The new 12th issue of Moko, magazine of Caribbean literature and art, is out now. Two of my poems ”Death of Yanchi the Island Prophet Amos of Aruba” and ”The Swarm”are in the issue! (Publication originally slated for somewhere in November last year met inevitable delay caused by numerous hurricanes that galloped through the region doing business over the heads roofs and modems of the Caribbean.)
My article in CounterPunch criticizing CNN coverage and omissions on Latin America is originally part of a longer essay ”Invisible Americas.”
Emphasis here is on what goes omitted. While state terror and economic crises worsen in many countries on the subcontinent, not specifically Venezuela, CNN En Español streamlines images of Venezuelan collapse, delivering the public in other Latin American countries a spin on Thatcher’s old maxim, acronym TINA ”There Is No Alternative” but submission (to business-rule, the IMF, hedge-funds, etc.) or else starve.
PostScript: I wrote the piece before the Chilean reelection of Piñera, businessman and former functionary of the Augusto Pinochet regime, who campaigned on the promise to prevent Chile’s becoming ”another Venezuela” in the most privatization-prone Andean country where CNN En Español is part of household consumption. My essay also makes no mention of Argentinean president Macri’s brutal military-police-crackdown on protestors and congressmen this December, wounding 150 demonstrators for the crime of vociferous opposition to the government’s plan to eliminate all pensions according to the IMF recipe for success, (it also happened after I wrote the piece, before publication date, among other underreported December horrors in Peru.)
*ERROR spotted after the Weekend Edition printed: “The corruption the post-coup’s corruption went unreported by CNN En Español.” should of course be ”The post-coup corruption went unreported by
Thanks to the editor of the Dutch Caribbean literary blog for posting the text I wrote (linked above) for the November 2017 exhibition ”Being Radical in the Garden of Happy Thoughts,” at the Amsterdam Arts & Crafts centre, solo show of Aruban visual and performance artist Ray Zijlstra
During the years 2105-2016 I avidly read the Dutch press and wider European coverage of the refugee influx. I wrote this article, “The Minister of Culture and Plastic Surgery” after the Dutch former minister of culture Halbe Zijlstra insisted at a press conference that refugees would be denied ”free cosmetic surgery bankrolled by the state” making no mention of any of the multiple wars that had raged on with Western complicity from the beginning of the end of Arab Spring. This year, former Minister of Culture and Plastic Surgery, Zijlstra was recently rechristened as the Dutch minister of foreign policy. https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/08/the-ministry-of-culture-and-plastic-surgery/ *It came as a suggestion from my friend Edward Geelhoed a Dutch journalist and Athens-correspondent, to repost the piece after Zijlstra’s rehabilitation https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/08/the-ministry-of-culture-and-plastic-surgery/
‘How the first Strangers met the Coast Guard” my poem today in the weekly politics and lit digest ”Writers Resist!” (I changed the title, originally ”How the Gods in their Sun-Boat were first received by the Coast-Guard”) On Writers Resist: “Writers Resist is a literary collective born of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. We publish creative expressions of resistance by diverse writers and artists from around the globe”
Essay I wrote on Pablo Neruda’s boat the SS Winnipeg and his spectacular solidarity with Spanish civil war refugees he transported to the then-safe-haven of Valparaiso Chile, now gets a reprint in the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative after first publication in Anomaly. With the watercolour Le Balcon by Nour-Eddine Jarram, (recalling the repetition of such crises today, but where are the grand gestures like Neruda’s? I make this update from Athens, Greece, my window looking onto the street of shipwrecks near Oumonia, diverted fountain in the district of Exarchya.)
Global Literature in Libraries Initiative
SS Winnipeg was Neruda’s Winged Fugitive Ark for war refugees. Where are such grand gestures today?
Stateless and dispossessed persons in the world today amount to a towering 65 million. If we are to trust the “census” of such an unstable and stateless population, it is the highest number of refugees in recorded history (at least, in history recorded after the infamous case of Babel.) The scattered ones mount shouldering upon the flotillas; upon the waves, burnt by exposure to the wind and seawater, the cold, the sun and coastguards, and under the Greek and Semitic constellations. On the shores of Europe, the shipwrecked either hide from the immigrations police, or are processed by techno-bureaucracies. A resident status is ‘’pending,’’ assets confiscated in storage facilities; petitioners are confined in the forced passivity of detention centers. Many years go squandered, lost in waiting. Waiting, during a grueling process for the approval…
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