Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.
Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.
CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.
The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.
Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683
Thank you for your support,
Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel
CounterPunch PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558
Obama’s Supervised Shame
Not because it was brutal or clumsy or anticipated was there any less indignation about the Yankee judge from the South Florida District denying René González, the Cuban anti-terrorist hero, the right to return to the heart of his family in Cuba after having served the unfair sentence imposed on him.
After a cruel and undeserved 13-year prison sentence, the United States government – that gave birth to monsters such as Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch who, as CIA agents had a hand in the exploding of a Cuban airliner full of passengers in mid-flight – forces René to remain in that nation, where he shall be at the mercy of unpunished murderers for three long years, under a regime described as supervised “freedom”. Still unfairly and vengefully imprisoned for long terms of confinement, are another three Cuban heroes, and another one sentenced to two life terms. That is how the empire responds to the growing world clamour for the freedom of these men.
If that were not the case, then the empire would cease to be an empire; and Obama would cease to be a fool.
Of course the Cuban heroes shall not be there forever. On the foundations of the unequalled example of dignity and steadfastness, solidarity in the world and in the very heart of the American people shall grow, and it shall put an end to the stupid and unsustainable injustice.
The uncouth decision was made when the UN General Assembly was in the midst of developing a profound debate on the necessity of re-founding that institution. Never have we heard such solid and energetic criticisms.
The Bolivarian leader Hugo Chávez opened it up with his first message to the General Assembly published on the evening of September 21st. Chávez’ second letter, transmitted in an energetic and vibrant tone by Chancellor Nicolás Maduro, was lapidary. In that message, he also denounced the criminal imperialist blockade against our Homeland and the scandalous and cruel vengeance against the 5 Cuban anti-terrorist Heroes.
Such circumstances have forced me to write a third Reflection. I shall transmit the essential ideas of that forceful message, using the very words of the author:
“[…] We do not look for the peace of the cemetery, as said Kant ironically, but a peace based on the most zealous respect for international law. Unfortunately, the UN, through all its history, instead of adding and multiplying efforts in favor of peace among nations, ends up supporting, sometimes through its actions and other times by omission, the most ruthless injustices.”
“From 1945 on, wars have done nothing but inexorably increase and multiply themselves.”
“I want to call on the governments of the world to reflect: since September 11th, 2001, a new and unprecedented imperialist war began, a permanent war, in perpetuity.
“We have to look directly at the terrifying reality of the world we live in. […] Why is the United States the only country that scatters the planet with military bases? What is it afraid of to allocate such a staggering budget for increasing its military power? Why has it unleashed so many wars, violating the sovereignty of other nations which have the same rights on their own fates? How can international law be enforced against its insensible aspiration to militarily hegemonizing the world in order to ensure energy sources to sustain their predatory and consumer model? Why does the UN do nothing to stop Washington? […] the empire has awarded itself the role of judge of the world, without being granted this responsibility […] therefore, imperialist war threatens us all.
“Washington knows that a multi-polar world is already an irreversible reality. Its strategy consists of stopping, at any price, the sustained rise of a group of emerging countries […] the goal is to reconfigure the world so it is based on Yankee military hegemony.”
“What is behind this new Armageddon?: the absolute power of the military-financial leadership which is destroying the world in order to accumulate ever more profits; the military-financial leadership which is subordinated, de facto, to an increasingly larger group of States. Keep in mind that war is capital’s modus operandi: the war that ruins the majority and makes richer, up to the unthinkable, a few people.
“Right now, there is a very serious threat to global peace: a new cycle of colonial wars, which started in Libya, with the sinister objective of refreshing the capitalist global system, within a structural crisis today, but without any limit to its consumerist and destructive voracity.”
“Humanity is on the brink of an unimaginable catastrophe: the world is marching inexorably toward the most devastating ecocide; global warming and its frightening consequences are announcing it, but their perspective on the ecosystem, which resembles the ideology of the conquistadors Cortés and Pizarro , as the influential French thinker Edgar Morin rightly pointed out […] The energy and food crises are sharpening, but capitalism continues to trespass all the limits with impunity.
“…the great U.S. scientist Linus Pauling, awarded the Nobel Prize on two occasions, continues enlightening our path: “I believe that there is a greater power in the world than the evil power of military force, of nuclear bombs — there is the power of good, of morality, of humanitarianism. I believe in the power of the human spirit”. Let us mobilize all the power of the human spirit: it is time now. It is imperative that we unleash a great political counter-offensive in order to prevent the powers of darkness from finding justifications for going to war, from unleashing a widespread global war through which they attempt to save the western capital.”
“The warmongers, and especially the military-financial leadership that sponsors and leads them, must be defeated.
“Let’s build the balance of the universe foreseen by the Liberator, Simón Bolívar – the balance that, according to his words, cannot be found within war; the balance that is born out of peace.”
“…Venezuela, alongside the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), was actively advocating for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the Libyan conflict. That is also what the African Union did. However, in the end, the logic of war decreed by the UN Security Council and put into practice by NATO, the armed wing of the Yankee empire, was imposed. […] the “Libyan Case” was brought before the Security Council on the basis of an intense propaganda by the western mass media, who lied about the alleged bombing of innocent civilians by the Libyan Air Force, not to mention the grotesque media setting of the Green Square of Tripoli. This premeditated bunch of lies was used to justify irresponsible and hasty decisions by the Security Council, which paved the way for NATO’s military regime change policy in Libya.”
“… What has the no-fly zone established by Security Council resolution 1973 become? How could NATO perform more than 20,000 missions against the Libyan people if there was a no-fly zone? After the Libyan Air Force was completely annihilated, the continued “humanitarian” bombing shows that the West, through NATO, intends to impose their interests in North Africa, turning Libya into a colonial protectorate.”
“What is the real reason for this military intervention?: Recolonizing Libya in order to capture its wealth. Everything else is related to this goal.
“…the Residence of the Venezuelan Ambassador in Tripoli was invaded and looted, and the UN kept it to itself, remaining ignominiously silent.”
“…Why is the Libyan seat in the UN granted to the “national transitional council,” while the admission of Palestine is blocked by ignoring, not only its lawful aspiration, but also the existing will of the majority of the General Assembly? Venezuela hereby ratifies its unconditional solidarity with the Palestinian people and its total support for the Palestinian national cause, which naturally includes the immediate admission of Palestine as a full member state within the United Nations.
“And the same imperialist pattern is being repeated regarding Syria.”
“It is intolerable that the powerful of this world intend to claim for themselves the right to order legitimate and sovereign governments rulers to step down. This was the case in Libya, and they want to do the same in Syria. Such are the existing asymmetries in the international setting and such are the abuses against the weakest nations.”
“If we direct our eyes to the Horn of Africa we will witness a heartbreaking example of the UN’s historical failure: most serious news agencies report that 20-29,000 children under the age of 5 have died in the last three months.”
“What is needed to face this situation is $400 million, not to solve the problem, but just to address the emergency that Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia are going through. According to all sources, the next two months will be crucial to prevent more than 12 million people from dying, and the worst situation is that of Somalia.
“This reality could not be more atrocious, especially if, at the same time, we ask ourselves how much is being spent to destroy Libya. This is the answer of U.S. congressman Dennis Kucinich, who said: “This new War will cost us $500 million during its first week alone. Obviously, we do not have financial resources for that and we will end up cutting off other important domestic programs’ funding.” According to Kucinich himself, with the amount spent during the first three weeks in Northern Africa to massacre the Libyan people, much could have been done to help the entire region of the Horn of Africa, saving tens of thousands of lives.”
“…it is frankly regrettable that in the opening address of the 66th General Assembly of the UN, an immediate appeal to solve humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa was not made, while instead we were assured that “the time has come to act” on Syria.”
