A PROBABLE CIVIL WAR IN ISRAEL

A PROBABLE CIVIL WAR IN ISRAEL
By Manuel E. Yepe

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

Is Israel on the verge of civil war, as a growing number of Middle East commentators suggest, with its Jewish population deeply divided over the future of the occupation of Palestinian soil?

Such is the question asked by Jonathan Cook, British writer and journalist based in Nazareth, a specialist on Middle East issues who writes for The Guardian, Al Jazeera and other media, who attempted to answer it in a recent article.

Cook wrote that on one side is a new peace movement, Decision at 50, stuffed with former political and security leaders. Ehud Barak, a previous prime minister who appears to be seeking a political comeback, may yet emerge as its figurehead. The group has demanded the government hold a referendum next year – the half-centenary of Israel’s occupation, which began in 1967 – on whether it is time to leave the occupied territories. Its own polling shows a narrow majority ready to concede a Palestinian state.

On the other is Benjamin Netanyahu, in power for seven years with the most right-wing government in Israel’s history. Recently he posted a video on social networks criticizing those who want to end the occupation.

Cook wrote that whatever its proponents imply, the Decision at 50 referendum is about neither peace nor the Palestinians’ best interests. Its assumption is that yet again the Israeli public should determine unilaterally the Palestinians’ fate.

An Israeli consensus believes Gaza has been free of occupation since the settlers were pulled out in 2005, despite the fact that Israel still surrounds most of the coastal strip with soldiers, patrols its air space with drones and denies access to the sea.

The same unyielding, deluded Israeli consensus has declared East Jerusalem, the expected capital of a Palestinian state, as instead part of Israel’s “eternal capital”.

But the problem runs deeper still. When the new campaign proudly cites new figures showing that 58 per cent support “two States for two nations”, it glosses over what most Israelis think such statehood would entail for the Palestinians.

So what do Israelis think a Palestinian state should look like? Previous surveys have been clear. It would not include Jerusalem or control its borders. It would be territorially carved up to preserve the “settlement blocs”, which would be annexed to Israel. And most certainly it would be “demilitarized” – without an army or air force. In other words, Palestinians would lack sovereignty.

Such a state exists only in the imagination of the Israeli public. A Palestinian state on these terms would simply be an extension of the Gaza model to the West Bank.

Nonetheless, the idea of a civil war is gaining ground. Tamir Pardo, the recently departed head of Israel’s spy agency MOSSAD, warned before his death that Israel was on the brink of tearing itself apart through “internal divisions”. He rated this a bigger danger than any of the existential threats posited by Mr. Netanyahu, such as Iran’s supposed nuclear bomb.

But the truth is that there is very little ideologically separating most Israeli Jews. All but a tiny minority wish to see the
Palestinians continue as a subjugated people. For the great majority, a Palestinian state means nothing more than a makeover of the occupation, penning up the Palestinians in slightly more humane conditions.

According to Cook, Israeli moderates have had to confront the painful reality that their country is not the enlightened outpost in the Middle East they had imagined. Those who cannot stomach such a view will have to stop equivocating and take sides.

They can leave, as some are already doing, or stay and fight – not for a bogus referendum that solves nothing, but to demand dignity and freedom for the Palestinian people, advises Jonathan Cook.

September 22, 2016.

REVELADORES DE SECRETOS COMPROMETEDORES

REVELADORES DE SECRETOS COMPROMETEDORES
Por Manuel E Yepe
Exclusivo para el diario POR ESTO! de Mérida, México.
http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/

