Category Archives: Africa / Middle East

The missing Osama “lair” picture released and later scrubbed by ABC News

Not long after the White House announcement about its US Navy Seals operation in Abbottabad, ABC News released a set of pictures from what it claimed was the interior of Bin Laden’s home.  With ABC refusing to share the photos with other news conglomerates, both the NY Times and Wall Street Journal handled the photos gingerly, using language like: “Footage obtained by ABC News showed what the network said was a room inside the compound,” or “Footage obtained by ABC News showed what appeared to be blood on a floor inside the compound.” Continue reading


From Latin America to the Arab World

From Latin America to the Arab World – What’s going on in Libya?

Santiago Alba Rico and Alma Allende – español

Translation: Machetera

We have the impression that a great worldwide liberation process may be aborted by the unappeasable ferocity of Gaddafi, U.S. interventionism, and a lack of foresight in Latin America.

We might describe the situation like this: in a part of the world linked once again to strong internal solidarities and from which only lethargy or fanaticism was expected, a wave of popular uprisings have arisen which have threatened to topple the allies of Western powers in the region, one after the other.  Independent of local differences, these uprisings have something in common that radically distinguishes them from the orange and rose colored “revolutions” promoted by capitalism in the former Soviet bloc: they demand democracy, certainly, but far from being fascinated by Europe and the United States, they are the holders of a long, entrenched, radical anti-imperialist tradition forged around Palestine and Iraq.  There’s not even a hint of socialism in the popular Arab uprisings, but neither is there one of Islamism, nor – most importantly – of Euro-centric seduction: it is simultaneously a matter of economic upheaval and democratic, nationalistic and anti-colonial revolution, something that, forty years after their defeat, suddenly opens an unexpected opportunity for the region’s socialist and pan-Arabist left. Continue reading

Al Giordano’s unrequited love for Eva Golinger

Does Al have a crush on Eva?  Don’t ask me.  I haven’t a clue about his preferences, although one might argue that preferences and fixations are totally separate things.  It’s peculiar, is all I’m saying.  Interwoven in a rambling piece that makes many reasonable points about Venezuelan bureaucracy and Libyan wildman Muammar Gaddafi,    there are some extended, might we even say, screeching attacks on Golinger, coupled with some new but predictable complaints about Belarus and Telesur (guess Venezuela’s Information Ministry won’t bother with Narco News‘s j-school this year) and the usual infomercial about how nobody but Narco News knows how to do anything at all.  And then, this little embarrassing bit:

“…what could NATO possibly do to the Libyan people that Gaddafi isn’t already doing?”

Oh, quite a lot, I imagine.

Still and all, it’s a piece that will please Al’s ICNC sponsors.  See you in Madrid!

Twelve men and two cats: with Gerardo Hernández and his platoon in Angola

Cuban-Angolan Reconnaissance Platoon attached to 11th Tactical Group, 10th Tank Brigade, Cabinda, Angola, under command of Lt. Gerardo Hernández Nordelo (middle), 1989-90.

The current issue of The Militant has an outstanding piece by Mary-Alice Waters about the period in 1989-1990 when Gerardo Hernández led a Cuban-Angolan platoon attached to the 11th Tactical Group of the 10th Tank Brigade, stationed in Cabinda province, Angola. She incorporates Gerardo’s notes on two photographs from the period with an English translation of an interview with a member of Gerardo’s platoon: José Luis Palacio Cuní. Zenia Regalado interviewed Palacio for Guerrillero, the newspaper for Pinar del Rio, the westernmost province in Cuba.  See The Militant for the full article. Continue reading

Good terrorists and bad terrorists

There are good terrorists and bad terrorists – James Petras

Efrain Churiy – Radio Centenario

Translation: Machetera

Chury: We’re talking with the sociologist James Petras there in the United States, who we welcome, good day, how’s it going…

Petras: Good day.

Chury: In terms of work, what subjects are you working on?

Petras: There are a variety of things that interest me; one of the interesting things is the fact that the New York Times published an article by an Israel academic writer named Benny Morris, who favors an atomic bomb being dropped on Iran and the fact that the New York Times is publishing articles that could kill 70 million people is a very important cultural fact; it’s 10, 11 times greater than the Holocaust that Hitler unleashed against the Jews.

Second, I’m reading an excellent book about Colombia, by a Colombian writer named Hernando Calvo Ospina, that shows how the Uribe government, the paramilitaries and the army are working together and killing and displacing almost 2 million people since he became president. An important fact: the military officers, colonels and captains who go to the North American training schools return with a recommendation: almost all the generals in Colombia are graduates of this education. In other words, the military and political certification by North American military academies is mandatory if you’re going to end up commanding troops in Colombia. There are other important facts in the book, which is called “Colombia, Haunted Laboratory”. Continue reading

Cuba, the African Odyssey

As you can see, Machetera’s translation shop got a little bogged down last week and she’s still struggling to recover. Luckily, Machetera’s mission is not one of pure translation but also of uncovering things that you might not ordinarily come across. Today, the jewel is a documentary by the Egyptian filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri, called Cuba, the African Odyssey and it begins with the story of Patrice Lumumba and the Congo. El-Tahri has captured some remarkable interviews, from the U.S. spooks (who look really spooky) the Russian foreign affairs officers, the Cubans, but most of all, the Africans who were there and talk about how it all went down, interwoven with spectacular archival footage. It is thrilling, infuriating, and inspiring, and a perfect example of something you’ll never see on U.S. television because it cuts too close to the bone. Continue reading