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Archive for November 29th, 2008

JAZEERA AIRWAYS WITNESSES RAPID EXPANSION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 29, 2008

Published: November 27, 2008, 23:27

PUBLISHED BY ‘GULF NEWS’ (Dubai)

by Nadia Saleem, Staff Reporter

Dubai: Jazeera JAZEERA AIRWAYSAirways, a Kuwait-based airline launched in 2004, is witnessing rapid expansion despite the rest of the world suffering a liquidity crunch and the aviation business running into turbulence worldwide.

The only Gulf airline that uses two Gulf airports as hubs – Dubai and Kuwait City – has more than doubled its capital in the past three years to $77 million.

In 2005, the airline carried 39,000 passengers and is now at 1.2 million, with ambitious aims to boost that figure to 8.5 million in four years. The company’s profits at the end of 2007 were $8.4 million.

The airline is set to become one of the largest operators of A320 aircraft in the coming years as it plans to add 36 planes by 2012 and to fly to 59 new destination in and around the Middle East.

The airline has carried 665,000 passengers to Dubai, who have spent $180 million (Dh662 million) on hotels and transport.

Earlier this week in Dubai, the airline added its seventh aircraft to its fleet. Jazeera’s new acquisition marks the first time a non-UAE carrier has taken delivery of an aircraft in Dubai.

Jazeera’s chairman and chief executive officer Marwan Boodai recently spoke to Gulf News in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:

Gulf News: What has been the impact of the credit crisis on your expansion plans?

Marwan Boodai: We in the Middle East are completely immune to the international credit crisis but in general, the GCC [Gulf Co-operation Council] in particular, our governments and our economies are based on solid ground. We are oil-driven economies, so that will help us to weather these big storms.

As far as Jazeera Airways is concerned, our business model is based is connecting the dots within the Middle East. So in a way, we are not affected by international traffic. So far, and with our forecast, there is no slowdown within the Middle East. People are going back and forth within the region for business, or leisure or going back home. So that is the domain we are focusing on.

What is the significance of the airline being a low cost carrier at this time?

We chose a model to provide value for money. So passengers will be travelling more frequently. That is how we discriminate the market.

By consolidating our fleet and stabilising it with only one model, the A320, we have reduced out costs by a large amount, which we pass on to our passengers. In the current economic situation, more and more people are cautious of what they spend. Yet they need to travel because it is not more a luxury, it is a necessity.

What they are looking at is should they travel on luxury carriers or airlines with affordable prices, like ours.

With the dropping oil prices, what ripple effects is your airline witnessing in terms of costs and number of passengers?

The sharp drop helps the airline industry in general and our model in particular because fuel cost is almost one third of what we used to pay a month ago. That helps to boost our balancesheet. We managed to run the business profitably when the oil was at Dh140. With the prices now dropping, we will be able to add a lot more passengers.

Have the prices impacted your expansion plans?

Not really. Because our main focus in acquisition is just growing integrally year-by-year. This growth has always been there. Any airline that stands for acquisition of aircraft has to be affected by the market’s ability to extend financing. Jazeera has been running on a solid financial footing.

Not only have we managed to create a sister company called Sahaab Leasing to support this growth, but international banks have once again, at this very critical junction, reaffirmed their vote of confidence and extended even more financing to us. And we haven’t even tapped the market in the Middle East for financing.

Will you need to do so in future?

We are now looking at competitive financing. Cash is available worldwide and particularly in the GCC countries. We are looking for more innovative and cost-effective ways of financing. The GCC is going to be our focus for that.

In line with that direction, do you plans to be listed on the financial markets in the UAE?

Our original plan was to be listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange because we are a Kuwaiti-based company. The plan was to be listed in Dubai’s market in the fourth quarter of this year. Now with the international turmoil, we don’t think it is the right time to jump into a second listing. We are going to watching the market very closely and carefully. But there is no doubt in our minds that one day we will be listed on Dubai stock exchange.

What is the time frame for that? Is it totally dependant on how the market performs?

Exactly. It’s really not in our control. However, we believe that this market is going to have a boost. Dubai’s economy is solid. If you look at the airline stocks worldwide, even in the states, in the last couple of weeks, the best performers were airline stocks. We don’t have many airline stocks in the Middle East; there is only a handful. Dubai stock exchange is very appealing, because being listed here will give us international exposure.

