Published on 13 October by TeleSUR English

evo wins

Evo Morales, re-elected Sunday, gave a press conference at the Government Palace in La Paz, Bolivia.

President Evo Morales welcomed both local and international press Monday morning for a press conference to discuss his victory and the gains made by his party Movement Toward Socialism (MAS).

Morales declared that “We are very happy, it is not easy to be reelected with more than 60 percent, We have made history in Bolivia.” He signaled that the electoral results constitute a victory for the social movements in the country as well, adding, “It moves me to share this triumph with all of you, with the Bolivian people.”

Morales emphasized that this victory also carries symbolic weight, “[In Bolivia] we have changed, it is important to ratify that politics is about service for the people,” saying “Nationalization has won here and that our services are a human right.”

He called on the opposition, who suffered a large defeat to work with his government and to offer concrete proposals, explaining “Bolivia no longer wants confrontation, it is for that reason that we invite all sectors to work together with us.”

President Morales then opened the floor up to questions, where he analyzed his own personal trajectory to the Presidency. The final question came from a North American reporter who asked the President to respond to accusations that his government acts in authoritarian manner. Morales responded by asserting that his government has always worked hand-in-hand with social movements, putting forward proposals together. He criticized the governments of the past who “Never left the Government Palace” and who ruled, not by winning the confidence of the people, but rather through so-called mega coalitions.

Last night, when greeting his supporters, Morales dedicated his victory to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, saying “This victory of the Bolivian people is dedicated to all the peoples in Latin America and the world that struggle against capitalism and against imperialism.”

Elections were also held for the 130 seat Chamber of Deputies, where MAS won 117 of the seats — 13 more than before — results for the Senate elections were not immediately available but are expected to be consistent with the results in the lower chamber. With two thirds of the seats in the Congress, Morales and the MAS party will be free to implement their program and policies.  

Haiti

Published on 29 September 2014 by TeleSUR English opinion

Despite centuries of intervention and political repression, the Haitian people continue to forge a revolutionary path.  We are a people of resistance Slavery, occupation, nothing has broken us. We have slipped through every trap. We are a people of resistance

Rezistans, by Annette Auguste (So Anne), a Haitian folksinger, Lavalas activist and former political prisoner (2004-2006).

The Lavalas movement is the living legacy of the Haitian Revolution. And, its organizers are the descendants of leaders such as Jean Jacques Dessalines, Tousaint Louverture and thousands of other historically anonymous maroons who fought for freedom. "We are never afraid, we continue to fight. The most important thing is to share our message," explains a Haitian journalist in Port-au-Prince.

Thousands of international non governmental organizations built on so called good intentions have invaded Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. Many Haitian organizers consider NGOs "our worst enemies," as they absorb funds and distract from grassroots efforts.

NGOs occupy Haiti's political landscape and eclipse the past and present history of popular movement led initiatives to provide education, housing, medical care as well as encourage spaces for youth and women's empowerment.

The Haitian people denounce the daily devastation of their country at the hands of Michel Martelly's government, the United Nations and an overwhelmingly absent international community. In the wake of all this, the Haitian people continue to build alternatives under politically repressive conditions. In honor of the 256th anniversary of Dessalines' birth, here lies some of the voices and visions from the grassroots and a popular account of Haitian history.

"We have been fighting for 208 years, we are the first free black nation"

In August 1791, the Haitian Revolution began after a series of anti-colonial rebellions by Africans determined to achieve liberation. The uprising in the name of a free Ayiti, an indigenous and African term meaning 'home or mother of the earth' in Taino-Arwak as well as 'sacred earth or homeland' in Fon, instilled fear into France and other colonial empires at the time.

Countless freedom fighters sacrificed their lives in the effort to declare Haitian independence. The final battle at Vertieres in today's Cap Haitien led to the definitive declaration of Haiti as the first Black republic of the western hemisphere on January 1, 1804.

As such, the Haitian people were punished and shunned out internationally by global powers and states in the region. Today, Haiti still suffers the consequences of being a Black nation that defied empire. Dessalines became the first emperor of Haiti in 1804 and was assassinated October 17, 1806, representing Haiti's first coup d'état.

An Era of Achievements and Assaults, Lavalas from 1991-2004

Jean Bertrand Aristide's rise to power in 1991 on the shoulders of the Haitian people represented Haiti's revival as a revolutionary nation. During Aristide’s grassroots led government, the people organized the most progressive policies in the island nation’s history. Before the revolutionary and left practices of governments like Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela and Evo Morales’ Bolivia, Haiti forged the path toward more recent decades of change following Cuba’s revolution in 1959. Aristide, who the people refer to as ‘Titid’, won the presidential elections with 67 percent in 1990 and 92 percent in 1999.

Lavalas’ achievements during Aristide’s unfinished two terms span wide. Haiti built more schools from 1994-2000 than between 1804-1994, created a women’s ministry, recognized Haitian creole and vodun (a religion based out of African Yoruba and Bantu belief systems) as the national language and religion respectively, doubled the minimum wage as well as disbanded the Haitian military responsible for countless atrocities under the Duvalier dictatorship.

However, following the 1991 coup in particular, thousands of Lavalas militants were arrested, tortured and murdered. Thousands fled as the coup government and the Tonton Macoute death squad persecuted community leaders across the country. More than 5,000 people were killed in the aftermath of the coup against Aristide from 1991-1994.

Subsequently, the United States arranged for the installation of United Nations troops in 1994 to take over foreign occupation in the country following the coup. In addition, after Aristide refused to privatize state owned enterprises upon his return to Haiti, the Clinton administration withheld its aid package. These trends in militarization and targeted economic sanctions continue to materialize, disfranchising the Haitian people.

Several years later, in 2000, after Lavalas swept the parliamentary elections, the United States and a variety of European aid and loans were cut off. However, the Haitian government and people continued to build together, with limited economic resources, inspired by strong popular will. In response, Aristide initiated a campaign to collect the elite class’ unpaid taxes in order to fund social services and projects.

During his second term, Aristide guaranteed a number of constitutional rights and formally established how elections should be carried out in the country. Other constitutional guarantees include state ownership of Haitian resources and the redistribution of land among Haitians.

These guarantees threaten exploitative ventures by transnational mining and oil companies interested in gold, petroleum and uranium among other minerals.

Aristide’s popular government addressed the two century decay of Haiti's infrastructure by investing in social services. He welcomed Cuban doctors and established an exchange program for Haitian medical students. In 2002, Aristide's administration renovated the School of Midwifery and rebuilt 40 health clinics, hospitals and dispensaries.

Aristide also provided the country’s first public school transportation program and implemented universal education and literacy campaigns. Education continues to be at the forefront of Aristide and Lavalas' efforts.

On the 200th anniversary of Haitian independence in 2004, Aristide demanded reparations from France in the amount of $US21.7 billion dollars; the equivalent of what Haiti had to pay over 100 years in 90 million francs for their independence. Aristide's demand jolted the United States, Canada and France. And, along with international accompaniment from the United Nations, they halted such progressive advances by militarily disposing Aristide and unconstitutionally exiling him from the country in 2004.

Haitians Demand Overdue Justice

In the last year, the Haitian people have taken to the streets following a devastating earthquake and the installation of a politically corrupt and repressive government. The Haitian people have called for the resignation of Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, the removal of all UN troops and have demanded their national sovereignty.

The Haitian people have denounced the blue helmets for committing rape, torture, murder and fostering the cholera epidemic over their two decade long occupation. Inconsistent with Latin American efforts of regional integration, Brazil has led the UN occupation since 1994 and other Latin American nations such as Bolivia, Ecuador and Uruguay continue to participate in the recolonization of Haiti.

Currently, Haitian police are training in South America with Ecuadorean military. And although Uruguayan President Jose 'Pepe' Mujica has promised to withdraw Uruguay's troops by the end of this calendar year, meanwhile the Legislative Assembly of Bolivia unanimously approved to dispatch more military troops to Haiti this year.

Despite their overwhelming presence, one Haitian woman remarks, "The UN troops are like dust, we will blow them away."

While efforts at the hands of global powers such as France, United States and Canada continue to paint Haiti as a country in need of charity and unable to rebuild their own nation, Haitian people know otherwise. "They say we are a tiny country to keep us down, but they know we are not," explains one Haitian organizer of a woman’s rights organization.

Organizations such as the Aristide Foundation for Democracy, recuperated after the UN illegally occupied the school and used it as a base of operations, sheds light on a piece of Haiti's grassroots approaches. Haitians hold weekly assemblies, debates on democracy and provide basic services for their communities. Haitian organizers run mobile schools, clinics and carry out projects with peasant farmers and strengthen women's economic opportunities through micro-credit programs.

In Haiti, Lavalas the political party serves as the country's finger and not the guiding hand, explains one Haitian politician and long-time organizer. So, as global powers continue to attack former President Aristide and exclude Lavalas' political participation, the Haitian people lend their struggles to Latin America and the Caribbean's growing movement toward self-determination.

www.cubanews.ain.cu

Cuba argentina

Cuba is currently building in the Argentinean city of Cordoba an eye-treatment hospital to train young doctors as part of a cooperation project with the A Better World is Possible Foundation.

