REBOUNCE AT THE HELM OF SOUTH AMERICA
Constantly updated and amended - (Refresh your Browser! - or click READ MORE). 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 and enforce regime-change? - JUST WATCH 2:40 Minute CLIP, read this most important new STUDY as well as the heinous MASTERPLAN and stand by the Venezuelan people in solidarity and friendship.
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. "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor!" - Desmond Tutu
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LISTEN WHILE READING: They Don't Care About Us !
Update MON 20. May 2019 (vf): President of Venezuela, .
@NicolasMaduro "It was worth taking the road of elections and peace, we (Chavismo) are looking for more! We had 23 victories in 25 elections." Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro proposes early elections for opposition-held National Assembly, currently headed by opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido.
Chavistas March in Caracas to Mark Nicolas Maduro’s Re-election
Supporters of President Nicolas Maduro marched Monday to commemorate the first anniversary of the re-election of President Nicolas Maduro as part of the elections of May 20, 2018.
They gathered in the streets of Caracas early morning in a bid to ratify their support for the Bolivarian Revolution, and their commitment to defend democracy, sovereignty in face of an increasing interference by the United States.
Carmen Zerpa, the organizer of the march by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) said people also wanted to show their support for President Maduro and ratify his victory in last year's elections.
"We celebrate this year the popular victory and gallantry, during which time the Venezuelan people have defended the Bolivarian project and told the bourgeoisie that they will not return, that here is a project that has to be respected because it is the will of the majorities," Zerpa said.
President Maduro expressed his commitment to defend the popular will of the people.
He wrote on Twitter, “We celebrate the 1st Anniversary of the popular victory of May 20 in which Venezuelans decided in favor of peace, democracy, and freedom. Today, in an indissoluble Civic-Military union, we defend that sovereign election with courage. Here Command the People!”
Freddy Bernal: US Prevents Shipping Companies From Delivering Food to Venezuela
“The United States (US) government sanctioned 10 of the 12 shipping companies that move food to Venezuela, which causes delays in the arrival of items to the country, that is, what arrived in a month now takes three months”, reported the national head of the Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAP), Freddy Bernal.
In an interview with a private channel this Sunday, Bernal explained that these coercive actions by the government of Donald Trump have affected the daily life of all Venezuelans.
Currently a food box (CLAP) has a legal cost of 2,500 sovereign bolivars. In this sense, he compared that to the purchase of those same items in the regular market, which would cost Bs 115 thousand; and in the speculative market, 247 thousand bolivars.
“If it were not for CLAP, millions of families would be in an unsustainable crisis thanks to the sanctions of the United States,” he stressed.
He reported that to date, there are 200 people detained for irregular handling of food that is distributed through the CLAP.
“Opposition asks for the intervention in Venezuela”
The member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and political protector of the state Táchira condemned the Venezuelan right for requesting an intervention in the country, violating the Venezuelan Magna Carta.
He recalled that Juan Guaidó sent a letter to the Southern Command “to plan actions on how to assume the mandate of Venezuela. That letter asks for invasion.”
In addition, he added that in Colombia it has been said that the “Venezuelan army has entered Colombian territory” in order to justify a war in the country, this “is part of the script that the United States has given to Ivan Duque to mount a false positive,” he said. (Alba Ciudad - Translated by: EF/JRE-OT)
A new false flag operation to discredit the Government of Venezuela was recently launched.
The Colombian newspaper El Tiempo had been given the task of disseminating a photograph of the alleged box of the Local Committees of Supply and Production (Clap) with a sticker of the National Liberation Army (ELN) of Colombia.
According to the newspaper, the subversive organization Frente Carlos Germán Velasco Villamizar would be in control of the distribution of these foods subsidized by the Venezuelan State.
International analyst Basem Tajeldine issued the following comment on his Twitter account: What a bad concoction! A really bad false positive. They are deteriorating in the quality of manipulation. They used to cheat better. Now even the most idiotic do not believe them. Come on, El Tiempo, make a better effort. You can”.
The well-known Clap box is distributed through the organization of people’s power in Communal Councils with the support of the Ministry of Food to provide food to more than 6 million Venezuelans households every month. (La IguanaTV with OT content - Translated by: EF/JRE-OT)
The XVIII Latin American and Caribbean Student Congress (
#CLAE) is being held in Venezuela’s capital city Caracas from today, Monday, to May 25. The congress will see the participation of 4,000 young people from all over.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Venezuelan opposition’s envoy to the United States said he met Pentagon and State Department officials in Washington on Monday to discuss “all aspects of the Venezuelan crisis.”
Carlos Vecchio, opposition figure Juan Guaido’s ambassador to Washington, said in a message on Twitter that the talks held at the State Department had been “very positive” but offered no further details. “We continue to advance,” he said.
The talks were arranged at the request of Guaido, leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly who invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency in January, arguing that socialist President Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate.
The United States and some European and Latin American countries have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s rightful leader. But Maduro retains control of state functions and the support of the military’s top brass, as well as allies such as Russia, Cuba and China.
The purpose of Monday’s meeting was to discuss the U.S. Defense Department’s “past and future role related to humanitarian assistance and regional support,” a State Department official said ahead of the talks.
President Donald Trump and senior aides have not ruled out military action in the crisis-stricken South American country, repeatedly saying that “all options are on the table.”
But Washington has made clear it prefers to exert continued economic and diplomatic pressure to push Maduro out, and many experts have said the U.S. use of military force is unlikely.
MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish police raided several properties linked to a former ambassador to Venezuela on Monday and made several arrests as part of an investigation into alleged laundering of around 4 million euros ($4.47 million) from state-run oil company PDVSA, a judicial source said.
Three people were arrested on Monday during raids of homes and offices of former Spanish ambassador to Venezuela Raul Morodo, the source told Reuters.
Morodo’s son, Alejo Morodo, was one of those arrested, said the source, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of such matters.
Morodo, who is 84, was not arrested for reasons related to his health, according to Spanish media.
Reuters could not immediately reach any representative for Morodo or his son and they were also not quoted as commenting in Spanish media reports.
The investigation, which remains under a court order of secrecy, focuses on the period between 2008-2013, shortly after Morodo ended a three-year stint as ambassador in Venezuela, Spanish media reported.
El Pais said those arrested were suspected of producing false invoices for work that was never completed and laundering money through accounts in Panama and other Latin American countries.
BREAKING: WATCH the Police-thugs arrive to assist in stealing Julian Assange's property and belongings from Ecuadorian embassy in London. Watch also RT NEWS
#Swedish prosecutors have filed a request with their district courts to detain Wikileaks founder #JulianAssange as part of their ongoing investigation into sexual assault allegations. #AssangeArrest #FreeAssange
"Julian Assange's conviction+sentence will be used as a DETERRENT to other publishers EVERYWHERE...to criticise and reveal information of misbehaviour by American troops!" -Geoffrey Robertson QC of
@DoughtyStPublic on the arrest of @Wikileaks' Assange.
"The UK no longer cares if it is acting illegally in international law, it's become a rogue state"
@CraigMurrayOrg gives his thoughts as it is revealed that UK ministers are given powers to share intelligence even if torture is used.
MUST READ NOW: The making of a “rapist”, by Pamela Anderson
Swedish prosectors have filed a request with their district courts Monday to detain Wikileaks founder Julian Assange as part of their ongoing investigation into sexual assault allegations.
In an announcement this morning, the deputy director of public prosecutions in Sweden said: “I request the District Court to detain Assange in his absence, on probable cause suspected for rape (less serious crime). If the court decides to detain him, I will issue a European Arrest Warrant concerning surrender to Sweden."
Assange was evicted from the Ecuadorean Embassy in April and then arrested by the British authorities. The Wikileaks founder was later sentenced to 50 weeks in prison.
Yesterday the Press Association as well as the newspapers El Pais and The Guardian had reported (see below) that Ecuador would provide the U.S. with Assange's mobile phones, computers, memory cards, and other data storage devices following a search in the room where he used to live for almost seven years.
The office of Ecuador's attorney general informed Assange's lawyer Carlos Poveda about this decision.
In turn, the coordinator of his defence in court, Baltasar Garson, said that the decision of the Ecuadorian party completely violates the institution of asylum.
Update SUN 19. May 2019 (vf): Venezuela oil minister says economy, oil industry under U.S. siege
Venezuelan Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo said on Sunday his country’s economy and oil industry was under economic and financial siege by the U.S. government.
“This therefore generates disturbances in the flow of oil supply to the world market as well as serious economic damage and suffering to the Venezuelan people,” he said in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, ahead of a ministerial panel meeting of top OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers, including Saudi Arabia and Russia.
MUST READ AGAIN: The Plot to Kill Venezuela
And who is caught between an economy reliant on oil revenues and a sanctions regime designed to create suffering? The people caught in the squeeze of factors beyond their control.
CNN article analyzed the decline of the figure of Juan Guaidó as a leader that emerged from direct US support. And how, both the spokesmen of that country and the Venezuelan opponents, have systematically failed in their attempts to depose President Maduro and have now been left [to appear] very badly before the world for their false promises and scant real leadership, writes the newspaper La Iguana under the headline: Sunset of Juan Guaido?
US prosecutors to 'help themselves' to Julian Assange's possessions
Material from WikiLeaks founder’s time in Ecuadorian embassy is said to include two manuscripts
Julian Assange is seen in a police van after was arrested by British police outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London
Assange was arrested outside the Ecuadorian embassy last month. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters
Julian Assange’s belongings from his time living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London will be handed over to US prosecutors on Monday, according to WikiLeaks.
Ecuadorian officials are travelling to London to allow US prosecutors to “help themselves” to items including legal papers, medical records and electronic equipment, it was claimed.
WikiLeaks said UN officials and Assange’s lawyers were being stopped from being present. Lawyers said it was an illegal seizure of property, which has been requested by the US authorities. The material is said to include two of Assange’s manuscripts.
Assange was dragged out of the embassy last month and is serving a 50-week prison sentence for bail violations. He faces an extradition request from the US next month.
Kristinn Hrafnsson, the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, said: “On Monday, Ecuador will perform a puppet show at the embassy of Ecuador in London for their masters in Washington, just in time to expand their extradition case before the UK deadline on 14 June. The Trump administration is inducing its allies to behave like it’s the wild west.”
Baltasar Garzón, the international legal coordinator for the defence of Assange and WikiLeaks, said: “It is extremely worrying that Ecuador has proceeded with the search and seizure of property, documents, information and other material belonging to the defence of Julian Assange, which Ecuador arbitrarily confiscated, so that these can be handed over to the the agent of political persecution against him, the United States.
“It is an unprecedented attack on the rights of the defence, freedom of expression and access to information exposing massive human rights abuses and corruption. We call on international protection institutions to intervene to put a stop to this persecution.”
Italy’s Interior Ministry has hit out at the UN’s criticism of its anti-migrant proposals, suggesting the body focuses on solving the emergency in Venezuela instead of “electoral campaigning in Italy.”
“The hope is that the authoritative UN dedicates its energies to the humanitarian emergency in Venezuela rather than engage in electoral campaigning in Italy,” the officials said. They added that the proposed measures were “necessary and urgent” to Italy’s security and would be likely approved during a Cabinet meeting on Monday.
Also Susan Sarandon, Pamela Anderson & Roger Waters question silence on OPCW report on Douma ‘attack’
“This is really important. Why aren’t we talking about it?” actress and activist Susan Sarandon tweeted about the leaked Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons document that contradicts their official report on the chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018.
The 15-page document, which has been authenticated and was released by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media, revealed OPCW engineer findings that the gas canisters found at the scene of the alleged sarin attack were likely placed in position, rather than having been dropped by the Syrian army aircraft.
This revelation suggests the canisters were staged by the ‘rebels’ in Douma who publicized the attack on their media channels and casts doubt on the veracity of the chemical weapons watchdog’s report, which did not include the on-the-ground findings of its engineers. It also aligns with doubts that were raised by skeptics of the narrative when the attack occurred.
Activist Pamela Anderson tweeted her support for “independent thinkers in Hollywood” speaking out, while Roger Waters called on The Guardian and journalist Jonathan Freedland to apologize for attacking him for accusing the White Helmets of concocting the chemical weapons attack.
Activist Pamela Anderson tweeted her support for “independent thinkers in Hollywood” speaking out, while Roger Waters called on The Guardian and journalist Jonathan Freedland to apologize for attacking him for accusing the White Helmets of concocting the chemical weapons attack.
Independent journalists also tweeted about the findings, with some questioning the wider media silence on the revelation.
Many figures who have long called for Western action against Assad appeared unwilling to engage with the OPCW document.
Embassy protector Dr. Margaret Flowers speaks to supporters 100ft from the Venezuelan embassy so as to comply with her stay away order.
@RevJJackson also held a press conference 100 feet from from the illegally siezed Venezuelan embassy in solidarity with the Embassy Protection Collective and the people of Venezuela.
Anti-war activists then marched from the illegally seized Venezuelan embassy to the White House.
Watch Embassy protector & anthropology professor
@adriennepine addressing the crowd at the White House, because just one day out of jail, she and @KBZeese are banned from protesting in front of the embassy. "We are going to defeat this coup!"
Adrienne Pine: We're [i.e. the USA] exporting our 'democracy' around the world—and of course it's no democracy: It's violence, it's war, it's murder, it's capitalism.
@AlinaTelesur @adriennepine (2 of 2)
Many organizations had called to JOIN AND COME OUT IN LARGE NUMBERS: U.S. Mobilization On Saturday, May 18 at 12:00 p.m. EST at the Venezuelan Embassy (1099 30th St. NW) in Washington, D.C. USA - RESTORE DIGNITY !
In violation of international and U.S. law, police invaded the Venezuelan Embassy and arrested the Embassy Protection Collective members who were inside. The four were now set free but await trial. Join us to protest the unprecedented illegal U.S. seizure of the embassy of another sovereign state, and to demand: “U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!”
The Embassy Protection Collective is calling on all peace and social justice organizations and people from all over the United States to join together for a massive mobilization in Washington D.C. at the Venezuelan Embassy.
For 36 days, a collective of anti-war activists from groups including Code Pink, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), Popular Resistance and the Black Alliance for Peace had been residing in the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC's Georgetown district, with the express permission of the Venezuelan foreign ministry.
The activists sought to prevent it from being seized by those representing the US-backed “self-proclaimed president” Juan Guaido, whose operatives have taken possession of other Venezuelan diplomatic buildings after the last Venezuelan diplomats departed the country in late April, when their visas expired.
Pro-Guaido protesters were allowed by US police to lay siege to the embassy building, blocking all entry and supplies, according to Code Pink's Medea Benjamin, while another activist, reporter Mark Hand, accused the municipal water company DC Water of leaving the activists without water, and public utility Pepco for the continued blackout.
The activists maintain that, as per the Vienna Convention of 1961, the legal owner of the embassy building is the Venezuelan government in Caracas.
Venezuelan Vice Minister for North American Relations Carlos Ron condemned the US police raid on the embassy, calling it an “unlawful breach of the Vienna Convention” and confirming that the Venezuelan government did not authorise any US authorities to enter the building, which under international law is considered Venezuelan diplomatic property.
However, since 23 January, US officials have recognised Juan Guaido as the country's president and have been citing Carlos Vecchio, Guaido's "ambassador" to Washington, who has claimed the embassy on behalf of Guaido's government.
Juan Guaido’s three attempts to stage coups d'etat, however, have all fallen through.
Venezuela’s President Nicholas Maduro has said his government had defeated the "small" uprising, which he denounced as a coup attempt, adding the attorney general had designated three special prosecutors to investigate the uprising and interrogate those involved.
Today we also do remember the murder of
#TupacAmaru II, one of the greatest indigenous leaders in #LatinAmerican history. "I shall return and I will be millions," his last words before his death in the Spaniards hands, continues to be an inspiration for the struggles around the world.
