Main

December 1, 2010

Canada disgraced in Latin America by yet another mining company

Late Night Sunrise from Michael Watts on Vimeo.

Its name is Pacific Rim, it is an environmental abuser, and it is menacing the people of El Salvador. What must Canada's Salvadoran immigrants, many of whom are refugees here from their country's dirty civil war, be thinking of this? Probably the same thing I'm thinking: that Pacific Rim is a dirty bully, a corruptor and a national disgrace, in at least two nations. I'm happy to see how the Salvadorans are fighting back and refusing to be intimidated. We could learn a lot from them up here in the Great Oblivious North.

July 21, 2010

In which your lazy scribbler finally gets her ass-kicking boots on again

pena-esclusa-unoamerica.jpg

Watch out for this man; he was recently arrested, and a good thing, too.

Okay. I've been sitting on this one long enough. Time for me to translate what the lamestream media will never tell you, yes?

The Venezuelan far-right-winger, Alejandro Peña Esclusa, former member of the Tradition, Family and Property sect (TFP), has been linked to several coup attempts in Venezuela and, along with two ex-military men from Argentina, is now suspected of human-rights violations in conjunction with assassination plans, along with a band of foreign terrorists recently captured in Bolivia.

"The Venezuelan engineer Alejandro Peña Esclusa, bitter opponent of the government of Hugo Chávez, is at the head of UnoAmérica, the crusade against 'leftist' governments in Latin America. Bolivia and Venezuela head the list of 'concerns' of the organization, which recruits 'faithfuls' and finances the right-wing in Colombia," reads an article in the Argentine daily, Página/12.

The Argentine paper explained that the vice-president of Bolivia, Alvaro García Linera, had asked the Argentine ambassador in La Paz, Horacio Macedo, for his assistance in controlling the border regions "because of the presence of Argentine activists in various parts of Bolivia."

Days later, the Bolivian police crushed a band of suspected terrorists in a raid at the Hotel Las Américas in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Three men were killed and two more arrested.

According to Página/12, one of the Argentine ex-militaries was the "carapintada", Jorge Mones Ruiz, who during the 1980s participated in an attempted coup against the Argentine government of Raúl Alfonsín. Those who took part in the uprising had been the beneficiaries of an amnesty which granted immunity to uniformed repressors operating during the military dictatorship of 1976-83.

Página/12 reports that Mones Ruiz found new allies as "the Argentine delegate of UnoAmérica--an ultra-right-wing organization attempting to be the counterpoint to UNASUR. He travelled to Bolivia and had contacted Eduardo Rózsa Flores".

After the Pando massacre, which took place on September 11, 2008 and resulted in the deaths of 11 Bolivian peasants at the hands of separatist bands, the citizens of Bolivia became alert to the sudden appearance of unknown organizations, which attributed to themselves the task of investigating the events of that day. These groups came with the objective of obfuscating the reality of the massacre and deceiving the people, but were unable to do so thanks to the decisive participation of UNASUR and the UN itself.

Later, the Bolivian right began a campaign urging the government of Evo Morales to free those they called "political prisoners", under the slogan "Free the Truth"; the activists wore black T-shirts with that saying, and white rosaries around their necks. A Sunday mass at the cathedral of Santa Cruz de la Sierra marked the launching of the operation, which was widely covered, in typical fashion, by the main television channels of the region, and in which the criminals were presented as "prisoners of conscience".

Due to the failure of those plans, UnoAmérica intervened, intending to take on the role of the impartial investigator of the Pando massacre. One of the organization's spokespersons called a press conference (again, in Santa Cruz) in which he affirmed, with an absolutely straight face, that the government was the guilty party, in a typical move to criminalize the victims.

UnoAmérica is a very recent organization; it was founded in December, 2008, in Colombia. Member organizations swear that their mission is to counteract the parties that participated in the São Paulo Forum, and which today form the governments of various countries in South America. They claim that these same governments have traded the firing squad for constitutional reforms, which will become the "greatest dangers" to freedom and democracy.

The director of the organization, Alejandro Peña Esclusa, was denounced a few weeks ago for his blatant interference in the Salvadoran elections, on behalf of the right-wing ARENA party, which is founded and financed by paramilitary death squads.

The UnoAmérica website presents Peña Esclusa as a former candidate for the presidency of Venezuela, and this is true: the last time he ran for election, he obtained 0.04% of the vote, or precisely 2,424 votes.

