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Judi Lynn

Judi Lynn's Journal
Judi Lynn's Journal
January 9, 2022

Bolivia busts alleged US arms shipment heading to right-wing forces


BOLIVIA has seized arms which were allegedly sent by the United States to arm opposition forces in the Santa Cruz region of the country, state forces claimed today. The shipment contained a batch of automatic, semi-automatic and other high-calibre weapons, according to the Special Force to Fight Crime director Limbert Coca.

The deadly cargo was discovered after customs officials became suspicious and ordered “a physical and documentary verification.” They found that the arms cache and other materials camouflaged and hidden away under empty boxes and clothing, Mr Coca explained.

. . .

Santa Cruz is led by far-right governor Luis Fernando Camacho who is an open supporter of the 2019 Washington-backed coup that ousted former president Evo Morales.

. . .

Scores of indigenous Bolivians were killed in the Senkata and Sacaba massacres when interim president Jeanine Anez mobilised the armed forces to put down protests.


Luis Fernando Camacho

Racist, fascist Governor Luis Fernando Camacho

Dipstick Gov. has his Bible with him.

Union Juvenil Cruceñista Bolivia fascistsMembers of Bolivia's extreme-right Santa Cruz Youth Union (Unión Juvenil Cruceñista, or UJC), and Luis Fernando Camacho (on right)

Bolivian coup officials and supporters stalk international election observers, launch violent incitement campaign

By the time a team of electoral observers arrived in Bolivia – including members of The Grayzone – right-wingers had already published a flood of online threats, smearing them as “terrorists” and circulating photos captured while stalking them in the airport.
By Ben Norton

SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA – Contributors to The Grayzone including Max Blumenthal, Anya Parampil, and Ben Norton traveled from the United States to Bolivia in order to join a delegation of independent international observers of the country’s October 18th presidential election – the first vote since a November 2019 US-backed military coup removed the country’s elected president.

Little known to us, however, was that we were being stalked on the way. A number of Bolivians covertly took photos of us as we waited for a connecting flight in the airport in Chile, snapped more as we boarded the plane, and published the images on social media, along with our personal information and a flight itinerary showing when we would arrive to Bolivia. The incitement campaign has led to a wave of physical threats and calls for harassment.

. . .

Hours after photographs of us were published on social media, Murillo issued a thinly veiled threat. “Our elections will be a democratic celebration, the more observers there are, the better for everyone. We warn agitators and people who seek to generate violence, they are not welcome. We will put them on a plane or behind bars. Behave, we know who you are and where you are.”

. . .

Camacho was the leader of a powerful right-wing group called the Pro-Santa Cruz Civic Committee, which was co-founded by Croatian Nazi collaborators who fled to Bolivia after WWII, and whose young followers are infamous for fascist-style salutes and anti-indigenous violence.


Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now" discussing the Bolivian coup during Trump's "presidency" below.

Youth Union thugs conducting another assault upon indigenous Bolivians to keep their terrorism fresh. Indigenous
people are the majority in Bolivia, of course, although they weren't allowed to vote, even, until after a revolution in
1952, nor even walk upon the sidewalks.

Youth Union terrorists put their clubs on the ground and lowered their heads for a moment of prayer.

Another display of their white "Christian" piety through public praying.
January 7, 2022

Machu Picchu's Stairway of Fountains

Only just saw this for the first time:


January/February 2013

(Courtesy Tamara L. Bray)The square chambers next to a staircase at the Inca city of Machu Picchu are part
of an ingenious network of 16 fountains.

One of the most spectacular examples of Inca hydraulic engineering is the "Stairway of Fountains," built sometime after 1450 at the city of Machu Picchu. The fountains supplied the city's inhabitants with clean, fresh water. The first challenge the Inca faced was how to bring water from a pair of rain-fed springs almost half a mile away from the first fountain. At the main spring, Inca engineers built a 48-foot long permeable wall that concentrated the seeping water into a stone-lined canal. The canal also collected water from a second, smaller spring. Water flowed to the city through the canal, which averaged five inches wide and five inches deep, and had an average grade of about 3 percent. Hydraulic engineer Ken Wright calculates the system could carry up to 80 gallons per minute—twice as much water as the springs' typical peak flow—to prevent overflows.

