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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
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Jeb Bush calls for strengthening Cuban embargo

Jeb Bush calls for strengthening Cuban embargo
By WILLIAM E. GIBSON
Sun Sentinel
December 3, 2014

WASHINGTON — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's call for strengthening the U.S. embargo of Cuba signals a get-tough approach to foreign policy sure to please his political base of Cuban-American conservatives.

One big question is whether Bush's position will alienate other voters, including thousands of Cuban-Americans who oppose the embargo and are streaming to the island to visit family members.

Bush's stance, affirmed during a speech in Coral Gables, Fla., on Tuesday, sets up a clear contrast to Hillary Clinton, the potential Democratic front-runner for president. She wants to lift the embargo and normalize relations with Cuba.

Bush acknowledged this week that he is "thinking about running for president." If he and Clinton are nominated by their respective parties, they will compete hard for Florida, the biggest swing state and home to 70 percent of the nation's Cuban-Americans.

"I would argue that instead of lifting the embargo we should consider strengthening it again to put pressure on the Cuban regime," Bush told cheering supporters at a gathering of the U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC, a pro-embargo advocacy group.

WASHINGTON — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's call for strengthening the U.S. embargo of Cuba signals a get-tough approach to foreign policy sure to please his political base of Cuban-American conservatives.

One big question is whether Bush's position will alienate other voters, including thousands of Cuban-Americans who oppose the embargo and are streaming to the island to visit family members.

Bush's stance, affirmed during a speech in Coral Gables, Fla., on Tuesday, sets up a clear contrast to Hillary Clinton, the potential Democratic front-runner for president. She wants to lift the embargo and normalize relations with Cuba.

Bush acknowledged this week that he is "thinking about running for president." If he and Clinton are nominated by their respective parties, they will compete hard for Florida, the biggest swing state and home to 70 percent of the nation's Cuban-Americans.

"I would argue that instead of lifting the embargo we should consider strengthening it again to put pressure on the Cuban regime," Bush told cheering supporters at a gathering of the U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC, a pro-embargo advocacy group.

More:
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/12/03/248879_jeb-bush-calls-for-strengthening.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Women seek justice for Chilean dictatorship rapes

Women seek justice for Chilean dictatorship rapes
By EVA VERGARA, Associated Press | December 3, 2014 | Updated: December 3, 2014 11:40pm

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Four women who say they were sexually tortured as political prisoners following Chile's 1973 military coup have filed a complaint they hope will bring to light dictatorship-era rapes that have been buried by fear, shame and silence.

The allegations were made in a complaint filed in May and the women gave their testimony to Chilean judge Mario Carroza this week.

They are being allowed to raise the decades-old charges because of international human rights accords recently signed by Chile, said Carroza, a specialist in crimes against humanity who is presiding over the case.

The women also are pressing Chile to update its 140-year-old penal code to classify the rape of political prisoners and torture as political crimes, which would subject violators to harsher sentences than currently allowed.

"We demand that the Chilean government, that the authorities, the state, change the laws and accept that this sort of sexual torture exists," Nieves Ayress, 66, an educator and community activist now living in New York, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Ayress was a 25-year-old socialist activist when she was detained in 1974, along with her father and 15-year-old brother. Upon her release in 1976, she was forced into exile.

More:
http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Women-seek-justice-for-Chilean-dictatorship-rapes-5934048.php

Waking Up to the U.S. Role in Central America's Crisis | Commentary

Waking Up to the U.S. Role in Central America's Crisis | Commentary

By Ismael Moreno and Kathleen Erickson
Dec. 3, 2014, 5 a.m.

What does a military training school in Georgia have to do with our immigration crisis — in particular the flood of young people, mothers and infants who crossed our southwest border into the United States from Central America over the summer? And why does Congress continue to fund such an institution?