He is a personage intimately associated with the worst causes: promoter and spokesman in Venezuela for the TFP sect, a Catholic cult which is ultra-fundamentalist and antisemitic; he has also worked for years alongside Lyndon LaRouche, Ronald Reagan's advisor and conspicuous representative of the far-right in the United States.

As well, one of the principal members of UnoAmérica in Argentina is Patricio Videla Balaguer, son of a famed military putschist of the 1950s, and a putschist himself during the "carapintada" uprisings of the 1980s. He is a prominent member of organizations such as TFP and "Parallel History", which defends the genocide perpetrated by the Argentine junta and criminalizes its victims. For this reason, it is no coincidence that Videla Balaguer is also a member of that organization, and demands in his writings the convening of "a permanent commission to defend human rights", promoted and co-ordinated by UnoAmérica.

Translation mine; linkage added.

Touching, isn't it, how the fascist far right in Latin America sticks together? Argentine putschists and Venezuelan unelectables helping a death-squad party in El Salvador and a band of Hungarian-Romanian-Croatian-Irish mercenaries in Bolivia? Almost brings tears to my eyes. These poor souls will never get power the proper way, so they have to stage all kinds of lame stunts (and murderous coup attempts) to gain a toehold.

Only, alas for them, that's not working either. Evo's federales put the boots to the mercenaries, and the government of El Salvador is formed by the leftist FMLN party, not ARENA. Chavecito keeps getting himself re-elected (go figure, the man is popular!), and so does Evo. Moreover, both have succeeded in getting new constitutions written and passed by popular vote in Venezuela and Bolivia. The will of the people prevails.

And THIS is what UnoAmérica calls a "threat to freedom and democracy". Makes you think, no? And also makes you want to keep an eye on these false fronts, I hope.

September 21, 2009

The return of Mel

zelaya-waving.jpg

"Hola, Bitcheletti, I'm ba-ack!" Guess who's gonna be scrubbing the skidmarks out of his underwear tonight...

So, the news all over the BoRevosphere is that the legitimate president of Honduras is back in country, though not yet behind his desk. Kudos go out to El Salvador for helping him sneak back in (bet the golpistas were only watching the Nicaraguan border!), and to Brazil, for loaning out its embassy as a refuge. (Lula and Mauricio, I owe you guys some serious FLFB tributes. Please pose for some cute photos between now and Friday, y'hear?)

While we wait for the Great Ass-Walloping to begin, let's reflect on the sweetly amusing irony that only yesterday, Gorilletti was bragging to Greta Van Softball on FUX about how he's the bestest Dear Leader ever, and how there's no proof of his human rights abuses, and blah blah blabbity blah blah.

And when you're done with that, enjoy the words of Honduran anti-coup leader Juan Barahona, one of many who've been keeping the faith while they wait for the restoration of their democracy:

The co-ordinator of the National Front Against the Coup D'état in Honduras, Juan Barahona, assured on Monday that there was little chance that the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti would remain in place for 24 hours, following the return of Manuel Zelaya to Tegucigalpa.

"It's very hard for the putschist regime to stay on in power for more than 24 hours, and the Armed Forces will have to unleash a bloodbath in order to stop this [anti-coup uprising]," said the leader in an interview with VTV.

Barahona said that thousands of people are gathering outside the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa to see and greet the constitutional president.

"It's a popular reaction, this afternoon Tegucigalpa was a capital inundated with people, and various departments elsewhere have confirmed that more Zelaya supporters are on their way...Now this zone [around the Brazilian embassy] is a sea of people, and more caravans of buses are coming from other cities."

Barahona considers the return of the legitimate president to have caused a popular movement "which no one will be able to stop...it will take a massacre, it's very difficult [to imagine] that the army would want to go there," said Barahona, referring to the area around the Brazilian embassy. He says that "the objective is to bring Zelaya back to the house of government."

Translation mine.

And there is little doubt in my mind that they will succeed in doing just that. Seven years ago, the people of Venezuela did it too--by convincing the loyal sectors of their own armed forces that it was time to look for the legitimate president and bring him back. That took just 48 hours. It's taken a bit longer than that in Honduras, but unless the Honduran army wants a bloodbath, it will have to understand that the people, not the business sector and themselves, are in charge now. And they are not going to rest until the man they elected is back in the sash, Channel 36 is back on the air, and the putschists in custody.

¡Viva Honduras!

EDIT: Looks like he entered via Nicaragua after all, not El Salvador. Sorry, Mauricio, not this week. But keep yer dimples polished anyway, 'coz I like 'em. Meanwhile, Lula's probably gonna be the Lion King of the next OAS or Unasur summit, and Daniel Ortega will get an honorable mention too for sheltering Mel as long as he did.

July 12, 2009

Hillary lies down with dogs

...and gets up with predictable results. Here's her idiotic, inflammatory interview with an infamous Venezuelan human-rights abuser turned Globoterror presstitute, named Leopoldo Castillo (airing out his muy mal inglés, which I'm sure gave him quite the pitiyanki hard-on):

It's in two parts, so don't forget to click through. If your stomach is tough enough for it, that is. Mine gave out about four minutes in, when El Matacuras (that's Castillo's nickname; it means "priest-killer", for reasons I'll get to shortly) starts getting all unctuous with the leading question of the day.

And of course, Her Royal Clintoness falls straight into his trap. Just as the major US media did (citing only oppo media sources, natch). Shameful.

Clearly Hillary has NO idea what the fuck she's talking about, but what's more important is that she has NO idea who the fuck she's talking TO, either. Here's a little something the major commercial media in Venezuela won't tell you about El Matacuras, starting with a rather crucial photo:

matacuras-1980s.jpg

That's El Matacuras during the 1980s, that golden decade for right-wing thuggery in Central America. He's clearly drunk off his ass (a condition he was frequently in, I'm told), and he's flanked by Roberto D'Aubuisson, Salvadoran human-rights abuser and founding father of the fascist ARENA party, and José Napoleón Duarte, often mischaracterized as a centrist (he wasn't; he was also on the far right, just in a different party). This was taken when El Matacuras was Venezuelan ambassador to El Salvador--and when the right-wing governments of the decade were killing nuns and priests and even a well-known archbishop with impunity. During that time, we heard nary a word of boo from the United States; on the contrary, the Reagan/Bush State Dept. called them Great Democratic Leaders, one and all--which of course it would, seeing as it sent in the Marines repeatedly to install them. Machetera can fill you in on all the fun stuff, she's already addressed this (as usual, I'm fashionably late to this particular party.)

Now, I know the State Dept. reads this blog. I've been tipped off by a blogging buddy who spotted them on his Sitemeter--they cruised into his blog from an entry on mine. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if this entry ended up meeting the eyes of HRC her own selfe. So, Hill, I really wanna know--WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING, HANGING OUT WITH THESE FASCIST SCUMBUCKETS? And who are you to prate about the "need" for "press freedom" in Venezuela--which has way more of it than the US does? If FUX Snooze openly called for you to be assassinated, as Globovisión does daily with Chavecito, I think you'd change your tune in a helluva hurry. Haven't you seen The Revolution Will Not Be Televised? (Oh, here. Enjoy.)

So why the double standard, Hill? Why have you morphed into Blondoleezza Rice? Oh yeah, I forgot--it's Venezuela, and this Chávez guy is probably standing in the way of your realizing a better packet of kickbacks from Corporate Amurrica, who aren't profiteering quite as hand-over-fist in Venezuela as they used to do before. Silly me! You're the woman who sold out to Big Insurance back when your hubby was El Presidente de los Estados Unidos, so of course this comes as less of a shock to me than one might think. Your people are still without free universal healthcare. Venezuelans, on the other hand...oh, just read this and weep. What was it you used to advocate for as first lady, again?

If you have any morals left, Hill, you'd do well to stop taking the local presstitutes at their word, and put a country mile (or ten thousand) between yourself and them. Or, as the old saying goes...oh, what was it you get up with again when you lie down with dogs?

dogflea.jpg

Its taxonomical name is Ctenocephalides canis, and I hear it's a real bitch to get rid of. Just ask El Matacuras. He's still got his ears full of 'em.

June 2, 2009

Congratulations, Mauricio Funes!

Another left-wing dimple-dude gets sworn in. Sadly, both Chavecito and Evo had to beg off and miss this historic inauguration. No worries--they'll meet with their new compañero ASAP. (Chavecito already has.)

Noteworthy details here: the archaic Spanish expressions, and the fact that the oath of office was delivered as a "protest". Also, note the loud cheers from the crowd. This dude is P-O-P-U-L-A-R!

UPDATE, 4:00 pm: According to the Venezuelan TV program Contragolpe (Counterpunch), hosted by Vanessa Davies, the real reason Chavecito couldn't make it has just been revealed--there's been yet another foiled attempt on his life. This is not entirely surprising--what else was that recent failed Vargas Llosa visit about, if not to justify the removal of the non-dictator, by non-democratic (as usual!) means? Actually, I'm almost at the point of yawning at shit like this. The fascists have nothing to recommend them, so of course they reach for murder. No word yet on why Evo couldn't make it, but my educated guess is he has his hands full of something similar.

UPDATE #2, ca. 9:15 pm: Oh look, all the stupid-ass English-language "news" sites out there have the same problem. The LAHT's resident clown-in-Caracas, Jeremy Morgan, posits Chavecito's no-show in El Salvador as a "mystery", before kneeling down in front of Antonio Ledezma's open zipper for the umpteenth time and making up a lot of shit in lieu of actually reporting a rather important story. Ditto the American Stinker's Adolfo G. Fabregat, who mentions the whole incident only to call it (snottily) "a continuing soap opera". What's the matter, people, can't you tune in to VTV? Or are you afraid you might get some facts into your lite stories by accident? Damn, I'm scooping you all in my sleep, you lazy imbecilic presstitutes. And I don't even have to leave my study here on the north shore of Lake Ontario to do it, either...

UPDATE #3, ca. 9:30 pm: Here's some relevant video on the matter, in Spanish:

Daniel Ortega, the president of Nicaragua, confirms that both Chavecito and Evo were no-shows due to security reasons. Implicated in the foiled assassination plan are certain, as yet unnamed, officers of the Salvadoran army (who have right-wing ties to the old ARENA hegemony of the past couple of decades), the CIA, and the Venezuelan fascist, Alejandro Peña Esclusa. Venezuelan chancellor Nicolás Maduro says the Salvadoran authorities are currently investigating the plot, so further details are still unknown. Maduro also says that the would-be putschists have international ties, most notably to the terrorist of the Venezuelan ancien régime, Luis Posada Carriles, still a fugitive from justice (and likely to remain so) in Miami. He confirms that the international right-wing are banding together in their efforts to kill democratically elected leftist leaders. Shades of Operation Condor? You damn betcha.

Still waiting for the English media to twig to this story...ho, hum, twiddly-thumb...

UPDATE #4, June 4, ca. 11:00 am: Found this on the Daily Sketch, with more details PLUS an anti-Chavecito website advertising on Craig's List (shame on them for taking this ad!)

Other English media still deader than the dodo on this story. Why am I not surprised?

May 20, 2009

ALBA to get another joiner?

Could be...could be El Salvador!

chavecito-funes.jpg

Awwwww...don't they look cute together, Chavecito and Mauricio Funes, getting along so nicely? Looks like they might soon get along a whole lot MORE nicely, if this is any indication...

Mauricio Funes, the president-elect of El Salvador, made a formal visit to Venezuela to meet with President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday. In a meeting that lasted more than five hours, the two leaders discussed deepening cooperation between the two countries, especially regarding oil.

[...]

After the meeting, the two leaders announced the creation of a bilateral commission between the two countries to develop projects of cooperation in commerce, energy, and other economic sectors, and social exchange.

Funes said his government will prioritize the poor, "the vulnerable, the destitute... those without voice... who need the new government to represent them," and declared that his country will continue to receive Venezuela's cooperation to develop health programs and social projects.

"...will continue to receive Venezuela's cooperation to develop health programs and social projects."

You mean they're receiving it ALREADY? Holy fucking shit, the Axis of Evo is already at work in Central America...HELPING CENTRAL AMERICANS! Oh, the HORROR!

But wait, it gets even scarier...

Another key point of discussion was oil, where the two leaders discussed the possibility of the El Salvadoran state importing it, rather than mayors.

In April 2006 the Venezuelan government signed an agreement with the Inter-Municipal Association of Energy for El Salvador (ENEPASA), an association of 20 FMLN mayors, to start a joint company which would provide oil cheaply to El Salvador. Now, Funes said El Salvador will consider joining the Petrocaribe program through which Venezuela provides oil at below market prices to participating Caribbean countries.

Funes also raised the idea of Venezuela buying more of its raw materials. "Venezuela buys a good part of its agricultural raw materials from Colombia and could instead buy it from El Salvador," he said.

Holy effin' crap, they also have an OIL FOR FOOD PROGRAM! Ye Gods and little fishes, that's TRADE! What else have they got going on?

To Chavez, Funes said, "I passionately salute this sentiment of solidarity that you represent and which for the Salvadoran situation has meant important support in two fundamental areas. First, with petroleum, to the extent that we are a country, as are many in Central America, which doesn't have an essential resource on which to build our economy, like petroleum. Secondly, with health aid, the cooperation that the noble people of Venezuela have given us through [the free eye treatment program] Mission Milagro."

