Nobel Laureates who have been pushing the genetically modified organism agenda deep into scientific circles are being lambasted by a group called the Union of Latin American Scientists Committed to Society and Nature (UCCSN-AL).
A whopping third of Nobel laureates recently slammed Greenpeace for its anti-GM campaign, claiming that the issues which Greenpeace has highlighted “misrepresent the risks, benefits, and impacts” of genetically altered plants.
The UCCSN-AL thinks we should be aware of the true aims of companies like Bayer, Monsanto, Syngenta, and Dow Agrochemical, and others, even with glowing reviews from signatories who make GM-promoting claims without data to back them up.
Whether the public at large will take any anti-GM advice based simply on the Nobel pedigree remains to be seen, especially considering that email trails recently revealed that many high-level professors at universities and scientific journals were either bribed or funded by Dow, Syngenta, Monsanto, Bayer AG, and other chemical-ag champions.
The public reprimand against these laureates concerns transgenic crops, and ‘Golden Rice,’ a highly touted Gates Foundation experiment which has been proven to be deceptive in its claims to help feed the world and stop Vitamin A deficits in poor populations. Truly, if the aim of the Gates Foundation and other corporations was to stop hunger and end vitamin deficiency, why would they continue to patent crops which have been shown to have lower levels of the vitamins and essential minerals that humans need for better health? Many transgenic crops are known as chelators of important minerals from the soil itself.
The Gates’ argue,
“The foundation is supporting the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and partners to develop Golden Rice, a type of rice that contains beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. This grant builds on previous foundation funding, and supports a range of activities to develop Golden Rice varieties that are suited for the Philippines and Bangladesh. It is hoped that Golden Rice will help improve the health of millions of children and adults across the Philippines and Bangladesh.”
However, detractors attest that a simple Vitamin A supplement would be cheaper, easier to provide, and would not require patented, transgenic seed. There is also the suspicion that since rice is a staple food in more than two thirds of the world, that the monopolization by genetically modified rice seed would obliterate ancient varieties, making farmers and those they feed reliant upon GM companies for food.
Similarly, 59 varieties of indigenous corn were recently put at risk in Mexico by the same type of campaign to push ‘much needed GM food’ onto people who were already feeding themselves without it.
The UCCSN-AL states in reference to these transgenic crops,
“[Transgenesis] cannot be considered an advanced science anymore because it is based on fallacious and anachronistic assumptions. Its defenders have oversimplified the scientific rationale behind GMOs to the point that the technology cannot be considered valid anymore: they have discarded rigorous science. The lack of scientific ground that justifies GMOs is also the reason why its promoters deny complex systems of knowledge, such as indigenous peoples’ cultures and livelihoods. Transgenic technology is the geopolitical instrument for colonial domination of our time.”
The UCCSN-AL continues,
“Scientific work must be developed with ethical responsibility and it must be committed to nature and society, and because of that, we reject the concepts stated in the letter and denounce the genocidal role of industrial farming based on GM crops, and we stress the need to defend, promote, and multiply the modes of food production that were culturally developed by the peoples of our region, and therefore are vital to ensure autonomy, environmental sustainability, safety and food sovereignty.”
Furthermore, the premise upon which Golden Rice was developed is provably false. Most genetically modified crops are grown to feed animal livestock and corn ethanol as a subsidized ‘alternative’ fuel for oil companies. These crops aren’t being developed to feed the world, but to feed the greed of elite corporate families which have no interest in whether a child in Bangladesh goes blind, or a food production system robs indigenous groups of ancient farming techniques which yield bumper crops of non-GM food.
If you want an autonomously-fed society, you don’t give them Golden Rice. A thousand Nobel winners that have been paid by the industry to say GMOs are good, likely won’t sway indigenous farmers away from their current opinion.
There are many who feel the corruption allegations are designed to prevent Lula from running in 2018 presidential elections [Xinhua ]
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has come out swinging against a judge who ordered him to stand trial for allegations of money laundering while in office.
Lula accused anti-corruption judge Sérgio Moro of being politically motivated and said that charges brought against him by federal prosecutors were part of a scheme to discredit him and ruin his career.
On Tuesday, and less than a month after he was indicted on alleged graft charges, Lula was ordered by Moro to stand trial for receiving at least $1 million in kickbacks from Brazilian energy company Petrobras.
Moro first accepted charges filed in July by prosecutors investigating Lula for allegedly “masterminding” a corruption and money laundering operation in Petrobras.
Lula, a hugely popular president who served from 2003 to 2010 and is credited with a number of initiatives that propelled GDP growth and significantly reduced poverty in Brazil, has been under investigation for much of the past year..
“As we were starting to have success in the presidency, they are trying to do with us what they did with Dilma (Rousseff, the former president impeached in August). A part of the press and a part of the judiciary already tried to oust me from the presidency in 2005,” Lula has said.
Last month, Lula and members of his family and three other people had been indicted on a number of charges stemming from alleged financial irregularities, declaration of assets in addition to money laundering and graft.
Some in Brazil believe that the charges and trial are designed to ruin his chances of running in presidential elections in 2018.
In early August, the Vox Populi Institute published a poll which showed Lula would come out the clear winner if he ran for the presidency against a number of likely candidates.
Only 17 per cent of respondents in that poll said they wanted current President Michel Temer to stay on until 2018.
The Vox Populi Institute’s findings appear to support an earlier poll conducted by Datafolha in Brazil.
That poll also showed that Lulu would comfortably win a presidential election. Only five per cent said they would vote for Temer, however.
Caracas – Two top witnesses in a US drug case against the nephews of Venezuelan First Lady Cilia Flores confessed Friday to repeatedly lying to federal authorities in the course of the investigation.
During their testimony during a preliminary hearing in a Manhattan district court, the father-son team of undercover informants for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) admitted to lying to their handlers concerning illegal activities conducted during the probe, including allegations related to trafficking drugs into the US as well as hiring prostitutes.
Posing as members of the Mexican Sinoloa cartel, the informants were instrumental in the November 12 arrest of Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas, 30, and Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, 29, in Haiti, allegedly in possession of over 800 kilograms of cocaine.
Lawyers for the two nephews of Venezuela’s first lady and former parliamentary president punctured holes in the DEA case on Friday, raising serious doubts concerning the credibility of the witnesses.
During a lengthy cross-examination, defense attorneys John Zach and David Roday obtained confessions that the two informants had abused narcotics and hired prostitutes while working on DEA missions, in addition to concealing vital information from federal authorities.
“I did lie to them,” said the 55-year-old father, identified in the case as CS-1.
The informant confessed that he had paid for two prostitutes during a DEA mission in Venezuela, in addition to bringing an unauthorized individual into the operation. He further admitted that he failed to inform prosecutors of these incidents until a lunch break following his son’s testimony that very day.
The two were arrested early this year and have pleaded guilty to drug charges as well as lying to authorities in exchange for a cooperation agreement.
However, that agreement might now be in jeopardy in light of the latest revelations.
“They [the prosecutors] are extremely unhappy and are going to review everything,” CS-1 stated.
The pair have reportedly received over USD $1.2 million from the US government for their work.
While the case has yet to go to trial, the defense hopes to get the charges thrown out and the nephews’ confessions suppressed, which they claim were obtained under coercion, without duly informing the defendants of their Fifth Amendment rights.
A recent article in The New York Times entitled, “The Secret History of Colombia’s Paramilitaries & The U.S. War on Drugs,” contains useful clues as to the U.S.’s true views towards the Colombian death squads and their massive war crimes and human rights abuses.  In short, it reveals a high-level of tolerance of, and condonation by, U.S. policy-makers for the suffering of the Colombian people at the hands of our long-time friends and allies, the right-wing paramilitaries.
The gist of the NYT story is that, beginning in 2008, the U.S. has extradited “several dozen” top paramilitary leaders, thereby helping them to evade a transitional justice process which would have held them accountable for their war crimes and crimes against humanity. They have been brought to the U.S. where they have been tried for drug-related offenses only and given cushy sentences of 10 years in prison on average. And, even more incredibly, “for some, there is a special dividend at the end of their incarceration. Though wanted by Colombian authorities, two have won permission to stay in the United States, and their families have joined them. There are more seeking the same haven, and still others are expected to follow suit.”
That these paramilitaries – 40 in all that the NYT investigated — are being given such preferential treatment is shocking given the magnitude of their crimes. For example, paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso, “who the government said ‘may well be one of the most prolific cocaine traffickers ever prosecuted in a United States District Court,’” has been found by Colombian courts to be “responsible for the death or disappearance of more than 1,000 people.” Yet, as a result of his cooperation with U.S. authorities Mr. Mancuso “will spend little more than 12 years behind bars in the U.S.”
Another paramilitary, the one the article focuses on most, is Hernan Giraldo Serna, and he committed “1800 serious human rights violations with over 4,000 victims . . . .” Mr. Giraldo was known as “The Drill” because of his penchant for raping young girls, some as young as 9 years old. Indeed, he has been “labeled . . . ‘the biggest sexual predator of paramilitarism.” While being prosecuted in the U.S. for drug-related crimes only, Mr. Giraldo too is being shielded by the U.S. from prosecution back in Colombia for his most atrocious crimes.
And so, what is going on here? The NYT gives a couple reasons for why the U.S. would protect such “designated terrorists responsible for massacres, forced disappearances and the displacement of entire villages,” and give them “relatively lenient treatment.”
First, it correctly explains that former President Alvaro Uribe, the most prominent and outspoken opponent of the peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC guerillas, asked the U.S. to extradite these paramilitary leaders because, back home in Colombia, they had begun “confessing not only their war crimes but also their ties to his allies and relatives.” The NYT also writes off the U.S. treatment of these paramilitaries as the U.S. giving priority to its war on drugs “over Colombia’s efforts to confront crimes against humanity that had scarred a generation.”
Unfortunately, these explanations let the U.S. off the hook too easily, for they do not tell the whole story behind the U.S.’s relationship with Colombia and its death squads.
First of all, let’s start with former President Alvaro Uribe who the NYT states has a “’shared ideology’” with these paramilitaries and their leaders. This is of course true. But what does this say about the United States which gave billions of dollars of military assistance to Colombia when Uribe was President, all the while knowing that he had a long history of paramilitary ties and drug trafficking and that his military was working alongside the paramilitaries in carrying out abuses on a massive scale? And, how about the fact that Uribe was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush who considered Uribe his best friend in the region?
The answer is that the U.S. also shares an ideology with both Uribe and his paramilitary friends, and that it has wanted to prevent the paramilitaries from not only confessing to their links with Uribe, but also from confessing their links to the U.S. military, intelligence and corporations.
The NYT, while ultimately pulling its punches here, at least touches upon this issue when it states that “the paramilitaries, while opponents in the war on drugs, were technically on the same side as the Colombian and American governments in the civil war.” But “technically” is not le mot juste; rather, it is an imprecise and mushy term used to understate the true relationship of the paramilitaries with the U.S. The paramilitaries have not just been “technically” on the side of the U.S. and Colombian governments; rather, they have been objectively and subjectively on their side, and indeed an integral part of the U.S./Colombia counter-insurgency program in Colombia for decades.
Indeed, the paramilitaries were the invention of the United States back in 1962, even before the FARC itself was formed (in 1964) and before the civil war there began in earnest. Thus, as Noam Chomsky explains:
The president of the Colombian Permanent Committee for Human Rights, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Alfredo Vasquez Carrizosa, writes that it is “poverty and insufficient land reform” that “have made Colombia one of the most tragic countries of Latin America,” though as elsewhere, “violence has been exacerbated by external factors,” primarily the initiatives of the Kennedy Administration, which “took great pains to transform our regular armies into counterinsurgency brigades,” ushering in “what is known in Latin America as the National Security Doctrine,” which is not concerned with “defense against an external enemy” but rather “the internal enemy.” The new “strategy of the death squads” accords the military “the right to fight and to exterminate social workers, trade unionists, men and women who are not supportive of the establishment, and who are assumed to be communist extremists.”
As part of its strategy of converting the Latin American military from “hemispheric defense” to “internal security” — meaning war against the domestic population — Kennedy dispatched a military mission to Colombia in 1962 headed by Special Forces General William Yarborough. He proposed “reforms” to enable the security forces to “as necessary execute paramilitary, sabotage and/or terrorist activities against known communist proponents” — the “communist extremists” to whom Vasquez Carrizosa alludes. 
While the paramilitaries have been ever-evolving, taking different forms over the years and receiving legal imprimatur at some times and not at others, they have remained until this day, carrying out the same essential functions enumerated by Chomsky above while giving plausible deniability to both the U.S. and Colombian governments.
The potential confession of paramilitary leaders to their links with the U.S. and Colombia, as well as to U.S. multinationals, was as much of a threat to the U.S. as their confessions were to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. And that is why the U.S. extradited the top paramilitary leaders and treated them with kid gloves.
As just one example, paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso told investigators nearly 10 years ago that it was not only Chiquita that provided financial support to the paramilitaries (this is already known because Chiquita pled guilty to such conduct and received a small, $25 million fine for doing so), but also companies like Del Monte and Dole.  However, given that Mancuso was never put on trial (the NYT notes that none of the paramilitary leaders have) but instead was given a light sentence based upon a plea deal, such statements have never gone on the court record, were never pursued by authorities and have largely been forgotten.
That there is more to the story than the NYT is telling us is revealed by the inherent contradictions of its story. Thus, the NYT at one point states that “[t]his is a crime story tangled up in geopolitics. Colombia is the United States’ closest ally and largest aid recipient in the region, and the partnership has focused on combating narcotics, guerillas and terrorism.”
Of course, it is quite true that the U.S. and Colombia have partnered together to fight both the guerillas as well as peaceful activists for social change. As just one example, Colombian President Santos just admitted and apologized for the Colombian government’s role in aiding and abetting the paramilitaries in murdering thousands of candidates and activists of the left-wing Patriotic Union party (UP) back in the 1980’s  – repression which scuttled the peace agreement with the FARC reached back then.
However, the other two listed goals of the partnership appear to be mere pretexts.
Let’s start with the claim, unchallenged in this story, that the U.S./Colombia partnership has been focused on combating terrorism. How could this possibly be given that the U.S. has in fact extradited the worst “designated terrorists” from Colombia – indeed, the NYT at one point acknowledges in the story that the paramilitaries have been the worst human rights violators in Colombia — and ensured that they will never answer for their acts of terrorism?
And, as for combating drugs, the NYT also points out elsewhere in the same story what many of us have been pointing out for years – that in spite of the U.S. dumping around $10 billion in military aid into Colombia since 2000, “[c]oca cultivation has been soaring in Colombia, with a significant increase over the last couple of years in acreage dedicated to drug crops.”
This leads us back to the more plausible claim that the U.S./Colombia partnership has in fact been all about instigating and supporting terror – that is, terror against the Colombian population in order to destroy any movement (whether armed or non-violent) for social change. That is why both the Colombian and U.S. governments are content to hold the paramilitaries harmless for their war crimes, for, after all, it was their job to commit such crimes and it was a job well-done. Indeed, the NYT quotes U.S. lawyers, a retired U.S. prosecutor and the U.S. Judge who gave a light sentence to vicious paramilitary leader Rodrigo Tovar-Pupo (alias, “Jorge 40”) for the proposition that these paramilitaries are viewed as “freedom fighters” whose role in the Colombian civil war is actually a “mitigating rather than aggravating factor in their cases.”
The paramilitaries in Colombia, and the role of the U.S. and Colombian governments in supporting them, should not be viewed as merely an academic matter for the history books. The paramilitaries are still very much alive in Colombia, and are still carrying out massive abuses such as the targeted killings of social leaders; mass displacements of peasants, Afro-Colombians and indigenous; disappearances; and torture.  And, the U.S. and Colombian governments, in order to continue to be able to shield themselves from any blame for the conduct of these paramilitaries, now simply deny that they exist at all. It is therefore more critical than ever that the truth about these paramilitaries, and their high-level backers in both the U.S. and Colombia, is exposed and their misdeeds denounced and punished.
What mainstream accounts of Venezuela’s “peaceful” opposition leave out
The media narrative is clear: peaceful demonstrators upset about a collapsing economy and political repression are fighting an oppressive state in Venezuela. The actual history, however, is more murky.
For more than a decade the Venezuelan opposition has used a variety of violent tactics to try to topple the country’s democratically elected government. An April 2002 coup deposed Hugo Chávez for forty-seven hours and led to multiple civilian deaths.
Violent protests in April 2013 targeted government-run health clinics and other public institutions, resulting in at least seven civilian casualties; this occurred following the 2013 presidential election, which the opposition lost but refused to concede to the government. The early 2014 wave of protests resulted in forty-three deaths, half at the hands of the opposition.
During the 2014 protests, opposition activists deliberately targeted state security forces and even strung galvanized wire across intersections, leading to the brutal decapitation of a motorcyclist. Nor can we omit mention of the approximately two hundred peasant leaders killed by ranchers opposed to the 2001 land reform law pushed by Chávez.
This brutal history is almost totally absent from mainstream media depictions of the opposition. The same is true of leading opposition figures’ present-day celebrations of this violence. In mainstream accounts of last week’s protests in Caracas, the opposition is depicted as an essentially peaceful force, seeking to use constitutional means — a recall referendum — to legally put an end to an incompetent, repressive government.
An article on the protests in the Wall Street Journal quotes an opposition supporter saying, “[D]on’t tell me that we didn’t try to demand change peacefully through the constitution.” The article briefly mentions the 2002 coup, but fails to note that leading members of today’s opposition played key roles in that episode. Nor does it make any mention of more recent instances of opposition violence.
A New York Times article on the protests details the deteriorating conditions in Venezuela leading people to protest against the government, and provides ample coverage of claims that the government has repressed dissident politicians and foreign journalists. No mention is made of opposition violence.
A BBC article on the September 1 protests states that “A small group of protesters clashed with riot police as the peaceful rally ended.” The article mentions the 2014 protests and states that, “Forty-three people on both sides of the political divide were killed during those protests.” Like other mainstream articles, however, this piece focuses disproportionately on opposition allegations of instances of government repression.
A piece in Bloomberg on the September 1 protests briefly discusses the 2014 protests, but misleadingly gives readers the impression that “over 40 people were killed” because of a government “crackdown on anti-government protests,” eliding the opposition’s responsibility for many of those deaths.
The takeaway from these and other mainstream media stories about the protests is clear: the opposition is peaceful, and there is no reason to believe the government’s delusional and self-serving claims that it faces a real threat of a violent coup.
Indeed, opposition leaders have repeatedly denied seeking a coup. But statements from these figures, not to mention recent history, indicate that the government may have more reason to worry than mainstream sources allow for.
In May, Henrique Capriles, the opposition presidential candidate in the 2012 and 2013 elections, exhorted the Venezuelan military to “decide whether you are with the constitution or with Maduro.”
Other opposition leaders, such as Jesús Torrealba, have also made public statements that steer clear of explicitly calling on the military to overthrow the government, but still suggest that the military should actively support the opposition against President Maduro. One wonders how government officials in other countries would react if leading opposition figures made similar statements there?
A good test of whether the opposition is as “peaceful” as media accounts suggest is to examine how opposition leaders speak about past episodes of violence. It’s telling that key opposition figures not only fail to express remorse or contrition when events such as the 2002 coup are discussed, but openly celebrate such acts.
During a speech given on August 27, just days before the September 1 protests, Venezuelan National Assembly head and leading opposition figure Henry Ramos Allup repeatedly refers to the coup in an approving matter. In the speech Ramos Allup makes it clear that his only regret is that it did not succeed in ousting Chávez.
No doubt, there is plenty to criticize about the Venezuelan government these days. The government deserves ample blame for mismanaging its currency and failing to confront corruption. State violence that does occur should be condemned and there’s a need for an independent left to grow in the country. But the narratives we’re being sold by the media are giving the opposition a free pass.
Gabriel Hetland teaches at University at Albany and has written about Venezuelan politics for the Nation, NACLA, Qualitative Sociology, and Latin American Perspectives.
Last words to the nation of Salvador Allende
Surely this will be the last opportunity for me to address you. The Air Force has bombed the towers of Radio Portales and Radio Corporación.
My words do not have bitterness but disappointment. May they be a moral punishment for those who have betrayed their oath: soldiers of Chile, titular commanders in chief, Admiral Merino, who has designated himself Commander of the Navy, and Mr. Mendoza, the despicable general who only yesterday pledged his fidelity and loyalty to the Government, and who also has appointed himself Chief of the Carabineros [national police].
Given these facts, the only thing left for me is to say to workers: I am not going to resign!
Placed in a historic transition, I will pay for loyalty to the people with my life. And I say to them that I am certain that the seed which we have planted in the good conscience of thousands and thousands of Chileans will not be shriveled forever.
They have strength and will be able to dominate us, but social processes can be arrested neither by crime nor force. History is ours, and people make history.
Workers of my country: I want to thank you for the loyalty that you always had, the confidence that you deposited in a man who was only an interpreter of great yearnings for justice, who gave his word that he would respect the Constitution and the law and did just that. At this definitive moment, the last moment when I can address you, I wish you to take advantage of the lesson: foreign capital, imperialism, together with the reaction, created the climate in which the Armed Forces broke their tradition, the tradition taught by General Schneider and reaffirmed by Commander Araya, victims of the same social sector which will today be in their homes hoping, with foreign assistance, to retake power to continue defending their profits and their privileges.
I address, above all, the modest woman of our land, the farmer who believed in us, the worker who labored more, the mother who knew our concern for children. I address professionals of Chile, patriotic professionals, those who days ago continued working against the sedition sponsored by professional associations, class-based associations that also defended the advantages which a capitalist society grants to a few.
I address the youth, those who sang and gave us their joy and their spirit of struggle. I address the man of Chile, the worker, the farmer, the intellectual, those who will be persecuted, because in our country fascism has been already present for many hours — in terrorist attacks, blowing up the bridges, cutting the railroad tracks, destroying the oil and gas pipelines, in the face of the silence of those who had the obligation to protect them. They were committed. History will judge them.
Surely Radio Magallanes will be silenced, and the calm metal instrument of my voice will no longer reach you. It does not matter. You will continue hearing it. I will always be next to you. At least my memory will be that of a man of dignity who was loyal to [inaudible] the workers.
The people must defend themselves, but they must not sacrifice themselves. The people must not let themselves be destroyed or riddled with bullets, but they cannot be humiliated either.
Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. 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 where free men will walk to build a better society.
Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!
These are my last words, and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain, I am certain that, at the very least, it will be a moral lesson that will punish felony, cowardice, and treason.
Victim of one the many coups on democracy carried out by the United States: Salvador Allende
Though intelligence documents from the 1973 coup period have been declassified since 1999, the CIA continues to censor them.
The CIA continues to withhold information on its involvement in the Sept. 11, 1973 coup that led to the death of President Salvador Allende in Chile, followed by a deadly dictatorship, according to documents posted Friday by the National Security Archive.
In the list of published documents, the section regarding Chile is censored. The President’s Daily Briefs, the intelligence reports given daily to the U.S. president, in particular former President Richard Nixon days before Allende’s death, were among those censored.
According to Peter Kornbluh, director of the Archive’s Chile Documentation Project, censorship on this issue makes no sense since the intelligence agency has officially acknowledged its ties to those who plotted the coup from inside the Chilean military, and declassified several intelligence reports since.
“The CIA is trying—but failing—to hold history hostage,” Kornbluh said. “The CIA is attempting to cover up what Nixon knew about coup plotting in Chile and when he knew it, as well as hiding the CIA’s own contacts and connections to the coup plotters.”
According to the documents, three days before the coup—and on the day of the coup—the CIA gave Nixon an intelligence report on the progress of the efforts inside the Chilean military to overthrow Allende, a socialist.
In one document, a CIA operative in Santiago named Jack Devine identifies the new date of the planned coup for the next day, September 11, and confirms all three branches of the Chilean armed forces along with the police “are involved in this action.”
The same sources told the CIA that General Augusto Pinochet, who would later become a dictator with the support of the U.S., was in communication with Air Force General Gustavo Leigh about the planned coup. The Air Force would later bomb La Moneda presidential palace, where Allende and his closest allies were on Sept. 11.
The CIA told the White House that a “key officer” in the coup attempt requested U.S. assistance in case the Chilean military encountered any resistance, according to the documents.
Kornbluh said his institution would press for the release of the censored information.
“The documents provided to Richard Nixon on Chile can and should be released for the sanctity of the historical record. The public has a right to know what the President knew, and when he knew it,” he said.
It’s only been a few weeks since the Zionist coup in Brazil and a Judaized shift in the Latin American powerhouse and BRICS stalwart is already unfolding. Michel Temer, the putschist who seized power from Dilma Rousseff, is known as a “friend of the Brazilian Jewish community”, and this “righteous Gentile” (as the ‘Israelis’ like to call all their puppets) has already appointed another “friend of the Brazilian Jewish community”, Jose Serra, as Brazil’s foreign minister. It has also been revealed that the Coupmonger-In-Chief worked closely with Fernando Lottenberg, the president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, on raising awareness (read: brainwashing) among Brazilians about “Holocaust Remembrance Day” as well as passing Zionized “anti-terrorism” legislation that will undoubtedly have an Orwellian effect on Brazil’s citizenry.
Temer has also opened the doors to the “Christian” Zionist scourge that has infected much of America, as well as other Western nations–albeit to a lesser extent–like Canada, the UK and Australia. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), led by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, arrived in Brazil mere days after Rousseff’s overthrow and just concluded its trip 24 hours ago. Rabbi Eckstein’s gang was on a mission to turn every major “mega-church” in Brazil into even stronger supporters of the usurping Zionist entity for the “cause” of combating “anti-Semitism”. The good “rebbe” and Temer aren’t strangers and thus, this entire event should be looked at not just as a consequence of the Zionist coup against the Workers’ Party (PT), but part and parcel of it. Furthermore, Rabbi Eckstein’s subversive visit should be seen in the greater context of “Christian” Zionist penetration into Brazil and Latin America as a whole.
Brazil, which was once a hotbed of Christian Liberation Theology led by revolutionary luminaries such as Leonardo Boff, is now spiraling into a bottomless pit of “Christian” Zionist hell and has been so since 1977 when the Universal Church–an ultra-Freemasonic institution right down to its reconstruction of Solomon’s Temple–came into being. And let there be no doubt that this “Christian” Zionism is a byproduct of the utterly devilish Rockefeller-financed Wycliffe Bible Translators and the CIA which have worked hand-in-hand from the “Christian” Zionist outfit’s beginnings in 1942 to evangelize the Catholics of Latin America, with a special focus on Brazil, using the satanic Scofield Reference Bible.
It should be noted for the record that the Freemasonic Universal Church and other like-similar institutions were welcomed by the Brazilian military dictatorship as a counterweight to the Christian Liberation Theologians, who, despite being tortured, killed and disappeared, remained a formidable anti-Imperialist opposition current until the end of the coup regime. And how can we forget that the US-‘Israeli’-backed tyranny that did all of this murdering and maiming would never have attained power if it wasn’t for the Zionist Jew Harold Geneen, who was deathly afraid of losing his multinational ITT telecom giant to democratically-elected Brazilian President João Goulart in a wave of nationalizations. So the Zionist Jew simply called his “shabbos goy” friend CIA Director John McCone, gave him all-access to ITT’s resources and then the CIA used this new, incredibly useful instrument to push forward with the coup full throttle, ultimately deposing Goulart in 1964. It was International Jewry that crushed Brazil’s first attempt at nationalist-socialism, and it was International Jewry that crushed Brazil’s new experiment in nationalist-socialism exemplified by Dilma Rousseff and her Workers’ Party.
Quite possibly NOTHING encapsulates this entire sad affair like BreakingIsraelNews, a known gateway for Zionist propaganda, which called the illegal ouster of Dilma Rousseff “karma” for her anti-‘Israeli’ posturing and quoted a verse from the genocidal, Jewish supremacist book of Deuteronomy to drive its pro-coup point home even further. The arrogance of World Zionism is indeed boundless and this hubris is certainly driving its offensive throughout Latin America. It’s not just Brazil. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former World Bank economist whose Jewish roots and strong ties to numerous international banks and investment firms (read: the Rothschild Octopus) make him a prime mover and shaker for the Zionist project in the region, is about to take over Peru. Argentina, once run by the fiery anti-globalist Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, is now a pro-US, pro-‘Israel’ neoliberal nightmare run by neocon Mauricio Macri. And Venezuela, home of the Bolivarian Revolution, is once again in the throes of a coup as US-Zionist-aligned oligarchs wage economic war on Caracas through the deliberate creation of food shortages and other forms of destabilizing malice. The homeland of Hugo Chavez (RIP) has long been a target of ‘Israel’–he said so himself–for El Comandante fought the Jewish New World Order tooth and nail, and considering the above-mentioned pomposity of these bloodthirsty “chosenite” coupmongers, it’s a safe bet to assume they are going to continue their efforts to crush the Bolivarian phenomenon permanently.
If Brazil and Venezuela are to survive this dark, dark period, the peoples of these respective great nations must come to terms with the simple fact that it is not merely “Imperialism” which is seeking to destroy their nationalist-socialisms and impose economic neoliberalism on their societies, but International Jewry’s ZIO-IMPERIALISM which is seeking to impose TOTAL neoliberalism on their societies in the political, financial, cultural and even spiritual sectors, hence the blatant “Christian” Zionist surge as of recent. Resistance on all fronts is the only antidote to this growing poisonous trend, and if it is not fiercely engaged in, as Venezuelan President and Chavez successor Nicolas Maduro is desperately attempting to do now, then the darkness is not only going to continue, but worsen to levels not seen since Guatemala in ’54, Brazil in ’64, Chile in ’73, Argentina in ’76 and in more recent times, Honduras in ’09, ALL PUT TOGETHER. Our full solidarity with the Latin American peoples in the face of Empire Judaica’s storm.
Brazil’s newly-installed President Michel Temer has signed legislation that essentially authorizes the identical financial accounting maneuver that was used to justify the impeachment bid against ousted President Dilma Rousseff’s just days after she was removed from office.
The law, announced Friday in the official gazette, expands the government’s ability to seek additional credits without securing authorization from Congress. As described by Brasil de Fato, the rule broadly opens the door for the budgetary maneuver known in Brazil as “pedaling,” in which the government borrows money from state banks to make the budget appear in a better position than it is.
This longstanding practice was used to propel the impeachment process that finally ousted Rousseff from office last Wednesday in a move widely condemned as a parliamentary coup.
Rousseff’s supporters repeatedly pointed out that the accounting trick had been used by many of her predecessors without scrutiny. Independent auditors also found her not guilty of breaking budgetary rules — a fact that did not stop the ill-footed impeachment process from going ahead.
According to Brazil’s Senate news agency Agencia Senado, the unelected Temer government gave pedaling a green-light, claiming that the rule change will make government budget management “more flexible,” including shuffling of expenditures associated with the federal infrastructure Growth Acceleration Program, better known as PAC.
The act allows the government to boost by as much as 20 percent the value of an expenditure by writing down by the value of another by a corresponding 20 percent, which, in fact, doubles the level allowed by previous administrative rules.
Rousseff was ousted Wednesday in a 61-20 Senate vote in favor of her impeachment, though she retained her so-called political rights to hold public office in a second vote.
The day after the impeachment ballot, Rousseff’s defense appealed to the Supreme Court to compel a second Senate impeachment vote, arguing that the process was unconstitutional on the grounds that the budgetary crime she is accused of is not an impeachable offense according to Brazilian law.
Rousseff’s rivals long attempted to paint the impeachment process as a campaign to root out government corruption. But aside from the fact that multiple other leaders have used the pedaling procedure, damning recordings released weeks after her suspension in May revealed that top opposition figures schemed with the Supreme Court and military command to ensure Rousseff’s ouster as part of a bid to stop corruption investigations against their allies.
Like many of his top allies and cabinet members, Temer — installed as president despite being banned from running for public office for eight years — is embroiled in multi-million dollar fraud scandals.
Bogota – The renowned sociologist Gonzalo Sánchez Gómez, one of the best known researchers of Colombian history, now Director of the National Center for Historical Memory created by the Juan Manuel Santos administration, discusses a fundamental issue for peace in Colombia. In the latest edition of the magazine Arcadia (July-August 2016) he deals with the armed conflict and the peace process. The Santos government has been negotiating with the FARC in Havana, Cuba to end that conflict and achieve peace. As the government has stated, we are at the point of signing an agreement.
Gonzalo mentions in his article, titled “A Path without More Dead”, the difficulty in reaching an agreement between analysts and militants over what has been the origin of the conflict. They mention the agrarian conflict of the 1930’s; the liquidation of the popular movement embodied by the followers of Jorge Eliecer Gaitan; the closing of political and social spaces by the bipartisan accord known as the National Front. But they do not mention – I note – that the origin of this was the Conservative violence of the 1940’s.
The conflict did not begin in the 1960’s, as claimed by those who discuss the negotiations that are going forward in Havana. They suppose that it started in 1965, when the armed bands of communists created the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the FARC. These armed bands are charged with originating the conflict. The communications media and those who oppose Santos, with ex-President Alvaro Uribe at the head, are busy spreading the word of the atrocities committed by the FARC. Their goal is to try to impede the parties from reaching a peace agreement, from achieving forgiveness, and from applying “transitional justice”. They don’t want any return to civilian life, or participation in politics, or membership in Congress for the demobilized FARC guerrillas. They want prison for them.
The FARC have indeed been guilty of innumerable acts of violence and crimes against the civilian population. Tirofijo, their maximum commander, created them in 1965 to combat the violence of the Government. He died in his bed in March 2008. But the origin of the FARC is the campesino communist guerrilla, supported by his party, which emerges, like the Liberal guerrillas, in the 1940’s against the violence and persecution which the government of Conservative President Mariano Ospina Perez (1946 -1950) commenced against the Liberal people and against the followers of Gaitan.
Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, a Liberal, had created a dissident political movement of enormous popular force. In 1947, in the elections for Congress, Departmental Assemblies, and Municipal Councils throughout the entire country, Gaitan won an indisputable majority and he achieved the sole leadership of the Liberal Party. The possibility of his being elected President was obvious. The Conservatives, and the historical Liberal leadership, which supported the candidacy of Gabriel Turbay, feared that Gaitan would arrive at the presidency with massive support of the people.
Ospina restricted political safeguards for Liberals and followers of Gaitan and in the countryside the political police, POPOL, and the chulavitas en Boyaca, created by Ospina—some called them home- grown Gestapo— and the armed gangs of Conservative campesinos, “pájaros” in the Valle del Cauca, members of Ospina’s party, pursued and massacred members of the Liberal Party. Their acts were atrocious, extreme in their barbarity. In this period of political violence between 200,000 and 300,000 people were killed, the immense majority campesinos, defenseless civilians. The forced migration exceeded 2 million people. Gaitan denounced this persecution and organized the March of Silence to protest. On the night of February 7, 1948, more than 100,000 people, in absolute silence and with lit candles, marched in the capital. It was an imposing popular manifestation of support for Gaitan and a protest against the violence of the government. Two months later, on April 9, Gaitan was assassinated and the so-called “Bogotazo” exploded in an eruption of public rage, looting, setting of fires and destruction of the city. Gaitan’s murder was a crime of immense proportions. It halted a democratic political change which was in process, and it destroyed the hopes and dreams of a whole people.
Some historians place the period of “The Violence” between 1946 and 1957, coinciding with the Conservative governments of Ospina Perez, Laureano Gomez, Roberto Urdaneta and General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, categorized as dictators. In 1958, with the bi-partisan agreement called the National Front, between Laureano Gomez and Alberto Lleras, the confrontation between Liberals and Conservatives officially ended. Lleras was elected president for the term 1958-1962.
What I mean to say here is that the armed conflict that the immense majority of this country hopes to end, commenced in the 1940’s and not in the 1960’s as they are saying; that the Liberal guerrillas in self-defense came into being in the Eastern Plains (Llanos Orientales), Tolima, Santander and in other regions of the country. The Communist guerrillas, supported by their Party, were armed bands in self-defense against the brutal official persecution which sought nothing less than their extermination. Ospina Perez, Laureano Gomez and his son Alvaro, Urdaneta and Rojas, all of them were involved in the partisan violence and they are all dead. They were responsible for this tragedy plagued by horrendous crimes. The historical reality of the responsibility of the State and of the Presidents for the conflict which is being debated now, is not mentioned. No one has been punished for these crimes of Lesa Humanity. They remain and will remain in impunity.
(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator, Edited by Jack Laun)
Clara Nieto de Ponce de Leon is a scholar and diplomat who has been a keen observer of political events in Colombia for many years. A former Ambassador of Colombia to Cuba, she is the author of the celebrated book, Masters of War: Latin America and U.S. Aggression, in English translation with a forward by Howard Zinn, and the book Obama and the New Left in Latin America.
Claudia Pomacongo holds a card detailing the case of her husband, who was murdered in the Accomarca massacre. | Photo: AFP
Among the military officials sentenced for the 1985 rape massacre of civilians was the Peruvian general nicknamed the “Butcher of the Andes.”
A Peruvian court Thursday sentenced 10 former military officials and soldiers to between 10 and 25 years in prison for the 1985 massacre of 69 civilians, mostly women and children, in the town of Accomarca, in one of the most iconic cases from the South American country’s so-called “war on terror.”
Three high-ranking military men, then-Lieutenants Telmo Hurtado and Juan Rivera Rondon and then-general Wilfredo Mori, were sentenced to 23, 24, and 25 years in jail as the masterminds behind the massacre. Judges singled out Hurtado — infamously known as the “Butcher of the Andes” — and Rivera Rondon as those principally responsible for carrying out the violence as the leaders of the patrols, while Mori was held responsible by giving the orders as the highest in the chain of the command.
Two other accused received 25 years in jail each, and another five were sentenced to 10 years each, all for carrying out the violent tragedy. Six were acquitted, including then-general Jose Williams Zapata. Sentences were not handed down for 11 others accused in the case, because one died before the trial was completed and 10 others are fugitives.
People gathered outside the National Criminal Court in Lima to await the results of the sentencing trial, which was delayed more than eight hours. Families of the victims and other Accomarca community members prepared food to share with those waiting to hear the announcement outside the court.
The outcome of the six-year-old case establishes a precedent for prosecuting similar crimes against humanity at the hands of the state in the guise of cracking down on left-wing insurgency in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Accomarca massacre trial is also groundbreaking because it is the only such case in Peru—aside from prosecutions of members of the military death squad known as Grupo Colina—that brings charges against the military’s entire chain of high command, according to local media.
On Aug. 14, 1985, at the height of the government’s conflict with the notorious Shining Path rebel army, the Peruvian military massacred at least 69 unarmed victims—30 children, 27 women, and 12 men—in Accomarca, located in Peru’s southern department of Ayacucho. Troops raped the women, then herded all the men, women, and children into houses before launching hand grenades at them. They finally burned the houses to kill every last victim.
The National Human Rights Coordinator and the Washington Office on Latin American had stressed in a joint statement leading up the the hearing the importance of the trial and the “need for a sentence that imparts real justice for one of the most heinous crimes and reminders of the internal armed conflict” in Peru from 1980 to 2000.
“Peruvian justice has an enormous debt with the victims in the Accomarca case,” said Jorge Bracamonte, executive secretary of Peru’s National Human Rights Coordinator, in a statement, stressing that the massacre has gone unpunished for too long. “We not only hope for an exemplary sentence, but we also hope that the court will order the collective return of the bodies of the Accomarca victims so that the families can bury their dead and close their grief.”
Human rights organizations have called for comprehensive reparations for victims as part of the process of seeking justice for acts of state terror.
“Justice not only seeks the punishment of those responsible, it also seeks to dignify the victims who, for so many years, have been sidelined and forgotten,” said WOLA’s Jo-Marie Burt in a statement.
In the sentencing hearing, judges also ordered reparations of US$44,000 be paid to the family of each of the victims of Accomarca.
The massacre took place under the state guise of Peru’s counterinsurgency strategy aimed at wiping out left-wing armed groups that challenged the state. But the Peruvian army killed scores of unarmed rural civilians accused of collaborating with guerrilla groups as part of the bloody conflict that claimed a total of 70,000 lives from 1980 to 2000.
Human rights groups have pointed to the Accomarca case as representative of the reign of state terror inflicted on poor and Indigenous communities.
“It has been shown that the Accomarca massacre was not an excess of the counterinsurgency fight nor an overreaction of soldiers overwhelmed by war,” said Burt, “but the result of a state policy of combating subversion using indiscriminate violence against the civilian population.”
The Bolivian cooperatives’ protests and their August 25 killing of the Bolivian Vice Minister of the Interior Rodolfo Illanes requires us to question our assumptions about cooperatives. What are the Bolivian mining cooperatives? Most began during the Great Depression as miners banded together to work a mine in common. However, like many cooperatives in the US that arose out of the 1960s, they have turned into small businesses. Regardless of their initial intentions, cooperatives existing in a surrounding capitalist environment must compete in business practices or go under.
The Bolivian mining cooperatives themselves underwent this process, and have become businesses whose owners hire labor. Roughly 95% of the cooperative miners are workers, and 5% are owners. It is common for the employed workers to be temps, or contracted out employees as we refer to them here. They have no social security, no job security, no health or retirement benefits.
The mining cooperatives made ten demands on the government, and during the second week of August, they announced an indefinite strike if the government did not meet their demands, later adding another 14 to the first 10.
The three most significant demands included rejection of the General Law of Cooperative Mines, which guaranteed cooperative employees the right to unionize, since they are not cooperative co-owners. The cooperatives owners did not want their workers represented by unions.
Reuters, and the corporate press, true to form, falsely claimed the opposite, that the cooperative miners were protesting against the government and demanded their right to form unions.
A second demand was loosening of environmental regulations for the mining cooperatives.
The third key demand was to revoke the law disallowing national or transnational businesses from partnering in cooperatives. At present cooperatives have 31 contracts with private businesses, most signed before the Evo Morales era.
The cooperatives want the right to form partnerships with multi-nationals and exploit the natural resources without the laws protecting the environment. Opening the cooperatives to such privatization ran counter to what was voted on in the Constitution: “The natural resources are the property of the Bolivian people and will be administered by the State.”
The Evo Morales government nationalized Bolivia’s natural resources in 2006. Because of this the government share of the profits with corporations from the sale of gas and other natural resources has risen from around 15% to 85%. Previously under neoliberal governments, about 85% of the profits went to corporations. As a result, the Bolivian state has gained an extra $31.5 billion through 2015, which it has used to develop industry, infrastructure, schools, health care and hospitals to the mostly Original Peoples population. It has also provided many subsidies for the poor, benefiting 4.8 million Bolivians out of a population of just over 10 million. This has cut in half the number of Bolivians living in extreme poverty.
During the August cooperatives’ protests, the Evo Morales government had repeatedly stated it was open to dialogue, but pointed out it cannot violate the Constitution when faced with the demands of the cooperatives, which are thinking only of their personal profits.
Vice Minister Illanes went to meet with the miner cooperatives’ leaders of the FENCOMIN, Federacion de Cooperativas Mineras. He was tortured and killed and so far 9 have been charged, including the President of FENCOMIN, who was a leader in the violent protests.
Before this, Bolivian TV broadcast news of rioting miners charging at police, hurling stones and even sticks of dynamite. The police responded with tear gas to disperse the protesters. A number of police were injured during the protests. On August 24, two miners were shot at close range during the road blockades. If the police were responsible, it contravened the order of President Morales not only not to shoot, but to not bring firearms in the area of the road blockades.
Vice Minister of Coordination with Social Movements, Alfredo Rada, said after the murder that the issue of the mine cooperatives should be part of a national debate. He pointed out the cooperative workers are exploited by the owners, who have created a hierarchy inside the organizations for their private benefit. Rada added, “We respect true cooperativism, where all are equal, but these companies have been converted into semi-formal capitalist businesses.”
After the murder of Vice-Minister Illanes, Evo declared, “Once again, the national government has squashed an attempted coup.” He added that the miners had planned to entrench themselves at the roadblocks they had established and that documents confiscated from the offices of the cooperative miners mention “overthrowing the government.” He stated that some of the private business and cooperatives’ owners had deceived their workers.
The US has sought to undermine Evo Morales, going back to his first presidential election campaign. Bolivia’s Cabinet Chief Juan Ramon Quintana stated over the past eight years the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has funded around 40 institutions in Bolivia including economic and social centers, foundations and non-governmental organizations, at a total amount of over $10 million. US soft coup efforts reached their heights during the separatist movement by the rich white elite in the Media Luna, and during the TIPNIS protests in 2011.
In the fall of 2015 the US developed the Strategic Plan for Bolivia to reverse the progressive popular changes in Bolivia and restore neoliberal-neocolonial rule. This was written by Carlos Alberto Montaner, a counter-revolutionary Cuban exile, US Congresspeople such as Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, in charge of USAID for Latin America, and chief leaders of the Bolivian opposition. One early result was the defeat of the Bolivian referendum to allow Evo Morales to run for president for a third term.
Venezuelan President Maduro has pointed out that the Dilma coup and the killing of the Bolivian minister, are part of an imperialist attack on the progressive governments of Latin America. “It is a continent-wide attack by the oligarchies and the pro-imperialist right wing against all the leaders, governments and popular movements, progressive and revolutionary left” said Maduro. “With Dilma in Brazil, with Evo in Bolivia, Correa in Ecuador, with Daniel in Nicaragua and with all the peoples and social movements of Latin America, Venezuela is going to struggle for a sovereign, independent, humane, and popular future.”
So far the US anti-war, anti-interventionist movements have not strongly responded to the escalating US coup attempts against progressive elected Latin American governments.
Stansfield Smith, Chicago ALBA Solidarity, is a long time Latin America solidarity activist, and presently puts out the AFGJ Venezuela Weekly.