Global poverty did not just happen. It began with military conquest, slavery and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land, minerals and forced labor.
Today, the problem persists because of unfair debt, trade and tax policies — in other words, wealthy countries taking advantage of poor, developing countries.
Renowned actor and activist, Martin Sheen, narrates THE END OF POVERTY?, a feature-length documentary directed by award-winning director, Philippe Diaz, which explains how today's financial crisis is a direct consequence of these unchallenged policies that have lasted centuries.
Consider that 20% of the planet's population uses 80% of its resources and consumes 30% more than the planet can regenerate. At this rate, to maintain our lifestyle means more and more people will sink below the poverty line.
Filmed in the slums of Africa and the barrios of Latin America, THE END OF POVERTY? features expert insights from: Nobel prize winners in Economics, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz; acclaimed authors Susan George, Eric Toussaint, John Perkins, Chalmers Johnson; university professors William Easterly and Michael Watts; government ministers such as Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera and the leaders of social movements in Brazil, Venezuela, Kenya and Tanzania. It is produced by Cinema Libre Studio in collaboration with the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation.
Can we really end poverty within our current economic system? Think again.
REFLECTIONS OF FIDEL NATO’s plan is to occupy Libya http://www.granma.cu/ingles/reflections-i/21february-reflections.html (Taken from CubaDebate)
OIL became the principal wealth in the hands of the large yankee transnationals; with that source of energy, they had at their disposal an instrument that considerably increased their political power in the world. It was their principal weapon when they decided to simply liquidate the Cuban Revolution as soon as the first, just and sovereign laws were enacted in our homeland: by depriving it of oil.
Current civilization was developed on the basis of this source of energy. Of the nations in this hemisphere it was Venezuela which paid the highest price. The United States made itself the owner of the vast oilfields which nature endowed upon that sister nation.
At the end of the last World War it began to extract large volumes from oilfields in Iran, as well as those of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Arab countries located around them. These came to be the principal suppliers. World consumption rose progressively to the fabulous figure of approximately 80 million barrels per day, including those pumped in U.S. territory, to which gas, hydraulic and nuclear energy were subsequently added. Up until the beginning of the 20th century coal was the fundamental source of energy that made possible industrial development, before billions of automobiles and engines consuming combustible liquid were produced.
The squandering of oil and gas is associated with one of the greatest tragedies, totally unresolved, being endured by humanity: climate change.
When our Revolution arose, Algeria, Libya and Egypt were not as yet oil producers and a large part of the substantial reserves of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and the United Arab Emirates were still to be discovered.
In December of 1951, Libya became the first African country to attain its independence after World War II, during which its territory was the scene of significant battles between German and British troops, bringing fame to Generals Erwin Rommel and Bernard. L. Montgomery.
Total desert covers 95% of its territory. Technology made it possible to find significant fields of excellent quality light oil, currently providing 800 billion barrels per day, and abundant natural gas deposits. Such wealth allowed it to achieve a life expectancy rate of close to 75 years and the highest per capita income in Africa. Its harsh desert is located above an enormous lake of fossil water, equivalent to more than three times the land surface of Cuba, which has made it possible to construct a broad network of fresh water pipes which extends throughout the country.
Libya, which had one million inhabitants upon attaining its independence, now has a population of more than six million.
The Libyan Revolution took place in September 1969. Its principal leader was Muammar al-Gaddafi, a soldier of Bedouin origin who was inspired in his early youth by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Without any doubt, many of his decisions are associated with the changes that came about when, as in Egypt, a weak and corrupt monarchy was overthrown in Libya.
The inhabitants of that country have age-old warrior traditions. It is said that the ancient Libyans formed part of Hannibal’s army when he was at the point of liquidating Ancient Rome with the force that crossed the Alps.
One can be in agreement with Gaddafi or not. The world has been invaded with all kind of news, especially through the mass media. We shall have to wait the time needed to discover precisely how much is truth or lies, or a mix of the events, of all kinds, which, in the midst of chaos, have been taking place in Libya. What is absolutely evident to me is that the government of the United States is totally unconcerned about peace in Libya and will not hesitate to give NATO the order to invade that rich country, possibly in a matter of hours or a few days.
Those who, with perfidious intentions, invented the lie that Gaddafi was headed for Venezuela, as they did yesterday afternoon Sunday, February 20, today received a worthy response from Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs, when he stated textually that he was "voting for the Libyan people, in the exercise of their sovereignty, to find a peaceful solution to their difficulties which will preserve the integrity of the Libyan people and nation, without the interference of imperialism…"
For my part, I cannot imagine the Libyan leader abandoning the country, eluding the responsibilities attributed to him, whether or not this news is partly or totally false.
An honest person will always be against any injustice committed against any nation of the world, and the worst injustice, at this moment, would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is preparing to commit against the Libyan people.
The chief of that military organization is being urged to do so. This must be condemned!
Friday, 11 February 2011 http://www.socialistaction.net/International/Mubarak-has-gone-%E2%80%93-now-Mubarakism-must-go.html
The extraordinary and completely heroic actions of the Egyptian people have driven Mubarak from power. After thirty years of brutalism and torture, the US and Israeli backed dictator has been ousted. At a cost of hundreds of martyrs who gave their lives, after the last week's defeat of Mubarak’s thugs in two days of street fighting, after the movement began to spread to working class strikes, after a final attempt by Mubarak at defiance yesterday night, after the gigantic outpouring of the people in answer today, the dictator has been driven out.
It is before everything else a gigantic and totally inspiring victory of the Egyptian people. But they have also given a lesson to every country. If they are aroused no force can hold down tens of millions of people. Even a dictator with the total backing of the governments of the US and Europe, who did not hesitate for one second to murder and torture his people on a mass scale, can be forced out. The Egyptian people have given a lesson to every country, one that will be absorbed throughout the world, and have even wider reverberations because it could be followed live on the electronic media.
But while the overwhelming joy and celebration of the Egyptian people in their victory - echoed by every progressive person throughout the world - is totally justified, the forces that kept Mubarak in power for thirty years are this very minute organising to try to ensure that while the individual dictator is gone his regime continues. That is to maintain a regime that preserves the interests of imperialism and the members of the Egyptian ruling class who serve them, a regime to suppress the aspirations of the people of Egypt, to deprive the people of the Middle East of the benefits of the riches of the region and to support the murderous regime of Israel against the Palestinians.
The US and its allies in the British government have no intention of promoting democracy in Egypt. They supported dictatorship in Egypt for thirty years. Now they know if there are free elections in Egypt not only Mubarak but Mubarakism will be swept from power. So they will do everything to try to prevent democracy in Egypt.
The US and British imperialists are in total contact with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. They are working hand in hand with the brutal torturer ‘vice-president’ Omar Sulieman – appointed by the dictator Mubarak himself.
These imperialists will now try to spread confusion with slanders against the Arab people. These imperialists and their brutal Israeli hirelings for decades believed that what they contemptuously referred to as the ‘Arab street’ would accept any humiliation. In their own racist delusions they believed that the Arab people – unlike the Cubans, the Venezuelans, the Chinese or the Vietnamese - were uniquely incapable of fighting for their rights. Egypt has ground that myth into the dust.
Another attempt to spread confusion is the so called ‘threat of Islam’. There is no ‘threat of Islam’. Islam is one of the world’s great religions. The reason political forces inspired by Islam came to the fore in the Middle East is because secular political forces, such as Fatah and various Communist Parties, capitulated to imperialism. Because they did not capitulate in the same way Islamic forces such as Hamas or Hezbollah became strong.
That dynamic occurred because imperialism is the most deadly enemy of the people not only of the Middle East but of the entire world. Compared to the real mafia of imperialism every other local dictator is simply a small scale crook. When secular forces fight imperialism they are strong. The fight of secular and Muslim forces against imperialism and its agents is the way forward. That is another great lesson of Egypt.
The celebration must be overwhelming but even after this gigantic victory the struggle will have to continue.
• US imperialism and its puppets in the Egyptian ruling class will now do everything to limit or eliminate democracy. • The looting of Egypt’s economy by the corrupt ruling class, depriving the Egyptian people of decent living standards, is continuing. • The criminal blockade of Gaza, carried out by Mubarak has not been ended – and Israel will intensify its efforts to suppress the Palestinians. • The other reactionary Arab regimes in the area, above all the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia, are still in place.
The Egyptian people have written a truly inspiring page in the history of humanity’s struggle for freedom. But so many struggles are still to come for them and for the rest of the world who today are so inspired by them. Rejoice and organise!