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Name: Catherina
Gender: Female
Member since: Mon Mar 3, 2008, 03:08 PM
Number of posts: 35,568

About Me

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

Journal Archives

Colombia’s Uribe will Take Venezuela’s Maduro to Human Rights Commission

Colombia’s Uribe will Take Venezuela’s Maduro to Human Rights Commission

By Tamara Pearson

Ex Colombian president Alvaro Uribe

Merida, May 7th 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe said that he will take Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR), following accusations by the Venezuelan head that Uribe was involved in plots against him.

On Friday, Maduro accused Uribe, along with Roger Noriega and Otto Reich, ex members of the US State Department, of being behind a plan to depose and assassinate him. He said that he had “sufficient proof” and as a consequence, had increased his personal security.

Maduro alleged that there are “sectors of the Venezuelan right” working with Uribe, and predicted that the private media would “trivialise” his denunciation.

Uribe has openly worked with Venezuela’s rightwing, meeting with them in July 2012, in the lead-up to the October presidential elections, to denounce “atrocities and abuses by the Chavista dictatorship against democracy”. He publically supported Henrique Capriles’ candidature. A month later, he also stated to press that he had “lacked the time” as president for a military intervention into Venezuela.

On the weekend Maduro also insinuated that Uribe and his “paramilitaries and hired-killer groups” could be behind the rightwing, which also “could be” behind the shooting of a private media sports journalist, Johny Gonzalez, in Caracas recently.

Uribe argued that Maduro’s accusation put his life at risk. He said he also wanted a libel investigation held in Colombia, and would request it of Colombia’s Attorney General’s office if Maduro enters the country.

Uribe called Maduro’s accusations “immature” and his lawyer, Jaime Granados Pena, said that he would appeal to the IACHR to ask for precautionary measures in favour of Uribe every time “Maduro’s actions put [Uribe’s] life and bodily integrity at risk”.

Venezuela withdrew from the IACHR, an affiliate body of the Organisation of American States (OAS) last year, after former president Hugo Chavez accused it of “political manipulation”. The year before the Venezuelan Supreme Court also refused to enforce a IACHR ruling to override a decision by Venezuela’s comptroller barring opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez from holding public positions until 2014 after he was found guilty of corruption.

Further, Granados called Maduro’s accusations the acts of a “desperate person who holds power illegitimately...to divert attention away from the corruption and illegality sponsored by the dictatorship he runs”.

Maduro responded to the statements yesterday, saying, “That’s what these mafia are like, they order someone to be killed and then they come out and denounce that someone wants to do something to them to shut them up”.

Uribe, president of Colombia from 2002 to 2010, has himself been accused of a number of human rights crimes. Earlier this year Colombia’s chief prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary criminal investigation into Uribe over allegations he sponsored a far-right “killer” militia as a regional governor in the 1990s.

According to the Washington Post, members of Uribe’s congress collaborated with rightwing death squads to fix elections and assassinate opponents. Colombia Reports reported in 2008 that half of Colombia’s senate were suspected of being involved with paramilitary forces, and the next year also reported that 40,000 government officials, including mayors and governors, were under investigation for corruption.

In late 2009, a mass grave was discovered in the village of La Macarena containing around 2000 victims of the Colombian military, killed between 2005 and 2009. The Permanent Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in Colombia said on 26 January that the La Macarena site was one of thousands of mass graves in Colombia, where 25,000 people had officially disappeared by 2010.

Meanwhile, Colombia’s current president, Juan Manuel Santos, said yesterday that his government would defend the “dignity” of Uribe via “diplomatic channels”.

Published on May 7th 2013 at 7.44pm

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


DU archives are full of rich information about this criminal and mass murderer Alvro Uribe: http://www.google.com/search?q=%22alvaro+uribe%22&sitesearch=democraticunderground.com

Anonymous announces Operation Guantanamo (#OpGTMO)

Greeting Citizens of the World,

We have watched with dismay as a great injustice is being committed by the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT in the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp.

