Tuesday, March 12, 2019

NJ Decides – One or Two Buses to March 16 March for Latin American Peace

Contribute or reserve your seat for March16:

This Saturday, March16, thousands will descend on Washington DC to demand NO U.S. War, no coup, no intervention, no interference, no slaughter against the nation and people of Venezuela.  As of now about 60 NJ residents are signed up for transportation to this historic event.  The timing could not be better for this important protest.

The US continues to escalate its warfare targeting the nation and people of Venezuela.  In the past few days:

There have been about 5 consecutive cyber attacks on the Venezuelan electric grid causing about 2 dozen deaths already, perhaps more.  The US CYBERCOMM within the US Deparment of Defense has finger prints all over these terrorist acts of war.  Within minutes of one of the attacks, Florida Senator Marc Rubio was tweeting threats to Maduro.  Guaido, the self anointed ‘wannabe’ who is trying to call himself president was stating that the electric will again be available when Venezuelan President Maduro is removed from power.

The US has started to threaten sanctions on India for purchasing oil from Venezuela.

The US has issued a travel warning on Bahamas which has opposed the US attempt to intervene in Venezuela and is threatening all nations that continue to relate with the constitutional government in Venezuela.

The New York Times has confirmed initial reports in much of the foreign press on February 23 that the “Maduro burned the US aid” was a totally staged and false incident – that it was actually US supported apparent mercenaries that set the aid on fire.  The US media had run with that for 3 weeks as a false story.

Another US news source has reported that a battalion of militia or mercenaries was ready to infiltrate into Venezuela had the aid trucks gotten through on February 23.

So the timing is right and the question is this – is NJ capable of funding and filling a second bus to this historic event.  

It is risky just a few days before the event to invest in an additional bus reservation.  Unfortunately given the pressing economic times, many participants are waiting until the last minute to reserve their slot, contribute and make their commitment to participate.

In order to assess if we can double the NJ participation, we need two things quickly – funders and participants – and while those sets intersect – they are not necessarily all the same set of people.

I am getting a lot of reservations now from folks taking advantage of the discounted and subsidized seats on the bus.  Thus I am confident that we can likely fill all or most of the 2nd bus.  There is one participant who has arranged for 11 people to participate – so a few more astute organizers like that and we can easily make this happen.

Funds on the other hand seem not to be flowing much the last couple of days – and that can be the deciding factor.  There are many who are asking to hold seats but have yet to hit the contribution which is making it more difficult to decide on a second bus.

So the way this will work is -

We will continue to urge folks to reserve and contribute – now toward a second bus.  Should a second bus not be arranged, contributors and reservation holders will have the option either to have the funds refunded or to use the funds toward the March 30 Hands Off Venezuela / NO to NATO! March – also on Washington DC – we are arranging transport to that also.  Also if a full bus can not be funded we could apply for a smaller van or mini bus.



The nature of arranging transportation to national marches is most people decide at the last moment so it is hard to make concrete plans around additional transportation.

With the current threat level – with US military carrying our Cyber bombardment of the Venezuelan infrastructure, increasing sanctions, moving toward an embargo or blockade, threatening Venezuela’s allies, being exposed in contrived manufactured incident, one after another - -


Cast your vote wisely as to whether we should secure additional transportation!


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Deeper Level of Interaction Needed for Success of March 16 / 30


