Category: CAPITALIST TENTACLES & FRONTS

Ricardo Hausmann’s “Morning After” for Venezuela: The Neoliberal Brain Behind Juan Guaido’s Economic Agenda

ANYA PARAMPPIL—During the Chávez era, the Hausmann family was not content to sit on the sidelines and watch him build a “21st-century socialism.” Joanna’s mother, Ana Julia Jatar, assumed a position as executive director of Súmate, a U.S.-backed “civil society group” formed by right-wing darling María Corina Machado in order to “build democracy” in Venezuela.In 2003, Súmate received $53,400 from the National Endowment for Democracy “to work on referendum and general electoral activities,” according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.The initiative represented Jatar and Machado’s attempt to remove Chávez from power through popular recall. Yet the public rejected the referendum by a whopping 59 percent margin, in results certified by the Carter Center and Organization of American States.

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Financial Surgery Demanded by Class Fluid Majority

FRANK SCOTT—The World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Fort Knox Foundation and other responsible caches of individual global wealth are in crisis meetings to deal with this new problem of people demanding a fairer shake from the system of minority rule, often called democracy in places with elections allowed to the commoners so long as they vote for representatives of that minority rule.

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Attacking Iran

PHILIP GIRALDI—As an ex-CIA case officer who worked on the Iran target for a number of years, I was shocked when I read the Times’ article, primarily because it sounded like a repeat of the fabricated intelligence that was used against both Iraq and Iran in 2001 through 2003. It is based on the premise that war with Iran is desirable for the United States and, acting behind the scenes, Israel, so it is therefore necessary to come up with an excuse to start it. As the threat of terrorism is always a good tactic to convince the American public that something must be done, that is what the article tries to do and it is particularly discouraging to read as it appears to reflect opinion in the White House.As I have been writing quite critically about the CIA and the Middle East for a number of years, I am accustomed to considerable push-back from former colleagues. But in this case, the calls and emails I received from former intelligence officers who shared my experience of the Middle East and had read the article went strongly the other way, condemning the use of both fake and contrived intelligence to start another unnecessary war.

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A Way Out of the Money Trap

PHILIP A. FARRUGGIO— Social Security contributions of 6.2 % per worker and employer currently cap at $ 132,000 in earnings per year. [This is an arbitrary, artificial ceiling. It is not preordained by an act of God, nor does it obey a law of nature.—Ed.] By eliminating that ceiling the Social Security fund would really be in the black forever. Plus, there could be real and generous annual ‘ Cost of living ‘ increases in how much retirees can receive. How many hard working stiffs who rely on that monthly check would really appreciate the added dollars to live more decently?

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