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Written by Obi Egbuna Jr Simunye    Monday, 02 May 2016 05:32    PDF Print E-mail
Preident embodies African fighting spirit

PRESIDENT Mugabe

PRESIDENT Mugabe

Obi Egbuna Jr Simunye
For many Africans at home and abroad, when President Mugabe presented not only Zimbabwe, but all of Mother Africa’s case before the United Nations last Thursday concerning Sustainable Development Goals, he without question invoked the memory of three fallen yet eternally beloved warriors the Honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, W.E.B DuBois and Malcolm X.

The reason for zeroing in on these particular giants is because they too clearly understood the value of raising the concerns and issues of our people on the world stage with the utmost clarity and confidence.

It was exactly 88 years ago in 1928 when the Honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey travelled to Geneva for the purpose of presenting the Petition of the Negro Race before the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations. This visionary initiative by Brother Garvey was followed 19 years later by Dr DuBois when he presented before the UN “An Appeal To The World: A Statement For Denial of Human Rights to minorities in the case of Negro Descent in the USA and an appeal to the UN for redress”.

When Brother Malcolm was gunned down on February 21, 1965, which happens to be President Mugabe’s actual day of birth, making this day bittersweet for Mother Africa’s daughters and sons, it was public knowledge he was in the process of taking US imperialism before the United Nations.

What distinguishes Malcolm’s effort from that of Comrade and Brother Garvey and Dr DuBois before him, is simply because he was seeking the support of the newly independent African heads of State who had UN status and recognition, clearly a luxury the two Pan African giants and immortals did not have at their disposal, because in the 1920s and 1940s our mother continent was still under settler colonial rule.

The annals of African history show that those who make the boldest demands on our behalf collectively have to anticipate an indifferent response from a select few amongst our ranks, who have embraced the neo-colonialist paradigm rooted in submission and capitulation, which results in them developing through time a pathological hatred for someone like President Mugabe, cut from that illustrious African warrior cloth.

Because UN platforms have traditionally been intellectual and diplomatic to a fault, those who make Mother Africa’s neo-colonialist circles, instinctively cringe when President Mugabe walks into the enemy’s backyard and let it be known that US-EU sanctions are the biggest impediment to Zimbabwe’s progress not bad governance and a lack of democracy and human rights.

The hypocritical racist and liberal elements who lurk in progressive/revolutionary grass roots circles in the West cheered like drunken fans at soccer matches and rock and roll concerts, when Commandante Raul Castro articulated these same identical statements to President Obama in Cuba concerning the illegal and racist US blockade on Cuba just last month,.However, when President Mugabe condemns US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe they pretend to be deaf like the composer Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Those Zimbabweans and Africans who are truly patriotic urge them to listen to President Mugabe when he says, “My country continues to suffer under these unwarranted sanctions. We call on those who rely on these blunt instruments of mass punishment to choose the path of friendship and cooperation rather than that of punishment and destruction.”

What Zimbabweans and Africans have discovered is in this struggle to overturn the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 vindictively imposed by the Bush administration, is that moderate voices on the world stage can neutralise subjective entities, who have conditioned themselves to blame President Mugabe and ZANU-PF for the country’s misfortunes, no matter how many countless examples are revealed concerning US-EU imperialistic regime change agenda.

 

It is unfortunate that the reactionary element in Zimbabwe and Africa chose to ignore the fact that because President Mugabe’s visits to the UN millennium have done more to shine the light on US-EU regime change plans, future generations of African heads of state who will reject all manifestations rooted in neo-colonialism will have the Zimbabwean experience to look at as a concrete example of what political direction to aggressively and courageously pursue.

We as Africans are not in a position to dismiss in this millennium US-EU imperialists’ attempt to use their muscle to intimidate Zimbabwe into accepting LDC (Least Developed Country) Status which would have acknowledged bad governance, not US-EU sanctions as the root cause of economic stagnation.

This activity is directly connected to US-EU imperialism attempting block Zimbabwe from chairing the UN Committee for Sustainable Development, prevent President Mugabe from addressing the UN Food and Agriculture body on two occasions and of course their failed initiative to persuade the UN Security Council to impose additional sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2008 which was vetoed by China and Russia.

Another area of paramount importance that President Mugabe touched on was the issue of illicit financial outflows that deprive Mother Africa of an estimated $60 billion annually, which cost Zimbabwe, according to the country’s Reserve Bank, $500 million.

Before President Mugabe and ZANU-PF’s most hateful and bitter detractors opportunistically attempt to feast on this development, perhaps they should study the analysis of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and their High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows, who have concluded this problem stifles trade and worsens macroeconomic transition and undermines the rule of law.

The High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows includes former South African President Thabo Mbeki, Ambassador Olusegun Apata, Chairman of the Coca Cola bottler in Nigeria, Barrister Akere Muna President of the AU’s Economic Social and Cultural Council and Mr. Abdoulaye Bio Tchane, former Director of the Africa Department at the International Monetary Fund.

This body published a report in 2014 titled “Tracking Africa’s Stolen Billions”. What was highlighted was the World Bank’s stolen asset recovery programme which reported that in Africa there was $1,4 billion in suspected corrupt assets frozen in OECD countries in 2010 and 2012 and only $150 million were returned. What was also mentioned was $700 million in assets siphoned out of Nigeria to Switzerland by the Abacha administration.

The decision by President Mugabe to infuse this question of illicit financial flows into his remarks on the world stage went over the head intellectually of his opposition inside Zimbabwe. But it is safe to say it caught the attention of US-EU imperialism who recognised this as Zimbabwe laying down the gauntlet concerning accusations of corruption in Zimbabwe made by our former colonial and slave masters on a regular basis.

When US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Ms Linda Thomas Greenfield met with Comrade Mbeki and other members of this panel back in 2014 and said, “The US and African continent had a shared responsibility to curb illicit financial flows and illegal activities which impact negatively on development in Africa”. These words from the mouthpiece of the US State Department on African Affairs is the equivalent of devil worshippers condemning the actions of Satan.

Those in Zimbabwe and Africa who choose to ignore this development perhaps also use social media outlets to bring attention to the massive crop failure in Zimbabwe, but pointed out that this was because the revolutionary and historic land reclamation programme was the cause and not drought that compromised 14 million people in the SADC region (1,9 million in Madagascar, 2,8 million in Malawi and 1,5 million in Zimbabwe).

This is why President Mugabe and ZANU-PF remain not only resilient, but impervious to US-EU rhetoric and critiques, those whose mere purpose in life is seeking their validation and approval should sit back and learn from this example.

Obi Egbuna Jr is the Us Correspondent to The Herald and the External Relations Officer to ZICUFA(Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship Association). His email is obiegbuna15@gmail.com

 


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Written by LOWELL BERGMAN, DAVID WEIR    Sunday, 01 May 2016 13:28    PDF Print E-mail
Revolution on Ice

How the Black Panthers lost the FBI's war of dirty tricks

 
September 9, 1976

I say it to racist America, that if every voice of dissent is silenced by your guns, by your courts, by your gas chambers, by your money, you will know, that as long as the ghost of Eldridge Cleaver is afoot, you have an ENEMY in your midst. — Eldridge Cleaver, April 19th, 1968

Eldridge Cleaver was 3000 miles from home, sitting in front of a television set in Montreal and pondering his options. The top news story that November night in 1968 was taking place back in San Francisco, outside of Cleaver's Victorian house. A singing, sign-carrying crowed of more than 2000 was demonstrating in support of Cleaver's right to stay out of jail.

Cleaver had been due at San Francisco police headquarters that morning, for his return to San Quentin Prison as a parole violator. Many in the crowd thought he might be inside his house with a heavily armed regiment of Black Panthers, waiting to resist an anticipated police assault.

But Cleaver had rejected the idea of a shoot-out as suicidal and had fled the country.

Through radical contacts in Berkeley, Cleaver was able to hook up with two friends who six months earlier had discussed establishing a modern-day "underground railroad" for political fugitives and Vietnam War deserters, and set up an emergency meeting. One flew south from his home in Canada to arrange the details. They chose as Cleaver's code name "Football."

Two days later, at "touchdown," the Canadian was waiting at the end of the customs immigration turnstile in the Montreal airport when Football arrived. Eldridge Cleaver was carrying an attaché case and wearing a conservative suit, a brown derby and a pencil mustache.

After passing through customs, Cleaver walked into the men's room. The Canadian followed him and stood next to him at the urinal. They walked out together, passing the airport office of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and drove to a safehouse downtown.

The Montreal radicals then set up a clandestine meeting with a Cuban emissary at a Montreal cafe, but the rendezvous flopped when the bewildered emissary indicated he had never heard of Eldridge Cleaver or the Black Panther party. After several more stops and starts, the radicals managed to get their message through to the Cuban authorities: Football was on his way to Cuba — and much later, to Algeria.

It was the beginning of the end of Cleaver's role in the Black Panther party.

Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense two years earlier, in 1966, in Oakland. They quickly became famous for shadowing police patrols in the Oakland ghetto, watching for street arrests. With a weapon in one hand and a lawbook in the other, Newton or Seale would inform the arrested people of their rights.

Cleaver, who became a follower of Malcolm X while serving a nine-year prison sentence for assault, joined the Panthers in December 1966, a few months after being paroled. Cleaver later described the impact of their first meeting:

Suddenly the room fell silent . . . From the tension showing on the faces of the people before me, I thought the cops were invading the meeting, but there was a deep female gleam leaping out of one of the women's eyes that no cop who ever lived could elicit . . . the total admiration of a black woman for a black man.

It was Newton and the Panthers, each carrying a gun. Cleaver eventually joined the group, bringing with him the skills he'd developed in jail writing Soul on Ice. He was also a forceful public speaker. Newton, Cleaver and Seale — the leadership triumvirate of the Panthers — knit a few close associates into a tight core which initially resisted police infiltration. The Black Panther party quickly grew into the most powerful black militant organization in the country.

In response to the quickening pace of social protest in the late Sixties, a crisis atmosphere developed at the highest level of the U.S. government. The Pentagon installed a riot-control center and briefed police chiefs in major cities on contingency plans for military intervention in the event of an outbreak of uncontrollable civilian uprisings.

Reacting to the growing power of groups like the Black Panthers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was preparing a covert counterintelligence war against the leaders of all the protest movements. In memoranda dated August 25th, 1967, to 23 FBI field offices, toplevel subordinates to Director J. Edgar Hoover explained the newly expanded version of Cointelpro (Counter Intelligence Program), which under one name or another had been operating for over half a century. Its intent was to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalists."

Hoover created a new division, called the Racial Intelligence Section, which coordinated Cointelpro actions against blacks. Other sections of the bureau concentrated on left-wing political groups and war protesters. In early March 1968, an FBI policy memorandum warned all agents to prevent the rise of a "messiah" who could "unify and electrify" the militant black nationalist movement. Another major goal listed in the memo was to prevent a "coalition of militant black nationalist groups." The author of the memo, George C. Moore, became chief of the Racial Intelligence Section.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokely Carmichael were targeted by Moore as potential messiahs. Within a month King would be dead, the victim of an assassin's bullet, and within six months Carmichael would leave for Africa. Meanwhile, the FBI would shift its focus to the Black Panther party and concentrate 80% of its black Cointelpro actions against the Oakland-based group.

Before the end of the year Cleaver would flee to Canada and then Cuba. The Panthers would be slowly decimated over the next three years: nearly a thousand members arrested, key leaders sent to jail and 31 killed. Newton and Cleaver, two close friends and articulate Panther leaders, would become bitter enemies.

On February 17th, 1968, Stokely Carmichael traveled to Oakland to appear at a large "Free Huey" birthday rally. Newton was in jail pending trial on charges stemming from a shooting incident in October 1967 that had left one policeman dead.

Speakers at the rally, including Carmichael and Cleaver, announced a merger between their two groups: the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) — the "prophetic shock minority" of the civil rights movement — and the Black Panther party.

It was an important coalition — exactly what the FBI was afraid of in its "messiah" memo. Agents went to work. Within a week 16 Panthers had been rounded up by police on a variety of charges, all of which were later dropped. But the $9000 in defense funds that had been raised at the rally was exhausted by bail fees. One of the Panthers arrested was Bobby Seale. Police broke into his apartment and hauled Seale and his wife Artie out of bed, charging them with conspiracy to commit murder. The charges, which were subsequently dropped, were based on evidence heard "through a door" that Seale and other Panthers were preparing to kill "someone."

The FBI strategy was detailed in a memorandum written on February 29th by George C. Moore citing a 1967 case in Philadelphia. "The Philadelphia office alerted local police who then put Ram [a radical group] leaders under close scrutiny. They were arrested on every possible charge until they could no longer make bail. As a result, Ram leaders spent most of the summer in jail…."

A month after the Free Huey rally, the Black Panther party forged another political alliance — with the white-dominated Peace and Freedom party. Later, Cleaver was nominated as the party's presidential candidate. The bureau took note. Internal memoranda were circulated warning that the Panthers were beginning to attract the widespread support of white radicals and antiwar activists.

Meanwhile, in the midst of a black sanitation workers' strike that had crippled Memphis, Martin Luther King delivered one of his most militant speeches, predicting that fascism was coming to the U.S. For four and a half years King had been the object of intensive FBI surveillance and harassment. The bureau had tried to discredit him, blackmail him and force him to commit suicide. In the words of the man who directed the FBI "war" against King, "no holds were barred."

Three nights later, on April 4th, 1968, a gunman squeezed a trigger in Memphis and King was dead.

