REVIVAL AT THE HELM OF SOUTH AMERICA
(Constantly updated - Refresh your Browser!) No time to read and study in order to understand or to find an answer to the question: Why does the USA want to impose their kind of "democrazy" on Venezuela? - JUST WATCH 2:40 Minute CLIP
In situations of war, collective violence or atrocity there is no such thing as a neutral stance. Passive by-standing is aiding and abetting evil. Don’t be complicit.
LISTEN WHILE READING: They Don't Care About Us !
Update SUN 21. April 2019 (vf): Venezuela Governance: A little over a month ago, President Nicolás Maduro announced – through the vice president – a change and reshuffle in the ministerial cabinet of the executive. However, to date, only three posts have been designated: : Igor Gavidia Leon for Electric Power, Carlos Leal in Food and Freddy Brito in Science and Technology. There have been no explanations of the delay in the election -or ratification- of the new cabinet.
In practice, this means that after putting their house on order and delivering their respective reports and accounts, the disposition of 29 ministries and 5 vice presidencies is pending.
Critics, like Edgard Ramírez Ramírez, who say a cabinet must be characterized by efficiency (doing more with less, in less time), transparency (mutual comptroller State-People Power, access to information on management and clear monitoring and evaluation criteria), synergy (people-government co-responsibility and the articulation between both during all stages of work) and planning (systemic and interconnected vision of the programs and projects to be developed), believe improvements are now more necessary than ever. Most of them want changes in the ministries of Economy, Industries, Productive Agriculture, Youth, Mining Development and Transportation. Due to the ongoing crisis capable professionals, new “Chavista technocrats” with strategies that go beyond an emergency model for the nexus, are required but seem difficult to be found.
An eighth and ninth explosion have rocked Colombo, Sri Lanka's largest city and commercial capital, shortly after over 208 people were killed and as many as 400 were injured on Easter Sundayin six powerful blasts after 09h00 local time that hit in a coordinated attack 3 hotels and 3 churches. Among the dead are around 30 foreigners. Later 3 other devices exploded in different locations. The Sri Lankan Defense Ministry has imposed a nightly curfew. Seven people have been arrested and the social media have been cut off to control the people. The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka condemed the attack that targeted apart from the hotels 3 places of worship for Christians and Jews.
Update SAT 20. April 2019 (vf): INVITATION: Today 15:00 EST Washington D.C – Eyewitness Venezuela with Ajamu Baraka, Medea Benjamin, Max Blumenthal, Claudia De La Cruz, Gloria La Riva, and Anya Parampil! If you can’t make the above events in person, watch them being live-streamed on their Facebook page (N.B.: Unfortunately they only have that FascistBook page - read warnings and access it only via a good VPN.) Facebook Admits Millions of Users' Passwords Affected by Latest Privacy Breach
More Than 3,600 Fake News Items About Venezuela Per Day
“The Venezuela movement “Connects Us”, carried out a study on how Venezuela is viewed from abroad and the results were amazing in accounting for more than 3,600 fake news about Venezuela a day,” revealed Social Media Manager Erick Lozano.
During an interview conducted in the Punto de Encuentro TV show broadcast by Venezolana de Televisión (VTV), Lozano warned that this strategy seeks to create a false opinion trend of what is being lived in Venezuela, Orinoco Tribune translated and reported at Correo del Orinoco.
He stressed that “fake news” or false news has become a phenomenon in the world because of the economic factors they generate, because every time users click on a news story the digital portals earn large amounts of money and for that reason web pages create false or tabloid news to get the attention of the user.
He mentioned that “another important factor that produces false news is the positioning of trends of opinion, in the case of Venezuela. The search for a media scenario that justifies a foreign intervention”, he said.
He recommended users verify the sources of the information that arrives at the social networks before sharing to avoid viralizing them.
The Venezuelan military deserters, who registered in the opposition operation during the days of the false humanitarian aid of February 23, are heading now to Bogota to seek a meeting with President Iván Duque to meet their demands.
The lack of response and the abandonment of these men by Juan Guaidó and his team, has caused that these troops look now for answers to their delicate situation from Colombia. Paradoxically, they do not march to Caracas to give power to their self-imposed “Commander-in-Chief”, but to Bogota to add an additional problem in internal politics to the unstable government of Ivan Duque.
This situation reduces the credibility of Guaidó’s promises to the Venezuelan military, by which he had been trying to convince them that by abandoning their oath they will receive preferential and privileged treatment.
Update FRI 19. April 2019 (vf): Action: 24/7 Protection of DC Venezuelan Embassy
US Calls on Countries to Deny Airspace to Russian Planes Destined for Venezuela
The U.S. State Department spokesperson has called on countries to “follow Malta’s example” and block Russian military planes en route for Venezuela from using their airspace, Moskau Times reports.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Malta refused a Russian request to use its airspace to fly military aircraft from Syria to Venezuela on April 4. Zakharova added that Malta did not provide a reason for their decision, the state-run TASS news agency reported.
“We applaud the government of Malta for refusing to allow Russian planes to use its airspace to supply the brutal former regime in Venezuela. We call on all countries to follow Malta’s example to stop the Kremlin’s support for the dictator Maduro,” the new State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus tweeted on Friday.
Responding to Ortagus on Twitter, Russia’s Foreign Ministry stressed that the US should continue clapping, as that would keep it busy enough not to start any war. “We are trying hard to keep your hands away from a trigger. So keep applauding – at least it’s harmless,” the Russian FM said on Twitter.
Russia, which has also supplied fighter jets, tanks and air defense systems to Venezuela, has dismissed U.S. criticism of its military cooperation with Caracas, saying it is not interfering in the Latin American country’s internal affairs and poses no threat to regional stability.
U.S. President Donald Trump has previously said that “Russia has to get out” of Venezuela and that “all options” are open to force Russia to end its assistance to Maduro, raising the prospect of new U.S. sanctions against Moscow.
Commemoration: Cuba’s victory on 19. April 1961 was the first military defeat of U.S.
#imperialism in Latin America.
A CNN report confirmed the warnings made by the WSWS and others that the charges related to computer hacking leveled against Assange are merely a pretext for his extradition to the United States, after which additional charges would be brought against him.
Since Assange has been imprisoned in the maximum-security Belmarsh prison, public comments made by leading Democrats and US media officials indicate that charge was not the primary aim of the US investigation.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer tweeted, “Now that Julian Assange has been arrested, I hope he will soon be held to account for his meddling in our elections on behalf of Putin and the Russian government.” Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel tweeted that Assange “time after time compromised the national security of the United States and our allies by publicly releasing classified government documents and confidential materials related to our 2016 presidential election.”
US, British and Ecuadorian governments have claimed Assange’s extradition is proper because the US is indicting on a single charge: attempting to help Chelsea Manning bypass a password. But this has now been revealed to be only the pretext. The real reason the US wants custody of the whistleblower was stated by Schumer and Engel.
On April 15, the WSWS wrote that these statements demonstrate the extradition proceedings are being conducted under false pretenses: “The single public charge is a cover. The government is planning to interrogate Assange, compel him to provide testimony and further prosecute him for exposing US war crimes.” (“Stop the extraordinary rendition of Julian Assange!”)
Update THU 18. April 2019 (vf): Fake News: Yesterday, Wednesday, the news agency REUTERS reported that Spanish oil company Repsol was suspending a swap agreement with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, which had Repsol supply fuel in exchange for Venezuelan crude. Swap agreements have become increasingly common for PDVSA in light of US sanctions. The US oil embargo has also limited Venezuela’s access to products needed to refine its crude and produce fuel.
However, Repsol denied on Thursday that there had been any suspension of activities, with spokesman Kristian Rix telling press that “operations are continuing normally.”
US Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams recently visited Portugal and Spain, and Repsol’s operations in Venezuela were one of the topics on the agenda. US officials have, on multiple occasions, raised the possibility of imposing secondary sanctions against non-US companies that deal with Venezuela and PDVSA. Venezuela Withdraws Diplomatic Credentials to Costa Rica’s Charge D’Affaires and Warns About Reciprocal Actions, Venezuel Anlysis reports.
