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Judi Lynn

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Gabriel Boric's election success is a sign of hope for the world

28th December
By Alyn Smith @AlynSmith
Columnist



Gabriel Boric’s victory follows those of the Social Democrats in Norway and Germany

‘OTHER men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Go forward knowing that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open again and free men will walk through them to construct a better society.”

In his final words before his death during a 1973 coup, Chilean president Salvador Allende saw a brighter future for his people. Beyond the guns, the bombs, the bullets, he saw the flower of human potential that was, temporarily, being crushed by General Augusto Pinochet’s thugs. Now, Chile stands at another historical moment in the history of Latin America, with lessons for us all.

Last week saw Gabriel Boric, the young bearded progressive, defeat his far-right opponent Jose Antonio Kast in Chile’s second presidential election round. The result was clear with Boric winning 56% of the votes.

His victory did not come out of nowhere. Chile is a rich country but also one of the most unequal of the mostly developed countries in the OECD. The top 10% hold around 80% of the total wealth in the country. In 2019, Chile had an income gap 65% wider than the OECD average. A 2018 government study showed that the income of the richest was nearly 14 times higher than that of the poorest.

More:
https://www.thenational.scot/politics/19812436.gabriel-borics-election-success-sign-hope-world/

Founding Godfathers

Mobster Sam Giancana once went as far as to tell his brother that the Mafia and the CIA were “two sides of the same coin."
By Olúfémi O. Táíwò TODAY 5:00 AM


They called him a lot of things: “Momo,” “Mooney,” “Sam the Cigar.” But in the 1960s, maybe they should have called Sam Giancana “the real president of the United States.”

Sam Giancana was born Gilormo Giancana in 1908 on the West Side of Chicago to Sicilian immigrants. He got his start as a low-level gangster and driver for Al Capone, but worked his way up to the role of hitman. By the 1950s, Giancana was the top man of the Chicago Mafia (the “Outfit”), but a groundbreaking journalistic investigation 40 years later showed that Giancana was at the top of much more than that.

By the 1960s, Giancana was among the political power players of the country itself—and, by extension, the world that the United States claimed hegemony over. The Godfather Part II offers a famous fictionalized version of the real relationship between the United States, US-based Mafias, and the Batista dictatorship over Cuba in an iconic scene: Older mobster Hyman Roth describes the pieces of his Cuban business empire he plans to give to protagonist Michael Corleone while they cut and share a cake decorated with the image of Cuba. But the Cuban Revolution had other plans, and the US went from having the entirety of Cuba as a functional neo-colony to settling for one measly torture center.

Welcome to the sixth entry of the series “How Much Could a Banana Republic Cost?,” where we’re still trying to figure out who and what rules the world. The first post introduced our candidates: Big Green (investors, corporations, or individual plutocrats), Big Guns (armies, militias, and Mafias), and Big Graphs (technocrats and knowledge-based organizations). First up was the Big Green theory, which came in two flavors: a “Monopoly” version where the rich buy up individual and separable parts of our political world, and the “Round Table” version where they work together in concert to rule everything.

More:
https://www.thenation.com/article/economy/organized-crime-politics/

Cuba Defeats Covid-19 with Learning, Science, and Unity

DECEMBER 16, 2021

BY W. T. WHITNEY

Education is central to Cuba’s brand of socialism. The revolutionary government’s dedication to scientific knowledge and healthcare for all shows up now as Cubans cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. The United States is not so lucky.

Cubans have wholeheartedly carried out masking, social-distancing, testing and quarantining. Cuba’ s bio-medical research and production facilities created five anti-Covid vaccines. As of December 3, 90.1 percent of Cubans had received their first dose; 82.3 percent of them were fully vaccinated. Only seven other countries have higher rates. (1) Trials showed that Cuba’s workhorse Abdala and Soberana 02 vaccines were protective for over 90 percent of vaccine recipients.

Cuba’s Covid vaccines don’t need extremely low-temperature refrigeration as is the case for major U.S. vaccines. In that regard they are particularly useful in poorly resourced countries. Cuba has sent, or is preparing to send, vaccines to Vietnam, Venezuela, Iran, and Nicaragua. Cuban scientists are elaborating a version of their Soberana Plus vaccine that will protect against the Omicron variant.

