Friday 18th of October 2019

the shortest jokes are the best but those that are interminably long make me cry (adm*)...

joke...

Nicaragua is a Central American country whose control has been historically a top priority of the US foreign agenda for Latin America. The country's perfect geostrategic position is the reason of its curse: it is halfway between Mexico and Colombia, near Panama, a strip of land between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

The possibility of a second "Cuba-scenario" pushed the United States to feed one of the longest civil wars in history, which lasted from 1961 until 1990, provoking over 50 thousand deaths.

Less than 30 years after the end of the bloody conflict, the interests and destinies of the world's greatest powers meet and clash again in this geographically-cursed country - an event that provides the explaination to the new outbreak of destabilization that since 2013 has caused more than one thousand deaths.

A few weeks ago, John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, stated that "the Ortega regime has its days numbered", suggesting that Nicaragua is the main geopolitical target in Latin America immediately after Maduro's Venezuela.

In fact, Nicaragua and Venezuela, in addition to Cuba and Bolivia, are the main threats to the stability of US hegemony on the continent, because they are led by anti-American leftist governments involved in a multi-sector strategic collaboration with China and Russia, and lastly they host Hezbollah's cells.

It is no coincidence that the anti-government protests against Daniel Ortega, the leader of the Sandinista revolution and the war against the Contras, broke out in 2013 on the occasion of the announcement of a Chinese-funded pharaonic project aimed at building a canal able to challenge the one of Panama.

The Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company had obtained from the Parliament a fifty-year concession for the construction of the 50-billion-dollar canal. However, the explosion of violence, whose intensity gradually increased reaching the contours of a civil war, finally convinced the company to cancel the project last February, due to the excessive instability prevailing in the country.

A canal capable of competing with Panama, openly challenging the United States in its own backyard, had gained attention also from Russia and Iran, who showed interested in participating in the project, but the possibility that an investment of this magnitude could evaporate due to a regime change made the strategic retreat prevail.


The protests continued even after the Chinese retreat and have gradually intensified, and the reason of the persisting instability is clear: China is no longer a threat, but Russia and Iran are still present in the country and show no signs of abating.

Moscow has been continuously present in the country since the outbreak of the civil war, during which it financed and armed the Sandinistas, while Iran arrived more recently, bringing with it Hezbollah, which would carry out espionage activities and illegal trafficking with local drug cartels on behalf of Tehran - according to US and Israeli claims.

Economic and humanitarian cooperation between Managua and Moscow has turned into a close military collaboration in the aftermath of the spread of anti-government violence. Since 2015, the parliament has been allowing Russian military ships to moor in the country's ports, while the government has concluded a series of agreements for the purchase of tanks, planes and missiles, making the country heavily dependent on the import of Russian weapons and ammunition, which account for 90% of total military imports.

Ortega has also requested and obtained the sending of trainers specialized in asymmetric and urban wars, who are teaching the Sandinist paramilitary forces the latest tactics in the field of "hybrid threats" containment, such as the protests typical of colored revolutions. To date, about 400 Russian soldiers are present in the country and many of them reside in the Marshall Georgy Zhukov training center, inaugurated in 2013 by General Valery Gerasimov.

In 2017 the State Department was alarmed by the construction of a satellite base, dubbed "Chaika", connected to 24 Russian satellites in the framework of the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), that is the Russian alternative to GPS.

It is a common opinion among Trump's strategists that the Obama administration has guiltily devoted too much attention to Syria and accordingly underestimated and overlooked the risks and the extent of Russian-Iranian penetration in Latin America's last three strongholds of the revolutionary left, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua.

It is no coincidence that Trump has decided to reduce the direct and indirect commitment in Syria, reorienting the foreign agenda on Latin America, Russia, China and Iran. A powerful hit to what Bolton called the "Troika of tyranny", namely the Cuba-Venezuela-Nicaragua trio, in fact would mean to hit also Russia, China and Iran, which in different ways and degrees have set foot in the backyard and don't want to back home.

If it is true that the destabilization of Nicaragua seems to have distanced China from the country, at the same time it is true that the investments have been redirected towards Panama, which recently also interrupted bilateral relations with Taiwan to follow the "One-China Policy". From 2017 to 2025 China has planned to invest over 20 billion dollars in the country, both aimed at strengthening the national infrastructure network and the canal.

The abandonment of Nicaragua can be read by some as cowardice, but for Chinese diplomacy it was a strategic move: why build a new canal, in a country perhaps close to civil war, therefore risky for business, when is possible to penetrate directly into the existing one? And the idea, which would have been developed by the Chinese ambassador in Panama Wei Qiang, convinced Xi Jinping.

