News Releases

How the Iran Deal “Snap Back” Could be Manipulated

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Boyle is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. His books on international law include Destroying Libya and World Order.

He said today: “President Obama and others have stated that if Iran violates the agreement, the sanctions on Iran will ‘snap back’ into place. That’s true, but what’s menacing about this is what they don’t highlight: the sanctions could quite conceivably ‘snap back’ based on some bogus pretext after Iran has dismantled the guts of its nuclear industry that is lawful under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Everyone knows that Iran does not have nuclear weapons to begin with.

“Under the agreement, this current or some future U.S. administration would only need the votes of the European powers to enact such a scenario since decisions will be made by the majority of a group that includes not only Iran, China, Russia, France and the UK, but also Germany and the EU. They have in effect set up a mechanism that gets around the possibility of a Russian and/or Chinese veto.

“The UN Security Council resolution passed today states that disputes arising from the agreement will be dealt with by this panel and that ‘If the Security Council does not adopt a resolution’ then the sanctions Iran has been under ‘shall apply in the same manner as they applied before the adoption of this resolution.’ So if the U.S. vetoes action by the Security Council, the sanctions come back.

“There has been misreporting on this issue, for example rightwing outlets like CNS falsely claiming: ‘Iran Deal Includes Loophole in Sanctions “Snapback’ Mechanism.’ Meanwhile, most mainstream or liberal reporting or commentary about this has been laudatory about the way the ‘snap back’ mechanism works: ‘How the Iran Deal’s ‘Snap Back’ Mechanism Will Keep Tehran Compliant.’

“This ignores the record of the U.S. government on these issues. In the recent case of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi eliminated his nuclear equipment and then was literally stabbed in the back — NATO bombed the country, he was murdered, and there’s a failed state there now, leading to untold human suffering. At a minimum, the United States government will use the ‘snap-back’ mechanism as a cudgel to beat the Islamic Republic of Iran into ‘regime change,’ which has been its objective all along.”

U.S. And Cuba: Restoring Diplomatic Relations

AP reports today: “US, Cuba restore full diplomatic ties after 5 decades.” A ceremony in front of the Cuban embassy will raise the Cuban flag at 10:30 ET.

JOSE PERTIERRA, josepertierra at aol.com, @guaguap11
Pertierra is a D.C.-based attorney and Cuban American who formerly represented the father of Elian Gonzalez. He also represents Venezuela in the case to extradite rightwing Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. See Miami Herald piece from last month: “Declassified document says Posada Carriles likely planner 1976 bombing of Cuba plane.” Pertierra appeared this morning on the program “Democracy Now.”

NETFA FREEMAN, netfa at ips-dc.org, @ips_dc
Freeman is organizer for the Campaign for a Just Policy Towards Cuba
for the Institute for Policy Studies. He recently wrote the piece “Has U.S. Policy Toward Cuba Really Changed?” — which states: “The United States could learn a lot from Cuba when it comes to disaster relief, education, and healthcare. More pointedly, Cuba projects a foreign policy of international solidarity around the world. As the U.S. supplies troops seen as military occupiers, Cuba sends — often to the same places the U.S militarizes — doctors and teachers who provide crucial assistance, free of charge, to the countries they’re in service of. Cuba does this with no strings attached, unlike the aid packages provided by U.S.-led international institutions like the IMF, World Bank, and even the United Nations. …

“Many of the moves the Obama administration has made in terms of its Cuba policy are in lockstep with Bill Clinton’s, as expressed in the recommendations of a 1999 task force report from the Council on Foreign Relations. The report asserted that ‘no change in policy should have the primary effect of consolidating, or appearing to legitimize, the political status quo on the island.’ While the Obama administration insists that it’s just changing a U.S. policy that was ‘not working,’ it remains an essentially disrespectful position against Cuba.”

Producers might want to use Jackson Browne “Going Down to Cuba” as musical intro.

Sandra Bland “Suicide” After Minor Traffic Stop

ABC News is reporting: “Newly-emerged cell phone video shows the arrest of Sandra Bland, who died in custody Monday in Texas — as the woman’s family and authorities disagree about the manner of her death.

“Authorities said that Bland, 28, committed suicide, but her family isn’t buying it.

“A prosecutor said Thursday that he will present the findings of a Texas Rangers’ investigation to a grand jury. The FBI is also investigating the circumstances surrounding Bland’s death.”

CARLOS MILLER, carlosmiller at pinac.org
Miller is author of The Citizen Journalist Photography Handbook. He founded the website PhotographyIsNotACrime.com, which recently posted the piece “Texas Sheriff Tried Confiscating Camera During Violent Arrest of Sandra Bland, 48 Hours Later She Died.” The piece states: “At one point, Sandra Bland can be heard saying ‘I can’t feel my arm…You just slammed my head on the pavement. Don’t you not even care about that? I can’t even hear.’ Jail officials are claiming the 28-year-old college graduate, who was awaiting $500 bail and returning to her alma mater Prairie View A&M for a job committed suicide.” The piece cites this tweet about the death of James Harper Howell, IV — also at the Waller County Jail — under seemingly similar circumstances.

KERRY McLEAN, kerrymclean at gmail.com
McLean is a human rights lawyer and activist based in New York City. She said today: “The troubling, highly suspicious death of Sandra Bland is unfortunately all too familiar to African Americans. There have been instances of Blacks mysteriously dying while in police custody for generations. Sandra Bland’s death is a reminder for some that even if you are a woman, or upwardly mobile, ultimately all that matters to the police is your Blackness. Respectability will not save you. Even societal mores that men should be gentle with women are meaningless…’ain’t I a woman?’ Heartbreakingly, Black Twitter trended with the hashtag ‘#IfIDieInPoliceCustody,’ with people telling friends and loved ones that if they die after being seized by police, it was not suicide. That they never attacked the police. That their loved ones shouldn’t allow the media to malign the character of the deceased. That we should fight the powers that be in their memory. We need justice. For Sandra Bland, for Kindra Chapman, for Sheneque Proctor and so many more. We need an end to racist police violence.”

U.S. Killer Drone Program Under Fire

Al Jazeera is reporting today: “U.S. President Barack Obama’s former top military intelligence official has launched a scathing attack on the White House’s counter-terrorism strategy, including the administration’s handling of the ISIL threat in Iraq and Syria and the U.S. military’s drone war. In a forthcoming interview with Al Jazeera English’s Head to Head, retired U.S. Lt. General Michael Flynn, who quit as head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in August 2014, said ‘there should be a different approach, absolutely’ on drones.

“‘When you drop a bomb from a drone… you are going to cause more damage than you are going to cause good,’ Flynn said.”

PRATAP CHATTERJEE, pchatterjee at igc.org, @pchatterjee
Chatterjee is the executive director of CorpWatch, an investigative journalism group, and the co-author of the forthcoming graphic novel Verax. Chatterjee just wrote a piece in the New York Times titled “Our Drone War Burnout,” which states: “As public support for foreign wars has fallen, following years-long occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Obama administration has favored this form of remote-control warfare. In the president’s first five years in office, the C.I.A. made 330 drone strikes in Pakistan alone, compared with 51 strikes in four years of George W. Bush’s presidency.

“The issue of drones’ civilian body count is well documented. The C.I.A., in classified submissions to Congress, claims civilian death rates ‘typically in the single digits’ per year, according to Senator Dianne Feinstein in 2013, who then chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“Independent sources differ sharply from the official account. In 646 probable drone strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen recorded by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as many as 1,128 civilians, including 225 children, were killed — 22 percent of deaths.”

Chatterjee continued: “The drone wars are also taking a toll at home. Air Force psychological studies have found widespread stress among pilots, analysts and operators. … Working up to 12 hours a day, sometimes six days a week, analysts watch their targets up close for months on end. They often witness their subjects’ final moments. In follow-up surveillance, they may even view their funerals.”

