Category Archives: Leadership

OAS adopts resolution on protecting journalists.

OAS

St Peters Sint Maarten — The Organization of American States (OAS) has adopted a resolution on increasing protection for journalists and combating impunity for crimes against them. It is the first time that the OAS has passed a resolution on this crucial issue.

 

The resolution was adopted by the OAS general assembly meeting in the Mexican city of Cancún (June 19 -21). Regarded as part of the regional organization’s duty to promote and protect human rights, it also recognizes the importance of the work of journalists in the region.

 

The resolution is the result of an initiative by the office of Edison Lanza, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and had the active support of such countries as Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and Peru.

 

It calls on all OAS member states to:

 

– Condemn murders of journalists and take special measures to protect journalists and to prevent attacks against them.

 

– Combat impunity for crimes of violence against journalists by appointing special independent prosecutors, adopting specific protocols and methods for investigating and trying cases, and providing judicial officials with training on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists.

 

– Publicly reaffirm the right of every journalist to receive, seek and impart information without any form of discrimination.

 

– Encourage and reinforce member state cooperation with the IACHR and the special rapporteur’s office, especially on the issue of combatting impunity for crimes against journalists

 

“In view of the increase in violence against journalists throughout the Americas, we are very enthusiastic about this resolution’s adoption by the countries of the OAS and we share all of its recommendations,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Latin America bureau.

 

“This resolution marks a new stage in the growing awareness of the western hemisphere’s governments of their responsibility to protect journalists and promote the work of the media,” he added.

 

The resolution stresses the fundamental importance of freedom of opinion and expression in development and reinforcing effective democratic systems. It also recognizes that journalists investigating stories involving human rights violations, organized crime, corruption and other kinds of serious illicit behaviour are often exposed to aggression and violence leading to self-censorship that deprives society of information in the public interest.

 

RSF said it shares this assessment and hopes that, although the resolution is not binding, governments will respect the undertaking they have given and will quickly implement the envisaged measures.

Sayid Qutb: Father of Takfiri Jihadism.

For all its austerity and fundamentalism Saudi Arabia did not give birth to the ideology of modern Islamism, rather its modern origins are to be found in Egypt, within the Muslim Brotherhood whose most able son Sayid Qutb, would transcend his teachers and conceive the ideology that gave birth to al-Qaeda.

Today the Muslim Brotherhood is denounced as an apostate organization by ISIS and other hardline Islamist movements, yet a careful study of Islamist history, will prove that their ideological father is the Muslim Brotherhood. Lawrence Wright in his book; ―The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda And The Road To 911, gave a comprehensive view into Qutb‘s influences, his American sojourn, his imprisonment, torture and eventual execution at the hands of the Egyptian authorities at the time. Wright described Qutb and the Egyptian reality at the time in the following: ―Like many of his compatriots he was radicalized by the British occupation and was contemptuous of the jaded king Farouk‘s complicity. Egypt was racked by anti-British protests and seditous political factions bent on running the forign troops out of the country-and perhaps the king as well. What made this unimposing midlevel government clerk particularly dangerous was his blunt and potent commentary. He was western in so many ways –his dress, his love of classical music and Hollywood movies. He had read, in translation, the works of Darwin and Einstein, Byron and Shelley, and had immersed himself in French literature, especially Victor Hugo. Qutb like many Arabs, felt shocked and betrayed by the support that the US government had given to the Zionist cause after the war. Qutb wrote: I hate those westerners and despise them . All of them without any exception: the English, the French, the Dutch, and finally the Americans, who have been trusted by many.

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Luke Lobada a recipient of the 2004 Charles E. Parton award, wrote in an Ashbrook Statesmanship Thesis the following concerning Qutb, I think it would be highly constructive to include the portion on Qutb‘s, earlier background and his academic standing and achivements at that time.

―Sayyid Qutb was born in 1906 in the province of Asyut, which is located in southern Egypt. His parents were both deeply religious people who were wellknown in the area. From his years as a young child until the age of 27, he experienced a rigorous education. Qutb‘s evident desire for knowledge continued throughout his life. He began his elementary education in a religious school located in his hometown village. By the age of 10, he had already committed the entire text of the Qur‘an to memory. After transferring to a more modern government-sponsored school, Qutb graduated primary school in 1918. Due to his interests in education and teaching, Qutb enrolled into a teacher‘s college and graduated in 1928. Next, he was admitted into Dar al-Ulum, a Western-style university which was also attended by Hasan al-Banna, an Aab-Islamic leader who Qutb would later join in the Muslim Brotherhood. After his graduation from Dar al- Ulum in 1933, Qutb began his teaching career and eventually became involved in Egypt‘s Ministry of Education. The Ministry sent rhim abroad to the United States to research Western methods of teaching. He spent a total of two years in the United States from 1948 to 1950. During that time, Qutb studied at Wilson‘s Teachers‘College on the east coast before moving west and earning a M.A. in education at the University of Northern Colorado. Qutb‘s strong conviction that Islam was superior to all other systems was made clear in his work Social Justice in Islam, which was written prior to his trip. Nevertheless, many scholars believe that it was during his trip to the United States that Qutb became convinced of the West‘s spiritual and moral bankruptcy.

Qutb left America and returned to Cairo on a TWA flight, the date was August 20, 1950. While Qutb‘s beloved Egypt wallowed in record levels of corruption, assassination, poverty, illiteracy and disease, the Turkish holdout from the Ottoman empire king Farouk , Egypt‘s Britain backed king jetted around in private jet‘s, drove around Cairo in one of many of his cars, or went gambling on the Rivera. This was Qutb‘s Egypt. When Gamal Abdul Nasser then a young army colonel, seized power in Egypt, the old Ottoman tyrant fell replaced by an Egyptian one, Qutb would prove to be his staunchest enemy and would usher in the ―New Vangaurd. The army officers who were principals in the successful takeover of the government, closely coordinated with the Muslim Brotherhood, several of the officers even Anwar Saddat, Nasser‘s successor, were closely allied to the Muslim Brotherhood. Qutb returned to his job at the Ministry of Education, returning to his home in the suburbs of Helmand. Qutb published an open letter, to the revolutions leaders,, stressing that the only way to curb moral corruption was to impose a ―just dictatorship‖, that would grant political legitimacy to only ―the virtuous‖. Nasser‘s government and the Brotherhood were mismatched from the beginning, The Islamist‘s wanted a society ruled by Sharia, Nasser wanted to expand the role of his authoritarian, secular, nationalist government. Qutb was imprisoned by Nasser in 1954, three months later he was released. Upon his release he became the editor of the Muslim Brotherhood‘s magazine of the same name. On October 26, 1954. An Egyptian Brotherhood acolyte attempted an assassination on Nasser, he fired eight shot‘s wounding one of Nasser‘s bodyguards and missing Nasser entirely. Nasser reacted swiftly and brutally, six Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested then hanged, while thousands of others were placed in concentration camps. Qutb‘s turn soon came, suffering from a high fever he was arrested; he was handcuffed and frog marched to prison. Several times he fainted along the way. He was held in a cell with vicious dogs and mercilessly beaten. In court Qutb said: ―The principles of the revolution have indeed been applied to us ―, as he raised his shirt to reveal the marks of torture. Some of the imprisoned Muslim Brothers staged a strike refusing to leave their cells; they were summarily shot to death.

Twenty three of them died in the assault, and forty six injured. Qutb saw the wounded being brought in since he was in the prison‘s hospital.

