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Judi Lynn

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The families we're caging at the border are fleeing disasters we helped create Opinion

Updated 2:51 PM; Posted 2:51 PM

By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist
By Anne Manuel

President Donald Trump recently vowed to cut off aid to Central American countries that "abuse us by sending their people up" to the United States to seek asylum. Trump is apparently unaware of, or impervious to, the irony behind the notion of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras abusing their neighbor to the north, but the rest of us might want to bear a little history in mind.

Central American governments have long bowed to U.S. interests, from the late 19th century when their subservience to U.S. fruit companies earned them the nickname "banana republics." And for most of the 20th century, U.S. presidents put corporate interests at the forefront of relations with the isthmus, generally to the detriment of all Central Americans save the wealthy elite.

Does this history mean that America should fling open its borders to all? Of course not. But it does argue for some humanity in the way we enforce our laws, some appreciation for the role we played in creating the instability and violence these migrants are fleeing. It should make us think twice before putting these families behind bars while they pursue their claims, let alone separating them from their children.

Take the case of Guatemala. An agrarian nation where a minority controls almost all of the arable land, it has been said that Guatemala's poor can die falling out of their cornfields, since the only land available to them scales vertiginous mountain slopes. As was the case in the entire region except for Costa Rica, the extreme inequalities in wealth and income in Guatemala could be defended only by military dictatorship. Indeed, Costa Rica, the only Central American country that emerged from the colonial period with relatively little income inequality, is the region's only longstanding democracy.


'Businessmen in northwest Colombia plan to kill social leaders to prevent land restitution'

by Adriaan Alsema July 12, 2018

Businessmen in northwest Colombia are conspiring with death squads to assassinate social leaders to prevent the restitution of land that was stolen during the armed conflict, according to several organizations.

IPC, Forjando Futuros and the Association of Land and Peace Claimants (ARTP), three renowned NGOs, said at a press conference on Wednesday that three businessmen from the Uraba region would be plotting to murder their directors in an attempt to prevent the restitution of stolen land.

According to the information we have received, well-known businessmen Angel Adriano Palacios Pino, Jose Arley Muñoz, Luis Fabio Moreno Ruiz and Jaime Antonio Uribe Castrillon have been holding meetings … with the purpose of planning attacks that seek to halt the legal proceedings over land restitution that are taken against them as land thieves.

NGO spokespersons

An associate of one of the accused businessmen from Uraba was arrested earlier this year for allegedly murdering the farmer whose land he had stolen with the help of paramilitary groups.

More than 800 businessmen and corporations teamed up with death squads in the 1990s and the beginning of this century to expand their land properties by displacing small farmers.

In total, 15% of Colombia’s national territory was abandoned between 1995 and 2010, according to the government. Many of these lands ended up in the hands of large landowners, businesses and politicians.


Yes, Narco Rubio wildly supports them.

As you said, Evo Morales has become THE successful President against trafficking, and this improved after he sent the D.E.A. packing, invoking the seething hatred of the US gummint forever, and they had hated him already for being a progressive, doing without their "guidance."

updated 9:55 p.m. EDT, Sat November 1, 2008
Morales: Government will take over for DEA in Bolivia

(CNN) -- Bolivian President Evo Morales said Saturday that he was suspending the work of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Bolivia and that the government will take control of its activities in the war on drugs.

The announcement comes more than a month after Morales kicked DEA agents out of the country's coca-producing Chapare region, saying the government could no longer protect them amid a growing revolt. At least 30 people died in the violence, and Morales accused Washington of fomenting the unrest.

Bolivia and the United States each expelled the other's ambassadors in September as well, and Morales launched a verbal assault against the U.S. government at the United Nations General Assembly.

For its part, the United States accused Bolivia of not doing enough to stop the flow of drugs out of the country. Last month, President Bush said he had proposed cutting off special trade deals with Bolivia "until it fulfills its obligations."

As he left Bolivia after his expulsion, U.S. ambassador Philip Goldberg warned the Bolivian government that reducing ties with Washington was "a grave mistake."


Ha, ha, ha.

09/15/2015 07:46 am ET Updated Sep 15, 2015
Operation Naked King: U.S. Secretly Targeted Bolivia’s Evo Morales In Drug Sting
A confidential informant says the DEA had its sights set on Bolivia’s populist leader.
By Ryan Grim and Nick Wing

The United States has secretly indicted top officials connected to the government of Bolivian President Evo Morales for their alleged involvement in a cocaine trafficking scheme. The indictments, secured in a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration sting called “Operation Naked King,” have not been previously reported.