En los últimos años, el gobierno de Estados Unidos ha librado masivas operaciones de persecución y castigo contra “truthtellers” o “reveladores de secretos” en sus filas que han sido calificados indistintamente de héroes, disidentes, patriotas o traidores. Varios de ellos han sufrido persecución, cárcel, exilio o asilo. Sus revelaciones han generado infinidad de debates sobre vigilancia de los secretos del estado y el gobierno, y acerca de la necesidad de equilibrio entre la seguridad nacional y la privacidad de la información. Sin embargo, los debates y las medidas que se han adoptado por efecto de éstos no han logrado poner coto a los ataques de estos osados soldados de la libertad de información.
Recientemente se estrenó en Estados Unidos, a sala llena, la cinta biográfica “Snowden”, de Oliver Stone, que aborda la vida entre 2004 y 2013 de Edward Joseph Snowden, un ex empleado de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA) y contratista de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad (NSA) estadounidense que filtró información clasificada del gobierno sin previa autorización.
En junio de 2013, el Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos acusó a Snowden de violar la Ley de Espionaje de 1917 y por robo de propiedad del Estado. El 23 de junio, Snowden escapó a Moscú donde recibió de las autoridades rusas asilo humanitario durante un año, que luego le extendieron a tres años. En 2015, aún andaba por algún lugar no revelado de Rusia y seguía buscando asilo en otros países. Bradley Manning era un soldado transgénero del ejército de Estados Unidos que en 2010, siendo analista de inteligencia en Irak, fue acusado de filtrar a WikiLeaks, sin autorización, más de 700.000 documentos con secretos militares y del Departamento de Estado. Fue arrestado y condenado en 2013 a 35 años en la prisión militar en Fort Leavenworth.
Manning, a quien poco después de su arresto le fue permitido cambiar oficialmente su filiación sexual y pasó a llamarse Chelsea, fue finalmente acusada de 22 delitos, entre los cuales el de ayudar al enemigo, el cargo más grave que podría haber dado lugar a su condena a pena de muerte.
En febrero de 2013, Chelsea Manning se declaró culpable de diez de los cargos imputados y la vista de los restantes comenzó el 3 de junio de 2013 siendo ella declarada el 30 de julio culpable de 17 de los cargos originales y de versiones modificadas de otros cuatro, pero fue absuelta del cargo de ayudar al enemigo.
Recientemente, desde la cárcel donde cumple su condena, Chelsea Manning ha protestado por el deshumanizante trato que se le ha aplicado por haber participado en una huelga de hambre.
Por su parte, el editor en jefe de WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, sigue asilado en la Embajada ecuatoriana en Londres, donde desde hace cuatro años se mantiene arbitrariamente detenido por la persecución del gobierno estadounidense, continúa editorializando, a la vez que custodiando los documentos más importantes de sus denuncias. Se ha denunciado que está teniendo lugar una especie de cacería moderna de brujas, una guerra sin precedentes contra los denunciantes de secretos públicos, persiguiendo y castigando a quienes justifican sus acciones como actos en defensa de la libertad de prensa y el interés público.
Manning fue declarado culpable y Snowden acusado en base a lo prescrito en la ley de espionaje de 1917, una ley federal de los Estados Unidos creada para procesos judiciales durante la Primera Guerra Mundial que ahora está siendo utilizada para desmoralizar y castigar a los reveladores de secretos del gobierno. Esta ley no permite una defensa basada en el interés público y previene contra la utilización de las motivaciones de los acusados en los juicios, lo que hace imposible para ellos defender sus actos y obtener un juicio justo.
Estos autoproclamados defensores de la libertad de revelar
injustificados secretos del gobierno se consideran verdaderos abogados de la democracia que creen en la capacidad de la gente común de tomar decisiones vitales sobre sus propias vidas.
Manning escribió que cumpliría su condena sabiendo que “a veces se tiene que pagar un alto precio por vivir en una sociedad libre. Con mucho gusto pagaré ese precio si ello significara tener un país realmente concebido en libertad y dedicado a la proposición de que todas las mujeres y todos los hombres son creados iguales.”
En una petición de indulto presidencial que presentó en 2013, Chelsea Manning cuestionó la moralidad de la presencia militar de Estados Unidos en otros países después el once de septiembre de 2001 y apreció que “en nuestros esfuerzos contra los riesgos que representan nuestros enemigos para nosotros, nos olvidamos de nuestra humanidad”.

Septiembre 26 de 2016.

THE BATTLE FOR HONEST JOURNALISM

THE BATTLE FOR HONEST JOURNALISM
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

Humanity lives in a world of capitalist supremacy where everything is ruled, in one way or another, by practices that favor capital above all other factors of the economy.

We live in a world with all provisions set for the benefit of the owners of money: from electoral procedures and government structures to the smallest details of public and private relations. Everything has been oriented to the buying and selling mechanisms so they favor the owning classes who have the wealth.

In Latin America, not even Cuba –with its socialist revolution but also heir to countless of the methods, traditions and practices of capitalism– escapes this global reality. Except that in Cuba, by virtue of the deep socialist revolution that began half a century ago, the role previously held by the dominant wealthy classes is now exercised by society as a whole.

In the case of Cuba, a political organization –based on the most advanced revolutionary doctrine humanity has produced: Marxism– as society’s vanguard, protects its unity and ensures the legitimacy of truly democratic relations in all areas of society.

