Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel, Felix Abt August 6, 2022

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded August 6th, 2022.

Europeans are experiencing a blow back blast this Summer on multiple fronts. Hellishly hot weather, a financial meltdown, and the nagging persistence of the pandemic with all its attendant social pressures are combined to test the hardiest continentals – and, as warm as it is there now, Winter is coming!

Pablo Ouziel is an associate fellow at the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria and a visiting fellow in the Department Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton. His book, ‘Democracy Here and Now: The exemplary case of Spain‘ is published by University of Toronto Press and chronicles the birth of the M15 movement against draconian government “austerity” measures, and the rise of authoritarianism there and across the western world. Pablo currently lives outside Barcelona.

Pablo Ouziel in the first half.

And; in these last mad years of pandemics, wars, and climate alarm if we’ve learned anything it is the fragility of institutions many of us once thought solid, if not sacrosanct. Cracks in our societal pillars are clear, there for all to see, despite the establishment’s best efforts to paper over the fissures. Part of the media effort to convince us our system is sound and “the greatest ever” is the necessary denigration of those others in places like Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Syria, Iran, Russia, China, and of course North Korea.

Swiss author Felix Abt describes himself as a “politically neutral businessman…not sharing the typical partisan views about North Korea“. After living and working in the country he says he can “contribute to a more objective view of a country he knows much better than the journalists and bloggers writing about it“. Former CIA whistleblower, John Kiriakou says of Abt’s second book, ‘A Land of Prison Camps, Starving Slaves and Nuclear Bombs?‘, “Finally, the truth about North Korea… [revealing] …the caricature we’re fed by the western media simply isn’t true.

Felix Abt and a capitalist’s story of life in the “Hermit Kingdom” in the second half.

But first, Pablo Ouziel and Europe’s Summer of reckoning.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing since 1998; in Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: cfuv.ca.  Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel August 6th, 2022

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded August 6th, 2022.

Europeans are experiencing a blowback blast this Summer on multiple fronts. Hellishly hot weather, a financial meltdown, and the nagging persistence of the pandemic with all its attendant social pressures are combined to test the hardiest continentals – and, as warm as it is there now, Winter is coming!

Pablo Ouziel is an associate fellow at the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria and a visiting fellow in the Department Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton. His book, ‘Democracy Here and Now: The exemplary case of Spain‘ is published by University of Toronto Press and chronicles the birth of the M15 movement against draconian government “austerity” measures, and the rise of authoritarianism there and across the western world.

Pablo currently lives outside Barcelona.

Pablo Ouziel and Europe’s Summer of reckoning.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Pablo Ouziel April 15th, 2021

Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s Home Edition, recorded on the dates, April 11th and 12th, 2021

China’s meteoric rise to the uppermost echelon of international affairs is but one of the signals of America’s declining global stature. Russia too is testing its influence, both on its borders and further afield. In the past few weeks, events in both the Baltic and east Asia offer evidence the country no longer feels constrained by the whim, wishes or wants of the United States and its “international community”.

In Myanmar, Russia has stepped in to quell U.S./ U.K efforts to use UN Security Council sanction and threats of intervention to bludgeon the military coup government there; and, in the Baltic the country’s relentless drive to finish the Nord Stream 2 pipeline marches on, despite being engaged in a bizarre cat and mouse game with an off-the-hook Polish fishing fleet who, in concert with the Polish military, seem intent on provoking an incident involving the nearly completed operation.

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’, and his latest, ‘Hitler Didn’t Die in Berlin – He Moved to Melbourne Where He Runs the State Government of Victoria: A True Covid-19 Thriller’. His latest articles examine Russia’s foreign policy tightrope walk on the political knife’s edge in Myanmar and Europe.

John Helmer in the first half.

And; despite Madrid’s state of denial, Spain’s separatist movement is alive and well and living in Catalonia. Regional elections in February maintained independence parties’ hold on a combined majority in the parliament there, while street protests that erupted in Barcelona and other towns following the arrest of popular rapper, Pablo Hásel serve as an unsubtle reminder to Pedro Sanchez’ federal coalition government just how tenuous its hold on the peace is.

Pablo Ouziel is a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Victoria’s Political Science Department and Centre for Global Studies whose Fellowship Project at UVic, ‘Democracy Here and Now: The Exemplary Case of Spain’ was interrupted by the Covid-19 closure of the University. He currently resides in his native home, near Barcelona.

Pablo Ouziel and the trouble with democracy in Spain in the second half.

But first, John Helmer and RUSSIA AND MYANMAR – BALANCING ON A KNIFE’S EDGE.

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, Pablo Ouziel April 12th, 2021

Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s Home Edition, recorded April 12th, 2021

Despite Madrid’s state of denial, Spain’s separatist movement is alive and well and living in Catalonia. Regional elections in February maintained independence parties’ hold on a combined majority in the parliament there, while street protests that erupted in Barcelona and other towns following the arrest of popular rapper, Pablo Hásel serve as an unsubtle reminder to Pedro Sanchez’ federal coalition government just how tenuous its hold on the peace is.

Pablo Ouziel is a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Victoria’s Political Science Department and Centre for Global Studies whose Fellowship Project at UVic, ‘Democracy Here and Now: The Exemplary Case of Spain’ was interrupted by the Covid-19 closure of the University. He currently resides in his native home, near Barcelona.

Today, Pablo Ouziel and the trouble with democracy in Spain.

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, Dr. Jeffrey Smith November 16, 2020

Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s home edition, recorded on this date November 16th, 2020.

Saturday, the uneasy truce between Morocco and the Saharawi people of Western Sahara cracked. It started with a road blocked by a peaceful protest, but the heavy-handed response by occupying Moroccan forces quickly escalated into what the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic government-in-exile says is the, “resumption of armed struggle in defense of the legitimate rights of our people.

Photo: Addad Amami, Oxfam

The New York Times reports, the Western Sahara pro-independence organization, Polisario Front has declared war, breaking a thirty years-old, UN-brokered ceasefire agreement between Morocco and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.

Dr. Jeffrey Smith is a Canadian law academic and lawyer who’s written extensively on Western Sahara human rights and environmental protections under international law. He’s served as legal advisor to the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic for more than a decade.

Today, Dr. Jeffrey Smith and the straw that broke the back of peace in Western Sahara.

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, Pablo Ouziel, Elisabeth Tova Bailey, Janine Bandcroft June 4, 2020

Welcome to GR. We are as yet NOT broadcasting live from the basement of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria, but instead recording live-to-Skype this day, May 13th, 2020.

Fitting it’s been a late Spring here. Winter’s intransigence keeping us indoors longer than we’d like, confined to leaving the greeting rituals of the new season overlong under wraps. But nature won’t be denied, and sure as God made green apples and bright flowers, our deliverance from the power of the pestilence that’s held much of the World at bay is waning. Or, so we’re told. The green lamp is lit – sort of – with Spain, one of the countries worse-effected by Covid, announcing last month its “deconfinement plan” roll out, beginning in earnest Monday, May 11. It’s the first stage of a phased emergence from the virus, and as elsewhere it’s a policy fraught with doubt and controversy.

Pablo Ouziel is a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Victoria’s Political Science Department and Centre for Global Studies whose Fellowship Project at UVic, ‘Democracy Here and Now: The Exemplary Case of Spain’ was interrupted by the Covid-19 closure of the University. He is currently in his native Barcelona.

Dr. Pablo Ouziel in the first half.

And; what can we take away from this weird moment when the World stood uncertainly on its axis? Perhaps from our time in collective isolation we can understand better what it means for others forcibly removed by circumstance from their lives and an agency taken as granted, until just taken? Elisabeth Tova Bailey is an intimate acquaintance of solitude, having experienced years of patient recuperation from a randomly encountered debilitating disease. The product of her long estivation is the book, ‘The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating’. The multi-award garnering chronicle of her bed-side companion and its special history has now metamorphosed too as the short film of the same title.

Elisabeth Tova Bailey and life at a snail’s pace in the second half.

And; long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with this week’s Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things you can get up to in and around our town – both real and virtual – in the coming week. But first, Pablo Ouziel and Spain’s planned emergence from crisis.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel May 14, 2020

Welcome to GR. We are as yet NOT broadcasting live from the basement of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria, but instead recording live-to-Skype this day, May 13th, 2020.

Fitting it’s been a late Spring here. Winter’s intransigence keeping us indoors longer than we’d like, confined to leaving the greeting rituals of the new season overlong under wraps. But nature won’t be denied, and sure as God made green apples and bright flowers, our deliverance from the power of the pestilence that’s held much of the World at bay is waning. Or, so we’re told. The green lamp is lit – sort of – with Spain, one of the countries worse-effected by Covid, announcing last month its “deconfinement plan” roll out, beginning in earnest Monday, May 11. It’s the first stage of a phased emergence from the virus, and as elsewhere it’s a policy fraught with doubt and controversy.

Pablo Ouziel is a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Victoria’s Political Science Department and Centre for Global Studies whose Fellowship Project at UVic, ‘Democracy Here and Now: The Exemplary Case of Spain’ was interrupted by the Covid-19 closure of the University. He is currently in his native Barcelona.

Dr. Pablo Ouziel and Spain’s planned emergence from crisis.