SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA

Nov 28 08:25

Venezuela resumes direct China oil deliveries despite US sanctions

Venezuela has reportedly resumed direct oil shipments to China after brutal US sanctions against the Central American nation forced the trade to go underground for more than a year.

Two China-flagged very large crude carriers (VLCC) with the capacity to transport some nearly 2 million barrels of crude each loaded Venezuelan heavy crude at the Jose terminal in recent days, Reuters reported Friday citing internal documents from Venezuela’s state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data.

One of the vessels, the Xingye, departed from Venezuela on Thursday signaling Singapore as its destination, Eikon data showed. The other carrier -- the Thousand Sunny -- has not yet set sail, according to the report, which noted that both tankers were owned by a PDVSA-PetroChina joint venture until earlier this year when PetroChina assumed full ownership.

Nov 28 07:59

Honduras ex-President Zelaya stopped at airport with bag of money

Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said on Friday that he had been “unjustly” detained at the Central American nation’s Toncontin International Airport for carrying $18,000 in cash, which he said was not his.

“I don’t know the origin of that money. Obviously, someone must have put it in my belongings. I have travelled 400 times and I know that you cannot travel with that amount of money. It is necessary to investigate who put that money in my belongings,” Zelaya told local media.

Nov 26 08:30

Smartmatic: Miami Herald, 2006 Link to Hugo Chavez

Miami Herald - Mar. 27, 2006: Forget Dubai - Worry About Smartmatic Instead

Nov 22 09:23

Classified US Embassy Cable Proves Smartmatic’s Connection to Venezuela

In my report on the Giuliani Legal Team’s press conference ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/11/19/giulianas-legal-team-prese... ), I expressed doubts about the connection the team drew between Dominion voting machines, Smartmatic software and Venezela where the technology is suspected of being used for electoral fraud.

I withdraw that doubt. Among Wikileaks’ releases of US Government data there is a classified cable that establishes the essential truth of the legal team’s charges.

Nov 18 09:24

Ebola-like virus which causes massive bleeding found to jump from human to human after Bolivia outbreak

Scientists have sounded the alarm over an Ebola-like virus from Bolivia which has been found to spread from person to person, killing three out of every five confirmed patients.

The rodent-borne Chapare virus first emerged in 2004 in the Bolivian province from which it gets its name, about 370 miles east of the country's capital city, La Paz.

New research has shed light on the deadliness of the disease and how it spread from patient zero.

Following a 2019 outbreak in the country, researchers have found that, though it comes from a different viral family than Ebola, it also causes hemorrhagic fever, which can, in turn, cause life-threatening organ failure and bleeding.

Nov 17 12:04

Isabel Marant: Designer apologises for Mexican appropriation

French fashion designer Isabel Marant has apologised after the Mexican government accused her of appropriating traditional indigenous patterns.

Mexican Culture Minister Alejandra Frausto Guerrero said she used the styles without acknowledgment.

One cape appears to use a pattern unique to the Purepecha community of northwestern Michoacan state. It is on the label's site for €490 (£440; $582).

Nov 16 06:55

Dozens wounded in Peru as protesters and police clash amid political crisis

At least 27 people have been wounded in clashes between police and protestors as thousands of Peruvians took to the streets to demonstrate against the dismissal of President Martin Vizcarra, police and rights groups said on Friday.

The unrest over the last four nights, and other more peaceful protests in the capital Lima and other cities, are piling pressure on a fragmented Congress and the new government of President Manuel Merino.

On Thursday night, police used tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters, some of whom threw rocks at police and destroyed store windows and cash machines. The demonstrations were among the largest in two decades in Peru.

Nov 16 00:31

Cable Failures Endanger Renowned Puerto Rico Radio Telescope

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The giant, aging cables that support one of the world's largest single-dish radio telescopes are slowly unraveling in this U.S. territory, pushing an observatory renowned for its key role in astronomical discoveries to the brink of collapse.

The Arecibo Observatory, which is tethered above a sinkhole in Puerto Rico’s lush mountain region, boasts a 1,000-foot-wide (305-meter-wide) dish featured in the Jodie Foster film “Contact” and the James Bond movie “GoldenEye.” The dish and a dome suspended above it have been used to track asteroids headed toward Earth, conduct research that led to a Nobel Prize and helped scientists trying to determine if a planet is habitable.

Nov 15 13:36

Peru’s President Merino Resigns Following Deadly Protests

Peruvian President Manuel Merino resigned on Sunday, six days after taking office, following deadly protests against his government.

“I present my irrevocable resignation,” Mr. Merino said in a televised address. “It is time for peace and unity.”

Peruvians celebrated his resignation, cheering in the city’s plazas and honking car horns in this coastal city of nine million people.

Nov 10 07:23

Guatemala Repeals Agreement to Allow Planned Parenthood to Operate

Guatemala has repealed an agreement it made in October that would have allowed abortion provider Planned Parenthood to operate in the country.

On Wednesday, the country’s Interior Ministry said it was rescinding its agreement, dated October 7, asserting it was “not in accord with the interests of the State of Guatemala.”

A report at Catholic News Agency (CNA) stated:

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced the repeal Nov. 2, declaring he would not allow Planned Parenthood to operate in the country. Giammattei’s response was in reaction [to] the initial agreement authorizing Planned Parenthood, which became official that same day.

“I recognize life from conception and therefore I will not tolerate in my administration any movement that violates what is established in our Political Constitution of the Republic, that goes against the values with which I was raised and that conflicts with my principles as doctor,” Giammattei said.

Nov 04 06:44

President Lopez Obrador urges review of U.S. drug cooperation in Mexico

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday his government would review cooperation over drug policy with the United States and how its agencies operate in Mexico after the recent U.S. arrest of a top military official.

Nov 03 11:38

Colombia Farc: The former rebels who need bodyguards to stay safe

After fighting with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) for more than two decades, Luz Marina Giraldo started a career in local politics and ran for a seat on the town council in Mesetas, a rural district in Colombia's eastern plains.

But her campaign ended abruptly last year when hooded men burst into her home and killed her partner, Alexander Parra, also a former Farc guerrilla fighter, shooting him five times in the back.

Ms Giraldo fled with her children to a nearby city and has not returned to Mesetas.

She is one of hundreds of former guerrilla fighters dressed in white T-shirts who marched into Colombia's capital, Bogotá, on Sunday to seek a meeting with President Iván Duque.

Nov 02 11:15

"Devastating" Hurricane Eta To Strike Nicaragua Early Tuesday 

With about a month left of the hurricane season, Tropical Storm Eta was upgraded Monday morning to a Category 1 hurricane while moving towards Central America, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported.

Eta is the 28th named storm and the 12th hurricane in a super active season. The hurricane could strengthen to a Category 2 or 3 before making landfall in Nicaragua on Tuesday morning.

Oct 29 07:44

Times Editorial Lets Slip Joe Biden’s Latin America Policy: More Obama-Style Coups

With less than a week to go, polling shows Democratic candidate Joe Biden to hold a 7.1 point average lead on incumbent president Donald Trump. Thus, thoughts of what his foreign policy would look like have come to the fore. Yesterday, The New York Times published a long piece discussing the 77-year-old’s plans for Latin America. The Times was hopeful, noting that Biden would seek to “repudiate” Trump’s “hardball approach” to the region, which has caused a great deal of harm, rallying round shared goals of combating climate change.

Yet buried deep in the article is perhaps the most eye-opening sentence:

"Mr. Biden’s advisers say they would seek to revive the anti-corruption campaign that set off political earthquakes across the Americas starting in 2014, but largely stalled in recent years."

