Archive for the ‘Capitalism’ Category

Wonder Woman?

2016-12-28

Many should recall that the United Nations Organisation had selected as its inspiration, as role model for all women and girls a famous woman, a fictional woman, Wonder Woman. That cartoon character, half-naked, is ever decked out in a bikini made from a tiny US flag, and wearing tall black boots – and the UN officials saw no problem with that.

Fortunately protests would lead to the withdrawal of that offensive character – obviously nowhere in the whole wide world was there any woman, a living person who could serve as inspiration, as role model. Yet, throughout the year there has been ample evidence of the existence of such women – in this case, Latin America.

Which brings us to this recent post in TeleSUR, Indigenous Women Led Environmental Struggle in 2016. A brief introduction,

Women are leading the struggle in Latin America against environmental destruction as well as Indigenous rights, but they often face assassination, jail, threats and violence.

They not only fight against gender inequality, but also demand wider societal transformation of a patriarchal system that doesn’t work for them as women — even though it is working exactly how it’s supposed to.

These women are engaged in life-threatening struggles, yet their battles seldom attract the attention of the corporate Western media – and for obvious reasons. That UN officials should have overlooked such role models is something of an indictment of the corporate (and other) drift of that organisation. Yes, Wonder Woman.

 

Social media, and uniting indigenous nations

2016-10-12

The times, they do change. With the corporate media then in totally unchallenged dominance, the voiceless were just that, and an awkward irritant best left ignored. However, with the advent of social media, nations and their peoples that have long existed, but studiously ignored, now have their voices heard. With the corporate media, the plunder of resources – with assorted intimidating murders of community or tribal leaders – would be rationalised as deterring ‘terrorists’ (or evil Communists in another era) from depriving their disadvantaged people of the benefits of ‘civilisation’. The times have changed, as ‘legacy’ media are increasingly being treated with the opprobrium deserved, well-deserved. (more…)

the indigenous, living in the past

2016-09-11

Those who have survived extirpation, in a few instance thrive. Otherwise for the majority of Native Americans, even of the US, it remains a struggle for survival – with the US government a not-insignificant contributor to that struggle. A recent example is the constructing of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). (more…)

Britain and its colonies

2016-09-02

The Guardian continues with its series, The Long Read – here, Uncovering the brutal truth about the British empire The story has its roots in thwarted attempts to discredit the research of a US scholar, and a feisty female one at that. (more…)

13August, and a Happy 90th

2016-08-14

Cuba and the world celebrate the 90th birthday of Fidel Castro. As TeleSUR reports, Tribute to Fidel Castro on His 90th Birthday

An excerpt, (more…)

Honduras and Guatemala, two days in June

2016-06-28

The murders of indigenous in Honduras, and of Berta Cáceres in particular bring to mind that date, 28 June 2009, first year of the US presidency of Barack Obama and his Secretary of State. On that date, the democratically elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was overthrown in a military coup with the full knowledge and acquiescence of the US. TeleSUR has a post on that event, Honduran Democracy Still in Crisis 7 Years After Coup, with an introduction that invites further reading, (more…)

Thank goodness for that 13Apr

2016-04-11

Today, 11Apr15; ‘yesterday’, 11Apr02.

To remember is that Venezuela is, and has been, a country rich in natural resources, the benefits of which would always flow to foreign corporations and to the Venezuelan oligarchy. Poverty, illiteracy and hopelessness would be the crumbs thrown at the rest of the population – and then along came (the Caracazo and) Hugo Chávez and with him the rekindled hopes of the abandoned and dispossessed masses.

Predictably, such a turn of events was completely unacceptable, even as the results of such an election were too indisputable to overturn. The only reliable option that would guarantee success, a return to the status quo ante, was an old friend, the coup, a golpe blanco. And a coup it was – however short-lived – with US involvement.

TeleSUR takes us back, Anniversary of Venezuela’s 2002 Coup

On April 11, 2002 the Venezuelan right, with the help of media power, created a tense situation to pit Venezuelans against each other, leading to a coup for 48 hours against President Hugo Chavez.

TeleSUR’s series of reports and analyses on the event also shines a light on the role of complicit corporate media, especially of the US. And, yes, as recently as 2014 14Apr2013 there was that desperate, concerted, violent and deadly attempt at destabilisation, La Salida with its guarimbas.

To be remembered is that in March 2016, the US  President, and for the second straight year, has declared Venezuela a threat, yes, to the existence of the US – the height of cheek.

So Venezuela continues to struggle not only against droughts, a drastic fall in oil prices, hoarding or smuggling of subsidised food and essentials across the border into Colombia, and some weak economic policies; not only against such challenges, but also against the unrelenting machinations of the US with its loyal local allies – despite the recent electoral reverses for the Chavistas.

And the disadvantaged of Venezuela and the country’s neighbours and against such odds? During the administration of the late President Chávez, ‘minor’ accomplishments such as health care available to all, millions lifted out of poverty, lifted out of illiteracy, free education, and increased economic opportunities. And Alba for many of its neighbours.

Thanks to information technology, alternative media and blogs, the unremitting propaganda of US corporate establishment media and oligarchy-controlled media in such countries as Venezuela is fast, but not fast enough, becoming less effective, less credible, less acceptable even among the somewhat inattentive.

A sobering read – countries and corporate greed

2016-04-10

How easy is it to create a country? And one that suits your own nefarious purposes? Simple, if you are a powerful US financial mogul with significant financial and political influence in a powerful country, where both player and country benefit substantially – at the cost of the people of the new and the original, supposedly independent state.

The Guardian takes us on a journey to the tropics, Colombia. How a US president and JP Morgan made Panama: and turned it into a tax haven A teaser,  (more…)

Hugo Chávez, hasta siempre

2016-03-05

A refreshing read against the backdrop of the US President proclaiming, on 04Mar. and for a second consecutive year, Venezuela a threat to the US.

With that and the US President’s accomplishment in mind, we have TeleSur which pays homage to the late President of Venezuela who died on 05Mar2013. (more…)

March? Then the eagle flies south

2016-03-04

Comes other news of the US President. In his final year in elected office he seeks to rediscover America. On 21-22 March he is scheduled to visit Cuba, notching up another US accomplishment, first President to visit the island since the US imposed its destructive embargo against the small country.

There, aside meeting Cuban officials and others and making some speeches, the US President is to see a baseball game. However there seems still no plan to have the US President go scuba diving, since that may well raise this awkward question, even if not embarrassing to the country’s exceptional policy makers.

Any discussion of the fate of Guantanamo and its torture camp will certainly be avoided. More likely a sing along of Guantanamera or a dance of the rumba?

On 24 March, and forty years to that date, the US president is then scheduled to be in, of all places, Argentina, and to meet President Mauricio Macri. Sí, el Condor pasa. The insensitive choice of that date for the visit is suggestive, and it has not been lost on many in the region. Whereas his former Secretary of State, with the audacity of the bold, has proclaimed herself ‘abuela‘ of Latins in the USA, in Argentina there have been true ‘Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo’ as there are true ‘Madres de la Plaza de Mayo’. As the founder of Madres stated in the TeleSUR report, Obama to Visit Argentina’s New President Macri on Anniversary of Military Coup, an excerpt,

 Hebe de Bonafini, Argentine human rights activist and founder of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, strongly criticized the timing of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Argentina, which will coincide with the anniversary of the 1976 military coup.

[snip]

“Let’s raise alarm bells, he did not invite him to visit on a regular date. He invited him to visit March 24 … (Macri) is a servant of theirs,” said de Bonafini, referring to politicians in the United States.

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, a genuine Nobel Laureate, also weighs in on the, at best bizzare, decision to visit Argentina on 24 March, as reported in the common dreams blog, Skip Your Visit to Argentina, Nobel Laureate Tells Obama. A snippet,

“I’m a survivor of that era, of the flights of death, of the torture, of the prisons, of the exiles,” Esquivel told AP. “And when you analyze the situation in depth, the United States was responsible for the coups in Latin America.”

And to soothe ruffled feathers, nothing like a sing along of a Mercedes Sosa classic, or doing the tango, for the photo-op? Or mention the name Messi (but not Videla)?

Not yet announced, but then again, why not. A visit to Chile. On 11 September? With fellow Nobel Laureate, Henry Kissinger?

Clearly, that problem of language and communication. At the Summit of the Americas (SoA) in Port-of-Spain, the late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, as a futile gesture of friendship, had presented that well-known Galeano. Instead, as subsequent events showed, the US President seemed to have opted for Galliano. And there disappearing in the wind ‘hope and change’, lofty rhetoric without substance – mission accomplished.