About 100 miles outside of Atlanta sits the School of the Americas (since 2001 called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), a Pentagon-run training ground for Latin American military and law enforcement personnel. Despite the name change, it is essentially the same School of the Americas that trained the uniformed Salvadoran military officials who killed six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in their shared residence on a university campus in San Salvador 25 years ago this month. Although that event opened the eyes of many around the hemisphere to the dangers created by U.S. support for undemocratic military governments, this dark legacy continues.

Americans were shocked over the summer by the arrival of thousands of mothers with infants, and even unaccompanied children, traveling hundreds of dangerous miles from their home countries to the U.S. border. Many began asking why this was happening, completely unaware of the violence in Mexico and Central America led by corrupt military officers and law enforcement officials who graduated from the School of the Americas. Most of the immigrants came from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala by way of Mexico. Each country has a long history of violence, exploitation by businesses that provide us with goods and contribute to poverty, corruption and military dominance. U.S. consumers have benefited from this status quo for far too long.

In 2009, the Honduran army led by Gen. Romeo Orlando Vasquez Velasquez, twice-trained at the School of the Americas, overthrew the elected government of Honduras in a coup that has had disastrous consequences. While the coup leaders created a militarized state that was condemned by most other nations, the U.S. government turned a blind eye and contributed to the devastation, continuing to provide training and aid to the Honduran dictatorship and the rigged elections that followed.

More:
http://www.rollcall.com/news/waking_up_to_the_us_role_in_central_americas_crisis_commentary-238332-1.html

Cuba’s extraordinary global medical record shames the US blockade

Cuba’s extraordinary global medical record shames the US blockade

Seumas Milne

Wednesday 3 December 2014 15.07 EST

Four months into the internationally declared Ebola emergency that has devastated west Africa, Cuba leads the world in direct medical support to fight the epidemic. The US and Britain have sent thousands of troops and, along with other countries, promised aid – most of which has yet to materialise. But, as the World Health Organisation has insisted, what’s most urgently needed are health workers. The Caribbean island, with a population of just 11m and official per capita income of $6,000 (£3,824), answered that call before it was made. It was first on the Ebola frontline and has sent the largest contingent of doctors and nurses – 256 are already in the field, with another 200 volunteers on their way.

While western media interest has faded with the receding threat of global infection, hundreds of British health service workers have volunteered to join them. The first 30 arrived in Sierra Leone last week, while troops have been building clinics. But the Cuban doctors have been on the ground in force since October and are there for the long haul.

The need could not be greater. More than 6,000 people have already died. So shaming has the Cuban operation been that British and US politicians have felt obliged to offer congratulations. John Kerry described the contribution of the state the US has been trying to overthrow for half a century “impressive”. The first Cuban doctor to contract Ebola has been treated by British medics, and US officials promised they would “collaborate” with Cuba to fight Ebola.

But it’s not the first time that Cuba has provided the lion’s share of medical relief following a humanitarian disaster. Four years ago, after the devastating earthquake in impoverished Haiti, Cuba sent the largest medical contingent and cared for 40% of the victims. In the aftermath of the Kashmir earthquake of 2005, Cuba sent 2,400 medical workers to Pakistan and treated more than 70% of those affected; they also left behind 32 field hospitals and donated a thousand medical scholarships.

More:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/03/cuba-global-medical-record-shames-us-blockade-ebola

Amid Uproar over Violence in Mexico, US Solidarity Protests Call for End to 'War on Drugs'

Published on Wednesday, December 03, 2014

by Common Dreams

Amid Uproar over Violence in Mexico, US Solidarity Protests Call for End to 'War on Drugs'

Demonstrations planned in close to 50 cities to highlight U.S. complicity in Mexican human rights abuses

by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Protesters in close to 50 American cities on Wednesday rallied in solidarity with Mexicans who are demanding an end to state-sanctioned violence and relief from the failed international drug war that has left more than 100,000 dead and 25,000 people missing.

The demonstrations were spurred by the disappearance and presumed execution of 43 student-teachers, who were allegedly abducted by police in Iguala, Mexico on September 26, then handed over to a local drug gang that claims to have murdered them and burned the bodies. The incident sparked international outrage and huge demonstrations across Mexico.

