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DPJC Position Statement

Bolivia: Dallas Peace and Justice Center Denounces Military Coup

 
 
 
(DALLAS, TX - November 12, 2019) Bolivia is in the midst of a dangerous political crisis! Last Sunday, democratically-elected Bolivian President Evo Morales, Latin America's longest serving leader, was forced by the country's military to resign. Morales had led the poorest nation in South America for fourteen years and was widely credited with lifting millions out of poverty. According to some media reports, the coup may be linked to a decision by Morales to cancel an agreement with a German firm for the sale of Lithium, a rare metal and critical component in the manufacture of electric car batteries. Bolivia has 50 to 70% of the world's supply of Lithium.
 
Morales' Oct 20 victory in Bolivia's national elections was disputed by the US-dominated Organization of American States (OAS), that claimed the vote was fraught with irregularities. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Florida Senator Marco Rubio were quick to support the OAS position. President Donald Trump celebrated the coup saying, "The United States applauds the Bolivian people for demanding freedom and the Bolivian army for protecting the Bolivian constitution.... We are now a step closer to a completely democratic, prosperous, and free Western Hemisphere."
 
As news of the coup spread, condemnations began to pour in from around the world. Jeremy Corbyn, UK Labour Party leader, President Manuel Obrador in Mexico and Brazil's former president Silva de Lula denounced the subversion of democracy in Bolivia. 
 
According to Hadi Jawad, Executive Director of the Dallas Peace and Justice Center (DPJC), "It is important to note that the OAS, backed by the US, has routinely undermined left-wing governments in South America while blindly supporting authoritarian regimes in the region. With a gun to his head, to say that Morales 'resigned' is disingenuous." He continued, "In Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua, and now Brazil, the US has supported coups and regime-change policies that harken back to the era when the US aggressively promoted right-wing candidates, and propped up tyrants that used death squads and kidnappings to maintain their grip on power."
 
Boliva has been ruled by a white European elite since the day of the conquistadors! Morales was the first indigenous president in this indigenous-majority nation. As president, he oversaw the reduction of poverty by 42% and extreme poverty by over 60%. He cut unemployment by 50% and introduced major public works reforms. Nationalizing the country's main resources, he focused on health, education and food security for poor Bolivians. But his rejection of neoliberal policies drew the ire of the US and western corporate interests and hastened his removal from office.
 
Jawad added, "the message is clear: it's not a coup when the outcome favors the US and its allies." 

 

 

 

DPJC Position Statement

Diplomacy Not War With Iran

(9/17, Dallas, TX) Although Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the September 14th drone strike of an oil-processing facility in Saudi Arabia, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, without presenting any evidence, is blaming Iran for the attack.

According to Bill Maxwell, board member of the Dallas Peace and Justice Center (DPJC), “It should be clear to all that Pompeo and the US government are beating the drums of war to convince the world and Americans that war with Iran is inevitable. Few outside the United States are convinced, and Americans, tired of endless wars, are disinclined to agree.”

DPJC'S executive director, Hadi Jawad, said, “We must keep in mind this was not a direct attack on American assets. A war with Iran would unnecessarily put at risk the lives of 70,000 US troops deployed in the region prompting the Pentagon to urge the White House for restraint. A better response is to end US military support for Saudi Arabia's war against Yemen, return to the painstakingly negotiated Iran Nuclear deal by the Obama administration. The US must defuse tensions, not escalate hostilities.”

According to The Watson Institute at Brown University, the US federal price tag for post 9/11 wars is a staggering $5.9 trillion, with 244,000 civilian casualties and 21 million war refugees. A war with Iran could rapidly become regional, roil world oil markets, cause a world-wide recession, create millions of additional war refugees and draw neighboring countries like Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon and the UAE into a shooting war.

“We call upon the US to re-engage Iran with serious diplomacy, end the cruel sanctions that punish the civilian population in Iran, and work to prevent Saudi Arabia and Israel from starting yet another war in the Middle East. This is not the time for saber-rattling or beating the drums of war, but the hard work of diplomacy." Bill Maxwell said.

 

 

 

DPJC Position Statement

On Human Rights Abuses Suffered by the People of Jammu and Kashmir

(9/17, Dallas, TX) The Dallas Peace & Justice Center (DPJC) is committed to a just and peaceful resolution of current Human Rights violations suffered by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.  We call for the immediate restoration of their full civil and human rights.  We are committed to promoting these rights through efforts to educate the American public and our political leaders on current human rights violations there, as well as the long-term violation of the human rights suffered by the Jammu and Kashmir peoples. 

We call on world leaders, on the United Nations and on the United States in particular, to exert their full diplomatic powers towards bringing justice to these people.

We further call on the government of India to:

  • Reverse the July 5th revocation of the special status of the states of Jammu and Kashmir that had been bestowed on the State under article 370 of the Indian Constitution,
  • De-escalate the situation by withdrawing military personnel from Kashmir,
  • Commit to holding a referendum under UN supervision that guarantees a free and impartial vote, ensuring that the Kashmiri people can exercise their right to self-determination within two years and
  • End the communications blackout, military-enforced curfew, house arrest of prominent Kashmiri political leaders and other human rights violations recently imposed.

September 17, 2019

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DPJC Position Statement

On Reinstatement of Federal Death Penalty

(7/29, Dallas, TX) The recent announcement that the US Government would resume executions after a nearly two-decade stoppage represents another political and moral failure of the current presidency. The trend within the last two decades in this country, even with a pro-death penalty US Supreme Court, has been to restrict the application of the ultimate punishment so that both death sentencing and executions have been dramatically reduced to their lowest point since the death penalty was re-legalized on July 2, 1976.

This is a moment for all concerned individuals and human rights activists in particular to contact their elected representatives at the state AND federal level to express their concern and outrage that the barbarism of the federal death penalty is returning in our names and with our tax dollar support. The death penalty, so deeply and inherently flawed with mistakes and vicious racism, has no place in this or any other civilized society, and it is incumbent on us to vigilantly work for its complete eradication from our country and world.

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DPJC Position Statement

On the Escalating Situation in Venezuela

(5/1, Dallas, TX) “The Dallas Peace and Justice Center notes with great concern and alarm the volatile situation in Venezuela and calls for de-escalation of tensions through peaceful negotiations. We unequivocally reject any attempts by the United States to forcibly remove the government of Nicolas Maduro from office.We denounce the bellicose rhetoric and threats from National Security Adviser John Bolton of military intervention, just as we decry violence against unarmed protestors by the Maduro government.

We assert that bloodshed must be completely averted. While we agree that President Nicolas Maduro is an authoritarian leader who has presided over unfair elections, failed economic policies, extrajudicial killings by police, food shortages and cronyism with military leaders,U.S. intervention in Venezuela's internal affairs will only make a bad situation worse. A long history of U.S. military interventions has not only destabilized many Latin American countries but has also created a profound mistrust towards the United States. This has strengthened president Maduro's popularity and complicated the present situation. A proper relationship between the United States and its neighbor to the south must start with mutual respect and focused on helping Venezuela’s economy grow and prosper instead of draconian sanctions that hurt average citizens.


We urge National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Venezuela envoy Elliot Abrams—all of whom have backed authoritarian leaders, death squads, and illegal wars throughout their careers in government---not to push for regime change or military intervention but instead back regional dialogue initiatives such as the one proposed by Mexico and the Vatican.


It is entirely the prerogative of the noble people of Venezuela to decide the future of their revolution, not of any foreign power. All that can come from outside military intervention is more chaos and crisis, and God forbid, the misery and suffering of war."

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