China vs the US: The Battle for Oil

China vs the US: The Battle for Oil

Directed by Jean-Kristophe Klots (2012)

Film Review

The Battle for Oil is about the battle between China and the US over the world’s dwindling oil reserves. Globally China is the second biggest oil consumer – after the US. Owing to its dwindling reserves, they import two-thirds of their oil. High domestic demand for oil leads to periodic power blackouts and long queues at services stations.

China has three state-owned oil companies employing tens of thousands of workers, mainly in London, Singapore, New York. The country’s high demand for oil has led to major investment in African and South American oil producers. Rather than buying barrels of oil, China seeks investment in oil production capacity. Chad, Sudan and other African countries have granted them major oil concessions in return for major infrastructure investment in ports, railroads, telecommunication networks, schools, and clinics.

China’s ability (thanks to immense cash reserves) to invest in massive infrastructure projects gives them significant competitive advantage over western oil companies. As does China’s commitment to absolute non-interference in the host country’s political affairs. This contrasts sharply with western loans. The latter are always accompanied by demands for “democratic” and “human rights” reforms, which turn out to be camouflage for further penetration by Wall Street interests.

In 2005, China freaked out US lawmakers by attempting to take over the American oil company Unocal. Owing to their desire to preserve friendly trade relations, China dropped their Unocal takeover bid and shifted their focus to forging alliances with oil producers hostile to the US, such as Iran, Russia and Venezuela. Much of the current US animosity towards Venezuela stems from growing Chinese investment in their oil industry – a fact rarely mentioned in the mainstream media.

 

How 20th Century Missionaries Opened Up Latin America for Wall Street

the-missionaries

The Missionaries: God Against the Indians

By Norman Lewis

Penguin (1988)

Book Review

The Missionaries is a travelogue by British journalist Norman Lewis recounting his visits in the fifties, sixties and seventies to remote regions of Vietnam and Latin America. His purpose is highlighting the systematic genocide of indigenous tribes during this period and the role played by evangelical missionaries (with close CIA collaboration) in evicting native peoples from land US corporations sought to exploit it.

As a prologue, Lewis describes the English invasion and occupation of Tahiti in 1767. English missionaries spent seven fruitless years trying to voluntarily convert native Tahitians to Christianity. They eventually resorted to force, collaborating with colonial police to execute natives who refused to convert and outlaw cultural practices such as dancing, tattooing, surfing and wearing flowers. The usual sentence for engaging in such practices was hard labor on the roads.

Over the next 25 years, the British and French governments successfully colonized all the South Pacific islands and virtually extinguished all native culture.

The book fast forwards to World War II, when the invention of the caterpillar tractor allowed Europeans and Americans to finally penetrate inaccessible jungles in South East Asian and Latin America – enabling them to kill and displace even more indigenous populations.

Lewis focuses mainly on the two most powerful missionary organizations: the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and the New Tribes Missions (NTM). Both assisted the CIA and their puppet dictators in displacing thousands of indigenous groups from the jungles of Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil and Paraguay. The evidence he lays out directly implicates these missionary groups in the slaughter (in some cases by aerial bombardment), enslavement and forced prostitution. In most cases, individual  missionaries had their own commercial stake in colonizing these regions (eg selling food to native populations following the destruction of their jungle habitat and hiring out their female children as domestic servants and prostitutes).

The callous attitude (towards the enslavement and extermination of their converts) of these so-called men of God is quite astonishing. They rationalize their actions based on the “inevitability” of native assimilation. If the transition to civilization kills most of them, so much the better. By baptizing them, the missionaries can ensure they go straight to Heaven.

Once Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Panama and Columbia ousted their US-sponsored military dictators, all five countries banned both the SIL and the NTM, which were ultimately denounced by both the UN and the Organization of American States (OAS) for violating the UN Genocide Convention.

People can read a more detailed account of the CIA/SIL collaboration to open up Latin America to US corporate interests in Thy Will Be Done the Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil

Falling Oil Prices: a Saudi Viewpoint

Inside Story – What’s Behind the Falling Oil Prices

Al Jazeera (2015)

Film Review

A most revealing documentary. Unlike western pundits who speculate about conspiracies to wipe out shale oil producers (ie fracking) and the oil  economies of Russia and Venezuela, these Middle East analysts stick to economic fundamentals.

The three analysts identify three main factors behind the present oil glut: shale gas production, a big increase in renewable energy production and dropping demand by emerging economies such as China.

They maintain Saudi Arabia’s primary motivation for current output levels is fear of losing “market share” if they unilaterally cut oil production.

There’s also an interesting discussion about the Saudi plan to introduce taxation to help reduce their $98 billion deficit.

The Movement to Dismantle Industrial Agriculture

Growing Change

Directed by Simon Cunich (2011)

Film Review

Growing Change is an Australian documentary about Latin America’s food sovereignty movement and the deliberate campaign by Venezuela and other left leaning governments to extract themselves from the US-run system of industrial agriculture.

The film begins by quoting from a 2008 study by the UN Environment Programme called Agriculture at a Crossroads: International assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology.

This study concludes that industrial agriculture can’t produce enough food to feed 9 billion people.* Although it cites a number of reasons for this conclusion, the documentary highlights two of the most important: oil depletion (industrial agriculture requires 66 barrels of oil per year to feed one person) and the destruction of topsoil through repeated use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that kill living organisms responsible for soil fertility. In part due to urbanization, the world has lost 25% of their productive farmland over the last 25 years.

Food Sovereignty in Venezuela

Using Venezuela as an example, Growing Change demonstrates how industrial agriculture increases world hunger, with foreign corporations driving peasant farmers off their lands and destroying local farmers’ livelihoods through cheap food imports.

As Venezuela expanded oil production to become the world’s largest oil exporter (in 1950), ruling elites allowed the country’s agricultural system to collapse. Forced to leave their land (either by direct expropriation or inability to compete with cheap food imports), farmers flooded into the slums of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities. Meanwhile with all the oil profits going to ruling elites and their US backers, mass unemployment and poverty left the majority of the population with no money to buy food.

Things came to a head in 1989 with the massive Caracasa uprising, in which the Venezuela army shot 3,000 protesters.

Venezuelan Reforms Led by Grassroots

For me, the chief value of this film was learning that most of the reforms Hugo Chavez implemented were driven – not by Chavez himself – but by well-organized peasant and workers groups. Moreover it was clearly the power of their organizing that brought him to power in 1998.

Between 1998 and 2008, Chavez used oil revenues to reduce the prevalence of malnutrition from 21% to 6%. His land reform program redistributed 6 million acres of vacant land to 250,000 families. Working through community councils and self-governing cooperatives, the new occupants put most of this land into organic production. Chavez also heavily subsidized organic urban farms on vacant city land, free meals at work sites and community centers and a 40% reduction in the cost of imported food for the poorest families..


*World population is predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050.
**Unless they had illegally expropriated the land, landowners were compensated at fair market value for undeveloped land the Chavez government confiscated.

The Global Movement for Participatory Democracy

Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas

Directed by Silvia Leindecker and Michael Fox

Film Review

Beyond Elections is about the global participatory democracy (aka direct or deliberative democracy) movement – the grassroots effort to replace so-called representative democracy (aka polyarchy*) with a process in which citizens participate directly in policy decisions that affect their lives. Historically participatory democracy began in ancient Athens, where people governed directly through large public assemblies (unfortunately assemblies were limited to free born men, who comprised only one-fifth of the population).

According to the filmmakers, participatory democracy died out until 1989, when the Brazilian Workers Party resurrected it in Porto Allegre Brazil by creating participatory budget assemblies. In my view, this isn’t strictly correct, as the Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, who the Marxists expelled from the First International** , advocated for a system of participatory democracy called “collective anarchism.” Workers used participatory democracy to run the 1871 Paris Commune, as did numerous Spanish cities during the Spanish Civil War.

The Spread of Participatory Democracy

The documentary explores how this new style of local government spread throughout Brazil and to other Latin American countries, as well as to Europe, Africa and even parts of Canada (Guelph Ontario and parts of Montreal). A few US activists are campaigning for more American communities to adopt participatory democracy (several are described in the 2012 book Slow Democracy), but most Americans have never heard of it. The only aspect of participatory democracy widely adopted in the US are workers cooperatives.

Beyond Elections presents numerous examples of participatory democracies in the various Latin American countries that have implemented it. Under representative democracy, local councils are nearly always controlled by local business interests, and elected officials typically enact budgets that benefit these interests. When ordinary people control the budgeting processes through popular assemblies, they spend the money on programs benefiting the entire community, eg on clean safe housing, health centers and basic sanitation.

The Venezuelan Example

Following Hugo Chavez’s election in 1998, the Venezuelan government called a constitutional assembly to write a new constitution. The latter enabled Venezuelans to directly govern their communities through communal councils, as well as water committees, workers committees (to set up and run workers cooperatives), health committees and land committees (to implement land reform and set up farmers cooperatives).

The projects carried out by the communal councils and various committee were funded by grants from the central government. Despite endemic corruption in the Venezuelan bureaucracy, these new grassroots-run structures succeeded in bringing health care, decent housing and basic sanitation to Venezuelan slums for the very first time.

The film also examines the adoption of participatory democracy in Bolivia, Ecuador and parts of Mexico controlled by the Zapatistas.

The film is in 16 parts of roughly 5 minutes. Each successive segment starts automatically as the preceding segment finishes.


*In a polyarchy, power is closely guarded by a wealthy elite and the population remains passive except for periodic “free elections” in which they vote for the elites of their choice. When a tiny minority controls nearly all the wealth, “free elections” are only possible if the majority is systematically controlled with psychological propaganda. See Emancipate Yourself from Mental Slavery
**The First International Working Man’s Association was an international organization which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing socialist, communist[1] and anarchist political groups and trade union organizations that were based on the working class and class struggle.

How Big Oil Dictates US Foreign Policy

The Secret of the Seven Sisters

Al Jazeera English (2013)

Film Review

Despite its length, this documentary should be compulsory viewing. Everyone with an IQ over 90 should see it at least once before they die. It was only in viewing this film that I fully grasped the insane, oil-inspired military aggression in the third world and the US fascination with despotic dictators.

The video below is actually an 8-part series shown over successive nights on Al Jazeera-English. I’ve summarized the highlights of each of the eight parts so you can fast forward to specific segments that interest you.

0.00 – 23.26

Part 1 takes viewers from the founding of the secret Seven Sisters oil cartel in 1928 to the creation of the competing Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1960. The latter is made up of oil producing countries that have nationalized their oil industries.*

The film begins by describing the secret (illegal) cartel formed in 1928 by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (which became British Petroleum), Standard Oil (which became Exxon) and Royal Dutch Shell. The goal was to end the cutthroat competition that was eating into profits. At a secret meeting in Scotland the three companies agreed to an orderly division of global production zones, as well as a process for fixing oil prices.

Later Mobil, Gulf, Texico and Chevron would join these three oil giants. The existence of the cartel remained secret until the 1950s, when it became known as the Seven Sisters.

This segment describes the totalitarian control BP exercised over Iran until 1951. A strike for higher wages led to a national uprising that overthrew the Shah and resulted in the democratic election of Mohammad Mosadegh as president. When the latter threatened to nationalize Iran’s oil industry, the British government requested CIA assistance to overthrow Mosadegh and restore the Shah to the throne. In return, the US government won the right for American oil companies to join BP in exploiting Iran’s oil resources.

In July 1956 after Egyptian president Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal (the main route for transporting Middle East oil to Europe), Britain, France and Israel declared war on Egypt. Nasser responded to an aerial bombing campaign by using concrete bunkers to blockade all Suez traffic. For once, the US and USSR collaborated to pressure the three aggressors to withdraw their forces and restore the transit of oil tankers through the canal.

23.26 – 46.00

Part 2 traces how the rise of OPEC worked to gradually erode the dominance of the Seven sisters – with violent repercussions.

In 1972 Saddam Hussein nationalized Iraq’s oil industry, with technical and military support from the Soviets and the French.

By October 1973, when Israel’s Arab neighbors launched the Yum Kippur War, OPEC members controlled 60% of the global oil supply. This enabled them to launch an oil embargo against the US in retaliation for their support of Israel in the 1973 conflict.

In 1978 Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, living in exile in Paris, called for a workers strike in the Iranian oil industry that caused a total shutdown of oil production. This, in turn, led the US to abandon their longtime support of the Shah and his secret police. The result was a national uprising, the forced exile of the Shah, the return of Ayatollah and the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry.

Determined to regain American corporate control of Iran’s oil industry, the US government backed Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iraq in 1980. The sudden onset of peace in 1988 led to a period of “overproduction” and a dangerous drop in oil prices. In response, George Bush senior, whose Zapata oil company had made a fortune via offshore drilling in Kuwait, openly encouraged Saddam Hussein (through ambassador April Glaspie) to invade Kuwait. This would create a pretext for the first US invasion of Iraq in 1991.

In May 2001 (20 months before the US invasion), a secret energy task force headed by former oil executives Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, drew up a plan whereby Exxon, Shell and BP would divide up US occupied Iraq into eight oil extraction zones.

48.00 – 61.00

Part 3 describes the decision by the Seven Sisters to open up Africa to increasing oil exploitation due to their gradual loss of control over Middle East oil.

In 1970, Colonel Omar Gaddafi led a coup against a corrupt Libyan monarchy that was allowing the Seven Sisters to pay 12 cents a barrel in royalties to extract high quality Libyan oil. Gaddafi immediately nationalized the oil industry, raised oil prices 33% and used the funds to finance generous public services for the Libyan world and to fund freedom fighters all over the world (including the Palestinians).

This section also traces the history of the French oil companies ELF and Total in Nigeria. After Algeria won independence from France in 1971, they nationalized their oil industry, and ELF began exploiting oil resources in Nigeria, Chad, Congo, Cameroon, and Angola, where they financed guerrillas and despotic regimes and participated in bribery and embezzlement schemes that massively increased the international indebtedness of these countries. In 2003 the CEO of ELF was sentenced to prison and the company was bought out by Total.

61.00 – 95.00

Part 4 covers the role of the Seven Sisters in stoking Sudan’s civil war (most of Sudan’s oil comes from South Sudan) and the role of Shell Oil Company in Nigeria’s trial and execution of environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa.

95.00 – 118.00

Part 5 traces the longstanding battle between Russia and the US oil industry over control of the Baku oilfields on the Caspian Sea. It begins with Lenin’s capture of the oilfields in 1920. Hitler’s primary reason for attacking the USSR in 1941 was to gain control over Baku.

This section also details how a US-Saudi conspiracy to flood the market with oil in the late eighties (dropping the global oil price to $13) ultimately led to the Soviet collapse in 1989. At the time revenue from oil sales was the Soviet’s sole source of foreign currency.

118.00 – 142.00

Part 6 concerns the role of the color revolutions in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan in keeping Caspian Sea oil out of Russian hands and under the control of US oil companies.

It briefly discusses the US role in Boris Yeltsin’s coup against the Russian parliament and his privatization of the Russian oil industry on behalf of the Seven sisters and a handful of Russian oligarchs (Putin has subsequently re-nationalized Russia’s oil industry).