Today, on World Endangered Species Day, we are also talking about the latest report from the United Nations, which stated that 1 million of the planet’s species are in danger of extinction due to human impact, some within decades. In Venezuela not only many humans face hardships under the brutal sanctions and persistent attacks by the imperialist USA, also many wild denizens of Venezuela suffer.
Already the Caribbean monk seal, Monachus tropicalis, is blieved to be extinct, while the Brown spider monkey, Ateles hybridus is critically endangered - means is in imminent risk of extinction in the wild. Many species like the Giant otter, Pteronura brasiliensis, or opossums like the Guajira mouse opossum, Marmosa xerophila, or the Narrow-headed slender opossum, Marmosops cracens - a species that exists only in Venezuela - are endangered.
More species, like the gentle mermaid, the West Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus, or the Spectacled bear, Tremarctos ornatusthe, the Tapir, Tapirus terrestris, the Giant armadillo, Priodontes maximus, the White-fronted spider monkey, Ateles belzebuth or the Colombian woolly monkey, Lagothrix lugens, had already to be classified as vulnerable and are facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
Even heraldic species like the Jaguar, Panthera onca, the Cougar, Puma concolor, or the Oncilla, Leopardus tigrinus are now listed as near threatened.
Like in many other countries of overall importance is the rampant habitat loss due to deforestation and the destruction of the natural environment due to mining activities. Oil-spills have seriously affected most water-bodies near exploitation sites.
It is a duty of every Venezuelan to also bring the Bolivarian Revolution to a lasting success by protecting nature in every respect, because without an intact environment the human suffering will never end - except in death.
All real Chavista protect the Venezuelan fatherland and its nature with their lives and protect by all means the natural heritage of Venezuela for future generations.
Indigenous Peoples and First Nations in Venezuela are the guardians of their ancestral homelands and their natural wealth in all its biodiversity and with all natural resources. The government and its armed forces must stand on the side of all Indigenous Peoples against all exploitation without their consent and benefit and must stand firm against any attempt to dish out the resources to foreign interests. (et-ve)
JOHN PILGER I visited Julian
#Assange in prison. He has been ill, but his courage is astonishing. He is locked up for up to 23 hours. Let no one doubt he is a political prisoner, fraudulent events in Sweden included. His crime is truthful journalism. Shame on those who feign otherwise.
UPDATE: Ola Bini's highly anticipated bail hearing for next Wed., has unfortunately been delayed by the prosecution, until May 29th. Stay tuned for the latest updates and developments here and at freeolabini.org/en/ Donate: gofundme.com/freeolabini
Today is Augusto Sandino's birthday. "The defense of a country’s sovereignty is the defense of the conditions to continue the battle against poverty and the exclusion of rights!" Nicaragua celebrates 124 years since the birth of Augusto Cesar Sandino. Sandino is the national hero of Nicaragua and the inspiration behind the Sandinista National Liberation Front. But, US-backed protesters are again attempting to overturn the legacy of Sandino and the elected Sandinista government.
Update FRI 17. May 2019 (vf): The Foreign Ministry of
#Norway admitted now by their announcement that it had contact with Venezuelan representatives, as part of an exploratory phase, with the aim of contributing to finding a solution to the situation in Venezuela. Sad experience from the NGO-world (NCA, NPA) while providing humanitarian aid: Only if there is Oil or Gold under the feet of the destitute the Norwegians are interested. A map-overlay of Norwegian "aid" activities and given natural ressources worldwide an in a target country provides for the very interesting and proper picture in this context, laying the real interests of the Norwegians bare. (see aso report yesterday below). Much room for improvements in terms of selfless help.
However, President Maduro Confirmed the Dialogue with the Venezuelan Opposition in Norway
The Venezuelan leader reiterated his calls for a national dialogue to achieve peace in the country and maintain respect for sovereignty.
The President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro announced Friday that a new process has begun to initiate a dialogue with the country's opposition, aided by mediation efforts from Norwegian representatives.
From the northern state of Aragua, the leader revealed that the Minister of Communications and Information Jorge Rodriguez and the governor of the state of Miranda, Hector Rodriguez, joined the delegation that traveled to Norway "to explore the beginnings of a dialogue with the Venezuelan opposition and to map out a peaceful agenda for the country."
The head of the Venezuelan state led the Military Allegiance March along with 6,500 military personnel who are "combat ready, and physically and mentally trained for the civic-military union," he highlighted.
“The Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) will continue walking the path of the Republic, of unity, of cohesiveness, of building the future," Maduro said as he reiterated his call for the defense of national sovereignty.
Venezuelan military personnel participated in the march of loyalty, alongside President Nicolas Maduro, shouting that they are waiting for the United States with weapons in their hands.
The march took place on Friday during Maduro’s visit to Aragua state.
"Only the ones who fight have a right to be. You will never invade my country. Listen to us small gringo. We are ready. With weapons in our hands … we are waiting for you," the personnel shouted during the parade.
Maduro marched more than a mile alongside the personnel and military equipment.
The president also presented awards to outstanding service members and gave a speech, slamming US imperialism, during the parade.
Also Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza hailed Norway's mediation efforts and stressed that "knowing how to listen, agree and comply is required."
During an exclusive interview with teleSUR, Venezuela's Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza addressed some of the the highlights of the current political, economic and diplomatic situation his country is going through.
With regard to the "exploratory phase" of dialogue taking place in Norway between representatives of the President Nicolas Maduro administration and delegates of the opposition Juan Guaido, Arreaza recalled that his government has always insisted that dialogue is a "must" and much more when Venezuela is under attack.
Representatives from the International Contact Group for Venezuela, which includes several Latin American and European countries have made five visits to the country in the last three months, informed Arreaza. The vice-ministers of foreign affairs from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden and Uruguay who all belong to the group made a special visit to Venezuela Thursday and met with Maduro where they were asked to understand the Bolivarian Revolution without outside biases.
Important meeting with the International Contact Group visiting Venezuela. I expressed my willingness to resolve internal differences through dialogue and we talked about the economic aggressions of the US empire against our People.
It is important to "understand the Venezuelan reality by taking into account the historical struggle for the control of oil resources, which happens between, on the one hand, a local bourgeoisie wanting to appropriate oil revenues for its own benefit and, on the other hand, a government seeking to distribute oil wealth through housing, health and education for its people," emphasized the Venezuelan diplomat during the interview.
Minister Arreaza did not provide details about the dialogue's exploratory phase, however, he thanked Norway for its willingness to contribute to peace.
"We are very grateful to the kingdom of Norway for its efforts to bring parties together. ... Dialogue in democracy is always good news. ... There is a historical conflict that must be managed in peace (and) knowing how to listen, agree and comply is required."
Regarding the Lima Group meeting, which was scheduled for this week but suspended the foreign minister said that such suspension reflects a change in the group's strategy, which was "surprised" by the recently publicized talks in Norway.
"It is the anti-dialogue group. ... It's a group of right-wing Latin American governments that reflect U.S. policy. ... However, Venezuela is willing to work with these governments," stressed the Venezuelan minister who explained that although the Lima Group rejected a military intervention in Venezuela, it has fostered political conditions that make the U.S. believe that such an intervention is feasible.
Speaking about recent foreign-driven actions against Venezuela, Arreaza highlighted the unfortunate events that took place at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D.C. Thursday and thanked U.S. peace activists who defended that building for over a month.
On May 16, United States local and national security forces invaded Venezuela's sovereign embassy in D.C. to arrest the remaining Protection Collective members inside the building trying to keep it in the hands of the democratically elected Maduro administration.
"First of all a recognition to the activists who protected the embassy. ... Their moral strength and integrity were greater than all the police forces trying to evict them through the back door," said Arreaza and commented that "it was a sad spectacle and a violation of the Vienna Convention."
This multilateral agreement, he recalled, obliges any country to respect and protect other countries' embassy even when there is a rupture of diplomatic relations or armed conflicts.
"We do respect international law. ... The U.S. sits on the United Nations Security Council but threatens other countries with war," he said and pointed out that "the time for diplomacy is now, I hope they understand... all their strategies against Venezuela have failed. ... (Trumps') advisers have committed one awkward event after another," referring to the failed 'humanitarian aid' in February, massive electrical sabotages on Venezuela in March, and May's coup attempt against Maduro.
Minister Arreaza indicated that similar actions against the U.S. embassy in Caracas could be undertaken, if his country followed the 'Principle of Reciprocity' tradition. However, Venezuela will not do so because the Bolivarian government does respect international law.
With respect to what could happen to the Venezuelan building in D.C., he said that it would be absurd for the Venezuelan opposition to occupy the Bolivarian embassy and perform administrative tasks from there.
"If any Venezuelan went to the embassy, he could not process a visa, a postille, a document or perform similar actions. It would be absurd."
Arreaza stressed again that the "brazen" disrespect for international law that took place at the Venezuelan embassy has become "a great triumph" for both his country and peace activists who demonstrated "seeds of change" that will benefit sooner than later the world and the United States.
As a message to all Venezuelans without distinction of political positions, Minister Arreaza said that violence will not be the means to solve domestic disputes.
"We have a Constitution which cost a lot and we must protect it. Venezuela needs a peaceful and democratic road. Within that, there is no intervention," he recalled and added that "we all have to reject war and blockades, and bet on dialogue, democracy and peace. ... Problems will not be solved with aggression, insult and violence," said the diplomat.
Official release by Norway:
Press release | Date: 17/05/2019
Norway announces that it has had preliminary contacts with representatives of the main political actors of Venezuela, as part of an exploratory phase, with the aim of contributing to finding a solution to the situation in the country.
Norway commends the parties for their efforts. We reiterate our willingness to continue supporting the search for a peaceful solution for the country.
UN Sec-Gen 'Very Much Supportive' of Venezuela Talks in Norway
Friday United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres showed support for a peaceful solution for Venezuela, expressing that he is "very much supportive" of the talks between the Latin American nation's government and opposition representatives, which took place in Norway.
The government of Norway, through a release, confirmed Friday that preliminary contact had been made with political representatives from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The Scandinavian country explained that the meeting was “an exploratory phase” aimed at “contributing to finding a solution to the situation in the country.”
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who erred on the side of caution, added that he did not "want to predict what can happen in what we know is a complicated situation, but what is clear is that the secretary-general's good offices, the United Nations' good offices, remain very much available" if called upon to participate in or accommodate further talks.
According to Al Jazeera, Norway's NRK radio and television network, quoting anonymous sources, reported that the talks between Venezuelan opposition and government officials had taken place at a secret location in the Norwegian capital for "several days."
However, the government’s statement did not offer any information regarding the duration of the meeting but detailed that Oslo “commends the parties for their efforts. We reiterate our willingness to continue supporting the search for a peaceful solution for the country.”
However, Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido explained that the ongoing contacts between his representatives and the Venezuelan officials in Oslo were not negotiations but an attempt to sit down at the negotiating table.
"These are not in any way the negotiations. These are Norway’s efforts to act as a mediator, which have been underway for months," Guaido told reporters, as quoted by El Nacional newspaper.
The opposition leader recalled that the ongoing meeting was the second time that Norway invited the Venezuelan sides to sit at the negotiating table in Oslo.
"There is no difference between this meeting in Norway and the other [meetings]. It is the country’s intention to act as a mediator in the resolution of the crisis, which is similar to the intentions of the [International] Contact Group, the Lima Group, Canada and others. It is another initiative of a county which seeks cooperation," Guaido added.
Venezuela Embassy Activists in Washington DC Set Free
David, Margaret, Adrienne, and Paul of the Embassy Protection Collective are now free. WATCH VIDEO
Activists from the Embassy Protection Collective who were forcefully removed from the Venezuelan embassy in Washington D.C. were freed today. They will appear again before a judge on June 12.
They have been charged with a Class A Misdemeanor which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a US$1,000 fine.
One of the formerly detained activists, Adrienne Pine, told teleSUR, “Basically, they charge that we would have been there in the embassy illegally because they recognize the ‘imaginary’ government of (Juan) Guaido, but we know that we were there perfectly legally.”
The four activists occupied the Venezuelan embassy in Washinton D.C. for 37 days, defending it against U.S. authorities and the Venezuelan opposition since mid-April. To retaliate, U.S. and opposition forces managed to cut electricity and water services to the building, as well as to prevent food from entering to keep a siege on the premises.
Witnesses at the scene said it was clear the activists had lost weight.
On Thursday, U.S. security forces gave the four activists 30 seconds notice before charging "violently" into the Venezuelan building, Pine said, citing the various state agencies present at the scene.
Despite the pending charges, Pine said she feels no regrets.
"I feel very satisfied for having fought against the U.S. empire, fascists, and neoliberals.
“I am here … the people of Venezuela have my complete solidarity and my admiration and my respect and we will not stop counting at 37 days; we are going to continue fighting to impede other wars in Latin American,” she said.
The forced entry by police forces was criticized by many as a breach of several articles of the Vienna Convention and international law.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rejected the embassy raid as, "a brutal act against international law and lack of respect for embassies in the world."
The Venezuelan head of state said he gave instructions to take its complaint of the event to the highest authorities and is expecting U.N. member states to make declarations against this violation.
Kevin Zeese told journalist Anya Parampil after his release that the activists were looking forward to the trial, and planned to “make the case that there is a legitimate government, that the Vienna convention was violated, that this was an inappropriate and unlawful arrest.”
After departing the courthouse, Zeese told reporters he was confident they would be "found not guilty in the end". As a condition of their release, the activists have been ordered by the judge to steer clear of 10 locations currently controlled by representatives of the Venezuelan opposition in the USA and to check in weekly with authorities.
The four are due back in court on 12 June.
US Judge Orders Release of Four Activists Arrested at Venezuela’s DC Embassy
A US federal judge has ordered the release of four anti-war activists arrested inside the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC, on Thursday. They will reappear in court on June 12.
US police carried out a raid of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC, Thursday morning, arresting four activists from the Embassy Protection Collective who had lived inside the building for over a month. Kevin Zeese, Adrienne Pine, Margaret Flowers, and David Paul appeared in a DC federal courthouse Friday, where they were charged with a Class A misdemeanor: “interfering with a federal law enforcement agent engaged in protective functions.”
The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
The four defendants were ordered by Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey to stay at least 100 feet away from 10 locations owned by the Trump-administration-recognized government of Venezuela as well as representatives from that shadow government. They must also check in with court authorities every week by phone and alert them to any foreign travel.
Reporters at the courthouse told Sputnik the prosecution wanted much steeper penalties, including a 1,000-foot minimum distance and the confiscation of their passports, but Judge Harvey reportedly balked at these requests.
The activists had been living in the Venezuelan Embassy, in Washington’s historic Georgetown district, for over a month at the behest of the Venezuelan government in Caracas, with the intention of blocking its seizure by forces from the Venezuelan opposition.
It’s notable that US police didn’t charge the four with trespassing, noted Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, the collective’s legal counsel, indicating that police didn’t want to debate in court the question of who legally owns the embassy property.
However, Reuters falsely reported Friday that the activists had, in fact, been charged with trespassing. Multiple correspondents confirmed there was only a single charge, as described above.
The activists maintain that, as per the Vienna Convention of 1961, the legal owner is the Venezuelan government in Caracas. However, US officials have recognized Juan Guaido as that country’s president since January 23 and not Nicolas Maduro, and so they took the side of Carlos Vecchio, Guaido’s “ambassador” to Washington, who claimed the embassy on behalf of Guaido’s government.
Guaido controls no territory in Venezuela and his three attempts to stage coups d’etat have all fizzled.
Important U.S. whistleblower sent again back to jail.
#ChelseaManning said she would rather starve to death than cooperate with a grand jury investigation related to @WikiLeaks. #JulianAssange So much for the "Land of the Free!" and Trump's prison-state.
Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno has issued an executive order that declares a “state of exception” over the detioriorating conditions in the nations prison system. This order mobilizes temporary exceptional powers of the state to intervene in solving the problems, but critics contend that it comes at the cost of civil liberties. This nation-wide "state of exception" decree for prisons effectively gags all prisoners including detained privacy rights advocate Ola Bini. State of emergency decreed today by President Lenín Moreno will affect the prison populations in that: "the exercise of the right to inviolability of correspondence, freedom of information, and freedom of association and assembly is suspended"#FreeOlaBini
The leader of the Alternative Revolutionary Force of the Commons (FARC) Seuxis Paucias Hernandez Solarte, better known as Jesus Santrich, has been re-arrested on U.S. request by Colombia's ESMAD forces two minutes after being released from the La Picota prison in Bogota, Colombia. New charges were read out to him and a helicopter arrived to take him to the Attorney General's office.
At first FARC leader Jesus Santrich had been freed today after being detained in Colombia since 2018, but he then was rearrested.
Just before, on Friday afternoon, it was reported that Santrich had been seriously injured inside the facilities of the La Picota prison and that the ambulance sent to treat him took more than 25 minutes to arrive.
Officials from the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) of the Prosecutor's Office went to the site to proceed with the recapture of the FARC, who left the premises in a wheelchair. Santrich's defense team reported the new charges were committing alleged drug trafficking conspiracy.
Santrich was captured on April 9, 2018, in Bogota after a New York court issued a warrant for his extradition to the United States. Authorities there accused the politician and signatory of the 2016 Colombian Peace Accords between the FARC and the government, of drug-trafficking connected to the Sinaloa cartel.
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) had ordered that Santrich has to be immediately released Wednesday, but the order was not carried out because prison officials refused to comply and were rebuffing Santrich's lawyers.
Santrich's defense the filed a writ of habeas corpus before the Superior Court of Bogota asking for the immediate release of the FARC leader, an order intended to compel immediate compliance with the JEP.
The United Nations (U.N.) Verification Mission in Colombia and the Colombian Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a joint press release Friday detailing the arrest of the leader of the Alternative Revolutionary Force of Commons (FARC) Seuxis Paucias Hernandez Solarte, better known as Jesus Santrich, immediately after his release from La Picota prison in Bogota, Colombia. The bodies also called on the authorities to undertake the necessary measures to guarantee Santrich's physical recovery in reference to his current health status. Santrich had been seriously injured at the La Picota prison facility
Update THU 16. May 2019 (vf): Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hosted members of the International Contact Group (ICG) at Miraflores Palace.
"Important meeting with the International Contact Group that visits Venezuela. I expressed my willingness to resolve internal differences through dialogue and we talked about the economic aggressions of the U.S. empire against our People." Maduro stated via Twitter.
Also Venezuela’s Ministry for Communication and Information issued a release confirming the attendance of several GIC officials: Spain’s Juan Pablo de LaIglesia, Italy’s Ricardo Merlo, Portugal’s Jose Luis Carneiro, Sweden’s Annika Söder and Uruguay’s Ariel Bergamino.
The ICG consists of eight European countries, the European Union, and four Latin American countries.
Additionally, European External Action Service (EEAS) official Hugo Sobral and European Union ambassador Isabel Brilhante were also present.
President Maduro met with Representatives of the International Contact Group
The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, on Thursday received the representatives of the International Contact Group of the European Union in the main office of Miraflores Palace, as part of the disposition to dialogue demonstrated by the Bolivarian Government. The Contact Group is made up of Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, among other nations that attended this first high-level meeting.
Among the issues addressed were respect for International Law and sovereignty, the process of dialogue with different stakeholders and the cessation of unilateral and coercive measures imposed by the US government against the Venezuelan people.
The chancellor of the Republic, Jorge Arreaza, also participated in the meeting.
The representatives of this International Contact Group (ICG) of the European Union fulfilled on Thursday an agenda that included a meeting with members of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and diplomatic representatives in the Casa Amarilla in Caracas.
Venezuela has several times rejected statements of the International Contact Group that are influenced by the European Union and have a position which replicate the one of the United States in terms of establishing preconditions to negotiations. In contrast Venezuela has reiterated its commitment to the Montevideo Mechanism as a formula for international negotiations to solve the situation in Venezuela and which does not insist on pre-conditions.
Among these preconditions from the ICG, the departure of the legal and constitutional government of Nicolas Maduro is the most unusual and unaceptable to Venezuelan authorities, based on principles of basic international relations: sovereignty and non-intervention in internal affairs. (Alba Ciudad with OT content - Translated by: EF/JRE-OT)
Palacio de Miraflores thereafter released a video of this first-ever meeting between the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the representatives of the International Contact Group (ICG) on 16th May 2019, during which the impact of US sanctions on the South American country was discussed.
In early May, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the bloc-backed group, leading efforts to stabilize the crisis in Venezuela, would be considering sending a political mission to Caracas.
"The meeting with the International Contact Group to inform them about the consequences of the blockade and sanctions on the part of the US empire against Venezuela," the caption for the video, published also on Maduro’s Twitter late on Thursday, read.
An anchorperson said in the video, recorded by the VTV broadcaster, that the high-level meeting had been held for the first time and had included the representatives of Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands.
BREAKING: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro decried the embassy raid as a “criminal act” and vowed to seek justice at the UN. Maduro rejected and repudiated the storming of Venezuela's embassy by United States police officers Thursday. VIDEO
He urged the U.S. to respect the human rights of the activists inside the diplomatic headquarters for 36 days by the authority of Venezuelan officials.
"The U.S. has raided the premises of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington ... a brutal act against international law and lack of respect for embassies in the world," said the president.
The Venezuelan head of state says he gave instructions to take its complaint of the event to the highest authorities and is expecting U.N. member states to make declarations against this violation.
"I have told our Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, that we should take the complaint to the highest levels and that the U.N. system should rule sooner rather than later on this serious violation of the Venezuelan Embassy in the U.S.," he said.
On another note, he urged the U.S. government to respect the human rights of the activists who were inside the diplomatic headquarters for 36 days by the authority of Venezuelan officials.
Activists had been defending the embassy building since the two governments broke diplomatic relations. However, U.S. authorities and the Venezuelan opposition sought to cut off electricity and water services to the building, as well as prevent food from entering by keeping a siege on the premises daily, until they finally broke into the embassy today and illegally arrested the lawful defenders.
In addition, he emphasized that the world is watching with astonishment and indignation the violent way in which the police officers entered the diplomatic headquarters, which marks a precedent in the violation of the Vienna Convention. “From the Bolivarian and Revolutionary Government, together with all the people of Venezuela, we reject and repudiate the assault on the embassy by the police groups of the Donald Trump Government.”
The Venezuelan President ordered Venezuelan law enforcement agencies to reinforce the protection of the US Embassy in the capital Caracas, after the assault on the diplomatic headquarters of the Caribbean country in Washington. “In keeping with our strict vision of respect for international law as the basis of peace (…) I have ordered the reinforcement of surveillance and police and legal protection over the building of what was the United States Embassy, which belongs to the Government of the United States here in Caracas,” he said.
The Venezuelan leader stressed that the strengthening of security in his country is done in compliance with international conventions. “We are going to protect it even more, because Venezuela does comply with international conventions, with international law, while the brutal ones, the criminals are in the White House,” he added.
After the four last embassy protectors were arrested this morning,
@PepcoConnect has now turned the electricity to the Venezuelan embassy back on and U.S. 'authorities' have again entered the building. This is absurdity! We will never forget the role that Pepco had in upending foundational diplomatic norms by violating the Vienna Convention both by turning off the electricity and then entering the embassy to turn it back on after the arrests. Shame on you, @PepcoConnect ! Shame on you, @Exelon!
Attorney Mara Verheyden Hilliard: The fact that the State Dept has broken into a protected diplomatic mission to arrest peace activists will have repercussions the world over. This is an extraordinary violation of the Vienna Convention.
The 4 peace activists arrested from the Venezuela Embassy are charged with ‘interference with certain protective functions.’ They were not charged with trespassing because the US govt does not want to explain who is lawfully in charge of these premises: Attorney Mara Verheyden Hilliard. The USA is clearly not and thereby their acts were and are illegal. Shame on USA!
THIS IS A DELARATION OF WAR BY THE USA AGAINST VENEZUELA (without U.S.Congress approval). US Police Arrest 4 Remaining Members of Venezuelan Embassy Protectors. Police arrested the four heroes who had remained in the
#Venezuela Embassy as part of the Embassy Protection Collective. #HandsOffVenezuela
Surprise, surprise total media blackout on this violation of international law on U.S. soil !!! 16/5/19 - a day to remember!
IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND: Who’s Behind the Pro-Guaidó Crowd Besieging Venezuela’s D.C. Embassy?
The intimidation tactics by the pro-coup embassy besiegers not only failed to deter the peace activists around the embassy, they left Venezuela’s D.C.-based opposition with a serious PR problem. After a week of hateful outbursts, a handful of marketing strategists emerged as de facto spokespeople for the mob.
At 9:30 this morning, one of the four remaining Embassy Protectors emailed "police have broken in to arrest us".
At 9:30 AM EST ( = 10h30 Venezuela time = 14h30 UTC) D.C. police officers illegally entered the Venezuelan embassy in Washington D.C. in the Georgetown neighborhood and arrested four activists lawfully living in the building since April 10, as guests of the legitimate Venezuelan government. The four activists are Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese (with the group Popular Resistance), Adrienne Pine (an academic) and David Paul (a CODEPINK member). They are part of the Embassy Protection Collective that has been lawfully living in the embassy since April 10.
Venezuela Analysis interviewed Kevin Zeese, one of the Protectors, yesterday and posted it very early this morning, prior to the arrests.
The live stream from News2Share shows a large, heavily armed police presence.
Ann Wright, one of the Embassy Protectors, is also live streaming.
Live Steam from teleSUR English.
Live Stream from Medea Benjamin
U.S. Police broke into the Venezuela embassy in Washington Thursday morning to arrest the four remaining members of the Venezuelan Embassy Protection Collective. The organization Code Pink said that such action is in violation of international law and conventions, and that such action would be specifically in violation of the Vienna Convention, but also breaking other international laws for which the Trump administration must be held fully responsible.
Lawyer Mara Verheyden-Hilliard confirms that
#UnitedStates police forces have illegally invaded the Venezuelan embassy in #WashingtonDC, arresting the 4 remaining activists of the #EmbassyProtectionCollective, in violation of the Vienna Convention. #HandsOffVenezuela "All countries should be concerned about what has just happened with the Venezuelan Embassy, because that can happen to anyone: that the US will break into its territory, at any time." Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, attorney of the Embassy Protection Collective #CPEV
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza via Twitter: "Today, our diplomatic office in Washington was taken and invaded by an unprecedented police deployment. They fail their obligations under the Vienna Convention and violate the Human Rights of the activists who have protected our Embassy with our authorization."
Carlos Ron @CarlosJRonVE Let it be clear. The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela does not authorize the entrance of any US law enforcement officers into our Embassy building in Washington. Any such entrance is an unlawful breach of the Vienna Convention.
“We denounce these arrests, as the people inside were there with our permission, and we consider it a violation of the Vienna Conventions,” says Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Ron. “We do not authorize any of the coup leaders to enter our embassy in Washington DC. We call on the US government to respect the Vienna Conventions and sign a Protecting Power Agreement with us that would ensure the integrity of both our Embassy in Washington DC and the US Embassy in Caracas.” The US has been negotiating with Switzerland to take charge of its Caracas Embassy and Venezuela has been negotiating with Turkey to take charge of its DC Embassy. These critical negotiations will be broken, however, if the US illegally hands over the Venezuelan Embassy to the forces of opposition leader Juan Guaido.
The Embassy Protection Collective
@codepink @answercoalition’s final four were arrested and were physically removed from the back of the embassy around 2h later. Officers wearing tactical gear made the arrests. @adriennepine, one of the four last embassy protectors, proclaims that “this is an illegal order that they’re following”
U.S. law-breaking officers were shy to make their illegal "arrests" in front of the cameras waiting in front of the Venezuelan embassy, which is why they had embarked on a plan to exfiltrate them through the basement access.
From April 10-April 30, members of the Embassy Protection Collective were able to come and go freely from the building, with up to 50 activists sleeping there. On April 30, a group of Guaidó supporters —coinciding with Guaidó’s failed call for an uprising inside Venezuela — descended on the embassy, determined to oust the activists and seize the building. They blared sirens, horns, and megaphones and surrounded the perimeter of the building with tents, refusing to allow food, medicine, supplies, or people to enter. Multiple peace activists were physically assaulted and arrested in attempts to approach the building with food. On May 8, Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), assisted by the Secret Service, cut electricity despite all utility bills being paid in full.
The Collective maintains that the arrests are illegal under Articles 22 and 45 of the 1961 Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations, in which diplomatic premises are “inviolable” and agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission. The Trump Administration has not only allowed illegal seizures of diplomatic premises belonging to Venezuela, but has actively facilitated it by giving the Military Attache building and the New York City Consulate to the opposition.
“This struggle is far from over. We will continue to fight to stop this embassy from being handed over by the Guaidó supporters,” says CODEPINK Codirector Medea Benjamin. “The Embassy Protection Collective recognizes that turning over the embassy over to Guaidó would place the U.S. embassy in Caracas in jeopardy. We will continue to use all methods at our disposal to keep the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D.C. empty until a diplomatic solution — a Protecting Power Agreement — can be worked out between the U.S. and the Venezuelan governments.”
A Protecting Power Agreement would allow third countries to take charge of both the Venezuela and US Embassies. Such an agreement could lead to further negotiations to avoid a military conflict that would be catastrophic for Venezuela, the United States, and for the region. It could lead to a catastrophic loss of lives and mass migration from the chaos and conflict of war, exacerbating the existing humanitarian crisis stoked by U.S. economic sanctions. It could cost the United States trillions of dollars and become a quagmire similar to the U.S. intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan.
BREAKING: For the second time this week the building of the National Assembly in Caracas had to be evacuated at 8h35 after a bomb alarm was triggered at 08h00 (local time = 12h00 UTC). SEBIN explosives-defusing squad moved in. A metal waste-bucket in one of the toilets was assumed to contain an IED.
Criminal Coup-Plotter Breaks Free in Venezuela
Reports emerged that Ivan Simonovis had broken free from house arrest. Simonovis was handed a 30-year sentence in 2009 for his responsibilities in the deadly violence of Puente Llaguno that triggered the short-lived coup against then President Hugo Chávez in April 2002.
Simonovis was the commissioner of the Caracas Metropolitan Police at the time. He had his jail sentence controversially commuted to house arrest in 2014 on health grounds. At the time of writing there has been no comment from authorities on Simonovis’ alleged escape, and his whereabouts are unknown, according to venezuelanalysi.com
Backchannel Talks on Venezuela
Like already attempted in Germany earlier, now representatives from the Venezuelan government and the opposition have reportedly held secretive talks in Norway.
According to Norwegian media reports, negotiations have taken place this week in Oslo. The Maduro government has reportedly been represented by Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez and Miranda State Governor Hector Rodriguez, while the opposition delegation consisted of former lawmaker Gerardo Blyde, former minister Fernando Martinez and National Assembly Vice President Stalin Gonzalez.
The Venezuelan government has yet to comment officially on the reports, with President Maduro stating that Jorge Rodriguez was abroad “on an important mission.” Both government representatives tweeted a quote by Ghandi on Thursday stressing their commitment to dialogue.
Anonymous opposition sources also confirmed the alleged talks before self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaido confirmed them on Thursday. However, he added that the opposition would not get involved in a “false negotiation” that does not entail the “end of the usurpation.”
Opposition leader Julio Borges, appointed as Guaido’s representative before the Lima Group, initially denied that any talks were taking place before acknowledging that the reports were true.
Guaido had previously rejected talks with the government, while US officials have also ruled out any dialogue that does not begin with Maduro stepping down. The scope and content of the talks allegedly underway in Oslo remain unknown.
The format of the talks was not revealed but some reports described them as “exploratory discussions.” According to local public broadcaster NRK, this will be the second meeting between the parties in Oslo.
Norway had earlier publicly offered its help in mediating the conflict. The Nordic country voiced support for the opposition-controlled parliament in Venezuela, but, unlike many other European nations, stopped short of recognizing Juan Guaido as interim president.
None of the sides officially confirmed the talks. Maduro, however, said that his minister was on a “very important” mission overseas.
The International Contact Group, made up of European and Latin American countries, also has a delegation currently in Caracas in an attempt to defuse the current political crisis.
The Venezuelan government and opposition most recently held talks in January 2018 in the Dominican Republic. An agreement which included early presidential elections was reportedly reached before the opposition walked away from the negotiating table.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that there won’t be any “deals” on Venezuela between Moscow and Washington.
Venezuela would like to receive Russia's assistance in restructuring its foreign debt, the Venezuelan ambassador to the UN Office in Geneva (UNOG), Jorge Valero said.
"Yes. We have always had solidarity support from Russia. And our relationship extends to many areas. From culture and science to military cooperation," Valero said when asked whether Venezuela was planning to ask for Russia's assistance in restructuring its foreign debt.
Venezuela is discussing with Russia the possibility of switching to the Russian national currency in bilateral trade, Jorge Valero said.
"Yes, we are now trying to conduct operations using other currencies, including cryptocurrency Petro that we created," he stressed.
The diplomat recalled that almost all weapons in Venezuela were Russian-made, since the United States had banned arms sales to Venezuela.
"Therefore their planes stopped working. And we started buying Russian planes, which turned out to be outstanding," Valero stressed.
Jorge Valero added that Caracas was in dialogue with Moscow on switching to the Russian ruble.
New Arms Contracts With Venezuela Unlikely At Present - Russian Official
The signing of new contracts on the supply of Russian weaponry to Venezuela is unlikely at this point due to the crisis in the Latin American country, Anatoly Punchuk, deputy director of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), said in an interview with Sputnik.
According to Punchuk, the signing of new contracts on the supply of Russian weaponry to Venezuela is unlikely at this point due to the crisis in the Latin American country.
"We currently see our task in maintaining the equipment we supplied earlier. Taking into account the crisis the country is experiencing, the signing of new contracts on the supply of ready-to-use weapons and military equipment is unlikely at present", he said ahead of the opening of the international defence technology exhibition SITDEF Peru 2019, that opens Thursday.
According to the Russian official, Venezuela is currently one of the largest operators of Russian-made military equipment in Latin America, and the Venezuelan Armed Forces are equipped with the most modern Russian weaponry, including aircraft, helicopters, air defence systems, and armoured vehicles.
"I will not hide the fact that the sanctions imposed by the United States and Western European countries on Venezuela and Russian companies exporting military products have a negative impact on the development of military-technical cooperation between our countries. The United States is trying to use the blockade of the country to hamper the delivery of spare parts and units, which is a form of unfair competition on the arms market", Punchuk stressed.
At the same time, he said that the construction of a plant to manufacture Kalashnikov assault rifles in Venezuela is proceeding on schedule, despite the blockade, organised by Washington having had a negative impact on the pace of its installation.
According to previous reports, the completion of the plant is expected in 2019.
Trump Thinking About Removing Bolton – U.S. Media Reports
Donald Trump is considering dismissing his National Security Advisor, John Bolton, for his warmongering, according to an American media outlet.
Two people close to the White House have said ” in the national interest” that Bolton could be expelled from the US Administration for the dangerous excesses committed in his effort to overthrow the governments of Iran, Venezuela and North Korea.
“It is said that Trump wants him to leave,” a former senior White House official told the American website on Tuesday.
The publication recalls, last week Trump said Bolton has “strong opinions” on different issues and that he moderates him. “I am the one who tempers him. Nothing happens, I have different sides. I have John Bolton and (also) other people who are a little softer than him. I like it,” said the president.
However, despite Trump’s remarks, both Americans and the rest of the world know that it is Bolton who is leading Washington to “global confrontations, particularly with Iran,” the web portal highlights.
It is said that (US President Donald) Trump wants him to leave,” said a former senior White House official on the possible dismissal of National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Another politician consulted, recalling the recently announced US military deployment in the Persian Gulf and attacks by the Yemeni Ansarolá popular movement fighters on vital facilities in Saudi Arabia and its oil companies – in retaliation for the Saudi aggression against their territory with a green light from Washington – labeled Bolton an “arsonist”.
Many in the USA share this perspective on Bolton and his warmongering, particularly against Iran, and do not think that his efforts to “intimidate” Iran with an aircraft carrier will work.
Who is John Bolton?
Bolton, a 70-year-old Republican lawyer and politician, was one of the architects of the lies about weapons of mass destruction on which he based the invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to experts. In politics, lying is corruption and should permanently disable the liar, beyond judicial punishment.
In addition, it is the mind that is behind the crises created against the last two presidents of Venezuela – Hugo Chávez and the current Nicolás Maduro – and is determined to overthrow the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and attack Iran, a further objective, complex and dangerous in the opinion of most politicians and analysts.
Trump’s senior adviser was also one of the first to defend the president’s decision to move the US embassy in May 2018 to the Palestinian city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) for the Israeli regime, after recognizing it as the “capital of Israel”.
Similarly, Bolton has shown himself more to the right than Trump himself, demanding greater harshness against Russia, while the American president emphasizes the need to maintain good relations with the Kremlin. (La IguanaTV - Translated by JRE/EF-OT)
TRUMP MAFIA IN ACTION - Trump Grants $62M Bailout to 2 Brazilian Brothers
Accused of bribing high-ranking officials, Joesley and Wesley Batista's meat-industry company has received the bailout at the expense of U.S. farmers.
The United States Donald Trump administration has granted roughly US$62 million in financial assistance to a meatpacking company owned by corrupt Brazilian brothers, a new report states.
The financial aid, dolled out by the Department of Agriculture, was given to JBS USA, a Colorado-based subsidiary of a Brazilian meatpacking company owned by Joesley and Wesley Batista, both guilty of bribing hundreds of Brazilian officials. The money came from a US$12 billion program that the Trump administration created to help farmers who suffered due to Trump-incited trade wars.
According to purchase reports, in February the U.S. Agriculture Department issued $14.5 million in bailout cash for pig meat products from JBS. Earlier in May, another $25.6 million was issued to the company, totalling more than US$62.4 million, according to the purchase reports and NY Daily News.
Both brothers who head the company were arrested on accusations of insider trading in 2017. Brazilian police arrested Joesley Batista again a year later as part of an ongoing investigation into illegal campaign contributions in his country.
Joesley and Wesley were accused of bribing high-level officials in Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture—the bribery scheme allegedly reached the ranks of former President Michel Temer.
Reuters reported in December that U.S. authorities had been investigating the companies controlled by J&F, the holding company that controls meat-packer JBS SA, alongside their Brazilian counterparts since their largest shareholders—the two Batista siblings—admitted to bribing politicians to obtain benefits for their businesses.
A source familiar with the probe in Brasilia told Reuters that U.S. Justice Department investigators met and questioned both the Batista brothers, who are forbidden from leaving the country.
Bundestag energy and economy chief Klaus Ernst of Die Linke party accused the US of behaving as if Germany is its colony, as Washington tries to bully Europeans out of buying Russian gas.
“Those measures don't only target Russians, they deliberately target Europeans, for example German energy companies involved in Nord Stream 2,” he said at a conference on the prospects of energy cooperation between Russia and the EU, organized by the Russian Gas Society – an association of Russian energy companies, relevant research institutions and local administrations.
US officials, including President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Berlin ambassador Richard Grenell, have mounted an offensive against the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that is expected to be completed in 2019. With the stated goal of countering Russian “leverage,” they are threatening European companies with sanctions if they continue investing in the project.
“The actions of the US ambassador to Germany are simply unacceptable,” Ernst said, as cited by Russian media.
It's as if Germany is a US colony. [... not 'as if' - wake up! ]
The real goal, according to Ernst, is to make the EU buy American gas instead: “The Americans are using politics to realize their own interests in this field.”
The threats have had no effect so far, with Nord Stream 2 construction continuing to surge ahead. The Gazprom-owned pipeline's operator stated that each of its European partners, which include German, French, British, Dutch and Austrian companies, have invested around a billion euros in it.
Speaking of other economic measures in place against Russia, Ernst noted that the US is the only party that wins from them.
“There are currently discussions about this in the Bundestag economy committee, and it is growing stronger – how sanctions against Russia can be lifted. Neither Germany, nor Europe is interested in these sanctions. The only ones winning from these sanctions are the Americans.”
Update WED 15. May 2019 (vf): BREAKING NEWS: The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday ordered the suspension of all commercial passenger and cargo flights between the United States and #Venezuela, citing reports of unrest and violence around airports in the South American country. President
@NicolasMaduro points out that it will be economic activities and businesses that will be most affected by the US ban on flights to and from Venezuela(spanish).
WATCH WATCH: Statement by President Nicolas Maduro (in Spanish)
Calls from the Venezuelan right have caused the imperial government of Donald Trump to order the suspension of commercial flights and even of private planes between the US. and Venezuela, in an illegal decision that affects freedom of air movement, denounced on Wednesday the Constitutional President of the Bolivarian Republic, Nicolás Maduro Moros.
“Who are the owners of private planes? They are entrepreneurs, people with many resources (most of them anti-chavistas). They are forbidden to fly to the US from any airport in the world,” argued the head of state from Miraflores, where he led an informative broadcast on economic development.
He took the opportunity to alert the world about the new coercive measures that were added to the imperial blockade against all Venezuelans, without distinction of ideology or social condition.
He commented that private planes with YV license plates, a nomenclature that identifies Venezuela, and US aircraft (NOV), will not be allowed to fly between the US and the country.
“Who travels? Venezuelans who live in the US and come to Venezuela, who have businesses or relatives and travel regularly. Suspending those flights hurts those Venezuelans (mostly anti-Chavista people), US citizens and people of other nationalities,” he explained.
He asked himself: “What did the Trump government win by suspending commercial flights? Nothing, he hurt himself and citizens who use freedom of movement through commercial flights. “. Incredibly, the US was for years the main critic of Cuba’s travel restrictions.
The Venezuelan President exhorted the opposition in good faith to reflect on this new attack of the North American empire, now affecting the freedom of travel of all human beings.
“You, Mr. Trump, are an attacker of the freedom of movement of the citizens of the world. Where is the freedom that you trumpet?”, he asked.
Maduro described this new and extreme measure as a result of the hatred and revenge that nests in the US government after the failure of the coup d’état on April 30.
“Why do they make these decisions? Out of hatred, revenge, frustration, spite and harm to ordinary citizens, especially the middle and business classes of Venezuela. To his own people who want to travel to or from Venezuela! “, he said.
He lamented that the international right, the imperial government and “Venezuelan lackeys” make every day an opportunity to attack with measures that have no justification whatsoever.
“It has no name, every time they go from bad to worse, because of the call made by the opposition coup and the stateless right,” he said.
He considered that Trump is warned of the consequences and the damage he is doing to all Venezuelans and bilateral relations. But in particular he is aware of the lack of results of his (Trump’s) policy of destabilizing and changing the regime, coup provoking and interventionist, which so far has had contrary and adverse results to their interests of looting Venezuelan riches.
“This is crazy, I do not know if Trump is fully aware of where his team of John Bolton and company is taking him,” he reflected.
“It is failing and they are acting from disillusionment, with a desire for revenge,” he reiterated.
However, the President assured that the empire will not be able to achieve its objectives of doing so much harm to Venezuela, because Bolívar’s homeland will continue its course of development, in peace and in total resistance. (VTV - Translated by EF/JRE-OT)
Heatwave in Venezuela and no car-fuel - life is not easy. In the region of Zulia temperatures reached 51 degrees Celsius at 13h00 local time with an average temperature in the area of 38 degrees with 50% humidity. Car owners leave their cars in kilometer-long queues in front of petrol stations since they can not sit and wait in the overheating cars while waiting for supply.
At the Venezuelan embassy in Georgetown, Washington D/C. USA, Reverend Jesse Jackson - expressing his solidarity with people opposed to U.S. intervention in Venezuela - was successful to deliver 4 bags of food to the Embassy Protection Collective. Jesse Jackson managed to get up one bag of supplies for each of the four steadfast and heroic defenders of the embassy of the legit Maduro government of Venezuela, the people of Venezuela and their dignity, past the violent Guaido supporters and their ordered sympatizers from law enforcement - the cops from different entities, that besiege the embassy. Brainwashed Oppositionists are screaming at him as he talks to the media. Jesse Jackson denounced the attempted starvation of Venezuela as well as U.S. imperialism against Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan. President Maduro immediately thanked him via Twitter. "The inviolability of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, DC, should be preserved. Countries were at war with each other and bombed each other but kept their embassies and these embassies were untouchable, unbreakable and sacred. The administration of [US President] Donald Trump infringed upon this inviolability of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, DC It is responsible for this grave violation under international law not only in terms of law but morals, too," Maduro said live in Periscope on Wednesday. Also Venezuela;s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza stated on Twitter: "We thank the Reverend
@RevJJackson for his humanitarian and solidarity gesture with the Venezuelan Embassy Protectors Collective in Washington DC and with the Venezuelan people, by demonstrating against interventions and blockades. #TrumpUnblockVenezuela #TrumpDesbloqueaVenezuela" Meanwhile: Resistance requires adaptation and harmony with nature. After being cut off from municipal water, the #EmbassyProtectionCollective has started collecting rain with great success.
National Social Movements of Venezuela Stand in Solidarity With the Embassy Protection Collective in Washington
A large number of significant social movements and groups in Venezuela issued a statement on Wednesday in support of the protection collective at the Embassy of Venezuela in Washington, consisting of a group of people who defend the building before Carlos Vecchio’s intentions of taking the space, person who claims to be ambassador of Venezuela in the United States but who only was appointed by the opposition deputy Juan Guaidó.
In a letter, the social movements recalls that the constitutional government led by President Nicolás Maduro “has authorized only the activists of the Embassy Protection Collective in Washington to enter our headquarters”.
In addition, they point out that “we reject the claims of the government of the United States and of any government of another country, of breaking into our diplomatic missions, in violation of Article 22 of the Vienna Convention that clearly states that they can not be penetrated by agents of the host State without the consent of the head of Mission”.
They also sympathize with “the North American movements and collectives that defend their right to peace, before a government that intends to lead us in a global and fratricidal war risking life on the planet.”
Declaration of the Social Movements of Venezuela in Solidarity with the Collective of Protection of our Embassy in Washington
Given the actions of the United States Government whose president Donald Trump is at the head of the continued coup against the Bolivarian revolution, the social movements grouped in the platform of movements against the blockade denounce:
In the case of our embassy in the United States, the constitutional government presided over by our President Nicolás Maduro (and the only recognized by the United Nations) has authorized only the activists of the Embassy Protection Collective in Washington to enter our headquarters.
- The United States repeatedly violates international law by promoting and financing a coup against the constitutional government of President Nicolás Maduro, applying criminal sanctions against the Venezuelan people and allowing fascist opposition groups to follow a “self-proclaimed” puppet to attack our embassies and diplomatic staff
- These actions exemplify the blockade and siege that the warmongering policy of the Trump government promotes in the world, within the framework of its desire to reinstate the Monroe Doctrine for the region. The sabotage to services, attacks on the facilities, prevent the entry of food, paradoxically by those who lead the discourse of false humanitarian aid, are an evidence of actions that violate the United Nations Charter that must have international sanctions.
- These fascist actions have among their antecedents the attack on the Cuban embassy in Venezuela during the hours of the 2002 coup against our president Chávez. Brother country that is also subject to a criminal blockade by the US government.
- The Venezuelan social movements reject the pretensions of the government of the United States and any government of another country, to break into our diplomatic missions, in violation of Article 22 of the Vienna Convention that clearly states that they can not be penetrated by agents of the receiving State without the consent of the head of Mission.
We highlight the courage and courage of David Paul, Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers and Adrienne Pine, who have shown in a brave way that solidarity is horizontal and constitute the growing support of the international community in the current situation of the country. We strongly reject the aggressions suffered by these heroes and heroines by the Federal Police of Washington DC and Venezuelan lackeys, preventing the entry of food, water and medicines.
We ratify our active solidarity with the North American movements and collectives that defend their right to peace, before a government that intends to take us on a global and fratricidal war, risking life on the planet.
We call for international solidarity and rejection of the blockade against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
We accompany our President Nicolás Maduro in his repeated calls for a national dialogue and we salute the international initiatives that support the principle of self-determination of peoples.We are a people of peace that defends its sovereignty and its right to build an alternative and solidary model to capitalism. We are the sons and daughters of Bolívar and Chávez.
We subscribed the following Organizations and Popular Movements of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela today, May 15, 2019:
- Embassy of Human Rights
- Gender with Class
- Blind Network
- Breaking the Rule
- Association of Victims of the Caracazo and Terrorism of the Fourth Republic State ASOVIC 27F
- National Platform of Revolutionary Lesbian Women
- National Council on Sex Diversity
- Free People Foundation
- World Without Borders Foundation
- SANNADE Civil Association.
- Kings of Heart Foundation
- Foundation of victims of peasant hired assassination
- Colectivo Guillermo Ribas
- Venezuelan Association of Jurists
- Clara Zetkin Women’s Movement
- Organization Active and Social Participation.
- Vice Presidency of Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Democratic Women’s Federation (FDIM).
- Front Francisco de Miranda
- Chapter Venezuela of Alba Movimientos
- Alba TV
- The Other School
- Collective Network The Feminist Spider
- Skirts R,
- October movement
- Front Cultural de Izquierda
- Movement Another Beta
- Movement of Settlers and Settlers
- Revolutionary Current Bolivar and Zamora
- Collective Maisanta.
- United Left
- Join and Build
- Youth of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela
- Artistic Group The Pact
- COSI International Solidarity Committee
- Communist Youth of Venezuela
- Resistance for Liberation
- Movement of Motorized
- National Movement of Religions
- Disability Movement
- Foro Itinerante
- Bicentennial Front of Women 200
- Oil Women’s Movement
- Communication Technical Tables
- Ecuadorian Movement of Bolivarian Alfarista
- Youth of the Venezuelan Popular Unity (UPV)
Meanwhile Venezuelan government officials have tried to contact US authorities to resolve the issue surrounding the occupation and possible takeover of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, Venezuelan Ambassador to the UN, Samuel Moncada, said during a press conference. "We have tried over and over to talk to the US authorities…to resolve this matter," Moncada told reporters on Wednesday. Obviously the efforts are without resolve, because the U.S. authorities are not willing to follow international law. The USA has thereby become a paria state.
The Venezuelan official reminded that according to Art. 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, “the premises of the mission shall be inviolable.” The article ensures that the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission and is under a special duty to protect the diplomatic mission against any intrusion or damage.
Even during a break in diplomatic relations and supported by Art. 45, the receiving nation, in this case, the U.S., must continue respecting foreign properties. "This type of situation should be resolved by appointing a third party state with protecting powers to maintain the sovereignty of the diplomatic headquarters," Moncada added.
As is the case of the Venezuelan government who has respected the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, and under international law allowed the Swiss government — appointed by the U.S. — to take care of the premises. However, there has not been any reciprocity by the U.S. as they deny to allow a third party state, appointed by Venezuela, to take care of their embassy in Washington.
The Venezuelan representative to the U.N. also pointed out that even if Juan Guaido’s people were to illegally take over the Embassy, they would be powerless lacking the authority to issue passports or any consular services, as “they have zero power in Venezuela, something the world saw during the failed coup on April 30.”
U.S. activists have been living inside the Venezuelan embassy since late April to prevent the opposition from illegally taking over.
"Once again, the Trump Administration demonstrates that the truth hurts them, and reacts with arrogance violating International Law. The press conference of Ambassador
@SMoncada_VEN and the activists of #Love4EPC at the UN was a chair of international relations and courage."
Swedish Programmer Ola Bini still in Ecuadorian Jail. The Ecuadorean Pichincha Court Wednesday set May 22 as the date for the bail request hearing in favor of the Swedish software developer and activist Ola Bini, who has been accused by the Ecuadorean General's Attorney for the crime of attacks against information systems. The Swedish citizen remains in prison accused for the crime of attacks against Ecuadorian information systems.
“We favor a due process. The evidence presented in this case by the police, which was a tweet that was subsequently erased, is laughable," Digital Users Director Alfredo Velazco told teleSUR and explained that such procedures affect "not only to free software developers or digital activists but to any person who is accused of presenting books, computers or USB drives."
The open source developer was arrested on April 11, just a few hours after Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks co-funder, was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He was initially accused of participating in the "assault on the integrity" of computer systems. Later, on April 13, he was placed in 90-day preventative custody.
Chelsea Manning sent to the slammer again. In a move press freedom advocates and progressive critics decried as an “outrageous” and “unprecedented” escalation of a prolonged government harassment campaign, a federal judge on Thursday ordered U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning back to jail for refusing to testify before a secretive grand jury and imposed a $500 fine for every day she is in custody after 30 days.
If Manning refuses to comply with the grand jury subpoena after 60 days, the fine will increase to $1,000 per day.
The U.S. State Department orders departure of 'non-emergency U.S. government employees' from Iraq - statement. Meanwhile the Netherlands has followed Germany in suspending its mission in Iraq amid heightening tensions between the US and Iraq’s neighbor, Iran. This welcomed move comes as a UK military commander was rebuked by the US Central Command for questioning Washington’s claims that Iran poses an increased threat. Gen. Ghika, a senior figure in the anti-ISIS coalition, said none was evident in Iraq or Syria. The US’ reckless maximum pressure campaign against Tehran and nations dealing with it is deeply provocative and hurts international relations, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said, warning against a major “crisis.” Moscow cannot save the Iranian nuclear deal from falling apart all by itself, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that the destruction of the agreement was triggered by the US, while Europe has failed to react.US Military Placed on High Alert over Iranian 'Threats' in Iraq
"As a result, OIR is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces in Iraq."
The U.S. Armed Forces have been placed on high alert in the Middle East over what Centcom has described as "credible and possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces in Iraq."
"U.S. Central Command, in coordination with Operation Inherent Resolve, has increased the force posture level for all service members assigned to OIR in Iraq and Syria," Urban said. "As a result, OIR is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces in Iraq."
The threats mentioned by the U.S. Central Command were previously contradicted by the British military, who said that the Iranian forces in Syria and Iraq have shown no signs of aggression. British Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, further said in a press briefing that the threat level by Iranian-backed groups against coalition forces in Iraq and Syria has not risen.
Prior to these claims, the U.S. admnistration alleged that Iran was behind the 'sabotage' attacks on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Iran denied any role in these alleged attacks, adding that it is dangerous to spread such rumors.
The Trump administration has been on the diplomatic offensive against Iran these last two weeks, accusing the Persian Gulf nation of preparing to launch attacks against the U.S. Armed Forces in the Middle East.
To up the ante, the U.S. sent its USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf to send a message to Iran. The ship was previously in the Mediterranean to send a message to Russia.
Last week, national security adviser John Bolton announced that the U.S. was deploying one of its aircraft carrier strike groups to the Persian Gulf to protect their forces in the Middle East from an 'imminent' attack by Iran and its proxies.
The U.S. State Department has ordered the pullout of the employees from both the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil, the embassy said in a statement.
"Normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended," it said, recommending those affected depart as soon as possible. It was unclear how many staff would leave.
The pullout of its non-emergency personnel from Iraq is a precautionary move in light of what Washington claims is a "credible and possibly imminent attack" by Iranian-backed groups in the Middle Eastern nation.
On Tuesday, the U.S. military reaffirmed concerns about possible imminent threats from Iran to its troops in Iraq, although a senior British commander cast doubt on that and Tehran has called it "psychological warfare."
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has stepped up sanctions pressure by ending waivers for some countries to purchase Iranian oil - part of efforts to roll back the Islamic Republic's expanding regional clout.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday he was getting indications from talks with both the United States and Iran that "things will end well" despite the rhetoric.
Iran released a statement earlier this week saying that they were not seeking war with the United States, nor were they planning to launch any attacks against their forces.
Washington has sent additional military forces to the Middle East, including an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles in a show of force against what U.S. officials have said is a threat to its troops and interests in the region.
A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander has said Tehran would retaliate against any aggressive U.S. moves.
A U.S. State Department spokesman said the decision to withdraw non-emergency staff was based on a security assessment, but would not give details on how many personnel were leaving.
"Ensuring the safety of U.S. government personnel and citizens is our highest priority and we are confident in the Iraqi security services' (ability) to protect us," he said.
"But this threat is serious and we want to reduce the risk of harm."
#USAID - the carrot-"aid" arm of the CIA - returns to #Ecuador after been expelled five years go by former President #RafaelCorrea Now under #LeninMoreno 's administration, the agency will reinstate its operations. Moron Lenin Moreno himself is under investigations for corruption but obviously the roght partner for the U.S. administration that installed him.
Update TUE 14. May 2019 (vf): The
@TSJ_Venezuela has decided to hold four congressmen of the National Assembly accountable and opened criminal proceedings against further coup plotters.
The moves follow opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido's failed effort to spur a military uprising in April.
Venezuela's Constituent Assembly approved Tuesday a resolution stripping four opposition lawmakers from immunity, accusing them of treason, following similar accusations against 10 legislators this month.
The resolution was voted on a request issued by the Supreme Court, which was itself requested by Venezuela's Attorney General Tarek William Saab. Juan Andres Mejia, Sergio Vergara, Freddy Superlano, Carlos Paparoni and Miguel Pizarro were stripped of immunity.
Security forces had earlier prevented lawmakers from entering the legislature for Tuesday's session, saying they were investigating the possible presence of an explosive device inside the building.
The lawmakers Carlos Paparoni, Miguel Pizarro, Franco Casella, Freddy Superlano and Winston Flores are charged with treason and inciting rebellion. Freddy Superlano was already involved in a sex-scandal with one dead (see THE VENEZUELA FILES I ).
Last week, one opposition lawmaker was arrested and several took refuge in foreign embassies in Caracas or fled the country after similar accusations from the court.
Guaido, the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela and coup leader recently failed to garner much support from the Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic, prompting him to call on the United States to militarily intervene on his behalf.
The situation has gotten so bad for Guaido that the number of participants at his own rallies has diminished greatly over the last few days. According to the AP, only a few hundred people attended Guaido's demonstration on Saturday.
Guaido has become desperate and without the Venezuelan people or armed forces behind him, he is now making his last plea to the Trump administration to militarily intervene.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino condemned what he said was an illegal incursion by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel into Venezuelan territorial waters.
SIGN ON: Urge Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Eliot Engel, and Adam Smith to let the House vote on Venezuela War Powers by signing this petition.
U.S. Asserts Its Intransigence on Venezuela in Meeting with Russia
Russia favours the Venezuelan people determining their own future and supports a political dialogue among contending forces within the Montevideo Mechanism framework.
The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Tuesday in Sochi, Russia to discuss current events surrounding Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Iran.
"We see that there are suspicions and prejudices," Lavrov said of the U.S. administration at the start of the meeting, adding that "this hinders both your security and our security and causes concerns around the world," he said to Pompeo. "We think it is time to build a new and more constructive matrix for our relations," added the Russian minister.
Pompeo said the United States is willing to improve its bilateral relations with Russia as long as both countries treat "the outstanding issues seriously."
President Donald Trump "is committed to improving this relationship. We have differences and each country will protect its own interests," Pompeo said, "but we are not destined to be adversaries on all issues and I hope we can find areas where we have a set of overlapping interests."
Despite these diplomatic gestures, the U.S. did not change its main foreign policy positions. Regarding North Korea, for instance, the secretary reiterated that sanctions will remain in force "until a complete denuclearization" of the peninsula is achieved.
Pompeo said during their conversation that Washington does not recognize what it calls "Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula," and the D.C. representative urged Russia to make peace with Ukraine.
At the Sochi meeting, the U.S. secretary encouraged the Russian administration to help oust democratically elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
"The time has come for Maduro to leave power. ... We want Venezuelans to have the right to democracy. ... Chinese, Cuban or other forces have to stop supporting Maduro," Pompeo said.
On this regard, Lavrov asserted that his country's stance on the Venezuelan domestic political impasse is based on the premise that "democracy is not established by force (but by) dialogue and consideration of all issues by Venezuelans themselves, without ultimatums and without preconditions."
The Russian diplomat said that, "threats against Maduro's administration, which are heard from U.S. officials and [the opposition politician Juan] Guaido, who constantly reminds us of his right to invite an armed intervention from abroad, have nothing in common with democracy."
The Russian high officer also said that he would not go into details about "how things are with democracy in Iraq and Libya and elsewhere, where those attempts to overthrow took place and did not lead to anything good."
Lavrov said the Venezuelan domestic issues should be resolved using the Montevideo Mechanism dialogues proposed previously by Mexico and Uruguay.
"Russia is in favour of the [Venezuelan] people determining their own future and, in that sense, it is of the utmost importance that all the country's political forces initiate a dialogue among them, as several countries of the region have also requested within the Montevideo Mechanism framework. The Venezuela's government, as [President] Maduro has assured, is also willing to take part in such dialogue." (teleSUR)
CAN WATCH: POMPEO AND LAVROV (careful because it is on fascistbook)
Lavrov & Pompeo Agree to Work on Nukes Control but Clash on Venezuela
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov concluded the Sochi talks by agreeing to cooperate on nuclear arms control. The two diplomats, however, could not reach agreement on Venezuela.
After emerging from the meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort on Tuesday, Pompeo and Lavrov both talked of their governments’ desire to improve relations, currently at a low ebb. Lavrov described the meeting as “frank and useful,” while Pompeo said the US “stands ready to find common ground” with Russia.
As predicted, nuclear arms control was top of the agenda, following the Trump administration’s recent withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Pompeo and Lavrov seemed open to cooperation on establishing new arms control pacts, with Pompeo restating President Donald Trump’s desire to bring China into any future deal.
With the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty set to expire in February 2021, Pompeo said that Washington is willing to work towards extending the deal by five years, while the Russian FM said he hopes any future agreements will be “positively received by both nations.”
Stalemate on Venezuela
Despite repeated calls from Washington for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to cede power, Pompeo slammed Russia, Iran, China and Cuba for allegedly “interfering” in the Latin American country’s affairs.
“Maduro has brought nothing but misery to the Venezuelan people,” Pompeo stated. “We hope that Russian support for Maduro will end.”
Lavrov stuck by Moscow’s position on Venezuela – which refuses to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as “interim president” – saying that dialog between Maduro and the opposition is the only way to ensure stability.
“Democracy cannot be done by force,” Lavrov told reporters. “The threats that we hear against the Maduro government, threats that come from the mouths of US officials… this has nothing in common with democracy.”
MUST READ: Guaido’s Brother Accused of Corruption - also in Connection with the Odebrecht Scandal
The brother of Juan Guaidó was denounced by a group of Venezuelans for having laundered millions of dollars in bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.
According to the “ Voz de América ”, financed by the State Department, Gustavo Antonio Guaidó would have laundered money in complicity with Henrique Capriles Radonski.
The same media maintains that the name of Juan Guaidó’s brother appeared several times in the investigation carried out by the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office on the Odebrecht corruption scandal, which muddied a large part of the Latin American political spectrum through intervention of the US Department’s of Justice in the case. (Mision Verdad - Translated by JRE\EF-OT)
“Such Indignity is Shameful”: Opposition Leader to Guaido and Vecchio's Request for Military Intervention
On Tuesday, the opposition leader Enrique Ochoa Antich, questioned the request made by deputy Juan Guaidó to the US Southern Command about eventual “assistance” in what would be a military intervention in Venezuela.
“Faced with the evidence of not having enough internal strength to achieve change, they want to do it by force, opposition extremism appeals to the ignominy of asking a foreign army to invade our homeland. Such an indignity is shameful!” wrote Enrique Ochoa Antich, who is also a founding member of the MAS party, on his official Twitter account.
On Monday Guaido's “representative” in the US, Carlos Vecchio, issued a statement to the U.S. Southern Command requesting assistance for a military intervention and in that respect requesting a meeting.
The Government of Venezuela, represented by Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, had already denounced Vecchio's letter and described the opposition leadership headed by Juan Guaidó as U.S. lackeys.
Intelligence Unit Created to Fight Against Vandalism, Robbery and Sabotage on Telecommunications Network
In order to counteract the criminal actions against the telecommunications system of our country, the Investigation Unit against Theft, Extortion, Vandalism and Sabotage of the Scientific, Criminal and Criminal Investigation Unit (CICPC) was created.
Néstor Reverol, Minister of Internal Affairs, Justice and Peace, announced the information through his Twitter account. He highlighted that on Tuesday, May 14, a meeting was held with representatives of a public and private telecommunications companies.
“We made progress in the proposal for the construction of a National Telecommunications System together with the Comprehensive Care Plan for this sector that includes security actions and the immediate creation of a Situation Room for early warnings,” Reverol wrote in the aforementioned social network.
Venezuelans have been affected for several years, due to deficiente security on the telecommunications network, compromised of internet services, mobile phone services and telephony services. Both public and private entities have responsibilities in fighting this plague affecting millions of Venezuelans.
Four very short power-blackouts and communications (internet) breakdowns were observed today (15th) in Venezuela, but very quickly stabilized. However, Reuters news agency used the opportunity to mak a fuss about it and spoke of "endangering dialysis patients."
Guaido's Fugitive Traitors
Roberto Henríquez, leader of Copei, was the first to resort to an embassy in recent time , when he fled into the Chilean diplomatic residency in Venezuela and was given shelter as a refuge after having been involved in an attempted coup against the Venezuelan government in 2017.
Since then, other anti-Chavez leaders have filled the diplomatic headquarters of countries that make up the international anti-chavista coalition, which calls for a military intervention by the United States against the Bolivarian Republic. These are:
- Freddy Guevara, embassy of Chile (since 2017)
- Leopoldo López, embassy of Spain
- Richard Blanco, embassy of Argentina
- Marianela Magallanes, embassy of Italy
- Américo De Grazia, embassy of Italy
- Mexico’s foreign ministry said later on Tuesday it had received opposition lawmaker Franco Manuel Casella Lovaton in its embassy in Caracas “to provide protection and shelter.”
In addition to these well known politicians, others hide in unrevealed missions, while 18 members of the National Guard who responded to the call of Guaidó to defect, are “refugees” in the Embassy of Panama and 25 in the embassy of Brazil.
It is now under discussion to offer them all free escape and a one-way ticket to Trumps home at Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach - USA, which has with its 128-room mansion the space, where the U.S. government can host them. Instead of having to feed them in prison in Venezuela, this solution would be cheaper for the Venezuelan government and the foreign embassies and staying with Trump would be enough punishment for the traitors.
What 50 countries are backing Guaidó?
Who knows? Who cares? If the Media Claim 50 Countries Reject Venezuela’s Elected President and Repeat It Enough It Must Be True
By Dave LIndorff - May 14, 2019
American media still refer to Juan Guaidó, America’s hand-picked “legitimate leader” or “legitimate president” of Venezuela, as having an “administration.”
The truth is that his “administration” — consisting of advisors and other opposition leaders — are all either arrested and being held by the government, hiding, seeking asylum in various foreign embassies (Spanish, Italian, Brazilian and Argentinian) in the capital of Caracas, or have fled to other countries like Brazil and Colombia.
Guaidó, apparently a government of one, has so far avoided arrest probably because the elected Venezuelan President Maduro doesn’t want to give the US an excuse to try and rescue him, or to launch military actions of some kind against Venezuela as the White House keeps threatening to do.
Clearly, in calling for US military intervention, Guaidó has both demonstrated almost his total lack of backing among the masses of Venezuelan people, as well as his desperation, given Latin American’s visceral resentment of US interventions in their country, all of which have been designed to put autocrats or even military juntas in power, and many of which have openly overthrown popularly elected governments, as in Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, Nicaragua, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and elsewhere.
None of this gets reported in the US. Only recently has the New York Times, always a reliable backer of US imperial policy in Latin America, at least hinted at the possibility that the reason Maduro remains president and that Guaidó’s efforts to oust him are failing so abysmally could be that the Venezuelan people want him to stay president, and do not want a US-backed coup or a US military intervention to replace him.
At this point the huffing and puffing coming from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and especially from the White House National Security Advisor and chief militarist blowhard John Bolton, are looking pretty pathetic, with Bolton trying to sow dissension and distrust by hinting that Maduro “better not trust” his own generals’ loyalty, and by offering rewards to those generals willing to abandon Maduro.
It is an indication of the United States’s declining power and influence in Latin America that few outside the US with its insular mass media believe that the US would or even could successfully invade Venezuela and impose a government on that country of 32 million (a number that keeps declining as the upper middle class and rich flee).
If anything, US sabotage and threats and US backing for a government of the wealthy are probably galvanizing support for Maduro. While people in the US, if they are paying any attention at all to events in Venezuela, may believe that Maduro is a corrupt thug, people in Venezuela itself, and in most of Latin America know full well that the main problems in that oil-rich country have to do with the collapse in oil prices since the heady days of Hugo Chavez when it was going for $100 a barrel, to American efforts to block Venezuela from exporting its oil now, and to freeze or even seize Venezuelan assets and oil receipts from the oil it does manage to export, and to other forms of economic warfare engaged in by the United States. As in Cuba, this kind of strategy by the US only works to build support for the country’s existing government.
At some point Guaidó is going to go. He will either be written off by the US media — his main backer — or will be arrested. Probably the latter will follow the former since once he’s recognized as an impotent charlatan, his arrest will not make him a martyr for the opposition. Already he has lost what public support he had as Venezuela’s wealthy abandon the country for Florida. As well, the “50 countries” that we in the US keep hearing about which supposedly back Guaidó as Venezuela’s “legitimate leader” are realizing that they were hoodwinked by the US. The are now mostly calling for a calmer response to the crisis in Venezuela, and are refusing to buy into US military threats against the Maduro government. Meanwhile nobody in the US media mentions that over 140 countries in the world support Maduro as the leader of Venezuela.
In truth it’s impossible to find that list of “more than 50 countries” backing a self-proclaimed and unelected Guaidó as Venezuela’s president. The closest I could come by running google searches was a map produced by Bloomberg News listing 13 countries besides the US as supporting Guaidó. These included Canada, the UK, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. That is 13 plus the United States. Listed as supporting Maduro as elected President are Russia, China, Turkey, Bolivia, and Cuba, though I believe Bloomberg neglected to mention Nicaragua, a strong Maduro backer, which would make it six. All of Africa and much of Asia was left as “no opinion,” though in fact that means they are continuing to recognize the current Maduro government, like the goverment of South Africa clearly stated.
For a time, most of the countries of Europe were lining up behind Guaidó, particularly after Germany announced that it was recognizing him as the new interim leader of Venezuela in late January, and after it ousted the country’s ambassador, but then by late March Germany was having second thoughts, and rejected the person sent there by Guaidó to assume the position of Venezuelan ambassador. At this point, except for the UK, the countries of Europe, along with Mexico and Uruguay, are simply calling for a dialogue and a negotiated solution to the Venezuela political crisis, and in addition to opposing any talk of military action or a coup, are seeking nothing more than a new election (which Maduro would probably win, given the alternative of the return of a government of the rich). The Europeans are no longer really backing Guaidó.
The reporters who continue to refer to “more than 50 countries” calling for Maduro’s ouster all must be using the same wrong or outdated news clip or some exaggerated and dated State Department press release. (I asked the State Department for an updated list today but so far none has been forthcoming, though it would appear such a list shouldn’t take long to compile given how short it must be.)
#Venezuelan opposition now decides who enters the press section installed in front of the embassy and who does not. Clearly, @RealAlexRubi makes them uncomfortable, the police proceeds to remove him. This in the country of liberties.
MUST WATCH: Video message from the Venezuelan Embassy Protection Collective as police prepare to unlawfully raid the building
In one final act of resistance, reporter
@anyaparampil carries a portrait of Simón Bolivar over her face while being forced to exit Venezuela's embassy. She shouts "Bolivar y Chavez Vive!" in the face of @carlosvecchio's staffer before police threaten to arrest her for stealing. Police grabbed the picture of Simon Bolivar and have not returned it into the embassy.
Despite the irregularities, it seems that now the MPD will assume responsibility for the illegalities of the possible eviction – at Embassy Of The Bolivarian Republic Of Venezuela. U.S. Secret Service Police was replaced with police officers from Metropolitan Polic Department.
The Tresspassing Notice is clearly illegal under international law. As long as the UN recognizes the Maduro government, the USA has to respect that under nternational law and must respect that the Venezuelan embassy is extraterritorial ground to U.S. law enforcement.
There was no raid yet on the Venezuelan embassy. Photos and videos show Secret Service leaving with 4 protectors still inside. This makes Max Blumental wonder if there is a protecting power agreement with Venezuela and an ally state, which could even escalate the situation further.
A police raid of the embassy would in any case send a message to the world that embassies are no longer protected by international law. This would go down in history as one of the great mistakes of Empire. The Embassy Protection Collective put out a statement last night detailing the events from their perspective.
COLOMBIA: Former Farc Commander Assassinated
The FARC party reported that Wilson Saavedra, who became the commander of the 21st Front of the now dissolved guerrilla group and member of the Alfonso Cano Bloc Staff, was assassinated on Tuesday while buying a birthday cake for one of his five children.
Wilson Saavedra is the first front commander of the now dissolved FARC military wing assassinated since the signing of the peace accord.
He spent more than 30 years in the guerrilla ranks and was also linked to the process of reincorporation as leader of the territorial space of Marquetalia, in the south of Tolima, the historical cradle of the guerrillas.
Saavedra had left Marquetalia, Tolima, and was living with 31 ex-combatants and his family on a farm leased in El Valle, 35 minutes by car from Tuluá, where he was working on agrarian projects.
That group of ex-guerrillas had been the victim of threatening calls, in which they were told they knew where they lived and with whom. Saavedra had left at 12:30 noon this Tuesday, after lunch, to buy a cake in Tuluá, because it was his son’s birthday. Traveling with a companion, they left their car in an auto shop for maintenance. His companion went to attend to an agricultural project and he went to make the purchase for his little one. At about 3 o’clock in the afternoon he was shot, apparently by men moving on a motorbike. He left five children orphaned, three of them under 6 years old. The youngest had been born after the signing of peace. Saavedra was a radio operator and nurse for the Farc for 30 years. He was close to Pablo Catatumbo and Alfonso Cano and became commander of the Víctor Saavedra column and then, towards the end of the conflict with the Farc, he was put in charge of the Frente 21 (a division of Farc’s central block).
He was also in Havana, during the peace negotiations, as auxiliary of the guerrillas’ technical commission. “People interested in war do exist, yes there are enemies of peace, but they are a minority, I believe that the majority of the Colombian people are for peace,” Saavedra told the local media at the end of 2016, when the agreement of Havana was being finalized. “What is most needed are security guarantees for the ex-combatants, and especially for the group that was with Wilson in the Valley,” Victoria Sandino told SEMANA.
With the death of Saavedra, there are now 131 ex-combatants that have been killed since the signing of the peace agreement. However, it is the first murder of a head commander. The Special Investigation Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office has clarified the circumstances of 61 murders of ex-combatants. In addition they have identified in 48 of these acts criminal structures that are behind the homicides: dissension in 22 cases, the Gulf Clan in 9; the ELN in 7; the EPL in 5. The Special Investigation Unit knows of 32 actions against relatives of ex-combatants of the Farc.
#Spain withdraws its frigate Méndez Núñez from US combat group in #PersianGulf, after the tension escalated with #Iran - amid a series of most likely false flag attacks against vessels and installations in that theater. Seems to be coordinated scam to provoke another war. The Spanih righly leave the U.S.American government alone in this and just sailed away. Well done Spain! No Spanish sailor should loose the life due to machinations of the U.S.American war machinations. However, " #Spain’s decision to remove a frigate on training exercises from a #US combat fleet approaching the Persian Gulf was taken purely for 'technical reasons,'" the country’s defense minister said.
The ‘Forgotten’ US Shootdown of Iranian Airliner Flight 655
The killing of innocent Iranian lives that most Americans have forgotten or care little for as Trump Bolton and Pompeo escalate tensions --->>> targeting Iran and Venezuela
An unpublished report reveals OPCW's doubts about what really happened in the city of Douma suffered a chemical attack in April 2018.
An academic research group obtained what they believe to be an unpublished OPCW report that casts doubt on the official narrative that blamed the Syrian government for the use of chemical weapons in the city of Douma in April 2018.
An academic group named the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media, made up both independent and university-affiliated researchers in the U.S. and U.K., discovered an unpublished report written by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that cast doubts about who was responsible for the chemical attack in Douma.
At the time, opposition Islamist groups such as Jaysh al-Islam reported that the Assad government had dropped chemical weapons on the city. This was then reported in Western media outlets, leading to growing calls for U.S. intervention and regime change in the Arab country. The Syrian government has always denied involvement, and blamed opposition terror groups for the attack.
The unpublished report, contrary to the mainstream narrative, shows that the experts trying to reconstruct the incident based on the physical evidence at the scene had competing hypotheses.
One hypothesis states that the liquid chlorine cylinders used in the attack may have been dropped from above by plane or helicopter, suggesting government involvement.
Other evidence , however, showed that the cylinder could not have physically dropped through roof and maintained the shape it had, which means it “was in the possession of the people who placed it on the terrace next to a pre-existing crater. ” This suggests involvement by those already on the ground in the then rebel-held city.
The concluding comments, which never made it onto the official report, criticized the original hypothesis, saying “It was not possible to establish a set of circumstances where the post-deformation cylinder could fit through the crater with the valve still intact (whether or not an end-cap was assumed to have been fitted at the front of the cylinder), and the fins deformed in the manner observed.”
"The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders, and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder being delivered from an aircraft. In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”
The academic group that brought this to light investigate the truth behind official narratives on Syria. One of the groups co-founders, Piers Robinson was recently forced out of his lecturer position at the University of Sheffield in the U.K., following attacks in the university newspaper for his criticism of ‘anti-semitism’ claims against the Labour Party, and for his research on Syria.
North Korea on Tuesday called the U.S. seizure of a North Korean cargo ship involved in banned coal exports a “robbery” and demanded that the vessel be returned immediately.
Before the United States seized the cargo ship, the 177-meter (581-foot) vessel, named the Wise Honest, had first been detained by Indonesia in April 2018 while transporting a large amount of coal. It was brought Saturday to American Samoa, where it will undergo inspections.
North Korea is banned from exporting coal under U.N. sanctions toughened in 2017 to punish increasingly powerful weapons tests that year. Experts believe coal and other mineral exports help finance the North’s weapons industry.
#WhatsApp reported that the security breach on its messaging app likely came from a government using surveillance technology in order to target #humanrights groups. NOW READ THIS: Israeli Spyware Involved in WhatsApp Privacy Breach, Human Rights Groups Targeted
Update MON 13. May 2019 (vf): President Maduro received UN Representatives in Caracas
The Constitutional President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, on Monday received the representatives of the United Nations (UN) System in Venezuela in the Simón Bolívar Room of the Miraflores Palace.
The meeting discussed mutual cooperation between the UN and the Bolivarian Government, with the purpose of evaluating mechanisms that propitiate the necessary conditions to promote economic, social and environmental development in the country. Venezuela has signed the 17 objectives of the 2030 Agenda for the development of the nation.
The activity was attended by the resident coordinator of the United Nations System and resident representative of the UNDP in Venezuela, Peter Grohmann; the representative of the UN Agency for Refugees (UNHCR), Matthew Crentsil, and the representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) in Venezuela, Rafael Ramírez Mesec, reported the Presidential Press.
The country official of the joint UN program on HIV / AIDS, Regina López, also attended; the assistant representative of the UN for Food and Agriculture (FAO), Carlos Miguel Mendoza; the representative in charge of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau (PAHO / WHO); José Hernández; the Team Leader of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Samir Elhawary; the deputy resident representative of the UN Development Program (UNDP), Rosicler Gómez and the representative of the UN Population Fund (Unfpa), Jorge González .
On the part of the Executive Cabinet, it included the sectoral vice president for Social Development and the Revolution of the Missions, Aristóbulo Istúriz; the sectoral vice-president of Planning and Minister of Popular Power for Planning, Ricardo Menéndez, and the Chancellor of the Republic, Jorge Arreaza, among others.
It is important to note that on May 9 Chancellor Arreaza evaluated together with the resident representative of the United Nations Organization, Peter Grohmann, the projects and methodologies of the United Nations (UN) Systems in Venezuela. At this meeting six areas of work were proposed in the areas of nutrition, health, food security, education, water, sanitation and hygiene and protection to make work with the United Nations System more efficient.
Source URL: Alba Ciudad (Alba Ciudad - Translated by JRE\EF-OT)
#China delivered 71 tonnes of medicine and health supplies to #Venezuela as part of continued technical co-operation between both countries. The aid comes as the #UnitedStates maintains its economic blockade against Venezuela."With this second shipment, as well as that which we already received from the Russian Federation, the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent" some 166 tons of medicines and supplies have arrived in the country, Health Minister Carlos Alvarado said. According to the Venezuelan Health Ministry, a Chinese Boeing 747 carrying 71 tons of medicine and surgical material arrived in Caracas on Monday, May 13. The Venezuelan Government said the delivery included supplies for pregnant women and medicine to treat respiratory conditions.
ALERT: Under the cover of night
#US authorities violated international law by entering the premises without the authorization of the president @NicolasMaduro and cutting safety locks at the entrance of the #Venezuelan embassy in #WashingtonDC. US Marshals cut the chains and locks placed on the front door by the exiting Venezuelan diplomats several weeks ago. U.S. Scret Service Police must be held accountable for these illegal acts in violation of federal and international laws. An illegal "order" (fabricated by the Vecchio gang) was pinned by U.S. Secret Service Police @SecretService at Venezuela embassy. to the locked entrance door of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington D/C - ordering the embassy protection team to leave and to hand over the premises. The "order" illegally recognizes Juan Guaido as interim president for the Venezuelan government - the state - and his stooge Carlos Vecchio as legit "ambassador" of Venezuela to the USA. It is far beyond Orwell in the USA.
Police came, entered the premises, broke the main entrance door locks, opened the door and may have even entered the building of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington D/C, USA, in violation of international law. But the defenders were there in the dark entry hall and stood firm. The intruding police officers then left, putting zip-tie handcuffs over the main entrance since they had broken the security locks while pinning the notice to the door. They left with their tails between their legs. The police raid has failed just as the coup did. For amazingly courageous embassy protectors are STILL inside the Venezuelan embassy, defending it. Heroes:
#EmbassyProtctionCollective #EmbassyProtectionCollective – at Embassy Of The Bolivarian Republic Of Venezuela
IMPORTANT MUST READ: The Plot to Kill Venezuela - also to debunk the persistent lies of Juan Guaido and his masters.
#VenezuelanEmbassy, Mara VH at front door, law enforcement cut and sawed off locks, opened doors. Peace activists voiced determinination to uphold #ViennaConvention. Urged officials not to violate diplomatic mission & internat'l law. Police had to think twice & pulled back.
Mara VH, lawyer of the
#EmbassyProtectionCollective explains what happened today. WATCH THE VIDEO Mara V, lawyer of the #EmbassyProtectionCollective said the activists also explained to the police the illegality of entering the embassy on the basis of possible eviction.
Police earlier used an ultra-loud, deafening siren before and after speaking over an amplifier, declaring the United States doesn't recognize "the former Maduro regime" and threatening arrest.
Government officials with power tools showed up. It'd be more than an hour later before they'd be put to use, but this was the first hard proof of an anticipated and planned forced entry.
Earlier the activists with
@codepink and @answercoalition tried to get food and water to their comrades inside the Venezuelan Embassy by attaching it to a rope held by an activist inside. @DCPoliceDept officers yell “let go” to the guy inside, and then cut the rope. WATCH the illegal police action.
@codepink / @answercoalition / @PopResistance / @PPEHRCorg left their prevented food delivery attempt, many tried to photo badge numbers of cops involved. MPD allowed it, but Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agents, which fall under @StateDept refused to identify themselves.
SIGN ON: Letter to U.S. Government Denouncing Attacks on Venezuelan Embassy by the National Lawyers Guild
There was a short power-blackout and communications (internet) breakdown today also in Venezuela, but it appears that the technicians there are now well prepared and equipped to immediately counteract any attack and they managed to restore the supply immediately and to keep the grid stable.
Venezuela's Guaido Officially Requests US Military Support - Letter
Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido has formally requested the support of US military forces in the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in the South American country, a letter published by his representative Carlos Vecchio said on Monday.
"We welcome strategic and operational planning so that we may fulfill our constitutional obligation to the Venezuelan people in order to alleviate their suffering and restore our democracy", Vecchio said in the letter to the commander of United States Southern Command Admiral Craig Faller.
In the letter, which is dated 11 May and was published by Vecchio on Twitter on Monday, he requested a meeting between SOUTHCOM and "the appropriate members" of Guaido's inner circle.
#Venezuela: following instructions of Interim President @jguaido, we officially requested the @Southcom a meeting with a technical delegation to advance in strategic and operational planning with the priority goal of stopping our people's suffering and restoring democracy.
Caring "Ruler"? Guaido Calls on EU to Impose More Sanctions on Venezuela while trying to impose the Cracker of Caracas a shis 'envoy' on the Queen
Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido has called on the European Union via Twitter to impose more sanctions on his country in order to apply pressure on the government of elected President Nicolas Maduro, whom Guaido seeks to oust. He believes that such pressure could force the government to open up for foreign humanitarian aid, which Maduro has slammed ats an attempt to undermine the country's independence.
Guaido also called on the EU to recognise the representatives of the "government" that he assembled after proclaiming himself interim president in January 2019.
One of the officials in waiting to be recognized is Mick Jagger’s Ex, chosen as envoy to UK by Guaido, but she can get no recognition.
Juan Guaido, who has been trying to oust Nicolas Maduro for months, had appointed 47-year-old socialite Vanessa Neumann from the USA to represent him in Britain. Although London has recognised the opposition leader as Venezuela’s head of state, his 'envoy' Neumann does not seem to have got the same satisfaction.
Guaido’s 'representative to the UK' is now struggling to be officially recognised as the country’s ambassador to London, having no office, no salary, and living at a friend’s house in London, an interview with The Times revealed.
According to the woman, the mission is her “dream job, but it’s also a very strange job”. Neumann, who refers to herself as “a start-up embassy”, has been okayed by the UK’s Foreign Office, but has not been received by the Queen as is required, although London has recognised Guaido.
“Of course it’s frustrating but I think it will end. We do have signs of fracture in the regime. I think they’ll run for the hills if they think there are real people with real weapons turning up. They’re cowards. They’re bullies”, she said about Maduro and his allies, whom Guaido has struggled to oust from power since January.
The socialite, who was dubbed the Cracker from Caracas for her four-year-long affair with the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, once rocked the headlines of tabloids, but has also established a career in consulting in recent years. Neumann became the founder of Asymmetrica consultancy and served for four years as chairperson of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s taskforce on illicit trafficking.
Neumann grew up in Caracas and New York, having also lived in Washington, but headed across the pond to take up a new job on Guaido’s side; she was appointed on 19 March 2019. According to The Times, her goal is to sway Britain into treating the Venezuelan authorities, led by Maduro, as a “transnational crime organisation”, seize its assets, and order Maduro’s envoy Rocio Maneiro to leave the UK.
BREAKING AS PREDICTED (see below 11.04.):
#Sweden's Vice Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson said she would reopen an investigation into a rape allegation against #WikiLeaks founder #JulianAssange and seek his extradition from Britain. The #Swedish decision to reopen a rape case against #JulianAssange “will give Julian a chance to clear his name.” JUST HORRIFIC!
MUST UNDERSTAND: Julian Assange: What really happened in Sweden
Swedish prosecutor reopens case probing Assange rape allegations
"I have taken the decision to reopen the preliminary investigation,” Persson told reporters at a press conference on Monday, confirming her office’s decision.
"As Mr Assange is currently incarcerated in the UK the circumstances now allow him to be extradited to Sweden on a rape warrant," she added.
The rape charges were leveled against Assange in a case which began almost a decade ago, before he sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012. He has repeatedly denied the allegations.
The statute of limitations expired on part of one charge in Sweden’s overall case against Assange, however, the time limit in respect of a rape allegation by one of the women does not expire until 2020.
The case was put on ice in 2017 as prosecutors “didn’t see any possibilities to advance the investigation forward” while Assange was in political exile in the Ecuadorian Embassy. However, his recent arrest provided investigators with the option of reopening their inquiries.
Meanwhile, Assange has already been sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for skipping bail in the UK in 2012. However, the US is also seeking his extradition on charges that he conspired with Chelsea Manning to hack a Pentagon computer and steal state secrets.
Assange potentially faces the death penalty if convicted. Persson said that it is up to UK authorities whether the Swedish or US extradition requests take priority.
WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson, said the Swedish investigation gives Assange an opportunity to clear his name.
He said that "there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case.
TIMELINE and details of Sweden's case against Julian Assange (RT)
August 20, 2010
A 26-year-old living in Enköping and a 31-year-old living in Stockholm accuse WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of having unprotected sex with them which surpassed the level of consent they had given him.
After a preliminary investigation, then-Chief Public Prosecutor Eva Finné said she did not believe there was reason“to suspect that he has committed rape,” but Assange remained under suspicion of molestation.
The investigation was partly suspended five days later on August 25, but the pair's lawyer appealed the prosecutor's decision and the Director of Public Prosecution, Marianne Ny, reopened the primary investigation soon after on September 1, 2010.
Less than one month later, on September 27, 2010, Assange left Sweden for the UK.
An arrest warrant for Assange was issued on November 18, 2010 by Ny on suspicion of rape, three counts of sexual molestation and one count of unlawful coercion.
A European Arrest Warrant was issued by the Stockholm District Court, but this was later appealed and lowered to suspicion of rape of a lesser degree. One of the molestation charges was also dropped.
Assange's legal team argued that the use of the word “rape” was a mistranslation from Swedish and that the allegations made by the women did not fall under the English or European legal definitions of rape.
An extradition warrant was upheld on February 24th, 2011 and again later in November 2011 after an appeal. Assange was then refused permission to appeal the decision in the British Supreme Court in December.
He sought refuge at Ecuador's Embassy in London on June 19, 2012.
In the months and years that followed, Assange's legal team filed multiple requests to dismiss his detention, to force Swedish prosecutors into action to either continue or drop the case, and finally, to have the decision to reopen the case overruled.
In 2013, Sweden attempted to drop the extradition warrant, but was prevented from doing so by the English Crown Prosecution Service.
On November 20, 2014, the Swedish Court of Appeal refused the Assange team's request to have the case dismissed.
Later, in August 2015, the statute of limitations ran out for the lesser charges of molestation and unlawful coercion. The rape allegation is not subject to the statute of limitations until 2020, however. Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren interviewed Assange in relation to this charge in November 2016.
On May 19, 2017 the Swedish chief prosecutor unexpectedly dropped the investigation into the allegation of rape against Assange.
Speaking to reporters on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy at the time, Assange called the situation a "terrible injustice."
“Seven years without charge while my children grew up without me: that is not something I can forgive. That is not something I can forget," he said.
2019 arrest and reopening of case
Two years later, following worsening relations with the Ecuadorian government, Assange’s asylum was revoked and British police were invited into the nation’s London embassy to arrest the whistleblower on April 11, 2019.
Immediately following the arrest, the lawyer of Assange’s two accusers announced that she would request the case be reopened.
On Monday, May 13, the Swedish Prosecutor’s office announced that the case was officially reopened and that it would again seek Assange’s extradition to face trial.
Meanwhile the US is also seeking to extradite the whistleblower on charges that he conspired with Chelsea Manning to hack a Pentagon computer and steal state secrets.
The Swedish prosecutor said that it is up to UK authorities whether the Swedish or US extradition requests take priority. Assange potentially faces the death penalty if convicted of the charges he faces in the United States.
"China has vowed that they will not give in to the Trump administration's threats to impose tariffs against the People's Republic. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that their country will never surrender to foreign pressure after the U.S. renewed its threats to impose tariffs on all Chinse imports. Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the comments at a daily briefing in Beijing. And Trump, who had told the U.S. American taxpayers that imposing these tariffs would be good for American economy had to be told by economists that he is dead wrong and the higher prices for imported goods then had to be pai by U.S. American buyers, importers and endusers that is. Do we hear the word dumb somewhere?
Saudi Ship Prevented From Loading Arms Cargo In France
A Saudi ship, prevented by rights groups from loading an arms cargo at the French port of Le Havre on Friday, arrived at the Spanish port of Santander early on Monday.
The ship was forced to dock in Spain after France rejected the vessel for its arms cargo.
It was not clear what the Saudi ship was doing in Santander now or how long it would stay docked there.
Spain’s interior ministry said they had no information regarding the ship. The defence and foreign ministries were not immediately available for comment.
Saudi Arabia has been condemned by several nations for their role in the Yemen conflict. Human Rights groups have demanded the suspension of arms to the Gulf kingdom in order to deter the ongoing crisis in neighboring Yemen.
The French human rights group ACAT argued in a legal challenge on Thursday that the arms consignment contravened a U.N. treaty because the weapons might be used against civilians in Yemen, though the case was thrown out by a French judge.
A classified report written by France’s DRM military intelligence agency and published by investigative website Disclose in April showed French arms were being used against civilians in the civil war in Yemen.
The Saudi vessel Bahri-Yanbu set course for Santander shortly after the ruling but without the weapons it was charged with collecting.
Saudi Arabia has been actively involved in several Middle Eastern conflicts since 2011. Some of these conflicts include Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain.
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have both voted to end America's participation in the Yemen conflict; however, their resolutions would later be vetoed by President Donald Trump.
Update SUN 12. May 2019 (vf): Defected Venezuelan General Colossally Fails to Rally Support for Another Coup
A defected Venezuelan general called for the Bolivarian Armed Forces to support another coup attempt against the legitimate President Nicolás Maduro; it was met with dead silence.
The defected air force general, Ramon Rangel, attempted to convince the Venezuelan Armed Forces to rise up against legitimate President Nicolás Maduro and support the self-proclaimed "interim president" Juan Guaido.
The disgraced defector's call was met with dead silence from the Venezuelan Armed Forces, prompting him to blame the “communist dictatorship” in Cuba.
“We have to find a way to get rid of the fear, to go out into the streets, to protest, and to seek a military union to change this political system,” Rangel said during a YouTube video. “It’s time to rise up.”
Rangel appeared confident in his video that the Venezuelan Armed Forces would join him; however, his call to defect received no support from the Bolivarian military, who has remained loyal to the Venezuelan people and government.
This latest attempt to prompt a military coup against the government comes nearly two weeks after Guaido attempted something similar in eastern Caracas. Guaido's coup attempt would fail, something he later admitted to the Washington Post.
Despite claiming to be concerned about the well-being and safety of the Venezuelan people, both Guaido and his foreign supporters, mainly the U.S. administration, have only increased the suffering of the civilians with their inhuman blockade of the Bolivarian Republic.
MUST WATCH: The President of
@VFPNational, Gerry Condon speaks out after being jumped by secret service officers, then arrested, for tossing a cucumber so that the besieged could make temselves some salad. He was just attempting to deliver food to the Embassy Protection Collective when 6 Secret Service thugs attacked him brutally. Still water and electricity have been cut off -->> Article 25 of Vienna Diplomatic Convention: “The receiving State shall accord full facilities for the performance of the functions of the mission.”
Bolivar’s Monument in Rome’s Monte Sacro Destroyed
This Sunday the Minister of Popular Power for Culture, Ernesto Villegas , through his Twitter account, reported on the attack on the bust of El Libertador on Monte Sacro in Rome, Italy, where the Father of the Nation made his historic oath for the Independence of Venezuela.
The Venezuelan head of the Culture portfolio cited a tweet published by the councilor of LLPP, Maintenance, Ecological Management, Decoration, Management Directions of AMA and waste of the Municipality of Rome III, Francesco Pieroni , in his Twitter acount @effepieroni.
Pieroni denounced the action: “Is it fun to destroy history? This bust recalls the place where Simón Bolívar swore for the South American freedom from Spanish colonialism on August 15, 1805 . The same place where Menenio Agrippa had pronounced his apology. We will put it up again with the help of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Italy @embavenitalia,“ he wrote.
He also published an image showing how the bust commemorating the oath of Simón Bolívar was demolished and destroyed.
During his visit to the city of Rome, Italy, the Father of the Fatherland, on August 15, 1805, accompanied by his teacher Simón Rodríguez, made the oath on the hill of Monte Sacro:
“I swear before you, I swear by the God of my parents, I swear by them, I swear on my honor and I swear by my Homeland, that I will not give rest to my arm, nor rest to my soul, until I have broken the chains that they oppress us”.
Later on December 27, 1922, the City of Rome gave the current Piazza Menenio Agrippa, in the Garden City Aniene, (now called Monte Sacro) the name of Plaza Bolivar. (Alba Ciudad - Translated by JRE\EF-OT)
Assange's Defence to Protest Ecuador Move to Pass Docs From UK Embassy to US
The defence team for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will appeal against a decision by Quito to give Assange's documents currently at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to Washington, Assange's Ecuadorian lawyer Carlos Poveda told Sputnik.
According to Poveda, this decision was taken already on 1 May by a court in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito.
"We will protest this decision… We will appeal against it tomorrow morning [Monday] both in court and in the prosecutor's office, and we will wait for the decision of these instances", Poveda said.
The lawyer recalled that Assange remains an Ecuadorian citizen, and since no investigation is being conducted against him in this country, the material evidence related to him cannot be transferred to a third country.
Poveda also noted that the UK authorities were delaying the issuance of a visa, making it impossible for him to be present at the investigation site in London.
"All these obstacles make the whole situation invalid in terms of judicial procedures", he stressed.
On Sunday, the newspaper El Pais reported that Ecuador would provide Washington with Assange's mobile phones, computers, memory cards, and other data storage devices following a search in the room where he used to reside. The search is expected to take place on 20 May.
Roger Waters speaks out against the atrocities happening at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D/C and warns the USAmerican people of the starting "brown-shirt revolution" by Pompeo, Trump, Andrams and "the other thugs." FULL VIDEO [Be careful it is on Fascistbook].
Update SAT 11. May 2019 (vf): U.S. Military Still Actively Plotting Against Venezuela
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that millions of men and women are willing to defend the Bolivarian Revolution.
The United States government is keeping the "military option" open in its bid to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan government stated through an official statement.
"As Venezuela has been denouncing since January, the U.S. instigates, promotes, organizes and finances an irresponsible campaign aimed at change of government by force, which demonstrates its contempt for sovereignty, peace and democracy."
This assessment seemed to have been confirmed Saturday when U.S. Southern Command head, Craig Faller, expressed that "we are ready!" to talk with Venezuelan opposition politician Juan Guaido about ways of supporting his actions.
For its part, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) rejected Faller's statements and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez invited him to visit Venezuela.
As Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza also reminded that Guaido's failed coup was "planned, financed and directed" from Washington, Venezuela's ambassador to the United Nations Samuel Moncada, warned about new tactics to provoke an intervention.
"The shift is not from war to diplomacy but rather it is from a direct conflict to a war between Colombia and Venezuela," Moncada said and explained that "they are now joining the economic suffocation with provocations at the border in order to light that spark capable of setting the prairie on fire."
On Saturday, the opposition politician Juan Guaido, who proclaimed himself "president" and led an attempted coup d'etat on April 30, asked Carlos Vecchio, his U.S.-based spokesman, to meet with U.S. Southern Command to coordinate "cooperation" in the Venezuelan case.
"We have instructed our ambassador Carlos Vecchio to meet with Southern Command in order to establish cooperation relations", he said through Twitter.
Guaido also maintains that he has spoken with China to find a solution to the political impasse through the intervention of International Contact Group (GIC) foreign ministers.
In response to the Venezuelan far-right's aggressions, President Maduro indicated that millions of Venezuelans are willing to defend their revolution.
"I will never surrender, I will never betray the people. ... If you want a coward, look for him among the traitors, don't look for him among the revolutionaries, bolivarians, chavistas and patriots who stand up and move forward," he said Friday at the graduation of 20,000 high school students in Caracas.
Another Detention on Failed April 30 Coup – Leopoldo Lopez and Capriles Radonsky Connection
Officers of the Special Actions Force (Faes) captured Emilio Boulanger this Saturday, May 11, who is one of the individuals implicated in the failed coup attempt carried out on April 30 and led by deputy Juan Guaidó and the fugitive from justice, Leopoldo López.
At the time of his capture, Boulanger, who was currently acting as president of the new Chacao Municipal Market, had eight revolvers, a fragmentation grenade and two cell phones.
The participation of this subject in the events of April 30 were widely recorded in photos and videos, which were published by various media and circulated through social networks. His connection with anti-chavista leader Capriles Radonsky was also evident. (La IguanaTV - Translated by JRE\EF-OT)
Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido on Saturday urged his supporters once again to protest nationwide against President Nicolas Maduro, but hardly anubody turned up at Las Mercedes in Caracas, where he spoke briefly.
Juan Guaido the super-imposter without base.
Warmonger Guaido tells supporters he wants ‘direct relationship’ with Pentagon, Faller SOUTHCOM agrees.
Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido has asked his 'envoy' in the US, one Charlos Vecchio, to meet with Pentagon officials to request “cooperation” in resolving Venezuela’s political crisis, the Washington-backed opposition leader said at a rally in Caracas after a failed coup.
"We have instructed our ambassador Carlos Vecchio to meet immediately ... with the Southern Command and its admiral to establish a direct relationship," Guaido said at a small rally in Caracas on Saturday as he apparently sought to raise the spirits of his supporters after his attempt to seize power failed last week. "We have said from the beginning that we will use all the resources at our disposal to build pressure."
The US Southern Command said in a tweet that it is “looking forward to discussing how we can support the future role” of those Venezuelan Navy commanders who would “make the right decision, put the Venezuelan people first & restore constitutional order” by siding with the US-backed self-proclaimed 'interim president'. SOUTHCOM also said that it “stands ready” to act as soon as it is “invited by Guaido and the legitimate government of Venezuela.”
"When invited by @jguaido & the legitimate gov't of #Venezuela, I look forward to discussing how we can support the future role of those @ArmadaFANB leaders who make the right decision, put the Venezuela people first & restore constitutional order. We stand ready! #EstamosUnidosVE" tweeted Faller.
The crowd of not more than 1,000 people, most just passing by, gathered on the Alfredo-Sadel square, notorious for demonstrations against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro take place. Guaido's supporters were not more than 2-300. AFP spoke of 1,500 to 2,000 people listening, while according to the AP, only a few hundred people attended Guaido's demonstration on Saturday. Unlike previous rallies that included several thousands people, it didn’t move along the street of Caracas.
"We are at a historic moment: either we are prisoners of fear, despair and inaction (...), or we continue to occupy the street with hope, with strength, with confidence," Guaido said.
It seems, however, that Guaido’s efforts to seize power in Venezuela have stalled so far. His initial “historic moment” was back in January, when the previously little-known opposition politician, who mostly stayed in the shadow of his prominent political ‘mentor’, Leopoldo Lopez, declared himself an “interim president” of Venezuela and almost immediately received support from Washington and its allies.
He was far less successful inside Venezuela, though, as he failed to garner enough public support to directly challenge President Nicolas Maduro at the polls, whose victory in May 2018 angered Washington. Since then, Guaido did not have much luck in garnering support from the Venezuelan people and the army, which still overwhelmingly supports the legitimate government.
In late April, after months of unsuccessful attempts to make Maduro leave, Guaido called for “decisive actions” against the government in what was essentially a coup attempt. He once again called on the Armed Forces to back him. Even though his call sparked some massive street protests in Caracas, only a handful of military followed him and the coup eventually fizzled, apparently forcing Guaido to seek other ways to seize power.
Guaido has repeatedly said he does not rule out a US military intervention, and even once said he could “authorize” it, sparking rebukes even from some members of the US Congress.
MUST WATCH: Denying Impact of Venezuela Sanctions is ‘Like Climate Denial’ - May 10, 2019 - CEPR co-director Mark Weisbrot responds to Guaidó economic advisors' dismissal of the U.S. sanctions' effects on Venezuela
Principle VII of the international Law Commission's Nuremberg Principles stipulates: "Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity ... is a crime under international law."
Venezuela braces for unrest as Maduro clamps down, reported AFP - but local observers say all is calm.
Venezuela braced Saturday for another day of nationwide protests after President Nicolas Maduro clamped down further on opposition leader Juan Guaido, locking up his deputy in a military prison following a dramatic arrest.
Edgar Zambrano, deputy speaker of the opposition-majority National Assembly, is being held in preventive detention for "the flagrant commission of the crimes of treason, conspiracy and civil rebellion," the Supreme Court said in a statement announcing the verdict of a lower court.
Zambrano was arrested by Maduro's SEBIN intelligence service in dramatic circumstances on Wednesday for supporting the April 30 revolt organized by US-backed Guaido.
Maduro also accused his sacked intelligence chief of being a CIA "mole" and the architect of the failed military uprising.
He said General Christopher Figuera was "the one who orchestrated the coup d'etat" by contacting the group of around 30 members of the armed forces who joined Guaido's mass demonstration.
"He was captured by the CIA a year ago and was working as a traitor, mole and infiltrator," Maduro said of Figuera, whose defection to the opposition saw him rewarded earlier this week by the US, which removed him from its sanctions list.
Italy has offered an explanation for its adamant refusal to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president.
In a letter in La Stampa daily on Saturday, Italy’s Premier Giuseppe Conte said his country considers Juan Guaido to be the democratically-elected president of the National Assembly, Venezuela's de jure legislature, whereas President Nicolas Maduro has no "democratic legitimacy".
However, he said the government would not recognise Guaido for "formal-juridical" reasons and "because it is aware of the risk of contributing to the radicalisation of various positions and favouring a spiral of violence with the result of making conditions for the people even more dramatic".
Conte concluded by emphasising that Italy’s government doesn't want to contribute to any "radicalisation" of the sides of the political crisis.
There has been no unity within Italy's government over Venezuela, with the populist 5-Star Movement and right-wing League at odds on the issue.
Disagreement over Rome's position on Venezuela's political crisis is reflective of deep divisions within Italy’s governing coalition.
Back in February, Italy blocked a joint EU statement recognising Juan Guaido as interim president.
Alessandro Di Battista, a former MP and top campaigner who is preparing to lead the 5-Stars’ efforts against the League in the upcoming European election, had said:
"Handing out ultimatums, sanctions, freezing Venezuelan goods… It would mean opening the road to a military intervention."
Di Battista had written on his Facebook page: "Signing an ultimatum to Venezuela is the same identical scheme that was put in practice years ago with Libya and Gheddafi [sic]."
"The 5-Star Movement and this government will never recognise people who appoint themselves president."
The other coalition member, the right-wing League party, led by Matteo Salvini, came out strongly in favour of Guaido, effectively backing the approach put forward by Paris, Berlin, Madrid and London.
"I hope the Italian government will let go of this prudent approach and support the Venezuelan people and their right to new elections and democracy.
Colombia's leftist congressman Ivan Cepeda has attended a hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Kingston, Jamaica to denounce death threats against him as a consequence of his role in the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) in a case against former President Alvaro Uribe.
Spanish police have arrested former Venezuelan minister Javier Alvarado Ochoa on a U.S. warrant as part of an investigation into money-laundering involving the Latin American nation’s state oil company PDVSA, court officials said.
Alvarado Ochoa served as minister for electric power development under Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s late predecessor, Hugo Chavez.
Maduro has described the U.S. investigation as politically motivated, and accuses Washington of seeking to undermine his government.
“(Alvarado Ochoa) is going to await in jail while his extradition is being processed,” said an official at the Spanish court that deals with extradition requests, according to Reuters.
BREAKING: After several weeks of protecting the Venezuelan embassy in
#WashingtonDC, the ' #UnitedStates government' has now also shut off the water to try to 'smoke out' @NicolasMaduro supporters: #CodePink. Medea Benjamin @medeabenjamin Now the US govt has turned off the water in the Venezuela Embassy to smoke us out. No lights, no water, little food.
This is how Big Brother tries to crush other countries as well. We remain firm. Send love to
#embassyprotectioncollective Big crowd of supporters outside the embassy chanting "Juan Guaido, you can't hide. We can see your fascist side" Absolutely shameful. After the authorities said this morning that they would neither PREVENT nor FACILITATE food from getting inside of the building, they just blatantly PREVENTED it from getting in.
EMBRACE YOURSELF: The British Queen wants 'that problem' out of her prison!
Sweden to Decide Whether to Reopen Rape Case Against Assange
The Swedish prosecutor had stated that the investigation against Assange could potentially be re-opened should there be a change in those circumstances.
On Monday, Sweden's state prosecutor will hold a press conference to disclose whether or not the judiciary plans to reopen a preliminary investigation into rape allegations against WikiLeaks whistleblower Julian Assange.
Two Swedish women previously accused Assange of sexual assault and rape in 2010, although the sexual assault charges were dropped due to the statute of limitations running out in 2015.
In 2017, the rape allegation was dropped due to Assange's stay at the Ecuadorean embassy, but the Swedish prosecutor has now stated that the investigation could potentially be re-opened should there be a change in those circumstances.
The rape case, filed by a woman under the alias Miss W, accused Assange of engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse with her while she was sleeping. Miss W says they had engaged in consensual intercourse previously in the same night, but that Assange showed an "unwillingness" to use a condom.
British government should grant extradition of Julian Assange if authorities reopen rape allegations, Diane Abbott says in letter to colleagues.
London Mayor: Trump Does Not Deserve Red Carpet Treatment
The London mayor expressed hopes that Prime Minister Theresa May will call the U.S. president out on his sexist language during the state visit.
As United States President Donald Trump is scheduled to make his first official state visit to the United Kingdom next month, London Mayor Sadiq Khan suggested that his reception should not include a banquet or red carpet.
Support to Resistance: Strategic Purpose and Effectiveness (free download)
[U.S.American Special Operations manual on unconventional warfare (UW) skills]
Cases used in this study include all USAmerican insurgencies and resistance movements that: 1) began during World War II or later, and that; 2) received anything more than simply rhetorical or political support from the United States: funding, arming and equipping, training and advising, and airlift or air strikes. United States support for the 1945–1949 Indonesian National Revolution movement, is not included since that support was manifested solely in the freezing of Marshall Aid funds and the application of diplomatic pressure on the Netherlands government to acknowledge and recognize Indonesia’s independence. United States-backed coups d’ états, such as those in Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954, are not included in this study as they did not involve legitimate resistance movements. Also not included are operations still in progress at the time of writing for reasons of security classification and uncertainty of outcome - like the now three times failed coup attempts in Venezuela.
Review: Not really interesting for those who want to develop or hone their skills in modern UW (otherwise it probably wouldn't be allowed to be published), but interesting in the historic context and to get a feeling for how the U.S. American warmongers, agitators, instigators and operators tick, think and act. Not an up to date guidebook on armed resistance strategies, tactics and operations but a good compilation of also all the failures, from which those who hold the game-sticks in the U.S. command centres seem not to have learned.