Saturday, February 9, 2019

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: U.S. Piracy in Latin and Central America


A nation built on greed is not a nation; it is just a legal framework for rape and pillage, slavery and exploitation, theft, murder, and genocide.       —Rivera Sun writing in Dandelion Salad.

The current U.S. sword rattling trying to topple the government of Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela is the 68th U.S. attempt at regime change, a "national interests" strategy already demonstrating disastrous and failed results most notably in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya in recent years.
 

Recently Jimmy Carter said about Venezuela's version of democracy: "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." To cast a vote, Venezuelans touch a computer screen, then receive a paper receipt, which they have to verify and deposit in a ballot box a system (unlike in the U.S.) which is virtually tamper proof because to hack the computers and then stuff the ballot box to match the rigged vote is impossible.

According to Telesur, despite the U.S. embargo and severe economic war against it, Venezuela under Maduro has managed to offer free healthcare to more than 60%; it has rated high on the Human Development Index, surpassing most LatAm countries; it has built 3 million homes for poor and working class people, 1.8 million of them under Maduro; it has provided more than 4.8 million computers and over 100 million technology textbooks to students across the country, and more than 20,000 schools have received new computer equipment; it ranks sixth in the world in terms of enrollment in primary education and has increased secondary education to embrace 73%; and there have been civil rights gains of oppressed sectors of the society such as women, Afro-indigenous people, and the LGBTQ community.

Rally in support of Maduro
Washington has been trying to interfere with Venezuela ever since Hugo Chavez was elected, with several assassination attempts on his life, and one on Madura’s life last year by drone. The conflict fault line is a racial one as demonstrated in two Venezuelan rallies, one on Bolivar Avenue in Caracas on Saturday to lend strong support to President Maduro and let the world know that Venezuela is to be respected, the other in the eastern Caracas district of Las Mercedes, in the Plaza Alfredo Sadel in support of #45-sanctioned fake president Guaido. But notice, of the thousands upon thousands of persons on Avenida Bolivar, all were people of color, whereas the white faces of the malcontents in Plaza Alfred Sadel were those of the advantaged Venezuelan class, backed by a light-skinned, wealthy, internationalist group operating under a plan designed by neocons in Washington to control Venezuela's oil and wealth. At that rally the opposition removed the Venezuelan flag, to display massive U.S. and Israeli flags, and pro-#45 puppets (one of #45-as-the Statue–of-Liberty, with the Christian cross around his neck).
 
But, contrary to what it puts out, U.S. sword rattling is not motivated by any concern whatsoever with socialism, communism, the Bolivarian revolution, or democracy for that matter. Nor is it about the humanitarian aid Bolton offered to send Venezuela . (Recently twitter wiped out 2,000 pro-Venezuela accounts to keep the American people "better informed.") #45’s pick to bring “Democracy” to Venezuela, war criminal Elliott Abrams, has spent his life crushing democracy. His record goes back to 1980 when 75,000 Salvadorans were murdered by government-sanctioned death squads; he supported the government of Guatemala’s murder of over 200,000 people and the destruction of over 600 peasant villages which simply disappeared (I know, I was there. Now Guatemala seems poised for anotehr coup.) In the Contra war in Nicaragua, Abrams pled guilty to lying about U.S. complicity in tens of thousands of deaths. Under George Bush’s presidency he oversaw the abortive coup against Hugo Chavez. Sanctions under Bush escalated under Obama, and further escalated under #45 so that in the past year, the U.S. has managed to bleed Venezuela of billions of dollars.

The U.S. principal motivator, as is always the case with so-called regime change, happens to be Venezuela’s rich oil and gold reserves, especially now that fracking  has peaked as the best wells have been tapped, and to exploit the remainder is costing more, so that fracking is already losing millions. Any sensible country would recognize the writing on the wall, and see fracking’s decline as a golden invitation to transition even more rapidly to renewables, but as it props up its oil industry by moving to help itself to Venezuela’s oil, the U.S. romance with fossil fuels shows no let up. The threat of actual invasion is very real: Bolton’s notepad revealed a plan to send 5,000 troops to the Colombia-Venezuelan border, a move calculated to conceal the actual number already deployed, which a source reported as closer to 30,000.

In a recent article, David Sladky writes: it’s not…seen as sexy to protest war anymore. But when enough people learn that the U.S. warfare industry and U.S. military are the greatest purveyors of global warming through their massive use of fossil fuel, people may sing a different tune. Already major hands-off-Venezuela demonstrations have been called  by Popular Resistance for March 16 in Washington, D.C., and local events are slated at Lake Merritt Columns, Sunday, February 10 at 1 PM, (info: https://sanfrancisco.carpe-diem.events/calendar/9561449-u-s-hands-off-venezuela-rally-at-lake-merritt-columns/ and The Bridge Walk in San Francisco on Sunday, February 10, by Code Pink. The walk meets at 11:45 AM, either at the S.F. or Marin end of the eastern walkway of the bridge. Info: ratherbenyckeling@comcast.net.

Conclusion: From Ambrose Bierce wiktionary:  regime change, politically correct synonym for piracy.


