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Peace Patriot

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That was my reaction as well. Brazil is also defying the U.S. on Iran.

And that makes a very big region of South America which is making ITS OWN foreign policy and DOESN'T CARE what the U.S. thinks about it. It is a point of sovereignty, as well as being an anti-war and world peace policy. And WHO has violated world peace with unjust, horrible war? NOT Iran. Not Brazil. Not Venezuela. Not Bolivia. Not Ecuador.

Us. It was us. Or, rather, our masters slaughtering a hundred thousand innocent people in the first weeks of "shock and awe" bombing alone, in OUR NAME, right next door to Iran, which watched this horror unfold on their border and decided that they had better develop a nuclear defense or they were next!

Most of Latin America thinks that, when it comes to cultural and political conflicts, trade and friendly cultural exchanges are the way to go--and that war really, really, REALLY sucks.

They are right--but our masters don't care about working out cultural and political differences. In fact, they readily install real shit-heads to do their bidding. As for trade, they do NOT believe in "free trade" at all. They believe in corporate MONOPOLIES, and they don't care how those corporate monopolies are imposed. Truth is, they PREFER dictators or dictatorial oligarchies to any other form of government, to GUARANTEE their monopolies and to smash local rivals and dissenters. They seek control of all resources and they seek cheap, unprotected labor, the more like slaves the better.

Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador--and other allies of theirs, including Argentina--seek FAIR trade--a "level playing field"--worker empowerment (so evident in their governments' policies and leaders) and PEACE, in all of its manifestations, including a peaceful attitude toward other cultures, peaceful change, and painstaking diplomacy rather than bullying, threats, covert dirty tricks and war.

The great irony is that, if Iran needs changing, positive change is much more likely to be produced by Brazil's, Venezuela's, Bolivia's, Ecuador's and Argentina's approach, than by U.S. bullying, threats, covert dirty tricks and war. Oh, yes, the U.S. might change Iran--as it did in 1954, by destroying Iran's first democracy (because its first president nationalized the oil) and installing the horrible "Shah of Iran" who inflicted the Iranian people with 25 years of torture and oppression, in service to U.S. and U.K. oil interests. But POSITIVE change--welcoming Iranians (who are Persians, not Arabs) into the modern world--encouraging their republic, encouraging more democracy, encouraging human rights (truly encouraging human rights, not faking it, as the U.S. does)--requires RESPECT, requires an understanding of their legitimate fears, requires finding mutual interests, mutual points of culture and healthy trade and contact.

The masters of the U.S. can--and probably will--throw the U.S. war machine at Iran, as it did to Iraq, and might get Exxon Mobil and BP signed oil contracts in a hell hole with millions of radiation-burned or starving, displaced people wandering around, and with highly paid mercenaries having fun "turkey shoots" when they wander into the wrong places--the absolutely perfect setting for U.S. oil operations--hell--then, in addition to paying for this war, we'll get another couple of dollars tacked onto the price of gasoline, and half of us will have to give up our jobs because we can't afford to drive there (already happening in the U.S.A.), and eventually the Iranians will REALLY become radicalized, like they AREN'T now, and join the jihadists in blowing up anything with a U.S. flag on it. We will have turned this potentially great and brilliant people INTO Al Qaeda--and that serves the other evildoers among us, the U.S. military and all of its private contractors, who live off "enemies." It's their gravy train!

This is what Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and others are trying to prevent. They are asserting the foreign policy that the U.S. once stood for, as the expression of the form of government--democracy--that the U.S. once was. Oh, the irony!

These !@#$-ers in the U.S. foreign policy establishment and the U.S. "military-industrial complex" and the U.S. police state want to ERADICATE this South American foreign policy and the governments that advocate it. That is very clear. And they are going to do it with subversion, spying and dirty rotten CIA tricks, as this latest bullshit from the Diebold Congress makes clear--and, if that fails, they will turn the U.S. war machine on South America--where most of the oil is, in the western hemisphere, in these very same countries.

