Aletho News


ALBA Expels USAID from Member Countries

ALBA-TCP | June 21, 2012

Resolution from the Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) for the immediate withdrawal of USAID from member countries of the alliance.

On behalf of the Chancellors of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Federal Republic of Brazil, on June 21st 2012.

Given the open interference of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the internal politics of the ALBA countries, under the excuse of “planning and administering economic and humanitarian assistance for the whole world outside of the United States,” financing non-governmental organizations and actions and projects designed to destabilise the legitimate governments which do not share their common interests.

Knowing the evidence brought to light by the declassified documents of the North American State Department in which the financing of organisations and political parties in opposition to ALBA countries is made evident, in a clear and shameless interference in the internal political processes of each nation.

Given that this intervention of a foreign country in the internal politics of a country is contrary to the internal legislation of each nation.

On the understanding that in the majority of ALBA countries, USAID, through its different organisations and disguises, acts in an illegal manner with impunity, without possessing a legal framework to support this action, and illegally financing the media, political leaders and non-governmental organisations, amongst others.

On the understanding that through these financing programmes they are supporting NGOs which promote all kind of fundamentalism in order to conspire and limit the legal authority of our states, and in many cases, widely loot our natural resources on territory which they claim to control at their own free will.

Conscious of the fact that our countries do not need any kind of external financing for the maintenance of our democracies, which are consolidated through the will of the Latin American and Caribbean people, in the same way that we do not need organisations in the charge of foreign powers which, in practice, usurp and weaken the presence of state organisms and prevent them from developing the role that corresponds to them in the economic and social arena of our populations.

We resolve to:

Request that the heads of state and the government of the states who are members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, immediately expel USAID and its delegates or representatives from their countries, due to the fact that we consider their presence and actions to constitute an interference which threatens the sovereignty and stability of our nations.

In the city of Rio de Janeiro, Federal Republic of Brazil, June 21st 2012.

Signed by:

The government of the Pluri-national state of Bolivia.

The government of the Republic of Cuba.

The government of the Republic of Ecuador.

The government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The government of the Republic of Nicaragua.

The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Translated by Rachael Boothroyd for Venezuelanalysis

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Corruption | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Venezuela Decries Attempted Coup in Paraguay

UNASUR Requests President’s Defense Guarantees

AVN / Prensa Latina – June 22, 2012

The secretary general of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), Alí Rodríguez of Venezuela, said yesterday that guarantees ensuring a proper defense should be established in the proceedings against Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo.

Rodríguez said that due process must be respected in the case against the head of state, including providing the necessary time to prepare his defense.

The head of UNASUR and the foreign ministers of member states met Thursday night with President Lugo to analyze the destabilization attempts against his government.

The Paraguayan parliament, controlled by right-wing parties, approved a political trial against the head of state, a measure Lugo has called “unconstitutional.”

In declarations reported on by the news agency IP, UNASUR chief Rodríguez said that “UNASUR’s greatest concern is the legitimate exercise of democracy, and within that, that there be a guiding principal of the administration of justice and conditions, [which is] absolutely indispensable.”

Rodríguez explained that UNASUR member states respect the sovereignty of Paraguay but that the problems concerning democracy in that country affect all of South America.

He said he will meet with diverse political sectors in Paraguay to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Paraguay’s congress requested yesterday, with 76 votes in favor and 1 against, a political trial against the president to attempt to link him to clashes last week in Curuguatay in which 11 farmers and six police officers were killed.

President Lugo will present his defense before Parliament at noon today. Afterward, evidence will be brought forward at 2:30 in the afternoon, allegations will be heard an hour later and sentencing will take place at 4:30.

Venezuelan Government Reaction

Vice-president Elias Jaua described the attempt by the Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay to topple President Fernando Lugo as a new attack sourcing from the bourgeoisie and the United States. During a ceremony to deliver resources to the state of Miranda, Jaua denounced the sectors trying to weaken the South American revolutionary process.

“The battle of the Paraguayan people is that of the Venezuelans, and we are committed to thwart this new attempt by the oligarchies and imperialism as we did in Venezuela in 2002, and also when they tried to topple Evo Morales (Bolivia) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador),” he said.

