Archive | October, 2020

China intends to subject its enterprises to national imperatives

The People’s Republic of China has progressively adopted the capitalist system. The Communist Party ruling the country has shifted its ideology, abandoning collectivism to devote itself more to both the defense of national interests and economic development.

In writing his “Opinion on Strengthening the United Front Work of the Private Economy in the New Era,” President Xi Jinping’s aim was to link these two goals. Following on from what he envisioned at the 19th Congress (2017), a new body, the United Front, has been tasked with ensuring that the pursuit of profit does not undercut national interests. To achieve this, he appointed a Party delegate to the board of each company.

This development, which some Westerners misinterpret as a Communist whim, is merely the Chinese version of “economic patriotism.”

The Chinese economy is beginning to experience offshoring to Vietnam, India and other Asian countries; a phenomenon anticipated by Karl Marx and which has partially destroyed Western middle classes over the past thirty years. The Communist Party does not intend to follow the same path and put at risk the tremendous progress that has been made by its country.

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Azerbaijan corrupts US press

The Azerbaijani government instructed its embassy in Washington to apprise US officials and the press of its account of the Karabakh war, something which is normal and part of its job.

However, the embassy has also contracted public relations agencies for the publication of pre-written articles, obscuring the fact that the authors are paid by Azerbaijan.

According to The American Conservative journal [1], this is a long-standing practice [2], on which the embassy spent $ 1.3 million last year. The commissioned articles shamelessly touted Azerbaijan as a “democracy” or as a “peaceful” state.

The public relations agencies involved are: Livingston Group, Stellar Jay Communications, BGR, the Podesta Group, and DLA Piper.

The newspapers and magazines involved are: The HillThe Washington TimesThe Daily CallerThe National ReviewThe Washington Post, and The New York Times.

These facts shed a harsh light on the alleged neutrality of the press in the United States.

Attached documents

(PDF – 1.1 Mb)

[1] “How Azerbaijan is Lobbying Washington to Sanitize its War”, Barbara Boland, The American Conservative, October 12, 2020.

[2] “Azerbaijan’s American Media “Manipulation””, Casey Michel, June 10, 2016.

Posted in USA, Azerbaijan, C.I.A, PoliticsComments Off on Azerbaijan corrupts US press

Russia calls on Erdoğan for an explanation

On 13 October 2020, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu gave a call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

After reminding him of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s condemnation of Turkey’s active support of Daesh in November 2015 during the G20 summit in Antalya and on the sidelines of the Paris climate conference, he enjoined Turkey to respond to the charges levelled against her: the transfer of Syrian and Iraqi jihadists to Libya and Azerbaijan.

Russia already views the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with trepidation, but especially with anger at the arrival of jihadists in its area of influence.

Long before being president, as leader of the nationalist militia Millî Görüş, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had provided a rear base in Chechnya for terrorists of the Islamic Emirate.

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Nazi High Court rejects motion to ban arms sales to Azerbaijan

By: John Phoenix

Although the radar returns recorded by Flight24 reveal that two Azerbaijani military transport aircraft landed in Israel to load up cargo just before and just after the attack on Artsakh, the Israeli High Court considered that this did not prove that Israeli weapons were being used today against the Armenians [1].

While Amnesty International has testified that the Azerbaijani army deploys Nazi drones against Armenian civilians, the Nazi High Court decided that this did not prove they had been intentionally sold for that purpose. In fact, Nazi drones were already being displayed at Azerbaijani military parades as early as 2015.

Judge Yosef Elron, therefore, dismissed the petition which had been submitted to the High Court [2], making it impossible for either witnesses or arguments to be heard. This high-ranking magistrate, a former military judge, is known for his complacency towards the security services.

Steadfast defenders of the Nazi regime – like Noam Chomsky [3] – have tried to downplay the Nazi stance by arguing that the Jewish state had only sold arms to Azerbaijan for gain. To which other, more honest, intellectuals responded. Hence, Nazi W. Charny, director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, raised the following question: imagining that the Nazis had decided to annihilate only the Gypsies and not the Jews, if the Nazi regime had existed then, could it have provided them with the weapons of the genocide?

[1] “Azerbaijan armed by Nazi against Artsakh

[2] “High Court rejects ban on arms sales to Azerbaijan as lacking evidence”, Yonah Jeremy Bob, The Jerusalem Post, October 13, 2020.

[3] “Damage Control: Noam Chomsky and the Nazi-Palestine Conflict”, article in 3 parts by Jeffrey Blankfort

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Armenia, AzerbaijanComments Off on Nazi High Court rejects motion to ban arms sales to Azerbaijan

President Macron’s bad play in Lebanon

by Thierry Meyssan

Playing Deus ex machina, President Macron came to distribute the good and bad points to the Lebanese leaders. Sure of his superiority, he said he was ashamed of the behavior of this political class. But all this is just a bad play. Underhandedly, he is trying to destroy the Resistance and to transform the country into a tax haven.

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The French President, Emmanuel Macron, devoted one of his rare press conferences to the situation in a foreign country, Lebanon. He said: “Hezbollah cannot at the same time be an army at war with Israel, a militia unleashed against civilians in Syria and a respectable party in Lebanon. It must not believe that it is stronger than it is. He must show that he respects the Lebanese as a whole and he has shown the opposite in the last few days. Sayed Hassan Nasrallah will answer him on September 29.

Reacting to the explosion of the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, the Lebanese people and the international press saw it as an accident due to the corruption of the port authorities. For our part, after analyzing the first clues, we immediately questioned the thesis of the accident and favored that of the attack. French President Emmanuel Macron was urgently on his way to Lebanon to save the country. Two days later, we broadcast on a Syrian television station, Sama, the hypothesis of the continuation of the operation to implement Resolution 1559.

The hypothesis of resolution 1559

What is it all about? The 2004 Franco-US resolution was drafted on the instructions of US President George W. Bush, based on a text written by then Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri with the help of French President Jacques Chirac. It aimed to have the objectives formulated by US Secretary of State Colin Powell recognized by the United Nations Security Council:
 to drive out the Syrian peace force resulting from the Taif Agreemen [1] ;
 to put an end to the Lebanese Resistance to imperialism;
 prevent the re-election of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud.

