Category Archives: Haiti

Latin American Politics Finally Comes To America

I guess Chile has their version of the mighty keyboard warrior like the US. No shortage of white shit for brains running around say they’re going get rid of all the Jews and blacks.. then you have a fair number of blacks running around saying they’re going to get rid of their white oppressors.. etc. Totally delusional twats. Maybe rightists are a serious problem in Chile but I don’t consider YouTube comments a proper gauge of sentiment and support.

I have been engaged off and on in deep study of this region since 1989. 28 years.

You don’t understand Chile. You don’t understand Latin America.

Really the entire rightwing down there is exactly like this. The rich, elite Whites’ basic attitude in almost every country down there is “All Communists must be killed.” And Communist means anyone even slightly left of center. A huge % of the population in Chile is still pro-Pinochet, and this is precisely how they think.

The Left stages marches and protests all the time, often is support of Allende. Rightists, of whom there are many supporters still meet them and there is wild street fighting. Rightists then stage marches often in support of Pinochet. The Left shows up and there is wild street fighting.

Did some searches.. looks like the bigger demonstrations were over education and state (or lack of it) support. Seem to follow the US model – most of the protests are peaceful but then you have “the hooded ones” raising a ruckus. I couldn’t find anything that indicated there were large counter protests by rightists – not saying that didn’t happen but I just couldn’t find them If you have a link or links I’ll take a look.

Ok, well I think I may have read this some time ago. I do remember reading it, but it could have been a while back. It could well have been years ago, or a decade or more ago. But at one time in recent history, this is how it was.

Perhaps the Left vs. Right riots have quieted down in recent years, but that’s the way it was not long ago.

Protests in Chile have historically been far more riotous and violent than demos in the US. There’s not really any comparison. Anyway, violent riots on the US Left are a relatively new phenomenon. Trump is a corrupt, vicious, evil ultraright dictator ruling in a typical Latin American model. All of the Latin American Right is exactly like Donald Trump. That’s why the Left is so violent down there. Trump has succeeded in finally bringing Latin American ultraright fascism to America. So it follows that we are following the Latin American model in that the Left has grown militant, and Left demos now often turn riotous and violent just as they do in Latin America.

This sort of thing is so predictable that you can write near mathematical laws of political science predicting it. A nation can only go so far to the extreme right and it can only become unequal to a certain level. Once it passes that level, it has crossed some sort of Rubicon and now in most any nation you automatically get a militant, riotous and violent Left. It’s as close to a law as the sort you can get in mathematics and physics.

In Chile, the Indians are treated horribly and engage in continuous demonstrations which usually turn into riots.

I was following Latin American politics a lot on the Net a few years back, and most demos in Chile seemed to turn into the typical Latin American demonstration -> riot progression. Most demos in Latin America turn riotous from my observation, at least in Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, and even Mexico. The conditions are so insanely unequal down there that any working class demo quickly turns into a riot.

Violence, riots, coups, extremes of Left and Right politics, lack of democracy and extreme instability are typical of the entire region and now we are importing precisely this model to the US.

I am leaving out Argentina, but the Argentine Right was recently calling for a military coup against Kirchner.

In Paraguay, a legislative coup threw out the leftwinger.

A legislative coup just threw out Rouseff, the left president of Brazil.

There have been many coup and quasi-coup attempts in Venezuela. You could well say there has been a continuous coup since 2002.

In Colombia, yes, left demos usually turn violent or riotous. On the other hand, if you are on the Left down there, you can be murdered by the government at any time.

There was a military coup in Honduras, and now anyone on the Left can be killed at any time. Death squads have killed over 1,000 people.

A US coup removed Aristide in Haiti. The new US installed government quickly murdered 3,000 people.

Why the commenter is trying to polish this Latin American turd is beyond me.

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A Few Countries Where US-Style Conservatives Are in Power

Juan: The Filipino government.

Center-left economics but far-right socially (law and order, etc.)

This does not remind you of Trump?

There is absolutely nothing even 1% left or even centrist about Trump. He’s basically the most rightwing man on Earth, and the Republican Party is one of the most rightwing ruling parties on Earth.

There are some contenders now in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, Honduras and Haiti, but they have vast opposition among the people. I doubt if they have majority support in any of those countries.

Two of them came to power in legislative coups – in Paraguay and Brazil.

Honduras is a military dictatorship, as is Haiti. Both governments are hated by the majority of the population.

Yes, far right parties were elected in Argentina, Chile and Colombia.

But in Argentina the far right was replacing the Hard Left with Kirchner and the government has huge opposition.

There is a lot of support for the Right in Chile, but I doubt if it’s the majority. Chile has been governed by members of the Socialist Party for most of the last 20 years. Furthermore, the Left is radicalized, activated huge and often violent in opposition.

Colombia has long been probably the most rightwing country on Earth. Probably the majority of the population supports the Hard Fascist Right. Why this is, is not known, but it is a long tradition down there. Nevertheless, the Left is huge, extremely radicalized and activated, and in fact, they have taken up arms. Actually, they have been armed to the teeth for the last 52 years. The armed Left is powerful and deadly, and they have killed 10,000’s of soldiers and police. They are so powerful that a while back, they fired mortars at the Capital building at the very moment that the new President was being sworn in. Some of the mortars actually struck the building.

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Trump Is Catastrophic No Matter What His Stance on Globalism Is

Jason Y: OK, one choice is taking up Ron Paul anti-globalism, which would reduce him to Jimmy Carter uselessness, or just lie and actually be a globalist, and a massively militaristic one at that.

