Colombia: Another Social Leader Killed in Nariño

Source: TeleSur
September 6 2020

 Relatives cry over a coffin of body of Sebastian Quintero, another victim in Samaniego, Colombia), August 17, 2020.

by Arnold August

Thus far this year, 205 social leaders have been killed in this Latin American country.

Indigenous organizations Saturday denounced the murder of Juan Pablo Prado, a social leader who was killed in the Municipality of Tumaco, Nariño Department.

RELATED:  Colombia: New Massacre in El Cauca Leaves 3 People Dead

According to Colombia’s  Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC), the social leader was killed near the school where he worked on September 6 by unidentified men who shot him at least three times. 

Francisco Cortez Guanga, governor of the Piguambí Palangana council said Prado had previously received death threats, and that he had been persecuted. 

“He was killed near the school, in the place where he arrived to park his car. He received death threats before, and in recent days he was a victim of persecution,” Piguambi Palangana Council’s governor Francisco Cortez

RELATED: Colombia: Armed Groups Kill Another Social Leader in Antioquia

“He supported the indigenous guard, he also supported various scenarios within the indigenous reservation. He was attentive to the mobilizations, he was a man who was fully involved in the dreams of the education of the AWA people and their reservation,” Cortez added.

Juan Pablo was originally from the Kokonuco Cauca community but arrived in the Awa Indigenous community various years ago to become a teacher. He first started out as a guide and a counselor for kids in the region. 

So far this year, 14 members of this Indigenous Community have been murdered and 205 social leaders have been killed in Colombia. 

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

Source: Dominica News
December 3 2019

Prime Minister Skerrit (FILE)

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has called on the leader of the opposition Lennox Linton, former Prime Minister of Dominica and Edison James to bring an end to what he describes as “lawlessness” in the country.

His call came during an address to the nation on Monday night.

The 2019 General Election is scheduled to be held in three (3) days and there’s been protests action in the country in which a number of citizens expressing their desire for electoral reform for free and fair elections – a demand which the United Workers Party (UWP)  and the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) have been spearheading for a long time.

Videos on social media showed residents of Marigot which is represented in parliament by UWP leader Lennox Linton, blocking main roads in Marigot and burning debris on the streets.

“I am calling on Lennox Linton, Edison James and the UWP to bring an end to this lawlessness,” he remarked. “I am calling on them to tell their supporters to stop.”

Skerrit continued, “I am calling on Linton and the UWP to put Dominica first.”

He said the government of Dominica has every confidence that local security forces are fully competent and committed to exercise in the skills and restraint required in the face of these acts of provocation.

“They will maintain safety and law and order in our country,” Skerrit stated. “They will not let the situation get out of hand and a few people tarnish Dominica’s good name.”

He reminded everyone that the laws under which these elections are taking place have governed national elections in Dominica, “No matter which party was in government or opposition.”

“In 41 years of Independence Dominica elections have always been free and fair, this time will be no different,” Skerrit indicated.

Meantime, he said that the DLP cancelled all political meetings last night.

“We take this step, not because of widespread violence or the breakdown of national law and order, which there is not, but because it is the prudent and cautious course of action in light of today’s political developments,” he said.

Skerrit continued, “We are taking this precaution to ensure that innocent Dominicans going about their business and labour’s supporters attending public meetings do not fall victim to supporters of the United Workers Party.”

He said further, that as a mature and responsible political party, the DLP is concerned about the well-being of all Dominicans.

“We will not put a single individual in harm’s way or at risk,” Skerrit said.


President Nicolas Maduro Accuses US’ Bolton Of Preparing A Plot Against Him

December 12 2018

“Today I come again to denounce the plot that the white house is preparing to violate Venezuela’s democracy to assassinate me and to impose a dictatorial government in Venezuela. Mr. John Bolton has been assigned again as head of the plan of the plot to fill Venezuela with violence Venezuela and to seek a foreign military intervention a coup d’état assassinate President Maduro and impose what they call a transitory government council.”   President Nicolas Maduro

Gun Control will Not Cure a Society that Produces Monstrous Behavior

Source:  Dear Kitty Some Blog / The Real News Network


PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay. In a previous interview with Dr. Gerald Horne, we discussed how guns, and God, and country are all part of the religious faith of the far right in the United States. The idea that guns and the individual right to defend oneself is more an act of faith than an act of logic, when one actually works through the arguments of how one actually achieves public safety, but there’s a reason why, or some reasons why, I think, that a lot of ordinary people can believe in such a faith, because part of that faith is a recognition of the decay of values in the society, the chaos in society, the violence in society. A lot of that is attributed — by such people who believe in these things — to the Democratic Party, and the intellectual elites, as they see them, the elites in the Democratic Party. I frankly think there’s something to that argument.Now joining me to discuss that again is Dr. Gerald Horne. Dr. Horne holds the John J. and Rebecca Moore Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. His latest book is The Counterrevolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. Thanks for joining me again, Gerald.

GERALD HORNE: Thank you.

PAUL JAY: When one looks at what’s happened to a large extent in popular culture, certainly what’s happened in terms of the growing inequality gap in terms of economics, ordinary working people who had some sense of stability from an economy that used to be far more reliable, and with that ideological and institutional beliefs that seemed far more reliable, and a lot of that seems up in the air now. People feel very threatened, both economically and in terms of their core beliefs. They feel like this society doesn’t believe in much of anything anymore.That leads, I think, leads people with some legitimacy to think that a lot of the leadership of the Democratic Party and their promises are such hypocrisy, and that some of this violence needs to be laid on their doorstep. When the charge for gun control is led by that leadership of the Democratic Party, it feels hypocritical, because they’re not dealing with some of the conditions that lead to so much mental illness, so much psychosis in this society. The numbers of these mass shootings are certainly increasing. This feeling that society’s spinning out of control, and that the Democratic Party leadership has a lot to do with that, and of course that gets exaggerated, because it’s not like when the Republicans are in power it’s better, but this all gets manipulated a lot. Anyway, what are your thoughts, Dr. Horne?GERALD HORNE: I would say that there are profound sociological reasons for what is occurring with regard to mass shootings. First of all, consider the fact that overwhelmingly and disproportionately those who pull the trigger are men. We should not take that for granted. We should instead seek to analyze why that might be the case, and it does not take an expert in sociology to quickly arrive at the conclusion that many men in this country have been unsettled by the changing role of gender in this country, by the enhanced role and authority of women, by the rise of feminism. There hasn’t been an adequate ventilation and discussion of this particular question, and as a result, it has left many men without any kind of understanding of what’s going on in the society in which they’re operating, leading men, as the saying goes, many men at least, to cling with bitterness to their guns.Secondly, with regard to foreign policy, I find it quite striking that a central aspect of U.S. foreign policy in recent decades has not only been war, that is to say settling political and sociological problems from the barrel of a gun, be it Libya, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, but also helping to fuel a certain kind of religious zealotry, particularly in pre-1979 Afghanistan, and not least in pre-2011 Libya, and then of course that particular phenomenon comes home to roost with the killing in Texas engineered by Nidal Hasan, the killing at the Pulse nightclub, for example. That general idea of settling political and sociological problems through the barrel of a gun should not be thought of as just an exemplar of religious zealots such as Nidal Hasan in Texas. It’s part of the U.S. culture, as noted in our previous segment, going back to European settlement in the 1600s.PAUL JAY: Look at Hollywood movies and television shows, at the number of movies and shows that glorify the most outlandish amounts of killing and slaughtering. That’s not new. We’ve had decades of that kind of culture developing. Again, I go to ordinary working people that buy into this kind of God, gun, and country ideology. It’s a legitimate concern when they look at what the kind of stuff that Hollywood produces, the level of violence of it, but I also think one of the points that the NRA woman made had a kernel of truth to it. I mean in the town hall CNN organized. According to her, there were 39 points where the young man that did the shooting was in connection with the state or social agencies in some ways, whether it was the police force or some kind of social agencies, and they kept diagnosing him as having mental illness. They saw some of his very threatening posts on social media.DANA LOESCH: We have to start, number one, following up on red flags. 39 times in the past year, it was law enforcement or it was social services that went to this individual’s home.PAUL JAY: The irony of her statement is, she supports — and the NRA and that right –precisely supports the kind of politics that cuts back on social services, that cuts back on mental healthcare, that cuts back on public health interventions. The lack of interventions in the schools, which is partly a resource question and partly a lack of agenda, but the number of severely depressed, disturbed kids that simply go through school … Now, most of them don’t shoot anybody, but often they shoot themselves. Suicide rates are also skyrocketing. It’s not just about mass shootings.Why is there such an opiate epidemic? This society is sick. The people who only focus on gun control, and here again I would point to the leadership of the Democratic Party and much of the liberal class that think gun control is the answer, without dealing with the issue of the rot in the society that is so screwing up people’s heads that massive drug addiction, deep depression, high suicide rates … We talk about that healthy society, and yes, of course, let’s also talk about gun control, but not to talk about the rest, that is hypocrisy.GERALD HORNE: First of all, with regard to Hollywood, it’s well known, point A, that that particular industry, in the film and television, has a more than normalized complement of executives at the top who tend to be campaign donors to the Democratic Party. Point B, as your comment suggested, the cultural products that they produce tend to glorify violence. Then point C is that the ratings agencies are much more willing to censor, if you like, scenes of sexuality as opposed to scenes of violence, and let ‘er rip when it comes to scenes of violence.Then there’s the question of mental health, which is quite tricky, because on the one hand, it would be a mistake, as the Republicans are tending to do, to lay this tragedy at the doorstep of mental illness. As suggested, there are many people who have mental problems who do not necessarily pick up an AR-15, and march into a public school, and mow people down. At the same time, the Republicans are pleading inconsistent accounts, as the lawyers like to say, because on the one hand they’re trying to point the finger of accusation at mental health. On the other hand, they’re defunding government programs that address mental health. Obviously, they can’t have it both ways. They are pleading inconsistent accounts, and certainly they need to be held to account for their inconsistent hypocrisy.PAUL JAY: This thing that this NRA woman says at the town hall, where she over and over again called this young man, the shooter, a monster, “He’s a monster.”DANA LOESCH: I don’t believe that this insane monster should have ever been able to obtain a firearm. This monster carrying bullets to school, carrying bullets to school …PAUL JAY: No, he’s another child of ours. He’s one of our kids. He wasn’t born a monster. If what he did was monstrous, not if, what he did was monstrous — but how does he become that kind of monster? She doesn’t want to deal with that whatsoever. She wants to demonize him. It’s virtually back to this good and evil argument. Somehow he’s an evil seed, and the good — God, guns, country — we need to go get these monsters. Of course, to do that, we need our guns.GERALD HORNE: I think what you’re saying is another problem, as well, which is that it’s well known that in this country, when there are prickly and tricky political and sociological problems, there is a tendency not to analyze the society, the soil from which these problems grow, but to denounce individual proxies. You see that in particular with regard to what happens in the black community, for example. That is to say, rather than denouncing white supremacy, or the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, ongoing racism, etc., there is a laser-like focus on the imagined frailties and debilities, for example, of single black mothers.You see that as not necessarily isolated with regard to the black community. You see this also with regard to this question of mass shootings. Rather than do a historical analysis of European settlement, and colonialism, and dispossession of Native Americans, which would then lead to an indictment of society, it’s much easier to affix individual blame on a particular teenager, as is happening in Florida as we speak.PAUL JAY: Just to pick up on something you said, in terms of the history of this ideology of the right to have a gun, and how connected it is with the God, and country, and so on, it wasn’t all that long ago it was considered a right by a lot of Southerners, white Southerners, they have a right to lynch black people.GERALD HORNE: Sure. Once again, there is a reluctance to dig too deeply with regard to the nettlesome problems of this society. You see this, as you have suggested a moment or two ago, with regard to some of the liberals on Capitol Hill. That is to say, when there is a kind of tragedy that has just unfolded in Florida, the mantra is, “That’s not who we are.” That is to say, “This is not a problem of these United States of America and the kind of society that has developed over the decades and centuries ago.” If you take that particular point of view, that leaves you with an individual analysis of looking at the real and imagined problems of individuals, which fundamentally does not get you anywhere, because it does not lead to profound and sweeping changes of society, which is so desperately needed in this country.PAUL JAY: Yeah, it leads to more shootings in schools. Thanks very much for joining us, Gerald.GERALD HORNE: Thank you.PAUL JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

Far from peaceful Venezuelan opposition groups

far from peaceful protests in venezuela.jpg

Evidence shared on social media indicates that there are no peaceful opposition demonstrations taking place. Photo: TELESUR

Source: Prensa Latina(PL) |
July 3, 2017 09:07:06

In recent weeks, the actions of extremists linked to the self-styled MUD have been marked by vandalism

Caracas.- Recent months have shown that demonstrations by opposition groups in Venezuela are far from peaceful, despite their organizers claiming the opposite.

In recent weeks, the actions unleashed by extremists linked to the self-styled Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), have been marked by vandalism, as seen on Friday, June 23, when they burned vehicles near an air base located in Miranda state.

Three articulated trucks for transporting food, and a Bolivarian National Police (PNB) vehicle were set on fire in the vicinity of the Generalísimo Francisco de Miranda air base, known as La Carlota.

Violent groups

These violent groups have maintained a siege on this military installation for several days, and according to testimony broadcast by the Zurda Konducta program on Venezolana de Televisión, two drivers of these vehicles confirmed that the instigators wielded firearms.

Emiliano Pulido, one of the drivers, explained, “They grabbed my son and me and stopped us with pistols in hand. I was kidnapped by three hooded people; I was brought down from the truck by a blow and at gunpoint. They had 9mm pistols, and if I’m not mistaken, they had rifles.”

According to official figures, since April the violence instigated by extreme sectors of the opposition has left more than 70 people dead, over 1,400 injured, and cost millions in damages to public and private property.

Social media showed groups of violent demonstrators

Evidence shared on social media indicates that there are no peaceful opposition demonstrations taking place. On Thursday, June 22, as on previous days, photos and videos posted showed groups of violent demonstrators in different parts of the country carrying out actions such as those at La Carlota.

In this regard, Minister for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace, Néstor Reverol, tweeted that the siege of La Carlota is recurrent; in total no less than ten attacks have been carried out by these violent groups against the military base.

Despite the nature of these protests and the damages caused to military installations, Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) authorities have ruled out the use of arms to repel the attack, in response to orders from the government, to avoid even greater destruction.

Plan Zamora

The attitude of the military contrasts with the actions of these groups, who use homemade explosives, stones, bottles, gunshots, Molotov cocktails and other devices to wreak havoc.

Meanwhile, the La Carlota air base is not the only military facility to have been attacked. In the state of Táchira, it was necessary to deploy the Plan Zamora, a strategic and operational plan activated for the security and defense of the nation in case of threats to internal order.

This decision was made after violent elements burned the Vásquez artillery group of the Bolivarian Army, based in the city of San Cristóbal, whose command headquarters was besieged by 80 to 100 people.

President Maduro reiterated his rejection of violence

“The attack was directed to where the gas cylinders are. Can you imagine what a Molotov could do to a gas cylinder, where there is ammunition, explosives, weapons, right in the center of the city?” stated Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López in condemning the attacks.

Likewise, on June 12, the Paramacay Fort was attacked, home to the Army’s 41st Armored Brigade, located in the La Granja sector of the municipality of Naguanagua, Carabobo state. A total of 30 people were arrested and several were injured, including four state security officials.

Despite this hostile atmosphere, and continued calls for violence, President Nicolás Maduro has reiterated his rejection of the violence promoted by certain extremist sectors of the opposition, and the commitment of the Bolivarian Government and the FANB to work to consolidate peace. (PL)

Ecuador Opposition Resorts to Violence…Again

Source:  TeleSUR

Demonstrators clash with the police during a march in QuitoThe pattern is clear in countries in Latin America run by progressive governments working to reduce inequality, poverty and hunger.  The pattern starts with a small group of right-wing persons finding a reason to ‘protest’.  They then lead a minority to join them in this ‘protest’.  A section of this ‘protest’ then turns violent.  One can never be sure if, as has been done in some marches in the US, agent provocateurs, were planted among the protesters to incite this violence.

See more photos here

One objective of the violence is to create martyrs whose deaths can be used to strengthen the ‘protests’.  Another objective of the violence is to create vivid footage for the corporate controlled international media which then (i) gives their viewers worldwide the impression that the democratically elected president of the country is a ‘dictator’ who is very unpopular and has to resort to violence against his/her own people; (ii) projects the affected country as being out of control and (iii)  prepares their viewers for a possible invasion by external forces.

If these protests do not lead to a coup, then the oligarchy and their international allies  hope to use their general destabilization plans to weaken the president’s support which they hope will be reflected at the next elections.


Ecuador fits this pattern.  After weeks of right-wing protests, many of which turned violent, against Ecuador’s progressive Rafael Correa government, Thursday saw a new wave of actions organised by opposition-aligned union and Indigenous groups.

