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U.S. Supported White Minority-Rule in South Africa

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By George E. Curry
NNPA Editor-in-Chief

PRETORIA, South Africa (NNPA) – President Obama and former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush flew to South Africa to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela, the country’s first democratically elected president who died on Dec. 5 at the age of 95.

At the height of South Africa’s campaign against the warrior for majority rule in South Africa, the U.S. government’s behavior was far from respectful as it supported a regime that oppressed more than 90 percent of its people.

Under South Africa’s rigid racial segregation system known as apartheid, Whites were only 5 to 10 percent of the population but allocated 87 percent of the land to themselves, forcing other racial groups – Black, Coloured, and Indian – to live in segregated homelands away from Whites in the central cities. Officials denied people of color citizenship while maintaining an all-White government, prohibited Blacks from traveling outside their overpopulated segregated homelands without a passbook and operated segregated, unequal education systems that tracked Whites for professional jobs and Blacks for menial employment.

In 1947, South Africa passed the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act that prohibited marriage between persons of different races. A year later, it passed the Immorality Act, which made sexual relations with a person of a different race a criminal offense. When there were Black uprisings to protest minority-rule, anti-apartheid leaders were either arrested or murdered.

Yet, the U.S., which prides itself as the world’s foremost democracy, continued to support the violent apartheid regime.

“The C.I.A. actually colluded with apartheid,” Jesse Jackson said in an interview here. “That’s not anything we can be proud of.”

And the U.S. certainly shouldn’t be proud of the way it helped neutralize Nelson Mandela as he fought oppression.

As Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now!” radio program, said on MSNBC, “The U.S. devoted more resources to finding Mandela to hand over to the apartheid forces than the apartheid forces themselves.”

According to an op-ed in the New York Times, “The fugitive leader of the African National Congress was arrested in August 1962 while driving through the town of Howick, in Natal Province, disguised as a white man’s chauffeur. At his subsequent trial, he was sentenced to life in prison. Nowadays, of course, all shades of opinion in the United States are united in pleading for his release. Such pleas might be a little more heartfelt if it were generally appreciated that his arrest came as a result of a tip-off from the Central Intelligence Agency to the authorities.

“According to recent reports in The Johannesburg Star and on CBS News, Mr. Mandela was traveling to meet a C.I.A. officer who was working out of the United States Consulate in Durban, the capital of Natal. Instead of attending the meeting, the C.I.A. man told the police exactly where and when the most hunted man in South Africa could be found.”

The C.I.A.’s support of minority-rule in South Africa did not stop with the fingering of Mandela.

The New York Times article explained. “At the end of the 1960′s, the C.I.A. supplied advice and assistance in the creation of the infamous Bureau of State Security. In 1975, the C.I.A. worked closely with the South African military in their abortive invasion of Angola….”

Written in 1986, the New York Times article stated, “This summer, the American media carried well attested reports on the assistance being rendered the cause of white supremacy by the National Security Agency, which is responsible for the collection of communications intelligence. It is a matter of routine for this agency to comply with requests from Pretoria to monitor communications channels used by the African National Congress. This intelligence, which the Boers could not obtain on their own and which is invaluable to them for their war on the A.N.C., is handed over in return for data on Soviet shipping movements that Washington could gather, albeit more laboriously, by other means.”

Instead of challenging South Africa directly, the U.S. engaged in what it called “constructive engagement,” which was neither constructive nor engaging. The idea, originated by Assistant Secretary of State Chester Crocker, was that by maintaining diplomatic and military relations with South Africa, the U.S. could exert more influence over time. That did not work.

What worked was Black South Africans, in the streets of Soweto and through the African National Congress (ANC) fighting for their own rights. Blacks in the U.S. joined them by staging daily protests in front of the South African Embassy in Washington – led by Randall Robinson, Mary Frances Berry, Walter Fauntroy and Eleanor Holmes Norton, among others – and mobilizing divestment campaigns against U.S. companies doing business in South Africa. College students championed the issue on their campuses and Leon Sullivan, a Black board member of General Motors, created “the Sullivan Principles” for U.S. companies doing business in South Africa.

The divestment campaign spread around the world and pressure increased on the U.S. to take a larger role in dismantling apartheid.

Shortly after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, South African Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu visited Washington in 1984 and denounced construction engagement as “an abomination” that was “immoral, evil and totally un-Christian.”

Prodded by the Congressional Black Caucus, Congress passed a bill in 1986 imposing sanctions on South Africa if it did not meet five conditions, including the release of Nelson Mandela. Then-U.S. Congressman Dick Chaney voted against the bill. President Ronald Reagan vetoed the measure, calling it “immoral” and “repugnant.” Congress overrode Reagan’s veto.

The Congressional action did not end U.S. support of Pretoria.

In violation of a United Nations arms embargo, the Reagan administration invited top South African security officials to visit the U.S. The United States also vetoed a Security Council resolution that would have imposed economic sanctions on South Africa.

President Reagan placed Nelson Mandela on the U.S. international terrorist list, where he remained until 2008.

Democratic presidents also ran afoul of Mandela after he became president of South Africa in 1994.

During the Clinton administration, the State Department announced in October 1997 that it would be “disappointed” if Mandela followed through on plans to visit Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi, who had been a supporter the ANC when it was forced to go underground.

Speaking at a banquet in Johannesburg, President Mandela said, “How can they have the arrogance to dictate to us who our friends should be?”

The Clinton administration and Israel also objected to Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor) selling tanks valued at $650 million to Syria.

“We will conclude agreements with any country whether they are popular in the West or not,” Mandela said in 1997. “The enemies of countries in the West are not ours.”

Especially when one remembers that the West has not always been Mandela’s friend.

Parents of Trayvon Martin in Discussions for Book Deal

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By Dorothy Rowley
Special to the NNPA from The Washington Informer

Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of slain teen Trayvon Martin, have reportedly met with two publishing executives to discuss writing a book.

The book would be the first time since their son’s death that the couple publicly recounts his character and share their personal struggles and experiences during the trial of George Zimmerman, according to the New York Times.

Zimmerman, 30, was acquitted in July of second-degree murder in Trayvon’s February 2012 shooting death in Florida. He has had several subsequent minor run-ins with law enforcement.

One publishing executive told the Times that Martin and Fulton spoke extensively of race and religion during one meeting.

Publishers described meetings with Fulton and Martin as “somber” and “moving,” according to the Times report.

Jamaicans Among Top 10 Nationals Deported in 2013

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Special to the NNPA from CMC

CMC – The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says Jamaicans were among the top 10 nationals deported in 2013.

In announcing the year-end removal numbers on Thursday, ICE said the top 10 deportees were from Latin American and the Caribbean.

One thousand, one hundred and nineteen Jamaicans were deported in fiscal year 2013 while 2, 462 nationals from the Dominican Republic were also deported.

The immigration agency said Mexico continues to be the leading country of origin for those removed, followed by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The figures for Mexico show 241,493 deportees; Guatemala 47,769; Honduras 37,049; El Salvador 21,602; Ecuador 1,616; Brazil 1,500; Colombia 1,429; and Nicaragua 1,383.

ICE said 98 percent of the agency’s total removals were convicted criminals, recent border crossers, illegal re-entrants or those previously removed in line with agency’s enforcement priorities.

These figures highlight ICE’s ongoing commitment to primary immigration enforcement missions: the apprehension of criminal aliens and other immigration violators in the interior of the United States; and the detention and removal of individuals apprehended by ICE and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States,” ICE said.

ICE’s acting director, John Sandweg, said the 2013 numbers make clear that “we are enforcing our nation’s laws in a smart and effective way, meeting our enforcement priorities by focusing on convicted criminals while also continuing to secure our nation’s borders in partnership with CBP.”

World Bank: Caribbean Immigrants Abroad are 'Very Well Educated'

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Key source of investment capital; most are engaged in their birthplaces; are affluent with a “level of investment sophistication and business acumen

By Tony Best
Special to the NNPA from the New York Carib News

As Caribbean nations continue to be buffeted by serious economic challenges, their “very well educated” Diasporas are well placed, and in many cases, are already investing in business ventures back home.

With 80 per cent of the Caribbean diaspora holding college degree; 65 per cent working in the private sector in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and elsewhere; and a quarter described as well-off with either a net worth or annual incomes in excess of $100,000, “these affluent and accredited individuals are of critical importance in making informed investments back home,” according to a World Bank report. “They tend to have a level of investment sophistication and business acumen that promotes best practices among investees, demands accountability and results, and can have a major contribution to the development of Caribbean economies.”

Those conclusions were based on the results of a study conducted among almost 1,000 “self-identified members of the Caribbean Diaspora” who live and work in cities and town across North America and the United Kingdom with at least half based in New York, London, Toronto and Miami.

Interestingly, Jamaicans showed the highest level of interest in investing in their birthplace, with 62 per cent indicating they would put some of their resources in their homeland. Next were Trinidadians, with 34 per cent expressing such investment interest; Barbadians 24 percent; Guyanese 15 percent; Bahamians 13 percent; Grenadians 11 percent; Haitians 11 percent; Antiguans 8 percent; Dominicans 7 percent; and Kittitians 6 percent.

‘Over 85 per cent of Diaspora members give back to the Caribbean in some way, shape or form. While the majority send remittances, make donations, buy property or invest in a venture, many others are involved as volunteers or mentors” stated the report entitled, “the Caribbean Diaspora: A source for venture Investment?”

According to the World Bank: • Almost half of those interviewed had incomes between $50,000 — $100,000; slightly over one in five made $100,000-200,000; five per cent made more than $200,000; while one in three had an annual income that was between $50,000- $100,000 .

Healthy Cigarettes? E-Cigarettes Poised to Reduce Tobacco Harm

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By Shantella Y. Sherman
Special to the NNPA from The Washington Informer

Gina Hahn lost more than half of her friends a decade ago. Though they once bragged about their lifelong friendships, love affairs, and classic school days, when it came time to grow up – and in this case, snub out – Hahn and only a handful of the 30 or so failed to quit smoking traditional cigarettes.

Initially, Hahn, 32, said she was not particularly bothered by the newly health-conscious among her circle that affixed nicotine patches to their arms, or quit smoking cold turkey. Others, she said, developed smoking-related illnesses that made being around a smoker impossible. While Hahn missed their company, she enjoyed more the ability to smoke freely.

As a bartender, Hahn said she found it easy to work in smoke-filled environments like bars and nightclubs and once those bars, restaurants and other public spaces enacted no smoking regulations, found a ready supply of new friends huddled and idling outside the entrances of buildings, lighting up. But with the advent of the new electronic cigarette (also known as e-cigarettes), Hahn often finds herself outside, in the cold, idling alone.

“The doorways and balconies are emptying out in a lot of spaces as this new electronic cigarette becomes popular. I refused to ‘bite’ though,” said Hahn, who smokes unfiltered Camels. “My friends have gotten older and, maybe, wiser and they’ve used the e-cigarette to stop smoking altogether.”

E-cigarettes allow users to inhale vaporized liquid nicotine through a mouthpiece. The heater also vaporizes propylene glycol (PEG) in the cartridge (used to create theatrical smoke in stage productions), and the user gets a puff of hot gas that mimics tobacco smoke. E-cigarettes contain no tobacco products; and utilize synthetic nicotine.

Hahn is among the 50 million Americans who continue to smoke, understanding fully the dangers of smoking and those who aren’t yet sold on the e-phenomenon. Health experts believe the addictive nature of nicotine and other additives to tobacco provide some benefits smokers are unwilling to relinquish.

Brad Rodu, a Senior Fellow of the Heartland Institute, holds the Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction Research at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, and works to find safe substitutions to tobacco products that reduce what he terms “tobacco harm.” Rodu said that in addition to reducing anxiety and stress, nicotine has the ability to lower weight, and improve concentration.

“It’s time to be honest with the 50 million Americans, and hundreds of millions around the world, who use tobacco,” Rodu wrote, “The benefits they get from tobacco are very real, not imaginary or just the periodic elimination of withdrawal. It’s time to abandon the myth that tobacco is devoid of benefits, and to focus on how we can help smokers continue to derive those benefits with a safer delivery system.”

Jeff Stier, a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C., advises that while the nicotine present in both cigarettes and many e-cigarettes, is addictive, is not in and of itself, harmful. The danger comes from burning and inhaling tobacco, which is done with cigarettes but not e-cigarettes. Calling nicotine about as harmful as the caffeine in soda, Stier supports e-cigarettes as a tobacco harm reducer.


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