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 Case You Missed It WATCH ICYMI, and 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.
For updates <01.06.2019 go to to THE VENEZUELA FILES VII, THE VENEZUELA FILES VI, THE VENEZUELA FILES V, THE VENEZUELA FILES IV, THE VENEZUELA FILES III, THE VENEZUELA FILES II and THE VENEZUELA FILES I
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
We received many requests from students and scholars, who want to use our Venezuela Files compilation for their project and also e.g. compare the events per timeline with the happenings in their own countries and to strategize. All are permitted and encouraged to do so. If you feel an important piece in the puzzle of this timeline is missing, please send it to info[AT]ecoterra[DOT]info or send your comments to the editor of this segment: Venatrix Fulmen <>
LISTEN WHILE READING: They Don't Care About Us !
BREAKING UPDATE 10. 09. 2019: John Bolton has been fired as National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump, who reportedly differed with him about Bolton's persistent push for regime changes the world over and was also responsible for the botched coup attempts in Venezuela and the ongoing blockade. Bolton turned out to be a “loser” in respect of his Venezuela policy and Trump also should get rid of war-criminal Abrams in this context.
N.B. From 01. July 2019 this compilation has been moved into a closed group. Interested to cooporate and to stand by the Venezulan people? Please send email to . For Indigenous People's interests contact fPcN-InterCultural via
Update SUN 30. June 2019 (vf): The Venezuelan government has announced the return of German Ambassador Daniel Kriener. Germany and Venezuela agreed at a bilateral meeting in Berlin on a "normalization" of their relations, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry announced. The Federal Government had already agreed to "return" Krieners.
The German Foreign Office said on Monday that Venezuela had informed Germany that Ambassador Kriener was no longer "persona non grata". The German ministry will discuss the next steps in the coming days, it added.
In March, the government of left-wing President Nicols Maduro declared the German ambassador Persona Non Grata (undesirable person). Kriener and other diplomats had greeted Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guido on his return to Venezuela's capital, Caracas, at the airport.
Venezuela is affected by a bitter power struggle between Maduro and Guaido since months. At the end of April, a coup attempt by parts of the armed forces against Maduro had failed. The Venezuelan head of state can still count on the backing of the military leadership and is supported, among other 150 countries, by Russia, China and Turkey. German companies Lufthansa and Siemens prepare to return to Venezuela.
OFFICIAL COMMUNIQUE TO BE PUBLISHED TOMORROW
Bolivarian Government reports on the normalization of diplomatic relations with Germany
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela informs to the Venezuelan people and the international community that, after several contacts with the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, a normalizing process of diplomatic relations between both States has been initiated, as agreed in today’s meeting held in Berlin between the Venezuelan Vice-Minister for Europe, Yvan Gil, and the Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the German Federal Foreign Office, Marian Schuegraf. In this light, progress is being made for the restoration of the diplomatic dialogue channels in the framework of the mutual respect and preeminence of the International Law.
As a result, the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has decided to revoke the content of the communiqué issued last March 6th, 2019, declaring the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Daniel Martin Kriener, personna non grata and the German Government has decided to return to the country in order to prepare a common agenda according to the principles of international cooperation.
Caracas, July 1st, 2019
Venezuelan Navy Captain Dies in State Custody, Maduro Orders Investigation
Acosta had been linked to an alleged coup plot in which he discussed assassinating President Nicolas Maduro.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered a probe into the death of a retired navy captain in the custody of Venezuelan intelligence officials on Saturday.
Captain Rafael Acosta Arevalo, 49, was transferred to Dr. Vicente Salas Military Hospital where he died at approximately 1 am Saturday morning, his lawyer told Bloomberg.
According to a statement by Venezuela’s Defense Ministry, Acosta was presented before a military judge at Caracas’ Fort Tiuna military base on Friday, 28th June, when he reportedly fainted, prompting the judge to order his immediate transfer to the health facility. No further details have been made public at the time of writing.
However, the opposition has disputed the official account, claiming that the navy officer died as a result of toture.
Venezuelan Attorney Tamara Suju, who serves as self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaido’s envoy to the Czech Republic, took to Twitter, alleging that Acosta “arrived at court in a wheelchair, presenting grave signs of torture.” Her comments were echoed in a statement by Guaido’s office calling for an “independent international forensics team” to investigate the death .
Acosta, who retired from active service a decade ago, was arrested by Venezuela’s Military Counter-Intelligence Command (DGCIM) on Wednesday on charges of terrorism and sedition, in connection to a purported coup plot revealed by Communciations Minister Jorge Rodriguez that same day.
Rodriguez presented an allegedly intercepted video conference showing Acosta extensively discussing the coup plans with other alleged conspirators, which included seizing arms stored at the Central Bank before mounting an assault on Miraflores Palace in order to “eliminate target 1 and target 2,” referring to President Maduro and National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello. The retired navy captain described the assassination of the president and the Socialist Party’s number two as a “decisive, striking, mediatized and internationally noteworthy act” that would win over military officials still ambivalent about the coup.
In a statement Saturday, Venezuela’s Communications Ministry indicated President Maduro ordered a “thorough and exhaustive investigation” into the incident.
For its part, the Attorney General’s office likewise issued a declaration announcing that the 86th Caracas Metropolitan Area prosecutor, with a speciality in human rights, had been assigned to conduct an “independent, objective, and impartial” probe into the death.
Immediatly REUTERS jumped on this story: Venezuela confirms death of detained officer, his wife says he was tortured - By Vivian Sequera and Brian Ellsworth - Reuters Top News
CARACAS - Venezuela's defense ministry on Sunday confirmed the death of a military officer who opposition leaders and family members said was tortured in custody after his detention over alleged involvement in a coup plot against President Nicolas Maduro.
The death of navy captain Rafael Acosta came on the heels of a visit by the United Nation's human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to investigate rights violations ranging from extrajudicial killings to forced disappearances.
Maduro last week said military officers, with the support of opposition politicians and foreign political leaders, had plotted to overthrow his government.
Acosta was taken to a military tribunal on June 28 but he fainted before the hearing could begin, the defense ministry said in a brief statement on Sunday, leading the judge in the case to transfer him to a military hospital.
"Despite providing him with the appropriate medical attention, he died," the statement said.
Acosta was barely conscious in a court hearing on Friday after having been beaten and tortured, his wife Waleska Perez said in an interview with a Miami television station, based on information she said she received from Acosta's defense counsel.
"They tortured him so much that they killed him," Perez said in an interview with EVTV Miami from Colombia.
The information ministry and the state prosecutor's office on Saturday night both issued statements about Acosta's death, but neither described the cause of death.
The information ministry did not immediately respond to an email asking whether or not Acosta had been tortured.
Venezuela's security forces have come under increasing scrutiny for arbitrary detentions, inhumane conditions of detainees and inadequate investigation of torture allegations.
Political leaders and rights groups last year accused authorities of torturing opposition politician Fernando Alban and throwing him from a window after he was detained in connection with an attack on Maduro. The government called his death a suicide.
Maduro says the country is unfairly targeted for criticism by foreign governments, and insists that his administration investigates and prosecutes human rights abusers.
Former intelligence chief Manuel Christopher, who joined a failed April 30 uprising against Maduro and later fled the country, in a letter on Sunday called on military commanders to "join the side of those in need and stop crossing your arms while our people and our soldiers are killed and tortured."
Christopher was deputy director of military intelligence agency DGCIM until last year. Acosta's family and human rights advocates accuse the DGCIM of having tortured Acosta, and the group is described by local rights organization Provea as the state security agency most involved in torture in 2018.
A phone number listed on DGCIM's website was not functioning. The defense ministry, which oversees DGCIM, did not respond to an email seeking comment.
The ruling Socialist Party has overseen a devastating economic collapse of a once-prosperous nation. Maduro says the country's problems are caused by sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.
Opposition figure Juan Guaido, who in January invoked the constitution to assume a rival interim presidency, said Acosta was murdered and that was further evidence that Maduro's allies refuse to heed demands for a change of government.
"Do they not hear? From the grave, from basements where people are being tortured, the people (are calling for) a change," said Guaido in remarks broadcast over the internet.
Diosdado: Most of Those Involved in Attempted Coup in Venezuela Detained
Most of those involved in the new attempted coup against the Venezuelan government were detained by the country’s authorities, the president of the National Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, said.
During his weekly TV show ‘Con el Mazo Dando,’ the political leader revealed how the intelligence agencies managed to dismantle the plan that for 14 months plotted an assassination of President Maduro, his wife Cilia Flores, Diosdado Cabello and Freddy Bernal, for June 24.
The attempted coup, led by retired soldiers, consisted of the liberation of corrupt general Raul Baduel and the assassination of President Nicolas Maduro, Cabello himself, as well as other officials and leaders of the Bolivarian Revolution, he said.
However, members of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) managed to infiltrate this group, which allowed them to record the meetings where they planned their actions to be carried out, he stated.
Most of the information was obtained following a meeting scheduled at the Buenaventura shopping center in Guarenas, Miranda state, where the intelligence corps obtained information from the computers and telephones of the military and civilians involved.
The coupists planned also to take the headquarters of the Central Bank of Venezuela and La Carlota military base, one of the major ones in Caracas. (Source Resumen Latinoamericano with OT content)
THE CON AT THE KOREA/KOREA-BORDER (vf)
Update SAT 29. June 2019 (vf): US sanctions Venezuelan President Maduro’s son
Washington has sanctioned Nicolas ‘Nicolasito’ Maduro, the son of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, its latest effort in a dwindling campaign to force Maduro Senior from power.
“Maduro relies on his son Nicolasito and others close to his authoritarian regime to maintain a stranglehold on the economy and suppress the people of Venezuela,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated on Friday. “Treasury will continue to target complicit relatives of illegitimate regime insiders profiting off of Maduro’s corruption.”
The 29-year-old Maduro Jr. serves as a member of Venezuela’s Constituent National Assembly (CNA), a legislature staffed entirely by Maduro loyalists. The US already sanctioned eight Venezuelan officials responsible for establishing the Constituent National Assembly in 2017, and Washington considers the opposition-led National Assembly –a parallel legislature– the only acceptable institution in Venezuela.
The latest crack of the economic whip comes after the Trump administration’s initial fervor for deposing Maduro seems to have all but fizzled out. After throwing its support behind opposition leader Juan Guaido earlier this year and repeatedly declaring “all options are on the table” when it comes to ousting Maduro, Washington has since reverted to ratcheting up sanctions in a bid to squeeze the Latin American country further.
Neither Guaido’s attempts to rally Venezuelan dissidents for a coup nor Washington’s economic penalties have succeeded in dislodging Maduro, whose hands remain firmly on the levers of power in Caracas.
Negotiations on Venezuela political standoff may soon resume, sources say
Negotiations aimed at breaking Venezuela's political standoff will resume next week, likely on the Caribbean island of Barbados, according to three people familiar with the talks between representatives of President Nicolas Maduro and the U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.
The sources, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side has yet publicly confirmed its participation, said the location for the talks will be decided by the government of Norway, which is leading the mediation effort and hosted two previous rounds of exploratory talks in May.
While Barbados is, for now, the preferred location, one opposition source said details were still being worked out, and the site could be changed to Norway at the last minute.
The decision to resume talks came as Maduro's government on Saturday released 59 Colombians who rights groups said were arbitrarily detained in 2016. The United Nations immediately praised the move, which came days after a visit to Caracas by its top human rights official, Michelle Bachelet. It said it expects more prisoner releases in the coming days.
Guaido has downplayed the possibility of a breakthrough, insisting that the condition for any talks be early presidential elections — something Maduro has so far rejected.
But aides say the 35-year-old opposition figure is under increasing pressure from the U.S. and other foreign governments not to walk away from the negotiating table and hand a symbolic victory to Maduro until it's clear the embattled socialist has no real intention of yielding power. The opposition has complained that Maduro has used past negotiations sponsored by the Vatican and others to buy time.
Maduro has insisted on dialogue with the opposition as the only way forward for Venezuela as crippling U.S. oil sanctions exacerbate a crisis marked by food, fuel and medicine shortages that have forced a whopping 4 million people — 10% of Venezuela's population — to flee the country in recent years.
"I want the dialogue to continue, and it is going to continue," he said Thursday.
Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled congress, reenergized a divided opposition movement by declaring himself president at a mass protest in January after arguing that Maduro's re-election last year was unconstitutional after several key opponents were barred from running. He quickly won recognition from the U.S. and dozens of other governments around the world.
But his momentum has since stalled, and following a failed military uprising in April, most of the armed forces' top command — the traditional arbiter of political disputes in Venezuela — has closed ranks behind Maduro.
A June 2 poll by Caracas-based Datincorp found that 36% of Venezuelans recognize Guaido as their constitutional president compared to 49% in February. The survey based on 1,200 interviews had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.
In what could be a sign of greater flexibility on the part of Maduro, his government on Saturday was deporting the 59 Colombians arrested for allegedly being part of a plan to destabilize the country.
Alfredo Romero of the prisoner rights group Foro Penal said many had been living in Venezuela for years and didn't even know each other. None was ever charged. His group estimates that there are more than 700 political prisoners still in Venezuela.
"We welcome the release today of 59 Colombians, who were in arbitrary detention for almost 3 years," the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Twitter.
"It is a positive sign that the Govt is fulfilling the human rights commitments" made during Bachelet's recent visit. "We look forward to more releases in coming days."
OAS meeting ends in disagreement over Venezuela opposition delegation By Luis Jaime Acosta
Members of the Organization of American States (OAS) ended two days of meetings on Friday without a clear plan for increasing pressure on embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, despite a majority vote to recognize a representative from the country's opposition.
The oil-rich country's economic and political crisis has dominated recent OAS meetings, with some member states denouncing Maduro as a dictator and others continuing to back him.
OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro had said the group would seek to ramp up pressure on Maduro during this week's session in Medellin, Colombia and even debate eventual sanctions.
But the member states were divided by the presence of a representative sent by Veneuzela's opposition leader Juan Guaido, who argued that Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate. In January, Guaido invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency.
Uruguay withdrew from the assembly on Thursday in protest. The OAS permanent council approved the delegation in April but member states did not vote on it until Friday when 20 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, the United States and Peru backed recognition until Venezuela holds its next elections.
Eight countries voted against recognizing the delegation, while six abstained. Bolivia, Mexico and Nicaragua have expressed dismay at the opposition's presence.
"Colombia voted with enthusiasm for this declaration," said Colombian foreign minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo. "The only objective that we all seek is for our Venezuelan brothers to finally be able to vote freely for the government they want."
The leader of the opposition delegation said the Venezuelan people need a voice at the OAS.
"Our delegation is grateful for this support of our people," Julio Borges said during the meeting. "We can only tackle the Venezuelan tragedy in one way - giving a voice to the Venezuelan people."
Guaido tweeted that the vote was a great victory for the cause of Venezuelan democracy.
Maduro announced Venezuela's withdrawal from the OAS in 2017 and has accused the Washington-based group of being a U.S. pawn.
Venezuela, home to the world's largest oil reserves, has been in political limbo as shortages of food and medicine have led millions to flee.
The number of Venezuelan migrants abroad could double by the end of next year to 8 million, the OAS said in a report on Friday.
The assembly also approved a resolution supporting a peaceful solution to Nicaragua's political crisis, which has rolled on for more than a year amid protests against President Daniel Ortega.
You don't think 4 million
#Venezuela refugees is a crisis? Well, how about 8 million by 2020, according to @OAS_official? Would that be enough to finally force Donald Trump and his Amricans to stop the blockade of Venezela?
‘Regime change takes time’: Trump plays down stalled coup in Venezuela
US President Donald Trump has denied that US efforts to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have lost momentum, telling reporters “things take time” and that he has five alternative strategies for Venezuela.
Speaking at a press conference at the end of the G20 Summit in Osaka on Saturday, Trump was asked about his earlier response to the suggestion that the US had lost momentum in Venezuela, to which he replied it “takes time.”
“Problem is so many people are leaving Venezuela, it’s, like, going to be a ghost town. It’s a very bad thing that’s happening in Venezuela, nobody has seen anything quite like it, actually,” he told reporters.
Despite other leading nations urging caution the US supported an attempted ouster of the Maduro government in January when it recognized Juan Guaido as the country’s self-declared interim president. It also supported a Guaido-led “uprising” attempt in April and continues to place sanctions on the country. Despite this, Maduro remains in power and Guaido’s support is declining.
Asked whether it was time to change strategies, the president said he had “five strategies” that he can switch to “at any moment”. “We have a lot things in store if we have to do that,” he said. “We don’t want to do anything, we don’t want to get involved to the extent you may be thinking, but we have a lot of alternatives, we have five different alternatives for Venezuela. We’ll see what happens.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News in May that “military action is possible,” in Venezuela “if that’s what’s required.”
The US efforts continue despite other nations warning against interfering. China urged the US not to go down the “same old disastrous road” in March, saying it could “allow the law of the jungle to once again run amok.”
As recently as Wednesday Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned the US’s actions in Venezuela in an interview with the Financial Times. Putin asked whether it was “necessary to humiliate Latin American nations” by imposing government or leaders from the outside.
“Let us do the same in Japan, the US or Germany. What will happen? Do you understand that this will cause chaos all over the world?” he said. A June poll by opposition-linked Datincorp found 36 percent of Venezuelans recognize
Guaido as their head of state, down from 49 per cent in February, and 41 percent recognize Maduro as president.
Guaido’s aides were exposed as having embezzled millions of dollars in US funds meant to pay Venezuelan army defectors earlier in June. Venezuelan authorities said Wednesday they uncovered another attempted assassination plot targeting Maduro and other senior officials.
OHCHR: We welcome the release today of 59 Colombians, who were in arbitrary detention for almost 3 years. It is a positive sign that the Govt is fulfilling the human rights commitments made during
@mbachelet's recent visit. We look forward to more releases in coming days, UN Human Rights stated on Twitter. The 59 detanees were then immediately deported.
Canadas Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland caused a Twitter storm when she stated: Canada and our Lima Group partners Argentina, Brazil and Chile met on the sidelines of the
#G20 to discuss the human rights violations of the Maduro regime and our shared commitment to a peaceful return to democracy in #Venezuela.
While the United Nations Security Council debates the world's response to Venezuela's crisis, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a known psychopath, insults Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro hard in a video statement, calling him a dictator. MUST WATCH&READ: Marco Rubio: Reversing Obama-Biden failed policies in Venezuela
'Privatization Has Only Ever Caused Poverty': Bolivian Senator
"How can we talk about the success of privatization when even its authors acknowledge that this process was a failure,'' the ruling party senator said. "How can we talk about the success of privatization when even its authors acknowledge that this process was a failure,'' said Rubén Medinaceli, a Senator for the ruling Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), which has rejected neoliberal policies in exchange for socialist policies prioritizing wealth redistribution and social programs turning the country into the fastest growing economy in the region.
Spanish security forces arrested Brazilian President #JairBolsonaro's military entourage at the Sevilla airport for possession of 39 kilos of #cocaine in his suitcase. #Spain The 39-year-old air force Sergeant was traveling on an official plane that was making a reconnaissance trip before the Brazilian president was due to board another plane to attend the G20 summit in Japan on Wednesday. Once the incident in Seville was made public, Bolsonaro altered his travel plans.
Update FRI 28. June 2019 (vf): Maduro: Oslo Talks 'Move Forward for Peace in Venezuela'
President Nicolas Maduro says he has "positive" news about Norway-brokered talks that continue in order to bring "peace" and "justice" to Venezuela.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reasserts that the Norway-mediated dialogue with the opposition are continuing and affirmed "verifiable agreements" will be reached.
"The dialogue with the Norwegians is going on and will continue, and we will move forward on verifiable, achievable agreements for the peace of Venezuela," said the head of state Thursday night during a television broadcast from an event celebrating the National Day of Journalism, noting "new and positive" news will come Friday from Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez.
"Now, there are many things, just as I am saying dialogue, there must be justice, there has to be justice, justice is not going to stop anything or anyone," he said referring to the escape of the opposition leader Ivan Simonovis who fled to the United States in May.
The president the U.S. has welcomed Simonovis as a “hero” after he escaped his house arrest in Caracas last month where he was serving a sentence for the deaths that occurred during the failed coup d'état of 2002 against then president, Hugo Chavez.
"The murderer Simonovis is welcomed as a hero in Washington, but is a murderer, a criminal, bloody murderer," said Maduro during his address to the gathered journalists.
The president indicated that he will continue insisting on the path of dialogue to resolve the issues his country faces, but insisted that there must be justice for the “conspiratorial" plans against his government.
Venezuela, home to the world’s largest oil reserves, has been strangled by sanctions by the Trump administration, leading directly to the deaths of at least 40,000 people inside the country who can’t get proper access to food and medicine, according to a Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) study from May.
Since late January, the U.S. government has supported the several attempted takeovers of the presidential palace by the lawmaker and self-declared interim president, Juan Guaido.
In late May when the Oslo talks began, Norwigian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide, said in a statement that both "parties have shown their willingness to move forward in the search for an agreed and constitutional solution for the country, which includes political, economic and electoral issues."
Minister Rodriguez will speak to reporters regarding the dialogues June 28.
Russia says it is ready to play a positive role in these Venezuela Talks in Oslo.
MUST READ: Experts: Venezuela Is Not An Armed Conflict
Many were surprised to hear the conclusions of Dr. Francesca Grandi and Virginia Comolli of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, last week, at the IISS-Americas book launch: Armed Conflict Survey 2019. Despite the protests.
Embassy of Venezuela in Kenya @EmbaVEKenia
Acting Director-General of UNON, Maimunah Mohd Sharif received today a letter of credence from Ambassador of Venezuela to Kenya, Jesús Manzanilla as Permanent Representative to UNEP (UN environment), UN-HABITAT and the UN Office at Nairobi.
Just in case you really need to know about the G20 an WHAT DOES IT DO?: ICYMI: World leaders gather at G20 in Japan to achieve nothing together! However, also at G20: Russia & China agree to ditch US dollar in favor of trade in ruble and yuan. But G20 brougtal business down:
#Osaka's red light district closed shop for #G20
Update THU 27. June 2019 (vf): Venezuelan Government Claims New Coup Plot Foiled
Plans allegedly included the assassination of President Maduro.
Venezuelan authorities claim to have foiled a coup attempt and to possess over 56 hours of intercepted communications between the alleged perpetrators.
By Ricardo Vaz - Edited by Lucas Koerner from Caracas.
Caracas, June 27, 2019 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan government has reportedly dismantled a plan to stage a violent putsch in recent days.
Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez revealed on Wednesday that a large scale plan was set to be executed on June 23 or 24. The operation allegedly included the assassination of President Nicolas Maduro, National Constituent Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, and other high-ranking officials.
Maduro condemned the latest plot, accusing the opposition of looking to seize power through a “bloodbath.”
“They talked about a killing spree that could last two or three days,” Maduro said during a televised event. “How can a better country emerge from all that death?” he asked.
Venezuelan authorities claim to be in possession of 56 hours of intercepted communications, as well as confessions from several accused plotters who have been arrested. Among those detained are former officers from Venezuela’s special investigative police force, the CICPC, and the dissolved Metropolitan Police, as well as active and retired military officers. Several other alleged conspirators remain at large. Venezuela’s Attorney General Tarek William Saab likewise announced on Thursday that an investigation has been opened .
Rodriguez explained that the plans had been monitored and infiltrated by Venezuelan intelligence for over 14 months and identified retired Brigadier General Eduardo Jose Baez Torrealba, currently living in the Dominican Republic, as one of the main organizers. He added that Venezuela would formally request his extradition. Baez had been linked to prior coup attempts, including what were alleged to be leaked plans to bomb former President Chávez’s presidential plane and take over Miraflores Palace.
According to recorded conversations among the alleged perpetrators, the putsch involved seizing several arms depots, including one in the Venezuelan Central Bank, as well as storming La Carlota airbase in east Caracas and other military/police facilities, before advancing on Miraflores.
Several intercepted communications divulged during Rodriguez’s press conference show the alleged perpetrators discussing the importance of killing Maduro to quell possible resistance, as well as gain notoriety before an international audience.
“The first goal is to capture [Maduro]. And have the world see it. [...] Dead, so that the message is clear, this son of a bitch is done,” ex-airforce General Miguel Carmelo Sisco is seen telling other alleged conspirators in one of the videos.
Last August, President Maduro was the victim of a failed assassination attempt involving a drone laden with explosives, which was perpetrated by Venezuelan army defectors based in Colombia.
Parallel plans would involve shutting off access to Caracas and neutralizing possible resistance. One of the videos released by the Venezuelan government showed the alleged perpetrators discussing the placement of snipers to target crowds that might mobilize against the coup. Rodriguez likewise claimed that foreign mercenary groups could be brought in
Another key component of the supposed plot was the release of former General Raul Baduel, currently imprisoned in the Helicoide headquarters of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), to lead the operations. A former defense minister, Baduel was sentenced to 8 years in prison in 2010 on corruption charges. Having been released on parole in 2015, he was arrested again in 2017 for his alleged involvement in plotting terrorist actions.
Rodriguez also told press that 140,000 gun shells and other material was seized, while pledging that more information would be released as the investigations and prosecutions progress. Some of the published footage additionally shows the alleged conspirators discussing contact with self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaido, despite expressing doubts about his leadership.
Guaido and his supporters staged a failed putsch on April 30. Hardline opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez escaped house arrest, having been convicted for his role in the violent 2014 street protests, to join Guaido and a handful of renegade soldiers outside La Carlota airbase. However, calls for more military personnel to join the coup effort went unheeded, with the putsch fizzling out after a Guaido-led march was stopped from approaching the center of Caracas and Lopez sought refuge in a foreign embassy.
U.S. ‘gunboat diplomacy’ tried to humiliate Venezuela – Putin
Russia does not meddle in Venezuela or anywhere else, President Vladimir Putin said, criticizing Washington for trying to impose its own leaders on Latin America and around the world.
The Russian head of state told the Financial Times on Wednesday that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is not being preserved in power “only by Russian weapons,” explaining that Moscow has agreements with Caracas and that Russian advisers and experts were in Venezuela to that effect, but there were no troops.
"We do not meddle in things; it is none of our business… This problem should be sorted out by the Venezuelan people themselves. That is all."
He contrasted the Russian position in Venezuela with US-led “regime change” operations in the Middle East and North Africa, such as Libya and Iraq, that resulted in complete collapse of governments and the rise of terrorism.
“Do we want to revert to gunboat diplomacy? What do we need it for?” he asked.
"Is it necessary to humiliate Latin American nations so much in the modern world and impose forms of government or leaders from the outside?"
While many things could have done differently when it comes to the economy of Venezuela, Russia believes in a hands-off approach when it comes to the country’s politics, Putin explained.
In Venezuela, as with everywhere else, Russia approves of political developments “if they are taking place in accordance with internal rules and the country’s legislation, its constitution, and in line with the people’s will.”
“Is it enough that [Juan Guaidó] entered a square and proclaimed himself president? Is the entire world supposed to support him as president?” Putin asked. “Let us do the same in Japan, the US or Germany. What will happen? Do you understand that this will cause chaos all over the world?”
“Where are the self-proclaimed presidents and opposition leaders? Some of them have taken refuge in foreign embassies and others are in hiding. What do we have to do with this?” he asked, referring to the US-backed opposition that has tried to claim power in Caracas.
Must Read: The Venezuelan government has reportedly dismantled a plan to stage a violent putsch in recent days.
Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez revealed on Wednesday that a large scale plan was set to be executed on June 23 or 24. The operation allegedly included the assassination of President Nicolas Maduro, National Constituent Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, and other high-ranking officials.
MUST READ: CIA Finances Another Group of Fraudsters: the Venezuelan ‘Opposition’
Once again, the Central Intelligence Agency has been caught financing a group of grifters and fraudsters at the expense of the American taxpayers.
THE U.S.BLOKADE BREAKERS: China imports first Iranian oil since US ended sanction waivers
Update WED 26. June 2019 (vf): MUST READ: Unilateral Coercive Measures as Weapons of Modern Warfare – The Venezuelan Case
WATCH: #ClimateChange will have the greatest impact on those living in poverty.
GOOD GRIEF: US President Donald Trump has been rightly and roundly mocked for announcing sanctions on Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini… who died 30 years ago. But one nut comes rarely alone - the Colleone-Mafia-brothers Trump, Bolton and Pompeo have the same mindset: Blind and deaf and dumb while locking on perceived enemies. Give yourself and the world a break!
“We do not want our territory to be a staging post for any hostile action against any of our neighbors, including Iran,” Iraq's President Barham Salih told CNN, noting that there is no agreement between Baghdad and Washington that could make Donald Trump think he can use it as such.
Brazil's Supreme Federal Court (SFT) rejected two appeals that attempted to grant freedom to Luiz Inacio
#Lula da Silva. The third motion, was suspended once again and rescheduled for this year’s second semester. #LulaLivreUrgente #LulaLivre #Brazil
MUST READ: Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange
By Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Torture Victims, 26 June 2019
Update TUE 25. June 2019 (vf): Agriculture Is a Priority for Venezuelan Gov't: Arreaza at FAO
The Venezuelan top diplomat said that efforts have been made in order to revive the agriculture sector, plans that have also been affected by the U.S. economic blockade.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza delivered a speech Tuesday at the 41st session of the Food and Agriculture Organization in which he assured that the government of Nicolas Maduro has placed agriculture as a priority in an effort to reduce Venezuela’s dependence on oil.
"Venezuela is a producer country of oil and energy, and the rentier oil model was imposed on us, we were forced to produce crude oil and export it," Arreaza said arguing that up until the mid 20th century his country was a food producer before the fields were abandoned and before “a rural migration to the city. Our population is centered in the north."
The Venezuelan top diplomat went on to say: "President Nicolas Maduro warned that the rentier model is over. In developing the Bolivarian economic agenda, agriculture was placed as a priority. We have made efforts."
His speech comes as the country suffers a severe economic war by the United States that has targeted the country’s oil industry, which makes up most of Venezuela’s income. Arreaza said that such a blockade has also hindered the government’s ability to continue the efforts of reviving the agriculture sector.
"We live a blockade, our country is subjected to a blockade. In Portugal, there is a bank that has blocked us from more than 6 billion euros that were for seeds and fertilizers."
Former Venezuelan Top Spy Reveals He Was Enrolled in an Attempt to Oust Maduro
(© AFP 2019 / MATIAS DELACROIX) Venezuela has been embroiled in a political crisis for some time in the result of economic hardships, which were further exacerbated when opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself the interim president of the country in a bid to topple elected President Nicolas Maduro.
Manuel Cristopher Figuera, the former head of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) has shared in an interview with The Washington Post that he was among the government officials who had decided to support and help orchestrate the opposition-led coup against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Figuera, who held one of the nation’s highest-ranking posts, had decided to betray the country’s commander-in-chief after he was approached by one of the opposition members, shortly after he was individually targeted by US sanctions.
The former SEBIN chief claims that he remains an adamant supporter of Hugo Chávez's ideas. He had served under the late former president as the deputy director of military counter-intelligence, but was disappointed in Maduro's governance, claiming that the president was in fact "the head of a criminal enterprise". Figuera indicated that it served as a push for him to defect.
He said that he was not the only one approached by the opposition, but noted that not all were so easily convinced. He claimed that the head of Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Maikel Moreno, was ready to join the coup, but demanded around $100 million to ensure his safety and to allegedly bribe other judges. Figuera said he never got the money and later, after the coup, he denied any connection with it.
After the coup failed, the former spy chief fled to Colombia, where, as Figuera said, he was hiding under armed protection and meeting with the US officials, who soon after the coup lifted economic sanctions against him.
"I’m proud of what I did. For now, the regime has gotten ahead of us. But that can quickly change," Figuera said.
Venezuela’s opposition, led by the head of the country’s legislature, self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido, and supported by the US and most Latin American governments, unsuccessfully attempted to stage a coup in Caracas on 30 April to gain support of the country's military and oust democratically-elected President Nicolas Maduro. The coup eventually failed, with many of its architects fleeing abroad. The opposition has since attempted to rally more people to its support on several occasions, but with little success.
Following the failed coup, Guaido tried to negotiate a possible military intervention with the US in a bid to achieve his goal, but the latest report by the Financial Times, citing anonymous officials, suggests that Washington has little faith in such a scenario.
Instead, the US officials are reportedly hoping either to wait for a coup to happen by itself, or to negotiate a peaceful resolution with the countries backing Venezuela, namely Russia, China and Cuba. The media said that Washington hopes to convince them to abandon their support, thus giving the opposition a chance to oust the president.
READ&SEE: “He Came to Appropriate Public Funds” – Investigative Journalist Victor Hugo Majano on Guaido’s Government (Interview)
Elliott Abrams brushed aside questions over whether Washington had lost interest amid other pressing foreign policy issues such as tensions with Iran and China trade talks.
U.S. special representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams attempted to downplay the failure of his country’s campaign against the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro saying Tuesday that U.S. President Donald Trump is still committed to a pressure campaign to force regime change in the South American country.
The campaign has failed to dislodge Maduro, who has retained the support of Russia and China, along with many countries in the global south who have rejected Washington’s attempts to gain support for their intervention policies in Venezuela.
The United States and most of its right-wing allies were quick to recognize opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido as the country’s “interim president” of Venezuelan after he illegally declared himself as such in violation of the country’s constitution and rulings of its supreme court.
He also firmly rejected the possibility that Maduro could be part of a unity government in Venezuela as negotiations in Norway between representatives of the government and the stopposition in Norway have stalled in recent weeks. "It is hard to see how he is part of the solution or could be part of a transition government," Abrams told reporters.
Citing examples that Venezuela remained a priority for the administration, Abrams said Trump raised the topic with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during their June 20 meeting. Vice President Mike Pence also traveled to Miami to help send off the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort on a medical mission to South America to help with displaced Venezuelans.
"It is not a sign of uninterest [sic]," said Abrams. "The notion that there is at the highest levels of the government a diminution of interest is just simply false."
Abrams said he hoped to meet with Manuel Cristopher Figuera, a Venezuelan general who turned against Maduro, since he is now in the United States.
Abrams said the administration "did not bring" Cristopher to the United States, but added: "We're happy he is here, makes it easier to have more conversations with him."
Cristopher, who was the head of the South American country's Sebin intelligence service, has been accused by the Maduro government of being behind the failed attempted coup against the leftist government on April 30 as he conspired to help Guaido by releasing opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who was under house arrest.
MUST READ: The War Criminal Elliott Abrams and the Liberals Who Love Him
Elliott Abrams, who is steering Trump’s Venezuela policy, has a long track record of war crimes. Yet a number of liberal commentators are rushing to his defense.
US State Department Claims Russian Frigate Heading for Venezuela (Sputnik)
Previously, Washington repeatedly reproached Russia for allegedly sending its military to the Latin American state, despite Moscow explaining on multiple occasions that it was actually sending maintenance technicians under the provisions of pre-existing military supply treaties with Caracas.
US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams has stated that Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov has been sailing towards Venezuela and slammed Russia for allegedly sending military specialists instead of humanitarian aid.
"Right now, the USS Comfort hospital ship is heading into the Caribbean and South America and will dock at a number of ports to bring medical care to Venezuelan refugees and locals, while Russia is sending its warship, the Gorshkov, and more military technicians to Venezuela," he said.
The Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov's strike group indeed recently entered the Caribbean Sea via the Panama Canal and visited Cuba; however, the Russian navy didn't announce its next destination and hasn't yet commented on the special envoy's statements.
Venezuelan President Maduro stated on 19 February that Moscow would deliver 300 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Caracas, although Russia hasn’t confirmed that information.The US has been attacking Russia over allegedly sending its military to the Latin American state, arguing that it is worsening the political crisis in the country. Moscow explained that it was sending technicians to run maintenance on military equipment, which was supplied under treaties signed over a decade ago.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed in June that Maduro had "mismanaged" the country's funds by allegedly signing a defence contract with Russia to buy its support, without elaborating any further. His claims were dismissed by a number of Russian officials, who noted that no contracts have been signed recently and none are expected to be signed in the near future.
Update MON 24. June 2019 (vf): President Maduro: "No one gave us our republic or our independence. It wasn't a concession, it was a victory won through blood and fire." Venezuelan Armed forces celebrated the 70th National Day of the Bolivarian Army.
Venezuela celebrated the National Day of the Bolivarian Army Monday to pay tribute to soldiers who gave up their lives for the freedom of the country at the Battle of Carabobo in 1821.
The commemoration of the army day began in 1949 after the fall of the dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jumenez in 1958.
Previously the Army was composed of all forces military of Venezuela, but from 1958 the components are divided into army, navy, aviation, and national guard.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said during a speech at the ceremony “Previously the army was composed of all forces military of Venezuela, from 1958 the components are divided into Army, Navy, (The Navy), Aviation and National Guard.”
For 70 years, the Army Day is commemorated to celebrate the Armed Forces which is the heir of the Liberation Army, which was listed as the National Army since 1811.
The date was created with the objective of paying tribute to the citizens who gave their life for the Independence of the South American country.
Now the Bolivarian Army of Venezuela has as its main obligation and task to be in charge of land operations and to protect the borders of Venezuelan territory from foreign threats.
The army adopted the Bolivarian ideology to contribute to the development of an anti-imperialist and deeply socialist ideology.
Hugo Chavez, the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution embedded the ideology in the armed forces and emphasized the idea of being free and not depending on political doctrines from other countries.
Maduro added that the military institution responds to the interests of country's people, their struggle against the injustices and the attempts of domination promoted by Western countries over Venezuela and the region.
If you want to understand what hits Venezuela persistently then this is a
What the present administration of the USA (one really can not call it longer a government) does to the Venezuelan people needs the full wrath of international law hitting the key persons responsible for this crime against humanity. And it requires that they are immediately treated by all of humanity as their enemies and shunned. They have the blood of innocent people, many of them children, on their hands. READ what this "higher authority" is used for in the USA !
Venezuela detains six military, police officials: family members, activists
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan authorities have arrested six members of the country’s military and police forces over the weekend, according to relatives of the detainees and human rights activists, as President Nicolas Maduro seeks to weed out dissent.
Air Force Brigade General Miguel Sisco Mora was arrested Friday afternoon in a parking lot in Guatire, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of the capital Caracas, his daughter Stephanie Sisco said. Navy Corvette Captain Rafael Costa was detained on Friday in nearby Guarenas, according to his wife Waleska Perez.
“We demand that the government provide us with information about his whereabouts,” Stephanie Sisco wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
The arrests come nearly two months after a failed uprising against Maduro called by opposition leader Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly who in January invoked the constitution to assume a rival interim presidency and has called on the armed forces to join his cause.
They also come on the heels of a visit to Venezuela by U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, who on Friday called on Maduro to release prisoners arrested for peacefully protesting. Maduro, whose 2018 re-election has been widely denounced as illegitimate, said he would take the U.N.’s concerns seriously.
Human rights group Penal Forum had previously said that two retired Air Force colonels had been arrested in Caracas on Friday afternoon while two high ranking officials from Venezuela’s CICPC forensic police unit were arrested in Guatire, according to human rights lawyer Tamara Suju.
Neither Venezuela’s Information Ministry nor the Chief Prosecutor’s office responded to requests for comment on the six detentions on Sunday.
According to Penal Forum, some 700 people are detained for political reasons in Venezuela, including about 100 members of the military.
Maduro’s government has denied it holds political prisoners, and frequently accuses the opposition of fomenting violence. Maduro refers to Guaido as a puppet of the United States seeking to oust him in a coup.
MUST UNDERSTAND: Briefing: The Effects of the Economic Blockade of Venezuela
This document by the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign examines the impact of the US sanctions on the Venezuelan economy.
MUST READ: UN Human Rights Head Visits Venezuela, Meets Maduro and Guaido
Michelle Bachelet commented on access to food and medicine, allegations of political prisoners, and the impact of sanctions, among other issues.
Also according to REUTERS, Venezuelans lodged some 18,400 asylum applications from January through May, roughly twice as many as during the same period in 2018, making them the nationality with the second highest number of applications in Europe after Syrians.
MUST READ: Arantxa Tirado: “If Venezuela wins, humanity will win” (Interview)
Announcement: The public hearing for the
#FOIA appeal launched by stefania maurizi @SMaurizi at the #UpperTribunal to defend the right of the Press to obtain the full documents on the @wikileaks founder, journalist and publisher Julian Assange will be held in #London, 1st July 10.30 am, Field House, 15 Breams Building, EC4A 1DZ. If you want to attend it, you're very welcome.
Sign the petition against Julian
#Assange's extradition to the USA
Update SUN 23. June 2019 (vf): MUST READ: Starvation Sanctions Are Worse Than Overt Warfare
Alfred de Zayas @Alfreddezayas With good faith on all sides
#Venezuela's economic crisis can be overcome. But the #US financial blockade and the counter-productive sanctions must first be lifted #HandsOffVenezuela
MUST READ: Tales of Resistance: Between Lack and Excess
In her latest column, Jessica Dos Santos details the challenges in presenting an accurate picture of Venezuelan reality to foreign journalists.
Donald J. Trump simply can no longer be seen as a honourable man.
MUST READ: Trump mum on FBI investigation of Khashoggi killing
and: Trump Shrugs Off Khashoggi Killing by Ally Saudi Arabia
Update SAT 22. June 2019 (vf): U.N. rights chief Bachelet urges Venezuela to release prisoners
MAIQUETIA, Venezuela, 22 Jun (Reuters - Corina Pons, Shaylim Castro) - U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Friday urged Venezuela’s government to release prisoners who were arrested for peacefully protesting, and confirmed that a delegation would remain in the country to monitor the human rights situation.
Bachelet, a former Chilean president who arrived in Caracas on Wednesday for a three-day visit, met with President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido, as well as activists and victims of human rights violations.
“It was deeply painful to hear the desire of the victims, of their families, to obtain justice in the face of serious human rights violations,” said Bachelet in a press conference at the Maiquetia international airport before leaving Venezuela.
“I hope that our evaluation, our cooperation, and our assistance will help reinforce the prevention of torture and access to justice in Venezuela.”
Bachelet’s visit, at the government’s invitation, came ahead of the opening on Monday of a three-week session of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
Western nations are expected to use the session to heap criticism on Maduro, amid the economic meltdown in his nation that has triggered the flight of some 4 million refugees.
Bachelet, in a speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council in March, said Venezuelan security forces, backed by pro-government militias, had quashed peaceful protests with excessive use of force, killings and torture.
Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled legislature, assumed a rival interim presidency in January, denouncing Maduro as an usurper who had secured re-election last year in a vote widely considered fraudulent.
Earlier on Friday, Guaido told reporters that two members of Bachelet’s team would remain in Venezuela to investigate issues relating to chronic shortages of food and medicine, along with allegations the Maduro administration has violated human rights while cracking down on the opposition.
Maduro, a socialist who says he is the victim of an attempted U.S.-led coup, retains the support of the armed forces and controls state functions.
"We have reached an agreement with the Government for a small team of human rights officers to be based here, with the mandate to provide technical assistance and advice, as well as – importantly – to continue to monitor the human rights situation in Venezuela", Bachelet told reporters late on Friday, as quoted in a press released by her office, on the results of her visit to Venezuela.
Bachelet also expressed concern over the acute healthcare crisis caused by a shortage of medicine and equipment, as well as an exodus of professionals and fall in other required supplies.
The UN high commissioner noted she had met with victims of human rights abuse, both by the opposition and the authorities, saying they needed redress regardless of who the perpetrators of the human rights violations were.
Additionally, Bachelet spoke about the economic crisis in Venezuela.
"The causes of this immense economic crisis, which has been increasing dramatically from at least 2013, are manifold and I have discussed with the State the need to tackle them as a matter of priority with the support of the UN agencies that have recently been able to strengthen their presence in Venezuela. I am concerned that the sanctions imposed this year by the US on oil exports and gold trading are exacerbating and aggravating the pre-existing economic crisis", Bachelet pointed out.
The UN official added she had met with the leaders of various Venezuelan political forces and called on the Venezuelan parties to "engage constructively with the talks facilitated by Norway and other such efforts to address the current political situation in Venezuela".
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is ready to assist the Venezuelan political leaders in reaching compromise, Bachelet pointed out.
An impressive double from striker Darwin Machis helped Venezuela book their place in the Copa America quarter-finals with a comfortable 3-1 win over Bolivia on Saturday, qualifying as runners-up in Group A behind Brazil
#Chile offers 'democratic responsibility visa' to Venezuelan migrants. The visa can be requested as of Monday. It will allow Venezuelans fleeing their crisis-hit country to stay in #Chile for one year, and can be extended for an additional 12 months.
MUST READ: Zarif tweets detailed map showing US spy drone hit in Iran’s airspace - exposes Trump lies. Especilly because tere are NO INTERNATIONAL AIRSPACE OR INTERNATIONAL WATERS in the area. Javad Zarif stated: .
@realDonaldTrump is 100% right that the US military has no business in the Persian Gulf. Removal of its forces is fully in line with interests of US and the world. But it's now clear that the #B_Team is not concerned with US interests—they despise diplomacy, and thirst for war.
Update FRI 21. June 2019 (vf): The president of the Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly,
@dcabellor met with the #UnitedNations High Commissioner for Human Rights, @mbachelet in #Venezuela Mme. Bechelet stated: "I am concerned that US sanctions are aggravating and exacerbating the economic crisis in Venezuela. I thank the Venezuelan Government for its invitation. We have reached several agreements and we have the commitment to evaluate the main obstacles in the justice of the country." WATCH
The President of
#Venezuela @NicolasMaduro: "With this visit we have taken a first step of rapprochement between the Venezuelan State for a fluid relationship of cooperation for the human rights of all Venezuelans. I offered to the #UnitedNations High Commissioner for Human Rights @mbachelet that she can count on me to take her proposals seriously so that we eventually work for Human Rights in a more profound way."
Venezuela's Interior Minister announces a new fatality—a result of the April 30th failed coup. PNB supervisor Yensi González was shot by violent opposition actors on the Altamira Distributor in Caracas. González is survived by his wife and three children. The Chief Supervisor of the Bolivarian National Police, Yensi Gonzalez, stated that Nestor Reverol, died due to complications resulting from a gun wound caused by the opposition’s failed coup attempt on April 30. During coup attempt, instigate and led by opposition figure Juan Guaido, Gonzalez was shot at the interchange of the Altamira highway in his left glute suffering internal wounds to his pelvis. After almost two months of treatment he succumbed to his wounds and the world is asking why Juan Guaido is still roaming aroun free - Guaido MUST be brought to justice.
37 MEPs call on the European Commission to prevent the extradition of journalist and publisher Julian Assange to the USA: "his detention constitutes not only an attack on the right to information, which is a fundamental pillar of democracy, but also contravenes both international and European legislation." Julian Assange's core values in his own words: "Core Values: Capable generous men do not create victims. They nurture victims. That's from my father & other capable generous men that's been in my life. One way of nurturing victims is to police perpetrators of crime. That's something that's been in my character for a long time."
For anyone who remembers the build-up to the attack on Iraq, the taste is a familiar one, and so is the cooking process. Mix in some accusations and flimsy evidence, place in the pressure cooker and keep the heat on high. Sprinkle a military build-up across the region and serve with a side of freedom fries.
ICYMI heads into the kitchen to make the perfect recipe for disaster.
Update THU 20. June 2019 (vf): READ: Venezuela considers Moscow key ally in fight against hybrid attacks
MUST SEE: Venezuelan Opposition Scrambles in Wake of Humanitarian Aid Scandal
An opposition-oriented website uncovered a $125,000 corruption scandal involving associates of Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared president Juan Guaidó. Independent journalist Dan Cohen tracked down the details of this story. .... and WHERE is the money donated to the Veneuelan people through Richard Branson's flopped concert ??? Where are the $100mio Richad Branson promised ???
President Donald Trump is losing interest in Venezuela after a bid to oust President Nicolas Maduro by US backed opposition figures in April failed, according to the Washington Post.
“The United States never said that its effort in Venezuela would be limited to one round,” the official said. “The administration’s maximum-pressure policy relies upon consistency and discipline to achieve the ultimate goal.”
The official commented on rumours floated by another – now former – White House staffer, who said that Trump had become increasingly frustrated over the administration’s failure to orchestrate a regime change in Caracas.
According to the former employee, after Guaido’s 30 April coup attempt failed, Trump “chewed out the staff” in a meeting shortly after. The official said Trump viewed Venezuela as “low-hanging fruit”, on which he “could get a win and tout it as a major foreign policy” victory.
However, the Post’s interlocutor sought to dispel the allegations, calling the chewing-out reports “patently false”.
His words were supported by the White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, who tweets more about Venezuela than any other topic, The Washington Post notes.
“The United States will continue to stand firmly in support of ending Maduro’s repression”, Bolton wrote Tuesday.
Speaking to Venezuelan Americans in Miami earlier this week, US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated that the Trump administration’s objective was “to see democracy and the rule of law restored in Venezuela so Venezuelans can go home to a free nation”.
The US supported Guaido, who proclaimed himself “interim president” of Venezuela in January, in his effort to oust Maduro, who had won presidential elections earlier last year.
The Maduro administration accused the US of assisting the opposition in its alleged campaign to sabotage Venezuela’s electrical infrastructure, causing massive shortages of food, water and medical care. The United States attempted to make “humanitarian aid” deliveries via Colombia, but critics have said this was designed as a way to place pressure on Maduro and increase dissent among the armed forces.
Washington has repeatedly stated that “all options” regarding Venezuela were on the table – a threat that has not come to fruition even after Guaido sent a letter to Pentagon calling for “direct relations” with the opposition.
While the US and its allies recognise Guaido as Venezuelan President, Russia, China, Turkey and a number of other countries continue to consider Maduro the only legitimate Venezuelan leader.
BREAKING: Swedish programmer and digital privacy activist Ola Bini was released from jail on Thursday after Ecuador's Provincial Court of Pichincha granted him the habeas corpus request.
#Ecuador's Provincial Court of #Pichincha accepted the habeas corpus request for Swedish activist and software developer, #OlaBini and freed him after being held for more than two months in jail without charges. “I'm not free yet, I am of prison, but I won't be free as long as this illegitimate investigation is going on, as long as this illegal persecution continues I won't be free. But we will prove my innocence,” Bini said. #FreeOlaBini To arrest and incarcerate Mr. Bini, Ecuadorian law enforcement and judiciary were abused by crooked President Lenin Moreno, who persistently violates the laws and constitution of Ecuador and is under investigation on serious corruption charges.
FINALLY Royal Courts of Justice judges rule that UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia breaches intl. law. 'The planes are almost exclusively British, the training of the pilots is almost exclusively British...Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen is a BRITISH WAR!'
Responding to the judgment, Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who was in court to witness the ruling handed down by three of the UK’s top judges, told RT that there now needs to be “a judicial review into the whole arms licensing system.”
Russell-Moyle denounced Boris Johnson - who will most likely be the UK's next prime minister - for granting many of the arms licences when he was foreign secretary, adding: “This goes to the very top of the Conservative Party.” He called for a public inquiry and believes the UK judgment should have further ramifications, particularly around Europe, in halting arms sales to what he insists is “a war that is not legal.”
USA MUST FOLLOW: Sen. Paul Condemns Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar
Juan Sebastian Marroquin, son of the world’s most known drug lord
#PabloEscobar, comes forward with his “real version” of how his father died and reflects upon the current state of the drug business. MUST WATCH to understand the criminal involvement of the USA and other governments including their agencies in the illicit drug businesses of North America, Europe and Asia.
WORLD REFUGEE DAY - Today on #WorldRefugeeDay, we recognize the humanity of refugees throughout the world and how desperately they need international solidarity and safeguards. NOTHING to celebrate for UNHCR and those who create the crisis zones: The chart shows just how bad the global refugee crisis has become. 71 mn people forcibly displaced worldwide - 37 thousand people every single day. Over 50% of all refugees are children, with 138k estimated to be children unaccompanied by adults. We can only celebrate all the refugees and admire their resiliance in the face of so much aggresion from those who wage the wars as well as from those who officially are designated to help the refugees. We congratulate all those independent organizations and inividuals who truly help fleeing people.
Currently, anti-immigration measures by the United States and European nations are causing many refugees to remain stateless.
"Less resettlement means that more and more refugees will live for years, even decades, in camps", a member of the Crisis Group, Alan Boswell, said and regreted that few refugees coming from poor countries can access higher education, which could "improve their own country some day."
Under the President Donald Trump administration, the U.S. has ceased to be a nation that welcomes immigrants say analysts.
"The Trump administration slashed the 'cap' on the number of refugees accepted into the U.S. to the lowest since the refugee program was created in 1980. The administration...took in just 22,491 refugees in the entire 2018 fiscal year," reports Business Insider.
Expressions of intolerance and xenophobia affect not only refugees but also the authorities who defend human rights. In Germany, Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker and Altena Mayor Andreas Hollstein received death threats a few days after Walter Lubcke, the mayor of North Hessen, was murdered after he defended pro-migrant policies in his city.
In Italy, far-right Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini just passed a decree that refuses boats that save African migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to dock in the country.
"While the Italian government has just approved a decree that fights further against those trying to carry out rescues at sea, there is an exponential growth in the mortality rate in the Mediterranean,” Oxfam migration and asylum policy adviser, Giulia Capitani, said. While in 2018 one refugee for every 30 died trying to cross into Europe from Libya, but this year alone one in ever 6 migrants has perished trying to find safety in Europe.
According to 2018 UNHCR data, 40 million people are internally displaced and 10 million are considered stateless.
Investgative jounalist Greg Palace observes the scumbags of Chevron and the US-judicary: Chevron poisoned children in the Amazon. Steven Donziger is the lawyer who fought for 30 years to gain them justice. The kids got nothing, Donziger got disbarred. And Chevron tried to get me fired by BBC-TV for reporting it. I cannot imagine Donziger’s bravery, so far beyond my own. Learn more: https://lnkd.in/e-qXr_c Statement from Steven R. Donziger in response to Judge Kaplan’s unprecedented attack on Constitutional Rights: https://lnkd.in/eWGjUgn Link to tweet pictured: https://lnkd.in/ex_rVUs Editor’s note from Karen Hinton, spokesperson for the Ecuadorian communities: Last week, U.S. trial judge Lewis A. Kaplan ordered the seizure of Steven Donziger’s passport, computer, and cell phone in retaliation for his advocacy which led to a $12 billion environmental judgment against Chevron over the company’s “Amazon Chernobyl” disaster in Ecuador. Judge Kaplan is endorsing Chevron’s attempt to create what Donziger says is an unprecedented Orwellian-‐style “permanent spying mechanism” for a corporate polluter to monitor the advocacy of its adversaries. Kaplan’s orders threaten the Constitution and are intended to undermine an enforcement action against Chevron in Canada targeting the company’s assets that has been backed by Canada’s Supreme Court. Sixteen appellate judges in Ecuador and 13 appellate judges in Canada have affirmed all or parts of the judgement against Chevron. Judge Kaplan is the only judge in the world to have ruled it was obtained by “fraud” and he did so based on false testimony from an admittedly corrupt Chevron witness paid $2 million by the company and after refusing to consider the voluminous environmental evidence used to impose liability. Mr. Donziger’s response to Judge Kaplan’s attacks–and background on the judge’s long history of questionable conduct in the Ecuador case-‐-‐follows. Chevron BigOil Environment Pollution ClimateChange
Update WED 19. June 2019 (vf):
Yes, there still are colonialists and also security forces supporting them in Venezuela
Producers in Guárico state, organized in the Ezequiel Zamora Peasant Council, tried to recover Los Tramojos, 4800 hectares of land that were granted by the national government to this group of peasants in 2010 and then transfered in 2016, by the National Land Institute (INTI), to a landowner named José Elias Chirimelli.
Chirimelli is a right wing landowner and anti-chavista activist in total compliance with US intervention in Venezuela as can be seen in his retweet below posted by the Venezuelan outlet “La Tabla”:
The action was handled by the municipal police of Camaguán who proceeded to remove the banners, the Zamoran flags and those of Venezuela that the peasants had posted at the entrance of the property.
Later they were evicted, under threat, by the Special Actions Force (FAES), Bolivarian National Police (PNB) unit, who also confiscated media equipment from two popular communicators who recorded the peasant action.The Tramojos are productive lands of the state, located in the Municipality of Esteros de Camaguán. They were handed over, in 2010, by the very commander Hugo Chávez to those now evicted, who were dedicated to the production of cattle and conucos.
According to Andrés Eleazar Ochoa, a campesino participant in the seizure, in 2016 they were for the first time evicted by order of the agrarian judge María Margarita Salazar, later, under the management of José Ávila, the INTI handed over the ownership to the lawyer José Elias Chirimelli who executed the eviction with the support of the agrarian court, the Camaguan mayor’s office, at that time under the management of the current governor of Guarico, Jose Vásquez, and the security forces of the “llanero” state.
“Even though we were prosperous, we took our harvest and meat to the people, that dispossession of land (in 2016) was very violent: they tied our feet and hands, women, elders and children alike, destroyed the conucos and took the cattle” said Ochoa.
It was thus that they undertook a route to request by different means the return of the lands and to denounce the irregularity with the ownership of the same, even during the meeting of the Admirable peasant march with President Nicolás Maduro in August of last year.
In spite of President Maduro’s instruction to return the land dispossessed to the agricultural producers, before the silence and the absence of answers, the Peasant Council decided to recover the land.
Jesús Osorio, campesino leader who was briefly detained yesterday, addresses a message to @maduro_en denouncing repression of campesinos by security forces in Guarico State, and warning that the president’s instructions aren’t being followed https://t.co/JAQjVX88As
— venezuelanalysis.com (@venanalysis) June 19, 2019
“We are desperate nobody gives an answer, the cattle we have grazing on the roadside, skinny and in danger of accidents,” said the agricultural producer and member of the Peasant Council, Andrés Ochoa.
In this sense, 40 families tried to recover, on Tuesday, June 18, Los Tramojos and witnessed the security forces shaking hands, with smiles and complacent postures, with the landowner Chirimelli who was present.
This is how the FAES evicts the peasants later, threatening them and intimidating them with their weapons, while holding the peasant leader Jesús Osorio, leader of the Platform for Peasant Struggle, an organization that was always supportive of the action.
It is important to note that the FAES, in addition to retaining the media equipment of popular communicators on the ground, erased the recording they had been making, and then returned the equipment to ensure that there was no evidence.
Once Osorio was out of Los Tramojos, the leaders of the recovery proceeded to hold an assembly to plan the next actions to recover their right and duty with dignity, the lands of Los Tramojos that are currently in the hands of Chirimelli. (Source URL: AlbaTV with OT content - Translated by JRE/EF)
POSSIBLY GOOD NEWS: U.S.Oilcompany Chevron May Be Forced To Leave Venezuela After Nearly 100 Years
NetBlocks Confirmed: YouTube, Google services, and Bing were disrupted and restricted in
#Venezuela during live-streamed press conference in Caracas covering food security and agriculture with Juan Guaidó; incident. Google search also affected #PlanPaísAgroalimentario #19Jun #KeepItOn
“There are not, nor there will be foreign military bases in the country,” Moreno tweeted on Tuesday. “We zealously preserve the Galapagos Islands.”
However, he went on to say that aerial surveillance is still being conducted to “take care of this world heritage”.
Moreno also attached an official statement by the Galapagos Governing Council, which said that the country is cooperating with the United States “with the exclusive purpose of improving the runway of the San Cristobal Airport and allowing the refuelling of two aircraft to monitor the illegal activities in the extensive marine reserve, in order to protect national sovereignty against these threats.”
On Monday, Defence Minister Oswaldo Jarrin revealed that the government allowed US military planes to refuel and be temporarily stationed at the San Cristobal airport in the Galapagos Islands. Those planes would take part in surveillance operations in a bid to combat drug trafficking and illegal fishing in the area, he explained.
The decision has raised concerns among lawmakers and activists that it could put at risk Ecuador’s sovereignty and environment.
Foreign military bases are banned in the country, according to the national constitution adopted in 2008.
At the same time, the Galapagos Islands have been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for their unique flora and fauna, while the government has designated it a biosphere and marine reserve.
Ecuador’s former socialist minister, Rafael Correa, lashed out Jarrin tweeting that Galapagos were "not an aircraft carrier" for “use by gringos”.
Opposition congressman Carlos Viteri said the agreement should be scrapped if "it intends to cede an inch of Ecuadorian territory".
Meanwhile, local media reported that dozens of protesters gathered outside the presidential palace in Quito on Tuesday to warn the government against harming precious biodiversity in the Galapagos.
UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer Becomes One of Assange’s Most Vocal Advocates
“Here [in Assange’s case] we are not speaking of prosecution but of persecution. That means that judicial power, institutions and proceedings are being deliberately abused for ulterior motives.” — Nils Melzer, UN Rapporteur on Torture
RADIOSHOW: Julian Assange - Countdown to Freedom, along with Randy Credico of Live on The Fly. Today we’re joined by actress, activist, Pamela Anderson and former British Parliamentarian, George Galloway.
MUST WATCH - The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions has called on countries to widen their sanctions to include the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) and his assets until he can prove he has no responsibility in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. #Khashoggi #MBS #SaudiArabia -- Evidence suggests Saudi crown prince is liable for Khashoggi killing – UN
The publication “provides fundamental principles and guidance to plan, execute, and assess nuclear operations.” The rest of it is in the same matter-of-fact tone, even when discussing practical consideration of potentially world-ending weapons.
Canada’s parliament voted on Monday night to declare a national climate emergency, calling climate change a “real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity.” The next day, Trudeau’s government green-lighted the environment-destroying Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX), demonstrating either complete indifference to the motion put forward by his own environment minister — or a severe misunderstanding of the words “emergency” and “human activity.”
The so-called “climate emergency” motion was non-binding and meaningless, of course; politicians often expect to be patted on the back for gesture politics — as though merely acknowledging the existence of a problem while taking minimal action to affect any real change is somehow worthy of admiration. Read More
MUST READ & WATCH: Iran shot a $250mio USAmerican MQ-4C drone (the more advanced model to the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV) out of the dark night sky at 04h05 above its territory and thereby saved the lives of 35 USAmerican soldiers on board a P-8 Orion spy-plane and dozens of US Navy fighter-pilots, who already had given orders for a "limited air-strike" on Iranian instillations. By downing the drone only Iran did proof that they can take out any US aircraft flying in full stealth mode and Trump immediately aborted the mission of the fighter jets. Iran showed the proof that the drone was over Iranian territory. U.S. statements from Trump and others contain so many blatant and stupid lies - it is simply too much to list them here.
MUST READ&SEE: 200 Israeli Nuclear Weapons Targeted against Iran (+Video)
MUST WATCH: ICYMI’s recipe for war with Iran: Turn the pressure cooker to high & bring to the boil. The recipe for cooking up a Middle East war has no secret ingredients and is tried and tested. The US is currently in the process of bringing its conflict with Iran to the boil.
Update TUE 18. June 2019 (vf): Venezuela Attorney General Says Guaido ‘Corruption Mafia’ Boss
“The Ministry initiated a criminal investigation on the grounds of evidence made public by international media and national authorities about corruption in the handling of money allocated to assist Venezuelans in Colombia,” he said at a news conference.
Earlier this week, media reported that two of Guaido’s representatives, Rossana Edith Barrera and Kevin Javier Rojas, had misappropriated tens of thousands of dollars allocated by Colombian authorities and the United Nations Refugee Agency by inflating the number of deserters in their care, using the money for their own benefit. The scheme became public after hotels in the border city of Cucuta began evicting deserters for unpaid bills which, at times, reached $20,000.
According to Saab, the two used the money for “personal expenses, alcohol and even prostitutes; the money is also believed to have been used to finance destabilization of Venezuela,” according to a Europa Press report.
Saab singled out Guaido as the boss of the “corruption mafia,” saying the opposition leader is responsible for the entire scheme.
"[Barrera and Rojas] are the material authors and Guaidó is the intellectual author," Saab said, according to Europa Press. “In this sense, we suspect these citizens of laundering money, corruption and organized crime.”
Saab formally asked Colombian authorities to provide evidence they have of the wrongdoings of Guaido’s representatives, whom he referred to as “thugs” and “undesirable objects.”
“The funds misused by these people designated by Guaido as his representatives in Colombia are taken from Venezuela, so it is in our jurisdiction to investigate,” Saab said.
Following the reports, Guaido said he “will not tolerate” corruption among his ranks and announced an investigation of his own.
Juan Guaido declared himself an “interim president” of Venezuela in January, demanding that the legitimately-elected president, Nicolas Maduro, step down. Guaido called on the Venezuelan military to join his cause, promising amnesty to all deserters, but the army remained loyal to Maduro, who is commander in chief according to the nation’s constitution. Guaido is accused of staging a failed 30 April coup d’etat.
Maduro is recognized as the leader of Venezuela by Russia, China, Turkey and a number of other countries. The US and its allies recognize Guaido as the Venezuelan president.
#Maduro: 'Plan to kill me that was executed in August cost several million, there is talk of 20 million dollars' VIDEO: Maduro’s speech cut midway by explosion Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said foreign backers financed the failed attempt on his life last summer to the tune of $20 million, which he says was distributed to opposition members in neighboring Colombia. “The plan to kill me that was executed in August cost several million, there is talk of 20 million dollars,” President Maduro told the Bolivarian Army Academy on Tuesday at an event televised on state media. The president thanked the military and intelligence services for warding off the attack and commended them for bravery, adding they “saved the peace of the republic.” Five military commanders told Reuters that as many as 30% of insurgents in #Colombia’s eastern border region are Venezuelans, willing to take up arms in return for food and pay.
Caracas Accuses USA of Hatching New Plot to Destabilise Venezuela
The long-running political crisis in Venezuela, which began to escalate when US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself 'interim president' in January, is close to entering its fifth month, with no apparent end in sight.
The United States has developed a new plan to destabilise the situation in Venezuela which envisions the possible violation of the country's territorial integrity, Venezuelan Defence Council Secretary General Pascualino Angiolillo Fernandez has said.
"Within the framework of this plan, the US envisions three strategic elements. They seek to strike a blow against three key pillars: these are [the Venezuelan] people, the government and our territory," Fernandez explained, speaking to journalists in the Russian city of Ufa during an international conference hosted by Russia's Security Council.
According to the official, the strategy includes specific goals, including the destabilisation of the Venezuelan government's ability to operate and the decline of the welfare of ordinary citizens. The US also seeks to violate the country's territorial integrity, according to Fernandez.
On Monday, Fernandez met Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Moscow to discuss the prospects for cooperation in the field of security, including information security and assistance in maintaining internal political stability.
Venezuela frees lawmaker before UN rights chief visit
Caracas (AFP) - Venezuela on Monday freed an opposition legislator who spent almost two months behind bars, parliament announced, ahead of a visit by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
Gilber Caro, 45, had been in custody since his arrest by intelligence agents on April 26 for unclear reasons.
"The deputy Gilber Caro never should have been imprisoned. Today he is out from behind bars but like all Venezuelans still has no freedom," the National Assembly said on Twitter.
Venezuela is caught in an economic crisis and a political standoff between President Nicolas Maduro's government and National Assembly leader Juan Guaido.
The opposition figure, Guaido, declared himself interim president earlier this year, and has only been recognized by the United States and some 50 other countries,but not by the vast majority of the almost 200 UN member states.
Guaido's opposition-controlled assembly has effectively been sidelined by a separate body, the pro-Maduro Constituent Assembly.
Bachelet's office said she will meet both Maduro and Guaido during her trip lasting from Wednesday to Friday.
She will also hold talks with civil society leaders and "victims of human rights violations and abuses," the UN rights office said.
Bachelet, a former president of Chile, has been critical of Maduro's crackdown on opponents, particularly of the excessive force used by the security services in response to legitimate protests.
She has also criticized US sanctions against Maduro's government, cautioning that they were exacerbating the crisis and possibly hurting "people's basic rights and well-being."
The oil-rich country is suffering from hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods from food to medicine, a crisis that has forced millions to flee.
Caro was arrested just before a failed April 30 uprising when Guaido appeared surrounded by about 30 military personnel.
