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Epstein Stories You Won’t Find in the News

Amazing Polly | July 8, 2019

I go over some of the lesser known connections & history of accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. I’m hoping that there are more arrests to come after his! Many powerful people are at risk if he talks. more…

My paypal for contributions is here .. thank you! https://paypal.me/PollyStGeorge

BITCHUTE: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/99Fr…

References VIDEO: Miami Herald: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jDPz…

Epstein Arrested Daily Be2st article: https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeffrey…

Miami Herald Non Prosecution Agreement story: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/loca…

Miami Herald, Wexner Dershowitz: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/stat…

Daily Beast Epstein Hoffenberg: https://www.thedailybeast.com/i-tried…

2006 – plane shares Tail Number with State Department: https://newspunch.com/u-s-state-depar…

Interview with Bradley Edwards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yqb59…

Vox re Michael Stroll, Epstein & Co.: https://www.vox.com/2018/12/3/1811635…

Epstein Arrested Vanity Fair: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/…

Hill Reporter, William Barr’s father Dalton school: https://hillreporter.com/the-ties-tha…

Donald Barr quits Dlton SChool: https://www.nytimes.com/1974/02/20/ar…

New York Times Guiseppe Tome can’t be found: https://www.nytimes.com/1981/11/17/bu…

NY Post Gaffney inexpicably argued for leniency: https://nypost.com/2019/04/11/da-knew…

Vanity Fair Profile Epstein: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2003/…

NY Mag profile: http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/…

Guardian article re Mark Epstein & girls running businesses from property: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2…

Spacey Palace Prince Andrew: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4894752…

Robert Maxwell was ‘an associate’ of Epstein: https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/new…

VOX Profile Epstein: https://www.vox.com/2018/12/3/1811635…

Larouche EIR report “Mega Group” https://larouchepub.com/other/2001/28…

DA recommends Leniency: https://nypost.com/2019/04/11/da-knew…

JS against Gardner Dunnan, Headmaster of Dalton: https://nycrime.com/2019/04/alleged-s…

Young women in and out of Epstein’s house, 2016: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti…

Epstein’s Only Client, Les Wexner: https://gawker.com/5021581/teen-lovin…

Harvard Crimson, Chris Tucker, Kevin Spacey: LaRouche Pub Swiss Banking & Tome: https://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/19…

LaRouche EIR All The Queen’s men: https://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/19…

SEC Guiseppe Tome, St Joe Minerals: https://www.nytimes.com/1981/11/17/bu…

UPI Two key legislators US Canada competitiveness: https://www.upi.com/Archives/1981/05/…

Dalton, Gardner Dunnan sex abuse: https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/…

Dalton School 1997 article: https://www.nydailynews.com/archives/…

Trump Quote NY Magazine 2002: http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/…

Wexner Analysis: http://wilsonweb.physics.harvard.edu/…

July 10, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 2 Comments

Despite talk of promoting democracy Trudeau in bed with repressive monarchy

By Yves Engler · July 8, 2019

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UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed with Justin Trudeau

Given his personal history perhaps it is no surprise that Justin Trudeau is fond of monarchies.

The United Arab Emirates is a repressive monarchy that pursues violent, anti-democratic, policies in its region. Despite this — or maybe because of it —Trudeau’s Liberal government has strengthened ties to the federation of seven Emirates. And unlike Canada’s claims to be promoting democracy in Venezuela or the Ukraine, there has been little mention of this in the media or scrutiny in Parliament.

The UAE has propped up the Transitional Military Council in Sudan that has faced massive protests calling for civilian rule. Two months ago the oil rich country put up half of a $3 billion package (with Saudi Arabia) to support Sudan’s military rulers and the head of the military council visited powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi in late May. Many pro-democracy activists believe the UAE and Saudi Arabia pushed Sudan’s military to destroy a major protest site that left dozens dead at the start of June.

Abu Dhabi fears democracy in Sudan for various reasons. One immediate concern is the likelihood that a government in Khartoum representing the popular will would withdraw the 10,000 Sudanese soldiers in Yemen. The UAE has played a key role in the war in Yemen, which has left 100,000 dead, millions hungry and sparked a terrible cholera epidemic.

In Libya the UAE was recently caught delivering weapons to warlord Khalifa Haftar in violation of UN sanctions. Abu Dhabi has financed and supported Haftar’s bid to seize the Libyan capital by force. The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord said a UAE F-16 fighter jet was responsible for bombing a migrant detention centre that left some 50 people dead last week.

Elsewhere in the region the UAE has engaged in a two year blockade of Qatar designed to force Doha to heed their and close ally Saudi Arabia’s belligerent, anti-democratic, position towards Iran, Egypt and elsewhere. In recent years UAE helped crush Bahrain’s 2011 uprising, dispatched forces to Libya to support the NATO war and financed the return of military rule to Egypt in 2013. Abu Dhabi also plowed hundreds of millions of dollars of weaponry and other forms of support to Al Qaeda linked rebels in Syria.

Domestically, the UAE is a repressive monarchy that outlaws labour unions and hangs/stones individuals to death. The country heavily restricts religious freedoms and women’s rights. Recently, the wife (one of six) of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum sought asylum in the UK fearing for her life.

From what I could find the Trudeau government has stayed mum on Abu Dhabi’s efforts to derail democracy in Sudan. Nor have they made any comment on its violation of UN sanctions in Libya. Over four years they’ve barely made a peep about the UAE’s bombing and troops in Yemen. Instead of challenging the monarchy’s egregious policies, the Liberals have deepened ties to the Gulf Kingdom.

On July 1 officials from the two countries highlighted “the bond between Canada and the United Arab Emirates” by raising a Canadian flag-inspired display on Abu Dhabi’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Ten days ago, the government announced that Canada would participate in Expo 2020 Dubai. International trade minister Jim Carr declared, “our presence at Expo 2020 affirms the vitality of Canada-UAE relations.”

A UAE delegation led by Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei attended the International Economic Forum of the Americas in mid-June. At the Montréal conference Al Mazrouei met economic development minister Navdeep Bains and trade minister Jim Carr. During the opening of the last UN General Assembly session Trudeau met UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and he visited foreign minister Chrystia Freeland in Ottawa last May.