Officials of the Venezuelan Embassy in Costa Rica left that country at the end of the 60-day period of the expulsion order, decreed by the authorities of Costa Rica on February 15. After that term, their credentials, immunities and privileges expired. The Venezuelan government denounced that Costa Rica “has flagrantly violated articles 22 and 25 of the Vienna Convention” by allowing the Venezuelan Embassy to be violently occupied in San José. In response the Venezuelan MFA announced the withdrawal of the diplomatic credential to the Chargé d’affaires of Costa Rica in Venezuela, Danilo González Ramírez.
It also noted that “Venezuela holds the Costa Rican government responsible for the loss or violation of the assets, archives and documents of the Embassy, in accordance with Article 24 of the Vienna Convention” and that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela “reserves the rest reciprocal diplomatic measures that may be in place to compensate this unacceptable aggression against the personnel and premises of the Venezuelan Diplomatic Mission in Costa Rica. ”
The Costa Rican government was one of the first to recognize the Venezuelan opposition deputy Juan Guaidó as president in charge when he proclaimed himself on January 23.
Through a statement , the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that “the diplomatic personnel of Nicolás Maduro’s government, who worked in the Venezuelan Embassy in Costa Rica, has left the national territory (…)” For all intents and purposes, they are no longer recognized as representatives of Venezuela,” they added.
The assault on the Embassy
The Venezuelan Embassy in San José was the scene of a conflict on February 20. That day a group of people, headed by the “ambassador” appointed by Guaidó, María Faría, tried to enter the building of the diplomatic headquarters by force.
Before the claim of the Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Arreaza, Costa Rica’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Lorena Aguilar, said that this action damaged “the elementary rules of respect and trust in the framework of International Law.”
“We express our strongest rejection of the actions of María Faría,” Aguilar added at the time and remarked that the 60-day term given to the acting diplomats was still in effect.
This is the statement of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on the subject:
Venezuela reserves reciprocal actions before the illegal taking of its Embassy in Costa Rica
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela informs the international community that officials accredited to the government of the Republic of Costa Rica left the country in their capacity as diplomatic officials, in accordance with the deadline established by the authorities of that country.
However, the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela denounces the government of Costa Rica which has flagrantly violated articles 22 and 25 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, by allowing, by act or omission, the violent occupation of our Embassy in San Jose.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela denounces this improper behavior of a government that promotes itself as a model of democracy and respect for the Diplomatic and Consular Conventions, when in reality it has created a disastrous precedent of disrespect and ignorance of International Law.
In this regard, Venezuela holds the Costa Rican government responsible for the loss or violation of the assets, archives and documents of the Embassy, in accordance with Article 24 of the Vienna Convention.
Also, the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela has decided to withdraw the diplomatic credentials of Mr. Danilo González Ramírez, who was the Chargé d’Affaires of the Republic of Costa Rica in Venezuela.
It should be noted that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reserves the other reciprocal diplomatic measures that may be necessary to compensate this unacceptable aggression against the personnel and premises of the Venezuelan Diplomatic Mission in Costa Rica. (Source: Alba Ciudad - Translated by JRE\EF - OT)
MUST UNDERSTAND: CIA Docs Shows UK, France and West Germany Wanted to Bring “Operation Condor” To Europe
A recently declassified CIA document has revealed that members of the intelligence agencies of France, the United Kingdom and West Germany discussed how to establish “an anti-subversive organization similar to [the CIA’s Operation] Condor” in their own countries. The document states: "Representatives of the intelligence services of West Germany, France and the United Kingdom visited the coordination secretariat of Operation Condor in Buenos Aires during the month of September 1977 to discuss methods to establish an antisubversive organization similar to Operation Condor." Described by the CIA as “a cooperative effort by the intelligence/security services of several South American countries to combat terrorism and subversion,” Operation Condor was a campaign of state terrorism originally planned by the CIA that targeted leftists, suspected leftists and their “sympathizers” and resulted in the forced disappearances, torture and brutal murders of an estimated 60,000 people, as well as the political imprisonment of around half a million people. Around half of the estimated murders occurred in Argentina. The April 12 batch of declassified information was the third and last of the U.S.’s Argentina Declassification Project. The first two installments were made during the U.S. Barack Obama administration. Only few media report this.
EU Lawmakers Praise Evo Morales On Economy And Equality
An increasing number of European political parties are taking a greater interest in Bolivia, ever since the Andean country officially renounced neoliberal policies
On Thursday, 19 lawmakers in the European parliament wrote a letter to Bolivia’s leftist President Evo Morales, in praise of the country’s progress on development and social equality.
Evo Morales thanked the signatories on Twitter soon after, saying “We thank the Members of the European Parliament that praise Bolivia's achievements in poverty reduction and economic growth. We have accomplished so much and work relentlessly to improve the living conditions of our people with unity, dignity and identity.” He went on to say, “We praise the EU cooperation that, unlike the conditional assistance of some states, has allowed Bolivia to reach important accomplishments in the fight against poverty and drug trafficking. It's a joint effort with full respect for the sovereignty and dignity of our countries.”
An increasing number of European political parties are taking a greater interest in Bolivia ever since the Andean country began achieving the highest rates of economic growth in the region. In February last year, former Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero hosted a conference to discuss Bolivia’s achievements in economic growth and poverty reduction.
Morales’ period in office has been marked by significant reductions in poverty. Between 2006-2017, extreme poverty fell from 40% to 17% and the country’s GDP has more than tripled during Morales’ 13 years in office. None of the U.S.-imposed right-wing governments of South America can present such impressive figures. The Bolivian government argues that this growth is due to the nationalization of the country’s natural resources.
Morales faces a presidential election on Oct. 20 this year, with most polls putting him well ahead of right-wing rival Carlos Mesa.
The controversy over Julian Assange’s arrest in London seems to have spilled over into the European Parliament this week. Martin Sonneborn, a long-time contributor to Spiegel and ZDF, used his time to tell “a couple of words to the Brits who are likely to remain in the EU until Halloween.”
If you extradite Assange to the US, may you get your stupid Brexit right now, and may it be as hard as possible!
Sonneborn also reminded the German parliament that earlier this week it approved a bill protecting whistleblowers from being exposed to various forms of persecution, adding “it is now against the EU law to blow such people away.”
Further into his emotional speech, Sonneborn recalled a renowned 2007 video showing a US helicopter crew gunning down a dozen civilians, including Reuters’ staff, and then laughing at the dead.
Assange, who was behind the release of the video in 2010, now risks being handed over to “those who deny or conceal it.” The footage, released by WikiLeaks and known as ‘Collateral Murder’, quickly went viral, sparking outrage across the globe.
No More Excuses: The real face behind U.S.-led atrocities is Trump himself. The other four: - Pompeo, Pence, Bolton, Abrams - are just his henchemen. Americans must get these 5 apocalyptic riders out of office, if they don't want to be shunned by the World. Together with Trump and Pompeo, Bolton is also a firm member of the real "troika of tyranny".
Final Straw: Trump Vetoes Congressional Resolution to End US Support of Saudi-led Yemen War
US President Donald Trump has vetoed a resolution passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives that sought to end US involvement with the Saudi-led war in Yemen. It is the second veto of his presidency.
“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump said in a message to the Senate, informing them of the veto.
According to Trump, the US is “not engaged in hostilities in or affecting Yemen,” with the exception of “counterterrorism operations against [Al-Qaeda] in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS.” Nor are any US military personnel “commanding, participating in, or accompanying” forces of the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen, he said.
The US does provide “limited support” to the coalition, “including intelligence sharing, logistics support, and, until recently, in-flight refueling” of aircraft, but that is consistent with statutory authority given to the Pentagon and presidential powers as commander in chief, Trump said.
