An Artist’s Eternal Message Of Peace.

Posted on August 31, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“In short art is the education of nature. Thus, in its broadest sense, art is civilization. For civilization is nothing other than the unremitting aim at the major perfections of harmony”.

- ALFRED NORTH WHITEHEAD (1861-1947) British mathematician, philosopher

cropped-suits-22.jpgMusical artists have inspired billions of men and women through history. German composer Ludwig Van Beethoven said: “Music is a higher revelation than philosophy”. Writer Joseph Conrad called music “magic suggestiveness” and the “art of arts”. English man of letters Walter pater thought “all art constantly aspires toward the condition of music”. Irish writer Oscar Wilde on music: “Music is the art… which most completely realizes the artistic idea, and is the condition to which all the other arts are constantly aspiring”.

At certain points in history musical compositions have been catalysts for social change, and many stirring moments have been captured on film of huge gatherings of people joined in song as one. So, with “as one” the focus of this post, it seemed right to share on a Sunday one of Stevie Wonder’s lesser known masterpieces – “Conversation Peace”. This powerful piece comes from Stevie Wonder’s 1995 album of the same name, and the work safely meets Beethoven’s “higher revelation than philosophy” description.

“Conversation Peace” is an artistic creation of timeless beauty and spiritual power. Like the creators of works of literature which pass the test of time and become read by every successive generation hundreds or thousands of years later, Stevie Wonder has also joined the ranks of artistic genius and will be appreciated for generations to come. Here in the year 2014, although “Conversation Peace” was produced nearly two decades ago, this artistic masterpiece will forever hold enough raw power and sheer force to perpetually remain a truly effective, relevant, current, world-recognized anthem and catalyst for peace.

Take a few minutes and consider starting a “world peace fire” by sharing this video. Think of it this way. There are billions of men, women, and children around the Earth looking for encouragement, inspiration, and uplifting of their spirits during these times. Humanity is always looking for positivity and, after watching and listening keenly to “Conversation Peace”, nobody can argue with the fact that Stevie Wonder’s masterpiece delivers massive positivity.

Those who’ve listened to “Conversation Peace” in the past will surely appreciate hearing it one more time – perhaps grasping in an even more profound way just what Stevie Wonder accomplished in creating the work. For them and the ones who are listening to “Conversation Peace” for the first time, get ready to experience – in the words of another Stevie Wonder classic – higher ground.

All for one. One for all. Thank you Stevie Wonder. Peace.

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(Special thanks to Hazel Grace at YouTube)

Russian Sergey Lavrov’s U.N. Address: “No Alternative Today But Developing World Consensus.”

Posted on October 1, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-13Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was one of many from every nation on Earth to speak at the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Although of interest to all men and women in the world, people in America are largely ignorant of Russian political views so would become more aware by reading and listening. Sergey Lavrov has never been interviewed or seen on American television. A transcript of his address and video follows.

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Address

“Thank you very much Mr. President.”

“Ladies and gentlemen,   

There is growing evidence today of a contradiction for collective and purposive efforts in the interest of developing adequate responses to challenges common to all of us, and the aspiration of a number of states for domination and a revival of the archaic block thinking based on military drill discipline and the erroneous logic of friend or foe”.

“The US-led western alliance that portrays itself as a champion of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights within individual countries acts from a directly opposite position in the international arena, rejecting the democratic principles of sovereign equality of states, and trying to decide for everyone what is good and what is evil”.

“Washington has openly declared its right to the unilateral use of military force anywhere to advance its own interests. Military interference has become a norm, even despite the dismal outcome of all operations of force that the US has carried out over recent years. The sustainability of the international system has been severely shaken by the NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia, intervention in Iraq, the attack against Libya, and the failure in Afghanistan”.

“Only due to intensive diplomatic efforts was the aggression against Syria prevented in 2013. There was an involuntary impression that the goal of various color revolutions and other projects to change unsuitable regimes is to create chaos and instability. Today, Ukraine has fallen victim to this arrogant policy. The situation there has revealed the remaining deep-rooted systematic flaws of the existing architecture in the Euro-Atlantic area. The West has embarked on a course towards vertical structuring of humanity, tailored to its own far-from-inoffensive standards”.

“After they declared victory in the Cold War and the so-called End of History, the US and the EU have opted to expand the geopolitical area that is under their control without taking into account the balance of legitimate interests of all people of Europe. The western partners did not heed our numerous warnings of the inadmissibility of violating the principles of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act. Time and again, they have avoided serious joint work to establish a common space of equal and indivisible security and cooperation, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean”.

“The Russian proposal to draft the European Security Treaty was rejected. We were told directly that the legally binding guarantees of security are only meant for the members of the North Atlantic Alliance, and at this time they continue to expand to the East in spite of the promises that were given to the contrary. The instantaneous switch of NATO to hostile rhetoric, to the drawdown of its cooperation with Russia even to the detriment of the West’s own interests, and the buildup of military infrastructure on Russia’s borders reveal the inability of the alliance to change its genetic code which it created during the Cold War”.

“The US and the EU supported the coup d’état in Ukraine and reverted to outright justification of any acts by the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities that opted for suppression by force of the part of the Ukraine people which had rejected attempts to impose throughout the country an anti-constitutional order and wanted to defend its right to tis native language, culture, and history. It is precisely the aggressive assault on these rights that helped the population of Crimea to take its destiny in its own hands and make a choice in favor of self-determination”.

“This was an absolutely free choice, no matter what was invented by those who are primarily responsible for the internal conflict in Ukraine. General attempts to distort the truth and hide facts behind blanket accusations have been undertaken at all stages of the Ukrainian crisis. Nothing has been done to try to hold to account those responsible for the bloody February events at Maidan, and the massive loss of human life in Odessa, Mariupol, and other regions of Ukraine. The scale of appalling humanitarian disaster provoked by the acts of the Ukrainian army in Southeastern Ukraine has been deliberately underscored”.

