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Against Intervention in Venezuela: The Case of the Caribbean Community

By Maximilian Forte | Zero Anthropology | February 6, 2019

As discussed in the previous article, the membership of the Organization of American States is in fact not at all united around support for foreign intervention and recognition of an alternative second “president” (Juán Guaidó). Standing opposed to the denial of recognition of Maduro’s legitimacy as the elected leader are not just Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and for now Mexico and Uruguay, but also Caribbean states such as Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname. Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and Belize abstained from the OAS resolution—which, it turns out, does not mean the same as indifference. The action by the OAS implicitly threatened all governments in the region, which has already significantly damaged the organization’s integrity, as discussed below.

CARICOM Heads of Government

CARICOM

Caribbean states, including those that abstained from voting on the OAS resolution, stood firmly on anti-interventionist principles that respected Venezuela’s sovereignty. Leaders of the member states of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) held an emergency meeting to discuss Venezuela on January 24. The heads of government of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Foreign Ministers of Grenada and Suriname, participated in the meeting. Guyana, which has a long standing territorial dispute with Venezuela, nonetheless endorsed the CARICOM position the next day. The resulting statement “reaffirmed” the members’ “principles of non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of states, respect for sovereignty, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for human rights and democracy”. In addition, they insisted that the crisis should only be “resolved peacefully through meaningful dialogue and diplomacy”. Without naming the US and the Trump administration, CARICOM heads explicitly rejected foreign intervention in Venezuela’s affairs, and threats of violence against the country:

“Reaffirming their commitment to the tenets of Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter which calls for Members States to refrain from the threat or the use of force and Article 21 of the Charter of the Organization of American States which refers to territorial inviolability, the Heads of Government emphasized the importance of the Caribbean remaining a Zone of Peace”.

Taking aim again at US policy, CARICOM,

“called on external forces to refrain from doing anything to destabilize the situation and…called on all actors, internal and external, to avoid actions which would escalate an already explosive situation to the detriment of the people of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and which could have far-reaching negative consequences for the wider region”.

Trinidad & Tobago and CARICOM vs. the OAS

Within CARICOM, the case of Trinidad & Tobago deserves special mention. First, Trinidad, mere miles from Venezuela with which it has long historical and demographic ties, is now home to a growing number of Venezuelan refugees. Recent events have triggered fears of an even larger refugee crisis in the making. The media make it clear that many locals neither like nor trust the Venezuelans entering their country, and resent their presence. In addition, Venezuelans protesting in the capital, Port of Spain, against Maduro and demanding that the government of Prime Minister Keith Rowley recognize Guaidó instead, faced a mixed reaction at best. Aside from being denounced by Trinidadian commenters, the protesters drew a sharp rebuke from the leader of one of the parties in parliament, David Abdulah:

“Citizens of Venezuela can appeal to the Government of Venezuela and the parties in Venezuela but Venezuelans here in Trinidad and Tobago cannot determine what the foreign policy of Trinidad and Tobago ought to be. It is the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago ultimately and the governments of Caricom and the citizens of Caricom who must determine the foreign policy of Trinidad and Tobago and of Caricom”.

Abdulah also took exception with the protesters claim that Guaidó had popular support, while Maduro was isolated as a dictator. Abdulah said Maduro got significant support at the February 2nd  demonstration in Venezuela, which was much bigger than Guaidó’s rally:

“So it is not as if President Maduro is clinging on to power by himself and so on and the vast majority of the Venezuelans are against him. That is not the case”.

Moreover, Abdulah condemned the opposition:

Dr. Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago

“Very regrettably, but not surprising, Guaido has taken the consistent right-wing line of the opposition rejecting any talks, rejecting any mediation and simply wanting for [sic] resolve the thing by force backed, of course, by the United States and some other coun­tries”.

Squaring off against his domestic opposition, Prime Minister Keith Rowley took direct aim at the United National Congress in parliament, which is pro-US and pro-interventionist. Rowley openly called them “traitors” for trying to undermine CARICOM’s mission of mediation.

