The FBI Has an Official Policy of Racial Profiling – and Other Secret, Unchecked Powers

New information revealed by The Intercept shows that the FBI ‘s policies since 9/11 undermine civil liberties through racial and religious profiling – among other tactics.

The Intercept recently obtained exclusive access to a cache of documents detailing the FBI’s quiet expansion since 9/11 with policies and guidelines that grossly undermine civil liberties.

Perhaps the most jarring revelation from the outlet’s 11-part series is that despite anti-profiling rules, the FBI still targets based on religion and race.

While the bureau updated its policy on racial profiling in March 2013, investigation into its main governing manual, known as the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG) by The Intercept, clearly indicates that factors like race, nationality and ethnicity can be used to investigate someone.

While federal law enforcement has never allowed for such profiling, under the Bush administration, new rules were established to make exceptions for national security and border investigations.

Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, told The Intercept that it’s so worrying given “the vast reams of public information that are now available about everybody (including, for example, social media posts and travel records obtained through license plate readers) to create detailed portraits of each of us and of entire communities.”

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What Cuba’s Jose Marti Teaches Us About Imperialism

Thousands of Cubans participated in the March of the Torches on Saturday, an annual procession that pays homage to national hero Jose Marti on his birthday. Marti was a poet, essayist, novelist, and later in his life, a soldier.

This year’s march, commemorating the 164th anniversary of his birth, also paid tribute to Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. It was the first of its kind held since Fidel’s death last November.

Although Marti and Castro lived decades apart, both leaders defended their homeland from the same system they fought against until their deaths: imperialism.

Fidel is widely known for standing up to United States imperialism. But Marti, too, stood up to imperialists who wanted to extend their country’s economic, political, and military influence over the Caribbean island.

While participating in Cuba’s independence struggle against Spain, Marti wrote prolifically about the dangers of U.S. encroachment in the region.

Here are three examples:

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CELAC: Unity for our peoples of Latin America.

inicio-de-v-cumbre-celacrd2017-580x330The Fifth Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) began on January 24 with a minute of silence in honor of Fidel Castro, “who was a pioneer and firm believer throughout his life of a united Latin America on the path toward progress.”

This, according to the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, during the inauguration ceremony of the Summit’s High Level Segment of Heads of State and Government, which saw the participation of Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba.

“CELAC has a great duty, to always look out for the interests of our people,” stated Medina. It is not the time to isolate ourselves and go backwards, but to strengthen our ties in order to advance. We must find Latin American and Caribbean solutions to Latin American and Caribbean problems, he noted.

Medina also recalled José Martí, an essential figure when speaking about Our America. Quoting Martí, the Caribbean leader stated that “Nations that do not know one another should quickly become acquainted, as men who are to fight a common enemy.”

We are going to get to know one another, to unite, to struggle together, with the pride of our Founding Fathers; we are going to fight for this Great Homeland that our ancestors dreamed of, and our children deserve, stated Danilo Medina.

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Progressive Governments Attended CELAC Summit

celac_apoyoyrespaldpavenezuela_2017The presidents and chiefs of state from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, met Wednesday in the beach resort of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, to celebrate the sub-regional bloc’s fifth summit.

With less attendance than previous summits, discussions are being held by president of host country Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina and his counterparts in the region: Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela; Raul Castro, Cuba; Rafael Correa, Ecuador; Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua; Evo Morales, Bolivia; Salvador Sanchez Ceren, El Salvador; Jocelerme Privert, Haiti; Charles A. Savarin, Dominica; David Granger, Guyana; and Andrew Holness, Jamaica.

On Tuesday, the foreign ministers and representatives of the 33-member bloc drafted the Punta Cana Declaration, which is expected to include a total of 19 agreements regarding issues affecting this side of the world.

The final document will be released Wednesday night and will address subjects on trade, education, culture and health.

Officials announced there will be two special declarations on Cuba, one to call for an end to the U.S. blockade and another demanding the immediate shut down of the Guantanamo prison and the return of that land to the communist island.

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CELAC Summit begins with a moment of silence for Fidel

Heads of states from the 33-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, participated Tuesday in the opening ceremony of the group’s fifth summit in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, kicking off their meeting with a moment of silence to honor late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

The summit will continue Wednesday and the leaders will discuss greater regional cooperation and stronger ties as they brace for an uncertain relationship with the United States under the leadership of Donald Trump.

The Dominican Republic’s President Danilo Medina said the Brexit vote to leave the European Union in the U.K. and the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement were signs of a new era.

Among the issues reportedly under discussion will be an end to the U.S. blockade of Cuba as well as greater food security in the region.

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Young Cubans are happy in their country

An official investigation released Sunday found that 68 percent of young Cubans are happy in their country, while 71 percent felt “proud of being Cuban” and 82 percent were “overall satisfied with their life” on the island.

The survey was carried out by the state institution Youth Center in November 2016 of over 1.3 million teenagers between the ages of 10 and 19 years old — representing over 12 percent of the total population.

About half of those surveyed wanted to go to university — and 80 percent believed in the importance of study, with a medical career being the top among their aspirations.

Among the “social lack of discipline,” they admitted they sometimes had, were “putting music on at any time,” “using the school uniform incorrectly,” and “throwing garbage in the street,” among others.

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Latin American, Caribbean Leaders Discuss Relations With USA

celac_14Thirty-three Latin American and Caribbean heads of state are meeting in the Dominican Republic for five days to discuss a wide range of topics — on top of the list is United States President Donald Trump.

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a bloc dedicated to promoting regional cooperation and combating U.S. hegemony, launched its fifth summit on Saturday. Its leaders kicked-off the summit discussing the implications of Trump’s presidency.

Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas told his counterparts that the countries of the region “must support each other,” but should not “rush” to judge the administration of the new U.S. president.

“President Trump should be given space to start on a position that is favorable to Latin America,” Vargas told EFE. He added that Trump’s presidency “is a theme that must be analyzed in its context to each country” and that regional leaders should “wait a bit to see how his administration develops.”

While Vargas and other CELAC leaders are keeping an open mind to their respective country’s relations with Trump’s administration, some remain weary.

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