Update SAT, 23. March 2019: (vf) The economic blockade imposed on Venezuela by the government of the United States is “a perverse method without any guarantee of victory,” the president of the right-wing party Solutions for Venezuela, Claudio Fermín, said Monday.
“Here is a strategy of economic suffocation under the premise that economically suffocating Venezuela (Nicolás) Maduro sinks (…) and the country gets rid of him,” said the opposition leader in the show “Vladimir a la 1” , broadcast by Globovisión.
The former head of the presidential campaign of Henri Falcón in the elections of May 2018 added that these sanctions only seek to plunge the country into poverty so that it is an exhausted people who “push out” the constitutionally elected government, while denouncing that “the worst thing is that there are opposition comrades who have warned us that more pressures are coming”.
He also said he did not agree with the violence, deception and economic blockade as a measure of pressure on the National Government, for which reason he repudiated that various opposition political leaders even celebrate an armed invasion in Venezuela.
“I want to protest, I want to call for sanity. One thing is the appetite for power, another thing is the desire for power, another thing is the need for changes we have and another thing is to lose everything in a game of dice, we want change for the better, we want change to give life to Venezuela. We do not want the change to be all of us watching over our dead in thousands and thousands of funeral homes because there is a civil war, “he said.
He defended the need for an understanding between both political sectors and to establish a dialogue in the country, assuring that it is precisely the disagreement of the right with the management of the government of Nicolás Maduro, that is the main reason to negotiate.
“We should never exhaust the time to negotiate, never (…) those of us who live here have to live together and those of us who have presented ourselves as promoters of democracy should never forget that democracy is coexistence,” he said.
On the other hand, he said that two months have passed since the president of the National Assembly in contempt, Juan Guaidó, proclaimed himself president in charge of Venezuela, “but I still do not see what is the exercise of his interim presidency.”
He also said that if the case arises that Juan Guaidó runs for president in an electoral process, he could not vote for him because he is someone who promotes and supports the country’s economic blockade. (Translated by JRE/EF-OT)
Update FRI, 22. March 2019: (vf) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) does not recognize the self-proclamation of Juan Guaidó as “president interim” of Venezuela due to lack of consensus in the organization.
The IMF said that “there is still no clarity” among its member countries about the possible recognition of Juan Guaidó, said Gerry Rice , spokesperson for the institution at a press conference, while noting that there is no expected vote on the issue in the Executive Directory. Indebting Venezuela is the goal of Guaidó
Indebting Venezuela and placing it at the feet of international banking is one of the plans contemplated by the Country Plan presented in February this year by the president of the National Assembly in contempt, Juan Guaidó.
According to the “plan” one of the objectives is “to access multilateral banking to request the financing required under preferential conditions and international economic aid.” In other words, the right tries to apply the same recipe of Carlos Andrés Pérez in 1989, resorting to the IMF, the same body that does not recognize Guaido.
Already in January of this year, members of the “team” of Guaidó showed that the right-wing sought to resort to the IMF to “raise resources”, said on that occasion the Mexican portal Expansion. (VLN - Translated by JRE/EF-OT)
Update THU, 21. March 2019: (vf) “Today, Roberto Marrero has been arrested by SEBIN (Venezuela's intelligence agency),” reported REUTERS the opposition legislator Sergio Vergara as having stated. Vergara, whose own residence was raided early on Thursday, was speaking in comments broadcast via Instagram.
This Thursday afternoon, March 21, Minister Néstor Reverol announced the reasons why Roberto Marrero (Self-proclaimed’s chief of staff) was arrested and his house searched: This is in relation to the involvement of the operator close to Juan Guaidó in the structuring and financing of criminal groups whose objectives would have been the selective assassination of chavista officials and leaders.
At a press conference, Reverol said that Marrero was seized with weapons of war and money (hard currency) in cash, at the same time the intelligence and security services of the State dismantled a terrorist cell that planned to make a series of selective attacks and in this plot the opposition would have hired Colombian and Central American mercenaries.
Likewise, Luis Páez Salazar, who serves as Marrero’s escort, was also arrested. The state actions were made in conjunction with the Public Ministry and all due process steps were followed.