Under the banner #UStired2—a translation of the #YaMeCanse hashtag that has been embraced by Mexican protesters as a symbol of being fed up with a broken system—some immigrant rights activists, religious organizations, students, and Latino-Americans are calling for an end to 'Plan Mexico,' a multi-billion dollar U.S. aid package "that has done nothing to reduce drug traffic into the U.S. or drug use here, and has instead supported a corrupt government using the drug war as cover for a war on its own people, especially those like the Normalistas of Ayotzinapa, young souls whose only 'crime' is wanting a better education and life."

The #UStired2 website declares: "It is time for people in the U.S. to demand an end to this failed war—before we contribute to the next Ayotzinapa."

According to those organizing the actions, Plan Mexico money has been used to fund the training of both Mexican military and police. But the #USTired2 coalition says the U.S. government is obligated to cut off aid to security forces found to be in violation of the human rights of its people. To support its claim, the campaign points to an open letter to President Barack Obama posted this week and signed by more than 100 U.S. scholars.

More:
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/12/03/amid-uproar-over-violence-mexico-us-solidarity-protests-call-end-war-drugs

Mexican protesters: Police threatened to dismember, burn us ‘like the Ayotzinapa students’ (Video)

Mexican protesters: Police threatened to dismember, burn us ‘like the Ayotzinapa students’ (Video)

By Manuel Rueda @thisisfusion

and Tania Miranda @thisisfusion

Posted 12/03/2014 2:58 pm



Human rights groups are stepping up efforts to monitor police activity during protests in Mexico, as demonstrations over the disappearance of 43 students continue across the country, often ending in violent clashes and dozens of arrests.

On Monday, as thousands of Mexicans marched through downtown Mexico City demanding justice for the missing students from the Ayotzinapa rural teachers college, volunteers in brightly colored vests kept a close eye on riot police deployed to the protests.

“We came here because in the last march, police used force in an excessive and indiscriminate manner, they broke with protocols and many people, including members of civil organizations were injured,” said Perseo Quiroz, the executive director of Amnesty International in Mexico.

A group of about 50 Amnesty volunteers attended the march in bright yellow vests, monitoring for potential clashes between protesters and police.

“These vests help us to identify each other,” Quiroz said. “But they’re also a message to the government that Amnesty is here, and we are monitoring what´s happening.”

More:
http://fusion.net/video/31276/mexican-protesters-police-threatened-to-dismember-burn-us-like-the-ayotzinapa-students-video/

Some Nebraska Politicians Were Trying To Block This Climate Data From Entering The State Senate

Some Nebraska Politicians Were Trying To Block This Climate Data From Entering The State Senate
Chelsea Harvey
27 minutes ago

Nebraska state Sen. Ken Haar (D) introduced a bill last year calling for a study of projected climate change impacts in the state that would be presented to the legislature.

But the bill took an unexpected detour when state Sen. Beau McCoy (R) introduced an amendment limiting the study to "cyclical" climate causes, like volcanic eruptions or solar variations.

In short, climate scientists funded to do the research by the state and for the state legislature to use in making climate-related decisions would not be permitted to consider human activity (the biggest driving factor of climate change) in their reports.

Typically, climate scientists that blame global warming on these "cyclical" causes are climate deniers that don't believe in human-caused climate change. Limiting the study to cyclical causes would bias the report against the actual truth of climate change — that it's human-caused. And if it had gone through, would have funded a report that could only be called climate denial.

More:
http://uk.businessinsider.com/nebraska-climate-study-not-funded-by-state-2014-11#ixzz3KmhPVh00

Women Occupy 48 Percent Of Seats In Bolivia's New Legislature

Women Occupy 48 Percent Of Seats In Bolivia's New Legislature

SUCRE (Bolivia), Dec 2 (BERNAMA-NNN-AGENCIES) -- The Plurinational Legislative Assembly, Bolivia's parliamentary body, will be comprised of 48 percent women in the upcoming session of 2015 to 2020.

