Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September, 2013

Bolivia's President Evo Morales gives a speech during a meeting with

Bolivian President Evo Morales will file a lawsuit against the US government for crimes against humanity. He has decried the US for its intimidation tactics and fear-mongering after the Venezuelan presidential jet was blocked from entering US airspace.

“I would like to announce that we are preparing a lawsuit against Barack Obama to condemn him for crimes against humanity,” said President Morales at a press conference in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. He branded the US president as a “criminal” who violates international law.

In solidarity with Venezuela, Bolivia will begin preparing a lawsuit against the US head of state to be taken to the international court. Furthermore, Morales has called an emergency meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to discuss what has been condemned by Venezuela as “an act of intimidation by North American imperialism.”

The Bolivian president has suggested that the members of CELAC withdraw their ambassadors from the US to send a message to the Obama Administration. As an additional measure he will call on the member nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas to boycott the next meeting of the UN. Members of the Alliance include Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Saint Lucia.

“The US cannot be allowed to continue with its policy of intimidation and blockading presidential flights,”
stressed Morales.

The Venezuelan government announced on Thursday that President Nicolas Maduro’s plane had been denied entry into Puerto Rican (US) airspace.

“We have received the information from American officials that we have been denied travel over its airspace,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said, speaking to reporters during an official meeting with his South African counterpart. Jaua decried the move “as yet another act of aggression on the part of North American imperialism against the government of the Bolivarian Republic.”

President Maduro was due to arrive in Beijing this weekend for bilateral talks with the Chinese government. Jaua was adamant that the Venezuelan leader would reach his destination, regardless of any perceived interference.

The US government has not yet made any statement regarding the closing of its airspace to the Venezuelan presidential plane. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the US.

Relations on the rocks

Washington’s relations with Latin America have deteriorated since the beginning of the year following the aerial blockade that forced Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane to land in Austria in July. Several EU countries closed their airspace to the presidential jet because of suspicions that former CIA employee Edward Snowden – wanted in the US on espionage charges – was on board. Bolivia alleged that the US was behind the aerial blockade.

In response to the incident, Latin American leaders joined together in condemnation of what they described as “neo-colonial intimidation.”

Later in the year, the revelations on the US’ global spy network released by Edward Snowden did little to improve relations. Leaked wires revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) had monitored the private communications of both the Brazilian and Mexican presidents.

The Brazilian government denounced the NSA surveillance as “impermissible and unacceptable,” and a violation of Brazilian sovereignty. As a result of US spying Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has postponed a state visit to Washington in October.

source

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

happy-venezuelans

The U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network released its World Happiness Report for 2013 last week. Following up on the first such report, released last year, the U.N. says that the 2013 edition

delves in more detail into the analysis of the global happiness data, examining trends over time and breaking down each country’s score into its component parts, so that citizens and policy makers can understand their country’s ranking. It also draws connections to other major initiatives to measure well-being, including those conducted by the OECD and UNDP’s Human Development Report…

The World Happiness Report, as with similar such studies as the Happy Planet Index is in part a response to perceived shortcomings with traditional economic and social measures such as growth, poverty rates, employment, education, life expectancy and other indicators.

While U.S. media coverage of the report was not overwhelming, there was some. The report was also covered in numerous international outlets in countries throughout Europe, in Asia, Africa and Australia and New Zealand, among others. CNN noted that

“On a regional basis, by far the largest gains in life evaluations in terms of the prevalence and size of the increases have been in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Sub-Saharan Africa”, the report said. Reduced levels of corruption also contributed to the rise.

But CNN neglected to mention that Venezuela ranked first – again – among South American nations as happiest.

One of the only U.S. newspapers to note Venezuela’s ranking was the Deseret Morning News, whose editorial page associate editor was puzzled by the country’s relatively high placement: “Venezuela finished 20th, which must mean happiness doesn’t equate with being able to find milk in the store after years under Hugo Chavez?” – a reference to shortages of certain goods this year.

Among happy South American countries, Venezuela is a returning champion, having been ranked number one on the continent in 2012 as well, “beating some of its Latin American neighbours, such as Mexico and Brazil,” and “also topp[ing] many European countries such as France, Spain, Italy and Germany,” as Rachael Boothroyd noted last year. Venezuela also came out on top in a South America happiness comparison in 2011, and was ranked number 9 out of 151 countries on the Happy Planet Index.

Overall, mostly Northern European countries ranked happiest in the new World Happiness Report: Denmark ranked first, followed in order by Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Why has there been so little attention to the report – and to Venezuela’s ranking in it, among the U.S. outlets that did cover it? Could it be that the gains in Venezuela over the past decade challenge the conventional wisdom routinely reported in the press that Venezuela is a mess in terms of its economic, politics and security, and which typically presents Venezuelans as unhappy? As the Huffington Post notes:

The report — which analyzed 156 countries — is intended to be used as a means of improving policy making worldwide by highlighting how people around the world measure their well-being. The findings were based off national statistics and several surveys, including the Gallup World Poll, to assess a population’s emotional happiness and overall satisfaction with life. [Emphasis added.]

It is perhaps not surprising that media outlets that regularly try to convince their audiences that the social democratic policies being pursued in countries in Scandinavia, South America and elsewhere are a failure don’t want to report the contentment of citizens living in these countries.

Read Full Post »

putin-nationalideaVladimir Putin has told an influential political forum that Russia needs to strengthen its national identity based on traditional values, and vowed to continue the opposition to the unipolar international political system.

National idea as vital priority in global competition

Addressing an assembly of officials, politicians and political experts on the closing day of the international forum Valdai Club, the Russian President said that the nation had already left behind the “fundamental conservatism” characterized by the idealization of Russian history after 1917 and that it was impossible to resurrect Soviet ideology.

However, the president noted that those who supported conservative ideology were as far removed from real life as the followers of western-style liberalism.

The Russian leader emphasized that the progressive movement was impossible without spiritual, cultural and national self-determination, adding that Russia was facing another convolution in global competition and success in it was vitally important.

According to Putin, history has shown the impossibility of imposing a national idea from above and mechanically copying other countries’ experiences was not effective either. He added that resistance to the primitive borrowing of ideas and attempts to civilize Russia from abroad could be explained by the citizens’ inherent drive for independence and sovereignty in spiritual, ideological and political spheres. Putin also noted that such an approach had often failed in other nations of the world.

The time when readymade lifestyle models could be installed in foreign states like computer programs has already passed,” Putin told the Valdai forum.

All-sided dialogue, but no ethnic separatism

The president then said that all political forces must join the discussion about national ideology, urging the opposing camps to listen to each other and to abandon the practice of total nihilism and criticism.

Putin especially warned the nationalist wing, saying that those who forget that Russia was a multi-ethnic state and attempt to speculate on regional separatism “step on a path of destruction of their own genetic code and, in essence, begin to destroy themselves.”

Sovereignty, self-reliance and integrity of Russia are unconditional, they are the red lines no one is allowed to step over,” Putin emphasized.

Speaking of the possible basis for the new national idea, the president said that the current Russian leadership chose to rely on traditional Christian and moral values, noting that without these millennia-tested ideals people would “inevitably lose their human dignity”.

Multi-polar world remains priority in foreign policy

In addition, the Russian leader noted that the national revival of Russia was in line with the foreign policy course for a multi-polar world and the prevailing of international law over the rule of brute force.

Putin cautioned against attempts to reanimate the model of a unified and unipolar world, adding that such a system would not need sovereign states, but would need vassals instead.

Russia is with those who hold that the key decisions must be taken on a collective basis rather than in accordance with plans and interests of certain states or groups of states. International law must work instead of the ‘right of the strong’ and the ‘rule of fists’” Putin told the assembly.

The Russian president again stressed that every country and their people were not exceptional, but they were unique and all had equal rights, including the right to choose their path of development.

No democracy is without flaws

Answering questions after the speech, Putin noted that the current Russian authorities have certain drawbacks and probably could be better, but the same went for the authorities in any democratic country.

It is perfectly right that Russia deserves better quality leadership in general. However, it is a big and bold question if such leadership exists in other countries, including the one represented by Mr McCain [US Senator John McCain who is a constant critic of Vladimir Putin and Russia’s policies].” Putin explained that the US presidents had been twice elected in a vote where a larger number of electors represented a minority of voters and called such a situation “an absolutely evident flaw in the election process.”

The president again emphasized that the Russian political system must be chosen by Russian citizens and not by “respected colleagues from abroad”. Putin also said that in the recent presidential poll the absolute majority of Russians voted for him and this should be a starting point in any discussion. However, he also agreed that both he and the Russian state institution needed perfecting further and pledged to continue working on this.

source

Read Full Post »

nicolas-mVenezuelan authorities have warned of a suspected plot by “extreme right-wing” groups to assassinate Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

The alleged conspiracy was revealed in a press conference on Monday by Interior Affairs Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres, who said that figures in Venezuela, Colombia and the United States were involved.

Rodriguez informed that on 15 August Venezuelan authorities captured two Colombian citizens in a hotel in Miranda state, near Caracas. They were found in possession of two rifles with laser sight, ten Venezuelan army uniforms, and a photograph of President Maduro and National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello.

The two men, of eighteen and twenty two years of age, were presumably contracted by a Colombian named Alejandro Caicedo Alfonso (alias David), and crossed the border into Venezuela on 13 August. The men are part of a “destabilization group” of about ten people, said Rodriguez.

The Venezuelan intelligence service SEBIN is also searching for a Venezuelan man named Carlos Salcedo, who authorities believe is involved in the alleged plot and is responsible for supplying the rifles to the apprehended Colombians.

INTERNATIONAL LINKS

Interior affairs minister Rodriguez said that the government believes the suspected plot to assassinate Maduro is part of a conspiracy planned by the Venezuelan “extreme right wing” in collaboration with counterparts in Colombia and the United States.

Authorities consider the “brains” of such an operation to be Luis Posada Carriles. Cuban-born Carriles is resident in Miami, and is wanted by Venezuela and Cuba on extradition charges for his alleged role in the bombing on a Cuban airliner in 1976 that killed 78 people.

Further, Rodriguez accused former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe of involvement in the alleged plot. “I am denouncing that this conspiracy is being woven from Miami, in connection with Bogota, and that Alvaro Uribe, without any doubt, has knowledge of everything happening here,” he stated.

RESPONSES

President Nicolas Maduro responded to Rodriguez’s affirmations by demanding U.S. President Barack Obama confirm whether he possesses information of any such conspiracy, and if so, to act accordingly.

“President Obama, is it that you don’t know that in the United States the Posada Carriles group conspires, monitored and tutored by Otto Reich and Roger Noriega, to commit terrorist acts and presidential assassination in Venezuela?” asked Maduro.

The Venezuelan president further stated that if Obama does know of such a plot and does not act, then “he is implicated”.

Maduro said that the alleged assassination plot would be in order to “destroy” the Bolivarian revolution, arguing that, “To assassinate me is to begin a civil war in Venezuela”.

“I am a guarantee of peace…I’ll do everything within my ability to continue building peace in this country,” the Venezuelan head of state continued.

The conservative opposition in Venezuela meanwhile has taken a dismissive attitude to the information, with opposition leader Henrique Capriles referring to the government’s accusations as “lies” and “recycled stories”.

Alvaro Uribe and Posada Carriles have likewise denied the veracity of the allegations, calling them “infamy” and “absurd”.

Nicolas Maduro responded by commenting that among the Venezuelan opposition, “there is a strange nervousness; they try to make it [the alleged plot] into a joke”, which he said made the opposition “look bad in front of the country”.

The Venezuelan government has previously alerted the country to suspected plots to assassinate President Maduro, claiming that since the death of late President Hugo Chavez extremist conspiracy efforts have increased in an attempt to “finish” the Bolivarian revolution.

The most notorious of these alerts occurred two days before the April 14 presidential election, when authorities announced the capture of armed paramilitaries in possession of explosives who were presumed to be on a mission to “destabilize” the election.

Read Full Post »

serbia-syria

The Green Star salutes the brave Serbs who marched today in Belgrade for Syria and against Globalism!

Read Full Post »

Russian Envoy: Syria Can Resist US Attack!

Russian ambassador to Lebanon Zasypkn talks with pilot of Russian aeroplane that arrived with humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees in  Lebanon, at Beirut international airport
By: Marlene Khalifeh Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon).

 

Regional incidents and the terrorist Ruwais bombing in Lebanon have disturbed the quiet holiday that Russian Ambassador Alexander Zasypkin was enjoying at his home in Podolsk, south Russia, whose nature and refreshing climate he dwelled on. But today, Zasypkin is busy following the Syrian issue, which the Americans suddenly heated up by announcing possible upcoming air strikes against targeted Syrian sites.

Perhaps this week’s “star announcement” was the statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday, Aug. 26, when he said that Russia will not react militarily to a US military intervention in Syria

In Beirut, Zasypkin supported Lavrov’s position and was surprised that some thought that Russia was willing to go to war with the United States and destabilize the world for many years, as happened during the Cold War. He reiterated his country’s positions, which reject bypassing the UN Security Council. He expects that the new US “adventure” will expand the conflict in the region, as the United States did in Iraq and Libya. Zasypkin seemed certain about the Syrian army’s superiority relative to the opposition and, alluding to Iran, he warned about how the Syrian regime’s allies will react to a US strike.

Zasypkin accused the “Syrian opposition’s gunmen” of using poison gas against civilians, and he advised the Lebanese people, under these circumstances, to form a government that groups all sides and that doesn’t exclude any party that is represented in the Lebanese parliament.

Following is the text of the interview:

As-Safir:  Russia chose not to react militarily to a US military intervention in Syria. What does that mean? And does Moscow accept a repeat of the Libyan experience?

Zasypkin:  We do not accept a repeat of the Libyan experience by means of a decision in the UN Security Council. It is known that we used our veto right three times to prevent decisions that are unbalanced toward the Syrian reality. We want to prevent any action outside the UN Security Council. And if they resort to a military strike, then it would be a violation of international law.

As-Safir:  Will Russia stop at only describing the situation and accept direct US interference in Russia’s area of ​​influence?

Zasypkin:  We think that we are taking a strong political stance regarding what is happening. Our commitment to international legitimacy means that we will not accept any attempt at a direct foreign intervention in Syria. We believe that this is the strongest possible thing that Russia can do in these circumstances. Some might want us to use the same methods as the Americans and threaten their allies. But we will not fall into this trap and we will stick to the political struggle. At the same time, we have warned that this aggression will not be easy and that there will be a reaction from Syria. And we are aware of the positions of some other international parties allied to Syria.

As-Safir:  Some have interpreted Foreign Minister Lavrov’s words to mean that Russia has withdrawn its support for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Zasypkin:  What is happening on the subject of chemical weapons, as well as the threats, shows that our approach is sound, so we will maintain it. We will not accept foreign attempts to force the Syrian president to step down. Today, as before, we assert that this issue is in the hands of the Syrian people and not in the hands of third parties, regardless of the methods they use to achieve this goal.

As-Safir:  But doesn’t the expected American military intervention change the power balance before going to the Geneva II conference?

Zasypkin:  This is an old discussion. We have been hearing for several months that they want a period of time to change the power balance to create suitable conditions for the negotiations. We do not accept this logic. We believe negotiations should have happened a long time ago. The facts indicate that the situation was moving in the [Syrian] army’s favor on the ground. If there is a strike, there will be multiple effects, whose implications we cannot accurately assess. What’s certain is that it will lead to the escalation of the situation and to the expansion of the conflict.

As-Safir:  During his visit to Russia, did Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz inform President Vladimir Putin about this sudden US change? How was the atmosphere of the Russian-Saudi meeting?

Zasypkin:  We believe that the meeting was useful because it was an opportunity for direct talks with the Saudi side and for Russia to explain its position and geopolitical constants. And I would like to emphasize that the rumors on bargains regarding regional issues are incorrect.

As-Safir:  Iran said that the Americans may be able to start the war but not decide how it will end. Did we enter into a regional war?

Zasypkin:  During the last decades, the Americans went into several adventures, like Iraq and the NATO operation in Libya. They have always led to chaos and tragic results for everyone, including the United States. So we warn of the same scenario if there is a strike against Syria, especially because it is a pivotal state in the region. The international community must support a political settlement in Syria through negotiations between the government and the opposition according to the Geneva accord. And this requires dealing with the parties to the conflict, and preparing for the Geneva II conference.

Russia accuses the Syrian opposition

As-Safir:  What is Russia’s political assessment about the poison gas massacre in east and west Ghouta? Is it true that Russia has failed to control the use of this weapon?

Zasypkin:  It’s not the first time that they’ve used the pretext of weapons of mass destruction to go on military adventures, as happened in Iraq. And according to our information, those who used chemical weapons in Syria are the armed opposition, not the Syrian regime. We have handed over the complete file about the Khan al-Asal incident to the UN Security Council. We must await the results of the experts’ investigations and the discussions in the Security Council.

As-Safir:  What if the UN Security Council is bypassed, as some parties have called for, such as British Foreign Minister William Hague and even Turkey?

Zasypkin:  We adhere to the UN Security Council despite attempts to sabotage its role. This is how Russia’s position differs from that of the international community, and we’re proud of it. We will continue to apply our international obligations in this regard. Those who act outside the scope of the Security Council should take responsibility for their actions because history does not end today.

As-Safir:  What will happen the day after the expected US strike?

Zasypkin:  The magnitude of the conflict will grow and its area will expand. And in our opinion, the Syrian regime can resist.

Lebanon, international terrorism and the government

As-Safir:  What does Russia think about what has been happening in Lebanon lately, regarding car bombs that claimed hundreds of innocent people in the southern suburbs and Tripoli?

Zasypkin:  We strongly condemn these acts, and we are striving to maintain the international consensus on security and stability in Lebanon regardless of what is happening in the region.

As-Safir:  Has Lebanon entered the “Iraqization” phase?

Zasypkin:  I think that the international constants regarding Lebanon are still in place. But subversive parties are trying to escalate the situation. So we have to stand in solidarity with Lebanon.

As-Safir:  Will Russia help Lebanon with anti-terrorism equipment?

Zasypkin:  If that’s necessary, we are ready.

As-Safir:  Who has an interest in seeing Lebanon blow up? Did the takfiri hypothesis that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah talked about convince you?

Zasypkin:  There is a game going on in the framework of the international terrorist network. As an external party, I cannot point to any groups inside Lebanon who committed the crime. The investigation and the judicial outcomes must uncover who committed the crime.

As-Safir:  What about the proposals regarding the upcoming Lebanese cabinet? Does Russia accept a cabinet that doesn’t include Hezbollah?

Zasypkin:  This is an internal issue, but we always call for national dialogue. And we think that the best kind of government is one that includes all the main Lebanese groups without exception. This is the best choice for Lebanon. And given the exceptional circumstances we are experiencing in the region, the Lebanese government should be strong and capable of managing things in the country, especially with respect to security, the economy and social issues. Regarding the issue of representation and how the shares are divided, that should be decided by consultation among the Lebanese parties.

Read Full Post »