Mary Rizzo – Libya and the Dogmatism of the “left” abandons the people again.

Posted: 02/24/2011 by editormary in "Israel", Iran, Libya, Middle East Issues, People's Movements / Struggles, Rant / Musings / Discussion, Strategy for Liberation
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Gheddafi and Chavez

If one, like myself, is raised with the love of “the worker” and “the people” which exceeds any love of a party, an ideology or even a nation, it is difficult to really fit in with any established left. While the left claims that it seeks power of the people, too many times its public statements make it clear that the people to protect are instead the people already in power, despite what they might actually have to do in order to maintain that power.

In the past, I have been critical of the massive investments Fidel Castro allowed to be made by Rafi Eitan and have been told that expressing how wrong the policy of “anything at all to uphold the Cuban revolution is good, even if it means trampling on Palestinians” was. I was accused of siding with dissident Cubans. It seems that there is a belief that this leader is beyond criticism.

Again, when I have criticised Ahmadinejad (who is not a leftist leader, but currently a leader some of the anti-imperialists who do not accept pan-Arabism look to as being “the voice of truth”) for the lack of what I consider political savvy in some of his speeches and how easily they are used to deflect attention to Israel as victim and away from Palestine as real victim, I have been accused of being a Zionist… and to my eyes, the automatism of Ahmadinejad=the real anti-Zionist seems like rote dogmatism without true reflection of what precisely Iran’s role in the region’s in/stability might be. Iran deserves to be free of all instrumentalisation and to have a truly autonomous and independent domestic and foreign policy, no matter if Ahmadinejad is the leader or not, but those in the West who insist upon singing the praises of Ahmadinejad as a symbol and condemning those who don’t are using simpleton logic and do nothing that is different from those who use him as the banner for what is evil.

Today my inbox has gotten another jolt. It seems that the “Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity” is supporting Muammar Gheddafi and accusing the uprising in Libya as being the work of foreign services. Like classic dogmatic leftist propaganda, their press release attempts to equate the person of Gheddafi with the nation of Libya. Like all pieces of dogmatic propaganda, it contains some elements of truth, such as lamenting the lack of media attention for the crimes against humanity committed against the Palestinian people as well as the tendency of the forces of power in the West to attempt to hijack any popular movement and take control of it. As well, its statements about Gheddafi’s son being a benefactor in an NGO are also true, as his foundation donated 180 vehicles to the Viva Palestina mission as well as having assumed the exaggerated costs of the doomed and ill-planned Road to Hope Convoy, which did not factor in the amount of money to actually bring the goods to Gaza by boat, as is (unfortunately in these horrible times we live in) the only means possible. However aside from some facts and truth in the press statement, the core truth is that once again, the “left” sides by the power of a leader who states himself to be anti-imperialist, (despite evidence to the contrary) and instead tyrannically controls the business and wealth in a sort of State Capitalism where only a few gain and where democracy is seen as counter to the interests of the State. 

It is sufficient to read the press statement to see that the great blindspot blocking many who speak in the name of the “left” is a lack of awareness of the unstoppable force and legitimacy of the Arab masses. People in the MENA lands are divided into nations, religions, political orientation so that they can be used for a huge variety of dogmatic reasons. This is done even by their friends and supporters who neglect a very basic reality – unity across every artificial divide. There are those who blame/praise the recent uprisings on Islam, but that is again untrue. Though these are nations with a vast Muslim population, the uprisings are not religious rallies and are indeed joined by Muslim groups, but not lead by them, just as they are joined by internationalist groups, but are not lead by them. It is simply the power of human beings who live in the “Middle East” and North Africa who are demanding their political and human rights. It is their identification as a united front which brings them en masse to the largest squares in their countries, allows them to face bravely the very real threat of bodily harm and even death. 

It is the Arab human being who is being buried on the beaches of Tripoli, the cemeteries of Soussa, Manama and Cairo. It is the Arab human being who is arrested in Palestine for sharing his or her solidarity with other humans fighting for their rights. There is no limit of age, sex, religion, political credo or even social class. There is one uniting factor, the factor of Arabhood, Arab Consciousness that is drawing these people to demand to have a say in their own future and to construct their own country, and protect it for all the nationals abroad who are in exile or diaspora, ousting corrupt and tyrannical leaders who have at times used patriotism of the nation to inspire “brand loyalty” to the leader. 

Yet, these same feelings of patriotism, the beloved flags of all the independent nations, are being waved in a mass statement of unity. Arab people are supporting other Arab people across the globe, seeking to empower the individual national struggles in the name of Arabhood and humanity as a whole. The Algerian, the Moroccan, the Jordanian, the Tunisian, the Iraqi, the Egyptian and all the other national identities are not abandoned, but are instead joined together in solidarity as a sole people rising up against any outside forces or internal pressure that seeks to strip them of their power and determination to be the protagonists of their own stories. 

Just as it is wrong and improper to impose sanctions against a people to bring down a leader, as is attempted from the West and the imperialist powers (US and EU sanctions against Iran, Iraq, Gaza, to name only some), it is also wrong to have attempted to call for an economic boycott of Egypt to bring down Mubarak. To boycott an Arab nation at this time, as is expected soon from the USA towards Libya, never brings down the leader, it only weakens the masses and makes them further victimised by the oppressive powers, their own and those from outside. Boycotts are to change policy, not to bring down leaders, and they do nothing but increase suffering to the population which does not possess any kind of powers or economic clout. 

