Archive for the US Agency for International Development Category

Victory! Cuban 5 are reunited and free at last [Workers World]

Posted in CIA, Cuba, Honduras, Obama, Panama, US Agency for International Development, US imperialism, USA, Venezuela on December 20, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Cheryl Labash

Dec. 18, 2014

Dec. 17 — The government of the United States has done what it repeatedly swore it would never do: It has freed the last of the Cuban 5. Today Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino and Gerardo Hernández were finally released from U.S. jails after more than 16 years of unjust imprisonment. René González and Fernando González had already served their full prison terms and returned to Cuba.

Those whom René González termed “the jury of millions” — who had organized, picketed, written letters, signed petitions, collected money for newspaper ads, investigated, inveighed on parliamentarians, climbed mountains, rode bicycles, tweeted, wrote poems, plays, songs and more in every corner of the globe — rejoiced. The steadfast Cuban people joyfully welcomed their heroes: the five men who sacrificed so much to protect them from terrorist attacks launched from U.S. territory during the 1990s.

We can only imagine the joy of their families. A Miami court and the U.S. government had expected Gerardo to die in prison after he was sentenced to two life terms plus 15 years.

Today, says the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5, “Gerardo has now been reunited with Adriana, Ramón is back with Elizabeth and his three beautiful daughters, and Antonio is with his mother Mirta, the 84-year-old tireless inspiration of this struggle, who feared she would die before she saw her son back in Cuba.”

Workers World Party and many dedicated organizers in the U.S. share this awesome and joyous moment of victory.

Opening the prison doors for the Cuban heroes was only part of the top story today. In a broadcast speech, President Barack Obama outlined “charting a new course on Cuba,” and asserted, “Today, we are renewing our leadership in the Americas.” Washington has its eye on the April Summit of the Americas in Panama.

Yet a bill imposing sanctions on Bolivarian Venezuela is sitting on Obama’s desk. Will he veto it, as part of this new course? The Obama administration recognized the coup government in Honduras that has driven thousands of children to flee violent repression. Will it stop engineering coups and dictatorships in Latin America? What about the U.S. role in destroying the Mexican economy and turning it into a killing field? And, especially, will the U.S. end its blockade of Cuba?

For more than two years, the pressure for this moment has been building in the United States. Reflecting this pressure, seven New York Times editorials in recent months have advocated a change in U.S. policy toward Cuba. The Associated Press ran a series that exposed Alan Gross, the contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development — often used as a cover for CIA operations — who was convicted by a Cuban court of having secretly and illegally installed military-grade communications devices on the island in violation of Cuba’s sovereignty and laws.

Cuba released Gross as soon as the Five were returned home, citing humanitarian reasons.

The AP continued its investigation of failed U.S. regime-change antics, including the “Cuban” twitter site Zunzuneo — another USAID program — and the recent infiltration of Cuban hip hop artists in an attempt to use them as unknowing instruments to undermine Cuba’s self-determination.

Polls have shown that sentiment in Miami now favors changing U.S. policy toward Cuba even more strongly than in the rest of the U.S. Since 1992, the U.N. General Assembly has voted almost unanimously every year for the U.S. to end the blockade.

As Obama himself admitted in his speech, the U.S. for more than five decades has tried “to push Cuba toward collapse.” And, he testified, it didn’t work.

* Development despite imperialist hostility *

Development in the hemisphere has been moving forward despite the machinations of the U.S.

Latin America and the Caribbean, including Cuba, have forged many interlocking levels of continental unity through the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. At the same time, the U.S. is still unable to recover from its 2007-2008 economic collapse, especially in regard to employment. Longshore union members report that the port of Tampa, Fla., is underutilized, while Cuba’s new automated container port in Mariel is ready to handle huge ships from Asia.

As long as the blockade is fully in place, it is U.S. trade with Cuba that suffers, while trade between Cuba and other countries continues, just 90 miles away. How long will European banks continue to pay U.S.-imposed fines for handling Cuban financial transactions? The old system of sanctions imposed by Washington has become untenable.

The people of the U.S. have also suffered from the blockade. They have been prevented from knowing the Cuban reality: that it is possible to do so much, even with scarce resources, when the power of the people is freed from capitalism.

In the U.S. a new militant movement led by Black and Brown youth is challenging the racism and repression embedded in capitalism. Don’t they want to learn how first-rate education and health care can be made available without throwing youth and workers into debt? They really want to see how a different world is possible. And couldn’t Detroit benefit from what Cuba has to offer?

The Cuban people, and particularly the Cuban Communist Party, are committed to socialism — making the goal of social production the needs and welfare of human beings, not profits for a few. They are well aware and capable of dealing with any challenges to come. Now there are five additional leaders, tested by long years of U.S. imprisonment, who can help chart this new future.

Volvieron! They have returned!

Cheryl LaBash has been an organizer with the International Committee to Free the Cuban 5 since 2006 and is a co-chair of the National Network on Cuba.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/12/18/victory-cuban-5-reunited-free-last/

Articles copyright 1995-2014 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

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‘Will they EVER leave Cuba alone? No.’ – exposure of recent USAID subversion attempts in Cuba from “The Anti-Empire Report #131” [Williamblum.org]

Posted in Costa Rica, Cuba, Peru, Torture, US Agency for International Development, US imperialism, USA, Venezuela on November 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By William Blum – Published August 11th, 2014

…The latest exposed plot to overthrow the Cuban government … Oh, pardon me, I mean the latest exposed plot to bring democracy to Cuba …

Our dear friends at the Agency For International Development (USAID), having done so well with their covert sub-contractor Alan Gross, now in his fifth year in Cuban custody … and their “Cuban Twitter” project, known as ZunZuneo, exposed in 2012, aimed at increasing the flow of information amongst the supposedly information-starved Cubans, which drew in subscribers unaware that the service was paid for by the US government … and now, the latest exposure, a project which sent about a dozen Venezuelan, Costa Rican and Peruvian young people to Cuba in hopes of stirring up a rebellion; the travelers worked clandestinely, using the cover of health and civic programs, or posing as tourists, going around the island, on a mission to “identify potential social-change actors” to turn into political activists. Can you believe that? Can you believe the magnitude of naiveté? Was it a conviction that American exceptionalism would somehow work its magic? Do they think the Cuban people are a bunch of children just waiting for a wise adult to come along and show them what to think and how to behave?

One of these latest USAID contracts was signed only days after Gross was detained, thus indicating little concern for the safety of their employees/agents. As part of the preparation of these individuals, USAID informed them: “Although there is never total certainty, trust that the authorities will not try to harm you physically, only frighten you. Remember that the Cuban government prefers to avoid negative media reports abroad, so a beaten foreigner is not convenient for them.” 5

It’s most ironic. The US government could not say as much about most of their allies, who frequently make use of physical abuse. Indeed, the statement could not be made in regard to almost any American police force. But it’s this Cuba that doesn’t beat or torture detainees that is the enemy to be reformed and punished without mercy … 55 years and counting…

Excerpted; full article link (with footnotes): http://williamblum.org/aer/read/131

Hong Kong protests: Why imperialists support ‘democracy’ movement [Workers World]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Anti-communism, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, Capitalist media double standard, China, China-bashing, CPC, Hong Kong, National Endowment for Democracy, State Department, U.K., US Agency for International Development, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on October 14, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Sara Flounders on October 7, 2014

Demonstrations in Hong Kong, China, raising demands on the procedures to be followed in city elections in 2017, have become an international issue and a source of political confusion.

The protests, called Occupy Central, have received enormous and very favorable U.S. media coverage. Every news report describes with great enthusiasm the occupation of central business parts of Hong Kong as “pro-democracy” protests. The demonstrations, which began on Sept. 22, gained momentum after Hong Kong police used tear gas to open roads and government buildings.

