2019: Venezuela speech to UN Security Council on U.S. coup d’état and “blatant and gross intervention,” reviews U.S. interventions in Latin America; Iran Contra’s Elliot Abrams speech, Russia and Venezuela response – transcript (VIDEO)

Written speech of Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza: http://mppre.gob.ve/discurso/discurso-arreaza-en-el-consejo-de-seguridad-onu/

English dubbed videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mubL1aVaG8I
https://www.c-span.org/video/?457308-7/un-security-council-meeting-situation-venezuela

Unofficial translation, edited from UN and C-Span translations

Venezuela Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza:
“Thank you, Mr. President. At last we have a chance to speak.

We have a written text, but before that, I wanted to share some thoughts with you. Indeed, we can even thank Mr. Mike Pompeo because in the face of failure at the OAS Organization of American States on the 24th of January, they [the United States] didn’t have enough power to impose a resolution, and they convened a meeting of the Security Council of the United Nations. In fact, we, including President Maduro, thought of appealing to this body to debate not only the case of Venezuela but rather the blatant and gross intervention and gross mechanisms of interference by the United States in our country. We have to say, in this case, the United States is not behind the coup d’etat. It is in advance, it’s in the forefront of the coup d’etat. They give and dictate the orders, not only to the Venezuelan opposition but also to the satellite governments of the United States in the region, and it seems in Europe and other parts of the world.

As proof, we have tweets here from social media. We have appeals to the Bolivarian National Armed Forces to speak out against the legitimate authorities, against the constitutional government of President Nicolas Maduro, on the part of Secretary (of State) Mike Pompeo and from Vice President Pence. It was a tweet with a video of Vice President Pence on the 22nd. He in a tweet gave the green light for a coup d’état in Venezuela. And as Under Secretary Rosmary said, a citizen would proclaim himself. No one swore him in nor did any institution. There was no ceremony. It was self-proclaimed — self-proclamation by a member of Paliament at a public rally, at a peaceful public rally, one of many that there’ve been in Venezuela over the past few years.

Where is the legality? I ask you: let’s review the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Read Article 133 word by word, provision by provision, sentence by sentence. Where is the legality? This is internal to our Constitution.

But where is the legality in terms of the fundamental principles of Public International law? Or are we simply setting aside international relations based on international law, and imposing international relations based on force, and instrumentalizing multilateral international organizations to achieve your commission and your goal. If any of you can tell me in which article and in which provision of the United Nations Charter you find the legal basis for the self-proclamation of a man who wasn’t elected by anyone as president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, then we can open the legal debate. I think you won’t be able to do it.

We were also reviewing, because we have to ask ourselves, Since when? Secretary Rex Tillerson, before he was dismissed, and then President Trump himself, himself, here in the General Assembly, members, the first day of the debate before this sacred podium of multi-lateralism, he announced sanctions that are not only coercive unilateral measures which are not based on international law, but he actually, he had the nerve to announce a series of measures against Venezuela in flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter – the sacred charter of multilateralism.

How is it possible that a president that threatened the use of military force – he wasn’t John Bolton who did it; it wasn’t Marco Rubio – it was Donald Trump himself who threatened the use of military force directly against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela – how is it that he wasn’t even challenged by the world’s entities of multilateralism? And that you pretend to sit in judgment on the accused — the republic of Venezuela — because its people and its government have fully complied with its constitution and respected international law. How is that possible? I mean, we can speak for a long time.

Here we have 1911 in Mexico, an invasion

1912, U.S. Marines invade Nicaragua, my dear neighbor here, and they began an occupation that continued until almost 1933; Augusto Cesar Sandino and the Nicaraguan people threw them out.

1914 Mexico

1915 Haiti

1916 Dominican Republic

1918 Panama

1924 Honduras

1925 Panama

1926 Nicaragua

1927 Nicaragua

1930 Dominican Republic

1933 Nicaragua

1934 Nicaragua

1941 Panama

Then, the School of the Americas,

In Cuba, 1952

1954, the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala

1956 Nicaragua

In 1960 the President of the United States authorized the execution of covert actions on a great scale to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro. and after, the Bay of Pigs in 1961

That is to say, we can go on, João Goulart 1964 in Brazil.

In 1965, dear President of the Security Council, how many died in the Dominican Republic by the invasion endorsed by the OAS to overthrow a government that they didn’t agree with, because they didn’t ideologically like the government of the great Dominican that was Juan Bosch?

The Monroe Doctrine. It should be the United States that should be evaluated and subjected to a permanent investigation for its disrespect for international laws, interference, meddling, and invasions, behind the coup d’etats.

Next came the coup d’etat in 1973 against Salvator Allende, then Guatemala as well. In 2002 President George Bush in Venezuela. They denied it but they recognized the dictator Carmona. This has precedents. What is occurring today in Venezuela has a direct precedent.

In 2002 they were behind the coup d’etat. They weren’t as much in the forefront as this time, They recognized Carmona, the dictator, who lasted for 47 hours, and afterward, an investigation by North American experts proved with declassified documents the participation of the United States in that foolhardy attempted coup.

Or 2004 in Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide

Or 2009, in Honduras, that in the beginning, it wasn’t even suspected that the United States was behind it until Hillary Clinton admitted through a book that she had given the orders to overthrow the president of Honduras because she wanted to call a national election.

Meanwhile, other presidents were selected in Central America without the authority of being candidates [or], having lost elections. There were reports from the European Union, from the Organization of American States that said there was fraud, but afterward Donald Trump called. They promised that they would move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and they are recognized not only by Trump but by all the satellite governments in the region.[uncertain translation]

Look, I wanted to show you (holds up chart) the trend in social media just from Twitter (I’m not going to other social media) – the official spokespersons of the United States. See how the trend in January was going up on the 22nd, the 23rd (January 2019), that day they expected a coup and a military uprising that is not considered in Venezuela because the National Bolivarian Armed Forces defend with their life this Constitution. They (the United States government) could neither finance nor extort, nor provoke, nor convince our military to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro. They won’t be able to do it. They won’t be able to do it.

Once again, the United States has taken a false step and which is summed up at once — look, it is incredible — when President Trump tweeted, that was the recognition. It was like the United Nations’ deposit of a recognition of a state. President Trump tweeted that he recognized the member of Parliament as dictator of Venezuela. Automatically, Argentina, Colombia, Chile [followed suit]; that is, they waited for the order so that they could also start recognizing him.

This coup d’etat is too obvious. It is too shameless by all parties. That cannot be accepted by the United Nations. Better still, it must be condemned. I hope to have a meeting of the Security Council to evaluate who was behind this coup d’etat. And it wouldn’t be necessary to have much wisdom because there’s excessive evidence proving it on social media, on the declarations, in the communications. This very day, here comes proof in their own Wall Street Journal, like was last year in September in the New York Times, that showed there were meetings of Venezuelan soldiers who were supposedly going to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, with United States, with United States government officials.

It wasn’t the intelligence agencies of Venezuela, or of Cuba, or of Russia. It was the New York Times and newspapers of Spain. Today it is the Wall Street Journal.

