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Panama detains and deports head of Brazil-Palestine Institute (Ibraspal)

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network | March 18, 2023

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its solidarity with Dr. Ahmed Shehadeh after Panamanian immigration authorities at Tocumen International Airport detained and deported Shehadeh, the head of the Brazilian-Palestinian Institute (Ibraspal), on Thursday, March 16. The Panamanian officials confiscated and held his Brazilian passport while he was transiting at the airport on his way to the second conference of the Palestinian Federation of Latin America, taking place between 17 and 19 March in Barranquilla, Colombia, Ibraspal’s vice president, Sayid Marcos Tenório, said.

“Shehadeh was interrogated by Panamanian intelligence agents, possibly with the participation and support of U.S. and Israeli intelligence,” Tenório said. “The state of Panama is under American occupation. American and Israeli intelligence are targeting anyone working against imperialist Zionist policies.”

Palestinian community sources in Brazil reported that extensive contacts took place with the Brazilian authorities, as Alexandre Padilha (Minister of Institutional Relations), Paulo Pimenta (Federal Deputy) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs intervened, as did the representative of the Brazilian Embassy in Panama, communicating with the Panamanian authorities until Shehadeh returned to Brazil after his deportation, where his passport was returned to him at Brasilia airport.

Shehadeh was detained and interrogated for many hours before he was told that Panamanian immigration authorities were deporting him back to Brazil rather than allowing him to continue his journey to Colombia and the Palestinian conference taking place there.

Rawa Alsagheer, Palestinian activist and member of Samidoun Network in Brazil, denounced the action of the Panamanian authorities. “This reflects a Zionist and U.S. attempt to target and disrupt the organizing of Palestinians in exile in diaspora, especially in Latin America,” she said.

Brazilian media and social media widely reported on the news of Shehadeh’s detention and deportation, and many Brazilian and Palestinian organizations denounced the Panamanian action. The Panamanian Committee in Solidarity with the Palestinian People also condemned the immigration authorities’ actions.

Brazilian organizations and parties are planning to visit Shehadeh to express their solidarity with the Palestinian people and their rejection of the Panamanian authorities’ decision to prevent him from participating in the Palestinian Federation of Latin America’s conference.

March 19, 2023 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Indigenous Rebellion Continues as Post-Coup Peruvian Government Flounders


Revived democratic struggle in Peru is well along into a second act. There was the parliamentary coup December 7 that removed democratically elected President Pedro Castillo and the “First Taking of Lima” in mid-January, embittered and excluded Peruvians occupied Lima and faced violent repression. Then on March 1 protests renewed as the indigenous inhabitants of Peru’s extreme southern regions prepared once more to demonstrate in Lima and would shortly be protesting in their own regions. The resistance’s make-up was fully on display.

Protesters throughout Peru were rejecting a replacement president and an elite-dominated congress and calling for early elections and a new constitution. They belonged for the most part belonged to Aymara communities in districts south of Lima extending from Lake Titicaca both west and northeast, into the Andes region.

Their complaints centered on wealth inequities, rule by a Lima-based elite, inadequate means for decent lives, and non-recognition of their cultural autonomy. Their support and that of other rural Peruvians had brought about the surprise election to Peru’s presidency in 2021 of the inexperienced Pedro Castillo. He had defeated Keiko Fujimori, daughter of a now imprisoned dictator and favorite of Peru’s neo-liberal enablers.

By March 1, residents of provinces close to the city of Puno were arriving in Lima to carry out the so-called “Second Wave of the Taking of Lima.” Demanding the de facto President Dina Boluarte resign, as of March 4 protesters had not been able to break through police lines surrounding key government buildings. The main action, however, was going on in the epicenter of police and military repression ever since Boluarte had taken office on December 7.

That would be the Puno area where most of the 60 deaths caused by violent repression have occurred, with 19 protesters having been killed on January 9 in Juliaca, a town 27 miles north of Puno city.

On March 5, violence was again playing out in Juli, a town 58 miles south of Puno, also on the shore of Lake Titicaca. Demonstrations along with roadblocks were in progress throughout the extended region, all in sympathy with the concurrent protests in Lima. Involved were indigenous groups, small farmer organizations, and social movements.

In Juli the demonstrators, confronted by military units and police in civilian dress, set fire to judicial office buildings and the police headquarters. The troops fired, shots came from open windows, and tear gas was released from a helicopter; 18 demonstrators were wounded.

Demonstrators blocking a bridge over a river prevented the entry of troops into the nearby town of Llave. Rains had caused flooding and in the process of swimming across the river, one of them drowned and five others disappeared.

Protesters captured 12 soldiers; community leader Nilo Colque indicated they were released after they admitted to trying to break the “strikes” but that they too opposed the military’s actions. Coolque predicted that soon 30,000 Aymaras would be descending on Juli and nearby population centers.

Aymara activists in Ilave announced a strike of indefinite duration. A “Committee of struggle” in Cusco announced the beginning as of March 7 of an indefinite strike in 10 provinces. The president of the national “Rondas Campesinas” (peasant patrols), said to represent two million Peruvians in all, announced a big march on Lima from all regions set for March 13.

Meanwhile Peru’s chief prosecutor has embarked upon an investigation of President Boluarte and other officials for crimes of “genocide, homicide resulting from circumstances, and causing serious injury,” that allegedly took place mostly in southern regions in the weeks immediately after her taking office.

There are these other developments:

* Peru’s Supreme Court on March 3 heard a proposal that the “preventive imprisonment of ex-President Castillo be extended from 18 to 36 months. Another court had previously denied his appeal for habeas corpus.

