Archive for Chavez

Varje 11 april kommer att följas av en ny seger för Venezuelas folk

Posted in Chavez, Politics, Venezuela with tags , , , , , , , on April 12, 2008 by Minimux

Militärkuppen i Venezuela blev ett misslyckande tack vare Venezuelas befolkning som mot alla odds intog Caracas gator och återinsatte den folkvalde presidenten Hugo Chavez. Aldrig tidigare har befolkningen lyckats besegra utländska intressen och dess lokala medlöpare på detta sätt.

 

För sex år sedan genomfördes ännu en militärkupp i Latinamerika. Historien verkade hinna kontinenten ikapp. Minnet av 70-talets blodiga diktaturer som tog livet av tiotusentals vänsteraktivister och införde en kriminell ekonomiskt system – nyliberalismen, fick många latinamerikaner att reagera och visa sitt stöd för Venezuelas förändringsprocess och dess ledare Hugo Chavez. Den var den 11 april 2002.

 

En grupp militärer och dess uppdragsgivare, USA, Spanien, venezuelanska näringslivet och dess medieimperium, iscensatte en statskupp i Venezuela. Målet var att eliminera den valde nationalistiske och vänsterinriktade presidenten, Hugo Chavez och därmed hindra att fler länder i regionen skulle demokratiseras. Landets rikedomar bland annat oljan var kuppmakarnas viktigaste krigsbyte.

 

Kuppmakarna upplöste parlamentet och satt landet i undanstagstillstånd. De ockuperade radiostationer och tevekanaler och på så sätt försökte de att hindra befolkningen från att få information om händelserna. De tog till fånga landets president Hugo Chavez och satt honom under arrest. Han fördes bort i väntan på att bli avrättad. Den synlige ledaren för kuppen blev representanten för Venezuelanska arbetsgivarorganisation, FEDECAMERAS som också tillträdde som ny president. USA höll i trådarna i bakgrunden. Under två dagar höll kuppmakarna makten.

 

Dagen efter kuppen, den 12 april 2002, kunde man läsa i västpressen att genom störtandet av Chavez hade demokratin återställts i Venezuela. Medierna i Sverige lovordade kuppmakarna och det skrevs långa artiklar av de mest kända liberala debattörerna som förklarade att kuppen hade räddat demokratin i Venezuela.

 

Ingen av de som säger sig värna om demokrati och mänskliga rättigheter försvarade den folkvalda venezuelanska regeringen eller fördömde kuppen. Ingen av de pseudodemokrater som idag skriker högt och protesterar mot Kina eller Zimbabwe protesterade mot kuppmakarna.

 

Vem av dessa så kallade liberala demokrater har exempelvis uppmärksammat allmänheten om att Venezuelas grundlag är en världens mest demokratiska. Denna grundlag, som upplöstes av kuppmakarna i april 2002, hade röstats fram av landets befolkning i en folkomröstning år 1999. Den garanterar nämligen bland annat rätten att återkalla politiska uppdrag inkluderad självaste presidentens mandat om 20 % av en valkrets kräver det. 

 

Den venezuelanska grundlagen är som sagt unik i världen. Det finns endast tre länder i världen som garanterar rätten att återkalla ett politiskt uppdrag och det är endast Venezuela som använt sig av denna möjlighet år 2004. Chavez vann denna omröstning med en förkrossande majoritet. Ändå hade de svenska pseudoliberalerna mage att kalla Venezuelas president för en diktator och välkomnade kuppmakarna som frihetens förkämpar. 

 

Vad var det som gjorde att så kallade liberala debattörer och media skribenter anslöt sig till kuppmakarna och den globala mediediktaturens angrepp mot Venezuela?

 

Orsaken finns att hitta i Venezuelas historia som liksom hela kontinentens historia är nära kopplad till nyliberalismens utplundringsstrategi.

 

Venezuela anammar den nyliberala ideologin.

Nyliberalismen som ideologin och som ekonomiskt system hade svept över kontinenten i följespår och i direkt samspelt med de militära högerdiktaturerna under 70-talet.

 

Den nyliberala ideologin och dess långgående privatiseringar av allmänhetens gemensamma egendomar, avregleringar av arbetsrätten och skattesystemet samt nedskärningar i den offentliga sektorn försatt miljoner människor i djup misär. Nyliberalismen som ideologi och som ekonomisk politik, infördes med hjälp av tortyr och massmord. De så kallade demokratierna i Europa protesterade mot medlen såsom tortyr och massmord, men inte mot ändamålen, en ekonomisk politik som gynnade utländska företag.

 

Ett sådant brutalt ekonomiskt system kan aldrig införas på ett annat sätt än med direkt våld och kulturell indoktrinering. Orsaken är lika banal som självklart: ingen befolkning skulle i demokratiska val välja att sälja bort landet för smulor till maffialiknande företagskonglomerat, jobba för svältlöner eller montera ner landets sociala trygghetssystem. Friedman, nyliberalismens språkrör på 70-talet, var klart på denna punkt: Om nyliberalismen ska införas så ska den införas snabbt, brutalt och hänsynslöst

 

I Venezuela hade den nyliberala vågen nått landet i slutet av 80-talet. Detta skedde då resten av kontinenten redan hade dragits in i huggsexa och enorma privata förmögenheter hade skapats som en följd av utplundringen och privatiseringen av tidigare statsägda industrier. Ländernas naturtillgångar reades ut och skattefinansierade anläggningar plundrades av ”finanshajar”. Finansiering av köpeskillingen ordnades passlig nog med lånade pengar från IMF och statens egna medel som ”lånades ut” till förmånliga villkor.

 

Utlandsskulden

När kraschen kom tog staten ansvaret för lånet så som staten brukar göra när finansfolk och andra skojare slösar bort sina pengar. Allmänheten fick än en gång betala priset för kalaset. Först fick allmänheten via skattsedeln betala uppbyggnad av den nationella industrin och samhällsservicen. Därefter reades ut dessa industrier till spekulanter till subventionerade priser. Det dröjde inte länge förrän skojarna hade tömt verksamheterna på tillgångar och hade kört verksamheten i botten. Då övertog staten deras skulder till utlandet och när de utländska finansspekulanterna hamnade i kris och höjde räntan för att täcka sina förluster drabbade folket i dessa länder av ofantliga utlandsskulder. Det är den nyliberala ekonomiska framgången i fyra akter. Grunden till utlandsskuldskrisen hade lagts.

 

Venezuelanerna gör motstånd

Venezolanerna gjorde våldsamt motstånd mot detta kriminella system och deras utländska ”experter” och 1988 gav sig folket ut på gatorna för att kräva sina rättigheter och sitt land tillbaka. Befolkningen massakrerades, tusentals mördades i Caracas gator. Ansvarig för massakern, den socialdemokratiske och nyliberale presidenten Carlos Andres Perez hyllades av liberala debattörer som en ”sann demokrat”. Han hade med hjälp av korruption och lögner vunnit valet med ett politiskt och ekonomiskt program som i efterhand anpassades till de internationella finansiella organisationernas krav på ”strukturanpassningar” som IMF dikterade.

 

Ingen vet exakt hur många som dödades av denna ”demokratiska” regering. En del pratar om ca 10 000 personer eller rättare sagt fattiga. I Venezuelas dåvarande ”demokrati” saknade de fattiga till och med identitetshandlingar. De fattiga fanns inte ens i landets register. De existerade helt enkelt inte. Detta har för övrigt aldrig varit ett ämne att problematisera för svenska demokrater. Det var som väntat ingen i Sverige som protesterade över denna massaker eller mot denna brutala mördare Carlos Andres Perez, Vad skulle hända om Chavez skulle vara ansvarig för en enda dödsfall? Det är klart, Chavez är inte en av våra.

 

Chavez som Venezuelas nye ledare

Chavez kom till makten för att förbättra folkets levnadsvillkor och göra Venezuela oberoende av de utländska ”experterna” som hade orsakat så mycket misär och lidande. Han vann valet med ett program som lovade politisk deltagande, en ny grundlag som garanterade varje venezuelan sina mänskliga rättigheter. Det handlade om en offentlig sektor som garanterade kostnadsfri vård och skolan, jobb och en nationell industri som hjälpte till att utveckla landet.

 

Chavez åberopade Simon Bolivar, Latinamerikas store frihetshjälte från självständighetskriget mot Europa som symbol och ledstjärna i sitt projekt – den bolivarianska revolutionen. En revolution som skulle fullfölja 1820- talets ursprungliga projekt om en enad politisk och ekonomisk oberoende kontinent. 

 

Deltagandet i utformandet av den första bolivarianska grundlag blev en milstolpe i Venezuelas och Latinamerikas politiska historia. Grundlagen diskuterades på arbetsplatser, skolor, på gator och torg, ute i byarna.

Befolkningen röstade igenom reformen år 1999 med en överväldigande majoritet.

 

Detta var för mycket för de som under 150 år hade styrt landet men inte gjort något annat än att plundra det. Nästan samtliga de vid varje period sittande regeringarna fick genom korruption och allmosor från sina utländska partner sko sig på landets naturtillgångar. Chavez blev alltför farlig för dessa korrumperade venezuelaner och dess utländska uppdragsgivare. 

 

Terrorkampanj mot den folkvalda regeringen

De reaktionära krafterna satte igång en skrämselkampanj som lyfte upp det kommunistiska spöket som tidigare kommit väl till pass när olika nationalistiska, socialdemokratiska, socialistiska eller t o m ärliga liberaler hade kommit till makten i regionen. Detta fungerade inte.

 

Oppositionen till Chavez använde sig av hela sin monopolställning inom media och kommunikation för att förtala regeringen. Det blev vanligt att genom media kunde oppositionen utmana folk att ta livet av Chavez. Inte heller detta ökade stödet för oppositionen eller räckte till för att störta Chavez. Anklagelserna mot Chavez blev alltmer aggressiva i ett försök att vända opinionen mot honom. Chavez utmålades mer eller mindre som en förrädare då han påstods ge bort landets olja till Kuba och andra länder. Anklagelserna kom från de som alltid hade gett bort landets naturresurser till multinationella bolag.

 

Ingenting sades i oppositionens media om att Venezuelas olja gick till Kuba i utbyte mot bland annat 30 000 kubanska läkare som hjälpte att ta hand om de behövande på den venezuelanska landsbygden. Ingenting sades heller om att oljan gick till de fattiga små karibiska stater till förmånligare priser, och till utbyggnaden av sjukhus, bostäder, fabriker och skolor. De korrumperade politiska partierna och dess uppdragsgivare som alltid hade fått sin andel av de multinationella företagens oljevinster blev desperata.

 

Kuppen som sista utväg? 

Kuppmakarna hade planerat händelsernas förlopp i detalj. De hade för sin hjälp amerikanska rådgivare och specialister i ”demokratins försvar”. De hade en del militärer och näringslivet med sig. De hade kontrollen över massmedia. Under dagen den 11 april 2002 organiserades en demonstration i Caracas och prickskyttar sattes på viktiga platser för att kunna skjuta mot folk, både mot sina egna och mot Chavez anhängarna, allt enligt planerna. Presskonferensen där journalister och generaler skulle begära Chavez avgång för massakern var förinspelat sen ett par dagar innan som en av CNN: s rapporter erkände senare. Samma kväll stormades president palatset.

 

Vad var det som gick snett för kuppmakarna?

Allt skulle ha slutat där.

 

Så som många gånger tidigare skulle det ha räckt med att eliminera några tusentals vänsteraktivister, fattiga som ingen skulle sakna, stängt de få medier som kunde tänka sig att informera om sanningen och försäkrat att demokratin var återställd. De utländska investeringarna skulle ha strömmat in i landet då en företagsvänlig politik hade snabbt inrättats. Den internationella pressen som har nära kopplingar de multinationella oljebolagen skulle ha lovordat återställandet av demokratin. I bästa fall skulle några kanske ha kritiserat metoden dock inte målet för återställandet av demokratin.

 

Kuppmakarna besegras

Men något gick fel. Befolkningens och många militärens reaktion var inte inräknat i förberedelserna inför kuppen. Folket började samlas och diskutera vad de skulle göra. Protesterna växte till sig snabbt och mer och mer organiserade. Det hjälpte inte med att kravallpolis försökte slå ner grupper som krävde presidentens återkomst. Man sköt på demonstranter och obeväpnade ungdomar. Sluminvånarna strömmade till centrala Caracas från deras pappersskjul och från deras misär. Folkmassan började inta Caracas, sjungande, skrikande, uppmanande, dansande, beväpnad med påkar och pistoler, allt i en blandning av karneval, uppror, fest och upplopp. Mot kvällen den 12 april nådde hundratusentals beslutsamma Caracasbor president palatset. Deras krav var tydligt. Chavez skulle bli frigiven eller så skulle kuppmakarna få smaka på folkets vrede.

 

Ställda inför valet att skjuta på sitt eget folk eller förena sig med dem valde de militärstyrkorna som hade intagit presidentpalatset att ge efter för folkets krav. Att någonting skulle hända var kanske inte så konstigt. Till skillnad från militären i andra latinamerikanska länder har de venezuelanska militärer inte utbildats i USA i doktrinen om den ”inre fienden”. De flesta officerare kommer inte heller från landets välställda områden utan från fattiga familjer. Soldaterna såg sina mödrar eller andra anhöriga i folkmassan. Det var lätt för militären att välja sida.

 

Kuppmakarna fick fly i panik när soldaterna gick över till folket. Kuppen var över. Några timmar senare återvände president Hugo Chavez och välkomnades av folkmassorna som fyllde Caracas med sina stödrop. Det var den 13 april 2002. Hugo Chavez lovade då att aldrig överge sitt folk, inte ens om det skulle kosta honom livet.

