Archive for the ‘Communism’ Category

Cuba-North Korea: Another weapons cargo?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Remember the Chong Chon Gang, the North Korean rust bucket caught by the Panamenians carrying attack planes and armaments?

Now there’s the Mu Du Bong!

(No, I did not make up that name.)

Was North Korean rustbucket stuck on Mexico reef sent to smuggle Cuba arms?
North Korean vessel aground on Mexican reef has similarities to one impounded in Panama

A North Korean freighter has run aground in the Gulf of Mexico just days after a stop in Havana that sparked comparisons with another Pyongyang vessel captured last summer with an illegal shipment of Cuban weapons.

The 130-metre Mu Du Bong grounded on a reef about 11km from the Mexican port of Tuxpan, according to shipping officials. The task of pulling it off the reef would be complicated and take several days, they said.

And, of course, the Mu Du Bong and the Chong Chon Gang share another feature (aside from the same commercial agent, Ocean Maritime Management Company, and the same penurious lack of maintenance),

Both freighters sailed in Cuba waters but their exact locations were a mystery for several days because there were no reports from their automatic location beacons, required by safety regulations. The Chong Chon Gang turned off its beacon to hide its locations, UN investigators found later.

The real answer is that we won’t know what the Mu Du Bong is carrying until the ship is inspected.

Nothing to see here . . .


Guatemala: When The Mountains Tremble to be corrected UPDATED WITH PAMELA YATES’S INVESTIGATION

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

UPDATE:
Pamela Yates kindly sends the link to her investigation report:

What our guides from Batzul, victims of the massacre, asked of us is that we make clear that the guerrillas and not the Army carried it out. We intend to make a correction that will clarify what happened in this scene in both “When the Mountains Tremble” and “Granito”. It stands as a reminder of the terrible human costs of the violence in 1982-83, when the Guatemalan Government launched a massive offensive against the Maya Ixil people – part of a state sponsored campaign targeting civilians and which led to the CEH’s findings that during the years of the internal armed conflict 93% of the deaths were at the hands of the Armed Forces. What we have learned from this investigation will inform our new film “500 Years”. We remain committed to historical accuracy in our work and to supporting efforts to secure full human rights for all the people of Guatemala within a freely functioning democracy.

I applaud her efforts and thank her for contacting me.

(Please read also Gringo’s comments below.)

———————————

Earlier post:

Filmmaker to correct 1983 film on Guatemala war (emphasis added):

“When the Mountains Tremble” was an award-winning movie that awakened wide attention to the war in Guatemala. But at least one thing turned out to be wrong — and filmmaker Pamela Yates says she’s going to set it right.

A dramatic scene from the 1983 documentary will be corrected to show that the Batzul massacre highlighted in the film was committed not by the military, but by leftist rebels disguised as soldiers.
. . .
She did not specify how the films will be corrected. In an emailed message, she said “at this point it is premature to say just how I will modify the earlier films.”

Specifically, the Ejército Guerrillero de los Pobres – EGP, (Guerrilla Army of the Poor) were responsible for the Batzul massacre.

When The Mountains Tremble has a 20th anniversary edition; here’s the Amazon product description,

The film that shook audiences and critics alike upon its original theatrical release this revoutionary [sic] tour-de-force and Sundance Film Festival winner is now available for the first time on DVD. Digitally remastered to commemorate its 20th Anniversary this special edition chronicles the astonishing story of one woman who stood up for her people and helped wage a rebellion in the wake of seemingly unconquerable oppression. Shot at the height of a heated battle betwwen [sic] the heavily-armed Guatemalan Military and a nearly defenseless Mayan population filmmakers Pamela Yates and Newton Thomas Sigel threw themselves into the center of a storm to capture live combat footage with a surprisingly robust passion and exhilarating flair. As the first film to depict this previously unreported war it is firmly anchored by the firsthand accounds [sic] of Rigoberta Mench+Ý [Menchú] a Quich+ª [Quiche] Indian woman known around the world for her humanitarian efforts. Throughout the imminent chaos and danger Menchu provides courage and optimism in a time where death squads kill without conscience and an oppressive dictator seizes power. Updated after Mench+Ý [Menchú] was awarded the Nobel Peach [sic, Peace] Price WHEN THE MOUNTAINS TREMBLE includes a compelling filmmaker commentary as well as a never-before-seen introduction from Susan Sarandon and an illuminating epilogue reflecting on the country’s events a decade later. DVD Features: Filmmaker Commentary from Pamela Yates Newton Thomas Sigel and Editor Peter Kinoy; Never-Before-Seen Introduction by Susan Sarandon; Epilogue featuring Rigoberta Mench+Ý [Menchú]; Filmmaker Biographies; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

Regarding Menchú, you may want to read The Truth About Rigoberta Menchú, a review of the book Rigoberta Menchu And The Story Of All Poor Guatemalans

Stoll went on to examine other aspects of Rigoberta’s book and soon found other claims that were not true. In her book, Rigoberta describes herself as an uneducated peasant girl. In interviews with Rigoberta’s relatives and former classmates, however, Stoll discovered that she’d spent several years at convent schools—first at the Colegio Belga in Guatemala City and then at the Colegio Básico Nuestro Señor de Candelaria in Chiantla, Huehuetenango, where she finished seventh grade—a remarkably high level of education for an Indian girl in Guatemala. Because she’d been in convent school, moreover, Stoll argues that Rigoberta can’t have been employed—as she claims to have been—as a maid for a rich family in Guatemala City, and can’t have worked in abusive conditions on coastal plantations—where she claims a younger brother Nicolás died of malnutrition. Stoll, in fact, found a living brother, Nicolás, who successfully resettled the family’s land long after the war had finished.

Stoll does not deny that Rigoberta’s village was destroyed and that half her family was killed, including her father, her mother, and her brother Petrocinio. But he points out that many of the other events in Rigoberta’s book are either distorted, fabricated, or claim to be eyewitness accounts of events which Rigoberta herself cannot actually have seen. The reason for all this, Stoll argues, is that after Rigoberta fled to Mexico in 1980, she allied herself with guerrilla groups there and “drastically revised the prewar experience of her village to suit the needs of the revolutionary organization she had joined.” In other words, when she wrote her book, Rigoberta was essentially serving as a propagandist.

Last Friday, Fermin Felipe Solano Barillas, also known as ‘Teniente David’, was sentenced to

90 years in prison for ordering a group of 10 guerrillas to strangle and kill in the town of El Aguacate 22 pro-government indigenous farmers, accusing them of collaborating with the army

Solano was with the Organización Revolucionaria del Pueblo en Armas, or ORPA (Revolutionary Organization of Armed People), another one of the four guerilla groups of the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca or URNG (Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity).

The correction of When The Mountains Tremble is quite overdue, but in LatAm leftist circles the truth is glimpsed at a very slow pace.

Venezuela: North Korea to open embassy in Caracas

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Caracas hairdressers better take notice:

The June 20 issue of the Gaceta Oficial, the Venezuelan government’s official organ, announced that North Korea is allowed to open an embassy in Caracas.

The murderous Communist North Korean regime, which has attempted to interfere with private businesses in democratic countries, will have an embassy near the newly-expanded Panama Canal.

No wonder the chavistas are decamping to Spain.

In other Venezuelan news,
University students and government opponents protested in Caracas on Tuesday, demanding the release of people who have been arrested in street demonstrations in recent months. Also on Tuesday, Venezuela’s Supreme Court (TSJ) granted the army permission to participate in political marches and rallies, and denied that it would encourage proselytizing of the military.

A review of Al-Jazeera’s Fault Lines documentary, Venezuela Divided:
Al-Jazeera sent me information and a preview link to its Fault Lines documentary, Venezuela Divided, which will air on Al Jazeera America Saturday, June 28, at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

The reporter was accompanied by chavistas throughout the film, which is very sympathetic to the regime (as you can see from the article title The art of the Boliviarian revolution in Venezuela, as if the Boliviarian revolution was a symphony).

Venezuela Divided starts by contrasting a slum with an ice cream shop in a middle-to-upper class neighborhood, in the premise that it’s all “rich vs. poor”; the possibility that some of the people in the ice cream shop may be high-ranking chavistas or their relatives does not cross the reporter’s mind.

It shows a confrontation between university students and the National Guard, and a chavista college student whose nose was broken allegedly by anti-government students, while it forgets to show assemblywoman Maria Corina Machado’s nose being broken on the floor of the National Assembly by chavista Nancy Asencio, or the fact that the chavista regime deposed Machado of her Assembly seat and banned her from leaving the country.

Additionally, al-Jazeera’s emphasis on showing the Venezuelan demonstrators as engaged in a “simple” class struggle ignores this,

The report, while talking to members of a colectivo, spent no time on news like this, or this, or on Human Rights Watch’s finding of “systematic” human rights violations in Venezuela.

In the past, al-Jazeera’s reports on Latin America have been interesting, but this one I find lacking.


Brazil’s Odebrecht accused of slave labor

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The folks building the deepwater port in the island-prison are being charged with slave labor:
Prosecutors in Brazil have begun legal action against a leading construction company, Odebrecht, accusing it of maintaining 500 Brazilian workers in “slave-like conditions” in Angola, (yet another blighted land where Fidel and Che failed)

Prosecutors say Odebrecht committed “human trafficking” while transporting workers to a biofuel plant.

They are demanding 500m reais ($220m; £130m) in compensation for workers.

Odebrecht, which made out like gangbusters from its World Cup contracts, is one of the biggest contributors to Rousseff’s Worker’s Party, has 21 projects in Venezuela, where Alek Boyd notes Lula and Dilma intervened on Odebrecht’s behalf.

Carlos Eire points out,

Twenty-first century slavery and twenty-first socialism are two sides of the same coin.

Every now and then, someone wakes up to this fact.

In the meantime, the Brazilian slave conglomerate of Odebrecht continues to prosper and grow.

Their deal for slave labor at the Castrogonian port of Mariel didn’t stop officials in South Florida from striking deals with them. Neither has Odebrecht’s latest deal for a sugar mill in Cienfuegos, Castrogonia, which will also employ slave labor.

And asks,

Will a lawsuit against them in Brazil slow them down or stop them?

Take-away question: And why does Cuba need a deepwater port just now? Apparently it is “for larger ships passing through an expanded Panama Canal.” In which case, why would the so-called embargo make any difference?

Cubazuela: Free healthcare for all

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Without further comment,

Cuba:
An essay on the decay of the Pedro Borras Hospital, an Art Deco landmark building which housed one of the best hospitals in the Caribbean, The Ghost of a Preventable Death (via Babalu).

Venezuela:
Life in short supply at the Hospital Universitario’s HIV department,

“There are like sixty-five thousand patients receiving treatment in the country. We receive about ten percent of them,” he says, referring to the Universitario, a public entity supported by the government. “There are normally about twenty types of antiretrovirals in the country, of about thirty that exist in the world. Most of them are now not available.”

Colombia: The view from Venezuela

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Daniel of Venezuela News and Views, on Santos’s reelection win in Colombia:

What the Castros are getting today with a weakened Santos that owes his seat now to minority leftists in Bogota, is neutrality on Venezuela troubles. We can be almost certain that the Santos second term will not see visits of opposition leaders at Casa de Nariño. Santos second term will never confront UNASUR, and even less about Venezuela. In short, prolonging Havana negotiations between Santos and FARC for a year or two is enough for Colombia to leave alone Maduro until he can exterminate Venezuelan opposition, including massive electoral fraud next year. Then, with chavismo unmovable once and for all, it will always be time to turn the gaze toward taking over Colombia, helped by a Correa in Ecuador who know has taken the open dictatorship road with his own plans for eternal reelection. Well, that is the idea anyway.

UPDATE:
Linked to by NotiDia. Thank you!

En español: El Foro de Sao Paulo, creación de Castro y da Silva

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Julio M Shilling, escritor y politólogo explica como Fidel Castro y Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva crean y organizan el Foro de Sao Paulo, para destruir la democracia en America a traves del proceso electoral, rescatando e implantando régimenes comunistas.

Venezuela: Tricks for bucks, Trix from Doral

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

A roundup on the rolling disaster 21st Century Socialism has wrought:

Tricks for bucks: Sex, Dollar Bills, and the Venezuelan Black Market. Just like in Cuba,

Venezuelans are living in a two-tiered society, in which those with access to dollars can buy goods that are unavailable to others, as Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, points out.

Trix from Doral: Shippers send more boxes of groceries from Doral to Venezuela

Companies specialized in shipping boxes to be delivered at people’s front doors in Venezuela say that boxes now carry products not usually sent to that country. Amazon books, spare parts for cars and electronic items are now being replaced with cans of tuna, rice packages, coffee, medicines and even bathing soap.

The BBC visits Hugo Chavez’s own Potemkin village, complete with Chavista tour guide.

Leopoldo Lopez was interviewed from jail. Caracas Chronicles has the story. PanamPost has more on Leopoldo López and the Death of Freedom
The Spirit of Venezuelan Freedom Fighters Will Triumph, Redeem His Sacrifice
.

Daniel observes how All is dissolving, slowly but surely

Venezuela: Where there’s rationing, there’s smuggling

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Toilet paper is in short supply in Venezuela, where each roll was recently selling for more than $6 at the official exchange rate in San Antonio.

The WSJ reports on two contrasting economies, free-market Colombia, and command-economy Venezuela:
Venezuela Pays Price for Smuggling
President Loses Popularity Amid Protests as Cheap Goods Move Across Border to Colombian Consumers

Stifled by inefficient state-owned factories and price controls, domestic production in Venezuela has plummeted. Moreover, the massive weakening of Venezuela’s currency makes its goods cheaper in Colombia. These factors lead to frequent shortages that make life especially trying for Venezuelans along the border, where smugglers leave little behind on store shelves.

Read the whole thing, and don’t miss the money quote, “Looking around here, you can tell why socialism doesn’t work.”

Venezuela-Cuba Facilitate Infiltration of Iranian Agents

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Capitol Hill Cubans have the story, 

The report entitled, “Canada on Guard: Assessing the Immigration Security Threat of Iran, Venezuela and Cuba,” highlights the following key points:

- Iran is collaborating with Venezuela and Cuba to exploit the seams in the Canadian immigration system.

- From 2009 to 2011, Latin America was the largest prior embarkation region for improperly documented Iranians migrating to Canada to seek refugee status.

- Venezuelan authorities provided at least 173 passports, visas and other documentation to Islamist extremists seeking to slip unnoticed into North America.

- Soft power solidarity networks in Canada serve as a “Trojan Horse” for Iran and ALBA to establish cover for spies, saboteurs and other nefarious actors.

As regards the passports, visas and other documentation to Islamist extremists, it’s important to remember that Venezuela’s immigration system has been under Cuban control since 2004. 

Victoria L. Henderson, Joseph M. Humire, and Fernando D. Menéndez wrote the report, which you can read in full at InterAmerican Secuity Watch.