Imagine your Father, Your Brother, Your Husband Arrested
Sold for a bounty.
Black bagged and sent away to a foreign country.
Tortured for years on end.
Accused of being a terrorist.
No trial or charge is given.
No lawyer is brought in.
No one is allowed to see him.
With no end in sight.

With no hope for justice, over 100 men who have been held and tortured for years have gone on a hunger strike. On May 18th, it will have been 100 days since they have eaten voluntarily. Prisoners have died suddenly, violently, and suspiciously. All inmates in Guantanamo Bay have been locked in solitary confinement. Some are being force fed, an international crime. These men face the prospect of a terrible death in prison despite many of them having been cleared for release years ago. One defense attorney has already committed suicide.

It is time for the Obama administration to admit that this is a disgrace for any civilized country which upholds the rule of law. Guantanamo Bay must be closed at once, and the prisoners should be either returned to their home countries or given a fair trial in a federal court. Guantanamo Bay is an ongoing war crime. Anonymous will no longer tolerate this atrocity.

We are outraged. We, the people and Anonymous, will not allow the most expensive prison on earth to be run without any respect for international laws. We stand in solidarity with the Guantanamo hunger strikers. We will shut down Guantanamo.

On May 17 to May 19, to coincide with the 100th day of the hunger strike, we urge everyone to join global actions on the ground and hacktivist protests as well as twitterstorms, email bombs, and fax bombs, in 3 days of nonstop action.
Phonebomb the representatives

Call the White House and insist that President Obama fulfill his promise to close Guantanamo: 202-456-1111, 202-456-1414

Call the U.S. Southern Command to decry the conditions at Guantanamo: 305-437-1213

Call the Department of Defense, voice your concerns about the treatment of hunger strikers: 703-571-3343

Call your senators and representatives and urge them to support the closure of Guantanamo: http://congresslookup.com/
Sign the petition

For updates

Twitter : @opGTMO
Hashtag: #opGTMO

We are Anonymous
We are Legion
We are Everywhere
We do not Forgive
We do not Forget
Expect us

Evo Morales calls on G-77 to nationalize natural resources

Evo Morales calls on G-77 to nationalization

La Paz, May 7 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian President Evo Morales, today urged members of the Group of 77 (G-77) to nationalize natural resources as the only way to promote development. In his speech to the summit which is being held in Fiji, Morales described the progress of social and economic policy of the country, following the established changes coming to power in 2006.


According to Morales, the process of nationalization in Bolivia has been very important implemented to advance the social, political and economic levels in the country.

He affirmed that in his experience natural resources most be nationalized if they are in the hands of foreigners.


On the other hand, insisted that natural resources should be under the administration of the State, because they allow a better distribution of wealth, especially for the most excluded and impoverished through social bonds.


The Head of State made reference also to foreign inteference in southern countries, and called on "the importance of freedom from policies imposed through programs designed on the outside", referring to the United States Agency for Development (USAID ), recently expelled from Bolivia.


Guate: Genocide trial starts then stops; State of Siege near US/Canadian mine continues (Graphics)

Guatemala: Genocide trial starts then stops; State of Siege near US/Canadian mine continues

Xeni Jardin at 8:06 am Tue, May 7, 2013

Photo: James Rodriguez, a US-Mexican documentary photographer based in Guatemala since 2006, traveled to the State of Siege zone to document the conditions last week in Jalapa and Santa Rosa Guatemala.


I am publishing this post from inside the courtroom, which was less than half full today—there was much confusion over the last 48 hours about whether the trial could be suspended entirely. Rios Montt and Rodriguez Sanchez showed up this morning without attorney Garcia Gudiel, who literally called in sick. Judge Yassmin Barrios briefly responseded to an array of recent court rulings, said "There is no annulment of the trial," then suspended the trial for the day. She indicated to Rios Montt that if Gudiel remains unavailable, he may call back his previous defense team, who walked out of the courtroom in protest on Apr 19.

No one is entirely sure what will happen tomorrow.