Trump added the resolution would hurt US “bilateral relationships,” counter-terrorism operations against Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), “negatively affect our ongoing efforts to prevent civilian casualties” and “embolden Iran’s malign activities in Yemen.”
Saudi Arabia has accused the Yemeni Houthis of being proxies of Iran. The Pentagon has repeatedly claimed that its military support to the Saudi-led coalition is somehow helping reduce civilian casualties.
Since launching the war against the Houthis in March 2015, however, the Saudi-led forces have repeatedly and deliberately struck civilians in Yemen. An estimated 60,000 Yemenis have died due to the conflict, with another 85,000 succumbed to famine and malnutrition.
This was the second veto of Trump’s presidency. The first came in mid-March, when he vetoed a joint resolution opposing his declaration of national emergency on the US-Mexico border, the first time Congress had adopted one since passing a law on emergencies in 1976.
Paris argues that the weapons it actively sells to the Saudis are used for defensive purposes only and are intended to help Riyadh fight terrorists. However, that might not exactly be the case, Geoffrey Rivolsi, the co-founder of Disclose, believes.
While pointing out France’s secrecy about the nature of its arms contracts with Riyadh, the investigative journalist warned that a full disclosure of the French role in the Saudi-led coalition’s war efforts might potentially put Paris in a bind.
Documents obtained by the investigative group show that France is clearly aware of potential risks of its weapons being used against civilians in Yemen. One map, entitled “Population that can suffer as a result of shelling” shows how many people live within range of the French-made 155mm self-propelled howitzers CEASAR currently deployed to the Saudi border areas near Yemen. The map puts the number of potentially affected civilians at 430,000.
“CEASAR howitzers are a source of concern for the government because these artillery systems are used to shell Yemen,” Rivolsi said.
“Taking into account its role in assisting the coalition in the field of arms supplies, France might emerge as an accomplice in these war crimes,” the investigative journalist warned, adding, however, that there has been “no direct evidence” of civilians being killed with French weapons and bombs.
The 2019 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders shows that Nicaragua fell 24 places from the previous year’s list due to attacks on journalists covering protests against President Daniel Ortega.
El Salvador saw the region’s second steepest fall — 15 places — because journalists suffered armed attacks, harassment and intimidation by politicians, according to the report.
There were also poor performances in Venezuela, Brazil, United States and Mexico. The latter is one of the world’s deadliest countries for the media, with at least 10 journalists slain in 2018.
The report said that never before in the United States have journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security companies for protection.
The World Press Freedom Index assesses six separate benchmarks and assigns each country a score calculated from answers to a questionnaire in 20 languages that is completed by experts around the world.
Norway is ranked first for the third consecutive year and Turkmenistan replaced North Korea in last place.
Trump goes even further in his war against media freedom: FULL FRONT CENSORSHIP ATTACK ON IRAN FROM VARIOUS AMERICAN BASED MEDIA ... Free independent reliable press run by independent journalists from various countries is gagged today charged with exposing the crimes of terrorist states against humanity. Google has blocked Press TV and Hispan TV's access to their official accounts on the technology company's platforms, including YouTube and Gmail, without prior notice, citing “violation of policies”. “Your Google Account was disabled and can’t be restored because it was used in a way that violates Google’s policies,” Google said in a message that appears after Press TV tries to log into its account. READ MORE
The American corporation Google also blocked the access of HispanTV to YouTube on Thursday.
HispanTV is a Spanish-language television channel with a large audience around the world, particularly in the United States and Latin America. The chain’s account, to which the staff can not add new content, currently has more than 243,000 subscribers. This independent news outlet has been subject to media censorship on other occasions. The last case occurred in August 2018 when Google blocked HispanTV’s access to its YouTube channel and Google Plus and as a consequence the accounts of HispanTV, HispanTV Programas, HispanTV Documentales and HispanTV Films and Series were closed.
“This media war against HispanTV and all the networks that transmit the reality of events will never have results … the voice of reason will prevail despite all the measures of the West and the colonial countries. The sun can not be hidden with a finger, ” a chain reader reported in August.
Google has also closed as of Friday the channel’s access in English called PressTV. The American technological giant justifies this measure, indicating that it found violations to its rules, although it does not offer details.
Both television networks have been objects of media censorship on repeated occasions. The YouTube video sharing platform blocked the live broadcast of HispanTV in mid-2017 and, in 2012, the Spanish satellite provider Hispasat stopped providing services to HispanTV and “Press TV network”.
The Iranian authorities have repeatedly denounced these offensives against the Iranian media, which always promises to be the voice of the voiceless, as constituting a flagrant “violation of freedom of expression and the free flow of information.”
Orinoco Tribune LinkedIn Account Frozen
Orinoco Tribune is a new service providing information about Venezuela for English speakers around the world. Our social network strategy has been focused mostly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but in recent weeks we were expanding our number of followers in LinkedIn focusing on journalists and content creators from all over the world.
Yesterday night our staff received a notification, while trying to login into our account, letting us know that the account was restricted.
Initially we though that it was a mistake but after several tries we realized that was not the case. We sent the ID required by LinkedIn to initiate an arbitration process.
We know from experience that social media networks might be very aggressive in terms of press freedom liberties for outlets providing anti-establishment information, so we did not have too many expectations.
Early today, LinkedIn contacted us and let us know that our account was open as a personal account and that we should open a LinkedIn Page. So we lost almost 500 followers that we were selectively curating for the last weeks and that were actively interacting with us in recent weeks. To them our appreciation, and for them we post this notice to encourage them to follow us in our new LinkedIn Page to continue receiving the quality information we strive to provide about Venezuela but also about global issues connected directly or indirectly with Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution.
Like most progressive outlets out there, we do not have too many expectations about receiving balanced treatment from social media corporations but we will try to keep doing our work in order to break the media blockade about Venezuela.
Update WED 17. April 2019 (vf): EU and Canada to Fight New US Sanctions on Cuba over Venezuela
President Donald Trump administration ordered Wednesday the lifting of the suspension of Helm-Burton law’s Titles III and IV, which would allow filing lawsuits against foreign companies operating in Cuba. The Trump administration thereby announced that, as of March 19, it would allow the filling of lawsuits against more than 200 Cuban companies included in a unilateral list of sanctions.
The U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton referred to the application of those norms during a meeting with former mercenaries who participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion on April 17, 1961, when the USA and their "Brigada Asalto" were defeated.
U.S. citizens can sue those conducting business with 200 state-owned institutions in Cuba nationalized after Jan. 1, 1959.
The European Union (EU) and Canada issued a joint warning against the United States Wednesday after Washington reported that it would enforce Title III of the controversial Helms-Burton Act, which will permit lawsuits against foreign investments in Cuba.
"The EU and Canada consider the extraterritorial application of unilateral Cuba-related measures contrary to international law," the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement that was also signed by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
The “Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act,” commonly known as Helms-Burton, was signed on March 12, 1996, during former President Bill Clinton’s administration, with the objective of disrupting foreign investment to the island and accentuating the economic effects of the economic blockade.
Through the application of Title III, U.S. citizens could sue in their country’s courts those persons and entities that conduct business with about 200 state-owned institutions in Cuba that were nationalized after Jan. 1, 1959. However, since the Clinton administration, the U.S. had avoided the implementation of this measure by issuing “temporary” six-month suspensions.
This practice became normalized because the full enforcement of the anti-Cuban law would imply massive damages not only for Cuba but for U.S., Canadian, and mainly European interests, as the bloc is the largest foreign investor on the island and the country’s top export market.
The EU has argued that the law is illegal under World Trade Organization rules because it affects entities outside U.S. territory. Yet after negotiations with the U.S., a waiver was agreed upon, in 1998, to avoid the act affecting European businesses. In return, the EU dropped a challenge in the WTO to the U.S. legislation.
The waiver ends May 1 and the policy change to allow suits begins on May 2, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. The EU’s has threatened to sue at the WTO once again and even North Korea signaled that it would like to see US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo replaced by someone more careful and “mature” [at least] in talks with Pyongyang. We haven't found a single government the world over, that would insist on Mike Pompeo being part of any bi- or multilateral talks.
Meanwhile, Canadian officials said that the country “will review all options in response to this decision.” Its law allows counterclaims to be submitted to any U.S. complaint regarding commercial ties between Cuba and Canada.
This new enactment of sanctions comes now as a bid to pressure Cuba’s government for supporting Venezuela. Back in March 2019, the Trump administration already allowed the filing of lawsuits against more than 200 Cuban companies included in a unilateral list of sanctions. While Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) presented a bill before the U.S. Congress to prohibit the official recognition and rights of Cuban trademarks in the United States.
Today for the
#InternationalDayOfCampesinoStruggle, we commemorate the resistance of millions of small-scale farmers around the world and raise awareness about the ongoing violence and repression they often suffer at the hands of repressive governments and global economic elite.
On Wednesday the US imposed new sanctions against the Central Bank of Venezuela. Meanwhile, political scientist Vladimir Shapovalov said that all the sanctions that the United States could have adopted against Venezuela have already been adopted.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said the new sanctions introduced by the US will give new strength to the country.
“The sanctions are absolutely immoral, the central bank is not sacred. Let me say that the sanctions give us even more strength,” Maduro said in a statement broadcast on state television.
According to the words of the Venezuelan leader, the Central Bank of Venezuela will eventually overcome these difficulties.
John Bolton, a US National Security adviser, announced on April 17 that he would introduce new sanctions against the Central Bank of Venezuela. The restrictions should also warn third countries, including Russia, against any deployment of military forces in Venezuela aimed at supporting President Nicolas Maduro, Bolton said.
Political scientist Vladimir Shapovalov, deputy director of the Institute of History and Politics of the State University of Pedagogy in Moscow, commented on the situation.
He stressed that these are not the first sanctions introduced against Venezuela. And that the US is pressuring Caracas in various ways, including using the language of ultimatums and threats.
“This [measure] has an ostensible character, and by definition it can not have serious effects. Everything that the US could have done has done nothing but direct military intervention, but during the crisis that lasted three months, the US-appointed president failed to take control of the country’s power, so it is obvious that the US is losing control of the situation in Venezuela and demonstrates its inability to organize a coup,” said Vladimir Shapovalov.
On January 21 mass protests began in Venezuela for and against the current president Nicolás Maduro. After the demonstrations began, Juan Guaidó declared himself acting president. Russia, China and other nations support the legitimate Venezuelan president.
President Nicolas Maduro rejected on Wednesday another set of illegal sanctions announced by White House advisor, John Bolton, against the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV).
The president rejected the new aggression from the U.S. Government which attacks the rights of Venezuelans.
"The Central Bank of Venezuela will face and overcome with the law and with dignity the sanctions that the U.S. seeks to impose on our monetary institution," the president said while carrying out an inspection of a food packaging center for CLAP, located in Fuerte Tiuna, Caracas (capital).
He also stressed that "in the face of the imperialist aggressions against Venezuela, it is up to us to work and do more work, love and give more love to build a homeland. Venezuela will win!"
John Bolton announced on Wednesday from Miami, new unilateral and coercive sanctions against the Central Bank of Venezuela and the Corporate Bank of Nicaragua.
Also this Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry of Venezuela rejected in a statement the measures against the Central Bank for being arbitrary, illegal and unilateral.
The USA imposed also new sanctions against Cuba and Nicaragua. The US Treasury Department announced regulatory changes to restrict non-family travel to Cuba, as well as limits on remittances sent from the US to Cuba.
The United States has added to its list of sanctions five names linked to Cuba’s military and intelligence services, including the Aerogaviota airline.
John Bolton , US National Security Advisor, said in an address to veterans of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion that the US it would restrict non-family tourism to Cuba to reduce the “veiled tourism” that provides funds to the island’s security sector.
“The Treasury Department will implement regulatory changes to restrict non-family travel to Cuba,” Bolton said at a lunch in Miami with the Cuban community, AFP reports.
Bolton also announced “new limits on remittances to Cuba.”
The measures announced contemplate limiting transfers of funds by US citizens to Cuba to $ 1,000 quarterly .
Washington also announced sanctions against Laureano Ortega Murillo, son of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega , and vice president Rosario Murillo, as well as measures against Banco Corporativo (Bancorp), a financial institution of the Central American country.
To analyze the effects of the activation of Title Three of the Helms Burton Act, RT has spoken with political analyst Roberto Quesada, who sees in the way of using the Monroe Doctrine a US attempt to impose submission on Latin America.
Ecuador's Attorney General's office will make a request to Interpol for the capture of ex-foreign minister under former President Rafael Correa, Ricardo Patiño, a vocal critic of the current government under President Lenin Moreno. He had recently left the country but Ecuadorean officials want him captured and held under preventative detention based on the charge of 'instigation' or incitement.
In an official communique, a judge from the Attorney General's Office of Ecuador based in the town of Latacunga announced preventative detention for ex-Foreign Minister Ricard Patiño as well as announcing the country's intention to call for a red notice from Interpol.
The head attorney in the Attorney General's office, Diana Salazar, has also announced that it will investigate the attorney Beatriz Benitez who days ago had ruled out preventative detention.
Patiño has been very vocal in criticizing the government of the fascist President Lenin Moreno, for the dubious legality surrounding his decision to strip Wikileaks founder Julian Assange of asylum and allowing his arrest by British police. Moreno has also been under fire for his alleged corruption related to the INA papers, a scandal that came to light linking Moreno and his family to illicit offshore accounts.
MUST READ: The Triumph of Evil
Following Monday's formal US listing of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, or FTO, Iran was quick to hit back as previously promised.
Iranian lawmakers voted Tuesday to in turn list US Central Command, or CENTCOM, as a terrorist organization, which means that any support given CENTCOM will be treated as an act of terrorism. It essentially means all American troops in the Middle East will be treated as terrorists, according to the newly passed law.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s government and Armed Forces are required to adopt preventive actions and preemptive defensive measures whenever necessary, to deter any hostile US forces’ use of any possibilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s interests,” the bill states, according to Fars news.
It passed with a near unanimous vote in parliament, taking effect immediately, and includes 13-article legislation which mandates the armed forces to gather intelligence about CENTCOM activities. Such material could be used to prosecute either individuals or foreigners giving any level of assistance to the US military in the Middle East.
Latin American Social Leaders, Ex-presidents Decry Assange's Arrest, Possible Extradition
"This is... an absurd maneuver (by Ecuadorean President Moreno) to kneel before the British Crown and... Donald Trump," the joint statement reads.
A group of Latin American social leaders headed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel signed a statement of international solidarity with Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks who was arrested last Thursday from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, United Kingdom.
Nora Cortiñas of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, as well as former presidents from around the region including Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, Mel Zelaya of Honduras, former Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño, former Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba and the Cuban legislator Mariela Castro Espin are among those who have signed the joint statement.
Argentine social leaders Jorge Rivas, Oscar Laborde, Carlos Aznarez, Jorge Kot, Francisco Cafiero and the writer Elsa Osorio among others also signed the statement.
"Julian Assange ... has revealed important and necessary information for humanity all about the atrocities and brutalities committed by the U.S. Empire around the world," the statement reads.
"We repudiate the … treacherous attitude of the nefarious president of Ecuador Lenin Moreno," the statement adds. "This is just an absurd maneuver to kneel before the British Crown and the president of the United States, Donald Trump."
The letter also demanded Assange not be extradited to the United States, where the WikiLeaks founder has been accused of an alleged computer hacking crime by a grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia.
"The struggle against the Empire, injustice and world equality makes us brothers and sisters. We demand the immediate freedom and respect for human rights (of Assange).” the letter concluded.
The Wikileaks editor and cyber activist took refuge in the embassy of Ecuador in London in 2012 after the British Supreme Court ruled against him and ordered his arrest and subsequent transfer to Sweden, where a prosecutor had issued an international arrest warrant for considering Assange suspected of having committed a sexual crime.
The Swedish prosecutor eventually shelved the investigation after Assange took refuge in the embassy. Assange was arrested when he was expelled from the embassy last Thursday for having violated his U.K. bail terms, meaning the Swedish legal case could reopen as well.
Just hours after Assange’s arrest, a software developer and advocate of digital rights Ola Bini was arrested by Ecuadorean authorities in the capital, Quito, for allegedly attempting to destabilize the government by "collaborating" with Assange.
Bini was placed in preventative detention by Ecuador’s Criminal Unit judge for the crime of cyber-attacking computer systems. The judge also ordered a 90-day fiscal investigation of Bini's accounts which have also been frozen.
"Nothing in this story connects Ola Bini with any crime," said David Kaye, United Nations special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression.
The judge dismissed allegations of human rights violations against Bini claimed by his lawyer, Carlos Soria who said that Bini was arrested without his rights explained to him in his native language. The Swede was also unable to contact his lawyer after he was taken into custody on April 11 for more than thirty hours. Ecuadorean law establishes that initial detentions cannot exceed twenty-four hours.
The government of Ecuador claims that the country has come under a broad and concerted cyber attack, with approximately 40 million attempts to compromise web portals connected to public institutions ever since the controversial decision to allow UK police to forcibly remove Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from their London Embassy.
Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technologies Patricio Real told reporters that the wave of attacks began shortly after last Thursday’s arrest of Assange by British authorities. Real said that the attacks “principally come from the United States, Brazil, Holland, Germany, Romania, France, Austria and the United Kingdom, and also from here, from our territory.”
‘Out traitor, out!’ Violent clashes as massive pro-Assange protest hits Ecuador’s capital)
Riot police have attacked scores of people who flooded onto the streets of Ecuador’s capital and branded their president, Lenin Moreno, a “traitor.” Protesters were venting anger at his decision to hand Julian Assange over to the UK.
The massive rally in Quito was held to voice unease over the role Ecuador played in arranging for Julian Assange’s arrest last week in London. The situation became more tense when police – wearing heavy riot gear – clashed with protesters, using batons to chase them down the street.
A Ruptly video shows some protesters being beaten and taken to the ground amid the demonstration.
Others were filmed running away as mounted police closed in.
People who came to the rally were infuriated by President Lenin Moreno’s decision to revoke Assange’s political asylum which helped him avoid arrest for almost seven years.
Also on rt.com WikiLeaks 'dead man's switch'? Assange's arrest prompts speculation about possible major data dumps
“Out traitor, out! We voted for you so you govern, not for you to sell us to the United States. Despicable traitor!” one protester was heard saying in the video.
FREE JULIAN ASSANGE - SIGN THE DEMAND !!!
Peru's former president Alan Garcia died Wednesday after shooting himself as police arrived at his home in the capital Lima to arrest him in connection with a bribery investigation, local authorities and media outlets in the country reported.
The news was confirmed by Peru's President Martín Vizcarra. "Dismayed by the demise of former president Alan Garcia. I Send my condolences to your family and loved ones," he said through his official Twitter account.
Garcia, 69, was immediately taken to the Casimiro Ulloa hospital. Local media also reported that medics at the hospital confirmed that he had died after they were unable to save him.
Local TV channel America reported Garcia went into a coma after undergoing emergency surgery, and broadcast images of Garcia's son and supporters arriving at the hospital.
Garcia, a skilled orator who has led Peru's once-powerful Apra party for decades, governed Peru as a nationalist from 1985 to 1990 before remaking himself as a free-market proponent and winning a new five-year term in 2006.
Garcia had been one of nine people a judge had ordered to be arrested on Wednesday for alleged involvement in bribes distributed by Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction company that triggered Latin America's biggest graft scandal when it admitted in 2016 that it had paid kickbacks to politicians across the region to secure lucrative contracts.
Members of his party announced his death to crowds gathered outside of hospital Casimiro Ulloa, where he suffered three cardiac arrests and underwent emergency surgery.
He had denied wrongdoing involving Odebrecht and blamed his legal troubles on political persecution.
"Others might sell out, not me," Garcia said in broadcast comments on Tuesday, repeating a phrase he has used frequently as his political foes became ensnared in the Odebrecht investigation.
Interior Minister Carlos Moran said at a news conference before Garcia died that the former president had told police he needed to call his attorney after they arrived at his home in Lima to arrest him.
"He entered his room and closed the door behind him," Moran said. "Within a few minutes, a shot from a firearm was heard, and police forcibly entered the room and found Mr. Garcia sitting with a wound in his head."
Last year, Garcia asked Uruguay for political asylum after he was banned from leaving the country to keep him from fleeing or obstructing the investigation. Uruguay rejected the request.
Garcia would have been the third former president in Peru to have been jailed in the Odebrecht case. Ollanta Humala spent nine months in pre-trial detention in 2017-2018 and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was arrested without charges last week.
A fourth former president, Alejandro Toledo, is fighting extradition from California after a judge in Peru ordered him jailed for 18 months in connection with Odebrecht in 2017.
All have denied wrongdoing in connection with Odebrecht.
In Peru, criminal suspects can be ordered to spend up to three years in jail before trial if prosecutors can show they have evidence that likely would lead to a conviction and the suspect would likely flee or try to interfere in the investigation.
The United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York stated Wednesday that Mario Amilcar Estrada Orellana, a Guatemalan presidential candidate, was detained after being charged for soliciting campaign funding from Mexican drug cartels and offering support for drug trafficking towards the USA.
Genocide was recognized in Ecuador, but the perpetrators are "not guilty." Any surprises?
Update TUE 16. April 2019 (vf): Red Cross Medical Aid Lands in Venezuela After Deal with Gov't
The supplies were received by Health Minister Carlos Alvarado at "Simon Bolivar" International Airport, in the state of Vargas near Caracas.
At least 24 tons of medical supplies arrived in Venezuela Tuesday as part of the first humanitarian technical shipment from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Associations.
The supplies were received by the Minister of Health Carlos Alvarado at the International Airport of Maiquetia "Simon Bolivar," located in the state of Vargas.
The Venezuelan minister said: "this aid contains 14 power plants with 14 transformers, as well as material for the workers of the Venezuelan Red Cross."
He also asserted that medical products will be distributed to the eight hospitals and more than 30 clinics that the Red Cross operates across Venezuela.
Meanwhile the rest of the supplies will go to various institutions that are part of public health system in deliveries coordinated by the Red Cross and Ministry of Health.
Last week President Nicolas Maduro said the Venezuelan government was negotiating with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) regarding the necessary parameters to receive humanitarian technical assistance in all sectors to guarantee the welfare of the people.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry pronounced that statements by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Russia, particularly in the context of developments in Venezuela, are unacceptable.
Pompeo said in an interview on April 12 to Mega TV that Russia “intervened” and went against the leadership of the country of Venezuela, further declaring that Russia is a hostile power. Even though Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself illegally in Venezuela as interim president, according to Pomepo he is “the duly elected leader” and that President Nicolás Maduro is “the former leader of Venezuela.”
However Russia did not hesitate to hit back at the delusional ramblings of Pompeo.
“Moscow noted that during the tour of Latin American countries, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made several unacceptable statements about our country, particularly in the context of events in Venezuela,” the Russian ministry said.
“The non-diplomatic ways of the current US foreign policy chief doubt the fact that he views Russian-American contacts at the relevant level as an opportunity for constructive dialogue,” the briefing added.
The ministry also questioned Pompeo’s credentials as the top US diplomat, emphasizing that “a diplomat […] is forced to seek broad consensus to solve problems through negotiation rather than burn bridges.”
Russia supports Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela. The Venezuelan leader referred to Guaidó as a US puppet and accused him of trying to inaugurate an invasion of the United States after Washington tried to force what it called humanitarian aid to the country after imposing disabling sanctions on Venezuela.
