Things We’re Thinking About This Afternoon
- BRAZIL. Brazil’s Supreme Court has voted to make homophobia a crime like racism. The decision comes amid fears that the country’s new right-wing president (Jair Bolsonaro) will roll back LGBT rights. Brazil has a large evangelical movement, critical of LGBT rights. One LGBT rights group, Grupo Gay da Bahia, reports that 420 LGBT people have been killed across Brazil in 2018. (See https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/24/brazils-supreme-court-votes-make-homophobia-transphobia-crimes/)
- VENEZUELA. John Bolton is still pursuing his goal of creating an armed conflict in Venezuela. Opposition leader Juan Guaido’s political challenge to President Nicolas Maduro resulted in an abortive uprising last month, an uprising the Trump administration supported. The uprising was quashed by the same security forces that Guaido claimed were supporting him. (See https://www.newsweek.com/venezuela-war-talks-john-bolton-fighting-1432909)
- PELOSI: Elie Mystal, writing in The Nation Magazine: “I’m sorry, but when Pelosi goes on Jimmy Kimmel and gives him and the American people reasons for her position that are incredibly weak, I cannot just wave it all away as “Nancy Pelosi has a plan and I’m too stupid to understand it.” If she has a plan, I can’t see it. If she has a strategy, she’s not explaining it very well. What I’m hearing and seeing are weak arguments made to gaslight late-night viewers into thinking that everything is under control, even as more and more members of her own caucus manifestly break with her position on impeachment in public.” (See https://www.thenation.com/article/nancy-pelosi-trump-impeachment-jimmy-kimmel/). If you haven’t discovered Elie Mystal, you should. He’s a “no-miss” commentator. He tells the truth, refuses to be gaslit, gets mad and isn’t afraid to question.
- CUBA. At a time when Cuba has been forced once again to implement rationing of basic materials, the Trump administration is placing new restrictions on travel and remittances to the island. John Bolton, who some say will not be happy until every country he perceives as being an enemy of America is bombed out of existence, is publicly blaming the Obama administration for policies which have “enabled the Cuban colonization of Venezuela…” The policies, according to Bolton are designed to “finally end the glamorization of socialism and communism.” Bolton has accused the Cuban government of training Maduro’s military forces. In a return to the language of the 70s, Bolton has termed Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua “the troika of tyranny.” “Capping remittances is mean-spirited, and can only be understood as the U.S. government’s attempt to create economic hardship among the Cuban people,” said Emily Mendrala, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas and former national security advisor under Obama. “Ambassador Bolton’s speech conflated Cuba with Venezuela, and he announced a policy approach that does the same. The two countries are different, living through very different moments, and to exploit events in Venezuela to settle Cold War scores with Cuba is a distraction from real needs in Venezuela.”
- Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article229341009.html#storylink=cpy (See https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nationworld/world/americas/cuba/article229341009.html)
- WHITE COLLAR CRIME. Declining Prosecution of White Collar Crimes (See https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/process-of-prosecution-of-white-collar-crimes-40984) If white collar and corporate crimes were prosecuted, we wouldn’t have to deal with Trump, Manafort, Kushner and others. They would all be in jail.
- POLITICAL CRIMES. Protestors in Prague are calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Andrej Babis after a European Commission audit found that he was improperly profiting from private trust funds. (See https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48510029)