As for Iran, it is since 2012 that the United States and Israel have been exposing the presence of Hezbollah men in Nicaragua. According to them, the Iran-backed political-military organization would have built bases along the border with Honduras, establishing business ties with drug cartels and the government, and recruiting members to be sent to the Middle East.

Complaints about Hezbollah aside, relations between Iran and Nicaragua are excellent since the  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad era. The two countries are tied by numerous trade and economic agreements, which were furtherly strengthened in 2016 as a result of the visit of the then Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif.

The fall in the instability of the country has not alienated Iran which, in the same way as Russia, sees in Sandinism an ideological support point, as well as political and economic, useful to the contrast of the American empire in the world. Russia, China and Iran are moved by similar foreign agendas but act according to a different vision: Beijing sees and puts business as a top priority, Moscow and Tehran consider the economic diplomacy important but not the only factor.

2018 in Nicaragua ended with a war bulletin: +500 dead, +3 thousand injured. On the background of daily violence, the government is trying to improve the economic situation and the difficulty to do it contributes to exacerbate the climate of violence, forming a self-perpetuating vicious circle.

The explosive situation prompted Ortega to announce the start of negotiations with opposition forces, civil society, and the Catholic Church - the latter as an observer and mediator, with the aim to restore peace and order in the tormented country.

If Ortega's initiative is going to have success, the country could avoid a new civil war and return to the path of normalization, as advocated by Russia, Iran and the Holy See, for this reason all these actors shall expect a tough interference coming from the United States aimed at undermining the peace process for as long as possible.

The Trump administration's neocons-written foreign agenda considers Ortega as dangerous as Maduro because both represent an obstacle toward the reconquest of Latin America. This is why the fight against the transition to a new multipolar order also goes through here, from Nicaragua.


See more at http://www.pravdareport.com/opinion/142344-nicaragua/

and I’ll give it blood!...

“Look at the sun! It’s dry, it’s dead, it needs a drink, it wants blood! And I’ll give it blood!” 


― Alfred De Musset, Lorenzaccio

 

 

The French poet Arthur Rimbaud was highly critical of Musset's work. Rimbaud wrote in his Letters of a Seer (Lettres du Voyant) that Musset did not accomplish anything because he "closed his eyes" before [to arrest] the visions (Letter to Paul Demeny, May 1871).

exceptionalism is "how painful" mostly to others...

Pompeo: Sanctions Increase “Pain and Suffering” in Venezuela (Pt 2/2)

April 10, 2019

 

GREG WILPERT: It’s The Real News Network, and I’m Greg Wilpert in Baltimore.

Joining me to continue our discussion of U.S. policy towards Venezuela, and what is happening in Congress in this regard, is Mark Weisbrot, codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Thanks for joining us again, Mark.

MARK WEISBROT: Thanks, Greg.

GREG WILPERT: So in our first segment, we talked about Senators Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio’s latest efforts to bring about regime or government change in Venezuela. Other hawks who are pursuing the same are National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Here’s what Mike Pompeo had to say about Venezuela, quite revealingly, last month.

MATTHEW LEE: Are you satisfied with the pace of the momentum behind Guaido and his leadership?

MIKE POMPEO: Well, we wish things could go faster, but I’m very confident that the tide is moving in the direction of the Venezuelan people and will continue to do so. It doesn’t take much for you to see what’s really going on there. The circle is tightening, the humanitarian crisis is increasing by the hour. I talked with our senior person on the ground there in Venezuela last night, at 7:00 or 8:00 last night. You can see the increasing pain and suffering that the Venezuelan people are suffering from.

GREG WILPERT: “The humanitarian crisis is increasing by the hour.” He doesn’t link this glee about the situation to the sanctions directly, but it seems to be implied. Now, shouldn’t the Trump administration, or Trump administration officials such as Pompeo, be held accountable for intentionally pursuing a policy that causes increasing pain and suffering among the general population of a country such as Venezuela?

MARK WEISBROT: Yeah, it’s pretty outrageous. It’s amazing that nobody noticed that, because it’s very clear that’s what he’s saying. That was Matt Lee from the Associated Press that asked that question. He’s one of the reporters that has most gone after the administration in these kinds of press briefings and asked those kinds of questions. And you can see, he’s basically admitting that this is what we’re doing, we’re going to make people suffer until we get rid of this government. We’re going to make it intolerable, we’re going to kill a lot of people. And so, this is really, really what they’re doing. And I think it’s something that everybody should know by now.

And of course, the idea of just providing some little bit of humanitarian aid, which is completely politicized–which they admitted before it was completely politicized and they politicized it even more in this latest bill in the Senate–that doesn’t do anything for the billions of dollars that they’re cutting off. Let’s just look at oil revenue. Oil revenue for 2019 is projected to fall about 67 percent from its current level. That means just cutting off the vast majority of the remaining imports that they have. That means food, that means medicine, that means medical equipment, that means everything you need to keep hospitals running. So that’s really what they’re doing. And that’s what he’s saying. When the humanitarian crisis is getting worse, they’re saying we’re going to make it worse.

GREG WILPERT: Now, we discussed in the first segment, actually, other bills that are currently in the works that are focused mainly on preventing military intervention. Now, just summarize again for us what these are and what are their chances of passing, which are being sponsored basically by Democrats? But given the constellation of forces, what do you think the chances are that these might actually pass?

MARK WEISBROT: Well, I think the House bill, the Cicilline bill that’s from Representative Cicilline of Rhode Island, which basically just states what the Constitution and the 1973 War Powers Resolution says, which there can be no military action without the consent of Congress, I think that has a chance. It’s got 62 cosponsors right now, and I think that definitely has a chance. When it will pass, we don’t really know. But you have to remember, when the war powers resolution in the Congress was first proposed, I think it was like a year and a half ago, couldn’t get it through the house and you didn’t have the votes in the Senate. There were various procedural moves that were used to prevent it, an then they didn’t pass.

And I think the problem here is a lot of it is just the lack of awareness of what the United States is doing to people in Venezuela. There’s another 1.9 million refugees are predicted to leave Venezuela this year because of the worsening crisis and because of what they’re doing. So I think that a lot of it just depends on what people do. I mean, the War Powers Resolution passed both Houses because you had thousands of people all over the country who pressured their members of Congress and their senators to vote for it. You get enough people to do that, I think these could pass as well. But it’s still only the first step, because the military option, as you noted, is not all that likely. It’s really the sanctions that are strangling the country and killing people on a daily basis. And so, that has to be the next step.

GREG WILPERT: Yeah. I wanted to get into that possibility of a military intervention a little bit more. I mean, Vice President Mike Pence just visited Brazil on Monday and met with President Bolsonaro’s Foreign Minister, General Hamilton Mourao. And after the meeting, Mourao stated that there will be no military intervention in Venezuela on the part of Brazil. I thought that was quite remarkable that he said this right after the meeting. Now, given that there seems to be a growing regional consensus, at least, on this issue of no military intervention, I’m wondering if people shouldn’t be more concerned, especially among Democrats in Congress, about the effects of sanctions on the people of Venezuela. And I’m wondering to what extent is it really ignorance or indifference?

And that is, the U.S. has a history of imposing sanctions on countries that have been very devastating. I’m thinking particularly the sanctions against Iraq before the Iraq war that are said to have killed 500,000 children. And then, of course, the sanctions against Iran are also causing great harm and suffering in that country, and they were just intensified with the declaration of the Revolutionary Guard being considered a terrorist organization, which means that it’s almost forcing Europeans to participate in those sanctions. Now, I’m wondering, again, to what extent do you think is it really ignorance or is it indifference, and shouldn’t this be really the next step in terms of making sure that the people of Venezuela don’t suffer from the foreign policy of the Trump administration?

MARK WEISBROT: Yes. I think it’s a combination of ignorance and indifference, and of course, the Florida politics as well. So you have different motivations in different cases. But I’m quite sure that people don’t realize how this works, again, when they recognize Guaido, or what they’re actually doing. So for example, if you look at what they’re doing with the international financial system–and this is how sanctions are such a powerful weapon and become, I think, a more powerful and in a lot of ways more deadly weapon than the military for the United States right now in international relations. What they actually do–first of all, in the case of Venezuela, you’re starting with an economy that was already quite vulnerable. It had a deep recession for three years before the August 2017 sanctions, which created a financial embargo, and they were on the brink of hyperinflation and then it pushed them into hyperinflation.

So that is really damaging, and it also prevents them from taking any measures that they would need to get out of the recession and hyperinflation. So that’s part of what they’re doing. But then, what they can do, because they have so much power in the international financial system–which most of it is dollar based and depends on a system of what is called correspondent banks. So in other words, for any country or any financial institution of any country in world, they don’t have branches everywhere, so they have to use other banks in order to make payments. So what the U.S. has done is cut off Venezuela from various correspondent banks around the world, and then pressure even those outside the financial system of the United States or its allies here–that is European allies–it’s used pressure to force other countries.

So for example, Gazprom in Russia, even though it’s majority owned by the Russian government, actually cut off the accounts of the state oil company in Venezuela under pressure from the United States. Because they can sanction that institution, and then that institution is basically incapable of doing most of what it would normally do in terms of business. And that’s what they’re doing around the world. And this bill from Menendez basically is trying to get the State Department to get more of this cooperation from Latin America and Europe to–again, you have to remember, this actually prevents Venezuela from even using the revenue that they have to buy medicine and food. There was a shipment from the United Nations that was going to go to Venezuela, and they couldn’t pay for it, because of this being prevented from using the international payment system.

So yeah, these sanctions are really deadly, and they can destroy any economy. And of course, they were much more effective here in Venezuela because of the already weakened state of the economy and because they can perpetuate this and worsen it by the day.

GREG WILPERT: Well, we’re going to have to leave it there for now. I just want to note though, and you’ve said this yourself many times Mark, that the sanctions, of course, are totally illegal under international law and the OAS charter, and one could even say that they’re illegal under U.S. law. But we don’t have time to get into that, maybe next time. I was speaking to Mark Weisbrot, codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Thanks again, Mark, for having joined us today.

MARK WEISBROT: Thank you, Greg.

GREG WILPERT: And thank you for joining The Real News Network.

 

Read more:

https://therealnews.com/stories/pompeo-sanctions-increase-pain-and-suffe...

 

See part one:

https://therealnews.com/stories/more-sanctions-on-venezuela-operation-fl...

 

 

see toon at top..

the end of his exceptionalism?...

"When [former Attorney General Jeff] Sessions told the President that a Special Counsel had been appointed, the President slumped back in his chair and said, 'Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I'm f***ed.'"

"The evidence we obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

"Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

"The Russian contacts [with Trump's campaign] consisted of business connections, offers of assistance to the Campaign, invitations for candidate Trump and Putin to meet in person, invitations for Campaign officials and representatives of the Russian government to meet, and policy positions seeking improved US-Russian relations."

"The evidence supports the inference that the President intended [former campaign Chairman Paul] Manafort to believe that he could receive a pardon, which would make cooperation with the government as a means of obtaining a lesser sentence unnecessary."

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-19/donald-trump-mueller-report-detai...

 

 

Have we got a recording of "'Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I'm f***ed.'"??? Or do we rely on Jeff Session, the weasel? Do you think that a guy like The Donald would slide under the desk and die? Unless the psycho said it in a sarcastic mode? As if?

 

Proof of Russia interfering in the 2016 US presidential elections? ZERO.

 

The rest is just hearsay, innuendoes and vague conjectures, and now the big one: JULIAN ASSANGE... My guess is that strangely enough, despite some bravado from Trump and Hillary Clinton, they both know that their future is tied up in silencing Julian by whatever means. We shall see what Julian has kept in store for a rainy day... And this storage of information would not be in the Wikileaks vaults... 

 

I know. Some people will say that Gus does not want to see that... That what? The Russian government have interfered in the US to get the elections of Trump? Mueller himself could not find the link. None. Zero. Nada. All he could do is pad his investigation with dubious characters misdeeds, all as dishonest as Mueller himself once was about Iraq and other footmoves — all dishonest and hypocritical like most US politicians. At least Donald Trump the Mad was presenting a US-Russia rapprochement on his election platform. He did not make a secret of this in all his speeches. AND HE GOT ELECTED. Meanwhile La Madam Clinton wanted to bomb the shit out of everything — from Damascus, Teheran and Moscow, and NK and China — no wonder that Russian President, Vlad the Defender, Putin, would tell the planet he preferred Donald Trump to that devious woman who was mostly responsible for the destruction of Libya and the near demolition of Syria. Vlad like a wise Oracle said he would work with any of whom got elected nonetheless. Meanwhile Putin got Russia to develop some nifty weapons that would not break the anti-nuclear agreements, but would give Russia the edge, just in case the USA got "funny"... with either of those bad US monkeys...

 

Read from top.

 

madness and irresponsibility of the US government...

The Cuban Foreign Minister has denounced new US sanctions against him. Deploring their heavy consequences for Cuba's economy, he called on the international community to respond.


Recent US measures against Cuba are aimed at "asphyxiating the economy" of the island and "punishing the Cuban people as a whole," according to Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. He called on April 26 the international community to curb the "madness and irresponsibility" of the US government.


Washington has decided to activate from May 2 Chapter III of the Helms-Burton Act, which will allow lawsuits against foreign companies investing in Cuba and limit remittances to families in that country. "These measures will seriously harm the private sector of the Cuban economy," said the head of diplomacy during a press conference.


For Bruno Rodriguez, the goal of these new sanctions is "to extract political concessions" from the Cuban government, which he says will not move an inch. "Despite the undeniable economic impact, the behavior of the United States and the measures just announced will not call into question the firm determination of the resistance of the Cubans, nor will they succeed in satisfying Washington's old will of to reverse the revolution and to control the destiny of Cuba, "he assured.

 

Read more:

https://francais.rt.com/international/61458-cuba-appelle-communaute-inte...

 

 

The US has only two speeds: LICK OUR ARSE and PUNISHMENT. One does not know which is which anymore as either way we get fucked. Why is the USA become the planet worse nightmare?... Can't they be nice for a change?