 

Lärdomar av denna händelse

Detta hände för sex år sedan. En händelse som var unikt i Latinamerikas historia. Folket hade i stället för att gett upp eller tappat hoppet gjort motstånd. Trots den mediala blockaden som den nästan totala kontroll över media som oppositionen hade kunde nyheten om kuppen sprida sig snabbt i de fattiga kvarteren. Invånarna hade gett varandra tröst och mod. De samlade mod och beslutsamhet som enda vapen. De hade ingenting att förlora och mycket att vinna. President Chavez var inte ensam som Chiles mördade president Salvador Allende hade varit nästan 30 år tidigare, den 11 september 1973. Och detta var ingen slump. Chavez hade tidigare berättat för venezuelanerna om Allendes heroiska men ensam kamp i Chiles presidentpalats. Venezuelanerna visste vad som väntade dem. Folkets minne är långvarigt.

 

Nya utmaningar

Mycket har blivit bättre i Venezuela sedan den 11 april 2002. Det finns dock mycket kvar att göra. Försöken att utveckla den deltagande demokratin möter motstånd från gamla korrumperade politiker och tjänstemän. Försöken att tillgodose befolkningen grundläggande behov möter motstånd från privata företag som prioriterar exporten i stället för att exempelvis producera livsmedel. De oljebolagen som under decennier har roffat åt sig landets rikedomar undergräver landets demokrati. Det tar tid att bygga upp en media som tjänar befolkningens intressen och som bildar människor i stället för att fylla vardagen med dockusåpor och falsk kultur. Kontinentens integration med utgångspunkt från rättvis handel möter kraftigt motstånd från de utländska intressen som har sina tentakler överallt och som köpt politiker och tjänstemän.

 

Venezuela står inför många hot. Det är mäktiga intressen som vill eliminera allt som har med självständighet och oberoende att göra. Venezuela har att göra med professionella medieterrorister som bakom en demokratisk fasad arbetar dagligen med att undergräva landets institutioner. Propagandan mot Venezuelas förändringsprocess är hänsynslös. Chavez anklagas för allt från kommunistisk diktator till terrorist.

 

Venezuela är hotad eftersom utvecklingen går framåt. Den dagen omvärlden lovordar Chavez då bör befolkningen i Latinamerika bli oroliga för detta skulle innebära att Chavez har gett efter för de transnationella bolagen och dess medlöpare såsom politiker, journalister och andra opinionsbildare. 

 

Att Venezuelas ekonomi växer, att Venezuelas inflytande över befolkningen i många länder växer och får alltmer legitimitet passerar inte obemärkt bland folket i resten av kontinenten eller i resten av världen. Var än Chavez är välkommas han som en hjälte. Det är ingen skillnad om det handlar om arabländerna, Ryssland eller resten av Latin Amerika. Chavez hyllas av folket även i Europa och USA. För folket hyser en intuitiv förståelse för vilka är deras vänner och vilka som vill dem illa, vilka som ljuger för dem. Falska profeter är kortlivade. Chavez har redan varit 10 år vid makten och det är ingen tillfällighet. Det är folket som röstat på honom gång på gång.

 

Det är tusentals venezuelaner och andra latinamerikaner som hat tagit intryck av Venezuelas förändringsprocess. Många har vaknat ur den dvala som högerdiktaturer och den nyliberala dimman hade sänkt dem i.

 

Folk börjar diskutera, hitta alternativa vägar, man accepterar inte att ”historien är slut” eller att ”det inte finns annan väg” som Thatcher och C. Bildt försäkrade på 90-talet. Man börja se sig omkring och man ser att man inte är ensam. Det finns ett alternativ till den kriminella ordningen som nyliberalismen har inrättat i världen.

 

Konspirationsplanerna går vidare.

Därför har de mörka krafterna som verkar i slutna rum fortsatt att konspirera och planera nya angrepp mot Venezuela. Dessa krafter vilar inte. De avskyr inga medel. De har inga skrupler, inga hämningar.

En del kommer från mediavärlden och är etablerade journalister. Andra kommer från stora bolag, från utländska regeringar, från lokala maffiabossar, de finns att hitta i högerorganisationer, i paraply organisationer som säger sig försvara demokrati och mänskliga rättigheter, i frivilliga organisationer som ibland har t o m vänsterinriktningar. Många av dem är finansierade av så kallade biståndsorganisationer, andra har aktivt varit rådgivare åt diktaturer, andra har tillhört dödskvadroner eller stött terroristorganisationer såsom paramilitärer i Colombia eller UCK i Kosovo, alla tror sig besitta ett högre värde. Många av dem samlades i Rosario, Argentina förra helgen. Även Sverige var representerad av Mauricio Rojas.

 

Trots allt detta kommer Venezuela och Latinamerika att gå vidare i sitt sökande av ett nytt samhälle där egen vinning och egoism inte ses som normal. Det är alltfler som inser att mediediktaturen och den ekonomiska diktaturen som råder i världen har omvandlat människor till tanklösa konsumenter av skräp. Nya solidariska värderingar kommer att besegra girigheten och egoismen. Venezuela, Kuba, Bolivia, Ecuador och andra folk visar att detta är möjligt. Men det är inte lätt. Det vet venezuelanerna som den 11 april 2002 besegrade det fösta allvarliga försöket att stoppa deras demokratiseringsprocess. Fler 11 april kommer men fler segrar för folket kommer att bli svaret. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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American company blocks the access from Telia to Latin American Websites

Posted in Blogroll with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2008 by Minimux

 www.Aporrea.org 30-03-2008

American company blocks the access from Sweden to Latin American Websites The page http://www.rebelion.org and the Bolivian Agency of Information (www.abi.bo), among others, have been censured by several suppliers of Internet in Sweden and other countries of Europe.  

The state company Telia, supplier of telephony and Internet  services , was affected by a decision of the North American company CogNet that administers the access to several servers.  The measurement was adopted unilaterally, and prevents all the internet suscriptors through the servers of Telia to accede Rebellion and ABI, among other sites. Most of the users of Internet through Telia found out the censorship after trying, by more than one week, acceding to the mentioned sites without success.  

CogNet had censured the access to certain pages of Spain and Latin America, and it does not exist the possibility that the service returns to be established shortly.  Telia maintains that nothing can make to restore the connection with those sites, and admits that it treats that as a censorship and a limitation to the freedom of information. It adds that it is in negotiations with CogNet, but until now without positive results. 

To the mentioned censured pages it is possible to accede from other Internet servers, in special of smaller companies. In some cities the censorship includes thousands of users, since companies administrators of apartments, like HSB, have the Internet broadband service contracted in for their renters through Telia.  Telia is the greater supplier of Internet of Sweden and is associate to other companies in the Nordic countries.

Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA, Agencia Bolivariana, Simon Bolivar Studie Center, Dagens Chavez, hands off venezuela, venezuela nalysis, Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA, Bus

Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA,Bush, preventivt krig, Imperiet, Imperio, Empire. Media gerrilla,

Mauricio Rojas deltog i konferens förra helgen med bedragare, kuppmakarna och mördare i Argentina.

Posted in Blogroll with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2008 by Minimux

 

”Freedom fighter” Mauricio Rojas var med och representerade Folkpartiet när den internationella höger samlades i Rosario, Argentina för att diskutera hur dem ska störta de valda vänsterregeringarna i regioner.

En samling höger politiker samlades förra helgen i den argentinska staden Rosario. Bland dem som deltar finns Jose Maria Aznar, Spanien; Vicente Fox, Mexiko, författaren och konvertit, Mario Vargas Llosas, Roger Noriega (USA: s ansvarig för Latin Amerika och suspekt förnekare att ha stött olika terrorister i regionen), Hernán Büchi, förre detta Pinochet minister, bland andra deltar också oppositionsledare från Venezuela (Marcel Granier, president de RCTV, mm), Bolivia (gamla kroatiska nazister som flydde dit efter ww2) samt Manfred Reyes, polischefen i provinsen Cochabamba, från Argentina militär diktaturen supporter och kolumnist, Claudio Escribano, tjuven och bedragare Mauricio Macri och den lokale gangster bossen Gerardo Bongiovanni. Huvudorganisatör är Freedom Foundation med medorganisatörer som de think tank Heritage Foundation ( som stöds av företag som Chase Manhattan Bank, Dow Chemical Company, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Mobil, mm .) och Cato Institute ( Stöd av bl.a. Phillip Morris, ExxonMobil, mm).

Samlingen ”barrikaderade sig” i en anläggning med ett stort säkerhetspådrag för att diskutera den fortsatta strategin i regionen. På kvällen tågade ca 20 000 ungdomar mot anläggning för att protestera mot den ”förnäma” samlingen. Författare Mario Benedetti och en av organisatörer till en ”motmöte” dagen efter sade till Telesur TV att det inte kan accepteras att före detta kuppmakare, plundrare, tjuvar och andra representanter av en annan tid ska börja konspirera mot de demokratiska regeringarna under öppet och medvetet stöd från Washington. De förre detta kuppmakarna och fascister var inbjudna av organisationen Freedom Foundation (Fuandacion Libertad) som stöds öppen från Vita Huset, enligt deras ambassadör i Argentina, Earl Anthony Wayne, bekräftade i ruset efter en middag i Buenos Aires, 2006.

Det är ypperligt att dessa herrar samlas under samma tak och öppet visar sitt inneboende beroende och koppling. Nyliberala hycklare, ignorant folk eller godtrogna brukar annars förneka kopplingen mellan diktatorer, mördare, terrorister, bedragare, maffiabossar, nyliberala think tank, media jättar, gangstrar, polismakten, ” debattörer”, Vita huset och ”frihetens förkämpar”.

 

Men desperationen kräver desperata åtgärder eller hur var det nu?

Frågan är om folkpartiet ska skicka representanter dit, tillåta deras medlemmar delta i partiets namn eller tillåta personer med tvivelaktiga åsikter vara medlemmar i partiet och sitta i ett sådant vridigt sällskap av bedragare, kuppmakarna, mördare och terrorister. Vad säger folkpartiet om det?

 

 Bush, USA, nyliberalism, neocons, liberaler, bubbla, skojare, nyliberal, Argentina, Latin America, diktatur, höger, Mexiko, Venezuela, maffia, skojare, Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA, Agencia Bolivariana, Simon Bolivar Studie Center, Dagens Chavez, hands off venezuela, venezuela nalysis, Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA, Bus,Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA,Bush, preventivt krig, Imperiet, Imperio, Empire. Media gerrilla,

Latin American Meeting proposes to create an International Platform against Media Terrorism

Posted in Blogroll with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2008 by Minimux

  Caracas, Mar 31. ABN.- The Latin American Meeting, carried out in Caracas from March 27 to 30, concluded that it is a necessity to create an International Platform against Media Terrorism.

In this sense, the Declaration of Caracas, final document of the event that gathered journalists and intellectuals from 14 different countries, calls for a new Meeting to take place in less than two months in a country that has not been decided yet.

To that end, organizers of the Latin American Meeting will work in joint with other organizations, like the Latin American Journalists Federation (FELAP, Spanish acronym), that “it has defended outstandingly the right to the truth and the its slogan: For a free journalism exercise in free
countries; thus, helping to awake the conscience of Latin American and Caribbean people”.

The Declaration of Caracas was made known this Monday in a press conference from the ALBA Caracas Hotel with the Minister of the People’s Power for Communication and Information, Andrés Izarra, and the Director of the Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN), Freddy Fernández, which was the host of the event.

Furthermore, in the Declaration, the attendants linked to the journalism in Latin America, Caribbean, and Canada, denounced the use of falsification methods by the mass media transnationals as a massive and permanent aggression against the people and governments that fight for peace, justice, and inclusion.

“Media terrorism is the first expression and the necessary condition for the military and economic terrorism carried out by the industrialized North in order to impose its imperial hegemony and its neo-colonial control to Humanity”, the Declaration reads.

Moreover, it adds that, as it is, “is an enemy of the freedom, democracy, and open societies and should be considered as the pest of the contemporaneous culture”.

In addition, it stresses that, regionally, “the media terrorism used as a political weapon to overthrow democratic governments of countries such as: Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Panama, Grenada, Haiti, Peru, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Venezuela, is being used to sabotage any humanitarian agreement or political solution for the Colombian conflict, as well as expanding the war to the Andean area”.

The attendants to the event, from 14 countries of the Continent, included as well that the current democratic fight in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, in joint with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Mexico “reassures the political will of our societies to wreck the aggressive and simultaneous distorting campaign of the mass media transnationals and the Inter American Press Association (IAPA)”.

“Cuba and Venezuela represent the most vigorous milestones in this still unfinished battle”, the Declaration states, and it adds: “we are obliged to redouble our efforts due to the dramatic situation that is currently taking place with the democratic journalism in Peru, Colombia, and other countries”.

The Declaration also makes reference to the Administration of the United States’ President, George W. Bush, “which insists on criminalizing any kind of people’s fight or resistance, under the pretext of a treacherous notion of administration’s security”.

In this sense, the document points out that Bush’s Administration “has been responsible for the systematic terrorist aggression last years against alternative, people’s, communitarian, and even some privates media”.

“Presenting the information as a fundamental right and not as a merchandise is a fundamental right of the peoples and it should be part of permanent public policies”.

Furthermore, it ratifies the commitment “of those who preceded us, in order to adjust ourselves to an ethic exercise of our profession, devoted to the values of a real and effective democracy and to the truthfulness thoughts, beliefs, and cultures diversity deserve”.

“It is not only the IAPA, but also gangs like Reporters without Borders, follow Washington’s orders falsifying the reality and worldwide distortion. In this context, the European Union plays a shameful rol contradicting the
heroic struggles of its people against the Nazi-fascism”.

The attendants to the Latin American Meeting against Media Terrorism made a call to journalism professors and students to consider the Media Terrorism as one of the core problems of Humanity.

