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Why Venezuela’s Maduro is Rejecting US “AID”

FAIR.org reporter Adam Johnson has explained that President Maduro suspects the US will again try to smuggle arms to the opposition through US AID shipments because Elliott Abrams has done this before. US media were tricked. See his Common Dreams article

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Capitalism, Plutocracy & Fascism V. Socialism, Democracy & Nonviolence

Capitalists use their money to make more money. Plutocrats use wealth to dominate politics. Fascists use nationalism and military power to try to dominate the world. These three tend to work in combination, though the first two can avoid the violence of fascism which derives from Mussolini’s party in Italy that allied with German National Socialists or Nazis who misused the term “socialist.” Communism means sharing all things in common and started in ancient tribalism and was tried in a pure form by the Jewish Essenes and by Jesus and his disciples. The Marxist Communism of Soviet Russia was perverted by Joseph Stalin who turned it into totalitarianism and fascism. 

In my trial before a federal magistrate without a jury (in violation of the US Constitution) for trespassing at Vandenberg AFB twice in March 2003 I told the judge that people are beginning to use the “F word” more now, and that the F word is fascism. When he wanted to sentence me to more than the maximum sentence of six months for refusing probation, I told him that is illegal. He looked it up and said, “You have won your point,” and he only gave me three more months in prison for a nonviolent trespass to inform the US Air Force that they were in complicit with crimes against peace and war crimes. A letter from my friend Macgregor Eddy was withheld from me in prison because it had the words “you have won” in it. 

Trump showed that he is a fascist when he said that he could stand on 5th Avenue in NY and shoot someone without being held accountable. Fascists use wars to promote national interests. In making his SOTU speech Trump mimicked Mussolini as he arrogantly thrust out his jaw. In FearWoodward quoted Trump saying “we should be winning some wars” because killing people is easy. Trump believes that socialism is his enemy, and his fascist National Security Advisor Bolton wants to overthrow the three socialist governments in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua. 

Socialists use government to provide essential services for all the people to promote equal opportunity. Democrats allow all the people to influence government. Nonviolent activists work for reforms peacefully. Last night MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell in his “Last Word” praised the socialism of Social Security and Medicare and then criticized what he called “sports socialism” for using government funds for stadiums. I agree with his opinions but suggest that he should be more careful with his language because that is not socialism but corruption. Sports socialism would be if the people owned the teams and operated them for the benefit of all rather than for the profit of the capitalists. MSNBC fired Ed Schultz in 2015 for giving too much time to Socialist Bernie Sanders. Trump got $5 billion in free air time from the mainstream media in 2016. Green candidate Jill Stein got almost no free time on TV and was excluded from debates on the commercial stations as was Ralph Nader. 

Democratic socialists would have the democratically elected government act for the benefit of all the people. Socialists and others want government to respond to the climate emergency with a Green New Deal. Global heating has been happening for a century with every decade being warmer than the one before. Already the climate has warmed one degree Celsius. Even if the heating is kept to 1.5 degrees, one-third of the ice in the Himalayas will melt. If it reaches 2 degrees, then half that ice will melt and even more drastically affect about a billion people. 

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Oil, Venezuela, US Imperialism & Capitalists

Oil prices began collapsing in 2014. In an election in December 2015 the opposition party won a majority in the Venezuela Assembly. After they passed a law granting amnesty for violent crimes at public rallies, Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled that law unconstitutional, and since July 2016 they have held the Assembly in contempt of court. Trump imposed heavy sanctions against Venezuela in 2017, reducing its oil revenue by about $7 billion and exacerbating Venezuela’s severe economic crisis, and Trump officials began meeting with coup plotters. Venezuela reduced its oil production from about 1,960 barrels per day in July 2018 to 1,137 in November. On 9 January 2019 President Maduro became president of the OPEC alliance of oil-exporting nations and urged OPEC to deal in currencies other than the US$. The next day Maduro was inaugurated for his second term as President of Venezuela after the May 2018 election in which he got 68% of the vote in a turnout of 46%; despite the main opposition party boycotting the election 16 parties participated. 

On the 11 January protests led by National Assembly president Juan Guaidó resumed, and US Secretary of State Pompeo pledged support to him. On the 15th the Assembly declared Maduro illegitimate. As the protests became more violent, arrests were made. On the 21st about 25 National Guardsmen led a mutiny against Maduro and were arrested. Two days later US VP Pence released his video urging Venezuelans to overthrow the government, and Pence called Guaidó and told him the US would back him. The next day Guaidó proclaimed himself president. On the 25th 18 nations of the Organization of American States (OAS) rejected Guaidó’s claim. At a UN Security Council meeting Russia and China warned the US not to intervene in Venezuela. 

On 29 January the US transferred Venezuela’s assets to Guaidó, and the Venezuelan Supreme Court froze his bank accounts and barred him from leaving Venezuela. After Maduro rejected an ultimatum, on 4 February seven European Union nations recognized Guaidó.

Higher oil prices help the Venezuelan people and the climate because they help alternative energy sources. However, Trump and capitalists oppose the socialist government in Venezuela and also want lower oil prices to increase short-term profits. The Trump government has also been threatening socialist Cuba and Nicaragua in a revived cold war. 

Meanwhile progressive Democrats are urging a more mixed economy balancing social programs for health, education, and the environment with free enterprise moderated by progressive taxes. Will the US remain stuck in imperialism and militarism, or will we learn how to make peace and provide for human needs without hostility and violence toward others? 

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Costa Rica Leads by Example

Currently ranked the happiest nation in the world, Costa Rica has not had any military forces for 70 years in the Central American region that has suffered many violent conflicts during that time. Costa Rica is the only country that has met all five of the United Nations Development Program criteria for environmental sustainability. By 2016 Costa Ricans had 98% of their electricity from clean sources, and they are planning to have zero net carbon emissions by 2021. 

Their government provides excellent health care at low cost. Housing is affordable, and Costa Rica has the best educational system in Latin America. The United Nations University for Peace was founded in its capital San José in 1980. Costa Ricans on average live longer than people in the United States where longevity is strongly affected by income, race, and location. 

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INF Treaty Falls as a Nuclear Arms Race Threatens

Yesterday presidents Trump and Putin both announced that they are suspending the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty signed by Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987. Although that treaty did not include air- or sea-launched missiles, it certainly made people feel safer especially the Europeans and Russians who were facing land-based weapons from their Cold War enemies that could destroy them in less than ten minutes. 

Trump had announced on 20 October 2018 his intention to withdraw the United States from this treaty because he believed that Russia is in violation. Putin replied that Russia would not be the first to launch a nuclear weapon in a future conflict, and Russia at the UN urged negotiations on the treaty. US National Security Advisor Bolton suggested the US and Russia discuss Chinese missiles. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia had new missiles. Putin in November again asked to discuss INF and warned that Russia would “retaliate” if the US withdrew. On 23 January 2019 Russia revealed details of its 9M729 (SSC-8) missile, and today Russia started working on new hypersonic missiles. 

This nuclear madness threatens a renewed nuclear arms race but also should wake up people to the need to abolish all nuclear weapons as all the nuclear powers agreed to do in article 6 of the 1970 the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT). The US, Russia, and every nation with nuclear weapons is violating that important treaty. This criminal activity threatens the survival of all humanity. 

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Challenges to Donald Trump, America & the World

Although the United Nations General Assembly has designated 2019–2028 United Nations Decade of Family Farming (A/RES/72/239) and 2021–2030International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (A/RES/72/73), they have not yet decided what to call the decade 2020-2029. I propose that this be declared the International Decade of Peace. 

To Donald Trump: You claim to be the best President in American history and a great deal-maker. Here are ways you can show the world that those things are true. You could support the International Decade of Peace by making peace with the nations your administration has so far considered as enemies and adversaries such as North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and Nicaragua. You could also show how you can make peace with Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Somalia, and Venezuela. You then could greatly reduce the military budget, and by increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations you could create a surplus and begin paying off the national debt. 

You could also begin to work toward stabilizing the climate. We know you believe in climate change because you asked for a permit to build a wall around your golf course in Scotland to protect it from the rising sea level. This is a wall everyone will support. You could provide refuge for immigrants fleeing from violence in Central America which would make you a humanitarian hero. 

My presidential campaign is dedicated to doing all I can to help bring peace and justice to this nation and the world. If I get enough support to be in the Democratic presidential debates, then I will explain how we can make peace and bring about universal disarmament and effective international law so that all nations and peoples can live safely without wars. 

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Progressives Call for No More Anti-immigrant Funding.

Progressive House Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Tlaib, and Omar urge no aid for Trump’s battles against immigrants by cutting funding from Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). They also advise the conference committee to prohibit transfers from DHS funding such as Trump has done. They call for “comprehensive immigration reform driven by justice.” 

House Democrats can now control federal spending as the US Constitution states, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” 

I support the efforts of Progressives to stop xenophobic funding and to phase out fossil fuels in the Green New Deal.