By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The real revelation in Michael Wolff’s new and successful book, Fire and Fury, is not that President Donald Trump acts like a child, suffers from psychopathologies like delusions of grandeur and paranoia, is an ignoramus who neither reads nor listens and, in short, is totally incapable of fulfilling the duties of his office.
It is not necessary to be a mental health professional to realize that Trump is an extremely dangerous character, a psychologically-distorted personality, a man with cognitive impairment, in complete denial, and with the unilateral power to initiate a nuclear holocaust that could destroy civilization. The Republican, right-wing and conservative project tries to erase the traces of the mid-20th century American Enlightenment and aims to make the United States once again great for religious fanatics, racists, xenophobes, misogynists, homophobes, plutocrats and the wildest capitalists.
To complete this project, the Republicans, despite their hypocrisy, have shown themselves ready and eager to sign a pact with the devil. They have done so with a political leader who is not satanic, but only a demagogue, serial liar, swindler and manipulator of the ethnic and economic fear of Americans. His goal is to fuel anger and hatred. He is a man lacking empathy, a sense of impartiality, history, appreciation and understanding for science and knowledge, and a man lacking in temperament and judgment to rule the world’s most powerful country.
The preceding paragraphs are the first of a very popular article published by the Progreso Semanal website, published in Florida, USA, about Wolf’s well-documented book that has been, as expected, a great publishing success in that country.
Anthony Zurcher, Washington correspondent for the British Crown Media Complex, the BBC, sums up in ten points what the media has been doing for the past ten years.
(1). Steven Bannon, the former chief strategist of Trump and his former trusted man, describes the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr. as “traitor” and “unpatriotic.
(2). Trump expressed astonishment and consternation after his victory in the November 2016 presidential elections. Donald Trump, Jr. revealed to a friend that his father was perplexed, transformed himself into an incredulous Trump and then into a horrified Trump. Then came his final transformation into a man who believed he deserved everything, capable of being the president of the United States.
(3). Trump did not enjoy his inauguration because of the event’s non-attendance by top-level personalities. He was dissatisfied with the White House lodging, and was seen fighting with his wife -who seemed to be on the verge of tears- in anger, with bent shoulders, swinging arms, eyebrows and wrinkled lips.
(4). Trump found the White House to be creepy. He asked for a lock on the door, which led to a confrontation with the Secret Service, which insisted on having access to the room.
(5). Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, and her husband, Jared Kushner, allegedly reached an agreement for her to become the first woman president, Wolff said:
(6). Ivanka herself mocked her father’s so-called “scalp reduction surgery”, ironically, going as far as to mock her hair in front of others. She often described to her friends the mechanics of his hairstyle.
(7). Not even the most trusted White House staff are aware of management priorities.
(8). Trump’s admiration for media mogul Rupert Murdoch is evident in the book even though he had repeatedly spurned Murdoch as a charlatan and a fool.
(9). Murdoch thought that a liberal approach to granting H-1B visas to specialized foreign workers in desperate need would open the door to immigrants. And that it could be difficult to set up with the promise of building a wall with Mexico and closing the borders. Trump seemed indifferent, but immediately he said to Murdoch,”Let’s solve it! And soon after, Murdoch muttered: What a fucking idiot! and shrugging his shoulders, he hung up the phone.”
(10). Michael Flynn, the former National Security advisor had been warned by friends that it was not a good idea to accept $45,000 from the Russians for giving a speech. He later admitted that he had lied during the Justice Department’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the presidential elections. According to the author of this selection of outstanding notes in the book, Anthony Zurcher: “Sometimes there has been a disconnect between Trump’s rhetoric and his actions. Maybe because the President reflects his sensitivity in business. Or simply because he was echoing the opinion of the last group of people he had met.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
A CubaNews translation edited by Walter Lippmann.
A good friend of mine who has been living in the United States for many years,
whom I consider an excellent analyst of international political issues, tells me that former President James Carter recognized, just a few months ago, that it was his mistake not to have completed the process of normalization of relations with Cuba during his term in the White House.
The subject came up in light of the indication that, in his view, for more than two months, Trump’s destructive drive against relations with Cuba has entered a new phase. The momentum seems to have lost steam in the sense that there have been no new hostile actions. The farce of the “sonic attacks” was officially frozen, and the bilateral meetings and specific negotiations that began before Trump are being resumed.
According to my friend, “it is as if the course towards the collision was being reconsidered, giving way to a kind of temporary truce, or towards a certain arrangement or new modus vivendi.” This is not the first time an approach of this type has turned up in the policy options that appear at the level of the executive branch by way of proposals.
In 1979, Robert Pastor, assistant and very close advisor to Zbigniew Brzezinski, himself advisor to US President Lyndon Johnson between 1966 and 1968 —when describing several proposals on Cuba— introduced the notion of “Cool but Communicative”. This meant that Washington should maintain communication channels with Havana, but at the same time, should be tightening a siege around Cuba’s neck.
Could this apparent temporary truce be a new version of the “Cool but Communicative” style or —considering the different context that sustains Cuba’s international position? Could it as well the domestic support in the United States for normalization of ties with the Island— a move towards a low profile modus vivendi, that might bring stability?
Of course, the siege that Pastor talked about then was set in a very different context from today’s. The governments of Canada and of all Latin America are aligned in favor of the normalization of trade and cooperation with Cuba.
The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, visited Cuba and promotes relations with his country. South Korea has become an important commercial partner of Cuba and their positions are approaching normalization.
The European Union advances in the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement with Cuba, after three visits to Havana by Federica Mogherini, the High Foreign Policy Representative and Vice President of the European Union.
Just a few days ago, Trump met with the Prime Minister of Norway, a country that has cooperated closely with Cuba for years in the peace process in Colombia. Without these players on the oppressor´s side, there is no possible siege; the position of all of them contradicts the course announced by Trump in Miami last June 16.
I do not share the forecast that Trump’s policy towards Cuba includes a cooling and temporary truce in its aggressiveness. That is not what becomes apparent, among many other things, after the announcement of the setting up of a new Internet Task Force aimed at subverting Cuba’s internal order. This assumes the continuity of failed Cold War policies and the blockade as part of the doctrine of Unconventional Warfare that have proven inoperative against the concept of All Peoples’ War on which the Island bases its defense readiness.
On the other hand, I do fully agree as to how influential a majority opinion can be in favor of the normalization when it is supported by important pressure groups and American economic interests agreeable to a low profile modus Vivendi. This option runs contrary to the one Marco Rubio has been working for with his spectacular farce of sonic attacks and inconsequential senatorial hearings against Cuba.
The coming electoral victory in socialist Cuba will bring continuity to the revolutionary process on the Island. It will stimulate peoples throughout Latin America to continue their struggle for self-determination against the designs of the local oligarchies and the imperialist hegemony of the United States.
The presidential victory of the Chilean right wing led by Santiago Piñera could not silence a remarkable rise of the center-left forces represented by the novel example of the Frente Amplio (Broad Front). Additional factors will include: the return of Lula and the Workers’ Party in Brazil, MORENA with López Obrador in Mexico, the almost certain victory of Maduro and the United Socialist Party in Venezuela, in the face of an atomized opposition backed by all the resources of the US empire; the undoubted victory of Evo in Bolivia. Finally, there are Macri´s crisis in Argentina, the uncertain outcome in Colombia and the return of the left in Paraguay, are the most commented scenarios of in Latin America’s patriotic struggle in 2018.
January 25, 2018
USAtells its citizens to reconsider trips to Cuba, one of the safest countries in the world
Author: Sergio Alejandro Gómez | firstname.lastname@example.org
January 10, 2018 23:01:15
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Although Cuba is one of the safest destinations in the world, and meets all international standards, the United States on Wednesday recommended that its citizens “reconsider” possible trips to the Greater Antilles.
The State Department changed its old alert system with a ranking that places all nations on four levels, where the first only involves “taking normal precautions” and the fourth receives the warning “do not travel.”
Cuba, whose citizen security indicators are among the best in the region, was located at level three, with the suggestion of “reconsidering visits” because “there are serious risks to their safety and protection.”
Venezuela, Honduras, Haiti and Guatemala are among the Latin American countries given the same classification.
As on September 29th of last year, when an unjustified travel alert was issued against the Island, the argument used by Washington once again was the occurrence of alleged “attacks” against US diplomats in Havana, about which there is no any evidence.
“Because the safety of our personnel is at risk and we can not identify the source of the attacks, we believe that US citizens may also be exposed to danger,” says the Department of State website.
However, after months of both US and Cuban investigations, evidence to support the hypothesis of the so-called “acoustic attacks” is still lacking.
Three State Department officials acknowledged before a US Senate hearing last Tuesday that the causes and reasons for the health conditions alleged by their staff in Havana are still unknown.
Also, a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), cited by the Associated Press, argues that there is no evidence that “sonic attacks” have been carried out against US diplomats in Cuba.
On Tuesday, Josefina Vidal, General Director for the United States of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, criticized on Tuesday the State Department for continuing to use the word “attack” when it lacks evidence to support that.
“Cuba is a safe, peaceful and healthy country for Cubans, for foreigners, for accredited diplomats and for the millions of people who visit us every year, including the Americans,” said Vidal.
SAFER THAN IN THE UNITED STATES
Despite the unilateral measures taken by the administration of Donald Trump to strengthen the blockade and limit travel between the two countries, in 2017 there was an increase in visits by Americans to Cuba.
According to official figures from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, between January and November of last year 579 288 people traveled from the United States, for an increase of 248.7% in relation to 2016.
The increase in visits has occurred in a security environment, as recognized by travelers, specialized sites and tour operators.
«I have always felt safe in Cuba. I spent a month there recently and I felt more secure than in Los Angeles,” American journalist Walter Lippmann told Granma.
“Under the current law, it is still illegal for Americans to travel as tourists,” Lippmann recalled.“But anyone who visits the island, no matter the route, will find that they are in what is probably the most peaceful country in the world.”
Daniel Howell, a professor at the University of New York and a specialist in Cuban literature, told this newspaper that Cuba is objectively a very safe country, because there are almost no crimes, especially compared to the United States, which has one of the highest rates of highest violence in the first world.
According to figures from the Brady Center Against Armed Violence, about 93 Americans die every day from the use of firearms. Last year, one person killed 58 others in Las Vegas, using more than a dozen assault rifles that can be purchased without difficulty in that country.
“It does not make sense to recommend to Americans not to visit Cuba. I think they use the supposed sonic attacks to scare away tourists, but this does not make sense,” Howell added.
DISAGREE WITH THE MEASURE
Although Cuba was placed in one of the most negative categories, without the support of objective data, some lawmakers of Cuban origin reacted indignantly, expecting a worse rating.
“The Department of State should not minimize Cuba’s threat to American citizens. Lowering the level of travel warning to the Island is irresponsible, especially when there are still so many unanswered questions about the attacks against US diplomats in Havana, “Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a well-known supporter of the anti-Cuban ultra-right of Miami.
In her opinion, the new classification is less drastic than that of last September 29, when the US authorities, despite lack of evidence, said that their citizens “could be at risk of being victims of sonic attacks” and recommended abstaining from everything about traveling.
Michele Thoren Bond, an undersecretary of the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the State Department, was consulted on Wednesday in a teleconference.
“We made a careful examination, we consulted with our experts and this has been the conclusion regarding Cuba,” she said after pointing out that the new classification is not due to “a change in the situation on the island, but to the need to be consistent.” in classifications of risks in different countries ».
Quoted by several media, she explained that category four includes countries where there is “a high probability of life risks.” Eleven nations have that classification: North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Libya and Mali.
The legislators of Cuban origin, opposed to the rapprochement between the two countries, would be pressing for Cuba to appear in the fourth level and thus achieve an even more drastic reduction in the flow of people between the two nations.
Counseled by some of them, including Senator Marco Rubio, the Trump administration has already taken unilateral measures such as reducing the categories of approved trips and drawing up a list of products and places banned for Americans in Cuba.
In addition, under the pretext of the supposed acoustic attacks, the State Department reduced the personnel of its embassy in Havana to the essential and paralyzed the consular services. He also demanded the withdrawal of 17 Cuban officials from Washington.
These actions have a “high cost for our population, Cuban emigration and the American people,” recently reported Josefina Vidal. (With the collaboration of Ernesto Gómez, Dayron Rodríguez and Jeiddy Martínez)
By Francisco Castro, November 12, 2017.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Whistles and compliments – sometimes risque – are constant and common. So are harassment and even sexual attacks in exchange for work or favors, and complaints, due to fear, ignorance or immigration status, are nonexistent.
This is how Ramona Félix, coordinator of the program on harassment and sexual assault and human trafficking for the Líderes Campesina organization, describes what happens in the countryside to rural women.
“People are afraid to report it, they are afraid of being fired, many are single mothers,” about what agricultural workers live on. “There have been cases where there is harassment and run and supervisors spread the word ‘she is problematic’. The woman is left without any money. For fear, for the legal status, for what they will say, they remain silent. “
That’s why this Sunday, almost two dozen of them traveled from Ventura County to be present and participate in the #MeToo March against sexual harassment that took place in Hollywood.
Survivors of harassment and sexual assault and abuse walked from the meeting point – the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue – to the offices of a television station [CNN] where several people spoke out against this social scourge, before going back to the point initial.
The scandal over allegations of sexual harassment against powerful men in the film industry has opened the door for women in all kinds of industries to raise their voices and tell their cases.
“For every Harvey Weinstein (the famous Hollywood producer), there are hundreds more men in the neighborhood who are doing the same,” said Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement. “The conversation around Hollywood will spread to include other industries if we force it to happen.”
“This goes beyond Hollywood,” said Brenda Gutierrez, one of the organizers of the march. “I think it’s time that we no longer keep silent, that we are not ashamed and that we end up with the stigma and I think that is the great message of this march.”
“If a person can go out and get help, that will make me happy,” Gutiérrez added.
With chants of “Stop the violence, stop the rapes”, “Stand up for the women of the world” and “Violence must disappear”, hundreds of women – and men – joined the march yesterday in solidarity with their wives, mothers and sisters, as well as, some actresses.
“If people start talking about this, I think it will make a difference,” said Elizabeth Perkins, actress of the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks.
Many women said that men’s help in stopping this is essential.
“They are the ones who can solve this,” said Gretchen, who did not want to give her last name. “There are many wonderful men out there, but they have to go and talk to those who cause problems.”
TIME MAGAZINE story, including support statement by female farmworkers:
Claudia González Corrales
Havana, Oct 13 (ACN) Even though the level of women’s inclusion in Cuban society is high, violence against women adopts more overlapping forms of expression, said María Isabel Domínguez, director of the Center for Psychological and Sociological Research, of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.
By intervening in the panel Youth Imaginaries about violence against women. Cooperation for social research, held in the context of the VI International Meeting on Children and Youth, Dominguez stressed that this is due to cultural factors and prejudices associated with women.
From face-to-face interviews with 435 youngsters -230 women, 200 men and three transgenders- from western, central and eastern Cuba, it was identified that violence is perceptible in the recycling of domestic life and in the prevalence of stereotypes in as for gender roles, the specialist said.
Gender violence is also evident in the idea of women’s “weakness” and the spirit of overprotection by men, in the fact that she must be “controlled” by him, in the acceptance of male infidelity and punishment of the female, among other manifestations, she stressed.
This assessment came to light from a study carried out since the first quarter of the year and convened by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO) and Oxfam, an international confederation of non-governmental organizations fighting poverty and inequality .
The research focuses on physical, material and symbolic violence against women and their representation in the juvenile imagination, and focuses its study in Cuba and six other countries in the region: Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Dominican Republic.
Pablo Vommaro, director of the Working Groups of CLACSO, stressed that the study is still ongoing, but some preliminary results are already known about the dimensions of the problem.
So far, more than 3,500 youth surveys have been taken, some 80 in-depth interviews conducted and more than 40 focus groups, he said.
As part of the meeting, Julián Loaiza, a Colombian specialist who belonged to the team of authors, said that 680 young people were surveyed in his country. They identified forms of violence that may be due to structural, symbolic and direct causes.
Only a situation of violence is perceived when physical aggression occurs, and this is due in large measure to strongly entrenched contextual factors, prejudices and power relations, he emphasized.
Christian Ferreyra, an adviser to Oxfam, said that the most interesting aspect of this inquiry is that, once the results are known, it will be possible to establish a campaign to question the attitudes that legitimize the different forms of violence.
The full report is expected to be released in March next year, Ferreyra said.
clau / fr / clg 17 17:56
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Debaten sobre inclusión femenina y violencia de género
Claudia González Corrales
La Habana, 13 oct (ACN) Aun cuando los niveles de inclusión femenina en la sociedad cubana son altos, la violencia contra la mujer adopta formas de expresión más solapadas, aseveró hoy en esta capital, María Isabel Domínguez, directora del Centro de Investigaciones Psicológicas y Sociológicas, del Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente.
Al intervenir en el panel Imaginarios juveniles acerca de la violencia contra las mujeres. Cooperación para la investigación social, celebrado en el contexto del VI Encuentro Internacional sobre Infancias y Juventudes, Dominguez subrayó que ello se debe a factores culturales y prejuicios asociados a la mujer.
A partir de la entrevista cara a cara a 435 jóvenes -230 mujeres, 200 hombres y tres transgéneros- del occidente, centro y oriente cubano, se identificó que la violencia es perceptible en la recarga de la vida doméstica y en la prevalencia de estereotipos en cuanto a los roles de género, indicó la especialista.
La violencia de género también se evidencia en el ideal de “debilidad” de la mujer y el espíritu de sobreprotección del hombre, en el hecho de que esta debe ser “controlada” por él, en la aceptación de la infidelidad masculina y el castigo a la femenina, entre otras manifestaciones, destacó.
Tal valoración salió a relucir a partir de un estudio que se realiza desde el primer trimestre del año, y convocado por el Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO) y Oxfam, confederación internacional formada por organizaciones no gubernamentales que luchan contra la pobreza y la desigualdad.
La investigación se enfoca en la violencia física, material y simbólica contra la mujer y su representación en el imaginario juvenil, y centra su objeto de estudio en Cuba y otros seis países de la región: Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua y República Dominicana.
Pablo Vommaro, director de los Grupos de Trabajo de CLACSO, destacó que el estudio continúa en curso, pero ya se conocen algunos resultados preliminares sobre la dimensiones de la problemática.
Hasta el momento se han aplicado más de tres mil 500 encuestas a jóvenes, unas 80 entrevistas en profundidad y superan los 40 grupos focales, apuntó.
Como parte del encuentro, Julián Loaiza, especialista colombiano que integra el equipo de autores, destacó que en su país fueron encuestados 680 jóvenes, quienes identificaron que las formas de violencia pueden ser debido a causas estructurales, simbólicas y directas.
Solo se percibe una situación de violencia cuando ocurre una agresión física, y eso se debe, en gran medida, a factores contextuales, prejuicios y relaciones de poder fuertemente afianzadas, enfatizó.
Christian Ferreyra, asesor de Oxfam, precisó que lo más interesante de esa indagación es que, a partir de que se conozcan los resultados, será posible establecer una campaña para el cuestionamiento de las actitudes que legitiman las distintas formas de violencia.
Se espera que el informe completo sea divulgado en marzo del próximo año, informó Ferreyra.
clau/fr/clg 17 17:56
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive to the daily POR ESTO! of Mérida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The speech with which Donald Trump, as President of the country that hosts the world’s largest organization, inaugurated the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, overshadowed even more the prospects for peaceful coexistence in the world. Far beyond offering evidence of his disrespect for the international community as a whole. Trump was particularly direct with regard to some of the most representative world powers, such as China, Russia, India and Iran, among others.
Perhaps It was Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who had the most ingenious and educated response to Trump’s speech, which had been full of calls for violence, along with his arrogance, haughtiness and total disrespect for the world organization. When all the dignitaries present hoped that the Iranian leader would respond with justified indignation to Trump’s insulting characterization of his government as “a corrupt dictatorship behind the false appearance of democracy,” the Iranian leader contrasted Trump’s uncultured rhetoric with a fine reference to Persian literary masters of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
“In order to promote our culture, civilization, religion and revolution, we enter into peoples’ hearts and capture their minds. We recite poetry and spread our philosophy in speeches. Our ambassadors are our poets, mystics and philosophers. We have flown to the shores of this side of the Atlantic through Yalal Al-Din Rümi extending our influence throughout Asia with Saadi (Musarrif ibn Muslih). We have already captured the world with Hafiz (Sams al-Din Muhammad), and we do not need new conquests, “quipped the head of the Persian government.
Rouhani used the word “moderation” no less than ten times, contrasting with Trump’s repeated use of the words “violence, chaos and bloodshed.” He even recited a poem with many healthy tips:
“Moderation seeks neither isolation nor hegemony; and it does not imply either indifference or intransigence”.
“The path of moderation is the way of peace; but a just and inclusive peace: not peace for a nation and war and agitation for others. Moderation is freedom and democracy; but in an inclusive and comprehensible way.”
“Do not pretend to promote liberty in one place by supporting dictators elsewhere; moderation is synergy of ideas and no dance of swords; the path of moderation nourishes beauty. Exports of lethal weapons are not beautiful; peace is.”
Dozens of heads of state, presidents of governments and other senior officials of the countries represented in the United Nations contributed to this 72nd session of the highest global organization without appealing to the arrogant language of Trump.
The United States, the dominant imperialist power in these times, now has a president at its head whose evident ineptitude confirms the total incapacity of the capitalist system to represent a unifying role of the world community that would serve to confront old and new challenges that stand in the way of survival.