Luís Almagro, Secretary-General of the OAS

Prime Minister Rowley has also clashed with the leadership of the OAS, precisely on the question of Venezuela, well before this latest crisis erupted. Back in 2017, Rowley called for the dismissal of OAS secretary-general Luís Almagro. Prime Minister Rowley’s point, which was correct, is that the OAS was compromised by taking an interventionist stance towards Venezuela, and delegitimizing its duly elected leader. Rowley further accused the OAS leadership saying that the result was that, “the OAS has now removed itself from any meaningful participation and has deteriorated now into partisan attacks”.

The conflict between CARICOM, and Trinidad & Tobago in particular, and the head of the OAS was reignited with the latest crisis. CARICOM, and Trinidad’s Minister of National Security, expressed shock that Almagro would dare to speak for all OAS members in personally denouncing Maduro. In a January 31 letter to the OAS’ Almagro, CARICOM’s leadership instructed Almagro that the OAS does not speak for CARICOM members on this issue. The letter from CARICOM’s chairman, Prime Minister Timothy Harris of St Kitts and Nevis, stated:

“The Heads of Government consider it imperative that you publicly clarify that you did not speak on behalf of all the member states of the Organisation of American States….We are aware that this is not the only occasion on which you have made public utterances in the name of the organisation without authority”.

CARICOM described Almagro’s actions as a “clear departure of from normal practice and cause for great concern”. Almagro has gone as far as advocating a foreign military invasion of Venezuela. Journalists noted that, “the OAS website lists media and press releases for the month of January and there is nothing about the OAS’s support for Guaido”. Trinidad & Tobago joined a CARICOM team to meet in Uruguay on February 7, as part of a mediation effort led by Mexico and Uruguay. Calls for dialogue continue to be flatly rejected by Guaidó, echoing the same line taken by Trump and his team.

Meeting in Montevideo

The meeting of 15 Caribbean nations plus Mexico, Uruguay, and parties in Venezuela, taking place in Montevideo tomorrow, represents the formation of a bloc that can act as a significant counterweight to the so-called “Lima Group” of US dependents in Latin America and neocolonial states such as Canada. Unlike the Lima Group, no foreign media have been banned in advance— the Canadian government blocked Russian and Venezuelan media from covering the Lima Group meeting in Ottawa on February 4, an act of suppression of press freedoms that occasioned no outcry at all in Canada.

The largely right wing “Lima Group” that opposed Maduro itself consisted of a range of shady and extreme characters tarred by their involvement in corruption scandals and with ties to death squads, along with Canada with its liberal authoritarian tradition and its penchant for necolonial violence. Once again, none of the “decolonial” crowd, fashionable as they are in academia, has drawn any of the logical and historical connections between Canada’s internal colonialism and its external neocolonialism, which are united by the same principles and interests, even the very same parties and actors. This failure of intellect is not an accident either, but is a subject best explored at another time.

In the meantime, I strongly recommend that you listen carefully to the full interview of RT with Nicolás Maduro:

February 6, 2019 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mexico Set to Become Third Country to Fully Legalize Marijuana

21st Century Wire | January 5, 2019

Following in the footsteps of Uruguay and Canada, as well as 30 US states, Mexico is set to adopt a new law which will make cannabis legal for both medicinal and recreational use. New legislation by Mexico’s ruling majority party hopes to “cut the chain” of illegal supply.

Olga Sánchez Cordero, interior minister in Mexico’s new leftist nationalist government, has recently submitted a Bill to Congress which would effectively end prohibition of cannabis, placing the new rescheduled substance under a regime of state regulation.

Mexico had a brief foray into the legalization of drugs back in 1940 when Lázaro Cárdenas, the former Mexican president who had nationalized Mexico’s oil sector in 1938. Cárdenas lifted all state restrictions on narcotics like heroin, morphine and cocaine, which allowed addicts to be treated as patients, rather than felons. State dispensaries sold small amounts to individuals at prices which vastly undercut those of illegal street dealers. The move was reversed after only after 6 months – because of intense diplomatic pressure from the US.

The new law could also open up numerous opportunities for independent entrepreneurs like 17-year-old Nicolás Calderón who hopes to open a cannabis shop and art venue in Mexico City, as well as develop his own cultivation site and supply chain.

“I don’t just see an opportunity to make money but also to help Mexico […] I think this is going to help reduce el narco [the cartels] a lot,” said Calderón to the Financial Times.

However, as on the world’s largest producers of illegal narcotics, the Mexican state will no doubt face intense competition from black markets run by the country’s vast organized crime cartels on which former president Felipe Calderón had unsuccessfully declared ‘war’ 12 years ago.

