On April 6, notorious Cuban-born terrorist Luis Posada Carriles was granted freedom on bail in the El Paso Federal Court, which will allow him to return home to his family in Miami after the payment of US$250,000. Posada, a former CIA operative, was the mastermind of the deadly bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976, and has been involved in other terrorist acts and violent campaigns against popular movements in Latin America. Washington has denied requests to extradite him to Venezuela, where he had been imprisoned until he escaped in 1985.
A March 7-11 poll by the New York Times and CBS News found that just 15% of respondents believed the US government should engage in regime change operations overseas. The poll asked: Should the United States try to change a dictatorship to a democracy where it can, or should the United States stay out of other countries affairs? Supporters of regime change operations fell 12 points from 27% in 2004 and those who believe the US should stay out increased from 59% in 2004 to 69% in the March poll. The poll also found that a mere 10% of those polled support military action against Iran. Only 14% believed the US government was telling the whole truth when it claimed Iran is supplying Iraqi insurgents with weapons to use against US forces occupying Iraq.
On February 25, 12-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache in Maryland. A simple tooth extraction could have saved his life, but by the time he received medical attention a tooth infection had spread to his brain. Drivers family did not have private health insurance and their Medicaid coverage had expired. Even with Medicaid, many people have to travel several hours to find a dentist willing to treat them just 900 of the states 5500 dentists accept Medicaid patients. Figures show that fewer than one-third of children in Marylands Medicaid program received any dental care during 2005.
An extraordinary mobilisation of Rainbow Solidarity for the Cuban Five is extending around the world.
An opinion poll conducted in early February by the Washington-based Pew Research Center found that 53% of US voters surveyed agreed that the US “should bring its troops home as soon as possible”. This sentiment explains why the leading Democratic Party presidential hopefuls are trying to convince voters they have a plan to end the US war in Iraq.
The January 27 demonstration in Washington DC was the largest anti-war protest in the US since September 2005.
Five footballers at North Carolinas Guilford College were charged with ethnic intimidation and the assault of three Palestinian students on January 21. The FBI will also investigate whether the footballers should be charged with hate crimes. The three Palestinian students were brutally attacked by up to 15 members of the college football team, who used brass knuckles and called them terrorists, sand niggers and fucking Palestinians. Students at the college have condemned the attacks as racist and have begun to organise in support of the Palestinian students. On January 24, Yes! Weekly online magazine reported that students have also threatened to walk out of school if the attackers were not suspended.
Chanting “bring our troops home”, anti-war protesters rallied in front of the Capitol building in Washington DC on January 27 to pressure President George Bush’s administration to end the war on Iraq, now only two months short of entering its fourth year.
Prosecutors are calling Amber Abreu a murderer. But the 18-year-old is a victim of restrictions on access to abortion. Prosecutors recently charged Abreu, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, with procuring a miscarriage a felony that can carry a penalty of seven years in prison. They say they are planning to file additional charges, including a possible homicide charge, against her.