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Posts Tagged ‘JUAN GONZÁLEZ

Did Cuba Helped End Apartheid in South Africa? The Secret History

Amy Goodman & Juan González published on Democracy Now this Dec. 11, 2013:

As the world focuses on Tuesday’s historic handshake between President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro, we look back at the pivotal role Cuba played in ending apartheid and why Castro was one of only five world leaders invited to speak at Nelson Mandela’s memorial.

In the words of Mandela, the Cubans‘ destroyed the myth of the invincibility of the white oppressor … [and] inspired the fighting masses of South Africa.’

Historian Piero Gleijeses argues that it was Cuba’s victory in Angola in 1988 that forced Pretoria to set Namibia free and helped break the back of apartheid South Africa.

We speak to Gleijeses about his new book, “Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria, and the Struggle for Southern Africa, 1976-1991,” and play archival footage of Mandela meeting Fidel Castro in Cuba.

The Secret History of How Cuba Helped End Apartheid in South Africa

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: We turn now to the historic moment Tuesday when President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raúl Castro as both men participated in the memorial service for anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

The White House said the handshake was unscripted. It marked the first time a U.S. president has shaken hands with a Cuban leader since 2000.

In Washington, Republicans expressed outrage over the exchange. During a hearing in the House, Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida sparred with Secretary of State John Kerry, who said it did not represent any change in U.S. policy toward Cuba.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: Mr. Secretary, sometimes a handshake is just a handshake. But when the leader of the free world shakes the bloody hand of a ruthless dictator like Raúl Castro, it becomes a propaganda coup for the tyrant. Raúl Castro uses that hand to sign the orders to repress and jail democracy advocates. In fact, right now, as we speak, Cuban opposition leaders are being detained, and they’re being beaten while trying to commemorate today, which is International Human Rights Day. They will feel disheartened when they see these photos. Could you please tell the Cuban people living under that repressive regime that a handshake nonwithstanding, the U.S. policy toward the cruel and sadistic Cuban dictatorship has not weakened? Thank you.

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: Ladies and gentlemen, today is about honoring Nelson Mandela. And the president is at an international funeral with leaders from all over the world. He didn’t choose who’s there. They’re there to honor Mandela. And we appreciate that people from all over the world and from all different beliefs and walks of life who appreciated Nelson Mandela and/or were friends of his came to honor him. And I think, as the president said—I urge you to go read his speech, or if you didn’t see it or haven’t read it, because the president said in his speech today honoring Nelson Mandela, he said, “We urge leaders to honor Mandela’s struggle for freedom by upholding the basic human rights of their people”—

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: And would you say Raúl Castro is upholding their basic human rights?

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: No, absolutely not.

We Have Already Seen what we feared from Hillary Clinton:

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein

Passing ranked choice voting?

Ranked choice voting says you can rank your first choice first, and if your first choice doesn’t make it, is eliminated and loses, your vote is automatically reassigned to your second choice

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein takes aim at the presumptive nominees of both major parties, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“Trump says very scary things—deporting immigrants, massive militarism and ignoring the climate. Hillary, unfortunately, has a track record for doing all of those things,” Stein says.

“Hillary has supported the deportations of immigrants, opposed the refugees—women and children coming from Honduras, whose refugee crisis she was very much responsible for by giving a thumbs-up to this corporate coup in Honduras that has created the violence from which those refugees are fleeing.” Stein goes on to say,

“We see these draconian things that Donald Trump is talking about, we actually see Hillary Clinton doing.”

Tonnie Ch shared this link

JUAN GONZÁLEZ:  Jill Stein, what do you say to those, for instance, who criticize third-party efforts as spoiler efforts throughout the history of the country—Ross Perot running in the early ’90s with the result that Bill Clinton was able to defeat the Republican candidate, then, of course, Ralph Nader in the 2000 race, blamed by some, although others disagree that that was the result, for resulting in George Bush being elected in 2000?

DR. JILL STEIN: So, let me say first off, this is a problem that could be fixed with the stroke of a pen, this electoral system that tells you to vote against what you’re afraid of and not for what you believe. And, you know, what we’ve seen over the years, this strategy has a track record: This politics of fear has actually delivered everything we were afraid of. All the reasons you were told you had to vote for the lesser evil—because you didn’t want the massive Wall Street bailouts, the offshoring of our jobs, the meltdown of the climate, the endless expanding wars, the attack on immigrants—all that, we’ve gotten by the droves, because we allowed ourselves to be silenced.

You know, silence is not what democracy needs.

Right now we have an election where even the supporters of Hillary Clinton, the majority don’t support Hillary, they just oppose Donald Trump. And the majority of Donald Trump supporters don’t support him, they just oppose Hillary.

And the majority are clamoring for another independent or several independent candidates and an independent party, and feel that they are being terribly misserved and mistreated by the current politics.

So to further silence our voices is exactly the wrong thing to do. And I’ll just point out, Donald Trump himself is lifted up by a movement which is very much the product of the Clintons’ policies.

The lesser evil very much makes inevitable the greater evil, because people don’t come out to vote for a politician that’s throwing them under the bus. And so we see houses of—the houses of Congress, we have also seen statehouse after statehouse, flipping from red to blue over the years as the Democratic Party has become a lesser-evil party.

And Donald Trump is buoyed up by the policies passed by Bill Clinton, supported by Hillary—that is, deregulation of Wall Street, which led to the disappearance of 9 million jobs, 5 million people thrown out of their homes, and by NAFTA, which exported those jobs.

That’s exactly the economic oppression and stress that has led to this right-wing extremism. So you can’t get where you want to go through the lesser evil. At the end of the day, you’ve got to stand up.

But we could fix this right now simply by passing ranked choice voting, which takes the fear out of voting.

If you can’t put your values into your vote, we don’t have a democracy.

Ranked choice voting says you can rank your first choice first, and if your first choice doesn’t make it, is eliminated and loses, your vote is automatically reassigned to your second choice.

This is used in cities across the country. My campaign actually proposed this in the Massachusetts Legislature through a progressive Democratic representative back in 2002 in the first race that I ran. I was running for governor.

We proposed that bill, filed it, so that there would be no splitting of the vote. The Democrats refused to let it out of committee. And that tells you something very important: They rely on fear. They don’t want you to vote your values. They need to use the scary tactic of, “Oh, the other guy is worse.”

Why is that? Because at the end of the day, they are not on your side. They need you to be afraid of them, because they are not for you. That alone speaks volumes about how far we are going to get.

In this race, I’ll just conclude saying, this is a unique moment now. We’ve never been here in history before. What we are facing is not just a question of what kind of world we want to be, but whether we will be a world at all, the way the nuclear arms race has been re-engaged, the way Hillary Clinton wants to create an air war over Syria through a no-fly zone against another nuclear-armed power—that is, Russia—the climate crisis, where the day of reckoning is coming closer and closer all the time.

We can’t keep using this failed policy of silencing ourselves with this politics of fear. It’s time to forget the lesser evil, stand up and fight for the greater good like our lives depend on it, because they do.

AMY GOODMAN: And to those Sanders supporters who have started saying, “If it’s Hill, it’s Jill”? And this is going back to the point of what would you say to Sanders supporters worried about Trump.

DR. JILL STEIN: Yes, exactly. I’d say putting another Clinton in the White House is only going to make that right-wing extremism greater.

We will see more of these neoliberal policies, like Wall Street deregulation, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Hillary has always supported. She’s changed her tune a little bit, but Hillary has walked the walk.

Look at the walk and not the talk. In fact, you know, Trump says very scary things—deporting immigrants, massive militarism and, you know, ignoring the climate. Well, Hillary, unfortunately, has a track record for doing all of those things. Hillary has supported the deportations of immigrants, opposed the refugees—women and children coming from Honduras, whose refugee crisis she was very much responsible for by giving a thumbs-up to this corporate coup in Honduras that has created the violence from which those refugees are fleeing.

She basically said, “No, bar the gates, send them back.” You know, so we see these draconian things that Donald Trump is talking about, we actually see Hillary Clinton doing.

And it’s not only the militarism that Trump talks about, it’s Hillary’s massive record of militarism: the rush into Libya, which was really— she was the prime mover behind that campaign, which the military advisers were largely against; her approval for the war in Iraq and so on; you know, her threat to bomb Iran; and, you know, she—and her demonization of Russia and China, and the pivot against China.

We are rushing towards war with Hillary Clinton, who has a track record.

And on climate, Trump talks terrible on climate, although in Ireland, I believe it is, he does believe in climate change: He’s trying to build a wall to protect one of his luxury golf courses in Ireland, because he’s worried about sea level rise from climate change, according to the papers that he’s filed for that permit.

And on climate, Hillary Clinton established an office to promote fracking around the world, while secretary of state.

So, the terrible things that we expect from Donald Trump, we’ve actually already seen from Hillary Clinton. So I’d say, don’t be a victim of this propaganda campaign, which is being waged by people who exercise selective amnesia.

They’re very quick to tell you about the terrible things that the Republicans did, but they’re very quick to forget the equally terrible things that have happened under a Democratic White House, with two Democratic houses of Congress.

It’s time to forget the lesser evil, stand up and fight for the greater good. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Neither party of the evils will do it for us.

AMY GOODMAN: We just have 30 seconds, but your unsolicited advice, unsolicited by Bernie Sanders, for what he should demand when he meets with President Obama today, and then your advice to him when he comes outside?

DR. JILL STEIN: You know, I don’t think President Obama is going to change his tune because of something that Bernie Sanders says to him. I think what’s really important— in the words of Frederick Douglass, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has, and it never will.”

This is why third parties are effective, whether they’re in power or whether they are simply pushing. Otherwise, there is no counterweight of the power of corporations, which have basically taken over the two major corporate political parties.

I think it’s very important for Bernie to—you know, to have a teachable moment here and to take heed of his experience of the last many months, and for him to actually stand up and do what the world needs for him to do and what the world needs for this movement to do.

And if Bernie is not able to overcome his experience of many decades as a loyal and faithful Democrat, I really understand that. But I think for those of us who are living in today and who are seeing what tomorrow looks like, it’s very important for us to move ahead and take back the America and the world that works for all of us, based on putting people, planet and peace over profit.

AMY GOODMAN: Jill Stein, we want to thank you for being with us, 2016 presidential candidate for the Green Party.

This is Democracy Now! When we come back, a debate on the executive order just issued by New York Governor Cuomo on BDS. Stay with us.


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Venezuelan Protests: Is the US backing right wing groups again?

In Venezuela, at least six people have died in recent days during a series of anti-government protests. The latest casualty was a local beauty queen who died of a gunshot wound.

The protests come less than a year after the death of Hugo Chávez and present the biggest challenge to Venezuela’s new president Nicolás Maduro.

Earlier this week, right-wing opposition leader Leopoldo López turned himself in to the National Guard after authorities issued a warrant for his arrest last week, accusing him of inciting deadly clashes.

Amy Goodman & Juan González published in Democracy Now this Feb. 20, 2014

Venezuelan Protests: Another Attempt by U.S.-Backed Right-Wing Groups to Oust Elected Government?

On Monday, Maduro ordered the expulsion of 3 U.S. consular officials while claiming the United States has sided with the opposition.

Our guest, George Ciccariello-Maher, looks at the recent history of the U.S. role in Venezuela opposing both the Chávez and Maduro governments. He is author of “We Created Chávez: A People’s History of the Venezuelan Revolution” and teaches political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to Venezuela, where at least six people have died in recent days during a series of anti-government protests. On Wednesday, a local beauty queen died of a gunshot wound.

The protests come less than a year after the death of Hugo Chávez and present the biggest challenge to Venezuela’s new president, Nicolás Maduro. Earlier this week, right-wing opposition leader Leopoldo López turned himself in to the National Guard after authorities issued a warrant for his arrest, accusing him of inciting deadly clashes.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, to find out more, we go to Philadelphia to speak with George Ciccariello-Maher, author of We Created Chávez: A People’s History of the Venezuelan Revolution. He teaches political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, previously taught at the Venezuelan School of Planning in Caracas.

What is happening in Venezuela today?

GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER: Well, there’s a great deal happening, and I think you’ve got your finger on the fact that this is a crucial test for the Maduro government.

And I think it’s our obligation to put it in its broad historical context to understand who’s acting.

And I think there’s a tendency—there’s an unfortunate tendency, if you follow Twitter or if you’re on the Internet, that, you know, in this sort of post-Occupy moment and in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, every time we see—every time we see protesters in the streets, we start retweeting it, and we start to sort of, you know, feel sympathetic, without necessarily knowing what the back story is.

And I think we’re obligated to do that here. And once we look into this back story, what we see is yet another attempt in a long string of attempts of the Venezuelan opposition to oust a democratically elected government, this time taking advantage of student mobilizations against—you know, ostensibly against insecurity and against economic difficulties to do that.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, George Ciccariello, who is Leopoldo López? The Washington Postdescribes him as a 42-year-old, Harvard-educated, left-leaning moderate. What do you know about his history?

GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER: Left-leaning moderate would be quite a stretch. Leopoldo López represents the far right of the Venezuelan political spectrum. In terms of his personal and political history, here’s someone who was educated in the United States from prep school through graduate school at the Harvard Kennedy School.

He’s descended from the first president of Venezuela, purportedly even from Simón Bolívar. In other words, he’s a representative of this traditional political class that was displaced when the Bolivarian revolution came to power.

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Are you a Pakistani, still living in a remote area?

Scared to Go Outside and be harvested by a drone?

One year ago, a 67-year-old Pakistani woman was killed by an alleged U.S. drone while picking vegetables in a field with her grandchildren on October 24, 2012.

The United States has never acknowledged killing her or any other drone strike victims in Pakistan, always claiming that it is militants locked in the cross-hairs.

Amy Goodman and Juan González posted an interview on DAILY INDEPENDENT GLOBAL NEWS HOUR this Oct.31, 2013

“Too Scared to Go Outside”: Family of Pakistani Grandmother Killed in U.S. Drone Strike Speaks Out

This week, her son and two of her grandchildren traveled to Washington, D.C., to become the first drone victims to testify before members of Congress — even though only 5 Democrats appeared at the hearing.

Live in studio, we speak to Rafiq Rehman and his two children, 9-year-old Nabila and 13-year-old Zubair, both of whom were injured in the strike. “I don’t understand why this happened to me. I have done nothing wrong,” Zubair says. “What I would like to say to the American people is: Please tell your government to end these drones, because it is disrupting our lives.”

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: As we continue our special on U.S. drone strikes, we turn now to the killing of a 67-year-old Pakistani grandmother last year. In a moment, we’ll be joined by her son and two grandchildren, nine-year-old Nabila and 13-year-old Zubair. But first, another clip from Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars.

RAFIQ UR REHMAN: [translated] My name is Rafiq ur Rehman. I am a primary school teacher. I’ve been teaching for 10 years. We strive to eradicate illiteracy so our children can be educated and have a bright future. This is my daughter Nabila. This is my daughter Asma. Zubair ur Rehman is my son. We have our own land and grow our own food.

ZUBAIR UR REHMAN: People enjoyed life before the attacks.

RAFIQ UR REHMAN: It was 2:45 p.m. on October 24th of 2012. After school finished, I went into town to buy school supplies.

ZUBAIR UR REHMAN:  I was in the fields tying up bundles.

RAFIQ UR REHMAN: I got back in the car and bought sweets for the children.

KALIM UR REHMAN: When I got home, I was drinking tea. After the first sip, the drone hit. The house shook.

ZUBAIR UR REHMAN: The dust flew.

ATIQ UR REHMAN: The roof shook, and the ground trembled.

ASMA UR REHMAN:  I ran. and I got hit.

KALIM UR REHMAN:  I ran out, and there was all this dust and smoke.

SHOW FULL TRANSCRIPT ›

Are the FBI and IRS Secretly Reading Your Email Without a Warrant?

The American Civil Liberties Union has obtained documents revealing that the FBI and IRS may be reading emails and other electronic communications of U.S. citizens without obtaining a warrant. This comes just as reports have emerged that the Obama administration is considering approving an overhaul of government surveillance of the Internet. The New York Times reported the new rules would make it easier to wiretap users of web services such as instant messaging.

Democracy Now posted on May 10, 2013:

“The FBI wants to be able to intercept every kind of possible communication,” says attorney Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. “The FBI basically wants to require all of these companies to rewrite their code in order to enable more government surveillance. … And in order to accomplish that, they would make the whole Internet less secure.”

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to the issue of government surveillance. The American Civil Liberties Union recently obtained documents revealing that the FBI and the IRS may be reading emails and other electronic communications of U.S. citizens without obtaining a warrant.

AMY GOODMAN: This comes as reports have emerged that the Obama administration is considering approving an overhaul of government surveillance of the Internet. The New York Times reported the new rules would make it easier to wiretap users of web services such as instant messaging.

Well, to talk more about this, we’re joined by Ben Wizner, an attorney at the ACLU and director of the Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project.


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