How is flyDubai, the emirate’s first low-cost carrier, going to affect you?

I don’t want to just say that the market is big. But flyDubai is targeting a different segment. With 737s, high density, etc, it is a totally different market from what we are serving. They are more focussed on the Indian subcontinent and labour traffic. We are more focused on the middle-class group, on families and business travel. We feel that business travellers will be increasingly choosing Jazeera, rather than the high-end of the market.

Is there any change that you are witnessing from the government of Dubai on this?

Not really. Dubai is so open. If you look at other airports, other markets in the world.

Here for instance, one city cannot survive with one airline. There has to be competition, more airlines that add value to the economy. Dubai government realises that very well. And that is why we are here today.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘GULF NEWS’ (Dubai)

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Posted in AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES | Leave a Comment »

DOHA TALKS MAKE HEADWAY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 29, 2008

Nov 28, 2008 1:19 PM

PUBLISHED BY ‘TVNZ’ (New Zealand)

Talks to unstick the Doha Flag Raising Ceremony The United Nations flag is raised outside the Doha Sheraton Convention Centre, as representatives of the Government of Qatar turn over the facilities to United Nations authorities in preparation for the opening of the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus. Representing the Government of Qatar - Mohamed Abdullah Al-Rumaihi Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs -  Representing the United Nations - Shaaban M. Shaaban Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management - Sha Zukang Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairsworld trade round have made some headway, ambassadors to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said on Thursday.

New Zealand ambassador Crawford Falconer, who chairs the WTO negotiations on agricultural products, said that countries have begun to budge from their positions in the wake of a high-level political push for an agreement.

“I have seen some material change, but not all the things I would like to have seen have happened,” he told reporters after an evening meeting at the WTO’s Geneva headquarters.

US President George Bush and other leaders have been pushing for a breakthrough in the seven-year-old WTO talks as a means to bolster the troubled global economy.

A new WTO agreement would cut subsidies and tariffs on a wide range of traded goods and cross-border services, prying open food, fuel, transportation and other markets and therefore encouraging global economic activity.

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy has been looking for signs of movement in technical talks between diplomats before inviting trade ministers to Geneva to hammer out a deal in agricultural and manufactured goods – the two main areas of the Doha accord.

Talks earlier on Thursday skated over sensitive issues such as the levels of US subsidies on cotton, and a controversial facility to let poor countries shield subsistence farmers during crises, envoys said.

“We had more positive discussions than we had before,” Brazil’s WTO ambassador Roberto Azevedo said of those talks.

A dispute about the “special safeguard mechanism” for farmers caused a meeting of ministers in July to fail, with India squaring off against the United States and other countries who said the facility could actually close off existing markets instead of opening up new ones.

Azevedo told journalists that in Thursday’s talks on that mechanism “there wasn’t exactly convergence or agreement, but there was no clear-cut rejection.”

“You learn in these negotiations to read between the lines,” he said. “There was certainly more engagement, more interaction than there was before.”

Diplomats that a ministerial meeting next month could start around December 13, though no dates are expected to be set until Sunday or later.

Estimates of the benefits of the WTO accord vary widely. A recent study from the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute said more than $US1 trillion of trade was at stake.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘TVNZ’ (New Zealand)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, G20, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, NEW ZEALAND, QATAR, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, USA, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

UNCERTAINTIES BEDEVIL PLANS TO KEEP WORLD TRADE FLOWING

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 29, 2008

28/11/2008 1:00:00 AM

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE CANBERRA TIMES’ (Australia)

Trading nations around the world are saying the right things about preventing a surge of protectionism that would choke Pakistani investors monitor the index at Karachi Stock Exchangeglobal trade when it needs to be boosted to help pull economies out of their slump. But amid fears of a deepening recession stretching beyond 2009, will governments act in conformity with their promises?

Leaders of the 21 economies in APEC, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, hit the right notes when they issued a statement during their summit in Lima, Peru, last weekend. To counter calls to shield countries and industries from competition by restricting imports, the APEC leaders, who oversee half the world’s economic activity, said that in the next 12 months they would not raise new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, impose new export restrictions, or implement measures inconsistent with the World Trade Organisation, including those that stimulate exports.

This was an endorsement of the free trade section of a declaration issued by the summit of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies in Washington on November 15. The G20 accounts for about 90 per cent of global economic activity and 80 per cent of trade. Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea and the US are members of both APEC and the G20. So the combined words of leaders of these two groups should carry weight.

Yet two days after Russia’s President, Dmitry Medvedev, put his name to the G20 declaration, his Deputy Finance Minister, Dmitry Pankin, announced that Moscow would raise tariffs on imported cars to protect Russian producers.

Russia has also announced a general review of trade agreements that may lead to a further increase in import duties and a cut in quotas for allowable imports. Russia says these measures were planned in advance of the G20 meeting. ”No one said that anyone should scrap existing barriers or go back on existing decisions,” Mr Pankin explained.

China, which is anxious to help exporters hit by falling demand in the US and Europe, took a somewhat different tack. Three days before the G20 summit it raised export tax rebates paid on more than 3700 types of goods almost 28 per cent of the total sold overseas. Yet China has a huge trade surplus and has been criticised by economists who argue that the export sector receives too much favorable treatment from the government, which should instead stimulate domestic demand.

So far there has been no reneging on APEC and G20 free trade pledges. But these are early days. It will take resolute national leadership and continuing international consultation to resist protectionism as economic woes get worse and cries for help by affected industries become louder.

Fredrik Erixon, director of the European Centre for International Political Economy, a free-trade think-tank in Brussels, is concerned that the APEC and G20 pledges still leave scope for countries to impose anti-dumping duties on imports deemed to be below the cost of production, and to provide emergency state aid to politically sensitive industries. Indeed, he says that such measures are supplanting permanent import tariffs as the main method of protectionism and were not covered by either the APEC or G20 statements.

Still, APEC went somewhat further than the G20 in supporting an early resumption of WTO negotiations to liberalise international trade. These negotiations collapsed last July after seven years because of disagreements between the US and India, backed by China, over the extent to which agriculture in developing countries should be shielded from foreign competition.

China’s President Hu Jintao said in Lima that Beijing believed reviving the WTO talks and bringing them to a successful conclusion should be a top priority. APEC leaders directed their trade ministers to meet in Geneva next month to try to advance the WTO negotiations. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said a successful outcome would be a ”huge shot in the arm for the global economy” and to confidence.

If the world trade deal stalls again, there is another option for Pacific Rim nations. They could forge a trans-Pacific free trade agreement. The Bush Administration in the US, Australia and Peru announced recently that they would join Brunei, China, New Zealand and Singapore in talks to try to build the core of a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific. The first round of negotiations will be held in March in Singapore.

However, the Obama factor is looming over all these issues. Barack Obama, the US President-elect who takes office in January, outlined a potentially protectionist agenda during the election campaign. He said he would renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico and a pending bilateral deal with South Korea, rebalance economic ties with China to reduce the huge US trade deficit, challenge unfair trade in the WTO and elsewhere, and discourage US companies from outsourcing work to countries such as India and the Philippines.

If Obama, backed by a Democratic majority in Congress, takes up these cudgels, the prospects of success in both the WTO and trans-Pacific trade liberalisation negotiations will recede while the likelihood of a slide into wider tit-for-tat protectionism will increase.

The International Chamber of Commerce pointed out recently that parallels are being drawn between the financial and economic crisis of today and the Great Depression of the 1930s. ”Almost 80 years ago, many nations reacted to the Great Depression by raising border tariffs and ended up making matters worse for themselves included. Beggar-my-neighbour protectionism ended up beggaring everyone. That is one of the most unambiguous lessons of the 1930s,” the chamber said.

Obama and the leaders of other major economies and trading nations should bear this in mind as they consider policies for 2009 and beyond.

The writer, a former Asia editor of the International Herald Tribune, is a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of South-East Asian Studies in Singapore.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE CANBERRA TIMES’ (Australia)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, AUSTRALIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CANADA, CENTRAL BANKS, CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL MARKETS, G20, INDONESIA, INTERNATIONAL, JAPAN, MEXICO, PERU, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, RUSSIA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, USA, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

THE PLANET IS NOW SO VANDALISED THAT ONLY TOTAL ENERGY RENEWAL CAN SAVE US – It may be too late. But without radical action, we will be the generation that saved the banks and let the biosphere collapse

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 29, 2008

Tuesday November 25 2008 00.01 GMT

by George Monbiot – guardian.co.uk

The Guardian

GEORGE MONBIOT

George Bush is behaving like a furious defaulter whose home is about to be repossessed. Smashing the porcelain, ripping the doors off their hinges, he is determined that there will be nothing worth owning by the time the bastards kick him out. His midnight regulations, opening America’s wilderness to logging and mining, trashing pollution controls, tearing up conservation laws, will do almost as much damage in the last 60 days of his presidency as he achieved in the foregoing 3,000.

His backers – among them the nastiest pollutocrats in America – are calling in their favours. But this last binge of vandalism is also the Bush presidency reduced to its essentials. Destruction is not an accidental product of its ideology. Destruction is the ideology. Neoconservatism is power Alaska North Slope - Photo Date - Spring 1949expressed by showing that you can reduce any part of the world to rubble.

If it is too late to prevent runaway climate change, the Bush team must carry much of the blame. His wilful trashing of the Middle Climate – the interlude of benign temperatures which allowed human civilisation to flourish – makes the mass murder he engineered in Iraq only the second of his crimes against humanity. Bush has waged his war on science with the same obtuse determination with which he has waged his war on terror.

Is it too late? To say so is to make it true. To suggest there is nothing that can be done is to ensure that nothing is done. But even a resolute optimist like me finds hope ever harder to summon. A new summary of the science published since last year’s Intergovernmental Panel report suggests that – almost a century ahead of schedule – the critical climate processes might have begun.

Just a year ago the Intergovernmental Panel warned that the Arctic’s “late-summer sea ice is projected to disappear almost completely towards the end of the 21st century … in some models.” But, as the new report by the Public Interest Research Centre (Pirc) shows, climate scientists are now predicting the end of late-summer sea ice within three to seven years. The trajectory of current melting plummets through the graphs like a meteorite falling to earth.

Forget the sodding polar bears: this is about all of us. As the ice disappears, the region becomes darker, which means that it absorbs more heat. A recent paper published in Geophysical Research Letters shows that the extra warming caused by disappearing sea ice penetrates 1,000 miles inland, covering almost the entire region of continuous permafrost. Arctic permafrost contains twice as much carbon as the entire global atmosphere. It remains safe for as long as the ground stays frozen. But the melting has begun. Methane gushers are now gassing out of some places with such force that they keep the water open in Arctic lakes through the winter.

The effects of melting permafrost are not incorporated in any global climate models. Runaway warming in the Arctic alone could flip the entire planet into a new climatic state. The Middle Climate could collapse faster and sooner than the grimmest forecasts proposed.

Barack Obama’s speech to the US climate summit last week was an astonishing development. It shows that, in this respect at least, there really is a prospect of profound political change in America. But while he described a workable plan for dealing with the problem perceived by the Earth Summit of 1992, the measures he proposes are hopelessly out of date. The science has moved on. The events the Earth Summit and the Kyoto process were supposed to have prevented are already beginning. Thanks to the wrecking tactics of Bush the elder, Clinton (and Gore) and Bush the younger, steady, sensible programmes of the kind that Obama proposes are now irrelevant. As the Pirc report suggests, the years of sabotage and procrastination have left us with only one remaining shot: a crash programme of total energy replacement.

A paper by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research shows that if we are to give ourselves a roughly even chance of preventing more than two degrees of warming, global emissions from energy must peak by 2015 and decline by between 6% and 8% per year from 2020 to 2040, leading to a complete decarbonisation of the global economy soon after 2050. Even this programme would work only if some optimistic assumptions about the response of the biosphere hold true. Delivering a high chance of preventing two degrees of warming would mean cutting global emissions by more than 8% a year.

Is this possible? Is this acceptable? The Tyndall paper points out that annual emission cuts greater than 1% have “been associated only with economic recession or upheaval”. When the Soviet Union collapsed, emissions fell by some 5% a year. But you can answer these questions only by considering the alternatives. The trajectory both Barack Obama and Gordon Brown have proposed – an 80% cut by 2050 – means reducing emissions by an average of 2% a year. This programme, the figures in the Tyndall paper suggest, is likely to commit the world to at least four or five degrees of warming, which means the likely collapse of human civilisation across much of the planet. Is this acceptable?

The costs of a total energy replacement and conservation plan would be astronomical, the speed improbable. But the governments of the rich nations have already deployed a scheme like this for another purpose. A survey by the broadcasting network CNBC suggests that the US federal government has now spent $4.2 trillion in response to the financial crisis, more than the total spending on the second world war when adjusted for inflation. Do we want to be remembered as the generation that saved the banks and let the biosphere collapse?

This approach is challenged by the American thinker Sharon Astyk. In an interesting new essay, she points out that replacing the world’s energy infrastructure involves “an enormous front-load of fossil fuels”, which are required to manufacture wind turbines, electric cars, new grid connections, insulation and all the rest. This could push us past the climate tipping point. Instead, she proposes, we must ask people “to make short term, radical sacrifices”, cutting our energy consumption by 50%, with little technological assistance, in five years.

There are two problems: the first is that all previous attempts show that relying on voluntary abstinence does not work. The second is that a 10% annual cut in energy consumption while the infrastructure remains mostly unchanged means a 10% annual cut in total consumption: a deeper depression than the modern world has ever experienced. No political system – even an absolute monarchy – could survive an economic collapse on this scale.

She is right about the risks of a technological green new deal, but these are risks we have to take. Astyk’s proposals travel far into the realm of wishful thinking. Even the technological new deal I favour inhabits the distant margins of possibility.

Can we do it? Search me. Reviewing the new evidence, I have to admit that we might have left it too late. But there is another question I can answer more easily. Can we afford not to try? No, we can’t.

monbiot.com

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, USA | 1 Comment »

PATRICE LUMUMBA – STORIA DELLE RIVOLUZIONI DEL XX SECOLO

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 29, 2008

– Romano Ledda

A cura di Roberto Bonchio

(1624, 1625, 1626, 1627)

Mentre nell’ África occidentale si assisteva ad una pioggia di indipendenze conquistate o concessé (il 1° ottobre dei 1960 fu la volta della Nigeria), esplose nell’estate del 1960 la questione congolese. Il Congo « belga » fu tra gli ultimi paesi ad arrivare alla rivendicazione dell’indipendenza, e ad avere un movimento nazionalista. Il sistema coloniale belga si era sempre vantato di aver saputo chiudere le sue colonie in una « gabbia felice », senza problemi. In realtà dentro quella gabbia c’era il razzismo, la miséria, l’assenza di ogni diritto umano, misti ad un ottuso paternalismo.

Congo: documenti sulla barbarie colonialista. Nel sue celebre pamphlet Il soliloquio de re Leopoldo, Mark Twain denunció in termini durissimi ed estremamente efficaci, ciò che si nascondeva nella “opoera di civilizzazione” belga.

Privato di ogni libertà política e religiosa (Simon Kimbangu era congolese), il popolo congolese aveva trovato la sua prima forma di solidarietà contro i dominatori in associazioni culturali, sindacali o di mutuo soccorso, la cui attività, ovviamente, non poteva andare oltre i limiti dei próprio gruppo etnico-tribale nel primo caso, e oltre l’assistenza reciproca, nel secondo. La prima rivendicazione sostanzialmente política di una emancipazione dai belgi, venne próprio da una associazione costituita per lo « sviluppo della língua kikongo, l’Associazione dei Bakongo (ABAKO). Solo nel 1958 cominciarono a profilarsi movimenti a carattere político, le cui origini però rimasero per lo piú etniche o tribali. Le prime richieste furono timide. Il 26 agosto del 1958 diciannove dirigenti nazionalisti chiesero « un piano a lunga scadenza di sviluppo político ed economico che abbia come fine l’indipendenza». Ma la realtà di tutto il continente dove va accelerare i tempi. L’indipendenza guineana, e la conferenza panafricana di Accra del dicembre 1958, scossero profundamente tutta l’Africa nera, e l’eco varcò anche le rigide barriere che i belgi avevano inalzato intorno ai Congo. Un partito, il primo a carattere nazionale, con dichiarati intenti antitribali — il Movimento nazionale congolese (MNC), fondato da Patrice Lumumba — raccolse immediatamente la parola d’ordine dell’ indipendenza totale, e subito.

Leopoldville, 7 gennaio 1959. I congolesi manifestano per l’indipendenza. I fortissimi interessi colonialisti determinati dalle notevoli risorse minerarie di cui il Congo disponeva (soprattutto nel Katanga) e tra lê quali erano l’oro, l’argento, il rame, l’uranio, fecero si che Ia via per l’indipendenza di questo paese fosse piú lunga e difficile che per altri.

Nel gennaio dei 1959 i belgi iniziarono la repressione. Il 4, nel corso di un comizio di Lumumba, la polizia sparò uccidendo 42 congolesi e ferendone 257. Il 12 gennaio l’ABAKO venne sciolta, e i suoi dirigenti esiliati. Fino ai giugno una serie di incidenti insanguinarono le strade di tutte le più importanti città del Congo, finché il governo di Bruxelles non si decise ad aprire trattative. Ma gli ultras belgi del Congo, e soprattutto l’Union Minière, respinsero ogni possibilità di accordo, su qualsiasi base. Nel settembre e nel’ottobre si ebbero così la stragi di Kitona (40 morti e 180 feriti) e di Stanleyville (30 morti e 100 feriti), mentre sanguinosi incidenti scoppiavano un po’ dappertutto: a Matadi (6 morti e 30 feriti), a Luluaburg ( 7 morti e 22 feriti) e cosi via. Il 31 ottobre Lumumba venne arrestato.

Un morto per lê vie di Elisabethville durante gli scontri per lê manifestazioni indipendentiste dei 1960; paracadutisti befgi pattugliano lê strade delia città; un manifestante ferito, arrestato da un poliziotto.

Tuttavia la situazione si era fatta insostenibile per il Belgio. La pressione internazionale, l’inquietitudine dilagante nella colonia indussero il governo belga a modificare atteggiamento e a tentare una operazione di tipo neocoloniale: concedere una indipendenza fittizia, che non intaccasse nulla del potere belga sulle favolose ricchezze congolesi. Dopo una «tavola rotonda» tenutasi a Bruxelles (20 gennaio-20 febbraio 1960), cui partecipò anche Lumumba, portatovi direttamente dal carcere, venne deciso di indire delle elezioni generali per un Parlalamento nazionale che avrebbe proclamato subito la indipendenza. Il 22 maggio esse ebbero luogo, e diedero una vistosa vittoria al MNC, nonostante la violenta campagna fatta dai belgi a favore di partiti e gruppi politici, ch’essi stessi avevano ispirato e costituito, con loro agenti. A elezioni avvenute fu tentato di tutto per impedire che Lumumba assumesse la carica di capo del nuovo governo congolese. Ma il Parlamento gli diede l’incarico, il 22 giugno, a grande maggioranza.

Patrice Lumumba viene nominato capo del nuovo governo congolese il 20 giugno 1960.

Il 30 giugno fu proclamata l’indipendenza. Re Baldovino, personalmente, si reco a Leopoldville, per pronunciarvi un discorso in parte minaccioso, in parte colmo di paternalismo, che nella sostanza diceva: la vostra indipendenza la dovete a noi e alia nostra opera civilizzatrice, e noi resteremo ancora qui, perche voi avete ancora bisogno di essere guidati.

Patrice Lumumba circondato dai giornalisti

Per i congolesi rispose Lumumba. Il suo fu un discorso nobile, appassionato: « Noi siamo fieri — egli disse — fin nell’intimo della nostra anima, di aver condotto una lotta che è stata di lacrime, di sangue e di fuoco, perche era una lotta nobile e giusta, necessária per mettere fine al’umiliante schiavitú che ci era stata imposta con la forza. Questa è stata la nostra sorte in ottanta anni di regime coloniale e le nostre ferite sono troppo fresche e troppo dolorose perche noi possiamo cancellarle dalla memoria. Come potremo dimenticare che abbiamo conosciuto il lavoro spossante in cambio di salari che non ci permettevano di placare la nostra fame, di vestire e abitare con dignità, di allevare i nostri bambini come esseri che ci erano cari? Noi che abbiamo conosciuto le ironie, gli insulti, le frustate, che dovevamo subire dalla mattina alla será, perche eravamo negri? Chi dimenticherà che al negro si dava del tunon come ad un amico, ma solo perche il lei era riservato ai bianchi? Noi che abbiamo visto le nostre terré saccheggiate, con documenti falsamente legali perche fondati sul diritto dei piú forte?». Al re che gli ayeva parlato di civilizzazione, Lumumba elencò le sofferenze, gli orrori dei razzismo, la violenza della repressione. E aggiunse: « Ora il nostro caro paese è nelle mani dei suoi figli. Noi veglieremo perche queste nostre terre diano i loro beni ai loro figli. II nostro governo nazionale e popolare sara la salvezza dei paese». E infine affermò: «L’indipendenza congolese è un passo decisivo verso la liberazione del continente africano ».

Dall’alto in basso, da sinistra a destra: Moise Ciombe, Puomo politico congolese ai servizio dei colonialisti belgi, che capeggiò la sedizione dei Katanga; l’ultima foto di Patrice Lumumba, poço prima dei suo assassínio (febbraio 1961); patrioti congolesi catturati dai mercenari; un aspeito dei villaggio di Ituri dopo uno scontro.

Non solo i belgi, ma tutte le potenze imperialiste si irrigidirono. Un Congo veramente indipendente, non disposto a subire una indipendenza fittizia poteva diventare, col suo immenso potenziale di ricchezze, un fatto assolutamente dirompente nel processo di decolonizzazione del’Africa nera. Il film degli avvenimenti si fece a questo punto incalzante e drammatico: il 7 luglio i paras belgi invasero il Congo, l’11 luglio il Katanga proclamo la secessione, il 17 luglio intervenne l’ONU che fiancheggiò e sostenne l’attacco alia giovane repubblica congolese, il 5 settembre Lumumba venne destituito con un colpo di Stato dei presidente della repubblica Kasavubu e dei generale Mobutu. Non basto, però, aver liquidato la punta piú avanzata dei nazionalismo congolese. La popolarità di Lumumba era tale, la sua influenza ancora così grande (il 14 dicembre a Stanleyville si era costituito un governo lumumbista), che occorreva colpire ancora piú duramente. Nel dicembre Lumumba venne trasferito nella fortezza di Thysville. Dopo due mesi di dura prigionia venne portato nel Katanga, e il 14 febbraio assassinato con due compagni di lotta. Pochi giorni prima aveva scritto alla moglie Pauline: «Non siamo soli. L’Africa, l’Asia e i popoli liberi e liberati di tutti gli angoli del mondo si troveranno sempre a fianco del milioni di congolesi che non cesseranno la lotta se non il giorno in cui non ci saranno piú colonizzatori né mercenari nel loro paese ». E durante la dura prigionia aveva detto: « Se mi uccideranno sarà un bianco che avrà armato la mano di un negro ». E cosi accadde. Il primo grande martire dei risorgimento africano venne assassinato da africani (Ciombe e Munongo), su ordine di una coalizione imperialista che trovo complici tutte le principali potenze coloniali.

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SER ÍNDIO É SER BRASIL …

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 29, 2008

27/11/2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘ÍNDIOS ON LINE’ (Brasil)

puhuy pataxó hãhãhãe - 27/11/2008)

Ser índio é ser igual
E ser diferente.
Ser índio é ter coragem de lutar
e com a luta unir seu povo.

Ser índio é ter orgulho de sua identidade
e com ela fortalecer sua cultura.
Ser índio é tornar mais forte o seu povo
e reviver a sua inteligência.

Ser índio é não ter aquilo que não gosta
e ter aquilo que lhe pertence.
Ser índio é cuidar da mãe terra
e preservar a natureza.

Ser índio é ser amigo nos dias de sol
e de chuva.
Ser índio é ter consigo a liberdade
e fazer valer a sua capacidade.

Ser índio é viver em comunidade.
Ser índio é gostar da verdade.
Ser índio é lutar pela igualdade.
Ser índio é sorrir e chorar com os que amam
o próximo com ternura e sinceridade.

(Autor: puhuy pataxó hãhãhãe – 27/11/2008)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘ÍNDIOS ON LINE’ (Brasil)

Posted in A QUESTÃO AGRÁRIA, A QUESTÃO ÉTNICA, BRASIL, CIDADANIA, COMBATE À DESIGUALDADE E À EXCLUSÃO - BRASIL, DEFESA DO MEIO AMBIENTE - BRASIL, DIREITOS HUMANOS - BRASIL, LITERATURE, O MOVIMENTO DOS POVOS NATIVOS | Leave a Comment »