Funes said he was visiting Venezuela to "encourage [Chavez] to continue with this spirit of solidarity because only solidarity and the spirit of Latin American unity that is behind it, is going to make the transformation of our nations possible."

Frackin' holy mackerel! SOLIDARITY! Free eye care! Why, I bet the Cubans are in on that. That's COMMUNISM! Holy shit, the Reds have eaten Central America, one eyeball at a time! And this under the nose of Gringolandia. OH NOES!!!

Okay, time to quit hyperventilating. All this co-operation happens also to include somebody else. Guess who? Back to the top of the Venezuelanalysis piece we go...

Funes's critics have said his presidency will be heavily influenced by Venezuela, while Funes has emphasized that "integration with Central America and strengthening relations with the United States will be the priority of our foreign policy."

Gasp. You mean they plan on getting along with the gringos AND the socialistas? And worse, they plan on integrating with their fellow Central Americans (and by extension, Latin Americans)? Are such things even possible?

Well hell YES, they ARE. Provided, of course, that the State Dept. doesn't put its foot in it and fuck things up. Didja hear that, spooks? I'm talking to you directly now. I said don't fuck it up. If Central America can get along with Cuba and Venezuela, you can bloody well suck it up and admit that you've had things very wrong for the last fifty years (and more). It's high time you got it right--Venezuela and El Salvador are definitely trying to do just that. Time to do with them what they're doing with each other--TALK.

And leave the gunboats at home from now on, capisce?

March 18, 2009

Well. That didn't take long!

dominoes.jpg

This comes as no surprise to me, but I can just smell the soiled pants from Washington and Miami already:

The newly-elected government of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front in El Salvador is interested in strengthening ties with ALBA countries, FMLN Representative in Cuba Alfredo Elias said.

According to Elias, El Salvador has already been benefitting from the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) by getting oil, fertilizers and medical aid Venezuela and Cuba, ALBA's two main pillars.

"We should establish relations with all nations," Elias said on Cuba's national television.

He also said reestablishing diplomatic ties with Cuba should be a priority for the future government.

"For us, Cubans are blood brothers," said the FMLN representative, who recalled Cuba's solidarity to El Salvador.

"In the past, Cuban hospitals were open to our war victims, while right now, many Salvadorans are having free eye surgery here, or are studying at Cuban universities," Elias said.

This is great news for El Salvador and ALBA. For the Washington Consensus, though, it's a fatal setback. Considering how screwed El Salvador has been since the 1980s, though, it's not as if this is bad news. Far from it.

PS: File this under "heh"--Obama has called Mauricio Funes to congratulate him and offer unequivocal support for his government and the Salvadoran people. Hope 'n' change, baby.

March 16, 2009

A song for El Salvador

Alí Primera, the Venezuelan folk singer, dedicates a number to the people of El Salvador during a peace concert in the 1980s:

"The Blue Hat". With subtitles.

Hope, Faith and Revolution in El Salvador

A short documentary about a "sister cities" project involving US citizens whose attitudes and actions ran courageously counter to those of their government during and after the Salvadoran "civil war". Lots of good historical backgrounder here, too.

March 15, 2009

It's official...

Another Latin American country has just gone left. El Salvador has elected its first FMLN president.

Congratulations, Mauricio Funes.

UPDATE: Videos (in Spanish) below.

Walter Araújo, president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador, makes his remarks on the occasion. He stresses the free, fair and transparent nature of the elections. This is especially important in light of the interference that came from the right-wing in the US, and their equally right-wing Venezuelan lackeys; of course, the English-language media (especially the Dissociated Press) chose to frame the issue as a "ZOMG, El Salvador's democracy is under threat from the guerrilla left!!!11eleven!!!" panic. Which it is not. (The Christian Science Monitor's resident Chicken Little, Sara Miller Llana, waxed especially stupid on the issue, framing it as a referendum on Chavecito--which, again, it is not.)

Meanwhile, a woman of note from neighboring Guatemala has also weighed in. Here's Nobel prizewinner and human rights activist Rigoberta Menchú, giving her dos centavos:

She sees this historic election as an opportunity to put the Cold War, its associated fears and hatreds, its terrorism and violence, behind. She expresses the hope that this will bring about peace in what has long been a violence-torn nation. She would know; the violence has affected Guatemala as well. Both countries have long been US pawns in the "Great Chessboard" strategy of the Cold War hawks, and indigenous peasants have suffered disproportionately in the violence. For this reason, her remarks carry special weight.

A portion of Funes' victory speech also appears in the latter part of the clip.