Archive | January 8, 2016

Washington Targets Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina*

Washington Targets Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina*

By Jack Rasmus

After 9-11, the United States focused its most aggressive foreign policy on the Middle East – from Afghanistan to North Africa. But the deal recently worked out with Iran, the current back-door negotiations over Syria between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and the decision to subsidize, and now export, U.S. shale oil and gas production in a direct reversal of U.S. past policy toward Saudi Arabia – together signal a relative shift of U.S. policy away from the Middle East.

With a Middle East consolidation phase underway, U.S. policy has been shifting since 2013-14 to the more traditional focus that it had for decades: first, to check and contain China; second, to prevent Russia from economically integrating more deeply with Europe; and, third, to reassert more direct U.S. influence once again, as in previous decades, over the economies and governments in Latin America.

Following his re-election in 2012, Obama announced what was called a ‘pivot’ to Asia to contain and check China’s growing economic and political influence. In 2013-14, it was the U.S.-directed Ukraine coup – i.e. a pretext for sanctions on Russia designed to sever that country’s growing economic relations with Europe. But there is yet another U.S. policy shift underway that is perhaps not as evident as the refocus on China or the U.S. new ‘cold war’ offensive against Russia. It is the U.S. pivot toward Latin America, begun in 2014, targeting in particular the key countries and economies of South America – Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina – for economic and political destabilization as a fundamental requisite for re-introduction of Neoliberal policies in that region.

Venezuela: Case Example of Destabilization 

Economic destabilization in its most recent phase has been underway in Venezuela since 2013. The collapse of world oil and commodity prices, a consequence in part of the United States vs. Saudi fight that erupted in 2014 over who controls the global price of oil, has caused the Venezuela currency, the Bolivar, to collapse. The United States raising its long term interest rates the past year has intensified that currency collapse. But U.S. government and banking forces have further fanned the flames of currency collapse by encouraging speculators, operating out of Colombia and the ‘DollarToday’ website, to ‘short’ the Bolivar and depress it still further. U.S. based media, in particular the arch-conservative CATO institute in Washington, has joined in the effort by consistently reporting exaggerated claims of currency decline, as high as 700 percent, to panic Venezuelans to further dump Bolivars for dollars, thus causing even more currency collapse. Meanwhile, multinational corporations in Venezuela continue to hoard more than US$11 billion in dollars, causing the dollar to rise and the Bolivar to fall even more. The consequence of all these forces contributing to collapse of the currency is a growing black market for dollars and shortages of key consumer and producer goods.

But all that’s just the beginning. Currency collapse in turn means escalating cost of imports and domestic inflation, and thus falling real incomes for small businesses and workers. The black market and dollar shortage due means inability to import critical goods like medicines and food. Rising cost of imports means lack of critical materials needed to continue production, which results in falling production, plant and business closures, and rising unemployment.

Currency collapse, inflation, and recession together result in capital flight from the country, which in turn exacerbates all the above again. A vicious cycle of general economic collapse thus ensues, for which the popular government is blamed but which it has fundamentally not caused.

As this scenario in Venezuela since 2014 has worsened, the United States has targeted Venezuela’s state owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, with legal suits. The Obama government in March 2015 also issued executive orders freezing assets of Venezuelan government and military representatives charged with alleged ‘human rights’ abuses. The United States then recently arrested Venezuelan businessmen in the United States, holding them without bail, no doubt to send a message to those who might still support the government. The U.S. government has also indicted Venezuelan government and military officials recently with charges of alleged drug conspiracy, including National Guard generals who have supported the Maduro government. This all raises impressions of government corruption with the public, while giving second thoughts to other would-be military and government supporters to ‘think twice’ about their continuing support and perhaps to consider ‘going over’ to the opposition in exchange for a ‘deal’ to drop the legal charges. The popular impression grows that the economic crisis, the inflation, the shortages, the layoffs must all be associated with the corruption, which is associated with the government. It is all classic U.S. destabilization strategy.

