Of course you will be following events on the ground and you will know that the carnage in Libya is far from over despite the fact that the pro-imperialist corporate media is now silent and has moved on. All of a sudden, as we would expect, they are no longer interested in massacres in Libya. They have gone silent to allow the NATO backed forces to get on with their job of exterminating Qaddafi loyalists. Thousands of Qaddafi loyalists who have managed to leave Libya are now regrouping and organising the Libyan Liberation Front throughout the region known as the Sahel. Tuareg tribal leaders across the region have called for a unified front to avenge the murder of their brother and leader. As you know the Tuaregs do not recognise the colonial imposed borders and tribal leaders are calling for the liberation of the entire Sahel.
I am sending this message to alert you to the fact that many of our brothers and sisters inside Libya are in grave danger. Thousands have been rounded up, imprisoned, tortured and murdered. NATO has installed a death squad regime and many, including whole families – children and elderly, are in hiding, knowing that if they are only identified they will be murdered. Al Qaeda thugs are running amok and you will have seen the Al Qaeda flag flying on public buildings including the courthouse in Benghazi. You will recall that even the corporate media commented on the fact that the crowds that showed up in the streets to celebrate the so-called liberation of Libya were small. Of course they were – they represented a tiny minority of Libyans. Those who dared to show themselves in the streets at that time and wave the Green Flag were killed, in some instances beaten to death. The list of NATO crimes is inexhaustible. The frightening thing is that it does not seem to matter how much their heinous crimes are exposed – the North Atlantic Tribes have been able to continue their reign of terror and acts of genocide with impunity for centuries – they have been and remain without doubt the most brutal terrorists the world has ever known – that is why it was no surprise to us to find them fighting alongside the US created terrorist network Al Qaeda. I hope all those who doubted the Brother Leader’s warnings from the outset now see the Al Qaeda flags flying and the reports from civilians inside Libya that there are ‘armed gangs everywhere and that they appear to be on drugs as they rampage through the cities, towns and villages, murdering and looting.
Only last month Dr Abu Zeid Omar Dorda, the former Libyan Ambassador to the UN was actually thrown out of a second floor window during interrogations by NATO agents but he miraculously survived in front of witnesses and is now recovering in a prison medical ward. Accounts from those inside Libya are that these NATO backed rebel forces are animals and that what is now taking place on the ground inside Libya is pure terrorism. We are asking for pressure to be applied wherever you can to draw attention to this carnage. I want to highlight the case of Dr Ahmed Ibrahim, a former Secretary for Education, a brilliant scholar and well known exponent of the Third Universal Theory. Dr Ibrahim is an ideologue of the Al Fateh revolution and a staunch revolutionary Pan Africanist. He has been captured and we believe he is being held in Sirte. Dr Moussa
Ibrahim, the spokesperson for the Al Fateh Revolutionary Forces is his nephew.
Dr Ibrahim, like so many, was offered safe passage out of Libya but refused to leave. He is an intellectual warrior who stood his ground in Sirte and is now a prisoner of war and should be treated as a prisoner of war.
To those of you who attended the Green Book Supporters conference in Tripoli in 2009 Dr. Ibrahim was the person who introduced the Brother Leader Muammar Qaddafi.
If any of you are in a position to publicise his case and the plight of hundreds of thousands of Libyans who fear for their lives please do so.
The struggle continues.
Published Sep 23, 2011
On Thursday, September 22, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the U.N. General Assembly. Below is the complete text of his speech.
Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am grateful to the Almighty Allah who granted me, once more, the opportunity to appear before this world assembly. I have the pleasure to express my sincere thanks to H.E. Joseph Deiss, president of the sixty-fifth session for his tremendous efforts during his tenure. I also would like to congratulate H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz AI-Nasser on his election as the president of sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly and wish him all success.
