Sunday, February 24, 2019

Venezuela Resists, Unrest in Haiti, Canadian 'Yellow Vest' Fiasco & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos February 17 - 24

This week's list of articles, news items, opinion pieces and videos that I see as a must if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

This list covers the week of February 17-24.

In addition to a general overview of news and opinion this week's installment begins with a section of articles and videos devoted to events in Venezuela and Haiti.

1) Is Venezuela Canada’s Modern Day El Dorado?

Nino Pagliccia, Venezuela Analysis 

The search for gold in the mythical place of El Dorado in Latina America drew armies of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century and caused many deaths of indigenous people. The gold remained elusive but Spain colonized most of the region and exploited other riches until the Latin American independence movements of the 19th century.

2) The Trump-Trudeau Venezuelan 'Lima Group' Policy and Its Nemesis

Arnold August, Venezuela Analysis 

After spending two days in Caracas on February 3 and 4, including a semi-private meeting with President Maduro, what follows below is my basic impression. It coincides with the documented, virtually daily on-the-ground reporting by Venezuelanalysis reporters including among the opposition. My perception has more recently been buttressed by the current on-the-spot reporting by, among others, American journalist Max Blumenthal.

3) Canadian policy on Venezuela, Haiti reveals hypocrisy that media ignores

Yves Engler

If the dominant media was serious about holding the Canadian government to account for its foreign policy decisions, there would be numerous stories pointing out the hypocrisy of Ottawa’s response to recent political developments in Haiti and Venezuela.

4) Venezuela's defence minister offers defiant response to Trump speech

CBC News

Venezuelan troops will remain stationed along the country's borders to prevent territorial violations, the defence minister said on Tuesday, ahead of the opposition's plan to bring in humanitarian aid to alleviate an economic crisis.

5) Is Trudeau’s Venezuela policy the Monroe Doctrine reborn?

Yves Engler, Canadian Dimension 

Many Canadians are familiar with the Monroe Doctrine. First issued by the United States in 1823, it warned European powers against renewed colonization of the Western Hemisphere. Presented as anti-imperialist, the Monroe Doctrine was later used to justify US interference in regional affairs.

6) US Media Erase Years of Chavismo’s Gains

Gregory Shupak, FAIR

Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, which took off with the election of President Hugo Chávez in December 1998, frequently and even quite recently received praise for its social gains from the United Nations, international humanitarian organizations and economists. This aspect of the country’s story has been almost entirely written out of media coverage of the effort to overthrow the Venezuelan government by the US, Canada and their right-wing partners in Venezuela and the region.

7) How the U.S. Is Strangling Haiti as It Attempts Regime Change in Venezuela

Vijay Prashad, Common Dreams

Last year, in October, Haitians followed two Twitter hashtags that went viral—#PetrocaribeChallenge and #KotKobPetwoKaribea. If you are not Haitian and do not follow Haitian politics carefully, you can be forgiven for not noticing this development. The complaint on Twitter—and soon on the streets—was simple: what has happened to the billions of U.S. dollars that was in the Venezuelan-financed Petrocaribe program?

8) Venezuela gets foreign aid with Maduro’s consent. Canadian state media is ‘comfortable’ denying it.

Joe Emersberger, The Canary 

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which is owned by the Canadian government, ran a Venezuela-related news article on 8 February. It said “[Venezuelan president Nicolás] Maduro says aid not needed in Venezuela, [opposition leader Juan] Guaido wants to allow it”. The CBC claimed Maduro “has been firm that this country does not need handouts from abroad”.

9) Arrest Of Heavily Armed Former U.S. Military Members In Haiti Sparks Many Questions

Bill Chappell, NPR

We know their names, and where they were. But no one has given a public explanation for what several former elite U.S. service members were doing in Haiti — and why they were driving without license plates, carrying an assortment of automatic rifles, drones and other gear.

10) Attack on Venezuela 1st step in US Attempt to Recolonize Latin America: Maduro


The United States has relaunched its colonialist aspirations against Latin America, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro warned Thursday during an interview with the Iranian media HispanTV, adding that the Venezuelan military was ready to defend the independence and sovereignty of the Latin American nation.

11) 'Investigate US for War Crimes' in Venezuela: Saint Vincent PM


Dr. The Honorable Ralph Everard Gonsalves, Prime Minister of the Caribbean country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, called a local radio station after a journalist from the country reported on-the-ground realities from Venezuela's capital Caracas.

