On The Monitor this week: Venezuela in detail and in context.
This week’s guests discuss events in Venezuela. First up is Abby Martin taking a close look at recent events in Venezuela. She is followed by John Perkins who casts a wider historical net to put those events in a broader context.
More about this week’s guests:
Abby Martin is a journalist, artist, and presenter of The Empire Files, an investigative news program on teleSUR English and YouTube. She was formerly the host of Breaking the Set on RT America network, working from the Washington, D.C. bureau. She also worked for two years as a correspondent for RT America.
Martin is the founder of the citizen journalism website Media Roots. She serves on the board of directors for the Media Freedom Foundation which manages Project Censored. Martin appeared in the documentary film Project Censored The Movie: Ending the Reign of Junk Food News (2013), and co-directed 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (2013).
John Perkins was Chief Economist at a major international consulting firm where advised the World Bank, United Nations, IMF, U.S. Treasury Department, Fortune 500 corporations, and leaders of countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. He is the author of several books. The most recent is The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2016), a follow-up to his bestseller Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man which spent 73 weeks on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list and has been translated into 32 languages. It, along with his other books, The Secret History of the American Empire (also a New York Times bestseller) and Hoodwinked, were ground-breaking exposés of the clandestine operations that created the current global crises; they set the stage for the revelations and strategies detailed in The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
John is a founder and board member of Dream Change and The Pachamama Alliance, non-profit organizations devoted to establishing a world future generations will want to inherit, has lectured at Harvard, Oxford, and more than 50 other universities around the world, and has been featured on ABC, NBC, CNN, CNBC, NPR, A&E, the History Channel, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Der Spiegel, and many other publications, as well as in numerous documentaries including The End Of Poverty, Zeitgeist Addendum, and Apology Of An Economic Hit Man. He was awarded the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace in 2012, and the Rainforest Action Network Challenging Business As Usual Award in 2006.
On this week’s show:
- Democracy and Overthrows in Venezuela and Ukraine – an interview with Howard Friel
- Buyers Club Founder Condemns “Pharma’s Genocidal Greed” and Trade Deals – an interview with George Carter
More about this week’s guests:
Howard Friel is author of Chomsky and Dershowitz: On Endless War and the End of Civil Liberties (Olive Branch Press). He also wrote the The Lomborg Deception: Setting the Record Straight about Global Warming (Yale University Press, 2010), and is co-author with Richard Falk of Israel-Palestine on Record: How The New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East (Verso, 2007), and The Record of the Paper: How The New York Times Misreports U.S. Foreign Policy (Verso, 2004).
“Dallas Buyers Club” won the Oscar for best actor (Matthew McConaughey) and best supporting actor (Jared Leto). We put this in context with the history of the real Buyers Clubs
Quote: “There were incredible efforts by clubs in Boston, Houston, Phoenix, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco to help people survive. There were two in New York, including the PWA Health Group and Direct Access Alternative Information Resources — where I worked. DAAIR used to bring not yet FDA approved drugs to help people survive opportunistic infection and used an array of interventions to fight HIV.
“When DAAIR closed, we started NYBC almost ten years ago. Our efforts today focus more on battling ongoing inflammation and antiretroviral side effects, evidenced based as much as possible. We’re also addressing issues like Hepatitis C and cancers now. I had joined ACT UP in 1989 and saw the whole array of efforts to bring in drugs, supplements, botanicals — what evolved was a more comprehensive approach to surviving and thriving. This has helped thousands in the U.S. and Europe — and to the extent we’ve been able to reach out to friends in Nepal, Zimbabwe and Thailand.
“Yet globally, treatment and care is denied millions who cannot access antiretroviral and opportunistic infection meds due to pharma’s greed that is to me nothing short of a form of economic genocide. In addition, Harvard research underscores that even a simple multivitamin can substantially slow the rate of disease progression. We are still in the fight.” Carter stresses the continuing high costs of some treatments and that large pharmaceutical companies work to ensure that trade deals — like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership deal — ensure their interests at the expense of the well being of patients; for example restricting production of generics.
See Carter’s piece: “A Petition To Bring Suit Against Defendants, (including the Pharmaceutical Manufacturer’s Association and members of the United States Government) on the Charge of Genocide Upon Individuals Living with HIV/AIDS, 2000.” [PDF]
Also “Fighting Back Against Pharmaceutical Company Greed” in Gay Men’s Health Crisis Treatment Issues, April 2002.
For more background see:
Patrick Mulcahey: “Not Buying ‘Dallas Buyers Club’” in which he says that: “ACT UP doesn’t exist in ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ nor do NAPWA [National Association of People with AIDS], the PWA Health Group [People with AIDS], GMHC [Gay Men’s Health Crisis], John James’ AIDS Treatment News, the Healing Alternatives Foundation. The film’s only gay characters are weak, docile, dithering, relegated to the background, standing in line for what [main character Ron] Woodroof is selling — and overselling.”
The Revolution of the 99%
This week’s show features interviews with two guests around the theme of revolution and social change. Our first guest is Chuck Collins, author of 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality Is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do about It. Our second guest is Cindy Sheehan, author of Revolution, A Love Story: A Better World is Possible.
More about our guests:
Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and directs IPS’s Program on Inequality and the Common Good. He is an expert on U.S. inequality and author of several books, including Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity, co-authored with Felice Yeskel. (New Press, 2005). He co-authored with Bill Gates Sr. Wealth and Our Commonwealth, (Beacon Press, 2003), a case for taxing inherited fortunes. He is co-author with Mary Wright of The Moral Measure of the Economy, a book about Christian ethics and economic life.
He is co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good, a network of business leaders, high-income households and partners working together to promote shared prosperity and fair taxation.
In 1995, he co-founded United for a Fair Economy (UFE) to raise the profile of the inequality issue and support popular education and organizing efforts to address inequality. He was Executive Director of UFE from 1995-2001 and Program Director until 2005.
Cindy Sheehan is an American anti-war activist whose son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed by enemy action during the Iraq War. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended anti-war protest at a makeshift camp outside President George W. Bush’s Texas ranch—a stand that drew both passionate support and angry criticism. Sheehan ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2008. She is a vocal critic of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy. Her memoir, Peace Mom: A Mother’s Journey Through Heartache to Activism, was published in 2006. Her most recent book is Revolution, A Love Story: A Better World is Possible.