Connect with us

#NNPA BlackPress

Latest US Attempt at Regime Change Hits a Snag

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The human toll is also staggering. Noted economist Jeffrey Sachs has said that since 2017, 40,000 Venezuelans have died because of the sanctions. Critics blame the sanctions and corruption and mismanagement of the Maduro government for shortages of food, medicine and other basic commodities and the collapse of oil prices and the strangulation of the economy by the US has made the lives of Venezuelans still in the country a living misery.

Published

on

By Barrington M. Salmon, Contributing Writer, NNPA Newswire
@bsalmondc

The crisis that has engulfed Venezuela represents an international power struggle that has, for the last five months, defied resolution.

At one side of the turmoil is the Trump administration and at the other is President Nicolás Maduro, who officials in Washington have vowed to remove from office. The person chosen by administration officials to replace Maduro and the socialist government is Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly. Angered by the presence of a socialist country in the Western Hemisphere, the US has been flexing its muscle and exerting its considerable power economically and in other ways in an attempt to force Maduro out of office.

The latest chapter of the saga occurred on April 30, That’s when Guaidó, the man who has declared himself interim president in January, appeared on social media in the pre-dawn hours of April 30 proclaiming the imminent end of the government of President Nicolas Maduro. But by day’s end, the expected uprising had fizzled out as defections from the military didn’t happen and the people failed to rally around Guaidó.

“Today, brave soldiers, brave patriots, brave men loyal to the constitution have heard our call. We have finally met on the streets of Venezuela,” Guaidó said near the La Carlota airbase in eastern Caracas. “The time is now. We are going to achieve freedom and democracy in Venezuela.”

Standing beside Guaidó in the video was Leopoldo López, a fellow opposition member who had been under house arrest since 2014. His movements had been curtailed after López – former mayor of a municipality in Caracas – lead violent anti-government protests. Those with knowledge of Venezuela said Lopez’ presence very likely rattled those who may have considered joining because he is considered a radical. The Supreme Court has issued a warrant for López’ arrest which may have prompted his decision to seek asylum, first in the Chilean and then Spanish embassy.

Cultural educator and activist James Early, a frequent visitor to Venezuela and a vocal opponent of US intervention, blasted the US attempts to depose Maduro.

“This is a dangerous escalation of a violent sector of the opposition in cooperation with the most violent sector of the Trump administration,” he said during an April 30 discussion about Venezuela on WPFW 89.3 FM. “For Eliot Abrams and Mike Pompeo, this was a gamble. They tricked a number of soldiers and are willing to put people’s lives in danger. The fascist Trump administration is trying to overthrow a government that the majority of Venezuelans voted for.”

“They need to call off the dogs of war. Citizens must press the elites in both parties,” continued Early, a member of the Institute of Policy Studies’ Board of Trustees. “This is a threat exercised by a rightwing government and will likely open a civil war an extend wars in Latin America. This is a bloody onslaught of Trump carried out by (Sen.) Marco Rubio. We must stand up to protect the international sovereignty and independence of Venezuela and act as global citizens to aid Venezuela.”

Latin and Central America expert Alex Main agreed, expressing increasing concern for ordinary Venezuelans and fearing that US aggression could lead to civil war.

“I was expecting this,” said Main, director of International Policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research of Guaidó’s abortive coup. “This administration is hell-bent on producing a military coup. They are putting pressure on the military and civilians which economic sanctions. This shows that from Day 1, the military coup strategy is based on a lot of wishful thinking.”

“Threats and pressure for the US government show that they don’t have a plan. This strategy is doomed. They don’t have a Plan B. They should initiate dialogue towards a negotiated settlement but they (The US) has been openly hostile to any dialogue. Maduro is open to dialogue and Mexico, Norway, Switzerland and the Vatican have offered to mediate. That’s where things stand.”

Journalist Anya Parampil warned during an anti-US intervention rally in March that a sustained war against Venezuela is already underway.

“With that gang that has taken over in the White House, anything is possible,” Parampil, a writer with The Grayzone told the rally crowd at Lafayette Park. “They have filled the administration with John Bolton and Eliot Abrams. They are creating terror in Venezuela. People are terrified, afraid of a US intervention. I woman I talked to down there said we watched the US destroy Iraq and Syria. And now they want to do the same to us. It’s psychological warfare. The US is creating a pretext for a military invasion, but it didn’t happen. Venezuelans aren’t afraid to fight.”

“We need to recognize that war of Venezuela is already being waged. I don’t believe that we’ll see an Iraq-style war. We have entered a new phase of using the media and the weaponizing international capital and finances. It’s financial terrorism. All of this is a direct result of US policy.”