In Jaua’s opinion, it is all about the struggle of the peoples and governments so that the will of the peoples of the region is respected and about “letting imperialism know that our Latin America is no longer their backyard,” he said.

“Here we have a people and a government ready to defend the sovereignty and independence of all the countries in the region,” stressed Jaua.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Comments Off on Venezuela Decries Attempted Coup in Paraguay

Clashes after Paraguay president ousted

Press TV – June 22, 2012

Paraguayans have clashed with police outside the Congress building in Asuncion, shortly after it was announced that the Senate had voted to remove President Fernando Lugo from office.

The lower house of the Paraguayan Congress impeached Lugo on Thursday, and the Senate opened his trial on Friday and quickly reached a guilty verdict, ousting Lugo.

Lugo was immediately replaced by Vice President Federico Franco, a ferocious opponent of the leftist leader. Franco was sworn in as the new president of Paraguay on Friday evening.

“Although the law’s been twisted like a fragile branch in the wind, I accept Congress’ decision,” Lugo said in a speech on national television after lawmakers found him guilty of performing his duties badly during a land dispute that left 17 people dead.

He added that “the history of Paraguay and its democracy have been deeply wounded.”

“Today I retire as president, but not as a Paraguayan citizen,” he said. “May the blood of the just not be spilled.”

After a five-hour trial, 39 senators voted to oust Lugo, while four senators voted against the motion, and two were absent. He was accused of mishandling an armed clash over a land dispute in which seven police officers and ten landless farmers were killed on June 15.

Earlier, Lugo had said the entire impeachment process was equivalent to a coup.

“It is more than a coup d’etat, it’s a parliamentary coup dressed up as a legal procedure,” an angry Lugo said on Paraguayan radio.

After the Senate announced the decision, several thousand Lugo supporters took to the streets to condemn the move and express support for the man they still view as the president of the country. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets and used water cannon to disperse the protesters.

The breakneck speed of the impeachment process raised concerns in other South American capitals, and a few dispatched their foreign ministers to Asuncion. Some countries even warned of the possibility of imposing sanctions on Paraguay.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced that his government would not recognize Franco as president.

“The government of Ecuador will not recognize any president of Paraguay other than Fernando Lugo,” said Correa, adding “true democracy is based on legality and legitimacy.”

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Comments Off on Clashes after Paraguay president ousted

Veteran Israeli soldiers speak out about service

Ma’an – 22/06/2012

BETHLEHEM – A group of veteran Israeli soldiers who served in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have spoken out on camera about their experiences in the army.

The Israeli organization Breaking the Silence has collected testimonies from 800 veteran Israeli soldiers who served in the West Bank and Gaza. In a new campaign, it has released video testimonies of six former soldiers describing their experiences.

Amit served in Ramallah, Hebron and the northern West Bank during the second intifada. He describes an incident in which an Israeli commander swung his rifle at the jaw of a Palestinian during a tense situation at a roadblock near Jerusalem.

“Beyond the fact that the guy fell to the ground, bleeding and screaming in pain, and of course all of the other Palestinians only grew angrier, it took us a long time to gain control of the mess and, of course, we had to more aggressive, cocking our weapons and such.”

He says witnessing first hand what goes on the West Bank shattered his worldview.

“Going from a place where I was sure that we are the scapegoat, the miserable ones being killed, I saw a reality that, most of the time, was the opposite.

“I saw me running after people, I saw myself pointing a gun at a 3-year-old girl, I saw me and my friends cuffing people, checking people, detaining people, questioning people, arresting people. In most cases, it was for nothing.”

Yehuda Shaul, one of the founders of Breaking the Silence, says he did everything he was required to as a fighter — and later a commander — in the Israeli army.

“If the mission right now is to keep the kids out of school, then the kids won’t go to school. If the mission is to disperse a funeral because of the curfew, then the family … will not finish burying their dead relative. It will leave the corpse there and leave. And if they don’t do it, they’ll get stun grenades and gas.”

“Can you even imagine a situation of an Israeli family at a funeral and the police comes to disperse them?”

Yehuda says he talks about his service because “if we don’t talk … none of us will know what goes on there.”

He says the most memorable part of his service was watching Palestinians getting beaten up by settlers in Hebron, while under orders not to touch them.

