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Posts Tagged ‘Mexico

 

In Pictures: 20 Years of Zapatismo,  EZLN, Chiapas, Mexico…

thinkmexican:

In Pictures: 20 Years of Zapatismo

Today marks 20 years since the EZLN first entered the public sphere after storming government buildings in Chiapas on January 1, 1994.

The Zapatistas and their cause have inspired millions across the world.

How have they inspired you?

      This post is posted on Jueves 2 Enero 2014.

 

Mexico’s Zapatista rebel leader resigns

Subcomandante Marcos flashes the "v" sign as he takes part in a march in Mexico City, May 1, 2006.
Subcomandante Marcos said he no longer spoke on behalf of the Zapatista rebels

The head of the Zapatista rebels in southern Mexico, known as Subcomandante Marcos, has announced that he is leaving the group’s leadership.

In a statement, he said he no longer spoke on behalf of the movement.

He added he was stepping down because of “internal changes” within the 20-year-old, far-left guerrilla group, and denied rumours that he was unwell.

The group has been fighting for greater recognition of the rights of indigenous people in the state of Chiapas.

“I declare that the one known as Insurgent Subcomandante Marcos no longer exists,” Rafael Guillen Vicente, better known by his nom-de-guerre Subcomandante Marcos, said on a Zapatista website.

“The voice of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) will no longer come from my voice,” he added.

Subcomandante Marcos wears his trademark ski mask and holds an assault rifle in Chiapas, August 20, 1997.
Subcomandante Marcos led an armed uprising in 1994

For some time there have been rumours that he was in ill health, but he rejected those out of hand, saying that such reports had been spread by the rebel army for their own benefit.

‘Unexpected’

His announcement comes just a day after he was seen in public for the first time in many months, when the enigmatic masked rebel attended a memorial for another key Zapatista leader in Chiapas, one of the poorest regions of Mexico.

The BBC’s Will Grant in Mexico City says there appeared to be little outward sign that the rebel leader was about to retire from public life.

Subcomandante Marcos has reinvented himself in the past, launching himself as an alternative presidential candidate one year.

But it seems likely his time at the forefront of an organisation which once rocked the Mexican political establishment to its core has come to an end, our correspondent adds.

Subcomandante Marcos led an armed uprising in Chiapas on New Year’s Day 1994.

The rebellion sparked several days of sustained fighting with the federal government, leaving dozens of people dead.

A peace pact was later signed but the Zapatistas’ demands were never met and they created their own autonomous justice, health and education systems in several communities.

World  also posted this May 26, 2014

Subcomandante Marcos, an iconic revolutionary figure in Latin America and a symbol for anti-globalization movements, said he was stepping aside for younger leaders to take his place.

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“The voice of the Zapatista National Liberation Army [EZLN] will no longer come from my voice… Marcos no longer exists.” Subcommandante Marcos

Marcos posted a lengthy message May 25. He denied rumors that he was ill, as well as the government’s assertion that he is a former philosophy professor named Rafael Sebastian Guillen. He appeared in public days earlier for the first time in months, or possibly since 2009.

Chiapas, Mexico

January 1, 1994

The EZLN, known as the Zapatistas, launched on Jan. 1, 1994, the same day as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which the group opposes.

It set off 12 days of clashes with the Mexican army that claimed at least 140 lives.

The government eventually signed a peace treaty with the group.

The Zapatistas have championed rights for indigenous populations, the poor, women, and farmers.

The Mexican government created laws to give more rights to indigenous people in 2001, but the group rejected it and set up autonomous justice, health, and education systems and sustainable farming in impoverished rural areas.

The impact of the departure of the mysterious Marcos on the Zapatistas is uncertain but likely minimal.

He has shunned the spotlight for years, and recently others have spoken on behalf of the group. The Zapatistas have also established links with like-minded groups around the world.

