The Right and the Left, two hands one body


HAVANA TIMES — If there’s still anyone out there who joyfully buys into the story of the “good left,” I’d ask them to please at least review their sentiments.

These days people in many countries have mobilized themselves in response to the upsurge in the Zionist slaughter of the Palestinian people.


But it’s always easier to unite in solidarity with a distant cause, even more so when there’s so much carnage involved.

Will death always be related to bloodshed?

We may be gradually dying, without shedding a single drop of blood and we can be killing little by little, without shedding a single drop of blood. And since there’s no blood, there’s no photographer or video crew coming to film this death.

For me, like for many, it certainly hurts to learn of the Palestinian slaughter, just to point to one example. Because it’s easier to make a fuss about something we’re against when that something doesn’t influence the comforts of our life.

Currently people are mobilized in a plaza in Caracas, with music and banners, to say “Down with Zionism.”


Later they’ll go to their homes, turn on their TV, their desktop computer, they’ll go take a hot bath or a cold shower, flick on the air conditioning or a fan. They’ll then — without knowing or being fully conscious of the fact — consume a product that’s perhaps manufactured in Israel.

It’s normal. It’s the life of “progress.”

Meanwhile, somewhere in the Amazon — and yes, this tiresome writer is once again bothering people with this nonsense about the land and “original” peoples — under the orders of one of these governments that calls itself “left,” 40,000 Kayapos will be kicked off their lands where they have lived since long before Brazil was ever called that.

The areas will be flooded to build a hydroelectric dam — another one — that will make sure people can turn on their TVs, take a warm bath, and so on, after returning from a march where they yell and protest about life in some remote village.

Recently, I went to a university to hear a discussion about the Kurdish people. It so happened that the Bolivian Ambassador to Venezuela was also in the audience. At one point he asked to speak, and his comments left me cold.

The ambassador said you have to be very careful when it comes to “respecting” a minority of a nation. He noted that in his country the minorities (understood in this case as indigenous peoples) were attempting to prevent the government from exploiting natural resources that actually belong to the whole nation.

He held that if it had been up to those “minorities,” Bolivia would still be back in the Stone Age — or something like that — and that the country would be “unaware of centuries of human progress.”

If it wasn’t so sad, it would have been laughable.

It’s sadder still because I know that a large majority of Havana Times readers will agree with the ambassador due to his affiliation with the left.

They’ll write and say I need to “mature” and that if it weren’t for “human progress” I wouldn’t be writing this and spreading it all over the Internet.

They’ll note that before the left started murdering indigenous peoples and contaminating the land and water, the right had been doing the same thing for centuries.

Left and right…everybody has a right and a left hand. Both belong to the same body, and no hand moves of its own will.

You might like one hand more than the other, but that doesn’t make you better or less of an accomplice.

The truth is that I would have preferred not to have needed to write this.



Caridad: If I had the chance to choose what my next life would be like, I’d like to be water. If I had the chance to eliminate a worst aspect of the world I would erase fear. Of all the human feelings I most like I prefer friendship. I was born in the year of the first Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, the day that Gay Pride is celebrated around the world. I no longer live on the east side of Havana; I’m trying to make a go of it in Caracas, and I continue to defend my right to do what I want and not what society expects of me.

Caridad has 206 posts and counting. See all posts by Caridad

22 thoughts on “The Right and the Left, two hands one body

  • If you’re Canadian why are you so bothered by ‘anti-American’ ilk?

  • Grady, I am well informed of the appalling human rights record of the last Shah of Iran, and the US & UK support for him. In no way did I defend the US or UK record. Yet as soon as somebody criticizes your absurd statements, you & Luis run to the safety of your anti-Amrican redoubt.

    What I did was responded to your absurd praise for the regime of Iran. You seem to be either denying the human rights abuses and murders by the iranian regime, or you are arguing it’s OK so long as they have an awesome banking system.

    That’s why I laugh at your absurd “co-operative socialist” programme. You ignore reality. You are as ideologically blinded as any Marxist. Any thug in a palace gets a pass from your ilk, so long as he’s sufficiently anti-American. That’s all that matters.