Moreover, they call free journalists to commit themselves to redouble their efforts in the pursuit of peace, integral development, and social justice. Thus, they made also a call to the Presidents of Latin America and the Caribbean to include media terrorism in international meetings and forums   Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA, Agencia Bolivariana, Simon Bolivar Studie Center, Dagens Chavez, hands off venezuela, venezuela nalysis, Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA, BusVenezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA,Bush, preventivt krig, Imperiet, Imperio, Empire. Media gerrilla,

Venezuelan Media Terrorism Conference Denounces Negative Role of Private Media

Posted in Blogroll with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2008 by Minimux

Mérida, March 31, 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com)- Journalists, communications specialists, and other participants in the Latin American Meeting against Media Terrorism in Caracas last weekend demanded that political leaders in the region put the issue of media terrorism on the agenda of all international forums and meetings in which they participate, according to the “Caracas Declaration,” the final collection of the resolutions produced at the conference.Endorsed by participants from 14 countries, the Caracas Declaration denounces the role of the private media in the toppling of democratic governments across the region, and asserts that “media terrorism is the first expression and necessary condition of military terrorism that the industrialized North employs in order to impose its imperial hegemony and neo-colonial dominion on humanity.”

Information should be conceived as a right to be collectively provided, rather than as merchandise or a commodity to be sold, conference participants resolved, iterating a collective commitment to the “ethical exercising of our profession, devoted to the values of real and effective democracy, and to the veracity that is deserved by the diversity of thought, belief, and culture.”

A wave of international journalists at the meeting shared the vision of Puerto Rican journalist Nelson del Castillo for a strengthened network of professional press correspondents across Latin America who actively counteract media terror, so as not “to depend simply on the good will” of committed activists in the shadow of private media that “favor the empire.”

Consistent with the general emphasis on Latin American unity, Ecuadoran Legislator María Augusta Calle expressed that “the continent demands unity and the strengthening of communicational organizations to offset the lies.” Calle advocated that “real perspectives” be emphasized, adding that “the media war is not only against Chávez, but also against the Bolivarian Revolution and all the peoples of America”.

The National Association of Free, Alternative, Communitarian Media (ANMCLA) expressed solidarity with the government but also proposed deep changes in the current communicational order. In a document published on the first day of last weekend’s events, the organization said that Venezuela’s Telecommunications Law, which was written by the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL) and passed at the beginning of Chávez’s term in the year 2000, relegates alternative media to an unacceptably marginal status.

As a solution to this problem, ANMCLA proposed changing the Telecommunications Law so that a “public system of communication, not state-run and not private, in the hands of popular communities, forms a structural part” of national communications.

Also, 33.3% of the radio and television frequencies in Venezuela and a third of the government’s publicity budget should be conceded to community-based and alternative media, with the other two thirds divided equally between state-controlled and private media, ANMCLA advocated.

Finally, ANMCLA said a new tax should be levied on private media that would help pay for the expansion of alternative media. It also declared that the means of communication should be managed by an assembly of local community representatives, rather than a few government functionaries.

At the same time, ANMCLA categorically rejected the presence in Venezuela of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), which held its conference in Caracas last weekend as well.  

The final report of the IAPA conference condemned the government of Venezuela for its “constant intimidating threats” and violations of the “human rights of journalists.” It accused President Chávez of “imposing” restrictions on freedom of expression by “legislating by decree,” referring to the Enabling Law passed in 2007 by the National Assembly which, according to the constitution, permits the president to pass laws by decree for 18 months. The IAPA demanded that Chávez cease the “hostility” toward the private media, and stop threatening to close media outlets, emphasizing that “freedom of expression should take precedence over political and ideological interests.”

According to ANMCLA, the IAPA is “an organism of the oligarchy, tool of the hegemonic project of capitalism which hides the oligarchic and transnational concentration of the largest means of communication on the continent behind the façade of the defense of freedom of expression.”

Many participants in the meeting against media terrorism postulated that the IAPA has an intensely ideological project to support the interests of big business worldwide. “In many countries the owners of the media are also property holders in large banks…some pertain to the military industrial complex,” asserted the director of the Bolivarian News Agency (ABN), Freddy Fernández, a principal organizer of the weekend’s events.

Over the last few decades, these large media owners, who now make up the leadership of the IAPA, “did not talk about democracy, they talked about the ‘free world,’ and in the ‘free world’ there was Pinochet, Videla, and all the dictators of the continent,” Fernández told reporters over the weekend, referring to IAPA’s long history of support murderous Latin American dictators since the organization was founded in 1943 in Havana, during the reign of the U.S.-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Community Media Event

While the meeting against media terrorism was going on in Caracas, CONATEL hosted a “Bolivarian Forum” for over 30 alternative community media outlets in the western state of Trujillo aimed at assessing the progress of community media and strengthening the capacity of these outlets to serve the needs of their communities.

Héctor Reyes, the director of technological assistance to local media, said the goal of the forum was “to achieve a mutual commitment between the institution and the community media.”  

A second community media forum in Trujillo is planned for later this year in order to discuss changes to the Telecommunications Law and the Law on Social Responsibility in Radio and Television, as well as a march for this cause organized by ANMCLA.

Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA, Agencia Bolivariana, Simon Bolivar Studie Center, Dagens Chavez, hands off venezuela, venezuela nalysis, Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA, Bus

Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA,Bush, preventivt krig, Imperiet, Imperio, Empire. Media gerrilla,

Latin American Meeting against Media Terrorism issued Caracas Declaration

Posted in Blogroll with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2008 by Minimux

Caracas, March 31 ABN.- A called to the Heads of State of Latin America and the Caribbean to include the issue of Media terrorism in all the international meetings and forums made the members of the Latin American Meeting against Media Terrorism through the Caracas Declaration, which was issued this Monday at press conference.

Following, the complete text of the Caracas Declaration.

Journalists, broadcasters and specialists in communications in Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada, met in Caracas for this First Latin American Meeting against Media Terrorism, denounce the use of falsehoods on behalf of the informative transnational companies as a mass and permanent aggression against the people and governments which fight for peace, justice and inclusion.

Media terrorism is the main expression and needed condition of military and economic terrorism used by the industrialized North to impose its imperial hegemony and neocolonial dominance over Humanity. Thus, it is against freedom, democracy and the open society, and it should be considered as the plague of the contemporary culture.

Regionally, media terrorism is used as political arm for the overthrowing of democratic governments of countries like Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Panama, Grenada, Haiti, Peru, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela; it is used today in order to commit sabotage against any humanitarian agreement or political solution to the Colombian conflict and to regionalize the war in the Andean area.

The current democratic struggle in Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, joint to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico, confirms the political will of our societies to throw out the aggressive and simultaneous smear campaign of the transnational media corporations and the Inter American Press Association (IAPA). Cuba and Venezuela clearly represent the most vigorous milestones of this battle, yet unfinished. On the other hand, we are compelled to double our efforts before the dramatic situation that democratic journalism faces in Peru, Colombia and other nations.

This Latin American Meeting revealed the need of creating the International Platform against Media Terrorism, which calls for a new Meeting to be held on a term no longer to two months, to which will work jointly to other organizations as the Latin American Federation of Journalists (FELAP, for Spanish), which in the development of the conscience of the Latin American and Caribbean nations has exemplarily defended the right to the truth and the maxim upholding its principles: For a free journalism in free nations.

Determined in criminalizing all the forms of people struggle and resistance, under the guise of a fallacious idea of security, the fundamentalist administration of George W. Bush has been responsible for a systematic terrorist aggression during the recent years against alternative, people’s, communitarian and even some employer’s communication media.

Information is not merchandise. Just as health and education, information is a basic right of the people, and it should be subject of permanent public policies.