In evaluating an emerging movement it is important to look at what political forces are supporting the movement. What are the demands raised by the movement, who are they appealing to, and what is the social composition of those in motion?

The U.S. and British governments have issued statements of support for the demonstrations. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to heed the demands of the protesters. Wang responded by calling for respect for China’s sovereignty. Britain, which stole Hong Kong from China in 1842 and held it as a colony for 155 years under a government appointed by London, is supporting the call for “democracy” in Hong Kong. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg summoned the Chinese ambassador in order to convey the British government’s alarm.

At the present time these imperialists may not expect to overturn the central role of the Chinese Communist Party in governing China. But Occupy Central in Hong Kong is a battering ram, aimed at weakening the role of the state in the Chinese economy.

The imperialists hope to embolden the bourgeois elements and encourage the increasingly strong capitalist class within China to become more aggressive and demand the overturn of socialist norms established after the 1949 socialist revolution, including the leading role of the Communist Party in a strong sovereign state.

= Police repression: Mexico, Italy, Philippines =

In Mexico, tens of thousands of students have been protesting curriculum changes and new fees. More than 50,000 demonstrated in Mexico City for the third time. In western Mexico, 57 students from a teaching college went missing after gunslingers fired on a demonstration they were attending, killing three students and wounding three others. A Guerrero official says witnesses identified the shooters as local police officers. Mass graves have now been uncovered in an area terrorized by police and gangs.

On Oct. 2, in Naples, Italy, national police attacked demonstrators protesting against austerity and a meeting of the European Central Bank. Cops fired tear gas and water canons at thousands of protesters.

Thousands of courageous demonstrators in Manila opposed the signing of an agreement with the U.S. for an escalating rotation of U.S. troops, ships and planes into the Philippines during President Obama’s visit last April. They faced water cannons, tear gas and mass arrests.

Did any White House officials meet with Mexican officials to express concern for the killed or missing students? Did any British officials summon Italian officials to convey alarm at the tear gas and water cannons? Was there world media attention to the attacks on Philippine youth? Where was the media frenzy?

Why is it so dramatically different regarding Occupy Central in Hong Kong?

The use of tear gas by Hong Kong police is denounced by the same officials who have been silent as militarized police in U.S. cities routinely use not only tear gas but tanks, armored personnel carriers, live ammunition, electric tasers, rubber bullets, stun guns, dogs and drones in routine police sweeps.

To hear U.S. officials denouncing restrictions on candidates in Hong Kong is especially offensive to anyone familiar with the election procedures in the U.S. today. Millions of dollars are required to run a campaign here. Candidates go through multiple layers of vetting by corporate powers and by the two pro-imperialist political party apparatuses. Restrictive ballot measures are in place in every state and city election.

= ‘Color revolutions’ =

Officials and publications in China characterize the actions of Occupy Central as a U.S.-funded “color revolution” and compare it to the upheavals that swept Ukraine and former Soviet republics.

Several commentaries have described in some detail the extensive role of the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy and the Democratic National Institute, along with corporate foundations’ funding of leaders and the protest movement in Hong Kong.

Thousands of nongovernmental organizations with large staffs are based in Hong Kong. Their stated goal is to build democracy. Their real purpose is to undermine the central role of the Chinese Communist Party in the organization of Chinese society. Hong Kong, unlike the rest of China, has allowed these U.S.-funded NGOs and political associations almost unlimited access for decades…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/10/07/hong-kong-protests-imperialists-support-democracy-movement/

Articles copyright 1995-2014 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Venezuela uncovers assassination, coup plot against president [Xinhua]

Posted in Colombia, National Endowment for Democracy, State Department, US Agency for International Development, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Venezuela on June 1, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

CARACAS, May 28 (Xinhua) — Venezuelan authorities Wednesday said they uncovered a plot by opposition leaders, international financiers and officials backed by the U.S. State Department to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro and take over the country.

At a press conference, top socialist leader and mayor of the capital Caracas Jorge Rodriguez denounced the “complex plan” to assassinate Maduro and unleash a spiral of violence in the country to justify foreign intervention.

Rodriguez said the plot, financed by “a multimillion-dollar fund” that has backed different anti-government actions since February, was led by Venezuelan banker Eligio Cedeno, a fugitive from justice in Venezuela.

The mayor also accused former rightwing [sic] deputy Maria Corina Machado of being behind the schemes, saying several emails tie her directly to actions aimed at fomenting violent regime change in Venezuela.

In one email, Machado mentions Kevin Whitaker, the U.S. ambassador to Colombia, and says the U.S. has confirmed its support of the political opposition and signaled what new steps should be taken.

“We have a bigger checkbook than the government,” another of Machado’s purported [sic] emails says.

“What we present today is part of a criminal investigation being carried out by the administration of justice, because the Venezuelan opposition aims to destroy the peace and constitutional order of our nation,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez asked the U.S. government to clarify whether it knew of Whitaker’s contacts or if the official acted on his own.

He also said the government will be presenting its evidence of a planned military coup in coming days.

Venezuela has been rocked by violent protests since February promoted by hardline opposition leaders demanding that Maduro step down.

The clashes have left 42 dead, 835 injured and led to 2,500 people being detained, according to the Attorney General.

Also Wednesday, Venezuelan deputies rejected a U.S. congressional initiative to apply sanctions against Venezuelan officials accused of violating the human rights of anti-government activists.

Venezuelan National Assembly Deputy Saul Ortega, of the ruling socialist party, said the proposed sanctions were “inofficious,” as U.S. laws “lack jurisprudence” in the South American nation.

In statements made to private TV channel Televen, the lawmakers called the measure “an initiative that exposes U.S. interventionism in Venezuela’s political crisis and the way it finances the opposition, above all violent groups in Venezuela.”

According to Ortega, conservative U.S. legislators campaigning for the sanctions are receiving money from Venezuelan opposition sectors.

“All the anti-Venezuelan groups finance them, they give these lawmakers money,” he said.

The U.S. Congress was set to debate a proposed bill to defend human rights in Venezuela later Wednesday.

The bill would make some 15 million U.S. dollars available to Venezuela’s violent protesters, Ortega added, in addition to the millions more being spent by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), National Endowment for Democracy and other agencies.

Editor: yan

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-05/29/c_133369040.htm

US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest and undermine government [Guardian]

Posted in Anti-communism, Cuba, US Agency for International Development, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on April 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Otherwise interesting article has a more or less obvious bias against Cuban government, and distorts reality of Internet access in Cuba – Zuo Shou

* USAid started ZunZuneo, a social network built on texts, in hope it could be used to organize ‘smart mobs’ to trigger Cuban spring *

Associated Press in Washington
3 April 2014

In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a US government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba’s communist government…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/03/us-cuban-twitter-zunzuneo-stir-unrest

(c) Guardian News & Media Ltd

*****
Also see: ‘“Cuban twitter” affair exposes USAID as instrument of regime-change’ [World Socialist Website] https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/04/05/cuba-a05.html

The WSWS article catalogs USAID’s history of ‘regime change’ operations, which somehow the Associated Press / Guardian article omitted – Zuo Shou

“Washington’s Presumption” — Venezuelan prez terms Obama ‘grand chief of devils’ [PaulCraigRoberts.org]

Posted in Assassination, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, China, CIA, FBI, Germany, Hugo Chavez, India, Japan, Nazism, Obama, Poland, US Agency for International Development, US imperialism, USA, USSR, Venezuela on May 17, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 7, 2013

The new president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, is cast in Chavez’s mold.
On May 4, he called US president Obama the “grand chief of devils.”

Obama, who has betrayed democracy in America, unleashing execution on American citizens without due process of law and war without the consent of Congress, provoked Maduro’s response by suggesting that Maduro’s newly elected government might be fraudulent. Obviously, Obama is piqued that the millions of dollars his administration spent trying to elect an American puppet instead of Maduro failed to do the job.

If anyone has accurately summed up Washington, it is the Venezuelans.

Who can forget Chevez [sic] standing at the podium of the UN General Assembly in New York City speaking of George W. Bush? Quoting from memory: “Right here, yesterday, at this very podium stood Satan himself, speaking as if he owned the world. You can still smell the sulphur.”

Hegemonic Washington threw countless amounts of money into the last Venezuelan election, doing its best to deliver the governance of that country to a Washington puppet called Henrique Capriles, in my opinion a traitor to Venezuela. Why isn’t this American puppet arrested for treason? Why are not the Washington operatives against an independent country–the US ambassador, the counsels, the USAID/CIA personnel, the Washington funded NGOs–ordered to leave Venezuela immediately or arrested and tried for spying and high treason? Why allow any presence of Washington in Venezuela when it is clear that Washington’s intention is to make Venezuela a puppet state like the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Japan, and on and on.

There was a time, such as in the Allende-Pinochet era, when the American left-wing and a no longer extant liberal media would have been all over Washington for its illegal interference in the internal affairs of an independent country. But no more. As CounterPunch’s Jeffrey St. Clair has recently made clear, the American left-wing remains “insensate to the moral and constitutional transgressions being committed by their champion”–the first black, or half-black, US president–leaving “Rand Paul to offer official denunciations against [Washington’s] malignant operations” against independent countries.

Against the Obama regime’s acts of international and domestic violence, “the professional Left, from the progressive caucus to the robotic minions of Moveon.org, lodge no objections and launch no protests.” St. Clair has written a powerful article. Read it for yourself: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/03/the-game-of-drones/print

I think the American left-wing lost its confidence when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Chinese communists and Indian socialists turned capitalist. Everyone misread the situation, especially the “end of history” idiots. The consequence is a world without strong protests of Washington’s and its puppet states’ war criminal military aggressions, murder, destruction of civil liberty and human rights, and transparent propaganda: “Last night Polish forces crossed the frontier and attacked Germany,” or so declared Adolf Hitler. Washington’s charges of “weapons of mass destruction” are even more transparent lies.

But hardly any care. The Western governments and Japan are all paid off and bought, and those that are not bought are begging to be bought because they want the money too. Truth, integrity, these are all dead-letter words. No one any longer knows what they mean.

The moronic George W. Bush said, in Orwellian double-speak, they hate us for our freedom and democracy. They don’t hate us because we bomb them, invade them, kill them, destroy their way of life, culture, and infrastructure. They hate us because we are so good. How stupid does a person have to be to believe this BS?

Washington and Israel present the world with unmistakable evil. I don’t need to stand at the UN podium after Bush or Obama. I can smell Washington [DC]’s evil as far away as Florida. Jeffrey St. Clair can smell it in Oregon. Nicolas Maduro can smell it in Venezuela . Evo Morales can smell it in Bolivia from where he cast out CIA-infiltrated USAID. Putin can smell it in Russia, although he still permits the treasonous “Russian opposition” funded by US money to operate against Russia’s government. The Iranians can smell it in the Persian Gulf. The Chinese can smell it as far away as Beijing.

Homeland Security, a gestapo institution, has “crisis actors” to help it deceive the public in its false flag operations. http://www.governamerica.com/black-ops/boston-bombings/110-fema-hiring-actors-to-run-live-terror-drills

The Obama regime has drones with which to silence American citizens without due process of law.
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/may042013/drones-boston-wh.php

Homeland Security has more than a billion rounds of ammunition, tanks, a para-military force. Detention camps have been built.

Are Americans so completely stupid that they believe this is all for “terrorists” whose sparse numbers require the FBI to manufacture “terrorists” in so-called “sting operations” in order to justify the FBI’s $3 billion special fund from Congress to combat domestic terrorism?

Congress has taxpayers paying the FBI to frame up innocents and send them to prison.

This is the kind of country American has become. This is the kind of “security” agencies it has, filling their pockets by destroying the lives of the innocent and downtrodden.

“In God we trust,” reads the coinage. It should read: “In Satan we follow.”

Article link: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/05/07/washingtons-presumption-paul-craig-roberts/

Democracy in America today (I) – Russia joins China in attacking US “human rights” propaganda [Strategic Culture Foundation]

Posted in China, Corrupt judge, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Russia, US Agency for International Development, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, USSR on November 11, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Nov. 3, 2012

Washington believes that one of the achievements of its propaganda and diplomatic machinery was that after a meeting in Helsinki in 1975, they managed to make the so-called «third basket» which in the main placed emphasis on human rights. Decade after decade, the United States used the «third basket» as an important weapon of foreign policy influence. Tectonic upheavals happened in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the late 80’s and 90’s. The twentieth century convinced the Americans of the effectiveness of the chosen instrument… In the end; Washington began to claim almost a monopoly in the field of human rights and the role of final arbiter in determining who is observing them, and who is not. And the more accusations put forward about others, the more hobbled became America`s own practice in this area. Claims to an absolute right, are absolutely ruined by absolute power. Russia has tried to respond to the constant assaults in this regard, but sluggishly, working on the principle: «You do not touch us, and we will not touch you». And then, finally, it looks like the ice broke.

On October 22, 2012 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation presented the first special report on the human rights situation in the United States, and brought it to be heard in the State Duma. The strength of the document is that it refers to the systemic problems facing American society, and this is all illustrated by convincing examples. The report presented by the Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stressed, «That the treatment of human rights in the U.S. are is far from perfect, and even sometimes resemble [sic] something from another era».

Among the most important challenges facing America are growing social inequality, discrimination on racial, ethnic and religious grounds, the practice of indefinite detention without charges, judicial bias, prisons operating outside of the law, torture, the impact of government agencies on court processes, a poor penal system, the denial of freedom of speech, Internet censorship, legalized corruption, lack of electoral rights of citizens, intolerance based on race and ethnicity, the violation of children’s rights, the extraterritorial application of U.S. law, leading to human rights violations in other countries, kidnapping , tracking dissidents, disproportionate use of force against peaceful demonstrators, the use of the death penalty against minors and the mentally ill, etc. The international legal obligations of the United States, continue to be limited to participation in only three of the nine core human rights agreements, and providing human rights monitoring mechanisms. The U.S. has not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1979, the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their families in 1990, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006 and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, 2006.

When forced to answer rather sarcastic questions from one of the Russian liberal papers over the fact that previously, say, Russia considered the subject to be an interference in internal affairs, and now, she does it too, Mr. K. Dolgov, Commissioner for Human Rights Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the main architect of the report, said that, “the main idea is that Americans continue to wrongfully position themselves as the absolute authority and unquestioned leader in the field of democracy and human rights. They are engaged in mentoring and trying to teach others how to build their democracies and ensure human rights. They do it often rudely ignoring the basic international law of the principle of state sovereignty. Often their attempts to take care of human rights in other countries are bordering on outright interference in internal affairs. Russia also faces this problem. This, in particular, is one of the reasons why the decision was made to wrap up the operations of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Russia. At the same time, according to the report, the human rights situation for Americans remains very difficult.

It should be recognized that the priority in having the audacity in speaking to America about this and what others «always thought, but were afraid to ask,» still belongs not to Russia, but to China. After many years of the Americans reporting on human rights in China, Beijing promptly submitted its scrupulous and scathing analysis of how the situation is in the US in this sensitive area. As a result, in the relationship between America and China, this topic is present mainly in propaganda, but is practically nonexistent in inter-state relations. It is enough for some American to raise the subject at any level of negotiations, for him to be immediately handed a huge Chinese tome translated into English of US sins, with a counter offer to talk about it. And, actually, why not? It acts like a magic cure, and the Americans’ enthusiasm soon evaporates. It is certainly an instructive example.

The first U.S. reaction to the Russian report proceeded along the same scenario. On 23 October at a regular briefing State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland answering a question about the report, said that the text was not known to her, but the appearance of such studies are welcome, as the U.S. is an «open book» seeking to improve its society. This is commendable, except that she «closed» the report, without even opening it….

At a State Duma hearing on human rights in the U.S., an ambassador of this country well known as a theoretician and practitioner of human rights, Michael McFaul was invited. However, he did not attend, and that is very significant. Whilst hosting numerous comments on all issues in his blog and on Twitter, on this subject the Ambassador is silent. Did he lose his interest? Or did he not expect to hear anything new about the human rights situation in his own country? This suggests that either he is well aware of the existing violations and finds it simply shameful, or he does not want to hear anything about them, and this is hypocritical. The ability not to be able to see the wood for the trees is a characteristic feature of many generations of American politicians.

Doublethink (coined by George Orwell in his novel 1984) has been intrinsic to them since the founding fathers. George Washington, for example, the so called “herald of freedom and democracy», was a planter and slave owner, who kept in the basement of his house a prison with instruments of torture for misbehaving slaves (it has been recently excavated by archaeologists) and sent expeditions to different parts of the country to catch runaway Negroes that belonged to him personally. This duality of American democracy drew the attention of Alexis de Tocqueville.

A number of publications in the U.S. responded to the report in a spirit of «propaganda». Thus, the «Los Angeles Times» says that the «tone, vocabulary and spirit» of the document submitted to the State Duma, «is reminiscent of propaganda attacks of the cold war era». The newspaper did not even try to refute or dismantle even one given fact or conclusion. But if assessing the publication of the report in Russia on human rights in the U.S. shows a return to the cold war, it turns out that for the U.S. itself that war never ended.

But Fred Weir, the long time correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor in Moscow, believes that the report is «well-documented» and «professionally written». Mainly it is based on U.S. non-governmental and academic sources and the issues raised «are quite familiar to any well-informed Americans». The Russian are not trying to say something new to America, writes Fred Weir, they want to encourage her to change her point of view and look at Russia without prejudice. They broaden the debate by pointing out that before lecturing others; the United States should resolve their own numerous problems. In the past, said Weir, the Soviet propaganda machine also tried to use this method, but rather unsuccessfully. Now Moscow’s response is much more ambitious. The Russians really feel that the American perception of them is far from correct. Also the American correspondent noticed the desire from the Russian side to move the debate «behind closed doors». And this is an echo of its past approaches which proved to be ineffective. For the White House this move just does not make sense, since the theme of human rights is a tool, not an end policy in itself. It is useless to urge the Americans to give up their decades of proven tools; they can only be confronted by self [sic] action. The Foreign Affairs Report is a worthy and successful example of such action. In pursuing the stated positions, firmness and consistency are important not only in terms of the effective management of information warfare, but also to confirm the equality of rights of states as members of the international community. For it is impossible to ensure equal respect for human rights in the world, if equal rights are not respected, including freedom of speech, in the countries in which «these people» live.

So you have made a claim? Be so kind as to listen to the reply and counterclaims. Every time, without exceptions. Refusal is the application of inequality, which is also a form of violation of the rights of individuals and the states representing them, the fact is that «all sides must be heard» Audiatur et altera pars is the basic principle of democracy.

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Article link, including original footnotes: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/11/03/democracy-in-america-today-i.html

“Democracy in America Today” Parts II [III, IV]: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/11/04/democracy-in-america-today-ii.html

(To be continued)