The Arab and International Campaign to Break Siege on Syria announced plans on 24 February to launch a popular, pan-Arab campaign to confront the western-led blockade against Syria through an aid convoy in light of the devastating earthquake that killed over 50,000 people in Turkiye and Syria. On Saturday, the Syrian news agency SANA reported that the preparations to participate in the Arab Youth Forum in Solidarity with Syria in March are already underway. The campaign, titled “The Arab Unity Convoy to Break the Embargo Imposed on Syria,” is headed by Magdi al Masrawi, former secretary-general of the Arab National Congress, and draws an example from the “Convoy of Arab Unity, Maryam” to break the siege on Iraq in the early 2000s.
On October 7, users of Adobe software products in Venezuela began receiving messages saying that the company would no longer provide them with services, citing U.S. government sanctions (specifically Executive Order (E.O.) 13884). Over the next four days, Flickr, TransferWise and Oracle informed Venezuelan users that they, too, would cease services due to E.O. 13884. This could be the beginning of a broader U.S. corporate pull out of Venezuela and is more evidence that Venezuela is under embargo, as both the Maduro government and The Wall Street Journal have stated. E.O. 13884 constitutes an embargo as it prohibits transactions with the Venezuelan government. It also threatens secondary sanctions on companies that “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services” to the government.
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday freezing “all property and interests in property of the Government of Venezuela that are in the United States.” The move is the culmination of a series of increasingly severe sanctions and marks a new stage in the US coup operation against the Government of Nicolás Maduro. By fully cutting access to the financial, capital and consumer markets controlled by the United States government, at the center of global capitalism, this attack constitutes an embargo of the Venezuelan economy, an act of war according to international law.
Monday, the Trump Administration reached a new zenith in its destructive acts against the Venezuelan economy and society by extending to the category of embargo the coercive and unilateral measures against the Bolivarian Republic. According to The Wall Street Journal, this measure consists of a “total economic embargo”. Once again through his often used Executive Order the U.S. president is strengthening all actions prohibiting any relationship with the Venezuelan state by any company on U.S. soil or related to that country.
The Trump administration is threatening to unleash a flood of lawsuits involving Cuba, which no U.S. president has ever done. It has set a deadline of March 2 to announce whether it will create, in the words of the National Lawyers Guild, “a second embargo” of Cuba — “one that would be very difficult to dismantle in the future.” Trump may give current U.S. citizens standing to sue in U.S. courts even if they were Cuban citizens when the Cuban government nationalized their property after the 1959 Revolution. They would be able to bring lawsuits against U.S. and foreign companies that allegedly profit from the nationalized properties.
The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly backed a resolution condemning the US economic embargo on Cuba after rejecting proposed US amendments criticising the communist nation on its human rights record. Out of the 193-member body, 189 countries voted in favour of the resolution at the 27th annual General Assembly meeting, with only the US and Israel voting against. Moldova and Ukraine did not vote. The resolutions are unenforceable, but they reflect world opinion and the vote has given Cuba an annual stage for the last 27 years to demonstrate the isolation of the US on the embargo imposed in 1960. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed the UN, saying the body "has lost, it has rejected the opportunity to speak on behalf of human rights."
We are witnessing Israel’s ongoing massacre against unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza. Through inspiring popular demonstrations, they are protesting Israel’s 12-year siege, and demanding their UN-sanctioned right of return to the homes they were ethnically cleansed from. Palestinian activists in Gaza are asking, “What is the world doing while Israel’s massacre is live streamed?” It’s up to us to make sure they are not facing Israel’s crimes alone. We must channel our rage at Israel’s atrocities into effective actions to hold Israel accountable. Together, we can escalate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns. Our concrete, strategic solidarity will send a strong message of support to Palestinians in Gaza: You are not alone, and we will work to hold Israel accountable for its murder of Palestinian protesters. Strengthening, mainstreaming and popularizing Palestinians’ call for a two-way military embargo on Israel is the most effective response to Israel’s ongoing massacre.