Oct 29 07:17

Elon Musk becomes Twitter laughingstock after Bolivian socialist movement returns to power

Tesla CEO Elon Musk became an internet punchline on Monday after the party of Evo Morales, a left-wing Bolivian president whom Musk intimated that America had every right to overthrow, was restored to power by the Bolivian people.

The redemption at the ballot box of Morales' party, Movement Toward Socialism, was seen as a rebuke of the role of American elites in helping to oust Morales last year. Why this political battle became a viral moment for media pundits to own the brash billionaire CEO, however, is a longer story.

Oct 29 06:33

He got a coronavirus vaccine in China, but had to keep it secret. Why? OCT. 29, 2020 1:30 AM

BEIJING — The oil company worker wondered why he had to keep his vaccination a secret. Questions raced through his head as he read the confidentiality agreement, which threatened he would be disciplined if he told anyone outside company management about the COVID-19 shot he was waiting to get.
What if something went wrong? Who would take responsibility? The worker knew the vaccine maker, China National Biotec Group — part of the state-owned pharmaceutical group Sinopharm — was conducting trials of this vaccine on hundreds of thousands of volunteers in the United Arab Emirates, Peru, Morocco and other countries.

“At least they’re in a monitored, controlled situation,” he said of those trials, watching as hundreds of his co-workers lined up around him to get their injection at a clinic in Beijing. “But for us, they can’t make any guarantees. This is us making a sacrifice for the nation.”

Oct 27 06:02

Time to Flee Bolivia? Jeanine Áñez Asks U.S. for 350 Visas after Arce’s Victory

With the victory of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) in the Bolivian elections on October 18, the de facto coup government presided over by Jeanine Áñez, has requested visas from the United States for its officials according to a US-based network.

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NBC news network journalist Tom Brokaw reported Thursday on a letter from Jeanine Áñez, in which he has requested 350 visas from the U.S. government for officials of his de facto coup government.

The report, cited by the communication platform Resumen Latinoamericano, indicates that the reason behind the request is the concern that the Bolivian de facto government has about being prosecuted by the government of President-elect Luis Arce Catacora.

The news has gone viral on social networks under the title: “Time to Escape?”

Oct 27 05:32

"Tremendous News!" - Maduro Touts Venezuelan Vaccine That Inhibits COVID

Multiple COVID-19 vaccine trials are in the final stages around the world. But in one unlikely place, that being the collapsed state of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro touted Sunday, in an appearance on state television, that his government scientists have developed a "highly effective antiviral" that kills the virus without any side effects.

Maduro tweeted: "Tremendous News! We certify the DR10 molecule as a highly effective antiviral in the fight against Covid-19."

He continued: "We have started the World Health Organization (WHO) certification process to offer this treatment to the world. I thank the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC) team for this great contribution to humanity."

Oct 26 15:13

Trump threatens to destroy any Iranian missiles shipped to Venezuela after President Maduro announced plan to buy more weapons after UN arms embargo expired

The United States has threatened to destroy any long-range missiles sent to Venezuela from Iran, after a UN embargo on Iran buying or selling weapons expired last week.

The warning comes a few days after Venezuela President Nicholas Maduro announced the creation of a Scientific and Technological Military Council that will seek the independence of the country in terms of its weapons system with the help of 'sister' nations, among which he mentioned China, Russia, Iran and Cuba.

There's no confirmation that a shipment is imminent however a US official said the countries are likely to do arms deals.

Oct 26 08:51

Venezuela opposition figure Leopoldo López leaves Spanish embassy

Leading Venezuelan opposition figure Leopoldo López has left Spain's embassy in Caracas after seeking refuge there in April 2019 and secretly fled the country, his family says.

His father said Mr López had gone to Colombia and was now heading for Spain.

Mr López took shelter in the embassy after appearing with opposition leader Juan Guaidó and calling for a rebellion to oust President Nicolás Maduro.

He was arrested in 2014 accused of inciting violent political protests.

Mr López, who has repeatedly denied the charges, received a 14-year jail sentence in a military prison.

But in 2017, Mr López - a Harvard-educated former mayor who has been prevented by the government from standing for public office - was moved to house arrest.

Oct 26 06:47

Maduro says Venezuelan scientists developed medicine that ‘cancels 100% of Covid-19’ with no side-effects

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says his country has designed “a highly effective antiviral” that decimates coronavirus without any side effects. The drug will be presented to the WHO for certification, he added.

"I want to say that Venezuela has developed a medicine that annihilates 100 percent of the coronavirus," Maduro said on Sunday, describing it as a “highly effective antiviral.”

It was designed by the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC), which has been working on a cure for the virus for the past six months, he noted.

The medicine is based on a molecule called TR-10, which was isolated and, when pitted against the virus, proved its absolute effectiveness, he claimed.

Oct 26 06:21

Indigenous Colombians, Facing New Wave of Brutality, Demand Government Action

Protesters descended by the thousands on Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, this week, horrified by a brutal wave of violence sweeping the country, one so intense that mass killings have taken place every other day on average.

Most traveled hundreds of miles, from the rural Indigenous communities that have been particularly ravaged by the violence, which they trace to government failures to protect them under the country’s halting peace process.

They call their movement the “minga Indígena.”

Minga is an Indigenous word, one used long before the Spanish arrived in South America, to refer to an act of communal work, an agreement between neighbors to build something together: a bridge, a road, a government.

Oct 26 06:15

US, Global Corporate Giants Not Amused Mexico Finally Forces Them to Pay the Taxes They Owe

The American Bar Association (ABA) this week lambasted the Mexican government for using heavy handed tactics, including criminal probes into tax fraud, to motivate corporate tax dodgers to finally settle their tax bills. The complaint echoes a similar broadside from the International Bar Association last month and reflects growing frustration among companies about the government’s use of more stringent audits, tighter surveillance methods, and the threat of tough legal action to crack down on corporate tax dodgers and tax frauds.

The Government says it has launched criminal proceedings against 43 companies that owe 55 billion pesos ($2.6 billion) to the treasury in unpaid taxes dating back to 2010. Most other companies that have been subject to audit in recent months have agreed to settle their tax debts.

Oct 24 06:58

Chileans go to polls to vote on throwing out Pinochet-era constitution

Chileans will go to the polls on Sunday to vote on whether they want to swap a constitution written during the Pinochet dictatorship with a new document written by a specially elected citizens’ body.

Opinion polls suggest a resounding win for the ‘Approve’ campaign for a new magna carta, with around two thirds of the vote.

A new constitution was a key demand of demonstrators engaged in sometimes violent mass social protests that broke out in October last year over inequality and elitism. A cross-party referendum deal emerged from the protests in December.

Those opposed to a new constitution argue it will be a “leap into the void” to change a document that has helped make Chile one of the region’s most stable free market economies.

Oct 23 06:48

Major Oil Discovery Puts Suriname in Global Spotlight Amid Venezuela Crisis and US-China Trade War

Although Guyana’s newly discovered oil reserves and US interests in the region have been the focus of attention, not many analysts have been noticing neighboring Suriname, one of Latin America’s poorest countries.

Guyana’s prospects have certainly changed tremendously – its economy was forecasted by the IMF to grow 85% percent this year. We should expect similar things in Suriname with the discovery of new oil fields offshore that are estimated to have 1.4 billion barrels, according to Rystad Energy. This has already attracted interest from foreign investors.