According to UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy, US sanctions have exacerbated the country’s acute economic crisis and could lead to hunger and lack of medical care.
Although the US supports the illegitimate president, the majority of states, including Russia, China and NATO member Turkey, unequivocally support Maduro.
The economic and financial blockade imposed by the government of the United States against Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) has affected overwhelmingly the humanitarian assistance programs run by the state company, putting at risk the health of 25 children who were transferred to Rome, Italy to receive a bone marrow transplant.
That is why the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its government rejected this Sunday through a communiqué the coercive measures that the Donald Trump administration executes against the Venezuelan people, affecting the social programs undertaken by the Venezuelan government.
“With the recent measures taken to toughen the illegal blockade against PDVSA, Venezuelan patients who have traveled to receive treatment in different countries have become extremely vulnerable. At this very moment, the lives of 25 patients are at risk, most of them children (…) whose recovery is at serious risk, as a result of the illegal blocking of funds for the payment of treatments, medical services and maintenance during their stay abroad”, reads part of the statement published through the website of the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.
Faced with this unjust measure imposed on the people of Venezuela, the Chancellor of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza, denounced “the effects of the US blockade against Venezuela which also impact hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans served by health programs of PDVSA. Given the impossibility of transferring resources, the lives of 25 children in Italy waiting for bone marrow transplants are in danger”, said the Chancellor through his Twitter account @jaarreaza. (MPPRE - Translated by JRE\EF-OT)
Guaido tries unsuccessfully to take credit for Humanitarian Aid Delivery to Venezuela
The Venezuelan opposition leader boasted that his pressure on the government of President Nicolás Maduro prompted the Red Cross to deliver aid to the Bolivarian Republic.
Outlawed Juan Guaido of the Venezuelan opposition took to Twitter Tuesday to take credit for the humanitarian aid delivery that was provided by the Red Cross to the people of the Bolivarian Republic. Everyone in the know is just laughing about such miserable attempts of the outlawed former lawmaker to gain popularity.
Guaido boasted via his Twitter: "They lied to Venezuela and the world, denied the emergency and denied aid to a town that asks for food and medicines. But before our pressure and firmness, they had no choice but to accept it. That's why, today #EntraAyudaHumanitaria. Come on!"
The Venezuelan opposition leader had previously attempted to have 'aid' delivered by the U.S. authorities from the Colombian border, but it was rejected by the government of the Bolivarian Republican after they refused to show the contents inside.
However, President Maduro stated that he is not opposed to humanitarian aid deliveries as long as they are not politicized. That is also the stand of the UN and the ICRC.
"In accordance with the constitutionally legitimate government of Venezuela, which I lead, any humanitarian assistance is welcome," President Maduro said Tuesday. He would add that humanitarian aid should be "in accordance with international protocols," pointing out that the politicalization of such aid should be avoided.
Venezuela and Cuba are currently under a harsh economic blockade that has been led by the United States and their allies.
U.N. Security Council members like Russia and China have greatly aided Venezuela during this blockade by not only delivering humanitarian aid, but also assisting the country on the international scene.
Conoco would see no merit in a request for “annulment or rectification” and would “strongly defend” against such requests, company spokesman Daren Beaudo said.
Cash-strapped Venezuela has balked at paying in other arbitration cases. Conoco has used legal seizures of Venezuelan oil assets to enforce earlier claims. Other creditors are attempting to seize shares in U.S. refiner Citgo Petroleum, Venezuela’s prize overseas asset, to collect on debts.
It was unclear if Guaido’s representatives have standing to challenge the award since the World Bank has not recognized Guaido. David Malpass, the newly named president of the World Bank, said last week that recognition would be up to its shareholders.
Last month, a U.S. judge ruled that Guaido’s representatives could present arguments in a court battle with Canadian mining company Crystallex, which is pursuing Citgo to collect on an arbitration award in compensation for Venezuela’s expropriation of a gold mining project.
Venezuela’s nationalization wave, led by late President Hugo Chavez as part of his Socialist project, led to more than 20 international arbitration claims, which remain mostly unpaid.
“In the Portuguese bank “Novo Banco”, they robbed us of $1,726 billion that we were using to buy medicines and food… I call on the government of Portugal to free this money. Why do they leave us without money? It is ours,” Maduro told the state television.
Venezuela has been suffering from an economic crisis for months, which worsened as the United States imposed several rounds of sanctions against the country after opposition leader Juan Guaido illegally declared himself interim president in late January.
Constitutionally elected Maduro has accused the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup in order to install Guaido as a US puppet. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey, and a number of other countries have voiced their support for Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.
Venezuelan Crisis Can End if US Halts Economic War – Former UN Official
Despite all the efforts of the US and its allies, the Venezuelan government has continued to survive internal and international pressure. Speaking to Sputnik, analysts specialising in Venezuelan affairs have shared their views on the current developments and explain why the US has so far failed to coerce Caracas into submission.
The Venezuelan economy has been facing an acute crisis since the beginning of the decade; its economy has contracted, its GDP has fallen steadily and more than 3 million people having left the country. The US and its Western allies blame Maduro's governments and that of his predecessor, Hugo Chavez. However, analysts say that the mainstream media narrative is completely detached from reality.
'US Took Machiavellian Advantage of Venezuela's Vulnerability'
"The mainstream narrative is demonstrably false. Here we have to do with an economic war dating back to 1999 and with draconian measures to asphyxiate the Venezuelan economy since 2015," Alfred de Zayas, an American lawyer, writer, historian, and former UN rapporteur to Venezuela, told Sputnik.
However, Zayas does not try to gloss over Caracas' mistakes: "Perhaps the worst mistake Chavez and Maduro made was not to diversify the economy in the years 1999-2014, before the price of crude oil collapsed. A country that depends 95% on oil exports is hugely vulnerable to the volatility of the market," he explained, adding that Washington had taken "Machiavellian advantage of the Venezuelan vulnerability".
Ricardo Vaz, a writer and editor at Venezuelanalysis.com, echoed the lawyer by stressing that the US' unilaterally imposed sanctions had had "a devastating effect on Venezuela's economy, with the expressed purpose of causing as much suffering as possible so as to provoke a coup, or force the government to resign".
"It hearkens back to Nixon's famous quote of 'making the economy scream,' at the time in reference to Chile," Vaz recalled.
The writer highlighted that contrary to the MSM narrative, "Venezuela actually enjoyed the most prosperous time in its history during the 10 years" before the crisis erupted in 2013-2014.
Commenting on the issue, Alina Duarte, a journalist at TeleSUR, elaborated that the Western MSM had waged an extensive information war against the country.
"Saying that there is a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is just one of the last episodes of the hegemonic narratives against the government of Venezuela that began in December 1998 when Hugo Chavez took power," she said, adding that political, economic and media attacks have been going on for the last two decades.
According to the journalist, "the US blockade against Venezuela can only be compared to the one imposed against Cuba since 1960." Duarte pointed out that according to Caracas' February estimates, "direct losses to the nation's economy were 38 billion dollars, 15 billion related to the siege against the company Citgo, a subsidiary of the state oil company Venezuelan Petroleum in the US". Additionally, the Bank of England has frozen 1.2 billion dollars in Venezuelan gold reserves.
In early April, the Trump administration stepped up sanctions against the country, this time targeting oil shipments between Venezuela and Cuba. On 15 April, the US Treasury Department blacklisted four more shipowners and nine tankers involved in Venezuelan oil trade with Cuba.
Guaido's Economic Programme Has All the Hallmarks of Neoliberalism
Meanwhile, the MSM is intensively covering Juan Guaido, the head of the dis-empowered National Assembly, who proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela on 23 January 2019. Very little is known about his political programme which prompts questions as to whether he is competent and what reforms he would have carried out if he had come to power.
According to Vaz, "Guaido's intentions and political plan are actually quite clear".
"A 'country plan' ('Plan País') has been published and presented on different occasions, with all the hallmarks of neoliberalism one can think of", the writer explained. "There are plans to open up state sectors to private capital, particularly the oil industry, remove regulations, tax reform, and expectations of a hefty loan from the likes of the IMF, with all that it entails."
For his part, Zayas highlighted that "Guaido is an industrial engineer, not an economist nor a lawyer".
"Basically he is an unknown who has been manufactured by the United States, and, of course, he follows instructions," the lawyer suggested. "Guaido would usher in massive retrogression in economic, social and cultural rights and return the country to the good old days 'when the rich were rich and the poor were poor'."
Referring to Guaido's presidential bid, the former UN rapporteur to Venezuela underscored that the Venezuelan Constitution "does not recognise the competence of the National Assembly to nominate the interim president".
"Should Maduro die or become incompetent, it is the Vice-President, Delcy Rodriguez, who would be the constitutional successor", he explained. "Article 233, which Guaido invokes, simply does not apply to his case. But, of course, he is not a constitutional lawyer."
Guaido's Support Has Been Dwindling
Guaido has failed to command nation-wide support so far, Vaz noted. According to the journalist, "the success of the coup hinged on two variables: Guaido's ability to generate massive support beyond the opposition's traditional middle and upper class base, and a rupture in the Venezuelan armed forces."
"[However] neither has happened", he emphasised. "Guaido's support has also been dwindling, with enthusiasm in his ranks withering away."
According to the analysts, Guaido's major supporters are the US and its allies, as well as Venezuelan oligarchs inside and outside the country.
Duarte drew attention to the fact that what the US was trying to do in Venezuela does not differ much from what it had done "in Libya, Iraq, Honduras, even in Venezuela in 2002 but they failed".
"What we need is to understand that the Venezuelan problems need to be solved by the Venezuelan people and that if the international community want to stand for the people in Venezuela they need to make a call to the US to stop the sanctions that are deepening the crisis instead of solving it," she stressed.
There is Nothing More Undemocratic Than Coup D'etat
Despite the ongoing economic crisis, power outages and Western MSM smear campaign, the situation in Venezuela remains relatively calm, Vaz noted.
"The situation on the streets of Venezuela, in contrast to the frenzied picture broadcast by the media, has been one of relative calm," he said. "This is not a country at war or anything like it. However, it is undeniable that there is a severe economic crisis going on, which has hit people very hard, especially the poorest sectors of society. Everyday problems such as accessing food have now been compounded by an electricity crisis."
He reiterated that "it [was] not the case that what we have is a humanitarian crisis".
"Experts have warned against the misuse of this term, which the US and the Venezuelan opposition employ to justify or provide cover for a foreign intervention," the writer stressed.
Commenting on this, Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS) remarked that one of the ways to solve the Venezuelan conflict is the "re-democratisation of the country"; the analysts opined that he missed the point.
"The Venezuelan crisis is artificial," Zayas stressed. "It can be solved by lifting the sanctions, ending the economic war and the financial blockade, and by stopping the manipulation of the currency, resulting in induced inflation… Luis Almagro has been acting in a highly unprofessional manner, contrary to the OAS Charter and thereby undermining the credibility and authority of the Organisation."
According to the lawyer, "there is nothing more undemocratic than a coup d'etat, and Almagro's shenanigans contravene many articles of the OAS Charter, particularly 3, 19 and 20."
"Amazing how language has been corrupted — to speak of 're-democratising' Venezuela is surrealistic," he added.
Vaz shares a similar stance: "the Venezuelan crisis can certainly be solved without overthrowing the Maduro government", he underscored.
"[However], the Venezuelan opposition, the US and its allies are instead determined to ensure that the crisis is not solved as long as Maduro is in power. In fact, the two issues are not separate, since, for example, the deliberate worsening of the crisis due to sanctions has the goal of removing the government," the writer said.
NY Natural History Museum Cancels Gala for Brazil's still-President Bolsonaro
The museum was heavily criticized for hosting the event that was planned by a non-profit organization renting the space to honor openly-discriminatory President Bolsonaro.
The American Museum of Natural History in New York said Monday that it will not host a gala dinner that was set to honor Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro as “Person of the Year.”
The museum was heavily criticized for hosting the event planned by a non-profit organization that rented the space to honor openly-discriminatory President Bolsonaro.
The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce’s plans to honor Bolsonaro, who has suggested he would pull Brazil out of the Paris Accord on climate change and wants to develop the Amazon rain-forest, at a museum dedicated to science and nature, was met with outrage last week.
The Brazilian minister of foreign affairs under Bolsonaro, Ernesto Araujo, stated in November that climate change is a ploy by “cultural Marxists” to asphyxiate Western economies and promote China’s growth. He also characterized climates science as “dogma.”
The museum had expressed concern over the event last week, saying the space had been booked before the decision was made to honor Bolsonaro. Museum representatives revealed that it had made now the decision to not host the event.
“With mutual respect for the work & goals of our individual organizations, we jointly agreed that the Museum is not the optimal location for the Brazilian-Am. Chamber of Commerce gala dinner,” the museum said on its official Twitter account.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, stated that it was “really troubling” that an institution receiving public funding from the city would hold event that is “in direct conflict with the values of the museum,” as was stated in an open letter to the museum’s president Ellen Futter.
“The external, private event at which the current President of Brazil is to be honored was booked at the Museum before the honoree was secured,” the museum had said on its official Twitter account Friday. “We are deeply concerned and we are exploring our options.”
Bolsonaro, who styled his campaign for office last year after that of U.S. President Donald Trump, drew further criticism from environmentalists last week by creating a body that could pardon environmental fines while also saying that a vast Amazon reserve could be opened to mining.
Bolsonaro has openly defended widening the agricultural border as well as other development projects in Brazil, which would mean further deforestation of the Amazon rain-forest. The Amazon rain-forest region is considered by most scientists as the world’s biggest natural defense against climate change.
MUST READ: First Julian Assange, Then Us
Watching WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being physically removed from his shelter at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London last week “was absolutely chilling” to legendary musician Roger Waters, who gave RT’s Going Underground his take on Assange’s arrest.
To think that the UK has become such a willing accomplice and satellite of the American Empire that it would do such a thing in contravention with all laws, moral, ethical, and actual legal restrictions is absolutely, stunningly appalling and makes me ashamed to be an Englishman.
Assange’s arrest was made possible after Ecuador last week withdrew his political asylum, which was granted seven years ago, and stripped the renowned whistleblower of his Ecuadorian citizenship. UK authorities will soon decide whether to deport Assange to Sweden, where he faces possible rape charges, or to the US, where he is wanted for conspiring with former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer.
The second scenario would be worse, Waters believes. Citizens “barely have rights anymore” after the Patriot Act was adopted, and “everything is at the whim of the commander-in-chief.”
If we let the UK get away with allowing him to be extradited to the United States, we allow the United States government, at their whim, to torture him and to detain him possibly for the rest of his life.
Assange, along with Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and other whistleblowers, “are the heroes who help us gain some of the knowledge that the [powerful] would keep secret if they could,” the Pink Floyd legend added.
According to Waters, Washington and London simply want to hush up “the matters of torture, or incarceration of innocent people,” but Assange proved to be a thorn in their side.
“And also, what they’re doing – Trump and the rest of them, and Theresa May – is to try to frighten would-be Julian Assanges who may provide this incredibly important service for the rest of us in society in the future.”
Watch the full interview here.
Ecuadoreans March Against Neoliberal Gov't, Met With Violence
The protestors started walking towards the Presidental Palace. However, when entering the city’s colonial narrow streets, they were violently met by riot police.
“Not even one less right” was the sentiment and chanting that thousands of Ecuadoreans intoned on April 16, during a massive anti-government protest in the capital, Quito, against President Lenin Moreno’s neoliberal policies.
The protest was called upon by different sectors of society, such as workers from Radio Pichincha Universal - a public radio station that was recently pulled from the air; current legislators and sympathizers of former President Rafael Correa's Citizens Revolution party from all over the country, independent collectives, disgruntled citizens and dozens of young people wearing masks from the international group Anonymous, in protest of Julian Assange’s arrest.
"Today we are here against the misgovernment that exists, as well as (Lenin’s) betrayal of the government plan for which he was elected. Ecuador has been sold to the IMF, taking measures against the Ecuadorean people," Provincial coordinator for Loja of the Citizen Revolution Movement, Marck Iñiguez said during the march.
The protestors started walking at around 16:00 local time in the direction of the historic old city, where the Presidental Palace is located. However, when entering the city’s colonial narrow streets, they were violently met by riot police.
An independent media collective, KolectiVoz, reported on a Twitter live video feed of police repression, who were using tear gas and batons against demonstrators. Other social media users published images and videos of riot police advancing against protestors and closing off streets. Two collectives denounced that their collaborator Vladimir Obando was briefly, arbitrarily detained by National Police while covering the demonstration.
“The government's orders are ‘shut up and attack those who demonstrate against us.’ Repression is what we live now, but we can not be silenced and stopped; we are the people and together we will recover our homeland,” left-wing lawmaker Jota Lloret declared during the rally.
This latest demonstration comes as Moreno’s administration has openly aligned with the U.S. backed right-wing governments from Latin America. In the last couple of months, oil prices went up, unemployment rates are at a record high, and just recently the government signed a US$4.2 billion dollar deal with the IMF, announcing that a set of austerity measures will be implemented starting 2019.
"He has sold the country to the oligarchy, the bankers have their media outlets back, and all natural resources are sold to the highest bidder. We know that the IMF loan will bring many consequences," said one of the protesters while holding a banner that reads: "Out with Moreno / Out with the traitor.”
If anyone near you holds a U.S. passport or has any U.S. affiliation (or is from the UK for that matter) - just walk away, except if that person can provide to you real proof that s/he is proactively fighting against the persistent human rights violations the U.S. government (and the UK incl. the Commonwealth, i.e. for example Canada) always did and increasingly does commit against people and peoples inside today's U.S. boundaries and beyond - worldwide. MUST WATCH: THIS and THIS and THIS or THIS or search with ecosia.com "human rights violations USA" (or UK or Canada for that matter) - you will be appalled and know why you just walk away from the Anglo-American Cabal ... and if they follow, turn around and fight evil together and side-by-side with the millions worldwide who have woken up.
Author Jerome Corsi, who was questioned by the Mueller probe about his relationship with Wikileaks, reacted to the arrest of Julian Assange, saying the Wikileaks founder is being unjustly prosecuted.
"This is another attack on journalism," Corsi said about Assange's arrest. "in 2013 the Obama Justice Department decided not to indict Julian Assange over these Chelsea Manning issues because they said it would be tantamount to indicting the New York Times or the Washington Post. As a journalist, Julian Assange has a right to publish even stolen materials."
Julian Assange can come back and open up the Seth Rich case, where he has suggested time and again that there was this DNC employee who was murdered in Washington during the 2016 campaign who supplied him the emails. Assange has information that can absolutely destroy the Russian collusion hoax. He said it from the beginning. I never talked to him, all I had to do was listen to his press conferences. He said the Russians were not involved in stealing the emails."
MUST READ: Julian Assange: The All Too Human Iconoclast
US prosecutors have unsealed an affidavit against Julian Assange that outlines their case against the WikiLeaks co-founder on a single count of “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” that may or may not have succeeded.
As FBI special agent Megan Brown admits in the affidavit, “it remains unknown whether Manning and Assange were successful in cracking the password” to the Department of Defense computer they allegedly conspired to hack, meaning the sole charge against Assange remains his alleged attempt to assist Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning in accessing the documents that were eventually leaked in 2010.
The “probable cause” for Assange’s extradition to the US is described as hundreds of messages sent between Manning and Assange on the Jabber platform. The two “conspirators” should have known that releasing the documents “would cause injury to the United States,” Brown declares, since it contained information about US allies in Afghanistan who were assisting coalition forces.
The affidavit dramatically refers to “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States,” but fails to even ascertain whether the “illegal agreement that Assange and Manning reached” was what ultimately unleashed the trove of documents. Brown can only speculate as to how the computer was eventually breached.
Also on rt.com Unsealed Assange indictment proves Chelsea Manning's imprisonment is 'purely punitive' – legal team
In an effort to present the leaks in as damaging a light as possible, Brown reproduces one almost cartoonish exchange, claiming “after the release of the Afghanistan War Reports, a member of the Taliban contacted the New York Times” and stated: “We are studying the report… If they are US spies, then we will know how to punish them.” Osama bin Laden is also said to be a WikiLeaks fan, with letters found during the raid on his Abbottabad compound instructing an al-Qaeda member to “gather” the material leaked by Manning.
Having been assigned to the case in 2017 - less than a year before filing the affidavit – Brown admits her understanding of the seven-year-old “criminal conspiracy” is based on “testimony of a forensic examiner in Manning’s court martial, my conversations with FBI forensic examiners, and research on the internet.” The internet was quick to pick apart her timing – and the rest of the document.
Assange was arrested by UK police last week on a bail-jumping charge after Ecuador revoked his asylum and evicted him from its London embassy, where he had lived for over seven years. He faces extradition to the US and a maximum five years in prison – assuming US authorities don’t pile on further charges once they have him in their clutches.
Former US President Jimmy Carter says President Donald Trump has spoken with him about China because the current US leader was worried that Beijing overtaking the US economically, saying America’s endless wars may lead to China superseding the US.
Carter, 94, said Trump called him on Saturday as he spoke during his regular Sunday School lesson at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, Georgia.
He told the congregation that Trump feared China’s growing economic strength and suggested the president was right to be concerned.
Some experts say China could overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by 2030 if current growth trends continue.
The former Democratic president said China was getting ahead of the US because Washington has been at war with other countries for most of its history.
Carter—who normalized diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing in 1979—suggested that China’s rapid growth had been facilitated by government investment and helped by peace.
“Since 1979, do you know how many times China has been at war with anybody?” Carter asked. “None. And we have stayed at war”.
He said “the US has only enjoyed 16 years of peace in its 242-year history, making the country “the most warlike nation in the history of the world”, Carter said. This is, he said, because of Washington’s tendency to force other nations to “adopt our American principles.”
Carter said that China, in contrast to the US, had made massive economic progress for maintaining peace. “How many miles of high-speed railroad do we have in this country?” he asked.
The US has “wasted, I think, $3 trillion” on military spending. “It’s more than you can imagine. China has not wasted a single penny on war, and that’s why they’re ahead of us. In almost every way.”
“And I think the difference is if you take $3 trillion and put it in American infrastructure you’d probably have $2 trillion leftover. We’d have high-speed railroad. We’d have bridges that aren’t collapsing, we’d have roads that are maintained properly. Our education system would be as good as that of say South Korea or Hong Kong,” Carter told the congregation.
Carter served as the 39th US president from 1977 to 1981. The former president has been particularly critical of the nation’s direction under Trump’s leadership.
Carter was also a tool of the imperialists: Scholar
Commenting on Carter’s remarks, Professor Dennis Etler said,“Although Jimmy Carter is considered one of the more reasonable US presidents he was still a tool of the imperialists running the show.”
“He supported the Shah and alienated whole Iranian nation in doing so, still to this day. And talk about wars, he got the US involved in Afghanistan supporting the Mujahedeen and laid the groundwork for all the wars that followed [and fooled Somalia into starting and loosing the Ogaden war due to Carter's false promises], so it’s a bit much for him to decry the trillions of dollars wasted as a result, not to mention the millions of those killed, maimed, traumatized and sent into exile,” added Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.
“No, Carter cannot absolve himself of the guilt he deserves,” Etler told Press TV.
“At least when it comes to China he speaks the truth, if not the whole truth. He knows that China poses no threat to the US that is not of America’s own making,” the analyst noted.