Iran’s Zarif Says Warsaw Meeting Dead on Arrival

February 13, 2019

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday that a two-day conference being co-hosted by Washington in Warsaw on Iran and the Middle East was dead on arrival.

“It is another attempt by the United States to pursue an obsession with Iran that is not well-founded,” Zarif told a Tehran news conference.

“The Warsaw conference, I believe, is dead on arrival.”

Zarif said not even Washington had any interest in the conference as a forum for an exchange of views among the 60 participating countries.

“I think the fact that they are not aiming to issue any agreed text but rather are just attempting to use their own statement on behalf of everybody else shows they don’t have any respect for it themselves,” he said.

“You usually don’t bring 60 countries and states together in order to speak for them. That indicates to you that they don’t believe they have anything to gain from this meeting.”

Much of the schedule for the conference remains vague amid deep divisions over policy towards the region, where Washington has adopted the deep hostility towards Iran of its allies ‘Israel’ and Saudi Arabia.

Washington will be represented by both Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but major European allies are sending low-profile delegations amid unease over President Donald Trump’s strident calls to strangle Iran’s economy.

The main session will take place Thursday when Pence, Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are all scheduled to address the conference.

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Netherlands recognizes Gaza, West Bank as official Palestinian birthplaces

This undated photo shows Palestinian protesters demonstrating in front of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands. (Photo by Reuters)

This undated photo shows Palestinian protesters demonstrating in front of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands. (Photo by Reuters)

Authorities in the Netherlands have allowed Palestinians living in the country to register the besieged Gaza Strip and the West Bank as their official places of birth, instead of registering under such designations as ‘the Israeli-occupied territories’ or ‘unknown’.

Dutch State Secretary Raymond Knops, in a letter addressed to the House of Representatives in The Hague on Sunday, stated that he intends to add Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, to a list of official states used by the Dutch civil registry.

Knops added that the new category is in accordance with “the Dutch viewpoint that Israel has no sovereignty over these areas.”

The Dutch minister further highlighted that the new category was named based on the Oslo Accords and the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Dutch news outlets reported that the new category will be available to Palestinians born after May 15, 1948, when Israeli forces displaced some 700,000 Palestinians, forcing them to flee to different neighboring countries. Israeli soldiers also wiped nearly 500 Palestinian villages and towns off the map, leaving an estimated total of 4.7 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants dreaming of an eventual return to their ancestral homeland more than six decades later.

The Israeli-occupied land was the only birthplace available to Palestinians registering in the Netherlands up until 2014. The category “unknown,” also known as code “0000,” was made available to Palestinians living in the country after opposition to listing Israel as their birthplace.

While the UN General Assembly and at least 136 countries have recognized Palestine as a sovereign state, the Netherlands has refused to do so.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.

Lieberman Says Netanyahu to ‘Retire’ if Indicted over Graft

 February 10, 2019

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman does not rule out that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will retire from politics if he is indicted over corruption charges before the general election in April.

“Although it’s fair to say that the decision is taken to bring charges against Benjamin Netanyahu before the election, his chances of forming a government will be zero,” Israeli daily Yedioth Aharonoth quoted Lieberman as saying.

“Therefore, I am not ruling out the possibility that Netanyahu will strike a plea deal before the elections,” he said.

“I am not ruling out the possibility that Netanyahu will ultimately go with a plea deal similar to the one struck by former President Ezer Weizman,” Lieberman said.

Netanyahu is currently under investigation in three separate corruption cases.

The first case involves Israeli Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, who was allegedly asked to purchase luxury items for Netanyahu and his wife.

The second relates to an alleged deal for favorable media coverage with Arnon Mozes, publisher of prominent Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

In a third case, Netanyahu is accused of awarding favors to Israeli Bezeq Telecom Company in return for favorable coverage on the company’s website.

Last month, Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit said that he would decide whether or not to indict Netanyahu on multiple graft charges before Knesset elections slated for April 9.

SourceAgencies

UN Expert: Saudi Authorities Undermined Khashoggi Probe

Khashoggi MBS

February 7, 2019

A United Nations-led inquiry into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said Thursday that evidence pointed to a brutal crime “planned and perpetrated by officials of the state of Saudi Arabia”.

Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said that Saudi officials had “seriously undermined” and delayed Turkey’s efforts to investigate the crime scene at its Istanbul consulate in October. She plans to present a final report to the U.N. Human Rights Council in June.

