Posts tagged Cuba
By CBC News
Venezuela’s government announced Friday that it is devaluing the country’s currency, a long-anticipated change expected to push up prices in the heavily import-reliant economy.
Officials said the fixed exchange rate is changing from 4.30 bolivars to the dollar to 6.30 bolivars to the dollar.
The devaluation had been widely expected by analysts in recent months, though experts had been unsure about whether the government would act while President Hugo Chavez remained out of sight in Cuba recovering from cancer surgery.
It was the first devaluation to be announced by Chavez’s government since 2010, and it brought down the official value of the bolivar by 46.5 percent against the dollar. By boosting the bolivar value of Venezuela’s dollar-denominated oil sales, the change is expected to help alleviate a difficult budget outlook for the government, which has turned increasingly to borrowing to meet its spending obligations.
Planning and Finance Minister Jorge Giordani said the new rate will take effect Wednesday, after a two-day banking holiday. He said the old rate would still be allowed for some transactions that already were approved by the state currency agency.
Venezuela’s government has had strict currency exchange controls since 2003 and maintains a fixed, government-set exchange rate. Under the controls, people and businesses must apply to a government currency agency to receive dollars at the official rate to import goods, pay for travel or cover other obligations.
While those controls have restricted the amounts of dollars available at the official rate, an illegal black market has flourished and the value of the bolivar has recently been eroding. In black market street trading, dollars have recently been selling for more than four times the official exchange rate of 4.30 bolivars to the dollar.
The announcement came after the country’s Central Bank said annual inflation rose to 22.2 percent in January, up from 20.1 percent at the end of 2012.
The oil-exporting country, a member of OPEC, has consistently had Latin America’s highest officially acknowledged inflation rates in recent years. Spiraling prices have come amid worsening shortages of some staple foods, such as cornmeal, chicken and sugar.
Seeking to confront such shortages, the government last week announced plans to have the state oil company turn over more of its earnings in dollars to the Central Bank while reducing the amount injected into a fund used for various government programs and public works projects.
Giordani said the government had also decided to do away with a second-tier rate that has hovered around 5.30 bolivars to the dollar, through a bond market administered by the Central Bank. That rate had been granted to some businesses that hadn’t been able to obtain dollars at the official rate.
It was the fifth time that Chavez’s government has devalued the currency since establishing the currency exchange controls a decade ago in an attempt to combat capital flight.
Republished with permission
By Jacob G. Hornberger
It’s no big surprise. A gun massacre brings out the gun-control crowd, which loudly demands that gun control be imposed on the American people, as if that would have prevented the massacre in Connecticut.
It’s really a shame to have to trot out the same arguments exposing the fallacies of statist thinking, but, alas, it must be done.
First, murderers don’t and won’t obey gun-control laws. If they don’t comply with murder laws, they’re not going to comply with gun-control laws.
The people who comply with gun-control laws are peaceful, law-abiding types who are now denied the right to defend themselves from the murderers. Why do peaceful, law-abiding people obey gun-control laws while murderers don’t. Because the former don’t want to be convicted felons, while the latter don’t care.
After all, don’t forget that it was illegal for the shooter in Connecticut to carry guns onto school property. No doubt much to the surprise of statists, he didn’t say, “Golly, even though I want to murder all those children, I can’t do it because it’s illegal for me to carry my gun onto school property.”
Second, gun-control laws won’t eliminate guns from society, any more than drug laws have eliminated drugs from society. Given the millions of guns in existence, along with continued manufacture of guns all over the world, all that gun control would do is convert the business of owning guns into a black-market enterprise. That means gun gangs, gun cartels, robberies, muggings, and all the other things that come into existence with a black market. If you like the war on drugs, you’ll love the war on guns.
Let’s now address a more fundamental issue, one that statists can never consider given their inability to think outside the statist box in which they have been born and raised.
The Connecticut massacre took place in a public school or, to put it more accurately, in a government school. That’s a place where parents are forced by law to send their children. If they don’t send their children into this governmental system, they are arrested, charged, and incarcerated. They might even have their children taken away from them for “incompetence” or “abuse.”
Sure, there are two alternatives for parents — private schools and homeschooling. But for the vast majority of parents, those are not viable options. Private schools, which have to secure a license from the government to operate, are too expensive, especially for a vast number of families that also are required by law to pay school taxes even if they decline to send their children into the public-school system. Other parents do not feel competent to homeschool or are unable to do so for other reasons, such as the need to have two incomes.
So, that leaves a large segment of families being forced to send their children to these state institutions from the time they are six years old.
Along with the regimentation and indoctrination that comes with the government being in charge of children’s education comes another distinguishing characteristic: These institutions are mandatory gun-free zones. That is, teachers and principals are prohibited by law from carrying a gun onto school property. I’d be willing to bet that there is a 99 percent compliance rate because most teachers and principals don’t want to be convicted felons and they want to keep their jobs.
So, consider the situation: The state forces parents to send their children into state institutions in which there are already gun-control laws — that is, laws that make it illegal for people to carry weapons onto the premises. The peaceful and law-abiding people obey the gun law. The murderer, knowing that everyone is defenseless, doesn’t obey the gun law.
Now, obviously most parents aren’t going to even question the horror in this. That’s because public schooling is a part of their lives. They went to public schools. So did their friends. For them, public schools mean “freedom,” even though they have a hard time explaining how it is that public (i.e., government) schooling is a core feature of communist and socialist countries like Cuba, North Korea, and China.
So, does that mean that the solution is to let public-school teachers and administrators carry guns to school? Not for us libertarians. We have no interest in telling the state how to run its schools. For us, public schooling is an inherently immoral and destructive institution. It should be dismantled completely, in favor of a total free market in education. See The Future of Freedom Foundation’s book Separating School and State: How to Liberate America’s Families by Sheldon Richman.
A free market in education would put families, not the state, in charge of their children’s education. Some people would choose schools that are not gun-free zones. Others would choose schools that are. The same principle of freedom of choice would apply to a vast array of other things – schools that are general in nature and others that specialize in things like music, religion, math, liberal arts, or science. Some parents would choose to have their children be educated without schools.
But the point is that in a free market, people are able to get what they want, as compared to having the state force it upon them and their children. As things stand now, most families have no effective choice at all — the state forces them to send their children into a gun-free institutions where their children are defenseless against murderers.
As the gun-control debate gets ramped up once again, there’s another thing to consider: the permanent culture of violence that the U.S. military empire and national-security state have brought to our nation. For decades, we have heard about how U.S. forces abroad have killed wedding parties, families, old people, and, yes, children. Oftentimes, there is the standard expression of regret by U.S. officials, but a callous mindset of conscious indifference to human life has, slowly but surely, been inculcated into the American people, at least with respect to Muslims and Arabs.
Consider, for example, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children whom the U.S. government killed with its 11 years of brutal sanctions against Iraq. When U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright was asked by “Sixty Minutes” whether the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children were worth it, she responded that yes, they were indeed “worth it.”
That mindset was really no different in the invasion of Iraq. When the bogus WMDs failed to materialize, U.S. officials said that their new primary objective was to bring “democracy” to Iraq. So, rather than exiting the country after failing to find those bogus WMDs, they stayed, killing countless more Iraqis. The mindset that justified the continued killing and mayhem was the same that undergirded the sanctions — that any number of deaths of the Iraqi people was considered “worth it” — worth the political goal of establishing “democracy” in the country.
How can that mindset of callous indifference toward the sanctity of human life not be transmitted to the American people, especially given the faith that so many Americans place in their federal officials?
For more on this, see my January 2011 article “The Banality of Evil,” which was written in the wake of the Arizona shootings and which applies just as well today.
Finally, let us never forget the primary reason that gun ownership is so important. It is an essential prerequisite to a free society because it enables people to oppose the tyranny of their own government. History has shown that when the military and the police have a monopoly over the ownership of guns, freedom doesn’t exist long in those societies. People must obey whatever edicts are issued by government officials and they must submit to whatever government officials do to them. As Judge Alex Kozinsky put it in his dissenting opinion in the case of Silveira vs. Lockyer, giving the government a monopoly over the ownership of guns is a mistake that people can make only once. It becomes too late to make it again because the deprivation of liberty becomes permanent given the inability of people to violently resist it. As our American ancestors understood so well, the right to keep and bear arms is the best insurance policy against tyranny.
This is what so Americans just cannot comprehend. Just today, in an editorial the Los Angeles Times extols China — yes, that brutal communist regime in which the government has a monopoly on the ownership of guns — for its gun-free society because Chinese children were able to survive a recent massacre in which the person used a knife, as compared to what happened in Connecticut, where no one survived the gun onslaught.
That editorial is amazing. For one thing, as I stated above, there is no way that the U.S. government could possible eradicate guns from society, as the Chinese tyrants have done, at least not without imposing the same type of horrible police state that the Chinese communist dictators have imposed on the Chinese people. More important, who wants to live under a brutal communist regime, one that is able to maintain itself in power precisely because people lack the means to violently overthrow it?
The Connecticut massacre is just one more sign of the aberrant welfare-warfare system that statists have foisted upon our land. The solution to the woes brought upon us by statism is not more statism. The solution is freedom, which is what libertarianism is all about, including the right to own guns, the right to educate one’s children without state interference or control, and the right to live in a free, peaceful, and prosperous society rather than a warfare-state empire.
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.
Published on Nov 28, 2012 by Federaljacktube
The Final Analysis – Part One and Two
That Whole Bay Of Pigs Thing
Col. Fletcher Prouty explains the Bay of Pigs failure, and Vietnam
By Pete Papaherakles
Could gaining control of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CBI) be one of the main reasons that Iran is being targeted by Western and Israeli powers? As tensions are building up for an unthinkable war with Iran, it is worth exploring Iran’s banking system compared to its U.S., British and Israeli counterparts.
Some researchers are pointing out that Iran is one of only three countries left in the world whose central bank is not under Rothschild control. Before 9-11 there were reportedly seven: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and Iran. By 2003, however, Afghanistan and Iraq were swallowed up by the Rothschild octopus, and by 2011 Sudan and Libya were also gone. In Libya, a Rothschild bank was established in Benghazi while the country was still at war.
Islam forbids the charging of interest, a major problem for the Rothschild banking system. Until a few hundred years ago, charging interest was also forbidden in the Christian world and was even punishable by death. It was considered exploitation and enslavement.
Since the Rothschilds took over the Bank of England around 1815, they have been expanding their banking control over all the countries of the world. Their method has been to get a country’s corrupt politicians to accept massive loans, which they can never repay, and thus go into debt to the Rothschild banking powers. If a leader refuses to accept the loan, he is oftentimes either ousted or assassinated. And if that fails, invasions can follow, and a Rothschild usury-based bank is established.
The Rothschilds exert powerful influence over the world’s major news agencies. By repetition, the masses are duped into believing horror stories about evil villains. The Rothschilds control the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the IMF, the World Bank and the Bank of International Settlements. Also they own most of the gold in the world as well as the London Gold Exchange, which sets the price of gold every day. It is said the family owns over half the wealth of the planet—estimated by Credit Suisse to be $231 trillion—and is controlled by Evelyn Rothschild, the current head of the family.
Objective researchers contend that Iran is not being demonized because they are a nuclear threat, just as the Taliban, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muammar Qadaffi were not a threat.
What then is the real reason? Is it the trillions to be made in oil profits, or the trillions in war profits? Is it to bankrupt the U.S. economy, or is it to start World War III? Is it to destroy Israel’s enemies, or to destroy the Iranian central bank so that no one is left to defy Rothschild’s money racket?
It might be any one of those reasons or, worse—it might be all of them.
Pete Papaherakles, a U.S. citizen since 1986, was born in Greece. He is AFP’s outreach director. If you would like to see AFP speakers at your rally, contact Pete at 202-544-5977 .
By Rand Clifford
Sense those hooves pounding around the world?
Little surprise that these four bedfellows have in their reins the fate of humanity, even life on Earth. Profit and conquest are all that matter; there is no such thing as enough, only, more.
King Coal’s aerosols leave hardly a place on Earth free from coal-fired power plant mercury pollution. Even fish in the most “pristine” waters are all tagged by coal. The majestic bluefin tuna, world’s most valuable fish—high in the food chain guarantees high mercury. Pacific bluefin tuna…an ultimate posterfish for the biosphere? Fished to the brink of oblivion, survivors radioactive.
Fukushima is a volcano of radioactivity in the most seismic region on Earth; fresh tremors promise eruptions setting new standards for the term, “cataclysmic”. We really are pushing into new frontiers, where numbers quantifying the menace at Fukushima seem more suited for cosmology.
Latest word from corporate mouthpieces of the elite: “Ssshhhhh. Don’t worry, be happy.”
Mix in the perpetual debt machine of Rothschild-controlled central banking (Bankula), and if the biosphere functions long enough, inevitably, Bankula will own everything from the ionosphere to the Mariana trench. The whole planet. It’s all been set up that way, plans laid long ago, executed over centuries.
Great video, some adult language for those concerned.
Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!
Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!
Presidential candidate Ron Paul proposes major changes to U.S. foreign policy. We caught up with him in Iowa.
A growing number of foreign policy experts are agreeing with Texas congressman Ron Paul’s controversial views on American foreign policy, which have alienated Republicans who otherwise agree with the presidential hopeful.
Christopher Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, told ABC News that Paul is right when he says the United States does not need a massive military presence across the globe. Outside of terrorist threats, America is safe due to its geography and huge stockpile of nuclear weapons, he said.
Prelbe added that the US military is being used in conflicts that have little to no national interest, such as the Iraq war, and credits Paul with being an outspoken critic of the invasion back in 2003.
In addition to being against the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East, Paul has condemned the killing of Al Queda terrorist leader Anwar Al-Awlaki as unconstitutional, blasted the United Nations as undermining national sovereignty, and advocated free trade over sanctions with nations like Iran and Cuba.
During a CBS/NJ GOP debate on Saturday night, Paul said it was not worth going to war against Iran to prevent the Islamic republic from obtaining a nuclear weapon; torture, including waterboarding, is immoral and illegal; and covert operations to destabilize and overthrow the Syrian government would be a “mistake.”
Paul has also condemned US President Barack Obama as “irrational” for calling on “our close friend” Israel to move back to its pre-1967 borders.
While many conservative and Republican pundits, such as talk radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, openly embrace Paul’s fiscal policies, they roundly condemn the conservative-libertarian for his views on American foreign policy.
Harvey Sapolsky, emeritus professor of public policy and organization at MIT, believes Paul’s views on foreign policy are not popular among Republicans because “he’s attacking our rich lazy friends.”
The hundreds of US military bases across the globe are “not in America’s interest,” said Sapolsky, who added that despite the drumbeat in the media over the fear of terrorism, America is the safest it has ever been in its history.
Sapolsky added that Paul is “easily dismissed as a crank” because he not as articulate a speaker on these issues as he should be.