After almost six months of a coup regime that has murdered over 80 people during continuous protests against the illegal ouster of President Pedro Castillo, survivors of another case of human rights abuses may finally be seeing justice. On May 19th, former dictator Alberto Fujimori was summoned virtually from Penal de Barbadillo (where Pedro Castillo is also imprisoned on preventative detention) by the Chilean Supreme Court for the cases of forced sterilization during his regime in the 1990s. Between 1996 and 2000, approximately 270,000 women and 22,000 men were forcibly sterilized under the dictatorship’s “family planning” measures, all from poor rural indigenous areas.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro participated in a joint press conference on Monday May 29 from the Planalto Palace in Brasília and highlighted the importance of the neighboring countries resuming ties. The press conference was held following a bilateral meeting between the heads of state ahead of the South American Presidents’ Summit. Lula told national and international media that, “This is a historic moment. After eight years, President Nicolás Maduro is back to visiting Brazil and we have recovered our right to have a foreign policy with the seriousness we have always had, especially with the countries that border Brazil.”
When Japan invited the leaders of Brazil, India and Indonesia to attend the G7 summit in Hiroshima, there were glimmers of hope that it might be a forum for these rising economic powers from the Global South to discuss their advocacy for peace in Ukraine with the wealthy Western G7 countries that are militarily allied with Ukraine and have so far remained deaf to pleas for peace. But it was not to be. Instead, the Global South leaders were forced to sit and listen as their hosts announced their latest plans to tighten sanctions against Russia and further escalate the war by sending U.S.-built F-16 warplanes to Ukraine.
UK counter-terrorism police detained journalist Kit Klarenberg upon his arrival in his home country from Belgrade, Serbia, on 17 May, subjecting him to an extended interrogation over his “political views” and his reporting. Klarenberg has written extensively for The Cradle, exposing London’s many covert operations in West Asia. According to The Grayzone, six plainclothes police were waiting for him outside his plane, promptly moving him to a back room and informing him of his detention under Schedule Three, Section Four of the 2019 Counter-Terrorism and Border Act.
There needs to be a particularly high standard of cynicism and cruelty to rob destitute people. In many ways, this is what capitalism is all about. But to use the fact that people are near ruin to exploit them is as cold as it gets. People in Gaza are confined to living with few resources in what amounts to a prison. They are permitted levels of nutrition and medicine that are just enough to prevent total starvation and disease. This is only because Israel, which controls the piece of land known as the Gaza Strip, does not want disease to spread into its own borders. Israel exploits the suffering of Gazans in order to recruit collaborators and garner whatever intelligence they may be able to provide.
In May of this year, we took the long, 27-hour train ride from Moscow to Crimea to see how life is there and what the sentiment of the people are as the US and Ukraine sharpen their threats to "recapture" this peninsula from Russia. And, while we were there, these threats were backed by a series of terrorist drone attacks in Crimea which, while doing little serious damage, signaled an escalation in the US/Ukrainian assault on Crimea. Despite such threats and attacks, what we found in this historic peninsula on the Black Sea was a beautiful, almost idyllic place with a bustling economy and a general sense of prosperity and hopefulness. We also found a people who seem quite content to remain a part of Russia just as Crimea has been, except for a brief interval, since 1783.
It’s been over 100 days since the catastrophic derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying over 100,000 gallons of toxic materials occurred in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb 3. Since then, residents of East Palestine and the surrounding area in Ohio and Pennsylvania have had their lives turned completely upside down. Entire families have been uprooted from their homes, with many having to live in hotels or wherever they can find shelter, unable to return home out of fear of exposure to chemicals that were spilled into the water and soil from the derailment and spewed into the air from Norfolk Southern’s “controlled burn” of the vinyl chloride contained within multiple derailed train cars.
The ages-long severe oppression of descendants of West African slaves in Honduras has yet to receive wide attention. The Garifuna African people in Honduras are increasingly being denied their lands and livelihoods by the Honduran government and the multilateral institutions of the Global North. The plight of the Garifuna African people and their fight to restore their lands and livelihoods should no longer be left only to them to face, especially considering their small population of about 300,000. Continental Africans and those in the diaspora should raise awareness about the case. The Garifuna people are a part of Africa.
The Belgian city of Verviers has become the latest city in Europe to cut its ties with the Israeli “apartheid regime” to “strengthen its support for the Palestinian people,” the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported. In its meeting, Verviers Municipal Council discussed a motion introduced by members of the Socialist Party (PS), the Labor Party (PTB), and the Ecologist Confederation (ECOLO) that says that the City of Verviers wants to strengthen its support for the Palestinian people by cutting its ties with the Israeli apartheid regime. The draft proposal said that the municipal council of Verviers undertakes not to open relations with the state of Israel and its institutions as long as the apartheid system persists and the violation of international law by the Israeli authorities.
There has been this state-centered perception of anti-colonialism that tends to equate the term with any type of government that will stand up to US hegemony. This has led many to overlook the role of authoritarianism, considering it, wrongly, as a secondary issue, and thus pledge their support to autocratic regimes. Proposals such as that of “multipolar world”, which often seeks to reassert old imperialist glory and nationalism, have become a point of reference for the supporters of this brand of pseudo anti-colonialism. Activist Promise Li describes it as a faith in the reshuffling of the US hegemon’s power to a multipolarity of national elites to unlock better conditions of struggle, to which he adds that believing this would be idealism in its own right.
In a study on more than 71,000 animal species around the world, researchers discovered that about 48% are declining. The research, led by Queen’s University Belfast, is one of the most comprehensive and alarming studies on biodiversity loss. The researchers analyzed population data on mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish and insects. The study differs from the IUCN’s Red List, which found 28% of over 150,000 species studied to be threatened with extinction. But the authors explained that the data uncovered with their methods shows that the issue is much worse. According to the study, 33% of species designated non-threatened by IUCN were in decline.
I count the advance among non–Western nations toward what we now call a new world order the single most momentous development of our time. This turn in history’s wheel will define our century, it is not too much to say. But to listen to the speeches, pronouncements and offhand remarks of the power and policy cliques in Washington you would think there is no such elephant in the room. And so, I ask: Can I be the only one to wonder whether those shaping and conducting American foreign policy are blind to this immense global shift, or deaf to what the non–West lately has to say to the West, or too stupid to understand events, or in denial, or maybe some of all four?
On April 4, 2023, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Vice President of Communications and Public Engagement Leslie Aun contacted me, Alex Rubinstein, to request a phone conversation about an article I published at The Grayzone a day before. My report detailed the open justification of the terrorist bombing of a cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia by a top staffer of Bellingcat, which receives significant sponsorship from the NED, which functions as the regime change arm of the US government. In the article, I described the NED as a “CIA cutout,” which clearly displeased Aun and prompted her appeal for a call.
Italy is one of a few countries in the European Union without a legal minimum wage; 21 out of 27 EU countries have instituted minimum wages. In Italy, minimum wages are only determined in collective labor agreements, but these salaries are often very low — around four to six euros per hour. In addition, Italy is the only country in the continent where since 1990, real wages are not growing — they even diminished by 3% in the last 30 years. Thus, one out of 10 people in Italy are working poor, among the youth, this number increases to one out of six. Already a year ago, Potere al Popolo started a political campaign seeking the introduction of a legal minimum wage. At the end of May, together with the alliance Unione Popolare, we submitted a legislative proposal to institute a minimum wage of at least 10 euros (US$ 10.72) per hour, which will also be automatically inflation-linked.