Another soldier, Sagi, who also served in Hebron, recalls a procession of Israeli children burning an effigy of a member of the anti-settlement organization Peace Now.

“I understood that all of the things that I thought — that there are boundaries, that at the end of the day we’re on the same side — that, from my point of view, is no longer the case. And from their point of view I’m not legitimate, and if they knew my political opinions they could replace the doll with me.”

Sagi says he finds people prefer not to listen to his experiences of the army, and those that do listen think that his experience was isolated, and perhaps he was “a soldier who transgressed” and should be put on trial.

“Maybe I really should be put on trial – but if I need to be tried, as one of the humane soldiers who served in the territories, I guess we should try all Israeli soldiers,” he says.

‘We’re ruining people’s lives on a daily basis’

Yael served as a scout in Gaza, monitoring a live video feed of the Gaza border.

“We’re kneaded and molded to see something suspicious in everything we see. I look into the cameras and I don’t see a donkey, a dog or a cart. I see a vehicle that can get a charge across, a vehicle that can get weapons across … It’s always suspicious.”

She explained: “There’s no routine there, it’s not someone throwing his garbage out, it’s an explosive.”

She recalls seeing an elderly shepherd, “a grandpa, a really old man with his sheep,” too close to the fence. She reported him to the combat engineering force. “I was conditioned to see shepherds and sheep herds as intelligence scouts.”

Israeli forces fired in the air, startling the sheep, but the shepherd remained. Soldiers then shot the ground near the sheep “and they were startled again but the shepherd was determined to stay there. He didn’t want to leave, he wanted to stay there.”

The soldiers shot a sheep.

“(The shepherd) went to the sheep and tried to pick it up and it was full of blood and he tried to pick it up and take it back and they continued to shoot.”

“The sheep didn’t die but he had to leave it there and run away, they would’ve shot him and the rest of the sheep. He ran back and the sheep stayed there until it died.”

“Seeing it from the other side, it was like a video game, so detached from reality. So what if we shoot animals.

“(For the Palestinians) it’s the exact opposite … people just come and shoot your animals, your livelihood, you. And it’s fine. It’s like it’s fine.”

She added: “We’re ruining people’s lives on a daily basis.”

Yael said she was testifying because she thought “people should know what’s happening there.”

“It’s not the Israeli Defense Force defending us against horrible terrorists who want to destroy the Jewish people. They are people who live here and who have lived here when we weren’t here and they’re trying to live and we’re the stronger power. And we use that power full on, without any problem. I think people should know that.”

In other testimonies, a soldier describes an incident in which a company of soldiers, including the battalion commander, assaulted a detained Palestinian.

A soldier in an elite unit recalls an officer being ridiculed for not following an order to shoot an elderly, sick Palestinian who had gone back into his home to get his medication during an arrest raid.

The full testimonies can be viewed at

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

Liberty, Freedom, and the Attack on the USS Liberty

By Rand Clifford | Dissident Voice | June 22nd, 2012

In most languages the terms “liberty” and “freedom” are interchangeable, but there is a fine distinction. Freedom is more general, implying simple exemption from any control or influence by another person or agency; liberty implies laws, a system of order and restraint.

One might say that liberty is the freedom to obey the rules.

Folks taken to task for social improprieties sometimes say: “Hey, it’s a free country.”

People who might know better if politics didn’t stink them up often say: “America is spreading freedom and democracy.”

Benjamin Franklin knew better, but that didn’t stop him from saying that people willing to give up freedom to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.

“Land of the free, home of the brave….”

In his speech to the Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry concluded with, “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!” So let’s go from here with the term, liberty.

Especially since 9/11, our liberties have been under savage attack. The Constitution is strafed and bombed as the US is marched toward a fascist police state—even torpedoed by much the same forces that labor to cover up the attack on the USS Liberty back on June 8, 1967….

The world’s most sophisticated intelligence ship, the USS Liberty was a $40,000,000 Signals Intelligence platform (SIGNIT) with a crew of 294.

About 6 am local time, an Israeli reconnaissance plane spotted the USS Liberty just outside Israeli coastal radar. Throughout the day, more Israeli reconnaissance planes flew out and orbited the ship at least eight times altogether. Meanwhile, the flight officer who originally spotted the ship teamed with an air-naval liaison officer at Israeli air force headquarters, and they consulted Janes’ Fighting Ships. At 11:00 am they identified the ship as the USS Liberty.

At 2 pm Israeli fighter jets attacked the USS Liberty, initially targeting the command bridge, communications antennas, and the four .50 caliber machine guns placed to repel boarders. After those fighters spent their ordnance, consecutive new waves engaged, adding napalm to the rocket and 30 mm cannon fire. Intense radio jamming contributed to stifling the Liberty‘s calls for help to the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean.

Thirty-five minutes into the air attack, fighters disengaged. Three Israeli torpedo boats closed in for a surface attack, launching five torpedoes—one struck the Liberty opposite its research spaces. The torpedo boats then moved up and down port and starboard, raking the ship with cannon and machine gun fire, targeting anyone who came above decks, destroying firefighting equipment and life rafts.

The Liberty’s defenseless crew eventually patched different systems together and got a distress message through to the Sixth Fleet.

The USS Saratoga and USS America both launched fighters to aid the Liberty; the message for them to destroy the attackers upon arrival was sent “clear” (not encrypted). The torpedo boats suddenly broke off their attack and began radioing the USS Liberty, asking if she needed assistance. An Israeli naval officer notified the US Naval Attaché at the embassy in Tel Aviv, and apologized for Israeli forces mistakenly attacking an American ship.

Then for the first and only time in our history, rescue aircraft were recalled before arriving at the attack site….

So, 17 miles off the coast of Gaza, after eight hours of aerial surveillance, Israel attacked the USS Liberty for two hours, killing 34 and wounding 173. Besides the torpedo and napalm damage, 861 holes the size of a man’s hand and larger were counted, plus thousands of .50 caliber machine gun holes. The SIGINT platform was so damaged the ship never again sailed on a mission. The USS Liberty was sold as scrap for $102,666.66.

Israel freely acknowledged that the ship was American, had remained in international waters; and claimed they never made positive identification before attacking.

Secretary of State Dean Rusk sent a letter to the Ambassador of Israel stating that we expected them to take disciplinary measures as required by international law, and that was it. There were no disciplinary measures—at least not in Israel. Closing off the affair was a rushed and phony American inquiry into the attack, plus threats to surviving crew members of “court-martial, imprisonment, or worse” if they exposed the truth. Perpetual pressure from the pro-Israel lobby in our country has kept this the only serious naval incident never to be investigated by Congress. To this day no surviving crewman has been allowed to officially and publicly testify about the attack.

Richard Helms, CIA Director in 1967, later wrote in his memoirs, “…there could be no doubt that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing in attacking the Liberty.”

In 2005, a request was issued to the Secretary of the Army, as Executive Agent for the Secretary of Defense, regarding investigation of war crimes committed against U.S. Military personnel, on behalf of the USS Liberty Veterans Association, Inc. High-level intrigues trumped the request, kept the top-secret lid welded over the truth.

What happened to the USS Liberty seems an excellent metaphor for what is happening to the liberty of Americans. Though torpedoed by the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012), the Constitution still floats. Will it be sold as scrap, like the USS Liberty?

The NDAA torpedo, with its warhead of provisions regarding indefinite military detention of anyone, without charge, nearly blew away the Bill of Rights. A green light for government to disappear American citizens? Sure, “suspicion” of some kind of “connection” with a terrorist group is a requirement for being disappeared, but the suspicion can be anything, even nothing but a whim, even nothing at all.

“Evidence? We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence!”

The bottom line of the NDAA, beneath all the specific and carefully-worded incoherence: If there is something the government does not like about a citizen, whatever rights they might’ve still had are gone.

But just when it seemed the Constitution might sink in terms of protecting citizens from corporate government out of control, good news floats from the courts, blocking the NDAA—for now at least, pointing toward future missions? With such extensive damage, perhaps the only hope for the USS Constitution is dry dock, massive repairs, and further protection as the NDAA rises toward the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Congress and the Obama administration keep circling the remains.


Rand Clifford’s novels Castling, Timing, Priest Lake Cathedral, and Voices of Vires are published by StarChief Press, and will be available soon as e-books.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

From South Africa to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank

| January 22, 2012

The story of a small community of Afrikaners who converted to Judaism, moved to the Holy Land and made their home on a settlement deep inside the West Bank, on land contested by a Palestinian family living nearby. For South Africa’s Carte Blanche.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | Comments Off on From South Africa to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank

“Sustainable” Development Locks Out Indigenous People

“Against Amazonian Genocide. Xingu (Afro-Brazilian freedom fighter) Lives Forever.” Photo: Petermann/GJEP
By Amantha Perera | TerraViva | 21 June 2012

RIO DE JANEIRO – He was on a flight to the biggest international summit on environment in a decade when Kenyan indigenous rights activist Peter Kitelo’s attention was suddenly drawn to a government advertisement.

It called for national and international investors to put funds into “forest development”. Kitelo could not escape the irony. Here he was, on route to the Rio+20 U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, and he was looking at yet another assault on the livelihoods and very existence of indigenous communities.

“Sustainable development is not really sustaining my people,” Kitelo told TerraViva in Rio.

He said that forest communities like his and in other East African countries such as Uganda and Tanzania are discriminated against by central governments and policy-makers who determine the future of their native lands.

“We are being left out, no one talks to the right people in our communities,” he said.

When plans are laid for land development, they are advertised in newspapers and other media, to which native tribes hardly have access. Only when the plans are reaching their final stage will officials come and hold short meetings in villages, which Kitelo says are more an effort to satisfy donor requirements than a genuine effort at engagement.

“Then, even before we know it, our land is not ours anymore,” he said.

Kitelo cited the example of forest development for tourism. The concept talks about preserving the forests, but in the process prevents his people from using the forest. “The whole concept of forest conservation does not allow human interaction, but that is what my people have been doing for generations,” he said.

The Kenyan experience is hardly unique. All over the world, indigenous communities complain that they are being left out of the decision-making processes on their own land.

Laura George, from the Amerindian Peoples’ Association of Guyana, told TerraViva that when new land laws were to be introduced in June 2009, there were no consultations with the indigenous people at all. A year later, a final document was produced.

Government officials attending the Rio conference held a side event and claimed that indigenous populations were in fact consulted.

“When I informed them they weren’t, the officials were not happy, but that is the truth,” George told TerraViva.

This type of discrimination can lead to indigenous communities losing their way of life completely.

“While governments are coming to Rio to talk about sustainable development, in my country, Peru, the pressure is growing day by day from policies of the national government that seek to open up our remote forest territories to transnational companies through road infrastructure projects,” said Robert Guimaraes Vasquez of the Shipibo people in the Peruvian Amazon.

Activists said that even in Rio, indigenous groups faced discrimination, with logistics preventing them from gathering together.

“One group is here, another group is 40 km away. How can we form a common front? We are so far apart here,” George said.

Still, conferences like Rio+20 do offer at least small avenues where indigenous groups can bring their problems to a wider and influential audience.

George and Kitelo both told TerraViva that if governments remain deaf to their concerns, they will seek action within international bodies.

“That could be our last resort,” George said.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Corruption, Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Comments Off on “Sustainable” Development Locks Out Indigenous People

Lugo: “I will abide but resist”

By Darío Pignotti* – Pagina/12 – June 21, 2012

According to some media sources, the police, and the landowner’s association of Paraguay, a group of agents was attacked when it entered the estate of a millionaire in order to evict landless campesinos. For the campesinos, it was a slaughter.

The death of 18 people, among them 11 campesinos, occurred last Friday when police cleared, without prior dialogue, an estate occupied by landless campesinos in the northeast of Paraguay, in an area near the Brazilian border. It was a “slaughter, and we have information that there are more dead comrades in the woods¨reported the representative of a campesino organization, while the spokeswoman of another group warned of a plan to destabilize the government of President Fernando Lugo.

“What happened was a slaughter of our comrades. Many lies are being told to discredit the campesinos, who are struggling to obtain their own land to work, who are fighting for the rights given to them by land reform. I confirm that up to now, 11 comrades have been murdered,” declared Damasio Quiroga, general secretary of the Paraguayan Campesino Movement, by telephone with the newspaper Página/12.

“I’m speaking to you from where the slaughter took place. We were 300 comrades of several organizations from the department of Canindeyú. We have information that there are more dead comrades, we were told there are injured, and we also knew that some being held captive were executed,” recounted Quiroga.

The version of events from the media and police is that a group of agents was attacked when it entered the estate of millionaire Blas Riquelme – who was linked to, and enriched by, former dictator Alfredo Stroessner – which was being occupied by members of the Carperos Campesino Movement. [Translator’s note: Carperos are landless campesinos struggling to obtain land promised to them by land reform.] The Rural Association of Paraguay adds to this tale the “certain” link between the farmworkers and the guerillas of the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP): “This fact, plus the use of automatic weapons and explosive devices, suggests something more than a simple group of landless campesinos. It was a heavily armed and organized group, capable of dealing a fatal blow to regular police forces.”

It is an implausible version of the facts, given that the composition of victims so far indicates that there were more dead among rural farmworkers (11) than police (7); the latter group included two members of the Special Operations Group.

The account by campesino Quiroga differs from that offered by most of the media, the police and the landowner’s association. “There is no truth to the claim that there were automatic weapons in our comrades’ camp. I can tell you, comrade, that we have no connection to any guerrillas; for us, the EPP does not exist. They are inventing the story to discredit campesinos when they organize better, because we do not want to continue hoping that someday the ill-gotten lands will be given to us, we campesinos are fighting for our rights.”

— You say, “They invented the story.” Who do you mean?

— The landowners and the police; they are together in all of this. This new police chief, appointed by Lugo, is very dangerous, very corrupt, with formal complaints against him.

The National Organization of Independent Indigenous Peoples wrote in a communiqué: “The use of violence is a mechanism that state institutions like the police, military and prosecutor’s office always use to protect national and transnational businessmen and big landowners, always to the benefit of the private sector.”

The tension between campesinos and landowners, a sector where Brazilian soy producers predominate, has grown since Fernando Lugo became president in 2008. He had promised to move forward with land reform and resolve the problem of “ill-gotten lands,” large expanses of state lands that former dictator Stroessner distributed among military officials and his followers. One such follower is the wealthy Blas Riquelme, the “Paraguayan Carlos Slim,” according to the definition of Martín Almada, the leading human rights activist in the country.

A former bishop, Lugo once counted on the campesinos as his main social and electoral support. But they no longer support him as they once did.

Quiroga told this newspaper: “We have given up believing in the president; he is not keeping his promises. After this slaughter he appointed people who are corrupt and who have very bad backgrounds. The government that promised to carry out land reform is forgetting its pledge and is appointing corrupt Coloradans.”

The reference is to the appointment of Rubén Candia Amarilla to the Ministry of the Interior. Candia Amarilla, a member of Stroessner’s Colorado Party, promised to use a firm hand against the campesinos and announced that from now on, the evictions from occupied estates will be carried out without the establishment of dialogue with the carperos.

“Lugo had to take a step back and accept people from the Colorado Party. It was an imposition by the more reactionary groups, leaving a sector of the campesinos dissatisfied with the president; this is true. And at the same time there are other campesinos who still have confidence in him and support him, albeit as a lesser evil, because if he falls now without completing his mandate, which ends in 2013, it will be a victory for conservative forces,” said Martín Almada, who believes that a plan to destabilize Lugo is in progress.

The clash provoked a political tsunami in Paraguay, with unforeseen repercussions to come over the fate of the first government without links to the Stroessner regime since the end of the dictatorship. “The situation remains red-hot here; the Right is very involved in all of this,” said Magui Balbuena, of the National Committee for the Recovery of Ill-Gotten Lands.

A communiqué from that committee stated: “The slaughter in the department of Camindeyú was the result of a historic class conflict in Paraguayan society, the product of the support of the three branches of state, of a system of accumulation and hoarding of land in the hands of a few… The violence will continue if we do not initiate, once and for all, the return of lands belonging to the Paraguayan people that today are in the hands of persons not subject to land reform.”

*Translation by Jim Rudolf

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | , , , | Comments Off on Lugo: “I will abide but resist”

Paraguayan president vows to fight impeachment effort

Press TV – June 22, 2012

Paraguayan leftist President Fernando Lugo has said he would not resign after the opposition-controlled lower house of Congress voted for his impeachment over last week’s land clashes with farmers.

President Lugo pledged on Thursday to stand and fight the impeachment proceedings led by his congressional rivals over a land eviction in which 17 people died.

“This president announces that he is not going to present his resignation and that he will fully respect the constitution and the law to face the impeachment trial and its full consequences,” he said in a televised speech right after the vote.

However, he also said that “this is an ‘express’ coup because (lawmakers) have done this in the wee hours of the night. They have gotten together, and we believe this is even unconstitutional because it doesn’t respect due process.”

After the lower house overwhelmingly approved the move, the Senate, which is also controlled by the opposition, followed suit, announcing the impeachment hearing will begin on Friday.

Seven police officers and nine landless farmers died in a clash on last Friday, when police attempted to forcibly remove peasants from the farm, which is owned by a Colorado Party politician opposed to President Lugo.

Right after the incident Lugo replaced his interior minister and national police chief. He also said on Wednesday that he would set up a committee to investigate the deadly clashes.

Lugo, who took power on pledges to champion the poor, accused his rivals of planning to “rob the people of their supreme decision” when they elected him in 2008 to put an end to six decades of ruling by the right-wing Colorado Party.

Under Paraguay’s constitution, if Lugo is booted from presidency, his vice president Federico Franco will replace him. Franco is the leader of Authentic Radical Liberal Party that formed a coalition with Lugo after the elections.

The next presidential election will be in April 2013. Lugo, who was under cancer treatment, earlier said that he would not seek another term.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Comments Off on Paraguayan president vows to fight impeachment effort

Israel lobby-created anti-Iran astroturf group employs Gene Sharp methods

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | June 22, 2012

In an article entitled “Israel Lobby Creates Anti-Iran Astroturf Group,” Richard Silverstein describes the “double life” of Iran180:

On the one hand it attempts to be a serious human rights organization. But it has a Jekyll/Hyde identity as a rough-and-tumble agitprop street theater group featuring giant puppets acting the part of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and various other Middle Eastern tyrants like Bashar Assad and Muammar Gadhafi.

None of this would be out of bounds… until you examine the product of Iran180′s street theater. In 2011, it hosted a float at San Francisco’s Gay Pride parade in which Ahmadinejad was sodomized by a nuclear missile. During the same event, Ahmadinejad fellated said missile. Last year, during UN demonstrations coinciding with the Iranian leader’s UN General Assembly speech, the group featured a gay Jewish wedding between Ahmadinejad and Assad in which they stood under a chuppah and broke a wedding glass. In another scene, the lovebirds take a drive in a horse-drawn carriage and one strokes the naked belly of the other.

If Iran180′s “street theater” sounds like something out of Gene Sharp’s 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action, it may not be a coincidence that its single staff member, Chris DeVito, holds a Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. The chairman of the Fletcher School is Peter Ackerman, a student of Sharp’s nonviolent warfare who funded his regime-changing work for two decades. Ackerman, chairman of the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict, has been plotting regime change in Iran and Syria at least since 2005. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed entitled “Say You Want a Revolution,” Ackerman and Michael Ledeen wrote:

Freedom-loving people know what we want to see in Beirut, Damascus and Tehran: the central square bursting with citizens demanding an end to tyranny, massive strikes shutting down the national economy, the disintegration of security forces charged with maintaining order, and the consequent departure of the tyrants and the beginnings of a popularly elected government.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Comments Off on Israel lobby-created anti-Iran astroturf group employs Gene Sharp methods

‘Turkish warplane crashes in Syrian territorial waters’

Press TV – June 22, 2012

A Turkish warplane has reportedly crashed in Syrian territorial waters with no reports about the fate of the two crew members on board.

According to Turkish sources, the military lost radar and radio contact with the F-4 plane on the Mediterranean after it took off from Erhac Airport in the eastern province of Malatya, which borders Syria.

The military has also said that Ankara was in contact with the Syrian authorities to get permission to conduct a search for the airmen.

Some reports, however, suggest that the jet may have been shot down.

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | | 1 Comment