(Courtesy Tamara L. Bray) Each
fountain produced a stream of water
shaped to fill a water jug.

The canal passed under the city's outer wall, through the agricultural zone, and under another wall into the residential zone, where it flowed through a series of 16 fountains. Each fountain had a spout designed to shape a jet of water that was the perfect size for filling an aryballo, the clay water jug of the ancient Andes. The fountains were linked by stone channels that formed a 180-foot-long cascade of water with a total vertical drop of 65 feet. The first fountain was next to the emperor Pachacuti's residence, allowing him first access to the water. All the fountains, including Pachacuti's, were publicly accessible except the last one, which was located inside the Temple of the Condor.

The result was a controlled, dependable public water supply that protected the hillside architecture from erosion. "Nothing like it exists," says hydraulic engineer Charles Ortloff, "in an urban setting at other royal residence sites or at other Inca settlements."


~ ~ ~

The Water Temple of Inca-Caranqui

Hydraulic engineering was the key to winning the hearts and minds of a conquered people


January/February 2013

Tamara Bray of Wayne State University walks through a municipal lot in a suburb of the colonial city of Ibarra, in the Andean highlands of northern Ecuador. At 7,550 feet on the northern slope of Imbabura Volcano, the equatorial sun has an intensity that burns through the occasional cool breeze. Chickens peck in the dirt and we can hear children playing at a school nearby. As we walk through the lot, which is now an archaeological site called Inca-Caranqui, Bray explains that the local people knew this was an ancient settlement long before the first archaeological surveys in the late 1990s. Just across the street stand two walls—one 130 feet long and the other 165—that were built by the Inca. One wall has traces of three trapezoidal doorways with remnants of plaster and pigments.

Ecuadorian archaeologist José Echeverría leads us through the site, down a winding path that follows the low outlines of partially excavated walls. He explains that, in 2006, he was helping clear debris left over from a brickmaking operation when he uncovered some Inca masonry at the east end of the site, which turned out to be part of a large ceremonial pool about 33 by 55 feet in size. It was dug to a depth of four to five feet below the modern ground level and was surrounded by walls about three feet high. The walls and floor were made of finely cut and fitted stone.

Bray and Echeverría believe the pool may date to a period in the early 1500s, shortly after the Inca ruler Huayna Capac had concluded a 10-year war of conquest against the local people, the Caranqui. Legend has it that Huayna Capac had every adult male Caranqui executed. Their bodies were thrown into a lake known today as Yahuarcocha, or the “Lake of Blood,” on Ibarra’s northeast edge. Spanish chronicler Pedro Cieza de León estimated the conflict left 20,000 to 50,000 Caranqui dead.

Bray and Echeverría think that in the aftermath of that bloodshed, the Inca built the pool as part of a construction project that was meant to demonstrate their power to their new Caranqui subjects. The ceremonial pool would have represented a considerable investment of wealth and labor by the Inca. It also would have showed their skill as engineers by bringing water from as far as five and a half miles away and demonstrated their mastery over a resource with powerful religious symbolism.


January 6, 2022

Cuba's vaccine success story sails past mark set by rich world's Covid efforts

Ed Augustin in Havana
Wed 5 Jan 2022 05.00 EST

General Máximo Gómez, a key figure in Cuba’s 19th-century wars of independence against Spain once said: “Cubans either don’t meet the mark – or go way past it.”

A century and a half later, the aphorism rings true. This downtrodden island struggles to keep the lights on, but has now vaccinated more of its citizens against Covid-19 than any of the world’s major nations.

More than 90% of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose of Cuba’s homegrown vaccines, while 83% have been fully inoculated. Of countries with populations of over a million, only the United Arab Emirates has a stronger vaccination record.

“Cuba is a victim of magical realism,” said John Kirk, professor emeritus of Latin American studies at Dalhousie University, Canada. “The idea that Cuba, with only 11 million people, and limited income, could be a biotech power, might be incomprehensible for someone working at Pfizer, but for Cuba it is possible.”


January 6, 2022

El Salvador reopens probe into 1989 killing of 6 priests


Constitutional judges in El Salvador have ruled in favor of proceeding with an investigation into the massacre of priests during the country's civil war.

A Spanish court in 2020 branded the 1989 massacre as "state terrorism"

The Supreme Court of El Salvador on Wednesday ordered that a criminal investigation into the massacre of six Jesuit priests should be reopened.

There have been attempts to prosecute those behind the killings — during the country's civil war — since a 1993 amnesty was declared unconstitutional in 2016.

However, these efforts have so far been deflected by legal maneuvers. The decision came after an appeal was filed by the country's attorney general, Rodolfo Delgado.

What happened at the time?

An elite commando unit killed the six priests — five Spaniards and one Salvadoran — in the priests' residence along with their housekeeper and her daughter.


~ ~ ~

Earlier article:


A procession honoring the victims of the 1989 massacre at Central American University (UCA) in El Salvador, on November 16, 2013. (Johan Bergström-Allen / Flickr)

Salvador, US-Trained Soldiers Murdered 6 Priests in Cold Blood

Today marks thirty years since the massacre of six Jesuits, their housekeeper, and her daughter by US-trained forces. But US brutality in Latin America isn’t a thing of the past: top military officials involved in the coup against Bolivian president Evo Morales were trained by the United States, too.

On November 16, 1989, six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter were murdered in their residence on the campus of the Jesuit Central American University (UCA) in San Salvador, El Salvador. Thirty years later, the massacre remains emblematic of the indiscriminate savagery exercised by the servants of the Salvadoran ruling class, the impunity they enjoy, and the devastating legacies of US intervention in the region.

The Jesuit murders drew international outcry, but the victims were only eight of some seventy-five thousand killed and ten thousand more disappeared during the twelve-year civil war (1980–1992). Formally, the conflict pitted the US-backed military dictatorship against the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) leftist guerillas. But the Salvadoran state tortured and slaughtered civilians with abandon. At the war’s close, a 1993 United Nations Truth Commission report attributed only 5 percent of the bloodshed to the insurgents. The regime and its paramilitaries bore responsibility for the vast majority of the conflict’s deaths, disappearances, and displacements.

The Salvadoran security forces didn’t carry out these horrors alone. They were armed, trained, funded, and advised by the United States. The attack at the UCA was carried out by members of the Atlacatl Battalion, an elite counterinsurgency force trained at the infamous School of the Americas (SOA) in Fort Benning, Georgia. Several members of the military high command who gave the orders and participated in the cover-up were also graduates of that illustrious institution. The best way we can honor the victims of the Jesuit massacre and US-backed atrocities worldwide today is to stop them from recurring by severing the global tentacles of US empire.

The War
El Salvador’s civil war was the result of decades, indeed centuries, of dispossession and exploitation of the country’s impoverished majorities at the hands of a handful of landed oligarchic families. The military regime quashed a 1932 indigenous and Communist uprising with genocidal violence, and peaceful movements for democratic reforms and redistribution were met with brazen electoral fraud and escalating force throughout the 1960s and ’70s. Salvadoran students, unionists, and peasants increasingly turned to arms, eventually formalizing the FMLN in 1980.


January 5, 2022

Burning sugar cane pollutes Florida's communities of color. Brazil shows there's another way

Florida’s largest sugar companies say cane burns are safe and can’t be stopped without economic harm. But Brazil has successfully transitioned away from the controversial practice, and experts there say the U.S. can follow their lead.

By Nadia Sussman and Propublica on Tue, Jan 4, 2022 at 1:07 pm

This year, reporters at The Palm Beach Post and ProPublica investigated the impact of sugar cane burning in Florida. The harvesting practice helps produce more than half of America’s cane sugar, but it sends smoke and ash into largely low-income communities of color in the state’s heartland.

In our reporting, we learned that other countries have found ways to harvest their crops without those burns. So we recently traveled to Brazil, the world’s largest producer of sugar cane, to learn how and why they switched to another method.

Brazil has a massive sugar cane industry that produces raw sugar, ethanol and electricity. The country farms more than 20 million acres, compared to less than 1 million in the U.S.

Beginning in the 1990s, residents of São Paulo, the nation’s largest sugar-cane-producing state, voiced concerns similar to those of Glades residents today: They complained of ash and soot blanketing their homes, and of respiratory problems.