Just before court opened this morning, around 8:20am, Rios Montt walked over to the prosecution stand and greeted the attorneys and human rights organizations gathered at the table. He exchanged cordialities. It was a weird moment. Not sure what the significance was, if anything beyond what it appeared to be.

Meanwhile, four primarily campesino and indigenous communities to the east of Guatemala's capital continue to live under a state of siege. The zone that has been occupied by thousands of Guatemalan Army troops and policemen since last week is near the US/Canadian-owned mining firm Tahoe Resources' El Escobal mine, also known as the San Rafael silver mine. After months of peaceful protests, a series of violent clashes left a number of locals wounded, and one police officer killed.

A march organized by indigenous and campesino groups is planned for this morning, in front of the Guatemalan Congress building (flyer above).

Tomorrow, the PBS NewsHour report I produced on the genocide trial with Miles O'Brien will air. Please do tune in.




As Xeni put it so well "Basically if you want to understand what's going on with this case, don't ask a lawyer. Hire a psychic. No one knows what's up."

No one's fooled either by the President's insistence that the Martial Law is because they're looking for drug cartels when their own announcements clearly give them away

(Police looking for the leaders of the Xinca Parliament. Their arrest (detention) is non-negotiable) says Minister of the Interior

Finally, Cuba Is Harboring a Terrorist!

Finally, Cuba Is Harboring a Terrorist!
May 4, 2013

Dawn Gable

Assata Shakur

HAVANA TIMES — After 40 years, the FBI has arbitrarily labeled Assata Shakur a terrorist. The former Black Panther was convicted of murder in 1973, for her involvement in an altercation with New Jersey police that left one officer dead.


It seems unlikely that the announcement of her transformation from criminal to terrorist coincidently occurred the day after the State Department was supposed to release its annual report “justifying” the continued inclusion of Cuba on its list of countries that “provide critical support to non-state terrorist groups and repeatedly provides support for acts of international terrorism.”


What does Assata’s new status have to do with Cuba being designated a State Sponsor of terrorism?

In the past several years, the State Department’s stated reasons for keeping Cuba on the list have dwindled. The most recent reports seem more like attempts to demonstrate why Cuba should be taken off the list. The rationale last year was reduced to: members of the ETA and the FARC, as well as fugitives from U.S. justice reside in Cuba.


Well, not any more. Since Cuba refuses to support real terrorists, the FBI, with or without the State Department’s collusion, has taken it upon itself to invent one! With no new evidence, no retrial, and indeed no change to the FBI’s description of her crimes and convictions, Assata Shakur was upgraded to terrorist at the agency’s whim, just in the nick of time. The anti-Castro, Cuba lobby has just won an enormous victory and one can hardly keep from admiring such deviously effective maneuvering.


Cuba to Send 6,000 Doctors to Brazil

Cuba to Send 6,000 Doctors to Brazil
May 6, 2013

HAVANA TIMES — Some 6,000 Cuban doctors will soon travel to Brazil to work in poor areas with a precarious health situation, the two governments decided today in Brasilia, reported DPA news.

The negotiation of the agreement, carried out with the support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), was announced after the meeting held in Brasilia of Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, and his Brazilian counterpart, Antonio Patriota.


“The bilateral agenda in Brazil and Cuba has been intensified with high-level visits and diversification and deepening in economic and social areas. The two countries cooperate in sectors ranging from biofuels, construction, transport, food security and health, including initiatives involving third countries such as Haiti,” said the statement.

The Brazilian government said, moreover, that the exchange between Brazil and Cuba increased sevenfold between 2003 and 2012, when it reached a record high of 661.6 million dollars.


FAO Director Sends Congratulation Letter to Fidel Castro (eradicating hunger)

FAO Director Sends Congratulation Letter to Fidel Castro

Havana, May 6 (Prensa Latina) FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva congratulated the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, because the country complies with the goals to eradicate hunger, national television reported.
The message sent by the director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that Cuba complied in advance with the goal of halving the number of undernourished people in each country, adopted by 2015 during the World Food Summit in 1996.


