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Obama Regime Refuses to Investigate Alleged DEA Killing of Women and Child in Honduras

By Noel Brinkerhoff  | AllGov | February 17, 2013

28029a86-550c-457a-9d42-0868c36b6a7eDemocrats on Capitol Hill want the Obama administration to investigate the deaths of four civilians in Honduras last year during an anti-cocaine raid involving U.S. law enforcement agents. But administration officials have balked at the request.

On May 11, 2012, four villagers in a boat on the River Patuca, two pregnant women, a 21-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy, were killed when local police entered the town of Ahuas in northeastern Honduras to conduct a counternarcotics operation. Another four boat passengers were injured by gunfire. It was later learned that members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) participated in the raid, which raised questions of whether Americans were responsible for the killings.

The Honduran government investigated the incident and concluded the DEA was not at fault for the deaths.

But 58 House Democrats were not satisfied with the probe, which they called “deeply flawed” in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. calling for the U.S. to conduct its own examination.

Officials with the State Department and the Department of Justice said their agencies have no intention of reopening the matter, according to The Washington Times.

More:

Government Won’t Probe of DEA Raid in Honduras (by Guy Taylor, Washington Times)

Collateral Damage of a Drug War (Center for Economic and Policy Research) (pdf)

February 17, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Obama Regime Refuses to Investigate Alleged DEA Killing of Women and Child in Honduras

Venezuelan arms maker to continue Iran trade despite US bans

Press TV – February 17, 2013

Venezuelan officials say the state-owned weapons manufacturer, CAVIM, will keep on trading with Iran in defiance of the US sanctions imposed on the company, Press TV reports.

“We think that it is logical for Venezuela to have trade and economic relations with all countries in the world. We are exercising our sovereignty,” Venezuelan Envoy to international rights bodies German Saltron said.

“We feel it is an abuse of power that the United States’ government is trying to block Iran from trading with other countries,” he added.

On February 11, the US State Department imposed sanctions on CAVIM allegedly for violating the so-called Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000, which aims to prevent Tehran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

According to the US State Department website, sanctions on the Venezuelan weapons manufacturer will be in place until February 2015.

The US, the Israeli regime and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of seeking to produce an atomic bomb under the cover of its nuclear energy program, a claim Iran has categorically rejected.

In 2011, Washington imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned giant oil company, PDVSA, for having oil deals with Iran’s energy industry and as part of its campaign to tighten sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear energy program.

Under the sanctions, PDVSA is denied US government contracts and banned from Washington’s export financing.

The administration of President Barack Obama is alleging that Iran is using its close economic relationship with Socialist President Hugo Chavez’s government to establish a military presence in Latin America.

In December 2012, the US president enacted a law “aimed at countering Tehran’s alleged influence in Latin America.”

Strategically dubbed as ‘Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act of 2012’, the act calls for the State Department to develop a plan within 180 days to “address Iran’s growing hostile presence and activity.”

However, Iran and Venezuela have continued to expand their trade ties despite these sanctions.

More than 100 bilateral agreements have been signed between the two countries over the past decade, while last year Iranian firms signed a USD2.5 billion contract to build 17,000 houses for underprivileged people in Venezuela.

The Islamic Republic has been seeking to expand relations with Latin American countries over the past years, describing the endeavor as one of its major foreign policy strategies.

Iran’s growing popularity in Latin America has raised major concerns in Washington, which regards the region as its strategic backyard and traditional sphere of influence.

February 17, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Comments Off on Venezuelan arms maker to continue Iran trade despite US bans

Stranded in Shuhada: Hebron’s Qurtuba school

By Salam Muharam – Ma’an  – 15/02/2013

HEBRON  — Children and teachers at Qurtuba school in Hebron say getting to class past Israeli soldiers and settlers is like navigating a minefield every day.

The school, for children aged 7 to 16, is adjacent to the illegal Jewish settlement of Beit Hadassah in the center of the West Bank city.

Israeli forces fenced off the school’s stairs with barbed wire in 2002. Now the only route to the school is a muddy path up a steep hill.

Some pupils live beside the school, but have to walk two kilometers around a circuit to reach the entrance, Najah Abu Munshar, a teacher in the school told Ma’an.

Across the street from the school, “Gas the Arabs” has been scrawled on a door. Next to the school gates, a mural of a girl holding a book, painted by a French activist, has been covered by racist graffiti. A gallery in a school corridor shows photos of Israeli soldiers and settlers assaulting students.

International volunteers escort children to and from school as a protective measure, but pupils and teachers are still frequently harassed and assaulted on their way to the school, which has been vandalized and set on fire.

“School students start their day by crossing the checkpoint of Shuhada street. I can only describe daily life at Qurtuba school as suffering and struggle,” school principal Noura Nasser told Ma’an.

Teachers must also pass an Israeli checkpoint and metal detectors to get to work, and Israeli soldiers decide whether to let them pass each day.

Pupil Yasmeen Ghareb, 12, says settlers have assaulted her and her siblings. “Sometimes they say bad words to me, and sometimes they throw fluids at me on my way to school.”

Yasmeen Ghareb stands in front of a checkpoint on her way to school
(MaanImages/Salam Muharam)

Other students told Ma’an that settlers have attacked them with stones, water and rotten vegetables.

Najah Abu Munshar has taught at Qurtaba school for 15 years. “The settlers used to let their dogs attack the students, and when settlers attack a student, I try my best to calm him or her down, and if he or she has any wounds, I provide first aid,” she told Ma’an.

The Ministry of Education hired a psychological counselor for the school, to work with children suffering psychological trauma which often manifests as bed wetting, Nasser, the school principal, told Ma’an. “The school focuses on the extracurricular activities and days of joy.”

Nasser said settler attacks were usually heightened during periods of political instability.

A grid of walls, fences and checkpoints divides Jewish settlers and Palestinians who live in close proximity to each other in Hebron, which was divided into two sections in the 1997 Hebron Agreement.

The Palestinian Authority controls the larger area, while Israeli forces control the city center, including the old market, the Ibrahimi Mosque and the historic Old City.

Qurtaba school lies on Shuhada street, a once-bustling thoroughfare and now a shuttered ghost town, with a military checkpoint restricting Palestinians’ access to this part of the city.

Israel started restricting access to Shuhada street after an Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque and shot dead 29 Palestinians.

During the second intifada, Israel closed the street to traffic and many traders were not even able to collect their goods before their shops were welded shut.

Palestinian families who remained on Shuhada street must climb through side doors and across rooftops to get to their homes.

Waed Zeidan al-Sharabati, a 9-year-old pupil at Qurtuba school who lives on Shuhada street, recounted to Ma’an how settlers assaulted her and her cousin in 2011 when they were harvesting almonds nearby.

“They threw stones on us… The settler kidnapped my cousin, and I called the neighbor to come check the situation. My neighbor talked to the settlers, and after a long argument, my cousin was returned. One settler threw a stone on my leg. They tried to take me another time, but I escaped to my neighbor’s wife, and she hid my inside her home, and closed the door.”

“I got used to it, and at the beginning I used to be scared, but now I am not scared of them,” she told Ma’an.

Ward al-Sharabati, 9, lives on Shuhada street, a hub of settler violence in the West Bank
(MaanImages/Salam Muharam)

February 17, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Message from Samer el Issawi, day 209 hunger strike

February 16, 2013

A9qSwwnCIAEbj2h“I turn with admiration to the masses of our heroic Palestinian people, to our Palestinian leadership, to all forces, parties and national institutions. I salute them for standing by our fight to defend our right to freedom and dignity.

I draw my strength from my people, from all the free people in the world, from friends and the families of the prisoners who continue day and night chanting for freedom and an end to the occupation.

My health has deteriorated dramatically and I’m hung between life and death. My weak body is collapsing but still able to be patient and continue the confrontation. My message is that I will continue until the end, until the last drop of water in my body, until martyrdom. Martyrdom is an honor for me in this battle. My martyrdom is my remaining bomb in the confrontation with the tyrants and the jailers, in the face of the racist policy of the occupation that humiliates our people and exercises against us all means of oppression and repression.

I say to my people: I’m stronger than the occupation army and its racist laws. I, Samer al-Issawi, son of Jerusalem, send you my last will that, in case I fell as a martyr, you will carry my soul as a cry for all the prisoners, man and women, cry for freedom, emancipation and salvation from the nightmare of prisons and their harsh darkness.

My battle is not only for individual freedom. The battle waged by me and by my heroic colleagues, Tariq, Ayman and Ja’affar, is everyone’s battle, the battle of the Palestinian people against the occupation and its prisons. Our goal is to be free and sovereign in our liberated state and in our blessed Jerusalem.

The weak and strained beats of my heart derive their steadfastness from you, the great people. My eyes, which started to lose their sight, draws light from your solidarity and your support of me. My weak voice takes its strength from your voice that is louder than the warden’s voice and higher than the walls.

I’m one of your sons, among thousands of your sons who are prisoners, still languishing steadfast in the prisons, waiting for an end to be brought to their plight, their pains and the suffering of their families.

The doctors told me I became exposed to stroke because of the disorder of my heartbeats, the shortage of sugar and the drop in blood pressure. My body is full of cold and I can’t sleep because of the continued pain. But despite the extreme fatigue and chronic headaches, as I move on my chair, I’m trying to summon all my resources to continue on the road till its end. There is no going back, only in my victory, because I’m the owner of Right and my detention is invalid and illegal.

Do not be afraid for my heart if it will stop, don’t be afraid for my hands if they will be paralyzed. I am still alive now and tomorrow and after death, because Jerusalem is moving in my blood, in my devotion and my faith.”

**Via Rona Merrill, Neta Golan

February 17, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments