Questions of War and Peace
Important Questions of War and Peace
State Terrorism and the Right to Resist
Emergency anti-war action
on Parliament Hill during House of Commons "debate" for Canada to join
U.S.-led aggression on Iraq, October 6, 2014.
ANTI-WAR CALENDAR OF EVENTS
"If left unchecked, this terrorist organization (ISIS)
will grow and grow
quickly. They have already voiced their local and international
intentions and identified Canada as a potential target." - Prime
Stephen Harper, House of Commons, October 7, 2014
"Several delegations reiterated their view that the
draft convention (on
terrorism) should comprise a clear definition of terrorism which would
differentiate it from the legitimate struggle of peoples in the
exercise of their
right to self- determination. Some delegations also expressed the view
draft convention should address all forms of terrorism, including State
terrorism. Concern was voiced that the proposal did not adequately
these issues or the question regarding the role of military forces in
peacetime." - Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on International
Terrorism to the
October 22, 2009 meeting of the Sixth Committee of the UN on Measures
eliminate international terrorism
"Shock and awe (technically known as rapid
dominance) is a military
doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power, dominant battlefield
awareness and manoeuvres, and spectacular displays of force to paralyze
enemy's perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight.
was written by Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade in 1996 and is a
of the National Defense University of the United States. [...]
"Ullman and Wade claim, 'Shutting the country down would
the physical destruction of appropriate infrastructure and the shutdown
control of the flow of all vital information and associated commerce so
as to achieve a level of national shock akin to the effect that
weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on the Japanese. [...]
"According to The Guardian correspondent Brian
2003, 'To some in the Arab and Muslim countries, Shock and Awe is
terrorism by another name; to others, a crime that compares
September 11.' Anti-war protesters in 2003 also claimed that 'the shock
awe pummeling of Baghdad [was] a kind of terrorism.'" -
In this issue, TML Weekly continues to deal
with the important
questions of war and peace. One of the matters of concern is the
detailed portrayal of barbarous crimes committed by the organization
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to justify sending the armed
the country to war. The Canadian government declares ISIS a danger to
national interest, which justifies why the country should intervene to
itself. Not only does the Harper government in Canada give this
also the Obama administration and the governments in Britain, France,
Germany and other countries.
In this way, these governments justify their own acts of
state terrorism on
the grounds that they are defending their national interest. It shows
desperate they are to provide their wars of aggression and occupation
legitimacy they do not have. This invocation of the national interest
has to do
with raison d'état -- reason of state -- which is to
and external security. A key justification for the establishment of
of coercion, and when coercion can and cannot be used, comes from raison
d'état. Instruments of coercion
include all aspects of law
enforcement, penal institutions and a rule of law that incorporates the
conditions under which the limitation of rights is authorized, as well
conditions under which the armed forces can be called to arms. The
coercion must be perceived by the population to be used legitimately to
support for the chosen course of action.
When it comes to the crucial questions of war and peace,
of a decision to call the armed forces to arms is of utmost importance.
U.S. and Canadian governments, as well those in Europe are presently
colluding and contending for control over the territories and resources
countries. Alone and collectively, they are increasingly resorting to
their national interest is threatened by ISIS and that they must commit
forces abroad to defend their national interest. Their claim however
verified, especially when their actions violate international law and
havoc, death and destruction wherever they go. In this regard, the war
Syria and Iraq can find no legitimacy amongst the people.
Emergency action in
Edmonton against Canada's participation in U.S.-led aggression against
Iraq and Syria, October 5, 2014.
Today, all over the world, one of the crucial battles
the peoples are waging
is against the state terror unleashed against them by various foreign
especially the United States and big powers of Old Europe -- Britain,
Germany etc. An aspect of this is the disinformation of public opinion
constitutes terrorism, especially state terror such as that practiced
by the United
States or Israel and others and their double standards on the basis of
people's right to resist is itself called terrorism. They have resorted
terrorism in the name of fighting terrorism to justify what cannot be
The fact that they have to do so shows they have nothing to offer
cannot sort out any problem facing humankind.
The countries that oppose terrorism in all its forms,
many of them victims
of the state terror of the U.S. and others, and of their spy agencies
forces, are fighting for problems to be sorted out on the basis of rule
both nationally and internationally.
These countries uphold the people's right to resist
state terror as well as
their right to have problems sorted out on a peaceful basis, through
negotiations and on the basis of upholding the rule of law. Far from
justify what cannot be justified, they elaborate the strategy and
to defend a people's right to be and establish the system and way of
their own choice and they respect the right of others to do the same.
This week, once again we see countries such as Cuba,
others fighting for their right to be. At the United Nations, during
of the UN General Assembly and those of special committees, the
which make up what is called the Non-Aligned Movement held high the
banner of providing the definition of terrorism with meaning in a
favours the peoples, not the imperialists who are marauding the world
their dirty wars and wars of aggression and annexation. Our coverage
that as we support the peoples of the world who are fighting for their
be, we must also step up our work to establish an anti-war government
Canada. No government should be permitted to get away with trying to
what cannot be justified in the name of national interest.
Update on Air Wars Against Iraq and Syria
Demands for U.S. Ground Troops in Syria Escalate
This week Canada joined U.S.-led military intervention
in Iraq. Prime Minister Stephen Harper justified sending Canada's armed
forces to Iraq by saying that the
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) poses a threat to Canadian
security and it is therefore a matter of defending Canada's national
several countries joined the U.S. in its air war in Syria also
targeting ISIS bases. Despite the massive use of air power,
say ISIS continues to make gains and, in the United States, demands for
a ground war
becoming increasingly shrill. Up to now the Obama Administration says
its "shock and awe" approach will be enough.
Those calling for ground troops, which includes former
Jimmy Carter, claim that it is the only way to effectively defeat ISIS.
calls clash with Obama's declaration in August saying there is no
military solution" in Iraq against the Islamic State terrorists. Now,
he is calling
for a long campaign of aerial bombing "lasting years" to destroy "the
of death" in both Iraq and Syria. Since late September, the U.S. along
so-called Arab allies -- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and the
Arab Emirates -- have been conducting airstrikes against ISIS inside
without any authorization from the Syrian government or a UN mandate.
Click to enlarge.
The U.S. has used bombers, fighter jets and drones to
carry out at least 37
airstrikes in and around the town of Kobani, Syria in recent days,
to news agency accounts. Kobani is on the border with Turkey. ISIS
militants, however, have managed to take control of a third of the
This week the Pentagon also reported that ISIS captured
the towns of Hit
and Kubaisa in Anbar Province, in Western Iraq, forcing the Iraqi
forces to abandon their posts and weaponry. This is despite more than
U.S.-led coalition airstrikes there since August 8.
So far the Obama Administration is ignoring calls for
ground troops but
as they become louder, the more it is suspected that Obama's position
unsustainable and that Harper will also reverse his position that
not do anything in Syria contrary to international law, interpreted to
Canada would wait to intervene in Syria until it gets permission from
But the contradictions
within U.S. official circles are so sharp they are
being fought in public. Calls for ground troops include General Martin
Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former CIA Director
Leon Panetta who have been holding media briefings warning Obama not to
cave in on escalating the U.S.-led air strikes and eventual ground war
Former President Jimmy Carter wrote in the Fort Worth
Star-Telegram, "First of all, we waited too long. We let the
State build up its money, capability and strength and weapons while it
in Syria." "You have to have somebody on the ground to direct our
and to be sure you have the right target," Carter said. "Then you have
somebody to move in and be willing to fight ISIS after the strikes."
Clinton who aspires to the presidency of the U.S. is also amongst the
critics of Obama's conduct of the wars in which the U.S. is mired. She
the so-called 2020 conference in Ottawa last week that "military action
and Syria is essential." Last summer she told a U.S. magazine that the
administration should have acted sooner to stop ISIS's advance. House
Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon said on Fox News, "With two
months now of airstrikes, the president's strategy clearly isn't
continues to grow, gobble up more territory from Baghdad to Kobani.
