Member since: Mon Mar 3, 2008, 02:08 PM
Number of posts: 34,737
Member since: Mon Mar 3, 2008, 02:08 PM
Number of posts: 34,737
There are times that one wishes one was smarter than one is so that when one looks out at the world and sees the problems one wishes one knew the answers and I don\'t know the answers. I think sometimes one wishes one was dumber than one is so one doesn\'t have to look out into the world and see the pain that\'s out there and the horrible situations that are out there, and not know what to do - Bernie Sanders http://www.democraticunderground.com/128040277
Petrocaribe: Paying beans for Venezuelan oil
Some 17 countries receive shipments of crude or refined oil products with preferential repayment terms under the Petrocaribe energy pact. But some nations fear oil shipments could stop post-Chávez.
By Ezra Fieser, Correspondent / March 27, 2013
SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Last year, the Chávez government sent some 240,000 barrels a day to countries in the region – regardless of whether their politics fell in line with Mr. Chávez's socialistic ideals.
Some 18 mostly small countries, including Venezuela, are members of Petrocaribe. It is an energy pact under which members receive shipments of crude or refined oil products from Venezuela that they pay for over the course of 25 years at minimal interest rates.
"Any cut to Petrocaribe would be disastrous for countries" that receive Venezuelan oil under such deals, says Jorge Piñon, an energy analyst and Caribbean specialist at The University of Texas at Austin. "It's become an integral part of their economies."
Last year, the Dominicans sent beans, literally: 10,000 tons of black beans headed to Venezuela to repay the petroleum debt. What's more, to plant those beans the Dominican government had to import seeds from the United States – which has frigid diplomatic relations with Venezuela.
Lol oh lol, beans from the Dominican Republic, cattle from Bolivia, all that lovely cash not getting into the bank accounts of vultures who prey on the people. How the thought of all that "lost" money must keep them up at night, seething, plotting, lusting for what is not theirs.
Posted by Catherina | Wed Mar 27, 2013, 03:45 PM (13 replies)
written by @ruedareport
Latin America correspondent for @UnivisionNews covering #drugwar, politics and culture
The article is worth a sardonic read.
Venezuela Election is a High Stakes Affair for Local Vigilante Groups
By MARTIN MARKOVITS and MANUEL RUEDA (@ruedareport)
March. 27, 2013
Members of the Victor Polay Campos colectivo await for Chavez?s casket to arrive in Caracas'23 de Enero Neighborhood on March 15, 2013. The Polay Campos Colectivo is one of twenty vigilante groups that patrols this Caracas neighborhood with guns and long range weapons. (Martin Markovits/Freelance)
In the Caracas barrio of 23 de Enero, a coalition of armed vigilante groups serves as the de facto security force. It also helps run social welfare programs for a neighborhood overrun by drug dealing.
There are more than 20 autonomous colectivos in Caracas, and they're mostly centered in 23 de Enero, a community of makeshift shacks and public housing projects that is home to about 100,000 people. Their arsenal of weapons includes AK-47s, handguns and homemade grenades.
These Marxist-leaning groups are firm supporters of Venezuela's current socialist government, and over the past decade, have organized massive voter turnout campaigns that helped Chávez to comfortably win a majority of votes in the areas under their control. On April 14th, they will engage in another such campaign, and every member of the colectivos will be required to bring ten residents to the polls.
"We support Nicolas Maduro, whom we have known since he was a kid. He was a member of revolutionary groups just like ours. We are going to do whatever it takes to win the 10 million votes (that the government is aiming for in this election)," said Lisandro "Mao" Perez, director of colectivo Guerrilla Pedagogica.
Posted by Catherina | Wed Mar 27, 2013, 03:28 PM (13 replies)
U.S. general ‘predicts’ problems for Cuba, Venezuela
The head of the U.S. Southern Command, Gen. John Kelly, who oversees U.S. forces in Latin America, is afraid that Nicolás Maduro will become the new Venezuelan president and that the Bolivarian Revolution will continue. That didn’t stop him from engaging in a little wishful thinking — or from slandering and implicitly threatening the Venezuelan and Cuban revolutions.
Venezuela will be hard-pressed to keep providing cheap oil and loans to Cuba and other allies given the“faltering” state of its economy, Kelly said on March 20 to the U.S. House Armed Services Committee. The general admitted that Maduro, the current acting president of Venezuela, has a lot of public support: “Expectations are that the vice president will win the election of April 14 and things will be business as usual, at least for the time being. Who knows within five years.” (DPA, German Press Agency, March 20)
The general’s comments received prominent and favorable coverage in a conservative Caracas newspaper, El Universal, which has opposed the Bolivarian Revolution led by the late Hugo Chávez. For example, in April 2002, when the U.S.-backed coup against Chávez appeared to be successful, El Universal carried the headline “Un Paso Adelante!” or “One Step Forward!” (Luis Duno-Gottberg, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 2004)
What is important about “predictions” of the sort made by Gen. Kelly is not their accuracy. Rather, those who support and defend the Bolivarian and Cuban revolutions should examine who made the statements, to whom they were made and in what context.
Neither an economist nor a social scientist, Gen. Kelly is a Marine commander. He was in charge of U.S. troops in Iraq from 2008 to 2009. In addition to being the chief of the Southern Command, Kelly is the senior military assistant to the Secretary of Defense and personally greeted Secretary Leon Panetta at the entrance to the Pentagon on July 1, 2011, Panetta’s first day as secretary.
The Southern Command was created in 1903 in order to control the Panama Canal zone, which had just been illegally seized by U.S. imperialism. Over the years its scope has expanded to include all of Central and South America and the South Atlantic Ocean. It is an “interagency” task force, meaning it is composed of virtually all branches of the U.S. military as well as several other federal departments.
Kelly made his statements to the House Armed Services Committee immediately following Chávez’s death. Given the extreme hostility of the U.S. toward both Cuba and Venezuela, it is not difficult to assess their meaning or intent.
Millions spent to destabilize Cuba
The U.S. has a long history of trying to destabilize and defeat revolutions and progressive movements in Latin America. These efforts continue today.
Between 1996 and 2011, the U.S. government earmarked over $205 million to try to bring down the Cuban government. Programs were carried out by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State over the last eight years — from former President George W. Bush’s second term to President Barack Obama’s first term — according to a statement released by the Cuban Foreign ministry. (Xinhua, March 15)
This figure does not include an additional $30 million spent on illegal propaganda broadcasts and intelligence operations in support of anti-Cuban activists. According to the Cuban foreign ministry, this money would “be better used in building a respectful relationship between the two countries.”
Poor people in the U.S. might add that the money has been stolen from vital social services and that the economic and social problems which Gen. Kelly attributes to Venezuela are present within every major U.S. city. The difference is that governments within the U.S., instead of trying to help the poor as the Venezuelan government does, squeeze the poor even more on behalf of big business.
During the Obama administration, Washington’s illegal embargo against Cuba has become even more severe.
These facts clarify the statements by the Southern Command. U.S. imperialism aims to break the solidarity among Cuba, Venezuela, and other Latin American countries, the better to defeat them all. Washington’s efforts to strangle socialist Cuba, particularly with an oil boycott, were made much more difficult by the development of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela. Progressives around the world must be vigilant and see to it that Washington’s threats and machinations fail.
Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
Posted by Catherina | Wed Mar 27, 2013, 02:30 PM (11 replies)
Venezuela Creates Over 3,000 Committees Against Speculation
Caracas, Mar 26 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela has about 3,500 committees constituted and sworn against speculation and hoarding, reported today the Minister of Commerce, Edmee Betancourt.
From the state of Cojedes, the official reported that more than 15,000 Venezuelans have joined government efforts to combat usury.
Betancourt said that in the context of the national fight against speculators and hoarders, a total of 28,736 tons of food have been seized so far, which were distributed throughout the country to support the population.
We must always be ready to defend people's access to goods and services and in compliance with the Law of Food Sovereignty, the official said.
Posted by Catherina | Wed Mar 27, 2013, 12:52 AM (21 replies)
Venezuelan Youth Denounce Violent Opposition Plans
Caracas, Mar 26 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan youngsters denounced in this capital today the plans of opposition group Juventud Activa Venezuela Unida to generate violence and carry out destabilizing plans.
In a press conference at main Candelaria Square of Libertador municipality, the youth leader of the Socialist United Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Daniel Aponte, Said that JAVU plans a university strike on April 4 and tries to trigger discontent among students.
Members of the groups Danilo Anderson, Tupamaros, Frente Francisco de Miranda and Clase Media Socialista, as well as of parties Union Popular Venezolana and Podemos joined JAVU leader Aponte.
Aponte said that revolutionary youngsters will defend the Bolivarian, Socialist, anti-imperialist revolution in all forums and any circumstance, and ratified youth's support to Plan de la Patria (Homeland Plan), and stressed that they will work for the victory of Acting President Nicolas Maduro in the presidential elections of April 4.