Convinced that this history began 200 years ago, we ratify the commitment of those who preceded us on it, in order to fit into an ethical practice of our profession, devoted to the values of real and effective democracy and to the truthfulness that the diversity of thought, beliefs and cultures deserve.

Not only the IAPA, but also gangs as Reporters Without Borders answer to the dictates from Washington on the falsification of reality and worldwide defamation. In this context, the European Union fulfills a shameful role which goes against the heroic struggle of its nations against nazi-fascism.

On the creation of the union of Latin American and Caribbean nations, the undersigning of this declaration call to teachers and students of communication to consider Media Terrorism as one of the major problems of the Humanity, we call for the free journalists to commit to double their efforts in the pursuit of peace, integral development and social justice.

In this spirit, we urge the Heads of States of Latin American and the Caribbean to include the issue of Media Terrorism in all international meetings and forums.

Translated by Felitza Nava

Translated by Felitza Nava   Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA, Agencia Bolivariana, Simon Bolivar Studie Center, Dagens Chavez, hands off venezuela, venezuela nalysis, Venezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA, BusVenezuela, ALBA, UNASUR; COLOMBIA, Latin Amerika, Ibero Amerika, Ecuador, Chavez, Paramilitärer, FARC, Uribe, Imperialism, USA hegemoni, Terrorismen, statsterrorismen, Alternativa Bolivariana, Bolivar, Frihet åt Amerika, Socialism 20 århundrade, USA,Bush, preventivt krig, Imperiet, Imperio, Empire. Media gerrilla,

Media wars

Posted in Blogroll with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2008 by Minimux

 When the twentieth century becomes history it will be seen as distinctive, I believe, for three developments in liberal Western societies: the growth of democracy; the rise of huge concentrations of economic power, known as corporations; and the professionalizing and institutionalizing of propaganda, especially as a means for safe-guarding the power of free-enterprise corporations against democracy.”  (Alex Carey, 1987)  

[1] Most regular readers of alternative media will be acutely aware of the US government’s antidemocratic history. Indeed, according to William Blum and Dr Danielle Ganser, since 1945 this much neglected history has seen the US government attempt to “overthrow more than 40 foreign governments”, “crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements” and provide support to right-wing terrorist (stay behind) armies in every European country. Unfortunately as most members of the public rely upon the corporate media – for the most part unaware that a useful and democratic alternative media exists – they are for the most part unaware of the extent of this antidemocratic foreign policy (and perhaps more importantly still they are unaware that they can do something to change it).   

This is not to say that the journalists within the corporate media suffer from amnesia: indeed, with regard to the coverage of the death of Chile’s former dictator, Augusto Pinochet (in 2006), an exchange between British-based media watchdog, Media Lens, and The Guardian’s (UK) Isabel Hilton, illustrates that, in spite of their reporting, many journalists are well aware of the US’s antidemocratic history. Responding to Hilton’s article recalling Pinochet’s life and death, Media Lens wrote to her, suggesting that the “real shock value” of Pinochet’s rise to power “lies in the fact that the United States organised the coup”.  

Media Lens challenged Hilton about this, asserting that “not a word in your article even hinted at it. Why not?” Hilton’s full response was:  “There is never room to say everything in a rather short article and I have written about the US role many times. Is it surprising or shocking that the US played a central role? Hardly. The US had played that role in coups all over the sub continent for some time, (for me the worst was the one against Arbenz — worse for its long term effect) their role in Chile was not surprising for anyone who followed Latin American events, and the shock factor had long since worn off.”    

Given her evident knowledge of American history it is strange that regular consumers of British corporate media are still shocked when they first learn of the US’s antidemocratic role in Chile; a subject that recently gained widespread attention in John Pilger’s excellent documentary The War on Democracy. Thus Media Lens replied to Hilton: “Yes, you know that, but do your readers? In fact journalists generally refer to the US role in Pinochet’s coup in vague terms (as in current reporting) – the details and motives are rarely discussed. As for the wider US pattern of forcibly subordinating people to profit, this is essentially a taboo subject for the media.” Media Lens received no further response from Hilton. While Hilton may not be shocked by the antidemocratic nature of the US’s involvement in Chile, I remain shocked by the CIA’s brutal intervention.  

Moreover, I am equally shocked by the ongoing antidemocratic work of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – an Orwellian ‘nongovernmental organization’ that was formed in the early 1980s to wage the cultural cold war that was formerly fought by the CIA. William Colby, who directed the CIA from 1973 until 1976, noted that the beauty of the NED’s PR-friendly approach to imperialism is that: “It is not necessary to turn to the covert approach. Many of the programs which… were conducted as covert operations [can now be] conducted quite openly, and consequentially, without controversy.”   Professor William I. Robinson has described this rhetorical shift in US foreign policy – from CIA to NED (and CIA) – in much detail; most notably in his seminal book Promoting Polyarchy (1996). With regard to Chile, Robinson highlights how with NED aid Patricio Aylwin rose to the Chilean presidency in 1990 a fitting reward for an individual who worked with the CIA to play a critical role in facilitating the 1973 military coup.  

As Robinson observes: “The Chilean coup was part of a pattern in Latin America of military takeovers in the 1960s and 1970s with U.S. approval and often active assistance, in the face of mass struggles that broke out everywhere against the prevailing social and economic inequalities and highly restricted political systems. But Washington abruptly switched tracks in the mid-1980s and began to ‘promote democracy’ in Latin America and around the world. In Chile, Aylwin and his party once again received U.S. assistance, this time as part of a ‘democracy promotion’ program channelled through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), which would help Aylwin become president.  Ironically, the return to power in 1990 of Aylwin and the party that openly participated in the 1973 military coup was projected around the world as the culmination of a ‘democratic revolution’ sweeping Latin America.”  Understanding this shift of ‘democratic’ aid from the CIA to the NED is critical to understanding the nature of contemporary imperialism, but unfortunately it is a shift that for the most part has remained unchallenged (in both the corporate media and alternative media alike) – for a discussion of The New York Times’ coverage of the NED see here.  

Consequently it is not surprising that critical attention has not turned to the activities of the NED in China – either in the mainstream or alternative press – despite the fact that in 2006 the NED distributed $5.7 million of grants to China-related groups. This sum is more significant because the NED is active in “over 90 countries” and in 2006 they distributed a total of $94 million to groups all over the world, which means that in 2006 Chinese groups received a massive six percent of their total grants. [2]    In order to begin to remedy this information deficit surrounding the work of the NED in China, this article examines the ‘democratic’ background of one group that obtained excellent access to both the alternative and corporate media, this group is Human Rights in China.   ‘Human Rights’ in China Human Rights in China (HRIC) was founded in 1989, and according to their website they are an “international, Chinese, non-governmental organisation with a mission to promote universally recognised human rights and advance the institutional protection of these rights in the People’s Republic of China (China).”

According to the NED’s senior program officer for Asia, Louisa Coan Greve, “Human Rights in China is considered as reliable as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International as a source of accurate human rights information.” Moreover, despite the fact Human Rights in China have received ongoing support from the NED, one of their reports (from 1997) disingenuously notes that their work is “independent of any political groups or governments.”  [3]   According to the NED’s project database, Human Rights in China received their first NED grant in 1992 (which was worth $74,000) to “support a Legal Education and Assistance Project that provides legal advice and support for prisoners of conscience and victims of political persecution in China”.  

[4] This legal project then received a further $120,000 in 1993, and another $155,000 the ensuing year. On top of this $155,000 grant, they obtained an additional $20,000 in 1994 to help them prepare for the UN World Conference on Women which was held in Beijing in September 1995.  In 1995, as a result of Human Rights in China’s “emergency response to the ‘May crackdown’ in Beijing” they received a supplement NED grant worth $10,000 for its Human Rights Education and Assistance Project. They also obtained $25,000 for its Women’s Rights Assessment Project, and a further $140,000 to produce their twice-monthly radio program, and to help them engage “with international NGOs, the media, governments and intergovernmental bodies to maintain pressure on the Chinese government to improve its human rights record.” Human Rights in China obtained continued NED support in 1996 and 1997, and in 2001 they received a grant to allow them to publish their quarterly journal China Rights Forum and maintain a web site. Since 2000, Human Rights in China have been given a further five NED grants worth a total of $1.8 million – which have increased in size each year (the largest being their most recent $0.5 million grant).

[5]    ‘Democratic’ Directors Human Rights in China (HRIC) work appears to be closely related to that undertaken by it’s better known counterpart, Human Rights Watch, as Robert L. Bernstein, the founder and former chair of Human Rights Watch is currently the chair of HRIC’s board of directors (he is also a member of the national council of the ‘democratic’ Human Rights First). Not surprisingly Human Rights Watch and HRIC regularly work together to publish human rights reports, which is fitting as extremely close ties exist between Human Rights Watch and the global democracy manipulators (like the NED).(For further details see, Hijacking Human Rights: A Critical Examination of Human Rights Watch’s Americas Branch and their Links to the ‘Democracy’ Establishment.)  The founder of Human Rights in China, Fu Xinyuan, is Associate Professor of Pathology at Yale University School of Medicine; he also sits on the advisory board of the Israel Science Foundation (which is “Israel’s predominant source of competitive grants funding for basic research”). 

 [6] Ironically, in 2005, The Guardian (UK) reported that foreign grant reviewers were boycotting the Israel Science Foundation due to the Israeli government’s human rights violations.Since 2002, Human Rights in China’s executive director has been Sharon Hom – an individual who also serves as a member of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Advisory Committee, and is an emerita professor of law at the City University of New York School of Law. Prior to Hom’s appointment to Human Rights in China, the organization’s longstanding executive director – from 1991 to 2002 – was Qiang Xiao, who was formerly the vice-chair of the steering committee of the NED-initiated World Movement for Democracy, and presently acts as the director of the China Internet Project (at the University of California at Berkeley), sits on the board of advisors for the NED-funded International Campaign for Tibet, and is the chief editor of China Digital Times.  

 The China Digital Times (formerly the China Digital News) at which Qiang Xiao is chief editor, describes itself as a “collaborative news website covering China’s social and political transition and its emerging role in the world.” The project receives funding from the MacArthur Foundation amongst others, and their executive editor, Sophie Beach, was formerly a senior research associate for Asia at the ‘democratic’ Committee to Protect Journalists. In addition, the chair of the China Digital Times advisory board is Orville Schell who is an emeritus board member of Human Rights Watch and a vice chair of their Asia Advisory Committee, is a director of the ‘democratic’ National Committee on United States-China Relations, a member of the core founding group of the Dalai Lama Foundation (a group whose president, Tenzin Tethong, is also the founder of the NED-funded Tibet Fund), and has worked for the Ford Foundation in Indonesia.

In 2004 (at least) Schell was a director of Human Rights in China, and he also acts a member of the elite planning group, the Council on Foreign Relations, is the founder of the Pacific News Service, and ironically serves on the advisory board of the Center for Investigative Reporting. Finally, John Gage, another member of China Digital Times’ advisory board with strong ‘democratic’ ties, currently serves on the advisory board of the deceptively named US Institute of Peace (the NED’s sister organization), and is a director of Relief International.Returning to Human Rights in China, although their website provides no current list of their staff or directors (one is available for 2004, see here), a basic internet search has shown that the following people act as their directors:  ·   Andrew J. Nathan – who is a trustee of Freedom House, a director of the NED-funded Center for Modern China, a member of the editorial board of the NED’s Journal of Democracy, the former Director of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute where he is presently a faculty member, is a member of Human Right Watch’s Asia Advisory Committee – where he was chair from 1995 to 2000, and is a member of the both the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Committee on United States-China Relations·   R. Scott Greathead – who is also a founder and director of Human Rights First , and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations·    

Harold Hongju Koh Koh – who was the assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor during the Clinton administration, and is a director of both the National Democratic Institute (a core NED grantee) and Human Rights First·   Perry Link – who serves on the advisory board of the NED-funded Beijing Spring (see later), is the former chair of the Princeton China Initiative, and is a member of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Advisory Committee·   Hu Ping – who is a former president of the NED-linked Chinese Alliance for Democracy, a “regular commentator for Radio Free Asia”, and has been chief editor of Beijing Spring since 1993 ·  

 Nina Rosenwald – who is a trustee of Freedom House, serves on the advisory board of the American Center for Democracy, is a director of the  American Israel  Public Affairs Committee, and a member of the Council on Foreign RelationsIn addition, former Human Rights in China director Fiona Druckenmiller is a trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and is a former director of Human Rights Watch. Other people involved with Human Rights Watch with ‘democratic’ ties include the chair of their executive committee Liu Qing, who serves on the advisory board of Beijing Spring, is a former editor of the April Fifth Forum, and is “a close ally of Wei Jingsheng” – a Chinese activist who won the NED’s 1998 Democracy Award. As a number of HRIC’s team are linked to Beijing Spring, the following section will introduce their ‘democratic’ work.  Beijing Spring: ‘Democratic’ MediaBeijing Spring is a monthly Chinese-language magazine (sold in and outside of China) that was founded during the Democracy Wall Movement by Wang Dan (who in 1998 received the NED’s 1998 Democracy Award, and since 2002 has been the president of Beijing Spring), Zhou Weimin, and Chen Ziming (who founded the Beijing Social and Economic Sciences Research Institute in 1986, and in 1991 won the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award along with his colleague Wang Juntao).  [

7] According to the NED, the magazine “carries analysis and commentary by authors inside and outside China regarding political developments, social issues, and the prospects for democratization in China”, and since 2001, Beijing Spring has received annual NED aid (in 2006 they received $195,000). [8] Beijing Spring’s editorial board is home to the following ‘democratically’ linked individuals Wang Dan, Hu Ping, Kuide Chen (who has worked for both the NED-funded Princeton China Initiative, and the NED-funded Center for Modern China), Yu Dahai (who was the founding president of the NED-funded Chinese Economists Society), Zheng Yi, and Beijing Spring manager Xue Wei (who between 1982 and 1993 worked for the Chinese Alliance for Democracy – a group that received a single NED grant in 1992).  

