Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Karen Spring, Keith Simmonds December 2nd, 2021

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded November 27th, 2021

The Honduran presidential election is November 28th and will see Xiomara Castro, wife of ousted former president, Manuel “Mel” Zelaya face Nasry Asfura, right-wing mayor of Tegulcigalpa and close cohort of exiting president, Juan Orlando Hernández. It’s been 12 years since Castro’s pajama-clad husband was spirited out his bed and out of the country in the coup. Canada and the United States were quick then to recognize the coupsters, and have continued to support different iterations of their “democracy restoration” despite ruthless military and police repression, rampant government corruption, and a flourishing drugs trade and gang violence that helped trigger an ongoing migration exodus.

Karen Spring is the Honduras-based Coordinator for the Honduras Solidarity Network. They describe themselves as a, “… decentralized network of approximately 30 organizations from across Canada and the United States […] committed to demonstrating and advocating for solidarity with the Honduran social movement.” Spring is also author of several articles and reports about human rights issues, has testified before Canadian Parliamentary committees about human rights in Honduras, and blogs at aquiabajo.com.

Karen Spring in the first half.

And; as serious an abrogation of first principles Canada’s failure to support true Honduran democracy represents, its utter abandonment of Palestinian children to Israel’s military court system puts the lie to the country’s claim – and self-regard – as international human rights exemplar. ‘Canada Stand Up for Palestinian Children’s Rights’ is a coalition of human rights organizations who are currently engaged in a continuing awareness-raising campaign because our government has failed in its response to the systemic “kidnap, arrest, detainment, abuse, torture, and murder of Palestinian children…”

Keith Simmonds is a United Church of Canada minister who served as a World Council of Churches human rights observer (Ecumenical Accompanier) in Palestine in early 2020. Stationed in Bethlehem he also spent time in Jerusalem, Galilee and Tulkarem. The ‘second career minister’ has too served as a labour and community organizer, volunteer firefighter and ERT team member, and worked as an assistant to provincial cabinet ministers among other things in a varied career.

Keith Simmonds and holding Canada to its word on human rights in Palestine in the second half.

But first, Karen Spring and can Sunday’s election be Honduran’s second chance at real democracy?

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: https://cfuv.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Dan Kovalik November 11, 2021

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded October 31st and November 4th, 2021

November 1st marks the day Russia formally ends its diplomatic mission to the Western alliance’s military arm, NATO. Explaining the move, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the press, “[T]he basic conditions for common work no longer exist.” NATO spokesperson, Oana Lungescu called the break in relations regrettable, saying, “We have strengthened our deterrence and defence in response to Russia’s aggressive actions, while at the same time we remain open to dialogue...”

The break ostensibly follows the expulsion again from Brussels of Russian diplomats accused of being spies, but is really the culmination of years of allegations and unfounded charges leveled against the country by the West in what amounts to a determined campaign of diplomatic and media warfare.

John Helmer is a journalist, author, broadcaster, former political advisor to government, and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. Among Helmer’s many books titles are, ‘The Lie That Shot Down MH-17’ ‘Skripal in Prison’, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’, ‘Hitler Didn’t Die in Berlin – He Moved to Melbourne Where He Runs the State Government of Victoria: A True Covid-19 Thriller’, and the just hot of the presses, ‘Complete Dances with Bears Comic Book’, a “true to life comic book coated in laughter, the only antidote certain to neutralize Novichok in your underpants, or a BUK rocket headed for your jetliner.” Helmer’s recent article, ‘Little Boy & Fatman – The Two Info-War Bombs Dropped on Russia‘ chronicles the continued hard cover and paperback edition assault on the country.


John Helmer in the first half.

And; November 7th Nicaraguans go to the polls in national and local elections. It’s another test for long-time president, Daniel Ortega’s government; a test the United States and it’s ally Canada are eager to see him fail. Following years of crippling financial sanctions, and a determined media campaign of demonization and misinformation coming from the North, the question now is if Nicaraguan’s will continue to support Ortega 14 years into the former Sandanista guerrilla’s socialist reform program.

Dan Kovalik is a lawyer, educator, labour, peace, and justice activist, democracy defender, journalist, author, and filmmaker. Dan has observed elections in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Colombia – where he witnessed the 2016 peace plebiscite promising an end to the generational war there. Of Kovalik’s 2020 film, ‘Nicaragua: The April Crisis & Beyond‘ on 2018’s so-called uprising in Nicaragua, Oliver Stone said, “Kovalik helps cut through the Orwellian lies and dissembling which make so-called ‘humanitarian intervention possible.”

Dan is currently in Nicaragua’s capital, Managua preparing for the election.

Dan Kovalik and Nicaragua’s testing time in the second half.

But first, John Helmer and the media crusade keeping the New Cold War with Russia on ice.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer September 16th, 2021

Welcome back to Gorilla Radio, recorded September 6th, 2021

With Spring approaching Down Under, citizens there are set to begin a new season under lockdown. For Australians in Victoria State, the sixth Covid-19 lockdown was due to end last week, but days before the deadline, Premier Daniel Andrews’ Labour government announced it would be extended in order to “buy time to allow vaccinations to be undertaken…”

How much time, or how many vaccinations it would take to make this latest lockdown go away wasn’t made clear, but what’s certain is the growing restiveness of the population. Last month, hundreds were arrested during protests of government measures, with the country’s second city, Melbourne seeing the greatest numbers of arrests.

John Helmer is a journalist, author, broadcaster, former political advisor to government, and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. Among Helmer’s many books titles are, ‘The Lie That Shot Down MH-17’ ‘Skripal in Prison’, and ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’. His latest is, ‘Hitler Didn’t Die in Berlin – He Moved to Melbourne Where He Runs the State Government of Victoria: A True Covid-19 Thriller’. It’s the chronicle of his legal battles with authorities that banned both his leaving Australia, and allowing his wife rejoin him there.

He writes: “Right now this is a story with urgent parallels in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Spain, and France – in every country where democratic resistance to abuse of power in the pandemic has run into identical tactics of lawlessness, and suffered the same fate.”

Today, John Helmer and the search for an inoculant to viral government malfeasance and the disastrous effects of hubris on the body politic.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: https://cfuv.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ron Ridenour June 13, 2021

Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s Home Edition, recorded June 13, 2021.

Fully a week past election day and still there is no winner declared in Peru’s presidential election. The contest pits convicted felon and daughter of former president, Alberto Fujimori (currently in prison) against leftist upstart and political novice, Pedro Castillo. Castillo had a lead going in to the second round of the poll, but that’s when things started to get funny. In what looks eerily similar to election reversals in Bolivia in 2019, and earlier this year in Ecuador, a leftist contender could be defeated when all the numbers were going his way.

Ron Ridenour is a journalist, author, editor, and peace and social justice activist. The ex-pat American has lived and worked in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia and currently calls Denmark home. He’s worked too as a special correspondent and freelancer for numerous publications in Europe the US, and Latin America, and served as press aid to Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales and the governments of Cuba and Nicaragua.

Some of Ridenour’s many book titles include: ‘The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert’, ‘Cuba: Revolution in Action’, and ‘Backfire: The CIA’s Biggest Burn’. Ron’s articles also feature at numerous online sites, including on ThisCantBeHappening.net, and CovertAction Magazine, where his latest, ‘Left-Wing Populist, Pedro Castillo, Leads Polls Before June 6th Election in Peru‘.

Ron Ridenour and will Pedro Castillo follow in the footsteps of Evo Morales and Andres Arauz?

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: https://cfuv.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, J.B. MacKinnon, Eva Bartlett June 17, 2021

Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s Home Edition, recorded June 10th and 12th, 2021

After the shock, fear, and uncertainty had subsided somewhat, benefits of the pandemic soon became apparent. Who didn’t marvel in those early days at the serene stillness; the peace and quietude settling over the cites like a muffling snowfall; surprising commuters and putting a halt to our frantic everyday? And didn’t the stars seem closer; the air fresher? And, wasn’t there too an unaccustomed moment to hear ones thoughts; to take time to think?

Bestselling, award-winning Canadian author J.B. MacKinnon’s first book, ‘The 100-Mile Diet’, (co-written with Alisa Smith) was an international sensation, catalyzing the locavore movement. He followed that with ‘The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be’, the poignant examination of Nature’s past, the parlous anthropocene present, and our possible futures. His latest is ‘The Day the World Stops Shopping‘ a book he says began as a thought experiment and work of “imaginative reporting” that World events caught up with.

J.B. MacKinnon in the first half.

And; the result of last month’s Syrian presidential election was hardly surprising. The besieged country’s leader Bashar al-Assad won by a margin poll-watching cliches like “landslide victory” can’t do justice. Equally unsurprising was the Western press and “World Community” reaction to that victory.

Eva Bartlett is an independent Canadian journalist and activist who has lived in and reported extensively from Syria over the last decade. She’s been one of the few Western witnesses to the destruction of war from where the missiles and bombs land, and one of even fewer to fix properly the blame on those responsible for it. Eva was in Syria again witnessing both the reelection of Assad, and widespread celebration of national survival.

Eva Bartlett and Syria, still standing after a decade of war in the second half.

But first, J.B. MacKinnon and stopping what we must, and can’t, stop: Shopping.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: https://cfuv.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ron Ridenour April 14, 2021

Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s Home Edition, recorded, April 14th, 2021

It seemed in the bag. Going into Sunday’s second round of Ecuador’s presidential election all the smart money was on the Correista and Union of Hope leader, Andres Arauz. Arauz had mopped the floor with his two major opponents in the first round, falling just short of outright victory. But, South America’s Pink Tide will have to wait a little longer, at least in Ecuador. Instead of continuing the socialist path that had raised living standards for the poorest, (and interrupted by class traitor, Lenin Moreno) millionaire banker, and former Coca Cola executive, Guillermo Lasso will take the reins of power in May.

Ron Ridenour is a journalist, author, editor, and peace and social justice activist. The ex-pat American has lived and worked in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia and currently calls Denmark home. He’s worked too as a special correspondent and freelancer for numerous publications in Europe the US, and Latin America, and served as press aid to Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales and the governments of Cuba and Nicaragua. Some of Ridenour’s many book titles include: ‘The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert’, ‘Cuba: Revolution in Action’, ‘Backfire: The CIA’s Biggest Burn’, and his latest, still in progress, ‘Winding Brook Stories’.

Ron’s articles feature at numerous online sites, including on ThisCantBeHappening.net, and CovertAction Magazine, where his latest, ‘Ecuador’s New Socialist Party Set to Win Elections Despite U.S. Intervention and Deceptive Identity Politics‘ appears.

Today, Ron Ridenour and the socialist boat missing the tide in Ecuador.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: https://cfuv.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Randy Caravaggio (Long form) December 10, 2020

The Trump administration’s hard line on Cuba undid the diplomatic and economic advances of the Obama years. There’s hope in the long-besieged Caribbean island nation the inauguration of the 44th president’s vice-president, Joe Biden will signal a return to political rapprochement and removal of trade restrictions imposed by the departing Republicans.

But, it’s no sure thing. Though the president-elect promised a return to Obama era policies while campaigning, specifics are uncertain, and media and Senate pressures are already being applied.

Randy Caravaggio is a social justice defender and organizer with the Victoria Goods for Cuba campaign, and co-ordinator with Victoria’s contribution to the Pastor’s for Peace Caravan to Cuba. He’s also been a constant champion of the revolutions in Venezuela and Bolivia, and long-time supporter of Palestinian sovereignty.

Today, Randy Caravaggio and cautiously watching the tides of change in Cuba and Latin America.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: https://cfuv.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Joe Emersberger September 10, 2020

Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s continuing efforts, NOT broadcast live from CFUV Radio in the basement of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria, but emanating live-to-tape via Skype from our home-based … studios on this date, September 10th, 2020.

It goes without saying, Canada supports democracy in principle and in fact wherever it takes root. After all, it is a democratic nation, one of the oldest, and a World-famous champion of human rights and the “rule of law”. So it’s difficult to reconcile Canada supporting countries whose leaders, (and would-be leaders) were not elected but seized power through violence, (or failed to do the same, but not for the lack of trying).

It’s also difficult to read about that support, because Canada’s corporate/state media just isn’t interested, one supposes, in reporting on our decidedly undemocratic friends in places like Honduras, Haiti, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

Joe Emersberger is a Canada-based writer whose work focuses on media lies, distortion, and confabulation. His articles appear at VenezuelAnalysis, The Canary, and CounterPunch among other places, and his recent piece, ‘Reuters (Unsurprisingly) Looks Away as Ecuador Tries to Outlaw Opposition Parties’ appears at Fair.org.

Today, Joe Emersberger and disappearing democracy in Latin America.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/