Thursday, 30 April 2015


40 Years since the Victory of Vietnam against Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism
Mera Naam, Tera Naam VIETNAM! VIETNAM! 
(My name, your name is VIETNAM VIETNAM!)
- Solidarity slogan of South Asian peoples during the Vietnamese War of Liberation

Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm
30 April 2015

Today is the 40th Anniversary of the liberation of Vietnam by the revolutionary leadership of Ho Chi Minh and General Giap and the entire resistance forces in Vietnam, who defeated Japanese colonialism in 1945, French colonialism in 1954 and then USA neo-colonialism in 1975.

The colonial and imperialist war against Vietnam was an attempt by the 'west' to stop the tide of independence struggles that was raging like a prairie fire across the southern three continents in the period after the second world war.

The genocidal imperialist war against Vietnam was an attempt of the imperialists to take revenge on the global united resistance that gave the USA its first post second world war defeat in the theatre of Korea when the Soviet Union and Socialist China gave support to the Korean peoples defeat of the imperialists in the early 1950s, with the Korean people paying the terrible price of 4 million martyrs in the three years of the 'Korean War' in 1950-1953.

The imperialist war in Vietnam was revenge for the victory of the Chinese Revolution in 1949.

The Resistance of the Vietnamese people ushered in a new phase of militant global struggle, leading Che Guevara and many others to focus on Vietnam as the vanguard of the global revolution, with Che arguing for other peoples to take up the model of the Vietnamese Revolution in order to disperse the impact of the colonial genocide against them and in order to develop a major global push in defeating imperialism.

The Resistance in Vietnam and its victory was overwhelmingly achieved by the Vietnamese themselves, and then with support from China and the Soviet Union. The Vietnamese Resistance opened up a massive space of rebellion in the 'west', with the anti-colonial internal struggles within the west, especially in the form of the Black Liberation Movement throughout the west but especially in the usa to combine their struggle against the same common enemy with that of the much bigger, more intense, incomparably more bloody and traumatic struggle of the Vietnamese against the common imperialist enemy. This unity led the Black Panthers to offer their own cadres to join the Vietnamese Resistance (the Vietnamese appreciated the offer but pressed upon the Black Panthers to escalate their struggle within the usa), it led the firebrand radical and world champion boxer Muhammad Ali to lose his champion belt in refusing to fight his brothers and sisters in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese Resistance won their struggle no one else won it for them, as sometimes politicos in the west try and make out that their opposition to the war had any strategic contribution in that imperialist war's defeat. Apart from the escalating struggle of the Black and Brown people allied with radical white organisations, which played a minor and tertiary role in the defeat of the imperialists in Vietnam, it was the Vietnamese and them and their primary global allies that won the war. However, the Vietnamese struggle radicalised the western youth and gave them the biggest historical opening for rebelling against the system.

Vietnam was destroyed deliberately for generations. Vietnam was reunified and liberated in 1975, over three million dead, over 50 million gallons of toxins were put into the land and people of Vietnam by the enemy. The people were intensely raped, looted, bombed in their millions. Vietnam has gone on to conduct the liberation in extremely difficult circumstances, and it is an obligation of all anti-imperialists, decolonials, and people who believe in justice for Humanity that they continue to give unconditional support to Socialist Vietnam and their on-going process of protecting their independence and uplifting their people and land. 

The deeply neo-colonial conceit and dark side of the human condition is shown when those who will support a people when they die in their millions for liberation but will turn their back shortly after the imperialist enemy has been defeated and the tasks of reconstruction is on hand, that at the very moment when the Vietnamese and other peoples need empathy and solidarity, that the neo-colonial lefty knives come out and they snipe and turn their back on the Vietnamese.

The Vietnamese nation and people continue to make strides towards healing their people and country and developing the conditions towards socialism and equality. We owe a massive debt to the Vietnamese people. We have everything to learn from them in terms of their anti-imperialist and socialist ideology and their ethics and culture of resistance and liberation. They owe us nothing, we owe them everything.

In 2003 I went on a solidarity delegation that conducted some volunteer labour in building roads in the central highlands of Vietnam. We gave back a tiny amount of what we owed the Vietnamese. We visited the Vietnamese government orphanages of those children still born with severe defects from the toxins ('Agent Orange') which will impact the Vietnamese people for generations to come. While the mainstream media will focus on the death, deformities and destruction of the Vietnamese war in line with their white supremacist colonial nature as they only like to show our people when they are dead or dying or torn to bits. In contrast, we raise up the Humanity and the earth shaking achievements of the Vietnamese and learn at their feet of what being a revolutionary is, and what a revolution against the enemy gone mad looks like. 

Every city had a museum dedicated to the Resistance during the war, staffed often by a stern and militant Vietnamese female comrade. These museums showed the creative wonders of the Vietnamese people in their quest for freedom, each museum was a revolutionary university. We visited Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum, and gave thanks to one of Humanity's greatest freedom fighters. 

We visited the martyrs tomb in Cu Chi where the famous underground resistance tunnel system is, and saw the thousands of names of martyrs from Cu Chi engraved in the inner walls of the tomb. 

And of course, we discussed, talked, and ate the delicious Vietnamese cuisine with a wonderful people in a stunningly beautiful land who can enjoy relative peace and security of their Homeland.

Towards the end of the imperialist debacle in Vietnam, they had a policy of 'Vietnamisation' of the war, ie., getting Vietnamese people to increasingly face even more of the brunt of the war instead of the tens of thousands of soldiers from the usa dying and getting injured. The enemy has continued this strategy and has used death squads in Libya on the ground while Nato bombed and destroyed Libya from the skies. The enemy has now directed and supplied their primary ally in the region in the form of Saudi Arabia to front their neo-colonial war against Yemen. 

The enemy continues to 'Black face' its neo-colonialism to confuse the masses, a strategy which has some success as both Libya and Yemen have seen no national mobilisations by the white left led anti-war movements in the west, we can even say these are popular wars in the west with the anti-war movement refusing to push for serious anti-war mobilisation. 

Those of us loyal to the Vietnamese, Libyans, Zimbabweans, Yemeni and all resistant victims of the strategies of Nato and neo-colonialism must wrest control of the anti-war movement and raise the ideologies and strategies appropriate to resisting neo-colonial war, indeed global covert and overt neo-colonial war has ALWAYS been an integral part of the colonial and neo-colonial system. 

My Mother and Father raised me from childhood in loyalty to the Vietnamese people, with my Mother recalling her participation in demonstrations in support of the Vietnamese people and their central slogan was 'mera naam, tera naam, Vietnam! Vietnam', translated as 'my name, your name is Vietnam! Vietnam!'.  Our names continues to be Vietnam, Korea, Algeria, Angola, Mozambique, Cuba and every on-going struggle of our resistant peoples, leaderships and countries which are still in an intense and complex knife edges struggle in this last phase and age of struggle to totally defeat neo-colonialism once and for all across the planet. Will we stand by this struggle? We owe it to them.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015


The Great 1975 Spring Victory was historically inevitable


Throughout history, nothing happens by chance in a war. The victory in the spring of 1975 is one the greatest military feats of the 20th century, an epic of the Vietnamese people in the Ho Chi Minh era.

It was a historical inevitability and an undeniable truth to people of conscience. Only the stubborn who turn their back on history and distort the truth consider the people’s victory over the enemy an accidental event out of sheer luck.

With the victory of the General Offensive and Uprising in the spring of 1975, culminating with the Ho Chi Minh Campaign, we have realised President Ho Chi Minh’s wish to liberate the South and reunify the country, ending a 21-year-long war.

After 40 years, the bitter defeat of the US in Vietnam has become clearer with even American veterans acknowledging their mistakes. The Americans made a deadly mistake by waging war Vietnam. They committed crimes, and trampled on justice by invading a sovereign country. As a result, the US was faced with waves of protests from people around the world. It was the most serious weakness of the unjust war triggered by the US in Vietnam.

