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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 147,066

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Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the Unravelling of US Empire

August 1, 2019

To be a law-abiding nation, the U.S. must grant self-determination in areas it has stolen, write Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers.

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

The results of centuries of U.S. empire, which began with Manifest Destiny that crossed the North American continent and grew into a global empire, are coming home to roost in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

Puerto Ricans had an important victory in July with the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló after more than one million people protested to demand his removal. This was a powerful display of people power, but changing the head of state does not confront the real issues for Puerto Rico: ending colonialism and ensuring self-determination.

There is confusion after Rosselló’s resignation. The next in line has already resigned and Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez, who is in line after that, does not want the job. Puerto Rico’s economy is a mess after Hurricane Maria, Wall Street theft and domination by a federal financial control board. The Control Board, known as la junta, is seeking to expand its power with the support of The Washington Post editorial board, to further dominate the island. This is the opposite of the next essential steps, which require decolonizing the island and empowering the people of Puerto Rico.

Hawaii, which was an independent nation that became a state in 1959 after the U.S. stole it, is facing protests against a telescope on its tallest mountain, a sacred area. While the telescope is the focus of the protests, the real issues are much deeper and point to a growing demand for independence. This is not being reported in U.S. media or noted by U.S. political leaders.


Dictatorship fan Bolsonaro appoints military men to probe past Brazil junta's abuses

AUG 2, 2019

BRASILIA – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday appointed two members of the armed forces to a commission investigating deaths and disappearances during the brutal 1964-81 military dictatorship.

The far-right leader is an unapologetic admirer of the dictatorship, under which he served as an artillery officer, and has caused outrage by branding it a “glorious” time in Brazilian history.

The move comes two days after he questioned the credibility of a report published by the National Truth Commission investigating abuses committed by the dictatorship.

Retired Col. Weslei Antonio Maretti and army officer Vital Lima Santos will now sit on the seven-member Special Commission on Political Deaths and Disappearances, which is under the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights.

. . .

On Tuesday, Bolsonaro said the debate about the 2014 report by the truth commission, set up by leftist former President Dilma Rousseff, was “hot air.”

The report found that 434 assassinations were carried out in the years after the 1964 coup, as well as uncounted arbitrary detentions and cases of torture of political opponents.

“Are you going to believe the truth commission?” he asked reporters.

“It was made up of seven people, appointed by who? By Dilma Rousseff.”

Rousseff, a former guerrilla who was tortured under the dictatorship, was impeached in 2016.


Four Survivors of Altamiras Prison Massacre Killed during Transfer

President Bolsonaro said that "problems happen"

Aug.1.2019 12:50PM

Four survivors of the Altamira Prison massacre on Monday (29) were murdered during a transfer to another location. They were part of a group of 30 men who traveled in a jail truck to Belém, 829 km away.

At least 58 prisoners had already died at the Regional Recovery Center in Altamira, the biggest prison riot of the year - surpassing May in Manaus, which left 55 dead. Sixteen prisoners were beheaded on Monday.

In an interview, representatives of the Government of Pará, Helder Barbalho (MDB), said that the prisoners were killed by asphyxiation between 19h of Tuesday (30) and 1h of Wednesday. All the prisoners would be in plastic handcuffs, hands back and tied in pairs. The truck they were in is divided into four cells.

"The four were killed by asphyxiation, by mechanical strangulation," said Pará Public Security Secretary Uálame Machado. "There is evidence in the very shackles of body DNA, skin, hair that identify this."

. . .

The secretary said that each of these cells has a camera that transmits images to headquarters, but that the system stopped transmitting during the deaths because it is a paved and bumpy stretch.


Colombia releases dynasty politician after vow to identify alleged criminals in congress

by Adriaan Alsema August 1, 2019

Colombia’s war crimes tribunal ordered the release of one of the country’s most powerful dynasty politicians after he promised to identify members of congress with ties to illegal armed groups.

Former House Representative David Char (Radical Change) is a member of the Char dynasty that exercises tremendous power in the Caribbean region.

Meet the Chars
Char’s cousin Alejandro is the mayor of Barranquilla, Colombia’s large port city on the Caribbean coast. Their family owns supermarket chain Olimpica and a popular radio station of the same name.

The former congressman was arrested in 2017 on charges he got elected to Congress in 2002 and 2006 with the help of paramilitary organization AUC.

He was allowed to leave prison after he admitted to having ties to AUC chief “Jorge 40” and “Don Berna,” the successor of slain drug lord Pablo Escobar.


Brazilian Government Participates in Meeting with Climate Change Deniers

Telegram reports the country's first participation in meeting with some of the most famous critics of global warming

Jul.31.2019 1:17PM

Patrícia Campos Mello
The Brazilian government sent diplomatic representatives to a meeting of climate deniers in the United States—a first for Brazil.

Nestor Forster, a Brazilian diplomat, reported in a telegram that he attended the 13th International Conference on Climate Change, sponsored by The Heartland Institute on July 25.

The institute advocates libertarian policies and brings together people who think that the government should try to mitigate the effects of global warming.

According to the telegram obtained by Folha, some of the most significant climate deniers attended the conference: "the scientist and former aide to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Lord Cristopher Monckton; hydrologist scientist Jay Lehr; and former White House scientist and climate adviser Myron Ebell. "

When asked about the conference, Itamaraty said: "It is in the nature of diplomatic work to inform, represent, and negotiate. To fulfill their duty to inform, diplomats are constantly following discussions held at the academy, think tanks, and the press in their posts abroad, and with opinion makers."


Former security chief sentenced for bugging Colombia's Supreme Court

by Adriaan Alsema July 31, 2019

The former security chief of Colombia’s Supreme Court was sentenced to seven years in prison for spying on the court at the orders of the government of former President Alvaro Uribe.

The court’s former security chief, Jose David Garcia, admitted he helped plant recording devices inside the court in 2007 that allowed now-defunct intelligence agency DAS to spy on the court.

The failed conspiracy
The spying was part of an elaborate plot of the Uribe administration (2002-2010) to discredit the Supreme Court that was investigating the ties between Uribe’s allies in Congress, the president’s cousin and demobilized paramilitary group AUC.

The conspiracy, however, was discovered in 2008 and led to the incarceration of Uribe’s chief of staff and multiple intelligence executives.

Mario Uribe
Despite the efforts to frustrate the trials, former Senator Mario Uribe and more than 60 other congressmen were sentenced to prison for colluding with the paramilitary organization in order to get elected in the 2002 and 2006 elections.

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