Despite their violence in Yemen, the Trudeau government has deepened military ties to the UAE. There are a small number of Canadian troops in the UAE and Royal Canadian Navy vessels in the region regularly coordinate with their Emirates counterparts. Last week Canada’s ambassador in Abu Dhabi, Masud Husain, met defence minister Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi. Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan also met Al Bowardi there in April. According to Emirates News Agency, Canadian and UAE officials discussed “cooperation  in the military and defence sectors” and “current regional and international developments.” In December 2017 Sajan traveled to the Gulf State to sign the Canada-UAE Defence Cooperation Arrangement.

According to Radio Canada International, the Canada–UAE defence accord “will make it easier for the Canadian defence industry to access one of the world’s most lucrative arms markets.” During the last four years the Trudeau government has promoted arm sales at the Abu Dhabi-based International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX). With support from “15 trade commissioners and representatives from the Government of Ontario, National Defence, Global Affairs Canada, and the Canadian Commercial Corporation”, 50 Canadian arms companies flogged their wares at IDEX in February. To help the arms companies move their products, commander of the Bahrain-based Combined Task Force 150, Commodore Darren Garnier, led a Canadian military delegation to IDEX.

In February of last year Parliamentary Secretary to minister Bains, David Lametti, who is now Justice Minister, promoted Bombardier’s delivery of surveillance planes to the UAE. Montreal-based flight simulator company CAE trains UAE Air Force pilots at a facility in Abu Dhabi. Some UAE pilots bombing Yemen also likely trained at NATO’s Flying Training in Canada, which is run by CAE and the Canadian Forces.

As Anthony Fenton has documented in detail on his fantastic Canada-Gulf focused Twitter handle, armoured vehicles made by Canada’s Streit Group in the UAE have been repeatedly videoed in Yemen. At IDEX 2019 Streit Group officials were photographed pitching their Sherp All-terrain military vehicle to UAE officials.

After a high profile diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia last August Canadian officials privately worried it would negatively impact relations with UAE. That didn’t happen, of course. In fact, the spat may have spurred closer ties to Saudi Arabia’s main regional ally.

It’s time for some mainstream journalists and parliamentarians to devote a little attention to the Trudeau’s government hypocritical embrace of the UAE monarchy.

July 9, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

Does Justin Trudeau hate Palestinians?

By Yves Engler · July 4, 2019

pms-1

Is Justin Trudeau a racist? He and his government certainly accept and promote anti-Palestinianism. Two recent moves reaffirm his government’s pattern of blaming Palestinians for their dispossession and subjugation.

Last week the government released its updated terrorist list. An eighth Palestinian organization was added and the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN) was re-designated. The first ever Canadian-based group designated a terrorist organization, IRFAN was listed by the Stephen Harper government for engaging in the ghastly act of supporting orphans and a hospital in the Gaza Strip through official (Hamas controlled) channels.

Recently, the Liberals also announced they were formally adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism as part of its anti-racism strategy. The explicit aim of those pushing the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism is to silence or marginalize those who criticize Palestinian dispossession and support the Palestinian civil society led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. The PM has repeatedly equated supporting Palestinian rights with hatred towards Jews and participated in a unprecedented smear against prominent Palestinian solidarity activist Dimitri Lascaris last summer.

Alongside efforts to demonize and delegitimize those advocating for a people under occupation, the Trudeau government has repeatedly justified violence against Palestinians. Last month Global Affairs Canada tweeted, “Canada condemns the barrage of rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel by Hamas and other terrorist groups, which have killed and injured civilians. This indiscriminate targeting of civilians is not acceptable. We call for an immediate end to this violence.” The statement was a response to an Israeli killed by rockets fired from Gaza and seven Palestinians killed in the open-air prison by the Israeli military. In the year before 200 Palestinians were killed and another 5,000 injured by live fire in peaceful March of Return protests in Gaza. Not a single Israeli died during these protests.

The Trudeau government has repeatedly isolated Canada from world opinion on Palestinian rights. Canada has joined the US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Micronesia and Palau in opposing UN resolutions in favour of Palestinian rights that nearly every other country supported. In fact, the Trudeau Liberals may have the most anti-Palestinian voting record of any recent Canadian government. In August Liberal MP Anthony Housefather boasted in a Canadian Jewish News article: “We have voted against 87% of the resolutions singling out Israel for condemnation at the General Assembly versus 61% for the Harper government, 19% for the Martin and Mulroney governments and 3% for the Chrétien government. We have also supported 0% of these resolutions, compared to 23% support under Harper, 52% under Mulroney, 71% under Martin and 79% under Chretien.”

Further legitimating its illegal occupation, the Liberals “modernized” Canada’s two-decade-old Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Israel that allows West Bank settlement products to enter Canada duty-free. To promote an accord that recently received royal assent, International Trade Minister Jim Carr traveled to Israel and touted its benefits to Israel lobby organizations in Toronto and Winnipeg. “Minister Carr strengthens bilateral ties between Canada and Israel”, explained a June 20 press release.

In mid-2017 the federal government said its FTA with Israel trumps Canada’s Food and Drugs Act after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency called for accurate labelling of wines produced in the occupied West Bank. After David Kattenburg repeatedly complained about inaccurate labels on two wines sold in Ontario, the CFIA notified the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) that it “would not be acceptable and would be considered misleading” to declare Israel as the country of origin for wines produced in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Quoting from longstanding official Canadian policy, CFIA noted that “the government of Canada does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied in 1967.” In response to pressure from the Israeli embassy, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and B’nai Brith, CFIA quickly reversed its decision. “We did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement,” a terse CFIA statement explained. “These wines adhere to the Agreement and therefore we can confirm that the products in question can be sold as currently labelled.”

Each year Canadian taxpayers subsidize hundreds of millions of dollars in charitable donations to Israel despite that country having a GDP per capita only slightly below Canada’s. (How many Canadian charities funnel money to Sweden or Japan?) Millions of dollars are also channeled to projects supporting West Bank settlements, explicitly racist institutions and Israel’s powerful military, which may all contravene Canadian charitable law. In response to a formal complaint submitted by four Palestine solidarity activists and Independent Jewish Voices Canada in fall 2017, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) began an audit of the Jewish National Fund for contravening Canadian charitable law. Despite the JNF openly supporting the Israeli military in explicit contravention of charitable law, the audit has been going on for a year and a half. The CRA is undoubtedly facing significant behind-the-scenes pressure to let the JNF off with little more than a slap on the wrist. In 2013 Trudeau attended a JNF gala and other Liberal cabinet ministers have participated in more recent events put on by an explicitly racist organization Liberal MP Michael Leavitt used to oversee. (In a positive step, the Beth Oloth Charitable Organization, which had $60 million in revenue in 2017, had its charitable status revoked in January for supporting the Israeli military.)