The hospital will be named after Cuban-Argentinean guerrilla fighter Doctor Ernesto Guevara, Telesur TV reported.

Foundation president Claudia Camba, who is responsible for the Cuban medical missions in Argentina, called for donations and efforts to contribute to the bilateral project.

Some 48 thousand Argentineans have recovered their sight since 2005, when the free eye-surgery program known as Operation Miracle began to be implemented in the South American nation.

During the first years that a Cuban medical mission worked in Argentina, the patients would travel to Cuba for eye surgery, later they travel to Bolivia, but since 2009 they have been assisted in a small health center in the city of Cordoba, which has administered about 4,800 surgeries, particularly on cataracts.

Cuba-Argentina collaboration in the education field has benefitted over 26 500 citizens who learned how to read and write with the implementation since 2003 in that country of the Yes, I Can Cuban literacy methodology

Published on 29 August 2014 by Granma

elecciones3

Presidential elections will be held during the month of October in Brazil (October 5) Bolivia (October 12) and Uruguay (October 26). These elections will add to those already held this year in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama and Colombia – the results of which, in general terms, allow for the continuation of trends seen in Latin America since the beginning of the century. The advance of the left and center-left, specifically in El Salvador and Costa Rica (but with relatively weak presidents given the composition of their respective congresses and limitations inherited from a neo-liberal model imposed 30 years ago); and in Panama and Colombia the ongoing predominance of right-wing groups divided among themselves, a result of their own contradictions and disputes, as evidenced in the case of President Juan Manuel Santos’ victory over Álvaro Uribe Vélez’s candidate.

From this perspective, the October elections are important since projected results from opinion polls, especially in Brazil and Uruguay, indicate the possibility that the progressive South American leadership, which has predominated over the last 10 years, may be threatened, or even split, by right-wing or center-right forces, or by pragmatic alliances - as for example, in Brazil, with the alliance between the "Greens" and agri-business companies in favor of Marina Silva’s candidacy.

Read more...

Published on 2 September by Farc-EP Peace delegation
 
peace talks colombia
  • Government is creating false expectations
  • Abandonment of arms necessarily implies demilitarization of society and state
  • FARC-EP ask for emergency meeting with government to re-establish bilaterality
  • FARC-EP invite government Minister Juan Fernando Cristo to Havana to exchange views and explain the real content of the agreements

Iván Márquez, spokesman of the Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP, stated that concepts like "transition", "demobilization" and "surrender of arms" don't exist in the General Agreement of Havana or in the ranks of the insurgency.

This was the loud and clear answer to the announcement by the government these days, of creating a 'Strategic Command of Transition', which would be in charge of the transition, of the enemy's demobilization and of controlling the surrender of arms.

Márquez said that the FARC won't ever accept a military hierarchy to resolve problems that are of a political nature, and that fundamental aspects like abandonment of arms also implies demilitarization of society and state.

With these announcements, the government is creating false expectations, when it should be realistic and explain to the people that

"in spite of the progress that has been made on different aspects, it will still take time to define what hasn't been resolved yet, like for example institutional transformations".

The insurgency also expressed its irritation about the government not taking into account the opinions of the counterpart at the Table. The state continues trying to impose its legality (the so-called legal framework) as instrument of transitional justice, while the FARC has said many times that this unilateral imposition is unacceptable.

"The only legal framework we accept is the General Agreement of Havana in which state and insurgency are equal parts. Remeber that item 3, numeral 5 on the End of Conflict, states that "the National Government will review and implement the necessary institutional reforms and adjustments to face the challenge of the construction of peace".

The FARC-EP called for an emergency meeting with the government, to re-establish the bilaterality of the peace process and read the content of what has been agreed. At the same time, the guerrilla movement invites Juan Fernando Cristo, Government Minister, to come to Havana and discuss the different viewpoints that might exist, as well as explain the real content of the agreements made so far.

The peace talks in Havana have entered the 28th round of conversations, which at the same time is the 2nd round on the fifth item on the Agenda: victims. Since the start of the conversations, the FARC-EP on a number of occasions, has made clear that the peace process shouldn't be deflected by third party's wishful thinking or theinterpretations of mainstream media.

"There is only one Agenda, in the context is the Agreement made on August 26, 2012. The rest is fantasy".

Read complete communique in Spanish

Published on 3 September by Presna Latina

marcha-gaza

Hundreds of Palestinians raised photos of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and Venezuelans Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, during a march held yesterday in Gaza to express gratitude for Latin American solidarity.

