On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Steven Donziger about the reach of corporate power. Donziger battled corporate oil giant, Chevron, over environmental pollution and destruction in Ecuador and won a settlement of $9.5 billion for indigenous communities. Since then Chevron has waged a campaign against Donziger to try and destroy him economically, professionally and personally. He is on trial in federal court in New York on September 9 for contempt charges, which could send him to jail for six months.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges sits down with Guillaume Long, Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility. They discuss the effects of neoliberalism on Latin American development, combatting inequality and standing up to corporations and foreign powers in Ecuador. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at Ecuador’s decision to provide refuge to Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange at its embassy in London.
GUILLAUME LONG, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador, said the last decade of the citizen revolution in his country had shown that to achieve development it was necessary to do the opposite of the prescription of the neoliberal hegemony. Ecuador had been able to recover the faith and hope of a country that had been destroyed, and that could be reflected in tangible results for its people, notably in the reduction of extreme poverty and inequality. The Powers of hegemony had appropriated widely used words and given them meaning to impose a political and moral agenda on the planet. The word “development” was not just a technical issue, but a political one, especially when it came to the redistribution of wealth. “Human rights” included economic and social rights, not just political ones, and were violated not just by States but by multinational corporations as well.
Abby Martin sits down with the President of Ecuador to talk about different issues impacting the country and region. One of the more important questions Abby has for the president is finding out how he feels about devastating damage that oil giant Chevron caused in the Amazon rainforest. The president also talks about how tax havens are affecting developing economies and, how giving me the environment legal rights is important.
For the first time ever, progress is being made at the United Nations for a binding legal instrument that would hold corporations accountable for human rights violations. Transnational corporations–many with larger economies than the countries they operate in–have enjoyed immunity from charges for destroying the environment and taking human lives. But Ecuador is leading a fight in the UN to create an international treaty and standards that can change this equation.
Global Frackdown Day is on – Saturday marks a worldwide protest, uniting all activists who want to put an end to shale gas extraction. ‘Fracktivists’, as they’re called, are urging their governments to stand up to the oil and gas lobby. However, in Britain the authorities see things very differently… Prime Minister has become a vigorous advocate of the risky technique, as Laura Smith reports. So why exactly are environmentalists so concerned about this particular form of oil and gas extraction? For more on this RT is joined by Vanessa Vine – she’s an anti-fracking campaigner for Britain and Ireland Frack Free group
Evidence now implicates top BP executives as well as its partners Chevron and Exxon and the Bush Administration in the deadly cover-up –– which included falsifying a report to the Securities Exchange Commission.
Yesterday, Ecowatch.org revealed that, in September 2008, nearly two years before the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP rig had blown out in the Caspian Sea––which BP concealed from U.S. regulators and Congress.
Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has teamed up with the Chevron Oil Corporation and a think tank to reduce poverty worldwide. While Rice has been long affiliated with Chevron, their gameplan seems the most unlikely part of the equation. Chevron wouldn’t pay for poisoning 1,400 people by dumping oil in Ecuador, so why would they care about the Third World now? Investigative journalist Greg Palast says this partnership is fooling no one but the American press.
So far 2011 is proving to be an eventful year for Myanmar, formerly known as and still generally called Burma. Despite the slight easing of restraints put on Aung San Suu Kyi, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Shan State in northeast Burma on March 24, which the junta controlled media says killed 75 people but aid agencies believe killed over 150, leads to widespread distrust of the country’s rulers and their version of reality. Now the U.S. is sending a new envoy to Myanmar, Derek Mitchell, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific affairs. It is an open question: What will be his role in Burma?