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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“It could become the most expensive waste of money in history”

Marina Barberá Matías

All the actions done by the president Donald J. Trump have been done to “make America great again” but despite of what people may say the intention is not what matters. Those political moves may produce different outcomes of those sought by Mr. Trump.

One of the f086c412irst decisions when he arrived to his actual position and one of the well-known promises done during the presidential campaign of Mr. Trump was the withdrawal of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Charles Kushner program director of the Bachelor in International Relations at IE University in Madrid Spain, sees it like the perfect opportunity for Canada to step into America’s leadership role in order to facilitate better trade, as Canada largely avoided the 2008 financial crisis by avoiding the risky banking practices that were responsible for the collapse, thus they are well poised to step into this leadership role.

Mr. Trump said “now American workers will be protected against competition from low-wage countries like Vietnam and Malaysia.” but the reasons established by experts for the manufacturing jobs decline differ from his. The central cause is the automation, which has developed into the decline of human labour. It is a fact that despite the decline in manufacturing jobs, the productivity in American factories has been increased. We are producing more while employing fewer. “This is exactly why Donald Trump’s plan to pull out of trade deals won’t only not bring back jobs to the American economy, it will actually hurt the economy further, as products exported by America would undoubtedly suffer with less trading partners.” Mr. Kushner said. The economic position of the U.S. as the world leader can be at risk by the isolationist strategy followed by Mr. Trump as affects their international image in the free market. Mr. Kushner said that in order to maintain its status as the beacon of the free world, America in fact needs to be a part of the world. It cannot afford to shut itself in behind pointless and costly walls.

Also, the acts done by the new president will without discussion cause changes on the relation between the U.S. and the countries from all around the world. The TPP was a pact in which the United States, the world’s largest economy and Japan, the third world largest economy, were together in a free-trade pact. The end of this agreement could cause some differences in the relation between Japan and the U.S., but the reality is that their relation despite the event from the past is better than the one that Japan has with its neighbours. “The dismantling of the TPP doesn’t affect current trade deals the U.S. and Japan share. Currently Japan is the United States 4th largest trading partner”. The relation among them will remain as usual but it is a fact that the withdrawal of the U.S. from the TPP will cause an economic vacuum that China will look forward to fill. It will be matter of time see if the relation between other members and the U.S. is enough to prevent China of fulfilling that position.

The relation with Mexico is the most affected by the actions of Mr. Trump as one of the most polemic orders is the construction of the wall in the frontier between Mexico and the United States. The main cause of its controversy is the dispute about who is going to pay for it, as the president of the United States has affirmed from the campaign that his country will not pay and the president of Mexico also declared that no Mexican money will be used for the construction of that wall, Mexico is face to face against the multimillionaire Donald Trump who has promised to find the way to make them pay and one of the ideas is through taxes. This will not be a good option as Mr. Kushner says that Mexican exporters would likely just raise taxes on American products as well as the prices of their own exports, resulting in price increases in the U.S. and ultimately the cost of the wall would be paid by Americans, not Mexico. Moreover, the construction of the wall will be unproductive as there are another ways through which the immigrants arrive to the U.S. so “it could become the most expensive waste of money in history as most undocumented immigrants in America fly into the country and overstay a valid visa.”

Not so “great great wall”

The U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to begin the construction of his famous wall along the 1,900-mile border with Mexico but the outcome will not be as good as he promised due to the arguments he gave during the campaign haven’t got any sense.

During the campaign, Trump promised a wall in the U.S.-Mexican border which would be paid by the Mexicans. The wall will cost nearly twice the $10 billion estimated by Trump, which by the moment will be paid with U.S. federal dollars as Mexico still refuses to pay for it. This dilemma has broken the historical relationship among them, as they used to fight together against illegal immigration. Recently the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cancelled a landmark meeting with the new President. The different ways Trump may use to make Mexican pay (as a sky-high export tax), will cause economic damage on both countries.