“I think the cartels will lose 40 per cent of their income with [marijuana] legal here and in the US,” said Vicente Fox, Mexico’s president from 2000 to 2006, in an interview with the FT. Fox currently sits on the board of Canadian cannabis company Khiron Life Sciences – which hopes to enter the Mexican cannabis market later this year.

READ MORE CANNABIS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Cannabis Files

January 5, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

UN Report: Enforced Disappearances Widespread in Mexico

teleSUR | November 20, 2018

The United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) published its report Monday saying that forced disappearance in Mexico is widespread where “impunity and revictimization prevail,” adding that structural obstacles to accessing justice remain.

The report came after the committee’s latest session held from Nov. 5 to Nov. 16 in Geneva.

Enforced disappearance in Mexico is extensive in the country. According to Mexican government data, around 37,000 people are missing. Along with this, issues of clandestine graves, low level of convictions and lack of reliable data were raised by CED.

In 2015 the committee gave Mexico a series of “recommendations” for implementing the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances to which Mexico is a signatory. It reported that the country was lacking when it came to implementing the recommendations.

It also denounced that Mexico has refused to let delegates of CED visit the country since 2013 and has demanded the government allow them in as well as facilitate the delegate’s work with the necessary means to carry out their tasks.

In addition to these demands, the committee also asked the government to recognize the expertise of the committee when dealing with specific disappearance cases in Mexico, which the country has refused to do since 2007.

In 2017 Mexico passed the General Law on Enforced Disappearance which was considered to be a positive by CED. However it “notes with concern the low level of implementation” of the said law.

CED also expressed concern over the definition of disappearance in Mexican law does not comply with the definition of the International convention. For example, it does not classify the crime of enforced disappearance as a crime against humanity.

The committee showed apprehension over the “little participation and consultation of civil society organizations and victims.” It also recommended to reform institutions and give more autonomy to investigating authorities.

Finally, the U.N. Committee said it was concerned about “the role given to military forces for the tasks of public security” which could increase enforced disappearance and generate impunity.

November 21, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | 1 Comment

Two Politicians from President-Elect’s Party Killed in Mexico – Reports

Sputnik – 21.07.2018

MEXICO CITY – Two politicians from the young Morena party founded by Mexico’s leftist president-elect were killed on Friday, local media reported.

Eliseo Delgado Sanchez, the newly-elected mayor of Buenavista in Michoacan state, was shot dead on the steps of the town hall, the Excelsior news website reported. Earlier on Friday, gunmen reportedly opened fire on the car of Zenon Cocula Fierro, a city councillor in Tlaquepaque in Jalisco state.

Mexican authorities estimated last week that a total of 523 politicians and government officials were assassinated in the country during the recent election campaign.

According to the report of the Mexican authorities, covering the period from September 8 to July 1, as many as 152 politicians were killed, including 48 preparing to become candidates for elective posts, and 371 government officials at different levels.

On average, there were 1.7 assassinations of politicians and officials per day. The total number of attempts reached 1,200.

On the Election Day, July 1, as many as 138 attacks and seven murders of politicians in 26 states of the country were registered.

The presidential election was won by the left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. He will take office on December 1. Lopez Obrador has already promised to change the vector of the fight against crime that swept the Latin American country amid the war with drug cartels, from forceful to social.

July 21, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

AMLO’s Administration Seeks to End Mexico’s Energy Dependence

teleSUR | July 11, 2018

Mexico’s next energy minister under president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said that the new administration’s energy agenda will be to increase domestic gas and diesel production and reduce dependency on foreign imports.

Rocio Nahle, appointed by AMLO for the energy ministry, said in an interview with a local paper that AMLO’s government will address the “energy imbalance” that makes it dependent on foreign imports to meet national demand.

AMLO has previously made pledges along this line during and after the election, saying that ending the massive fuel imports would be a priority for his first three years.

Mexico has imported an average of 590,000 barrels per day of gasoline and 232,000 per day of diesel, almost all of which comes from the United States. While the United States profits on gas sales to its neighbor, Mexico’s domestic production has decreased by half since the first year of outgoing President Enrique Peña Nieto’s term.