South America as the U.S. "backyard." South America as the U.S. "doormat." South America with heinous, installed dictators all over the landscape, torturing and murdering their own people for U.S. corporate interests. That's what our transglobal corporate masters want, but, believe me, the South Americans are not going to take it anymore. They don't want U.S. advice on ANY matter, including Iran. They are sick to death of U.S. war and U.S. dictation. They are very strongly committed to democracy, fairness and world peace. And if the Obama administration doesn't get smart on this matter, an unbreachable gulf is going to develop, between the two halves of the western hemisphere. They have the resources, the people and the passionate democratic momentum to go it alone, and they will. U.S. policy on this matter is not only wrong, it is stupid--and it is all too typical of what we have become: a corrupt, bankrupt, dangerous and deluded, gigantic military power with NO democratic controls on that power and with absolute vultures unleashed upon our own people to suck our entrails dry. Between the banksters and the "military-industrial conplex," we are a mere carcass of what we once were.

BUT, Latin America was in as much trouble as we are, a decade ago, and for many decades before that, and they are dramatically turning things around--politically, economically, socially, in every way, in a very short time. It started in Venezuela, in 2002, when the Venezuelan people reversed the U.S.(Bushwhack)-supported coup d'etat, and quickly spread to Argentina and Brazil, and soon to Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay and even Paraguay (though they have had a serious setback--with a coup government that has invited the U.S. back in), and now Peru, as well, has elected a new leftist government, and Chile will likely do so in the next election cycle. A few months after South America formed UNASUR (all SA governments, of whatever political stripe--June 2008), the U.S. (Bushwhacks) tried a coup in Bolivia but a united South America stopped them. LatAm was not so successful in Honduras, where a Bushwhack-designed rightwing coup d'tat shot up the leftist president's house, kidnapped him and flew him out of Honduras at gunpoint, with a re-fueling stop at the U.S. air base in Honduras. (Obama was president, but I'm not sure if he was in charge.) There have been set-backs--invariably the result of U.S. interference--but the trend is overwhelmingly democratic and leftist, and assertive of independence overall (including some rightwing leaders, or some actions of some rightwing leaders).

They are NOT going back to a state of servitude. Once people smell freedom, democracy and independence--and begin to reap the benefits of these things (as Latin Americans in countries with leftist governments certainly are doing)--there is no going back, and the new unity, cooperation, and "south-south" trade that is developing, with entities like UNASUR (all South America), CELAC (all Latin America), Mercosur and ALBA (trade groups) and the Bank of the South, is yet more evidence that they are not going back.

They will trade with whomever they damn please--just as the U.S. does. The U.S. trades with Saudi Arabia, China and other shitty governments, with barely a hypocritical thought about human rights or democracy. Why shouldn't LatAm countries trade with Iran? Really, why shouldn't they? Cuz our corporate masters don't like it? Ha!

None of it is going to work this time--not U.S. billions in aid to rightwing causes, not billions for the corrupt, murderous, failed U.S. "war on drugs," not CIA-FBI-DEA-AFT-Homeland Security spying and dirty tricks, nor the machinations of the Pentagon's "Southern Command," nor U.S. military training of torturers and assassins, not this Diebold Congress bill nor any other such crappy law, nor any of the devilish and paranoid shit that our government gets up to, is going to turn Latin America back into a U.S. pawn. And if they instigate another war in LatAm (besides the "war on drugs"), it is going to be the death knell of the U.S.A. We will be evicted from the region altogether and will descend into chaos here at home.

As I said, if the Latin Americans can arise from 50 years of U.S.-instigated fascism, and create democracy and social justice, so can we. And it can happen very quickly, once we get a few things straightened out (starting with vote counting in the PUBLIC VENUE!). It won't happen without struggle and pain, but it CAN happen. Latin America, and especially South America, is proving it.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:47 AM (2 replies)

"JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters" is the best book

on the JFK assassination, as mentioned by DUer Jim Warren (comment #41, above). It draws upon all the other books and previous research and goes further, with new research and meticulous disentangling of the assassination plot, and into the very soul of history--WHY it happened and WHY it is still with us, today.

Its author, James Douglass, is not a "moron." Someone above says that anyone who believes that Oswald did not act alone is a "moron." More than any other author on the JFK assassination, Douglass addresses the psychological condition of those who would call people like Douglass--an extremely intelligent man, a topnotch researcher, an excellent and cautious writer who asserts nothing that he cannot prove, and also a man with a deep soul--a "moron."

James Douglass proves--to my mind, beyond any question--that the CIA assassinated President Kennedy. He nails the CIA up to Richard Helms (Director of Operations). It is likely that Allen Dulles, whom JFK had fired as CIA Director over the disastrous "Bay of Pigs" invasion of Cuba, was behind the plot, but there is not enough evidence to nail him directly, so Douglass doesn't do so. He does not go outside of the evidence. He is also cautious about LBJ. The evidence suggests that LBJ was NOT involved in the assassination plot, but WAS involved in the coverup and had some weighty reasons (from his own point of view) for the latter.

Very importantly, Douglass disentangles the CIA's misdirections--for instance, their attempt to point blame for the assassination at Soviet Russia--and, most important of all--explains and documents WHY they did this. JFK had refused to nuke Russia during the Cuban Missile Crisis--with the entire "military-industrial complex" (all of the Joint Chiefs, the CIA and everybody in his cabinet except Bobby) strongly pressuring him to do so. By pointing to Soviet Russia on the assassination, the CIA was trying to force JFK's successor, LBJ, to nuke Russia in retaliation. They wanted to nuke Russia--to wipe it off the face of the earth--while the U.S. had missile superiority. JFK wouldn't do it. (He did a backchannel deal with Krushchev to avoid it.) They thought LBJ would do it--or that they could force him to do it. And THIS is why LBJ, three days after the assassination, said, "Now they can have their war." He was speaking of the CIA and Vietnam!

"Now" meaning that, now that the coverup was in train, and the tracks to Russia were being muddied over, they "could have their war" with Communism elsewhere--without, for instance, hundreds of thousands of deaths on the east coast of the U.S. from a nuclear war with Russia.

When you see the events leading up to the JFK assassination IN CONTEXT, in a coherent narrative of the times, in a coherent narrative of JFK's presidency and in a coherent narrative of JFK's life--his in-progress transformation from a "cold warrior" into an advocate of world peace--then the facts of the assassination and its muddled coverup fall into place like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and it becomes VERY CLEAR who did it, why they did it and WHY IT STILL MATTERS.

Focus on the assassination itself IS NOT ENOUGH. You have to focus on those facts--really focus on them, in a disentangling process--AND on the Bay of Pigs, the firing of Dulles, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy's backchannel communications with Krushchev and Castro, the Russian Wheat Deal, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, JFK's executive order withdrawing U.S. troops from Vietnam--and, also, a vital factor for which Douglass provides original research--Kennedy's religion (for instance, his contact through Ethel Kennedy with the anti-nuke Trappist monk Thomas Merton). Kennedy had become a threat to the U.S. "military-industrial complex." He wouldn't take their dictates--even if it meant him standing against them all alone, with his brother as his only ally. In 1960, when he ran for president, he spoke like a "cold warrior." In late 1962 and 1963, he was a very changed leader (as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis) and was seeing beyond the "Cold War" and intending to END the "Cold War" (the MIC's, the CIA's and the Joint Chiefs' gravy train).

NOW you begin to understand WHY the CIA sent their very duped, Navy spy-trained asset, Lee Harvey Oswald, to Russia--and then readmitted him to the U.S.A. to create the "Fair Play For Cuba Committee."

This is a very great book--"JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters." It is must reading for every American--whether you "believe" that Oswald did not act alone or whether you think that those who "believe" this are "morons." To the latter, I say this: I'm sorry but James Douglass is NOT a "moron." He is one of the most brilliant historians that I have ever read, for his depth of understanding, not only of the details of history but of the soul of history--its meaning, that which remains among us, influencing future generations, to the end of time and certainly a mere half a century later. You owe this man a reading especially if you think he is a "moron." He spent ten years of his life doing nothing but this book. It is thoroughly researched and beautifully written. You owe him. We all do.

The MIC is still with us, creating "gravy train" wars all over the planet. The CIA is still with us, now arming the "rebels" in Syria, as they armed the fascists in South Vietnam, or summarily executing anonymously targeted "terrorists" all over the planet. These forces that are draining our treasury and destroying our democracy are still in charge. They are reaping the benefits of the JFK assassination to this day.

That is "why it matters."
Posted by Peace Patriot | Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:56 PM (5 replies)

Why Chavez won re-election and why his VP Nicholas Madura will be elected if...

...Chavez is too ill to be sworn in for his third term or dies prior to his inauguration (in which case there will be a new election for president in 30 days).

-----------------------------

The Achievements of Hugo Chavez: An Update on the Social Determinants of Health in Venezuela

By CARLES MUNTANER, JOAN BENACH, MARIA PAEZ VICTOR - COUNTERPUNCH, December 20th 2012


(SNIP)

...Venezuela is now the country in the region with the lowest inequality level (measured by the Gini Coefficient) having reduced inequality by 54%, poverty by 44%. Poverty has been reduced from 70.8% (1996) to 21% (2010). And extreme poverty reduced from 40% (1996) to a very low level of 7.3% (2010). About 20 million people have benefited from anti-poverty programs, called “Misiones” (Up to now, 2.1 million elderly people have received old-age pensions – that is 66% of the population while only 387,000 received pensions before the current government.

... the Bolivarian government has placed a particular emphasis on education allotting it more than 6% of GDP. UNESCO has recognized that illiteracy been eliminated furthermore, Venezuela is the 3rd county in the region whose population reads the most. There is tuition free education from daycare to university; 72% of children attend public daycares and 85% of school age children attend school. There are thousands of new or refurbished schools, including 10 new universities. The country places 2nd in Latin America and 5th in the world with the greatest proportions of university students. In fact, 1 out of every 3 Venezuelans are enrolled in some educational program.(2) . It is also a great achievement that Venezuela is now tied with Finland as the 5th country with the happiest population in the world.(3) .

Before the Chavez government in 1998, 21% of the population was malnourished. Venezuela now has established a network of subsidized food distribution including grocery stores and supermarkets. While 90% of the food was imported in 1980, today this is less than 30%. Misión Agro-Venezuela has given out 454,238 credits to rural producers and 39,000 rural producers have received credit in 2012 alone. Five million Venezuelan receive free food, four million of them are children in schools and 6,000 food kitchens feed 900,000 people. The agrarian reform and policies to help agricultural producers have increased domestic food supply. The results of all these food security measures is that today malnourishment is only 5%, and child malnutrition which was 7.7% in 1990 today is at 2.9%. This is an impressive health achievement by any standards.

Some of the most important available data on health care and public health are as following (4),(5),(6):

*infant mortality dropped from 25 per 1000 (1990) to only 13/1000 (2010);

*An outstanding 96% of the population has now access to clean water (one of the goals of the revolution);

*In 1998, there were 18 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants, currently there are 58
(doctors per 10,000 inhabitants), and the public health system has about 95,000 physicians;

*It took four decades for previous governments to build 5,081 clinics, but in just 13 years the Bolivarian government built 13,721 (a 169.6% increase);

*Barrio Adentro (i.e., primary care program with the help of more than 8,300 Cuban doctors) has approximately saved 1,4 million lives in 7,000 clinics and has given 500 million consultations;

*In 2011 alone, 67,000 Venezuelans received free high cost medicines for 139 pathologies conditions including cancer, hepatitis, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, and others; there are now 34 centres for addictions,

*In 6 years 19,840 homeless have been attended through a special program; and there are practically no children living on the streets.

*Venezuela now has the largest intensive care unit in the region.

*A network of public drugstores sell subsidized medicines in 127 stores with savings of 34-40%.

*51,000 people have been treated in Cuba for specialized eye treatment and the eye care program “Mision Milagro”; has restored sight to 1.5 million Venezuelans

An example of how the government has tried to respond in a timely fashion to the real needs of its people is the situation that occurred in 2011 when heavy tropical rains left 100,000 people homeless. They were right away sheltered temporarily in all manner of public buildings and hotels and, in one and a half years, the government built 250,000 houses. The government has obviously not eradicated all social ills, but its people do recognize that, despite any shortcomings and mistakes, it is a government that is on their side, trying to use its resources to meet their needs. Part of this equation is the intense political participation that the Venezuelan democracy stands for, that includes 30,000 communal councils, which determine local social needs and oversee their satisfaction and allows the people to be protagonists of the changes they demand.(7)

The Venezuelan economy has low debts, high petroleum reserves and high savings, yet Western economists that oppose President Chávez repeat ad nauseam that the Venezuelan economy is not “sustainable” and predict its demise when the oil revenues stop. Ironically they do not hurl these dire predictions to other oil economies such as Canada or Saudi Arabia. They conveniently ignore that Venezuela’s oil reservoir of 500 billion barrels of oil is the largest in the world and consider the social investment of oil revenues a waste or futile endeavour. However these past 13 years, the Bolivarian government has been building up an industrial and agricultural infrastructure that 40 years of previous governments had neglected and its economy continues to get stronger even in the face of a global financial crisis.

An indication of the increasing diversification of the economy is the fact that the State now obtains almost as much revenue from tax collection as from the sale of oil, since it strengthened its capacity for tax collection and wealth redistribution. In just one decade, the State obtained US$ 251,694 million in taxes, more than its petroleum income per annum. Economic milestones these last ten years include reduction in unemployment from 11.3% to 7.7%; doubling the amount of people receiving social insurance benefits, and the public debt has been reduced from 20.7% to 14.3% of GNP and the flourishing of cooperatives has strengthen local endogenous economies. In general, the Venezuelan economy has grown 47.4% in ten years, that is, 4.3% per annum. (8). Today many European countries would look jealously at these figures. Economists who studied in detail the Venezuelan economy for years indicate that, “The predictions of economic collapse, balance of payments or debt crises and other gloomy prognostications, as well as many economic forecasts along the way, have repeatedly proven wrong… Venezuela’s current economic growth is sustainable and could continue at the current pace or higher for many years.”(9) .

According to Global Finance and the CIA World Factbook ,the Venezuelan economy presents the following indicators.(10): unemployment rate of 8%; 45,5% government (public) debt as a percent of GDP (by contrast the European Union debt/GDP is 82.5%); and a real GDP growth: GDP per capita is $13,070. In 2011, the Venezuelan economy defied most forecasts by growing 4.2 percent, and was up 5.6 percent in the first half of 2012. It has a debt-to-GDP ratio comfortably below the U.S. and the UK, and stronger than European countries; an inflation rate, an endemic problem during many decades, that has fallen to a four-year low, or 13.7%, over the most recent 2012 quarter. Even The Wall Street Journal reports that Venezuela’s stock exchange is by far the best-performing stock market in the world, reaching an all-time high in October 2012, and Venezuela’s bonds are some of the best performers in emerging markets.

Hugo Chavez’s victory had an impact around the world as he is recognized as having spearheaded radical change not only in his own country but in all Latin America where progressive governments have also been elected, thereby reshaping the global order. The victory was even more significant considering the enormous financial and strategic help that the USA agencies and allies gave to the opposition parties and media. Since 2002, Washington channeled $100 million to opposition groups in Venezuela and this election year alone, distributed US$ 40-50 million there. (11) But the Venezuelan people disregarded the barrage of propaganda unleashed against the president by the media that is 95% privately owned and anti-Chavez. (12) The tide of progressive change in the region has started to build the infrastructure for the first truly independent South America with political integration organizations such as Bank of the South, CELAC, ALBA, PETROSUR, PETROCARIBE, UNASUR, MERCOSUR, TELESUR and thus have demonstrated to the rest of the world that there are, after all, economic and social alternatives in the 21st century.(13). Following a different model of development from that of global capitalism in sharp contrast to Europe, debt levels across Latin America are low and falling.

The changes in Venezuela are not abstract. The government of President Chávez has significantly improved the living conditions of Venezuelans and engaged them in dynamic political participation to achieve it (14). This new model of socialist development has had a phenomenal impact all over Latin America, including Colombia of late, and the progressive left of centre governments that are now the majority in the region see in Venezuela the catalyst that ... has brought more democracy, national sovereignty and economic and social progress to the region.(15) . No amount of neoliberal rhetoric can dispute these facts. Dozens of opinionated experts can go on forever on whether the Bolivarian Revolution is or is not socialist, whether it is revolutionary or reformist (it is likely to be both ), yet at the end of the day these substantial achievements remain. This is what infuriates its opponents the most both inside Venezuela and most notable, from neocolonialist countries. The “objective” and “empiricist” The Economist will not publicize this data, preferring to predict once again the imminent collapse of the Venezuelan economy and El Pais, in Spain, would rather have one of the architects of the Caracazo (the slaughter of 3000 people in Caracas protesting the austerity measures of 1989), the minister of finance of the former government Moises Naim, go on with his anti-Chávez obsession. But none of them can dispute that the UN Human Development Index situates Venezuela in place #61 out of 176 countries having increased 7 places in 10 years.

And that is one more reason why Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution will survive Venezuela’s Socialist leader.


----

(Authors)

Carles Muntaner is Professor of Nursing, Public Health and Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He has been working on the public health aspects of the Bolivarian Revolution for more than a decade including Muntaner C, Chung H, Mahmood Q and Armada F. “History Is Not Over. The Bolivarian Revolution, Barrio Adentro and Health Care in Venezuela.” In T Ponniah and J Eastwood The Revolution in Venezuela. Harvard: HUP, 2011

María Páez Victor is a Venezuelan sociologist, specializing in health and medicine.

Joan Benach is a professor of Public Health at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. He has collaborated in a number of studies on the public health policies of the Bolivarian Revolution.

(Notes)

1. Páez Victor, Maria. “Why Do Venezuelan Women Vote for Chavez?” Counterpunch, 24 April 2012

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/24/why-do-venezuelan-women-vote-for-chavez/print

2. Venezuela en Noticias, Venezuela en Noticias <venezuelaennoticias@minci.gob.ve> Venezuela en Noticias, Venezuela en Noticias venezuelaennoticias@minci.gob.ve

3. Gallup Poll 2010

4. Muntaner C, Chung H, Mahmood Q and Armada F. “History Is Not Over. The Bolivarian Revolution, Barrio Adentro and Health Care in Venezuela.” In T Ponniah and J Eastwood The Revolution in Venezuela. Harvard: HUP, 2011 pp 225-256; see also 4, Muntaner et al 2011, 5, Armada et al 2009; 6, Zakrison et al 2012

5. Armada, F., Muntaner, C., & Navarro, V. (2001). “Health and social security reforms in latin america: The convergence of the world health organization, the world bank, and transnational corporations.” International Journal of Health Services, 31(4), 729-768.

6. Zakrison TL, Armada F, Rai N, Muntaner C. ”The politics of avoidable blindnessin Latin America–surgery, solidarity, and solutions: the case of Misión Milagro.”Int J Health Serv. 2012;42(3):425-37.

7. Ismi, Asad. “The Bolivarian Revolution Gives Real Power to the People.” The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Monitor , December 2009/January.http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/latin-american-revolution-part-iv

8. Carmona, Adrián. “Algunos datos sobre Venezuela”, Rebelión, March 2012

9. Weisbrot, Mark and Johnston, Jake. “Venezuela’s Economic Recovery: Is It Sustainable?” Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, D.C., September 2012.

10. Hunziker , Robert. “Venezuela and the Wonders of Equality”. October 15th, 2012

11. Golinger, Eva. “US$20 million for the Venezuelan Opposition in 2012”, http://www.chavezcode.com/2011/08/us-20-million-for-venezuelan-opposition.html

12. Páez Victor, Maria. “Chavez wins Over Powerful Foreign Conglomerate Against Him”, Periódico América Latina, 11 October, 2012

13. Milne,Seumas. “The Chávez Victory Will be Felt Far Beyond Latin America” , Associate Editor, The Guardian, October 9, 2012:

14. Alvarado, Carlos, César Arismendi, Francisco Armada, Gustavo Bergonzoli, Radamés Borroto, Pedro Luis Castellanos, Arachu Castro, Pablo Feal, José Manuel García, Renato d´A. Gusmão, Silvino Hernández, María Esperanza Martínez, Edgar Medina, Wolfram Metzger, Carles Muntaner, Aldo Muñoz, Standard Núñez, Juan Carlos Pérez, and Sarai Vivas. 2006. “Mission Barrio Adentro: The Right to Health and Social Inclusion in Venezuela”. Caracas: PAHO/Venezuela.

15. Weisbrot, Mark.”Why Chávez Was Re-elected”. New York Times. Oct 10th 2012

Source: CounterPunch
This work is licensed under a Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives Creative Commons license


http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/14/the-achievements-of-hugo-chavez/
found at: http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/7568

-------------------------------------------

These authors repeatedly make the point that the corporate-controlled press DOES NOT REPORT these extremely important facts about Venezuela's remarkable economic success and dramatic social improvements. It is a point that I have also repeatedly made. The corporate media fails to give their "news consumers" any understanding of the Chavez government's continued electoral victories. They give people the impression that Chavez elects himself. They also, of course, fail to report that Venezuela has an honest, transparent election system ("the best in the world," Jimmy Carter recently said). They want you to believe that Chavez is "a dictator" when, in fact, he has been honestly elected and is doing the will of the people which is WHY he gets re-elected (like our own FDR), and he has NOT "dictated" to ANYONE. He and his government have, instead, by intelligent, far-thinking policy, served the people who elected them, whether by vastly expanded health care, or vastly expanded educational opportunity, or high employment and good wages, or responsible money management.

The authors also stress the contradiction between the corporate media LIE that Venezuela is not doing well economically and the REALITY that it IS doing well by almost any indicator you could name. They DON'T WANT it to do well and they entirely INVENT a newsstream about Chavez and his government that fulfills their own WISHES. They DON'T LIKE a government succeeding at making wealth FAIRER. They hate it. So they create another reality--that, THIS YEAR it is GOING TO fail. All their past predictions of failure are wrong--grossly wrong--but, hey, "trust them" that, unless you give the 1% all the money and power, you WILL fail. They are pathological liars on Venezuela.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:59 AM (14 replies)

The connection between the Aymara and Thor Heyerdahl is fascinating.

I'd never heard of it before, nor of the reed boats of Lake Titicaca. And Evo Morales, the most original politician to come along...I was going to say, in many moons, but, really, ever...OF COURSE would turn peoples' fears into hope with a beautiful ceremony!

But the Guardian--which is generally rotten on the Latin American Left--can't help but take a gratuitous swipe at these resource-dependent countries and vastly Europe-U.S. exploited and impoverished people--to wit:

"The Bolivian government has hailed the solstice as the start of an age in which community and collectivity will prevail over capitalism and individuality. Those themes have long been present in Morales's discourse, especially in the idea of vivir bien, or living well. He has stressed the importance of a harmonious balance between human life and the planet, though some people question its application in Bolivia, where the economy depends heavily on mining, oil and gas industries." --from the OP

It's one of those cheap and easy assertions, often seen in the corpo-fascist press, to stop thought--to make 'news' consumers stupid--and to paint all of us as inherently greedy and selfish and in vicious competition with each other, while transglobal corporations and banksters rob us all. They wouldn't say this--that harmonious balance is inapplicable in Bolivia--if Exxon Mobil and BP were pocketing all the profits from Bolivia's mining, oil and gas (and lithium!).

But Bolivians, in electing Evo Morales, have asserted their right to "vivir bien"--to food on the table, to health care, to educational opportunity, to pensions for the elderly, to decent wages--by controlling their own natural resources and using the profits for the common good. What the Guardian, as corpo-fascist propagandist, really wants us to believe is that this "harmonious balance" between people and profit is impossible in Bolivia and everywhere else. It is also a "Wall Street" Big Lie "talking point" that "harmonious balance" between people and nature is impossible and should not be attempted--because that high goal is an impediment to Exxon Mobil, BP, et al. Evo Morales has often spoken of it, at "climate change" summits and everywhere else, throughout his career. In fact, he is the major voice on "harmonious balance" among world leaders.

This paragraph is a knife in his back--and a warning that well-funded secret dirty rotten tricks agencies of the U.S./U.K. governments, that serve Exxon Mobil, BP, et al, have identified their 'wedge' issue in Bolivia and South America, and are no doubt working overtime to acquire 'assets' within dissident indigenous and environmental groups, to cause maximum trouble to leftist leaders like Morales in Bolivia, Correa in Ecuador and others. I rather think that Morales, and leaders allied to Morales, know this already. It's not likely news to them. But the Guardian reminds them of it here.

