Month: July, 2021
Let Cuba Live!
worker | July 24, 2021 | 7:23 pm | Action, Cuba | No comments

PRESS RELEASE
July 22, 2021

Full-page Ad in The New York Times with Letter to President Biden:
Let Cuba Live

An urgent and public appeal to President Biden signed by over 400 former heads of state, politicians, prominent intellectuals, scientists, clergy, artists, musicians, leaders, and activists from around the world calls on the White House to immediately lift Trump’s 243 unilateral and additional sanctions that are hindering Cuba’s efforts to control the pandemic and save the lives of people living in Cuba. Signers include actors Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover and Mark Ruffalo, former presidents Lula da Silva (Brazil) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador), intellectuals Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Judith Butler and Cornel West. The letter will appear on the Friday edition of The New York Times.

Cuba – a country of eleven million people – is living through a difficult crisis due to the growing scarcity of food and medicine. Recent protests have drawn the world’s attention to this. These prominent signers write: “it’s unconscionable, especially during a pandemic, to intentionally block remittances and Cuba’s use of global financial institutions, given that access to dollars is necessary for the importation of food and medicine.”

“We stand with the Cuban people,” Biden wrote on July 12. The letter signers respond: “If that is the case, we ask you to immediately sign an executive order and annul Trump’s 243 ‘coercive measures.”

This open letter is the first of a joint initiative between The People’s Forum, CODEPINK, and the ANSWER Coalition to change the immoral and short-sighted policy of the embargo towards Cuba, and to provide much-needed medicine and medical supplies to the Cuban people.

The Open Letter and full list of signers can be found online at www.LetCubaLive.com

Organizers Manolo De Los Santos, Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, and Brian Becker are available for interviews.

For media enquiries contact peace@peoplesforum.org or 347-349-1372

In solidarity,
The People’s Forum

                 

Sign the Letter

The House I Live In (Paul Robeson), Video by Tayo Aluko
worker | July 24, 2021 | 7:12 pm | Paul Robeson | No comments
China Target in US Nord Stream ‘Deal’
worker | July 23, 2021 | 7:44 pm | Analysis, Germany, Joe Biden, Russia | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202107221083438918-china-target-in-us-nord-stream-deal/

COLUMNISTS

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There is so much misdirection over the big news this week that the US finally reached a “deal” with Germany to allow the Nord Stream 2 gas project to go ahead.

This is the mega pipeline under the Baltic Sea supplying Germany and the rest of Europe with natural gas from Russia. The project had been stalled by American sanctions, but now the Biden administration has announced that it will no longer stand in the way of its completion.

President Joe Biden knew well that there was no way of stopping Nord Stream 2 whose 1,230-kilometer construction route from Russia to Germany is over 95 percent complete. Berlin has repeatedly told Washington that it would not cancel the project which will double the flow of clean, economical Russian gas to fuel Germany’s industries and households.

So Biden had enough cop-on to know that the United States would only look pathetically weak when its imperious demands on Berlin were eventually snubbed.

 

Hence the spin this week that Washington had come up with a “deal” with Germany to let Nord Stream 2 proceed. In that supposed compromise, Berlin is obliged to provide financial aid to Ukraine and assure Kiev that Russia will not be allowed to use energy trade as a weapon against Ukraine by reducing an existing overland transit route for gas. This is more misdirection. 

Russia has condemned the politicization of the Nord Stream 2 project as anything other than a commercial transaction that benefits Europe. Moscow rejects the slur that it is weaponizing energy trade to allegedly threaten Ukraine. Such hysteria is just Washington’s propaganda to justify its own egregious interference and bullying in European-Russian affairs.

In any case, the real story behind the Nord Stream 2 “deal” this week is not Russia or Ukraine. It is China.

In announcing Washington’s “concession”, the State Department said the rationale was that the United States did not want to “alienate” Germany.

However, the Americans did not specify what the risk of alienation was about exactly. We can fill in the gap. It is about Washington keeping Germany and the rest of Europe in line for its bigger geopolitical objective of confronting and undermining China.

Russia and China are both fingered as “great power rivals” by numerous American politicians and pundits.

But the Biden administration has signaled that it considers China as the “top long-term threat” to US national security. The “threat” has less to do with military power and more to do with China’s global economic power. Beijing’s increasing global economic integration through its Belt and Road Initiative is perceived by the Washington establishment as the death knell for American dominance. US global power relies on unilateral hegemony. China’s advocacy of multipolar relations, mutual partnerships between nations and people-centered development is the nemesis of American imperial power.