The night before King's assassination, armed Oakland police broke into St. Augustine's Church, disrupting the weekly meeting of the Black Panther party. No shots were fired, but a new wave of tension spread over the group.

All over the country, King's murder unleashed one of the most violent waves of rioting in U.S. history. People discharged their pent-up anger and frustration in a frenzy of burning and looting. Millions of television viewers watched smoke billow over the White House as the nation's capital burned. The Army simultaneously sent troops into Washington, Baltimore and Chicago. Others were placed on alert in Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

The rioting continued all the next day and night. Memorial rallies for King were held in many cities. In Los Angeles, as members of the local SNCC office attended one such ceremony, the LAPD raided their office.

In San Francisco there were rumors that the Panthers were going to be raided by police. A secretary at Ramparts magazine, where Cleaver worked as a staff writer, heard from a "friendly" San Francisco policeman that the Panther office would be raided sometime in early April.

On the night of April 6th, Cleaver was in the Ramparts office dictating his thoughts on the King assassination in an essay entitled "Requiem for Non-Violence":

"I think that America has already committed suicide and we who now thrash within its dead body are also dead in part and parcel of the corpse. America is truly a disgusting burden upon this planet. A burden upon all humanity. And if we here in America . . . "

Cleaver broke in midsentence to answer a phone call from Warren Wells at the Panther headquarters. Wells, who functioned as Cleaver's lieutenant, gave an agitated account of a visit from a black man claiming to be a cop. The man had walked into the office as the Panthers were preparing for a fundraising barbecue, scheduled for the next day.

After showing Wells and the other Panthers a San Francisco police identification badge, he offered a warning: "Listen to me, man. The position I work in allows me to know that the Oakland and Emeryville [an Oakland suburb] police are gonna hit you. There's gonna be a raid on your office — soon."

Cleaver took the threat seriously and told Wells he would come to the Panther office immediately. When he got there Cleaver helped the Panthers load guns into the trunks of three cars. They had decided to disperse the weapons at Panther residences around the city in case of police raids. They also placed food and supplies for the barbecue in the cars.

What followed is a matter of controversy. Police say the purpose of the Panther caravan was to find and shoot down cops. Panthers say they were transporting the picnic supplies to David Hilliard's home, where the food was to be cooked.

As the three-car procession approached the intersection of 28th and Union Streets in the Oakland ghetto, Cleaver says he stopped the car and got out to urinate. Suddenly a patrol car sped up, lights flashing, spotlighting Cleaver standing behind his car. The police testified afterward that it looked like Cleaver was going to shoot at them — though Wells and Cleaver say he wasn't carrying a gun. Wells heard one policeman call: "Everyone out with your hands up!" Then came a shattering fusillade of gunshots, seemingly from every direction.

Windows in the Panther cars splintered. Wells thought he saw police firing from rooftops. He ran but was hit in the buttocks, the force of the shot knocking him off his feet. He crawled under a bush, bleeding. He and the other Panthers were quickly arrested. Cleaver and Bobby Hutton found refuge in the basement of a house. For the next 90 minutes, combined Emeryville and Oakland police forces perforated the thin walls of the house with heavy gunfire. Between them, Cleaver and Hutton had one rifle, which they used to return the fire. At one point during the battle Cleaver looked up and was hit in the chest by a tear gas cannister. Fearing that he was wounded, he removed all his clothes while Hutton checked for blood.

Near the end of the battle the house burst into flames. Hutton and Cleaver called out to police and threw their gun outside a basement window. As they emerged from the house, black Oakland police officer Gwynne Pearson saw the two of them, one naked, with their hands up, walking about five feet apart. "A group of policemen surrounded Hutton and Cleaver and started escorting them toward the police cars. I could see that they were pushing Hutton, and my partner, Ralph Jennings, who was above me on top of a building, said they were shoving and kicking him.

"Because of this shoving of Hutton when he was walking with his hands up, he stumbled and then there was one shot — a very slight pause — and then maybe eight or nine shots, and Hutton seemed dead, though he was still able to crawl a few more feet."

The coroner later reported that Hutton had been shot at least six times — above the right eye, in the mouth, in the chest, in the back, in the arm and in the legs — all from close range.

During the police shooting Cleaver was nicked in the leg but not otherwise hurt.

The identity of the black "policeman" who warned the Panthers of an imminent police raid has never been discovered. Two investigators hired by Panther attorney Charles Garry failed to locate him. The Officers for Justice, a black police officers group in San Francisco, says it knew of no such policeman.

It is not known whether the mysterious policeman who tipped off the Panthers on April 6th was part of cointelpro. But the role he played was identical to one recommended by Hoover in a cointelpro memorandum to the San Francisco field office a little over a year later, on May 11th, 1970. Hoover proposed developing a "suitable police employee to play the role of [an] alleged disgruntled employee" who would supply the Panthers with "disinformation" in "face-to-face meetings."

The FBI was illegally monitoring the events leading up to the shoot-out, even if it took no overt action. Starting on February 26th, 1968, and working in eight-hour shifts, a team of agents was unlawfully intercepting all telephone calls to and from the Panther headquarters. Therefore, the FBI knew of the tipster's visit, and of the Panthers' subsequent decision to move their guns out of the office. But Charles Gain, then Oakland's police chief, says he was never informed of this vital intelligence information. Moreover, he adds, "the only time we ever encountered a large group of Panthers on the streets with guns was the night of the Hutton incident."

The April 6th shoot-out devastated the Panther leadership. Party treasurer Hutton was dead. Cleaver was in jail as a parole violator. Seven others including Chief of Staff David Hilliard were under arrest.

But the incident also inspired a national outpouring of sympathy from white and black liberals. The membership of the party swelled until there were 40 chapters nationwide and the weekly circulation of The Black Panther newspaper had risen to 150,000.

Cleaver was released from jail in June on a writ of habeas corpus by a superior court judge who noted, "The peril to his parole status stemmed from no failure of personal rehabilitation, but from his undue eloquence in pursuing political goals . . . ."

As soon as he was out, Cleaver declared war. He spoke all over the country, demanding that the authorities "Free Huey or the sky's the limit." In one speech, he bellowed: "I didn't leave anything in that penitentiary except half of my mind and half of my soul, and that's dead there . . . . That's my debt to society, and I don't owe them a motherfucking thing! They don't have anything coming. Everything they get from now on, they have to take!"

By this time Hoover had worked himself into a paroxysm over the Panthers. He declared that they represented "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country . . . Leaders of the BPP travel extensively all over the United States preaching their gospel of hate and violence not only to ghetto residents but to students in colleges, universities and high schools as well!"

The FBI estimated that one out of every four black people, including 43% of those under 21, had a "great respect for the BPP."

Hoover directed his agents to step up their Cointelpro war on the Panthers. Targets for clandestine action were selected from the bureau's Rabble Rouser Index (some of those listed were eligible for detainment in concentration camps in the event of a national emergency). A Black Nationalist Photograph Album was compiled to help local field offices identify rabble-rousers who visited their area. And a Racial Calendar was circulated to keep track of "black nationalist type conferences and . . . racial events and anniversaries."

The FBI's preoccupation with the Panther threat encouraged local police departments to harass the group around the country. During 1968 and 1969 police raided 31 Panther offices in 11 states. The Panthers cataloged over 400 encounters with police during those two years. Some of the arrests were for such crimes as the illegal use of a bullhorn, profanity, crossing an intersection incorrectly, putting up posters, placing a table illegally outside an office, reckless abuse of a highway by a pedestrian (selling newspapers), and spitting on a sidewalk.

The endless succession of arrests cost the Panthers most of the money raised by their defense committees and sales of The Black Panther. From December 1967 to December 1969 alone, over $200,000 in nonreturnable bail premiums was paid out by the party.

By the fall of 1968 the SNCC/Panther alliance had fallen apart, and Stokely Carmichael left for Africa. FBI officials in New York boasted to Hoover that they had "shocked" Carmichael's mother into believing that the Black Panthers had a plot to kill her son and took credit for his abrupt departure.

Huey Newton was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 2-15 years in prison. Cleaver's parole release was overturned and he was ordered back to jail in 60 days.

"The tactic which the authorities used against me was to keep me under constant pressure," Cleaver remembers. "They 'knew' me very well. I had been State raised: I had climbed up the ladder from Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles, starting at the age of 12, to Folsom Prison, making all the stops in between . . . . I had been studied, numbered, analyzed and psyched out much more than the average person in the movement."

Cleaver felt he was involved in a "dance of death" with the FBI. "This reached a point where I was afraid to sleep in the same place twice. Whenever the FBI would discover one of my shelters, they would telephone and ask for me. Sometimes this would blow my mind. If I had gone through elaborate evasive tactics and made my way to what I considered to be a 'cool pad,' then the phone suddenly rang and someone asked for me, it was unsettling, to say the least. Sometimes they would say, 'Just checking,' or, 'Thought you could shake us, didn't you, Eldridge."'

Cleaver made his escape to Canada in late November, just as Hoover was implementing a new strategy to provoke violence against the Panthers. During 1969, partially at the FBI's instigation, a succession of promising Panther leaders was murdered in southern California and Chicago.

Hoover designated the San Francisco field office as the control center for the FBI's secret war against the Panthers because it was close to the group's national headquarters. (According to a later review by the Congressional General Accounting office, San Francisco has more FBI "domestic intelligence" operatives (86) than any other city — more than ten times as many as Atlanta.) A team of these experienced agents, most of them middle-aged, volunteered for the elite Panther squad when it was originally set up. From that point on, until the Panthers were officially "neutralized," at least six FBI agents worked full time out of San Francisco. One of the agents, William Cohendet, a 30-year veteran of the bureau who fancied himself a writer, wrote up many of the Panther squad's reports and sent them to George C. Moore in Washington.

Attorney General John Mitchell, who came with the change in administrations in 1969, virtually rubber-stamped any bureau request for wiretap authority, so the Panther squad's 24-hour-a-day telephone interception program was now "legal." Agents compiled wiretap reports on a daily basis and sent three-inch-thick intelligence compendiums on the Panthers to Washington every month.

"Some of the things we used to hear on the wiretaps were funny," Cohendet recalls. "It reminded me of Amos and Andy. Fundamentally, I think, black people are jovial, happy and fun loving."

The elite Panther squad differed with Hoover in his assessment of the Panthers. From their vantage point across San Francisco Bay from the group's headquarters, they felt that the Panthers were not likely to embrace outright violence.

"Your reasoning is not in line with bureau objectives," Hoover fumed in a May 1969 memo. He ordered them to disrupt shipments of the Panther newspaper, and to cultivate informants inside the party. He also tongue-lashed the San Francisco team for not recognizing the importance of "publicizing the evils of violence, the lack of morals, [and] the widespread use of narcotics."

Finally, Hoover concluded:

You state that the bureau . . . should not attack programs of community interest such as the BPP "Breakfast for Children" because many prominent "humanitarians" . . . as well as churches are actively supporting it. You have obviously missed the point. The BPP is not engaged in the "Breakfast for Children" program for humanitarian reasons [but to] create an image of civility, assume community control of Negroes, and to fill adolescent children with their insidious poison. . . .

As always, the agents adhered to Hoover's mandates. "There was tremendous fear of Hoover among the agents out here," Charles Gain remembers." "It was almost all they could talk about. They were afraid of being sent to some awful post in Montana." Hoover instructed his agents to be always alert for ways to splinter the Panther organization from within.

During the spring and summer of 1970 the Panther squad sensed its chance. The issue of guerrilla struggle was opening an ideological breach within the party's ranks. One faction wanted to pursue underground guerrilla warfare against the police, while the other wanted greater emphasis on the party's evolving "survival programs," including the Breakfast for Children effort, and community learning centers.

In August 1970, Huey Newton was released from prison after his manslaughter conviction was overturned on appeal. During his three years in jail, Newton had assumed almost mythical status. He was the only Panther leader capable of resolving the growing factionali-zation of the party, some of which was created by undercover police agents who had infiltrated hastily formed Panther chapters in other cities.

One infiltrated Panther cell was a guerrilla group organized in Dallas, Texas, by Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, originally from Los Angeles. In December 1970, Newton suddenly and publicly expelled Pratt and his followers. Newton made his decision after being told that Pratt was a police agent who was planning to take over the party. The source of that information, however, was Melvin "Cotton" Smith, who himself later surfaced as an undercover informant for the LAPD.

Abandoned by the Panthers, Pratt was later arrested and sent to prison on the word of another LAPD undercover operative.

Pratt's expulsion from the party was one of many by Newton. The "New York 21," jailed on $2.1 billion bail for a bombing conspiracy conceived by a third police agent, sided with Pratt and were kicked out en masse.

From his distant post in Algeria, Eldridge Cleaver was baffled by the growing disunity in the party. Joined by his wife Kathleen and several other Panther exiles, Cleaver had opened the international section of the party in mid-1969. Though Cleaver encouraged Pratt and the more militant segments of the party with his aggressive rhetoric, he still considered himself loyal to Newton.

In the fall of 1970 the two leaders agreed on a reunion. Cleaver prepared a triumphant reception for Newton in Algiers, and Newton applied for a passport. But Newton's application was mysteriously denied. Thus a meeting which might have resolved their growing differences and salvaged the party never took place. (Six months later, after the split between the two leaders had become irreparable, Newton was finally issued a passport.)

The party's internal bickering over the issue of guerrilla war escalated. In Algeria, the Cleavers received a steady flow of visitors from the U.S., as well as letters and telephone calls, offering contradictory explanations for the factional acrimony.

Much of this confusion was orchestrated by the FBI and has since been chronicled by the Senate Intelligence committee. The Panther squad, with international help from the CIA, was determined to drive a permanent wedge between Newton and Cleaver.

