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Continuous Struggle for the Caribbean to be Heard in Climate Change Discussions PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 14:28

 

IPS correspondent Desmond Brown interviews DOUGLAS SLATER, Assistant Secretary General at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat.

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A fisher in Barbados. The Caribbean’s fish stocks have been affected by climate change. Credit: Desmond Brown/IPS

GEORGETOWN, Feb 5 2019 (IPS) - In recent years Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have experienced escalated climate change impacts from hurricanes, tropical storms and other weather-related events thanks to global warming of 1.0 ° Celsius (C) above pre-industrial levels. And it has had adverse effects on particularly vulnerable countries and communities.

 

CARICOM countries and other small island and low-lying coastal developing states have long been calling for limiting the increase in average global temperatures to below 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

 

Regional countries have also noted with grave concern the findings of the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C. The report noted that climate-related risks for natural and human systems including health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth are significantly higher at an increased global warming of 1.5 °C than at the present warming levels of 1 °C above 

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Trump Sanctions, Regime Change Strategy in Venezuela Can Only Cause More Violence and Suffering PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 11:02
 
 
by Mark Weisbrot CEPR https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/WhctKJVJfqTkMfmbnvfCWRmkcxjZWGmsFTRpkgXwMnBhMQqjZdKsGWsDvzfmnHJXHstBgXV
 
This article was published by The Intercept on February 2, 2019. If anyone wishes to reprint it, please let us know by replying to this message. If this email was forwarded to you, subscribe to CEPR's email lists here. 
 
 
 
 
Washington has been trying to topple Venezuela’s government for at least 17 years, but the Trump administration has taken a more openly aggressive tack than its predecessors. Last week, administration officials kicked their efforts into high gear by anointing their chosen successor to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro Moros in advance of any coup d’etat. The 35-year-old Venezuelan member of Congress Juan Guaidó announced that he was now president, and the Trump administration, along with allied governments, immediately recognized him — in accordance with a previously arranged plan.
 
It is clear that President Donald Trump’s goal is regime change; his administration is not even trying to hide it. And his allies, like Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., have long made it obvious what they are after.
 
It would be a terrible mistake to keep going down this road. Trump’s policies have only worsened the suffering of Venezuelans and made it almost impossible for the country to pull out of its prolonged economic depression and hyperinflation.
 
A negotiated solution is necessary to resolve the political conflict in Venezuela, yet the Trump administration’s commitment to extralegal regime change is rapidly precluding this option. Worse still, Trump’s apparent strategy is to increase suffering through sanctions — more of which were just announced — until a fraction of the military carries out a coup to create a new, pro-Washington government.
The fairness of the 2018 presidential election, which the opposition boycotted, is up for debate, but the main problems with the regime change strategy have to do with other considerations. Venezuela is a polarized country and overthrowing the government — even if Washington were not involved in the fight — would only increase this polarization and the chances of greater violence or even civil war.
 
Consider the example of Nicaragua, where in 1990 the leftist Sandinistas and their U.S.-backed opponents agreed to settle their differences through an election. The sides had to agree on certain conditions so that the losers would not be persecuted: The Sandinistas kept control over the army after they lost the elections, and peace was maintained.
 
These sorts of necessary compromises would be impossible under the regime change strategy being pursued by the Trump administration.
 
Venezuela is polarized along political lines and has been ever since Hugo Chávez was elected president in 1998 and launched his Bolivarian Revolution. The opposition’s attempt to overthrow Chávez in a military coup in 2002, aided and abetted by officials in the George W. Bush administration, as well as the opposition leadership’s vacillating willingness to accept the results of democratic elections in subsequent years laid the groundwork for many years of distrust.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 February 2019 11:25
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Right-Wing Nationalism Threatens Democratic Norms, Human Rights & Press Freedom PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 13:30

Right-Wing Nationalism Threatens Democratic Norms, Human Rights & Press Freedom

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 30 2019 (IPS) - The steady decline in multilateralism—accompanied by a rise in unilateralism– is beginning to threaten democratic norms, including press freedom, global governance, civic participation and human rights across Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East.

The threats – directly or indirectly – are being sourced to the outbreak of right-wing nationalism in the United States, reflected in the jingoistic political rhetoric coming out of several countries, including Brazil, the Philippines, Hungary, Poland, Austria, Turkey, Myanmar and Egypt.

Speaking to reporters last month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that multilateralism is under attack from many different directions precisely “when we need it most.”

“In different areas and for different reasons, the trust of people in their political establishments, the trust of states among each other, the trust of many people in international organizations has been eroded and … multilateralism has been in the fire,” he complained.

 

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Lysa John – Credit: CIVICUS

So, how will civil society survive against these heavy political odds during 2019?

 

Lysa John, the new Secretary-General of the Johannesburg-based CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society organizations (CSOs) advocating citizen action worldwide, told IPS: “Sadly in this current political climate, governments are undermining decades of work by citizens and leaders across the world to build an effective framework for global cooperation’.

She specifically cited the withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement and the UN Human Rights Council as “a stark reminder that we are living in a world where governments are operating in a state of active denial”

Across the world, there is a sense of outrage as leaders – including of major democracies such as Brazil and India – are seen championing the interests of the elite while suppressing citizen and community movements that are working to ensure civic participation and governance accountability, said John, who has worked on issues of governance accountability and social justice since 1998.

She most recently worked with Save the Children International as their global Campaigns and Advocacy Strategy Director, and previously served as Head of Outreach for the UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Agenda.

Asked how CSOs will cope with this growing new trend against multilateralism, she said that in a globalised world,” the solutions to the new and complex challenges we face – such as conflict, climate change and inequality – are heavily inter-dependent”.

“We need governments to adopt a ‘one-world’ approach that allows them to actively combine resources, share lessons and scale up innovations to cope with the social, environmental and economic changes that are unfolding at a rapid rate”.

In this context, she pointed out, multilateralism isn’t just a “nice-to-have option”, but an urgent necessity which will determine the survival and well-being of future generations.

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Mexico Opens Its doors to Central American Migrants PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 24 January 2019 19:32

 

Members of the so-called

Members of the so-called "caravan of the hungry", coming from Honduras, receive their humanitarian visitor's cards on Jan. 22 in the border city of Tapachula, Chiapas state, which will allow them to live and work in Mexico for at least a year, in what represents a radical change in the country's migration policy. Credit: Ángeles Mariscal/IPS

MEXICO CITY/TAPACHULA, Jan 24 2019 (IPS) - A few months ago, Candelario de JesúsChiquillo Cruz reached Mexico’s southern border and ran into a fence reinforced with barbed wire, while a barrier of police officers sprayed him with gas. Today, he is walking freely over the bridge that crosses the Suchiate River, a natural border with Guatemala.

 

Chiquillo, a 50-year-old from El Salvador, does not hide his pleasure at the welcome he has received in his new attempt to enter Mexico.

“It’s an opportunity that I have sought for a long time,” he told IPS on Jan. 22, as he showed the document with the number 0000004155128 issued by the Mexican government’s National Migration Institute (INM) in Tapachula, a city in the southern state of Chiapas, on the border with Guatemala.

This document will be exchanged in a few days for a “humanitarian visitor card” that will allow him to live and work in Mexico for a year.

“I congratulate Mexico for the position it has taken, allowing us to legally enter the country without being persecuted as migrants. What we want is an opportunity to work,” he says.

Mexico’s immigration policy has taken a 180-degree turn under the administration of leftist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who took office on Dec. 1.

On Jan. 17, the government opened the border to thousands of migrants coming in a caravan from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, fleeing violence, poverty and repression, and announced that it would issue humanitarian visas for the Central American migrants.

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Fears of US-Backed 'Coup' in Motion as Trump Recognizes Venezuela Opposition Lawmaker as 'Interim President' PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 23 January 2019 18:38
Published on
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
byCommon Dreams
 
In response to Trump declaration, President Nicolas Maduro gives diplomats from 'imperialist' U.S. 72 hours to leave the country
 
byJon Queally, staff writer
 

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Venezuelan opposition leader and head of the National Assembly Juan Guaido declares self interim president as thousands of people protest against Nicolás Maduro on January 23, 2019 in Caracas, Venezuela. Many countries including the US, Canada and Chile have recognized officially recognized Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela. (Photo: Edilzon Gamez/Getty Images)

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela officially cut off dipomatic ties with the U.S. government on Wednesday—and gave American diplomats 72 hours to leave the country—in response to President Donald Trump declaring formal recognition of an opposition lawmaker as the "Interim President" of Venezuela, despite not being elected by the nation's people for that position.

"They intend to govern Venezuela from Washington. Do you want a puppet government controlled by Washington?" 
—Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro
"Before the people and nations of the world, and as constitutional president," declared Maduro to a crowd of red-shirted supporters gathered outside the presidential residence in Caracas, "I've decided to break diplomatic and political relations with the imperialist U.S. government."

According to the Associated Press:

Maduro said in his speech the U.S. was making a "grave mistake" by trying to impose a president on Venezuela and rattled off a long list of countries — Guatemala, Brazil, Chile and Argentina—that saw leftist governments toppled or come under military rule during the Cold War with U.S. support.

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Trump as Russian Operative PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Dragonslayer   
Tuesday, 22 January 2019 17:25

Dear Donald ...Please shut down the USA.....thanks in advance Vlad

Dear Vlad....Done

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 17:30
 
Argentina’s Indigenous People Fight for Land Rights PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 16 January 2019 09:51

By Daniel Gutman

A group of Wichí children play in the mud in the indigenous community of El Quebracho, in northern Argentina. This country’s laws recognise the right to bilingual support in the education of native children, but in practice the rule is not enforced and children suffer discrimination when they speak their native languages. Credit: Daniel Gutman/IPS

A group of Wichí children play in the mud in the indigenous community of El Quebracho, in northern Argentina. This country’s laws recognise the right to bilingual support in the education of native children, but in practice the rule is not enforced and children suffer discrimination when they speak their native languages. Credit: Daniel Gutman/IPS

TARTAGAL, Argentina , Jan 12 2019 (IPS) - Nancy López lives in a house made of clay, wood and corrugated metal sheets, on private land dedicated to agriculture. She is part of an indigenous community of 12 families in northern Argentina that, like almost all such communities, has no title to the land it occupies and lives under the constant threat of eviction.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 January 2019 14:31
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UN Lambasted on High-Level Appointments PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 16 January 2019 09:37

 

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António Guterres takes the oath of office for his five-year term as UN Secretary-General. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 14 2019 (IPS) - The world’s developing countries, comprising over two-thirds of the 193 UN member states, are complaining they are not being adequately represented in the higher echelons of the world body –- despite competent candidates with strong professional and academic qualifications vying for these jobs.

The 134-member Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing countries, says “persistent imbalances in equitable geographic representation in the UN Secretariat are a major concern.”

While the UN is being commended for ensuring equitable representation of women in recent years, it still stands accused of neglecting qualified nationals of developing countries, including from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

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The Shutdown Tax Return Wall PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by dragonslayer   
Saturday, 12 January 2019 11:54

Just occurred to me that the shutdown of the US government is also shutting down the IRS which means the House can't get Trump's tax returns.  Now suddenly the absurd wall makes sense. 

 

The shutdown is also helping Russia destroy the economic power of the US....And now we find that Trump is being investigated by the FBI for possible treason by aiding the Russians to undermine the US.

 

Perhaps the Dems should offer Trump 5 billion for his tax returns.....That should shut him up.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 January 2019 12:30
 
Indigenous People, the First Victims of Brazil’s New Far-Right Government PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 12 January 2019 09:51

INDIGENOUS RIGHTS

Indigenous People, the First Victims of Brazil’s New Far-Right Government

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"We are fighting for the demarcation of our territory," reads a banner in a march of indigenous women who came to Rio de Janeiro from the communities of the 305 native peoples of Brazil, to demand respect for the rights recognised by the constitution, which far-right President Jair Bolsonaro began to ignore as soon as he was sworn in. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 10 2019 (IPS) - “We have already been decimated and subjected, and we have been victims of the integrationist policy of governments and the national state,” said indigenous leaders, as they rejected the new Brazilian government’s proposals and measures focusing on indigenous peoples.

In an open letter to President Jair Bolsonaro, leaders of the Aruak, Baniwa and Apurinã peoples, who live in the watersheds of the Negro and Purus rivers in Brazil’s northwestern Amazon jungle region, protested against the decree that now puts indigenous lands under the Ministry of Agriculture, which manages interests that run counter to those of native peoples.

Indigenous people are likely to present the strongest resistance to the offensive of Brazil’s new far-right government, which took office on Jan. 1 and whose first measures roll back progress made over the past three decades in favor of the 305 indigenous peoples registered in this country.

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