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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,053

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Hybrid War Hyenas Tear Brazil Apart

April 20, 2016
Hybrid War Hyenas Tear Brazil Apart

by Pepe Escobar

The gloomy and repulsive night when the female President of the 7th largest economy in the world was the prey of choice fed to a lynch mob of hyenas in a drab, provincial Circus Maximus will forever live in infamy. By 367 votes for and 137 against, the impeachment/coup/regime change-light drive against Dilma Rousseff cleared the Brazilian Congressional circus and will now go to the Senate, where a “special commission” will be set up. If approved, Rousseff will then be sidelined for 180 days and a low rent tropical Brutus, Vice-President Michel Temer, will ascend to power until the Senate’s final verdict.

This lowly farce should serve as a wake-up call not only to the BRICS but to the whole Global South. Who needs NATO, R2P (“responsibility to protect”) or “moderate rebels” when you can get your regime change just by tweaking a nation’s political/judicial system?

The Brazilian Supreme Court has not analyzed the merit of the matter – at least not yet. There’s no solid evidence anywhere Rousseff committed a “crime of responsibility”; she did what every American President since Reagan has done – not to mention leaders all across the world; along with her Vice-President, the lowly Brutus, Rousseff got slightly creative with the federal budget’s numbers.

The coup has been sponsored by a certified crook, president of the lower house Eduardo Cunha; holder of 11 illegal accounts in Switzerland, listed in the Panama Papers and under investigation by the Supreme Court. Instead of lording over near-illiterate hyenas in a racist, largely crypto-fascist circus, he should be behind bars. It beggars belief that the Supreme Court has not turbo-charged legal action against Cunha. The secret of his power over the circus is a gigantic corruption scheme lasting many years featuring companies/corporations contributing to his and others’ campaign financing.


Venezuela’s Opposition: Attacking Its Own People

April 20, 2016
Venezuela’s Opposition: Attacking Its Own People

by Eric Draitser

The corporate media would have you believe that Venezuela is a dictatorship on the verge of political and economic collapse; a country where human rights crusaders and anti-government, democracy-seeking activists are routinely rounded up and thrown in jail. Indeed, the picture from both private media in Venezuela, as well as the mainstream press in the US, is one of a corrupt and tyrannical government desperately trying to maintain its grip on power while the opposition seeks much-needed reforms. In fact, the opposite is true.

The sad reality of Venezuela is that it is the Bolivarian Revolution that is being undermined, targeted, and destabilized. It is the Socialist Party (PSUV), its leftist supporters (and critics), Chavista activists and journalists, and assorted forces on the Left that are being victimized by an opposition whose singular goal is power. This opposition, now in the majority in the National Assembly, uses the sacrosanct terminology of “freedom,” “democracy,” and “human rights” to conceal the inescapable fact that it has committed, and continues to commit, grave crimes against the people of Venezuela in the service of its iniquitous agenda, shaped and guided, as always, by its patrons in the United States.

This so-called opposition – little more than the political manifestation of the former ruling elites of Venezuela – wants nothing less than the total reversal of the gains of the Bolivarian Revolution, the end of Chavismo, and the return of Venezuela to its former status as oil colony and wholly owned subsidiary of the United States. And how are these repugnant goals being achieved? Economic destabilization, street violence and politically motivated assassinations, and psychological warfare are just some of the potent weapons being employed.

Making the Economy Scream

In what is perhaps the most infamous example of US imperialism in Latin America in the last half century, the Nixon administration, led by Henry Kissinger, orchestrated the 1973 overthrow of Salvador Allende, the Socialist President of Chile. In declassified CIA documents, it has been revealed that President Nixon famously ordered US intelligence to “make (Chile’s) economy scream,” a reference to the need to undermine and destabilize the Chilean economy using both US financial weapons, and a powerful business elite inside Chile, in order to pave the way for either the collapse of the government or a coup d’etat. Sadly, US efforts proved successful, leading to a brutal dictatorship that lasted nearly two decades.


Good Reads:

Berta Cáceres Lives On, and So Does Violence by Honduran Government and Dam Company

Berta Cáceres Lives On, and So Does Violence by Honduran Government and Dam Company
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 00:00
By Beverly Bell, Other Worlds | Op-Ed

Fifteen hundred people from at least 22 countries convened in Honduras from April 13-15, 2016 for the "Peoples of ¡Berta Vive!" International Gathering. They came to honor slain global movement leader Berta Cáceres and to commit themselves to keeping her legacy alive.

Members of the international gathering also experienced the violence of the Honduran government and Desarrollos Energéticos S.A. -- DESA, the foreign-backed company illegally constructing a dam on the indigenous ancestral Gualcarque River -- which shadowed Berta throughout her final years and ended her life this past March 2.

Berta Cáceres' "Emancipatory Vision"

The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), the group Berta founded in 1993 and ran until her assassination, and two other Honduran organizations hosted the gathering. The final declaration gave the context of the meeting.

In this land which has struggled for more than 500 years, with the sound of the free-running rivers, the strength of the mountains, the neighborhoods and communities; with the fury and tenderness of the beings of nature; with the spirit of the ancestors, and the hope and pain of men, children, and women (who are) all people of Berta... We are convened here for her memory and her rebellious life.


Omar Khadr engaged to human rights activist who helped in Gitmo release

Omar Khadr engaged to human rights activist who helped in Gitmo release

  • Muna Abougoush was among the people pushing for ex-detainee’s release

  • Supporters still urging Canada to launch inquiry into authorities’ actions

    Ashifa Kassam in Toronto

    Tuesday 19 April 2016 18.09 EDT

    Nearly a year after his release from prison, Omar Khadr – the Canadian who was once one of Guantánamo Bay’s youngest prisoners – is engaged to be married to a human rights activist who helped fight for his release.

    News of the engagement was confirmed by CTV News on Tuesday, after the Canadian broadcaster spotted a post on Facebook congratulating Khadr and Muna Abougoush on their upcoming nuptials.

    Khadr, 29, has been out on bail since May of last year. He is studying to become an emergency medical responder and living at the Edmonton home of his lawyer Dennis Edney.

    Born in Canada, Khadr was 15 years old when he was captured by US troops in Afghanistan and taken to Guantánamo Bay. The first person since the second world war to be prosecuted in a war crimes tribunal for acts committed as a juvenile, he spent nearly 13 years in custody in a case that sparked political controversy in the US, Canada and around the world.

  • Colombia to use glyphosate in cocaine fight again

    Colombia to use glyphosate in cocaine fight again

    Use of herbicide suspended last year due to cancer concerns, but will now be applied manually, not by crop dusters

    Associated Press
    Tuesday 19 April 2016 00.18 EDT

    Colombia will resume using weed killer to destroy illegal coca crops less than a year after suspending its use due to cancer concerns, the government said Monday.

    The defense minister, Luis Carlos Villegas, said instead of dumping glyphosate from American-piloted crop dusters, as Colombia did for two decades, the herbicide will now be applied manually by eradication crews on the ground.

    “We’ll do it in a way that doesn’t contaminate, which is the same way it’s applied in any normal agricultural project,” Villegas told La FM radio, adding he hoped final approval to initiate the work would be completed this week.

    President Juan Manuel Santos last year banned use of glyphosate following a World Health Organisation decision to classify it as a carcinogen. The ban was heralded by leftists and members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia who have long compared the program to the United States’ use of Agent Orange in Vietnam.


    Brazil’s Rousseff — ex-guerilla in fight for political life

    Brazil’s Rousseff — ex-guerilla in fight for political life

    Sebastian Smith — Updated 23 minutes ago

    RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff survived torture as a guerrilla member under the military dictatorship. Four decades later, as president, she’s fighting for her political survival.

    After those dark days in the 1970s, when Rousseff belonged to a violent Marxist underground group, she rose to become Brazil’s first woman president.

    But less than a year into her second term, the lower house of Congress voted on Sunday to send her impeachment case to the Senate, which is expected to decide in May whether to open a trial.

    The impeachment charges centre on Rousseff’s government’s allegedly illegal juggling of funds to cover budget holes leading up to her re-election in 2014.

    Brazil’s 68-year-old “Iron Lady” calls the impeachment a coup and has fought fiercely, trying to repair a coalition left in tatters by the defection of her vice president and the country’s largest party, the PMDB.


    Oh look - the 'empty Venezuelan shelves' are in New York

    Oh look - the 'empty Venezuelan shelves' are in New York

    By Lucas Koerner
    Friday, Apr 15, 2016

    Iconic Photo of Shortage-Ridden Venezuelan Supermarket Taken in New York

    A report by the Spanish website FCINCO has revealed that a photo widely circulated by international media as a depiction of chronic shortages in Venezuela was actually taken in New York in 2011.

    The now iconic photograph, which shows a woman in a supermarket gazing at empty shelves, was reposted by news outlets hundreds of times over the last three years as evidence of Venezuela’s economic crisis.

    However, a closer examination of the photo demonstrates that it was taken by Reuters photographer Allison Joyce in a New York supermarket on the eve of Hurricane Irene with the caption, “A shopper passes by empty shelves while looking for bottled water at a Stop and Shop at Rockaway Beach in New York, August 26, 2011.”