Let me seize the moment to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in the past year, particularly to the victims of the tragic famine in Somalia and the devastating flood in Pakistan and especially the earthquake and the ensuing explosions in the nuclear power plant in Japan. I urge everyone to intensify their assistance and aid to the affected populations in these countries.
Over the past years, I spoke about different global issues, and the need to introduce fundamental changes in the current international order.
Today, considering the international developments, I will try to analyze the present situation from a different angle. As you all know, the dominance and superiority of human beings over other creatures lie in the very nature and the truth of humankind, which is a divine gift and manifestation of the divine spirit, including: faith in God, who is the ever-lasting creator and planner of the entire universe.
Showing compassion to others, generosity, justice-seeking and having integrity both in words and in deeds.
The quest for dignity to reach the pinnacles of perfection, the aspiration to elevate one’s material and spiritual status, and the longing to realize liberty; defying oppression, corruption and discrimination in trying to support the oppressed; seeking happiness, and lasting prosperity and security for all.
These are some of the manifestations of common divine and human attributes, which can clearly be seen in the historical aspirations of human beings as reflected in the heritage of our search for art and literary works both in prose and poetry, and in the socio-cultural and political movements of human beings in the course of history.
All divine (more…)
Source: MR Zine
11 September 2011
The Foreign Ministers of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, meeting in Caracas, Venezuela on 9 September 2011, recalling the Special Communiqué of the Political Council on 4 March 2011 and the Special Communiqué of the Ministerial Social Council on 19 March 2011, condemns the NATO intervention in Libya and its illegal military aggression, carried out under the cover of a UN Security Council resolution, opportunistically exploiting the situation of the internal political conflict in that country.
The ALBA foreign ministers denounce the NATO for carrying out a military operation for regime change in Libya under the doctrine of preventive war, manipulating the UN to suit its geopolitical and economic interests in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973.
The ALBA foreign ministers demand the immediate and unconditional cessation of the NATO bombings and military intervention in the Libyan territory.
The ALBA foreign ministers deplore the fact that the NATO has disregarded the persistent efforts of the African Union in search of a solution to the internal conflict in Libya based on dialogue to achieve peace.
The ALBA foreign ministers also deplore the complicity of various major international media, which have colluded with those interested in aggression and lent themselves to the purpose of distorting information about the state of affairs in Libya.
The ALBA foreign ministers issue their most urgent warning on the danger that the Libyan precedent may be repeated against Syria, by means of exploiting the ongoing political troubles in that Arab nation.
The ALBA foreign ministers reiterate their firmest commitment to the right to self-determination of the peoples of Libya and Syria.
The ALBA foreign ministers most energetically reject any (more…)
The latest effort in the process of regional integration of the Latin American and Caribbean countries took place on Feb. 22-23 in Cancún, Mexico, with the participation of 32 independent nations.
The new organization, called the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CLACS), is an attempt to create a body that would not include the United States or Canada, in order to establish an independent bloc that can respond to and pursue the interests of the region — not only among the member states at the hemisphere level, but in the international arena as well.
Of the 33 countries in the region, only Honduras was not invited. It was expelled from the Organization of American States last summer due to the criminal military coup of June 2009 that deposed the democratically elected president, José Manuel Zelaya.
CLACS is considered by many regional presidents as the alternative to the U.S.-dominated OAS. In fact, the failure of the OAS to respond in an effective manner, which could have reversed the Honduras coup, hastened the convening of the new Community. Most of the governments in CLACS have made it clear they consider the Honduran coup an (more…)
Under the most incredibly difficult conditions – including NATO bombing, mercenary landings, Special Forces operations and the destruction of civilian infrastructure – the heroic resistance to imperialist conquest in Libya has continued.
All the corporate media lies claiming mass surrender, the fleeing of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, the arrest of his sons and more have turned out to be nothing but lies and psychological warfare. After 159 days of bombing, incredibly, the resistance continues.
The continued resistance also exposes the lie of the so-called democratic “rebel” forces – forces that have been set up by Britain, France and the U.S. to facilitate the imperialist invasion of the oil-rich country. Meanwhile, arms have been distributed by the Libyan government to the whole population – something a hated dictator would never do.
As in Iraq and Afghanistan, an arrogant declaration of U.S. victory and “mission accomplished” does not mean an end to local people’s resistance, which takes many forms. The Libyan people have heroically withstood not only half a year of (more…)
Published Aug 27, 2011
The Obama administration has rejected a call for a posthumous presidential pardon for Marcus Garvey, calling it a waste of time and resources.
The denial of a pardon came only recently, in response to a campaign waged by attorney Donovan Parker, who had been writing Obama weekly since January 2011 calling for Garvey’s pardon.
The denial letter stated: “Many posthumous pardon requests would likely be based on a claim of manifest injustice, and given that decades have passed since the event and the historical record would have to be scoured to objectively and comprehensively investigate such applications, it is the Department’s position that the limited resources which are available to process requests for Presidential clemency — now being submitted in record numbers — are best dedicated to requests submitted by persons who can truly benefit from a grant of the request.”
So the Obama administration says pardoning (more…)
Filed under: Global
“Nihilistic and feral teenagers” the Daily Mail called them: the crazy youths from all walks of life who raced around the streets mindlessly and desperately hurling bricks, stones and bottles at the cops while looting here and setting bonfires there, leading the authorities on a merry chase of catch-as-catch-can as they tweeted their way from one strategic target to another.
The word “feral” pulled me up short. It reminded me of how the communards in Paris in 1871 were depicted as wild animals, as hyenas, that deserved to be (and often were) summarily executed in the name of the sanctity of private property, morality, religion, and the family. But then the word conjured up another association: Tony Blair attacking the “feral media,” having for
so long been comfortably lodged in the left pocket of Rupert Murdoch only later to be substituted as Murdoch reached into his right pocket to pluck out David Cameron.
There will of course be the usual hysterical debate between those prone to view the riots as a matter of pure, unbridled and inexcusable criminality, and those anxious to contextualize events against a background of bad policing; continuing racism and unjustified persecution of youths and minorities; mass unemployment of the young; burgeoning social deprivation; and a mindless politics of austerity that has nothing to do with economics and everything to do with the perpetuation and consolidation of personal wealth and power. Some may even get around to condemning the meaningless and alienating qualities of so many jobs and so much of daily life in the midst of immense but unevenly distributed potentiality for human flourishing
By the Historical Research Group of the Nation of Islam (FinalCall.com) – The U.S.-led attack on Libya is an American operation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), planned and initiated long before any “protests” started in Libya this February. Under the guise of “protecting innocent civilians,” the U.S. military, Africom, NATO, and the United Nations are now bombing Libya, raining destruction upon the Libyan economic and military infrastructure and killing untold numbers of innocent Africans. Here are just 10 of the many obvious reasons why this so-called “spontaneous” protest was from beginning to end another CIA operation.
1. The United States’ motives are suspect. The “humanitarian” concern expressed by the American government has not taken long to evaporate. The claim that Col. Muammar Gadhafi was “slaughtering his own people” cannot be substantiated by any independent evidence, and no “journalists” are even asking for evidence. The White House’s policy advisor and Israeli lobby official Dennis Ross claimed that “up to 100,000 people could be massacred, and everyone would blame us for it.” Ross has produced no proof of a massacre—and Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen both confirmed, “We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.” Russian military has been monitoring the unrest via satellite from the very beginning, and they say that the claimed “slaughter” is imaginary.
CIA √ 2. The world media have shown a shocking lack of curiosity. Just as with the U.S. debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan, the New York Times leads a coordinated campaign of propaganda, rumor-mongering, and the demonization of Muammar Gadhafi. Some articles appear to be written in advance and closely follow the prescription of the Washington consulting firm Wirthlin Group, which determined that “the message most likely to motivate public support for war on Iraq was (more…)
JOINT STUDENT STATEMENT
There is no doubt, Israel is an Apartheid state; There is only one word, boycott!
We, students and youth of a post Apartheid South Africa, who bear the scars of a racist history and who continue to fight for complete liberation, have a duty and responsibility to stand in solidarity with those facing oppression worldwide. Israeli apartheid is one such form of oppression.
Israeli media boast that a mission of 150 Israeli propagandists will be sent to universities in 5 countries to fix Israel’s “serious image problems”. The Israeli mission will begin on South African campuses on the 11th of August, with a delegation that includes at least two aides from the Israeli parliament. A delegation member was clear about the intention of their trip: “We have to create some doubt in their [South African students’] minds.”
Don’t patronize us! We lived apartheid, we suffered apartheid, we know what apartheid is, we recognise apartheid when we see it. And when we see Israel, we see a regime that practices apartheid. Israel’s image needs no changing; its policies do! We urge Israeli students to instead join the growing and inspiring internal resistance to their regime, particularly the boycott from within movement, rather than waste time and money on these propaganda trips to deceive us Black students, South Africans have no need for these Muldergate-like trips.
A “major focus” of the Israeli trip will be the University of Johannesburg (UJ). On 1st April 2011 UJ’s Senate, with the full backing of UJ’s Student Representative Council, terminated its institutional relationship with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University. Indeed, UJ set an academic boycott of Israel precedent that all other South African and international universities can follow.
Following UJ’s decision, and in response to a letter sent to us by Palestinian students, we urge all SRCs, student groups and other youth structures to (more…)
By Chris Hedges
May 09, 2011 “Truthdig” — News personalities, politicians, self-appointed experts on the Muslim world, and law enforcement and intelligence officials, as well as the Christian right, have successfully demonized Muslims in the United States since the attacks of 2001. It is acceptable to say things openly about Muslims that could never be said about any other ethnic group. And as the economy continues to unravel, as we face the possibility of revenge attacks by Islamic extremists, perhaps on American soil, the plight of Muslims is beginning to mirror that of targeted ethnic minority groups on the eve of the war in the former Yugoslavia, or Jews in the dying days of the Weimar Republic.
The major candidates for the Republican nomination for the presidency, including Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee, along with television personalities such as Bill Maher, routinely employ hate talk against Muslims as a way to attract votes or viewers. Right-wing radio and cable news, including Christian radio and television, along with websites such as Jihad Watch and FrontPage, spew toxic filth about Muslims over the airwaves and the Internet. But perhaps most ominously—as pointed out in “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace,” a report by Political Research Associates—a cadre of right-wing institutions that peddle themselves as counterterrorism specialists and experts on the Muslim world has been indoctrinating thousands of police, intelligence and military personnel in nationwide seminars. These seminars, run by organizations such as Security Solutions International, The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, and International Counter-Terrorism Officers Association, embrace gross and distorted stereotypes and propagate wild conspiracy theories. And much of this indoctrination within the (more…)
Bomb Everything in Libya
Pirates of the Mediterranean
By William Bowles
“The media rush to glorify Obama the ‘warrior president’ is symptomatic of a Western society that has come to view war as entirely normal… It is by now almost impossible to imagine that the West would not always be attacking, or targeting for attack, some defenceless nation or other.” — ‘You Cannot Kill An Ideology With A Gun‘ By Media Lens
May 20, 2011 “Information Clearing House” – All things being equal, which undoubtedly they are not, and surely that’s point, the long overdue arrival of a truly socialized, globalized planet would have been able to tackle the mess capitalism has made of things. After all, our disasters are now planetary in scale and thus can now only be handled by the planet as a whole. That means all of us, not just a privileged few.
And, it is surely an irony that ‘globalization’ has been heralded, nay crowed over by the Pirates as the solution to all our problems, yet it’s the nature of capitalist ‘globalization’ that is the main source of not only our local but also now the global crises that multiply by the day as the Empire desperately seeks to hang on to its ill-gotten gains. Problems that now threaten our future as a species, never mind a better future for all.
No doubt when comrade Marx first branded our socialist vision with ‘Workers of the World, Unite’, he had no idea just how badly his world would screw up everything, for although he was the first true globalist and experienced first-hand the awesome power of industrial capitalism to ‘tame nature’, I am sure given the lack of knowledge about the real nature of the biosphere as well as capitalism’s astounding ability to consume everything in its path, nothing could have prepared him for Fukushima or Chernobyl.
Operation Odyssey Dawn however would have been ever such familiar territory to him. Such ‘escapades’ formerly known as Gunboat Diplomacy had helped build the world Marx inhabited. The only difference was that back then they didn’t need a pretext, might was right, end of story. Nowadays, with all the talk of ‘human rights’ and war crimes, gunboat diplomacy is a tad out of sync with all the horseshit being peddled by the Pirates.
Libya War Lies Worse Than Iraq
By Thomas C. Mountain
Source:Information Clearing House
July 23, 2011 “Information Clearing House” — Asmara, Eritrea: The lies used to justify the NATO war against Libya have surpassed those created to justify the invasion of Iraq. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both had honest observers on the ground for months following the rebellion in eastern Libya and both have repudiated every major charge used to justify the NATO war on Libya.
According to the Amnesty observer, who is fluent in Arabic, there is not one confirmed instance of rape by the pro-Gadaffi fighters, not even a doctor who knew of one. All the Viagra mass rape stories were fabrications.
Amnesty could not verify a single “African mercenary” fighting for Gaddafi story, and the highly charged international satellite television accounts of African mercenaries raping women that were used to panic much of the eastern Libyan population into fleeing their homes were fabrications.
There were no confirmed accounts of helicopter gun ships attacking civilians and no jet fighters bombing people which completely invalidates any justification for the No-Fly Zone inSecurity Council resolution used as an excuse for NATO to launch its attacks on Libya.
After three months on the ground in rebel controlled territory, the Amnesty investigator could only confirm 110 deaths in Benghazi which included Gadaffi supporters.
Only 110 dead in Benghazi? Wait a minute, we were told thousands had (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized
The article below reports an event that brings hope to the Venezuelan
people and to us. Hugo Chavez, recovering from cancer, is forging ahead
to challenge the Venezuelan people to take it upon themselves to change
society. “The key to building socialism,” said Chavez, is “a
popular power capable of dismantling the patterns of oppression,
exploitation and domination that persist within Venezuelan society.”
“This requires completely pulverising the bourgeois state form we
have inherited, which continues to reproduce itself via its old and
nefarious practices, and continuing to invent new forms of political
Venezuela: Chavez launches 2012 for Presidential Elections with program
By Federico Fuentes
A farming cooperative in Paramo that practices agroecology. Land reform,
and the creation of thousands of cooperatives, are among the gains of
the Bolivarian revolution led by the government of Hugo Chavez.
Despite much speculation in the international media regarding the health
of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a mass gathering of supporters
accompanied him on June 11 as he registered his candidature for the
October 7 presidential elections.
Chavez used the opportunity to address the issue of recent tests he had
undergone after his cancer treatment. “Everything came out
absolutely fine, I feel very well” said Chavez, Venezuela Analysis
reported the next day.
Responding to claims by World Bank president Robert Zoellick just three
days before that “Chavez’s days are numbered”, Venezuela
Analysis reported Chavez said: “I think the one that has its days
numbered is global capitalism, of which the World Bank is a part.”
The corporate media have focused on what investigative journalist Eva
Golinger described as “necrophiliac storytelling about the
Venezuelan President”. But Chavez said that in the election,
“the life of the country is at stake, not any old thing is at stake
here, it’s the future of the country”.
Since being first elected in 1998, Chavez’s government has led a process
known as the “Bolivarian revolution”. It has redistributed the
nation’s wealth to the poor majority, promoted participatory democracy,
begun a process of land reform and re-nationalised strategic industries.
In 2006, Chavez was re-elected with a record 63% of the vote on a
platform of deepening the revolution to build “socialism of the 21st
This difficult process has faced obstacles, and on June 11 Chavez
presented a radical election program with the aim of receiving a new
mandate to push ahead towards socialism.
In his preface to the document spelling out the program, Chavez
described it as “a program for transition towards socialism and for
radicalising participatory and protagonistic democracy”.
The program, which is being widely disseminated and discussed among the
public, proposes five key objectives.
The first is consolidating Venezuela’s political, economic, social
and cultural independence. This requires: preserving sovereignty over
Venezuela’s natural resources and its wealth; developing the
country’s scientific and technological capacities; and strengthening
“national and Latin American identity, starting from the Bolivarian
principle that `the Homeland is America’.”
This objective, the document says, also requires deepening the alliance
between the people and the military to defend the country from outside
Together with consolidating national independence, the program proposes
as its second objective the construction of 21st century socialism.
Chavez wrote: “We should not fool ourselves: the socio-economic
formation that continues to prevail in Venezuela is of a capitalist and
rent-taking character …
“Socialism has only begun to implant its own internal dynamic among
That is why “this is a program precisely to refine and deepen
[socialism]; to move towards a radical suppression of the logic of
capital that needs to be accomplished step by step, but without slowing
down the rhythm of advancement towards socialism”.
The key to building socialism, said Chavez, is “a popular power
capable of dismantling the patterns of oppression, exploitation and
domination that persist within Venezuelan society.”
“This requires completely pulverising the bourgeois state form we
have inherited, which continues to reproduce itself via its old and
nefarious practices, and continuing to invent new forms of political
In place of the old state, the introduction to the program promotes a
new state based on “the consolidation and expansion of popular
Central to this new state would be the existing communes and communal
councils that have emerged as forms of community self-government, and
the social missions, through which communities have organised themselves
to meet their education, health and other basic needs.
The third and fourth objectives locate the Venezuelan revolution within
the international context.
Chavez said the world is submerged in a “structural crisis” of
capitalism “which could become terminal”, but Latin America
continues to live through “a change of eras that is characterised by
a real and genuine change in power relations to the benefit of the great
The program proposes the promotion of greater Latin American unity aimed
at transforming the region into a peace zone. In the international
arena, it proposes contributing to building a new multipolar world based
on peace and equilibrium among nations.
The final objective, notes the introduction, is the “necessity of
constructing an ecosocialist productive economic model, based on a
harmonious relationship between humans and nature, that guarantees the
use and rational and optimal exploitation of natural resources, while
respecting the processes and cycles of nature”.
The 39-page document then goes on to list a wide range of specific
measures and policies aimed at turning these objectives into reality.
“In presenting this program,” wrote Chavez, “I do so
convinced that only with the protagonist participation of the people,
with the broadest possible discussion among the popular bases, we can
perfect it, unleashing all of its creative and liberating
With less than 100 days until the elections, polls give Chavez an
advantage of 16%-25% over his main rival, the unity candidate of the
right-wing opposition, Henrique Capriles Radonsky.
The October 7 poll looks likely to provide the Venezuelan revolution
with another crushing mandate to push forward its radical agenda.
Conscious of this, the US government and its loyal right-wing opposition
inside Venezuela will undoubtedly be doing everything in its power to
deal blows not just to Chavez, but to a revolutionary movement united
behind an anti-capitalist program.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Filed under: Uncategorized
A summit of huge importance was held in Venezuela on December 2-3. Two hundred years after Latin America’s independence fighters first raised the battle cry for a united Latin America, 33 heads of states from across the region came together to form the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
For Latin America, the summit represented a further step away from its traditional role as the United States’ backyard and its emergence as a player in its own right in international politics.