As all the above economic dislocation has occurred in Venezuela, money has flowed through countless unofficial channels to the opposition parties and their politicians, enabling them to capture earlier this month control of the national assembly. The leaders of the new assembly, according to media leaks, now have plans to reconstitute the Venezuelan Supreme Court to support their policies and to legally endorse their coming direct attack the Maduro government in 2016. It is clear the goal is to either remove Maduro and his government or to render it impossible to govern.

As Julio Borges, a possible next president of the national assembly, has declared publicly in recent days: if the Maduro government does not go along with the new policies of the Assembly, “it will have to be changed.” No doubt impeachment proceedings, to try to remove Maduro, will be soon on the agenda in Venezuela – just as it now is in Brazil. But for that, the Venezuelan Supreme Court must be changed, which makes it the immediate next front in the battle.

Argentina and Brazil: Harbinger of Neoliberal Things to Come

Should the new pro-U.S., pro-Business Venezuela National Assembly ever prevail over the Maduro government, the outcome economically would something like that now unfolding with the Mauricio Macri government in Argentina. Argentina’s Macri has already, within days of assuming the presidency, slashed taxes for big farmers and manufacturers, lifted currency controls and devalued the peso by 30 percent, allowed inflation to rise overnight by 25 percent, provided US$2 billion in dollar denominated bonds for Argentine exporters and speculators, re-opened discussions with U.S. hedge funds as a prelude to paying them excess interest the de Kirchner government previously denied, put thousands of government workers on notice of imminent layoffs, declared the new government’s intent to stack the supreme court in order to rubber stamp its new Neoliberal programs, and took steps to reverse Argentine’s recent media law. And that’s just the beginning.

Politically, the neoliberal vision will mean an overturning and restructuring of the current Supreme Court, possible changes to the existing Constitution, and attempts to remove the duly-elected president from office before his term by various means. Apart from plans to stack the judiciary, as in Argentina, Venezuela’s new business controlled National Assembly will likely follow their reactionary class compatriots in Brazil, and move to impeach Venezuela president, Maduro, and dismantle his popular government – just as they are attempting the same in Brazil with that country’s also recently re-elected president, Rousseff.

What happens in Venezuela, Argentina, and Brazil in the weeks ahead, in 2016, is a harbinger of the intense economic and political class war in South America that is about to escalate to a higher stage in 2016.


Related Topics:

The U.S. Coup against Venezuela has Served to Strengthen Caribbean Unity

Coup #2 2015: Obama Incites Bloodshed in Venezuela*

Venezuela Bans ‘Terrorists’ Bush, and Cheney *

U.S. Interfering in Venezuela Again*

No Silva Lining for NWO in Brazil, Next Step the Elite’s Front-man Neves*

Historic Ruling in Brazil Bans Business from Funding Campaigns*

Israel Threatens Brazil Unless It Accepts Settler Ambassador*

Argentina Refuses to be Dragged to its Knees by the U.S.*

What Obama Didn’t get from Argentina Rothschild Will get*

Argentina Trying to Side Step U.S. Vultures*

The Whys Behind the How of Officials Investigating Charlie Hebdo and Argentina Committed ‘Suicide’*

This is what TPP Looks Like: World Bank Demands Argentina Pay French Company*

Turkish Company Caught Selling Fake Life-jackets to Refugees*

Turkish Company Caught Selling Fake Life-jackets to Refugees*

By Jeffrey Phillips

A factory in a Turkish city that is known as a departure point for refugees fleeing to Greece has been busted for manufacturing life jackets that don’t work.

This week, Turkish police confiscated 1,263 life jackets from a factory in Izmir, on the coast of the Aegean Sea, which were filled with material that isn’t capable of floating. Just days earlier, two boat filled with refugees capsized in the Aegean Sea, resulting in the death of at least 21 people. The boats’ drowned passengers later washed up on the beaches of Turkey.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that an additional 300 life jackets were seized from people who had already bought them. Upon closer inspection, the life jackets were stuffed with material that makes the person wearing it more likely to drown:

Sait Guderoglu, one of Turkey’s top life vest producers, told the newspaper that these fake life vests can endanger wearers even more than no vest at all.

“Such life jackets are made of backpack material and filled with sponge and because sponge is hydrophilic [water absorbing], it drags people down and causes them to drown,” he said.

