Judi LynnJudi Lynn's Journal
by Adriaan Alsema March 30, 2021
Colombias ethnic discrimination reached the point that 31% of people who identified themselves as African descendants in 2005 no longer wish to identify themselves as such.
According to statistics agency DANE, some 2.9 million of Colombias population identified themselves as black in the 2018 census compared to 4.3 million during the previous one in 2005.
Colombias ethnic minorities have disproportionally been the victim of armed conflict and ethnic violence for more than 500 years, but the recent changes do not account for the more the 31% reduction in those who identify as themselves as Afrocolombian.
. . .
Centuries of slavery, persistent ethnic violence, and relentless discrimination appear to be the final straw for a significant portion of black youth.
by Adriaan Alsema March 29, 2021
No coffee farmer in Colombia is allowed to export coffee without paying the mighty coffee federation, historically one of the main promoters of fascist economics.
Coffee federation Fedecafe was founded in 1927, inspired by Italian dictator Benito Mussolinis corporatism model, which rejected free market capitalism and the central planning of the Soviet Unions Joseph Stalin.
The holy trinity
Corporatism was originally invented by the Catholic Church in the late 19th Century to counter capitalism with a neo-feudal economic model that sought to maintain a medieval class system.
Mussolini adopted the idea to create corporations that controlled the different sectors of the economy in coordination with the State and the Catholic Church.
. . .
Exporting Colombias corporatism
Under the leadership of Medellin oligarch Arturo Gomez, the coffee federation created the brand Juan Valdez in 1960 to promote its coffee in the United States.
Colombias coffee growers were starving, but Fedecafe controlled the entire supply chain and was able to publish a number of fancy ads in the New York Times.
MARCH 30, 2021
BY HELEN YAFFE
On 23 March 2021, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a group of Conservative Party backbenchers: The reason we have the vaccine success is because of capitalism, because of greed, my friends. Johnson was articulating the dogma that the pursuit of private profit through capitalist free markets leads to efficient outcomes. In reality, however, Britains accomplishments in developing the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and in the national vaccination rollout have more to do with state investments than the market mechanism. Government money subsidised the vaccine development at the University of Oxford, and it is the state-funded National Health Service that has carried out the vaccination programme. Johnson did not admit that it is due to capitalism and greed that Britain now has the fifth worst Covid-19 mortality rate in the world with over 126,500 deaths (almost 1,857 per million people in the population) and counting.
The British government, like most neoliberal regimes, refused to take the measures necessary to slow and halt community transmission, it failed early on to provide health care and social care workers with adequate PPE and other resources which could have saved the lives of hundreds of frontline staff who died as a result. It contracted private businesses to carry out essential activities, most with little or no relevant experience, for example, instead of equipping the community-based GP system of the National Health Service to take charge of track and trace, the government dished out £37 billion to Serco to manage part of the system. In public health terms it has been disastrous; but measured by Boris Johnsons celebrated standards of capitalism and greed it is has indeed excelled. The greatest beneficiaries of Britains response to the pandemic have been the private corporations making huge profits. Around 2,500 Accenture, Deloitte and McKinsey consultants are on an average daily rate of £1,000, with some paid £6,624 a day.
Johnson has now laid out a road map for reopening the economy. As a result, even the most optimistic scenario predicts a third wave between September 2021 and January 2022 resulting in at least 30,000 additional deaths in Britain. These deaths are preventable. But it precisely because the British government is driven by the capitalism and greed that it insists that we have to learn to live with the virus so that the business of business can continue.
Contrary to Johnsons claims, this pandemic has affirmed that public healthcare needs cannot be adequately met under a profit-based system. Indeed, it is the absence of the capitalist profit motive which underlies the outstanding domestic and international response to Covid-19 by socialist Cuba, which now has five vaccines in clinical trials and is set to be among the first nations to vaccinate its entire population.
Post on: March 28, 2021 Marisela Trevin
More than eight months after the kidnapping of four young land defenders from the Garífuna community of Triunfo de la Cruz, in northern Honduras, their whereabouts are still unknown. In a recent statement, the local organization OFRANEH (Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras) issued a denunciation saying that the State of Honduras is committing genocide against the Garífuna people, with the aim of achieving their definitive displacement. We discussed this situation with César Benedith, member of OFRANEH, community leader and former president of the Triunfo de la Cruz Community Board.