The wider Guyana-Suriname Basin is being described as the world’s number one offshore exploration. ExxonMobil has already discovered the equivalent of more than 8 billion barrels worth of oil in the region and has announced its 18th oil discovery in the Stabroek block in Guyana. Oil experts believe that what Exxon is doing in Guyana can be reproduced in Suriname.

Oct 23 06:38

America Has No Allies, Only Hostages

The new president-elect of Bolivia, Luis Arce, has told the Spanish international news agency EFE that he intends to restore the nation’s relations with Cuba, Venezuela and Iran. This reverses the policies of the US-backed coup regime which immediately began closing embassies, kicking out doctors and severing relations with those nations after illegally seizing power last year.

Arce also spoke of warm relations with Russia and China.

“We are going to reestablish all relations,” he told EFE. “This government has acted very ideologically, depriving the Bolivian people of access to Cuban medicine, to Russian medicine, to advances in China. For a purely ideological issue, it has exposed the population in a way that is unnecessary and harmful.”

Oct 23 06:19

What Bolivia Can Teach the United States About Fair Elections

Imagine the following nightmare: The United States faces a close vote in the presidential election. Trump claims voter fraud and seeks backing from the nation’s military, who then stage a coup to keep him in power.

Farfetched? The Trump Administration already did it in Bolivia last year.

Oct 22 06:11

BOLIVIANS RETURN EVO MORALES’S PARTY TO POWER ONE YEAR AFTER A U.S.-APPLAUDED COUP

IN NOVEMBER 2019, Bolivia’s three-term President Evo Morales was forced under threat of police and military violence to flee to Mexico, just weeks after he was declared the winner of the October presidential election that would have sent him to his fourth term. Installed in his place was an unelected right-wing coup regime, led by self-declared “interim President” Jeanine Áñez, who promptly presided over a military massacre that killed dozens of Morales’s Indigenous supporters and then granted immunity to all the soldiers involved. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the time cheered the coup by citing subsequently debunked claims of election fraud by the Organization of American States, or OAS, and urging “a truly democratic process representative of the people’s will.”

Oct 21 06:06

US tries to squeeze Huawei out of Brazil’s 5G network development

Brazil has become the latest battleground in the US tech war against Beijing, with the Trump administration offering the South American country lucrative financing to shift away from China’s Huawei when developing its 5G networks.

On Tuesday, an American delegation led by National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien signed a new agreement with Brazil during a four-day visit to the country. The deal, sponsored by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), is aimed at strengthening economic cooperation between the two sides and promoting US exports in various sectors, especially in the telecommunications area and 5G, according to O’Brien.

“Under the agreement, EXIM and Brazil agree to explore and identify potential opportunities for EXIM financing in a total aggregate amount of up to $1 billion,” EXIM said in a statement.

Oct 20 07:36

A NASA Spacecraft Is About to Land on an Asteroid And Grab a Sample. Watch It Live

OSIRIS-REx is the United States' first asteroid sample return mission, aiming to collect and carry a pristine, unaltered sample from an asteroid back to Earth for scientific study. The spacecraft will attempt to touch the surface of the asteroid Bennu, which is hurtling through space at 63,000 miles per hour (101,000 kilometres per hour).

If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft will deploy an 11-foot-long (3-metre-long) robotic arm called TAGSAM – Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism – and spend about 10 seconds collecting at least two ounces (50 grams) of loose rubble from the asteroid. The spacecraft, monitored remotely by a team of scientists and engineers, will then stow away the sample and begin its return to Earth, scheduled for 2023.

You can watch this sample collection "Touch-And-Go" maneuver October 20 at 5:00 pm EDT/ 2:00 pm PDT (2100 UTC) below, or on NASA Television and the agency's website.

Oct 20 06:46

Media Responds With Apathy, Disappointment as US-Backed Coup Gov’t Concedes Defeat in Bolivia

Bolivia’s Movement to Socialism (MAS) party is celebrating what appears to be a crushing, landslide victory in Sunday’s elections. Although official vote counting is far from over, exit polls show an overwhelming triumph for the socialists, and a repudiation of the right-wing military government of Jeanine Añez, who has ruled since the coup last November. At the same time, the corporate press appears less than pleased about the return to democracy for the Andean country.

In order to win outright in the first round, the top candidate needs at least 40 percent of the popular vote and a lead of 10 points over their nearest rival, and multiple polls have indicated that the MAS ticket of Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca has won more than 50 percent, and have achieved a lead of over 20 points on their nearest challenger, Carlos Mesa (president between 2003 and 2005) — quite a feat in a five-way election. The MAS is also expected to have won a large majority in the senate.

Oct 19 09:25

Chilean government agrees with new constitution, but vetoes new Constituent Assembly

Chile has been experiencing violent popular protests for over a year. The general dissatisfaction with the government of Sebastián Piñera and his allies has generated strong unrest in the country, which has worried the Chilean political elite. In this sense, fear of the consequences of the rebellions has led government officials to propose an agreement to stop the violence, but, apparently, the proposal is intended only to serve the interests of the government itself.

Oct 19 06:53

Churches Set Ablaze Amid Protests in Chile's Capital – Photo, Video

The protests in Santiago come a week ahead of the impending constitutional referendum in the country, slated to take place on 25 October.

The recent protests in the Chilean capital Santiago were marked by the devastation of two churches as the initially peaceful rallies that started on Sunday, 18 October, ended up being marred by violence, vandalism and looting.

One of the churches, located close to Plaza Italia, got "burned to the ground as hooded protesters cheered", while the second church, which also "sustained fire damage", was looted, according to AFP.

The place of worship that got "totally destroyed", the Church of the Assumption, is reportedly known as "artists' parish" and dated back to 1876.

Oct 18 07:39

China Arming Venezuelan Navy With Anti-Ship Missiles

Venezuela’s propaganda videos are showing off warships armed with new Chinese-made anti-ship missiles. The C-802A missile, supplied by Beijing to the Venezuelan Navy, is designed to take out surface ships at ranges of over 100 nautical miles. The sea-skimming missile is generally analogous to the Harpoon. This arms deal should greatly increase the reach and potency of President Nicolás Maduro’s navy.

The acquisition was revealed on Sept. 25 by the Venezuelan Navy (formally known as the Armada Bolivariana de Venezuela). Footage of one test firing is now being used in propaganda videos posted online, including by Maduro’s official Twitter account (in Spanish).

The video footage is not actually of a Venezuelan Navy ship. It is taken from a Royal Thai Navy test launch of the C-802A missile. That launch, from the Thai Navy’s frigate HTMS Kraburi, can be viewed on YouTube.

Oct 17 07:43

Ex-president Morales: US trying to block my return to Bolivia

Former Bolivian President Evo Morales, who is living under asylum in Argentina, says the United States and its allies are making efforts to prevent his return in defiance of calls at home for him to seize power.

Morales made the remarks in an interview with Iran’s Hispan TV Spanish-language television network on Friday.

“The US is trying so that I won’t return. We seek freedom, which is the goal of the people…. Our intention is to liberate Bolivia in terms of political, cultural, social and even economic ideology. As the government and people, we want to take an important step and move towards industrialization after nationalization, but they (the Americans) do not like this,” he said.

The ex-president also criticized interim Interior Minister Arturo Murillo for travelling to the US last month to buy weapons for allegedly preserving democracy in the Latin American state.

Oct 17 07:20

Covid-19 vaccine to be MANDATORY in Brazil’s most populous state Sao Paulo – governor

The head of Brazil's most populous state has promised that the vaccination for Covid-19 will be compulsory for its residents. The statement quickly led to a clash with the country's president.

Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria told reporters that immunization will start once the vaccine is authorized by the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA).

"In Sao Paulo it will be mandatory, except for those with a medical note and a certificate stating that they cannot [take the vaccine]," Doria said, explaining that the state will adopt necessary regulations for the measure.

Local media reported that the Sao Paulo government hopes to have the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine approved by the regulator in time to start vaccination of medical staff in December. The trials are expected to be completed this weekend, with the results ready on Monday.

Oct 17 06:28

Mexico's Former Defense Minister Arrested On Drug Trafficking Charges By DEA

As a sign of just how the continuing US-Mexico "war on drugs" and by extension the war on cartels is going, no less than Mexico's former top leader of the armed forces has been arrested.

The country's former defense minister, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, was taken into US custody after landing at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had a warrant for his arrest - no doubt a huge shock to the high profile general given he was traveling with his family, presumably on vacation.

Mexico's foreign secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, was the first to confirm via Twitter that the American ambassador to Mexico informed him of Cienfuegos' detention.

Oct 15 05:51

A Quick Reminder Of How Venezuela Ran Out Of Food: Does This Look Familiar?

We’d all like to believe that the United States is on the road to economic recovery and that things are going to get better. Everyone wants to think the store shelves are just a few cargo ships away from being refilled. People want to believe that once 2020 is over, life will return to “normal” and that we’re just having a really bad year.

But someone pointed out an article I published four and a half years ago and when you look at the things which happened there and compare them to our situation, you may notice some uncanny similarities.

Oct 10 07:55

Pompeo The Bounty Hunter: State Department Puts Bounty On Venezuelan Official

A $5 million reward has been offered by The United States’ government for any information that will lead to the arrest of a former Venezuelan government official accused of money laundering and international drug trafficking.

On February 13, Samark López, who is in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Most Wanted List, had been designated as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control [OFAC].

Oct 10 06:21

Colombia Covid Lockdown: Collapse of Healthcare, Social Crisis, Poverty

As the confirmed Coronavirus cases in Colombia reach more than 880,000, the healthcare infrastructure in Bogota is crumbling and according to the president of the Bogota College of Medicine Herman Bayona, “We are close to collapse.” Bogota’s Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are operating at a 90% capacity, an indication of the city’s over-stretched and strained healthcare system. The Santa Clara Hospital, for example, is assisting 52 patients with only a 44-bed capacity. Ivan Duque Marquez, the president of Colombia, is adamant on re-opening Bogota and considers that “a lockdown is not the solution.”

Oct 08 10:52

President Ivan Duque Denounced for US Troops in Colombia

twenty-three Colombia’s congressmen Monday filed a disciplinary complaint against President Ivan Duque before the House of Representatives' Investigation Committee, as they consider the US troops' presence in the country a violation of the national sovereignty.

"Duque violated the Constitution since he did not have the prior Senate's authorization to allow the U.S. Army entrance to the national territory," the congressmen stated.

The President "must be investigated for omitting his responsibilities as a public servant and not respecting the separation of powers," they added.

In July, Cundinamarca's Administrative Court ordered to suspend U.S. troops’ activities in Colombia. However, Duque overlooked this decision and allowed the resumption of the foreign army’s exercises without even asking the Senate.

Oct 08 09:43

Guaidó creates a parallel consulate in Brazil

A “parallel” Venezuelan Consulate in Brazil was condemned in a recent statement by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. In late September, supporters of the Venezuelan opposition leader, the self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó, announced that they would form a new consulate in Brazil. Basically, the objective is to create a parallel Venezuelan diplomatic representation, which meets the interests of the opposition – which is supported by the Brazilian government. The decision has received strong criticism from the Venezuelan government, which considers it illegal. However, despite the criticism, the consulate is starting its operations this week in the Brazilian state of Roraima – a region strategically chosen because it borders Venezuela.

Oct 07 07:29

Venezuela Orders 71 Tons of Paper To Print New Banknotes Worth 23 Cents Each

One of the core tenets of MMT, or Magic Money Theory, is that a nation which prints its own fiat money can never go broke or be insolvent (unless a political decision to do so is taken). Well, that may be true, but in Venezuela things appears to have taken an unexpected detour into one of the more grotesque circles of economic hell as the hyperinflating country proceeded to print its way out of its endless economic crisis.

So much so that according to Bloomberg, Venezuela is now importing 71 tons of paper from Italian money printer Fedrigioni (majority owned by US Private Equity giant Bain Capital) which it will use to print new bills with the highest, 100,000 new bolivar, denomination yet. In dollar terms: each new banknote is worth about 23 cents, courtesy of the raging hyperinflation that has been sweeping the nation for the past 6 years.

Oct 06 08:13

Venezuela wins UK court decision in battle to get its gold back

The UK’s appeals court has ruled in favor of President Nicolas Maduro’s government in the battle to repatriate Venezuela’s $1 billion worth of gold held at the Bank of England, reversing an earlier decision.

The UK High Court ruled in favor of opposition politician Juan Guaido earlier this year, saying that London unequivocally recognizes him as “interim president” of the South American nation, rather than President Maduro. The judgment came as the two sides were battling for access to gold reserves stored in the vaults of the Bank of England.

Oct 06 07:29

UK Court Decision On Venezuela Gold Deals Blow To Regime Change Efforts

A United Kingdom court has handed the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro a major win today, overturning a previous ruling from a lower court that legitimized the British government’s decision to freeze Venezuelan government gold reserves held in the Bank of England. The English Court of Appeal ruled that the Conservative administration of Boris Johnson’s position that Juan Guaidó is the country’s legitimate ruler was far from equivocal, potentially paving the way for some $1.95 billion of the Central Bank of Venezuela’s gold to be accessed.

Oct 06 06:49

Venezuela's Oil industry May Never Recover

Despite President Maduro’s claims of a looming recovery for Venezuela’s economically crucial oil industry in early 2020 production keeps declining. Even measures aimed at revitalizing the industry and circumventing U.S. sanctions are failing to trigger any sustainable recovery. According to the latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report, August 2020 oil output remained flat compared to a month earlier at 340,000 barrels daily.

Oct 05 06:34

Third Iranian Tanker Enters Venezuelan Waters

Venezuela’s gasoline shortages look like they’re going to be relieved, at least for now. The third of Iran’s three fuel tankers that were dispatched has entered Venezuelan waters this weekend, and the first two tankers have already docked and begun delivery.

Venezuela struggles to produce gasoline itself because of US sanctions. Venezuela’s own oil is incompatible with its refineries, so historically they’ve exported oil, and brought other oil back for refining. The US has virtually prevented this, and seized ships to try to stop Venezuela from keeping itself supplied.

Major shortages were reported across Venezuela lately, which is a problem across the country, but especially in the farming sector, where food production is quite a bit down from where it’s meant to be if all the vehicles were running.

Oct 05 05:29

UK Court of Appeals Overturns London High Court Decision on Venezuelan Gold, Lawyer Says

Since Juan Guaido declared himself acting president of Venezuela in January 2019 instead of elected head of state Nicolás Maduro, the Bank of England has expressed uncertainty over the fate of the gold reserves stored in its vaults and who should be entitled to them.

The Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV) has won the first round of appeals against a ruling by the High Court of England and Wales, a lawyer revealed.

The UK High Court earlier recognised opposition politician Juan Guaido as "interim president" of Venezuela and gave him the right to access the country's gold reserves. Now, the UK Court of Appeals has rejected this position and ordered a detailed judicial review of the dispute.