They keep moving. They get stronger. The president gave a speech a
months ago of how serious the threat is and how we were going to
and destroy them. Well, we're not."
According to the Obama plan
-- a recycled version of
former Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld's "Shock and Awe" -- "moderate" Syrian
trained and equipped by the Pentagon, will lead the ground offensive
both ISIS and the Syrian government forces. To ward off calls for a
offensive, U.S. officials have said that the primary goal of the air
is not to save towns and cities, but rather to target the ISIS's
command and control, oil refineries, and other infrastructure.
Secretary of State
John Kerry, whose statements many times contradict official White House
policy first said that the plan put forward by Turkey to create a
buffer zone on
the border with Syria was a good idea. He was then reined in, and said
week that preventing the fall of Kobani was not a "strategic objective"
United States. "Notwithstanding the crisis in Kobani, the original
targets of our
efforts have been the command and control centers, the infrastructure,"
Meanwhile, President Obama has indicated that "we are
not going to
stabilize [Syria under Assad]," leading some analysts to maintain that
United States and its allies have seized on the ISIS threat to target
government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"I do suspect that it's all an effort to eventually be
bombing in Syria where
they can switch the target to the Syrian government's target," American
investigative journalist David Lindorff told Press TV last month.
Rodney Martin, American political commentator, also said
in an interview
that, "The United States has a horrible track record in the region
current policy, but it's clear that the under entire mission of this
is to remove the Assad government."
Canada's Purchase of New Missiles
An October 10 story in the Montreal Gazette
"Prime Minister Stephen Harper settled a dispute between
Board and the Defence Department to approve an $800-million,
purchase of next-generation Sea Sparrow missiles for the Royal Canadian
Navy's aging frigates, sources familiar with the situation say. The
taken early this week following a written request earlier this month by
ministers -- Industry Minister James Moore, Defence Minister Rob
and Public Works Minister Diane Finley -- that won out over the
of Treasury Board president Tony Clement, sources say.
"The Sea Sparrow is built by U.S.-based Raytheon. The
version, the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, is distinct from the
version in that it is 'smart,' and can be guided while in flight. The
the decision stands, is that the Lockheed-Martin Raytheon group, which
vying for billions in contracts in the building of systems for Canada's
soon-to-be-built new navy, will once again have the inside track in a
defence procurement, with no competitive bidding process, as occurred
"The F-35 is made by Lockheed-Martin. The Sea Sparrow
also give Raytheon-Lockheed an edge in billions worth of sub-contracts
$26-billion national naval building project now underway, sources say,
its updated missiles could also be used on the new vessels. 'It's
identical to the
F-35 consortium,' said a defence industry source, referring to the Sea
consortium, of which Canada is a member. 'It's a move by the United
again to try to keep people within their orbit.'"
The Gazette says that "until roughly half a
Raytheon's Sea Sparrow missile was the undisputed technology leader in
ship-borne missile defence systems. However in recent years
MBDA has shot ahead and now has technology equal to Raytheon's, sources
Defense Contractors Are Making a Killing
Stock prices for Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics,
Northrop Grumman set all-time record highs last week as it became
increasingly clear that President Obama was committed to a massive,
air war in Iraq and Syria.
It's nothing short of a windfall for these and other
contractors, who've been getting itchy about federal budget pressures
threatened to slow the rate of increase in military spending.
Now, with U.S. forces literally blowing through tens of
millions of dollars
of munitions a day, the industry is not just counting on vast spending
replenish inventory, but hoping for a new era of reliance on supremely
expensive military hardware.
"To the extent we can shift away from relying on troops
and rely more
heavily on equipment -- that could present an opportunity," Jack Ablin,
investment officer at BMO Private Bank, whose $66 billion portfolio
Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co. shares, told Bloomberg.
Defense contractor stocks have far exceeded the
performance of the
broader market. A Bloomberg index of four of the largest Pentagon
rose 19 percent this year, compared to 2.2 percent for the S&P 500.
It's the munition makers who "stand to reap the biggest
especially in the short term," says Fortune magazine, citing
Raytheon's long-range Tomahawk missiles, and Lockheed Martin's
among others. "Small diameter bombs could be a huge winner, since
can carry more of them in a single sortie," one analyst tells the
U.S. forces used 47 Tomahawk missiles on Monday
[September 22] alone,
at $1.5 million
Smart "small-diameter bombs" cost about $250,000 each.
Richard Clough writes for Bloomberg:
"For defense companies, the offensive against Islamic
State and al-Qaeda
extremists is more than a showcase for big-ticket weapons such as
F-22 Raptor fighter, the stealth jet that debuted in combat this week.
"In its first night of airstrikes into Syria, the U.S.
dropped about 200
munitions and launched 47 Raytheon-made Tomahawk cruise missiles,
according to U.S. Central Command. The military also deployed Boeing's
GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Hellfire missiles from
Maryland-based Lockheed, creating an opening for restocking U.S.
Tory Newmyer's article in Fortune does a great
depicting the new giddiness in the defense industry:
"New fights mean new stuff,
after all. And following the
from Iraq and Afghanistan -- and the belt-tightening at the Pentagon
by steep budget cuts -- military suppliers are lining up to meet a
restored need for their wares....
"[D]efense analysts are pointing to a pair of sure-bet
paydays from the new
campaign: for those making and maintaining the aircraft, manned and
unmanned, that will swarm the skies over the region, and for those
the missiles and munitions that will arm them.
"'The drone builders are going to have a field day,'
says Dov Zakheim,
who served as Pentagon Comptroller during the George W. Bush
"Indeed, the widening conflict could even reverse the
trend of tapering
investments in the technology, says Mark Gunzinger, a retired Air Force
colonel and former deputy assistant secretary of defense now at the
Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. 'One of the things that can help a
capability break through is an operational stressor, like a major air
"In the longer run, one defense appropriations lobbyist
predicts -- a
hopeful note in his voice: 'we're going to have to bust through the
caps' imposed on the military by the sequester cuts. 'We can't fight
this on the
cheap,' he says."
Zacks Investment Research urges investors to buy
General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman:
"It is likely that the
conflict with ISIS will continue
for a while. Such a
campaign is likely to provide impetus for defense stocks in the days
ahead. These stocks would make excellent additions to your portfolio."
The Pentagon recently estimated that military operations
in Iraq were
costing an average of $7.5 million a day between June and
annual rate of about $2.7 billion. But even if costs ballooned to, say,
billion a year, the figure would still be dwarfed by the approximately
billion a week we're still spending in Afghanistan.
And for now, there's no cash flow problem: Obama can
just dip into the
"Overseas Contingency Operations" budget, the $85 billion "all-purpose
funding credit card" Congress just gave him -- $26 billion more than he
even asked for.
Commemorates "Victims of State
The Barbados Crime, Cubana Flight 455
Memorial at the monument
to the victims of the bombing of Cubana Flight 455,
near Bridgetown, Barbados, October 4, 2014.
October 6 marks the 38th anniversary of the first act of
civilian aviation in the western hemisphere -- the unparalleled Cubana
disaster on the coastline of Barbados on October 6, 1976 -- the
Barbados crime. Cubana Flight 455 was hit by two C-4 explosives bombs
after the aircraft took off from the then Seawell Airport (now the
Adams International Airport) in Barbados at an altitude of 18,000 feet.
Rather than crashing into
the white sands of Paradise beach below and
killing the vacationers, the Cubana pilot, Wilfredo Pérez Sr.,
banked the plane away from the beach and towards the Atlantic Ocean,
the lives of many tourists. It crashed in a ball of fire one mile north
Water Bay. The crash occurred about eight kilometres short of the
Cubana Flight 455 was a routine, scheduled commercial,
of no military significance. There were no survivors. All 73 passengers
five crew members aboard the plane were assassinated: 57 Cubans, 11
Guyanese, and five north Koreans.
Among the dead were all 24 members of Cuba's 1975
as several sport officials of the Cuban government. The young athletes,
many of whom were teenagers, had just won all the gold
medals in the Central American and Caribbean Championship Games. They
gold medals on board the aircraft.
The trail of blood leads to the U.S. -- and Canada.
It is the bitterest irony that the anniversary occurs on
the very day that the
Harper government demands parliamentary approval to send military
another hemisphere to commit aggression under the pretext of opposing
terrorism, while it is silent on terrorism committed in the nearby
It is the bitterest irony that the Harper government
terrorists" as the greatest threat facing mankind, when the
engineer of this great crime, Luis Posada Carilles, known as the Bin
Americas, languishes comfortably in Miami, Florida under U.S.
The silence of the government and media, which talk
and the "victims of terrorism," has nothing to say about the
destruction of an
aircraft by Cuban-American terrorists that was actually owned by Air
one of three Air Canada DC-8s leased to Cubana. Nor was this a unique
incident. Earlier, on July 9, 1976 in Kingston, Jamaica a suitcase had
when it was carried to another DC-8 aircraft of Cubana de
from Air Canada.
Barbados, October 4, 2014.
The monument to commemorate those killed by the terrorist attack on
Cubana Flight 455 overlooks the bay not far from where the plane went
Nor that the meeting just four months earlier on June
11, 1976 that
planned the terrorism, as well as the assassination of Orlando
former Foreign Minister of Chile then resident in Washington, the
capital of the
U.S., took place at an exclusive resort lodge owned by Falconbridge
a multinational U.S.-owned, Canadian registered corporation and the
largest nickel monopoly in the world (after INCO), in Bonao, Dominican
Republic. During that meeting, more than 20 representatives of
terrorist factions founded CORU, an acronym for the Coordinación
Organizaciones Revolucionarias Unidas, headed by Orlando Bosch. This
to CIA director George H. Bush's demand that the offensive against the
Republic of Cuba be centrally co-ordinated under CIA direction and
as part of Operation Condor. That same month, June 1976, Bosch is on
admitting that he sent a bomb to the Cuban embassy in Ottawa, aimed at
relations between Canada and Cuba and enforcing the illegal U.S.
Cuba, one of many targets attacked by Cuban-American terrorists inside
outside the territory of Canada during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Protesters outside the
Carriles immigration hearing in El Paso, Texas, January 10, 2011
demand his extradition to Venezuela and the release of the Cuban Five.
A report issued by the U.S. Acting General Attorney
General Joe D.
Whitley in May 1989 declared Bosch a public enemy of the United States
denied asylum to this dangerous character for the 30-odd terrorist acts
committed, among them the hideous Barbados bombing. The U.S. Attorney
emphasized one particular terrorist act: "In October 1976, Bosch was
in Venezuela in relation with the bombing committed against a Cuban
airliner on October 6, 1976, which killed 73 men, women and children
aboard." Nevertheless, Bosch was admitted to the U.S. at the behest of
Bush administration, where he lived and plotted until his death a
resident Fabio Di Celmo was killed by an anti-Cuba terrorist attack in
1997. Shown here, his father Giustino holds up his photo at a 2011
to remember of the victims of terrorist attacks against Cuba.
Canada is a signatory of the International Convention
for the Suppression
of Terrorist Bombings and the Convention for the Suppression of
Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation. Yet successive federal
have failed to support the credible and legitimate demand to the
United States made by the
Government of Venezuela and backed by Trinidad, Barbados and Cuba, to
extradite Posada Carriles for terrorist crimes
in their sovereign countries, specifically bombing the Cuban aircraft
October 1976 and the Havana hotels in 1997, which included the murder
Fabio di Celmo, a resident of Montreal, Canada, who was visiting Cuba
his father. The collusion of the Chrétien Liberals consisted of
the latter's murder by feigning that the innocent victim was
Italian national, and hence of no concern to the Government of Canada.
Trudeau Liberals declared the destruction of the Cubana Flight/Air
DC-8 455 in 1976 business as usual, satisfied with collecting the
the loss of property of Air Canada, then a Crown corporation. The
government is no less an abettor and promoter of international
The "war on terror" of the U.S. and Canadian governments
disingenuous that they shelter and reward the terrorists they prefer,
accusing others of the crimes they commit. Earlier this year, acting as
and jury, the Obama, Harper and allied regimes launched a hysterical
without any evidence to indict the Russian Federation and its president
of their warmongering, that allegedly it was responsible directly or
for the destruction of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 on July 17,
the war zone in Eastern Ukraine.
The central assumption is that the United States alone
is the single state
in the world that does not kill innocent civilians, is not at war with
answers to a higher law above international law and the United Nations,
hence has the moral authority to accuse everyone else of criminal
people such as the Cubans or Ukrainians or Palestinians who resist this
authority are "terrorists" and the agents of a foreign power or
"illegitimate" government -- as with the Syrian Arab Republic -- to be
But this disinformation remains silent on the criminal record of the
destroying civilian airliners and even heaping the highest honours on
pull the trigger, as it did with those who shot the missiles on July 3,
downed Iran-Air Flight 655 inside Iranian territory, killing 290
passengers and crew. Two years later George H. Bush, by this time
awarded both the commander and the officer in charge of anti-air
the USS Vincennes with the Legion of Merit for the "calm and
professional atmosphere" under their command during the period of the
destruction of the Iranian airliner.
The Bush and Obama administration's policies at home and
woken a sleeping and silent giant throughout this continent. And, yes:
is one continent and not two as some U.S. textbooks would have us
"We Demand Justice!"
38 Years of Injustice
Fernando Gonzáles and René Gonzáles and family
members of the Cuban Five lead the procession to the Colón
Havana, October 6, 2014, to commemorate the Day for the Victims of State Terrorism
Thirty-eight years have passed and the Cuban people
demand justice. On
October 6, 1976, 73 people, amongst them 11 Guyanese, 5 citizens of the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea and 57 Cubans were killed on a
Cubana Airlines flight.
The authors of the brutal
crime walked free in the
streets of Miami and the
U.S., they made no secret of the fact that the CIA and the U.S.
protected them. The very same country that has launched wars across the
world, supposedly against terrorism, never brought the terrorists who
those returning home after a stopover in Barbados, to trial.
On that October 6, the nation, which since 1959 to date
been the victim
of acts of terrorism orchestrated by figures such as Luis Posada
Orlando Bosh, simply for having reclaimed its sovereignty less than 90
from the most powerful nation on Earth, was in mourning. Four years
Army General Raúl Castro stated: "Today we are here to pay
3,478 Cubans who have died and 2,099 who have been permanently disabled
by acts of terrorism perpetrated for half a century against our
homeland, a toal
of 5,577 victims. The Martyrs of Barbados join the long list of those
whom we will never forget."
Before Raúl's speech, it was announced that
would be officially
commemorated every year in Cuba as "Victims of State Terrorism Day."
Having directly suffered the cruelty of the U.S.
policy, four years ago
today, the Cuban government and people reaffirmed their decision to
and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including
terrorism, wherever it occurs and whatever the reasons given by the
Raúl Castro and other Cuban leaders attend the main ceremony to
Day for the Victims of State Terrorism,
Havana, October 6,
On October 6, 2010, Raúl announced, "Our country
signed the 13
existing international agreements on such matters and strictly fulfills
commitments and obligations set out under the resolutions of the United
Nations General Assembly and Security Council. Cuba does not possess or
have the intention of acquiring weapons of mass destruction of any kind
has fulfilled her obligations in accordance with the existing
regulations on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The territory
has never been used, nor will it ever be, to organize, fund, or carry
terrorist acts against any country, including the United States."
