PEACE 4 THE PEOPLE: ILPS Commission 4 newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

Issue May 5, 2020

Statement of the Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples

The Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples strongly condemns the most recent warlike escalate undertaken by the President of the United States Donald Trump against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Cuba.

In recent days, precisely when the world endures the blows of the COVID-19 pandemic – the frightening statistics of which as to the number of infected and deceased reveal the vulnerabilities and abysses created by the capitalist model, focused on consumption and economic profit and not on the human beings – the Yankee imperialism increases its attacks against our nations with the purpose of crushing us and thus achieve its 200-year old pretension of controlling our destiny one way or the other.

In its effort to achieve said interest (it is not necessary to recall all the aggressions perpetrated against the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean since the formulation of the pernicious Monroe Doctrine in 1823, and even before), the present USA administration has not ceased to become defiant, and particularly against the land of Bolívar and Martí it designs and puts into practice recycled and new stratagems that impact because of their perversity.

The truth is that almost since Trump’s arrival to the Oval Office in January 2017, a wide number of sanctions and all kinds of measures were enforced against both revolutionary processes. Different officials and the President himself do not cease to repeat the same thing: that all the options against Venezuela are on the table, including the military attack, and that they are going to put an end to the socialist Cuba by intensifying as never before the wide network of sanctions that make up the more than 60-year old trade, economic, and financial blockade.

Only a few hours ago the paroxysm of the present White House tenants reached especially dangerous levels for the entire region. The display of naval military forces in zones close to the Bolivarian Republic, and the statement that Cuba and the brotherly South American nation participate in drug traffic, in addition to being an insult not to be allowed by the international community reveals that those falcons’ hotheads are plotting any invention and pretext to unleash all their hatred and contempt against us.

Days ago, along that same line, they called the legitimate government headed by Nicolás Maduro drug dealer, to which they added – in the worst Old Western style – that they would pay millionaire sums for any information that would contribute to oust and capture President Maduro and other chavista leaders. Such gangster-like behavior has to be condemned, with full vehemence, by the peace movements in the world.

In the case of Cuba, the Trump administration has enforced over 200 measures with the purpose of crushing the revolution. The Program of Undercover Actions signed on March 17, 1960 by President Dwight Eisenhower, and the Memorandum elaborated by the Assistant Secretary of State Lester Mallory a few days later, on April 6 – bases on which the attack platform represented by the blockade was elaborated and fully outlined by the Proclaim 3447 signed by John F. Kennedy on February 3, 1962 – reappear more violently under the stamp of the main danger to world peace that is undoubtedly President Trump.

From the largest of the Antilles we call upon the most diverse sectors of the universal society to prevent the growth of imperialist greed at a time when the only possible task is to unite in order to stop the horror caused by this coronavirus.

The USA is the country with the highest number of infected and deceased. There is a unanimous opinion that Trump badly managed the situation at the start of this illness, which he described as a plain flu with his characteristic arrogance and not listening to the scientists and experts from his own nation. No one can calculate how many lives could have been saved if, from the beginning, he would have acted with common sense and effectiveness. And if that were not enough, the real estate tycoon just accused the World Health Organization (WHO) and China of causing this pandemic. In fact, Trump’s sole concern is how he succeeds in re-installing himself another four years in Washington. Shamefully, it is the election hopes that determine the actions of those who conduct the biggest economic and military power of the planet.

Only hours ago Pope Francis, like numerous personalities and leaders of different religions and political trends expressed from Rome that these are times to leave behind conflicts and aggressions that endanger the human species.

The Cuban Movement for Peace, conscious that this is an exceptional moment to foster solidarity among all nations as sole pillar on which to structure effective strategies against this illness, declares likewise that nothing or nobody will be able to destroy the Cuban Socialist Revolution, constructed on profound and unyielding convictions and principles.

Neither our people nor the Venezuelan one will lose sleep or the capacity to found. Each internationalist brigade of the Henry Reeve Brigade, displayed to save lives on any corner of the planet, will be a new and eloquent testimony that we shall overcome.

Havana, April 13, 2020

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Shared by the US Peace Council,

  • P.O. Box 3105, New Haven, CT 06515 • (203) 387-0370 • USPC@USPeaceCouncil.org
  • https://uspeacecouncil.org • https://www.facebook.com/USPeaceCouncil/ • @USPeaceCouncil

THE MONROE DOCTRINE REMAINS A THREAT TO THE WORLD -still the basis for US foreign policy regarding Europe and the Americas

Established by the US Congress over 196 years ago, the Monroe Doctrine still justifies the US’ self-assigned right to dominate the Americas. It was mainly implemented to threaten European states with war should any of them attempt anew to expand their power over the Americas. However, it has great implications for all peoples of the Americas, mainly that the US assumed it ought to dominate and run the Americas.

The ambitions of the ruling elites in the US intensified throughout the 19th century into the 20th. They were keen on expanding and in direct competition with Western European powers to do so. Wrote M. Waxman about the MD in 2018, “This was drawing a red line—with an implicit war threat—even though the United States at the time lacked the military power to back it up. The United States was counting on Britain, which too wanted to keep continental European powers out of Latin America, to also intervene if necessary.”(1)

Although the John Kerry, Secretary of State for the Obama administration, declared it defunct in 2013, President Trump has restored the Monroe Doctrine (MD) as a guide to ruling the Americas today. Max Friedman of American University (2017) wrote that Trump was especially keen on implementing it to keep China and the Russian Federation at bay. Trump is also interested on intervening in the Americas as deemed required.

While the US maintained a stance of isolationism with regards to Europe, it left a long legacy of interventionism in South and Central America and the Caribbean region. Explains Friedman, “Even in the ‘isolationist’ period in the early 20th century, the United States was vigorously engaged in military intervention and outright occupation of several countries in Latin America. The Marines were in Nicaragua (1912-33), Haiti (1915-34), and the Dominican Republic (1916-24).” (2)

Reuters recently reported on Trump’s intention to enforce the MD (March 2, 2020). ” ‘Here in the Western Hemisphere we are committed to maintaining our independence from the intrusion of expansionist foreign powers,’ Trump stated at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2018. ‘It has been the formal policy of our country, since President James Monroe, that we reject interference by foreign nations in this hemisphere and in our own affairs,’ he added cynically.” (3) This statement reflects the high tensions between Europe and the US. It also implies its aggressive attitude toward all the Americas.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is busy making deals with right-wing and corporate factions in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to clear a path for US-based corporations and monopoly capitalism in general by weeding out communist and socialist-leaning elements there. It has repeatedly attempted to stage coups in Nicaragua and Venezuela. It was successful in accomplishing a military coup despite the results of democratic elections against Evo Morales in Bolivia. It has operated to help orchestrate putting the Right in power in Brazil and Ecuador, while it supports right-wing terrorist governments of Colombia, El Salvador and Honduras. Canada, the junior imperialist and lackey of the US, has functioned to manage the rogue group of right-wing state leaders known as the Lima Group, because the US and its pals cannot get its way with the legitimate Organization of the American States.

However, the peoples of the Americas including the people in the US are organizing and demanding just peace. They are resisting war and the right-wing wave, despite some setbacks. In fact, several anti-imperialist and human rights conferences have been taking place. Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela offer just peace, model leadership and hope.

(1)https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/Latin-America-Monitor/2017/0205/Is-Trump-resurrecting-the-Monroe-Doctrine

(2)https://www.lawfareblog.com/anniversary-monroe-doctrine

(3)Reprinted in the March 2020 Newsletter of the Canadian Cuban Friendship Association (“From Monroe to Trump” page 7.

 

CONFERENCE CALLS FOR ABOLISHMENT OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

On April 25, thousands of listeners tuned into a live webinar featuring several panelists warning of the nuclear danger and urging the retirement and non-proliferation of all nuclear weapons. An international coordinating body of long time anti-war and anti-nukes activists as well as representatives of youth groups put together this remarkable and highly important event.

The conference communicated a message of just peace. Peace, said an opening speaker, is more than the absence of war. It is a condition arrived at when social justice is achieved, and social equality and human rights guaranteed.

Among the speakers were three survivors of the a-bombs dropped by the US on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945. They reminded viewers of the horrific and senseless harm that nuclear weapons can inflict, both immediately and over years. Two youths made appeals to save the next generations. It is crucial that the youth be organized to demand a stop to nuclear weapons in a unified and informed voice.

More than 14,000 nuclear warheads exist today.  A speaker from Physicians against Nuclear War pointed out that the Doomsday Clock that indicates the eminent danger of a nuclear holocaust now stands at 100 minutes to midnight. The situation is ripe for a massive nuclear accident that could destroy most of the world. There have already been 1000 accidents, he claimed. However, authorities are mostly deaf to the warnings. Just as they tend to dismiss or belittle the reports of scientists regarding the effects of climate change, and just as they ignored their alarming notices that a pandemic would happen any day, they brush off the danger of nuclear war or unintended nuclear explosions prefer the “deterrence” role of nuclear weapons and remain calcitrant about deactivating and disposing of them.

Other activists highlighted the many conflicts burning around the world. Militarization and interventions continue to produce chaos and destroy societies, from Afghanistan to Libya, from the Philippines to Korea. Far from reducing weaponry and backing out of conflict, the US and other major powers have been increasing military budgets, production and activity. The people must discuss, unite and act against war for just peace and block the danger of nuclear war and accidents.

 

A People’s Call for Healthcare not Warfare

Petition by the Independent and Peaceful Network Australia

We the undersigned, call on the Australian Government to stop funnelling billions of dollars into offensive weapons for unjust U.S. led wars, and invest instead in the health and safety of people and the environment.

On 23 March 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for a global ceasefire.  The UN call highlights the disparity between the huge financial and technological resources invested in wars, and the under-funded and under-resourced public health systems desperately trying to control this deadly virus.

We call on the Australian Government to support the UN Secretary General’s call.  COVID-19 has sharply exposed the dangerous and unsustainable priorities of our society. On the other hand, the vast majority of Australians are co-operating to control the virus.  World-wide, there are desperate shortages in the supply of most basic safety and life saving equipment – ICU beds, ventilators, virus testing kits and personal protective equipment for front line health workers.

At the same time there are vast stockpiles of technologically advanced military weaponry worth trillions of dollars, waiting to be used in endless profit-making wars.   Redirect military spending The UN call for a worldwide ceasefire means little unless foreign military forces are sent back to their home countries.  To that end we call on the Australian government to bring home our military forces from battle zones in the Middle East, Afghanistan and the Philippines, and to close the Pine Gap function that supports U.S. drone warfare.

Hundreds of billions of our tax dollars are used to buy military equipment largely to support the U.S. military agenda around the world.  Instead, huge expenditure is urgently needed here in Australia, for health and medical services and to address the climate crisis.  Australia’s immediate priorities should be providing support for millions of people facing unemployment, homelessness and poverty during the national disasters of coronavirus, the climate crisis, drought and bushfires – rather than supporting unjust U.S. led wars. Prioritise people and environment despite of this difficult period of physical distancing, people are organising and helping each other and building social unity.

We need to make sure we come out of these crises with a more humane, just and democratic society.  We need a society that prioritizes the health, education and safety of people and the environment over war.  We need a society that builds Australia’s self-reliant and diverse industries to manufacture and produce for the needs of the people, and an economy that’s not based on multinational profit making.    We need a society that invests in our research scientists, the CSIRO and other public research institutions, not globalised corporations in search of profit. We need a society that prioritizes peace, justice and the health of people and the environment – an independent and peaceful Australia.

To endorse  this statement go to   https://ipan.org.au/healthcare_not_warfare/  14 April 2020.  Independent and Peaceful Australia Network.  ipan.org.au    email:     ipan.australia@gmail.co

 

DEFEND VENEZUELA AGAINST MERCENARIES ATTACKS!

Statement of the Venezuela Peace and Solidarity Committee of Vancouver, BC, Canada

The Venezuela Peace and Solidarity Committee of Vancouver (VPSC) steadfastly defends the Venezuelan Bolivarian government’s swift action to put down a contingent of armed mercenaries on May 3. It has the right to defend its borders and territories, and act against attacks on its people and space.

The foreign affairs ministry of Venezuela reports: “In the early hours of May 3, 2020, the Venezuelan Armed Force and the National Bolivarian Police repelled the incursion of a group of armed mercenaries into the coastal state of La Guaira. The mercenaries travelled from Colombia in speedboats and were planning, together with local accomplices, to initiate terrorist operations aimed at government institutions and state officials, according to testimony given by those captured.” It states that eight of the mercenaries were killed and two captured in a battle that day.

The Foreign Affairs desk further reports that the renegade retired Venezuelan, General Cliver Alcalá, is probably connected to this mercenary action as its intelligence has been learning that Alcala has been commanding the training of mercenary groups for months with the explicit aim to launch terrorist attacks including assassination attempts inside Venezuela. He is tied to Juan Guaido’s and Leopoldo Lopez’ coup attempt on April 30, 2019 and other conspiracies.

Venezuelan forces remain on high alert. There was a second mercenary attack on May 5, which was stopped. In that incident, 23 mercenaries were taken prisoners and eight killed. Two individuals captured so far were found to be US citizens, according to Venezuelaanalysis.com. Venezuelaanalysis.com reports that “the Venezuelan opposition signed a contract with Miami-based Silvercorp [a private security company] to kidnap President Nicolas Maduro” (May 7, 2020).

At first, the US authorities dismissed these reports as fiction. It is well known and accepted that the US government supports Guaido and other reactionaries and encourages destabilization efforts and coups. Colombia is a NATO ally. A repressive regime that is often responsible for extrajudicial killings of civilians, Colombia is viciously intent upon snuffing out labour organizing while it has engaged in war with guerrilla revolutionaries within its borders. It also plays a role as a platform for US militarization and interference in the region, in it shared interest in destroying socialist formations and advances in Latin America.

VPSC thoroughly denounces US interference and demands it demilitarize and leave the region. VPSC also condemns the cruel regime of Colombia for its murders of labour and other peoples’ organizers, its complicity in narcotics production and trafficking and mobilization of paramilitary and military forces against its own people while it blatantly supports transnational corporations that rob the resources. It is suspected that drug money is funding mercenary operations and coup attempts against Venezuela.

VPSC supports the Bolivarian movement and the social advances that help and protect the majority of the people in Venezuela. We join in calling for an end to the unlawful and devastating economic measures that are blocking trade and freezing Venezuela state assets. These measures cause suffering and death to Venezuelans and are especially despicable in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We strongly criticize the Canadian government for supporting the US interference and efforts at counter-revolution in Venezuela and the region…

Long live the Bolivarian movement for social progress and human rights for Venezuelans! Down with US imperialism! US troops, go home! Down with the repressive and reactionary regime of Colombia!

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Venezuela-Peace-and-Solidarity-Committee-of-Vancouver-1996624570454082/posts/?ref=page_internal

50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Moratorium: Lessons learnt from this powerful mobilisation of popular opposition to imperialist war

Published  by Spirit of Eureka (spiritofeureka.org) on 13 May 2020

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of some of the biggest demonstrations and mass rallies ever seen in this country. On Friday 8 May 1970, an estimated 200,000 people gathered in various cities and regional centres across Australia in opposition to Australian involvement in the Vietnam War. The demonstrations, organised by many organisations, unions, community groups and political parties, under the banner of the Moratorium movement was followed by two other mass gatherings, which took place on 18 September 1970 and 30 June 1971. The Moratorium movement was not a spontaneous outburst of popular discontent; no, the coming together of so many people took years of organising.

The Vietnam War Moratorium mass movement was a united front of Australian people from many different walks of life, opposing military conscription and Australia’s involvement in US aggression against the people of Vietnam fighting for national liberation and self-determination.

It was an anti-imperialist movement.

The Vietnam War movement emerged in 1962 and grew from a handful of activists into a nationwide mass struggle throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.  In 1970 under immense pressure and persistence by the majority of Australian people the Liberal government started to withdraw Australian troops from Vietnam.  In 1972 the newly elected Whitlam Labor government finalised the withdrawal of all troops and ended conscription.

The unyielding resistance of the Vietnamese people under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Party of Vietnam inspired and mobilised struggle against US imperialism around the world. The global struggles against the Vietnam War and US imperialism were part of the worldwide movement and rebellion against imperialism and capitalism in that period.

OrganiZation of the nationwide 8th May Moratorium mass rallies across Australia was the culmination of years of mass work, protests, and wide-ranging activism by broad cross sections of Australian people.  Mass resistance and civil disobedience, defying and breaking laws; arrests and imprisonments; strikes and stop work meetings by workers, unions, university and school students; militant protests outside US embassies and corporations; occupations of universities, US chemical and weapons companies and magistrate courts;  signing petitions, letterboxing millions of homes, street meetings and public protests;  passionate discussions and arguments in homes, workplaces and in the community, characterised a vibrant and dynamic people’s movement.

 

 

 

 

 

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