Tag Archive | African-Caribbean

The Caribbean: U.S.’s Third Border*

The Caribbean: U.S.’s Third Border*

If U.S. could stop interfering in other’s sovereignty, fear would be greatly reduced on both sides…..

The Third Border Initiative introduced by US President George W. Bush in 2001 is a reference to the Caribbean region's adjacency to the United States. The policy is the ideology that behind Canada and Mexico, the Caribbean region is a sea-based border of the United States

The Third Border Initiative introduced by US President George W. Bush in 2001 is a reference to the Caribbean region’s adjacency to the United States. The policy is the ideology that behind Canada and Mexico, the Caribbean region is a sea-based border of the United States

The Third Border Initiative introduced by US President George W. Bush in 2001 is a reference to the Caribbean region’s adjacency to the United States. The policy is the ideology that behind Canada and Mexico, the Caribbean region is a sea-based border of the United States

 

The Caribbean island nations are often described as America’s “third border” but to what extent should Americans be concerned that the Caribbean is a backdoor for opponents to sneak into the country?

In the last few weeks allegations have been made of collaboration between the island of Dominica and Iranian and Chinese nationals. It is claimed that they are seeking to undermine the security of the United States.

However, no such agreement is in place, nor has there been shown to be any such agreement or collusion between the parties. Iranians and Chinese seek second citizenships because their own passports limit their ability to travel. Clearly, just because somebody comes from a different country, they are not inherently hostile to the U.S. administration.

“The Dominican government takes it obligations to its neighbours very seriously,” said a government source.

“We believe small island states such as ours can be a useful barrier to preventing the transit of undesirables. Our citizenship program, for example, means that nobody can become a citizen without thorough processing and scrutiny on a forensic level.”

Part of this scrutiny is achieved in co-operation with the Caribbean’s neighbour to the north. The government of Dominica works closely with the government of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union to ensure that applicants go through an additional layer of scrutiny before citizenship is granted.

Dominica also works closely with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and is a member of both regional and international organizations including the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS), among others. Membership of such bodies has further strengthened Dominica’s relationship across the other Caribbean and regional nations.

According to a government source: “The government of the Commonwealth of Dominica is prepared to work ever more closely with its neighbours, sub-regional, regional and hemispheric organizations to play its role in international peace and security. We would like to ensure that our citizenship is not granted to anyone who is involved in any nefarious activities.”

Often overlooked, Caribbean countries are important partners on health and education issues, immigration and regional democracy. What is good for the security of the Caribbean islands is also good for the United States of America.

Ever since President George W Bush introduced his Third Border Initiative in April 2001, the U.S. administration has been concerned about illegal drug trafficking, migrant smuggling and financial crimes in the jurisdiction. Bush introduced several measures to help encourage law enforcement cooperation and collaboration. However, the events of September of that year meant that the third border was often overlooked while the focus was elsewhere, mainly in the Middle East.

Fresh diplomatic efforts are seeking to revive the close links, particularly as this U.S. administration is clearly more concerned about its borders than its predecessors. This means that the countries’ citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs, which hardly existed in Bush’s day, are coming under renewed scrutiny.

“We are also committed to deepening our cooperation throughout the hemisphere in fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS, responding to natural disasters, and making sure the benefits of globalization are felt in even the smallest economies,” said Bush at the time.

“These goals are at the heart of the Third Border initiative we have launched with the countries of the Caribbean.”

HIV/AIDS, while it has not gone away, is better understood and contained than it was more than 15 years ago. Natural disasters still occur, and the response times could still be better managed. But it is the benefits of globalisation that are the most intriguing. There is no clearer example of the benefits of globalisation than the existence of the Caribbean’s CBI programs. These give individuals the freedom to travel as they wish, while their investment into either government schemes or real estate projects provides jobs for thousands of people.

Most of the people that seek a second citizenship are law abiding and honest. Their only crime was to be born in a jurisdiction that often makes foreign travel difficult and sometimes impossible. To qualify for a second citizenship, they need to provide detailed information on every aspect of their lives. The process is rigorous and thorough. International experts vet every application and only once they declare themselves satisfied is the certificate of naturalization issued, granting to them citizenship.

Source*

Related Topics:

Media Caught Covering Up Clinton’s Ongoing Looting Of Haiti*

CIA Plot to Exterminate Haitian Population Exposed*

The Caribbean Supports Venezuela against U.S. Interventionism*

Will Cameron do a Hollande with Britain’s Colonial Debt to Jamaica?*

Reality of British Empire should be taught in Schools – Corbyn*

Yellow Journalism, and the Truth Behind the Jonestown Massacre*

It’s not Just Jamaica, Seeking to Break Free from Queen Elizabeth as Their Head of State*

U.S. Prolonging Dutch Neo-Colonialism in the Caribbean*

Britain’s Secret Plan for the Invasion of Grenada*

The Continuing Colonial Pillage of Puerto Rico*

The Taino of the Caribbean: the People Who Do Not Exist

South America and another U.S Invasion*

US Firms Claim Compensation for Nationalized Property in Cuba from Colonization*

17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement Declare their Opposition to Unilateralism and Militarism*

Black History Month and Indigenous Americans*

Black History Month and Indigenous Americans*

By Gyasi Ross

“Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shore, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society.”- Martin Luther King, Jr.

I grew up a Native kid in largely Native communities with a Native mom, Native dad and Native siblings. My standard of coolness was pow-wow dancers and Native basketball players—I loved all the manifestations of everyday Nativeness around, both good and bad.

Still, like most of America I was also fascinated by black culture. America LOVES black culture, even though they don’t always like to admit it—Natives are no different. Between all the Native hip-hop artists you meet at any particular pow-wow or all the Native kids speaking ebonics and doing the Nay Nay, you realize that younger Natives also appreciate the coolness.

Honestly, I didn’t even realize that it was “black culture” at the time—it was just “cool stuff.” I mean, put bluntly, black folks just seemed to always do cool stuff. I started break-dancing at an early age on the rural reservation because Turbo was just cool with his broom and I tried to Moonwalk because Michael Jackson was just so cool in Billie Jean! I also loved basketball because Michael Jordan was just cool, as was Prince, The Last Dragon (“sho nuff!”) and Junkyard Dog. It may have been conscious, but I don’t think so.

Man, these cats are cool.

As politically incorrect as it was to say, black folks were simply cooler than the white folks that were so prevalent in pop culture at the time. It’s true! Also, my family was always racially aware—in the same way that my family values reading and pow-wow dancing, we also value brown skin and strong genes. And since there were no Native people on TV or in the music videos, it was always cool to see some melanin on there when black folks were there.  TC on Magnum PI, Alfonso on Silver Spoons.

Cool.

I later discovered that there were some genetic leanings toward TC and Michael and Turbo. See, I didn’t really notice any difference in any of my respective family members’ skin tones when I was a kid—they were all just beautiful shades of brown.  But later I found out that I had a biological/genetic kinship to the black folks I thought were so cool—“Oh damn my dad is half black. That makes me a quarter black. I guess that means that I’m SUPER cool since Native people and black people are the two coolest groups of people in the world!” Two different types of beautiful brownness.  The pursuit to learn more about my black heritage has led me to learn many beautiful, ugly and powerful things that I imagine is very similar to when some folks learn of their Native ancestry. I’ll talk more about those things at a later date.

That’s cool.

In addition to my own ancestry, I’ve made it a point to learn more about black folks within the United States generally. It’s my duty to learn about and honour and love all of my ancestors; doing so helps us to understand ourselves better and therefore to evolve. We should want to learn and teach our babies about every drop of DNA that we have in our ancestry. Still, I realized that ancestry does not necessarily equal culture. For example, despite having black ancestry I cannot claim that I speak for black people because I wasn’t raised within black culture. That would be weird/wrong to for me to do so.

Similarly, it’s weird when a white person or a black person who wasn’t raised within Native culture finds a Native ancestor and then thinks that they’re empowered or entitled to speak on behalf of Native people. Many times those people take stupid positions that are at odds with most cultural Natives—“Well I’m part Native and I think it’s ok that Donald Trump and Jeb Bush speak for Native people.”

No—that’s not your place. Just like it’s not my place.  We have to earn that.

Gyasi Ross

I’ve consistently found how similar the racism that Native people and black people have experienced has been within the United States.  Oh sure, the execution of that racism is unique—for example, racism against Native people largely happened by trying to assimilate Native people into white society while racism against black people came by trying to keep them out of white society.  But looking at the history of racism in America, pretty much every evil thing that white people did to Native people later happened to black people.

I think that’s what Martin Luther King was trying to say: the infrastructure of white racism was already tested, tried and true before Africans were stolen away from their homelands and arrived on this continent. By then, white people had the template down—“We can do what we want to these Africans and this is how we justify it. It worked before with the Indians.”

The way America treats its Indigenous people is prophecy for black folks. Canaries in the coal mine.

Dehumanization by religious decree?

Check.

Slavery?

Check.

Rape of women to further domination?

Check.

Labelled as a “problem” when white people no longer know what to do with you?

Check. Meaning:

after Natives would not die out, white people began to call Native people the “Indian Problem” because they didn’t know what to do with us. Similarly, after slavery black folks became the “Negro Problem” because white folks figured they just couldn’t stay on this continent after the sordid history between whites and blacks.

So many connections.

And those connections continued—from medical experimentation on black and Native bodies (Tuskegee experiments, forced tubal ligation of Native women) to education (capriciously assigning Native and black students to special education as well as capricious punishments different than for white students) to redlining legislative districts.

Lots of examples.

I suppose the major difference in the treatment of the two groups was, looking back at history, two things:

1) land and

2) economics.

Specifically, 1) Natives had land and white people wanted that land and so white people had a vested interest in getting Natives out of the picture by any means necessary. Initially that meant simply killing the Natives and then later making them blend into white society so the land would be available. Whereas with black folks, the 2) economics of the situation dictated that white people did not want to kill black folks because slaves were expensive and were much worth much more alive than dead.

But most other forms of racism happened largely the same, just at different times.

Which brings me to today.  The treatment of Natives again foretold how black folks would be treated.

When I heard about the disgusting water that disproportionately affects black people in Flint, Michigan, my first thought was “There it goes again—using methods to harm black folks that were used to harm/kill Natives.”  The Western Shoshone Nation, the Oglala Lakota, Navajo people, Hopi and the Spokane people all have contaminated water on their reservations as a result of uranium mining for decades. The result of this contaminated water? It’s pretty obvious—almost every single one of those Native homelands has a heightened proliferation of cancer cases.  Not saying that it’s deliberate or not deliberate—I couldn’t speculate. Irrespective of whether there is intentionality behind any of these actions—from Flint to the Reservation—doesn’t matter.

It shows that the respective governments involved—whether the federal government in the instance of the Native nations or the state and city in Flint—just don’t care. History tells us that the government simply doesn’t care about Native people and black people as it cares for white people and this seems to be one of the latest manifestations of that.

We’re going to talk about more shared experiences in this series and talk about tangible ways to work together to improve life for both groups.  Liberation. We’re also going to talk honestly about times that have strained the relationship between Natives and blacks.  In the grand scheme of things, those strains were small and usually because of outside agitation.  Still, we’ll talk about them for the history and to have a stronger basis to work together. We have to—we may be the only people that can share our experiences with each other and not think that we’re crazy.  In that way, as Martin Luther King, Jr. prophesied Native people and black people are stuck together by experience and it would be foolish not to learn from each other. We can learn so much from each other; I have some suggestions.

Happy Black History Month.  Native style.

Source*

Related Topics:

A Black Independence Day?

Black History Month and Muslims

Flint State Employees Were Given Clean Water a Year Ago*

‘We Charge Genocide’: Systematic Murder & Oppression of Blacks Continues in U.S.*

The Vanishing Indigenous Nations of the U.S. – Five Facts*

Black Female Activist Falsely Accused of Lynching*

Black Female Activist Falsely Accused of Lynching*

It seems as if vengeance is on a path of revenge against the popular uprising against America’s killer cops…

From A.N.S.W.E.R.

The Sacramento police have outrageously charged ANSWER Coalition activist Maile Hampton, a young Black woman, with felony “lynching.” After holding her initially on $100,000 bail, Maile is now out of jail but faces the threat of four years in prison on false charges following an aggressive police disruption of a peaceful Black Lives Matter march in Sacramento. But we are fighting back!

Maile Hampton, 20, in the pale pink pants, poses on the steps of Sacramento Superior Court on March 16 after appearing on charges of lynching and resisting arrest. She is surrounded by people who came to support her at the hearing. Marissa Lang

Maile Hampton, 20, in the pale pink pants, poses on the steps of Sacramento Superior Court on March 16 after appearing on charges of lynching and resisting arrest. She is surrounded by people who came to support her at the hearing. Marissa Lang

e7ec9-tyranny_-_montesquieuWhat you can do:

1) Click here to sign the petition demanding that the Sacramento County District Attorney drop all charges against Maile Hampton now. Then share it on Facebook and Twitter!

2) Contact the Sacramento County District Attorney and demand that the charges be dropped. Email daoffice@sacda.org and in your email CC both mayor@cityofsacramento.org and Sac@ANSWERcoalition.org.

3) Maile’s first court appearance was originally set for March 16 and was now postponed until April 9. Join us at the Sacramento County Courthouse to show your support!

The police and county DA falsely claim that Maile is guilty of obstructing justice and removing a person from police custody — “lynching” under California law.

Lynching is what mobs of white racists committed against thousands of Black people in the United States. They took Black people from the custody of the police with the tacit consent of the cops and state. The mobs then beat, mutilated, tortured and hanged them. This ironic plot to charge an anti-racist Black protestor with lynching screams arrogance on the part of the cops and the DA. The people see through these charges. We charge the state with lynching. We charge the state with attempting to lynch the Black Lives Matter Movement.

In fact it is the police who are guilty of obstructing justice, in this case and historically. These charges against Maile are in reality “revenge” charges against leading activists of the Black Lives Matter movement. We in the ANSWER Coalition, along with a wide network of endorsing organizations, are mobilizing to fight back against this police repression.

The story that the police and DA present is entirely different from the facts of what actually happened. In reality, on Jan. 18, a peaceful march was disrupted by police who wanted to shut it down because of its political content. The police violated the protestors’ right to free speech and arrested several people. The police were the aggressors, not the activists. The police obstructed justice, not the protestors.

2a122-sanger9scabee reports:

The term “lynching” in California law is associated with the crime of trying to free a prisoner from police custody in the midst of a “riot,” or two or more people threatening to disturb the peace.

It was drafted in 1933 and intended to protect suspects in police custody, particularly black suspects, from being apprehended by violent vigilante mobs.

More than 80 years later, protesters packed City Hall and called for Hampton’s release from custody in January. They held signs that said “FREE MAILE!!” and caught the attention of Mayor Kevin Johnson, who later spoke out about the law’s “painful” moniker.

“I was shocked to learn that in California, removing someone from police custody is defined as ‘lynching,’ ” Johnson said in a statement to The Sacramento Bee on Tuesday. “This word has a long and painful history in our nation and it needed to be immediately removed from California law.”

… According to media reports, several protesters involved in the Occupy movement had been charged with “lynching” from Oakland to Los Angeles over the past five years. Most of these cases resulted in prosecutors dropping the charges.

Relate Topics:

KKK Set Alight a 20 Year Old Woman!*

Tribute to Founder of KKK Stands on Capitol Hill with Dedication in D.C. Statutes*

From Selma to Ferguson: Renewing the Right to Vote*

Soros Turned Ferguson from a Local Protest to a National Flashpoint*

Report Confirms Predatory System of Ferguson*

Some Police Departments have been under Investigation*

False Flag: Time-frame of the Ferguson Police Shot by Police!?

Sentenced: Bribed to Send Black Kids to Jail*

Get Out of Jail Free Card for Cop Involved in 100+ Tortures of Black Men*

Like Bob Marley, We Must Create our Own New Songs of Freedom*

Like Bob Marley, We Must Create our Own New Songs of Freedom*

By Carolyn Cooper

Bob Marley is one of the finest poets Jamaica has produced. His skilful use of language – both English and Jamaican – compellingly affirms his highly charged literary sensibility. Biblical allusion, proverb, riddle and Rastafari symbolism are all potent elements of his creative writing. His words require the careful critical attention we usually give to poets who don’t know how to sing.

In “One Drop”, Bob Marley vividly defines reggae as a “drumbeat … playing a rhythm/resisting against the system.” And the central concern of his songs is, most certainly, beating down the oppressive social system. Babylon, the whore, the fallen woman of St John’s Revelation, must be chanted down in fiery poetry.

The Rastaman’s chant against Babylon echoes the fall of biblical Jericho. The power of the spoken word is brilliantly manifested in the distinctive language of Rastafari. With upful lyrics, Rastafari condemn downpressors of all stripes. And they teach a revolutionary philosophy that puts truths and rights at the very centre of the new curriculum.

In “Crazy Baldhead”, from the Rastaman Vibration album, the theme of revolution resounds. The social institutions of Babylon are seen as dysfunctional – the educational, religious and penal systems. “Brain-wash education” must be rejected and the con-man/crazy baldhead sent running out of town:

Build your penitentiary

We build your schools

Brain-wash education to make us the

fools.

Hateraged you reward for our love

Telling us of your God above.

We gonna chase those crazy

Chase those crazy bunkheads

Chase those crazy baldheads

Out of town.

Here comes the con-man

Coming with his con-plan

We won’t take no bribe

We got to stay alive.

ROBBERS AND SELLERS

Marley’s lyrical “Redemption Song”, from the Uprising album, is a classic example of the songwriter’s literary skill. The opening lines telescope time, compressing a whole history of exploitation and suffering into minutes:

Old pirates, yes

They rob I

Sold I to the merchant ships

Minutes after they took I

From the bottomless pit

Marley’s use of the word ‘pirates’ confirms the fact that many heroes of the British Empire were nothing but common criminals. Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake were key actors in the slave trade, earning great wealth from the business of human torture. But Marley also reminds us that Africans were implicated in the mercenary enterprise of transatlantic slavery.

The ambiguous placement of Marley’s neutral ‘they’ inextricably links both the robbers and sellers. There is no real difference between the ‘they’ who rob and the ‘they’ who sell. True, if there were no buyers, there would be no sellers. But the instinct to exploit seems to be our common inhumanity.

In “Redemption Song”, Marley also acknowledges the divine hand that enabled victims of enslavement to rise from the bottomless pit of horror that was the Middle Passage:

But my hand was made strong

By the hand of the Almighty

We forward in this generation

Triumphantly.

This triumph requires of us a song, as the Melodians so plaintively chanted in Rivers of Babylon. Putting to music Psalm137, verse 1, they, like Bob Marley, knew that song is therapy:

Won’t you help to sing

These songs of freedom?

Cause all I ever have

Redemption songs.

Head-Decay-Shun (colonial schooling)

Bob Marley appears to be contrasting songs of freedom with redemption songs. There’s a popular hymnal, Redemption Songs, that was first published in London in 1929 or thereabouts. It has become part of the religious culture of Jamaica, regularly showing up at wakes. The title page describes the book in this way: “A choice collection of 1,000 hymns and choruses for evangelistic meetings, solo, singers, choirs and the home.”

Redemption Songs seems to have come to Jamaica with evangelicals from the United States. It was my friend, Erna Brodber, a historical sociologist and novelist, who persuaded me that Marley is actually rejecting “redemption songs”. They are part of the Euro-American religious legacy. And that’s all he was once forced to have.

But there’s another meaning of redemption that I think we should also take into account. Redemption is the act of buying oneself out of slavery. The religious and commercial meanings of ‘redemption’ converge in Marley’s song. Redemption songs are also songs of freedom. There is divine grace – the hand of the Almighty. But there is also the practical justice of freeing one’s self from both physical and mental slavery.

Marley’s Redemption Song is both a rejection of evangelical Christian orthodoxy and an affirmation of a new redemptive vision. So, Marley pays tribute to Marcus Garvey, who prophetically declared, “We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind.”

But Garvey does not stop there. He gives a profound warning:

“Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind.

Garvey is advocating a new kind of education. Not ‘head-decay-shun’, as Rastafari mockingly describe colonial schooling. If that’s all we ever have, we will continue to be enslaved by old notions of redemption. Like Bob Marley, we must create our own new songs of freedom.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Redemption “Songs” of Muslim Youth

An Awakened Life: Trials and Tribulations*

Lennon, Marley and Michael Jackson on Those Who Control Us*

Real Hip-Hop Versus the Music Industry*

Soundz of Transformation

Reasons to Convert Your Music to 432hz*

Don’t Play that Song!

U.S. Prolonging Dutch Neo-Colonialism in the Caribbean*

U.S. Prolonging Dutch Neo-Colonialism in the Caribbean*

By Wayne Madsen

It has been the policy of the Barack Obama administration to oppose the granting of independence by European colonial powers to any more territories in the Caribbean. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told the leaders and people of six Dutch territories in the Caribbean in July 2013 that the Netherlands was prepared to grant independence to the islands but that the United States was adamantly against the idea.

Brennan CIA hearings

Rutte was on a visit to each of the islands when he said that he would personally arrange for the islands to become independent but that the United States insisted on continued Dutch control because of two main factors:

1) that the United States preferred the status quo of having its NATO ally, the Netherlands, stationing more Dutch troops in its Caribbean territories than anywhere else abroad; and

2) the United States wanted the islands to maintain their colonial status to prevent them from falling under «mafia» control. 

Under the present neo-colonial arrangements, Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten are considered «countries» in association with the Kingdom of the Netherlands while Saba, Saint Eustatius, and Bonaire are considered overseas «municipalities» of the Netherlands. The status for all the islands, except for Aruba, was arrived at after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles territory in 2010.

The Barack Obama administration has been extremely hostile to having new nations appear on the international scene during its tenure. Only one, South Sudan, a long-time pet project of Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice, became independent in 2011. Montenegro and East Timor, along with the largely unrecognized Kosovo, became independent during the George W. Bush administration.

But how far have the Obama administration and the freewheeling Central Intelligence Agency gone in order to prevent any newly-independent nations in the Caribbean? Some suggest that under its thuggish director, John O. Brennan, the CIA engaged in political assassination to help drive home its point.

October 2012 elections in Curacao resulted in a parliamentary majority for political parties that favoured total independence for the island. A coalition of the pro-independence «Pueblo Soberano» and «Movementu Futuro Kùrsou» (MFK) gained the most seats in the Estates of Curacao and they continued in their coalition government with the Social Democrats. In August of that year, the MFK Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte was dismissed by the Dutch-appointed governor, Frits Goedgedrag. The governor refused to allow Schotte to carry on as caretaker prime minister after the defection of two parliamentarians from his ruling coalition.

Curacao was plunged into a constitutional crisis with many pro-independence leaders suspecting not only interference from neo-colonialist Dutch political leaders and the Dutch intelligence services but also from the CIA and Obama administration, which were known to be hostile to any independence moves by the authorities in Willemstad, the Curacao capital. At first, Schotte refused to step down as prime minister, calling Goedgedrag’s actions a coup d’etat. After a few days of holding out in the prime minister’s office in Willemstad, Schotte left to campaign for the October election. Stanley Betrian, a former vice president of the Bank of the Netherlands Antilles and royal-appointed Lieutenant Governor of Curacao under the Netherlands Antilles colonial contrivance, became interim prime minister. Continued Dutch colonial rule was in safe hands for the time being.

Students of CIA-inspired constitutional coups may recall what occurred in Australia in 1975. That year, the Australian Governor General, Sir John Kerr, who was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II, dismissed the Labor government of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. It was later learned that Kerr had enjoyed a long association with the CIA as one of its most loyal Australian assets. A fierce critic of U.S. and Israeli policies, Whitlam made the CIA and the U.S. National Security Agency uncomfortable when he began asking too many questions about U.S. electronic intelligence-gathering bases near Alice Springs and at other locations. One of the young right-wing activists who rallied student support for Kerr’s actions in deposing Whitlam was Tony Abbott, the current Australian Prime Minister of Australia who threatened to physically assault Russian President Vladimir Putin by «shirtfronting» him at the G20 conference in Brisbane.

What occurred in Curacao in August 2013 was a microcosm of what occurred in Australia in 1975. The same CIA playbook was used in both cases but in Curacao the rules of the game had a bloodier outcome.

After the October 2012 elections in Curacao, many conservative politicians in the Netherlands urged Curacao to be set free because of what they perceived was rampant corruption on the island and alleged mafia connections of former Prime Minister Schotte. It now appears that these charges were red herrings created by the CIA’s obedient media in the Netherlands to give the impression that Curacao and the other Dutch Caribbean islands were ungovernable as independent entities because of a nebulous «mafia» waiting to take over upon independence. Considering the successful independence enjoyed for decades by the former British territories of Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts-Nevis, Dominica, and others, the arguments used against independence for the Dutch Caribbean isles were inane and without foundation.

The head of party with the largest vote count in the October 2012 election was Helmin Wiels of «Pueblo Soberano.» The second largest was Schotte’s MFK, which remained in the coalition government headed by Wiels’s party. At the end of October 2012, Wiels announced that a referendum on independence would be held. He also said that upon passage of the referendum, he would begin negotiations with the Netherlands that would allow for dual nationality and visa free travel between the island and the Netherlands. The Socialist and right-wing Freedom Party in the Netherlands, never seeing eye-to-eye on many matters, supported independence for Curacao. These developments set off alarm bells at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia and at the Pentagon.

On December 31, 2012, another banker, Daniel Hodge of the Party for a Restructured Antilles (PAR) and director of the Curacao Postal Savings Bank, became Prime Minister. Meanwhile, Wiels of the «Pueblo Soberano» continued to call for independence.

On May 5, 2013, in broad daylight, five bullets tore into Wiels while he was sipping a beer on the Marie Pompoen public beach. The attackers who assassinated Wiels sped off in a car and were never caught. The

The following month, Schotte, Wiels’s old coalition partner, said that it was Wiels’s desire for independence of Curacao that led to his assassination. Schotte vehemently denied he had foreknowledge of the plans to assassinate Wiels, stating that his MFK party wholeheartedly supported Wiels’s goal of independence. The only «investigation» conducted in earnest by Curacao prosecutors and police was of Curacao government insiders who began leaking details of the investigation of Wiels’s murder to the media. Schotte’s concerns about Wiels’s assassination by opponents of independence were silenced after he and his girlfriend were arrested by Curacao police on May 20, 2014 on charges of money laundering and forgery. The elimination of the two major proponents of independence for Curacao from the scene may be lauded by the CIA as another highly-classified «success story» but for the peoples of the Caribbean the tale has dire consequences.

Dutch Prime Minister Rutte was correct when he stated that the United States will not permit any more nations in the Caribbean to become independent and that not only includes Curacao but the other Dutch-controlled islands, as well as the British-run Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Bermuda and the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

The use of law enforcement to silence proponents of independence has been used in the British-controlled Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) to deter pro-independence politicians. Britain successfully had Brazilian authorities arrest former TCI Premier Michael Misick, a proponent of independence who fled the TCI for Brazil after being charged with corruption in the TCI. Misick was not only charged with fraud and money laundering but also raping an American resident of Puerto Rico. Misick denied all the charges and, while in exile in Brazil, wrote of Britain’s re-imposition of colonial rule on the TCI by an appointed governor. Misick’s legal problems began after he began to push for TCI independence from Britain. Not only has Britain tightened the colonial screws on TCI, with a wink and a nod from Washington, but a Canadian Tory MP named Peter Goldring has paid two visits to TCI to convince TCI’s British puppet Premier, Rufus Ewing, to begin negotiations on TCI being annexed by Stephen Harper’s Canada.

As for Wiels’s killers, CIA assassins are rarely caught and brought to justice. The actual assassins of two Presidents of Palau – Haruo Relemik gunned down in 1985 and his successor, Lazarus Salli, shot in his home in 1988 – have never been caught. Both presidents advocated their islands remaining nuclear free after independence from the United States, a policy that was at variance with the CIA and Pentagon.

From Canberra in 1975 to Palau in 1985 and 1988 and Curacao in 2012 and 2013, the CIA playbook remains in force with assassinations, constitutional coups, and frame ups common practices.

Source*

Related Topics:

Unpaid Debts: Reparation For Colonialism*

Fourteen Caribbean Nations Demand Reparation from Colonial Britain*

Britain’s Secret Plan for the Invasion of Grenada*

Yellow Journalism, and the Truth Behind the Jonestown Massacre*

The Taino of the Caribbean: The People who are not Supposed to Exist

Controlling Haiti

Gambia Says No More to the Commonwealth*

Rising Up Against Noe-Colonial Rule in Burkino Faso*

Change the Story, Change the World*

Yellow Journalism, and the Truth Behind the Jonestown Massacre*

Yellow Journalism, and the Truth Behind the Jonestown Massacre*

As one of those who believed the mainstream media, may posting this article make amends for the grave error of not even bothering to question the lies about Jonestown… You may not know Jonestown or even what happened, but as the corporate media closes it net to prevent the truth escaping about what is going on even in your hometown, Jonestown is a perfect example of what can happen at any time in any place and has been repeated again, and again, and again in recent times…

If this is more of the same, Jonestown is just one indication as to how long the NWO has been unfolding…

By Laurie Efrein Kahalas

Do you know how or why close to a thousand people died at Jonestown, Guyana on November 18, 1978? Has anyone ever told you a remotely coherent story? In the following, Laurie Kahalas, a People’s Temple survivor, presents us with an account of the events from an insider’s perspective. Her book, Snake Dance: Unravelling the Mysteries of Jonestown, is one of the most significant works on the subject published on the subject.

My name is Laurie Efrein Kahalas, and I was with the Peoples Temple for eight-and-a-half years. I was living in the Temple building in San Francisco when tragedy struck, along with a tiny crew left back in the States for organisational work. While others were wildly shredding documents, I quietly saved them, squireling away documents and files for a later, brighter day. There was nothing there that could incriminate us (for indeed, we were not criminals at all, we were humanitarians); and I realised I held in my hands the keys to some day exculpate my friends. As if such a thing could be possible! But I vowed to try.

I am here to humanise the events at Jonestown, or as the Preface of Snake Dance: Unravelling the Mysteries of Jonestown, says: “To be fully human in the face of infamy.” The world spent so much time demonising Jim Jones, there was none left to humanise the people of Jonestown, or to comprehend the terror of their plight.

What was the real story? Were the elements human, political, circumstantial? Preventable, not preventable? Were there demons, villains, heroes?

In fairness to researchers, it has been next to impossible to research, in that Jonestown was one of the worst cases of yellow journalism in the entire history of the American media. It all began with the power of the press.

All “research” goes back to the “original sources,” an unseemly amalgam of three components:

1) Ex-member plants in the group

2) their non-member government-based handlers

3) the tiniest handful of aggrieved ex-members who were used as pawns

Of the ex-member group who did not have the earmarks of being government plants, most lost relatives in the tragedy.

The horrendous mass death at Jonestown burst onto the world press in November, 1978, complete with gory details and fingers of blame. Although it was breaking news, all the background, the analyses, the witnesses, the media heroes, were ready-made for the press; nor was there any other candidate for blame but Jim Jones. The people at Jonestown were “brainwashed”; their defenders “apologists”; the only “credible sources” were the people who had “exposed” Peoples Temple a year and more prior to the tragedy.

We say we know the crushing power of the press, but no one knows that in full measure until you experience a Jonestown. So intense and widespread was the deluge, that it never even occurred to those within the press to question whether it may have been the very same people so intent upon destroying the church’s reputation, who had moved to destroy Jonestown physically.

The most notorious precursor of such methods was the Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels, who advised laying down a barrage of bad press to indoctrinate the Germans into exterminating the Jews. “Repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it.” With Peoples Temple, it was rendered all too easy, for the group had virtually relocated thousands of miles away, leaving no viable voice to defend the church.

At first, it seemed a great shock, for the church had been “the toast of the town,” for its humanitarian service work. A mere six months before Jim Jones’ exodus to Guyana, a Testimonial Dinner featured plaques of commendation from the Mayor of San Francisco, the City Council, the State Senate, and accolades from the Lieutenant Governor, the Police Commissioner, Assemblyman Willie Brown (now Mayor of San Francisco) and many others. Yet in the very first smear, in New West, a fledgling Murdoch publication, a 25-year record of humanitarian service was merely held up, then dumped in the trash, in favour of “What is going on behind closed doors”?

Although Jonestown was the church’s crown jewel accomplishment, an acclaimed breakaway from the inner cities of the United States, with their racism, unemployment, drugs, crimes, substandard housing and more, the destroyers merely used people who had never even been to Jonestown as “sources,” and began with “Jonestown: Paradise or Prison?” From that time forward, until the arrival of reporters at the end, no reporter had ever visited Jonestown, yet horror stories from the most suspect people were all the mainstream press would print. By the time the reporters arrived, they had been so manipulated to suspect the worst, they actually wrote that they thought it “odd” that black and white, young and old, were singing and swaying together, and that “I wondered if they had been drugged or hypnotised”! Another reporter broke into a senior women’s residence, saw bunk beds (for building individual cottages was ongoing for a large exodus), and concluded “It looked like a slave ship.”

Who lay the groundwork for the Congressman and the press to come to Jonestown? Who led Congressman Ryan into what turned out to be a death trap? More pointedly, who was it who set that trap for him, and how can we be sure?

Aerial Photo Of Jonestown, Guyana

Jonestown Targeted by Agent Provocateurs

It is time to examine the “valiant crusaders” who “exposed” Peoples Temple in the press and forced the investigatory visit to Jonestown.

Their leaders were a combination of agency plants and provocateurs, as directed by their non-member government handlers. A year-and-a-half smear campaign preceded the tragedy, destroying an acclaimed church in absentia, during which time the Murdoch and Hearst presses blacked out any dissent.

Moreover, no one was who they said they were, and their stated motives were “cover stories,” not fact. The story was not “courageous ex-members who dared to step forward,” but rather the tiniest handful of vindictive ex-members with suspect personal motives, being used by people with a far-right-wing political agenda.

The leaders of the parade, Elmer and Deanna Mertle (a/k/a Jeannie and Al Mills), were right-wing extremists,veterans of the notorious John Birch Society; and Timothy Stoen, veteran of clandestine spying missions into East Berlin in the early sixties. The Mertles were murdered in February 1980 in their home in Berkeley, California, by people the police surmised “they knew,” for there were no signs of forced entry or burglary. The killings of these two, and their daughter Daphene were done very professionally – dum-dum bullets, “execution style,” and leaving no traceable clues.

Most tellingly, they were murdered a mere five days after announcing they no longer wanted to speak out against Peoples Temple! Their murders prevented them from posing a life-long liability… but for whom?

Timothy Stoen, former top attorney for the church, and founder of the “Concerned Relatives” group, had no relatives in Jonestown, but aggressively pushed his slander factory to bring Congressman Ryan to Jonestown on false pretences. He deliberately and knowingly pressed a false paternity claim to Jim Jones’ own child, repeatedly threatening to send in mercenaries, as recorded in newspaper editorials and State Department logs. A previous mercenary attack against the community came within a few days after his attorneys had travelled to Jonestown to serve legal papers, with the implicit threat: “Release the child or else violence will ensue.” To justify ongoing threats of violence against defenceless families, Stoen meanwhile persuaded Deborah Layton, an ex-member who swore to many lies, to claim that she had personally seen “hundreds of guns,” although both Guyanese and American authorities later discovered all of thirty-nine – .22 calibre and none automatic. These people were transparently defenceless.

Within two weeks of the tragedy, Stoen bragged that he would “destroy Jonestown,” and specifically that he was “counting on Jim [Jones] to overreact.” As America viewed on screen through one of its major networks, ABC, Congressman Ryan addressed the community of Jonestown saying, “I hear many of you saying that this is the best thing that’s ever happened to you!”, leaving any motive for assassinating him quite thin. It seems quite unbelievable that a Congressional visit alone, much less a positive one, could possibly create such an “overreaction.” Stoen surely knew that his “concentration camp” charges could not stick, so to what would Jim Jones “overreact”? A mere visit? Or an assassination?

It was also Stoen who was later exposed as the one who had continually tried to push a non-violent church onto a terrorist course (called an “agent provocateur”), it was Stoen who made all the threats against Jonestown, and it was Stoen who led Congressman Ryan into Jonestown on false pretenses. More tellingly even, Stoen had secretly been a far-right-wing zealot all along, and Congressman Leo Ryan was known to be the most vocal anti-CIA Congressman in the entire United States Congress! We want to bear this in mind when we ponder what is known about the assassination.

Stoen, who had been living communally and was now visibly unemployed, spent huge sums of money on lobbying in Washington, cross-continent travel, and it was discovered that he had several secret bank accounts in foreign countries where the church had done no banking at all.

Other key movers and shakers in the ongoing campaign had never been members at all – not of Peoples Temple, anyway. More like “membership” in the Treasury Department, Interpol, and some deadringers for ties with both FBI and CIA. Most notable were two shadowy characters by the names of David Conn and Joseph Mazor.

David Conn admitted being close friends with the Mertles all the years they were members, and moreover, of “investigating” the church throughout that time. He claimed he was concerned about “black people being ripped off.” (Note: In point of fact, Jim Jones was such a careful steward of the people’s money, Tim Stoen never even made such a charge). Yet he went to Native American leader Dennis Banks, and tried to blackmail him into turning against Jim Jones, or be sent back to his death in a South Dakota prison! So the cover story about caring about minorities was definitely false! Moreover, Conn had bragged to Banks about his ties to the US Treasury Department, which works closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and two other sources confirmed Conn as a Treasury Department agent.

Joseph Mazor, who was discovered to be a member of Interpol, housed adjacent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, was an admitted felon, who was mysteriously granted a State investigator’s license fresh out of prison for passing bogus checks – just in time to investigate Peoples Temple! He admitted orchestrating the smear campaign against the church, stating that his employers were outsiders, never members of the church, and he refused to reveal their identities or the source of his funding. Mazor was later to “claim credit for” the mercenary attack against Jonestown, and travelled there to announce that the original plan of the attack had been mass extermination. A community which was already isolated and defenceless now feared the worst – and just weeks before the Congressman arrived!

Influential & Powerful Voice for the Oppressed

What were the motives behind the smears in the press?

Peoples Temple Christian Church performed all the work of the church, caring for the poor, the needy, and the disadvantaged. But we were also interracial. We were socialist. Our leader had a powerful, influential voice. Although we had become a political forum for every left-wing leader, advocate, or cause of the day, we were gaining ground in the mainstream. We were even planning to re-relocate to the then-Soviet Union during the Cold War. We “had to be stopped.”

Following the tragedy, Joseph Mazor who, like the others, had never revealed any political motivation for opposing the church, now stated flatly, “It was considered that Jim Jones would become a major political force in the Caribbean within five years.” It was patently clear that despite the church’s ongoing non-violence, they feared a new Castro in the Caribbean. An American Castro, with citizens free to enter and exit the States at will. Was it possible for the CIA to not be interested in such an international scenario?

And who else might the CIA have an interest in wanting to “stop”? The CIA’s main gadfly at that time was one Leo Ryan, the slain Congressman, who had passed the Hughes/Ryan Bill of 1974, requiring the CIA to report all covert operations to Congress. Indeed, both Jim Jones and Leo Ryan, both threats to the CIA, wound up dead? “Coincidence”?

In any case, we were indeed “stopped” from either any proliferation in the Caribbean, or a move to the then-Soviet Union, in the most tragic manner possible. Yet all the public was ever told was that Peoples Temple was a bizarre violent cult with an insane leader. “Bizarre murder/suicide ritual” was the mantra of the day. Politics was never mentioned.

But it was more. If the story had been exactly as told, it could be left alone. But it never was. Cover-ups and disinformation were, of necessity, rampant. This is, indeed, what has most complicated the present-day task of telling what really happened at Jonestown. The rumour mill has been so widespread, one has to contend with not just facts, but an ingrained belief system, that has all the earmarks of itself being a “cult.” People who want to believe that “Jim Jones was CIA,” or “Jonestown was a secret CIA mind control experiment,” or “Jonestown was MK Ultra,” have been more daunting to contend with than people who have simply been uninformed.

No one has ever considered that the disinformation pervading the aftermath of the Jonestown tragedy was perpetuated because Leo Ryan was so known to his aides to be anti-CIA, that to ward off a direct investigation of the CIA for assassinating Ryan, they have to concoct Jim Jones must have been CIA! If even madness has method, here is the simple key to the false and unverified barrage of accusations about Jonestown being a secret CIA mind control experiment and the like. Just blame Jim Jones and call it CIA. If the CIA really did it, no one given that absolutely false clue could ever trace it to the source. It was deliberately designed by dead-end specialists to lead nowhere.

This is what has led to the current approach of dismantling the disinformation. It has not been possible to speak the truth without first dismantling the fabric of lies spread to date, and clarifying why those lies have been spread: their origin, their rationale, their intended purpose. One must first strip away disinformation before having any capacity to see.

Jonestown NOT a CIA Experiment

I want to dismantle the most rampant disinformation first: the absolute lie that “Jim Jones was CIA.” Jim Jones would have rather had his eyes gouged out. It was both the measure of, and admittedly, the danger of his character, that rather than do that, he would die. He was the most mission-driven individual I have ever met in my entire life.

Jonestown was NOT a mind control experiment in the mould of “MK Ultra.” I personally do not doubt that the CIA might have been glad to use Jonestown as such had they the chance. I am not attempting, understand, to exonerate the CIA! Indeed, I see their footprints all over this disaster. But the mind control experiment story is disinformation 100%.

Jonestown was a beautiful, productive, thriving interracial community, acclaimed as a “paradise,” which was the happiest and most fulfilling life that most of its largely-inner city residents had ever known. It was a shining model of how inner city dwellers can thrive and excel on a worldwide stage. It was described by visitors as “a paradise,” “a superior society,” “like coming to another planet,” and ” a credit to humanity.”

The media who were so eager to smear Jonestown had not even visited! When Congressman Ryan finally did visit, his commentary to the assemblage was that “I hear many of you saying that this is the best thing that has ever happened to you. What is being done here is of great significance, even on a worldwide basis.” Obviously, their was no motive for Jonestown residents to assassinate someone who intended to bring back a good report.

Jonestown massacre

Events Leading Up to the Tragedy

I want to approach the catastrophe in two stages: first the assassination at the Port Kaituma airstrip, then the deaths at Jonestown.

First, the reader must realise that this matter was never brought to a court of law. Members of the Jonestown community were convicted of the assassination in the press, naming Jim Jones as the mastermind who “ordered” the assassination. This was accomplished not only with no incriminating evidence, but with considerable exculpatory evidence that was never considered. These were the many factors:

There were no forensics done on the Congressman; no match-up of bullets against guns. Indeed, the assassination was reportedly done with dum-dum bullets, which explode upon impact, rendering them untraceable, and which were beyond the technical capabilities of anyone at Jonestown to manufacture.

The so-called “eyewitness identifications” were bogus – made by (according to the Congressional investigators) Jim Cobb, a man who was not only suing us for millions of dollars at the time, but who did not even know many of the alleged attackers (they had joined the church after he left), admitted being “on the other side of the plane when the shooting started,” and then fled for his own life in the other direction! He never even had the shooters in his line of vision!

There were virtually no autopsies done – all of seven, and of even those, the bodies were embalmed before being shipped back to the medical team in the United States! An American doctor lamented that they had not even verified poisoning in a single case! That it would have been very simple – just a little blood or urine, but that with all the hundreds of bodies, it was not done on a single one. Shipments of the dead were nearly not accepted because there had been no death certificates prepared. No one even went to collect the bodies until they had been laying out three days in the tropical sun.

A key piece of evidence did emerge unexpectedly: an on-site film of the assassination had been taken by Bob Brown, an NBC photojournalist who was then himself shot. I first saw this film at the first anniversary of the tragedy in 1979. I was alarmed to see a sophisticated military formation, identified for me as “a squad diamond”, not at all within the capability of Peoples Temple. The killings looked very professional, and indeed, Bob Flick, a reporter on site, described the killings as “calm, silent, brutal, methodical” and that the attack had been “carefully planned and mercilessly executed.”

At the time, I went to the Congressional investigating committee to demand they blow up the film to confirm that it was not anyone from Jonestown who killed the Congressman. They refused, deliberately botched my transcript, and when I tried to mail the information to the 34 Congressmen on the committee in Washington, only two of my return mailing receipts came back stamped!

I had neither the clout nor the connections to obtain the film at the time, but now at the twentieth anniversary, it has resurfaced, as have other pieces of evidence perhaps considered less dangerous by this late date. I currently have a source in possession of the film, and confirming military opinion that this was a “diamond formation,” and a thoroughly professional “hit.”

Yet the bias in the United States press continues to the degree that snippets of that film have been played on several television stations, and no one even commented that the shooters were all dressed alike – in Army uniforms! Perhaps the truth, flagrant as it is, may yet surface through the simple channels of common sense.

Next is that the assassins did not arrive on the Temple truck. They barreled on in a second vehicle, as all eyewitnesses confirmed. They were somehow able to rapidly and skillfully disarm the Guyanese police on site before opening fire on the Congressman and his party.

Mark Lane (center) with Rev. Jim Jones (left) and Charles Garry in Jonestown shortly before the mass killing of some 914 Americans

What of the charge that “Jim Jones ordered the assassination”? What was released publicly of “the final tape” made at Jonestown, however severely spliced and abbreviated it was, is unequivocal on that point again and again. Indeed, the identity of the killers was completely unknown to Jim Jones:

1) “I didn’t order the shooting”;

2) “I don’t know who shot the Congressman.”;

3) “I can’t control these people [who did].”;

4) “I waited against all evidence… I tried to prevent all this from happening.”;

5) “I wish I could call it back.”;

6) “I never wanted to kill anybody.”;

7) “How many are dead?… Oh, God Almighty, God help them…”

A letter written to Congress and the President months earlier, had predicted exactly what would happen:

“All that has been done is to get people to believe in society… Our people had been so alienated. All that they can see in this is a set-up, a classic scenario: first muddy our name… whip up attacks in the press, and then: by the time you reach the classic ending, the frame-ups, the ‘kill,’ no one even cares. …And they think that the press has already done its job with slander and smears, and so no-one will care about the frame-ups…”

Yet when the moment of truth was upon the people of Jonestown, the chaos and confusion was so thick, that panic about an invading force had taken over. Tragically, contingencies had been discussed long since, following the mercenary attack in September, 1977. This was a community that was geographically trapped, militarily defenceless, and so remote and isolated, it did not even have a phone to alert the world or call in help. The great majority of residents had vowed to never be forced back to the inner cities of the United States. The previous military attack had happened in broad daylight, when they were peaceably going about their daily business. Now it was the wake of the assassination of a Congressman, heading towards the middle of the night. How much greater the peril! Thus, when Jim Jones told his assembled community that forces would be closing in for a slaughter, it seemed all too real.

Moreover, Port Kaituma, the location of the airstrip assassination, was seven miles from Jonestown, so no one reported the men in Army uniforms had assassinated the Congressman! But even had they known, that would have heightened the danger, not diminished it.

In my book, Snake Dance: Unravelling the Mysteries of Jonestown, I lay out all the possible post-assassination scenarios whose perpetrators must at all cost cover up. Although I was horrified at the suicides, I am still haunted to this day, what might have happened had they simply waited out the night. Life is precious, and any life that could have been saved would be precious, whatever the overall carnage. But carnage there would have been. There would have to have been carnage to cover their tracks and eliminate anyone with an alibi, differing version, or questions about a frame.

As for the people of Jonestown, they would have been thrilled to survive and live on. They took their own lives not because they were drugged or brainwashed or robots. They genuinely and legitimately feared a slaughter from outside forces.

I know what happened will be controversial forever; and I wept, especially over the loss of children, more times over more years than I can easily admit. But I loved these people, and what has bruised my heart along with the deaths, is the injustice of what happened, that the truth was never told, and that no one has ever spoken on their behalf. They were a role model for how inner city dwellers could thrive and excel on a worldwide stage. They were brave, wonderful pioneers, who deserve far better than to be labelled as “brainwashed,” “robots,” or even “psychopaths.”

Moreover, who will ever dare another Jonestown? Who will break away in self-empowerment and overcome the many social problems which beset minorities in the United States? More than those people were killed. They killed off a hope.

Many people do not care that a thousand people, largely minority and poor, died in some remote jungle. Yet in pressing this matter in the States, I have to assume that people care that the assassination of a United States Congressman was a frame-up, blamed on the wrong people, done to provoke mass death, and that there are many ways this can be proven. We do have an unfortunate record in tracking down the truth about assassinations. Witness John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Bobby Kennedy, and others. But life has put me here, and I take it as a commitment, even an honour, that I can speak for my fallen friends. I have never doubted that it is the right thing to do.

These were people who lived with good cause. From radiant health to beautiful cottages, to a wonderful community school, burgeoning medical facilities, fabulous home-grown food, creative, fulfilling employment, self-empowerment, freedom from all the scourges of poverty, drugs and crime…. and most especially, to harmony between the races, ages, genders, economic classes, the people of Jonestown had an incredible life, a “future life” they treasured. Next to you or me, most of us, and certainly society as a whole, they lived with good, even valiant cause. That is much of why they were put in that position – “that position” being their backs up against the wall! Whether the world will ever comprehend how they met their deaths, it is time to honour the example and sacrifice of their lives.

At the 32nd annual Jonestown memorial, held at an Evergreen Cemetery mass grave for Peoples Temple victims

As for me, I vowed not to live my life as a victim over this, and I am not. I do not live in shame. And in my heart, if not in the eyes of the world all these years, my friends who died at Jonestown do not live on in shame either. Jim Jones? I knew him when he was strong and vibrant, before the deteriorations of illness. He was the most passionate, committed champion for racial and economic equality that I have ever seen or known. He was by nature a pacifist, and only slowly, through extreme trials, did his mettle snap. Was he unbalanced? Of course! How do you live under such threats, and the descent of such a doom (not to mention terminal illness!), without extreme reactions? I am brutally honest in my book about organisational problems, my own conflicts, and Jim Jones’ overbearing, sometimes ruthless personality. But I know he loved those people, and that his very heart would burst rather than wilfully inflict that kind of pain.

The final words on “the final tape” were perhaps as redeeming for a community that was unfailingly peace-loving, as they were tragic:

“They are not taking our lives. We are not taking their lives. We are laying down our lives in protest against conditions of an inhumane world. We are a thousand people who don’t like the way the world is.”

I don’t much like the way the world is either, though perhaps not in quite the same way, and certainly not with the same remedy. It does not make me want to die. It makes me want to live. To create a future where such travesties as what was done to Jonestown never again happen. Where it is not only accepted, but nurtured and encouraged, for people to live together in peace – all races, all religions, all ages, all backgrounds, in harmony and acceptance of one another. Let us do it, and not have to face a slaughter for the trying. I don’t want to see any more “Jonestowns of death.” But I would be thrilled to see more communities in this, our troubled world, with that calibre of life. Let us, Humanity, learn from experience. Finally. Please.

Source*

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Britain’s Secret Plan for the Invasion of Grenada*

Britain’s Secret Plan for the Invasion of Grenada*

By Phil Miller

Today marks the anniversary of the 1983 Invasion of Grenada in the Caribbean…

… codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, which squashed a revolution on the tiny island that dared to challenge US control of the Caribbean. Margaret Thatcher, the UK Prime Minister at the time, felt put out because US President Ronald Reagan had kept her in the dark about his plans to land troops on the former British colony. But newly discovered documents reveal that the previous Conservative government had hatched a virtually identical invasion plan almost a decade before the Americans stormed the island in order deal with a younger version of those same revolutionaries.

Grenada was once a British sugar plantation worked by African slaves. By 1974, Grenadian strongman Eric Gairy looked set to become the country’s first prime minister when the Brits eventually left. His power led Gairy to believe in UFOs, compare himself to God, and rely on a personal militia called the Mongoose Gang to crush protests against his increasingly dictatorial leadership.

As mad and ruthless as Gairy was, his presence on the island represented stability for British interests. So, British spies in the Caribbean were busy trying to stop opposition elements from assassinating him on Independence day, “when his public presence amongst crowds, noise and fireworks might present a favorable opportunity,” according to declassified UK government files that I found at the National Archives in London.

One intelligence report, marked “secret,” was written by an MI5 officer. Describing his work as “intelligence” might be a stretch, however, as the British spook also reported,

“On the other hand, the West Indian temperament does not seem to lend itself to determined and fanatical action except sporadically.”

That sounds like a weird mix of guesswork and racial stereotyping rather than legitimate insider information.

Nevertheless, the files reveal that information from this officer prompted the British military to prepare a full-scale invasion plan on the eve of Grenada’s independence, “to restore law and order and constitutional government. This would involve a reversion to colonial rule,” the foreign secretary warned Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath in January 1974.

MI5 was worried about the New Jewel Movement (“Jewel” was an acronym for “Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education and Liberation”). It was viewed as “an extremist organization whose main aim is the overthrow of Gairy and his government (by force if other means fail) and the setting up in its place of a people’s revolutionary regime.” The files show that Britain’s economic interests in the Caribbean were comparable with investments in India and oil reserves in the Middle East. They reveal that MI5 spied on Grenada’s trade unions and ran informants inside the New Jewel Movement (NJM) in the months before independence, looking for plots against Gairy.

MI5 did this knowing that Gairy was no angel. Their intelligence reports refer to his Mongoose Gang as “ruthless” and described it as “an un-uniformed and undisciplined body… many of them have criminal records.”

In the end, the British invasion plan was never used, because Gairy clung to power during independence. It would be another five years before the NJM ousted Gairy in a coup, creating a progressive republic in the Caribbean that would be a thorn in the side of American free marketers with slogans like “Education: A Right, Not a Privilege.”

Chris Searle, a former speechwriter for the NJM leader, told me he was surprised to learn about the UK’s contingency plans, as the movement had viewed British imperialism as in the past, unlike the threat of American aggression. But the British plans were credible. The secret intelligence reports on Grenada were compiled by the MI5 station on the neighboring island of Trinidadwhich had orchestrated the overthrow of Guyana‘s democratically elected government in 1953 when Winston Churchill feared the country’s leader, Cheddi Jagan, was too left-wing.

British concerns about the NJM overthrowing Gairy in Grenada went to the very top of the government. On January 25, 1974, the foreign secretary advised the prime minister that “the internal situation in Grenada has deteriorated seriously in the last few weeks. There have been strikes, interruptions of public services, and demonstrations which have led to violence including shooting, with resultant casualties including three deaths. Nevertheless Mr. Gairy’s Government is still in control. There is a fair chance that, with the security forces at his disposal (the police and the newly recalled ‘police aides’ [the Mongoose Gang]), he will succeed in containing the situation at least until independence on the 7th February 1974.”

However, the foreign secretary warned the PM that drastic measures had to be contemplated.

“In the worst case it is possible that the government may not succeed in retaining control so that it becomes impracticable to transfer sovereignty on the 7th of February to a cohesive and effective authority,” he wrote.

This would put the UK in a difficult position, the minister explained, and an invasion to restore “colonial rule” had to be considered.

Britain’s defense secretary then convened a meeting on January 30 with the military top brass to discuss a secret paper titled “Grenada: Policy on Intervention by HM [Her Majesty’s] Forces.” On the scenario of “Intervention to restore law and order after a breakdown of the Gairy Government,” the briefing noted that “the Ministry of Defense has examined in general terms how such an operation might be mounted.”

The plan bears striking resemblance to the 1983 US invasion. It involved a battalion of Royal Marines or paratroopers, a squadron of helicopters, and warships with “sufficient logistic support for 28 days’ operation.” Military lawyers even asked,

“What would be the legal position of British forces sent into the Island? If a Marine, in the course of his duty, should kill a local inhabitant, would he be liable for trial by court-martial for the civil offense of, for example, manslaughter?”

The papers also show how British planners were concerned about deploying the Parachute Regiment in Grenada, “whose associations with Londonderry we might wish to avoid in the Grenada situation”—a reference to the paras’ role in the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre of peaceful protesters in Ireland. You can see why. In November 1973, Gairy’s Mongoose Gang had shot activists in an episode known as Grenada’s Bloody Sunday.

In fact, Whitehall had sanctioned Gairy’s crackdown. The foreign secretary sent a secret memo to the prime minister in May 1973 warning, “There are signs that the role of the official Opposition in Grenada may before long be taken over by a newly formed Black Power organization.” The minister suggested, “It might be better that Mr. Gairy should have a free hand to keep such developments under control in an independent Grenada than that we ourselves should run the risk of becoming involved in the task.”

The UK Foreign Office did not respond to requests for comment.

Source*

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