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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 157,182

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Venezuela’s Continuous Coup

March 03, 2015

Is it Imminent? It's Everpresent!

Venezuela’s Continuous Coup


When Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma was arrested last week, charged with organizing and leading a coup, the U.S. State Department’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “The allegations made by the Venezuelan government that the United States is involved in coup plotting and destabilization are baseless and false. The United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means.”

That remarkable quote — denying what has been a well-known and fully documented pillar of U.S. foreign policy for the last 30 years — tells us more truth than the lie Psaki was trying to spread. Why, at this point, would Washington make such a definitive and laughably false statement?

Legacy and Challenge: Maduro salutes Chavez at rally

The evidence is overwhelming that the rich and powerful of Venezuela have followed a continuous, constantly morphing plan to de-stabilize the country and take over the government by any means necessary and that the United States government knows about that plan, supports it and, as much as it can, is assisting in it.

“There’s been an ongoing effort to destabilize the government,” said author Miguel Tinker Salas, a top authority on the Venezuela’s situation, “to represent the government as a crisis in crisis mode, and to depict the country as if it’s on the brink of a precipice.”


Honduras Is Sold as a Libertarian Paradise -- I Went, and Discovered a Capitalist Nightmare

Honduras Is Sold as a Libertarian Paradise -- I Went, and Discovered a Capitalist Nightmare

A glimpse into a society run for the benefit of a handful of the rich and global conglomerates.

By Edwin Lyngar / Salon
March 2, 2015

Last month, I spent my final vacation night in Honduras in San Pedro Sula, considered the most dangerous city outside of the war-torn Middle East. I would not have been scared, except that I traveled with my wife and our four children, aged 5, 7, 14 and 18. On our last taxi ride, we could not find a van to fit us all, so we rode in two taxis. Mine carried me and my two daughters, aged 5 and 14, while the driver blasted Willie Nelson singing “City of New Orleans” (a city that is also considered very dangerous).

It was a surreal moment, traveling in one of the most dangerous cities in the world with my babies in tow. I gave a nod to the radio. “Willie,” I said, and he gave me a grin and vigorous “sí.” There’s a lot of American cowboy culture in Honduras, but along with silly hats, Honduras has also taken one of our other worst ideas—libertarian politics. By the time I’d made it to San Pedro Sula, I’d seen much of the countryside and culture. It’s a wonderful place, filled with music, great coffee, fabulous cigars and generous people, but it’s also a libertarian experiment coming apart.

People better than I have analyzed the specific political moves that have created this modern day libertarian dystopia. Mike LaSusa recently wrote a detailed analysis of such, laying out how the bad ideas of libertarian politics have been pursued as government policy.

In America, libertarian ideas are attractive to mostly young, white men with high ideals and no life experience that live off of the previous generation’s investments and sacrifice. I know this because as a young, white idiot, I subscribed to this system of discredited ideas: Selfishness is good, government is bad. Take what you want, when you want and however you can. Poor people deserve what they get, and the smartest, hardworking people always win. So get yours before someone else does. I read the books by Charles Murray and have an autographed copy of Ron Paul’s “The Revolution.” The thread that links all the disparate books and ideas is that they fail in practice. Eliminate all taxes, privatize everything, load a country up with guns and oppose all public expenditures, you end up with Honduras.


Farmer Cooperatives, Not Monsanto, Supply El Salvador With Seeds

Farmer Cooperatives, Not Monsanto, Supply El Salvador With Seeds
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 12:57
By Nathan Weller, EcoViva | Report

In the face of overwhelming competition skewed by the rules of free trade, farmers in El Salvador have managed to beat the agricultural giants like Monsanto and Dupont to supply local corn seed to thousands of family farmers. Local seed has consistently outperformed the transnational product, and farmers helped develop El Salvador’s own domestic seed supply–all while outsmarting the heavy hand of free trade.

This week, the Ministry of Agriculture released a new round of contracts to provide seed to subsistence farmers nationwide through its Family Agriculture Program. Last year, over 560,000 family farmers across El Salvador planted corn and bean seed as part of the government’s efforts to revitalize small scale agriculture, and ensure food security in the rural marketplace. Drought conditions across the country made access to seed all the more vital for rural livelihoods, making the seed packets supplied through the government program the primary means for thousands of families to put food on the table.

In 2015, rural cooperatives and national associations will produce nearly 50% of the government’s corn seed supply, with 8% coming from native seed—a record high. In the Lower Lempa, where seven farmer organizations have produced corn seed since 2012, this means over 4,000 jobs and income for rural households, primarily employing women and young adults. The public procurement of seed—or the government’s purchasing power through contracts—signifies over $25 million for a rural economy still struggling to diversify and gain traction.

The success of locally-bred seed varieties, compounded with their low production costs, allowed the Family Agriculture Program to contribute to historically high yields nationwide for corn and beans. Last year, more farmers produced more corn and beans at the most efficient yield per acreage than any other year over the last decade. This has also led to a significant adjustment in El Salvador’s trade balance on corn: Imports of white corn in 2014 were a full 94% less than 2011.


A Once and Future Revolution: The Legacy of Hugo Chávez

March 02, 2015

A Once and Future Revolution

The Legacy of Hugo Chávez


The rich and reactionary in Venezuela and their allies in Washington celebrated when Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez died two years ago on March 5, 2013. US President Barack Obama did not even make the customary and common courtesy of sending his condolences for the passing of a head of state.

Instead the US empire stepped up its demonization campaign against Chávez’s legacy in order to bury his Bolivarian Revolution. In contrast to his treatment of Chávez, Obama was effusive in his praise of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who died in January 2015 and was the leader of a country which Amnesty International rightly labels one of the most tyrannical and repressive regimes in the world.[1]

¡Yo Soy Chávez!

So why did poor and progressive people in Venezuela, throughout Latin America, and indeed all over the world mourn Chávez’s passing and proclaim ¡Yo soy Chávez! (I am Chávez)?

Lisa Sullivan, a School of the America Watch activist who has lived in the barrios of Venezuela where she brought up her three children, had this to say at the time of Chávez’s passing: “Let there be no doubt: the Venezuelan people have come of age. Chávez is gone, but what resonates on every street and every plaza today: Yo soy Chávez. I am Chávez. I am the leader, the dreamer, the visionary, the teacher, the defender of justice, the weaver of another world that is possible.”


Venezuelans Commemorate 26th Anniversary of the Caracazo

Venezuelans Commemorate 26th Anniversary of the Caracazo
By Lucas Koerner

Caracas, February 27, 2015 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Dozens gathered in the South Cemetery of Caracas on Friday to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the "Caracazo", the 1989 popular rebellion which saw Venezuela's poor and excluded majority rise up against the IMF (International Monetary Fund) structural adjustment package imposed by President Carlos Andres Perez.

Popularly known by the abbreviation of the date, "27-F", the Caracazo is solemnly remembered as one of the most brutal instances of state repression in contemporary Venezuelan history.

Responding to two days of popular social unrest against his government, Perez suspended constitutional guarantees and sent the armed forces in to "restore order". The result was mass human rights violations, including killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, and disappearances.

Over the course of 72 hours, somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 people were killed or disappeared by the state, although the real figure is still unknown due to the existence of mass graves.

Organized by the National Human Rights Network, Friday's ceremony was attended by survivors, human rights activists, local political leaders, and students of the National University of the Armed Forces (UNEFA). It was also broadcast on national television.


Uruguay's Mujica: Guantanamo turned inmates 'halfway into vegetables'

Uruguay's Mujica: Guantanamo turned inmates 'halfway into vegetables'
Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:43pm EST
By Malena Castaldi

MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Six former Guantanamo Bay prisoners sent to Uruguay as part of a push by President Barack Obama to close the U.S. military's prison camp in Cuba were "turned halfway into vegetables" during their detention, outgoing President Jose Mujica said on Wednesday.

In an interview four days before his predecessor Tabare Vazquez takes office, Mujica said the six men lacked the strength to learn Spanish and integrate.

"These people are destroyed," Mujica said. "They could be here for two years and they won't understand a goddamn thing, because even though you want to teach them Spanish, they lack the inner strength, the will to move on with their lives. They have been turned halfway into vegetables."

Mujica, a former leftist guerrilla who was himself jailed during a 1973-85 military dictatorship, has called Guantanamo Bay a "human disgrace."


Chilean president visits girl with cystic fibrosis who wants to die

Chilean president visits girl with cystic fibrosis who wants to die
Saturday 28 February 2015 18.57

[font size=1]
Valentina Maureira and Chile's President Michelle Bachelet take a selfie
Chile's President Michelle Bachelet has visited a 14-year-old girl suffering from cystic fibrosis who made a video appeal to be allowed to end her life.

Valentina Maureira had addressed Ms Bachelet personally in the message, which she recorded with a smartphone and uploaded to YouTube from her hospital bed without her parents' knowledge.

"I ask to speak urgently with the president, because I am tired of living with this disease," she said.

"She can authorise an injection to put me to sleep forever," she said.

Maureira is in a "stable" condition from cystic fibrosis, an incurable genetic disorder that attacks the lungs and other vital organs, making it difficult to breath and causing a host of other symptoms.


Mexicans in shock after retired teacher's 'murder' by police

27/02/2015 / MEXICO

Mexicans in shock after retired teacher's 'murder' by police

A retired teacher was killed during bloody clashes between teachers and police three days ago, in the southern Mexican city of Acapulco. Thirteen protesters have also disappeared. The teaching community is in shock, as our Observer explains.

On February 24, about 5,000 protesters – most of them students and teachers from Gerrero state – blocked access to Acapulco’s airport for six hours, to demand that the authorities find the 43 students who disappeared in late September. The teachers also requested payment of their salaries. Most of the country’s teaching unions were represented, including CETEG and SUSPEG. More than a thousand local and federal police officers were deployed.

Thousands of teachers blocked access to the Acapulco airport for several hours on February 24. Video published by Chilpancingoinforma.

The situation began to deteriorate in the early evening, when a bus full of teachers hit several police officers, wounding seven of them. The incident kicked off clashes between protesters and police.

One man was killed in the violence: Claudio Castillo Peña, a 65-year-old retired teacher, succumbed to head wounds several hours after he was transferred to the hospital. Many other protesters were injured, some severely. Teachers’ organizations said that the police arrested 112 protesters, all of whom have since been released.


What Bill O'Reilly Really Did Was Worse Than Lying

What Bill O'Reilly Really Did Was Worse Than Lying
Greg Grandin on February 29, 2015 12:06 PM ET

What is worse? Bragging that you “covered” a war that you didn’t cover? Or “covering up” a war crime?

Judging by the firestorm that hit Bill O’Reilly last week, the US media (with the exception of HuffPo’s excellent Roque Planas) clearly thinks O’Reilly’s war-zone exaggerations are worse than his role in covering up, either intentionally or unwittingly, a massacre.

To recap: The massacre took place in El Salvador, in the small village of El Mozote near the Honduran border, on December 11, 1981. It was carried out by the US-created and -trained Atlacatl Battalion. Between 733 and 900 villagers were slaughtered.

New York Times journalist Ray Bonner was one of the first outsiders on the scene, having walked for days from Honduras to get to El Mozote. His report on the killing ran on the front page of the Times on January 27, 1982. That day, The Washington Post also published a front-page story by Alma Guillermoprieto, who arrived at El Mozote shortly after Bonner. Both stories were accompanied by photographs by Susan Meiselas.

The Reagan Administration went into damage-control mode. The White House was worried that reports of atrocities committed by its Salvadoran allies would jeopardize its plan to increase military assistance to the country. Bonner was especially targeted by administration officials, who pressured the Times to pull him from El Salvador (Reagan’s ambassador to El Salvador, Deane Hinton, called Bonner an “advocate journalist”). The details of that campaign can be found in Mark Danner’s New Yorker reporting, as well as his follow up book, The Massacre at El Mozote. The Times’ editor, AM Rosenthal, sided with Washington, pulling Bonner—who had been based in El Salvador and therefore knew the country—back to Washington. After working at Metro for a time, Bonner left the paper.


Ex-Colombia president's allies convicted for spying ring

Source: Associated Press

Ex-Colombia president's allies convicted for spying ring

Associated Press
February 27, 2015 Updated 3 hours ago

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia's Supreme Court on Friday convicted two close aides of former President Alvaro Uribe for organizing a spying ring that illegally intercepted the communications of some of the conservative leader's top opponents.

Maria del Pilar Hurtado, the former head of Colombia's intelligence agency, and Bernardo Moreno, Uribe's chief of staff, were both found guilty of several crimes including conspiracy. They each face more than 10 years in jail.

The judicial noose has been slowly tightening around Uribe's inner circle since the staunch U.S. ally stepped down in 2010, handing the presidency to his former defense minister, Juan Manuel Santos. The two angrily split over Santos' decision to aggressively pursue a deal with leftist rebels to end a half-century of war, a move that Uribe and his supporters say could end with guerrillas nearly crushed by his government gaining undeserved leverage over Colombia's future.

In addition to Hurtado and Moreno, Uribe's former agriculture minister has been convicted of corruption and a number of other former Cabinet officials, including his hand-picked presidential candidate in last year's elections, are also facing investigations.

Read more: http://www.centredaily.com/2015/02/27/4625223/ex-colombia-presidents-allies.html#storylink=cpy
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