Image from a protest demanding the safe return of the five disappeared Garífuna community members. "Alive they were taken, alive they return." Photo: OFRANEH
More than eight months after the kidnapping of four young land defenders from the Garífuna community of Triunfo de la Cruz, in northern Honduras, their whereabouts are still unknown. Given the states inaction and involvement in concealing the facts of the case, the community decided last February to set up a committee to search for the kidnapped community leaders.
The cases of persecution, torture, and murder in this area have increased dramatically in recent years, in the context of the Garífuna communities struggle to defend their lands against the government of Honduras and private companies seeking their displacement to build tourist resorts and exploit their natural resources. In the last month alone, four Garífunas were killed in the communities of Masca and Corozal, including Martín Pandy, the president of the Community Board (patronato) of Corozal.. Two activists were also arrested in Trujillo for defending their land. In a recent statement, the local organization OFRANEH (Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras) issued a denunciation saying that the State of Honduras is committing genocide against the Garífuna people, with the aim of achieving their definitive displacement. We discussed this situation with César Benedith, member of OFRANEH, community leader and former president of the Triunfo de la Cruz Community Board.
Can you tell us about the context in which the recent killings and detentions took place in the Garífuna communities?
As Garífuna leaders, we feel that our people are being systematically dispossessed by the government, in conjunction with the businessmen of this country. We are being threatened and criminalized, and the Garífuna leaders of different communities are being killed for the economic interests of these politicians and some businessmen from our region. Since they have control over the justice or injustice system in our country, when they cant kill us, they criminalize us. Its scary, because many communities are losing their leaders, who have been at the forefront of our struggle to protect our lands.
What are the interests behind this systematic violence against the Garífuna people?
The State wants to take control of the natural resources that belong to the indigenous people of this country. They see our land as a resource that they need to access to keep making money, regardless of whether they have to displace the communities that are living on the seashore. And when we go out and defend our territory, we are criminalized and often killed. A Minister of Tourism of Honduras has even said that his dream is to turn Honduras into another Cancun. So we feel that the State of Honduras views us as an obstacle for that.
MARCH 9, 2021
By Brian Mier
On March 8th, Brazilian Supreme Court Minister Edson Fachin dismissed all Lava Jato related charges against former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. The ruling came as a surprise to some, since Fachin has been accused of pro-Lava Jato bias in past rulings, and leaked Telegram messages, published by the Intercept in 2019, shows task-force chief Dalton Dallagnol talking about a 45 minute meeting with the Supreme Court Minister, shouting with glee and bragging to fellow prosecutors, Fachin is ours!.
After last months Supreme Court ruling, that all 6 terabytes of Telegram conversations obtained by hacker Walter Delgatti in the so called Operation Spoofing were admissible as evidence in the Triplex apartment case against Lula, something had to be done to stop the bleeding. As Delgatti said in a recent interview, Dalton Dallagnol never erased any of his chats. For 5 years, he had been sharing audio messages from Sergio Moro and other important political figures with fellow prosecutors, and Delgatti recorded all of them. Furthermore, as earth shattering as the Intercept revelations were, Delgatti had only shared 57 gigabytes of information with them, and he says they refused an offer for more and only released a small portion of what he had shared. As soon as the defense lawyers began filing for new motions of dismissal along with press releases containing relevant sections of newly revealed Telegram conversations, continuing the cases against Lula became politically unsustainable.
Lulas defense team filed its first motion of dismissal for illegal collaboration with US government authorities in February, 2018, months before the Intercept began publishing excerpts from the Telegram leaks. It was based on a July 2017 speech by US Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco bragging about how informal communications with Lava Jato officials helped streamline the investigation against Lula. Informal communications between public prosecutors and foreign government officials violates Brazilian sovereignty laws.
Its second motion for dismissal based on illegal collaboration with US officials was filed the week after the Supreme Court ruled on the admissibility of Delgattis hacked telegram conversations. One of the justifications was a comment made on the day of Lulas imprisonment by Lava Jato task-force chief Dalton Dallagnol, that it was a gift from the CIA.
Published: Mar 23, 2021
Briefing Book #751
Edited by Carlos Osorio
U.S. had ample forewarning of coup plotting, documents show
Officials maintained channel of communications with plotters
Ford Administration knew Argentine military planned to commit human rights violations
U.S. Ambassador aborted pre-coup visit by a former CIA deputy director
Washington, D.C., March 23, 2021 - On the eve of the 45th anniversary of the military coup in Argentina, the National Security Archive is today posting declassified documents revealing what the U.S. government knew, and when it knew it, in the weeks preceding the March 24, 1976, overthrow of Isabel Perons government. The documents provide evidence of multiple contacts between the coup plotters and U.S. officials. [Admiral] Massera sought opportunity to speak privately with me, U.S. Ambassador to Argentina Robert Hill reported in a cable sent one week before the putsch after meeting with a leading coup plotter. [H]e said that it was no secret that military might have to step into political vacuum very soon.
