The Uncertain Future for Latin America’s Giants

Darko Lazar

In 2015, Latin America, and specifically Mexico and Brazil, slipped into a recession. According to The World Bank, economic growth slumped to 0.9% – the lowest in 30 years, with the exception of the 2009 economic crisis. This led numerous analysts to conclude that the region’s 2003-2013 ‘Decada Dorada’, or the Golden Decade, was over.

The Uncertain Future for Latin America's Giants

These ‘golden’ years can be attributed to high commodity prices, cheap credit and investment in developing markets, accompanied by a political agenda that steered the region toward China and away from the US and the EU.

Since then, however, investment across the board has shrunk by 7.7%, unemployment is rising, the budget deficit rose to 6.9% of GDP, while the currencies of both Brazil and Mexico weakened against the US dollar by over 30% and 27% respectively.

The demise of hope

Brazil is the world’s 11th largest economy, while Mexico recently fell to 14th place. But according to economists, Mexico is third from last when it comes to the distribution of wealth, with Brazil bringing up the rear in last place.

Efforts by numerous governments have failed to address this issue. To make matters worse, the recent spike in inflation has further reduced the incomes of members of the working class.

Following a relative period of prosperity in the two countries, workers rights – freedom, justice, and equality – are now in danger of disappearing virtually overnight. And yet the vast majority of political parties, especially those in power, have made no attempt to reform their policies.

The dangerous and often incompetent internal strategies, coupled with foreign meddling, have driven the two Latin American giants – both in terms of size and economy – into uncharted territory.

The consequence is despair among millions of people, which is increasing the prospects of instability and unrest.
The Trump effect

The outcome of the US presidential election, which resulted in a victory for Donald Trump, is likely to have a tremendous impact on both Mexico and Brazil.

Trump’s campaign rhetoric promising to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and swiftly deport undocumented workers and illegal residents has understandably caused a great deal of anxiety across Latin America.

Out of the 33.7 million Hispanics of Mexican origin currently residing in the US, 11.4 million are immigrants born in Mexico – of whom the vast majority are undocumented. Meanwhile, there are currently 1.3 million Brazilians living in the US and most of them are also illegal.

Interestingly, it’s not so much the implementation of these policies that threatens to be the biggest burden for Mexico and Brazil, but rather the influence of Trump’s political rivals in those countries, who are now mobilizing their assets to undermine his presidency.

According to leading Mexican newspaper La Jornada, Trump’s victory does not translate into ‘tranquility’, but the continuation of the battle.

Such statements fall directly in line with efforts by allies of the Clinton clan in Canada, who are reportedly laying the groundwork for an influx of Mexican migrants from the US. These developments will then be beamed across the world as an example of how detrimental the Trump presidency can be.

Canada’s CBS News recently reported that in “preparing for a potential surge in Mexican migrants coming to Canada after Donald Trump’s election victory… high-level meetings took place… with officials at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and in other departments”.

The government in Ottawa is simultaneously preparing to lift a visa requirement for Mexicans on December 1, which has been in place since 2009.

These political maneuvers will likely suck in other Latin American states, including Argentina – where an exponent of the Clintons, Mauricio Macri, is already in power – as well as Peru and Colombia.

In 2018, both Mexico and Brazil will be electing new heads of state. The Clintons and their allies are certain to try and manipulate this process in the hope of strengthening their influence and intensifying their efforts against Trump.

The deteriorating economic conditions in the two states are a major asset for the foreign actors. Although those conditions were largely brought about by a fall in global oil prices, political corruption and incompetent governance have played a major role.

But much of the mainstream media is now attributing the years-long economic crisis across Latin America to Trump’s victory in the US presidential race. Such allegations suggest that the battle for the White House is not just ongoing, but is expanding into regional states.

As such, the power struggle in the US is further complicating the situation in Mexico and Brazil, where the Washington elite commands an enormous amount of influence. That same influence was used to distance Brazil from the BRICS grouping, resulting in the impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff earlier this year.

Rousseff’s removal, which was described by the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua as a coup, marked the last phase of Brazil’s development launched under Lula Da Silva at the start of the Golden Decade.

Today’s low oil prices, budget deficit, and Washington’s grand designs for the region have given way to pessimism in both Brazil and Mexico over what the future holds for Latin America’s giants.