According to the Sun Daily, a Malaysian newspaper, the factory used child labour to make the faulty life jackets, including two young Syrian girls. In previous visits to the coastal city, The Guardian reported seeing two separate salesmen hawking the flimsy life jackets in Izmir’s well-travelled public market:

In an attempt to convince buyers, shops sell jackets branded with the word “Yamaxa”, a misspelling of the Yamaha brand, whose products cost about twice as much as a fake. Trade is so high that some shoe and clothes shops sell life jackets as their primary products.

“We only sell two or three pairs of shoes a day,” one shop assistant told the Guardian in November. “But we’re still selling between 100 and 300 life jackets. In the summer sometimes it was a thousand – the factories couldn’t keep up.”

Since the beginning of last year, over 1 million refugees, mostly from war-torn nations like Syria and Libya, have crossed into Europe. 700,000 of those refugees arrived via the Mediterranean Sea. The latest data from the United Nations shows that over 120,000 refugees arrived at the Greek island of Chios — just across the water from Izmir — in 2015. In the exodus of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa from January of 2015 to today, the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas claimed at least 3,771 refugees.

Turkish police are currently examining the life jackets and launching an official criminal investigation.

Watch video of the police raid on the Izmir factory below:


Related Topics:

Why Some Syrian Refugees Decline Canada’s Resettlement Offer*

Disaster Capitalism, Immigration, and the Outsourcing of Violence in the U.K.*

Mass Migration as Weapons of War*

Congress Just Passed Part of Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan in the Budget Bill*

West’s Racist Wars for Creating the Immigration Crises*

Poland bans E.U. Flag and non-White Invaders*

E.U. Takes Control of Greek Borders*

The U.K. Establishment Toppling the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn*

The U.K. Establishment Toppling the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn*

By Lesley Docksey

Far too many people were knocked sideways, waking up the morning after Britain’s general election last May, hearing that the Tories had ‘won’ the election?  That the majority was small and that they had done it on the support of less than 25% of the electorate was no comfort. What hurt was that the country faced five years of unchecked Tory ideology, favouring the rich by hitting the rest.

It was like being kicked in the gut.  At least we were not alone in our despair, our inability to watch any news on television, hear it on radio or read it in the papers.  The promised dismantling of all that made Britain a relatively kind, fair place to live was too painful to face. The Tories’ glee was both disgusting and juvenile.  It took days for our brains to get back into gear, for our anger to rise above the ashes so we could start to fight back.

Spirits rose from the moment Jeremy Corbyn entered the Labour leadership race.  Thousands regained their hopes, rejoined the Labour Party or signed up as supporters.  The more the remnants of the Blairite clique uttered dire warnings of the utter ruination and death of the Labour Party, the more people climbed on board.

But the day after Corbyn became leader the fight to get rid of him started.  Labour MPs were promising to unseat him – I was going to say ‘left, right and centre’, but that was patently not so.  Anyone, whether Labour MP, Party member or just the man in the street who supported Corbyn was labelled as ‘hard left’.  We still are, even though we reject the label.

Day by day there has been a constant drip, drip of ‘stories’ against Corbyn, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott and others on his team, fed by anonymous Labour MPs and seized by an avid media which, being almost totally right-wing, were as desperate to topple Corbyn as the Blairites.

That Corbyn has doubled the Party membership doesn’t matter.  That the majority of Labour Party members support Corbyn doesn’t matter.  Indeed, one MP tried to say the membership was irrelevant; it was the constituents who had voted for Labour MPs.  Yet, whether members or constituents, a majority of the British actually support many of the policies Corbyn advocates also apparently doesn’t matter.

When Corbyn reached his first 100 days as leader, there was an orgy of regurgitated stories about all the things he did ‘wrong’ – like not singing the national anthem, even though photos showed that several others standing around also had their mouths shut.  He ‘wasn’t going to bow to the Queen’, even though it turned out not to be mandatory.

And he didn’t bow enough when laying his wreath at the Cenotaph during the Remembrance Day ceremony – though the fact that all the other ‘important’ politicians rushed off to lunch while he stayed and spoke to war veterans should have stopped the press from making a fool of itself.

A few of the ‘100 days’ articles were honest enough to include some of his triumphs – a successful Labour Party Conference; Labour unexpectedly winning a bye-election with an increased majority; making David Cameron look small at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) by refusing to play the ‘Yah Boo’ game so beloved by our less than impressive politicians.

Sadly, Cameron has returned, to cheers from Tory MPs, to his horribly shouty, nasal voice and refusal to actually answer any questions – which is what he is there for.  Instead, he sidesteps them by making fun of Corbyn with very stupid jokes.  It is shaming to have a Prime Minister like this.

Considering the mainstream, centre-right, moderate (just kidding, folks!) Blairite Labour MPs were planning to oust him before he had even been elected, you would think the press might admit he’d done rather better than expected.  But no.  It was obvious that much of their coverage was based on the hope of persuading the public there wouldn’t be another 100 days.

The Tories really don’t have to do anything except hope that Labour will implode, leaving us with a one-party state.  Those Labour MPs who don’t want a return to decent values, who don’t give a toss about their members and who don’t want to lose their cosy ‘importance’ are welcomed with open arms by the media.  Stories and exclusives were and are the order of the day.

And then along came the shadow cabinet reshuffle, headlined weeks before the fact, based on rumours and unknown sources, speculated on, pored over and picked apart before it ever happened.  The ‘intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich’ Peter Mandelson, writing in the Guardian, only demonstrated how very yesterday’s man he is.  One would have thought Corbyn was going to appoint a whole new team.

The media coverage, the scrum of journalists listening at keyholes, reporting every ill-considered rumour without checking the facts, seemed to make it appear they were covering the total collapse of the Kingdom, the Queen dying and London being inundated by the very floods that were ruining northern England and Scotland.  So what actually happened?

One or two shadow ministers got relocated.  Two got sacked for ‘disloyalty’.  So screamed the press, pointing out that the MPs in question had ‘always followed the party whip’.  But was that where their disloyalty lay?  Corbyn and McDonnell, being the decent people they are would never make this kind of thing public but one wonders, was the disloyalty charge based on all those disclosures to the media by ‘unnamed sources’?

And one shadow minister actually resigned on television – and the media went wild.  But, according to the website Pride’s Purge, the editor of the BBC’s Daily Politics show Andrew Alexander wrote on his blog that this was not only arranged by the BBC to take place just before Prime Minister’s Questions, it was their idea.

Alexander wrote:

“…we took a moment to watch the story ripple out across news outlets and social media. Within minutes we heard David Cameron refer to the resignation during his exchanges with Jeremy Corbyn.

During our regular debrief after coming off air at 1pm we agreed our job is always most enjoyable when a big story is breaking – but even more so when it’s breaking on the programme.”

This has now been removed from Alexander’s blog.  The mainstream papers picked up the story but will the BBC suffer for its blatant manipulation of political events?  I doubt it. Someone might resign or be moved sideways but the BBC, constitutionally required to be impartial, will, along with its fellows, go on being biased against anything to do with Corbyn.

But the enemy has now made itself very visible.  We, the citizens of this country, are facing something which can only be called fascist in its intent to control our lives to our detriment. This is what we have to fight, and go on fighting, if we the people are to survive.

How Corbyn and his allies keep their cool under all this onslaught is only to be admired and supported for their very adult restraint.  Because the enemy within the Labour Party is, so hinted John McDonnell at a public event in November, just a small number of MPs; MPs who have good access to mainstream media.  Other MPs, sadly, are still sitting on the fence, waiting to see which way the wind blows.

They need to be reminded that the majority does lie with Corbyn and his team.  They need to be reminded that their enemy is not Corbyn but Tory ideology.  They need to be reminded that it is the Tories they have to fight, not their own party.

The storm of sheer nastiness from those who oppose the Labour leader is based on one thing – that what he, or rather his vision, offers is a huge threat to those who hold power.  If, please God, it is ever realised it will mean that for the first time people, not power and money, might be running the country.

The Tories, the media and the Blairites are terrified.  Let’s keep them that way.  Frightened people make mistakes.


Related Topics:

Has the U.K. Found a Real Leader in Corbyn?*

Corbyn has War Criminal Blair Running Scared*

Blair -Lackeys Plotting Coup to Axe Corbyn from Labour Leadership Race*

Purge of Jeremy Corbyn Voters Unmasks Britain’s Blair’s Labour Party*

Despite all the Covert Tricks in the Book Corbyn Wins the Labour Leadership*

Corbyn Turns PMQs into the People’s Question Time, and Cameron Flounders*

British General Threatens ‘Mutiny’ Against Corbyn Leadership*

Reality of British Empire should be taught in Schools – Corbyn*

Corbyn Keeps his Promises to his Constituents, even if it means keeping the Queen Waiting*

Corbyn Triumphs as Cameron Fears Failure to Achieve Mandate on Invading Syria*

24 African Countries Ban China from Fishing Illegally in Their Waters*

24 African Countries Ban China from Fishing Illegally in Their Waters*

By Jasmine Nelson

Officials from 24 African countries met in Cameroon last month and called for China to stop illegal fishing off the West African coast. In some areas, Chinese fishermen have pushed their local counterparts back to shore, depriving them of their jobs and livelihoods.

Former fisherman Bisso Frederick, 32, now sells sandwiches in the Cameroonian town of Limbe, on the West African coast. He says he and his colleagues were forced to abandon their jobs three years ago.

Bisso says they have lost their jobs to Chinese fishermen who have taken over all fishing areas. He says they are very worried the government of Cameroon has allowed foreigners to do little jobs Cameroonians should have been doing.

In a 2013 study, the international environmental group Greenpeace reported that the number of Chinese fishing boats operating in African waters soared from 13 in 1985 to 462 in 2013.

The report said there were 114 cases of illegal fishing over an eight-year period in the waters off Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone. It said the boats were operating without licenses or in prohibited areas.

Amadi Diop, who is in charge of the program for aquaculture and fishing at the New Economic Partnership for African Development, says such illegal activity is making African fish farmers poorer and destroying the environment.

He says Africa’s $24 billion annual revenue from fishing is threatened by people who are taking far more fish from African waters than can be replaced by those remaining, with the changing climate. He says the people who are suffering most are small-scale, low-technology and low-capital fish farmers who contribute 46 percent of the total revenue generated against industrial maritime fishing that contributes 33%.

The head of the regional commission for fishing in the Gulf of Guinea, Emile Essema, says the problem is getting worse because many African countries are not investing in their fishing sectors.

He says the fishing sector is still neglected by many African states and that is why African heads of state are being encouraged by the African Union to dedicate resources to boost fish farming and aquaculture. He says fishing can generate riches, solve food and nutritional crisis, provide jobs for millions of unemployed youths and develop nations.

The African Union convened a meeting in Yaounde last month to discuss the issue. Representatives called for African states to dedicate more resources to fishing and improve the lives of more than 90 million people they say are involved in “small-scale fishing activities.”

They also asked China to abolish destructive fishing practices and stop taking advantage of African countries’ fishing grounds.


Related Topics:

The REAL Pirates of Somalia Stand Up!‏

Angolan Fishing Community Asks Chevron for Oil Spill Compensation*

Rothschild did to India what China is doing to Ghana*

Australia the Police State*

Australia the Police State*

By Melissa Dykes

Australian politician and independent federal member for Denison Andrew Damien Wilkie warned parliament that Australia is becoming a police state.

Wilkie then listed the 10 attributes of this police state:

  1. Surveillance of all electronic devices including phone calls SMS Email, SM and metadata will be stored and accessed without a warrant.
  2. Manipulation of the media, bullying techniques used by ministers against media.
  3. Manipulation of judiciary.
  4. Ludicrous level of secrecy especially in regard to irregular immigration or asylum seekers.
  5. Arrests for pre-crime, merely upon suspicion someone may do something in the future.
  6. People in Australia can be incarcerated indefinitely without trial.
  7. Disregard to international agreements and international laws that Australian Governments including ignoring their own statutes have signed off on (eg. The Rights of the Child and The Refugee Convention).
  8. Parliament is forbidden to debate upon important decisions such as the government secretly deciding to declare war on Syria. No debate, no vote by Australian representatives.
  9. Government safeguard mechanisms bullied and disregarded if they get in the government’s way (eg. the mistreatment on the human rights commissioner recently).
  10. Security agencies acting beyond their legal power, Border Patrol going beyond legal powers (no one lost their jobs, no one was held to account).


Does any of this sound familiar, America?


Related Topics:

Australia Discontinues Services to the People Whose Land It Took*

Australia Bans Children who Refuse Vaccination from Attending Kindergarten*

Australia Unleashes Mass Spying*

Australia Pre-Drugging Kids and Psychosis Risk Syndrome*

A Global Paedophile Ring Busted from Australia*

Australia Still Stealing Indigenous Children*

Australia has Stolen $360 million from Dipping into Personal Accounts*

Putting Australia under Raps*

Right on Cue: Australia Like Canada’s False ISIS Flag Brings in NWO Laws*

The Disappearing Male*

The Disappearing Male*

The Disappearing Male is about one of the most important, and least publicized, issues facing the human species: the toxic threat to the male reproductive system.

The last few decades have seen steady and dramatic increases in the incidence of boys and young men suffering from genital deformities, low sperm count, sperm abnormalities and testicular cancer.

At the same time, boys are now far more at risk of suffering from ADHD, autism, Tourette’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, and dyslexia.

The Disappearing Male takes a close and disturbing look at what many doctors and researchers now suspect are responsible for many of these problems: a class of common chemicals that are ubiquitous in our world.

Found in everything from shampoo, sunglasses, meat and dairy products, carpet, cosmetics and baby bottles, they are called “hormone mimicking” or “endocrine disrupting” chemicals and they may be starting to damage the most basic building blocks of human development.

Related Topics:

Reconstructing the Male Image

Reliving the Past of Human Experimentation

Why Boys are Becoming Girls, and Men are…

Where Have All the Real Men Gone?

Painkillers and Male Reproduction Dont Mix!

GM Foods and Fertility

Male Fertility on the Decline in Spain

IVF for Male Infertility Ups Intellectual Disability and Autism in Children

Vaccines Laced with Anti-Fertility Hormones*

Monsanto’s GMO Bt Toxins Found in 93% of Pregnant Women*

U.N. Raises Replacement Migration for Eurasian Countries with Aging Populations*

WiFi — an Invisible Threat to all Life*

Malaysia the Only Country with Opt-out Clause in NWO’s TPPA*

Malaysia the Only Country with Opt-out Clause in NWO’s TPPA*

Malaysia is the only country to be granted an opt-out clause in a side letter to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), Asian Development Bank lead economist Jayant Menon said.

“This actually allows Malaysia to withdraw from the TPPA without even trying to rectify it in Parliament. No other member country can do that.

“How Malaysia was able to secure this, I don’t know. But I think International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed is a great negotiator,” he added, at the Asean Economic Forum today.

He said the TPPA had been labelled a gold standard agreement, but now that the negotiated text is available, it was significantly watered down to secure compromises.

“Malaysia has been perhaps the most successful in securing exemptions in many sensitive areas, including things like government procurement, reform of state enterprises or government-linked companies and protection in certain areas of intellectual property reforms.

“With so many exemptions, probably it is not a big deal for Malaysia to go through with the TPP after all,” he said.

However, Jayant added that the TPP itself might not become a reality if it didn’t get through the U.S. congress.

“There is no guarantee that it will. The Republicans have to be supported in large numbers as the Democrats are already opposed to it.

“Politics is playing a bigger role now. There is no guarantee that the TPPA will simply pass through Congress. We just to have to wait and see,” he said.

Jayant was speaking as a panel member at the forum on the evolving regional trade architecture and market reaction towards it. – Bernama, January 8, 2016.


Related Topics:

Corporation vs. State: Sweeping TPP Powers Strip Sovereignty*

Over 1,000 Plaintiffs File Lawsuit to Keep Japan out of TPP*

TPP Preparedness: New Bolivian Law Forces Investor Disputes to Be Settled Locally*

Obama Delivers the U.S. on TPP Platter*

12 Nations Sold their Sovereignty to a Controversial TPP Deal in Atlanta*

Japan to Lift Duties Vegetables, Most Fishery Products under TPP*

Canada under Pressure from Obama for Quick TPP Approval*