By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Just over a month before Brazil’s October 7 presidential elections, the judges of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal rejected, four votes to one, the candidacy of the population’s undisputed favorite in the largest and most populous nation in Latin America.
This occurred despite the fact that a resolution to this effect by the International Human Rights Committee of the United Nations (UN) stipulated that the Brazilian State must allow former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to exercise his political rights as the presidential candidate of the Workers’ Party and a coalition of movements and parties that are already legally entitled to compete in the upcoming elections.
No one doubts that Lula da Silva would be a broad winner in these elections but it happens that, since April, Lula has been held in a Federal Police cell in the state of Curitiba. He has been sentenced to 12 years in prison in an arbitrary trial, with no sign of legality, on charges of passive corruption and money laundering. No evidence of such charges against the top left-wing political leader, simply because the crimes have never existed.
The latest polls published make it clear that Lula da Silva, who has almost 40% of the voting intentions, would be elected in the first round. But if he fails to do so, he will wipe out all the other contenders in a possible second round of voting.
Former army captain and deputy Jair Bolsonaro, candidate of the Social Liberal Party, which represents the extreme right, is second in the polls, with 19% of the intention to vote.
The candidate considered to be the representative of the (not extreme) right is the one presented by the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) with the support of the Brazilian Democratic, Labor, Social Democratic and Solidarity parties. He is the former governor of Sao Paolo Geraldo Alckmin. He is ranked third in the polls with about 5% of the declarations of intent to vote.
Other parties that have announced their own candidates are the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), with Manuela d’Avila as its presidential candidate and the ruling Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) of former Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles, both with very low voter intention rates.
Alckmin’s campaign strives to gain followers among the owners of capital with an irrational, homophobic, racist and misogynistic discourse. They have very abundant financial resources, but the public fears that a large part of the right wing will choose to join the right-wing extremist campaign.
There has been massive manipulation by the unelected government of Michael Temer and the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia to prevent the election of Lula as president of the largest nation in South America. This has transformed the Brazilian popular leader, from a central protagonist and determinant of a national electoral process into an emblematic figure of Latin American independence in the face of the imperialist hegemonic power of the United States.
Thus, Brazil will have a presidential election this year that should have been aimed at restoring to the South American giant the precarious normality it had achieved in 1985. After 21 years of a military dictatorship widely supported by the owners of capital and representatives of imperialist interests in Brazil, Brazil’s tenuous normality was broken by the institutional coup that removed Dilma Rousseff in April 2016 and culminated in the arbitrary imprisonment of Lula two years later.
The solution could be in the hands of the magistrates of the Superior Electoral Court or, ultimately, those of the Supreme Court of Justice. However, this would require that the country’s vital decisions be returned to the hands of the Brazilian people.
Unfortunately, in Latin America, the approach of the legal system to politics has given rise to repeated behavior in which judges and prosecutors prevaricate and lend themselves to the persecution of popular leaders. This has been shown in the cases of Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador, where former presidents Lula, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Rafael Correa are being harassed and prosecuted for crimes that they did not commit and which obviously cannot be proven.
In the event that the manipulation of the process through violence or corruption is imposed and Lula’s inclusion on the ballot is prevented, it is expected that a sufficient number of voters will choose to do so in favor of Fernando Haddad, former mayor of Sao Paolo and former minister of education during the government of the popular labor leader, who is already registered as an aspirant for the vice presidency with Lula.
In Brazil, the cards are on the table. What their people want is known. What is also known is just how much violence and cruelty imperialism and the local exploiters is capable of to impose their rule.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.“Prevent the release of Lula in Brazil, issue an arrest warrant for Rafael Correa in Ecuador, threaten Cristina in Argentina with jail, round up Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, incriminate Paraguayan Lugo, deploy an offensive at all levels against Nicolás Maduro in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and focus fire on Cuba. In just these four lines, Peruvian journalist and writer Gustavo Espinoza M. summarizes the difficult situation that the Latin American left was going through at the beginning of the 24th meeting of the Sao Paolo Forum that is being held in Havana from 15 to 17 July.
The Sao Paulo Forum (FSSP) is a mechanism for bringing together left-wing and progressive political parties and movements in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a space for convergence, discussion and joint action resulting from the Meeting of Left Political Parties and Organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean, which took place in 1990 under the auspices of the Workers’ Party (PT) of Brazil. It was an initiative of the historic leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz and the leader of the Workers’ Party of Brazil (PT), Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
In addition to its plenary meetings, the Forum holds an average of five annual meetings of its Working Group. It organizes conferences, seminars, and workshops on various topics, holds exchanges with political and social forces in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America, and participates in the meetings of the World Social Forum, the Americas Social Forum and the European Social Forum.
The FSSP develops a broad and multifaceted agenda that has embraced issues such as the world capitalist crisis and its impact on Latin America and the Caribbean; the new forms of political, economic, social and cultural domination of imperialism, with emphasis on U.S. imperialism and its projection into the region; the increase in aggression78p-, occupations and foreign military bases; the struggle against colonialism; the construction of new emancipatory paradigms; the promotion of integration, cooperation and coordination in the Caribbean and Latin America, and solidarity with the struggles of its members, as well as with the struggles of those political and social forces in other regions.
The FSSP was formed to bring together the efforts of left-wing parties and movements in the southern hemisphere in the complex international arena following the fall of the Berlin Wall. In addition, it aimed to counter the consequences of neoliberalism for the peoples of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean through reciprocal support among its members.
At the time of its foundation in 1990, the only member with executive power in a sovereign country was the Communist Party of Cuba. Twenty years later, most of the countries that are members of the Forum have agreed for some period of time, through the ballot box, to exercise government or to be part of official coalitions. Several have also become the first opposing forces in their respective countries.
The election of the revolutionary military man Hugo Chávez in 1998 in Venezuela was the first time that a member of the Sao Paulo Forum came to power.
Then came the triumphs of the Brazilian Workers’ Party in 2002 with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; the Frente Amplio in Uruguay in 2004 with Tabaré Vázquez; the Movimiento al Socialismo with Evo Morales in Bolivia in 2005; Michelle Bachelet of the Partido Socialista de Chile in 2006; Rafael Correa for Alianza PAIS in Ecuador in 2006; Daniel Ortega for the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional de Nicaragua in 2006; Fernando Lugo for the Patriotic Alliance for Change (now the Guasú Front) in Paraguay in 2008; José Mujica for the Frente Amplio in Uruguay in 2009; Mauricio Funes of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front of El Salvador in 2009; Dilma Rousseff for the Brazilian Workers Party in 2010; Ollanta Humala for the Nationalist Party of Peru in 2011; Nicolás Maduro for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela in 2013. In 2014, Michelle Bachelet won the elections again and in 2014, Salvador Sánchez Cerén of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front in El Salvador won.
These successes, however, were followed by an intense counter-revolutionary offensive that could have ended with the recent electoral victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the head of the Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (Morena), in alliance with the Labor and Social Encounter parties, which could have been a turning point in continental political events.
With a prestige that rests essentially on his honesty and a program that is in line with “Mexico’s hopes”, as his electoral slogan states, everything suggests that the great victory of Andres Manuel López Obrador has come at the right time to save not only Mexico but Latin America as a whole from the right-wing wave.
The Sao Paolo Forum has the floor.
July 16, 2018.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The madman was advised and suspended his visit to Lima where he would have attended the VIII Summit of the Americas as head of the U.S. delegation. Nor will Donald Trump travel to Colombia, as officially announced. The reason given for this was that the president had to deal with the situation in Syria, a country over which a threat of war hangs as a result of the president’s own outbursts. These are based on the worn-out, paradoxical and proven-false accusations against the government of Bashar Al Assad of having used chemical weapons in its internal war against terrorism.
Sarah Sanders, White House spokeswoman, announced that Vice President Mike Pence will be in charge of Washington’s delegation, both in Lima to conduct bilateral talks with Latin American leaders who will be present at the hemispheric meeting and in Bogotá for the meetings Trump had scheduled with Colombian authorities.
There is no doubt that the pretext of the situation in Syria will serve to prevent the United States from having a resounding catastrophe in its relations with the governments of the nations of Latin America.
History shows that when the countries south of Rio Grande act together they are able to shock the empire at its deepest roots. But hardly anyone expected that, as a result of the right-wing movement that has emerged as a result of various US coups d’état on the continent, such unity would be able to achieve such encouraging results.
The planned Summit of the Americas was announced as a likely trigger for the fury of the peoples of the continent against Washington’s most recent impositions and manipulations. But the arrogance and irresponsible actions of President Donald Trump have reached such an extreme that even the rulers of Latin America, who have shown themselves to be more servile in their ties with Washington, have jumped with unprecedented firmness.
An extreme case was produced by the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, who suggested that the New York magnate review the origin of his anger. “If your recent statements stem from frustration over domestic policy issues, your laws or your Congress, you should address them, not the Mexicans. We are not going to let negative rhetoric define our actions,” Peña Nieto said, when it was announced that President Trump had ordered the deployment of between 2,000 and 4,000 military personnel to support the Border Patrol agents on the southern border of the United States.
The Mexican president’s message also responded to a series of tweets and comments by the magnate-president, motivated by a caravan of Honduran migrants who sought to reach Mexico’s northern border with the United States.
Trump warned that he would cancel the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations if the Mexican government did not detain Central American migrants.
“It is better that the great caravan of people from Honduras, coming through Mexico to our border of weak laws, stop. NAFTA is at stake, as are foreign aid for Honduras and the countries that will allow this to happen. Congress must act now!“the president tweets threateningly.
To general surprise on the continent, Peña Nieto declared that Mexico will not be afraid to negotiate with the United States, but he demands respect. “We will never negotiate in fear.”
The Mexican Senate also demanded respect from the president of the United States and demanded that the Peña Nieto government suspend binational collaboration on immigration matters.
The four candidates for the presidency of the nation: Margarita Zavala, Ricardo Anaya, Andrés Manuel López Obrador and José Antonio Meade immediately joined in the rejection of the deployment of U.S. troops on the Mexican border. “When it comes to defending national dignity, we all speak with one voice and demand respect,” independent Congresswoman Margarita Zabala wrote to Donald Trump in her tweeter.
Peña Nieto mentioned these statements in his message to the nation while underscoring the negotiating tone with which his government has addressed the U.S. president. “The Mexican government’s efforts have been aimed at building an institutional relationship of mutual respect and benefit for both nations.
The relationship between the two countries “is intense and dynamic but that does not justify threatening attitudes or lack of respect between our countries,” insisted Peña Nieto. “If you want to reach agreements with Mexico, we’re ready. As we have shown so far, we have always been ready to engage in serious, good faith and constructive dialogue.
April 12, 2018.
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Venezuela and Brazil are the scenes of a new form of coup d’état that would set the continent’s political calendar back to its worst times. Meanwhile, in Argentina, the brutal model for the demolition of democracy is set forward by the continental oligarchic right and the hegemonic forces of US imperialism who wish to impose their model in the region.
As we can see in the previews that test the memory of the peoples in the continent, it is difficult to accept that the new types of coups are actually softer and more covert than those which Latin America suffered for so long.
What has been shown so far in Argentina is no less cruel, in terms of contempt for the masses, than the coups carried out by the bloodthirsty dictatorships that sprouted in time of Operation Condor.
In Venezuela the president of the opposition majority in the National Assembly, Henry Ramos, openly declares that in view of the severity of the economic crisis, he fails to see Maduro concluding his term and adds they should put an end to Nicolas Maduro’s legitimate government within six months. Such statements did not compel the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, to formulate even the mildest rejection to such a coup-like declaration. This indicates they are returning to the era of open and brutal coups in the backyard of the United States of America.
Meanwhile, in Argentina, the newly-elected president, Mauricio Macri, moves forward the implementation of his “democratic model” with a brutal demolition of all the advances the nation had made after the collapse it suffered as a result of the neo-liberal economic and political crisis from which it had been rescued by the consecutive popular governments of Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
Argentinean writer, journalist, and researcher Stella Calloni, explains that the current coup in Argentina began the same day Macri took office. He is an extreme-right businessman who, since 2007 (according to Wikileaks) offered his services to the US embassy in Buenos Aires.
“The coup offensive began with decrees that allowed for the intervention of institutions and absolutely illegal measures, such as the appointment by decree of two judges to the Supreme Court. All economic measures favor the powerful and mark a path of exclusion for the common people,” says Calloni.
Violating the constitution and the laws, and ruling by Necessity and Urgency Decrees
(NUDs) since December 2015, Macri took a road that evidently seeks to deliver the country to the global hegemonic power and the destruction of a work that had earned Argentina worldwide admiration and respect. He is delivering the country to the
sinister designs of the International Monetary Fund and other agencies, banks and foreign institutions. All his economic actions favor the powerful and mark a path of exclusion for the population”.
“The negative opposition in Congress is part of the ongoing coup the US and its local puppets are carrying out against Venezuela,” Calloni says.
While the United States and its network of partners and local employees –with applause from the hegemonic power– support Macri’s unconstitutional decrees, in Venezuela, the decree of “economic emergency” signed by President Nicolas Maduro, was rejected by the legislative opposition with the acquiescence of the same power.
Never before was the right more willing to violate the Constitution and call to sedition, warned former Venezuelan Vice-President and journalist Jose Vicente Rangel. “Seldom in our country had a coup been announced so clearly and at the same time so elusively; the option would be the presidential recall, but this option –within our constitution– is only tangentially alluded to.”
According to Rangel, the opposition sails in two rivers by affirming, on the one hand, that within six months Nicolas Maduro will leave –by peaceful and constitutional means–Miraflores Palace (seat of government) and, on the other, that they will not even wait that long to oust the Venezuelan president.
“The right has grown presumptuous after its legislative victory of last December 6. But they still remember the failed coup of 2002: a resounding failure that made them switch to peaceful methods –as the ones they are apparently trying to use now– to overthrow the socialist power, But neither the soft blows, the carnival costumes used to confuse, or the violent coups can occur with impunity,” concludes José Vicente Rangel.
April 19, 2016.
Por Manuel E. Yepe
Venezuela y Brasil están siendo escenarios de una nueva modalidad de golpe de estado que haría retroceder el almanaque político del continente a tiempos peores. En Argentina, mientras tanto, se adelanta el modelo de demolición brutal de la democracia que pretenden la derecha oligárquica continental y las fuerzas hegemónicas del imperialismo estadounidense en la región.
Según se advierte en los adelantos que ponen a prueba la memoria histórica de los pueblos del continente, es difícil aceptar que los nuevos esquemas de golpes de estado sean realmente más blandos y encubiertos que aquellos que ha sufriera durante tanto tiempo América Latina.
Lo que se ha mostrado hasta ahora en Argentina no tiene nada que envidiar, en términos de desprecio por las masas, a los golpes de estado que implantaron las sangrientas dictaduras que brotaron en tiempos de la Operación Cóndor.
Cuando en Venezuela el presidente de la mayoría opositora en la Asamblea Nacional, Henry Ramos Allup, declara abiertamente que ante la gravedad de la crisis económica no vislumbra a Maduro concluyendo su mandato y que se debe terminar con el gobierno legítimo de Nicolás Maduro antes de seis meses, sin que ello lleve al secretario general de la Organización de Estados Americanos, Luis Almagro, a formular el menor reparo por tamañas “goriladas”, se advierte que se está regresando a la época del golpismo abierto y brutal en el patio trasero de Estados Unidos.
Entre tanto, en Argentina, el recién electo presidente Mauricio Macri adelanta la implementación de su “modelo democrático” con una demolición brutal de todo lo que había avanzado esa nación tras el derrumbe que sufrió como resultado de la crisis económica y política neoliberal de la que fue rescatado por los sucesivos gobiernos populares de Kichner y Cristina.
La escritora, periodista e investigadora argentina Stella Calloni, hace ver que el golpismo actual en Argentina comenzó el mismo día de la asunción de Macri, un empresario ultraderechista que desde 2007 (de acuerdo a WikiLeaks) ofreció sus servicios a la embajada de Estados Unidos en Buenos Aires.
“La ofensiva golpista comenzó con decretos que determinaron la intervención de instituciones y medidas absolutamente ilegales, como el nombramiento por decreto de dos de los jueces en la Corte Suprema. Todas las medidas económicas favorecen a los poderosos y marcan un camino de exclusión para el pueblo”, afirma Calloni.
Violando la constitución y las leyes, y gobernando por Decretos de Necesidad y Urgencia (DNU) desde diciembre de 2015, Macri inició un camino que con toda evidencia busca conducir al país a su entrega al poder hegemónico mundial y la destrucción una obra que le mereció a Argentina admiración y respeto de todo el mundo, entregándola a los siniestros designios del Fondo Monetario Internacional y otros organismos, bancos e instituciones extranjeras. “Todas sus medidas económicas favorecen a los poderosos y marcan un camino de exclusión para el pueblo”.
“La negativa opositora en el Congreso es parte del golpismo continuo que Estados Unidos y sus títeres locales ejecutan contra Venezuela, sostiene Calloni.
Mientras Estados Unidos y su red de asociados y empleados locales apoyan los decretazos anticonstitucionales de Macri, tan aplaudidos por el poder hegemónico, en Venezuela el decreto de “emergencia económica” firmado por el presidente Nicolás Maduro fue rechazado por la oposición legislativa con la complacencia de ese mismo poder. Nunca antes la derecha estuvo más dispuesta a violar la Carta Magna y llamar a la sedición, alertó el ex vicepresidente y periodista venezolano José Vicente Rangel. “Pocas veces en nuestro país se había anunciado un golpe de Estado de manera tan clara y, al mismo tiempo, tan elusiva; la opción sería el revocatorio presidencial, pero solo se alude tangencialmente a esa figura que consagra la actual ley de leyes”.
Según Rangel, la oposición navega en dos aguas al afirmar, por un lado, que en seis meses Nicolás Maduro saldrá por vías pacíficas y constitucionales del Palacio de Miraflores (sede del Gobierno) y, por el otro, que ni siquiera esperarán ese plazo para arremeter contra el mandatario.
“La derecha está ensoberbecida por la victoria legislativa del 6 de diciembre pasado. Pero recuerda todavía el fallido golpe de Estado de 2002, un fracaso rotundo que le hizo cambiar a métodos pacíficos para derrocar al poder socialista, como el que al parecer intentan utilizar ahora. Pero ni golpes blandos, ni disfraces carnavalescos utilizados para confundir, ni los golpes violentos pueden darse impunemente”, concluye José Vicente Rangel.
Abril 19 de 2016.