The right-wing protests were initially against the government’s plans to increase taxes on the wealthy, but soon they were upgraded to demanding Correa leave office, a call again heard Thursday.  Then, as if following a script, some of the protesters showed their willingness to use violence as part of a strategy to destabilize a government elected by 57% of the population and one whose president is among the top 5 most popular presidents in the world according to a survey done by the Association of Political Communication.

Why would the average young person in Ecuador take to the street in such a violent manner in defense of  the very small minority who will be taxed so that more benefits can go to the people?

Source:  Ecuador Opposition Resorts to Violence…Again  TeleSUR

El Salvador: Government of El Salvador Warns Against ‘Movement for a Coup’

Source:  TeleSUR
28 July 2015

President Salvador Sánchez Cerén2El Salvador’s left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party administration has denounced a right-wing destabilization campaign seeking to oust the democratically elected government of President Salvador Sánchez Cerén.

Speaking on the President’s weekly radio show, “Governing with the People,” on July 18, Communications Secretary Eugenio Chicas warned that “the country’s right-wing, and presumably the [Nationalist Republican Alliance] ARENA party — they will have to clarify it — have launched a campaign on social media” that “seeks to transfer destabilization campaigns that have been undertaken in Ecuador, in Venezuela, and in other countries” to El Salvador.

Clear signs of destabilization

El Salvador’s Auxiliary archbishop Monseñor Rosa Chávez affirmed that there are “clear signs of destabilization efforts against the government of the FMLN.”

The campaign launched on social media is known as Mano Negra, or Black Hand, a name reminiscent of the infamous 1970s death squad, Mano Blanca (White Hand). “This is a movement for a coup d’état,” said FMLN’s Chicas, against “a government of the people, a legal government, a legitimate government that fights every day for the interests of the population.”

Expanding universal health care and education

Sánchez Cerén, elected in March 2014, has continued the work of expanding universal health care and education against a backdrop of homicides and violence, including what is increasingly being seen as a war between the police and the country’s major gangs.

In 2015, murders in El Salvador reached historic highs, including targeted attacks against the police and armed forces, in what Police Chief Mauricio Landaverde called a deliberate campaign to drive up body counts.   The recent spike in gang-related violent homicides seems to be subsiding, however, a fact that the administration attributes to law enforcement efforts.

With murder rates on the decline, at least temporarily, on July 27 and 28 imprisoned gang leadership called for a halt of El Salvador’s privately-operated mass transit services, threatening violence against drivers. Several private companies responded by freezing dozens of bus routes in the San Salvador metropolitan area.

Criminal and political intentions that coincide

“This is a destabilizing plan of a terrorist nature,” declared Gerson Martínez, Minister of Public Works. In response, the government has effected the transfer of several gang leaders found to have ordered the transit halt into maximum security facilities.      “There are criminal and political intentions that coincide,” said FMLN Secretary-General and legislator Medardo González. “Underneath it all, there is an oligarchy in this country that has not accepted the governance of an administration that our constitution mandates.”

The FMLN released a statement earlier this month describing “an aggressive campaign by the oligarchic Right, represented politically by ARENA and disguised as small supposed civil society groups” that has used “rumors and lies [and] distorted reality though its media with the purpose of spreading uncertainty, misinformation and concealing the government works that benefit the population.”

Planned attack against the Presidential Palace

The FMLN cited several recent rumors that had been circulating on social media in El Salvador that were quickly picked up by the conservative mainstream media, including that of an alleged gang attack planned against the Presidential Palace on July 10 and a call for a march against the Sánchez Cerén administration on July 18, which was later abandoned. The FMLN also warned that the Salvadoran right-wing hopes to capitalize on anti-corruption movements in neighboring Guatemala and Honduras in its ongoing attempt to unseat the government by painting it as a failed state.

In contrast to Guatemala and Honduras, recent mobilizations in El Salvador have expressed support for the government, including a July 18 rally at the site where opposition groups had convened a march against the government that was subsequently called off.

The right-wing ARENA party, in turn, has filed suit against FMLN Communications Secretary Chicas for defamation and sent a letter to the Organization of American States decrying the FMLN’s accusations and calling for a special mission to “evaluate the political situation [and] the state of democracy” in the country.

Alexis Stoumbelis is co-director of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) and is based in Washington, DC.

