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SDF Detains Syrian Reporter, Moves Him to Unknown Location – Report

Sputnik – 05.06.2019

DAMASCUS – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have detained a correspondent of Syria’s Ikhbariya state TV channel, Muhammad as-Saghir, and moved him to an unknown location, the TV channel said.

“Muhammad as-Saghir was detained by the SDF at a checkpoint while returning from Al Hasakah to Qamishli and was moved to an unknown location”, his colleague told the TV channel on Tuesday.

According to the journalist, the detained correspondent filmed wheat field fires in Al Hasakah province and had evidence that the SDF was “in no hurry to put out the fires.”

He noted that the channel currently had no contact with the correspondent, thereby being unable to establish his exact location.

The journalist also argued that the Kurdish-led SDF were seeking to destroy Syrian authorities’ wheat stocks, with their actions being “one of the means of the US economic war” against Damascus.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces retain control over the northeast of Syria. The cities of Al Hasakah and Qamishli are, however, under the Syrian government’s control.

The armed conflict in Syria has been ongoing since 2011. A victory over the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq and Syria was announced in late 2017. Government forces, led by President Bashar Assad, have regained control over most of the country’s territories. Operations against militants continue in some parts of Syria, but their focus has largely shifted toward political settlement and creating favourable conditions for the repatriation of refugees Moscow supports Damascus in this process by providing humanitarian aid and acting as a ceasefire guarantor.

June 4, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, War Crimes | | Leave a comment

Candidates pledge support for Israel in AJC Global Forum videos

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | June 4, 2019

Over half of the 2020 presidential candidates recorded videos of themselves for this year’s American Jewish Committee Global Forum.

The videos are posted on the AJC website and below.

All the candidates except two spoke in support of Israel, many claiming it is an important American ally. All ignored Israel’s pattern of spying on the US and stealing American technology, attacking a US Navy ship, the cost of Israel to Americans, and the role of Israel partisans in pushing the US into disastrous wars.

The only candidates who did not mention Israel were Tulsi Gabbard (D – HI) and Corey Booker (D-NJ), whose videos focused on opposition to antisemitism. (In the past, Booker has been extremely outspoken in his support for Israel.)

Bernie Sanders (D-VT) went into the greatest detail on the issue, emphasizing his support for Israel while also discussing Palestinian suffering.

Sanders spoke of his Jewish ethnicity and pointed out that as a young man he had lived in Israel for a number of months. He emphasized that he “believes absolutely and unequivocally in Israel’s right to exist in peace and security” and said, “to oppose the reactionary policies of Prime Minister Netanyahu does not make anyone anti-Israel.”

At the same time, Sanders spoke of  the “Palestinian people crushed underneath a military occupation now over a half century old, creating a daily reality of pain humiliation and resentment.” [Note: Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians began 72 years ago.] He said: “I do not know how peace can be achieved in that region when in the Gaza Strip poverty is rampant – 53 percent of the people are unemployed….”

Kamala Harris pledges support for Israel

California Senator Kamala Harris and many others emphasized their strong support for Israel. In Harris’s video she mentioned both her past record of working for Israel and her plans to continue this in the future:

“As a member of both the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Homeland Security Committee I am deeply involved in ensuring the American-Israeli relationship remains strong.”

Harris promised: “I will do everything in my power to ensure broad and bipartisan support for Israel’s security and right to self-defense, that is why I strongly support America’s security assistance to Israel and I am committed to strengthening the American Israeli security and defense relationship.”

The U.S. currently gives Israel over $10 million per day. A bill before the Senate, favored by Harris, proposes to give Israel a 10-year package in which it will receive a minimum of $38 billion ($7,000 per minute) – approximately $20,000 per each Israeli family of four.

This is expected to pass easily despite the fact that most Americans feel the US already gives Israel too much money.

AJC advocates for Israel, opposes BDS

Founded over 100 years ago, the AJC says it has “more than 30 offices worldwide, plus partnerships with 34 international Jewish community organizations.” The organization, headquartered in New York City, has net assets of approximately $160 million.

According to its website: “Around the world—from the hallways of the UN in New York, to the corridors of the European Union in Brussels, and to the countries of Asia—AJC advocates for Israel at the highest levels. ”

One of the AJC’s priorities is to oppose the international movement to boycott Israel over its human rights abuses against Palestinians. The AJC website says: “We spearhead anti-BDS legislation at all levels of government and rally elected officials to reject the boycott movement.”

AJC states: “We convinced the governors of all 50 states to declare their opposition to BDS. We were also a driving force behind anti-BDS legislation in California and Illinois.

