Search This Blog

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Libya in Flames!

While Libya lies in flames, with thousands of men, women and children, driven by desperation, trying every day to cross the Mediterranean — and many of them will lose their lives – Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano issues this warning: "Beware of the outbreaks all around us," starting with the "persistent instability and fragility of the situation in Libya.” (, July 12)
He forgets, and with him almost all the government officials and politicians, that Italy itself played a key role in 2011 in the “outbreak” of the war against Libya, of which the massacre of migrants is one of the consequences.
On the southern shores of the Mediterranean, across from Italy, there was a state — documented by the World Bank itself in 2010 — which maintained "high levels of economic growth,” with an average increase in GDP of 7.5 percent per annum, which recorded "high indicators of human development," including universal access to primary and secondary education, and for 46 percent of the population, also at the university level. Despite income disparities among individuals, the standard of living of the Libyan population was significantly higher than that of other African countries. Bearing witness to this fact was that nearly two million immigrants, mostly Africans, were working in Libya.
This state, in addition to being a factor of stability and development in North Africa, had used its investments to facilitate the emergence of organizations that one day might have made the financial autonomy of Africa possible: the African Investment Bank, based in Tripoli; the African Central Bank, with headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria; the African Monetary Fund, based in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
After having funded and armed hostile tribal areas in Tripoli, which caused the "Arab Spring" in Libya to assume from the outset the form of armed insurrection, and thus provoking the government’s response, they waged a war that destroyed the Libyan state in 2011: in seven months the U.S./NATO Air Force carried out 10,000 attack missions, unleashing more than 40,000 bombs and missiles.
Italy participated in this war, using its bases and military forces, tearing up the Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Italy and Libya. "In the memory of the liberation struggles and April 25” - President Napolitano declared on April 26, 2011, “we could not remain indifferent to the bloody reaction of Colonel Gadhafi in Libya: That’s why Italy adhered to the plan of action of the coalition under the aegis of NATO." (Wall Street Italia, April 26, 2011)
During the war in Libya, its enemies infiltrated special forces, including thousands of Qatari commandos, and at the same time funded and armed Islamist groups, which up until a few months before had been called terrorists. It is significant that the Islamic militias of Misrata, which lynched Gadhafi, now occupy the airport in Tripoli.
In this framework, the first nuclei of ISIS formed, and moved to Syria, where they built the bulk of their strength before launching the offensive in Iraq. They acted as a de facto instrument of the U.S./NATO strategy to demolish these states through covert war.
"It is now clear,” said President Napolitano, “that every failed state inevitably becomes a center of accumulation and global spread of extremism and lawlessness." (, June 18)
It only remains to be seen what the "failed states" really are. They are not nation-states such as Libya, Syria and Iraq, states located in areas rich in oil or with an important geo-strategic position, which are wholly or partly outside the control of the West, and which were then demolished by war. They are in fact the major states of the West, which, betraying their own constitutions, have failed as democracies and returned to nineteenth-century imperialism.
by Manlio Dinucci
by John Catalinotto
Il Manifesto (Italy)

Democracy Brazil - a case of Human rights without Human wrongs?

As Polls Close, Brazil's Once Promising ‘Alternative’ Candidate Shut Out of Run-Off
Posted 6 October 2014 5:17 GMT
Woman votes at the electronic booth on Sunday, 5th of October. More than 100 million Brazilians took to the polls today. Image by Taisa Sganzerla.
As Polls Close, Brazil's Once Promising ‘Alternative’ Candidate Shut Out of Run-Off

Posted 6 October 2014 5:17 GMT

Woman votes at the electronic booth on Sunday, 5th of October. More than 100 million Brazilians took to the polls today. Image by Taisa Sganzerla.
The Brazilian presidential race, one whose outcome hasn’t been so uncertain since 1989, is coming to a close, and incumbent Dilma Rousseff from the Worker’s Party will dispute a runoff with Aécio Neves from the Brazilian Social-Democractic Party. Both had, respectively, 42 percent and 34 percent of the votes.
Marina Silva from the Brazilian Socialist Party, an unexpected name in the campaign who had ranked high in the polls for months, finished with 21 percent, which puts her officially out of the race. Brazilians will also be picking the governors of all 27 states, a third of 81 senators, as well as 513 seats of the lower house of Congress and state legislators.
A first-time presidential candidate and former governor of Brazil’s second most populous state, Minas Gerais, Aécio Neves earned votes from an expressive sector of Brazilian society unsatisfied with the Worker's Party government, who's been in power since 2003. Historically, the Social-Democractic Party has represented conservative sectors of Brazilian's middle and upper classes, as opposed to the Worker's Party, who had its genesis in the working class. However, recently, Rousseff's party has been heavily criticized by progressive sectors, who believe its ideals have been “compromised” by the several alliances it has made with conservative supporters in the last 11 years.
People line up to justify their absence from the ballots. Unlike most democracies, voting in Brazil is mandatory, so whoever is not able to vote has to justify. Image by Taisa Sganzerla.
People line up to justify their absence from the ballots. Unlike most democracies, voting in Brazil is mandatory, so whoever is not able to vote has to justify. Image by Taisa Sganzerla.
Marina Silva presented herself as an “alternative” to the long-lasting rivalry between the two main parties and maintained second place in opinion polls since she unexpectedly emerged as the candidate of the Brazilian Socialist Party (after the sudden death of its former runner, Eduardo Campos, in a plane crash on August 13),even reaching 34 percent (against Rousseff's 35 percent) in a Datafolha poll on late August. A prominent environmentalist, Silva got her start in politics by working alongside union leader and activist Chico Mendes, fighting against the exploitation of the Amazon, and served as environmental minister from 2003 to 2008 in Rousseff’s Party.
Her drop in the votes has been attributed, among other factors, by not being able to navigate all the contradictions in her campaign. For instance, Silva’s vice presidential candidate, legislator Beto Albuquerque, has had historical connections with the agribusiness, having been involved in 2004 in the approval of a bill that allowed genetically modified soy to be planted in Brazil. This fact has disappointed many environmentalists and former supporters of Silva. Among them, the Syndicate of Rural Workers of Xapuri in Acre state, founded by Chico Mendes, who released a note on August 28 criticizing Marina’s environmental's proposals. An excerpt:
The rural workers of Xapuri (Acre) do not agree with the current environmental policy in progress in Brazil, idealized by presidential candidate Marina Silva while she was minister of environment. This policy is hostage to a preservationist model and to international NGOs. It harms the maintenance of traditional culture of subsistence and forest management and favors big entrepreneurs who, due to the policies’ high degree of bureaucratization, are able to legally devastate the forest while its traditional inhabitants are left with no choice but to commit environmental crimes.
Also, after publishing on her official website a progressive agenda supporting marriage equality, which drew many LGBT rights advocates, Silva stepped back from this position following pressure from religious leaders. Silva is also an evangelist and a significant part of her electorate are connected to evangelical congregations. Silva’s new position on this issue made American actor Mark Ruffalo, a prominent activist on LGBT rights, withdraw his support for Silva, which has had gone viral just a few weeks prior. Marina has been also heavily attacked by leftist sectors, that saw her as a “conservative dressed up as a progressive”. As famous leftist blogger Cynara Menezespointed out, in early September:
“As a leftist, it obviously worries me that we might experience a possible neoliberal spring in the government with her election, since she's assisted by a team of economists who follow that philosophy. I have, however, a stronger reason not to vote for her. Marina's project for Brazil is not the same as mine, but I won't vote for her mainly because I don't trust that she'll govern, being an evangelical from the Assemblies of God church, with the conception of a secular state”
Av. Paulista, Sao Paulo's main avenue, on a unusual, busy Sunday -- typical of elections day.
Av. Paulista, Sao Paulo's main avenue, on a unusual, busy Sunday — typical of elections day. Image by Taisa Sganzerla.
Luciana Genro and Eduardo Jorge, from the Socialist and Freedom Party and the Green Party, respectively, were the only ones who have openly supported marriage equality and other progressive agendas (decriminalization of marijuana among them). Genro earned 1.47 percent of the votes and Jorge 0.62 percent. 
Still, legislator Jean Willys, the first openly gay member of the Congress and advocate of LGBT rights in Brazil, was elected for a second mandate in the lower house of Congress. An active user of social media, with almost 1 million followers on Facebook and Twitter combined, he thanked the 145,000 people who voted for him:

It worked, guys! Re-elected! A new era starts now. Thanks, friends, both real and virtual
But social media reacted angrily to the presidential results as well as the most voted legislators. In Rio, notorious homophobe Jair Bolsonaro was reelected as the most voted federal deputy. In Sao Paulo, Coronel Telhada, a hard-line former police chief with a violent history, was the second most voted state legislator. Famed independent journalist Bruno Torturra tweeted sarcastically:

Try to see the bright side of those results. And, if you do, please tell me which is it?
Also in Sao Paulo, the Social-Democractic Party candidate Geraldo Alckimin was reelected in the first round with almost 60 percent of the votes, despite the major water crisis the region has experienced (SABESP, the company responsible for the water supply in most of Sao Paulo, is managed by the state government). Journalist Mariele Góes posted on her Facebook page, in a clear reference to a famed hate-speech case following the results of the elections in 2010:
I sincerely hope that every ‘paulista’ [someone from São Paulo] who's saying northeasterners don't know how to vote take a shower with their own tears when Cantareira reservoir runs out of water on the 27th <3
It's unclear wether Silva will support Rousseff or Neves in the runoff. In 2010, after also losing the race in the first round, she chose to remain neutral.

ori here >>>