A North American agency examines very clearly information that this member of Parliament traveled to Colombia clandestinely, traveled to the United States, met with officers and these are very clear strategies but not very well executed. It was very harmful. There is much evidence [of involvement by] satellite governments in the region, governments with business, presidents subject to the interests of the United States, subordinates. Not like the dignified governments, the small states of the Caribbean. Many dignified governments that have not yielded to the United States nor have let the United States extort from them nor in the OAS nor in the UN or anywhere else despite public threats even from Vice President Pence or of the Secretary of State or from some congressmen. It is understandable that satellite governments in Latin America could cede their power in this way. But Europe get in line behind the United States? Not so much the United States, but the government of Donald Trump? Europe, giving us 8 days of what?

From where do you obtain equal power to give deadlines or ultimatums to a sovereign nation? Where does such an interventionist action occur? I would say it’s almost infantile.

Why doesn’t President Pedro Sanchez hold elections, as President Nicolás Maduro said yesterday. Or who elected Pedro Sanchez? Hold elections in the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland). Interfere!

Why does President Macron, instead of dedicating himself to the permanent protests of the yellow vests of the French working people, dedicate himself to attacking Venezuela? Today a worker in a yellow vest near the Elisee Palace, and the guards come out practically scared because they are afraid of their people. Dedicate yourselves to your affairs. We do not meddle in your affairs. Respect, comply with the Charter of the United Nations. Respect the self-determination of nations.

Here last year was the candidate Henri Falcon (Venezuelan, in presidential elections of May 20, 2018); Henri Falcon was the president of the electoral campaign of Henrique Capriles (Venezuelan, presidential candidate) in 2012. Henrique Capriles lost with Commander Hugo Chávez. Henri Falcon was the candidate of the year 2018, but as they pressured Henri Falcon to withdraw his candidacy, all the way to presidents of Europe and of course all the spokespeople of the USA, he did not withdraw. But do you know what he did? He came to the United Nations and told Secretary General, Antonio Guterres that an observation by the United Nations in the elections was needed. He did not grant that. Why wasn’t this observation carried out? He even communicated with Federica Mogherini; I myself sent an invitation to Federica Mogherini, to come as observers of the elections in Venezuela. They refused outright. Because already the plan was underway, the process was already clear. Three months before the elections were held, Under Secretary Sullivan was the first to say that those elections would be fraudulent, and then the presidents of Colombia, of Chile, of Europe came to say “we will not recognize the results of the elections.”

When have you seen something like that? Months before the elections.

How many challenges are there of the Venezuelan elections? Go ahead. Show that there was fraud of a single vote in Venezuela. Mr. Duncan said that manual votes were being sold. Venezuela has an electronic voting system, automated. Its accounting is not in Venezuela. The vote is not manual; simply (the machine prints) a voucher to then check with the electronic vote, and in 100% of the cases, the comparison perfectly matches.

The United States wants to build a wall with Mexico. It’s building an ideological wall; A good part of the intercession of Secretary Pompeo today corresponds to the language of the Cold War of Nixon. He is bringing back the Cold War. They are bringing back the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 of which the Liberator Simón Bolívar said in 1829: “The United States seems destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of freedom.” That was a fulfilled prophecy; that is, it was a prediction, because that is what the United States has done.

Do you know how much it has been estimated to have cost Venezuela since the implementation of unilateral coercive measures that are in breach of International Law in Venezuela? In 2017 until December of 2018, the cost to Venezuela is 23 billion dollars, thanks to the blockade, to the persecution against the goods of Venezuela, to undermining our resources. The Venezuelan economy would not be in the problematic situation it is in if it had had these resources. 20 million dollars was offered to the OAS, which they took from us. Nothing more in Euroclear in Belgium, Mr. Ambassador of Belgium, there are 1.2 billion dollars frozen, blocked, Venezuelan gold, assets. We cannot conduct any banking transaction, any banking transaction that passes through New York or London does not happen. It ends up returning the money or freezing the money. Is that just to the Venezuelan nation?

The representative of Russia was very clear here, but the others believe that the blockades do not exist, that it is a lie … these 18, 19 rounds of sanctions against Venezuela don’t exist. I think that reflection has to take place. It is an ideological wall you are constructing against Venezuela.

We support the initiatives of dialogue as at the time was the initiative of the Dominican Republic. It didn’t come out of nowhere. President Nicolás Maduro – allow me to speak in first person- I was appointed Foreign Minister in August of 2017, and two days later, I was meeting at the home of Mr. Miguel Vargas, and afterwards at the Governmental Palace with the president, Danilo Medina, calling the opposition leaders (from Venezuela), calling President Maduro, to accomplish dialogue in Venezuela. And what happened? We reached an agreement. You know it. There is a record that is guarded securely in some archive of the Dominican Republic presidency where he has signed a pre-accord. And when they had to go to sign the agreement, they made President Danilo Medina look like a fool, they made the former president (Spanish, José Luis) Rodriguez Zapatero look like a fool; they made a fool of the foreign ministers they supported, and made their followers in Venezuela ridiculous. And they did not sign the agreement. And strangely enough, Rex Tillerson was in Bogota at the time, and it’s said from a reliable source that the Chief of the Venezuelan delegation, who today is hiding in Colombia, received a telephone call to not sign and to complicate the situation in Venezuela. These are truths, dear companions. Further, let me tell you that what has been discussed here is without a sturdy foundation.

There are many lies that have been said here, and I tell you this with respect, ask the International Monetary Fund about information that Venezuela provided. Those figures do not come close, not even remotely, to the inflation numbers that you have given here today. Ask the Director of the International Monetary Fund. Be a little more rigorous in investigations in order to discuss this in this authoritative international body which is the essential forum for the future, peace and the security of humanity.

But also ask from those 3 million migrants. There is a new migratory situation that we did not have before. It has a lot to do with the economic blockade, has a lot to do with the financial restrictions against Venezuela and with the economic situation in Venezuela, that we do not deny and that we are going to recover from with the nation and with the Economic Recovery Plans that already are underway.

But how many times have we requested data from the governments of Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina? How many times have we told them, send it (the data)? If a Venezuelan leaves by a bridge to Colombia and ends in Chile, how do I know? In these days, do you know what happened? Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno called for brigades to be established to persecute the Venezuelan migrants in Ecuador, and the embassy (from Venezuela in Quito) was filled with Venezuelans. And we help them leave Ecuador because of the xenophobic and racist persecution against them.

In the city of Ibarra in the north of Ecuador and do you know what happened on Wednesday? On the same Wednesday, three planes, including the presidential plane (Venezuelan), went to search for more than 230 Venezuelan migrants. Today three planes were also going because the Embassy was paying for accommodation in hotels, with the difficulty of sending resources due to the blockade to our Diplomatic Missions. And they did not give overflight authorization to these planes that had the humanitarian goal of going to search for Venezuelans who were going to return to their home and their families in the face of persecution.

How are you dealing with this war against Venezuela? We are waiting for the visits of: Mr. Eduardo Stein, which should take place this week. We are waiting for the visit of the former president and friend Michelle Bachelet.

Violence. You say here that “the dictatorship is repressing and killing”. Please study the history of Venezuela in recent years. The insurrectional marches of the opposition with deaths put on by them (the Venezuelan opposition, which) gave rise to and facilitated the coup d’etat in the year 2002, using snipers. Research how many people died in those days, died at truly peaceful demonstrations. Who assassinated them? There are investigations of Venezuelan Court of Justice, the agencies of Venezuelan Citizen Power, the Prosecutor’s Office, which have sovereign authority, which does not need any intervention from any independent body. We will tell the truth about each one of the deceased because Venezuela is respected. I tell you who sponsored the coup on January 23, you were pursuing a tragedy in Venezuela, of deaths, that blood ran through the streets of Caracas, and it did not happen, because measures were taken, despite the fact that in the night, there were outbreaks in the popular sectors of Caracas. Groups of 10, 12, 13 people went to plunder, to destroy private property, and those were situations we prevented. We prevented another tragedy like the one on April 11. Another tragedy happened like that in 2014. Another tragedy like that happened in 2017, when the Venezuelan opposition took to the streets financed by some countries that are sitting here, to overthrow by means of a coup, by means of force, President Chavez at the time, and now President Nicolas Maduro.

We support dialogue initiatives as we support that of Dominican Republic at that time. We support that Mexico, Uruguay and Caricom have expressed their willingness for Venezuelans to sit down with their facilitation and achieve our own way out without any imposed solutions. Here no one is going to give us deadlines nor are they going to tell us if elections should be held or not. The decisions that are made will be made by Venezuelans, those of the opposition and the government, sitting together.

On January 22, the president of the National Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, met with this member of Parliament Juan Guaido, to open a channel of dialogue. From there, they reached agreements, and on another day, Mr. Juan Guaido did everything the opposite because, well, he was under pressure. He had Pence’s tweets, Trump’s tweets, all the pressure from his people that what they want to ttigger civil war in Venezuela. You won’t achieve it. The North American presidents call for war when they have domestic problems and wars. Look, President Trump has already repented, has said that Iraq was better off with Saddam Hussein. He has said that Libya was better off with Gadaffi that they overthrew and brutally assassinated and laughed at that assassination, the Secretary of State (American) at the time.

The savagery, the force — that cannot be allowed in today’s world. And the United States is even withdrawing its troops from Syria. What is Venezuela? A war trophy of Mr. Trump? We are not going to give Donald Trump a war in Venezuela. In Venezuela, peace is going to prevail. Stability and understanding will prevail between Venezuelans, despite many of the countries seated here that are pursuing war.

I also wanted to tell you that the deadline Europe is trying to give us, we also remember the Liberator Simon Bolivar in 1818, the first argument he had with an agent of the United States. You remember that the United States did not support the fight for freedom of our countries. Factually, they had already been independent by their own means and winning a war against the British Empire, but when the colonies of South America confronted the Spanish Empire, they declared themselves neutral. Interesting, no? Then afterwards, they not only declared they were neutral but they helped the royalists, the Spaniards clandestinely. And in one of those clandestine aids in the (Rio) Orinoco in Venezuela, they went against the legitimate government of then president Simon Bolivar. They sent boats, United States vessels with ammunition, preparations that were stopped and a controversy arose and the Liberator finally told the agent of the United States: “… it is the same thing for Venezuela to fight against Spain as to fight the whole world if the whole world offends her”. And we can repeat that here today. Fortunately we have great friends. But whoever ill-treats Venezuela will have to deal with the people of Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro, the Communal Councils, the People’s Power standing up, to defend our sovereignty and our integrity.

I want you to read (article of the Venezuelan Constitution) 233 — with this I close — because you have tried to give a constitutional varnish, developed in the laboratories of Washington, of course, to the self-proclamation of this gentleman (Juan Guaido) that even in Venezuela his name is known. These days the president of Paraguay could not pronounce his surname. But let me read article 233:

“The absolute offenses/defects of the President of the Republic would be” … listen … “his death, his resignation or his dismissal decreed by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, his permanent physical or mental incapacity certified by a medical board appointed by the TSJ and with the approval of the National Assembly, the abandonment of his position declared as such by the National Assembly as well as recall by popular vote “… that in Venezuela there is a recall referendum in the middle of the period if the people are not happy; that occurred in 2004 with Commander Hugo Chávez and was ratified … “when an elected president becomes permanently unavailable to serve before the inauguration, a new, direct, and secret universal election will be held within the 30 consecutive days. Pending election and inauguration of the the new president, the president of the National Assembly will be in charge of the presidency of the Republic “

In Venezuela there was no takeover. In Venezuela there were no elections. If there is a discrepancy of one of the powers — there are five legitimate powers in Venezuela — if there is a disagreement of the National Assembly, well then, go to the other institutions, go to the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. But what is this self-proclaiming a Member of Parliament as “interim president” and the governments in the world begin to recognize him? These are serious governments, that have legal departments in the chancelleries, that are attached to this Charter (of the United Nations) and that know the constitutions of the States, recognizing him. You are imposing force against the Law. That is very dangerous for humanity, and we have to stop that today in the United Nations.

I think it is enough with what we have outlined, and we want to tell you that the people of Venezuela are listening to us. And it’s been shown here that Venezuela is not alone and this will continue to be demonstrated in this debate and as demonstrated in other international organizations: the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, which we chair. Venezuela is not alone. And do you know why it is not alone? Because Venezuela is upholding its Constitution and the Charter of the United Nations. We will continue advancing along the path of our democracy. We will not allow anyone to impose on us any decision or any order. The Secretary told them that this member of Parliament “self-proclaimed”. Where is a self-proclamation in the Constitution (of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela)?. I ask them, where? Look for it and show me, and we can debate it.

On behalf of President Nicolas Maduro, on behalf of the Venezuelan public powers, the People’s Power of Venezuela, the communities and community leaders, we want to insist that Venezuela is as the Constitution says: irrevocably free, independent, and no power, however powerful it may be, can dictate to our country its destiny and its steps to follow.

Thank you.

United States Ambassador Elliot Abrams:
I cannot [respond] to every attack that was made on every country here, the insults that were made by calling many countries here satellites.

In fact, it was interesting that every country here that was attacked or criticized was a democracy. Every single one that was criticized was a democracy.

It was just a series of insults that reflected that today. There is a satellite here — that is Venezuela which is unfortunately which has become a satellite of Cuba and Russia.

The regime is hiding and its spokesman is hiding behind the laws and Constitution of Venezuela while imprisoning opponents, preventing free elections, and killing Democrats like Fernando Albay.

This is not about foreign intervention in Venezuela. It is not an attempt to impose result on the Venezuelan people. Democracy never needs to be imposed. It is tyranny that has to be imposed.

This discussion in the council is about the right of the Venezuelan people to direct their own internal affairs and the future of their country democratically. Thank you.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia:
Perhaps I will surprise you, distinguished representative of the United States, but when we discuss certain issues in the Security Council, we never try to force any country to behave as we wish it to behave, as we need, as it is in our interest for it to behave. We always respect the sovereignty of any country, whether it’s a member of the Security Council or whether it speaks in this room.

We respect its own opinions, its own policy. But that policy or those views that correspond to our policy, then we’re happy. If not, we basically respect that any member of the council or any member of the UN can have its own views or positions. It is their sovereign right to have their own foreign policy.

But unfortunately, we know many of, many, many episodes that the country that you represent not only uses its satellite states to promote its own interests but in fact, forces them to be in lock-step with you.

So to discuss who has satellites and who doesn’t, I wouldn’t suggest you get into that. Thank you.
….

Venezuela Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza:
Now we’re involved in many difficult negotiations for our part, but I would recall that Mr. Abrams represents a tradition that has been tried and duly indicted for similar such attempts in the past, such as the Iran-Contra affair. He is the face of a well-worn path of interfering in democracy. Perhaps a fresher face could have been chosen to have spoken on behalf of the United States of America.

And we see it as being part of the same, parroting the same line, permanent insults leveled against Venezuela – whether there are dictators, drug traffickers, I mean, what are you trying to convince us of?

I think all that these people have to do is all of them focus their attention on Venezuela. Is there nothing else going on in the world other than the one situation in Venezuela? There are other things you could be doing, probably in Venezuela, and we would like to make the point here, bluntly and we would have made it if Pompeo were still here in his face, we make it abundantly clear, we echo a point that President Maduro has made, and it is our intention to establish communication and dialogue with the government of President Trump. That offer stands, and it’s still on the table.

That is what we have sought to do since the very first day of office, since Commandant Chavez took office in February 1999. It’s an approach we’ve attempted to continue since President Maduro took the reins of power. Either the response to our offer of dialogue has been blockade, prosecution, persecution, sanctions, violence, aggression, insults, interventions, interference, and now, this attempted coup d’etat. To date, despite all these insults that we have suffered, that offer still stands on the table. We stand ready to dialogue to keep the peace if you would treat us as civilized partners and equals as indicated in the charter of the United Nations we all have to respect and uphold.

Thank you.

US – Hands Off Cuba : Statement by the United National Antiwar Coalition

November 18, 2021

Cuba, a small island with a population of only 11 million people and few resources has been the target of US imperialism since its revolution in 1959.  It has been subject to invasions such as that at the Bay of Pigs, many assassination attempts of Fidel Castro, and the US has imposed a crippling blockade for years.  However, under the Trump and Biden administrations these attacks have been stepped up.  Trump greatly increased the sanctions against Cuba and labeled it as a terrorist country.  This further hindered its ability to trade with other countries as banks and markets were closed to Cuba causing severe shortages and hardships for the Cuban people.  The Biden administration maintained these increased sanctions and the terrorist label and is trying to organize demonstrations against the Cuban government based on dissatisfaction with the shortages.  This is especially criminal during the COVID-19 crisis, during which the US sanctions have not allow medicine or medical equipment into the country.

A crowd of people in front of a statue

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Pro-government protest in Cuba that the corporate media said was anti-government

The US does not fear Cuba militarily or as economic competition.  It fears Cuba because of its example to the rest of the world, especially to Latin American countries, as they move forward in breaking away from US imperialism and its neo-liberal economic policies.  While the US will not provide healthcare for all, even during this pandemic, Cuba provides free healthcare and education for all.  Even with the sanctions-imposed limitations on medicine and medical equipment, Cuba has done remarkable well in containing the virus and even sent doctors to help out in other countries.  It prioritizes the needs of the Cuban people not the corporations, banks, and billionaire class.  The example of people over profit is one that the US cannot tolerate, and so they attack Cuba.

On November 15, Cuba started opening up after restrictions due to the COVID pandemic. Biden used this day to call for demonstrations in Cuba against the government. This call has proven to be a failure as demonstration did not materialize anywhere on the island. While the Cuban people and Cuban government will have to deal with this intervention and the discontent due to shortages and the pandemic, we in the US must show our solidarity with Cuba and oppose our government’s interference in the internal affairs of Cuba and other countries throughout the world.

Demonstration were called in a number of US cities on November 15 to express solidarity and help inform the people of the US of the criminal role the US government plays in Cuba.  This crisis will not end on November 15.  We must step-up our efforts to show solidarity and stay the hand of US imperialism.

Hands off Cuba!

End the Blockade!

End all Sanctions!

End US meddling in the affairs of other countries!

https://nepajac.org/handoffcuba.htm

Top Democrat proposes bill to stop Trump from relaxing sanctions on Russia, with GOP McCain and Graham support

“[Obama] wanted to make sure that [Trump] had grave difficulty in maintaining any normal strategic policy at all and particularly with regard to Russia. So he left that time bomb if you like…Schumer himself is a rabid, and I use this word advisedly, rabid, political advocate concerned only with domestic political outcomes. He’s certainly not looking at the strategic picture, he’s absolutely trying to undermine the Trump administration.”
Gregory Copley, editor-in-chief of the Defense & Foreign Affairs journal

From RT

January 23, 2017

A top Senate Democrat is planning to introduce bipartisan legislation designed to stop President Trump from relaxing US sanctions on Russia. Critics argue that the bill is a “rabid and short-sighted” move to undermine the new administration.

President Donald Trump’s cautious statements about the desirability of working towards rapprochement with Moscow, which could include easing economic sanctions on Russia, have not gone unnoticed by some in the US establishment.

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said on Sunday that a bipartisan group of US Senators was preparing to introduce a bill that would significantly restrict the president’s ability to lift the sanctions that Washington imposed on Russia in 2014 after Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin it in a referendum.

The bill would demand that any changes to the restrictions be put to a vote in the US Congress, thus preventing the president from acting unilaterally.

“We repeal sanctions, it tells Russia, ‘Go ahead and interfere in our elections and do bad things;’ it tells China; it tells Iran. That would be terrible,” Schumer told ABC’s This Week show, adding that he has secured support from GOP Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

“We need more sanctions against Russia. We should not relax them,” McCain said on the same program, adding “if we don’t keep those sanctions on and even increase them, it will encourage Vladimir Putin, who is a war criminal.”

Earlier in January, Trump floated the idea of lifting the sanctions as part of a new nuclear weapons reduction deal.

“For us to repeal sanctions, given what Russia has done in Ukraine and threatened the Baltics, and now they have clearly tried to intervene in our election – whether it had an effect or not – that is something, that’s a danger that we have never faced to this extent in American history,” Schumer went on.

However, Gregory Copley, editor-in-chief of the Defense & Foreign Affairs journal, told RT that the bill was surely designed “as a part of the legacy that the then-president Obama wanted to leave for President Trump.”

Republicans will try to stop Trump from getting close with Moscow – fmr asst US def sec

“[Obama] wanted to make sure that he had grave difficulty in maintaining any normal strategic policy at all and particularly with regard to Russia. So he left that time bomb if you like,” Copley asserted.

Allegations that Russia interfered in the US elections are unsubstantiated, the expert continued, while noting that Washington itself has waged “political warfare” against other countries in the past.

“There’s a lot of material around to show that the Obama administration interfered with the election processes in Ukraine, in Israel and in other countries,” he said.

“Schumer himself is a rabid, and I use this word advisedly, rabid, political advocate concerned only with domestic political outcomes. He’s certainly not looking at the strategic picture, he’s absolutely trying to undermine the Trump administration,” Copley concluded.

https://www.rt.com/usa/374745-senators-trump-russia-sanctions/

On final Ukraine trip, Biden urges Trump administration to keep Russia sanctions, as McCain and Rubio want more sanctions

From The Guardian

January 16, 2017

Comments while meeting with Ukraine’s president came after Trump indicated he could end Crimea-related sanctions in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal

Vice-president Joe Biden, on a last foreign trip before leaving office, met Ukraine’s president on Monday and called on the incoming Donald Trump administration to retain Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia.

Biden’s comments at a briefing with President Petro Poroshenko came after Trump indicated in an interview with The Times and Bild that he could end sanctions imposed in the aftermath Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal.

Trump’s attitude to Russia and praise for President Vladimir Putin has been a consistently controversial feature of his rise to the White House, which will be completed with his inauguration in Washington on Friday.

US intelligence agencies believe Russia sought to covertly influence the US election in Trump’s favour and against the Democratic nominee, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Trump has recently admitted that he believes Russia did orchestrate such hacks, but has nonetheless fuelled a bitter feud with intelligence officials over the issue.

“The international community must continue to stand as one against Russian coercion and aggression,” Biden told reporters, standing alongside Poroshenko, in remarks which did not include reference to Trump by name.

“The Crimea-related sanctions against Russia must remain in place until Russia returns full control to the people of Ukraine.”

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Other US sanctions are connected to Russia’s involvement in the separatist war in eastern Ukraine.

 

“Together with our EU and G7 partners,” Biden said, “we made it clear that sanctions should remain in place until Russia fully, emphasise fully, implements its commitments under the Minsk agreement.”

Poroshenko said Ukraine believed in good cooperation with the new US administration and urged sanctions to stay, without mentioning Trump’s remarks on a deal with Russia.

Joe Biden and Petro Poroshenko during their meeting in Kiev on 16 January.
Joe Biden and Petro Poroshenko during their meeting in Kiev on 16 January. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

Andy Hunder, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, said Kiev would have to put much time and resources into dealing with the new US administration.

“On 20 January Ukraine will be waking up to a new reality,” he told Reuters. “There is a concern in Kiev about how the new relationship will develop. It will require building new bridges to the influencers, the gatekeepers and decision-makers.”

Kiev has taken steps to win the good favour of the those calling the shots in the Trump administration. Days after the election in November, Poroshenko’s office started planning an official visit to Washington in early 2017.

A bipartisan group of US senators, including the Republicans John McCain and Marco Rubio, said last week they wanted to slap a wide range of sanctions on Russia over its cyber activities and actions in Ukraine and Syria. A sanctions bill with similar provisions is being written in the House of Representatives.

“Our job is to make sure this attention on Ukraine does not wane,” Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, Valeriy Chaly said on Wednesday.

As Biden left the room on Monday, a journalist asked if he thought the Trump administration would give Ukraine the same priority as he had. Biden gave a thumbs up.

“Hope springs eternal,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/16/joe-biden-ukraine-visit-russia-sanctions

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

 

New sanctions on North Korea: An act of war by any measure

Global Research, July 16, 2016
north korea flag globalresearch.ca

International law prohibits the use of food as a weapon. However, the new sanctions declared by the United States drastically inhibit the ability of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to export coal and other commodities on the international market. The new sanctions are part of long history of the United States attacking North Korea’s economy and harming its ability to provide food for the population.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, US leaders have continuously inhibited the ability of the DPRK to maintain its agriculture system while simultaneously accusing the country’s leaders of “starving their own people.” 

Struggling for Agricultural Self-Reliance

The Korean Peninsula has been divided since 1945. The flat lands that can be used for growing food are mainly in the southern part of the country, where tens of thousands of US troops prop up the Republic of Korea.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has control of the mountainous regions.  Socialism has taken hold in the hills and valleys where Kim Il Sung (whose name means ‘becomes the sun’) fought the Japanese occupiers for decades as a beloved folk hero. Kim Il Sung came to lead the Korean Worker Party which calls for Peaceful Re-Unification of the Korean Peninsula, and has established a centrally planned, Soviet-style economy.

While the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has very little arable land, it has plenty of mineral resources. The overwhelming majority of the coal deposits on the Korean Peninsula can be found in the northern regions.

In 1953, when an armistice ended the fighting in the Korean War, one of the greatest challenges facing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was its lack of arable land. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the DPRK constructed a vast coal mining and steel manufacturing apparatus. The DPRK exported coal to other socialist countries in exchange, not just for food, but for the resources to advance its own domestic agricultural system.

Though the DPRK could import food from the COMECON bloc of countries led by socialist governments, this was still a weakness. Kim Il Sung and the Korean Workers Party emphasized “Juche,” or “self-reliance” and pushed the country to carry out the very difficult task of ending reliance on food imports. The stated goal was “food independence.” The DPRK began constructing wheat fields on the sides of mountains, making huge efforts to grow food in mountainous regions and ending the reliance on imported food.

According to the US Central Intelligence Agency, the DPRK achieved food and energy self-sufficiency by the 1970s. David Barkin, a researcher for the Institute for Food and Development Policy, visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1986 and was amazed at what he saw. He published a short booklet on the DPRK’s agricultural policies, and urged the United Nations to help Latin American countries where food production remained sub-par to adopt an agricultural system similar to what was done in the DPRK.

Though the DPRK became food self-sufficient in the 1970s, the agriculture in North Korea depended on one specific import. In order for the highly complex food system to work, it needed lots of petroleum.

The DPRK imported oil from the Soviet Union, and used it to power its tractors as they climbed through rocky areas, plowing artificially constructed fields. Soviet oil enabled the DPRK to transport food to more remote parts of the country which were far from any arable land.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, along with the various socialist governments of Eastern Europe, the international oil markets were dramatically altered. The DPRK could no longer purchase oil from the Soviet Union. With COMECON no longer in existence, OPEC was dominated by US and British aligned governments, and mandated that the purchasing of oil only be done with US dollars. The DPRK was also unable to continue exporting coal and other products like it once had.

The highly efficient, but oil-dependent agricultural system of the DPRK then came to a grinding halt. The country experienced a horrific food crisis as US sanctions prevented the DPRK from acquiring the US dollars needed to buy petroleum on the international market, and use it to grow food.

While US officials continue to talk of the DPRK “starving its own people” they fail to mention that the food crisis of the 1990s was imposed on the country by economic sanctions and the inability to buy oil. It’s not Kim Il Sung or Kim Jong Il who starved the Korean people in the early 1990s. The food crisis was created by the policies imposed on the country.

This period is known as the “Arduous March” by Koreans because it was so difficult for the people. The World Food Program, various religious groups, and other charities helped to relieve those who were starving to death. People from the southern part of the Korean peninsula participated in providing humanitarian assistance to their northern countryfolk, and were imprisoned for their efforts under the autocratic National Security Laws of the Republic of Korea. South Korea’s National Security Laws have been widely condemned as inconsistent with international standards of human rights and civil liberties.

Economic Warfare Against the Korean People

As a starvation swept the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, the administration of former US President Bill Clinton reached an agreement with the DPRK which allowed the country to receive some oil imports in exchange for not developing nuclear weapons. The Clinton administration also agreed to assist the DPRK in developing peaceful nuclear energy, as long as arms inspectors were allowed to monitor the sites and ensure that they were not working to develop nuclear weapons.

Following Sept. 11th, 2001, the administration of former US President George W. Bush described the DPRK as part of the “Axis of Evil.” The oil shipments were terminated. At this point, the DPRK withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and began actively developing nuclear weapons—a choice that seems quite logical based on the betrayal of the previous agreement.

Since that time, the DPRK’s agricultural system seems to gradually be recovering and adapting. Political shifts on the global stage have enabled the DPRK to import oil outside of the official OPEC market. Food is also being imported. In 2013, Tom Morrison, an agronomist with the World Food Program, predicted that the DPRK will achieve food self-sufficiency at some point in the near future. The DPRK has experienced substantial economic growth in the last few years, with a boom in housing construction and talk of joint ventures with foreign corporations.

The announcement by US officials of new sanctions on the DPRK, crippling its ability to export coal, was described as a “declaration of war” by North Korean leaders. This is not some wild, extreme claim or accusation.

The DPRK is trying to repair its economy from the disaster of the 1990s. Preventing the DPRK from selling coal on the international markets is, in essence, taking food from the mouths of Korean people. This is an act of economic warfare, and the Korean people are greatly outraged by it.

US leaders are economically strangling the DPRK, and say they are doing it because of concerns about “human rights.” At the same time US oil companies continue to do business with the most blatantly autocratic and repressive dictatorships on earth in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. The US sells weapons and props up the economies of brutal absolute monarchies where even basic notions of human rights do not exist, while continuing to threaten the DPRK based on allegations about labor camps.

According to even its harshest critics, the government in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula has a constitution and voting, while providing universal housing to the population. These facts alone put the DPRK miles ahead of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates in terms of human rights.

The blatant hypocrisy of US leaders, who sabotage the DPRK’s economy and then tell the world that Kim Jong-Un is “starving his own people” is astonishing. There is no reason that the DPRK should not be able to sell its products on the world market like any other country. The harsh response of the DPRK to the new sanctions should not be shocking to anyone.

Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Christian leaders in Syria ask your support to stop the anti-Syria sanctions

From Fort Russ

Green: SIGN! Text: “We invite you to sign the following appeal – “Enough with the sanctions on Syria and the Syrians” – written by religious leaders operating in Syria.”


Petition: stop the anti-Syria sanctions
This title is the link. The part where you sign is in English. 
Here is what the Italian says:

Enough with the sanctions on Syria and the Syrians! In 2011 the European Union initiated the sanctions against Syria, presenting them as “sanctions on personnel of the regime,” but which imposed an oil embargo, blocked any financial transaction, and prohibited the trade of many goods and products. This measure continues today, although with a somewhat inexplicable decision, in 2012 the oil embargo was removed from areas controlled by the armed and jihadist opposition,in order to provide economic resources to the so-called “revolutionary forces and the opposition” .

In these five years, the sanctions on Syria have helped destroy Syrian society condemning her to hunger, epidemics, poverty, and encouraging fundamentalist militia fighters and terrorist who also strike in Europe And add to that a war that has already resulted in 250,000 deaths, six million displaced and four million refugees.The situation in Syria is desperate. Food shortages, widespread unemployment, inaccessibility of medical care, rationing of drinking water, electricity. Not only that, the embargo makes it impossible for the Syrians who settled abroad before the war to send money to their relatives or family members left behind.

Non-governmental organizations engaged in assistance programs are unable to send money to their workers in Syria. Companies, power plants, aqueducts, hospital departments are forced to close because of the inability to procure spare parts or gasoline.Today the Syrians see the possibility of a better future for their families in running away from their land. But, as you see, this solution also involves many difficulties and causes intense controversy within the European Union. Exile cannot be the only solution that the international community knows how to propose to these poor people.

So we support all humanitarian initiatives and initiatives towards peace that the international community is implementing, in particular through the difficult negotiations in Geneva, but whole waiting and hoping for such expectations to find concrete answers after so many bitter disappointments, we ask that the sanctions that affect the daily life of every Syrian be immediately removed. The expectation of the longed-for peace can not be divorced from a concrete concern for those who today are suffering because of an embargo whose weight falls on an entire people.

That’s not all: rhetoric about refugees fleeing the Syrian war appears hypocritical if at the same time we continue to starve, prevent medical care, deny drinking water, work, security, and dignity to those who remain in Syria. So we turn to the parliamentarians and mayors of each country so that the iniquity of sanctions on Syria is made known to the citizens of the European Union (now totally unaware) and become, finally, the subject of a serious debate and consequent resolutions.

Signatories

Father Georges Abou Khazen – Apostolic Vicar of the Latins in Aleppo

Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa – Emeritus Custos of the Holy Land

Father Joseph Tobji – Maronite Archbishop of Aleppo

Father Boutros Marayati- Armenian Bishop of Aleppo

Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph of the Hospital “Saint Louis,” Aleppo

The Trappist community in Syria

Dr. Nabil Antaki – M.D. in Aleppo, the Marist Brothers

Sisters of the Congregation of Perpetual Help – Center for children and orphans displaced, Marmarita

Father Firas Loufti – Franciscan Monsignor

Jean-Clément Jeanbart – greek-Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo

Monsignor Jacques Behnan Hindo – Syrian Catholic Bishop of Hassaké-Nisibi

Father Mtanios Haddad – Archimandrite of the Melkite Catholic Church and the patriarchal Attorney

Msgr. Hilarion Capucci – Archbishop Emeritus of greek-Melkite Catholic Church

S.B. Ignace Youssef III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians

Mgr.Georges Masri, Procurator to the Holy See of the Syro-Catholic Church

S.B. Gregory III Laham – Patriarch of the Melkites

Translation from Italian for Fort Russ by Tom Winter  

http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/05/christian-leaders-in-syria-ask-your.html

Regime change in the U.S.– Proposal from a concerned citizen

Global Research, May 15, 2016
Global Research 2 October 2002

Global Research Editor’s Note

This article from our archives was first published in October 2002, six months prior to the March 2003 US led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

As we recall, the justification to wage war on Iraq was the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction (WMD). At the time, the US and its indefectible British ally were calling for regime change in Iraq. 

The author of this article is calling for an entirely different course of action which consists in implementing regime change in the US and the establishment of a sanctions regime against the US.

This text written in 2002 predicts with foresight what is happening today: the contours of a global military agenda which seeks to enforce US hegemony Worldwide.

While the proposal contained in this article may sound total unrealistic under present circumstances, it should nonetheless be addressed  by those committed to reversing the tide of global warfare, destruction and economic destabilization.  

It is of particular relevance in relation to the CIA covert support of terrorists in the Middle East, the soft coup in Brazil against president Dilma Rousseff, also supported by US intelligence, not to mention the installation of a Ne0-Nazi regime in Ukraine.

The author proposes sanctions against Washington rather than sanctions against Washington’s target countries.

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. The real “Axis of Evil” is the US-NATO war machine, which must be dismantled.

Michel Chossudovsky, GR Editor, May 15, 2016. 

*       *      *

What the United Nations Must Do

Rather than adopting the suggested regime change in Iraq through military force, the United Nations must instead consider an entirely different course of action. This new course is based upon the facts alone, rather than political pressure. A regime change is indeed necessary, but not in Iraq. The primary regime which needs to be changed, is the one found in Washington DC.

The greatest tyrant and true threat to world peace who needs to be ousted, is George W. Bush. The facts which clearly show the need for such a resolution against the U.S. are self evident…they demonstrate a “clear and present danger” to the world community. America is clearly a nation which aspires to global domination, through the use of the most expensive and high tech military the world has ever known. 

In demonstration of the above assertions, let us be very clear about America’s” 300+ billion dollar a year expense, for weapons of mass destruction. These include;

1) Atomic and hydrogen bombs.

2) The “Star Wars” weaponry of space satellites, and laser devices.

3) A host of biological weapons including anthrax, which it has used on its own citizenry and manufactured in its own laboratories.

4) Guided missile cruisers, Stealth bombers and aircraft carriers conveying the most advanced air-based offensives, ever to be used in the history of mankind.

5) Depleted uranium munitions, used repeatedly upon countries such as Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, causing birth defects and lingering mutilation of civilian populations.

6) The use of spies, covert CIA operatives and other agents, as well as a barrage of propaganda, which seeks to weaken, overthrow and exploit the sovereign nations of the world, primarily for the sake of installing pro-U.S.-corporate puppets who will do Washington’s bidding. (The fact that it has staged countless internal rebellions and coups within dozens of countries in the last five decades, is well documented and known. The U.S. constantly interferes with, and attempts to coerce, the mandates of foreign governments for the sake of its own special interests, and in the name of “democracy”. The real reason for this behavior is, of course, unfair economic advantage and bottomless greed.)

7) Nerve gas, tear gas, blistering agents, neurotoxins and poisonous compounds of all kinds.

8) “Smart” bombs”, “Bunker Buster” bombs, “Daisy Cutter” bombs, mines and laser or satellite guided munitions.

9) Teams of special forces troops, whose missions are designed for assassination, covert mass-murder and maximized destruction.

The United States possesses, and has openly discussed using, such weapons of mass destruction upon a great number of  countries. Among these nations are those in George Bush’s so-called “axis of evil” list, as well as many others which it says, “harbor terrorists”.

The so-called “War on Terror” [as formulated in 2001] targets Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Colombia, Nicaragua and many others. Upon these nations,  the U.S. has repeatedly issued a series of very aggressive and threatening statements to the effect of; “You are either with us or against us”, implying dire consequences of economic, diplomatic and military measures in the case of non-compliance.

The US has openly discussed the possibility of a “first strike” use of conventional nuclear warheads, and “tactical nukes” on the battlefield. Washington’s  military agenda consists in “winning  no matter what the cost of truth or human lives”, as a surrogate for sane foreign relations, has earned the wrath of the world.

U.S. belligerency has been a major contributor to international hostilities, instability, war and the creation of reactionary terrorist groups, as well as the oppression of peoples worldwide. Its irrational posture threatens to catapult the world into another, and probably final, world war.

The United States has repeatedly shown its willingness to target civilian populations with weapons of mass destruction, especially via the carpet-bombing of cities and infrastructures. It is the only nation to have ever used nuclear devices in war, and upon civilian targets.

Among the structures bombed have been desalinization plants, water treatment facilities, police stations, electrical substations and generators, radar and communications stations, hospitals, highway, railway and other transportation facilities, factories for the manufacture of metal, plastic and wood products, and numerous other civilian centers.

Countless examples of this behavior have been witnessed in both Iraq [since the 1991 Gulf War under the US-UK no-fly zone] and Afghanistan. The result has been millions of Iraqi and Afghan children dying of unnecessary diseases and malnutrition, due to a severe lack of food and safe drinking water. U.S. allies such as Israel, (whose military it literally makes possible) have also exhibited such behavior, as has Great Britain, through constant urging toward mindless, mutually accomplished war frenzies.

A primary export of the United States is weaponry of mass destruction, including so-called “conventional” weapons such as guided missile cruisers, bombers, small arms, mortars, rockets, tactical advisors, self guided missiles, attack helicopters, high tech surveillance and imaging systems, tanks, explosives and various other tools design primarily for the sake of destroying human life.

Added to this list of exports are multi-lingual propaganda, biological agents, tear and nerve gas, atomic weapons and their constituents, as well as technical advice regarding their construction, maintenance and use. The U.S. has frequently urged countries to use these weapons against each other so long as it benefitted its political interests, while simultaneously criticizing those who use them without American sanction.

Permanent State of War

The U.S. has repeatedly told its own citizenry to expect involvement in what amounts to a  Permanent State of War, due to the “War on Terror”. A large and increasing number of foreign nationals are being held in American prisons unlawfully, often without charges, legal due process or access to legal counsel. These persons are often subjected to psychological and physical torture due to their nationality or religious beliefs. Its’ Afghan prisoners of war in Cuba are treated without dignity, in violation of the Geneva Convention. At the same time, the U.S. has insisted that its military personnel must be held exempt from war crimes charges by the international community, regardless of their actions.

The United States repeatedly defies the resolutions and authority of the United Nations, making it clear that it views this body as merely a tool which can be occasionally used to achieve its special interests, rather than those of humanity in general.

America has also made it quite clear that if its demands are not met by the international community/United Nations, that it will act on its own regardless of their wishes, and in whatever manner it sees fit. This includes pre-emptive military invasion of any country which dares to oppose its policies, and for whatever flimsy, baseless justification it gives to the world as an excuse for such actions.

The international community must seriously ask itself, “Who’s next?” in this series of American invasions of sovereign lands. “Who will die next…by the thousands, tens of thousands or millions…” at the bloody hands of American imperialism?

For these reasons and others, it is hereby proposed that:

A United Nations resolution be created for the purpose of disarming and otherwise rendering harmless, the major threat to world peace which the United States has become. Toward this end the necessity of ousting its current dictator, George W. Bush, and the legislative bodies of that government which currently parrot him without serious debate, is self evident.

The functional means necessary to achieve this goal are hereby suggested. They include;

1) Economic sanctions and trade tariffs, aimed at undermining the U.S. economy, thereby depriving its monstrous military apparatus of the necessary life blood to function.

2) The insistence of a complete withdrawal of all U.S. military forces from wherever they may be stationed around the world. This includes U.S. occupation forces already in conquered countries, (such as Afghanistan).

3) The elimination of world petroleum exports to the United States, as well as the necessary raw materials which make it’s industrial-military apparatus possible.

4) The withdrawal of foreign investment in U.S. companies, and their various enterprises. This includes the canceling of existing contracts with U.S. companies, especially those involved with the extraction of petroleum, the mining of precious metals, deforestation, sweat shop industries of clothing, plastics, electronics and other manufacture, as well as other vital resources from lands not within their territorial domain.

5) That U.S. military and civil leaders, especially George W. Bush and his entire cabinet, be brought to justice for their heinous participations in war crimes and crimes against humanity the world over, by the international courts. World leaders must understand that no one country can both make the rules and break them, when it comes to international justice.

6) The use of joint military force if necessary, to curb, restrict and otherwise prevent the American advance toward world domination. America must be deprived of what it most desires, which are the resources of others to fuel an extravagant lifestyle, and the support of bribed or bullied foreign leaders to accomplish a singularly selfish, unilateral agenda.

In effect, the United States must feel the full pressure of the  ”community of nations”,  as it expresses its refusal of US imperialism around the globe.

The United States must also understand that its anti-humanitarian, corporate-minded, industrial-military schemes for global dominance are nothing short of those employed by Hitler, and other fascist dictators and governments, throughout the course of history. [Constantly declaring war and occupying one country after the next demonstrates this.]

The international community, and indeed the peoples of the entire world, find this attitude and behavior of the US administration unacceptable. They will no longer be coerced or made to feel insecure in their own places of residence and worship, at the behest of Washington’s whims.

France’s National Assembly demands lifting of economic sanctions against Russia. Hollande refuses

Global Research, April 30, 2016
Russia-1

French parliamentarians have approved a non-binding resolution today asking for the lifting of EU sanctions imposed on Russia, allegedly for its role in Ukraine.

The lower house of the French Parliament has voted against the sanctions by 55 to 44. In favor of the resolution have voted parliamentarians from the center-right, the right and the radical left.

The Hollande government has recommended the rejection of the proposal to lift sanctions. Against the proposal have voted Socialist and Green deputies. Both parties and the mainstream media in France are extremely hostile to Russia, as never before in French history!

France was traditionally a pillar of European independence. It has opposed the Vietnam war and, more recently, the invasion of Iraq and had left the military wing of the Atlantic Alliance. But, after the election of Sarkozy as President and also under Hollande, it not only returned fully to NATO, it became the privileged “actor” of neoconservatives in Europe. Paris has played a critical role in the “humanitarian” interventions which destroyed Syria and Libya and are directly responsible for the flow of millions of refugees to Europe and for the development of the Islamic State.

But now Sarkozy, under the pressure of the rise of Le Pen and trying to reconstruct the once gaulliste French right, tries to make some corrections to his unconditional siding with Washington on international policy.

The vote in France comes only weeks after the Dutch voters have put also into question western policy towards Russia, by rejecting the EU-Ukraine agreement. It comes also at the worse moment for President Hollande who faces strong social opposition in France and, according to most observers, is presiding over his own end – and also the end of an era if not of a regime.

Today French police has clashed with and used tear gas against demonstrators protesting the new labour law in several cities including Paris, Nantes, Lyon and Rennes.

Why does the West hate North Korea?

That the Russians and Chinese have joined the US in [imposing sanctions] instead of calling for sanctions against the US for its threats against the DPRK and its new military exercises which are a clear and present danger to the DPRK is shameful. If the Russians and Chinese are sincere why don’t they insist that the US draw down its forces there so the DPRK feels less threatened and take steps to guarantee the security of the DPRK?  They do not explain their actions but their actions make them collaborators with the USA against the DPRK.”

— Christopher Black, international attorney

By Andre Vltchek

Global Research, March 08, 2016

New sanctions, and once again, new US-ROK military exercises right next door; new intimidations and new insults. For no other reason than because the country that never attacked anyone, is still determined to defend itself against appalling military, economic and propaganda provocations.

How much more can one country endure?

More than 60 years ago, millions of people above the 38th parallel died, were literally slaughtered by the US-led coalition.

After that, after its victory, the North Korea was never left in peace. The West has been provoking it, threatening it, imposing brutal sanctions and of course, manipulating global public opinion.

Why? There are several answers. The simple one is: because it is Communist and because it wants to follow its own course! As Cuba has been doing for decades… As several Latin American countries were doing lately.

But there is one more, much more complex answer: because the DPRK fought for its principles at home, and it fought against Western imperialism abroad. It helped to liberate colonized and oppressed nations. And, like Cuba, it did it selflessly, as a true internationalist state.

African continent benefited the most, including Namibia and Angola, when they were suffering from horrific apartheid regimes imposed on them by South Africa. It goes without saying that these regimes were fully sponsored by the West, as was the racist madness coming from Pretoria (let us also not forget that the fascist, apartheid South Africa was one of the countries that was fighting, on the side of the West, during the Korean War).

The West never forgot nor ‘forgave’ the DPRK’s internationalist help to many African nations. North Korean pilots were flying Egyptian fighter planes in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. The DPRK was taking part in the liberation struggle in Angola (it participated in combat operations, alongside the People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA)), it fought in Rhodesia, Lesotho, Namibia (decisively supporting SWAPO) and in the Seychelles. It aided African National Congress and its struggle against the apartheid in South Africa. In the past, it had provided assistance to then progressive African nations, including Guinea, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Mali and Tanzania.

The fact that people of the DPRK spilled their blood for freedom of the most devastated (by the Western imperialism) continent on earth – Africa – is one of the main reasons why the West is willing to go ‘all the way’, trying to “punish”, systematically discredit, even to liquidate this proud nation. The West is obsessed with harming North Korea, as it was, for decades, obsessed with destroying Cuba.

The West plundered Africa, an enormous continent rich in resources, for centuries. It grew wealthy on this loot. Anybody who tried to stop it, had to be liquidated.

The DPRK was pushed to the corner, tormented and provoked. When Pyongyang reacted, determined to protect itself, the West declared that defense was actually “illegal” and that it represented true “danger to the world”.

The DPRK refused to surrender its independence and its path – it continued developing its defensive nuclear program. The West’s propaganda apparatus kept going into top gear, spreading toxic fabrications, and then polluting entire Planet with them. As a result, entire world is convinced that the “North Korea is evil”, but it has absolutely no idea, why? Entire charade is only built on clichés, but almost no one is challenging it.

Christopher Black, a prominent international lawyer based in Toronto, Canada, considers new sanctions against the DPRK as a true danger to the world peace:

 “Chapter VII of the UN Charter states that the Security Council can take measures against a country if there is a threat to the peace and this is the justification they are using for imposing the sanctions. However, it is not the DPRK that is creating a threat to the peace, but the USA which is militarily threatening the DPRK with annihilation. The DPRK has clearly stated its nuclear weapons are only to deter an American attack which is the threat to the peace.

The fact that the US, as part of the SC is imposing sanctions on a country it is threatening is hypocritical and unjust. That the Russians and Chinese have joined the US in this instead of calling for sanctions against the US for its threats against the DPRK and its new military exercises which are a clear and present danger to the DPRK is shameful. If the Russians and Chinese are sincere why don’t they insist that the US draw down its forces there so the DPRK feels less threatened and take steps to guarantee the security of the DPRK?  They do not explain their actions but their actions make them collaborators with the USA against the DPRK.”

US/NATO Threatens the DPRK, China and Russia’s Far East

The US/NATO military bases in Asia (and in other parts of the world) are actually the main danger to the DPRK, to China and to the Russian “Far East”.

Enormous air force bases located in Okinawa (Kadena and Futenma), as well as the military bases on the territory of the ROK, are directly threatening North Korea, which has all rights to defend itself and its citizens.

It is also thoroughly illogical to impose sanctions on the victim and not on the empire, which is responsible for hundreds of millions of lost human lives in all corners of the Globe.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and  Fighting Against Western Imperialism.  Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

VISA lifts sanctions against Crimea

From Fort Russ

Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
1st February, 2016

GenBank, the largest financial institution of the Republic of Crimea under the anti-Russian Western sanctions, resumed work with the cards of Visa, the international payment system.
They now accept payment with cards from Russian issuing banks. The operation takes place through a national system of payment cards (NCBI) – all points are connected to the system of GenBank in Crimea and Sevastopol. They are also accepted for Visa services at ATMs. Earlier, the Peninsula started to use the Chinese system UnionPay.
An event all the more curious is that GenBank, the main Bank of the government of Crimea, 50% of its share capital belongs to the Executive authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan. There are more than 170 branches, 580 ATMs and POS terminals 960 of the Bank.
International payment system MasterCard and Visa stopped working within Russian Crimea at the end of December 2014. It was one of the first strikes of the sanctions, which was inflicted on the rebellious Russia by the United States.
It seems that times are changing. According to the authoritative American Agency Bloomberg, France and Germany are nervous about Ukraine, as are the USA.
Journalists, analysts and officials that were interviewed have predicted that the lifting of sanctions against Russia will happen later this year.
“The signs are obvious after the statement of U.S Secretary of State John Kerry, saying that in the coming months, the Minsk agreements will be implemented and it will to come to the point where sanctions could be lifted. After Kerry — not in Davos — German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and France’s Economic Minister Emmanuel Macron both said: “Europe needs to maintain close ties with Russia to resolve the Syrian conflict. They repeated what the Secretary of State said about the sanctions in exchange for the Minsk agreements”, — wrote Bloomberg.