Saturday, March 30, 2013

Warming Up the Bronx: Citgo Venezuela Heating & Social Development Program

It was the fall of 2005, and the cold months were beginning to roll in on the South Bronx, New York City's poorest area. The dilapidated streets of the South Bronx, which has a history of being neglected by the city, might be the last place one would expect to receive a visit from a famous world leader.

However this leader was different.

 On September 20th, 2005, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, a champion of the poor and a vocal critic of the United States government, (having called George Bush “the devil”), came to the notorious urban neighborhood. Hosted by Congressman Jose Serrano, Chavez spoke to a round table of community groups at The Point, a community organization that promotes social and environmental justice[i]. On that day the Venezuelan president made a charged promise to the people of the South Bronx.

 Five years later—with the help of a people-friendly oil company, a progressive congressman, the generosity and political acumen of a foreign leader, and local grassroots participation—that promise has turned into a significant heating oil assistance and social-development program for low-income residents of the Bronx.

Read the rest

Monday, March 18, 2013

US newspaper calls for Cuba to be removed from countries supporting terrorism list

The United States should exclude Cuba from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, according to an editorial in the Los Angeles Times.

"Cuba remains on the list … because it disagrees with the United States’ approach to fighting international terrorism, not because it supports terrorism," it states.

The State Department has confirmed that it has no plans to remove Cuba from the list. But Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who recently led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Havana, "is urging President Obama to consider a range of policy changes toward Cuba, including delisting it, which would not require congressional approval," the newspaper noted.

"Moreover, keeping Cuba on the list undermines Washington's credibility in Latin America," the LA Times comments.

The editorial highlighted Cuba’s condemnation of the September 11 attacks and the fact that the country is currently hosting peace talks between the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Army of the People) and the government of Juan Manuel Santos.

This list and other like it, through which the U.S. government assumes the illegitimate right to evaluate the conduct of other countries, has political motivations, in that it allows the administration to justify the anti-Cuba blockade policy.

Obama: Lift the Cuban Embargo ~> sign petition here 

Sanctions implemented against a state sponsoring terrorism include a ban on: unlicensed financial transactions; direct U.S. government financial and technical aid; exports of certain merchandise such as heavy industrial products, high tech equipment and dual-use products; munitions transfers; and the denial of temporary visas to nationals from the country concerned, without a special decision from the Secretary of State.

The War On Democracy (John Pilger's documentary)

The rising of Latin America - the genesis of 'The War On Democracy' read here

Also see

Why I'm Confident About Venezuela's Future: Chavez Death Won't Kill Social Transformation read here

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised - Chavez: Inside the Coup

A documentary about the April 2002 Venezuelan coup attempt which briefly deposed Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

A television crew from Ireland's national broadcaster, RTÉ happened to be recording a documentary about Chávez during the events of April 11, 2002. Shifting focus, they followed the events as they occurred. During their filming, the crew recorded images of the events that they say contradict explanations given by Chávez's opposition, the private media, the US State Department, and then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.

The documentary shows that the coup was the result of a conspiracy between various old guard and anti-Chávez factions within Venezuela and the United States.