Indignation and courage have been Cuba's response to
every single act of
terrorism and death it has been subjected to. These acts, aimed at
panic, have instead found a people committed to further radicalizing
Revolution. That is why the words of the Commander in Chief, Fidel
Ruz, as he bid farewell to the victims of the attack on the Cuban
October 15, 1976, continue to reverberate across the world; "When an
energetic and virile people cry out, injustice trembles."
Cuban fencers commemorate
their fallen comrades; a wreath sent to
Colón cemetery by Comrade Fidel Castro.
The New Dirty Wars
Terrorism and Assassinations in Venezuela
Last Friday [October 3], the centre of Caracas was
thousands of mourning
citizens as they accompanied two flag draped coffins loaded with
had cast upon it in homage.
If a Member of Parliament representing the Venezuelan
been brutally tortured and stabbed to death in his own home, the
-- including Canada's -- would have splashed the news in headlines
Yet this has just happened to a Member of Parliament
from the governing
party of Venezuela, but the international press is mostly silent.
politicians have not wrung their hands with indignation or regret, as
about the lawful incarceration of opposition leader Leopoldo
publicly and repeatedly incited mobs to violence and has caused at
On Wednesday, October 1, 2014, Robert Serra, 27 years
old, a lawyer and
legislator from the governing party PSUV, the youngest Member of
of Venezuela, and his partner María Herrera, were assassinated
in their own
home in a central area of Caracas. It was an outrageous and deliberate
terror. Robert Serra and María Herrera were tortured, stabbed
and then bled
to death. He specialized in criminology, and was engaged in the task of
helping to curb crime in the country. María Herrera assisted him
in this vital
work. Robert Serra came from a poor family; his mother worked as a
hawker to help him go to law school. He was famous for his insightful
interventions in parliament and was much beloved, some referred to him
as "a future Chávez."
Funeral procession for
Roberto Serra and María Herrera, Caracas, October 3, 2014.
Their deaths were carried out systematically. Ernesto
of Colombia and current President of UNASUR [the Union of South
American Nations], said: "This crime is
of the infiltration of Colombian paramilitary in Venezuela."
Just a few weeks ago, President Santos of Colombia
deported to Venezuela
a young man, Lorent Saleh, who had been meeting with paramilitaries in
Colombia to conspire against the Venezuelan government. He appears in a
video with Alvaro Uribe, ex-President of Colombia, who owes his
career to his connections to [Pablo] Escobar, the head of Colombian
is accused by the Colombian Senate of being behind the proliferation of
paramilitary there. Saleh stated he was buying arms of war and
snipers and explosive experts because "they" were going to carry out
assassination of 20 leaders of the Venezuelan government in order to
down. Then he said who "they" were: leaders of Venezuela's opposition
In Parliament, days before his assassination, Robert
Serra had denounced -- in no uncertain terms -- the terrorist plans of
Alvaro Uribe and Lorent
The Venezuelan government of President Nicolás
Maduro has been under
relentless and continuous attack since it was elected. It has been
economic sabotage with contraband and withholding of food and goods, a
deliberate campaign of false rumors, and three months of street
create the appearance of chaos and lack of governability. These
actions were deftly overcome by a government that stuck to the letter
law, refused to take the bait of meeting violence with violence, and
its call for
peace included setting up negotiations with the opposition facilitated
ministers of neighboring countries. The Venezuelan people
repudiated the violent opposition tactics, and gave Mr. Maduro's
even larger boost.
In an attempt to produce "regime change," violence has
now to include assassinations. This was agreed upon in a meeting at
Guadarrama, Spain at the end of June hosted by the Spanish spy agency
and the FAES -- a think tank of the party Partido Popular of
Spain, José Maria Aznar. The USA's CIA carries out the financing
training of the CNI, as Edward Snowdon has revealed.
Two Venezuelan opposition leaders, Julio Borges and
who were also behind the street violence, were present, and a video
from Maria Corina Machado was viewed. She could not be present as she
being investigated for her part in the street violence, which she
led. Machado, as a standing member of Venezuela's parliament,
accepted simultaneously the position of ambassador of Panama in order
address the OAS in 2014. According to the Constitution, she in effect,
forfeited her position of parliamentarian by representing a foreign
-- and one, which at that time was against Venezuela.
Machado, along with López, instigated the street
violence that cost so
many deaths and millions in damages. Yet, holding such disdain for the
of law, she was invited by the Canadian Council for the Americas to
the prestigious Canadian law firm of Cassels Brock and Blackwell last
This was a clear example either of Canadian willful ignorance or
The imperial forces believe Venezuela's oil is just too
rich a prize to leave
in the hands of its people. The sterling leadership that the country
in promoting the integration of Latin America for the purposes of
common social problems and to protect its natural resources is just
unacceptable to the greed of multinationals, the United States, and
subservient allies who seem to think the petroleum is theirs to take.
The assassinations of Robert Serra and María
Herrera, of Eliézer Otáiz
head of Caracas Municipality 5 months ago, the killings during the
of last March that were led by paramilitary (not students as the world
stated) and the bombing death of district attorney Danilo Anderson ten
ago, as well as the hundreds of rural leaders that have been
paramilitary mercenaries hired by the large landowners, have only fed
determination of the Venezuelan people. They know that their Bolivarian
government, no matter how besieged and no matter how big the problems,
a government on their side, not on the side of the powerful elites and
foreign owners that have never in Venezuelan history sided with the
the nation's best interest.
As the crowds wound their slow way towards the cemetery
Serra and María Herrera were to be buried, the ubiquitous cry
that was heard
at every step was: "Justice! Justice! We want justice!" The Venezuelan
authorities dare not ignore this clamor.
1. Carlos Fazio, "Violencia y terrorismo son ejes de la
nueva fase de
desetabilizacion subversive," Resumen Latinoamericano, 2 octubre 2014,
UN's Selective Defense of Human Rights
For the past several years, the United Nations has
served as a platform for
Syria's enemies to air allegations of human rights abuses and even
use such allegations to justify military aggression against Syria
itself. Tales of
"barrel bombs" being used against civilians, the bombardment of enemy
positions at the cost of civilian lives and the destruction of vital
have all been constructs in the West's narrative against the Syrian
Now that the U.S. is itself bombing Syria, killing
innocent men, women and children, as well as vital infrastructure local
populations depend on for their survival, the UN has grown suddenly
The Western press too seems to have reverted to its observance of the
of "collateral damage." Suddenly, the very terrorists the Syrian
tried to warn the world about for years as it fought them in its city
countrysides, are now bad enough for the end of defeating them to
means of occasionally killing civilians, so long as they are killed
rather than Syrian weapons.
The startling hypocrisy combines with the fact that
Syria's military is
operating within its territory, conducting security operations to
secure its own
borders and all territory within it, while the U.S. is operating
miles from its own shores, in a foreign country, with both a doubtful
and an even more doubtful agenda in mind as it does so.
Where is the United Nations? The airstrikes in Syria
carried out by the
U.S., Persian Gulf states, and several European nations are done so
Syrian government's approval, no recognized opposition party has
of them, and certainly no UN resolution has provided the West with a
to exercise military force inside of Syria. On this point alone, the UN
be standing up in vocal protest, leveling sanctions against those
in this act of unilateral, illegal military aggression. Additionally,
should be speaking out against the loss of civilian lives, just as it
the past several years of chaos in Syria's ongoing conflict, as well as
monitoring teams and investigations into the impact of these attacks.
Aside from Syria, there is another battlefield the UN is
from. Ukraine. In Ukraine, Kiev has been carrying out increasingly
campaigns of violence against its own people. As it steadily loses
territory in the east of Ukraine, grisly scenes of mass murder,
extrajudicial executions are being uncovered. Yet there is no protest
within the UN, no teams being mobilized to investigate unearthed crime
and no measures taken against the perpetrators which include
militant groups espousing modern-day Nazism like the notorious Right
While some may claim such accusations are merely
it is the West's own Organization for Security and Co-operation in
(OSCE) which provides daily reports from its own monitors on the ground
inside Ukraine, that have mentioned the presence of right-wing
destruction of Ukraine's historical heritage, their attacking and
their political opponents and violence they are carrying out across the
from eastern Ukraine to the capital of Kiev itself.
Recently OSCE reported that the Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion,
flies a flag featuring Adolf Hitler's SS Wolfsangel insignia on it, led
the dismantling of a statue of Vladimir Lenin in the Ukrainian city of
Another OSCE report noted that Right Sector was leading mobs in Odessa.
earlier OSCE report from August would admit another Kiev "volunteer
battalion" similar to Azov and Right Sector, the so-called "Aidar
was at the center of several human rights abuses and in particular, the
abduction, torture, and holding for ransom of eastern Ukrainians.
Clearly there are abuses taking place, carried out by
extremist groups espousing ideology illegal throughout most of Europe,
supported by the European Union, NATO, and the United States. Why the
has remained silent on this while so vocal on other issues raises
questions about its objectivity and impartiality.
The UN as a Tool for Special Interests
While in theory the
UN is supposed to be an impartial arbiter of international law, through
biased actions it is revealed to be a subject to certain special
using the pretext of human rights and international law to selectively
the agenda of certain member states while ignoring entirely such
against Canada's support for Ukrainian fascist forces, Parliament Hill,
October 5, 2014. (L. Mitsner)
In Syria, U.S. bombs are now killing Syrian civilians,
infrastructure and all while violating the sovereignty of the nation of
itself. The act of military aggression the U.S. and its partners are
in Syria run contrary to the UN Charter itself and constitute a grave
of international law. When the UN ponders the steady erosion of its
legitimacy, popularity and effectiveness, it is displays of double
those seen in Syria that are the cause.
Likewise, in Ukraine, where ultra-right militants
espousing Nazism are
openly carrying out human rights violations so often and overtly that
European-aligned OSCE must report them all while the UN remains utterly
silent and flaccid, undermines not only the UN itself, but the concept
international law altogether.
When international law is cited and enforced selectively
by certain member
states of the United Nations, using the UN itself as a platform to
otherwise illegal actions, the world teeters on the edge of global
leaving the remaining members of the UN to ponder alternatives in
injustices perpetuated rather than challenged by the UN and its Charter.
Eastern Ukrainians, the Syrians and all their respective
allies are left with
little other choice than to act unilaterally themselves to defend their
and people as well as their interests in the face of rogue nations that
apparently co-opted and now control much of the UN.
The latest report on the human rights situation in
Ukraine produced by the
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights contains no
information on mass graves found near the eastern Ukrainian city of
in late September, the news agency RIA Novosti reports. UN spokesman
Stephane Dujarric had claimed that the report would address this issue.
the release of the report was delayed from October 3 to October 8 and
issue was not raised.
The sixth report on the human rights situation in
Ukraine covers the period
from August 18 to September 16. However, on September 23, several mass
graves with over 400 bodies of civilians and pro-independence fighters,
apparently killed execution-style, were found northeast of the eastern
city of Donetsk.
Independence supporters of southeastern Ukraine claim
that the massacre
was carried out by Ukraine's National Guard fighters, who had stayed in
area since April, when Kiev launched its military operation in the
Ukrainian authorities have denied the accusation.
The Russian Investigative Committee has claimed it has
evidence of the National Guard and the Right Sector nationalist group's
participation in the mass killings.
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin
and the chief of the
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Didier Burkhalter
on the importance of a thorough investigation into the incident. (RIA
China Urges U.S. to Stop "Fabricating Stories"
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on October 9 urged the
United States to stop
"fabricating stories" and "mudslinging" after a Federal Bureau of
(FBI) official accused China of stealing secrets from U.S. firms.
"Chinese laws forbid hacking or any other behavior
harmful to cyber
security, and it is an undoubted fact that the Chinese government
cracks down on these crimes," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said
news briefing in response to a question on the FBI official's remarks.
FBI director James Comey said during an October 5 TV
appearance that China
topped the list of countries seeking to pilfer secrets from U.S. firms,
American businesses billions of dollars every year.
"Again, we urge the U.S. side to drop its wrongful
fabrication of stories
and deliberate mudslinging toward China, as well as stop its
systematic cyber attacks on other countries," said the Chinese
The U.S. side's attempt to divert attention by accusing
others will not
succeed, Hong added.
Meeting of UN General Assembly's Sixth
Focuses on International Terrorism
Renewed Attempts to Establish Comprehensive Legal
Framework to Deal
with International Terrorism
The Sixth Committee (Legal Committee) of the United
Nations opened its
annual meeting in New York with a focus on international terrorism on
October 7. The Sixth Committee is taking up this responsiblity for this
issue from the General Assembly's Ad Hoc Committee on
Terrorism which will not meet this year. In the 68th session of the
the Ad Hoc Committee recommended that more time be given to make
progress on outstanding issues, and that the Sixth
establish a working group at the 69th session of the Assembly, with a
finalizing the process on the draft comprehensive convention on
terrorism as well as discussions concerning convening a high-level
on this issue. This is work which the Ad Hoc Committee began in 2000.
In addressing the opening meeting of the Sixth
representative of the Non-Aligned Movement of countries condemned
unequivocally. He called on all states to cooperate in resolving the
issues, reiterating its call for an International Summit Conference
auspices of the UN to formulate a joint organized response that
identifying the root causes of terrorism.
A representative of Cuba to the Committee said that the
objectives of the
Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism had not been achieved because of the
position of a small number of states, and warned their action suggests
preference of a war against terrorism in violation of the UN Charter
Ad Hoc Committee Established by General Assembly
The mandate of the Ad Hoc Committee is framed within the
General Assembly's 1994 Declaration on Measures to Eliminate
Terrorism and the 1996 Declaration to Supplement the 1994 Declaration
Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism. The Committee is also to
develop an international convention for the suppression of acts of
terrorism to supplement existing international instruments, and a
comprehensive legal framework to deal with international terrorism.
This mandate has been revised and renewed annually by
Assembly in its resolutions under the agenda item "Measures to
The Ad Hoc Committee has held one session per year over
a one or two
week period, usually early in the year, with the work continued under
Working Group of the Sixth Committee later in the year during the
session of the General Assembly. The Ad Hoc Committee did not meet in
2012 and will not meet in 2014. The Working Group was not convened in
The Ad Hoc Committee works on the basis that nothing is
everything is agreed. It is open to all States members of the United
members of specialized agencies or of the International Atomic Energy
The Ad Hoc Committee has negotiated texts that resulted
in the adoption
of three treaties by the General Assembly: the International Convention
Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (Resolution 52/164 of December 15,
the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of
(Resolution 54/109 of December 9, 1999, as corrected); and the
Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (Resolution
59/290 of April 13, 2005).
Cuba Denounces U.S. Manipulation of Terrorism
At the October 8 meeting of the United Nations General
Committee, Cuba denounced the United States for manipulating the issue
terrorism for political purposes by including Cuba in its unilateral
countries that sponsor terrorism.
The U.S. State Department published its 2013 report on
designating Cuba for the 32nd time as "a State Sponsor of Terrorism,"
Dieguez, the third secretary of the permanent mission of Cuba, told the
Committee, in charge of legal matters.
The Cuban diplomat said that the U.S. keeps Cuba on
its list to justify
the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on the island
for over half a century. And it does it despite not having any
about the supply of weapons or training by the Cuban government to
groups, and recognizing that Cuba supports and hosts the peace
Dieguez ratified Cuba's
rejection of the scourge of
terrorism in all its
expressions, as well as its rejection of the manipulation of such a
In this regard, she demanded the definitive exclusion of
Cuba from the list,
which she termed spurious, unilateral and arbitrary.