~ ~ ~

Really makes you wonder why the predatory Florida sugar barons hadn't made any moves to clean up their acts long ago, doesn't it? It took years of suffering and struggle and a class action lawsuit to get any satisfaction at all years ago:


After their father lost one of Cuba’s great sugar fortunes to Castro’s revolution, Alfy and Pepe Fanjul built a new empire in Florida, importing cheap Jamaican labor to do the brutal, dangerous work of sugarcane harvesting, and wielding ever more political power in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. In 1989, outraged by what he calls “modern-day slavery,” a crusading 37-year-old lawyer named Edward Tuddenham took them to court, spawning four ongoing class-action suits on behalf of 20,000 former workers. Marie Brenner investigates an epic legal war that pits the Fanjuls’ American Dream against the nightmare of migrant laborers.

. . .

April 1999. From the 11th floor of the West Palm Beach courthouse, you can see the Breakers hotel on the island town of Palm Beach, the red tiles on the roof of the museum that used to be the robber baron Henry Flagler’s mansion, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, and the marina full of bobbing yachts, among them the 95-foot Crili, which belongs to Alfonso “Alfy” Fanjul, the head of Florida Crystals, whose subsidiaries, Atlantic, Osceola, and Okeelanta, are corporate defendants in Bygrave. For Tuddenham, the psychic difference between the Texas border and West Palm Beach is nonexistent. He believes that both are nether places of political-influence peddling, where Anglo and immigrant cultures collide. From Palm Beach, he can drive 90 minutes and be in the Third World, in the sugarcane-growing town of Belle Glade, with its squalor and its historical lack of regard for the rights Americans take for granted. The Palm Beach sheriff’s deputies once used police dogs to break up protesting workers on a Fanjul property.

Bernard Bygrave, a class representative of Tuddenham’s case, is one of thousands of Caribbean islanders, mostly Jamaicans, who once worked at Okeelanta for Alfy Fanjul and his brother Jose, known as Pepe. As a result of more than a dozen cases filed by Tuddenham and his colleagues, the cane cutters are no longer Fanjul employees, but they are charging in connected class-action suits that the Fanjuls’ companies engaged in cheating them of their rightful wages in a contract which they argue is “a monumental bait and switch.” In May 1992, at the headiest moment in the litigation hell the case has turned into, a Florida judge awarded the workers $51 million in a summary judgment. That moment was fleeting, however, for three years later the decision was reversed on appeal and subsequently broken down into five separate jury trials. Now there are 90 crates of documents in the West Palm Beach courthouse. If nothing else, they provide an encyclopedia of a 50-year American labor scandal. Tuddenham calls the system “modern-day slavery.” The Fanjuls’ lawyers see the case as “a major loss of income to thousands of decent hardworking men.”

Like Henry Flagler, who brought the railroad to Florida and built the town of West Palm Beach for his laborers, the Fanjuls, after fleeing Castro’s Cuba, bought out scores of cattle and vegetable and sugar farmers in the Everglades and created nearly 180,000 acres of sugarcane fields, harvested by Jamaicans they imported under the government’s H-2 program. Cane was harvested by foreign workers because it was such brutal and dangerous work that no Americans would take it. Hour after hour the men chopped cane with machetes and stacked it in the fields. They wore metal arm and shin guards, and had to stoop over agonizingly to chop through stalks as thick as bamboo. Many were allowed only a 15-minute lunch break, to wolf rice down while standing up. Win or lose, the Bygrave cases have a powerful subtext: they are a morality play about the employment of foreign workers with marginal legal rights.


~ ~ ~

The Florida sugar barons are features in this Mother Jones article:

The High Human Cost of America’s Sugar Habit

Low pay, chemical exposure, and a life of debt.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2021

- snip -

Over the last two years, Euclides and I mounted a broad search. We traveled to the market where Lulu had been snatched away from his family. We’d visited his Haitian hometown, stopping in at United Nations offices, city hall, the birth registry, and radio stations that agreed to broadcast live appeals. We zigzagged between the two countries on a road so broken that in long stretches it would have been faster to walk. And we made repeated trips to the old state-run bateyes, many now sold off and privatized, that had held Haitians like Lulu against their will. We never abandoned our mission, but we came to realize the story wasn’t just about Lulu. It was about the 68,000-some Haitian cañeros still in the fields, and their living and working conditions, especially under the island’s biggest plantation holder: Central Romana. Owned in part by brothers Alfonso and Pepe Fanjul, Cuban exiles who are now billionaire Florida sugar barons, Central Romana sugarcane is cut by Haitians, crushed and poured as raw sugar into the holds of vessels, and shipped to the Fanjuls’ ASR Domino refinery in Baltimore harbor. Then it’s packaged into 4-pound Domino bags, sent in bulk to industrial bakeries, and shipped by rail to be made into Hershey bars and other chocolates, cookies, and Halloween candies.

