Month: August, 2016
Mr. Tsipras’ new fairytale can no longer convince the people

Τετάρτη, 31 Αυγούστου 2016

Mr. Tsipras’ new fairytale can no longer convince the people
The overwhelming majority of the Greek people are being called on in this period by the “left” government to pay an unbearable property tax, which had been introduced by the previous government. This is a tax that has been kept in place and intensified by SYRIZA, despite its pre-election promises to abolish it. And it is precisely this period that the Prime Minister, A.Tsipras chose to spread new illusions amongst the people, by supporting with gusto in an interview with the newspaper “Real News” the fairytale of supposedly “just” development. He also seeks to utilize the upcoming meeting of the leaders of the EU’s Mediterranean countries, which he is convening in Athens, in this direction.
He said, when explaining the goals of the attempted coordination of the states of the “South” on behalf of their bourgeoisies,  that the aim was to push for the transfer of funds to the periphery in order to support the capitalist recovery and the way out from the economic crisis. And he noted: “We do not want to be the poor periphery of the EU, we want to be a new centre, with an agenda and positive proposals for development and social cohesion.”
In addition, A. Tsipras highlighted the issue of the “adjustment” of the Greek debt and the reduction of the budget surpluses, which he had already agreed to with the imperialist institutions, presenting all the above as the beginning of a solution that will allegedly be in the people’s interests.
At the same time, he conceals the new measures, which aim to even further cut the social and labour rights and gains of the people.
In its comment, the Press Office of the CC of the KKE noted the following regarding the interview of A.Tsipras in “Real News”:
“Mr Tsipras is calling on the Greek people to patiently endure the anti-people measures that he is burdening them with, on top of those taken by ND and PASOK, in the name of some adjustment of the debt, which the people will continue to pay for, some reduction of the surpluses, which the popular families will continue to be sucked dry for, some recovery, which will only be for the profits of the few. The new fairytale of Mr Tsipras can no longer convince the people, as they know that they will once again be the losers, while the only winner will be capital.”
Dilma Testifies: ‘I am Afraid for the Death of Democracy’
07:04 30.08.2016(updated 14:05 30.08.2016)
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On today’s episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar to discuss the speech of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff at her impeachment trial. Dilma struck a combative tone as she addressed the Senate, speaking of proceedings against her as a coup and questioning the rationale for putting her on trial when so many members of the House are implicated in a corruption scandal. Was her speech her last address as President, or can she overcome the slow motion coup against her government? The former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee faces a primary challenge today, but will the DNC email scandal continue to follow Debbie Wasserman Schultz whether she wins or loses? Becker is joined by YahNe Ndgo of Revolt Against Plutocracy to talk about the struggle within the Democratic Party and if the progressive spirit of the Bernie Sanders campaign is to be found in Schutz’s challenger Tim Canova. John McCain is embroiled in a bitter primary fight as voters go to the polls in the Republican primary in Arizona today. McCain is hailed in the mainstream press as a moderate, but his record as an extreme war monger suggests otherwise. Becker is joined by Margaret Stevens, who is on the advisory board of Veterans for Peace and a history professor at Essex County College, and by Ben Becker, co-editor of Liberation News.

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Assange Predicts Clinton to Attack US Liberal Media if Elected
02:19 01.09.2016
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Hillary Clinton is likely to turn her demonization of Russia during the US presidential campaign against some of her biggest supporters – the liberal US news media, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said in an interview.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Unlike Republican candidate Donald Trump, who has promised to make it easier to sue the press for libel and barred reporters with at least a half-dozen organizations from his events, Clinton rarely expresses contempt for the US media. Instead, Clinton tends to target whistleblowers such as former National Security Agency Edward Snowden, saying he should return from exile in Russia to the United States and “face the music” because he broke the law. “The American press, the American liberal press, in falling over themselves to defend Hillary Clinton, are electing a demon that is going to put nooses around everyone’s necks as soon as she wins,” Assange said on Wednesday. The one-on-one interview was conducted on Facebook by a reporter from the New York Times, with a video of the exchange posted on the internet. As Secretary of State, Clinton commented on the case of another high profile leaker, former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning, saying that the United States would continue “to take necessary steps” to protect classified information from circulating on the internet and social media. When Assange released a batch of embarrassing emails ahead of July’s Democratic National Convention, the Clinton campaign resorted to attacking Russia as the alleged source, mainly through surrogates. Former interim CIA Director Michael Morrell wrote in the New York Times, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.” In Wednesday’s interview, Assange referred to Clinton’s hostility toward Russia as neo McCarthyist hysteria. He asked rhetorically: “What kind of press environment is this going to lead to post election?” Assange indicated that Clinton will follow a precedent established by US President Barack Obama’s administration, which prosecuted more journalists and sources than all previous presidential administration combined. In so-called leak investigations, the Obama administration has abused the Espionage Act, Assange said. The 1917 law was originally intended to prevent support for US enemies during wartime. Assange added that Clinton herself should have been prosecuted under the Espionage Act, presumably for exchanging classified material on her unsecured email server while serving as secretary of State. Despite his attacks on Clinton, Assange is no fan of Trump. He has portrayed the Clinton-Trump contest as a choice between cholera and gonorrhea.

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Anti-Impeachment Demonstrators Clash With Police in Brazil’s Sao Paulo
| August 31, 2016 | 9:35 pm | Brazil, class struggle, political struggle | No comments
04:26 01.09.2016
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Demonstrators protesting against the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff have clashed with police in the city of Sao Paulo, local media report.MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – Police used tear gas against the protesters on Wednesday, while the demonstrators responded by throwing stones and home-made bombs at police officers, Rede Globo TV said. ​The demonstrators have blocked a road with trash bags, setting them on fire. Earlier on Wednesday, Brazil’s former vice president Michel Temer was sworn in as the country’s new leader after the Senate voted to remove Rousseff from her presidential post. ​In May, the upper house of the Brazilian parliament voted 55-22 to start impeachment proceedings against Rousseff after she was accused of concealing the country’s budget deficit ahead of the 2014 election. Rousseff was suspended from office for 180 days. Michel Temer, who had been Brazil’s vice president since 2011, assumed presidency during that period. ​Temer will now serve as Brazil’s president until 2019, when new elections will take place.

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Latvian neo-Nazis demolish Soviet WWII monument to fallen sailors

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A neo-Nazi group, including former Latvian Nazi Waffen SS veterans, has demolished a monument to fallen Soviet troops in a Latvian town with the support of a nationalist party which forms part of the ruling coalition in Latvia’s parliament.

The monument to fallen Soviet sailors in the northern Latvian town of Limbazi, located about 100 kilometers from Riga, was demolished by activists from neo-Nazi group Daugavas Vanagi (the Daugava Hawks), which calls itself an organization of the former Nazi Waffen SS Legion veterans.

The demolition was also supported by the National Alliance, which is a part of the ruling coalition in the Latvian parliament.

The party even posted a video of the demolition on its Facebook page with a march playing in the background.

The National Alliance also said in the description to the video that the activists demolished a monument to the troops, who “killed some locals and then died themselves,” although the monument was built 1975 in commemoration of the Soviet sailors, who died there in 1941, defending the area from the Nazi invasion.

The party then posted a number of photos demonstrating the process of demolition and said that it took place on August 27.

The National Alliance is the fourth largest party in Latvia comprised of the nationalist For the Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK and far-right All for Latvia! party. It was founded in 2010 as a political alliance and became a unitary party in 2013.

The Daugava Hawks is a far right group that particularly took active part in the organization of the march of the Latvian veterans of Waffen-SS units on the so-called Legion Day on March 18, an unofficial holiday honoring Nazi collaborators during WWII.

Meanwhile, local authorities justified the demolition by saying that the monument was in advanced state of disrepair and posed a threat to the children attending a local school, as reported by Latvia’s Leta news agency. They also said that € 8,000 ($ 8,911) had been spent on the demolition from the local budget. The authorities added that it was not included on a list of Soviet-era monuments.

Russia condemned the demolition of the monument and said that it violates a bilateral agreement between the two countries.

“We regard the demolition of a monument to the Soviet sailors unacceptable and contradictory to the bilateral intergovernmental agreement… that obliges the Latvian side to provide care, maintenance and security for the memorials,” Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a news briefing on Wednesday.

She also stressed that Russia expects a“swift reaction” to this “blatant incident” from Riga, adding that the Russian Foreign Ministry had not received any response from the Latvian government yet.

The Russian embassy in Latvia denounced the move and filed a note of protest with the Latvian Foreign Ministry over the incident.

Soviet Era WWII monuments are often targeted in Baltic States and some Central European countries.

In 2015, authorities in a Polish town demolished a monument to a fallen Russian WWII general. In April 2016, Russia’s Public Chamber even addressed UNESCO and OSCE asking them to help protect Soviet-era WWII memorials from destruction.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at that time that the planned campaign “was bordering barbarism,” and was launched “with the intention of erasing from the Polish people’s memory the fact that the Red Army saved them from total annihilation by the Nazis.”

Western media also sometimes attack the Soviet WWII monuments. In September 2015, BBC Russian provoked a wave of indignation in social media by dubbing the Soviet war memorial in Treptower Park, Berlin, Germany, the “memorial to the unknown rapist.”

Brazil Senate votes 61-20 to impeach President Rousseff for breaking budget laws

Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff © Ueslei Marcelino
Nine months of political paralysis in Brazil have come to an end after the upper house of Brazil’s parliament decisively voted to strip Dilma Rousseff of her presidency for budgetary violations committed during her term.

Sixty-one senators voted for the impeachment, with only 20 standing by the president, who was suspended in May for manipulating data to conceal the scale of economic problems that have piled up since she assumed power five years ago.

But 68-year-old Rousseff was handed a lifeline after the Senate voted not to bar her from holding government office for the next eight years. According to the constitution, an impeached president faces this ban by default, but Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, presiding over the hearing, allowed a separate vote on the matter. Forty-two senators voted in favor of Rousseff, and 36 against, with three abstentions.

Conservative Vice-President Michel Temer, who has deputized for socialist Rousseff since her de facto ouster three months ago, was sworn in as president later on Wednesday, and will serve out the remaining two years of her term.

True to form, in her last speech Rousseff was defiant in the face of accusations, and made a futile call on the senators to “vote for democracy,” accusing her political opponents of staging a “coup.”

“Today’s legal farce removes me from the position I was elected to by the people,” Rousseff said in her personal blog after the impeachment. “The will of 61 senators has replaced that of 54,5 million people who voted for me.”

Rousseff’s lawyer immediately said she would appeal the impeachment through the Supreme Court.

“Right now I will not say goodbye to you. I am certain I can say, ‘See you soon,'” Rousseff said to a gathering of her supporters in capital Brasilia after the session.

Rousseff – the country’s first female leader – is also the first Brazilian leader to be dismissed from office since 1992, when Fernando Collor de Mello resigned before a final vote in his impeachment trial for corruption.

Hard road ahead for Temer

While Rousseff’s budget-balancing tricks, which included delaying government repayments to banks to underplay the deficit, are thought to have also been used by her predecessors, the former guerrilla fighter’s popularity has cratered: Brazil suffered six consecutive quarters of negative growth and is mired in corruption scandals implicating officials close to the outgoing president.

Nonetheless, Rousseff’s ousting means a sea change for a country that was ruled by the left-wing Workers’ Party for the past 13 years. Its activists have been staging thousands-strong protests in support of the deposed politician, and are expected to resume them following the latest decision.

Meanwhile, Temer, a 75-year-old career politician, who is ironically himself barred from running for office due to electoral violations, faces an uphill task.

His financial reforms, reeling back from the lavish social spending of Rousseff’s administration, have curried favor with investors, but not the electorate, with his cabinet’s popularity ratings no higher than those of his predecessor.

American economic adviser David Riedel said that the country now had no chance but to embrace economic reforms, in the wake of a fall of commodity prices that led to the rise Rousseff, and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula.

“International investors will give Brazil the benefit of the doubt. So if they become more business-friendly, and investor friendly, and cut back on the profligate spending, which is an issue across South America, investors will give Brazil a second look,” he told RT.

Temer will also shoulder the difficult task of restoring Brazil’s credibility abroad, which has suffered in recent months, after years when the country was seen as the shining light of the continent’s economy. Temer is due to travel to China to participate in the upcoming G20 meeting in Hangzhou.

Sympathizers at home and abroad express fury

Meanwhile the government of longtime Rousseff ally Venezuela has already said that it is freezing relations with Brazil and recalling its ambassador following the impeachment. Ecuador and Bolivia have also called back its top diplomats in Brasilia.

Several experts interviewed by RT condemned proceedings, and claimed that Wednesday’s decision would give rise to a new cycle of active unrest.

“This was not a real trial for Rousseff. Most of the senators had made up their minds before, and there was no legal reason for the prosecution” said Maria Mendonca, from the University of Rio de Janeiro.

“She is going to lead the process of what this government will do – so expect something pretty Earth-shaking,” Francisco Domninguez from the University of Middlesex. “Already there are protests on the streets. The Landless Workers Movement, the large trade unions will all come together, and this will be – in their eyes – a class struggle.”

Pres. Nieto of Mexico flip-flops on Donald Trump’s wall proposal (humor)
| August 31, 2016 | 8:53 pm | humor | No comments

by James Thompson

Andy Borowitz of reported that Pres. Obama of the United States paid $5 billion to Mexico on the condition that they keep Donald Trump in Mexico and not allow him to return to the United States. Pres. Nieto reportedly stated that he would provide a path to citizenship for Mr. Trump if he becomes a productive citizen.

Breaking news has it that Pres. Nieto reversed himself and said that it is impossible for Mr. Trump to become a productive citizen anywhere in the world. Word has it that Pres. Nieto promptly returned the $5 billion and immediately made a counter proposal.

Pres. Nieto proposed to Pres. Obama that Mexico would foot the bill for a wall across the southern border of the United States and would make it twice as tall as Mr. Trump has suggested. In addition, Pres. Nieto would pay the United States $5 billion in cash if Pres. Obama can guarantee that neither Mr. Trump nor Mrs. Clinton will ever be allowed to come to Mexico again.

Word has it that Pres. Obama is considering Pres. Nieto’s proposal because the US government needs the cash, but is leaning against it because the cost to the United States would be too great. Apparently, Pres. Obama quipped “This would not be a bargain for the United States.”

Some are saying that Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada wants to get in on the action. It seems he has made a proposal to build a wall across the northern border of the United States and will pay the $5 billion to keep Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton out of Canada.

Both Pres. Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau apparently received a dramatic boost in their popularity ratings in their respective countries. Reports are that both are enjoying a 90% approval rating among their respective constituents.

Pres. Obama is reportedly waiting to see what other nations will offer.