Source: Al-Ahed News

19-11-2016 | 07:28

Today’s Victory Day celebrations in Moscow mark a turning point in Russian history

Putin on Vday 2015

President Putin’s speech on Victory Day 2015

The Saker

May 09, 2015

Today is truly a historical day.  For the first time ever, the West has boycotted the Victory Day Parade in Moscow and, also for the first time ever, Chinese forces have marched on the Beautiful Square, (“Red” square is a mistranslation – the “Red Square” ought be called the “Beautiful Square”) with the Russians.  I believe that this is a profoundly symbolic shift and one which makes perfectly good sense.

The past

For one thing, Russia and China suffered more from WWII than any other country.  See for yourself:

WWII casualties

Now take a look at the casualties suffered by the “boycotting countries” and everything becomes clear (the only exception to this rule is Poland, which lost a huge proportion of its population).  The fact is, that for all the Hollywood movies produced about WWII, the Anglo countries suffered very little, compared to the huge losses of Russia (25+ million) and China (15+ million).  For details, see hereand here.  As for continental Europe, it’s resistance to the Nazis, while very real and heroic, was a feat of the few, not a true national resistance (like in the Soviet Union, Poland or Yugoslavia).  But there is much more to this than just numbers.

The real reason why the US/NATO/EU countries have boycotted the celebrations in Moscow is, of course, not their very modest contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany, but their unconditional support for Nazi Ukraine: the “country” which considers Stepan Bandera a national hero, the OUN-UPA death squads as a “heroic liberation movement” and the liberation of the Ukraine as a “Soviet occupation”.  It is also a fact that the Anglos have always shared these feelings and that had developed several plans for total war against the USSR were considered right at the end of the war which  I have already mentioned them in the past:

Plan Totality (1945): earmarked 20 Soviet cities for obliteration in a first strike: Moscow, Gorki, Kuybyshev, Sverdlovsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Saratov, Kazan, Leningrad, Baku, Tashkent, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Tagil, Magnitogorsk, Molotov, Tbilisi, Stalinsk, Grozny, Irkutsk, and Yaroslavl.

Operation Unthinkable (1945) assumed a surprise attack by up to 47 British and American divisions in the area of Dresden, in the middle of Soviet lines. This represented almost half of the roughly 100 divisions (ca. 2.5 million men) available to the British, American and Canadian headquarters at that time. (…) The majority of any offensive operation would have been undertaken by American and British forces, as well as Polish forces and up to 100,000 German Wehrmacht soldiers.

Operation Dropshot (1949): included mission profiles that would have used 300 nuclear bombs and 29,000 high-explosive bombs on 200 targets in 100 cities and towns to wipe out 85% of the Soviet Union’s industrial potential at a single stroke. Between 75 and 100 of the 300 nuclear weapons, were targeted to destroy Soviet combat aircraft on the ground.

Ask yourself a simple question: why were these plans never actually implemented?  The answer is both simple and obvious: because the West feared the Red Army.  And since the West was terrified of the Red Army, what do you think the western guests felt each time they watched the Victory Day parade in Moscow?  Were they thinking about how the Soviet Army defeated the Nazis, or about how the Russian Army kept them in check?  Again, the answer is obvious.

The reality is that while western people very much belong on the Beautiful Square for the Victory Day parade, the western leaders do not: not only did the Anglos carefully nurture and promote Hitler, they always saw him as “their SOB” whom they hoped to unleash against the Soviet Union.  Their plan failed, of course, but that only increased their russophobia (“phobia” in the double sense of “fear” and “hate”).  To see the western leaders “missing” today is, therefore, a very good thing and I personally hope that they never get invited again (I know, they will, but I wish they weren’t).

