el maestro

el maestro
"Trincheras de ideas valen más que trincheras de piedra." José Martí

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The recolonization of Africa

The Oakland Institute, a think tank based in California, has released an investigative report about who is buying land in Africa under onerous deals, at a time when commodities prices surge and inflation increases. The OI has expressed its concern at this unprecedented number of investors grabbing land in the African continent.

Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute said that “the same financial firms that drove us into a global recession by inflating the real estate bubble through risky financial maneuvers are now doing the same with the world’s food supply,” and added that “in Africa this is resulting in the displacement of small farmers, environmental devastation, water loss and further political instability such as the food riots that preceded the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions."

Africa, the black continent that is still suffering the consequences of centuries of slavery, pillage, oppression and exploitation, falls victim again of unscrupulous business dealers, intend on perpetuating an order that is obviously unsustainable and inhuman.

The Business Insider has published a series of pictures of business persons and companies involved in obscure land leases and other dealings in Africa.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

U.S. threatens to withdraw support from UN if it recognizes Palestine

Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN
Blackmailing has been a common practice of US diplomacy, and to remind us all that the Obama administration is nothing but a continuation of the same hegemonic pretensions of previous governments, and that the stale slogan of “change we can believe in” was nothing more than part of the script for the circus and TV spectacle of U.S. presidential elections; Washington’s  ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said that there was “no greater threat” to the funding that it offers the international organization than the prospect of the recognition of Palestine as an independent state.

Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian authority
It is expected that the president of the Palestinian authority, Mahmoud Abbas, asks the UN General Assembly in September to vote on the recognition of the state of Palestine, and in July the UN Security Council would vote on the proposal of statehood, this development is strongly opposed by Israel and the US, whose president has threatened to veto a resolution that would grant Palestine the status of an independent state.

Against adversity and arrogance, Palestinians have dusted off a Cold War era recourse known as “Uniting for Peace”, by means of which, two-thirds majority of the General Assembly can overrule the Security Council; however, it would only be a moral triumph, since the General Assembly does not have the mandate to bestow UN membership to a new Palestinian state.

Despite of all obstacles, this is an indication that the world demands justice for Palestine and sooner than later the Security Council will have to vote for the creation of a long overdue Palestinian state.

                                              ¡Viva Palestina Libre!

With information from The Telegraph

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New footage of the day Canada lost the Stanley Cup and its reputation: Vancouver Hockey Riot 2011

Deadspin has made available this amazing new footage taken in the initial minutes of what became the infamous Vancouver Riot of 2011.

Incomprehensible behaviour of youth unloading their rage and frustration at a flipped car, the expressions on their faces, and the mounting collective rage that can almost be felt are captured in these images to show exactly how a gathering of otherwise peaceful hockey fans turns into an unruly mob with a marked thirst for violence which led to the sad events that ensued.

Again, as in other instances of such riots, the police is almost absent when it is most needed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Baseball Canada Announces Cuba Series Roster

Pelotero canadiense
Twenty-eight players have been named to the Junior National Team roster that will travel to Cuba to participate in a nine game series against the Cuban Junior National Team from July 3rd -10th.
The Cuba Summer Series is an important step for the JNT as they prepare for the Americas World Junior Qualifier scheduled for September 23rd - October 2nd in Cartagena, Colombia. The top four countries in Colombia will qualify for the 2012 World Junior Baseball Championship in Seoul, South Korea.
“In Cuba, our players will be challenged by playing in an environment that is foreign to them,” said Greg Hamilton, Head Coach and Director of National Teams for Baseball Canada. “The Cuban Junior National Team will offer a stiff challenge for our club and will give us a preview of what to expect in Colombia.”
Before travelling to Cuba, the JNT will be guests of the Toronto Blue Jays on July 1st and 2nd where they will watch the Blue Jays take-on the Philadelphia Phillies and workout at Rogers Centre at the conclusion of each game. On July 1st, the Juniors will participate in pre-game Canada Day festivities on the field at Rogers Centre.
"As the Canadian Junior National Team prepares to take on Cuba, the Blue Jays are thrilled to host the team at Rogers Centre for their workouts" said Paul Beeston, Toronto Blue Jays President and CEO. "I invite everyone to stand along with me in recognizing these fine young men and Baseball Canada prior to our game on July 1st."
Highlighting the roster is JNT veteran Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) who was the first Canadian selected in the MLB Draft earlier this month. The Toronto Blue Jays used their 4th round selection (139th overall) to nab the right-handed pitcher.
Other draft picks on the roster include: Justin Marra (Cubs, 15th); Jesen Dygestile-Therrien (Phillies, 17th);Ethan Elias (Cubs, 22nd); Roberto Suppa (Padres, 26th); Jake Hansen (Mets, 30th); Skylar Janisse(Yankees, 34th); Cory Scammell (Mariners, 35th); Brendan Hendriks (Phillies, 40th); Andrew Marra (Mets, 45th).
Three players will be making their debut with the JNT as 3B/OF Johnny Caputo (Toronto, ON), C Brody Hawkins (Delta, BC) and INF Daniel Pinero (Toronto, ON) have been named to the roster.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Six saharawis in critical condition after 62 days on hunger strike

Six saharawi political prisoners on hunger strike

The Saharawi Human Rights Association has declared that Bariaz Mohamed, 35 years old , Driss Zagara, 27, Eddaudi Aomar, 25, Ahachhach Mohamed, 24, Abrahim al Rafiky, 24, y Mojtar Lachhab, 22, have been on hunger strike since April 12, 2011.

These political prisoners started this hunger strike in a prison in Guelmin, part of the territory occupied by Morocco for 35 years. They protest the political marginalization to which the Sarahawis are submitted under the occupation, and the illegal plundering of natural resources by Moroccan companies.

The Saharawi Human Rights Association, the Resistance and relatives of the hunger strikers have called on international human rights organizations and main stream media to intervene immediately to save the lives of these youth.

What will the European Parliament say?

What will the U.S. say?

What will “El País” say?

What will the Nuevo Herald say?

Will Amnesty International say anything?

If it were some “clown” in Cuba it would have made the front page of all major newspapers; however, these same media ignore on purpose the just cause of these prisoners - on a real hunger - strike, and that of the Saharawi people.

Double standard, or not?

Friday, June 10, 2011

China signs offshore drilling agreement with Cuba

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Cuban President Raúl Castro
During the official visit that Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping recently paid to Cuba, CNPC President Jiang Jiemin and Cuba Petróleo (CUPET) CEO Raúl Pérez signed an expanded cooperative framework agreement between the two state-owned companies, from China and Cuba respectively.  Cuban President Raúl Castro and the Chinese Vice President presided over the signing ceremony.

The agreement is signed in Havana
This agreement includes the contracting of blocks N19, N20, N21, N22 and N30 at the western edge of Cuba’s exclusive zone, close to the maritime border with México. These blocks contracted by China are right beside four blocks leased by Petrovietnam, and four blocks that Sonagol, Angolan state company, is still negotiating.

A memorandum of understanding on cooperation in engineering construction was also signed during the ceremony; this MOU is for the $6 billion expansion of a refinery in Cienfuegos, which will process Venezuelan and Cuban crude.

North Cuba Basin
Cuba owns 112,000 sq km (43,240 sq mile), also known as the North Cuba Basin, which has been parcelled into 59 exploration blocks that are up for grabs for distant bidders, such as India, Norway, Spain, Brazil, Canada, among others. U.S. companies can only watch how this great business opportunity passes by, literally in front of them, due to the 50 year old economic and financial blockade their country imposes on Cuba.

A U.S. Geological Survey report published last year estimates that 4.6 billion barrels of oil and 9.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could lie within the North Cuba Basin, while initial test drilling results added to mounting oil prices indicate a promising prospect for the deep-water Cuban reserves.

In the United States the prospect of oil in Cuba’s territorial waters has stirred up the debate of whether the blockade, archaic and failed, should be lifted, or at least relaxed, as Republicans Jeff Flake and Larry Craig have suggested, so that U.S. companies do not lose out on valuable energy resources only 80 km (50 miles) off Key West. On the other side, staunch supporters of Washington’s traditional hostile approach to Cuba, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ross, a Republican of Cuban descent, and a hardliner who bitterly opposes any “concessions” to Cuba, introduced legislation last month that would penalize companies that spend $1 million or more developing Cuba’s offshore petroleum resources and block its principals from entering the U.S.

Chinese build oil rig
For both sides, the signing of this agreement between China and Cuba is really bad news; for the moderate, a priceless business opportunity escapes their hand; for the extremists, Cuba, as usual moves forward towards its development, regardless of their hate and opposition. This must be especially sad for Ileana Ross, who loses once more against Cuba.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Canada will spend up to $60 million to help kill Gadhafi in Libya

Peter MacKay, Canada's Defense Minister, in Brussels today
Peter MacKay, Canadian Defense Minister, announced on Thursday that Canada, as a participant in the NATO-led mission “to protect civilian lives”, has already spent  $26 million of the Canadian taxpayers money. Canadian forces involvement in this adventure has further eroded the almost inexistent credibility Canada once had as a peace keeper and honest broker. This aggression has also cost the Libyan people hundreds of deaths and material loss. It is unbelievable that politicians with decision-making capacity do not understand, or simply ignore the fact, that bombs and the use of force do not preserve human lives.

Civilian casualties of the Libyan conflict
Since NATO has not yet succeeded in eliminating Gadhafi physically, i.e. assassinating him, the leadership of the military Atlantic Alliance has asked Canada to extend its mission until September 2011, a move that will bring the cost to $60 million. Canada’s contribution is related to fighter and patrol planes which have been bombing government forces and buildings in Libya.

NATO actively protecting lives in Libya
The world has denounced that NATO has exceeded the mandate of its mission in Libya as approved by the United Nations. The so called “mission” has already turned into a fragrant occupation and interference in Libya’s internal affairs.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has recently made clear that “NATO has no plans to remain in Libya after the conflict ends”. Of course they will not stay after the assassination and destruction are consummated.  It will be up to the Libyans to reconstruct and deal with the aftermath of the aggression. What Secretary Fogh Rasmussen failed to clarify was that by the time NATO leaves, arrangements will have been made so that Libya’s oil makes its way to Europe and North America. After all that has always been the reason why the West wants to “protect civilian lives” in Libya.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Leftist tide finally reaches Perú

Ollanta Humala, President-elect of Perú
Ollanta Humala ends 20 years of neoliberal governments, who have systematically ignored the vast majority of Peruvians. Perú is a country that has experienced a record economic growth in the last decade; however 62% of its population lives on less than 3 dollars a day and poverty rate is 60% in rural areas and 21% in urban settings.

Humala, is therefore a glimpse of hope for the poor and the forgotten, including the large indigenous sector, whose aspiration of prosperity are still a dream.  Perú now is the country number 14th, of the powerful Latin American block that does not align itself with Washington. And it is not only a matter of ideology or political orientation, it is the result of centuries of oppression first by the Spanish Empire and later, subtly at times, others openly, under the tutelage and dictatorship of the United States of America. Never have Che's words been so true: "This mass of humanity has said "enough" and has begun to march".

The new president celebrates his vixtory
Humala’s election corroborates the will of the Latin American people to integrate politically and economically without the interference of the U.S. whose governments consider South and Central America as their private backyard. Latin America has the right to a better future, and it is conquering it, step by step, mountain by mountain, town by town, country by country.

Oligarchs and once-influential neoliberal groups have seen in desperation how Perú turns to the left in search of answers and solutions to its problems. The North worries. Latin America grows in its dignity and little by little gains its definite independence.