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The following is a transcript of Stacey Abrams’ Feb. 5 statement, as prepared by The New York Times: Good evening my fellow Americans and happy Lunar New Year. I’m Stacey Abrams and I’m honored to join the conversation about the state of our union. ...
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the heart of Black Africa. Millions of Congolese have been murdered, massacred, enslaved, robbed of their resources and driven from their homes since the Berlin Conference gave the “Congo Free State” to Belgium’s King Leopold II as his personal property in 1885. I spoke to Jean-Claude Maswana about the latest waves of aggression under current Congolese President Joseph Kabila.
Five hundred people packed an Oakland church to welcome Dr. Maryse Narcisse, presidential candidate of Fanmi Lavalas, the party of Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The event kicked off a week-long speaking tour of California that took her to Scripps College in Los Angeles County, the UCLA School of Public Health and the National Lawyers Guild annual dinner in San Francisco.
On Oct. 4, Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti, killing at least 1,000 people and leaving thousands without shelter or food. The hurricane has devastated the city of Les Cayes and many villages in the Southwestern part of the country. The torrential rains and winds have also hit the capital, Port-au-Prince. With massive flooding comes the increased danger of water-borne diseases, particularly cholera, which has already reached epidemic proportions. We ask that all friends of Haiti donate as much as you can to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund.
On Oct. 25, Haitians are slated to go to the polls to elect a new president and Parliament, after a disastrous first round vote for Parliament on Aug. 9, marred by Martelly government-sponsored voter suppression, violence and corruption. Amid protests and calls from thousands of demonstrators to annul the August elections, it took almost two months to announce the “winners” who will contest this Oct. 25 “run-off.”
I am shocked and I denounce your description of the late president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, as a “dead communist dictator.” I've expressed support for your call to build a grassroots movement to take on the power of the billionaires and their corporations – what you’ve referred to as a “political revolution.” You’ve said that this is what your campaign is about. It was precisely such a stance that got Hugo Chavez elected and re-elected president of Venezuela.
As Burundian voters went to the polls on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department warned that “elections held under the current conditions in Burundi will not be credible and will further discredit the government.” It also said it planned to suspend partnerships that it hasn’t already suspended with “anyone promoting instability in Burundi through violence.” Will those “promoting instability through violence” include the renegade Burundian military officers who staged a failed coup attempt in May, then fled to Rwanda and declared war on Burundi? Will it include Rwandan military and political support for a rebel force?
The uprising in Egypt has been widely attributed to the youth primarily because of their Jan. 25 Internet initiative to rally against police brutality using their "We are all Khaled Said" Facebook page that commemorates a young man beaten to death by police.