ELLEN BARFIELD, ellene4pj at yahoo.com
BEVERLY RICE, nycbev85 at aol.com
ELLEN GRADY, demottgrady6 at gmail.com, @DroneResister
Barfield and Rice are two of four activists who were tried last month for protests outside a drone base in New York state. They are awaiting sentencing. The protests are organized by the group Upstate Drone Action, where Grady is an organizer. The group released a statement: “Jury Finds Four Hancock Anti-Drone Activists Guilty of Trespass, but Acquits on All Other Charges,” which says: “They were among 31 arrested in the driveway to Hancock Air Base’s main gate on East Molloy Road on April 28, 2013 for ‘dieing-in’ with bloody shrouds or for attempting to read aloud to the military personnel behind Hancock’s barbed wire fence a list of children killed by U.S. drones. The activists said they sought to ‘prick the conscience’ of base personnel and the chain of command responsible for the war crime originating there.

“A lowpoint in the trial came when Judge Zavaglia did not permit Pardiss Kebraiaei, a national security and international law expert, to testify. Kebraiaei, who has testified before Congress, had come that morning from New York City where she’s an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights.

“Since 2010, Hancock has been the home of the 174th Attack Wing of the New York National Guard — an MQ9 Reaper drone hub piloting weaponized drones 24/7 over Afghanistan and likely elsewhere. Also since 2010, Hancock has been the scene of twice-monthly anti-drone demonstrations outside its main gate as well as occasional larger demonstrations and scrupulously nonviolent civil resistance organized by Upstate Drone Action, a grassroots coalition. These have led to over 160 arrests, and numerous trials in DeWitt as well as $375 fines, Orders of Protection, and numerous incarcerations. The Hancock witness is a part of a national and international campaign to stop U.S. drone assassinations where drones are piloted and coordinated from, such as U.S. A.F.B. Ramstein, Germany.”

Obama Visits Prison

PRISONTHOMAS RUFFIN, Jr., ttruff56 at aol.com
Ruffin, a Washington, D.C. based lawyer, last month wrote the piece “President Obama is a Traitor to the Black Race: An Open Letter.” Ruffin said today: “As of July 14, 2015, while pretending to be concerned about the poor, Obama commuted the sentences of merely 89 federal prisoners; whereas, a racist president, Harry Truman, pardoned 1,913 prisoners and another racist president, Woodrow Wilson, commuted the sentences of 1,366 prisoners.”

Ruffin wrote in his recent piece: “President Obama holds himself out during the lame duck period of his presidency as though he worked assiduously over the last six and one-half years for the uplift of black people and the poor. That pretense on the part of President Obama is hypocritical …. To be sure, the president’s administration deliberately conducted itself over the last six and one-half years as though President Obama owed no obligation, moral or otherwise, to black people (or to other oppressed peoples) that would be any different from the obligations owed by one of Obama’s white predecessors …. [Indeed,] … while thousands of black people live today in prison, with many facing execution, for crimes they never committed or after being convicted in racially bigoted tribunals that President Obama never condemned, we make a horrible mistake by excusing Obama for failing at a job he volunteered to do: and that is, to enforce the constitutional precept of ‘equal protection of the law’ for all people, including black and poor people, not just for the benefit of a rich and privileged white constituency ….

“If truly concerned about us as black people, then why has President Obama ignored the political prisoners who should be freed for rebelling against American injustice? Cannot at least one of these federally convicted political prisoners, such as Veronza Bowers, Oscar Lopez Rivera … Leonard Peltier, or Dr. Mutulu Shakur, be pardoned? If concerned about our suffering…then when will Obama call for legislative reform that reverses the racially bigoted sentencing and penal policies of the ‘Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996′ …

“[Unfortunately,] I see none of that in Obama’s future as president. However, [even] if he offer[ed] these reforms to Congress, the effort will be late and grossly ineffective. To be sure … [President Obama] neglected the chance to enact these reforms during his first two years in office — when he benefited from a congressional majority.” Added Ruffin: “Instead, President Obama used that majority to give trillions of dollars to Wall Street billionaires whom the president seldom, if ever, prosecuted.” Ruffin was one of Troy Davis’ lawyers; Davis was executed in Georgia four years ago. See the Democracy Now interview with Ruffin just after the execution.

DAN BERGER, daberger at uw.edu
Berger is author of Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era. He said today: “It is nice to hear a president admit that the United States has a prison problem. If Obama wants to end mass incarceration, he should eliminate solitary confinement, stop immigrant detention, and pursue a much wider usage of commutations.

“The United Nations has said more than 15 days of isolation is tantamount to torture, yet thousands of Americans spend years on end in solitary confinement prisons such as ADX Florence or the Communications Management Units in Marion and Terre Haute. The people kept in long-term isolation are disproportionately Muslim, often the subject of questionable prosecutions, as well as social or environmental justice activists. Many have been placed in solitary without violating any prison rules.

“The immigration system continues to tear communities apart. Prosecutions for immigration violations have made Latinos the largest ethnic group in the federal prison system, and detention centers continue to cage 34,000 people everyday.

“The commutation of 46 nonviolent drug offenders was a small sign of how unjust our sentencing policy is. Further, experts agree that people age out of crime. There is little reason to keep incarcerating someone who has served more than 25 years and is over 50 years old — regardless of what sent them to prison.” Berger is assistant professor of comparative ethnic studies at the University of Washington Bothell.

Israel Silently Lapping Field in “Mideast Nuclear Arms Race”

At a news conference this afternoon, President Obama defended the recent agreement with Iran, saying: “Without a deal, we risk even more war in the Middle East, and other countries in the region would feel compelled to pursue their own nuclear programs, threatening a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region in the world.”

Most U.S. political and media commentary about the agreement has given substantial voice to Israeli reaction, for example quoting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu about Iran: “Today a terrorist nuclear superpower is born, and it will go down as one of the darkest days in world history.” All the while, Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal — estimated at between 60 to 400 nuclear weapons has been virtually ignored. Israel, unlike Iran and all Arab countries, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

GRANT F. SMITH, gsmith at irmep.org, @IRmep
Smith is director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. He said today: “This whole idea of talking about a nuclear arms race in the Middle East without admitting who’s racing is bizarre. You can’t talk about a race without admitting that some have not only left the starting line, but have lapped the field.”

Grant has used the Freedom of Information Act and initiated a lawsuit to obtain U.S. documents relating to Israel’s nuclear weapons program. See from Courthouse News: “DOD Report Details Israel’s Quest for Hydrogen Bomb.”

Grant wrote the piece “U.S. Confirmed Existence of Israeli H-Bomb Program in 1987,” which states: “The 1987 report’s confirmation of Israel’s advanced nuclear weapons program should have immediately triggered a cutoff in all U.S. aid to Israel under the Symington and Glenn Amendments to the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act. …

“Under two known gag orders — punishable by imprisonment — U.S. security-cleared government agency employees and contractors may not disclose that Israel has a nuclear weapons program. GEN-16 is a ‘no-comment’ regulation on ‘classified information in the public domain.’ ‘DOE Classification Bulletin WPN-136 on Foreign Nuclear Capabilities’ forbids stating what 63.9 percent of Americans already know — that Israel has a nuclear arsenal.”

Also see Smith’s piece “Lawsuit Challenges U.S. ‘Ambiguity’ Toward Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal,” which states: “Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear analyst James Doyle wrote candidly about Israel’s nuclear weapons for a magazine in 2013. After a congressional staffer read the article, which had passed a classification review, it was referred to classification officials for a second review. Doyle’s pay was then cut, his home computer searched, and he was fired.”

Smith also wrote the piece “Poll: Netanyahu Should be Investigated for Nuclear Weapons Tech Smuggling Before U.S. Visit,” which states: “In 2012 the FBI declassified and released files … of its investigation into how 800 nuclear weapons triggers were illegally smuggled from the U.S. to Israel. According to the FBI, the Israeli Ministry of Defense ordered nuclear triggers (krytrons), encrypted radios, ballistic missile propellants and other export-prohibited items through a network of front companies. Smuggling ring operations leader Richard Kelly Smyth alleged that Netanyahu worked at one of the fronts — Heli Trading owned by confessed spy and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan — and met with him frequently to execute smuggling operations.” See from the Guardian: “Arnon Milchan reveals past as Israeli spy.”

Background: At his first news conference at the White House in February 2009, Obama was asked if he knew of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons. Obama replied that he didn’t want to “speculate.” See: “Netanyahu’s Nuclear ‘Chutzpah’ — As U.S. Government Releases Documents on Israel’s Nukes.”

Iran Deal: “Manufactured Crisis?”

IRAN PICGARETH PORTER, porter.gareth50 at gmail.com, @GarethPorter
Just back after two weeks in Vienna at the Iran talks, Porter is available for interviews beginning 3:00 Wednesday afternoon. He is an investigative journalist and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Porter regularly contributes to Middle East Eye. His recent tweets include: “The biggest news in the #IranDeal text is what isn’t there: the content of the new Security Council resolution & its arms embargo language.” Just after the deal was announced Tuesday: “And now comes the avalanche of #IranDealVienna propaganda spin from Israel’s media and think tank legions in the United States.” He also noted: “U.S. arms manufacturers have already exploited #IranDeal for $6 billion in new arms contracts with Gulf regimes.”

MUHAMMAD SAHIMI, moe at usc.edu
Sahimi, professor of chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Southern California, is co-founder and editor of the website, Iran News & Middle East Reports. Last month, he wrote the piece “Demonizing Iran To Prevent the Nuclear Agreement.”

Greek Government “Willfully” Ignores Referendum Vote

JOHN PILGER, [In London] jpilger2003 at yahoo.co.uk, www.johnpilger.com
Investigative journalist John Pilger’s books include Hidden Agendas and The New Rulers of the World. He wrote “The Problem of Greece is not Only a Tragedy: It is a Lie” in CounterPunch about the bailout deal Greece struck with its creditors, which included similar terms to the ones Greek voters overwhelmingly rejected in a referendum on July 5. In the article, he wrote: “An historic betrayal has consumed Greece. Having set aside the mandate of the Greek electorate, the Syriza government has willfully ignored last week’s landslide ‘No’ vote and secretly agreed to a raft of repressive, impoverishing measures in return for a ‘bailout’ that means sinister foreign control and a warning to the world.

“Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has pushed through parliament a proposal to cut at least 13 billion euros from the public purse – 4 billion euros more than the ‘austerity’ figure rejected overwhelmingly by the majority of the Greek population in a referendum on 5 July.

“For six months Tsipras and the recently discarded finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, shuttled between Athens and Brussels, Berlin and the other centres of European money power. Instead of social justice for Greece, they achieved a new indebtedness, a deeper impoverishment that would merely replace a systemic rottenness based on the theft of tax revenue by the Greek super-wealthy – in accordance with European ‘neo-liberal’ values — and cheap, highly profitable loans from those now seeking Greece’s scalp.”

Massive Friday “March of the Torches” in Honduras Against “Coup-ism”

Greg Grandin writes in The Nation: “In both Guatemala and Honduras, credible accusations of corruption are spurring mass mobilization… Washington is reacting in its usual manner to such threats: more militarization.”

Reuters wrote last Friday: “Tens of thousands Hondurans poured onto the streets of the capital Tegucigalpa on Friday to demand the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez in the biggest demonstration yet against the country’s leader over allegations of corruption. An estimated 60,000 demonstrators, many of them holding torches, took part in the… protest that converged on the presidential palace, the sixth Friday evening march in a row.”

In addition, some of the recently released Hillary Clinton emails further implicate the U.S. government in the 2009 Honduras coup. See from Dan Beeton of CEPR: “Newly Released Clinton Emails Reveal State Department’s Celebration Over Honduras’ Flawed Elections Following Military Coup” and from The Intercept: “During Honduras Crisis, Clinton Suggested Back Channel with Lobbyist Lanny Davis.” The Intercept notes: “During that period, Davis was working as a consultant to a group of Honduran businessmen who had supported the coup. In an email chain discussing a meeting between Davis and State Department officials, Clinton [then Secretary of State] asked, ‘Can he help me talk with Micheletti [interim president installed after the coup]?’ Davis rose to prominence as an adviser to the Clintons during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and has since served as a high-powered ‘crisis communications’ adviser to a variety of people and organizations…”

JESSE FREESTON, me at jessefreeston.com
Freeston has covered Honduras extensively as a journalist and documentary filmmaker. He has temporarily released his new feature documentary for free online in recognition of the sixth anniversary of what he calls “the ongoing coup d’état.” “Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley” has been broadcast across Latin America on teleSUR and already received standing ovations at the International Political Cinema Festival in Buenos Aires and the Quebec Film Festival in Montreal. Shot over five years, it begins with the 2009 coup and then picks up the story of the farmers of the Aguan Valley who react to the coup by taking over the plantations of the most powerful man in the country.

“Resistencia” is available for a very limited time in English and Spanish at www.resistenciathefilm.com.

He said today: “The current protests are part of a growing response to an admission by the ruling National Party that more than $200 million was stolen from the coffers of the country’s social security fund under their watch. The National Party took power in the wake of the 2009 coup d’état that overthrew progressive president Manuel Zelaya and ended the process to re-write the constitution of the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. President Juan Orlando Hernández also admitted that some of the stolen money was funnelled into his 2013 election campaign. An election that at the time was denounced as fraudulent by many international observers and the major opposition party.”

Freeston says that today’s movement is directly related to the 2009 coup: “A new tactic of weekly torch marches to the congress has revived a national movement that has been rising and falling in waves for six years now. There’s a word you hear a lot in Honduras, golpismo. In English it would be coup-ism. The word itself is a recognition that a coup is a long-term project, not something that happens on one day. Despite global condemnation in June 2009 nobody was ever punished for overthrowing an elected president and killing hundreds of activists who opposed the putsch, so why would the same coup-plotters fear being punished for pillaging the social security fund?”

EDWIN ESPINAL, [in Tegucigalpa] espinaledwin24 at yahoo.com
Espinal, is an activist with the National People’s Resistance Front (FNRP), the nationwide umbrella organization formed in June 2009 to oppose the coup d’état. His girlfriend Wendy Avila died from excessive tear gas inhalation during anti-coup protests in September 2009. In 2010, Espinal was captured and tortured by police for his participation in the FNRP. In the run-up to the 2013 elections his house was raided by the Military Police, an elite unit that responds directly to President Hernández. This scene is captured in “Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley.” Today he is accompanying a group of students that are entering their third week on hunger strike in front of the Presidential Palace demanding the president resign. Espinal said today: “The movement is getting stronger every day. There are 16 people on hunger strike in front of the Presidential Palace and a group from the Aguan Valley came to join the strike yesterday. We will be in the streets until President Hernández resigns and an International Commission Against Impunity, like the one operating now in Guatemala, is installed.”

Beyond Greece: BRICS Enabling a New Economic Path? 

From Left to Right: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and South African President Jacob Zuma

SAMEER DOSSANI, Sameer.Dossani at actionaid.org, @sameerdossani
Dossani is advocacy coordinator at ActionAid International. He said today: “This week as Europe deals with the fallout from the recent Greek referendum, one thing has become clearer than ever: the old economic orthodoxy is dead. What’s less clear is whether a new and more sensible framework may be on its way and whether BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — may be able to play a role in ushering it in.

“The BRICS are having their annual summit in Ufa, Russia this week. Prime ministers of the BRICS bloc have been meeting annually since the 2007-08 financial crisis and issuing statements on global political and economic affairs.

“This year’s event will see the launch of the BRICS ‘New Development Bank’ (NDB). Heralded as an alternative to the World Bank (the BRICS has already set up an alternative IMF), the NDB is being touted as a way to bring much-needed financing to the infrastructure and energy sectors of developing countries. The African continent in particular has been singled out as having an infrastructure deficit which the NDB could help resolve. But whether the New Development Bank will really bring about a new development model remains to be seen.

“The NDB could offer a new model if it does not follow the exploitative ways of those who controlled the old development model. First, it should be about real development and not just exporting raw materials, a fate to which most developing countries remain tied. Next, it should abide by principles of transparency and democracy so that trade unions, NGOs and social movements are also part of the development process. Last, it should ensure that it doesn’t harm those its intended to benefit. This means strong safeguards and a strong accountability mechanism so that those who may have been wronged have a way to seek justice.”

ActionAid was one of many development, environmental and human rights groups that recently signed a letter “The BRICS NDB: Four principles to make the New Development Bank truly new.”

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