The present

The AngloZionist Empire and Russia are at war.  Of course, the presence of nuclear weapons on both sides makes this a special kind of war.  It is roughly 80% informational, 15% economic and 5% military.  But it is a very real war nonetheless, if only because the outcome of this war will decide the future of the planet.  The Donbass or the Ukraine are, of course, of exactly zero interest to the West.  What is really at stake here is the survival of one of two different models:

AngloZionist Unipolar Imperial Model Russian Multipolar Model
One world Hegemon Collaborative development
Might makes right (national and international) Rule of law (national and international)
Single societal model Each country has its own societal model
Ad hoc “coalitions of the willing” Respect for international law
Secularism and relativism Central role for religions and traditions
Military violence as preferred solution Military violence as option of last resort
Rule of the 1% Rule of the 99%
Ideological monism Ideological pluralism
White supremacism Multi-culturalism

Both Russians and Americans are quite aware of what is at stake and neither side can back down.  On one hand, if the US/NATO/EU prevail, they will have succeeded in breaking the Russian “back” and Russia will rapidly be submitted.  Should that happen, all the BRICS countries will soon follow, including China.  On the other hand, if Russia prevails in the Ukraine, then the US grip on the EU will soon be weakened and, possibly, lost altogether and the entire world will see that the Empire is crumbling.  Should that happen, the entire international financial system will escape from the AngloZionst control and liquidate the petrodollar.  The consequences of such a collapse will be felt worldwide.

Xi and Putin together on Vday

The presence of Xi Jinpin next to Putin on this historic day, the participation of the Chinese military in the parade and the presence of PLA Navy ships alongside the Russian Black Sea Fleet, is a direct and powerful message to the world: in this titanic struggle, China is fully throwing her weight behind Russia.

[Sidebar: Notice on the photo of Xi and Putin that there is one more absolutely crucial figure sitting next to the war veteran: Nursultan Nazarbaev, the President of Kazakhstan.  The crucial role this man has played to shape today’s world has not been recognized, but with time I am sure it will.  Long before Putin, it was Nazarbaev who did everything in his power to prevent the breakup of the Soviet Union, the creation and strengthening of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union.  I would note that Putin has, on several occasions, expressed his deep admiration for, and gratitude to, Nazarbaev whom he has explicitly described as the “father” of the new Eurasian union.]

This is the “new Russia” – one literally flanked by her two allies, China and Kazakhstan.  It is hard to over-estimate the importance of this event: for the first time in 400 years Russia has finally fully turned her face to her natural ecosphere – the East.

Many languages and culture have an expression which basically says that you recognize your true friends in times of hardship.  I believe that this is true.  This is even truer in international politics.  And if you apply this criterion to the history of Russia, you come to a simple, but inevitable conclusion: the West has never been Russia’s friend (of course, I am talking about the ruling class, not the common people!).  By turning towards Asia, Russia is finally “coming home”.

Chinese units have never marched on the Beautiful Square before, and to see them there today also sends a clear message to the West: we are standing with Russia!

 Chinese Forces in Moscow for Vday

 Chinese forces on the Beautiful Square

PLA Navy in Novorosiisk

Chinese Navy in Novorossiik

The future

Today’s Victory Day parade in Moscow marks a turning point in Russian history: now, for the first time ever, there is a consensus in Russia that instead of looking West, Russia must look North (Siberia, the Arctic), East (Asia) and South (Latin America, Africa).  There will be no “big break” with the West, however, as Russia will continue to hope for the decolonization of Europe.  In part, this process has already begun in Greece and Hungary, and it is simmering in Serbia, France, Italy and even Germany. The potential for a European decolonization is definitely there and Russia should not, and will not, give up on Europe.

Another major priority of Russia will be to try to facilitate a rapprochement between the two other BRICS “heavyweights”: China and India.  Tensions between these two giants are an inherent risk for all the BRICS members and cannot be allowed to remain.

Russia will also try to strengthen her informal but still very real alliance with Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.  These three are natural allies for Russia and while it is too early to include Iran or Syria in the BRICS or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, where Iran already has an observer status, eventually this should happen.  Iran could also become the first non-ex-Soviet country to join theCollective Security Treaty Organization.

Still, the single most important development in the future will be the deepening of the symbiotic relationship between China and Russia, the one I call the “China-Russia Strategic Alliance” which Larchmonter445 has so brilliantly analyzed in his “Vineyard of the Saker White Paper: the China-Russia Double Helix“: while remaining externally two separate countries, Russia and China will form a single economic, political and military entity, fully integrated and fully dependent on each other (Xi and Putin have again signed a list of mega-contracts between the two countries).

Unless of course, a full-scale war breaks out between the Empire and Russia.