On the other hand, Da Silva announced that the upcoming FAO Conference, which will take place in June in Rome, will set as a number one goal that of eradicating hunger totally.

He said that Cuba and other 15 countries will be recognized in that meeting for having complied in advance the 1996 goal.

Among the other nations are Chile, Guyana, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, for Latin America and the Caribbean.


Here is the letter:

Dear Commander:

I have the honor to address you in my capacity as Director-General of the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO), to sincerely congratulate you and all the Cuban people for having fulfilled the goal set in advance by the World Food Summit, held in Rome in November 1996, and that he proposed to halve the number of undernourished people in each country by the year 2015.

As you may recall, you honored us with his presence in that Summit and delivered a brief but powerful speech, which still lingers in the collective memory of our Organization. You concluded by saying: "the bells that toll today for those who die of hunger every day, will toll tomorrow for humanity if it refused, failed or could not be wise enough to save them." And they say that you said in the press conference that followed the Summit that even if the target were achieved we would not know what to say to the other half of humanity if it would not be freed from the scourge of hunger. They are concepts that until today still retain its meaning and value.

It's been 17 years since then and now I have the great pleasure to inform you that the decision of its members and for the first time in its history, the FAO Conference, to be held next June in Rome, take the total eradication hunger as the number one goal of our Organization.

At that time, we will pay a tribute to Cuba and 15 other countries that have been most successful in reducing hunger. To all of them we will give a certificate of recognition for having met the target of the Summit in advance. The countries that accompany Cuba are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chile, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Nicaragua, Peru, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Thailand, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Besides reiterating my congratulations on the significant success achieved by your country, I wish you well-being and success for you and all the Cuban people.

Yours with great esteem and appreciation,

José Graziano da Silva


The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 23 (maria corina machado)

The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 23
May 6, 2013 — Sabina Becker

“They caught me!”

Well, well, well, well, well. Who have we here? Why, it’s our old friend MariCori! You may recall how, the other day, she was wearing a whiplash collar and complaining of no fewer than four nasal fractures, allegedly sustained at the hands of some Chavista rabble. And how she travelled to Colombia a short time later, to kvetch to the usual fascist sympathizers (and, no doubt, collect a huge cash infusion from the usual gringo bagmen.)

Well, somehow, on the way to Bogotá, MariCori experienced what can only be called a miracle cure:

As is well known by the right-wing press and the putschist channel Globovisión, parliamentary deputy María Corina Machado was the target of a supposed aggression. Strangely, no one knows who dealt her the particular blow that caused four fractures to her nasal bones, and in spite of the “seriousness” of the injury, she didn’t have even a little black eye, as one normally would in such a case.

A few hours after the “incident”, the deputy flew to the capital of Colombia. But in mid-flight, an amateur photographer, one of those who abound everywhere thanks to cellphones, captured the moment of a “miraculous recovery”, which has rarely been seen documented photographically: María Corina freed herself of the “therapeutic collar”, and her little nose was as straight and white as ever.

Even so, the parliamentarian took advantage of the occasion to indulge in some cosmetic surgery which she had already put off for several years, due to her “hard work” as opponent of the Bolivarian government.


Gee, maybe I should ask MariCori what saints she prays to. It’s obvious that she has much more of a direct line to God than the rest of us mere mortals. (Or at least, to Washington…)

Meanwhile, MariCori’s co-religionist, Julio Borges, got enough of a black eye for both of them:

“I demand a recount of the beatings!”


On Sunday, April 29, 2012, José Antonio López Lara set off to go fishing... (Honduras)

On Sunday, April 29, 2012, José Antonio López Lara set off to go fishing. He left his home in Los Rigores, a campesino community in the Lower Aguan Valley, with his fishing supplies, his cap, and his machete. He hoped to bring home food to feed his two young children. Instead, he was never seen again.