Posted by Catherina | Wed Mar 27, 2013, 12:50 AM (29 replies)
Deadly Guanarito virus from Venezuela goes missing in Texas lab, officials say no need to panic
A deadly virus that causes hemorrhagic fever has gone missing from a Texas research lab, the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) said in a statement on Monday.
A vial of Guanarito virus, which originates in Venezuela, was revealed as missing after a routine inspection conducted on March 20 and 21 at the Galveston National Laboratory on UTMB’s campus in Galveston, Tex.
Laboratory officials acknowledged the virus as a serious one, and Scott Weaver, the lab’s scientific director, told The Houston Chronicle Guanarito is an emerging disease that has already caused deadly outbreaks in Venezuela.
The vial, containing what is commonly referred to as Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever, was stored in a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory due to its potential to be weaponized as an aerosol spray. In some South American populations, patients who contracted the virus had a mortality rate of 33%.
Posted by Catherina | Tue Mar 26, 2013, 04:27 PM (0 replies)
Revolutionary rappers aim to work like Chavez
Saturday, March 9, 2013
By Mat Ward
Hugo Chavez meets RodStarz of Rebel Diaz in the South Bronx. Photos: Eyeburgos Photography
Work Like Chavez
Rebel Diaz and Agent Of Change
Released March 9, 2013
For revolutionary rappers Rebel Diaz, the death of Hugo Chavez on March 5 came as a double blow.
The Venezuelan leader had helped the Chilean hip-hop duo set up their community arts and resistance centre in New York's South Bronx after he visited the area eight years ago.
"We've never had Bush or Obama visit the South Bronx,"
said G1, who fronts the group with his brother RodStarz. "But we had Chavez in the South Bronx in 2005."
During that visit, Chavez impressed residents by recalling obscure facts about each person’s home country. South Bronx Democrat Congressperson José Serrano, who had invited Chavez to the birthplace of hip-hop, said: “We expected, honestly, for him to walk through, say a few words and leave.
"Three and a half hours later, he was still there. ‘What’s the name of your organisation? What do they do? How are you funded? Why did you name it that?’ He did this table by table by table. Then he would quote a poet, artist, politician or historical figure from Panama, Mexico, the Dominican Republic or wherever the person was from.”
Two months after his visit, gallons of heating oil began arriving in the South Bronx, along with money for community projects including Rebel Diaz's resistance centre, which they named RDACBX.
Posted by Catherina | Tue Mar 26, 2013, 03:15 PM (0 replies)
Rebel Diaz - Work Like Chavez (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
Who is Rebel Diaz do you ask? They are the sons of Chilean activists who now live in the Bronx. They're very big on the socially conscious hip hop scene and the majority of their songs are about social justice. This is their latest song, one of several for Chavez.
The intro sample is from legendary Venezuelan musician and activist, Alí Primera. The words translate as 'Those who die for life cannot be called dead. From this moment on, mourning is prohibited.'
I cant front im upset that they took our buildin
Next Thing the Comandante man I know they killed him
Something goin on I gotta read the signs
Somethin telling me that its about that time
Time to step it up cuz I still smell sulfur
Still smell the money in this capitalist culture
so im dedicatin verses to my boy jamil
He out there in Venezuela.. Frontline its real!
Hunts Point New York 2005
That’s when I realized the revolution soo alive
We aint never had a president come around mine
He brought OIL for the poor in the wintertime
He showed Love to the Bronx that’s called Solidarity
We show love back aint no politician scarin me
Anti imperialist til I we go delirious
The work is getting serious….that’s why they keep fearin us!!
Do the mathematics Hugo Chavez was the baddest
I gotta work Chavez… (2X)
El proceso va palante
El proceso va palante
In the South Bronx
El proceso va palante
it goes worldwide
El proceso va palante
This movement ain't defeated,
La lucha sigue
Dentro de todos esa rebeldia existe
La CIA comete crimen
Igual las ideas viven
Aqui el pueblo decide
No lo que los medios dicen
Queren parar una cultura alternativa
Fijate desde el bronx hasta america latina
Buscan tus bienes
Queren hacer lo que queren
Ahora decimos NO!
No al imperialismo,
Ni un millonario
Chavez fue solidaario
Ni Bush ni Obama llegaron a ayudarnos
No lo olvidamos,
Mas que Venezolano,
esto cruza frontera
Hip hop bolivariano
Como creamos ese frente?