By Julian Borger for the Guardian. The US will embark on an aggressive effort to tighten North Korea’s isolation on Monday with a call for an oil embargo and a partial naval blockade. A draft United Nations resolution seen by the Observer would also block textile exports and the hiring of North Korean labour by foreign countries. The American delegation has called for the UN security council to debate the draft, in an attempt to force decisive action following last Sunday’s massive nuclear test of a bomb, Pyongyang’s sixth. The most striking language in the resolution authorises naval vessels of any UN member state to inspect North Korean ships suspected of carrying banned cargo and to use “all necessary measures to carry out such inspections”. The implications of such a resolution would be far-reaching. Any attempt to board or divert a North Korean vessel could trigger an exchange of fire. As well as banning any exports of “crude oil, condensates, refined petroleum products, and natural gas liquids” to North Korea, the draft resolution calls for a prohibition on the import of textiles and an end to the hiring of North Korean nationals, on the grounds that the regime uses the foreign currency earned “to support its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile programmes”.
By Sharmini Peries for The Real News - On Thursday the European parliament called on the European Union to impose an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia, saying that Britain, France, and the EU government should no longer sell weapons to a country accused of targeting civilians in Yemen. EU lawmakers voted 359 in favor, 212 against, with 31 abstentions from the formal call for an EU embargo. Although the vote is not legally binding, lawmakers hope it will pressure the European Union to act.
By Gloria La Riva for Liberation News - Hillary Clinton reflects that of many in the U.S. ruling establishment—soon, perhaps a majority—who are now suddenly clamoring for a different approach in U.S. policy to try to accomplish the same aim of the last 56 years: destabilization of Cuba’s government and system. President Barack Obama spoke similarly on Dec. 17, “… we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests. … ” Clinton’s Miami speech was filled with disingenuous claims about helping the Cuban people, in the typically arrogant attitude of U.S. imperialists towards Cuba, Venezuela and the rest of Latin America. Cuba faces new challenges with U.S. plans at “engagement” and subversion. Congressional funds are currently financing more anti-Cuba “democracy” programs. But if there is a people, country and government that can face those challenges and continue defending the Revolution, it is Cuba. The ulterior designs of the US on Cuba can keep on trying another 56 years. They will fail again.
By Paul Lewis in The Guardian - Cuba’s blue, red and white-starred flag has been raised above the country’s newly inaugurated embassy in Washington, heralding the formal restoration of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba . The establishment of embassies in both Washington and Havana, for the first time in 54 years, marked the symbolic end to one of the last vestiges of the cold war. After more than half a century of diplomatic animosity, the world’s capitalist superpower is once again on formal speaking terms with the small, communist state to the south. Cuba’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodríguez, flew to Washington to preside over the flag-raising ceremony on Monday and met with his US counterpart, John Kerry. It was the first time a Cuban foreign minister was hosted by a secretary of state in Washington since 1958. Appearing side by side at a State Department press conference, both diplomats expressed hope that a reset between the US and Cuba would lead to significant improvements in relations between the two countries.
Marianne, a trawler owned by Swedish and Norwegian activists, is the first ship in the newest Freedom Flotilla. Carrying supplies, activists and important international dignitaries, the activists hope to end Israel’s deadly blockade on the Port of Gaza. The blockade of the Port of Gaza, maintained by the Israeli navy with assistance from Egypt, is part of an overall stranglehold that Israel maintains over Palestine which keeps strict, inhumane limits on the flow of food, medical supplies and equipment necessary to repair Gaza’s ruined infrastructure. Journalists and human rights monitors are routinely denied access to the region, as well. Marianne departed Wednesday from Gothenburg, Sweden. The ship stopped in Copenhagen Saturday, whereDutch dignitaries and journalists joined the Swedish team after a celebratory concert.