Readers of the "Killing Train" have no doubt stared long and hard at the picture of the razed Palestinian home that shamefully graces the top of this blog. It therefore seems only appropriate that my inaugural entry be news on the company that provides Israel with the machinery it uses to pulverize Palestinian homes, farmland and lives.
Some time ago I co-wrote a commentary with CP Pandya on the Venezuelan government's economic policies. It was a useful piece because I was able to supply some historical context and some information about Venezuela itself, while CP was able to provide a view as a business observer.
Today's El Tiempo headline is about a massacre of 34 peasants in the Colombian department of Norte de Santander. The peasants were apparently 'raspachines', those campesinos who occupy the lowest rung of the agricultural economy, harvesting coca leaf for small wages. They were doing this harvesting in a paramilitary-controlled zone. Survivors, quoted in El Tiempo, say it was done by the 33rd front of FARC. A very pro-FARC perspective can be found at the ANNCOL website.
This is good. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez, the same guy who asked the US to do for Colombia what they were planning to do in Iraq, back in January when the war was being planned, wants international observers out of the country. He wants the Colombian police to arrest and deport them. These international observers are a miniscule fraction of what is needed in Colombia to prevent Uribe's own military and police from torturing and slaughtering their way through Colombian communities.
Last night had the english-language debates between the prime ministerial candidates. A few highlights.
As promised, more on the assault on the home of Mayor Moise from Milo by UN troops; and above that, news of repression from Haiti's 'free trade' zones. Just in case anyone was worried that the coup in Haiti made things less safe for the sweatshop owners, you can put your mind at east. See below.
Urgent action alert and call for solidarity with Haitian workers - Haiti Support Group, 14 June 2004
Grupo M has fired 254 workers at the Codevi free trade zone at Ouanaminthe.
Dominican soldiers have been brought in to terrorise the workers.
Yesterday the candidates in the Canadian election debated in French. Tonight they will debate in English. Overall, it seems to me that Paul Martin, the current Prime Minister, did not crash and burn the way I expected him to, and Stephen Harper, the contender for PM, did not score any major points. But Harper, while his french his decent, is not as comfortable in French and is also aware that he isn't going to win anything in Quebec in any case. So tonight's debates will have more at stake.
Today and tomorrow there will be the televised debates, during which most Canadians will decide who they will vote for. Today's debates are in French, tomorrow's in English.
Some may remember the mayor of the Haitian town of Milo, Jean Charles Moise, who wrote about the 'rebirth' of Haitian army terror just after the coup of Feb/March. Moise is a Lavalas mayor who was writing from hiding. I just got this note from a Haiti reporter, who got a phone call from Haiti telling him what happened. More to come when more information can be verified.
This question came in the ZNet forum system today:
I'm sure you are aware of this issue, reported by NYT recently but first reported by the Miami Herald (as far as I can tell). I noticed that the companies (both the hardware & software companies) are located in South Florida. I can understand Venezuela's concern about having a financial interest in a company located in a region known for its Opposition support overtly and covertly.