Solidaridad por todo el continente!
released 09 March 2013
They're not into money and give most of their music away for free. Chavez funded their Arts Collective in the Bronx which served as a community center where a lot of education took place. Sadly, due to their politics and the gentrification of the Bronx, a result of capitalist greed, they were just violently evicted from the building after refusing to pay an extortionary increase in the rent that's making a lot of people in the Bronx homeless.
Posted by Catherina | Tue Mar 26, 2013, 03:07 PM (1 replies)
Venezuela, Chavez, and the Women’s Revolution
Photo of Cilia Flores Maduro
By TAMARA PEARSON - NEW MATILDA, March 26th 2013
“I’ve told her, she won’t be the first lady, but first combatant, first patriot, first socialist, the first woman of the people of the barrios,” said Nicolas Maduro of his wife Cilia Flores. He is the revolution’s candidate for the 14 April presidential elections, following the passing of Hugo Chavez, and polls and the revolution’s electoral record suggest he is likely to win.
Under the Bolivarian revolution Flores, a lawyer and revolutionary, has been a legislator in the national assembly, head of the national assembly, part of the national leadership of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), and more recently, the country’s attorney general. After growing up in Catia, one of the biggest barrios of Caracas, in the 1990s she dedicated herself to defending soldiers who had been involved in Chavez’s 1992 failed coup attempt.
In 1993 she founded the Bolivarian Human Rights Circle, joined the MBR-200, was part of the legal group which fought to get Chavez out of prison, and in 1997 participated in the founding of the MVR party, which brought Chavez to victory in 1998. Most people in Venezuela weren’t aware until recently that she was married to Maduro, and see her as a political leader in her own right.
When Maduro went to register as a candidate earlier in the month, he told the supporting crowd that Flores “won’t be a first lady, because that is a concept of high nobility ... she’s not a posh woman, she was born in slum housing with a dirt floor ... she won’t be a segundona (person in second place), she’ll be in the first line of combat, as the dignified and revolutionary woman that she is”.
Women are everywhere to be seen in this messy, problematic, beautiful and very joyful revolution. We lead and fill out the marches, we’re the vast majority of those elected as communal council representatives, we are the bulk of new teachers, doctors, and social media workers coming out of the Bolivarian University (Mission Sucre), and we’re much more visible (though far from equally represented) in the army, state governorships, mayoralties, and upper levels of the state institutions.
Perhaps that’s why Chavez publically declared himself a feminist so many times. It was a courageous thing to do, given how taboo and misunderstood the word is across Latin America. Although Chavez wasn’t totally clear on the origins of women’s oppression — more often loudly denouncing its symptoms over and over (domestic violence, the plastic surgery industry, income inequality) than its causes (social division of labour, publicity industry, the role of the Catholic Church etc) — he was clear that women were the energy, the hard work, the determination, and the numbers behind the revolution.
“The pains of the world are larger for women... and larger for women of the popular classes, of the poorer classes,” Chavez said in a speech last September. “If Christ carried a cross, how many crosses do the poor women of this earth carry every single day, every night... but at the same time they have so much to contribute”.
“That’s why I say that a real revolutionary, a socialist, must be truly feminist, because the liberation of the people is achieved through the liberation of women, the grasping of machismo, and that’s a cultural thing,” Chavez said that day.
The list of gains for women since he was first elected in 1998 is a long one. With general poverty halved and extreme poverty quartered, women have been the main beneficiaries of most social programs, from education, to health, housing, and pensions for the elderly. There has been a huge increase in women’s participation in the work force — from 43.3 per cent of women employed in 1996 to 81.2 per cent in 2002, and increasingly steadily since then. A women’s ministry was created, as was a women’s bank for low interest loans to women’s cooperatives, tribunals dealing specifically with violent crimes against women have been set up, and 18 types of violence against women recognised legally, maternity leave has increased and paternity leave created.
There’s a small payment for poor women and support for them for creating socio-productive projects. Pap smears and the pill are free (though the choice is limited). Breastfeeding has been widely promoted and has increased from 7 per cent in 2000 to 40 per cent in 2010. Bolivarian public schools provide free breakfast, lunch and snacks to kids – a big help to all mothers, especially single ones, and there are free childcare centres, though more are needed. Household work is legally recognised.
There’s also a lot of work to do yet for women and for sexual diversity; we need to fight to win the legalisation and free and quality provision of abortion, we need to get rid of the beauty contests and the commercialisation of women’s bodies, counter homophobia, provide more women’s refuges, and improve the courts and police response to gender crimes.