Of course, the Trudeau government would deny its racism towards Palestinians. They will point to their “aid” given to the Palestinian Authority. But, in fact much of that money is used in an explicit bid to advance Israel’s interests by building a security apparatus to protect the corrupt PA from popular disgust over its compliance in the face of ongoing Israeli settlement building. The Canadian military’s Operation Proteus, which contributes to the Office of the United States Security Coordinator, trains Palestinian security forces to suppress “popular protest” against the PA, the “subcontractor of the Occupation”.

In a recently published assessment of 80 donor reports from nine countries/institutions titled “Donor Perceptions of Palestine: Limits to Aid Effectiveness” Jeremy Wildeman concludes that Canada, the US and International Monetary Fund employed the most anti-Palestinian language. “Canada and the US,” the academic writes, “were preoccupied with providing security for Israel from Palestinian violence, but not Palestinians from Israeli violence, effectively inverting the relationship of occupier and occupied.”

At a recent meeting, BDS-Québec decided to launch a campaign targeting Justin Trudeau in the upcoming federal election campaign. The plan is to swamp his Papineau riding with leaflets and posters highlighting the Prime Minister’s anti-Palestinianism. It’s time politicians pay a political price for their active support of Israel’s racism.

July 4, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | 2 Comments

Beijing urges Canada not to ‘naively’ rely on U.S. to pressure China

CGTN | July 3, 2019

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Wednesday that Canada is “fully responsible” for difficulties facing bilateral relations, stressing that Canada should not “naively” rely on the United States to pressure China.

Geng made the remarks at a regular press conference in response to recent remarks by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding China’s detention of two Canadian citizens.

China confirmed last December that two Canadians – former diplomat Michael Kovrig and business consultant Michael Spavor – were being investigated on suspicion of “engaging in activities that endangered China’s national security.”

Trudeau said on Tuesday that he was “confident” that U.S. President Donald Trump had made good on his promise to raise the cases during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan’s Osaka last week.

Geng said China had published a news report on the meeting between Xi and Trump, noting that he has nothing to add.

“We hope the Canadian side would not be too naïve,” he said. “Don’t think naively that asking certain ‘ally’ to pressure China would work.”

China, whose judicial authorities work independently in accordance with the law, does not allow other countries to interfere in its judicial sovereignty, the spokesman stressed.

“The Canadian side should not naively believe that its so-called allies would make real efforts for it,” he said.

“Relations between China and Canada are currently undergoing severe difficulties and the Canadian side is fully responsible for that,” Geng said, urging Canada to take actions as soon as possible to bring bilateral ties back on the right track.

Tensions rose between Beijing and Ottawa late last year over the arrest of Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada.

Read more:

Wang Yi: Meng Wanzhou case ‘deliberate political move’

Huawei: Confident in the innocence of its CFO Meng Wanzhou

Meng was arrested on December 1, 2018, at Vancouver International Airport at the request of the United States, which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges. Both Meng and Huawei have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. And Beijing has repeatedly demanded Washington to withdraw its arrest warrant and the extradition request against Meng.

July 4, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Ugly Canadian supports status quo in original banana republic

By Yves Engler · June 28, 2019

In 1901, US author O. Henry coined the term “banana republic” to describe Honduras, which was dominated by the US-based United Fruit Company. “Typically,” Henry wrote, “a banana republic has a society of extremely stratified social classes, usually a large impoverished working class and a ruling-class plutocracy, composed of the business, political and military elites of that society.”

Not much has changed in the past 120 years, although the Ugly American has been joined at the ruling class table by the Ugly Canadian.

Ten years-ago today Ottawa tacitly supported the Honduran military’s removal of elected president Manuel Zelaya. During the past decade Canada has strongly allied itself to those backing the coup who continue to rule the Central American country.

It was not until basically every country in the hemisphere denounced the June 28, 2009, coup that Ottawa finally did so but Canada did not explicitly call for Zelaya’s return to power. On a number of occasions Minister of State for the Americas Peter Kent said it was important to take into account the context in which the military overthrew Zelaya, telling the New York Times: “There is a context in which these events [the coup] happened.”

In the lead-up to his ouster Ottawa displayed a clear ambivalence towards Zelaya. Early in June Kent criticized Zelaya, saying: “We have concerns with the government of Honduras.” The Conservatives opposed Zelaya’s plan for a binding public poll on whether to hold consultations to reopen the constitution, which had been written by a military government.

A week after the coup, during which Zelaya was flown to Costa Rica, the elected president tried to return to Honduras along with three Latin American heads of state. But the military blocked his plane from landing and kept over 100,000 supporters at bay. In doing so the military killed two protesters and wounded at least 30. On CTV Kent blamed Zelaya for the violence. Just before the elected president tried to fly into Tegucigalpa, Kent told the OAS the “time is not right” for a return, prompting Zelaya to respond dryly: “I could delay until January 27 [2010]” (when his term ended). Two weeks after trying to return by air Zelaya attempted to cross into Honduras by land from Nicaragua, which Kent once again criticized.

Despite the coup, Ottawa refused to exclude Honduras from its Military Training Assistance Program. Though only five Honduran troops were being trained in Canada, failing to suspend relations with a military responsible for overthrowing an elected government was highly symbolic. More significantly, Canada was the only major donor to Honduras — the largest recipient of Canadian assistance in Central America — that failed to sever any aid to the military government. The World Bank, European Union and even the US suspended some of their planned assistance to Honduras.

In response to the conflicting signals from North American leaders, the ousted Honduran foreign minister told TeleSur that Ottawa and Washington were providing “oxygen” to the military government. Patricia Rodas called on Canada and the US to suspend aid to the de facto regime. During an official visit to Mexico with Zelaya, Rodas asked Mexican president Felipe Calderon, who was about to meet Stephen Harper and Barak Obama, to lobby Ottawa and Washington on their behalf.

