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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 153,515

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Amazing! I've disliked this man for years and years! Good grief!

This article should help anyone who doesn't know who he is to have a clearer picture:

If You Grew Up With the U.S. Blockade as a Cuban, You Might Understand the Recent Protests Differently
23.07.21 - US, United States - Independent Media Institute

. . .

The Miami Mafia

Tablada keeps a close eye on the Cuban policy being shaped by Washington, D.C., and Miami, where right-wing Cuban exiles effectively drive the agenda. She does this in her role as the deputy director-general in the Cuban Foreign Ministry in charge of U.S. affairs. There is a cast of characters in this story that is little known outside the world of U.S. right-wing politics and the Cuban exile community. Of course, four well-known elected officials lead the attempt to overthrow the government in Cuba: Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, as well as Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Republican Representative María Elvira Salazar of Florida. Beside them are other politicians such as Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez and a range of Cuban American businessmen and professionals such as Emilio Braun of the Vulcan Funds and the lawyer Marcell Felipe.

These men are at the core of a set of organizations that lobby U.S. politicians to harden the U.S. blockade on Cuba. Felipe runs the Inspire America Foundation, which Tablada describes as the “heir to the most anti-Cuban, reactionary, and pro-[former military dictator of Cuba Fulgencio] Batista traditions from South Florida.” This foundation works with the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance—a coalition of anti-communist groups that calls for a U.S. invasion of Cuba. At the center of these men is Mauricio Claver-Carone, a former head of the Cuba Democracy Advocates, who was Trump’s main adviser on Cuba and is now president of the Inter-American Development Bank based in Washington, D.C. Claver-Carone, Tablada tells us, “has been nothing short of the leading lobbyist of the groups acting politically against Cuba in the United States, in the U.S. Congress, representing those entities who benefit from this policy of hatred and aggression against my country.” “If you ever mentioned [Fidel] Castro, he’d go berserk,” recalled Claver-Carone’s friend about his attitude in the 1990s.

“The main goal of these people,” Tablada said, “is to overthrow the Cuban Revolution.” Their plan for Cuba, it seems, is to revert it to the days of Batista when U.S. corporations and gangsters ran riot on the island.

Lester Mallory’s Memorandum

In 1960, the U.S. State Department’s Lester Mallory wrote a memorandum on Cuba. Mallory said that most “Cubans support Castro” and there is “no effective political opposition.” Mallory said that there was only one way to go: “The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship.” There has been no change in policy. The entire embargo is based on Mallory’s memorandum.


Mauricio Claver-Carone with former Miami "exile" Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,
who was one of the first US Republican Congress critters to catapult herself
to Honduras on the next flight as soon as the right-wing oligarchy and its
puppet military kidnapped President Manuel Zelaya and replaced him with a
wildly corrupt, brutal interim President, then an "elected" narcotrafficking
thoroughly trashy President and his drug-dealing son and brother, to continue
oligarchy business as usual.

Mauricio Claver-Carone and Argentina's progressive President Alberto Fernández,
whom he claims attempted to "obstruct" the vote to assure him his new position,
"accusing it of trying to delay the vote until next year due to concerns over the
coronavirus pandemic."


~ ~ ~

Peppertree, you have posted an exceptional news event. It's simply wonderful. It's hard to find truly great news currently, and this development is praise-worthy. Of course there will be raging in Miami against our good, honest President, for his righteous decision, but they have hated progressives forever, anyway, so screw-em!

Thank you, so much.

Mexico's missing students: Where are the key players now?

By Bernd Debusmann Jr
BBC News

34 minutes ago

The case of the 43 missing students shook Mexico
The disappearance of 43 Mexican students on 26 September 2014 shook Mexican society, exposing the depths of government corruption and highlighting spiralling violence that had already left thousands dead. Eight years on, what really happened is still unknown.

About a half hour's drive from the small, sleepy Mexican town of Cocula, a trash-covered, fetid rubbish dump in the hills was once said to be the final resting place of 43 Mexican students who vanished as they were traveling together on their way back from a protest.

It was there, amid piles of discarded plastics and everyday detritus, that Mexican authorities claimed that members of Guerreros Unidos - or "United Warriors" - killed and burned the students, all from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College, after they were kidnapped by corrupt police officers in the nearby town of Iguala and handed over to the gangsters.

By 2016, however, independent investigators had disproven the government's theory that the students were killed and burned at the dump - one of the most glaring falsehoods in a case which laid bare Mexico's twin battles against deeply entrenched corruption and rampant violence.


Life Expectancy: The US and Cuba in the Time of Covid

SEPTEMBER 26, 2022


Photo: Puentes de Amor.

Recent data shows that between 2019 and 2021, life expectancy (LE) in the US plunged almost three years while for Cuba it edged up 0.2 years. Yet, in 1960, the year after its revolution, Cuba had a LE of 64.2 years, lower by 5.6 years than that in the US (69.8 years). As I document in Cuban Health Care, the island quickly caught up to the US and, from 1970 through 2016, the two countries were nip and tuck, with some years Cuba and other years the US, having a longer LE. But neither country was ever as much as one year of LE ahead of the other.

. . .

This continued through the beginning of Covid, which sharply changed the pattern. LE in the US suddenly dropped behind that in Cuba. Bernd Debusmann Jr.of BBC News wrote, LE in the US fell “to the lowest level seen since 1996. Government data showed LE at birth now stands at 76.1 compared to 79 in 2019. That is the steepest two-year decline in a century.” From 2019 to 2020, “LE declined in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

How could a country with all the problems of Cuba, actually have LE almost three years greater than the US? There were enormous differences between the way the countries responded to Covid.

The Covid Contrast

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data confirmed that “Covid-19 was the main contributing factor [to changes in LE]. The statistics show that Covid-19 accounted for 50% of the decline between 2020 and 2021. Between 2019 and 2020, the pandemic contributed to 74% of the decline.”


Cuban zoo helps deaf visitors experience the wild

SEPTEMBER 25, 2022

A group of partial hearing visitors touch a four-month-old jaguar cub named Cindy at the Cuba's national zoo in Havana, Cuba, on Sept 21, 2022.

HAVANA - The rhinos, giraffes and lions that populate Cuba's national zoo have long been a wonder for all, but for deaf Cubans like Tatiana Romero, tours of the sprawling facility outside Havana have recently become a lot more welcoming.

Earlier this year, sign language interpreters began accompanying groups of deaf visitors aboard the bus and trails that take them across an enclosed plain designed to imitate the African savannah.

"When I was a child I used to visit the park. But many years have passed," said Romero, 35, who lost her hearing in the womb. "The interpreter was a great surprise, now I can understand everything."

The tours are one among several innovative programs the state-run and operated zoo offers for people with disabilities, including animal therapy for children with Down's syndrome, autism and other special needs.


PBS and BBC Team Up to Misinform About Brazil's Bolsonaro

This article was posted at another site by amazing earlier DU poster, E.F., where I saw it, and had to share:

SEPTEMBER 19, 2022

Both the US and British governments supported the rise of Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. A high-ranking British Treasury official—allegedly future Prime Minister Liz Truss—had secret meetings with the future president in 2018 to discuss “free trade, free markets and post-Brexit opportunities” (BrasilWire, 3/25/20).

The US Department of Justice was a crucial partner in the Lava Jato (“Car Wash”) investigation, which resulted in the prosecution and jailing of Brazil’s left-leaning former president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva. The politically motivated legal campaign against Lula served to prevent his participation in the 2018 presidential election, in what Gaspard Estrada calls “the biggest judicial scandal in Brazilian history.”

Because of this history, and because Brazil is a hard country to explain concisely, I was weary to learn that the British and US state-affiliated media outlets BBC and PBS had co-released a documentary about Jair Bolsonaro only a few weeks before this year’s Brazilian presidential election (10/2–30/22). It didn’t fail to disappoint.
Rise of the Bolsonaros was released on August 28 on PBS, and is airing as a three-part series in Britain on BBC2. It tells the story of Brazil’s far-right president through the words of people like Steve Bannon, Bolsonaro’s son Flavio, journalists, and current or former allies of the president, including a far-right lawmaker who is merely introduced as an “anti-corruption crusader.”


To see Rise of the Bolsonaros:

Colombian President Gustavo Petro: End the War on Drugs


At his United Nations General Assembly address this week, newly elected leftist Colombian president Gustavo Petro denounced the war on drugs and destruction of the planet waged by the United States. We reprint his remarks here in full.

The following is an English translation of Colombian president Gustavo Petro’s address to the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 20, 2022.

Secretary-general of the United Nations António Guterres, Your Excellencies, heads of state and heads of missions accredited to the Seventy-seventh United Nations General Assembly; Deputy Secretary-general of the United Nations Amina Mohammed, to all of you.

I come from one of the three most beautiful countries on Earth. There is an explosion of life there. Thousands of multicolored species in the seas, in the skies, on the land. I come from the land of yellow butterflies and magic. There, in the mountains and valleys of all the shades of green, flow not just abundant waters but also torrents of blood.

I come from a country of bloodsoaked beauty. My country is not just beautiful — it is also violent.

How can violence and beauty exist side by side? How can the biodiversity of life intertwine with the dances of death and horror? Who is to blame for breaking the charming spell with terror? Who or what is responsible for suffocating life in the routine decisions of wealth and interest? Who leads us to destruction as a nation and as a people?


A Poet Confronts the Violent History of El Salvador

Christopher Soto’s Diaries of a Terrorist grapples with the the security ideology that shapes the Americas through poems that explore activism and resistance.

By Danielle Mackey YESTERDAY 5:00 AM

In the early morning darkness of May 24, 2022, hundreds of people were camped on a street bordering a prison in San Luis Mariona, El Salvador. The encampment had been there for days, its inhabitants hoping for information about loved ones they suspected the state was holding on the other side of the prison walls. More than 50,000 Salvadorans have been arrested since late March in what President Nayib Bukele claims is a crackdown on gangs, but the administration refuses to share information about those detained. Most of the families that day in May couldn’t even be certain their relatives were in Mariona. But they had traveled hours by public bus from their rural homes to get here, where the only option was to sleep on the street, because the administration sometimes released prisoners by stealth at night.

The sun hadn’t yet risen when the riot police arrived. The officers evicted the people gathered around the prison, destroying their makeshift tents and nearly a dozen sheet-metal structures in which they had been cooking and sleeping. Police threatened to arrest anyone who refused to leave. Later that morning, a tank circled the encampment, accompanied by dozens of soldiers.

By the end of the summer, nearly 2,500 families had sought out the human rights group Cristosal, which found that 98 percent of their loved ones being held in prisons, including Mariona, were subjected to an arbitrary arrest. Eighty-six percent of the cases involve men, the vast majority of whom were at home or steps from it when they were detained. Many have chronic illnesses that are going untreated, and those who have been freed speak of beatings, torture, and severe restrictions on food and water. Prisoners are dying as a result of the abuse and neglect; the administration has stopped releasing the number of dead, but human rights groups count more than 50.

. . .

Nayib Bukele is 41 years old and a former executive at his father’s public relations firm. Since taking office in 2019, he has made deft use of advertising and social media to maintain overwhelming public approval, even as his term has been riven with corruption and crime. The country’s previous attorney general, until he was fired by Bukele’s party, was investigating six top officials for millions spent on overvalued pandemic procurements from companies owned by their friends and relatives. The vice minister of justice, who is also the prisons director, embezzled $1.6 million worth of emergency food meant for the poorest Salvadorans, according to the US government. Seven current and former senior officials have been named to the Engel list, Washington’s roster of corrupt and antidemocratic foreign actors, and US authorities are preparing to indict two of them for trading favors with the gangs. And in mid-September, Bukele announced that he will run for a second term as president, in violation of the Salvadoran constitution. Amid the storm of such scandals, the nationwide arrest of alleged criminals is a convenient distraction. Announcements promoting the crackdown blanket the country, with images posted along highways and splashed across public buses, promising to “eradicate” the gangs. Others display the number for the anonymous-tip hotline, accompanied by a plea: “We need your help to continue capturing terrorists.”


~ ~ ~

You probably might notice a very strange spin in this article. It's almost expected in every corporate masterpiece:

From the English version of EL PAÍS

San Salvador - FEB 06, 2019 - 05:23 EST


It’s 9am, and some of the most violent and bloodthirsty inmates of El Salvador sing, pray and passionately call out to Christ while they read the Bible in the prison’s courtyard. Hundreds of men, tattooed to their eyebrows, have been doing this non-stop for two hours.

They have given themselves to Christ. They show this by jumping, crying, beating their chests, calling out to the sky and playing music, lots of music. At least five trumpets, two guitars, three tambourines and one drum are on hand to celebrate Jehovah. Sometimes the inmates rejoice at dawn, other times throughout the night.

. . .

This army of young males in service to Christ listen eagerly. Without any shame, they show their tattoos and wounds from a war that ensnared them since childhood: the conflict between warring gangs Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the two factions of the 18th Street (Barrio 18) gang, the Sureños and the Revolucionarios.

. . .

But peace has come to this prison thanks to the Bible and the pastors, who have managed to achieve several miracles: there is no violence, everything is perfectly clean and organized despite the overcrowding, and the prisoners treat each other with respect. And they have achieved the seemingly impossible – members of rival gangs are living together in the same space, something that is fairly normal inside the prison’s walls but unthinkable outside.


WOLA Human Rights Awards Honor Maya Achi and Q'eqchi' Women, David Morales and Rep. Joaquin Castro


There’s a moment when a room packed with people including human rights activists, philanthropists, artists, government officials and journalists, goes completely quiet, all eyes on a screen and a stage, tears streaming down many people’s eyes. Few things can have that effect. Yet that is exactly what happened at WOLA’s Human Rights Awards and Benefit Gala on September 21, as Máxima Emiliana García Valey and Demecia Yat shared their stories of bravery and courage.

Máxima and Demecia were honoured in representation of the Maya Achi women of Rabinal and the Maya Q’eqchi’ women of Sepur Zarco. WOLA celebrated their bravery and strength in the face of immense obstacles over several decades to ensure those responsible for their sexual violence faced justice.

WOLA also honoured Salvadoran lawyer David Morales for his ongoing fight for justice for human rights in El Salvador, in particular for the victims of the El Mozote massacre, and Representative Joaquin Castro, for his unwavering commitment to upholding human rights across Latin America.

Carolina Jiménez Sandoval and Representative Joaquin Castro. ©Lancer Photography.

“This is a time when we face enormous challenges in the Americas. It no longer makes sense to speak about setbacks to democracy. What we are witnessing is the advance and consolidation of authoritarianism in many countries and extremist threats here in the United States,” Carolina Jiménez Sandoval, President of WOLA, said. “But we take inspiration from the people we honor tonight. Their courage and their persistence against the incredible odds.”


Datafolha Researcher Attacked by Bolsonarist in So Paulo

Case is one more in the current escalation of the hostility against professionals from the research institute

Sep.22.2022 12:36PM

A Datafolha researcher was attacked on Tuesday afternoon (20) with kicks and punches by a Bolsonarist in Ariranha (378 km from the capital), in an escalation of hostility against professionals from the institute in the midst of the electoral process.

The researcher was interviewing a person, when Rafael Bianchini approached and, screaming, began to demand that he also be heard for the survey. "Picks only Lula" and "slobs" were some of the terms shouted by the bolsonarist in the middle of the street.

Rafael Bianchini ( Foto: Rafael Bianchini no facebook ) - facebook

The institute's researchers receive standardized training, which determines that people who offer to be interviewed must be avoided in order to ensure that the sample is random. The attack began when the researcher ended his interview with the other resident.

He was hit in the back, and the tablet used for the interview was knocked to the ground. When the researcher fought back, he was also attacked by a son of the bolsonarist.


Colombia's Supreme Court orders arrest of its fugitive former president

Allegedly corrupt former magistrate reportedly in Canada after political asylum request
by Adriaan Alsema September 21, 2022

Colombia’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of its former president over claims that he sabotaged investigations into congressmen for money.

The court announced that it has ordered the detention of former magistrate Leonidas Bustos, one of three former Supreme Court magistrates embroiled in the “Toga Cartel” scandal.

Bustos reportedly fled to Canada in 2018 after Colombia’s highest court began investigating his alleged role in the biggest judicial corruption scandal in recent memory.

The court ordered the former magistrate’s arrest on claims that Bustos continued to wield enough power in Colombia to potentially sabotage investigations into the Toga Cartel.

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