RESISTANCE AT THE HELM OF SOUTH AMERICA
No time to read and study? - in order to understand or to find an answer to the question: Why does the USA want to impose their kind of "democrazy" on Venezuela? - JUST WATCH 2:40 Minute CLIP, read this most important new STUDY and stand by the Venezuelan people in solidarity and friendship.
In situations of war, collective violence or atrocity there is no such thing as a neutral stance. Passive by-standing is aiding and abetting evil. Don’t be complicit. "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chose 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. All are permitted and encouraged to do so. If you feel an important piece in the puzzle of this timeline is missing, please send to info[AT]ecoterra[DOT]info.
LISTEN WHILE READING: They Don't Care About Us !
Update TUE 30. April 2019 (vf): BREAKING: Uproar outside the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D.C., USA, after U.S. Secret Service agents and uniformed police had arrived with lots of handcuffs. SEE LIVESTREAM So far the team - legally manning the embassy upon request of President Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan people - inside the encircled building is safe. The US-agents must protect the building and the embassy from right-wing wannabe followers of the far-right opposition from storming the building.
THE (not so) 'BLOODLESS' and FAILED COUP IN VENEZUELA
VERY IMPORTANT: CALM is restored in Venezuela: All military commanders of Venezuela are loyal to its government, President Nicolas Maduro assured amid an attempted military coup today declared by US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido.
Venezuela’s Vice President of Communication, Jorge Rodriguez, informed that the government is deactivating a small military group who was trying to promote the coup d'état. Foreign Minister Jose Arreaza stated on Twitter: "This attempt has added to the coup by the murderous far-right, which announced its violent agenda for months. We call on the people to stay on high alert so that together with the glorious Bolivarian National Armed Forces they can defeat the coup attempts to preserve peace."
Héctor Rodríguez C. texted: "The road is the peace, that is why we all mobilize towards Miraflores Palace to defend the Homeland and our democracy." Gen. Vladimir Padrino ensured: "The FANB stands firm in defense of the National Constitution and its legitimate authorities. All the military units deployed in the eight Integral Defense Regions report normalcy in their barracks and military bases and are under the command of their assigned commanders. We reject this coup movement that aims to fill the country with violence. The pseudo-political leaders who have placed themselves at the forefront of this subversive movement have used troops and police with weapons of war on a public road in the city to create anxiety and terror." The President of the National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, stated: "Absolute peace throughout the Venezuelan territory despite the claims made by the self-proclaimed "interim president" Juan Guaido of an attempted coup in the country." The President of Bolicia Evo Morales had already responded by saying: "We strongly condemn the attempted coup in
#Venezuela, by the right wing that is submissive to foreign interests. Sure that the courageous Bolivarian Revolution headed by brother @NicolasMaduro, will be imposed on this new attack by the empire."
President of the National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela Diosdado Cabello denied the capture of La Carlota Air Base after a small group of soldiers revolted to promote a coup d'état with the far right against the government of Nicolas Maduro.
Likewise, the national government has called on the Venezuelan people to move to the Miraflores presidential palace to reject the coup attempt.
"No military installation has been violated in the country, they are on the street at the Altamira Highway Interchange and we are directing operations from La Carlota Air Base," he explained.
Early this Tuesday Vice President of Communication, Jorge Rodríguez, reported that a group of soldiers were located in the Altamira Highway Interchange, in eastern Caracas, to promote a coup along with the far right.
The Venezuelan opposition figure Guaido has once again called on the military to overthrow the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro
The self-proclaimed "interim president" of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, went live on Twitter this morning to call on the military and people to begin an uprising against the legitimate government of President Nicolas Maduro.
Main government officials have rejected the attempted coup and called on the country's population to reject the coup and march towards the Miraflores presidential palace to protect the country from the far-right, U.S.-backed coup.
After the failed coup Juan Guaido was absent for several hours before releasing a video on social media in the evening, calling on his supporters to take to the streets on Wednesday to continue the “final phase” of “Operation Freedom.” Meanwhile his backer Leopoldo Lopez had already fled first to the Chilean ad then the Spaish embassy.
President Maduro addressed the Nation
He went on to say that the government has faced attempted coups as never before in history because of the extreme right's desire to "impose an illegitimate government and subject the country to a neocolonial model." "Today was a contrast of peace and violence in Venezuela, a coup d'état, delivered on behalf of foreign interests and the gringo empire," said the president regarding the attempted coup on Tuesday.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also refuted that statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo immediately and called it ‘fake news.’
“Mike Pompeo said that I, Maduro, had a plane ready to go to Cuba, to flee and that the Russians got him off the plane and forbade him to leave the country. Mr Pompeo, please, what lack of seriousness,” Maduro said, during a nationwide address announcing the “defeat” of the failed coup attempt.
At the height of civil unrest today, Pompeo appeared on CNN claiming Maduro had “an airplane on the tarmac” all set to leave for Cuba, before the “Russians indicated he should stay.”
Both Russian and Venezuelan foreign ministries pilloried the American for peddling what they called ‘fake news.’
“Making up fake news is a very sad way to accept that the coup you backed has failed... once again. Diplomacy has to be restored in the US Government,” Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza tweeted.
“Washington tried its best to demoralize the Venezuelan army and now used fakes as a part of an information war,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement to CNN.
UPDATE 00:00 UTC (20:00 local time in Venezuela)
Chile's Foreign Affairs Minister, Roberto Ampuero, tweeted that the wanted opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez and his family are now moving to the Spanish Embassy.
"I want to update the information: Lilian Tintori and Leopoldo Lopez -of Spanish descent- moved to the embassy of Spain. It is a personal decision, considering that our embassy already had guests."
"Lilian Tintori and her daughter entered [earlier] as guests to the residence of our diplomatic mission in Caracas. A few minutes ago her spouse, Leopoldo López, who stayed with his family in that place, joined her. Chile reaffirms commitment to Venezuelan Democrats," Ampuero said in a tweet.
The CARICOM leadership has issued a statement appealing "for calm and peace,” while reiterating a pledge that CARICOM will continue to make every effort to help bring a peaceful resolution to Venezuela’s political situation.
U.S. National Security adviser still resorts to blackmail, which is a criminal offence everywhere. Trump has nothing but a mobster and Mafia team with him.
.@vladimirpadrino, @Ivanr_HD, @MaikelMorenoTSJ: Your time is up. This is your last chance. Accept Interim President Guaido’s amnesty, protect the Constitution, and remove Maduro, and we will take you off our sanctions list. Stay with Maduro, and go down with the ship.
Pompeo Claims USA Had Indications Maduro Was Ready to Leave Venezuela
US Secretary of the State Mike Pompeo claimed in an interview that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was prepared to leave the country on Tuesday morning, but then reversed his plan.
"[Maduro] had an airplane on the tarmac, he was ready to leave this morning as we understand it and the Russians indicated he should stay," Pompeo told CNN on Tuesday.
Pompeo added that Maduro planned to go to the Cuban capital of Havana.
The National Liberation Farabundo Marti Front (FMLN) from El Salvador has released a statement condemning emphatically the coup attempt and reject all attempts to gain power through violence.
"We pronounce ourselves in defence to the respect of sovereignty and self-determination of the Latin American people and the world in its social and revolutionary transformation projects."
President Donald Trump threatens Cuba with a "full embargo" if they do not stop their support for Venezuela. He is a bad loser.
What drove The Donald allegedly mad today was that Bolton's plan to stage the coup on a day when President Maduro actually had in mind and was set to fly to Cuba for the 1th of May celebrations was crossed and that the top Venezuelan leaders who had fooled his agents over months remained loyal while President Maduro stayed in Venezuela as Commander in Chief - rebuffing the childish coup plans.
"The government of reconciliation and national unity and the Nicaraguan people condemn and categorically reject the innumerable provocation that has already been carried out today against the right to peace and stability of the Venezuelan people and its legitimate government, led by the constitutional president, comrade Nicolas Maduro," the statement reads.
Nicaragua also expressed its absolute support for all efforts by Maduro and the people of Venezuela to promote dialogue and reconciliation, and expressed solidarity with the people of Venezuela.
teleSUR correspondent in Brazil has received confirmation from the foreign ministry of Brazil that 25 soldiers and coup plotters have asked protection in the Brazilian embassy in Caracas following the defeat of the coup.
Solution to Venezuelan Crisis Can Only Be Political and Peaceful - Mogherini The EU is closely following the latest events in Venezuela, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement Tuesday.
"The EU is closely following the latest events in Venezuela. We reiterate that there can only be a political, peaceful and democratic way out for the multiple crises the country is facing. The European Union rejects any form of violence and calls for utmost restraint to avoid the loss of lives and an escalation of tensions," Mogherini said.
"The European Union firmly stands with the Venezuelan people and its legitimate democratic aspirations. We will continue to spare no efforts to achieve a reinstatement of democracy and rule of law, through free and fair elections, in accordance with the Venezuelan constitution," she said.
It still seems not to be clear to her, that without the support of most EU member states to the heinous plans of the Trump-team, the U.S. administration wouldn't have been able to create this crisis.
Russia's Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced that "if Washington does not stop interfering in the affairs of Venezuela, it will lead to the collapse of the situation."
She commented also that some Washington politicians cannot appreciate how destructive that path can be "which is strange because everyone else already sees it".
Zakharova made these statements after U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton requested a "regime change" in Venezuela.
During a press conference from New York, the Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations Samuel Moncada said that Tuesday’s “coup attempt seeks to promote a puppet government, but failed because most of our people want to live in peace and with the right to self-determination."
The Venezuelan official also called on the international community to reject the far-right violent attempt, for it “violates every U.N Charter and undermines peace."
The diplomat pointed out that the U.S. government has openly admitted that it has participated in today's new conspiracy act and commented that “it's a psychopathic, warlike elite that is using all media with a bombard of fake news."
Regarding Venezuela opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez asylum request at the Chilean embassy, Moncada said that “those gentlemen have been defeated, but that defeat will have consequences in many parts of that fictitious government."
Reports say that at least 35 People were injured in clashes between Police and Protesters in Caracas
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton issues renewed threat: "All options are on the table!
Chile’s Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Ampuero confirmed that Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez and his family requested asylum at the Chilean embassy in Caracas.
"Lilian Tintori and her daughter entered as guests of our diplomatic mission in Caracas. A few minutes ago her spouse, Leopoldo Lopez, joined his family in that place. Chile reaffirms commitment with Venezuelan democrats," Minister Ampuero tweeted.
Canada requests emergency meeting of the Lima Group to discuss the Venezuelan crisis
Jill Stein, a medical doctor and former Green Party candidate in the U.S. presidential elections in 2012 and 2016, rejected the Trump administration's attempt to destabilize Venezuela in order to grab its oil resources.
The Communist Party of Kenya (CPK) condemned in the strongest terms the U.S.-backed coup attempt and called to “abash imperialism”.
“The CPK congratulates the Venezuelan military and the Venezuelan masses for crushing the U.S backed coup. We call upon the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan Government to move with speed, arrest the coup plotters and subject them to the Venezuelan criminal justice system. Abash US Imperialism abash!”
The Socialist Forum of Ghana (SFG) issued a statement rejecting the coup attempt and standing with the Venezuelan constitutional government.
“The SFG unreservedly condemns the attempted coup in Venezuela instigated by the U.S and other reactionary centres. We salute the revolutionary armed forces of Venezuela for their dignity and commitment to the constitutional order. The SFG expresses its full solidarity with the Government and people of Venezuela resisting imperialist aggression.”
Facing a new failed coup attempt in Venezuela, the U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton tried again to threaten and bribe Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino, Presidential Guard commander Ivan Hernandez, and Supreme Justice president Maikel Moreno by promising them special favours in exchange for supporting the opposition politician Guaido.
“Your time is up. This is your last chance. Accept Interim President Guaido’s amnesty, protect the Constitution, and remove Maduro, and we will take you off our sanctions list. Stay with Maduro, and go down with the ship,” said Bolton.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attempted coup led by Venezuelan opposition politicians Juan Guaido and Leopoldo Lopez.
"Those who make efforts to appoint a colonial governor in Venezuela should know that you can only decide how to govern a country through democratic elections," said Erdogan, referring to the countries which have expressed their support for the Venezuelan opposition.
U.S. President Donald Trump broke his silence to tacitly support the coup attempt which Guaido initiated Tuesday morning in Venezuela.
“I monitoring the situation in Venezuela very closely. The United States stands with the People of Venezuela and their Freedom!”
Mexico's Communist Party spoke in favour of the self-determination of the Venezuelan people who are currently resisting a new U.S.-backed attack.
"Solidarity with the Venezuelan people in the face of this U.S. Trump administration-promoted coup d’etat. They are the ones who have to decide their destiny, without imperialist interference or intervention."
Chile's Communist Party expressed its solidarity with the Venezuelan people and rejected the U.S.-backed coup attempt.
“There is no place to ‘half-way measures’ any more: NO to the coup d'etat in Venezuela. We condemn and reject the Venezuelan right-wing triggered violence, which is headed by Guaido, supported by the Lima Group and the United States. Once again, they will not pass!”
Jean-Luc Melenchon, a French socialist politician and congressman, tweeted that "an ultra tiny, minority military squadron is attempting, along with the self-proclaimed president Guaido -the puppet- a coup in Venezuela. The Colombian right-wing calls in vain for the secession of the [Bolivarian] Army. Does [French President] Macron approve the military coup attempt?"
"I was in La Carlota [Air Base] when we heard shots coming from the highway interchange at Altamira taken by a group of military traitors and this was just the moment when they fire. Watch closely, even the civilians who were there they also take out their weapons."
"And this is how we lived the moment inside La Carlota when they [the opposition members] shot from the Altamira highway interchange. We heard the blast of shots and then silence."
The State of Palestine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the coup attempt against Venezuelan constitutional President Nicolas Maduro.
"The Ministry expresses its full solidarity with the Venezuelan brave people which rejects foreign hegemony and domination ... On behalf of the Palestinian State and its people, the Ministry also declares its solidarity with the elected and legitimate leadership of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which is represented by President Nicolas Maduro."
The Palestinian Authority also disapproved any form of foreign intervention in Venezuela, either through military actions or economic sanctions. The Ministry expressed its position in favor of dialogue as a way to resolve any conflicting Venezuelan political forces.
Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino denounced that a Bolivarian army’s colonel was bullet wounded on the Francisco Fajardo highway, where Guaido-led opposition forces have been demonstrating in Caracas.
"I denounce violent aggression against Col. Yerzon Jimenez Baez, the CZGNB-43 Operations chief, who was shot in his neck on the Francisco Fajardo highway. He is entering the operating room right now. I hold the political opposition leadership responsible."
Soldiers reveal to teleSUR reporters about how they were tricked into joining the attempted coup by Juan Guaido and his right-wing allies in the country.
Barbados Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration Secretary General, David Denny, rejected Tuesday the right-wing coup attempt against Venezuela's constitutional government and stressed that this violent action is backed by the U.S. government and its regional allies.
“Our movement calls on the Caribbean governments, trade union leader, youth leaders and women organisations leaders to condemn Juan Guaido's coup attempt, which is supported by the U.S., against the Venezuelan peaceful government and people... Long live the Bolivarian people’s revolution”, Denny said.
According to the Russian news agency Tass, President Vladimir Putin met the National Security Council to discuss Tuesday's situation in Venezuela.
"The meeting’s participants paid much attention to the situation in Venezuela in light of the news about an attempted coup," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted.
“We stand on principles supporting political and civilized ways to resolve domestic differences among Venezuelan citizens. We call on all international community members, including [Venezuela’s] closest neighbours, to reaffirm their adherence to the UN Charter and the international law norms and principles, and to support the return of Venezuela to a stable and progressive development path through the dialogue of all the country’s responsible political forces.”
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked for “maximum restraint” in Venezuela to avoid violence, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told international media.
"The Secretary-General urges all sides to exercise maximum restraint and he appeals to all stakeholders to avoid any violence and take immediate steps to restore calm," Dujarric said and added that Guterres was available to mediate if required.
Uruguay's Communist Party expressed its solidarity with President Nicolas Maduro and requested that the Montevideo Mechanism countries -which include Uruguay, Bolivia and Mexico- act immediately to prevent any further attack to Venezuela.
"In several countries, there have been tests of coup attempts. Once the alignment of the forces is verified, those tests have materialized. Therefore, we call on all democratic and peace supporting forces... to remain alert and firm in solidarity."
The Russian Foreign Ministry, which issued Tuesday a press released commenting on Venezuela’s situation, stated that the Guaido-led opposition is provoking public disorder.
“Venezuela's radical opposition has once again turned to power methods of confrontation. Instead of a peaceful settlement of political contradictions, the course was taken to incite conflict,” the text says, as reported by RT.
Russian diplomats called on protesters to avoid unrest and bloodshed, for “any action should be taken exclusively within the framework of the law."
The Russian Foreign Ministry also asked mainstream media not to spread “fake news” or become "political forces’ obedient tools.”
It was in this tense atmosphere that Argentinians turned out in large numbers to reject the attack on the Bolivarian government, and to repel a small group of Venezuelan right wing protesters who were attempting to illegally enter the embassy.
Venezuela’s Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino gave a press conference to narrate how today's attempted coup in Venezuela had occurred.
"This is a cowardly, terrorist act and an attempted coup d'état of a very small magnitude," he said and stressed that Guaido's far-right forces "have tricked a group of men with hijacked vehicles of our national guard to commit a terrorist act."
Minister Padrino also mentioned that the Bolivarian militia reacted immediately to the coup attempt and "their commanders put themselves at the head of their troops to reject a cowardly act."
Zambia’s Socialist Party condemned the coup attempt against the Bolivarian Revolution and reaffirmed its support to President Maduro's redistributive policies.
“Having failed over the years to kill the leadership and destroy the gains of the Bolivarian Revolution, the U.S. is now desperately turning to rogues in the army to do their dirty job. As it is to be expected, the greatest majority of the troops and all commanders are loyal to the people, the Constitution and their homeland. Commandant Nicolas Maduro is the undisputed constitutional President of Venezuela.”
The African party also pointed out the real reasons behind the so-called “Operation Liberty”, namely, the "imperial" desire to plunder Venezuelan natural resources.
“The U.S. and European imperialist powers, plus their representatives in Venezuela, have plundered that country for centuries. The Bolivarian Revolution reversed that plunder and redistributed the wealth to its people. This is against the logic of capitalist plunder. This is the reason why today a coup is underway – to deny the Venezuelan masses their regained sovereignty and dignity.”
UPDATE: 14: 30
During an interview with RT, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said that "the U.S. has been behind all the coup attempts in Venezuela since 2001." This time, however, the U.S. is not "behind" but rather "in front of" the attempted coup.
"It has been demonstrated that the craft of this coup is from the U.S. and that it is they who are financing and promoting the coup", he said and further explained, speaking more accurately, that the new coup attempt began on Jan. 23, when the opposition congressman Juan Guaido illegally self-proclaimed Venezuela's "interim president" and the U.S. government supported such claim.
Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrad presented through twitter his country's stance regarding the coup d'etat which opposition Juan Guaido tried to carry out this Tuesday morning.
"The Mexican government is following closely the Venezuelan ongoing situation and is concerned about a possible escalation of violence. Mexico reiterates its commitment to finding a peaceful solution to the crisis... Through the Foreign Affairs Ministry, consultations are being held with the other sixteen Montevideo Mechanism countries in order to find a common route."
teleSUR's correspondents spoke to the Chavistas gathering at the Miraflores palace in support of President Maduro and in rejection of the coup.
Jose Arnelas, the Chief of the Operational Strategic Command (CEOFAN), which is the highest command organ of the National Armed Forces, confirmed his support of the constitutional government and the Chavista revolutionary legacy.
"As a soldier of this country who remains attached to my supreme commander Hugo Chavez’ legacy, I reaffirm my absolute loyalty to my Chief commander Nicolas Maduro. Today, more than ever, we, the National Bolivarian Armed Forces will defeat those who seek to break the Republic's peace. Overcome."
As a Soldier of this Homeland, I REAFFIRM my #AbsoluteLoyalty to my General Commander @NicolasMaduro and also to the legacy of my Supreme Commander #HugoChavez . Today more than ever in the FANB we will OVERCOME against those who seek to break the Peace of the Republic. SUCCEED. https://t.co/6irjpnf1af
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) April 30, 2019
From Breno Altman's (a Brazilian leftist intellectual with direct contacts in Venezuela) Facebook (personal translation from Brazilian Portuguese):
VENEZUELA: LATEST NEWS
Maduro's government is quickly controlling and neutralizing a small group of officials' "coupist" (golpista) uprising which was propped up by the rightist opposition and the White House.
The antidemocratic epicentre lies in the Altamira region, eastern Caracas. The rest of the capital stays in relative tranquility; there's no information about any support from other army headquarters.
The president and his main advisors, through multiple ways, convoke the people to immediately gather in front of the Miraflores palace, to answer in a massive and pacific way to the coupists.
The Defense Minister, alongside the high command of the FANB, has already publicly reiterated its support to the sovereign government (i.e. Maduro -- N.T.) and assured that the troops remain united with the Bolivarian Revolution.
Juan Guaidó's attempt, with his international partners, reveal the riles of a process initiated at 23 January (2019 -- N.T.), when he self-proclaimed "interin president".
Losing popularity and isolating himself from other opposition currents, the candidate to usurper plays his last hand in these hours, trying to stimulate a new coupist offensive before his veil falls and he exits stage.
The conjuncture is still tense and dangerous. Once more, however, the Bolivarian Revolution reveals its unity, wisdom and strength to defeat the enemies of the people.
It was published circa 10 a.m., Brazilian time.
Venezuela’s President of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) Diosdado Cabello joined the Bolivarian people who were supporting President Nicolas Maduro outside the ANC building.
"We are a conscious, warrior and revolutionary people. Imperialism can understand it however it wants, but to the Palace of Miraflores they will never return," he said.
#HandsOffVenezuela | President of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) of Venezuela @dcabellor: "We are a conscious, warrior and revolutionary people. Imperialism can understand it however it wants, but to the Palace of Miraflores they will never return. 10:30am Local time. pic.twitter.com/j3zUNjUVsO
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) 30 de abril de 2019
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza responded to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's tweet by showing that he is assuming a "leadership role of the coup attempt. In the name of God, he calls for violence, destruction and death. Is that being a good Christian? The People of Venezuela and their Bolivarian Armed Forces are a guarantee of peace and respect for the Constitution."
The Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) countries strongly rejected attempts to violate the constitutional order in Venezuela and pointed out that the events are "clearly a coup attempt sponsored and prompted by the Venezuelan far-right radical forces acting in complicity with the historical enemies of Latin American countries' independence and sovereignty."
The ALBA countries called on the Latin American peoples to defend their independence and sovereignty.
Venezuela's Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's claims supporting "Operation Freedom," which is the code name used to disguising the U.S. backed military action in the Latin American country.
"The puppet chosen by the empire and its ally governments only serve to ridiculously be the image in beauty covers but with its devilish face! The brave people of Bolívar and Chávez are with the constitutional Venezuelan President @NicolasMaduro we will overcome!"
Vice President Rodriguez also pointed out "in a shameless and immoral way, the U.S. government recognizes its authorship in this criminal coup attempt against Venezuela! They're showing the world their desire to destroy our Homeland! The Venezuelan people will continue defeating the imperial aggressions in peace! "
The puppet chosen by the empire and its ally governments only serve to ridiculously be the image in beauty covers but with its devilish face! The brave people of Bolívar and Chávez are with the constitutional Venezuelan President @NicolasMaduro we will overcome! https://t.co/wY2VhXyg7u
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) April 30, 2019
“Anyone who comes to [the presidential palace of] Miraflores with violence will be defeated with violence. If we have to use weapons, we will use them,” Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said in a televised national address, in an apparent warning to the crowds flocking to the palace.
The minister also said that he holds the opposition led by the US-backed self-proclaimed “interim president,” Juan Guaido, responsible for “any death … on the streets” while accusing the opponents of the Venezuelan government of “seeking bloodshed.”
Venezuelan law enforcement appears to be serious about using their weaponry, as shortly after the minister’s warning, a shootout broke out in the vicinity of the country’s Transport Ministry in Caracas. Footage from the scene shows several police officers exchanging fire with unseen adversaries, said to be a group of gunmen, who local channel NTN24 said shot at civilians from inside of the ministry. Pictures from th US-instigated Maidan Square killings come to mind where snipers were killing civilian and security personnel alike to create the false flag and trigger the subsequent uprisig.
An armoured vehicle, which appears to belong to the Venezuelan National Guard, has been filmed ramming into a crowd of rioters in Caracas. Clashes have broken out in the capital, amid an ongoing coup attempt.
Footage published on social media by several Latin American TV channels shows three armoured military vehicles being confronted by a group of people on a highway in Caracas.
Some of them can be seen punching the vehicles, throwing stones and hitting cars with sticks. At one point, one of the official vehicles is seen ramming the crowd, appearing to run over several people.
It is unclear, though, if the incident resulted in any life-threatening casualties. At least one person can be seen being hit by the vehicle and another one is seemingly lying on the ground following the incident. It is also unclear, who exactly was behind the wheel of the car.
The incident occurred amid reports of clashes between rival groups of the Venezuelan National Guard in Caracas. The Venezuelan health authorities said that at least 59 people were injured as the protests initiated by Guaido on Tuesday descended into chaos, involving clashes between demonstrators and the Venezuelan security forces, as well as between rival groups of Venezuelan military personnel supporting the government or the opposition.
At least 83 people were detained on Tuesday in Venezuela during protests against the government, the Head of Foro Penal Venezuelan non-governmental organization (NGO) Alfredo Romero said on Twitter. "We confirm the information on 83 arrests for participation in demonstrations today," he wrote. According to NGO estimates, most people (59) were detained in Zulia state. In other regions, the number of detainees varies from one to four. Earlier, human rights activists talked about 25 people in detention.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro informed the people that the leaders of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela remain loyal to the revolutionary process.
"Nerves of steel! I have spoken with the Commanders of all the country's regions and zones of comprehensive military defense. They have manifested their full loyalty to the people, the Constitution and the Homeland. I summon the people’s supreme mobilization to ensure the victory of peace. We will win!" he twitted.
Nerves of steel! I have talked with the Commanders of all the REDI [Integral Strategic Defense Regions] and ZODI [Integral Defense Operations Zones] of the Country, who have manifested their total loyalty to the People, to the Constitution and to the Homeland. I call on a maximum popular mobilization to ensure a Peace victory. We shall overcome! https://t.co/aPY9duXOuT
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) April 30, 2019
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro called a ministerial emergency meeting to analyze the Venezuelan situation, according to Vice President Hamilton Mourao.
Regarding the coup attempt by opposition congressman Guaido, the Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo said he "expects the Venezuelan military to be part of the democratic transition process... we have to see the dimension of this. Brazil supports the democratic transition process."
UPDATE: 13: 00
teleSUR's correspondent in Venezuela delivers an update on what happens on Caracas streets. Venezuelan Mayor General denies takeover of La Carlota Air Base.
Peru's Foreign Minister reported that President Martin Vizcarra administration supports the Guaido-led coup attempt in Venezuela and is calling an emergency meeting of The Lima Group.
"We fully support interim president Juan Guaido in his struggle to recover democracy in Venezuela. The Maduro’s usurping, dictatorial regime must come to an end ... Peru and the Lima Group are closely following the situation in Venezuela with a view to summon an emergency meeting."
Chile's President Sebastian Piñera supports the coup attempt which is led by opposition congressman Juan Guaido.
"We reiterate our full support for President Guaido and democracy in Venezuela. The Maduro dictatorship must end with the Venezuelan people's peaceful force and within the constitutional frame. This will restore liberties, democracy, human rights and progress in Venezuela."
Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary-General Luis Almagro welcomed the "military’s adhesion" to the coup attempt in Venezuela, led by Juan Guaido.
"We welcome the adhesion of the military to the Constitution and the President in charge of Venezuela Juan Guaido. It is necessary to fully support the process of democratic transition in a peaceful way, "Almagro said.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza delivered a response to Almagro:
The GENERAL HITMAN sponsors and promotes the attempted coup in Venezuela. The OAS has always opted for violence and coups, ignoring and violating the fundamental principles of International Law and the Charter of the #OAS https://t.co/FzV6ihcUjz
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) April 30, 2019of Venezuela.
The United States government has come out in support of the coup in Venezuela.
Today interim President Juan Guaido announced start of Operación Libertad. The U.S. Government fully supports the Venezuelan people in their quest for freedom and democracy. Democracy cannot be defeated. #EstamosUnidosVE
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) April 30, 2019
The Mexican government has issued a statement saying it was worried about the escalation of Violence in Venezuela and a possibility of bloodshed. It also called for resuming peace dialogue efforts that were agreed on in Montevideo.
Bolivian President Evo Morales and Cuban President Diaz-Canel issued statements rejecting the military coup attempt in Venezuela.
Country's Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino rejected the coup attempt and said that the country's legitimate military forces would respond to any attempt to overthrow the government of Nicolas Maduro. "We reject this coup movement that aims to fill the country with violence. The pseudo-political leaders who have placed themselves at the forefront of this subversive movement have used troops and police with weapons of war on a public road in the city to create anxiety and terror."
Following Guaido's plea, the Venezuelan Vice President of Communications, Jorge Rodriguez, tweeted that the military is confronting a group of traitors seeking to promote a coup d'etat. "We inform to Venezuelan people that we are currently confronting and deactivating a small group of traitors in our military personnel who positioned themselves in the Altamira Interchange to promote a Coup d'etat against the Constitution and the peace of the Republic."
President of the National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, denied the capture of the Carlota Air Base, after a small group of soldiers appeared to be supporting the Guaido coup.
"No military installation has been violated in the country, they are on the street in the Altamira Interchangeand we are directing operations from the Carlota Air Base," he explained. Likewise, the national government has called on the Venezuelan people to move to Miraflores to reject the coup attempt.
One of the first to ratify his support for the coup was U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who later tweeted vehemently over 30 messages to express his desire to see President Maduro deposed.
UPDATE 10:00 (UTC) (06:00 local Venezuelan time = UTC minus 4h)
According to reports, a small group of defectors from Venezuela's SEBIN intelligence service "freed Leopoldo Lopez from house arrest" early Tuesday morning. Lopez then joined Guaido and a handful of members from different branches of the armed forces on the Altamira highway interchange in eastern Caracas close to La Carlota airbase. Leopoldo Lopez has been a stooge for the U.S. government and the far-right, white supremacists of Spanish descent in Venezuela since years and his name appears in US diplomatic cables from 2009, which outline his strategy of running for public office and, potentially, for the presidency. However, US diplomats describe him as a “divisive figure” among the opposition, who is often “vindictive, and power-hungry.”
His wife, Lilian Tintori, has campaigned constantly for his freedom, and has met with US President Donald Trump and other political leaders. But Tintori found herself in the middle of a scandal in 2017 after police found a large amount of cash in her car, and she was later barred from leaving the country. Lopez and Guaido published videos on social media - calling on other elements of the armed forces to join the uprising and on their supporters to take to the streets. Guaido vowed that this was the "final phase" in ousting the Maduro government. A small group of National Guards lead by Juan Guaido and Leopoldo Lopez then initiated what they call “Operation Freedom”, blocking the transit road with 2 trucks - very similar to the ones owned by POLAR holdings the Venezuelan corporate entity - in the Francisco de Miranda highway just outside La Carlota Military Base.
Guaido was filmed standing next to the former opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez who was arrested in 2014, prosecuted to prison after he was found guilty of “inciting violence” during the anti-government riots, but then had been pardoned to house arrest. Lopez already earlier had also secret deals with British magnate Richard Branson, who staged the flopped "aid"concert in February (see THE VENEZUELA FILES I. Leopoldo Lopez wrote on Twitter that he was “released by the military” on Tuesday under the orders of Guaido. The three-minute video was shot ahead of a planned anti-government rally that day, in which Guaido said that the soldiers deployed to the streets would be acting to “protect Venezuela’s constitution.”
Juan Guaido had earlier claimed on Twitter that he was meeting with “the key military units” of the Venezuelan army as “the beginning of the final phase of Operation Freedom.”
The army “had taken the right decision” to move out against President Nicolas Maduro, he wrote. He also called on Venezuelans to go out on the streets and help to “mobilize” the army against the government. All Fake News. According to Reuters' witnesses, men in military uniform were seen accompanying Guaido while exchanging fire with soldiers reportedly supporting Maduro. Reuters whose correspondent obviously had been invited by the opposition to cover their staged show "reported", citing an eyewitness, that Guaido and a group of around 70 soldiers would be standing on a Caracas highway next to a military base. The opposition leader earlier announced that he was filming his video at the La Carlota Air Base.
Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, meanwhile, blasted Guaido’s move as “a coup with the aims to flood the country with violence.”
The army “stands firm in defense of the National Constitution and the legitimate authorities,” he said, adding that the military units all across Venezuela are staying at their bases and remain loyal to their commanders.
Guaido’s recent moves show that he has “let the dynamic slip” and “lost momentum” since he challenged Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro as a self-declared interim president in January, Bambery said. This also indicates that the opposition chief’s “popular mobilization has come and gone,” he added.
"There is a hint of desperation [in Juan Guaido’s actions]. His attempt to stage a color-coded revolution has not succeeded, so he’s reduced to trying to instigate a military coup."
The world's democratic and progressive forces are raising their voices to reject the U.S.-backed attempted coup d'etat.
World leaders in Latin America and the world rejected today the renewed attempted coup against the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro which was launched by opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido, who had self-declared as president in January with the support of the United States and its regional right-wing allies.
Bolivian President Evo Morales condemned the attempted coup in Venezuela.
"We strongly condemn the coup attempt in Venezuela performed by the right wing, which is submissive to foreign interests. Confident that the courageous Bolivarian Revolution at the head of the brother Nicolas Maduro, will be imposed on this new attack of the empire," he twitted in the early hours of the morning.
Venezuelan minister Vladimir Padrino assured that the military personnel "stands firm in defence of the national Constitution and its legitimate authorities."
"Venezuela's peaceful opposition wanting to turn their country into another Iraq or Libya for the benefit of Trump and his fascist satellites. No to the coup d'etat. Hands Off Venezuela. They will not pass."
In that sense, he explained that all the military units deployed in the country's eight defense regions report normalcy in their military bases and remain under the command of their legitimate commanders.
From Cuba, President Miguel Diaz-Canel also rejected the attempted coup and pointed out that it is promoted by those who try to violently overthrow the Bolivarian Revolution.
In his Twitter account, the Cuban leader said: "We reject this coup that aims to fill the country with violence. The traitors who have placed themselves at the forefront of this subversive movement have used troops and police with weapons of war on a public road in the city to create anxiety and terror. "
In a similar tone, Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, who called for stopping aggression against Latin American countries, said that "we strongly condemn attempted coup d'etat in Venezuela. Firm support and solidarity from Cuba to the Constitutional President of that sister nation, Nicolas Maduro, to his government and to the Bolivarian and Chavista people."
From Mexico the Manuel Andres Lopez Obrador administration said that is closely following what is going on at Venezuela and expressed its concern about the possible escalation of violence and bloodshed which opposition action may be brought about.
"Mexico reiterates its desire and commitment to finding a peaceful, democratic and dialogue-based solution to this crisis, always privileging unrestricted respect for human rights. Through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, consultations are being held with the other sixteen Montevideo Mechanism countries in order to find a common route."
Very early in the morning, Venezuelas' Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza had reacted to the coup attempt by denouncing the support of Colombia and the United States for Juan Guaido's actions.
"We inform the people of Venezuela that we are currently confronting and deactivating a small group of traitorous military personnel who positioned themselves in the Altamira Highway Interchange to promote a coup d'état against the Constitution and the peace of the Republic... This attempt was joined by the murderous far-right... We call on the people to remain on high alert to, together with the glorious Bolivarian National Armed Forces, defeat the coup attempt and preserve peace... We denounce to the international community the support of the Colombian government for this new coup attempt in Venezuela. From Washington and Bogota, all the last months' unsuccessful unconstitutional actions in Venezuela have been planned."
From Brazil, the Workers' Party congressman and journalist Paulo Pimenta said, "it is very serious what is happening in Venezuela and it has a name: coup attempt. Surely Guaido is playing to 'all or nothing' because he has the U.S. in the rear and we know that Trump is capable of anything to get hold of the world's largest oil reserves.
For his part, Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stressed that the solution to the Venezuelan situation must be achieved through dialogue and in a peaceful manner.
However, The Democratic establishment in the USA didn't stay behind expressing the same sort of comments and sentiments from Republicans against the democratically and legitimate government of Venezuela, as Pompeo had uttered them.
The thin line between the Democratic establishment and the Republicans was once again crossed today, as many highly influential Democrats showed their public support for the illegal Trump-backed coup attempt in Venezuela, following close to their political rivals remarks.
Early in the morning as the situation unfolded in the capital city of Caracas, Trump, Rubio, Bolton, Abrams, Pompeo in blatant violation of law gloated in support of the attempted coup. But the Democratic establishment didn't stay behind expressing the same sort of comments and sentiments against the democratically and legitimate government of Venezuela.
Joe Biden, in particular, stood out as he was the only Democratic presidential candidate that commented. Yet his tweet showed a lack of understanding of the situation as he called the opposition protests “peaceful” even though images from all major newscasts showed violence and instigation, closing his tweet by blaming President Nicolas Maduro.
"The violence in Venezuela today against peaceful protesters is criminal. Maduro's regime is responsible for incredible suffering. The U.S. must stand with the National Assembly & Guaidó in their efforts to restore democracy through legitimate, internationally monitored elections."
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 30, 2019
Another high ranking Democrat who decided to weigh in the situation was House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, that by carefully picking her words opted for a message filled with commonplaces, while as same Biden targeting President Maduro. Dick Durbin, the Democratic whip in the Senate also tweeted in support of U.S. meddling.
The Trump Administration was clear thru U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the government “fully supports” what both the far-right and the U.S. have dubbed as “Operation Liberty.” Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Rick Scott (R) also proved how invested the U.S. is to the destabilization of the South American nation.
As a response, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza denounced these U.S. initiatives, especially that issued by Pompeo, saying that he “makes a spectacle of diplomacy, by promoting and financing a violent coup in Venezuela. Washington's obsession with controlling Venezuela's oil wealth leads them to clumsiness”.
Yet Biden, Pelosi and the Democratic Establishment’s latest tweets have shown how close their politics are to those of the Republican leadership.
ALERT: Last week, Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela read a document posted by the US Department of State on their website (see here on 24th below) enumerating some of the “achievements” of the US unilateral and ilegal sanctions on Venezuela. He mentioned that the document can and will be used in legal proceedings at international courts against the USA.
Hours later the document was taken off the US Department of State website.
When one searches the web one still (as for today) can find the document in a couple of websites but it is feared that those also might be wiped. You still can find it HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.
It is obvious that the US government is working actively in strangling Venezuelan economy But no matter how many Venezuelans they kill in the process, that is why it’s so important to have their own confession in writing their regime change goals on a peaceful country only interested in promoting the well being of all Venezuelans.
An unconfirmed Reuters report says that a Venezuelan National Guard vehicle ran over some of the protesters in Caracas after they started throwing stones at the guards' trucks and striking them with sticks, but there have been no official reports of casualties so far.
The Caracas Metro said on Tuesday it had stopped the operation of three of its four lines for security reasons until further notice amid the attempted coup in Venezuela.
"We inform our users that, for security reasons, three lines of the Caracas Metro system stop servicing until further instructions. We apologize for the inconvenience caused," the metro said on Twitter.
The development comes amid calls by Venezuelan self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido, supported by the US, to ensure the “definitive cessation of the usurpation” of legitimately elected President Nicolas Maduro as part of his so-called Operation Freedom, which has repeatedly failed to attract a large audience in the country.
According to the report, over the past few months Prince has been seeking investment and political backing for his alleged plans from Trump supporters and well-off Venezuelans living in exile.
In a series of private meetings, the Blackwater mastermind reportedly pitched an idea to deploy 5,000 soldiers-for-hire from Colombia and other South American nations on behalf of Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president.
Reuters noted that neither the White House, nor the Maduro government had responded to the comments, while Edward Rodriguez, a spokesman for Guaido, said that the country’s opposition officials had not discussed security ops with Prince.
As for Prince, his spokesperson Marc Cohen said earlier this month that the Blackwater founder had “no plans to operate or implement an operation in Venezuela”.
However, according to Reuters, the director of investor relations at Prince’s private equity firm Frontier Resource Group, Lital Leshem, confirmed his interest in a Venezuela mission. “He does have a solution for Venezuela, just as he has a solution for many other places”, the media outlet cited her as saying.
Two insiders with direct knowledge claim that Prince had requested at least $40 million in funds from private investors, as well as billions of dollars in frozen Venezuelan assets – although it remains unclear how the Guaido-led opposition could get hold of them.
His efforts to start an intelligence mission in the chaos-hit Latin American country are still ongoing, as one source alleged that Prince had held meetings in mid-April.
Earlier in the day, Guaido encouraged the nation and the Venezuelan Armed Forces to take to the streets in Caracas and ensure “the definitive cessation of the usurpation” of constitutionally elected President Maduro.
His calls were denounced by Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Lopez, who blasted Guaido’s “coup movement” and attempts to “fill the country with violence”. The minister reaffirmed the military’s loyalty to President Maduro, saying that the situation at all military bases remained stable.
Venezuela has been mired in an ongoing political crisis since early January, when Guaido was elected the head of the opposition-led National Assembly that all other government branches have been refusing to recognise since 2016.
In mid-January, two days after the Venezuelan Supreme Court annulled his election, Guaido proclaimed himself interim president in defiance of legitimate President Maduro, who was sworn in for a second term on 10 January.
Guaido’s move was immediately recognised by the United States, with other countries around the world following suit, while Maduro blasted Guaido as a US “puppet” and dismissed the entire situation as a coup attempt staged by Washington.
As the Venezuelan crisis was gaining momentum in late January, US National Security Adviser John Bolton was spotted holding a yellow notepad with the words “5,000 troops to Colombia” during a presser on new sanctions against Caracas.
Given POTUS’ repeated remarks that “all options are on the table” for Venezuela, the mysterious note reinforced concerns that the Trump administration was planning to deploy armed forces to Colombia amid the political crisis in Venezuela.
At the time, Acting US Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan told reporters that he had not discussed the alleged plan with Bolton.
Update MON 29. April 2019 (vf): According to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro’s cronies are looking for a “golden ticket” out of the regime.
“I think we see leaders inside of Maduro's inner circle now trying to figure out what the golden ticket looks like,” Pompeo told the Hill’s Newsmaker Series Monday morning. “'What does it look like if I leave?' When they start asking those questions, surely some of them will decide that there are better times ahead not supporting that thug.”
U.S. officials have struggled to fracture the regime since January, when President Trump recognized opposition figure Juan Guaidó as the interim president of the country. Maduro refuses to relinquish power and the military remains resolute behind him.
“They will be in a far better place if they chose a different path,” Pompeo said of Maduro’s Cuban backers. “We are making the same case to all the parties that are supporting Maduro. Certainly the people inside his own military, his own army. The Cubans, the next ring out. The Russians.”
"The violent escalation of the elite led by the U.S. government is not limited to Venezuela. Their plan to retake neocolonial rule over Latin America implies intervention in our countries to overthrow dignified and sovereign governments, put puppet governments in place, and prevent the return to power of progressive, popular, and anti-imperialist currents. In the development of this plan, Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua are the main objectives. The intensification of the aggressive rhetoric of the United States towards Cuba and the announcement of new unilateral and illegal coercive measures against this brother country are the most recent actions in that direction," stated the Cuban ambassador to Venezuela, Rogelio Polanco in an interview - published today.
The Scotland National Congress of Trade Unions (
@ScottishTUC), which represents more than 540,000 workers in #Scotland, has reaffirmed its support for #NicolasMaduro's government in the face of aggressive #UnitedStates-led efforts to 'change the regime' in #Venezuela.
Spanish Socialist Worker's Party
#PSOE are the major winners of the 2019 elections in Spain - yet falling far from a majority, political alliances will mark the road ahead for months in order to form a government. According to official results from 100 percent of votes counted, the center-left Socialist party will have 122 seats in parliament, returning to a majority after more than a decade of right-wing Popular Party (PP) rule. Meanwhile, the left-wing parties United Podemos (UP) gained 42, and the three nationalist parties Catalunya Republican Left (ERC) 15, Together for Catalunya (JxCAT) 7 seats and Basque party (EH Bildu) with 4 seats. “We would have liked a better result, but it is enough to achieve our two main objectives: to stop the right and the far-right and to build a left coalition government," General Secretary of UP and legislator Pablo Iglesias said after the Spanish electoral body announced the official figures.
By mere mathematical conclusions, a left coalition could be formed between the PSOE and the left-wing parties, adding more than the 176 seats needed to form a government. However, things aren’t so clear as the right also has enough to entice the Socialists to form a government.
The PP won 66 seats, Citizens 57, and the far-right Vox party 24 seats, making it the first party with such politics to sit in Spain's parliament since 1982. In regards with certain party results, the 2019 process showed the demise of the conservative PP with 66 seats, meaning less than half of those won in the 2016 elections. Thus, a less alarmist reading of the figures can see that most of the Vox votes migrated from past PP voters, which now can clearly identify as far-right extremists.
NOT IN THE NAME OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE !
Germany is set to train Saudi soldiers despite Riyadh’s years-long deadly war in Yemen, that caused carefully estimated in minimum 85,000 children to die of starvation since 2015. Nobody can even imagine the amount of pain and suffering when these children starved to death. According to the United Nations 1.3 million children suffer from acute malnutrition right now and in total around 8 million people are at risk of starvation in Yemen.
The German Army and Air Force are preparing to train Saudi officers as the kingdom continues its brutal bombing campaign in Yemen, which killed and maimed hundreds of civilians, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis on the ground.
Five Saudi servicemen are slated to begin training with the German Army and two more with the German Air Force in July, DPA reported, citing the Federal Ministry of Defense. Local media previously wrote that the soldiers were undergoing language courses in Hamburg before commencing lengthy officer training.
According to the same report, seven more Saudi soldiers are scheduled to take language courses in preparation for military training in Germany in 2020. The program was made possible after Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen made a visit to Riyadh in 2016.
The news comes despite the fact that Saudi Arabia had been leading a deadly bombing campaign in civil war-torn Yemen, which led to a humanitarian crisis on the ground the UN called the “worst in the world.”
A state lawmaker for the opposition Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, Dr. Christian Blex, blasted both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas for helping to build up the Saudi military when its soldiers and airmen are participating in war in its neighboring country.
“In Yemen, where the Saudis and the US have been waging a war since 2015, a child dies every 10 minutes, according to the UNICEF,” he wrote on Twitter. “Anyone with their hand in the game is a disgrace.”
World humanitarian organizations have been sounding the alarm of the heavy death toll in Yemen since Saudi Arabia launched its armed intervention four years ago. Yet, Berlin banned weapon sales to Riyadh only last October – in response to the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
A recently-published UN-commissioned study, meanwhile, projects that the number of war-related deaths in Yemen will reach 233,000 by the end of this year. This encompasses the people killed in relentless airstrikes and fighting on the ground and the ones who died from the outbreaks of diseases and widespread malnutrition, exacerbated by the Saudi blockade of the nation’s ports.
Earlier figures from the UN said that more than 17,000 civilians were killed or wounded in the war from 2015 to 2018, with the “majority” of the casualties taking place as a result of bombing raids by the Saudi-led coalition.
The German Federal Government was obviously coerced by Israel and the USA, both best friends of Mohamed bin Salman, the so-called Crown-prince of Saudi-Arabia's House of Saud, who is the key in the slaughter, to lend a hand in advancing Saudi capabilities - but not in the name of the German people.
A full parliamentary investigation is demanded apart from an immediate stop of that German program. And the Yemeni People need a countrywide ceasefire NOW, not TALK, TALK, TALK like shown HERE since many months and realize that it was only Trump, who prevented a UN resolution to condemn the killings and the warcrimes of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
Donald Trump has repreatedly refused to hand over the documentation needed to investigate his financial dealings despite receiving federal subpoenas. U.S. President,
#DonaldTrump, now filed even a federal lawsuit on Monday, April 29, against #DeutscheBank and Capital One Financial Corp in an attemp to block the banks from complying with federal subpoenas investigating his financial dealings. A representative of Deutsche Bank said in a statement: "We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorised investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations."
Update SUN 28. April 2019 (vf): When it is ok, nobody speaks about it, but behind the fact that today in Venezuela there is no internet outage and electric power is up far above 95% countrywide is based on and thanks to the tremendous work of the specialists and workers, who secured the power-grid of Venezula against sabotage. They also repaired the damage in less than the projected 30 days. The power outages had been caused by a calculated move of the USA and by several attacks on the grid and its control systems in collaboration with Venezuelan traitors in order to destabilize the country and to prepare it for an invasion to topple the government of Nicolas Maduro. The USA financed and instigated these attacks, but after the arrest of one of the opposition leaders and several cell-members as well as the issuance of interational arrest warrants against those saboteurs who fled the country after their actions, the sabotage stopped. Meanwhile also the International Red Cross has delivered many emergency power units to hospitals to avert any future outage at these life-saving institutions.
The 5 key suspects allegedly involved in the cybernetic and physical attacks against the Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant, located in Guri, Bolívar state, are:
- Julio César Acuña Núñez, resides in the USA.
- Ramos Oswaldo García García, in Spain.
- Miguel Ángel José Freita, in Colombia.
- Otoniel Ramos Sánchez, arrested in Venezuela and charged by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
- Jesús Rodríguez Landoni, left the country with destination USA.
Veneuelan Vice-President Rodríguez emphasized the fact that the governments of the United States of America, Spain and Colombia give protection to those involved in the multiple attacks on the national electric system.The government of Nicolás Maduro asked Interpol to arrest the four citizens abroad, and the vice president stressed that there are currently 19 involved and 5 detainees.
Juan Guaido, canceled a rally scheduled to be held in the country's fourth-largest city on Sunday and said the "dictatorship" had prevented him from entering.
Guaido has traveled outside the capital, Caracas, more and more in recent weeks to pressure President Nicolas Maduro to step down.
While he has previously reported delays in arriving to cities in the country's interior due to roadblocks by the armed forces and being held up by Maduro supporters, Sunday's cancellation of the event in the western city of Barquisimeto was unprecedented.
"Today we had a meeting planned," Guaido said in a voice recording sent by his press team, referring to Barquisimeto in Lara state. He said he would reschedule the event for next weekend, and called on supporters to rally on Wednesday.
"Today the dictatorship blocked the path, the dictatorship did not allow us to arrive in Barquisimeto, but it will not prevent us from seeing each other."
Guaido did not provide further details on who blocked him or where the incident occurred.
Maduro calls Guaido a U.S-backed puppet who seeks to oust him in a coup.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza denounced Colombian President Ivan Duque for preparing a new “false flag” operation by suggesting that the Venezuelan government is harboring National Liberation Army (ELN) fighters.