12) This Is Not Humanitarian Aid: A Maduro Critic in Venezuela Slams U.S. Plan to Push Regime Change

Democracy Now 

We go to Caracas, Venezuela, for an update on the escalating standoff between President Nicolás Maduro and opposition leader and self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó. Guaidó claims he is preparing to deliver humanitarian aid from the Colombian border Saturday. Maduro has rejected the plan, saying the effort is part of a broader attempt to overthrow his regime. This comes as Trump’s special envoy to Venezuela and right-wing hawk, Elliott Abrams, is leading a U.S. delegation traveling by military aircraft to the Colombian border, supposedly to help deliver the aid. The United Nations, the Red Cross and other relief organizations have refused to work with the U.S. on delivering that aid to Venezuela, which they say is politically motivated. We speak with Venezuelan sociologist Edgardo Lander, a member of the Citizen’s Platform in Defense of the Constitution. “This certainly is not humanitarian aid, and it’s not oriented with any humanitarian aims,” Lander says. “This is clearly a coup carried out by the United States government with its allies, with the Lima Group and the extreme right wing in Venezuela.”

13) Venezuela: Trade Unions Ratify Anti-Imperialist Stance

Ricardo Vaz, Venezuela Analysis 

Trade unions and political organizations reaffirmed their opposition to what they term an imperialist coup attempt while stressing the urgent demands of the Venezuelan people and working class.

14) Venezuela Closes Border With Colombia


Venezuela has announced the closure of the nation's border with Colombia, citing serious and illegal threats to the sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic which have consistently been emanating from the neighboring country.

15) Unity in defense of the homeland

Anti-imperialist and Anti-fascist Front (FPAA)

The political parties and social movements below signed, members of the Popular Anti-imperialist and Anti-fascist Front (FPAA), condemn the onslaught of US imperialism, in partnership with the European Union and the Group of Lima, against our nation. Their actions represent an act of provocation and interference that violates the sovereignty and peace of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and across Latin America and the Caribbean.

16) Why Venezuela’s Chavistas are fiercely loyal to Maduro, despite economic crisis


Violence has broken out in Venezuela as opposition groups, led by Juan Guaido, attempt to bring in foreign aid against the will of President Nicolas Maduro. Despite international support for Guaido, a fiercely loyal minority of Venezuelans known as Chavistas are determined to keep Maduro in power -- and the U.S. out. Special correspondent Nadja Drost and videographer Bruno Federico report.

17) Haiti: Funeral of Two Riot Victims Unleashes New Protests


The funeral Friday of two victims of the Haitian security forces repression, which has caused at least nine deaths in recent weeks, was transformed into a massive protest against President Jovenel Moise.

18) Canadian military in Haiti. Why?

Yves Engler

Canadian troops may have recently been deployed to Haiti, even though the government has not asked Parliament or consulted the public for approval to send soldiers to that country.

19) Venezuela Condemns Staged Operation at Border with Colombia


A group of low-level soldiers of the Venezuelan National Guard Saturday took over multiple armored vehicles that belong to the Venezuelan force and rammed into border barriers at the Venezuelan-Colombian border in a staged operation ordered by right-wing opposition members in Colombia. 

20) Venezuela Cuts Ties with Colombia As Maduro Declares 'Coup Has Failed'


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro broke all "all diplomatic and politic relations" with Colombia Saturday, after stating that President Ivan Duque has supported a "foreign military invasion" against Venezuela.

21) Canadian ‘aid’ to Venezuela part of plan to overthrow government

Yves Engler

If more people understood that “aid” often goes hand in hand with military intervention there would be less uncritical support for it.

Says it all right here...

The ongoing attempt at an imperialist coup in Venezuela was planned well in advance...and it is all about the oil!

22) Former Pinochet secret police agent Adriana Rivas arrested in Sydney

Green Left Weekly

After years of eluding justice, notorious Chilean torturer Adriana Rivas has finally been arrested and her extradition request by the Chilean state accepted by Australian authorities.

23) Doug Ford, Jason Kenney Endorse Anti-Immigrant, Far-Right Yellow Vests Convoy

North 99

Doug Ford and Jason Kenney have issued endorsements of the United We Roll Convoy, formerly known as the Yellow Vests convoy, a group endorsed by prominent Canadian neo-Nazis, and who’s founders and members have embraced far-right anti-immigrant beliefs and expressed support for hate groups.

"While I’ve been here in Ottawa throughout this week, media coverage of events back home in Halifax, and here in Ottawa, have gripped me during the few moments that I haven’t been locked in meetings."

- Read the full post on Facebook

24) Andrew Scheer Criticized For Support of United We Roll Convoy

Tamara Khandaker, Vice

Scheer spoke at the same rally as Faith Goldy, the notorious white nationalist. Anti-hate activists say the United We Roll campaign has been plagued by racist messages.