Five months after Zelaya was ousted the coup government held previously scheduled elections. During the campaign period the de facto government imposed martial law and censored media outlets. Dozens of candidates withdrew from local and national races and opposition presidential candidate Carlos H. Reyes was hospitalized following a severe beating from security forces.

The November 2009 election was boycotted by the UN and OAS and most Hondurans abstained from the poll. Despite mandatory voting regulations, only 45 percent of those eligible cast a ballot (it may have been much lower as this was the government’s accounting). Still, Ottawa endorsed this electoral farce. “Canada congratulates the Honduran people for the relatively peaceful and orderly manner in which the country’s elections were conducted,” noted an official statement. While most countries in the region continued to shun post-coup Honduras, Ottawa immediately recognized Porfirio Lobo after he was inaugurated as Honduran president on January 27, 2010. Not long after, Canada negotiated a free trade agreement with Honduras.

Particular corporate interests and regional integration efforts motivated Ottawa’s hostility towards Zelaya. A number of major Canadian corporations, notably Gildan and Goldcorp, were unhappy Zelaya raised the minimum wage and restricted mining operations. Rights Action uncovered credible information that a subsidiary of Vancouver based Goldcorp provided money to those who rallied in support of the coup. Additionally, a year before the coup Honduras joined the Hugo Chavez led Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our Americas (ALBA), which was a response to North American capitalist domination of the region.

Lobo’s successor as president came from his right-wing National Party. Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) won an election marred by substantial human rights violations targeting the Libre party, which put forward Zelaya’s wife Xiomara Castro for president. In 2017 JOH defied the Honduran constitution to run for a second term. At Hernandez’ request the four Supreme Court members appointed by his National Party overruled an article in the constitution explicitly prohibiting re-election. (The removal of Zelaya was justified on the grounds that he was seeking to run for a second term despite simply putting forward a plan to hold a non-binding public poll on whether to hold consultations to reopen the constitution.) JOH then ‘won’ a highly questionable poll. With 60 per cent of votes counted opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla lead by five-points. The electoral council then went silent for 36 hours and when reporting resumed JOH had a small lead. The Canadian government endorsed this electoral farce and accepted the killing of at least 30  pro-democracy demonstrators in the weeks after the election.

Over the past decade Ottawa has reinforced Honduran impoverishment and political dysfunction. The corporations, their paid lobbyists and the politicians who follow their orders clearly prefer this status quo.

June 28, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

Ottawa hires hit man to overthrow Venezuelan government

By Yves Engler · June 17, 2019

Allan-Culham-Canada-OEA

Allan Culham

Meet the hired gun Ottawa is using to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

The brazenness of Ottawa’s intervention in the South American country’s affairs is remarkable. Recently Global Affairs Canada tendered a contract for an individual to coordinate its bid to oust President Nicolás Maduro. According to buyandsell.gc.ca, the Special Advisor on Venezuela needs to be able to:

“Use your network of contacts to advocate for expanded support to pressure the illegitimate government to return constitutional order.

“Use your network of civil society contacts on the ground in Venezuela to advance priority issues (as identified by civil society/Government of Canada).

Must have valid Government of Canada personnel TOP SECRET security clearance.”

The “Proposed Contractor” is Allan Culham who has been Special Advisor on Venezuela since the fall of 2017. But, the government is required to post the $200,000 contract to coordinate Canada’s effort to overthrow the Maduro government.

Culham is a former Canadian ambassador to Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala and the Organization of American States. During his time as ambassador to Venezuela from 2002 to 2005 Culham was hostile to Hugo Chavez’s government. According to a WikiLeaks publication of US diplomatic messages, “Canadian Ambassador Culham expressed surprise at the tone of Chavez’s statements during his weekly television and radio show ‘Hello President’ on February 15 [2004]. Culham observed that Chavez’s rhetoric was as tough as he had ever heard him. ‘He sounded like a bully,’ said Culham, more intransigent and more aggressive.”

The US cable quotes Culham criticizing the national electoral council and speaking positively about the group overseeing a presidential recall referendum targeting Chavez. “Culham added that Sumate is impressive, transparent, and run entirely by volunteers”, it noted. The name of then head of Súmate, Maria Corina Machado, was on a list of people who endorsed the April 2002 military coup against Chavez, for which she faced charges of treason. She denied signing the now-infamous Carmona Decree that dissolved the National Assembly and Supreme Court and suspended the elected government, attorney general, comptroller general, and governors as well as mayors elected during Chavez’s administration. It also annulled land reforms and reversed increases in royalties paid by oil companies.

After retiring from the civil service in 2015 Culham described his affinity for another leading hard-line opposition leader. Canada’s current Special Advisor on Venezuela wrote, “I met [Leopoldo] López when he was the mayor of the Caracas municipality of Chacao where the Canadian Embassy is located. He too became a good friend and a useful contact in trying to understand the many political realities of Venezuela.” But, López also endorsed the failed 2002 coup against Chavez and was convicted of inciting violence during the 2014 “guarimbas” protests that sought to oust Maduro. Forty-three Venezuelans died, hundreds were hurt and a great deal of property was damaged during the “guarimbas” protests. Lopez was also a key organizer of the recent plan to anoint the marginal opposition legislator Juan Guaidó interim president.

In his role as Canada’s ambassador to the OAS Culham repeatedly took positions viewed as hostile by the Chavez/Maduro governments. When Chavez fell gravely ill in 2013, he proposed the OAS send a mission to study the situation, which then Vice-president Maduro described as a “miserable” intervention in the country’s affairs. Culham’s comments on the 2014 “guarimbas” protests and support for Machado speaking at the OAS were also unpopular with Caracas.

At the OAS Culham criticized other left-of-centre governments. Culham blamed elected President Rafael Correa for supposedly closing “democratic space” in Ecuador, not long after a failed coup attempt in 2010. When describing the Honduran military’s overthrow of social democratic president Manuel Zelaya in 2009 Culham refused to employ the term coup and instead described it as a “political crisis”.