142.00 -165.00

Part 7 discusses the concept of Peak Oil and the current dispute between the Iraqi Kurds and the Iraqi government over the control of the Bakr oil terminal near Bazra. At present it’s illegal for the Kurds to export their own oil. Eighty-five percent of Iraqi oil is processed at the Bakr oil terminal and Iraqi Kurdistan on receives 17% of this revenue.

165.00 – 190.00

Part 8 is about the Seven Sisters exploitation of Mexican and Venezuelan oil prior to the election of Hugo Chavez as president. It also summarizes that status of the countries (Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Brazil, and Malaysia) that have nationalized their oil industry. At present these countries control one-third of oil and gas production, and more than one-third of oil reserves. Despite their role in instigating western military aggression, the influence of the Seven Sisters continues to declines.

At present they control 10% of oil production and only 3% of oil reserves. Their monopoly on exploration, drilling and refining technology gives them disproportionate control over the industry.


*Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela

How Cuba is Revolutionizing Global Health Care

Salud! : What Puts Cuba on the Map in the Quest for Global Health

Connie Field (2009)

Film Review

Salud! Is about the global struggle to overcome health inequality and the vital role Cuba plays in this effort. Filmmaker Connie Field is totally open about her perspective that that health car is a basic right and not a commodity, as it’s viewed in the US.

In pre-revolutionary Cuba, only a small wealthy elite had access to health care. The poor, who comprised 90-90% of the population, died in droves of treatable conditions, such as malaria, respiratory infection, parasites and infantile diarrheal infections.

The Castro regime responded to this health crisis by training tens of thousands of doctors. At present, Cuba has 60,000 doctors for a population of 11 million, making their health system one of the best resourced in the world.

Ending Diseases of Poverty Worldwide

Cuba has been extremely generous in sharing this resource with other poor countries, especially in Africa and Latin America. Since 1963, over 100,000 Cuban health professionals have worked overseas. As well as performing direct patient care, they also train foreign health care professionals.

The film profiles their work in South Africa, Gambia, Honduras and Venezuela. In all four countries, the Cuban doctors have helped local health professionals establish community-based health delivery systems that focus on health promotion and disease prevention. This contrasts to health care in the industrialized north, which waits for patients to get sick and fights one illness at a time.

Cubans Healthier than Americans

Thanks to their phenomenal workforce and this common sense approach, Cuba is one of the few developing countries that has virtually eradicated malaria. Moreover Cubans experience better overall all health status than Americans. On average, Cubans live longer: 79.07 years compared to 78.74 years for Americans. Cuba also has a lower infant mortality (4.70 per 1,000 live births) than the US (6.2 per 1,000 live births).

In Honduras and Venezuela, Cuban doctors have played an essential role in setting up clinics in barrios and rural areas that are poorly served by Honduran and Venezuelan doctors – both for financial (their barrio patients can’t afford to pay them) and “lifestyle” reasons. Despite their refusal to serve these communities, local doctors responded to the presence of Cuban doctors with mass protests claiming the Cuban medics were threatening their livelihood.

Free Medical Education for International Students

In 1999, Cuba set up the Latin American Medical School, which offers free medical training to low income students from all over the world. In collaboration with the Congressional Black Caucus, they have also opened this medical school to African and Hispanic students from low income US communities.

Latin America: Wall Street’s Worse Nightmare

Eyes Wide Open: A Journey Through Today’s South America

Pascal Dupont (2009)

Spanish with English subtitles

Film Review

Eyes Wide Open was intended as a sequel to the late (deceased April 13, 2015) Eduardo Galeano’s 1973 book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. It was Galeano’s book that former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez presented to newly elected president Barack Obama in 2009. According to Galeano, the entire history of Latin American is based on the stripping of the continent’s resources by Europe and the US. It started with gold and silver, followed by tin, copper, rubber, sugar, salt peter, cocoa, coffee, guano and bananas. This grotesque asset stripping was accomplished mainly through the brutal suppression and exploitation of its (majority) indigenous population.

Eyes Wide Open mainly concerns Latin America’s rejection of US neoliberalism and neo-colonialism, with the recent election of “leftist” leaders in eight countries (Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay). The filmmakers visit four of them (Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador), to ascertain whether their new presidents have kept their promise to bring about true economic democracy. Interviews with grassroots leaders are interspersed with with a variety of media footage and commentary by Galeano.

The documentary also discusses the Bolivarian Alliance of the America’s the eight countries formed and its defeat, in 2005, of the Free Trade of the Americas treaty George W Bush tried to foist on them.

Lula Sells Out to Cargill

The filmmakers are highly critical of former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) for reneging on his promise to redistribute elite land holdings to landless peasants. Instead he sold out to the giant agrobusiness Cargill, authorizing generous government subsidies to help them establish vast GMO soy plantations in Brazil’s Amazon basin.

Evo Nationalizes Bolivia’s Oil and Gas Industry

Bolivia’s first indigenous president Evo Morales, who came to power in 2006 as a direct result of Bolivia’s water wars,* has a far better track record. The documentary details his decision to nationalize Bolivia’s oil and gas industry and use the income to fund government pensions for the elderly, free education and safer working conditions for Bolivian tin miners. Evo also re-nationalized the tin mines, which had been privatized, and rehired all the miners who had been laid off.

Multinational oil companies (mainly Exxon, Shell and Total) owned 60% of Bolivia’s fossil fuel industry, and the US ambassador (ie CIA) colluded with the Bolivian opposition to block Evo’s land reforms in the rich eastern provinces. In 2008, provincial police gunned down a peaceful peasant protest demanding the land they had been promised. Evo responded by expelling the US ambassador.

Bureaucracy and Corruption in Venezuela

The segment on Venezuela begins with the massive popular protest that defeated the attempted US coup against Chavez in 2002. It also includes a lengthy segment on Chavez’s housing reforms, profiling one of the female housing activists he put in charge of overseeing the replacement of a barrio full of tin shacks with a modern apartment complex.

Venezuela’s land reform efforts weren’t nearly as successful as Bolivia’s, which filmmakers blame on bureaucracy and corruption within the Chavez government.

Constituent Assembly Writes New Constitution in Ecuador

Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa is presented in a much more favorable light. Eyes Wide Open focuses mainly on his decision to call a constituent assembly to write a new constitution. The latter would recognize, for the first time, the multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural basis of Ecuadorean society. This new constitution would also be the first in the world to recognize the rights of nature.


*Bolivia’s water wars were a series of protests that took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 1999-2000, over the privatization (resulting in massive price hikes) of the city’s municipal water supply. In 2003-2005, similar protests broke out over the privatization of Bolivia’s natural gas supply. The protests eventually led President Sánchez de Lozada to step down and flee to Miami.

End the Left-Right White Solidarity Against Haiti

Guest Post by Ezili Danto

Why is Cuba, Venezuela, the African Union, Latin America and the CARICOM nations turning a blind eye to the US occupation of Haiti, even participating in the pillage and plunder? Is this what Venezuelan president Maduro calls ‘supporting revolution?’… Tourism, an export economy, sweatshops and privatization of pubic assets are not development for Haiti, Africa, or the Caribbean… The Haitian people identify as enemy, to varying levels and degrees, those who directly or indirectly treat them as less than human. Painting Cuba or Venezuela on the wall of Imperialism’s forts so-to-speak, won’t stop Haiti’s masses from attacking the super-leftists, or super-progressives’ racist part in today’s white supremacist occupation in Haiti.

***

Super-leftist Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro cozy up to despotic Right-wing US puppet- president, Michel Martelly

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and Right-wing US puppet:Haiti president, Michel Martelly| Photo credit- AP

A few years ago, in “Haiti: Time to remember Kandyo, the Malfini and Mongoose,” I wrote about the United States- Left/Right, Democrat/Republican racist solidarity against Haiti. But the forces against Haiti are not only a US-Left-Right white solidarity. The former colonized nations and current anti-imperialist nations also collaborate with white supremacy in Haiti. Cuba, Venezuela, Latin America, the African Union and CARICOM turn a blind eye to the US occupation of Haiti, even participating in the pillage and plunder. The US occupiers are privatizing Haiti, including Haiti offshore islands like Île a Vache. Is this United States and united nations’ white supremacist/racist solidarity against Haiti what Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro calls “supporting revolutionary change?”

Black Independence threatens White beliefs of Superiority. This explains current US occupation, plunder and pillage and why US/Euro constantly destroy and defame Haiti
Black Independence threatens White beliefs of Superiority. This explains current US occupation, plunder and pillage and why US/Euro constantly destroy and defame Haiti

 

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

On August 14, 1791 at Bwa Kayiman, the Vodun gathering that began the continuing Haiti revolution, the Haiti revolutionaries, addressed all the forces of white supremacy with this simple call: stop the Black collaborators, stop the white colonist, stop all their evil forces .

To win its freedom, Haiti fought against England, Spain and Napoleon’s colonial army. Napoleon’s army was made up of soldiers from conquered nations and colonial representatives from within the imperial government called – in the white gaze of things – the equivalent of today’s “progressive” forces.  Similarly, the US colonial army in Haiti is a multinational force of conquered nations, some of whom are anti-imperialistic and progressive, in the white gaze of things. These otherwise anti-imperialistic nations see nothing contrary or brutal about their racist participation in the united nations’ colonial forces in Haiti. ALBA countries like Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile willingly participate. For over 10-years now, although “progressive” Brazil has officially commanded the UN troops in Haiti, the foot soldiers for the UN-MINUSTAH troops in Haiti are made up mainly of poor soldiers from Latin America, Asia, Africa with the top commanding officers mostly from the ranks of Europe and North America. This is the 21st century colonial army, exploiting and repressing Haiti’s black masses on behalf of the number one superpower in the world, the United States.

 

IlavachPetition

The three Ile a Vache demands: Rescind the May 10, 2013 decree taking the Island; Release Maltunes from jail and end the BIM military police occupation by recalling this force back to Haiti mainland.

***

The UN-MINUSTAH colonial army in Haiti

Budget $576,619,000 for July 2014 to June 30, 2014

Military personnel

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, United States and Uruguay.

Police personnel

Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Egypt, France, Grenada, Guinea, India, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Yemen.