I don't know if the article's author is aware that she is delivering a warning and yet another bit of corporate propaganda, but her editors certainly are. They never tire of publishing hit pieces on Latin American leftists.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:09 PM (1 replies)

Tell me again why the U.S. is doing this to Cuba?

Cuz, um, they have the best medical system in the world there, and it's free?

Cuz you can go to medical school there, or any school, through graduate degrees, and it's free?

Cuz there are no homeless people there--everybody has shelter, food on the table, employment, a decent life?

Can't be that, no...

I know...it's cuz Cuba invaded Haiti, and slaughtered a hundred thousand innocent people there with "shock and awe" bombing, and rounded up Haitians and imprisoned them, and stripped them of clothing, and forced them into naked pyramids of bodies, and suffocated and beat some of them to death, and imposed a puppet government and forced the puppet government to sign contracts with Cuban transglobal corporations giving Haiti's resources away?

No, wait! Cuba didn't do that to Haiti--Venezuela did!

And that's another reason the U.S. is imposing "sanctions" on Cuba and fining banks billions of dollars for doing business with Cuba--cuz they're friends with Venezuela and we hate Venezuela cuz...um...

They have honest, transparent elections and we don't, and we're jealous?

No, wait! That's why we hate them! Also, cuz they not only invaded Haiti, they invaded Colombia and murdered thousands of labor union leaders and other advocates of the poor and brutally displaced FIVE MILLION peasant farmers to give their lands to drug lords, Monsanto and other bad actors!

No, wait! That was the U.S.-funded and trained Colombia military, and the U.S. supported mafia boss, Alvaro Uribe, and his rightwing death squads! Hm-m.

But back to Cuba. Why is the U.S. "sanctioning" Cuba? I know, it's cuz they're sending anonymously "piloted" drone aircraft to kill anonymously chosen "terrorists" and anybody else standing around, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Syria...

No, wait! That's Ecuador! But, see, Cuba's also friends with Ecuador which is harboring that terrorist Julian Assange while dropping drone bombs on anybody they please...

OK, here's the deal. Cuba toppled the elected government of Honduras, kidnapped its president, put him on a plane that refueled at a Cuban air base in Honduras, and installed a puppet government to oppress the Honduran people and stomp on their rights in favor of Cuban transglobal corporations. And Cuba is now building yet more military bases in Honduras to entrench its position...

No, wait!

Cuba and its nefarious allies are militaristic pigs, invading other countries, bombing people, torturing people, destroying their societies and stealing their resources in order to enrich the Castro Brothers!

It's those Castro Brothers--who dared to export...their medical system!

Now THAT merits billions of dollars in "sanctions" to anyone who helps Cuba! THAT is dastardly!

No, wait! Now get this! Cuba is exporting doctors to provide health care to POOR VOTERS in Venezuela, so they can get off their sick beds and go vote for free health care and free education in Venezuela! And not only that, Cuba has a medical EYE program, so they can SEE the ballot, and a LITERACY program, so they can READ it!

Now THAT cumulative evil merits "sanctions"--merits punishing banks, businesses, traders, shipping for daring to trade with Cuba!

No, wait! No, wait! It's DEMOCRACY! That's it! The U.S. wants to see Diebold in Cuba!

Ah! Ah! They want Cuba to have all that wonderful looting of Social Security and Medicare, all those firings of teachers and firefighters, all that downsizing and outsourcing, and union busting, and "privatization" and filthy lobbying, and humongous, unquestioned military budgets, and secret budgets and 'TRADE SECRET' vote counting, and corpo-fascist 'news' propaganda, and endless war that WE enjoy. They want to bring, um...freedom to Cuba!



It's not really all that funny but, jeez, you gotta laugh sometimes at U.S. government-transglobal corporate-war profiteer INSANITY. It makes sense to them if to no one else in their right minds. And we don't have nuttin to say about it. That's the funny part.
Posted by Peace Patriot | Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:05 PM (4 replies)
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