We are also crying out for the end to the shameful and criminal blockade of our sister Republic of Cuba: a blockade that, for more than fifty years, is being exercised by the empire with cruelty and brutalityagainst the heroic peoples of
“As of 2010, 19 UN General Assembly votes confirm the universal will demanding that the United States stop the economic and trade blockade against Cuba. Since all sensible international arguments have been exhausted, we have no choice but to believe that such cruel actions against the Cuban Revolution result from imperial arrogance in view of the dignity and courage shown by the unsubmissive Cuban people in their sovereign decision to determine their own fate and fight for their happiness.
“From Venezuela, we believe it is time to demand of the U.S. not only an immediate and unconditional end to the criminal blockade imposed against the Cuban people, but also the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters held hostage in the prisons of the American Empire for the sole reason of seeking to prevent the illegal actions of terrorist groups against Cuba, under the shelter of the U.S. government.”
“For us, it is obvious that the UN is not improving, nor will it improve from the inside. If the Secretary General, along with the President of the International Criminal Court, take part in an act of war, as in the case of Libya, nothing can be expected from the current structure of this organization and there is no longer time for reform.”
“It is unbearable that there is a Security Council that turns its back, whenever it wants to, on the clamor of the majority of nations by deliberately failing to acknowledge the will of the General Assembly. If the Security Council is some sort of club with privileged members, what can the General Assembly do? Where is its room for maneuver, when Security Council members violate international law?
“Paraphrasing Bolívar when he spoke of nascent Yankee imperialism in 1818, we have had enough of the weak following the law while the strong commit abuses. It cannot be us, the peoples of the South, who respect international law while the North violates it, destroying and plundering us.
“If we do not make a commitment, once and for all, to rebuilding the United Nations, this organization will lose its remaining credibility. Its crisis of legitimacy will be accelerated until it finally implodes. In fact, that is what happened to its immediate predecessor: the League of Nations.”
The future of a multi-polar world in peace lies with us. In the articulation of the majority peoples on the planet to defend ourselves from the new colonialism and to attain balance in the universe that neutralizes imperialism and arrogance.
This broad, generous, respectful call with no exclusions is addressed to all the peoples of the world, but especially to the emerging powers of The South that must take on with courage the role they are being called upon to play in the immediate future.
From Latin America and the Caribbean, powerful and dynamic regional alliances have arisen, seeking to configure a democratic regional space, respectful of special characteristics and wishing to accentuate solidarity and complementariness, fostering what unites usand politically resolving whatever divides us. And this new regionalism admits diversity and respects the rhythms of all. the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America moves forward as an experiment of the vanguard of progressive and anti-imperialist governments, seeking formulas to break with the governing international order and strengthening the capacity of the peoples to collectively face the factual powers. But this does not impede our members from making a decisive and enthusiastic thrust for the strengthening of the Union of South American Nations a political bloc confederating the 12 sovereign states of South America with the aim of grouping them in what The Liberator calleda Nation of RepublicsAnd further along down the road, we the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are getting ready to take that historic step and found a great regional entity that will group us all together, with no exclusions, where we may jointly design the policies that must guarantee our well-being, our independence, our sovereignty, on the basis of equality, solidarity and complementariness. Caracas, capital of the Bolivarian Republic of is now swelling with pride to host the Summit of the Heads of State and Government next December 2nd and 3rd, an event that shall definitively found our Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
With these profound ideas, thus concludes the second message of the Bolivarian President Hugo Chávez to the UN General Assembly.
According to the AFP dispatch dated today in Washington: US President Barack Obama declared this Wednesday that while he is president he shall be willing to change the policy with Cuba, as long as significant political and social changes are produced.
What a nice man! How smart he is! So much virtue has not allowed him to understand yet that 50 years of blockade and the crimes against our Homeland have not been able to bring our people to their knees. Many things shall change in Cuba, but they shall change because of our efforts and despite the United States. Perhaps that empire shall crumble first.
The unyielding resistance of the Cuban patriots is symbolized by our 5 Heroes. They shall never back down! They shall never surrender! As Martí proclaimed, and I have mentioned on other occasions: “Before continuous efforts to free and prosperous country, will join the South Sea to the North Sea and a snake will hatch from an eagle’s egg.”
It is obvious that the judge from the South Florida District has put the spotlight on “Obama’s supervised shame”.