“Evidence collected during my mission to Turkey shows prima facie case that Mr. Khashoggi was the victim of a brutal and premeditated killing, planned and perpetrated by officials of the state of Saudi Arabia,” Callamard said in a statement.

Reporting on a week-long mission with her team of three experts to Turkey, she said that “woefully inadequate time and access was granted to Turkish investigators to conduct a professional and effective crime-scene examination and search required by international standards for investigation.”

Callamard said that they had had access to part of “chilling and gruesome audio material” of the Washington Post journalist’s death obtained by the Turkish intelligence agency. She had “major concerns” about the fairness of proceedings for 11 Saudis facing trial in the kingdom and had sought a visit there.

She also called for anyone with further knowledge or intelligence into the murder to share it ahead of her June report, which will make recommendations on accountability.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who wrote critically about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

SourceWebsites

 

Sanctions of Mass Destruction: America’s War on Venezuela

Global Research, January 30, 2019

American economic sanctions have been the worst crime against humanity since World War Two. America’s economic sanctions have killed more innocent people than all of the nuclear, biological and chemical weapons ever used in the history of mankind.

The fact that for America the issue in Venezuela is oil, not democracy, will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves on the planet.

America seeks control of Venezuela because it sits atop the strategic intersection of the Caribbean, South and Central American worlds. Control of the nation, has always been a remarkably effective way to project power into these three regions and beyond.

From the first moment Hugo Chavez took office, the United States has been trying to overthrow Venezuela’s socialist movement by using sanctions, coup attempts, and funding the opposition parties. After all, there is nothing more undemocratic than a coup d’état.

Potsdam1 Bildarchiv Alfred de Zayas.JPG

United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas, recommended, just a few days ago, that the International Criminal Court investigate economic sanctions against Venezuela as a possible crime against humanity perpetrated by America.

Over the past five years, American sanctions have cut Venezuela off from most financial markets, which have caused local oil production to plummet. Consequently, Venezuela has experienced the largest decline in living standards of any country in recorded Latin American history.

Prior to American sanctions, socialism in Venezuela had reduced inequality and poverty whilst pensions expanded. During the same time period in America, it has been the absolute reverse. President Chavez funnelled Venezuela’s oil revenues into social spending such as free+6 healthcare, education, subsidized food networks, and housing construction.

In order to fully understand why America is waging economic war on the people of Venezuela one must analyse the historical relationship between the petrodollar system and Sanctions of Mass Destruction: Prior to the 20th century, the value of money was tied to gold. When banks lent money they were constrained by the size of their gold reserves. But in 1971, U.S. President Richard Nixon took the country off the gold standard. Nixon and Saudi Arabia came to an Oil For Dollars agreement that would change the course of history and become the root cause of countless wars for oil. Under this petrodollar agreement the only currency that Saudi Arabia could sell its oil in was the US dollar. The Saudi Kingdom would in turn ensure that its oil profits flow back into U.S. government treasuries and American banks.

In exchange, America pledged to provide the Saudi Royal family’s regime with military protection and military hardware.

It was the start of something truly great for America. Access to oil defined 20th-century empires and the petrodollar agreement was the key to the ascendancy of the United States as the world’s sole superpower. America’s war machine runs on, is funded by, and exists in protection of oil.

Threats by any nation to undermine the petrodollar system are viewed by Washington as tantamount to a declaration of war against the United States of America.

Within the last two decades Iraq, Iran, Libya and Venezuela have all threatened to sell their oil in other currencies. Consequently, they have all been subject to crippling U.S. sanctions.

Over time the petrodollar system spread beyond oil and the U.S. dollar slowly but surely became the reserve currency for global trades in most commodities and goods. This system allows America to maintain its position of dominance as the world’s only superpower, despite being a staggering $23 trillion in debt.

With billions of dollars worth of minerals in the ground and with the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela should not only be wealthy, but her people the envy of the developing world. But the nation is essentially broke because American sanctions have cut them off from the international financial system and cost the economy $6 billion over the last five years. Without sanctions, Venezuela could recover easily by collateralizing some of its abundant resources or its $8 billion of gold reserves, in order to get the loans necessary to kick-start their economy.

In order to fully understand the insidious nature of the Venezuelan crisis, it is necessary to understand the genesis of economic sanctions. At the height of World War Two, President Truman issued an order for American bombers to drop “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 140,000 people instantly. The gruesome images that emerged from the rubble were broadcast through television sets across the world and caused unprecedented outrage. The political backlash forced U.S. policy makers to devise a more subtle weapon of mass destruction: economic sanctions.

The term “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) was first defined by the United Nations in 1948 as

“atomic explosive weapons, radioactive material weapons, lethal chemical and biological weapons, and any weapons developed in the future which have characteristics comparable in destructive effect to those of the atomic bomb or other weapons mentioned above”.

Sanctions are clearly the 21st century’s deadliest weapon of mass destruction.

In 2001, the U.S. administration told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction; Iraq was a terrorist state; Iraq was tied to Al Qaeda. It all amounted to nothing. In fact, America already knew that the only weapons of mass destruction that Saddam had were not nuclear in nature, but rather chemical and biological. The only reason they knew this in advance was because America sold the weapons to Saddam to use on Iran in 1991.

What the U.S. administration did not tell us was that Saddam Hussein used to be a strong ally of the United States.  The main reason for toppling Saddam and putting sanctions on the people of Iraq was the fact that Iraq had ditched the Dollar-for-Oil sales.

The United Nations estimates that 1.7 million Iraqis died due to Bill Clinton’s sanctions; 500,000 of whom were children. In 1996, a journalist asked former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, about these UN reports, specifically about the children. America’s top foreign policy official, Albright, replied:

“I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”

Clearly, U.S. sanctions policies are nothing short of state-sanctioned genocide.

Over the last five years, sanctions have caused Venezuelan per capita incomes to drop by 40 percent, which is a decline similar to that of war torn Iraq and Syria at the height of their armed conflicts. Millions of Venezuelans have had to flee the country. If America is so concerned about refugees, Trump should stop furthering disastrous foreign policies that actually create them. Under Chavez, Venezuela had a policy of welcoming refugees. President Chavez turned Venezuela into the wealthiest society in Latin America with the best income equality.

Another much vilified leader who used oil wealth to enrich his people, only to be put under severe sanctions, is Muammar Gaddafi. In 1967 Colonel Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; however, by the time he was assassinated, Gaddafi had turned Libya into Africa’s wealthiest nation. Perhaps, Gaddafi’s greatest crime, in the eyes of NATO, was his quest to quit selling Libyan oil in U.S. Dollars and denominate crude sales in a new gold backed common African currency. In fact, in August 2011, President Obama confiscated $30 billion from Libya’s Central Bank, which Gaddafi had earmarked for the establishment of an African Central Bank and the African gold-backed Dinar currency.

Africa has the fastest growing oil industry in the world and oil sales in a common African currency would have been especially devastating for the American dollar, the U.S. economy, and particularly the elite in charge of the petrodollar system.

It is for this reason that President Clinton signed the now infamous Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, which the United Nations Children’s Fund said caused widespread suffering among civilians by “severely limiting supplies of fuel, access to cash, and the means of replenishing stocks of food and essential medications.” Clearly, U.S. sanctions are weapons of mass destruction.

Not so long ago, Iraq and Libya were the two most modern and secular states in the Middle East and North Africa, with the highest regional standards of living. Nowadays, U.S. Military intervention and economic sanctions have turned Libya and Iraq into two of the world’s most failed nations.

“They want to seize Libya’s oil and they care nothing about the lives of the Libyan people,” remarked Chavez during the Western intervention in Libya in 2011.

In September 2017, President Maduro made good on Chavez’s promise to list oil sales in Yuan rather than the US dollar. Weeks later Trump signed a round of crippling sanctions on the people of Venezuela.

On Monday, U.S. National Security adviser John Bolton announced new sanctions that essentially steal $7 billion from Venezuela’s state owned oil company. At that press conference Bolton brazenly flashed a note pad that ominously said “5,000 troops to Colombia”. When confronted about it by the media, Bolton simply said,

“President Trump stated that all options are on the table”.

America’s media is unquestionably the most corrupt institution in America. The nation’s media may quibble about Trump’s domestic policies but when it comes to starting wars for oil abroad they sing in remarkable unison. Fox News, CNN and the New York Times all cheered the nation into war in Iraq over fictitious weapons of mass destruction, whilst America was actually using sanctions of mass destruction on the Iraqi people. They did it in Libya and now they are doing it again in Venezuela. Democracy and freedom have always been the smoke screen in front of capitalist expansion for oil, and the Western Media owns the smoke machine. Economic warfare has long since been under way against Venezuela but military warfare is now imminent.

Trump just hired Elliot Abrams as U.S. Special Envoy for Venezuela, who has a long and torrid history in Latin America. Abrams pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Iran Contra affair, which involved America funding deadly communist rebels, and was the worst scandal in the Reagan Era. Abrams was later pardoned by George Bush Senior. America’s new point man on Venezuela also lied about the largest mass killing in recent Latin American history by U.S. trained forces in El Salvador.

There is nothing more undemocratic than a coup d’état. A UN Human Rights Council Rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas, pointed out that America’s aim in Venezuela is to “crush this government and bring in a neoliberal government that is going to privatise everything and is going to sell out, a lot of transitional corporations stand to gain enormous profits and the United States is driven by the transnational corporations.”

Ever since 1980, the United States has steadily devolved from the status of the world’s top creditor country to the world’s most indebted country. But thanks to the petrodollar system’s huge global artificial demand for U.S. dollars, America can continue exponential military expansion, record breaking deficits and unrestrained spending.

America’s largest export used to be manufactured goods made proudly in America. Today, America’s largest export is the U.S. dollar. Any nation like Venezuela that threatens that export is met with America’s second largest export: weapons, chief amongst which are sanctions of mass destruction.

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Note to readers: please click the share buttons above. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Garikai Chengu is an Ancient African historian. He has been a scholar at Harvard, Stanford and Columbia University. Contact him on garikai.chengu@gmail.com

YVES ENGLER & PAUL JAY ON TRRN: “TRUDEAU PUSHES TRUMP’S REGIME CHANGE IN VENEZUELA”

Yves Engler–in my opinion one of Canada’s best journalists/authors (if not THE best)–explains:

“The Lima Group was formed because the governments that were critical of the Maduro government in Venezuela, because they couldn’t get resolutions through the Organization of American States.
They didn’t have the majority of votes to pass resolutions at the OAS. So they basically set up another forum to bring together governments, mostly right-wing governments, in Latin America that were critical of the Maduro government.
And Canada has played–was right there at the founding. 
Canada hosted the third meeting of the Lima Group, and now is hosting a second meeting; I think the first country to host two different meetings of the Lima Group.
And this is just part, one part, of a multifaceted Canadian campaign to undermine the Maduro government in Venezuela.
That campaign includes all kinds of critical comments against the Venezuelan government; includes back in September bringing the Venezuelan government–first time ever that a member state has brought another member state to the International Criminal Court.
Canada and a couple of other governments brought Venezuela to the International Criminal Court. Canada has brought in three rounds of sanctions against Venezuela.
Canada has been funding opposition groups in Venezuela.
Canada has been pressuring Caribbean countries to join the Lima Group, to join the critical statements of the Maduro government.
And so–and then in recent–last few weeks, last couple of months, Canada has been right at the forefront in this campaign to recognize the head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the interim president, as the president of Venezuela, and completely reject the legitimacy of the Maduro government.
So the Liberal government in Canada is viewed by many as a sort of a progressive government.
But the Trudeau government in Canada has been right at the forefront of this campaign to try to undermine the Maduro government.
And you know, this is certainly what they’re looking for. My estimation is their preference would be a military coup. But there is some indication that Canada even would be fine with a foreign invasion.
In fact, when the head of the Organization of American States a few months ago sort of mused about a possible foreign invasion, the Lima Group, or 11 of the 14 members of the Lima group, criticized the head of the Organization of American States for talking about a foreign invasion.
Canada, Colombia, and Guyana were the three countries that refused to to condemn any talk of a foreign invasion.
So possibly even Canada is prepared to accept some form of military type intervention as part of this effort to get rid of the Maduro government.”
“The Canadian media is sort of on two hands.
On one hand they are just following the sort of Washington-Ottawa propaganda about how, you know, Maduro’s a total dictator that needs to be overthrown. On one hand they’re doing that, and that’s the sort of bulk of the discussion.
But simultaneously they have, as Paul pointed out, the Globe and Mail and the Canadian press both run incredibly–what should be viewed as incredibly damning stories about Canada’s role in building opposition support for Guaido.
They talk about how Canada’s facilitating meetings within Venezuela, facilitating meetings internationally to try to solidify support for this recognition of the head of the National Assembly.
But the thrust of the stories are that, you know, to just present this as a positive affair that Canada is pursuing, to the point where a few of the NDP, the social democratic party, MPs, or people in that party, a couple of them have expressed criticism of Canada’s policy on Twitter, and the media has sort of pushed back against the NDP’s, in my opinion, quite mild criticism of Canadian policy.
But I do want to echo, for sure, what Paul is saying.
There’s a quote in terms of Canada’s role historically in terms of serving empire, and the fact that sometimes it’s better to have a sort of Canadian face on an intervention than a more sort of, more easily demonized U.S. face.
In his biography, Jacques Chretien, a former prime minister, says quite explicitly that he told Bill Clinton that if we just go along with you in everything, we’re just going to be perceived as a 51st state. But if we, if it looks like we have a little bit of independence, we can do more for you than the CIA can do.
And it was almost like–that’s a paraphrase, almost word for word.
So there’s just this historic kind of putting a bit of a Canada, a positive Canada cover on policies that the U.S. is pursuing around the world.
And there’s a long history of that in the hemisphere beyond the example that Paul gave with regards to Afghanistan.
In Haiti in 2004, Canada played a very important role in the overthrow of the elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide.
And again, there was Bill Graham, the former defense minister, said in a book about about the war in Afghanistan, he said that because Canada didn’t officially join the coalition of the willing that invaded Iraq in 2003, they felt like they needed to not only go heavily into Afghanistan, but also participate significantly in the coup in Haiti.
So part of this Canadian policy in Venezuela today is about Canada’s close ties to the U.S. empire.
And Canada, in my opinion, has been quite a beneficiary.
The Canadian corporate class have been very much beneficiaries of U.S. empire for half a century.
And the mining sector in Latin America is a big force, banking sector is a big force that partly explains Canadian policy there today.”
SEE ALSO Yves’ recent article on Venezuela, “Canada joins with imperial ‘Mafia’ to threaten Venezuela“, excerpts including:
“…Over the past two years Canadian officials have campaigned aggressively against President Nicolás Maduro. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has repeatedly criticized Caracas’ democratic legitimacy and human rights record. Recently she said, “the Maduro regime is now fully entrenched as a dictatorship” while in September Ottawa asked (with five South American nations) the International Criminal Court to investigate the Venezuelan government, which is the first time a government has been formally brought before the tribunal by another member.
In recent weeks Canadian diplomats have played an important role in uniting large swaths of the Venezuelan opposition behind a US-backed plan to ratchet up tensions by proclaiming the new head of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, Juan Guaido, president. The Canadian Press quoted a Canadian diplomat saying they helped Guaido “facilitate conversations with people that were out of the country and inside the country” while the Globe and Mail reported that “Freeland spoke with Juan Guaido to congratulate him on unifying opposition forces in Venezuela, two weeks before he declared himself interim president.” Alongside Washington and a number of right-leaning Latin American governments, Ottawa immediately recognized Guaido after he proclaimed himself president on Wednesday. Canadian officials are lobbying European leaders to recognize Guaido as president as well.
Ottawa has long provided various other forms of direct support to an often-violent opposition. In recent years Canada channelled millions of dollars to opposition groups in Venezuela and 18 months ago outgoing Canadian ambassador, Ben Rowswell, told the Ottawa Citizen that “we became one of the most vocal embassies in speaking out on human rights issues and encouraging Venezuelans to speak out.”
Alongside its support for the opposition, Ottawa expelled Venezuela’s top diplomat in 2017 and has imposed three rounds of sanctions on Venezuelan officials. In March the United Nations Human Rights Council condemned the economic sanctions the US, Canada and EU have adopted against Venezuela while Caracas called Canada’s move a “blatant violation of the most fundamental rules of International Law.”
Since its August 2017 founding Canada has been one of the most active members of the “Lima Group” of governments opposed to Venezuela’s elected government. Canada is hosting the next meeting of the “Lima Group”. Freeland has repeatedly prodded Caribbean and Central American countries to join the Lima Group’s anti-Maduro efforts.
In September, 11 of the 14 member states of the “Lima Group” backed a statement distancing the anti-Venezuelan alliance from “any type of action or declaration that implies military intervention” after Organization of American States chief Luis Almagro stated: “As for military intervention to overthrow the Nicolas Maduro regime, I think we should not rule out any option … diplomacy remains the first option but we can’t exclude any action.” Canada, Guyana and Colombia refused to criticize the head of the OAS’ musings about an invasion of Venezuela.
Alongside the head of the OAS, US president Donald Trump has publically discussed invading Venezuela. To the best of my knowledge Ottawa has stayed mum on Trump’s threats, which violate international law.
…Thus, while the scope of the Trudeau government’s current campaign against Venezuela is noteworthy, it’s not the first time Ottawa has supported the overthrow of an elected, left leaning, government in the hemisphere. Canada passively supported military coups against Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 and Brazilian President João Goulart in 1964 as well as ‘parliamentary coups’ against Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo in 2012 and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in 2016. Ottawa played a slightly more active role in the removal of Dominican Republic president Juan Bosch in 1965 and Chilean president Salvador Allende in 1973. In a more substantial contribution to undermining electoral
democracy, Ottawa backed the Honduran military’s removal of Manuel Zelaya in 2009.
Canada played its most forceful role in the removal of a progressive, elected, president in the hemisphere’s most impoverished nation.
Thirteen months before Jean-Bertrand Aristide was, in his words, “kidnapped” by US Marines on February 29, 2004, Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government organized an international gathering to discuss overthrowing the Haitian president. JTF2 special forces secured the Port-au-Prince airport the night Aristide was ousted and 500 Canadian troops were part of the US-led invasion to consolidate the coup.
With regards to Venezuela it’s unclear just how far Ottawais prepared to go in its bid to oust Maduro. But, it is hard to imagine that the path Canada and the US have chosen can succeed without Venezuela being plunged into significant violence.”
Paul Jay, of the Real News Network:

“I know from personal experience that Canada has been trying
to destabilize and nurture and promote the opposition in Venezuela at least from 2004.
When Chavez was still in power, Chavez had been elected over and over again with internationally observed elections.
Everyone said the elections were clean during the Chavez period. Many people that tried to throw the elections into disrepute were invalidated.
The Carter Center legitimatized them.
I actually personally was on an election observer mission to go to polling stations in 2004, 2005, one of the elections leading up to the referendum on Chavez’s presidency.
And I went to 40 polling stations, and I interviewed opposition people in all 40 polling stations in Caracas. And I asked, have you seen any infractions? And if there were any infractions were they dealt with properly.
And I took video, and I recorded it all, and there wasn’t a single complaint from an opposition observer that there had been anything done incorrectly with those elections.
…Now, right around that time, when they were clean elections, and Chavez was getting elected over and over again, my first trip to Venezuela in 2004
My first trip to Venezuela in 2004, I was producing the big debate show on Canadian TV called Counterspin on CBC Newsworld.
I was a well-known documentary filmmaker. I had founded the Big Hot Docs! Documentary Film Festival.
So I was a known quantity in Canada. And so when I was in Venezuela, I said I’ll go say hello to the Canadian embassy. I was trying to figure out what was going on in Venezuela. I figured some Counselor would pat me on the head and say welcome to Venezuela.
No, I got the number two charged d’affaires that greeted me and brings me into a meeting room with seven members of the opposition who then for two hours beat me over the head with how corrupt the regime was, how awful it was, and so on…
What business does a Canadian embassy have with bringing a Canadian journalist into a room with opposition people, essentially trying to involve me in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government.
So this Canadian government role in Venezuela has been very active in trying to destabilized the situation, promote and nurture the opposition.
And clearly for two reasons.
Number one, Canada is one of the biggest mining nations in the world, and Venezuela has tremendous untapped natural resources, particularly gold. And Canada has a very strong gold mining sector. And the gold was not–Canada wasn’t, Canadian companies weren’t easily getting at that gold.
…So the ability to nurture an opposition and get an in with an opposition that might come to power, and then favour Canadian mining companies, I think that’s one motivation.
And another motivation, I think, has to do with Canada’s role historically; how it plays with the United States and helps the U.S. and its foreign policy.
And I once interviewed a Canadian general in 2004, Lewis MacKenzie. And I asked him, why is Canada so into this Afghan war? You know, this Afghan, post-9/11.
It could have been dealt with as a police-type operation, in terms of going after al Qaeda. But a full-fledged invasion, full-fledged regime change. Why is Canada in this, and in it for the long haul? Because it’s 2004, after the invasion of Iraq.
And his answer was, I think, very instructive. He said, well, we didn’t go to Iraq. So to keep our ability to selling goods into the United States, we needed to pay with some blood.
We needed to send troops to Afghanistan and have some Canadian soldiers killed to show we’re willing to share the burden. He didn’t use the word empire, but that’s essentially what he was saying.
So the role of Canada assisting in very nefarious American policy, and giving it this Canadian, oh, we’re for the UN, we’re humanitarians, giving it that veneer, it’s an important role that Canada plays.
But it’s, I think, now the recognition of Guaido so exposes Canada because it’s such a clear violation of the UN Charter of non-interference in internal affairs.

Viva Venezuela!

Viva Venezuela!

Saturday, 26 January 2019 10:54

Why Americans do consider themselves the inheritors and keepers of everything in their own selfish financial interests! It is the newly founded entity of the Puritans at the expense of the suffering and agonies of the millions of the civilized innocents living peacefully on their own territories, starting from the Red Indians to today’s innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela and in many other corners of today’s US savagery and craziness.

With Mr. Trump in power, the USA is more exposed with no figs leaves! Deep states’ schemes, greed, pressure groups’ interests, CIA and Pentagon blinded drives to obliterate and silence every non-US music! The USA , even before Monroe Doctrine in 1823, gives itself an alienable right to do whatever it deems right in the interests of its lobbies, industrialists, warmongers and the like, and with no consideration for any accountability nor responsibility.

The USA is now to topple another democratically-elected President on Venezuela!  Trump is even ready to ask his proxies to pain the sky black if he is to gain financial profits! Tens of pretexts, false flags and lies are in waiting as funny invalid like ”moderate opposition” , ”freedom”  and ”humanitarian” mottos.

 Trump claims Juan Guaido as the legitimate self-proclaimed President of Venezuela! Another US-made coup! In waiting, the series is still open-ended. This is America and its bloody interventions worldwide. As for Latin America, and according to AP report, as published by the Washington Post, this is but some of US dirty roles in Latin America:

Since the advent of the Monroe Doctrine in the early 19th century, the United States has involved itself in the daily affairs of nations across the hemisphere, often on behalf of North American commercial interests or to support right-leaning forces against leftist leaders.

That military involvement petered out after the end of the Cold War, although the U.S. has been accused of granting at least tacit backing to coups in Venezuela in 2002 and Honduras in 2009.

The Trump’s administration leading role in recognizing Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela returns the U.S. to a more assertive role in Latin America than it has had for years.

Some of the most notable U.S. interventions in Latin America:

1846: The United States invades Mexico and captures Mexico City in 1847. A peace treaty the following year gives the U.S. more than half of Mexico’s territory — what is now most of the western United States.

1903: The U.S. engineers Panamanian independence from Colombia and gains sovereign rights over the zone where the Panama Canal would connect Atlantic and Pacific shipping routes.

1903: Cuba and the U.S. sign a treaty allowing near-total U.S. control of Cuban affairs. U.S. establishes a naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

U.S. Marines repeatedly intervene in Central America and the Caribbean throughout the first quarter of the 20th century, often to protect U.S. business interests in moments of political instability.

1914: U.S. troops occupy the Mexican port of Veracruz for seven months in an attempt to sway developments in the Mexican Revolution.

1954: Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz is overthrown in a CIA-backed coup.

1961: The U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion fails to overthrow Soviet-backed Cuban leader Fidel Castro but Washington continues to launch attempts to assassinate Castro and dislodge his government.

1964: Leftist President Joao Goulart of Brazil is overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup that installs a military government lasting until the 1980s.

1965: U.S. forces land in the Dominican Republic to intervene in a civil war.

1970s: Argentina, Chile and allied South American nations launch brutal campaign of repression and assassination aimed at perceived leftist threats, known as Operation Condor, often with U.S. support.

1980s: Reagan administration backs anti-Communist Contra forces against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government and backs the Salvadoran government against leftist FMLN rebels.

1983: U.S. forces invade Caribbean island of Grenada after accusing the government of allying itself with Communist Cuba.

1989: U.S. invades Panama to oust strongman Manuel Noriega.

1994: A U.S.-led invasion of Haiti is launched to remove the military regime installed by a 1991 coup that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The invasion restores Aristide.

2002: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is ousted for two days before retaking power. He and his allies accuse the U.S. of tacit support for the coup attempt.

2009: Honduran President Manuel Zelaya overthrown by military. U.S. accused of worsening situation by insufficient condemnation of the coup.

One cannot but, in light of the US long dirty history of sinister plots and assassination, to wonder whether the USA would move its proxy cells to, for example, assassinate Guaido so as to accuse Maduro supporteers! Does the USA live but on wars!

Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Mohamad.Abdo.AlIbrahim

http://www.presidentassad.net/

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