UN experts* today urged the government of the United States of America to end the prolonged pre-trial detention of Alex Nain Saab Morán, a Venezuelan Special Envoy, arrested and extradited to the US on money laundering charges. Saab was appointed as a Special Envoy by the Government of Venezuela in April 2018 to undertake official missions in Iran to secure humanitarian deliveries to Venezuela, including of food and medicine. In July 2019, he was placed under US sanctions for allegedly being responsible for inter alia engaging in transactions or programmes administered by the Government of Venezuela. On 12 June 2020, during his third trip to Iran, while in transit through Cabo Verde, he was arrested and detained by local authorities.
On the 11th of September, small towns and cities in eastern Libya (Sousa, Baida, and Batta) experienced heavy rains and flooding, leading to some infrastructural and material damage. However, the big catastrophe was in the city of Darna which houses more than 100,000 inhabitants and is located by a valley leading directly from the mountains. The two dams that control the flow of the water that seeps through the city’s valley collapsed at around 2:00 a.m., leading to a complete blackout and mass flooding. Cars, 10-story apartments, and houses were washed away with their residents, leading to a humanitarian catastrophe with more than 10,000 dead and 11,000 missing.
The war on Syria is no longer front page news, but it has never ended. Currently, the United States and its allies are placing enormous pressure on the Syrian people in an effort to topple the Syrian government. The goal is not just to replace Bashar Assad with a President more conciliatory to western goals, but rather to break the country into small semi-autonomous states so it can never again be a center of resistance to Israeli and U.S. Domination. the latest efforts involve a western media campaign promoting and exaggerating the unrest in southern Syria. In 2011, heavily armed U.S. backed terrorists flooded Syria, committing murder and mayhem across the nation.
Many of us who write for and read Consortium News are worried about Julian Assange’s personal well-being, especially amid rumors that the British High Court will soon issue a decision to extradite the WikiLeaks publisher to the notorious Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) to face multiple counts of espionage. Julian deserves unwavering support, at the very least because he alerted the world to crimes being committed by the U.S. government. His bravery has been well-documented, even if the government says that he is a danger to American national security. The U.S. Justice Department has made something of a sport of attacking people on “national security” grounds.
On June 27, 1986, the World Court condemned the United States for illegal war and aggression against Nicaragua and ordered the US to compensate Nicaragua for damages estimated to run to US$17 billion dollars, what today would be more than US$55 billion. On June 27 of this year, President Daniel Ortega demanded that the US fulfill its obligation. He stated, “On June 27, 1986, the International Court of Justice condemned the US and directed it to compensate Nicaragua for all damages caused as a consequence of military activities against Nicaragua. In a situation of armed aggression such as that carried out by the US, no amount of reparations – neither economic nor moral – could compensate for the devastation of the country, the loss of human lives and the physical and psychological wounds of the Nicaraguan people.
As the Fact Finding Mission of the International People’s Tribunal, we unequivocally denounce the U.S. imperialist hybrid war on the Venezuelan people, economy and state. Throughout our mission we have witnessed the brutal effects of the unilateral economic coercive measures regime. Our meetings, interviews, and discussions clearly exposed the lies of the US government and the propaganda of the corporate media that aim to depict Venezuela as a “failed state”. We concluded our Mission July 28, the birthday of Comandante Hugo Chávez with our Venezuela Hearing and public release of our statement.
On August 2, hundreds of social and human rights organizations around the world sent an open letter to US President Joe Biden, calling for the release of imprisoned Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab. The signatories include two Nobel Peace Prize winners, the Tunisian League for Human Rights and Alfonso Perez Esquivel, as a member of the Observatory of Human Rights of the Peoples. Other signatories include the National Lawyers Guild in the US, the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) of Brazil, and Argentina’s Frente Patria Grande. The letter urges Biden to consider Saab’s health conditions, as he is “not receiving medical attention, despite being a cancer survivor and having reported several ailments, including vomiting blood.”
On Wednesday, July 26, scores of Iraqis protested in front of the country’s central bank in the capital Baghdad following a massive fall in the value of the Iraqi dinar that is attributed to the recent US ban on 14 private banks. The market rate of the Iraqi dinar in exchange for one US dollar has climbed up to 1,570 from 1,470 in the last two days. The US Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve imposed the bans this month, accusing the banks of money laundering and transferring funds to Iran. The banks insist that they “have nothing to do with political tensions and are independent financial institutions” willing to face an audit to dispel any notion of wrongdoing or criminal activity.