In June 2012, the left-leaning president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, was ousted in what some called an “institutional coup”. Upset with Lugo for disrupting 61-years of one-party rule, Paraguay’s ruling class claimed he was responsible for a murky incident that left 17 peasants and police dead and the senate voted to impeach the president. The vast majority of countries in the hemisphere refused to recognize the new government. The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) suspended Paraguay’s membership after Lugo’s ouster, as did the MERCOSUR trading bloc. A week after the coup Culham participated in an OAS mission that many member countries opposed. Largely designed to undermine those countries calling for Paraguay’s suspension from the OAS, delegates from the US, Canada, Haiti, Honduras and Mexico traveled to Paraguay to investigate Lugo’s removal from office. The delegation concluded that the OAS should not suspend Paraguay, which displeased many South American countries.

Four years later Culham still blamed Lugo for his ouster. He wrote: “President Lugo was removed from office for ‘dereliction and abandonment of duty’ in the face of rising violence and street protests (that his government was itself instigating through his inflammatory rhetoric) over the issue of land rights. Violence in both the countryside and the streets of Asuncion threatened to engulf Paraguay’s already fragile democratic institutions. Lugo’s impeachment and removal from office by the Paraguayan Congress, later ratified by the Supreme Court, launched a firestorm of protest and outrage amongst the presidents of Paraguay’s neighbours. Presidents Rousseff of Brazil, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Cristina Kirchner of Argentina, were the chief defenders of Lugo’s right to remain in office.”

After retiring from the civil service Culham became more candid about his hostility to those trying to overcome extreme power imbalances in the hemisphere, decrying “the nationalist, bombastic and populist rhetoric that many leaders of Latin America have used to great effect over the last 15 years.” For Culham, “the Bolivarian Alliance … specialized in sowing its own divisive ideology and its hopes for a revolutionary ‘class struggle’ across the hemisphere.”

Culham praised the defeat of Cristina Kirchner in Argentina and Dilma Rousseff Brazil.

In a 2015 piece titled “So long, Kirchners” he wrote, “the Kirchner era in Argentine politics and economics is thankfully coming to an end.” (Kirchner is the front runner in the upcoming election.) The next year Culham criticized Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s bid to have UNASUR challenge her impeachment, which he celebrated as “a sign of change in Latin America”.

Culham denounced regional integration efforts. In a long February 2016 Senate foreign affairs committee discussion of Argentina, he denounced diplomatic forums set up by Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela and others to break from US domination of the region. “Since I’m no longer a civil servant”, Culham stated, “I will say that CELAC [The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States] is not a positive organization within the Americas. Mainly because it’s built on the principle of exclusion. It purposefully excludes Canada and United States. It was the product of President Chavez and the Chavista Bolivarian revolution.” Every single country in the hemisphere except for Canada and the US were members of CELAC.

Culham criticized left-wing governments position at the US dominated OAS. Culham bemoaned the “negative influence ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America] countries have brought to the OAS” and said Argentina “often sided with Bolivarian revolution members” in their “negative agenda” at the OAS, which he called “very close to my heart”.

In his comments to the Senate committee Culham criticized Kirchner for failing to pay the full price to US “vulture funds”, which bought up the country’s debt at a steep discount after it defaulted in 2001. He described Kirchner’s refusal to bow down to highly predatory hedge funds as a threat to the “Toronto Stock Exchange” and labeled a Scotia Bank claim from the 2001 financial crisis a “bilateral irritant” for Canada.

Canadian taxpayers are paying a hardline pro-corporate, pro-Washington, former diplomat hundreds of thousands of dollars to coordinate the Liberal government’s bid to oust Venezuela’s government. Surely, there is someone in the House of Commons willing to inquire about Canada’s Elliot Abrams?

June 17, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Munk School of Global Affairs feeds anti-Iran propaganda

Fifth-Anniversary-Of-The-Munk-School-Of-Global-Affairs@2x

By Yves Engler · June 12, 2019

Sometimes, when you pay attention, it is easy to see how foreign policy propaganda works. Take the case of Iran.

Recently the US has choked off Iranian oil exports, listed its military a terrorist organization and dispatched an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to its environs to stop Iran’s “aggression”. Going along with Donald Trump’s warlike actions and rhetoric, Justin Trudeau’s government has broken a promise to restart diplomatic relations, failed to withdraw Iran from Canada’s list of state sponsors of terrorism and recently accused Tehran of destabilizing the region.

This is the context in which the Munk School of Global Affairs’ Citizen Lab released a recent report criticizing Iran. According to Citizen Lab, an Iran-aligned group dubbed Endless Mayfly impersonated major media sites, used fake Twitter accounts to spread false articles and targeted journalists with fake stories. Its report noted, “initial reporting on some of the inauthentic articles speculated that Endless Mayfly may have links to Russia; however, based on the evidence gathered from our investigation we conclude with moderate confidence that Endless Mayfly is Iran-aligned and has been operational since at least early 2016.”

The University of Toronto based lab’s accusations were picked up by dozens of media outlets around the world. A New York Times headline read: “Report Shows How a Pro-Iran Group Spread Fake News Online” while the Globe and Mail noted “New Citizen Lab report suggests Iran spreads fake news.”

But, the report’s concluding section titled “Narratives fit Iranian interests, propaganda” isn’t convincing. One reason it claims Iran was responsible for the initiative is that “framing Saudi Arabia as a creator and supporter of global Islamist terrorism is also a very common theme in Endless Mayfly content and is consistent with recent rhetoric from Iran’s top-ranking officials.” But, Iranian officials certainly aren’t the only ones who claim Saudi Arabia contributes significantly to Islamic terror.

While the media mostly covered Citizen Lab’s claims uncritically, its positions on Iran should be viewed with significant skepticism. This ‘lab’ has produced a stream of reports critical of Iran and, in fact, is part of a government funded effort to destabilize that country. In March Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert co-authored “Censors Get Smart: Evidence from Psiphon in Iran.” Previously, Citizen Lab published “Group 5: Syria and the Iran Connection”, which described a malware operation targeting Syrian opposition figures that purportedly came from Iran. The Lab published After the Green Movement: Internet Controls in Iran, 2009-2012 and in 2015 they detailed hacking of Iranian dissidents. While Citizen Lab carefully avoided naming a culprit, their press release hyped the matter and a number of media reports implied Iranian authorities were responsible.

Deibert is a regular at anti-Iranian events. He spoke at a Toronto International Film Festival screening of a movie about the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran and a 2012 Walrus article described a “network of local Farsi speakers linked to Deibert and Psiphon.”

With early financial support from the Ford Foundation, Donner Canadian Foundation and Open Society Institute, Citizen Lab developed software to bypass government censors. It worked with Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio Farda in Iran to disseminate its Psiphon technology to Iranian dissidents. A 2018 Vice story titled “This App Is Helping Iranians Beat Tehran’s Internet Censorship” described Psiphon’s growth in Iran. It noted, “the lab, and the school, has spent years devising various ways to improve civic engagement in Iran, especially online, with some financial support from the Canadian government.”

The Munk School of Global Affairs joined the Stephen Harper Conservatives’ low-level war against Iran. After severing diplomatic ties and designating Iran a state sponsor of terrorism in 2012, Foreign Affairs ploughed $250,000 into the Munk School’s Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran. The aim of the initiative was to foment opposition to the regime and help connect dissidents inside and outside Iran. Employing cutting-edge Internet strategies, the Iran Dialogue was launched at a two-day conference kicked off by foreign minister John Baird. Some Iranian Canadians criticized the 2013 Global Dialogue on Iran. In a letter to Munk School head Janice Stein, who was awarded an honorary doctorate from Hebrew University “in tribute to her unwavering devotion to Israel”, the president of the Iranian Canadian Community Council Niaz Salimi wrote: “Conspicuously absent from the event were experts, academics, political activists, students, bloggers, journalists and members of the Iranian diaspora (including those of the Iranian-Canadian community) whose views on Iran do not fully concur with the positions of the Harper government.”

The Munk School has been a hub of anti-Iranian activity. A senior research fellow until recently, Mark Dubowitz was dubbed “The Man Who Fights Iran” by Ynet, Israel’s largest English language news site. Alongside his position at the Munk School, Dubowitz was executive director of the extremist pro-Israel Foundation for Defense of Democracies where he led its campaign against the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal. In 2011 Dubowitz said, “the best way [to end Iran’s nuclear program] is to work toward changing the regime.”

Expanding the Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran, Foreign Affairs gave the Munk School $9 million in 2015 to establish the Digital Public Square project. The federal support “will enable the Munk School to create our new Digital Public Square, a square designed for citizens who cannot come together physically to exchange ideas about the future of their country,” Munk School head Janice Stein said. The countries cited were Iran, Syria, Iraq and Russia. There was no mention of employing digital technologies to undermine online censorship in equally, or more, repressive allies such as Rwanda, Jordan, Honduras or Saudi Arabia.

This is one-way Canadian propaganda works: Establish who your enemies are — generally defined by big corporations, rich people and whoever is in power in Washington — attempt to destabilize their “regimes”, then accuse their governments of interfering in your affairs.

Citizen Lab’s recent report criticizing Iran is part of a government funded effort to demonize that country, which could be a step towards a military assault.

June 12, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

Extreme Politics: The Roger Pielke Jr. Story

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | June 10, 2019

Last week, an article by economist Ross McKitrick appeared in Canada’s National Post. Titled This scientist proved climate change isn’t causing extreme weather – so politicians attacked, it tells the story of Roger Pielke Jr., a professor in Boulder, Colorado who has been mercilessly persecuted for the unpardonable sin of telling the truth.

With Canada’s Prime Minister childishly insisting a national carbon tax will prevent wildfires, floods, and tornadoes, McKitrick sets us straight:

Globally there’s no clear evidence of trends and patterns in extreme events such as droughts, hurricanes and floods. Some regions experience more, some less…There’s no trend in U.S. hurricane landfall frequency or intensity. If anything, the past 50 years has been relatively quiet…Since 1965, more parts of the U.S. have seen a decrease in flooding than have seen an increase…There’s no trend in U.S. tornado damage (in fact, 2012 to 2017 was below average)…Cold snaps in the U.S. are down but, unexpectedly, so are heatwaves.

The bottom line is there’s no solid connection between climate change and the major indicators of extreme weather… [bold added]

Pielke once specialized in natural disasters and the damage they inflict. In 2006, Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, appeared. It incorrectly claimed global warming was responsible for Hurricane Katrina, which had devastated New Orleans. This became the party line amongst US Democrats.

Having since switched his research focus to other matters, Pielke spoke publicly last year about being relentlessly smeared and slimed by ridiculously senior Democrats despite the fact that he himself has never once voted Republican.

A case in point is John Podesta. This man was President Bill Clinton’s last chief of staff. He was an advisor to President Barack Obama. More recently, he served as Hilary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign manager. Podesta’s other project is the Center for American Progress (CAP), described as “the Democrat’s favorite think tank.”

Podesta is as partisan as they come, and CAP is a Democratic Party political machine. In Pielke’s words, between 2007 and 2015, “CAP wrote more than 161 articles critical of me, many spreading false and incorrect representations of my views. They averaged an article a week in 2008 and 2009.”

Overall, seven different CAP writers chose to ignore Pielke’s airtight scholarship. He needed to be muzzled for political reasons – for “questioning the link between climate change and extreme weather” and for allegedly providing “cover for climate deniers.”

In an internal 2014 e-mail (made public by WikiLeaks in 2016), CAP employee Judd Legum boasts that his part of that organization got Pielke fired as a contributor to FiveThirtyEight.com, a website affiliated with ABC News.

Pielke’s first and only article there was titled Disasters Cost More Than Ever – But Not Because of Climate Change. Studded with numerous links to source material, it points out that even the UN’s highly politicized Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admits there’s scant evidence of a spike in the frequency or intensity of floods, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes.

In other words, there’s nothing remotely radical or non-mainstream about Pielke’s position. But the blowback orchestrated by CAP and others was so vociferous, he was never published at FiveThirtyEight.com again. In this interview Pielke says he suggested leaving three months later, after the website had demonstrated “some reluctance in continuing to publish my work.”

Slide #38 in the presentation Pielke gave last year includes a third party advertisement that characterizes his departure as a “Victory for climate truth!” Rather than being an honest scholar, you see, he’s actually a “climate confusionist” who deserves to be destroyed.

Today, someone searching on Pielke’s name at FireThirtyEight.com is presented with a very short list. It includes an editorial by its founder and editor-in-chief about Pielke’s article. It also includes a response to Pielke’s article by Kerry Emanuel. But there’s no actual link to Pielke’s calm, sane piece itself.

Having kowtowed to bullies, FireThirtyEight.com now sticks to conventional fare – articles that discuss “climate change denialists” and “climate change deniers.”

The simple truth is so threatening to certain political operatives that Pielke’s persecution didn’t end there. In 2015, he was falsely accused of secretly taking money from an oil company and investigated by Congress. In that context, the president of the university that employs him was advised in writing that Obama’s White House science advisor believed Pielke to be guilty of “serious misstatements.”

Also in 2015, Paige St. John, a Pulitzer Prize-winning US journalist, discovered that mentioning Pielke in an article was sufficient to ignite a campaign against her. Slide #22 contains a comment St. John sent to Pielke by e-mail:

You should come with a warning label: Quoting Roger Pielke will bring a hail storm down on your work from the London Guardian, Mother Jones and Media Matters.

Let that sink in. No one is off limits. Even journalists at the top of the heap are targeted and bullied. The climate mafia exists. Its enforcers are real. Their mantra is: thou shalt not set a toe out of line.

As Ross McKitrick ended his National Post article last week, so shall I: “Something has gotten scary and extreme, but it isn’t the weather.”

June 10, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

Roméo Dallaire denies Canadian genocide and distorts Rwanda’s

By Yves Engler · June 6, 2019

QGHKMDUKFZEQ5KLGQQF2NZHKEY-1Is Roméo Dallaire a genocide denier?

After a (question free) talk at Concordia University this week I followed the famous Canadian general out of the room to ask why he still supports ruthless dictator Paul Kagame. Kagame is the individual most responsible for the mass slaughter in Rwanda in mid-1994 since his forces invaded the country, engaged in a great deal of killing and blew up the presidential plane that unleashed the genocidal violence.

In 1996 Kagame’s forces invaded the Congo to overthrow the government in Kinshasa and when their installed president kicked them out they reinvaded in 1998, causing an eight country war that left millions dead. According to a 600-page report by the UN high commissioner for human rights, Rwanda was responsible for “crimes against humanity, war crimes, or even genocide” in the Congo.

With Dallaire refusing to answer my question I asked a Radio Canada journalist seeking to interview the former general to ask why he supports Kagame. The reporter was there to question Dallaire about the use of the term “genocide” in the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Dallaire said he had “a problem” with the use of the word “genocide” to describe what happened to First Nations. “Is that an act of genocide? Is it?” he said. “My definition of genocide, I read it very deliberately at the start of the Rwandan genocide, and it was a deliberate act of a government to exterminate deliberately, and by force and directly, an ethnicity or a group or an entity of human beings.”

Numerous media outlets picked up Dallaire’s comments. A La Presse headline read “Dallaire denounces the use of the term ‘genocide’” while Rebel Media’s The Ezra Levant Show reported on, “Rwandan genocide witness General Roméo Dallaire’s strong denouncement of Justin Trudeau’s agreement that the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women findings indeed constitute a ‘genocide.’”

While Dallaire is opposed to labeling Canada’s dispossession of First Nations a genocide, he has repeatedly employed the term to describe rights violations in enemy states. In recent years he’s compared the situation of Darfuris in Sudan and Baha’i in Iran, as well as Syria and Libya, to Rwanda. If Western interventionists are targeting a nation Dallaire is happy to employ the “G” word or “R” comparison.

Interestingly, Dallaire’s criteria for a genocide — “a deliberate act of a government to exterminate deliberately” — better applies to indigenous people in Canada than to the Tutsi in Rwanda. Dispossessed of 99% of their land, Indigenous people have faced state-backed efforts to starve and sterilize them. They’ve also been made wards of the state, had their movement restricted and religious/cultural ceremonies banned. Residential schools and other so-called child welfare initiatives sought to eradicate their ways, or in the infamous formulation of the deputy superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs from 1913 to 1932, Duncan Campbell Scott: “Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic and there is no Indian question.”

Prior to confederation, British forces conquered today’s Nova Scotia through terror, putting the heads of Mi’kmaq soldiers on spikes and offering bounties to kill women and children. Founder of the Halifax fort, Lieutenant General Edward Cornwallis led the charge and by the mid-1760s the Mi’kmaq had been largely wiped out in Nova Scotia.

After British forces conquered Quebec General Jeffery Amherst’s forces gave indigenous chiefs in the Great Lakes region blankets and a handkerchief from a smallpox hospital. Commander of British forces in North America, Amherst wrote: “You will do well to try to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets as well as to try every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race.”

By the 1820s the Beothuk in Newfoundland were extinct. On the West Coast in 1862 colonial officials are accused of enabling the spread of smallpox among First Nations, which devastated the indigenous population.

Unlike the Tutsi in Rwanda, indigenous people in Canada didn’t end up in power after the “genocide”. Nor did Jews in Germany, the Herero in Namibia, Armenians in Turkey, Maya in Guatemala, etc. Rwanda is a peculiar case where the minority — 10% of the population — targeted for extermination ended up ruling after the bulk of the violence subsided.

That’s partly because the genocidal killings were not a long planned attempt to exterminate all Tutsi, which even the victors’ justice dispensed by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) effectively concluded. Instead, it was the outgrowth of a serious breakdown in social order that saw hundreds of thousands slaughtered by relatively disorganized local ‘militias’ fearful of the Kagame-led foreign invasion that eventually conquered Rwanda and drove a quarter of the population out of the country. Probably an equal — and possibly a greater — number of Hutu were killed.

Dallaire has propagated a wildly simplistic account of the tragedy that gripped Rwanda and Burundi in the mid-1990s. He has promoted the Kagame-inspired fairy tale used to justify a brutal dictatorship in Rwanda and its expansionism in the region (as well as Western liberal imperialism). According to the most outlandish aspect of this story, Hutu extremists murdered the Hutu presidents of Rwanda and Burundi and much of the Hutu-led Rwandan military command, weakening the Hutu government to its most frail point in three decades, and then decided to begin a long planned systematic extermination of Tutsi. In this depiction of Rwanda’s tragedy, the individual most responsible for unleashing the genocidal violence is the hero who ended “the Genocide”.

Dallaire is not innocent of Kagame’s violence. In his 2005 book Le Patron de Dallaire Parle (The Boss of Dallaire Speaks), Jacques-Roger Booh Booh, a former Cameroon foreign minister and overall head of mid-1990s UN mission in Rwanda, claims Dallaire had little interest in the violence unleashed by Kagame’s RPF despite reports of summary executions in areas controlled by them. Booh Booh says Dallaire turned a blind eye to RPF weapons coming across the border from Uganda and he believes the UN forces under Dallaire’s command may have even transported weapons directly to the RPF, “becoming an objective ally of one of the parties in the conflict.”

Dallaire’s criticism of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is consistent with his political interventions. He has long been a cheerleader for Canadian and Western domination of the world. As I detail in this article, the former general opposed calls to withdraw Canadian soldiers from Afghanistan, supported the overthrow of Haiti’s elected government in 2004 and bombing of Libya in 2011. He has also called for increased military spending and for Canada to join US ballistic missile “defence”. Now he appears to be denying a genocide perpetrated by a government he represented in the Senate and worked for in the military. Boil it all down and it simply becomes: ‘Our side is good and our enemies are bad.’

But, of course, this is what passes for foreign policy in Canada.

June 6, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a 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

Trudeau government squeezes Cuba

By Yves Engler | June 3, 2019

Ottawa faces a dilemma. How far are Trudeau’s Liberals prepared to go in squeezing Cuba? Can Canadian corporations with interests on the island restrain the most pro-US, anti-socialist, elements of the ruling class?

Recently, the Canadian Embassy in Havana closed its Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship section. Now most Cubans wanting to visit Canada or get work/study permits will have to travel to a Canadian embassy in another country to submit their documents. In some cases Cubans will have to travel to another country at least twice to submit information to enter Canada. The draconian measure has already undercut cultural exchange and family visits, as described in a Toronto Star op-ed titled “Canada closes a door on Cuban culture”.

It’s rare for an embassy to simply eliminate visa processing, but what’s prompted this measure is the stuff of science fiction. Canada’s embassy staff was cut in half in January after diplomats became ill following a mysterious ailment that felled US diplomats sent to Cuba after Donald Trump’s election. Four months after the first US diplomats (apparently) became ill US ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis met his Canadian, British and French counterparts to ask if any of their staff were sick. According to a recent New York Times Magazine story, “none knew of any similar experiences afflicting their officials in Cuba. But after the Canadian ambassador notified his staff, 27 officials and family members there asked to be tested. Twelve were found to be suffering from a variety of symptoms, similar to those experienced by the Americans.”

With theories ranging from “mass hysteria” to the sounds of “Indies short-tailed crickets” to an “outbreak of functional disorders”, the medical questions remain largely unresolved. The politics of the affair are far clearer. In response, the Trump Administration withdrew most of its embassy staff in Havana and expelled Cuban diplomats from Washington. They’ve rolled back measures the Obama Administration instituted to re-engage with Cuba and recently implemented an extreme measure even the George W. Bush administration shied away from.

Ottawa has followed along partly because it’s committed to overthrowing Venezuela’s government and an important talking point of the anti-Nicolás Maduro coalition is that Havana is propping him up. On May 3 Justin Trudeau called Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel to pressure him to join Ottawa’s effort to oust President Maduro. The release noted, “the Prime Minister, on behalf of the Lima Group [of countries hostile to Maduro], underscored the desire to see free and fair elections and the constitution upheld in Venezuela.” Four days later Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland added to the diplomatic pressure on Havana. She told reporters, “Cuba needs to not be part of the problem in Venezuela, but become part of the solution.” A week later Freeland visited Cuba to discuss Venezuela.

On Tuesday Freeland talked with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Venezuela and Cuba. Afterwards the State Department tweeted, “Secretary Pompeo spoke with Canada’s Foreign Minister Freeland to discuss ongoing efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela. The Secretary and Foreign Minister agreed to continue working together to press the Cuban regime to provide for a democratic and prosperous future for the people of Cuba.”

Ottawa supports putting pressure on Cuba in the hopes of further isolating/demonizing the Maduro government. But, the Trudeau government is simultaneously uncomfortable with how the US campaign against Cuba threatens the interests of some Canadian-owned businesses.

The other subject atop the agenda when Freeland traveled to Havana was Washington’s decision to allow lawsuits for property confiscated after the 1959 Cuban revolution. The Trump Administration recently activated a section of the Helms-Burton Act that permits Cubans and US citizens to sue foreign companies doing business in Cuba over property nationalized decades ago. The move could trigger billions of dollars in legal claims in US courts against Canadian and European businesses operating on the island.

Obviously, Canadian firms that extract Cuban minerals and deliver over a million vacationers to the Caribbean country each year don’t want to be sued in US courts. They want Ottawa’s backing, but the Trudeau government’s response to Washington’s move has been relatively muted. This speaks to Trudeau/Freeland’s commitment to overthrowing Venezuela’s government.

But, it also reflects the broader history of Canada-Cuba ties. Despite the hullabaloo around Ottawa’s seemingly cordial relations with Havana, the reality is more complicated than often presented. Similar to Venezuela today, Ottawa has previously aligned with US fear-mongering about the “Cuban menace” in Latin America and elsewhere. Even Prime minister Pierre Trudeau, who famously declared “viva Castro” during a trip to that country in 1976, denounced (highly altruistic) Cuban efforts to defend newly independent Angola from apartheid South Africa’s invasion. In response, Trudeau stated, “Canada disapproves with horror [of] participation of Cuban troops in Africa” and later terminated the Canadian International Development Agency’s small aid program in Cuba as a result.

After the 1959 Cuban revolution Ottawa never broke off diplomatic relations, even though most other countries in the hemisphere did. Three Nights in Havana explains part of why Ottawa maintained diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba: “Recently declassified State Department documents have revealed that, far from encouraging Canada to support the embargo, the United States secretly urged Diefenbaker to maintain normal relations because it was thought that Canada would be well positioned to gather intelligence on the island.” Washington was okay with Canada’s continued relations with the island. It simply wanted assurances, which were promptly given, that Canada wouldn’t take over the trade the US lost. For their part, Canadian business interests in the country, which were sizable, were generally less hostile to the revolution since they were mostly compensated when their operations were nationalized. Still, the more ideological elements of corporate Canada have always preferred the Cuban model didn’t exist.

If a Canadian company is sued in the US for operating in Cuba, Ottawa will face greater pressure to push back on Washington. If simultaneously the Venezuelan government remains, Ottawa’s ability to sustain its position against Cuba and Venezuela is likely to become even more difficult.

June 3, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , | 11 Comments