“As the BDS movement has surged on campus, we have brought dozens of university presidents to Israel and trained hundreds of students as advocates for Israel… we have marshalled our allies in the Christian world to oppose such efforts.”

According to AJC, more than 2,500 people from 70+ countries attend the Global Forum. This reportedly includes hundreds of students brought from more than 40 countries. The event is at the Washington Hilton in Washington D.C. from June 2-4. The schedule is here.

It appears that the only prominent candidates that did not provide videos were Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Jewish Insider reports: “Inquiries to the campaigns of Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Amy Klobuchar about why they didn’t participate went unanswered.”

In the videos below, a number of candidates say they support a “two-state solution,” but do not mention, or are unaware, that this refers to a division in which Israel would get at least 80 percent of the territory, and Palestinians would be left with 20 percent, at most.

The candidates’ messages to AJC

Below are the videos. Underneath each video is an excerpt containing some of the candidate’s statements about Israel from the video.

Elizabeth Warren

“… Israel is a strong ally and an important friend to the United States. Good friends can disagree and a candid expression of concerns does not diminish our friendship…”

Jay Inslee

“… If I’m ever in that exalted place [president] I intend to speak out every chance I get… to speak in favor of a strong democratic Israel and a two-state solution and I hope that people will recognize the contributions of your organization to make sure both of those things happen…”

John Hickenlooper

“… I want to be very clear here at the outset about my position: I will stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel as our strongest ally in the Middle East….. I also reject boycotts, disinvestment, or sanctions on Israel. In 2016 I not only signed on to the American Jewish committees governors United against BDS campaign but also signed into law legislation that mandates Colorado’s retirement program divest from firms that boycott Israel….. I will use America’s leadership to push for a resumption of direct negotiations for a just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.  While we do not know what the exact details of such an agreement will look like, we do know that without such an agreement there will be no assurance of peace and stability for this or future generations of Israelis or Palestinians. I have called on both parties to avoid undertaking unilateral actions which threaten such a long-term agreement and to respect the fundamental human rights of Israelis and Palestinians….”

Kamala Harris

“… As a member of both the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Homeland Security Committee I am deeply involved in ensuring the American-Israeli relationship remains strong….. I will do everything in my power to ensure broad and bipartisan support for Israel’s security and right to self-defense. That is why I strongly support America’s security assistance to Israel and I am committed to strengthening the American Israeli security and defense relationship…. The first resolution I sponsored as a United States Senator was to combat ‘anti Israeli bias’ at the United Nations and affirm and reaffirm that the United States seeks a just, secure and sustainable two-state solution….. the only way Israel can remain a Jewish and democratic state is two states for two peoples living side by side. Palestinians should be able to govern themselves in their own state in peace and dignity, just as Israelis deserve a secure homeland for the Jewish people. I believe that a resolution to this conflict cannot be imposed by outside parties. It must be agreed upon by the parties themselves….”

Kirsten Gillibrand

“… I’ve always worked hard to protect the u.s. Israel Alliance, to make sure it is strong. Our nations have intertwined national security issues, which is why I made sure we fund David sling, Aero, and Iron Dome and to make sure Israel always has a qualitative military edge … I’ve always appreciated AJC’s leadership in being the leading voice for our US-Israel relationship… Thank you, AJC, for the wonderful work you do…”

Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi did not mention Israel, instead focusing only on opposition to religious bigotry. “… AJC has contributed so much to the advancement of religious tolerance. For years you’ve been on the front lines of breaking stereotypes and harmful assumptions…. I went specifically to visit two extremely important locations: one was Chernobyl and the other was Auschwitz. It was an experience that I will never ever forget, and the world must never forget…”

John Delaney

“… I value our nation’s longstanding friendship and partnership with Israel. I am completely committed to the security of Israel and recognize them as one of the most important and enduring allies to the United States. I am firmly against effort to delegitimize Israel, such as BDS…”

Pete Buttigieg

“… it’s almost exactly a year since I had the eye-opening experience of an AJC Project Interchange visit to Israel and the West Bank with a number of my fellow mayors. It was extraordinary to see firsthand the achievements of what’s taking place in Israel….. We need to make sure that we are steadfast in our support for Israel and for the U.S.-Israel alliance, while also continuing to advance a policy direction that is going to lead to peace and security for the Israeli and Palestinian people…. the need for a two-state solution… need to make sure that the U.S.-Israel Alliance is pointing in a direction that is going to be beneficial for Israeli, Palestinian, and American well-being….”

