And now, Dominica

Al Grey, greyal2@yahoo.com

December 2 2019

Honduras was a member of ALBA – then, in 2009, there was a coup and the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya was ousted by the military.

Bolivia was a member of ALBA  –   then, a few weeks ago, there was a coup led by the military and the democratically elected President Morales was ousted.  He is now in exile in Mexico.

Under their new leadership both Honduras and Bolivia have withdrawn from ALBA.

Related:  Honduras Coup 10 Years Later: Country in Crisis

chavez y maduro 2Venezuela is a founding member of ALBA.  There have been several failed coup attempts in this country since the days of President Hugo Chavez whose pro-people policies irked the US government.  There has also been a relentless economic war with savage US sanctions, and an ongoing international media campaign of deception against the democratically elected leadership of the country.

Related:  Venezuela Remembers Failed Coup Attempt against Hugo Chavez
Venezuela Rejects Coup-Mongering Calls From the US

miguel diaz 10cCuba is a founding member of ALBA.  Having faced decades of terrorism, including the famed Bay of Pigs invasion, the bombing of hotels and biological warfare, all while facing hostile US economic sanctions which have cost the country billions of dollars, the Trump administration now openly engage in regime change tactics in their vain effort to do what their predecessors have failed to achieve.

Related: Díaz-Canel: Cuba will not renounce its sovereignty or independence

daniel ortega May 2018Nicaragua is a member of ALBA – in the 1980s they were forced in a bloody war against counter-revolutionaries, the Contras, trained and financed by the US.  As noted by Noam Chomsky, “Ronald Reagan used them (the Contras) to launch a large-scale terrorist war against Nicaragua, combined with economic warfare that was even more lethal. We (the US) also intimidated other countries so they wouldn’t send aid either.”

The Contras were defeated.  Only recently, modern day Contras took to the streets destabilizing the country for a few months until the situation was again brought under control by President Daniel Ortega.  Nicaragua remains a member of ALBA, but only after years of bloodshed and destabilization efforts similar to those we are now seeing in Venezuela.

correa slams new mental forms of colonialismEcuador was a member of ALBA until President Raphael Correa (photo) left office.  His successor, Moreno, vice president under Correa, turned back the gained made by Correa and openly embraced anti-people neoliberal policies.  So, there was no need for sanctions, destabilization or a coup. Moreno took on a self -imposed coup status.

The English-speaking members of ALBA are, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

roosevelt skerrit 4

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister Dominica

Recent events in Dominica on the eve of national elections; the blocking of roads, the burning of tyres, the use of social media promoting anti-government sentiments, the popularising of the call for free and fair elections prior to the elections, – all alien to Dominica’s culture – are standard tactics for US-backed coups in the region, and  suggest that the footprints of Washington, fixated on having their lackeys in power, will be seen if we look closely.

Related:  Skerrit calls on UWP and its leadership to end ‘lawlessness’ in Dominica

Related:  Dominica: What Is Behind the Conflict Over Friday’s Elections

According to Wikipedia, countries with observer status in ALBA include Haiti, Syria and Iran while Suriname  was admitted to the organization as a guest country at a February 2012 summit.

Food sovereignty delegation to Venezuela: Come see for yourself!

Source:  Revolucion Alimentaria

October 16 2019

What’s going on right now in Venezuela? Come see for yourself how Venezuelans are coping with US economic sanctions designed to cause a social implosion. Sensationalized reports of Venezuelans eating zoo animals and rotten garbage present a distorted picture of what is happening in Venezuela. The media also omits serious analysis of the role of the food distribution program known as CLAPs run through a government-community partnership reaching millions of Venezuelans. There is no doubt, however, as indicated in a recent report by CEPR, that the US-imposed sanctions are indeed causing collective hardship and even death.

January 3 – 12, 2020

Join us for a special delegation (January 3-12, 2020) dedicated to studying the actual conditions on the ground and the struggle for food security and food sovereignty in Venezuela, at a time when the Donald Trump’s administration has initiated a new series of sanctions against the food programs that Venezuelan state has created 

The Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle of New York, invites historians, artists, videographers, writers, political analysts, health professionals, agricultural production experts and other activists to join a delegation to Caracas, Venezuela this coming January 2020. Witness: communities organizing themselves in the face of manufactured food shortages to grow and distribute their own food; participatory democracy in action through community councils, ‘comunas’ and other forms of citizen organization; community-run art, media, education, health and nutrition efforts; alternative markets and fairs featuring homemade products and agroecologically produced foods; parks, natural areas, historic sites, and other reclaimed public spaces.

Come bear witness to the effects of the economic warfare and the sanctions against the Venezuelan people imposed by Donald Trump’s administration as well as the inspiring resistance to these, as Venezuelans push for food sovereignty in response to crisis. Come see the real “threat” posed by Venezuela – as living proof that another world indeed is possible. As the Venezuelan people assert, “Venezuela is not a threat – we are hope!”

Intellectuals join forces to denounce U.S. attacks on Venezuela

Source:  Granma
September 20 2019

“Your disease is chronic.” Photo: Osval

“Heroic, Bolivarian, revolutionary Venezuela calls upon our sister peoples of the continent and the world,” said Ernesto Villegas, minister of People’s Power for Culture in the nation, during an event held at the Venezuelan embassy in Havana, by the Cuban chapter of the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity (REDH) to support a letter from Venezuelans to UN General Secretary António Guterres and the peoples of the world, which has been co-signed by millions. The campaign is being promoted with the hashtag #noMoretrump.

With the presence of Adam Chávez, Venezuelan ambassador to Cuba; Omar González, president of the Cuban chapter of REDH; Alpidio Alonso, Minister of Culture; Abel Prieto, director of the Martí Program Office; and Pedro Calzadilla, general coordinator of the REDH – who presented the document – the Cuban chapter of the Network joined the international effort to denounce the U.S. blockade and brutal campaign against the homeland of Bolivar, adding its members’ signatures and voices.

“Throughout the country’s history, no Venezuelan government has sent its armed forces to attack anyone, except to free our brothers from the first colonialist invasion,” reads the document that makes explicit with solid arguments that Venezuela is not a threat to anyone, and has never intended to dominate or exploit any people.

The letter demands “an end to this brutal aggression against the homeland,” and that “existing mechanisms for the protection of the Venezuelan people be activated, to ensure that the full right of all its inhabitants to human development and life is guaranteed,” a position with which Cuban intellectuals concur.

Omar González reaffirmed, in the name of the Cuban chapter, their solidarity with Venezuela, for which Adam Chávez expressed gratitude, recalling the role of Fidel and Chávez in establishing the organization.

“Venezuela is today the front line against the fascist wave,” said Abel Prieto, who added that the Network has the urgent task of articulating the efforts for change of all honorable people around the world – who are the majority.

Alpidio Alonso stated that this call is the opportunity we have today to serve. “Every day we must ask ourselves what else we can do to serve Venezuela,” he said and recalled that what happens in that country is also our problem, since the fascist counteroffensive involves us all. “We are called upon to act. It is imperative that everyone knows the truth, so that good and love prevail,” he insisted.

In his heartfelt comments, Villegas conveyed greetings from President Nicolás Maduro to the signatories, while saluting President Miguel Díaz-Canel and the Party. Aware that intellectuals and artists are the vanguard of the people’s sensibility, he said, “There is nothing strange about them being the first to the line of combat, when they are summoned.”

“Only an insensitive person could be indifferent to what the planet is experiencing. The Venezuelan cause, like that of revolutionary Cuba, is the cause of humanity,” he concluded.

The blockade is more than the Helms-Burton and the Helms-Burton is more than Title III

Source:  Granma
May 7 2019

A panel of experts dissects the infamous law during a public hearing called by the Association of Cuban Jurists and the Cuban United Nations Association

Author: Raúl Antonio Capote | informacion@granmai.cu

the blockade ismore than the Helms Burton.jpg

Photo: Juvenal Balán

Members of Cuban civil society, intellectuals, journalists, and students gathered on May 3 in Havana, in a public hearing convened by the Association of Cuban Jurists and the Cuban United Nations Association to discuss the activation of the Helms-Burton Act’s Title III, a law that violates the principle of sovereignty, and seeks to destroy our nation and subordinate it to the power of a foreign government.

The public hearing was held at the Higher Institute of International Relations in the Cuban capital and featured a panel that included Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, former president of the National Assembly; attorney Rodolfo Dávalos; Luis Solá Vila, president of the Cuban Society of Public International Law; and Johana Tablada, deputy general director for the United States at Cuba’s Foreign Ministry.

Professor Solá Vila clarified in his speech that the Helms-Burton Act should be viewed as a whole, “not only Title III, but the complete law, from the first letter to the last.”

He reminded those present that on July 6, 1960, the President of the United States announced the cancellation of Cuba’s sugar quota in that country’s market, a heavy blow to the Cuban economy, based on a single product and dependent on sales to the U.S.

Days later, the administration decreed an oil embargo, and the Revolutionary Government responded to these measures in kind, with nationalizations.

johana tablada.jpgJohana Tablada warned that we are facing a dangerous context, in which the current U.S. government seeks “to cause the greatest possible damage to Cuba in the shortest time possible,” and will not be satisfied with full application of the Helms-Burton.

They need to blame someone for their failures in Venezuela, justify their mistakes, said Tablada: “The battle today in Venezuela is also the battle for Cuba.”

They are in a hurry, they are fighting against time, she said, they use any pretext to “cause the greatest harm.”

The U.S. knows they have everything against them and “cannot break the level of support for Cuba even within the U.S.” she stressed.

She recalled the alleged “sonic attacks” on U.S. diplomats in Cuba, a blatant lie kept alive to attract the attention of the public. In Latin America this lesson has been learned, she added. Fidel, Chávez, Evo, Correa, Cristina, Lula, left a deep mark very difficult to erase, she insisted, adding, “History is on our side.”

Rodolfo DávalosProfessor Rodolfo Dávalos made it clear that the nationalizations were conducted in full compliance with the law. “What is illegal,” he said, “is an extraterritorial law like the Helms-Burton.”

Lawsuits recently filed in Miami courts may take months to resolve, perhaps years, he explained. Lawyers for the companies targeted are already taking steps to respond.

“Are these courts competent? Can there be an impartial jury in Miami?” asked Gerardo Hernández, decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba, adding, “I know what I’m talking about,” referring to the trials of the Five Cuban anti-terrorists in that city.

Ricardo Alarcón emphasized the importance of not letting the corporate media impose the agenda, recalling the beginning of the blockade: “Kennedy was said to have started it in 1962, other dates are also cited without much meaning, but the reality is that it began January 1, 1959.”

Alarcón also referred to the thieves who made off with the country’s money in 1959. They are the ones now demanding compensation for the property they left behind in Cuba.

He called on participants to study, to read the Helms-Burton Law in its entirety. “We are a free and sovereign country, and a foreign nation has no right to dictate laws against Cuba,” he emphasized.

Cuba: For Peace and Against War

Source:  Granma
May 3 2019

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

by: Bertha Mojena Milián | internet@granma.cu

rising up against imperialism 1.jpg

Photo: Dunia Álvarez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adan Chavez

Adan Chavez

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

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

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

gail walker.jpg

Gail Walker

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

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

lula da silva 3c.jpg

Lula da Silva

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

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

Russia Puts Up Strong Support for Venezuela

Source:  Prensa latina

May 6 2019

Lavrov y Arreaza.jpgRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Venezuelan peer Jorge Arreaza,
Russia has made clear it supports the legitimate and constitutional government of President Nicolas Maduro after the failed US-backed coup attempt of April 30.
After meeting on Sunday in Moscow with his Venezuelan peer, Jorge Arreaza, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov underscored Moscow’s support for Maduro administration ‘principled, consistent and firm’.‘We now see an unprecedented campaign, led by the United States, to overthrow the legitimate authorities of Venezuela. We condemn this campaign for violating the principles of international law,’ Lavrov stressed.

Lavrov further said Russia never meddles in the domestic affairs of other states, ‘and we urge all others to act precisely like this’, he added.

Attempts at a forced change of power in Venezuela undermine the crisis settlement process and carry a risk of catastrophe, the Russian minister warned.

Attempts to forcibly change the government in Caracas, of course, have nothing to do with the democratic process, but only hamper the prospects for a political settlement of the crisis, and the continuation of this line is fraught with the most serious consequences’, Lavrov added.

He stressed that Moscow condemns the unprecedented US campaign aimed at overthrowing the legitimate Venezuelan government.

The minister went on to say that Moscow and Caracas are set to strengthen their strategic cooperation.

Venezuela has been trapped in a political crisis since January, when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president, challenging the outcome of the country’s last presidential election.

The move was promptly backed by the United States, which vowed to support Guaido and imposed a row of sanctions against the Latin American country, seizing billions of dollars’ worth of the country’s oil assets, Sputnik News recalled.

Moreover, a number of senior US officials, including President Donald Trump, have repeatedly stated that all options remain on the table with regard to the Venezuelan crisis, including military action.

Maduro: Loyal Military Defeated the Coup Attempt

Dear military comrades of the General Staff, I would like to congratulate you for the courageous loyal and enormously wise attitude with which you have led the resolution and the defeat of the small group that tried to fill with violence in the coup plot and I ask the people of Venezuela to give a round of  applause to the national Bolivarian armed forces, who are loyal, firm, obedient disciplined and who serve the constitution and the commander in chief. [Applause]  (Google translation)