To argue however, that “Venezuela’s politics has been militarised” and that the “blurred” lines between civilians and military has “masculinised” politics, is to judge Venezuela according to Australian (first world, colonising) standards, as Emma Cannen did in her article "Chavez was the essence of a military man". Cannen brushed aside Venezuela and Latin America’s culture and context — the history of US intervention to get rid of socialist presidents, the genocide, the disappearances and torture that this continent has suffered when it tried to stop being the US’s obedient back yard, and the undeclared war on the poor.
The military here under previous governments was repressive, and the Communist Party was forced to go underground. However under the current government, the role of the military has changed (though there are still problems), and can’t be viewed as the same thing as the Australian police or army. The military and militia respond to the people’s needs, facilitate transport logistics, help during emergencies, and guarantee fair and free elections.
When my community council has needed a street to be closed off, tables and tents, or a band, the military has helped us out. They came to our meeting, noted down what we needed, and provided it. Without the military and the women of the barrios behind him in 2002, Chavez wouldn’t have survived the US backed coup against him.
Previously, the military was an exclusive male club, and women weren’t accepted in the operational units. However since 2000, women have been allowed to join, and last year 26 per cent of graduates from the military academies were women. Women also make up a large proportion of the civilian militias.
After Chavez died last week and millions of people queued up to say goodbye to him, one striking, beautiful photo did the rounds of media agencies the world over. It was the photo of a young militia woman touching her heart and raising her fist next to Chavez’s coffin. The woman in the photo was Lisseth Pavon, a 23-year old mother from a poor barrio in Tachira, and law student. When she heard the news of Chavez’s passing, she made the 25-hour journey to Caracas, then in the same clothes she’d been travelling in, with some water and an empanada, she waited 10 hours to visit Chavez’s remains.
“I got there and I wanted to touch him, to tell him that he took away our blindfolds ... Chavez hasn’t given me anything material, it’s about the power that he gave to us,” she told Aporrea.org.
Now that Chavez has gone, everyone involved in the revolution is clear that “we are Chavez”, meaning we have to take on his example, tireless work, initiative, commitment, and passion. The face of this revolution is the people now; it is young women like Lisseth.
Source: New Matilda
This work is licensed under a Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives Creative Commons license
Posted by Catherina | Tue Mar 26, 2013, 02:55 PM (4 replies)
Correa Condemns U.S. Blockade of Cuba at Inter-Parliamentary Meeting
Por Pedro Rioseco
Quito, Mar 23 (Prensa Latina) Speaking at the opening session of the 128th Assembly of the World Inter-Parliamentarian Union (IPU), being held here, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa denounced the U.S. blockade of Cuba, which has been condemned 21 consecutive times at the United Nations.
In a speech interrupted by ovations by some 1,500 parliamentarians from 121 countries, Correa pointed out that unfortunately, historic human rights bodies have become political instruments of persecution of progressive governments.
Precisely, the reforms to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Commission (IACHR), which he described as totally dominated by hegemonic countries and NGOs, were discussed on Friday in Washington. They are dominated by capital, behind enterprises dedicated to communication, and the IACHR has become an echo of the worst mercantilist media, he stressed.
A blockade, he added, that has been condemned nothing less than 21 times (every year from 1992 to 2012) by almost all member countries of the United Nations, the latest condemnation was in October 2012 by 188 of 193 member countries.
- These things have to be said; let's stop looking the other way, let's stop keeping it to ourselves in light of these barbarities.
- The blockade of Cuba is, undoubtedly, the worst violation of international law, inter-American law and human rights in our continent, but it is not even included in the IACHR annual reports
- While applying the law and taking a cunning journalist to court is considered an attack on human rights, nothing is said about the blockade of Cuba or the tortures in the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo
- Ecuador will no longer accept that shameless neo-colonialism, we cannot accept that kind of situations
- We could also wonder what the OAS is good for if it cannot even declare itself about such crucial problems such as that of the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands, seized from Argentina by force in the 19th century.
- The countries that talk most about human rights are those that have not signed the international treaties on the issue
- The world order is not only unfair, it is immoral, and the most aberrant stances are supported for the benefit of capital, above all the financial one.
- That is the main challenge faced by humankind in the 21st century: capital or human beings, and the parliamentarians of the planet can legislate so that in the end, justice is not merely convenient for the strongest
Posted by Catherina | Mon Mar 25, 2013, 11:20 PM (14 replies)