It would seem that the spectacle offered by the UN General Assembly evidenced the fragmentation in which humanity lives. This starts with the distance between the head of state and government of the United States and his own people, and the insurmountable contradiction between the dominant power and the rest of the world .
When humanity’s articulated response to the challenges that are being imposed on it by nature is most needed, the President of the United States opposes everything positive that the international community has advanced in its fight against climate change.
The nearer the world has been to atomic war since the United States dropped its weapon on Japan, Trump announces the desire to “destroy” a nation possessing nuclear weapons, one which is not willing to sacrifice its sovereignty to imperialist impertinence.
Trump boycotts long-negotiated compromises for high-level nuclear issues with North Korea and with Iran in whose development his predecessors played sterner roles than he.
Today the planet needs the United Nations all the more as a center to harmonize the efforts of nations to achieve their common ends, to fulfill their role of maintaining world peace and security, to eliminate threats of war, to suppress acts of aggression and other breaches of peace. By contrast, the United States –in the voice and presence of its highest representative– boasted of its power to mobilize and railed against the world organization itself without sparing all kinds of lies.
September 25, 2017.
I am presently involuntarily retired from the American Bridge Division of the U.S. Steel Corporation because its Maywood plant was closed in March, 1980. During the last ten years of the thirty seven that I worked for this company, one of my duties as an Inspector, was to radiograph welds to ascertain that they were of acceptable quality. I have been a member of organized labor since 1938, and I am now an Honorary member of the United Steelworkers of America. I am an active participant in the Labor Safe Energy and Full Employment Committee.
While I have not heard all of the testimony that has been presented in this hearing to date, I believe that this Commission should know that a sizable and growing section of the American labor movement does not support the use and proliferation of nuclear power. In general our opposition to nukes is based on three factors: 1 The excessive risks to the safety and health of the workers in the plants and to the public living in their vicinity. 2 The fact that nuclear power provides fewer jobs than any of the alternative sources of power that are available. 3 The high cost of nuclear power in comparison to other alternative power sources.
I don’t believe that I could add anything to the ample testimony that has already been submitted about the danger that the use of nuclear power creates in the San Onofre57rtf area. The inability to evacuate the area in a reasonable length of time in the event of an accident; the possibility of a major earthquake in the area; the evidence of an increase in the level of radiation that has already occurred due to the operation of Unit 1 are valid arguments against licensing Units 2 and 3.
To the best of my knowledge, the testimony that has been presented in these proceedings by union members has been in favor of licensing Units 2 and 3. It has come from Brothers who are employed at the San Onofre facility. One of these workers seemed to feel that the opponents of licensing were questioning his ability as a welder to produce the quality of work which nuclear powered generators require. Prior to my employment at American Bridge, I worked as a High Pressure Pipe Welder in refinery construction. Like my Brother welder, I also took pride in my ability as a craftsman to perform my duties. However, even if all the welds and the other work was perfect, it would not resolve problems such as public evacuation, earthquake danger or so-called “low-level radiation” in the plant and the San Onofre area.
I will not take the time in this hearing that would be required to discuss nuclear power from a union point of view, but members of the Labor Safe Energy and Full Employment Committee would welcome-such a discussion with other union members if it could be arranged. We believe this issue deserves far more discussion and consideration in the labor movement than it has received in the past.
Based on the training I received before radiographing welds, I think that the one thing you can say about radiation is: the less of it you get, the better off you are. Radiation exists as a natural part of our environment. If man possessed the technology, it would be logical, in my judgment, to try to lessen or even eliminate the natural level of radiation. Conversely, it is illogical to engage in anything that raises this level of radiation in the environment.
Nuclear power produces low-level radiation from its beginning to its end. Workers are radiated when it is mined. The ore tailings, once they are brought to the surface, inject more radiation into the environment than when they were buried in the earth. Workers in industries where radio-active materials are used receive increased radiation. So do workers who transport it. The end product of nuclear use is radio-active waste. There are tens of thousands of tons of this radio-active junk around right now, and nobody has come up with a trully safe way of disposing of it. In my opinion, even if the possibility of a nuclear melt-down did not exist, the foregoing facts constitute sufficient reason to stop the use of nuclear power.
When I see the problem of low-level radiation casually dismissed, as nuclear power advocates are wont to do, I am reminded of the fable about the race between the tortise and the hare. Like low-level radiation, the tortise just kept grinding away while rabbit slept, and we all know that he won. But the prize in a race where low-level radiation is a competitor, is not something anyone wants to win because it consists of medical problems and the possibility of untimely death.
At American Bridge, the level of radiation which workers outside the radiation area received, was held to one half the legal limit when this work was done. Most of the radiography was done after midnight when there were no other workers present. We had some wild cats in the plant which the workers fed. Two of them were accidentally radiated. It is not a pleasant sight to see any living thing die from excessive radiation.
With the sole exception of hydro-power, nuclear power provides fewer jobs than any other type of electric generation. Nukes employ a large number of workers during the time of their construction, but from then on, the work force is very small. Other methods of power generation not only employ more workers, but they create jobs for coal miners, oil workers and transport workers.
In this period of growing unemployment, I and other unionists are concerned about the availability of work. While the curtailment of nuclear power in the short haul could reduce the number of jobs in construction, in the long haul, they would also gain. Unemployed workers are not apt to be customers for the goods and services that they normally consume. This, of course, would include electricity. If there is a contraction in the use of electricity, there will be fewer construction jobs because new power plants will not be needed.
Nuclear power is not only the most unsafe form of energy, it is also the most costly. When the cost of a nuclear plant is amortized thru the years of its productive use, it is the most expensive means of producing electricity.
Testimony has already been introduced which shows that Southern California Edison has placed 40% of its total investment in nuclear and, power,/in so-doing, has only increased its generating capacity by 12%.This testimony has not been refuted at any time that I have been at these hearings. While I am on this subject of costs, I would like to present some further evidence. It comes from the states of Utah and Washington.
Utah Power and Light, to my knowledge, is the only utility company in the nation which generates all of its power with coal. Recently, it reported a 92% increase in profits for the second quarter of this year. Contrast this with Consolidated Edison, which is soliciting government help and trying to pass rate increases to its customers, to avoid bankruptcy because of Three Mile Island.
The Washington Public Power Supply System is also in serious financial trouble because of nuclear power. The estimated cost of the five nukes this outfit is building has risen from four billion to twenty four billion dollars. Two of these nukes have been placed on hold, and the company is considering drastic rate increases. They are also asking the Bonneville’ Power Administration, a federal energy-distributing agency, to raise its rates to help pay the cost of completing the other three nukes.
All things considered, coal generated power would appear to be the most satisfactory way to meet the general criteria which a sound union energy program would embrace. It is safe. The technology exists to burn it environmentally clean. It is cheap. It exists in such ample supply in the nation that it could supply our energy needs until new and better sources are developed. It would create more jobs than any’., other energy source, that is immediately available. It is now being brought into the Los Angeles harbor in huge amounts for shipment to Japan.
Nuclear supporters cited the extensive use of nukes in Russia as proof of its safety. However, it is well documented, that since 1970, when nukes proliferated, there has been a steady increase in the death rate of children – particularly under the age of one year.. in Russia.
Thanks to David Walters, at Holt Labor Library, for the scanned version, which has been OCRed and edited for reposting here by Walter Lippmann and Kimberly Sloss. Please let me know if you find any typos. This essay is just under 5000 words.
The party’s resolutions, while analyzing and portraying the political reality and the relationship of class forces at given conjunctures in time, stresses the more favorable variant in the further evolution of the class struggle. Generally this approach has been characterized as “the right to revolutionary optimism.” It is something I have always supported in our movement, and it has been my observation that those who questioned this proposition were embarking on a path that led out of the party.
Even as I had been a firm supporter of the party’s decisions to follow the radicalization in peripheral struggles such as the anti-war, civil rights, women’s and gay movements, I supported the party’s turn to industry. This support was motivated by the opinion that the economy had entered a deeper and more intractable crisis than any which had occurred since World War II. It was not based upon the concept that the workers had miraculously shed the effects of the preceding thirty years which had nurtured and sustained the generally conservative mood which shaped their thinking.
Making a turn in the party is not an easy thing. I listened to reports and assessments, which in my judgment, were overly optimistic, but were also a necessary part of carrying out the turn. Optimism has been, and always will be a legitimate part of our party and I want to affirm my support to Ito continued use. .
The party has reached the stage in our turn to the industrial workers where any fears that we are going to be left on the sidelines when they go into action should be allayed. I think the time has come when we can realistically assess the level of radicalization in the unions and build the party in the process.
We should continue the party’s present trade union policy
I am a supporter of the party’s trade union policy. I believe that the flanking tactic with respect to the trade union leadership is, soundly conceived, that the open socialist policy, within, the limits of what is possible, is correct, and that we should continue to concentrate our work in the unions around the social and political issues. It follows that I think Comrade Weinstein and his co-thinkers are mistaken.
I have always been loath to judge the application of any party policy from afar. I believe you have to have all the details and facts before a sound judgment can be made. Truth manifests itself in the concrete. The reports from Lockheed in Marietta, Georgia, and from Newport News should have clarified any misunderstandings about how our trade union policy was carried out in those situations.
It is a fact of life that any trade union policy will always result in some casualties. Sometimes it is because it is ineptly applied. In such instances, the leadership, as it has been doing, must intervene and educate against these misapplications. Sometimes the bosses take off on a tangent as is the case with Lockheed. In these situations, we are required to mount a counter-attack using every available means to win. The outcome of such a fight also shapes the application of our trade union-policy, The only tirade union policy which might not have called us to Lockheed’s attention, in my judgment, would have been to just work and do nothing.
Taking union posts has not helped other radical parties
The policy of taking union posts and concentrating on union issues is not the panacea that some comrades believe. This is basically what the other radicals have been-doing. A look at some of their 4 experiences should be instructive.
The first of these experiences involves the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist). They were in a caucus which won some posts, including the presidency, in the Ford Motor plant in Pico Rivera, California. From the time they took, office, they were in a fight with a right-wing majority on the executive board, which enjoyed the support of the UAW Regional Director. This red-baiting fight was so intense that the majority of the members would not even take a .union leaflet when it was passed out at the plant gates.
After the plant closed, the president was put on trial for allegedly using the phone for unauthorized calls. At the trial, he said that he didn’t care what the verdict was, because he was going into the construction business. He was found guilty.
The CP (ML) has lost many of its members. It is in a political crisis over Maoism. It also has organizational problems. It is in a major internal discussion to decide whether it should continue as a party or dissolve.
The second experience involves the Communist Labor Party in the Bethlehem Steel plant in Huntington Park, California. The CLP ran candidates for union offices with mixed results. They lost the presidency to Wilfred Anderson, but they won some griever posts. Had they been more successful, they could have very easily found themselves in the same situation that prevailed at Ford because the local has a right-wing majority on its executive board.
This plant is first on a list of plants which Bethlehem is considering closing. Anderson, who is basically a good unionist, is trying to keep the plant open by cooperating with the company. He says that if he pushes grievances the way he used to, the plant will fold in 60 days.
The CLP is critical of Anderson, and will probably run against him in 1983 if the plant is still open. Basically this is a no-win situation. The CLP advocates a policy that is a little more militant, but they agree with Anderson that the plant is on the verge of being closed. Having gone through the experience of a plant closure myself, the last thing I would recommend would be to take union office to administer the procedure.
The CLP operates out of a front group called Californians Against Taft-Hartley (14b). I was trapped into attending one of its meetings because a co-worker who was riding with me wanted to go: In the past, these meetings attracted more than thirty. This particular meeting was down to eight or nine. The discussion was about what could be done to keep the committee functioning. Like other radical parties, the CLP has lost members and is now down to its hard-core cadre.
The third experience involves the Communist Workers Party. I recently had an opportunity to listen to a report on the union struggle at NASSCO by Rodney Johnson. The wages at this shipyard are about $2.00 per hour less than the rates paid by the industry on the West Coast, and the safety conditions are very poor. Military expenditures sustain the expectations of NASSCO workers that they will have contracts. The CWP and their friends ran for office and were elected. They combined militancy with democratic worker mobilizations to press for resolution of the many problems, particularly around safety, which existed. The company retaliated against one of these in-plant demonstrations that took place at lunch hour in conjunction with a ship launching, by discharging a large number of the union’s officers and shop stewards. The workers established picket lines and closed the shipyard. The strike was ended on the basis that the discharges would be given expedited arbitration. Twenty-seven cases are involved. The Ironworkers International put the local in receivership. The authorities put Boyd, Loo and Johnson on trial for allegedly conspiring to blow up the shipyard’s electrical facilities. They have been found guilty, and the verdict is being appealed. The CWP and their supporters are also petitioning to decertify the Ironworkers Union at NASSCO and replace it with an independent union.
While a final balance sheet must be delayed until the outcome of the arbitrations, the court appeal and the decertification election is known, I believe it is safe to say that we would not like to see any of our comrades in a similar situation. Johnson reported that the CWP and its friends still retain the support of a large Section of the NASSCO workers, but the obstacles to be overcome are formidable. The answer may well be that worker militancy must exist in many locals before it can be translated into victories in any of them.
Of course, all of the experiences I relate are in California. Perhaps it is different in other parts of the country. If there is some place where radicals, or for that matter even militants, are winning victories and recruiting, it would be a valid argument for adopting a more interventionist trade union policy.
Our trade union policy now and during World War II
Of all previous party, trade union policies, the present one is closest to our trade union policy during World War II. At that time we refrained from taking union posts and devoted our efforts to socialist propaganda work, Minneapolis Trial support and general union educational propaganda around the no-strike pledge, etc. We characterized this union position as “a policy of caution.” I might add that, in my judgment, this cautious policy served us well. It laid the groundwork for our extensive intervention into union leadership and the post-World War II struggles of the industrial workers.
The present union policy puts a little more stress on the open socialist approach, but I can recall selling about 40 Militant subscriptions not too long after I had completed my probationary period. Our abstention from taking positions of union leadership was based on the proposition that the wildcat strikes, which occurred in greater numbers as the war went on, could not be led to victories. The combination of the government, the companies and the union bureaucrats, plus the political support which most workers gave the war, led to assorted strikes and victimizations of the strike leaders.
Of course, John L. Lewis scored a major victory when the UMWA struck during World War II. But that was an action sanctioned by the International leadership of a major union and not a wildcat strike led by radicals or militants.