I personally have no hope for a peaceful solution for the Ukrainian civil war.  There is nothing which could be meaningfully negotiated between Russia and the Nazi regime in Kiev.  Besides, all the indicators and warnings seem to agree on the fact that an Ukronazi attack on Novorussia is all but inevitable.  At that point, there are only two possible outcomes: either the Novorussians are defeated and Russia has to openly intervene, or the Ukronazis are defeated and the Novorussians go on the offensive and liberate most, or even all, of Novorussia and the Donetsk region.  I am cautiously optimistic and my sense is that the Urkonazis will be defeated for a third time.  When that happens, the regime in Kiev will most likely rapidly collapse.

Conclusion

I am under no illusion that the end of World War II brought happiness and freedom to all of mankind, even less so in Eastern Europe.  In reality, it brought an untold number of horrors and suffering to many nations, especially Germany.   I don’t see Victory Day as a celebration of Communism or of the Soviet regime, but as a victory over one of the most abhorrent regimes in history.  It was the victory of all the people who fought against the Nazis and not of one specific political ideology or order.  But, by the same token, I don’t think that it makes sense to deny that Stalin and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union played a key role in this victory.  The notion that the Russian people prevailed “in spite of Stalin” really makes no sense as he, and his commanders, played a key role in every single major battle of this war, just as Hitler and his commanders did on the other side.  As I said before, this victory belongs to all those who helped defeating the Nazis and that very much includes Stalin, his commanders and the CPSU.  Hence the Red banners do belong to this parade.

Finally, this day is also a day of celebration for all those who, today, are still resisting the true “heir” of the Nazi regime – the AngloZionist Empire, with its global hegemonic ambitions and never ending colonial wars.  Thus today is a day of celebration for all of us in the Saker community, our brothers (and sisters!) in arms and all our friends and allies in this global resistance to global Empire.

I congratulate you and wish you a joy-filled and peaceful Victory Day!

The Saker

PS: we all probably have our own favorite iconic photo for World War 2.  Mine is this one:

Сергей Макарович Корольков

Sergei Makarovich Korolkov minutes before his execution by the Germans

It shows a Russian solider, Sergei Makarovich Korolkov, who has just been captured by a German unit and is about to be executed.  I love his look of self-confident defiance, which, to me, symbolizes the real “ultimate weapon” of the Russian people: an unbreakable willpower, even in the face of defeat or death.

PPS: check out the excellent article “To be Russian” by Andre Vltchek.

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Je Suis Chavez!

by Stephen Lendman

March 7th, 2015

In Venezuela and throughout Latin America, Chavistas proclaim Yo soy Chavez (I am Chavez)! March 5 marked the second anniversary of his death.

Obama killed him – either by poisoning or infecting him with incurable cancer causing substances. Four major surgeries in 18 months couldn’t save him.

He’s gone. Chavismo lives! Bolivarian social justice he began is institutionalized. Venezuelans get vital benefits Americans can’t imagine.

Constitutional provisions mandate them. America and Venezuela are constitutional worlds apart. More on this below.

On March 5, 2013, word came at 4:45PM. Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced it.

Saying “(w)e have just received the most tragic and awful information. Hugo Chavez Frias died. It’s a moment of deep pain.”

“Those who die for life can’t be called dead,” he stressed. Supporters massed in Plaza Bolivar. It’s Caracas’ main square. “Chavez vive, la lucha sigue,” they chanted. “Chavez lives, the battle continues.”

“The people united will never be defeated.” Oligarchs “will never return” to the Miraflores Palace.

Fidel Castro called Chavez the “Olympic champion of new socialist ideas.”

He called Castro his father, mentor and friend. He died at age 58. He’s sorely missed.

At the time, then Vice President Nicolas Maduro called on Venezuelans “to confront the lamentable death of the President of the Republic with much strength, courage and integrity.”

TeleSUR addressed his legacy on the second anniversary of his death. Saying “the size and intensity of the events that followed were some measure of (his) huge impact…”

He was a legend in his own time. He delivered vital constitutional change. He survived earlier US efforts to oust him.

He lifted millions of Venezuelans out of poverty. He gave them dignity and a political role through what he called a “new geometry of power” – including grassroots communal councils, national referenda and cooperatives among other initiatives.

After he died, millions queued for hours to pay final tribute – to say farewell. An outpouring of grief resonated throughout Latin America and worldwide.

World leaders expressed condolences. Maduro said “(l)et there be no weakness, no violence. Let there be no hate. In our hearts there should only be one sentiment: Love. Love, peace and discipline.”

“We have lost our best friend,” Fidel Castro lamented.

“He is more alive than ever, and will keep being the inspiration for all people fighting for liberation,” Bolivian President Evo Morales said.

Ecuador’s Rafael Correa said “(w)e have lost a revolutionary, but millions of us remain inspired.”

Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff recognized Chavez as “a great leader, an irreparable loss, and above all, a friend of Brazil and its people.”

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva said he was “proud to have lived and worked with him for the integration of Latin America and for a more just world.”

Jimmy Carter praised Chavez. Saying he “joined other leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean to create new forms of integration.”

“Venezuelan poverty rates were cut in half, and millions received identification documents for the first time, allowing them to participate more effectively in their country’s economic and political life.”

Chavez’s daughter Maria Gabriela urged others to follow her father’s example. “We should continue constructing the homeland always my father,” she said.

“Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chavez will live forever in history. My friend, rest finally in a peace long earned,” said Oliver Stone.

“He was an unorthodox and strong person, who looked to the future and always set himself the highest standards,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin,

Chavistas assembled outside the hospital where he died chanted “We are all Chavez!”

Obama unsurprisingly offered no condolences. He lied “reaffirm(ing) (US) support for the Venezuelan people” he intends exploiting if Washington regains control over its former client state.

Obama’s political and economic war on Venezuela replicates what Nixon did to Chile prior to its 9/11/73 coup elevating fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet to power.

James Petras calls his tactics “a dress rehearsal for other countries in the region.” He wants Venezuela and other independent Latin American nations looking like Honduras and Ukraine.

He wants the entire region restored as America’s “backyard.” He wants it exploited like what Petras calls the 1990s “golden age of pillage.”

He wants anyone challenging US dominance eliminated. He wants the scourge of fascist viciousness replacing democratic freedoms.

Petras urges Venezuelans (and people everywhere) to “convert (America’s) drive to restore neo-liberal privilege into the graveyard of rentier capitalism.”

On the anniversary of his death, Venezuelans remembered Chavez. They paid him special homage for revolutionary change never before achieved in the nation’s history since Bolivar.

On March 5, Maduro addressed a special ceremony honoring Chavez – held at the Montana barracks where his remains lie.

It took place at 4:45PM – the time Chavez passed. A military salute honored him.

“Today is a day full of emotions, of feelings, of memories,” said Maduro.

“Two years in which we had to accept, and live through, the harshest reality of our generation and future generations.”

Chavez was “the greatest leader Venezuela has had after Simon Bolivar. (He) sacrificed his life for the people, by the people, for the life of all of us.”

“We should be proud of the renewed, just, profound, and passionate anti-imperialism that was brought to us by Hugo Chavez.”

On February 26, British historian Richard Gott delivered the second annual Hugo Chavez Memorial lecture in London’s Bolivar Hall.

He met Chavez numerous times. He called him “a man of immense charm and huge enthusiasms, a delight to be with, and he never forgot a face.”

He once said before becoming president “(w)e as soldiers (are) engaged in the search (for political and economic revolutionary change), and today we are convinced of the need for the Venezuelan army to return to what it once was: an army to defend what Bolivar called social guarantees.”

Gott said the phrase was in Bolivar’s 1830 final proclamation before his death. It’s included in Venezuela’s Bolivarian constitution.

It mandates “the right to life, work, learning, education, social justice and equality, without discrimination or subordination of any kind.”

Gott said Chavez made sure a civilian would replace him when he died. “Maduro is not Chavez,” he explained. “(T)hat would be too much to ask.”

“But he is a clever and sophisticated politician with much experience.” Chavez believed he was the right leader to succeed him.

He made sure potential Pinochets would be marginalized and avoided. Like other progressive figures before him, he’ll be remembered for his anti-imperial reformist legacy.

Gott called him “the power of example.” He rejected neoliberal harshness. He championed Bolivarian fairness.

Washington tried throughout his tenure to oust him. Chavez believed dark US forces wanted him dead.

He once said “If they kill me, there will be a really guilty party on this planet whose name is the president of the United States.”

“I will not hide. I’m going in the streets with you. I entrust myself to God, but I know that I have been condemned to die.”

When first diagnosed with what he called a “very strange” bout of cancer, he believed Washington bore responsibility.

Other Latin American leaders perhaps not coincidentally had cancer. They survived, not Chavez. Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had thyroid cancer.

Former Brazilian President Lula Da Silva had throat cancer. Current President Dilma Rousseff battled axillar lymphoma.

Others affected included Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos (prostate cancer), and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo (lymphatic cancer).

Chavez once said “(w)ould it be so strange that they’ve invented the technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?”

“Fidel always told me (to) take care. These people have developed technologies,” he said.

“Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat. They inject you with I don’t know what.”

Chavez went where few leaders ever dared. He risked his life doing it. He died for what he believed in. He gave Venezuelans what American’s can’t imagine.

Including real participatory social democracy. Jimmy Carter calls Venezuela’s electoral process the world’s best.

It shames America’s sham system – a one-party sate with two wings serving monied interests, not popular ones. Ordinary people have no say whatever.

All Venezuelans are guaranteed suffrage at birth. It’s constitutionally mandated. They’re automatically registered free of charge.

They have government of, by and for everyone. They’re beholden to rule of law principles.

Police state laws are verboten. Democratic ones rule. No one’s above the law. Democracies operate this way.

Venezuelans get vital social benefits. Oil revenues provide them even at today’s lower prices.

They include education to the highest levels, quality healthcare, subsidized food and housing, land reform, respect for indigenous rights, job training, micro credit, affordable electricity and cooking gas, gasoline at 5 cents a liter, and other social, economic, and political benefits.

Americans get neoliberal harshness, force-fed austerity, growing poverty, high unemployment, painful underemployment, unaddressed homelessness and hunger, as well as a government beholden solely to wealth and powerful interests.

Chavez institutionalized progressive change. Maduro’s challenge is preserving Bolivarianism – knowing Washington wants him eliminated like Chavez.

His credentials are impeccable. Why Chavez believed he was the right leader to replace him.

He’s entrusted with preventing dark US forces from returning Venezuela to its bad old days.

It’s not easy beating Washington at its dirty game. Chavez succeeded for 14 years.

Maduro’s tenure began as interim president in March 2013 before Venezuelans elected him in April to lead them.

He battles ongoing US political and economic destabilization efforts – war by other means by any standard.

He foiled Obama’s coup to oust him. He knows it won’t be last time he’s targeted for removal.

He faces constant US scoundrel media propaganda war. New York Times editors viciously attack him with a blitzkrieg of Big Lies.

On March 5, their latest broadside wrongfully accused him of “blaming and punishing scapegoats for his own failings.”

They bashed him for shrinking US embassy staff from over 100 to 17. It’s a nest of spies. A previous article by this writer urged kicking them all out.

Major US human rights abusers are banned from entering Venezuela – including GW Bush and Dick Cheney.

Times editors disgracefully mocked Maduro – calling his legitimate long overdue policy changes “theatrics.” Hopefully stiffer ones will follow.

State terror is official US policy. Times editors support what demands rejection. They’re in lockstep with all US direct and proxy wars of aggression.

They consider turning nations to rubble, slaughtering it people, stealing its resources and enslaving its people democracy building.

They mock legitimate journalism. They represent wealth, power and privilege. They want fascist governance replacing Maduro. They want what Venezuelans won’t tolerate.

Chavismo lives! Maduro’s job is preserving what Chavez instituted and taking it to the next level.

-###-

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III“.

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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‘Normalization with Cuba is a sign of global American weakness’ – Adrian Salbuchi

 

Events in Palestine, Lebanon, Cuba and Yemen mark 47th anniversary of PFLP founding

December 14, 2014 by

Events continued throughout Palestine and Palestinian communities in exile and diaspora internationally, commemorating the 47th anniversary of the founding of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on December 11, 1967:

The PFLP in northern Gaza organized a series of events and activities in the area including a reception in Jabalya refugee camp; visits to the families of martyrs and prisoners throughout the area; voluntary work days to clean up public places and major streets in various places in northern Gaza; an athletic festival at Al-Ahli Club Stadium in Beit Hanoun; a benefit concert for Palestinian prisoners and their families; a military march in Jabalya; a volunteer visit to Al-Awda Hospital; and a rally, mass march and military parade in Beit Hanoun.

**

The Progressive Student Action Front at Al-Azhar University decorated with posters marking the anniversary of the PFLP’s founding throughout the campus, distributing sweets and information; they are also organizing a rally to mark the anniversary on Sunday, December 14, at the science building on campus.

**

The PFLP in Khan Younis organized a reception marking the anniversary, where Comrade Hani Thawabteh delivered the speech, recalling the historic martyrs of the Palestinian revolution and of the PFLP. He emphasized the Front’s constant and unceasing commitment to the path of resistance and intifada, emphasizing the need to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and build Palestinian political, economic, social and military strength to defeat the Zionist project.

The Front in Khan Younis also organized a military march with broad participation of the fighters of the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades and leaders, cadres, members and supporters of the Front.

**

The PFLP in Havana, Cuba held an event on December 12 marking the anniversary of the first Intifada and the founding of the PFLP, attended by hundreds of Palestinian, Arab, Cuban and Latin American supporters and friends of the Front. Ambassadors from a number of countries as well as representatives of international Communist parties, including Jose Ramon Balaguer Cabrera, chair of the Committee on International Relations of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Oscar Martinez, vice-president of the International Relations Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, spoke supporting the “heroic struggle of the Palestinian people for their full national rights, first and foremost the right of return for Palestinian refugees.” He saluted the anniversary of the Front and its historic and present role in struggling for the liberation of Palestine, and strongly condemned the Zionist occupation forces’ killing of Ziad Abu Ein, Palestinian minister and chair of the Committee Against the Wall and Settlements. He greeted Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, led by Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned PFLP General Secretary.

Comrade Maher al-Taher, member of the Political Bureau of the Front, currently on an official delegation to Cuba, spoke on behalf of the PFLP, greeting the Cuban people and the steadfast Cuban revolution and government for their continued steadfastness in confronting the US blockade and US imperialism, and support for the Palestinian people. He demanded an end to the process of Oslo and negotiations and for national unity to support Palestinian resistance. Taher saluted the Palestinian people in occupied Palestine ’48, in the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza and in exile. Taher saluted Palestinian prisoners in the Zionist prisons, demanding their freedom, and also the three captive Cubans remaining steadfast in US prisons.

The event also included Palestinian dabkeh, Cuban and Palestinian art and performance. Comrades Maher al-Taher and Abu Ali Hassan have participated in a series of meetings in Cuba as well as interviews on Latin American television.

**

The PFLP in several refugee camps in the Bethlehem area organized events and marches through the streets of the camps marking the 47th anniversary of the Front’s founding, emphasizing their commitment to continue the struggle until the liberation of all of the land of Palestine.

In Dheisheh refugee camp, the Front organized a march and concert on December 11 marking the anniversary. The PFLP spokesperson saluted the martyrs of Palestine, including the most recent, Ziad Abu Ein, and demanded an end to Palestinian Authority security coordination with the occupier.

In Aida refugee camp, the Front organized a march winding through the camp on December 12 in commemoration of the anniversary. The Front also held a military parade in Abu Dis, near Jerusalem, and in other towns, villages and camps in the West Bank.

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The Front in Ain el-Helweh refugee camp in Lebanon posted banners and flags through the entrance of the camp marking the 47th anniversary of the Front’s founding.

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The PFLP in Gaza City organized a march led by hundreds of fighters from the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, from Sheikh Radwan neighborhood through the streets of the city. Comrade Shadi Ahmad spoke at the rally before the march, saluting the historic martyrs of the Palestinian revolution and of the PFLP, and demanding freedom for all the Palestinian prisoners in Zionist jails, led by Comrade Sa’adat and leaders Marwan Barghouthi, Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Lena Jarbouni and all political prisoners. He emphasized the need to support reistance and Intifada and stop all practices of negotiation and complicity with the occupier, and to confront the attacks on the Palestinian people everywhere, noting that this requires a political path that is a sharp break with the period of Oslo.

Instead, Ahmad emphasized the need to support the will of the people, the resistance for liberation and return, from the refugee camps and throughout exile and diaspora, in Gaza, in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and throughout occupied Palestine ’48 where the Palestinian people struggle against a racist onslaught.

The Front in Gaza city also organized a volunteer work day to clean Thalathini Street, one of a series of volunteer work days held by the local PFLP organization.

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The PFLP in Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza organized a mass rally on Friday, December 12 marking the 47th anniversary of the Front. The event included many leaders, cadres, members and supporters of the Front as well as fighters of the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, who marched through the camp, chanting, carrying Palestinian flags, PFLP banners and posters of the martyrs, including Comrade Mohammed Aidi, a martyr of Maghazi camp.

The Front in Maghazi and throughout central Gaza also organized a series of volunteer activities marking the anniversary, including volunteer cleanup days in Maghazi, Bureij and Nuseirat refugee camps, and at area schools and hospitals.

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Palestinian students and the PFLP held an event at the University of Aden in Yemen marking the 47th anniversary of the founding of the Front and the anniversary of the Intifada with speeches and presentations, on December 12.

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In Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah, the PFLP organized a public meeting on December 12 on Palestinian national unity and reconciliation. Comrade Mohammed Makkawi spoke about the Palestinian internal division and various attempts to restore national unity, contrasting the national unity achieved in the battlefield by the resistance and in the community by the people in the 51 days of Zionist aggression on Gaza with the lack of real unity to come out of the many bilateral agreements signed between Fateh and Hamas. He noted that negotiations with the Zionist entity have disrupted Palestinian national unity repeatedly and that it is not possible to build Palestinian national unity while negotiating with the Zionists as they besiege Gaza, build colonies, ethnically cleanse Jerusalem and confiscate land.

Furthermore, Mekkawi discussed the various fascist maneuvers of the Zionist government and its attempt to erase Palestinian existence physically and legally and undermine the Palestinian right to return and right to existence. He also denounced the so-called “Serry Plan” of the United Nations for the reconstruction of Gaza, rejecting it as it is an attempt to legitimize and internationalize the siege on Gaza and protect the “security demands” of the occupation state that committed war crimes and destroyed Gaza at the expense of the Palestinian people and their reconstruction.

Comrade Iyad Awadallah also spoke at the event, beginning by paying tribute to the martyr Ziad Abu Ein, killed by occupation soldiers as he confronted settlements and land confiscation. He spoke about the Oslo accords as a true source of Palestinian division, exposing deep contradiction sin the Palestinian scene between the program of negotiations and conciliation with the Zionists and the program of resistance and commitment to liberation, which has eventually led to the current situation. He noted that Palestinian internal division is being exploited by Zionism and imperialism and leading to international interventions aimed at undermining Palestinian rights, such as the so-called Kerry initiative targeting the right of return and the Serry reconstruction plan to legitimize the siege.

The Front in Rafah also organized a volunteer work day on December 11 on major streets of the city to mark the anniversary.

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The PFLP in Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza held a march and rally attended by PFLP fighters, leaders, members and supporters, marking the 47th anniversary of the founding of the Front. The rally started in front of the main entrance to the camp, led by a sound car playing the songs of the PFLP and fighters of the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, marching through the streets of the camp.

Comrade Nael Khalil spoke on behalf of the Front, saluting the historic and present role of the PFLP in the leadership of Palestinian resistance and revolution in the area and throughout Palestine, saying that the PFLP has always held firm to the principle of armed struggle and the liberation of Palestine, and “remains a beacon of thought, values and principles of revolution and liberation.”

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An event was held in the Marouf Saad cultural center in Saida, Lebanon, marking the 47th anniversary of the Front, with participation of PFLP leaders, cadres and members, representatives of Palestinian and Lebanese organizations, and supporters and friends of the Front.

Comrade Marwan Abdel-Al, member of the Central Committee of the Front and leader of its branch in Lebanon, spoke at the event, saluting all the martyrs who have fallen for the liberation of Palestine and the prisoners who struggle today inside the prisons of the occupier. Abdel-Al said that it is impossible to coexist with Zionism: as its failure grows, it becomes ever more brutal and fascist in its exercise of its racist authority, which is becoming clear to the whole world.

He denounced imperialist schemes that seek to mire the Arab people in sectarian traps for the benefit of Zionist and imperialist control of the region. “The Palestinian issue is not sectarian; it is at the center of the battle for Arab liberation for all.”

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The PFLP in Deir al-Balah organized a series of events and actions to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the Front, including a cleanup at Al-Aqsa Hospital, visits to the homes of martyrs and prisoners, and a reception at the Front’s office in Deir al-Balah.

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