Why is it down to globalism versus anti-globalism? Leaving that aside altogether, looking at his Cabinet appointment shows him to be an ultra-rightwing fanatical reactionary. Look at those Cabinet appointments. That’s all you need to know right there. Those are some of the scariest people I have ever seen in my government.

Actually, the truth is that he is an out and out fascist. That’s no exaggeration. It is absolutely correct. People have been calling the Republicans fascists since the election theft of 2000, and I think they were onto something. That is, they were moving more and more in that direction.

The Republicans are now about as evil as a typical brutal and corrupt Latin American ultraright fascist oligarchy. This is exactly what they remind me of. I look at them and I think of the oligarchical Right in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.  The only thing missing is overt coup attempts and death squads. To be more precise, they remind me of the Right in Venezuela, but comparisons to Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, Haiti and Ecuador are not far off base.

The leaders of the Latin American Right pretty much deserved to get killed based on how they act. I do not blame the Left down there for killing those people. They very much deserve it. Look at how they act!

They have an extreme hatred for democracy, and basically their attitude is that they will not tolerate the Left being in power for one day. And when the Left gets in, they will try everything in the book, legal, illegal and in between, to get rid of them. There is nothing too low for them. If they have to tell 10 million lies, they will do it. If they have to steal elections, then they will do it. If they have assassinate leftwingers, they will do it. If they have to destroy the whole economy, they will do it. If they have to riot in the streets, they will do it. If they have to run death squads, then they will do it. If they have to mount coups, military or legislative, than they will do it. The ends justifies the means, and it’s “whatever it takes to get rid of the Left, damn morality.”

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Crime and Capitalism – The Unbreakable Link

When China went from Maoism to Dengism, the crime rate exploded. The same thing happened in Eastern Europe and the former USSR. The crime rate went nuts in all of those places, and most of them got significantly taken over by Organized Crime gangs.

Now, I agree that there are many great things about capitalism, and in many ways it is better than Communism. But the links between capitalism and crime are very deep. In a nutshell, capitalism causes crime. Period. Now you can say, “Well, I will take that crime increase because I want that higher standard of living,” but capitalist fanboys refuse to even admit to the capitalism-crime connection.

I read a chapter in book for a college course book back in the 1980’s that compared Western European countries and found that the more socialism they had, the less crime and vice versa.

Blacks have a low crime rate under Communism, but under capitalism, their crime rate goes wild. Cuba is 37% Black by genome. Havana is a very Black city. Havana is the safest large city in Latin America. What crime exists is generally property crime. The violent crime rate is quite low. When conservatives  hear that there is little crime in Cuba, they say stupid things like, “That’s because there’s nothing to steal.” That’s not true, but it’s interesting. Haiti is far poorer than Cuba, but the crime rate is vastly higher. The property crime rate is much higher also. If there’s nothing to steal in Cuba, there’s clearly even less to steal in Haiti.

People don’t realize that even in very poor places and very poor countries, there is still lots of stuff to steal. Even poor people usually have some stuff. The property crime rates are exploded in ghettos, barrios, favelas, slums and shantytowns. Clearly there’s plenty of stuff to steal.

I have a theory for why Blacks commit so much more crime under capitalism than they do under Communism, but I will let you commenters take it away.

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Problems of Communist or Socialist Democracy

Steve: I think the worst thing about 20th century communism was not the economic system but the totalitarianism, the police state and the spying and prison camps.

Maybe it was the revolutionary origins, the utopianism, the materialism, the fact the government had too much power because it owned and controlled everything BUT if it were possible to have communism with democracy, free speech, freedom of religion, trial by jury etc it really wouldn’t be so bad, you could live with the economic system.

Remember the communist countries had the cold war and sanctions and stuff to contend with too.

They have a certain amount of free speech in China, Vietnam and Cuba, but maybe not as much as you would like. They have anti-government demonstrations in Vietnam, and there are 100 protests every day in China.

There is critical press in Cuba that no one does anything about (check out Havana Times) and dissidents are mostly allowed to publish openly (check out the famous Cuban woman dissident blogger). There is freedom of religion in Cuba, and believers can now join the Party. They have trial by jury in Cuba. I am not sure how fair it is though. But there are some defense attorneys who are taking anti-government cases right now, people accused of criminal charges, police brutality cases, etc. You can read about them in Havana Times. Nobody does much to them.

In Cuba it was supposedly inside the revolution, total freedom of speech, outside of it nothing. But it never really worked out that way, and they went after a lot of loyal opposition types. In Cuba today, you can’t try to overthrow the government and you can’t advocate getting rid of the socialist system. Outside of that, you can supposedly say what you want, but even that may be limited. Check out Havana Times though. There are some very government-critical people there being published all the time, and I think they are mostly left alone.

Every time they try that, the capitalists go berserk, cause chaos and make endless coup and assassination attempts. Also they engage in mass economic sabotage. But this was only tried in places where the economy was still capitalist. The US starts flooding the country with millions of dollars to the dissidents and spends more millions setting up countless “democratic” pressure group that mostly spend every second of their time trying to overthrow the government. You going to let people own newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations. Guess who’s going to buy up all the media? In Venezuela even today, 75% of the media is privately owned. OK you will allow free elections. How about campaign contributions? Guess who’s going to buy the elections?

You can’t have Communist democracy. That’s why Lenin talked about parliamentary cretinism.

You can’t have somewhat socialist democracy in a lot of places. Look what happened in:

  • Brazil (military coup, parliamentary coup)
  • Guatemala (military coup + 200,000 murdered over 40 years)
  • Iran (military coup + 150,000 murdered)
  • The Congo (military coup + assassination)
  • Haiti (military coup + chaos + contras + 3,000 plus murdered)
  • Dominican Republican (US invasion to topple regime)
  • Guyana (regime toppled by British)
  • Honduras (military coup + 1,000 murdered)
  • Syria (military coup)
  • Greece (military coup)
  • Italy (election fraud)
  • Indonesia (military coup + 1 million Communists murdered)
  • Colombia (assassination + death squads)
  • Panama (assassination)
  • Mexico (election fraud)
  • Afghanistan (contras)
  • Nicaragua (contras + sanctions)
  • El Salvador (military coup followed by 75,000 murdered)
  • Chile (economic sabotage, chaos, military coup, 15,000 murdered, defense attorneys tortured to death)
  • Venezuela (military coup, economic coup, constant riots and chaos), endless assassination plots, assassinations and murders, death squads, economic sabotage)
  • Argentina (military coup, 30,000 murdered)
  • Uruguay (military coup, 300 murdered)
  • Peru (military coup, 1.5 million arrested)
  • East Timor (military coup, invasion to topple regime, 300,000 murdered),
  • Paraguay (legislative coup + death squads)
  • Zimbabwe (sanctions)
  • Ukraine (coup)

Mao warned about this. He said there were always capitalist elements in the party trying to restore capitalism. That was the reason for the cultural revolution. Mao thought you would have to have cultural revolutions all the time to keep weeding out the reactionary elements in the party because they would keep springing up again like weeds.

Look what happened when Mao died. The reactionaries in the party around Deng took over and restored capitalism (sort of). Mao was right.

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Have Countries Improved by Moving Away from Social Democracy and Towards Neoliberalism?

HBD investor: Many countries floundered in various socialist schemes and their economies massively improved when they became less socialist.

None of this is true.

Many countries had problems with centrally planned economies with many or all state firms. This is called either state socialism or Communism and the record is not so wonderful. It isn’t so bad either. Been to Eastern Europe? See all that infrastructure? That was all built by the Communists. Go to Russia and see the same thing. Same in China. Communists built Russia and China up from nothing. They were nothing before, and Communism turned them into superpowers. They also had very high economic growth in industry and agriculture for decades. They massively expanded the nearly nonexistent education system. The Communists made monumental gains in housing in both countries. Health care improved to an incredible degree in both countries.

Now with Communism you can get great economic growth for a while, maybe a few decades, maybe more, but at some point it all starts bogging down in bureaucracy, lack of a pricing mechanism and a market, a lot of people just not working very hard and massive thievery of state property. In addition, the rate of economic growth slows. Although Communist countries usually wipe out poverty, in its place they only allow a relatively low standard of living. People probably want to live better than that. In addition, the collectivization of agriculture has been such a failure in Communist countries that I believe we should stop trying it. Production usually goes down by quite a bit and there are sometimes famines at the start if they try to do it too fast.

Yugoslavian Communism worked very well by the way, and they had a very good standard of living, the highest in Eastern Europe.

In addition, state socialist schemes with central planning had a lot of problems in Syria, India, Tanzania and other places. It just doesn’t work very well.

On the other hand, some form of social democracy is the norm all over the world. It’s not true that social democratic countries did a lot better as they shed most of their social democracy and adopted neoliberalism. The world has been doing that for a long time now and the record is in. It’s been a massive failure.

All of Europe except the UK is voting in Left parties, and at least the people want more social democracy and less neoliberalism. There’s no move towards neoliberalism and away from social democracy in Europe outside of Latvia and the UK.

There is no neoliberal free market capitalism in the Arab World. Arabs actually don’t believe in neoliberalism because Arabs and Muslims are sort of “naturally socialist” people. The Gulf states are huge social democracies. There is a lot of social spending and considerable state involvement in the economy in much of the Arab World.

Iran has been pretty much a socialist country ever since the Revolution. There is vast social spending, and the state is involved in the economy. Afghanistan is collapsed, but Communism was actually pretty popular there. Pakistan has been run by social democratic parties in recent years. India is officially a socialist country. It’s written right into the Constitution. An armed Maoist group is very powerful in India. Communist Parties have been running the states of West Bengal and Kerala for decades. Nepal is run by a coalition government consisting of a socialist party and a Communist party. The large opposition is made up of Maoists. I believe Sri Lanka is run by a social democratic party.

Myanmar’s been socialist forever. Vietnam and Laos are Communist. Cambodia has been run by Communists in recent years. The Philippines is a bad example, but they have free state health care for all, and education is free through the university level. Indonesia recently elected a socialist, a woman. The very popular newly elected president says he is a socialist. An armed Maoist group is very active in the country.

Australia and New Zealand are longstanding social democracies on the Canadian model.

Canada is a longstanding social democracy.

The largest party in Mexico is a member of the Socialist International, and the oil industry is state owned. Education is free through the university level, and health care is also free. El Salvador and Nicaragua are now run by former Marxist guerrillas, the FMLN and the Sandinistas. Costa Rica has been a social democracy since after World War 2. Honduras recently elected a leftwing president who was quickly overthrown in a state-sponsored coup. The military is still in power in Honduras, but everybody hates them.

A socialist party called Lavalas, the party of Jean Bertrande Aristide, continues to be the most popular party in Haiti, even though it has been declared illegal. To show you how popular Lavalas is, in the last election they ran in, they got 92% of the vote. During his short reign, Aristide built more schools than had been built in the entire 190 years before him.

A number of Caribbean island states are members of the Bolivarian economic bloc set up by Venezuela. Most Caribbean political parties are leftwing parties with the words socialist, revolutionary, workers, labor, or popular in them. Cuba is Communist and has a lower infant mortality rate than we do. A few years ago, they also had a longer life expectancy than we did.

Venezuela is still run by the Chavistas, a socialist party. Ecuador is run by a Leftist. Peru recently elected a leftwing Indian, although he has not been able to do much as his hands are tied. Brazil has been electing the socialist PT or Workers Party for many years now. A former Marxist guerrilla was the most recent president, and she was only removed by an illegal US-sponsored legislative coup. Paraguay elected a Leftist Catholic priest, a preacher of Liberation Theology, but he was soon overthrown in a legislative coup. The illegitimate party is now in power.

Uruguay has been a social democracy forever, and it is now governed by a former Marxist guerrilla. Juan Peron put in a social democracy in the 1950’s. Argentina was recently governed by a leftwing husband and wife team who alternated in the Presidency. Chile has been electing presidents from the Socialist Party for about 20 years now. The most recent Socialist, Michelle Bachelet, is a radical, but it remains to be seen what she can do. Chile has a huge class divide, the upper and lower classes  want to murder each other, and there are regular violent protests, leftwing versus rightwing street brawls, and riots, lately by students.

In Latin America, radical neoliberalism was imposed for 20 years, and it failed so badly that the whole continent has been electing leftwingers ever since.

I do not know much about Africa, but most African parties have been officially social democratic for a long time now. The Communist Party was recently part of a South African government. If anything has failed in Africa, it is neoliberalism.

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US and Turkey Not Cooperating at All on Syria

Here and here.

This makes a lot of sense to me.

I have never been able to figure out who was behind that bizarre coup, but I am almost certain that the US was in on it. And the Gulenists may well have played a large role. The coup was probably a US/Gulenist coup to take down Erdogan for cooperating with Russia. The coup happened very soon after Turkey announced a cooperation agreement with Russia.

But it looks like Russia may well have warned Erdogan beforehand, so Erdogan had some sort of foreknowledge of the coup. It was quite suspicious how he rounded up all of those people, put most of his political opponents in jail and jailed half the officers in the country and shut down the nation’s opposition media. He clearly used the coup as a pretext to cement his dictatorship.

The blatherings from the sick US media that democracy had been saved in Turkey and democracy needed to be preserved in Turkey were complete crap. Sure the coupists would not have been democrats, but Erdogan was already a dictator, it’s just that he was even more of one after the coup.

The US government is a maggot entity when it comes to this sort of thing. We foment coups all over the world all the time and overthrow democratically elected governments all the time. We just did so in Haiti, Honduras, Brazil, Paraguay and Ukraine. Usually the sick MSM has some crazy, sick lie about how the coup was necessary because the president was corrupt or incompetent or not democratic!

Ukraine had to be overthrown because it was corrupt. Same with Brazil. Honduras and Paraguay had to be overthrown because the governments were trying to subvert democracy. It’s a lie in both cases, and anyway, they were replaced by putschists who were hardly democrats themselves. Egypt had to be overthrown because the government was a dictatorship. But the coup put in a new government that’s a dictatorship too! Aristide had to be overthrown because he was incompetent and causing chaos. Never mind that things got 10X worse when the putschists were put in and the chaos went crazy, leaving 3,000 Aristide supporters murdered.

It’s all just nothing but lies, hypocrisy and double standards, the three pillars of US foreign policy. It’s pretty simple. When our enemies have a democratically elected government, it needs to be overthrown by a military or legislative coup for some insane reason and a dictatorship needs to be put in. What about democracy? What democracy? The Hell with democracy.

When there’s a coup against one of our democratically elected pals, we scream and yell about the need to restore democracy and get rid of the evil military dictators. And all of our allies are democracies, even the dictatorships. Somehow friendly dictatorships are actually democracies or they are really nice dictatorships, or whatever, or this or that, or nothing. Handwave.

The media of course always plays along with the entire crusade, in fact, US foreign policy is utterly dependent on a compliant media which helps to implement the project. Without the lying propaganda media, US foreign policy goals might be a lot harder to implement. And the entire media goes along. Not one single outlet steps out of line. Name one media outlet opposing the US government on Iran, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela or Russia. One. One. All I ask you is to name one. You can’t. That’s worse than Putin’s Russia. Putin’s Russia has lots of opposition media. That’s worse than the “dictatorship” of Venezuela where the opposition controls 75% of the media. It’s probably worse than the USSR. At least they had their samizdat.

The shootdown of the Russian jet which resulted in the deaths of two Russian airmen is clouded in uncertainty. It is doubtful that Gulenists did it, and Erdogan was raging against Russia at the time. Turkey was utterly defiant and the US and Turkey made up a lie about Russia violating Turkish airspace. Truth is that the shootdown was planned well in advance.

Turkey had received warning 24 hours before from the US military of the flight path of the Russian jets as Russia was coordinating all of this with the Pentagon. The jets were over a tiny bit of Turkish territory for maybe 13 seconds and this sort of thing happens all the time. It’s not like there are border walls up in the sky that keep you from flying over borders. It’s often quite hard to tell exactly where the border even is. But there is no way that those Turkish jets could have scrambled that fast when the Russians barely crossed the line for 13 seconds. The Turks had to have been lying in wait and they must have known the exact flight path. The only way they could have gotten that was through the US military, who had been given that information by the Russians.

I am not sure what to make of this story below. A lot of it is pro-US, anti-Russia propaganda which makes sense as it is published by Al Monitor which is run by US allies in the Gulf.

“Cengiz Candar wrote that “despite official statements to the contrary, Ankara and Washington are not cooperating in Syria. There’s a lot of friction. Ankara acquiesces much more to its former adversary Russia than to its traditional ally, the United States.”

Mustafa Akyol added that Russia is exploiting the friction between Ankara and Washington over the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, whom the Erdogan government considers a terrorist and has accused of being behind the attempted military coup in July.

During a visit to Ankara on Oct. 2, Aleksandr Dugin, a “special representative” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, claimed that Russia had warned Turkey of the coup, which he said took place because of Turkey’s turn toward Russia.

“Since the failed coup attempt, Dugin’s call to Turkey has been played up in the Russian media as well. Pro-Kremlin websites fabricated two fake news stories in September showing that the United States was behind the plot,” Akyol wrote, adding that these stories “found strong echoes in Turkey, which is now more obsessed than ever with conspiracy theories.”

A key element in this new Turko-Russian rapprochement is the common contempt for the followers of cleric Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the Islamic cult widely held responsible for the coup attempt,” Akyol explained.

“Erdogan and his supporters think that Western powers, out of either naiveté or malice, do not comprehend the threat the Gulenists pose for Turkey. In contrast, the Russians have long designated the Gulenists as a perilous group, closing all their schools and even banning the religious movement that identifies with it. That is why Ankara and Russia, even back in 2014, have long been in full agreement on the Gulenists. Now Russians are only adding that Ankara should see ‘the powers behind the Gulenists,’ as Dugin urged in the Moscow meeting.

“The common enmity for Gulenists also gave the two countries a chance to explain away the major rift they had in November 2015, when a Russian warplane was downed by the Turkish air force on the Syrian border,” Akyol continued.

“This incident initiated a cold war between Ankara and Moscow, which ended only last June, when Erdogan reached out to the Russians with an apology. Soon, the pro-government media in Turkey also came up with the theory that the pilot of the Turkish jet that downed the Russian plane was a Gulenist, which may well have been the case, and acted with the sinister intention to break Turkish-Russian ties, which may well be a fantasy. But it seems to be a convenient fantasy on which both Dugin and his Turkish guests in Moscow agreed.”

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Casteism Compared to Ordinary Discrimination

Jason Y writes:

Certain families are in the USA, not East Indian but regular Americans, are divided into uppity and so, so and poorer groups. The poorer groups might live in a trailer, are more likely to smoke cigarettes and do drugs.

So the question is, “Why criticize India, when people in the USA divide themselves harshly by caste, simply cause those who don’t do illegal drugs, smoke cigarettes, or are involved in a rough culture, cannot mesh well health worshipping Yuppie types? Conflict in inevitable.

Have you ever been around real Yuppies or whatever they’re called? Well, for one thing, they’re incredibly bossy and preachy. They try to parent even other adults like they’re not of sound mind when they are. They’re into overkill on parenting, not even letting kids drink soda or play video games, also controlling all their time so that the kids cannot even breathe. 😆

I haven’t met too many yuppies who were as insular and uppity as those Gujaratis. I mean they will not even talk to a non-Gujarati as far as I can tell. How many yuppies are like that.

There is no casteism in the US. In fact, all racial discrimination is illegal and the US has a department that goes after job discrimination and if your business is big enough, believe me they do go after this. Also housing discrimation is illegal in the US, however, the funds have been gutted for this.

The US is one of the least racist multicultural countries on Earth. Name some other multicultural countries that have less racism than the US. I am waiting.

You cannot compare casteism to much of anything else on the face of the Earth. It is quite different. The only comparison might be the Jim Crow South or Apartheid South Africa or maybe Israel. I want you people on here to tell me about some other countries where any sort of racial or ethnic discrimination is anything close to casteism. I cannot think of any right off the bat. The situation of Koreans and Burakamin in Japan is not good, and the Buraku situation is basically a caste one, but is it anything like caste in India?

PS. You cannot use caste in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh to compare to caste in India as it is all the same thing.

The Shia are not treated well in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, but is it close to the casteism of India?

Yes there is discrimination against Whites in South Africa, but does the situation of Whites resemble that of Dalits?

There is severe discrimination against Haitians in Dominican Republic, but is it as bad as Indian caste?

There is some pretty serious discrimination against Muslims in Myanmar right now that is on the level of casteism perhaps.

The Pygmies and Albinos are treated horribly in Africa. Perhaps that is on the level of caste in India.

Yes there is discrimination and racism against Indians in Chile, but is it on the level of Indian caste? I think not. There is similar but much worse discrimination against Indians in Peru, but it’s mostly the Whites who do it, and it’s not as bad as Indian caste. Also the new President is an Indian and he doesn’t support this discrimination at all.

I would agree that the slaves in Mauritania and other parts of Africa is a very similar situation to casteism in India. In fact, Dalits may have it better than African slaves.

This whole Indian line of saying that “all nations have caste” is just insane. The Indian caste system goes far beyond whatever sort of racism and discrimination exists in most parts of the world. There’s just no comparison.

I would also like to point out that Jason Y here, a liberal, is running interference for and whitewashing one of the most vicious and evil systems of discrimination on Earth. That’s not very liberal of him.

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Another Explanation for Venezuela’s Economic Crisis

It’s Chile 1973 all over again.

Are you familiar with what the US and the Chilean Right did in Chile in 1973 to get rid of Allende? Remember Kissinger said, “We are going to make the Chilean economy scream”? They created economic chaos, then used that as a pretext for riots and violence, and then amidst all the chaos, they started loudly screaming that a coup was necessary to restore order. Then a couple of coup attempts followed which did not work. Then they activated death squads and started assassinating Allendists. The Chief of Staff of the Chilean Army was assassinated.

A fascist guerrilla movement was activated by the CIA which ran around starting riots everywhere and setting off bombs at government and opposition locales.

Furthermore, there was a media war in the West of hysterical near-continuous lies. Time Magazine was one of the worst actors in that regard. The Western media printed stories that said that Soviet Navy vessels were off the coast of Chile and that Soviet troops had entered the country and were training at bases Allende had set up. All of these hysterical stories were complete lies, and they were all planted by the CIA. Nevertheless, the entire Western media printed them without even bothering to figure out if they were true or not.

There was a huge trucker’s strike which ruined the economy because the trucks were used in the transportation network that distributed goods to stores. The truckers were paid huge sums by the CIA and the opposition to go on strike.

Finally there was an actual coup supported by the CIA. During this coup, the Chilean Air Force attacked the Presidential Palace where Allende resided. That would be like if the US Air Force started strafing and bombing the White House trying to kill the US President. Can you imagine how outrageous that would be? President Allende picked up a large machine gun and ran to a window on an upper floor of the palace and started shooting at the planes. While he was doing this, he was killed by the strafing and bombing of the Air Force. So the Chilean military assassinated the President of Chile!

All of these things are exactly what is happening in Venezuela right now, down to the letter.

It is literally Chile 1973 down to the exact last tiny detail.

The US has has done this exact model in many other places, especially with Aristide in Haiti.

Here it is, 43 years after the 1973 coup, and the US is doing the same thing all over again. That shows that in 43 years, US foreign policy has not changed one iota. Our foreign policy now is exactly the same as it was back then.

US foreign policy is the same under both Republican and Democratic Presidents. Barack Obama is Richard Nixon. The former is a “liberal,” and the latter was a “conservative.” John Kerry is Henry Kissinger. The former is a “liberal,” and the latter is a “conservative,” but none of that matters in US foreign policy, as it is always the same under “Democrats” as well as “Republicans” and “conservatives” as well as “liberals.”

This is known as “the bipartisan foreign policy consensus” and one of the fears of the people who run this country was that the Vietnam War destroyed this cooperation pact between the two parties on foreign policy. But the breaking of that pact, if it took place at all, did not last long, as the Allende coup happened during what was supposedly the height of this split in the bipartisan foreign policy consensus.

It truly is one party: The Republicrat Party.

I think the Alternative Left should on principle oppose all coups and regime change efforts, as they are all from the Right anyway. Why should we support rightwing and pro-US coups? Why should we support rightwing and pro-US regime change? The Hell with that.

That ought to be a dealkiller for joining the Alt Left too. If you support rightwing and pro-US coups and regime changes, you are out of the Alt Left just like that. We should not tolerate anyone who thinks like that.

Another Explanation for Venezuela’s Economic Crisis

Peter Bolton – COHA

March 28th 2016

Reports in the English-language press last week highlighted a series of small-scale street protests in Venezuela that bemoaned the scarcity of certain basic products, chronic shortages of medical supplies, and continued power and water outages throughout the country.

According to Reuters, for instance, more than a thousand such protests occurred in January and February and, taken together, “show the depth of public anger” and “could become a catalyst for wider unrest.”[1] News accounts proclaiming Venezuela’s state of emergency are not new but in recent weeks have reached hysterical levels, with the Boston-based Global Post claiming that Venezuela’s economic situation is now “worse than 1960s Cuba.”[2]

The mainstream narrative explanation is that the crisis is the result of economic mismanagement and the ideological rigidity of the country’s “authoritarian” Chavista led-government.

For instance, Andreas E. Feldmann, Federico Merke, and Oliver Stuenkel, writing for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote last November that “Venezuela’s steep recession has been worsened by economic mismanagement leading to mounting inflation, a widening fiscal deficit, and growing shortages of essential goods including food, soap, and diapers.”[3]  Similarly, Arlecchino Gomez at The Daily Signal, wrote, also last November, that Venezuela’s recession “was largely due to government incompetence and mismanagement.”[4]

The Workings of the “Free” Market

These sentiments are strongly predicated on the standard line of economic thought prevailing in the Western media and political class: that stringent price and currency controls are distorting the mechanisms of the “free” market and have led to stagnant production, soaring inflation and a burgeoning black market in U.S. dollars and consumer goods.

The explicit or strongly implied conclusion is that the crisis proves beyond doubt that socialism “doesn’t work” and that the solution to Venezuela’s ills is a return with gusto to Chicago School economic policy and hence a restoration of the unimpeded mechanisms of the market. Making this point in Forbes magazine, Tim Walstall goes so far as to compare the situation in Venezuela with the collapse of the Soviet Union; he argues that the solution “is to do as Russia did at the end of their socialist nightmare… [and implement] an immediate move to full blown free marketry [sic].”[5]

To achieve this, “regime change” is presented as an imperative prerequisite and the only viable way for things to improve. Michael Shifter, writing in Foreign Affairs, says that even though many on the Latin American left initially found Chavismo an “appealing alternative to market-based approaches,” these days “few dispute that it has failed.”[6]

The Alternative Thesis

Within Venezuela itself, however, this analysis is just one of two competing narratives, both of which are discussed and taken seriously in discussions of policy, governance, and economic dynamics. The economic mismanagement thesis is the natural position taken by the Venezuelan opposition and its allies.

But the fact that it is practically the only narrative reported in the English-language press misrepresents the intricacies of Venezuela’s economic problems while revealing how Western media heavily favor the opposition’s analysis, often by its own admission. (Rory Carroll of The Guardian, for instance, boasted that he moved almost exclusively in opposition elite circles while based in Caracas as the paper’s Latin America editor.)

But there is another narrative, favored by the government and the pro-Chavista social movements and civil society sectors, which, it is important to stress, are independent of the government. This perspective can loosely be called the economic war thesis. It explains the crisis in terms of the economic and social dynamics at play outside policy and governmental action.

It holds that business sectors friendly to the opposition are waging an aggressive and protracted campaign of economic sabotage to deliberately stir up social unrest to destabilize and discredit the governing Chavista bloc and in the ensuing chaos bring about an end to the PSUV government and the installation of a new one made up of opposition parties. The central pillars of the economic war thesis are that these hostile sectors have been engaging in acts such as hoarding and price speculation and have purposely generated scarcity in pursuit of calculated chaos.

Naturally, all of the allegations that make up this narrative are dismissed out of hand by the opposition, which argues that they amount to a desperate propaganda stunt to shift blame from the government’s own incompetence onto its political opponents. President Nicolás Maduro’s use of the term “bourgeois parasites” in particular has been seized on by opposition commentators to portray him as a hopeless buffoon desperately holding onto to power and flailingly seeking to prop up a failed political project.

Friendly commentators in the Western press are equally disparaging, with the aforementioned Michael Shifter, for instance, claiming that these accusations “have no merit,” but do serve to “show that any semblance of cooperation between the executive and the assembly to alleviate the country’s economic collapse is, at least for now, far-fetched.”[7] Similarly, Jeffrey Taylor writes in Foreign Policy, “Maduro’s response [to shortages and currency crises] has been to blame everything on scheming “Yanquis,” Venezuela’s “far-right elite,” the “parasitic bourgeois,” and, of course, the opposition, “even though he has effectively neutralized its leadership.”[8]

But though more scholarly research is necessary for a detailed and considered analysis of the myriad factors contributing to Venezuela’s economic situation, it is worth giving the claims of Chavismo a fair hearing. A fuller picture shows that this alternate thesis should not be so glibly dismissed.

Take hoarding, for instance. Before Hugo Chávez was elected president in 1998, the economic levers of society were near-exclusively in the hands of a social elite of overwhelmingly light-skinned Venezuelans: the inhabitants of the wealthy neighborhoods of Venezuela’s urban centers and wealthy landowners of the campo.

Not only were they in charge of importation, distribution and wholesaling of all manner of goods for the Venezuelan markets, but they also had a stranglehold over the state apparatus needed to profiteer from effective importation in the first place. A central goal of Chavismo was to wrest control of the economic levers from this elite and more evenly disperse it throughout society. The Chávez and Maduro administrations have sought to democratize economic decision-making and predicate it on serving the public interest rather than the pursuit of private profit.

Confronting Entrenched Privilege

Political psychology provides important insights into the socio-economic dynamics of Venezuelan society. In his book, Angry White Men, sociologist Michael Kimmel argues that much of white men’s rage in the United States is the result of privileges that were historically bestowed on them gradually becoming less automatic. As historically disadvantaged sectors gain more opportunities and influence, the change appears to the previously favored group as a great injustice.[9]

The same dynamic is evident in Venezuela: an unaccountable elite of overwhelmingly white, Euro-descent Venezuelans hold positions of influence and has had control of many of the important economic decisions. In great part the Chavista movement was based on giving voice to the country’s poor majority, which incidentally is overwhelmingly black, brown, indigenous, and/or mixed race.

Hugo Chávez was himself of mixed-race heritage, with European, native Venezuelan, and African ancestry. The mere idea that such a person (or mono, meaning monkey, as the opposition frequently called him) could be president and give voice to the dark-skinned chusma was seen as a veritable insult to the Venezuelan elite.

The Chávez and Maduro governments have attempted to transition Venezuela away from a society that has been not only inherently racist and classist, but also highly rigid, stratified and oligarchic. Problems inevitably arise because this elite already holds the reins and can aggressively resist a recalibration of economic and social power. In 1998, the highly corrupt business class controlled almost every economic structure imaginable from distribution of food and production of oil to systems for obtaining dollars and importing consumer goods.

As James Petras and Henry Veitmeyer argue in their 2013 book What’s Left in Latin America? Regime Change in New Times, “The government’s socialist project depends on mass social organizations capable of advancing on the economic elite and cleaning the neighborhoods of rightwing thugs, gangsters and paramilitary agents of the Venezuelan oligarchs and [Colombia’s] Uribe regime.”[10]

Since these are the people who were already in positions of economic power and influence when the Bolivarian process began, their ability to throw a wrench in the government’s efforts for reform has been formidable. Ryan Mallet-Outtrim, writing in Venezuela Analysis, points out that “Venezuela’s private sector has long attacked the socialist government.” So much so, he adds, “that for years Venezuelans have acknowledged that scarcity of basic consumer goods spikes around important elections, as businesses seek to pressure voters into turning against Chavismo.”[11]

Evidence of such efforts by pro-opposition sectors has not been lacking. Immediately following the opposition victory in the 2015 National Assembly elections, for instance, social media commentators indicated that staple goods miraculously began to reappear on shelves throughout the country.[12] Tellingly, some of the products had expiration dates that suggested that the problem was not with production but rather with distribution, which is largely controlled by the right-wing business elite. By creating this kind of scarcity, the elite were essentially trying to starve the public into rejecting the revolution, a tactic influenced by the United States’ economic blockade against Cuba.

When these dynamics are taken in the wider context of Venezuelan politics over the last two decades, they begin to seem less and less ridiculous and more and more plausible. Throughout the period of Chavismo there have been times when these aggressive tactics of economic sabotage have been too obvious to allow for the opposition’s usual equivocation.

During the so-called oil strike, for example, opposition forces led by Venezuela’s largest business association, Fedecamaras, orchestrated a nationwide disruption of oil production in hopes that the ensuing economic chaos would destabilize the government and precipitate a coup.[13]Taken in the context of this history of instigated pandemonium, the economic war thesis emerges as at least equally worthy of consideration as its major competitor.

Internal and External Challenges to the Revolution

None of this is to say, of course, that there are no legitimate criticisms of the central government, far less that the opposition’s explanation for the economic crisis should be dismissed as casually as it dismisses the government’s. Yet there are mitigating factors that must be raised in the government’s defense. The Bolivarian process has attempted not just to pay the social debt that was owed the country’s poor majority, but also to radically transform society by offering an alternative development model to the neoliberal consensus of the 1980s and 1990s that plunged the entire region into disarray.

The Chávez and Maduro administrations have attempted this task while facing constant hostility not only from an aggressive internal political opposition that has often resorted to violence, but also from the hemisphere’s hegemon, the United States. Washington, which almost instinctively has been opposed to Chavismo from day one, has consistently interfered in Venezuela’s internal affairs in the hope of crushing the Bolivarian process.

From a Bush administration-backed[14] and CIA-aided[15] coup in 2002, in which then-President Chavez was nearly removed from power by force, to refusals to recognize Chavista electoral victories, threats of sanctions, and covert funding for opposition candidates, the United States had been determined to do everything possible to ensure that it would fail. The United States has viciously opposed anything that threatens the dominance of the unfettered neoliberal capitalist vision that it has sought to defend, and then spread, throughout the world.

As William Camacaro and COHA Senior Research Fellow Fred Mills wrote early last year in Counterpunch, “A great deal hangs in the balance with regard to the feasibility of advancing a democratic socialist project while under the continuous attack of a U.S.-backed opposition, elements of which are bent on restoring the neoliberal regime.”[16]

The U.S. mainstream media, overwhelmingly owned by large corporations and loyal to their interests, naturally reflects and promulgates the ideological contours of this worldview. Herein lies the explanation for why the debate has been so narrow, so inordinately skewed toward the opposition’s account of the situation, and so disregarding of the complexities and subtleties of the discourse regarding the admittedly tragic and desperate circumstances in which the Venezuelan people find themselves.

[1] “Small Protests Proliferate in Simmering Venezuela,” The New York Times, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2016/03/17/world/americas/17reuters-venez….

[2] “Venezuelans in the US Say Their Country Is Worse Than 1960s Cuba,” Global Post, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.globalpost.com/article/6749177/2016/03/21/venezuelans-us-say-….

[3] “Venezuela’s Political Crisis: Can Regional Actors Help?,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, accessed March 21, 2016, http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/11/30/venezuela-s-political-crisis-can….

[4] “Venezuela’s Economic Crisis,” The Daily Signal, accessed March 21, 2016, http://dailysignal.com/2015/11/09/venezuelas-economic-crisis/.

[5] “Venezuela’s Economic Catastrophe Isn’t About To Happen, It Has Happened,” Forbes, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/02/07/venezuelas-economic-c….

[6] “Venezuela’s Meltdown Continues,” Foreign Affairs, accessed March 21, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/venezuela/2016-03-10/venezuelas-….

[7] Ibid.

[8] “Venezuela’s Last Hope,” Foreign Policy, accessed March 21, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/10/venezuelas-last-hope-leopoldo-lopez-….

[9] “Angry White Men: A Book Review,” Huffington Post, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tristan-bridges/a-review-of-angry-white-m_….

[10] James Petras and Henry Veitmeyer, What’s Left in Latin America?: Regime Change in New Times, Routledge (2016).

[11] “How Bad is Venezuela’s Economic Situation?,” Venezuela Analysis, accessed March 21, 2016, http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/11832.

[12] “Basic Goods ‘Suspiciously’ Begin to Appear in Venezuela Stores, TeleSur,” accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Basic-Goods-Suspiciously-Begin-to-…–20151214-0018.html.

[13] “Venezuelan General Strike Extended,” BBC News, accessed March 21, 2016, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1918189.stm.

[14] Venezuela Coup Linked to Bush Team,” The Guardian, accessed March 22, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/apr/21/usa.venezuela.

[15] “The CIA Was Involved in the Coup against Venezuela’s Chavez,” Venezuela Analysis, accessed March 22, 2016, http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/800.

[16] “Revolution, Counter Revolution and the Economic War in Venezuela,” Counterpunch, accessed March 21, 2016, http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/27/revolution-counter-revolution-and….

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Latin America Is a Very Socialist Region: The Caribbean

The Left has run Cuba since 1959. Most of the illegal opposition groups in Cuba are formally socialist (social democratic) The Left is only kept out of power in Haiti because the rightwing army and police have all the guns and the Left is not allowed to run in the fake elections. The Left president Aristide was overthrown in a violent, US sponsored coup. Jamaica elected a socialist in the 1970’s, Manley. His government was undermined by the US, and he was thrown out after a bit.

The Left held power in Grenada but was overthrown by a US invasion. Dominica is formally ruled by a socialist party which is also a member of the Sao Paolo Forum. The opposition is a party with “workers” in its name. Grenada has recently been ruled by a party that is a member of the Progressive Alliance, a split from the Socialist International. Trinidad and Tobago is now run by a formally socialist party. The two principal opposition parties are both formally socialist parties.

The Right stayed in power in the Dominican Republic by a dictator named Trujillo killing hundreds of thousands of people. In the 1960’s, they elected a socialist, Juan Bosch, who was quickly overthrown by Johnson with a CIA coup. The new rightwing government came in via the coup and stayed in power for over a decade. They stayed in power by murdering 11,000 people. For the last 20 years, the country has been ruled by the formally socialist party of Bosch. They are aligned with the Far Left Sao Paolo Forum. The opposition party has “revolution” in its name, is formally socialist and is a member of the Socialist International.

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