Cory Booker

Booker was the one other candidate who did not mention Israel. His one-minute video focused on opposition to antisemitism: “…I want to thank the American Jewish Committee for the work you are doing to combat anti-semitism, to fight for justice, for light, for love in the face of hate and darkness. We know what Hillel said: ‘If I am not for myself who will be for me…”

Joe Biden

“… support for Israel is too important to be a political football or a partisan issue. It’s about all that unites us as a people – our shared democratic values, our spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, our determination to overcome every obstacle and endure.  You know I’ll never forget my first visit to Israel as a young senator in 1973… I had a great opportunity to meet Golda Meir… she told me Israel had a secret weapon for her survival. She said, ‘Senator, we have nowhere else to go.’ That’s why I’ve been so adamant that Israel be able to defend itself by itself, but we come to its aid…. I’m proud that an Obama-Biden administration demonstrated unprecedented support for Israel, including… signing a new record-setting 10-year security agreement with with Israel [$38 billion to Israel]… ”

Michael Bennet

“… let me start by thanking each of you for the work you do to advance the U.S.-Israel relationship….. Israel is a stalwart ally…. it is essential to maintain strong, bipartisan support for our ally….. We must maintain a robust MoU on security assistance to ensure Israel has the tools she needs to prepare for and defend against threats, and our long-standing bond must continue to be bipartisan…”

Bernie Sanders

Sander’s speech was the longest video and the only one to mention Palestinian suffering.”…. [I believe] absolutely and unequivocally in Israel’s right to exist in peace and security…. as a young man lived in Israel for a number of months…to oppose the reactionary policies of Prime Minister Netanyahu does not make anyone anti-Israel.”…..I see a Palestinian people crushed underneath a military occupation now over a half century old, creating a daily reality of pain humiliation and resentment… I do not know how peace can be achieved in that region when in the Gaza Strip poverty is rampant – 53 percent of the people are unemployed… 99 percent of the residents cannot leave that area….  the parameters of a solution are well known. They are based in international law. They are based in multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions……  two states based on the 1967 lines with Jerusalem as the capital of both states……” [Note: Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians began 72 years ago.]

Tim Ryan

“… We need to recognize…. the very special us-israel relationship and how important it’s been to global security – how important it’s been to both countries. And we need to continue to support that relationship in a variety of different ways – culturally, spiritually, militarily, through soft power and all the rest. It’s a special relationship and Israel is a special country…”

June 4, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 7 Comments

France’s arms sales to Saudis jumped by %50 in 2018: Data

Press TV – June 4, 2019

Newly-released figures show that France increased its weapons sales to Saudi Arabia by 50 percent last year despite growing international concern about the atrocities committed in a Saudi-led war on Yemen.

On Tuesday, an annual report by the French government showed that the country sold 1 billion euros’ worth of arms to Saudi Arabia in 2018, with the main item being patrol boats.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies — mainly the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — invaded Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing a former Yemeni client regime back to power. The ongoing war has killed tens of thousands and disrupted the lives of millions by causing widespread famine as well as epidemics.

France, the third-biggest arms exporter in the world, is also among the top weapons exporters to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

The Saudi-led coalition has widely used French boats and at least two ships in placing a tight siege on Yemeni ports, particularly Hudaydah, a lifeline for the war-ravaged country’s crippled economy.

The French government has faced massive criticism for complicity in the war but has so far resisted pressure from rights groups to stop the lucrative arms trade with the two Persian Gulf countries, denying that the weapons are being used against the Yemenis. Paris claims that the arms are being deployed in “self defense.”

This is while in mid-April, a classified note from the French military intelligence service (DRM) estimated that over 430,000 Yemenis lived within the range of French artillery weapons on the Saudi-Yemeni border. It further estimated that French weapons had resulted in civilian casualties.

The revelation about the increased sales last year is expected to deepen mistrust in France’s position on the war.

“With such transfers revealing a geopolitical alliance with these regimes and total violation of international commitments, one can only expect worsening conflicts in Yemen or the Horn of Africa, where the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are beginning to redeploy in partnership with France,” said Tony Fortin, with the Paris-based Observatory for Armament.

The French government report is also likely to draw a sharper contrast between Paris’ public stance versus its actual one.

Late last month, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the war on Yemen as a “dirty war” and said that it “has to be stopped,” even as his country continued to mostly quietly sell weapons to both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi on a large scale.

Last month, Saudi cargo ship the Bahri-Yanbu, sent to France to pick up purchased French arms, triggered a protest rally by humanitarian groups.

Apart from Paris, the United States, Britain, and other Western countries have faced criticism over arms sales to the Saudi regime and its partners over the consequences for a war that has affected 28 million Yemenis and caused what the United Nations (UN) calls “one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.”

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

The Tuesday report also revealed that France’s total arms sales rose 30 percent to 9.1 billion euros in 2018, driven by a jump in sales to European countries. Its arms exports to the Middle East also rose to four billion euros from 3.9 billion the year before.

June 4, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Aussie Feds Raid News Corp Journalist’s Home After Government Spying Exposé

News Corp Australia’s Annika Smethurst, Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton​​​​
By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | June 3, 2019

Australian federal police officers are raiding the home of News Corp Australia journalist Annika Smethurst over an April, 2018 story accusing the government of radical new espionage powers allowing the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to monitor citizens for the first time, according to the Daily Telegraph (via the Herald Sun).

Ms Smethurst, the political editor for News Corp Sunday titles including The Sunday Telegraph, was at home preparing to leave for work this morning when several Australian Federal Police officers arrived with a warrant from an ACT magistrate giving them authority to search her home, computer and mobile phone.

Ms Smethurst complied with the warrant and is presently waiting for the raid to be completed. She has declined to answer questions apart from confirming her identity. –Herald Sun

Smethurst’s article revealed that the emails, bank accounts and text messages of Australian citizens could be secretly accessed by government spies without a trace under the proposal, as long as the Defense and Home Affairs ministers approved the plan.

The raid comes three weeks after the federal election returned the Morrison government to power, leaving Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton at the helm.

Ms Smethurst’s original story included images of top-secret letters between the secretary of Home Affairs, Mike Pezzullo, and his counterpart in Defence, Greg Moriarty, outlining a plan to potentially allow government hackers to “proactively disrupt and covertly remove” onshore cyber threats by “hacking into critical infrastructure.” –Herald Sun

Current Australian law prohibits the ASD from spying on citizens – a power left to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, the country’s domestic spy agency.

Smethhurt revealed that Dutton and former Defense Minister Marise Payne had reviewed the proposal, however it had not moved beyond that stage to be formally presented to the government.

June 4, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | | 1 Comment

Refreshing the Dossier: New Report Portrays Venezuela as a Criminal Organization

Mision Verdad | June 3, 2019

The Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS, its acronym in English) on May 26 in Washington DC presented a report entitled The Last Defense of Maduro: The Survival of Venezuela through the Bolivarian Joint Criminal Enterprise, written by Douglas Farah and Caitlyn Yates, who are part of IBI Consultants, LLC and are “visiting fellows” of the National Defense University (INSS).

The event consisted in the presentation of the document and in a subsequent discussion with a panel composed of Farah himself, José Cárdenas (former assistant secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean of USAID and director of think tank Vision Americas), among others, and moderated by Venezuelan Moisés Rendón (Associate Director for CSIS Americas), known for his active role in the siege of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, between April and May.

The CSIS, of unquestionable neo-conservative tendency can be remembered in recent times for hosting a discussion and round table (in Washington DC a few weeks ago) evaluating the possibility of an invasion of Venezuela.

There are clear indications to consider the entire performance (the preparation of the report and its institutional presentation) as a new information operation, a multipurpose intelligence action.

According to a review by IBI Consultants, Farah is a national security consultant and analyst who worked for nine months with the Intelligence Study Consortium, studying armed groups and intelligence reform, during the past two decades, a foreign correspondent and investigative journalist for the Washington Post and other publications, covering Latin America and West Africa.”

He is also one of the “specialists” consulted to highlight trends around the link between Hezbollah and Latin America or why Bolivia is supposedly a narco-state.

IBI Consultants is what is known as a private intelligence firm, which contracts directly or indirectly with governments and corporations linked to armed or political conflicts of medium and high intensity.

This purported investigation, although in its initial statement reaffirms that “it does not necessarily represent the position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense, or any other body of the US government,” it is logical to think that the Trump Administration has used this firm to justify the next step of the sanctions cycle of 2019: designate the government of Nicolás Maduro as a “transnational criminal organization” or the inclusion of the country in the list of states that sponsor terrorism. Two turns of the screw.

Farah and Yates affirm that “the alliance of the Bolivarian states (ALBA) together with the FARC has merged into what we define as the Bolivarian Joint Criminal Enterprise.”

In this endeavor they unite several actors who are linked by the confrontation with the United States, specifically the guerrillas (inspired by the Cuban doctrine of asymmetric warfare) of the Farabundo Martí Front and the Sandinista Front, which later came to power in El Salvador and Nicaragua respectively, the former guerrilla of FARC (accused of drug trafficking since the 1980s by the US and Colombian authorities) and Venezuela under the governments of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro.

The report classifies as “criminal acts” actions that have not been proven and that in the first phase of the text does not lead to any specific fact. They take as a basis, for example, an accusation about PDVSA’s diversion of money by the District Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Florida, in an attempt to project that this accusation corresponds to a plot related to terrorist acts and other crimes that place at risk the security of the Western Hemisphere. A propaganda maneuver consisting of half-truths, deceptive links and misinformation about the scope of the investigation of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Southern District of Florida.

Elsewhere it says that “the financial sum of these criminal acts is not known exactly, but a recent investigation conducted by a consortium of Latin American journalists found that Venezuela diverted US $ 28 billion from PDVSA, we have located at least US $ 10 billion in funds linked to Venezuela that moved between 2007 and 2018. ”

On the one hand, IBI Consultants affirms that it has made findings of funds, without any evidence, but on the other, it establishes a justification base for the United States government to extend the radius of confiscations and looting against Venezuelan assets.

Similarly, they try to convince that “in several oil subsidiaries of the region, through its branch PDV Caribe”, and the legitimate movements of funds made by PDVSA through that subsidiary, constitute an illegality. They condemn the agreements of PDVSA with the ALBA organization (specifically with the governments of Nicaragua and El Salvador) and show that the profits that come from this agreement represent “illicit funds”. Again, the report does not show evidence to support this claim.

Relying on press reports and interviews that can not be verified or contrasted through public sources, the report argues that from the company Alba Petróleo and Albanisa (Nicaragua) resources were diverted to tax havens, generating facade companies through frontmen in these countries

In this way, Douglas Farrah and Caitlyn Yates bet on the credibility of IBI Consultants to lie about Venezuela. They pay themselves and pocket the change.

Likewise, they center their accusations on the ALBA agreement and Nicaragua, countries that were declared by John Bolton as the “troika of evil”, specifically on Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua as targets of the unconventional international war being carried out by the Trump Administration, with the purpose of undermining the ALBA alternative within the framework of international relations in the Western Hemisphere.

The report places special emphasis on the figure of the Venezuelan businessman in the media and insurance branch, Raúl Gorrín. According to the text, “it is estimated that this scheme would have laundered between US $ 1.2 and 2.4 billion, using the US financial system, over four years”. Gorrín’s participation in this scheme would total approximately US $ 159 million”.

Farrah and Yates are not only (deliberately) inaccurate when it comes to handling data and accusations, but they also try to link Raúl Gorrín with the Venezuelan government. The report does not show this relationship that it insists on projecting, but only in the reference and the aprioristic sentence.

In addition, the authors use press reports and Bloomberg reports to construct a plot where, supposedly, the Venezuelan government would be in a relationship with the Kaloti Suriname Mint House company, in which not only does it not prove that this is true, but it also endorses criminal charges for the president of Suriname, Desi Bouterse, relying on biased reports from digital media.

On that same topic, “given that Venezuelan Central Bank gold reserves grew by 11 tons in 2018, despite the massive sale underway, everything suggests that a significant amount of merchandise was obtained illegally by the dissident groups of the FARC and the ELN”. Although there is no proof that this is the case, or that the aforementioned Colombian guerrilla groups are linked to the country’s gold activities, the report passes as unobjectionable truth what is a partial and biased opinion, impossible to verify or contrast, on the part of the “researchers“.

They accuse the Venezuelan government of laundering funds through “banco a banco” and with “fake infrastructure projects.” However, they emphasize, in the first part, that they do not have consistent information that supports their complaints.

Finally, the report attempts to link the deprivation of Venezuelan society in access to medicines, among other variables that affect the full development of their human rights, with the set of data and biased information they present throughout the purported investigation. In this sense, it tries to project the Venezuelan government as a “criminal state”, while it whitens and omits the blockade via sanctions as the most important factor in the violation of the human rights of the Venezuelan population.

In this sense, the positioning of the Venezuelan government as a “criminal state” or “joint criminal enterprise” is inconsistent. Venezuela is the victim of a high voltage operation against its economy, political system and national stability, so it seems illogical that a state victim of these hybrid war operations can be classified as a “criminal state”.

The report concludes that the result of this process of structuring the Bolivarian Joint Criminal Enterprise “is a complex criminal operation that undermines the rule of law, democratic governance and US alliances throughout the Western Hemisphere.”

It is worth mentioning and highlighting in extenso the second paragraph of the three that make up the conclusion:

“The Bolivarian structure has proven to be adaptable and resilient, with multiple redundant capacities, operatively, when one of the facets of the criminal network is under pressure, the Bolivarian Joint Criminal Enterprise is able to move its operations to new areas or find new allies, in general, by nurturing different strengths and connections of the shared history and the common objectives of the Enterprise, the US government has recently made a more unified and holistic effort to confront these criminal actors, offering significant results. The efforts to channel the funds that flow from PDVSA and the Bolivarian banking structure to the legitimately recognized Guaidó government – and out of the hands of the Maduro regime – are innovative and necessary as the former head of the Southern Command, Admiral James Stavridis, said: ‘A network is needed to fight a network’ “.

The report ends highlighting the need to confront the “Bolivarian structure” in a joint manner combining “resources and authorities … to face the multiple nodes of the Enterprise”.

But these combined actions between Defense, Treasury and State, for example, have already become evident in the maneuvers against Venezuela. However, the authors insist: “Now that the ideological impulses of the Bolivarian Revolution have been widely contested, this is an opportunity for the United States to boldly confront the region and confront the scope and complexity that this criminal enterprise encompasses.”


  1. The multi-purpose: the structure of the report seeks to justify some categories that cover the criminal / judicial as the moral / informative. In the first case it offers an express characterization that would seek to move the next steps of the US power to fulfill the objective of “resolving the Venezuelan issue”, no longer as a problem within the framework of international legislation, forcing its discussion and resolution as something of an ordinary legal case (within the US system) closing the treatment of Venezuela as a domestic issue, returning to track the “unusual and extraordinary threat.” The Noriega method.
  2. In the plane here called “moral / informative” the distribution apparatus of the fake news against Venezuela is oxygenated, now moving the justification of the intervention and control over the story (which has suffered notable blows especially after 30A, preventing consolidation of the informational fence) to a moral issue. From the same logic, morality would also supplant the mediocre success of the attempt to sustain sanctions and the blockade as something legitimate and protected in a high cause. In that direction, it also works as a damage control.
  3. To exhibit the method more than the content: these kind of information aggressions are designed fundamentally so that it is difficult to take them to argumentation, of the ideas and their sustenance. Technically, it recalls the Gish Galop a lot, a specific tactic of debate that seeks to saturate the debate space with seemingly related particles of discourse that prevent a direct confrontation, and that, in the arena of discussion, seeks to win by attrition. Therefore, rather than focusing directly on the content, it is convenient to approach it from the use of the forms: how it is put together, what is the benefit in saying it (sources, data treatment, political orientation and / or interested in them), at what time it is said, who reacts and finally who wins with this operation. It can not be lost to sight, already under the reflexive logic of the intelligence services, that this set of elements produces the effect of plausible denial, the CIA’s motto: “We can not deny or confirm this information”.
  4. Deactivate the sources of enunciation: along with what was said about the meeting in early April promoted by the CSIS on a possible military invasion in Venezuela, we suggest evaluating the possibility of legal actions against these entities and their authors, which establish a line of defense elementary in the matter of false and delicate accusations made by private entities. This, within the American justice system itself, could have a precedent among its main variables.
  5. This type of accusation is not new, made, in addition, by the usual [actors]. If we take the case of Senator Marco Rubio, his marked insistence on the hashtag #MaduroCrimeFamily to refer to the president and the government in general, especially as of January 23 of the current year and the Guaidó cycle, is best seen in context from where it is coming to give form to the concept, and how now it aspires to fill the void that, by itself, represents the verbiage tweeted by Rubio.
  6. This maneuver reveals two elements to consider: 1) the degree of proactivity of a specific ideological sector with projections within the executive and operational power regarding the case of Venezuela (the Bolton-Pompeo-Pence-Rubio quartet) that needs to further accentuate the imperative of direct and expeditious intervention (pressing against the inertia and the vagaries of its president?), and 2) in addition to that process, the establishment of a new category at the same time “judicial” and “moral” (in the neoconservative key) to move, as we said, the penal institutions against a “mafia and corrupt” structure, and in its media projection to insert the concept as a “mobilizing” idea that provides another degree of encouragement to a regime change operation that has not reached its objectives in the short and medium term.

Source URL: Mision Verdad

June 4, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , , | 1 Comment

Canada Closes Venezuela Embassy as Guaido Promises Maduro Out by End of Year

By Paul Dobson | Venezuelanalysis | June 3, 2019 

Merida – Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has announced the “temporary” closure of her country’s embassy and the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel from Venezuela, claiming Ottawa had “no choice.”

In a Sunday press statement, Freeland accused the Maduro government of having “taken steps to limit the ability of foreign embassies to function” by failing to renew visas for diplomatic personnel. No evidence was provided to support the claim. She additionally claimed that that the Caribbean country is “slid[ing] deeper into dictatorship.”

The measure is to take immediate effect, with diplomatic visas reportedly due to expire at the end of June. All embassy and consular services are to be transferred to the Colombian capital of Bogota over 1,500 kilometers away.

Freeland also indicated that Ottawa will “evaluate” the status of Venezuelan diplomats in Canada “appointed by Maduro.”

Canada was the second country to recognise Juan Guaido after he swore himself in as “interim president” on January 23. It has since continued to back Guaido’s attempts to oust the Maduro government and has begun to forge diplomatic relations with the opposition leader’s representative in Canada, Orlando Viera Blanco, who has held a number of meetings with government representatives and members of parliament in Ottawa and Vancouver. The Trudeau administration has also followed US President Donald Trump in imposing several rounds of sanctions on Venezuela.

It is unknown how many Canadian citizens in Venezuela this measure will affect, but recent opposition-led estimates suggest that there are up to 50,000 Venezuelans living in Canada.

The latest diplomatic spat follows a similar confrontation in March, when the United States and Venezuela both withdrew their diplomatic teams, severed diplomatic relations and vacated the embassies. The United States had likewise recognised Guaido envoy Carlos Vecchio as Venezuela’s representative in the country.

The diplomatic standoff came to a head in Washington when US government forces violated the Vienna Convention and breached the Venezuelan embassy building to evict a group of US citizens safeguarding it with the backing of the Caracas government, leading to a number of arrests.

Brazil snubs Guaido representative

The diplomatic scuffle comes as Guaido’s team faces a setback in its efforts to replace Maduro’s diplomatic representation in Brazil.

The far-right Bolsonaro government, which similarly recognises Guaido as the legitimate Venezuelan president, had previously invited his envoy, Maria Teresa Belandria, to present her credentials at the Presidential Palace last Tuesday, only to later inform that the invitation had been withdrawn.

“I was uninvited,” she told Reuters, downplaying the political impact of the news.

Oliver Stuenkel, a professor of foreign relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo, suggests, however, that the move may suggest Brasilia is losing faith in Guaido’s efforts to oust Maduro.

“[The government] realize[s] Brazil has to deal with the reality that Maduro is not going anywhere right now,” he explained.

Brazilian diplomat Paulo Roberto de Almeida also shares this idea, claiming that the snub shows increasing friction between Brazil’s civilian and military leaders.

“Recognition of Guaido’s envoy was never agreed to by the military,” he said.

Guaido promises Maduro will go this year

Guaido, for his part, told supporters in Venezuela that he will achieve his objective to seize power by the end of the year.

Speaking at a small gathering in Barinas State, Guaido proclaimed, “We are in times of definitions, of advances, of actions (…) This didn’t start in 2019, but I’ll tell you something, it will end in 2019.”

Guaido has previously promised supporters that he would force humanitarian “aid” into Venezuela, convince the armed forces to join his cause, and call new presidential elections. He also led a failed putsch in April.

Taking to Twitter Monday, Guaido further reiterated his pledge to do “what is needed” to oust Maduro, echoing Washington’s statements that “all options are on the table” regarding Venezuela.

Guaido has openly called for a foreign intervention into Venezuela, and is currently calling for Venezuela’s reincorporation into the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR), a mutual defense pact involving sixteen countries in the hemisphere which has been cited as a possible legal justification for US military action.

Edited by Lucas Koerner from Caracas.

June 4, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Canada Backs Pro-US Puppet Party in Venezuela

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau poses with Voluntad Popular’s Antonieta López and Lilian Tintori. (Twitter/@liliantintori)
By Yves Engler | Venezuelanalysis | June 3, 2019

Not only has Canada financed and otherwise supported opposition parties in Venezuela, Ottawa has allied itself with some of its most anti-democratic, hardline elements. While the Liberal government has openly backed Voluntad Popular’s bid to seize power since January, Ottawa has supported the electorally marginal party for years.

Juan Guaidó’s VP (Popular Will in English) party has repeatedly instigated violent protests. Not long after the Democratic Unity Roundtable opposition coalition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles effectively conceded defeat in January 2014, VP leader Leopoldo López launched La Salida (exit/departure) in a bid to oust Nicolas Maduro. VP activists formed the shock troops of “guarimbas” protests that left forty-three Venezuelans dead, 800 hurt and a great deal of property damaged in 2014. Dozens more were killed in a new wave of VP backed protests in 2017.

Effective at stoking violence, VP has failed to win many votes. It took 8% of the seats in the 2015 elections that saw the opposition win control of the National Assembly. With 14 out of 167 deputies in the Assembly, it won the fourth most seats in the Democratic Unity Roundtable coalition. In the December 2012 regional elections VP was the sixth most successful party and did little better in the next year’s municipal elections. More recently, in the October 2017 regional elections the party failed to secure a single governorship.

VP was founded at the end of 2009 by Leopoldo López who “has long had close contact with American diplomats”, reported the Wall Street Journal. A great-great-grand nephew of independence leader Simón Bolívar, grandson of a former cabinet member and great-grandson of a president, López was schooled at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Between 2000 and 2008, López was the relatively successful and popular mayor of the affluent 65,000 person municipality of Chacao in eastern Caracas.

During the 2002 military coup, López “orchestrated the public protests against [President Hugo] Chávez and he played a central role in the citizen’s arrest of Chavez’s interior minister.” He was given a 13-year jail sentence for inciting and planning violence during the 2014 “guarimbas” protests.

Canadian officials have had significant contact with López’s emissaries and party. In November 2014, Lilian Tintori visited Ottawa to meet Foreign Minister John Baird, Conservative cabinet colleague Jason Kenney and opposition MPs. After meeting López’s wife, Baird called for his release and other “political prisoners,” which referred to a number of other VP representatives.

Three months later, VP National Political Coordinator Carlos Vecchio visited Ottawa with Leopoldo López’s sister, Diana López, and Orlando Viera-Blanco to speak to the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. At a press conference, “Popular Will’s international wing” denounced the Venezuelan government and spoke at a McGill University forum on “Venezuela in Crisis: The Decline of Democracy and the Repression of Human Rights.”

Vecchio was appointed as the Guaidó phantom government’s “ambassador” to the US and Orlando Viera-Blanco was named its “ambassador” to Canada. In October 2017, Vecchio and VP deputy Bibiana Lucas attended the anti-Maduro Lima Group meeting in Toronto.

In June 2015, VP councillor of Sucre, Dario Eduardo Ramirez, spoke to the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In May 2016, VP Assistant National Political Coordinator Freddy Guevara and VP founding member Luis Germán Florido met Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion and members of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee to denounce Maduro’s government. During the trip, VP’s Coordinator of International Relations Manuel Avendaño and an aide Abraham Valencia published an opinion in the Hill Times titled, “Venezuela is on the brink of disaster. Here’s how Canada can help.”

The Canadian embassy in Caracas and former Ambassador Ben Rowswell worked with VP officials pushing for the overthrow of the elected government. The runner-up for the embassy’s 2012 “Human Rights Prize,” Tamara Adrián, represents VP in the National Assembly. At the embassy during the presentation of the 2014 human rights award to anti-government groups were López’s lawyers and wife. In response, then President of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello accused Rowswell of supporting coup plotters.

The leader of VP in Yaracuy State, Gabriel Gallo, was runner-up for the embassy’s 2015 human rights award. A coordinator of the Foro Penal NGO, Gallo was also photographed with Rowswell at the embassy’s 2017 human rights prize ceremony.

The Montreal-based Canadian Venezuelan Engagement Foundation is closely aligned with VP. Its president is Guaidó’s “ambassador” to Canada — Viera-Blanco — and its founding director is Alessa Polga whose LinkedIn page describes her as VP Canada’s Subcoordinator and Intergovernmental Relations. Polga has been invited to speak before the House of Commons and in 2017 demanded Canada follow the US in adopting sanctions on Venezuela. Justin Trudeau offered words of solidarity for a recent Canadian Venezuelan Engagement Foundation “Gala for Venezuela” in Toronto.

In 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, VP youth outreach leader and former Mayor David Smolansky spoke at the Halifax International Security Conference. During his 2018 trip to Nova Scotia, Smolansky published an opinion piece in the Halifax Chronicle Herald claiming, “more than just a failed state, Venezuela is a criminal state.”

In May 2017, Tintori met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the leaders of the opposition parties. In response, Venezuela’s Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodríguez described Lopez’s wife as an “agent of intervention” who claims the “false position of victim” while she’s aligned with “fascist” forces in Venezuela.

Three months earlier, Tintori met US President Donald Trump and The Guardian reported on her role in building international support for the plan to anoint VP deputy Guaidó interim president. According to the Canadian press, Canadian diplomats spent “months” working on that effort and the Associated Press described Canada’s “key role” in building international support for claiming a relatively marginal National Assembly member was Venezuela’s president. Presumably, Canada’s “special coordinator for Venezuela” organized these efforts which included foreign minister Chrystia Freeland speaking to Guaidó “the night before Maduro’s swearing-in ceremony to offer her government’s support should he confront the socialist leader.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spoken with Guaidó at least twice since.

Canada has strengthened VP’s hardline position within the opposition. A February Wall Street Journal article noted that leading opposition figures on stage with Guaidó when he declared himself interim president had no idea of his plan despite it being reliant on the Democratic Unity Roundtable’s agreement to rotate the National Assembly presidency within the coalition. (VP’s turn came due in January).

Venezuelans require a vibrant opposition that challenges the government. They don’t need Canada to boost an electorally marginal party that drives the country into increasing conflict.

Yves Engler is the author of 10 books including his latest, Left, Right — Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada.

June 4, 2019 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , | Leave a comment