Tag Archives: uribe

U.S. State Department’s latest prefab Cuban “dissident:” Darsi Ferrer

This morning the U.S. State Department revealed its latest pawn in the overthrow game it’s playing with Cuba: Darsi Ferrer, a Cuban doctor currently under arrest in Cuba, to whom it granted Honorable Mention in its 2009 Freedom Defenders award sweepstakes.  A few questions come to mind.  Who won First Prize?  Second?  Third?  Is this sweepstakes the State Department’s best kept secret, only pulled out for public display when Washington worries that the media buzz is starting to dry up on its prefabricated Cuban dissidence campaign or the hunger strike recruitment is flagging?

The story put out by the anti-Cuba lobby on Ferrer is that he was arrested for possessing a couple of bags of stolen cement but that this is a cover for the real reason for his arrest, which has more to do with his “dissident” activities.  I have no idea what Ferrer was actually charged with but I’m guessing that dissidence isn’t a reason for arrest in Cuba either…treason is, however.  Atilio Boron explains:

Dissidents or Traitors?en español

Atilio A. Boron

Translation: Machetera

The “free press’ in Europe and the Americas – the one that lied shamelessly about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or described the putschist regime of Micheletti in Honduras as “interim” – has redoubled its ferocious campaign against Cuba. As a result, it’s important to distinguish between the true reason for it, and the pretext.  The first, which establishes the global framework for this campaign, is the imperial counter-offensive launched near the end of the Bush administration, and whose most resounding example was the reactivation and mobilization of the Fourth Fleet. Contrary to the predictions of certain gullible people, this policy, dictated by the military-industrial complex, was not merely continued but reinforced by the recent treaty signed by Obama and Colombia’s President Uribe, through which the United States is to be granted the use of at least seven military bases in Colombian territory, diplomatic immunity for all U.S. personnel affected by these operations, license to bring in or remove any kind of cargo without authorities in the host country being able to register what’s coming in or going out, and the right of U.S. expeditionary forces to enter or leave Colombia using any kind of i.d. card whatsoever attesting to their identity.  As if all that were not enough, Washington’s policy of recognizing the “legality and legitimacy” of the coup d’etat government in Honduras and the subsequent fraudulent elections is yet one more example of the perverse continuity that links policies implemented by the White House, regardless of the skin color of its principal occupant.  And in this general imperial counter-offensive, the attack and destabilization of Cuba plays an extremely important role. Continue reading

Oligarchs are snakes by nature, in case you didn’t know

Ingrid’s Treachery

Pascual Serrano – Rebelión

Translation: Machetera

I read an indignant outcry among progressive Venezuelan sectors over the contemptuous reaction of Ingrid Betancourt and her family toward people who took a great interest in her liberation, particularly President Hugo Chávea and Senator Piedad Córdoba. They speak indignantly of treachery which, evidently, is proof of ingratitude.

Betancourt and her family haven’t betrayed anyone, they’ve returned to the social, political and economic class to which they always belonged: Colombia’s moneyed, neoliberal bourgeoisie. Ingrid is the daughter of Gabriel Betancourt, Education Minister during the government of the dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, and of Yolanda Pulecio, who was a beauty queen who became Miss Colombia and a member of the House of Representatives in Bogotá. Betancourt, as a good daughter of the oligarchy, went to high school at the Lycee Frances in Bogotá and later studied political science in France at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris; she specialized in foreign trade and international relations. She lived in Paris for several years, where her father was a UNESCO ambassador; there she met her first husband, the French diplomat Fabrice Delloye, who she married in 1981. Continue reading

Lights, camera…Ingrid on One!

By now you’ve probably heard that a ransom of $20 million was actually paid to get Betancourt & Co. out of the jungle, and the whole Hollywood rescue was elaborately staged to conceal that inconvenient fact. More on that later, but since the media show is still in full swing, and it is after all so very entertaining, let’s linger for awhile on the Ingrid Betancourt show.

A Profoundly Oligarchic Ingrid

(The female version of Leopoldo López)

José Sant Roz – Aporrea

Translation: Machetera

Ingrid, profoundly oligarchic, her greatest aspiration, it’s said, was to forever remain on the front pages of the worldwide media.

This is a woman who, we in this capitalist system, usually call “lucky.” Daughter of oligarchs, intelligent, ambitious, agile and alert, striking for her liveliness, grace, but who naturally reached a point where she became terribly tired of herself, and everything that a formal life offered her. Her mother, Yolanda Pulencio, was an ex-beauty queen who became Miss Colombia. Her father, Gabriel, was Education Minister in the government of the dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1953-1957). She enrolled in political sciences at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, and in the ’80’s, married one of her classmates, the French diplomat Fabrice Delloye, father of her two children, Melanie and Lorenzo (who she never had to raise). Typical of oligarchs such as Mario Vargas Llosa, she acquired French citizenship, and in her moments of leisure and ennui, would dedicate herself to playing in Colombian politics; when the news arrived, every day, about the bodies of some renowned politician or other, dismembered, tossed in the air, she despaired at not being in the center of these scenes. All that she might have desired might have been acquired, in this partisan plane, including the Presidency of the Republic, which, it appeared was not sufficient to meet her need for supreme reaffirmation: global recognition, complete and absolute. She longed for something stronger, something more definitive, something that would leave a mark of intense pain, of sorrow and glory, at once. Continue reading

Telling the truth about Colombia

Today Machetera offers two small translations, both to do with Colombia. The first, this brief note by Pascual Serrano, following the FARC’s confirmation of the death of its commandante, Manuel Marulanda, and the second, a memory of Marulanda by Gloria Gaitán, whose father, the political candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, was murdered in Bogotá in 1948, sparking the guerrilla war that has gone on for 40 years now. Update: James Petras’ Homage to Marulanda which includes a lot of interesting details about the history of the conflict as well as Marulanda’s leadership, can be found here.

A Map of the World

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

–George Orwell

The Guerrilla Conflict in Colombia Enters a New Era

Pascual Serrano – Público

Translation: Machetera

With the confirmation of death by natural causes of the head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Manuel Marulanda, who joins his fellow FARC leaders [in death], Raúl Reyes and Iván Rios, it’s time for the parties to begin a new path that will leave Colombia’s violence and bloodshed behind.

Continue reading

Kellogg Brown and Root thanks you very very much

Photo from La Jornada with caption:

Yesterday Marine Commander James Terry Conway visited with soldiers wounded in combat with Colombian guerrillas at the naval hospital in Bogota.

* * *

Did you know there’s a good David Brooks? You must have known there’s a bad one – the one who’s paid buckets of money to unzip his mouth and unload not very unconventional wisdom for the likes of the New York Times, NPR and whatever that PBS news show is called nowadays. The good David Brooks is a real reporter, for La Jornada, and here he reports on last week’s presentations to the State Department’s Council of the Americas, by President Bush and his so-called team. Late into his second term, Bush has no better grasp of reality than he did at the beginning. Time to get back to the bunker.

Thanks to reader John B. for sending this piece in for translation.

At the End of his Term, Bush Analyzes and Justifies his Policies Toward Latin America

David Brooks, Correspondent – La Jornada

Translation: Machetera

  • Reforms in Cuba discounted and warnings issued against Venezuela’s dangerous relationships.
  • “We’ve witnessed a social revolution in our hemisphere.” – Condoleezza Rice

WASHINGTON, May 7: Approaching its last months in power, the government of George W. Bush is promoting its last two initiatives in Latin America – the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia and the Mérida Initiative. It argues that the influence of the United States in the region is being tested in its relations with Colombia, discounts the changes in Cuba, warns against Venezuela’s dangerous relationships in the region and reiterates its commitment to “social justice.”

Continue reading

Álvaro Uribe – Bush’s hot potato


By Guillermo Almeyra for La Jornada – translation by Machetera

When “Uribe” is Written, Read “Oil”

Shell, the Anglo/Dutch oil company that is one of the Seven Sisters recently published a brief statement for U.S. specialists which is key to interpreting the criminal attack by the Colombian army against Ecuadoran territory. According to this statement, given the forseeable and constant decline in Mexican petroleum production, for its own security, the United States will need to count on a permanent supply of Venezuelan petroleum. That is precisely what is endangered by Washington’s repeated attempts to destabilize and topple the government of Hugo Chávez. This in effect, has already been spelled out by Chávez (not a man given to exaggeration): that if the aggression continues and worsens, the petroleum supply to the country’s main client – the United States – will be cut. This, in spite of the fact that this relationship offers more advantages (a bigger market, refining capacity, for example) than any other. Continue reading