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The Department of Homeland Security’s estimates that the total undocumented population peaked at 12 million in 2008, and has fallen since then. And that decline is not because of rising border enforcement but because Mexico is producing less demographic pressure to migrate to the U.S.. Moreover, according to the BJS, black males are 37% of the male prison population, white males made up 32%, followed by 22% of Hispanics that were in state or federal prison at yearend 2014. So the “malos hombres” that Trump always talked about are not the main cause of criminality in U.S..

Also, Trump said that “undocumented immigrants take jobs away from native-born Americans”, but it has been proved that most of immigrants take different jobs than American. For example, farmers can’t find enough native-born Americans to pick crops, as often Americans are unwilling to do the jobs done by immigrants. There has been numerous cases in towns of the U.S., where they enforce laws against immigrants, which has led to a catastrophic result in their town.The Town of Riverside, New Jersey is a clear example of it. 11 years ago, the Town Comitee became the first municipality in New Jersey to establish a law against illegal immigrants, by fining or even sending to jail to their householders. This led to a massive exodus of immigrants in the Town, leaving it without workers or customers. Their local economy suffered to the point that the local shops, like hair salons, restaurants and corner shops that catered the immigrants went broke, which made a big part of them close.

If Trump thinks that kicking the immigrants out of the U.S. is a good thing, we think that there are more reasons showing the opposite. The diversity of ethnics has always been one of the pillars of the U.S. in terms of economy, referring that any person of any country could seek fortune in the U.S., which turned the U.S. into “the land of opportunity and liberty”, and the construction of the wall will suppose the end of it.

By Marina Barberá, Alejandro Martín, Alba Tissera.

United States Court of Appeals Denies Trump’s Travel Ban

The controversial decree signed by President Donald J. Trump banning refugees and restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter in the U.S. was declined by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

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President of United States Donald J. Trump

Mr. Trump signed the Executive Order 13769 under the name of “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”resulting in the suspension of this decree on 3rd February. The U.S. Court of Appeals on 9th February unanimously rejected President Trump’s attempt to re-apply it

From this declarations, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

This victory should not lead to complacency. This and other Trump administration orders and policies still pose a threat to communities of color, religious minorities, women, and others.”  

Three judges supported arguments in order to keep the suspension of the traveling ban and Mr. Trump said he would take the case to the Supreme Court.

Trump defend his travel ban and accused the judiciary branch of becoming “political” during an address to the Washington, D.C.conference of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. He also made references to his current measures related to the electoral campaign:


“One of the reasons I was elected was because of law, order, and security.”

Mr. Trump talks directly to the American people, Courts of Appeal and to the Opposition:


“You are great men and women, and we have to allow you to do your jobs, and we have to give you the weapons that you need […] they are trying to taking away from you, because of politics, or political views.”


In those statements, he is calling for Americans to understand the travel ban as a tool for increment security and jobs. Then Trump alleged the possibility of the Courts of being influenced by the opposite party in its decisions. 

This article from The Guardian informs about Trump called for surveillance against mosques and support the idea of establishing a database for all Muslims living in the United States. This ideology has led Trump wants to the shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until he was able to figure out how to attack horrendous threats by people who believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life, in his own words.

Trump’s executive order of the travel ban restriction proposed (also applied to permanent US residents, like green-card holders and foreign visitors) the imposition of a 90-day ban on travelers from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Lybia, Somalia, Yemen, and Iraq, according to the Telegraph

However, the ban is not applied to Christians of these countries. 

Trump’s executive order has been strongly criticized by many people, as the Court of Appeals alleged that the travel ban has nothing to do with the reach of ‘national security’:

The decision to ban people from seven-Muslim majority countries to enter the United States will give further arguments to extremist groups, such as the Islamic State, and will not guarantee national security.”


By Alejandro Martínez, Marina Barberá and Alba Tissera.

The West hasn’t done enough to eliminate the Islamic State

It all started on the 7th of January 2015, when two jihadists, Said and Chérif Kouachi, initiated the bloodbath in the headquarters of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo resulting in the murders of 12 people and wounding of 11.
From that moment we can definitely say that the Western Nations started worrying and paying more attention about the real threat that ISIS represents.

The reaction of the international community has not been sufficient enough to contrast the jihadists. Until now the men deployed in the United Arab Emirates that will fight the guerrilla group are only 600 and of course the number can’t compete against the jihadist forces. It was also announced that around 8 fighting airplanes, a surveillance plane and other transport planes will be disposed in the territories to contrast and fight back ISIS. The coalition led by the US is composed by 30 Western states plus other 10 Arab state including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates supporting the Sunni faction in the two countries but also Iran has agreed to support the Shia Muslim population currently fighting against the Islamic State.

Furthermore, America has been a prominent country from the west in trying to stop ISIS. The “world has failed to find workable solutions to the most pressing needs” ISIS being one of them. The air strikes the U.S. has been sending have not been enough to stop them and Obama has also been deploying less foot troops into the Middle East. In countries such as Iraq and Syria, which has resulted in ISIS occupying over one third of Syrian territory. An American official, the Pentagon press secretary has said: “Air strikes are not enough to stop ISIS and ground forces are needed to retake the territory”. Until this is done with the help of other nations ISIS will continue to cause brutal attacks and mass murders.

The west has not done enough to stop ISIS in its path of terror and destruction. The Western nations are just as responsible for the uprising of ISIS as the Middle East. This has been due to “the U.S. and its allies destabilizing Iraq and Syria, creating safe havens for extremists and their groups which previously did not exist”. The martyr of the Jordan pilot in February 2015 also had a big impact on the West’s contribution into stopping ISIS. It increased the attention because of the brutal video going viral on social media sites such as Facebook. It should not have to take brutal attacks like this for the west to help, if more was done before maybe it would of prevented things like this happening.

The pilot was doused in petrol and set fire to by ISIS militants.

The pilot was doused in petrol and set fire to by ISIS militants.

U.S. Drone Strike Kills leader of Al-Qaeda who claimed the responsibility of the paris Attacks.

Nasser Bin Al Al-Ansi, the leader of the Yemeni Al-Qaeda in the Arabic Peninsula (AQAP) branch has been killed by some US drones. The drones in 2014 killed more than a hundred AQAP leaders and militants.

Al-Ansi

Al-Ansi

Al-Ansi was born in October 1975 in Ta’iz Yemen, in 1997 he was returned to his home country Yemen, and then proceeded to Afghanistan where he joined Al-Qaeda. Osama Bin Laden personally selected Al-Ansi for an intense training course in Afghanistan. Just after he had been freed from jail during a prison break in Al Mukalla, Yemen.

The AQAP was founded by Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda wings in 2009, it is seen as the most dangerous branch of the global terrorist network of Al-Qaeda because of its number of responsibilities for takes on western targets.

The brain behind the moves of Al-Qaeda is the person who projected the Charlie Hebdo bloodbath in Paris on the 7th of January 2015.

This attack resulted in 16 deaths and many other people wounded, the attack was revenge for the French journalist drawing images of the Prophet Mohammed.

SITE, an international Intelligence Agency has reported that the leader who “claimed” the attack of Charlie Hebdo has been killed; these are his words: “As for the blessed Battle of Paris, we…claim responsibility for this operation as vengeance for the Messenger of God,”

One week after the tragic terroristic attacks, Al-Ansi had declared through a video: “the leadership of Al-Qaeda have selected the target, planned the attack and financed the operation”.

A U.S. official confirmed that Al-Ansi was dead, but would not say whether his death was the result of a drone strike. However according to an online video statement from an AQAP it confirmed he was dead. It is clear that he is dead but it is not certain when he was killed by the drone strike.

Al-Ansi has also claimed the group was responsible for killing Luke Somers following a botched U.S. raid in December 2014 according to MBC news. He also in previous videos had advocated that future jihadists not to head abroad and wage war in their home countries.

The U.S government have been using drones since Obama came into power, he promised policies to reduce war and the number of men being shipped to Afghanistan. Instead he has used an increased amount of drones that resulted in the death of Al-Ansi and many more Jihadists within the Middle East.

The killing of Al-Ansi has been a big achievement for the US government as he is the second senior AQAP leader to be killed recently. However Al-Qaeda is a forever growing organization launching hundreds of attacks every year.

Use of Drones in Yemen from 2002 until 2015

Use of Drones in Yemen from 2002 until 2015

International view behind the eyes of a Regional Claims Manager

The Central Claims Manager, gives us her opinion about the most current issues that are happening nowadays and explains us in what consist her work and the problems she  can face at an international level.

She works in a Security Multinational Company as a Regional Claims Manager and her work consists in providing  technical assistance and training for Claims Managers and staff. She has two partners that help her, give guiadance, rules and establish best claims practices within the Claims offices in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, UK/Ireland, Cezch Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary, Rumania,  Norway, Germany, USA and Canada. They also are in charge of deciding which claims have to be investigated for avoiding the fraud.

Nowadays she is working in a global project that consist in changing the working method applied in the officies with the aim of reducing costs. This project is focused in the policy of Costumers Centricity, where the clients will be more satisfied.They are also provinding  free assistance  for the costumers applying the  wording friendly policy with the aim of working better and faster  just in changing the way of working and reducing cost.

One example is that the costumers will find easier and more accesible applying the claims from the web page. Another example is making faster the period of paying a claim, if before took  10 days now it only takes 3 days.

The company is linked with Northamerica as the headquarter of their officies is located in USA. They receive the orders and projects from there. Every operation and every mandate comes out frome the Home Office.

To understand better the topical issues occuring in Northamerica, she gives us her perspective, about the missing of the mexican students she thinks that Mexico is a country with a lot of population in the federal district and in the guvernamental organizations that are corrupted. She believes that students have always had the ideas for future changes, the reivindicative voices and that they represent the innovation and that is why they wanted to keep them quiet.

Taking all the mexican corruption to her working ambit, when they have claims in Mexico they always have to question themselves if this claim is true or not. Maybe the document is true but the claim is not because it is very easy to get a death certificate. So they frequently have to ask for a second verification.

Another matter of concern is inmigration “The problem of inmigration that is happening in the US can be extrapolated to any part of the world” she said. Also added that inmigrants usually look for places where they feel confortable at the time of speaking. In US lenguage is not a wall but the proximity of the border in mexico is a facility. She said that “ Stoping this is practically impossible, they have to adopt measuresfor making the country more atractive and, consequently, make mexicans want to stay there and not leave their country”.

She claims that US policy is improvable. When she was asked about how can we improve the US policy she answered that one of the most important aspects that US policy have is to improve the health care service. She said “ It is surprising how a first power as US is able to invest in army and in every single global noble cause and the organization of their health care system is only accesible for that part of the population that have money”. She also thinks that the pension system and everything related with the social security is very poor compared with Europe.

Universities are also a very stressfull problem that the US policy has. “their prices are extremely high”she added. The price of one normal university in the US has nothing to do with the price of one of the best private universities in Europe.

Summarizing the question she said that they have to organize better and redistribute the budget of the social systems.

Finally she was asked about what kind of problems could she find when she face the US burocracy and she answered that they want to control everything and that they are very strict talking about burocracy, sometimes claims formulariesthat are useless and that do nothing apart from driving the costumers crazy. They have to write lots of formularies answering stupid questions. One example of this is when we arrive to the US airport and the questionary that we are somited. Those questions are useless “ if you are asked about commiting a crime, that person is not going to tell you: yes, I´m thinking about putting a bomb in a museum!”.

With this interview, we can se how different our cultures are but it also shows how close and similarwe are between each other after all. She works in a Multinational Company and she travels frequently  and has a specialized view about what is happening nowadays, and this opinion can help her in her dialy work projects.

By: Rita Soriano Marín