Thursday, April 28, 2016

Australian Anti-War Activist Joan Coxsedge's April 25, 2016 Letter

The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge—who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group’s newsletter)

"April 25, 2016

"Dear Comrades,

"Hope you’re OK. More than OK, actually, to take on the dark forces eating us up.

"The Panama Papers, a one-year investigation by more than 100 reporters worldwide revealed that as much as $21 trillion in global wealth is being hidden behind thousands of largely untraceable shell companies so rich crooks can avoid paying tax, the majority of them operating accounts through three big banks, UBS, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs. And if you add in the gold, yachts and racehorses that aren’t included, the theft is even worse.

"The papers gave us the merest sniff of the endemic corruption engulfing the world, with the ongoing deterioration in public services, crushing of trade unions, increase in poverty and collapse of the world’s ecosystems where `the market’ decides our fate. Unfortunately most people see these as isolated events, rather than as a deliberate coherent policy - neoliberalism.

"The term neoliberalism was first defined at a meeting in Paris in 1938 by two exiles from Austria, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek who argued that government planning crushed individualism. IN 1947, Hayek set up a transatlantic network of rich individuals to promote his views, backed by powerful think tanks, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Center for Police Studies and the Adam Smith Institute. But neoliberalism stayed on the margins until the 1970s when it entered the mainstream with the help of sympathetic journalists and political advisers, and elements were adopted by the Carter White House and Britain's Callaghan Government. 

"After the election of Reagan and Thatcher, however, it really took off, using the IMF, the World Bank, the Maastricht Treaty and World Trade organisation; and it was even promoted by parties nominally considered ‘left’ (think Keating's strident deregulation/privatisation campaign).

"As Noam Chomsky points out, it might seem odd that a doctrine preaching choice and freedom used the slogan ‘there is no alternative’, but neoliberalism’s definition of ‘freedom’ means freedom to suppress wages, freedom to poison rivers, freedom to screw the poor and freedom to lie and cheat The ‘trickle down’ bullshit that tax cuts for the wealthy would create jobs for the masses saw all the wealth gush upwards while wages trickled down.

"Fascist movements build their base, not from the politically active but from the politically inactive, among the ‘losers’ who feel they have no voice or role to play in society, but it’s not enough to oppose a broken system. We must present a coherent alternative by talking and debating and challenging authority. But no debate here. Just silence

"Our public education is also up for grabs as if State Aid hasn’t decimated it. While state schools struggle for the basics, millions of taxpayer dollars are being funnelled to some of the wealthiest schools in the country for tennis courts, aquatic centres, research facilities and multi-purpose halls with orchestra pits.

"Vanguard has posted an excellent article about plans to further bugger up state education with some very nasty edu-business groups sniffing around to reshape it in the US mould by exploiting the various ‘free’ trade agreements, especially the monstrous Trans Pacific Partnership or Trade In Services Agreement. Unless we specifically exclude education, private companies are gearing up to ‘move in’.

"I share John Pilger’s rage about the destruction of our world and how people are being conned. In 2009, President Obama pledged to an adoring crowd in Prague to ‘free the world of nuclear weapons’. And did the very opposite by building more nuclear weapons, warheads, delivery systems and nuclear factories than any other US president, costing more than $1 trillion.

"Ukraine - once part of the Soviet Union - has become a CIA theme park, a regime full of Nazis who openly praise Hitler. In Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - next door to Russia - the US is deploying troops, tanks and heavy weapons, with a parallel campaign against China. 

"‘President Cool’ recently sent in drones to slaughter hundreds in Somalia and every Tuesday he’s handed a list of ‘candidates’ for ‘death by drone’

"Trump is hateful, but not nearly as dangerous as Hillary Clinton. Backed to the hilt by the political and financial elites, she’s hailed as the first female president, a facade to hide her past as the embodiment of a violent imperial system

"And then we have Fidel Castro. A giant of a man who berated ‘Brother Obama’ during his Cuban visit for what he didn’t say ‘…native populations don’t exist in Obama’s mind. Nor does he say that the Revolution swept away racial discrimination, or that pensions and salaries for all Cubans were decreed by it before Mr Barack Obama was ten years old.

"The hateful, racist bourgeois custom of hiring strongmen to expel Black citizens from recreational centres was swept away by the Cuban Revolution’ and so much more.

"Hated by Washington who wanted him dead. Like Hugo Chavez, who is dead. A crushing loss.

" Stories about Hugo Chavez’ death have resurfaced by Eva Golinger, author/lawyer who has written extensively about US intervention in Venezuela. Sounds like fiction, but FOI provided irrefutable evidence of CIA complicity behind the 2002 coup when Chavez was kidnapped and set up to be killed.

"There were many other assassination attempts that were thwarted, some involving terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, but the most shocking was the role of Leamsy Salazar, one of Chavez’ closest aides and key member of his inner circle who, after Chavez’ death, was secretly flown to the US by a US secret agency as part of a witness protection programme. 

"Collaborator? Traitor? Part of a CIA Black Op to assassinate Chavez? Did he administer the poison?

" And then there was the role of another aide, Captain Velazquez and his wife Claudia, Chavez’ nurse for several years who looked after his health. Both appeared in the Panama Papers as owning a shell company worth millions of dollars and a lot of other property, impossible amounts for an army captain to have earned legitimately.

"We know that the US Army was developing an injectable radiation weapon for political assassinations as far back as 1948 and the Church Commission hearings into the Kennedy assassination also uncovered the existence of CIA weapons to induce heart attacks and soft-tissue cancers. More than 60 years later, we can only imagine.

"Land of the Free and Home of the Brave? You’ve got to be joking. Killings and wars are Washington’s main business. 

"Viva Fidel! Viva Cuba!

"Joan Coxsedge"

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