 

Sign on as a citizen cosponsor of the Prevention of Arms Race Act to block Trump’s banned nukes athttps://act.winwithoutwar.org/act/citizen-cosponsor-prevent-nuclear-arms-race?source=em20190201_2&t=6&referring_akid=3143.294094.jGIvXP

End U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen at

Keep the pressure on Congress to repeal the Muslim ban at





Sustainability

Indigenous women of West Bengal save their forest with the use of sticks, sickles, and bravery.

Earthjustice wins suit to halt the slaughter of gray wolves in the Rocky Mountains.

Thanks to Polish woman physicist, buildings to be equipped with windows and facades satisfying the structure’s energy needs, rain or shine.

French court bans Monsanto’s Roundup.

Thanks to pressure by activists, Rep. McGovern pledges to cease taking money from the war, fossil fuel industries and corporations.

AWEA’s wind industry reports American workers installed 5,944 MW wind capacity in 2018’s last quarter.

Court rules out Hunter Valley coalmine on climate change grounds.

In a significant shift for activism, Indigenous tribes of Atenco on Rights of Nature grounds successfully defend Lake Texcoco from initiative to build secondary Mexico City airport on it.

Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico’s recently elected president, announces that under his government fracking will no longer be used.

With major party backing, and hailed as a “watershed moment,’ AOC and Markey unveil green new deal outlining WWII scale transformation necessary.

Resistance

Anti-Venezuelan coup peace activists protest outside John Bolton’s home, demand he be tried in The Hague.

Code Pink Police serve John Bolton indictment outside his home.

Despite peaceful protests, and police violence, France’s Gilet Jaunes going strong in Act 12 protests in Paris, Toulouse, Bordeaux, and all over France. 

Protesters swarm Brooklyn’s Metropolitan House of Detention that endured polar vortex with no heat (or light)., and “forgetting” to distribute extra blankets to prisoners supplied by the city., but investigations into living conditions there just beginning.

Matamoros strike grows as Mexican ruling class warns of national strike wave.

Federal prisoners served steak by unpaid guards during shutdown.

Climate activists shut off valves at Enbridge lines 3 and 4.

Nation’s largest nurse’s union kicks off week of barnstorms in cities nationwide to build support for scrapping for-profit heath care in favor of Medicare for All.

Sunrise Movement presents plan to achieve Green New Deal in the face of divisive SOTU address. and kicks off a week of action

Valve Turners shut down Enbridge Oil pipelines in Minnesota.

Oakland educators authorize strike.

Over 100 artists, activists, scholars and writers pen open latter welcoming asylum seekers and defending their Constitutional rights.

Growing number of N.Y.C. public advocate candidates oppose Williams Fracked Gass Pipeline.

Saying #45 border “emergency” does not exist, Governor of N. Mex. orders National Guard off border.

Forty–five NODAPL cases dismissed with warrants quashed upon review ordered by Judiciary Water Protestor Legal Collective.  

Sacred Stone encampment at Standing Rock
Aziz Rana argues for internationalism as a philosophy combatting the historic disconnect between American domestic and foreign policy at https://popularresistance.org/renewing-working-class-internationalism/

Domestic Politics

Center for Constitutional Right wins court victory guaranteeing the constitutional right of California prisoners to be kept in solitary confinement no longer, thereby upholding the law already in place.

Rep. Pramila Payapal (D-WA) rips into Acting AG over devastating consequences of family separation. 

Under grilling by Veronica Escobar (D-TX ) Acting AG Whitaker admits he’s viewed pardon paperwork.

California new budget would return it to tuition-free days.

Gregory Jaczko, former head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission now says risks involved with nuclear energy are just too great.  (Who knew?)

Puerto debt deal restructuring 17 billion of 72 billion debt receives court approval.

Lawsuit dismissed against American Studies Association, Steven Salaita, and others for Israel boycott.

Binding Resolution of Disapproval, a seldom used law, may be used forcing  McConnell to take disaster vote to block the “wall.”

With the exception of farm workers and tip earning workers, New Jersey adopts a $15 minimum wage.

New bill, introduced by Rep. Scott and Senator Casey to phase out subminimum wage for disabled workers.

Bernie Sanders’ “Raise the wage” Act would improve living standards for 40 million Americans.

Two non guilty verdicts, hung jury for five other defendants in Detroit Poor People’s Campaign trial.

FOX news flummoxed after channel’s own poll find people really want to tax the rich. (Gee!)

Sandusky, OH scraps Columbus (Genocide) Day to make Election Day a paid holiday.

Arizona town of Nogales sues administration to tear down wall of “inhuman” razor wire.

Roberts sides with liberals as Supreme Court stays Louisiana anti-abortion law.

Former White House chef Roberto Mendoza, started Chef Heaven’s Kitchen Foundation, and uses lottery prize to feed the homeless.

International

Israel temporarily suspends export permit for several senior execs at drone maker, Aeronautics while investigation of drone attacks against Azerbaijan continues.

South Korea no longer refers to North Korea as an enemy in Defense Ministry white paper.


In move threatening the dollar as a global currency and thanks to #45’s ineptitude, global nations quietly dismantle seven-decade-old-alliance to build alternative systems of bilateral trade. (Ooops!)

Peace my come to Afghanistan after 18 years of prohibitive, treasury-draining war as Taliban and U.S. government publicly state acceptance of draft framework for ongoing negotiations culminating in peace deal.


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