“Recently, new horrifying facts have been brought to light, when mass graves were discovered in the suburbs of Donetsk. Despite UN Security Council Resolution 2166, a thorough and independent investigation of the circumstance of the loss of the Malaysian airliner over the territory of the Ukraine has been drawn out. The perpetrators of all these crimes must be identified and brought to justice, otherwise it will be difficult to count on national reconciliation occurring in Ukraine”.

“Russia is sincerely interested in the restoration of peace in this neighboring country, and this should be well understood by all who are slightly acquainted with the history of the deep-rooted and fraternal ties between these two peoples. The way towards political settlement is well known. Last April, Kiev already took upon itself an obligation in the Geneva Declaration of Russia, Ukraine, the US, and EU to immediately begin a broad national dialogue with the participation of all regions and political forces in Ukraine, with a view to carrying out constitutional reform. The implementation of this obligation would allow all Ukrainians to agree on how to live in accordance with their traditions and culture, and would enable Ukraine to restore its organic role as a binding link between the various parts of the European space, which naturally implies the preservation and respect by all of its neutral and non-block status”.

“We are convinced that with goodwill and the refusal to support the party of war in Kiev which is trying to push the Ukrainian people into the abyss of national catastrophe, a way out of the crisis is within our reach. The way to overcome a crisis has been opened with the achievement of the ceasefire agreement in Southeastern Ukraine on the basis of initiatives by Presidents Poroshenko and Putin. With the participation of their representatives of Kiev, Donetsk, Lugansk, as well as the OSCE and Russia, practical measures are being agreed upon for the successive implementation of those agreements, including the separation of the parties to the conflict, the removal of heavy weapons of Ukraine and militia forces, and the setting up of monitoring through the OSCE”.

“Russia is prepared to continue to actively promote the political settlement under the well known Minsk process as well as other formats. However, it should be crystal clear that we are doing this for the sake of peace, tranquility, and the well-being of the Ukrainian people – rather than to appease someone’s ambitions. Attempts to put pressure on Russia and to compel it to abandon its values, truth, and justice have no prospects whatsoever for success”.

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“Allow me to recall some history from not so long ago. As a condition for establishing diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in 1933, the US government demanded of Moscow guarantees of non-interference into the domestic affairs of the United States and obligations not to take any actions with a view to changing the political or social order in America. At that time, Washington feared a revolutionary virus, and those guarantees were put on record. And this was the basis for, of course, reciprocity between the US and the Soviet Union. Perhaps it makes sense to return to this topic and reproduce the demands of that time of the US government – on a universal scale”.

“Why would the General Assembly not adopt a declaration on the inadmissibility of interference into the internal affairs of sovereign states and the non-recognition of a coup d’état as the method for the change of power? The time has come to completely exclude from international interactions attempts to exert illegitimate pressure by some states on others. The senselessness and counter-productive nature of unilateral sanctions is obvious if we look at the example of the US blockade on Cuba”.

“The policy of ultimatums and the philosophy of supremacy and domination do not meet the requirements of the 21st century, and run counter to the objective process of developing a polycentric and democratic world order”.

“Russia is promoting a positive and unifying agenda. We always were, and continue to be, open to discussion of the most complex issues no matter how unresolvable they may seem to be in the beginning. We will be prepared to search for compromises and a balance of interests, and even to exchange concessions, but only if the discussion will be truly respectful and equitable. The Minsk agreements of 5 and 19 September, on the way out of the Ukrainian crisis, and the compromise on the timeline of the agreement between Kiev and the EU are good examples to follow as is the declaration, finally, of the readiness of Brussels to begin negotiations on the establishment of a free-trade agreement between the European Union and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan as had been proposed by President Putin back in January of this year”.

“Russia has consistently called for the harmonization of integration projects in Europe and Eurasia. The political on political benchmarks and timelines of such a convergence of integrations would make a real contribution to the work of the OSCE on the topic of Helsinki Plus 40″.

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“Another crucial area of this work would be to launch a pragmatic discussion, free from ideology, about the political and military architecture of the Euro-Atlantic region, so that not only members of NATO but all countries of the region including Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia would experience equal and indivisible security, and would not have to make a false choice of ‘either with us, or against us’. New dividing lines in Europe must not be allowed, even more so because in the era of globalization those lines can turn into a watershed divide between the West and the rest of the world”.

“It should be stated honestly that no one has a monopoly on truth and no one is now capable of tailoring global and regional processes to their own needs. There is no alternative today to the development of consensus regarding the rules of sustainable governance and new historical circumstances with full respect of the cultural and civilizational diversity of the world, and a multiplicity of models of development. It will be a difficult and perhaps a tiresome task to achieve such a consensus on every issue, but the recognition of the fact that democracy in every state is the worst form of government except for all the others also took time to break its way through, until Churchill proclaimed his verdict”.

“The time has come to realize the inevitability of this fundamental truth in international affairs, where today there is a huge deficit of democracy. Of course, some will have to shatter centuries-old ideas and abandon claims to eternal uniqueness, but there is no other way forward. Joint efforts can only be built on the principle of mutual respect and taking into account one another’s interests, as is the case for example in the framers of the United Nations Security Council, the G20, BRICS, and the SCO”.

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“The theory of the value of collective work has been reaffirmed by practice, and this includes progress in the settlement of the situation around the Iranian nuclear program and the successful conclusion of the chemical de-militarization of Syria. On the point, speaking of chemical weapons, we would like to receive authentic information on the state of the chemical arsenals in Libya. We understand that our NATO colleagues, having bombed this country in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions, would not like to stir up the mayhem that they have created. However, the problem of uncontrolled Libyan chemical arsenals is too serious to turn a blind eye to”.

“We think that the UN Secretary General has an obligation to show proof of his responsibility on this issue as well. What is important at this point is to see the global priorities and to avoid holding them hostage to a unilateral agenda. There is an urgent need to refrain from double standards and approaches to conflict settlement. Generally, everyone agrees that the key issue is to resolutely counter terrorists who are attempting to bring under their control increasingly broader territories in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, the Sahara-Sahel area”.

“That being the case, this task should not be sacrificed to ideological schemes or the desire to settle personal scores. Terrorists, no matter what slogans they hide behind, should remain outside the law. Moreover, it goes without saying that the fight against terrorism should rely on a solid foundation of international law. An important phase in this matter was the unanimous adoption by a number of UN security resolutions, including those on the issue of foreign terrorist fighters, and, to the contrary, attempts to contravene the charter of our organization do not contribute to the success of joint efforts”.

“The struggle against terrorists on the territory of Syria should be organized in cooperation with the Syrian government, which has clearly stated its readiness to join it. Damascus has already shown its capability of cooperating with international programs when it participated in the destruction of its chemical arsenals. From the very beginning of the Arab Spring, Russia called for it not to be left to extremists and for the establishment of a united front to counter the growing terrorist threat. We went against the temptation to make allies of almost anyone who proclaimed himself an enemy of Bashar Al Assad, whether it be Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, or other fellow travelers seeking regime change, including ISIL, which today is the focus of our attention”.

“As the saying goes, better late than never. It is not for the first time that Russia is making a very real contribution to the fight against both ISIL and other terrorist factions in the region. We have sent large supplies of weapons and military equipment to the governments of Iraq, Syria, and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and we will continue to support their efforts to suppress terrorists. The terrorist threat requires a comprehensive approach; we want to eradicate its root cause rather than be condemned to react only to the symptoms. ISIL is only part of the problem”.

“We propose to launch, under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council, an in-depth and broad study on extremist and terrorist threats and aspects of their threat in the Middle East and North African region”.

“This integrated approach implies also the long-standing conflict should be considered primarily between the Arabs and Israel. The absence of a settlement of the Israel-Palestine issue over several decades remains and is widely recognized one of the main factors of instability in the region which is helping the extremists to recruit more and more jihadists”.

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“Another literally urgent area of our common work together is the joining of our efforts to implement decisions of the UN General Assembly and Security Council to combat the Ebola virus. Our doctors are already working in Africa. There are plans to send additional humanitarian assistance, equipment, medical instruments, medicines, and teams of experts to assist the UN programs in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

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The United Nations was established on the ruins of World War II, and it is entering the year of its 70th anniversary. It is an obligation for us all to celebrate in an appropriate manner the anniversary of the great victory, and to give tribute to the memory of all who perished for freedom and the right of each people to determine its own destiny”.

“The lessons of that terrible war, and the entire course of events in today’s world, require us to join efforts and forget about unilateral interests and national election cycles. When it comes to countering global threats to all humanity, it should not be allowed for national egoism to prevail over collective responsibility”. 

“Thank you”.

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(RT)

Bolivia’s Evo Morales Addresses U.N.: “Build A New World Without Delay.”

Posted on September 29, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

earthblog2Bolivia’s President Evo Morales spoke at the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, and delivered what arguably was one of the most powerful addresses at that global institution since its creation in 1945. Because he spoke the truth.

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“Thank you very much. Honorable President of the General Assembly to the United Nations. Brothers and sisters. Listeners around the world”.

“Mother Earth and humanity are suffering, stricken by the environmental, climate, financial, food crisis generated by a predatory humanity, capitalism, that turns human life and Mother Earth into merchandise. Today we have a historic opportunity to build a new, different world, and we must do so without delay. The post-2015 agenda must express that mandate which Mother Earth and humanity call us for”.

“We salute the proposal of the open-ended working group of the United Nations on the sustainable development goals, which incorporates the proposal of Bolivia and the peoples on the world on respect for Mother Earth and harmony with nature. This is not a simple political statement. It is a shared commitment with the entire world to change our visions of development for a more comprehensive, holistic vision. We propose to the world living well, in harmony with Mother Earth and the construction of a culture of life, complementarity, solidarity, and peace”.

“We have lost our respect for Mother Earth. Today, she is being merchandised and manipulated, causing great danger to life. Now, as at no other time, the premise that man believes himself to be the lord and master of nature is more true than ever. People, encouraged by capitalism, have turned everything into a market, including genetic manipulation and the destruction of human beings. Human and natural life and their happiness should be the very reason why any vision, tool, or focus for development exist. No vision of development makes sense if it does not respect or strengthen life”.

“Economic growth on its own does not lead to the realization of social rights and living well. The horizon of equality calls for the distribution of wealth, economic and political empowerment of the poor, the excluded, and the marginalized. It calls for strengthening communities and building societies with solidarity, not exclusive societies based on the accumulation of wealth or governed by the need to make money, avarice, and the grasping nature of the market. Together with the Group of 77 and China, I must state the fundamental importance of recovering our countries and our people’s sovereignty over our natural resources”.

“It is only through the recovery of control of natural resources that we will be able to garner greater benefits for our peoples, in particular to eliminate poverty, to invest in economic diversification, industrialization, and social programs. Each country has the right to decide on its priorities and strategies for development, but it is important for these strategies to strengthen the environmental functions and the ecosystems of Mother Earth in the framework of complementarity and mutual support between productive systems, communities, and nature. It is vital to strike a balance between the rights of Mother Earth, the right to development, the rights of indigenous peoples, and social, economic, and cultural rights – as well as the right of the poor to emerge from poverty”.

“Complementarity and mutual support are instruments to conserve Mother Earth, not commercial incentives, and on this point we differ from the followers of the so-called Green Economy. An important issue to be promoted in the framework of the post-2015 agenda is the human right to water, and the right of Mother Earth to enjoy the use of water to regenerate and reproduce life. Three billion people today live in areas or regions where the need for water, the demand for water, exceeds the available water, and this reality will worsen as years pass”.

“By 2030, the demand for water will have increased by 30%. In 2050 four billion people will suffer from critical scarcity of water in the context of climate change”.

“Brothers and sisters,    In Bolivia, in accordance with human rights, to water, and our constitution, and thanks to the national program entitled ‘My Water’, we have already reached the Millennium Development Goals, and we did so some three years before schedule.  Declaring the human right to water means that it cannot be privatized. Water is life. It cannot be the subject of profit or commerce. In the same way, to resolve major social inequalities basic services such as water, electricity, telecommunications, and basic sanitation, as well as education and health, must be human rights. We have pending work to eradicate poverty and hunger, but in order to do this we must also fight the pitiless, inhuman forces of capital and the market”.

“The omnipresent power of banks and usurers who profit from consumerism and hunger, the so-called ‘Vulture Funds’, are an expression of this. They are agents of financial exploitation who live off speculation, stealing from developing countries with impunity, taking the bread off the tables of the poor, extorting, and using the help of the legal systems of capitalism to profit. This is a cause of the financial crisis and they profited from it. We must profoundly change the exclusionary structures of financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank”.

“This measure should be part of the transformation of the world financial architecture. These organizations cannot be governed only by developed countries, which through clever financial strategies blackmail and oppress developing countries, especially the poorest. This is what we call eradicating financial colonialism in the world. There continues to be an offensive, abusive reality; the fact that out of 1.3 billion poor people over 800 million people are chronically malnourished, and also the gaps between the rich and the poor. This is due to an unequal distribution of income, but also to an unequal discriminatory access to wealth, to the means and factors to live well and basic services”.

“The increase of hungry people in the world is due without any doubt to the crisis. If there had not been a financial crisis, there would be 413 million less hungry people in the world today. It is unthinkable to eradicate hunger and poverty without changing the international financial architecture”.

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“The violence of war feeds the darkest interests such as geopolitical control of the great powers and corporations, which promote conflicts in order to ensure their imperial or neocolonial interests. The economic interests of capital today promote neocolonial wars. With the cost of war spent elsewhere, humanity could overcome many of the problems facing it today such as Ebola, tuberculosis, and other diseases. We have been witness once again to the cruelty and barbarism of the genocidal actions of the government of Israel against the Palestinian civilian population. This is why we have denounced Israel for violating international humanitarian law and universal human rights”.

“We demand an investigation of the crimes committed by Israel on the Gaza Strip. The pluri-national state of Bolivia, like other Latin American countries, share a deep need that it is necessary to reiterate: the effectiveness of the United Nations resolutions calling for the end of the occupation of Palestinian territories and the building of an independent Palestinian state with the borders that existed on June 4, 1967. For this reason, we reiterate once again, the need to recognize Palestine as a full member of the United Nations”.

“As President of the G-77 and China I cannot fail to mention the important commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Group of 77. This was celebrated on June 14 and 15 of this year in Bolivia. The summit of states and heads of governments of the G-77 and China adopted a declaration entitled ‘For a New World Order To Live Well’. This ratifies the principles of unity, complementarity, and solidarity, as well as the building of a new world order which would establish a fairer, more democratic system to benefit our peoples. We hail the Bolivian alliance for the peoples of our America, and the free trade treaty of peoples”.

“Having completed 10 years of tireless work for integration of people which goes beyond the commercial benefits or trade benefits, and concentrates its efforts on promoting the values of cooperation, solidarity, and complementarity”.

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“Since March of 2011, 150,000 people have died in Syria. Three million people fled as refugees to neighboring countries. Bolivia shares a belief that the future and destiny of Syria must be determined by the Syrian people itself, in full exercise of its democracy in accordance with the charter of the United Nations. Bolivia condemns and rejects the interference of the United States in Iraq, which has triggered the current crisis in Iraq. The war begun in 2003 against Iraq destabilized the entire region. It was said that Iraq had large quantities of weapons of mass destruction. This argument ended up being one of the biggest lies in the history of imperialism”.

“Based on this lie, peaceful co-existence between social, ethnic, and religious groups has been destroyed. This situation has led to a terrorist group called the Islamic State to put Iraq in a new war situation threatening the entire region. Bolivia rejects the extreme violence which this terrorist group has been enacting against civil society. We affirm with full conviction that nothing justifies fratricidal violence. The invasion of Iraq with other historical events have taught us a lesson: that wherever the United States of America intervenes, it leaves destruction, hate, misery, and death in its trail”.

“But it also leaves wealth in the hands of those who profit from wars – the transnationals of the arms industry and the oil industry. With a culture of peace, we must eradicate the extremist fanaticism and also the imperial war-mongering which the United States promotes. Faced with war, they threaten more war. The United Nations organization was created to build and promote peace, not to justify invasions and wars. To make war against war is not peace. This is a perverse formula; a formula for death and endless confrontation. We must solve the structural causes of war: marginalization, poverty, the lack of opportunity, cultural, political, and social exclusion, discrimination, inequality, the usurpation and despoilment of territory, pitiless capitalism, and the dictatorship of the interests of transnational corporations”.

“Every year we hear from President Barack Obama here discourse of war, of arrogance, and threats to the peoples of the world. This too is a discourse of extremist fanaticism”.

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“The economic, commercial, and financial blockade of the government of the United States against Cuba is a main tool, the main policy tool of the United States. The blockade against Cuba is a system of the most unfair, severe, and prolonged unilateral sanctions that has ever been applied. This blockade is genocide; it must come to an end immediately”.

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“We want to express to this assembly the historic right of the Bolivian people on access to the sea. This right was trampled by a brutal invasion promoted by colonial business interests. Colonial imposition, the lack of truly participatory democracy, in the interests of foreign companies were interposed between the peoples of Bolivia and Chile. These kindred peoples were led to war in order to allow transnational companies to make profit. For this reason, with the conviction of a country which believes in peace and promotes it, convinced of the harmony of our relations with all our neighbors, we turn to the International Court of Justice in search of dialogue in order to achieve a peaceful solution in good faith to the prolonged dispute on our sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean”.

“Our case is not an attempt to change the international order of borders and frontiers, and it is not a threat to international treaties as the government of Chile would have some believe. Quite the contrary. Bolivia calls on international law and its principles to resolve in a concerted fashion and in good faith its sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean. We will do well for our peoples, for our new generations, for the region, and for the world, if we achieve an effective peaceful solution for the sovereign access of Bolivia to the sea. For this reason I call on all countries of the United Nations system at the 69th Assembly to support not only Bolivia but also our neighbor Chile in this challenge for peace, justice, and law”.

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“Brothers and sisters,    We must eradicate violence and war. We must denounce the imperialist war-mongering of world powers who arrogantly believe that they incarnate the ideals of liberty. Those imperial powers, using their media to manipulate the wills and emotions of people, they lie and deceive with impunity. They divide and confront nations and communities against each other to promote wars, to control strategic resources, and put them at the service of their transnational capital. This is the century of peace – peace with sovereignty – with freedom of peoples and not with a free market. This is a century of the agreements for liberty, for life and peace, and not agreements for free trade in life”.

“There will be no harmony if the arrogance of empires and their renewed colonialism harass, suppress, and kill human beings, cultures, and the peoples of the world”.

“Brothers and sisters,     The empire of finance, the empire of markets, the empire of the arms industry, must all fall to give way to the wisdom of life, and life in peace and harmony”.

“Just to summarize, with the greatest respect for all of you, I would like to say that if you want to put an end to poverty, if you want to defend life and the Mother Earth – our only path is to put an end to the capitalist system and imperialist thinking – for the well-being of humanity”.

“Thank you very much”.

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Venezuela’s President Maduro Says: “Build New UN For Total Peace, New World.”

 

Posted on September 28, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

World Map1People can speculate about why, but it is difficult to find speeches from leaders in Latin America with English translation. The original intent for this post was to include the words spoken by Argentine President Cristina Kirchner at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) chaired by Barack Obama. Unfortunately, such a translation has yet to become found. If anyone reading could provide a link to video or transcript/Ms. Kirchner’s English version at the Obama-chaired UNSC meeting, it would be appreciated. The same request would apply for Bolivian President Evo Morales’ address to the UN General Assembly. Thanks.

Although an English video/transcript of Ms. Kirchner/Mr. Morales weren’t available, the address by Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro to the General Assembly was found with English subtitles. In passing, Mr. Maduro’s English-version interviews and speeches are particularly hard to find, causing one to wonder if there is an effort to keep his views out of the American public’s minds. As the Venezuelan President notes in his UNGA address, his country is where the world’s largest oil reserves are found. Historically, leaders of nations where substantial energy resources are found seem to come up against troubles and difficulties with running their governments, or getting their messages out to the world. Can anyone say “Middle East”?

All of the meetings and addresses at the UN are accessed at http://www.un.org 

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What follows is a partial transcript of Nicolas Maduro’s address at the 69th Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly then a video with English subtitles of the entire speech.

“The UN is a historic experience for humanity. Never before has humanity had a meeting place to talk about peace; to work on solutions to conflict, never before, in 7,000 years of known civilization. If we look at the history of humanity there are stories of the imperialists and the fights between them for resources and territories. It is only with the creation of this system in 1945, when, looking towards the future a light shined in the distance at the end of a long tunnel. A tunnel of wars, of battles, of conflicts”.

“We believe the UN is important, regardless of any criticism there is. We believe this organization has great human importance; we insist that it requires a profound transformation. As Commander Hugo Chavez says, here in this very spot, in his famous speeches to defend human causes, there is a need for a democratic and profound re-foundation. And as Jacob Zuma from South Africa said, there is a need to democratize. Our sister Africa, there is a need to re-found the UN Security Council, to expand the roles of the regions, we are in a different world from 1945″.

“If the UN was born to process the issues of post-war reconstruction and the issues of new conflicts, today the UN must adjust to a multi-polar world. A pluri-polar, multi-centered world, with new actors, with countries and regions that are emerging, that have their own voice and thought that aspire to be respected in this world. The UN must adapt its organizations and submit itself to general sovereignty, to the people of the world who demand that their voice count, that their voice be respected and heard. We have heard this among the voices of those who have spoken on the 69th session of the General Assembly”.

“We believe in strengthening the figure of the Secretary General as has been spoken many times. It strengthens the institutional figure of the General Secretary who represents us all; a Secretary General who knows how to listen to all, and who looks for ways to make peace and avoid conflict in the world. We believe in the necessity of re-configuring the General Assembly system, in order to democratize it and give it a stronger role that would allow this great debate here in the GA to play a role in decision-making”.

“That is why we believe in the necessity of building a new UN for peace, for a new world. Where there are no empires who wish to go back to a unipolar world. This is urgent for the world, beyond what the officials and governments here think. There is another world where we can all talk, think, and decide. Decide on our countries’ destiny, on peace; there’s a new regionalism that has come up. At the end of the 40s, 50s, the European Union was formed. That was an experience of new regionalism in Europe. Today it is admired around the world. In the 70s and 80s, the African Union was formed, an extraordinary system of organization by our sister Africa to promote developments and life, in one of the most marginalized parts of the world, Mother Africa”.

“At the outset of the 21st century Latin America is also playing its part; new organizations have been formed in Latin America”.

“… same with PetroCaribe, our brothers in PetroCaribe, 18 nations; it is one of the – and pardon my lack of modesty – it is one of the best examples of a new world of peace, justice, and solidarity; of cooperation and complementarity. To the powerful of the world, to those who manage capital, to those who manage economic power: to them I say another world is possible and we are demonstrating that in our America. The organization of South American states – UNASUR. The new regionalism in the South founded April 17, 2007 with the new leadership of Latin America, our Commander Hugo Chavez was there, today UNASUR is a bloc”.

“… very interesting, very important, which is beginning to articulate with the rest of the world. Recently, there was a very interesting meeting that will impact over the coming years between the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), with new mechanisms for development, and UNASUR in Brasilia. We decided to share experience between the BRICS bank which had just been announced, and the new Bank of the South, the new financial infrastructure from this emerging world, from new regionalisms. Latin America is incorporating itself in new regionalisms with enthusiasm. Based on the experience, there are new ways to establish a roadmap for re-foundation of the UN”.

“It shouldn’t remain an abstraction”.

“Here in New York there is a general push towards the re-foundation of the UN. We must find the path, build a roadmap together. That’s what humanity needs to take on the big issues we are obliged to face”.

—-

“Ms. President,    The UN during 22 years has voted with record assistance for a cause that is the cause not only of our America, but also the cause for the governments and peoples of this world. This is the rejection of the economic blockade against our brother Republic of Cuba. It is an anachronism of the Cold War. … President Barack Obama, when will you lift the blockade and end the persecution against our brother Cuba?”

—-

“… The Vulture Funds are very dangerous”. Here Nicolas Maduro expresses Venezuela’s solidarity with Argentina, who has faced legal attack from a so-called “Vulture Fund” controlled by American billionaire Paul Singer.

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“… Oscar Lopez Rivera, the oldest political prisoner in the world, is in a United States prison, and we demand his immediate liberation. Oscar Lopez Rivero, his only crime was to fight for the independence of his homeland (Puerto Rico)”.

—-

“Venezuela is in the process of a popular, democratic revolution”. In 1999, the Venezuelan people publicly debated a new constitution, then voted for the version that offered the people their best democratic opportunity. In the fifteen years since then, the percentage of Venezuelans with access to education has risen to 90%, with free public study at the primary, secondary, and university levels, and the country’s unemployment rate has been reduced from over 20% in 1999 to 5.5% today.

After noting that Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, Nicolas Maduro said, “Venezuela has had to live through permanent threats and conspiracies by imperial forces and their allies who have tried again and again to suffocate democracy. They are responsible for a coup d’état against Commander Chavez. Then, after he left us on March 5, 2013, the same forces started trying to damage our country again. I thank the governments of the world for their solidarity. Solidarity with Venezuela in resistance and struggle. They couldn’t move in against Commander Chavez and they won’t with us. Venezuela will continue on its path of democracy, revolution, and independence; of dignity, and in our own voice we will face the world”.

—-

“… If this world and the UN had a little more of a human side, we would all be concentrated. Instead of sending drones and bombs to destroy Gaza, or to bomb the people of Iraq and Syria, we should be concentrated on using our force against this (Ebola) virus”.

—-

“As I mentioned yesterday from a poem from indigenous people in South America, ‘…once they have poisoned all the rivers and lakes, after there is no longer a single fish in the sea, then the powerful of the world will have to eat money’. … Climate change is an emergency, it’s not about speeches and documents and general proposals”.

—-     

“We must recuperate the quality of the rational humanity in our organization (UN) and put our common problems on the top of the agenda – the problems that affect us all”.

—-

Terrorism

“I ask: how much does it hurt when western journalists are killed? A lot. The methods of these groups are repugnant. But it also hurts when boys and girls from a school in Syria are captured, and dismembered – as were women in mosques. It hurts us, or does human life have greater value if it is from a particular country and of a particular color? … Loss of human life hurts, that is why we have condemned terrorist attacks carried out by NATO and its allies against Syria in the name of regime change – and I say this openly before you”.

“We say it with the force of Bolivar and Chavez in our hearts, if the Syrian government had been taken down by those terrible attacks, today the entire region of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan, today those terrorist groups would have taken state power. It hurts but we have to say it, President Bashar Al Assad and the democratic government of Syria are the ones who have held back the terrorists, and they have suffered for it, thousands of dead. We think instead of bombing in a demented logic, we must make an alliance of peace against terrorism, respecting the sovereignty of nations, respecting the sovereign governments of that entire region. I would like the US to take note of that and relay the message to President Obama”.

“Only an alliance that respects the sovereignty of those nations and their governments and armed forces can overcome this terrorist scourge that has risen up like a monster, supported by the West itself. There will be no way of destroying them with bombs. Those bombs primarily kill the innocent, not armed groups. We must bring together the sovereign governments of Iran, Iraq, Syria, of Lebanon, of Jordan, of Egypt and of the region and establish a strategy. A political, military, cultural, and communications strategy, together with the UN Security Council”.

“The rest is crazy, it’s demented, think back to what the President of Chad said about Libya. They have promoted hate, promoted anti-Gaddafi sentiment, and what is happening there today? Today it is a territory for trafficking in explosives, in weapons, in armed groups of terrorists who control sections and who have destroyed the beautiful history of Libya. It is a demented path to violence. More violence, more terror, a less secure world. It has gotten out of the hands of those who direct this organization and who make decisions”.

—-

“We are on time, us, we bring our voice, our proposal, with modesty, with love. Just as we have expressed , and will continue to express, our solidarity with Palestine… To the people of Palestine who recently suffered a brutal attack. Our organization (UN) should be re-founded to work together for total peace. It’s not the threat of or war, or conspiracies to overthrow the government like mine which will bring lasting peace. No. Rather it is respect for international law. That is what will bring peace and security”.

“We humbly hope to play a role in animating, in starting a process of re-foundation of the UN. The process of creating an agenda of world priorities where we all have a voice, we all have a vote, where no one imposes their will. In one year the delegations of the world will be welcomed to Caracas. To a historic summit of non-aligned countries. We will wait for you there. Thanks, Ms. President and to all present. May God bless us and allow us to continue to bring peace to our people”.

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(Thank you to sucreranda Hugo Chavez Venezuela at YouTube)

Palestine’s Mahmoud Abbas To UN: “Hour Of Independence Of The State Of Palestine Has Arrived.”

Posted on September 27, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-41Millions of men, women, and children around the Earth agree with head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas when he told the United Nations (UN) General Assembly – and the world community – that it is time for Palestine to become an independent, sovereign nation.

Here is a partial transcript of Mahmoud Abbas’ historic address plus a video with the address in its entirety.

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“… this war came after long, difficult negotiations for more than eight months under the auspices of the United States, the efforts of President Barack Obama, and the tenacious efforts of his Secretary of State John Kerry. We engaged in this endeavor which opened minds in good faith and a positive spirit. We engaged with the efforts of the American administration and put forth our firm positions based on resolutions of international legitimacy. We genuinely respected all of our commitments and our standards. As we watched ongoing and escalating Israeli violations we exercised unimaginable self-restraint, silencing our cries and tending to our wounds in order to give American efforts the best possible chance for success”.

“However, as usual, the Israeli government did not miss the opportunity without undermining chances for peace. throughout the months of the negotiations, settlement construction, land confiscations, home demolitions, killing and arrest campaigns, forced displacement on a large scale on the West Bank continued unabated, and the unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip was tightened. The occupation’s campaign specifically targeted the City of Jerusalem and its inhabitants, attempting to artificially alter the spirit, identity, and character of the Holy City… threatening grave consequences”.

“At the same time, racist and armed gangs of settlers persisted in their crimes against the Palestinian people, the land, mosques, property, and olive trees. As usual, the Israeli government once again failed the test of peace. It breeched an agreement with the American administration regarding the release of a number of Palestinian prisoners in the occupation’s jails, and we continue to insist on releasing all of them. When confronted with simple questions in direct negotiations or through the American mediator, it did not, the Israeli government did not, hesitate to reveal its true position”.

“Israel refuses to end its occupation of the State of Palestine, which it occupied in 1967, rather it seeks its continuation and entrenchment. It rejects the Palestinian state. It refuses to find a just solution to the plight of the Palestinian refugees. This is the official position of the government of Israel. The future proposed by the Israeli government for the Palestine people is, at best, isolated ghettos for Palestinians on fragmented lands without borders, and without sovereignty over its airspace, water, and natural resources, which will be under the subjugation and control of the racist settlers and the army of occupation”.

“And, at worst, will be an abhorrent form of apartheid. Some of them say we are for two states. Where is the State of Palestine? These are the characteristics they intend for the State of Palestine. Israel has confirmed in the course of negotiations that it rejects making peace with its victims – the Palestinian people. This has all been done concurrently with an attempt to give a religious nature to the conflict, and with the rising and rampant racism in the Israeli political and media discourse, its entrenchment in the school curriculum, and in a series of laws and practices of the occupation and its settlers. This culture of racism incitement and hatred was glaringly manifested in the despicable, appalling crime committed months ago by fascist settlers who abducted the young Jerusalem boy, burnt him alive, and then killed him”.

“This reminds them of something else in history. Over the past years, the occupying power has also pursued a policy aimed at deliberately debilitating the Palestinian National Authority, to undermining it, and in essence to fully negate its role. Occupation targeted the work we have been relentlessly undertaking to establish the foundations of the State of Palestine; that we want a sovereign and independent state, living in peace and building bridges of mutual cooperation with its neighbors that respect commitments, obligations, and agreements, strengthens the values of citizenship, equality, non-discrimination, human rights, the rule of law, and pluralism”.

“…deepens the Palestinian enlightened tradition of tolerance, co-existence, and non-exclusion. Strengthens the culture of peace, promotes the role of women, establishes effective administration committed to the standards of good governance. The occupation wants to impose its own model, because it is the antithesis of its settlement policies; because it wants to destroy the chance for the realization of the Palestinian existence in an independent state, within the framework of the two-state solution. When our efforts to end the internal division through national dialogue succeeded a few months ago, and we prepared to restore the unity of our land, nation, and institutions, we formed a national consensus government and began the process to lead to the holding of residential and legislative elections”.

“All states of the world welcomed that achievement with the exception of Israel, which has constantly sought to fragment our land and our national unity”.

—-

“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,     Now, where do we go from here? The idea that it is possible to simply return to the work which repeatedly fails is naïve at best, and in any case erroneous, as it knows the fact that it is no longer acceptable nor possible to repeat methods that have proven futile, or continue approaches that have repeatedly failed and require comprehensive review and radical correction. It is impossible – I repeat, it is impossible – to return to the, where and when the cycle of negotiations that failed to deal with the substance of the matter and the fundamental questions. There is neither credibility nor seriousness in negotiations in which Israel pre-determines the results”.

“There is no meaning or value in negotiations  for which the agreed objective is not ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the independence of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital on the entire Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 war. There is no value in negotiations which are not linked to affirm the timetable for the implementation of this goal. It’s high time for this settlement and occupation to end now”.

“… The people of Palestine are actually the ones who need immediate international protection; we are seeking this through international organizations. We are in need of security and peace more than any other people. The children of Palestine are worthy of the world’s efforts to ensure that their childhood dreams and lives will not be devastated again. It is time for the chapter of this prolonged, ongoing tragedy to be closed. Those who were uprooted from their homes, good land, and beautiful country during nakhba 66 years ago, pushed in the misery and life lived as a refugee, now being forced into new ways of expulsion onto the ships of death in the world seas, are in need of assurances that they will not be displaced from their homes once again”.

“That their homes will not be destroyed again, and that they will not spend their lives awaiting the explosion of a new war. It is time for this long tragedy to come to an end”.

“We will not accept or forever be the ones being demanded to prove their good intentions, by making concessions at the expense of their rights, and to remain silent as they are killed and their land is devoured. … We are trying to exercise our primordial life to dream about more beautiful days, to expect a stable and ordinary tomorrow, and for our youth to be able to plan their coming days and years safely in peace and freedom over our land like all other peoples of the world. The time has come for real, just peace to prevail in the land of peace”.

“As I mentioned more than once, we are the only people remaining under occupation in the world”.

—-

“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,    We, along with all the Arab countries, have constantly cautioned about the disastrous consequences of the continuation of the Israeli occupation and the denial of freedom and independence for the people of Palestine. We have repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that allowing Israel to act as a state above the law with impunity and without any accountability or punishment for its policies, aggression, and defiance of the international will and legitimacy, has absolutely provided fertile ground and an environment conducive for the growth of extremism, hatred, and terrorism in our region; confronting the terrorism that plagues our region by groups such as ISIL and others, that have no basis whatsoever in the tolerant Islamic religion, or with humanity”.

” They are committing brutal and heinous atrocities. This requires more than military confrontation; this is an urgent matter. It requires more than condemnations and declarations of positions, which of course are necessary. This requires a comprehensive and credible strategy to dry up the sources of terrorism and eradicate its roots in all political, intellectual, economic, and social spheres in our region. It requires the creation of solid foundations for a reasonable, practical consensus that makes the fight against all forms of terrorism, in any place everyone, a collective task that is undertaken by the alliance of nations, peoples, and civilizations”.

“It requires in this context, and as a priority, bringing an end to the Israeli occupation of our country, which constitutes in its practice and perpetuation an abhorrent form of state terrorism, and breeding ground for incitement of tension and hatred”.

—-

“Mr. President,    At a time when we are still suffering for the horrors of war, we face a formidable challenge to reconstruct what has been destroyed by occupation. This is the 3rd time to reconstruct the destruction waged upon us by occupation. At the invitation of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the kingdom of Norway, which we deeply appreciate, the city of Cairo will host next month an international conference for the relief and reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Our government will present comprehensive reports to the conference on the loss inflicted by the aggression on the different sectors of society, and it will provide details of the plans and programs that will rapidly be implemented and supervised in the Gaza Strip to meet immediate relief and the requirements for reconstruction in full coordination with United Nations agencies and bodies”.

“Everything will take place under the supervision of the UN. More than two days ago, the Palestinian faction emphasized its support for Gaza to facilitate reconstruction. While we reiterate our appreciation on to, and gratitude to all states and organizations that rushed to provide assistance to the people of Palestine in the course and after the war, we are confident that brotherly and friendly countries will not waver in supporting support and plans and programs. … We are also confident that the conference will achieve practical results that fulfill expectations and needs of the victims of this aggression”.

“We reaffirm here that the primary prerequisite for the success of all those plans and efforts is an end to the ongoing Israeli despicable blockade that has for years suffocated the Gaza Strip and turned it into the largest prison in the world for nearly two million Palestinian citizens. At the same time we affirm our commitment and need to consolidate the ceasefire through negotiations under the auspices of Egypt. However, in order to avert repeating the cycle of war and the whirlwind of reconstruction every two or three years, it is imperative to focus on the fundamental issue, the starting point, that is the suffering of Gaza will not be completely terminated except by ending the occupation and the achievement of the independence of the States of Palestine”.

—-

“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,    During the past two weeks, Palestine and the Arab group undertook intensive contacts with the various regional groups and the United Nations to prepare for the introduction of a draft resolution to be adopted by the Security Council on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and to push forward the efforts to achieve peace. We still believe in peace through international legitimacy. This endeavor reaffirms our commitment to achieve a just peace through a negotiated solution, and our adoption of a diplomatic and political effort through United nations bodies. This endeavor was inspired by and based fully on the spirit and provisions of the many resolutions you have approved in the General Assembly and those adopted by the Security Council, which have set the foundations for a lasting solution and just peace”.

“There is nothing new. All those are adopted resolutions. This endeavor aspires to correct the deficiency of previous efforts to achieve peace by affirming the goal of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the two-state solution. The State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital over the entire territory occupied in 1967, alongside the State of Israel and reaching a just and agreed solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees on the basis of Resolution 194, with a specific timeframe for the implementation of these objectives, as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative”.

“There must be a timeframe for the implementation of these objectives. This will be linked to the immediate resumption of negotiations between Palestine and Israel to demarcate the borders, reach a detailed and comprehensive agreement, draft a peace treaty between them; detailed and comprehensive agreement on all issues of the final status and a comprehensive peace treaty between us and them. We are confident that this endeavor receives all-out support by those who are committed to ensuring that our country will not witness new wars and atrocities. By those who wish to support a campaign to combat terrorism; those who believe that it is necessary to act expeditiously to rectify the historical injustice inflicted by the nakhba on the people of Palestine, and those who wish to see peace prevail in the land of monolithic religions”.

“The adoption of this resolution will affirm what you strove to realize in this year as the “International Year of Solidarity With the People of Palestine”, who will continue their struggle and steadfastness and will rise brave and strong from the rubble of destruction. We are infected with an incurable disease – that is hope. We are infected with an incurable disease that is hope. We love life if we are given the chance for it”.

—-

“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,    There is an occupation that must end now. There is a people that must be freed immediately. The hour of independence of the State of Palestine has arrived. Thank you very much”.  

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(RT – Headphones suggested)