Clashes between protesters and security forces left several people dead and the Supreme Court has charged at least 14 National Assembly deputies with involvement and branded them as traitors.
One of them is Guaido's deputy Edgar Zambrano, who is in custody.
Caro was previously arrested in January 2017 on accusations of plotting an armed revolt against Maduro but was freed 17 months later without being convicted.
A June poll conducted by opposition-friendly DatinCorp, referred to as “opposition aligned” also by VenezuelaAnalysis, found that the opposition leader Juan Guaido only has now a 36 percent rating, down from 49 percent in February. His popularity is rapidly declining amid new charges of corruption, embezzlement and plotting criminal coups.
The elected President Nicolás Maduro, on the other hand, whom Guaido vowed to depose, has seen his popularity increase, from 34 percent in February to 41 percent in May, remaining stable at that figure, despite all the US-imposed sanctions and subsequent hardship causing the death of up to 40,000 Venezuelans.
Peace talks in Sweden should focus on working with the constructive opposition and forget about Juan Guaido or the agenda of the USA, who stalled the Norway talks already. The way forward is seen NOT in top-down imposed elections, but to hold first a free, all-inclusive and popular referendum on the question which elections the people want to hold. Any side who is afraid of such disqualifies itself automatically by exposing itself as dictatorial group trying to impose self-serving structures of governance rather than to serve the people.
Germany has been - on behalf of their master, the USA - the first G20 state to demand in February from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moro to step down and from Venezuela to hold fresh presidential elections within 8 days. Germany therefore bears much of the guilt for the resulting turmoil and the US-imposed hardship on the resisting population. Thus Germany and Europe must now double their efforts to support the way forward by popular referendum on the political way forward. Otherwise Europe stands to loose any democratic credibility in South America.
Former CIA technician Joshua Schulte, who leaked documents confirming the CIA can spy on people through their “smart” appliances, along with a mind-boggling array of other sophisticated hacking tools, “smuggled contraband cellphones into the [Metropolitan Correctional Center], created encrypted email accounts and secret social media accounts, and drafted misleading ‘articles’ for public dissemination that were not only fraught with misinformation but also contained classified information,” a US government memorandum filed Monday claims. The memo adds that Schulte has “gone to extraordinary lengths… to try to blackmail the Government into releasing him by disclosing and threatening to disclose more classified information.”
Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman filed to block Schulte’s request to end the extreme restrictions – including solitary confinement – placed on him in prison, arguing Schulte has only himself to blame for the harsh measures, which forbid contact with anyone outside his immediate family and lawyer.
Schulte, the memo claims, used contraband phones and deputized his fellow prisoners and extended family members in a pattern of “willful and illegal acts that culminated in his declaration of an ‘information war’ against the United States,” continuing to leak classified material to reporters through this ad-hoc information network and threatening to go much, much bigger.
“I will look to breakup diplomatic relationships, close embassies, and US occupation around the world & finally reverse US jingoism,” Schulte allegedly wrote in a journal found in his cell, demanding “$50 billion in restitution” and the prosecution of “the criminals who lied to the judge and presented this BS case.”
Berman argues that if the restrictions are lifted, Schulte will resume his “information war,” and denies the measures violate his First Amendment rights. “The Court need not speculate whether Schulte would disclose classified information illegally from the MCC because he already has,” Berman states.
Schulte was arrested in August 2017 and has been in jail since December 2017, when his bail was revoked after he used the internet in what prosecutors say was a violation of his conditional release. He faces 13 counts of “theft of classified defense information,” along with charges of spreading malware, lying to the FBI, obstructing justice, copyright infringement, and child pornography – though he claims the government planted the latter on his computer – and could face as many as 135 years in prison.
The Vault7 leak was the “largest loss of confidential material in US history,” according to the government, and the documents’ publication in March 2017 triggered an agency-wide manhunt. The leaked documents describe a mind-boggling array of hacking tools the CIA has at its disposal, allowing the agency to eavesdrop on any smart device (including televisions and other home appliances), spoof online traffic, and eavesdrop, hijack, and otherwise interfere with all operating systems and web browsers.
The criticism came from Sergey Naryshkin, who heads Russia’s foreign intelligence agency SVR. He said spies are constantly improving the tool used to dispose of governments that the West does not like.
“We are talking about creating a universal algorithm for conducting clandestine influence operations in a continuous manner and on a global scale,” he said. According to the official, this clandestine work "never stops and targets not only enemies, but also friends and neutral powers in the times of peace, crisis and war.”
It can be compared to the action of a virus; it can spend decades destroying a human organism without symptoms, and once diagnosed, often it’s too late to treat it.
The methods used to influence and destabilize other nations include creating network-oriented structures that can operate on a premise of public activism, art, science, religion or extremism, the Russian official said. After collecting data on the fault lines in a targeted society, those structures are used to attack those weak points in a synchronized assault, overwhelming the nation’s capability to respond to crises.
Simultaneously the perpetrators push a narrative through local and global media and social networks that claims that the only way to resolve problems is to replace the government of the victim nation with another one, possibly with a direct foreign support.
“We can observe this scenario being implemented in Venezuela,” Naryshkin said.
The US is currently trying to replace Venezuela’s elected President Nicolas Maduro with another person, Juan Guaido, whom Washington recognized as the legitimate head of the South American nation.
Among others, the US backs his bid with economic sanctions against Venezuela and a massive diplomatic and media campaign in support of the pretender. Guaido’s attempts to actually seize power in Caracas have been futile, so far.
The Russian intelligence chief was speaking at an international security forum in Ufa, Russia, which is hosted by the Russian National Security Council. The event is meant for officials directly involved in policy making on security issues. Almost 120 nations are participating in this year’s gathering.
Update MON 17. June 2019 (vf): Vice President of Communication, Tourism, and Culture of Venezuela Jorge Rodríguez, presented Monday evidence of the network of corruption led by the Venezuelan lawmaker Juan Guaido.
Rodriguez revealed screenshots of conversations between Roberto Marrero and a person whom they call "Rossana de Cúcuta" in which he tells Marrero that he does not have enough money to hire assassins from other countries in Latin America to promote destabilization in Venezuela, to which Marrero promises to pay between US$500,000 and US$700,000 per day in order to hire the hitmen.
For these payments, Marrero also communicated with Guaido, telling him to ask Colombian President Ivan Duque to indicate a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to handle funds up to US$1 trillion.
He noted that Rossana Barrera was in charge of helping people with criminal records enter Colombia as military deserters to obtain the funds.
According to the right-wing media outlet PanAm Post, Guaido placed Barrera and Kevin Rojas in charge to handle the aid funds for Venezuelans in Colombia. Barrera is the sister-in-law of the Popular Will party lawmaker, Sergio Vergara, right-hand man of Guaido.
Finally, in the case of the opposition deputy Freddy Superlano and his assistant on Feb. 23 in Cúcuta (See: THE VENEZUELA FILES I) , Rodriguez presented photographs of the two women involved in the poisoning of the lawmaker and the death of his assistant. The women are also suspected of the theft of US$ 750,000, a case that has not been thoroughly investigated by Colombian authorities, according to the senior Venezuelan minister.
"You worry daily the rest of your life will be spent in a country that doesn't want to treat you as a human & wants to lock you up in a small box" - Lauri Love, who successfully fought extradition to the US, talks about Julian Assange's full extradition hearing being postponed.
Iran Says It Dismantled a US Cyber Espionage Network
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council said Iran published the information for the sake of public awareness.
Iran said on Monday it had exposed a large cyber espionage network it alleged was run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and that several U.S. spies had been arrested in different countries as the result of this action.
The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said on Monday: "One of the most complicated CIA cyber espionage networks that had an important role in the CIA's operations in different countries was exposed by the Iranian intelligence agencies a while ago and was dismantled."
"We shared the information about the exposed network with our allies that led to the identification and arrest of CIA intelligence agents," Shamkhani was quoted as saying by the state broadcaster IRIB.
He did not specify how many CIA agents were arrested and in what countries.
Update SUN 16. June 2019 (vf): MUST READ: 5 Elements to Understand Guaido-Gate (Colombia Edition) - and as soon one of Guaido's string pullers, John Bolton, realized that his poster-boy comes under fire for corruption, he started a counter-offensive via Twitter:
BLACKOUT: Since 07h06 local time this morning the whole of Argentinia is without electrical power. That also affects the whole of Uruguay and parts of neighbouring Brazil and Paraguay. Several provinces of Argentinia had to hold elections today, which are now hampered by the power blackout that also caused all railway and subway trains in Buenos Aires to stop. Power company Edesur and distributor Edenor of Argentinia as well as the supplier UTE in Uruguay confirmed the countrywide electricity breakdown, but could not point out a reason. Argentinia and Uruguay have together 48mio inhabitants who are affected by the unidentified failure, which reminds of Venezuela some months back, where US-instigated attacks on the power led up to and tried to support a then failed coup d'état to topple the presidency of Nicolas Maduro and to bring Chavismo to its knees. The economy and social services are failing under the present right-wing government of Argentinia an a recent attempt to have a monetary union with Brazil failed. The grid in Venezuela is stable.
UPDATE: Argentine President Mauricio Macri promised on Sunday to get to the root of what he called an "unprecedented" power outage that darkened two Latin American countries."
"This is an unprecedented case, which will be thoroughly investigated," Macri tweeted.
Lights went out in all of Argentina and neighbouring Uruguay at around 7 a.m. on Sunday. Utility companies in both countries blamed a technical malfunction. Cities in Brazil, Chile and Paraguay also experienced outages.
Argentine power distributor Edesur said a failure in the interconnection system on the stretch between the Yacyreta and Salto Grande dams on the Argentine coast knocked out the power.
Electricity supply has been restored to 2 million homes, or 80 per cent of their Argentine clients, the Buenos Aires-based company added. Uruguay's UTE state power company said 25 per cent of their clients were still without power.
UPDATE-II: Power supply in Argentina and Uruguay has been almost fully restored after a massive blackout, the Argentine Energy Ministry and the Uruguayan state-owned power company said in statements.
Lights went out in all of Argentina and neighbouring Uruguay at around 7 a.m. (04:00 GMT) on Sunday, affecting around 50 million people. Utility companies in both countries blamed a technical malfunction. Cities in Brazil, Chile and Paraguay also experienced outages. ALLEGEDLY A SYSTEM OVERLOAD HAD TRIGGERED A SERIES OF EVENTS WITH NO MAJOR DAMAGE.
“As of 8:15 p.m. local time (20h15 = 17h15 UTC), 98 percent of power supply has been restored,” the Argentine Energy Ministry said in a statement. For most parts the putag lasted 11 hours and affected the polling stations inall those provinces where eections were supposed to be held.
Just yesterday the New York Times reported that the United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said. In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow’s disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections.
It is HitUSTrumpBack-Time: American goods including apples, almonds, and lentils, as well as several chemical products, will be hit with a 70% tariff by India after the country announced increased tariffs on U.S. exports. The two countries exchange goods and services worth about $142 billion a year, but the relationship went sour when President Trump ended India's participation in a preferential trade program earlier this month.
If you haven't watched this, you MUST WATCH THIS NOW: You've been Trumped - Trump Documentary Movie 2017
After that documentary ended and after having gained access to the White House Donald Trump upscaled his machinations to a now politically very dangerous level for all Indigenous people and their pristine natural habitat, for all nations worldwide and for world peace. And he just continues, having now received the "Trump Heights" estate in the illegally occupied Golan Heights from Israel's Netanyahu.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled Sunday Ramat Trump (Trump Heights), the new Golan Heights settlement named after the United States President Donald Trump.
"We're going to establish a new community, something that hasn't happened in many years, and in honor of President Donald Trump,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu, however, cannot establish the new illegal settlement before the September snap elections as the interim government does not have such authority.
ALERT ALERT ALERT
Just five days ago, on 11. June 2019, Donald Trump signed an Executive Order not only giving a green light but massively pushing GMOs, what he now calls "genome-edited-specialty-crop-plant products." He is pushing agricultural biotechnology and food and animal-feed ingredients derived from such technology. His “product of agricultural biotechnology” refers to a plant or animal, or a product of such a plant or animal, developed through genetic engineering or through the targeted in vivo or in vitro manipulation of genetic information.
I.a. the following is said in this "Executive Order on Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products":
Sec. 8. International Outreach. Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Secretary and the Secretary of State (collectively, the “Secretaries”), in consultation with the United States Trade Representative, the Administrator, the Commissioner, and any other Administration officials that the Secretaries deem appropriate, shall develop an international communications and outreach strategy to facilitate engagement abroad with policymakers, consumers, industry, and other stakeholders. The goal of the strategy shall be to increase international acceptance of products of agricultural biotechnology in order to open and maintain markets for United States agricultural exports abroad.
Sec. 9. International Trade Strategy. Within 120 days of the date of this order, the United States Trade Representative, in consultation with the Secretaries and the Trade Policy Staff Committee, shall develop an international strategy to remove unjustified trade barriers and expand markets for products of agricultural biotechnology.
In short: Donald J. Trump wants to push GMOs made in USA down the throats of everyone and worldwide.
TRUMP IS A TOTAL FRAUD & By far the Biggest Con Man in U.S. Presidential History
Japan and Germany Demand USA Produces Concrete Evidence Iran Attacked Tankers
IMPORTANT MUST READ: Facebook Insider Confesses All
Update FRI 14. June 2019 (vf): High Commissioner Bachelet Finally Will Visit Venezuela This Month
Between 19 and 21 June, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, will be in the country, at the invitation of the Government of President Nicolás Maduro.
In a statement released by the United Nations announced that the former Chilean president will hold meetings, with the Head of State, Nicolas Maduro, with the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Maikel Moreno, with the Attorney General of the Republic, Tarek William Saab and the Ombudsman, Alfredo Ruíz.
UN Human Rights Chief @mbachelet to visit #Venezuela from 19-21 June at the invitation of the Government. She will also interact with victims of human rights violations and with their relatives as well as civil society.
Learn more: https://t.co/iuNtyElieH pic.twitter.com/z0wxuET0G4
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) June 14, 2019
She is expected to meet with representatives of the Legislative Branch, including the president of the National Assembly in contempt, Juan Guaidó. She will also meet representatives of civil society, union delegates, religious leaders, university authorities and victims of human rights abuses and violations.
Bachelet will offer a report on her visit on June 21. (La IguanaTV - Translated by JRE/EF-OT)
Is the Venezuela Peace Dialogue Moving from Norway to Sweden?
Since last Thursday, national and international media and opposition spokespersons have been spreading the word about the alleged “change” in the dialogue between the government of President Nicolás Maduro and the Opposition from Oslo, Norway to Stockholm, Sweden.
According to the AP news agency, the first to disseminate the issue, the government of Sweden issued a statement on Friday (published by the French ambassador in Venezuela Romain Nadal on Twitter), where he says he is organizing a meeting in Stockholm with some international actors to “promote a peaceful, political and democratic solution to the Venezuelan conflict”.
That same outlet reported that there was already a first meeting between diplomats from Russia, the European Union and the Lima Group “to talk about Venezuela.” None of the three participants has confirmed such an encounter. However, in the note from the Swedish government there are no details about the actors who will participate in this alleged meeting.
The AP agency also reported that a European diplomat (which is not identified in the note) said that among the attendees were representatives of the UN, the Vatican, Cuba and the EU. It also said that the White House will join the meeting in the Swedish capital, “but a US official, aware of the talks, said the United States was not participating,” the news agency quoted above said.
That same diplomat told AP that “the talks in Stockholm are to strengthen the dialogue in Norway.”
He added: “All parties feel the need to maintain as much discretion as possible because mediation is going through a delicate stage.”
Other voices and silences
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN, said: “We support any effort that tries to bring the parties together and try to open a dialogue that leads to a political solution.” Subsequently, the United Nations Organization said in a separate statement that it will not participate in such a meeting in Sweden, reported the Venezuelan digital outlet “Efecto Cocuyo”.
Since Thursday, on Twitter, Guaidó, representative of the Venezuelan opposition, is saying that “the dialogue moves to Stockholm.” To this sentence he added that Maduro’s departure must be at any dialogue table.
The version of the change in the dialogue was also published by outlets such as Globovisión, @ReporteYa, El Pitazo, El Nacional, the Spanish news agency EFE, among others.
On the other hand, Analítica and Efecto Cocuyo do not call it a dialogue, but a meeting to talk about the crisis in Venezuela.
About the participants, the right wing “Panam Post” portal indicates that some faces identified in Stockholm are those of Alexander Shchetinin, director of the Department for Latin America of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and the former Uruguayan foreign minister and former president of the Inter-American Development Bank, Enrique Iglesias, who is also the representative of the EU Contact Group for Venezuela.
However, neither President Nicolás Maduro, nor Chancellor Jorge Arreaza , nor the other members of the Government involved in the Norwegian dialogue (Héctor Rodríguez and Jorge Rodríguez) have confirmed this information. No spokesman for the Miraflores Palace has claimed that he has been invited to these meetings, nor that the dialogue has moved from Oslo to Stockholm. (Supuesto Negado - Translated by JRE/EF-OT)
#UnitedKingdom | The co-founder of @wikileaks, journalist #JulianAssange, will face a new, full #UnitedStates extradition hearing only in February 2020. That was high-handedly ruled at today's court hearing. The British Queen Elizabeth II wants to torture him until the UK-imposed jail-term in her own prison in Belmarsh and only then hand him over and send him into the U.S. dungeons. Lenin Moreno, who is the core traitor in this plot must be declared persona non-grata by more and more states and likewise the responsible members of the U.S. and UK regimes must be shunned.
Ecuador’s right-wing government has agreed for the United States (U.S.) to use the airport of San Cristobal, in the Galapagos Islands, as an airfield for U.S. air force and navy Pacific ocean operations, according to the Minister of Defense Oswaldo Jarrin.
"Galapagos is Ecuador’s natural aircraft carrier because it ensures permanence, replenishment, interception facilities and is 1,000 kilometers from our coasts,” he assured, explaining that now U.S. military planes will also have access to it based on “cooperation” agreements signed under Lenin Moreno’s administration to "fight drug trafficking."
Already in September 2018, a Lockheed P-3 Orion intelligence-gathering plane from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency began to operate from Ecuador. While a Boeing 707 aircraft from the U.S. air force, carrying a long-range radar surveillance and control center (AWAC), will now also be “patrolling” the Pacific. Both operations are reminiscent of those made by the U.S. government from the Base in Manta from 1999 to 2009.
“A base means permanence, there will be no permanence of anyone, the P3 and Awac will meet periods no longer than a week," Jarrin argued. Yet he himself said on Aug. 27, 2018, that "the important thing is to recognize that everything that the base did in its time, can now be done by just one plane, because of the advance of technology.”
Despite the technicalities of such "cooperation" any presence of foreign armies in Ecuadorean territory is unconstitutional. According to article five of the 2008 Constitution, Ecuador declares itself as a territory of peace, where "the establishment of foreign military bases or foreign installations for military purposes will not be allowed. In addition, it is prohibited to cede national military bases to foreign armed or security forces."
In what seems like an attempt to appease critics, the defense official, emphasized that the readjustments to the airfield will be paid by the U.S. Yet once again history warns that this is no sort of “assurance.”
In 1942, as the U.S. was just entering World War II both in the Pacific as the western front, another right-wing government in Ecuador allowed the U.S. army and navy to use the Island of Baltra, in the Galapagos, as an airfield. An airstrip was constructed, houses, barracks, movie theaters and dining halls for the armed personel and families, all paid by the U.S.
However, in 1946 as the U.S. left they bombed and destroyed everything leaving nothing behind for the Ecuadoreans.
Brenda Flor, a member of the Ecuadorian parliament, noted that UNESCO designated the Galapagos Islands as a World Heritage site, and Ecuador's constitution prohibited the establishment of foreign military bases on this territory.
The father of imprisoned Swedish programmer and activist Ola Bini has called his son a “political prisoner” and suggested the US and Ecuador are concocting a fictional collaboration between his son and Julian Assange to put the latter behind bars.
“My son is imprisoned without knowing what he is accused of and without evidence. He has become a political pawn in a large game where the US is also involved. It seems that the US believes they can get Assange via Ola”, Bini's father, Dag Gustafsson, told the Norwegian daily Klassekampen.
According to Gustafsson, Ecuador and the US are “desperately looking for ties” between Bini and Assange. Gustafsson also believes Ecuador “breaks its own and international laws” by holding Bini behind bars.
“The way I see it, Ola's imprisonment is all about about his relations with Assange” Gustafsson said. “He has seen Assange's friends disappear one by one and felt it was his duty to maintain contact for Assange not to be completely isolated”, he explained the contacts between Bini and Assange, assuring that Ola had “nothing to do with either WikiLeaks or Assange's own activities”.
According to Gustafsson, the case is about the authorities doing “preventive work” against knowledgeable people, such as Ola, whose vision and goal is “to make sure that people can communicate without being intercepted by authorities”.
Ministers of Foreign Affairs of
@CARICOMorg call for an immediate and unconditional end to the blockade imposed by United States of America against #Cuba and, “denounce the application of the new measures under Title III of the #HelmsBurtonAct.” Via: @cubaembajadores - SEE HERE
MUST WATCH: #ICYMI: US weaponizes economy with volleys of intercontinental ballistic sanctions against bad guys
WORLDWIDE events are taking place to mark the third anniversary of British MP Jo Cox’s murder — including the first to be held in the overseas square named in her honour. For more information, see greatgettogether.org.
Update THU 13. June 2019 (vf): Venezuela asks UN to revise findings Delcy Rodriguez in a Meeting With UN Representatives: "We Ask for a Scientific Revision of Your Figures (on Migration)."
#Venezuela and #Russia announced their intention to conduct trade in #Rubles instead of #US #dollars.
Several Russian banks are already using China’s International Payment System (CIPS), instead of SWIFT. The Chinese system CIPS (acronym of China International Payments System) is analogous to the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), the international inter-bank system of information transmission and payment fulfillment that covers almost 11,000 large entities in more than 200 countries.
Officials expressed confidence in that his Chinese colleagues pay more attention to the Russian alternative SPFS (System for the Transfer of Financial Messages) than to SWIFT, since that would allow to further boost bilateral trade.
“The Bank of Russia has created the SPFS system, whose export version was presented at the end of last year, and now we actively show it to the world, including China."
The SPFS was created by the Bank of Russia in response to US threats. of disconnecting Russian banks from SWIFT due to sanctions – as has happened with Iran.
MUST READ: The Venezuelan dark blue pill
REMEMBER & REALIZE: Venezuela was set as target for USAmerican oil-imperialism already way back before 9/11, Aaron Russo referring to conversations with Nick Rockefeller revealed before his own death. Hugo Chavez realized and knew that before also his life was ended pre-maturely and he therefore did choose his successor carefully to keep the Venezuelan resistance against a U.S.-American takeover up and strong. WATCH at least the short version of that statement and see at its end what's happening in China with money, your cyber-identity and fines already. African countries like Kenya (no MPesa - no car parking) and Tanzania are testing grounds for people-control via the money on their phone-chips and there as well as in other countries incl, those in the middle East UNHCR tests the people-control via prepaid banking and ration cards. No phone/card/chip - no identity, no money, no food, no movement - all incl. every possible bio-data (facial, fingerprints, voice-recognition) - next step DNA. The Orwellian state has become reality and like in the novel 1984 hardly anyone revolts. DOWNLOAD FOR FREE: The Assassination of Hugo Chavez, by investigative journalist Greg Palace.
This map of Iraq above summarizes the real motivation behind the Iraq War, says independent journalist Ali Cheaib. The British oil and gas company BP won the contract to operate the Rumaila Oil Field back in 2009, and now proudly boast of its new drilling capabilities on Twitter. Rumaila is simply huge; by some measures it is the third largest reserve of crude oil on the planet, and is currently extracting 100 million dollars worth of oil every day – enough to cover the annual health budget of Iraq under the wartime rule of the U.S. coalition every five days.
OUTRAGEOUS (but predicted - see below) The
#UK home secretary, Sajid Javid, has revealed he has signed a request for journalist and @wikileaks founder #JulianAssange to be extradited to the US where he faces an 18-count indictment that includes charges under the Espionage Act. #Wikileaks
The heinous remarks of the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid were: "First of all, I am very pleased the police were able to apprehend him and now he is rightly behind bars because he broke UK law." Javid uttered further on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday: "There is an extradition request from the U.S. that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow.”
The UK Home Office said in a statement: "Mr Assange was arrested in relation to a provisional extradition request from the United States of America. He is accused of offences including computer misuse and the unauthorized disclosure of national defence information."
"We have received the full extradition request, which has been certified by the Home Secretary,” the statement continued, adding “This case is now before the courts and it would be inappropriate to comment further."
The U.S. will detail all of the charges against Assange on Friday when they seek his extradition in a U.K court.
U.S prosecutors initially charged Assange with a single count of computer intrusion, but last month added 17 new counts, including controversial charges under the Espionage Act for encouraging, receiving and publishing national defense information in concert with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
Such a charge under the Espionage Act has never been successfully prosecuted, according to CNN legal analyst Steve Vladeck.
Assange's initial indictment sparked a debate over the First Amendment and whether his alleged role in procuring secret US material constituted protected journalistic activity.
Assange lived inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for seven years until April when the country revoked his protection and he was arrested.
“The crime was committed by the US in covering up WAR CRIMES! This was a tremendous service by Manning & Assange. Assange deserves the Congressional Medal of Honour, NOT PRISON TIME!” - Greg Palace
From Idlib through Khartoum to Harare, from Mali to Myanmar, from occupied West Papua through occupied Xinjiang province (East Turkestan), to occupied Tibet and the occupied Chagos Islands - in every country, every corner of the world: Civilians are NotATarget. Listen to Mary Robinson addressing the UN Security Council:
Today, we learned that the extraordinary Steven Donziger, the volunteer lawyer for the Indigenous of the Amazon, has had his U.S. passport seized by the Trump regime on trumped up charges. Greg Place's coverage of Ecuador on BBC television would’ve been impossible without Donziger and his inestimably heroic battle against Chevron Oil. Donziger is one of the most courageous men you’ve ever met. The oil industry won’t rest until they lay his body out on the tarmac. The fact that Chevron has come after the man who proved they poisoned the children of the Amazon just proves how extraordinary he is — and powerful. They fear him. Learn more about Donziger's case against Chevron here: Statement on Excessive Judicial Order Demanding That Steven Donziger Surrender His Passport - a statement that ECOTERRA fully endorses.
Also Ola Bini is still in detention in Ecuador, held and tortured in high security facility WITHOUT ANY CHARGES !!!
Update WED 12. June 2019 (vf): Families of Colombian refugees are camping outside ofoffices of
#UNHCR in #Ecuador’s Quito accusing its Foreign Ministry, and #UN of being submissive to US and Colombia's government over doing nothing for them as they ask for protection.
Chancellor Arreaza Denounces UNHCR for Inflating Migration Figures for Money
Chancellor Jorge Arreaza denounced the use of Venezuelan migration to obtain financial resources, and pointed out that UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is involved in this practice.
For Arreaza, this is a ” clear interventionist political strategy by UNHCR.
The UN agency estimated that migration reached the figure of 4 million during the last 41 months, most of it located in South America.
“It is worthwhile to remind UNHCR that its mandate is limited to refugees. Trying to obtain resources using economic migration and confusing public opinion, not only exceeds its mandate, but also reveals a clear interventionist political strategy,” explained the Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The chancellor declared that UNHCR resumed its role of instrumentalizing Venezuelan migration, inflating figures in order to request and obtain more resources whose fate is not clear. The International Migration Organization is the UN agency with mandate over migration issues as a whole.
He pointed out this week that, after the failed attempted military uprising led by deputy Juan Guaidó, the migratory matrix that had disappeared from the media since last January has been resurrected. More than 14 thousand Venezuelans have returned back home for free in the last months with the program “Vuelta a la Patria”.
On the other hand, he considered it contradictory that the UNHCR expresses concern for Venezuelans from the Colombian department of La Guajira. This was said in relation to the visit made by the actress and UNHCR representative Angelina Jolie to Colombia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela has indicated that Venezuela has sent more than 70 diplomatic notes to the governments of Peru, Colombia and Ecuador to request reports on the real numbers of arrivals of Venezuelans to their territories, but the Government has not received a response.
The Venezuelan government has recognized that there is a complex migration issue as a response to years of economic war, media warfare promoting that migration and most recently, due to US sanctions and blockade.
“The figures are manipulated, inflated or distorted in order to feed the main stream media “matrix” of humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. You could see it very clear last weekend when Colombian authorities reported 37,000 Venezuelans entering Colombia but they and MSM “forgot” to mention that the same day 35,000 Venezuelans came back home”, a political analyst said to OT. (Supuesto Negado with OT content - Translated by JRE/EF-OT)
Venezuelan Opposition admits: Inflation Drops Under One Million Percent
May was the third consecutive month with inflation below 50 percent.
MUST READ: The Petro: Three Sides of a Coin
Update TUE 11. June 2019 (vf): Chancellor Arreaza: Peoples of Latin America Demand Cessation of Drug Trafficking and War in Colombia
The peoples of Latin America demand the cessation of drug trafficking, the violation of human rights, the cessation of war and narco-politics in Colombia, in addition to demanding the cessation of Argentina’s savage neoliberal package. Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) June 11, 2019
Through the social network Twitter, the Minister for Foreign Affairs referred to the interventionist statements made by the presidents of Colombia and Argentina, Iván Duque and Mauricio Macri, respectively, who demanded “the cessation of the usurpation and the return of democracy to Venezuela”.
“Our America is asking for the cessation of drug production and trafficking, violation of human rights, cessation of war, paramilitarism, false flag operations and narco-politics in Colombia. And the Argentine people call for the cessation of Macri’s infamous and failed neoliberal savage package,” Arreaza wrote on Twitter.
Venezuelan authorities have repeatedly denounced the cooperation of the Colombian Government and other allied countries, with the objective of violating the sovereignty and democracy of Venezuela, following order of the US government under the Lima Group. (Alba Ciudad - Translated by JRE/EF-OT)
US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that his administration is looking into providing Venezuelans with asylum and temporary protected status that would allow them to stay in the United States amid the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in their country.
"We are looking at that, and we are very much involved with the Venezuela crisis. It's a horrible thing, a horrible situation. ... We are looking at that very strongly," Trump told reporters on the White House lawn.
That Trump stated just a day after the South American country's Health Minister Carlos Alvarado said that almost 70 tonnes of humanitarian aid has arrived in Venezuela from China.
Chinese Dissident and Human Rights Defender Ai Weiwei visited Julian Assange today togetherr with his father at 2pm. He is in the prison hospital and his health is deteriorating. He is grateful for the support given to him. The UK and Europe must defend human rights and stop the extradition.https://www.instagram.com/p/BykvFIDiOn2/?igshid=3hs2e1p2ln5y …
Join us! - Investigative Reporter: Today, #NetNeutrality supporters in the Senate will try to force a vote on the Save the Internet Act using a procedure called “Unanimous Consent.” To raise awareness and put pressure on our representatives to actually represent us, we’re participating in an all day #EpicLiveStream. Greg will go live at around 2:15 PM ET / 11.15 AM PT.
Bolivia rejected the IMF and nationalized strategic industries. Evo Morales: "Economy is Now in the Hands of the People, Not the IMF" They are now the fastest growing economy in the region. Bolivian President Evo Morales, highlighted on Saturday that in the neoliberal period, it was the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who decided the economic fate of Bolivia. However, now it's the Bolivian people who are building their future, according to the first Indigenous president of the Andean country.
Update MON 10. June 2019 (vf): Lisbon: Protest Demanding Novo Banco to Unblock Venezuelan Resources
Social movements in Lisbon, Portugal, demanded that Novo Banco immediately return the Venezuelan resources illegally withheld, as part of the financial, economic and commercial sanctions imposed by the United States Government against the South American nation.
The day of peaceful protest, which raised the slogan “Return the stolen money to Venezuela”, was held at the gates of the headquarters of Novo Banco, an institution that holds about 1,543 million euros that would be allocated to the purchase of food and medicine.
“From Lisbon, Portugal social movements in solidarity with the people of Venezuela protest in front of the headquarters of Novo Banco SA to immediately unblock the resources belonging to all Venezuelans, which has been forcefully snatched,” said the Foreign Ministry of the Republic through a message posted on Twitter. Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) June 10, 2019
Previously, the Chancellor of the Republic, Jorge Arreaza, issued an invitation to join the campaign initiated on May 30 last by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), with the purpose of requesting Novo Bank to return Venezuela’s funds.
The IADL denounced that the “arbitrary action” of the Portuguese bank is the result of pressure from the Donald Trump administration on the government of Portugal, in order that “they may bend to the criminal blockade against the economy and the people of Venezuela, by imposing unilateral coercive measures, adopted without the approval of the United Nations Security Council, in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international treaties on human rights”. (Alba Ciudad - Translated by JRE/EF-OT) #TrumpDesbloqueaVenezuela #TrumpUnblockVenezuela
Almost 70 tonnes of humanitarian aid have arrived in Venezuela from China, the South American country's Health Minister Carlos Alvarado said.
"This technical humanitarian aid consists of 68 tonnes of medications," Alvarado said on Monday as quoted by the Globovision channel.
He also stressed that the aid, which was the fourth shipment so far, consisted of medicines and sanitary materials. According to Alvarado, Venezuela has received 465 tonnes of humanitarian aid in total from China, Russia, Red Cross and UNICEF.
The United States (U.S.) government formally submitted an extradition request against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United Kingdom, according to a U.S. official close to the issue quoted by The Washington Post on Monday.
Assange formally denied his "consent" to an extradition request made by the U.S. on May 2, before the Westminster Court of Magistrates in London.
"I do not wish to surrender for extradition. I'm a journalist winning many, many awards and protecting many people," said Assange who testified by video conference from the Belmarsh maximum security prison, where he is imprisoned after having been condemned by another British court on trumped-up charges to 50 weeks of jail just for violating his conditional freedom in 2012.
Former Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said that the United Kingdom would most likely extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States because the recent decision of a Swedish court not to arrest the whistleblower in absentia on rape charges was likely aimed at facilitating the extradition.
“I think that now his extradition is the most likely [scenario]. Assange is now at great risk because [President of Ecuador] Lenin Moreno has betrayed his people. This is the risk of being extradited to the United States, and the reason behind the decision of the Swedish justice system not to hold him [Assange] accountable is to make it easier for the United Kingdom to send him to the United States,” Patino said.
According to the former top diplomat, Moreno has violated international law on asylum and human rights signed by Ecuador by terminating Assange’s political asylum and handing him over to UK police at the US request.
“These documents establish non-extradition. If someone received this status [political refugee], the country cannot go back on its words and return this person. Ecuador’s constitution has been violated, international agreements and human rights have been violated. In the future, he [Moreno] will have to answer for these violations,” Patino added.
Patino surely also has first hand knowledge of the deal Moreno made with the USA and it certainly could also be a ploy to channel the persona of Julian Assange without any independent interference into the U.S. dungeons.
The former foreign minister believes that Moreno understands that he does not stand a chance to be re-elected as president, but Washington has already promised to ensure a quite future for him in the United States.
Three social leaders from Colombia's Indigenous Awa community were found dead over last week.
Three Indigenous leaders from Colombia’s Awa community were killed in different sectors of the municipalities of Barbacoas and Tumaco over the past week.
The leaders were receiving threats via WhatsApp while commemorating the 29th anniversary of the creation of the Indigenous Unity of the Awa People (Unipa). During the celebration, a general assembly was held on June 4 and 5.
A spokesperson of the Awa people said one of the counselors got a text message from a criminal group known as Oliver Sinisterra threatening the life of the social leaders.
An 18-year-old student of the Awa Bilingual Agro-Environmental Technical Education Institution, Leidy Jacqueline Burgos Pai was disappeared after June 5. The young woman was part of the Indigenous guard and belonged to Resguardo Honda Rio Guiza in the jurisdiction of the municipality of Barbacoas. She was found dead later in a rural area between the municipalities of Ricaurte and Tumaco.
Rocio Garcia Pai, a member of the Awa shelter Hojal la Turbia de Tumaco was found dead as well. She had been missing since last Tuesday. Her lifeless body, marred with signs of violence was found three days later at the banks of Nulpe River.
Robert Dionisio Garcia Bisbicus, 21, was shot in front of his house Friday morning by unknown people on a motorcycle. He died at the spot. He belonged to the Awa Indigenous reservation of Gran Rosario located in the municipality of Tumaco.
"We feel that we are attacked by all the actors in conflict and that our rights are being violated," said one of the leaders.
A statement from the Indigenous Unity of the Awa People (Unipa) announced that pamphlets from multiple armed actors had appeared since the previous month, threatening Awa social leaders directly.
"Already there are more than 73 leaders who have been threatened to present an extreme risk to their lives, adding to the 29 murders between August 2016 to date, demonstrating the extermination we have been subjected to," the statement said.
Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif on Washington's crimes against the Palestinian people.
Prominent Anti-Iran 'Writer' Not Real Person, Mouthpiece of Shady Iranian Group
Iran's opposition pro-U.S. MEK created a fake persona named Heshmat Alavi who writes for right-wing media against the Iranian government.
The pro-West Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) is using a fake profile to push for their anti-Iran agenda according to a report.
The organization is managing the social media profile of Heshmat Alavi, a person who had supposedly written for various right-wing media outlets.
“Heshmat Alavi is a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK,” Hassan Heyrani, former member of MEK’s political department who defected in 2018, affirmed, apparently having direct knowledge of the operation.
As of Monday, Twitter has suspended Alavi's account. Forbes has also deleted all articles pertaining to Alavi.
“They write whatever they are directed by their commanders and use this name to place articles in the press. This is not and has never been a real person.”
Update SUN 09. June 2019 (vf): As of yesterday, the border bridges between the state of Táchira (Venezuela) and the Colombian department of Norte de Santander were reopened as ordered by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Friday, according to confirmations obtained by the EFE agency .
From the first hours the Venezuelan authorities have given the green light to the circulation of thousands of people. For the most part, the flow of pedestrians via the Simón Bolívar international bridge – the main border access – goes to the Colombian city of Cúcuta.
In his statements yesterday, Maduro said that the decision is made in “full exercise of sovereignty” of Venezuel a and stressed that his country is a “people of peace”, which firmly defends its “independence and self-determination.” It certainly made the decision to open the border again easier for President Maduro that the Colombian Foreign Minister reportedly made the other day a clear statement by saying that Columbia stands firmly against any military intervention n Venezula.
Canadian FM Plays Good Cop to US, Promising Cuba “Part to play” in Venezuelan Democracy
Cuba will have a “part to play” in restoring democracy in Venezuela, the Canadian foreign minister – a supporter of the coup-minded US-backed opposition – has declared after meeting with her Cuban counterpart.
“I think we are seeing an international convergence around the need for a peaceful transition in Venezuela resulting in free and fair elections and the return to democracy,” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told a Toronto news conference on Friday, adding, “Cuba will have a role to play in this.”
When asked what kind of role she meant, Freeland declined to answer. Her meeting with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Friday followed a failed attempt at mediation between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido in Oslo last month.
“Our objective is really clear… that the people of Venezuela deserve to have their democratic and human rights restored, and the way to do that is free and fair elections,” Freeland said. “I have so much respect for interim president Juan Guaido” for “continuing to stand and fight for their democracy and human rights.”
Despite the best efforts of the US and its anointed “interim president” Guaido, Venezuelans have thus far managed to retain President Nicolas Maduro, re-elected in 2017 in a vote the opposition chose to boycott.
Freeland acknowledged that her Cuban counterpart had “quite a different analysis” of Venezuelan political realities. Havana has been a strong supporter of Maduro, one of the few countries in the Western hemisphere willing to stand up to the US’ foreign policy objectives – and must be punished for that, US Vice President Mike Pence suggested.
Pence has pushed Freeland to play the “good cop” to the US’ “bad cop” regarding Cuba, urging her to apply pressure against what he has termed its “malign influence” on the Venezuelan situation. While the US imposed a sweeping travel ban on Cuba earlier this week, curtailing tourist and private travel to the island after the number of American visitors swelled during the first four months of 2019, and has allowed American firms to sue the country over the use of assets seized during the revolution, there is little else it can do, economically speaking. A near-total embargo on Cuban exports to the US has been in place since 1962, and President Donald Trump has already reversed the tentative steps toward rapprochement begun by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Trump’s economic warfare against Cuba has antagonized the EU, which slammed the idea of opening the country up to lawsuits as “contrary to international law.” Canada, too, has significant business holdings in Cuba that could be targeted under the newly-activated provision of the Helms-Burton Act. Cuba has said it would gladly reimburse the owners of properties nationalized post-revolution – if the US would reimburse it for the billions of dollars lost to over half a century of punishing embargo.
Indigenous Mapuche Lavkenche communities protested in the Chilean central region of the
#Biobio against the Indigenous Consultation proposed by right-wing President Sebastian Piñera. After the demonstrations ended seven community leaders were arbitrarily arrested by the police.
Update SAT 08. June 2019 (vf): Angelina Jolie urges international support for Venezuelan children
Angelina Jolie on Saturday urged the international community to provide more support to the three South American countries Colombia, Peru and Ecuador with the most migrants from crisis-hit Venezuela, saying 20,000 Venezuelan children are at risk of being without basic citizenship rights.
Jolie spoke in Colombia as a special envoy for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She is on a two-day trip to meet Venezuelan migrants there and met with Colombian President Ivan Duque in Cartagena.
Four million Venezuelan refugees and migrants have fled economic and humanitarian crisis in their homeland.
More than a million are living in Colombia, where the government and aid agencies have scrambled to provide housing, food and healthcare to an ever-growing influx of migrants arriving in already-poor and violent border regions.
The parents of Venezuelan children born abroad often struggle to register their baby’s birth, either because they do not have access to an ever-shrinking number of Venezuelan consulates or because they do not have migration papers.
“We agreed on the urgent need for the international community to give more support to Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, who are bearing the brunt of this crisis.”
Duque said he hoped the visit would alert the world to the seriousness of the migration crisis.
The crisis has deepened since the United States imposed sanctions, including on the pivotal oil industry, in an effort to oust leftist President Nicolas Maduro in favor of opposition figure Juan Guaido.
The Venezuelan people demonstrated today against the policies imposed by the U.S. government, while defending the Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAP). WATCH
There is no movement against incumbent President Nicolas Maduro worth talking about, admits Pompeo. It’s all an orchestration by Washington. In short, a criminal plot.
The clumsy admission was reported by the Washington Post which obtained an audio recording of Pompeo’s unguarded comments during a recent closed-door meeting in New York. His blundering blab is a spectacular own goal.
The meeting was held with Jewish groups apparently on a range of international topics, including the Trump administration’s Middle East policy. Pompeo seemed unaware his remarks were being recorded. His comments are therefore a stark leveling of reality, dispelling the media spin put out by the Trump administration of “supporting democracy” in Venezuela.
It also vindicates Russia’s steadfast support for the Venezuelan government, and Moscow’s consistent condemnation of Washington’s interference in the South American country.
In his off-guard remarks, Pompeo is scathing about the fecklessness of so-called opposition in Venezuela. He indicates that the US-backed movement has failed because of squabbling among political figures vying for leadership. With a tone of understatement, the top American diplomat laments that Washington’s efforts at organizing the disparate opposition have “proven devilishly difficult”.
“Our conundrum, which is to keep the opposition united, has proven devilishly difficult”, says Pompeo, as reported by the Post. “The moment [President] Maduro leaves, everybody’s going to raise their hands and [say], ‘Take me, I’m the next president of Venezuela’. It would be forty-plus people who believe they’re the rightful heir to Maduro”.
That’s a stunning slip. What this senior U.S. official blabbed is a blunt confirmation that the self-declared “interim president” Juan Guaido does not have any popular support among Venezuelans.
Guaido declared himself “interim president” back in January this year, days after Maduro was inaugurated for his second term of the presidency. Immediately, Washington announced that it was recognizing Guaido as the “legitimate leader” of Venezuela.
Other Latin American and most European countries also quickly followed Washington’s policy.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of UN member states, including Russia and China, continue to recognize Maduro as the valid, democratically elected president.
Indeed, Moscow has vehemently denounced Washington for interfering in Venezuela’s sovereign affairs with an illicit agenda for regime change. Russian President Vladimir Putin this week warned that U.S. policy in Venezuela was leading to “disaster”.
In effect, Pompeo is candidly admitting that Washington is orchestrating Venezuela’s political tensions – and failing.
The corollary of this is that the so-called opposition to the Maduro government has conspicuously failed to mobilize any significant popular challenge to the elected authorities. A military coup attempt on 30 April, led by US-backed figure Juan Guaido fizzled into a minor debacle.
Despite months of highly public calls for a popular uprising, which have been amplified by U.S. media, Venezuelans have remained loyal to the government or at least indifferent to Guaido’s calls for rebellion.
The distinct lack of anti-government traction is easily understood in the light of Pompeo’s recent admissions. That’s because there is no opposition movement with a popular mandate. It is a figment of Washington’s machinations for regime change.
Pompeo also admitted in the recorded comments that U.S. efforts to galvanize a credible opposition have been going on before Maduro’s re-election last May and way before Guaido declared himself “interim president” earlier this year.
“We were trying to support various religious… institutions to get the opposition to come together… since the day I became CIA director, this was something that was at the center of what President Trump was trying to do”.
Pompeo was made CIA chief in January 2017, then later became Secretary of State in April 2018. Maduro was re-elected in May 2018 with nearly 68 percent of the national vote, much more than any rival candidate achieved. The so-called US-backed opposition didn’t even contest in the election, boycotting it.
It has long been suspected that Washington has been fomenting political unrest in Venezuela over the past 20 years, in order to oust the former socialist President Hugo Chavez, and subsequently his successor Maduro.
But Pompeo’s remarks confirm that the so-called “interim presidency” of Guaido is merely a product of Washington’s scheming. Washington is not rallying behind a genuine, spontaneous opposition figure. Rather, it has manufactured this cut-out, non-entity figure. The problem is that petty rivalries and lack of a popular support base have confounded the U.S. manufacturing process for orchestrating a successful coup.
Several damning conclusions can be drawn.
The Trump administration’s high-flown claims that President Maduro is not the legitimate authority are baseless. Maduro was re-elected in a free and fair national vote by a clear majority. There are no grounds for Washington to claim that he does not have a popular mandate and is suppressing a democratic majority.
The economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by Washington allegedly to support democracy are null and void of any legal or moral justification. In fact, the social turmoil and human suffering among the poor majority of Venezuelans caused by U.S. sanctions make Washington fully culpable of criminal aggression towards that nation.
Threats by the Trump administration of using military force against Venezuela also constitute criminal aggression. The pretext of “military option” to “support democracy” is shown to be an utter lie. It would also be wantonly disastrous for Venezuela and the entire Latin American region, as President Putin warned.
Obviously, the real objective for Washington’s criminal policy of destabilizing and starving Venezuela is to impose a puppet regime in Caracas in order to exploit the South American country’s rich oil resources – estimated to be the largest reserves on the planet. Trump’s hawkish national security adviser John Bolton has previously declared this objective. Pompeo’s admission of an illusory, non-existent pro-democracy movement confirms the real agenda of American aggression.
Opposition figures, more accurately “figurines”, like Juan Guaido are liable for prosecution for sedition and treason.
A further conclusion is that all governments which ceded to Washington’s bullying interference in Venezuela, including notable European ones like Britain, France, and Germany, should be hanging their heads in shame. They are complicit in unlawful aggression and a gross violation of the UN Charter.
Ironically, the USA, Britain, and France are permanent members of the UN Security Council. As Venezuela illustrates, they are nothing but a gang of criminals masquerading behind moralistic masks.
Update FRI 07. June 2019 (vf): BREAKING: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has instructed the authorities to open the country's border with Colombia, which has been closed since February amid an escalation of a political crisis in Venezuela.
"In order to fully ensure our sovereignty, I have ordered to open border crossings with Colombia in the state of Tachira beginning on Saturday, June 8. We are a peaceful nation which strongly protects our independence and self-determination," Maduro wrote on Twitter late on Friday.
The bridges connecting Venezuela and Colombia were closed by Caracas on 23 February, following efforts by the Venezuelan opposition to allow trucks with unauthorized goods into the country, leading to clashes between Venezuelan security officers and groups of goons hired and incited by the opposition.
If the sudden move has to do with the planned visit of UNHCR celeb Angelina Jolie to Colombia is not known.
According to Guaido, the opposition has no interest in talks because "anything that does not move us toward (Maduro's resignation) is useless."
The two parties met in Norway in May, but the talks fell apart, as the opposition kept calling for Maduro to resign and allow the interim government to conduct the new presidential vote.
The opposition denied engaging in direct negotiations with the representatives of Caracas, claiming the two delegations only talked in turns to Norwegian officials.
Maduro won presidential elections in May 2018 by a landslide. However, the opposition did not recognize the results. In January opposition figure Guaido appointed himself interim President, leading to an escalation of political tensions in the country. According to Maduro, the opposition is responsible for major infrastructure damage, which led to massive blackouts across Venezuela. In late April, Guaido organized a coup attempt and tried to sway the armed forces to defect to his cause. The Venezuelan military remained loyal to official Caracas, and the coup failed.
Only the USA and its allies recognize Guaido as Venezuela's interim president, whereas, Russia, China, Turkey and over 150 other countries recognize Maduro as the nation's only legitimate leader.
Already earlier a member of Venezuela's opposition said Friday that a mediation effort by Norway is stalling and that the group won't participate in talks with representatives of Nicolás Maduro until the embattled socialist leader agrees to presidential elections to resolve the nation's political crisis.
Opposition figure Juan Guaidó then announced the decision Friday at a rally in the central city of Valencia.
Venezuela Socialist Party deputy meets Castro in show of unity on Cuba trip By Sarah Marsh (Reuters)
Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party Vice President Diosdado Cabello met with Cuban Communist Party chief Raul Castro on Friday in Havana in a show of unity as the United States steps up pressure on the governments of the allied nations.
In a news conference at the Havana airport, Cabello said they had discussed preparations for the Sao Paulo forum of leftist Latin American and Caribbean groups in Caracas next month and how to better integrate their two nations.
Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Cuban Communist Party deputy leader Jose Ramon Machado Ventura took part in the meeting with Cabello, who had earlier on his two-day trip to Havana also met separately with Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
"We need to be united because we have a very powerful enemy in common," Cabello told reporters.
Cuban state-run media said that Castro had "reiterated Cuba's firm support to the Venezuelan people and government".
The United States is trying to force out Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in favor of an interim government and new elections, and has charged Cuba's security forces with propping up Maduro, accusations that Havana has denied.
This week, Washington tightened its decades-old embargo on Cuba by imposing heavier travel restrictions in what it said was a bid to pressure the country over its involvement in Venezuela.
Meanwhile, the Lima Group regional bloc of 12 nations has taken a different tack of late and is courting Cuba to help find a solution to the political and economic crisis in Venezuela, which has caused an exodus of millions and sharp increases in malnutrition and the spread of preventable disease.
Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Friday Cuba would have a role to play in Venezuela's "return to democracy" after holding the second bilateral meeting with her Cuban counterpart Rodriguez in a month.
Cabello dismissed the Lima Group's intentions as "hostile towards Venezuela" and totally in line with those of the United States even if they sounded more benign.
Cuba, which has been a key backer of the Venezuelan government since the leftist Bolivarian Revolution that began under former president Hugo Chavez in 1998, has said it is open to help mediate but will never betray its ally.
Cuba has mediated in other regional crises in the past, most notably hosting the peace talks between Colombia's government and Marxist FARC rebels.
However, analysts say Cuba, which receives subsidized oil from Venezuela in exchange for exports of Cuban professional services, has an economic interest in the Socialist Party staying in power. The Venezuelan opposition has said it would revise that deal.
Venezuela Number 1 in Diamond and Nickel – Certified World Reserves
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced that his country is number one in certified world reserves of diamond and nickel.
“Venezuela has already been certified and has the world’s number one diamond reserve, 1020 million carats, national wealth, open to national investment and international investment (…) Venezuela has the number one certified nickel reserves in the world,” the Head of State said.
The president offered these statements from the Miraflores Palace (headquarters of the Government) in the company of the executive vice president, Delcy Rodríguez, and the minister of the People’s Power of Ecological Mining Development, Víctor Cano.
The Government assured that it plans to launch the National Mining Plan 2019 -2025, which according to its projections is estimated to generate more than 37,000 million dollars for the country.
In the radio and television broadcast, the Venezuelan president called on firms in South Africa, Russia, China and even the United States to invest in his country.
Among the natural resources of Venezuela, whose exploitation will be promoted by the Government: coal, phosphate, feldspar, gold, nickel, diamond, iron, bauxite, coltan, among others.
Maduro said that the exploitation of these riches will be carried out under an ecological program, to reduce the impact on the environment generated by this type of activity. (Sputnik - Translated by JRE\EF-OT)
Venezuela has several options to replace Visa and Mastercard systems, and will implement them in the next few days, Minister of Economy and Finance Simon Zerpa told Sputnik.
"For internal payment for use in Venezuela several options are on the table. That we need to use — maybe not something as big as UnionPay but we will have internal [payment] system in bolivars. We have options, more than one, and we will implement it in the next days because we have to be ready when Visa and Master[card] are gone", the minister said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
Minister of Economy and Finance Simon Zerpa further elaborated that Venezuela is hoping to secure new assets in "normal places" like Russia and China and will continue to work to get back its funds frozen elsewhere.
"So we are still working on that [return of blocked funds], we are trying to secure our assets in normal places, for example like Russia, China, and we are willing to keep on fighting the sanctions and try to get our assets back … The new assets and the new money we are making from our exports, we are trying to keep it in secure places", the minister said.
Zerpa added that Venezuela would have to "wait a little bit longer" before it could get back its funds that had been frozen abroad.
"We are trying to get it back because we are suffering an illegal situation. We have lawyers, we have demands, we have hearings in court, but we have to wait a little bit longer because the damage made by the USA is huge", Zerpa noted.
The minister has continued on by saying that Venezuela intends to pay off its debt to Russia in full, the next payment is scheduled for 30 September.
"We have an upcoming payment date of September 30, in the amount of $200 million, and we have already announced that we will repay the debt", Serpa stated.
Kremlin Denies Officially Informing Trump About Activities of Russian Military in Venezuela
Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak earlier explained that servicing Venezuela’s debt to Russia involves payments twice a year. The previous payment was made in April. At present, Venezuela pays off the only interest on the debt, while the period for the repayment of the loan itself, along with the interest, should begin later.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) began on 6 June and will last through 8 June.
Venezuelas Vice President of Economy, Tareck El Aissami, achieved at the Russian economic summit - the SPIEF conferences that was attended by 19,000 participants - a deal with Russia, agreeing the financing in Russian Rubles. This will be an effective way to end the dependency on the U.S. dollar affected by the U.S. imposed sanctions.
MUST READ: Venezuelan Families Build Solidarity Amid Crisis
Once a month, 181 families in Caracas, Venezuela, collectively buy tons of produce, directly from a cooperative in Lara state, five hours away. The project, known as Alpargata, shows how the economic crisis is also building solidarity. Mike Fox reports from Venezuela.
MIKE FOX: Once a month, 181 families in Caracas, Venezuela, collectively buy tons of produce, directly from a cooperative in Lara state, five hours away. The families split the cost and the product, savings thousands of Bolivars, the Venezuelan currency, by cutting out the middle-man.
MARINERA MATOS, Alpargata Solidaria: If we had to buy these items in the market or in the street it would be impossible to afford them.
MIKE FOX: It’s a way of surviving the crisis in Venezuela. A crisis that is NOT humanitarian, but IS rooted in hyperinflation. A crisis where there is more than enough food available, but the price of that food is way too high.
MARIANELA CARILLO, University Professor: When the vegetables arrive, we unload the truck. And each group has the responsibility of weighing and divvying up each item. For instance, today, my group is sorting out the plantains and sweet peppers.
MIKE FOX: They divide up each of the products into 181 groups — one pile for each family. Then the party begins to fill each bag.
They dance and sing, while they pass the fruit and vegetables from one hand to the next, down long rows of people and into each bag. This is where the name of the group, Alpargata Solidaria, comes from. The alpargata are slippers worn when dancing to traditional Venezuelan music Joropo. Solidarity is the economy they say they are building here.
This is a diverse crowd. University professors. Microbiologists. Small business owners. Artisans, activists, journalists and retirees.
Contrary to the story pushed in most media outlets, the majority of Venezuelans are NOT calling for the ouster of president Nicolas Maduro. They have their criticisms. But many blame the current crisis as much on the U.S. government and private and corporate elites in Venezuela, who have stolen billions of dollars from the country and pushed a black market dollarization of the economy, which is fueling hyperinflation.
MARIANELA CARILLO, University Professor: The people will not turn their backs on this project. We are going to overcome it and if the U.S. invades then they are going to have to face a bunch of Chavistas here, because they are not going to be able to kill us all… Trump, if you come, we’re waiting for you.
MIKE FOX: After hours of work, each family collects a bag, filled with more than 40 pounds of vegetables and fruit. It cost them the equivalent of roughly $6. $6 that, in Bolivars, is a fortune. But it is less than half of what it would cost in local markets. The savings come by buying directly from producers. Other communities are replicating this model around Venezuela.
Emilus Pinto is a professor at the Bolivarian University. She’s been participating in the Alpargata Solidaria since it was founded nearly four years ago. She says she’s careful to make sure this food lasts her family of five at least three weeks.
EMILIUS PINTO, University Professor: With what we pay for this bag – 30,000 bolivars – people here buy four potatoes, a plantain and a couple of bananas, and that’s it. It’s very important. In my family, there’s one rule. You respect the Alpargata.
It’s not just the food, but the aggregate value and the relations with the people. We’re like a big family. It’s like having a big family reunion, once a month.
MIKE FOX: This is how many Venezuelans are resisting the crisis and the violent rhetoric from the United States, which has threatened to invade their country.
They are doing it together, As best they can.
INTERESTING READ: I Was Kidnapped in Venezuela - By Annika Hernroth-Rothstein
US imports of Venezuelan crude oil are at zero barrels per day for three weeks in a row, according to the Energy Information Agency's weekly report for the week ending June 7.
By comparison, the report noted, during the same period last year, the US imported some 663,000 barrels per day from the Bolivarian Republic.
The absolute halt in imports is the third since January. In March, the US similarly halted all imports of Venezuelan oil for a three week period. In May, imports dropped to zero for two weeks.
A judge in Venezuela has ordered a trial in the case of six American oil executives held for 18 months on corruption charges that have contributed to tensions with the U.S.
During a hearing Friday, judge Rosvelin Gil dismissed a defense request that the six employees of Houston-based Citgo be released from prison and the charges against them dropped. Fifteen previous hearings had been canceled.
The executives, five of whom are American citizens, flew on a corporate jet to Caracas in 2017 to attend a board meeting. Once there they were arrested by masked security agents.
President Nicolás Maduro's government later accused them of embezzlement stemming from a proposal to refinance billions in Citgo bonds by offering up a 50 percent stake in the company as collateral.
REFUGEE ALERT COLOMBIA The number of Venezuelans who have left their country in recent years has surpassed 4 million, the United Nations said Friday ahead of a visit to the region by UNHCR envoy Angelina Jolie.
The U.N. refugee agency said the number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants rose by 1 million after November, indicating a rapid escalation as economic conditions deteriorated and a conflict between the government of President Nicolás Maduro and the opposition intensified.
Latin American countries host most Venezuelans, with more than 1.3 million in Colombia followed by 768,000 in Peru, UNHCR said.
On Friday, Jolie planned to start a two-day trip to the Colombian border with Venezuela to assess the migrant crisis caused by the country’s problems under an embargo and economic blockade imposed by the USA.
The former actress and celebrity, however, has not in a single location where she visited as UNHCR "ambassador" - be it Kenya or elsewhere - achieved any lasting improvement for the suffering refugees. All talks and smiles and show but no action. It actually causes more harm, because in the hype before her visits, UNHCR and the respective "host"-governments monitor refugee- and human-rights groups for potential protesters and squash them. Angelina Jolie then flies in and out on a cloud of innocence - or shall we call it ignorance - while her staged show with usually refugee girls just aids the officials and their money-collections.
WikiLeaksVerified account @wikileaks Press Release: DoJ preparing to file additional indictment against Assange. The Trump´s DoJ is so desperate to build its case against Assange that it is using as star witness a sociopath, convicted conman and sex criminal, involved in an FBI entrapment operation against WikiLeaks. SEE HERE The first substantive U.S. extradition hearing, previously planned for 12 June has now been moved to 14 June. The hearing will be in Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court.
LISTEN AUSTRALIA: Julian Assange could die and you do NOTHING to stop the torture of your citizen? SHAME ON YOU!
Julian Assange. In his own words: Authoritarianism in the West
Iran said Saturday that new U.S. sanctions on its petrochemical industry show the hollowness of President Donald Trump's claims to be open to fresh negotiations with Tehran.
"Only one week was needed for the U.S. president's claim that he was ready to negotiate with Iran to be proven hollow," foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.
MUST SEE: Saudi King Calls on ‘Despots’ to Mecca for Emergency Meeting on Iran
Prof. As’ad AbuKhalil says Saudis attempts to create a united front against Iran has dismally failed. Summits categorically reject the `deal of the century' by Jared Kushner
French police violently clashed with protesters at the 30th consecutive weekend of "yellow vest" demonstrations, using tear gas and water cannons in the southern city of Montpellier.
Update THU 06. June 2019 (vf):
United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said the new restrictions were put in place this week to “destabilize” Cuba’s role in Latin America, especially its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
The U.S. supports Venezuelan opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido who declared himself interim president last January. Since that time he and the Trump administration have attempted several times to overthrow democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro.
"Cuba's solidarity with the constitutional President Nicolas Maduro Moros, the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution and the civil-military union of its people, is not negotiable," a Thursday-released official statement from the government read.
Starting June 5, U.S. citizens are prohibited from making group educational and cultural trips known as 'people to people' travel to Cuba.
By imposing these measures, the U.S. reinforced more than 60 years of the economic blockade on the country that has lost US$ 933 billion so far due to the economic blocks.
According to the commercial director at Cuba's tourism ministry, Michel Bernal, the island nation received about 250,000 U.S. visitors in the first four months of 2019, a 93.5 percent increase from the same period in 2018.
The Cuban government also said that the more than 20,000 Cubans are living in Venezuela providing social services to the people, especially in the health sector, will continue doing so as long as Venezuelan people will welcome them. (tS)
MUST READ: Canada’s "liberals" have a disturbing imperial streak
Actions defy words in promoting the Canadian "tradition" built on "principles of of human rights and democracy"
Canada’s embassy in Venezuela will — at the end of this month — close. The spur for this closure is an open attempt by Canada’s Justin Trudeau to overthrow Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro.
Canada-led Lima Group Rejects Venezuela Maduro's Call for Early Legislative Elections
The Lima Group regional bloc on Thursday rejected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's call on May 20 for early elections for the National Assembly, which is run by the opposition. The so-called "National Assembly" operates in contempt of court, but foreign meddlers don't want it to be put to public contest with an election, because they would loose their key-poster-boy, Juan Guaido. To stop foreign meddling by the USA, their vassal Canada and others in the Venezuelan Affairs a public referendum on which elections should be held is the only straight way forward.
UN Supports Dialogue in Norway
The spokesman for the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Stéphane Dujarric, reiterated on Tuesday his support for the dialogue between the Bolivarian Government and the opposition in Venezuela, and expects that commitments will be made between the parties, said international news agencies.
Dujarric referred especially to the talks held in Oslo, Norway, between the delegates attending the Venezuelan Executive and the deputy Juan Guaidó, as a figure of the opposition. On these approaches, he emphasized that they are positive and that they must be maintained in order to find a solution.
“Negotiations are the only way to find a peaceful solution to the situation in that South American country,” Dujarric stressed at his usual press conference, the Prensa Latina news agency reported on its website.
That is also the position defended by the Group for the Defense of Peace and the Principles of the UN Charter, composed of more than sixty countries that belong to the multilateral organization.
In addition, the group seeks to confront positions of interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela, such as that of the Lima Group and the United States.
The aforementioned group tries to safeguard the independence and sovereignty of nations and rejects interference.
It also opposes aggression against the country and against any people, as well as the politicization of humanitarian affairs and aid of any kind.
More than sixty States of the UN consider that the economic blockade imposed by the United States on Venezuela is affecting mainly the population, the most vulnerable.
In February 2019, at a press conference similar to today's, the spokesman of the UN secretary said that in situations such as Venezuela, which he described as “stalemate”, political negotiations are necessary to find a solution that leads to a sustainable peace for Venezuelans. Three months later he insists on dialogue to create effective solutions. (Supuesto Negado - Translated by JRE\EF-OT)
Saint Petersburg (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the West was "crazy" for supporting an opposition figure in Venezuela over its president.
Putin says West 'crazy' for backing Venezuela's Guaido [AFP]
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido was "likeable"; but warned that the world would plunge into chaos if there were no rules.
"But if we adopt this way of coming to power -- a man walks into a square, lifts up his eyes to heaven and declares himself president before God -- would this be normal or not?" he told heads of global news agencies at an economic forum in the second city of Saint Petersburg.
"Well, then chaos will consume the world," he warned. "Let's elect a U.S. president, a British prime minister, a French president like that. What will it be?
"I feel like asking those who support this: have you gone crazy, do you understand where this is going? Should there be rules or not?"
In January, Guaido declared himself acting president, claiming Nicolas Maduro's re-election last year was illegitimate.
More than 50 countries led by the United States lined up behind the head of the National Assembly, but Russia and China have backed Maduro, while over 150 UN member states did not follow the call by the USA.
Guaido has been leading a push to oust leftist firebrand Maduro, who has presided over a crumbling economy, but those efforts have not borne fruit so far.
Peace concerns are not alien to Donald Trump, Putin said indicating that the U.S. leader appeared to be worried about the growing arms race in the world during their latest conversation.
Talking to journalists on Thursday, Vladimir Putin said that his recent talk with the American leader ‘inspired certain optimism.’
"Donald…understands how much the United States and other countries spend on armaments. This money could be diverted to other purposes. I fully agree with him."
While noting that global security depends largely on negotiations between the USA and Russia, Putin encouraged other nuclear states to join the discussion. Such broad talks could become “the light at the end of the tunnel,” the Russian president concluded.
MUST READ: Putin: Confidence in the dollar is decreasing in the world
President of Russia Vladimir Putin said today during his speech at the Economic Forum that is taking place in St. Petersburg that the role of the dollar as the global reserve currency requires a redefinition.
Putin said that it is necessary to redefine the function of the US currency, which has turned into a tool of pressure against the rest of the world, and that confidence in the dollar is diminishing.
An office of Venezuelan oil giant PDVSA will be opened in the Russian capital Moscow in June, Venezuelan Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo said on Thursday.
"This month. We have done everything in May and we are currently transferring people… We are moving people from the EU to Russia… We are very close to the start. We have the office, the building, we are moving the people, at least 10 people. We already have the boss", Quevedo told reporters on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) when asked a relevant question.
Quevedo announced in March that Caracas intended to open a PDVSA office in Russia after closing one in Portugal.
U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela Illegal Under UN, OAS and U.S. Law
The application of unilateral economic sanctions is an explicit violation of international law protected under the United Nation’s (U.N.) and Organization of American States’s (OAS) charters, human rights stipulations, and even national United States (U.S.) law. Despite that truth, they have become U.S. President Donald Trump’s favorite tool to assert his foreign policy goals around the world.
Since 2017, the Trump administration has imposed 150 sanctions on individuals and entities in Venezuela via executive orders and by invoking the so-called Kingpin Act. Their goal, as Trump has expressed many times, is to oust the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro, no matter the human cost.
A recent report made by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), revealed that 40,000 people may have died in the Latin American nation in the last two years because of these measures. Meanwhile, more than US$30 billion of Venezuelan government assets are blocked up due to U.S. sanctions preventing the nation from exporting and importing goods, including food and medicine.
“It is hard to figure out how measures which have the effect of destroying Venezuela’s economy...can be aimed at ‘helping the Venezuelan people’, as claimed by the U.S. Treasury,” said the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of sanctions, Idriss Jazairy, condemning their use and calling out their illegality.
According to Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, sanctions are to be imposed by the U.N. Security Council, following a determination that there is a threat to or a breach of international peace and security.
This means that a sole U.N. member state is not entitled to impose economic sanctions upon another member or any sovereign state. The application of said unilateral sanctions itself violates the U.N.’s Declaration on the Principles of International Law, concerned with friendly relations and cooperation among states.
The resolution, in accordance with its charter, was adopted by the General Assembly on October 1970, and it references “the duty of States to refrain in their international relations from military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any State.”
The fact that the U.S. sanctions countries away whenever its president pleases, can be considered a hostile act. But even in wartime, these sorts of collective punishments are illegal under the Geneva Conventions.
The 1977 Additional Protocols to the Conventions prohibit any wartime measure that has the effect of depriving a civilian population of objects indispensable to its survival, be it food, water or medicine. In Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians, these “collective penalties” are banned.
“Sanctions kill,” Alfred De Zayas, former secretary of the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) and an expert in international law told The Independent, adding that they affect mostly the poorest sectors of society, demonstrably cause death through food and medical shortages, lead to violations of human rights, and are aimed at coercing foreign entities.
By doing so they violate one of the principal agreements reached by world governments, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed by the General Assembly in 1948. This set of basic rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled are the right to life, to work, to be educated, to be food and to housing, among others.
According to the now extinct, Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, in its resolution 1997/35 of August 28, 1997, entitled “Adverse Consequences of Economic Sanctions on the Enjoyment of Human Rights”, the agency points out that sanctions: “affect the innocent population, especially the most vulnerable, aggravate imbalances in income distribution, and generate illegal and unethical business practices.”
According to a study by the Venezuelan National Survey on Living Conditions, more than 300,000 people were considered at risk due to a lack of access to medicine or treatments. On May 23, Executive Secretary of the Venezuelan National Human Rights Council (CNDH), Larry Devoe, denounced through his official account on Twitter, the death of a seven-year-old infant as a result sanctions making it impossible to receive a bone marrow transplant.
Based solely on humanitarian law, specifically on the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), states are prohibited from imposing a blockade, siege or regime of economic sanctions with the purpose of causing starvation among the civilian population.
Also, states must allow the free passage of medical and hospital consignments and essential food, clothing, and tonics intended for children under 15, expectant mothers and maternity cases. This applies directly to naval and land blockades, a similar situation Palestinians face with the illegal blockade by the Israelis.
“The resort by a major power of its dominant position in the international financial arena against its own allies to cause economic hardship to the economy of sovereign States is contrary to international law, and inevitably undermines the human rights of their citizens,” Special Rapporteur Jazairy commented.
Still, Trump’s sanctions not only violate U.N. law but regional mandates. According to the OAS charter, chapter IV, articles 19 and 20, states are prohibited from intervening in a foreign country, “not only by armed force but also any other form of interference ... against its political, economic, and cultural elements,” adding that “no state may use or encourage the use of coercive measures of an economic or political character in order to force the sovereign will of another.”
And as Columbia University economists Jeffrey Sachs and Mark Weisbrot have pointed out, to cap it all off, these sanctions even violate U.S. law. All sanctions under the Trump administration, and before, have been made through executive orders invoking the 1976 National Emergencies Act.
Under this legislation, the executive assumes this special power to advocate for a nation suffering a “national emergency,” and in signing the order on Venezuela, Trump argues that the Bolivarian nation represents an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security” of the U.S. This does not have a valid legal justification. The U.S. president applied this same misuse of power to fund his border wall, which has resulted in individual and congressional lawsuits.
The current and ongoing use of “economic warfare” through the use of “modern-day economic sanctions and blockades” can be comparable to “medieval sieges of towns,” as De Zayas said in an HRC 2018 report. Based on all the violations of human rights and international law, the U.N. expert gave a clear recommendation to the international community: that the International Criminal Court investigate the economic sanctions against Venezuela as possible crimes against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute.
The United States has been playing the role of the world's economic bully. So far, the U.S. has imposed sanctions against Afghanistan, Burundi, Burma, Cuba, North Korea, China, Cyprus, Haiti, Libya, Lebanon, Belarus, Crimea, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Russia, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Russia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe. Now Trump Threatens To Hit China With $300 Billion in Tariffs [Bye, Bye Miss America and your rotten, contaminated pie!]
But if unilateral harassment has proven itself historically ineffective at achieving conventional geopolitical objectives, why does the U.S. insist on bullying Venezuela and Iran?
"Today, there are certain countries, primarily the United States, which are trying to impose their policies, the policy of domination through the use of unilateral sanctions, by waging trade wars and through direct aggression against peoples," the vice president said.
Reinaldo Iturriza reflects on the affective relationship that emerged between Chávez and the people, and his unwavering commitment to the Chavista project.
READ ALSO: Venezuela: Pompeo Exposes Frustration Over Opposition Divisions as China, Russia Call for Non-Interference - The U.S. Secretary of State claims efforts to unify the opposition have been “devilishly difficult.”
For centuries, Afro-descended peoples have faced discrimination, hardship, and social exclusion around the world. In Latin America, despite efforts to close the gap, the ethnic group continues to struggle for equal opportunity.
Afro-Latinos represent a quarter of the Latin American population and 90 percent of them reside in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Ecuador — formerly important ports in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
"I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico," Trump said on Twitter. "The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended," he said.
The President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) "celebrated" the news by emulating Trump with his own tweet twenty minutes later: Thanks to the support of every Mexican, the imposition of tariffs on Mexican products exported to the U.S. has been avoided. Marcelo Ebrard will give details of the agreement.
Among them is that Mexico will permit its country to be used as a way-station for migrants awaiting processing for asylum requests in the United States and that there is no fixed number on how many they can receive.
Part of the deal also relates to an announcement made by the Mexican Minister for the Interior who confirmed Friday afternoon that the country would send 6,000 troops to its border with Guatemala to reinforce its own immigration rules.
Just as U.S.-Mexico negotiations were ramping up, the director of the migrant activist group Peoples Without Borders Irineo Mujica and human rights advocate Cristobal Sanchez, were arrested June 5 for allegedly trafficking migrants.
The Mexican government Thursday also froze the bank accounts of 26 people who were alleged to have participated in organizing the migrant caravans that became an international media focus throughout 2018, as reported by Univision, but no further details are known yet.
Social activists have rejected the arrests of Mujica and Sanchez and pointed out their long-time, outstanding career as human rights defenders.
"These guys are ... protecting and empowering vulnerable people and dismantling the structures of power and violence that would do them harm," Amelia Frank-Vitale, a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan said.
"Mujica has worked closely with Scott Warren, a humanitarian aid volunteer with the group No More Deaths in Tucson, Arizona, who faces up to 20 years in prison for providing water, clean clothes and beds to two asylum seekers in the Sonoran Desert," Democracy Now reported. U.S. President Donald Trump’s global trade war is a desperate attempt to win the 2020 election by lowering federal interest rates, Richard Wolff, a professor of economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work.
UPDATE (08.June2019) By Investigative Reporter
The first Article of the Rome Statute states that the ICC has the “power to exercise its jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of international concern, as referred to in this Statute.”
Article 5 elaborates the nature of these serious crimes, which include: “(a) The crime of genocide; (b) Crimes against humanity; (c) War crimes; (d) The crime of aggression.”
Some may want to argue that none of this is relevant to e.g. Israel, for the latter is not “a party to the Rome Statute,” therefore, does not fall within ICC’s legal jurisdiction.
But Article 12 of the Rome Statute allows for ICC’s jurisdiction in two cases; first, if the State in which the alleged crime has occurred is itself a party of the Statute and, second, if the State where the crime has occurred agrees to submit itself to the jurisdiction of the court.
While it is true that for example Israel is not a signatory of the Rome Statute, Palestine has, since 2015, agreed to submit itself to the ICC’s jurisdiction and since April 2015, the State of Palestine formally became a member of the ICC, thus giving the court jurisdiction to investigate crimes committed in the Occupied Territories since June 13, 2014.
Donald Trump said in a writing on April 12, 2019: “Any attempt to target American, Israeli, or allied personnel for prosecution will be met with a swift and vigorous response.”
Such swift response the still sitting U.S. president and responsible commander in chief might well have to face himself soon.
Sudan Military Council said already Tuesday it was canceling all agreements with the opposition coalition and called for elections within nine months.
Update WED 05. June 2019 (vf): Maduro says Venezuelan people want new parliamentary election
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that people want to hold parliamentary election to renew the composition of the National Assembly, the country's unicameral parliament currently controlled by the opposition.
"We are ready to hold parliamentary elections. The country wants the composition of the National Assembly to be renewed," Maduro said at the session of Venezuela's defense council.
He also called on supporters and all people of the Bolivarian Republic to "strengthen political stability in the country." "US imperialism tries to harm Venezuela from the inside and from the outside every day," Maduro said.
On January 23 Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the country's acting president. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has described it as a coup attempt and announced severing diplomatic relations with the United States. On January 28 the US imposed sancitons on Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA oil company.
Guaido was recognized as interim president by the Lima Group countries (except for Mexico), as well as by Albania, Georgia, the United States, and the Organization of American States. Several EU countries came forward with support for the Venezuelan parliament and expressed hope for new elections to resolve the crisis. Maduro was supported by Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salavador, Syria and Turkey.
Russia and China Want Situation in Venezuela to Stabilize
Oil-rich Venezuela is locked in a political and economic crisis.
Xi told TASS news agency and Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper that China opposes foreign interference, unilateral sanctions, the use of force, or threats of the use of force, when it came to Venezuela.
“China is willing to work with the international community to play a positive and constructive role on the Venezuela issue,” Xi said, according to a transcript published by China’s Foreign Ministry ahead of his arrival in Russia on Wednesday.
China was also willing to “help Venezuela return to a normal development path as soon as possible”, he said.
The leaders signed two joint declarations: one of them focuses on the development of bilateral relations and the other has to do with the strengthening of strategic stability at an international level.
Xi unveiled the pandas - Ru Yi and Ding Ding - after talks with Putin whom he called his "best friend" at the start of a three-day visit that will see him attend Russia's flagship economic forum in St Petersburg later this week.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that such military-political adventures by Washington and its allies around the world invariably caused disasters
Russia is calling upon the United States to drop the destructive policy of splitting the Venezuelan armed forces, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Wednesday.
"We are calling for an end to actions aimed at splitting Venezuela’s armed forces. This institution of the state must safeguard the constitutional system, and not participate in internal political processes," Zakharova said.
She pointed out that Washington was systematically trying to identify hesitant military servicemen.
"This work is focused mostly on Venezuela’s generals. US officials have been directly urging officers to desert and break the oath," Zakharova stated.
She warned that such military-political adventures by Washington and its allies around the world invariably caused disasters.
"We all know what it has brought about. We know what price the people, ordinary citizens had to pay for the failed government coup attempts or the successful ones that resulted in real catastrophes in a number of regions," she recalled.
"Now, that the threat of direct military intervention in Venezuela seems to have eased the risk of illegal actions against the government of that country, including low intensity operations still remains. The Americans continue to prepare the public for the possibility of a military operation against Caracas."
"This logic may only cause more bloody adventures. We hope that Washington is aware what effects such rhetoric and such logic, let alone, such actions, may entail," Zakharova concluded.
Sanctions have taken a toll on Venezuela’s oil output and generated fuel shortages.
“We have contracts [with Venezuela] on maintaining deliveries. Any maintenance work requires a certain number of people. Sometimes more, sometimes less. If more people are needed, we will send as many as necessary”, the diplomat said when asked whether Moscow was ready to increase the number of military experts maintaining equipment in Venezuela.
IMPORTANT MUST READ: Venezuela, now a top source of U.S. asylum claims, poses a challenge for Trump
F. Rosales, the wife of opposition figure Juan Guaido, returned with their daughter to Venezuela. She had left for the USA before the failed coup attempt.
MUST READ: Governments Move Against More Journalists
Mrs Christine Assange @AssangeMrs A good leader of a country will protect citizens from illegitimate wars NOT Act to enrich corrupt war contractors & cover up war crimes by persecuting journalists who expose them!
@UN Torture Report: Journalist Julian Assange Has Been Tortured
WikiLeaks statement: The raids by the Australian Federal Police over the past 24 hours on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and News Limited journalist Annika Smethurst demonstrate a concerted attack on freedom of the press in Australia. Ever since the CIA-orchestrated Constitutional Coup against Gough Withlam (1975) Australia has been an OBEDIENT and SERVILE PUPPET of the USA !!!
TODAY IS WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY - ALSO IN VENEZUELA !
PROTECT NATURE !!!
Large portions of the country were initially covered by rainforests, which have almost vanished. Its habitats range from the Andes Mountains in the West to the Amazon Basin in the South, with Llanos plains and the Caribbean Coast in the center, and the Orinoco River Delta in the East.
Venezuela has 43 national parks, and they cover approximately 21.76% of the country. Every state in Venezuela has at least one national park. Lara State has 5.
Every Venezuelan state has one or more national parks.
- 5 national parks - Lara
- 4 national parks - Amazonas, Falcón, Mérida, Miranda, Portuguesa and Táchira.
- 3 national parks - Apure, Sucre and Trujillo.
- 2 national parks - Barinas, Bolívar, Carabobo, Distrito Capital, Guárico, Nueva Esparta, Yaracuy and Zulia.
- 1 national park - Anzoátegui, Aragua, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Federal Dependencies, Monagas and Vargas.
18 national parks are over 1000 km²; 15 over 2000 km²; 5 over 5000 km² and 3 over 10,000 km². The largest parks, in the Guayana Region, are Parima Tapirapecó National Park (39,000 km²) and Canaima National Park (30,000 km²).
Venezuela's National Parks And Protected Areas
Established in 1991, Parima Tapirapecó is in the Southern State of Amazonas. It covers an area of 15,058 square miles and is Venezuela’s largest National Park, the second largest in South America and the fifth-largest in the world. It is home to the source and headwaters of the Orinoco, one of the longest rivers in South America; and to the Sierra Parima Mountains.
The park protects the headwaters of the Orinoco, and also the natural space and culture of the Yanomami people, an aboriginal ethnic group in the country. The primary vegetation found in Parima Tapirapecó is lowland evergreen forests and sub-montane and montane forests. There are vast areas of secondary savannahs in the Southern Parima Uplands.
At 11,583 square miles, Canaima is the second largest national park in Venezuela, and sixth largest worldwide. It is found in Bolivar State and reaches the country’s borders with Brazil and Guyana. In 1994 it was listed by UNESCO as a natural World Heritage Site, because of its sharp relief, the tepuis, which is considered special and unique worldwide. Approximately 65% of the park is occupied by plateaus of thick rock which are known as tepuis. The tepuis form cliffs and waterfalls that are a spectacular sight. Angel Falls, the highest waterfall worldwide, is one of them. Tepuis are mad of sandstone and dates back to the time when South America and Africa were part of a supercontinent. Canaima is home to diverse fauna such as Giant Armadillo, Giant Otter, Giant Ant-Eater, Cougar, and Green Iguana. 300 species of plants are in the park these are endemic only in La Gran Sabana, the savannah in South Eastern Venezuela.
Serranía de la Neblina
At 5,251 square miles, Serranía de la Neblina is the third largest national park in Venezuela.
It was created in 1978, and is home to Pico da Neblina, the tallest non-Andean mountain in Latin America and the largest tepui worldwide.
The massive tepui is divided into two by Cañon Grande del Río Baría, one of the deepest canyons on earth.
The park, with Parima Tapirapecó, comprises the Alto-Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve.
Serranía de la Neblina is home to the grey-bellied antbird, the yapacana antbird, and the black-headed uakari.
Henri Pittier is the oldest park in South America and covers an area of 416 square miles. It was established in 1937 as Rancho Grande but was renamed Henri Pittier in 1953 in honor of the distinguished Swiss geographer, ethnologist, and botanist. It is located in the Aragua State, comprising most of its coast and the mountainous area of the Carabobo State. It borders San Esteban National Park. It has two geographical systems a steep mountainous interior and a coastal zone. It is an important bird area and is an Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) site. It has 582 bird species, which is 43% of birdlife in Venezuela, and 6% worldwide. It has one of the highest densities of bird species in the world, of 54 species per 10km2. The park’s terrain, with steep slopes, and its geological relief is mostly metamorphic igneous rock. It is threatened by damage caused by fires. Other threats include human encroachment which causes the destruction of forest area, excessive hunting, visitors leaving solid waste in the park, and a lack of maintenance of park infrastructure which leads to degradation of the park.
Threats To Venezuela's Ecosystems
Swiss biologist Henri Pittier often highlighted the ecological problems in the country, emphasizing the need to protect and conserve its ecosystems; efforts which led to the establishment of the national park system. Today the ecological problems are more acute than it was in Henri Pittier’s time, and conservationists in Venezuela are inspired by his example.
Venezuela's National Parks And Protected Areas
|Protected Areas of Venezuela||
Area (square miles)
|Cerro El Copey||28|
|Chorro El Indio||66|
|Ciénagas de Juan Manuel||873|
|Cueva de la Quebrada del Toro||19|
|Cueva del Guácharo||242|
|Delta del Orinoco (Mariusa)||1,278|
|Guaramacal (G. Cruz Carrillo)||83|
|Laguna de La Restinga||73|
|Laguna de Tacarigua||151|
|Médanos de Coro||352|
|Península de Paria||145|
|Páramos Batallón y La Negra||368|
|Río Viejo San Camillo||309|
|Serranía de la Neblina||5,251|
|Sierra de Perijá||1,140|
|Sierra de San Luis (J. Crisóstomo Falcón)||77|
|Sierra La Culata||774|
President Nicolas Maduro and his PeoplesMinister for the Environment also must immediately engage to save, protect and rehabilitate Venezuela's water-gem: Lake Maracaibo. It is not getting better since this report: MUST WATCH
Interesting Read: Venezuela's Oil Output Will NOT Collapse - analysts
The U.S. State Department declined to comment on the recording to the Washington Post.
The Venezuelan opposition is divided, a fact which has presented challenges to the U.S. government in their efforts to topple President Nicolas Maduro, admitted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a secret recording leaked Wednesday by the Washington Post.
“Our conundrum, which is to keep the opposition united, has proven devilishly difficult,” Pompeo added during a closed-door meeting in New York last week.
“The moment Maduro leaves, everybody’s going to raise their hands and [say], ‘Take me, I’m the next president of Venezuela.’ It would be forty-plus people who believe they’re the rightful heir to Maduro.”
He confessed that U.S. efforts to present a united front against Maduro have only proven effective as a "public" facade in the past months.
"But since the day I became CIA director, this was something that was at the center of what President Trump was trying to do: we were trying to support various religious ... institutions to get the opposition to come together,” he said.
Pompeo also commented on the selfish motivations behind Maduro's political opponents in their fight for power.
“You should know, [Maduro] is mostly surrounded by Cubans. He doesn’t trust Venezuelans a lick. I don’t blame him. He shouldn’t. They were all plotting against him. Sadly, they were all plotting for themselves.”
Last month, the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela Juan Guaido failed to garner much support from the Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic, prompting him to call on the United States to intervene militarily on his behalf.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also offered incentives to Venezuela’s military in an attempt to convince them to turn against the legitimate President Nicolas Maduro, but his efforts were in vain. (tS)
Glacier Protection Law enacted by Argentina in 2011 is indeed constitutional, according to the country's top court.
Argentina’s supreme court unanimously rejected Tuesday a challenge to the law brought by the Canadian miner Barrick Gold, Minera Argentina Gold, and San Juan’s province, who attempted to topple the national Law prohibiting mining, oil and gas projects in glacier and in permafrost areas passed by the country's Congress in 2011.
“Miners have long marked this region for its rich gold, silver and copper deposits, and have been on standby for nearly a decade awaiting a judicial decision from Argentina’s top tribunal as to whether or not they could mine in glacier terrain,” said Jorge Daniel Taillant, executive director, Center for Human Rights and Environment in a media statement.
Environmentalists celebrated the verdict and asked for the closing down of Veladero Gold mine which is one of the most important mines in the world and is owned by Barrick Gold. WATCH
UN Praises Cuba as Model for Sustainable Policies
Minister of Science, Technology and Environment Elba Rosa Perez added that despite the U.S. blockade the Cuban government will keep defending life on earth.
Cuba is a world reference for its constant efforts to preserve and take care of the environment, and for prioritizing a model of sustainable development, Consuelo Vidal-Bruce, resident coordinator of the United Nations' (U.N.) System in Cuba said on Wednesday during a visit to Santa Clara whilst celebrating World Environment Day.
The senior official praised the programs implemented on the island for the protection of natural resources, such as water, soil, coastal areas, forests and the increase of renewable sources of energy, among others, making Cuba an example to follow for other nations.
The U.N. Resident Coordinator also gave a special mention to the "Task Life" (Tarea Vida), a state-sponsored plan meant to address climate change, specially designed for the needs of the Caribbean archipelago and its specific geographical conditions.
Vidal described the plan as one of strategic importance for the present and future of the island.
Update TUE 04. June 2019 (vf): Venezuela Defaults on Gold Swap With Deutsche Bank
Guaido tries to get his hands on the proceeds
Missed payments result in acceleration of gold swap agreement
Second time this year Venezuela has failed to pay bank swaps
Venezuela has defaulted on a gold swap agreement valued at $750 million with Deutsche Bank AG, prompting the lender to take control of the precious metal which was used as collateral and close out the contract, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
As part of a financing agreement signed in 2016, Venezuela received a cash loan from Deutsche Bank and put up 20 tons of gold as collateral. The agreement, which was set to expire in 2021, was settled early due to missed interest payments, said the people, who asked not to be named speaking about a private matter.
In the meantime, opposition figure Juan Guaido’s parallel government has asked the bank to deposit $120 million into an account outside President Nicolas Maduro’s reach, which represents the difference in price from when the gold was acquired to current levels. As part of efforts to unseat Maduro, the USA and only some 50 countries have recognized Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela even though he still doesn’t control any institutions at home, including the central bank. Almost 150 countries have not recognized Guaido, who is seen by most Venezuelans as traitor and U.S.-puppet.
“We’re in touch with Deutsche Bank to negotiate the terms under which the difference owed to the central bank will be paid to the legitimate government of Venezuela," said Jose Ignacio Hernandez, Guaido’s U.S.-based attorney general. “Deutsche Bank can’t risk negotiating with the central bank’s illegitimate authorities," particularly after it was sanctioned by the U.S. government, Hernandez said.
A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment. A press official for Venezuela’s Central Bank didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment, reports Bloomberg.
High-Speed Highway Robbery
Citibank and Deutsche Bank have now taken control of around $1.4 billion of Venezuelan government gold, which they received as guarantees for loans, as a result of U.S. sanctions on the Venezuelan Central Bank, according to five sources.
Between 2014 and 2016 the central bank (BCV) used a portion of its foreign gold reserves to guarantee financial operations with banks to boost liquidity, with the intention of repaying the loans to avoid losing the gold.
Five sources with knowledge of the deals said the BCV had agreed with Citibank and Deutsche Bank to buy back the gold in 2020 and 2021, but since the U.S. government imposed sanctions on the BCV in April the banks had invoked a condition of the contracts to retain ownership of the bars.
Both banks had resolved that an "event of default" had occurred due to the sanctions, as established in agreements underpinning the gold swap deals, the sources said.
DOES VENEZUELA AND THE VENEZUELANS REALLY NEED A CENTRAL BANK?
MUST READ: Tales of Resistance: Beyond Black and White
On the 20th anniversary of Chávez's first "Aló Presidente" broadcast, VA columnist Jessica Dos Santos looks back on this revolutionary tool and the current challenges in the communications field.
A prominent Venezuelan news website said Tuesday it was ordered by the country's Supreme Court to pay some five million dollars in damages and interest to a powerful politician in the ruling regime, AFP reports.
Diosdado Cabello, who heads the all-powerful Constitutional Assembly, took the La Patilla site to court for putting up an article from the Spanish daily ABC -- published three years previously -- that accused him of having links to drug trafficking.
In a final ruling, the Supreme Court ordered the online portal to pay 30 billion bolivars ($5 million dollars) to Cabello for "moral damage". Cabello earlier said he would be willing to take control of La Patilla if it was unable to pay.
Website director Alberto Ravell -- who is close to opposition figure Juan Guaido -- wrote on Twitter Cabello had engaged in "judicial terrorism", but that he would "not be intimidated".
Cabello had previously brought cases against the ABC in Spain and the Wall Street Journal in the USA after they published articles linking him to drug trafficking. Both were rejected by the courts.
LOCK BOLSONARO UP !!! Deforestation of Brazilian Amazon surges to record high
Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro received the 'diplomatic credentials' of Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido’s "envoy to Brazil", formally recognizing her as the "ambassador" of the neighboring country.
Maria Teresa Belandria had said on Friday that the Brazilian government withdrew its invitation to present her credentials at the presidential palace. But her spokeswoman told Reuters on Tuesday that the government changed its mind.
Diplomatic analysts said last week that the military wing of the Bolsonaro government did not want to recognize Guaido’s envoy because they do not see an imminent change of government in Venezuela.
Lilian Tintori, wife of Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez, arrived in Spain on Tuesday with her daughter, the Spanish government said.
Tintori decided to leave the Spanish ambassador’s residence in Caracas, where she had been staying as a guest, a government spokeswoman said. She had gone there with Lopez on April 30, following a failed uprising against President Nicolas Maduro. Lopez remains in the ambassador’s residence in Caracas, an official from the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
A firebrand politician who was jailed in 2014 for leading anti-Maduro protests, Lopez left jail in 2017 but remained under house arrest. He is a mentor to opposition figure Juan Guaido, who in January declared himself president.
Lopez briefly appeared on the streets of Caracas as part of a failed uprising against Maduro, and later sought refuge in the Spanish ambassador’s residence.
After granting Lopez access to the residence, acting Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said in early May that Spain would not allow its embassy in Caracas to be used as a political center.
The Spanish government said at the time that it would not turn Lopez over to the Venezuelan authorities after a court issued a warrant for his arrest, but it also said that it would not grant him asylum.
The organization Together Against Trump has mobilized for the biggest possible protests against the official state visit of Donald Trump to Britain, June 3-5. Together Against Trump has called a national protest for June 4 from 11:00 am, assembling in Trafalgar Square. LIVE FEED The Protest dubbed DUMP TRUMP is on.
U.S. Presidential Candidate
@MikeGravel : "How could he with a straight face talk about pulling off a coup in Venezuela...it can only be perpetrated because Trump is a NARCISSISTIC FOOL & Pompeo is a RELIGIOUS NUT!" MUST WATCH
As western countries celebrate D-Day, it's worth remembering that the Red Army paid the highest price and played the most important role in the fight against fascism during WW2.
John LyonsVerified account @TheLyonsDen AFP: I’m still staggered by the power of this warrant. It allows the AFP to “add, copy, delete or alter” material in the ABC’s computers. All Australians, please think about that: as of this moment, the AFP has the power to delete material in the ABC’s computers. Australia 2019.
Update MON 03. June 2019 (vf): Cuba to Rescue Children Endangered by Trump
Cuba will Treat Sick Venezuelan Children Affected by U.S. Sanctions
The Government of Cuba offered medical support and coordinated the care of four Venezuelan children, whose recovery was affected by the financial sanctions of the United States, reported President Nicolás Maduro.
During a working meeting at the Miraflores Palace, the president thanked last Friday the solidarity of the Cuban people and authorities for saving the lives of Venezuelan citizens, “victims of the economic war against the South American nation.”
The sanctions imposed by Washington against Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and the embargo of the subsidiary in U.S. territory, Citgo, as well as the blocking of Venezuelan reserves in international banks, prevent the Bolivarian Administration from maintaining the financing of assistance programs abroad and the acquisition of medicines.
The president said that the Venezuelan State works hard to solve these difficulties through various means, with the purpose of guaranteeing the specialized medical attention demanded by the patients.
As an alternative, Venezuela made the disbursement of an additional six million euros for the purchase of medicines and coverage of pending treatments, funds that were also hijacked by a financial institution.
Maduro said that the government will propose, at the Norway talks with the opposition, the release and payment of monetary resources to cover the care of high-cost diseases for Venezuelans.
The president urged the opposition forces to refrain from politicizing the medical needs of the people.
“Put political differences aside and work for the common good, for solidarity, (…) politics is the art of exposing ideas, of defending projects, (…) not of hurting to try to build strategic power”, emphasized Maduro. (Cadena Gramonte Prensa Latina - Translated by JRE/EF-OT)
MUST READ: Washington Doubles Down on its Military Intervention Script in Venezuela
Since the Venezuelan opposition again failed to oust Maduro, extreme elements in Caracas and Washington are increasingly agitating for U.S. military intervention.
MUST READ: The Cost of the Blockade Against Venezuela
Russia denies withdrawing specialists from Venezuela, says cooperation is set to expand
Reports of a mass exodus of Russian military and technical specialists from Venezuela are not true, Russian officials say, adding that cooperation with Caracas is going on as usual and is set to expand. Moscow has no clue what Trump meant by claiming Russia pulled ‘their people’ out of
In a Sunday story, the Wall Street Journal reported that Russian military and technical personnel had left Venezuela en masse, with the numbers diminishing from 1,000 to several dozen. The newspaper explained the alleged exodus by a lack of contracts and the fact that Moscow supposedly realized that Caracas lacks any funds to pay for the services of Russian hi-tech, military hardware corporation Rostec.
On Monday, the corporation itself dismissed the report.
"The figures provided in the piece by the Wall Street Journal have been exaggerated tens of times. The numbers of our staff there has remained the same for many years," the press service of Rostec stated.
Russia has informed us that they have removed most of their people from Venezuela.
8:44 PM - Jun 3, 2019
That statement raised quite a few eyebrows in Moscow, the latter being unaware of any such actions.
“Apparently, this is an indirect reference to some newspaper sources,” Peskov suggested.
Earlier, the Wall Street Journal, citing its own sources, reported that Russian military and technical staff had left Venezuela.
While military and technical cooperation between Russia and Venezuela has been going on for years, it has caused a stir recently amid the US-backed attempt to oust President Nicolas Maduro and install self-proclaimed 'interim-president' Juan Guaido. Russia's modest military activity in Venezuela caught the eye of American politicians and media, sparking demands for Moscow to "get out" of what Washington believes to be its own "backyard." Seems the "bull-wisperers" Pompeo and Bolton got their intel wrong once again. Meanwhile Pompeo said U.S. intel only OCCASIONALLY ‘gets things wrong’, after bragging about ‘lying’ CIA. In the opening monologue on her Saturday night FOX News show, Jeanine Pirro railed against former FBI director James Comey, accusing him of running his own "crime family" and attempting to stage a "bloodless coup" against President Trump.
"They're not going quietly into the night, It will be a joy to watch," Pirro began in her opening segment Saturday evening. "Grab your popcorn, Junior Mints or whatever makes you happy. The real show is about to begin. This will be true reality TV. No scripts, no rehearsals, just a gang of criminals pointing fingers at each other to save their own hides. A version of true crime and the reality show Survivor. The deep state exposed."
The EU-led INTERNATIONAL CONTACT GROUP ON VENEZUELA with ministers from Portugal and Uruguay attending, met today at the UN in New York with Foreign Ministers from Canada, Chile and Peru of the LIMA GROUP to discuss the situation in Venezuela and to agree on a joint strategy. They agreed to strife for a peaceful and political solution of the crisis in Venezuela. Their joint statement decries the grave humanitarian situation in Venezula, that led to a wave of emigration, demand the reinstatement of the National Assembly, fresh elections and the release of political prisioners. Any representative of the Government of Canada should be banned from any such international group until Canada has stopped the persistent genocide it commits against Indigenous people. The genocide, as their own Commission of Inquiry found out, persists with impunity.
A small first victory: Swedish Court Rules Not to Extradite Assange from the UK to Sweden for Rape Probe (partly AP)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to Sweden for a revived rape investigation, but should still be questioned in the case while he is imprisoned in Britain, a Swedish court ruled Monday,
The ruling by the Uppsala District Court doesn't mean the preliminary investigation must be abandoned, only that Assange doesn't face extradition to Sweden any time soon.
Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden's deputy director of public prosecutions, said she has not decided whether to appeal.
"I will also issue a European Investigation Order in order to interview Julian Assange," Persson said, adding that she hasn't picked a possible date for the questioning in England.
Assange's lawyer in Sweden, Per E. Samuelsson, said his client would "be happy, we are happy" to learn he won't be extradited to Sweden, but that he cannot inform Mr. Assange because Samuelson cannot call his client in Belmarsh prison. Samuelson has informed Mr. Assange's UK solicitor.
The 47-year-old Assange was evicted on April 11 from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had been holed up with political asylum since 2012. He was immediately arrested by British police and is currently serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in 2012.
He is also fighting extradition to the United States, which accuses him of violating the Espionage Act by publishing secret documents hacked from the Pentagon containing the names of confidential military and diplomatic sources.
Last week, Assange missed a court session in Britain, reportedly due to health problems.
The allegations two Sweden women made against Assange stem from a trip to Stockholm he made in August 2010. One of the women was involved in organizing a political event and offered to host Assange at her apartment. The other woman was in the audience.
A police officer who heard the women's accounts decided there was reason to suspect they were sex crime victims and handed the case to a prosecutor for further investigation.
Assange has denied wrongdoing, asserting that the allegations were politically motivated and that the sex was consensual.
The part of the probe dealing with sexual misconduct was dropped in 2017 when the statute of limitations for charging Assange with that crime expired.
The rape allegation still could be prosecuted; the statute of limitations expires in August 2020. Swedish authorities shelved the case while Assange was living at the Ecuadorian Embassy since there was no prospect of bringing him to Sweden for questioning. Assange is wanted in Sweden on suspicion of "intentionally having carried out an intercourse" with an unnamed woman "by unduly exploiting that she was in a helpless state because of sleep," according to court documents.
Assange is wanted in Sweden on suspicion of "intentionally having carried out an intercourse" with an unnamed woman "by unduly exploiting that she was in a helpless state because of sleep," according to court documents.
Such charges carry a maximum of four years in prison in Sweden, but it is highly unlikely that anyone would ever be convicted in such case, given the fact that the alleged victim had been the driving force to have consensual sex with Julian Assange before and after the alleged incident. Insiders maintain that Anna Ardin (AA) and Sofia Linnéa Wilén (SW) had been hard core in a honey-trap to set Mr. Assange up in order to ensare him and to later get him extradited to the USA.
Sweden's Uppsala District Court has found in favour of Assange: the court ruled NOT to detain Assange in absentia. The preliminary investigation can proceed without Assange's extradition to Sweden. This was always the case as Assange has always cooperated with the Swedish investigation. "The Swedish justice system has today achieved something unusual: it's avoided making a fool of itself in the eyes of the international community" by refusing the prosecutor's request to detain Assange, says Oisin Cantwell, Aftonbladet's main columnist. Today's decision highlights the fact that there's never been a decision to prosecute Assange in Sweden - even after questioning him in 2016, there was no charge. This has often been downplayed/ignored by those who want Assange prosecuted (for anything), who've claimed otherwise.
The charges Julian Assange faces in the USA
Julian Assange, who is an Australian citizen and whose Ecuadorian citizenship has been illegally temporarily withdrawn, has been charged in the USA with 17 violations of the Espionage Act for conspiring with former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. Assange is at present held on trumped-up bail-skipping charges at her Majesty's Prison Belmarsh near London, UK.
A U.S. federal grand jury returned the indictment against him in the U.S. state of Virginia, where all such cases are handled by a rogue judge, earlier this month.
Now, the 47-year-old WikiLeaks founder, publisher and journalist faces 170 years behind bars, if extradited.
Seventeen of the 18 charges are violations of the outdated Espionage Act of 1917.
x 1 conspiracy to receive national defense information - (Espionage Act)
x 8 obtaining national defense information - (Espionage Act)
x 8 disclosure of national defense information - (Espionage Act)
x 1 conspiracy to commit computer intrusion
Maximum sentence combined: 170 years and he possibly faces the death penalty.
EXTRADITION TO THE USA OR FIRST TO SWEDEN MUST BE BLOCKED
Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno had somehow given public ensurances that Julian Assange would not be extradited to the USA, after the often untrue president - facing himself corruption charges back home - had Assange illegally arrested by British Police inside the Ecuadorian embassy, where the journalist had stayed under cover of asylum for 7 years. Moreno might believe this because the UK can not extradite someone to a country where the accused could face the death sentence and where the death penalty has not been abolished - like in Virginia. This is why it is so important that Julian Assange is also not extradited to Sweden, because the rogue Swedes do not even have such safeguards. To get Julian Assange extradited to the USA from and by Sweden was the heinous plan right from the start, when journalist Assange - against whom former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wanted to launch a deadly drone-strike against him - got ensnared by two honey-traps, who then brought the fake rape charges forward. Sweden has an extradition treaty with the USA.
READ ALSO: Another Australian Whistleblower discriminated, persecuted and threatened in Australia
'I feel like I almost died': ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle breaks silence on facing 161 years in jail
A landmark case against a government whistleblower will head to court this week amid calls for Attorney General Christian Porter to intervene. But he has to be fast, because tomorrow on Tuesday is the hearing.
Update SUN 02. June 2019 (vf): Despite Sanctions Venezuelan Gov’t Secures Right to Housing WATCH
To date, the Great Housing Mission Venezuela has delivered 2,641,000 adequate and dignified homes around the country and plans to reach three million by the end of the year.
The Venezuelan government announced on Sunday that it will continue to defend and secure the right to adequate housing despite the ongoing economic blockade imposed by the Trump administration.
"We are proud that Venezuela has taken on a creative formula to demonstrate that governing by placing human beings above goods and capital is possible," Minister of Habitat and Housing, Ildelmaro Villarroel said.
Despite the coercive and illegal U.S. sanctions that have significantly affected the country’s fiscal revenue, the Great Housing Mission Venezuela (GMVV) is well on track to reach its five million home goal by 2025. To date, the institution has delivered 2,641,110 adequate and dignified homes around the country and plans to reach three million by the end of the year.
"In the Revolution, all Venezuelans are guaranteed to housing as it is a social right, not a commodity and that is the difference that Venezuela has with imperialist countries," the Venezuelan official added.
Approximately 37 percent of public housing projects in Venezuela have been built by the Bolivarian government and the construction will continue as President Nicolas Maduro has recently approved US$184 million to acquire construction materials. In Venezuela, the costs of housing are protected by preferential financing for all companies and construction companies.
This effort by the Latin American nation has not gone unnoticed. During the first United Nations Habitat Assembly that took place from May 27 to 31 in taking in Kenya, the international body recognized Venezuela as one of the top countries for guaranteeing people’s right to housing, as the GMVV has fulfilled one of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
VERY IMPORTANT MUST WATCH: National Referendum on Elections: A Way Forward for Venezuela
Venezuela's opposition and government are at an absolute impasse about how to get the country out of its current crisis, the best way forward is to renew the electoral authority and have a referendum on holding new elections across the board, says Edgard Lander
For tomorrow a hearing is set to rule on the detention in absentia of WikiLeaks founder, publisher and journalist Julian Assange as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged rape case, reopened by Sweden as part of the obvious entrapment strategy. The Swedish prosecutor had refused to postpone that hearing and rejected the application made due to the given critical medical condition of Mr. Assange, who is held in the prison of Queen Elizabeth II at Belmarsh near London, close to where the Queen will meet Donald Trump next week. Both individuals have the power to set Julian Assange free and to end that charade.
There were discrepancies in the probe against Assange in Sweden such as the investigation being dropped in 2010 and re-opened almost immediately, Melzer told RT’s Afshin Rattansi on his show, Going Underground.
This case was closed by the prosecutor saying that there was no evidence that any crime has been committed at all … Then a few days later, a different prosecutor takes up this case again and issues an arrest warrant [on Assange].
Two women accused Julian Assange of rape, which he denies. The investigation was dropped for the second time in 2017 – only to be launched once again last month after the journalist was forcibly evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Melzer believes Sweden pursued the probe “in a way that didn’t allow Julian Assange to defend himself” without risking being extradited to the U.S. where he may face up to 175 years in prison over charges of violating the Espionage Act.
Watch the full interview HERE
MUST READ: Exposing The Lawlessness Of Assange's 'Slow Assassination'
The Powers That Shouldn't Be think they’re going to get away with the murder of Julian Assange. Unhindered by any law. That means there no longer is a functioning -international- legal system. There are only rogue states left.
Hours after Jeremy Hunt, UK's Foreign Minister, defened the torture of a journalist who exposed the truth about the malfeasance of a powerful government, Hunt was giving a speech at the World News Media Congress in Glasgow, praising journalists who expose the truth about the malfeasance of powerful governments.
If you want to stare aghast at some of the most appallingly cartoonish hypocrisy from a western politician you’ll ever see, I highly recommend clicking this hyperlink and reading through the transcript of Hunt’s speech in the context of what he just said about Assange.
Hunt decried the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, ignoring the inconvenient fact that his own government had just been found guilty not only knowing about the Khashoggi incident beforehand and doing nothing, but of participating in the brutal torture of a far more impactful journalist spanning many years - Julian Assange. Hunt sang the praises of two Reuters journalists who’d recently been released from prison in Burma after exposing a massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslims, right after defending the torture of the journalist who released the Collateral Murder video showing the massacre of 18 civilians, the fatalities from which included two Reuters journalists.
‘Unlimited reach, no safeguards’: Snowden warns of greatest social control scheme in history
The U.S. government has a tendency to hijack and weaponize revolutionary innovations, Edward Snowden said, noting that the natural human desire to communicate with others is now being exploited on an unprecedented scale.
“Our utopian vision for the future is never guaranteed to be realized,” Snowden told the audience in Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada via live stream from Moscow this week, stressing that the US government “corrupted our knowledge... towards a military purpose.”
"They took our nuclear capability and transformed it into the most horrible weapon that the world had ever witnessed. And we’re seeing an atomic moment of computer science... Its reach is unlimited... but its safeguards are not!"
The whistleblower, who in 2013 leaked a trove of highly classified information about global spying operations by the National Security Agency, argued that, armed with modern technology and with the help of social media and tech giants, governments are becoming “all-powerful” in their ability to monitor, analyse, and influence behaviour.
"It's through the use of new platforms and algorithms that are built on and around these capabilities that they are able to shift our behaviour. In some cases, they are able to predict our decisions and also nudge them to different outcomes."
The natural human need for “belonging” is being exploited and users voluntarily consent to surrender virtually all of their data by signing carefully drafted user agreements that no one bothers to read. “Everything has hundreds and hundreds of pages of legal jargon that we're not qualified to read and assess and yet they are considered binding upon us,” Snowden said.
"And now these institutions, which are both commercial and governmental... have structuralized and entrenched it to where it has become now the most effective means of social control in the history of our species."
WATCH Edward Snowden’s full speech
Update SAT 01. June 2019 (vf): Opposition figure Juan Guaido and a few people from his core group held today small rallies at three different locations: Socopo, Pedraza and Barinas. The turnout was very low with less than 1,000 unimpreed spectators in each location. "Skip these useless rallies and donate the money your US-American masters pay you to stage them to the hungry," angry bystanders were overheard as saying.
China Along with Russia Will Support Venezuela against U.S. Aggression
Chinese Vice Minister Zhang Hanhui says that Beijing and Moscow are interested in working together to support Venezuela in the face of foreign interventions.
“China is willing, together with Russia, to strengthen multilateral interaction and coordination on the Venezuelan issue,” said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui at a press conference on Thursday, answering the question of whether the issue of Venezuela will be raised during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Russia at the beginning of next June.
A Venezuelan international analyst consulted by OT said that “it would be a great opportunity for President Maduro to join this summit and strengthen the strategic alliance with these very important Venezuelan partners and at the same time update them with the most recent developments in Venezuela”. “We the chavista Venezuelans know that we can count with China and Russia not only for economic relations but also for military cooperation”, he added.
Zhang stressed that China and Russia have close positions on Venezuela and that both countries maintain permanent contact with the situation in the South American country, and stressed that Beijing and Moscow are opposed to any “foreign intervention in the internal affairs” of Venezuelans.
The Chinese vice chancellor added that his country is also willing to protect, together with Russia, international justice, the principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN), the sovereignty and independence of Venezuela, as well as maintain peace and stability in the region, helping Venezuelans recover the path of their normal development as soon as possible.
Russia and China have repeatedly ratified their support for Venezuela and have rejected the coup plan of the USA, and several of its regional allies, to recognize the self-proclamation of Juan Guaidó as “president in charge” of the Bolivarian Republic and to exert economic pressures against the Caribbean country.
Both Moscow and Beijing say that Washington is openly seeking the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and have promised to “defend the interests” of the Venezuelan people.
On May 17, Venezuela received medicine and medical and surgical equipment from China, while U.S. sanctions against the South American country intensified.
On the other hand, Russia, at the beginning of this month of May, announced its intention to create in the UN a coalition of countries to “counteract” an eventual U.S. invasion of Venezuela. (HispanTV snz / ktg / fmk / hnb with OT content - Translated by JRE/EF-OT)
Hey, this is not going away until Julian Assange is free:
Yesterday they said Julian Assange was gravely ill. Today they say he is "unresponsive" but have not announced he is dead.
MUST WATCH AGAIN: Are US/UK Trying To Kill Assange?
American educators demand freedom for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning
The WSWS Teacher Newsletter has received many statements from educators in support of Assange and Manning.