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Human Rights

Postcard depicting heroes of the October revolution in Petrograd

The Western Left and the Russian Revolution

For a century, the counterrevolutionary reaction to the events of October 1917 has arguably been the most determining ideological factor in Western politics. Today the victory of that counterrevolution is complete, but Western powers still need their inherited antithesis, in changing form, as self-justification. | more…

The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers (2nd Ed.)

The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers (Second Edition)

U.S. immigration has been the subject of furious debates for decades. On one side, politicians and the media talk about aliens and criminals, with calls to “deport them all.” On the other side, some advocates idealize immigrants and gloss over problems associated with immigration. Dialogue becomes possible when we dig deeper and ask tough questions: Why are people in other countries leaving their homes and coming here? What does it mean to be “illegal”? How do immigration raids, prisons, and border walls impact communities? Who suffers and who profits from our current system—and what would happen if we transformed it? | more…

Women songwriters' workshop participants

Singing for Women’s Lives in Chile

In an idyllic canyon near Santiago, a group of twelve women were electric with emotion from sharing personal stories and experiences, and, of course, from singing. Deep bonds were forged among participants, few of whom knew each other prior to the workshop. They were there to compose women-identified songs in a setting that alternated between individual and group composition. | more…

Stripping Away Invisibility

Exploring the Architecture of Detention

tings chak, Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention (Montreal: Architecture Observer, 2014), 112 pages, 22 euros ($30.60 from Amazon), paperback.

Over the past six years, more than 100,000 people, including children, have been jailed in Canada, many without charge, trial, or an end in sight, merely for being undocumented.… Locked away from the public eye, they become invisible.… Like the people within, immigrant detention centers are often invisible as well. Photos and drawings of these places are rarely public; access is even more limited. Canada has three designated immigrant prisons, and it also rents beds in government-run prisons to house over one-third of its detainees.… Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention begins to strip away at this invisibility. In graphic novel form, Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist tings chak draws the physical spaces of buildings in which immigrant detainees spend months, if not years. In crisp black and white lines, chak walks the reader through the journey of each of these 100,000+ people when they first enter an immigrant detention center. | more…

Between Emigration and Crime

Latin Americans are not born-criminals nor did they invent drugs.

The Aztecs, Maya and other pre-Columbian human groups in Mexico and Central America, for example, were excellent farmers and didn’t even know about growing coca.

The Quechua and Aymara were capable of producing nutritious foods on perfect terraces that followed the mountain level curves. On the high plateaux that often exceeded three or four thousand metres in altitude, they grew quinua, a cereal rich in protein, and potatoes. | more…

The grave food crisis

Just 11 days ago, January 19, under the title “The time has come to do something,” I wrote:

“The worst is that, to a large degree, their solutions will depend on the richest and most developed countries, which will reach a situation that they really are not in a position to confront, unless the world which they have been trying to mold… collapses around them.” | more…

Another Tea Party Star

None other than Ileana Ros, the woman who kept the child Elián kidnapped in Miami, the promoter of coups d’état, crimes such as those committed by Posada Carriles and other heinous deeds, shall be travelling to neighbouring Haiti, where the earthquake killed a quarter of a million people and the cholera epidemic, in full swing, has taken the lives of almost 4,000 and is a threat for the rest of the continent. | more…

Without Violence, Without Drugs

Yesterday I analyzed the atrocious act of violence against U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in which 18 people were shot, six died and another 12 were wounded, several seriously, among them the Congresswoman with a shot to the head, leaving the medical team with no alternative other than to try to save her life and minimize, as much as possible, the consequences of the criminal act. | more…

The Battle Against Cholera

I am halting a number of important analyses that are currently taking up my time, to refer to two issues that should be known to our people.

The United Nations Organization, at the instigation of the United States, the creator of poverty and chaos in the Haitian Republic, decided to send into Haiti its forces of occupation, the MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) which, by the way, introduced the cholera epidemic into that sister nation. | more…

Duty and the epidemic in Haiti

ON Friday, December 3, the UN decided to devote a session of the General Assembly to an analysis of the cholera epidemic in this neighboring country. The news of that decision was hopeful. Surely it would serve to alert international opinion to the gravity of the situation and mobilize support for the Haitian people. At the end of the day, its raison d’être is to confront problems and promote peace. | more…

The Empire and the Right to Life of Human Beings

That’s terrific! So I exclaimed when I read down to the last line about the revelations of the famous journalist Seymour Hersh, printed in Democracy Now! and collected as one of the 25 most censored news items in the United States.

The material is entitled “The War Crimes of Stanley McChrystal, U.S. General” and it was included in Project Censored, put together by a university in California, including the essential paragraphs from those revelations. | more…

The Infinite Hypocrisy of the West

ALTHOUGH several articles on this subject were published before and after September 1st, 2010, on that day the Mexican daily La Jornada published one of great impact entitled “El holocausto gitano: ayer y hoy” (The Gypsy Holocaust: yesterday and today) which reminds us of a truly dramatic history. Without adding or removing a single word from the information contained in the article, I have selected some lines referring to certain events that are really moving. Neither the West nor -most of all- its colossal media apparatus have said a single word about them. | more…

The Opinion of an Expert

If I were to be asked who best knows about Israeli thinking, I would answer that without question it is Jeffrey Goldberg. He is an indefatigable journalist, capable of having dozens of meetings to ascertain how some Israeli leader or intellectual may think.

He is not neutral, of course; he is pro-Israel, without question. When one of them does not agree with the policy of that country that too is not done halfway.

For my aim, it is important to know the thinking that guides the main political and military leaders of that State. | more…

The Truth of What Happened at the Summit

The youth is more interested than anyone else in the future. Until very recently, the discussion revolved around the kind of society we would have. Today, the discussion centers on whether human society will survive. These are not dramatic phrases. We must get used to the true facts. Hope is the last thing human beings can relinquish. With truthful arguments, men and women of all ages, especially young people, have waged an exemplary battle at the Summit and taught the world a great lesson. | more…

The Moment of Truth

The news from the Danish capital gives a picture of chaos. After planning a conference with about 40 thousand people in attendance, the hosts find it impossible to honor their promise. Evo, the first of the two presidents of ALBA-member countries to arrive, stated some truths derived from the millennium-old culture of his people. | more…

Is There Any Margin for Hypocrisy and Deceit?

The United States, in its struggle against the Revolution, had in the Venezuelan government its best ally: the choice specimen Mr. Romulo Betancourt Bello. We did not know it then. He had been elected President on December 7, 1958; he had not taken office yet when the Cuban Revolution triumphed on January 1st, 1959. Weeks later I had the privilege of being invited by the provisional government of Wolfgang Larrazabal to visit Bolivar’s homeland, which had been so supportive of Cuba. | more…

The Annexation of Colombia by the United States

Anyone with some information can immediately see that the sweetened ‘Complementation Agreement for Defense and Security Cooperation and Technical Assistance between the Governments of Colombia and the United States’ signed on October 30, and made public in the evening of November 2, amounts to the annexation of Colombia by the United States. | more…

The ALBA and Copenhagen

The festivities associated with the 7th ALBA Summit, held in the historic Bolivian region of Cochabamba, showed the rich culture of the Latin American peoples and the joy elicited in children, young people and adults in general by the singing, the dancing, the costumes and rich expressions of the human beings of all ethnic groups, colors and shades: aborigine, black, white and mixed people. We could see there thousands of years of human history and precious culture that explain the determination with which the leaders of various Caribbean, Central and South American peoples convened that summit. | more…