| Rare Video: Mandela Speaking on Palestine [Extracts]

Rare Video: Mandela Speaking on Palestine [Extracts] ~ BDS South Africa.


PLO: The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was created in 1964 with the purpose of advancing the struggle for Palestinian self determination. The PLO is recognised as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people” by over 100 countries with which it holds diplomatic relations. Like South Africa’s (now ruling ANC) the PLO was considered by the United States and Israel to be a terrorist organisation until 1991. In 1993 Israel officially recognised the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people.

YASSER ARAFAT: Late leader of the Palestinian people as well as chairman of the PLO.

– 1990 Town Hall Meeting with Nelson Mandela on Palestine, Cuba and other issues

The video consists of extracts from a 1990 town hall meeting, held in New York and chaired by Ted Koppel of ABC Networks. The meeting formed part Nelson Mandela’s first visit to the USA immediately following his release after 27 years in prison.

Much of the meeting focused on Nelson Mandela’s advocating of sanctions against Apartheid South Africa, his support for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) as well as his close friendship with Yasser Arafat (of Palestine) and Fidel Castro (of Cuba).

This meeting took place in 1990, long before the world had embraced Nelson Mandela or the ANC. However, even then, Mandela stood firm and resolute on his principles and organisation’s policies even though it could have “hurt” his and the ANC’s “image”, for example his support for the Palestinian and Cuban people.

Nelson Mandela supported the Palestinian struggle when it was unfashionable and unpopular, he was a true leader. Hamba Khale Tata…



| Egypt’s Ricochet: Does Al-Sisi expect Pinochet’s fate?

Does Al-Sisi expect Pinochet’s fate? ~ Yasser Abu Hilalah, Al Jazeera, MEMO. This article is a translation of the Arabic text which appeared in Al Ghad newspaper, 13 September, 2103,


In the aftermath of the January 25 Revolution, General Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi said that the army’s interference in public life sets back the country by 30 or 40 years. There is some irony in that statement today, given his role as the leader of the coup which toppled President Mohamed Morsi, and the fact that the people of Chile have just commemorated the 40th anniversary of Augusto Pinochet‘s coup against President Salvador Allende.

Comparisons have already been made between the two coups in the past week or so. On the face of it, Pinochet’s was less of a surprise given the changes to Chile that Allende was proposing.

Mohammed Morsi, however, was not a communist, nor did he make major changes to the political or cultural identity of the country, as Allende had. Morsi did not put the Muslim Brotherhood‘s ideology into practice regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and he did not cancel the Camp David Peace Treaty signed by his predecessor Anwar Sadat. He did not arrest corrupt businessmen and did not set up revolutionary trials of army officers and security agents who had shed Egyptian blood for many years. Morsi’s tragic flaw, I think, is that he thought that he could reconcile with hornets or pave the way for the remnants of the Mubarak regime, the so-called deep state, to be involved with the revolutionary forces.

As president, Morsi accepted the army’s conditions for the Constitution and let army officers control the largest segment of the government’s budget unmonitored. He also let the corrupt judicial system play with ballot outcomes. He did not even touch the mass media, which was subsidised from the pockets of the remnants and the enemies of the revolution to incite a civil war within Egypt. The mistake of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Morsi in particular, was that it is a conservative group which was put into revolutionary circumstances out of its depth and it did not have the resilience to deal with that situation.

In Chile, the communists were accused of the same crimes as the Brotherhood officials are. As in Egypt under Al-Sisi, the United States not only supported the Chilean coup but also described the army leader as the protector of democracy; Allende was a revolutionary communist who threatened American interests in Latin America. He launched radical economic reforms in favour of the labouring poor.

In his last speech, Allende told them, “I can tell the labourers that I will not resign. I will sacrifice my life for the principles which unite our nation. I believe in this country and its future. Other men will pass and this gray stage of the history of our nation will come to an end. You are advised to know, sooner or later, that new horizons for this nation will be opened and free men, like you, will pass through them. These are my last words and I know that my sacrifice will not go in vain.” After that, he was killed after refusing to bargain with the army or commit suicide using a pistol gifted to him by his comrade Fidel Castro.

Morsi’s last speech echoed Allende’s words. He spoke to the nation and different generations; sons and grandsons would know that their fathers refused to bargain away their country and freedom, and they preferred death over accepting the opinion of corrupted people. Likewise, Al-Sisi’s speech is reminiscent of Pinochet’s. He also told the people that he is the protector of the country from “terrible communism”, which he said threatens the state.

Pinochet left this world as a disgraced and disregarded dictator. He faced the ignominy of a public trial as an old man. Allende, on the other hand, still stands tall as a freedom fighter respected by the people as the man who did not betray those who voted for him. In that sense, Morsi can also hold his head up high, preferring self-respect in prison over abasement in the presidential palace.

Neither Allende nor Morsi were perfect in office. However, dictators tend not to learn from the mistakes of others. Those who have overthrown Morsi should remember that Pinochet’s was not the last trial of a dictator to take place. Generals in Turkey have also been put on trial, but is anyone learning from this lesson? Tomorrow’s big issue will not be about when to prosecute Mohamed Morsi but when to put Al-Sisi and his supporters on trial. History tells us that it is almost inevitable that this will happen. The question is, does Al-Sisi expect the same fate as Pinochet or has he learnt nothing from the past?

Yasser Abu Hilalah is the bureau chief of Al Jazeera’s office Amman, Jordan. This article is a translation of the Arabic text which appeared in Al Ghad newspaper, 13 September, 2103

Yasser Abu Hilalah

The mistake of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Morsi in particular, was that it is a conservative group which was put into revolutionary circumstances out of its depth and it did not have the resilience to deal with that situation.




| Venezuelans mourn. Chavismo lives! Bolivarianism is institutionalized!

Chavismo Lives!Stephen Lendman.


Venezuelans mourn. Chavismo lives! Bolivarianism is institutionalized. 

 Venezuelans mourn. Chavismo lives! Bolivarianism is institutionalized. 


Venezuelans expect no less. They want no part of their ugly past. They’ll put their bodies on the line to prevent it. They did before. They’ll do it again. 


Bolivarianism is policy. It’s vital to preserve. It’s polar opposite neoliberal harshness. America and Venezuela are constitutional worlds apart. More on that below.


On March 5, word came at 4:45PM. Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced it. “We have just received the most tragic and awful information,” he said. Hugo Chavez Frias died. “It’s a moment of deep pain.”


“Those who die for life can’t be called dead,” he said.


Supporters massed in Plaza Bolivar. It’s Caracas’ main square. “Chavez vive, la lucha sigue,” they chanted. “Chavez lives, the battle continues.”


“The people united will never be defeated.” Oligarchs “will never return” to the Miraflores Palace.


Jimmy Carter praised Chavez. Hell “be remembered for his bold assertion of autonomy and independence for Latin American governments and for his formidable communication skills and personal connection with supporters in his country and abroad to whom he gave hope and empowerment,” he said.


James Petras said he “was loved not only by Venezuelans but throughout Latin America” and elsewhere. He was special. He’ll be sorely missed.


In his last letter to Maduro, Fidel Castro said “Chavez’s name is known and respected throughout the world.” He called him the “Olympic champion of new socialist ideas.”


Chavez called Castro his father, mentor and friend. He’s “always been a Quixote,” he said, “but a victorious and invincible Quixote.”


Both men bonded years ago. They met in Havana. They did so in 1994. Chavez sought Castro’s advice. 


Cuba’s leader recognized a potentially important new figure. They exchanged ideas for hours. The rest is history. 


Fidel lives at 86. Chavez passed at 58. His 14-year presidency ended. In 30 days, new elections will be held. New leadership will be chosen. 