Source:  Government of El Salvador Warns Against ‘Movement for a Coup’ 0  TeleSUR

Venezuela: Destabilization continues – violent looting leaves one dead

August 1 2015
by JSC

Governor of Bolivar state Francisco Rangel explained that the looting was politically motivated

Governor of Bolivar state Francisco Rangel explained that the looting was politically motivated

Efforts to undermine the government of the democratically elected president Nicolas Maduro continued in Venezuela on Friday (July 31) in Bolivar state with the looting of a supermarket warehouse and other shops in the south-eastern city of Ciudad Guayana.  A fruit and vegetable worker died near the violence as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest, local media reported.

For some time now Latin American leaders have expressed their concern over the clear destabilization activities in Venezuela which came to a head early last year when right-wing violence captured some sections of the country and their actions given sensational and misleading publicity in the mainstream US press.

Regional blocs like ALBA and CELAC have condemned the Chile-style onslaught on Venezuela (and now Ecuador) expressing the desire to maintain the Havana, CELAC declaration which stated: “We declare Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace based on respect for the principles and rules of International Law, including the international instruments to which Member States are a party to, the Principles and Purposes of the United Nations Charter”.

Raul:  Solidarity with President Maduro in the face of destabilization

On July 15,  in his address at the closure of the National Assembly of People’s Power Eighth Legislature’s Fifth Period of Ordinary Sessions, Cuban President Raul Castro stated “I must reiterate our solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and the government headed by President Nicolás Maduro, in the face of destabilization attempts and any act of external intervention. We were pleased to learn of the results of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela’s primary elections, while we are carefully following the dialogue underway between this country and the United States.”

Raul:  We notice an imperialistic and oligarchic offensive

“We denounce the destabilization campaigns against the government of President Rafael Correa and the Citizen’s Revolution in Ecuador, to which we confirm Cuba’s solidarity . . . We notice that an imperialist and oligarchic offensive has been put into practice against Latin American revolutionary and progressive processes, which will be decisively confronted by our peoples.”

The record of the Chavista government in its effort to rid the country of poverty, to significantly reduce inequality and generally to improve the quality of life of the poor is commendable.

Venezuela:  A remarkable reduction in poverty

According to Harvard Review of Latin America “Venezuela has seen a remarkable reduction in poverty since the first quarter of 2003. In the ensuing four years, from 2003 to 2007, the poverty rate was cut in half, from 54 percent of households to 27.5 percent. This is measured from the first half of 2003 to the first half of 2007. … Extreme poverty fell even more, by 70 percent—from 25.1 percent of households to 7.6 percent.

These poverty rates measure only cash income; … they do not include non-cash benefits to the poor such as access to health care or education.”

More recently, UN statistics showed that in 2012 Latin America led the world in poverty reduction and Venezuela led the region in this commendable achievement.  And in March 2015, Alicia Barcena, executive secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), praised Venezuela for its efforts to eradicate poverty in the country. “What you are doing here, the concept of going out into the (low-income) neighborhoods, to the places where there is the most poverty, it is an excellent proposal that should be examined by other countries,” said Barcena.

UN praises Venezuela’s accomplishments in gender equality

Venezuela’s accomplishments under the Chavistas are not limited to poverty reduction.  At the 59th United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva, Switzerland, chairperson Nicole Ameline praised Venezuela’s efforts and success in increasing gender equality.

According to 2013 data, 48 percent of positions employed by the Venezuelan state are currently occupied by women. Comparatively, only 16 percent of public office positions in the United States are held by women.

In addition, 55 percent of grassroots government, such as communes and communal councils, is led by women.

Among the presidential councils, a unique representational mechanism, 486 women’s organizations actively participate nationwide.

Over 675,000 houses handed over to the poor in the last four years in Venezuela

In Venezuela education and health is free for all citizens and, up to February 2015, the Venezuelan government had built and handed out 675,991 homes in the last four years, in the Great Venezuelan Housing Mission.

This Mission (GMVV) began in 2010 under the leadership of former President Hugo Chavez to provide homes for families affected and displaced by landslides from heavy rains. Since its introduction, the program expanded to resolve Venezuela’s housing deficit.

Through the program, families are provided with the houses – equipped with all appliances and furniture – and the titles to the property, free of cost.