To illustrate Parampil’s point, earlier this year the US government seized $7 billion of Venezuelan oils assets from Venezuelan state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), leaving it “at the disposal of the legitimate interim president,” Guaidó. Meanwhile, after pressure from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, The Bank of England has refused to release 14 tons of gold valued at $1.2 billion to the Venezuelan government, and according to Jorge Martin of Marxist.com, Guaidó has lobbied the British government to put these assets at his disposal as well.

The human toll is also staggering. Noted economist Jeffrey Sachs has said that since 2017, 40,000 Venezuelans have died because of the sanctions. Critics blame the sanctions and corruption and mismanagement of the Maduro government for shortages of food, medicine and other basic commodities and the collapse of oil prices and the strangulation of the economy by the US has made the lives of Venezuelans still in the country a living misery.

Guaidó said in the pre-dawn video that he was not a advocating a coup but a “peaceful rebellion,” adding that Maduro no longer had the backing of the armed forces. But both he and Trump officials miscalculated because both groups have so far remained loyal to the president.

Clearly embarrassed, Bolton tried to shame Venezuelan military leaders, including Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López, and other officials by naming them publicly. He contends that they agreed to switch sides in a secret agreement but reneged on their promise.

In the aftermath of the failed coup, the sabre-rattling is continuing with Bolton and Pompeo signaling the administration’s willingness to send in the military. Yet, several media accounts note that Trump is trying to avoid stepping into yet another military conflict. Then there is consideration for the valid concerns of some regional leaders who are against military intervention because that would destabilize the region and cause more undue suffering for the Venezuelan people.

One aspect often ignored by mainstream media is that what is playing in Venezuela is suffused with class AND race. Many or most of those opposed to Maduro are from the upper and middle class and are, or identify as, white. When the late President Hugo Chávez won the presidency in 1998, he implemented the Bolivarian Revolution which filmmaker and educator Catherine Murphy said, completely transformed the lives and livelihoods of Afro-Venezuelans. Chávez brought the previously dispossessed into the political process, helping educate them and enshrining their citizenhood into the amended Constitution.

Several analysts point out that racism is one of the main engines and expressions of the counter revolution. This is best illustrated by the fact that the National Assembly is overwhelmingly white, while the Constituent Assembly appointed by Maduro much more accurately reflects the makeup of the country.

“Venezuela is deeply divided politically and there is a financial/wealth divide but so many people are devoted to the revolution,” said Catherine Murphy, a DC resident who lived in Venezuela from 2006-2010. “He acted, started to run PDVSA, and the money went to pay for housing, paving streets, providing clean running water and nation-building. It benefitted everyone. He started the Mission Robinson Literacy Program and invited thousands of Cuban doctors who lived in communities practicing medicine for free.”

“Chávez also restored indigenous Ancestral land rights and gave rights that have never been afforded to Afro-Venezuelans. The people who oppose the Venezuelan government and those out here at the embassy in DC are fascists and the elite who can’t handle losing their privilege. The middle class had maids who started going to literacy classes, voting, organizing, mobilizing and having a dignified place in society and these people can’t get used to that.”

The power struggle occurring in the international arena is being played out locally at the Venezuelan embassy in Georgetown. Murphy said she responded to the call put out by activists who have occupied and protected the embassy for almost three weeks. She got there at 1.30 p.m. on May 2, and stayed out there until well past midnight of the next day, she said.

“It was an ugly scene going down,” said Murphy, activist, teacher and director of Maestra, a film that chronicles the year that Fidel Castro orchestrated to dramatically increase Cuba’s literacy rate in 1961. “It was so crazy out there. The Venezuelan opposition are almost all white and reek of privilege based on how they act. It was so aggressive and nasty. I wish I had taken some video.”

“The Venezuelan opposition were right on the edge of being violent. They were insulting people saying nasty, disgusting things, making racist, sexist and homophobic comments. They were yelling at a member of embassy staff saying they knew where he lived and would come to get him. That’s some nasty sh**. They had bullhorns and emergency sirens and were blasting it forever. It made me think about torture.”

Since Carlos Vecchio went to the embassy and spoke to pro-Guaidó supporters last week, more than 100 of them have laid siege on the embassy building. Guaidó appointed Vecchio as “ambassador.”

Murphy said representatives of almost a dozen organizations have added their support to the Embassy Protection Collective. This includes Code Pink, BYP 100, members of the DMV Black Lives Matter Movement, a Peace and Justice organization from Richmond, the ANSWER Coalition and others.

She said the pro-Guaidó contingent broke through police lines several times and assaulted people bringing food to the Embassy Protection Collective, as well as verbally berating journalists and those who came out to support those occupying the embassy. To her consternation, Murphy said DC police and the Secret Service stood by and did nothing. Journalists and supporters of the collective have been sharing video on social media showing the aggressiveness of the other side.

“I didn’t expect to stay that long but I couldn’t leave. I was so concerned,” Murphy said. The opposition was so horrible. The sirens and yelling went on for 12 f**** hours. The good news is people are still inside. They’re holding it down. The embassy supporters outside held it down too.”

#NNPA BlackPress

NNPA – Black Press w/ Hendriks Video Interview

Published

on

By

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

Black Woman to Lead United States Park Police

 Chief Smith’s experience serving in leadership roles in every U.S. Park Police field office has provided her with an unmatched foundation to lead the diverse agency,” said Flynn, who oversees law enforcement programs at USPP.

Published

on

Pamela A. Smith

Pamela A. Smith, a 23-year veteran of the United States Park Police, will lead the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency.

Smith, who became the first African American woman to lead the 230-year-old agency, immediately remarked that she would establish a body-worn camera program for USPP within 90 days.

The program will initially begin in San Francisco and be implemented across the country by the end of the year, Smith said.

“Body-worn cameras are good for the public and good for our officers, which is why I am prioritizing implementing a body-worn camera program within my first 90 days,” Smith offered in a statement.

 “This is one of the many steps we must take to continue to build trust and credibility with the public we have been entrusted to serve.”

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and graduated from the FBI National Academy. She is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

During her law enforcement career, the proud Zeta Phi Beta Sorority sister has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, canine handler, and academy instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

 According to a news release, Smith also served as executive lieutenant to the chief of police, assistant commander of the San Francisco Field Office, commander of the New York Field Office, acting deputy chief of the Homeland Security Division, and deputy chief for the Field Operations Division.

Smith was the first woman to lead the New York Field Office as its Major.

At the USPP, she will lead a 560-member workforce that protects the public, parks, and the nation’s most iconic landmarks in Wash., D.C., New York City, and San Francisco metropolitan areas.

“Chief Smith’s commitment to policing as public service and her willingness to listen and collaborate make her the right person to lead the U.S. Park Police at this pivotal moment in our country,” Shawn Benge, deputy director exercising the delegated authority of the NPS director, noted in a statement.

 “Over the coming months, the leadership of the National Park Service will explore opportunities with Chief Smith designed to strengthen our organization’s commitment to transparency. Her personal and professional experience make her acutely aware of and ready to meet the challenges and responsibilities that face U.S. Park Police and law enforcement agencies across the nation.”

 Jennifer Flynn, the associate director for Visitor Resource Protection at the National Park Service added that she’s looking forward to Smith’s leadership.

“Chief Smith’s experience serving in leadership roles in every U.S. Park Police field office has provided her with an unmatched foundation to lead the diverse agency,” said Flynn, who oversees law enforcement programs at USPP.

 “As federal law enforcement officers, the U.S. Park Police officers have a new opportunity each day to give their best to the American people. Chief Smith exemplifies that approach as a colleague and mentor, and she will be instrumental in refining and shaping the future of the organization,” Flynn said.

Smith declared that she would lead by example and expects all officers to display integrity.

 “I have dedicated my career to the professionalism of law enforcement, and it is my highest honor and privilege to serve as chief of police,” Chief Smith declared. “Today’s officers face many challenges, and I firmly believe challenges present opportunities. I look forward to leading this exemplary team as we carry out our mission with honesty and integrity.”  

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

Children’s Defense Fund: State of America’s Children Reveals that 71 Percent of Children of Color Live in Poverty

“While we reported on the 73 million children in the U.S. in 2019, which is 22 percent of the nation’s population, we also note that 2020 was the first year in American history that a majority of children are projected to be children of color,” said the Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, the president and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Published

on

Dr. Wilson did note that the Children’s Defense Fund is pleased about President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which, among other things, makes it easier for parents to keep their jobs and provides a lifeline for disadvantaged children. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Dr. Wilson did note that the Children’s Defense Fund is pleased about President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which, among other things, makes it easier for parents to keep their jobs and provides a lifeline for disadvantaged children. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

Part One of an ongoing series on this impactful and informative report.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

The child population in America is the most diverse in history, but children remain the poorest age group in the country with youth of color suffering the highest poverty rates.

