Trump is no friend of Venezuelan people

February 12, 2019

Donald Trump’s economic warfare being waged against the Venezuelan people is killing the poorest of the poor by creating critical shortages of food, power and medicine. The U.S. media is downplaying or simply ignoring how sanctions are strangling the Venezuelan economy. While internal errors are partly responsible, few countries could survive an economic siege that bans the sale of exports, seizes overseas assets, blocks international credit and manipulates the exchange rate. A U.N. representative on a recent visit to the country suggested that the International Criminal Court investigate illegal U.S. sanctions against Venezuela as possible crimes against humanity. It is war propaganda for the U.S. media to entirely fault government officials for the crisis and portray Trump as a friend of the Venezuelan people.

Sam Hitt

member, Santa Fe chapter

Democratic Socialists of America

Investing in kids

Early childhood education is the key to creating engaged, successful and motivated students. We have a great opportunity this session in House Joint Resolution 1 to do just that by allocating “a pinch” of the $17.5 billion currently in the New Mexico Land Grant Permanent Fund. This bill would bring the choice to the voters and provide a sustainable and stable source of funds for early childhood education without increasing taxes. We need to invest in our kids, a renewable resource, not teetering global stocks. Investing 1 percent in our kids is not rocket science; it results in higher graduation rates, a skilled workforce and a healthier population. In Washington state, they plant trees; in New Mexico, we can plant a strong and healthy foundation for our kids. Call your legislator and ask them to support HJR 1.

Marissa Bingham

Santa Fe

Check tax return

I have recently been hearing more about income inequality from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. She is advocating taxing the rich with a 70 percent marginal tax rate on annual incomes over $10 million and getting support for this idea. What I have not heard from Ocasio-Cortez (or Sen. Bernie Sanders or former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and others) is the idea of inviting the wealthy to participate and contribute to solving income inequality. I am sure that Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and others have an interest in Making America Great Again by having a healthy and robust middle class. After all, we had a president who once challenged us to “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” If you want to know more about how you are being taxed, check your tax return this year to see if you benefited from last year’s tax plan passed by Congress. Maybe someone can pass this idea on to Ocasio-Cortez and her supporters.

Miguel Chavez

Las Vegas, N.M.

Needless suffering

In these troubling times, it’s worth celebrating every opportunity to elevate our common humanity. Our Legislature’s consideration of commonsense death with dignity — the Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act, House Bill 90/Senate Bill 153 — is a perfect example. Modeled on two decades of experience in other states, the proposed regimen would give people at the end of their lives (as attested to by two medical professionals) the option of avoiding needless suffering if they so chose.

We view our mortality through varied lenses. This legislation is not prescriptive; it only allows those of us who desire this option to have a choice. If you are one of us, please contact your legislator to indicate your support.

Jarratt Applewhite

Santa Fe

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