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 The Monitor this week:
- Deconstructing environmental party politics with Dahr Jamail
- Bernie Sanders supporters going Green with YahNe Ndgo
More about this week’s guests:
Dahr Jamail is a journalist who is best known as one of the few unembedded journalists to report extensively from Iraq during the 2003 Iraq invasion. He spent eight months in Iraq, between 2003 to 2005, and presented his stories on his website Dahr Jamail’s Mideast Dispatches
He has appeared on The Monitor with Mark Bebawi several times in the past, including live unembedded reports from Iraq at the height of the US invasion. Since his return he has written two books – “The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan,” (Haymarket Books, 2009), and “Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq,” (Haymarket Books, 2007).
More recently Dahr has been covering environmental topics. You can read his latest articles on his website. The interview will focus on the policies of the various parties on climate change.
YahNe Ndgo describes herself as “Bernie Lover, Ubuntu Promoter, Singer, Writer, Activist, Traveler, Mother, Sister, Auntie, Daughter, Granddaughter, Cousin, Friend, Neighbor, Lover, Human Being” and gained significant attention when a CNN interview she gave went “viral”: YahNe Ndgo explains Bernie or Bust/Never Hillary
She was one of the keynote speakers at the Green Party’s convention in Houston and I interviewed her for Pacifica’s live coverage of that event. I asked her about the Sanders campaign, his supporters’ potential for voting Green, and what motivates her political activities.
On this week’s show:
- House prices are going up. Sounds like a good thing, right? The picture is a little more complicated than it appears. We talk about it with Laura Gottesdiener
- Honduras has just completed its election cycle. In 2009, the country’s left-of-center President Mel Zelaya was overthrown in a military coup that was heavily supported (and, according to Zelaya, organized) by the United States government. After six months and a lot of political repression, the coup government was re-established with an election that almost the entire hemisphere — except, you guessed it, the United States — rejected as illegitimate. Four years later Honduran voters went to the polls again but the result is in dispute. We discuss the election with Mark Wiesbrot
More about this week’s guests:
Laura Gottesdiener is a journalist, social justice activist, and author of A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home published by Zuccotti Park Press. She is an associate editor for Waging Nonviolence, and she has written for Rolling Stone, Ms. magazine, The Arizona Republic, The New Haven Advocate, The Huffington Post, AlterNet, and other publications. She lived and worked in the People’s Kitchen during the occupation of Zuccotti Park. Gottesdiener just wrote the piece “The Empire Strikes Back, How Wall Street Has Turned Housing Into a Dangerous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme — Again,” which states: “You can hardly turn on the television or open a newspaper without hearing about the nation’s impressive, much celebrated housing recovery. Home prices are rising! New construction has started! The crisis is over! Yet beneath the fanfare, a whole new get-rich-quick scheme is brewing…Wall Street’s foreclosure crisis, which began in late 2007 and forced more than 10 million people from their homes, has created a paradoxical problem. Millions of evicted Americans need a safe place to live, even as millions of vacant, bank-owned houses are blighting neighborhoods and spurring a rise in crime. Lucky for us, Wall Street has devised a solution: It’s going to rent these foreclosed houses back to us. In the process, it’s devised a new form of securitization that could cause this whole plan to blow up — again.”
Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He has written numerous research papers on economic policy, especially on Latin America and international economic policy. He is also co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2000).
He writes a weekly column for The Guardian Unlimited (U.K.), and a regular column on economic and policy issues that is distributed to over 550 newspapers by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. His opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times,Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and almost every major U.S. newspaper, as well as for Brazil’s largest newspaper, Folha de Sao Paulo. He appears regularly on national and local television and radio programs. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy. He recently wrote the piece “South American Governments Should Support Hondurans’ Rights To Sovereignty and Free Elections“
- Hip Hop, politics and music – an interview with Immortal Technique
- WikiLeaks Reveals U.S. Ties to Honduran Drug Dealer – an interview with Dana Frank
Felipe Andres Coronel better known by the stage name Immortal Technique, is an American rapper of Afro-Peruvian descent as well as an urban activist. He was born in Lima, Peru and raised in Harlem, New York. Most of his lyrics focus on controversial issues in global politics. The views expressed in his lyrics are largely commentary on issues such as class struggle, poverty, religion, government and institutional racism.
Tech was in Houston this weekend at Fitzgerald’s as part of his tour promoting his new album, The Martyr. The album is available for free at Viper Records. The interview was conducted backstage prior to his gig. More tour dates:
Mon. Nov. 14 AUSTIN, TX MOHAWK
Wed. Nov. 16 EL PASO, TX CLUB 101
Thu. Nov. 17 ALBUQUERQUE, NM SUNSHINE THEATRE
Dana Frank is professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz and author of many books, including “Bananeras: Women Transforming the Banana Unions of Latin America,” which examines the banana workers’ unions of Honduras. She recently wrote “WikiLeaks Honduras: U.S. Linked to Brutal Businessman.”
Quote: “New Wikileaks cables reveal that the U.S. embassy in Honduras — and therefore the State Department — has known since 2004 that Miguel Facussé, the richest man in Honduras, who is allegedly responsible for the deaths of campesino activists in the Aguan Valley, is a cocaine importer. U.S. `drug war’ funds and training are being used to support a known drug trafficker’s war against campesinos.
“The U.S. is funding and training Honduran military and police that are conducting joint operations with the security guards of a known drug trafficker to violently repress a campesino movement on behalf of Miguel Facussé’s dubious claims to vast swathes of the Aguán Valley, in order to support his African palm biofuels empire.
“Despite strong anti-drug rhetoric from U.S. officials, State Department cables recently made available by Wikileaks show that the U.S. has been aware of the drug ties of one of Honduras’ most powerful and wealthy individuals since 2004, yet has continued to support him. U.S. military and police assistance is also aiding the businessman, landowner and coup-backer Miguel Facussé, in a campaign of repression targeted at the campesinos whose land Facussé wants for production of palm oil. Despite the objections of 87 members of Congress, U.S. funding for the Honduran military and police continues, even though reports continue to emerge of police involvement in killings, such as in the recent case of the son of a university rector, and journalists and human rights activists continue to be targeted, with impunity.”
KPFT is fund raising for this and the next two shows. Please support the show by calling 713-526-5738 and making a tax-deductible donation.
Friend of the show and best-selling author Greg Palast is coming to Houston as part of his book tour and will be speaking to KPFT listeners to raise money for the station.
This event is a benefit for KPFT.| Print |
Praise for Greg Palast:
“A cross between Sam Spade and Sherlock Holmes” (Jim Hightower, The Nation), Greg Palast turned his skills to journalism after two decades as a top investigator of corporate fraud and racketeering. Palast’s reports appear on BBC’s Newsnight and in Britain’s Guardian, Rolling Stone and Harper’s.
Palast directed the US’ government’s largest racketeering case in history (that garnered a $4.3 billion jury award) and the investigation of the Exxon Valdez.
Palast is recipient of the George Orwell Courage in Journalism Prize for his BBC television documentary, Bush Family Fortunes.
Pakistan and Honduras are not countries that are often meaningfully discussed in the news. Pakistan got a lot of ‘coverage’ when we were told of the assassination of Bin Laden (regular listeners will note that many issues were raised on the show about the contradictions in the official version of the story) and Honduras got some mention when there was a coup there but very little of substance was said about what led tot he coup and who was behind it. Tonight we try to correct the lack of real analysis with this week’s guests: Sobia Ali and Dana Frank.
Sobia Ali is a software engineer who lives and works in NYC. She grew up in Abbotabad, Pakistan.
Dana Frank is a professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the author of Bananeras: Women Transforming the Banana Unions of Latin America. She is currently writing a book about the AFL-CIO’s Cold War intervention in the Honduran labor movement.
Quote: “President Zelaya’s return offers a brief glimmer of hope, but the ongoing repression by current President Porfirio Lobo’s military regime — now even worse than immediately after the coup — remains undiminished, as state security forces now routinely use tear gas canisters as lethal weapons, and teachers, trade unionists and campesinos in the opposition are still being assassinated with complete impunity. Lobo and Secretary of State Clinton insist that democracy has been restored to Honduras. But the reality on the ground remains terrifying, which is why over 75 Congress members are calling for a suspension of U.S. military and police aid to Honduras.”
Frank just wrote a piece titled “Ousted president’s return to Honduras doesn’t mean repression is over.” http://www.progressive.org/mpfrank052711.html