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Friday, November 25, 2022

The FTX Customers of Our World

Viewing The Global Distribution Of FTX Clients


By Dennis Dames


Who are FTX Clients?
I have seen the pie chart from, https://twitter.com/whalechart/status/1595384133827854336... – about the global distribution of FTX customers as of “The Petition Date”. It was noted with great interest that one third of the FTX global customer base is stationed in two small Caribbean countries – namely: Cayman Islands, and Virgin Islands. Cayman Islands have 22% and Virgin Islands have 11% of the total FTX worldwide customer base – as of the (Bankruptcy) petition date.
Interesting, isn’t it? Take note, that China with a population of more than one billion people – accounts for 8% of FTX customer base – while India with a population of more than a billion people also, accounts for zilch percent of the FTX customer base – and the US and Great Britain together only account for 10% of FTX Base.
The following Barack Obama quote from more than a decade ago comes immediately to mind: "You've got a building in the Cayman Islands that supposedly houses 12,000 corporations. That's either the biggest building or the biggest tax scam on record."
The Cayman and Virgin Islands corporations business Links, tranactions and connections with FTX will be interesting to unravel no doubt.
Additionally, when we add the FTX customer bases of two Small Island Nations in the North Atlantic Territory – namely Bermuda with 5% and The Bahamas with 4%, we have a total of 42% of FTX customer base registered in four Small Island Nation of the world! That’s 4.2 out of 10 FTX customers; while at the same time, the following countries combined - account for 2.8 out of 10 of FTX clients: China, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, India and Japan. It’s indeed a very fascinating picture about, ‘money goes – where money lies.’

Monday, November 14, 2022

The goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees is on life support, says The Bahamas Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis

Prime Minister Davis Calls on World Leaders to ‘Get Real’ on Addressing Climate Change Issues


“We are entering a new climate era that will drive extreme geopolitical and economic instability.”


By Eric Rose

The Bahamas Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis on the International Struggle to Control Global Warming
SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt -- During his National Statement at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) World Leaders Summit, on November 8, 2022, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis highlighted reasons to attend the event, including because his country has to believe that “a safer, better future is possible.”

“I say that we have come, because we believe that action -- real, concerted, action -- can save the planet, and save our human race,” Prime Minister Davis said, at the Summit, being held in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt.  “And I say that we have come, because each nation here, acting in its own, enlightened self-interest, knows, in a most profound way, that we need each other to make this work.”

“I live in the most beautiful country on earth,” he added.  “But right now, even as I speak, Bahamians are mobilizing to prepare for the impact of yet another powerful storm, a Tropical Storm Nicole.

“So I come here with a simple request:  Let's get real.”

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that what was needed most at that conference was to confront “the radical truth.”

“Big, ambitious goals are important - but not if we use aspirations to obscure reality,” he said.  “The goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees is on life support.”

“This is a hard truth for many to admit because even the best-case scenarios will mean almost unimaginable upheaval and tragedy,” he added.

Prime Minister Davis stated that the realities of war, economic headwinds, the hangover from the pandemic, and competition among world powers, cannot be used as justification not to confront these imminent dangers.

“Let's get real: it's only going to get worse,” Prime Minister Davis said.  “We are entering a new climate era that will drive extreme geopolitical and economic instability.”

“Statements without binding commitments or enforcement mechanisms have been used again and again as a way to postpone real action,” he added.  

“Yes, the world's wealthiest carbon polluters should pay for the very extensive loss and damage caused by their emissions.

“But 'getting real' means understanding that it will be self-interest that drives decision- makers.”

Prime Minister Davis noted that he was not there to ask any of those in attendance to love the people of The Bahamas with the same passion as he does, or even to act on behalf of future generations in their own countries.

“I'm asking: what is it worth to you, to prevent millions of climate refugees, from turning into tens of millions, and then hundreds of millions, putting pressure on borders and security and political systems across the world?” he asked.

He added that he was not telling those in attendance to overhaul the World Bank for that “new climate era” because it was the right thing to do.

“I'm telling you to get smart and act quickly to address the systemic risk of climate change,” Prime Minister Davis said.  “Multilateral banks must play a crucial role in scaling up financing options that will provide real solutions.”

“I'm not here to tell the private sector to give up caring about profits,” he added.  “I'm here to say that in a world of profound instability, your profits are very much in danger.  So, we need to work together to transition the world to clean energy.

“Let's get real about what's coming. Let's get real about what we need to do next.”

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that most Bahamians were descended from people who were forcibly removed from their homes, shackled in the bottom of boats, and shipped across the Atlantic.

“We are the children of the survivors of that man-made tragedy,” he stated.  “We inherit their moral imperative.”

“We have a duty to fight for our survival, as they fought so desperately for theirs,” Prime Minister Davis added.  “So, even as we have urged the world to act, we have not waited.”

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that Bahamians knew that they “have what it takes” to provide the kind of leadership and innovation that contributed to meaningful solutions.

He noted that The Bahamas’ mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes were a critical carbon sink.

“While others were talking, we took action, and passed innovative new legislation to deal with Blue Carbon,” Prime Minister Davis pointed out.  “We created a regulatory framework for dealing and trading in carbon credits.  Other countries are already considering adopting our model.

“And just this past Sunday, we agreed in principle with the IMF, to partner together, among other things, to determine how carbon credits can be used productively, as a new asset class,” he added.  “Yes, this is what real, life-changing action looks like.  We in The Bahamas are not sitting still.

“We will not flinch from confronting the hard truth.”

Prime Minister Davis stated that The Bahamas would also continue to offer its leadership, and its drive for innovation and ingenuity.”

“Whoever you are, wherever you are, bring your climate solutions to The Bahamas,” he said.  “Help us convert our front-line vulnerabilities into cutting-edge solutions for all.

“Because we refuse to lose hope,” he added. “We will not give up.

“We have no other choice.”

Prime Minister Davis noted that the alternative compels Bahamians to present themselves at their borders as refugees.

He added: “The alternative consigns us to a watery grave.  The alternative will erase us from history.  This is why we fight.  We will continue to lift up our heads toward the rising sun.  We will continue to march on.  We will continue to believe that a safer, better future is possible.

“Because all our lives – all our lives – depend on it.”


Source

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Threats to Venezuela's Food Sovereignty

Fuel, Cartels and GMOs: New Challenges in the Venezuelan Countryside

Expensive fuel and inputs, agribusiness cartels and GMO seeds are present threats to Venezuela's food sovereignty according to grassroots collectives.


Food Sovereignty Venezuela
From the onset of the Bolivarian Process, the Hugo Chávez government implemented policies to democratize food production in Venezuela.

From the 2001 Land Law all the way to the nationalization or creation of companies such as AgroPatria or Pedro Camejo (1), the goal was to ensure the sector was not subjected to the whims of the market and to support small and midsize production, especially from popular power organizations.

In recent years, an economic crisis heavily exacerbated by US sanctions has driven a liberalization of economic policies.  The Venezuelan countryside has been no exception.

One hurdle after another

The tools that once propped up campesino production have disappeared step by step.  The so-called “strategic alliances” have seen companies that supplied seeds and fertilizers (AgroPatria) or tractors (Pedro Camejo) transferred to the private sector.  This new scheme benefits large-scale producers above all.

In cases like sugar, state-owned mills have likewise been handed over to private owners, with devastating consequences for cane growers.

The latest blow has been the government decree that diesel be sold at 50 cents a liter, a price that might be unaffordable for many campesinos.   Amidst severe fuel shortages, diesel had been available either through a rationing plan or via the black market, but little by little the sale at “international” prices has become widespread.  Diesel is crucial for agriculture, fueling tractors to plow the land and trucks to transport harvests.

Fuel shortages have been tougher for us than the (Covid-19) pandemic,” Ricardo Miranda, from the Pueblo a Pueblo collective, told Tatuy Tv.

Pueblo a Pueblo brings together some 270 campesino families in the center-west part of the country.  Its main goal is to link directly with organized urban communities to distribute food at fair prices, without intermediaries.

Though diesel at 50c/L has been made “official” recently, Miranda said that in states such as Trujillo the alternatives are buying it at US $2 a liter from smugglers or enduring queues that could last for weeks.

“This price has a knock-on effect on all budgets and transportation costs.  This will mean a larger burden for the people and another source of inflation,” the Pueblo a Pueblo member claimed, adding that whatever subsidized fuel remains has been directed to large-scale producers.

Andrés Alayo, spokesman from the Campesino Struggle Platform, also stated that “production costs are sky-high” for campesinos presently.

“Between the dollarized fuel, the very expensive inputs and plowing, etc., producers are in a very delicate situation,” he summed up.

For his part, Miranda stressed that even under difficult conditions, campesino families continue producing and providing a large percentage of the food that is consumed.  In his opinion, the current circumstances have led to an expansion of agroecological practices and alliances between grassroots organizations.  Pueblo a Pueblo currently has a program with the Ministry of Education and urban collectives to supply some 250 school canteens across the country.

Still, hurdles for small and midsize production are just part of the picture.  The flipside is a playing field that is ever more tilted in favor of large landowners and agribusiness.

Cartels and dumping

“The fastest growing sector in Venezuela in recent years has been agroindustry,” Alayo told Tatuy Tv.  The growing influence of large conglomerates begins to be felt.

In recent weeks there have been several protests from corn producers who demand that the government regulate harvest prices.  Though some institutions, including the vice presidency, pledged to address the concerns, there has been no answer thus far.

According to the Campesino Struggle Platform spokesman, there are clear “cartel” dynamics at play. “For agroindustries it is very cheap to import corn, and they use that to set prices that are completely impossible to meet for national production.”  Alayo highlighted that it the state’s prerogative to “intervene” and protect its sovereignty.

The Platform, which played a key role in the 2018 Admirable Campesino March, does not rule out another massive mobilization in defense of campesino rights in the coming weeks.

Miranda expressed a similar opinion: “monopolies put pressure on the government,” which not only fails to support campesinos but leaves the market to be ruled by business sectors.  “It is a perspective that sees food as a commodity that is becoming more and more prevalent,” he concluded.

A further “threat” for rural producers has been the reopening of the Venezuela-Colombia border.  According to Alayo, campesino groups from the Andean region are sounding the alarm bells over a “massive dumping” of Colombian goods, especially vegetables.

“If our campesinos end up bankrupt, Colombian agribusinesses will take over the market and hike prices,” he warned.

For his part, Miranda explained that Colombian produce has informally crossed the border in recent years by just paying covert “taxes” to what was then the government-appointed “protectorate” in Táchira state (2).  Nevertheless, he believes the regularization of border crossings and the levying of import/export customs tariffs on both sides will eventually mitigate the impact of food coming from Venezuela’s neighbor.

Potatoes are a priority foodstuff for Pueblo a Pueblo.  “Colombia has free trade agreements that saw its market flooded by foreign potatoes (e.g. frozen french fries) which then had consequences on this side of the border,” he detailed, stating that Colombian potatoes were much cheaper than Venezuelan counterparts.

Gustavo Petro’s customs policies and the reactivation of Venezuelan production after the pandemic have allowed Pueblo a Pueblo to once again set up its “potatoes for life, not for capital” program.  Campesino organizations store potatoes for months at high altitude before releasing them on the market at fair prices to tackle speculation.

A (genetically) modified scenario


The rise of agribusiness in Venezuela has been quite visible, and it has even been showcased in government broadcasts.  There are large tracts of land that grow two products above all: corn and soy.  But this practice has another facet to be taken into account: the use of genetically modified seeds.

Campesinos have denounced the presence of GMO seeds in different parts of the country.  This violates the 2015 Seed Law,” Esquisa Omaña told Tatuy Tv.  She is a member of the “Venezuela Free from GMOs” campaign.

The organization has not had access to the alleged seeds but has called on Venezuela’s National Seed Commission (Conasem) to investigate the complaints.  However, according to Omaña, there is currently “no capacity or interest” from institutions to address the situation.

The activist, who is also a researcher at the CiECS center in Córdoba, Argentina, said that a common practice involves bringing in corn labeled for consumption which is then repackaged and sown.  While the use of genetically modified seeds is illegal, importing genetically modified food is not.

“The issue of food sovereignty is key, but even beyond that the consequences of GMOs have been well established,” Omaña affirmed.  “The seeds come with a technological package, with chemicals such as glyphosate that contaminate the air and soils. This is the deadly agribusiness model,” she concluded, referring to studies that show how toxic substances end up in soft tissue.

The “Venezuela Free from GMOs” campaign has argued that packaging legislation, alerting consumers to the presence of GMOs, is a priority.  Similar laws have been enacted in Europe and elsewhere.

At the same time, Omaña brought up the importance of “working on public consciousness” to generate healthier consumption habits.  By shifting more towards legumes (e.g. beans), tubers (e.g. sweet potato) and musaceae (e.g. plantains) that are not associated with agribusiness, people will in turn be less vulnerable to its interests.

The crisis and the US blockade have had devastating consequences for the Venezuelan people, from deteriorated living conditions to mass migration.

In a context where sanctions are firmly in place and there are positive signs of economic recovery, it is just as clear that there is a reconfiguration process going on that surrenders protagonism to the private sector and multinational corporations.

In what concerns food production, agribusinesses have become the main actors, with the government openly calling for foreign investment in the sector and offering all possible advantages.  It is a “pragmatic” vision that imposes capitalist logic, or allows it to impose itself.

On the other side stand campesino families, some of them organized and others not, facing growing difficulties to go on producing.  The lack of state support is worsened by the cartel practices of corporations and the penetration of GMOs.  The threats to Venezuela’s food security and food sovereignty keep growing.

But at the same time, campesino movements have shown time and again that they are ready to struggle and fight, be it to accelerate radical changes or to resist attacks against the achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution.

Notes

  1. In 2010, Chávez nationalized seed and fertilizer supplier AgroIsleña over repeated complaints that it abused its monopolistic market position.  It was renamed AgroPatria.  In recent years, the company was plagued by corruption accusations and was transferred to private corporation AgroLlano 2910 in 2020.  Pedro Camejo was created in 2007 to supply tractors, transportation and technical support to rural producers.  Beginning in 2019, its plants and assets were transferred to regional governments which in turn passed them on to the private sector under “strategic alliances.”

  2. Blaming a lack of cooperation and hostility from opposition governors, the Maduro government appointed so-called “protectors” to four states where Chavismo lost gubernatorial races in 2017.

Source

Monday, November 7, 2022

Cuba celebrates a victory in its struggle against the U.S. blockade with overwhelming support in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) against the U.S. economic embargo

The extraterritorial impact of the blockade harms the sovereignty of the countries of the United Nations, sanctions their businessmen and impedes access to their ports for third party ships that dock in Cuba


By Maby Martinez Rodriguez


UN Against US Blockade on Cuba
Cuba celebrates Thursday a new victory in its struggle against the U.S. blockade, by achieving overwhelming support in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for a resolution approved by 185 votes in favor, two against and two abstentions.

The report presented for the thirtieth time states that only between August 2021 and February 2022 that unilateral policy caused Cuba losses in the order of 3,806.5 million dollars.  The figure is 49% higher than that reported between January and July 2021 and a record in just seven months.

At current prices, the accumulated damages during six decades of the blockade amount to 150,410.8 million dollars, with a great weight on sectors such as health and education, in addition to the damage to the national economy and the quality of life of Cuban families.

In the first 14 months of the Biden Administration alone, the losses caused by the blockade amounted to 6,364 million dollars, which is equivalent to an impact of more than 454 million dollars a month and more than 15 million dollars a day, according to the document.

The extraterritorial impact of the blockade harms the sovereignty of the countries of the United Nations, sanctions their businessmen and impedes access to their ports for third party ships that dock in Cuba.  It also prevents the importation into Cuba of articles produced in any country when they have 10% or more of U.S. components, the foreign minister denounced.

Source

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Amnesty International Says: The Biden administration must grant Haitians access to asylum in US territory

Haitians fleeing their country amidst a humanitarian and human rights crisis should be welcomed and have the right to seek safety in the USA without discrimination
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International 



Amnesty International Speaks on Haitian Asylum Seekers to The USA
In response to unconfirmed reports that the Biden administration is considering holding Haitian asylum seekers in a third country or expanding capacity at an existing facility at the US detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International said:

“Haitians fleeing their country amidst a humanitarian and human rights crisis should be welcomed and have the right to seek safety in the USA without discrimination. They must not be held in a third country or a US navy base infamous for unlawful and indefinite arbitrary detention and torture.”

“Amnesty International has demonstrated that successive US governments have tried to deter Haitian people from claiming asylum in the United States through the application of policies designed to intercept, detain, and remove them, starting in the 1970s and continuing with Title 42.  Their tactics have included unlawful pushbacks at sea, mass detention, torture or other ill-treatment, and expedited removal proceedings with deficiencies in individualized screenings.  In the 1990s, for instance, US authorities shamefully detained Haitian asylum seekers living with HIV in camps in Guantánamo Bay.  Similarly, between September 2021 and May 2022 alone, the USA expelled more than 25,000 Haitians, many under Title 42.  The Biden administration has only reinforced harmful historical tendencies which have stereotyped Haitians as bearers of disease, standing to further stigmatize and discriminate Haitians based on their race and nationality.”

“It is time for the United States to put a stop once and for all to this discriminatory treatment and make sure that Haitian asylum seekers have access to US territory and due process without discrimination to exercise their rights to seek asylum, including individualized assessments of their international protection claims.  The ongoing operations at the Guantánamo Bay naval base are already marred with horrendous human rights violations, and Amnesty International has long called for the detention facility to be shuttered for good.  The United States must refrain from using this site to commit more abuses.”

Source

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

British PM Rishi Sunak proves that his apparent cultural difference offers no political distinction or innovation!

THE GOLDEN CHALICE BELONGS TO THE BOLD!


By Professor Gilbert Morris:
Gilbert Morris

Sunak’s supporters will say both that it’s early - give him a chance and he did well, appointing a cabinet and at his first Prime Minister’s question time.

But listen to him:

He simply parrots the old strategies and offered nothing newer than his ethnicity; which is itself a labyrinth of nationalities, race and ethnicities!

In his first Question Time he copied the tried and tired formula of taking the question and turning it around to attack the other side…then laughing in self-satisfaction.
Heavyweight do take such lazy, meaningless delights! [sic]
I spent a good deal of my career, trying to show elected governments that they must be bold from the first day!
If you have 5 year election cycles…you must hit pay dirt immediately with something that gives the feel of a new country with new possibilities.
Merely performing routine tasks correctly - as every previous leader has - is not a game changer!
In a 5 year cycle, you have 18 months to get a policy done, if you announce it on the first day!
If you miss that first 18 months, events out of your control - natural disasters, wars, etc. ruins plans…and you’re left making excuses!
Already, his statement on Fiscal Strategy is delayed by 15 days! As Ca Newry would say “Sigh”!
Sunak has banned fracking. That’s good! But why is it not part of a broader strategy?
If he’d banned fracking, removed all transactional taxes for small businesses and instead of sucking up to Biden - who couldn’t remember his name on their first phone call - he should have announced a global coalition of the Commonwealth, Germany, China and the 30 US Congressional group proposing a Russia-Ukraine Peace Pact.
That’s how you come out of the box as a player on day one!
I mentioned these initiatives specifically because they are within his immediate grasp. When you have a change of leader during the life of a parliament, your mandate is already active. And in the case of peace agreement…you don’t just celebrate your India ties, you leverage it because Prime Minister Modi of India would LOVE nothing more than partnering with an Indian led Britain to solve a problem created by Europe!
Moreover India is essential to the conflict in Ukraine as both Russia and the US are trying to keep India on-side; whilst China would welcome every opportunity to work with India to solve their problems. India China and Russia would also have given him Brazil and Indonesia. He’d have gotten African through the Commonwealth. Therefore, such a peace initiative would involve nearly 5 billion people on earth and immediately he would be a global player beyond Britain’s resource capacity!
The point is Britain is reeling from high energy prices: ending the conflict is the surest way to bring down energy prices in the medium to long term!

But alas…he opted for the empty - eager-to-please lackey approach; proving that his apparent cultural difference offers no political distinction or innovation!

Source 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

The Cuban Identity In Cuba

Save Cuba From Capitalism


The most revolutionary thing today is to be anti-capitalist

 

By 


Cuban Identity in Cuba
October 10 materialized, in the same cry of rebellion, the most revolutionary spirit of the times.  It had its first expression in the call for unity that has mobilized Cubans ever since: unity for a free nation against any form of foreign domination.

At that time, in the very heart of the sense of our budding identity, took shape the hardest of all the contradictions we have had to work out as a people, which has marked the course of our history until today: between the will to be masters of our destiny and the temptation to be in the image and likeness of the empire; first Spain, then the United States, fulfilling the destiny of a colony that they have traced for us.

Today, under a new appearance, the dilemma is the same.  The greatest threat to a country like Cuba is not only the interference policy of the United States and its desire to dominate our economy in the same terms as 60 years ago. Circumstances have changed and the world has been reconfigured since then.  The fundamental risk that we face, together with the other peoples of our region, is the advance of capitalism with giant steps.  It puts at risk our sovereignty and survival.

With the granting of unrestricted freedom to the market, characteristic of the neoliberal model, a new type of colonialism operates, through the mechanisms of coercion exercised by international financial organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund, on national economies, demanding the imposition of structural reforms that facilitate transnational corporations the unlimited exploitation of the natural resources of our territories (here in the South) and of the labor force, in almost slave-like conditions.

The uncontrolled privatization of strategic sectors that provide key services to the population, the reduction of public spending, the precarization of working conditions, the withdrawal of the State from its responsibilities for welfare and social security, the criminalization of anti-capitalist social movements and a long list of abuses, represent now the greatest danger to the sovereignty of the former colonies.

There are those who are dissatisfied with Cuba's present, because they would like the changes to lead, once and for all, to the development of a good capitalism, as if that were possible (especially for the most vulnerable), or they want us to make concessions so that our neighbor forgives us and welcomes us back into its tutelage, as if that were worthy.

Those of us who do not want to see a history of rebellion turned into submission and abysmal social differences are not satisfied with Cuba's present either.  The only difference is that we understand that, in order to sustain the freedom bequeathed to us by our heroes and to achieve a progress that does not leave out any Cuban, the path must continue to be anti-imperialist.  The only way to be consistent with the legacy of the founding fathers is to try to save it from capitalism, to the last consequences.


Source