The documents posted today record the U.S. government knowledge of the plotters, their preparations for the coup, and their potential plans for what State Department officials described as military rule for an extended duration and of unprecedented severity. They show that the U.S. discreetly advised the military more than a month before the actual coup that Washington would recognize the new regime.
In the first substantive report to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on a Possible Coup in Argentina, in mid-February 1976, Assistant Secretary of State William Rogers flagged the likelihood of human rights violations after a military takeover. We would expect [the military government] to be friendly toward the United States, he apprised Kissinger. However, in stepping up the fight against the guerrillas, an Argentine military government would be almost certain to engage in human rights violations such as to engender international criticism. This could lead to U.S. public and Congressional pressures which would complicate our relations with the new regime. Anticipating problems with the United States over the repression against subversion they would implement, the Argentine military planning group approached officials in their own foreign ministry to advise as to how the future military govt can avoid or minimize the sort of problems the Chilean and Uruguayan govts were having with the U.S. over [the] human rights issue.
Perhaps to discuss that very issue, the documents show that the Argentine military sought to meet with Kissinger in advance of the coupan idea discouraged by Ambassador Hill. On February 13, 1976, Hill met with an Argentine-born U.S. businessman named Mr. Carnicero who informed him that several high-ranking military officers have asked him to arrange a meeting between an appropriate military representative and Secretary Kissinger so that they could explain why they needed to take power and seek assurances of prompt recognition. The ambassador rejected that idea on the grounds that Such a meeting, should it become public knowledge, could be misinterpreted to the detriment of the officers themselves as well as of Secretary Kissinger. In a revealing passage, Hill reminded the emissary that the embassy has discreetly and through third parties already indicated to the military that the USG will recognize a new government in Argentina .
22 Mar, 2021 11:00 PM
7 minutes to read
The burial of Edgar López y López in Comitancillo, Guatemala.
Photographs by Daniele Volpe
Written by Kirk Semple
March 21, 2021
The trek from Central America to U.S. soil has always been perilous, but a massacre with many victims from one corner of Guatemala has shaken that country.
They leave behind homes, families, everything they have known, taking their chances on a dangerous trek north toward an uncertain future, driven by poverty, lack of opportunity and the hope of something better.
For most migrants who leave Central America, like those from the municipality of Comitancillo, in the mountains of western Guatemala, the goal is to reach the United States, find work, save some money and send some back home, put down roots, maybe even find love and start a family. Usually, the biggest obstacle is crossing the increasingly fortified American border without being caught.
A group of 13 migrants who left Comitancillo in January didnt even get the chance. Their bodies were found, along with those of six other victims, shot and burned; the corpses were piled in the back of a pickup truck that had been set on fire and abandoned in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, just shy of the U.S. border. A dozen state police officers have been arrested in connection with the massacre.
The migrants remains made the return trip on Friday, March 12, each in a coffin draped with the Guatemalan flag, flown to a military airport in Guatemala City. A somber repatriation ceremony there, with an address by President Alejandro Giammattei, was shown live on national television. Relatives, friends and neighbors in Comitancillo watched the broadcast in their homes as they made final preparations for the arrival of the bodies and for the wakes and burials to follow.
At dusk, after climbing along the switchbacks that wind through Guatemalas western highlands, the cortege of vehicles carrying 12 of the coffins arrived in Comitancillo. Community leaders and the victims families received the bodies in a ceremony on the towns soccer field.
Above, neighbors stand on an outcrop watching the welcoming ceremony in a soccer field in Comitancillo. Below, seating was limited to close family members.
Some mourned from behind a fence, in the glow of an ambulances emergency lights.
. . .
A band playing outside a house that Mr. López had built in Chicajalaj, a village in the municipality of Comitancillo, with remittances he sent back from the United States.
More from the article:
In short, the U.S. regime has blocked even the possibility of democracy in Venezuela, and has done this by itself violating international laws. The U.S. Government is behaving as an international thug, and it lies to say that it supports the rule of law in international affairs; it is supporting, instead, the rule of force in international affairs; it is todays Nazi regime, attacking and destroying countries that had posed no danger whatsoever to itself, and trying to control every nation for the benefit of Americas aristocracy. Yet, U.S.-and-allied news-media, with only one exception, hid instead of reported what she had said. Consequently, the U.S., and its allies, have the worlds most untrustworthy news-media, which systematically hide (instead of report) this ugly reality to their public. Obviously, such a regime cannot possibly be a democracy, because their public are being lied-to by the regime. Thats how America and its allies came to invade and destroy Iraq, and thats the way things clearly are today. The U.S. regime is voracious; it is imperialistic; and it is psychopathic.
