Venezuela: Epicenter of Counter-Hegemonic Bloc: Interview with William I. Robinson

8 February, 2010 — Solidarity Economy

The challenges facing 21st century socialism in Venezuela

“In Venezuela the biggest threat to the revolution does not come from the right-wing political opposition but from the so-called ‘endogenous’ or ‘Chavista’ right wing, in that chunks of the revolutionary bloc, including state elites and party officials, will develop a deeper stake in defending global capitalism over socialist transformation”— William I. Robinson

Interview with William I. Robinson, professor of sociology, University of California at Santa Barbara, by Chronis Polychroniou, editor of the Greek daily newspaper Eleftherotypia

Chronis Polychroniou: There are scare stories coming from Venezuela. The border is heating up, infiltration is taking place, a new Colombian military base near the border, US access to several new bases on Colombia and constant subversion. Is the regime concerned about a possible invasion? If yes, who is going to intervene?

William I. Robinson: The Venezuelan government is concerned about a possible US invasion and certainly an outright invasion cannot be ruled out. However I think the US is pursuing a more sophisticated strategy of intervention that we could call a war of attrition.

We have seen this strategy in other countries, such as in Nicaragua in the 1980s, or even Chile under Allende. It is what in CIA lexicon is known as destabilisation, and in the Pentagon’s language is called political warfare — which does not mean there is not a military component. This is a counterrevolutionary strategy that combines military threats and hostilities with psychological operations, disinformation campaigns, black propaganda, economic sabotage, diplomatic pressures, the mobilisation of political opposition forces inside the country, carrying out provocations and sparking violent confrontations in the cities, manipulation of disaffected sectors and the exploitation of legitimate grievances among the population.

The strategy is deft at taking advantage of the revolution’s own mistakes and limitations, such as corruption, clientalism and opportunism, which we must acknowledge are serious problems in Venezuela. It is also deft at aggravating and manipulating material problems, such as shortages, price inflation and so forth.

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U.S. "missionaries" had tried to take 40 other Haitian kids | Haitian man survived 4 weeks in rubble | Ezili Danto interview on situation in Haiti

9 February, 2010 — HLLN

Recommended HLLN Link: Podcast: Ezili Dantò of HLLN on Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Feb. 8, 2010 (mp3 –

Haitians will defend their sovereignty

Beasts in Samaritan Clothing

The Vultures Circle Haiti at Every Opportunity, Natural or Man-made

In this post

– Officer: U.S. missionaries had tried to take other Haitian kids

– Doctors: Haitian may have survived 4 weeks in rubble –, Feb 8, 2010

– Link: Podcast: Ezili Dantò of HLLN on Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Feb. 8, 2010 (mp3 –

Officer: U.S. missionaries had tried to take other Haitian kids From Karl Penhaul, CNN, Feb. 9, 2010


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Haiti Newslinks 8-9 February, 2010

9 February, 2010

Paul Shirley To Haiti: ‘Maybe Use A Condom Once In A While’
Paul Shirley, the former NBA player who still plays pro basketball, penned a long letter today about Haiti and the consequences of its earthquake, …

UN: some Haitian hospitals are charging patients
Washington Post
By FRANK BAJAK AP PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The United Nations warned Monday that it will cut off shipments of free medicine to Haitian hospitals that charge …

Kidnapping of Haitian children was no act of charity
Washington Post
By Eugene Robinson Anyone sitting in a dank, fetid Haitian jail for any reason probably deserves at least a measure of sympathy, so in that sense I feel …

Haiti disaster puts Red Cross CEO to the test
Washington Post
It was only later in the evening that McGovern was able to hole up in her hotel room and absorb the televised images of Haiti’s catastrophe: the pancaked …

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Occupied Palestine: Stop the Wall offices hit in late night raid

8 February, 2010 — Stop the Wall

jamal520.jpgLatest News, Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

Late last night Occupation forces raided the Stop the Wall offices in Ramallah. Some 10 military jeeps, hummers and an armoured bus surrounded the building as soldiers searched rooms, turning the office upside down and confiscating computer hard disks, laptops, and video cameras along with paper documents, CDs, and video cassettes.

