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Economic and Philosophic Science Review

Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested. V. I. Lenin

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No 1337 21st August 2008

Russian blow against Western CIA intrigue in Georgia has a telling impact on world class struggle despite the disgusting crypto-imperialist posturing of Bonapartist Putin and his mafia oligarchs. But apeing imperialism’s war on terror and relying on “oil money” is no answer to the rapidly degenerating capitalist crisis heading deeper and deeper in to catastrophic Slump and Third World War. Revolutionary ending of the system grows ever more crucial as the counter-revolutionary barbarities increase and that means building Leninist understanding and leadership, not the “peaceful road” mush still poured out by revisionism and left uncriticised

The sharpest lesson to emerge from the Caucusus “war”, the forced resignation of the little fascist dictator Musharraf in Pakistan and even to an extent from the stunning Chinese Olympics, is that defeat and humiliation for imperialism is one of the most powerful factors exposing its lies, hypocrisy, fraud and bluster.

Putin’s disgusting Bonapartist apeing of imperialism continues to be a rotten disaster for the working class in Russia, sucking it right into the crisis instability which is driving the whole capitalist world into a great Slump and Third World War catastrophe.

His brainless “macho” parroting of Western “war on terrorism” lies plays right into the hands of Washington’s belligerent efforts to force the world to pay for the capitalist crisis and his collusion with the biggest Moscow gangster oligarchs helps the very encirclement of his country which the latest Russian offensive – partly – is attempting to halt.

But the bigger impact of the events around South Ossettian and Abkahzia is the blow struck against the dominant imperialist force on the planet, the US Empire and its neo-colonialist interventions and blitzings by which it hopes to escape onrushing economic disaster.

Setbacks like the shattering of its subversion and CIA manipulation of willing Nazi-minded stooges like Mikhail Saakashvili in Georgia, are powerful blows against the grip of reaction on the planet and produce major shifts in understanding and consciousness in the masses, everywhere, no matter who inflicts them.

Tellingly the response of the Georgians themselves has not been anti-Russianism but contempt and hostility for Saakashvili’s US inspired and controlled adventurism; an anti-Western response echoed in various ways throughout the world.

No mass protest, “properly organised” parties, elaborate constitutions, “personality” leaders, resources, slickly designed “attractive” socialist newspapers, carefully timetabled “left” programmes, parliamentary reforms, gradual moves “left”, clever exposés of corruption or all the “rational” anti-war, anti-pollution, anti-consumerist interventions, speeches and resolutions in the world, have anything like the impact of sheer defeat at the right historical moment for the supposedly all powerful “lords” of the planet.

In fact they are mostly worse than useless diversions and distractions, because the 101 varieties of fake-”leftism” producing them neither have, nor want, the revolutionary understanding that would pinpoint exactly this key point – that material defeats for the increasingly out-of-time capitalist order are crucially part of the struggle to end its ossified and throttling grip on world development, symptoms of its failing grip historically and causes of its further decline.

It is all the poisonous, petty antagonisms of the daily conflict in monopoly capitalism reflected at all levels of humanity from snarling individual rivalries to keep jobs, housing and food, or just to survive at all, to group conflicts and tribal hostilities at all levels right up to the deadly trade and financial battling of the nation states of capitalism and the shifting blocs and alliances of the big imperialist powers, which endlessly leads to war.

It is catastrophically so as the deep seated crisis of the entire system ripens into great Depression once more and the pressures for war build unstoppably.

All the changes and reforms to build a rational world and end the distortions, plundering, inequality, lack of education, environmental devastation and terrifying conflicts, can follow – once the cause of them, profiteering capitalism, is out of the way.

But until then they are largely useless, endlessly reversible by the rampaging ruling class or simply swept away by the unstoppable crisis built into capitalism (as Marx long ago demonstrated - see economics page 6).

Worse than useless because the “reformist” or “parliamentary” way or peaceful protest disarms the working class from the understanding it really needs and sends it up the garden path – to the slaughterhouse once crisis collapse is here again.

The world is in a titanic class struggle that can only be resolved by the overturning of the seemingly all powerful capitalist ruling class, which has for centuries totally dominated all culture, philosophy and education to its own benefit at the expense of the great exploited mass.

Every blow against this overwhelmingly dominant power – from whatever source – helps loosen its grip on minds, opening the way for the crucial development of revolutionary understanding.

Hammer blows against the ruling class and its seemingly all pervading rule and domination have the most powerful transforming effect on the consciousness and the motivation of the masses.

Combined with a correct scientific understanding, still tragically mostly absent and buried in confusion created by decades of revisionist retreat from the revolutionary core of Marxist understanding and much deliberate opportunist posturing, this vast shift in mood can be mobilised and focused on the need for a complete transformation of the world, building a tidal wave of support for revolutionary leadership and struggle.

Only this will bring a halt to the now rapidly spirally catastrophic decline of the profit making order into Slump and war, the third great wave of total disaster it is imposing on the world in the last 100 years.

The Bolsheviks under Lenin’s clear and far sighted leadership understood this question profoundly in 1917, calling for the defeat of their own ruling class in the middle of the sick horrors of the first of these great World Wars, to open the way for the great long-term revolutionary overturn of the capitalist system and building of the Soviet system and 70 years of huge achievements for the working class in the USSR.

Defeat of the great colonial empires of the mid-twentieth century by the growing rival antagonistic powers of the imperialist world, transformed the consciousness of tens of millions of downtrodden and near-slave exploited proletarians and peasants after the Second World War, throughout Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, India and Pakistan, South-east Asia and most of all China.

In the factories and on the great plantations, whose output sustained the incredible wealth of the rich nations, it became clear these all powerful lords of the universe had feet of clay – and brains too – profoundly altering the hopelessness of the masses at their lot into the greatest wave of rebellion and upheaval ever seen in history.

It was the end of direct colonialism and the beginning of the most powerful and wide-ranging transformation of mankind in all history, with half a dozen countries joining the communist revolution, a dozen more starting the same struggle and dozens more caught up in a great wave of anti-imperialism which despite huge setbacks and sometimes demoralisation, continues to deepen everywhere.

Defeat for the occupiers of Vietnam in shattered the political willpower of the Western world and its dominant monopoly power of the USA, with an impact that has never disappeared.

Despite huge cost for the heroic mass Viet Cong struggle its 1968 Tet (New Year) offensive triggered almost overnight a wave of worldwide opposition and upheaval into the heartland of Western imperialism including European student movements, and mass resistance to the Vietnam war which fed back into the powerful barefoot struggle on the ground that was slowly and painfully routing the greatest military and economic power on the planet.

It is slow rolling defeat (by the mass Third World anti-imperialist hatreds labelled “terrorism” and “insurgency” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Lebanon, and Palestine and many other places) for imperialism’s renewed rampaging buildup towards the Third World War “solution” to disastrous and debilitating crisis failure which has already shattered Western unity and brought down one British Government (the total fly-by-night sneaky departure en masse of the Blairite failure, leaving Brown to carry the can) and humiliated the most powerful administration on the planet, forced to ditch or hide its closest allies like Donald Rumsfeld and riven with dissension and scandal.

The departure of the creepy Pervez Musharraf is the latest humiliation for imperialism and more evidence of the disastrous impact on imperialism of the growing tide of militancy.

For the moment that movement still remains hampered by the superstitions, prejudices and unscientific shortcomings of the assorted usually religious leaderships it has turned to, though the increasing sophistication and organisation of many of them (such as Hamas in Palestine or Hizbullah) indicates that it will not always be so.

Eventually the contradictions and pressures of the struggles, and setbacks, that the masses are being forced into everywhere, will demand more advanced understanding – which means Marxist-Leninist science.

Tragically for much of the post-war period the revolutionary movement on the planet has been hampered by dire revisionist reversal of this understanding, holding back movements under the disastrous and mistaken perspective advanced by Stalin that imperialism was in long irreversible decline, never again to grow significantly and the deluded follow-on theory that by “not provoking” it and pursuing “peaceful struggle”, imperialism’s warmongering and aggression would be contained and the whole of its world exploitation gradually hemmed in by growing socialist economic and political development.

Ostensibly revolutionary variants like Maoism fell for essentially the same revisionist delusions, belittling imperialism’s brutal and expansionist potential as nothing more than a hollow sham – the famous “paper tiger” Chinese metaphor.

As the EPSR has said before, try telling that to the devastated hundreds of thousands in the war torn Middle East, the scorched earth starvation and hunger of neo-colonial Africa and the slums like Nairobi’s or Cairo’s, the massacred and plundered millions in Indonesia, the endlessly death squad terrorised and benighted hungry peoples of Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Argentina, the Brazilian slums, the dirt-pie-eating Haitians, the crime ridden Jamaicans, the Nazi-invaded Grenadans and many others.

Even the huge growth of weaponry, renewed blitzing interventionism and the accelerating Nazification of even the most “liberal” and “human rights recognising” rich and “free” capitalist world societies under an avalanche of new surveillance, police control and potential torture arrest, tearing up the most long-standing of human rights, has failed to undermine the pacifist protest delusions.

Now as the growing obviousness of potentially the greatest economic catastrophe in all of history gathers pace (still being denied by assorted middle class pundits), – pushing capitalism back towards planet wide warmongering again for a whole decade now, this same delusion continues to be pumped out by even such great revolutionary figures as Fidel Castro (see below) under the brain-softening influence of revisionist philosophy.

But it was Castro’s armed struggle against the Batista dictatorship in Havana – not the cautious official Communist Party peaceful election line – which transformed consciousness in Cuba and won the leadership for turning over its corrupt mafia violence just as the firm Russian response to Georgia’s provocative Nazi attacks on Ossetia – despite a hundred suspect elements of Putin’s imperialism-apeing braggadocio – has demonstrated how defeat for the reactionaries can quickly shift understanding and clarity, precipitating the disquiet that the Iraq and Afghanistan quagmires have already built up.

In a few days the West has become a laughing stock as its pompous moralising and spluttering dismay over its Georgia debacle has been universally derided as hollow, cynical and hypocritical, in a dozen different ways.

Above all it has been shown to be completely powerless to push through its usual arrogant manipulation and bribery dressed up as always as “democracy” and “the fight for freedom”.

It usually gets away with these simply because they win; the corruption, intimidation (which they endlessly accuse everyone else of) and saturation lies forgotten about or buried as the local stooges take over power and establish exploitation business as usual.

But the pattern of imperialist tyranny and rapine of the world under the lying fraud of “freed’m an’ democ’rcy” has been facing increasing difficulties as the fundamental crisis at the core of the monopoly capitalist system has steadily and intractably increased.

The ramifications will go very deep.

Even if for the moment the common view – expressed widely in recent days in newspaper letter pages and radio phone-ins – goes no further than that these particular politicians, such as George W Bush or Gordon Brown, have got “some cheek” condemning Russia for this particular invasion, after everything they have done in Iraq, and Afghanistan (and have had exposed as these failures come apart), it will not be long before the more thoughtful will be thinking more and more about all the outrageous lies and manipulations that the West tells constantly as it imposes its endless gangster regimes, dictators and death squad intimidation on the planet – just as it has been trying to do in Georgia.

Even some of the less ridiculously gung-ho bourgeois press commentators have been reflecting these shifts and contradictions:

The outcome of six grim days of bloodshed in the Caucasus has triggered an outpouring of the most nauseating hypocrisy from western politicians and their captive media. As talking heads thundered against Russian imperialism and brutal disproportionality, US vice-president Dick Cheney, faithfully echoed by Gordon Brown and David Miliband, declared that “Russian aggression must not go unanswered”. George Bush denounced Russia for having “invaded a sovereign neighbouring state” and threatening “a democratic government”. Such an action, he insisted, “is unacceptable in the 21st century”.

Could these by any chance be the leaders of the same governments that in 2003 invaded and occupied - along with Georgia, as luck would have it - the sovereign state of Iraq on a false pretext at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives? Or even the two governments that blocked a ceasefire in the summer of 2006 as Israel pulverised Lebanon’s infrastructure and killed more than a thousand civilians in retaliation for the capture or killing of five soldiers?

You’d be hard put to recall after all the fury over Russian aggression that it was actually Georgia that began the war last Thursday with an all-out attack on South Ossetia to “restore constitutional order” - in other words, rule over an area it has never controlled since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nor, amid the outrage at Russian bombardments, have there been much more than the briefest references to the atrocities committed by Georgian forces against citizens it claims as its own in South Ossetia’s capital Tskhinvali. Several hundred civilians were killed there by Georgian troops last week, along with Russian soldiers operating under a 1990s peace agreement: “I saw a Georgian soldier throw a grenade into a basement full of women and children,” one Tskhinvali resident, Saramat Tskhovredov, told reporters on Tuesday.

Might it be because Georgia is what Jim Murphy, Britain’s minister for Europe, called a “small beautiful democracy”. Well it’s certainly small and beautiful, but both the current president, Mikheil Saakashvili, and his predecessor came to power in western-backed coups, the most recent prettified as a “Rose revolution”. Saakashvili was then initially rubber-stamped into office with 96% of the vote before establishing what the International Crisis Group recently described as an “increasingly authoritarian” government, violently cracking down on opposition dissent and independent media last November. “Democratic” simply seems to mean “pro-western” in these cases.

The long-running dispute over South Ossetia - as well as Abkhazia, the other contested region of Georgia - is the inevitable consequence of the breakup of the Soviet Union. As in the case of Yugoslavia, minorities who were happy enough to live on either side of an internal boundary that made little difference to their lives feel quite differently when they find themselves on the wrong side of an international state border.

Such problems would be hard enough to settle through negotiation in any circumstances. But add in the tireless US promotion of Georgia as a pro-western, anti-Russian forward base in the region, its efforts to bring Georgia into Nato, the routing of a key Caspian oil pipeline through its territory aimed at weakening Russia’s control of energy supplies, and the US-sponsored recognition of the independence of Kosovo - whose status Russia had explicitly linked to that of South Ossetia and Abkhazia - and conflict was only a matter of time.

The CIA has in fact been closely involved in Georgia since the Soviet collapse. But under the Bush administration, Georgia has become a fully fledged US satellite. Georgia’s forces are armed and trained by the US and Israel. It has the third-largest military contingent in Iraq - hence the US need to airlift 800 of them back to fight the Russians at the weekend. Saakashvili’s links with the neoconservatives in Washington are particularly close: the lobbying firm headed by US Republican candidate John McCain’s top foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, has been paid nearly $900,000 by the Georgian government since 2004.

But underlying the conflict of the past week has also been the Bush administration’s wider, explicit determination to enforce US global hegemony and prevent any regional challenge, particularly from a resurgent Russia. That aim was first spelled out when Cheney was defence secretary under Bush’s father, but its full impact has only been felt as Russia has begun to recover from the disintegration of the 1990s.

Over the past decade, Nato’s relentless eastward expansion has brought the western military alliance hard up against Russia’s borders and deep into former Soviet territory. American military bases have spread across eastern Europe and central Asia, as the US has helped install one anti-Russian client government after another through a series of colour-coded revolutions. Now the Bush administration is preparing to site a missile defence system in eastern Europe transparently targeted at Russia.

By any sensible reckoning, this is not a story of Russian aggression, but of US imperial expansion and ever tighter encirclement of Russia by a potentially hostile power. That a stronger Russia has now used the South Ossetian imbroglio to put a check on that expansion should hardly come as a surprise. What is harder to work out is why Saakashvili launched last week’s attack and whether he was given any encouragement by his friends in Washington.

If so, it has spectacularly backfired, at savage human cost. And despite Bush’s attempts to talk tough yesterday, the war has also exposed the limits of US power in the region. As long as Georgia proper’s independence is respected - best protected by opting for neutrality - that should be no bad thing. Unipolar domination of the world has squeezed the space for genuine self-determination and the return of some counterweight has to be welcome. But the process of adjustment also brings huge dangers. If Georgia had been a member of Nato, this week’s conflict would have risked a far sharper escalation. That would be even more obvious in the case of Ukraine - which yesterday gave a warning of the potential for future confrontation when its pro-western president threatened to restrict the movement of Russian ships in and out of their Crimean base in Sevastopol. As great power conflict returns, South Ossetia is likely to be only a taste of things to come.

The reformist nostrums at the end about “opting” for neutrality etc., reflect the failure of this piece or any other petty bourgeois critical realist understanding to really climb up high enough to see the entire worldwide and long-term historical perspective that alone can explain these developments.

It is the decline and fall of the great capitalist class rule epoch, riven by intractable contradictions accumulated inevitably over the course of its centuries-long dominance, which is forcing intensified warmongering to the surface.

If “great power conflict” is returning, or to be accurate is becoming more obvious and sharp than usual – it is because that is nature of capitalism and the brutal competition which underpins its system, made a hundred times worse now by the desperation facing all the major capitalist powers as the hollow core at the heart of the profit driven economic order starts to implode.

The great conflicts between the great powers have torn the world apart twice in the 20th century and are shaping up to do so again now.

It is all out conflict with these powers; Germany (and a rag-tag of European stooges in its wake including France and Italy); and Japan and its sphere of influence in the Pacific, which is at the end of the road, along with a yet to be determined confusion of smaller but rising capitalist powers like Brazil and India and others.

Just as in the run up to the fraudulent Iraq war, the underlying tensions are apparent once again with the Europeans almost openly contemptuous of the mess the Americans provocations have made in Georgia, and of the NATO structure underpinning it. Germany and France are this time supported by Italy and Spain.

Open breaks may not come yet but are the direction the antagonisms must go in, however they might shape into the final blocs and alliances when full war breaks.

It will.

The last decade’s pattern of war deliberately escalated by the dominant US Empire and its incredible overwhelming firepower has been a warm-up and a warning for all on all-out conflict to come, getting the “peace and prosperity” and “never again” post-war world used to the idea again of routine torture, bombing and killing, and delivering showpiece blitzings to tell the world what stop-at-nothing barbarity the US Empire is prepared to resort to in order to ride out the crisis.

This is the norm of capitalist life and its antagonistic competition; the post-War decades of supposed tranquillity are a complete exception (and for the Third World were nonexistent as they saw a hell hole of CIA intriguing, coups, death squads, regional wars, bribery, electoral manipulation, repression and gangsterism, stooge fascist dictators supplied from Washington and massacres from Korea and Vietnam to Indonesia and most of South America and much of Africa. And all exploited to the hilt.)

Tragically the revisionist idiocy which saw Moscow making the shallowest trivial comparisons between its steady climb out of Tsarist backwardness and repeated Western blitz destruction (destroying fully one third of the country in 1941-45 and at least 25 million people) with shallow Western glitzy consumerism, and capitulating to the supposed “advantages” and “efficiencies” of Western “free market” economic organisation, has continued its decline into the even worse post-counter-revolutionary apeing of imperialism played by the “macho” Putin, treading a balancing line between past Soviet coherence and mafia-won capital in Moscow.

It is one thing to use capitalist methods under socialist state control for a temporary economic push out of peasant and rural backwardness (as Lenin advocated and as China is demonstrating it has done with the huge achievement of the Olympic Games) and another to fall for the stupidity that firm workers state control under the dictatorship of the proletariat can be abandoned for “free market” ideology to rule completely as Mikhail Gorbachev did, in 1989.

As the newly counter-revolutionary capitalist Russia has discovered, there is no sweetness and light in the fashionable capitalist consumer club but even more vicious attempts to subvert and break up the world for US Empire domination, firstly to fragment as much as possible the powerful working class unity and strength of the past 70 years of Soviet achievement (which is not so easily wiped out of the historical record and remains potentially a powerful force to be revived at some stage, if a decent leadership can emerge) and secondly to weaken and destroy the new rival on the block for capitalist imperialist influence and expansion.

It is the stupidest shallowness to imagine the temporary advantage of pirating Russia’s natural resources (at huge environmental cost) will last as capitalism’s slump deepens.

And anyway Russia’s imperialist overtones are as much a part of the capitalist crisis as any of the rest.

As the EPSR commented at the time of the Chechnya events (issue 1249 Sept 2004):

The EPSR’s routinely updated perspective in the weeks of Beslan so as to included these latest events in the imperialist-crisis picture put the emphasis on the sickening development from an anti-imperialist point of view of Putin declaring solidarity with American imperialism’s most aggressive fascist-warmongering line of “we are coming to hunt down and kill you terrorists wherever you lurk anywhere in the world”.

The EPSR has singled this out as the American Empire’s declaration of World War III, coupled with the warning to ALL other powers to NEVER try to catch up with the USA’s armaments supremacy or face a PRE-EMPTIVE battering.

For the humiliated Bonapartist cretin Putin to declare his APPROVAL of American warmongering intentions in this form (having joined the Euro-doubters over Iraq) was an ideological setback for the anti-imperialist struggle.

To disagree with this line because of doubts about the self-determination worthiness of the Chechens is to challenge just about everything the EPSR has argued-for over the past three years.

It accepts the Blair-Bush lunacy that there IS such a thing as “international terrorism”, that it is some kind of hateful alien force, that it is coming to destroy all our lives, and that a world-economy-wrecking blitzkrieg crusade on a permanent basis is the only possible civilised response to this threat to “freedom”.

So can we hear this challenge spelt out please?

To surreptitiously side with this Putin neo-imperialist Goebbelsism via insults that the EPSR has become a fake-”left” groupie of “self-determination rights” in the abstract is just degenerate.

The meaning of EPSR 1247’s conclusion could not be clearer:

‘Whatever one’s doubts about the existing Chechen separatists and who might be behind them; and whatever one’s doubts about whether the Soviet Union has really disappeared for good, and therefore should not its further break-up be resisted, — Putin’s hopelessly tongue-tied opportunism leaves no choice formally:— the Chechens have the right to self-determination.

And their fanatical determination to fight and suffer for the national-liberation cause, — countered by Putin’s dumb, brutal, and confused intransigence, — makes Beslan and Chechnya a Russian-imperialist tyrannical outrage until Moscow starts to see Soviet socialist sense again. Build Leninism. EPSR supporters.’

This is precisely saying that if any serious and conscious moves towards a renewal of the Soviet socialist workers state were to emerge, then the EPSR would look completely differently on the “formally correct” arguments for Chechen separatist agitation, — EXACTLY as it stood out UNIQUELY in resisting the imperialist-backed racket for Kosovo self-determination which was primarily, in terms of the international balance of class and national forces, an American Empire stunt to secure the total break-up of the Yugoslav Socialist Federation and to provoke Serbia so that it could be blitzkrieged, exactly as happened.

New revelations on just how criminally twisted and deliberate the war pattern has been are coming out now, stretching right back to the first break ups against Yugoslavia, exactly as the EPSR had argued:

The secrets of the crushing of Yugoslavia are emerging. Former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia in The Hague, Carla Del Ponte, this year published her memoir The Hunt: Me and War Criminals. Largely ignored in Britain, the book reveals unpalatable truths about the west’s intervention in Kosovo......

Even as Blair the war leader was on a triumphant tour of “liberated” Kosovo, the KLA was ethnically cleansing more than 200,000 Serbs and Roma from the province

The tribunal was set up and bankrolled principally by the United States. Del Ponte’s role was to investigate the crimes committed as Yugoslavia was dismembered in the 1990s. She insisted that this include Nato’s 78-day bombing of Serbia and Kosovo in 1999, which killed hundreds of people in hospitals, schools, churches, parks and television studios, and destroyed economic infrastructure. “If I am not willing to [prosecute Nato personnel],” said Del Ponte, “I must give up my mission.” It was a sham. Under pressure from Washington and London, an investigation into Nato war crimes was scrapped.

Readers will recall that the justification for the Nato bombing was that the Serbs were committing “genocide” in the secessionist province of Kosovo against ethnic Albanians. David Scheffer, US ambassador-at-large for war crimes, announced that as many as “225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59” may have been murdered. Tony Blair invoked the Holocaust and “the spirit of the Second World War”. The west’s heroic allies were the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose murderous record was set aside. The British foreign secretary, Robin Cook, told them to call him any time on his mobile phone.

With the Nato bombing over, international teams descended upon Kosovo to exhume the “holocaust”. The FBI failed to find a single mass grave and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily denouncing “a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines”. A year later, Del Ponte’s tribunal announced the final count of the dead in Kosovo: 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the KLA. There was no genocide in Kosovo. The “holocaust” was a lie. The Nato attack had been fraudulent.

That was not all, says Del Ponte in her book: the KLA kidnapped hundreds of Serbs and transported them to Albania, where their kidneys and other body parts were removed; these were then sold for transplant in other countries. She also says there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the Kosovar Albanians for war crimes, but the investigation “was nipped in the bud” so that the tribunal’s focus would be on “crimes committed by Serbia”. She says the Hague judges were terrified of the Kosovar Albanians - the very people in whose name Nato had attacked Serbia.

Indeed, even as Blair the war leader was on a triumphant tour of “liberated” Kosovo, the KLA was ethnically cleansing more than 200,000 Serbs and Roma from the province. Last February the “international community”, led by the US, recognised Kosovo, which has no formal economy and is run, in effect, by criminal gangs that traffic in drugs, contraband and women. But it has one valuable asset: the US military base Camp Bondsteel, described by the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner as “a smaller version of Guantánamo”. Del Ponte, a Swiss diplomat, has been told by her own government to stop promoting her book.

Yugoslavia was a uniquely independent and multi-ethnic, if imperfect, federation that stood as a political and economic bridge in the Cold War. This was not acceptable to the expanding European Community, especially newly united Germany, which had begun a drive east to dominate its “natural market” in the Yugoslav provinces of Croatia and Slovenia. By the time the Europeans met at Maastricht in 1991, a secret deal had been struck; Germany recognised Croatia, and Yugoslavia was doomed. In Washington, the US ensured that the struggling Yugoslav economy was denied World Bank loans and the defunct Nato was reinvented as an enforcer. At a 1999 Kosovo “peace” conference in France, the Serbs were told to accept occupation by Nato forces and a market economy, or be bombed into submission. It was the perfect precursor to the bloodbaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Yugoslavia’s sometimes lax workers state was not some uniquely “nice” bridge to the “horrible” Soviet Union as the liberal-minded but anti-communist writer John Pilger would have it, but a brilliant achievement of revolutionary struggle – partisan communist anti-Nazism led by the heroic Marshall Tito which stood out against Moscow’s mistakes but was unable ultimately to find the theoretical tools to cope with the tide of Stalinist revisionism which led first Moscow and then the whole of East Europe to capitulate to the supposed “delights” and “efficiencies” of Western “free market” capitalism.

The halfway revisionist nationalist anti-imperialism of Slobodan Milosevic proved its incompetence in the end by putting up no kind of a fight against the Nato bullying of 19 powerful countries ranged against the tiny Balkan state, and its remnant socialist development, despite a competent and potentially damaging army.

It remains to be seen whether the vigorous response of Putin’s Bonapartism to the dirty intriguing of Western imperialism in Georgia will shift consciousness.

It certainly takes out a particularly foul piece of imperialist skulduggery as another EPSR (1210 in November 2003) had already seen it:

The CIA-run upheaval in Georgia could cause massive headaches for the unappetising Bonapartist regime in Russia, and indicates a fantastic escalation in the imperialist crisis’s degeneration towards World War III.

The imperialist media are hardly making a secret of their belief that Saakashvili, who has ousted Shevardnadze, is Washington’s trained and chosen stooge.

But then so was Shevardnadze before him, the West’s former “hero” of the anti-communist liquidation of the Soviet workers state as the USSR’s last foreign minister, but now toppled for alleged “corruption” and “anti-democracy”.

What these murky and sordid goings-on certainly represent is more colossal evidence, if it was needed, of how utterly bankrupt, and what a total fraud, is the entire Western Cold War stance for “democracy” and “against totalitarian communism”.

And they also reconfirm how shaky is this entire edifice, of “New World Order” warmongering-imperialist recolonisation offensives, which are now laying siege to various parts of the politically and economically-crucial Middle East region, and threatening the same blitzkrieging and coup onslaughts far further afield too.

Despite total Western support for 12 years and massive injections of American dollars, among the highest per-capita rates of subsidy in the world, the US imperialist top crook Shevardnadze has failed to turn round Soviet Georgia into a safe and reliable haven for monopoly capitalist skulduggery. And the essential corruption and anti-democracy of the imperialist “New World Order” may be being “ousted” by Washington’s own man again, Saakashvili, but it is an ENFORCED second choice; and how much genuine popular sentiment went into the mass demonstrations to hound the rascal Shevardnadze out (alongside the obvious “velvet revolution” and “hunger-strike” trademarks of the CIA in such middle-class exploitable circumstances) remains to be seen.

This is no longer Soviet Georgia; but anti-imperialist-corruption revolutionary traditions do not ALL die that quickly; and the fact that Washington’s golden-boy Shevardnadze has had to be bums-rushed out of office so suddenly and dramatically only just a matter of weeks after rigging yet another “democratic election” narrow but “valid victory”, so-called, — would indicate that not all of the people, once again, can be fooled all of the time by “democracy”.

And although “anti-catastrophist” critics will suggest that the EPSR is getting too excited over what remains for the moment a relatively minor upheaval in a relatively minor place, the potential implications of this CIA coup in such a sensitive region could be gigantic.

Just what happens to Russia is unclear; does the wannabe imperialism of the post-Soviet counter-revolution prevail, in which case it will be as much drawn into the slaughter and destruction as any other capitalist power or does the weakening of grand imperialism’s position and the overall rising struggle against imperialist tyranny everywhere, eventually shift the memories of 70 years of socialist achievement in the great mass of the population?


Physical defeat in Georgia against imperialism will help consciousness everywhere, but the greatest battle is for the restoration and revival of Leninist revolutionary theoretical science and leadership to make sense of the disquiet and contradictions running throughout the world.

The dire revisionist legacy remains, unfortunately, as recent comments by no less a figure than the revolutionary hero Fidel Castro once again demonstrate (see follow on Socialist Review).

These remarks, castigating the long armed struggle of the FARC revolutionary movement in Colombia, have caused widespread disquiet with their repeat of the illusions of the “peaceful road” and denial of the necessity of the struggle for establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat, a potentially disastrous mistake for the entire South American movement, especially in the “Bolivarian revolution” of Venezuela and Bolivia which so far has done no more than left reformism while leaving the capitalist class intact, and plotting endless counter-revolution.

The high-handed moralising tone taken by Castro against particular methods used by the struggle in Colombia is no better then the petty bourgeois “left” finickitiness which promptly “condemned terrorism” after 9/11, and has continued to do so in one form or another ever since, either directly or by finding endless conspiracy theories to “prove” that it was “really the CIA all along” and thereby wriggle off the difficult hook of dealing with the realities of rising world hatred of imperialism.

Marxism does not advocate or glorify the often-times gruesome methods used by the various inarticulate and desperate struggles world wide, but even less does it condemn or judge the struggles which pick up whatever weapons they can find or devise to hit back at imperialism.

It only says that the way forwards is to develop full scale Marxist-Leninist leadership to better guide and lead the struggle for total overthrow of capitalism, the only source responsible force on earth for all the chaos and barbarity.

Such condemnation is one of the greatest betrayals ever of the anti-imperialist world movement by the entire chorus of the fake-“left”, on a par with the rush by the entire Second International in 1914 to express their “patriotism” and support for their own imperialist governments as the Great War conflict broke out – with only the tiny voice of Lenin’s still small Bolshevik party and two others in Europe to oppose it.

It is a tragedy that Putin goes along with it and even more that Cuba has repeatedly stated that no “terrorist methods” are acceptable, normally when making exposes of US imperialist attacks on Cuba to be sure, - but exposing Western hypocrisy is one thing, and condemning struggling movements is another.

As if imperialism is going to play by some international Marquis of Queensberry rules!

This fastidious unMarxism has been seen repeatedly from Cuba’s analyses in the past, from its disastrously wrong-headed support for the renegade opportunist Maurice Bishop in the wake of the US fascist invasion of tiny Grenada (along with condemning the actual Leninist Bernard Coard as an American agent – still uncommented on after he has rotted in a CIA prison for 25 years – some reward!). ––– [see EPSR publications ILWP Book 6 “Moscow should denounce reactionaries in the CP movement as well as anti-communist Trots” and Book 12 How revisionist retreat from Leninism played into US hands for subverting the Grenada Revolution.] ––– to its endless lauding of the opportunist Salvador Allende in Chile whose disastrous insistence on peaceful parliamentary struggle in Chile in the early 1970s, opened the door to the vicious CIA backed torture coup of General Pinochet, a treacherous mistake compounded by total refusal to arm the working class for its own defence even when the counter-revolution was emerging right into the open.

It is no surprise that in the “Fidel’s Thoughts” a few days preceding the following quotes, a full page and half panegyric on Allende’s centenary was given, glorifying his supposed manliness and missing out any analysis of the disastrous slaughter that was imposed on a working class, filled with illusions about “peaceful parliamentary progress”.

In what way is there an “era of peace opening for Colombia” over the last two decades at a time when the paramilitary death squad activities around the Colombian government have been the direct continuation of the very worst violence seen for fifty years throughout Latin America (and which Castro himself fought arms in hand)?

The confusing innuendoes in Castro’s piece are disturbing.

What does all this mean:

The Colombian Communist Party never contemplated the idea of conquering power through the armed struggle. The guerrilla was a resistance front and not the basic instrument to conquer revolutionary power, as it had been in Cuba. In 1993, at the 8th farc Conference, they decided to break ranks with the Communist Party. Its leader, Manuel Marulanda, took over the leadership of that Party’s guerrillas which had always excelled in their narrow sectarianism when admitting combatants as well as in their strong and compartmentalized command methods.

So what does Castro think of the Colombian CP position? What is the difference between a “resistance front and a basic instrument to conquer power” and why so different to Cuba? What has changed except capitalism is much further down the road into catastrophic failure than ever?

And most of all what is this accusation of “narrow sectarianism” based on, other than being a purely gratuitous insult for a movement that has battled for 40 years and had a huge impact on the entire Latin American struggle and further afield too????

This is not theory or political guidance but damaging revisionist mush of the kind that has hampered the entire revolutionary struggle for decades and given communism a bad name.

By all means criticise FARC for its theoretical failures and shortcomings it might have in understanding – but do it openly and with clarity so that the whole world proletariat can join in and battle to understand, lifting all revolutionary theory to new heights – and not by blaming it for “only reaching fifth grade”.

What have such insults to do with building revolutionary clarity or anything very much?

Clarity will not come from this:

These created in Colombia a very complex situation with only one way out: real peace, albeit remote and difficult as many other goals Humanity has set for itself. This is the option that, for three decades, Cuba has advocated for that nation...

I have expressed, very clearly, our position in favor of peace in Colombia; but, we are neither in favor of foreign military intervention nor the policy of force that the United States intends to impose at all costs on that long-suffering and industrious people.

The whole world wants peace!!!

The question is how to get it when imperialism is relentlessly bent on war and will not only continue non-stop its counter-revolutionary intriguing barbarity and bloodshed, but widen the chaos into the entire world as crisis bites.

British intelligence knowingly using torture by cutting genitals with razor blades?

Pakistan’s post-Musharraf “democracy” repeating all the “general’s” repression?

Only defeat for imperialism – and finally total defeat and overthrow by revolutionary forces – will change things.

Castro knows better than to call for FARC to disarm – but this porridge-brained nonsense is equally disarming.

So are we going to hear from the fake-“left” on this? (Not baby out with the bathwater Trotskyist hatred of Cuba but serious comment)?

Some have spoken out, rightly (which might bear reprinting if room next issue).

But there needs to be a much greater fight for Leninism – finally breaking with the dishonest and sly evasions and opportunism of revisionism and Stalinism, and the foul anti-communism of Trotsky.

Every day brings fresh admissions by capitalism that its economic failure is “looking worse that we thought”.

Exactly so. Marxism always thought so.

It is time to rebuild open Leninist scientific clarity.

Don Hoskins

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).

Thoughts of Fidel in Granma on Colombia are a revisionist confusion

[ see analysis above]

[]....Yesterday, an important event took place, which will be an issue the following days. This is the release of Ingrid Betancourt and a group of people held by the farc, that is, the Revolutionary Armed Forces from Colombia.

On January 10th this year, our ambassador to Venezuela, German Sanchez, following a request of the Venezuelan and Colombian governments, took part in the release of Clara Rojas to the International Red Cross. She had been a candidate to vice President of Colombia when Ingrid Betancourt was running for President and was kidnapped on February 23, 2002. Consuelo Gonzalez, a member of the House of Representatives, kidnapped on September 10, 2001, was released with her.

An era of peace was opening for Colombia. This is a process Cuba has been supporting for over two decades, as it is most convenient for the unity and peace of the peoples of our America, using new ways in the special and complex circumstances prevailing after the demise of the ussr in the early 1990s — which I won’t try to analyze here — very different from those existing in Cuba, Nicaragua and other countries in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s of the 20th century.

The bombing of a camp in Ecuadorian soil in the early hours of March 1st, — while Colombian guerrillas and young visitors from different nationalities were sleeping — using Yankee technology; the occupation of the territory, the coup de grace on the wounded and the kidnapping of corpses as part of the terrorist plan from the United States government was repudiated the world over.

A Rio Group meeting was then held in the Dominican Republic on March 7th. There the events were strongly condemned while the US administration applauded.

Manuel Marulanda, a peasant and communist militant, the main leader of that guerrilla founded almost half a century ago was still alive. He passed away on the 26th of that same month.

Ingrid Betancourt, feeble and sick, as well as other captives with a serious health condition could hardly resist any longer.

Out of a basically humanist sentiment, we rejoiced at the news that Ingrid Betancourt, three American citizens and other captives had been released. The civilians should have never been kidnapped neither should the militaries have been kept prisoners in the conditions of the jungle. These were objectively cruel actions. No revolutionary purpose could justify it. The time will come when the subjective factors should be analyzed in depth.

We won our revolutionary war in Cuba by immediately releasing every prisoner absolutely unconditionally. The soldiers and officers captured in battle were released to the International Red Cross; we only kept their weapons. No soldier will ever surrender if he thinks he will be killed or subjected to cruel treatment.

We are watching with concern how the imperialists try to capitalize on what happened in Colombia in order to hide and justify their heinous crimes of genocide against other peoples. They want to deflect international attention from their interventionist plans in Venezuela and Bolivia and from the presence of the 4th Fleet in support of the political line that intends to obliterate the independence of the countries located south of the United States while taking possession of their natural resources.

These should be illustrative examples for all of our journalists. In our times, truth is navigating rough seas, where the mass media are in the hands of those threatening human survival with their immense economic, technologic and military resources. That’s the challenge faced by the Cuban journalists!

Fidel Castro Ruz July 3, 2008 4:26 p.m. •

(Translated by esti)

Pax Romana

I basically gathered this data from statements made by William Brownfield, U.S. ambassador to Colombia, from that country’s press and television, from the international press, and other sources. It’s impressive the show of technology and economic resources in play.

While in Colombia the senior military officers went to great pains to explain that Ingrid Betancourt’s rescue had been an entirely Colombian operation, the U.S. authorities were saying, “It was the result of years of intense military cooperation between the Colombian and United States’ armies.”

“’The truth is that we have been able to get along as we seldom have in the United States, except with our oldest allies, mostly in NATO,’ said Brownfield, referring to his country’s relationships with the Colombian security forces, which have received over $4 billion in military assistance since the year 2000.

“...On various occasions it became necessary for the U.S. Administration to make decisions at the top levels concerning this operation.

The U.S. spy satellites helped in locating the hostages over a period of one month starting on May 31st until the rescue action on Wednesday.”

‘The Colombians installed video surveillance equipment, supplied by the United States. Operated by remote control, these can take close-ups and pan along the rivers which are the only transportation routes through thick forests, said the Colombian and U.S. authorities.”

“U.S. surveillance aircraft intercepted the rebels’ radio and satellite phone calls and used imaging equipment that can break through the forest foliage.”

“The defector will receive a considerable portion of the close to $100 million reward offered by the government”, stated the Commander General of the Colombian Army.” * On Wednesday, July 1st, London bbc reported that Cesar Mauricio Velasquez, press secretary at (the Colombian government’s) .Casa de Narino had indicated that delegates from France and Switzerland had met with Alfonso Cano, chief of the farc.

According to the bbc, that would have been the first contact with international delegates accepted by the new chief since the death of Manuel Marulanda. The false information about the meeting of two European envoys with Cano had been released in Bogota.

The deceased leader of the farc was bom on May 12,1932, according to his father’s testimony. Marulanda, a poor, liberal thinking peasant and a follower of Gaitan, had started his armed resistance 60 years earlier. He was a guerrilla before us; he had reacted to the carnage of peasants carried out by the oligarchy.

He later joined the Communist Party, which was under the influence of the Communist Party of the ussr and not of Cuba, the same as every other in Latin America. They were in solidarity with our Revolution but they were not subordinated to it.

It was the drug-traffickers and not the farc that unleashed terror in that sister nation as part of their feuds over the United States market. They caused powerful bomb blasts and even blew up trucks loaded with plastic explosives destroying facilities and injuring or killing countless people.

The Colombian Communist Party never contemplated the idea of conquering power through the armed struggle. The guerrilla was a resistance front and not the basic instrument to conquer revolutionary power, as it had been in Cuba. In 1993, at the 8th farc Conference, they decided to break ranks with the Communist Party. Its leader, Manuel Marulanda, took over the leadership of that Party’s guerrillas which had always excelled in their narrow sectarianism when admitting combatants as well as in their strong and compartmentalized command methods.

Marulanda, a man with remarkable natural talent and a gifted leader, did not have the opportunity to study when he was young. It is said that he had only completed the 5th grade of primary school. He conceived a long, extended struggle and a point of view I did not share. But, I never had the chance to talk with him.

The farc became a considerable force with over 10 thousand combatants. Many had been born during the war and had known nothing else. Other leftist organizations rivaled the farc in the struggle. By then the Colombian territory had become the largest source of cocaine production in the world: Then, extreme violence, kidnappings, taxes and demands from the drug producers became widespread.

The paramilitary forces, armed by the oligarchy, drew basically from the great number of men enlisted in the country’s armed forces who were discharged from duty every year without a secure job. These created in Colombia a very complex situation with only one way out: real peace, albeit remote and difficult as many other goals Humanity has set for itself. This is the option that, for three decades, Cuba has advocated for that nation.

While our journalists meeting in their 8th Congress discussed new information technologies, the principles and ethics of social communicators, I meditated on the above mentioned developments.

I have expressed, very clearly, our position in favor of peace in Colombia; but, we are neither in favor of foreign military intervention nor the policy of force that the United States intends to impose at all costs on that long-suffering and industrious people.

I have honestly and strongly criticized the objectively cruel methods of kidnapping and retaining prisoners under jungle conditions. But I am not suggesting that anyone lay down their arms, when everyone who did so in the last 50 years did not survive to see peace. If I dared suggest anything to the farc guerrillas that would simply be that they declare, by any means possible to the International Red Cross, their willingness to release the hostages and prisoners they are still holding, without any preconditions. I do not presume to be heard; it is simply my duty to say what I think. Anything else would only serve to reward disloyalty and treason.

I will never support the pax romana that the empire tries to impose on Latin America.

Fidel Castro Ruz July 5, 2008 8:12 p.m.


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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).

RSF and Ménard fail to penetrate UNESCO

by JEAN-GUY ALLARD — Granma International staff writer —

THE United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (unesco) withdrew its co-sponsorship on March 12 from the French group Reporters sans Frontieres, on the occasion of Internet Freedom Day, Prensa Latina reported from Paris.

Diplomatic sources from unesco told Prensa Latina that the agency made the decision due to the repeated demonstration of a lack of ethics on the part of rsf in its goal of disqualifying a certain number of countries.

Quoting the same sources, the PL article noted that the conduct of the rsf does not fit the profile or the purposes of unesco, and the group has once again shown itself to be sensationalist in its eagerness to set itself up as a court of inquisition against developing nations, according to the sources. They said that because of this and previous actions, unesco decided to completely end its relationship with rsf and rule out any type of future collaboration.

Despite the fact that the French pseudo-ngo’s ties with the U.S. cia and State Department are now well-known, the group’s lifetime chairman had managed to penetrate unesco circles and recuperate its pro-Washington communication network.

The rsf went so far as to announce that it was setting in motion a so-called “First Day for Freedom of Expression on the Internet” under unesco sponsorship, and called on web users to “mobilize.”

At the height of audacity, the rsf communicated that its operation had be “created and executed” by the Saatchi & Saatchi Agency of New York.

However, the group that is supposedly trying to educate on freedom of the press did not explain that Saatchi & Saatchi is an affiliate of the multinational Publicis, the fourth-largest publicity and public relations firm in the world.

Its top clients include companies like Dupont, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Toyota, Visa, Coca-Cola, Heinz, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Philip Morris, General Motors, Citibank, United Airlines, Walt Disney and —note— the United States Army.

It also directs the international publicity operations of Bacardi, the rum giant, based in the Bahamas and with a long history as a sponsor of anti-Cuba terrorism spanning almost five decades. In fact, Bacardi continues to be one of the most active sponsors of the most recalcitrant anti-Cuban elements in Miami. This rum company created and financed the so-called Helms-Burton Act, which gives the U.S. Congress the power to approve of or veto the Cuban government.

The current rsf propaganda campaign is aimed particularly at China, the nation against which Robert Ménard has intensified his attacks as the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing draw near.

It should be emphasized that on January 28, 2007, Ménard agreed to accept a $100,000 award from the government of Taiwan, a nation notorious in Latin America for its support to the most recalcitrant right-wing regimes.

Ménard traveled to the land of Chiang Kai-shek to receive his prize from the hands of the Taiwanese president himself, Chen Shui-bian. In accepting the prize and the accompanying check, Ménard promised to create a web site to continue attacking the People’s Republic of China.

Of course, the rsf boss cannot be ignorant of the fact that the Taiwanese government follows the anti-communist policies of its predecessors and has contributed on several occasions to the financial health of extreme right-wing groups in Miami.

Eloquently, Ménard’s presence in Taipei received no coverage of any type in the French media.

The diplomatic sources that spoke with Prensa Latina on the condition of remaining anonymous, said that, interestingly, the rsf blacklist did not include one single Western country, and that its fire was concentrated on the so-called Third World.

Actually, very little, if anything, is known about or published in the French media about Ménard’s connections outside of France. Nothing was reported ever, in any news report, about his visit to Miami on January 19, 2004, when he was received as a hero by representatives of the Cuban-American mafia. And it was a significant tour.

The visit began with a meal at the Versailles, a restaurant on the street known as Calle Ocho, property of terrorist/businessman Felipe Valls. Among his visits, Ménard met with the management of the Miami Herald, one of the most conservative newspapers of the U.S. “free press” after the Washington Times, and interviews with the wqba radio station, which belongs to terrorist Armando Pérez-Roura.

One of the most incredible moments of Ménard’s visit was his meeting with members of the leadership of the Cuban Liberty Council, an organization that openly supports terrorism.

The rsf representatives also intervened in a colloquium on freedom of expression in Cuba, sponsored by the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, the well known “iccas” of the University of Miami, directed by Jaime Suchlicky, a self-confessed cia agent. The meeting took place at the Casa Bacardi, with everything that that implies.

Many new elements have been added in recent years, since the complicity of the rsf and its owner with U.S. spy agencies was exposed for the first time.

Ménard himself had to admit that he receives money from U.S. sources linked to the State Department and confess —which he had vehemently denied— that he knows cia agent Frank Calzon well, having mounted with him an anti-Cuban show in the European Union.

It is now known, thanks to investigators in the United States who worked —very bravely and not without risk to themselves— on the Ménard dossier, that the rsf receives large amounts of money from the U.S. Agency for International Development (usaid) via the National Endowment for Democracy (ned) and the International Republican Institute (iri).

Along with the Czech pseudo-ngo People in Need, which manages all of the publicity activities in Europe for proconsul Caleb McCarry, the rsf is one of the so-called “third country” organizations indicated and favored by the Bush Plan to annex Cuba in terms of tarnishing the island’s image throughout the world.

The well-known investigation by the U.S. General Accountability Office (gao) into Washington’s financing of Miami mafia organizations revealed how millions of dollars of U.S. taxpayers’ money disappear into the distribution networks of money spread around by Bush to try to destabilize Cuba.

For years now, Ménard has been a solid partner of that large mafia of the continental media hierarchies known as the Inter-American Press Association (sip), which attacks Cuba every time it gets a chance.

The sip, which supposedly represents freedom of the press in the Americas, is nothing but a cartel of the big-business owners of the media on the continent, created in New York in 1950 by cia agent Jules Dubois, in a U.S. intelligence operation used to commit piracy against a legitimate Pan-American news organization created in Havana in 1943.

In April 2002, during the failed coup d’etat against President Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, rsf representative Maria Jose Perez Schael acted as an apologist for the coup-plotters in the local press, to the extent that the rsf had to disassociate itself from her due to protests.

Other details evidenced in recent months confirm the worst suspicions regarding the rsf and its lifetime chairman, Robert Ménard. We know today that the accounting for the organization’s U.S. operations, according to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, is handled by a law firm in Alexandria, Virginia, just 15 minutes from the “Company’s” headquarters.

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