When you arrive in another country, there is nothing more precious than new friends who adopt you, protect you, and teach you about their language, music, culture, and traditions. For an open-minded traveler, ethnographer and anti-imperialist organizer, this new family is more valuable than any air-conditioned hotel, amount of comfort or money. When I moved to Brazil in May of 2003, Binho, Mateuszinho, Thiago and their family and neighborhood crew took me in and put me up in O Morro do Santo Cristo and O Complexo da Penha, the heart of Río de Janeiro’s favelas and drug war. They walked me through the complex landscape of Rio’s corrupt brutal police who shoot first and rarely ask questions later, their violent blitzes (Río slang for stop and frisks), and a maze of morros (ghettos spread across hills) divided between two major paramilitary drug gangs: O Comando Vermelho and O Terceiro Comando (The Red Command and The Third Command).
Hundreds of people marched on Wednesday in Puerto Rico's capital San Juan to demand that the island's government cancel its contract with power grid operator LUMA Energy over chronic power outages and frequent rate hikes. Demonstrators including union leaders and community activists say LUMA has steadily increased power rates despite frequent outages including one in April that left more than one- third of the island in darkness. read more Protestors shouted slogans including "There goes LUMA, there goes LUMA with another increase" and "LUMA, a bunch of morons who burn substations." Power rates have gone up five times since LUMA began operating Puerto Rico's transmission and distribution system on June 1, 2020. The last rate hike, which took effect at the start of July, pushed rates up by 17.1%.
The Foreign Ministers of G7 countries met in London this week and issued a communique painting Russia as a “malicious actor” and China as a “bully”. It had little substance apart from ticking all the “right” boxes in its anti-China and anti-Russia campaign: Uyghurs, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Crimea, Ukraine, etc. It ended with arrogating to itself the mantle of being the “rules-based international order”, distinct from what the real, lawful international order is, the United Nations and its Security Council. This is why India’s willingness to be a part of “invitees”, to wait in the antechamber with Australia, South Korea and South Africa, while the imperial powers of the G7 decide on the weighty matters of the world, is mystifying. Self-respect would have demanded that if you do not get a seat at the table, do not go, and not wait outside the meeting room.
Abby Martin speaks to Eugene Puryear to discuss the big picture of US imperialism in Africa: From the Berlin Conference to the subversion of liberation movements to neocolonial puppets and the current sprawl of AFRICOM "counterterrorism."
The day after his already paper-thin constitutional legitimacy completely eroded, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse gave significant amounts of the country’s land to a light-skinned tycoon working with Coca-Cola. According to most Haitian constitutional authorities and institutions, Moïse’s presidential mandate ended on Sunday, February 7, 2021. But the next day, Le Moniteur—the official journal of the Republic of Haiti—published a presidential decree gifting 8,600 hectares of the country’s agricultural land reserves to produce stevia, a main ingredient in Coca-Cola’s zero-sugar beverages. Alongside land in the Artibonite and Plateau Central regions, Moïse put up US$18 million for a new Free Agro-Industrial Export Zone run by the Apaid family. It is outrageous, notes civil society group Le Regroupement des Haïtiens de Montréal contre l’occupation d’Haïti, that the state would offer land to a firm producing for Coca-Cola rather than invest in local food production in a country where nearly 42 percent of the population, or four million people, are experiencing acute hunger.
Latin America has caught the world’s attention as it has become the electoral battleground between progressive movements and the neo-colonial aspirations of the Washington Consensus. In Bolivia, Luis Arce, the candidate from Evo Morales’s Movement Towards Socialism, won the presidential election, reverting the bloody coup that, to the convenience of transnational lithium interests, had forced the indigenous leader out of office only a year before. A week later, neoliberalism’s birthplace became its next burial ground, as Chileans approved a historic referendum to change the Constitution left in place by Augusto Pinochet’s military regime.
On June 20th, a fatal mining accident in Black mountain, an infamous mining zone in Zambia, killed 10 miners, and injured 7 others. Mining is the lifeblood of the country’s economy, and accidents happen far too often. Mining accounts for eighty percent of Zambia’s export earnings and about 12% of its GDP. It is also the source for the largest number of industrial accidents since Zambia won its independence in 1964. The recent mining tragedy and a longer history of exploitation raises the question: Did colonialism ever end in Zambia? Shortly after independence, Zambia’s first President, Kenneth Kaunda spoke of an African path towards socialism. The West Indian intellectual C.L.R. James said that Kuanda realized African development would not come through “the attempt merely to ape European ways.”
The media war drums are again beating with demonization aimed at Iran, the DPRK and especially Russia. We can't blame this on Trump alone. Our government, under the heavy hand of corporate corruption, has embraced neoliberal economics, debt colonialism and military aggression since Reagan replaced the New Deal with the Raw Deal. Presidents of both parties, including both Bushes, Clinton, Obama, and now Trump have continued on this track which inevitable led to Bush's invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama's Libya disaster and a foreign policy based on regime change, drone terror, arms sales and permanent war – the final product of a marriage of neocon foreign policy and neoliberal economics.
By Ben Dangl for Counter Punch - A recent report published by a coalition of African and British social justice organizations lays bare the truth that foreign corporations and wealthy governments continue to profit from the looting of the world’s most impoverished continent. In 2015, the year the most recent data is available, African nations received $162 billion in aid, loans, and remittances. At the same time, $203 billion was taken from these nations through resource extraction, debt payments, and illegal logging and fishing. “We find that the countries of Africa are collectively net creditors to the rest of the world, to the tune of $41.3 billion in 2015,” explain authors of the report, titled How the World Profits from Africa’s Wealth. “There’s such a powerful narrative in Western societies that Africa is poor and that it needs our help,” explained Aisha Dodwell, a campaigner with Global Justice Now, one of the organizations that authored the report. “This research shows that what African countries really need is for the rest of the world to stop systematically looting them,” Dodwell said. “While the form of colonial plunder may have changed over time, its basic nature remains unchanged.”
By Netfa Freeman for Black Agenda Report - While much of the discourse and debate around the UK referendum to leave the European Union (EU), a move known as Brexit (= Britain + exit), seems centered solely on its impact on Britain, Western Europe as a whole, and the U.S., Foreign Policy Magazine (FP) warns us, “Brexit Is Bad News for Africa. Period.” Before listing a litany of cons, from the “loss of British leadership in places like Somalia” to “South Africa, where many large companies are co-listed on the London Stock Exchange,” FP explains a re-worked UK-Africa policy, “even unencumbered by EU inefficiencies, …will leave Britain with a fraction of the influence it currently wields in Africa.”
By Nina Macapinlac and Matt Smith for Philippine Solidarity. New Jersey - To announce its official launch, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee condemns to the utmost extent today’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) in New Zealand. As an anti-imperialist coalition of individuals and organizations, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee opposes the TPP as a one-sided “free trade” agreement that will only benefit the interests of the global elite class at the expense of the poor and working class peoples of the world, especially in underdeveloped countries like the Philippines. Incidentally, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee also commemorates today as the 117th anniversary of the Philippine American War as part of BAYAN USA’s Philippine Solidarity Week.
By Herman Wainggai - The Island of New Guinea is divided in to two: The west side is the independent state of Papua New Guinea, which gained its independence from Australia in 1975. The western part was known as “Western New Guinea,” which was colonized by the Netherlands since 1828. The Dutch government also colonized or administered the Islands of Indonesia to the far west. In 1945, after World War II, the Netherlands – Dutch government – after years of fighting with Indonesian rebels, gave up Indonesia. Indonesia declared independence in 1945 and in 1949, the Dutch government formally recognized Indonesia’s independence and sovereignty.