In fact, Dr. Douhan greatly understated how much the U.S.-and-allied regimes have been and are perpetrating international-law violations against Venezuela, because nothing in her report even so much as mentioned the biggest of all violations of international law, which was the violation for which the Nazis were prosecuted and executed at the Nuremberg Tribunals after World War II, which was Aggressive War the perpetration of attacking against a nation that has not attacked ones own nation.
March 16, 2021
How can democracy exist in a nation where none of the mainstream media, and few even of the non-mainstream media, are reporting the realities that all of the controlling billionaires want the public not to know?
On February 12th, the top UN official who monitors nations compliance with international human rights laws in the application of international sanctions, Alena Douhan, reported that the U.S.-and-allied sanctions against Venezuela violate a number of international laws and have greatly worsened the conditions, and even the maintenance of life, in Venezuela, and have caused millions of Venezuelans to flee the country so that they and their children can survive. Dr. Douhan is an internationally respected specialist in international human rights laws, and the website of the UNs High Commissioner for Human Rights says that she is an author of more than 120 books and articles on various aspects of international law. She has more than 40 publications (including four books) related to human rights covering inter alia issues of targeted and comprehensive sanctions; unilateral coercive measures, freedom of opinion, privacy, counter terrorism, right to development, right to education, and other matters. The U.S. and its allies profess to endorse and embody, not to oppose and ignore, the values that the UN hired her to represent, but they do oppose and ignore them.
Her February 12th report, titled Preliminary findings of the visit to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela by the Special Rapporteur, stated that:
The Special Rapporteur considers that the state of national emergency announced by the U.S. Government on 8 March 2015 as the ground for introducing sanctions against Venezuela, and repeatedly extended, does not correspond to the requirements of art. 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, such as the existence of a threat to the life of the nation, the limiting of measures to the exigencies of the situation, a limited duration, the absence of discrimination, the prohibition to derogate from the right to life and the prohibition of punishment of activity that does not constitute a criminal offence, as referred to in the communication of human rights experts of 29 January 2021.
The Special Rapporteur underlines that unilateral sanctions against the oil, gold, mining and other economic sectors, the state-owned airline and the TV industry constitute a violation of international law, and their wrongfulness is not excluded with reference to countermeasures. The announced purpose of the maximum pressure campaign to change the Government of Venezuela violates the principle of sovereign equality of states and constitutes an intervention in the domestic affairs of Venezuela that also affects its regional relations.
Referring to customary norms on the immunity of state property, the Special Rapporteur reminds that assets of the Central Bank and property used for public functions belong to the state of Venezuela rather than to its Government or any individual. Therefore, freezing assets of the Central Bank of Venezuela on the ground of non-recognition of its Government as well as the adoption of relevant sanctions violates the sovereign rights of the country and impedes its effective government to exercise its duty to guarantee the needs of the population.
The Special Rapporteur underlines that the listing of state officials ex officio contradicts the prohibition on punishment for activity which does not constitute a criminal offence, prevents the officials from the possibility to represent the interests of Venezuela in international courts and other international institutions, and undermines the principle of sovereign equality of states. She also notes that repeated refusals of banks in the United States, the United Kingdom and Portugal to release Venezuelan assets even for buying medicine, vaccines and protective kits, under the control of international organizations, violates the above principle and impedes the ability of Venezuela to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.
by Adriaan Alsema March 18, 2021
Colombias opposition called for protests on Wednesday to halt attempts by the coalition of far-right President Ivan Duque to postpone elections.
Leading opposition lawmakers called on their constituencies to take to the streets to an alleged coalition attempt to lobby support to postpone the elections until 2022.
Duque publicly said to step down in August next year, but his far-right Democratic Center party has been rallying support to postpone the vote, opposition House Representative Katherine Miranda said Wednesday.
The proposal to postpone the elections and let them coincide with local elections was initially coined by Gilberto Toro, the president of the National Federation of Municipalities.
Toros proposal has been made multiple times before and was dismissed until Miranda (Green Alliance) found lawmakers were lobbying support to present a constitutional amendment that would allow an extension of Duques term.
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