    [font size=1]
    The original high resolution photo. Original caption: "A shopper passes
    empty shelves while looking for bottled water at a Stop and Shop at
    Rockaway Beach in New York, August 26, 2011. As North Carolina braced
    on Friday for a direct hit from Hurricane Irene, cities along the East Coast
    were on alert and millions of beach goers cut short vacations to escape
    the powerful storm. With more than 50 million people potentially in Irene's
    path, residents stocked up on food and water and worked to secure
    homes, vehicles and boats. States, cities, ports, oil refineries and nuclear
    plants scrambled to activate emergency plans." (Allison Joyce/Reuters)
    The image was first erroneously associated with Venezuela by several small blogs in 2012 and 2013, but only in 2014 did it begin to circulate massively, including among prominent news media such as El Nacional, Prensa Libre, La Patilla, Entorno Inteligente, El Nuevo Siglo, Mercopress, Elsalvador.com and Ahora Visión.


    Colombian Communities Reveal Crisis of Paramilitary Violence

    Colombian Communities Reveal Crisis of Paramilitary Violence
    Published 15 April 2016

    Paramilitary activity is on the rise as the government nears a peace deal with the FARC and threatens to undermine a definitive end of the internal conflict.

    As Colombia continues to inch toward peace with the FARC, the Congress held a public hearing on Friday to hear testimonies of how groups from all over the country are impacted by paramilitary activity, one of the gravest threats to the impending peace deal that will bring an end to over 50 years of internal armed conflict.

    Representatives of Indigenous and campesino organizations, peace activists, and human rights lawyers gathered at the National Congress in Bogota to raise awareness nationally and internationally about the harsh reality lived by communities affected by paramilitaries.

    David Flores of the Marcha Patriotica movement argued that the continuation of paramilitaries exposes the fact that the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos is not fully committed to definitively ending the conflict.

    “The presence and dominance of paramilitaries in these regions, about a third of Colombia, show that the government is not serious about the accord,” Flores said. He added that the paramilitary problem represents a rejection not only of the peace process as a whole, but also the various partial deals that have been reached as part of the talks, including agreements on land reform.


    Brazil Remembers Campesino Massacre Amid 'Political Coup'

    Brazil Remembers Campesino Massacre Amid 'Political Coup'
    Published 17 April 2016

    Brazil’s largest workers’ movement says the impeachment of the president and rural violence are “two faces of the same class struggle.”

    Twenty years ago, 21 members of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) were slaughtered in the northern state of Para, while 69 campesinos were severely injured.

    According to the official investigation, most of them were shot down at point blank range in the back of the neck on April 17, 1996 by over 150 military police officers - in what Attorney General Marco Aurelio Nascimiento called “a real bloodbath,” in an interview with daily Brasil de Fato.

    One of the campesinos was killed with a knife, and was left with a third of his head cut, he added.

    Survivors of the massacre recounted that the victims were among a group of 1,500 men, women and children, who were marching toward Para's capital, Belem, to protest against their eviction from a land lot known as the Hacienda Macaxeire in the town of Eldorado dos Carajas. The landless campesinos had been occupying the lot since November 1995.


    Why You Need to Go to Chile’s Atacama Desert, in 17 Spellbinding Photos

    Why You Need to Go to Chile’s Atacama Desert, in 17 Spellbinding Photos

    Northern Chile’s Atacama Desert takes the prize for being the world’s driest, as well as one of earth’s most surreal adventure destinations. From lunar landscapes that NASA used for testing Martian rovers to nighttime star fields you might as well reach up to touch (plus archeological sites, dune surfing, and pink flamingos), you can do it all without wanting for luxury. Here’s how.

    by Nic McCormack

    The Atacama Desert’s 41,000 square miles of diverse terrain includes spurting geysers best visited at dawn, wind-sculpted golden dunes perfect for surfing, salt lagoons for a bracing float, and cliffs of colorfully striped strata known as Rainbow Valley. Those are just the terrestrial offerings.

    It’s also one of the best locations on earth to appreciate our Milky Way’s glittering collection of stars, with April through September the best time to see it. For the darkest skies, time your visit to a waning rather than a full moon—or better yet, a Lunar Eclipse (the next will come on March 23). Prepare to be wowed by the most amazing natural light show on earth.


    Adhemar Duro’s stunning nighttime photograph (and video) of Monjes de la Pacana was taken in such strong winds that he had to pile rocks on the base of his tripod to stop it from shaking. The monolith pictured is the most emblematic of the desert's gigantic rock formations. A perfect combination of altitude, dry air, and a lack of light pollution means the Atacama is one of the best stargazing locations on earth. Cloudless skies April through September is a peak period to appreciate the stars, as well as Jupiter and Saturn. You won’t even need a telescope to see the breathtaking light show above. Darker skies are best, so avoid visiting during a full moon. (Still, that spectacle is beautiful in itself.)

    Photographer: Adhemar Duro/Flickr

    . . .

    Coyote Lookout–

    Mountain bikes are an excellent way to get around San Pedro de Atacama and venture farther afield. It’s a short ride to the nearby salt lagoons, and hardier adventurers can also ride into rugged terrain. Coyote Lookout is a popular stop (and photo op), thanks to a nail-biting drop to Cordillera de la Sal.

    Source: Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

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