However, on February 14, 2005, Rafik Hariri, who was no longer Prime Minister and had just been reconciled with Hezbollah, was assassinated in a mega-attack in which Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar el-Assad, were accused of being the instigators. The Syrian peace force withdrew and President Lahoud renounced his candidacy.

In retrospect, it appears
 that the attack was not carried out with conventional explosives carried in a white van, as is still believed, but with a weapon combining nanotechnology and enriched nuclear fuel that very few powers had at their disposal at the time [2] ;
 that the international investigation carried out by the United Nations was in reality a secret CIA-Mossad operation directed against Presidents Lahoud and Assad as well as against Hezbollah. It was shattered during a huge scandal that brought to light false witnesses recruited and paid by UN investigators [3];
 that all charges against the suspects were dropped and that a UN body, abusively labeled the “Special Tribunal for Lebanon” without having the legal attributes, refused to examine evidence and sentenced two Hezbollah members in absentia.

In the end, no one dared to mention again the end of the Lebanese Resistance as stipulated by Resolution 1559.

This Resistance was formed around Shiite families during the Israeli invasion (Operation “Peace in Galilee”) in 1982. After the victory, this network gradually entered politics under the name of Hezbollah. At the time of its creation, it was fascinated by the Iranian anti-imperialist revolution and backed by the Syrian army, as revealed by its secretary general in 2011, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. However, after the withdrawal of the Syrian peace force from Lebanon, it turned almost entirely to Iran. It returned to Syria when it realized that a defeat of Damascus at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood would not only destroy Syria, but also Lebanon. During all these years, it acquired both a gigantic arsenal and combat experience, so that today it is the formost non-state army in the world. Its successes and the means at its disposal have attracted many people who do not necessarily share its ideals. Its partial transformation into a political party has made it acquire the same flaws as other Lebanese political parties, including corruption.

Today, Hezbollah is not a state within the Lebanese state, but in many situations it is the state instead of chaos. Faced with this hybrid phenomenon, Westerners have reacted in scattered order: the United States has classified it as “terrorist”, while the Europeans have subtly distinguished, in 2013, its civilian side with whom they discuss its military side, which they also condemn as “terrorist”. To justify their decision to their public opinions, the West has developed a number of secret operations aimed at attributing to Hezbollah either attacks prior to its existence (against the military contingents of the US and France at the regional meeting of the allied secret services), or attacks abroad (notably in Argentina and Bulgaria).

Completing the implementation of Resolution 1559 [4] today means disarming Hezbollah and transforming it into a simple political party, as corrupt by Westerners as the others.

The French intervention

President Emmanuel Macron was the first head of state to travel to Lebanon after the explosion in the port of Beirut, where he visited twice. He pledged not to let the country down and to help it reform. He presented a “road map” that was agreed upon by all political parties. It provided for the formation of a mission government to carry out economic and financial reforms. However, Mustapha Adib, the Prime Minister-designate, found it impossible to achieve this and resigned. President Macron then called a press conference on September 27. He booed the entire political class and explicitly accused Hezbollah and the Amal movement and implicitly their ally, President Michel Aoun, of having thwarted his attempt to rescue Lebanon.

President Macron’s arguments convinced only those who do not know the history of Lebanon. On the contrary, our readers know [5] that this country has never been a nation and therefore could never be a democracy. It has been shared by various confessional communities since the Ottoman colonization that coexist there without mixing with each other. This division was institutionalized by the Constitution (1926) inspired by France, a proxy power. Then, its functioning at all levels of the state was set in stone by the United States and Saudi Arabia, during the Taif Agreement (1989) which put an end to the civil war. From this point of view, it is strange, to say the least, to blame political personnel for corrupting the state when it is a direct and inexorable consequence of the institutions imposed on them from abroad.

Above all, it is inadmissible to hear a foreign president posing as a lecturer and declaring that he is ashamed of the Lebanese leaders. Especially since this foreigner represents a nation that has a heavy historical responsibility in the current situation.

It seems that in practice, Lebanon’s sponsors intend to overthrow the corrupt political class they have set up and replace it with a government of technocrats trained in their best schools. This government will be in charge of reforming the finances, restoring the tax haven of Lebanon’s golden age, but above all not to break the confessional system so that the country’s dependence on its sponsors will continue. This country would thus be doomed to remain colonized without admitting it and to behead some of its leaders every thirty or forty years.

In the minds of President Macron’s backers, the unrest in Saudi Arabia has thwarted the plan for a free zone for billionaires, Neom. Lebanon should therefore be used again to escape its own tax obligations.

Let us recall, moreover, that when France established secular institutions, it immediately deprived all its colonies of them, considering that religion was the only way to pacify the peoples it controlled. Lebanon is the only country in the world where a Shiite mullah, a Sunni mufti and a Christian patriarch can impose their views on political parties.

President Macron’s repeated attacks against Hezbollah are precisely in line with my hypothesis: the ultimate goal of the West is to destroy the Resistance and transform Hezbollah into a party as corrupt as the others.

Indeed, according to Emmanuel Macron, the current Hezbollah is at the same time a “militia”, a “terrorist organization” and a political party. Yet, as we have seen, it is in reality both the first non-governmental army dedicated to the struggle against imperialism and a political party representing the Shiite community. It has never been responsible for terrorist actions abroad. According to Macron, it has created “a climate of terror”, inhibiting other political formations. However, Hezbollah has never used its gigantic arsenal against its Lebanese rivals. The brief war of 2008 did not pit it against the Sunnis and Druze, but against those who housed spy centers of foreign powers (notably in the archive premises of FuturTV).

During the press conference, reference was also made to the demand of Hezbollah and Amal to choose the Minister of Finance. This apparently preposterous request is vital for the Resistance. Not to plunder the state, as some imply, but to circumvent US sanctions against the Resistance. Saad Hariri, after opposing it, rallied to it as soon as he grasped what was at stake. This is why, contrary to what President Macron claimed, the failure of the government formation is not attributable to Hezbollah or any other Lebanese formation, but to the French will to break the Resistance.

At the time of the election of President Jacques Chirac, the Saudi proxy, Rafik Hariri, heavily financed his election campaign, causing a memorable incident in the French Constitutional Council. Similarly, during the election of President Emmanuel Macron, Saad Hariri (son of the former president) financed his campaign, albeit on a smaller scale. So when Mr. Macron announced that the international community would save Lebanon financially if it applied its roadmap, Saad Hariri demanded a return on investment, namely 20% of the future sums. After consultation with his main donor, the US-Israeli Henri Kravis, [6] Emmanuel Macron refused and threatened sanctions against the three presidents of Lebanon (of the Republic, the Assembly and the Government).

