3.31.2007

Democracy's Witchhunt: The War Against the Ancients

CANADA’S MILITARY PLOTS "WAR CRIMES" AGAINST INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
Mohawk Nation News

March 27 2007
It looks like the psychotics from the U.S. have hijacked Canadian policy taking Canada back to medieval blood lust. A 250-page field manual on counterinsurgency is being put out by Canada's Department of National Defense DND for its soldiers and officers. Jon Elmer of Global Research wrote on March 25, 2007, about these new methods of fighting insurgents like the "Taliban", the "Chechnyans" and the "Mohawk Warrior Society". Wait a minute, that’s us!
Let’s not kid ourselves. The main purpose of an army is to shoot and kill. Does Canada ’s Parliament or the Canadian people know about this genocidal action that is being done in their name? Since when is it legal to make plans to attack us?
If the DND see us as foreign insurgents, they obviously recognize our independent nationality. So when did they attempt to negotiate with us on a nation-to-nation basis? Under international accords that Canada has signed all countries must resolve differences by diplomatic means. War and the use of weapons to dominate are illegal.
Why are weapons being pointed at us? We are defenseless. Why are we being compared with the Taliban who have rockets, artillery and modern weapons to blow up U.S. , Canadian and British tanks that are inches thick?
These infiltrators and hijackers of Canadian institutions are attempting to break the old treaties of peace between us. Our historic alliances are well documented.
Certain individuals acting on behalf of the multinational corporations and banks want to send in the military to kill us and complete the theft of our land. These are worth billions in real estate development and extraction of resources. People and resources are not the property of multinational corporations and banks. Slavery was declared illegal 150 years ago. They think every person who is different is an enemy that they can spy on, create problems for and eliminate.
Public Security Minister Stockwell Day and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have to be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague to be prosecuted for proposing war crimes against us. We want to take our complaints to the Mohawk Nation, to the Confederacy, to the Canadian people, to the United Nations and to the world.
We are being called "terrorists". We see a lot of people being killed in Afganistan , Iraq and elsewhere. Are they planning to bring this kind of violence here?
We are always ready to talk with the colonial governments even when they put a gun to our heads. For 500 years we have extended our hand of friendship to them. We believe that people should live in peace and friendship and to look at people as equals. The majority of Canadians want to learn about peace from us and to understand democracy better. Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean, where are you? You are evading your duties to us.
How did these misguided sickos manage to infiltrate the DND? They are not following the legal agenda set by the Canadian people. They want peace.
We are trying to stop the subversion of law and order, to get Canada to obey its own laws, agreements, promises, treaties, laws of nations and the Charter of the United Nations. We have a legitimate government. We are not a line of ducks to be shot at in the amusement park.
The manual says, "Insurgent wars are characterized by their tendency to be local and often popular movements, rather than the traditional military conflicts between states. This type of irregular warfare has confounded U.S. and NATO forces in Iraq and Afghanistan respectively" and "successes are few and far between". The U.S. and Canadian armies need practice so they are bringing the same blood bath here. They want more chances to reach for their guns and riot gear to confront us. Does nothing embarrass them?
We can tell this use of us as targets has already started. A few months ago Tyendinaga was suddenly swarmed by a long line of army trucks filled with troops. They claimed to be lost! Yeh!

In 1939 Europe saw the result of excessive militarism. It caused a war in which over 60 million were killed. Now these kinds of men want to "goose step" into our communities. They’re mesmerized by the movies glamorizing mercenary killings and the "History Channel’s" portrayal of Hitler, the Nazis and the Fascists in Europe and the U. S.Gen. David Petraeus is the original author of the manual being used to divert the Canadian military from its original protective role. He took command of U.S. forces in Iraq in early 2007. Did his methods work? No way! Violence breeds violence. Yeh! Now they’re trying to get out because they’re getting their asses kicked. The average U.S. citizen has had enough. They don’t want anybody killed on any side. This Svengali has seduced the gullible minds at DND who can apply his failed schemes in Canada and elsewhere.
Maj. D.J. Lambert, the lead author of the DND version, points out that "Canadian Forces are actively engaged in various levels of confrontation with at least three ongoing insurgencies -- in Afghanistan , in Haiti and with domestic indigenous organizations in Canada , such as the Mohawk Warrior Society". Government policy has pushed our people into poverty, starvation and death in the streets of Winnipeg and other Canadian cities. Why are they going after the weak?Canada calls us their "citizens" but treat us like foreign insurgents. They are working against the Supreme Court of Canada which has told them time and time again they must treat Indigenous People with respect. DND covert actions are undermining this relationship by treating us as enemies.
The manual states, "Indigenous resistance in Canada are insurgencies because they are animated by the goal of altering political relationships with both the Canadian government and at the local level -- within indigenous reservations themselves -- "through the threat of, or use of, violence". We want to maintain the true relationship between us and the colonist as one of friendship. This definition of insurgency is so broad that any democratic action qualifies. We have made no threat of violence against the Canadian state. "Canadian Forces have been used by the federal government in high-profile land confrontations with indigenous communities and protestors in standoffs with the Mohawks of Kanehsatake in 1990 and with the Ojibway at Ipperwash in 1995". According to the DND, the military were at Ipperwash. This means the sniper who killed Dudley George might have been a soldier and not an Ontario Provincial Policeman. Is this why Corporal Deane and two other OPP key witnesses died in mysterious car crashes when they were just about to appear as witnesses at the Ipperwash Inquiry?
In our peaceful demonstrations at Kanehsatake, Gustafsen, Ipperwash, Six Nations, Grassy Narrows , and other places our legal rights were violated. Some lost their lives. The inquiries prove that. We know they want to provoke a confrontation to justify killing us. We won’t give them that.
In the January 12th 2004 covert operation at Kanehsatake, the government sent in heavily armed mercenaries to knock out the citizens’ police commission. The disinformation campaign made the weapons look like a Mohawk arsenal when in fact they were all supplied by the federal government.
"Canadian generals such as Leslie, Chief of Staff Rick Hillier and retired Maj. Gen. Louis MacKenzie have been outspoken critics of the Canadian military as merely a neutral middle-power and "blue-helmeted" peacekeepers". This is what the Canadian public wants! The Canadian army is preparing to become the aggressors delivering death sentences to defenseless civilians, including infants and children, without so much as a charge or trial. These overgrown school yard bullies are still trying to play "paint ball" except they want to kill real people. Why should Canadian taxpayers pay for these "recreatech parties"?
Canadian Forces will leave Afghanistan in February 2009. "Let's not kid ourselves," Gen. Leslie said. "The enormous resources invested by the government in the transformation of Canada 's armed forces are clearly not for Afghanistan alone. It is logical to expect that we will go somewhere fairly similar to Afghanistan and do much the same sort of activity." With the whole world trying to find peace, where does he expect to go?
Stockwell Day, the Minister of Public Security, is a Pentecostal minister. He is known as a "Pharisee", one who poses as a minister. His proposal to kill off Indians is contrary to the beliefs he espouses. He studies the Bible just like George Bush and Condoleeza Rice, who are psychopaths, liars and killers. They have no human feelings. As soon as their prayers are over, they have no qualms about ordering their military machines to go on bloody rampages.
If they kill us, we want the whole world to know they carried out premeditated murder of innocent people. The war games have to stop. We have to look out for soldiers in our backyards or their overhead choppers. They’ve been caught sniffing around our communities. We are asking all peace loving people worldwide to send your protests about this war mongering and targeting of Indigenous people to the Canadian government [harper.s@parl.ca], the Governor General [gg@gc.ca], the Queen [press@royalcollection.org.uk] and the Canadian military [http://www.forces.gc.ca/].
Kahentinetha Horn

MNN Mohawk Nation News
For updates, workshops, speakers, to sign up, go to http://www.mohawknationnews.com/
Sign the Women Title Holders Petition.

-PEACE-
Also, check out an article entitled "Canada's Counterinsurgency Strategy" from Znet: http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=102&ItemID=12444

Mark Twain and "Injun Blood"


So celebrated an Amerikkkan writer he is.....history again rewards those who seek truth in her archives. Do the knowledge to this essay I found....typical imperialist propaganda. Today's mathematics is understanding knowledge which means to understand or see clearly the foundation of one's ideas (3+1=4) which remits the reality of the way one lives, their culture.


"So I’ve been revisiting Twain over the past couple of weeks. However scholars may dispute Twain’s record on racism vis-à-vis African Americans, there’s no disputing his sentiments towards American Indians. From The Adventures of Tom Sawyer on, Twain’s Indian was an inherently murderous savage which the world would be better off without - a fairly common representation posed by avid exterminatists. The logic was simple: Indians, being inherently savage, can’t be educated out of their Indianness, they can only be entirely destroyed.