She noted that for defending its independence and
dignity, Cuba suffered
for decades the consequences of terrorist actions organized, funded and
executed from U.S. soil, killing 3,500 people and wounding 2,099 people.
She noted that the struggle against terrorism will only
succeed if its causes
are addressed in an organized way by the international community
violating the peoples' sovereignty.
She expressed Cuba's backing of the adoption of a
general convention on
terrorism and the holding of a UN-sponsored world conference to give
coordinated answers to the scourge.
"Those objectives have not been achieved because of the
position of a
small number of states, the actions of which suggest the preference of
against terrorism in violation of the UN Charter and International
Unequivocally Condemns Terrorism
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) voiced its unequivocal
of terrorism at the annual meeting of the Sixth Committee (Legal
of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on October 7.
Iran, the NAM's current chair, represented the body at
the session. In a
statement addressing the UN Assembly's agenda item 107, "Measures to
eliminate international terrorism," Iran's deputy ambassador to the UN
Committee Gholam-Hossein Dehqani condemned all forms of terrorism and
called on the world's nations to grow united against the spread of
The NAM was founded in the former Yugoslavia in 1961.
represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations members and contain
cent of the world's population. NAM's purpose as stated in the Havana
Declaration of 1979 is to ensure "the national independence,
territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries."
Iran assumed the rotating presidency of NAM for a
three-year term in
August 2012, during the movement's summit in Tehran. The full text of
statement is reprinted below.
Text of Remarks by Non-Aligned Movement to United
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Non-Aligned
The Non-Aligned Movement unequivocally condemns, as
rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as well as all
methods and practices of terrorism wherever, by whomever, against
whomsoever committed, including those in which States are directly or
indirectly involved, which are unjustifiable whatever the
factors that may be invoked to justify them, and in this context, NAM
members reaffirm their support for the provisions contained in General
Assembly resolution 46/51 of 9 December 1991 and other relevant United
The Non-Aligned Movement reaffirms that terrorist acts
flagrant violation of international law, including international
human rights law, in particular the right to life, leading to the lack
of the full
enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of peoples. Such
endanger the territorial integrity and stability of States as well as
regional and international security, destabilise legitimately
governments or the prevailing constitutional order and political unity
affect the stability of nations and the very basis of societies, create
consequences on the economic and social development and cause the
destruction of the physical and economic infrastructure of States.
Terrorism should not be
equated with the legitimate
struggle of peoples
under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation, for
self-determination and national liberation. The brutalisation of
remaining under foreign occupation should continue to be denounced as
gravest form of terrorism, and the use of State power for the
violence against peoples struggling against foreign occupation in
their inalienable right to self-determination should continue to be
The Movement reaffirms its principled position under international law
accordance with General Assembly resolution 46/51 of 9 December 1991 as
well as other relevant UN resolutions on the legitimacy of the
people under colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation for
liberation and self-determination.
Furthermore, terrorism cannot and should not be
associated with any
religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group, and these
not be used to justify terrorism or counter-terrorism measures that
include, inter alia, profiling of terror suspects and
intrusion on individual
Conscious of the need to take speedy and effective
measures to eliminate
international terrorism, the Movement urges all States, consistent with
Charter, to fulfil their obligations under international law and
humanitarian law in combating terrorism, including by prosecuting or,
appropriate, extraditing the perpetrators of terrorist acts; by
organisation, instigation or financing of terrorist acts against other
within or outside their territories or by organisations based in their
by refraining from organising, instigating, assisting, financing or
in terrorist acts in the territories of other States; by refraining
encouraging activities within their territories directed towards the
of such acts; by refraining from allowing the use of their territories
planning, training or financing for such acts; or by refraining from
arms or other weapons that could be used for terrorist acts in other
The Non-Aligned Movement rejects
actions and measures,
the use or threat
of use of force, imposed or threatened to be imposed by any State
Non-Aligned Member Country under the pretext of combating terrorism or
pursue its political aims, including by directly or indirectly
as terrorism sponsoring-States, and totally rejects the unilateral
lists accusing States of allegedly supporting terrorism, which are
with international law and constitute on their part a form of
The Non-Aligned Movement calls upon all States to
condemn any form
of, and refrain from extending, political, diplomatic, moral or
for terrorism, and urges all States, consistent with the UN Charter and
fulfilling their obligations under international law, to ensure that
or any other legal status is not abused by the perpetrators, organisers
facilitators of terrorist acts and that claims of political motivation
by them are
not recognised as grounds for refusing requests for their extradition.
The Non-Aligned Movement also encourages all States,
which have not yet
done so, to consider ratifying or acceding to the thirteen
instruments relating to combating terrorism. We also call upon all
observe and implement the provisions of all international instruments
as regional and bilateral instruments relating to terrorism to which
The Movement also calls upon all States to respect all
human rights and
fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, and to reaffirm their
commitment in this respect to prevent human rights violations in
with the rule of law and their obligation under international law, in
international human rights law, international refugee law and
humanitarian law, and in accordance with relevant General Assembly
resolutions. We call upon the Security Council sanction committees to
streamline their listing and delisting procedures to address the
concerns of due
process and transparency.
The Non-Aligned Movement reiterates its call for an
Conference under the auspices of the UN to formulate a joint organised
response of the international community to terrorism in all its forms
manifestations including identifying its root causes.
We further reiterate the importance of the conclusion of
Convention for Combating International Terrorism, noting the
the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly Resolution 51/210
of 17 December 1996, for elaboration of a Comprehensive Convention on
International Terrorism and the continuing efforts to that end, and we
upon all States to cooperate in resolving the outstanding issues.
The Movement reaffirms the United Nations Global Counter
Strategy as well as the Member States' primary responsibility to
and welcomes the Strategy's reviews, and calls for its transparent and
The Non-Aligned Movement recalls the General Assembly
of 18 November 2011 on the establishment of the United Nations Centre
Counter-Terrorism and encourages all Member States to collaborate with
Centre and to contribute to the implementation of its activities in
with the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
The Non-Aligned Movement strongly condemns criminal
hostage-taking with resultant demands for ransoms and/or other
concessions by terrorist groups, and calls upon all States to cooperate
in order to address this issue, including its legal aspects.
I thank you.
Scope of Ebola Threat in West Africa
Cuban Henry Reeves Brigade
Arrives in Africa to Fight
Cuba's Henry Reeves
medical brigade arrives in Sierra Leone, October 3, 2014,
to help in the fight against the Ebola epidemic. (WHO)
Cuba has sent 165 health workers to Sierra Leone, where
they join cadres
of medical workers from several nations who are under the auspices of
groups, the Wall Street Journal reported. Cuba sent 2,500
workers to Pakistan after its 2005 earthquake, and another 1,500 to
its 2010 earthquake, said Jorge Delgado Bustillo, head of the Cuban
Brigade to Sierra Leone. By comparison, he said, the 165 medics here
represent a cautious response.
"We work on malaria, cholera, dengue, a disaster
situation, floods in
Venezuela, floods in Guatemala, floods in Belize," Mr. Bustillo said.
Ebola? It's a first time for the Cubans."
According to UN figures released on October 8, more than
are believed or suspected to have been infected, and more than 3,300
died since the Ebola outbreak was confirmed in March.
The disease first broke out in West Africa, and then a
few cases were
confirmed in the United States as well. The virus is transmitted via
contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. It has no cures or
vaccines so far. Early signs of the deadly disease include fever,
vomiting and diarrhea.
Anthony Banbury, head of the United Nations Mission for
Emergency Response (UNMEER), briefed an informal meeting of the General
Assembly in New York via video link from the operation's headquarters
Ghana on October 10. Banbury called the current crisis an "
the virus is "far ahead" of the global response.