25) Yellow vests, brown shirts: convoy runs out of fuel

John Bell, 

After weeks of hype, with the CBC giving it endless coverage and right-wing opposition parties trying to put wind in its sails (you should pardon the expression), the pro-pipeline truck convoy was an embarrassing flop.

26) Trudeau's principal secretary Gerald Butts resigns

Rachel Aiello, CTV News 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s principal secretary and longtime friend Gerald Butts has resigned from one of the highest positions within Trudeau’s office amid ongoing questions about alleged PMO interference in a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.

27) Wilson-Raybould to testify in parliamentary probe of SNC-Lavalin scandal, but no witnesses from PMO called

Kathleen Harris, CBC News 

Former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould will be called to testify before a parliamentary committee probing the SNC-Lavalin scandal — but opposition critics are furious that no past or current aides in the Prime Minister's Office will be invited to appear.

28) Liberals defeat call for SNC-Lavalin inquiry

Joan Bryden and Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

The Liberals used their majority Wednesday to defeat an opposition motion calling for a public inquiry into allegations that the Prime Minister's Office pressured Jody Wilson-Raybould to help SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

29) Kaepernick Won. The NFL Lost.

Jemele Hill, The Atlantic 

Technically, Colin Kaepernick withdrew his collusion case. Technically, the NFL did not admit that it conspired to blackball Kaepernick from the league after he began taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. But nontechnically speaking, the NFL lost. Massively.

30) The deregulation of overtime in Hungary has triggered a social uprising

 Corentin Léotard, Equal Times

“All together now: ‘We will not be slaves!’”. “We are not afraid to tell them: ‘We will not be slaves!’”. There is an arctic chill, but the atmosphere is heating up on Saturday, 5 January in Budapest, the Hungarian capital, where a crowd of about 10,000 people are marching from Heroes’ Square to the monumental neo-gothic parliament building looming over the Danube. For the third time since mid-December, trade unions, political parties and civil society organisations are demonstrating, arms linked, to protest against Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s nationalist government that has been ruling Hungary since 2010.

31) Angela Smith’s ‘funny tinge’ comment is just the tip of the iceberg – these Labour defectors are anything but progressive

Lester Holloway, The Independent 

This group hardly consisted of the creme-de-la-creme of politics. Unless what is left at the bottom of the barrel can be redefined as ‘creme’

32) Legal status of Newly formed Independent Group means they can flout electoral law

Alejandro Javierre, The People's News Online

The Independent Group, formed out of a Labour Party split earlier today that led to 7 MPs resigning the Whip, is officially listed as a Private Company and not a political party, it has been found.

33) Trump’s Grand Coalition Against Iran Is Completely Falling Apart

Juan Cole, Truthdig 

France24 reports that Trump’s attempt to dissuade the Europeans from continuing their support for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal has backfired.

34) UN Agency Says Iran Is Compliant With Nuclear Deal Terms


The nuclear watchdog’s quarterly report found, yet again, that Tehran has adhered to the terms of the agreement despite pressure from newly reimposed sanctions from Washington.

35) Bernie Sanders launches second presidential campaign with big fundraising haul

Gregory Krieg and Ryan Nobles, CNN

After months of deliberation, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Tuesday that he is running for president again in 2020. It will be Sanders' second consecutive bid for the Democratic nomination after losing to Hillary Clinton in 2016.


Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative 

Yesterday, Bernie Sanders formally launched his 2020 run for the U.S. presidency, vowing to mount “an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least one million people from across the country.”

VICTORY IN WEST VIRGINIA: Under pressure from today's teachers' strike, the Republican-led House just voted 53-45 to kill the pro-privatization bill. 

Strikes work — and West Virginian educators have again made history.


Paulo Pachá, Pacific Standard Mag

In Jair Bolsonaro's Brazil, the new government and far-right groups are propagandizing a fictional version of the European Middle Ages to legitimize their reactionary agenda.

38) Canada needs an Ilhan Omar

Shahroze Khan, Rabble

Over the past week in the United States, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has faced heavy and dishonest criticism for daring to speak out against the pro-Israel lobby and in support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and Palestinian rights.

39) OSAP Protesters Thrown Out Of Queen's Park

Emma Paling, HuffPost 

Student protesters were thrown out of Ontario's legislature Tuesday morning after unfurling a banner to demand free tuition and hurling insults at Premier Doug Ford.

40) Ford government to make changes to Police Services Act

City News

The Ontario government is planning on making some substantial changes to the Police Services Act, virtually dismantling the legislation passed by the Wynne government.

41) Jewish Canadians deeply divided over Israel, poll finds

Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada 

Jewish Canadians are deeply divided in their opinions on Israel, and many are highly critical of it. Moreover, a majority does not see criticism of Israel as necessarily anti-Semitic.

42) $140K-a-year EQAO job for failed PC candidate sparks criticism

Isabel Teotonio, The Toronto Star

Failed Progressive Conservative candidate Cameron Montgomery has landed a $140,000-a-year job chairing the agency that administers province-wide standardized testing for students — a post for which his predecessor earned less than $4,000 last year.

43) Speaker condemns 'racial profiling' of black visitors to Parliament Hill

Kathleen Harris · CBC News

The Speaker of the House of Commons today condemned publicly a "racial profiling" incident involving a group of black visitors to Parliament Hill.

44) Brazil: Bolsonaro Seeks To Up Retirement Age in Pension Reform


On Wednesday Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro delivered his Social Security Reform Proposal to the country's National Congress, which would mandate a minimum retirement age of 65 for men and 62 for women at the end of a 12-year transition period.

45) Macron says France will define anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism

Middle East Eye 

French President Emmanuel Macron told a Jewish-French group that Paris will define anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism, France 24 reported on Wednesday.

46) Labor Secretary Acosta covered up sex abuse at Palm Beach mansion

Matt Greunberg, People's World

A federal judge’s ruling in Florida has added GOP President Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, to the ever-lengthening parade of ethically suspect Trump Cabinet choices.

47) Ontario lobbyists fear loss of access unless they sell Ford fundraiser tickets

Jill Mahoney & Adam Radwanski, The Globe and Mail

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party has asked registered lobbyists to help sell tickets to Premier Doug Ford’s coming fundraising dinner, an event that companies and industry groups say they feel pressure to attend to maintain high-level access to the government.

48) Pulling Teeth: Budget 2019 a big disappointment

Raise the Rates

After a year of poverty reduction “consultations” with the BC government, we at Raise the Rates are extremely disappointed to see that they did not hear us. Another year of rapidly rising housing prices, unlivable costs of living, and government inaction on welfare and disability rates means more suffering, trauma, and deepening debt for folks living on income assistance.

49) Zapped: Unravelling the NDP’s new spin around power prices and the Site C dam

Sarah Cox, The Narwhal 

B.C.'s NDP is now doing precisely what it criticizes the Liberals for doing — manufacturing a need for power while pushing forward with a project that produces energy that can’t be sold for even close to the price it will cost to produce it.

50) Jordan Peterson’s claims about Marxism?

Lowell B. Denny, III, CPUSA

"What's the response of CPUSA towards right-wing activist Jordan Peterson's claim that 'Marxism is equal to Nazism' and that, since people are biologically unequal, trying to create equality ends in dictatorship?"     

51) Oakland educators join the nationwide wave of teacher strikes

Marilyn Bechtel, People's World

Joining the wave of teachers’ strikes that are sweeping the country, Oakland teachers and school staff hit early-morning picket lines throughout the Oakland Unified School District’s 86 elementary, middle and high schools Feb. 21, before packing the City Hall plaza for a lively noontime rally with other union leaders and members, parents, students and community supporters.

52) Alabama Is Going to Execute Rocky Myers. He Might Be Innocent.

Ashoka Mukpo, The Nation

The case of an intellectually disabled prisoner on death row is a window into the many flaws in the death penalty in America.

53) The Subways Should Be Free

Christopher Baum, Socialist Project Bullet 

Last month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio finally launched his eagerly anticipated Fair Fares program offering half-price transit fares for low-income New Yorkers – but the early reviews were decidedly mixed.

54) For U.S. Jewry, Kahanist Caper Casts Netanyahu as Prince of Darkness and Trump on Steroids

Chemi Shalev, Haaretz

Even AIPAC broke its usual silence after Netanyahu legitimized followers of the infamous Rabbi Kahane, who was a household name in America before setting foot in Israel.

55) It's taboo to talk about Canada's real corporate scandal

Matthew Behrens, Rabble

While the SNC-Lavalin scandal has torn another strip off the "sunny ways" prime minister, there's another corporate scandal that makes the financial figures in that case -- mere hundreds of millions of dollars in fraud and bribes -- seem like pocket change. But no major political party will touch it, which speaks to the manner in which an all-party commitment to bedrock Canadian militarism squelches democratic discourse and strangles any opportunity for real economic justice.

56) What Do You Need to Know About Sunday's Cuban Referendum?


On Sunday, Feb. 24, the Cuban people will participate in a referendum to approve the Republic's new Constitution, a text that modernizes the current one through 760 modifications, which range from the elimination of articles, phrases and words to additions of new laws.

See also: Venezuela Resists Imperialism, Haitian Unrest, Climate Change & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos February 10 - 17

No comments:

Post a Comment