The major effort was launched by an anonymous letter to Cleaver which said Panther leaders were seeking to undercut his influence. The FBI then instructed its legal attaché in Paris to mail a followup letter to Oakland, which the bureau claimed created suspicion between the Panther leadership and their followers in Europe.

On August 13th — a week after Newton got out of jail — the Philadelphia FBI field office used an informant to plant a purported Panther document questioning Newton's leadership capacity. The directive, according to an FBI report to headquarters, "stresses the leadership and strength of David Hilliard and Eldridge Cleaver while intimating that Huey Newton is useful only as a drawing card . . . ." The fictitious directive was then mailed anonymously to Newton.

When the FBI was informed that LSD advocate Timothy Leary was visiting Cleaver in Algeria, the San Francisco field office sent Newton an anonymous note complaining that Cleaver was "playing footsie" with Leary, in violation of the party's policy against drugs. In January 1971, when Cleaver seized Leary's drugs and publicly condemned him, the FBI sent Newton another letter, denouncing Cleaver for "divorcing the BPP from white revolutionaries."

The Los Angeles field office wrote an anonymous letter to Cleaver in November which criticized Newton for failing to arrange sufficient press coverage of a Cleaver-led delegation of American leftists to North Korea and North Vietnam.

In December 1970, the BPP attempted to stage a Revolutionary Peoples' Constitutional Convention in Washington D.C. The conference was a failure. The Los Angeles field office received approval from Washington to send a letter to Cleaver intended to "provoke Cleaver to openly question Newton's leadership. . . . If Cleaver received a sufficient number of complaints regarding Newton it might . . . create dissension that later could be more fully exploited."

A barrage of unsigned letters was sent to both the Panther leaders from the FBI. One to Newton was from a "white revolutionary" complaining about the incompetence of the Panthers. Another was supposedly from a black student at Columbia University. Another, from Berkeley, was sent to Cleaver. A fourth, mailed to Cleaver in January 1971 from a Boston "white revolutionary," attacked Newton and read in part: "The Black Panther party has failed miserably. No longer can the party be looked upon as the 'Vanguard of the Revolution."

Unable to meet face-to-face with Newton, Cleaver became anxious about the direction the party was apparently taking. He sent Connie Matthews, a Jamaican-born Panther who had visited him in Algiers, to Oakland to check on the allegations.

But Cleaver's attempt to clarify the dispute backfired. The FBI sent Cleaver a letter, purportedly from Matthews, which stated:

"Things around headquarters are dreadfully disorganized with the comrade commander not making proper decisions . . . . I fear there is rebellion working just beneath the surface . . . . We must either get rid of the Supreme Commander or get rid of the disloyal members."

That same month, the FBI Chicago field office produced a fake letter from a Puerto Rican group to Cleaver: "You are gone, those you left behind have big titles but cannot lead, cannot organize, are afraid to even come out among the people. The oppressed of Amerikka cannot wait. We must move without you . . . ."

On January 28th, 1971, FBI headquarters reported that one "result of our counterintelligence projects now in operation" was that Newton had recently disciplined several high Panther officials and that he was prepared "to respond violently to any question of his actions or policies."The memorandum, which was mailed to four field offices, continued:

"The present chaotic situation within the BPP must be exploited . . . . You should each give this matter priority attention and immediately furnish bureau recommendations . . . designed to further aggravate the dissension within BPP leadership and to fan the apparent distrust by Newton of anyone who questions his wishes."

The clandestine operation intensified. On February 2nd, FBI headquarters instructed 29 field offices to submit new disruptive proposals within eight days to take advantage of "an exceptional opportunity to… possibly neutralize this organization through counter-intelligence."

A new outpouring of anonymous letters followed. Cleaver received a phony letter from the "New York 21" attacking Newton, and another from a nonexistent member of a New York radical group. Newton's brother received an anonymous letter revealing an imaginary plot by Cleaver and the New York chapter to assassinate Newton. The FBI reported that both Newton and his brother thought the letter was authentic, and that Newton believed that an informer had infiltrated the highest levels of the party.

The FBI then mailed a letter to one of Cleaver's associates in Algeria, falsely claiming that the recent death of a Panther was linked to the factionalism within the party. The letter warned that Kathleen Cleaver's planned trip to the U.S. should be aborted because of the threat of violence.

The bureau sent Cleaver another letter in late February, forging the signature of veteran Panther Elbert "Big Man" Howard:

"I'm disgusted with things here and the fact that you are being ignored . . . . It makes me mad to learn that Huey now has to lie to you . . . . I can't risk a call as it would mean certain expulsion. You should think a great deal before sending Kathleen. If I could talk to you I could tell you why I don't think you should."

The forged letter referred to the contents of a telephone conversation between Newton and Cleaver which had been intercepted by the FBI. The call itself had been prompted by an earlier FBI letter purportedly from Connie Matthews.

The FBI's capacity to manipulate the growing Newton/Cleaver split was aided by the CIA's supersecret mail intercept operation, code named htlingual, which monitored communications to and from Cleaver.

The Panther squad planted a damaging story through San Francisco Examiner reporter Ed Montgomery that Newton was living under an assumed name in a $650/month penthouse apartment in Oakland. Newton and the central committee of the Panthers had chosen the apartment for security reasons, and had arranged a financial deal with the owner to cover the rent. But for Newton's opponents inside the party the story destroyed whatever was left of his myth.

The New York Panthers called a press conference denouncing Newton and demanded that he be placed on trial for misusing party funds.

Then the Newton/Cleaver split, manipulated at every turn by the FBI, reached its climax. In a telephone call to a television talk show on February 26th, 1971, Cleaver criticized Newton's expulsion of party members and called for the removal of Chief of Staff Hilliard.

Outraged, Newton immediately placed a return call to Algeria. Elaine Brown, who was with Newton at the time, remembers that "Huey had tears in his eyes. He said, 'Eldridge, I thought we had a party."' For his statements in the TV interview, Cleaver and the entire international section of the party were expelled by Newton.

FBI agent Cohendet says, "We just helped the [Newton/Cleaver] split along . . . . I'm sure they would have split because of the personalities of the men, and [Cleaver's] fleeing took away all his chance of doing anything. He was yelling out in the desert there. Unless you're on top of these little flunkies here, they're not going to listen to you. That's just the nature of the beast and the people they were working with. 'Out of sight, out of mind.'

"We absolutely felt Cleaver was a danger," Cohendet explains. "Matter of fact, the party should be thankful for whatever help they got [from the FBI]. Getting rid of Cleaver was a big thing; he took all those hoodlums with him. And so Huey didn't have any problems anymore."

The Panthers themselves say that the Cleaver/Newton split was inevitable — that the ideological breach between the two leaders made a rapprochement impossible.

Cleaver is less certain. "The FBI was very instrumental in the split. They very skillfully fed our egos and our paranoia."

The militant black movement, which had been building steadily for a decade, now stood at an impasse. The FBI had attained its objective. To insure that Cleaver got the point, the San Francisco office mailed him a copy of The Black Panther announcing his expulsion. And on March 25th the San Francisco Panther squad mailed a bogus letter to Panther European offices which read in part:

The Supreme Servant of the People, Huey P. Newton . . . has ordered the expulsion of the entire Intercommunal Section of the Party at Algiers. You are advised that Eldridge Leroy Cleaver is a murderer and a punk without genitals . . . Leroy's running dogs in New York have been righteously dealt with. Anyone giving any aid or comfort to Cleaver and his jackanapes will be similarly dealt with no matter where they may be located . . . Immediately report to the Supreme Commander any attempts of these elements to contact you and be guided by the above instructions.

Power to the People 
David Hilliard, Chief of Staff 
For Huey P. Newton 
Supreme Commander

"Read that language in those letters," says Cohendet. "Would you think that was written by a bunch of white men? When you listen to them every day for a couple of years you get to know their vocabulary . . . . Don't you think it was a pretty good operation, if you had to give a candid opinion of it?"

The same day of the fake Hilliard letter, FBI headquarters officially declared its cointelpro war against Cleaver and Newton a success. Cohendet summed up the Panther squad's view of Newton's expulsion of the party's "left wing" in a note to headquarters: "A leopard may not change his spots but a Panther might."

Epilogue

Five years have passed since the FBI declared its secret war on the Black Panther party a success. The Senate Intelligence committee has published its final report, but the full extent of the war may never be known. According to Senate investigators, cointelpro accounted for only about five percent of the bureau's files on the Panthers. "No one knows what's still buried in those files," one investigator stated.

In the aftermath of the ideological split within the Panther organization, at least six more persons lost their lives. These slayings destroyed much of what was left of the party's credibility, and filled Panther members and sympathizers with fear.

William Cohendet is now retired, as are most of the FBI's San Francisco Panther squad.

"We in the FBI have had enough unfounded criticisms. People are looking about it from one side. As I say, I'm proud of the things I did, and I would never apologize to anybody.

"My point is that all this was being done to get, rid of this terrible canker inside the United States body. If you could see the smashing of windows on Market Street, the inciting to riot, standing out there on the Polo Field, denouncing the president of the United States. I can't see how anyone dedicated to law and order would want that situation to continue, and what has to be done is show it in the proper frame. These things had to be done. You know, our courts are supine. They hate to convict anybody."

George C. Moore is now retired from the Racial Intelligence Section of the FBI. He refused to talk to Rolling Stone.

The Black Panther party has managed to survive, despite the counterintelligence war waged by the FBI, CIA and state and local police agencies around the country. It is now a local organization, however, without strong national influence.

"The government didn't succeed in destroying us," Elaine Brown, a leader of the party, says. "We survived. We had to go through these hard times because we didn't have any blueprints to follow. This is the tenth anniversary of the Black Panther party, and we can count 31 brothers in the grave. These motherfuckers intended to kill every one of us. But it's too late today. Our ideas are out there — they cannot be erased from the minds of the people. This is a success story. The FBI does not mess with us now. And the battle is still on. They should have got us all then — it's too late now."

Huey Newton is living in exile in Havana, Cuba. He is wanted in Oakland on a variety of charges, including murder. Reached by telephone, Newton said he is currently unable to give an interview but plans to return to the U.S. at some point after the trial of Eldridge Cleaver.

Bobby Seale ran for mayor of Oakland in 1973 but was defeated. He has since disappeared, and his family, which has not heard from him in six months, is concerned.

Stokely Carmichael, whose brief relationship with the Panther party ended in a mutual denunciation, lives in Africa.

As promised, Eldridge Cleaver's ghost has returned to haunt, but so far it's the left and not the government that is suffering his rhetorical assaults. Cleaver no longer sees the United States as the major source of evil in the world. Disenchanted with Cuban and Soviet socialism, Cleaver has written denunciations of racism and authoritarianism in the socialist bloc. He now considers himself a "social democrat" in search of a new ideology that incorporates "soul and poetry." He is currently reexamining the role of religion. Cleaver also is trying to interest manufacturers in his controversial design for codpiece pants.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Cleaver admitted that his new view of the U.S., formed overseas, may not be completely accurate. But Cleaver is not on trial for his new politics. Instead he is about to stand trial on charges stemming from the April 6th, 1968, shoot-out where Bobby Hutton was killed. Denounced by his former comrades, Cleaver has had trouble raising defense funds and finding a lawyer. His prospects appear grim.

None of the FBI agents involved in the cointelpro war against the Panthers have been prosecuted for their actions.

From The Archives Issue 221: September 9, 1976


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Written by Caleb T. Maupin    Sunday, 01 May 2016 13:25    PDF Print E-mail
Top CIA Objective: Fracture The Eurasian Bloc

 

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Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is known for being very crass and rude. However, he also has a way of openly stating what other billionaires are thinking, but are afraid to say out loud.

In one of his earliest interviews, Trump stated a concern that is probably on the mind of many foreign policy analysts.  He said: “You can’t have everybody hating you. The whole world hates us. One of the things that I heard for years and years, never drive Russia and China together, and Obama has done that.”

It’s not only Donald Trump who has this concern. The Council on Foreign Relations, a Wall Street think tank that can otherwise be described as the CIA’s brain, has become obsessed with the issue. The latest issues of the CFR’s publication, Foreign Affairs, speak of the China-Russia alliance at length.

Why Does Wall Street Hate Russia and China?

The Eurasian bloc and its allies have scored key economic victories against the United States and Western Europe on the global market. State-controlled industries in Mainland China, which was considered the impoverished, semi-feudal “sick man of Asia” just 70 years ago, now produce half of all the steel and aluminum on Earth. Russia’s oil and natural gas resources are being sold across Europe, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is starting to move into these markets as well.

The global economic set-up has long functioned like the Roman Empire, where “all roads lead to Rome,” or in this case, to Wall Street and London. But as Eurasia raises its head, bringing South America and parts of the Middle East along with it, the world no longer has to buy its steel, aluminum, and oil from Western corporations. Markets are slipping out of Western fingers. Developing countries no longer have to take out loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The “New Silk Road” vision from China, the stabilization of Russia and the Islamic Revolution of Iran, and the Bolivarian movement of Latin America, have all created something western capitalists have never tolerated: competitors.

It is maintenance of monopoly on the global market, not some phony concern about “human rights” or “expansionism” that drives the rising hostility against Russia, China, and any country that dares align with them. Regimes that function as obedient Western clients violate human rights and engage in aggression all the time.

The oil vassals of Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia make no pretense honoring human rights.

The leaders of South Korea’s only real electoral opposition, the Unified Progressive Party, all sit in prison simply because of a hypothetical conversation that was audio recorded.

The number of human rights activists and dissidents who have been killed, tortured, or disappeared in US-aligned Latin American countries like Colombia, Guatemala, and Honduras is incalculable. The US backed the autocratic PRI regime in Mexico for many years and is currently supporting the corrupt, drug-infested Narco regime that now runs the country.

The US-aligned Turkish state, which has an ugly history of atrocities against the Kurds, is now rounding up college professors and anyone else who dares question or “insult” http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2016/03/erdogan-gulen-turkey-media-crackdown-160313115624084.html" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(213, 24, 24) !important; text-decoration: none;">President Erdogan. 

The US-backed regime in Ukraine has a Nazi division of its armed forces called the Avoz Battalion. Not only does the US openly align with the anti-Russian, Hitler glorifying fanatics in Kiev as they wage brutal war against their Eastern compatriots, but US military personnel actually provides them with training..The concept of “human rights” has been completely politicized by well-funded foundations that promote the geopolitical goals of Wall Street. Voices in US media raise their “concerns” about human rights almost exclusively against countries that dare assert their economic independence or align with Russia and China.

Many leftists and progressive people in Western countries are easily duped by “human rights” propaganda. They often believe they can gain credibility for their critique of Western society by joining in the demonization of the Pentagon’s latest target.

Like the Southern plantation owners who claimed they were “civilizing” and “bringing Christianity” to those they enslaved, the NATO military machine and its Wall Street paymasters always claim they are overthrowing governments because they have a big heart, and are flowing with compassion for those who are suffering. As the attacks on Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria have shown, the “innocent victims”, who become the focus of propaganda campaigns promoting “humanitarian intervention,” usually end up in far-worse circumstances than before.

The Basis of the Eurasian Alliance

The division of the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China was a key factor in the outcome of the Cold War. In 1961, the Chinese Communist Party and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had incompatible foreign policy strategies. Mao Zedong’s China had become a symbolic epicenter of anti-colonial struggles in the Third World. Khruschev’s Soviet government was desperately trying to engage in diplomacy in the hopes of preventing atomic war. The Soviet Union cut its ties with the People’s Republic of China in 1961, as China denounced Soviet leaders as “revisionists” and “betrayers” of the cause of global revolution.

The division between the two great powers escalated over the course of the following decade. Border disputes erupted. By the early 1970s, the final years of Mao Zedong’s life, the most populous country on earth was no longer telling its allies to oppose Western capitalism, but rather that “Soviet Social Imperialism” was the “main danger” to humanity.

This shift weakened anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist forces significantly. The Chinese invasion of Vietnam, the civil war between leftist factions in oil rich Angola, the re-alignment of Poland, Romania, Albania, and various other European Marxist governments, were all decisive in the eventual defeat of the Soviet Union.

However, since the end of the Cold War, the geopolitical relationship that was broken apart in 1961 with the “Sino-Soviet Split” has gradually re-emerged. As the Russian Federation became more stable and economically prosperous after the disasters of the 1990s, it became closer to the People’s Republic of China. The two countries, one led by a Communist Party and the other now led by nationalist forces, have formed an economic and political alliance that is once again challenging the monopoly of Western capitalism.

In Russia, the economy is centered on the export of publicly owned oil and natural gas resources. In China, the state controls banking and most major industries. Both Russia and China long ago abandoned the kind of “really existing socialism” pioneered by Stalin with his “Five Year Plans.” However, neither Russia nor China can truly be described as capitalist. In both countries, the decisions of state central planners, not the anarchy of production, dictate the majority of economic activity. The two countries have many billionaires, yet both governments are not afraid to punish capitalists who stray from the state’s overall economic vision. There is plenty of capitalism in China and Russia, but it is a submissive capitalism, functioning under the boot of much more powerful state economic sector.

The Russian and Chinese states are not like the corporatocracies of the West. Their strength comes from highly organized and deeply politicized populations, both committed to a collective nationalist vision. Western liberalism with its glorification of profits and individualism is collapsing in the face of a collectivist alternative. Over the course of the 20th century, the Eurasian societies learned to restrain and control market forces. This has made them stronger than many Western analysts can even imagine.

The Eurasian Bloc now lays the basis for the primary alternative to Western capitalism on the global stage. Brazil and the Islamic Republic of Iran have economies and states that function in almost the same way as Russia and China. The Bolivarian movement in Latin America has unleashed a more traditionally leftist and Marxist version of this economic model, and both Cuba and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are gradually shifting in this direction.

Strategy for Attack: Oil Price Manipulation and Takfirism

Speaking for the Council on Foreign Relations, Robert Kaplan gleefully predicts “Coming Anarchy” in Eurasia. The article goes on to lament the Chinese slowdown and describe how low oil prices have hurt the Russian state.

The drop in oil prices is no accident. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which sells oil almost exclusively to Wall Street and buys weapons almost exclusively from the Pentagon, has engaged in what looks like an episode of self-mutiliation, dropping prices by exporting huge amounts of oil. Saudi Arabia’s economy is in a state of ruin, as the country takes out more loans in order to expand its oil apparatus.

Negotiations among oil exporting countries continue to fail and the price has not recovered from the dramatic decreases of 2014. This is no accident. Saudi Arabia is intentionally dropping the prices as a part of geopolitical strategy developed by its overlords in Washington DC. The hope is to wreck the economies of Russia, Venezuela, and Iran, all of which are centered around the export of publicly owned oil resources.

Interestingly, a recently published article, also from the Council on Foreign Relations, touts “the use of economic instruments to accomplish geopolitical objectives” as an “American Tradition.

The oil price drop has created political problems, not just in Russia, but primarily among its allies in South America. The United Socialist Party suffered its first significant electoral defeat in recent history with the US-funded opposition winning at the polls in December. In Brazil, a political crisis has unfolded surrounding the fiscal problems of Petrobas, the state-owned oil company. The once popular, left-wing President Dilma Rousseff, who is very friendly to Russia and China, now faces impeachment.

The economic attack in the form of low oil prices is being followed up by another gem from the CIA’s toolbox, Wahabbism. Religious extremism of the variety found in Saudi Arabia is getting stronger in the Middle East. Violent extremists such as ISIS and the Al-Nusra front are very powerful in sections of Syria and Iraq. CIA training camps in Jordan, the open Turkish-Syrian borders, and the continued flow of weapons into Syria from US-aligned Gulf States, have made the “Jihadist” current stronger than ever.

The CIA has been friendly with Takfiri extremists for a long time. Osama Bin Laden comes from a wealthy Saudi family with a near monopoly construction within the Kingdom. His career as an extremist began in Afghanistan, where he cooperated with the USA and NATO to fight against the People’s Democratic Party and the Soviet Union during the 1980s. The Muslim Brotherhood cooperated with the CIA to work against Arab Nationalist Abdul Nasser in Egypt. US links with the Takfiri “Jundallah” organization that bombs innocent people in Iran were exposed by the New York Times. 

The scourge of Takfirism now threatens China as a wave of stabbings and other terrorist attacks have been unleashed. Chinese Uyghurs, a historically Muslim minority within the People’s Republic, have been fighting in Syria against the government alongside Wahabbi terrorists and extremists. China is openly concerned about what could happen when these forces return home. The Council on Foreign Relations, an entity that works closely with the CIA, now openly predicts the rise of anti-Chinese and anti-Russian religious extremism in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

The strategy employed by the Obama administration to attack the Eurasian Bloc is two-fold. First, create a economic problems by dropping oil prices. Secondly, unleash religious extremists to foment chaos and warfare.

Unlike Bush’s direct military attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, which resulted in high oil prices and widespread contempt for the United States – even among NATO allies – the Obama-CIA strategy is a long-term plan. It is similar to Brzezinski’s strategies during the “détente” of the Carter administration. It is much better for the United States in terms of public relations, and it is much less risky. But the CIA strategy of economic warfare and the use of proxies to attack Eurasia has a key weakness: it’s not very profitable.

Pragmatic Strategy vs. Market Demand

Oil companies are losing money as prices stay low. Furthermore, military spending has become an essential part of the US economy since the end of the Second World War. The stock market is already starting to feel the pain. If the US economy is to continue functioning as usual, oil prices cannot remain low and military adventurism around the world cannot remain off the table.

While it is seems contrary to basic human decency, the economy of the USA needs high prices at the pump and mass slaughter around the world in order to keep functioning. Drone strikes and the militarization of domestic US police departments are not enough. Eventually, the market forces will demand that oil prices and military spending increase.

However, with the Eurasian bloc stronger than ever, the consequences of direct military attack will be much higher than before.

As is reluctantly pointed out by their greatest enemies, Russia and China have not become weaker in the last decade. They have withstood a campaign of economic sabotage and proxy wars against their closest allies. China faces a huge US military build-up all around it with the so-called “Asian pivot” of the US military. Russia has seen its Syrian allies endure half a decade of civil war, as well as the NATO’s enshrinement of the Ultra-Nationalist, Russia hating Kiev regime, right on its border. Despite persistent hostility and provocations, Russia and China continue to get stronger. Xi Jinxing and Vladimir Putin have become more popular, and the political models they have developed are inspiring a wave of independence and anti-liberalism around the world.

Wall Street is determined to break apart the Eurasian bloc, but this is a task that appears to be almost impossible.

With a US presidential election in the near future, the next few months could render some key surprises. The election of Barack Obama was directly precluded by a financial crash. George W. Bush’s presidency was permanently written into the history books by the Sept. 11th attacks, less than year into his administration.

The rise of the Eurasian bloc, made possible by the Marxist-Leninist social revolutions of the 20th century, along with the computer technological revolution which drastically changed global methods of productions, have forced a dramatic shift on the global stage. The world simply cannot function in the old way any longer. The outdated methods of colonizers and profiteers are being terminated. Profits simply cannot stay in absolute command, and a firm hand from society must force economies to function in a rational way.

History rarely unfolds like a fairy tale. The march of social progress can sometimes be slow and dull, while at other times dramatic and terrifying, but it never stops. Human civilization is now enduring a harsh period of radical adjustment, and everyone should be bracing for the ground to shake.

Caleb Maupin (http://www.calebmaupin.info) is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

http://journal-neo.org/2016/04/29/top-cia-objective-fracture-the-eurasian-bloc/

 
 
 
 
Oil Price Manipulation and the Global Capitalist Crisis

Presentation given by Caleb Maupin at the Second Congress of the Trade Union Center of Brazil, February 25, 2016 in Brasilia.

It such a deep honor to be here in Brazil, at a conference of labor leaders.

I’ve always had the utmost respect and admiration for organized labor.

I know that I’m looking out into an audience of brilliant minds, experts, people who are very skilled, and who have carefully refined the art of organizing the working people of Brazil to fight for justice.

I’m invited here today, from what I understand, because of my expertise in the field of economics and politics. I’m going to speak about the global economy, the price of oil, and what can be done. I thank you for the invitation.

I want people to sit back in your seat, relax, and get comfortable. Take a few deep breaths. I’m going to hit you with a lot of information in the next hour and a half, but I think it will clarify a lot of things. 

I know there are a lot of things going on in Brazilian politics which are directly linked to oil. I’m not going to directly comment on these things. I’m going to talk about the global economy, and put everything in context.

Oil Bankers: The Richest People in the World

Who is the richest person in the world? The international media often tries to answer that question for us. Names get floated around like Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Warren Buffet -- sometimes they’ll mention an Arab sultan or prince. Forbes magazine publishes a list of the richest people in the world.

All of this utter nonsense. 

Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Warren Buffet, the king of Saudi Arabia, all of these people are poor men compared to the ones who have real power. These people are listed as the richest people in the world, because they are so poor, that they have all of their money listed in their own name.

Those who are really rich, those with the most wealth, power and influence, have astronomical amounts of wealth, often so much money that their total net worth cannot even be calculated.

The richest people in the world can be described in two words: oil bankers.

The House of Rockefeller, the House of Morgan, the Carnegies, the Rothschilds, the Mellons, the Du Ponts -- these oil and banking dynasties sit at the center of a small network of deeply entrenched power and influence, dominating the economies of the United States and western Europe, and most of the rest of the planet.

Let’s take the most powerful family of oil bankers, the Rockefellers, as a case study.

When Nelson Rockefeller, one of the many heirs of John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil cartel of the 1880s, was being questioned by the US Congress in 1974, some of the most brilliant investigative reporters, journalists, and economists assembled to cover the hearing. 

Among them, none of them could determine exactly how much money Nelson Rockefeller really had.

In his own name, Mr. Rockefeller personally had a few billion dollars. The rest of his money was tied up in an elaborate network -- thousands of trusts, small corporations, and foundations he controlled.

When testifying before Congress, Nelson Rockefeller was asked about his control of Chase Manhattan Bank. He testified, honestly, “I don’t own a single share of Chase Manhattan Bank.” He was telling the truth. He personally did not have a single cent invested in Chase. However, one of the trusts he controlled owned well over 325,000 shares of stock in Chase Manhattan Bank.

That was back in the 1970s. Today the wealth and influence of one of two most powerful oil-banking cliques is combined. The House of Rockefeller holds control of the largest super-major oil company, Exxon-Mobil, as its personal property. In addition, this powerful family jointly controls an entity called JP Morgan-Chase with the Morgans, another powerful family in the United States. JP Morgan Chase is the largest banking entity in the entire world.

The Morgans, now partnered with the Rockefellers, are descendants of an infamous Wall Street legend named JP Morgan. Not only do the Rockefellers and Morgans control JP Morgan Chase, they also control a company called General Electric, the sixth-largest firm in the United States.

There is no key aspect of the global economy that the oil bankers haven’t put their stamp on, and tried very hard to craft in their own interest. General Electric ranks 21st among corporations contracted by the US military. This entity controlled by the Rockefellers and Morgans has over 6,674 contracts with the Pentagon, bringing in over $2 billion a year in US military projects alone. You can be sure that the US military brass is very concerned about making sure that the Rockefellers and the Morgans are happy with whatever decision they make.

Furthermore, the global media conglomerate called NBC Universal, which includes MSNBC and Comcast, is openly controlled by General Electric.

Universal Studios, one of the “big six” in Hollywood, is also their property as well.

Most art museums in the United States are directly linked to Rockefeller foundations, if not directly controlled by them -- like the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Without the direct approval of the Rockefellers, we may never have known the names Andy Warhol or Jackson Pollock.

Almost every major college and university in the United States depends on money from Rockefeller-controlled foundations, a relationship that puts academia under the direct control of the oil bankers.

More interestingly, the US Central Intelligence Agency crafts its policies and conducts its research with a private foundation called the Council on Foreign Relations. Exxon-Mobil and variety of Rockefeller Foundations, along with the Ford Foundation, completely bankroll this powerful institution of academics and former US elected officials. 

The Council on Foreign Relations, controlled by oil bankers, is essentially the brain of the CIA. The smartest minds in the United States are paid six-figure salaries to carefully make proposals and calculations about how the United States should wield its influence around the world. Put simply, the Council on Foreign Relations thinks it up, but the CIA does it.

And even the manner in which the CIA operates around the world is directly accountable to the Rockefeller, Morgan, and Ford dynasties. The CIA does very little work on its own. CIA agents aren’t generally the ones getting their hands dirty, conducting military coups, kidnapping people, torturing people, etc.

The CIA generally has the job of finding dupes and allies in the country of interest, instructing them, advising them, and letting them carry out the tasks that serve US foreign policy interest. The key way for the CIA to help those doing its dirty work around the world is connecting them to Wall Street-controlled non-governmental organizations and foundations.

The CIA goes into a country. It finds people to carry out its mission, and then the network of wealthy families that control Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, British Petroleum, and Royal Dutch Shell pay them for it.

The National Endowment for Democracy, the Open Society Institute -- the whole network of activist groups controlled by George Soros -- fund the activities of the CIA’s allies, dupes, and collaborators in almost every corner of the globe.

You can find the money of the wealthy oil banking families in the United States all over the world, and often on multiple sides of different political issues. The oil banking dynasties, working with the CIA and the Pentagon, use their funding and money like an expert sports gambler. If you put money on both teams, you are guaranteed to win almost every game.

Every country in the world has money from the oil bankers somehow manipulating its political process. Organizations that say they advocate “democracy,” “human rights,” “economic freedom,” and “social justice” are getting money from the big oil bankers and getting instructions from the CIA.

If you want to find the people who run the world, the quietly powerful global elite, you don’t have to look for the Illuminati, the Freemasons, or some secret society. Look at the major oil companies and banks in the United States and Western Europe and the families whose money is historically tied up in them.

The four major oil corporations in the United States, the “super-majors” as they are called -- Chevron, British Petroleum, the Rothschilds’ Royal Dutch Shell, and the Rockefellers’ Exxon-Mobile -- don’t really compete with each other. They function as much like a trust or cartel as is legally possible in the United States. They set the prices of gasoline together. They discuss increases and drops in production among each other.

A number of smaller corporations, which are indirectly owned by the same people that own the Big Four, follow right behind them. An oil company called Marathon is technically an independent company, but it’s really just a subdivision of Exxon-Mobil, another descendant of Standard Oil. It’s technically a competitor with the Big Four, but this only true on paper.

US foreign policy cannot be separated from the power of oil corporations. This should be obvious from a distance. What countries have been the biggest enemies and military opponents of the United States in the last three decades? Iraq, Libya, Venezuela, Russia, Iran. All of these countries are major oil exporters.

And who pays for the Council on Foreign Relations? Who does business with the Pentagon? Who owns the banks at the center of the European Union? Who funds both the Democratic and Republican Parties in the United States? Who funds the Labour Party, the Conservative Party, and the Liberal Democratic Party in Britain?

The very ground on which the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan was constructed was a personal donation from the Rockefeller family. 

Henry Kissinger, one of the leading influential figures in setting US foreign policy, is a complete creation of the oil bankers. He worked for the Rockefellers before he worked in Washington.

If you look at the think tanks where decisions are made by powerful leaders, you’ll see that roughly the same people work at them and the same people fund them. The Asia Society, the Brookings Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, the Hoover Institution, the Heritage Foundation;  it’s not hard to find out where all of these policy-setting institutions get their money. You can always trace it back to oil bankers.

So with that in mind, I am going to answer the following questions:

So, why did the oil-price drop in 2014? Why does it remain below $30 per barrel? What is the relationship between oil and development? Why is the global economy facing a crisis?

The Fruits of High Oil

Let’s go back to the first year of the 21st century. Following 2001, the policies crafted by the Council on Foreign Relations and carried out by US president Bush and Tony Blair in Britain had one obvious impact: they drove oil prices up.

When Iraq was invaded on March 19th, 2003, the US military destroyed the country’s infrastructure with a cruise missile torrent known as “shock and awe.” Iraq was one of the leading oil producers in the world. It was removed from the world market. Millions of Iraqis died.

The price of oil went up.

Almost immediately after Iraq was destroyed, the US, Britain, and Israel began to escalate an international campaign against one of Iraq’s neighbors and one of Saddam Hussein’s biggest enemies: the Islamic Republic of Iran. A barrage of media propaganda insinuated that Iran was trying to build nuclear weapons, and the international community was rallied to put sanctions on Iran. The sanctions restricted Iran’s ability to export.

The price of oil got even higher.

In 2008, the US-aligned regime in Georgia attacked the Russian-aligned territories of South Ossetia. Georgia is a country that is completely aligned with the United States. It purchases military hardware exclusively from the United States. US-NATO troops are stationed in the country.

Georgia attacked South Ossetia, which Russia was obligated to protect. In response, Russia and Georgia had a war.

In response, sanctions were placed on Russia, restricting its right to export oil on the international markets.

As Bush left office in January 2009, the oil prices had reached the highest levels in world history: over $110 per barrel. 

The four super-majors were making record profits.

The Council on Foreign Relations, the Pentagon, the CIA, all directly linked and accountable to the four super-major oil companies, had carried out a series of policies that resulted in astronomically high profits for the four super-major oil companies.

This cannot be dismissed as merely a coincidence. 

However, in the process of engineering US foreign policy toward making astronomical profits, the four super-majors created major problems on the international markets.

In Venezuela, Chavez took office in 1999, and enacted a new constitution. He beat back the 2002 coup d’état against him, due to his popularity with rank-and-file soldiers.

In 2003, as oil prices were rising, Chavez drastically altered the nature of the Venezuelan nationalized oil resources. He reoriented Venezuela’s oil so that the proceeds would go almost entirely into the domestic budget.

Chavez became amazingly popular as he provided free healthcare, free education, and other services to the population in Venezuela. Chavez and the United Socialist Party set up an oil-funded apparatus of activists. Venezuela became an opponent of the United States on the global stage, as the Venezuelan state got stronger due to the high oil prices.

Russia got stronger also. During the 1990s, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia was an economic disaster. Massive unemployment, massive crime. The country depopulated as people fled in order to survive.

But with the oil boom, Vladimir Putin was able to restart the Russian economy. The Putin government was able to put Russia back into order by exporting oil and natural gas, and funding a strong state apparatus in the process.

The booming oil prices enabled Putin to launch his National Priorities Project, vastly improving the state-run health service, subsidizing housing for low-income Russians, and creating an anti-imperialist media.

With state-controlled petroleum and natural gas, the industrial output increased by 125%. The rate of industrial expansion was 70%. The wages of Russian workers tripled during the first eight years of the Putin Administration. Between 2007 and 2014, the Russian gross domestic product increased from $764 billion to $2,096.8 billion.

The Russian state became a force to be reckoned with once again.

Summer camps for academically high-achieving youth were created, as part of the youth organization called “Nashi.” At the summer camps, the youth of Russia who are deemed to have the most potential are urged to use their skills to advance the Russian nation, not to get rich.

The Russian state aligned with the Russian Orthodox Church to forge a new ideology, a kind of anti-capitalist Christian Russian nationalism. The Russian state apparatus is influenced by the legacy of the Soviet Union, and takes pride in the defeat of Adolph Hitler. People around the world call this the “New Russian Patriotism.” The slogan that Putin rallied his supporters around in 2008 was “Together We Win.” He urged Russians to reject the western concepts of individualism and selfishness, and be part of a collective effort to build a strong country.

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the high oil prices strengthened the figures in Iranian politics who call themselves “Principalists,” though they are derogatorily called “hardliners” in western media. The hostility from the United States, who dubbed Iran part of the “axis of evil,” combined with the high oil prices to give a huge boost to the ideological organizations that serve as the backbone of the Islamic Republic.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Basigue, the Islamic University system, the forces that emphasize the anti-capitalist goals of the 1979 revolution, all found themselves with lots of money. Ahmadinejad implemented a number of domestic reforms that built up the Iranian countryside, funded public works projects for Iranian workers, and strengthened Iranian labor unions.

While Chevron, British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, and Exxon-Mobil were making record profits, their hired analysts were warning them that the world was slipping out of their fingers. In the post-Cold War era, suddenly a new opposition was on the scene.

Beyond Russia, Venezuela, and Iran, the Islamic socialist government of Libya grew more powerful due to the oil-price increase. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was elected President of the African Union. 

Ecuador saw significant economic growth, recovering from the horrors of neoliberalism in the 1990s.

Here in Brazil, your government-controlled oil company Petrobas became the third-largest corporation in the hemisphere. Petrobas, an oil company that is not controlled by the Big Four oil corporations, with the majority of the shares owned by your popularly elected government, was larger than BP, larger than Exxon-Mobile, even larger than Microsoft.

In the parts of the world where oil is not controlled by Wall Street bankers, but controlled by popular governments, the high oil prices, inflated by US foreign policy, gave a huge boost to the living conditions of the people. People in Brazil, Russia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Iran, and Libya saw their lives getting better.

The Koch-Fracker Insurgency

And not only on the global stage did a new slew of opponents and competitors arise. Within the United States, suddenly you had a surge of financial power flowing into the hands of independent oil and natural gas companies. The Big Four oil companies can be called “big oil,” but the high oil prices and breakthroughs in technological development empowered “little oil” to be stronger than ever.

Hydraulic fracking became legal and widespread. Fracking is a practice in which boiling steam is used to extract subterranean oil and natural gas. Fracking opened up deposits of petroleum and natural gas found in the shale, the rock layer that is below the soil. Because of this technological innovation, a whole slew of tiny, unknown oil corporations suddenly emerged to challenge the monopoly of the Big Four.

Because of fracking, the United States is now the top oil and natural gas producer in the world. The 1973 oil-export ban, imposed because of the OPEC boycott, has been lifted. US oil companies can now export on the international markets.

A number of small energy corporations, who previously had almost been irrelevant, suddenly made billions of dollars. Devon Energy, a tiny energy firm based in Oklahoma, was suddenly rising up to power on the stock market. Cenovus Energy, a Canadian energy producer, pops up and starts extracting from Canada’s tar sands.

Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, US domestic oil production is rising, and with it astronomically high energy prices. Not only are the Big Four making record profits, but these “little oil men,” a crowd of swamp speculators and low-level capitalists, also made billions of dollars.

Exxon-Mobil, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the entrenched, old-money oil bankers began to move into the Democratic Party by 2007 and 2008. This is a rational decision for anyone who closely follows US politics. The demographics of US society are shifting. 

The white middle class elderly FOX news viewers, the traditional base of social conservatism, is dying off. A much larger percentage of the US public is Black or Latino. Young whites also vote for Democrats and have liberal views, especially on social issues. The Republican base of white, conservative, nationalistic middle class Christians -- the backbone of Nixon, Reagan, and Bush -- is dying off. The propaganda style crafted by the neoconservatives is not effective any longer.

As Big Oil moved out of the Republicans, the frackers and new oil opposition moved in.

Big Oil is sophisticated in its politics. It has huge think tanks, studying trends in global economics and politics, figuring out carefully how to secure its power for the long term.

But “little oil” isn’t so sophisticated. Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, who had long been a champion of the little oil men, was nominated as the vice presidential candidate for the Republican Party in 2008. Her base is “little oil.” One of her campaign slogans was “Drill, baby, drill!” 

What she was really saying was, “Open up Alaska to the small oil corporations.” She brags that she fought against “Big Oil” as governor of Alaska, and there’s a little bit of truth in it. Palin’s husband wasn’t even a registered Republican for many years. For a long time he was aligned with the Alaskan State Independence Party, the John Birch Society, and the Constitution Party.

The politics overtaking the Republican Party in the aftermath of the Bush Administration is not the pragmatic neoconservatism crafted carefully by Exxon-Mobil in the 70s and 80s. It is ideological right-wing paleo-conservatism. These are individuals who think the United States is run by a secret conspiracy of communists. These are individuals who think the public educational system is a plot to wipe out Christianity. These are the forces who were driven out of the Republican Party in the early 1960s, after they said that Dwight D. Eisenhower was a communist. These are the individuals who say Abraham Lincoln was a dictator, and that the slave-owners of the US south were justified in taking up arms against the republic.

The new oil money has turned the weakened and isolated Republican Party into a platform to fight against the Big Four oil corporations and their near monopoly on US oil profits. Unlike the Rockefellers, who have learned to use the government to secure their power, they call for “laissez faire,” “hands-off” economics. They believe if everything were privatized, everyone could be rich like them.

The billionaires of new oil money see themselves caught between two great chasms. On the one hand, they are opposing the big oil bankers who want to drive them off the market. However, they are just as threatened, if not more threatened, by the global anti-capitalist movements. The labor unions, the Occupy Wall Street protests, the mass movements for social justice -- all represent the threat that their wealth could be redistributed.

They see the rising social movements against capitalism as a heartless mob, people they deem to be inferior assembling to crush them. They see in the Big Oil capitalists a group of monopolists who want to smash their independence and absorb them into the collective.

The only place they can look for consolation is the past. They call for a “new 1776.” They dream of “restoring the republic” with some kind of bloody purge.

Some people call these politics emanating from new money in the Republican Party fascism. I don’t know if this is accurate. 

The Democratic Party hates two men in particular who have become the symbolic leaders of the fracking new oil insurgency. These two oil billionaires, Charles and David Koch, the inheritors of an oil company called “Koch Industries,” have become the target of scorn by the voices of the Democratic Party and its allies.

Let me pause for a moment, and tell the story of how the Koch Industries was born, how the Koch family made their billions and became the leading insurgents against the oil monopolies within the domestic United States. This story contains many lessons about the role of oil in the world economy.

Oil and the Rise of Russia

The father of the infamous Koch brothers was chemical engineer Fred Koch. In 1927 he invented a new method of thermal cracking, transforming crude oil into gasoline. The big oil bankers tried to put him out of business. They took him to court 44 different times. In one instance they were proven to have actually bribed the judge to rule against him.

Fred Koch was nearly ruined in the United States. The big oil men were not going to let him in on the business. But this was 1927, and there was another place for oil innovators to turn. Koch found himself invited to the Soviet Union.

Prior to the Bolshevik revolution, the Russian Empire had been one of the leading oil-exporting countries. 150 different oil companies were invested in the Baku oil fields in Azerbaijan, part of the Czarist empire. The foreign oil companies easily overpowered and controlled the local oil barons. Very few Russians made money from the empire’s oil fields. 

The biggest owners in the Baku oil fields were the Nobels, a Swedish family that owned an oil company. The French wing of the Rothschild banking dynasty had their own oil corporation, and they also owned a large amount of Baku oil. Both Nobel and the Rothschild oil corporations eventually merged into the megacorporation currently called Royal Dutch Shell.

Starting in 1898, the Baku petroleum output was larger than the entire domestic output of the United States. Half of the oil in the entire world was being produced in areas controlled by Russia.  

As a result of its important role in the world economy, Baku was one of the few areas within the Russian Empire to have electricity. However, 95% of electricity was used for industrial purposes. The working peoples of Baku, half of them Turkish Muslims, the other half Christian Armenians, lived in shacks. They made poverty wages.

The peoples of the entire Russian Empire were living in extreme poverty. Russia was supplying the entire world, especially the mighty British Empire, with oil. Britain’s victory in the First World War was won with tanks, airplanes, and military trucks powered by Russia’s petroleum. 

But the Russians, the Ukrainians, the Moldovans, the Azeris -- they didn’t get any wealthier. Russia and the surrounding countries had backward agrarian economies. Mass starvation and malnutrition was routine.

A famous incident occurred in 1901. The Rothschilds banking family owned an oil refinery, located in Georgia, in the city of Batumi. The oil workers at this refinery went on strike demanding better conditions. The leaders of the oil workers union were arrested and taken to jail. So, in 1901, a crowd of thousands of Batumi oil workers, with guns blazing, ripped down the walls of the prison and freed their comrades. It made headlines all over the world.

The leader of the crowd that broke open the jails and freed the oil workers was a 23-year-old seminary school dropout. At the time he went by the nickname Koba. He would eventually be known to the world by the name Joseph Stalin.

Yes, the peoples of Russia and the surrounding countries knew it. They knew it in their bones that they were supplying the modern industrial economy of the 20th century with oil, making a lot of bankers rich, while they themselves were poor. 

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the British armed forces seized the oil fields of Baku. But over the course of the civil war, the Bolsheviks took them back. Lots and lots of blood was spilled in Baku and the rest of Azerbaijan. It was a hotly contested territory.

In the 1920s, most of the oil wells had been destroyed during the fighting. The Soviet government desperately needed oil production to get going again. Lots of foreign technicians and experts were brought in to help industrialize. Fred Koch came to Russia in 1929 to train Soviet oil technicians.

Fred Koch, an American oil chemist, watched as an agrarian, Third World country become a world industrial power in a few short years. Between 1928 and 1936 the Soviet Union became the biggest producer of steel in the entire world. The Soviet Union also produced more tractors than any other country in the world. Of course, oil production went through the roof. The entire country was lit up with electricity. 

The huts of rural villages where Soviet peasants lived were replaced with modern apartment buildings. Running water was provided for the entire country as well. Illiteracy was wiped out.

This was the 1930s. The rest of planet was having a Great Depression. But with a planned economy, the Soviet Union was booming. It built skyscrapers, and the beautiful Moscow subways. The newly constructed university system trained the children of illiterate peasants to grow up and become the scientists who first conquered outer space.

No, the Soviet Union did not become the worker’s paradise many of the global Marxist and communists expected it to be. It was not heaven on earth. It was a society that had many big problems, which eventually played a role in its destruction.

But what the Soviet Union did between 1928 and 1936 was go from being an impoverished country, controlled by Britain and France as almost a semicolony, to gaining the status of a superpower. This is what happens when a society takes control of its resources and its economy. This is what happens when nations and peoples pull together to resist economic domination, and begin to chart their own course.

It doesn’t require Marxism-Leninism. It doesn’t require Soviet-style command economies. It requires economic independence. It requires mobilization of people. It requires leadership that loves the homeland, not the international bankers and billionaires.

Fred Koch was horrified by what he saw. Today, Fred Koch’s two children sit at the center of a coalition of low-level American capitalists, billionaires who feel they’ve been excluded from the club. Fred Koch’s two sons certainly hate communism, socialism, cooperation, and solidarity with every bone in their body, despite the fact that the work of Fred Koch as a chemist was essential in building the Soviet Union. 

Saudi Oil Suicide and the CIA

In 2014, the high oil prices that had been engineered by US foreign policy came to a sharp and sudden end. Suddenly, without any warning or real market justification, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began putting oil on the international markets. Saudi Arabia started putting tens of millions of barrels of oil onto the market every day.

This huge influx of oil caused demand to decrease, and the price to drop. But the Saudi Kingdom did not stop. The Saudis continued putting petroleum onto the international markets, and expanding their oil production apparatus. 

Even though they cannot afford it, the Saudis take out loans, and continue building an even bigger oil production apparatus. Saudi Arabia is losing money, going nearly bankrupt, but it keeps putting oil onto the markets.

The crown prince, the son of King Salman, announces that Saudi Arabia is transitioning away from oil.

A policy of shifting away from oil might make sense in Venezuela or Russia, but not in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a giant desert. The country has two things: sand and oil.

Since 2014 the oil price has been dropping. It’s gotten below $30 per barrel.

Saudi Arabia is having huge internal problems. On January 1 of 2016, 47 people were beheaded. Many of them were dissidents, including the leading Shia Cleric Ayatollah Al-Nimr. Riots are going on. Oil workers are unemployed, starving, and rioting.

Why is this happening? Why would the Saudis bankrupt themselves? Why would they slit their own wrists? 

You have to look deeper.

Since the 1940s, when US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established relations with the House of Saud, the oil has never really belonged to the Saudis.

Aramco, the Saudi oil company, has always just been a middle man. Saudi oil is controlled exclusively by the Big Four. The US oil trust – BP, Shell, Chevron, and Exxon-Mobil -- have always dictated exactly what the Saudis do with their oil.

The Saudis now have the fourth-largest military budget of any country in the world, and they purchase their weapons exclusively from the United States.

The Saudis are not independent. Saudi Arabia is just an extension of the big oil bankers who run Wall Street.

Saudi Arabia is dropping the price of oil intentionally because their bosses are commanding them to do so. This is a strategy that was cooked up inside the Council on Foreign Relations. 

The goal is to put Iran, Russia, and Venezuela out of business. It’s to beat back the wave of independence around the world that was spawned by the high oil policies of the Bush years. The goal is also to put the Koch brothers, Sarah Palin, and their crew of new oil billionaires out of business.

The goal is to restore the monopoly of the oil bankers.

I was in Caracas during the December election, and I saw firsthand what the CIA, their Saudi puppets, and their Rockefeller overlords are doing to that country. I saw lines around the block for ATMS, for toilet paper, and for other supplies.

The victory of the Venezuelan opposition at the polls was a direct result of a relentless effort to cash-starve Bolivarian socialism.

Russia has been forced to cut its domestic budget by 10%. The state-owned oil money that stabilized Russia is being cut back. The hope is to weaken Putin.

The oil-price drop brought Iran to the negotiating table. It put Iran in a situation where it was willing to make huge concessions, and give up its peaceful nuclear energy program.

Meanwhile, the fracking billionaires in Oklahoma and Texas are hurting. Energy stocks are dropping lower than ever. BP has already bought up a few of the fracking firms.

Don’t doubt for a moment that the oil-price drop is part of US foreign policy strategy. We even have a confession of sorts from the son of Ronald Reagan. Michael Reagan said:

"Since selling oil was the source of the Kremlin's wealth, my father got the Saudis to flood the market with cheap oil.

"Lower oil prices devalued the ruble, causing the USSR to go bankrupt, which led to perestroika and Mikhail Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet Empire.”

Obama is now doing the same thing, according to Michael Reagan. 

The oil-price drop of the 1980s also served political purposes, and it was also carried out by Saudi Arabia.

In the 1980s, the Soviet Union was reorienting its economy toward selling oil. France, West Germany, and other European countries announced that they were more open to purchasing Soviet oil.

The Soviet government launched a project to build the Urengoy pipeline, an oil pipeline also called the Trans-Siberian pipeline. This was a gigantic oil pipeline that connected the Siberian oil fields with Western Europe. The Soviet government invested billions of dollars in this project, expecting that in the 1980s they would be able to use this pipeline to sell oil to Europe.

After billions and billions of dollars had been spent by the Soviet government, the Saudis dropped the oil prices, the same way they are doing now. The pipeline was completed in 1984. Because of the oil-price drop, it never even paid for itself.

This was a large factor in the economic problems facing the Soviet Union in the 1980s, which led to perestroika and eventually the end of the Soviet government.

The Wal-Mart Computer Crash

Price manipulation, the artificial dropping and raising of commodity prices -- this is how John D. Rockefeller created Standard Oil, the corporation that is the direct ancestor of today’s super-major called Exxon-Mobil. John D. Rockefeller became the master of what Americans now know very well as a Wal-Mart scheme.

The store called Wal-Mart in the United States has ruined the economies of thousands and thousands of cities and municipalities by setting up shop and lowering its prices. Wal-Mart starts selling TVs, radios and kitchen supplies at the lowest prices imaginable. That is, until all the other stores go out of business. Then, it raises the prices higher than ever, because it has a monopoly.

But the oil Wal-Mart scheme is getting out of control. The price of natural gas always follows right behind oil, and it’s cheaper than ever. The price of copper and steel is dropping lower than ever also. Gold is low. Silver is low.

All the key commodities are losing value. Following right behind the oil drop, prices are dropping in almost every sector.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart, the retail store that is biggest employer in the United States, is laying off people in droves. Stores are closing, because Americans cannot afford to keep buying the way they once did.

During the 1990s, Alan Greenspan legalized all kinds of predatory lending practices, allowing people to get ripoff credit card and housing loans. As the spending power of the US public decreased, the idea was to keep the economy going. They created an economy of rabid consumerism. They taught the people of the United States -- who had seen their standard of living rapidly decrease; who had lost their good-paying industrial jobs; who were paying tens of thousands of dollars just to go to college -- to spend money that they do not have, and temporarily prop up a decaying economy.

But Wal-Mart capitalism is failing. The American middle class is dead. The American dream, the house with the white picket fence has been foreclosed. 

The oil-price drop has made gasoline cheaper than ever. But go to any gas station in the Midwest on any given day, and I can promise you will see a car pull up. It will have a mother in it, and one or maybe two children in the backseat.

She will pull up to the gas station, and she will reach very carefully for the gas pump, and she will very carefully stick it into her gas tank, and put $4 gas into her car.

Just two dollars of gas! Why? Because that’s all she can afford. One dollar of gas can get her kids to school the next day. It can get her to work after that. It’s just enough to keep going.

For a long time in the United States, the white workers and the billionaires had an understanding. It went like this: The billionaires got to go all over the world and slaughter people and murder people. They had coups in Latin America. They dropped bombs in Vietnam and Korea. They built a huge nuclear arsenal. They beat down, exploited and oppressed the African Americans and Latinos.

The deal was that, as long as the white workers went along with this, and didn’t get in the way, and kept waving the flag and cheering for empire, they would get TV sets, cars, houses -- the so-called “American Dream.” A high standard of living.

But this agreement was terminated. In the 1980s it started to gradually erode, and in 2016 it is completely gone. The white American middle class is suffering, civil liberties are disappearing, and the country is in an economic meltdown. Youth from the South and Midwest are fleeing to the coastal areas -- California, Manhattan, and New England -- because life has become unlivable in the once-prosperous industrial heartland.

The problem in the oil markets is just a reflection of a bigger problem. The computer revolution of the 1990s has made production so efficient. Decades ago they had book binderies. Hundreds and sometimes thousands of people would be employed in factories binding books. Today they have a machine that can be operated by a single person. Files are uploaded, a single button is pushed, and books come out.

The computer revolution has resulted in mass poverty for millions of people. Millions of people are starving, fleeing their homes, becoming migrants, because they no longer have a place at the assembly line. The global apparatus of production has become so efficient, that millions of people are not needed any longer. They no longer have a place at the assembly line.

Because they aren’t being hired any longer, the millions of people cast out of production are not spending money. They are not purchasing the billions and billions of dollars worth of goods that are being so efficiently churned out. 

A glut of overproduction is threatening the planet.

Millions of people in Africa and the Middle East, who are no longer profitable to the billionaires and capitalists, are packing themselves onto ships and fleeing to Europe. People in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines are spreading out all over the world. People in Mexico and Guatemala are fleeing to the United States in order to survive.

Everywhere there is a huge abundance of resources and products, but a shortage of jobs and livelihoods for the people.

“Accumulation through Destruction”

As my friend the brilliant economist Bill Dores has explained, capitalism has moved into a mode called “accumulation through destruction.”

How did the United States become the unrivaled center of the world economy anyhow? After the Second World War, the rest of the world was destroyed. 

The US economy is centered around war. It’s a vulgar kind of Keynesianism. US corporations keep their profits rolling in by building bombs, tanks, drones, and other military hardware to kill people around the world.

The USA has a system of prisons for profit. Private corporations are paid to lock away people who break the law in prison. There is an economic incentive for high crime rates and for people to be locked in jail. The United States has the largest prison population in the entire world, because imprisoning people is a way to make money.

One of the biggest myths purported by the capitalists is this idea that markets create and unleash innovation. If you think the free market creates innovation, tell me: why does Hollywood make the same movie over and over and over again?

Yes, capitalists take risks, but they would prefer not to. They want the most secure investment possible. They want to maximize profits; they don’t have any other purpose.

Where did the computer revolution in technology come from? Many trace it back to the decoding machines constructed during the Second World War. This wasn’t the innovation of private capitalists and the market.

During the war, Roosevelt sat down with the capitalists, and said, “We are going to defeat the Nazis.” He said, “In order to defeat fascism, you must give up your economic freedom. You must function as a part of a team. You must obey the democratic government and world for the good of the country.”

The United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, and France did not defeat the Nazis by allowing corporations to make endless profits. NO!

During the war, even in the capitalist west, the corporations went under complete government management. They obeyed the president and the military. They coordinated everything for the defense of democracy. Some of the first computers were designed by smart people, hired by the government, and unleashed to invent and develop new methods for winning the war.

China has Broken Free

The media coming from the western world does not acknowledge the problem of capitalist over-production. No, western media commentators and economic analysts have a single, one-word answer about what is causing the problems of the global economy: China.

They don’t explain how, or why, but somehow China is to blame. They say “China did it.” They call it the “Chinese slowdown.”

It’s very important that we talk about what’s actually going on in the Chinese economy, because it actually points to the way out of this insanity.

Back in the 1920s and 30s China was called the “sick man of Asia.” A very large percentage of the population were drug addicts. The British had actually forced China to accept heroin and opium imports. The drugs allowed China to be economically crippled and enslaved.

Parks in major Chinese cities were reserved for white Europeans. They famously had signs that said “No dogs or Chinese allowed.” Imagine what it must have been like for Chinese people, a people with such a proud, beautiful history, to see signs like that put up within their homeland.

The western capitalists have completely re-written history. They tell us that Asia, and Africa, and Latin America, and the Middle East have always been poor. But this is a lie!

While my ancestors in Ireland and France were living in caves, people on this continent had vibrant civilizations, the Incas, the Aztecs, the Maya.

The Middle East was the cradle of civilization with Hammurabi, Mesopotamia, and Persepolis.

The African continent had Timbuktu and the Pyramids of Giza.

The western colonizers are not “civilizing” the peoples they have conquered. They are not “developing.”

When the British Empire went to India, they saw the vast textile industry. They did not invest in it and develop it. They burned down the textile mills! They forced the people of India to buy their cloth from Britain.

In Mexico today, the farmers have been tossed off their land. They once grew their own food, but now they purchase it from US food corporations.

The imperialists don’t want producers. They don’t want nations and peoples to develop. They want captive consumers. They want to conquer markets, destroy production, and force everyone to purchase from them.

Long before 1949, the imperialists had been “investing” in China. They had been doing business there, but the Chinese people were poorer than they had ever been. 

In 1949, this changed. A new government came into power. China had never had any steel production, but with assistance from the Soviet Union, China launched its steel industry in the 1950s.

China began to produce its own cotton, its own clothing. China built power plants and hospitals.

In 1961, the Soviet Union cut off its aid to China. China could not depend on Soviet assistance any longer. Briefly it attempted to be more egalitarian than the Soviet Union. During the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong, Lin Biao and the Gang of Four tried to move closer to a kind of utopian vision of communism.

In 1978, the policies shifted. Deng Xiaoping said, “To get rich is glorious.” Many people see this statement as embracing capitalism. But it was the opposite. He said, “Poverty is anti-communist, but to get rich is glorious.”

He said that China could not become a prosperous nation by redistributing poverty. Deng Xiaoping’s vision of “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” was based on raising the level of productive forces.

As China stepped back from the command economy, it started importing all kinds of western products, and allowing western capitalists to do business. Wall Street started making lots of money from China.

But at the same time that western corporations were investing in China, and selling Chinese products, the Chinese Communist Party was keeping a firm hand on things. Corporations had no freedom.

No other society in history has executed billionaires. But every Chinese business owner knows that if he gets on the wrong side of the Communist Party, he could be dead.

Recently, the owners of a McDonald’s meat distributor in China, a US-based corporation called OSI, were caught distributing rotten meat to the public. The Communist Party leaders in Shanghai dragged them out of their offices in handcuffs. Executives from this wealthy US corporation have been put into prison.

So what is this Chinese slowdown? What does it have to do with the world economy?

China has stood up. What started in the mountains with Mao Zedong and the Eight Route Army has resulted in an entirely new situation for the whole country. China had no steel mills in 1949. Today, 50% of the world’s steel is produced by China’s government-owned and -controlled steel industry.

China makes its own cars, its own cell phones, its own satellites. The Chinese slowdown is the result of the fact that China is no longer buying things from the colonizers and imperialists. The Wall Street bankers cannot depend on making money from China, because China has stood up. It has its own independent economy.

Yes, there is a slowdown on the Chinese stock market, the vehicle created for western investment. But Chinese society is doing very well. The wages of the average Chinese worker have tripled since the dawn of the 21st century. In 2012, the wages of Chinese industrial workers increased by 14%.

Even CNN admits that almost every day another Chinese person becomes a millionaire. The world tourism industry is having a boom because there is now a wave of Chinese tourists. Chinese people whose grandparents were illiterate and lived as peasants serving landlords almost as property are going on vacations to Paris, the United States, and the tropical islands.

China has risen up out of centuries of degradation and poverty. Millions and millions and millions of Chinese people now have a lifestyle that many people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America can only imagine.

How did they do it? They did it by taking control of their economy.

Capitalism = Profits in Command

There’s a lot of confusion about capitalism and socialism these days. Some people say China is capitalist, because it clearly doesn’t have an economy like what existed in the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Bernie Sanders is running for president saying he believes in socialism. When asked what socialism is, he says its means “a government that works for everyone.” If this is all that socialism means, then every candidate should be called a “socialist.” No candidate admits they want the government to function exclusively for an elite.

There is so much confusion.

What is capitalism? The best definition of capitalism I can find comes from Friedrich Engels, the close collaborator of Karl Marx. He explained what capitalism was by saying, “Under capitalism, the means of production only function as preliminary transformation into capital.”

Capitalism is a system where houses don’t get built because people need shelter. Under capitalism, houses are built so landlords and bankers can make money from selling and renting them.

Under capitalism, food isn’t produced so that people can eat it. Food is produced so that capitalists can make money selling it.

Capitalism is a system where money gives the orders, and the rest of society follows behind the insanity of the market.

What is the alternative? You can call it “socialism,” you can call it “people’s power,” you can call it “central planning” -- you can call it whatever you want.

The alternative is when rational human beings run the economy, and force it to function for the good of society.

In the world today, there is another kind of government that is emerging. It’s a kind of government that derives its strength from community organizations, labor unions, and a mass involvement on the part of ordinary people in public affairs.

My friends here in Brazil, I tell you this carefully -- and I don’t tell you this as an American, I tell you this as someone looking at the world and trying to make sense of it:

Don’t give up Petrobas! Don’t let Rockefeller, Carnegie, Du Pont, and Rothschild come into Brazil! Preserve your independence! Preserve your republic and domestic control of your natural resources!

If you want a strong prosperous country, you cannot hand over your economy to the Wall Street bankers. They function to destroy economies.

The brilliant man, a longtime activist in New York City who has travelled all over the world, and dedicated his life to fight for justice -- I mentioned him before, Bill Dores -- the man who taught me to think beyond politics to economics, if he has taught me anything, it is that Wall Street does not bring development. It does not seek to play fair on the world market. It wants to destroy any people or nation that rise up and start building themselves up. It wants people divided, poor, desperate, and dependent. 

Fighting For a Better World

The forces of evil behind modern international capitalism have no loyalty of any kind. These capitalists aren’t patriotic. They aren’t religious. They don’t worship any God but money. They blindly and fanatically worship their own profits, and they obediently follow wherever the crazed, irrational, invisible hand described by Adam Smith directs them to go.

I believe there is a deeper truth in the universe. I believe that right and wrong do exist. I believe that there is a higher purpose to life than simply a mad pursuit of money.

The only alternative to the insane greed that has seized the western world is popular power. The people must be in motion. They must be demanding justice and equality. They must stand arm in arm to fight for their rights. They must take control of the economies, and force them to function for public good.

The work that all of you are doing as labor leaders is essential.

I was particularly touched to be invited to a conference of labor leaders. When I was ten years old, living in rural Ohio, I was not thinking about politics. But my mother was a librarian.

Some of the librarians in her system were being harassed on the job. They wanted security. They met with the bosses and the bosses refused to provide it. So, as part of the Service Employees International Union, they went on strike.

As a ten-year-old child, I walked the picket lines, and learned the importance of class struggle. I learned never to cross a picket line, and that when working people stand together, great things can happen.

The particular library that my mother worked at was safe. They did not need security. But this did not matter to her and her co-workers. If their sisters walked out, they walked out with them. An injury to one is an injury to all!

This is worker’s solidarity. This is the hope for the future of humanity.

Long live worker’s solidarity! Long live the CSB (Trade Union Center of Brazil)! Long Live People’s Power!



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Written by ALEXANDRA VALIENTE    Sunday, 01 May 2016 13:22    PDF Print E-mail
Fidel Castro: Absolved by History!

fidel_cuba_7Fidel Castro: “History Will Absolve Me”


fidel habla-raul-congreso-pccComrade Fidel Castro made a rare appearance at the closing of the VII Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba. A great revolutionary, an incredible human being, Fidel deserves the full respect of every communist, of everyone who believes in the ideals of Marxism-Leninism.

By Nikos Mottas

“Socialism is and will continue being the hope, the only hope, the only way for the People, the oppressed ones, the exploited ones, the looted ones. Socialism is the only choice!”

Fidel Castro at the Cuban Communist Congress

It was 26th of July 1953 when a group of around 160 rebels, under the leadership of 26 years-old lawyer Fidel Castro, tried an armed attack on the Moncada barracks, at Santiago de Cuba. The aim was to give a first message of resistance against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. The attack was not successful. Sixty-one rebels were killed while the rest — including Castro — were captured and imprisoned by the regime’s authorities. However, the 26th of July 1953 remained in Cuban history as the day when the trigger of the following revolution was pulled. The revolutionary‘Movement of the 26thof July’(Movimiento 26 de Julio) took it’s name from that day and a few years later led the army of Fidel, Che, Raul and Camilo to the thriumph against the corrupted, pro-imperialist regime of Batista.

This years anniversary of the 26th of July 1953 attack gives the opportunity of writing some thoughts, as well as evidence, regarding the revolution that took place at the island of Jose Marti. Especially in today’s historical circumstances and given the targeted distortions and defamations which are unleashed against Cuba and Cuban people.
Historically, very few revolutions have been so deliberately distorted and misinterpreted as the 1959 Cuban Revolution has. The multiple enemies of Revolution and Castroism have invented hundreds of arguments in order to blemish the political, social and cultural values which, 53 year now, have been established in the island. That consists an effort which started just after the overthrow of the corrupted, and supported by Washington, dictatorship of Batista on January 1959. The confiscation of the property held by the monopolies and the Cuban bourgeoise, the agrarian reform and the socialization of the means of production which took place in the first half of the 1960s were an unexpected, big victory for the working class internationally.

Having the support of the Soviet Union, the government of Fidel managed to establish, for at least three consecutive decades, a functional economic system, upgrading significantly on the same time the sectors of Health and Education and, furthermore, eliminating the illiteration rates existing in the pro-revolutionary period. Of course, the accomplishments of the Revolution were — and continue to be — a “thorn in the eye” of the capitalist superpower as well as of the various anti-communists, including conservative, neoliberal, social-democrats, opportunists etc.

As it is known, during the period of Batista’s dictatorship, Cuba was a huge plant of sugar production and casino-tourism, mainly for upper-class americans. The authority established by the “July 26th Movement” not only sweeped the privileges of the greedy cuban bourgeoise but also cut the “umbilical cord” of the country’s financial oligarchy with US imperialism. That had as a result the change of power in a class level, with the emergence of the country’s daily people (workers, farmers, youth) as protagonists in the social reality of Cuba.

During the Revolution’s first five years the consumption of meat and textile was doubled (the products became accessible to all the citizens), the housing prices were rapidly decreased, the abandoned luxurious mansions of those who left Cuba became home of about 80,000 students from the rural areas and the expensive cars of the self-exiled counter-revolutionaries were given to former servants in order to start working as taxi drivers.

In order to comment on the achievements of the Cuban Revolution we must see the conditions existed before 1959. The reality is that before the takeover of Havana by the rebel forces, the island was no more than a small colony of Washington. Almost all products were imported from the United States as an exchange for the opening of the US market to the sugar production. The “indigenous” population had to obtain the basic goods (including the meat market) from the external (imported) sources indicated by the colonial regime.

The notorious United Fruit Co, the US-based monopoly of fruit trade, was a powerful company which was bringing huge profits to it’s owners by exploting the land of Cuban people. All — without exceptions — the suppliers of electricity and telephone were companies based in the United States, as well as the companies providing pharmaceutical material, clothing, automobiles and transportation (buses, ships, aircrafts). Cuban workers were forced to live a life by consuming imported american products which were provided in higher prices than in the US, being in fact slaves of a, tied by imperialism, oligarchy.

Today, 53 years after the Revolution, the (quality) level of public sectors including Health, Education and Housing is much higher than in many capitalist countries in Latin America. The literacy rate is almost 98%, education is accessible to all citizens without exceptions while the Cuban national health system (free for all) is justifiably regarded one of the best in the world. Some indicative data speak by themselves:

  • In 2007, the average life expectancy rate in Cuba was 78.26 years, having increasing trend. For the same year, the rate in the US was 77.99 years. (World Bank).
  • In 2010, infant mortality rate in the island was 4.7 for ever 1000 births, less than any country in the whole continent, including the US.
  • During the last years, 1,390,000 patients from 32 countries had their vision improved or fully restored in 59 ophalmology centers operating under the support of the Cuban and Venezuelan governments.
  • The centralized, state control of economy has let Cuba to constantly develop the national health system, even after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the hardening of the US economic blockade. From 1990 to 2003, the number of doctors in Cuba increased by 76%, of dentists by 46% and nurses by 16%. During the same period, the population coverage of the social institution of “family doctor” was increased by 52.2%, touching a rate of 99.2% in 2003.
  • In November 2008, Cuba had more than 70,000 doctors. From them, approximately 17,600 were sent to 75 different countries in order to offer their services there. In 27 countries (including African countries such as Ghana, Botswana, Namimbia etc.) Cuba has supplied medical personnel which offers high quality services. In Timor Leste, for example, it is estimated that between 2003 and 2008, the Cuban medical mission saved 11,400 people contributing significantly to the fall of birth mortality rate.
  • The high solidarity feeling among Cuban people is undoubted. The first Cuban medical team was sent in 1960 to the then devastated by an earthquake Chile. From 1960 to 1980 the Cuban government immediately sent medical aid to 16 countries which had been facing natural disasters or conflicts. On August 2005, after the disastrous hurricane Katrina in the United States, the Castro government volunteered to sent a team of doctors to the state of Louisianna. The proposal was turned down by the Bush administration. During the same year, on October 2005, Cuba sent the largest number of specialized medical personnel (2,500 men and women) to Pakistan, shortly after the earthquake. Moreover, the Cuban government offered 1,000 scholarships to Pakistani students from poor families who desired to study medicine.

Furthermore…

  • The 99.8% of Cubans over the age of 15 know how to read and write (UNESCO). That consists the highest rate of literacy in Latin America and one of the highest internationally.
  • During 2010, one million young Cubans were graduated from the country’s universities.
  • The role of woman in society is upgraded. Fourty-three percent (43%) of the seats at the country’s parliament are held by females, while 65% of the labor force in technical sectors are women.
  • Despite the relatively small size of the country (11 million), Cuba is a significant power in sports. For example, in the Pan-American Games of 2011 held in Mexico, the country was terminated second with 58 golden medals.

On the above we should add the fact that any citizen, indifferently of sex, race or ethnicity, can find a job, without facing the terrible situation of unemployment that bedevils many “developed” capitalist countries of the West.

Undoubtely, nobody can say that the Revolution solved all the problems. There are existing problems which constantly changing and need new and more sophisticated solutions. It is also clear that by the standards of Cuba’s northern neighbour (where approximately 50 million people have no social security), Fidel’s country is indeed a relatively poor place. But here, we should ask the following: Under what conditions does Cuba and Cuban people try to live and develop for more than four decades?

The answer is straightforward. From the establishment of the Revolution and until today, the Cuban people are facing a multi-dimensional enmity which aims in the collapse of this small, but resistant, socialist nation, just a few miles south of Florida. The inhuman embargo (economic blockade) that has been imposed by the US government consisted — and consists — the forefront of a multi-dimensional, unethical war that Imperialism has declared to Castro’s government. It is estimated that, in economic terms, 8 hours of economic blockade equals with 140 school buildings’ renovations. Three days of blockade equals with 100 tones of pharmaceutical material.

The war against the Castro government and the Cuban people became more relentless after the Soviet Union’s collapse in the beginning of 1990s. Someone could expect the gradual dissolution of socialism in the island. However, Cuba managed not only to stay firm, but also to progress under especially adverse circumstances. That consists the unambiguous and undoubted vindication of Fidel Castro.

A leader whom history itself (to which he pleaded in his famous speech) absolved many times in the past: When the revolutionary army of the July 26th Movement was triumphantly entering Havana thus ousting Batista from the government. When the Cuban army fought successfully against the CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion. When the revolutionary spirit of this small and proud country became a source of inspiration for class and independence-oriented movement of other nations (in Vietnam, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Angola, Algeria).

No matter what the fate of Socialism will be in Cuba after Fidel’s biological death, one thing is sure: Fidel Castro has been undeniably and irreversibly absolved by History, as he himself had predicted. Nobody can know how the process would be if the attack on the Moncada Barracks, on the eve of the 26th July 1953, had never happened. The fact is that this action was enough in order to pull the trigger of revolution. A Revolution which has factual evidence of success and which inspired, inspire and will continue to inspire all those who are“realists and ask for the impossible”.



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Written by The People’s Minister of Information JR    Sunday, 01 May 2016 05:18    PDF Print E-mail
Free Wil B and the other 13 defendants fighting police terror in LA!

 


Block Report Radio interviews Wil B about the charges that can land him in prison for eight and a half years after being arrested at an anti-police terrorism rally a year ago in Los Angeles. Some of Wil’s 13 codefendants have taken plea deals, but he says that he will fight the charges until the end and declare his innocence.

Wil b Revolution“As one of the 14 arrested one year ago for protesting police brutality and murder here in Los Angeles, I ask you to just think of all of the terrible stories you’ve heard over the last year about senseless police brutality, and yet, a year later, the LA prosecutor’s office persists in prosecuting us, NOT THE OFFENDERS, but THE PROTESTORS who have called for an end the senseless brutality by police,” says Wil B.

“This is your taxpayers’ money at work, or is it a waste … hmmm.

“Please read the attached letter to the faith community and all in support of change calling for folks to contact LA Prosecutor Mike Feuer and ask him to DROP THESE CHARGES.

“Let’s stop police brutality and murder together.”

Following the letter is the video, “A14: Day of Global Resistance Against Police Brutality,” and several songs Wil B has written as a result of his case, recorded by his group, The B.L.A.C.C. Community (Broadcasting Life And Conquering Chaos).

Wil B, also known as William Bannister, executive director of The Political Power of Hiphop, can be reached at hiphopunited@gmail.com orhttps://twitter.com/what_wil_b.

An open letter to the faith community: Tell the DA to drop the charges

Dear friends and colleagues from the faith community:

As I write, people of conscience are being put on trial for taking part in peaceful acts of civil resistance to protest our nation’s epidemic of police killings of unarmed – largely Black and Brown – civilians. I am asking participants in the wider faith community to join me in contacting the relevant authorities in our places of life and work and worship to demand that the legal charges against these people of conscience be dropped.

My heart breaks each time I hear the tragic news of yet another person being killed by the police. When it later turns out that this victim of police violence was unarmed or was engaged in activities that came nowhere close to demanding the use of deadly force, my sorrow turns to outrage. And, when the powers that be whitewash the killing by refusing to investigate or prosecute it, by labeling it “justified” or by trying to cover it up, then my outrage turns to anger.

People of conscience are being put on trial for taking part in peaceful acts of civil resistance to protest our nation’s epidemic of police killings of unarmed – largely Black and Brown – civilians.

That was why I chose to join the Los Angeles protest sponsored by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network on April 14, 2015. Our Los Angeles action was part of a national strategy. People rose up in more than 30 cities around our nation to demand an end to police killings of unarmed, mostly Black and Brown civilians. We decried the killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Rekia Boyd, Andy Lopez, Tamir Rice, Ezell Ford, Charlie Keunang and many hundreds more. And we made a powerful call for politicians and other public officials to stop treating these police killings with impunity. The time for accountability had long since passed!

As an ordained Christian pastor, I am painfully aware of the fact that the Jesus I follow was a victim of state violence. He was deemed to be expendable by the empire and its lackeys. So, they had no qualms about nailing him to a cross to die. Jesus wasn’t alone; thousands and thousands more suffered at the hands of a violent political apparatus that was out of control. As a Christian, I believe that God turned Jesus’ suffering and death to a beneficial purpose, but I will never accept the possibility that the crucifixion was good in and of itself. It was an abhorrent practice by which an oppressive government strove viciously to maintain control over a diverse populace.

All religious communities have similar stories to tell … stories of oppression and violence that are abhorrent in their own right and that must always be resisted in the strongest of terms. And yet, religious folk also have a tendency to believe that stories like these can be turned to a redemptive purpose. If nothing else, we can use them to inspire resistance. They can motivate us to stand up with determination and courage to say “No more!” to the evils that all too often confront and oppress our communities.

Something similar has happened when we have listened to the stories of those who have lost their lives to police violence. We have come to know the people who have been shot, tased, choked and beaten to death by police, and we have shared the grief of their families. These stories have motivated many of us, secular and religious alike, to take to the streets. Some have even engaged in acts of peaceful civil resistance, undergoing arrest and prosecution for their determination to ensure that these unjust killings never happen again. We believe that our resistance ensures that those who have been sacrificed to police violence will not have died in vain. It is our hope that resistance will grow until that day when we, as a society, finally decide that the unjust killings of unarmed civilians have got to stop and that those who commit these killings will no longer be condoned or protected.

Some have engaged in acts of peaceful civil resistance, undergoing arrest and prosecution for their determination to ensure that these unjust killings never happen again.

In Los Angeles, 15 of those who took part in the protests of April 14, 2015, were arrested in reaction to the blocking of an MTA train. Thirteen were subsequently charged with “trespassing on railroad property,” “refusing to comply with an order by police” and “malicious obstruction of the free movement of people on a street or public place.” Three of these resistors have already been convicted and ten more will be facing trial soon. Additionally, several members from Black Lives Matter were recently tried and convicted in a Los Angeles court for their participation in comparable but unrelated protests against police violence. And similar legal actions have been taken against protestors in cities across this nation. All of these arrests, prosecutions and convictions seem to be part of a larger national effort designed to discourage people from engaging in protests that call attention to the epidemic of police killings in this country.

Is it right that the authorities pull out all of the stops when they are prosecuting people of conscience who are peacefully protesting killings by police, but treat the perpetrators of these killings with virtual impunity? Nationwide, over a thousand people are killed by police each year. Yet, since 2005, there have been fewer than 60 indictments and fewer than 25 convictions! In Los Angeles County alone, law enforcement officers have shot more than 1,300 people since 2000. Yet, not one of these shootings has ever resulted in a criminal prosecution.

It is not immoral to speak out against the epidemic of violence by police that currently grips our nation. Whether or not we agree with the particular methodology of protest chosen by a group of resistors, it is important for us to recognize that the peaceful struggle against police violence is a struggle for the heart and soul of the United States. After all, stopping a train is of far less consequence than the unjust and unnecessary deaths of our Black and Brown sisters and brothers. As a person of faith in general, and a follower of Jesus in particular, I feel compelled to speak out against a system that lets the perpetrators of violence go free while it punishes those who cry out for justice.

Is it right that the authorities pull out all of the stops when they are prosecuting people of conscience who are peacefully protesting killings by police, but treat the perpetrators of these killings with virtual impunity?

That is why I am urging you to join me in demanding that our public officials end their harassment and criminalization of all those who are peacefully struggling to stop the unjust use of violence by law enforcement officers. If you live in a community where protestors against police violence are being criminally prosecuted for engaging in nonviolent acts of civil resistance, I urge you to contact your local city or district attorney and demand that the charges be dropped.

If you live in Los Angeles, the person you should contact is City Attorney Mike Feuer. Let him know that you want the charges against the April 14 protestors to be dropped. He may be reached either by phone, at 213-978-8100, or by email, at mike.n.feuer@lacity.org.

I feel compelled to speak out against a system that lets the perpetrators of violence go free while it punishes those who cry out for justice.

As people of faith, we cannot remain quiet. The time has come for us to put our faith to work and to say “No” to police killings of our unarmed Black and Brown sisters and brothers. Our religious traditions demand justice rather than apathy. The charges must be dropped and the killings of unarmed civilians must stop.

Sincerely,

Rev. Frank Wulf

The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin’ 2” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe” and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached atblockreportradio@gmail.com.

 



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