So the left, rather than support Gheddafi, should condemn the proposed boycott of Libya while at the same time accept the power of the people and abandon the dogmatism of the charismatic “revolutionary leader” when it is evident that his leadership is in place only by means of oppression. I would expect that true revolutionaries and leftists will ignore the appeal of the Chavez Foundation and will take their place alongside the Arab people in their struggle for freedom. 

(thank you Ali Baghdadi for bringing this missive to my attention).   



“To love one’s neighbor is also to love one’s enemy. Although in reality that qualifier-‘enemy’ does not exist in my vocabulary. I recognize that I only have adversaries and I have acquired the capacity to love them because in this way we do away with violence, wrath, vengeance, hatred and substitute them with justice and forgiveness.” 
Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet Gonzalez (1999)

Press Statement                                                                       23 February, 2011.

Bamako, Republic of Mali                    Tel: 00223-6413027.

This is the second statement to the Press issued by the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS), in the light of the situation in Libya. It is no more a secret to state in this Press Release that foreign powers, opposed to peace, unity and progress of Africa are in action again, leading a wicked campaign of treachery, deception and terrorism against Libyan leader, Muammar Al-Qathafi and the people of Libya. This time, the enemies of Africa are hiding behind the corrupt foreign media in their criminal attempts to attack and destroy Libya.

The international conspiracy to destroy Muammar Al-Qathafi through a carefully-calculated media frenzy constitutes the burden of each of our position statement on current events in Libya, especially the wide, vicious, hypocritical gap between the US and Western powers’ “democratic” avowal and the state terrorism associated with the activities of these so-called civilized nations towards the people of Africa, Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America. In the first place, the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace,
Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS) wonders how British Foreign Secretary William Hague can feel so comfortable in the company of anti-Libyan organized crime groups that seek the devastation and destruction of Libya. For instance, it was the British Foreign Secretary-turned-coat anti-Libyan, anti-Qathafi, anti-Africa, anti-Arab, anti-Hugo Chavez, anti-Venezuelan whom led the malicious lie to the world that Libyan leader Muammar Al-Qathafi had ran away and sought refuge in Venezuela. The malicious lie was doctored at a time British Prime Minister David Cameron was on an unannounced visit to Egypt, ostensibly to urge the military junta in Cairo to respect the so-called timetable for holding elections.

The other lies, deceptions and ill-thought-out propaganda associated with the ongoing anti-Libyan campaign in the corrupt media include the following misguided allegations, that:


It is innuendos and reckless dissipation for any foreign government, organization or the corrupt media to suggest that the competent authorities in Tripoli used Libya’s fighter jet planes against Libyan civilians. It has never happened and there is no evidence to convince any sane person to believe that the Government of Muammar Al-Qathafi ever used fighter planes against the Libyan people, since the dawn of the era of the Great September 1st Al-Fateh Revolution in 1969. As a matter of fact, there are all evidences available to conclude that the Government of Muammar Al-Qathafi does not need importing foreign mercenaries to protect Libyan life and property against the terrorist activities of organized crime groups and the corrupt media.

It is now clear that the “corrupt international media” disproportionately covers human rights violations in Libya beyond an attempted distraction from the actual situation on the North African nation. For example when Israeli army massacred Palestinian men, women and children in the occupied Arab lands and territories, there is little media coverage compared to the coverage generated over the drown attacks directed by the White House in Washington against tribes men, women and children in Afghanistan. The extrajudicial execution of Egyptian opposition leaders by US/Israeli trained agents of former government of the disgraced dictator Hosni Mubarrak was not covered by the “corporate media” despite it being a heinous crime against humanity. We assert that, the assumption that Libyan fighter planes deployed by the Libyan Government against civilians is without basis. This is further evidence that the corporate media’s claims about happenings in Libya are without substance.


The corporate media got it wrong from the beginning when it made and repeated the claim that Saif Al-Islam Qathafi, the President of the Gadafi Foundation threatened the Libyan people. When weighing the claims of the corporate media against the President of the Gadafi Foundation, one should look at Saif Al-Islam’s background. This is a man who leads a respectable Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Gadafi Foundation that has been instrumental in enforcing the principles of the Green Charter International (GCI), for peace, human rights, rule of law, democracy, freedom and human dignity in Libya and world over.

Saif Al-Islam’s statement on attempts by criminals to rob the Libyan people of their peace, freedom and dignity was crystal clear and made to urge the Libyan people to resist any foreign attempts to destroy their country. The accusations against Sail Al-Islam are false and reveal that the corporate media is ever willing to blatantly lie in order to attempt to damage the reputation and illuminating personality of Sail Al-Islam.

Thus far we have seen how a simple, clear-cut national security case became a wider, more serious problem through unwillingness on the part of the enemies of Libya to respect the sovereignty and independence of the North African nation. Instead they (the enemies of Libya) deliberately buried facts and began a campaign of gossip, tale bearing and slander against Sail Al-Islam. We have also learned how the US and Western imperialists encouraged the corporate media’s anti-Libya terrorism by listening to their unfounded and baseless allegations and treating them as true.


A number of heretics, racists and anti-Libyans have gone mad and resorted to advocate for a “no fly zone” be imposed on Libya. The objective, it is now clear-to create a corridor for aggression and violation of Libya’s sovereignty and integrity. Those who advocate for this subversive action plan are themselves collaborators of organized crime groups intending to destroy Libya.

On whether Muammar Al-Qathafi is in control of Libya, we would leave it to the sane international community to read the writings on the wall. There is no gain saying the fact Muammar Qathafai is well, kicking and performing his duties as Leader and Guide of the Revolution, and remains the legitimate leader of the Libyan masses. The Libyan Government is fully in control of its country’s internal situation, and as repeatedly said by Muammar Qathafi, the Libyan Government would not sit idle and allow any body pursue vested personal agendas, or derail the country from path of economic prosperity and sustained development.

The competent authorities in Tripoli have undertaken full duties and responsibilities through decisive action in the face of a well planned international covert agenda, and managed to restore security and protect human life and property in Libya. The US and Western governments hate-filled attacks on Colonel Muammar Qathafi are mere “propaganda” aimed at diverting growing international concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Iraq, occupied Palestine, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Anger and frustration at the collapse of the anti-Arab, pro-zionist regime in Egypt is completely understandable and shared by us, in the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS), yet that anger must not be directed at destroying.

Concluding we call upon the civilized international community to exert pressure on the military junta in Cairo not to allow any part of Egypt be use as staging posts for the destabilization of Libya.


Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh

President of the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS),

For, and on behalf of the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS).

  1. jayn0t says:

    Thanks Mary – this made me laugh. It used to be called ‘third-worldism’. But… don’t your own ideas contain a trace of the same thing? – “Westerners do have a place in the struggle, and it is on the side and in a supporting role.” – – surely people should be judged on their contributions, rather than their ethnicity? Just a thought…

  2. Mary Rizzo says:

    Absolutely NOT third worldism… it is consciousness of the identity and using that as a basis for action, (the school of Biko). That a movement for self-realisation to be authentic, its leadership must be autocthonous and not imposed from outside. The “revolutions” that have grown out of grassroots protests are by and large internal movements of the locals, supported by their nationals abroad and international supporters of their struggles.

  3. aletho says:


    What can you tell us about the “Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity” ?

    This is the official Venezuelan position on Libya, as per the FM:

    FM Maduro said he hopes the Libyan people “find, in exercising their sovereignty, a peaceful solution to their difficulties, one that preserves the integrity of the people and the Libyan nation, without the interference of imperialism, whose interests in the region have been affected in recent times.”

    My guess is that the position I cite here is more representative of Hugo Chavez’ position than the one posted above by HCIFPFS.

  4. Mary Rizzo says:

    well, on Mathabanet (Libyan) check this out: To say that there are anti-government protests going on in Libya is fictitious and a figment of imagination by those who seek to destroy the peace, stability and progress the African continent has chalked since the transformation of the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU) in 2000. What the enemies of Muammar Qathafi cannot deny is that Libyans protested en mass in Tripoli to reaffirm their support for their leaders and to denounce attempts by foreign detractors to instigate insurrection against their Government and country. as to the org itself, I have no other information on it at the moment, but saw this the other day and at the time didn’t remark on it. Today’s press statement however was just too much.

  5. Mary Rizzo says:

    at any rate, if your Spanish is good, check this out:
    Chavez says that he and Gheddafi share the same position on human rights and have for decades.
    Look, I like and appreciate a lot about Chavez. I just HATE dogmatic demagogues who have some hazy ideas about dissent, protest, human rights. I understand the south-south alliance, and i want to see collaboration between these countries to overcome the exploitation. But the other issues are not secondary either.

  6. aletho says:

    Oh come on Mary!

    El Universal is a vehement anti-Chavez publication.

    They are incessantly promoting outright falsehoods about Chavez and the Bolivarian movement. Even on this very topic a propaganda piece has already been deployed claiming that Ghadaffi is going to find refuge in Venezuela. There is absolutely no basis in reality for any of this. I can only presume that the piece you have posted is completely made up disinformation.

    Again, what can you tell us about HCIF-PFS?

  7. Mary Rizzo says:

    i have no idea about the spanish source’s credibility. I looked up the award i remembered reading about and this was the first thing (also with a photo, so it’s actually happened) that i found. Look up Mathabanet and you will find a plethora of notes from this org! In fact, look them up and there are thousands of their links, anything but a homepage, at least not on the top 5 pages) YOU think I made up this group or document? COME ON yourself! I think it would take 10 minutes of googling to find the dozens of pictures and posts where Chavez praises Gheddafi.

    I didn’t mention the rumour about fleeing, but why are you so unsure that what has been stated above is untrue? Could you yourself be just another dogmatist?

  8. Mary Rizzo says:

    Circa 84.200 risultati (0,08 secondi) for their name… i think that makes them something that has some “web presence” at the very least, don’t you?

  9. aletho says:


    El Universal is a Venezuelan mainstream media paper. The biggest one in Caracas. Part of the vast majority of media there that is owned and operated by the privileged Euro-American elite.

    Look, there are pictures of Ghadaffi shaking hands with Cameron and Obama also.

    Diplomatic posturing and awards? What have you presented that you feel honestly and indisputably represents Chavez as supportive of Ghadaffi’s totalitarianism?

    Yes. It appears that you have fallen for a sham organization. There is a vast budget for that type of thing.

    Read all about it:

    “… Since then OTI has been present in Venezuela, channeling millions of dollars each year to feed the political conflict in the country. According to the 2010 annual report, OTI is now operating “out of the US Embassy and is part of a larger US diplomatic effort to promote democracy in Venezuela”.

    The principal investment of the $9.29 million in US taxpayer dollars in 2010 went to the opposition’s campaign for the legislative elections, held last September 26 in Venezuela. “USAID works with several implementing partners drawn from the spectrum of civil society…offering technical assistance to political parties…and supporting efforts to strengthen civil society”.