  Likewise, the members of Beijing Spring’s advisory board exhibit many ‘democratic’ ties and include Perry Link, Andrew J. Nathan, Liu Qing, Fang Lizhi (who, in 1995, was a board member of HRIC, in 2000 was a member of Human Rights Watch’s Academic Freedom Committee, and is a member of the international council of advisors for the International Campaign for Tibet), Su Shaozhi (who is the former chair of the Princeton China Initiative), and Yu Ying-shi (who helped set up the Princeton China Initiative). As a number of people affiliated with Beijing Spring have also been linked to the Princeton China Initiative, this organization will now be briefly examined. The Princeton China Initiative (the Initiative) was founded in 1989 and closed operations in 2004, and between 1992 and 2005 they received seven grants from the NED to allow exiled Chinese dissidents to publish two monthly newsletters, China Focus (English-language), and The Road (Chinese-language).  

[9] In 1989 Liu Binyan (deceased December 5, 2006) a key person at the Initiative was “China’s most prominent journalist” and a Neiman fellow at Harvard University, but when he was banned from returning to China that year he helped found and head the Initiative. One important ‘democratically’ linked person who was involved with the Initiative during it’s early years was their managing director Lorraine Spiess. Prior to joining the Initiative, Spiess had been the executive director of the Canada China Business Council, and had “worked on Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) programs to support China’s ongoing economic reforms.” Spiess’ ‘democratic’ links were strengthened when she left the Initiative, as from 1993 to 1995 she was the regional program director for the International Republican Institute (a core NED grantee) during which time she also worked closely with Phyllis Chang, the Ford Foundation’s program officer for Democracy and Rights in Beijing.  What Next?As noted at the start of this article, the corporate media do not provide an accurate reflection of society, thus it is not surprising that the democracy manipulating nature of Human Rights in China (and Human Rights Watch) remain unmentioned in their coverage.

This is because as Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky suggested in their seminal work Manufacturing Consent, the mass media’s primary (usually unstated) goal is to manufacture public consent for elite interests. Bearing this in mind, it is logical – in spite of contrary evidence – that the mass media portrays a NED-funded group as a progressive organization, and that this critique of Human Rights in China will be rendered invisible in the mainstream media. (It probably doesn’t help that even the BBC World Service Trust received a grant from the NED in 2006.)  Thus the anti-democratic nature of mainstream media is an obvious impediment to progressive social change: indeed concerned citizens: “…need to consider whether the same media system that serves to naturalise and legitimise elite decision-making, can really encourage its antithesis, collective grassroots decision-making. It seems an anathema to even consider that by working on the terms set by the mass media, social movements are actually legitimising and tightening its hegemonic power over society, even while it simultaneously acts to de-legitimise or ignore the global justice movement.”  Short of working with others (like Media Lens) to challenge the (il)legitimacy of the mainstream media, another immediate solution to some of the problems identified in this article involves supporting independent investigative journalism by giving money to the alternative media instead of the corporate media.  

To pay for their valuable services simply click on one of the following links, Centre for Research on Globalization, CounterPunch, Medialens, Monthly Review, Spinwatch, Znet, or alternatively support a local outlet of your choice.  Furthermore, to prevent elite manipulation of human rights and democracy, first and foremost progressive citizens will also have to educate themselves about the work of democracy manipulators (like the NED) a process that has been made easier by the launch of two groups, the International Endowment for Democracy and In the Name of Democracy.  However, although it is certainly important to develop a comprehensive understanding of the role of the democracy manipulating establishment in circumscribing progressive social change, people can begin to rectify the democratic dilemma posed by the NED and its supporters by publicly denouncing their activities, and by refusing to work with them in the future. It seems that only then can progressive groups begin considering adopting more participatory funding arrangements that will help to allow them to promote a popular form of democracy that serves people not imperialism. [10] Michael Barker is a British citizen based in Australia.  

Most of his other articles can be found here. 

 Endnotes [1] To Alex Carey’s prescient analyses of corporate power one might now add how ironically, even democracy itself is now being used as an instrument of propaganda against democracy. 

 [2] In 1997, Representative Christopher H. Smith, Chairman of the Subcommittee on international Operations and Human Rights observed that: “Of the billions of dollars we spend every year trying to protect and defend freedom around the world, the $30 million we spend on NED is probably the most cost-effective item in the budget. Because NED is small and because it is not a U.S. government agency, it can directly intervene to empower the victims of oppression even as our official foreign relations apparatus is doing its best to get along with the governments that are perpetrating this oppression.”  Of the $5.7 million that the NED gave to China-related groups in 2006, $4.6 million was earmarked for just working in China. The rest of the money was given for work in China (Hong Kong) $0.4 million, China (Tibet) $0.3 million, and China (Xinjiang) $0.4 million. 

[3] China: Whose Security? “State Security” in China’s New Criminal Code, April 1997, Vol. 9 (4).  

[4] The NED project database lists their grants under three names, “Human Rights in China, Inc.”, “Human Rights in China, Inc. (HRIC)”, and “Human Rights in China”. All forthcoming quotes relating to the NED’s China grants can be found on the NED’s database.  

 [5] It is also interesting to note that in 1996, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (the British version of the NED) also provided Human Rights in China with a £13,000 grant to “produce 500 copies of a human rights manual in Chinese to provide basic teaching material on human rights issues.” While in 1994 Human Rights in China received a $20,000 grant from the Canadian version of the NED, Rights and Democracy, to help them publish China Rights Forum. 

[6] The Israel Science Foundation has an annual budget of “roughly $60 million” and it funds around “1,300 grants a year, providing 2/3 of all such funds.” 

  [7] On February 12, 1991, Wang Juntao and Chen Ziming were imprisoned in China: in 1994, both were then released from prison on medical parole, and while Wang moved to America, Chen was rearrested in the following year and only released from house arrest in 2002.  

[8] In 2004, their NED grant was used to allow Beijing Spring to “engage in a new initiative to work together with Uyghur democracy activists to increase awareness among Chinese communities, in China and abroad, of the dire restrictions on freedoms in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.”  

[9] In 1996, the NED noted: the Princeton China Initiative’s “English-language monthly, ‘China Focus,’ with an international circulation of 1,500, provides in-depth analysis and insight into underlying trends often not reported in conventional media. It has drawn praise from professional China-watchers for consistently providing essential information about the current, on-the-ground situation within China. The Chinese-language monthly, ‘The Road,’ with a circulation of 3,000, allows readers inside China access to ideas and information otherwise blocked by state censorship.” 

 [10] To date, the issue of developing sustainable funding (in ways compatible with participatory principles) for progressive social change has not been seriously addressed by progressive activists – a recent exception being INCITE!’s (2007) The Revolution Will Not Be Funded (published by South End Press). For further examples of articles and books that have examined the antidemocratic nature of many ostensibly progressive funding bodies, see my recent article Do Capitalists Fund Revolutions? (Part 1, Part 2). 

Media, propaganda, imperialism, USA, Bush, Chavez, Kina,  Venezuela, Kina, påverkan, mediamonopol, Nyliberal , nyliberalism, imperiet, skojeriet 

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