Some provided a bit of nuance to the argument, contending that since American Indians can only be degraded by contact with civilization, they might as well be annihilated. The most infamous example in this vein comes in a South Dakota newspaper directly after the Seventh Cavalry gunned down several hundred Lakota non-combatants at Wounded Knee. It was penned by no less than beloved The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum.



The proud spirit of the original owners of these vast prairies, inherited through centuries of fierce and bloody wars for their possession, lingered last in the bosom of Sitting Bull. With his fall the nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation for the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are.


It was a sentiment he later followed up with.


Having wronged them for centuries, we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth.
That was a little too subtle for Twain, however. His Indians weren’t degraded by contact with civilization - their nature was degradation. Nor could Mark Twain have been unaware of the affect of such propaganda in encouraging open extermination. He spent a good portion of his career working in California newspapers at the tail-end of a period when those newspapers were openly encouraging - to great success - the citizenry to exterminate California’s indigenous inhabitants in the interests of commerce. It’s exactly his awareness of the consequences of this kind of rhetoric that makes it so chilling.


Examples? Well, let’s start with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer , wherein begging, thieving, villainous, drunkard Injun’ Joe explains the murder he’s about commit as being prompted by his "Injun’ blood."


"Yes, and you done more than that," said Injun Joe, approaching the doctor, who was now standing. "Five years ago you drove me away from your father’s kitchen one night, when I come to ask for something to eat, and you said I warn’t there for any good; and when I swore I’d get even with you if it took a hundred years, your father had me jailed for a vagrant. Did you think I’d forget? The Injun blood ain’t in me for nothing. And now I’ve GOT you, and you got to SETTLE, you know!"


And then, from Roughing It there’s Mark Twain taking up the mantle of the best of inveterate Indian-hating racists, from Vincent Carroll to Robert Montgomery Bird, cloaking his bigotry in a pretense of setting the record straight against so-called Romanticists - in this case James Fenimore Cooper. (There’s a whole separate post coming someday about Cooper’s so-called Romanticism.)


On the morning of the sixteenth day out from St. Joseph we arrived at the entrance of Rocky Canyon, two hundred and fifty miles from Salt Lake. It was along in this wild country somewhere, and far from any habitation of white men, except the stage stations, that we came across the wretchedest type of mankind I have ever seen, up to this writing. I refer to the Goshoot Indians. From what we could see and all we could learn, they are very considerably inferior to even the despised Digger Indians of California; inferior to all races of savages on our continent; inferior to even the Tierra del Fuegans; inferior to the Hottentots, and actually inferior in some respects to the Kytches of Africa. Indeed, I have been obliged to look the bulky volumes of Wood’s Uncivilized Races of Men clear through in order to find a savage tribe degraded enough to take rank with the Goshoots. I find but one people fairly open to that shameful verdict. It is the Bosjesmans (Bushmen) of South Africa. Such of the Goshoots as we saw, along the road and hanging about the stations, were small, lean, "scrawny" creatures; in complexion a dull black like the ordinary American negro; their faces and hands bearing dirt which they had been hoarding and accumulating for months, years, and even generations, according to the age of the proprietor; a silent, sneaking, treacherous looking race; taking note of everything, covertly, like all the other "Noble Red Men" that we (do not) read about, and betraying no sign in their countenances; indolent, everlastingly patient and tireless, like all other Indians; priceless beggars-for if the beggar instinct were left out of an Indian he would not "go," any more than a clock without a pendulum; hungry, always hungry, and yet never refusing anything that a hog would eat, though often eating what a hog would decline; hunters, but having no higher ambition than to kill and eat jackass rabbits, crickets and grasshoppers, and embezzle carrion from the buzzards and cayotes; savages who, when asked if they have the common Indian belief in a Great Spirit show a something which almost amounts to emotion, thinking whisky is referred to; a thin, scattering race of almost naked black children, these Goshoots are, who produce nothing at all, and have no villages, and no gatherings together into strictly defined tribal communities¬-a people whose only shelter is a rag cast on a bush to keep off a portion of the snow, and yet who inhabit one of the most rocky, wintry, repulsive wastes that our country or any other can exhibit.
. . .

The disgust which the Goshoots gave me, a disciple of Cooper and a worshiper of the Red Man¬even of the scholarly savages in The Last of the Mohicans, who are fittingly associated with backwoodsmen who divide each sentence into two equal parts: one part critically grammatical, refined and choice of language, and the other part just such an attempt to talk like a hunter or a mountaineer, as a Broadway clerk might make after eating an edition of Emerson Bennett’s works and studying frontier life at the Bowery Theatre a couple of weeks-I say that the nausea which the Goshoots gave me, an Indian worshiper, set me to examining authorities, to see if perchance I had been over-estimating the Red Man while viewing him through the mellow moonshine of romance. The revelations that came were disenchanting. It was curious to see how quickly the paint and tinsel fell away from him and left him treacherous, filthy and repulsive-¬and how quickly the evidences accumulated that wherever one finds an Indian tribe he has only found Goshoots more or less modified by circumstances and surroundings-¬but Goshoots, after all. They deserve pity, poor creatures; and they can have mine¬-at this distance. Nearer by, they never get anybody’s.


Then there’s the following, in the same vein, from an article entitled "The Noble Red Man," which first appeared in The Galaxy. Twain begins by describing the Noble Red Man as he has read of him in books. He then corrects the misimpression, outright endorsing extermination:
He is little, and scrawny, and black, and dirty; and, judged by even the most charitable of our canons of human excellence, is thoroughly pitiful and contemptible. There is nothing in his eye or his nose that is attractive, and if there is anything in his hair that-however, that is a feature which will not bear too close examination . . . He wears no bracelets on his arms or ankles; his hunting suit is gallantly fringed, but not intentionally; when he does not wear his disgusting rabbit-skin robe, his hunting suit consists wholly of the half of a horse blanket brought over in the Pinta or the Mayflower, and frayed out and fringed by inveterate use. He is not rich enough to possess a belt; he never owned a moccasin or wore a shoe in his life; and truly he is nothing but a poor, filthy, naked scurvy vagabond, whom to exterminate were a charity to the Creator’s worthier insects and reptiles which he oppresses. Still, when contact with the white man has given to the Noble Son of the Forest certain cloudy impressions of civilization, and aspirations after a nobler life, he presently appears in public with one boot on and one shoe-shirtless, and wearing ripped and patched and buttonless pants which he holds up with his left hand-his execrable rabbit-skin robe flowing from his shoulder-an old hoop-skirt on, outside of it-a necklace of battered sardine-boxes and oyster-cans reposing on his bare breast-a venerable flint-lock musket in his right hand-a weather-beaten stove-pipe hat on, canted "gallusly" to starboard, and the lid off and hanging by a thread or two; and when he thus appears, and waits patiently around a saloon till he gets a chance to strike a "swell" attitude before a looking-glass, he is a good, fair, desirable subject for extermination if ever there was one.


There is nothing figurative, or moonshiny, or sentimental about his language. It is very simple and unostentatious, and consists of plain, straightforward lies. His "wisdom" conferred upon an idiot would leave that idiot helpless indeed.


He is ignoble-base and treacherous, and hateful in every way. Not even imminent death can startle him into a spasm of virtue. The ruling trait of all savages is a greedy and consuming selfishness, and in our Noble Red Man it is found in its amplest development. His heart is a cesspool of falsehood, of treachery, and of low and devilish instincts. With him, gratitude is an unknown emotion; and when one does him a kindness, it is safest to keep the face toward him, lest the reward be an arrow in the back. To accept of a favor from him is to assume a debt which you can never repay to his satisfaction, though you bankrupt yourself trying. To give him a dinner when he is starving, is to precipitate the whole hungry tribe upon your hospitality, for he will go straight and fetch them, men, women, children, and dogs, and these they will huddle patiently around your door, or flatten their noses against your window, day after day, gazing beseechingly upon every mouthful you take, and unconsciously swallowing when you swallow! The scum of the earth!


Anyway, all this is fairly standard stuff. Twain’s main contention is that Indians are inherently prone to a degraded state of near starvation and absolute poverty. Half of that statement is fairly inarguable - most Indians did indeed live in horrific conditions at the end of the nineteenth-century. But, contrary to Twain, it wasn’t a result of their inherent proclivity to degradation, it was a result of deliberate US Indian policy. Even Baum doesn’t miss that point.


So, why am I so interested in this particular rhetorical tack? Because, like most good American Indian-hating rhetoric, it gets recycled.


The following from MSNBC:


In a capital where public services barely function and five straight hours of electricity is cause for celebration, Sadr City stands out.


An estimated 2.5 million people, nearly all of them Shiites, live in the northeastern Baghdad community. Many of them lack running water and proper sewerage. Hundreds of thousands have no jobs and subsist on monthly government food rations, a holdover from the international sanctions of the Saddam Hussein era.


Streets in some parts of Sadr City run black with sludge. Damaged power lines provide at best only four hours of electricity a day.


Many U.S. soldiers were unprepared for what they found.
During a patrol last week, American troops brushed flies from their faces as they drove through rotting heaps of refuse and excrement piled outside houses. One soldier opened the door to his Humvee and vomited.


Improving the quality of life of Iraqis - including those in Sadr City - is part of the U.S. strategy, articulated by the new U.S. commander Gen. David Petraeus. Once areas have been rid of insurgents, criminals and death squads, the Americans hope to pump in cash to encourage small businesses and revive the local economy.


The plan is for the Americans and their Iraqi counterparts to remain in the neighborhoods to keep the militants from returning.


But first comes security: Economic improvement will have to wait until the streets are safe.


"This is their lifestyle. This is how they’ve been doing it for hundreds of years. And they’re not going to change overnight," said Marine Capt. Seth Crawford, who works in Sadr City. "That’s what works for them right now."

The trick is the same: Iraqis forced to live in poverty and filth due to specific conditions - i.e., nigh two decades of crippling sanctions, infrastructure bombing, and, of course, invasion and war - are dehistoricized, and presented as inherently savage. Worse, they’re presented as such by exactly the same people forcing them to live in poverty and filth.


That Mr. Crawford’s statement is horseshit goes without saying. This is not how Baghdad has been for "hundreds of years." Not even for a few decades. Say what you like about Hussein - and I’m no admirer - he was pretty good at keeping Baghdad’s infrastructure together. Up to the commencement of our two-decade bombing campaign, Baghdad had hospitals, schools, electricity and water. They’ve just been obliterated by Mr. Crawford and those like him.


I’ll grant that there’s no call for extermination in the article. There’s an implicit demand for occupation and colonization, of course, but not extermination.


But given the nature of our current occupation one has to wonder what the hell the difference is."





PEACE!

3.30.2007

The Fall of the Devil's Civilization


The fall of the Devil's civilization.....the breakdown of the post-colonial, neo-liberal 'cobra' clutch on the people of color. All things physical have a birth record and western imperialism's undeniable physical prescence and the effects thereof are finally being dismantled. Read on.... (The painting I chose to illustrate this blog is one from Mexican artist Diego Rivera. It is of a flower picker 'rising' with a large, heavy load on his back, which for me represents the enduring struggle so-called Latin America has maintained throughout it's horrible affair with free trade and neo-liberalism.)


- from znet

The Decline of the US, the Rise of Latin America
By: Philip Agee

"Anyone following the news in recent times cannot be unaware of the wave of progressive change sweeping Latin America and the Caribbean. For many lonely years Cuba held high the torch through its exemplary programs to provide universal health care and education, both gratis, along with world class cultural, sports and scientific achievements. Although you won’t find a Cuban today who says things are perfect, far from it, probably all would agree that compared with pre-revolutionary Cuba there is a world of improvement. All this they did against every effort by the United States to isolate them as an unacceptable example of independence and self-determination, using every dirty method including infiltration, sabotage, terrorism, assassination, economic and biological warfare and incessant lies in the cooperating media of many countries. I know these methods too well, having been a CIA officer in Latin America in the 1960´s. Altogether nearly 3500 Cubans have died from terrorist acts, and more than 2000 are permanently disabled. No country has suffered terrorism as long and consistently as Cuba.

All through the years, beginning even before taking power in 1959, the Cuban revolution has needed to have intelligence collection capabilities in the U.S. for defensive purposes. Such was the fully justified mission of the Cuban Five, jailed since 1998 with long sentences after conviction for various crimes in Miami where they had no chance for a fair trial. Convictions were for conspiracy to commit espionage to murder. Nevertheless their sights were exclusively set on criminal terrorist planning in Miami for operations against Cuba, activities ignored by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. They neither sought nor received any classified U.S. government information. Their cases are still on appeal, and will be for years to come, but their completely biased convictions rank with the legal lynching in the 1920’s of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the anarchist immigrants, as among the most shameful injustices in U.S. history. Freedom for the Cuban Five should be the cause of everyone for whom fairness, human rights and justice are important, both in the United States and around the world, joining in the activities of the 300 Free the Five solidarity committees in 90 countries.

Current U.S. policy with its means and goals can be found in the nearly 500-page 2004 report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba together with an update published in 2006 that has a secret annex. A fundamental goal, the same in 2007 as I remember it was in 1959, is isolation of Cuba to keep this bad example from spreading, and the current policy, if successful, would mean no less than Cuban annexation to the U.S. and complete dependence, in fact if not in law, as Cubans rightfully claim. Other fundamental goals from 1959 are still, nearly 50 years later, to foment an internal political opposition and to cause economic hardship in Cuba leading to desperation, hunger and despair. It is no exaggeration to call these goals genocidal.

Yet, U.S. economic warfare of nearly 50 years against Cuba hasn’t worked even though the Cubans who keep book estimate its cost at more than $80 billion. After the Cuban economy’s free fall in the early 1990’s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, it began to recover in 1995. By 2005 growth was 11.8% and in 2006 it was 12.5%, the highest in Latin America. Some sectors have surpassed their development levels of the late 80’s, before the collapse, and others are nearly back. Cuba’s exports of services, nickel, pharmaceutical and other products are booming, and try as it may, the U.S. has not been able to stop this.

In the end U.S. efforts to isolate Cuba have also totally failed. In September 2006 Cuba was elected, for the second time, to lead the Non-Aligned Movement of 118 countries, and two months later, for the 15th consecutive year, the United Nations General Assembly voted to condemn the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba, this time 183 to 4. In 2007 Cuba has diplomatic or consular relations with 182 countries. Havana meanwhile is the site of seemingly endless international conferences on every imaginable theme with thousands of people from around the world attending. And not least, Cuba in recent years has been hosting more than 2 million foreign tourists annually at its world-class resorts. Far from isolating Cuba, the U.S. has isolated itself.

More than 30,000 Cuban doctors and health workers are saving lives and preventing disease in 69 countries, many in the most remote and difficult areas where few or no local doctors will go. Meanwhile 30,000 young foreigners from dozens of countries are studying medicine in Cuba on full scholarships. All were selected from areas lacking doctors, and all are committed to return to these areas in their home countries to practice.

In education the Cuban literacy program known as "Yes I can" has been adopted in nearly 30 countries on five continents where thousands more Cuban volunteers are teaching. Through this program, in Spanish, Portuguese, English, Creole, Quechua and Aymara, some 2 million people have learned to read and write, most of whom continue their education afterwards through a variety of other programs.

Thanks to these international assistance programs, Cuban prestige and influence, and international solidarity with Cuba, have never been greater. It was to defend these worthy programs that the five Cubans, unjustly convicted, went to Miami in the 1990’s.
Then in 1999 came Hugo Chavez, the U.S.’s latest worst nightmare in the region, admittedly following the Cuban example in Venezuela, with its enormous income from petroleum, to establish what he calls a Socialism for the 21st Century with a foreign policy of regional integration under his innovative Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, ALBA, excluding the United States altogether. The program is already underway through institutions such as Mercosur in trade, Petrocaribe, Petroandino and Petrosur in the energy sector, the Banco del Sur in finance, and Telesur in electronic media.

Another program under ALBA is Operación Milagro (Operation Miracle) for offering free eye surgery to people unable to afford it for cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes and other vision problems. It began in 2004 as a joint Cuban-Venezuelan effort to bring Venezuelans by air to Cuba cost free for operations. Within two years 28 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean were participating, and operations restoring sight numbered 485,000 of whom 290,000 were Venezuelans. Jet liners loaded with patients come and go from Havana everyday, but by early 2007 thirteen modern eye clinics were being built in Venezuela, and several had already performed thousands of operations there. Other clinics were being established in Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti, all with Cuban planning and staffing. The ten-year goal of Operación Milagro is to restore sight to 6 million people of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the program is expanding to Africa.

The Cuban example of so many years, and now Venezuela, have also recently inspired the peoples of Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Nicaragua to elect progressive leaders. Most have rejected the 1990´s "Washington Consensus" and the neo-liberal model along with determined U.S. efforts to establish a hemispheric free trade zone. All are developing grassroots social and economic programs, each in its own way, aimed at improving the quality of life for all, especially the long-excluded majorities of their populations where this injustice prevailed. Although achievements in Cuba continue to shine, the torch of revolution in the region has effectively passed from the towering figure of Fidel, ailing at eighty, to Chavez, a military man and teacher inspired by Simón Bolívar and José Martí.

Reflecting on these new hopes for hundreds of millions in such a vast region, one cannot avoid recalling the old professor, Próspero, addressing his class for the last time in Ariel, the classic essay by José Enrique Rodó, still read by students in Latin America. In borrowing from The Tempest, and urging his students to follow the soaring spirit of virtue and good, represented by Ariel, and to reject the crass materialism of the U.S. personified by Calibán, Próspero drew a contrast between Latin American idealism and the United States that is as valid today as in 1900 when the essay first appeared.

