GREENPEACE vs. TOXIC POLICIES & LEADERS

donald trump tweet global warming

In an interview, the Campaigns Manager of Greenpeace Spain argues how Trump’s administration represents a threat to the progress that has been made in terms of gender and ethnic equality, and for sure: global warming. 

“Because environment is not isolated”

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María José Caballero,  Campaigns Manager of GP SPAIN and volunteer.

 

Maria José Caballero, Campaigns Manager of Greenpeace Spain has been almost 10 years working in this great NGO. Graduated as a biologist by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and then specialized in Management of NGO’s by ESADE, it’s pretty clear the profile of professional and conscious person she wanted to be: a volunteer.

I feel so grateful about how comfortable she made me feel, the interview turned into a close conversation. I’ve learned so many things thanks to this great woman in such a short time! She showed being an expert on international affairs because -among other things.- I had not even warned about my visit.

We started talking about her current projects, in order to understand deeply what are her functions in the core of the NGO.  In fact, she and her team are working on the “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” international campaign. And many others such as the Artic and Amazonas Projects; also they are working on national issues as the bees affected by insecticides with neonicotinoids and the help to the artisanal fishermen. The women as one of the main collectives affected by climate change also play an important role in their agenda-setting.

“Environment is not isolated, we fight for reach a fair society passing through people rights to climate protection” she said. Apparently, both of them with nothing in common. The thing is that the ecosystem needs to be carefully protected by institutions: the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, the jobs we keep in order to survive, the home where we rest… and this is the aim of Greenpeace, rebuild an environment corrupted by corporations that, protected by states, destroys our ecosystems where human being, fauna, and flora must be keeping in balance. “We are living in a globalized world where the rules of the market are being imposed” she complained.

Related to “the water we drink”,  M. J. Caballero remind the situation living by the population along to the threatening pipelines of Keyston XL and Dakota. That last one, is feared because of the tribe’s water supply could be in danger and it also desecrated sacred lands. She said they and the population -without under the brand of Green Peace.- have stopped temporarily the construction of that pipeline. They are clearly more than social denouncement. They achieve real merits with real action.

resistAfter dissertation, I cut straight to the point, inquiring her about the “RESIST” banner by GREENPEACE USA in front of the White House and the consequent idea of political positioning or political lobbying that could be understood, she answered that Trump’s assumptions are totally against to the goals of the NGO and GP as a movement that pretends bring the power back to the people, they just pretend to protect the society from the threat that is living in their government by encouraging people. “We believe in a diversity world, far from xenophobia, racism, and sexism, and we are absolutely independent of political parties, nor ideologically neither economically speaking .” Obviously is the essence of any NGO being totally impartial in order to defend public interests, that specific topics states tend to avoid or forget.

Surprisingly, sometimes political parties and GP defend same laws reinforcements or paralyze them at international cooperation scenarios…

Protest ahead of Vote on EU-Canada Trade Deal at EU Parliament in Strasbourg


Action of GP while is approving CETA in the EuropeanParliament (Strasbourg)

…but with different intentions. Is the case of CETA agreement that was positively voted in European Parliament the past 15 of February. Between its opposition were Podemos, Marie Le Pen, and Los Verdes, for instance. Some because of their populist way to work and the achievement of their isolation aspirations; some others because of real worries about people and dangerous environment which is involved. And some, for the combination of both of those.

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The label of any product

CETA is a new ‘toxic’ trade agreement between EU and Canada that allows the free exportation between its territories. Why is it ‘toxic’? Easy. It would be toxic for our European democracy which has restrictive politics about toxic elements of hormone foods and its labels (“If they take away from us the capacity to choose freely, what’s left?” warned M. J. Caballero), not to mention the specific Tribunal that is pretending to implement to judge harmful reports to that trade individually from European and national laws from the Member States; or the dismissing of employees, taking into account that a lot of current European trade of food are producers from our borders.

While we were discussing these topics, we realized that she was running out of time, and I didn’t want to obstacle the key role that she means in the team of Campaigns with such an important work to do in this shocking scenario. So we said goodbye at the shout of:

“The fight continues!”

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María José Caballero being interviewed by student Alba Tissera at the headquarter of GP in San Bernardo,107, Madrid.

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The legalization of medical cannabis in Germany

The German Health Minister, Hermann Gröhe, announced early last week that Germany will legalize marijuana for medical aims from spring next year. This substance will be offered to seriously ill German patients on prescription at drug stores.

Before presenting to the German cabinet the draft legislation, the Health Minister announced the legalization of cannabis for medical uses. “Our goal is that seriously ill patients are treated in the best possible way,” said Hermann Gröhe.

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A medical marijuana dispensary in the US. Credit: AFP

According to Die Welt, the German cabinet has approved this measure but only for those seriously ill patients who satisfied two conditions: the first one is to have previously consulted a doctor and, the second one is not having other therapeutic alternatives. The Health Minister added that if patients cannot be helped in any other way, then, health insurance companies have to cover all the costs.

However, as reported by the CNN, Marlene Mortler, the Drug Commissioner of the Federal Government warned that “marijuana should not be considered completely safe”. She also said that “the use of cannabis as a medicine within narrow limits is useful and should be explored in more detail”, but she continued saying that since cannabis is not a harmless substance, “the aim and purpose” of it is that this substance “is intended for medical use only, not for private pleasure.” Also Gröhe recognised that marijuana “is not an inoffensive substance” and for this reason, he underlined that it would be possible to get it from “pharmacies only on prescription.”

The list of countries that allow the consumption of this substance for medical purposes includes Italy and Czech Republic. According to  the news agency Europa Press, nowadays, people in Germany affected by severe illness, such as Cancer, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis could only have access to cannabis through a special approval, paying it themselves.

The use of “recreational and medical cannabis” is a controversial topic in many countries. On the one hand, there are opponents who “fear crime connected to drug abuse and addiction” and, on the other hand, others claim that its use “could lead to dependence on harder drugs”, says The Telegraph. From its side, the German Hemp Association, a lobby group advocating for cannabis legalization, considered the compulsory participation of the cannabis patients in the research as a condition for reimbursement, suggested by the German Health Ministry,  as “unprecedent and difficult to accept”.

As reported by Reuters,  the German government “is to set up specially supervised plantations to grow cannabis and will import what it needs for now”. Gröhe also stated that “until the government-controlled cultivation in Germany is established, which presupposes cannabis agency, the medical cannabis will be covered by import”.

According to a survey conducted by Infratest Dimap, a German institute and company, the 82 percent of Germans is in favour of the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes. Of this 82 percent, only the 30 percent is completely in favour of the legalization of marijuana, both for simple enjoyment and for medical use.

 

Interview with Welinton Bernardes

Interview made by Larissa Duarte Lourenço 

Interview with Welinton Bernardes, a Brazilian entrepreneur of the health business area that lives in Angola for his business. He has six business including a hospital and several health clinics  Unisaude, Pracs, SGH. Neofarma and Nova Africa.

How the idea of expanding your business to Angola came?

– It was trough a friend; he already had business here for 15 years.

Which were the main differences, related to you adaptation?

-When we arrive here, was six months that the war was over. Beyond all the difficulties (and pain) of a people that was fighting a war for 27 years all was missing, including the essential as food and basic health. Our first business here was a medicine distributer, until today it is a reference here in Sub-Saharan Africa.

When did you moved to Angola?

-There’s been 10 years. At the year of 2002.

What was the image you have of African Countries before you go to Angola? And how is the reality that you found?

-That they would be a sad and closed people, revolted and dangerous. The people is good and has all the acceptance with the expatriates. Inside Africa, there is a lot of “Africas”, and I’m not talking about the North of Africa, where are the countries that speak Arabic. But, all of them suffered with the speculation and extraction of the settlers countries. There are wealthy countries with a lot of poverty that is the case of Angola, as also have a lot of poor countries with a lot of misery.

As a professional in the area of health, do you think that the situation of diseases in Africa is improving?

– Yes, it has improved a lot, essentially in function of the formation of the human material, a lot of graduates are coming back to their homeland. After the end of the Angola’s war.

Do you have an optimist or a pessimist vision of Africa? Why?

– Compleatly optimist. The world is all in Africa somehow. Today a many contries invest in Africa, mainly the Chinese, searching for mineral wealth.

Which recent events that most caught your attention?

– Exists an attempt there is still shy, of a change of the Governments. Ther is a movement of new awakening, for democracies, varorization of the man and their culture, independent of their tribe or belief. There are new “winds” arriving in Africa, a new continent will rise.