Emerging nations is becoming a catch all expression that is diluting its meaning and its proper definition.  For example, should we include China among the emerging nations, when the US admits that China is already at a par as an economic and political heavy weight?  Should we include Russia as an emerging nation when Russia was the first State to putting man in orbit, launching satellites, and establishing a permanent sky station?

Can we lump together nations with vast lands and large populations with smaller nations in lands and populations, even substantial progress have been made in global trade share?  The club of the G20 gathered the 20 nations whose combined world trade represents 80% of commerce in import and export of goods and services.  You find small nations with corresponding small populations such as the Netherlands, Denmark, and South Korea siding along India, Brazil, Russia, and China.

Shouldn’t we consider the most critical criteria of sustainable long-term potentials as a delimiting factor among economic clubs?  For example, first, let us list nations with vast lands and large populations such as the USA, China, Russia, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and Pakistan.  Obviously, the political structure and proven stability for demonstrating viable sustainability is a discriminating variable among those behemoths.

Second, let us list nations with vast lands and sparse populations such as Canada, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Libya, Chad, Niger, Kazakhstan, Mali, Sudan, Mauritania, and Saudi Arabia…Obviously, the ratio of fertile lands to the mostly desolate and desert areas is a variable, along with literacy ratio of the small population.

Third, let us list nations with vast lands and moderately populated such as Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria, Vietnam, Turkey, Iran, and Thailand.

Fourth, let’s list nations with smaller lands and over populated such as Bangladesh, Japan, France, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, and Iraq.

Fifth, let us list smaller nations with comparatively small populations such as The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Syria, South Korea, Taiwan…

The remaining nations are in fact no nations, if we consider the potential impact for making a dent in world trades, and political weight.

Consequently, we have potential emerging nations is sustainable economy with comparatively stable political structures that convey a viable trend in the medium term.  Among the truly current emerging nations that have no political clout in the UN or in international institutions and have legitimacy in demanding to be included as full members in the G-Clubs are South Africa, Brazil, India, Turkey, Indonesia, and Mexico.  For example, between 2004 and 2008, South Africa witnessed a steady increase in trade averaging 16.5% per year.  Turkey doubled its trade and so did the other emerging nations.  The six emerging nations are acquiring substantial economic weight and will be displacing many established developed nations in the coming decade.

The European Union (EU): Modern Europe leading human rights; (Nov. 10, 2009)

 

The previous post “European Union (EU) describes Modern Europe” covered a few statistics and then a short description of the EU administrative and legislative institutions. This follow up post will cover what is working, then analyzing what need to be ironed out, and then how the world community is expecting modern Europe to lead.

The 27 European States forming the EU counts 6 States among the twenty leading economy in the world.  By deceasing rank we have USA, China, Japan, India, Germany, Russia, Britain, France, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Spain, South Korea, Canada, Indonesia, Turkey, Iran, Australia, Taiwan, and the Netherlands. Actually, those six European economies constitute about 90% of the EU in economy and in populations.

As a block, the economy of the EU may surpass the USA with a twist: the three largest industrial multinationals in every sector are US.  For example, in aeronautics we have United Technology, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin; in medical materials we have Medtronic, United Health, and Alcon; in Medias we have Walt Disney, News Corporation, and Comcast; in pharmaceutical/biotechnology we have Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer; in informatics we have Microsoft, IBM, and Google.  Besides, the US is the first military power in technology, Navy, Bombers, and aircraft carriers.  The EU is totally dependent on oil and gas energies imported from Russia and elsewhere.  France has adopted a policy of being sufficient in electricity via nuclear energy (60% of the total of France production of energy).  Denmark is 25% sufficient in Aeolian technology and Germany about 15%.

The EU is facing problems. First, the “community vision” is eroding: the decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall and disintegration of the Soviet Union sent the wrong message of jumping in the band wagon of US globalization; thus, the well to do citizens wanted to get rich fast by emulating liberal capitalism. Individualism overshadowed the need to resume a common culture of developing institutions that are trained to work toward the common interest and be reformed to keeping the EU spirit intact in human rights and human dignity.

Second, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 took Europe by surprise.  The euphoric undertaking of uniting East Germany quickly exhausted West Germany with the multitude of social, economic and political problems of this unification and captured most of Germany’s resources and time and prevented it to ponder on the EU necessities.  The opportunity to deepen European consciousness for reformed institutions to expanding eastward was missed.

Third, the EU was discussing the two possibilities: either the strengthening the current union for the longer term expansion or hastily absorbing the many eastern European newly independent States.  The political decision was to go ahead and allowing these tiny states to adhere to the union.  I think that this was the appropriate decision because new States had to root their future into a tangible alliance or fall back into past habit, inclinations, and culture; thus, forming close alliances with Russia. The EU was the appropriate framework for ethnic communication and more democratic realization of social aspirations.  The problem is that these tiny States feel that they should aspire to the same standard of living in no times.  The latest financial crash has left al these States in bankrupt conditions and it is up to the rich EU States to salvage this predicament.  Maybe this fact should remind the EU that not all States should enjoy the same rights until they can show the same capability to shouldering responsibilities.

 

The actual challenges are many. First, there is a political space to reconstruct:  The budget of the EU institutions is merely 1% of the gross GNP while States allocate over 30% to re-distribute to collectivities, social protection, and welfare. The richer States are not that inclined to contribute heavily to the social stability of the poorer EU State members. Second, the EU has unified its currency (it overcame the States’ monopolies to issuing paper money) but is lacking a unified economic government.  For example, the EU lacks common public spaces, no political party or organization has been created or formed to focus on specific EU interests, and the EU Parliament has no power to raise taxes to finance common policies.  So far, the government chiefs are wary of relinquishing their interstates legitimacy and power.

As a block, the EU is still unable to challenge the US on crimes against humanity committed by the US and Israel;  it is fully cooperating with the US on taking Israel off the hook in the UN for daily crimes against human dignity, rights, and apartheid policies in the West bank and Gaza. There are a few States in the EU that are showing trends to opposing Israel’s apartheid practices and boycotting its products grown and manufactured in the occupied West Bank; it is the people in these States who have set the stage for human rights and dignity reversal toward the Palestinian endemic plight since 1948.

 

The world community is on its toes: will the EU refresh its initial objective of “community vision” or will it relapse in petty interstates interest of monopolies and idiosyncrasies?  We need the EU to be the caldron of community communication among ethnicities, languages, and cultures. We need the EU to be the social and political testing ground for viable alternatives in vision, institutions, ecological human survival, human rights and dignity. We need the EU to invent new reasons to living together and reducing man inequality.

The European Union is the most striking political and social achievement in the 20th century.  The backbones of most of the UN peace keeping forces around the world are European contingents; the EU is the highest contributor in humanitarian budgets and for reforming obsolete public institutions in the under-developed States. The EU needs a refresher community vision and the world community should raise its voices and aid Europe in its endeavors.

Introspection: Chica Lupita (Addendum #9), (Dec. 2002)

Ariadna is from Atlixco in Mexico. Her English is poor. My Spanish is no better.

Our conversations were plagued with divergent misunderstandings. One time, after we made love she asked me how serious is our relationship.

I told her that we barely can communicate and that I can’t see much future with us together.

She jumped out of bed and cried, sleeping on the floor. Minutes later, seeing that I did not come down to console her she joined me in bed. We used to sleep on opposite side of the bed when not making love. I guess she could not stand my smoky breath.

Chica, or Lupita, or Chica Lupita, as she liked me to call her, rubbed her right leg on my dick several times. We made love again on the opposite side of bed this time: my head looking at her feet. 

Lupita has very white skin and a rather aquiline nose, like mine.  She liked to wear dresses that show a major part of her bosom. She was rather short and had her reddish hair cropped short. The tops of her feet were large and her heels very thin: She walked on tip toe and her heels barely touched ground. She never walked bare footed: the ground is the domain of the Devil.