Qutb reasoned that true Muislims could never treat fellow Muslims in such a manner, resultantly they were not Muslims, the concept of takfir (excommunication), was revived by Qutb . He wrote his manifesto ―Milestones‖ (Ma‘alim fi al-Tariq), while in prison. Through the aid of family and friends, his book circulated for many years underground, in the form of letters to his brothers and sisters, who were also active Islamist‘s. The book saw its first printing in 1964 and was promptly banned, anyone caught with a copy could be charged with sedition. Qutb wrote: ―Mankind today is on the brink of a precipice. Humanity is threatened not only by nuclear annihilation but also by the absence of values. The West has lost its vitality and Marxism has failed. At this crucial and bewildering juncture the turn of Islam and the Muslim community has arrived‖. Qutb wrote that the Muslim community was: ―crushed under the weight of those false laws and teachings which are not even remotely related to the Islamic teachings. We need to initiate the revival of the Islamic movement in some Muslim country‖. Qutb‘s writings posited that some Islamic country needed to serve as a visible example, of Islam‘s forward march to world domination. ―There should be a vanguard which sets out with this determination and keeps walking the path. I have written Milestones for this vangaurd, which I consider to be a waiting reality about to be materialized‖. Sayyid Qutb was hanged on August 29, 1966.

25 Years prison sentence for ‘Murder Broker’ in the murder case Helmin Wiels.

25 Year prison sentence for B.C.A.F. in the case Magnus/Maximus.

Fonseca the defendant in this case followed the proceedings via a live video feed, from the Netherlands.

(Fem Judge) Mister Fonseca>>>> (Fonseca) yes.

(Fem Judge) “Your case was handled on the 19th and 21st of April and today (5/11/2017) is the ruling, which is as follows. The bench after careful study of the case file, we are overwhelmingly convinced that you in collusion   with others on May 5th conspired to rob mr Helmin Wiels of his life. In Judicial terms you (addressing Fonseca), are an accessory to murder.   The evidence pointing to your involvement in the murder of Helmin Wiels , is overwhelming and rest’s on 4 indicators , the testimony of 1. Elvis Kuwas,  2.  The testimony of the witness who was threatened (unnamed), 3.  The testimony of E. Gumbs, 4. The text’s that were exchanged by yourself and Jeorge Jamaloodin.   Each of the indicators in and    of themselves are not enough for a conviction, however when combined, there is more than sufficient evidence to substantiate our verdict. The defense claims that Kuwas’ testimony is so flawed i.e. untrustworthy that it cannot be used as prosecutable evidence. However the court’s ruling is that, mister Kuwas’ testimony is based in fact and is legally binding in this case as prosecutable evidence. The court’s ruling given the consistency of Kuwas’ testimony, that (Fonseca) you sir and mr Florentina (deceased) gave the orders for him to murder mr Helmin Wiels. In light of the testimony of mr Kuwas pertinent to the meeting in garage Florentina’s  where you (Fonseca), was present , verified by Kuwas’ wife Monalissa Kuwas Andrea.   The court’s decision is based on the overwhelming evidence, from the witnesses in this case and the SMS text’s exchanged between yourself and mr Jamaloodin. It is clear from the SMS text’s between yourself and mr Jamaloodin that you outsourced the ‘work’ to other’s one of which was as per his own testimony mister Kuwas. Furthermore it is clear from the exchanged texts that the ‘job’, was discussed at the home of mr Jamaloodin.  You have given no believable reason for those meetings.  Given the facts in this case the court has come to the conclusion that, you in collusion with Luigi Florentina  gave the orders to Elvis (Monster) Kuwas to assassinate mr Helmin Wiels, in exchange for a huge cash payment. Elvis Kuwas accepted the contract and on May 5, 2013 he murdered mr Wiels, on the Maria Ponpoen beach in broad daylight, Kuwas emptied the clip of his automatic weapon into the body of mr Wiels , with his body riddled by multiple gunshot wounds mister Wiels succumbed as a result of his injuries, on the spot. You sir in the first instance robbed mr Wiels of his right to life, and the right to life is a fundamental right that is guaranteed in our constitution and it is also protected, in our constitution. Your actions mister Fonseca has shown your utter contempt for this right, as a result of your actions you have caused irreparable harm to the family members of mr Wiels, resultantly the murder that was perpetrated on your orders in broad daylight, terrorized the community and caused widespread unrest in society. Murder is a deadly serious punishable offense, the court has concluded that there is no other option but to lay to your charge a lengthy prison sentence the court is fully aware of the gravity of the situation that, that in this case we are dealing with the murder of a politician. Helmin Wiels was prior to his murder Prime Minister and leader of the Pueblo Sobreano Party, at that time the primary political party in Curacao.  The onslaught did not only disturb the social order but shocked the community in its entirety here in Curacao. The murder of a party leader and Prime Minister means that irreparable harm has been done to society at large and in particular to the democratic process. This murder also exerted pressure on other politicians who, in its aftermath became fearful of going against the grain and publicly voicing their stand points and opinions, as is guaranteed in a democracy.  The court deems this murder worthy of a more lengthy sentence than in ordinary circumstances since this murder, is one with political characteristics. Mr Fonseca the court has decided to charge you with 25 years minus with time served in pretrial detention. This is the courts’ decision mr Fonseca you have the right to appeal within 14 days.                   

Caribbean adopts plan to seek slavery reparations.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent (AP) — Leaders of Caribbean nations on Monday unanimously adopted a broad plan on seeking reparations from European nations for what they say are the lingering ill effects of the Atlantic slave trade on the region.

 

A British human rights law firm hired by the Caribbean Community grouping of nations announced that prime ministers had authorized a 10-point plan that would seek a formal apology and debt cancellation from former colonizers such as Britain, France and the Netherlands. The decision came at a closed-door meeting in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

 

According to the Leigh Day law firm, the Caribbean Community also wants reparation payments to repair the persisting “psychological trauma” from the days of plantation slavery and calls for assistance to boost the region’s technological know-how since the Caribbean was denied participation in Europe’s industrialization and confined to producing and exporting raw materials such as sugar.

 

The plan further demands European aid in strengthening the region’s public health, educational and cultural institutions such as museums and research centers.

 

It is even pushing for the creation of a “repatriation program,” including legal and diplomatic assistance from European governments, to potentially resettle members of the Rastafarian spiritual movement in Africa. Repatriation to Africa has long been a central belief of Rastafari, a melding of Old Testament teachings and Pan-Africanism whose followers have long pushed for reparations.

 

Martyn Day of the law firm called the plan a “fair set of demands on the governments whose countries grew rich at the expense of those regions whose human wealth was stolen from them.”

 

Day said an upcoming meeting in London between Caribbean and European officials “will enable our clients to quickly gauge whether or not their concerns are being taken seriously.” It was not immediately clear when the meeting to potentially seek a negotiated settlement will take place.

 

The idea of the countries that benefited from slavery paying some form of reparations has been a decades-long quest but only recently has it gained serious momentum in the Caribbean.

 

Caricom, as the political grouping of 15 countries and dependencies is known, announced in July that it intended to seek reparations for slavery and the genocide of native peoples and created the Caribbean Reparations Commission to push the issue and present their recommendations to political leaders.

 

They then hired Leigh Day, which waged a successful fight for an award compensation of about $21.5 million for surviving Kenyans who were tortured by the British colonial government during the so-called Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s and 1960s.

 

The commission’s chairman, Hilary Beckles, a scholar who has written several books on the history of Caribbean slavery, said he was “very pleased” that the political leaders adopted the plan.

 

In 2007, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed regret for the “unbearable suffering” caused by his country’s role in slavery but made no formal apology. In 2010, then French President Nicolas Sarkozy acknowledged the “wounds of colonization” and pointed out France had canceled a 56 million euro debt owed by Haiti and approved an aid package.

 

The Caribbean Reparations Commission said Monday that far more needed to be done for the descendants of slaves on struggling islands, saying it sees the “persistent racial victimization of the descendants of slavery and genocide as the root cause of their suffering today.”

 

Reblogged by Wade Bailey

 

Associated Press writer Duggie Joseph reported this story in Kingstown, St. Vincent, and David McFadden reported from Kingston, Jamaica.

 

Strategy Report Volume II Money Laundering and Financial Crimes March 2017. Sint Maarten.

United States Department of State

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

International

Narcotics Control

Strategy Report

Volume II

Money Laundering and Financial Crimes

March 2017

 

 

Sint Maarten

OVERVIEW

Sint Maarten is an autonomous entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Kingdom retains responsibility for foreign policy and defense, including entering into international conventions. The Kingdom may extend international conventions to the autonomous countries. With the Kingdom’s agreement, each autonomous country can be assigned a status of its own within international or regional organizations subject to the organization’s agreement. The individual countries may conclude MOUs in areas in which they have autonomy, as long as these MOUs do not infringe on the foreign policy of the Kingdom as a whole. In 1999, the Kingdom extended the UN Drug Convention to Sint Maarten, and in 2010, the UNTOC was extended to Sint Maarten.

A governor appointed by the King represents the Kingdom on the island and a Minister Plenipotentiary represents Sint Maarten in the Kingdom Council of Ministers in the Netherlands.

In June 2016, Aruba, Sint Maarten, the Netherlands, and Curacao signed an MOU with the United States to stimulate joint activities and enhance sharing of information in the areas of criminal investigation and upholding public order and security and to strengthen mutual cooperation in forensics and the organization of the criminal justice system. While the MOU is a broad-based attempt to improve all of the criminal justice system, one priority area is cracking down on money laundering operations.

VULNERABILITIES AND EXPECTED TYPOLOGIES

Sint Maarten has an offshore banking industry consisting of one bank.

Many hotels legally operate casinos on the island, and online gaming is also legal but is not subject to supervision.

Sint Maarten’s favorable investment climate and rapid economic growth over the last few decades have drawn wealthy investors to the island to invest their money in large scale real estate developments, including hotels and casinos. In Sint Maarten, money laundering of criminal profits occurs through business investments and international tax shelters. Its weak government sector continues to be vulnerable to integrity-related crimes.

KEY AML LAWS AND REGULATIONS

INCSR 2017 Volume II Country Reports

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KYC laws cover banks, lawyers, insurance companies, customs, money remitters, the Central Bank, trust companies, accountants, car dealers, administrative offices, Tax Office, jewelers, credit unions, real estate businesses, notaries, currency exchange offices, and stock exchange brokers.

The MLAT between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States, rather than the U.S. – EU Agreement, which has not yet been extended to the Kingdom’s Caribbean countries, applies to Sint Maarten and is regularly used by U.S. and Sint Maarten law enforcement agencies for international drug trafficking and money laundering investigations.

Sint Maarten is a member of the CFATF, a FATF-style regional body, and, through the Kingdom, the FATF. Its most recent mutual evaluation can be found at: https://www.cfatf-gafic.org/index.php/documents/cfatf-mutual-evaluation-reports/sint-maarten-1

 

AML DEFICIENCIES

In July 2015, Sint Maarten’s FIU reported that hundreds of unusual financial transaction investigations were backlogged at the Sint Maarten Public Prosecutor’s Office. Approximately 1,138 reports totaling $243 million have not been investigated.

The UNCAC has not yet been extended to Sint Maarten.

Sint Maarten has yet to pass and implement legislation to regulate and supervise its casino, lottery, and online gaming sectors in compliance with international standards. In addition, the threshold for conducting customer due diligence in the casino sector does not comply with international standards.

ENFORCEMENT/IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS

The National Ordinance Reporting Unusual Transactions establishes an “unusual transaction” reporting system. Designated entities are required to file unusual transaction reports (UTRs) with the FIU on any transaction that appears unusual (applying a broader standard than “suspicious”) or when there is reason to believe a transaction is connected with money laundering. If, after analysis of an unusual transaction, a strong suspicion of money laundering arises, those suspicious transactions are reported to the public prosecutor’s office.

The harbor of Sint Maarten is well known for its cruise terminal, one of the largest in the Caribbean islands. The local container facility plays an important role in the region. Larger container ships dock their containers in Sint Maarten where they are picked up by regional feeders to supply the smaller islands surrounding Sint Maarten. Customs and law enforcement authorities should be alert for regional smuggling, TBML, and value transfer schemes.

Ahead of pivotal European elections, rightist websites grow in influence.

The following post by Michael Birnbaum on March 6, for the Washington Post is a potent example, of the increasingly nationalist, populist direction that the Caucasian masses in Europe are willingly marching in. In step with their North American counterparts. The political elite on Sint Maarten will not take heed, the present course of developments in Europe and America will, force the politically progressive in the Caribbean including belatedly Sint Maarten, to unite out of a shared sense of mutual self-preservation.  To you Sint Maarteners who frequent this platform, read with an understanding and learn the salient potent lessons herein.

AMSTERDAM — On the brand-new political news website, the headlines could have been ripped from a speech by President Trump: Immigrants commit more crime, Syrian refugees are raping girls, and Muslim education is taking over the school system.

But the two-month-old Gatestone Europe website is based in the Netherlands; the contributors are Dutch. And their aim, their editor says, is to swing the debate ahead of European elections this year to deliver a tide of anti- immigrant leaders to office in the Netherlands, France, Germany and elsewhere.

Websites that focus on the perils of open borders, immigration and international alliances are expanding in scope and ambition in Europe, seeing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to harness the energy from Trump’s win to drive deep into a continent where traditional political parties are struggling. Some of the websites are registered in Russia. Others, like Gatestone Europe, are being supported by Americans with ties to Trump.

In the Netherlands, some online activists are backing a handful of anti-Muslim candidates, including the fiery Geert Wilders, who is running in a dead heat against the ruling party ahead of March 15 elections. In France, news blogs are spreading innuendo about the rivals of the anti-immigrant Marine Le Pen, who is the most popular presidential candidate in the lead-up to the election in April and May. And in Germany, some of the outlets have spread false stories about refugees raping people that were repeated by the Russian foreign minister. Fed by public anger about refugees, the Muslim-bashing Alternative for Germany party is poised to seize seats in Germany’s Parliament in September.

“There’s quite a lot of news, quite shocking, often with rape or violence and immigrants,” said Timon Dias, 29, who started Gate­stone Europe last month after several years of writing for a different anti-establishment website in the Netherlands. “We want people to learn what’s happening in Europe and vote accordingly, especially ahead of elections this year.”

Although many of the sites are small — the Amsterdam-based Gatestone Europe has only four writers, and no office — they do not need to be well established to score big on Facebook or Twitter. A spicy individual post can go viral with little regard for the history of the outlet.

It’s a crowbar in the system,” Dias said. “The main line is highly vigilant, highly critical about what the effects are of having a significant Muslim minority in the inner cities.”

The project is funded by the New York-based Gatestone Institute, which is chaired by former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, who was a finalist in Trump’s search for a new national security adviser. Contacted for comment, the Gatestone Institute made available one of its board members, retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, who said that the organization is nonpartisan and that its aim is to “move the debate to the center.” Bolton did not reply to a request for comment.

As with other similar sites, many of Gatestone’s posts are based on true events, spun aggressively to feed the narrative that mainstream, pro-European Union politicians are selling out their countries to immigrants. The site does not support any one candidate in the Dutch elections, but the anti-E.U. leader of the small Forum for Democracy party, Thierry Baudet, is a contributor.

“We report the news to our readers in a directed way,” Dias said.

Although Wilders is likely to face trouble forming a coalition and Le Pen is forecast to lose the second round of France’s presidential election, both candidates have had success in shifting ­debate in their nations onto

more anti-immigrant, Euroskeptic ground. Far-right websites are often their megaphone.

In the Netherlands, similar news outlets have already made successful forays into Dutch political life.

A referendum last year on whether the Dutch government should ratify a trade deal with Ukraine was triggered by a far-right news site, GeenStijl.

The eventual rejection of the trade deal turned into an embarrassing defeat for the Dutch government, which was forced to backpedal on its commitment to Ukraine. Opponents of the trade deal, including GeenStijl, cited an opposition to E.U. expansion and a desire not to antagonize the Kremlin as reasons to vote it down.

Pro-Ukraine-deal campaigners say they suspect that the Kremlin put a finger on the scale by supporting activists and pro-Russian trolls online, although no link has been proved. The activists, including GeenStijl, deny any connection.

But even absent ties to Russia, the news sites demonstrated a powerful ability to disrupt the pro-E.U. agenda of the Dutch mainstream, creating a political headache for Dutch leaders and feeding Western disunity that coincides with Kremlin efforts.

“The Ukraine referendum has shown what kind of mayhem they can cause,” said Cas Mudde, a Dutch scholar of far-right movements at the University of Georgia. “What impressed a lot of people was their ability to mobilize people who were commenting on websites to go out and actually vote for a cause. People weren’t expecting that.”

Now GeenStijl’s political arm, GeenPeil — Dutch for “no poll” — has spun off into a political party and is contesting the parliamentary election on the promise to hold Dutch leaders accountable.

“Until my generation, everybody had a better life than their parents. That has stopped,” said Jan Dijkgraaf, 54, a former journalist who is now the leader of GeenPeil.

He said he did not consider himself a far-right politician, but he seized on immigration as a major focus for Dutch voters.

Dijkgraaf said he could understand if a mother of three needed temporary refuge from war. “But when there are boys of 25 with these kind of muscles, you have to think, are they really victims of a war, or do they have plans to get rich, or to do something like in Brussels or in Paris?”

The Ukraine referendum sparked a number of political parties, most of which have struggled to break through Wilders’s lock on anti-immigrant discourse in the Netherlands.

Wilders was using Twitter to spark outrage and publicity long before Trump turned to electoral politics. A tweet last month of a leading political opponent, Alexander Pechtold, Photoshopped into a pro-sharia demonstration in London dominated political coverage for days. Wilders later acknowledged that the photo was fake but said Pechtold had recently been to a similar demonstration.

“They don’t care about what is really true, what is a little true, or what is fake,” Pechtold said. “And that’s of course what we have seen in the United States.”

In the far-right Web universe, the faked picture caused no uproar.

“It’s a way of speaking to people,” said Bert Brussen, editor of ThePostOnline, another far-right website where headlines on recent articles have included “Iraqis on Trial for Gang Rape in Vienna” and “Massacre by Islamic terror was again prevented in Germany.”

“A lot of what Wilders says, it’s Internet language,” Brussen said. “The Internet makes them stronger, and they make the Internet stronger.”

In other countries with elections this year, far-right sites are also thriving, attracting the attention of some of the American outlets that helped propel Trump to victory. Last year, Breitbart News — whose former head, Stephen K. Bannon, is now Trump’s chief strategist — said that it would take the plunge into the French and German markets, although there is so far little sign that it is readying to open.

But anti-establishment activists in those countries may need little help.

In France, where far-right candidate Le Pen wants to take a hard line against Muslim immigration, hold a referendum on E.U. membership and embrace relations with the Kremlin, far-right news sites have taken aim at whichever candidate appears most likely to challenge her in the final round of the presidential election, due to be held May 7. (Le Pen is expected to win the first round.)

For months, that was center-right candidate François Fillon. More recently, a surge from the centrist Emmanuel Macron has drawn a volley of darts from ­rumor-mongering websites, some of them branches of Russian state media. Macron recently took on the rumors, joking that his apparent ability to have gay affairs puzzled his wife, who is usually by his side.

And in Germany and Austria, experts say roughly 30 German-language “alternative websites” are currently operating. Many have existed for years, but they have transformed into machines to undermine traditional politicians, especially since the start of Europe’s refugee crisis.

The majority of them, experts say, tend to have opaque ownership structures, making it difficult to ascertain who is behind them. They are almost universally pro-Russian in tone, and some of the German-language sites are operated from Russian servers, though direct links to the Russian government are hard to find.

“They publish stories with a true core, building their own atmosphere around this core, what we call ‘hybrid fake,’ ” said Andre Wolf, a spokesman for Mimikama, an Austria-based fact-checking website.

Many stories seem aimed at undermining German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bid for reelection on Sept. 24. But as a center-left challenger, Martin Schulz, rose in the polls in recent weeks, along surged a flurry of fake reports — including one by the website AnonymousNews.ru falsely claiming that his father once ran a Nazi concentration camp.

Across Europe, Dias said, the possibility of change is alive.

“People feel the epicness of the times they’re living in,” he said.

Michael Birnbaum is The Post’s Brussels bureau chief. He previously served as the bureau chief in Moscow and in Berlin, and was an education reporter.

Study shows poor school infrastructure in Latin America, Caribbean.

Cross posted from the Jamaica Observer.

WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — A new study has found that only one in four students in basic education in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) attends an educational centre with sufficient school infrastructure.

 

The study undertaken by the Education Division of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean involved a comparative analysis of the relation between the state of school infrastructure in the region and learning among students from 15 countries.

 

The research involved a comparison of students’ results in the assessments of the Third Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (TERCE) and school infrastructure characteristics and it revolved around the concepts of sufficiency, equity, and effectiveness.

 

The TERCE study was carried out by the Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE), which is coordinated by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

 

 

The study concludes that only one in four students in basic education in the region attend an educational centre with sufficient school infrastructure.

 

“Sufficiency is a concept related to access to six infrastructure categories: water and sanitation; connection to services; educational or academic spaces; offices areas; multipurpose rooms, and classroom equipment. In contrast, almost one third of the students in basic education attend schools with only two or less categories that met sufficiency levels of school infrastructure.”

 

Similarly, the analysis reveals significant inequalities in access to the different categories of school infrastructure, both in terms of students’ socioeconomic status and the geographic location of schools. In general, lower income students from countries that participated in TERCE attend schools with infrastructure in poor conditions.

 

The study also confirmed that most of the school infrastructure categories are positively and significantly associated with the students’ learning achievements.

 

“Although the situation is slightly different in each country, pedagogical and educational spaces (other than classrooms), followed by connection to services and the presence of multipurpose classrooms, are the infrastructure categories that are most often associated with higher learning achievements,” the report noted..

 

The IDB and UNESCO note that the research “highlights that the challenges for countries in the region lie not only in the provision of school infrastructure, but also in ensuring that these facilities truly become spaces and environments that promote a quality education”.

Rastafari in the Grenada Revolution.

 

new-picture

The above poster art depicting a likeness of Maurice Bishop and Bob Marley was a salient reality in Grenada. Rastafari in Grenada were active participants in the revolution on Grenada.

. The following is from the paper Rastafari in the Grenada Revolution by Arthur Newland: “One aspect of the revolution that few scholars have focused on is the pivotal role played by the Rastafari brethren of Grenada in the early days of the‘Revo’—and their subsequent suffering under the People’s Revolutionary Government. The Rastafari were the first group to throw in their lot with the revolution, and without their grassroots support, it would have been difficult for the NJM to achieve success. The first images that the outside world saw of Grenada after the 1979 coup were of dreadlocked soldiers, reflecting the fact that two-thirds of the original People’s Liberation Army was Rastafari (more than a thousand brethren representing Rastas from all regions of the island). Within months, these frontline supporters fell out of favour with the PRG’s leaders and their ideology. This paper draws on the testimony of Prince Nna Nna or Ras Nang, the island’s first black belt martial artist, who trained the troops of the People’s Revolutionary Army, and at one time was Maurice Bishop’s bodyguard. His account, in an interview with Dr Ikael Tafari, of the brutal oppression of the Rastafari during the “Revo” includes allegations of beatings, imprisonment, torture and executions by the PRG. My own meeting with Ras Nang gives ethnographic insights into how Rastafari influenced the Caribbean’s political and social evolution”.  (From the microfiche records of seized Grenadian Revolution records, held at Maryland Record Office, USA, available to the public.) Crowe/Crow/Crichlow, Winston/Dennis ‘Ras/Rasta Nang Nang/Prince Nna Nna’, former member of Peoples Revolutionary Army, martial arts instructor for Peoples Revolutionary Army, jeweller, shot during an escape attempt; River Road, St. George’s; re: held in the interest of national security, public safety and public order; charged before the Courts with attempting to escape lawful custody (S.3 Preventive Detention Regulations, detained 14 OCT 1979 to 22 APR 1981 (7 months); detained again 11 JUL 1981 and released 25 OCT 1983, at Fort Rupert Prison 22 JUL 1981, also Richmond Hill Prison and Hope Vale. Shot multiple times during arrest and escape attempt from ‘Babylon’s dungeon’. The preceding is an official microfiche document establishing the identity and standing in the PRA of the man, being interviewed.

Ikael Tafari the late Rastafari ideologue wrote in his work Rastafari in transition, in an interview with Rastafari Grenadian elder, Prince Nna Nna, a black belt expert and the man who personally trained Maurice Bishop’s soldiers in self-defense techniques. What follows are transcript’s from that taped interviewin colloquial Grenadian “English(authors note the pronounciation in the transcript are in Grenadian colloquial “English”, peppered with much Rasta speak i.e. Iyaric): “Q:  Prince Nna, the crucial question is: why did the PRG look on the Rastafari as a threat during the course of the Grenada Revolution?

 

A:        Because the Rastafari were more popular, more grassroot and more genuinely revolutionary than the Maurice Bishop administration at that time.

 

Q:        What kind of following did the Rastaman have during that period?

 

A:        Rasta had a bigger following then than Bishop and his people.

 

Q:        What kind of number among the Rases themselves are we talking about here?

 

A:        At that stage, remember, it wasn’t Rasta alone. It was Rasta and the general public which fully supported the Rastafari cause. You could even see this at our weekly Nyahbingi meetings. Plenty more people were coming to our Nyahbingi celebrations than those going to Maurice Bishop and dem political meetings. And that caused jealousy.

 

Q:        What number of Rases in the town area would be gathering at these Nyahbingis?

 

A:        At that time, approximately a thousand to twelve hundred Rastas—I not speaking yet of sympathizers and people coming to hear what the Rastaman had to say.

 

Q:        You mean three or four hundred people from the general public?

 

A:        Plenty more than that. Whole villages of people. Especially in places like Victoria, Gouyave and Sauteurs and right in St. George’s.

 

Q:        There were more Binghiman in the country than in the town at that time?

 

A:        The Rasta people in Grenada in that period lived more in the mountain, in the interior. A good portion of brethren also lived in the town, but the biggest concentration was in the hills. Rasta in Grenada was more originally a hills vibration like in most of the other Caribbean islands. It was the Maurice Bishop administration that ran the Rasta out of the hills.

 

Q:        At what stage?

 

A:        That was just at the time the Cubans started to come into Grenada, say around the first three months of the Revolution.

 

Q:        That early?

 

A:        Yes. Very early in the Revolution, Maurice Bishop started fighting against the Rastafari. Technically, psychologically and then openly. There are many ways, you know. You have to be very sharp to observe these intellects and lawyers like Maurice and Radix and all the other political gangsters.

 

Q:        How many Rastas were in the original People’s Liberation Army?

 

A:        The Liberation Army was predominantly Rasta. Let’s say two–thirds at least.

 

Q:        You mean a thousand or more?

 

A:        More than a thousand. There were Rastas in it from all different regions of the island.

 

Q:        Did any of these Rases sit on any of the popular representative bodies of the Revo-like zonal councils or committees for example?

 

A:        Well, the Rasta people were on the frontline, looking to preserve the peace and security of the country and to quell any violent opposition, like. Rasta at that time was a middle man and a liberator. His part in the Revolution was keeping the peace while Maurice and dem part was organizing political power. So while the Rastas were on the battlefield looking to secure the Revolution, Maurice and his little clique were preparing to set up the government.

 

Q:        And getting together a whole new army of his own from his hometown, St. Paul’s, too?

 

A:        Yes, and recruiting foreigners in important position, too. And giving them ranks even higher than those of the genuine revolutionaries who had fought to win freedom for the people. Most of the people who fought the battle in Grenada against Gairy and afterwards, too, never really got their due honour or respect or authority. But, seeing that the Rasta people were ever willing to sacrifice their life for the Revo, it was strange that Maurice and dem ended up putting the Rastas as their enemy, just because Rasta was the first to tell these political leaders, look, what all-yuh doing is wrong. All-yuh done make a covenant with the people and you must fulfill it. Because Rasta was tracking all of their statements on the radio, the different promises Maurice Bishop made to the nation.

 

Q:        To what effect? You mean about marijuana?

 

A:        Well, on the air, he never made any declaration about marijuana to my knowledge, but before March 13th, the struggle had been based on a broad vision of liberating the grassroots man—spiritually, intellectually, economically and even in terms of freeing up the proper cultural use of the herb.

 

And Maurice was the main man behind the scenes identifying with the Rastaman. I say this because I personally was a very close associate of Maurice from the first days of the Revolution when Grenada was just militarizing. I was the Physical Training (P.T.) instructor for the whole army. So I was lobbying for the Rasta people, and had the opportunity to speak closely with the revolutionary leader at that time and discuss Rasta problems with him.

 

And when Maurice formed the new government and left out Rasta completely, I told him, the first time we met after the government had been formed, that he should never do what he did behind the Rasta people’s back, and furthermore, the Rastafari should have their representative in the government to secure the Rastaman’s interests, and to make sure that the people of Grenada get justice—all the different cultures and religions—because I could see where the leadership was heading from the time that they could set up a government without including the Rastafari who were the main spearhead of the people’s struggle at that time.

 

Q:        Did the Muslims sympathize with these views held by the Rastas?

 

A:        At first, some of the Muslims were vexed with the Rastas for taking up arms to support the Revo, especially since the Muslims were more advanced in revolutionary strategy. They were more aware when it came to politics than the Rastas, and in their military training, too. At that stage Rasta’s concern was less with politics and more with basic survival. But when the Revolution began to get into full swing and Maurice cry out for help and made his covenant with the nation, the Rastaman began to gear up himself militarily. He was always in the Revolution as the vanguard of the people’s consciousness, you see, but now he began to get himself more politically organized.

 

Q:        Were the Muslims in close co-ordination then with the Rases?

 

A:        True. Both were prepared to struggle alongside one another in the Revo, because at one stage, all the people who believe in the Supreme Architect, the mighty I AM—the Rases call him Rastafari, the Muslims call him Allah and the Christians call him Jesus Christ—at that stage there was a real spiritual unity among all these different religions in Grenada in the face of a common persecution.

 

Some of the Muslims were I and I true brethrens and when we get the opportunity we pray together, too. I pray in my own Rastafari tradition and they pray in their Muslim tradition and we respect each other—especially brethren such as Bilal, Yusuf and Habib. Certain days we come together and I explain my spiritual tradition and they explain theirs and we reason together about our beliefs. There was never any conflict among I and the Muslims because I read the Koran and I even come to the understanding that certain things in there pertain to Haile Sellassie I. Also, I taught all of the Muslims Martial Arts in prison.

 

Q:        You are speaking of your shared time in detention, but before that was there that much overlap between the two groups?

 

A:        Yes, even before the Revolution there was solidarity between us. The two religions actually sprang up in Grenada at around the same time. The Rastafarian religion was earlier and more predominant, had more followers, you know, because most of the Muslims was brethren that was coming out from long established Trinidad and Guyana Muslim communities, and some from the Far East, too. The Rasta movement was more, you know, a local thing, but the Muslim and the Rasta had a very firm alliance. At one time I discover that the unity was so strong that we together could have ruled Grenada.

 

Q:        Was Bishop closer to the Rases or the Muslims?

 

A:        Well, Maurice was close to everybody. But at one point when I made the statement to the Torchlight reminding him concerning his promise to the nation about elections after six months, and the end to discrimination in the schools against I and I, and the fact that the Rasta was pushing for representation in Government—not only what he had promised but Rasta rights, in terms of participation in the consolidation of the Revo—

 

Q:        Some people argue that by bringing those charges against the PRG, the Rases were playing into the hands of the same rich people, and that the bourgeoisie, whose interests were traditionally represented by Torchlight, were taking the opportunity to manipulate the Rases’ resistance so as to further certain ultimately CIA-type interests in actively fighting against the Revo.

 

A:        The Rastafari take a different view. You see, Rasta in Grenada was all class of people, even the children of the rich.

 

Q:        But again some have argued that the grassroots Rastaman rejected those from the ranks of the petty bourgeois who sought to join the movement. Was this so?

 

A:        I wouldn’t accept that argument as such. I would have to balance it. You see, after Maurice set up the government, the Rasta people came to the full realization that this was not a genuine people’s government, as we could see it was class-biased in favour of the petty bourgeoisie—

 

Q:        It was not a genuinely revolutionary government, in other words?

 

A:        Seen. At that stage, the Rastafari did not give them the recognition of being a revolutionary government. A genuine revolutionary government would have to respect the rights of the various people of different classes and religions to be all represented at the national level. But instead Bishop took his chosen few and set up an elite with mainly foreigners to control the country.

 

Q:        Did Rastaman play a part in some of the national organizations, like the National Youth Organization, and the co-operatives for instance?

 

A:        The Rasta people took part in all the different arms of the Revolution, even the political arm. There were brethren such as Pyta from Gouyave who was an instructor in Marxism/Leninism. He was a member of the Party also.

 

Q:        So there were Rasta in the actual NJM Party structure?

 

A:        Truly.

 

Q:        From before the Revolution?

 

A:        Before and after. Plenty Rastas were members of the NJM. A good portion had also joined the Party before they came to a consciousness of the Rastafari faith. Many in the NJM carried dreadlocks, while they were at the same time studying Marxism and prepared to administrate it, too, as it was later practised full brutality—at Hope Vale, for example.

 

Q:        But surely no genuine Rastaman would have supported these policies of the PRG, carried out in many cases against other brethren.

 

A:        Many man supported them to the very end. Many dreadman were in the Army up to the end of the war. But the majority of these ended up trimming their locks, you see. To be frank, the Revolution really started with dread and ended up with bald head. Eventually all sections of the population became involved, you know, because it was a genuine people’s revolution. But the politicians destroyed this genuine revolutionary spirit of mass unity. You see, they felt themselves so wise that they thought they could set up a little government on their own, and then dash the Rasta people one side.

 

Q:        What about the role played by Ras Kabinda (Desmond Trotter) from Dominica in all this?

 

A:        Well, Kabinda is a beloved Rasta brethren I know very well. He came to Grenada when Bishop had I in prison. He went to Maurice and beg for my release from detention and Maurice agree to let me go on humanitarian grounds. But at the same time he was pressuring I to sign documents stating that I would never practise my spiritual concept against the PRG, and that if I ever engaged in such activity I would have to go into prison or exile. In this way, my faith—the Nyahbingi tradition—was technically outlawed under Maurice and dem administration.

 

Q:        At what point? Before the Torchlight issue?

 

A:        No, after the Torchlight issue.

 

Q:        So that is what really brought the confrontation between the Rastafari and the PRG to a head then: the Torchlight affair.

 

A:        No, the Rasta and the PRG was already at war over Bishop’s broken promises, both concerning elections and the end to victimization of Rasta children in the schools.

 

Q:        How soon had he promised to keep elections?

 

A:        Within six months. Arid the Rases were the first to approach Maurice about this breach of political faith.

 

Q:        So their protest took place before that of the other dissenters like Winston Whyte and Stanley Cyrus?

 

A:        Yes.

 

Q:        And yet many of the official accounts claim that the Rastas were being used by men like Cyrus Henry and Teddy Victor.

 

A:        Rasta was not used. Rasta went independently before Maurice in late September of `79—I was the elder brethren and main spokesman—I an’ I congregation of brethren, daughters and children all went up to Maurice’s home and asked him why he was refusing to call the election within 6 months of March 13 as agreed. I was detained two days after the Torchlight publication.

 

I an’ I had a gigantic Binghi on the Saturday at which the PRG was again declared to be anti-Rasta. And I was picked up on the next day—Sunday. That Binghi was held at Victoria and it shake Maurice’s whole regime, because people came out in their thousands from every corner of Grenada in solidarity. Some even had to walk to reach the spot. At that time, I was a commander in the army. We were taking some military training at that stage from the Guyanese.

 

At the meeting with Maurice, one of the points I raised was concerning the scholarships that were being given to officers in the army to go to certain countries like Cuba, Libya and Russia so as to further their studies. I told him Rasta was seeking to go to Africa to pursue career training in medicine, law and so on.

 

As Sellassie I live, Maurice turned and told I he had always thought that Rasta was only a matter of painting and carving. So then I replied to him, if Rasta was only concerned with painting and carving, how come Rastaman was the first to come out bearing arms on March l3th.

 

That was the turning point in the relationship between Maurice and the Rasta community. You see when Maurice made that statement, I an’ I could see clearly how Maurice was looking on the grassroots people. It was clear that he never intended to provide the Rastafari with the opportunity to educate and develop themselves so as to give greater service to their country.

 

I even raised the question once again, more directly, with Maurice: Why Russia and not Africa? I had the privilege of questioning him because I and Maurice were still very close at that stage. So I just call my Rasta brethren and sistren together afterwards in my yard, because that was the main place in the town where Rasta used to assemble in those days. Rasta from all over the island used to meet there in I yard and discuss Rasta problems.

 

So I say to my idren, “Beloved, I an’ I can see that Bishop doesn’t recognize I an’ I. So I-man not going to tarry among dem men.” And I just depart from the Army same time. A while afterwards, they come to me one day and suggest they would like I to set up a programme for a military parade they keeping. So I went back. And I put on one of the sharpest parade dem ever see in Grenada specially for them, and then I left and never look back.

 

So the revolutionary army eventually died. Or, I should say, the political leadership destroyed it very early in the Revolution. There was a power struggle and the revolutionaries were overthrown actually within the first two months of the Revolution. When I say the revolutionaries, I mean the brethren who first stepped out on the battlefield and made the revolution—not Bishop and dem who was all waiting on board a yacht just off the coast to escape if the attack that morning on Gairy’s army barracks failed.

 

Q:        But let’s get back to Kabinda. As I understand it, he was a key player in the whole drama between Rasta and Maurice Bishop. Bishop had become close to Kabinda originally while defending him in the celebrated case trumped up against him for murder in Dominica.

 

A:        Truly. At first Kabinda was strongly supporting Maurice. I tried to show him the kind of man Maurice was, when I was in prison. Kabinda came to the prison to visit I, and I tell him plainly in the presence of everybody how I see Maurice and his clique. I tell him I see them as wicked men who pretending to be something that they are not. Not only Maurice but all of them, because I had close reasonings with the entire core of the PRG leadership. Including, to a lesser extent, Bernard Coard. From the first time I met him I could see that he loved to dominate. Because he came into the room with a martial arts class in full progress. And he had to interrupt it, you know. He never show no respect. But when he realize he meet up on a little Rastaman who could defend himself with words as well as with blows, then he shake my hand and say he would like to meet me again to reason further and so on. He even set up a meeting between himself and I at one stage when Rasta and Maurice was going through some conflict, but it never came to pass because they came and lock I up before the time appointed.

 

Q:        Some people believe that while Bishop was negotiating with the Rases, Coard and his OREL group, who were definitely not in favour of legalization of marijuana or Rasta representation in government, were undermining his position of leadership in the Party. So that, in effect, Bishop’s hands were tied from the start, even if he himself had wanted to grant concessions to Rasta.

 

A:        That might have been so but what I have to say is that Maurice didn’t really want these things personally, according to my knowledge of the man. After March 13, after they got into power and they started getting international recognition, I said to Maurice, “Forget about taking on America, it doesn’t make sense. Try to be non-aligned.” That is when Rasta had come out and publicly pledged allegiance to the new government. Rastaman had actually offered his services to Bishop to build the country. Rasta with all kinds of intellectual training were willing to give him their counsel. But he prefer to take Cubans as his advisers. And I realize that a lot of these outside people who had only just come to Grenada try to belittle I an’ I in the presence of Maurice, when Rasta was the real Field-Marshal General of the Revolution. Rasta entered the Revolution at the top. We didn’t go into the Revolution as a divided house.

 

We had we own organization, we unity and we own military weapons. And the people’s support as well. So we had the right to know anything going on that could affect the fate of the revolution. Rasta stepped onto the battlefield in Grenada because we hear the people cry out for help and we see that blood was going to run red. But Rasta didn’t enter the Revolution as a people that come to dominate, but as a liberator. We discuss the whole question about Rasta involvement among weself on the eve of the overthrow, and we come to one mind to step forward in the service of the black people. But since Maurice and dem never ground with the people, they cause whole heap of problems. On the morning of the coup, only one person was killed. But afterwards Maurice regime kill many people, so many innocent people.

 

Q:        I notice you said that the Revolution should have pursued a policy of non-alignment, but could Grenada realistically afford to be scrupulously non-aligned? Wasn’t it a matter of survival why the PRG lined up with Russia and Cuba, I mean as a matter of self-defence?

 

A:        What a lot of people do not know is that it was not Cuba that first stretched out the hand of substantial military assistance to the Revolution. It was Guyana. Guyana sent military advisers and men expert in combat techniques and from the start gave the Revolution military weapons, but Maurice had other ideas. He wanted to shift to Cuban support because of reasons of ideology and culture. You see, the Guyanese military was mostly black man, and they were very sympathetic to the Grenadian popular culture and the Rastafari. But Maurice wanted to play down these genuine revolutionary aspirations and independent cultural feelings among the Grenadian people and pretend that the Revolution was Cuban or Marxist-inspired, to suit his own purpose. Bishop aligned himself with an outside force—Cuba—which tried over and over to dominate events in Grenada and impose their ideas born out of a different cultural situation, you know.

 

And yet the PRG could have drawn strength from better sources of ideas in their own country. But Maurice and dem chose instead to get together two or three college boys who were mostly afraid to come out and face the Green Beasts on March 13, and give them big ranks over men who were vigilant on the battlefield in dem early days of the Revo. So that was the first overthrow, when the PRG side-stepped the genuine revolutionary freedom-fighters and set up a petty bourgeois friendship clique to control the military in the name of revolution. But the main force that really overthrew the Gairy government in Grenada on March 13 was the Rastafari.

 

Q:        The Muslims did not play any significant role?

 

A:        Well, maybe individual Muslim, but not Muslims as an organized group.

 

Q:        But Habib and Yusuf were in that episode.

 

A:        Yeah, I won’t doubt.

 

Q:        And James Herry and the Budhlall brothers and other Black Power people, right?

 

A:        True. But although the NJM and their allies had military strength, they still did not have the power to capture the country. The NJM was pure paper cells. There were other forces in Grenada that created the Revolution beyond Maurice and dem. It was the grassroot village organizations across the countryside, especially St. Patrick’s, who had the people with them all the way. Maurice had he support too, but they were mostly cowards. They couldn’t face the battlefield. Some of dem were willing and prepared—Layne and Selwyn Strachan and such like—I don’t say no. Dem was there on the morning of the overthrow, too.

 

Q:        And those men were quickly given rank?

 

A:        That’s right. They had very little military training technically. Only Strachan Phillip was a full military soldier. Bishop and dem was so dogmatic that they never took the trouble to educate their party supporters much, military-wise. Only a few of them. Instead, these men were allowed to run around flashing rank. While the main revolutionaries who put their lives on the line never reaped anything from the revolution besides execution, exile and imprisonment. Maurice Bishop’s real aim was not to uphold any genuine revolutionary administration, you know. His main aim was to uphold a petty bourgeois dictatorship, you see, so with regard to the grassroot people, like Yusuf and Strachan Phillip, who were serious about revolutionary change in Grenadian society—Maurice had to destroy them, that was the only way he could get to perpetuate he little stupidness.

 

Q:        Did you know the two Rastaman from Tivoli, Gravel and Skull?

 

A:        I knew all the man dem. Skull was a very religious brethren. Gravel was a big strong Rastaman.

 

Q:        They were close to Buck and KB (Budhlall)?

 

A:        Yeah. Well, they were all from the same region and belonged to the same organization. They entered the Revolution together. These men were highly educated, too. I had many discussions with them in detention and they proved to be remarkable scholars in their own right… Going back to the case of Kabinda. Maurice and dem deport Kabinda from Grenada when the reality start to come out in the open that the PRG was oppressing Rasta. Kabinda began to see for himself the kind of man Maurice really was.

 

Q:        But originally he was in favour of Maurice?

 

A:        He loved Maurice, I can tell you that personally. But he had to draw the sword on Maurice wordically and show him he was being unjust. From the time Kabinda spoke out at the Binghi in September `79 in Gouyave where the Rasta house for the first time brought up official charges against the PRG—from that time Kabinda’s days were numbered. From the first week of the Revo, the PRG was encouraging Rastas to trim their locks. And when they did trim, they were given rank.

 

But it all came to a confrontation at the Binghi in Gouyave where I an’ I denounce Bishop and dem as traitor to the Revolution, because Revolution stands for rights and justice and respect for your brother and he that labour must hold the reins. But they never want to give I an’ I equal rights at all. And from that day—the first seven days of the Revolution—there was tension between the PRG and I an’ I. And a next thing that make it worse was the fact that I and another brethren Bronson was in command of the whole of St. George’s, the capital. We had we own transport and we own soldiers to patrol the whole region, right. We had authority to search who we want to search, destroy what we want to destroy and take what we want to take. But the Revolution never really loot or burn, because I and my Rasta brethren hold the roots people steady. We used to print pamphlets and other literature, too, and educate the people.

 

Q:        Ras Nang, was any Rastawoman featured in these activities?

 

A:        Plenty Rastawoman was on the battlefield; at that time it was more balanced in that respect, although, as you know within I an’ I faith the man always be predominant numbers-wise. Not only the knotty-dread man but the people in the villages in general used to move close with I an’ I and support the Rasta cause. It was a really joyous time. The people and Rasta came closer together in the time of Maurice, you know, because when the grassroots people saw what Maurice was doing, the only voice that would speak out against the injustice of the PRG was Rasta voice. The Grenadian people herald the Rastas as the champion of the masses.

 

I an’ I tell Maurice face to face, give the people what you promise them, otherwise I an’ I going to demonstrate against you, see. Plus they were trimming Rasta children to go to school and forcing them to trim if they want to go away on scholarship and all dem kind of things. I know a Rastaman called Medic, they forced him to trim to go away to Cuba for further training. At least, he is a police now, but I still consider him a Rastafari today. He trim but he never forget his Rastafarian principle of brotherhood. Up to now he have excellent relations with I an’ I and the public.

 

Bishop did not want we children to go to school with dread on their heads. He force one Rastaman (Ras Coach) to trim he children, and is from there that we decided to visit Bishop and confront him about these matters. All this was in the first month of the Revolution. When Maurice started to pick up de Rastas and lock dem up, many of the petty bourgeois people and the masses draw in close in solidarity. So he had the fight from all angle. When I say ‘petty bourgeois,’ I mean just a small percentage—his own political enemies. Maurice was working on them too. He fire nuff of dem from their jobs. In those times to get a work you had to be on the NJM’s political side. Rasta didn’t like that kind of political victimization. He went in the Revolution to get rid of downpression and when he see a new form of downpression infiltrating the Revolution, Rasta start to fight against it same way.

 

Maurice thought the Rases were he personal friends—give we a little drink and laugh and share out a little money like how he was accustomed to doing with his political patronage, and everything would be fine. He never realize that Rastaman is an independent spirit. You can’t really buy him. Because Bishop offer me nuff things. Today I read many of the books on the Grenadian Revolution, and I laugh at some of these authors. Probably if I had the money, I would sue a lot of them and get back some of the money that they made from spoiling I and my brethren’s name internationally with a heap of false allegations and reckless statements. Some of them never even visit Grenada much less to know what really took place.

 

This whole thing about the Torchlight incident and the idea that Rasta was supporting CIA: Rasta was never guilty of these charges. I and another brethren, Erasto Jo-Jo, came together in October and decided to fling in some arrows, because from March 13 things was boiling and boiling, and we had many audience with Maurice without getting any justice. We decided that since we were bearing arms in defence of the Revolution daily and nightly, we had the right to criticize and seek to get the movement set in a proper direction. I-man was a firm supporter originally of Maurice, but when I start to witness certain abuses, I realize that Rasta had to speak up to ensure that the people got their rights.

 

Because, to be honest, the Rastas could have secured their own particular interests during the time of the Revolution, but it would have been at the expense of the rights of the masses of people. Things were going on and the leadership that was supposed to be responsible for the Revolution did not even know. But I was in full touch with the people, so I knew what was going down. I was a decorated soldier and main security for the top Party echelons. Three times they begged I to take on the responsibility for the personal security of the PM. Everywhere the CC went, I had to be there. So I had access to their private counsels and I knew everything that they knew, as well as what they did not know. And for that cause, when I exposed them, they tried desperately on several occasions to kill I. But they couldn’t kill the Rastaman at all. By the powers of Sellassie I, I live to record this portion of history.

Selah.

 

 

 

In Grenada, nutmeg heads up an economic revolution December 2, 2013.

World Bank

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

 

In the Eastern Caribbean, agriculture is one of the quickest industries for creating jobs and businesses.

Individual farmers with smallholdings are highly vulnerable to economic and climate shocks which threaten their livelihood.

Latin America and the Caribbean has huge potential to be a global food superpower in the coming decades.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger are often key baking ingredients. But on the island of Grenada they are also central ingredients in a burgeoning economic revolution.

 

The world’s second largest exporter of nutmeg, holding 20% of the market, this ‘Spice Island’ is now betting on agriculture to become an additional engine for an economy looking to diversify away from the usual sun and sand tourism and also shore up food security for its inhabitants.

 

While Latin America as a region is rich in water and arable lands (the region play’s home to around a third of the planet’s reserves), the small island nations of the Caribbean, such as Grenada and its neighbours, have to deal with the added challenge of a highly hostile climate, including hurricanes, severely limited freshwater supplies – which worsen further during the dry season – and a rising sea level.

 

Now smallhold farmers on this island paradise, situated some 200km off the Venezuelan coast, are leading an initiative to refocus Grenada’s economic profile with a project which has also caught the attention of other governments within the region.

 

Earnest Mitchell is just one of this next generation of local farmers.

 

“I’m thinking of doubling my production next year,” he explains with pride while showing us around his small farm perched high in Grenada’s fertile mountain region.

 

Earnest is one of 1,500 farmers who have taken part in a pilot project, which stands out thanks to its work “to identify our biggest challenges,” Earnest explains. This is no small feat on an island with a population of around 110 000, 70% of whom are considered to be rural. What’s more, the scheme is also opening the door to job creation on the island, where 40% of the active population is unemployed.

 

The farmers received technical assistance and financial support from the Japanese Social Development Fund and the World Bank to buy seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and tools. The crux of the project is, however, the possibility of protecting themselves from climate and economic shocks, and to better coordinate their production, especially after two consecutive hurricanes.

 

” I’m thinking of doubling my production next year. ”

Earnest Mitchell

Farmer, Grenada

Protection against natural disasters

 

While there is little farmers in Grenada can do against inclement weather in a region extremely exposed to natural phenomena, the project aims to alleviate potential economic, and also planning, havoc.

 

For example:  In 2004, Hurricane Ivan swept through the island, felling huge swathes of jungle along with many of the country’s valuable nutmeg, banana and cocoa plantations. A year later, Emily took much the same path, hampering efforts to rebuild the devastated farmlands and, above all, pushing the smallholders to respond, in desperation, with planting fruits and vegetables in an improvised manner.

 

Consequently the market has unwittingly been oversaturated by certain products while others suffer from a lack of supply, as the country experiences what experts call a cycle of over- and under-production.

 

Alongside limited water supplies and the impact of climate change, various Caribbean islands also suffer additional problems, and it is hoped that they can find a common solution.

 

“I think it’s going to be interesting to have a dialogue among all the OECS countries on this subject and see if we can do something in the future,” explains Eli Weiss, a rural development specialist for the World Bank.

 

For small hold farmers like Earnest, and their wider island community, it will be vital to protect themselves both from natural disasters and the damage they cause to their economies.

 

 

An Elevator Post for my Forthcoming Book.

SHAMANISM AS A GLOBAL CULTURAL VALUE SYSTEM vs APOSTOLIC CULTURE.

One of the critical geopolitical realities of our day is The adverse effects of GLOBAL TERRORISM. This book succinctly addresses the issue from a biblical perspective. It examines the effects of global terror on the Caribbean basins tourist driven economy.

My name is Wade Bailey and I accurately predicted the rise of the Islamic State in the Caribbean, since 2003. My critical analysis though posited from an Apostolic or biblical perspective is confirmed by US Generals, various reporters from the corporate and alternative media and professors and think tanks regionally as well as internationally. One such prominent personage is Daurius Figueria author, professor and lecturer at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. If you are resident in the Caribbean, a Caribbean heritage person or just an individual who travels to the region. The information in this book might hit a chord in you. It offers relevant real world solutions and information on a wide variety of topics, not limited to global terror, but an inclusive 21st nuanced approach. It examines Hip-Hop culture and its origins, Tupac Shakur the Black Panther’s and COINTELPRO and delves into insider information and pictures from the heyday of Death Row.  

History on a global scale is examined and current events in light of bible prophecy.

If the above topics are of relevance to you then this book is for you. The Book Rastafari and its Shamanist Origins, is the work that sparked the current book in question.

A tentative release date in the Summer of 2017 is planned for the book ;  SHAMANISM AS A GLOBAL CULTURAL VALUE SYSTEM vs APOSTOLIC CULTURE.Rastafari and its Shamanist Origins