In addition, the US failed to understand the country’s patriotism and the American soldiers’ morale was easily undermined, fighting half way around the world from their home. Believing that it was the richest and strongest of all imperialist nations with the ambition to dominate the world, the US spread money, weapons and fighters across the globe, unable to focus all resources on the unjust war in Vietnam.

Underestimating the opponent was also a critical weakness. Reliant on state-of-the-art weapons, the US looked down on Vietnam, a poor country with a significantly smaller size and population, barely having recovered from the nine-year war with the French. They were never cognizant of the fact that the Vietnamese people were not only unafraid of the Americans, but also determined to defeat them.

The Vietnamese leadership at the time soon recognised the new enemy and adopted a strategy of building the North into a firm stronghold to support the struggle for liberation in the South. Thanks to this, Vietnam was able to prevail over US war strategies, notably the Nixon doctrine in Indochina, forcing the US to sign the Paris Peace Accords and withdraw all its troops from Vietnam.

It is apparent that many effective measures were born out of numerous difficulties. We were consistent in the goal of reunifying the country while being flexible about strategies, combining revolutionary violence with political movements and activities on the diplomatic front, guerrilla tactics with regular warfare, and seizing opportunities to launch offensives that changed the course of the war, laying the foundations for the final triumph.

The Great 1975 Spring Victory was a certain inevitability, the culmination of favourable conditions and the support of the people that the US army never had. Serious and thorough preparations for the war against the US were made, with the entire nation going into battle through various patriotic movements across the country. Vietnam has an iron-clad spirit and an aspiration for peace and national reunification. Only the determination to liberate the South could protect the North, and only when the Northern stronghold was protected could there be conditions for southern liberation and national reunification.

The inevitability of the Great 1975 Spring Victory also reflects the vision of Vietnamese leaders, that helping neighbouring countries is helping ourselves. Vietnam was successful in undertaking the international mission of building and reinforcing the alliance with Lao and Cambodian people. This strategy prevented the US from using one country to threaten invasion of another country.

It is apparent that the Vietnamese people had an indomitable determination to defeat the US and reunify the motherland. With a passionate aspiration for peace, they endured pain and suffering for more than two decades, staging the revolution step by step to accomplish the Great 1975 Spring Victory.

The arduous journey to victory after 21 years was a historical inevitability, illuminated by Vietnamese bravery, aspirations for peace and a determination to reunify the country, factors that will continue to push Vietnam ahead in its new phase of development.



Crips, Bloods, Black Guerilla Family Deny Pact to Harm Police


When the riots started in Baltimore on Monday in response to the death of Freddie Gray, an unarmed black man who died after being arrested, officers blamed street gangs for inciting the violence.

But in interviews, members of the Crips, Bloods and Black Guerrilla Family said they had no pact to “take out” police officers, as the authorities had asserted; and the gang members denied having anything to do with the unrest that left dozens of cars and buildings in flames and several stores looted.

In fact, several members said they protected some stores from being burned and looted.

“We stood in front of the store, which is Muslim-owned and told people to move on,” said one member of the Crips gang who asked not to be named because of his affiliation with a gang.

The gang member said the looting that took place was by people who had grown frustrated with the high unemployment, lack of jobs and treatment at the hands of police. “People don’t need gangs to tell that they are in this condition,” he said. “They live in it everyday. It just boiled over.”

Gang members here say they are easy targets because of their past involvement in drug deals and shootings. “So it’s easy to say that it was us,” said another gang member, who said he belong to the Bloods street gang.

Other gang members, in a meeting with ministers at the Simmons Baptist Church, also voiced their frustration with being blamed for the violence.

The Rev. Duane Simmons, the church pastor, who called for the meeting, said he does not know what involvement, if any, gangs had in the unrest, but he said simply focusing on the gangs diverts the focus from the root cause of the rioting.

“We have failed these young people,” he said. “We need to focus on what’s causing these frustrations that led to the violence, not talking about gangs.”

- Black Panther prisoner - Russel Marron Shoatz on Liberation and Gangsterism

- George Jackson, Black Panther prison leader and founder of the Black Guerilla Family



Dominicans remember US invasion, denounce media silence


Four days after the Dominican people's victory, US President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered to invade the Dominican Republic with 42 000 marines in "Operation Power Pack", which left more than six thousand civilians killed in the island.  

At 50 years of the US invasion of the Dominican Republic, Dominican social movements fighting Tuesday that its history is known despite the private attack by private companies seeking to silence the fact. The special envoy of Telesur to the island, Theophilus Griffin reported that "social movements said they have tried to silence this part of history, and continue to work while the resources permit. "

On Tuesday it is expected to Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, pay tribute to those soldiers who rejected the invasion. They also sent to the US embassy to demand the US government apologize for the fierce invasion. In context The Dominican people remember the American invasion as the fact that prompted the installation of conservative government against social reforms, which for them has meant a reversal of what has been the progress of the Dominican people as a nation.

Dominican Republic recalls Tuesday 50th anniversary of the US invasion, unprecedented intervention in the region, the siege left more than six thousand dead mostly civilians. Today Dominicans struggle to make their story known.


China's top political advisor vows stronger partnership with Algeria

"China supported Algeria's struggle for national liberation in the 1950s, and was one of the first countries to recognize Algeria's independence.

In 1970s, Algeria made significant efforts to help China restore its legal seat at the United Nations, as the UN General Assembly passed a resolution sponsored by Algeria and 22 other countries to restore the rights of the People's Republic of China."

Global Post

Top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng met with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal in Beijing on Tuesday, pledging to upgrade comprehensive strategic partnership.

Sellal, who is in Beijing for a four-day official visit, is the first Algerian head of government to visit China since the north African country won independence in 1962.

Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), hailed the profound friendship, solid political foundation and fruitful cooperation between both countries over the years.

China hopes to cement the comprehensive strategic partnership and substantial cooperation alongside Algeria, he said.

The CPPCC is ready to enhance exchanges with the Algerian Council of the Nation (Upper House) and the National Assembly (Lower House), in a bid to promote cooperation and cultural exchanges as well as peoples' understandings, Yu said.

Algeria and China always trusted and supported each other, said Sellal, while vowing to boost cooperation in trade, culture and other areas.

Sellal will also visit Shanghai.

China supported Algeria's struggle for national liberation in the 1950s, and was one of the first countries to recognize Algeria's independence.

In 1970s, Algeria made significant efforts to help China restore its legal seat at the United Nations, as the UN General Assembly passed a resolution sponsored by Algeria and 22 other countries to restore the rights of the People's Republic of China.

Algeria: Algerian PM Sellal Starts Official Visit to China

All Africa

Beijing — Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal arrived Tuesday morning in Beijing for a four-day official visit at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang.

During this visit, Prime Minister will examine, with his counterpart, as well as Chinese senior officials, ways to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation, in accordance with the decisions of the two heads of State aimed at upgrading the relations between the two countries within the framework of a comprehensive strategic partnership.

This visit comes just after the holding in Algiers of the 7th Algerian-Chinese Joint Economic, Trade and Technical Commission.

During this visit, which will be crowned with the signing of several cooperation agreements in various fields, the Prime minister will be accompanied by a large delegation comprising members of the Government and the national economic operators.

Algeria Encourages Chinese Investors to Get More Involved in Structuring Programmes and Projects

All Africa

Algeria "strongly" encourages Chinese investors to get more involved in the execution of structuring projects and programmes, said Tuesday in Beijing Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal.

" We are today strongly encouraging the Chinese investors to get more involved in the execution of structuring programmes and projects, likely to give the necessary durability to a mutually beneficial partnership," said Sellal in an Algerian-Chinese economic forum.

On this occasion, he welcomed "the commitment of the Chinese companies in Algeria and which are characterized by a dynamic, appreciated by all the Algerians, in the execution of large-scale projects in the fields of building and basic infrastructures."