    In Venezuela, it’s widely known that the term “civil society” refers to the anti-Chavez opposition.


    Despite revealing its overall budget, the actual flow of funds from USAID/OTI to groups in Venezuela remains secret. When OTI opened its offices in 2002, it contracted a private US company, Development Alternatives Inc (DAI), one of the State Department’s largest contractors worldwide.

    DAI ran an office out of El Rosal – the Wall Street of Caracas – distributing millions of dollars annually in “small grants of no more than $100,000” to hundreds of mainly unknown Venezuelan “organizations”.

    From 2002 to 2010, more than 600 of these “small grants” were channeled out of DAI’s office to anti-Chavez groups, journalists and private, opposition media campaigns…”


    What do we really KNOW about HCIF-PFS? What meaning does the web “presence” of HCIF-PFS have?

    Does it mean that Chavez has countenanced their out put? Prove it.

  10. aletho says:


    You take the word of Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh from Bamako, Republic of Mali as a more authoritative representation of Hugo Chavez than the Foreign Minister of Venezuela?

    Please don’t be surprised that I won’t follow along.

  11. jblankfort says:

    I am in total agreement with you Mary and thank you for having the courage to post this. I mentioned the friendship between Chavez and Khadafi on my radio program yesterday but this statement is totally disgusting, but unfortunately not surprising. Profitable political alliances know no ideology nor moral integrity. Thus, we saw Fidel Castro supporting the Soviet repression of the Czechs in 1968 and he even sent his air force to bomb Eritrea during its war with Menginstu’s Ethiopia because he had made the Cuban economy a “junkie” for Russian money.

    The Left, such as it is or was, has proven over the years to have just as much of a double standard when it comes to human rights as does the worst of the imperialists.
    Hence, it looked away at the repression taking place in the old Soviet Union and the so-called Socialist bloc and turned their collective backs on the people’s uprisings in those countries, blaming them on the CIA.

    Should the Cuban people ever take to the streets demanding the same basic freedoms that those in the West take for granted and that those in the streets of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, at al, have been demanding, on whose side do we expect the Western Left to be?

  12. lancethruster says:


    You’ve quite effectively highlighted one of the more crucial aspects of any advocacy; the specific actions you support of other individuals verses the claim that this support then presumes that you either *do* or *must* support their positions in toto.

    Hell, I sometimes find it hard enough to ascertain with any reliability what is actually true about another’s views, pronouncements or even actions, particularly knowing that tremendous effort is put into misinformation which is then used to neutralize these same individuals in toto.

    What I feel remains remarkably consistent in your approach is the idea that the priority is doing the right thing, taking the right action, supporting the right cause, and challenging others to deny they are worthy of being promoted or accept that they have an moral obligation in their promotion.

    This acknowledges that humans are complex and flawed by nature, and avoids as much as possible the trap that a goal or an issue sinks or swims with a given individual. More importantly, applied effectively and predictably (that’s where *consistency* comes in) particularly in regards to individuals in leadership positions, serves to offer one of the more promising ways to foster and achieve integrity and consistency from leadership.

    It’s not, “Our champions – right or wrong” and never should be. It’s more like interactions in functional relationships (i.e. “when you make these choices I am pleased and supportive, whereas as choices of this sort cause me to great concern and distress as I must work against them”).

    I’d love to go on but it’s late, I’m tired (though hopefully not completely incoherent), and have the tendency to ramble so I must be off. I write what I like but must still always work to like what I write ;-)

    One final note is I heard an interview just this morning with a fellow named Gene Sharp. He writes extensively on “waging peace” essentially. Not being familiar with him at all, I looked him up and found this on the institute he is part of (much of his material and more is available in many languages for free on the site – ).

    Their mission statement has this –

    “The Albert Einstein Institution is a nonprofit organization advancing the study and use of strategic nonviolent action in conflicts throughout the world.

    We are committed to the defense of freedom, democracy, and the reduction of political violence through the use of nonviolent action.

    Our goals are to understand the dynamics of nonviolent action in conflicts, to explore its policy potential, and to communicate this through print and other media, translations, conferences, consultations, and workshops.”

    Sounds like something you might say as I’ve seen you time and again working to bring about just solutions in an unjust world.

    “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ~ TR Roosevelt

    Be well.

  13. Mary Rizzo says: does this meet your exacting standards Comrade Atheo?

  14. Mary Rizzo says:

    thanks very much Jeff and Lance. I really appreciate your comments. Of course it is true, when you are left of the left or an anarchist or just simply for the people no matter what, no matter if the people might be asking for things that you personally don’t accept for yourself, you have no other option but to support them.

    Jeff, excellent question about the Cuban dissidents. I wonder what would happen. It was a real lesson for me (surrounded as I was at the time of the Eitan exposè by Cubans and those very much enamoured of Castro’s Revolution) to see that there was a complete barrier set up before me when the facts about “the junkie” (that was clever!) dependence on any funding of the Cuban state apparatus meant having to either denounce a violation of revolutionary standards or to accept the double standard. A discussion of this went on for several weeks and in the end, censorship won out! but the facts remain, and this brand loyalty thing really is an idea whose time has expired.

  15. Mary Rizzo says:

    been spending time, doing your research for you, Atheo, and there are literally hundreds of posts by this guy on Bolivarian revolution sites both in English and Spanish. I think as well, you seem to judge the “revolutionary spirit” and the attachment to this leader of Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh poorly because he comes from Africa. Could that be the case? Looking him up, seems he has a long history of revolutionary activity in Africa and of leftist activism and writing. Wonder why Chavez would not disassociate from a group bearing his name if he were not in agreement with their ideas.

  16. Mary Rizzo says:

    Enclosing the commentary on a newsgroup I sent this to, by an activist who I used to discuss things with quite a lot! (if he protests, I can remove it!) I think what he says is a valuable contribution to the discourse.

    Dear Mary,

    Thank you for this item. I hadn’t heard from you for a long time, since our
    latest conversation over two years ago. I am extremely pleased to read you
    now, and I wish to congratulate you: I sign your statement almost 100%. It
    is true that the official “left” (whatever that is) from countries where it
    is in power has left to desire as far as Gaddafi (and Ahmadinejad) are
    concerned. They haven’t evolved, one might say. Or rather they feel the heat
    of imperialist harassment, and they are ready to seek alliances even with
    the devil!

    This is wrong, of course. I have experienced as much abuse as you report
    each time I have criticized Ahmadinejad and his regime. I cannot understand
    how people who claim to be “leftist” can turn a blind eye to all the horrors
    the Iranian people have to endure: repression, torture, show trials,
    executions (even public and against minors of age), gender discrimination as
    well as the development of a crony capitalism for the benefit of the IRGC
    high command. And a lot more. For them, the rhetoric on behalf of the
    Palestinians is enough, and if one criticizes so much abuse of power (and
    religion!), one becomes a closet agent of Zionism and so on. I can’t
    understand how some people are able to use that very same double standard
    and tribalism we usually criticize to the pro-Zionists as soon as
    Ahmadinejad (and now in a minor measure, Gaddafi) pops up! All we criticize
    in Israel, suddenly may be accepted in Iran!

    As if the Palestinian cause enjoyed any improvement thanks to
    Ahmadinejad’s/Khamenei’s speeches! So far the Iranian factor has had no
    influence whatsoever on the Palestinian plight… Except the creation of
    more confusion.

    Now the Palestinian cause is the cause of humanity, for the sake of justice
    and freedom, against oppression, for the respect of international law
    and universal values and human rights. In Iran we have an ultraconservative
    regime which respects nothing of all that, while some of the same writers
    and politicians who claim to be on the left and who condemn Israel, and
    rightly so, turn ballistic when criticism of the Iranian regime is voiced,
    even from a point of view dwelling in the left.

    Summing up, I have enjoyed your article, because it is as courageous as to
    say the truth, fearless of any anathema it might collect.

    A caveat though. There are as many families in the left as in any other old
    tendency. And many leftists among those who are not in power and seeking
    desperate alliances, I mean leftists in the struggle on behalf of the values
    of liberation of the peoples, will be consistent in their criticism. So I’m
    receiving now a lot of condemning accounts on Gaddafi, and everyday I also
    receive information from and on Iran and disagreement with the policies and
    practices of the Islamic Republic.

    Those “leftists” who accept the Iranian exception (they wouldn’t accept in
    any other case), and even praise it, or else keep quiet (I could mention a
    couple of famous writers otherwise very committed about anything happening
    on this planet) who wrote not one word when Iran is concerned, whatever the
    abuse or the repression, or hangings, or jails… It is as if that state did
    not exist! Now if that is not a blind spot…

    Yalla!, Enrique

  17. Mary Rizzo says:

    and I’ll add to that, Enrique; a “famous writer” I used to be affiliated with even PRAISED Press TV in a public post on his site for doing a self-incriminating show against Sakineh. wow was the only sound I could utter.

  18. aletho says:

    Mary, Mary, Mary, you claim to have “done my research for me”. Did you even read the piece you linked to?

    Maduro points out that it is a double standard of some before this conflict, “who demand investigation and punishment (…) why not call those penalties against the slaughter of Iraqis and bombing in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

    Do you not agree that it is hypocritical?

    Maduro does argue against foreign intervention. Please don’t tell us that you support sending in the USMC.

    Did you feel that Maduro supported the totalitarianism? In what way exactly?

    Do I really need to explain to you that no matter how many articles Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh from Mali has written he is not a representative of Hugo Chavez nor the Bolivarian movement?

    How utterly disappointing.

    The fact remains that you have not provided one scintilla of evidence that the government of Venezuela has supported Ghadaffi’s totalitarianism. Your accusation is simply a fraud.

  19. Mary Rizzo says:

    did you even read MY piece? I state in plain english that the missive by the leftist org that takes its name after Chavez and is all over the pro-Chavez sites gets some things right, obviously, including the double standards. I am against foreign intervention as well, where does it say anywhere in my article that I am in favour of it. On the contrary I state that things MUST be left to the People themselves, local people who alone have the power to determine what is best for themselves and to freely dissent as well.
    Did I state it was a REPRESENTATIVE of the Venezuelan govt? of course not! that it was a LEFTIST activist group that seeks the international, thus why should they be excluded of all people as the “vox popoli” of the left?

    Did I mention the Venezuelan govt? READ please and quote directly, it would be a valid contribution. Otherwise continue to show your agenda which is not with the people.

  20. Mary Rizzo says:
    here is the discussion you should be participating in Atheo

  21. aletho says:


    You have intentionally conflated Hugo Chavez with this obscure individual who claims to have a “foundation” in Mali and who publishes under a title that includes the name of Hugo Chavez.

    In fact, the primary English language Bolivarian sites, Venezuela Analysis and Axis of Logic, have never posted anything by Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh from Mali, at least not that I have seen.

    Please don’t insult us. The revleft forum is idiotic.

    You remain a fraud.

  22. aletho says:


    Even the revleft crowd see through the false accusation that you profer:

    Maduro’s words on twitter were very carefully chosen after a long absence of any comments on it.

    Lets look at what he actually said:

    “Gaddafi is facing a civil war. ”

    -Thats a fact

    “Long live Libya. Long live the independence of Libya.”

    Thats a pro-Libyain anti-imperialist statement that doesn’t say anything about Gaddafi.

  23. Mary Rizzo says:

    where in my article do i do what you claim… stating that Hugo himself is head of that org but that it is A LEFTIST ORG THAT IS ON DOZENS OF MAILING LISTS and Bolivaran rev sites? so… just name dropping? Wouldn’t Chavez think that was wrong? but i digress. You seem to not read the article at all and do your strawman arguments of beating down an issue i have not even stated! Again, calling me a fraud when you can’t even be linear in your own argument is weak. next time you try it, you will be gone. You are a guest here and keep your manners.

  24. aletho says:


    Please illuminate for your readers both the purpose and appropriateness of the photo of Hugo Chavez at the top of this post.

    Also, please explain your claim that HCI-FPFS represents Hugo Chavez, Bolivarianism or even “the left”. It seems that you have fallen for a COINTELPRO type of disinformation campaign. How did Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh from Mali happen to be emailing you one wonders?

    Using phony sources making misrepresentations and coupling that with out of context photos is nothing more than base propaganda.

    If you read the pieces by Eva Gollinger that I have linked to above you will find examples of honest reporting that is based on irrefutable facts, the opposite of what you have done here.

  25. Mary Rizzo says:

    1) Hugo Chavez was given an award in Libya several years ago. On that occasion he praised the regime. this is NOT a photomontage! Are you claiming this is?
    2) this group is posted EVERYWHERE!!! on Mathabanet, on US Quagmire, on so many leftists sites and mailing lists that if you have not run into them, i ask where you have buried your head!
    3) IT REPRESENTS the left, or part of it and that is so self-evident, again, I ask where have you been hiding that you are not even sure what makes up the leftist groups circulating. Can I swear for their bonafides, of course not, but there they are… making their statements for anyone to see.
    4) more of your strawman arguments… please try harder.

  26. aletho says:


    As I have already pointed out, one can find photos of Blair, Obama and whichever Pol you select with Ghadaffi. You used the picture out of context and you know it.

    Furthermore, I have already pointed out that the primary English language Bolivarian sites do not post anything by Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh. They also have not defended Ghadaffi’s totalitarianism. You persist however in misrepresenting the Bolivarian movement in your attempt to smear them by association.

    You do all of the above while there is a concerted propaganda campaign underway to insinuate that Venezuela could perhaps be prone to a M.E. style upheaval and at the very moment when the US is seeking international approval for an invasion and occupation of Libya.

    Mary, your use of Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh is comparable to somebody citing David Duke as a spokesperson for the Palistine Solidarity movement (he has an “internet presence” far, far, far greater than Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh though so I am being generous in the comparison. Your further citation of El Universal for back up is comparable to somebody using the Jerusalem Post as a source to prove that Hamas backs Ghadaffi for example.
    You then proceed to misrepresent El Universal as being Spanish when in fact it is Venezuelan. It’s all quite shameful.

  27. Mary Rizzo says:

    Atheo, can you read??? It is clear that revolutionary leftists have heroes and they are untouchable, Castro, and now Chavez and if you had your way, Gheddafi too! Do you need evidence of what has been an obvious fact to observers for a long time, that Chavez likes the guy? Do I have to look only at sites you approve of? Can’t you find the links yourself? but here you go:
    “Bizarrely, Chávez declared “What Simon Bolívar [the Great Liberator of South American independence against the Spanish] is to the Venezuelan people, Gaddafi is to the Libyan people.” Qaddafi then praised Chávez for “having driven out the colonialists,” just as he had driven out those in Libya. “We share the same destiny, the same battle in the same trench against a common enemy, and we will conquer,” Qaddafi said. As if these exchanges were not preposterous enough, Chávez then took advantage of the occasion to award Qaddafi the “Orden del Libertador,” Venezuela’s highest civilian decoration, and presented the Libyan leader with a replica of Simon Bolívar’s sword [to see a video of the sword-bearing ceremony”

    you can find it where you want. I saw it in my language (Italian) too, so I don’t think that it’s only on some obscure blog that there was this ESTEEM.

    I have no comment to make on Chavez, though I could. I made comments on THE LEFT and the way that leftists seem to think that the revolution is this abstract idea that gives absolute power to the Revo leader, like an all knowing daddy. If you can’t recognise this is true, then Stalin has done one on you too!

    If you are fixating on one document when there are surely many and even a Revolutionary friend of mine, an Italian writer has said, “i am ashamed about all of this” and “how embarassing”. It’s a subject that is not taboo to persons with a flexible brain.

    You are flailing your arms again, trying to “win” this discussion when you are merely grabbing at straws!

  28. aletho says:

    Mary you continue to dissemble.

    I have pointed out that neither the Venezuelan state nor their principle media organs have supported Ghadaffi’s totalitarianism. You direct us to a forum that gets under a dozen reads per topic.

    The dated diplomatic platitudes that you cite are meaningless mumbojumbo. You can find similar statements from Burlesconi or Blair, one wonders why you focus on Chavez. In fact the Burlesconi statements of support come during the recent uprising.

    Your base attempt to smear “the left” is deplorable. There has been no action or statement made by Chavez or the Venezuelan state that is anything other than standard diplomatic conduct. The next time you want to smear a movement you might look for something concrete to criticize.

    As you seem unwilling to face your error I am left with only my far diminished impression of you.

  29. Mary Rizzo says:

    You know, i think you simply do not know how to read this article or you are attempting to insert things in it because of that fatal flaw. If you don’t recognise the connection that Gheddafi has with the anti-imperialist movements and how this unfortuately has been something not widely debated because to be honest… we all hoped he would just DIE rather than face the situation of a popular revolution, (which deep inside we hoped against hope for) … we find ourselves in this situation… you have many sites saying NO ONE is firing on Libyans, but then that clashes with Gheddafi’s speeches. It is as if there is suspended animation and we are meant to fall into our political boxes and be good soldiers.

    i never smear “the left”… i realise this area has many major problems due to dogmatism. MAJOR problem in primis is the lack of comun sentir of the street! They are still admiring the pre-informatic age revolutions. Even in my country our symbols are still the hammer and sickle and let me tell you, 80% of the workers are in services and do not fall under the primary and secondary industries and they are not represented by them either! Do you realise that if Chavez had Gheddafi over there, there was the dog and pony show just like Berlusconi did? It was not a media blurb, he was an honoured guest. If you REALLY can’t see this…. what can i say, really?

    i have made no error, but you keep insisting on it, so either give it up because we are at an impasse, or write on your site the counter position that the left has absolutely a crystalline and anti-dogmatic view on things and then leave your link here.

  30. aletho says:

    Perhaps you should simply post an apology at the opening of the article.

    Explain that you have been informed that the primary Venezuela solidarity movement sites such as Axis of Logic have been posting content that is highly critical of Ghadaffi’s conduct and that Hugo Chavez himself has not supported that conduct either.

  31. Mary Rizzo says:

    again, read the article and UNDERSTAND it before you continue in your silliness. or, as suggested earlier WRITE WHAT YOU LIKE ON YOUR SITE then leave a link in comments. extremely simple.

  32. aletho says:


    You ought to take a look at this popular post:

    Media lies: Spate of headlines tying Libya and Venezuela together

    By Kiraz Janicke & Federico Fuentes | Green Left | February 27, 2011

    Elsewhere I noticed a piece that reported that ‘Jewish groups’ and their neocon camp followers have been making a concerted effort to attack Chavez (apparently they hate him as you do).

  33. lancethruster says:


    The Socialist Worker link was informative regarding the issue at hand. Any discussion has to start with a commitment to accuracy and go from there. One may lean toward a particular player in any sort of power struggle, one may forgive a host of failings, flaws, missteps, and whatever…but truth is not jettisoned without consequence. We can put things into context, or offer more in-depth explanations of what is taking place, but to deny reality in the face of what can be established leads to all sorts of associated trouble.

    Gaddafi states that there are no protests taking place. Is this clever subterfuge to buy time, thinly veiled desperation, or clinically certifiable delusions? You can acknowledge other aspects of injustices done to him, such as tainted Lockerbie evidence and the like, but you still have to start with sorting through the potpourri of data and assigning a truth value.

    Sometimes you have to follow the model courts provide to juries. If as a juror you feel that lies and misrepresentations have been put forth, particularly by both sides, it is still up to you to determine, how extensive the lies, about what, motivations of those with a competing narrative, and what parts to reject and what parts to still deem credible. It’s no easy task but people willing to accept at least what can be determined with some sort of confidence over donning rose colored-glasses to keep their desired view “untainted”, are few and far in between.

    Thank you as always for keeping that principle at the forefront. Trust is easy to lose, and sometimes next to impossible to regain.

  34. Mary Rizzo says:

    I’m not against Chavez, but against “Chavezism”. but anyway, why not read this article to see the way this issue is being written about on one of Jordan’s most popular blogs:

  35. aletho says:

    More inane garbage (the only basis for the piece is the fact that a stadium had been named after Chavez) from yet another obscure source that probably gets under a dozen reads and has little following.

    We are somehow supposed to condemn Chavez because he didn’t condemn Ghaddafi, that’s the only logic being put forward. Is there any difference between this and Bush’s demand that you are either with us or with the terrorists? Is condemning Ghaddafi expected to achieve peace? It would only be war mongering, which is exactly what you are doing with this post.

    Chavez and the OIC are the primary international elements which have responded to the situation in Libya responsibly, promoting peace and non-intervention.

    Mary, you have convinced me that you are either a CIA operative or something uglier.

  36. Mary Rizzo says:

    Atheo! you are getting funnier and funnier! It seems that if someone does not share your views they are a CIA op! I told you I am not against Chavez, but against the cult of Chavez. I am sure Chavez has done wonderful things. The article you have quotes a very dear friend of mine (Santiago Alba Rico) and I love Les Blough as well. However, i believe they possess perhaps a mind that is more open to what it means to have dissent to leadership or cult of leadership than you, the unnamed one does. so, do continue to accuse, but come out with something concrete and serious. BTW Kabobfest is massively popular, but maybe you wouldn’t know that….

  37. lancethruster says:

    Agent Rizzo,

    It appears from Atheo’s strident allegations that if he had the power, he’d subject you to some of consequences loss of freedom and civil liberties tend to entail.

    See you at the line up…

  38. Mary Rizzo says:

    LOL Lance! and this is another reason dogmatism is like a mental illness. those who are the robots will go from a strawman argument to a full out accusation of treason to the cause of justice. I just find it particularly funny that it comes from someone who never uses a real name… he could be anyone, no way to check him out. And if he finds something to prove his “conviction” besides dissenting opinion to his, he better come out with it. Google is there for that, but as you know, sometimes people (like him it could be) pose as being on the left so that they can infiltrate those who are fighting the leftist struggles for the people’s rights, and then try to bring them down with this kind of anon game of “consensus”. It’s always interesting too how the things that cause the most “fights” of this sort are the loyalty that the dogmatics have to “father-like” figures or those who at any rate do not tolerate a whole lot of dissent among their own people. It seems that it’s enough that they talk the talk, facts are dirty things no one is supposed to notice!

  39. lancethruster says:

    I do not doubt that Gaddafi is the target of calculated disinformation campaigns as well. It is often made easier by the quirks of the target individual themselves. You never know when it’s all just a ploy to install somebody else’s “bastard’ (As in, ‘he may be a bastard, but he’s *our* bastard.”)

    But as I have express time and again in various forums, your trust has been earned, particularly for the seemingly rare ability to authenticate and incorporate new data into the narrative. Give me that anyday over someone spewing party line.

    If that really was your hidden agenda, then all I can say is that you’re damn good at it. It would be like the setup at the end of “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold” where every element, particularly the genuine horror over consequences, were put in place to establish credibility where in fact none existed.

    It does blow the mind as sites that seem to say otherwise sensible stuff then label you some sort of crypto-Zionist and I can’t think of many things I find more farfetched than that. I don’t recall many (as in *any*)Z-teamers arguing that the Palestinians making their own choices is the only just and supportable option for resolution of the IP conflict.

    That’s it. My mind is blown. Damn! You *are* good!

  40. Mary Rizzo says:

    Lance! you made me smile and laugh! thanks for your support over all these years. Sometimes “sensible people” are pretty hard to come by, as they seem more to be preserving a kind of “club” than always being consistent with the principle that Palestinians alone are the ones who need to decide their own future.

    I also find the thing about “the communist International” one of those bizarre ideas that i bought into many years ago. It’s as if meddling with other countries’ affairs is fine, joining in as a sort of globally organised force not on the basis of geographic proximity, but on a kind of ideology (that of course is fueled by what is perceived as an economic advantage to the party in power that then gets the name of “People’s party” or something like that, as long as they are on OUR (perceived) side.

    And I’ll add something about Santiago who I mentioned earlier. We were friends and i used to translate lots of his work. I even presented him to Les Blough! Though he lived in Egypt, he had a very different reading of the Palestine question, and we had lots of nice conversations about it. yet, his heart beats for the Cuban Revolution. we also had discussions here, and he wanted to censor the disclosure of the Castro-Rafi Eitan ties. He did not want the revolution to have bad light reflected on it. i thought that was his prerogative, but also wrong. If we can’t be critical from within, then what good are we? Just cheering masses that lie and create a false narrative like the other side?

    I see things differently. Well, the Revolution he loves for instance may be good for some, but how is it possible that (for instance) one of our Cuban translators told me that she would like to travel, to do things… she at first blamed it on the wrong and evil USA boycott, and I agreed fully. Then she told me that her wages are only 50$ a month! full time worker gets paid that? Now if they get free health care, free housing, ok, but do not have LIQUIDITY, is that so different from an indentured servant? They are tied down to where they live and do not have other possibilities like any other worker in the world has!

    so when i pointed this out to Santi, he said that Cuba took care of the poor masses and the workers supported this and realised the sacrifices were for the common good.

    Nice to say for a Spanish guy living in Egypt, when perhaps that young Cuban lady would like to go to Spain or Egypt herself!

    yes, when you hold the fabric up to the light, it gets flimsy.

  41. Mary Rizzo says:

    and I DO suggest Atheo read this. From Ron Ridenour, another person I have worked with for a while when he joined the activist translators’s collective i co-founded. A total supporter of the Cuban Revo, look at the critique from within, especially about the exploited (underpaid) workers, the lack of housing with over-crowding and no real vision of making one’s life fulfilling, just keeping the wheels of the “revolution” turning…

  42. aletho says:

    Well Mary, quite the propagandist are we? You couldn’t succeed in conflating Venezuela with libya so now you try to conflate it with Cuba.

    Why not just smear Venezuela with all of the negative attributes of China and the US? After all those are her primary trading partners.

    Pathetic Mary.

  43. Mary Rizzo says:

    take up your considerations with Ron Ridenour, not with me! It is apparent that if someone is not goosestepping to a partyline they are the propagandist. You live in a backwards world, try to think before writing the next time.

  44. jayn0t says:

    Thanks for allowing this debate. As I write, the UN has just authorised air strikes against Libya. One can oppose this without supporting the regime. In general, I agree with Mary vs. Aletho (above), but I am not ‘sure’ that Hugo Chavez has ‘done wonderful things’. I don’t think opposing Zionism is helped by the anti-imperialist perspective. I rejected it when, as soon as the US left Vietnam, a war broke out with China and Cambodia. There are fewer anti-imperialists than ever before – hardly anyone defends Gaddafi.

  45. jayn0t says:

    In the 1991 Iraq war, anti-imperialists supported Saddam Hussein. When the army mutinied, the US and Hussein united to suppress the uprising. Anti-imperialists, who opposed strikes and mutinies, which undermined Iraq’s war effort, found themselves on the same side as imperialists – against the proletariat. Later the same decade, anti-imperialists supported Serbia because ‘the imperialists’ arbitrarily supported their opponents.

    Sometimes, a class analysis is useless, as in the Israel/Palestine question. Anti-imperialism is always worse than useless.

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