03:02 GMT16 April 2021
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    COVID Relief Bill Passes; UK Backed Bolivian Coup for Lithium; US "Humanitarian" Imperialism

    The Critical Hour
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    The COVID relief bill is a rejection of austerity politics but avoids addressing systemic problems associated with income inequality and failed neoliberal economics.

    Jim Kavanagh, a writer at The Polemicist and CounterPunch and author of "The American Farce Unravels: Shreds of January 6th," joins us to discuss the COVID relief plan that passed Congress. The plan addresses the needs of the middle class, but fails to address the systemic problems that created long-term economic instability. The only initiative in the plan that would have addressed income inequality was the minimum wage increase, and that was unceremoniously dismissed early in the process.

    Marvin Weinbaum, Director for the Middle East Institute's Center for Pakistan and Afghanistan Studies, joins us to discuss Afghanistan. A leaked memo shows the US plan to end the Afghanistan war. The document shows that the US wants significant input in the design and operation of the Afghanistan government's structure and foreign policy. A number of proposals have already been ruled out by the Taliban, and are likely to be rejected out of hand. Also, the document appears to spell out exactly what the role of Islamic law will be in the new government.

    Netfa Freeman, Host of Voices With Vision on WPFW 89.3 FM, pan-Africanist and internationalist organizer, and Dr. Jemima Pierre, associate professor of Black Studies and Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and editor of the "Black Agenda Review," join us to discuss Bobi Wine. The Ugandan pop star-turned-politician has demonstrated support for US-backed Venezuelan regime-change puppet Juan Guaido. A Black Agenda Report article by Netfa Freeman and Jemima Pierre argues that he is auditioning for a position as an imperial puppet. They maintain that this shocking move is a reminder that we must support movements and not individual politicians in the quest for freedom from oppressive imperial rule.

    Alexander Mercouris, editor-in-chief at TheDuran.com and host of "The Duran" on YouTube, joins us to discuss China and Russia's growing unity. Zhang Hanhui, China's ambassador to Russia, recently stated that the two nations have a specific responsibility to maintain world peace and stability. He went on to add that the military cooperation between the two countries is an “important pillar” of their relationship, and an “important safeguard” in maintaining the strategic balance of the world. He specifically named relations with the US as the most pressing issue that requires joint cooperation.

    Teri Mattson, the Latin America coordinator for Code Pink, joins us to discuss Western oppression of the global south. A recent investigative report contends that the UK government clandestinely supported the recent coup in Bolivia in order to gain access to the nation's massive lithium reserves. The UK Foreign Office was outright in supporting the coup government after the operation, but never took credit for their contribution to the illegal overthrow of the democratically-elected President Evo Morales.

    Dan Cohen, filmmaker and writer for the Gray Zone Project, joins us to discuss the US media's support for war and regime change. President Joe Biden recently joined the club of US presidential warmongers when he illegally bombed Syria. Alan Macleod writes that President Biden's "aggressive actions will also be met with approval by corporate media, who have continually found creative ways to pitch such actions to the traditionally anti-interventionist left, primarily through the use of progressive language to justify Washington’s global agenda." Also, an article at fair.org argues that the US media purged inconvenient facts about the recent Syria bombing.

    Professor Richard Lachman,  Professor at the University at Albany, SUNY and author of "Capitalists in Spite of Themselves," joins us to discuss the US healthcare system. Recent articles about US citizens who were forced to raise money for their medical bills have been presented as "feel good" stories in the mainstream media. However, proponents of a national healthcare system argue that they are indicators of a broken system that does not address the needs of citizens. 

    Shane Stranahan, co-host of Radio Sputnik's Fault Lines, joins us to discuss the proposed digital health pass. The US government is in talks with vaccine maker Moderna regarding a method to track vaccine administration in real-time through its various blockchain, artificial intelligence, and hybrid cloud services. While it is proposed to open as a voluntary program, many fear it may eventually become mandatory and threaten constitutional safeguards. 

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Tags:
    Evo Morales, coup, Bolivia, Medicare4All, Bobi Wine, Afghanistan
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