The success of the UMWA strike was powerful testimony in support of our trade union analysis. We were the only section of the labor movement that propagated the idea that the unions had to withdraw the no-strike pledge in order to resolve the accumulating problems of their members. Towards the end of the war the idea began to spread. At its last war-time convention, the UAW debated a resolution to withdraw the no-strike pledge. It lost by a handful of votes. However, it was not until the war was coming to an end and it was apparent that the working class was getting ready to go into action that were able to recruit these workers.
The economy and capital mobility has the workers on the defensive
Although it is masked to a certain extent by the inflation, the situation today is one in which the deflationary forces in the economy are coming more and more to the fore. The days when workers were fighting for reverse seniority in order to take extended vacations while they were collecting unemployment and supplementary unemployment benefits are behind us.
Since 1929, the last time these deflationary forces were unleashed, the ruling class has developed a powerful new weapon – capital mobility. During the years 1969-1976, 15 million jobs in the United States were wiped out by plant and department closures. The trend has escalated since then, and while I don’t have figures, I think it is safe to say that almost 25% of the U.S. workforce has lost jobs due to closures.
Most of these job losses were not due to business failures, but rather to capital mobility. Most of the capital migration within the U.S. has been from the Frostbelt to the Sunbelt and from unionized areas to non-union areas. But all areas of the U.S. have been affected by capital migration overseas. As a matter of fact, the rate of plant-closures in the South has been greater than in the U.S. as a whole. During the 1969-76 period, more than one third of the plants in the South, employing 100 or more workers, were closed, primarily due to capital migration overseas.
Because of their ability to freely move capital, the bosses, in many instances, have been relieved from the task of making frontal assaults on the unions to drive down wages and working conditions. To date, nobody has come up with a strategy that workers can employ on the economic front to stop these closures. At the prompt time, the choice for workers appears to be: 1) Refuse a wage cut, remain militant and go down with the flags flying like the workers did in the Gary, Indiana, American Bridge plant; or 2) Make concessions, go home and pray and probably go out with a whimper like they appear;, to be doing at the Bethlehem Steel plant in Huntington Park.
In 1950, the U.S. multinationals had $11 billion invested overseas. By 1974, it had grown to $118 billion. While I don’t have figures on what U.S. overseas investments are now,. we can rest assured that the amount has expanded since the trend to overseas investment has increased, in the last seven years.
Plant closures and the threat of plant closures are exerting enormous pressure on the unions and the workers. Ford, for- example, recently asked the UAW to open its contract before its termination date so that the company could share in the concessions that were being given to Chrysler. When its request was refused, Ford said: We are now building a world car. We can close all of our U.S. plants and still produce as many cars as we can expect to sell:
Perhaps someone may believe that you can confront problems like this one facing the Ford workers by taking a griever position and being militant on the assembly line. I don’t. The only answer I see is a long-range one. It requires the radicalization and politicalization of the workers. And this type of educational work can best be done without the burden of a griever job.
Any serious worker fightback must be political
As I have already noted, nobody has come up with any strategy, on the union level to stop these closures. Nor have they been able to use the closure of a particular plant to speed worker radicalization. This is something we should try to initiate if the opportunity presents itself, or be prepared to assist if it is initiated by someone else.
The right to invest, disinvest and move capital throughout the capitalist sector of the world is assured to the ruling class by their control over the political process. Both the Republican and Democrat parties are supporters of “free enterprise,” the economic system which makes the aforementioned rights possible. Any political party which would challenge these rights or start dismantling the structure upon which they rest would have to be anti-business, anti-free enterprise and anti-capitalist. A labor party, or any other party, would be as helpless as a baby in terms of arresting the ruling class assault on the living standards of the workers if it didn’t possess some of the foregoing ingredients. A return to a Democrat administration would be unlikely to provide the union leaders or the workers with any of the relief that they hope to obtain.
The ability of capital to move overseas was won in World War II and formalized at Bretton Woods. But it also rests on a number of subsequent government decisions such as: 1) Government insurance to compensate U.S. companies if their investments are lost through nationalizations by foreign governments; (This law may, have expired, but it existed for decades.) 2) Favorable tariff rulings; 3) IRS rulings which exonerate overseas profits from being taxed in the year they were made and taxes them in the year they are repatriated to the U.S.
Can anyone imagine any capitalist party tampering with the structure which presently facilitates overseas capital flight? Yet this is exactly what would be required if a political party was going to help Ford workers in their pending negotiations.
Domestic capital mobility also rests on a political base such as: 1) Publicly financed incentives and tax breaks to encourage investment in a particular city, county or state; 2) Low accident, disability and unemployment benefits for workers in some states; 3) Right-to-work laws which inhibit unionization.
The unions have been trying for years to solve some of the problems that encourage domestic capital migration through the Democratic Party. In a period of economic uncertainty, are the Democrats apt to pass laws which correct these inequities?
Under free enterprise, the right to invest or disinvest in a way that maximizes profits in the most sacred of all rights. Many of the plants that have been closed were profitable. But workers need jobs. Communities should have the to a decent environment rather than being converted into slums as the effects of the economic dislocated ripples through their economies.
A capitalist politician, in the name of corporate responsibility, might ask a company not to close a plant. But what if the company refuses? Is he or she going to enact legislation that says worker and community rights must be given pre-eminence over the right to maximize profits?
Most of the workers that I have talked to during the last twenty years –even those who went through the great depression– were of the opinion that it could never happen again. What is happening now is contrary to everything that they had been led to expect. Many still have hopes that things will get better. Some even, think Reagan will deliver on his promises in a reasonable period of time. We believe that the economic downturn is in its preliminary stages. If we are correct, the next period will be one in which the working class begins to dispel its misconceptions and illusions. It will begin to deepen and expand its radicalization into more meaningful and broader areas. We can do our work best as open socialists unencumbered by union posts and responsibilities, We also must be patient and confident. Time is on our side.
Where the union leadership is going now
In a recent issue of the western edition of Steelabor, the official publication of the United Steelworkers of America, the front page featured a quotation from Woody Guthrie, and its back page carried an interview with a Polish steelworker who was representing Solidarity at an AFL-CIO meeting. I have read this paper for nearly forty years. Not so long ago, If I were a betting man, I could have gotten odds of more than 100 to 1 that there never would be a Steelabor with a format that was this radical. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I would have been willing to bet a dollar on it.
Some comrades have expressed the opinion that radicalism of this type by the union leadership reflects pressure from the ranks below. I think they are mistaken.
The first time I encountered this kind of radicalism emanating from the union leadership was shortly after the enactment of the Taft-Hartley law. I believe it was in 1948.
During about a six-months period, the leadership published rearms of material showing that the U.S. was really run by a handful of the super-rich, etc. I don’t know what they did in other locals, but we were in the leadership of my local. We saw to it that it was passed out to the membership. It was just about the time that we were beginning to get a response from rank and file members that this anti-capitalist propaganda offensive stopped.
Then, as now, the union leaders were of the opinion that they were facing a major crisis. Nor was it a figment of their imaginations. If the Taft-Hartley law had been enforced with the same conservative, anti-labor vindictiveness with which it was passed, the unions would have been in a struggle to survive. Of course, we know this didn’t happen. The union leadership established a detente with the bosses, and class conciliation continued to prevail in government circles. Through the years, however, this conciliation shifted more to the side of the bosses, and it returns were more meager for labor.
Reagan’s election, the increased number of union-hating conservatives in Congress and in the state legislatures, plus the economic crisis, have again convinced the union leaders that they are in jeopardy. That is why they have mounted another radical propaganda offensive. It is a good thing. We should use it for all it’s worth and for as long as it lasts. But again, I repeat, we should not interpret this leadership radicalism as a reflection of wide-spread radicalization in the ranks of the union membership.
The union leaders are ready to make another deal
On the other hand, the union leadership is exploring the possibilities of another deal. Kirkland establishes a committee to meet with Reagan administration officials to set what can be worked out. The July 7th Wall Street Journal reports that the Steelworker leadership is opening negotiations with the steel industry to decide if the no-strike agreement will be extended to cover the 1983 negotiations. The industry wants the terms of the no-strike agreement watered down because “past settlements were too costly.” This policy of union cooperation with the steel industry was justified to the workers, after the 1959 strike, as a way to save jobs. At that time, I believe, there were more than 400,000 workers covered by the Basic Steel agreement. The WSJ says that 286,000 are covered now.
As has already been noted in this internal discussion the union leaders are seeking to solve the problems of their members by increasing their cooperation with the industrialists. We can be sure that the price the bosses are willing to pay for this cooperation will be less and less acceptable to the workers. But this is a part of the learning process which the workers have to go through before they will be ready to strike out in a new direction. It is conceivable, even likely, that this worker dissatisfaction will take some time before it manifests itself in action unless the bosses’ terms are so bad that the union leaders are forced to call a strike.
Radicalization in other social sectors will outpace industrial workers
Meanwhile, the Reagan program is devastating the many other sections of our society in the here and now. In the next immediate period, the radicalization of these affected sectors, in my judgment, will outpace the radicalization in the ranks of the industrial workers.
These other sectors don’t have the same social weight or significance of the industrial workers, but we should not underestimate the importance of their radicalization. In fact, this radicalization, if transmitted into the unions, can accelerate the radicalization of the industrial workers. And we have an almost perfect opening to start this operation.
The September 19 coalitions
As a result of their left turn, the union leaders are anxious to be seen with Black leaders, environmentalists, etc., who they formerly shunned. They want all the help they can get if Reagan and his union-hating cohorts come down on them, and they want to influence and rebuild the Democratic Party. They have set September 19 as a day of national mobilization against the Reagan program in Washington, D.C. and in major cities across the country.
In Los Angeles, the September 19th coalition is called the Greater Los Angeles-Labor Community Coalition. It is open to all union locals, AFL-CIO or independent, any community organizations, other coalitions and political parties that are opposed to all or any part of the Reagan program. As they put it: “Any group that is capable of fogging up a mirror in the morning is eligible to join and have one representative at coalition meetings.”
I have been representing the Coalition Against Plant Closures, September 19th coalition meetings are held in the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO office, and they are usually attended by about 25 people. More are involved, but sometimes they miss meetings. A representative of the New American Movement usually attends, so the coalition, is clearly open to any radical party that wants to participate.
To date, one expanded coalition meeting has been held. I suggested that we should invite a representative of the hunger-striking Vietnam veterans to this expanded meeting. While some coalition members expressed reservations, the vote was favorable, and a veteran did speak. The expanded meeting was attended by about 175.
I also serve on the coalition steering committee. At one of its meetings, a member expressed the opinion that the coalition should oppose the military budget. Another member supported the military. Since the AFL-CIO also supports the military program, it was agreed that a position against the military program would destroy the coalition. In this discussion, I made the point that the anti-draft, anti-war movement was a legitimate part of the coalition’s constituency. Everyone, including the military supporter, agreed with this position.
Of course, these September 19th coalitions may not be as open in other areas as it is in Los Angeles. If we enter these coalitions and involve our co-workers, I can’t think of any better way to get them to “think socially and act politically.” The Democrat politicians will speak at the September 19 rallies, but I can’t think of any better way to open a political discussion with our co-workers. We can contrast our labor party and socialist politics against what the Democrats have to offer. These rallies should attract the more union-minded and politically conscious industrial workers.
What the September 19th coalitions have to offer
I have already mentioned that the anti-war movement is welcome. The Nicaraguan, Salvadoran and Guatemalan movements have been asking the unions—with some success—for support. I think we should advise them to join these September 19th coalitions. They should come not seeking help, but offering their support. They may not get a speaker on the program, but if they mobilize their supporters, it would really be appreciated—and they could put anti-interventionist leaflets in the hands of everyone present.
Someone in the course of this discussion said that it was difficult to encounter Stalinists in the plants because they avoid us. If they come around these coalitions they will find them, both young and old. In fact, all of the radical parties are there. These coalitions just could be the best vehicle for a dialogue with other radicals that we have ever had during my time in the party. It is also the best time, that I can remember, to have such a discussion. The Stalinists are stuck with an indefensible position on Poland. The DSOC-NAMers are stuck with the Democrats. The Maoists are stuck with the Chinese events. I think these rallies may become poles of attraction for the newly radicalizing.
I also believe we should make a major effort to bring the student movement into September 19th. They are not only against the military buildup, but they are also against increased tuitions and decreased student loans. While on this subject, I would like to give my support to the proposition that the YSA should re-establish an on-campus presence as soon as possible. The issues are there, and, it is the only place, that I know of, where some recruitment to radical parties has been taking place during recent times.
The Reagan administration is obviously moving against the senior citizens on social security. I think we should ask our SWP seniors to make a probe with a view to bringing this, movement into September 19th. The Grey Panthers and the union-organized senior-citizens would seem to be the logical place to start.
Radicalizing industrial workers
Dining the Vietnam War most demonstrations appeared to have very little impact on the consciousness of workers in my plant. The workers knew that I was involved because I passed out leaflets. The company wouldn’t let me pass them from its parking lot which Was adjacent to the gate where the workers walked into the plant. They made me pass them from the street at the gate where the cars drove in. The union officials offered to fight for my right to use the parking lot. I turned them down because I learned from experience that I got more sympathy from my coworkers using the street gate. Even some supporters of the war thought the company was striking a low blow by not allowing me to use the parking lot. I might add that very few of my co-workers ever came to a demonstration.
The big 1969 demonstrations in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, however, got their attention. More than once I was asked by co-workers if the San Francisco demonstration was really as large as it looked on TV. I assured them that it was even bigger. Their comment always was “I didn’t know there were that many people against the war.”
There have been many demonstrations since Reagan took office. We know that they are significant and important. But there is nothing like size to get the attention of industrial workers. September 19th may give us the opportunity to pull it all together. If we don’t accomplish it then, we will have more opportunities later, because it is supposed to be an ongoing coalition. Big demonstrations will help radicalize and politicize the industrial workers. The sooner we get them, the quicker this process will unfold in the ranks of the workers.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the foregoing represents just one comrade’s opinion about where we are now, and what we ought to do next. If it contributes in any way to helping us through this rather difficult period, it will have served its purpose.
July 10, 1981
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive to the daily POR ESTO! Of Mérida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
For US imperialism and the continental right, July 30th in Venezuela should be a conclusive political lesson. It should also be a lesson for the organizers of the media campaigns against popular processes, whose reliability has been demonstrated by the mass exercise of their rights by a mature and determined population who rejects them.
The election on that day of the members of the Constituent National Assembly (ANC), according to the Constitution and the laws of the country, involved an enthusiastic participation of more than 8,090,230 Venezuelans –41.53% of the electoral roll– who said yes to Constituent Assembly and the Bolivarian revolution.
The President of the United States threatened the Venezuelans with an increase in economic sanctions. The event would certainly take place, no doubt assuming that the people, intimidated, would repudiate the democratic act and refrain from participating in it.
But, on the contrary, Trump’s threats and terrorist actions against the voters stimulated their attendance because patriotic motivation was added.
The Bolivarian government called on democratic and peace–loving people to be alert to this new interventionist escalation of US imperialism. They called for a categorical rejection of the violent, fascist, racist and criminal actions of the Venezuelan opposition who are so afraid of this democratic, legal, sovereign, peaceful and civilized act .
For his part, the angry American president, who has been forced to move all his chips at the same time to coincide with other serious clashes unleashed separately against Russia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This has led Washington to impose sanctions on Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, according to a statement from the US Treasury Department.
The statement specifies that all assets of President Maduro which are or may be under US jurisdiction will be frozen. In addition, US citizens will be prohibited from any agreement with Maduro. He, in turn, has reiterated that, as President of Venezuela, he does not have to render accounts to anyone but Venezuela’s women and men.
The Venezuelan president has described the day as the “biggest” of the Bolivarian Revolution and has based his success on the option that made the peace proposal ;his banner of struggle in such complex circumstances.
Maduro stressed that, until the last moment, he kept the doors open for the Venezuelan opposition, which did not cease to call for violence and destabilizing actions on election day. He revealed that a delegation of his government had been meeting for several weeks with opposition leaders. Among these he mentioned the President of the Parliament, Julio Borges, to try to add them to the constituent initiative. “Two weeks ago I proposed to the opposition that they register for the Constituent Assembly. But they did not accept,” said the leader.
“In the last six weeks there have been direct talks between the delegations of the Democratic Unity Roundtable and a delegation presided over by Jorge Rodríguez, Delcy Rodríguez and Elías Jaua,” head of state Nicolas Maduro announced Saturday. To reach an agreement to publish a statement approved by all parties of the MUD,” said the First Minister. He added that the leadership of the right “wanted to be registered before the National Electoral Council (CNE) for the elections of governors and governors. I called on them to get into the Constituent Assembly and they were afraid.” The meetings held were kept hidden at the request of the opposition sector.
President Maduro spoke at Bolívar Plaza in the city of Caracas, after the National Electoral Council (CNE) issued the first bulletin with results. The Venezuelan president stated that the Constituent National Assembly had been born amid great popular legitimacy. “Not only does the Constituente have power, but it has the strength of legitimacy, the moral force of a people who heroically, warlike, came out to vote, to say: we want peace and tranquility,” said Maduro.
“The newly-elected Constituent Assembly had the support of a people who were not intimidated by the destabilizing climate that the Venezuelan opposition intended to create. It is the largest vote that the Revolution has had in all electoral history. The one who has eyes that sees and the one who has ears that hear,” said the president.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusivo para el diario POR ESTO! de Mérida, éxico.
Para el imperialismo estadounidense y la derecha continental, loocurrido el 30 de julio en Venezuela debía ser una concluyente lecciónpolítica y debía serlo también para los organizadores de lasabrumadoras campañas mediáticas contra los procesos populares, cuyafalibilidad ha sido demostrada por el ejercicio masivo de sus derechospor una población madura y decidida que las rechaza.
La elección ese día de los integrantes de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente (ANC), conforme a la Constitución y las leyes del país,involucró una participación entusiasta de más de 8,89 230 venezolanos y venezolanas –41.53% del padrón electoral– que dijo sí ala constituyente y a la revolución bolivariana.
El Presidente de Estados Unidos, había amenazado a los venezolanos conun incremento de las sanciones económicas contra el país suramericanosi llegara a realizarse el evento, sin duda partiendo de la suposiciónde que el pueblo, amedrentado, repudiaría el acto democráticoabsteniéndose de participar en él.
Pero resultó todo lo contrario, la amenaza de Trump y las acciones terroristas contra los votantes estimularon la asistencia de éstos, porque le agregaron motivaciones patrióticas.
El gobierno bolivariano llamó a los pueblos democráticos y amantes de la paz a estar alertas frente a esta nueva escalada injerencista delimperialismo norteamericano y a rechazar categóricamente las acciones violentas, fascistas, racistas y criminales de la oposición venezolanaque tanto temen al acto democrático, legal, soberano, pacífico y civilizado.
Por su parte, el colérico presidente estadounidense, quien se ha visto obligado a mover todas sus fichas al mismo tiempo por coincidir entiempo con otros serios enfrentamientos desatados separadamente contra Rusia y con la República Democrática Popular de Corea, ha hecho que Washington se haya limitado a imponer sanciones al presidente deVenezuela, Nicolás Maduro, según comunicado del Departamento del Tesoro estadounidense.
El comunicado especifica que se bloquearán todos los activos del mandatario que estén o puedan estar bajo la jurisdicción de EE.UU. Además, se prohibirá a los ciudadanos estadounidenses contra cualquier acuerdo con Maduro quien a su vez ha reiterado que, como Presidente de Venezuela no tiene que rendir cuentas más que a los venezolanos y las venezolanas.
El primer mandatario venezolano ha calificado la jornada como la victoria “mas grande” de la Revolución Bolivariana y ha basado su éxito en la selección que hizo de la propuesta de paz como su banderade lucha en tan complejas circunstancias.
Maduro destacó que hasta el último momento mantuvo las puertas abiertapara la oposición venezolana, que no cesó de llamar a la violencia y alas acciones desestabilizadoras durante la jornada electoral. Revelóque una delegación de su gobierno estuvo reunida por varias semanascon dirigentes opositores, entre los que mencionó al presidente delParlamento, Julio Borges, para intentar sumarlos a la iniciativaconstituyente. “Hace dos semanas propuse a la oposición que seinscribieran en la Constituyente. Pero no aceptaron”, indicó elmandatario.
“En las últimas seis semanas se han dado conversaciones directas entredelegaciones de la Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) y unadelegación presidida por Jorge Rodríguez, Delcy Rodríguez y ElíasJaua”, anunció este sábado el jefe de Estado, Nicolás Maduro.“Estuvimos a punto de llegar a un acuerdo para publicar un comunicado aprobado por todos los partidos de la MUD”, aseguró el Primer Mandatario y añadió que la cúpula de la derecha “lo que quería era inscribirse ante el Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) para las elecciones de gobernadores y gobernadoras. Los llamé a que se metieranen la Constituyente y tuvieron miedo”. Las reuniones llevadas a cabose mantuvieron ocultas por solicitud del sector opositor.
Durante su discurso en la Plaza Bolívar de la ciudad de Caracas, luegode que el Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) emitió el primer boletín deresultados, el mandatario venezolano afirmó que la Asamblea NacionalConstituyente nació en medio de una gran legitimidad popular. “No sólotiene la fuerza constituyente nacional, sino que tiene la fuerza de lalegitimidad, la fuerza moral de un pueblo que de manera heroica, encondiciones de guerra, salió a votar, a decir: queremos paz,tranquilidad”, aseguró Maduro.
“La Constituyente recién electa contó con el apoyo de un pueblo queno se sintió intimidado ante el clima desestabilizador que pretendíaimplantar la oposición venezolana. Es la votación más grande que hayasacado la Revolución en toda la historia electoral. El que tenga ojos que vea y el que tenga oídos que oiga”, aseveró el presidente.
Julio 31 de 20