Duque said an attack on the Colombian city of Saravena was planned by the ELN from Venezuelan soil and with Venezuelan government protection, to which Arreaza responded that it is in Colombia where violent groups have been born and operating for decades.
The Venezuelan government has repeatedly denounced false flag operations from Colombia, the United States and right-wing media in order to push for military intervention in Venezuela. According to the Venezuelan top diplomat, the false flag operation consists of repeating a lie so many times until it is positioned as a truth.
The government points out to the case of burning of the U.S. “humanitarian aid” on the Colombian-Venezuelan border that was blamed on the Venezuelan government. Duque said back then that it was Venezuelan security that burned the trucks, but later it turned out to have been done by anti-government protesters on the Colombian side of the border with Columbian government support, as was revealed by witnesses and even reported by the New York Times.
Duque’s comments come just days after his government faced first national strike against his government and its policies which strikers say have not stopped the murders of social leaders or the lack of protection in rural areas.
Trump's neocon Nat Sec Adviser Bolton said exactly 3 month ago: "We're in conversation with major American companies now... It will make a big difference to the US economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela."
MUST READ: Washington's Woeful Maduro Miscalculation
Meanwhile, the chief of the
#US' Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, stated that American forces would deploy their necessary resources to counter any dangerous action from #Iran. The Hormuz Strait in the Persian Gulf is controlled by Iran, which was now attacked again by the USA with sanctions and media blackouts.
Like the USA Iran may pull out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as part of retaliatory measures to a renewed sanctions push from Washington, Iran’s foreign minister has said. “Mr. Trump, tell your warships not to pass near the Revolutionary Guards boats,” Mohsen Rezaei, a senior officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was quoted by the semi-official news agency ISNA, while Iranian drones filmed the USS Eisenhower convoy of U.S. navy vessels entering the Persian Gulf. It appears that U.S. military commanders up to the one in chief can't get their adrenaline-kicks anymore from their women and need the war-cries to get off," remarked one observer disrespectfully. "These septuagenarian men are the most dangerous for world peace."
General Qasem Soleimani, Chief Commander of the IRGC Quds Force, which is responsible for extraterritorial operations, has slammed the US position on negotiations with Iran, stressing that the Islamic Republic won't engage in talks under pressure. Speaking at a cabinet session on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said US claims of seeking negotiations with Iran were “mere lies” and that the US, in fact, intended to bring the Iranian nation to its knees.
Contrary to what some are trying to promote, “the US does not possess the willingness for negotiations at all,” Rouhani said.
The image shows Bibi Netanyahu, depicted as a guide dog wearing The Star of David on its collar and leading "blind" Trump who is shown wearing a traditional Jewish yarmulke (skullcap).
"The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgement to publish it. It was provided by The New York Times News Service and Syndicate, which has since deleted it", says the editor's note posted on the NYT's Twitter account and set to be published on Monday.
While Washington intensified sanctions against Venezuela after the US-backed Guaido illegally declared himself interim president in January 2019, UN special rapporteurs and human rights lawyers have argued that the US sanctions violate international law and may constitute crimes against humanity.
@AmbJohnBolton and the #B_Team say the Iranian people "deserve better", they’ve admitted to targeting them with #EconomicTerrorism—and even war— in a delusional pursuit of “regime-change”. But will @realDonaldTrump let them realize their dreams of another #ForeverWar?
LET US NOT FORGET: Tel Aviv Paid Al Qaeda Fighters’ Salaries: The Syrian War’s Worst Kept Secret That Could Become Israel’s Nightmare
The Sudanese military council and the country's opposition alliance have reached an agreement to form a new governmental body to run the country until the next election. According to Al-Jazeera, the military council and opposition alliance reached the agreement during a meeting between the ruling Military Transitional Council (MTC) and the Declaration of Freedom and Changes Forces, an umbrella organisation of opposition groups.The infamous Islamist group claiming responsibility for the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, and intelligence agencies have suggested that the jihadists may model their future attacks on the bombings in Colombo and other cities. The collapse of the Daesh* caliphate has paved the way for more Sri Lanka-style attacks on holiday-goers across the world, particularly in South Asia and East Africa, intelligence sources told the Sunday Telegraph.
Officials are allegedly concerned that the jihadi fighters, who were ousted from their last stronghold Baghouz in eastern Syria last month, now have a free hand in orchestrating attacks at holiday resorts.
It is understood that such popular destinations as India, the Maldives, and resorts in Kenya and Tanzania are among the most likely targets. While potential target-countries certainly have to be alert, the fearmongering strategy leading especially African countries down the US-American total suveillance and oppression path must be resisted. *Daesh (aka IS/ISIS/Islamic State) is a terror group outlawed by countries.
Update SAT 27. April 2019 (vf): Maduro Says Venezuela Now Free of ‘US Ministry of Colonies’ – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro described the country’s withdrawal from the Organization of the American States (OAS) as a liberation from the “US ministry of colonies.”
“We became free of the US ministry of colonies, a tool of interference as well as disrespect for democratic principles and international law. Our Bolivarian and independent Motherland says ‘Goodbye’ to the OAS,” Maduro wrote on his Twitter page on Saturday.
Maduro announced the decision to leave the bloc in 2017, supporting immediate withdrawal of the country from the OAS, although the procedure usually takes two years. The OAS does not recognize Maduro's new presidential term that began on 10 January. Official Withdrawing
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Saturday that Venezuela is officially no longer a part of the Organization of the American States.
"From today [Saturday], the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela does not belong to the OAS, we have met all the deadlines and fulfilled the will of the Venezuelan people," Arreaza said during a march of government supporters in Caracas. WATCH a droneshot.
Commenting on the recent US sanctions against him, Arreaza said that his only bank account was an account in a Venezuelan state bank, to which his salary was transferred.
On Friday, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on Arreaza and Venezuelan Judge Carol Padilla. In his speech at the United Nations earlier this week the top diplomat slammed the United States for its alleged efforts to dominate the United Nations and denounced the US call on other members of the organization to recognize the government of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido who has proclaimed himself the country's interim president.
The United States has targeted Venezuelan officials and businesses with multiple sanctions in recent months amid its campaign to force Maduro from power.
Venezuela is currently facing a dire economic and political crisis with opposition leader Juan Guaido having proclaimed himself as the country’s interim president. The move was recognized by the United States and over 50 other nations, while Maduro described it as an attempt at a US-orchestrated coup.
China, Russia, Bolivia, Turkey and numerous other nations recognize Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela.
The OAS is a continental organization founded in 1948 to ensure regional solidarity and cooperation among its member states. (Sputnik)
Vice President Delcy Rodriguez indicated Maduro's letter to withdraw from the OAS was a milestone in the history of the defense of Venezuelan independence and sovereignty, and Latin American dignity. "We will never again be a colony of any empire. Nor will we give up the sacred sovereignty that our people demand!," said the official.
Juan Guaido decries Venezuela intelligence service persecutes his inner circle
The outlawed speaker of Venezuela’s National Assembly in contempt, Juan Guaido, who was stripped of his immunity, stated at a plaza in Caracas on Saturday, April 27, 2019, that the Nicolas Maduro government is using the national intelligence service to persecute his inner circle, after the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) summoned eleven of his closest collaborators.
“The dictatorship is defeated, persecution is all it has left,” a hoarse Guaido told a few hundred of his followers at a rally in Caracas as he spoke of the recent detention - reported Friday - of opposition lawmaker Gilber Caro, who had already spent time behind bars during the 17 months between January 2017 and June 2018.
“Notifications were issued by chance on the same day that eleven people were being investigated by Sebin, that they must appear before Sebin, and just by chance, all of them are my associates,” the opposition leader added from a platform at the center of an east Caracas plaza.
He also said that among those summoned were his assistant and right-hand man Roberto Marrero, as well as his attorney and other people from the National Assembly that form part of his inner circle.
According to Guaido, Maduro ordered the arrests because he is “full of fear at what will happen on May 1,” when the opposition will be marching all over the country to demand “an end to the usurpation,” which they say the Chavista president is guilty of, as well as the establishment of an interim government that will call “free elections.”
Venezuela has been going through a time of high political tension since last January, when Maduro was sworn-in for another term. He also launched a “direct appeal” to the nation’s armed forces over the weekend; urging Maduro’s soldiers to defect hours before May Day protests are poised to sweep his country. Guaido told supporters at the rally in Caracas that the support of the army was "fundamental" to oust Maduro, "but time is passing and the wait cannot be eternal." He reminded military leaders they have "a historic opportunity resting on their shoulders."
At his rally on Saturday, he held a swearing-in ceremony for "freedom commandos" -- volunteers he has put in charge of organizing ongoing protests against the government.
The government has also called for mass pro-Maduro demonstrations to be held as part of its annual Mayday parade.
Venezuela's Foreign Minister
@jaarreaza met ex-Pink Floyd star Roger Waters in New York. Arreaza said "A living legend of rock...supporting the free people who are being attacked by imperialism."
The Venezuelan president lambasted Donald Trump’s Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams after the diplomat appealed to members of the pro-Maduro governing party to join the opposition and call for elections. Maduro accused him of trying to deceive the Venezuelan people, defending the legacy of Hugo Chavez, saying that Abrams was trying to confuse and divide the Venezuelan people, “putting on a mask of a Chavist”.
The Venezuelan president slammed Abrams as "an old hawk of the Cold War" during his meeting with teachers in Caracas, broadcast by the country’s state TV.
"Eliott Abrams surprised the world and came out as a defender of the legacy of Commander [Hugo] Chavez … he claims to be an advocate of Chavism and Chavez’s legacy… is this credible? Why is he taking that turn?” the incumbent president noted.
Maduro emphasised that Chavez's idea was fighting against US imperialism and defending the sovereignty of Latin America, stressing that Abrams is not compatible with these principles.
"Is this Elliott Abrams becoming a Chavist? It is a vulgar manoeuvre, it is nonsense to pretend that imperialism defends the legacy of Hugo Chavez, because the legacy of Hugo Chavez is the anti-imperialist legacy", Maduro insisted a day after the US diplomat reportedly called on young Chavists and members of the pro-Maduro United Socialist Party (PSUV) to join the opposition and call for elections, stressing that the military in a post-Maduro Venezuela would need to "be well paid" and left out of politics.
“If you want Chavism to be part of your country's future, and not just its past, it cannot be imposed by force. When the PSUV accepts that it must act solely as a democratic political party, and seek the votes of citizens in free elections, solely through argument and debate, Venezuela will be well on the way to democracy”, Abrams said at an event hosted by the right-wing Atlantic Council in Washington, as cited by the Washington Examiner.
When Abrams was speaking, Ariel Gold, Code Pink's national co-director, stood up with a sign reading "No Coup in Venezuela". While security pushed the woman out of the room, the activist yelled "Elliott Abrams is a war criminal" as she was dragged past the stage. "It’s ironic that Abrams, who has been convicted of lying to Congress & involved in war crimes, is accusing us of breaking the law. Not only is he a criminal from the past, but he is, right now, orchestrating a coup and acting in blatant violation of int’l law," a statement from the organization CODEPINK reads.
'Enough with Threats, Ultimatums,' Cuba Tells USA "The international community will never cave to the archaic strategies of the Cold War", says Cuba's president Miguel Diaz-Canel. In addition the majority of UN member states also say that the USA should finally get completely out of Cuba and close the infamous Gitmo prison camp. Something former President Obama promised, but that promise was broken by Trump.
Gitmo on Guantanamo Bay, the Cuba-based U.S. prison for terrorism suspects has very limited medical options, The New York Times has discovered. As prisoners held there for decades continue to age, the US military is going to need such in large quantities.
Guantanamo Bay, the notorious US prison for terrorism suspects, where people are sometimes held for decades without conviction, may soon need a major refurbishment in order to accommodate hospice facilities for ageing inmates, says a report by The New York Times.
"Unless America's policy changes, at some point we'll be doing some sort of end of life care here," the commander of the detention centre, Rear Admiral John C. Ring told reporters.
After the start of The US War on Terror, American military and intelligence have tucked terrorism suspects away in Guantanamo, established on Cuba in 2002. Many of the detainees have already started suffering typical middle-age health conditions: high blood pressure and cholesterol, joint pain, diabetes and sleep apnoea.
According to prisoners' defence attorneys, some of the ailments the military attributes to aging, are actually the result of CIA torture.
Since the Trump administration made a decision to keep the detention facility open through 2043, the oldest prisoner at that time will be 96 — that is, if he lives that long.
Some prisoners have already needed urgent surgery, due to traumas sustained during CIA torture, the Post reports. US military statements say detainees receive medical care on par with servicemen, but there are solid indications to the contrary.
Over 1,000 demonstrators erected tents on the front lawn of the
#Brazil’s congress in a peaceful protest against President #JairBolsonaro. #IndigenousRights In Brazil over 12 million hectares — roughly the surface area of #Nicaragua — disappeared during 2018, the World Resources Institute (WRI) stated. Former President Luiz Inacio #Lula da Silva said that the South American nation is governed by a "gang of lunatics. @LulaOficial The former Brazilian president Lula da Silva said in an important interview from prison that the country is governed by “a bunch of crazy people” and that he is determined to prove his innocence. “I Will not Exchange my Dignity for my Freedom,” he stated. Instead he is committed to "unmasking Sérgio Moro [the judge of first instance who condemned him and, now, is Minister of Justice of President Jair Bolsonaro] and his friends, and of unmasking those who condemned me."
Leading environmental activist, Polly Higgins, a determined lawyer who fought for 'ecocide' to become a crime enshrined in international law, has sadly passed away. RIP Polly - we will fight on!
#SouthAfrica is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its first democratic elections in which the victory of #NelsonMandela banished the apartheid's racial segregation and served to found a new country. #FreedomDay 25 years after the end of apartheid in South Africa, many families continue to search for their loved ones who went missing during that era.
Freedom Day commemorates the millions of South Africans who made history electing Nelson Mandela during the country’s first democratic polls held in 1994.
“On this day, 25 years ago, we, as South Africans, founded a new country, a country defined by principles of equality, unity, non-racism and non-sexism,” Ramaphosa said, commenting that “each of us has printed in memory what we were doing on April 27 , when we won our freedom, the euphoria of seeing 20 million of South Africans, of all races, patiently waiting at polling stations to vote.”
On Saturday, the president paid tribute to the anti-apartheid struggle heroes, ranging from Robert Sobukwe and Albertina Sisulu to Mandela. He said that thanks to their sacrifices South Africans have won their freedom.
“Under the apartheid rule, black South Africans were reduced to servitude in the land of their ancestors (…) The apartheid’s great tragedy was the great division that it inflicted on us,” Ramaphosa said.
He also recalled that racial segregation was imposed “brutally” to separate South Africans in all aspects of life, from schools to public transportation, and marriage and relationships. Ramaphosa recalled that segregations divided where people could live in cities. This condemned the black majority to live “cramped in ghettos” with poor education. They were “malnutritioned” and more exposed to “diseases” than the privileged white class.
“We can not be a nation of free people when so many people still live in poverty. … Without enough food, without an appropriate roof, without access to quality sanitation,” stressed the head of state.
He also acknowledged that the country continues to be profoundly “unequal” and that the corrupt “steal” many resources that should serve to alleviate the situation of the disadvantaged, most of whom are still black South Africans.
Former president Jacob Zuma (2009-2018) and a long list of other high-ranking South African officials have been under investigation in recent month by an national anti-corruption commission for being linked to a widespread embezzlement scandal that has infiltrated the government and the ruling African National Congress party. “It’s systemic in that entire systems have been subverted to promote corruption,” said David Lewis, the executive director of South Africa’s Corruption Watch.
The 1994 elections were the first multiracial elections in the history of South Africa, which had lived under an apartheid regime since 1948.
Apartheid in the county was a political and social system based on skin color and discrimination. Although racial segregation had been used for centuries in colonized African territories, the Africaners’ apartheid policy was strict and more systematic than any other form of discrimination implemented by white ruling elites. Due to that policy, the people of South Africa were forced to live apart from each other until the 1994 constitution abolished segregation.
In that year, Mandela won the presidency with 63 percent support. His term was based on values such as reconciliation and unity and he initiated the South African democratic era.
This year’s “Freedom Day” celebration falls in the middle of the political campaign for the May 8 elections. Ramaphosa remains as favorite to win the Presidency.
Update FRI 26. April 2019 (vf): BREAKING: The U.S. Administration of Donald Trump has now imposed sanctions even on the top-diplomat Jorge Alberto Arreaza Montserrat, who was appointed the Venezuelan Minister of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs in August 2017.
#Venezuela's President of the National Constituent Assembly @dcabellor: "They won't subject comrade @jaarreaza with his sanctions. They won't subject the Venezuelan people, and we will make life impossible for those who want to destroy our Homeland." While asking to declare April 27 as National day of the Homeland he said that the sanctions against the Foreign Minister Arreaza are to intimidate other politicians of the world and prevent them from meeting with Venezuela's Foreig Minister.
"Today the Trump administration responds with desperation against us. The TRUTH hurts!" Jorge Arreaza tweeted regarding the U.S. sanctions against him.
#Russia's Foreign Ministry has expressed outrage over what they say is another "crude" attempt by the #UnitedStates against #Venezuela regarding fresh sanctions aimed directly at Foreign Minister Arreaza.
The Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, asked the government of Portugal lift the block that a bank in that country has placed on more than 1,700 million dollars that were destined to the purchase of medicines and food and urged the Portuguese community in Venezuela to react against that theft of the resources of the Bolivarian Republic.
“I ask the Portuguese government to rule. There are 1,726 million dollars kidnapped by the Novo Bank in Portugal that were for the purchase of medicine, food and supplies,” said the Head of State in Miraflores, where he led a productive day Wednesday for the start of the Cereal Sowing Cycle in the country.
“Government of Portugal, these are medicines and food that the people need!” President Maduro asserted, publicly addressing the authorities of that nation that are illegally applying the alleged “sanctions” of the United States.
The resources were withheld as part of the persecution of the economic body of the South American country orchestrated by the government of the United States of America and the European Union, which according to the Head of State, seeks to suffocate the government by directly affecting the people, by hindering the acquisition of medicines, food and basic necessities.
“It is not Maduro money, it is the money of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, money that was mostly destined for medicines that the people need, food that the people need,” he said.
Along with the denunciation, the President called on the Portuguese community that lives in Venezuela and that has also been cruelly affected by the international blockade to which they have subjected the Nation, to pronounce themselves in favor of the Venezuelan land, which has given them shelter for so many years.
“I call on the Portuguese living in Venezuela to write to the government of Portugal to release the thousand 726 million dollars they have kidnapped.”
Finally he assured that Venezuela will not faint before any threat or international blockade that threatens the dignity of a people that is determined to be free and independent. “Venezuela does not surrender, Venezuela respects itself and Venezuela goes forward with a lot of productive strength,” he concluded.
The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, called for a debate to determine with precision the main route of the Communal Offensive Plan 2019, which will serve to integrate Popular Power to the demands of the nation. “I call a practical, theoretical, political, and strategic debate to make the 2019 Communal Offensive Plan and to determine with precision the potentialities of the Communal Power. 20 days for a debate with resolution and concrete proposals”, he instructed. The head of state stressed that the 2019 Communal Offensive Plan, must respond to the 2019-2025 Plan of the Nation, according to the reality and priority of the historical moment that the country is living.
The President invited the women and men of the Fatherland of Bolívar willing to defend the country to join the Bolivarian National Militia, to reach a strength of 3 million militiamen. “Anyone who wants to serve his country, be useful and take up arms to defend the Republic, I invite you to register,” he said meeting with the People’s Power.
The head of state maintained the importance of the Bolivarian National Militia, to guarantee the country’s peace and territorial integrity. “I have given great tasks to the Bolivarian National Militia to defend the Republic, peace, territorial integrity, independence. Only a true revolution can accomplish this feat,” he said.
MUST READ: Tales of Resistance: “So Much Work and Nothing to Show for It” (honest journalism)
CEPAL Denied Accreditation to Guaido’s Envoy: We Only Recognize the Government of Nicolas Maduro
The third Forum of countries of Latin America and the Caribbean recognized only the delegation of President Nicolas Maduro, after Guarequena Gutiérrez, who is identified as a liaison of deputy Juan Guaido, tried to enter as the legal representative of Venezuela.
During the third Forum of countries of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal), the authorities denied accreditation to Guarequena Gutiérrez after he tried to enter as the legal representative of Venezuela.
In that meeting held in Santiago, Chile, from April 24 to 26, Guarequena Gutiérrez, who is identified as a liaison of deputy Juan Guaidó, tried to enter as the legal representative of Venezuela. At which the authorities of Ceppal informed him that the only recognized delegation is the one sent by the diplomatic mission of President Nicolás Maduro. “Only Venezuelan officials will be accredited, sent from the Embassy and that delegation is headed by Ambassador Arévalo Méndez Romero.”
The authorities responsible for accrediting the diplomatic officials participating in the forum also clarified that “since it was not in the note sent by the Embassy, it could not be accredited.”
Ambassador Arévalo Méndez, who did participate in the inaugural session of the Forum, based his speech on the debate on progress and regional challenges of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, presented by the Executive Secretary of Cepal, Alicia Bárcena “for us, the Plan de la Patria 2019-2025 is a mechanism with a strong foundation and structural basis that responds to the 2030 agenda, since we consider it important to follow the path we set for ourselves both multilaterally and with the objectives set for each country, “he said.
Arévalo Méndez, accredited by Cepal to participate in the conference, took the opportunity to reflect on the international day of multilateralism and peace diplomacy, condemning “the blockade of the United States against Cuba and Venezuela, and the constant threats that sister nations are suffering, like Nicaragua and Bolivia”, he also pointed out “the unilateral measures negatively affect the democracy, the economy and the social development of the countries and have a broad impact on the sustainable development of the peoples”. (Alba Ciudad - Translated by JRE\EF-OT)
MUST READ: Washington Has Destroyed Western Liberty
The Era of Tyranny Has Begun
Former U.S. president Obama had signed the UN ARMS TRADE TREATY and sent it to the U.S. Senate for ratification. At a meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA), President Trump announced today: "under my administration the US will never surrender its sovereignty to anyone!", and he stated that under his administration the U.S. will never ratify that treaty. He signed an Executive Order asking the U.S. Senate to send the treaty and the ratification documents back to his office, where he "will dispose of it!" The U.S., he officially announced, will take its signature back from that treaty and the UN would soon receive a formal notice that America is rejecting that treaty. He then pronounced vehemently: "We are reaffirming that American liberty is sacred and that Americans live by American laws and not by the laws of foreign countries." Americans and Donald Trump will from now on have to realize that also other Nations do have the exactly same, same rights towards U.S. Americans coming to and living in their countries or wanting to have deals with them and that the people of many nations might want to come together now to teach U.S. supremacy attempts a lesson. Leaving the path of international friendship and cooperation and obviously having chosen the track already beaten by the Bush administrations - charaqcterized by "Either you are with us or you are with the enemy!" - Donald Trump is running the USA into international isolation, where the U.S. Americans will only have fake friends in US-oppressed countries.
The fall of the eagle is near. China and Russia are replacing their dollar reserves with gold bullion and a growing share of trade is now denominated in yuan. The United States lives on credit at the expense of the rest of the world, but for how long? According to the latest study of the audit firm PwC (“The world in 2050: how the global economy will change in the next 30 years”), the “emerging countries” (China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Turkey) could account for 50% of global GDP in 2050, while the share of G7 countries (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan) would fall to 20%. The fall of the eagle is near.
Jimmy Carter warns TRUMP to refrain from wars and military spending but invest in infrastructure and reduce national debt. Is the American EMPIRE at risk of suffering the same fate of the Roman Empire ? 23 Trillion in debt, 773 billion in private debt, 20 percent population living in poverty, a shrinking middle class and mass government corruption are facts. MUST READ: Bruno Guigue: The Fall of the Eagle is Near
National Security Advisor John Bolton outlined the U.S. President’s bold vision on foreign policy this week; saying the White House hopes to see the first “completely free hemisphere” in human history.
“I think many U.S. allies in this region, in this hemisphere, those closest to us, welcome the U.S. leadership here under President Trump to keep foreign powers from extending their influence, particularly in Venezuela, which is what I was referring to when I said the Monroe Doctrine is alive and well. It’s intended to throw a shield around the hemisphere,” Bolton said.
“It’s worked for a long time, and I think it’s an important doctrine to keep in mind as we work for the objective that President Trump seeks here, which is the first completely free hemisphere in human history. We’re not embarrassed by that,” he added.
The U.S. American people or for that matter the Neo-Canadians, who hail originally from other countries hold a deep routed guilt leading to a serious moral inferiority complex, which derives from the mere fact that their forefathers stole the land from the conquered aboriginal people of North America. The USA lives that out now and needs to reassert its position as an unchallengeable hegemon by waging war - often accompanied by outright war-crimes.
In a 2002 column, Jonah Goldberg coined the "Ledeen Doctrine", named after neoconservative historian Michael Ledeen. The "doctrine" states: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business."
John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, seems eager to employ similar methods to similar ends now in Venezuela and Nicaragua - even Cuba and Iran.
#Venezuela is unable to access over $20 Billion of its own funds, due to US sanctions.
THE VETO: Film exposing CNN, Al Jazeera, Channel 4 and the western media propaganda war against Syria
“Western propaganda is paid for in Syrian blood”. This is true. The horrifying bloodshed and loss of life in Syria could never have happened without the colonial media manufacturing consent for another illegal war against a Sovereign nation.
The Veto tracks the evolution of the propaganda campaign waged by Western media against Syria. From Baba Amr in Homs 2011/2012 until the modern day “propaganda construct” – the NATO-member-state funded White Helmets. It honours Russia and China’s vetoes that have consistently defended Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the UN.