Convened by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the rally held on Tuesday, Sep. 2, included several areas in Gaza Strip, while protesters marched and chanted slogans of support for Latin America, repudiating the deadly Israeli military aggression that lasted 50 days.

In addition to posters carrying photos of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who broke immediately broke relations with Israel when it launched its last aggression to Gaza, and current President Nicolas Maduro, PFLP members and supporters also raised photos of Ghassam Ben Jeddou.

Ben Jeddou is the president of the Pan-Arab Al-Mayadeen media corporation, and was being recognized for the way his network covered the bombing by Zionist forces, and the strong resistance of the Palestinian people.

Posters with the image of Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, general secretary of the Shiite-Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah (Party of God), whose support for the Palestinian counterpart organizations was fundamental, were among the participants in the popular mobilization.

The march was conceived to celebrate the victory reached by the Palestinian people and, particularly, the Hamas and Islamic Jihad resistance movements, achieving Israel's acceptance of an indefinite truce with certain exigencies, which came into force on August 26, organizers of that rally told Prensa Latina.

Published on 22 August 2014 by Big Story

usaidThe Costa Rican government will investigate undercover U.S. programs operated from the Central American country and using its citizens in a ploy to destabilize the government in Cuba, the director of intelligence and security said Friday.

Mariano Figueres told The Associated Press that the new administration, which took office May 8, has found no records or information from their predecessors about the U.S. Agency for International Development project, which starting in 2009 sent young Venezuelans, Costa Ricans and Peruvians to Cuba in hopes of stirring opposition to the island's communist government.

Figueres said Costa Rica's only information came from an 4 Aug Associated Press article, which said USAID and a contractor, Creative Associates International, used the cover of health and civic programs, some operating out of Costa Rica, in hopes of provoking political change in Cuba. The AP found the program continued even as U.S. officials privately told contractors to consider suspending travel to Cuba after the arrest there of contractor Alan Gross, who remains imprisoned after smuggling in sensitive technology.

"If we can confirm all this, of course we're not going to agree that our national territory be used to attack a friendly government, regardless of what ideological side you're on," Figueres said. "It's a matter of sovereignty and respect ... and we're very alarmed that they used Costa Rican citizens and put them at risk."

Read more...

Published on 11 August 2014 by Granma International

evo morales

Bolivia’s President presents 12-point government program to his party and leaders of principal social organizations

Bolivia has experienced sustained growth under the leadership of President Evo Morales, who is running for reelection this coming October 12, with a new 12-point programmatic agenda, which could allow the country to become one of South America’s most developed economies, devoted to the goal of buen vivir, a good life for all with social justice and equality. President Evo Morales is currently supported by 60% of voters, going into the October elections. 

When Morales assumed office for the first time in 2005, capitalist technocrats and the regional right wing thought he wouldn’t last long, lacking, they believed, the knowledge needed to carry out the anti-neoliberal policies proposed in his campaign, with the goal of creating a new nation.

The President, however, not only outwitted enemies who attempted to overthrow him, but ensured that Bolivia’s economy maintained a steady growth rate over the last 13 years, generating earnings which were used to meet social needs, thanks to new policies not based on market laws.

This past year, the country’s economy grew at a rate of 6.8%, and its reserves went from eight billion dollars in 2006, to 33 billion currently. According to estimates by the International Monetary Fund, this trend should continue, with a growth rate of 5.1% forecast for this year, and 6.8% in 2015.

The Morales government nationalized the economy’s most important sectors – oil and gas – and promoted industrialization of these, along with that of lithium, and has to its credit a transparent system of administration, which has not, to date, allowed for incidents of corruption, or the misappropriation of funds, ills afflicting some other Latin American nations.

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Published on 19 August 2014 by Presna Latina

Julian assange

In addition of ensuring security of computer specialist and journalist Julian Assange as a political refugee, the Ecuadorian government is seeking an appropriate legal resolution to his case, said Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño.

At his Twitter account, the minister stressed yesterday the many nuances in Assange's legal case, saying: "The principle of effective judiciary protection says we have the right to trials without undue delays, something Julian Assange has not been allowed."

At a news conference in London along with the founder of the Wikileaks organization, Patiño said the British Parliament had passed a law to prevent extradition of people who have not been accused by a judge, as in the case of the computer specialist.

According to the foreign minister's statements with the press, this formal change opens new possibilities of understanding on the matter with the U.K. government, which has so far refused a safe-conduct pass to transfer Assange to Ecuador.

Read more...

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