I think I figured out part of the challenges of organizing participation in March 16 and March 30 Antiwar marches in Washington DC. I have been organizing buses since the early 80s.  We used to sort of all fan out and sell seats and collect cash or checks. There was a coordinator - often me.  Other towns and groups also had coordinators and participatory bus organizing mechanisms.
But it seemed like the effort was more collective where people would call with 2 seats, 4 seats, a bunch of seats, half a bus . . .
But now folks seem to think the job is done because they see it circulating in social media. The personal touch for a mass mobilization seems a little amiss.  Right now it seems like less of a group effort as far as recruiting and pitching and getting folks to commit on the personal level.
My reach is being repressed / downgraded by Facebook now - I am absolutely sure of it by the lack of success of the information I am sharing - so circulation help is needed. That is DEFINITELY HURTING my ability to pull these activities together without more help = including with sharing - targeted sharing - on Insta / Twitter / MeWe. Media outreach.
More importantly - we need to talk to each other. Internet wise - phone wise - at meetings - when we see people - more personal touch by more people. In box and follow up is better than a random post to your feed. It's sales - it really is but we do need to market the importance of these activities to the point where people agree enough to participate or support. We need more folks actually advocating for the participation and support.
We need funds - and we need riders. The more the bus is funded, the less funds needed from the rest of the riders so that is less of an impediment for more participants.
If we are building a movement - we should be able to fund as much transportation as people willing to go. That would be massive. Not that its all about paying bus companies - and i get that - but these two marches - March 16 and 30 - are a challenge to us to see if we are WILLING TO SHOW UP AGAINST THE THEFT AND
So the people have to decide - are we going to make this happen - big - or are we going to let imperialism add another notch in the bloody CIA coup stick.
So it would be awesome if folks started asking around - with more of a personal touch - about both participation and financial support - organizations should suggest how they are going to make their presence felt in DC among the anti-war and anti-imperialist forces. What are your organizational goals for the day and how are you going to multiply the antiwar message delivered in DC by your presence.
The burden is upon us now - are we going to make these marches happen and how can we make them more effective?
And please DO make some sort of commitment if you can - participatory or financial - or promotional if you can not get there - or all of it and more.

Green Party of NJ Letter of Support for March 16 Hands Off VZ!

Dear Green Party Members and Friends,

The Green Party of NJ is supporting and participating in two upcoming national marches in Washington, D.C. to oppose the US coup-plotting toward Venezuela and to oppose NATO’s role in endless US war-making. The first one is on Saturday March 16 and the second one on Saturday March 30.  We are working with our movement partners #NJAntiWarAgenda, NJ Peace Council, Hands Off Venezuela, NJ and others toward mobilizing a NJ bus to each of these events.

We need to make as strong a statement as possible now -- first to show our ongoing opposition to regime change operations in Venezuela (each country has the right to self-determination) and to bring to light NATO’s history of death and destruction, while calling for its elimination. If there is war in Venezuela, this will be the first time NATO operations will extend to Latin America. The U.S. could use Colombia, a global partner of NATO, as a launch pad into Venezuela.

We encourage our members to participate in or to join one or both of these marches. This is a dangerous time!  If you can not attend - or even if you can - we encourage those who are able to contribute toward the transportation costs of both buses so that others who are available to march but caught short on the transportation costs can also participate.

To make your arrangements or to contribute, click on this funding site and make your contribution.  

You should also text to 908-881-5275 to explain which march you are contributing to (or either or both) and how many seats you would like to reserve.  You can also ask any questions about the logistics etc.

The suggested costs per seat are $50, $40 for discounted and other lower cost options for subsidized are available.  Please do not consider any financial limitation in deciding whether you can participate in the demonstrations on March 16 and/or March 30.

We also would appreciate if those with media contacts would send the press release (at link below)  to whatever media lists you may have. If possible, please follow up with them to encourage them to cover these organizing efforts against war and for peace in Latin America.

Please also continue to share the funding link and the press release links in your social media outlets, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

If you have any questions at all, be encouraged to contact Madelyn Hoffman 973-876-1023 or Bob Witanek 908-881-5275.

Please forward this e-mail to any colleagues who might be interested.

Theresa Markila
Green Party of New Jersey
She, her, hers
On Behalf of the Coalition

Saturday, March 2, 2019

NJ Anti-US Coup Protesters Headed to Washington DC on March 16!

NJ Anti-US Coup Protesters Headed to Washington DC on March 16!

CONTACT: BOB WITANEK 908-881-5275 Madelyn Hoffman at 973-876-1023.

Facebook Event

After a more than half a dozen protests around NJ as part of nearly 150 protests in the U.S. and internationally to oppose US threats and aggressions toward the nation and people of Venezuela, NJ residents are joining forces for a march on Washington DC on Saturday, March 16.  

Transportation is being provided to the national march which will culminate at a rally in front of the White House by NJ Anti War Agenda in coordination with the Hands off Venezuela NJ national coalition.  The suggested donations for a round trip to the Washington DC protest are $50 full cost, $40 discounted. There are also subsidies available down to $20.

The bus will leave 7 am from Lincoln Park in Newark with a 7:30 am pick up in New Brunswick New Jersey.  The bus is scheduled to return around 10 – 10:30 to those locations.

Contributions are also being sought for those who can help participants eager to march but without financial means.  You can arrange your participation as well as support the transportation costs of others at this funding link:

According to Bob Witanek, a founder of NJ Anti War Agenda as well as Hands Off Venezuela – NJ, “The US is teetering dangerously toward direct military intervention to seek its goals of regime change in Venezuela. Its initial efforts to achieve a coup in Venezuela have gone wrong on many counts:

The inability to get support from the United Nations Security Council and from the Organization of American States.

Opposition from Caribbean nations organization CARICOMM.

The attempt to force Venezuela to accept so-called “humanitarian aid” into Venezuela on February 23 turned into a fiasco with an amateurish stage managed scene along the Colombia-Venezuela border

Refusal of international aid agencies to participate in the aid scheme which they see as an attempt to foment US intervention.

Statements from Brazil, Colombia and the European Union stating that they will not participate in US military actions against Venezuela.

The complete lack of support for any coup from within the Venezuelan armed forces in spite of US planted stories that they were in talks with officers within those forces.

The majority of the nations of the world including almost all of Asia and Africa and including Russia, China, India, Cuba, Bolivia and Mexico are working to oppose US intervention.

The capturing of weapons being smuggled into Venezuela by the armed forces.

However with all of those failures, the US is still pressing forward with air force surveillance along the coast, a military build up in the Caribbean, a continued offensive to try to drum up flagging international support and organizing of anti-Venezuela operations in Colombia and Brazil.  Cuba has also reported US special forces being mobilized in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean locations.”

Witanek states that the US and all of Latin America are in a “dangerous predicament at the brink of a major regional war that will bring massive death and destruction to Latin America and the Caribbean.”

For this reason, the organizations he has co-founded have joined a national effort for a march on the White House in Washington DC on March 16 an event called by the ANSWER Coalition.

According to Witanek, “There is a new wind blowing in the US and throughout the world.  This latest threat of US war is bringing together forces throughout the nation and world.  In Colombia and Brazil, the people are working to organize opposition to support those governments are giving to coup plans.  This march will come at an opportune time to issue a resounding NO to any attempt for the US to bring war, the deaths of tens of 1000s and ultimate destruction to Venezuela.”

NJ residents who oppose war will have a second chance this month to march in Washington,  D.C. on March 30 to oppose NATO and US warfare facilitated by NATO. At least one NJ bus will deliver NJ participants to that event. This 2nd event will be organized by the U.S. Peace Council and the NJ Peace Council, chaired by Madelyn Hoffman. Said Hoffman, “The blatant , arrogant and illegal coup attempt is the first foray of NATO into Latin America. Colombia is a global partner of NATO and would be used as a launch pad for U.S. troops to move into Venezuela. While Colombian leadership may be willing, the people are not. We need a strong one-two punch to show that the people oppose U.S. efforts to start another war.” Arrangements for transportation to that march can be made through the same
link .

Those interested in participation, can register and arrange payment at this link or call or text Bob Witanek at 908-881-5275 or Madelyn Hoffman at 973-876-1023.

Camden area is organizing vans and car pooling and readers can connect with that effort by contacting Michael Scheinberg (https://www.facebook.com/michael.scheinberg.9).

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Analysis of US Backed Propaganda on Colombia - Venezuela Border

Please watch these videos and read the analysis of the videos - where the person in the videos is portrayed as Venezuelan but in the second video - he makes clear that he is Colombian.

This video is from the radio station La W Radio that also use FB and twitter to comunícate the news,  

The reporter  is saying a group of Venezuelan citizens,  are trying to cross the border to Venezuela Illegally because the border is close at the moment by Venezuelan authorities.  The reporter starts asking questions to the guy with the pink mask and the already famous US Marines baseball cap.

Notice also the watch and the Oakley sun glasés the man is wearing and you know that this guy is not a poor Venezuelan.  He also has a very heavy Medellin accent.
She asks,  Mr., you will try to cross the border today?

He answers: “Yes we will pass under the bridge. Since we can walk on it.”

Just before she asks any questión he is speaking  Medellin slang.  He said, “This will get hotter! As soon it get hot we will cross don’t worry,” to all the  people he. Appears to be directing.

The reporter asks, “Are you not afraid “they will attack you, because in Colombia the official story is that the Venezuelan national guard attacked the truck with the “humanitarian aid.”

He answers, “That is why TV is here to guarantee that they refrained from attacking us.    They have lethal and conventional weapons, I  hope they don’t get used against us.”

The reporter then asks, Do you know what happened yesterday?”

He said, “Yes we are already 3 days in tho this conflict and there is no way back.”

This particular guy is in many videos,  After he takes the mask and the baseball cap off . . . see next video:

This is a large group of young people.  The guy with the hat talking to the camera, said “I’m feo Medellin,” and the other person said,  so what are you doing here? He said, “Fight for your country. I’m 1000% Colombian and 100’% Venezuelan, and will fight with all my heart!”

The young people of Medellin belong in general to the ghetto  “Call las comunas, har core sicarios.”

This crazy Colombian Uribista is declaring war already in Venezuela.  They gather a few people and start to talk about how we progressives, are tha same as Maduro.  He specifically names Gustavo Petro, and says the Colombian and Venezuelans will have to fight and kill all the left ! He also said that USA says “all the options are on the table, who will chose now!”

Is a shame.  What they are doing is promoting war between brothers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Colombians on Front Lines of Efforts for A Peaceful Solution

Submitted to NJ Anti War Agenda by Elizabeth Castenades, of Colombia

For you dear friends of peace, asking why a Colombian Human Rights activist, like me opposes the possible war on Venezuela: 

We want to share the sad reality of Colombia, the neighboring country who’s president want to teach Venezuelan government how to behave with the citizens and specially the opposition.

So many people have been killed, because they promote human rights, because they oppose Meagan projects or because they belong to a civil movement.

We keep asking how in the world @IvanDuque president of Colombia, who  can not guarantee the life of Colombian  people can promote a military intervention in Venezuela?
How. If his party Centro Democrático, try to shut down the opposition movement, by imposing illegal sanctions, and by using the most unethical methods.

Ivan Duque has no moral authority to interfere with the movement in Venezuela.

I am a believer in the civil movement and know that is the only way to achieve sustainable progress in a democracy, I hope for my Venezuela s brothers and sisters , a democratic way out of this crisis ! I hope that includes freedom of speech for both countries, a more green and clean economy, a free and good quality education, but by any means NO WAR ! 

War will be a very negative thing for the whole hemisphere! 

Please I ask you continue pushing for a peaceful solution to the ongoing situation! And educate yourselves about the Human Rights crisis in Colombia, so you will understand why this justification of “we will set them free” is a big fat lie! 

Please American citizens that appreciate so much your own freedom and your own democracy, help all of the citizens of this hemisphere to achieve a democracy and not more paper democracies , where just a few have a said! For Real Peace and Democracy , people self determination!.

Elizabeth Castanedas, the author of this commentary is interested in working on panel discussions around NJ in Spanish on the situation in Venezuela and how it relates to Colombia, Brazil, Puerto Rico and other nations and peoples of Latin America.

You can reach her at: ElizabethCastanedas@icloud.com .


Nos Están Matando / They're Killing Us

Monday, February 18, 2019

Where is Booker Regarding Venezuela? NJ Media Challenge

Where is Booker Regarding Venezuela?  NJ Media Challenge

This is an open letter to all media outlets, reporters, social media, the NJ blogosphere – everyone sharing news and opinions in NJ around political matters.

On Friday, February 15, a $1000 a ticket 'happy hour' in Newark hosted by Cory Booker as part of his presidential bid launch was met by 3 dozen protesters who were demanding opposition from Booker to current attempts of the US to intervene and use what we consider extra legal means to change the government of Venezuela and to transfer ownership and control of the resources of Venezuela, including the world’s largest reserve of oil.

A description of the event is here.

A live stream from the event is here.
Facebook Livestream from event

Preceding the event, organizers of Hands Off Venezuela – NJ group sent press releases to over 300 media outlets and reporters.  Commendably, there was a single outlet, NJ Today, that did provide a decent advance article and there was a Spansih radio station Rebelde that live streamed the event to their website.

No other media showed up or covered it.

After the event, our press release of the event was sent to the same 300 plus outlets and reporters, including live stream link and so far we are not hearing back from any of them or seeing any media coverage.

We are possibly a few days away from what the US is promising will be a major challenge to the Venezuelan nation, an attempt to strong arm weaponized humanitarian aid into Venezuela.  The International Red Cross and the UN humanitarian agencies are refusing to provide cover for the hostile operation.  This could cause a provocation that leads to military intervention by the US and it’s regional allies, the militarized state of Colombia and the far right regime of Bolsonaro in Brazil.

Booker has been quiet on this issue in recent days – not making any strong opinion known.  That is a problem for his image as a progressive candidate.  For many, a progressive candidate should reflect opposition to regime change and militarism – a pro-peace position on issues.  Should Booker make it to the primaries, NJ voters have a right to know what he did and where he stood on the US operations against Venezuela  - especially if US is successful in imposing the disaster it currently threatens against Venezuela.

Most I believe would agree – including editors and reporters and media outlets – that a serious presidential candidate should be willing to stake out a clear position, especially before such a significant escalation as is planned for February 23.

I am hereby challenging NJ media – to help uncover where Booker stands on Venezuela.  I am also challenging you to turn some attention to the concerns of NJ residents who are in opposition
I challenge the editors, the bloggers, the reporters – to reach out to Booker for his position and if you can not track him down, go to his top aid Matt Klapper who could be more accessible.  He actually met with us when we were protesting – even brought coffee and a refill to one of the protesters.  I asked him to take pictures of our signs and banners to show Booker and to take copies of my paper NJ AntiWarAgenda to give to Booker and staff members.  So there is no doubt that our concerns were brought to Booker’s attention, if our 2 hours of speaking and chanting outside his fundraiser venue was not clear enough.

I am going to be encouraging colleagues to retweet this article to the media outlets of NJ – we are looking for NJ media to step up to the plate to find out where NJ’s presidential candidate stands on the Venezuela situation and also hopefully to provide some coverage of the important opinions of those of us who are calling for a pause of this sure to be major disaster of a policy that the US is propagating toward Venezuela.

When I originally learned about activism in the 70’s and 80’s – we would do a press release, fax it, do a follow up phone call, talk to actual reporters and usually there was interest in writing about out concerns or activities.  It is understood nowadays that there have been staff reductions and that there is an abundance of noise and competing interests trying to get media attention for one thing or another.  It is a much more challenging endeavor to try to convince media outlets and even individual reporters about the importance of what they are doing – so I am resorting to this public challenge.  Hopefully some reporters or media outlet will figure out a way to determine:


If US brings warfare to Latin America and Booker was silent on the eve of this disaster it will definitely blemish his credentials for President – and even for his reelection for US Senate in 2020 if he comes up short in the primaries.

If the NJ media fails to bring out Booker’s position – or even to bother at all asking what is Booker’s position – it too must share the blame from whatever resulting bloodshed and mayhem results.

Any of you that would like to discuss this further – call or write me at 908-881-5275

All readers are invited to RT the below and also to send similar tweets to your favorite reporters.

Please Retweet the following:

NJ DOT COM / Related

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