Voices from Russia

Saturday, 30 June 2018

America’s Problem Isn’t Immigration… America’s Problem Is White Supremacy

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The USA appears to be destined by Providence to plague [the continent of] America with misery in the name of liberty.

Simón Bolívar

These words of the great 19th-century Latin American emancipator accurately describe the relationship between the USA and Latin America to this day. It’s why the punitive treatment by the Trump Administration of migrants attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the USA constitutes a double injustice.

The first injustice is the role that Washington plays and played in destabilising and impoverishing the economies of Latin American states over generations, while subverting and helping to bring down those governments south of the border that dares attempt to unshackle their countries from the chains of US imperialism, in process of which rampant crime, corruption, and violence prosper. The second injustice is the dehumanisation and demonisation meted out to the victims of the ensuing instability and social and economic dislocation wrought when in a state of extremis they flee their homes for sanctuary across the border with their families. Under no moral code can you justify or defend the forced separation of children, including infants, from their parents… none whatsoever. We saw this in the justifiable outcry unleashed in response, which eventually forced Trump to rescind the policy. However, this being said, the nauseating hypocrisy of liberals excoriating the president over the policy of separating children at the border with Mexico has been near impossible to bear. The likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, people who when they weren’t responsible for the mass slaughter of children in the Middle East with their régime-change wars, have, in the case of Clinton, supported mass incarceration in the USA itself, involving the forced separation of families, such people have absolutely no right to take any moral high ground on this issue.

Focusing on the whys and wherefores of mass migration, it’s incumbent on those who are serious about grasping the issue at its roots to identify its causes, rather than continue to deal with its symptoms, and thereby only succeed in creating more causes. In so doing we come to the role of US imperialism in sowing uneven and combined development throughout the Americas. Putting it another way, the development and wealth of the USA were contingent on the underdevelopment and poverty of Latin America… the former impossible without the latter. As Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano pointed up in his classic work Open Veins of Latin America:

Underdevelopment isn’t a stage of development, but its consequence. Latin America’s underdevelopment arises from external [European and US] development and continues to feed it. The strength of the imperialist system as a whole rests on the inequality of its parts.

No leader of a Latin or Central American country defied and resisted the juggernaut of US imperialism more than Fidel Castro did. Of the countless speeches he gave during his time at the helm of Cuban politics and society, The Second Declaration of Havana (1962), is among the most powerful:

Since the end of World War II, the countries of Latin America have become more and more impoverished. Their exports have less and less value, their imports cost more. The per capita income falls, the frightful rate of infant mortality doesn’t decrease. The number of illiterates is higher; the people lack jobs, land, adequate housing, schools, hospitals, means of communication, and means of life. Latin America is the provider of cheap raw materials and the buyer of expensive finished articles.

Lest anyone believe that Castro’s views of the relationship between North and South America in the early 1960s bear no relation to the same relationship today, consider, if you will, the plight of Honduras. According to Human Rights Watch, the Central American country in 2018 has violent crime, corruption, and political repression. Meanwhile, according to the World Bank, over 6o percent of its people live in poverty. What we shouldn’t forget is that in 2009 the army toppled the country’s democratically elected leftist President, Manuel Zelaya, in a coup sanctioned by the Honduran Supreme Court and supported by the Obama Administration. As Stephen Zunes reminded us in a 2016 article:

During his [Zelaya’s] tenure, he raised the minimum wage and provided free school lunches, milk for young children, pensions for the elderly, and additional scholarships for students. He built new schools, subsidised public transportation, and even distributed energy-saving light bulbs. None of these was particularly radical, but it was nevertheless disturbing to the country’s wealthy economic and military élites. More frightening was that Zelaya sought to organise an assembly to replace the 1982 constitution written during the waning days of the US-backed military dictator Policarpo Paz García.

With this sorry fate of the country in mind, is it any accident that the number of illegal Honduran migrants into the USA across the Mexican border spiked in recent years? At this juncture, I feel obliged to make a confession. Back in the early to mid-1990s, I was an illegal immigrant living in the USA. However, unlike those crossing the border from Mexico, I wasn’t fleeing natural disaster, grinding poverty, political repression, or a society plagued by crime and violence. I instead had travelled to the USA compelled to do so by nothing more than personal ambition, succumbing to the myth of the American Dream, which as the saying goes is a dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. Anyway, I spent five years in LA as part of the British expat community in Santa Monica, replete with its British pubs, shops, and all the rest, rubbing shoulders and working alongside many other Brits who lived there illegally, many of them having done so for a long time. I worked, paid tax, and was able to exist as if completely legal.

Of course, the difference boils down to the fact that I, and we, happened to be white Europeans, and thus accorded the unwritten but nonetheless obvious privileges white skin affords you in the land of the free. This, ultimately, brings us to the heart of the matter. America’s problem isn’t immigration, its white supremacy. Whether conscious or unconscious, it matters not. The result is brutal treatment meted out to people of colour, migrant and non-migrant alike.

25 June 2018

John Wight

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201806251065767940-us-problem-not-immigration/

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Former Guatemalan Dictator Ríos Montt Found Guilty of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity… Pal of Slobberin’ Ronnie and Raving Pentecostalist

00 Ríos Montt. caricature. Guatemala. 10.05.13

The Spanish on the left-hand side reads, “St Efraín… They have human rights”, on the right-hand side, it reads, “We have them, too”.

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On Friday, a Guatemalan court found former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity during the bloodiest phase of the 36-year-long Guatemalan Civil War. The court sentenced him to 50 years in prison on the genocide charge and to 30 years for crimes against humanity. It was the first time that a domestic court found a former head of state guilty of genocide.

Ríos Montt, 86, took power after a coup d’état in 1982, and faced charges of implementing a scorched-earth policy, in which troops massacred thousands of indigenous villagers. He entered the court on Friday to boos and cries of “Justicia!” (justice). Prosecutors said that Ríos Montt turned a blind eye as soldiers used rape, torture, and arson in an attempt to stamp out leftist rebels in Guatemala during his 1982-83 junta, the most violent period of the 1960-96 Guatemalan Civil War, during which as many as 250,000 people died.

 The court tried him for killing at least 1,771 members of the Maya Ixil indigenous group, just a fraction of the number who died during his rule. He denied the allegations. “[Ríos Montt] had full knowledge of everything that happened and didn’t stop it”, Judge Jazmín Barrios, who presided over the trial, told a packed courtroom where Mayan women wearing colourful traditional head-dresses and headphones closely followed proceedings. The decision came just weeks after the trial was hanging in the balance, when a dispute broke out between judges over who should hear the case.

11 May 2013

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_05_11/Guatemalas-former-military-leader-Rios-Montt-found-guilty-of-genocide-crimes-against-humanity-081/

Editor’s Note:

Ríos Montt was a bosom pal of Slobberin’ Ronnie and the darling of the Christianity Today crowd. That speaks volumes of the Republican Party and of Evangelicalism, doesn’t it? Ríos Montt was a loud and strutting Pentecostalist… he “spoke in tongues” and he was “baptised in the Spirit”. If by their fruits ye shall know them is true, what does that tell you about Pentecostalism? The USA and Israel supported the military dictatorship… México, Cuba, and Nicaragua supported the indigenous insurgents. As always, the USA (and the Republican Party) supported the Criollo moneybags and opposed the indigenous peasantry. In this case, justice was delayed… but justice was done. The good guys won…

BMD

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

12 September 2012. 9/11 Has a Whole Different Meaning in Chile

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On 11 September 1973, rightwing military officers (egged on and supported by Langley) toppled popularly-elected President Salvador Allende Gossens in a coup. President Allende was killed in the rightist rebellion… and his killers (and their children) still sit in high places. Officially, his death is a “suicide”… but some forensic experts concluded that it wasn’t. My view is simple… the soldiers in the coup weren’t careful, they killed Allende when they were supposed to capture him, and the suicide fable is a convenient lie to be told until all the major parties in the coup are dead. “Money talks and bullshit walks”… that’s why such lies gain currency… and not just in Chile, either…

BMD

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