France calculates on the basis of its historical knowledge of the region. However, it has not understood some of its evolutions, as its failures in Libya, Syria, and in the Iran-US negotiations attest. While it is concerned about Turkey’s influence in Lebanon, it overestimates that of Saudi Arabia and Iran, underestimates that of Syria and ignores that of Russia.

For those who observe precisely what is happening, France is not honest in its concern for Lebanon. Thus, President Macron’s trips had been preceded by the circulation of a petition calling on France to restore its mandate over Lebanon, that is to say, to recolonize it. It was quickly established that this spontaneous petition was an initiative of the French secret service. Or that the French president’s second trip was the centennial of the proclamation of Greater Lebanon by General Henri Gouraud, leader of the French Colonial Party. It is not very difficult to understand what France hopes to get in return for its action against the Resistance.

Posted in Middle East, France, LebanonComments Off on President Macron’s bad play in Lebanon

Will Artsakh (Karabagh) be the tomb of Erdoğan ?

by Thierry Meyssan

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict certainly had its origins in the dissolution of the USSR, but it was revived by the will of the Turkish president. It is unlikely that he took this initiative without first referring it to Washington. This is also what President Saddam Hussein did before invading Kuwait, falling by ambition into the trap set for him and causing his downfall.

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On his Twitter account, President Erdoğan wrote on the day of the outbreak of hostilities: ” – During the phone calls we had today, a wise and resolute stance, the “one nation, two states” approach, once again testifies, as I mentioned to Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, that Turkey will continue to strengthen its cooperation with its Azerbaijani brothers. – As we call on the Armenian people to defend their future against their domination and those who use them as puppets, we call on the whole world to support Azerbaijan in its struggle against occupation and oppression. – The international community, which was unable to provide a necessary and sufficient response to Armenia’s provocative aggression, is once again showing its double game. The trio from Minsk, which has maintained its negligent attitude for about 30 years, is unfortunately far from being solution-oriented. – By adding a new attack to the previous ones against Azerbaijan, Armenia has once again shown that it is the biggest threat to peace and tranquility in the region. The Turkish Nation supports its Azerbaijani brothers with all its means, as always. »

A very ancient conflict, frozen for the past 30 years

The Turkish people define themselves as descended from the “children of the wolf of the steppes”, i.e. as descendants of the hordes of Genghis Khan. It is composed of both “one people and two states”: Turkey and Azerbaijan. The political rebirth of the former automatically engenders the arrival of the latter on the international scene.

Of course this political renaissance does not mean a resurgence of the violence of the barbarian hordes, but this past has nonetheless forged mentalities, despite the efforts of many politicians who, for a century, have been trying to normalize the Turkish people.

In the last years of the Ottoman era, Sultan Habdulhamid II wanted to unite the country around his conception of the Muslim faith. He therefore ordered the physical elimination of hundreds of thousands of non-Muslims. This was supervised by German officers who acquired during this genocide an experience that they later put at the service of Nazi racial ideology. The Ottoman policy of purification was pursued on a larger scale by the Young Turks at the beginning of the Republic, particularly against the Orthodox Armenians [1].

Murder being an addiction, it reappeared sporadically in the behavior of the Turkish armies. Thus, in March 2014, they escorted hundreds of jihadists from the al-Nosra Front (al-Qaeda) and the Army of Islam (pro-Saudi) to the city of Kessab (Syria) to massacre the Armenian population. The jihadists who participated in this operation were today sent to kill other Armenians in Karabagh.

These massacres ceased in Azerbaijan during the brief Democratic Republic (1918-20) and the Soviet period (1920-90), but resumed in 1988 with the collapse of Moscow’s power.

Precisely during the Soviet period, in accordance with Joseph Stalin’s policy of nationalities, an Armenian region was joined with Azerbaijan to form a Socialist Republic. Thus when the USSR was dissolved, the international community recognized Karabakh not as Armenian but as Azeri. The same mistake was made in the rush in Moldova with Transnistria, in Ukraine with Crimea, in Georgia with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. A series of wars immediately followed, including that of Nagorno-Karabakh. These are cases where international law developed from an error of appreciation at the beginning of the conflicts, as in Palestine, which was not rectified in time, leading to inextricable situations.

Westerners intervened to prevent a general conflagration. However, the example of Transnistria attests that it was a step backwards in order to better jump: thus the United States resorted to the Romanian army to try to annihilate the nascent Pridnestrovie [2].

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE, then CSCE) created the “Minsk Group”, co-chaired by the United States, France and Russia, to find a solution, which it never did: Russia did not want to choose between its former partners, France wanted to play the important game, and the United States wanted to maintain a conflict zone on the Russian border. The other conflicts, created at the dissolution of the USSR, were deliberately fuelled by Washington and London with Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia in 2008 or the EuroMaydan coup d’état aimed, among other things, at expelling Russians from the Crimea in 2014.

The attack on the Republic of Artsakh (Karabagh) by Azerbaijan and Turkey was justified by the speech of Azeri President Ilham Aliyev at the UN General Assembly on September 24. [3] His main idea was that the Minsk Group had qualified the status quo as unacceptable, but that “statements are not enough. We need action. He could not have been clearer.

In accordance with his family’s ideology, he put his opponents under the greatest burden, for example, attributing the Khojaly massacre (1992, more than 600 victims) to “Armenian terrorists”, even though it was a black operation during an attempted coup in his country; in any case, this allowed him to present in a biased manner the actions of ASALA (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia) in the 1970s and 1980s. He pointed out that four Security Council resolutions ordered the withdrawal of Armenian troops, playing on the homonymy between the Armenian population of Karabagh and the neighboring state of Armenia; one way of ignoring the fact that the Council also enjoined Azerbaijan to organize a referendum of self-determination in Karabagh. It accused, not without reason, the new Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, of being one of the men of the speculator Gorge Soros, as if this erased what had gone before.

The conflict can only end after a referendum of self-determination, the outcome of which comes as little surprise. For the time being, it benefits those who, like Israel, sell arms to the aggressor.

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The Turkish, Azeri and Pakistani armies display their unity against the Armenians.

For Erdoğan, one war too many?

Having said this, let us analyze the current conflict from another angle, that of international balances, keeping in mind that the Turkish army is already illegally present in Cyprus, Iraq and Syria; that it violates the military embargo in Libya and now the cease-fire in Azerbaijan.

Baku is organizing itself to postpone the inevitable deadline even further. Azerbaijan has already obtained the support of Qatar, which also supervises the financing of jihadists in this field of operations. According to our information, at least 580 of them have been sent from Idleb (Syria) via Turkey. This war is expensive and KKR, the powerful company of the US-Israeli Henry Kravis, seems to be involved as it is still involved in Iraq, Syria and Libya. As in the destabilization of communist Afghanistan, Israeli weapons could be routed through Pakistan. In any case, in Turkey, posters flourish placing side by side the flags of the three countries.

Even more astonishing, President Aliyev received the support of his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko. It is likely that he is acting in agreement with the Kremlin, which could herald a more visible Russian support for Orthodox Armenia (Russia, Belarus and Armenia are all members of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization).

Strangely, Shiite Iran has not taken a position. Yet, although ethnically Turkish, Azerbaijan is the only other Shia people in the world because it was part of the Safavid empire. President Hassan Rohani had included it in his plan for a Shia Federation presented during his second election campaign. This withdrawal gives the impression that Tehran does not wish to enter into conflict with Moscow, which is officially neutral. All the more so since Armenia plays a non-negligible role in the circumvention of the US embargo against Iran.

On the Armenian side, the diaspora in the United States is lobbying intensely in Congress in order to make President Erdoğan -whose country is a member of NATO- responsible for the conflict before an international tribunal.

In the case of a tacit agreement between Moscow and Washington, this war could be turned diplomatically against President Erdoğan, now unbearable to the Big Two. Like Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who brutally changed from valet of the Pentagon to public enemy No. 1 when he thought he had the authorization to invade Kuwait, the Turkish president may have been encouraged to take the blame.

Posted in Armenia, Azerbaijan, TurkeyComments Off on Will Artsakh (Karabagh) be the tomb of Erdoğan ?

Rare earths: renewables, rivalry and resource war

 by Toby Harbertson

Bayan Obo rare earth processing plant, Inner Mongolia

In 1992 China’s outgoing leader Deng Xiaoping stated: ‘The Middle East has oil; China has rare earths’. In this he recognised the key strategic role of rare earths, and China’s potential advantage in the resource wars of the future. Rare earths are a number of similar chemical elements essential for a wide variety of electronics and other commodities. ‘Green’ technologies depend on rare earths, and demand is skyrocketing as economies attempt to ‘transition’ away from fossil fuels. They are also essential for the production of advanced weaponry. US dominance in the rare earths industry in the 1970s and 1980s gave way to a virtual Chinese monopoly by 2000. As the China-US rivalry accelerates, the US is scrabbling to counter the threat this poses by reviving its own rare earths industry, irrespective of the waste and environmental destruction caused. 

‘Rare earths’ is a term which refers to seventeen metallic elements: scandium, yttrium and lanthanum, along with the 14 other ‘lanthanides’. Some of the most important are neodymium and praseodymium, which are essential for electronic magnets. Rare earth minerals, rare earth metals and rare earth ores are terms often used without precision to refer to these elements or compounds of them. These elements have become invisibly and inextricably woven into the fabric of modern life. 26% go into glass production, followed by 21% for magnets, 19% for catalysts and 11% for batteries (2017 figures – FT 14 September 2020). Rare earth magnets and rechargeable batteries are essential for most existing ‘green’ technologies. Over 90% of electric and hybrid vehicles use rare earth magnets in their motors, and many wind turbines rely on rare earths. Many consumer electronics use rare earths, including hard disk drives and mobile phones. Europium was essential in the development of colour television, and continues to be used in the production of computer and television screens. Every US F-35 fighter jet needs nearly 200kg of rare earth elements, and advanced missile systems, lasers and drones also require them.

Rare earths are not rare – even the rarest are 200 times more common than gold (The Economist 17 September 2010). They are found in small concentrations all over the world, with about one-third of proven reserves in China – mainly Inner Mongolia. The US, Australia, Brazil, Russia, India, Afghanistan and countries in south-east Asia (notably Vietnam) also have significant reserves. It is predicted that major reserves may be found in southern Africa, Kazakhstan, Canada and Greenland (China’s Global Times mocked Trump’s 2019 proposal to buy Greenland from Denmark as driven by the US’s desire for rare earths). The government of North Korea (DPRK) also claims it has reserves. California’s Mountain Pass mine used to provide most of the world’s supply, with the US also dominant in the whole processing chain from the 1960s to the early 1990s. However, Chinese governments from Deng Xiaoping’s onwards have invested in developing mining, refining and manufacturing. China produced 90% of the world’s rare earths by the late 1990s. The US stopped production in 2003.

USGS rare earth oxides production graph min

Global rare earth oxide production trends – graph and interpretation from US Geological Survey

China’s strategy of developing the higher end of the processing chain, to avoid the ‘resource curse’ of many areas rich in raw materials, has been so successful that in the last two years it imported more unrefined rare earth elements than it exported. Production and export is controlled by a state quota, and changes in this quota have been used to maintain dominance in the industry. Embargos and threatened embargos have been major political weapons. Rare earths shot into the news in July 2020 when China threatened to impose sanctions on US arms company Lockheed Martin (the manufacturer of the F-35) over a deal with Taiwan (which China does not recognise). The US has seen the need to restart extraction and manufacture domestically as rivalry has increased. The Pentagon, eager to secure the resources needed for its obscene supply of military hardware, has funded companies such as MP Minerals and Lynas which are restarting the US rare earths industry. Mountain Pass restarted extraction of unrefined rare earths in 2018. However, the US is yet to restart refining and has had to rely on China to process its unrefined resources. The Trump administration has budgeted $209m to support the sector this year. US processing plants are due to be operational by the end of 2020.

The mining of rare earths involves the extraction of tiny amounts of the sought-after elements from huge areas. This process is wasteful and environmentally damaging but ecological concerns are always trumped by profits. China’s rare earth mining has created lakes of toxic effluent, caused sulphuric acid poisoning (a byproduct of cerium processing) and concentrations of cancer diagnoses (LMD July 2020). The government has faced pressure from local communities and from within the Communist Party to reduce pollution. Environmental damage at Mountain Pass mine contributed to its closure. In a world of capitalist mass consumption rare earths are a throwaway resource like any other – electronics are produced to rapidly become obsolete, whether through design or fashion. Recycling of rare earth elements from waste electronics is possible but is not yet commercially viable. As resources are finite this may change. In a socialist global system of production, where people are put before profits, it may be possible to value and use such resources in ways which are socially and ecological sustainable. However, in an imperialist world there can be no production of rare earths which is sustainable for the Earth and the majority of its people.

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US election: rigging the vote

 by Joe Tyler

Philly SAVE OUR POSTAL SERVICE Rally, 23 June 2020

The flimsy foundations of US democracy are being tested to breaking point by the Trump administration in the run-up to the 3 November election. Amid political and economic crises, the administration is desperate to maintain power, even as sections of the ruling class look to the more dependable reactionary Joe Biden.

In July, Trump suggested delaying the election, and has claimed he ‘deserves’ a third term in office, violating the US constitution’s two-term limit, because he says the 2016 election was spied upon. Trump repeatedly says he will not accept electoral defeat. Asked on 23 September whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election, Trump replied, ‘We’re going to have to see what happens. You know I have been complaining very strongly about the [postal] ballots. And the ballots are a disaster.’ Senior figures in the Trump campaign have called on supporters to arm and prepare for retributory violence. They are using methods of overt and covert voter suppression.

The June 2020 Georgia primary vote indicated what could be in store for November. More than 200 polling precincts, mainly in ethnic minority districts, were closed; polling centres opened late; there were insufficient ballot papers; voter rolls had been purged; selected people, mainly from poor and ethnic minority communities, were forced to produce ID. In Wisconsin, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, postal ballot requests went unanswered. Ballot papers that were posted stacked up uncounted.

In August, it emerged that the United States Postal Service (USPS) had removed 671 sorting machines. The Washington Post reported that the postal service planned to remove around 10% of its entire sorting capability. 72% of the machines were in areas where Hillary Clinton won most votes in 2016.

Postmaster-general (and Trump mega-donor) Louis DeJoy, appointed in May, has implemented cost-saving policies in order to modify the ‘organisational structure’ of the USPS. Besides decommissioning sorting machines, DeJoy prohibited staff overtime, reduced office hours, and delayed post if it was not processed by a set time. After a public outcry, the USPS was forced to temporarily stop these alterations by federal judge Stanley Bastian. Bastian called DeJoy’s proposed changes a ‘politically motivated’ attack on the postal service, aiming to interrupt the election and disenfranchise voters. Nevertheless, DeJoy declined to reinstate the 671 machines already decommissioned.

Trump brazenly admitted on 13 August that his administration’s blockage of a proposed $25bn stimulus to the USPS was intended to undermine postal voting: ‘If we don’t make a deal [for funding] that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting.’ Many states require ballots to be submitted by election day, regardless of when they were posted – otherwise they are discounted. Sabotaging the USPS’ ability to sort ballots will affect many people who want to vote safely by post.

Intimidation

Trump’s election team have also called for an ‘army’ of volunteer ‘poll-watchers’, ostensibly to prevent electoral fraud – but in reality to attract reactionary militia to intimidate and suppress working class, migrant and minority voters in key swing states. The Guardian reported that in some states these poll-watchers will be able to challenge people’s eligibility to vote, pulling them aside to check their ID (which is not a legal requirement) – as well overseeing the postal ballot count.

Trump condemns the Democratic vote as being made up of immigrants voting illegally. In 2016, after defeating Hillary Clinton but losing the popular vote, he claimed between three to five million votes against him were from non-citizens, organised by the Democrats. The clear message: working class immigrant and minority voters will be singled out for intimidation and prevented from voting.

Systematic racism

The US has a long history of combining racist terror, the Ku Klux Klan, lynching etc, with administrative measures to stop black people voting. States instituted measures such as poll taxes and literacy tests to stop the poor and minorities getting to vote. It took the sustained mass action of the Civil Rights Movement in city streets across the US to break down these discriminatory laws in the 1960s.

Modern voter suppression usually takes a less overt form. Voter ID laws are, for example, effectively a form of poll tax targeting minority people, who must pay for documents proving they are citizens. However, since 2018, with the lifting of the 1982 Consent Decree by federal judges, Republicans can drop all pretence and organise street harassment. The decree was agreed after a lawsuit following the 1981 New Jersey Governor’s election, where the Republicans organised a ‘Task Force’ made up of armed off-duty police officers and security guards. These private police, under the guise of stopping voter fraud, openly intimidated and turned away black and Hispanic voters. Under the terms of the 1982 Decree, the Republicans agreed they would not arrange independent poll-watchers without court approval. Now that the decree has been lifted, the Trump campaign is preparing to send hired thugs back into the streets.

While street harassment works to physically impede people from casting their votes, the racist US justice system works to disenfranchise felons and ex-felons. This disproportionately affects black and minority people. Most states restrict offenders from voting while incarcerated. Many states disenfranchise felons for life, while only two (Maine and Vermont) do not restrict the voting rights of prisoners at all. 6.1 million people in the US are barred from voting because they are prisoners or have been to prison. Due to disproportionate targeting of black and minority people by police, one in 13 African Americans are unable to vote because they are in prison or ex-prisoners, compared to one in 56 non-black people.

Today, voter fraud in the US is rarer than being struck by lightning. The Washington Post reported exactly four documented cases of voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s obsession with voter fraud is not based on the desire to ensure a free and fair election – but to win an unfair election, by whatever means will work.

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US heads towards civil war

 by Steve Palmer

Members of the Huey P Newton Gun Club practise drills

We have arrived at a critical point in US history. The US population is irreparably divided politically. There are uprisings across the country, led by black Americans. All three arms of government are in crisis: the Executive, headed by President Donald Trump, is destroying anything remotely progressive in US society; the Legislature – Congress – is almost completely paralysed, split between the two parties; in the Judiciary, the Court’s conservative majority has been entrenched by the death of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

A polarised people, riots in the streets, a crisis-torn government – all in the middle of a deadly pandemic, with the presidential election just weeks away: these are the ingredients needed for a ‘perfect storm’ – that combination of circumstances that suddenly and drastically aggravate a situation.