Lupita held her head up, always looked straight ahead, back straight, and confidently conscious of people sizing her up. Chica was married to a young American. Her man committed suicide two years after their wedding.

I met her at a full-service retirement community. She worked as a cleaning lady. I worked odd jobs there for two weeks before I was later promoted as assistant to the manager. Chica was jealous of her superior at the cleaning and washing department; a lady from Guatemala who had an eye for me.

I asked Lupita out one day and we went walking Downtown. During our bilingual and confusing conversation I said: “The only real thing is the moment. Let us enjoy the moment.” She retained that sentence and reminded me of it during our many painful separations.

We went out again and then we started meeting in my private room at 2 p.m.

I asked permission from the manager to rest for an hour around that time. Chica used to join me surreptitiously for an hour before ending her daily work. We used to undress completely, kiss, make up, and cuddle.

Two weeks later, she allowed me to investigate her rosy pussy. I licked, kissed and rubbed her pussy; I thought that I was very gentle but her pussy must have been virgin for these caresses. The next day at lunch Chica said: “Me duele. I am in pain.”

Chica pointed toward her vagina.  She would not let me lick her lower lips again.

A month later, Lupita let me in her. The moment I entered her she whispered: “You are for me.” I told myself that I am in trouble and cut my activity short for the moment.

We used to go to a semi private beach, at the foot of a villa perched on a high rock.

The villa belonged to a famous brain surgeon or a brain researcher; I could not get further intelligence of Lupita but that it was related to brain. Chica used to clean the villa on weekends. The small beach was hidden from the crowd by a large rock and we were tender behind that rock.

Chica used to hold and rub my dick and when I felt too excited she would laugh with pleasure.

We never had an apartment for ourselves. Lupita used to rent a room in apartments of some Latino families. Our privacies were restricted to a room with no private bath. Once, we had a great time when the apartment happened to be vacant. We took a long hot bath together and made love all morning.

I was introduced to her two brothers who were working and living in San Francisco.

At one stage of our relationship we stopped talking for two weeks. When we made up, her brother Juan said during lunch: “Finally, my sister is smiling, talking and happy.”

Chica loved me to give her massages.  She would lay on her stomach completely naked.  I would smear her entire body with cream and diligently rub her neck, back, arms and legs.  When I get tired of massaging I would lie on her back lightly and ask her to insert my prick.  We would lie still for a long time. Lupita’s moments of laziness could be highly luxurious.

Lupita used to spend her summers in Mexico. She used to have her physical check-ups and everything relating to her health and teeth. She invited me several time, with insistence, to visit Mexico with her. I was ready to spend all my savings to be with her in Mexico, but I could not leave the USA because of problems with my stupid visa. She brought me gifts on her returns to San Francisco.

One gift was a crucifix on a necklace that I still wear all the time. Some people were amazed at my guts for wearing religious icons in Lebanon. I could only reply: “This is a gift from a dear friend.” On one of our walks in downtown San Francisco, Chica liked a pullover and bought it for me. I bought her a red skirt, I guess, and she was all love.

The night before leaving to Washington, D.C. for good, I saw her in her apartment that she rented with her brother Juan.  I saw Chica crying for the first time. She said: “You are going to leave me all alone?”

I never went back to San Francisco: I could never afford it, but she kept calling me and sending letters. The first couple of sentences in the letters were attempts of sort of English and the rest in plain Spanish. Once, Chica asked me to write her a very intimate letter showing affections in order to chase away a guy who was crazy of her, as she said.

I satisfied her with a letter filled with lies, like that I enjoyed visiting her last week and that I’ll be calling her every day and on and on …Two weeks later, I received from her a letter in Spanish. I could feel anger in the words and something of an order to return all her photos. I showed the letter to our secretary from Salvador. After she read it she simply said: “She is very upset.”

Chica might have called one Saturday evening, the first week of my return to Lebanon.

My mother answered and hung up because she could not understand a word. End of a relationship.


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