While Latin America is fast moving in progressive directions, almost unimaginable less than ten years ago, in contrast the United States, at least since the Reagan era, has been moving step by step toward a Fascism for the 21st Century. And the pace has quickened in the last six years of Republican government under George W. Bush with passage of the Patriot Act under emergency circumstances just after the attacks on the Twin Towers in September 2001, and then adoption in 2006 of the Military Commissions Act, both with substantial support from Congressional Democrats. Other legislation supports this trend.

The U.S. Federal Government now has legal powers to secretly monitor one’s communications, whether by telephone, ordinary mail, e-mail, or fax, plus your bank accounts, credit cards, the web sites you visit, and the books you buy or read in libraries. Torture, secret prisons, kidnapping, and jailing indefinitely without trial or recourse to courts through habeas corpus---all are now legal. So is "extraordinary rendition" whereby U.S. captives are delivered to other governments where they will likely be tortured and possibly assassinated. Investigations by the European Parliament have identified around 1200 secret CIA flights carrying these people through European airports to secret prisons. To qualify for this treatment, anyone in the world, U.S. citizens and any others, only need be designated by the government as an "illegal enemy combatant" whose only definition is someone who has "purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States." Hostilities or a hostile act can be interpreted as almost anything that opposes U.S. policies, from a speech expressing solidarity with Cuba to a picket line protesting the war in Iraq. If an "enemy combatant" ever gets a trial, it will not be by a jury of peers but by a U.S. military court that can use hearsay and evidence obtained under torture.
These powers reminiscent of the Nazi regime are not just a global U.S Sword of Damocles waiting to fall on perceived enemies. The full range of repression has been going on since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 with plenty of evidence coming from the prisons and concentration camps of Bagram, Abu Graib and Guantánamo as well as from testimony of various released innocents swept up in the process. It is an on-going worldwide application of fascist power in a non-defined, nebulous "war on terrorism" that has no end or geographical limits. Since September 2001 the Bush government has given one specious reason after another for what it believes are the motives of Islamic terrorism, never admitting that it is a reaction and resistance to U.S. imperial policies, starting with U.S. support for Israel’s continued occupation and colonization of Arab lands and Israel’s refusal to return to its borders before the Six-Day War in 1967.

By 2006 the U.S. had designated some 17,000 people around the world as "enemy combatants," according to press reports. Combine this repression with gargantuan contracts to private U.S. firms, as in Iraqi security and "reconstruction," along with forcing the Iraqi government, always with eyes on the prize, to contract highly prejudicial 30-year "production sharing agreements" to American and British oil majors, excluded from Iraq before the invasion, plus historic lows in trade union power, and you have the marriage of government and corporate power that Mussolini, who invented the word in 1919, described as the essence of fascism. The one bright spot are the recent indictments of 13 CIA people in Germany and 26 others in Italy for kidnapping and other violations of their laws. They will never be brought to trial, of course, but the indictments are refreshing developments.

Protection of terrorists who serve U.S. interests is still another feature of American Fascism of the 21st Century. There are many examples, especially among Cuban exiles, but two stand out from the others: Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles. Both have long, well-documented pedigrees as international terrorists, but one of their joint crimes was historic: the first bombing in flight of a civilian airliner in the Western Hemisphere. It was Cubana flight 455 that on October 6th, 1976 exploded just after takeoff from Barbados killing all 73 people on board.
Bosch and Carriles, both of whose CIA careers began around 1960, planned the bombing in Caracas and provided the explosives to two Venezuelans recruited by Posada. These two were discovered, convicted, and sentenced to long prison terms. Not so with Bosch and Posada who were protected by then-Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez who has his own history of working with the CIA. Although they were both arrested and tried separately in Venezuelan courts as the intellectual authors of the crime, neither was convicted.

Bosch was found not guilty and released in 1988, returned to Miami but was arrested for an old parole violation. The Justice Department then ordered his deportation as an "undesirable" and as "the most dangerous terrorist" of the Western Hemisphere. But Jeb Bush, son of then-President Bush, persuaded his father in 1990 to quash Bosch´s deportation order. Since then Bosch has lived freely in Miami where he gives television interviews in which he makes every effort to justify terrorism against Cuba.

For his part Posada’s trial in Venezuela never ended because in 1985 he escaped from prison, fled the country, and soon turned up in El Salvador working in the CIA’s Contra terrorist operation against Nicaragua. When this ended he stayed underground in Central America and from the early 1990´s organized more terrorist operations against Cuba. In 2005 he was arrested in Miami for illegal entry to the U.S., and although he admitted to the New York Times to terrorist bombings of hotels and other tourist facilities in Cuba, in one of which an Italian tourist died, he has only been indicted for lying to the FBI and in his request for naturalization. The Bush administration refuses to certify him as a terrorist so that he can be tried as such, at the same time ignoring Venezuela’s extradition request as a fugitive from justice, alleging absurdly that he might be tortured there. His treatment suggests that he will eventually be pardoned by Bush, perhaps on Christmas Eve of 2008 just before leaving the White House, just as his father on Christmas Eve of 1992 pardoned former Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger and various CIA officers for crimes in the 1980´s Iran-Contra scandal, thus precluding their trials scheduled to begin the following month.

One need not dwell on the obvious. The conviction of the Miami Cuban Five for their anti-terrorist efforts, in contrast with the official protection of terrorists like Bosch and Posada, speaks volumes on the U.S. as the pre-eminent state sponsor of international terrorism.
The major disguise used to cloak this U.S. program of worldwide aggression from the 1980´s to the present has been "promotion of democracy," a hypocritical claim used ad nauseum by Presidents, Secretaries of State and others that has never fooled anyone. It has always been clear that the "democracy promotion" programs of the National Endowment for Democracy, the State Department, the Agency for International Development and associated foundations and agencies are nothing more that attempts to foment and strengthen internal political forces in countries around the world that will be under U.S. control and will protect and cater to U.S. interests. Their origins are in the CIA’s political operations starting in the 1940´s, and they have included the overthrow of democratically elected governments and the institution of unspeakable repression as in Brazil in 1964 and Chile in 1973 to name only two of many examples.

To be sure there has been, and is, important and worthy resistance in the U.S. to this developing fascism both within Congress and among private organizations and individuals. But it has been mostly isolated attempts of a defensive and rear-guard nature, with little mention in the corporate media. Bills have been introduced in Congress to ease or end the economic blockade of Cuba, to amend the worst of the repressive laws, even to impeach Bush and Cheney, but they seem unlikely ever to prevail or become law. The two parties, actually competing branches of a one-party state, have simply adopted ever more extreme measures to maintain their monopoly of power.

Even the judicial system, once perhaps the last hope for enforcing the Constitution, has been riddled with neo-conservatives who ignore it. Take only the appeal of the Miami conviction by the Cuban Five. The original three appellate judges of Atlanta’s 11th Circuit issued a compelling 93-page unanimous decision upholding the defense position that no fair trial of self-admitted Cuban agents was possible in Miami’s prevailing anti-Cuban atmosphere and that the trial venue should have been moved. Nevertheless the other 10 judges of the Circuit voted to hear another appeal en banc and then unanimously overturned the first decision with only two of the original three judges voting against (the third had retired). That 10 of the 13 Circuit Court judges would uphold Miami as a place where Cuban agents could get a fair trial is a good example of how morally and intellectually corrupt the federal judiciary has become.

So these are grim days indeed for the United States and by extension for its allies, starting with its junior partner, the U.K., and extending through NATO. There have been other periods of shameful repression in the U.S., like the years following World War I, but never with a global reach like this.

Predictably U.S. prestige around the world, what there ever was of it, has disappeared, replaced by contempt and scorn. Testimony to this is the repudiation of Bush and what he stands for expressed by so many thousands in the streets protesting his presence as he currently travels around Latin America attempting to lure five countries away from regional integration. What a contrast with the enlightened, idealistic, and progressive social and political movements now flowering in Latin America!

Havana, March 2007

Philip Agee, 72, was a CIA secret operations officer in Latin American from 1960 to 1969. He is the author of the best-selling Inside the Company: CIA Diary (Penguin Books, 1975) plus other books and articles. Deported in 1977 by the U.K and four other NATO countries, he has lived since 1978 with his wife in Hamburg, Germany. He travels frequently to Cuba and South America for solidarity and business activities, and in 2000 he started an online travel service to Cuba: www.cubalinda.com.

Palante siempre para paz y basta ya para muerte...

3.29.2007

The Fight for What's 'White': Latinos in the Military



The Militarization of Everyday Life
Latinos on the Frontlines, Again
By JORGE MARISCAL


Since the early years of the American war in Southeast Asia, Latino communities have argued that their youth have been disproportionately placed in harm's way. When Dr. Ralph Guzmán published his study in which he argued that between 1961 and 1967 19.4% of combat casualties in Viet Nam were Mexican American (only 10% of the population of the Southwest at the time), Chicano and Chicana activists used the study to mobilize against the draft and ultimately against the war.


While we cannot know with certainty the number of Chicanos and Latinos killed in the Viet Nam conflict because of Pentagon record-keeping practices during that period, we can point to the high percentage of Spanish surnames on the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, D.C. and to ample anecdotal evidence in every Chicano and Latino barrio in the nation. The example of activist-scholar Lea Ybarra, author of an oral history of Chicano Viet Nam veterans titled Too Many Heroes, is not unique. During the Viet Nam war period, eighteen of Dr. Ybarra's cousins served in the U.S. military.


Today, with the ever-increasing likelihood of a protracted American war in Iraq, Latino communities are once again sensing that their young men and women will be among those forced to pay the ultimate price. The names of the first killed and missing in action include Jose Gutierrez, Jose Garibay, Jorge Gonzales, Ruben Estrella-Soto, Johnny Villareal Mata, and Francisco Cervantes, Jr. Edgar Hernandez, age 21, from Mission, Texas, has been listed as a POW.


The Pentagon campaign targeting Latino youth began in the mid-1990s when former Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera decided that the growing Latino population ought to be tracked towards military service. Counted at the time as a robust 11% of the general population, Latinos were the fastest growing sector and would have the highest number of military-age youth of any other minority group for well into the next century. According to an article in the Army Times, "Hispanics" constituted 22% of the military recruiting "market," almost double their presence in the society. Recruiters depicted universities and vocational schools as rivals competing for the same "Hispanic" pool.


Using the carrot of money for college and technical training, Caldera appealed to the relatively uncritical patriotism of Latino immigrant families and relied on the reality of high Latino high-school drop out rates, low numbers of college degrees (only 5% of all college graduates), and limited career opportunities. Although the Pentagon opposed (and continues to oppose) a draft, the basic structures of economic conscription were in place. In a sleight of hand, Caldera concocted the myth that the core mission of the armed forces was education. The real mission-armed conflict-was easier to disguise during the Clinton years.


Iraq has certainly changed all that and Latinos and Latinas are once again on the frontlines. But what are the exact numbers? Military recruiters continue to focus on Latino communities because according to the Pentagon Latinos are underrepresented. Slightly over 13% of the 18-24 year old civilian population in 2001, Latinos made up only 9.5% of active enlisted personnel. Although numbers are probably somewhat higher now given the push to recruit more "Hispanics" in recent years, Latinos are probably still "underrepresented." But more important than the number of Latinos and Latinas in uniform is an understanding of where in the military they can be found.


According to 2001 Department of Defense statistics, Latinos made up 17.7% of the "Infantry, Gun Crews, and Seamanship" occupations in all the service branches. Of those Latinos and Latinas in the Army, 24.7% occupy such jobs and in the Marine Corps, 19.7%. Remember that Latinos make up only 13% of the general population. (Although women do not serve in the "Infantry," they can be found on gun crews and in other forms of hazardous duty). In other words, Latinos and Latinas are over-represented in combat positions.


But the story does not end there. Recent events in Iraq have shown that GIs in so-called non-combat military occupations are equally at risk. When fifteen soldiers from the 507th Maintenance Company were killed or captured by Iraqi forces last week, we were reminded of one of the lessons of Viet Nam and previous wars-in any full-scale conflict, "frontlines" are never fixed and no one is ever far from harm's way. The killed and captured in the ambush outside Nasiriyah were truck drivers, welders, cooks, and mechanics.


In the category of "Supply" occupations in the Army, Latinos and Latinas made up 10.3% and in the Marine Corps 15.6% during fiscal year 2001. Here African Americans were disproportionately represented with 16% in the Army's "Supply" occupations and 19.9% in similar jobs in the Marines. (In 2001 African Americans made up approximately 12.7% of the 18-44 year old civilian population and 12.2% of overall combat occupations but 14.6% of combat-related jobs in the Army). The promised hi-tech training, transferable to civilian life, is simply not in the cards for these young women and men.


With the end of the Cold War, the size of the U.S. military diminished. From 1992 to 2001, the numbers of active duty personnel decreased by 23%. The number of Latinos in uniform, however, grew by 30%. Huge increases in the number of new immigrants from Latin America during the decade of the 1990s (over 4.5 million legal arrivals) mean recruiters will be busy in Latino communities for years to come.


Among the many aftershocks of the Bush administration's reactionary agenda will be the further militarization of every aspect of U.S. society. The military's presence in public school systems across the country is just one sign of the on-going incursion of militarism into the very fabric of our culture. Today after witnessing dozens of young Latinos and Latinas in Junior ROTC uniforms marching in a parade to honor the memory of Cesar Chavez, a disciple of Gandhian non-violence, I am haunted by the question, "When will Latino communities begin to refuse to carry their young to the red, white, and blue altar that has been prepared for their sacrifice?"


Jorge Mariscal is a Viet Nam veteran who teaches at the University of California, San Diego. He is an active member of Project YANO. He can be reached at: gmariscal@ucsd.edu

3.27.2007

The Ponce Massacre

Still struggling after 70 years
Remembering Puerto Rico's Ponce Massacre
By Yénica Cortés
March 21 marks the 70th anniversary of the Ponce Massacre in the southern city of Ponce, Puerto Rico. The anniversary serves as a reminder to the Puerto Rican people of the true nature of the island's relationship with their colonial oppressor, and of the continued struggle for independence.
The 1937 Ponce Massacre
Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States since U.S. troops invaded the island in 1898. Before then, the island was a colony of Spain. Spanish invaders brutally conquered the indigenous Taíno population beginning in 1493.
Spain was forced to give up Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Philippines and Guam to the United States in the Treaty of Paris after losing the Spanish-American War.During the Great Depression in the 1930s, the conditions of workers throughout the capitalist world were declining. Unemployment, poverty and starvation were spreading.
Like the rest of the colonized world, these effects were sharply felt in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico was a mainly agrarian country at the time, relying heavily on the export of sugar, coffee and tobacco.
In 1934, U.S. corporations attempted to impose wage cuts on sugar workers. In response, workers organized a nationwide strike that paralyzed the industry.
Leaders of the growing movement for independence played an important support role in that historic general strike.
The Puerto Rican Nationalist Party had been formed in 1922. But it was after 1930, under the leadership of Pedro Albizu Campos, that the party became a truly mass movement for independence. Albizu Campos, who became the attorney for the sugarcane workers, was ableto give leadership to the radicalized working class, linking the struggle for independence to the demands of the workers.
The period following the sugarcane workers strike was marked by growing clashes between pro-independence groups and colonial troops and police. In 1935, police opened fire on Nationalist Party supporters at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras.
I
n 1936, two Nationalists—Hiram Rosado and Elias Beauchamp— assassinated Col. E. Francis Riggs, who had commanded the police who carried out the Rio Piedras massacre. Cops arrested the two and executed them on the spot in the police station. No officers were ever convicted of their deaths.
For his leadership during this period, Albizu Campos, like many Puerto Rican independence fighters, became a target for imprisonment. In 1937, he was sentenced to federal prison in Atlanta for "seditious conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government in Puerto Rico."
On March 21, 1937, the Nationalist Party in Ponce planned to demonstrate against the incarceration of Albizu Campos and to demand independence. For the days leading up to the demonstration, colonial police prepared for slaughter.
Juan Antonio Corretjer, a former Nationalist Party leader and contemporary of Albizu Campos who became a leading voice of Puerto Rican socialism, described the buildup in his pamphlet "Albizu Campos and the Ponce Massacre": "On March 21st, and for some days before, a significant concentration of police was taking place in Ponce. They were well-armed: rifles, carbines, Thompson sub-machine guns, tear gas bombs, plus the usual police clubs, etc.; a force of 200 men in addition to the routine Ponce police garrison."
Corretjer described the opening of the march: "At about 3:15, the Cadets lined up for the march in columns of three abreast. Behind them was the Nurses' Corps in white uniforms. Trailing the Nurses was the band, which consisted of only four musicians. The band played the National Anthem, La Borinqueña, and Cadets and Nurses stood at attention."
But what began as a peaceful demonstration quickly turned hostile when colonial governor-general Blanton Winship revoked the organizers' permits shortly before the march was scheduled to begin.
When protesters insisted on exercising their right to march in spite of having their permits withdrawn, the huge police force positioned themselves on all four sides of the march. As protesters began to walk, they were fired on from all directions for over 15 minutes bythe police.
Twenty-one demonstrators and passers-by were killed that day, including a seven-year-old girl. Another 200 were wounded. Witnesses recalled people being chased and beaten by the police in front of their homes. Others were taken from hiding and killed. Physicians assisting the wounded testified that many were shot in the back while trying to run away. None of the wounded or dead was found with weapons.
Word of the day's events reached every town and city throughout the island.
The message that the colonial forces meant to send to every Puerto Rican was that if they dared to stand against the colonial masters to fight for independence, violent repression would await them.
A few months later, Nationalist Party youth were arrested and convicted for the attempted shooting of Governor Winship during a military parade.
Continued struggle
To this day, Puerto Rico remains a colony of U.S. imperialism. Puerto Rico's location in the Caribbean has served the Pentagon as a base for military intervention against revolutionary struggles in the region, particularly against Cuba.
Since the end of World War II, the U.S. military has directly controlled 14 percent of Puerto Rican territory. Sixty percent of Vieques—Puerto Rico's sister island—and the coastal shore around the Bay of Lajas were also seized to carry out weapons and intelligence experimentation.
All economic, social and political decisions for the island are still made in the Oval Office. Periodic sham referendums give the appearance of consultation, but they are carried out in a political climate of economic blackmail and threats against independence activists—like the 2005 assassination of Boricua Popular Army (EPB) leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios in his home. They never have a binding character on U.S. imperialism. For that reason, national liberationin Puerto Rico has been impossible to attain through the electoral process.
The illusion of a kind and gentle colonial relationship was exposed as a fallacy during the 2006 fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico. The colonial government, backed by Washington, attempted to remedy the crisis by imposing steep taxes on the people and cutting services.
And every year, some $26 billion is drained out of the island by U.S. corporations.But the spirit of the Nationalists who stood up against colonial repression on March 21, 1937 is still felt today. It was felt in the 1998 People's Strike against the pro-statehood governor's plan to privatize Puerto Rico's telephone company. It was felt during the same year's massive protests against the 100th anniversary of the U.S. invasion. It was present in the mass struggle to evict the U.S. Navy from Vieques, led by pro-independence and socialist forces. Eviction was finally achieved on May 1, 2003.
The example of Albizu Campos and the later Puerto Rican revolutionary socialists and nationalists points the way to the future of a free and socialist Puerto Rico.
*Articles may be reprinted with credit to Socialism and Liberation magazine. http://socialismandliberation.org/mag/index.php?aid=773
Also, for more information about Puerto Rican Independence please do the knowledge to the following website: www.september23.org with some additional information materials available on www.ricanstruction.net
PEACE!

3.24.2007

Strong Medicine: Coca and Bolivian Rights



I am an herbalist. I do not advocate taking prescription/manufactured/chemical medications. I am all natural. I have chosen this path to compliment my vegetarian dietary guidelines. I seek out wholistic methods of healing myself, as our people have done for millions of years. My children are not vaccinated, and will never be unless they decide to travel abroad. Oh, and let me add on by saying that I work at a pharmacy so I am vary away of the politics of the 'drug game'. I know what's in these medications, what they do to you and how they are aggressively marketed as a 'need' within the capitalist hell we currently occupy. So who wan fi test I ?

There is no difference between Heroine and Lorazepam. They both have very similar effects and consequences on the body. Once you start taking Lorazepam you can not stop, it's clinical proven. You will experienced deep psychosis and suicidal thoughts. Accutane, a very popular acne medication, is known to cause suicidal tendencies in teenagers. The manufacturer was actually sued a couple years ago, so they changed one ingredient and re-released the drug on the market and call it 'Amnesteem'. You want to rid yourself of acne? Develop some discipline, stop eating pork, refined white flour and sugar, take some apple cidar vinegar daily, wash your face or area thoroughly with some natural soap, Dr. Bronner's for myself. And apply some shea butter to your skin afterwards. You'll be fine. However, since we live in a microwaved society, we want our 'cake and eat it too.' We don't want to take responsibility for ourselves and our families and would rather let someone else do it. We want to eat what we want and still 'look' thin, so we get gastric bypass surgery. Instead of commiting ourselves to a more healthful diet and excercise. and please don't give me that 'basura' about 'metabolism'. It's a small percentage of people that have that kind of condition. However, we would rather pop an aspirin than sniff an orange peel or sip some peppermint tea for our headache. So out of touch with nature an the universe.

We have used plants, herbs and roots for years. Even the ones that Europeans exploited in their 'great paper chase', such as cannabis sativa, coca, peyote etc. Peyote, a traditional medicine from the Peyote cactus, is where white people derived 'mescaline' from. Heroine comes from the 'poppy seed', think not, try eating a poppy seed bagel before you take your next urine test and see if you pass. Cocaine comes from the coca leaf, sacred to many Indigenous peoples in South America. The Quechua peoples (commonly referred to as the 'Inca') used to chew extensively and the coca leaf actually has anti-bacterial and anti-cavity properties that ward off and prevent tooth decay. Thus tooth decay was not common amongst the Inca, especially since they didn't eat refined flour and sugar either. When these substances are in their 'NATURAL' state they are very beneficial and medicinal. When you process them and isolate the active chemical from it's natural source then the resulting substance becomes 'toxic' to the body and is then a 'drug'. This is what Europeans did in an effort to increase the strength of it and ultimately market it while demanding high profits. As if the substance could still be useful when it has no connection to it's origin. We used to smoke tobacco. Englishman Sir Walter Raleigh got a hold of it and took it to Europe where they started to 'snort' the tobbaco because it was absorbed faster through the nasal cavity. Damn, we like to have a good time. But white people party hard.....We used to drink cacahuatl (chocolate) with chiles', cayenne, very stimulating to the body, brain and mind. Some European 'nuns' got a hold of it, dumping 'milk' and 'sugar' in it to make 'hot chocolate'. They were hooked, got Europe hooked and then Europe attempted to hook other people. They lower the amount of actual cacao in it, increased the sugar and milk content and bam! So when kids eat 'chocolate' they are really high off of the refined processed white sugar in it. We have drank wine, beer and other fermented drinks for years, all over the planet earth, from Africa to Asia to Amekikia (Taino word for Turtle Island, what we now call 'America'). Europeans developed a method called 'distilling' which processed the grains to the point of totality removed the ethanol from it. Thus, hard liquor and the advent of alcoholism. This proved to be devastating for Native peoples. Hard liquor is very different from wines and beers and has proven so. I can understand why they called it 'fire water'. I didn't just keep us in a drunken stuppor while we attempted to trade with them. It was so toxic that it caused and still causes great damage to the frontal lobe and prohibiting clarity in speech, mental awareness and coordination.

Europeans many times attempted to do good with their little chemical inventions. Coca syrup was used as a remedy for toothaches and coughs. The 'feeling' it produced became more popular amongst the U.S. and European public. They combined the Kola nut from Africa and it's stimulating properties and called the product "Coca Cola". Eventually, they lessened the amount of the active ingredients in those herbal concentrates and added a lot of sugar and there you have it. Now, our people are attempting to recover their rights. Tthe corporate monsters have made millions of dollars off of a product that they stole and exploited from the Original people. And now we are reclaiming what is ours. Ya Basta!

Please check out this article about the people of Bolivia and their demands against the Coca-Cola corporation. I pciked up this article a week ago and forgot where I got it from. However....the information is right and exact never the less. You may research for yourself.


Bolivia move to protect coca name

"International firms like Coca-Cola may have to stop using the word coca in brand names if Bolivia's coca leaf farmers get their way.

The growers say the leaf is part of Bolivia's cultural heritage and merits protection like regional products such as champagne and feta cheese.

A resolution by the farmers has been endorsed by a panel that is helping to rewrite Bolivia's constitution.

Coca-Cola said in a statement its name is protected under Bolivian law.
'Mild stimulant'

The resolution put to the Coca Committee of the Constitutional Assembly called the "millennium-old coca plant" a "tangible, cultural heritage" and a "bioenergetic, strategic, renewable, economic, natural resource".

It demanded that "international companies that include in their commercial name the name of coca (example: Coca Cola) refrain from using the name of the sacred leaf in their products."
The panel also called on the UN to decriminalise coca.

The coca leaf is a mild stimulant that Bolivians have used for centuries to reduce altitude sickness and feelings of hunger.

Bolivia's indigenous people also use the leaves in religious ceremonies.

President Evo Morales is a former coca leaf farmer and is pressing the UN to allow Bolivia to export products such as tea, toothpaste and liquor made from coca.

A representative of the Coca Committee, Margarita Teran, said she was dismayed that Coca-Cola could sell its soft drinks worldwide while Bolivia was barred from exporting products made with coca.

Coca-Cola released a statement saying their trademark was "the most valuable and recognised brand in the world" and was protected under Bolivian law. "
PEACE

3.23.2007

Original "Batey" Bwoy- Pero No 'Pato'


The United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) in collaboration with El Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos, Fundacion Luz Cosmica Taina and Caney Quinto Mundo is honored to announce the First Annual Caribbean International Batu Games in Borikén (Puerto Rico) scheduled for July 2007. Batu is an ancient Taino ceremonial ball game, which has been regaining popularity in Puerto Rico and other islands over recent years. Opposing teams use a rubber ball in ways reminiscent of volley ball but without a net or the use of their “hands.” 15th century European colonizers marveled at the agility of Taino ball players and the game’s main piece of equipment - a rubber ball. Europeans had never before seen this Taino invention.