Odds strongly favor Maduro. Chavez named him his preferred successor. Expect Venezuelans to oblige overwhelmingly. They want no part of opposition oligarch rule.


On March 5, Granma International headlined “Death of President Hugo Chavez,” saying:


He “died in the hours of this Tuesday afternoon.” Maduro announced it. He called on Venezuelans “to confront the lamentable death of the President of the Republic ‘with much strength, courage and integrity.’ “


“We have to be more united than ever, the greatest discipline, the greatest collaboration, the greatest brotherhood and sisterhood,” he added.


“We are going to grow. We are going to be the worthy sons and daughters of the giant of a man that he was and how Comandante Hugo Chavez will always be in our memory.” 


“The victory of today is the unity of the people and peace.”


“Respect and peace have to go hand in hand in the immense pain of this historic tragedy which has today touched our country.”


Maduro urged fortitude and prayer. “From this moment on,” he said, “it is forbidden to weep.” 


“With Ali’s song and the spirit of Hugo Chavez, let us raise the greatest forces of this homeland to confront the difficulties it befalls us to confront.” 


“Our people can be assured that they have a government of men and women committed to protect them.”


“Honor and glory to Hugo Chavez. May he live forever.”


He had four cancer operations in 18 months. Death came 21 months after his first tumor was discovered. A state funeral is planned. It’ll be held Friday. Venezuelans began seven days of mourning.


Venezuela Solidarity Campaign Secretary Francisco Dominguez said:


Chavez “led the progressive transformation of Venezuela by lifting millions of its citizens from poverty – standing against social exclusion, marginalization and institutional repression – thereby restoring to them a long-overdue dignity.”


He improved “the (lives) of ordinary Venezuelans as no other government had ever done in the history of that South American nation.”


He “played a leading role in the transformation of Latin America into a progressive continent, which in the 21st century is collectively affirming the sovereignty of the nation states that make it up, and where, in different ways and through nationally-specific routes, they have been attempting to build a better world.”


He’ll “continue to symbolize, for decades to come, the aspirations of dignity, sovereignty, justice and a better life as fully empowered citizens, for people all around the world.” 


“He showed that a better world could be constructed.”


“Our hearts go to his family, friends, comrades, the people of Venezuela, and the people of Latin America.”


Hands Off Venezuela headlined “Hugo Chavez has died – long live the Venezuelan revolution.” 


HOF defended it for a decade. Chavez said the best way to do it is “to spread it to our own countries.” Committed people are obligated to do so. Change comes no other way.


Earlier on March 5, government and military officials met. They took preventative steps. They instituted measures against potential destabilization and sabotage.


They expelled Washington’s attache and his aide. They were up to no good. They contacted Venezuelan military personnel surreptitiously. 


They did so “with the aim of organizing a conspiracy against the democratically elected government.”


Washington conspired for years to oust Chavez. He believed America wanted him dead. 


He once said “If they kill me, there will be a really guilty party on this planet whose name is the president of the United States.”


He had Bush in mind. He knew Obama’s no different.


“I will not hide,” he said. “I’m going in the streets with you. I entrust myself to God, but I know that I have been condemned to die.”


Castro also named America earlier. “If Chavez is assassinated,” he said, “the blame will fall on Bush. I say that as someone who has survived hundreds of the empire’s (venal) plans.”


Obama exceeds the worst of Bush. Perhaps he marked Chavez for death. It wouldn’t surprise. 


He’s a war criminal multiple times over. He’s guilty of high crimes. He’s waging war on humanity. He’s beholden to monied interests. They own him. 


In 2011, Chavez suggested Washington’s responsibility for a “very strange” bout of cancer. It affected Latin American leaders.


Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s thyroid cancer was confirmed.


Former Brazilian President Lula Da Silva had throat cancer. Current President Dilma Rousseff battled axillar lymphoma.


Others affected included Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos (prostate cancer), and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo (lymphatic cancer).


Last June, Washington’s dirty hands ousted him. A parliamentary coup replaced him. America targets all independent leaders.


Since taking office, Chavez knew what he faced. He survived an aborted April 2002 two-day coup, a 2002-03 general strike and oil management lockout, and failed August 2004 recall election.


Cancer accomplished what other strategies failed. Chavez said earlier:


“Would it be so strange that they’ve invented the technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?”


“Fidel always told me (to) take care. These people have developed technologies,” he said.


“Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat. They inject you with I don’t know what.”


On state television, Maduro said a “scientific commission” would examine Chavez’s death. “(H)istorical enemies” wanted him removed.


He left no doubt who he meant. Washington’s long arm targeted him. It did so from inception. Its rap sheet includes numerous assassinations and coups. 


Perhaps Chavez is America’s latest victim. It’s the oil, stupid. Venezuela has the world’s largest reserves. Washington wants total control. 


CIA assassins never rest. They have other targets in mind.


Before they’re old enough to understand, US children are taught to “pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands.”


They’re weaned on misinformation. What they most need to know, they’re not taught. America’s ugly history is sanitized. Its worst parts are omitted.


It’s a government largely of men, not laws. They lie, cheat, connive, and abuse rule of law principles. 


They do so ruthlessly. They do it for monied interests they serve. They profit hugely in the process.


America was never a democracy. It’s not one now. “We the people” include wealth and powerful interests alone. It’s been that way from inception. Believing otherwise is fantasy.


America’s founders today would be called a Wall Street crowd. They included bankers, lawyers, politicians, merchants, property owners, and likeminded self-servers.


They crafted what best suited them. Ordinary people were out of sight and mind. Things today are far worse than ever.


Rogue state government rules. Populism’s a dead letter. Wealth, power, privilege and dominance alone matter. 


Tyranny’s a hair’s breath away. Rule of law protections are null and void. Neoliberal harshness is policy.


Venezuela is polar opposite. Bolivarianism is policy. Chavez institutionalized it. He deserves full credit. He went where few leaders ever dared. 


He risked his life doing so. He lasted 14 years. He died for what he believed. He instituted benefits Venezuelans won’t surrender.


He let them choose. He did it by national referenda. They agreed to constitutional change. They did so overwhelmingly. Their lives improved enormously.


They got participatory social democracy. They have final say. They have free, fair and open elections. Jimmy Carter calls them the world’s best. 


America’s are farcical by comparison. Duopoly power controls things. People have no say.


All Venezuelans are guaranteed suffrage at birth. It’s constitutionally mandated. They’re automatically registered free of charge. 


They have government of, by and for everyone. They’re beholden to rule of law principles. Police state laws are verboten. Democratic ones rule. No one’s above the law. Democracies operate that way.


Venezuelans get benefits Americans can’t imagine. Venezuela’s oil wealth provides them. 


They include education to the highest levels, quality healthcare, subsidized food and housing, land reform, respect for indigenous rights, job training, micro credit, affordable electricity and cooking gas, gasoline at 5 cents a liter, and other social, economic, and political benefits. 


Americans get neoliberal harshness, force-fed austerity, growing poverty, high unemployment, unaddressed homelessness and hunger, and a government beholden solely to wealth and powerful interests.


Chavez institutionalized change. Major ones take time. He planned so much more. Maduro’s entrusted to continue what he began.


America’s unfit to live in. Wealth, privilege and power are prioritized. Police state laws govern. Bipartisan complicity plans much worse ahead. Venezuelans are governed by officials who care. 


It makes a difference. Maduro’s entrusted to continue Chavez’s mandate. Hopefully he’s up to the challenge. His background suggests so. He’s a former union leader, legislator, National Assembly Speaker and Foreign Minister. 


He’s now interim President. He’s charged with preserving Chavez’s legacy. Hopefully he’ll improve it. Venezuelans expect no less. In the fullness of time we’ll know.



Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 


His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”




Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.




Chavez Death 1

Chavez 2