According to the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Wilma Velasco, Bolivia is the second country in the world to achieve such a ratio, with a total of 80 women in both houses of the legislative body.

Representative Betty Yaniquez of the governing Movement Towards Socialism party (MAS) stated that, "Never before have we had laws that are favorable to women.

"What we have to do is ensure that they are functional, that they are workable, so that there is greater security for us as women, especially the women of MAS.

"We are going to work with this energy and with this strength in the Plurinational Legislative Assembly."

More:
http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v7/wn/newsworld.php?id=1090124

Chilean Activists Change the Rules of the Game

Chilean Activists Change the Rules of the Game

Graduating from protesters to politicians, Chile's student leaders achieved the legislative wins that have eluded their Occupy counterparts.

By Sebastian Rosemont, December 2, 2014.


[font size=1]
Michele Bachelete (left) and Camilla Vallejo. (Photo: Wikipedia)
[/font]
In 2011, students in Chile made headlines when they launched a nationwide strike lasting almost eight months.
The trigger was high tuition costs that drove students and their families into debt. There were coordinated marches in all major cities. At some universities students took over buildings. The marches took on almost a carnival atmosphere with students engaging in “kiss-ins” and pillow fights.

Before long, the marches became multifaceted. Opponents of the massive HidroAysén dam project in Patagonia joined in. Students and trade unions joined forces when workers staged strikes and marched in Santiago and other major cities.

Tasha Fairfield, an assistant professor for the London School of Economics’ Department of International Development, said the strikes were pivotal. “The student movement played a critical role in creating political space,” Fairfield said. It “dramatically changed the political context in Chile and helped to place the issues of Chile’s extreme inequalities centrally on the national agenda.”

Although most of the demonstrations were peaceful, some protestors wanted more direct confrontation with the police. Masked protesters armed with stones clashed with police forces equipped with riot gear, tear gas, and armored vehicles with water cannons. The harshness of the government crackdown drew international criticism.

More than two thirds of the population supported the student movement and its demands for education reform. The students consistently rejected the government’s attempts to appease the protesters as grossly insufficient. Their goal was free university tuition. President Sebastian Piñera, the first conservative president since the 1988 plebiscite that ended General Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, saw his ratings plummet to the lowest of any leader in the post-authoritarian era. Ordinary Chileans had made clear that they wanted to see changes in their society.

More:
http://fpif.org/chilean-activists-change-rules-game/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chilean-activists-change-rules-game

Autopsy on ex-Brazilian president is inconclusive

Autopsy on ex-Brazilian president is inconclusive

By JENNY BARCHFIELD, Associated Press | December 1, 2014 | Updated: December 1, 2014 2:55pm

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — An autopsy on the remains of late Brazilian President Joao Goulart was inconclusive, the country's minister of human rights said Monday, making it impossible to immediately prove or debunk suspicions he may have been murdered on orders of the military regime that once ruled the country.

Ideli Salvatti said at a news conference in the capital, Brasilia, that the autopsy did not turn up evidence Goulart was poisoned, as his family suspects, but also failed to prove he died of a heart attack, which was the official cause of death.

Goulart was toppled by a 1964 coup that installed the military regime that ruled Latin America's biggest country for 21 years.

He went into exile in Argentina, where he died in the city of Mercedes in December 1976. His body was quickly flown back to Brazil, where he was buried beside family members.

His death was ruled a heart attack, but an autopsy was never performed either in Argentina or in Brazil.

Suspicions he may have been poisoned stem from statements made in 2008 by a former Uruguayan intelligence officer imprisoned in Brazil for drug smuggling. He told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that Goulart had been poisoned by agents of Operation Condor, under which the military dictatorships that ruled much of South America in the 1970s and 1980s secretly cooperated in the torture and disappearances of each other's citizens.

More:
http://www.chron.com/news/world/article/Autopsy-on-ex-Brazilian-president-is-inconclusive-5927756.php
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