Unlike the boorish Trump, the Biden presidency is more in tune with American imperial planners and the need to work with European allies to form a stronger front for pursuing US imperial objectives. Biden and his aides have been at pains to repair the transatlantic alliance that Trump damaged with his abrupt “America First” vulgarism.

In taking down China as a global rival, Washington knows it has to smooth out relations with Germany and the rest of Europe.

That is why the Biden administration appears to be making a concession over the Nord Stream 2 project. It knows that the gas trade with Russia is inviolable for Germany’s vital interests. So it offers a “concession”. But the real move is to recruit Germany and Europe into taking a tougher stance towards China.

It is no coincidence that this week also saw the US establishment ramping up hostility towards China by labeling the government in Beijing as complicit in global cyber hacking and espionage. The State Department called on “our partners and allies to promote responsible state behavior in cyberspace, counter cybercrime, and oppose digital authoritarianism.” In other words, to join US efforts to demonize China.

Nevertheless, here’s the rub. China has become Germany’s largest trade partner, surpassing the United States. China is far more important than the US for sustaining Germany’s export-led economy. Arguably, maintaining relations with Beijing is as vital to Berlin as the gas from Russia is for Germany’s long-term development.

Washington may think it is able to corral and hoodwink Berlin into an anti-China front. But the arrogant Americans will get hit with reality. Their days of bullying others are over.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Plane Used by Guaido’s Negotiating Team for Barbados Talks Also Carried Moïse’s Assassins – Report
worker | July 21, 2021 | 8:20 pm | Fascist terrorism, Haiti | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/latam/202107211083426894-plane-used-by-guaidos-negotiating-team-for-barbados-talks-also-carried-moses-assassins—report/

LATIN AMERICA

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When news broke that Haitian President Jovenel Moïse had been killed by a hit squad, analysts quickly drew parallels to the 2020 “Bay of Piglets” attempt to kidnap Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro by hired mercenaries, and revelations by Haitian police that many of the accused men hailed from Colombia only hardened those suspicions.

According to a report by Venezuelan television network La Iguana, the same private jet used to transport some of the hit squad that killed Haitian President Jovenel Moïse earlier this month was also used to transport Venezuelan self-declared interim president Juan Guaido to negotiations.

The aircraft in question is a Cessna Citation Mustang four-seater small business jet with the tail number HI949. Back on May 15, 2020, when the aircraft took off from Maquietta, Venezuela, the aircraft tracking service AeroNoticiasVE noted on Twitter that the same aircraft had transported Guado’s team to Barbados in September 2019 for peace talks with representatives from the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who Guaido has attempted to overthrow.

​This aircraft, it was reported, also transported three alleged members of the commando unit that shot to death Moïse and injured his wife, Martine, early on the morning of July 7 in their home on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. One of them was allegedly Christian Emmanuel Sanon, who Haitian National Police (PNH) have said was the mastermind behind the assassination plot.

The aircraft is owned by Helidosa, an airline in the Dominican Republic. CEO Alex Castillo said in a statement obtained by Haiti Libre that the three passengers “passed all the immigration controls in the airports by which they left and entered and that his company had no means of establishing that those who used his services had criminal ends,” according to the outlet.

 “We are not a security agency, or an investigative agency to be able to know it,” Castillo said. He revealed that his airline was also responsible for transporting Martine Moïse to Florida for treatment after the attack, as well as for transporting former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Cuba last month for emergency COVID-19 treatment. He noted the company has 15 planes and 24 helicopters.

However, this isn’t the first connection between the assassination plot and the Venezuelan opposition: Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Jorge Rodriguez said last week that CTU Security, the mercenary group allegedly contracted for the hit job, was also behind the 2018 attempt to assassinate Maduro with exploding drones during a speech. He added that it was also connected to the 2020 attempt by Silvercorp mercenaries from the US to kidnap Maduro, which was paid for by Guaido’s US-backed ersatz government.

The PNH says they have arrested 20 men connected to the assassination plot, 18 of whom are Colombian and two of whom are Americans. Many of the Colombians have been confirmed to be former military personnel, some of whom received training from the US military as part of their service, while one of the Americans was a former informant for the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), a federal police agency that also works extensively in Colombia.

On Monday, Claude Joseph, the former acting prime minister who was nonetheless recognized as the de facto leader of Haiti by the United Nations and the US after Moïse’s killing, announced he would step aside in favor of Ariel Henry, who Moïse appointed to replace Joseph just a day before the assassination. Thus, the new government will have a prime minister, but no president until the elections scheduled for later this year.

While in power, Joseph appealed to the US and UN for troops to defend the country’s vital infrastructure, but so far those requests have been denied, in part because of their lack of specificity. However, the US has sent some federal police officials to evaluate how the US can help the investigation.

For months before Moïse’s death, millions of Haitians had been protesting in the streets in spite of deadly police and gang violence, demanding that Moïse step aside in line with a Superior Court ruling that his presidential term had expired. Moïse had ruled by decree since early 2020 after allowing most of parliament’s terms to expire without calling new elections and had planned a new constitutional referendum that critics said aimed to cement his hold on power. Despite this, the US and Organization of American States Core Group continued in their support for Moïse.

A Tale of Two Countries
worker | July 20, 2021 | 8:12 pm | Cuba, Haiti | No comments

A new posting –

A Tale of Two Countries

 – from Greg Godels is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/


Haiti and Cuba have the same enemies. They are victimized by the same opportunistic politicians, the same jaded journalists, and the same spies, who all work to maintain or turn both into neo-colonies... To read more, please go to: https://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/2021/07/a-tale-of-two-countries.html

Mobilization for National Improved Medicare For All now in over 50 Cities, Sat. July 24, 2021
worker | July 20, 2021 | 8:11 pm | Action, Medicare for All | No comments
A new coalition has come together to celebrate Medicare’s 56th birthday and to renew the push for Medicare For All (M4A) in this time of the pandemic.  There will be marches or rallies in over 50 cities this Saturday, July 24.  We urge our readers to participate in your city or a city near you.  You can click on the list of cities below for local details.   We have reproduced below the call of the new coalition organizing these marches.
Help Celebrate Medicare’s Birthday, This Saturday, July 24th, in Your City or A City Near You
A coalition of groups has come together to march for Medicare for All.  Who is in that coalition depends on which city you are talking about.  There is no one single group behind this.  The list seems to grow every day. Some people are even politically homeless and simply focused on doing what they can to move #M4A forward.  We are nonpartisan, but some local parties have joined in the fight!  We are proud to say that this type of coming together hasn’t happened in recent memory, if ever.
Our movement was founded from a place of compassion and love.  We came together out of frustration with the lack of action from the powers that be.  Many of us have our own personal stories as to why we are in this fight.  All of us know that healthcare is a right, not a privilege.  It is a basic freedom.  How can we have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when we live in constant fear of illness, bankruptcy, or homelessness because of the outrageous for-profit healthcare system.
One illness can ruin your life, even if you have insurance.  The industry can always say no.  We need a big fat yes!  Whatever you and your doctor decide is best for your health should be what is done.  No more pre- authorizations, deductibles, out of pocket expenses etc. etc.  These are all barriers to the care we deserve.  Nearly 70,000 times a year or more, someone dies because of these barriers to care.  This is unacceptable.
Join the Mobilization for National Improved Medicare for All now in over 50 Cities.
Find a list of actions below.

                                             Actions:

Washington, DC
11 am to 5 pm, Lincoln Park, 12th Street and East Capitol Street. Click here for more details.
Alabama
Birmingham – 10 am to noon, Railroad Park Foundation, 1600 First Ave. S. Click here for more details.
Huntsville – 3 pm to 5 pm, Madison County Courthouse Steps, 100 North Side Square. Click here for more details.
Montgomery – 11 am to 1:30 pm, Alabama State Capitol, 600 Dexter Ave. Click here for more details.
Arizona
Phoenix – 10 am to noon. Biltmore area, East Camelback Road & North 24th Street. Click here for more details.
Arkansas
Fayetteville – 11 am to 2 pm, 280 N. College Ave. Click here for more details.
Little Rock – 9 am to noon, Steps of the State Capitol Building, Woodlane Street & West Capitol Avenue. Click here for more details.
California
Irvine – 11 am to noon, City of Irvine City Hall and Bill Barber Memorial Park, 1 Civic Center Plaza. Click here for more details.
Los Angeles – 11 am to 5 pm, Hollywood Blvd at Highland Blvd. Click here for more details.
San Diego – 10 am to 1:30 pm, Balboa Park Boulevard and Presidents Way Lawn, 2000 Presidents Way. Click here for more details.
San Francisco – 10 am to 1 pm, Ferry Building, 1 Ferry Building. Click here for more details.
Colorado
Denver – 10 am to noon. Colorado State Capitol, 200 E Colfax Ave. West Steps. Click here for more details.
Salida – 9 am to 1 pm, 410 W. Rainbow Blvd. Click here for more details.
Connecticut
Bridgeport – 1 pm to 3 pm, 45 Lyon Terrace. Click here for details.
Florida
Tallahassee – 10:30 am to noon, Florida Historic Capitol Museum, 400 S. Monroe St. Click here for more details.
Orlando – 10:30 am to noon, Marco Rubio’s office downtown Orlando, 201 S Orange Ave #350. Click here for more details.
Tampa – 10 am to 11:30 am, 4144 N Armenia Ave. Click here for more details.
Georgia
Atlanta – 2 pm to 5 pm, Hurt Park, 25 Courtland St SE. Click here for more details.
Hawaii
Honolulu – 9 am to 11 am, Ala Moana Regional Park, 1201 Ala Moana Blvd. Corner of Ala Moana and Atkinson. Click here for more details.
Illinois
Chicago – 11 am to 2 pm, Chicago Federal Plaza, 230 South Dearborn Street, Dearborn St. between Jackson & Adams St. Click here for more details.
Elgin – 1 pm to 2 pm. Click here for more details.
Kentucky
Louisville – 11 am to 2 pm, Romano L Mazzoli Federal Building, 600 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Pl. Click here for more details.
Maine
Portland – 10 am to noon, Lincoln Park, Congress Street & Pearl Street. Click here for more details.
Massachusetts
Boston – 11 am to 5 pm, 115 Boylston St. Click here for more details.
Michigan
Detroit – noon to 3 pm, 800 Woodward Ave. Click here for more details.
Minnesota
Benmidji – 5 pm to 7 pm, 303 Railroad St. SW. Click here for more details.
Missouri
Kansas City – 10 am to 8 pm, J C Nichols Memorial Fountain, 47th Mill Creek Pkwy. Convene street side, on 47th, between Main & Broadway, south of fountain. Click here for more details.
Nebraska
Omaha – 4 pm to 7 pm, 11th and Howard. Click here for more details.
Nevada
Las Vegas – 7 pm to 9 pm, City Hall, 495 S Main St. Click here for more details.
Reno – 10 am to noon, City Hall Plaza, 10 North Virginia St. Click here for more details.
New Hampshire
Manchester – 3:30 to 5 pm, Pulaski Park, 128 Bridge St. Click here for more details.
New Mexico
Albuquerque – 9 am to 11 am. We will rally in front of UNMH on the cross streets of Lomas Blvd and Stanford Dr. 2211 Lomas Blvd NE. Click here for more details.
New York 
Binghamton – 1 pm to 3 pm, location TBA. Click here for more details.
New York City – 11 am to 4 pm, Washington Square East & Washington Place. Click here for more details.
Rochester – 11 am to 12:30 pm, location TBA. Click here for more details.
North Carolina
Greensboro – 11 am to 1 pm, care-a-van. Click here for more information.
Sylva – 11 am to 5 pm, Bridge Park, 76 Railroad Ave. Click here for more details.
Ohio
Columbus – 12 noon to 4 pm, Ohio Statehouse, One Capitol Square. Click here for more details.
Oregon
Central Oregon – 11 am to noon, Peace Corner, Bend 1077 NW Wall St. Bend, OR 97701. Click here for more details.
Corvallis – 11 am to 2 pm, Benton County Court House, Northwest 4th Street & Northwest Monroe Avenue. Click here for more details.
Medford – 10 am to noon, Vogel Plaza, 12 S Central Ave. Click here for more details.
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia – 4 pm to 6 pm, Philadelphia City Hall, 1400 John F Kennedy Blvd. Click here for more details.
Pittsburgh – 10 am to noon, Schenley Plaza, 4100 Forbes Ave. Click here for more details.
Tennessee
Nashville – noon to 2 pm, Public Square, 1 Public Sq. Click here for more details.
Texas
Austin – 11 am to 2 pm, 1100 Congress Ave. Click here for more details
Utah
Salt Lake City – 2 pm to 5 pm. Capital Hill, 350 State St. Click here for more details.
Washington
Olympia – 1 pm to 3 pm, Washington State Capitol Building, 416 Sid Snyder Ave SW. Click here for more details.
Seattle – 1 pm to 5 pm, 400 Pine St. Click here for more details.
Wisconsin
Madison – 11 am to 12:30 pm, 118 State St.,  Corner of State Street and N Carroll S. Click here for more details.
Milwaukee – 11 am to 2 pm, McKinley Park, 1750 North Lincoln Memorial Dr. Click here for more details.
For further information: Visit M4M4All.org. https://m4m4all.org/
 