The importance of this new institution in world politics cannot be overstated. The combined gross domestic product of the countries within CELAC make it the third-largest economic powerhouse in the world.
It is also home to the world’s largest oil reserves and the first and third largest global producers of food and energy, respectively.
CELAC also builds on existing inter-regional bodies and experiments.
These include the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), UNASUR’s Defense Council, the Bank of the South (which only awaits the approval of the Uruguayan parliament in order to bring to life a bank that will count on US$20 billion for development projects), and the establishment of trade mechanisms between some countries that replaces the US dollar with local and new regional currencies.
Another important integration initiative is the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), a nine-nation anti-imperialist bloc initially formed in 2004 by socialist governments of Cuba and Venezuela.
CELAC explicitly excludes the U.S. and Canada
However, Cuba, which has been excluded from the Organisation of American States (OAS) for daring to challenge the US empire and carry out a revolution, was not only included but selected to host the 2013 CELAC Summit. Chile had already been selected to host next year’s.
Some are already arguing the consolidation of CELAC will represent the final nail in the coffin of the Organisation of American States (OAS), traditionally dominated by the powerful neighbors up north.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said on November 29: “We believe we need a profound change in the inter-American, basically Latin American, system because the US’s gravitational power [within the OAS] is clear.”
“We need another system … where we discuss our problems in the region, not in Washington [the headquarters of the OAS], where institutions that are removed from our vision, traditions, values and needs are not imposed on us.”
The same day, Bolivian vice-president Alvaro Garcia Linera said the summit would represent “a meeting of the peoples, defending our destiny without tutelage, without patronage, so that together we can find a solution to our problems, without the presence of the US”.
The step comes at a time when US economic and political power is in decline and the European Union is on the verge of collapse.
“Latin America is a continent on the move faced with a world in crisis,” Garcia Linera said. “Latin America is the vanguard of the world in regard to ideas, in regard to transformations, in regard to proposals at the service of the people and humanity.”
Luis Bilbao, editor of the Latin America-wide magazine America XXI, said in a November 28 article that CELAC represents “an opportunity without precedent to position the region as the starting point in a new phase in the history of humanity”.
Latin America is in a unique position given the global context, marked by three key features: “It maintains a dynamic of regional convergence while all other [continents] are suffering from violent centrifugal forces; until now it has suffered less as a result of the recession in the imperialist centres; [and] within this heterogeneous convergent whole exists a vital nucleus that, faced with the collapse of capitalism … has raised the banner of 21st century socialism.”
The US had tried everything possible to stop CELAC. Former Colombian president, Alvaro Uribe, a US puppet, made the most recent attempt.
A November 28 Venezuelanalysis.com article said that during a trip to meet with Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, Uribe urged them to issue a “public statement” denouncing the growing relationship between Colombia and Venezuela.
Under Uribe, relations between Venezuela and Colombia nearly degenerated into war. Uribe also worked to undermine the progress of UNASUR from within.
Despite continuing much of Uribe’s neoliberal and repressive politics at home, Venezuelanalysis.com said Colombian President Manuel Santos “has adopted a noticeably different stance with regard to foreign policy, aimed at integrating Colombia into regional organisations and re-establishing bilateral relations with other Latin American countries”.
This does not mean that the Colombian government, or many other Latin American countries, no longer follows US foreign policy dictates in the region, or that all agree that CELAC should automatically replace the OAS.
Nor does it mean there are not important differences on how to confront the global economic crisis and imperial wars, such as the recent NATO attack on Libya.
Bilbao noted a sole, unified response to these tremendous challenges by CELAC cannot be expected, “however what is possible is to find a common minimum denominator”.
The idea of the US’s backyard creating its own neighbourhood to collectively resolve problems, free of outside intervention, is an important starting point.
Venezuela leads the way
That the summit was held in Venezuela represented a double blow to U.S. interests. Having waged a relentless campaign to destroy Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution, the fact it was chosen to host the summit undermines the lies peddled by Washington and the corporate media that Venezuela is isolated in the region.
Furthermore, the presence of a fully recovered Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, whose bout with cancer early this year forced the summit to be postponed from July, has dashed hopes that health issues could succeed were U.S.-backed coups and destabilisation plans against the Chavez government have failed.
In response to Chavez’s call to form a “Great Patriotic Pole” of parties and social movements to support his re-election on a platform of deepening the revolution, more than 32,000 organisations signed on to the campaign during the four-week registration period begun in early October.
Polls show support for Chavez at more than 50%. The US-backed opposition remains unable to muster any candidate to seriously challenge him.
In response, the U.S. is gearing up for a big campaign to try and prevent a fresh mandate for Chavez’s anti-capitalist policies.
Investigative journalist Eva Golinger said in an August 11 Chavezcode.com article that the US has already budgeted $20 million to fund the opposition next year.
Another important ploy being used is capitalist hoarding and speculation with food prices to provoke shortages and worsen inflation, already hovering above 22% for the year.
Big business successfully used this tactic to help defeat the 2007 referendum on a raft of constitutional reforms proposed by Chavez, giving the capitalists their sole electoral victory in 12 years.
On November 27, Chavez said in the days prior, the Bolivarian National Guard seized 127,000 kilos of rice, 132,000 kilos of corn flour, 256,000 kilos of powered milk, 85,000 litres of vegetable oil, 246,000 kilos of sugar and 10,500 kilos of coffee — all of which were being illegally hoarded by private companies.
One company affected, Italian-owned Parmalat, published a declaration in several newspapers on November 26. It said it was “strange” the government seized 210,000 kilos of powdered milk from its warehouses as this milk was supposedly destined for the state food distribution company, CASA, as per a signed contract.
Chavez responded the next day: “We found Parmalat hoarding milk and this is typical of the bourgeoisie … they think we are fools or idiots … Gentlemen of Parmalat, we are not stupid!”
He ordered a large-scale investigation into the company and reminded Parmalat that his government has the power to expropriate the company if it continues carrying out such actions.
An October 14 Reuters article cited figures provided by Conindustria, a Venezuelan business federation, to show that 459 companies had been nationalised this year. An estimated 1045 have been nationalised since Chavez came to power.
This has ensured the state plays a dominant role in strategic sectors such as oil, electricity, cement, steel, telecommunications and food production and distribution.
The day after Chavez’s response, Parmalat published another open letter offering its “most sincere apologies” for failing to “adequately communicate what had transpired” in regards to the powdered milk.
It pledged to support the government in ensuring that the needs of the people were met.
Parmalat is not the only company Chavez ordered be monitored. He named Colgate Palmolive, Pepsi Cola, Heinz, Nestle, Coca Cola, Unilever, Glaxo Smith Kline, and Polar, Venezuela’s largest food company.
These are among the companies affected by price controls on 18 food, hygiene and household products, in effect since November 22.
Since 2003, the government has placed price controls on various essential food items.
Under the new Law on Fair Costs and Prices, prices on the 18 goods are frozen until mid-December. The newly-created National Superintendency of Fair Costs and Prices audits the companies producing these goods to establish how much it costs to make the products to determine a reasonable price to sell them at.
As of December 15, this price will have to be printed on the product. Sanctions will apply for those who do not comply with the regulations.
A second phase will begin in January involving medicinal products.
On November 7, Chavez told state television channel VTV: “We cannot given the large business owners and large corporations the freedom to continue looting the pockets of Venezuelans.”
The new law, Chavez said, “was necessary and formed part of a strategy of state intervention into the economy, which is part of the transition from capitalism … towards socialism”.
No doubt this battle between socialist democracy and the dictatorship of the market will continue heating up as the presidential elections approach.
The outcome of this battle will have important ramifications not only for Venezuela’s future, but that of CELAC and the world.