Archive for December 24th, 2014

24/12/2014

Cuba – And Then What?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*, 23 December 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service

The immediate reaction to Obama’s Executive Order of 17 December 2014–re-establishing diplomatic relations, easing travel, swapping prisoners–was a sense of relief: finally correcting a more than 50-year old stupidity. But why now? Later. First, back to June 1960.

Sign in front of the American interests office, Havana. Cuban addresses a threatening Uncle Sam, "Mr. Imperialists, we have absolutely no fear."

**Sign in front of the American interests office, Havana. Cuban addresses a threatening Uncle Sam, “Mr. Imperialists, we have absolutely no fear.” | Author: Idobi, September 2000 | Wikimedia Commons

We drove from New York to Key West, then a ferry–the captain was Norwegian–to La Habana; we wanted to drive all over, talk with everybody to understand. And the social picture was very clear: black, woman, low class overwhelmingly in favor of the revolution; white, man, middle-upper class ended up in Miami.

Why gender? US imperialism was obvious but in addition Cuba was one big brothel for “puritan” US men. And one of the first acts of the revolution was to stop that, liberate the dirt poor girls, organize vocational training–give them dignity.

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24/12/2014

Fidel’s Legacy

Human Wrongs Watch

By Stephen Lendman*, December 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service

At age 88, he’s Cuba’s [and Latin America’s] elder statesman. A legend in his own time and then some. Defying critics. Outwitting them. Outliving them.

Fidel Castro, Monumento a José Martí, Habana, Cuba | Photo: Agência Brasil, a public Brazilian news agency | Wikimedia Commons

Fidel Castro, Monumento a José Martí, Habana, Cuba | Photo: Agência Brasil | Wikimedia Commons

This article a snapshot of some of his achievements. Impressive by any standard.

On the 50th anniversary of his July 26, 1953 Fort Moncada attack, media scoundrels pronounced his revolution dead.

Expected collapse. Predicted free market capitalism’s return. The bad old days called good. More on Cuba under Castro below.

A previous article discussed America’s master plan for world dominance. Key is eliminating all sovereign independent governments.

By political, economic or military means. Installing puppet regimes. Convenient stooges. Subservient to Washington.

Few nations challenge US policies successfully. Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz bested 10 US administrations. From Eisenhower through George Bush.

From January 1, 1959. When his guerrilla force ousted US-backed Fulgencio Batista. To his February 2008 retirement announcement as Cuba’s president.

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24/12/2014

Legally-binding Arms Trade Treaty Enters Into Force – Will States Implement It?

Human Wrongs Watch

United Nations officials announced the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), hailing it as a new chapter in collective efforts to bring responsibility, accountability and transparency to the global arms trade. The Treaty prohibits States from exporting conventional weapons to countries when they know those weapons will be used for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

A UN peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) examines AK-47 magazines stored in a warehouse in Beni after they have been collected in the demobilization process in Matembo, North Kivu. UN Photo/Martine Perret

“From now on, the States Parties to this important treaty will have a legal obligation to apply the highest common standards to their international transfers of weapons and ammunition,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement issued on 23 December 2014 ahead of the instrument’s entry into force on 24 December.*

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24/12/2014

'Stop Deadly Banana Disease, Protect a $36 Billion Industry and Source of Income, Food to 400 Million People'

Human Wrongs Watch

Without global efforts to respond to a fungal disease affecting banana production, the $36 billion global industry, which provides a source of income or food to some 400 million people around the world, is under threat, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

A banana plant affected by the deadly Fusarium wilt disease among a field of healthy plants in the Philippines. Photo: FAO/Fazil Dusunceli

The agency and its partners on 23 December 2014 said $47 million is needed to tackle the new and deadly Tropical Race 4 (TR4) strain of Fusarium wilt disease, part of which would be used to provide swift on-the-ground assistance to countries facing new outbreaks.*

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24/12/2014

Central Africa: Muslim Community Trapped by Violence, Victim of Threats, Aggression, Looting — UN

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations refugee agency on 23 December 2014 voiced concern over the “deteriorating situation” facing more than 400 members of a Muslim minority group trapped by the ongoing violence fracturing the Central African Republic (CAR).

A group of internally displaced people at Yakole in Central African Republic. Photo: UNHCR/M. Dore

Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva that 474 members of the Peuhl ethnic group had been trapped for several months in the town of Yaloke, 200 kilometers northwest of the capital city of Bangui, where they were now facing dire humanitarian conditions.*

Adults and children had become severely malnourished and more than 30 per cent were suffering from malaria, he noted, adding that there were also six known cases of tuberculosis. In addition, he warned, since their arrival in Yaloke in April, 42 people among the group had died, while others were becoming weaker by the day.

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