Oct 03 07:27

UN Report on Venezuela Omits the Greatest Violation of Human Rights: US Aggression

On September 23, María Eugenia Russián, president of Fundalatin, Venezuela’s oldest human rights organization, testified to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and decried an attempt by a UNHRC fact-finding mission to erase people who were “lynched, burned alive, decapitated and murdered by extremist sectors of the Venezuelan opposition.” This fact-finding mission had published a report a week earlier that generated sensationalist headlines of “crimes against humanity” and painted a bleak picture of the situation in Venezuela.

However, the 400+ page report has been found to contain serious flaws and omissions, leading to charges that it politicizes human rights – a position backed by the Venezuelan government. But it’s not just Venezuela that has taken issue with the report: Argentina’s ambassador to the Organization of American States denounced it as “biased” and noted that “human rights are not an instrument for taking political positions.”

Oct 03 07:15

US confirms the seizure of four Iranian tankers headed to Venezuela

Washington confirmed Friday earlier reports that it had seized Iranian tankers believed to be carrying a multimillion-dollar fuel shipment to Venezuela.

“These actions represent the government’s largest-ever seizure of fuel shipments from Iran,” a statement from the US Justice Department said.

Oct 03 07:03

As millions of Venezuelans starve, the US must take its share of the blame for the humanitarian and economic crisis

With the United Nations reporting that more than nine million Venezuelans lack food, America’s role in causing this disaster via crippling sanctions cannot go unacknowledged.

The economy of Venezuela is on the brink. To most people, that really isn’t news. While the Latin American nation has long been struggling to keep its head above water, 2020 has been a game changer in many respects.

The United States has continued to tighten the noose with sanctions in pursuit of regime change, oil prices have tumbled and Covid-19 has decimated the global economy, with the latest reports suggesting the country is suffering an unprecedented crisis.

A recent United Nations study states that Venezuela is now suffering from one of the world’s worst food shortages, with an estimated third of its population (9.3 million people) lacking sufficient nutrition and 13 percent of children under the age of five suffering from stunted growth.

Sep 30 06:47

Colombia-U.S. Axis: Hitting at Venezuela

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Colombian President Iván Duque, meeting in Bogotá on Sept. 20, talked about “managing the COVID-19 response … narcotraffickers … and [President] Maduro’s illegitimate regime,” according to the State Department. A Cuban observer insists they explored “when to begin military actions and sabotage in Venezuela.” Elliott Abrams, the White House official responsible for Venezuelan affairs, dismissed the idea of U.S. military engagement as an “absurdity.”

As talks were taking place in Bogotá, joint naval and air force exercises were underway along Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Supposedly, they were preparing to fight an illicit drug trade attributed to Venezuela. That’s why the U.S. Navy has been monitoring Venezuela’s northern coast since April. Colombia itself, of course, supplies most of the illegal drugs entering the United States.

Sep 29 07:49

No Meat, No Milk, No Bread: Hunger Crisis Rocks Latin America

He couldn't feed his family. Matilde Alonso knew it was true but couldn't believe it. The pandemic had just hit Guatemala in full force and Alonso, a 34-year-old construction worker, was suddenly jobless. He sat up all alone till late that night, his mind racing, and fought back tears.

Sep 28 11:01

Peruvian president wins impeachment process, but opposition grows

The political crisis in Peru is far from over. Despite the fact that President Martín Vizcarra won the first stage of his dispute against the Congress mainly formed by Fujimori’s supporters, the expectation is that his opponents will continue to try to overthrow him through an institutional coup that “respects” the limits of “legality” and “democracy”.

Sep 22 07:03

Pompeo’s “Humanitarian Intervention” in Latin America: Is Washington Planning A Coup In Venezuela Before The November Elections?

The US and its long-time Puppet state, Colombia are moving towards another attempt for regime change against Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Latin American tour which included Colombia, Brazil, Guyana and Suriname, all share borders Venezuela was a display of the US flaunting its economic and military muscle to shape its Latin America policy for its economic and geopolitical advantage in the region.

Pompeo’s press statement with Colombia’s President Ivan Duque began with

“The United States remains the largest single donor of humanitarian and development assistance around the world, including for Venezuelans in need, because doing our part to respond to global crisis situations is a national security priority.”

Sep 20 05:18

Britain, France, and Germany Spurn US Plan for Iran Sanctions

Trump Administration officials have been saying this for weeks, but on Friday reiterated their intentions to try to enforce a UN Security Council resolution that includes broad sanctions against Iran. Officials say they expect every nation to comply.

The glaring problem with this is that the resolution doesn’t exist, at least not as an active resolution the US wants. The P5+1 nuclear deal gave the US the authority to reimpose sanctions on Iran, but the US had withdrawn from that pact years ago. Though the Trump Administration argued that didn’t matter, the UN has virtually unanimously rejected their interpretation, and rejected the UN Security Council resolution. The US believes the resolution becomes active Sunday, but the reality is it just doesn’t exist legally.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These actions spell desperation on the cusp of madness, and the world is not following suit; so, what is next here, an invasion of Iran?!?

Considering just how "brilliantly" the other US occupations around the world are going, you might imagine it might just be time for a "re-think" on this; but of course, Israel's Bibi Netanyahu will not allow that to happen; he wants the US waging war against Iran, so Israel will not have to.

Sep 19 07:13

Venezuela's President Maduro Calls Pompeo's 'War-Mongering' Tour a 'Failure'

The US Department of State earlier announced Pompeo would be visiting South America with the aim of showing support for local democracies and containing the "threat" coming from "Maduro's illegitimate regime".

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has slammed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Latin American countries as a "war-mongering" tour that has failed.

He added that the Venezuelan people are "made for resistance" and that his country "is never going to give up".

Sep 16 06:54

Cocaine Cowboys: Venezuelan Military Shoots Down Drug-Laden US Plane

The Venezuelan Air Force regularly targets unidentified aircraft used by regional drug cartels. A similar incident took place in July, when another plane with a US registration number was shot down by fighter jets while intruding into Venezuelan airspace.

Venezuela’s military has shot down a US-registered aircraft carrying drugs, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol has announced.

According to the minister, the incident took place Tuesday, with the aircraft downed after illegally entering Venezuelan airspace in the province of Zulia near the border with Colombia.

Sep 14 06:15

Iran to develop pharmacy network in Venezuela

The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to improve its cooperation with Venezuela, now by the creation of a pharmacy network in the socialist-ruled South American country.

Carrying Iranian medical products, the brand new chain of drugstores is meant to tackle the dire scarcity of medicines hitting Venezuelans as a result of US' economic sanctions that impede imports.

Caracas Mayor's office and the Iranian Embassy have signed an agreement that gives birth to the network. Officials hail the deal.However, from the opposition, some express criticism. But experts say the Venezuela-Iran alliance for medicines is a right move.

Sep 14 06:14

Fire, rocks, tear gas as protesters face off against police in Colombia

Demonstrators took to the streets for a second night in Colombia's capital Bogota on Thursday to press ahead with protests against police brutality that have erupted into violence and taken nine lives so far.

The demonstrators were protesting the death this week of law student Javier Ordonez, 46. A widely-shared video filmed by Ordonez's friend showed the father of two being repeatedly shocked with a stun gun by police. He died later in a hospital.

Some 300 protesters gathered once again Thursday afternoon outside the police station in Villa Luz, where Ordonez was taken before his death and which was heavily damaged on Wednesday.

Sep 14 05:52

Peru Congress approves Vizcarra impeachment motion over leaked tapes

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra faced a fresh challenge to his leadership on Friday after Congress approved a motion to start impeachment proceedings against him over leaked audio tapes and alleged ties to a singer involved in a fraud case.

Sep 14 05:52

Venezuela Defies Sanction Tripwires and Imports Iranian Oil

An oil tanker is discharging Iranian condensate for Venezuela as both countries continue to avoid U.S. sanction tripwires.

The ship, identified as Honey, turned off its satellite signal and started unloading about 2 million barrels of South Pars condensate at Venezuela’s controlled port of Jose on Saturday, according to a report and a person with knowledge of the situation.

The cargo will most likely be used by the state oil company PDVSA to blend with Venezuela’s tar-like oil and help to prop up oil production in the Orinoco oil belt.

Sep 09 02:20

Report: Three More Iranian Tankers Under Way With Fuel for Venezuela

Analysts with TankerTrackers.com have tentatively identified a new round of Iranian gasoline shipments to Venezuela. According to the firm, the product tankers Forest, Faxon and Fortune appear to have taken on about 825,000 barrels of gasoline at Port Shahid Rajaee, then turned off their AIS transponders. None have broadcast an AIS position since the end of August, according to consultancy Dryad Global.

TankerTrackers.com believes that these vessels are "very likely" headed for Suez, then Venezuela - marking the second time this year that Iranian-flagged vessels have carried gasoline cargoes on this route.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to politely remind those in the Bowels of Power in DC, that a boarding and inspecting the cargo of ships in declared international waters, is tantamount to an act of war.

Sep 08 11:43

Political pardon given by Maduro may be a checkmate against Venezuelan opposition

In Venezuela, Juan Guaidó no longer appears to be the leader of the opposition. The forgiveness of 110 opponents by President Nicolás Maduro completely fragmented the political wing opposing the regime, which, in practice, removes from Guaidó the “monopoly” of militancy against the government. Maduro’s decision to forgive as many opponents as possible seems particularly strategic in an election year. For the December 2020 parliamentary elections, Maduro’s allies represent the only unified and solidly based political wing in the country, while currently his opponents are fragmented into several factions.

Sep 07 07:11

THE STAGE IS SET FOR A VENEZUELA OCTOBER SURPRISE

CARACAS (VZA) – AGGRESSION AGAINST VENEZUELA FROM THE US HAS INTENSIFIED IN RECENT WEEKS AND ALL SIGNS ARE POINTING TOWARDS AN ESCALATION AHEAD OF ELECTIONS IN THE US AND VENEZUELA.
The hybrid war against Venezuela is intensifying as the US presidential campaign is heating up. The Trump administration and its Venezuelan and international allies have set the stage for an October surprise, a possible attack by the United States or one of its proxies designed to boost President Trump’s reelection. The attacks on Venezuela are coming from multiple dimensions, including overt military pressure, economic pressure, covert operations, and disinformation campaigns. All of these are elements of a hybrid war that has sought to overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro over the past years, and each element has seen new developments over the past few weeks, just as Venezuela is battling a surge in COVID-19 cases.

OVERT MILITARY PRESSURE

Webmaster's Commentary: 

George Carlin, made the observation in his stand-up routine; "We kill brown people, because we're good at it!"

But what happens if a besieged Venezuela gets military assistance from another world player, say, perhaps... China, who is growing infinitely more frustrated with a US, attempting to throw its weight around, particularly in what it believes is rightfully, China's sphere of influence?!?

Folks, I don't know how likely this is right now, as we celebrate Labor Day in this country; but even were I betting person, I would not bet against this possibility becoming real; then we would have World War III for real, and very close to our own doorstep.

Sep 07 06:31

U.S. GOVT-LINKED PR FIRM RAN FAKE NEWS NETWORKS FOR RIGHT-WING LATIN AMERICAN REGIMES

BY BEN NORTON
A major US PR firm located just a few blocks from the White House has been caught running an industrial grade propaganda operation on social media. The information warfare blitzkreig relied on fake accounts and pages to spread disinformation on behalf of right-wing, US-backed governments in Latin America, while deploying covert propaganda to destabilize the leftist governments targeted by the US in Venezuela and Mexico.

The company behind the campaign, CLS Strategies, signed a contract to represent Bolivia’s far-right junta and provide “strategic communications counsel” in the lead-up to that country’s ostensible election. After coming to power through a US-backed military coup in November 2019, the Bolivian regime has delayed the election numerous times on specious grounds.

CLS Strategies also used its network of fake accounts and pages to push propaganda on behalf of Venezuela’s right-wing opposition and the US-backed parallel coup regime of Juan Guaidó.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Imagine my (absence of) shock here.

Folks, for those paying attention to the US's destabilization efforts against governments it doesn't like, this kind of work has been going on for decades; only the names of the organisations attempting to create destabilization change, but the work continues.

Aug 31 06:26

US Court Approves Sales of Gasoline From Seized Ship

A legal battle over a shipload of gasoline held in southern Texas had ended with a court approval to sell it to Kolmar Americas for $2.75 million, which is less than half of its current market value. The gasoline at one point was suspected of heading for Venezuela in violation of US sanctions.

The gasoline originated in Panama, and the company that chartered the ship officially was to send it to Aruba. The ship’s owner, however, said they thought the ship was going to transfer the gasoline off-shore to a ship operated by the Venezuelan oil company.

Aug 31 05:30

The Stage Is Set for a Venezuela October Surprise?

The hybrid war against Venezuela is intensifying as the U.S. presidential campaign is heating up. The Trump administration and its Venezuelan and international allies have set the stage for an October surprise, a possible attack by the United States or one of its proxies designed to boost President Trump’s reelection. The attacks on Venezuela are coming from multiple dimensions, including overt military pressure, economic pressure, covert operations, and disinformation campaigns. All of these are elements of a hybrid war that has sought to overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro over the past years, and each element has seen new developments over the past few weeks, just as Venezuela is battling a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Overt military pressure

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The question, regarding any kind of coup or regime change against the Maduro government, falls squarely on the soldiers of its military; if Maduro's military remains loyal, I do not think the government can be brought to its knees;that being said, if decides to back the outsiders because they have been promised promotions, percs, or better pay, then all bets are off.

Aug 27 10:36

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister and Canadian Public Call for No Military Operation Against Venezuela

This is how Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jose Arreaza, direct from Caracas during the August 20, 2020 historic Zoom Conference, responded to a question about the threat of a US-led military intervention in Venezuela:

“Maybe they [Canadian government officials] can listen to this [Conference]. I am so sure that, I don’t know if the Minister, but people from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada are listening to this conference, to this exchange, and they are taking notes, hopefully they rectify, and they will never support, not now or in the future, a military operation against Venezuela. Thank you, August.”

Aug 27 10:32

US to Tighten Venezuela Sanctions after Gasoline Seizure

US President Donald Trump has allegedly expressed “frustration” that sanctions have not succeeded in ousting the Maduro government. The White House’s hardening stance comes less than 90 days ahead of November presidential elections, which Trump hopes to win with the support of Latin American emigre communities in Florida.

Starting with financial sanctions against PDVSA in August 2017, the US Treasury Department has imposed successive rounds of measures targeting Caracas’ main source of income. A January 2019 oil embargo was later expanded to a blanket ban on all dealings with Venezuelan state entities. The South American nation’s oil production has plummeted, falling from 1.911 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017 to a decades-low record of 336,000 bpd in June.