Morales, a former leader of Bolivia’s coca growers union, has long been at loggerheads with the DEA. In 2008, Morales expelled the agency from the country and embarked on his own strategy of combatting drug trafficking, acknowledging the traditional uses of coca in Bolivian culture and working cooperatively with coca growers to regulate some legal activity and to promote alternative development elsewhere. Morales’ plan has been effective at reducing cultivation, according to the United Nations.

But that doesn’t mean the DEA accepted its eviction quietly. In fact, the agency went after members of Morales’ administration in an apparent effort to undermine his leadership.

The sealed indictments, revealed last week in a lawsuit filed by long-time DEA informant Carlos Toro, target Walter Álvarez, a top Bolivian air force official; the late Raul García, father of Vice President Álvaro García Linera; Faustino Giménez, an Argentine citizen and Bolivian resident who is said to be close to the vice president; and Katy Alcoreza, described as an intelligence agent for Morales. Toro said in the court document that he played an integral role in securing the indictments as part of the DEA’s undercover investigation into the alleged Bolivian cocaine trafficking ring, which the agency ran out of its office in Asuncion, Paraguay.

. . .

Morales went on to tout Bolivia’s recent successes in reducing coca production, and cited Colombia — which has, according to the United Nations, seen a significant increase in coca cultivation over the past year, despite U.S. support — as an example of U.S.-backed failure.

“I could mention many countries in the world where there is this problem and how it has grown with U.S. presence,” the president said. “They’re using the fight against drug trafficking for clear political purposes.”


Evo has had the courage to be a person of his word, and to do so much in raising the quality of life vastly for the massive indigenous culture, and the sector treated like trash every day since Bolivia was invaded and stolen from its own peoople. Native Bolivians were forced to walk in the streets, and stay off the sidewalks by the European-descended "whites" until after a revolution in 1952. So damned sad.

The U.S. has consistantly supported coups and dictatorships in Bolivia, and total suppression of the vast majority, and also, upon discovering Evo would become the clear winner of the Presidential election, during George W. Bush's Presidency, arranged with Bolivian Air Force officers, behind the back of that current President, just prior to Morales' inauration, to remove all Bolivia's hand-held missiles, and transport them to a US air base in Texas!

From the Washington Post:
Bolivia's Defense Chiefs Ousted in Missile Scandal
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

LA PAZ, Bolivia, Jan. 18 -- A scandal in Bolivia over surface-to-air missiles prompted the defense minister's resignation and the army chief's dismissal Tuesday, plunging the military into a political crisis days before socialist president-elect Evo Morales is to be sworn into office.

The outgoing interim president, Eduardo Rodriguez, said he had accepted the resignation of Defense Minister Gonzalo Mendez, and fired Gen. Marcelo Antezana over apparent irregularities in the destruction in the United States of a batch of Chinese-made missiles in October.

"I have relieved the commander of the army of his duties and accepted the defense minister's resignation," Rodriguez told reporters after a cabinet meeting Tuesday.

At the height of campaigning for last month's presidential elections, Morales denounced the destruction of the 28 to 30 Chinese HN-5 shoulder-fired missiles, the only arms of their kind in the military's arsenal.

Antezana, the army chief, told reporters that Washington initiated the drive to destroy the missiles because it feared Morales would win the presidency of the South American country.


The Bush Administration started its war against Morales BEFORE he was elected! Can't get dirtier than that, right?

Also, from Wikipedia:
Bolivia’s Morales announces treason trial for army general
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

President-elect Evo Morales, who will assume office on Sunday January 22, announced on Wednesday that General Marcelo Antezana will face trial for treason after sending 28 aging Chinese-made missiles to the U.S. for destruction at the request from the U.S.

General Antezana, who was dismissed from his position this Wednesday 18, told Bolivian media that Washington had requested the missiles amid fears that Evo Morales would win the presidency. Days later, he retracted his comments. The Defence Minister, Gonzalo Mendez, resigned over the scandal.

Morales' political party, Movement for Socialism, has petitioned the Public Ministry to bring the transitional president Eduardo Rodriguez to trial on charges stemming from their investigation.

Rodriguez, interim president appointed after Carlos Mesa resigned in June, said that he had authorized the destruction, but not the transfer of the weapons, which were the only ones of its kind in Bolivia. The missile handover was an unapproved arrangement between local soldiers and the U.S. military, according to Rodriquez. He made a formal protest to the U.S. embassy on Tuesday, he said.

Rodriguez said his decision to get rid of the weapons was based on recommendations from United Nations and the Organization of American States. The army also reported they were a safety hazard. The obsolete surface-to-air missiles were destroyed in the U.S last October.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said that a campaign to eliminate portable arms in Latin America has been on-going in an effort to keep them from falling into the hands of terrorists.


A New Regional Paradigm for Following U.S. Elections

JUNE 25, 2018
by V. Lance Tarrance

Geopolitics is defined as the interrelationship of politics, economics, demographics and geography, and can influence not only elections, but delineate new political power centers and political strategies. Regional groupings of states that are organized around cultural and demographic similarities as well as geography can provide important ways of approaching U.S. politics.

U.S. politics today are characterized by deep partisan divides on cultural and political issues. The Cook Political Report recently said that "across the country we're seeing a political division -- some say the greatest since Reconstruction" with "seismic shifts, not just Republicans on one side and Democrats on the other … but on a geographic level."

Traditional Census regions -- the Northeast, Midwest, South and West -- don't fully align with today's political divisions, and the well-known red/blue state classification lacks geographic references. A new scheme is needed that hews closer to the socio-political differences among the states while retaining enough geographic unity to qualify as a "geopolitical" framework or lens for making sense of the nation.

Historians and ethnographers have made many attempts to define regional groupings that represent "the real America." Joel Garreau's 1981 book, The Nine Nations of North America, regrouped the states in the U.S. into multiple power centers based on distinct cultural, ethnic and geographic identities. In 2011, Colin Woodard released American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Cultures in North America, in which he maintains that there has never been "one America," but rather several rival blocs of Americas, each a distinct nation that looks at elections and everything else in its own way.


Brockie: The hideous side of Hans Asperger

Last updated 05:00, July 9 2018

After a long, distinguished career as a practicing psychologist and medical specialist, Hans Asperger, professor of psychology at Vienna University, died in 1980.

Starting in the 1930s, Asperger made a name for himself as a pediatrician, specialising in the mental disorders of children and was a pioneer in the study of autism.

He found that severely autistic children and adults were clumsy, communicated awkwardly with others, had poor eye contact, limited facial expressions and bodily gestures, and failed to appreciate other's feelings. Many autistic adults had obsessive or repetitive routines or interests and were blind to fashion.

In the 1940s, Asperger developed a scale of autism, ranging from serious "autistic psychopathy" to a much milder form which he defined as a distinct condition.


Doggerland - Europe's Lost Land

by Heritage Daily July 7, 2018

Doggerland is a submerged land mass beneath what is now the North Sea, that once connected Britain to continental Europe.
Named after the Dogger Bank, which in turn was named after the 17th century Dutch fishing boats called doggers.

The existence of Doggerland was first suggested in a late 19th century book “A Story of the Stone Age” by H.G. Wells, set in a prehistoric region where one might have walked dryshod from Europe to Britain.

The landscape was a diverse mix of gentle hills, marshes, wooded valleys and swamps. Mesolithic people took advantage of Doggerland’s rich migrating wildlife and seasonal hunting grounds that has been evident in the ancient bones and tools embedded on the present sea floor brought to the surface by fishing trawlers.

Over time, the area was flooded by rising sea levels after the last glacial period around 6,500 to 6,200BC. Melting water that had been locked away caused the land to tilt in an isostatic adjustment as the huge weight of ice lessened.


Archaeologists in Peru uncover Incan burial site in desert valley

JULY 5, 2018 / 11:36 AM / A DAY AGO
Reuters Staff

TUCUME, Peru (Reuters) - Archaeologists in Peru have uncovered an extensive Incan burial site inside an adobe pyramid in a coastal desert valley far from the Andean heart of the empire.

Two dozen cave-like tombs with human remains and pottery from the Incan culture have been unearthed so far at the Tucume Archaeological Site, Jose Manuel Escudero, director of the archaeological team working there, said on Thursday.

The finding was a reminder of the vast terrain - from the Pacific coast to the high Andes - that the Incan Empire, using a network of roads and a labor-based tax system, controlled before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

Tucume, some 400 miles north of the Peruvian capital, Lima, is believed to have been first settled by the Lambayeque coastal people at the turn of the 12th century before being occupied by the Chimu culture and later the Incan Empire some 500 years ago.



Lambayeque/Sican (800-1350 AD)
Click on the pictures


One of the bomb specialists who murdered the Letelier and Ronnie Moffit in Washington,

Virgilio Paz Romero, was released from prison during the first term of George W. Bush's presidency. You may recall George W Bush, and his father, former President, Vice-President, and CIA director, George H W Bush, as well as JEB Bush all were completely connected to the Cuban "exile" right-wing reactionary community in the U.S.

Virgilio Paz Romero served only 10 years for that assassination before being turned loose, to return to Miami, New Jersey, etc.

From his Wikipedia:

Sentencing and imprisonment
In July 1991, Paz Romero pleaded guilty in the conspiracy to assassinate Letelier, and on September 13, 1991, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.[2] He was paroled after serving half of his sentence, and an immigration judge ordered him deported.[5] Given that the United States did not have a deportation agreement with Cuba, he was placed into indefinite custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.[5] In July 2001 after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that indefinite detentions were unconstitutional, Paul Huck of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered Paz Romero released.[5]

Murder of Carmelo Soria
In May 2016, the Supreme Court of Chile voted unanimously to request that the United States extradite Paz, Chilean Armando Fernandez Larios, and American Michael Townley who were wanted for the July 1976 detention, torture, and murder of Carmelo Soria, a Spanish-Chilean citizen and United Nations diplomat.[6] The three men were former agents of Augusto Pinochet's secret police Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional.[2][7]


Alvin Ross Diaz, Guillermo Novo, Virgilio Paz, 2012
All three assassins, free and happy as clams in 2012.

Seven Indicted In U.S. Murder Of Chilean Aide

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 — The former chief of the Chilean secret police and six other persons, including four members of a Cuban nationalist group, were indicted today on charges of murdering Orlando Letelier, a strong critic of the Chilean military Government, who was killed in 1976 when his car was blown up on a public street here.

. . .

Cubans Were Anti‐Communist

The grand jury also brought charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder against Guillermo Novo Sampol, Alvin Ross Diaz, Virgilio Paz Romero and Jose Dionisio Suarez Esquivel, former Cuban citizens now living in New Jersey, who are the leaders of a group of militantly anti‐Communist Cubans. It charged a fifth Cuban‐American, Ignacio Novo, with having lied to a grand jury and failed to report a felony.

Earlier, Michael V. Townley, an American who had lived in Chile for more than two decades, was charged in connection with the killing. Both he and Ignacio Novo were reported to be in custody and cooperating with American authorities.

. . .

AsAgned to Stalk Letelier

On Aug. 26, Captain Fernandez, the grand jury said, was assigned to stalk the movements of Mr. Letelier in Washington, accompanied by Liliana Walker Martinez, described as “another DINA agent.” This was the first time that her name has come up in the case.

Twelve days later, Mr. Townley was sent to the United States to recruit and organize the assassination team, the indictment said. He and Captain Fernandez met at Kennedy Airport on Sept. 9, and’ Mr. Townley received the inforMation about Mr. Letelier's movements.

On Sept. 13, the jury charged, Mr. Townley met with four Cuban‐Americans and discussed the plot. Two days later, on Sept. ‐15, two of the Cubans gave Mr. Townley and Mr. Paz explosives and a remote‐controlled electronic detonating device,which the two carried by car to Washington. On Sept. 19, the indictment continued,two Cuban‐Americans and Mr. Townley, using parts purchased from a. Sears Roebuck store, constructed a bomb in a downtown Washington motel room.

The following day, Sept. 20, Mr. Townley placed the charge underneath Mr.. Letelier's car at his home in the nearby suburb of Bethesda, the grand jury said.

“On or about Sept. 19, 1976, Michael Townley telephoned Chile and told his wife, Mariana Ines Callejas de Townley, who was also an agent of DINA, to advise DINA that a bomb had been placed in Orlando Letelier's car, which she did,” the indictment said.

Mr. Townley, the jury charged, left Washington and was in Miami on Sept. 21 when the bomb was detonated, “killing Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt.” Three day's later,’ the jury said, he “advised Pedro Espinoza that the DINA mission to assassinate Orlando Letelier had been carried out.”

The investigation into Mr. Letelier's murder has been complicated by international and domestic pressures. The Chilean intelligence service was trained and supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, and the C.I.A. had undermined the administration of former President Salvador Allende Gossens, a Marxist, thus paving the way for the Pinochet regiume to take power.

Mr. Letelier, who had served in Dr. Allende's Cabinet and also as Ambassador in Washington, was regarded by many in American intelligence services as a Communist agent. Mrs. Letelier, and her husband's associates at the radical Institute for Policy Studies here, said early in the case that they felt the United States would make no serious attempt to place the real blame for the murder.

. . .


It should also have caused more attention nationally that due to right-wing CIA-connected assassins, a US American citizen just happened to be executed in the street in Washington, D.C., for being an associate of a Chilean diplomat.

That event would get someone's attention in a hurry, if that citizen was awakened

and realized how serious it was, and what it meant.

A lot of people apparently paid no attention to it whatsoever, and didn't "waste time" taking it seriously, if it registered with them at all.

Here's a great article from the Washington Post:

‘This was not an accident. This was a bomb.’

Secret police, hired killers and a former Chilean diplomat’s brazen murder in the streets of D.C.:
The assassination of Orlando Letelier, as told by those who knew him and found his killers

On a muggy autumn morning four decades ago, a car exploded in Washington. It had motored along Massachusetts Avenue NW, rounding the bend at Sheridan Circle, when a remote-controlled bomb taped beneath the vehicle was triggered.

A driver in a car nearby would later describe the fiery impact of the blast: “I saw an automobile actually coming down out of the air.”

The smoldering wreck lurched to a halt in front of the Romanian Embassy, its windows blown open and entire floor panel gone. A police officer who arrived on the scene remembered welling up with nausea. There was blood and debris everywhere and a human foot in the roadway. A fatally wounded man lay on the pavement; his legs were missing from above the knees.

This was Orlando Letelier, a 44-year-old former Chilean diplomat who had been driving to work at a D.C. think tank along with his colleague, Ronni Moffitt, 25, and her husband, Michael.

Letelier died within minutes. Shrapnel had pierced Ronni Moffitt’s throat, and she drowned in her own blood a half-hour later. Michael, who had been sitting in the back seat, tumbled out largely unscathed. He was beside himself in grief and shock.

LEFT: Ronni Moffitt, who was a development associate at the Institute for Policy Studies at the time of her death in the 1976 car bombing. (Family photo) MIDDLE: Isabel Letelier, right, and Michael Moffitt embrace after placing roses at the site where Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt were killed in 1976. (UPI) RIGHT: Orlando Letelier, a former Chilean ambassador to the U.S., is pictured in April 1975. (Associated Press/AS)

Letelier was a prominent opponent of the military rule of Chile’s Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who rose to power in a 1973 army coup that ousted and led to the death of the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. Letelier had served as Chile’s ambassador to the United States in Allende’s socialist government, which the CIA spent millions of dollars undermining through covert operations. On the day of the coup, Letelier was arrested and sent, with other ministers of Allende’s government, to a string of concentration camps. For months, he was kept at Dawson Island in the extreme south of Chile near the South Pole. He was released only after concerted international diplomatic pressure.

. . .

These regimes were complicit in the murder and disappearance of tens of thousands of people. In the case of Letelier, the Pinochet government had used an American expatriate and a shadowy network of anti-communist Cuban exiles to carry out the strike. These men would eventually be arrested in the United States and Chile, and some were jailed. Manuel Contreras, the head of the secret police known as DINA, was indicted by a U.S. grand jury, but Chile refused to extradite him. Pinochet, who stepped down from power in 1990, died in 2006 without facing trial.


~ ~ ~

You may recall, Richard Nixon used some other Cuban "exile" right-wing mercenaries as operatives in the Watergate burlary of the Democratic Party headquarters not that long after.

Any politician who would do the things Richard Nixon did fully deserves all the jaundiced eyes he provokes. The evil he did will surely live so very long after this, as the world awakens, ultimately, to how much damage to the human race he inflicted.

Lpez Obrador's Youth in His Home State Shows Why He's Not a Demagogic Populist

“We saw right away that he was different. Andrés knows what the bite of an ant feels like.”
By James North

Tucta, Mexico—You can come here and listen to the people who worked with Mexico’s next president when he was a community organizer in his 20s to learn just how wrong and insulting it is to call him a “populist” or a “tropical messiah.” Here you can also get a glimpse of the political revolution that Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, hopes will continue to spread across Mexico.

Tucta, located in the steamy, swampy southeastern state of Tabasco, is a village in an area populated mainly by indigenous Chontal people, who have historically suffered high levels of poverty and discrimination. The people here are campesinos, small farmers who grow corn, beans, vegetables, and fruits. López Obrador, a native of this state, came here in the 1970s, just out of university, to work with a government agency, the National Indigenous Institute. Reyes Arias Romano, whom everyone calls Don Reyes, is one of the local leaders. He earned the honorific “Don” not because he is a big landowner—he has a small plot just like his neighbors—but because he is a respected community leader, still president of an agricultural board at age 72.

“When Andrés first came we didn’t pay him much attention,” Don Reyes says. “Others had come before him and nothing changed. But when he moved into our community alongside us, we saw right away that he was different. Andrés was not afraid to roll up his pants and step into the mud. Unlike the other politicians, he knows what the bite of an ant feels like.”

Don Reyes has a sharp memory. He enumerates the changes that started once the young organizer got to work. “We pressured the government to bring electricity,” he says. “Before, we had to use candles and kerosene lamps. The first new housing project got started: 105 new homes, and then more later. Running water arrived. We set up a cooperative to make and commercialize handicrafts. We even started a community radio station.”

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