Archive for January 25th, 2012

An Israeli military court has sentenced the speaker of the Palestinian parliament to jail for the next six months without trial in the latest of Tel Aviv’s detentions of Hamas’ lawmakers.

Aziz Dweik, a senior official with the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas, was arrested at an Army checkpoint near the city of Ramallah in Israel-occupied West Bank last Thursday. On Tuesday, he was issued the detention order ‘without charge or legal justification,’ according to a statement from his office.

Israeli troops arrested another Hamas’ legislator, Abdel Jaber Fuqaha, at his home in Ramallah this week, bringing the total number of the Palestinian Legislative Council’s members imprisoned by Tel Aviv to 27. Nineteen members are held without charge or trial.

On Monday, two Hamas’ lawmakers, Mohammed Totah and Khaled Abu Arafa, were arrested at a compound of the International Committee of the Red Cross in al-Quds (Jerusalem). They had taken refuge at the compound a year and a half ago after being threatened with expulsion from the city.

According to Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and prisoner advocacy groups, there are currently over 6000 Palestinian prisoners, including legislators, in Israeli jails, many of whom have been rounded up without charge or trial. Independent sources put the number of the inmates at 11,000.

The latest arrests are part of an Israeli suppression campaign targeting senior Palestinian figures’ activities.

The crackdown is believed to be aimed at preventing reconciliation between Hamas and its rival Palestinian faction, Fatah.

The two sides found themselves at odds after Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006. The dispute marginalized Hamas’ governance to the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip.

Israel believes that reconciliation will give Hamas greater influence.

On Tuesday, the Palestinian cabinet condemned ‘the continued detention campaign against [the Palestinian Legislative Council’s] members’ and demanded the detainees’ immediate release.

from PressTV


Read Full Post »

Caracas, January 23rd 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The current Venezuelan government is to pursue a policy of more socialism, social justice and revolutionary, participatory democracy if successful in winning this year’s 2012 presidential elections, said President Hugo Chavez on Sunday.

The president made reference to what would constitute the next phase of the Bolivarian revolution during his weekly television show Hello President.

“Some people want to go backwards…we will continue with more socialism, more democracy and more social justice,” he explained, contrasting the Venezuelan political opposition’s vision for the country with that of the revolutionary government.

In the second programme broadcast since he returned to the show following his cancer diagnosis last year, the leader of Venezuela’s United Socialist Party (PSUV) explained that a newly elected PSUV government would continue to advance towards the goals outlined in the Simon Bolivar Plan for the Nation throughout the 2013-2019 period.

Originally implemented in 2007, the plan was designed to summarise the government’s strategic lines for advancing towards “21st century socialism”. Some of the main focuses outlined in the project are; transforming the nation’s dominant values along humanist and socialist lines, creating an endogenous productive model and a participatory democratic system, implementing measures to increase social inclusion and reconfiguring the country’s geo-political relations.

Future government policy would be geared towards furthering these objectives but with a concentration on developing organised society and protagonistic democracy, said Chavez.

“We want to unleash popular creativity from below, participation and protagonism from the grassroot’s bases, so that they can bring forward their ideas,” said the Venezuelan mandate from the Miraflores palace.

With the initial six year period of the plan coming to an end, Chavez said it would be necessary to undertake a review of how much the government had been able to progress along these lines since 2007.

“It is a constant battle against capitalist values,” said the president, who added that replacing the country’s dominant ideals with socialist ones would be “fundamental” to future government policy.

“This is related to everything, socialist ethics, we’re not going to be carrying out the Knowledge and Work Mission in order to strengthen capitalist ethics, or capitalist values… When undertaking big projects or small projects, we always have to ask ourselves, where is the socialism in this project?” he said.

The president went on to state that the government will further define the main guidelines for the next stage of the revolution during a public event in February, when the PSUV is due to commence its electoral campaign. According to predictions from national opinion polls, the current government is set to win the October presidential elections by a wide margin standing on a socialist platform.

Read Full Post »