Aug 26 07:07

Alliance Between Venezuela and Iran Evolves into the Military Sphere

The alliance between Venezuela and Iran seems to be taking new directions. The ties between the two countries began to strengthen in an economic sphere when, in the first half of 2020, Tehran started sending oil ships to Venezuela, circumventing the international trade rules imposed by Washington with the aim of blocking Caracas economically. Earlier this year, Tehran sent several cargoes of gasoline to Venezuela to help the South American country overcome fuel shortages, as well as equipment to help state oil company PDVSA overcome production and export difficulties during the crisis.

Aug 25 06:54

Venezuela’s Maduro thanks Iran for helping oil industry overcome U.S. sanctions

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday thanked ally Iran for helping the South American country overcome U.S. sanctions on its oil industry and floated the idea of purchasing missiles from the country.

Washington maintains strict sanctions against Iran’s oil industry to try to halt the country’s nuclear program. Earlier this year, Tehran sent several gasoline cargoes to Venezuela to help it overcome fuel shortages, as well as equipment to help state oil company PDVSA repair its dilapidated refineries.

“We are helping each other,” Maduro said in an interview broadcast on state television. “I think the Iranian experience will help us reinforce our management capacity.”

He did not provide further details of how Iran was helping, noting he should maintain “silence since we are in a war.”

Aug 24 06:31

Trump to Use Frozen Venezuela Funds to Try for Regime Change

Over a year after the Trump Administration seized Venezuela’s funding as part of its effort for regime change, officials now say they are going to tap into that money to try to fund the regime change, which so far have failed to make progress.

The US has been trying to enforce a regime change in Venezuela for over year. Initially this amounted just to the US recognizing a change had happened, and pushing the rest of the world to do the same. Between that and a failed coup, there were reports the administration was getting tired of not making progress.

About $300 million in funds are frozen by the US and will be made available to the regime change efforts. This includes $20 million that will be used to send pandemic relief to Venezuela. What the rest will be spent on remains to be seen.

Aug 15 07:14

Latin American Economies Will See "Record-Breaking Contraction" This Year 

With coronavirus cases surging in Latin America, there's another issue emerging: A sharp economic downturn that may not result in recovery until late next year.

Alberto Ramos, head of Latin America economic research at Goldman Sachs, told CNBC Wednesday that the outlook for Latin American countries is "pretty uninspiring."

"We expect to climb (out) of a very deep hole during the second half of the year and throughout 2021," Ramos said, adding that countries such as Argentina, Peru, and Mexico are expected to record double-digit contractions in growth. He said other countries may experience slightly less severe declines but are "still a record-breaking contraction — at least the worst we've seen since the Second World War."

Ramos explained inflation remains low on the continent, which would allow central banks to ease for a much longer timeframe to support faltering economies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just how many of these economically contracting countries will be ripe for "regime change", American-style, due to these economic hardships.

Aug 14 13:47

DOJ confirms ‘largest-ever US seizure of Iranian fuel’ on 4 ships bound for Venezuela

The US has seized some 1.116 mn barrels of Iranian fuel aboard 4 ships headed for Venezuela, the Justice Department has confirmed, hinting at “assistance" from "foreign partners” and declining to reveal where the grab took place.

The agency hailed what it called the largest-ever US seizure of Iranian fuel in a statement on Friday, revealing Washington had nabbed the sanctions-skirting cargo en route to Venezuela with the assistance of unspecified “foreign partners.”

The statement appeared to confirm a Wall Street Journal report, citing anonymous government and shipping sources, that claimed four tankers loaded with Iranian fuel had recently seen their cargo confiscated “without the use of military force.” The vessels were said to be re-routed to Houston, Texas, where they will reportedly be met by senior Trump administration officials.

Aug 06 08:13

‘Coup-Plotters for Hire’: Unearthed USAID Nicaragua Regime Change Doc Puts 2018 Protests in Context

An uncovered US Agency for International Development (USAID) document lays out a blueprint for regime change in Nicaragua. An expert told Sputnik the playbook shines a new light on the 2018 protests in Nicaragua as well as similar operations in other countries targeted by the US, such as Venezuela.

A new report by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) has revealed a guide to regime change in Nicaragua by USAID. The document, which dates to March-April of this year, describes in frank terms how the agency, which maintains close ties with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), could create or exploit a variety of scenarios to remove democratically-elected Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his FSLN party from power in or around the upcoming 2021 elections.

Jul 27 07:40

After 23 Years of Media Warfare Against Venezuela, the US Says it Will Start a Media War

After 23 years of unremitting media warfare against Venezuela, the United States announces that it will start a media war against Venezuela. It’s cynical, it’s tragic, it’s even comical. Since 1997, when Commander Hugo Chávez Frías began to emerge in the polls as a presidential option, and until today, the United States has led the most violent media initiatives to influence Venezuelan politics and change the course that through elections the (Venezuelan) people have taken. A brief account of the main episodes of this communications war would clarify how old and stubborn this strategy is.

The serial genocide perpetretor Elliott Abrams (mastermind of massacres and attacks in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, let it be known) was in charge of delivering this “news” more than two decades later.

Journalistic reports say that “the United States is preparing a new strategy against Venezuela in which it will use the media as part of its pressure campaign against Maduro.”

Jul 22 07:10

Pan American Silver Suspends Operations Of Its Silver Mines In Peru

Pan American Silver announced today the suspension of two of its silver mines in Peru due to several workers testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. The two silver mines in Peru accounted for 6.3 million ounces of silver output for Pan American Silver in 2019.

Jul 09 08:22

High Court Ignores Justice – Bank of England Theft From Venezuela Upheld

“Bank robbery is an initiative of amateurs. True professionals establish a bank”.

The wise words of socialist poet and playwright Bertold Brecht should be copied, promoted and shouted across the world in the light of yesterday’s shocking decision of Supreme Court Judge Nigel Teare in London to uphold the obscene and deadly decision of the Bank of England to rob the nation of Venezuela of its £820 million of gold assets.

Jul 08 07:20

'Pattern' of Abuse by Colombian Soldiers Raises Questions Over US' Continued Funding for Forces

The rapes of two young, Indigenous girls by soldiers in rural Colombia have shed light on the role that the US plays in expanding and training the Colombian military, two activists told Sputnik.

Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist and the editor of Breaking the Chains, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear on Tuesday that the sexual assaults of the two minors highlight a continued pattern of abuse at the hands of Colombian service members.

Jul 05 05:46

US Moves To Seize Iran Petroleum On New Tanker Group Bound For Venezuela

Via AlMasdarNews.com,

US prosecutors will seek to put an end to Iran’s oil deliveries to Venezuela, as they have filed a new suit to seize the contents on these tankers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. prosecutors are targeting the oil from four Iranian tankers, along with the payments between Tehran and Caracas.

Iranian oil tankers off the port of Bandar Abbas, via AFP.

Tehran will help fund the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who Washington has designated as a terrorist organization.

“[These payments] support the IRGC’s full range of nefarious activities, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, support for terrorism, and a variety of human rights abuses, at home and abroad”, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Zia Faruqui claims in the filing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump seems to believe, magically, that he can flout international law because he wants a specific outcome to happen here, through a muscular "mis-juxtapositioning" of American law, and this is not the first time Faruqui has tried to pull this this, as you will see about with a similar attempt against Syria:

Unsealed Warrant and Forfeiture Complaint Seek Seizure of Oil Tanker “Grace 1” for Unlawful Use of U.S. Financial System to Support and Finance Sale of Oil Products to Syria

This happened in August of last year.

I have to wonder just how far Putin is going to let this madness play out, until he feels forced to act, and what he will do when he feels he has no other course to play, than to protect Iranian and Venezuelan commerce.

