Defend Ohio Rally and Free Press Second Saturday Salon

Defend Ohio Rally and Free Press Second Saturday Salon
Saturday January 8, 2011

Meet at Progress Ohio, 172 E. State Street, Columbus at noon for the Defend Ohio rally at the Statehouse, Broad and High Streets. Demonstrate to defeat Kasich’s agenda and FOR good schools, good jobs, and public services.
Contact Marc Auerbach

After the Defend Ohio rally this day, come to the Free Press for the Second Saturday Salon from 6:30pm-midnight. Join with activist friends for food, drink, music, art, and socializing. Political conversation may break out. See Oliver Stone’s “South of the Border.” Come and see what the evening holds!
1021 E. Broad St. Columbus (side door, parking in rear)

1 reply
  1. Webmaster/Moderator
    Webmaster/Moderator says:

    Why Washington hates Hugo Chavez
    Mark Crispin Miller Jan 02 05:30PM -0500 ^

    *Why Washington Hates Hugo Chavez*

    *By Mike Whitney*

    *January 01, 2010 “Information Clearing House”* — In late November,
    Venezuela was hammered by torrential rains and flooding that left 35
    people dead and roughly 130,000 homeless. If George Bush had been
    president, instead of Hugo Chavez, the displaced people would have been
    shunted off at gunpoint to makeshift prison camps–like the
    Superdome–as they were following Hurricane Katrina. But that’s not the
    way Chavez works. The Venezuelan president quickly passed “enabling”
    laws which gave him special powers to provide emergency aid and housing
    to flood victims. Chavez then cleared out the presidential palace and
    turned it into living quarters for 60 people, which is the equivalent of
    turning the White House into a homeless shelter. The disaster victims
    are now being fed and taken care of by the state until they can get back
    on their feet and return to work.

    The details of Chavez’s efforts have been largely omitted in the US
    media where he is regularly demonized as a “leftist strongman” or a
    dictator. The media refuses to acknowledge that Chavez has narrowed the
    income gap, eliminated illiteracy, provided health care for all
    Venezuelans, reduced inequality, and raised living standards across he
    board. While Bush and Obama were expanding their foreign wars and
    pushing through tax cuts for the rich, Chavez was busy improving the
    lives of the poor and needy while fending off the latest wave of US

    Washington despises Chavez because he is unwilling to hand over
    Venezuela’s vast resources to corporate elites and bankers. That’s why
    the Bush administration tried to depose Chavez in a failed coup attempt
    in 2002, and that’s why the smooth-talking Obama continues to launch
    covert attacks on Chavez today. Washington wants regime change so it can
    install a puppet who will hand over Venezuela’s reserves to big oil
    while making life hell for working people.

    Recently released documents from Wikileaks show that the Obama
    administration has stepped up its meddling in Venezuela’s internal
    affairs. Here’s an excerpt from a recent post by attorney and author,
    Eva Golinger:

    “In a secret document authored by current Deputy Assistant Secretary of
    State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Craig Kelly, and sent by the US
    Embassy in Santiago in June 2007 to the Secretary of State, CIA and
    Southern Command of the Pentagon, along with a series of other US
    embassies in the region, Kelly proposed “six main areas of action for
    the US government (USG) to limit Chavez’s influence” and “reassert US
    leadership in the region”.

    Kelly, who played a primary role as “mediator” during last year’s coup
    d’etat in Honduras against President Manuel Zelaya, classifies President
    Hugo Chavez as an “enemy” in his report.

    “Know the enemy: We have to better understand how Chavez thinks and what
    he intends…To effectively counter the threat he represents, we need to
    know better his objectives and how he intends to pursue them. This
    requires better intelligence in all of our countries”. Further on in the
    memo, Kelly confesses that President Chavez is a “formidable foe”, but,
    he adds, “he certainly can be taken”. (Wikileaks: Documents Confirm US
    Plans Against Venezuela, Eva Golinger, Postcards from the Revolution)

    The State Department cables also show that Washington has been funding
    anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela through non-governmental organizations
    (NGOs) that pretend to be working for civil liberties, human rights or
    democracy promotion. These groups hide behind a facade of legitimacy,
    but their real purpose is to topple the democratically elected Chavez
    government. Obama supports this type of subversion just as
    enthusiastically as did Bush. The only difference is the Obama team is
    more discreet. Here’s another clip from Golinger with some of the
    details on the money-trail:

    “In Venezuela, the US has been supporting anti-Chavez groups for over 8
    years, including those that executed the coup d’etat against President
    Chavez in April 2002. Since then, the funding has increased
    substantially. A May 2010 report evaluating foreign assistance to
    political groups in Venezuela, commissioned by the National Endowment
    for Democracy, revealed that more than $40 million USD annually is
    channeled to anti-Chavez groups, the majority from US agencies….

    Venezuela stands out as the Latin American nation where NED has most
    invested funding in opposition groups during 2009, with $1,818,473 USD,
    more than double from the year before….Allen Weinstein, one of NED’s
    original founders, revealed once to the Washington Post, “What we do
    today was done clandestinely 25 years ago by the CIA?” (America’s Covert
    “Civil Society Operations”: US Interference in Venezuela Keeps Growing”,
    Eva Golinger, Global Research)

    On Monday, the Obama administration revoked the visa of Venezuela’s
    ambassador to Washington in retaliation for Chávez’s rejection of
    nominee Larry Palmer as American ambassador in Caracas. Palmer has been
    openly critical of Chavez saying there were clear ties between members
    of the Chavez administration and leftist guerrillas in neighboring
    Colombia. It’s a roundabout way of accusing Chavez of terrorism. Even
    worse, Palmer’s background and personal history suggest that his
    appointment might pose a threat to Venezuela’s national security.
    Consider the comments of James Suggett of Venezuelanalysis on Axis of Logic:

    “Take a look at Palmer’s history, working with the U.S.-backed oligarchs
    in the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Sierra Leone, South
    Korea, Honduras, “promoting the North American Free Trade Agreement
    (NAFTA).” Just as the U.S. ruling class appointed an African-American,
    Barack Obama to replace George W. Bush with everything else intact,
    Obama in turn, appoints Palmer to replace Patrick Duddy who was involved
    in the attempted coup against President Chávez in 2002 and an enemy of
    Venezuelans throughout his term as U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela.”

    Venezuela is already crawling with US spies and saboteurs. They don’t
    need any help from agents working inside the embassy. Chavez did the
    right thing by giving Palmer the thumbs down.

    The Palmer nomination is just “more of the same”; more interference,
    more subversion, more trouble-making. The State Dept was largely
    responsible for all of the so-called color-coded revolutions in Ukraine,
    Lebanon, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan etc; all of which were cookie cutter,
    made-for-TV events that pitted the interests of wealthy capitalists
    against those of the elected government. Now Hillary’s throng want to
    try the same strategy in Venezuela. It’s up to Chavez to stop them,
    which is why he’s pushed through laws that “regulate, control or
    prohibit foreign funding for political activities”. It’s the only way he
    can defend against US meddling and protect Venezuelan sovereignty.

    Chavez is also using his new powers to reform the financial sector.
    Here’s an excerpt from an article titled “Venezuelan National Assembly
    Passes Law Making Banking a “Public Service”:

    “Venezuela’s National Assembly on Friday approved new legislation that
    defines banking as an industry “of public service,” requiring banks in
    Venezuela to contribute more to social programs, housing construction
    efforts, and other social needs while making government intervention
    easier when banks fail to comply with national priorities.”…

    The new law protects bank customers’ assets in the event of
    irregularities on the part of owners… and stipulates that the
    Superintendent of Banking Institutions take into account the best
    interest of bank customers – and not only stockholders… when making
    any decisions that affect a bank’s operations.”

    So why isn’t Obama doing the same thing? Is he too afraid or is he just
    Wall Street’s lackey? Here’s more from the same article:

    “In an attempt to control speculation, the law limits the amount of
    credit that can be made available to individuals or private entities by
    making 20% the maximum amount of capital a bank can have out as credit.
    The law also limits the formation of financial groups and prohibits
    banks from having an interest in brokerage firms and insurance companies.

    The law also stipulates that 5% of pre-tax profits of all banks be
    dedicated solely to projects elaborated by communal councils. 10% of a
    bank´s capital must also be put into a fund to pay for wages and
    pensions in case of bankruptcy.

    According to 2009 figures provided by Softline Consultores, 5% of
    pre-tax profits in Venezuela’s banking industry last year would have
    meant an additional 314 million bolivars, or $73.1 million dollars, for
    social programs to attend the needs of Venezuela’s poor majority.”

    “Control speculation”? Now there’s a novel idea. Naturally, opposition
    leaders are calling the new laws “an attack on economic liberty”. But
    that’s pure baloney. Chavez is merely protecting the public from the
    predatory practices of bloodthirsty bankers. Most Americans wish that
    Obama would do the same thing.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, “Chávez has threatened to
    expropriate large banks in the past if they don’t increase loans to
    small-business owners and prospective home buyers, this time he is
    increasing the pressure publicly to show his concern for the lack of
    sufficient housing for Venezuela’s 28 million people.”

    Caracas suffers from a massive housing shortage that’s gotten much worse
    because of the flooding. Tens of thousands of people need shelter now,
    which is why Chavez is putting pressure on the banks to lend a hand. Of
    course, the banks don’t want to help so they’ve slipped into crybaby
    mode. But Chavez has shrugged off their whining and put them “on
    notice”. In fact, on Tuesday, he issued this terse warning:

    “Any bank that slips up?I’m going to expropriate it, whether it’s Banco
    Provincial, or Banesco or Banco Nacional de Crédito.”
    Bravo, Hugo. In Chavez’s Venezuela the basic needs of ordinary working
    people take precedent over the profiteering of cutthroat banksters. Is
    it any wonder why Washington hates him?

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