail.

Likewise, we reject the manipulation of the human rights issue against Cuba, which has a lot to be proud of and has no need to receive lessons from the United States or anyone.

This time we would like to express our strongest condemnation of the disrespectful, offensive and interventionist statement against Cuba and the Cuban government, made three days ago at this rostrum by President Donald Trump. We remind him that the United States, where flagrant human rights violations are committed, which raise deep concern among the international community, has no moral authority to judge my country. We reaffirm that Cuba will never accept any preconditions or impositions, nor will it ever renounce any of its principles.

Regarding the alleged incidents that would have affected U.S. diplomatic officials in Havana we categorically affirm that the Cuban government rigorously and seriously abides by its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations in relation to the protection and the integrity of all diplomats without any exception, including those from the United States. Cuba has never perpetrated nor will it ever perpetrate actions of this sort. Cuba has never allowed nor will it ever allow its territory to be used by third parties with that purpose.

The Cuban authorities, based on the preliminary results of the priority investigation that is being carried out with a high technical component, following instructions from the top level of our government, has taken into account the data contributed by the U.S. authorities and so far has found no evidence whatsoever that could confirm the causes or the origin of the health disorders referred to by U.S. diplomats and their relatives. The investigation to clarify this issue continues, and in order to be able to arrive to a conclusion, it will be crucial to count on the cooperation of the U.S. authorities. It would be unfortunate if a matter of this nature is politicized.

As was expressed by the Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz, Cuba is willing to continue negotiating all pending bilateral issues with the United States, on the basis of equality and absolute respect for the sovereignty and independence of our country; and maintaining a respectful dialogue and cooperation in areas of common interest with the U.S. government.

Cuba and the United States can cooperate and coexist, respecting their differences and promoting everything that benefits both countries and peoples, but no one should expect Cuba to make concessions that affect its sovereignty and independence.

The lifting and total elimination of the blockade

Mr. President:

The Cuban people will not cease in their legitimate claim for the lifting and total elimination of the economic, commercial and financial blockade and will continue to denounce the strengthening of that policy. On November Cuba will once again present to the United Nations General Assembly the draft Resolution entitled

“Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.” While inequality, the opulence of a few and the marginalization of many are growing in today’s world, the Cuban people will keep up its struggle to achieve the most just society possible. We will continue to steadily advance down the path of revolutionary transformations that has been sovereignly chosen by all Cubans to further improve our socialism.

Thank you, very much.

 

Maduro, Morales Address World Solidarity Summit in Venezuela

Source:  TeleSUR
September 17 2017

Morales: Trump has Surrendered.  We have Won the Battle for the Sovereignty of Venezuela

evo y nicolas sept 2017.jpgThe Bolivian leader has been holding talks with the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. | Photo: Prensa Presidencial

More than 200 delegates  are taking part in the summit which aims to build a common agenda for the coordination of policies in defense of Venezuela’s sovereignty.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales says his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump’s support for dialogue in Venezuela represents a defeat to the empire.

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Speaking at the “We are all Venezuela,” summit in Caracas, Morales said “Since the US president has surrendered, he is supporting the political dialogue in Venezuela, we have won this battle. But as long as there is imperialism and capitalism in the world the struggle continues.”

The Bolivian leader has also been holding talks with Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro at the global solidarity meeting.

Bolivia is one of the countries taking part in the follow-up commission to help reinvigorate the dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition.

The Latin American peoples are anti-imperialist

Morales added that, “The Government of the United States of America threatened military intervention, attacked Venezuela with economic sanctions, and Latin America was revealed, even governments with presidents allied with US interests rejected the idea of ​​military intervention in the United States region, because the Latin American peoples are anti-imperialist.”

But he said the people “will continue to triumph.”

world solidarity day with venezuela 4.jpg

Earlier, the Bolivian president questioned Trump’s double standards on Venezuela in a posting on his Twitter account.

The 13 working groups at the summit have been discussing sovereignty and peace, the struggle against war and imperialism, racial supremacism, discourses of exclusion and hatred, migrants and the fight for universal citizenship, global financial counterrevolution and mother land rights.

More than 200 delegates from around the world are taking part in the three day event which aims to build a common agenda for the coordination of policies in defense of the sovereignty and fundamental rights of Venezuela and other countries in the region.

As part of his weekly “Sundays with Maduro” program, the president reviewed all the countries represented, reiterating that every continent was present to support peace in Venezuela.

Adan Chavez, ANC member and older brother of late President Hugo Chavez, urged the delegates to attend the upcoming debates and plenary sessions to draw up a final program and plan of action.

To reclaim the flag of our liberators

“If in reality, the imperialists went through with the threat of an invasion, we are sure that the people and countries of the world will defend Venezuela. That is putting solidarity in action,” he said.

The President of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly Delcy Rodriguez said there is a “revolution that came from Commandante Chavez to reclaim the flag of our liberators.”

Rodriguez added that attempts have been made by international actors and the domestic right-wing opposition “to implant forms of aggression against the Venezuelan people that have been experienced in other countries like Libya, Syria and Iraq.”