When Marrero was apprehended, the local and international antichavismo vented the height of its frustration in accusations of kidnapping and violation of parliamentary immunity, however, the former mayor of Baruta is not a deputy since the CNE in 2015 did not admit his registration to replace Carlos Vecchio on the Monagas list, so he did not legally obtain the benefits of the parliamentarian immunity.
President Maduro is only having limited success protecting Venezuela's grid, and there have been many successful attacks lately, which began again after the arrest of self-proclaimed Guiado's chief of staff. Recovery from the attacks seems to be happening via re-distribution of power from parts of the grid that stay up, but that can only last for so long, the system as a whole appears to have been degraded by about 7 percent on a long term basis from the recent attacks alone. These are taking the form of guerilla type ground attacks waged by circles trying to overthrow the government, which face a magnificent resistance waged by government and operators as well as a heroic resiliance of the people.
Right Groups, Activists Demand Justice for Slain Costa Rican Indigenous Leader
By TS - 20 March 2019
People are demanding justice for murdered Indigenous leader from Costa Rica.
Various rights organizations are demanding justice for the murdered Costa Rican Indigenous activist who was shot dead Monday. From political parties, the Ombudsman's Office, students, to the presidency of the National Institute of Women are demanding a prompt investigation of the murder of Sergio Rojas, the Bribri leader.
Indigenous land rights defender Sergio Rojas was assassinated by armed gunmen who shot the activist as many as 15 times at around 11:45 pm local time in his home, according to his neighbors, in southern Costa Rica.
Especially poorer countries suffer since long from the U.S.-imposed "immunity"-regulations protecting U.S.American military and civilian personnel that come as part of any parcel of U.S."Aid" - shielding their crimes ranging from fraud, ivory smuggling, rapes to murder as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity.
'Change your course!': Pompeo threatens ICC over US war crimes probe
By RT - 15 Mar, 2019
In an effort to threaten everyone into not investigating US or Israeli war crimes in the International Criminal Court, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says anyone involved in such probes will lose their visa and may be sanctioned.
The Washington war hawk said that action had to be taken because any investigation into alleged war crimes and torture committed by the United States would be a threat to US rule of law. Visas will be pulled or denied for anyone who has been involved in or even requested an ICC investigation of “any US personnel.”
The ICC is currently mulling over a request to investigate possible war crimes committed by the US in Afghanistan in the course of the nearly 20-year conflict which has left over 100,000 Afghans dead. The international court prosecutor’s office says it has “reasonable basis” to believe that “war crimes and crimes against humanity” were, and continue to be, committed by foreign government forces in Afghanistan.
West Papuans beg for UN intervention as 2,650 Indonesian commandos hunt down freedom-fighters and the Jakarta government blocks emergency food water and medical supplies to highland villagers
Today another 650 Indonesian commandos joined the 2000-strong war machine transported to the Central Highlands in December 2018 after the Indonesian Parliament declared war on the West Papua National Liberation Army.
The government also escalated the impact of its December legislation by blocking all the emergency food water and medicines supplied by local churches and NGOs for the past three months to the Nduga, Kenyam, Yigi, Mbua, and Mapunduma districts.
On February 28, 2019 the last financial wire transactions between the small socialist country of Eritrea and all the western countries were stopped with no further wire transfers in USD$ or Euros to or from Eritrea being allowed .
UNjust and illegal UN sanctions against Eritrea were lifted recently but the damage being done continues. During the 9 year long UN sanctions period the US shut down all Eritrean government bank accounts and cut off all access to USD$ international transfers. The USA and its European lackeys even tried to prevent Eritreans in the diaspora from paying their national 2% income tax (something all US citizens outside the country must do), critical to the creation and survival of the country.
After being kicked out of the dollar market Eritrea’s next turn was to the EU to no avail. The EU would not allow Eritrea access to international euro transfers so Eritrea was forced to fall back on her only international friend, Russia, as a conduit for international banking transactions in Euros.
Update 09. March 2019: (vf) Agitator Guaido's rally today looked more like a school-yard gathering with him blasting through a megaphone like an auctioneer. But he didn't elaborate to his crowd that he already has promised to foreign corporations to auction state-run entities and enterprises.
The political crisis in Venezuela has come to an impasse, with Nicolas Maduro refusing to budge and opposition leader Juan Guaido, backed by a string of Western and South American countries, so far failing to mobilise enough compatriots to oust the president. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has pledged to respond to acts of "imperial aggression" as the county braces for pro and anti-government protests scheduled on the same day.
"The US empire, once again, underestimates the conscience and determination of the Venezuelan people. I assure you that every attempt [to express] imperial aggression will be met with a forceful response from the patriots that we love and defend, with courage, our Homeland," Maduro said on Saturday.
The Herero and Nama peoples demanded compensation for damages over genocide and property seizures by German colonists.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain rejected a lawsuit requiring Germany to pay damages over genocide and property seizures by its colonists, who carried out a racial extermination campaign against the Herero and Nama peoples in the first years of the 20th century in present-day Namibia.
The Manhattan judge said that Germany is immune from claims by descendants of the Herero and Nama peoples, depriving her of jurisdiction over its role in what happened in German South West Africa, a colony of the German Empire from 1884 until 1919.
Herero leader Vekuii Rukoro said Judge Taylor Swain made errors in her analysis and the tribe would make sure the decision was reversed on appeal, adding that "we have directed our lawyers in New York to proceed with immediate effect." The plaintiffs' attorney Kenneth McCallion said he will discuss new options for legal action with his clients.
On Africa Environment Day and World Wildlife Day today, Max Gomera warns of the real challenge facing conservationists
Until people can eat, wildlife will decline
By Max Gomera - TI - 3 March 2019
In Mirera village in Kenya, farmers are threatening to kill scores of wild animals that have been invading their farms, unless authorities contain them within two weeks. In Laikipia county, there are fears of food shortage following destruction of crops by elephants and increasing concern over wildlife-related deaths.
These are not isolated incidents. Across the world, a slow creep of smallholder and mega-farms is taking place, with agriculture moving into lands that were formerly wildlife range. As more humans encroach on wildlife sanctuaries, deaths on both sides are increasing, with wildlife locked in a battle it cannot win. While AK47 laden poachers are often framed as the chief threat to the wildlife of the world, a far more mundane risk needs to be addressed: the troubled co-existence of farmers and wildlife.
Addressing this crisis must start by building a new truce between rural communities, governments and the global conservation movement. The benefits and the risks of protecting wildlife should be shared by all three, rather than putting the full burden and few of the benefits on local people. That way, nature is seen as having a value to farmers’ co-existence with wildlife, rather than a threat to their crops and livestock.
Whenever I visit Julian Assange, we meet in a room he knows too well. There is a bare table and pictures of Ecuador on the walls. There is a bookcase where the books never change. The curtains are always drawn and there is no natural light. The air is still and fetid.
This is Room 101.
Before I enter Room 101, I must surrender my passport and phone. My pockets and possessions are examined. The food I bring is inspected.
The man who guards Room 101 sits in what looks like an old-fashioned telephone box. He watches a screen, watching Julian. There are others unseen, agents of the state, watching and listening.
Study: Warming Oceans Cause Fish Decline As High as 35%
By ts - 1 March 2019
Researchers compared the changes in 235 fish and shellfish populations across 38 ocean regions that have occurred from 1930 to 2010 - a 4% decrease.
A new study concludes that climate change is adversely affecting the quantity of fish in the oceans. The scientists also noted that overfishing, specifically in the Sea of Japan region - where the decline is as high as 35%, has significantly added to the problem.
“We were surprised at the strength the impact of warming has already had on fish populations,” study lead author and University of California Santa Barbara ecologist Chris Free, stated.
Researchers compared the changes in 235 fish and shellfish populations across 38 ocean regions that have occurred from 1930 to 2010 - a 4% decrease.
In 2016, 171 million tons of fish were taken from the sea, and that number is trending to rise to 201 million in the next 10 years.
The frozen white expanse of Lake Inari stretches off towards banks of dark birch and pine trees marking the distant shore line. There is not even the faintest breeze – the sub-zero air is perfectly still and very, very cold. A delicate dusting of snowflakes has fallen in the night, a pristine layer of gleaming crystals resting on the thick sheet of snow and ice.
Jussa Seurujärvi, 22, momentarily stops helping his father, 51, and sister, 16, pull up fishing nets from holes in the ice to take in the long, slow Arctic sunrise, which glows with pastel strokes of yellows, purples and pinks. His brow furrows slightly and he says with a gentle determination: “I want to continue living from this land just as my ancestors have done for hundreds and hundreds of years. This is a way of life for us – it is not just a job.”
His father quickly dispatches five prized white fish and a slimy looking burbot ensnared in the net. Almost every part will be used by the family, with even the burbot’s muddy-green scales destined for his mother’s handicrafts. “The Sami way has always been that you take what you need – you don’t take any more,” says Seurujärvi.
This is the scared heart of the Sami homeland in the upper reaches of Finnish Lapland. It is a largely pristine landscape of forests, marshes, scree-covered fells and deep, clean lakes. Often described as Europe’s last great wilderness, it is also home to lynxes, brown bears, wolverines and golden eagles. Thousands of tourists come every year to enjoy the unspoiled nature and marvel at wonders such as the northern lights; more than 100,000 foreign visitors, including 22,000 British tourists, passed through the region’s capital, Rovaniemi, in December 2017.
In this analysis, John Pilger looks back over the Chavez years in Venezuela, including his own travels with Hugo Chavez, and the current US and European campaign to overthrow Nicolas Maduro in a ‘coup by media’ and to return Latin America to the 19th and 20th centuries.
The War on Venezuela is Built on Lies
By John Pilger -
Travelling with Hugo Chavez, I soon understood the threat of Venezuela. At a farming co-operative in Lara state, people waited patiently and with good humour in the heat. Jugs of water and melon juice were passed around. A guitar was played; a woman, Katarina, stood and sang with a husky contralto.
“What did her words say?” I asked.
“That we are proud,” was the reply.
The applause for her merged with the arrival of Chavez. Under one arm he carried a satchel bursting with books. He wore his big red shirt and greeted people by name, stopping to listen. What struck me was his capacity to listen.
MUTARE, Zimbabwe—Plans by the government of Zimbabwe to export as many as 35 baby elephants to China has sparked an outcry among wildlife conservationists who say proper procedures haven’t been followed.
They also raise concerns about China’s significant role in the global trade in endangered species.
Investigations by wildlife protection activists reveal that the baby elephants, some as young as 2, were separated from their mothers and are being held in pens at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park while preparations are finalized to send them to China, where they will be put in zoos.
The export plan has been roundly condemned by local and international wildlife conservationists, who say the removal of young elephants from the herd is highly damaging—not only to the young elephants but to the entire herd.
Botswana considers allowing big game hunting, culling elephants
GABORONE (Reuters) - Botswana, home to almost a third of Africa’s elephants, is considering lifting a ban on big game hunting, to combat what the government says is growing conflict between humans and wildlife
Conservationists estimate the southern African country has around 130,000 elephants, but some lawmakers say it is much higher and causes problems for small-scale farmers.
A committee appointed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi to review the 2014 hunting ban handed a report on the matter to Masisi late on Thursday.
“We recommend ... a legal framework that will enable the growth of a safari hunting industry and manage the country’s elephant population within the historic range,” said Frans Van Der Westhuizen who chaired the committee that also called for “regular but limited” elephant culling.
Masisi set up the committee in June 2018 to consider the ban imposed by former president Ian Khama after surveys showed declining wildlife populations in the north.
United Nations experts condemn human rights abuse and racism in West Papua
February 21, 2019
The largest group of independent experts within the UN human rights system has issued an unprecedented statement condemning a ‘culture of impunity’ around human rights abuses in West Papua. The statement calls for ‘those who have committed human rights violations against the indigenous population of Papua’ to be ‘held to account’.
In a joint statement of UN experts, comprised of members of Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, five UN Special Rapporteurs condemned the ‘general lack of investigations into allegations of human rights violations in Papua’.
DAR ES SALAAM - A prominent Chinese businesswoman dubbed the “Ivory Queen” was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Tanzanian court on Tuesday for smuggling the tusks of more than 350 elephants, weighing nearly 2 tonnes, to Asia.
Yang Feng Glan had been charged in October 2015 along with two Tanzanian men with smuggling 860 pieces of ivory between 2000 and 2004 worth 13 billion shillings ($5.6 million). All three denied the charges.