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela keeps winning at the polls

Despite all this; in fact, because of all this development for the poor, there are those who would like to reverse the process started by Hugo Chavez.  However, they have not been able to do so through the ballot as the ruling party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, has consistently won national elections since Chavez became President.  In addition, they cannot claim that elections were rigged as, according to past US president Carter: “As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world” said Carter.

Having failed consistently to remove the socialist government from office through elections, the local oligarchy, backed by imperialism, has resorted to destabilizing the country.  One form of destabilization which, among others, was successfully used in Chile and Jamaica was to hoard basic consumer items like cooking oil, bread and flour and to blame the government for the shortages, price increases and general dislocation which this created.

The looting is politically motivated

Hence, we should fully understand when Venezuela’s state governor Francisco Rangel, from the ruling Socialist Party, said the looting was politically motivated. Rangel explained that a “gang” of 40 people on motorbikes fired their guns in the area and incited people to rob the shops. “A group of armed motorcyclists arrived and said they were going to loot certain establishments,” he told Venezuelan television station Globovision.

“I’m sure it wasn’t spontaneous but rather planned with a political motive.”  The governor said more than two dozen people were arrested in connection with the looting and added that there was no excuse for the behaviour. “No one is starving,” he said.

Venezuela has been grappling with worsening shortages of basic goods like cooking oil and flour.

Maduro:  The violence was premeditated

President Nicolas Maduro also maintained that the violence was premeditated and blamed the US for being behind it.   Maduro said US General John Kelly, Marine Corps commander of the Southern Command, had predicted in February that there would be a “social implosion” in Venezuela in July.

The incident comes as Venezuela is facing shortages of key goods, with the government arguing that business sectors are causing most of the shortages in order to delegitimize the government and to make large profits.

Maduro said that he was sending the Liberation of the People Operative (OLP) to Bolivar state to catch those he blamed for the crime, which he described as “mercenary groups, paramilitaries, and infiltrators.”

Destabilization attempts

He said that during the violence a publicly owned Yutong bus was also attacked, and he called on Venezuelans to be alert to “violent groups who try to provoke chaos in the country.”

According to the local newspaper El Correo del Caroni, Gustavo Patinez was shot 60 meters from the main site of looting. Four shops were looted and wrecked, and a cereal transport truck was also attacked.

Over the last two years, sectors of the Venezuelan opposition have organized violent blockades, known as “guarimbas.” The blockades saw 43 people killed last year.  It also stopped food trucks from reaching populations and stopped people from getting to hospitals, schools, and work. Numerous public buses, bus stops, and food trucks have also been destroyed, usually by being set on fire.

Businesses also often force people to line up to buy basic foods, though organized communities have found that the lines are often unnecessary and add to a general feeling of insecurity, economic chaos, and distrust in the political stability of the country.


Ecuador: Disturbing Video Incites Police Rebellion Against President Correa

Source:  TeleSUR

26 June 2015

A disturbing new video has surfaced encouraging the Ecuadorean police force to join destabilization efforts against the left-wing president, Rafael Correa.

The video, which appears to incite rebellion among the ranks of the Ecuadorean police department, is particularly alarming due to the role of the police in a 2010 coup attempt against President Rafael Correa.

Correa, who has served as President since 2007, has consistently had approval ratings of over 60 percent, making him one of the region's most popular leaders

Correa, who has served as President since 2007, has consistently had approval ratings of over 60 percent, making him one of the region’s most popular leaders

The call for rebellion among the ranks of the Ecuadorean police department is particularly alarming due to the police role in a 2010 coup attempt.

RELATED: Read more about the 2010 coup and the right-wing attack on Ecuador’s democracy

Protests led by the defeated right-wing politicians

In recent weeks, a wave of protests, initially against tax hikes on the wealthiest, have demanded the ousting of the elected progressive president.   The protests have been led by right-wing politicians linked to the old governing powers, swept from office by Rafael Correa’s election victory in 2007.

The 2010 coup attempt saw the military and the police conspire in events that saw the president injured and later detained against his will. Five people died and, in released recordings, police officers can be heard screaming “Kill the President”, “Kill Correa.” The president was ultimately rescued by loyal sections of the military and returned to the presidential palace, where thousands had gathered to show their support for the government.

After the failure of the previous coup attempt, numerous police officers were convicted and sentenced for their involvement in the mutiny. According to a 2014 report from the Police Inspector’s Office, a total of 600 police members were removed from their posts between 2013 and 2014 due to corruption and organised-crime related activities.