Players participating in this historic event will be representing Kiskeya (Dominican Republic), Borikén, and other Caribbean indigenous island homelands.


The First Annual Caribbean International Batu Games 2007 seeks to return the game's focus to its original intention as a unifying ceremonial force, which will promote our culture in a meaningful and respectful way. The UCTP is proud to co-sponsor this event and wishes to extend a special thanks to all of its supporters and financial contributors.


For more information, contact the UCTP at uctp_ny@yahoo.com

3.22.2007

Chavez: Champion of the Poorest

(The picture is of Hugo Chavez watching a traditional tribal dance performance in his honor, in Alaska)

I often post news about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias. Why? For me, he represents a powerful image and reality of Original peoples' unity and solidarity in these days and times. While others harken back to the days of ol', often suffocated by their own nostalgia, Chavez and his political agenda provide a contemporary example of 'resistancia' and the 'oneness' of people of color. He dares to go where no one wants to go and does what no one has the gull to do, in the face of U.S. imperialism, the devil's civilization. I admire him greatly and he stands as one of the most inspiring individuals in my life, aside from Allah, the founder of the Nation of Gods and Earths. As well, many of Chavez' politics and endeavors parallel my own understanding of Allah's mathematics and our political goals on an international level. For years I' heard pessimists chant me down with 'socialism is dead', 'it won't work', blase blase. Well, to them I say, it is puto. The proof is in the puddin'. On this day of 'wisdom wisdom', 'today's mathematics' or the principles we focus on today within our cultural paradigm, we can truly see VICTORY (the 22nd letter of the alphabet-For the Five Percent, the letter 'V' represents 'victory' and is a principle that we meditate and build on today) is his ways, words and actions. We can bear witness to the discernment and consideration he has taking with his actions and the reprecussion from them.


Below is a recent article concerning Chavez' contribution to the state of our people here in the wilderness of North America, as well as some excerpts from other articles that highlight this mission and accomplishment. Palante Siempre.

Venezuelan Fuel Oil Program Praised For Aiding Many Poor Tribes
By: David Melmer - Indian Country Today

HELENA, Mont. - CITGO Petroleum Corp. came to the rescue of thousands of American Indian families in the Great Plains this past winter with a donation that assisted with the cost of heating homes during a sometimes brutal winter season.

Help for the American Indians was specially requested by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The Rocky Boy's Reservation in Montana, which received $141,000 from the Venezuelan corporation, sent an open letter praising Chavez for helping more than 500 families survive the cold.

Many reservation homes in the Great Plains were without power, propane or heating fuel at a time when the temperatures plummeted to below zero and winds drove the cold to more dangerous levels.

Poverty prevents many people from keeping their fuel tanks filled, and power companies cut off electricity to homes when bills are not paid. The reservations that received the donation are all listed as having high poverty rates due to a lack of employment potential.

On the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, one of the recipients of CITGO's donation, 1,300 families normally receive funds from the Low Income Heating Assistance Program. The LIHEAP, normally backed by federal funds, came up empty because of two continuing resolutions, one passed by the new Congress. Some reservations' LIHEAP funds were exhausted prior to the CITGO donation.

CITGO provided $2 million in relief for 10 tribes in South Dakota and Montana. This is the second year of the program, which started in the northeastern United States and then moved to the Midwest and Great Plains. Some 150 tribes in Alaska also benefited.

CITGO answered the call from six members of Congress after Hurricane Katrina damaged much of the oil industry infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico, which led to higher prices for those in the most need.

''The senators called upon the major energy companies to ask what we could do to assist the consumer; we thought we could offer discounted heating oil,'' said CITGO spokesman David McCollum.

While the contracts were signed by tribal leaders and CITGO, families were asking for assistance from the tribal LIHEAP offices. Now that spring is imminent in the Great Plains, with recent record-breaking high temperatures that reached slightly above 80 degrees, the threat of serious physical complications from the cold has abated; but the CITGO donation managed to get many tribal members through the harsh winter.

The spring-like temperatures don't mean winter is over in the northern Plains.

Judi Houle, director of elder programs and administrator of the LIHEAP for Rocky Boy's, said she hoped the people would have learned to conserve energy for the remainder of the season so they would not run out of fuel. After the CITGO-donated funds run out, there is little financial relief until late summer, when new leverage grants will be awarded, Houle said.

The donations to the 10 Great Plains tribes occurred in mid-February, and the program runs through mid-March. More than 160 American Indian tribes have benefited from the CITGO program.

On the February morning in which the contracts were signed and checks given to the tribal leaders while in Montana, the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation LIHEAP accepted applications from nine families. Applications were to be taken through the next week with an estimated 900 families that could benefit from the $376,000 offered by CITGO.

''It is hard to express the depth of our gratitude. Our LIHEAP program has been out of funds since October. People have been without heat, which resulted in sick infants and frozen pipes,'' said Joseph Brings Plenty, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

''This gift means a lot to our people.''On Rocky Boy's, some 500 families could have benefited from the program.

''This program was a Godsend,'' Houle said.

''People were out of fuel with no chance of funding.

''Houle said that 80 percent of the people on Rocky Boy's were out of energy funds. The normal allocation is $240 per household, which ''doesn't stretch far.

''In Montana, with high winds and cold temperatures, some families can use up that allocation in two weeks.

The CITGO donation awarded $259 per family for each reservation.

Rocky Boy's, Cheyenne River and others received two donations, one for private homes and the other for facilities. Houle said the Boys and Girls Club, the elder's program, Veterans Administration program and a new wellness center also received financial relief.

McCollum said that up to 7,000 households on reservations in the two states of Montana and South Dakota would benefit. Montana received the lion's share of the funding, which would amount to an estimated 500,000 gallons of fuel oil; and for South Dakota, the amount was estimated at 209,000 gallons.

''This donation is greater than our entire 2006 LIHEAP budget. There is no greater gift that the people of Venezuela could have given to us. Thank you,'' said Bob Waters, Cheyenne River Sioux councilman.

On the Lower Brule Reservation, in mid-February, no families were out of fuel or without electricity, according to LIHEAP Director Karen Drapeau. Lower Brule owns a propane company that distributes fuel to Lower Brule and across the river to the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation. Drapeau said the funding would help families on both reservations.

The political climate between Venezuela and the United States is controversial, and some members of Congress argued against accepting the donations. Chavez is a major critic of the United States and President Bush.''We are in the business of running a business and we leave the politics to others,'' McCullum said.

''It is a privilege to do business here and we are here for good citizenship,'' he said.

Donations were given to the Rocky Boy's, Fort Belknap, Flathead, Northern Cheyenne, Fort Peck, Blackfeet, and Little Shell reservations in Montana; and the Cheyenne River Sioux, Lower Brule and Crow Creek reservations in South Dakota. "

- And to think that there were actually tribes in Alaska, and probably elsewhere, that refused the aid from Chavez and Venezuela, because of what he said about Bush back in September. It is a shame to see the effect of hegemony and colonialism and our people. That we could have been dealty with so wrongly that we can't even trust the ones' who are really here to help us, in favor of our patriarchical enemy whom some 'house injuns' and Uncle Tonto's have established an alliance with. Why do you love the devil when he has given you nothing? Your pride is admirable and foolish at the same time. To know that you are content with your life as the U.S. has defined and structured it to be.

and here's more....

"Citgo said the oil will be available to people in 17 states, including Indian tribes in Alaska, some of whom were flown to New York for the ceremony and attended in traditional dress. They performed a dance and offered Chavez a walrus figurine carved out of whale bone as a gift.

"This will go a long way for a lot of families," said Ian Erlich, a leader of the Alaska Intertribal Council who said many people struggle to afford heating oil where he lives in Kotzebue, Alaska, north of the Artic Circle.

Chavez started the heating oil program last winter, accusing Bush of neglecting the poor. Citgo says up to 1.2 million people will benefit this winter."

- http://www.canada.com/topics/news/world/story.html?id=d7785063-3c00-454f-a59d-d3f2a23d7668&k=38778

Chavez: A New Beginning for Zulia Indians?
In the mid-1990s, Indians in the Sierra of Perija continued to face daunting challenges. For example, Wayuu and Yupka peoples lost their lands to large, state-controlled coal mines and oil drilling.


In 1998, the election of Hugo Chavez to the presidency stood to dramatically change the plight of indigenous people. In contrast to earlier regimes, Chavez took a more anti-missionary stance on indigenous policy. For example, he expelled the New Tribes Mission, an American missionary group working with Venezuelan indigenous communities. Chavez accused New Tribes of collaborating with the CIA.

