Tensions Rise in Latin America over US Military Plan to Use Three Bases in Colombia

The Colombian government has agreed to grant US forces the use of three Colombian military bases for South American anti-drug operations. The move has heightened tensions between Colombia, the largest recipient of US military aid in the Americas, and its neighbors, particularly Venezuela and Ecuador. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned that the US Army could invade his country from Colombia.

Clip courtesy of Democracy Now

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Chávez Urges Obama To Change His Ambiguous Discourse

Venezuela’s President blamed the CIA for the coup in Honduras

President Hugo Chávez urged his US counterpart Barack Obama’s Administration to stop shilly-shallying and condemn the coup d’état against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.

During his weekly radio and TV program Aló Presidente (Hello President) last Sunday, Chávez avoided holding the US ruler responsible for the events in Honduras. He rather pointed to “the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the US Department of State and the Pentagon,” Efe reported.

Chávez claimed that if Obama moved to withdraw the US troops from the Honduran military base of Palmerola, revoke the visas and seize the properties that the members of the de facto government own in the United States, the situation for the coup leaders would become untenable.

Obama “is not going to trick us with an ambiguous discourse or with a smile,” warned Chávez. He added that Obama wants to be seen “as a peaceful dove, as an innocent lamb.”

The Venezuelan ruler said that he would rather deal with former US President George W. Bush than with Obama. In Chávez’s words, “you better face the head of the empire assuming his role as such, than face someone who is off and on.”

Chávez recalled that US President John F. Kennedy was killed by US “imperial” forces. “I hope they do not kill Obama, because Obama is biting off more than he can chew.”

Furthermore, the Venezuelan ruler admitted that he has “talked with several Honduran military officers.” He said that he knows that middle and low rank officers in the Honduran Army are unhappy with the current situation. Therefore, Chávez predicted that Zelaya would return to his country.

“Zelaya will return to his country. The government of Honduras will decide whether to kill him or not. He is willing to die,” the Venezuelan Head of State said.

Finally, he drew the attention of the de facto government about the arrest of a group of Venezuelan journalists in Honduras. Chávez said that “if anything happens” to the staff of the Venezuelan TV channels who are currently working in Honduras, the de facto authorities shall take responsibility for their actions.

Chávez added that despite the US military power, political changes in Latin America will not cease.

“The process of change in Latin America is not going to stop, President Obama. You can send the Fourth and the Sixth Fleet, or the world’s largest bombers, but changes will not end,” Chávez said.

Translated by Gerardo Cárdenas

Source: El Universal

Organising At Work: How Activists Can Build A Union From Scratch

Call centre workers from across Britain came together at a meeting at last month’s CWU conference. The meeting was unlike most others at the conference, with many of the participants far younger than the average delegate, and most at firms that do not recognise the union.

Nevertheless, the picture of how activists are recruiting included stories of great creativity in the face of bosses that are determined to keep call centres union-free zones.

For obvious reasons, activists’ names have been changed. Continue reading

Hiromi Uehara 上原ひろみ

Hiromi Uehara (上原ひろみ, born 26 March 1979) is a jazz composer and pianist born in Hamamatsu, Japan. She is known for her virtuosic technique, energetic live performances and blend of musical genres such as jazz, progressive rock, classical and fusion in her compositions.

Hiromi started learning classical piano at age 5. She was introduced to jazz by her piano teacher Noriko Hakita when she was 8. At age 14, she played with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. When she was 17, she met Chick Corea by chance in Tokyo, and was invited to play with him at his concert the very next day. After being a jingle writer for a few years for Japanese companies such as Nissan, she enrolled to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. There, she was mentored by Ahmad Jamal and had already signed with jazz label Telarc before her graduation.

Since her debut in 2003, Hiromi has toured the world and appeared in numerous jazz festivals. She will be performing live at the 2009 edition of the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival on June 29th. She performed in London on 10th July at the Barbican, City of London.

For more information on Hiromi Uehara see

Source: Youtube & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiromi_Uehara

Fidelity

This is a ten minute excerpt from the Cuban documentary ‘Fidelity’. The film offers an  insight into Cuban life from the perspective of the people. A fascinating portrait of a complicated society, balanced precariously between past and future, revolution and capitalist penetration.

Whilst the international press speculates on the imminent death of Fidel Castro and the Cuban community of Miami is already celebrating his funeral, on the island the condition of his health is a state secret.

As the umbilical cord that ties every Cuban to the revolution is beginning to be severed, a new energy is emerging in the country. An ex-fighter of the Sierra, a television actress, a gigolo, a young ballet dancer, the custodian of a church and many other Cubans give voice to the moods, aspirations and fears of the islands people – the old warn against the risks of the penetration of imperialism, whilst the young dream of a freer society, economically efficient and open.

The film will be showing next Wednesday 15th July at the Barbican in the City of London as part of the Cine Cuba film festival.

For more information see

http://barbican.org.uk/film/event-detail.asp?ID=9374

Marxism 2009

Here is the final timetable for Marxism 2009 with full details of speakers and meetings.

If you are looking to attend some of these workshops and meetings here is some useful information. Continue reading