Jul 03 08:58

UK denying Maduro access to Venezuelan gold is not only THEFT, it’s MURDER of London’s reputation as trusted financial center

The standards are poor at the Bank of England these days, I don’t know why anyone would want to do business with them. George Galloway gives British banking, and justice, a triple-fail rating.

It used to be “a thing” when I was growing up. “As safe as the Bank of England” was the acme of trustworthiness and security. But as Venezuela – and any other Global South country foolish enough to entrust the British with their sovereign wealth just found out in the High Court in London – the Bank of England isn’t any longer safe at all.

Almost a billion dollars worth of Venzuelan gold bullion has just been stolen by the British government, theft has just been legalized, and the thieves didn’t even bother to wear a mask.

Jul 03 07:20

British Court Refuses To Release Venezuelan Gold To Maduro

18 months ago, the 'virtue-signaling' Bank of England stuck a knife between the ribs of Venezuela's embattled socialist leader, Nicolas Maduro, a former bus driver and anointed successor of Huge Chavez who managed to cling to power last year despite a Western-backed coup attempt led by opposition leader Juan Guaido, whose government was officially recognized by dozens of foreign governments.

But when the Venezuelan military refused to break with Maduro, choosing instead to back him over Guaido, Guaido gradually faded into irrelevance. He's still there, and still claiming to be the legitimate ruler of Venezuela, but instead of looking like a credible alternative to Maduro, he's sounding more like a deranged street preacher proclaiming that he is the one true messiah.

Jul 03 07:06

US Prosecutors Try to Seize Iranian Fuel Destined for Venezuela via Court - Report

Iran has recently been helping Venezuela, another nation hit by US sanctions, by supplying it with fuel after the country's own refineries lost most of their capacity to work with the ultra-heavy blend of crude extracted from Venezuela’s oilfields, leading to petrol shortages.

The US has made another attempt to stop the oil trade between Venezuela and Iran as federal prosecutors have filed a new suit seeking to seize gasoline that Tehran has purportedly sent to Caracas in four tankers, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to the newspaper, Washington is looking to both stop the delivery of gasoline to Venezuela as well as the payments for the shipped resources, which will allegedly be used to fund the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces that the US has designated as a "terrorist organisation".

Jul 03 07:03

UK court recognizes Juan Guaido as ‘unequivocally’ Venezuela’s president in legal fight for tons of gold

The UK High Court has ruled that Venezuela’s legitimate president is in fact its self-proclaimed leader Juan Guaido, and not the elected Nicolas Maduro, in a bizarre legal battle for $1 billion of gold bullion.

The Bank of England (BOE) holds close to $2 billion of Venezuela’s gold for safekeeping. With both the Venezuelan government and the opposition laying claim to the fortune, the High Court has been tasked with deciding who deserves the funds, and said on Thursday that the UK “unequivocally recognizes” self-proclaimed leader Guaido as president.

Jul 02 19:42

Nearly eight million Brazilians out of work due to Covid-19

NEARLY eight million people in Brazil have lost work due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to new figures released by the country’s statistics agency Tuesday.

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, IGBE, released its report for the trimester showing that a record 7.8 million people lost work in country. Of them, 5.8 million were workers in the informal sector.

The institute put the figure of people who are still working in Brazil at the end of May at just 49.5%.”For the first time in the historical survey series, the level of occupation was below 50%,” IBGE said in a statement.

Jul 01 15:56

Rt COVID-19

Jul 01 09:13

Battle for the Gold: Venezuelan Rivals President Maduro and Western-Backed Guaido Tussle for Power

Venezuela’s Central Bank filed a claim in a commercial court in London earlier in June to force the Bank of England to transfer some $1.13 billion-worth of its gold, stored there for safekeeping, to enable President Nicolas Maduro to fund Caracas’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

A UK judge is soon anticipated to rule in the case of who has the rightful claim to $1 .8 billion worth of Venezuelan gold stashed in the Bank of England's vault in London, reports AP.

A decision by Justice Nigel Teare is expected in the next few days, as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says the bullion is vitally needed to fund the cash-starved nation’s struggle with the coronavirus pandemic.

Jun 30 08:03

Brussels Summons Venezuela's Ambassador to EU After Maduro Expels Bloc's Envoy

On Monday, Caracas ordered European Union Ambassador to Venezuela Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa to leave the country within 72 hours, with the move coming hours after Brussels slapped sanctions on 11 Venezuelan officials.

The European Union will summon Venezuela's ambassador to the bloc in protest at President Nicolas Maduro's decision to expel Brussels' top diplomat to the Latin American nation, EU foreign affairs spokeswoman Virginie Battu has announced.

"We are going to summon Maduro's ambassador to the European institutions today and, from there, we will see what measures will be taken," Battu said, speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

Jun 30 05:04

TRUMP USED LOOTED VENEZUELAN PUBLIC MONEY TO BUILD BORDER WALL WITH MEXICO

SOURCE: THE GRAYZONE
AROUND $24 BILLION OF VENEZUELAN PUBLIC MONEY HAS BEEN LOOTED, AND THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS USED AT LEAST $601 MILLION OF IT TO CONSTRUCT A MILITARIZED WALL ON THE US-MEXICO BORDER.
BY BEN NORTON
Since the United States initiated a coup attempt against Venezuela’s elected leftist government in January 2019, an estimated $24 billion worth of Venezuelan public assets have been stolen by Washington and member states of the European Union.

President Donald Trump’s administration has used at least $601 million of that looted Venezuelan money to fund construction of its border wall with Mexico, according to government documents first reviewed by Univision.

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump insisted countless times that he would “make Mexico pay” to build a gargantuan wall covering all of the roughly 2,000 miles (3,145 kilometres) of its northern border.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF this Univision story is true..... holy crud, President Trump, what in the world were you thinking here?!?

Jun 25 08:42

Be Ready for ‘Forceful Response’, Venezuelan MoD Warns US Navy on Its Caribbean 'Act of Provocation'

On Tuesday, the US Southern Command said that the American Navy missile destroyer USS Nitze had carried out a "freedom of navigation" mission in the vicinity of Venezuela’s coast.

Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino has warned the US Navy against conducting operations close to the South American country’s territorial waters.

“A US Navy destroyer approached within 30 miles [48 kilometres] of the coast, in a clear act of provocation. It cannot be termed otherwise […] it is a clear defiant act”, Padrino told a military gathering in the northern state of Carabobo on Wednesday.

Jun 19 09:34

LEAKED DOCUMENTS REVEAL RIGHT-WING OLIGARCH PLOT TO OVERTHROW MEXICO'S AMLO

Mexico’s oligarchs and establishment political parties have united in a secret alliance to try to remove left-wing President López Obrador from power, with help from the media, Washington, and Wall Street. Leaked documents lay out their devious strategy.

Jun 17 06:22

Iran's IRGC Gears Up For 'Routine' Fuel Shipments To Venezuela, Defying Trump

Here we go again — Iran is prepping a round two of major sanctions-busting gas delivery to fuel-starved Venezuela, which is of course rich on heavy crude oil but currently lacks the capacity to refine it based on its derelict and badly in need of repair facilities.

Amid continued White House threats of military intervention to uphold a sanctions blockade on the Latin American country, “Iran may send two or three shipments per month in regular sales of gasoline to Venezuela,” reports Reuters.

It's a clear direct challenge to the Trump administration, after both "rogue" states last month celebrated five Iranian tankers loaded with gasoline successfully making it to Venezuela and offloading fuel, for which Maduro sent a military escort which included jets, helicopters, and naval patrols.

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