Cuba’s achievement in producing anti-Covid-19 vaccines is remarkable in the face of shortages of equipment, reagents, and supplies due to the U.S. economic blockade.

More:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/12/16/cuba-defeats-covid-19-with-learning-science-and-unity/

Culture in a bowl: Haiti's joumou soup awarded protected status by Unesco

The dish, originally cooked by slaves for their owners, has come to symbolise hope and dignity in the troubled Caribbean country

Saeed Kamali Dehghan
Fri 17 Dec 2021 01.00 EST

Haiti’s joumou soup, a symbol of hope and dignity for the world’s first black-led republic, has been awarded protected status by Unesco.

The soup, made from turban squash and originally cooked by enslaved African people for their owners in Haiti, was on Thursday added to Unesco’s prestigious list of intangible cultural heritage. It is Haiti’s first inclusion on the list, and the country’s Unesco ambassador, Dominique Dupuy, cried as the announcement was made. The decision is expected to be officially endorsed by Unesco’s general assembly next year.

Since Haiti’s independence in 1804, joumou soup has become the national symbol of liberation from slavery, and is traditionally eaten on 1 January, the Caribbean country’s independence day.

“It is a great joy and a point of pride to see this project come to fruition today, just two weeks before the Haitian independence day. It is an important gesture of recognition for the entire Haitian culture and identity, which will further strengthen its influence throughout the world,” said Audrey Azoulay, Unesco’s director general.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/dec/17/culture-in-a-bowl-haitis-joumou-soup-awarded-protected-status-by-unesco

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Wikipedia:

Soup joumou (/dʒuːmuː/; French: soupe au giraumon) is a mildly spicy soup native to Haitian cuisine.


The soup is traditionally cooked with pumpkin winter squash. The pumpkin slices are simmered in a saucepan along with pieces of beef, potato, plantains and vegetables such as parsley, carrots, green cabbage, celery and onions. The pumpkin is then puréed, usually in a food processor, with water and the purée is returned to the saucepan. Salt and seasoning along with garlic and other herbs and spices are then added. Some Haitians often add thin pasta such as vermicelli and macaroni and a small amount of butter or oil. A dash of lime juice is added before serving. The soup is always served hot and is usually accompanied with a sliced bread which dipped in the soup.[1][2][3]

Social connotations & liberation
Soup joumou has multiple social and symbolic meanings for the Haitian people. During slavery, only the French colonial masters and plantation owners were allowed to enjoy this delicacy, a delicacy prepared by slaves.[4] After the revolution, the free Haitians were finally able to eat this meal. The soup came to represent freedom, emancipation and independence. It functions as a reminder of the revolution that liberated the Haitian population. On January 1, Haitians both at home and in the diaspora celebrate the first successful slave rebellion that transferred political power its slave majority, with this soup.[2] A local street-food vendor in Haiti was interviewed about the significance of her job and the purpose of her people, she replied “Nou se revolisyonè, nou pran swen youn lot” or "We are revolutionaries; we take care of each other." Specifically, soup joumou was a food source for the French colonial masters on the plantations of Haiti.[2] The meal was ideal for Haitian slaves who were restricted to rations and scraps of food left by their masters.

. . .

After all of the slave labor that propelled the colony into being the world's highest sugar and coffee producers by the end of the 18th century... it was still illegal for the slaves who prepared the food to taste the finished product of soup joumou. Hence, it is no coincidence that Haitians take tremendous pride in consuming the soup that they were once forbidden to eat on the day of its independence. Consequently, soup joumou is traditionally consumed on New Year's Day (January 1), in reverence for and tribute to Haitian independence which occurred in 1804.[2][3]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soup_joumou

Colombia's congress approves media bans


by Adriaan Alsema December 8, 2021

Colombia’s House of Representatives on Monday approved legislation that allows government officials to request the shut-down of news media that report on them.

The controversial rider was part of an “anti-corruption” bill that was sponsored by coalition party Radical Change and has yet to be approved by the Senate.

The vote triggered a storm of protest of free speech advocates who claimed that the bill sought to censor journalists who report on government corruption.

In response to the blowback, Congress amended the article, which initially allowed government official to request an arraignment judge to jail critics charged with slander or defamation.

More:
https://colombiareports.com/colombias-congress-seeks-to-shut-down-news-media/
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