Distributed by:
All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care
P. O. Box 17595
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 636 1551
07/19/21
Jarvis DeBerry: Louisiana is a safer place for Big Oil than Louisiana’s people
worker | July 19, 2021 | 6:39 pm | Local/State | No comments

https://www.nola.com/opinions/article_3edfa350-e5ac-11eb-948a-5f09b024ff69.html

Jarvis DeBerry: Louisiana is a safer place for Big Oil than Louisiana’s people

Our Drowning Coast: Left to Louisiana's tides, Jean Lafitte fights for time
Oil industry infrastructure in wetlands south of Lafitte. (William Widmer, The New York Times)

State Rep. Danny McCormick’s attempt during the Legislature’s session to have Louisiana designated a “fossil fuel sanctuary state” would never have passed constitutional muster. The state can’t just up and decide that its laws take priority over the country’s. But in calling out the absurdity of the Oil City Republican’s legislation, there’s a chance that some of us lost sight of the reality that Louisiana — to our great peril — has long been a fossil fuel sanctuary state.

No, the state can’t protect Big Oil from the feds, but it protects it from everybody else — especially Louisianians who want the industry held accountable for its damage to the coast and its toxic effects on our air. And as accurate as it is to say that the state’s capitulation to the oil industry will destroy us, it’s even more accurate to say it has already destroyed us plenty.

Referring to the 1920s and ‘30s, Horowitz writes, “Southern Democrats like (St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes’ District Attorney Leander) Perez, icons for almost an almost fascist level of government power, used that power in the service of the owners and shareholders of Standard Oil, Freeport Sulphur, and other transnational corporate interests. Working with local government, these firms rewrote Louisiana’s constitution and redistributed its mineral wealth. Even as Governor Huey Long promoted quasi-socialist reforms to make ‘Every Man a King,’ and Perez boasted of his parish’s ‘Utopia’ with full employment, they were transferring huge amounts of public resources to private markets. Once they yielded influence to the oil interests, local politicians never regained the reins of power.”

Have Louisiana politicians ever demanded those reins? Even now, many act as if it’s important that Louisiana be thankful and deferential to those oil companies lest they storm off in a huff and leave oil in the ground. That deference dooms us.

 Should Louisiana be a ‘sanctuary state’ for oil and gas? This bill would make it so

As Horowitz writes, Louisiana politicians signaled generations ago that they’re OK with private companies getting the profit from oil exploration and the public paying the cost.

That cost includes the destruction of wetlands that previously dampened the blow of incoming hurricanes.

One could argue that the Perezes of the world didn’t know that giving the oil companies carte blanche in Louisiana would make Plaquemines Parish, as The New Yorker puts it, “among the fastest-disappearing places on Earth.”

But today’s officials can’t plead ignorance. They have seen what has happened and what is yet happening. And they’ve certainly been told that oil and gas exploration bears the lion’s share of the blame for our land loss.

But the oil industry’s legacy of destruction gives them no pause. They remain willing to cater to the industry’s every whim.

Although the legislation naming Louisiana a sanctuary state for fossil fuels didn’t pass, legislation making it easier for natural gas companies to avoid penalties after leaks did. There’s also a new law that gives industrial facilities the ability to self-report environmental violations to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, in exchange for reduced fines and the right to keep the public from knowing about the violations for two years. Lawmakers also passed laws against the solar energy industry, which doesn’t cause air pollution, and gave the go-ahead to chemical recycling, which reportedly does.

 Katrina’s 15th anniversary brings a pair of books that look back through different lenses

Together Louisiana, Louisiana Budget Project, the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy and the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice have given the Louisiana Legislature an ‘F’ for its stewardship of Louisiana’s air, land and water. Erin Hansen, who helped create the score card, said that “it feels like we’re moving backward at a time when science tells us we can’t do that.”

Oh, we can do it; we just can’t do it and survive.

Horowitz looks at the 90 years of decisions that preceded Hurricane Katrina’s destructiveness to challenge the common idea that the disaster was an acute, out-of-nowhere event or that it counts as an “act of God.” We’d do better to think of it as the consequences of allowing an industry to tear up the coast with impunity.

And to be sure, there are yet consequences to come. Because the state’s leaders continue to make Louisiana a safer place for oil companies to operate than for human beings to live.