 CIA accused of lending support to the country’s security institutions 

Following the failed coup in 2010, both President Correa and Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño accused the CIA of lending support to the country’s security institutions including the Ecuadorean police.

Correa, who has served as President since 2007, has consistently had approval ratings of over 60 percent, making him one of the region’s most popular leaders.

The events of Sept. 30, 2010, echoed many others in Latin America’s past, when force was used to remove elected heads of state.

The images below show the police and military role in the 2010 coup. Our full gallery is here:

ecuador 2010 coup 1

ecuador 2010 2

Source:  Disturbing Video Incites Police Rebellion Against Ecuador’s President Correa  TeleSUR

Venezuela Legislator Gives Details on Thwarted Coup

The teleSUR Caracas headquarters was one of the strategic areas the alleged coup plotters planned to attack.

Diosdado Cabello provided details Thursday night about the coup attempt. | Photo: teleSUR

Published 13 February 2015 (14 hours 48 minutes ago)

dioscabo cabello

Venezuelan National Assembly head Diosdado Cabello revealed the details Thursday night of what the government says was a “thwarted coup.” His public announcement followed one earlier by President Nicolas Maduro.

People were allegedly going to be killed during the marches

Cabello and Maduro said the plan was financed from the U.S. and was to be carried out early Thursday during the anniversary of the start of the violent opposition blockades last year and marches today by the country’s youth. People were allegedly going to be killed during the marches, while strategic targets would have been bombed in an attempt to overthrow the Maduro government.

Cabello said it was important to inform the people of the plans and names of people involved in the attempt, which he said included a small group of civilians and airforce officials. He said that thanks to the actions of state security and intelligence officials, various people and their equipment were detained and confiscated, including a computer with the “tactical objectives of the coup group.”

Cabello showed a map, which he explained came from that computer, that had various buildings marked as “tactical objectives,” including the Miraflores Palace, the justice ministry, the teleSUR building, the National Electoral Council (CNE), and the military intelligence headquarters.

cabello showing the mapThe buildings they planned to attack:

– teleSUR headquarters (east Caracas)

– Headquarters of the Military Intelligence (DIM) 

– Plaza Venezuela

– Metro station Zona Rental (center of Caracas)

– Ministry of Defense (center of Caracas)

– Caracas municipality building (west)

– Miraflores palace (national government and presidential headquarters)

– Public Prosecutor’s office (center of Caracas)

Caracas Mayor Jorge Rodriguez also participated in the public announcement, and he stated that it was opposition legislator Julio Borges who chose the buildings.

“Legislator Julio Borges will have to explain if he was planning this map of attack targets … among them was the (western area of Caracas) La Cadelaria where the opposition always wins elections,” Rodriguez said. “What were they going to say to the people who came out of their houses because they were going to be bombed … or when they were going to bomb the international channel, teleSUR?”

An eight-minute video with a declaration by the plotters

Cabello said that authorities had confiscated grenades, military and Sebin (intelligence) uniforms, an eight-minute video with a declaration by the plotters, and a collection of AR-15 rifles. Widely available in the United States, the AR-15 was first developed for the U.S. military, but is today one of the most popular rifles commercially available in the United States. It is not legally available to the public in Venezuela.

The AR-15 has been used in a number of mass shootings in the United States, including the 2012 Aurora shooting, which left 12 people dead in Colorado.

Rodriguez explained, “Venezuela has a very violent sector of the opposition that doesn’t hesitate to plan actions that could mean dozens of deaths or the assassination of the president.”

Secretly planning a coup

The coup attempt was going to start with a public announcement that Borges and opposition political leader Antonio Ledezma were going to sign, and it was going to be published by a national media, Cabello claimed.

He added that a Tucano plane was going to conduct the airstrikes.

​Various airforce officers have been detained, for their alleged involvement in the plot.

Cabello argued that the opposition was organizing legal activities, such as collecting signatures, while at the same time “secretly planning a coup.”

A U.S. official recently visited Venezuela to observe the trial of Leopoldo Lopez

He also showed a photo (below) and alleged that a U.S. official recently visited Venezuela to observe the trial of Leopoldo Lopez, who is accused of having incited last year’s opposition violence, which led to 43 deaths.

“What right does a U.S. official have to attend (the trial)?” asked Rodriguez.

Source: Venezuela Legislator Gives Details on Thwarted Coup  TeleSUR