The Real News Network – Will cheap oil compromise Venezuela

Miguel Tinker Salas: Venezuela has been stashing away dollars in preparation for oil price fall?

The price of oil has dropped by over 70% in just six months, causing panic in many countries who had become dependent on high oil revenues over recent years. Miguel Tinker Salas explains to The Real News that Venezuela had planned ahead for the price drop, by stocking up on US dollars. Furthermore, most of the progress made by Chavez’ government was made before the price of oil went through the roof, so they have proven capable of making progress under conditions of lower oil revenues.

Miguel Tinker Salas is a professor of History and Latin American studies at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He is co-author of Venezuela: Hugo Chavez and the Decline of an Exceptional Democracy and author of Under the Shadow of the Eagles . Born in Venezuela, he holds Venezuelan and US citizenship. with vodpod

Tariq Al-Maeena: Aiding and abetting a holocaust

A reader last week objected to my reference of a “holocaust” in this latest atrocity being perpetrated by the Israelis against civilians in Gaza, and specifically targeting children. May I remind the reader and other skeptics that this word is no longer exclusive to crimes of the past?

Cambridge Dictionary defines holocaust as “a very large amount of destruction, especially by fire or heat, or the killing of very large numbers of people” — a situation that is currently in full force against Palestinians in Gaza.
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GazaFriends: Civilian casualties rise to 85% of the dead in Gaza -Jennifer Loewenstein; Beirut, Hamra; 1.10.09. 2:30am

Here are some newsworthy items out of Gaza that are unlikely to be making it to the Western presses. I received this information directly from one of the staff of the Mezan Center for Human Rights about twenty minutes ago.

1. Israel has begun a new policy in Gaza in the past two days called the “roof knock”. This is when a “small” rocket is fired from Israeli military aircraft that is strong enough to blast open the roof of a targeted building. It is sent as a “warning message” to the building’s inhabitants giving them between 2 and 3 minutes to evacuate before the building is completely destroyed. A number of cases of this new technique have been reported recently.
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Conditioning Gaza: preparing to deploy international forces in Palestine? By Hani Asfour

7 January, 2009

The Israeli attack on Gaza is likely timed to coincide with the February elections in Israel and this month’s inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama in anticipation of launching a comprehensive Middle East peace plan. The ultimate goal of the Gaza invasion is to create the conditions to introduce international troops into Palestine. Part of the purpose is to prop up the regime of President Mahmoud Abbas and allow the Palestinian leader to extend his mandate across all of Palestine. By calling for international military support, Abbas is seeking to end both the violence and the Israeli occupation at once. The hope is that he will re-establish his legitimacy and provide the grounds for a two-state solution as prescribed in President George Bush’s 2002 UN Security Council Resolution 1397, ‘of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side within secure and recognized borders,’ a proposition openly rejected by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, and Likud, the Israeli right-wing party.
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GazaFriends: Take some kittens, put them in a box, and jump on the box Vittorio Arrigoni

9 January, 2009 Gaza

Take some kittens, some tender little moggies in a box”, said Jamal, a surgeon at the Al Shifa, Gaza’s main hospital, while a nurse actually placed a couple of blood-stained cardboard boxes in front of us. “Seal up the box, then jump on it with all your weight and might, until you feel their little bones crunching, and you hear the last muffled little mew.” I stared at the boxes in astonishment, and the doctor continued: “Try to imagine what would happen after such images were circulated. The righteous outrage of public opinion, the complaints of the animal rights organisations…” The doctors went on in this vein, and I was unable to take my eyes off those boxes, sitting at our feet. “Israel trapped hundreds of civilians inside a school as if in a box, including many children, and then crushed them with all the might of its bombs. What were the world’s reactions? Almost nothing. We would have been better off as animals rather than Palestinians, we would have been more protected.”
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