"The world has never seen anything like it. Time is our
enemy. The virus
is far ahead of us," he said. The Ebola crisis has a huge impact on the
countries Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, Banbury said. He said that
traditional social and cultural practices in these countries stand in
the way of
combating the disease because many local people still deny Ebola is
But he also told officials at the meeting that UNMEER is
trying to figure
out methods to treat the disease that are acceptable at community
the team is moving resources to where it is needed most to fill gaps
support those need backstopping.
"We are late, but it is not too late to fight and win
this battle," he
Banbury called for an immediate world action, since
UNMEER, as he
pointed out, could not fight the battle alone and he said more needs to
including strengthened treatment centres and diagnostic laboratories on
ground, scaled-up financial support for aid agencies, and reliable
in place to treat or evacuate workers treating the disease.
Sam Kutesa, President of the 69th session of the United
Assembly, also urged the international community to follow through
of support and to come up with innovative, yet practical solutions to
the further spread of Ebola.
"Even from those member states who have already made
more is needed," he said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for "at least a
20-fold surge in
assistance" that includes "trained medical personnel."
"The international response was slow," said Liberian
Johnson Sirleaf. She pleaded for more medical personnel, speaking from
capital Monrovia to a World Bank Ebola conference in Washington. "More
than ever, we need qualified and dedicated staff to join the fight
Ebola," she said.
The Wall Street Journal notes that Cuba's
contribution is "a
disproportionately large number for a tiny island nation of 11 million
Doctors Without Borders says it has about 250
international staff in the
region and nearly 3,000 working on Ebola there overall. The WSJ
reports the contributions of other countries as follows:
"The U.S. is the biggest donor nation, having pledged to
send nearly 4,000
troops and nearly $400 million in other aid. It is sending 65 U.S.
Health Service Commissioned Corps officers to staff an Ebola ward for
care providers in Liberia. More than 2,600 health volunteers have
on a government website for possible deployment with aid organizations.
"Africa's biggest trading partner, China, has said it
would provide $1
million in cash, $2 million in food and specialists each to Liberia,
Leone and Guinea. The Asian giant is also sending 170 medical workers
Liberia, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. Currently, 58 Chinese
staffing an Ebola-treatment ward and blood-testing lab off the side of
Chinese-built clinic. Of these, 35 are drivers, handymen and chefs,
Tongshing, the clinic's chief doctor.
"India, with deep trade links and air connections to
West Africa, recently
pledged to contribute $12.5 million, but no medical personnel. Brazil,
has spent a decade wooing African nations across the Atlantic, has
Russia "sent a team of eight virologists to Guinea, once
a Soviet outpost,
and protective clothing.
"South Africa -- a country eager to cement its
leadership role on the
continent -- has sent a mobile lab to Sierra Leone. There is no record
monetary contribution from the country.
"African health workers are part of the crisis response,
African Union has sent about 75 medical workers, and Uganda, which has
extensive experience with Ebola, has sent 15.
"Meanwhile, Japan, the world's third-richest economy
after the U.S. and
China, is sending $40 million to the cause, but no personnel. Toyota
Corp. plans to donate cars to help transport patients.
"Even France, the European country with the most
military bases in Africa,
has been slow to send in army medics. The former colonial power will
construct and operate a 50-bed clinic in Guinea, staffed with 15 French
at a given time, in addition to Red Cross volunteers, the state agency
medical reservists said.
"The U.K. is sending in another 750 personnel to help
build the dozens of
clinics needed in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The clinics are required to
patients from their family members and break the viral chain of
But it isn't clear who will staff those clinics.
"Liberia alone needs about 10,000 qualified health-care
workers, and a
similar number are needed in Sierra Leone, the U.S. government has
far, the largest single medical brigade is from Cuba in Sierra Leone."
"Cuba is the only one that I know is responding with
human resources in
terms of health doctors and nurses," said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the
Chairwoman for the African Union.
The deployment of the first
Cuban Medical Brigade to
Sierra Leone, noted
as one of the areas most seriously affected by the Ebola epidemic,
world what can be done if an effort is made in a serious way.
Writing about the Cuban contribution, Fidel Castro
pointed out in an October 2
Reflection, "It is an example which the country can be proud of; as in
instance it is not possible to reach a higher place of honor and glory.
nobody had the slightest doubt that the hundreds of thousands of
who went to Angola and other African countries, had provided humanity
an example which will never be able to be erased from human history;
it be denied that the heroic action of the army of white coats will
of the highest places of honor in this history.
"It won't be the producers
of lethal weapons who receive
honor. May the example of the Cubans heading to Africa also capture the
hearts and minds of other doctors around the world, especially those
possesses resources, practice a religion or have the deepest conviction
the duty of human solidarity.
"Those heading to fight against Ebola and for the
survival of other human
beings have a difficult task ahead of them, even risking their own
must not cease in our efforts to ensure that those who fulfill such
on the maximum safety in the tasks they undertake and the measures they
take to protect themselves and our own country from this and another
"The personnel heading to Africa are also protecting
those who remain
here, because the worst that can happen is that this epidemic or other
serious illnesses reach our continent, or the heart of any community in
county in the world, where a child, mother or human being could die.
are enough doctors on the planet to ensure that no one has to die due
of medical attention. This is what I wish to express.
"Honor and glory to our valiant fighters for health and
Update on Important Elections
On September 27, Catalan President Artur Mas signed a
the referendum on Catalonia's independence from Spain for November 9.
Spanish government immediately announced its intention to block the
to Spain's Constitutional Court. On September 29, the court suspended
referendum while it deliberated on its legality. The Catalan regional
government said it would appeal
Catalans have accused the Spanish government of being a
drain on the
region's budget and constraining its linguistic and cultural autonomy.
The Spanish government
claims Catalonia benefits from the union with Spain and already enjoys
a great deal of
To bolster its case for the need for a referendum, the
Catalan government sent the central
and the court four boxes full
of demands in favour of independence from more than 900 municipalities
across Catalonia. As many as 920 out of 947 municipalities in this
submitted their requests said regional government spokesperson Francesc
Homs. He said the sheer volume of demands should
enough for the central government and the court to
see "with their own eyes" that Catalonia's desire to vote in the
referendum should be taken seriously.
"The poll is a reality and it will be held on November
9, and the people
will vote," Homs asserted in reference to the date
On October 7, Homs said that Catalan authorities had
decided to go ahead
with the vote in spite of the "obstacles that the government is putting
way." Earlier that day, the pro-independence government of President
published an official decree appointing the seven
commissions that are to monitor the vote.
Bolivian President Calls for Mass Participation
Elections will be held in Bolivia on October 12 for the
and Vice President, the 130 members of the Chamber of Deputies and the
members of the Senate, all for a five-year term 2015-2020. If
presidential runoff will be held in December.
President Evo Morales has called for a mass turnout at
the polls on
October 12, regardless of the party they support.
"The voting is secret, let us express our democratic
vocation so that we
can happily say on [October 13] that 97 or 98 percent of the people
vote; this is my wish: democracy and people's participation," said
who is running for a third consecutive term as president, as a
reelection for the Movement towards Socialism (MAS). Four other
are contesting the presidency: Samuel Doria (Unidad Democratica), Jorge
Quiroga (Christian Democratic Party), Juan del Granado (Movimiento sin
Miedo) and Fernando Vargas (Green Party).
President Morales and Vice
President García Linera attend their closing campaign rally
in La Paz, October 8,
In a television interview, President Morales said a high
important to ensure the legitimacy of the process. Morales also urged
members and supporters not to yield to provocations as the dirty
the opposition parties intensifies.
He warned that his rivals are desperate and have opted
for lies, insults,
attacks and provocations in view of forecasts indicating their defeat
Morales highlighted the support from the people, social
movements and the
main workers' union central Obrera Boliviana for his campaign to win
elections and continue with the process of changes started in his first
He cited the main goals of his program for 2015-2020,
country's sustainable economic growth and investment in the Cochabamba,
Santa Cruz, Pando, Tarija, Potosi and La Paz departments to turn
the main energy producer in South America.