Part of the mounting repression of the anti-Wall movement, this attack on the Campaign offices comes after the arrests of Jamal Juma’ and Mohammed Othman, who were both were later released after significant international pressure. Other arrest operations are ongoing, and currently some 40 anti-Wall activists are held for their grassroots mobilizing and international advocacy efforts in Israeli jails.

Many of those arrested are residents of Ni’lin, a village known for its fierce protests against the Wall. As part of an intensifying arrest campaign, 20 people were arrested last month in what has been the most serious campaign of arrests targeting the grassroots anti-Wall movement in the village.

Occupation forces have also been targeting international activists. Two foreign nationals working with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) were arrested in Ramallah several nights ago after Occupation forces raided the apartment where they were staying. Last month, another activist with the same organization was also arrested during a Ramallah night raid and deported.

The continuous targeting of the popular grassroots movement will not intimidate Palestinians struggling against the Wall. Resistance on the ground and on the international stage will continue will only cease once the decision of the International Court of Justice, which calls for the Wall to be torn down, is implemented.

Joe Bageant: MP3 file of Joe on the Jeff Farias Show

9 February, 2010 — Joe Bageant


When it comes to being interviewed, one of my very favorite radio hosts is Jeff Farias. Most liberal radio interviewers get caught up in the Empire’s media noise, and become part of the self-referential circle jerk of facts and figures and mainstream media citations that pass for news and information in this country. Apparently talking like two human beings is a big no-no these days (unless it’s pointless talk radio jibber-jabber, or emotional outraged call-in stuff, which seems to be permissible, if one adheres to the demographic slicing and dicing conducted by those of the Empire’s commissars called marketers). But talking to Jeff is like sitting in the back yard with a cold drink and just chatting about the state of things. Kind of free form, and relaxed. Laughing is permitted. Real homey. We need more shows like his.

Click here for MP3 audio file, download or stream.

In art and labor,

Joe Bageant

Action Alert: A call for help from Croix-des-Bouquets at zone Li Lavoix, Haiti

8 February, 2010 — HLLN

Our good friend, a fellow artist and an HLLN colleague, Carl Telemaque, just called from Haiti. His number is 3711 – 1771. But I don’t know if he will have resources on his phone for long. But he needs HELP now. If you’re not in Haiti, you can help by asking someone you know who is in Haiti to go lend a hand. Or, you can send a money donation directly to Carl through Western Union, et al.

Zili, he said, I’m taking care of 1500 children in Croix-des-Bouquets at zone Li Lavoix along with their families since the earthquake. We need help. We need food, water, medicine, tents and, and flashlights.

For medicine we need anti-diarrhea, antibiotics, hygienic Kits and medicine to stop blood clots. (For HLLN’s list of Urgent Items Needed by the Earthquake Victims in Haiti at

Tell the people something for me, he says. Tell them that injured people I send to the Dominican Republic for help, have mostly come back with limbs missing. That’s all they are doing cutting, cutting, cutting and then closing the wound up and releasing the people. The doctors there are cutting off EVERYTHING, arms, legs, toes, feet, fingers. You have a cut or a wound and they just cut off the limbs. The people returning from the DR are always missing a limb. They are doubly traumatized and more depressed. Tell the people that for me. This can’t go on like this anymore.

And the people giving us food are taking all our dignity. They make us run long distances to get the food they are dropping. It’s humiliating. Or, they have you standing in long, long lines and give you on bottle of water to share with ten people. It’s hurtful and very humiliating.

Can you get us some food to us, Zili. We have babies who need to eat tonight. Really. Some baby food. Some water and milk, maybe. But we really need tents. I can’t sleep at night watching over everyone, cause you don’t know who will come in and do what.

I’m tired, Carl said. I’m really, really tired. When the earthquake hit, I only survived because I’m used to feeling the subway rumbling under my feet from the apartment in New York. So I got up from my chair in the studio where I was working and stepped outside. If I hadn’t walked out. I would be dead. Everything crumbled and the chair I vacated was crushed flat.

It’s a good thing I have my truck. What I do is drive the injured up to the Dominican Republic and then go pick them up. I’ve been doing that since the earthquake and trying to get food for everyone in my zone at Li Lavoix. I’m tired. I can’t tell you the devastation. Nothing can describe it, but you’ve been in Haiti so you know. I need an anti-directic myself now. I’m really tired, Zili. We need a doctor, doctors. I can’t drive to the DR too much anymore. I’m too, too exhausted..

I’ll get the word out Carl, I say. Call the Dr. Lassegue from AMHE at General Hospital. Let him know your situation and that we asked for help for you. Here’s the number. How far is it from you to Father Jean Juste’s old parish at St. Claire? About an hour, he says. Ok. I’ll write this up to the Ezili Network and call on everyone who may be near you to come help. If not, go to Plas Kazo and ask for Lavarice Gaudin. He’ll help. Call me and let me know. Kenbe la, pa lage

Ezili Dantò Monday at 6:oo pm February 8, 2010

Forwarded by Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

Pierre Labossiere on Haiti: ‘This is criminal’

27 January, 2010 — The Bay View

The Bay View is introducing this interview with an urgent action alert from the Haiti Action Committee, co-founded by Pierre Labossiere, urging readers to “stand in solidarity with Haiti” and call the White House, the State Department and their Congress members today.

Haiti Action Committee Action Alert: Rebuilding Haiti with the Democratic Movement

Jan. 27 – In the aftermath of the devastating 7.0 earthquake, Haitian children, women and men are now suffering through a man-made disaster. Over one week ago, Obama promised, “The people of Haiti will have the full support of the United States in the urgent effort to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble and to deliver the humanitarian relief.” But instead of delivering on this commitment, he has allowed the military response to take priority, resulting in thousands of preventable deaths.

As Haitians organize to rebuild their lives in the midst of an escalated military occupation, we demand that the Obama administration stop its destructive interference in Haiti. Haitians must be at the head of relief efforts and the long term rebuilding of their country. Fanmi Lavalas, the democratic grassroots movement of Haiti, must be at the center of any legitimate rebuilding process.

On behalf of our sisters and brothers in Haiti who have yet to see any relief and are beginning the process of reconstructing their country, we make the following demands on the Obama administration:

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China, Japan and the U.S.: Together in Crisis?

5 February, 2010 — LeftStreamed

LeftStreamed Production
Produced by the LeftStreamed Collective. Viewers are encouraged to distribute widely. Comments on the video and suggestions are  welcome – write to
For more analysis of contemporary politics check out ‘Relay: A Socialist Project Review’ at

  • R. Taggart Murphy, Graduate School of Business Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan, and author of Japan’s Policy Trap (2002) and The Weight of the Yen (1996), and editor of Japan Focus.
  • Ho-fung Hung, Department of Sociology, University of Indiana and editor of China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism (2009) and author of ‘America’s Head Servant? The PRC’s Dilemma in the Global Crisis,’ New Left Review (2009) and ‘The Rise of China and the Global Overaccumulation Crisis,’ Review of International Political Economy (2008).
  • Johanna Brenner, Department of Sociology, Portland State University, and author of Women and the Politics of Class (2000) and Rethinking the Political: Women, Resistance, and the State (1995).
  • Sam Gindin, Department of Political Science, York University, and author of Global Capitalism and American Empire (2004) and The Canadian Auto Workers (1995).

(the video is in two parts, the second part will start automatically at the end of part 1)

more about “China, Japan and the U.S.: Together i…“, posted with vodpod

The Week at BAGnewsNotes

9 February, 2010 — BagNews

Praying for Argentina, Dressing Up for a Tea Party, Haiti Ongoing
BAGnews focuses on the National Prayer Breakfast attendees, shares the show at the Tea Party convention, and examines visual displays of power in Haiti.

fun-games.jpgFun & Games at the National Prayer Breakfast
Photographers capture the White House masterfully arranging seating charts at the National Prayer Breakfast.

tea-party.jpgAll Dressed Up, But Nowhere To Go
BAG looks at the display behind the first Tea Party Convention.

haiti-bag.jpgHaiti: Who’s in Charge?
While a band of Christian fundamentalists had no trouble finding the Haitian government, the U.S. media portrays President Rene Preval’s government as ineffectual and weak.

haiti-help.jpgIt Feels So Good to Help
BAG looks at the visual evidence of decades of US “help” for Haitians.

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BAGnewsNotes offers a daily analysis of news images from a progressive point of view. The BAG calls out media bias, breaks down right wing visual propaganda, and helps turn its readers into sharper “visual consumers.” The photos are always carefully chosen, and the analysis brings new understanding to media politics and political psychology.


9 February, 2010 – Global Research

Dear Readers,
Global Research, in collaboration with AKASAN (Haitians Helping Haitians) and the Canada Haiti Action Network (CHAN), is launching a Haiti fund raising campaign in support of Haitian grass-roots initiatives.

Supporting Grassroots Organizations in Haiti

The country’s institutions, including schools and hospitals, are in ruins. Income-generating activities have been shattered. People have lost their homes. Moreover, many poor neighbourhoods in Port-au-Prince have not received adequate emergency assistance. Beyond the provision of short-term emergency relief, what is required is the empowerment of local-level civil society initiatives involved in both humanitarian and reconstruction activities.

The funding raising drive has two related objectives:

1) to help strengthen, in the short-run, the capacity of Haitian emergency and first response services. 
2) to contribute to grass-roots efforts, which assist the survivors of the January 2010 earthquake recover under the best conditions possible. These would also include support to health and education as well as the rehabilitation of income generating activities.

A major fund raising Concert AYITI VIVAN : HAITI IS ALIVE! will be held in Ottawa on Saturday, February 20th, 2010.

To send your donation by mail:

Kindly send your cheque(s) or money order to the following address:

Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
PO Box 55019
11 Notre-Dame Ouest,
Please make your cheque or money order out to “AKASAN” in US or Can$ (US money orders should be “payable outside the US”)
To Donate Online in support of the Haiti AKASAN initiative, CLICK HERE.

All donations will be transferred by Global Research to AKASAN. Thank you for your support!

Survey finds majority of journalists use social media sites as first port of call for research By Helena Humphrey

8 February, 2010 – Editors Weblog

The founding director of a Political Management master’s degree program at the George Washington University surveyed 371 print and web journalists from September to October of last year, with the aim of establishing to what extent social media tools are used in the research and distribution of articles.

The results of the online survey, reported on the university’s newspaper website, found that 56 percent of those surveyed said that social media was important or somewhat important for reporting and producing stories, with the overwhelming majority citing the internet as the starting point for their research- despite the fact that 84 percent said news and information delivered via social media was slightly less or much less reliable than news delivered via traditional media.
Blogging emerged as the number one method for both researching and publishing stories, with 64 percent of journalists using blogs to distribute articles, and 89 percent using them for online research.

Two thirds are said to use LinkedIn and Facebook for research purposes, with just over half favouring Twitter – which came in at number two in the popularity ranks for article distribution with 57 percent.

Of the results, Trevor Seela, online managing editor of the Daily Northwestern, commented: ‘Newspapers are no longer just newspapers. They are publications that often combine both print and online media. As we see a switch towards a more web-oriented mentality, we have an increased need to promote articles via Facebook and Twitter to reach our audience.’

Without doubt the future of newspapers and social media outlets will see the two ever more interlinked, yet Don Bates, the survey’s co-author and current instructor in the GSPM, commented: ‘Traditional media won’t disappear. Most in the category of traditional media will evolve to encompass a balance of online and offline production. Increasingly, the Internet will be the engine that drives media of all sorts, skewed more and more to snackable writing, interactive content and video,’ putting emphasis on the idea that the internet will not replace the traditional journalism, but rather continue revolutionise the way it is produced.

Source: The GW Hatchet