If we fail to consider that the mechanisms which freed Cuba from the evils of capitalism are still being created, tested, or waiting to be instituted to serve a social system that is also in the process of emerging fully, we are at risk of making serious mistakes. The Cuban revolution is not a copy of any other and, like other models that proclaim themselves Socialist, Cuba to find its own way.

Globally, journalism has become –for a long time now– an essential element of power, along with the three classic powers of the State (legislative, executive and judicial). Hence the media is often identified as the fourth power.

With this as its starting point, the ruling classes have succeeded in making the mainstream media (in print, radio, television and, more recently the Internet) a commodity and a tool aimed at convincing people and promoting compliance with capitalist ideas. They have done this with such effectiveness that they have succeeded in imposing their media dictatorship worldwide.

Advertising has become the lawful resource for those with money to defray cost of operating the media and thus controling it or exercise influence over its content proportional to the potential of their own economic and political interests.

Historically, big capitalists have not been satisfied with the ascendency they can get through their ads and have moved to partial or wholly ownership of the media, often using more or less
publicly-identifiable fronts.

The ideological domination of oligarchies in Latin America –who often act as figureheads for the hegemonic domination of large US
corporations– has been acquiring such a high level on the continent that no one doubts that a social revolution is not feasible without destroying the counterrevolutionary control of the media.

Confirmation of this conception is the fact that today in Latin America, the media under control of the ruling classes are playing the role that, in the last century, was played by the Latin American military hierarchy. The military carried out the coups –promoted by the United States– which plunged the region into the most nefarious situation of inequality, crime and misery.

However, according to recent experiences in the hemisphere, we could say that a coup may occur with the military or without it, with parliament or without it, with the media or without it, but always with the financial resources that move the wheels.

Although the laws of technological development tend to make the media increasingly social, the owners of capital have managed to always put communications and the media in a place outside the control of centers of democratic power. Thus, they facilitate their control by the owners of financial resources: the capitalists.

The Cuban experience –with its virtues and its many flaws that today are hotly debated by journalists in the island– shows that the social ownership of communications and the media with the widest popular participation, in a society with social ownership of the major means of production and distribution, opens the possibility of the use and effective enjoyment of these media by the majority… and safeguards it from the insatiable greed of capital.

Other mechanisms could be valid, but are yet to be tested and confirmed by practice.

September 19, 2016.

THE OTHER WAR CRIME IN THE BALKANS

THE OTHER WAR CRIME IN THE BALKANS
By Manuel E. Yepe

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
https://englishmanuelyepe.wordpress.com/

The Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), in The Hague, has exonerated the late President of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, of all guilt for war crimes committed during the Bosnian war of 1992-1995, including the Srebrenica slaughter.

Far from conspiring with convicted Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, Milosevic condemned the ethnic cleansing advocated by Karadzic and tried to prevent the war that dismembered Yugoslavia.

This finding, in fact, belies the propaganda aimed at justifying the illegal 1999 NATO war against Serbia.

Milosevic died a prisoner in a cell of the advanced technology high security prison of Scheveningen in The Hague. He died of a heart attack in 2006, when he was subjected to a pantomime “international trial” after being denied the heart surgery that could have saved his life. His death prevented him from delivering incriminating evidence against his US and European captors.

Sara Flounders, renowned US writer and anti-war activist Sara Flounders, who participated as a defense witness in the trial against Milosevic, in an article entitled “Milosevic´s Death: A Political Assassination Blamed on the Victim” wrote: “No one who has met with President Milosevic over the past four years would believe he would risk killing himself rather than complete his trial. And no one who visited Scheveningen prison in The Hague would believe the outlandish claims that somehow he was able to smuggle in unprescribed medications on a regular basis. They would instead suspect that the authorities were desperately trying to cover up their own crimes.”

Milosevic was housed in a special unit within a high security prison with advanced technology. These units are specially patrolled by United Nations guards. Cameras are everywhere. Every movement of the prisoners is monitored and controlled.

The prison authorities claim that Milosevic was taking rifampicin, a rare, difficult-to-acquire antibiotic used to treat leprosy or tuberculosis that has the unique ability to counteract the medicine he was taking to control his high blood pressure.

When rifampicin was allegedly found on Jan. 12 in Milosevic’s blood, the ICTY kept the report of the blood tests secret, even from Milosevic and his doctors, who were complaining that something terribly wrong was damaging the defendant’s health. While the prisoner and his defense committee and assisting lawyers were demanding health information, the ICTY officials sat on this report.

Equally outlandish were the claims that Milosevic staged his illness to delay the trial. In fact it was the prosecution that delayed the trial first by adding charges against Milosevec when they realized they had no case on the original war-crime charges, then by bringing hundreds of witnesses to generate 500,000 pages of prosecution testimony from February 2002 to February 2004.

Milosevic was determined to use the trial as a platform to defend not only himself but the people of Yugoslavia, and to indict the U.S., Germany and the NATO powers for their role in the criminal destruction of his country. He welcomed the trial as the only platform where he could make the historical record. In his remarks to the court, he constantly described why, despite his bad health, he was determined to continue.

In a letter addressed to the Russian Embassy two days before he died, Milosevic wrote that he had taken no antibiotics in more than four years. He warned that he was sure he was being poisoned and that his life was in danger.

He said the ICTY is not a real international court, with the ability to try any accused war criminal. It is a political court set up by the UN Security Council at the insistence of the United States in 1993, in violation of the UN Charter. It aims to punish the victims for the crimes committed against them and to absolve the imperialist powers who invaded, bombed, dismembered and forced the privatization of the Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia.

Now the world is asked to believe that Milosevic was responsible for his own death. It is a scenario so incredibly complex, an elaborate suicide story that is as improbable as the charges against him. The bought-and-paid-for corporate media are accepting and propagating the story of his death in the same servile fashion they accepted the very existence of this illegal court and the justification for the destruction of Yugoslavia.

August 26, 2016.

THE STRIP TEASE OF IMPERIALIST POLITICS

THE STRIP TEASE OF IMPERIALIST POLITICS
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

Today increasingly-substantial financial resources are being invested in the creation of new technologies of war and weapons of mass destruction, though there isn’t the least defensive justification for it in the conditions of the post-Cold War world.
Europe, which benefited so much from the conquest and colonization of America, Africa and Asia, has been responsible for dragging the world into two global wars. The so-called old continent should have made a supreme effort to avoid catastrophes like those in the former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, as well as the criminal extermination actions which for many years have been perpetrated by the Zionist forces against the martyred Palestinian people, to mention only the bloodiest.
Only 19 years elapsed between the first and second world wars. World War II ended 71 years ago. However, since then there have been conflicts and wars that have employed several times more explosives and chemical weapons than both world wars together.
The policy of allocating more massive budgets for war and lowering taxes for the more powerful contributors means less money for social expenditures. This does not affect the entire US population equally. Neo-liberal practices, together with globalization, ensure that the rich continue to increase their wealth while the poor continue to grow in number and become increasingly poorer.
In the United States, federal programs for education, community development, grants to agencies for environmental protection, financing for development, low-cost alternative energy, disease control, drug abuse treatment, health and occupational security management, as well as public safety are reduced or eliminated; this list includes only the most recently and hardest hit areas.
The United States presents the paradox of being the richest country in the world and at the same time it has one of the highest indices of poverty among developed countries. The US currently has,
proportionally, the largest number of poor people without health insurance, yet with insecurity and food deficiency among the rich countries.
These sad social realities for the people of the United States, caused by imperialist wars in terms of soldier casualties and injuries, cannot compare, however, with the enormous damage that these disproportionate wars have meant for the attacked peoples.
The farcical excuses presented by the United States, first, to justify the occupation and, then, to save face in view of the evidence of a lost war, have been grotesque.
This happens when Washington cannot find a way out of the attacked countries without obtaining substantial economic benefits for the transnational monopolies that were the real reason for the aggression in the first place.
The noble aspiration of mankind to make the twenty-first century the first in history without wars died early. Against the accumulation of hardships, atrocities, cruelties and sacrifices that characterize the reality of war, the struggle of humanity for peace becomes a vital necessity.
Humanity today has sufficient culture and experience to reject the notion that peace must be imposed by war. Peace can and must be a conscious objective of human intelligence and solidarity.
It has been said many times that the people of the United States are the only ones who can carry out the titanic feat of bringing down the most powerful and bloodthirsty empire ever known to humanity. Today, humanity anxiously waiting to see that people react to give it the solidarity it deserves!
These days, people around the world have been able to follow, sometimes with disgust, the process of elections that every four years takes place in the United States.
On this occasion, however, new and striking manifestations of the profound crisis that engulfs the political system of the only superpower of this era have become apparent.
The campaign of the Republican candidate Donald Trump has allowed everyone to see, in all its crudeness, the terrible fascist danger that looms over humanity. By contrast, the Democratic Party candidate, Bernard Sanders, had encouraging messages that had never before been heard from within the highest echelons of imperialist politics. July 28, 2016.

RACIAL GAP DEEPENS IN THE UNITED STATES

RACIAL GAP DEEPENS IN THE UNITED STATES
By Manuel E. Yepe
http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/
Exclusive for daily POR ESTO! of Mérida, México.

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

Race relations have worsened in the United States since Donald Trump’s electoral campaign began. With his recent confirmation as the Republican presidential candidate, this deterioration appears to have reached a critical state.

Upon accepting the presidential nomination at the National Republican Convention in Cleveland, Trump described himself as the “law-and-order candidate”, and declared he was ready to restore in the country a security “that is out of control and needs a leader” capable of implementing sharp measures to protect Americans.

“The first task of my new administration will be to relieve our citizens from the crime, terrorism and anarchy that threaten their communities,” he said.” I have a message for every person who threatens peace in our streets and the safety of our police: when I take office next year: I will restore law and order in our country”.

Appealing to the anguish of the voters who feel that the rest of the world no longer respects the United States, Trump pledged to act quickly so that Americans feel better about the sad image their country projects. He promised to warn allies and enemies that Washington would focus exclusively on protecting US’s own interests.

Without softening his tone, or departing from the hardline that has characterized his campaign, Trump described Americans as victims of immigrants, international companies and irresponsible leaders. He presented himself as the defender of the “forgotten men and women in our country”.

By explicitly affirming white identity and voicing the most widespread complaints, Trump has galvanized the marginal world of white nationalists who describe themselves as “racial realists”. They hail him as the man who has helped millions of white Americans to understand that race should matter to them as much as to everyone else.

The pro-Trump activists say he has freed Americans to say what they really think. A survey conducted by CBS News in April showed that half of those surveyed admitted there is a problem and more than 60% considered that race relations had worsened.

More recently, an investigation conducted nationally by the Pew Research Center of Washington, DC (PEW) between June 5 and July 7, involving 4,602 adults, showed that black and white Americans have profoundly different views on racial equality, and they also differ on the extent to which a person’s race can be a burden or a benefit.

For blacks, the answer is clear: 65% say “it is a lot more difficult to be black in this country than it is to be white.”

Fewer than half as many whites (27%) agree. The racial gap in perception of white advantages is even starker: 62% of blacks say “white people benefit a great deal from advantages in society that black people do not have.” Just 13% of whites say whites have benefited a great deal from advantages that blacks lack.

Commenting on the evidence of this study on perception of race advantages or disadvantages, PEW researcher Shiva Maniam wrote on July 18 that among Latinos, 37% say it is lot more difficult to be black than white, which is higher than the share of whites who say this but far lower than the number of blacks who do so.

Most Latinos say white people benefit from advantages in society that blacks do not have; 33% say whites benefit a great deal from these circumstances, compared with 62% of blacks and 13% of whites.

About the perception of how blacks are treated in different areas, another recent survey revealed that most blacks believe they are treated less fairly than whites in dealing with the police, in the courts, when applying for a loan or mortgage, and in the workplace. At least four out of ten interviewed said that blacks receive much worse treatment in stores and restaurants and when voting in elections. July 22, 2016.

Marxists Say Clinton is Not the Lesser Evil.docx

MARXISTS SAY CLINTON IS NOT LESSER EVIL
By Manuel E. Yepe
http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/
Exclusive for journal POR ESTO! of Mérida, México.

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

“By rejecting Hillary Clinton as Lesser Evil and, most importantly, by resolving to build political independence, Sanders campaign activists and supporters can make 2016 a year of genuine “political revolution.” This is the conclusion reached in an article published by Marxism Leninism Today (MLT) on July 12.

Under the title “What Should Bernie Sanders Supporters Do Now?” the editors express their view on the decision of Senator Sanders to join the Hillary Clinton campaign –against whom he had sought the nomination of the Democratic Party– and consider that the 2016 elections reflect the deepening crisis of the capitalist economic system in general and the US political party system in particular.

In the 2016 primary season, something new happened: voter response to Trump and Sanders represented a new level of mass disaffection from the existing political system.

“Everyone knew voter anger had to come, sooner or later. Forty years of stagnant or declining wages, the export of jobs and
de-industrialization, growing inequality, police violence against Black youth, mass incarceration, attacks on unions and labor rights, rolling back the social safety net, endless wars, the 2008 Great Recession and the halting recovery, gridlock in Congress, growing poverty and insecurity – all have altered the consciousness of tens of millions,” said MLT.

“At the Democratic Party Platform drafting meeting in Orlando, Florida, Sanders’ positions on issues such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Palestinian rights, and single-payer healthcare have been rebuffed by the Clintonites,” the US communists journal said.

Worsening social discontent sparked insurgencies in both major parties. With the narrowing differences between the two monopoly parties, the received wisdom, “Vote for Lesser Evil” makes less and less sense to ordinary voters, let alone to Sanders supporters.

Voter anger has finally found political expression at the ballot box, but the way anger has been expressed is not symmetric.

In the case of the Democrats, Bernie Sanders offered a version of Scandinavian social democracy. Political independence was no part of his plan. From the start, he pledged to support the eventual Democratic nominee. To his credit, he moved leftward on a number of important issues. His campaign inspired sections of the Democratic base, especially youth. Sanders wound up with 12 million votes in the primaries, compared to 16 million for Clinton.

According to MLT’s article, progressive/liberal insurgencies in the Democratic Party are not new: Ted Kennedy against Jimmy Carter in 1980; Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988; Howard Dean in 2004; Dennis Kucinich in 2004 and 2008. In all cases, the insurgency petered out. Most Democrats ended up voting for the Democratic nominee, seemingly a “Lesser Evil”, rather than a thoroughly-reactionary Republican candidate. The Democratic Party establishment knows how to corral stray sheep.

The Clinton camp, for example, has done this with talk of Trump’s “fascism” or his “McCarthyism,” or the unspeakable horror of “losing” the US Supreme Court.

The Lesser Evil argument has never been weaker than it is now, says MLT, “The two big parties are equally evil; then it is incumbent on progressives to begin systematic political work for independence from the two-party system. Trump and Clinton are equally evil, but in different ways. On domestic issues (except trade), Trump is obviously worse than Clinton, but on foreign policy Clinton is demonstrably more dangerous than Trump,” affirms MLT.

Trump represents a long US tradition of right-wing populism that mingles racism, xenophobia, nationalism, and isolationism with nostalgia for a golden past. He combines attacks on socially-oppressed groups with distorted forms of anti-elitism based on “scapegoating”.

July 19, 2016.

COLOMBIA IN THE FINAL STAGE BEFORE PEACE

COLOMBIA IN THE FINAL STAGE BEFORE PEACE
By Manuel E. Yepe
http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/

Exclusive for daily Por Esto! Merida, Mexico.

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
http://walterlippmann.com/colombia-in-the-final-stage-before-peace/

In any conflict between two, it is logical that the conclusion should produce a winner and a loser. Only three forms of postwar peace have always existed: the one imposed by the victor, humiliating for the vanquished; Pyrrhic peace in which to reach victory the winner has suffered many or more losses than the defeated; and peace determined by the inability of either party to achieve success after extreme suffering for both sides. The latter is the one that seems closer to become a reality in Colombia.

All humanity has received with joy the promise of peace in Colombia that was sealed with the agreements on ceasefire, deposition of weapons, security guarantees and other aspects signed on June 23 in Havana by the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, and Commander Timoleon Jimenez, Chief of Staff of the Colombian FARC-EP.

The senior leader of the guerrilla organization was adamant in his speech at the document signing ceremony saying that “neither the FARC nor the Colombian State are defeated forces and therefore the agreement cannot be understood by anyone as a result of any imposition of one party to the other.

“We have discussed at length and even got to alleys that seemed to be dead-ends. These could only be overcome thanks to the generous and effective intervention of the guarantor countries, Cuba and Norway, and the opportunities and wise formulas suggested by the creativity of the spokespersons of both parties and their diligent advisers,” Jimenez said.

The armed conflict has already surpassed in its duration – more than half a century– than any other of this nature in the world. The FARC, that on 27 May last reached 52 years of existence, constitutes the largest and most representative guerrilla resistance organization in Colombia. Therefore this approach to peace has the virtual
significance of an approach to the end of the war.

“It is true that there subsist other phenomena of violence and crime, as the ELN and criminal gangs linked to drug trafficking. But something we all need to understand is that this agreement reached with the FARC means ending the war with the largest and oldest guerrilla organization. This has a huge importance for the present and the future of Colombia,” said at the signature ceremony Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

This coming November 19 will mark four years since the start of the talks between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP in Havana. These talks had the difficult and ambitious task of bringing together two sides that have been in combat for over half a century.

Hardly anyone of good will doubted then that Cuba was the ideal setting for the meeting, given Havana’s well-earned diplomatic prestige as well as considering its history of courageous respect for the parties in dispute for the sake of solving several serious conflicts. This behavior led Pope Francisco to predict that Cuba could become the capital of world unity.

At the signing ceremony for the agreements, President Santos recalled that there are still important issues to agree on so that the final agreement could be signed in Colombia as soon as possible.

There have been critics of the talks who, among other deceptions, have tried to show that the FARC sought, through this process, to make politics while holding on to weapons.

On this issue, Commander Timoleon Jimenez, the revolutionary leader heading the signing guerrilla delegation, , stressed: “Of course the FARC makes politics, that is our reason for being, but we will make it by legal and peaceful means, with the same rights and guarantees as other parties.”

Meanwhile, the Colombian government will have to guarantee that no Colombian is persecuted for their ideas or political practices, and that once the final agreement is signed, the military war machine and the antiquated security doctrine will disappear.

At the solemn ceremony of signing the agreements, the revolutionary chief called the Colombian armed forces – which massively grew in the course of the war and were trained in counterinsurgency and special operations– to henceforth play an important role in the interest of peace, reconciliation and the country’s actions for development. “They were our opponents, but in the future we will have to be allied forces for the good of Colombia”.

July 2, 2016.

COLOMBIA IN THE FINAL STAGE BEFORE PEACE

COLOMBIA IN THE FINAL STAGE BEFORE PEACE
By Manuel E. Yepe
http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/

Exclusive for daily Por Esto! Merida, Mexico.

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
http://walterlippmann.com/colombia-in-the-final-stage-before-peace/

In any conflict between two, it is logical that the conclusion should produce a winner and a loser. Only three forms of postwar peace have always existed: the one imposed by the victor, humiliating for the vanquished; Pyrrhic peace in which to reach victory the winner has suffered many or more losses than the defeated; and peace determined by the inability of either party to achieve success after extreme suffering for both sides. The latter is the one that seems closer to become a reality in Colombia.

All humanity has received with joy the promise of peace in Colombia that was sealed with the agreements on ceasefire, deposition of weapons, security guarantees and other aspects signed on June 23 in Havana by the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, and Commander Timoleon Jimenez, Chief of Staff of the Colombian FARC-EP.

The senior leader of the guerrilla organization was adamant in his speech at the document signing ceremony saying that “neither the FARC nor the Colombian State are defeated forces and therefore the agreement cannot be understood by anyone as a result of any imposition of one party to the other.

“We have discussed at length and even got to alleys that seemed to be dead-ends. These could only be overcome thanks to the generous and effective intervention of the guarantor countries, Cuba and Norway, and the opportunities and wise formulas suggested by the creativity of the spokespersons of both parties and their diligent advisers,” Jimenez said.

The armed conflict has already surpassed in its duration – more than half a century– than any other of this nature in the world. The FARC, that on 27 May last reached 52 years of existence, constitutes the largest and most representative guerrilla resistance organization in Colombia. Therefore this approach to peace has the virtual
significance of an approach to the end of the war.

“It is true that there subsist other phenomena of violence and crime, as the ELN and criminal gangs linked to drug trafficking. But something we all need to understand is that this agreement reached with the FARC means ending the war with the largest and oldest guerrilla organization. This has a huge importance for the present and the future of Colombia,” said at the signature ceremony Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

This coming November 19 will mark four years since the start of the talks between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP in Havana. These talks had the difficult and ambitious task of bringing together two sides that have been in combat for over half a century.

Hardly anyone of good will doubted then that Cuba was the ideal setting for the meeting, given Havana’s well-earned diplomatic prestige as well as considering its history of courageous respect for the parties in dispute for the sake of solving several serious conflicts. This behavior led Pope Francisco to predict that Cuba could become the capital of world unity.

At the signing ceremony for the agreements, President Santos recalled that there are still important issues to agree on so that the final agreement could be signed in Colombia as soon as possible.

There have been critics of the talks who, among other deceptions, have tried to show that the FARC sought, through this process, to make politics while holding on to weapons.

On this issue, Commander Timoleon Jimenez, the revolutionary leader heading the signing guerrilla delegation, , stressed: “Of course the FARC makes politics, that is our reason for being, but we will make it by legal and peaceful means, with the same rights and guarantees as other parties.”

Meanwhile, the Colombian government will have to guarantee that no Colombian is persecuted for their ideas or political practices, and that once the final agreement is signed, the military war machine and the antiquated security doctrine will disappear.

At the solemn ceremony of signing the agreements, the revolutionary chief called the Colombian armed forces – which massively grew in the course of the war and were trained in counterinsurgency and special operations– to henceforth play an important role in the interest of peace, reconciliation and the country’s actions for development. “They were our opponents, but in the future we will have to be allied forces for the good of Colombia”.

July 2, 2016.

Manuel E. Yepe. BREXIT COMES TO THE CARIBBEAN By Manuel E. Yepe http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/ A CubaNews tran slation. Edited by Walter Lippmann. “Brexit” has been defined by many as “a real political earthquake with nationa l and international implications”. It seemed a difficult fight for the separatists, because higher English leaders – headed by their Prime Minister David Cameron– led the opposition to this demand promoted by the most conservative poli ticians. The British political leadership was defeated and, with them, all of Europe, their allies and even the presiden t of the United States, Barack Obama, who saw his position of maintaining within the European Union (EU) his most loyal and powerful ally in all main issues for the US power defeated. The result of Brexit referendum, which has affected all the world in various ways, has the countries of the Caribbean region in anxious expectation, torn between forecasts and preparations, because of the ties –both hist

BREXIT COMES TO THE CARIBBEAN
By Manuel E. Yepe
http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

“Brexit” has been defined by many as “a real political earthquake with national and international implications”.

It seemed a difficult fight for the separatists, because higher English leaders –headed by their Prime Minister David Cameron– led the opposition to this demand promoted by the most conservative
politicians.

The British political leadership was defeated and, with them, all of Europe, their allies and even the president of the United States, Barack Obama, who saw his position of maintaining within the European Union (EU) his most loyal and powerful ally in all main issues for the US power defeated.

The result of Brexit referendum, which has affected all the world in various ways, has the countries of the Caribbean region in anxious expectation, torn between forecasts and preparations, because of the ties –both historical and current– that link them to the United Kingdom.

“No need to panic. Every effort will be made to ensure the UK market,” Jamaican Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, told the media; but acknowledged that the decision of the British electorate “is of importance to us in Caribbean tourism for a number of reasons, perhaps most importantly the fact that it will have an impact on arrivals of travelers and tourism throughout the region.”

As reported by the Italian digital magazine Travel Trade Caribbean (TTC) which specializes in Caribbean region tourism, “Bartlett recalled that the Caribbean is highly dependent on British visitors”. Therefore “it is important to consider the decision’s implications.”

“Brexit creates a trade nightmare for the Caribbean,” said a headline in the Bahama Tribune newspaper. It estimated that independent English-speaking countries in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will have, at most, two years to formulate a plan to address the serious consequences of the British departure from the EU”.

“Once Britain finally leaves the European Union, the twelve Caribbean countries will lose the commercial relationship structured through trade with the British market.”

“When Britain joined the then European Economic Community in 1973, control of trade agreements were transferred to the Community. Since then, formal trade, aid and investment among the twelve Caribbean countries has gone through the EU. These relations were formalized successively at the Lomé Convention, the Cotonou Agreement and the Economic Agreement Partnership (EPA),” the newspaper added.

According to TTC, experts in the region believe that Brexit could push more Caribbean states toward Washington in search of more security in sensitive financial and economic areas which might be safer than those offered by their traditional British links.

The Caribbean region certainly has strong historical and cultural ties with Britain. Considering this, the rector of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Sir Hilary Beckles, warned the region in a message that “they must prepare for the impact of the UK’s break with the European Union” because “all aspects of life in the Caribbean will be negatively affected.”

Sir Hilary, in his statement, released by the official website of CARICOM said that the fragile economic recovery in the region is “threatened with death”, and that the exit of Britain could lead to immediate regional strategic reactions, even before the heads of government meet in Guyana this July.

“Brexit is a long-term threat to the performance of CARICOM
economies,” he said. He also predicted that “the commercial relations, immigration, tourism, financial relations, cultural commitments and foreign policy of the Caribbean will have a major redefinition, due to the reorganization of the CARICOM-United Kingdom commitments,” the expert added.

He urged the region to strengthen its internal policies and relations with the rest of the world.

Brexit has also had a strong impact on Puerto Rico –a Caribbean island which, like Cuba and the Philippines, was booty of the opportunistic war launched by the US against Spain at the end of the nineteenth century. Puerto Rico remains under Washington’s domination, despite the power of strong national feelings –often conflicting– on their shared situation. Most maintain a passionate love for their country, an obvious resentment against Washington, and a hurtful appreciation of the benefits that US citizenship can bring.

There, angry shouts have been heard clamoring for a “Prexit” for their country; that is, the exit of Puerto Rico from the United States.

July 5, 2016.