Today, gasoline output by Mexican state oil company Pemex meets less than a quarter of national demand, putting Mexico’s energy system in a situation of deep dependence on the United States.

During the election campaign, Lopez Obrador was sharply critical of the Pena Nieto’s policy to allow foreign and private oil companies to operate fields on their own for the first time in decades, ending Pemex’s monopoly.

Nahle said the next government will also begin construction of at least one new oil refinery, which she expects to be operating by the halfway point of Lopez Obrador’s six-year term.

AMLO also outlined several legislative priorities on Wednesday, particularly ending presidential legal immunity, and slashing the presidential salary.

The incoming administration would also put forward a law to remove obstacles to holding public consultations, as well as create a mechanism for recalling the president, he said.

Lopez Obrador said during the campaign he could hold public consultations on issues ranging from the government’s opening of the energy sector, the construction of Mexico City’s new airport, gay marriage and even his performance as president.

July 12, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Mexico’s new president wants to scrap $1.36bn helicopter deal with US

RT | July 12, 2018

Mexico’s newly-elected, anti-establishment president is planning to scrap some of the deals his predecessor had signed up to, including a $1.36 billion order for eight MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for the country’s Navy.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, widely known as AMLO, was elected Mexico’s next president on promises to pursue national interests and reduce the country’s reliance on the US. He has vowed to cut government spending as soon as he takes over the top office in December. Amid a number of announced measures, the anti-establishment leader promised to scrap some of the deals outgoing President Enrique Peña Nieto had sealed with the US during his tenure. Among his targets are the Lockheed Martin MH-60R helicopters, which the US State Department green-lighted to sell back in April.

“We know of the order to purchase eight gunship choppers for the Mexican Navy, made to the government of the United States, for a total value of 25 billion pesos, that purchase will be canceled, because we cannot [afford] this expense,” Lopez Obrador said Wednesday.

Washington approved the sale of choppers to the Mexican Navy together with multi-mode radars, night vision devices, and other sensors to help its neighbor combat organized crime and drug-trafficking. The deal, worth some $1.36 billion, also included a package of armaments, such as Hellfire missiles, lightweight hybrid torpedoes, and machine guns.

In addition to the helicopters, the newly elected leader ordered his team to contact Boeing to negotiate selling Peña Nieto’s 787 Dreamliner back to the company. Back in 2016, the plane (named ‘José María Morelos y Pavón’) cost the country $218.7 million, which the government agreed to repay over the next 15 years. “The idea is to sell it, not lose money, sell it for what it’s worth, but I’m not going to get on that plane,” the politician vowed.

Lopez Obrador, an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, received around 53 percent of votes to win the presidential race earlier this month. Honoring his campaign promises, on Wednesday he promised to slash government officials’ salaries, as well as end the practice of lifetime pensions for former presidents. “It is time for the government to tighten its belts,” he stressed.

July 12, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Mexico: Who Are the Women That Make Up Half of AMLO’s Cabinet?

(L-R): Luisa Maria Alcalde, Rocio Nahle, Irma Sandoval and Olga Maria del Carmen Sanchez are part of AMLO’s cabinet. | Photo: Facebook / Twitter / plumas libres
teleSUR | July 11, 2018

Eight of the key figures in AMLO’s future government are women and they have interesting proposals for Mexico.

Of the 16 confirmed members of president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s cabinet eight are women. teleSUR English reviews their profiles and plans for their tenure.

AMLO’s cabinet will include representatives of the business sectors and members of the traditional Institutional Revolution Party, but it also has an important share of academics and progressive women.

Olga Maria del Carmen Sanchez, the first woman to head the ministry of the Interior, was a judge in Mexico’s Supreme Court between 1995 and 2005. She is in favor of legalizing marijuana and believes the country needs to rethink its policy on drugs.

During an interview with Zosimo Camacho, Sanchez criticized the lack of judicial symmetry with the United States and stressed the importance of changing the strategy in the war on drugs. “How is it possible that here in our country we are killing ourselves and the U.S. is decriminalizing drugs?,” she questioned.

AMLO’s pick for social development, Maria Luisa Albores is an agronomist and specialist on social economy, which is based on the principle of solidarity. Since 2001 she has worked with Indigenous and Campesino communities in the development of productive and economic cooperatives and projects.

During the campaign trail, Albores vowed to work for the economic and social inclusion of rural Mexico and stressed the importance of restructuring Mexico’s social development ministry. According to Albores the ministry has “served to keep people poor, and poverty has been administered electorally.”

For Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, AMLO has appointed Luisa Maria Alcalde, a lawyer and former legislator, who has done extensive work on a dignified salary in Mexico.

Alcalde has announced she will hold meeting with Mexico’s private sector and the country’s central bank to find a viable path to an increase to the country’s minimum wage.

Economy will be headed by Graciela Marquez, Ph.D. in economic history and professor in several universities in Mexico and abroad. She has written extensively on economic development, inequality and commercial policy. She would be the first woman to head the ministry of economy and will head the current negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Alejandra Frausto has accepted to lead Mexico’s ministry of culture. She has worked to promote access to culture and the arts as a central element in social development, with an emphasis on popular and Indigenous cultures.

The Ministry of Environment and natural resources will be headed by Oxford graduate Josefa Gonzalez, who studied transformative art and has worked with vulnerable populations in art-related projects. For the past years she has worked in the southern state of Chiapas in conservation and reforestation projects.

Irma Sandoval has been given the Ministry of the Civil Service. She is a political scientist and researcher for Mexico’s Autonomous University (UNAM). Sandoval is also the coordinator of UNAM’s Lab on corruption documentation and analysis.

She has proposed to use technology to monitor the good use of public resources, a monitoring system open to citizens to control public works, and to encourage anonimous complaints to fight corruption in Mexico.

Finally, AMLO’s pick for the Energy Minister is Rocio Nahle who has worked in the petrochemical industry for years. Her main proposal is the construction of two refineries in Tabasco and Campeche, and the rehabilitation of six refineries to meet Mexico’s internal demand.

RELATED:

Mexico President Strikes Upbeat Tone on Trump Ahead of Talks

AMLO to Implement San Andres Agreements Signed With Zapatistas

 

July 11, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mexico: AMLO Says No to Presidential Bodyguards

teleSUR | July 4, 2018

Mexico’s newly elected President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO, refused federal protection during a meeting with current President Enrique Peña Nieto, at the National Palace.

AMLO, who won the election with a historic 53% of the votes, was offered the requisite presidential protective detail but declined the offer. The president-elect left the meeting with Peña Nieto and entered the front seat of a Volkswagen Jetta, surrounded by supporters but no bodyguard in sight.

“There’s going to be a real change, a deep change. It will be a radical change, but nobody should be scared,” Lopez Obrador stated following the meeting with the current president.

Though the most recent electoral campaign was one of the deadliest in Mexico’s history, with over 130 killings recorded in less than 200 days, AMLO had rejected military protection.

“I will not use the services of the presidential general staff, I will not be surrounded by bodyguards, those who fight for justice have nothing to fear (…) The people will protect me,” he said in March address.

Lopez Obrador’s approach to security is one of the proposed outstanding changes in his government plan, in which his mandate has proposed the removal of military forces from the streets through a training and professionalization plan for the police.

Scholarships for young people, pensions for seniors and the revision of previously awarded oil contracts will also be among the priorities for his administration.

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Candidate for local elections gunned down in Mexico

Emigdio Lopez Avendano, a Mexican politician killed in the latest act of violence in Mexico (file photo)
Press TV – June 26, 2018

A candidate in Mexico’s elections was gunned down along with four other people on Monday as they made their way to a campaign rally, the Oaxaca state government and police said.

The candidate was identified as 50-year-old Emigdio Lopez Avendano, a member of an indigenous community called Piedra Ceniza, the state justice department said.

He and the four other people killed in the attack on their truck supported the party of leftist presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, it added. Two other people were wounded.

Lopez Avendano was running for a local council seat in Oaxaca.

Sunday’s voting will see Mexico elect a new president, congress and state and local officials.

The campaign has set a record for violence, with more than a hundred politicians and candidates killed, most of them at the local level.

June 26, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Russian Meddling in Mexican Election Statements Groundless – President of Senate

Sputnik – 18.05.2018

The statements made by US and Mexican politicians about alleged the interference of Moscow in the elections in Mexico are unfounded, Ernesto Cordero Arroyo, the president of the Mexican Senate, told Sputnik.

“They had not presented any evidence and we should understand that during the election campaign people become very creative and inventive,” the Mexican politician said.

According to the senior lawmaker, the Mexican side has not registered any foreign meddling in the election process.

Mexicans will elect the next president of the nation on July 1. Ahead of the vote, former US National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster said that the United States noticed signs of “Russian intervention” in the Mexican presidential election.

Enrique Ochoa, the leader of Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (IRR), said the international media outlets had “documented” the interests of Russia and Venezuela in backing leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Russia has faced numerous accusations of interference in foreign elections, including the 2016 US presidential vote. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has called the claims groundless, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stressed that there was no evidence to substantiate such accusations.

May 18, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Mexico: Mayoral Candidate of AMLO’s Party Murdered

Jose Remedios Aguirre Sanchez (L) with presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. | Photo: Twitter @AvseFernando
teleSUR | May 11, 2018

Electoral campaigns in Mexico suffered another casualty on Friday with the murder of Jose Remedios Aguirre Sanchez, a mayoral candidate from the same coalition as presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, commonly known as AMLO.

The 35-year-old candidate was shot dead at close range in the Ecological Park of the Apaseo el Alto. Two other people were reportedly injured. The perpetrators escaped in a white convertible Ford Mustang with a U.S. license plate, according to witnesses.

Aguirre was competing in the race for mayor in the municipality of Apaseo el Alto, in Guanajuato, with the Movement of National Regeneration (Morena) party.

Before entering the race for Apaseo el Alto’s mayor, Aguirre had served as the director of public security in the same municipality between 2012 and 2015.

Since September when electoral campaigns began around the country, over 90 candidates, politicians and officials have been violently murdered.

Aguirre was a member of the progressive Morena party that is backing the coalition of Andrez Manuel Lopez Obrador, one of the top picks for Mexico’s presidency.

May 12, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

The US Is Meddling In Mexico’s Election By Accusing Russia Of Doing So

By Andrew KORYBKO – Oriental Review – 13/01/2018

US National Security Advisor McMaster claimed that Russia is meddling in the upcoming Mexican elections.

This explosive news was shared by Reuters, which in turn was reporting on a mid-December video of a speech that McMasters gave to the Jamestown Foundation and which was just posted on a Mexican journalist’s Twitter account over the weekend. In it, one of the US’ most influential security figures says in relation to the unsubstantiated claims of Russian interference in foreign elections that “you’ve seen, actually, initial signs of it in the Mexican presidential campaign already”, but to Reuters’ credit they added that he didn’t elaborate on this afterwards and even cited an expert who remarked that “so far, it’s just speculation”.

That said, Reuters attempted to propel the paranoia forward by remarking that the leftist populist-nationalist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, commonly known by his abbreviated initials as AMLO, is “seen by some analysts as the Kremlin’s favorite, given the positive coverage he has received from government-funded media outlets like Sputnik and Russia Today”, thus relying on the conspiracy theory that everything on Russia’s publicly funded international media outlets is apparently aired on direct orders of the Kremlin, which isn’t true at all. Nor, for that matter, is the inference in the report that Russia is backing AMLO because of its desire to sow problems between the US and Mexico.

There’s credence to the forecast that AMLO’s potential victory would complicate US-Mexican relations because of the contradictory visions of their two leaders in that case, but this, as well as Russian international media’s detailed coverage of the leftist populist-nationalist candidate, don’t in and of themselves “prove” anything about Moscow’s alleged meddling in the upcoming elections. Rather, McMaster’s hysterical claim seems to be part of a preemptive infowar designed to discredit AMLO’s potential victory just like the Clintons tried to do with Trump’s over the same issue of alleged “Russian interference”, thereby suggesting that the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (or “deep state”) assess his odds of winning to be much higher than is publicly being reported.

That would explain why one of the top decision makers in the Trump Administration is already rolling out the weaponized narrative that Russia is supposedly backing AMLO, since they also want to add ammunition to the right-wing’s arsenal of personalized attacks in order to scare the electorate away from voting for him. Thus, it’s actually the US that’s openly interfering in the Mexican elections, just as it always has to one extent or another, and not Russia, with McMaster’s clumsily blatant hypocrisy emphasizing just how high Washington believes the geostrategic stakes to its security to be if “the wrong guy” gets into power and how desperate the US is to stop that from happening.

The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Jan 12, 2018.

January 13, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment