Evo Morales In His Own Words

Bolivian President Evo Morales, on his first visit to Washington, addressed the Organization of American States (OAS) and a standing-room only audience of diplomats, scholars and students at the American University. Explaining the extraordinary transformations taking place in Bolivia in the past few years, his overall theme, as he himself defined, was visible change. Contrary to the Bush administration, who always antagonized him, and whose ambassador was declared persona non grata in Bolivia by the President, Evo Morales – who was called the Indian President – hoped bilateral relations under Obama – the Black President – will improve.

Source: The Real News Network

[VIDEO] Immortal Technique On Bolivarian Revolution

Immortal Technique comments on the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, Socialism and other subjects. This interview was made by activists from the Hands of Venezuela campaign in Copenhagen, Denmark.

See also Immortal Technique

Source: Hands Off Venezuela Denmark

How to Fix the Wall Street Mess

March on Wall Street

Demonstration on Wall Street

The richest 400 Americans — that’s right, just four hundred people — own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. 400 rich Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is $1.6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly $700 billion — the same amount that they are now demanding we give to them for the “bailout.” Why don’t they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They’d still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!

Of course, they are not going to do that — at least not voluntarily. George W. Bush was handed a $127 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not his, he did what the rich prefer to do — spend it and never look back. Now we have a $9.5 trillion debt. Why on earth would we even think of giving these robber barons any more of our money? Continue reading

VII Social Summit for the Latin American and Caribbean Unity

By Noam Chomsky

During the past decade, Latin America has become the most exciting region of the world. The dynamic has very largely flowed from Caracas, Venezuela, with the election of a leftist president dedicated to using Venezuela’s rich resources for the benefit of the population rather than for wealth and privilege at home and abroad, and to promote the regional integration that is so desperately needed as a prerequisite for independence, for democracy, and for meaningful development. The initiatives taken in Venezuela have had a significant impact throughout the subcontinent, what has now come to be called “the pink tide.” The impact is revealed within the individual countries, most recently Paraguay, and in the regional institutions that are in the process of formation. Among these are the Banco del Sur, an initiative that was endorsed in Caracas a year ago by Nobel laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz; and the ALBA, the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean, which might prove to be a true dawn if its initial promise can be realized.

The ALBA is often described as an alternative to the US-sponsored “Free Trade Area of the Americas,” though the terms are misleading. It should be understood to be an independent development, not an alternative. And, furthermore, the so-called “free trade agreements” have only a limited relation to free trade, or even to trade in any serious sense of that term; and they are certainly not agreements, at least if people are part of their countries. Continue reading

Moore Makes New Film “Slacker Uprising ” Available For Free

From midnight tonight, you can be one of the first people ever to legally download, for FREE, a brand new, feature-length film. Michael Moore’s new movie, “Slacker Uprising,” is being made available for free from various outlets in a bold move by the documentary maker.

There are a number of ways from midnight that you can download or stream “Slacker Uprising” thanks to distributor, Brave New Films:

1) Blip.tv will provide standard resolution streaming, free of commercials and advertising.
2) Amazon Video on Demand will provide a high quality version of the above stream.
3) iTunes will make it easy for you to download “Slacker Uprising” on your iTunes, iPod, or Apple TV, and view it there or transmit it to your television. This way, the film can be portable as well as for home viewing.
4) Hypernia is providing bandwidth, servers and management to host “Slacker Uprising” online, so you can download the film and view it at any time or burn it onto a DVD.

(For those of you who don’t download, there is a low-cost DVD available.)

For more info go to http://slackeruprising.com/

or see http://michaelmoore.com/

Enjoy!

Wall Street Socialists

By Amy Goodman

The financial crisis gripping the U.S. has the largest banks and insurance companies begging for massive government bailouts. The banking, investment, finance and insurance industries, long the foes of taxation, now need money from working-class taxpayers to stay alive. Taxpayers should be in the driver’s seat now. Instead, decisions that will cost people for decades are being made behind closed doors, by the wealthy, by the regulators and by those they have failed to regulate. Continue reading

A System Out Of Control

The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers–with more financial institutions to follow, no one knows how quickly–is the product of greed and deregulation embraced by Republicans and Democrats alike.

A Wall Street trader watches as the stock market crashes in reaction to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers (Zuma)

A Wall Street trader watches as the stock market crashes in reaction to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers (Zuma)

THE LATEST chaos on Wall Street–the worst financial upheaval in the U.S. since the Great Depression of the 1930s–highlights not just the scale of the world financial crisis, but the needless destruction caused by the blind competition at the core of capitalism.

The Wall Street crisis will almost certainly make the current economic slump worse. A shadow banking system beyond the reach of regulators in the U.S. or any other country is crashing down, destabilizing the world financial system. Even before the latest crisis, Bill Gross of Pimco, a big money-management firm, warned that an uncontrolled liquidation of debt by financial institutions “can turn a campfire into a forest fire, a mild asset bear market into a destructive financial tsunami.”

The risk of such a catastrophe is growing. As hundreds of billions of dollars in financial assets vaporize, banks will be forced to raise interest rates to increase the amount of money they have in their reserves. This, in turn, will cut off credit to business and consumers alike, further choking an anemic economy. Continue reading

Documentary: Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad

When the people of Oaxaca decided they’d had enough of bad government, they didn’t take their story to the media… They TOOK the media!

In the summer of 2006, a broad-based, non-violent, popular uprising exploded in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Some compared it to the Paris Commune, while others called it the first Latin American revolution of the 21st century.

But it was the people’s use of the media that truly made history in Oaxaca. A 90-minute documentary, Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad captures the unprecedented media phenomenon that emerged when tens of thousands of school teachers, housewives, indigenous communities, health workers, farmers, and students took 14 radio stations and one TV station into their own hands, using them to organize, mobilize, and ultimately defend their grassroots struggle for social, cultural, and economic justice.

“Beautiful, powerful, dramatic… magnificent… provides a remarkably deep and penetrating look into the people who made up the movement. Everyone interested in Mexico, in teachers and education, in workers’ movements, in indigenous people, in the state of our world and the struggle for social justice should see the video.”

For more information see http://www.corrugate.org/un_poquito_de_tanta_/un_poquito_de_tanta_verdad

To watch this documentary full screen click here

Venezuela Prioritises Cultural Revolution

A queue of children wait to exchange their toy guns for non-weapon-like toys as part of a government project to reduce violence in the area, in the Petare district of Caracas, Venezuela, August 20, 2008.

Caracas, Aug 21 (Prensa Latina) Aware of the transforming role of culture in society, the Venezuelan government is carrying out a revolution in that sphere in all states of the country. Continue reading

Every Child In School Numbered For Life

All 14-year-old children and future generations in England will have their personal details and exam results placed on a compulsory electronic database for life under a plan announced in February by government officials.

Colleges and prospective employers will be able to access students’ records online to check on their qualifications. Under the terms of the scheme all children will keep their individual number throughout their adult lives. The database will include details of exclusions and expulsions.

Officials claim that the introduction of the unique learner number (ULN) is not a step towards a national identity card. But it will be seen as the latest step in the Government’s broader efforts to computerise personal records.

Teachers’ leaders, parents’ organisations, opposition MPs and human rights campaigners have questioned whether this Big Brother approach is necessary and have said that it could compromise the personal security of millions of teenagers.

The new database — which will store a “tamper-proof CV” — will be known as MIAP (managing Information Across Partners). To be registered on the new database every 14-year-old will be issued with a unique learner number. Unlike the current unique pupil number now given to children in school but destroyed when they leave, the ULN will be used by government agencies to track individuals until they retire. Ultimately, it will create a numbered database for every citizen aged 14-plus in the UK. Continue reading

Which Way Venezuela?

By Michael Albert

The diverse factual reports and other data included in this article are culled from documents made available by the Venezuelan Embassy in the U.S.

Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution is exciting and exemplary, yet few people know much about where Venezuela is headed.

Misrepresentations abound. Data is limited and people interpret it in quite contrary ways. Information deficit plus skewed interpretations cause many people who ought to support the Bolivarian Revolution to instead doubt or even reject it. Useful lessons from Venezuela go largely unreported and thus have less than their widest possible effect.

Overview

Hugo Chavez became President in 1999 and in that year, largely due to the ravages of neoliberal reforms in the 80s and 90s, the Venezuelan poverty rate had reached 50%. The aim and promise of Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution was to not only eliminate rampant, raging, poverty, but to attain a new economic and social system consistent with the highest standards of human fulfillment and development.

In the 1999 constitution, Article 299, for example, emphasizes “human development” as the cornerstone of social judgements and Article 70 states that the “involvement of people in the exercise of their social and economic affairs should be manifest through citizen service organs, self-management, co-management, cooperatives in all forms, community enterprises, as well as other kinds of associations guided by the values of mutual cooperation and solidarity.”

But, as many skeptics would point out, words are not deeds, and you can find nice words everywhere – including, say, in the constitutions of countries suffering dictatorship and economic and social injustice, as but one example, in the constitution and other literary organs of the the Soviet Union under Stalin.

Words matter some, but they become infinitely more important and reliable as evidence if there are deeds in their support and particularly if institutional relations breathe life into the words every day.

So what about deeds? Continue reading

What Is Exploitation?

The term “exploitation” typically conjures up images of horrendous working conditions, perhaps sweatshops in China or India, or the child labour used by Western clothes manufacturers. We think of people working long hours for little pay in terrible conditions ruthlessly bullied by unscrupulous bosses or gangmasters.

Such “exploitation” is presented to us as exceptional – and contrasted with the “normality” of working life for most people, particularly in countries such as Britain.

Karl Marx had a different understanding of exploitation. Rather than seeing it as exceptional, he argued that exploitation is fundamental to capitalism.

For Marx, exploitation was not just about the level of wages received, or working conditions, but was the very process whereby capitalism creates profit out of the work we do.

In order to understand what Marx meant by exploitation we need to start with his explanation of where profits ultimately come from – the “labour theory of value”. Continue reading

Canceling London-Venezuela Deal: Mindless Vandalism

June 2nd 2008, by Ken Livingstone

Boris Johnson’s cancellation of London’s oil agreement with Venezuela is a piece of rightwing dogmatism that is equally costly to the people of London and Caracas. The agreement was that Londoners on income support received half-price bus travel, subsidised via cheap Venezuelan oil, in return for London providing transport, planning and other expertise to Venezuela.

The basic principle of London-Caracas agreement was simple, reasonable and indeed a rather textbook illustration of relative advantage in foreign trade. Each side provided the other with that in which they are rich, and which for them is therefore relatively cheap – oil, on one hand, and the expertise in managing a modern advanced city on the other – in return for something which was scarce, and therefore relatively expensive, for the other side. Continue reading

The Shape Of Things To Come: Boris Scraps Venezuela Oil Deal

LONDON, England (AP) — The British capital’s new mayor, Boris Johnson is ending a deal that has provided cheap Venezuelan fuel for London’s transport network. Johnson was a critic of the oil deal struck by his predecessor, Ken Livingstone.

The agreement, signed last year by the Conservative Johnson’s predecessor and Labour Party rival, Ken Livingstone, provided discounted gas for London’s iconic red buses in exchange for advice on urban planning in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital.

Money saved on gas was put into a program providing half-rate bus fares for low-income Londoners. Continue reading

An Unsustainable System

We know that capitalism is not just the most sensible way to organize an economy but is now the only possible way to organize an economy. We know that dissenters to this conventional wisdom can, and should, be ignored. There’s no longer even any need to persecute such heretics; they are obviously irrelevant.

How do we know all this? Because we are told so, relentlessly — typically by those who have the most to gain from such a claim, most notably those in the business world and their functionaries and apologists in the schools, universities, mass media, and mainstream politics. Capitalism is not a choice, but rather simply is, like a state of nature. Maybe not like a state of nature, but the state of nature. To contest capitalism these days is like arguing against the air that we breathe. Arguing against capitalism, we’re told, is simply crazy. Continue reading

Capitalism is…

Capitalism is theft.

The harsh and subservient labors of most citizens fantastically enrich a few others who don’t have to labor at all. In general, those who work longer and harder get less. Those who work less long and less hard get more. Continue reading

Socialism in a nutshell

In a socialist society the means of production [1] are owned by the workers rather than by a rich minority of capitalists or functionaries. Such a system of ownership is both collective and individual in nature. Continue reading