. . .

Alfonso Fanjul, Judith Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani, and Raysa Fanjul at a charity ball in 2017. Nick Mele/Patrick McMullan/Getty

The Fanjuls are famous for giving across the aisle, a habit that has helped protect their government payouts no matter which party holds the upper hand. Alfy aligns with the Democrats; Pepe with the GOP. Trump’s billionaire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his wife have been guests at the Fanjuls’ Casa de Campo mansion. “The Fanjuls are the most delightful hosts,” Hilary Geary Ross said of Pepe and Emilia Fanjul in the society column she wrote for a Palm Beach magazine. The top recipient of Fanjul largesse serving today—with more than $280,000 across his Senate career—is Florida’s Marco Rubio, a key supporter of the price-support program. In his memoir, An American Son, Rubio describes his close relationship with the Fanjuls, including a dinner hosted on their boat, and a “Labor Day weekend in the Hamptons, where many of their friends and major Republican donors would spend the holiday.”

Alfy Fanjul moves among powerful Democrats, historically, none more than the Clintons, who have spent time at Casa de Campo, where Bill golfed. Perhaps the most famous example of the Fanjuls’ access to power was captured in the Starr report: Alfy Fanjul, upset over Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign pledge to tax sugar producers a penny per pound to preserve the Everglades, reached Bill Clinton by phone in the Oval Office as he made a failed attempt to end his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. In a written statement, a Labor Department spokesperson insisted that the Fanjuls’ political power has not shaped its actions: “DOL has not modified its position on the Dominican Republic as a result of any public or private actors attempting to influence it.”


~ ~ ~

Leon Black & Epstein were friends with billionaire Pepe Fanjul.

Pepe & his brother Alfonso are lifelong #CIA assets who helped the CIA in their effort to overthrow Castro in Cuba in the 50s.

Fanjul family now run a vast sugar empire out of West Palm Beach & Dominican Republic.

~ ~ ~

A sweet deal: The royal family of cane benefits from political giving
by Amy Bracken @brackenamy July 23, 2015 5:00AM ET

The sugar barons of America, the Fanjul brothers, have a cozy relationship with the US government

Andrés Michel, 75, lost an eye cultivating cane meant for the sugar company Central Romana. He still works the fields.

WASHINGTON — Charlotte Ponticelli used to work for the State Department, but when she describes a recent visit to sugarcane plantations in the Dominican Republic, she ditches the diplomat speak.

“What I saw made me sick,” she says of the laborers’ living conditions. “[The cane workers] were skeletons wearing rags. One old man told us, ‘We have no access to anything from our pensions.’ They had worked for 40 to 50 years, and nothing … I wanted to cry all the way home. I thought, ‘After … all this work, this is how these people live?’”

By “all this work,” Ponticelli means the United States Department of Labor’s push to improve conditions for cane workers in the DR, one of the top sugar exporters to the U.S. As part of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA-DR, which went into effect in the Caribbean nation in 2007, signatory countries were required to enforce their own labor laws. The deal was promoted as a tool to improve worker conditions — just as the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is being advertised now — but such promises are frequently broken. Four years into CAFTA-DR, an activist priest filed a complaint under the treaty about an alleged “laundry list” of abuses on Dominican sugar plantations, from work-hour and wage violations to unhygienic living conditions. Ponticelli, who previously headed the DOL’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, facilitated meetings between Rev. Christopher Hartley and her old staff in Washington.

In 2013, after a two-year investigation, the department issued a report expressing concern that the Dominican government might be failing to protect sugar workers. The report was followed by three reviews, one every six months, that found working conditions still lacking. But as the DOL pushed for reform in Dominican sugar, members of Congress and other politicians maintained lucrative relationships with the royal family of cane: the Fanjuls.


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