Trump has poured gasoline onto the conflagration, unleashing shadowy paramilitary forces to attack demonstrators and encouraging his supporters to kill and injure protesters. The pandemic has laid bare for all to see his utter incompetence, his complete inability to handle a serious crisis and the consequences of ignoring scientific advice. Trump’s priority in office has not been the protection of the US people, nor the promotion of US imperialism, nor even his own reactionary agenda, but the promotion and personal enrichment of Donald Trump. How did we arrive here? And what happens next?

How we got here

The last time the country was in a similar political situation was in 1865, immediately after the Civil War, when President Lincoln’s successor Andrew Johnson, a Southern Democrat and a racist, attempted to roll back measures which punished the Southern rebels and protected freed slaves. Battle began between the Radical Republicans, supporting black freedom, and Johnson and his supporters. It concluded only when the Republican Ulysses Grant was elected president in 1868. The Reconstruction Act and the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteeing universal male suffrage ushered in an era of Radical Reconstruction, bringing unprecedented freedoms for black people.

White revanchists began a campaign of terror against black people and their white allies in the South, founding the white terrorist Ku Klux Klan. Federal troops suppressed the terrorists. However, Reconstruction was no longer central in Northern politics so Federal support waned. The ‘Compromise of 1877’ led to the withdrawal of Federal troops and the end of Reconstruction, ushering in a new era of oppression for black Americans.

The Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s finally ended legal segregation and discrimination but it was spontaneously replaced with social segregation: white people fled cities for the suburbs, leaving the black population behind and resulting in geographical apartheid. The results endure down to this day as de facto segregation in housing, education, provision of health services and elsewhere. This segregation is White Supremacy: the relegation of black people to second class status or worse.

Following the Second World War, news of racist murders and beatings of black soldiers and others were flashed around the world. At a time when US imperialism was attacking the Soviet Union for its ‘lack of democracy’ and trying to counter its influence in ex-colonial countries, Southern racists were brutally demonstrating the true nature of ‘American Democracy’, undermining the US imperialist project.1 The Federal government’s willingness to confront Southern racists sprang from the needs of imperialism. In return, the ruling class attempted either to co-opt or to destroy any anti-racist movement that was a serious threat to White Supremacy. Blatant racism went underground, simply disappearing from view, and continued to fester.

In 2008 the Census Bureau announced that white people were projected to become a minority in the US by 2044. This finding has dominated much of the discourse on race amongst the white population ever since (although the Bureau did not repeat this prediction in 2018). As the New York Times put it, ‘For white nationalists, it signifies a kind of doomsday clock counting down to the end of racial and cultural dominance’. Such an outcome would mean a loss of power, particularly the power to maintain segregation. The collapse of White Supremacy can only be prevented either by ending democracy in the US so that white people can maintain power, or by genocidal destruction of ethnic minorities in the US. White Supremacy needs to go much further than building walls and tinkering with immigration to survive. The ceaseless growth and intensity of right-wing rage over the last three decades is the political expression of this demographic pressure, although it has in place constitutional safeguards to maintain its privilege. The US Senate enshrines white conservative minority rule: tiny states like Wyoming (600,000 inhabitants) have the same number of Senators as California (40 million). Soon 70% of Americans will be represented by 30 Senators, while a 30% minority will have 70.2 Politically, the diverse, urban majority are subject to the veto of the rural, white, conservative minority.

Dissent amongst Republicans

When Trump was first elected, most of the ruling class accepted him, looking beyond his racism and misogyny to his reactionary political programme. They got their programme, but are shocked at the bill they now have to pay for it. Trump’s obvious failings are clear – his ignorance, his erratic decision-making, his inability to read a brief, his brittle ego, his susceptibility to flattery, his lying – the list is endless. These failings have created mounting unease among the more far-sighted Republicans. The massive countrywide uprisings against racism not only of the black population but of white youth too, are the last straw. Trump is blatantly incapable of defending US imperialism and is deepening divisions within the US.

Trump or imperialism

Trump has threatened to leave NATO and opposed the Foreign Aid programmes used to buy the loyalty of neo-colonialist puppets, while flirting and cavorting politically with states which are rivals or threats. More than 70 Republican former Federal Defense and National Security officials have signed a statement making clear the basis for Republican opposition to Trump, who:

‘has gravely damaged America’s role as a world leader … shown that he is unfit to lead during a national crisis … solicited foreign influence and undermined confidence in our presidential elections … aligned himself with dictators … disparaged our armed forces, intelligence agencies, and diplomats … undermined the rule of law … divided our nation … imperiled America’s security by mismanaging his national security team … dangerously unfit to serve another term’.

In the 2020 election there is an opportunity to replace Trump. The Democrats have shown they are solid supporters of US imperialism. Their candidates are solidly pro-imperialist: Joe Biden, former two-term Vice-President and six-term Senator, and Kamala Harris, a one-term Senator, who previously served as California’s Attorney General. Both have solid records of upholding injustice at home and abroad – Biden authored the draconian 1994 Crime Bill and Harris brags about being California’s ‘Top Cop’ when she was the State’s Attorney General; both are pro-active Zionists, visiting Israel and speaking at AIPAC conferences.

Now Republicans have to choose between craven loyalty to their president or the preservation of imperialism. Despite Trump’s attempts to portray Biden and Harris as dangerous left-wing subversives, many dissident Republicans are supporting Biden in November. Leading Republicans spoke at the Democratic convention to endorse the Democrats’ ticket. Biden and Harris have been put forward to try to salvage US imperialism from the damage Trump has inflicted on it. But they have to win the election and assume power. Here there are real problems because of the obstacles created by Trump supporters (see ‘Rigging the vote’ FRFI 278).

The American people are about to get a lesson in the realities of capitalism. Behind the thin veneer of ‘the rule of law’ and ‘respect’ for precedent lies naked capitalism, which ultimately depends upon just two things: guns and money. The guns are there to ensure that the ‘money’ – the continuous, relentless expansion of value – keeps flowing. Trump has claimed that the guns are on his side: ‘I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people’.

Since Trump consistently behaves as if he is above the law, there is no reason to assume that he will suddenly start respecting it. For months the ruling class has been debating the consequences of this likely possibility. One mainstream report says that ‘Planners need to take seriously the notion that this may well be a street fight, not a legal battle; technocratic solutions, courts, and a reliance on elites observing norms are not the answer here’, and goes on to float the idea of co-opting and buying off the Black Lives Matter movement (‘supporting and resourcing new and emerging racial justice leaders’).3

Not ‘rioting’ but a political uprising

The current wave of uprisings is an important development and, potentially, a major political step forward for black Americans. The black response to key racist events since the crushing of the Black Panthers in the 1970s has typically been raw rage, expressed in riots. Following the vicious beating of Rodney King in 1992 by Los Angeles police, his attackers initially went unpunished, shocking even Republican President George Bush. A massive outburst of raw, righteous rage against injustice spontaneously erupted in Los Angeles and across the country. In six days, in Los Angeles alone, some 63 died, 2,383 were injured, there were more than 7,000 fires, damage to 3,100 businesses, and nearly $1bn in financial losses. (See FRFI 107, ‘The rage undammed’). At the time, there was the brief possibility, as we wrote at the time, that ‘this time, hopefully, people will learn that their fate lies in the collective action they take to fight a system which is unreformable. In the divided condition of US society, there are millions waiting for this call.’ Today, that call is being made by the sustained, controlled and focused political rage of Black Lives Matter against systemic racism. This is the march of people who have had more than enough and are not going to tolerate it any more.

Gun control is racist

Violence simmers under the surface of US society, erupting periodically in mass shootings, home invasions, gang warfare and apparently senseless random killings. ‘Gun control’ sounds such an obvious solution: no guns equal no shootings, problem solved. The reality is that there are about 400 million guns in the United States –1.2 for every adult and child in the country. History shows that gun control has little or nothing to do with protecting the American people and everything to do with preserving White Supremacy. Its real aim is to disarm people of colour, primarily black Americans. United States gun legislation has been discriminatory in numerous ways4 to keep guns out of the hands of the poor. The introduction of gun control would be a genocidal step, directed against black people and must be rejected. What is needed now is serious preparation for the likely event that Trump will not follow the law and step down.

A second Civil War?

There is no basis for compromise between the two sides of this bitter divide. This is a struggle by White Supremacy for survival, by any means necessary. The only argument that White Supremacy understands comes out of a gun. The majority of the ruling class are hoping that, somehow, Trump will ‘see sense’ and that his supporters will give up their fight. This is a ridiculous fairy story. The Democrats will try to defuse the struggle by denouncing ‘extremism’ and ‘impatience’, dragging protesters off the streets and into the courts. Things have gone too far already. Trump supporters have opened fire and the first bodies have fallen. The ‘resistance’ must immediately prepare for self-defence. Only people trained, organised and armed can halt Trumpism. The result of this struggle will have major repercussions for the rest of the world because a Trumpian United States will try to ‘Make America Great Again’ at the expense not only of the oppressed and working people of America, but of the entire world.

Steve Parker


See Mary Dudziak, Cold War, Civil Rights, Princeton University Press, 2000.
See Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian 25 September 2020.
Transition Integrity Project Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition, pp 11, 12.
See ‘US gun control: no solution’ by Stephen Palmer, FRFI 231

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Cuba: The vaccine vs the media blockade

 by Will Harney

A volunteer is administered the Soberana-01 vaccine

On 20 August the video streaming site YouTube, owned by tech giant Google, suspended the accounts of Cuban media – just as they were reporting rare good news in the Covid-19 global pandemic: the beginning of clinical trials of Cuba’s Soberana-01 vaccine, the first such trials in Latin America. Though the accounts were restored a day later, this censorship is a symptom of the US blockade which has reached fever pitch under the current US administration. Facing an uncertain re-election poll on 3 November, US President Donald Trump is depending more than ever on the support of the right-wing Cuban exile lobby to swing the vote in the key state of Florida. WILL HARNEY reports.

Soberana-01

Cuba has sent 3,700 medical personnel to work in 39 countries to combat the pandemic. Even in an economic crisis brought on by the US blockade, Cuba’s own public health response has been outstanding: at the time of writing, total infections in Cuba stood at 5,270 with 118 deaths and 4,462 recoveries; a death rate of 1 per 100,000 population. Britain’s rate is 63 per 100,000. At the same time, Cuban scientists have been working flat-out to produce a vaccine.1

On 17 July 2020, just five months after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of Covid-19 a pandemic, scientists at the Finlay Vaccine Institute in Havana produced the first doses of a vaccine candidate they dubbed ‘Soberana-01’ (‘Sovereign-01’). The Finlay Institute, named after influential Cuban epidemiologist Dr Carlos Finlay (1833-1915), is a biomedical centre founded in 1991 by doctors who were instrumental in developing a 1988 vaccine against meningitis B which helped eliminate the disease from the island.

As of 20 August, there were 30 Covid-19 vaccine candidates in the world approved for clinical trials according to the WHO. The Soberana-01 vaccine candidate contains receptor-binding domain (RBD) protein, which is used by the S-protein ‘spikes’ on the surface of coronaviruses (which give the viruses their crown-like appearance under a microscope, hence the name ‘corona’) as a ‘key’ to allow it to enter human and bat respiratory cells. Besides a Chinese vaccine candidate, Soberana-01 is the only one to use RBD as an antigen; recent Chinese studies identify RBD as ‘as the most likely target for the development of virus attachment inhibitors, neutralizing antibodies, and vaccines’.2

As Cuba was prevented by the US blockade from buying various recombinant proteins vital to testing the vaccine, the Centre for Molecular Immunology (CIM) had to produce these domestically as well as isolating the RBD protein. CIM is equipped with the technology necessary for this work, and for mass production of a vaccine, because Cuba has spent decades investing in its biotechnology sector to be more self-sufficient in the production of medicine.3 The blockade makes it more vital that Cuba produces its own vaccine so that its strategy to fight the virus in Cuba and elsewhere is not dependent on agreements with other countries. Given Cuba’s internationalist approach to healthcare, the creation of a vaccine would benefit not only Cubans but people throughout the world.

In a mere seven weeks, Cuban scientists designed and produced a vaccine ready to be assessed for human trials. The phase I trials will administer Soberana-01 to 40 volunteers between 19 and 80 years old to establish whether it is safe. Phase II trials will establish if the antigen is producing sufficient antibodies in 676 volunteers, due to be complete by end of November. If these trials are successful, the trials will move to phase III, testing in a population of thousands of volunteers to see if it is effective in stopping the spread of the disease. If it is, the vaccine can be officially approved for use. In pre-clinical trials, Soberana-01 was observed to successfully produce an immune response in mice and rabbits. If Cuba develops the first, safest or most effective Covid-19 vaccine, US sanctions which prevent US citizens and others in the world from benefiting from it will look increasingly unsustainable.

Full-spectrum blockade

US imperialism can count on the traditional news media, including the British media, to both attack Cuba and ignore its achievements. Few will have heard of Soberana-01 from mainstream news outlets – instead we are told only of shortages, queues and other difficulties afflicting Cuba, problems which are rarely placed in the context of an intensifying blockade. On 5 September Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez denounced on Twitter the deafening silence of the media, particularly on the development of the first vaccine candidate for clinical trials in Latin America, the world’s worst-affected region with around 8.4 million coronavirus cases, and over 314,000 deaths: ‘Cuban scientists share their progress with the world, show protocols against the pandemic and results of their own vaccine candidate. However, little information about this is shared. The [coverage of Cuba] is biased. Ignoring or censoring successes is part of the media blockade’.

The internet and social media is a different battleground, both a threat and an opportunity in which the US state has invested heavily in order to dominate.4 Cuba has been developing its network infrastructure – in partnership with Google – allowing Cubans to access sites like YouTube affordably. Both Cubans and an international audience can watch Cuban media programmes on YouTube, including the three whose Google accounts were suddenly suspended on 20 August because, according to the messages they received from Google, they ‘violate export laws’: CubaDebate’s Mesa Redonda programme; the channel of Granma (newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party); and state channel Cubavisión Internacional. These outlets, which between them have 35,000+ subscribers, have provided regular updates on the Cuban government’s response to Covid-19.

This comes as a Washington DC- based PR firm, CLS Strat­egies, was found operating a disinformation network on Facebook and Instagram undermining Cuba’s allies in Latin America (The Grayzone, 6 September). CLS Strategies created fake accounts to promote Venezuela’s right-wing opposition and the fascist coup administration of Jeanine Añez in Bolivia. It is staffed by officials with links to the US government including a former director of Latin American policy in the Obama administration. It spent $3.6m on targeted ads to promote its propaganda on Facebook. A partner in the firm, Juan Cortiñas, has links to Florida’s Cuban exile lobby which is pushing Trump to suffocate Cuba further.

Satisfying the exile lobby

Minimising Cuba’s achievements and isolating it from the rest of Latin America are part of Trump’s strategy to strengthen US imperialism’s hold over ‘its hemisphere’. On 9 September, Trump, with a flick of his presidential pen, renewed the provisions of the Trading With the Enemy Act until 14 September 2021. Socialist Cuba is the only country in the world currently sanctioned under this 1917 law, resurrected in 1962, that allows the president to restrict trade with enemies in wartime. The six-decade US blockade of Cuba is like a constant state of warfare, but Trump’s presidency, itself up for expiry soon, has taken this to a new pitch (see FRFI 270). A Trump win in 2020 could see further tightening of the US blockade for at least another four years.

Trump is counting on the support of the right-wing Cuban exile lobby to win over Hispanic voters in Florida, a key swing state. Although he did not choose her in the end, Trump’s latest gesture to the exile kingmakers was to consider Barbara Lagoa as a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg who died on 18 September. Lagoa, a Court of Appeals judge, is a first-generation Cuban-American whose parents fled to the US following the socialist revolution; when appointed to the Florida Supreme Court in 2019, Lagoa told reporters that her father had to give up his ‘dream of becoming a lawyer’ because of Fidel Castro. She was on the legal team that worked pro bono on behalf of the exile lobby – unsuccessfully – to prevent six-year-old Elián González being returned to his family in Cuba in 2000 (see FRFI 153). ‘She’s an extraordinary person,’ Trump says. Mauricio Claver-Carone, another right-wing Cuban American, was nominated by Trump then elected on 12 September as president of the Inter-American Development Bank – the first US citizen to run the development finance institution in its 60-year history.

Isolate imperialism!

Democrat contender Joe Biden promises to ‘promptly reverse the failed Trump policies that have inflicted harm on the Cuban people and done nothing to advance democracy and human rights.’ In two interviews with Americas Quarterly (14 December 2018 and 4 March 2020), Biden set out his position on Cuba as just another version of the Monroe Doctrine, characterised by a concern that the US is isolating itself and should adopt a softer foreign policy to maintain exclusive ‘leadership in the Western Hemisphere’: ‘Our geopolitical rivals [China and Russia] are eagerly filling the vacuum of leadership as the United States pulls back’ … ‘It is the current absence of American leadership in the Western Hemisphere that is the primary threat to US national security.’

Due to Cuba’s committed internationalism, especially in the fight against Covid-19, Trump’s hostility and sanctions are not winning friends in the region or the world at large. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, said of Cuba: ‘They are lifesavers. In some Caribbean countries, they constitute the backbone of the response to the pandemic.’ For 28 consecutive years, the UN General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to condemn the US blockade of Cuba; though this year’s vote has been postponed until March 2021 due to alarming rates of Covid-19 in New York where the Assembly meets.

While a Biden win cannot be relied upon to halt other forms of attack on Cuba, such as sanctions against its ally Venezuela that started under the Obama administration, it might alleviate the economic and commercial blockade. But as long as Cuba remains socialist, the US will never respect its right to self-determination regardless of which ruling class party holds the White House. The best weapon against the media blockade is to spread information on Cuba’s achievements in fighting Covid-19 and defend its example of a socialist society wherever we can.


1. This article draws on information from OnCubaNews.com, 25 August 2020.
2. ‘Characterization of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of 2019 novel coronavirus: implication for development of RBD protein as a viral attachment inhibitor and vaccine’ Cellular & Molecular Immunology volume 17, pages 613–620 (2020) cited at OnCubaNews.com, 25 August 2020.
3. For more information on Cuba’s biotechnology sector, see Helen Yaffe, We Are Cuba! Yale University Press (2020) available to order at www.frfi.org.uk
4. See ‘As Cuba goes online, the US plans subversion’, 27 May 2018 on our website.

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