  • Griffin,

    The US’s and Britain’s record on human rights abuses is horrendous. Shah. Savaak. Look it up, if you have the guts. Their crimes against Iran are horrendous. Look it up, if you have the guts. But there’s no need for you to look it up, because reality for you is whatever flows from the mind control machine of monopoly capitalism.

    On the other hand, you’re partially correct regarding the lack of a mortgage market, etc., has “contributed to the decay and destruction of real estate throughout the island.”

    What is needed in Cuba however is not a capitalistic mortgage market. What is needed is a cooperative socialist mortgage market based on the legal abolition of usury (interest). Mortgages should be available on a professional basis, but on the basis of a sufficiently lucrative, one-time-only creditization fee.

  • Grady,

    Iran’s record of human rights abuses is horrendous. Look it up. Murder, torture, slavery, terrorism. That’s the reality of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    It is bizarre that you defend the government of Iran based on thorough misunderstanding of banking mortgage practices. The lack of a mortgage market in Cuba, along with the related issues of the absence of private property laws and clear title, have contributed to the decay and destruction of real estate throughout the island.

  • Well, you may be correct on your last paragraph. The owners of the world are the monopoly banks however, and the only challenge on the visible horizon to their interest racket is Islamic banking which, if it should ever proliferate broadly, would undermine and perhaps even end the financial enserfment of the nations.

    Here’s the reality, Luis. When a bank or credit union makes a loan–be it a consumer loan or a so-called capital loan–it does not actually loan money. It creates a credit deposit based on the loanee’s ability to produce and payback the principal, plus interest. (The monetary savings of depositors stays safely in the financial institution, and is not what is loaned out.)

    The interest paid is a rental charge on the “fractional reserve” calculated principal. But this principal was created with the stroke of a computer key based on the natural personal property of the loanee. The rental charge therefore is a charge for the rental of something the loanee already owns. This is inherently unjust, and is inherently exploitative; it is legalized theft.

    Usury–interest charged for credit extensions–is a parasitical institution that must be abolished in law, if those who labor in society are ever to achieve liberation from the parasitical clutches of the banks. This is why the legal abolition of usury must be a central point in the cooperative republican maximum program of social transformation.

    Credit extensions are critically necessary for the functioning of a modern economy, but the charging of interest is absolutely unnecessary. Credit, being a monetization of the loanee’s property, should be extended for a sufficiently lucrative, one-time-only credit generation and repayment administration fee. Credit extension is a service done by the bank for the loanee, not a loaning of money.

    For example, a $300,000 home mortgage under capitalism might yield an unjust profit to the bank of $600,000 over thirty years, costing the loanee a total of $900,000. Under a socialist cooperative republic, the sufficiently lucrative creditizatiion fee might be, let’s say, $50,000. The loanee would wind up paying $350,000 over perhaps a dozen years, and then own the home free and clear.

    The proof that what a bank does is not a loan of its own–or savers’–money from the vault, is that, as the principal is repaid, it disappears from the bank’s ledger. Poof! It’s gone instantly! What is left is the bank’s interest, and this is its profit.

    Every price in capitalist society is composed, in part, of parasitical interest to a bank or other financial institution. Credit extensions make up much of the National Debt, and taxpayers are enserfed by the monopoly banks in perpetuity–or, the remaining duration of capitalism.

    And so, Luis, it is natural for transformationary cooperative socialists to appreciate the more just financial system of a non-hypocritical Islamic nation like Iran. No, Iran is not an ideal country in many ways, but this does not mean that the hostility of entities like the US, UK, EU and Israel, which are controlled by the monopoly banks, is not based in part on a gangsteristic desire to protect the usury racket.

  • “You seem to have gotten completely off the track of Yordanka’s article, and my comments on it, Griffin. That’s okay, because I realize you have to jump around and throw all sorts of crap against the barn, hoping something might stick.”

    Grady, that’s called trolling. Get used to it.

    “Iran, by the way, is a great and beautiful country, and a great and beautiful people. They don’t allow banks to practice usury–the charging of interest on credit extensions. Perhaps that’s why the Jews and Christians are so hostile to them. You think?”

    Well I don’t think so… just look at the Middle-East map. Iran is right between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Syria is located around Iraq and Turkey. The Western powers just want the whole lot under their thumb, that’s it, geographically strategic and resource (oil) filled.

  • The one election the PA held was a farce. FATAH rigged & intimidated their way to a narrow win. Hamas didn’t like the results and the 2 factions fought a fierce civil war for control of Gaza. Hamas won the fight and now controls the strip. They were not elected and no new elections have been held since. Neither Hamas nor Fatah are legitimated governments as neither faction respects the PA constitution. They are nothing more than thugs and terrorists. But they all promise to kill all the Jews, so perhaps that’s why the Left love them.

  • The point of the article is that people of the left will condemn abuses around the world they blame on the right, while ignoring the abuses committed by the left and their own complicity on it.

    As for your praise of Iran I can only shake my head in disgust. I know many Iranians who love their country but they hate the government. I know a few who have spent time in Iranian prisons being raped and tortured. Iran is supplying weapons and fighters to Syria to help the dictator kill the Syrian people. But their banks don’t charge interest, therefore you turn a kind eye to the abuses.

    Yordanka is right: your right hand doesn’t know what your left hand is doing.

  • You seem to have gotten completely off the track of Yordanka’s article, and my comments on it, Griffin. That’s okay, because I realize you have to jump around and throw all sorts of crap against the barn, hoping something might stick.

    Iran, by the way, is a great and beautiful country, and a great and beautiful people. They don’t allow banks to practice usury–the charging of interest on credit extensions. Perhaps that’s why the Jews and Christians are so hostile to them. You think?

  • “It’s a pretty odd massacre, when the so called Zionist terrorists refrain from using their most powerful weapons and take the greatest care not to kill civilians.”

    How blind can you be? Avigdor Lieberman supposedly called for the ‘final solution’ back in 2009… now Israel’s interior minister Eli Yishai said that ““The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages”… Mercy me… the numbers of the dead and injured say it all about the ‘surgical air attacks’ of Israel.

    Ah and you didn’t touched the financial support of Israel to Hamas back in the 80’s. When the Palestinians finally had an election, Israel didn’t like the results and said it was a ‘bogus’ election because the winner wasn’t the one it had on an horse collar.

  • Do you mean the Cuba government support for the murderous regime in Damascus, which has slaughtered 30,000 Syrian civilians? Or the Cuban government’s warm relationship with Iran, which is arming the Syrian regime and has sent thousands of Iranian Islamic Republican Guards to help the dictator Bashir al-Assad in the oppression of the Syrian people?

  • Israel has atomic bombs, but they have never used them. We can be certain if Hamas had an atomic bomb they would use it immediately to incinerate the hated jews. It’s a pretty odd massacre, when the so called Zionist terrorists refrain from using their most powerful weapons and take the greatest care not to kill civilians. Tragically, when Israel is forced to retaliate in self-defence, Palestinian civilians are killed, but that is part of Hamas’ strategy.

    That is why Hamas places their rocket launchers at mosques, schools and residential areas: real war crimes, by the way. Hamas deliberately targets Israeli civilians: another war crime. Hamas stores their weapons in private homes: another war crime. Hamas never built bomb shelters for the people, but instead built their military command centre under a hospital – yes, another war crime.

    Hamas has declared they will never negotiate with Israel, that their two goals are the “liberation of all of Palestine”, which means all of Israel, and the extermination of the Jews. What is there for Israel to negotiate with them? Nothing. So their only choice is to whether allow themselves to be slaughtered, or to defend themselves.

    Here’s a link to a very direct and honest letter by a Palestinian refugee living in Lebanon. In fact, he was born there, but he’s still treated as a “refugee”, which is to say, he has no rights in this “brother Arab” country.

    He writes:

    “Israel naturalized over 1.5 million Palestinians. They enjoy full citizen rights and many of them would remain in Israel even if a Palestinian state is established. Palestinians in the Arab world on the other hand suffer from discernible and vile discrimination. If a non-Palestinian Arab speaks of the maltreatment of Palestinians by Israelis, tell them to STFU and demand rights for Palestinians in their countries before they complain about Israel. People living glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

  • Very good point!

    “You are not Left, when the financial oligarchy of capital is still in power nor are you anti imperialists when you support countries such as Iran, Syria, China or Russia who are all capitalist countries.”

    That sounds like Cuba’s list of allies and friends.

  • A zionist. I supposed I couldn’t expect more. This pitiful ‘the right to defend itself’ crap. From what? Home-made rockets?

    Israel actually supported Hamas in the 80’s to counter the then strong and influential PLO.

    Palestine doesn’t have an army.
    Palestine doesn’t have a marine.
    Palestine doesn’t have an air-force.

    Meanwhile Israel has atomic bombs and even dropped chemical weapons like white phosphorus on Gaza and keeps stealing Palestine land with its illegal settlements.

    This is not a ‘war’. It’s a massacre – Israel is the real terrorist here.

  • The main point of Yordanka’s article, it seems to me, is to lay blame for the evils of Zionism (and other things) on the hypocrisy of the common people, especially Left-leaning people. The same sort of self-righteous blame-laying occurs in the US with progressive-minded folks.

  • I am also on the Left but as a Marxist who has been very critical of almost all the so called” Left ‘ governments in the Americas, whether in Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and etc whether its in how they treat their indigenous or conduct foreign policy which is an extension of domestic policy.

    I think you confuse the terms as they do and there is a caveat/variance between rhetoric and action and content and form.

    You are not Left, when the financial oligarchy of capital is still in power nor are you anti imperialists when you support countries such as Iran, Syria, China or Russia who are all capitalist countries.

    The enemy of my enemy is not proletarian internationalism but is just like any other capitalist countries foreign policy.

  • Yordanka and Luis,

    I do not agree with the Bolivian ambassador to Venezuela and I am on the Left.

  • Yorkanda wrote,

    “For me, like for many, it certainly hurts to learn of the Palestinian slaughter, just to point to one example. Currently people are mobilized in a plaza in Caracas, with music and banners, to say “Down with Zionism.” Bravo.”

    An excellent letter to read and learn something about the Palestinian slaughter can be found here:

    “Why Hamas Forced Me to Leave Amherst College”

    “However terrorized we may feel in southern Israel, I realize the people of Gaza have it worse. Tragically, the people of Gaza have no shelters to run to and no sirens to warn them when Israel strikes back. Their government (since 2006 controlled by the internationally categorized terrorist group, Hamas) has chosen not to invest in these public safety measures despite waging a continuous war on Israel. This negligence is no accident. Hamas has decidedly tried (and succeeded) to take advantage of Western disdain for civilian casualties, choosing to play off of our sympathy for the pain and suffering of innocents. Hamas’s leaders know that by repeatedly firing rockets towards Israeli civilian areas from their civilian areas, Israel’s response will be one of impossible choices.

    Defense and safety are the most fundamental duties of a functioning state. (It is sad that I feel the need to remind my readers of this.) Knowing that any state would eventually be forced to respond, Hamas leaders choose to house their rocket caches, launchers and training facilities within populated areas — all in an effort to maximize their own civilian casualties and thereby earn the sympathy of the international media. This is why whenever a Gazan child dies, he or she is quickly paraded in front of cameras for a photo op. This is why Hamas’s leadership hides in a bunker located underneath Gaza’s largest hospital. Israel will not strike the hospital. (This hospital was modernized by an Israeli relief project in the 1980s and is supplied by Israeli humanitarian aid.) This is why Hamas does not build bunkers for Gaza’s 1.6 million residents. (The bomb shelters that do exist are reserved for Hamas officials and fighters.) This is not because of a lack of finances. According to the Palestine Human Development Report, Palestinians are the largest per capita recipients of international development assistance in the world.”

    There’s more to the conflict than is captured by the slogans chanted by “mobilized” protesters in Caracas. For instance, are these protesters aware of the Venezuelan government involvement with the Lebanese terrorist organization, Hezbollah, in the international drug trade?

    “As demand increased in Europe and the Middle East, the cartels began plying new routes — from Colombia, Venezuela and the lawless frontier where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet, to West African countries like Benin and Gambia. From there, drugs moved north through Portugal or Spain, or east via Syria and Lebanon.
    According to Lebanon’s drug enforcement chief, Col. Adel Mashmoushi, one path into the country was aboard a weekly Iranian-operated flight from Venezuela to Damascus and then over the border. Several American officials confirmed that, emphasizing that such an operation would be impossible without Hezbollah’s involvement.”

    “The Growing Narco-Nexus of Terrorism: Hezbollah and Chavez’ Venezuela”

  • “They’ll then — without knowing or being fully conscious of the fact — consume a product that’s perhaps manufactured in Israel.”

    Did you not know that an Israeli company operates a citrus plantation and packing plant in Mantanzas province?

    JAGUEY GRANDE, CUBA — Driving along the lonely eight-lane highway that cuts through Matanzas province east of Havana, one can’t help but notice the orange groves that stretch for miles and miles. Nearly every roadside peasant seems to know about the foreigners now managing the groves.
    ”The Israelis? Up the road, 15 kilometers on the left,” they say, pointing in the direction of Jaguey Grande, where BM Corp., based in Tel Aviv, Israel, runs one of two packinghouses. The factory is located in the middle of a 115,000-acre citrus operation – the world’s largest under one management.

  • No I do not agree with the words of this ambassador.

    One important struggle here in my country is about the Guarani-Kaiowá ethnicity:

    “They are threatened with expulsion from their land, their waters have been poisoned by farmers, and they are ready to resist till their death. Given these gruelling circumstances, the Guarani-Kaiowá indigenous community of Pyelito Kue / Mbarakay, in the municipality of Iguatemi, Mato Grosso do Sul (MS), have found on social media and on the streets support, what they did not receive from the government and only timidly from the FUNAI (National Indiginous Foundation).

    The Guarani-Kaiowá represents one of the largest indigenous communities in Brazil (46,000 out of aproximately 734,000), but in the last decades they have been the target of constant attacks as the ancestral lands they inhabit in MS have become the most profitable in the country for the rapidly growing agri-business and biofuels industry. Under yet another threat of eviction, in early October 2012 the Pyelito Kue / Mbarakay community released an open letter, which lead to a massive response. By the end of the month, on October 30, the Federal Regional Court of the 3rd region, in São Paulo, suspended the order of eviction of the Guaraní-Kaiowá from their encampment. The decision should stand until the identification and demarcation of the final indigenous territory by FUNAI.”

  • Excellent article, Yordanka; but allow me to express a few thoughts.

    What we need is a world network of socialist cooperative republics, to stop the injustices against native peoples, and hopefully reverse the advanced destruction of the forests, lands, oceans and atmosphere. It is only when we have such a network, where we the people can actually take hold of our societies and do what is right and needed, that we will ever see our real potential as free human beings.

    The Left has mis-conceptualized the nature of authentic, workable socialism. The state monopoly perversion has allowed monopoly capitalism to grow and continue into the 21st century, and literally almost destroy the environment and civilization. But still there is hope.

    You may not agree, Yordanka, but that world network of authentic socialist nations is right there for the grasping. All we have to do is rectify our political program and the peoples of the world will flock to our banner. But Marxism has transformed the socialist movement into an ersatz religion and cocooned the vanguard.

    The blame for the world’s problems should not be placed on the hypocrisy of the people. It should be placed where it belongs, on the Marxian, state monopoly perversion of socialism.

  • Sad but true. Left and right are the same spectacular shit everywhere. But it doesn’t means that we, the people, ought to let the politicians do what they do.

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