George Orwell said “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” Western media has been tasked with writing the history of the Syrian conflict to serve the aggressors in the US Coalition of terrorism.
When Julian Assange was illegally arrested and dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, it was revealed that he was reading "The National Security State" by Gore Vidal. Readers therefore might want to watch this: The National Security State - Gore Vidal 03-18-1998
John Shipton, the father of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who previously called on Australian authorities to step in following Assange’s arrest, has revealed his shock at seeing the “rapid decline” in the health and appearance of his son, who he last visited this January. So far the political prisoner has still not received independent medical consultation and asistance of his choice an trust. Ecuador traded Julian Assange for a loan from the International Monetary Fund, which can only be handed out with the approval of Washington, John Shipton confirmed. Join
@deineuropa protest on coming Thursday in Berlin for Julian Assange, with an exclusive statement by @Snowden to be read out by @AngelaRichter_
Valitor, a partner of Visa and Mastercard, must pay WikiLeaks US$10 million for refusing to lift its 2011 banking blockade against the whistleblowing site despite a court order, local media reports.
The District Court of Reykjavik is ordering Valitor to fork over some $10 million (1.2 billion Icelandic krona) to WikiLeaks payment processor DataCell and WikiLeaks publisher Sunshine Press after Valitor failed to comply with a 2013 Supreme Court order to resume processing credit card payments for WikiLeaks.
Valitor was warned when the ruling came down that if they did not lift the blockade, daily penalties would continue to pile up. It is reported that Valitor plans to appeal.
In 2010, Bank of America, VISA, Western Union, PayPal, and Mastercard jointly imposed a ban on donations to the publisher less than two weeks after it posted the Cablegate leaks, a damning trove of diplomatic cables that exposed the inner workings of governments around the world.
Julian Assange's lawyers have now filed a lawsuit against a group of Spaniards, members of staff at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, as well as Ecuador's Foreign Ministry over extortion, AFP reported, citing Assange's defence team. Assange had been residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for nearly seven years before his asylum was revoked on 11 April, followed by his arrest.
Earlier, Spanish media reported that the group of Spaniards had got hold of Assange's videos and personal documents, which they threatened to publish unless paid $3.3 million by the WikiLeaks team.
The lawsuit was reportedly brought forward in Spain. The source also noted that an investigation into the matter was ongoing, adding that Assange was allegedly spied on in the embassy. However, the source failed to provide evidence or further details.
Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, was caught in the lens of the general public after his website published a large trove of classified documents, including some that exposed abuses of power and war crimes committed by US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
Colombia is set to deport 300 Venezuelan deserters
On Sunday, April 21, a skirmish ensued at a hotel in Villa del Rosario and two former Venezuelan military officers were reportedly arrested and detained by the Metropolitan Police of Cúcuta (PMC) and the authorities.
Already earlier many complaints were recorded against the Venezuelan defectors who had followed the call of the Venezuelan opposition to create an insurrection-army at the border to move into Venezuela in an attempted coup d'etat that failed. The Colombian Chancellery had promised to give them refuge since that time.
In Villa del Rosario, in the department of Norte de Santander, about 300 deserters started to use the public spaces at the village of La Parada as a place of leisure and chaos. Colonel Francisco Gelvez Alemán , deputy commander of the PMC, said: “They used the highway and platforms as urinals, marijuana patches and dormitory halls, and turned the sector into complete chaos.”
Therefore, Migration Colombia and the Colombian authorities decided to clear the zone that connects with the Simón Bolívar international bridge from these men and to restore order in the area of Villa del Rosario.
“With Migración Colombia, we are doing all the paperwork to cancel their Border Movement Passes and will remove them from the country due to their bad behavior, incl. abuse of children and adolescents for economic purposes, like begging and prostitution”, Colonel Gelvez pointed .
In this way, some 300 deserters from the FANB could be deported soon to Venezuelan territory. Other defectors from the FANB in Colombia have claimed that Juan Guaidó abandoned them and that the Colombian authorities who promised support and everyday facilities did not comply.
Update THU 25. April 2019 (vf): “USAmerican Sanctions on Venezuela Have Caused the untimely Death of More Than 40 Thousand People” – Study ***MOST IMPORTANT READ***
The Chief of the Russian Intelligence Sergei Naryshkin has denounced the "tearing apart" of Venezuela and the humanitarian catastrophe in the Latin American nation aggrevated by Western countries.
Western countries, Naryshkin highlighted, "are tearing Venezuela apart cynically and following the same patterns as in Libya and Syria. The U.S. retakes the Monroe Doctrine."
According to Naryshkin, Russia has observed signs that the United States is making preparations for a military operation against Venezuela. "There are those signs, but it will be seen over time if this plan is carried out," Naryshkin said.
The intelligence official further pointed out that the United States is being duplicitous in its actions.
"The White House itself insists on the danger of uncontrolled migration, it will spend billions to reinforce the border with Mexico and at the same time [in Venezuela] it kindles the fire of a new civil conflict and provokes a new humanitarian catastrophe."
Western countries, Naryshkin highlighted, "are tearing Venezuela apart cynically and following the same patterns as in Libya and Syria. The U.S. retakes the Monroe Doctrine."
The Monroe Doctrine establishes that any intervention by European countries in the Americas would be seen as an act of aggression that would require U.S. intervention.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said all options for "restoring democracy" in Venezuela remain at the table, including military intervention.
The United States government also accused Russia of "intervening" in the Nicolas Maduro-led Venezuela and threatened intervention into the South American country despite the United Nations’ disapproval.
"In the Western Hemisphere, the United States is taking up the Monroe doctrine, which aims to limit the sovereignty of Latin American countries, to put pressure on those who do not follow the same policies as Washington, as an instrument of pressure they take into account all possible methods, including force," Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated Wednesday.
At the beginning of the 20th century, this doctrine was complemented with the thesis that conflicts in Latin America should be resolved by Washington.
The policy was previously used to combat the Soviet influence and socialism in Cuba and other countries in the region.
Russia along with China, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Turkey, Mexico, Iran and many other countries recognize Maduro as the legitimate president and denounce any external interference in Venezuelan internal affairs.
Meanwhile, the United States, several countries in Europe and Latin America - including Brazil - back illegitimate, self-appointed opposition figure Juan Guaido.
Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez denied Thursday the accusations by the United States about the alleged presence of Cuban military forces in Venezuela, expressed in the document of the Department of State of the USA.
"Cuba does not have troops or military personnel in the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela," said Cuban Foreign Minister Rodriguez ad rejected in the strongest terms the "lies" painted by the U.S. Department of State, which also accused the Cuban doctors who are in Venezuela, within the framework of the Barrio Adentro program of the South American country, of coercing Venezuelans they treated into supporting Nicolas Maduro in return for medical care and medicines.
Rodriguez also extended his criticism to John Bolton, the main person in the Trump administration who is leading the interventionist policies against Venezuelan and Cuban governments. “Bolton, who is a pathological liar, unashamedly stated on April 17 that the Cuban Foreign Minister had recently acknowledged the presence of 20,000 ‘Cuban thugs’ in Venezuela,” Rodriguez said in his rebuke of Donald Trump's National Security Advisor.
Rodriguez also said the foreign policy of the U.S. government is responsible for the instability in Venezuela and this is "a threat to the region."
The Cuban foreign minister also condemned the latest Washington aggression against his country through activating the Helms Burton Act.
Finally, Rodriguez called on the international community not to "remain calm in the face of unpunished actions on the countries" of the region by the United States, adding that international powers and players such as United Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (NAM) must take action for the good of Cuba and Latin America as a whole.
Update WED 24. April 2019 (vf): On the International Day of
#Multilateralism and #Diplomacy for #Peace #Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister @jaarreaza spoke at the UN: "Multilateralism brings together all the people of the UN, it's not about a club of friends, we can all be represented in different ways." Arreaza stated: "We live in a world which faces many threats so it must be led by people who have the possibility of moving forward together."
He also highlighted the plight of the Cuban people who have suffered the consequences of U.S. aggressive and interventionist policies which are now being applied by the Trump administration in a similar fashion against Venezuela. "We sympathize with countries like #Cuba which have suffered too much time with the blockade."
Venezuela together with the 120 Member States of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (Mnoal) presented a draft resolution before the U.N. General Assembly on Dec. 12, 2018 to commemorate the "International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace."
The resolution adopted at the U.N. General Assembly seeks to promote and support the three fundamental pillars of the U.N.: sustainable development, peace and security and human rights, which are the basis of the Charter of the United Nations and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
During today's UN special meeting with the Secretary-General
@antonioguterres there was an understanding of important issues about Venezuela, on our region and in the defense of Multilateralism and Peace Diplomacy," tweeted Venezuelas Foreign Minister Jorge Arreazo. "On behalf of President @NicolasMaduro, we transmitted a fraternal greeting."
Caricom leaders boycott presence of Juan Guaido representative of Venezuela at OAS meeting in New York.
Ambassadors from four Caribbean countries—St Vincent, Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago—boycotted the spokesperson for the self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, before he addressed the Organization of American States (OAS) in New York. The Caribbean leaders got up and left the room just before Gustavo Tarre spoke to the OAS to protest Guaido's claims and in support of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Gustavo Tarre delivered a speech during a session held by the Permanent Council of the OAS three months after Juan Guaido, leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly that is in contempt of the Supreme Court in 2016, declared himself the country’s interim president, ignoring the Venezuelan constitution and international law.
Ambassadors from at least four Caribbean countries—St Vincent, Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago—left the room before Tarre spoke to show their opposition to the OAS accepting Tarre as Venezuela’s representative to the multinational organization.
The OAS voted to recognize Tarre as Venezuela's official delegate earlier this month, with 18 votes in favor, nine against, six abstentions and one absence. The U.S. and most of the OAS's 34 member states recognize Guaido as Venezuela's interim leader.
Tarre plans to keep attending OAS sessions and representing Venezuela. Maduro announced his plans to hold a gathering next Saturday to celebrate its departure from the organization.
Samuel Moncada, Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations had previously represented Venezuela during OAS sessions, however, the United States State Department recently restricted his entry into NY by a radius of 40 km.
The OAS and the Inter-American Development Bank are the only two multilateral organizations that recognize Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela.
This Tuesday, before the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), a significant number of member states expressed their rejection of the illegal representation of Gustavo Tarre Briceño in the international body on behalf of Venezuela, considering it null and void and the resolution of April 9, 2019 without legal effect.
The resolution indicates that part of the inter-American forum recognizes Gustavo Tarre as the representative appointed by the opposition deputy Juan Guaidó, who proclaimed himself “interim president” of Venezuela on January 23 and since then, with the support of the US government, he intends to usurp executive functions and illegally appoint representatives of Venezuela in the world.
Through a public statement, the delegations of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, announced that they do not support the appointment of the envoy of the National Assembly (AN) in contempt as ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), because he is not being appointed by the constitutional government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, who alone has the power to accredit ambassadors, interim representatives, alternates and advisors.
Additionally, the Permanent Mission of Mexico also issued a note to the Chair of the Permanent Council, which reserves the right to reiterate its position of rejection and non recognition of the representative appointed by the National Assembly in contempt, Gustavo Tarre, acts and decisions whose legitimacy intends to fall into the aforementioned resolution, which threatens the institutionality of the Organization and the Inter-American System.
The delegations of Uruguay, Nicaragua, Guyana and Bolivia also expressed their rejection and non recognition of Juan Guaido.
The Ambassador of Uruguay , Hugo Cayruz, pointed out that “this Organization has violated the rules and legal procedures of its Charter”.
In addition, the Alternate Representative of Nicaragua, Luis Alvarado, stated that “the Permanent Council took nonexistent powers that violate the OAS charter and undermine the sovereignty of nations.”
The Alternate Representative of Guyana, Riyad Insanally, pointed out that the Cooperative Republic of Guyana reserves the right to reiterate its position of rejection to Gustavo Tarre, in the face of actions whose legality falls on the illicit resolution.
On the other hand, the Ambassador of Bolivia , José Gonzáles, confirmed that his country does not accept the approval of this resolution, which is null and without legal value, adopted by the Permanent Council on April 9.
Why is it illegal?
The resolution is a violation of International Law, the Charter of the Organization of American States and the Charter of the Organization of the United Nations.
The one who appoints the representative of a country to the OAS is the head of the executive branch, in this case President Nicolás Maduro Moros.
It should be noted that the OAS has not recognized another president other than President Maduro, as recalled in recent days by the Venezuelan ambassador to the UN, Samuel Moncada. (Alba Ciudad - Translated by JRE\EF-OT)
Western Hemisphere: Fact Sheet: U.S. Actions on Venezuela
A Factsheet listing all the sanctions was published today on the U.S. State Department website but later removed again.
"The United States policy on Venezuela is focused on ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections that bring prosperity and democracy back to the people of Venezuela. In service of this goal, the United States has undertaken a series of strong policy actions since 2017 meant to pressure the former Maduro regime and support democratic actors."
VENEZUELA CRISIS RESPONSE ASSISTANCE
U.S. assistance to support the regional response to the crisis includes:
- Total regional support is more than $256 million, including:
- More than $213 million in humanitarian response.
- $43 million in economic and development assistance.
- On January 24, Secretary Pompeo announced the United States is ready to provide an additional $20 million in initial humanitarian assistance to the people inside Venezuela.
ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT
Privacy Advocate Ola Bini's lawyer speaks of justice failure while parents decry Ecuador justice and prison conditions.
The parents of Mr. Bini came to the Ecuadorean capital to visit their son in jail, to call on the government to “give him a fair trial” and to respect his “human rights.”
Ola Bini is a Swedish information technology privacy advocate living in Ecuador who was arrested at the Quito airport while on his way to Japan for an international event. He is a friend of recently arrested Julian Assange and described the supposed evidence against him — books, computers, and USBs — as Orwellian.
In an interview with teleSUR, Ola Bini’s father spoke of his struggle to understand why his son had been arrested. The government of Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno has accused the celebrated digital privacy advocate of working to destabilize the government by hacking computers and phones in the country. Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo said in a Thursday interview with local media that the arrest was made for “investigative purposes.” And later: “For several years now, one of the key members of this WikiLeaks organization and a person close to Mr. Julian Assange has lived in Ecuador, and we have sufficient evidence that he has been collaborating with the destabilization attempts against the government,” Romo stated at a Thursday evening press conference. But she could not present anything plausible.
“The evidence, that he had a book by Noam Chomsky, a couple of USB sticks, and a couple of computers; that is the evidence they have shown, and I don’t think it’s a crime to have any of those things,” said Dag Gustafsson, Ola Bini’s father.
Regardless, Gustafsson pleaded with the government, saying: Please, Ecuadorean government give him a fair trial, it’s not about guilt or not guilt, but to be treated fair, and to proof that the legal system is working.”
Ola Bini’s mother spoke during the interview in addition to the irregularities of the case on the awful conditions in which Ecuador is holding her son. She described the situation in which Ola is living as “not so good. All the prisoners are all lying on the floor. They get daylight 3 days a week. They have water 5 hours a day, and it’s cold water, and they cannot drink it. There’s a lot of things that’s not so good, for them, for all the prisoners.”
One of Ola Bini’s lawyers, Jose Charry stated: “The Attorney General should explain to our team of lawyers exactly what Ola did to get detained because up to now there is no who, what, where or why. Overall, there is nothing to their case.”
Present at the visit was also the Swedish Consul to Ecuador in Quito Ola Emberg who explained "that the Swedish government was in contact with the Ecuadorean government and that they have a policy to not interfere in legal cases within the country." That is once again an outrageous statement - of course they have to interfere if there is no justice for their citizen.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Minister of Sweden Margot Wallström met with the Ecuadorian Ambassador to Sweden in Stockholm to discuss the case. The Foreign Minister’s office reported that: “At the meeting, we requested clarifications on what the Swedish citizen is accused of and also requested more information about the legal process. I can't go into any more details about what was said. [Why not???] We emphasize that we have a clear consular mission for our citizen.”
Human rights activists know this kind of pseudo-diplomatic lingo uttered by the Swedish government from cases like the two Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Parsson, which were held under fake "terrorism" charges for many months in the inhuman dungeons of the Ethiopian regime until freed. During their long suffering it became clear that the Swedish government didn't want to spoil good relations with the dictatorial regime in Addis Abeba, because Swedish oil- and gas industries like Lundin have vast investments and interests in that country. Likewise in Ecuador.
Ola Bini is currently being held in the El Inca Detention Center and legal proceedings against him are set to begin Thursday, May 2, 2019.
Every day in these cells adds to a great injustice and that will be held against the country's president Lenin Moreno, who is at the core it all and who is himself under investigation for high level corruption. Human rights activists arrested by a rogue state who hail from countries with "diplomatic" governments that have financial interests in that state while they have only greedy lawyers to defend but not the money feed them, are regularly lost or will suffer for a long time.
Also the United Nations (UN) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) demanded respect for fundamental human rights in Ola Bini's case. "Nothing in this story connects Ola Bini with any crime," said a United Nations Special Rapporteur David Kaye about the preventive detention of the Swedish citizen, Ola Bini, by Ecuador's government.
Ecuadorean police put the Swedish programmer and digital privacy activist Ola Bini in 90-day preventative custody April 13 for allegedly attempting to destabilize the government, which amounts to arbitrary detention, since they have nothing to show to proof the charge. Judge Rodolfo Navarrete accepted the request by prosecutor Fabian Chavez to put Bini in custody and ordered a 90-day fiscal investigation of Bini's accounts that have also been frozen.
Ecuadorean police had arrested Bini for allegedly attempting to destabilize the government by “collaborating” with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Assange was controversially stripped of his asylum status by Ecuador's current administration under President Lenin Moreno last Thursday.
Under cover of the current visit by U.S. Southern Command chief also numerous shady characters entered Ecuador with that delegation from the USA. Observers speculate that U.S. intelligence might try to force Ola Bini to sign statements, which could be used against Julian Assange, whom the USA is desperate to get extradited from the UK.
“For several years now, one of the key members of this WikiLeaks organization and a person close to Mr. Julian Assange has lived in Ecuador, and we have sufficient evidence that he has been collaborating with the destabilization attempts against the government,” Romo stated at a Thursday evening press conference.
Outspoken critic of Moreno, former Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa called Bini an "Ecuadorean political prisoner." SHAME ON ECUADOR - SIGN ON: FREE OLA BINI
Commemoration: On April 18-24, 1955, leaders of Asian and African countries gathered in a historic meeting in Bandung, Indonesia, known as the BandungConference center, where revolutionaries from around the world condemned WesternImperialism and colonialism. WATCH
Make May Day U.S. Hands Off Venezuela Day The danger of war is greater than ever! U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has told the United Nations Security Council that “all options are on the table,” which means not only sanctions, which are a form of war, but invasion, proxy or otherwise.
Today the mother of Assange informed that finally Assange lawyers were allowed to video chat with him, they will be able to visit him on April the 26th, she posted on her twitter account:
UPDATE on JULIAN
Julian has had one video conference with his lawyers & they will visit him at Belmarsh Prison on April 26
Many thanks to all those calling for this visit from his lawyers. #ProtectJulian #FreeAssange #AbideByUNDecision #NoUSExtradition
MUST SEE: TRUMP's WARZONE APP on Venezuela
As part of the campaign that seeks to justify a military intervention against Venezuela, the government of the United States has deployed a strategy aimed at promoting the image of the existence of a war in the country, for which it has used the media as its main weapon, one dominated by the great capitals of Europe and the United States.
As new evidence of this strategy, there is the inclusion of Venezuela in liveuamap.com; a web and platform App, dedicated to provide “informative” coverage through the “geomap” system to countries where “war conflicts” develop, such as Syria, Ukraine and the Kashmir region .
Hand in hand with the USA
Born during the so-called Ukrainian Color Revolution, which was promoted by the United States, this digital platform is qualified as “a site that covers” conflicts, human rights issues, protests, terrorism and weapons deployment”, being a detail that reveals its nexus with imperialism, its fiscal address, which is located in Virginia, near the District of Columbia where the city of Washington is located, capital and seat of the entire governmental structure of US imperialism.
Update TUE 23. April 2019 (vf): #Venezuela's @NicolasMaduro calls new @CITGO financing deal 'illegal'. “Everyone involved, Venezuelan and foreign, in this $1.3 billion robbery and embezzlement of @Citgo that is underway will be exposed,” Maduro said in a state television address. Last month, Citgo said it had raised $1.2 billion through a five-year term loan to cover operating expenses and refinance existing debt. That refinancing took place after a new board of directors named by Guaido took illegally control of Citgo, PDVSA’s crown jewel overseas asset.
Venezuelan Authorities identify 5 saboteurs having disrupted the county's electrical system
The Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez, unveiled Tuesday the identification of five people involved in attacks on the National Electric System (SEN).
Rodriguez named Ramon Oswaldo Garcia, in Spain; Miguel Jose Freita in Colombia; Julio Cesar Acuña and Jesus Rodriguez Landoni in the United States; and Otoniel Ramon Sanchez, who has been detained, as those involved in what the Venezuelan government has said was sabotage against the country’s electricity system.
"There are requests to Interpol for people related to the attack on the electrical system who live in the United States, Colombia, and Spain," Rodriguez said in a news conference.
Between March 7 and April 23, more than 45 attacks against the electrical system have been committed, the minister said.
He added that in the investigations of the attacks on the electrical system from March 25 to March 28, Jesus Rodriguez Landoni was identified as one of those involved. He had fled to the United States and lived in the residence of an officer of the U.S. Armed Forces, claimed Rodriguez.
"Venezuelan authorities are looking for Jesus Rodriguez Landoni ... for attacking the electricity system on March 25, 26, 27, and 28. He left the country on April 8, 2019," Rodriguez said.
The Venezuelan official said Otoniel Ramon Sanchez, an operations engineer working at Edelca, was detained for participating in the attack against the SEN.
As for the future of the electrical grid, Rodriguez assured that "we have been building a system completely impossible to be attacked by terrorists."
Venezuela Media under Attack! Venezuelanalysis.com is back up and running after recent targeted attacks took down the website. The publication's website was offline for over 48 hours following a massive DDoS attack. Read what VA journalist Ricardo Vaz in Caracas has to say, and for the latest
Also the LinkedIn account of ORINOCO TRIBUNE has been terminated on unreasonable grounds the same day. LinkedIn is a U.S.-mastered platform. But the real website of this important and independent media outlet still stands strong, tough it had been attacked earlier too.
Preciously 10 Embassies of Venezuela suffered a cyber attack on Thursday, 07. February 2019 through which false statements giving support to the outlaw Juan Guaidó as self-declared president were issued. The government spokesmen of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time announced the hacking of the websites of the embassies of Venezuela in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Italy, Russia and Uruguay to the media and suspended the sites until the problem was solved.
For its part, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs published on its website the attack on its diplomatic corps in the affected countries and underlined its commitment to the government of President Maduro. The website of http://www.miranda.gob.ve/ seems still to be down.
There is no doubt that these cyber-attacks are mastermided by US-backed groups, which started already in 2017 to operate shortly after the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) election on 30 July 2017 that was boycotted by the opposition. Back then “Operation David,” the code name of an armed attack in Valencia, was complimented by the so-called "Binary Guardians", a group of hackers that sent messages to support the actions of a group of armed men who attacked a military base in the central city of Valencia on 8. August 2017.
Meanwhile the U.S.and NATO cyber-commands have become worse than notorious internet oppressors China or North-Korea and are now the most significant threat to free speech and independent media freedom.
Russian General: Venezuela is Able to Repell External Aggression
Venezuela is capable of facing external military aggression, said Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Alexandr Fomín.
“We believe that the legitimate Government of Venezuela led by [President Nicolás] Maduro has the situation under control, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces are capable of facing external aggression,” Fomín told Russian television RT, on the eve of the Conference of International Security of Moscow that opens on April 23.
Fomín stressed that Russia offers “support to Venezuela especially in the framework of technical-military cooperation.”
“We have several agreements that we respect and we assist in the maintenance of operational readiness, weapons and war equipment,” said the vice-minister of the Russian military body commenting on the situation in the Caribbean country.
Fomín recalled that the US has declared that it keeps on the table all options regarding Venezuela, including the military one.
“The Venezuelan government have the legitimate right to self defense and are prepared for that military aggression and to do that Venezuela has the legal duty and right to exercise its military in cooperation with strategic allies as is the case with Russia, but also with countries such as China, Cuba, Iran, Turkey and any other that serves Venezuelan self-defense needs”, an international expert said to Orinoco Tribune.
However, it is a variant that “does not correspond to the interests of the US because it could further unite the population around the current Government of Venezuela” and, in addition, “provoke a negative reaction in the region,” he warned.
The Russian deputy minister acknowledged that the situation in Venezuela “is still very complicated.”
“The main architect of this situation is the US, which recently declared its enmity to Venezuela” and also targets Cuba and Nicaragua, the senior military official said.
In Fomín’s opinion, the United States, with its actions regarding Venezuela, “ignores and tramples on international law.”
Washington was the first to recognize in January the self-proclamation of the opposition Juan Guaidó as president in charge of Venezuela, an act that the Venezuelan leader, Nicolás Maduro, described as an attempted coup promoted by the United States.
Since then, Washington has introduced a series of sanctions against Caracas with the objective of putting pressure on Maduro, recognized as legitimate president by Russia, along with Bolivia, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Turkey and several other countries.
The Russian Defense ministry said the series of electricity blackouts were part of a U.S. operation to put pressure on the Venezuelan government.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Alexander Fomin said the recent series of blackouts in Venezuela was due to a planned operation led by the United States.
Fomin, during an interview with RT, said that "the United States does not stop" when it comes to pressurize on Venezuela.
"They do not reject any tool, they widely use the tools of hybrid wars, color revolutions, as well as train leaders and militants of radical movements," Fomin said.
"You can see that an operation called 'Blackout' is underway, it is a planned and artificial closure of energy facilities, which also negatively affects the atmosphere in the country and only aggravates the existing crisis, mainly the economic crisis.”
He further predicted that Cuba and Nicaragua will be the “next victims” of the United States.
@medeabenjamin says that Venezuela's embassy in Washington DC is under threat as the U.S. government teams up with the Venezuelan opposition in blatant violation of the Vienna Convention. @codepink. The collective which is currently inside of the Venezuelan embassy says that it's prepared to remain there, in order to protect the sovereignty of Venezuela. They say that the next two days are crucial. The Venezuelan embassy protection collective stated: "We're saying no to the economic sanctions that have been so harmful to the Venezuelan people. Any kind of military intervention is unauthorized by the U.S. Congress and illegal." President @NicolasMaduro himself is aware of the ongoing live-in at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington. Members of the collective have the rights of tenants and cannot be easily evicted. It's the US which is trespassing: "People are resolute. They will not voluntarily hand give this embassy over to the United States in violation of the Vienna Convention, or to the opposition—which is fake government which the US has selected."
The Commander of the Southern Command (Southcom) of the United States Admiral Craig S. Faller after having been in Columvia yesterday, began an official visit to participate in security discussions in Ecuador Tuesday.
Faller is scheduled to meet with the Minister of Defense of Ecuador, General Oswaldo Jarrin as “part of the effort to expand bilateral relations and cooperation in security matters.” It appears that he retraces the recent steps of Mike Pompeo during his visit of right-wing South American governments to cement the interests of the military-industrial complex of the USA with action.
Bilateral military cooperation between the United States and Ecuador has strengthened by several high-level visits, including a visit from hospital ship USNS COMFORT and reopening of the U.S. military cooperation office in Ecuador, the statement declared.
The U.S. embassy added that Faller’s visit also “reaffirms the commitment of both nations in the fight against drug trafficking and support for humanitarian assistance in natural disasters.”
On this trip, Faller is joined by former U.S. Ambassador to Brazil and Civil Subcommander and Advisor Politics of the Southern Command, Liliana Ayalde; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere, Sergio de la Peña; and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Anti-Narcotics and Global Threats, Thomas Alexander.
#Nicaragua | "Our delegation will sit today at the #Negotiation table as it has been doing all this time, namely, to talk, dialogue and seek #peaceful solutions that benefit the people," Foreign Minister Denis Moncada said. The government delegation confirmed advances were made in agreements related to citizen rights and the release of detainees. #France declared that the country is "determined to continue to implement" the #Iran nuclear deal and to allow Iran to draw the "economic benefit," thereby clearly standing up against the machinations of th Trump administration. In an official statement, the ministry of foreign affairs of France declared Tuesday that "France is determined to continue to implement the JCPoA, endorsed unanimously by the United Nations Security Council in its resolution 2231 in 2015. With its European partners, France intends to continue its efforts to ensure that Iran derives economic benefits from the lifting of sanctions as long as it complies with all of its nuclear obligations."
37 citizens were executed in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for alleged "terrorism" activities.
Saudi Arabia executed 37 of its citizens Tuesday for allegedly committing 'terrorist'-related crimes after a mock trial.
The individuals were accused of cooperation with enemy organizations and against the interest of the state. Among the victims were 11 men who were convicted of spying for Iran and 14 others convicted of violent offenses related to their participation in anti-government demonstrations in Saudi Arabia’s Shi’a majority Eastern Province between 2011 and 2012.
All of them were sentenced to death after a trial that a number of human rights organizations say "violated international fair trial standards," relying on confessions extracted under torture.
The men were executed "for adopting terrorist and extremist thinking and for forming terrorist cells to corrupt and destabilize security," a statement by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
"The death penalty was implemented on a number of criminals for adopting extremist terrorist ideologies and forming terrorist cells to corrupt and disrupt security as well as spreading chaos and provoking sectarian strife"
According to Amnesty International, the families were not informed about the executions in advance.
"Today’s mass execution is a chilling demonstration of the Saudi Arabian authorities callous disregard for human life. It is also yet another gruesome indication of how the death penalty is being used as a political tool to crush dissent from within the country’s Shi’a minority," said Lynn Maalouf Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International. The UN Human Rights Chief "utterly condemned" the executions an demanded to halt any further such acts - especially agais minors, which is a clear violation of international law. MBS therefore must face the brunt of the international community and be put on trial himself.
The U.N.’s human rights chief is calling Saudi Arabia’s mass execution of 37 men, including three who were sentenced as minors, “shocking” and “abhorrent.”
Michelle Bachelet’s office said the beheadings in six cities across Saudi Arabia were carried out despite repeated warnings from rights officials about lack of due process.
"The use of the death penalty is always appalling, but it is even more shocking when it is applied after unfair trials or against people who were under 18 at the time of the crime, in flagrant violation of international law," said Lynn Maalouf.
Since the beginning of the year, at least 104 people have been executed by Saudi Arabia and 149 were executed in 2018, while the real culprits of the cruesome murder of journalist Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey have not been prosecuted. Saudi Arabia has refused Turkey's request to extradite 18 suspects for trial, including 15 alleged agents who it says flew to Istanbul to carry out the killing. Though a closed-dorr trial against 11 men was opened, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman and Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, who has been accused by some in the West of being behind the killing has not been put on trial. BOYCOTT SAUDI ARABIA
Meanwhile a number of Rohingya refugees detained indefinitely in a Saudi prison have started a hunger strike demanding an end to their situation.
The refugees explained their circumstances to the Middle East Eye (MEE) using phones smuggled into the 2.5 million square meter Shumaisi Detention Center in the coastal city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
Scores of Rohingyas have been fleeing Myanmar since 2011, and increasingly since 2016, to escape mass genocide by majority Buddhists where they were banned from obtaining Burmese passports.
#Myanmar Supreme court rejected Tuesday the final appeal of two #Reuters #journalists sentenced to seven years in jail for reporting on a massacre of Rohingya. Not that REUTERS is a specifically good news agency, but journalists must be protected from the cruel, rogue an genocidal regime of Myamar. BOYCOTT MYANMAR
Update MON 22. April 2019 (vf): Why Women Defend Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution - By Claudia Andrade
Since Hugo Chavez’s electoral victory in 1998, Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution has commenced a radical change in the economic, civic, and social life of the country. The determined struggle waged by the country’s women’s rights movement had achieved important gains following the end of the Pérez Jiménez dictatorship in 1958, but economic oppression and sexist social values persisted.
“The pains of the world are larger for women… and larger for women of the popular classes, of the poorer classes,” Hugo Chavez said in a speech in 2012. “A real revolutionary, a socialist, must be truly feminist, because the liberation of the people is achieved through the liberation of women” Under Chavez, Venezuela created a women’s ministry in the national government, tribunals dealing specifically with violent crimes against women, pensions for poor women, a variety of free women’s health services, expanded maternity leave and more. The Bolivarian Revolution also ushered in an ongoing democratic movement in which women are core participants and leaders.
One of the first actions of the Bolivarian Revolution after being swept into power in the 1998 election was to convene a Constitutional Assembly to draft a new charter for the country. Millions of women mobilized to draft proposals for the new constitution, expanding economic and social rights for women. Maria Leon, President of the National Institute for Women, emphasizes the importance of recent groundbreaking measures like Article 88, which recognizes that housework generates value and wealth:
“Our Constitution enhances the struggle against discrimination of human beings, and because of this it includes mechanisms for the protection of all social groups…Article 88 is an example to be followed by all countries in their struggle to eradicate discrimination against women.”
Although the Bolivarian Revolution has accomplished remarkable feats for the most vulnerable sectors of Venezuelan society, it is still an ongoing process. While legislation is written in gender inclusive language and gender-based violence is a punishable crime, the material conditions of Venezuela have made some of the economic goals unattainable under the present circumstances. Sanctions play a direct role in denying economic sovereignty not only to the state, but to the women suffering under shortages caused by illegal sanctions.
Imperialism not only impedes on a nation’s right to self-determination, but it also sets back the women’s movement in the countries it affects. Women recognize the dangers of imperialist warmongering and form the backbone of both mass anti-imperialist demonstrations as well as the Bolivarian militia that is prepared to defend the country from U.S. attack.
The advances made by the women’s movement against patriarchal social values goes hand-in-hand with the victories of the LGBTQ movement. After the historic 2017 decision by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to allow name and gender change, trans rights activist and lawyer Richelle Briceño commented, “We would expect no less given that we were simply making use of the constitutional principles that defend the rights that correspond to us as Venezuelan citizens.”
But the struggle continues on many fronts, such as sexist stereotypes that dominate the corporate media. The same media that propagates archaic values in soap operas and beauty pageants is the same privately owned media pushing for regime change in collaboration with the U.S. government. Women have been awakened and incorporated in the revolutionary struggle and no coup attempt will deter a people taking their future into their own hands. (souce)
KEEP VENEZUELA FREE OF 5G: 5G Exposed - Final Alert To Humanity
DEVELOP VENEZUELA AS A HUMANE SAFE ZONE - FREE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, FREE OF GMOs, FREE OF HARMFUL EMRs LIKE 5G, FREE OF TOXIC CHEMICALS and FREE OF GENOCIDE or ECOCIDE !!!
Juan Guaido on the loosing end - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday, April 21, that the Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido “followed the bad example of the Ukrainian President Petró Poroshenko”, who has also rejected the path of dialogue in his country. [who lost the election in a landslide]
“Apparently he got the bad example of the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, who behaved in the same way with respect to the need for a national dialogue with the participation of all political forces, because he was confident that Washington would protect him in any situation”, he said.
During an interview with the Russian channel Zvezda, the top diplomat highlighted the willingness of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to begin this mediating process with the various political sectors living in the country and with international assistance.
“Maduro is ready for these negotiations. He has confirmed it several times publicly. But Guaido flatly refuses because he feels the support of Washington and relies solely on it”, said Lavrov.
While the USA increases economic blockades now on dozens of countries, it is high time that the USA faces blockades until the Trump administration can no longer endanger world peace. U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to eliminate all waivers issued to eight economies allowing them to buy Iranian oil without facing U.S. sanctions, the White House said on Monday, while vowing to ensure global oil market was well supplied.
The waiver allowed China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece to buy Iranian oil without the risk of sanctions by Washington. India and China are the largest buyers of Irania oil. Iran, which already has cash-problems, has dismissed the U.S. move and China has outrightly rejected the U.S. demand. Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, speaking at a daily news briefing, said China’s bilateral cooperation with Iran was in accordance with the law.
Also other officials in Asia opposed the move, pointing to tight market conditions and high fuel prices that were harming industry. This economic war can easily turn ugly in the Persian Gulf if Iran would for example block the Straight of Hormuz - something the U.S. warhawks and Israel seemingly want to provoke.
Oil prices spiked after Sunday reports that the waivers would end and remained higher on Monday. International benchmark Brent rose 2.6 percent to US$73.87 a barrel after earlier touching US$74.31, highest since early November. U.S. crude futures gained 2.4 percent, or US$1.52 a barrel, to US$65.52.
Earlier it touched a high of US$65.87, a level not seen since late October. Mexico, China and Russia have also rejected the enhanced US sanctions directed against Cuba and Venezuela. Immediately the Trump administration got a heavy push-back from Turkey, who is not only a major trade partner of Iran, but also a close ally in the region. Turkey announced on Monday that it will not abide by the “unilateral” decision of the US government to ban the import of Iranian oil. The Islamic Republic, one of the major producers and exporters of crude, difficult to ignore, has assured that it will frustrate US oil sanctions and that American rhetoric will only trigger the price of oil worldwide.
“We know that the sanctions regime will not really produce the results that they’re expected to produce in terms of changing Iranian behavior,” Ibrahim Kalin, the Chief Counselor to the President of the Turkish Republic, told the New York Times. And “Turkey rejects unilateral sanctions and restrictions on relations with its neighbors,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a message on Twitter .
Iran May Close Hormuz Strait if Not Able to Use it: IRGC Navy Commander (Oil Prices Up)
The top commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Navy says the Strait of Hormuz is an international maritime passage, warning that Iran may close the strategic waterway if prevented from using it.
IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri made the remarks in an interview with Iranian Arabic-language news channel Al-Alam published on Monday, the same day that the White House announced that US President Donald Trump has decided not to reissue Iran oil waivers when they expire in May.
“According to international law, the Strait of Hormuz is a waterway and we will close it [to other countries] in case we are banned from using it,” the Iranian military commander said.
“In case of any threat, we will not hesitate to support and defend Iran’s waters. We will defend our honor and will take reciprocal measures when it comes to protecting Iran’s rights,” he added.
In a statement on Monday, the White House said that Trump has decided not to reissue waivers allowing importers to buy Iranian oil without facing US sanctions when they expire in May.
It added that the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market.”
The US president withdrew Washington in May 2018 from a multilateral nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was reached between Iran and six world powers in 2015. Afterwards, Washington re-imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the deal.
Last November, the US enforced sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic’s banking and energy sector. However, it granted waivers to eight major importers of Iran’s oil, including China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece, fearing market instability.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Tangsiri pointed to Iran’s great military capabilities and said, “Despite sanctions, Iran’s military power is increasing every day,” emphasizing that the Islamic Republic will boost its military might every day if more sanctions are imposed on the country.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the IRGC Navy commander said Iran has maritime cooperation and peaceful coexistence with its neighboring countries.
Adding that the presence of foreign military forces in the region is the root cause of insecurity, Tangsiri said, “Foreigners attach no significance to regional security and it is not important to them if their measures lead to destruction of the region.”
Foreign powers present in the region are enemies of regional nations and pose a threat to the entire region, Tangsiri pointed out.
Back in December, Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri criticized US presence in the Persian Gulf, saying it only fueled insecurity in the strategic region.
Baqeri emphasized that the Persian Gulf countries are capable of ensuring security on their own and the US presence in the region has no outcome except for creating insecurity.
Iran’s military chief noted that the Americans have always sowed insecurity wherever they had a presence, adding, “Their retreat from Syria and other parts of the region will certainly lead to increased security and peace.” (pressTV) If the US seeks to operate in the Hormuz Strait, the Persian Gulf’s major trade route, it must talk to those who defend it, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, referring to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, which the US has declared ‘terrorists’.
Assange Was Put Through “Hell” at Ecuadorean Embassy: Diplomat tells teleSur
“The strategy was very clear – break him down. The government didn’t know how to end the asylum and face the catastrophic historical shame for doing that.”
The former Consul of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, Fidel Narvaez, sat down for an interview with Sky News this past weekend to discuss Julian Assange’s situation.
Narvaez, who worked at the London Embassy for six of the seven years Assange was living there, accused the officials of putting the Wikileaks founder through ‘hell’ in an attempt to “break him down”.
The senior diplomat said he and Assange became friends during his time at the London Embassy, calling him ‘respectful’ despite contrasting claims by the Ecuadorean government.
Shortly after Assange’s removal from the London Embassy, Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno accused Assange of displaying poor behavior and repeatedly antagonizing the staff at the diplomatic mission.
Narvaez, however, disputed these claims, saying that “Julian had a respectful relationship with staff, diplomats and administrative staff. I don’t recall a single incident when he disrespected someone until I left in July 2018.” Narvaez said “he was 100% respectful. Clean and tidy? What is clean and tidy? Did he put the dishes in the dishwasher? Probably not at weekends. Is that a crime?”
The senior diplomat expressed to Sky News how terrible the situation became for Assange once the new government came to power in Quito.
“The last year was hell for Julian in that embassy,” Narvaez said. “I was there the first months of the last year and I witnessed when Julian was told that he would no longer be allowed to have internet or access to the phone and wouldn’t be able to have visitors.”
Narvaez said the Ecuadorean government were unable to figure out ways to end his asylum without facing international backlash. “The strategy was very clear – break him down. The government didn’t know how to end the asylum and face the catastrophic historical shame for doing that.”
Contrasting claims made in Sweden, Narvaez alleged that Assange did not want to go to Sweden to face a rape inquiry because he feared being arrested and extradited to the United States.
He further denied the allegations made in Sweden.
“I consider him my friend. He’s provided a big service to all of us,” the senior diplomat claimed, adding it doesn’t matter if we like him or not. It doesn’t matter if he puts the dishes in the dishwasher or looks after the cat well. I stand by Julian. I believe him.”
Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno made a number of allegations against Julian Assange, including accusing the whistleblower of being disrespectful towards embassy staff. However, Ecuadors consul at the time has dispelled Moreno’s accusations, calling them a “smokescreen”.
Fidel Narvaez was the consul in London for 6 of the 7 years that Julian Assange stayed at the embassy, speaking to Russian outlet RT he said; “his alleged breach of asylum conditions” and altercations with diplomatic staff were a “smokescreen” and that “a couple of isolated incidents with security guards” was not improper conduct.
President Moreno accused Assange of violating terms in a number of ways including harassing guards, covering CCTV cameras, hacking security files. Most lewd of all, he accused Assange of smearing his feces on our embassy’s walls. All without corroboration, the only footage to emerge from his stay is a leaked CCTV video of the Wikileaks founder skateboarding in a small room.
Narvaez laments the focus on Assange's supposed transgressions during his stay, saying; “I was very disappointed that the fundamental thing – which is the persecution of a journalist for ... the crime of publishing truthful information about war crimes, corruption, mass surveillance – is not in the focus of international [media coverage],” instead, mainstream media often focused on “day-to-day behavior of Assange in the Embassy and his relationship with Ecuador [authorities].”
The former consul also denounced Lenin Moreno's earlier decision to cut off Assange's internet connection, prior to his expulsion, commenting “a very, very gross violation of human rights of someone who was not serving a sentence, of somebody who was not a prisoner,” with that act, he argued that Ecuador was no longer a “protector”, but rather a “persecutor”.
Narvaez concluded by explaining how the personal attacks on Assange were part of strategy to silence the whistleblower, “You have to attack and defame the personality if you don’t want the public opinion to support the brave one who challenged the most powerful nation on the planet,”
Appeals court turns down Manning appeal over contempt in WikiLeaks probe by JOSH GERSTEIN
Prosecutors appear to be pressing for Chelsea Manning’s testimony in order to bolster their case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
A federal appeals court has turned down former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning’s bid to overturn a contempt order that led to her jailing for refusing to answer questions from a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.
Manning’s lawyers said a district court judge ignored her claims that she was subjected to illegal electronic surveillance after her conviction at a court-martial in 2013 for leaking hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and military reports to WikiLeaks.
However, in a brief, two-page order Monday, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said it had no quibble with U.S. District Court Judge Claude Hilton’s decision last month to find Manning in contempt and send her to a jail in Alexandria, Va., after she refused to answer a series of questions in the ongoing probe of WikiLeaks.
“Upon consideration of the memorandum briefs filed on appeal and the record of proceedings in the district court, the court finds no error in the district court’s rulings and affirms its finding of civil contempt. The court also denies appellant’s motion for release on bail,” the appeals court’s order said.
Prosecutors appear to be pressing for Manning’s testimony in order to bolster their case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was expelled earlier this month from ndon’s Ecuador's Embassy in London, where he’d been holed up for seven years.
After he was ousted from the embassy, Assange was arrested on a longstanding bail-skipping charge and prosecutors revealed that Assange was secretly indicted by a U.S. grand jury in March 2018 on charges of conspiring with Manning to hack a password for a military computer system. He now faces extradition proceedings in England.
Many U.S. lawmakers have said they also want the Australian citizen and transparency activist prosecuted for conspiring with the Russians to steal Democratic Party emails in advance of the 2016 presidential election. However, adding those charges or others could complicate the extradition process and give Assange’s defense fresh arguments that he’s being accused of “political” crimes excluded from the extradition treaty between the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
The appeal was handled by Judge Allyson Duncan, an appointee of President George W. Bush; Judge Paul Niemeyer, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush; and Judge Robert King, an appointee of President Bill Clinton.
Manning could ask the full bench of the 4th Circuit to take up her appeal or she could ask for review by the Supreme Court. A lawyer for Manning did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Hilton’s order holding Manning in contempt directed that she be jailed for the life of the grand jury or until she agrees to answer prosecutors’ questions.
Donald Trump's warhawk SOUTHCOM Cmdr Adm. Craig Faller arrived in Colombia for Multilateral Borders Conference 2019 with officials from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Conference is set to "strengthen regional security coordination and cooperation procedures." Observers believe it is another move in the aggression the U.S. administration launches against Venezuela. Diplomatic representatives of Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido will gather in Colombia's capital Bogota on April 27 for talks with Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo.
"On Saturday Juan Guaido's ambassadors will meet in Colombia, and I will have the honor the open the meeting," Trujillo told a press conference on Monday.
MUST READ: "I Was The CIA Director - We Lied, We Cheated, We Stole" - not only to their adversaries, no, to the American people and their own president Donald Trump. WATCH: Pompeo finally speaks some truth. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reveals at a Texas A&M University speech the true motto of the CIA: 'We lied, we cheated, we stole'. The former CIA Director admitted, 'as an aside' to the question asked, that the Intelligence agency he headed up before being appointed as the top US Diplomat had a motto "we lied, we cheated, we stole"...which, according to Pompeo, contained entire CIA training courses based on 'lying, cheating, and stealing.
Update SUN 21. April 2019 (vf): Venezuela Governance: A little over a month ago, President Nicolás Maduro announced – through the vice president – a change and reshuffle in the ministerial cabinet of the executive. However, to date, only three posts have been designated: : Igor Gavidia Leon for Electric Power, Carlos Leal in Food and Freddy Brito in Science and Technology. There have been no explanations of the delay in the election -or ratification- of the new cabinet.
In practice, this means that after putting their house on order and delivering their respective reports and accounts, the disposition of 29 ministries and 5 vice presidencies is pending.
Critics, like Edgard Ramírez Ramírez, who say a cabinet must be characterized by efficiency (doing more with less, in less time), transparency (mutual comptroller State-People Power, access to information on management and clear monitoring and evaluation criteria), synergy (people-government co-responsibility and the articulation between both during all stages of work) and planning (systemic and interconnected vision of the programs and projects to be developed), believe improvements are now more necessary than ever. Most of them want changes in the ministries of Economy, Industries, Productive Agriculture, Youth, Mining Development and Transportation. Due to the ongoing crisis capable professionals, new “Chavista technocrats” with strategies that go beyond an emergency model for the nexus, are required but seem difficult to be found.
With more than 400 activities, the XIII Caracas International Theater Festival closed its curtains Sunday after having provided entertainment for thousands of residents during the Easter week holidays.
The festival, which lasted from April 12 to 21, included low cost or free presentations from thirty Venezuelan and eight international theater groups.
The activities were held in a number of public theaters in the Capital, as well in open air spaces such as parks and squares. Also included in the lineup was special programming for children as well as other activities such as circus, dance, and physical art. Foreign observers and visitors were amazed and remarked that it was an abolutely stunning festival amid the US-imposed blockade of the Venezuela and showed clearly that the spirit of the Venezuelan people can not be broken by Donald J. Trump.
Chile Opts out of UNASUR - Even though it was later than expected, Chile’s right-wing government has denounced on Sunday the Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), officially initiating its departure from the organization.
The country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Ampuero, told Chilean news outlet la Tercera that "it is completely unviable to revive the group” due to its stagnation and lack of leadership, adding that now “the space that does have a clear agenda and active participation is Prosur, successfully promoted by Chile."
The regional bloc activities have been paralyzed since 2017 as there wasn’t a consensus to choose a new General Secretary to succeed the Colombian Ernesto Samper. The situation aggravated as the right-wing U.S. backed “Group of Lima”, created a competing diplomatic group called ProSur on March 22, 2019, to counteract Unasur in accordance with U.S.’s interventionist agenda against Venezuela and neoliberal policies in the region.
FREE JULIAN ASSANGE
British Queen has Australian Journalist tortured
Julian Assange is tortured in isolation within the high-security detention facility at Her Majesty's Prison Belmarsh near London. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison broke his oath, while Guatemalan Lenin Moreno, himself under investigation for high-level corruption, adds THIEF to his description as traitor, criminal and scumbag.
His failing Excellency The no longer Honourable Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison has become a disgrace for the Australian Cabinet, the Australian National Security Committee, the Australian Federal Executive Council, the Australian Parliament and the Governor-General of Australia, because Morrison broke his oath of office for not protecting Julian Assange as Australian citizen and for not defending him in the face of crimes committed against him by Ecuador and the UK as well as by the illegal persecutions carried by Sweden and the USA.
Australia's Governor-General, His Excellency the Honourable General Sir Peter Cosgrove - until 28. June 2019 or at Queen's pleasure still the representative of the Australian monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II - must now terminate the commission of Scott Morrision or be instructed to do so by the Queen of the United Kindom and the other Commonwealth Realms. Her Majesty The Queen in turn must set Julian Assange free, if she doesn't want to be seen as complicit in the criminal plot against the journalist.
“It's been nearly two weeks since he was detained in Belmarsh Prison. It... appears punitive to continue to keep him isolated,” Christine Assange says.
“My son has still not been able to receive any visits. Not even from his lawyers!” Ms. Christine Assange wrote on Twitter Sunday. “Its been nearly two weeks since he was detained in Belmarsh Prison. It is outrageous, & appears punitive to continue to keep him isolated." Doctors who visited Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy have attested that he urgently needs medical care. Belmarsh is a maximum security prison sometimes referred to as “the UK’s Guantanamo Bay“.
Ms. Assange says these conditions of isolation have only gotten worse for her son since leaving the embassy where Ecuadorean authorities had increasingly cut off communication for the Australian information activist. Christine Assange added that according to doctors who examined Assange, he needs to be immediately transferred to a hospital to receive treatment. Christine Assange also took aim at Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno over refusing to give her son his belongings. Thereby Moreno has become a thief.
During the ongoing Extinction Rebellion protests in London over 963 arrests have been made and 42 people were charged.
Climate change protesters who have brought parts of London to a standstill said Sunday they were prepared to call a halt if the British government will discuss their demands.
On the seventh day of demonstrations that have occupied key spots in the British capital, Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the demonstrators, telling them: "Humanity is standing at a crossroads."
Organizers said they were willing to switch tactics from disruption to dialogue next week - if the government enters talks.
"We are prepared to pause, should the government come to the negotiating table," Extinction Rebellion spokesman James Fox told AFP. "What the pause looks like is us stopping an escalation. We can discuss leaving if they are willing to discuss our demands. At the moment, we haven't received a response from the government... so we're waiting on that."
Extinction Rebellion was established last year in Britain by academics and has become one of the world's fastest-growing environmental movements.
Campaigners want governments to declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025, halt biodiversity loss and be led by new "citizens' assemblies on climate and ecological justice.
"We're giving them an opportunity now to come and speak to us," Fox told AFP. "If they refuse to come and negotiate with us, then this is going to continue and this is going to escalate in different, diverse and very creative ways."
Colombo Terror - An eighth and ninth explosion have rocked Colombo, Sri Lanka's largest city and commercial capital, shortly after over 359 people were killed and as many as 500 were injured on Easter Sunday in six powerful blasts after 09h00 local time that hit in a coordinated attack 3 hotels and 3 churches. Among the dead are around 30 foreigners, icluding three of the four children of a Danish couple on holidays. Later 3 other devices exploded in different locations. A bomb went off near a church in Sri Lanka as it was being defused, a witness has claimed. But local media say that it was a controlled explosion by police. The Sri Lankan Defense Ministry has imposed a nightly curfew from 8pm to 4 am. 24 people have been arrested from one Muslim group and the social media messaging services have been cut off. The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka condemed the attack that targeted apart from the hotels 3 places of worship for Christians and Jews. A further explosive device, a six-foot pipe bomb, has been successfully defused. The device was found on a road close to Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, Air Force spokesman Gihan Seneviratne told reporters. President
#MaithripalaSirisena appointed a 3 member committee to probe the background, reasons and other related issues behind attacks. UPDATE: 9 terrorists participated in the attacks and 8 of them have been identified. A total of 24 people were arrested in connection with the attacks, but no group has claimed responsibility so far.
The history of Sri Lanka is marred with bloodshed and a 26-year-old civil war caused by British colonial rulers pitting Sinhalese and Tamil against each other.
Sri Lanka, called Ceylon until 1972, had its own Indigenous population but later people from India started settling in the country.
In 1505 the Portuguese colonized Ceylon when seven warring kingdoms were trying to increase their territory. The Buddhists disliked the Portuguese occupation and welcomed Dutch intervention just to oust the former colonizers.
The Dutch started colonizing in 1638 and by 1660, they controlled the whole island.
During the Napoleonic wars, Britain started colonizing Sri Lanka and in 1815, they were successful in occupying the whole island. In 1833, the island was united under one British administration.
In 1948 Sri Lanka gained its independence and took a path which would later start a civil war.
Robert De Niro Slams Trump as ‘Wannabe Gangster’ and ‘Total Loser’ During his appearance on the Late Show to discuss the Tribeca Film Festival, Hollywood actor Robert De Niro called US President Donald Trump a 'total loser' and 'dumbbell', continuing attacks on the US leader and his policies that began during Trump’s 2016 campaign.
The Hollywood star recently reprised his role as special counsel Robert Mueller on SNL last weekend to read the summary findings of the report that did not find any evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. Russia has repeatedly refuted any claims of interference in the US political system, saying the allegations were made up to excuse the election loss of Trump's opponent as well as to deflect public attention from actual instances of election fraud and corruption.
De Niro said that it was his “civic obligation” to play Mueller, adding “I don't know if it's possible, but I keep saying [if it's possible] to handcuff him and take him [Trump] away in an orange jumpsuit.”
The actor again criticized Trump when speaking about playing gangster roles, calling the US president “a wannabe gangster in the White House.”
De Niro has won two Oscars during his career for performances in The Godfather Part II and Raging Bull. He will return to the gangster genre for The Irishman on Netflix, due for release this fall and will reunite him with director Martin Scorsese.
“Even gangsters have morals, they have ethics, they have a code, and you know, when you give somebody your word that’s all you have is your word, especially in that world. This guy, he doesn’t even know what that means,” he added.
De Niro later branded Trump a “disappointed dunsky,” which he explained was the head of a crime family, and a “dumbbell,” saying that Trump tried to act like a made man, but was missing some of the standards they held.
Previously, Trump retaliated in the war of words initiated by the actor by calling De Niro “a very low IQ individual” in a series of tweets.
“Robert De Niro, a very Low IQ individual, has received to [sic] many shots to the head by real boxers in movies. I watched him last night and truly believe he may be 'punch-drunk.'” Twitter then lashed out at Trump's grammar after he slammed De Niro's IQ.
“I guess he doesn't realize the economy is the best it's ever been with employment being at an all-time high, and many companies pouring back into our country. Wake up Punchy!”
This is not the first time the Hollywood actor has attacked the US president with criticism. Earlier in January, De Niro compared Trump to Adolf Hitler, claiming dictators had 'looked funny' when they first came to power. Asked whether Trump was a fascist, he said: “I guess that's what it leads to. If he had his way, we'd wind up in a very bad state in this country.”
#Algeria's wealthiest businessman and four other billionaires close to former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika were arrested as part of a nation-wide anti-corruption investigation, state TV reported Monday. The five men are Issad Rebrab, founder and chairman of Cevital, Algeria's biggest privately held company; alongside the four Kouninef brothers Reda, Abdelkader, Karim, and Tarek, who were part of Bouteflika’s inner circle. They will face charges from the general prosecutor’s office in Algiers. Algeria had like the #UnitedStates become a country where struggling families are paying more than than multi billion companies.
Update SAT 20. April 2019 (vf): INVITATION: Today 15:00 EST Washington D.C – Eyewitness Venezuela with Ajamu Baraka, Medea Benjamin, Max Blumenthal, Claudia De La Cruz, Gloria La Riva, and Anya Parampil! If you can’t make the above events in person, watch them being live-streamed on their Facebook page (N.B.: Unfortunately they only have that FascistBook page - read warnings and access it only via a good VPN.) Facebook Admits Millions of Users' Passwords Affected by Latest Privacy Breach
More Than 3,600 Fake News Items About Venezuela Per Day
“The Venezuela movement “Connects Us”, carried out a study on how Venezuela is viewed from abroad and the results were amazing in accounting for more than 3,600 fake news about Venezuela a day,” revealed Social Media Manager Erick Lozano.
During an interview conducted in the Punto de Encuentro TV show broadcast by Venezolana de Televisión (VTV), Lozano warned that this strategy seeks to create a false opinion trend of what is being lived in Venezuela, Orinoco Tribune translated and reported at Correo del Orinoco.
He stressed that “fake news” or false news has become a phenomenon in the world because of the economic factors they generate, because every time users click on a news story the digital portals earn large amounts of money and for that reason web pages create false or tabloid news to get the attention of the user.
He mentioned that “another important factor that produces false news is the positioning of trends of opinion, in the case of Venezuela. The search for a media scenario that justifies a foreign intervention”, he said.
He recommended users verify the sources of the information that arrives at the social networks before sharing to avoid viralizing them.
The Venezuelan military deserters, who registered in the opposition operation during the days of the false humanitarian aid of February 23, are heading now to Bogota to seek a meeting with President Iván Duque to meet their demands.
The lack of response and the abandonment of these men by Juan Guaidó and his team, has caused that these troops look now for answers to their delicate situation from Colombia. Paradoxically, they do not march to Caracas to give power to their self-imposed “Commander-in-Chief”, but to Bogota to add an additional problem in internal politics to the unstable government of Ivan Duque.
This situation reduces the credibility of Guaidó’s promises to the Venezuelan military, by which he had been trying to convince them that by abandoning their oath they will receive preferential and privileged treatment.
Reliance Industries denied involvement in any arrangements that lead to cash payments for oil supplies to Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA via third parties, and said it is not in violation of any U.S. sanctions, according to a statement from India’s giant oil refining company on Saturday.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro is funneling cashflow from Venezuelan oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft as he seeks to evade U.S. sanctions designed to oust him from power, according to a Reuters story published on Thursday. The story was based on sources and documents reviewed by Reuters.
One internal PDVSA document allegedly indicated shipments of Venezuelan oil to Reliance in April would be settled via Rosneft. The document showed that PDVSA and Reliance would pay a fee equivalent to around 3 percent of the sale price, split between them.
Reliance said in the statement that reports it was involved in arrangements that lead to cash payments for oil supplies to PDVSA via third parties “are false and reckless.”
Update FRI 19. April 2019 (vf): Action: 24/7 Protection of DC Venezuelan Embassy “The Trump-orchestrated plan of creating a parallel government in Venezuela and then simply taking over diplomatic premises is totally illegal.”
US Calls on Countries to Deny Airspace to Russian Planes Destined for Venezuela
The U.S. State Department spokesperson has called on countries to “follow Malta’s example” and block Russian military planes en route for Venezuela from using their airspace, Moskau Times reports.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Malta refused a Russian request to use its airspace to fly military aircraft from Syria to Venezuela on April 4. Zakharova added that Malta did not provide a reason for their decision, the state-run TASS news agency reported. The diplomat said that Moscow will take this fact into account in its bilateral relations with Malta.
The new U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus tweeted on Friday: “We applaud the government of Malta for refusing to allow Russian planes to use its airspace to supply the brutal former regime in Venezuela. We call on all countries to follow Malta’s example to stop the Kremlin’s support for the dictator Maduro.”
Responding to Ortagus on Twitter, Russia’s Foreign Ministry stressed that the US should continue clapping, as that would keep it busy enough not to start any war. “We are trying hard to keep your hands away from a trigger. So keep applauding – at least it’s harmless,” the Russian FM said on Twitter.
Russia, which has also supplied fighter jets, tanks and air defense systems to Venezuela, has dismissed U.S. criticism of its military cooperation with Caracas, saying it is not interfering in the Latin American country’s internal affairs and poses no threat to regional stability.
U.S. President Donald Trump has previously said that “Russia has to get out” of Venezuela and that “all options” are open to force Russia to end its assistance to Maduro, raising the prospect of new U.S. sanctions against Moscow.
Commemoration: Cuba’s victory on 19. April 1961 was the first military defeat of U.S.
#imperialism in Latin America.
A CNN report confirmed the warnings made by the WSWS and others that the charges related to computer hacking leveled against Assange are merely a pretext for his extradition to the United States, after which additional charges would be brought against him.
Since Assange has been imprisoned in the maximum-security Belmarsh prison, public comments made by leading Democrats and US media officials indicate that charge was not the primary aim of the US investigation.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer tweeted, “Now that Julian Assange has been arrested, I hope he will soon be held to account for his meddling in our elections on behalf of Putin and the Russian government.” Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel tweeted that Assange “time after time compromised the national security of the United States and our allies by publicly releasing classified government documents and confidential materials related to our 2016 presidential election.”
US, British and Ecuadorian governments have claimed Assange’s extradition is proper because the US is indicting on a single charge: attempting to help Chelsea Manning bypass a password. But this has now been revealed to be only the pretext. The real reason the US wants custody of the whistleblower was stated by Schumer and Engel.
On April 15, the WSWS wrote that these statements demonstrate the extradition proceedings are being conducted under false pretenses: “The single public charge is a cover. The government is planning to interrogate Assange, compel him to provide testimony and further prosecute him for exposing US war crimes.” (“Stop the extraordinary rendition of Julian Assange!”)
BOYCOTT GOFUNDME ! Big Brother and Big Pharma Collude to Choke Vaccine Skeptics Off Crowdsourcing Platforms. By Shane Trejo
The Orwellian censorship agenda is escalating, and more people are having their basic freedoms trampled as a result.
After successfully targeting Trump supporters with a repressive crackdown, Big Brother is heading onto their next target: so-called antivaxxers. GoFundMe is booting all vaccine skeptics from being able to raise funds on their platform, as they bend their knee to the digital lynch mob.
“Campaigns raising money to promote misinformation about vaccines violate GoFundMe’s terms of service and will be removed from the platform,” GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said of his company’s Big Brother push.
“We are conducting a thorough review and will remove any campaigns currently on the platform,” Whithorne added, making it clear that the Orwellian censorship crackdown is far from over.
Larry Cook, who runs a website arguing against mandatory vaccines, was one of the activists who was targeted by this campaign against Big Pharma’s critics. He has been hit by many different media reports in an obviously coordinated harassment campaign designed to de-platform him and destroy his credibility.
This is Cook’s message that Big Pharma and their operatives do not want the public to see:
While Cook’s assertions may be rejected by the so-called medical experts, individuals were able to discern whether they were credible for themselves. Those days are coming to an end, as a corporate truth commission will now be tasked to decide what information is fit for public consumption. Welcome to 1984.
“Whether you believe it’s true or not, everyone is entitled to their opinion,” said Melissa Sullivan, a vaccine skeptic who serves as executive vice president for Health Choice Connecticut, to the Daily Beast. “I would hope they would reconsider. This movement needs to be able to get funds in order to fight pharma giants like Merck and other vaccine manufacturers.”
GoFundMe acts as if they are committing censorship in the name of the public interest, but after seeing what interests are behind the crowdsourcing business, a monetary incentive is discovered. GoFundMe’s owners own a considerable stake in Big Pharma and are compelled to censor voices that may interfere with their profits.
GoFundMe was acquired by an investor team led by Accel Partners from its original founders in 2015 for a cool $600 million. Accel is a venture capital organization that heavily invested in the pharmaceutical industry. Information skeptical to vaccinations could hold back a multi-billion dollar industry so personal liberty must be curtailed to protect Big Pharma’s bottom line.
With more and more Americans being targeted by Big Brother, expect other dissident activists rallying against the political establishment to be targeted with Orwellian crackdowns in the future.
Update THU 18. April 2019 (vf): Can There be a Venezuelan in His 4 Senses That Supports the Economic Strangulation of the Country to Get Rid of Maduro?
The president of the party Solutions for Venezuela, Claudio Fermín, rejected in recent statements the position of the leaders of the national and international opposition who bet on the “economic suffocation” of the country to remove President Nicolás Maduro from power.
“This method is perverse and without any guarantee of success. The method is that, we are going to plunge the whole country into poverty so that the country simply pushes out its government,” said the opposition leader.
During an interview with Globovision, on March 18, Fermin also expressed his rejection of the political actors that promote violence, deception, and armed invasion in Venezuela.
“I want to protest that, I want to call for sanity, for synderesis. One thing is the appetite for power, another thing is the desire for power, another thing is the need for changes we have and another thing is to lose everything in a game of dice, we want change for the better, we want change to give life to Venezuela ” he stressed.
The requests of Brownfield and Ledezma
The opposition leader and fugitive from Venezuelan justice, Antonio Ledezma, and the US diplomat William Brownfield are two political actors who have openly declared themselves in favor of the imposition of economic sanctions against Venezuela.
Ledezma argued to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, that it is necessary to expand and intensify the sanctions against Venezuela. While Brownfield plated the need to sanction PDVSA, considering that such measure will have “an impact on the entire people and the ordinary citizen.
Fake News: Yesterday, Wednesday, the news agency REUTERS reported that Spanish oil company Repsol was suspending a swap agreement with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, which had Repsol supply fuel in exchange for Venezuelan crude. Swap agreements have become increasingly common for PDVSA in light of US sanctions. The US oil embargo has also limited Venezuela’s access to products needed to refine its crude and produce fuel.
However, Repsol denied on Thursday that there had been any suspension of activities, with spokesman Kristian Rix telling press that “operations are continuing normally.”
US Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams recently visited Portugal and Spain, and Repsol’s operations in Venezuela were one of the topics on the agenda. US officials have, on multiple occasions, raised the possibility of imposing secondary sanctions against non-US companies that deal with Venezuela and PDVSA. Venezuela Withdraws Diplomatic Credentials to Costa Rica’s Charge D’Affaires and Warns About Reciprocal Actions, Venezuel Anlysis reports.
Officials of the Venezuelan Embassy in Costa Rica left that country at the end of the 60-day period of the expulsion order, decreed by the authorities of Costa Rica on February 15. After that term, their credentials, immunities and privileges expired. The Venezuelan government denounced that Costa Rica “has flagrantly violated articles 22 and 25 of the Vienna Convention” by allowing the Venezuelan Embassy to be violently occupied in San José. In response the Venezuelan MFA announced the withdrawal of the diplomatic credential to the Chargé d’affaires of Costa Rica in Venezuela, Danilo González Ramírez.
It also noted that “Venezuela holds the Costa Rican government responsible for the loss or violation of the assets, archives and documents of the Embassy, in accordance with Article 24 of the Vienna Convention” and that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela “reserves the rest reciprocal diplomatic measures that may be in place to compensate this unacceptable aggression against the personnel and premises of the Venezuelan Diplomatic Mission in Costa Rica. ”
The Costa Rican government was one of the first to recognize the Venezuelan opposition deputy Juan Guaidó as president in charge when he proclaimed himself on January 23.
Through a statement , the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that “the diplomatic personnel of Nicolás Maduro’s government, who worked in the Venezuelan Embassy in Costa Rica, has left the national territory (…)” For all intents and purposes, they are no longer recognized as representatives of Venezuela,” they added.
The assault on the Embassy
The Venezuelan Embassy in San José was the scene of a conflict on February 20. That day a group of people, headed by the “ambassador” appointed by Guaidó, María Faría, tried to enter the building of the diplomatic headquarters by force.
Before the claim of the Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Arreaza, Costa Rica’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Lorena Aguilar, said that this action damaged “the elementary rules of respect and trust in the framework of International Law.”
“We express our strongest rejection of the actions of María Faría,” Aguilar added at the time and remarked that the 60-day term given to the acting diplomats was still in effect.
This is the statement of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on the subject:
Venezuela reserves reciprocal actions before the illegal taking of its Embassy in Costa Rica
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela informs the international community that officials accredited to the government of the Republic of Costa Rica left the country in their capacity as diplomatic officials, in accordance with the deadline established by the authorities of that country.
However, the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela denounces the government of Costa Rica which has flagrantly violated articles 22 and 25 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, by allowing, by act or omission, the violent occupation of our Embassy in San Jose.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela denounces this improper behavior of a government that promotes itself as a model of democracy and respect for the Diplomatic and Consular Conventions, when in reality it has created a disastrous precedent of disrespect and ignorance of International Law.
In this regard, Venezuela holds the Costa Rican government responsible for the loss or violation of the assets, archives and documents of the Embassy, in accordance with Article 24 of the Vienna Convention.
Also, the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela has decided to withdraw the diplomatic credentials of Mr. Danilo González Ramírez, who was the Chargé d’Affaires of the Republic of Costa Rica in Venezuela.
It should be noted that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reserves the other reciprocal diplomatic measures that may be necessary to compensate this unacceptable aggression against the personnel and premises of the Venezuelan Diplomatic Mission in Costa Rica. (Source: Alba Ciudad - Translated by JRE\EF - OT)
Defending Venezuela: Two Approaches
Chris Gilbert argues that solidarity movements defending Venezuela's sovereignty should also engage with the revolutionary proposals of the Bolivarian process.
Recent U.S. attacks on Venezuela have generated a widespread international response. Good willed people from all walks of life have come forward to express their solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution and their opposition to intervention. This is inspiring and leads one to conclude that there is generalized dissatisfaction with the global system and, together with it, a willingness to be critical and work for change.
Naturally these defenses have focused on imperialism, intervention and interference. The overall consensus is “Hands off Venezuela.” This slogan is a good one, since every thinking person today defends democracy, and a condition for democracy is that nations maintain (or attain) their sovereignty. (Nothing could be more antidemocratic than having foreign powers interfere in a country and have them sponsor foreign-appointed pretenders such as Juan Guaidó).
However, this focus on imperialist interference, correct as it is, has sometimes led to an apparent indifference to the content of the revolution and its internal dynamic. One might think that the oversight is actually for the better since internal affairs are “none of our business, but rather the responsibility of Venezuelans.” Yet I think that this sidelining of the internal dynamic and contents of the Bolivarian process is mistaken. Although it has been a pattern of internationalist behavior for some time, I believe it is not necessary and could be even harmful.
From the start, the Venezuelan revolution skillfully integrated people from all around the world. It said to them: Our struggle is your struggle, your struggle is our struggle. That is not just a tactically useful position but is actually scientifically correct.
For this reason, the Venezuelan revolution declared from the beginning that the problems of neo-liberalism, imperialism, and later capitalism, were not unique to Venezuela. They were challenges that peoples from all around the world faced, and it invited people to join in a common struggle.
It follows that, if the problems faced by the Venezuelan revolution are universal ones, then the solutions discovered along the way also have some claim to universality. (A claim to universality, by the way, does not mean that one has the universal solution; it means that a universal solution is being proposed and has to be evaluated.)
These hypothesized solutions developed over time. The Venezuelan revolution first proposed popular, participative democracy to solve the problems created by neo-liberalism. Later, it concluded that this kind of democracy had to be extended to the sphere of production to be real democracy, and this led to proposing socialism as the way forward. Finally, the revolution refined its socialist proposal by hypothesizing that communes are the key to realizing democracy in the area of production.
It is important to recognize that the commune is not just a whim, nor is it part of some endogenous “Venezuelan path to socialism,” but rather a solution to a universal problem. This is because capital subordinates society through a diffuse metabolism that is essentially hierarchical, implying that there has to be a diffuse non-hierarchical environment to overcome it. The commune is that proposed non-hierarchical and democratic environment for production and life.
Any or all of these ideas could be wrong. Nevertheless they are solutions proposed to overcome shared problems. Therefore, they propose to be universally-valid solutions for how to overcome imperialism and capitalism.
Coming back to the question of imperialist interference and how to oppose it: It is one thing to show the criminality of imperialist interference—it is indeed criminal—but it is a more powerful gesture to show that popular democracy can confront imperialism (a takeaway being that popular democracy in your own context, be it Nigeria or Nepal, could confront imperialism). Finally, it is an even stronger idea to show that socialism—that is, democratic, self-governed production—could lead to a world without imperialism (that is, a world in which the imperialist motive would not be operative).
So when intellectuals defend Venezuela, why not put the cards on the table and say that we also defend popular democracy, socialism, and communal production? The orthodox, time-honored answer is that we need the most ample alliance possible and cannot risk offending people who maybe don’t like popular democracy, socialism or communal production.
This argument is a bit like the old claim that we need the support of the progressive bourgeoisie (which, these days, is like looking for the philosopher’s stone or the unicorn). Of course, we may need to choose our words carefully (since some words, such as “communism,” have been victims of so much propaganda that they might alienate the masses). Yet it remains undeniably true that defending popular empowerment and social justice through a complete transformation of the current system would incorporate more people than it would turn off.
So why do spokespeople and intellectuals so often backburner these aspects of the Bolivarian revolution in their discourse and their defenses? There may be motives that are honest, including simple ignorance of the revolution’s contents (which as long as it is not willful ignorance is understandable). Nevertheless, it is extremely probable that many right-wing elements inside or associated with the process, including intellectuals, actually use the crisis to advance their agenda, which involves eliminating the Venezuelan revolution’s proposals for how to achieve social justice and popular power.
These right-wing elements are surely delighted to see the shifting of goalposts that is taking place in the public sphere. Once intellectuals in pro-Bolivarian contexts defended popular democracy and socialism, but now they defend just sovereignty. Perhaps mere shared sovereignty will be the next goalpost they defend.
However, the law of diminishing returns does not have to operate in the field of international solidarity. Internationalism can take the right-wing path of empty or formal defense, in which the content of the Bolivarian process is ignored, or it can take the left-wing path, in which sovereignty is defended along with the social project.
The latter defense is not only the correct one for those who struggle for a better world; it is also the only consistent one, since there is no sustainable basis for national sovereignty in peripheral countries except popular power. Furthermore, a left without the capacity to imagine and project a better world—call it socialist, communal, or self-governing—is a virtually useless one.
MUST UNDERSTAND: CIA Docs Shows UK, France and West Germany Wanted to Bring “Operation Condor” To Europe
A recently declassified CIA document has revealed that members of the intelligence agencies of France, the United Kingdom and West Germany discussed how to establish “an anti-subversive organization similar to [the CIA’s Operation] Condor” in their own countries. The document states: "Representatives of the intelligence services of West Germany, France and the United Kingdom visited the coordination secretariat of Operation Condor in Buenos Aires during the month of September 1977 to discuss methods to establish an antisubversive organization similar to Operation Condor." Described by the CIA as “a cooperative effort by the intelligence/security services of several South American countries to combat terrorism and subversion,” Operation Condor was a campaign of state terrorism originally planned by the CIA that targeted leftists, suspected leftists and their “sympathizers” and resulted in the forced disappearances, torture and brutal murders of an estimated 60,000 people, as well as the political imprisonment of around half a million people. Around half of the estimated murders occurred in Argentina. The April 12 batch of declassified information was the third and last of the U.S.’s Argentina Declassification Project. The first two installments were made during the U.S. Barack Obama administration. Only few media report this.
EU Lawmakers Praise Evo Morales On Economy And Equality
An increasing number of European political parties are taking a greater interest in Bolivia, ever since the Andean country officially renounced neoliberal policies
On Thursday, 19 lawmakers in the European parliament wrote a letter to Bolivia’s leftist President Evo Morales, in praise of the country’s progress on development and social equality.
Evo Morales thanked the signatories on Twitter soon after, saying “We thank the Members of the European Parliament that praise Bolivia's achievements in poverty reduction and economic growth. We have accomplished so much and work relentlessly to improve the living conditions of our people with unity, dignity and identity.” He went on to say, “We praise the EU cooperation that, unlike the conditional assistance of some states, has allowed Bolivia to reach important accomplishments in the fight against poverty and drug trafficking. It's a joint effort with full respect for the sovereignty and dignity of our countries.”
An increasing number of European political parties are taking a greater interest in Bolivia ever since the Andean country began achieving the highest rates of economic growth in the region. In February last year, former Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero hosted a conference to discuss Bolivia’s achievements in economic growth and poverty reduction.
Morales’ period in office has been marked by significant reductions in poverty. Between 2006-2017, extreme poverty fell from 40% to 17% and the country’s GDP has more than tripled during Morales’ 13 years in office. None of the U.S.-imposed right-wing governments of South America can present such impressive figures. The Bolivian government argues that this growth is due to the nationalization of the country’s natural resources.
Morales faces a presidential election on Oct. 20 this year, with most polls putting him well ahead of right-wing rival Carlos Mesa.
The controversy over Julian Assange’s arrest in London seems to have spilled over into the European Parliament this week. Martin Sonneborn, a long-time contributor to Spiegel and ZDF, used his time to tell “a couple of words to the Brits who are likely to remain in the EU until Halloween.”
If you extradite Assange to the US, may you get your stupid Brexit right now, and may it be as hard as possible!
Sonneborn also reminded the German parliament that earlier this week it approved a bill protecting whistleblowers from being exposed to various forms of persecution, adding “it is now against the EU law to blow such people away.”
Further into his emotional speech, Sonneborn recalled a renowned 2007 video showing a US helicopter crew gunning down a dozen civilians, including Reuters’ staff, and then laughing at the dead.
Assange, who was behind the release of the video in 2010, now risks being handed over to “those who deny or conceal it.” The footage, released by WikiLeaks and known as ‘Collateral Murder’, quickly went viral, sparking outrage across the globe.
No More Excuses: The real face behind U.S.-led atrocities is Trump himself. The other four: - Pompeo, Pence, Bolton, Abrams - are just his henchemen. Americans must get these 5 apocalyptic riders out of office, if they don't want to be shunned by the World. Together with Trump and Pompeo, Bolton is also a firm member of the real "troika of tyranny".
Final Straw: Trump Vetoes Congressional Resolution to End US Support of Saudi-led Yemen War
US President Donald Trump has vetoed a resolution passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives that sought to end US involvement with the Saudi-led war in Yemen. It is the second veto of his presidency.
“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump said in a message to the Senate, informing them of the veto.
According to Trump, the US is “not engaged in hostilities in or affecting Yemen,” with the exception of “counterterrorism operations against [Al-Qaeda] in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS.” Nor are any US military personnel “commanding, participating in, or accompanying” forces of the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen, he said.
The US does provide “limited support” to the coalition, “including intelligence sharing, logistics support, and, until recently, in-flight refueling” of aircraft, but that is consistent with statutory authority given to the Pentagon and presidential powers as commander in chief, Trump said.
Trump added the resolution would hurt US “bilateral relationships,” counter-terrorism operations against Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), “negatively affect our ongoing efforts to prevent civilian casualties” and “embolden Iran’s malign activities in Yemen.”
Saudi Arabia has accused the Yemeni Houthis of being proxies of Iran. The Pentagon has repeatedly claimed that its military support to the Saudi-led coalition is somehow helping reduce civilian casualties.
Since launching the war against the Houthis in March 2015, however, the Saudi-led forces have repeatedly and deliberately struck civilians in Yemen. An estimated 60,000 Yemenis have died due to the conflict, with another 85,000 succumbed to famine and malnutrition.
This was the second veto of Trump’s presidency. The first came in mid-March, when he vetoed a joint resolution opposing his declaration of national emergency on the US-Mexico border, the first time Congress had adopted one since passing a law on emergencies in 1976.
Paris argues that the weapons it actively sells to the Saudis are used for defensive purposes only and are intended to help Riyadh fight terrorists. However, that might not exactly be the case, Geoffrey Rivolsi, the co-founder of Disclose, believes.
While pointing out France’s secrecy about the nature of its arms contracts with Riyadh, the investigative journalist warned that a full disclosure of the French role in the Saudi-led coalition’s war efforts might potentially put Paris in a bind.
Documents obtained by the investigative group show that France is clearly aware of potential risks of its weapons being used against civilians in Yemen. One map, entitled “Population that can suffer as a result of shelling” shows how many people live within range of the French-made 155mm self-propelled howitzers CEASAR currently deployed to the Saudi border areas near Yemen. The map puts the number of potentially affected civilians at 430,000.
“CEASAR howitzers are a source of concern for the government because these artillery systems are used to shell Yemen,” Rivolsi said.
“Taking into account its role in assisting the coalition in the field of arms supplies, France might emerge as an accomplice in these war crimes,” the investigative journalist warned, adding, however, that there has been “no direct evidence” of civilians being killed with French weapons and bombs.
The 2019 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders shows that Nicaragua fell 24 places from the previous year’s list due to attacks on journalists covering protests against President Daniel Ortega.
El Salvador saw the region’s second steepest fall — 15 places — because journalists suffered armed attacks, harassment and intimidation by politicians, according to the report.
There were also poor performances in Venezuela, Brazil, United States and Mexico. The latter is one of the world’s deadliest countries for the media, with at least 10 journalists slain in 2018.
The report said that never before in the United States have journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security companies for protection.
The World Press Freedom Index assesses six separate benchmarks and assigns each country a score calculated from answers to a questionnaire in 20 languages that is completed by experts around the world.
Norway is ranked first for the third consecutive year and Turkmenistan replaced North Korea in last place.
Trump goes even further in his war against media freedom: FULL FRONT CENSORSHIP ATTACK ON IRAN FROM VARIOUS AMERICAN BASED MEDIA ... Free independent reliable press run by independent journalists from various countries is gagged today charged with exposing the crimes of terrorist states against humanity. Google has blocked Press TV and Hispan TV's access to their official accounts on the technology company's platforms, including YouTube and Gmail, without prior notice, citing “violation of policies”. “Your Google Account was disabled and can’t be restored because it was used in a way that violates Google’s policies,” Google said in a message that appears after Press TV tries to log into its account. READ MORE
The American corporation Google also blocked the access of HispanTV to YouTube on Thursday. Both HispanTV and PressTV provide coverage critical of U.S. foreign policy in places such as the Middle East and Latin America. Some have raised concerns that this could be part of the U.S. government's package of sanctions against Iran. “Not only have the companies been blocked, but also many of our experts and contributors, this is clear media dictatorship,” said IRIB’s Peyman Yebeli.
HispanTV is a Spanish-language television channel with a large audience around the world, particularly in the United States and Latin America. The chain’s account, to which the staff can not add new content, currently has more than 243,000 subscribers. This independent news outlet has been subject to media censorship on other occasions. The last case occurred in August 2018 when Google blocked HispanTV’s access to its YouTube channel and Google Plus and as a consequence the accounts of HispanTV, HispanTV Programas, HispanTV Documentales and HispanTV Films and Series were closed.
“This media war against HispanTV and all the networks that transmit the reality of events will never have results … the voice of reason will prevail despite all the measures of the West and the colonial countries. The sun can not be hidden with a finger, ” a chain reader reported in August.
Google has also closed as of Friday the channel’s access in English called PressTV. The American technological giant justifies this measure, indicating that it found violations to its rules, although it does not offer details.
Both television networks have been objects of media censorship on repeated occasions. The YouTube video sharing platform blocked the live broadcast of HispanTV in mid-2017 and, in 2012, the Spanish satellite provider Hispasat stopped providing services to HispanTV and “Press TV network”.
The Iranian authorities have repeatedly denounced these offensives against the Iranian media, which always promises to be the voice of the voiceless, as constituting a flagrant “violation of freedom of expression and the free flow of information.”
Orinoco Tribune LinkedIn Account Frozen
Orinoco Tribune is a new service providing information about Venezuela for English speakers around the world. Our social network strategy has been focused mostly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but in recent weeks we were expanding our number of followers in LinkedIn focusing on journalists and content creators from all over the world.
Yesterday night our staff received a notification, while trying to login into our account, letting us know that the account was restricted.
Initially we though that it was a mistake but after several tries we realized that was not the case. We sent the ID required by LinkedIn to initiate an arbitration process.
We know from experience that social media networks might be very aggressive in terms of press freedom liberties for outlets providing anti-establishment information, so we did not have too many expectations.
Early today, LinkedIn contacted us and let us know that our account was open as a personal account and that we should open a LinkedIn Page. So we lost almost 500 followers that we were selectively curating for the last weeks and that were actively interacting with us in recent weeks. To them our appreciation, and for them we post this notice to encourage them to follow us in our new LinkedIn Page to continue receiving the quality information we strive to provide about Venezuela but also about global issues connected directly or indirectly with Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution.
Like most progressive outlets out there, we do not have too many expectations about receiving balanced treatment from social media corporations but we will try to keep doing our work in order to break the media blockade about Venezuela.
Update WED 17. April 2019 (vf): EU and Canada to Fight New US Sanctions on Cuba over Venezuela
President Donald Trump administration ordered Wednesday the lifting of the suspension of Helm-Burton law’s Titles III and IV, which would allow filing lawsuits against foreign companies operating in Cuba. The Trump administration thereby announced that, as of March 19, it would allow the filling of lawsuits against more than 200 Cuban companies included in a unilateral list of sanctions.
The U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton referred to the application of those norms during a meeting with former mercenaries who participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion on April 17, 1961, when the USA and their "Brigada Asalto" were defeated.
U.S. citizens can sue those conducting business with 200 state-owned institutions in Cuba nationalized after Jan. 1, 1959.
The European Union (EU) and Canada issued a joint warning against the United States Wednesday after Washington reported that it would enforce Title III of the controversial Helms-Burton Act, which will permit lawsuits against foreign investments in Cuba.
"The EU and Canada consider the extraterritorial application of unilateral Cuba-related measures contrary to international law," the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement that was also signed by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
The “Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act,” commonly known as Helms-Burton, was signed on March 12, 1996, during former President Bill Clinton’s administration, with the objective of disrupting foreign investment to the island and accentuating the economic effects of the economic blockade.
Through the application of Title III, U.S. citizens could sue in their country’s courts those persons and entities that conduct business with about 200 state-owned institutions in Cuba that were nationalized after Jan. 1, 1959. However, since the Clinton administration, the U.S. had avoided the implementation of this measure by issuing “temporary” six-month suspensions.
This practice became normalized because the full enforcement of the anti-Cuban law would imply massive damages not only for Cuba but for U.S., Canadian, and mainly European interests, as the bloc is the largest foreign investor on the island and the country’s top export market.
The EU has argued that the law is illegal under World Trade Organization rules because it affects entities outside U.S. territory. Yet after negotiations with the U.S., a waiver was agreed upon, in 1998, to avoid the act affecting European businesses. In return, the EU dropped a challenge in the WTO to the U.S. legislation.
The waiver ends May 1 and the policy change to allow suits begins on May 2, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. The EU’s has threatened to sue at the WTO once again and even North Korea signaled that it would like to see US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo replaced by someone more careful and “mature” [at least] in talks with Pyongyang. We haven't found a single government the world over, that would insist on Mike Pompeo being part of any bi- or multilateral talks.
Meanwhile, Canadian officials said that the country “will review all options in response to this decision.” Its law allows counterclaims to be submitted to any U.S. complaint regarding commercial ties between Cuba and Canada.
This new enactment of sanctions comes now as a bid to pressure Cuba’s government for supporting Venezuela. Back in March 2019, the Trump administration already allowed the filing of lawsuits against more than 200 Cuban companies included in a unilateral list of sanctions. While Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) presented a bill before the U.S. Congress to prohibit the official recognition and rights of Cuban trademarks in the United States.
The Cuban government has been publicly defiant on the new sanctions, which also include limits on remittances and new restrictions on American travel.
“What they will not achieve is political concessions from the government of Cuba nor will they lead to the type of social unrest or the overthrow of the government or regime change,” Fernandez de Cossio said.
In their statement, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland called the decision to remove the longstanding waivers “regrettable” and said it “can only lead to an unnecessary spiral of legal actions.”
In Spain, which has large investments in hotels and other tourism-related ventures on the island, a senior government official said Madrid would ask the EU to mount a challenge at the World Trade Organization.
“The extraterritorial application of the U.S. embargo is illegal and violates international law,” said Alberto Navarro, EU ambassador to Cuba.
“We are concerned that it might scare away some investors but foreign investment will not come to an end,” said Fernandez de Cossio, who reminded those seeking claims under Title III that under Cuban law they would excluded from future settlements.
Today for the
#InternationalDayOfCampesinoStruggle, we commemorate the resistance of millions of small-scale farmers around the world and raise awareness about the ongoing violence and repression they often suffer at the hands of repressive governments and global economic elite.
On Wednesday the US imposed new sanctions against the Central Bank of Venezuela. Meanwhile, political scientist Vladimir Shapovalov said that all the sanctions that the United States could have adopted against Venezuela have already been adopted.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said the new sanctions introduced by the US will give new strength to the country.
“The sanctions are absolutely immoral, the central bank is not sacred. Let me say that the sanctions give us even more strength,” Maduro said in a statement broadcast on state television.
According to the words of the Venezuelan leader, the Central Bank of Venezuela will eventually overcome these difficulties.
John Bolton, a US National Security adviser, announced on April 17 that he would introduce new sanctions against the Central Bank of Venezuela. The restrictions should also warn third countries, including Russia, against any deployment of military forces in Venezuela aimed at supporting President Nicolas Maduro, Bolton said.
Political scientist Vladimir Shapovalov, deputy director of the Institute of History and Politics of the State University of Pedagogy in Moscow, commented on the situation.
He stressed that these are not the first sanctions introduced against Venezuela. And that the US is pressuring Caracas in various ways, including using the language of ultimatums and threats.
“This [measure] has an ostensible character, and by definition it can not have serious effects. Everything that the US could have done has done nothing but direct military intervention, but during the crisis that lasted three months, the US-appointed president failed to take control of the country’s power, so it is obvious that the US is losing control of the situation in Venezuela and demonstrates its inability to organize a coup,” said Vladimir Shapovalov.
On January 21 mass protests began in Venezuela for and against the current president Nicolás Maduro. After the demonstrations began, Juan Guaidó declared himself acting president. Russia, China and other nations support the legitimate Venezuelan president.
President Nicolas Maduro rejected on Wednesday another set of illegal sanctions announced by White House advisor, John Bolton, against the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV).
The president rejected the new aggression from the U.S. Government which attacks the rights of Venezuelans.
"The Central Bank of Venezuela will face and overcome with the law and with dignity the sanctions that the U.S. seeks to impose on our monetary institution," the president said while carrying out an inspection of a food packaging center for CLAP, located in Fuerte Tiuna, Caracas (capital).
He also stressed that "in the face of the imperialist aggressions against Venezuela, it is up to us to work and do more work, love and give more love to build a homeland. Venezuela will win!"
John Bolton announced on Wednesday from Miami, new unilateral and coercive sanctions against the Central Bank of Venezuela and the Corporate Bank of Nicaragua.
Also this Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry of Venezuela rejected in a statement the measures against the Central Bank for being arbitrary, illegal and unilateral.
The USA imposed also new sanctions against Cuba and Nicaragua. The US Treasury Department announced regulatory changes to restrict non-family travel to Cuba, as well as limits on remittances sent from the US to Cuba.
The United States has added to its list of sanctions five names linked to Cuba’s military and intelligence services, including the Aerogaviota airline.
John Bolton , US National Security Advisor, said in an address to veterans of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion that the US it would restrict non-family tourism to Cuba to reduce the “veiled tourism” that provides funds to the island’s security sector.
“The Treasury Department will implement regulatory changes to restrict non-family travel to Cuba,” Bolton said at a lunch in Miami with the Cuban community, AFP reports.
Bolton also announced “new limits on remittances to Cuba.”
The measures announced contemplate limiting transfers of funds by US citizens to Cuba to $ 1,000 quarterly .
Washington also announced sanctions against Laureano Ortega Murillo, son of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega , and vice president Rosario Murillo, as well as measures against Banco Corporativo (Bancorp), a financial institution of the Central American country.
To analyze the effects of the activation of Title Three of the Helms Burton Act, RT has spoken with political analyst Roberto Quesada, who sees in the way of using the Monroe Doctrine a US attempt to impose submission on Latin America.
Ecuador's Attorney General's office will make a request to Interpol for the capture of ex-foreign minister under former President Rafael Correa, Ricardo Patiño, a vocal critic of the current government under President Lenin Moreno. He had recently left the country but Ecuadorean officials want him captured and held under preventative detention based on the charge of 'instigation' or incitement.
In an official communique, a judge from the Attorney General's Office of Ecuador based in the town of Latacunga announced preventative detention for ex-Foreign Minister Ricard Patiño as well as announcing the country's intention to call for a red notice from Interpol.
The head attorney in the Attorney General's office, Diana Salazar, has also announced that it will investigate the attorney Beatriz Benitez who days ago had ruled out preventative detention.
Patiño has been very vocal in criticizing the government of the fascist President Lenin Moreno, for the dubious legality surrounding his decision to strip Wikileaks founder Julian Assange of asylum and allowing his arrest by British police. Moreno has also been under fire for his alleged corruption related to the INA papers, a scandal that came to light linking Moreno and his family to illicit offshore accounts.
MUST READ: The Triumph of Evil
Following Monday's formal US listing of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, or FTO, Iran was quick to hit back as previously promised.
Iranian lawmakers voted Tuesday to in turn list US Central Command, or CENTCOM, as a terrorist organization, which means that any support given CENTCOM will be treated as an act of terrorism. It essentially means all American troops in the Middle East will be treated as terrorists, according to the newly passed law.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s government and Armed Forces are required to adopt preventive actions and preemptive defensive measures whenever necessary, to deter any hostile US forces’ use of any possibilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s interests,” the bill states, according to Fars news.
It passed with a near unanimous vote in parliament, taking effect immediately, and includes 13-article legislation which mandates the armed forces to gather intelligence about CENTCOM activities. Such material could be used to prosecute either individuals or foreigners giving any level of assistance to the US military in the Middle East.
Latin American Social Leaders, Ex-presidents Decry Assange's Arrest, Possible Extradition
"This is... an absurd maneuver (by Ecuadorean President Moreno) to kneel before the British Crown and... Donald Trump," the joint statement reads.
A group of Latin American social leaders headed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel signed a statement of international solidarity with Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks who was arrested last Thursday from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, United Kingdom.
Nora Cortiñas of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, as well as former presidents from around the region including Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, Mel Zelaya of Honduras, former Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño, former Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba and the Cuban legislator Mariela Castro Espin are among those who have signed the joint statement.
Argentine social leaders Jorge Rivas, Oscar Laborde, Carlos Aznarez, Jorge Kot, Francisco Cafiero and the writer Elsa Osorio among others also signed the statement.
"Julian Assange ... has revealed important and necessary information for humanity all about the atrocities and brutalities committed by the U.S. Empire around the world," the statement reads.
"We repudiate the … treacherous attitude of the nefarious president of Ecuador Lenin Moreno," the statement adds. "This is just an absurd maneuver to kneel before the British Crown and the president of the United States, Donald Trump."
The letter also demanded Assange not be extradited to the United States, where the WikiLeaks founder has been accused of an alleged computer hacking crime by a grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia.
"The struggle against the Empire, injustice and world equality makes us brothers and sisters. We demand the immediate freedom and respect for human rights (of Assange).” the letter concluded.
The Wikileaks editor and cyber activist took refuge in the embassy of Ecuador in London in 2012 after the British Supreme Court ruled against him and ordered his arrest and subsequent transfer to Sweden, where a prosecutor had issued an international arrest warrant for considering Assange suspected of having committed a sexual crime.
The Swedish prosecutor eventually shelved the investigation after Assange took refuge in the embassy. Assange was arrested when he was expelled from the embassy last Thursday for having violated his U.K. bail terms, meaning the Swedish legal case could reopen as well.
Just hours after Assange’s arrest, a software developer and advocate of digital rights Ola Bini was arrested by Ecuadorean authorities in the capital, Quito, for allegedly attempting to destabilize the government by "collaborating" with Assange.
Bini was placed in preventative detention by Ecuador’s Criminal Unit judge for the crime of cyber-attacking computer systems. The judge also ordered a 90-day fiscal investigation of Bini's accounts which have also been frozen.
"Nothing in this story connects Ola Bini with any crime," said David Kaye, United Nations special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression.
The judge dismissed allegations of human rights violations against Bini claimed by his lawyer, Carlos Soria who said that Bini was arrested without his rights explained to him in his native language. The Swede was also unable to contact his lawyer after he was taken into custody on April 11 for more than thirty hours. Ecuadorean law establishes that initial detentions cannot exceed twenty-four hours.
The government of Ecuador claims that the country has come under a broad and concerted cyber attack, with approximately 40 million attempts to compromise web portals connected to public institutions ever since the controversial decision to allow UK police to forcibly remove Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from their London Embassy.
Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technologies Patricio Real told reporters that the wave of attacks began shortly after last Thursday’s arrest of Assange by British authorities. Real said that the attacks “principally come from the United States, Brazil, Holland, Germany, Romania, France, Austria and the United Kingdom, and also from here, from our territory.”
‘Out traitor, out!’ Violent clashes as massive pro-Assange protest hits Ecuador’s capital)
Riot police have attacked scores of people who flooded onto the streets of Ecuador’s capital and branded their president, Lenin Moreno, a “traitor.” Protesters were venting anger at his decision to hand Julian Assange over to the UK.
The massive rally in Quito was held to voice unease over the role Ecuador played in arranging for Julian Assange’s arrest last week in London. The situation became more tense when police – wearing heavy riot gear – clashed with protesters, using batons to chase them down the street.
A Ruptly video shows some protesters being beaten and taken to the ground amid the demonstration.
Others were filmed running away as mounted police closed in.
People who came to the rally were infuriated by President Lenin Moreno’s decision to revoke Assange’s political asylum which helped him avoid arrest for almost seven years.
Also on rt.com WikiLeaks 'dead man's switch'? Assange's arrest prompts speculation about possible major data dumps
“Out traitor, out! We voted for you so you govern, not for you to sell us to the United States. Despicable traitor!” one protester was heard saying in the video.
FREE JULIAN ASSANGE - SIGN THE DEMAND !!!
Peru's former president Alan Garcia died Wednesday after shooting himself as police arrived at his home in the capital Lima to arrest him in connection with a bribery investigation, local authorities and media outlets in the country reported.
The news was confirmed by Peru's President Martín Vizcarra. "Dismayed by the demise of former president Alan Garcia. I Send my condolences to your family and loved ones," he said through his official Twitter account.
Garcia, 69, was immediately taken to the Casimiro Ulloa hospital. Local media also reported that medics at the hospital confirmed that he had died after they were unable to save him.
Local TV channel America reported Garcia went into a coma after undergoing emergency surgery, and broadcast images of Garcia's son and supporters arriving at the hospital.
Garcia, a skilled orator who has led Peru's once-powerful Apra party for decades, governed Peru as a nationalist from 1985 to 1990 before remaking himself as a free-market proponent and winning a new five-year term in 2006.
Garcia had been one of nine people a judge had ordered to be arrested on Wednesday for alleged involvement in bribes distributed by Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction company that triggered Latin America's biggest graft scandal when it admitted in 2016 that it had paid kickbacks to politicians across the region to secure lucrative contracts.
Members of his party announced his death to crowds gathered outside of hospital Casimiro Ulloa, where he suffered three cardiac arrests and underwent emergency surgery.
He had denied wrongdoing involving Odebrecht and blamed his legal troubles on political persecution.
"Others might sell out, not me," Garcia said in broadcast comments on Tuesday, repeating a phrase he has used frequently as his political foes became ensnared in the Odebrecht investigation.
Interior Minister Carlos Moran said at a news conference before Garcia died that the former president had told police he needed to call his attorney after they arrived at his home in Lima to arrest him.
"He entered his room and closed the door behind him," Moran said. "Within a few minutes, a shot from a firearm was heard, and police forcibly entered the room and found Mr. Garcia sitting with a wound in his head."
Last year, Garcia asked Uruguay for political asylum after he was banned from leaving the country to keep him from fleeing or obstructing the investigation. Uruguay rejected the request.
Garcia would have been the third former president in Peru to have been jailed in the Odebrecht case. Ollanta Humala spent nine months in pre-trial detention in 2017-2018 and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was arrested without charges last week.
A fourth former president, Alejandro Toledo, is fighting extradition from California after a judge in Peru ordered him jailed for 18 months in connection with Odebrecht in 2017.
All have denied wrongdoing in connection with Odebrecht.
In Peru, criminal suspects can be ordered to spend up to three years in jail before trial if prosecutors can show they have evidence that likely would lead to a conviction and the suspect would likely flee or try to interfere in the investigation.
The United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York stated Wednesday that Mario Amilcar Estrada Orellana, a Guatemalan presidential candidate, was detained after being charged for soliciting campaign funding from Mexican drug cartels and offering support for drug trafficking towards the USA.
Genocide was recognized in Ecuador, but the perpetrators are "not guilty." Any surprises?