Prime Minister welcomed "the convergence of the political approach which has been enhanced through the exchanges of visits with senior officials and which focused on the stakes and challenges inherent in the changes of today's world."

The political consultations will continue in June with the visit to China of the Speaker of the Council of the Nation, he said, adding that the foundation stone of this convergence "is, today, reinforced by the development of economic exchanges between our two countries, as reflected by the position of China as Algeria's first partner for the second year in a row."


Baltimore protests: Crowds, police stand off after curfew


- 11:59 p.m. ET: Police arrested two people for looting and one for disorderly conduct, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said. But most of the 10 arrests made after the 10 p.m. curfew were for curfew violation.

- 11:55 p.m. ET: Baltimore police have made 10 arrests since the 10 p.m. curfew went into effect Tuesday night, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said. But he said the curfew is working, and "the city is stable."

- 11:33 p.m. ET: Police have the situation under control in West Baltimore, which includes one of the most violent intersections of the past 24 hours. "Twenty-four hours ago, that intersection had a burned out car, we saw a tavern being looted, we saw a liquor store being looted," CNN's Brian Todd said. On Tuesday night, aside from officers in riot gear standing next to armored vehicles, "there's not a soul in sight," Todd said.

- 11:18 p.m. ET: Authorities with riot gear and heavy armored vehicles stood their ground in the neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested, but no clashes were underway more than an hour after Baltimore's city curfew went into effect. "Everybody's kind of staring at everybody, seeing who blinks," CNN's Miguel Marquez said.

- 10:53 p.m. ET: Baltimore police said credentialed members of the media may continue covering events in the city after curfew, the department tweeted Tuesday night. Earlier, authorities in a helicopter told the media to move or possibly face arrest.

- The crowd has "definitely lessened" after police deployed pepper bullets and smoke canisters, CNN's Ryan Young said. But CNN's Chris Cuomo said some protesters have simply moved elsewhere.

- Police said late Tuesday on Twitter they were making arrests at one location, where they said people threw bricks and rocks at officers.

Full story:

Defiant protesters squared off with police in some parts of Baltimore well after a citywide curfew went into effect Tuesday night.

Many protesters didn't budge after 10 p.m. curfew. Police said they have a "wide range of discretion" with how they enforce it, Baltimore police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said before the curfew took effect.

"Officers are going to use common sense," he said.

Authorities, city leaders and fellow residents appealed for calm a day after the city devolved into chaos.

Some 2,000 National Guardsmen and more than 1,000 police officers from across Maryland and neighboring states were assigned to the streets of Baltimore on Tuesday night, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said.

"This combined force will not tolerate violence or looting, which has led to the destruction of property and put innocent Marylanders at risk."

Laquicha Harper, a 33-year-old resident, called the violence embarrassing and heartbreaking. "We owe it to ourselves to do better," she said.

She was among those who responded to clean up the mess from Monday's violence.

Cars and building were burned. Police were hospitalized, businesses were looted, and hundreds of people were arrested.

"I understand that everybody is upset, I understand that tension is brewing ... I'm here, I get it," Harper said. "But there are better ways that we can handle our frustration. And they can't hear us when we're behaving this way."

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that "some police aren't doing the right thing" and that a lot of the tension between law enforcement and the black community stems from "a slow-rolling crisis" that has been brewing for decades.

Fixing it will require more investment in cities, criminal justice reform, better funding for education and soul-searching for some police departments, he said.

"If we really want to solve the problem, if our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could. It's just it would require everybody saying this is important, this is significant. And that we don't just pay attention to these communities when a CVS burns," the President said.

Still, no angst can excuse what Obama called the behavior of "criminals and thugs who tore up" Baltimore.

"When individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they're not protesting. They're not making a statement. They're stealing," he said. "When they burn down a building, they're committing arson. And they're destroying and undermining businesses and opportunities in their own communities. That robs jobs and opportunity from people in that area."

No repeat of Monday night, governor says

Protesters rallied and marched Tuesday. Baltimore Police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk described them as peaceful, which he said is "what we're used to seeing in Baltimore." That said, about a dozen people had been arrested, according to the police captain.

Tuesday night, a group started attacking officers with rocks and bricks, and more arrests were made, police said.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said at noon that he didn't know of additional instances of looting, damage or violence. But he was mindful that may not be true for long, and said he's especially concerned about Tuesday night.

If there is another flare-up, Hogan said, authorities will be prepared with "as much manpower and as many resources as we can (have)."

"They are not going to be in danger, and ... their property will be protected," he said of Baltimore residents and business owners. "We're not going to have another repeat of what happened last night. It's not going to happen tonight."

Hogan declared a state of emergency Monday evening -- after a request from Baltimore's mayor around 6 p.m. -- that, among other things, expedited the deployment of hundreds of National Guard members. Up to 5,000 of them are ready to answer the call to join Baltimore police and up to 5,000 law enforcement officers were requested from around the Mid-Atlantic region, said Col. William Pallozzi of the Maryland State Police.

Rawlings-Blake has imposed a mandatory curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., which is one reason why the Baltimore Orioles postponed their Tuesday night game and the Baltimore Ravens called off an NFL draft party set for Thursday night.

Wednesday's game between the Orioles and Chicago White Sox will be closed to the public, the Orioles announced. A source within Major League Baseball told CNN the league is not aware of any prior closed-door games in major league history.

There was no public school Tuesday, nor were there classes at Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore City Public Schools will reopen on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, citizens young and old are stepping up. They include people who came out to clean up, like Harper and 15-year-old Sulaiman Abdul-Aziz, who said he saw some of the mayhem.

"I felt disappointed," Abdul-Aziz said, "because a lot of that could have been avoided if people would have started thinking before they would have done all that stuff."

'Broken windows are not broken spines'

The tensions in Baltimore come after demonstrations across the country over the deaths of black men after encounters with police, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Eric Garner in New York; and Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina.

This latest eruption came after days of protests over Freddie Gray, who mysteriously died on April 19, a week after Baltimore Police arrested him. Anger over his plight may have spurred Monday's violence, but Baltimore City Council Member Brandon Scott said it was also fueled by "a long, long, longstanding issue with young African-Americans."

"We're talking about years and decades of mistrust, of misfortune, of despair that it's just coming out in anger," Scott said. "No, it is not right for them to burn down their own city. But that is what's coming out of these young people."

At least 20 officers were wounded in the unrest, according to Capt. Kowalczyk. One person is in critical condition as a result of a fire, he said.

"It's clear that what we have to do is change the culture within the Baltimore Police Department," Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said Tuesday. The process has been underway for more than two years, but there is more to do, he said.

Deray McKeeson, a community organizer who was active in Ferguson and is now in Baltimore, said that while he doesn't condone using destruction and violence, he understands it as a way some vent frustrations. "Broken windows are not broken spines," he said.

McKeeson said the Baltimore vandalism, even the injuries to some officers, doesn't compare to the lost lives of Gray and other blacks at the hands of police. That's why he said protesters will remain out in full force, rallying against what they see as systemic injustice.

"Police have continued to kill people," the activist said. "Tonight will be another night where people come out into the streets to confront a system that is corrupt."

'Dark day for our city'

There were many other secondary casualties -- people who saw their neighborhoods torn apart, their homes and vehicles damaged, their hopes for stability and progress thwarted by the mayhem.

There were people like Cindy Oxendine, who took to the streets to sweep up rocks, glass and more despite her aching back.

"It started off peaceful, and it ends up like this," Oxendine told CNN affiliate WBAL. "I've seen stuff like this on the news in other cities, but I never thought I would see it in front of my doorstep. It's crazy."

In addition to the clashes with police came the flames, and investigators from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are joining local authorities to look into arson, a federal law enforcement source said.

The same source said that dozens of fires that erupted around Baltimore appear to be tied to the unrest. This includes one that consumed an affordable housing center for seniors that was just months away from opening.

Pastor Donte Hickman of the Southern Baptist Church, which owns the facility, said 60 units of senior housing were lost.

"What happened ... destroyed so much of the progress that the people who actually live here have been working for," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake, calling Monday "a very dark day for our city."

But she found light in what she saw Tuesday.

"Today, I think we saw a lot more of what Baltimore is about. We saw people coming together to reclaim our city, to clean our city, and to help heal our city. I think this can be our defining moment," the mayor said.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Poor teens in Baltimore face worse conditions than those in Nigeria - study


A global study of adolescents from low-income neighborhoods revealed that teenagers from Baltimore, a city located just 40 miles from the US capital, are faring worse than their counterparts in Nigeria.

Many people tend to associate child poverty with desperate scenes out of Africa or India. But according to a recent WAVE study, an international survey that examined the living conditions of 15-19 year olds in poor areas in Baltimore, Shanghai, Johannesburg, New Delhi and Ibadan (third largest city in Nigeria), the problem is much closer to home than many people realize.

In the five neighborhoods examined in the study, poverty was the common thread that linked these culturally diverse locations. Differences among the teens in these urban areas became obvious, however, when it came to how they perceived their state of well-being.

Teens from Baltimore and Johannesburg, South Africa, viewed their communities more negatively than the other locations in the study.

The two cities showed the lowest number of teenagers who felt safe in their neighborhoods (percentages ranged from 43.9 percent among males in Johannesburg to 66.1 percent of females in Baltimore), as well as the highest averages for witnessing violence (8.9 percent for males and 7.0 percent among females in Johannesburg; 7.0 percent among males and 6.3 percent among females in Baltimore).

These two cities also showed “poor perceptions about their physical environments, their sense of social cohesion, and their sense of safety within their neighborhoods.”

In Baltimore, teenagers exhibited high rates of mental health problems, drug abuse, sexual violence and teen pregnancy. In comparison, teens in New Delhi, despite residing in a much poorer country than the United States, showed fewer signs of such social behavior.

The lead author of the study, Kristen Mmari, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, said the perception teenagers have of their communities plays a large role in how they behave.

For example, a young man in New Delhi and a young man in Baltimore may both live in neighborhoods with poor living conditions and little opportunity, but because the teenager in New Delhi is able to see his environment in a more positive light, he is less likely to experience to adverse health problems,” Mmari told Vocativ. “He paints a different picture.”

Also, the prevalence of violence and weak social cohesion, which ranks higher in Baltimore and Johannesburg than in the three other cities, also has an impact. In Baltimore, a high number of teenagers from impoverished homes grow up in single-parent homes, in many cases with the father in prison, while many adolescents in Johannesburg have lost a parent to HIV/AIDS.

When you look at how they perceive their environments, kids in both Baltimore and Johannesburg are fearful. They don’t feel safe from violence,” Mmari said. “This is something we didn’t really see in other cities. In Shanghai, for example, there wasn’t a great deal of violence. You’d ask kids about their safety concerns, and they would say something like, ‘I’m afraid of crossing a busy street.’”

The study indicates a connection between the prevalence of violence and weak social bonds with issues of a sexual nature. Fifty percent of adolescent girls in Baltimore, and 29 percent in Johannesburg, had been pregnant, while more than 10 percent of teenage girls in both cities said they have been raped or assaulted by someone in the previous year.

The study tends to show that the issue of poverty, together with its many disturbing social symptoms, is a worldwide phenomenon. The results also show that the total wealth of a nation is not necessarily linked to the social circumstances of a large portion of its population.

The study concluded that individuals from Baltimore and Johannesburg give their neighborhoods the lowest ratings, while people from Ibadan and Shanghai recorded the highest ratings. Citizens from New Delhi ranked in the midrange.

It is worth noting that in spite of its location in a high-income country, the Baltimore neighborhood had some of the lowest ratings,” Freya Sonenstein, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote in the study’s introduction. “In contrast, Ibadan with its high ratings is located in a lower middle-income country with substantially fewer resources.”


China awards model workers, urges stronger labor unions

BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- China urged better worker protection, more high-quality workers and stronger labor unions during an award ceremony on Tuesday.

Altogether 2,968 nationwide model workers were awarded at the ceremony, which was held ahead of Worker's Day on May 1. The event was attended by President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other senior leaders.

Xi praised the award recipients and encouraged the entire country to respect all workers and their contribution.

He stressed the dominant role of workers as "history makers" and "fundamental forces" in China's political and economic development.

Workers' interests shall be further guaranteed and the country's development shall benefit more common workers, so as to motivate and encourage enthusiasm and creativity, Xi said.

A high-quality labor force with more knowledge and advanced skills will be a pillar in the country's long-term strategy for sustainable development, the president said.

Xi also highlighted the importance of labor unions, demanding stronger labor unions to better connect common workers and the Communist Party of China.

Premier Li called for stimulating social innovation and market vitality, saying that respecting workers and promoting entrepreneurship will help realize China's medium-high economic growth speed.


Police investigate possible projectile attack on U.S. Army’s Camp Zama


Japanese police said they were investigating a possible attack on a U.S. Army base near Tokyo after finding a pair of launchers and a projectile Tuesday following reports of explosions in the vicinity.

Two iron pipes planted into the ground and aimed at Camp Zama were found about 800 meters southwest of the base, which sits near a residential area and an elementary school, police said. No injuries or damage were immediately reported from the incident.

Police found the pipes after a resident reported hearing three explosions in the area in the early hours of Tuesday.

Investigators later found a projectile at another field nearby that was believed to have been fired at the base from one of the launchers.

A local resident found fire and smoke issuing from the pipes just after the blast sounds and extinguished the fire by putting soil on the pipes, the sources said.

Camp Zama last came under a similar attack on Feb. 12, 2007, with a projectile found within the facility and iron pipes discovered in a nearby park. A domestic radical group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Police said they were investigating the incident.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is on a weeklong tour of the United States, where the two sides agreed late Monday to a revision of defense guidelines that would boost the Japanese military’s role in bilateral cooperation amid China’s growing assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region.


Che's Last Days in Bolivia

CCTV America

Without the Argentine Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, the Cuban Revolution may have ended differently. He was the counter-balance to Fidel Castro’s leadership, a guerrilla commander in the move to overthrow Cuba’s dictator.

Without the Argentine Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, the Cuban Revolution may have ended differently. He was the counter-balance to Fidel Castro’s leadership, a guerrilla commander in the move to overthrow Cuba’s dictator.

Once the Revolution was established, Che was appointed in different government positions to advance the Caribbean Island but eventually surprised everyone by leaving the island to pursue the internationalization of the revolution to other countries. He was 36 years old.

He began with central Africa, a campaign which, by his own admission, was a failure. His final ill-fated mission was to Bolivia – a place he regarded as the center of South America, a strategic battleground for the expansion of the revolutionary movement to the rest of the continent.

There, he spent his last days putting together and training a guerilla organization. He was shot dead by Bolivian armed forces and died on October 9, 1967. Not even a year had passed since his arrival in the South American nation.

Conflicting reports surrounded the events leading up to his death, adding a layer of mystery to the legend of Che. His body was buried in an unmarked grave for thirty years until his remains were exhumed and sent to Cuba to be reburied in a public ceremony overseen by Fidel Castro, his old companion in arms.

As Dan Collyns reports, nearly 50 years after the events, Bolivias is one of the countries in which Che left the most lasting impressions.


‘Accords with China a hallmark in Argentina's foreign relations history’


Chinese investment is seen to reach US$600 billion a year by 2030, mainly oriented to Brazil's and Argentina's manufacturing industry, an expert said

Despite protests that the accords signed this year between Buenos Aires and Beijing are shrouded in secrecy, strongly asymmetrical, and that they will deepen the trade commoditization of Argentina — one of the world's largest food exporters — an outstanding international relations expert hails them as a hallmark in Argentine history.

“The accords signed with the People's Republic of China and passed into law by the Argentine Congress are one of the great achievements in the history of Argentina's foreign policy," said Jorge Castro, who served as Strategic Planning Secretary under neo-conservative Peronist President Carlos Menem (1989-1999).

Under the administration of the late President Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) Argentina became a strategic partner of China, a relationship which Kirchner's widow and successor, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, upgraded to an integral strategic level in a meeting with President Xi Jingping in 2014.

"In today's international trade, investments are more important than the exchange of goods. This is the essential content of a free trade accord which China, Argentina and Brazil will reach in some way or other in the coming five to 10 years," said Castro.

"Chinese investment, the world's leader, is estimated to reach US$600 billion a year by 2030, mainly oriented to Brazil's and Argentina's manufacturing industry, besides the extraordinarily relevant Chinese investments in the infrastructure field," he added.

Castro was addressing a business forum on the Mercosur trade bloc, China and the Arab countries for 2030, organized this month by the University of Buenos Aires’ School of Agronomics led by Engineer Fernando Vilella.

Although the Kirchners initially supported fellow-Peronist Menem, they afterwards blamed his market-oriented policies for many of the problems which have led to Argentina's current economic crisis.

Under the accords signed with Beijing, China itself will be the one providing financing for the mammoth infrastructure works it plans to build in Argentina, including Argentina's fourth nuclear plant, a space base and hydro-electric dams.

The plan is part of China's infrastructure expansion worldwide, including a US$40-billion channel to link the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans to rival the Panama Canal.

Several international relations experts have harshly criticized the accords signed by Fernández de Kirchner and Xi, alleging that very little information has been made available, that they involve the cession of Argentine sovereignty, and that they will deepen Argentina's trade commoditization pattern. The UIA industrial lobby claims that, in the face of its dire financial straits, Argentina has negotiated "on its knees."

But Castro emphasized that the relationship with China is "decisive" for the insertion of Argentina and all South American countries in the international scene.

Mostly isolated from international financial markets and technology, Argentina has also forged a strategic partnership with the other Asian giant — Russia.

Fernández de Kirchner last week paid her second visit to Moscow and signed accords with President Vladimir Putin, who visited Argentina last year.

Russia is to build a nuclear plant in Argentina.

Agribusiness at the core

The key to the relationship between China and Argentina lays on the Argentine agribusiness production, one of the three world leaders.

With a population of 1.34 billion people, China is feeding a fifth of the world population while it only has seven percent of the world's fertile land and is undergoing the biggest urbanization process in history. A total 300 million peasants are seen going from the countryside to cities between 2015 and 2030. This happens when the per capita income is doubling every eight years. This means that China is almost doubling its food demand over the growth rate of its population at a time when it is also experiencing the largest diet transition in history through the massive flow to the consumption of animal protein.

According to the IMF, China's per capita income stood at US$8,394 in 2014 as measured by the domestic purchasing-power capacity. And this takes place in a full urban employment situation with real salaries growing 20 percent over the past six years.

This is why China has abandoned the food self-sufficiency of its population and has placed it in the hands of thee countries: the US, Brazil and Argentina.

'this gives Brazil and Argentina a strategic relevance regarding China's demand and priorities, which have a unique character in this world context."

The US Department of Agriculture estimates that soy imports will exceed 120 million tons in 2022-2023.

“The reason for the exceptional growth of grain imports is that pork, poultry and beef consumption is skyrocketing," the expert said.

Chinese fundamentals

Castro gives a flurry of figures. He says that the key feature of the Chinese economy in 2015 is not that it is slowing down. Instead, now it is expanding at a pace equivalent to that of five years ago, with a new accumulation mechanism.

China has grown 7.4 percent a year in 2014, with 7.3 percent in the last quarter, its lowest level in the past 25 years, four points below the period between 2001 and 2008, when it reached an average of 11 percent per year, he said, adding that, at the same time, China reduced its investment rate as compared to the same period of the previous decade.

There are other fundamental data about the Chinese economy.

In the first place, the fact that services are now growing at a faster pace than the industrial sector, Castro said. The service sector grew 12 percent last year vis-a-vis an 8.3 percent increase of the industrial manufacturing GDP.

Secondly, the per capita income of the rural population has expanded faster than that of the urban population: 11.2 percent versus 10 percent.

And finally, retail sales rose 12 percent in 2014, pushed by on-line purchases, which rose 49.7 percent, expanding China's online business base to 450 million consumers.

All this takes place while the labour force shrank last year by 3.7 million workers. If this labour level is maintained, the Chinese manufacturing industry will have 50 million workers in 2030, but the productivity will be 10 times higher, Castro said. Today, the Chinese manufacturing industry has 150 million workers. In 2030 they are set to number less than 100 million.

At the same time, he added, a crucial fact in international terms is that real wages have risen 20 percent over the past six years, expanding production through increasingly sophisticated technology. This process increases the added value and redefines China's comparative advantages in the world market.

'the slowdown of the Chinese economy doesn't diminish its world relevance. On the contrary. It increases it," Castro told the forum.

The key fact is that China's GDP growth of 7.4 percent in 2014 — due to a wider economic base —is tantamount to the 11 percent growth China posted in 2010, with the addition that now more jobs are being created than in 2010, when the growth rate was four points higher that the present one, he said.
Last year, 13 million jobs were created and — for the first time in China's reform process and economic opening since 1978 — the largest chunk, perhaps up to 60 percent, were created not in the manufacturing sector but in the services sector.

In constant dollars — not in domestic purchase capacity — the Chinese GDP stands at US$10 trillion, an expansion of about seven percent a year over 5-10 years, tantamount to the creation of an economy the size of Australia per year: US$1.5 trillion, Castro said.

The Chinese participation in world trade stood at 35 percent in 2014 while the US participation was 15 percent. As a result, the unanimous criterion of international agencies is that the Chinese economy is today the largest in the world: US$17.79 trillion as measured in domestic purchasing-power capacity terms.

A new, China-led Asian development bank

To properly gauge China's relevance for Argentina in the 21st Century, one has to ponder the full significance of Britain's decision in late March to become a founding member of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) created by China in an open challenge to the US, Castro said.
China says 57 countries have signed on as members of the new bank, but the US is not among them.
Three days after the British announced that they were joining the bank — which has an initial capital of US$100 billion provided by China — Germany, France and Italy made similar decisions.
The World Bank has estimated Asia's infrastructure needs at US$8 trillion.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, upon justifying the decision of Premier David Cameron to join the AIIB, said that it aimed to turn the United Kingdom into a magnet for Asian investment in Europe on the assumption that by 2025 China will complete the internationalization process of its currency, the renminbi, which entails the full incorporation of China's domestic savings of US$5 trillion (compared to the US’ US$3 trillion domestic savings) — into the international financial system, Castro said.

Britain is also assuming that China's GDP will treble over the next 15 years to US$30 trillion from US$10 trillion while its domestic savings are expected to grow from US$5 trillion at present to US$12 trillion in 2030.

This means — and this directly affects China's relations with South American countries and with Brazil and Argentina in the first place — that China's foreign investment will grow sixfold in 2030 to US$600 billion a year, Castro said.

China's total international trade in renminbi-yuan stood at 0.7 percent in the first six months of 2010. It grew to nine percent in 2011 and to 35 percent in 2014. At this pace, it is likely to reach 65 percent of China's international trade — the world leader — in 2025, the expert said.
“To ponder the role of China in the present world context, rather than its growth figures, we must track the trends of its development."


Russia to Supply Bolivia With 20 New Jet Fighters

Sputnik News

Russia will deliver to Bolivia 20 new jet fighters if it is awarded with a contract from the Bolivian Defense Ministry, website Horas reported.

"We need two flotillas of 10 aircraft each. We are talking about 20 jet fighters. We have already received five offers from Brazil, France, Russia and Argentina. However, it does not mean we will choose among them," Defense Minister Reymi Ferreira said.

The amount of the contract has not been reported.

Bolivia plans to use jet fighters to intercept drug trafficking across the borders.


Salvadoran Front Attends Moscow's Alternative Forum

Moscow, Apr 27 (Prensa Latina) The general secretary of the Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation (FMLN) in El Salvador, Medardo Gonzalez, is attending today in this Russian capital a forum of progressive political parties that share the need to build a just world.

Medardo arrived in Moscow this weekend invited to the alternative forum "Solidarity Response to global challenges. The way towards a just world," which was convened by the Just Russia parliamentary party and in the presence of the country's other political forces.

The visit has a double purpose to maintain and deepen relations with the political parties, and at the same time strengthen ties at a government level.

This invitation has a great importance for the FMLN as a political party and as a force in the government, once it has been part of a group with weight in the political life of Russia, where other systemic organizations of the Federation will be also present, Medardo noted.

Regarding the issue of the forum, what the Front precisely pursue is the construction of a just world in El Salvador, the region and globally. It's just what the Salvadoran revolutionaries are looking for, the legislator also said.

He pointed out that he will represent in the event the FMLN parliamentary group, made up of 32 legislators within the National Assembly, of 84 mandates in total.

Representing delegations from more than 35 European, Asian and Latin American countries, parliamentarians, international experts, politicians and social activists will attend the forum.

Delegates from El Salvador, Mexico and Nicaragua will represent Latin America, the organizing committee announced.

The leader of the Just Russia parliamentary group at the State Duma, Serguei Mironov and Vice President Nikolai Levichev will preside over the event.


Indigenous Australia exhibition at British Museum raises questions and criticism

Various Aboriginal leaders and protesters have called for the repatriation of the British Museum’s collection of 6000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects.

Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation exhibition at the British Museum in London showcases more than 170 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects, mostly never previously exhibited.

In the weeks leading up to the exhibition, a number of Australian Indigenous leaders have demanded the artefacts be repatriated.

The exhibition is a joint project between the National Museum of Australia and the British Museum. Curator Gaye Sculthorpe is herself of Tasmanian Aboriginal descent.

A group of protesters dressed as thieves interrupted the press opening of the exhibition. They held up Aboriginal flags and read messages from Aboriginal leaders, demanding that the British Museum’s collection of 6000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects be repatriated. The protesters were opposed to cultural events, such as the exhibition, receiving sponsorship from BP.

Zoe Pilger, The Independent writer and daughter of Australian writer and filmmaker John Pilger, echoed the call for the artefacts to be returned to their source communities. According to Pilger, those visiting the exhibition will involve themselves in perpetuating theft from Aboriginal people.

Pilger claims the exhibition represses the fact that “white Australia is founded on murder” thereby muting “the drama and dignity of the story of Indigenous colonisation and resistance”.

“This also has the effect of draining the exhibition of vitality – it is quite dull, which Indigenous art emphatically is not,” she writes.

Sculthorpe told Sydney Morning Herald that she can understand that there are varying views on where the earliest acquisitions should be now.

“I think one of the fascinating things about the exhibition and the accompanying book is that it explores the many ways objects did get here,” she said.

She is of the opinion that the British Museum is making a serious attempt to engage Indigenous people in the exhibition. She further explained that the museum is also open to discussing requests to return items it holds.

Approximately 70 percent of the pieces on display will be included in the National Museum of Australia in Canberra’s related show, Encounters, in November.

Monday, 27 April 2015



"Let a new Asia and new Africa be born." - Sukarno (former Indonesian President and leader of the anti-imperialist global organisation - the Non-Aligned Movement)

Indonesia - Afro/Asia Monument Inaugurated


A monument that depicts the solidarity and cooperation between the African and Asian continents was inaugurated Friday in Bandung (Indonesia) by local president Joko Widodo.

The ceremony was witnessed by leaders who attended the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference, including the Angolan vice president, Manuel Domingos Vicente.


While the neo-colonial left use the tragic xenophobic attacks in South Africa as another excuse to give the ANC a kicking and to snipe at them, all the while the ANC and allies are using this terrible development to popularise the history and present unity of peoples in order to show that unity against the common enemy and for common liberation is what needs to be deepened amongst the masses, not xenophobia.  - Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

We experienced real sisterhood

By Naledi PandorScience and Technology Minister 

President Jacob Zuma is absolutely correct in remarking that we have failed in our duty to inform democratic South Africa about the valuable contribution the vast majority of African countries made to the struggle for freedom.

The African solidarity that was given to the liberation movements, especially the ANC, was the expression of ubuntu par excellence.

I spent over three decades living outside my country of birth. And while I sometimes bemoan the fact that I was not home, I feel we were fortunate to be hosted by Lesotho, Botswana, Angola, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia and so many more of the countries of Africa. We experienced real sisterhood in so many ways. We should remember that the ANC years of exile began as Africa was attaining independence from colonial rule.

New governments would be formed and institutions being established to free Africa from colonialism.

The threat of imperial neocolonialism remained ever present, as did a powerful South Africa that enjoyed the protection of the former colonial powers.

The true character of the African relationship with our liberation was amazingly pan-African. I met many of my present colleagues in Botswana, as a pupil, and then university student at the newly established University of Botswana and Swaziland. Our schoolteachers and our lecturers reflected the pan-African ideal. My first school principal was Mr C Motsepe, a South African, my geography teacher was from Zimbabwe, while my French teacher was from Ghana.

At university we were taught African literature, African studies and African history by professors Mandaza, Melamu, Balintulo, Prah, Parsons and others from different parts of Africa including South Africa. So I got to know of Africa in exile.

Africa gave us support, provided education, and took the blows from the apartheid regime on our behalf. We owe them friendship and brotherhood, not xenophobia.


Venezuela mango-thrower gets flat from president


A Venezuelan woman has had her wish for a flat granted by President Nicolas Maduro after she made her point by hitting him on the head with a mango.

Marleny Olivo threw the fruit at the president while he was driving a bus through the central state of Aragua.

It had a message on it, in which she pleaded for his help.

Mr Maduro displayed the mango with her telephone number on it during a live television show afterwards. He said he had agreed to her request for a flat.

The move, he said, was part of the "Great Housing Mission of Venezuela".

Ms Olivo had written a message on a mango - "If you can, call me" - along with her name and phone number. She got as close to the bus as she could when it passed and then tossed the fruit at him.

In a video that has gone viral in Venezuela, the president can be seen lowering his head when he is hit just above the left ear. He then calmly picks up the mango and displays it to the crowd.

Later the president discussed the incident in one of his regular live TV broadcasts in which he displayed the infamous mango.

"She had a housing problem, right? And, Marleny, I have approved it already, as part of the Great Housing Mission of Venezuela, you will get an apartment and it will be given to you in the next few hours.

"Tomorrow, no later than the day after tomorrow, we will give it to you."

Ms Olivo said that there was "no evil intent" behind the incident only a desire to fulfil her dream of owning a home before she dies.

The president - who is a former bus driver and likes to connect with ordinary Venezuelans by touring local communities at the wheel of a coach - added that the fruit was ripe and that he would eat it later.


Zimbabwe: Zim, China Women Boost Ties

By Zvamaida Murwira, Zimbabwe Herald

Visiting All China Women's Federation vice president Mrs Cui Yu yesterday committed her movement to deepening relations with the Zanu-PF Women's League in ensuring women empowerment and gender equality.

All China Women's Federation is a mass organisation that unites Chinese women of all ethnic groups and strives for their liberation and development.

Mrs Cui said her movement and Zanu-PF Women's League shared common objectives of ensuring the elevation of the status of women and safeguarding their rights.

She said this in Mazowe where she toured Amai Mugabe Junior School and Mazowe home and Alpha and Omega Dairy Farm, that are the brainchild of First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe.

Mrs Cui arrived in the country on Thursday at the invitation of Zanu-PF Women's League secretary Amai Mugabe to explore ways of sharing experiences between the two sister organisations.

"We have similar goals with those that you have, that of empowering women.

"We have to do a lot of co-operation in promoting women's status in the field of education, culture and business, among others," said Mrs Cui.

She commended the vision of Zanu-PF Women's League to set up a women's bank. "It is such a good idea because it will uplift the welfare of women," she said.

Zanu-PF Women's League deputy secretary, Cde Eunice Sandi Moyo, said women constituted 52 percent of Zimbabwe's population and excluding such a huge population would not only create resentment but would adversely affect economic development.

"The important role played by women in our socio-economic and political spheres explains why since independence there has been a ministry or department dealing with women issues.

"This is a clear indication of the Zanu-PF Government's commitment to address gender disparities that our Government inherited from the colonial white minority," said Cde Sandi Moyo, who is also Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister.

She said the new Constitution had progressive provisions on the rights of women, chief among them their quota in Parliament.

"Women now have equal citizenship rights as men. The Gender Commission would be established as an independent constitutional body to monitor the implementation provisions of the new Constitution," she said.

Women empowerment, she said, would remain an unrealised dream unless access to finance was made available.

"Critical to women's economic empowerment in Zimbabwe is finance. To buttress efforts directed at provision of finance, Government is in the process of setting up a Women's Micro Finance Bank as a means of facilitating women's access to credit. The bank is expected to be operational by year-end," she said.

In an interview, Zanu-PF Women's League secretary for information and publicity, Cde Monica Mutsvangwa, said their relationship with the All China Women's Federation was reaching a higher level.

"We want to learn how they have empowered their women.

"We hope that we can learn a lot on wealth creation and empowerment for women.

"We are also looking at issues to do with value addition and beneficiation," said Cde Mutsvangwa, who is also Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister.

Mrs Cui held a meeting on Thursday with Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo.

She told Cde Chombo what China had done to attain gender equality. "Zimbabwe and China have deep political and economic relations and I think the future of our two countries is bright," she said.

Cde Chombo explained what Zimbabwe had done to empower women, saying more of them were now in Parliament.

Zimbabwe and China enjoy good bilateral relations dating back to the liberation struggle when Beijing supported Harare in her attainment of independence on April 18 1980.


North Korea accused of upping 'material support' for terrorism

A new report urges Washington to consider placing Pyongyang back on list of state sponsors of terror after arms deals and cyber attacks


North Korea has increased its “material support” for terrorist organisations and should be placed back on the United States list of nations that are state sponsors of terrorism, a report released on Monday said.

The Pyongyang regime, at the time under the command of Kim Jong-il, was taken off the list in 2008 under President George W Bush, who hoped to engage the reclusive nation in dialogue.

But according to a new report, written by North Korea expert Joshua Stanton for the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), US standards for defining a state sponsor of terror are “vague and inconsistent”.

North Korea’s recent conduct poses a particular threat to human rights activists and dissidents in exile
Titled “Arsenal of Terror”, the report recommends that the US Congress and State Department clarify the legal standards that define state sponsorship of terrorism and consider re-listing North Korea as a sponsor.

“Since 2008, North Korea has increased its use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy, and also appears to have increased its material support for designated terrorist organisations,” HRNK Executive Director Greg Scarlatoiu said.

“North Korea’s recent conduct poses a particular threat to human rights activists and dissidents in exile. It has also repeatedly threatened the civilian population of South Korea and other nations, including the United States,” he added.

The US currently lists Iran, Syria, Sudan and Cuba as state sponsors of terrorism, though it is expected to remove Cuba as part of a historic rapprochement with the communist island.

The report details several instances of North Korea’s alleged support of terrorism.

In 2009, just one year after it was removed from the blacklist, there were several interceptions of North Korean shipments “to Iran and its terrorist clients [that] evidenced the importance of North Korea’s role as a supplier of arms to terrorists backed by Iran,” the report states.

“News reports have alleged that these arms were destined for Iran’s terrorist clients, including Hezbollah and Hamas,” Stanton writes in the report.

Stanton also details several cyber attacks that have been blamed on North Korea, including last year’s hack of Sony Pictures.

Washington accuses Pyongyang of being behind the breach that led to the release of embarrassing company emails and caused Sony executives to halt the debut of the film satirising the DPRK, The Interview.

The report describes several other suspected North Korea cyber attacks, including 35 that took place in 2009 against US and South Korean government and commercial websites.

Sunday, 26 April 2015


Vietnamese President Truong Tân Sang with Venezuelan Vice President, Jorge Arreaza

Venezuela says Asia, Africa, Latin America should unite to fight neo-colonialism

BANDUNG, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan Vice President Jorge Arreaza said Friday at the commemoration activities for the 60th anniversary of the Asian-African Conference that Asia and Africa should also unite with Latin America and the Caribbean to fight neo-colonialism.

Arreaza said the world is more complicated today and colonialism takes a more subtle form, like an unfair monetary and financial architecture.

"Economically we must never walk alone, we must do it together as a strong bloc, and assist other small countries in achieving independence, not only politically, but also economically," he said.

In this regard, he called for a solid bloc among countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbeans.

Arreaza said that at the just concluded Asia-Africa Summit, the delegates made good commitments on strengthening cooperation.

He put emphasis on economic aggression, calling on countries to unite in a bid to change the current international financial architecture.

"It never gives benefits to the people, while the riches are controlled by a few people, the rest are suffering from poverty," stressed the vice president.

Venezuela takes a position as an observer at the commemoration events being held in Jakarta and Bandung on April 19-24.


Syriza censured over release of terrorist


In the early hours of June 29, 2002 a home-made bomb exploded in the hands of Savvas Xiros as he walked towards a shipping office in Piraeus chosen as a target by the November 17 terrorist group.

Almost blind and severely burnt by the blast, the 30-year-old painter of religious icons gave a hospital confession about his participation in a series of N17 killings over more than two decades of western diplomats, Greek businessmen, and US servicemen.

For his crimes, he was sentenced — along with 14 other members of the leftwing group — to five life terms in prison.

But he may soon be released after the Syriza-led government of Alexis Tsipras, the new Greek prime minister, pushed through legislation that would allow Mr Xiros to serve out the rest of his sentence at his family home wearing an electronic tag. The legislation is part of a package of measures aimed at ensuring more humane treatment of convicted prisoners.

The episode has served as a reminder to many Greeks of Syriza’s ties to unsavoury elements on Greece’s far left while also antagonising international partners at a time when a cash-strapped Athens is desperate for their support.

“It is incomprehensible how the government could have made a priority of passing a piece of legislation that is clearly designed with Xiros in mind,” said George Momferratos, whose father, a newspaper publisher, was shot dead by the group in 1985.

He and other critics of the move, among them the families of N17 victims, say leniency is unjustified because Mr Xiros has never publicly renounced the group’s commitment to the use of violence in pursuit of its revolutionary aims.

They also reject the government’s claim that the legislation was drawn to serve a broader prisons policy. “As the justice minister admitted to parliament, only one other prisoner in the entire system meets the same disability criteria as he does for being permitted to serve out their term at home,” Mr Momferratos said.

David Pearce, the US ambassador to Athens, called the measure “a profoundly unfriendly act . . . There is no place for convicted terrorists in civilised political discourse or back in Greek society.”

The Obama administration has repeatedly pleaded with Greece’s eurozone creditors to extend greater support amid growing concerns that Athens may be nearing a default. Yet the US has also long been critical of different aspects of the Greek police and judiciary’s handling of N17.

Born at the height of the Cold War, the group is named after the day in 1973 when the military junta ruling Greece crushed a student rebellion by driving a tank through the gates of the Athens Polytechnic, the city’s leading university.

Between 1975 and 2002, its members committed 23 murders while wreaking havoc with dozens of bomb blasts, rocket attacks and bank raids.