 

Ile a Vache demonstrate against corporate land grab as tourism jobs for locals

Ile a Vache demonstrate against corporate land grab as tourism jobs for locals

***
Matulnes Speaks

Three of their Black overseers, Ghanaian diplomat and  Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan along with the United State’s Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice played pivotal roles for the George W. Bush administration in 2004 to help obfuscate the blatant racism involved in taking down Haiti’s democratically elected government. Later on, after the earthquake, Bill and Hillary Clinton under the Obama administration – the husband at the UN as UN special envoy to Haiti, the wife as head of the Obama State Department – would surpass the three Black overseers along with Lula’s generals in Haiti, in their “progressive” destruction of Haiti to abscond with $9billion in quake funds, while supervising the US/Euro yet-to-be unveiled amendments of the Haiti constitution. Amendments reminiscent of Franklin D. Roosevelt brutal and repressive Haiti actions during the first US occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934. This time to change Haiti laws and mining prohibitions in favor of land grabs such the Ile a Vache with “tax waivers,” – meaning taking from the traumatized and defenseless Haiti poor to give to the super-rich and such other monstrous corporate welfare.

Haiti’s Washington advisors are conveniently “making use of a little-known “investment code” that gives 15-year tax breaks to the owners of new hotels, many of whom are from the country’s powerful and wealthy families. This law also allows hotel owners to ship supplies through customs without paying taxes.”

White solidarity between the anti-imperialist nations against Haiti is evident in the current tourism push by Venezuela in Haiti and the blind eye of the rest of Latin America, CARICOM, African Union nations and the OAS to the brutal repression and dehumanization associated with the Ile a Vache land grab that is underway in Haiti.

The right wing Haiti puppet government employs over 115 Motorized Intervention Brigade (BIM) police officers to forcefully evacuate residents of the Ile a Vache rural community in order to facilitate the Lamothe/ Villedrouin cabinet’s acquisition of large parcels of coastal lands on the island.

Jean Lamy Matulnes, the Vice President of the Gathering of Ile a Vache Farmers (Konbit Peyizan Ilavach, or KOPI) has been put in prison for the political reason of championing Ile a Vache peasant protest against the brutal right wing Haiti government’s unilaterally taking of Haiti offshore island for foreign “tourist” interests.  But part of the land being taken is for permanent housing for the wealthy that can purchase the 1500 seaside luxury condos and 2500 villas that are to be built on lands previously inhabited by relatively poor Haitians. A mere 2,000 “new jobs” for local Haitians is projected for this massive disenfranchisement of the 20,000 Haitians living on the island. This new Haiti earthquake is being financed, in part, by Venezuela.

20,000 Haitians living on the Island have had their entire lives turned upside down. Residents are faced daily with the heavily armed Motorized Intervention Brigade (BIM) that is helping Dominican Republic construction company, Ingenieria Estrella, bulldoze peasant properties. Done on behalf of the Haiti government for their tourism hoax, which, like the Caracol Hoax, masks foreign appropriation of fertile Haiti lands.

 

Vache proposed land grab

 

The reign of terror has forced many community leaders into hiding. Protestors are brutally beaten, intimidated with BIM constant show of force and KOPI members, in particular, are hunted.

The lie about “reconstructing Haiti back better” is no longer centered on raising funds for homeless quake victims, which is then mostly used to take lands away from peasants in the North, make them homeless in order to build a Caracol sweatshop factory for the South Korean friends of the Clintons. No longer about investing in for-profit hotels for tourists in Port au Prince. No. It’s about grabbing all of Haiti’s offshore islands, privatizing Île à Vache, evicting citizens to make room for tourists and calling the outrage, “helping the Haitians.”

The Haiti media, which generally travels with the Haiti officials pushing tourist projects as Haiti development are too busy enjoying room service, other traveling perks and special visa favors for themselves and their families to write about anything but the puppet government and its white supremacist’s spins.  There is mostly no international media reporting about the exploitation and brutalization of the population. And since most folks are trained to see tourism – which in Haiti is generally a reproduction of Dixieland plantations with Black and Brown as maids, sexual objects and servers – as Haiti development, Haitians who condemn and denounce the land grab and evictions are branded as short-sighted.

The fact that tourism at Ile a Vache, Haiti is about favoring mostly wealthy white folks to come live and play on Haiti lands taken unfairly from Blacks, escapes the Western-schooled and assimilated mindset. In fact, the colonial narrative is that white supremacy is development for Haiti. Even progressive Venezuela (which we’ve written “must not fall”) is investing in Haiti tourism at Ile a Vache, instead of pushing to end the US occupation of Haiti, the disenfranchisement of the people, the use of Haiti resources and lands to make foreigners wealthy.

Venezuela has invested invested $27 million directly into the Haiti’s tourism ministry that presides over projects such the Ile a Vache debacle.

Some say the Latin American/CARICOM/African Union nations with troops in the US colonial army in Haiti are just tramps. The UN jobs are just that – jobs for poor countries in the global South and Africa. It’s just about: “take the other Negro master and leave us alone.” Which cowardly position will not work because vulture capitalism/white supremacy has to eat up everything in its path. But what is Cuba and Venezuela’s strategic, unprincipled reason for ignoring the imperialist occupation of Haiti, even participating? Is investing in a Haiti land grab like the Clintons’ investing in sweatshops what Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro calls “supporting equality, justice and participatory democracy for the masses?”