Jose Antonio had headed towards a river located in the Paso Aguan plantation. At that time, the Paso Aguan plantation was patrolled by 30 armed security guards for Miguel Facusse, Honduras’ largest landowner whose Dinant Corporation is at the center of many of the land conflicts in the Bajo Aguan. The previous Sunday, Jose Antonio had been threatened by Facusse’s security guards on the Paso Aguan farm when he went to fish. However, as he told his wife, Rosa Delia Gonzales, he wasn’t involved in anything bad and so he set off to fish just as he had done many times before.

Rosa Delia never saw her husband again and never knew what had happened to him. Then, a year later, on April 25, 2013, she watched as a clandestine grave was dug up and forensic anthropologists carefully removed the dirt from a pair of plastic boots. Rosa Delia recognized the boots. She had patched them for Jose Antonio. She recognized the striped plastic bag in which she had packed his fishing string. As the excavation continued, his hat and machete appeared. Rosa Delia recognized them both. Here was the skeleton of Jose Antonio, her husband, savagely buried in the dirt.

As the forensic anthropologists meticulously cleaned the dirt from the cranium, the violent nature of his death became clear – there was a sizeable fracture in the back of the cranium along with another fracture in the cheekbone and the jaw.

Jose Antonio is just one of at least 5 disappeared campesinos in the area. On July 2, 2012, Gregorio Chavez disappeared while working his land in the Panama community. His body was found three days later -- also on the Paso Aguan plantation – after an exhaustive search by members of the Panama community. In February 2012, Antonio Gomez left for work and never returned. On January 30, 2012, Lito Rivera also left to work and has never been found. On May 15, 2011, Francisco Pascual Lopez disappeared in the same area while grazing cattle. It is suspected that some of these bodies may also be buried in clandestine graves. But with mile after mile of African palm trees planted and armed security guards patrolling many areas, it hard to find the bodies.

Just months after Honduras’ military coup, the World Bank issued the first $15 million of a $30 million loan to Facusse’s Dinant Corporation, which has been implicated in dozens of campesino murders. Thanks to a brief filed by Rights Action, the World Bank Ombudsman is auditing the loan but in late March the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation issued a statement defending Dinant Corporation.

Take Action: Contact the World Bank and urge them to cancel their loan to Miguel Facusse’s Dinant Corporation.

Jose Antonio’s body was found only by chance. In early April, members of La Panama were working on the Paso Aguan farm when the cart in which they were hauling palm fruit got stuck and they noted that the land where the cart was stuck was not firm. A woman carved away some of the land and came upon the tip of a boot and subsequently a bone. They then realized they had probably come upon one of their disappeared companeros. The Unified Campesino Movement of the Aguan (MUCA) was determined that the body should be properly exhumed – i.e. not done sloppily as was the case with a previous exhumation by the Honduran government. Joni Rivas, General Secretary of MUCA said “we don’t want this to be another exhumation like the one in Ahuás (in the Mosquitia), where a lot of evidence could have disappeared.”

Together with the Committee of Families of the Detained and Disappeared of Honduras (COFADEH), they arranged for experts from the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation to exhume the body. While waiting for the exhumation, members of the Panama community maintained a 24-hour vigil around the grave to prevent Miguel Facusse’s guards or others from tampering with the grave and the evidence.

After being sworn in by the Honduran authorities, forensic anthropologist Alma Nidia Vásquez and forensic archeologist Leonel Paiz arrived to exhume the body, accompanied by COFADEH, MUCA, and governmental officials. Hundreds of campesinos gathered. Nidia and Leonel worked in the heat from early morning to late afternoon, painstakingly and carefully uncovering the skeleton and removing the dirt from the remains. After hours of excavation, they documented everything and lifted the bones one by one to be taken to the Honduran capital for investigation and forensic testing. All the artifacts – his hat, plastic bag, machete, and plastic bottles – were taken for analysis as well. There will be DNA testing to confirm the identity and a report is expected in 30-45 days.

Jose Antonio Lopez Lara is just one of almost 100 campesinos who have been murdered in the Bajo Agaun since 2009, when SOA graduates led a military coup in Honduras. The campesinos hold the security guards of Facusse’s Dinant Corporation, the police, and the Xatruch III military force commanded by SOA graduate Col. Alfaro – all of which frequently collaborate -- responsible for many of the murders and persecution. An extensive report by Rights Action details numerous human rights violations by the US-trained and supported 15th Battalion in the Aguan and documents the direct involvement of Dinant Corporation’s armed security forces in violence against campesinos.

Earlier this year, Xatruch III military forces, police, and security guards dressed in military uniforms evicted Panama community members from the Paso Aguan plantation, shot at them, and tear gassed them. The area was militarized and in the words of one member of Panama community, "We are persecuted daily... As poor people we are also human beings. We are people with feelings and we have the right to live."


Contact the World Bank and urge them to respect the human rights of the campesinos in the Bajo Agaun by canceling their loan to Miguel Facusse’s Dinant Corporation.


Israel’s Proxy War in Guatemala

Israel’s Proxy War in Guatemala

Apr 24 2013
Gabriel Schivone

You may not know it from reading or listening to the major U.S. media, but the rest of the world has been steeped in news coverage of a former Guatemalan head of state recently on trial in a national court (though proceedings are currently on hold) for genocide and crimes against humanity. The accused, General Efraín Ríos Montt, was one of the most vicious mass killers the United States—or Israel—ever produced.

Known as “Brother Efraín,” a fundamentalist convert of the California-based “Church of the Word” (Verbo), Rios Montt thanked his God in heaven for anointing him as Guatemala’s president, but on earth he thanked Israel for establishing his March 1982 military coup. Israeli press reported that 300 Israeli advisors helped execute the coup, which succeeded so smoothly, Brother Efraín told an ABC News reporter, “because many of our soldiers were trained by Israelis.” Through the height of la violencia (“the violence”) or desencarnacíon (“loss of flesh, loss of being”), between the late 1970s to early 1980s, Israel assisted every facet of attack on the Guatemalan people. Largely taking over for the United States on the ground in Guatemala (with Washington retaining its role as paymaster, while also maintaining a crucial presence in the country), Israel had become the successive governments’ main provider of counterinsurgency training, light and heavy arsenals of weaponry, aircraft, state-of-the-art intelligence technology and infrastructure, and other vital assistance.

At the time, Rios Montt defended his war against the “guerrilla,” indistinguishable from civilian noncombatants, in this way: “Look, the problem of the war is not just a question of who is shooting. For each one who is shooting there are ten working behind him.” Rios Montt’s press secretary added: “The guerrillas won over many Indian collaborators. Therefore, the Indians were subversives, right? And how do you fight subversion? Clearly, you had to kill Indians because they were collaborating with subversion. And then they say, ‘You’re massacring innocent people’. But they weren’t innocent. They had sold out to subversion” (Witness to Genocide, Survival International, 1983, p. 12). Or, as one of Brother Efaín’s Verbo pastors explained to a delegation of Pentecostals from California about the regime’s awesome benevolence: “The army doesn’t massacre Indians,” the Verbo pastor assured the visitors. “It massacres demons, and Indians are demons possessed; they are communists.”


A February 1983 CBS Evening News with Dan Rather program reported, Israel “didn’t send down congressmen, human rights activists or priests” to strengthen Israel’s special relationship with Guatemala. Israel “taught the Guatemalans how to build an airbase. They set up their intelligence network, tried and tested on the [Israeli-occupied Palestinian] West Bank and Gaza, designed simply to beat the Guerilla.” Time magazine (03/28/83) chimed in that Guatemalan army “outposts in the jungle have become near replicas of Israeli army field camps.” At one of these Israeli outposts replicated in Huehuetenango (among the areas hardest hit by the genocide, with the second highest number of massacres registered by a UN truth commission), Time continues: “Colonel Gustavo Menendez Herrera pointed out that his troops are using Israeli communications equipment, mortars, submachine guns, battle gear and helmets.” Naturally, as Army Chief of Staff Benedicto Lucas García had stated previously: “The Israeli soldier is a model and an example to us.”


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