“We are fighting against the Yankee enemy of humanity,” explained Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo, setting the tone of the 44th anniversary celebration of their revolution. Later, her husband Daniel Ortega, the country’s president, elaborated in his hour and a half address: “When we use the term Yankee we mean those who have a racist, imperialist attitude, which is not the case with the US people…Indisputably, given the weight of the capitalist system, the weight of the military-industrial complex will bend any president, who despite many promises he makes then comes to occupy the presidency of the US.”
On Monday, July 24, Syria’s permanent representative at the UN, Bassam Sabagh, announced that his government had permitted the UN agencies to carry on their cross-border aid program through the Bab-al-Hawa border crossing. He was speaking at a special briefing of the UN Security Council on the condition of his country. The announcement ends the uncertainty about the future of the UN humanitarian aid program in the rebel-held areas in Syria’s north-west. Following Syrian objections, Russia had vetoed the resolution for the extension of the program earlier this month. Syria and Russia had objected to the nature and period of the program that is supported by the West.
This year, the legislative arm in Washington has introduced three bills in the U.S. Congress against Venezuela: the Prohibition of Transactions and Leases with Venezuela’s Illegitimate Authoritarian Regime Act, the Venezuelan Human Rights “AFFECT” Act and the Venezuelan Democracy Act. The bills have a common denominator: to further increase the pressure of the blockade and impose on it a framework of “humanitarian assistance”. The focus of this article is the Venezuelan Democracy Act which was introduced in the newly installed U.S. Senate last March. The bill was put together by five Republicans: Jim Risch, Marco Rubio, Bill Hagerty, Rick Scott and John Barrasso, who orbit around the lobby of energy companies and corporations that mobilize large sums of money to rebuild and assist “needy” countries.
On July 19, Nicaraguans will celebrate the 44th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution. This month also marks the fifth anniversary of the defeat of the US-backed coup attempt against President Daniel Ortega. Clearing the FOG speaks with solidarity activist and journalist John Perry, who is based in Masaya, about the state of the revolution today and what happened in 2018. Perry has been writing a series of articles about the role of the US and Catholic Church in the violent road blockades, attacks on Sandinista supporters, police and bystanders, and the destruction of public infrastructure. He also exposed the failures of major human rights organizations to report accurately on crimes committed by the opposition.
Friday, June 30, WTF returned to Managua, Nicaragua to do follow-up study of Caribbean Coast government funded infrastructure projects and to celebrate the 44th Annivesrary of the Sandinista Revolution on July 19. While on assignment, each week we will share with you segments of the documentary Nicaragua Against Empire. The film journals our March 2021 Sanctions Kill / Friends of the ATC, Nicaragua delegation. From film producer and delegate Ramiro Sebastian Funez: "In March of 2021, I traveled to Nicaragua as part of a 13-member delegation. The trip was organized by the Sanctions Kill coalition and the Friends of the Rural Workers’ Association, known as the ATC.
The former USA president, putative candidate for the next presidential election, admitted that he wanted to “collapse” a duly elected democratic government in this Hemisphere; to take it over, to appropriate all its oil. This is an admission of the violation of fundamental international laws and an intent to commit crimes against Humanity. Why is there little or no reaction to Trump’s stark admission from those politicians, media and commentators that actively joined USA’s imperial adventure of “regime change”? Where are the spokespersons of those 50 governments that, following Trump’s lead, denied the Venezuelan government’s legitimacy insisting that a bogus unelected individual was the real Venezuelan president, and obeyed illegal sanctions against Venezuela?
This Monday marked three years of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab’s illegal detention in a United States prison, in a case in which violations of international law and diplomatic conventions by the US regime stand out. On June 12, 2020, Alex Saab was traveling to Iran on a diplomatic mission for the Venezuelan government to negotiate medical supplies and food for the Venezuelan people amid the crisis unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the strengthening of illegal US and European sanctions. The Venezuelan government plane Saab was traveling in stopped on Sal island in Cape Verde, an archipelago country off the West coast of Africa, to refuel before continuing on its route.