CIA chief hints agency is working to change Venezuelan government

CIA chief hints agency is working to change Venezuelan government

The US has a long and bloody history of meddling in Latin America’s affairs

The head of the CIA has suggested the agency is working to change the elected government ofVenezuela and is collaborating with two countries in the region to do so.

In one of the clearest clues yet about Washington’s latest meddling in the politics of Latin America, CIA director Mike Pompeo said he was “hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there”.

He added: “I was just down in Mexico City and in Bogota a week before last talking about this very issue, trying to help them understand the things they might do so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the world and our part of the world.”

Mr Pompeo’s comments, delivered during a Q&A session at a security forum organised by the Aspen Institute think tank, have sparked outcry among supporters of Venezuela’s government. President Nicolas Maduro, who was elected in 2013, has denounced Mr Pompeo’s remarks and hit out at the governments of Mexico and Colombia.

“The director of the CIA has said ‘The CIA and the US government work in direct collaboration with the Mexican government and the Colombian government to overthrow the constitutional government in Venezuela and to intervene in our beloved Venezuela,’” Mr Maduro said in a televised interview, according to TeleSur.

“I demand the government of Mexico and the government of Colombia to properly clarify the declarations from the CIA and I will make political and diplomatic decisions accordingly before this audacity.”

The US, which is currently gripped by allegations that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, has a long history of interfering with democratically elected governments in Latin America, from Chile to Nicaragua, and Argentina to Haiti.
In Venezuela, it has sought to weaken the elected governments of both Mr Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez, who was briefly ousted in a 2002 coup. Some of the effort has been in distributing funds to opposition groups through organisations such as the National Endowment for Democracy, while some has been in the form of simple propaganda.

In May 2016 unidentified US officials told reporters in a background briefing that Venezuela was descending into a deepening “crisis” that could end in violence. They said they doubted Mr Maduro was not likely to be able to complete his term, which is due to end after elections in late 2018.

Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, said that for the past 15 years of so it had been US policy to seek a change of government in Caracas.

“They have been trying to get rid of this government for a long time and they feel they are getting closer then ever,” he told The Independent.

The development comes as both Mr Maduro and his country face mounting problems. Against a backdrop of food shortages, soaring inflation and civil unrest, the president has been accused of resorting to mounting authoritarianism. The opposition has called for him to stand down and there have been widespread protests.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/cia-venezuela-crisis-government-mike-pompeo-helping-install-new-remarks-a7859771.html

Reflexión sobre Venezuela

Del porqué de la gran inflación venezolana. También como los empresarios venezolanos -pues no es una economía comunista sino mixta- compran a precio del dólar real y venden a precio de dólar paralelo produciendo las largas colas y la insuficiencia de la cesta de la compra, ya que el país depende de exportaciones para los productos finales que se suelen comercializar en los ultramarinos y supermercados.
http://www.celag.org/los-ciclos-politicos-del-dolar-paralelo-en-venezuela/#_ftn1
Sí los poderes hegemonicos y neoliberales consiguen desestabilizar políticamente Venezuela y propiciar un golpe de estado de la derecha, supondría un gravisimo retroceso de los logros de la revolución socialista de ese país y la explotación del petróleo y de sus recursos -nacionalizados y de todos los venezolanos – al capital privado
http://m.aristeguinoticias.com/3007/mundo/mexico-se-alinea-con-la-cia-contra-venezuela-articulo-de-pablo-gomez/

Para ver los logros de la revolución venezolana:
http://www.celag.org/el-socialismo-boliviariano-frente-a-la-trampa-economica-del-capitalismo/

Una de las concesiones que en la primera fase se ha hecho al sistema productivo capitalista -fase muy marxista y que supuso la ruptura en los comienzos con las tesis anarquistas- es someter la economía a la industria extractivista y establecer el centralismo industrial y de las grandes ciudades
http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=229902

En Venezuela -y en todos los países y la izquierda en general- habría de comenzar una segunda etapa que abra alternativas al sistema capitalista, a la acumulación y al consumo ilimitado,  y alejarse de la vuelta de fortalecimiento entre dos grandes bloques belicistas que hacen poderosas y perpetúan en el poder a las clases oligarquicas y que continúan midiendo el mundo en base al valor económico y no al valor a los derechos humanos o planetarios.

http://kaosenlared.net/seran-rusia-china-los-guardianes-venezuela-cuba/

La toma de poder es necesaria, pero no desde posturas desarrollistas y belicistas, sino desde una unidad social, popular que defienda alternativas y plenamente concienciada de la necesidad del movimiento continuado y de un cambio de todas las estructuras para no llegar al choque cíclico que se avecina. No creo que el sistema capitalista esté llegando a su colapso, sino que viene a dar una vuelta de tuerca más a la acumulación capitalista en un horizonte que contempla revoluciones tecnológicas cada vez más aceleradas y al que se está adaptando perfectamente.

http://partidocomunistadelparaguay.obolog.es/marx-cuarta-revolucion-industrial-2456909

Es decir, que tanto las guerras, como los genocidios, el tráfico y desaparición de personas soluciona la superpoblación reduciendo a esta masa proletaria a la marginalidad social y a la esclavitud. La propia revolución crea una clase trabajadora de técnicos y de servicios -más o menos precarizada- cuyo acceso está cada vez más profesionalizado en esa tecnología. Que es un poco la actual clase media, que está cada vez más sectorializada y alejada de los modos de producción industriales y manufactureros, surgiendo fenómenos nuevos como la aporfobia

https://psicologiaymente.net/social/aporofobia

EU ‘Tracking’ Balkan Arms Flow Revealed by BIRN

EU ‘Tracking’ Balkan Arms Flow Revealed by BIRN

The EU’s diplomatic service said it was looking into the findings of a BIRN and OCCRP investigation that showed how Central and Eastern European weapons are flooding Syria’s battlefields.

The European Union’s foreign policy unit said it was monitoring the flow of weapons to the Middle East and into the hands of Islamist groups in Syria, including ISIS.

Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, told BIRN that the External Action Service was “very active in this field”, adding: “We are looking at the report that you have published.”

The service is gathering data on illicit weapons found in Syria and Iraq, Kocijancic added.

A recent investigation by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, OCCRP, revealed that since 2012, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia and Romania have agreed exports of weapons and ammunition worth at least 1.2 billion euros to four countries supporting Syria’s armed opposition.

The bulk of the deals, totalling 829 million euros, were made with Saudi Arabia.

The exporting countries granted the licences despite evidence that many weapons are being diverted to Syria, ending up with opposition as well as Islamist groups accused of atrocities.

EU members and countries seeking to join the union are obliged to carry out eight different checks before agreeing arms export licences.

The checks include assessing the risk that sold weapons could be diverted to or end up in the hands of terrorist groups.

Kocijancic added: “We are aware of the reports on arms transfers from Europe to the Middle East, which allege illicit diversion of weapons to Islamist groups such as Da’esh, Ansar al-Sham or Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, and are looking into this issue.”

She was unable to confirm whether prospective Balkan members were likely to be criticised for their arms exports in the yearly progress reports due out this autumn.

However, she added: “The fight against organised crime, that includes drugs, arms and people smuggling, is looked at extremely carefully.”

Arms trade and human rights experts said the diversion of these weapons and their use by groups suspected of committing war crimes should raise questions about the trade.

The BIRN and OCCRP investigation, published alongside The Guardian, has made international headlines and drawn reactions from heads of states and senior officials.

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/eu-we-re-tracking-balkan-arms-flow-to-syria-08-04-2016

H&M, Zara and Marks & Spencer linked to polluting viscose factories in Asia

Major fashion brands have been linked to viscose produced in polluting factories, according to a new report by the Changing Markets Foundation.

Viscose, touted as a sustainable alternative to cotton or polyester, is often used as a cheaper and more durable alternative to silk, commonly in skirts and dresses. Experts say it is just as likely to be found in a £10 t-shirt as a £2,000 suit.

Investigators for the Changing Markets Foundation visited 10 manufacturing sites in China, India, and Indonesia, and found severe environmental damage including water pollution from untreated contaminated waste, and air pollution. Brands alleged by the report to source from these factories include H&M, Inditex (the owner of Zara), Marks & Spencer and Tesco.

Most of the brands contacted by the Guardian have acknowledged that the impacts of viscose production are an industry-wide problem and say they are exploring ways to produce more responsibly.
Also known as rayon, viscose is made from cellulose or wood pulp, often from soft woods like beech, pine and eucalyptus. “Although viscose is made from generally quick growing, regenerative trees,” says Renee Cuoco, manager of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion, “the sustainability of the wood sources varies greatly.”

Viscose production is also chemical-heavy. Central to the process is carbon disulphide, a highly volatile and flammable liquid. The report cites evidence that carbon disulphide exposure is harming both factory workers and people living near viscose plants. The toxin has been linked to coronary heart disease, birth defects, skin conditions and cancer. Historically its use was found to cause severe mental health problems in rubber factory workers exposed to high levels of the toxin.

Other toxic chemicals used in the production of viscose include sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), and sulphuric acid.

The Changing Markets Foundation visited six manufacturing plants in China and said investigators found evidence of water and air pollution and severe health impacts on local communities. The report cites evidence in Jiangxi, a province in the southeast of China, that viscose production has contributed to the pollution of China’s largest freshwater lake, Poyang, killing aquatic life.

One of the plants visited in the eastern province of Shandong was the Shandong CHTC Helon Company which the Changing Markets Foundation says supplies H&M, Inditex (Zara), and Marks & Spencer.
The report alleges residential areas nearby to the factory are polluted with carbon disulphide levels three times higher than the permitted limit. According to the report, local people told investigators water from their well is now undrinkable due to pollution.

The Shandong Helon plant has faced criticism in the past for excessive emissions of air pollutants. It was highlighted by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, the NGO set up by prominent Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun, as a company which regularly exceeds discharge standards.

Natasha Hurley, campaign manager at Changing Markets, blames fast fashion’s emphasis on volume and quick turnaround on product lines. “Clearly the viscose producers themselves have a huge responsibility here, but what has become increasingly clear is that retailers are putting huge pressure on producers and asking them to cut costs, cut delivery times – the pressure coming from the brands themselves is creating an unsustainable situation both on a social and environmental front.”

In response to the report, Ida Ståhlnacke for H&M told the Guardian it was deeply concerned at the findings and would “follow up with mentioned viscose producers that we source from.” H&M says the chemically intense nature of viscose production means it is an industry wide problem and that they are working with an external consultant to evaluate their supply chains.

A spokesperson for M&S said the company was concerned by the report and has the use of chemicals in viscose manufacturing firmly on its agenda: “We already encourage suppliers to produce more responsibly or more sustainably by incentivising them with an M&S accreditation if they do so. We know that there is much more to do though.”

A spokeswoman for Inditex spokeswoman said it works continuously with its suppliers to improve conditions and ensure that they adhere to sustainable practices. It says it will “publish our preferred viscose supplier list, according to compliance with our standards, at the end of this year.”

Tesco did not comment on its viscose suppliers, other than to say it does not source from Shandong CHTC Helon Company. A spokesman said the retailer is committed to zero discharge of hazardous chemicals: “we will continue to work closely with our suppliers on these issues.”

For Natasha Hurley at the Changing Markets Foundation, brands are not going far enough: “What we’ve seen with our investigation is that transparency doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with more sustainable production.”

Hurley explains that while brands like Zara and H&M were very open about where they source viscose from, “that hasn’t translated into the factories they’re sourcing from being to a standard that we would expect. The whole reason for transparency in the first place is to stamp out human rights and environmental abuses.”

The report is calling for carbon disulphide to be completely eradicated from the viscose production process, and for all viscose production to occur in a closed loop system which eradicates chemical discharge and prevents harm to workers and the environment.

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jun/13/hm-zara-marks-spencer-linked-polluting-viscose-factories-asia-fashion

H&M, Zara, M&S and others found buying from highly polluting factories in Asia

Global fashion brands including H&M, Zara and Marks & Spencer are buying material produced in factories that devastate peoples’ health in Indonesia, China and India, a new investigation has found. 

Toxic run-off from the manufacture of viscose, a supposedly environmentally friendly fibre used to make clothes, is contaminating water supplies and has been linked to increased risk of cancer.

Viscose is a plant-based fibre which means it is sometimes promoted as an ethical choice for consumers. However, most viscose is currently produced using a highly chemical-intensive process, according to the campaign group the Changing Markets Foundation.

They found “clear evidence” that viscose manufacturers are dumping untreated wastewater into local water supplies.

In one instance in West Java, Indonesia, locals were found washing viscose products in the river, directly exposing themselves to toxic chemicals contained in the fibre. Investigators were told no one swims in the river any more.

Near another plant in Jiangxi, China, viscose production had apparently turned the water of the Poyang Lake black, killing fish and shrimps, and stunting crop growth.

In Madhya Pradesh, India, which is home to a large viscose plant, families were found to be suffering cases of cancer and birth deformities after their groundwater and soil was contaminated by industrial pollution.

“Cheap production, which is driven by the fast fashion industry, combined with lax enforcement of environmental regulations in China, India and Indonesia, is proving to be a toxic mix,” Changing Markets said.

Unless the garment industry acts to clean up production the damage caused by viscose production will get worse, according to the report.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/h-and-m-zara-marks-spencer-clothes-supply-chain-pollution-factories-asia-a7786716.html

Determinación geométrica de los números primos y perfectos

Desde hace 2500 años los números primos atraen la atención de matemáticos y aficionados de todo el mundo, por varias razones. Una de ellas es la fascinación que produce su irregular distribución a lo largo de la recta numérica. Los números primos aparecen esparcidos aquí y allá, encontrándose sectores en donde abundan y otros en donde escasean. Se los califica de misteriosos e indomables pues no  parece existir ninguna regla que determine su ubicación  entre los demás números naturales. Si bien no hay una fórmula que prediga la distancia entre un primo y otro, cabe preguntarse lo siguiente: ¿Acaso no es la superposición de distintos patrones regulares lo que produce esa irregularidad? Por otro lado, sabemos que entre los primeros 30 millones de números naturales  sólo se encuentran  4 números perfectos:   6, 28, 496 y 8128. El quinto lugar lo ocupa un número de 8 dígitos: 33550336. Nos preguntamos ¿Cuál es el patrón geométrico subyacente que origina esta extraña serie? ¿Acaso hay que relacionar varios patrones distintos para resolver este problema?

En este breve ensayo se describe la geometría que determina la distribución exacta de los números primos y también de los números perfectos. Se ilustra el texto con 16  diagramas originales dibujados (o borroneados) por el autor. A continuación se repasan algunos conceptos básicos sobre números naturales, luego se muestra el modelo principal y algunos de sus derivados con formas recreativas, posteriormente se construye una función sencilla que genera la serie de números primos y por último se describe el patrón geométrico de los números perfectos.

http://www.polprimos.com/

Reforma o revolución (Luxemburgo)

De total actualidad. Y cabalgamos más hacia esa asimilación por parte de la clase media – proletaria del crédito y el endeudamiento del individuo que lo ingresa en el sistema capitalista de por vida. Esa aceptación de la deuda se caracteriza por una impostura vital: privatizando todos los ámbitos de la existencia,  desde bienes como son la vivienda a la sanidad, la educación e incluso hábitos alimenticios y de ocio. Mientras aceptamos esta imposición como modelo único posible -que cada vez en mayor medida margina la pobreza, pues sin capacidad crediticia el individuo queda al margen de la estructura-, producimos una acumulación capitalista para las clases oligarcas que se reparten las plusvalías de la privatización de los bienes más básicos, cuya responsabilidad ya no queda a cargo del estado sino de organismos extraoficiales, fundaciones o donaciones privadas que se utilizan para desmovilizar las protestas sociales.