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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NZAID Funded Travel To Zapatista "Encuentro"-Questions Need To Be Asked

The Wellington based Latin American Solidarity Committee (LASC, or LAC)is a radical organisation with some interesting links including to the Cuban government and Mexico's Zapatista rebels.

Like much of the New Zealand far left, the LASC is partially taxpayer funded.

Some of this comes through the Council On International Development, an umbrella group of New Zealand "aid agencies", which extracts large amounts of money from government departments, including the Foreign Affairs Department's NZAID for redistribution among its comrades.

While CID emcompasses some legitimate organisations, many are radical controlled.

LASC is a member of CID and receives NZAID funding from them, some of which it uses for strange purposes.

From Latin American Solidarity Committee Minutes

Meeting Sunday 9th December 2007, 272 Ohiro Road, Wellington. 5pm

Richard Jeffries’ Travel Grant application successful, accepted money, travelled to Mexico, however fell out with companions and failed to attend the Encuentro, report back to LAC, or provide a report to CID. CID called him to a meeting, did not receive adequate response, reported to NZAID, who advised LAC not eligible for another grant for 5 years.

Paul considers this could be appealed. Discussion around whether we should seek return of funds from Richard, decided this is CIDs responsibility. Decided to draft a letter to advise other groups of RJ’s unreliability, to be sent to Richard with an invitation for him to respond to it to LAC in person, before possible posting. Action: JWP to draft letter.

JWP is Julie Webb-Pullman of LASC and the Wellington Zapatista Support Group. Webb Pullman attended another Zapatista Encuentro (Encounter) in December 2006.

The "Encuentro" referred to here is almost certainly the the Zapatista organised international event that took place in Chiapas Mexico in July and August 2007.

The minutes later refer to another LASC affiliate, Jenn Bell, attending the Zapatista Women's Encuentro in December 2007.

So it seems that that NZAID, via CID, via LASC is funding travel costs to Zapatista revolutionary gatherings in Mexico!

The head of NZAID's global group which funds overeas projects is a Mr Don Clarke.

From 1990 to 1994, Mr Clarke was executive director of CID.

Before that he was closely associated with and probably a senior member of the Worker's Communist League.

The WCL worked closely with LAC.

In 1987 Mr Clarke himself travelled to Nicaragua with a group containing several LAC members to pick coffee for the Sandinista revolutionaries.

Coincidentally another member of Mr Clarke's "brigade" was the allegedly errant Richard Jeffries mentioned above.

Don Clarke is in charge of distributing hundreds of millions of NZAID money throughout the third world.

Why is some of this money going to the LASC?

Why is some of it apparently paying for travel to Zapatista gatherings?

The Wellington Zapatista Support Group is part of LASC.

Three members of the Wellington ZSG have travelled to Zapatista events in recent months-Julie Webb-Pullman, Jenn Bell and her friend "Urewera 17" arrestee Tim/Ira Bailey.

Was any of their travel funded by the taxpayer through NZAID?

Would any brave journalist like to ask Mr Clarke some probing questions?


Anonymous Reid of America said...

An off-topic comment.

When world financial markets are in a panic the NZ stock market takes center stage for 2 hours. From 4PM to 6PM New York time the NZ stock market is the only open market in the world. All the international business and stock market television channels focus on NZ. A change in the direction of trading in NZ stocks can move the futures markets globally.

3:13 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

We always were world leaders Reid.

Hopefu;lly New Zealand will save the planet from recession.

I'burning as much carbon as I possibly can to keep the wheels of industry turning.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'burning as much carbon as I possibly can to keep the wheels of industry turning."

Is that why your bread tastes like shit?

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

burning your future so you can keep the resource wars kicking on.

11:52 PM  

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