Update TUE 16. April 2019 (vf): Red Cross Medical Aid Lands in Venezuela After Deal with Gov't
The supplies were received by Health Minister Carlos Alvarado at "Simon Bolivar" International Airport, in the state of Vargas near Caracas.
At least 24 tons of medical supplies arrived in Venezuela Tuesday as part of the first humanitarian technical shipment from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Associations.
The supplies were received by the Minister of Health Carlos Alvarado at the International Airport of Maiquetia "Simon Bolivar," located in the state of Vargas.
The Venezuelan minister said: "this aid contains 14 power plants with 14 transformers, as well as material for the workers of the Venezuelan Red Cross."
He also asserted that medical products will be distributed to the eight hospitals and more than 30 clinics that the Red Cross operates across Venezuela.
Meanwhile the rest of the supplies will go to various institutions that are part of public health system in deliveries coordinated by the Red Cross and Ministry of Health.
Last week President Nicolas Maduro said the Venezuelan government was negotiating with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) regarding the necessary parameters to receive humanitarian technical assistance in all sectors to guarantee the welfare of the people.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry pronounced that statements by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Russia, particularly in the context of developments in Venezuela, are unacceptable.
Pompeo said in an interview on April 12 to Mega TV that Russia “intervened” and went against the leadership of the country of Venezuela, further declaring that Russia is a hostile power. Even though Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself illegally in Venezuela as interim president, according to Pomepo he is “the duly elected leader” and that President Nicolás Maduro is “the former leader of Venezuela.”
However Russia did not hesitate to hit back at the delusional ramblings of Pompeo.
“Moscow noted that during the tour of Latin American countries, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made several unacceptable statements about our country, particularly in the context of events in Venezuela,” the Russian ministry said.
“The non-diplomatic ways of the current US foreign policy chief doubt the fact that he views Russian-American contacts at the relevant level as an opportunity for constructive dialogue,” the briefing added.
The ministry also questioned Pompeo’s credentials as the top US diplomat, emphasizing that “a diplomat […] is forced to seek broad consensus to solve problems through negotiation rather than burn bridges.”
Russia supports Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela. The Venezuelan leader referred to Guaidó as a US puppet and accused him of trying to inaugurate an invasion of the United States after Washington tried to force what it called humanitarian aid to the country after imposing disabling sanctions on Venezuela.
According to UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy, US sanctions have exacerbated the country’s acute economic crisis and could lead to hunger and lack of medical care.
Although the US supports the illegitimate president, the majority of states, including Russia, China and NATO member Turkey, unequivocally support Maduro.
The economic and financial blockade imposed by the government of the United States against Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) has affected overwhelmingly the humanitarian assistance programs run by the state company, putting at risk the health of 25 children who were transferred to Rome, Italy to receive a bone marrow transplant.
That is why the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its government rejected this Sunday through a communiqué the coercive measures that the Donald Trump administration executes against the Venezuelan people, affecting the social programs undertaken by the Venezuelan government.
“With the recent measures taken to toughen the illegal blockade against PDVSA, Venezuelan patients who have traveled to receive treatment in different countries have become extremely vulnerable. At this very moment, the lives of 25 patients are at risk, most of them children (…) whose recovery is at serious risk, as a result of the illegal blocking of funds for the payment of treatments, medical services and maintenance during their stay abroad”, reads part of the statement published through the website of the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.
Faced with this unjust measure imposed on the people of Venezuela, the Chancellor of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza, denounced “the effects of the US blockade against Venezuela which also impact hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans served by health programs of PDVSA. Given the impossibility of transferring resources, the lives of 25 children in Italy waiting for bone marrow transplants are in danger”, said the Chancellor through his Twitter account @jaarreaza. (MPPRE - Translated by JRE\EF-OT)
Guaido tries unsuccessfully to take credit for Humanitarian Aid Delivery to Venezuela
The Venezuelan opposition leader boasted that his pressure on the government of President Nicolás Maduro prompted the Red Cross to deliver aid to the Bolivarian Republic.
Outlawed Juan Guaido of the Venezuelan opposition took to Twitter Tuesday to take credit for the humanitarian aid delivery that was provided by the Red Cross to the people of the Bolivarian Republic. Everyone in the know is just laughing about such miserable attempts of the outlawed former lawmaker to gain popularity.
Guaido boasted via his Twitter: "They lied to Venezuela and the world, denied the emergency and denied aid to a town that asks for food and medicines. But before our pressure and firmness, they had no choice but to accept it. That's why, today #EntraAyudaHumanitaria. Come on!"
The Venezuelan opposition leader had previously attempted to have 'aid' delivered by the U.S. authorities from the Colombian border, but it was rejected by the government of the Bolivarian Republican after they refused to show the contents inside.
However, President Maduro stated that he is not opposed to humanitarian aid deliveries as long as they are not politicized. That is also the stand of the UN and the ICRC.
"In accordance with the constitutionally legitimate government of Venezuela, which I lead, any humanitarian assistance is welcome," President Maduro said Tuesday. He would add that humanitarian aid should be "in accordance with international protocols," pointing out that the politicalization of such aid should be avoided.
Venezuela and Cuba are currently under a harsh economic blockade that has been led by the United States and their allies.
U.N. Security Council members like Russia and China have greatly aided Venezuela during this blockade by not only delivering humanitarian aid, but also assisting the country on the international scene.
Conoco would see no merit in a request for “annulment or rectification” and would “strongly defend” against such requests, company spokesman Daren Beaudo said.
Cash-strapped Venezuela has balked at paying in other arbitration cases. Conoco has used legal seizures of Venezuelan oil assets to enforce earlier claims. Other creditors are attempting to seize shares in U.S. refiner Citgo Petroleum, Venezuela’s prize overseas asset, to collect on debts.
It was unclear if Guaido’s representatives have standing to challenge the award since the World Bank has not recognized Guaido. David Malpass, the newly named president of the World Bank, said last week that recognition would be up to its shareholders.
Last month, a U.S. judge ruled that Guaido’s representatives could present arguments in a court battle with Canadian mining company Crystallex, which is pursuing Citgo to collect on an arbitration award in compensation for Venezuela’s expropriation of a gold mining project.
Venezuela’s nationalization wave, led by late President Hugo Chavez as part of his Socialist project, led to more than 20 international arbitration claims, which remain mostly unpaid.
“In the Portuguese bank “Novo Banco”, they robbed us of $1,726 billion that we were using to buy medicines and food… I call on the government of Portugal to free this money. Why do they leave us without money? It is ours,” Maduro told the state television.
Venezuela has been suffering from an economic crisis for months, which worsened as the United States imposed several rounds of sanctions against the country after opposition figure Juan Guaido illegally declared himself interim president in late January.
Constitutionally elected Maduro has accused the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup in order to install Guaido as a US puppet. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey, and a number of other countries have voiced their support for Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.
Venezuelan Crisis Can End if US Halts Economic War – Former UN Official
Despite all the efforts of the US and its allies, the Venezuelan government has continued to survive internal and international pressure. Speaking to Sputnik, analysts specialising in Venezuelan affairs have shared their views on the current developments and explain why the US has so far failed to coerce Caracas into submission.
The Venezuelan economy has been facing an acute crisis since the beginning of the decade; its economy has contracted, its GDP has fallen steadily and more than 3 million people having left the country. The US and its Western allies blame Maduro's governments and that of his predecessor, Hugo Chavez. However, analysts say that the mainstream media narrative is completely detached from reality.
'US Took Machiavellian Advantage of Venezuela's Vulnerability'
"The mainstream narrative is demonstrably false. Here we have to do with an economic war dating back to 1999 and with draconian measures to asphyxiate the Venezuelan economy since 2015," Alfred de Zayas, an American lawyer, writer, historian, and former UN rapporteur to Venezuela, told Sputnik.
However, Zayas does not try to gloss over Caracas' mistakes: "Perhaps the worst mistake Chavez and Maduro made was not to diversify the economy in the years 1999-2014, before the price of crude oil collapsed. A country that depends 95% on oil exports is hugely vulnerable to the volatility of the market," he explained, adding that Washington had taken "Machiavellian advantage of the Venezuelan vulnerability".
Ricardo Vaz, a writer and editor at Venezuelanalysis.com, echoed the lawyer by stressing that the US' unilaterally imposed sanctions had had "a devastating effect on Venezuela's economy, with the expressed purpose of causing as much suffering as possible so as to provoke a coup, or force the government to resign".
"It hearkens back to Nixon's famous quote of 'making the economy scream,' at the time in reference to Chile," Vaz recalled.
The writer highlighted that contrary to the MSM narrative, "Venezuela actually enjoyed the most prosperous time in its history during the 10 years" before the crisis erupted in 2013-2014.
Commenting on the issue, Alina Duarte, a journalist at TeleSUR, elaborated that the Western MSM had waged an extensive information war against the country.
"Saying that there is a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is just one of the last episodes of the hegemonic narratives against the government of Venezuela that began in December 1998 when Hugo Chavez took power," she said, adding that political, economic and media attacks have been going on for the last two decades.
According to the journalist, "the US blockade against Venezuela can only be compared to the one imposed against Cuba since 1960." Duarte pointed out that according to Caracas' February estimates, "direct losses to the nation's economy were 38 billion dollars, 15 billion related to the siege against the company Citgo, a subsidiary of the state oil company Venezuelan Petroleum in the US". Additionally, the Bank of England has frozen 1.2 billion dollars in Venezuelan gold reserves.
In early April, the Trump administration stepped up sanctions against the country, this time targeting oil shipments between Venezuela and Cuba. On 15 April, the US Treasury Department blacklisted four more shipowners and nine tankers involved in Venezuelan oil trade with Cuba.
Guaido's Economic Programme Has All the Hallmarks of Neoliberalism
Meanwhile, the MSM is intensively covering Juan Guaido, the head of the dis-empowered National Assembly, who proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela on 23 January 2019. Very little is known about his political programme which prompts questions as to whether he is competent and what reforms he would have carried out if he had come to power.
According to Vaz, "Guaido's intentions and political plan are actually quite clear".
"A 'country plan' ('Plan País') has been published and presented on different occasions, with all the hallmarks of neoliberalism one can think of", the writer explained. "There are plans to open up state sectors to private capital, particularly the oil industry, remove regulations, tax reform, and expectations of a hefty loan from the likes of the IMF, with all that it entails."
For his part, Zayas highlighted that "Guaido is an industrial engineer, not an economist nor a lawyer".
"Basically he is an unknown who has been manufactured by the United States, and, of course, he follows instructions," the lawyer suggested. "Guaido would usher in massive retrogression in economic, social and cultural rights and return the country to the good old days 'when the rich were rich and the poor were poor'."
Referring to Guaido's presidential bid, the former UN rapporteur to Venezuela underscored that the Venezuelan Constitution "does not recognise the competence of the National Assembly to nominate the interim president".
"Should Maduro die or become incompetent, it is the Vice-President, Delcy Rodriguez, who would be the constitutional successor", he explained. "Article 233, which Guaido invokes, simply does not apply to his case. But, of course, he is not a constitutional lawyer."
Guaido's Support Has Been Dwindling
Guaido has failed to command nation-wide support so far, Vaz noted. According to the journalist, "the success of the coup hinged on two variables: Guaido's ability to generate massive support beyond the opposition's traditional middle and upper class base, and a rupture in the Venezuelan armed forces."
"[However] neither has happened", he emphasised. "Guaido's support has also been dwindling, with enthusiasm in his ranks withering away."
According to the analysts, Guaido's major supporters are the US and its allies, as well as Venezuelan oligarchs inside and outside the country.
Duarte drew attention to the fact that what the US was trying to do in Venezuela does not differ much from what it had done "in Libya, Iraq, Honduras, even in Venezuela in 2002 but they failed".
"What we need is to understand that the Venezuelan problems need to be solved by the Venezuelan people and that if the international community want to stand for the people in Venezuela they need to make a call to the US to stop the sanctions that are deepening the crisis instead of solving it," she stressed.
There is Nothing More Undemocratic Than Coup D'etat
Despite the ongoing economic crisis, power outages and Western MSM smear campaign, the situation in Venezuela remains relatively calm, Vaz noted.
"The situation on the streets of Venezuela, in contrast to the frenzied picture broadcast by the media, has been one of relative calm," he said. "This is not a country at war or anything like it. However, it is undeniable that there is a severe economic crisis going on, which has hit people very hard, especially the poorest sectors of society. Everyday problems such as accessing food have now been compounded by an electricity crisis."
He reiterated that "it [was] not the case that what we have is a humanitarian crisis".
"Experts have warned against the misuse of this term, which the US and the Venezuelan opposition employ to justify or provide cover for a foreign intervention," the writer stressed.
Commenting on this, Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS) remarked that one of the ways to solve the Venezuelan conflict is the "re-democratisation of the country"; the analysts opined that he missed the point.
"The Venezuelan crisis is artificial," Zayas stressed. "It can be solved by lifting the sanctions, ending the economic war and the financial blockade, and by stopping the manipulation of the currency, resulting in induced inflation… Luis Almagro has been acting in a highly unprofessional manner, contrary to the OAS Charter and thereby undermining the credibility and authority of the Organisation."
According to the lawyer, "there is nothing more undemocratic than a coup d'etat, and Almagro's shenanigans contravene many articles of the OAS Charter, particularly 3, 19 and 20."
"Amazing how language has been corrupted — to speak of 're-democratising' Venezuela is surrealistic," he added.
Vaz shares a similar stance: "the Venezuelan crisis can certainly be solved without overthrowing the Maduro government", he underscored.
"[However], the Venezuelan opposition, the US and its allies are instead determined to ensure that the crisis is not solved as long as Maduro is in power. In fact, the two issues are not separate, since, for example, the deliberate worsening of the crisis due to sanctions has the goal of removing the government," the writer said.
NY Natural History Museum Cancels Gala for Brazil's still-President Bolsonaro
The museum was heavily criticized for hosting the event that was planned by a non-profit organization renting the space to honor openly-discriminatory President Bolsonaro.
The American Museum of Natural History in New York said Monday that it will not host a gala dinner that was set to honor Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro as “Person of the Year.”
The museum was heavily criticized for hosting the event planned by a non-profit organization that rented the space to honor openly-discriminatory President Bolsonaro.
The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce’s plans to honor Bolsonaro, who has suggested he would pull Brazil out of the Paris Accord on climate change and wants to develop the Amazon rain-forest, at a museum dedicated to science and nature, was met with outrage last week.
The Brazilian minister of foreign affairs under Bolsonaro, Ernesto Araujo, stated in November that climate change is a ploy by “cultural Marxists” to asphyxiate Western economies and promote China’s growth. He also characterized climates science as “dogma.”
The museum had expressed concern over the event last week, saying the space had been booked before the decision was made to honor Bolsonaro. Museum representatives revealed that it had made now the decision to not host the event.
“With mutual respect for the work & goals of our individual organizations, we jointly agreed that the Museum is not the optimal location for the Brazilian-Am. Chamber of Commerce gala dinner,” the museum said on its official Twitter account.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, stated that it was “really troubling” that an institution receiving public funding from the city would hold event that is “in direct conflict with the values of the museum,” as was stated in an open letter to the museum’s president Ellen Futter.
“The external, private event at which the current President of Brazil is to be honored was booked at the Museum before the honoree was secured,” the museum had said on its official Twitter account Friday. “We are deeply concerned and we are exploring our options.”
Bolsonaro, who styled his campaign for office last year after that of U.S. President Donald Trump, drew further criticism from environmentalists last week by creating a body that could pardon environmental fines while also saying that a vast Amazon reserve could be opened to mining.
Bolsonaro has openly defended widening the agricultural border as well as other development projects in Brazil, which would mean further deforestation of the Amazon rain-forest. The Amazon rain-forest region is considered by most scientists as the world’s biggest natural defense against climate change. Bolsonaro's approval rating has dropped by 15 percent in the last two months as his campaign promise of a "better future" for Brazilians has so far failed.
MUST READ: First Julian Assange, Then Us
Watching WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being physically removed from his shelter at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London last week “was absolutely chilling” to legendary musician Roger Waters, who gave RT’s Going Underground his take on Assange’s arrest.
To think that the UK has become such a willing accomplice and satellite of the American Empire that it would do such a thing in contravention with all laws, moral, ethical, and actual legal restrictions is absolutely, stunningly appalling and makes me ashamed to be an Englishman.
Assange’s arrest was made possible after Ecuador last week withdrew his political asylum, which was granted seven years ago, and stripped the renowned whistleblower of his Ecuadorian citizenship. UK authorities will soon decide whether to deport Assange to Sweden, where he faces possible rape charges, or to the US, where he is wanted for conspiring with former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer.
The second scenario would be worse, Waters believes. Citizens “barely have rights anymore” after the Patriot Act was adopted, and “everything is at the whim of the commander-in-chief.”
If we let the UK get away with allowing him to be extradited to the United States, we allow the United States government, at their whim, to torture him and to detain him possibly for the rest of his life.
Assange, along with Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and other whistleblowers, “are the heroes who help us gain some of the knowledge that the [powerful] would keep secret if they could,” the Pink Floyd legend added.
According to Waters, Washington and London simply want to hush up “the matters of torture, or incarceration of innocent people,” but Assange proved to be a thorn in their side.
“And also, what they’re doing – Trump and the rest of them, and Theresa May – is to try to frighten would-be Julian Assanges who may provide this incredibly important service for the rest of us in society in the future.”
Watch the full interview here.
Ecuadoreans March Against Neoliberal Gov't, Met With Violence
The protestors started walking towards the Presidental Palace. However, when entering the city’s colonial narrow streets, they were violently met by riot police.
“Not even one less right” was the sentiment and chanting that thousands of Ecuadoreans intoned on April 16, during a massive anti-government protest in the capital, Quito, against President Lenin Moreno’s neoliberal policies.
The protest was called upon by different sectors of society, such as workers from Radio Pichincha Universal - a public radio station that was recently pulled from the air; current legislators and sympathizers of former President Rafael Correa's Citizens Revolution party from all over the country, independent collectives, disgruntled citizens and dozens of young people wearing masks from the international group Anonymous, in protest of Julian Assange’s arrest.
"Today we are here against the misgovernment that exists, as well as (Lenin’s) betrayal of the government plan for which he was elected. Ecuador has been sold to the IMF, taking measures against the Ecuadorean people," Provincial coordinator for Loja of the Citizen Revolution Movement, Marck Iñiguez said during the march.
The protestors started walking at around 16:00 local time in the direction of the historic old city, where the Presidental Palace is located. However, when entering the city’s colonial narrow streets, they were violently met by riot police.
An independent media collective, KolectiVoz, reported on a Twitter live video feed of police repression, who were using tear gas and batons against demonstrators. Other social media users published images and videos of riot police advancing against protestors and closing off streets. Two collectives denounced that their collaborator Vladimir Obando was briefly, arbitrarily detained by National Police while covering the demonstration.
“The government's orders are ‘shut up and attack those who demonstrate against us.’ Repression is what we live now, but we can not be silenced and stopped; we are the people and together we will recover our homeland,” left-wing lawmaker Jota Lloret declared during the rally.
This latest demonstration comes as Moreno’s administration has openly aligned with the U.S. backed right-wing governments from Latin America. In the last couple of months, oil prices went up, unemployment rates are at a record high, and just recently the government signed a US$4.2 billion dollar deal with the IMF, announcing that a set of austerity measures will be implemented starting 2019.
"He has sold the country to the oligarchy, the bankers have their media outlets back, and all natural resources are sold to the highest bidder. We know that the IMF loan will bring many consequences," said one of the protesters while holding a banner that reads: "Out with Moreno / Out with the traitor.”
If anyone near you holds a U.S. passport or has any U.S. affiliation (or is from the UK for that matter) - just walk away, except if that person can provide to you real proof that s/he is proactively fighting against the persistent human rights violations the U.S. government (and the UK incl. the Commonwealth, i.e. for example Canada) always did and increasingly does commit against people and peoples inside today's U.S. boundaries and beyond - worldwide. MUST WATCH: THIS and THIS and THIS or THIS or search with ecosia.com "human rights violations USA" (or UK or Canada for that matter) - you will be appalled and know why you just walk away from the Anglo-American Cabal ... and if they follow, turn around and fight evil together and side-by-side with the millions worldwide who have woken up.
Author Jerome Corsi, who was questioned by the Mueller probe about his relationship with Wikileaks, reacted to the arrest of Julian Assange, saying the Wikileaks founder is being unjustly prosecuted.
"This is another attack on journalism," Corsi said about Assange's arrest. "in 2013 the Obama Justice Department decided not to indict Julian Assange over these Chelsea Manning issues because they said it would be tantamount to indicting the New York Times or the Washington Post. As a journalist, Julian Assange has a right to publish even stolen materials."
Julian Assange can come back and open up the Seth Rich case, where he has suggested time and again that there was this DNC employee who was murdered in Washington during the 2016 campaign who supplied him the emails. Assange has information that can absolutely destroy the Russian collusion hoax. He said it from the beginning. I never talked to him, all I had to do was listen to his press conferences. He said the Russians were not involved in stealing the emails."
MUST READ: Julian Assange: The All Too Human Iconoclast
US prosecutors have unsealed an affidavit against Julian Assange that outlines their case against the WikiLeaks co-founder on a single count of “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” that may or may not have succeeded.
As FBI special agent Megan Brown admits in the affidavit, “it remains unknown whether Manning and Assange were successful in cracking the password” to the Department of Defense computer they allegedly conspired to hack, meaning the sole charge against Assange remains his alleged attempt to assist Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning in accessing the documents that were eventually leaked in 2010.
The “probable cause” for Assange’s extradition to the US is described as hundreds of messages sent between Manning and Assange on the Jabber platform. The two “conspirators” should have known that releasing the documents “would cause injury to the United States,” Brown declares, since it contained information about US allies in Afghanistan who were assisting coalition forces.
The affidavit dramatically refers to “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States,” but fails to even ascertain whether the “illegal agreement that Assange and Manning reached” was what ultimately unleashed the trove of documents. Brown can only speculate as to how the computer was eventually breached.
Also on rt.com Unsealed Assange indictment proves Chelsea Manning's imprisonment is 'purely punitive' – legal team
In an effort to present the leaks in as damaging a light as possible, Brown reproduces one almost cartoonish exchange, claiming “after the release of the Afghanistan War Reports, a member of the Taliban contacted the New York Times” and stated: “We are studying the report… If they are US spies, then we will know how to punish them.” Osama bin Laden is also said to be a WikiLeaks fan, with letters found during the raid on his Abbottabad compound instructing an al-Qaeda member to “gather” the material leaked by Manning.
Having been assigned to the case in 2017 - less than a year before filing the affidavit – Brown admits her understanding of the seven-year-old “criminal conspiracy” is based on “testimony of a forensic examiner in Manning’s court martial, my conversations with FBI forensic examiners, and research on the internet.” The internet was quick to pick apart her timing – and the rest of the document.
Assange was arrested by UK police last week on a bail-jumping charge after Ecuador revoked his asylum and evicted him from its London embassy, where he had lived for over seven years. He faces extradition to the US and a maximum five years in prison – assuming US authorities don’t pile on further charges once they have him in their clutches.
Former US President Jimmy Carter says President Donald Trump has spoken with him about China because the current US leader was worried that Beijing overtaking the US economically, saying America’s endless wars may lead to China superseding the US.
Carter, 94, said Trump called him on Saturday as he spoke during his regular Sunday School lesson at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, Georgia.
He told the congregation that Trump feared China’s growing economic strength and suggested the president was right to be concerned.
Some experts say China could overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by 2030 if current growth trends continue.
The former Democratic president said China was getting ahead of the US because Washington has been at war with other countries for most of its history.
Carter—who normalized diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing in 1979—suggested that China’s rapid growth had been facilitated by government investment and helped by peace.
“Since 1979, do you know how many times China has been at war with anybody?” Carter asked. “None. And we have stayed at war”.
He said “the US has only enjoyed 16 years of peace in its 242-year history, making the country “the most warlike nation in the history of the world”, Carter said. This is, he said, because of Washington’s tendency to force other nations to “adopt our American principles.”
Carter said that China, in contrast to the US, had made massive economic progress for maintaining peace. “How many miles of high-speed railroad do we have in this country?” he asked.
The US has “wasted, I think, $3 trillion” on military spending. “It’s more than you can imagine. China has not wasted a single penny on war, and that’s why they’re ahead of us. In almost every way.”
“And I think the difference is if you take $3 trillion and put it in American infrastructure you’d probably have $2 trillion leftover. We’d have high-speed railroad. We’d have bridges that aren’t collapsing, we’d have roads that are maintained properly. Our education system would be as good as that of say South Korea or Hong Kong,” Carter told the congregation.
Carter served as the 39th US president from 1977 to 1981. The former president has been particularly critical of the nation’s direction under Trump’s leadership.
Carter was also a tool of the imperialists: Scholar
Commenting on Carter’s remarks, Professor Dennis Etler said,“Although Jimmy Carter is considered one of the more reasonable US presidents he was still a tool of the imperialists running the show.”
“He supported the Shah and alienated whole Iranian nation in doing so, still to this day. And talk about wars, he got the US involved in Afghanistan supporting the Mujahedeen and laid the groundwork for all the wars that followed [and fooled Somalia into starting and loosing the Ogaden war due to Carter's false promises], so it’s a bit much for him to decry the trillions of dollars wasted as a result, not to mention the millions of those killed, maimed, traumatized and sent into exile,” added Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.
“No, Carter cannot absolve himself of the guilt he deserves,” Etler told Press TV.
“At least when it comes to China he speaks the truth, if not the whole truth. He knows that China poses no threat to the US that is not of America’s own making,” the analyst noted.
MUST READ AND SPREAD: Julian Assange wins 2019 EU journalism award