Memories of a Mercenary

MEMORIES OF A MERCENARY
By Manuel E. Yepe

http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/
A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.
http://walterlippmann.com/memories-of-a-mercenary/

In recent days, a book written by a Cuban who has been a mercenary in the service of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been published in the United States and has played dissimilar roles in that criminal organization’s actions not only in the Washington battle against his Home country, but also to other infamous plans of the agency in other parts of the world and in the United States, including the latter, to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The American magazine Newsweek, in its May 28, 2017 issue, publishes a review by journalist Jefferson Morley on the book “Trained to Kill: The CIA Secrets about His Plans Against Castro, Kennedy and Che,” written by his ex Operative agent Antonio Veciana.

The terrorist “exploits” of this mercenary were widely known in Cuba and recognized by the American press, but the value of the infamies confessed by Veciana is that he adds elements to the multiple versions of the CIA’s leading role in the assassination of Kennedy .

According to Veciana, in 1960, he worked as an official of the Cuban government when, having already tried to subvert it from within, he stole official funds and used the money to finance attacks against government offices, factories and warehouses.

Two years later, he used his position in the government to distribute propaganda falsely announcing that the government planned to take custody of school-age children with the purpose of provoking panic in Cuban families and having some send their children to the United States , where they would be welcomed by the Catholic Church in South Florida. The operation was called Peter Pan, it separated 14,000 Cuban children from their families and was described in the press as “a disinterested effort to rescue the victims of communist oppression.”

Controller of Veciana for the operation was “Maurice Bishop” whose real name was David Atlee Phillips, who would become Head of the Division of the CIA for the Western Hemisphere until his retirement in 1975.

After the failure of Bay of Pigs, at Playa Girón, Phillips expressed his contempt for Kennedy, explains Veciana. After JFK’s peaceful conclusion to the missile crisis, Phillips created Alpha-66, a terrorist organization to attack Cuban targets that became a CIA instrument to pressure Kennedy with his actions.

In March 1963, Veciana and his group attacked a Russian merchant ship headed for Cuba, generating headlines around the world. Phillips sought to humiliate the Russians and embarrass JFK to take more aggressive action against Cuba. But Kennedy downplayed the issue and “Castro’s enemies, including Phillips, became even more furious,” Veciana says.

Veciana confirms how she met Kennedy’s alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, in the lobby of the Southland Center, the tallest building in Dallas, where he was introduced by Bishop.

“That was full of people, but Bishop, standing in a corner, was talking to a young man, pale, insubstantial. When he introduced me, I do not remember if he did it by his name (he might have said, ‘Tony, this is Lee. Lee, this is Tony.) But what I’m sure of is that Lee did not say anything. “

Following the assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963, Oswald was arrested, and his face was broadcast on television. “I recognized him immediately,” writes Veciana. “He was, without a doubt, the same pale, insignificant young man I had seen eleven weeks before” in the company of Maurice Bishop. “

Veciana recalls that early in 1964 the agency man asked if a cousin of his who was a Cuban intelligence officer would be willing to state that he had conspired with Oswald before JFK was killed. Phillips offered to pay for such testimony, but Veciana replied that his cousin was communist and could not be bought.

A decade later, in 1975, when the JFK investigation was reopened, a congressional investigator, knowing that Veciana had worked for the CIA, approached him to learn more about how the agency collaborated with Cuban exiles. Veciana told her the story of her work with Bishop, including meeting with Oswald. Arrangements were made for an artist to draw a picture of Bishop based on Veciana’s description and the result was a portrait that closely resembled Phillips. Veciana was then taken to Washington for a meeting with Phillips, but he pretended not to know Veciana who, out of fear of reprisals from the CIA denied that Bishop and Phillips were the same person. “A lie that I have maintained until today”, emphasizes Veciana.

Certainly, in the confessions of this bloodthirsty terrorist there are elements that contribute data to the clarification of some half truths and manipulations in the criminal history of the USA.

June 5, 2017.

HAVANA SHALL NOT BE GENTRIFIED

Dear Manuel,

This is a beautiful article and so very true in every way. I am especially happy to learn about Eusebio’s predecessor and mentor.

The work of Eusebio is internationally recognized and acclaimed. His success, as you say, is largely based on the social engagement of the residents of Habana Vieja.

Thanks for sharing with me.

Abrazos, Marcel

On 6/4/17 09:01, Manuel Yepe wrote:

HAVANA SHALL NOT BE GENTRIFIED By Manuel E. Yepe Proof that neoliberal capitalist domination is universal lies in the real estate speculation that underlies the neo-liberal dream that “wealth is easy in the capitalist world”. 

NORTH KOREA’S ANTIDOTE TO U.S. WAR

NORTH KOREA’S ANTIDOTE TO U.S. WAR
By Manuel E. Yepe

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea, or Communist Korea is one of the most systematic targets of the pejorative and slanderous propaganda carried out by
capitalist-controlled media at a global scale.
But the DPRK has never succumbed to Washington’s intimidation. This has generated, around the world, admiration for the very fact of its survival; and solidarity for the courage with which it faces so much negative propaganda.
Pyongyang has never shown signs of wavering in the face of such threats and, on the contrary, it has even dared to develop a reduced arsenal of nuclear weapons for self-defense in the event that the United States tries to assert its dominance by launching another war like the one it carried out in the nineteen-fifties.
In the wake of the most recent US military provocations against North Korea and the usual firmness of its replies, the US journalist Mike Whitney has spublished a comprehensive article in the digital magazine Counterpunch recalling that:
“Washington has never made any effort to conceal its contempt for North Korea. In the 64 years since the war ended, the US has done everything in its power to punish, humiliate and inflict pain on the Communist country.”
“Washington has subjected the DPRK to starvation; it has prevented its government from accessing foreign capital and markets; it has strangled its economy with crippling economic sanctions; and has installed lethal missile systems and military bases on its doorstep.” “Negotiations aren’t possible,” says Whitney, because Washington refuses to sit down with a country which it sees as its inferior. Instead, the US has strong-armed China to do its bidding by using their diplomats as interlocutors who are expected to convey
Washington’s ultimatums as threateningly as possible. The hope, of course, is that Pyongyang will cave in to Uncle Sam’s bullying and do what they are told.”
“There’s no country in the world that needs nuclear weapons more than North Korea. Brainwashed Americans, who get their news from FOX or CNN, may differ on this point, but if a hostile nation deployed carrier strike-groups off the coast of California while conducting massive war games on the Mexican then they might see things
differently. They might see the value of having a few nuclear weapons to deter that hostile nation from doing something really stupid.” According to Whitney, “the only reason Kim Jong Un hasn’t joined Saddam and Gadhafi in the great hereafter, is because the DPRK has the capacity to reduce Seoul, Okinawa and Tokyo into smoldering
debris-fields. Absent Kim’s WMDs, Pyongyang would have faced a preemptive attack long ago and Kim would have faced a fate similar to Gadhafi’s. “Nuclear weapons are the only known antidote to US adventurism,” says the journalist.
“In the early 1950s, during the Korean War, the US dropped more bombs on North Korea than it had dropped in the entire Pacific theater during World War II. This carpet bombing, which included 32,000 tons of napalm, often deliberately targeted civilian as well as military targets. Whole cities were destroyed, with many thousands of innocent civilians killed and many more left homeless and hungry.”
The United States killed over 2 million people in a country that posed no threat to US national security.
Like Vietnam, the Korean War was just another muscle-flexing exercise the US periodically engages in whenever it gets bored or needs some far-flung location to try out its new weapons systems. The US had nothing to gain in its aggression on the Korean peninsula.
“In the US, most people think the problem lies with North Korea, but it doesn’t,” explains Whitney.” The problem lies with the United States; it’s unwillingness to negotiate an end to the war, its unwillingness to provide basic security guarantees to the North, its unwillingness to even sit down with the people who –through
Washington’s own stubborn ignorance– are now developing long-range ballistic missiles that will be capable of hitting American cities. According to Whitney, “relations with the North can be normalized, economic ties can be strengthened, trust can be restored, and the nuclear threat can be defused. The situation with the North does not have to be a crisis, it can be fixed. It just takes a change in policy, a bit of give-and-take, and leaders that genuinely want peace more than war.
April 20, 2017

HAVANA SHALL NOT BE GENTRIFIED

HAVANA SHALL NOT BE GENTRIFIED
By Manuel E. Yepe
Proof that neoliberal capitalist domination is universal lies in the real estate speculation that underlies the neo-liberal dream that “wealth is easy in the capitalist world”.

The most common evidence is finding a sumptuous building being built where previously there had been many modest homes and/or small businesses. If there is not a billboard to inform you, investigate and you will find that the new construction will house or serve a small number of families in very sumptuous conditions.

This phenomenon of capitalism is called “gentrification.” Sometimes it affects whole neighborhoods of humble population and leaves beautiful spaces that certainly can make wide sectors of the citizenship proud –even popular sectors– despite the fact that they hurt the sensitivity of those who worry about the worsening situation of those who previously inhabited those areas.

I remember that, shortly after the triumph of the revolution in Cuba, more than half a century ago, for the first time, I heard of this from a young dreamer named Eusebio Leal.

If I am not mistaken, he, being a history lover, began working as an assistant to the elder historian of the city of Havana, Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring (1889-1964). Eusebio devoted himself so thoroughly to his work that he became, first, a faithful and indispensable assistant to this erudite figure and, after his death, his replacement.

The process of restoration of the historical center of Havana City has gone through several stages after the Office of the Historian was founded –with managerial and operational autonomy– in 1938, on Dr. Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring’s initiative Its purpose was the promotion of the culture of Havana and the conservation of the valuable monumental legacy that the capital of the country treasures.

Eusebio added to his mentor’s teachings his own considerations and theories about the course to be applied to the conservation, reconstruction, and development projects of the capital city of all Cubans. He did it with such brilliance that it soon became clear that no one but he could undertake the complex task of conducting the work.

He was officially appointed Historian of the City when he had already demonstrated, in daily practice, that he was the ideal person to carry out the ambitious projects that were only in his mind but which he described as fait accompli.

So many people had to be convinced that the need to save Havana was so pressing that it would have to be taken on as a priority together with the education, public health and defense of the country.

This implied such tasks of convincing and promoting that made Eusebio Leal excel as a tribune and diplomat as well as administrator and builder.

Of course, the works and projects of the Office of the Historian of Havana earned enthusiastic patronage from the highest political leadership of the Cuban state, including that of the top leader Fidel Castro, who gave them their full support whenever necessary.

With Eusebio’s personal participation in every promotional detail, the historic center of the Cuban capital was declared a World Heritage SIOPite by UNESCO in 1982. This fueled a process of restoration that has transcended the patrimonial conservation framework and became an example of sustainable local development.

The restoration process had, as a central aim, the concept that the historic center would be not only an act of high architectural and urban value, but also the creation of a site with great cultural, economic and social potential. Eusebio was convinced that a successful rehabilitation should be self-financing and socially participatory.

The restoration process of the Historic Center of Old Havana –based on a model of self-management with a participatory and community approach– has been successful in the Cuban patrimonial context. It has contributed to the objective of guaranteeing the social achievements of the Cuban people within the socialist revolution.

One undoubted social impact of the restoration process is that it created a new awareness about the value of the city, its potential and the feasibility of its recovery.

The restoration of old hotels, the creation of hostels and extra-hotel services of various kinds has created the most visible side of the economy of the historic center. These, together with the commercial activity and handicraft production, have formed a profile that describes the historic center of the city.

Havana will not be gentrified. The population that has given it worldwide fame for its joy, traditions, hospitality, generosity and solidarity will continue to be the absolute owner of the increasingly beautiful and welcoming city.

May 4, 2017

HAVANA SHALL NOT BE GENTRIFIED

HAVANA SHALL NOT BE GENTRIFIED
By Manuel E. Yepe
Proof that neoliberal capitalist domination is universal lies in the real estate speculation that underlies the neo-liberal dream that “wealth is easy in the capitalist world”.

The most common evidence is finding a sumptuous building being built where previously there had been many modest homes and/or small businesses. If there is not a billboard to inform you, investigate and you will find that the new construction will house or serve a small number of families in very sumptuous conditions.

This phenomenon of capitalism is called “gentrification.” Sometimes it affects whole neighborhoods of humble population and leaves beautiful spaces that certainly can make wide sectors of the citizenship proud –even popular sectors– despite the fact that they hurt the sensitivity of those who worry about the worsening situation of those who previously inhabited those areas.

I remember that, shortly after the triumph of the revolution in Cuba, more than half a century ago, for the first time, I heard of this from a young dreamer named Eusebio Leal.

If I am not mistaken, he, being a history lover, began working as an assistant to the elder historian of the city of Havana, Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring (1889-1964). Eusebio devoted himself so thoroughly to his work that he became, first, a faithful and indispensable assistant to this erudite figure and, after his death, his replacement.

The process of restoration of the historical center of Havana City has gone through several stages after the Office of the Historian was founded –with managerial and operational autonomy– in 1938, on Dr. Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring’s initiative Its purpose was the promotion of the culture of Havana and the conservation of the valuable monumental legacy that the capital of the country treasures.

Eusebio added to his mentor’s teachings his own considerations and theories about the course to be applied to the conservation, reconstruction, and development projects of the capital city of all Cubans. He did it with such brilliance that it soon became clear that no one but he could undertake the complex task of conducting the work.

He was officially appointed Historian of the City when he had already demonstrated, in daily practice, that he was the ideal person to carry out the ambitious projects that were only in his mind but which he described as fait accompli.

So many people had to be convinced that the need to save Havana was so pressing that it would have to be taken on as a priority together with the education, public health and defense of the country.

This implied such tasks of convincing and promoting that made Eusebio Leal excel as a tribune and diplomat as well as administrator and builder.

Of course, the works and projects of the Office of the Historian of Havana earned enthusiastic patronage from the highest political leadership of the Cuban state, including that of the top leader Fidel Castro, who gave them their full support whenever necessary.

With Eusebio’s personal participation in every promotional detail, the historic center of the Cuban capital was declared a World Heritage SIOPite by UNESCO in 1982. This fueled a process of restoration that has transcended the patrimonial conservation framework and became an example of sustainable local development.

The restoration process had, as a central aim, the concept that the historic center would be not only an act of high architectural and urban value, but also the creation of a site with great cultural, economic and social potential. Eusebio was convinced that a successful rehabilitation should be self-financing and socially participatory.

The restoration process of the Historic Center of Old Havana –based on a model of self-management with a participatory and community approach– has been successful in the Cuban patrimonial context. It has contributed to the objective of guaranteeing the social achievements of the Cuban people within the socialist revolution.

One undoubted social impact of the restoration process is that it created a new awareness about the value of the city, its potential and the feasibility of its recovery.

The restoration of old hotels, the creation of hostels and extra-hotel services of various kinds has created the most visible side of the economy of the historic center. These, together with the commercial activity and handicraft production, have formed a profile that describes the historic center of the city.

Havana will not be gentrified. The population that has given it worldwide fame for its joy, traditions, hospitality, generosity and solidarity will continue to be the absolute owner of the increasingly beautiful and welcoming city.

May 4, 2017

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.