Morales also announced the allocation of U.S.$300
million to state-run
Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) to fund oil
The latest surveys confirmed Morales' lead in the polls,
with 59 per cent
and a 40-point lead over Doria, his main rival.
President Rousseff Wins First Round in
Brazilian Presidential Election
President Dilma Rousseff
campaigns in Sao Paolo, October 3, 2014.
Presidential elections are currently underway in Brazil.
The first round of
the election was held on October 5, while formal campaigning began on
August 13. The results of the first round put incumbent President Dilma
Rousseff of the Workers' Party (PT) and the Brazil Can Do More
43,267,668 votes or 41.59 per cent and Aecio Neves of the Brazilian
Democracy Party (PSDB) and the Change Brazil coalition at 33.55 per
The election now proceeds to a second round on October 26 because no
candidate achieved more than 50 per cent of the vote.
There is a sharp difference emerging between the
Rousseff and those who seek to replace her. President Rousseff and the
calling on Brazilians to consolidate the pro-social reforms made in
years, as well as to affirm Brazil's sovereignty while at the same time
participating in the Bolivarian project of integration for the
well-being of the
whole of Latin America and the Caribbean. On the other side is pressure
the old ruling circles of the elite that wish a return to old
Brazil's subservience to foreign interests, especially in the U.S. and
President Dilma Rousseff and Marina Silva for
the Brazilian Socialist Party (BSP) and the United for Brazil coalition
considered the two leading candidates. Silva ran on the Green Party's
presidential ticket in 2010.
There were nine other candidates: Aécio Neves of
the PSDB and the
Change Brazil Coalition; Luciana Genro of the Socialism and Freedom
(PSOL); Everaldo Pereira of the Social Christian Party (PSC); Eduardo
of the Green Party (PV); Levy Fidelix of the Brazilian Labour Renewal
(PRTB); Zé Maria of the United Socialist Workers' Party (PSTU);
Eymael of the Christian Social Democratic Party (PSDC); Mauro Iasi of
Brazilian Communist Party (PCB); and Rui Costa Pimenta or the Workers'
Cause Party (PCO).
Cuban writer Manuel E. Yepe, writing on October 1
pointed out how the
support for Marina Silva, formerly a member of the Workers' Party (PT),
"Former Senator Silva, 56 years old, was a member of PT
until 2009, and
has since approached various political formations. She jumped into the
Brazilian presidential campaign last August, as vice presidential
the ticket of socialist Eduardo Campos.
"When Campos died in an airplane crash on August 13, the
him with Marina Silva who, with an image linked with popular movements
during her nearly three decades of militating in the PT, and projecting
as a fervently evangelical environmentalist, rose rapidly in the polls
became a threat to Rousseff's re-election.
"Marina spoke of a shift in the foreign policy of
Brazil, emphasizing that
in her coming to power it could revitalize diplomatic and economic ties
the United States and Europe, with whom she would promote the signing
new trade agreements.
"As a radical environmentalist subordinated to corporate
responded ambiguously, using ethical and religious arguments, to
about her plans regarding hydrocarbons.
"But, to the surprise of a right which presumed it had
the campaign under
control and felt close to winning the election, Dilma gave her campaign
to the left. She said, without euphemisms, that Marina Silva
bankers and powerful entrepreneurs seeking to regain a control of the
they have not had during the PT administrations.
"Several leaders of popular movements, including Amazon
denounced Marina's shift to positions different from those she had when
was a PT activist.
"Immediately, voting preference polls began to reverse,
and soon Dilma
stood as favorite to win in the first round or, if necessary, in a
In the second round on October 26, President
Rousseff will face Aecio Neves of the PSDB.
Writing about what to expect in the second round, Vermelho,
automatic win in the second round. In the last days of the campaign a
conservative and reactionary wave grew that catapulted the vote for the
opposition candidate [...]
"The reactions of the main leaders of neo-liberal and
and the media indicate that their activities are in full swing for a
reactionary offensive to defeat President Dilma on October 26.
"The second round of the battle seems tough and complex.
polarization assumes that both sides will put in play the maximum
concentration of forces in a clash that everyone knows is decisive for
present and the future of our country and people," Vermelho
concludes. It puts the challenge to all the progressive forces to take
campaign in the second round with confidence in the developing
consciousness of the Brazilian people to make the choice that will
desire for progress and the sovereignty of the nation.
In an October 7 item for the Strategic Culture
Foundation, Nil Nikandrov
writes about the aims of Aecio Neves and the Social Democracy Party:
"Neves is supported by U.S. and West European
information agencies. He
opposes the policy that has been implemented during the recent 12 years
the ruling Workers Party. [...]
"The objective of Neves and his team is to grab power
and hold it to serve
the interests of big business. His propaganda efforts are based on the
that "people got tired of the dictatorship of the Workers Party" which
to get the "stagnated" economy moving, tackle health care, education
corruption. Neves gives away promises saying he intends to establish
with an iron hand. The first step would be radical personnel reductions
ministerial offices. He is going to cut the number of ministries in
promises to make the national Central Bank independent and put an end
interference of state into economy: 'no regulation from above: business
be free.' Neves blames the Dilma government for [an] economic slump. He
wants to make GDP grow by implementing well-thought over reforms and
reshaping the system of taxation. [...] Skeptical responses started to
media saying this man cannot be trusted. Former President Luiz
da Silva and incumbent President Dilma Rousseff boast undisputed
policy achievements strengthening Brazil's clout in South and Central
America, as well as in the Caribbean. It makes Neves speak cautiously
international issues. What will Brazil's foreign policy be like [if]
"He does not say Mercosur (a sub-regional bloc
Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) is useless but believes some
corrections should be inserted into the constitutional instruments of
to enable Brazil to strike strategic agreements without constraints.
means a bilateral free trade agreement with Washington. Neves is keen
boost ties with industrially developed countries of Western Europe and
and to take steps to develop close ties with the Pacific alliance
created by the
United States. That's why he does not speak out in clear terms about
relationship with the Bolivarian Alliance (formally the Bolivarian
the Peoples of Our America) which includes Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador,
Nicaragua and Bolivia.
"Neves warns the neighboring states [about] drug
trafficking on Brazilian
territory. The United States takes a similar stance on the issue:
guilty except us! The special anti-drug agencies of Bolivia, Venezuela,
and other states cooperate with Brazil and have achieved significant
while fighting the drug dealers. Tons of hallucinogenic substances have
eliminated as a result of combined operations. The very tone of the
remarks made by Neves lead to the isolation of Brazil in Latin America.
"Experts agree that the run-off election is a race where
social-economic models are vying for voters' support. Brazil has faced
significant reforms in the recent years; millions have improved their
standards. Fighting poverty, racial intolerance and discrimination of
creating new workplaces and proper conditions for the professional
development of the youth are among the changes achieved. Even Western
media outlets recognize that the scale of social reforms in Brazil is
unparalleled. Dilma's government enjoys the political support of other
American states. [...] [If] Neves wins many social and political
of the Workers' Party will be put in jeopardy. Integration processes
reconsidered in favor of 'partnership' with the United States."
For her part, President Rousseff stands on the record of
and says that Brazilians do not want "ghosts of the past" that were
during the government of the PSDB, such as economic recession, higher
unemployment, and lower real wages. She states that the PSDB
the country three times" and that when it had the opportunity to do so,
took measures to increase social inclusion or reduce inequality. The
"always ruled for just a third of the population and abandoned the
people in Brazil," she added. Regarding the effect the election of
have on Brazil's international standing, Rousseff warned, "The
people do not want [...] a subordinate international position, that
the IMF. The Brazilian people yearn for more progress."
Meanwhile, the Brazilian Socialist Party gave its
backing to Neves on
October 8. Its presidential candidate Marina Silva said on October 9
will wait for "progressive commitments" from Neves before giving her
personal endorsement of his campaign.
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