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Green Party Denounces US-Backed Coup in Venezuela

For Immediate Release

NEW YORK—The Green Party of New York denounced the ongoing US-backed coup in Venezuela as the latest in a long line of US imperial interventions in Latin America. Party officers pointed out that the Trump administration has been enforcing crippling sanctions on Venezuela and met with military leaders last year to plot a coup, which was openly reported in US news outlets. The US openly backed a coup in 2002 that temporarily deposed President Hugo Chavez, and the Bush, Obama, and Trump regimes have supported the right-wing opposition and its neoliberal plans for the Venezuelan economy. Party leaders said members of the New York Congressional delegation, including Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Representative Ocasio-Cortez should introduce a resolution to cut off all US support for the coup.

“The United States has now provoked a second coup in Venezuela in an attempt to install a friendly regime in a nation with some of the largest oil reserves on Earth. While Trump allies with fascists like Bolsonaro in Brazil and murderous monarchs like Mohammed Bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, his regime has continued US imperial policies by attempting to overthrow a left-wing government in Venezuela and institute neoliberal policies that would plunder the economy for the oligarchs and wealthy that lead the Venezuelan Opposition. The Green Party stands with the Venezuelan people against this blatant imperial attempt at regime change,” said party co-chair Peter LaVenia.

“Under the Bolivarian Revolution the Venezuelan government set up large-scale social programs designed to combat poverty, workers and local governments have been empowered, supported the rights of indigenous peoples and the state has taken control of resources that were formerly in the hands of foreign multinationals. The United States and its allies cannot tolerate any attempt by a poor country to buck the neoliberal model and institute any kind of socialist reforms, so they have consistently attempted to overthrow the government. The Opposition is run by wealthy Venezuelans who are of European descent and have often targeted Chavistas who are poor and often of African and indigenous heritage. The Opposition has murdered people because they were pro-government. They have harassed and shot journalists and plotted to blow up pro-government news stations. This is fascism. We oppose the coup attempt and demand that the Congressional leadership of New York introduce a resolution to cut off all funding to the Venezuelan Opposition and coup government,” said party co-chair Gloria Mattera.

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Dario Hunter launches exploratory committee for Green Party presidential nomination

Click for video

By: WKBN Staff 


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown Board of Education member Rabbi Dario Hunter has announced his plans to launch an exploratory committee for the Green Party presidential nomination in 2020.

He made the announcement on his Facebook page Tuesday, which you can view in the video above. 

According to his website, he currently serves as a delegate to the Green Party National Committee and is a member of the Green Party’s Peace Action Committee.

In his video announcement, Hunter says he is, “unapologetically black, proudly gay and proudly progressive. I’m everything the Republican Party is afraid of and everything the Democrats still haven’t found a place for.”

Hunter said the next nominee has to fight for workers’ rights, must fight for the civil rights of all and be a champion for the environment.

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Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?

by HOWARD LISNOWFFCounterpunch

Ashley Smith’s “A Socialist in the Senate? The Unfortunate Truth about Bernie Sanders,” (November 15, 2006) tells the tale of how the political Left gets thrown under the relentless wheels of the military-industrial complex by supporting candidates who do not consistently serve the interests of peace. The decimation of the forces for peace is predictable as they are sacrificed and offered up to the gods of electoral politics. The marginalization in each electoral cycle of the Left is a testament to how relentless the political/economic system is in guaranteeing its outcomes vis-à-vis war and peace.

A few years ago an email communication from Senator Elizabeth Warren, a steadfast supporter of an economic egalitarianism and regulation of the forces that control capital, left me with the same sense of how business as usual about U.S. war making has all but captured and controlled dissident voices. Only those on the fringes (not the fringe of significant and importance) of the political process are left to stand and are effectively marginalized and silenced. In the email the senator expressed her steadfast support of the war on terrorism.

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James Lane for Congress – District 11 NY

James Lane Congress District 11

 

votejameslane.nationbuilder.com

 

Meet the woman trying to turn the White House Green

By 

[Video]

Power Players

Most voters will likely never know her name, let alone cast a vote for her at the ballot box, but that’s not deterring Dr. Jill Stein from running for president in 2016.

Stein was the Green Party’s presidential nominee in 2012 and is expected to announce Friday the she’s exploring another White House bid in 2016.

Prior to making the announcement, Stein sat down exclusively with “Power Players” to explain why she’s stepping forward as an alternative to the current field of likely presidential contenders that she characterizes as “corrupt and sold out.”

“There are rules that make it possible for the very rich to buy politicians — that’s what’s going on,” Stein said. “There’s a horse race around grabbing the money right now, and I think it speaks volumes about what a really sorry state our political system has come to.”

In her 2012 campaign, Stein received fewer than half a million votes across the country – less than 1 percent of the total popular vote – and was even arrested for trying to get into a televised debate from which she was excluded.

Stein recalled the arrest – and subsequent holding – as “the most bizarre experience you can imagine.”

“For trying to get into that debate, I was actually arrested, taken to a dark site where no one knew where I was — the site was secret — and held handcuffed to metal chairs for approximately eight hours,” Stein said. “It speaks volumes about how terrified the political system is that the voices of principled opposition may actually get heard.”

Before entering politics, Stein was a practicing doctor and authored two books on medical topics. Now, Stein said she’s practicing a different type of medicine.

“What I’m doing now is practicing political medicine, which I call the mother of all illnesses,” Stein said. “If we want to fix what’s ailing us — both our health, our jobs, our foreign policy — which is generating incredible blowback … we need to fundamentally fix our democracy and the political system.”

On a quest against the current political system that she believes has been “bought and paid for by the one percent,” Stein acknowledged that she is waging an uphill battle.

That battle is particularly steep given the Green Party abstains from collecting any corporate donations, at a time when Super PACs and dark money bankroll most major political campaigns.

“What we will raise will be a drop in the ocean compared with what the Koch brothers are spending,” said Stein, who estimates that her 2012 campaign raised a total of around a million dollars. That’s compared to the $900 million that the conservative billionaire businessmen Koch brothers alone plan to spend in the 2016 cycle.

“If we as Americans allow our electoral system to be just bought and sold and that’s it, then there’s really not very much hope going forward in the future,” Stein said, defending the Green Party’s decision not to collect corporate dollars.

In the 2000 presidential election, some Democrats blamed third party candidate Ralph Nader for taking votes away from Democratic nominee Al Gore and helping advance President George W. Bush’s narrow victory.

As a third party candidate herself, it’s a critique Stein is used to hearing – and dismissing.

“We’ve heard of that, what we call the politics of fear, that tells you, ‘You have to be very worried about secondary effects of your vote,’” Stein said. “If you don’t stand up and vote for what you want and you need, then you’re never gonna get it and the system won’t get it.”

For more of the interview with Stein, including why she disagreed with President Obama’s declaration of a strong economic recovery in his State of the Union address, check out this episode of “Power Players.”

ABC News’ Ali Dukakis, Gary Westphalen, Richard Norling, and Shari Thomas contributed to this episode.

W.F.P. turns on Cuomo over ‘monopoly’ comment

via Capital NY

 

wfp-turns-cuomo-over-monopoly-comment

 Cuomo at a pro-charter schools rally earlier this year. (AP Photo/Tim Roske)

By Laura Nahmias and Jessica Bakeman 


 

ALBANY—The Working Families Party released a statement Wednesday criticizing Andrew Cuomo, the party’s candidate for governor, for his comments comparing the state’s public school system to a “public monopoly.”

 

“Governor Cuomo is wrong on this one,” the W.F.P.’s state director Bill Lipton said in a statement to Capital.

 

“His proposed policies on public education will weaken, not strengthen our public education system, and they would represent a step away from the principle of high quality public education for all students. High stakes testing and competition are not the answer. Investment in the future is the answer, and that means progressive taxation and adequate resources for our schools.”

 

Earlier this week Cuomo told the Daily News editorial board that, if he’s re-elected, he intends to “to break what is in essence one of the only remaining public monopolies,” vowing to challenge public school teachers by supporting stricter teacher evaluations and competition from charter schools.

Those comments drew some cautious criticism from the state teachers’ union.

Asked by Capital for comment Tuesday morning, a spokesman for New York State United Teachers addressed Cuomo’s comments about teacher evaluations but initially declined to comment on the governor’s likening of public education to a “monopoly.”

But the union later released a statement, in which president Karen Magee said: “Public education is for the public good. It is not a monopoly. It is the centerpiece of our democracy and what makes our nation great.”

A labor-backed advocacy group, Alliance for Quality Education, also criticized the governor’s comments, using harsher language.

“Gov. Cuomo has laid clear plans to expand his frontal assault on our public schools through high stakes testing, starving our public schools and privatization,” Billy Easton, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. “It’s not that shocking when you look at the enormous pile of cash he has raked in from the Wall Street billionaires who are investing in charter schools. He is rewarding his financial backers at a devastating cost to our children.”

Teachers lashed at out Cuomo on Twitter throughout the day, using #CuoMonopoly.

The W.F.P. statement marks an unusual rebuke for a party of its own candidate, less than one week before the general election, and comes amid ongoing tensions between Cuomo and the left-leaning party.

The W.F.P. endorsed Cuomo earlier this year only after extracting significant concessions from him to support some key components of the party’s platform, including his promise to push for Democratic control of the state Senate, seek an increase in the minimum wage, and pass the Dream Act, which would allow undocumented immigrants access to public college tuition assistance.

But Cuomo and the party hold very different positions on education, and the governor, who has become a champion for charter schools, notably did not sign on to the party’s education platform as part of the terms of his endorsement deal.

Teachers have been a problem constituency for Cuomo, who has touted the state-mandated teacher evaluation system and a property-tax cap that limits school districts’ abilities to raise revenue as signature accomplishments of his first term. Magee was elected as NYSUT’s new leader in April partly because union members were frustrated that former president Richard Iannuzzi didn’t sufficiently oppose Cuomo’s policies.

Although NYSUT remained neutral in the gubernatorial race, some local teachers’ unions supported Cuomo’s Democratic opponent, Zephyr Teachout, in the primary, and are backing Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins in the general. Phil Rumore, an active Working Families Party member and president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation, was particularly outspoken in his criticism of Cuomo.

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