The Ile a Vache tourist project is nothing less than a corporate land grab to increase inequality, apartheid, create slums on the Island for the people and further contain them in poverty. Is this what the “Bolivarian” revolution is about? Investing in Haiti’s brutal repression, dehumanization? Dispossessing the local residents to further plunder the billions in Haiti’s underwater treasures at Ile a Vache? Does this racism only apply to the people of Haiti that these anti-imperialist “progressives” don’t see as humans?

 

Haiti Bwa Kayiman call: Stop the Black collaborators to White supremacy, stop the white colonists and all their evil forces

Haiti Bwa Kayiman call: Stop the Black collaborators to White supremacy, stop the white colonists and all their evil forces | Photo source – Facebook, FreeHaitiMovement

Haiti is at ground zero, the laboratory for the global Left-Right white solidarity going on everywhere: either objectively championing U.S./Euro imperialist aggression or providing, like Venezuela and Cuba, tacit support for that aggression through silence. (Left-Right White Solidarity?-The new face of 21st century neo-fascism.)

But has it ever really been different for Haiti?

There’s been some rare times of brief solidarity over the years. There was the time when JP Patterson of Jamaica refused to be intimidated by Condi Rice’s ultimatum for Jamaica not to give asylum to Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004.  There was the time when then President Thabo Mbeki eschewed US warnings,  attended the Haiti bicentennial. Then later on sent weapons to the Aristide-Neptune government which would have reached Haiti the day (February 29, 2004) the US hastened through their bicentennial regime change/US occupation.  China also, once upon a time, helped veto UN colonial missions to Haiti.

But these rare moments are the exception to the rule, generally reversed quickly by Empire’s economic hitmen, its jackals or bureaucratic institutions and international financial establishments that are structurally racist. The lessons of history show that, in the long run, so-called progressive credentials are put on show to lull the agitated masses into accepting the lies and deliberate confusions strummed to a crescendo pitch by Empire. The intensity paralyzes you. You don’t want to charge the prestigious super leftists, like Cuba and Venezuela, with colluding with the very empire they’re fighting against that also denies Haiti self-reliance and right to self-determination.

But a humorous Native American’s take on the matter is salient here:

“every time we tried to attack their forts, they hadSoul Brotherpainted on them, and so we never got the job done.” — Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto by Vine Deloria, Jr.

The Haitian people identify as enemy, to varying levels and degrees, those who directly or indirectly treat them as less than human. Painting Cuba or Venezuela on the wall of Imperialism’s forts so-to-speak, won’t stop Haiti’s masses from attacking the super-leftists, or super-progressives’ racist part in today’s white supremacist occupation in Haiti.

It’s no coincidence that Ajamu Baraka recently addressed this topic from a more global perspective, maintaining that the Left-Right White solidarity is the most recent face of 21st century neo-fascism. He explained that racism/white supremacy is the foundation of Euro fascism which is always ready to explode.

Cross-class white solidarity in defense of “Western values,” civilization and the prerogative to determine who has the right to national sovereignty …is at the base of the rationalization of the “responsibility to protect” asserted by the white West.”

Haiti activists at Ezili’s HLLN have been pointing out the solidarity of the white saviors from the US/Euro Left and Right brotherly spectrum since the second US occupation of Haiti began in 2004. The Ile a Vache expropriation of lands, with the racist DR as investor and Venezuela’s involvement requires a critical look.

Venezuela cannot claim to be anti-imperialists while financing a right wing Haiti government selected by the US and its OAS flunkies when Haiti is under direct US occupation behind a UN colonial army for over ten years now. It is the millions of dollars from Venezuela that is partly sponsoring the illegal imprisonment of Jean Lamy Maltunes, the dispossession of peasant lands, the setting loose of police dogs on the people and such other Nazi-like brutal reprisals against Haiti peoples at Ile a Vache.

Is it not time the world stood in solidarity with the people of Haiti against this US occupation and its selected puppet government carrying out Western imperialistic, racist biddings in Haiti?

Kay Kok,_Ile,a Vache, Haiti

Kay Kok,_Ile,a Vache, Haiti

 

For over 10-years, since before the end of the Gerald Latorture’s reign in 2006, Haiti’s people have stood virtually alone, while most of Latin America and the CARICOM nations – still officially rule through their European “motherlands”- along with the OAS, ALBA and the African Union, turns a blind eye to the Western imperialist project, neoliberalism, UN troop massacres and the general colonial whitening in Haiti.

These nations, especially the Latin American nations who mostly hide their large African populations in Favela-type conditions, are unwilling to penetrate through the US propaganda alleging that the UN is a peacekeeping force, a humanitarian force. Mostly, Latin America, CARICOM, and the African Union find it appropriate to have troops involved in the US colonial army in Haiti.

Cuba and Venezuela do not have troops in UN-MINUSTAH, but they simply seem not to want to understand, for their own geopolitical purposes and perhaps for strategic unity with the Latin American and Caribbean participants in Haiti’s occupation.

The US propaganda is swallowed that Haiti needs to be ruled by foreigners. This is justified by focusing on Black fratricide and Black on black crime in Haiti, even though Haiti has less violence (6.9) than most nations in the Western Hemisphere, including the Dominican Republic (25.0), Jamaica (40.9), Bahamas (36.6), Brazil( 21.8), Venezuela (45.1), Mexico (23.7) and El Salvador (69.2).  But these former colonized nations are not willing to accept Haiti violence and corruption is as underdeveloped as its economic potential;  incapable of penetrating through the racist propaganda that is part and parcel of Western imperialism since the founding of Haiti.

Cuba’s medical brigade is reputed to be doing good work in Haiti. But some observant Haitians have serious concerns.

These detractors say that Cuba’s medical brigade, just like the typical Western NGOs, cannot be deemed totally positive when it replaces or substitutes for, as oppose to adding to, a locally grown and sovereign Haiti public infrastructure.

Others point out that when the US multinational forces invaded Haiti in 2004, took over the medical school in Port au Prince to put in their multinational force’s headquarters, the public Cuban protest to the US occupation of Haiti behind UN proxy guns then as now was nil. Accepting the containment in poverty of the people of Haiti with the self-serving idea that humanitarian imperialism and fomenting dependency is a good thing, all while Haiti’s vast riches and lands continue to be plundered and pillaged, is gross.

Promoting dependency is slavery

 

Promoting dependency is slavery| Source-Facebook

 

Haiti activists in battle against the US occupation find all the nations on planet earth have forsaken Haiti to fight European barbarity, as it did in 1791, alone. Haiti, with no European colonial motherland or white Russian force at its back, is deemed easy prey. Right-wing US-selected Haiti president, Michel Martelly, roams the world for photo opportunities with Raoul Castro, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, the Pope and makes photo-op appearances with Barack Obama and the other overseers for white supremacy at the African Union.

Any organization within Haiti that is not openly supporting the end of the colonial occupation of Haiti is complicit with and/or benefiting from its tenure there.

Haiti’s quest to take down white supremacy, its dehumanization policies and raise up its independence – Black beauty and local independence – offends most folks with the other gaze. Even Eva Morales with his Bolivarian revolution has troops within the US colonial army in Haiti.

The radical, anti-imperialists writing today do not ink any of this Haiti reality. These folks mostly laud the great good that Venezuelan  PetroCaribe dollars is doing for the Haiti masses. The fact that the Haiti oligarchy charges over six dollars ($6) per gallon for this subsidize gasoline to the people of Haiti while selling it, in bulk, at cheaper prices to wealthy passing cruise ships does not garner their attention. Nor does the oligarchs’ monopoly on petrol in Haiti, their petrol farms warehousing supply to keep prices high seem noticeable to them whatsoever.

…a June 13, 2008 Nouvelliste article alleges, in sum, that then President Preval confided that “more than 40 to 50% of the imported rice that is subsidized by the Haitian State is CONSUMED in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC… And that even Haitian clandestinely subsidized petroleum products, cheaper Haiti oil products, are also being consumed by wealthy foreign ships passing through Haitian waters, instead of the impoverished and starving Haitians these food and gas subsidies were intended to benefit…”— HLLN archives

For its part, the international media is too busy giving itself awards and winning corporate foundation grants to do any real reporting on Western imperialism, vulture capitalism, neoliberalism and racism, including Caribbean-Latin American institutionalized racism against Haiti. For instance, CARICOM requires only Haiti as a CARICOM member must have a visa to travel to other CARICOM countries.

The Dominican Republic is the only honest racist amongst the Latin American/Caribbean bunch. It straight out denationalized Dominicans of Haitian descent going back to 1929, to “purify” its country of Black blood, “saved itself from the Haitian hordes,” casually committing civil genocide for Haitians-Dominicans with no great protest from the world’s nations.

Haiti gov raise only Ile a Vache forest to ground to build tourists an airport
Haiti govt raize the only Ile a Vache forest to the ground to build tourists an airport

 

For true revolutionaries in Cuba and Venezuela, this Haiti abandonment should stop. A good beginning would be to lend a helping hand to the voiceless, vulnerable people of Ile a Vache who built and reforested the Island.  The people ask that the May 10, 2013 presidential decree unilaterally making the Ile a Vache offshore island in Haiti a zone of tourism development and public utility be rescinded. They want the unconditional release of Jean Maltunes Lamy and for the withdrawal of the 115 militarized police from the Island.

We suggest, people-to-people, that world citizens write the Venezuelan embassy in Haiti; write to President Nicolas Maduro; contact Venezuelan activists – ask that Venezuela use its diplomatic power to immediately work for the release of Jean Lamy Maltunes. The principled action is for Venezuela to immediately stop financing the neofascist Martelly/Lamothe government in the name of “helping Haitians.”  Tourism, an export economy, sweatshops and privatization of pubic assets are not development for Haiti, Africa, Latin America or the Caribbean.

The racist delirium,  a solid firewall of convenient alliances, evidenced by the Left-Right White solidarity against Haiti, can be cracked if Venezuela and Cuba spoke up for the hunted people of Ile a Vache and used their progressive credentials, their dollars and presence in Haiti to get the release of Jean Lamy Maltunes.  This is a concrete opportunity to stop colluding with Empire; to begin to denounce and condemn the US occupation of Haiti.


Ezili Dantò of HLLN
April 2014

Follow Ezili at http://www.ezilidanto.com/zili/