Chavez's 1999 Constitution represented a big step forward for Indians. Under article 9, Spanish was declared the official language of Venezuela, but "Indigenous languages are also for official use for indigenous peoples and must be respected throughout the Republic's territory for being part of the nation's and humanity's patrimonial culture." In chapter eight of the constitution, the state recognized the social, political, and economic organization within indigenous communities, in addition to their cultures, languages, rights, and lands.

What is more, in a critical provision the government recognized land rights as collective, inalienable, and non-transferable. Later articles declared the government's pledge not to engage in extraction of natural resources without prior consultation with indigenous groups.
Chavez himself has distributed millions of acres of land to indigenous communities. The move forms part of the so called Mission Guaicaipuro which shall provide land titles to all of Venezuela's 28 indigenous peoples.


- http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1955

Chávez and Indigenous Peoples
In 1998 while campaigning for president, Chávez made a commitment to champion the rights of Venezuela's half-million indigenous peoples. After he was elected, Chávez put the issue of indigenous rights front and center by addressing it on his weekly call-in program, Aló Presidente. But actions speak greater than words, and Chávez made good on his promises by working to codify the rights of indigenous people in the new 1999 constitution. Article 9 proclaims that while Spanish is the official language of Venezuela, "Indigenous languages are also for official use for Indigenous peoples and must be respected throughout the Republic's territory for being part of the nation's and humanity's patrimonial culture." In chapter eight of the constitution, the state recognizes the social, political, and economic organization within indigenous communities, in addition to their cultures, languages, rights, and lands. What is more, in a critical provision the government recognizes land rights as collective, inalienable, and non-transferable. Later articles declare the government's pledge not to engage in extraction of natural resources without prior consultation with indigenous groups. Three long time indigenous activists have been elected to the Venezuelan National Assembly, and prominent leaders hold positions in government. In a novel move, Chávez has even had the constitution translated into all of Venezuela's languages.


Chávez has lived up to the constitution by awarding communal land titles to six Kariña indigenous communities. The land titles will be handed out to 4,000 people and encompass 317,000 acres in the Venezuelan states of Monagas and Anzoategui. The land transfers form part of Mission Guaicaipuro, a plan to provide land titles to all of Venezuela's 28 indigenous peoples. Chávez awarded the communal titles to the Kariña in August during the 16th World Festival of Students and Youth. The conference, which was attended by 40,000 people, was held in Caracas. During the opening procession of nations Chávez gave a "thumbs up" to a banner which displayed the words "Leonard Peltier." An indigenous woman speaker at the conference, one of three indigenous representatives in the Venezuela Assembly, praised recent advances for indigenous people. One conference participant reported, "Chávez hugged all the indigenous leaders in front of the world and gave deeds of territory to the tribes." By the end of 2006, Chávez' Mission Guaicaipuro plans to award land titles to 15 more indigenous groups. Participants at the conference were also pleased by Chávez's moves to halt the celebration of Columbus Day, which he has replaced with "Indigenous Resistance Day."

- http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1577

Indigenous critics of Chavez' take shots at his indigenous policies and some of the actions and lack thereof that have been taken to enforce the Bolivarian constitution. Let me say that all things require time and must be taken through a process to achieve the desired change. Keep in mind the catepillar who transforms into the illustrious butterfly. Chavez has done, from my prespective, what can given within the pre-established frame work of oligarchy within Venezuela. Remember that a revolution is made by the people and not an individual. To take people off of reservations and overnight change there condition can not be down because one has to take into consideration the years of governmental policies that fortified there current state of existance. In time...

PEACE

3.20.2007

Thoughts from Mumia...


- excerpt from an Interview with Mumia Abu-Jamal by Rafael Rodríguez-Cruz, counterpunch.org

What are your thoughts about the recent mass mobilizations of millions of undocumented immigrant workers in the United States? Are they natural allies of other oppressed minorities, particularly Blacks?


The massive, spirited demonstrations were a joy to see; I think they marked the emergence of an oppressed people, from the shadows into the light. It brought back memories. I think it also demonstrated 'the browning of America', and thereby activated a reservoir of fear in white America, which looks down their nose at people south of the border. Given the power of media to shape ideas, we shouldn't be surprised that some Black Americans echoed the xenophobia of whites, and looked at Brown America's emergence with concern. What it reminded me of was our little-known, but shared history. In the 1830s, the US was at war with Seminoles, because they were one of the few Indian tribes who refused to return Blacks to slavery in Georgia and Carolina. The Seminoles fought at least 2 wars with the U.S. on precisely this principle. After years of war, the Red and Black Seminoles found freedom in fleeing Florida, and finding new homes in Mexico. The Seminoles, led by a warrior named Coacoochee (called Wild Cat), and assisted by a Black warrior named John Horse, took their soldiers and tribesmen, across the Rio Grande. Mexico abolished slavery in 1829.They offered not only land, but posts in the Mexican Army. Thousands of Black men, women, and children found freedom in Mexico years before a war brought legal (but false) freedom in the lands of their birth. From such intertwined histories, alliances can be made. For Black folks, and Red folks, fought, not for the US Empire, but for Mexican independence, and for freedom (literally!). So, the 'browning' of America doesn't fill me with alarm; for I know that "brownness" comes from Aztec, Seminoles, African, and others.


Can you talk also a little bit about the experience of the Black Panther Party and the Puerto Rican communities in places like New York City?


The Black Panther Party had the most impact on Puerto Rican communities, I think, in NYC, and in Chicago. Both cities had chapters of the Young Lords Party, a socialist, independence group which had its origins in a youth gang in Chi-town. There, at the urging of Fred Hampton the Lords became increasing politicized, and in many ways, were inspired by the BPP. (Among Mexican-American brothers and sisters, the Brown Berets grew in Chicago, as well as in California). In New York, former YLP people joined the BPP, in part, because they were Afro-Puerto Ricans. We had a number of such members of the Bronx, Harlem and Brooklyn chapters. Offhand, I remember Denise Oliver, who came from Harlem, and Sol Fernandez, who was in the Bronx. Their membership was important, not just symbolically, but because of their ability to speak to communities that usually couldn't hear, or read, our works.


What are the obstacles to building a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-racial revolutionary movement in the United States in the year 2006?


There are not enough substantial opportunities for us to work together, and by so doing, to learn the worth of such a project. We argue over crumbs. For example, on black radio and in black conversations in response to the mass immigration demos, people could be heard saying, "They want our jobs." What, pray tell, is so good about many of the jobs Black folks have in the US? As it stands, we probably have the highest unemployment already! Rather than fighting each other, we need to find ways to work together, to deepen, broaden, and give new, real meaning to democracy. The obstacles are false consciousness, white supremacy, and linguistic barriers. But, I really believe that all of these can be surmounted.


Is the struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico still meaningful for revolutionary politics in the United States?


Once again, I look at it from the perspective of a learner, not a teacher. I say that because the PR independence movement has demonstrated, on the ground, the power of its political mobilization, when it freed many (not all) of its political prisoners. There is no movement in the US that has duplicated this--even among the white so-called 'left'. That is impressive. So, puertorriqueños have more to teach us about community mobilization, principled struggle, and broad unity over revolutionary goals, than we think we have to teach them. Plus, given the increasing levels of aggression shown by the Empire, the independence movement can only heat up. How many young Puerto Rican men and women will join the imperial army, to fight wars, when Puerto Ricans on the island can't even vote for President (Emperor)? When they sense their colonial position costs them far more than it benefits, the independence movement can only be fueled.


Power to the People !!!

All Power to the Peaceful !!!

3.17.2007

Who's White & Who's Not


The following is a political cartoon that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, concerning the United States' imperial, colonial and illegal acquistion of the Philipines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Ladero Islands (Guam) and Hawaii. This is another example of what the ruling class majority think of Original people. We all look alike. And while we are all one- brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers of civilization, the idea and portrayl of us as little 'pickininnies' is extremely degrading. However, it goes to show that to white people, 'we are all black'. Even if we don't think so ourselves. As comedian Paul Mooney has said : "White people know who's white and who's a nigga......"
Never forget...the World Health Organization only recognizes two categories of people, white and non-white.
The Original man.....and then there's the 'Colored' man. In older dictionaries one can find a very pertinent definition for 'colored'- that which was altered, tampered with or distorted from it's original state. By this definition and what we know from history and science, the black, brown and yellow people are the Original inhabits of the planet Earth. The white man is a human being that has been distorted from the origins of humanity and taken away from any clear understanding of his relationship to the universe. This term they used for us, and not just for so-called African Americans. Even in the late 1800's and early 1900's, in California, Philipinos (Pinoy) were referred to as 'niggas' and white women who dated Pinoy or Mexican men were called 'nigga lovers'. The state used to have strict segregation laws regarding bi-racial relationships.
Know your history....
Peace!