Abby Martin’s Empire Update wraps up the last weeks in US imperialism: Possible military expansion in Kenya, Army re-focus on fighting over the North Pole, Biden’s obscene military budget, Yemen hunger strike, major Cuba policy announcement, and a historic pro-Palestine bill in Congress.
Progressive Americans hoped Biden would quickly restore the Iran deal and relations with Cuba. Instead, the administration seems firmly entrenched behind Trump’s walls of hostility. Medea Benjamin joins Paul Jay on theAnalysis.news.
The United States government is able to impose its will on all the world’s countries. The rest of the world, even some of the strongest imperialist countries of the Global North, lie prostrate at the feet of the U.S. What is the source of this seemingly impregnable power? Which of course leads to the next question: How long can it last?
Unsubstantiated Trump’s questioning on mail-in voting system, the nomination of the conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and foreign policy of both candidates, are discussed by the journalist for Empire Files Abby Martin.
On 9 October, 1967, Che Guevara – one of the greatest revolutionaries ever known – was murdered in Bolivia under the orders of Washington. This death was foreseeable. In 1966, Che Guevara had left Cuba to wage an anti-imperialist struggle in the South American nation of Bolivia. The plan was to establish a mother column led by Che in Bolivia, with further guerrilla columns branching out from the main unit to enter the neighboring countries of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru, thus creating a continent-wide revolutionary front. This anti-imperialist plan of action was based on the way Vietnam heroically resisted the full-blown onslaught of American hegemony. As Fidel Castro put it, “In the same measure in which Vietnam resists, the revolutionary liberation movement will grow in other parts of the world. Other fronts of the struggle for liberation will open throughout the world in direct proportion to Vietnam’s resistance.”
Maj. Gen. Andrew Croft, the commander of 12th Air Force, wrote on 22 August: “I have seen an increasingly contested strategic space where Beijing and Moscow are aggressively investing time and resources in Latin America to support their authoritarian models of governance. The Air Force must reinforce the strength of our longstanding commitment to the Western Hemisphere. We lose ground when we are unable to commit to spending the time and resources to fly our aircraft south and train alongside our partners.”
Latin America has surpassed more than 5 million Covid-19 cases to overtake North America, with 4.8 million Covid-19 cases, as the region worst-hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. This astronomic increase in Covid-19 cases has been accompanied by a corresponding economic catastrophe of great magnitude. According to a United Nations Policy Brief entitled “The Impact of COVID-19 on Latin America and the Caribbean”, “Parts of Latin America and the Caribbean have become hotspots of the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, exacerbated by weak social protection, fragmented health systems and profound inequalities. COVID-19 will result in the worst recession in the region in a century, causing a 9.1% contraction in regional GDP in 2020…This could push the number of poor up by 45 million (to a total of 230 million) and the number of extremely poor by 28 million (to 96 million in total), putting them at risk of undernutrition.” The Policy Brief further states that “The sharp drop in economic activity is expected to lift the unemployment rate from 8.1% in 2019 to 13.5% in 2020. The poverty rate is expected to rise by 7.0 percentage points in 2020, to 37.2%, while extreme poverty is expected to rise by 4.5 percentage points, from 11.0% to 15.5%, which represents an increase of 28 million people.”
On March 11, Peru declared a 90-day national sanitary emergency to deal with the emerging coronavirus crisis. Subsequently, the country announced a total lockdown beginning from March 16. But despite implementing one of the earliest and strictest COVID-19 containment regimes in Latin America, Peru has become trapped in the turmoil of rising COVID-19 cases. With more than 400,000 cases, Peru has become the third-worst hit country in Latin America. It also has one of the highest excess death rates (count of deaths relative to a normal year)—87% more than a normal year for the period from March 16 and May 31.
We speak to Dr. Helen Yaffe, author of We Are Cuba! How A Revolutionary People Have Survived in a Post-Soviet World. She discusses Cuba’s international medical effort against Coronavirus, from sending doctors to many countries abroad, to its drugs for COVID-19 treatment and vaccine development, the history of Cuba’s ‘Army of White Coats’ and medical internationalism, why the United States and Western powers view Cuba as a threat, Cuba’s Interferon Alpha-2b drug which could aid the fight against Coronavirus, the US blockade of Cuba, allegations of Cuba being a dictatorship and more!
The capitalist class doesn’t hate communism out of concern for mass murder. The accounts of the mass deaths that communism has supposedly caused are exaggerated or fabricated, and capitalist governments have caused hundreds of times more deaths than can be attributed to communist ones. Anti-communism isn’t about human rights, at least not human rights as a socialist would define them. Capitalists and imperialists vilify countries like China because they don’t like that these countries have challenged the “rights” to exploit and oppress.
Many content creators on YouTube produce collaborative content. Finally, I’m producing my first collaborative piece. For the past 2 weeks I’ve worked with the YouTuber Radical Reviewer (RR) who reviews leftist literature. I find his YouTube channel very important. If you can’t read an entire book, the least we can do is watch a video on the topic. Although reading a book is the best option for learning, watching videos helps save time and money. Also, if the video review is done well it could prompt someone to actually read the book!
Daniel Ellsberg’s new book is The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. I’ve known the author for years, I’m prouder than ever to say. We have done speaking events and media interviews together. We’ve been arrested together protesting wars. We’ve publicly debated electoral politics. We’ve privately debated the justness of World War II. (Dan approves of U.S. entry into World War II, and it seems into the war on Korea as well, though he has nothing but condemnation for the bombing of civilians that made up so much of what the U.S. did in those wars.) I’ve valued his opinion and he has rather inexplicably asked for mine on all sorts of questions. But this book has just taught me a great deal I had not known about Daniel Ellsberg and about the world.