What Really Happens to Nicaragua, Venezuela and Ecuador

August 13, 2018

by Peter Koenig for The Saker BlogWhat Really Happens to Nicaragua, Venezuela and Ecuador

Stories about corruption and internally government-generated violence concerning most unaligned countries abound in the MSM. These lies fuel hatred. And the public at large start a malicious rumor circuit. Which, in turn is taken over by the MSM, so that their lies are pushing in open doors. The war drums start beating. The populace wants foreign imposed order, they want blood and ‘regime change’. The consensus for war has once more worked. And the blood may flow. Instigated by outside forces, such as the NED (National Endowment for Democracy) and USAID, which train and fund nationals clandestinely in-and outside the country where eventually they have to operate. They are commandeered by Washington and other western powers and act so as to blame the “non-obedient” governments, whose regime must be changed. They constitute part of the Fifth Column.

Fifth Column is a group of people, who undermine the government of a country in support of the enemy. They can be both covert and open. The term Fifth Column originates from the Spanish Civil War, when in October 1936 nationalist rebel General Mola initiated the coup d’état against the legitimate Republican Government. This marked the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. General Mola besieged Madrid with four “columns” of troops and claimed he had a “Fifth Column”, hiding inside the city. The term was henceforth used for infiltrated enemies within a legitimate government. Mola, the mastermind behind the coup died in a 1937 plane crash, and General Francisco Franco became Spain’s dictator for the next almost 40 years. He prevailed over the Republican resistance thanks to Hitler’s and Mussolini’s air support.

Now what’s the true story behind the violence-plagued Nicaragua and Venezuela, and the treacherous new Moreno government in Ecuador?

Take Nicaragua – it all started with the Board of Directors of the Nicaragua Social Security Institute (INSS) on 16 April 2018 approving an IMF-imposed social security reform, modified and then supported by President Ortega. The reform maintained social security at its current level, but would increasing employer contributions by 3.5% to pension and health funds, while only slightly increasing worker contributions by 0.75% and shifting 5% of pensioners’ cash transfer into their healthcare fund. These reforms triggered the coup attempt initiated by the business lobby and backed by the Nicaraguan oligarchy.

Student protests were already ongoing in different university cities in connection with university elections. These protests were re-directed against the Ortega government with the help of US-funded NGOs and the Catholic Church, an ally of the wealthy in most of Latin America. Some of the students involved in ‘re-directing’ the protests were brought to the US for training by the Freedom House, a long-time associate of the CIA. USAID announced an additional US$ 1.5 million to build opposition to the Ortega Government. These funds along with financing from the NED will be channeled to NGOs to support anti-government protests. For more details, see also http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49933.htm .

Summarizing, in the course of the weeks following the coup, violence increased leaving a total of more than 300 dead by early August. Even though Ortega reversed the pension measures, unrests continued, now demanding the resignation of the President and Vice-President, his wife Rosario Murillo Zambrana. Daniel Ortega, a Sandinista and former guerilla leader, was first elected President in 1985. It is clear that the US and the dark forces behind the empire were preparing Fifth Column-type groups to intervene and take advantage of any social upheaval in the country to bring about regime change. What could have and would have been contained, continued as US inspired violent protests eventually aiming at the overthrow of Ortega’s government. That would bring Central America, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua – and Panama – in line with US policies. Will Washington succeed?

On Venezuela – In mid-June 2018, I was privileged to be invited to Caracas as one of several international economists to participate in a Presidential Economic Advisory Commission – to discuss internal and external economic issues. Without going into details of the commission’s deliberations – it is absolutely clear who is behind the food and medicine boycotts (empty supermarket shelves), and the induced internal violence. It is a carbon copy of what the CIA under Kissinger’s command did in Chile in 1973 which led to the murder of the legitimate and democratically elected President Allende and to the Pinochet military coup; except, Venezuela has 19 years of revolutionary experience, and built up some tough resistance.

To understand the context ‘Venezuela’, we may have to look at the country’s history.

Before the fully democratically and internationally observed election of Hugo Chavez in 1998, Venezuela was governed for at least 100 years by dictators and violent despots which were directed by and served only the United States. The country, extremely rich in natural resources, was exploited by the US and Venezuelan oligarchs to the point that the population of one of the richest Latin-American countries remained poor instead of improving its standard of living according to country’s natural riches. The people were literally enslaved by Washington controlled regimes.

A first coup attempt by Comandante Hugo Chavez in 1992 was oppressed by the Government of Carlos Andrés Pérez and Chavez was sent to prison along with his co-golpistas. After two years, he was freed by the Government of Rafael Caldera.

During Peréz’ first term in office (1974-1979) and his predecessors, Venezuela attained a high economic growth based on almost exclusive oil exports. Though, hardly anything of this growth stayed in the country and was distributed to the people. The situation was pretty much the same as it is in today’s Peru which before the 2008 crisis and shortly thereafter had phenomenal growth rates – between 5% and 8% – of which 80% went to 5% of the population oligarchs and foreign investors, and 20% was to be distributed to 95% of the population – and that on a very uneven keel. The result was and is a growing gap between rich and poor, increasing unemployment and delinquency.

Venezuela before Chavez lived practically on a monoculture economy based on petrol. There was no effort towards economic diversification. To the contrary, diversification could eventually help free Venezuela from the despot’s fangs, as the US was the key recipient of Venezuela’s petrol and other riches. Influenced by the 1989 Washington Consensus, Peréz made a drastic turn in his second mandate (1989-1993) towards neoliberal reforms, i.e. privatization of public services, restructuring the little social safety benefits laborers had achieved, and contracting debt by the IMF and the World Bank. He became a model child of neoliberalism, to the detriment of Venezuelans. Resulting protests under Peréz’ successor, Rafael Caldera, became unmanageable. New elections were called and Hugo Chavez won in a first round with more than 56%. Despite an ugly Washington inspired coup attempt (“The Revolution will Not be Televised”, 2003 documentary about the attempted 2002 coup), Hugo Chavez stayed in power until his untimely death 2013. Comandante Chavez and his Government reached spectacular social achievements for his country.

Washington will not let go easily – or at all, to re-conquer Venezuela into the new Monroe Doctrine, i.e. becoming re-integrated into Washington’s backyard. Imagine this oil-rich country, with the world’s largest hydrocarbon reserves, on the doorsteps of the United Sates’ key refineries in Texas, just about 3 to 4 days away for a tanker from Venezuela, as compared to 40 to 45 days from the Gulf, where the US currently gets about 60% of its petrol imports. An enormous difference in costs and risks, i.e. each shipment has to sail through the Iran-controlled Strait of Hormuz.

In addition, another socialist revolution as one of Washington’s southern neighbor – in addition to Cuba – is not convenient. Therefore, the US and her secret forces will do everything to bring about regime change, by constant economic aggressions, blockades, sanctions, boycotts of imports and their internal distribution – as well as outrights military threats. The recent assassination attempt of President Maduro falls into the same category.

And let’s not forget, Venezuela’s neighbor Colombia, fully under Washington’s control, has just recently become a NATO country. How absurd, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, stationed in a South American country. But then, NATO is also in Afghanistan, Syria, in the Balkans and wherever US-instigated conflicts need to be fought. Colombian and Venezuela share a border of some 2,200 km of which about 1,500 are difficult to control ‘porous’ jungle, from where clandestine as well as overt military infiltrations are relatively easy. They may also spread to other South American countries. It’s already happening into countries with open doors for US military, like Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

Less than 5 years ago, 80% of Latin American populations lived under democratically elected, left-leaning governments. It took South America some 20-25 years to free themselves from the fangs of the Monroe Doctrine. Now in the course of a few years the trend has been reversed, through US intervention with election manipulations – Argentina, Ecuador, Chile – and parliamentary coups – Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay. – Venezuela, together with Bolivia and Cuba, today is Latin America’s last holdout ad hope.

Back to the present – Washington’s goal is “regime change” with the help of a strong Fifth Column, infiltrated in key financial institutions and all the support that comes with it, NED, CIA et al. However, President Maduro has a solid block of 6 million voters behind him, and is embarking with full integrity on a path of “Resistance Economy”. In fact, the recent introduction of the hydrocarbon-backed Petro, and the new just announced Petro-backed Bolivar – are first steps in the right direction; an attempt to de-dollarize Venezuela’s economy. Other measures, like massive efforts to become autonomous in food and industrial goods, à la Russia, rebuild the agricultural sector and industrial parks, are measures to regain economic sovereignty.

On Ecuador – President Rafael Correa has worked with Lenin Moreno, who was his Vice-President and close ally during many years. It is therefore a bit strange that Correa apparently did not know Moreno is a traitor, what he clearly has become soon after taking office. Correa’s internal support was still strong, despite his decline among indigenous people after his (US forced) Amazon petroleum concessions. Though incited by many of the people at large to change the Constitution and run for a third term, he was warned by Washington not to do so, and instead, to promote Moreno as his successor. Correa knows what such warnings mean. He was almost killed in a 2010 Washington inspired police coup, widely thought being linked to his attempt to abandon the US dollar as the Ecuadorian currency and return to the Sucre; and Correa’s memory is still fresh enough to recall the ‘accidental airplane’ death of one of his predecessor’s, President Roldo, who changed the rules for (mostly US) hydrocarbon corporations in 1981.

What lays ahead for Ecuador does not look bright. Several IMF inspired reforms – yes, Ecuador returned to the IMF and World Bank – might reverse social gains achieved under the Correa Regime for the working and indigenous people. Also, a breach on free speech by Moreno is imminent: He announced already a while ago that Julian Assange’s days in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London are counted. If and when Assange has to leave the Embassy, he will likely be arrested by UK police and eventually handed over to the US – where he may expect a very uncertain, but possibly violent future.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog; and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

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Paul Craig Roberts: “The United States Is The Only Remaining Colonial Power”

30.07.2018

Written by Paul Craig Roberts; Originally appeared on paulcraigroberts.org

The United States government has never allowed independent governments in Latin America. Every time people elect a government that represents them instead of US economic interests, Washington overthrows the elected government. Marine General Smedley Butler told us this as have many others. There is no doubt about it.

Currently Washington is trying to overthrow the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua and has bought off the Ecuadorian government with oil purchases and the usual personal bribes. Evo Morales government in Bolivia is also targeted by Washington. The Obama regime succeeded in removing the reform governments in Honduras, Argentina, and Brazil.

Paul Craig Roberts: "The United States Is The Only Remaining Colonial Power"

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 41 prepares for take off from the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis in the Pacific Ocean. (David A. Brandenburg/Navy)

Reform governments in Latin America, except for Castro’s Cuba, always leave themselves set-up to be overthrown. They foolishly or impotently permit Washington’s agents, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the US Agency for International Development, and various so-called NGOs, whose purpose is to maintain Washington’s control and overthrow every government that escapes control, to organize and fund opposition groups and media that work hand-in-hand with Washington to reinstall a Washington-compliant government.

As Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Pol Pot understood, you cannot overthrow an oppressor class if you leave them unmolested. Whether from weakness or stupidity, Latin American reform governments always leave the electorally defeated oppressor class and its economic and media power unmolested. When Washington reinstalls the oppressor class, the same tolerance is never shown to the overthrown reformers who usually pay with their lives.

All Latin American reform efforts have made the foolsh mistake of leaving the oppressor class with their newspapers and their traitorous connections to Washington in place, including the government of President Ortega in Nicaragua. One would think that Ortega would know better. Washington has been trying to get rid of Ortega and the Sandinistas since the Reagan administration. His government has survived the latest Washington-led coup attempt, but Washington is pouring more money into the effort. Read Kevin Zeese’s report here: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49933.htm

Hugo Chavez made the same mistake in Venezuela, and his successor has repeated the mistake. The post-Castro Cuban government is now also falling into the trap of becoming an American vassal as it was under Fulgencio Batista.

The Monroe Doctrine has always been glorified in US textbooks as warning European colonialists away from Latin America. The Americans intended it for themselves and succeeded in keeping Latin America as a colony. The Organization of American States has always been in Washington’s pocket and remains there today. Latin America accepts its colonized existence and does not come to the aid of those democratic governments that Washington targets for overthrow. Latin America is impotent, because its leaders are paid off, blackmailed, or threatened by Washington.

Washington has pretended forever to be the great friend and protector of democracy, but every time an independent government comes into existence in Latin America, Washington overthrows it.

In 2015 President Barack Obama, America’s first Black President and “great friend of the oppressed,” citing “the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by Venezuela,” signed an executive order and imposed sanctions. Obama’s excuse was the Washington-incited violence that led to the arrest of some of those committing acts of violence. Washington quickly termed the criminals Washington had incited “political prisoners” and called for “dialogue” instead of “silencing critics with arrests.” Washington declared the arrests of those commiting acts of violence to be “human rights violations by the Venezuelan government.” http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/obama-declares-venezuela-national-security-threat-imposes-sanctions

In other words, the Venezuelan government was violating Washington’s human rights to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

The presstitutes reported this with a straight face.

A government that has no shame whatsoever in telling the most transparent lies while actively trying to overthrow a democratically elected government is a government that deserves universal condemnation. Yet the world is too well paid off or scared to open its mouth.

Preparations for the Final Phase of Regime Change in Venezuela: Will the United States Resort to a Multilateral Military Invasion?

Written by Daniel Edgar exclusively for SouthFront

A ‘top secret’ document entitled “Plan to Overthrow the Venezuelan Dictatorship ‘Masterstroke’” has recently received substantial coverage by the ‘alternative’ press in Latin America (needless to say, it has received little or no mention in the ‘mainstream’ press). The document is dated the 23rd of February 2018 and apparently was edited and approved by Kurt Tidd, commander of United States Southern Command (‘SouthCom’).

Many sections of the report read as though they were written by the proverbial Cubans of Miami and their CIA/ mafia handlers. For instance, in the section on ‘Information Strategy’ the report emphasizes the importance of “keeping the harassment to the Dictator as the only responsible of the crisis in which he has submerged the nation” (p.9), and in another section states the intention to “expose him as a puppet of Cuba” (p.3). The unlikely spectre of the small Caribbean island taking over the Latin American continent piece by piece as conquered dominions still has a surprising amount of currency in the mainstream press and among right wing sectors (usually updated as ‘CastroChavism’).

As with the ‘Protocols of Zion’, whether or not the document is authentic (as far as I know SouthCom has not denied its authenticity, and they would hardly acknowledge authorship of such a document), the report appears to provide a very accurate description of the US strategy to impose regime change in Venezuela and re-install a surrogate political regime obedient to Washington ever since the election of Hugo Chavez up to recent events, as well as of the next steps that the United States intends to take. It provides further corroboration that these plans include the extreme and irrevocable step of an open military invasion together with the armed forces of several neighbouring States (in particularly Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Guyana, and presumably also Peru) if all else fails, supported by paramilitary groups and other covert forces and groups already present in or infiltrated into Venezuela and other countries throughout the region.

The report describes the immense scope and brutality of the United States’ disruptive economic, social and political actions to destabilize and overthrow the Venezuelan government and anticipates the possibility of an even more dramatic escalation in intensity and scale. For instance, in order to undermine “the decadent popular support to Government”: “Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises…” (pp.2-3)

Consistent with the stated intentions and plans, over the last year the US has been staging large-scale multilateral military exercises that simulate major aspects of the projected military intervention in Venezuela, including in adjacent areas from where an overt military campaign and associated economic blockade would be waged (see for example Manlio Dinucci, 2017).

While the extravagant hostility and threatening polemic emanating from Washington has presaged the possibility of direct military intervention at least since 2015 when then president Barack Obama promulgated an Executive Order “declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela”, a multilateral military intervention would be unprecedented in recent Latin American history.

While in the nineteenth century an international military coalition was created to invade and subdue a rebellious Paraguay and in the first half of the twentieth century US marines invaded and occupied Latin American countries on numerous occasions, since World War II the US has crafted an extremely effective neo-colonial system of political, economic and technological dominance and control that made overt external military intervention unnecessary. When national governments became too independent or attempted to allocate a larger portion of their country’s wealth and resources to the benefit of its own people instead of US corporations the US could rely on political and economic destabilisation, followed by a military coup by complicit military officers if necessary, to re-establish absolute submission to Washington.

The mere fact that the US may be genuinely considering such a drastic and potentially risky step as a viable course of action is testimony to the resilience of the Venezuelan government and people after almost twenty years of political destabilization, attempted coups and economic sabotage. It also testifies to the importance of Venezuela to the second ‘war of independence’ in Latin America to liberate the continent from imperial/ neo-colonial rule, and amounts to a tacit admission that the all-out efforts of the masters of US foreign policy to impose regime change in Venezuela have thus far failed and are unlikely to succeed in the absence of even more extreme measures, the last resort in the regime change textbook of open military intervention.

In acknowledging the importance of Venezuela to the emergence of independent leadership in numerous Latin American countries since the election of Hugo Chavez and the consolidation of regional forms of cooperation throughout Latin America that explicitly or implicitly rejected Washington’s ‘leadership’, the report states that the recent “rebirth of democracy” (return to conservative, neoliberal, right wing regimes that unquestioningly support Washington’s policies) has halted the trend “in which radical populism was intended to take over” South America. Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador are cited as examples of the resurrection of democracy. In this context, the report states that “overthrowing the Venezuelan Dictatorship will surely mean a continental turning point” (p.2).

Also reflecting the regional significance and implications of related developments, the report includes as part of the ‘Information Strategy’ proclaiming the failure of regional “mechanisms of integration created by the regimens of Cuba and Venezuela, specially the ALBA and PETROCARIBE”, along with “strengthening the image of the OAS” and other multilateral institutions and agreements in the region that are compatible with and subservient to the US’ interests and objectives (p.10).

In terms of the international dimensions of the strategy, the report declares that other components include:

“Fully obstructing imports… Appealing to domestic allies as well as other people inserted from abroad in the national scenario in order to generate protests, riots and insecurity, plunders, thefts, assaults and highjacking of vessels as well as other means of transportation with the intention of deserting this country in crisis through all borderlands and other possible ways, jeopardizing in such a way the National Security of neighbouring frontier nations. Causing victims and holding the Government responsible for them. Magnifying, in front of the world, the humanitarian crisis in which the country has been submitted to…” (pp.4-5)

“Preparing the involvement of allied forces in support of the Venezuelan army officers or to control the internal crisis, in the event they delay too much in taking the initiative…

Getting the support of the cooperation of the allied authorities of friendly countries (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Panama and Guyana)…

Organizing the provisioning, relief of troops, medical and logistical support from Panama. Making good use of the facilities of electronic surveillance and signals intelligence, the hospitals and its deployed endowments in Darién, the equipped airdromes for the Colombian Plan, as well as the landing fields of the old-time military bases of Howard and Albrook…

Moving on the basification of combat airplanes and choppers, armored conveyances, intelligence positions, and special military and logistics units (police and military district attorneys and prisons)…” (pp.6-7)

“Developing the military operation under international flag… Binding Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Panama to the contribution of greater number of troops, to make use of their geographic proximity and experience in operations in forest regions. Strengthening their international condition with the presence of combat units from the United States of America and the other named countries, under the command of a Joint General Staff led by the USA…

Using the facilities at Panamanian territory for the rear guard and the capacities of Argentina for the securing of the ports and the maritime positions…

Leaning on Brazil and Guyana to make use of the migratory situation that we intend to encourage in the border with Guyana…

Coordinating the support to Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago and other States in front of the flow of Venezuelan immigrants in the event of the crisis…” (pp.7-8)

Another very interesting aspect of the report from my point of view is its discussion of the Colombian component of its strategy (I have been in Colombia for most of the last eight years). Apart from the reference quoted above to pre-stocked military bases in Colombia in apparent preparation for the possibility of a large-scale military conflict with Venezuela (in flagrant contravention of a 2010 judgment of the Constitutional Court of Colombia), the report affirms as intentions and objectives:

“Continuing setting fire to the common frontier with Colombia. Multiplying the traffic of fuel and other goods. The movement of paramilitaries, armed raids and drug trafficking. Provoking armed incidents with the Venezuelan frontier security forces… Recruiting paramilitaries mainly in the campsites of refugees in Cúcuta, La Guajira and the north of Santander, areas largely populated by Colombian citizens who emigrated to Venezuela and now return, run away from the regimen to intensify the destabilizing activities in the common frontier between the two countries. Making use of the empty space left by the FARC, the belligerency of the ELN and the activities in the area of the Gulf Clan…” (p.6)

Apart from indicating that many of the refugees fleeing from Venezuela (the plight of these people is a favourite topic of the mainstream media in Colombia in their constant denunciations of the Venezuelan government) are in fact Colombians returning to Colombia after fleeing the political violence and economic hardship that has ravaged Colombia over the last couple of decades, the report confirms the widespread use of paramilitary groups and other criminal organizations and illegal armed groups to further the United States’ “national interests and foreign policy objectives” in the region. This would also be consistent with the nature of US involvement in Colombia over the last century, as described in detail by Renan Vega Cantor in the 2015 report of the Historical Commission established to investigate the origin and evolution of the social and armed conflict in Colombia.

Fortunately, the eagerly anticipated eruption of widespread violence prior to and following the presidential election on the 20th of May has not eventuated. In addition, in the final presidential debate in Colombia on the 26th of May the two candidates that will take part in the second round on the 17th of June (Ivan Duque and Gustavo Petro) both categorically ruled out the involvement of Colombia in an open military intervention against Venezuela.

It may be that the belligerency and reckless threats and actions simply represent the ‘fire and fury’ brand of erratic ‘diplomacy’ of the latest US Executive in Chief, in the belief that everyone will bend to their will if the threats are extreme enough (backed up by an occasional salvo of missiles). Nonetheless, the US war machine in all of its guises and forms is going to great lengths to ensure that it is prepared for every eventuality, and the only certainty is that an overt military attack against Venezuela orchestrated by the US cannot be ruled out entirely.

The following sections are translations of commentaries by analysts in the region:

***

Julio Yao Villalaz, “Venezuela, An impossible intervention” (“Venezuela, una intervención imposible” (3 March 2018)

“The intervention that the United States is promoting against Venezuela with the complicity of the so-called ‘Lima Group’, made up of 12 countries – less than half of the member States of the Organisation of American States (OAS) – among which is Panama unfortunately, is an illegitimate and impossible endeavour that scandalously violates the Charter of the OAS, the UN Charter and International Law.

The collective violation of International Law involves decades of illicit actions, ever since Hugo Chavez assumed power in Venezuela and the United States began to lose its privileges, benefits and petroleum subsidies…

Notwithstanding the unquestionable lack of credibility of the organisation, the Charter of the OAS sanctifies     principles of International Law that prohibit absolutely the individual or collective intervention of its members in the internal and external affairs of other States and are, mutatis mutandi, the same principles as those of the Charter of the United Nations…

(The author lists relevant principles of the UN Charter that prohibit any form of intervention in the affairs of a member State, and notes that the principle of ‘representative democracy’ sanctified in the Charter of the OAS cannot supersede the principles of the UN Charter which make no such stipulation.)

Moreover, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela far exceeds the so-called ‘representative democracies’ of the region (Venezuela is a participatory democracy) and is one of the most democratic countries in the world, as its history and actual experience demonstrate, verified by the United Nations, international human rights organisations, as well as by other renowned personalities and associations such as the Carter Foundation among others.

However, the United States and its acolytes, henchmen and lackeys from the ‘Lima Group’ persevere with the violation of International Law notwithstanding that they didn’t even gain the support of the OAS for their imperialist adventure (the independent countries of the Caribbean and others prevented it) and that almost all of the members of the ‘Lima Group’ violate and are far from complying with the norms that guarantee minimum requirements for even an elemental democratic governance.

What right does the United States have to threaten Venezuela, if the United States is the worst violator of the UN Charter and the main denier of International Law; if the United States has rejected or refused to ratify more human rights treaties than any other State; when the United States is the country with the highest number of death sentences on the planet; if the United States is the State whose ‘defence’ budget is larger than the budgets of the next six largest States’ budgets combined; if the United States is the State with the largest number of foreign military bases in the world (more than 1,000)…

What right does this delinquent country have to deny the right of the Venezuelan people to exist?

What right does Colombia have to head the aggression against Venezuela, if on the external plane it is a country occupied by the United States (there are seven US military bases in Colombia) that lacks independence; and, on the internal plane, Colombia is a narco-State that maintains one of every 10 Colombians outside the country; when Colombia has betrayed the Peace Accord that it signed with the FARC and assassinates and permits paramilitaries to systematically eliminate social leaders and human rights defenders; if Colombia tolerates persecution and attacks against political movements that participate in national politics, such as the FARC? Colombia is already an accomplice in the sanctions against Venezuela and will be the tip of the spear of the invasion of the Bolivarian Republic.

What right does Peru have to allege a lack of democracy in Venezuela, if its President, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, was at the point of being dismissed by the Congress for ‘moral incapacity’ to govern because he received bribes from Odebrecht; if the same Peruvian president illegally indemnified former president Alberto Fujimori – a confessed perpetrator of genocide – and if his government is permanently under siege by the reclamations of health and education workers?

What right does Argentina have to question the transparency in Venezuela, if its president, Mauricio Macri, is immersed in the Odebrecht scandal as well as the ‘Panama Papers’ and his government is constantly accused by reclamations from its people, the Mapuche Indians, pensioners and the middle class, that has seen the progress achieved during the mandate of former president Cristina Kirchner stagnate?

What right does Brazil have to offer its territory as a trampoline for an intervention and denounce Venezuela as a ‘dictatorship’, if its unelected president, Michel Temer, arrived to the position thanks to a ‘soft coup’ against Dilma Rousseff, is accused by the Prosecutor General of ‘passive corruption, obstruction of justice and criminal organisation’ and has anti-democratically blocked the presidential candidacy of Luis Inacio Lula da Silva?

What right does Mexico have to denounce Venezuela for a ‘humanitarian crisis’ if its president, Enrique Peña Nieto, presides over a corrupt government sustained by drug trafficking and organised crime, that has handed over Mexico’s wealth to the transnationals of the United States and the same Mexico has the world record for journalists assassinated and disappeared?

What right does Honduras have (please!) to question the legitimacy of the National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela if its president, unconstitutional and unelected, enthroned by a fraud of cosmic proportions, Jose O. Hernandez, clings to power with the support of the bayonets of US Southern Command and kills his own people without hesitation?

What right does Panama have to question the independence and the democracy of Venezuela, if the Partido Panameñista (of president Juan Carlos Varela) assumed power in the arms of the (US) invaders following the invasion of 1989 (who swore in Guillermo Endara as president in a US military base)? It is worth recalling that, at international law, agreements signed under military occupation are ipso facto void.

What moral right does Panama have to destroy the right of Venezuela to self-determination, if Guillermo Endara, the first post-invasion puppet president and president of the Partido Panameñista (the political party of the current Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela), subscribed to the Arias Calderon-Hinton Accord (1991), the basis of the Salas-Becker treaties of 2002 that handed Panama over to 16 federal agencies of the United States (including the Pentagon, the US Army, the US Air Force, the US Navy and the US Coastguard)? These US entities could once again convert Panama into a platform of aggression for the US Southern Command…

(The author, a former Panamanian diplomat, proceeds to describe many other instances of illegal collaboration by Panama’s government with US imperial plans and projects of bilateral and regional dominance.)

Despite the complete absence of moral or legal authority of the ‘Lima Group’ to attack Venezuela, the United States insists on invading the country with the complicity of governments that are unrepresentative, anachronistic, outlaws and enemies of International Law … under the notorious banner of ‘Humanitarian Intervention’.

They want us to believe that in Venezuela there is a ‘humanitarian crisis’ that requires a confrontation of people against people in the region, of the poor against the poor and of brothers against brothers, to satisfy the appetites of Washington, misinterpreting the Chinese strategic genius Sun Tzu, who counselled conserving one’s own forces by utilising foreign forces…

(The author proceeds to review some of the military aggressions by powerful States to further their own interests based on dubious or completely fabricated claims of humanitarian crisis, such as in Yugoslavia and Libya.)

In the case of Panama, the United States didn’t even take the effort to inform the OAS or the UN, nor even the US Senate, that they must approve the invasion in 1989, but they did lie about and satanize General Manuel Noriega, as testified in ‘Secret-Sensitive’ documents of the US National Security Council, documents that establish as the real objectives securing the Panama Canal treaties and derailing the negotiations between Panama and Japan for a new canal.

But in Venezuela there is neither a humanitarian crisis nor a civil war – nor had there been one in Panama. Rather, there is a massive external intervention in the country’s and the people’s affairs, internal and external, an intervention manifested in ultra-modern and multi-faceted forms, with the transnational support of countries, NGOs and personalities that are trying to destroy the Venezuela nation, destroy its revolution and rob Venezuela of its prodigious natural wealth.

The intervention against Venezuela would be an aggression against Latin America and the Caribbean, a regression in Latin American Unity, a blow against the memory of the liberators of Our America, and for all of these reasons, it is an impossible intervention that cannot be allowed to triumph!”

***

Julio Yao Villalaz, “Kuczynski, the ‘Lima Group’, Venezuela and the VIII Summit of the Americas”, (“Kuczynski, el ‘Grupo de Lima’, Venezuela y la VIII Cumbre de las Américas”), 23 March 2018

“With the exit from power of the Peruvian president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) the so-called Lima Group, created as part of a multi-faceted war that the United States has been waging in order to destroy the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people, has suffered a further loss of legitimacy

The Lima Group is made up of less than half of the members of the Organization of American States (OAS), but Kuczynski’s resignation following accusations of corruption has shaken the VIII Summit of the Americas (held on the 13th and 14th of April) to its foundations. The principle theme of the Summit was, paradoxically, ‘democratic governance and corruption’; its host was to be the now defunct Peruvian leader.

Yes – apart from the resignation of the Summit’s host – the United States tried to widen the basis for its intervention against Venezuela; moreover, the Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro was denied entry to the Summit. The failure of the hegemon is double, as the simultaneous vacuum in the Peruvian presidency and absence of the Summit’s host exposes the democratic fragility and dubious moral and political merits of several of its associates (Peru, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama, just to mention a few), which have been accused of similar or worse corruption than that which buried Kuczynski and qualifies them as ‘failed States’, according to the new terminology of the US Southern Command (SouthCom).

Given its illicit objectives, since its formation the Peru Group has violated the Charter of the OAS, the UN Charter and International Public Law – all of which consecrate the prohibitions on all forms of intervention, threats and attacks. The Lima Group was formed with full knowledge of the publicly stated intentions of the United States to launch a military invasion of Venezuela and therefore the complicity of its members with the aggression is manifest.

Could Colombia, favourite vassal of the United States in Latin America, deny that it has received fabulous sums from Washington to lease its territory to destabilize, attack, and serve as the spearhead for the invasion of Venezuela?

The Declaration that created the Lima Group in August of 2017 loses its reason for being given the report of the independent investigator of the UN Human Rights Council, the jurist and American historian Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, who was alternatively ignored and vilified by the Western media complex for having stated that ‘there is no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela’ that would justify a ‘humanitarian intervention’ (that is, armed intervention).

According to Zayas, a graduate of Harvard, in Venezuela there is however ‘suffering and a shortage of supplies, a natural result of the economic and commercial war’ being waged by a violent opposition against its own people, under the auspices of foreign praise and support, not the result of internal oppression…

From the mouth of president Trump, the United States has threatened Venezuela with an imminent armed invasion if it doesn’t submit to his orders – which implies giving its natural resources and wealth to US transnationals. But the US sanctions, which deny the Venezuelan people their right to exist, could be the subject of a legal petition before the International Criminal Court notwithstanding its increasing lack of credibility.

The non-existence of a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela renders impossible the purported application of the Charter of the OAS, the principle objective of the Lima Group, and the debacle of the VIII Summit of the Americas leaves the US without the regional conditions (that is, complicity) that it needs to destroy the Bolivarian Republic.

If the Lima Group doesn’t represent the OAS, which lacks a Security Council to authorize such actions; if the Lima Group doesn’t represent the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) or any other legally constituted regional organization; if the Lima Group cannot act on its own account, in violation of the Charter of the OAS, without risking its own expulsion from that organization; if the Lima Group violates the UN Charter; then, what is this group, who does it serve and what is the legal basis of its actions?

The Lima Group is a band of delinquent States, outlaws and mercenaries that are opposed to the consolidation of the Zone of Peace that has been declared in the region, serve the US Southern Command, and lack legality, to such an extent that the frustrated festivities of the vultures in Lima could prove to be the funeral of their forgotten national dignity.”

***

José Negrón Valera, “USA. ‘The moment has arrived’: The Unitas Lix plan would be the final blow against Venezuela” (“EE.UU. ‘El momento ha llegado’: el plan Unitas Lix sería el golpe final contra Venezuela”), 14 May 2018

“Disguised as military exercises, the US Southern Command has prepared a strategy with which they will try to give the ‘coup de grace’ to the Government of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

‘Orange alert’ in South America

At 6.48am on Saturday the 13th of May the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, announced to the South American people via a statement on his Twitter account:

“We denounce that the USA and the OAS are implementing a plan to overthrow the Venezuelan Government: before the elections they will realise violent actions supported by the mass media and after the elections they will attempt a military invasion with the armed forces of neighbouring countries”…

Similarly, the Argentine journalist Stella Calloni brought to the attention of public opinion the grave threat that Venezuela faces, revealing a secret document of the US Southern Command.

The 11 page document, entitled “Masterstroke: A plan to overthrow the dictatorship in Venezuela” and signed by admiral Kurt Tidd, commander of the US Southern Command, considers that ‘the moment has arrived’ to intervene militarily in the South American country.

With the synchronization of a time bomb, Roger Noriega, formerly the permanent representative of the United States in the OAS between 2001 and 2003 and bitter enemy of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, wrote in the New York Times that ‘the options for Venezuela’ had been exhausted, stating that the only remaining alternative is the overthrow of Nicolas Maduro.

The importance of Noriega’s article derives from the medium in which it was published. The most influential media platform with respect to the legitimization of the United States’ military operations.

To complete the panorama, the US Embassy in Caracas, in a suspicious demonstration of clairvoyance, informed US citizens that before and after the presidential elections they are expecting demonstrations and focal points of destabilization…

The roadmap to overthrow ‘Chavism’

A strategic analysis of the SouthCom documents that have been revealed, together with the declarations of military spokesmen and mid-level officials of the diplomatic apparatus, enable us to establish with sufficient clarity how they will develop the successive stages of the intervention against Venezuela.

In the first place, one has to take into account the electoral conjunction where it is still possible that the Venezuelan opposition will reach an agreement to combine their forces and support a single candidate.

Despite the fact that the United States, the Lima Group and the European Union have already affirmed that under the ‘actual conditions’ they won’t recognize the results, one cannot dismiss the possibility that a single candidate ‘in extremis’ could provoke a motivating effect in the opposition sectors that still haven’t decided if they will vote.

A scenario of technical stalemate between ‘Chavism’ and the opposition would provide an appropriate context for international pressure against the Government of Nicolas Maduro.

In second place, Noriega reaffirms that the political front cannot be discounted entirely. In this instance, the State Department would be focused on ‘encouraging Venezuelans – including members of the armed forces – to restore democracy’, that is to say, execute a coup d’état.

Although this seems improbable, the Southern Command would not need a successful military rebellion – a skirmish within a military barracks would be sufficient, as occurred a few months ago in Paramacay Fort – in order to demand ‘that power be transferred without delay to the legitimate civil authorities, the members of the National Assembly’.

In this case, they would be evaluating the ‘liberation’ of a zone in the country where a parallel government could exercise de facto functions, with the recognition and support of the international community allied to Washington.

In the document of the Southern Command Tidd emphasizes that, in order to overthrow ‘Chavism’, it is necessary to intensify the psychological war to provoke ‘an exacerbation of the division between members of the Government’, combined with military actions that would start with violent protests in urban centres, especially in Tachira where the Venezuelan Government has been able to neutralize numerous mafia groups dedicated to smuggling contraband goods across the border with Colombia.

The Unitas Lix plan and the final blow

The operations of destabilization could intensify following the announcement of the electoral results on the 20th of May and it is anticipated that they could last until September, when in Colombia the international aerial and maritime military exercises Unitas Lix 2018 will commence.

Kurt Tidd clearly explains that the Bolivarian Government can only be brought down by way of a ‘military operation under an international flag, patronized by the Conference of Latin American Armies, under the protection of the OAS and the supervision, in the legal and media context, of the Secretary General (of the OAS), Luis Almagro’.

Unitas Lix is nothing less than a façade for imposing a maritime blockade of Venezuela in the least traumatic way possible, as occurred in 1902 against the then Government of Cipriano Castro.

The objective of a maritime blockade, according to Kurt Tidd’s logic, is precisely the ‘obstruction of all imports’, especially of food, medicines and other essential goods. However, the centre of gravity of the entire strategy would be to impede the commercialization of Venezuelan petroleum…

It is now that the tempestuous exit of Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Colombia from Unasur makes sense.

Apart from strengthening the OAS as the primary regional organization and main forum to debate a possible situation of political instability in Venezuela, it was essential that the South American Defence Council be abandoned.

It would be incoherent if the regional organization that establishes the objective of ‘consolidating a zone of peace in South America and constructing a common vision in terms of defence’ were to docilely receive the intention of the Southern Command to ‘proceed to station its combat planes and helicopters, armoured vehicles, intelligence stations’ and even prisons in South America.

Another objective of transforming Unitas Lix into a military operation would be to generate a security ring around Venezuela to prevent the possible approach of the military forces of Venezuela’s allies. One of the scenarios to which they would have to pay close attention.

Unitas Lix would be proposed as the last stage of a long term and large scale operation of attrition against Venezuela. However, what is most scandalous about Washington’s plan to overthrow Chavism is that its proponents are well aware that there would be substantial resistance within the country, and even that the Venezuelan opposition ‘doesn’t have sufficient strength’ to guarantee governability.

Nonetheless, Tidd already has the solution: sending ‘the military forces of the UN to impose peace’…”

***

Hector Bernardo, Conspiracy against Venezuela (“Complot contra Venezuela”), 13 May 2018

“In a new anti-democratic gesture, the US government has intensified its strategy to overthrow the Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, and prevent the elections scheduled for the 20th of May. In this instance, the attack is headed by the ultra-right senator Marco Rubio, closely linked with the Cuban mafia groups in Miami and the arms trade. Rubio has met with various leaders in the region to reinforce the alternative paths the coup could take.

Marco Rubio has transformed himself into one of the most influential people within the intimate circle of the North American president Donald Trump… (He) is one of the main promoters of aggression against all of the popular governments in the region that do not align themselves with the orders and demands from Washington. In a new assault against the Venezuelan government and people, the Republican senator asserts the necessity of extending the measures that have immersed Venezuela in an economic crisis and affirms that ‘the moment has arrived to accelerate Maduro’s exit’.

Rubio has dedicated much of his political career to persecuting the popular governments in the region. At the moment he is dedicating all of his efforts to attacking Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua though previously, and without the support of the White House, he also campaigned against Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (Argentina), Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Evo Morales (Bolivia) and Salvador Sanchez Ceren (El Salvador)…

Currently, with the substantial influence he has achieved within the circle of president Donald Trump’s confidants, Rubio has dedicated himself to organizing the international pressure against the government of Nicolas Maduro. An example of this was his recent trip to Costa Rica to attend the delivery of aircraft and ships for the coastguard and vigilance of the country’s airspace as a ‘reward’ for having accepted the demand from Washington to not recognize the result of the presidential election in Venezuela on the 20th of May.

During the Summit of the Americas, held in Peru in April, Rubio met with another leader that has accepted Washington’s schemes in their entirety, the Argentine president Mauricio Macri. After the meeting, Macri reaffirmed that he would not recognize the result of the presidential election in Venezuela either, along with the leaders of Chile (Sebastian Piñera) and Colombia (Juan Manuel Santos). All members of the Lima Group, a forum in which Rubio has significant influence.

Not only has the North American senator dedicated himself to fomenting the political destabilization and economic and financial asphyxiation that the Venezuelan people are suffering, he has also been one of the main instigators and promoters of the violent terrorist actions that have been unleashed there (as well as the recent violent efforts to destabilize the democratically elected government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua)…”

***

References

Julio Yao Villalaz, “Venezuela, una intervención imposible”, Voltairenet, 3 March 2018

http://www.voltairenet.org/article199789.html

– “Kuczynski, el ‘Grupo de Lima’, Venezuela y la VIII Cumbre de las Américas”, 23 Marzo 2018, Voltairenet

http://www.voltairenet.org/article200334.html

Stella Calloni, “El ‘Golpe Maestro’ de Estados Unidos Contra Venezuela (Documento del Comando Sur)”, VoltaireNet, 9 Mayo 2018

http://www.voltairenet.org/article201091.html

– Stella Calloni, “The United States ‘Masterstroke’ against Venezuela”, 17 May 2018, VoltaireNet

http://www.voltairenet.org/article201159.html

José Negrón Valera, “EE.UU. ‘El momento ha llegado’: el plan Unitas Lix sería el golpe final contra Venezuela”, 14 Mayo 2018, Resumen Latinoamericano

http://www.resumenlatinoamericano.org/2018/05/14/ee-uu-el-momento-ha-llegado-el-plan-unitas-lix-seria-el-golpe-final-contra-venezuela/

“Plan to Overthrow the Venezuelan Dictatorship ‘Masterstroke’”, United States Southern Command, 23 February 2018

“Plan para Derrocar a la Dictadura Venezolana ‘Golpe Maestro’”, Estados Unidos Comando Sur

Traducción y original del Documento del Comando Sur, Golpe de Estado en Venezuela (Translation and original of the Document of the US Southern Command, Coup D’état in Venezuela), 13 Mayo 2018, Resumen Latinoamericano –

http://www.resumenlatinoamericano.org/2018/05/14/traduccion-y-original-del-documento-del-comando-sur-golpe-de-estado-en-venezuela/

Renán Vega Cantor, 2015, “The International Dimension of the Social and Armed Conflict in Colombia: Interference of the United States, Counter-Insurgency and State Terrorism”, Chapter 13, Historical Commission of the Conflict and its Victims, A Contribution to Understanding the Armed Conflict in Colombia, (translated to English by Daniel Edgar), Havana, Cuba

http://www.academia.edu/26880912/The_International_Dimension_of_the_Social_and_Armed_Conflict_in_Colombia_Interference_of_the_United_States_Counter-Insurgency_and_State_Terrorism

Hector Bernardo, “Complot contra Venezuela”, 13 Mayo 2018, Resumen Latinoamericano

http://www.resumenlatinoamericano.org/2018/05/14/complot-contra-venezuela/

Manlio Dinucci, “Grandes ejercicios militares alrededor de Venezuela”, 25 Agosto 2017, VoltaireNet

http://www.voltairenet.org/article197590.html

– “Large.scale manoeuvres encircling Venezuela”, 25 August 2017

http://www.voltairenet.org/article197571.html

YOU’RE LOSING YOUR MIND AND YOUR DECENCY, RABBI – NOT EUROPE

YOU’RE LOSING YOUR MIND AND YOUR DECENCY, RABBI – NOT EUROPE

August 29, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

leshe.jpg

by Michael Lesher

Because I have no ambition either to be the next Chief Rabbi of Barcelona or to be subject to the whims of whoever is – as it is, I’m not even Spanish – it’s of very little direct importance to me that the current occupant of that position, one Meir Bar-Hen, is a blithering idiot.

On the other hand, I am a Jew – and a human being. And on both counts it does matter very much to me that Rabbi Bar-Hen, who claims in the wake of a car-ramming attack in Barcelona (for which the motive remains unclear) that “Europe is lost” so long as its governments allow Muslims to live side by side with other citizens, is not only a fool but a bigot of unspeakable effrontery. In fact, he’s exactly the sort of man who, with Goebbels, would have pointed to Herschel Grynszpan’s murder of a young German diplomat in 1938 as “proof” that Jews could not be tolerated in Germany.

And yet I confess that even the rabbi’s racism – essentially a declaration of war against every Muslim in Europe – is less infuriating to me than the silent complacency with which his remarks have been received throughout the Jewish world.

One might have hoped a few Jews, even today, would remember that being stigmatized as a collective threat to civilization was a familiar Jewish experience not so long ago. In the previous century, when the Reverend A.E. Patton complained of the danger of immigrant “hordes” who were “stealthy and furtive in manner…too filthy to adopt ideals of cleanliness from the start, too bigoted to surrender any racial traditions or to absorb any true Americanism,” he was writing about Jews, not Muslims, and if asked for evidence of the threat would have pointed to nothing less momentous than the gathering storm in Russia. (The Nazis used similar “evidence,” for that matter; so did some of their descendants at the recent violent hatefest in Charlottesville.) Quite apart from its moral reprehensibility, then, is Muslim-bashing a clever game for Jews to play, given our continuing minority status and a little knowledge of our own history?

And in Spain, of all places! Has a Spanish rabbi utterly forgotten what Jewish historians once dubbed the “Golden Age” of medieval Jewry – namely in Spain, under Muslim ruleand that anti-Semitic persecutions followed on the heels of the expulsion of Muslims from that country?

But bigots don’t speak the language of history, just as they don’t speak the language of contemporary fact. They speak the language of power – and Rabbi Bar-Hen provides a fine example of how that language can turn the truth inside out. Just look at how neatly his recent statements, though at odds with reality, dovetail with Western imperial propaganda.

“I tell my congregants,” Rabbi Bar-Hen told JTA after the attack that left 14 random victims dead in Barcelona, “this place is lost. Don’t repeat the mistake of Algerian Jews, of Venezuelan Jews. Better [get out] early than late.”

Say what?

Algerian Jews did face discriminatory treatment in the 1960s, in the wake of Algeria’s bloody war for independence from France (which the Jewish community, by and large, did not support). But Venezuela is a “historically open society without significant anti-Semitism,” the U.S. State Department concluded as recently as 2005. The only “grievance” of Venezuelan Jews JTA could scrape up the following year was that President Hugo Chavez had had the temerity to criticize Israeli war crimes in Lebanon.

And anyway, what has Venezuela got to do with Spain?

Well, nothing – except that Chavez was on Washington’s enemies’ list long before ISIS was. And that’s the clue to unpacking Rabbi Bar-Hen’s ominous reference to Latin America: it means, “Jews shouldn’t want open societies where the U.S. doesn’t want them. We must stay on the side of Big Brother.”

The same goes for Bar-Hen’s weird juxtaposition of Spain – where, he claims, Jews can’t survive because “radical” Muslims are “living among you” and “it’s very difficult to get rid of them” – against Israel, where he explicitly encourages his congregants to immigrate.

Now, Rabbi Bar-Hen knows as well as anyone that Israel and its occupied territories have a Muslim population too (in fact, one that is proportionally larger than the Muslim community in Spain), and that this population is not altogether acquiescent. If Spain is a “hub of Islamist terror for all of Europe,” as the rabbi claims, what in the world makes Israel a safe haven?

Again, nothing – except that Israel, unlike Spain, is an American client state. And so what the rabbi is really saying to Jews is, “Go where American power goes. The U.S. is fighting a war against the Muslim world, and we want to be on the side of the powerful – never mind what’s right or wrong.”

And then there’s Bar-Hen’s flagship “proof” that Spain is soft on Muslim terrorism: the fact that the government wouldn’t suppress the free travel of Leila Khaled, a Palestinian refugee who nearly 50 years ago helped hijack an airplane (hurting no one) and who wanted, to the horror of people like Rabbi Bar-Hen, to attend a book festival in Spain this year. This showed that Spanish authorities “do not understand the nature of terrorism, if they treat it as an action by the disenfranchised,” the rabbi told JTA.

Got it? In Bar-Hen’s world, a Palestinian woman who was driven out of her native Haifa at the age of 4 can’t possibly be “disenfranchised.” And any country that would dream of allowing a small-time Palestinian resistance fighter to set foot in it, five decades after her last illegal act – the same country having already welcomed the likes of Shimon Peres, the butcher of Qana and eager backer of apartheid South Africa – should be ashamed of itself. That is, if its moral standard is all about what’s good for the Empire.

Which, in a word, is Bar-Hen’s standard.

Taken separately, each one of Bar-Hen’s remarks amounts to pure stupidity. But their sum total is something rather more sinister. Bar-Hen may be a blithering idiot, as I called him a moment ago, but what am I to call a man who scorns the mayor of Barcelona for saying, after the tragic car-ramming deaths in her city, that “Barcelona is a city of peace,” and that “[t]error will not make us stop being who we are: a brave city open to the world”?

Bar-Hen thought so little of that fine statement that he said he might not attend the public solidarity rally called by the mayor, claiming security officials instructed him to avoid public areas in the coming days – because he is recognizably Jewish.

Rabbi, I doubt you’ll read this column. But if you do, I’m calling your bluff. I want to know which “security officials” told you it’s not safe for a Jew with a skullcap to be seen in the streets of Barcelona, though it’s apparently quite safe for Muslims to show themselves, even immediately after a terrible crime has been blamed on someone in their community, and even with the likes of you whipping up public hysteria against them all. I want to know what entitles you to claim victimhood at the same time you incite violence against roughly a billion people worldwide. I want to know why Leila Khaled’s 50-year-old violence is reprehensible to you, while Israel’s continuing brutality is not.

And I want to tell you something, Rabbi. You’re not losing “Europe.” What you’re losing is your mind – your ability to reason, to ground your opinions in fact, to guide your congregants with truth rather than propaganda.

And you’re losing something else, too: your common decency. Because behind your stupidity is, as I’ve shown, a corrupt agenda every Jew, let alone a rabbi, should repudiate. Because when you sell out to imperial power, you cease to be a religious leader and become one more toady to the powers that be. Because inciting hatred against an already demonized people puts you squarely, and exclusively, in the ranks of vulgar propagandists.

And this is one Jew who isn’t going to let rabbis like you forget how utterly, in a moment of crisis, you morally betrayed and abandoned us all.

Venezuela: West’s Battle Against Multipolarism Reaches Far

August 22, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – The battle between the established unipolar “international order” dominated by Wall Street, Washington, and London and an emerging multipolar order appears fixated on Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and across the entirety of Asia. However, it extends to virtually every corner of the globe, from competition in the Arctic to politically-motivated controversies in Earth orbit.

The South American nation of Venezuela also seems far-removed from this ongoing competition engulfing the world’s hot spots in the Middle East, Central and Asia, but the fate of this besieged nation is directly linked to the that of the rest of the world, either contributing to an emerging multipolar world order, or providing sanctuary and legitimacy to the established unipolar order currently dominated by Wall Street, Washington, and London.

The nation has been the target of US-backed subversion for decades. The latest iteration of American interference began with the rise of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and a failed US-backed coup in 2002 organized to oust him and place a US-controlled client regime in power.

Venezuela’s “Opposition” are US-Backed Agitators  

Many of those involved in the failed 2002 coup are now leading US-backed protesters in the streets in a bid to overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro, who succeeded Chavez after his death in 2013.

The opposition includes former presidential contender, Henrique Capriles Radonski, who heads Primero Justicia (Justice First) which was co-founded by Leopoldo Lopez and Julio Borges, who like Radonski, have been backed for nearly a decade by the US State Department.

Primero Justicia and the network of foreign-funded NGOs that support it have been recipients of both direct and indirect foreign support for at least just as long.

All three co-founders are US educated – Radonski having attended New York’s Columbia University (Spanish), Julio Borges attending Boston College and Oxford, and Leopoldo Lopez who attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (KSG), of which he is considered an alumni of.

The Harvard Kennedy School, which hosts the notorious Belfer Center, includes the following faculty and alumni of Lopez, co-founder of the current US-backed opposition in Venezuela:

John P. Holdren, Samantha Power, Lawrence Summers, Robert Zoellick, (all as faculty), as well as Ban Ki-Moon (’84), Paul Volcker (’51), Robert Kagan (’91), Bill O’Reilly (’96), Klaus Schwab (’67), and literally hundreds of senators, ambassadors, and administrators of Wall Street and London’s current global spanning international order. 

Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (KSG) is one of several universities that form the foundation of both creating corporate-financier driven international policy, as well as cultivating legions of administrators to execute it. This includes creating cadres of individuals to constitute Wall Street and Washington’s client regimes around the world.
Venezuela’s Problem, Like Other Targeted States, is US Sedition, not “Socialism” 
It is true that Venezuela is deemed a “socialist” nation, and its policy of heavily centralizing the economy has not only failed to alleviate the many longstanding socioeconomic conflicts inflicting Venezuelan society, but has also created an ample vector for Wall Street and Washington’s meddling.
By placing all of Venezuela’s proverbial “eggs” in one centralized “basket,” the United States – through the use of various well-honed geopolitical and socioeconomic tools – has managed to knock that “basket” from the government in Caracas’ hands and is now using its well-funded and organized opposition to crush whatever “eggs” survived the fall.
Unfortunately for Venezuela, the Western political landscape is so deeply rooted in blind, poorly developed political ideology, practical geopolitical and geostrategic analysis has been overlooked across both traditional and alternative media platforms, and instead, many – including opponents of US-backed regime change worldwide – have found themselves cheering on what they believe is the self-inflicted collapse of the socialist Venezuelan government at the hands of “free market” protesters.
In reality, they are cheering on yet another episode of US-backed regime change, wrapped in a protective layer of ideological, political, and economic rhetoric to justify otherwise unjustifiable, extraterritorial meddling, interference, chaos, division, and destruction.
Venezuela’s Place Within the Unipolar-Mulipolar World 

Depending on the ultimate fate of the Venezuelan government, the success of US-backed proxies, and the ability of Venezuela to reconstruct itself after decades of foreign-backed subversion, Venezuela can either enhance or set back the emerging multipolar world order.

Regardless of Venezuela’s fate if and when the government in Caracas is toppled, the US-led unipolar international order will benefit. The elimination of competition, even at the cost of creating a center of regional destabilization is considered favorable versus allowing a bastion of alternative socioeconomic and geopolitical power to persist. And in many ways, the creation of a regional center of destabilization may help the US create “synergies” between the chaos it is fostering in Venezuela and in neighboring South and Central American nations the US has likewise targeted for geopolitical coercion and/or regime change.

For Russia, China, other nations of BRICS, and even emerging economies across Southeast Asia and Central Asia, the loss of Venezuela as a means of counterbalance to US hegemony both in the region of the Americas and globally will allow the US to concentrate more resources toward remaining alternative centers of geopolitical and economic power it seeks to target.

This – not the nature of Venezuela’s “socialist” government – is the focus of US efforts and is what defines the consequences of either US success or failure regarding regime change in Caracas.

Any government, socialist or otherwise, operating outside of Wall Street, Washington, and London’s sphere of influence is a target. Competition, not ideology defines and drives Western foreign policy – and for those who oppose this policy – it must be practical geopolitical and geostrategic analysis that defines conclusions and courses of action – not the ideological debates the US itself is using as a pretext and as rhetorical cover to justify its latest regime-change project.

Venezuela may be geographically far removed from the focal point of the great unipolar-multipolar struggle, but understanding how it fits into conflicts raging in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and across Asia illustrates just how encompassing the “international order’s” reach and ambitions really are – and how deadly dangerous they are to global peace, security, and stability.

Who has said that Venezuela does not concern us? من قال إنّ فنزويلا لا تعنينا؟ 

Who has said that Venezuela does not concern us?

أغسطس 18, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

A cold war takes place as the volcanoes of the Latin America from time to time; so the Venezuelan society is dividing clearly into two camps: one includes the capital, the right, and the liberal elites, and the other includes the majority of the middle class and based on the popular and poor classes, the left, and the educated elites that grew up on the thought of the national independence and refusing the American hegemony. Our mission is not to simplify the crisis and to show it mere a conspiracy. The conspiracy means an existing war plan which without it the crisis did not grow, as it does not benefit to show it internationally and locally as mere a confrontation between the democracy advocates and its opponents, it is a crisis of major options that struggle in the Latin America including Venezuela which carried the flag and led  the historic transition in the continent towards the national independence, and the economy which based on the central role of the country in managing the oil sectors, securing the guarantees and the main services for the poor classes.

The struggle in Venezuela is neither new nor includes the whole continent. The Bolivarian movement is like the Sandinista is not imported from the outside. Neither the capitalist class, nor the right forces, nor the American influence by the geographical presence, nor the Zionist influence by the effect of the historic relationships, the demographic presence, and the media and cultural effect are marginal. It is certain that what has been achieved by the figure of the historic leader; the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was surplus to the American endurance, and impressive in terms of achievement. The expectation in the last years of his presidential era was that the internal and the external opponents resort to invest his departure to organize a counter-attack. It was normal that the arrival of a president and an administration that believe in the extremism to the White House gave a sign to begin this counter-revolution.

The alliance which waged the war on Syria is the same which is waging now its war on Venezuela. In both cases it based on dependent structures in the society that attract the marginalized and the slum dwellers, it gets the strength by the money of the Gulf and the Israeli intelligence as well as the weight of the American pressure. In its positions defending the right, Venezuela went far, that the parties of this alliance cannot tolerate it, while the Arab rulers were asking the Israeli leaderships in the war of July 2006 and the war of Gaza 2008 for more killing, devastation, and destruction along with some Lebanese, hoping to break the resistance. Venezuela tried to expel the Israeli ambassador and to announce its firm support to Lebanon, Palestine, their resistances and their peoples. On the day of the war on Syria Venezuela did not hesitate to announce its crucial and decisive position. Just for that we cannot forget these positions and not to exchange them with the same through the announcing to stand with Venezuela and the leadership of the President Maduro.

The presence of a group of the Venezuelan society that is similar to our does not change the fact. The team of the fourteenth of March is neither a Lebanese made nor a Lebanese registered brand; it is an example of Washington’s followers and who are not ashamed of the violation of the independence of their homelands, they just concern about the profits of banks and the foreign agencies more than the national dignity, do not feel embarrassed if the people go to streets, and do not feel ashamed if their positions meet the Israelis, or if they wage a war of sovereignty under the photo of the Saudi King or to have a banquet at the American Embassy, or to boast of a democratic revolution from Gulf capital that does not know neither the constitution nor the elections. A similar to it has led the devastation of Syria; a similar to it is trying to take Venezuela to the civil war. The US President won the presidency by an electoral game; the investigation is still ongoing about the degree of its fairness, since the ceiling of the difference is few votes and part of one percent.

Venezuela concerns us so much, it has preceded us by saying you are not alone at a fatal harsh moment, so the less fulfillment is to say you are not alone at a similar moment.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

من قال إنّ فنزويلا لا تعنينا؟ 

ناصر قنديل

أغسطس 9, 2017

– تدور رحى حرب باردة تسخن وتخبو كبراكين أميركا اللاتينية بين حين وحين، وينقسم حول ضفتيها المجتمع في فنزويلا، بصورة جلية إلى معسكرين، واحد يضمّ الرأسمال واليمين والنخب الليبرالية، وآخر يضمّ أغلب الطبقة الوسطى ويستند إلى الطبقات الشعبية والفقيرة واليسار ونخب مثقفة ترعرعت على فكر الاستقلال الوطني ومناهضة الهيمنة الأميركية، وليست مهمّتنا التهوين من الأزمة وتصويرها مجرد مؤامرة. والمؤامرة تعني خطة حرب موجودة ولم تكبر الأزمة من دونها، كما لن يفيد المقلب الآخر دولياً ومحلياً تصويرها مجرد مواجهة بين دعاة الديمقراطية وخصومها، فهي أزمة خيارات كبرى تتصارع على ساحة أميركا اللاتينية وفي قلبها فنزويلا، التي حملت الراية وقادت التحوّل التاريخي في القارة نحو الاستقلال الوطني، والاقتصاد القائم على دور محوري للدولة في إدارة قطاعات النفط وتأمين الضمانات والخدمات الرئيسية للفئات الفقيرة.

– الصراع في فنزويلا ليس جديداً ولا في القارة كلها، والحركة البوليفارية ومثلها الساندينية ليستا مستورداً خارجياً، والطبقة الرأسمالية ليست هامشية ولا قوى اليمين، ولا النفوذ الأميركي بقوة الحضور الجغرافي، ولا النفوذ الصهيوني بتأثير تاريخية العلاقات والوجود الديمغرافي والتأثير الإعلامي والثقافي، والأكيد أنّ ما تحقق على يد الشخصية القيادية التاريخية للرئيس الفنزويلي الراحل هوغو تشافيز كان فائضاً على قدرة التحمّل الأميركية، ومبهراً في حجم الإنجاز، وكان التوقع في السنوات الأخيرة من عهده الرئاسي أن يلجأ الخصوم الداخليون والخارجيون لاستثمار لحظة رحيله لتنظيم الهجوم المضادّ، وكان طبيعياً أن يمنح وصول رئيس وإدارة تؤمنان بالتطرف إلى البيت الأبيض إشارة البدء للثورة المضادّة.

– الحلف الذي خاض الحرب على سورية هو ذاته يخوضها على فنزويلا. وفي الحالتين يستند إلى بنى طفيلية في المجتمع تستقطب المهمّشين وسكان العشوائيات، ويستقوي بمال الخليج والمخابرات «الإسرائيلية» وثقل الضغط الأميركي. فقد ذهبت فنزويلا في مواقفها دفاعاً عن الحق إلى حيث لا يمكن أن يسامحها أطراف هذا الحلف، فبينما كان حكام العرب يطلبون من القيادات «الإسرائيلية» في حرب تموز 2006 وحرب غزة 2008، المزيد من القتل والخراب والدمار، ومعهم بعض اللبنانيين، أملاً بكسر المقاومة، وقفت فنزويلا لتطرد السفير «الإسرائيلي» وتعلن وقوفها الحازم مع لبنان وفلسطين ومقاومتهما وشعبهما. ويوم دقت ساعة الحرب على سورية لم تتوان فنزويلا عن إشهار موقفها الحازم والحاسم، ولذلك لا يمكن لنا نسيان هذه الوقفات ولا مبادلتها إلا بمثلها، بإعلان الوقوف مع فنزويلا وقيادة الرئيس مادورو.

لا يغيّر من هذه الحقيقة وجود فئة من المجتمع الفنزويلي تشبه ما عندنا، ففريق الرابع عشر من آذار ليس صناعة لبنانية، ولا ماركة لبنانية مسجلة، هو نموذج لأتباع واشنطن، والذين لا يُخجلهم انتهاك استقلال أوطانهم، وتعنيهم أرباح المصارف والوكالات الأجنبية أكثر من الكرامة الوطنية، ولا يرفّ لهم جفن إن رأوا الشعب يملأ الساحات، ولا يُخجلهم أن تتماهى مواقفهم مع «إسرائيل»، ولا أن يخوضوا حروب السيادة تحت صورة الملك السعودي أو من مأدبة في السفارة الأميركية، وأن يتباهوا بثورة ديمقراطية من عاصمة خليجية لم تعرف الدستور ولا الانتخابات، ومثلها قاد خراب سورية، ومثلها تُقاد اليوم محاولة أخذ فنزويلا للحرب الأهلية. فالانقسام ليس نقيصة، ورئيس أميركا يفوز بالرئاسة بلعبة انتخابية لا يزال التحقيق مستمراً حول درجة نزاهتها، وسقف الفارق للفائز بضعة أصوات وجزء من واحد بالمئة.

– تعنينا فنزويلا كثيراً، وقد سبقتنا بالقول لستم وحدكم، في لحظة مصيرية قاسية، وأقلّ الوفاء أن نقول لستم وحدكم في لحظة مشابهة.

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Trump threatens Cuba with ‘regime change’

On Friday, speaking to Cuban-American exiles in Miami, Florida, Donald Trump ordered tighter restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba and a clampdown on US businessmen doing business with companies allegedly controlled by the Cuban military.

Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba. Our policy will seek a much better deal for the Cuban people and the USA,” said Trump.

Trump called Raul Castro’s government brutal and vowed to liberate the island nation. “With God’s help a free Cuba is what we will soon achieve,” he thundered.

It is best for America to have freedom in its hemisphere whether in Cuba or Venezuela,” he added.

The Castro regime has sent arms to North Korea and fueled chaos in Venezuela. It has supported human trafficking, forced labor and exploitation across the globe,” added Trump.

It would be talking to Holy Cow to remind Donald Trump that Washington has been arming Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Egypt which are using them against Palestinian, Syrians, Yemenis and Lebanese. In 2016, Human trafficking in the United States rose 35.7 percent from the previous year.

US, the self-appointed champion for human rights around the globe – is also the worst human rights abuser when it comes to minors. According to the Family Research Council:

Each year, right under our noses, 100,000 American children are victimized by sex traffickers. Make no mistake, this is not a problem that’s just “over there.” These heinous crimes are happening in our own backyards”.

In 2007, UNICEF reported that the US and Britain  are the worst nations for children to live among the industrialized nations.

Cuban-American Israel-Firsters Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) are allegedly the authors of Trump’s anti-Havana rant.

Since Barack Obama’s historic visit to Cuba in March 2016, a lot of people felt happy believing that finally the five-decade old American crusade against Castro dynasty came to an end. But now they’re disappointed to find out that the ‘crippling sanctions’ against Cuba, like Iran, are still in force.

Washington lifted some travel restrictions against Cuban citizen. The US released the Cuban-Five in exchange for American Jew spy Alan Gross. US State Department even took-off Cuba from list of countries sponsoring terrorism. Iran and N. Korea are still on that list while Israel which had committed most terrorist acts against the US, never made to the list.

Commenting on Trump’s rant, Ellie Schwartz (Jew) at the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) said:

The way forward for US-Cuba relations is to not simply relax travel and trade restrictions, but to end the embargo once and for all. After half a century, it is clear that the embargo is a failed policy. It has done nothing to accomplish its primary goal of regime change. The embargo has not improved Cuban lives; it has succeeded only in further snubbing the Cuban people it claims to help. If Trump truly sought a better deal for the Cuban people, he would support continued engagement, trade, and travel to Cuba, and thereby increase opportunity for all.”

Both Cuba and Venezuela have no diplomatic relations with the Zionist entity. Both countries have recognized a separate Palestinian state. Cuban president Fidel Castro and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez have paid state visits to Iran. Iranian president Dr. Hassan Rouhani has also visited both Cuba and Venezuela.

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