Will the United States finally decolonize Puerto Rico?

11 May 2021 — MROnline

Puerto Rican flag outside the Capitol, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2 March, 2008

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On April 14, 2021 the House Committee on Natural Resources held hearings on two competing bills to end Puerto Rico’s colonial status. The different bills reflect the changing political dynamics in the archipelago, as well as the Puerto Rican diaspora’s growing political clout. H.R.1522, the Puerto Rican State Admission Act, binds Congress to admit Puerto Rico into the Union if a majority vote in favor of doing so in a special referendum. H.R. 2070, the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act, authorizes the insular legislature to convene a semi-permanent status convention where elected delegates decide on alternative self-determination options that are “outside the territorial clause of the constitution.” The bill creates a bilateral negotiating commission of U.S. government officials and the convention delegates. In a referendum, voters will select a territorial option, which may include statehood, independence and sovereign free association. The bill requires that Congress “approve a joint resolution to ratify the preferred self-determination option” approved in a referendum. Commonwealth (or Estado Libre Asociado–ELA in Spanish) is not included as an option in this status bill.

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Germany: Surprise on the left

Berlin Bulletin No. 186 March 2, 2021 — MRonline

Surprise, surprise! Things worked out quite differently than expected at the congress of the LINKE, the left-wing party. The surprise was not that it took place at all, after the pandemic forced postponements from June to October and from October to last weekend, with most of the 580 delegates at home in front of a screen, microphone and camera; only the socially-distanced, masked leaders sat in a sparsely occupied hall in Berlin. But other parties are meeting that way too.

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How the U.S. failed at its foreign policy toward Venezuela

9 August 2020 — MRonline

Elliott Abrams official photo (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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This article was produced by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

On August 4, 2020, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on Venezuela. Appearing before the committee was U.S. State Department Special Representative Elliott Abrams. Abrams, who has had a long—and controversial—career in the formation of U.S. foreign policy, was assaulted by almost all the members of the Senate committee. The senators, almost without exception, suggested that Abrams had been—since 2019—responsible for a failed U.S. attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government of President Nicolás Maduro.

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The Siren Call of a ‘System Leader’

11 February 2020 — Global Research

The United States may be destined for a shorter historical existence than the Mongol era established by Genghis Khan

Anouk Aimee and Marcello Mastroianni in Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’

A considerable spectrum of the liberal West takes the American interpretation of what civilization consists of to be something like an immutable law of nature. But what if this interpretation is on the verge of an irreparable breakdown?

Michael Vlahos has argued that the US is not a mere nation-state but a “system leader” – “a civilizational power like Rome, Byzantium, and the Ottoman Empire.” And, we should add, China – which he did not mention. The system leader is “a universalistic identity framework tied to a state. This vantage is helpful because the United States clearly owns this identity framework today.”

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Brexit trade delusions show why Britain needs to confront its history of empire By Rahul Verma

15 June 2019 — Global Justice Now

Edward Duncan’s painting of the East India Company iron steam ship Nemesis destroying Chinese war junks in Anson’s Bay, 1843 | Credit: National Maritime Museum, London

On 7 December, 2016, nearly six months after the referendum, Prime Minister Theresa May gave a speech to the Gulf Cooperation Council in Bahrain. She said: “As Britain leaves the European Union so we intend to take a leap forward, to look outwards and seek to become the most committed and most passionate advocate of free trade in the world.”

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Britain is More of a Fake State than Anything Else By Grete Mautner

11 October 2018 — NEO

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Blatant lies have been a feature of the British political system for a long while. Whitehall’s tried and tested ways of manipulating the general public are used to distract attention from crucial topics. But what’s even more curious is that inside the Whitehall bunkers where they come up with their own definitions for such manipulations, there is even a term for this kind of propaganda. They call it a ‘term of art’.

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Empire Under Obama, Part 1: Political Language and the ‘Mafia Principles’ of International Relations By Andrew Gavin Marshall

7 October 2013 — The Hampton Institute

Barack ObamaIn the first part of this essay series on ‘Empire Under Obama,’ I will aim to establish some fundamental premises of modern imperialism, or what is often referred to as ‘international relations,’ ‘geopolitics’, or ‘foreign policy.’ Specifically, I will refer to George Orwell’s writing on ‘political language’ in order to provide a context in which the discourse of imperialism may take place out in the open with very little comprehension on the part of the public which consumes the information; and further, to draw upon Noam Chomsky’s suggestion of understanding international relations as the application of ‘Mafia Principles’ to foreign policy. This part provides some background on these issues, and future parts to this essay series will be examining the manifestation of empire in recent years.

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The Unnatural Death of Dr David Kelly: The Illusions of the Illicit Hutton Inquiry – the ‘Forensics’ By Dr. David Halpin

9 August 2013 — Global Research

Subversion of  Due Process: The Death of Dr. David Kelly

If Albion is perfidious in foreign lands is it not likely its cunning and its lying will be strong suits on the home front? The trappings of Crown, ancient ceremony, and red empire stamp authority and apparent integrity on the British state. These, and much else, are the coinage of a supine and incestuous media and especially of the BBC, the state broadcaster and supreme propagandist. ‘Nation shall speak peace unto nation’ is its most ironic motto. The whole works in terrible concert.

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The Hero’s Reward and the Judgment of History By Andrew Levine

6 July 2013 — The Greanville Post

A political class transparently and unapologetically at the service of the superrich

Governments abhor transparency, and governments lie.  To keep them (comparatively) honest, an engaged and informed citizenry is indispensable. That requires media that are aggressive and probing, and that are not afraid to speak the truth.  We have precious little of that in the United States today.