Faiz Ahmed

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Red star over the third world by Vijay Prashad | Book Review

Vijay Prashad's book traces the former Soviet Union's influence on liberation movements throughout Asia and Latin America from its establishment in 1922 through to the first years of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

Zelensky looks set for landslide as Ukrainians turn out to vote | Financial Times

‘Mr Zelensky, who largely avoided in-depth interviews and press conferences during the campaign, has provided limited details about his reform plans but has pledged to keep Kiev on an EU integration path.’

Regime Change Via Sanctions? U.S. Uses International Finance System to Strangle Venezuelan Economy | Democracy Now

‘You have, on one side, these democratic—so-called democratic governments in Latin America and Europe, and then, on the other side, they always bring up China or Russia or Turkey, saying, you know, authoritarian governments are supporting the government of Venezuela. But when you look at this, you see that it really is just like the coalition of the willing that George W. Bush had, 48 countries. In this case, there’s about 50.’

The Occupation of the American Mind | Narrated by Roger Waters

‘Despite receiving an overwhelmingly positive response from those who have actually seen it, The Occupation of the American Mind has been repeatedly attacked and misrepresented by right-wing pressure groups and outright ignored by virtually all mainstream media outlets and North American film festivals. To bypass this campaign of misrepresentation and suppression, we’ve decided to make the film available for FREE online so that people can make up their own minds about its analysis of U.S. media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Please watch and share widely!’

Venezuela's PDVSA sued for $25 mln in U.S. over nonpayment - SNC-Lavalin | Reuters

From May 2018: “It’s pretty hard getting paid in Venezuela,” Christian Brown, president of SNC-Lavalin’s oil and gas business, said in an interview at a Houston energy conference. “We’ve done no work recently in Venezuela.”

Glenn Greenwald Defends Rep. Ilhan Omar: Criticizing Israeli Lobby & AIPAC Is Not Anti-Semitic | Democracy Now

‘What the congresswoman said is very uncontroversial. Everyone knows AIPAC is an extremely intimidating lobby, just like the NRA is. There’s nothing wrong with pointing that out. There’s certainly nothing anti-Semitic about saying that, about criticizing the Israeli government for its aggression and militarism. And anybody who cares about Palestinians and about the ability of Muslims in the United States to be able to speak freely ought to be defending her.’

Will Venezuela be the new Cuba in a Cold War between Russia and US? | DW News

‘US President Donald Trump is turning up the pressure on Venezuela’s sitting President Nicolas Maduro. Trump warned in a television interview that sending US troops to Venezuela is an option. Pressure is coming from Europe too. France and Austria have said again that they will endorse self-declared Interim President Juan Guaido if Maduro doesn’t call elections. Other countries are expected to follow. With Russia and China supporting Maduro and both Russia and the US pulling out of the INF Treaty, could Venezuela become the next Cuba in a new Cold War fight for the survival of Chavismo?’

“I Was Absolutely Afraid”: Indigenous Elder on “Mob Mentality” of MAGA Hat-Wearing Students in D.C. | Democracy Now!

‘We thought, there at the march, that the best thing to do was to ignore the Black Israelites the best we could and to pray for them or for their actions there on the Mall. We really didn’t understand their presence there and harassing us, but we just went ahead on with our rally. Then things started escalating between the Black Israelites and the [white] youth. When it got to about 200 youth, and the screaming and the hollerings … I was absolutely afraid. There was a group of over 200 young angry white men who were displaying mob mentality. And they were facing down just four black individuals. And it was coming to a point where just a snap of the finger could have caused them kids to descend on those four individuals. … I wasn’t focusing on anybody except taking the youth out of there, the indigenous youth that was with me, out of that situation. And that’s when Mr. Sandmann stood in front of me and blocked my—blocked my path’

Rashida Tlaib: The Senate's Anti-BDS Bill Is an Unconstitutional Attack on Free Speech | Democracy Now

‘We speak with Congressmember Rashida Tlaib, who has come out out against the bill, tweeting, “They forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away.”’

Richard Wolff: We Need a More Humane Economic System—Not One That Only Benefits the Rich

‘[Political leaders have] ratcheted down the quality of jobs. We’ve made people use up their savings since the great crash of 2008, so they’re in a bind. They have really no choice but to offer themselves at lower wages or at less benefit or at less security than before, which is why there’s the anger, which is why there was the vote for Mr. Trump in the first place, because this talk of recovery really is about that stock market with the funny money that the Fed Reserve pumped in, but is not about the real lives of people, which are in serious trouble, hence the numbers, like a average American family can’t get a $400 emergency [loan] because it doesn’t have that kind of money in the background. So, you’ve undone the underlying economy, you have this frothy stock market for the 1 percent, and this is an impossible tension tearing the country apart.’

114,000 Syrians returned home in 2018 | CTV

‘Nearly 114,000 Syrian refugees have returned home this year, the Russian military said Tuesday, a mere fraction of the nearly 6 million who have fled the country since the start of the seven-year conflict. UN agencies said they need $5.5 billion in the coming year to support Syria’s neighbours hosting the refugees. The UN said Tuesday that Syria’s neighbours, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, are hosting the majority of the Syrian refugees, while dealing with their own economic and social challenges. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said that over the last eight years around one million Syrian children were born in the region and registered as refugees.’

WikiLeaks Lawyer Warns U.S. Charges Against Assange Endanger Press Freedom Worldwide | Democracy Now!

‘WikiLeaks has done what other media organizations can and should and do all the time, which is receiving classified information and publishing it in the public interest. That information was verified. It has been shown to be in the public interest.’

Investors focus on retailers as wages rise | Reuters

Aka: ‘Why Trump is winning’

Boots Riley on His Anti-Capitalist Film “Sorry to Bother You,” the Power of Strikes & Class Struggle | Democracy Now!

‘And, you know—and it’s only since the ’60s that, you know, radicals have been thinking about like elections as the way. And it’s very connected, you know, with the New Left stopping organizing labor and focusing on students. All the sudden in the ’60s, you heard the students are the revolution. It was not historically accurate. It’s not based on any other revolutions, except for maybe there was, at the same time, the Cultural Revolution in China. But other than that, wasn’t historically accurate. And it was a focus on students and spectacle that has led—and has led to like people not knowing what to do and basically saying, “Well, all I’m going to do is electoral politics.”’

Mexico's Leftist President-elect AMLO Promises Sweeping Changes on Corruption, Poverty, Drug War

‘This is a real historic moment, because throughout Latin America we’ve been having all this experimentation with left-wing and progressive governments throughout the region, from Brazil to El Salvador to Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, as to Uruguay, and Mexico had been left out of this pink tide. We have been stuck with this single ideology of neoliberal authoritarianism since the 1980s. But now, finally, it looks like we’re going to be able to try something new.’

Mexico election: historic landslide victory for leftist Amlo | The Guardian

Congratulations to the people of Mexico!

“Apartheid, Rogue, Terrorist State”: Glenn Greenwald on Israel's Murder of Gaza Protesters, Reporter | Democracy Now

‘[I]n the context of Israeli politics, Benjamin Netanyahu resides in the center of Israeli politics, if not almost now on the left. There’s very little political force to his left. All the political force is to his right.’

He Gave His Life in the Labor Struggle: MLK's Forgotten Radical Message for Economic Justice | Democracy Now

‘[H]e was a labor man. And union people know this. When he died in ‘68, workers all over the country walked out. The West Coast got shut down by the longshore workers. The longshore workers in Louisiana and in the Deep South went on strike. There were observances everywhere. King is a labor man. And after he died, Coretta King was arguing for a national holiday. She said it would be the first national holiday for somebody who gave his life in the labor struggle. So she understood that totally.’

Overthrow: 100 Years of U.S. Meddling & Regime Change, from Iran to Nicaragua to Hawaii to Cuba | Democracy Now!

‘As special counsel Robert Mueller continues his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, we take a look back at Washington’s record of meddling in elections across the globe. By one count, the United States has interfered in more than 80 foreign elections between 1946 and 2000. And that doesn’t count U.S.-backed coups and invasions. We speak to former New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer, author of “Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq.”’

Lori Wallach and Michael Hudson Debate Trump's Plan to Impose Steel & Aluminum Tariffs | Democracy Now

‘So, what Trump’s policy does is a travesty of protectionism. It merely squeezes. And the pretense of all of this is that if he gives more money to the steel and aluminum companies, they’ll invest more and hire more labor. But they’re not going to do that at all. Not a single new steel factory is going to be built. Not a single new aluminum factory, because aluminum is made out of electricity, and America is a high-cost electricity country, compared to Iceland, where Alcan produces much of its aluminum, in Canada. So, what you’re doing is enabling the steel and the aluminum companies to use their increased profits for share buybacks and to pay dividends, but they’re not going to build new factories. There is not going to be any trickle down. So, Trump has made a travesty out of protectionist doctrine, as well.’

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