In lengthy proclamations sent to a leftwing Greek newspaper after each assassination, the group explained its Marxist-Leninist views and advocated the violent overthrow of the country’s pro-western government. It specifically targeted US citizens because of their government’s perceived role in supporting the junta.

The group ‘s first victim in 1975 was Richard Welch, the CIA station chief in Athens who was gunned down outside his home as he returned from a Christmas party.

Mr Xiros, the son of a Greek Orthodox priest, was convicted of two murders of US servicemen in 1988 and 1991 while his brother, Vassilis, was found guilty of killing the UK military attache to Athens in 2000.

He received official promises of lenient treatment in exchange for his co-operation and complied, offering names to authorities — including two of his brothers.

But the government did not reciprocate. Over the years appeals court judges dismissed repeated pleas that he be released from jail on health grounds.

To some observers, Mr Xiros’ case is entwined with the country’s financial crisis. They view the legislation as another concession by Mr Tsipras to Syriza’s powerful far-left faction, which is opposed to his plans to agree further economic reforms with Greece’s international creditors in return for another bailout package.

“The government is definitely trying to send signals to Syriza’s far left that it’s still a revolutionary party even though it’s taken a democratic course after winning the January election,” said Brady Kiesling, a political commentator and author of a book on N17.

Nikos Voutsis, Greece’s interior minister, accused opposition lawmakers of trying to “create an atmosphere of fear and division over a law that protects the rights and humanitarian needs of prisoners”.

While in opposition Syriza lawmakers backed Mr Xiros’ campaign for release from jail. Two MPs testified on his behalf at an appeal hearing last year. Last month, far-left activists demanding immediate reforms of the prison system staged a peaceful occupation of the Syriza party headquarters for several hours.

But if family is any guide, there is no guarantee that a released Mr Xiros will be reformed. Another brother, Christodoulos, serving six life terms for murder, disappeared last year while on parole from jail. He was arrested in January after 12 months on the run. Documents founds in a house he rented indicated he was planning a bomb attack against Korydallos prison in Athens aimed at releasing members of another leftwing terrorist group, the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire.


Decision to sever ties with Syria didn't serve Tunisia interests

This is excellent news for the interests of unity of Africa and Asia in the middle east, for South-South relations in direct defiance of the neo-colonialists. There is no doubt that the leading nato countries will see the strategic unity of Tunisia and Syria here as a considerable failure to their Arab Sting strategy of recent years. This development also portends well for a growing push back in the Muslim world against the neo-colonialists and their death squads. The neo-colonialists will be looking for a way to hit back at this development and the general tendency towards uniting of peoples and governments against neo-colonialism. The nato designed massacres in the Mediterranean Sea which are taking place by design in the fall out of the Nato and death squad allied destruction of Libya, and the connected neo-colonial media hype is deigned to keep the masses confused and supportive of 'something must be done', and the something which neo-colonialism will be looking to 'get done' is to ensure its death squad mafia in Libya stay buoyed and able to have their reach across the region to facilitate the 'west's' strategies. - Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

Tunisia restores diplomatic relations with Syria ‘at consular level’


Foreign Minister says consular presence in Syria will help Tunisia glean information on 3,000 Tunisians who have left to fight for Islamist extremists.

TUNIS - Tunisia's foreign minister says that diplomatic relations with Syria will be restored at a consular level, following a long hiatus that began during the Arab Spring.

Taieb Baccouche told journalists Thursday that Syria had responded positively to the suggestion to restore relations, which were cut in February 2012.

"We will not have an ambassador there, but Tunisia will open a consulate or put in place a charge d'affaires, and a Syria ambassador is welcome to Tunisia, if Syria wishes so," Baccouche told reporters, without giving a date for the moves.

The minister said a consular presence in Syria would help Tunisia glean information on the 3,000 Tunisians who have left to fight for Islamist extremists in Iraq and Syria and who officials fear will return to carry out attacks at home.

Two Tunisian militants, who had been trained in neighbouring Libya, stormed the Tunis Bardo museum last month and shot 21 foreign tourists in one of the North African country's worst such attacks.

Tunisia's then president, rights defender Moncef Marzouki, took a strong stance against the government of Bashar Assad and cut relations in reaction to Syria's suppression of pro-democracy uprisings.

The decision has been criticized within Syria, especially by families of Tunisians who disappeared in Syria after the breakdown of consular relations hindered their repatriation.


I think a lot of the differences and confusion around this (including my own! as I supported this nonsense Arab Sting until it came to Libya, and then the truth suddenly dawned on me that this was just an old neo-colonial colour revolution job) is to do with the challenges and situation of the global struggle against neo-colonialism, esp in relation to our Global South countries.

Let's be clear from the outset: Russia and China not only did not supporting the Arab Sting from the start, but opposed it. And, in hindsight, they were more right, and many of us were/are more wrong on the issue. Russia and China saw it from the outset as a western backed and oriented operation to weaken the countries, regions and their relations with Russia, China and BRICS and allied forces more generally.

While Ben Ali and Muburak were hardly our cup of mint tea, I think we have to start our analysis in a completely different starting point and place: what was the strategic aims of imperialism in relation to the countries impacted? I think the following was the case, and they did the following on the premise that the 'west' knew very well that the people in Tunisia and Egypt had no capacity at all to overthrow their leadership, build a new country in the face of wars of aggression against imperialism, hence they knew that all the mass protests was just instability creating movements which will only benefit the hemegon, ie., the neo-colonialists:

1 - weaken and divide Africa and the 'near East'

2 - unleash and deepen all societal tensions be it on ethnic, gender, class, regionalist, tribal lines

3 - unleash sectarian forces, especially the Ikhwan who are the stalking horses for AlQaeda and Isis type neo-colonial death squads

4 - unleash a neo-colonial terrorism project across Africa and Asia through the Arab Sting

5 - Push out Russia and Chinese influence and relations with the countries impacted by the Arab Sting

6 - Annul ANY functional relations with the anti-imperialist camp that Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria has/had

7 - destroy these countries in so doing all the above so as to stop the BRICS and allies from having any functional relation with them (this has totally failed in Egypt btw, thanks to the Egyptians giving a mass mandate to Sisi to chop the Ikhwan, which he has done thoroughly)

Apart from Egypt and now the current Egyptian-Tunisian push back against this neo-colonial strategy, the neo-colonialists have been very effective and we generally were very stupid (me included!).

We time and time again start from some fantasy of anti-imperialism like we are back in the 1960s, we are not.

No one can name ONE peoples movement and uprising of the last 20 years that has resulted in the overthrow of a state and instituted some anti-imperialist new state. It hasnt happened because GENERALLY (there are always exceptions) we are in a new era whereby a united anti-imperialist front is required everywhere to, in unity with the BRICS and allies, push back and push down the neo-colonialists in this last period of struggle against imperialism until it is no more.

"And Nidaa restored ties with Syria purely for security reasons, to track individuals and cells working with terrorism in Syria and Tunisia, just as Australia recently began doing."

This reflects perfectly the conflation and ideological mess we are in. We are conflating a global south country - Tunisia's - moves against the neo-colonial death squads with a neo-colonial power such as australia? It is being stated that Tunisia's cooperation with Syria is the same as australia's?

No, what is incumbent in ALL Global South countries that we build anti-imperialist united fronts with as many forces and classes as possible to maintain independence and peace, and that we prepare the masses and armed forces for defensive wars of liberation against neo-colonial/nato wars of aggression, and that we develop South-South relations to develop the economic, military and political united capacity to defeat the 'west' in this crucial next two decades. We are living through the MOST important period ever known to Humanity, we are living through the challenge of either defeating ALL colonial oppression, or colonial oppression defeating all of us.

The lessons of the Arab Sting therefore are crucial to the lessons and challenges facing the current global revolution against neo-colonialism.

- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm