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On Dec. 19, the United States Senate voted 87-12 in favor of watered-down legislation that will roll back a few of the most draconian provisions of the federal criminal justice system. The “First Step Act,” short for the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act,” goes back to the House of Representatives, which passed a slightly stronger version last May by a vote of 360 to 59. When it comes to locking people up, the United States stands on top of the heap.
The people who organized the country’s biggest prison strike against what they call modern-day slavery have planned their next target: corporate food service giant Aramark. The $8.65 billion company is one of the country’s largest employers and serves food to more than 100 million people a year. It also provides meals for more than 500 correctional facilities across the country and has been the subject of complaints about maggots and rocks, sexual harassment, drug trafficking and other employee misconduct.
From the first time Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela in 1998, Washington and its allies have been trying to undermine his government. Is Venezuela a threat to Washington? No, Venezuela is an example of how a rising people can build a model where social justice reigns and human prosperity is cherished above economic wealth.