* The Congress as of March 6 looked to be on the verge of, for the fourth time, refusing to advance new presidential elections from April 2024 to sometime in 2013.

* The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has released a preliminary report accusing the new Peruvian government of excessive use of force against protesters.

* Polling results currently go one way: 77% of Peruvian reject the Dina Boluarte government, 70% say she should resign, 90% denounce Peru’s Congress. 69% favor moving general elections ahead to 2023, and 58% support the demonstrations. Most of those making up these majorities live in rural areas, according to the report.

The opposed sides in the Peruvian conflict are stalemated. Powerbrokers presently lack a government capable – willing though it may be – of providing structure and organization adequate for protecting their political and economic interests. Marginalized Peruvians are without an historical experience from which revolutionary leadership and strategies might have developed, such that now they might have direction and focus. The people’s movement there is not as lucky as counterparts were in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

Now the U.S. government meddles with this state of precarious balance in Peru. And not surprisingly: it has long intervened militarily and is competing with China economically.

Speaking on March 1, State Department Ned Price did insist that in Peru, “our diplomats do not take sides in political disputes … They recognize that these are sovereign decisions.” He added that the United States backs “Peru’s constitution, and Peru’s constitutional processes.”

Even so, there is active interest hinting at more to come. Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols on February 28 urged Peru’s Congress to expedite early elections and Peru’s president to promptly “end the crisis caused by ex-President Castillo’s self-coup.”

March 15, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Killing Communists with Impunity

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | March 9, 2023

The New York Times recently carried an interesting article about the death in 1973 of Pablo Neruda, one of the most renowned poets in the world. Neruda was a Chilean citizen. He was also a strong supporter of Chilean president Salvador Allende, who the Chilean national-security establishment, with the encouragement of the U.S. national-security state, ousted from power in a violent coup in that year. The coup was headed by Chilean conservative military strongman General Augusto Pinochet.

At the time of the coup, Neruda was suffering from cancer and was hospitalized. He died during the coup. The Chilean military-intelligence establishment claimed that he died from his cancer. There were always suspicions, however, that he had been murdered by the Chilean national-security establishment. 

Pablo Neruda

The Times article describes a report from a team that examined Neruda’s remains. The team found bacteria within his body that could be deadly. But they could not determine for sure whether it was, in fact, a toxic strain of bacteria and whether it had been injected into him.

One thing is for certain though: It certainly would not have been unusual for Pinochet and his henchmen to murder Neruda, with the full support of the Pentagon and the CIA, both of which had agents on the ground in Chile during the coup.

Remember: This was 1973, when the Pentagon’s and CIA’s Cold War racket was still going strong. As part of that racket, the Pentagon and the CIA had carte blanche to murder communists wherever they found them.

In 1970, the Chilean people democratically elected Allende to be their president. Allende was a socialist, one who immediately established a friendly relationship with the communist world. He even invited Cuban president Fidel Castro to visit Chile. Their parade in downtown Santiago was met with throngs of enthusiastic supporters. 

The U.S. national-security establishment deemed Allende to be a grave threat to national-security. That made him subject to being assassinated by the CIA. Don’t forget that the CIA had already repeatedly tried to assassinate Castro for being a communist. 

Rather than assassinate Allende, however, the Pentagon and the CIA instead decided to encourage the Chilean national-security establishment to initiate a violent coup against him. When the coup took place in 1973, the Chilean military tried to assassinate Allende with missiles fired at him from military planes. Allende fought back but was no match for the power of the Chilean national-security establishment. At the end of the battle, Allende lay dead, supposedly having decided to commit suicide. 

But even if Allende didn’t commit suicide, the outcome was never in doubt. The Chilean military-intelligence establishment was going to kill him, either during the coup or after the coup. That’s because it, like the Pentagon and the CIA, deemed him to be a communist. Like their counterparts in the Pentagon and the CIA, as far as they were concerned they had the omnipotent authority to kill communists, especially those within their own country. 

In fact, after the coup Pinochet and his goons routed up more than 50,000 of Allende’s supporters, including women. They murdered or disappeared around 3,000 of them. They tortured most of them. They raped or violently sexually abused many of the women. 

None of this was considered to be any big deal for the killers, the kidnappers, the rapists, and the abusers because the victims were all considered to be communists or communist sympathizers. In the minds of the Chilean national-security establishment, the only good communist was a dead communist, a tortured communist, a raped communist, or a sexually abused communist. 

All of this met with the fervent approval of the Pentagon and the CIA. U.S. taxpayer-funded money flooded into the Pinochet regime. In the eyes of the Pentagon and the CIA, Pinochet was helping win the worldwide war on communism, even if the U.S. was losing to the communists in Vietnam.

During the coup, the Chilean military took two young Americans into custody, Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi. They too were supporters of Allende. They were also opponents of the U.S. war in Vietnam. Chilean officials murdered both men. There is no way that Pinochet would have killed two Americans without first having received a green light from U.S. officials. But it was easy to secure that green light because Horman and Teruggi were considered to be unpatriotic, treasonous American communist sympathizers. 

In 1970, U.S. officials first began planning their coup against Allende. Standing in their way, however, was Gen. Rene Schneider, the overall commander of Chile’s armed forces. The CIA orchestrated his violent kidnaping to remove him as an obstacle to the coup. Schneider was murdered by the CIA-employed thugs during the kidnapping attempt. 

No one in the CIA was ever brought to justice for Schneider’s murder. For that matter, no one in the CIA or the Pentagon was ever brought to justice for Horman’s and Teruggi’s murder. 

Many years later, when the Schneider sons sued in federal court for the murder of their father, the federal judiciary made it clear that it would never interfere with any of the CIA’s or Pentagon’s state-sponsored assassinations. 

So, given all this, it certainly should not surprise anyone if Pablo Neruda was, in fact, one of the murder victims during the Chilean coup. In fact, what would be surprising is if he wasn’t. 

March 9, 2023 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Dmitry Medvedev Is Right: The Global South Is Rising Up Against Neo-Colonialism

By Andrew Korybko | March 7, 2023

Former Russian President and incumbent Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev published a piece on the ruling party’s website about how the Global South is rising up against neo-colonialism. It’s in Russian but can easily be read using Google Translate. This influential official made some observations in support of his assessment such as Argentina’s recent scrapping of a pact with the UK and France’s military retreat from Africa, the latter of which is extremely meaningful.

The Ukrainian Conflict can therefore be seen in hindsight not just as the NATO-Russian proxy war that it’s since morphed into, but also as tipping point in terms of the Global South’s relations with the US-led West’s Golden Billion. Developing countries were inspired by President Vladimir Putin’s Global Revolutionary Manifesto and the damage Russia dealt to unipolarity over the past year to finally rise up against their former colonizers to fully break free from the latter’s modern-day shackles.

The New Cold War is therefore truly leading to the trifurcation of International Relations between the Golden Billion, the Sino-Russo Entente, and the Global South, the last-mentioned of which is much more closely aligned with the second than with the first. The objective national interests of many Global South states like India are most effectively advanced by adroitly balancing between those other two blocs, but all of them have a worldview that’s a lot closer to Russia and China’s multipolar one than to the US’.

There’s still a long way to go before neo-colonialism is dealt the death blow that it deserves, and this indirect form of hegemony can always be revived in different manifestations sometime in the future, but the trend that Medvedev touched upon is a pivotal one that’s radically reshaping International Relations. The Global South’s perspective of the global systemic transition aligns with the Sino-Russo Entente’s, not the Golden Billion’s, which therefore greatly complicates the latter’s plans.

This explains why no Global South state has followed the US in imposing illegal sanctions against Russia, which in turn prompted the New York Times to recently admit that those sanctions failed just like the US’ efforts to “isolate” Russia did too. The Golden Billion took for granted that its neo-colonial levers of influence over the Global South were still powerful enough to enable that bloc to indirectly control those countries’ foreign policies, which was obviously a completely mistaken assessment.

It could only have been made by those ideologically driven liberalglobalists that control the West and are convinced of their own “supremacy”. No rational actor, after all, would have ever made this assumption prior to provoking Russia into commencing its special operation last year. Matters of such importance like the expected stance of dozens of countries towards the most geostrategically significant conflict since World War II should never be left to chance by policymakers.

By making assumptions about how they’d react instead of taking action in advance to ensure their support for its proxy war, the Golden Billion committed a major mistake that accelerated the global systemic transition to multipolarity. Not only that, but instead of simply accepting their sovereign decision not to sanction and “isolate” Russia, the West made another major mistake by attempting to punish them for their pragmatic policies and thus reminding everyone about neo-colonialism.

This inadvertently served the purpose of reinforcing Russia’s framing of its proxy war with NATO as a struggle for sovereignty in the face of that armed bloc’s pressure that it unilaterally concedes on its objective national interests. The Global South states felt similar such pressure from the West, which their comparatively freer media reported on, thus leading to grassroots support for their leaders’ brave defiance of those demands to change their stance towards that conflict as well as Russia’s role within it.

While most of the Global South isn’t against the Golden Billion per se, it’s also no longer content with tolerating that bloc’s neo-colonialism, hence why these states are rising up in opposition to those practices. They sensed that the present moment is an historic one after Russia’s special operation exposed the limits of Western influence over the developing world, following which they rightly judged that now is the perfect time to break the Golden Billion’s remaining shackles and free themselves in full.

March 7, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The United States Is in Conflict with Countries for Doing Things We Know They’re Not Doing

By Ted Snider | The Libertarian Institute | March 6, 2023

China, Balloons, and Spying

On February 4, the U.S. military shot down a Chinese balloon they claim was a surveillance device spying on U.S. territory. The unprecedented “kinetic action against an airborne object… within United States or American airspace” was followed by three more objects being shot down by the U.S. and Canada over their airspace.

The conflict that followed derailed potential and necessary Sino-American diplomacy. But Washington knows three crucial things: the surveillance balloon was not intentionally sent over American airspace, the next three objects were not even spying, and even if they had been spying, China would only be doing what the U.S. does every day. There was never a need for the conflict.

Biden has admitted that the three later objects that were shot down “were most likely research balloons, not spy craft.” The U.S. “intelligence community’s assessment is that the three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific studies.”

As for the balloon the United States still believes was a spy balloon, they knew all along that China had not deliberately sent it over American airspace. Far from being taken by surprise, as they portrayed, “U.S. military and intelligence agencies had been tracking it for nearly a week, watching as it lifted off from its home base on Hainan Island near China’s south coast.”

And they knew the intended destination was never the United States. Officials “are now examining the possibility that China didn’t intend to penetrate the American heartland with their airborne surveillance device.” The U.S. monitored the flight path that was taking it to Guam when “strong winds… appear to have pushed the balloon south into the continental United States.”

The U.S. initiated a potentially dangerous conflict with a country for doing something they knew the country wasn’t doing.

And even if China did send a spy balloon over the United States, the government knows that they do that to China every day. Three times a day actually! Retired Ambassador Chas Freeman, who accompanied Nixon to China in 1972, told me that the U.S. “mount[s] about three reconnaissance missions a day by air or sea along China’s borders, staying just outside the 12-mile limit but alarming the Chinese, who routinely intercept our flights and protest our perceived provocations.”

The U.S. has, not balloons, but satellites that spy on China. NBC’s Robert Windrem calls Washington’s “appetite for China’s secrets” “insatiable” and says that “spying on the People’s Republic of China has been one of the National Security Agency’s top priorities since it was established in 1952.”

But they have balloons too. On February 13, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said “that the U.S. had flown high-altitude balloons through its airspace more than 10 times since the start of 2022.” He went on to say that “U.S. balloons regularly flew through other countries’ airspace without permission.”

And in February 2022, Politico revealed that the Pentagon is working on “high-altitude inflatables” that would fly “at between 60,000 and 90,000 feet [and] would be added to the Pentagon’s extensive surveillance network…” The Pentagon, which has spent millions on the project, hopes the balloons “may help track and deter hypersonic weapons being developed by China and Russia.”

Cuba and Sponsoring Terrorism

On October 3, 2022, Colombian President Gustavo Petro asked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to take Cuba off the list of state sponsors of international terrorism. At a press conference the same day, Blinken defended the Cuban listing, insisting that “When it comes to Cuba and when it comes to the state sponsor of terrorism designation, we have clear laws, clear criteria, clear requirements.” Petro disagreed, responding that “what has happened with Cuba is an injustice.”

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador agrees. In December, he said that the world must “unite and defend the independence and sovereignty of Cuba, and never, ever treat it as a ‘terrorist’ country, or put its profoundly humane people and government on a blacklist of supposed ‘terrorists.’”

The United States agrees. Though the Biden administration has insisted on keeping Cuba on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, they know that Cuba is not a sponsor of terrorism.

William LeoGrande, Professor of Government at American University and a specialist in U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America, told me that the region’s resistance to the American strangling of Cuba was “preventing Washington from engaging Latin American cooperation on a range of other issues.” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said U.S. policy on Cuba had become “an albatross” around the neck of the U.S., crippling their policy in the hemisphere.

So, President Obama ordered a review of the designation. In an act of extreme historical understatement, he told Congress that “the government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding six-month period” and “has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.” After the State Department review, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that any remaining “concerns and disagreements” with Cuba “fall outside the criteria for designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.” The State Department issued an “assessment that Cuba meets the criteria established by Congress for rescission.” The U.S. intelligence community came to the same decision.

In May 2015, Obama removed Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Cuba’s Foreign Ministry announced that “The government of Cuba recognizes the just decision made by the President of the United States to remove Cuba” from the list, adding that “it never deserved to belong” on the list in the first place.

Cuba was placed on the list in 1982 in an act of hypocrisy and exceptionalism. President Reagan locked Cuba in the list for arming revolutionary left wing movements in Latin America, meanwhile Reagan was arming their right wing opponents. Reagan declared that supporting those groups was “self-defense” and waged secret proxy wars and armed and supported counter-revolutionary forces in El Salvador and Nicaragua. LeoGrande has said that the U.S. backed counter-revolutionary forces “guilty of far worse terrorist attacks against civilians” than the Cuban backed revolutionary forces.

Nonetheless, on January 11, 2021, as it was walking out the White House door, the Trump administration thrust Cuba back onto the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Biden promised, while campaigning for the presidency, that he would “promptly reverse the failed Trump policies that have inflicted harm on the Cuban people and done nothing to advance democracy and human rights.” Instead, two months after Trump put Cuba back on the list,  White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced that a “Cuba policy shift is not currently among President Biden’s top priorities.”

Cuba remains on the state sponsor of terrorism list even though Washington knows Havana is not a state sponsor of terrorism. The Obama administration liberated them from the list, knowing that “the government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism.” The Trump administration locked them back in the list, knowing the same, and the Biden administration has no immediate plans to reverse it.

Iran and Nuclear Bombs

The pattern is the same with Iran. The Obama administration signs the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran, paving the way to end the conflict, the Trump administration illegally pulls out of the deal, renewing the conflict, and Joe Biden continues Trump’s failed policies instead of returning to Obama’s promising policies.

The Biden administration knows that the Trump era policy they are keeping alive is a mistake. Blinken called the Trump administration’s “decision to pull out of the agreement” a “disastrous mistake.” Biden, while campaigning, said that Trump “recklessly tossed away a policy that was working to keep America safe and replaced it with one that has worsened the threat.” He promised to “offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy.” He hasn’t.

Instead, the State Department has said that the negotiations with Iran are “not our focus right now.” Robert Malley, the top U.S. diplomat for negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran, said that “It is not on our agenda…we are not going to waste our time on it.”

So, Iran continues to be the recipient of American sanctions, threats, assassinations, and sabotage: all while the United States knows Iran is not building a nuclear bomb.

The 2007 and 2011 U.S. National Intelligence Estimates both concluded with “high confidence” that Iran was not building a bomb. But you don’t have to go back that far to find American admissions that they are continuing the conflict with Iran for doing things they know Iran is not doing.

The 2022 U.S. Department of Defense Nuclear Posture Review makes the stunning admission that Iran is not building a nuclear weapon nor has it even made a decision to pursue a nuclear weapon. The Nuclear Posture Review makes that admission, not once, but twice, and it is repeated again in the National Defense Strategy in which it is included.

The Nuclear Posture Review says that “Iran does not currently pose a nuclear threat but continues to develop capabilities that would enable it to produce a nuclear weapon should it make the decision to do so.” It then lays out the truth about Iran in the greatest clarity: “Iran does not today possess a nuclear weapon and we currently believe it is not pursuing one.”

That was true four months ago, when the Nuclear Posture Review was released, and it remains true today. On February 25, CIA Director William Burns said that “[t]o the best of our knowledge, we don’t believe that the supreme leader in Iran has yet made a decision to resume the weaponization program.”

As with its Cuba policy, the United States continues to engage in conflict with Iran for doing something they know Iran is not doing. In the case of Iran, that escalating, self-defeating policy is potentially very dangerous.

In all three cases—China, Cuba and Iran–the United States has engaged in hostile, and sometimes dangerous, conflict with countries for doing what Washington knew all along they weren’t doing.

March 6, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 1 Comment

Russia expands its partners as special military operation progresses

Contrary to what Westerners predicted, Moscow is gradually looking like an attractive alternative for emerging countries.

By Lucas Leiroz | February 24, 2023

One year after the start of the special military operation, little seems to have changed in the Russian diplomatic landscape. NATO’s members and allies continue to condemn Moscow’s actions, while virtually the rest of the world remains neutral – in addition to a number of states openly supporting the operation. The Russian Federation is not isolated in the global society and all measures aimed at making it a “pariah” have had the reverse effect, making the collective West itself a “bad partner”.

Since the beginning of the special military operation for the demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine, on February 24, 2022, Russia has maintained a team of great partners, guaranteeing strong diplomatic support. Countries with a more openly pro-Russian geopolitical position, such as North Korea, Belarus and Syria, support the operation and vote against anti-Russian resolutions at the UN, while countries with a more neutral position, such as China and India, abstain from voting and demonstrate tacit support for Moscow through economic cooperation.

Throughout 2022, the West tried to coerce emerging countries to adopt hostile policies against Russia, but this proved ineffective. Anti-Russian sanctions have become an exclusive practice of NATO allied countries, with no adherence to such measures among emerging nations. Even governments of emerging countries that act with ambiguity and try to maintain good ties with the West continue to insist on a neutral foreign policy, without actively joining one of the sides in the conflict. This is the case of Brazil, for example, which voted against Moscow in UN resolutions, but continues to refuse to comply with requests from the West to supply weapons to Kiev.

Indeed, this conclusion contrasts with what many Western biased analysts predicted last year. Many experts stated that as the conflict progressed, it was most likely that Russia would naturally become more isolated on the international arena. There was a bet on the propaganda capacity of the Western media to promote the narrative that Moscow would be blamed for the global security crisis, but apparently this type of discourse is no longer able to convince most state officials around the world.

Countries that remained neutral or pro-Russian were able to see over the course of one year what happened to states that, unlike them, adhered to the Western-Ukrainian axis. Among almost all NATO member countries or allies, the scenario arising from observance to the irresponsible policy of sanctions against Moscow was the same: economic crisis, energy instability, food insecurity and government unpopularity.

Europe entered a deep social crisis, with its development rates declining significantly. But the European states did not even consider banning sanctions against Russia, maintaining a posture of subservience to the US. In addition, there were some episodes of direct violence against European countries, such as the sabotage against the Nord Stream gas pipelines, which showed how relations between the US and its allies are maintained through coercion and fear.

Of course, this just made joining the anti-Russian side even less attractive for most countries. It is now evident to the emerging world that the US allied countries have been severely harmed due to their decision to side with Kiev in the conflict, although they continued to be absolutely submissive. This resulted, contrary to what optimistic Westerners predicted, in a growth in the number of neutral and pro-Russian countries.

For example, comparing the vote on the anti-Russian resolution of March 24, 2022, with the resolution of February 23, 2023, it is possible to see that the number of countries voting against the withdrawal of Russian troops increased from five to seven, as well as that abstentions increased from 32 to 38. In practice, this means that, as time passes, more countries are adopting neutral or pro-Russian attitudes.

If this has been the scenario so far, it is unlikely that this will change anytime soon. Countries that chose to maintain friendly ties with Russia at the beginning of the special military operation tend to continue to maintain them, regardless of what happens on the frontlines and of what the West does to try to persuade them. Neutrality has proven to be a more interesting, strategic and pragmatic path for most states, and that will certainly not change.

In fact, with the recent visit of China’s top diplomat to Moscow and the reaffirmation of the unlimited cooperation ties between both countries, this scenario seems increasingly clear to the whole world: Russia friendly countries will continue to cooperate with Moscow. The Western strategy of relying on coercion and propaganda to prevent Russia from having allies has absolutely failed. As the operation continues, Russia gains more allies and deepens ties with the already-existing partners. The best the West can do is to prioritize diplomacy and accept the reality that Russia cannot be isolated.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

February 24, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Lula Sealed His Deal With The Devil By Condemning Russia During His Meeting With Biden

By Andrew Korybko | February 11, 2023

Lula did indeed make a deal with the devil, in this case his US nemeses who were responsible for his imprisonment, in order to be sprung from jail and subsequently given a fighting chance to return to office. Upon doing so, this geopolitically repentant leader whose multipolar worldview was noticeably recalibrated behind bars did exactly as the US expected him to do, namely condemn Russia like all Sanders-style leftists have done and then rush to Biden to “kiss the ring”.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was just re-elected to a third non-consecutive term in office and is popularly known as Lula, did what had previously been unthinkable for the same man who used to be regarded as a titan of the global multipolar movement. After meeting with Biden, who was Vice President when the US orchestrated “Operation Car Wash” against him and his successor Dilma Rousseff, Lula released a joint statement in which he fiercely condemned Russia.

According to the official White House website, “They deplored the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine by Russia and the annexation of parts of its territory as flagrant violations of international law and called for a just and durable peace.” No leader of Russia’s other fellow BRICS partners had ever expressed such sentiments, not even former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, which proves that Lula has indeed recalibrated his worldview since his imprisonment in a more pro-US direction.

This development wasn’t surprising since Lula had earlier condemned Russia by comparing its special operation in Ukraine to the US’ Hybrid War on Venezuela. At the same time, he put forth a G20-like peace proposal that wasn’t just ignored by Russia, but even indirectly criticized by it an insincere publicity stunt that actually goes against Moscow’s interests. Intrepid readers can learn more about the first incident here and the second one here since they’re beyond the scope of the present piece.

Nevertheless, by fiercely condemning Russia while meeting with Biden in DC, it should be obvious to all that Lula made a proverbial deal with the devil. In hindsight, it compellingly appears as though the information that was leaked about his case proving the courts’ political bias against him and which ultimately annulled their prior ruling (which thus let him run for re-election last year) was probably the result of a US intelligence operation aimed at once again manipulating Brazil’s political process.

Throughout the course of his first two terms and the unfinished one of his successor, the US regarded Lula as a titan of the global multipolar movement whose foreign policies posed a threat to its hemispheric hegemony. For that reason, they leaked the detailed materials implicating Lula, Rousseff, and other Workers’ Party members in a massive corruption scandal that would serve to discredit their rule, jail that aforementioned titan, and pave the way for installing a much more pliable leader.

The US’ Hybrid War on Brazil achieved all three of its initial goals but the last of them proved to be unsustainable after Bolsonaro refused to sanction Huawei in exchange for an official NATO partnership and later defied similar demands against Russia in a surprising flex of his independence. Not only that, but his conservative-sovereigntist worldview that’s inaccurately been smeared as solely being a so-called “far right-wing” one is the polar opposite of the ruling US Democrats’ liberal-globalist one.

While the sequence of events that reversed the primary outcome of “Operation Car Wash” began under the Trump Administration, objective observers already know that his military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) were working against him and his worldview this entire time. This was proven by their complicity in the Russiagate conspiracy theory, among many other examples, with their preemptive efforts to manipulate Brazil’s 2022 elections being another case in point.

The US’ “deep state” believed that their country’s interests would be best served by replacing increasingly independent Bolsonaro with a geopolitically repentant Lula, ergo why they worked so hard to reverse the same outcome that imprisoned the latter. They concluded that he’s no longer the multipolar titan that they previously thought he was, but is more akin to a Bernie Sanders-style leftist, which thus makes him amenable to manipulation in pursuit of their foreign policy goals.

Just like Sanders and his ilk fiercely condemned Russia, so too did Lula, which was entirely predictable once one realizes that this Brazilian leader has turned into a “fellow traveler” of the US left. The Workers’ Party has gradually been infiltrated by pro-US liberal-globalists who prioritize the promotion of so-called “woke” identity-centric politics at home over tangible improvements in poverty alleviation, workers’ rights, and accelerating the global systemic transition to complex multipolarity (“multiplexity”).

This observation explains why one of the three largest paragraphs of Lula’s joint statement with Biden included a pledge to fight racism and support LGBTQI+ persons. That’s not to deny the existence of racism in either of their countries, but just to point out that the Brazilian leader apparently believes that he can’t effectively counteract it with US assistance, which is a tacit deferral to the US’ de facto seniority in their revived partnership and thus by default confirms his country’s position as its “junior partner”.

Further evidence of the US’ successfully reasserted hegemony over Brazil in the aftermath of last year’s elections, which were manipulated by its intelligence services as was previously explained, can be seen by Lula agreeing to “strengthen democratic institutions” with Biden. This represents one of the most cringeworthy self-inflicted humiliations that any world leader has ever committed since it was during Biden’s term as Vice President that “Operation Car Wash” was orchestrated against Lula and his party.

He obviously knows that, yet he decided to “kiss the ring” and radically revise history as a quid pro quo for the US’ intelligence services once again manipulating Brazil’s domestic processes, albeit this time to release him from his unfair imprisonment. Lula went even further with his self-inflicted humiliation ritual by also agreeing in their statement to “build societal resilience to disinformation” together with the US despite the latter being the world’s largest fake news factory, which it earlier weaponized against him.

Another aspect of historical revisionism is evidenced by the remarks that preceded their meeting. The White House reported that Lula claimed that Brazil “isolated itself for four years” under Bolsonaro, who he claimed “didn’t enjoy to keep international relations with any country.” That’s factually false though since trade with China surged despite that former leader’s Sinophobic rhetoric on the campaign trail and he even visited President Putin in Moscow just before the special operation began despite US pressure.

These objectively existing and easily verifiable facts prove that Lula is lying through his teeth, which he believes he can do with impunity since he has the US’ support nowadays, unlike during his first two terms. He’s fully confident that nobody in the US-led West’s Mainstream Media (MSM) will fact-check him since they also share his ideological opposition to the conservative-sovereigntist worldview that Bolsonaro imperfectly embodied. It’s therefore in all their interests to so radically revise history.

The newly declared Brazilian-US joint crusade against “extremism and violence in politics” that was also unveiled in their statement strongly implies that Washington will help Lula crack down on the opposition in the aftermath of his country’s January 8th event. About that, the US arguably had a role in orchestrating everything as well in order to create the pretext for Lula to consolidate his rule, which is especially important for them since he shares their liberal-globalist worldview in the domestic sense.

More about that incident and the US’ role within it can be read about in detail here and here since it goes beyond the scope of the present analysis just like Lula’s prior condemnation of Russia and his doomed-to-fail G20-like peace plan that were earlier touched upon in this piece too. They’re relevant for intrepid readers to review, however, if they hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the ways in which Brazil and the US are now closely cooperating behind the scenes during Lula’s third term in office.

What all of this goes to show is that Lula did indeed make a deal with the devil, in this case his US nemeses who were responsible for his imprisonment, in order to be sprung from jail and subsequently given a fighting chance to return to office. Upon doing so, this geopolitically repentant leader whose multipolar worldview was noticeably recalibrated behind bars did exactly as the US expected him to do, namely condemn Russia like all Sanders-style leftists have done and then rush to Biden to “kiss the ring”.

Lula then radically revised history alongside his counterpart in order to publicly patch up their well-known differences brought about by the US’ Hybrid War on his country that was partially overseen by none other than Biden himself and ultimately resulted in the Brazilian leader’s imprisonment. This self-inflicted humiliation ritual was the cost that Lula had to pay, which included condemning Russia and thus discrediting himself among the multipolar community, but he looked happier than ever as he did it.

February 15, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Russia makes claim over West’s ‘hybrid war’

RT | February 15, 2023

The West is attempting to use the Ukraine conflict to portray Russia as a “rogue state” in the eyes of the world, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday. He stressed that the strategy has not been successful.

“The US and its satellite states are waging an all-encompassing hybrid war that they have long been preparing for, and are using Ukrainian radical nationalists as a battering ram against us,” Lavrov said in a speech in the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma.

“They are not even trying to hide the goal of this war: it is not only to defeat our country on the battlefield and destroy our economy, but also to surround us with a ‘sanitary cordon’ and turn us into a type of a rogue state.”

The statement came the same day that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled proposals for a new sanctions package against Russia, including additional export bans and measures to prevent the bypassing of restrictions.

Lavrov said that the West’s efforts to isolate Russia have failed because Moscow continues to develop relations with partners in other areas of the globe. He added that nations that have refused to back the “unprecedented” sanctions make up the majority of the world’s population.

The countries of the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, and South America “don’t want to live in accordance with the West-centric order,” the Russian minister stated. “So it makes perfect sense why three-quarters of the world’s countries have not joined the anti-Russian sanctions and have a reasonable view regarding the situation in Ukraine.”

China and India are among the major economies that have refused to impose restrictions on Moscow. Denis Alipov, Russia’s ambassador to New Delhi, said on Tuesday that sanctions “had an opposite effect” and facilitated more trade and closer cooperation between Russia and India.

Beijing, meanwhile, has accused the US of fueling the Ukraine conflict and trying to weaponize the world economy for its own benefit.

February 15, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Peru’s Congress Refuses Early Elections, Heightening Tensions as Protests Rage

By Wyatt Reed – Sputnik – 02.02.2023

Peruvian legislators shot down any remaining chance of a peaceful resolution to protests that have already seen around 60 demonstrators killed by security forces.

The Congress of Peru voted down a proposal to move up presidential and legislative elections to 2023, complicating efforts to end the deadly crisis that has gripped Peru since ousted President Pedro Castillo was forced from power and jailed by security forces nearly two months ago.

With just 53 legislators in support, lawmakers fell far short of the 87 votes needed to advance the initiative after five hours of debate.

Legislators from elite-dominated parties reportedly insisted that early elections were “unconstitutional” and complained that members of Peru’s notoriously-unpopular Congress should be allowed to finish their term.

Demonstrators have been calling for the liberation of Castillo, a new constitution, and for Congress to be dissolved.

The lawmakers’ refusal to budge on the issue of early elections means demonstrators have little incentive to leave the streets. After seven weeks of daily protests, participants have so far shown little intention of packing up and leaving.

“There is no truce,” one Peruvian journalist wrote following the proposal’s rejection.

“The demonstrations against the government of Dina Boluarte continue in #Lima the same day that Congress denied the possibility of an advance of general elections.”

Widespread pushback against the newly-formed Peruvian regime of Dina Boluarte began on December 7, after Castillo was charged with rebellion over accusations that he attempted to “illegally” dissolve Congress, which holds an abysmal approval rating of just 7% per latest polls.

Boluarte herself isn’t faring much better. The most recent survey available shows just 21% of Peruvians approve of her performance and 63% want the unelected head of the regime to resign immediately.

February 2, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

Scholtz failed to secure support for Ukraine on his tour of South America

By Ahmed Adel | February 2, 2023

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s trip to Argentina, Brazil and Chile was with the aim of involving them in the Ukraine conflict and to create a regional counterweight to China’s growing influence. These are similar actions already made by the US in South America and one that we can also expect from other European powers.

Scholz’s visit is an attempt to restore influence in a region that has been empowered by China and Russia to forge an independent path that is not under the umbrella of the “Monroe Doctrine.” It is not a coincidence that the German Chancellor visited the region just days after the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), at which member states sought to strengthen regional integration in the context of Western powers attempting to prevent Latin America from strengthening relations with Russia and China.

Behind Scholz’s visit was the fact that China has become very close to Latin America. Therefore, it is in Berlin’s interest to note this competition between the Great Powers in South America and follow the trends that are emerging in the region rather than just behave as Washington’s representative.

It cannot be overlooked that South America, especially Chile, has large lithium reserves. Scholz’s visit is a form of US and European effort to effectively make the Chilean economy work in their own interest, as was the case when the US installed Augusto Pinochet as dictator in 1973.

The West’s imperial attitude of previous centuries remains the same, but, now with China’s thirst for resources, South American countries are finding a way out from the grasp of US hegemony. It is reminded, for example, that Chile’s main copper export partner today is China and not the US.

Both Washington and Berlin want major Latin American countries, like Chile, to ratify commercial, diplomatic, and political relations with the West so that they are not absorbed into China’s sphere of influence. This is an endeavour that will take many years to undergo because China is already entrenched in the region, something that is problematic for Germany as they need immediate solutions to the self-imposed energy crisis caused by sanctions on Russia.

Germany’s own self-destructive policies made it show an interest in a region that it never traditionally did. If the war in Ukraine was not occurring, it is more than likely that Berlin would not be in a hurry to forge new relationships for alternative energy sources. The issue is that Germany wants to impose its own liberal ideology over Latin America as a condition for trade, which means a cut in trade and relations with China and Russia.

South America is not only an important source of resources, but is a major region that refuses to cut trade and diplomatic relations with Russia. Whatever anticipation or expectation Scholz had on his trip were quickly dashed as he did not find the response he was expecting from his Latin American counterparts. The positions of the leaders of Argentina, Brazil and Chile reflects the fact that these governments know how to distinguish economic cooperation from political dependence.

Involving Latin America in the Ukraine conflict is something that will face widespread rejection. For example, although new Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva “emphatically deplored Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and annexation of parts of its territory as flagrant violations of international law” in a joint statement released with Scholtz on January 30, his government’s policies towards Russia have not deviated far from his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro.

However, Lula also confirmed that Brazil would not provide ammunition to Ukraine for German-made Gepard anti-aircraft guns, as reportedly requested by Berlin, and insinuated that Ukraine was not seeking peace. Effectively, Lula is happy to pay lip service to the West but will not take any concrete action in matters related to the war in Ukraine.

In the same light, Argentina and Chile’s leaders also ended any German hope that they might lend support for Ukraine despite the fact that they were happy to condemn Russia’s military operation as an “invasion”. On his Latin America tour, Scholz wanted to demonstrate that international unity against Russia extends beyond the Western World, but only managed to secure some statements that are unlikely to damage relations with Moscow.

For his part, Lula said Brazil will work with other countries to help achieve peace in Ukraine as his country has not taken sides – something objectively true despite some damning rhetoric. In fact, likely to the annoyance of the German Chancellor, Lula said that China has an important role to play in peace talks, which he said he will discuss on a planned visit to Beijing in March.

It can be said that although Scholz’s trip can serve as a foundation for German-South American relations, his main goals – to secure support for Ukraine and to make advances in the resource industry only found limited success. Although he secured some rhetoric against Russia, he could not secure any material support for Ukraine. At the same time, although Germany has pitched its entry into the resource market, there is no guarantee that it will come to fruition or even challenge China’s dominance in the region.

Ahmed Adel is a Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher.

February 2, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , | 1 Comment

State of emergency declared in Peru amid deadly protests

RT | January 15, 2023

The Peruvian government has introduced a state of emergency in a number of provinces in a bid to tackle violent anti-government protests. The South American country has been gripped by unrest since early December 2022, when President Pedro Castillo was removed from office and arrested over accusations of corruption.

The former president’s supporters, who claim the ouster was a coup, have been taking to the streets and clashing with security forces ever since. Castillo has denied any wrongdoing, insisting that his removal was orchestrated by his political opponents.

The decree introducing the state of emergency was published in Peru’s official daily newspaper, Diario Oficial El Peruano, late on Sunday.

The decree took effect on January 15 and will last for thirty days. It covers three regions, three provinces, and one district, mostly in the south of the country. The capital city of Lima and surrounding areas are among them. Five major highways were also included in the measure.

Where the state of emergency is in effect, Peru’s National Police has been charged with maintaining order with the support of the military.

Under the decree, local residents are prohibited from gathering in groups, while security forces can detain them if they deem it necessary, and can also enter and search homes.

Moreover, a curfew has been imposed from 8:00 pm to 4:00 am for ten days in the southern department of Puno. The restrictions were imposed after violent clashes left 18 people dead in the region. Certain exceptions are envisaged for the purchase of food or to seek medical care, while workers in a number of critical professions are also allowed to move about freely.

On Friday, President Dina Boluarte apologized to the nation for the violence that has so far claimed 47 lives.

She insisted, however, that she will not resign, and claimed “foreign provocateurs and infiltrators” may have played a role in the deadly unrest.

Video link

January 15, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Genocide Investigation Launched Against Peruvian Authorities Following Massacre

By Wyatt Reed – Samizdat – 11.01.2023

A new government probe suggests the tide may be turning against the US-backed government which seized power in Peru last month, depriving President Pedro Castillo of his power.

Peru’s Attorney General has opened an investigation into the country’s new leaders after over a dozen Peruvians were killed in confrontations with security forces.

According to local media, officials are investigating the politicians for the crimes of genocide, homicide, and inflicting grievous injuries.

“The preliminary investigation is related to the alleged crimes of genocide, murder, and grievous bodily harm committed during the demonstrations of December 2022 and January 2023 in the regions of Apurimac, La Libertad, Puno, Junin, Arequipa, and Ayacucho,” reads a statement issued by the office.

Much of the upper echelon of Peru’s new authorieis are reportedly being scrutinized, including the self-declared president, Dina Boluarte, Prime Minister Alberto Otárola, Interior Minister Victor Rojas, and Defense Minister Jorge Chavez.

On Tuesday morning, left-leaning Congresswoman Ruth Luque asked the Attorney General’s office to probe the role played by high-ranking officials of the Boluarte cabinet in its crackdown on pro-Castillo protesters that left at least 17 Peruvians dead in the Southern city of Juliaca Monday.

The investigation comes as Peru’s notoriously unpopular legislature gave its approval to a vote of confidence aimed to legitimize the new government.

On Friday, Peru’s Attorney General opened an earlier investigation into the the new cabinet, which stands accused of killing dozens of demonstrators and bystanders amid the ongoing political crisis.

Massive protests have consumed Peru since the ouster of Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, who was arrested hours after attempting to dissolve parliament after lawmakers proceeded with an impeachment vote. He has remained in police custody since his detainment.

January 11, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment