Saturday, April 05, 2008

Cynthia McKinney in Mexico City

Cynthia McKinney
Segundo Encuentro Continental de los Trabajadores
Mexico City, Mexico
April 4, 2008

Brothers and Sisters in the Movement

I am happy to be here in Mexico City where the people all over Latin America are on the move:

On the move for justice, self-determination, and peace.

I love that you have created a Power to the People movement with your votes that is stronger than the mightiest military force on the planet!

With the power of your vote you have taken your countries back.

Now, all we have to do is to count all the votes in the United States and Mexico!

In the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, an estimated six million people went to the polls and voted, but their votes weren't counted.

In 2000, and again in 2004, Democrats helped to install Republicans into power rather than fight for the victory that the voters had given them.

As a result of this kind of collusion, the Democratic majority in our Congress has failed to impeach Bush. They have failed to institute a livable wage, stop the multiple wars the U.S. is fighting right now, and they have failed to protect human rights anywhere in the world, including even at home.

That's why I left the Democratic Party.

I refused to become complicit in war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against the peace, spying on the American people, and ripping our Bill of Rights to shreds.

And so I declared my independence from the U.S. leadership that gave us tax cuts for the wealthy and a country 53 trillion dollars in debt and Hurricane Katrina.

To my brothers and sisters at this Conference and in the United States, I say:

Hands off Haiti!

Hands off Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Argentina now making a claim for the Falklands!

Hands off Venezuela and Ecuador!

No to Plan Mexico; No to Plan Colombia! Hands off Pemex!

And finally, it was on this date, 40 years ago, that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered.

We now know that Dr. King was murdered as part of a conspiracy that included his own government. Hatched in the bowels of the Pentagon, where so many other regime change operations have been hatched, the government of the United States launched regime change at home on Black America. We blacks in the United States have long known the pain and the consequences of having authentic leadership snatched from us; of having someone else pick our leaders before we pick them ourselves.

I am proud to join this international movement for self-determination; for justice and for peace. Despite today's difficulties, we must never let our dream be deferred. We in the U.S. gain inspiration from your successes here so we can carry the struggle to every nook and cranny of the United States.

Que vivan los pueblos de america!

1 comment:

Jason Nabewaniec said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Thank you for the wonderful feedback on my reports from Mexico City and the Second Continental Workers' Conference. As I mentioned, eight countries were represented and a united front now exists in Mexico against the NAFTA-inspired privatizations that will result in the theft of Mexico's patrimony in natural resources. The Mexican Congress, due to adjourn on April 30, is all but shut down by the real opposition that they have in Mexico. Bush even looked impotent as he stood in New Orleans with Cardenas (el spurio), Mexico's "President" who didn't deliver. The PEMEX Privatization bill was supposed to have passed by now. Mexico's Congress will adjourn without passing it. Score one for the people. When the people stand up, the people can win. But when we fail or fear to stand up, we are assured of losing.

In Mexico City, my dear friend, David Josué, stood up, and in so doing, won a victory for those of us who identify with the struggle of the Haitian people. David simply wrote and read a letter to Lula, who has agreed to occupy Haiti for what some speculate might be a chance to get a seat on the Security Council of the United Nations. David's letter was so moving that the Brazilian delegation and the entire Encuentro had to respond. The letter was moving because it was true. And everyone in that room, so full of suffering as they were, knew that no suffering at the Encuentro was any greater than that of the Haitian people--to whom many in the Americas owe their cloak of freedom.

The letter was read at the Encuentro. And then, the letter was read directly to Lula by one of the Brazilian Parliament members who is a member of Lula's Party. And now, Lula is planning a visit to Haiti. Sadly, according to Lula's statement in the press, Lula's visit has nothing to do with the murders and atrocities the Brazilians have committed while occupying Haiti, but instead, he is going there because of "Haitian poverty." We have all seen the images of the Haitians desperate for food, but Lula was one of the first leaders to endorse ethanol--which displaces land used to grow food for land exploited for guzzling energy. Even Fidel Castro castigated Lula publicly for that decision. Here's what Castro said:

"You now have the two things: safe supplies of fuel, raw food materials and manufactured food products. The end of cheap food has already been announced. I ask him, What do you think will do the dozens of countries with many hundreds of millions of inhabitants who have neither the one nor the other? . . . Meanwhile, we [Cubans] have been creating and we should keep on creating reserves of foods and fuel. . . . " And finally, Castro describes as macabre the "idea of turning foodstuffs into fuels for leisure and luxury."

Last month, Breitbart reported that Bill Clinton and other "high-profile financial players" are at the center of a brewing scandal in Brazil over the "'degrading' living conditions for 133 sugarcane workers employed by an ethanol company whose investors include former President Clinton."

I hope Lula's visit to Haiti will also focus on the conduct of his troops who are responsible for more death and mayhem than is described in David's letter. I'd like to hear Lula forthrightly say something about the deaths caused by his soldiers and his decision to occupy Haiti as he intones his concern for Haiti's poverty. I hope he's concerned about both. Brazil, under Lula's leadership, is supposed to be Haiti's friend; Lula can personally keep it that way--or he can let the killings continue. The choice is his.

At any rate, here's the letter in English and then the Parliamentary debate in Portuguese. The Encuentro passed a resolution to directly address the occupation of Haiti and the treatment of Haitians by the Brazilian-led UN forces.

The letter in English:

David Josue

Segundo Encuentro
Mexico City
April 5, 2008

I want to thank the organizers of this important Segundo Encuentro for providing me an opportunity to address this body and to put the issue of Brazilian conduct in Haiti on the table for discussion.

My comments are directed at President de Silva and I ask the delegates here from Brazil to please relay my concerns to the government in Brasilia.

President Lula da Silva:

Something untoward is going on with your soldiers in Haiti. Brazilian soldiers are conducting terrifying raids on residents of poor and defenseless communities throughout Haiti, leaving in their wake a trail of blood, tears, and death.

The buck stops with you, President da Silva. You are their commander in chief.

What your soldiers are doing to the innocent people of Haiti is worse than what the armed forces of Haiti were accused of doing.

No one will attempt to mitigate the utmost importance of living in a state of law. No one objects to getting a proper warrant before the proper court seeks an arrest of the accused and brings him or her to justice. But a collective warrant that declares an entire community criminal is, in itself, criminal.

President Lula da Silva, what would you say to Fredi Romelus for his terrible loss? His one-year old son, Nelson Romelus. What was his crime? Why was he executed by your soldiers? His four year-old brother Stanley, who died of a high-powered gunshot wound to the head, what was his crime? Their mother, Sonia Romelus, who died while clutching her baby, Nelson, what was her crime?

Lelene Mertina, 24-years old, was six months pregnant when a bullet ripped through her abdomen, instantly killing her unborn fetus. What was she guilty of to deserve this?

President da Silva, according to a U.N. after-action report, your soldiers spent seven hours shooting at an unarmed population. They expended over 22,000 rounds of ammunition, knowing they were striking unintended targets. This cannot possibly be the best that the Brazilian people have to offer. How can this happen when you are the President of Brazil?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us that there comes a time when silence is betrayal. Will you and your Administration remain silent on these atrocities?

Portuguese Parliamentary Record:

Ferro brought David's letter directly to Lula at the National Congress of Brazil.



Sessão: 063.2.53.O Hora: 10:12 Fase: BC Orador: FERNANDO FERRO, PT-PE Data: 10/04/2008

O SR. FERNANDO FERRO (PT-PE. Sem revisão do orador.) - Sr. Presidente, Sras. e Srs. Parlamentares, demais pessoas que conosco participam desta sessão, o Haiti foi a primeira nação das Américas a instalar uma república, em 1804. Foi também o primeiro país das Américas a abolir a escravidão, criar um estado autônomo e iniciar um processo de construção de uma experiência republicana e democrática nas Américas.

Esse país, essa nação, majoritariamente negra, foi bloqueada, reprimida e palco de suspeição de todas as nações do continente americano, à época colonizadas ou preocupadas com essa rebelião de escravos. Esse fato repercute até hoje de uma maneira ou de outra, e essa reação terminou por condenar o Haiti a uma situação de miséria, que até hoje perdura. Eu diria que esse bloqueio é político, ideológico, econômico, e suas conseqüências aí estão instaladas.

O Brasil, recentemente, foi convidado pela ONU para fazer parte de uma força de estabilização no Haiti, a fim de restaurar os direitos humanos, tentar construir instituições do estado que possam recuperar a nação, construir uma saída econômica para a população, que é o que precisa ser feito, e enfrentar as gangues que assolam o país. Aliás, essa é uma conseqüência da ditadura de Papa Doc, dos famosos Tonton Macoutes, que tomaram conta do país, de gangues violentas que, à custa do tráfico de drogas e do crime organizado, praticamente se apoderaram do país. A força de estabilização do Brasil foi, portanto, chamada numa situação extremamente delicada.
Este fim de semana, Sr. Presidente, participamos de um encontro continental no México e recebemos de um advogado do Haiti a denúncia de que as Forças Armadas do Brasil teriam executado uma família, a mãe e 2 filhos, numa incursão a uma favela da capital do Haiti.
Essa notícia nos deixou extremamente preocupados, e, como se trata de uma denúncia, vamos encaminhá-la ao Itamaraty para saber da sua consistência. Quando recebemos a denúncia, ficamos profundamente indignados porque nós, brasileiros, jamais imaginaríamos que as nossas Forças Armadas fossem promover um crime dessa ordem.

Sabemos que ali há um confronto instalado, com gangues, e que, infelizmente, muitas vezes, pessoas inocentes são vitimadas. Mas não se justifica a morte de uma mãe e 2 crianças nas condições que foram denunciadas.

Por isso, estamos pedindo esclarecimento ao Governo brasileiro, para dar retorno a esse advogado do Haiti, que é exilado nos Estados Unidos e nos denunciou essa ação extremamente preocupante.

E queremos também, reconhecendo o papel do Brasil na busca de estabilizar aquele país, denunciar que a França e os Estados Unidos, no processo de levar o Brasil como força de estabilização ao Haiti, se comprometeram a fornecer ajuda econômica àquele país.

Não adianta força de estabilização se não houver recuperação econômica do Haiti, se aquele país não tiver capacidade de se desenvolver e dar à população condições de cidadania.

Quero concluir dizendo que vamos encaminhar ao Itamaraty essa denúncia e que aguardamos esclarecimento, para dar satisfação, sim, porque temos de dar satisfação frente a uma denúncia tão grave.

Mas, acima, de tudo, reconhecemos o esforço do Governo brasileiro de participar de uma tentativa de recuperar aquela nação tão violentamente agredida por forças externas e internamente pelo crime organizado, por grupos e gangues ligados ao narcotráfico e ao crime organizado.

Esperamos que isso seja resolvido e que aquela nação, que teve um início de história tão importante e tão bonito para as Américas, possa recuperar o seu destino de país livre e com dignidade para seus filhos.

Muito obrigado, Sr. Presidente.

O SR. PRESIDENTE (Pedro Wilson) - Obrigado, Deputado Fernando Ferro.