“While we reported on the 73 million children in the U.S. in 2019, which is 22 percent of the nation’s population, we also note that 2020 was the first year in American history that a majority of children are projected to be children of color,” said the Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, the president and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Dr. Wilson’s remarks come as the Marian Wright Edelman founded nonprofit released “The State of America’s Children 2021.”

The comprehensive report is eye-opening.

It highlights how children remain the poorest age group in America, with children of color and young children suffering the highest poverty rates. For instance, of the more than 10.5 million poverty-stricken children in America in 2019, approximately 71 percent were those of color.

The stunning exposé revealed that income and wealth inequality are growing and harming children in low-income, Black and Brown families.

While the share of all wealth held by the top one percent of Americans grew from 30 percent to 37 percent, the share held by the bottom 90 percent fell from 33 percent to 23 percent between 1989 and 2019.

Today, a member of the top 10 percent of income earners makes about 39 times as much as the average earner in the bottom 90 percent.

The median family income of White households with children ($95,700) was more than double that of Black ($43,900), and Hispanic households with children ($52,300).

Further, the report noted that the lack of affordable housing and federal rental assistance leaves millions of children homeless or at risk of homelessness.

More than 1.5 million children enrolled in public schools experienced homelessness during the 2017-2018 school year, and 74 percent of unhoused students during the 2017-2018 school year were living temporarily with family or friends.

Millions of children live in food-insecure households, lacking reliable access to safe, sufficient, and nutritious food, and more than 1 in 7 children – 10.7 million – were food insecure, meaning they lived in households where not everyone had enough to eat.

Black and Hispanic children were twice as likely to live in food-insecure households as White children.

The report further found that America’s schools have continued to slip backwards into patterns of deep racial and socioeconomic segregation, perpetuating achievement gaps.

For instance, during the 2017-2018 public school year, 19 percent of Black, 21 percent of Hispanic, and more than 26 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native school students did not graduate on time compared with only 11 percent of White students.

More than 77 percent of Hispanic and more than 79 percent of Black fourth and eighth grade public school students were not proficient in reading or math in 2019, compared with less than 60 percent of White students.

“We find that in the course of the last year, we’ve come to the point where our conversations about child well-being and our dialogue and reckoning around racial justice has really met a point of intersection, and so we must consider child well-being in every conversation about racial justice and quite frankly you can only sustainably speak of racial justice if we’re talking about the state of our children,” Dr. Wilson observed.

Some more of the startling statistics found in the report include:

  • A White public school student is suspended every six seconds, while students of color and non-White students are suspended every two seconds.
  • Conditions leading to a person dropping out of high school occur with white students every 19 seconds, while it occurs every nine seconds for non-White and students of color.
  • A White child is arrested every 1 minute and 12 seconds, while students of color and non-whites are arrested every 45 seconds.
  • A White student in public school is corporally punished every two minutes, while students of color and non-Whites face such action every 49 seconds.

Dr. Wilson asserted that federal spending “reflects the nation’s skewed priorities.”

In the report, he notes that children are not receiving the investment they need to thrive, and despite making up such a large portion of the population, less than 7.5 percent of federal spending went towards children in fiscal year 2020.

Despite Congress raising statutory caps on discretionary spending in fiscal years 2018 to 2020, children did not receive their fair share of those increases and children’s share of total federal spending has continued to decline.

“Children continue to be the poorest segment of the population,” Dr. Wilson demanded. “We are headed into a dark place as it relates to poverty and inequity on the American landscape because our children become the canary in the coal mine.”

Dr. Wilson did note that the Children’s Defense Fund is pleased about President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which, among other things, makes it easier for parents to keep their jobs and provides a lifeline for disadvantaged children.

The $1.9 trillion plan not only contained $1,400 checks for individuals, it includes monthly allowances and other elements to help reduce child poverty.

The President’s plan expands home visitation programs that help at-risk parents from pregnancy through early childhood and is presents universal access to top-notch pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds.

“The American Rescue Plan carried significant and powerful anti-poverty messages that will have remarkable benefits on the lives of children in America over the course of the next two years,” Dr. Wilson declared.

“The Children’s Defense Fund was quick to applaud the efforts of the President. We have worked with partners, including leading a child poverty coalition, to advance the ideas of that investment,” he continued.

“Most notably, the expansion of the child tax credit which has the impact of reducing poverty, lifting more than 50 percent of African American children out of poverty, 81 percent of Indigenous children, 45 percent of Hispanic children. It’s not only good policy, but it’s specifically good policy for Black and Brown children.”

Click here to view the full report.

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending