April 22, 2017 - No. 14
Our Security Lies
in Our Fight
for the Rights of All!
- Pauline Easton -
Developments Since U.S. Attack on Syria
• Unprincipled and Warmongering Stand
of Trudeau Government
- Sam Heaton and Enver Villamizar -
• U.S. Ramps Up Provocations
• U.S. Threats Against Korea
- Charlie Vita -
• Contradictions Sharpen Within U.S.
Over Chemical Attack
- Hilary LeBlanc -
Condemn U.S. Bombing of Afghanistan
• Hands Off Afghanistan! NATO Out of
End the Occupation Now!
to Imperialist Interference
• Oppose Canada's Nefarious
Role! Hands Off Venezuela!
- Margaret Villamizar -
• Venezuelans Mobilize in Defence of
Mass Hunger Strike Launched on Palestine Prisoners' Day, April 17
• Freedom for Palestine and All Political
Prisoners in Israeli Jails! Resistance Is a Right! End the Occupation!
- Yi Nicholls -
• Conditions in Israeli
- Palestinian Center for Human Rights -
• Citizens' Revolution Prevails
U.S. Intelligence Failures
Our Security Lies in Our Fight for the Rights of All!
Contradictions within the ranks of the U.S. bureaucracy
have increased manifold since Donald Trump became President of the
United States. Evidence of the failure of U.S. intelligence agencies to
provide information which is trustworthy is sharpening these
One or another or all of the 17 U.S. intelligence
were accused of interfering in the presidential election while
not a few military figures also spoke in favour of either the
Clinton camp or the Trump camp. Both political parties, the
Democrats and the Republicans, have been accused of spying on
one another and/or of collaborating with Russian spying. The
Russians have also been accused of interfering in the U.S.
electoral process. Cabinet leaks, accusations of White House
spying or of the intelligence agencies spying on the White House
are rife while accusations of false information emanating from
the intelligence agencies is released from within their own
The latest accusations that the
intelligence agencies are
providing false intelligence and that the U.S. presidency is not
basing its actions on trustworthy intelligence relate to the
accusations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons
against civilians on April 4. This is countered by several former
military and intelligence figures who, using inside channels, are
corroborating the Russian version of events that the Syrian
government did not carry out such an attack. According to some
accounts, Trump's CIA Director himself, Mike Pompeo, tried to
warn the President of the intelligence failure on Syria before
the U.S. airstrike and was then subsequently sidelined by the
"hawks" and did not appear in the "war room" at the President's
private Florida estate when the missile strike was
conducted. To have
account by one section of the "intelligence community" against
the account of the other is supposed to get the peace-loving
people who oppose what the Trump administration and other
governments are doing to engage in the factional fighting taking
place within the ranks of the ruling elites.
It is also to further divert attention from the deep
crisis in which the U.S. democratic institutions are mired and the
dangers posed by government of police powers. The revelations of the
former intelligence officers also show that the aggression against
Syria did not unite the U.S. bureaucracy as intended. The material
provided by TML Weekly this
week shows that as the divisions within the ranks of the ruling
elite and its intelligence agencies continue to sharpen, the dangers to
the peoples of the world increase. Two days after the U.S. strike, the
U.S. military's Pacific Command announced the deployment of an aircraft
carrier, warships and submarines to Korean waters to threaten the
People's Republic of China and the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea as well as to contain Russia. Then, on April 13, for the same
purposes, the U.S. attacked Afghanistan with the first use of what is
known as a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, a 21,600-pound
device we are told is "America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb."
Despite the massive intelligence failures, the peoples
world are supposed to entrust their fate and protection to the
very same security agencies, intelligence agencies, police and
armed forces that either provide the false intelligence or base
their actions on it. It is not only irrational but also a
desperate attempt to keep the peoples disarmed in the face of the
situation. Such a path is fraught with danger.
In the opinion of TML Weekly, far from the
basing their stand on what the U.S. imperialists and other big
powers say and on false and self-serving intelligence, it is
necessary to take a clear look at the results of the contention
for power among the private interests which have seized the U.S.
state apparatus and that of their NATO allies and draw warranted
conclusions. The developments taking place inform the resistance
movements of the people to base themselves on their own
independent collective intelligence based on their own collective
experience. The security of the peoples of the world lies in the
fight for their own rights and the rights of all.
1. The same CIA Director
Pompeo announced on April 13 that the U.S. now considers the
organization Wikileaks to be a "non-state hostile intelligence
service often abetted by state actors like Russia." Pompeo
stated, "we have to recognize that we can no longer allow
Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values
against us. ... To give them the space to crush us with
misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great
Constitution stands for. It ends now," he said. During the 2016
U.S. election campaign, both Pompeo (previously a Tea Party
Congressperson) and Trump cited and praised Wikileaks for
exposing various crimes of Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton.
2. Within the U.S. administration,
Syrian attack was preceded by a reshuffling of Trump's National
Security Council and related moves, and was said to have favoured
National Security Adviser Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster --
one of many military figures in the Trump administration but one
of the few who remains on active duty. McMaster's nomination was
itself the result of vicious infighting within Trump's inner
circle, with his predecessor General Michael Flynn forced to
resign after 24 days due to allegedly misleading the
Vice-President about his meetings with the Russian ambassador to
the U.S. Following the Syria strike, Deputy National Security
Adviser K.T. McFarland was asked to step down and was moved to a
Examples of those coming forward to unite with
include his erstwhile rival, Hillary Clinton who, only hours
before the missile strike called for the U.S. to bomb Syrian
airfields. Following the strike, Republican Senators John McCain
and Lindsey Graham -- both vociferous critics of the Trump
administration -- issued a strident joint statement in support of
the strike and stated that Trump now "deserves the support of the
American people." Republican Senator Marco Rubio, himself a
former Trump rival who has continued his criticism of Trump, also
praised the strikes, quoting Bible verses that "the wicked will
not go unpunished." He called for more action and to "stop
worrying so much about what Russia's going to think or what
Russia's going to do."
Manufactured Justifications for Use
of Police Powers
The hysteria about Russian hacking, fake news and
subversion in the U.S. presidential election and since has led
the intelligence agencies and secret police of the U.S. and other
NATO countries to present themselves as the defenders of
democracy. In doing so they call for the strengthening of their
arbitrary powers to guard against "threats." Despite the fact
that these agencies are notorious for their own domestic and
international lies and interference past and present, the spectre
of "Russian aggression" is presented as proof of the need to put
our trust in the police powers of the U.S. imperialist state.
In Canada, the Trudeau
government has jumped on the bandwagon, announcing that instead of
promised reform to the electoral system, Canada's intelligence agencies
will involve themselves further in elections to defend against alleged
Russian threats. Trudeau announced on February 1 that his
government's new mission is to "defend the Canadian electoral
process from cyber threats," and this will include integrating
the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), Canada's
electronic spy agency -- which is known for conducting its own
"cyber warfare" -- into Canadian elections and work directly with
political parties. Likewise, Canada's military deployment to
Latvia is said to include military intelligence "cyber warriors"
to defend against "attacks by Russia" and "fake news," which
military leaders have said includes any claims that Canadian and
other NATO countries have aggressive aims in placing troops on
Russia's borders or that people oppose their presence.
All of this increased reliance on the intelligence
comes despite the fact that they famously could not even predict
the results of the U.S. election. Hillary Clinton gloated that no
less than 17 separate agencies backed her claims about Russian
hacking of the Democratic Party and Russian interference to elect
her opponent. The winner, Trump, declared support for the
intelligence agencies and their powers to be a top priority and
his administration has likewise taken up the torch of opposing
the Russian menace, despite the ongoing factional fights in
search of connections between Trump's campaign and the Russian
state that would vindicate Clinton. The "intelligence" seems to
be either inaccurate or simply self-serving. In that regard, how
can these agencies and those they work for be trusted to provide
the people with security?
As one example of the self-serving aspect of the
these agencies, it is a little-known fact that the explosive
claims about Russian hacking of the U.S. election and subsequent
official intelligence agency conclusions and reports were
produced not by those agencies but contracted out and produced by
a private agency called CrowdStrike. Although its client list is
secret, CrowdStrike's clients are said to include not only the
U.S. government but the Democratic Party and "five of the world's
10 largest banks and three of the top 10 oil and gas firms."
CrowdStrike is also known for a discredited report claiming that
Russian hackers had compromised Ukrainian artillery resulting in huge
losses of equipment.
Both CrowdStrike and its
main competitor, Mandiant,
prominence based on questionable reports claiming widespread
Chinese cyberattacks against the U.S. and some of its allies.
Mandiant's allegedly comprehensive 2013
report linking the Chinese government to cyber attacks was
criticized by various cyber-security experts, including for
discounting the possibility that other state actors disguised
their own actions to look like they were perpetrated by the
Chinese. China has
denied such claims and asked the U.S. to stop groundless
accusations, pointing out that IP addresses can be easily
disguised and that China faces many cyber attacks from U.S. IP
On March 31, Wikileaks released hundreds of files on
Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) "Marble" source code that it said
the agency to engage in a "forensic attribution double game,
for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware
creator was not American English, but Chinese."
their wares and strengthen their hold over the institutions
of the state. The U.S. example shows how deep is the crisis in which
the ruling circles and their institutions are mired. The more security
forces they create and security measures they enforce and police powers
they usurp, the more bogged down they get. The contradictions within
the military, security and civil services and bureaucracy are getting
sharper but nonetheless the people are told to rely on these agencies.
War, unleashed using the pretext of Russian spying. At that time,
the intelligence agencies were given a mission -- counter-revolution.
The infrastructure in the advanced capitalist countries was based on a
social contract destined to keep the working people tied to the
two-party system so as to isolate communism and make sure the people's
desire for peace, democracy and socialism was diverted into shoring up
the capitalist institutions and ensuring that communism would not
their covert activities, just as the allegations of
Russian cyber-espionage today are used to increase the use of police
powers. According to the disinformation taken up as soon as World War
II was coming to an end, the first spy was Igor Gouzenko, a cipher
clerk for the Soviet Embassy to Canada. He "defected" on September 5,
1945 -- just three days after the end of the war -- "with 109 documents
on Soviet espionage activities in the West." This is said to have
"forced Prime Minister Mackenzie King to call a Royal Commission to
investigate espionage in Canada."
Stalin's efforts to steal nuclear secrets, and
the technique of planting sleeper cells," Granatstein says, adding that
the affair "was the beginning of the Cold War for public opinion" by
which is meant that a rationale was presented to strengthen the
security and intelligence agencies and wage an anti-communist campaign
so as to defend the "western democracies."
The New York Times described Gouzenko's actions as having
"awakened the people of North America to the magnitude and the danger
of Soviet espionage."
Following Gouzenko, to further corroborate these
Americans Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were falsely accused of spying for
Russians and stealing "nuclear secrets." This was despite the
fact that after the war, U.S. atomic scientists had emphasized
over and over that there was no secret to making a nuclear bomb
and that any country would be able to apply the same scientific
principles and develop their own bomb within three to five years. Yet
all of the charges against the Rosenbergs and other claims about spying
served to justify their persecution including sentencing them to death,
and the persecution of communists, progressive workers and other
forces, and the use of police powers to "defend democracy against
The ruling elite is trying to pull the same stunt
today. However, despite their enormous power, the intelligence agencies
are suffering the humiliation of one intelligence failure after
another, especially their failure to convince the people to entrust
their security to them. They continue to pose a grave danger to the
cause of peace and democracy on the world scale.
1. They pointed out that the Mandiant report had
major analytic flaws, among them:
- excluding, without justification, other possible
perpetrators of the attacks in question, including the
possibility of other foreign agencies disguising their own
operations as Chinese;
- leaps of logic, such as that if a hack
was conducted by one of the millions of people in the Chinese
military, it was directed by the government;
- tracing an IP
address to a section of Shanghai, a city of more than five
million people, and falsely suggesting it was traced to an army
- a seeming determination to cast China as a villain
despite the fact that many state actors are known for cyber
attacks, including the biggest U.S. allies; and
- insisting on the
Chinese government as a culprit despite the fact that it is
nearly impossible to prove responsibility for such attacks, and
many methods exist to disguise the perpetrators.
See for instance, Adam Taylor, "Sorry, But That
Hacking Report Proves Nothing," Business Insider,
February 19, 2013.
International Developments Since U.S.
Unprincipled and Warmongering Stand
of Trudeau Government
The Trudeau government is taking an unprincipled and
warmongering stand on the war in Syria. While it claims to favour
a political solution, and prior to the U.S air strike declared
that a proper investigation into the deaths of civilians in Syria
on April 4 was necessary, it completely changed its tune when the
U.S. administration called for its support. Trudeau then made
statements blaming the Syrian government and supporting the
illegal U.S. strike. At the same time, it has remained silent on
the subsequent U.S. use of its super bomb on Afghanistan and also
participates in warmongering against Korea.
On April 7, the day after
the U.S. air strike against Syria,
Prime Minister Trudeau told the House of Commons that he had
spoken to President Trump that morning and that "the Assad regime
needs to be held to account." Trudeau continued to pledge support
for "diplomatic solutions for the situation in Syria" but as he
visited former battlefields of World War I and II with French
President François Hollande on April 10, he declared the
need to "move as quickly as possible towards peace and stability
in Syria that does not involve Bashar Assad." Trudeau further
called for Russian blood, taking up the line of the U.S. that the
Russian government too bears responsibility for the chemical
weapons deaths due to its support for Syria, and that it must be
held to account. These would be topics for the G7 foreign
ministers meeting in Lucca, Italy April 10-11, he said.
From Italy the next day, Canada's Minister of Foreign
Chrystia Freeland declared, "Assad has to go." This phrase has
become the mantra of the Liberal government since the Trump
administration announced it would go after Syria. It echoes the
stand of the Harper Conservatives and in particular the endless
repetition by Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird in 2012 and
2013 that "Assad must go." This demand of the Anglo-American
imperialists, France, Saudi Arabia and others since 2011,
hampered by the "intelligence failures" around U.S. President
Obama's botched attempt at war against Syria in 2013 and the
parallel conflict with ISIS, has once again become the cause
du jour. At the same time, Canada has continued to support
politically and financially the forces angling for regime change
in Syria, while paying lip service to the need for a political
Liberal MP Matt De Courcey,
Parliamentary Secretary to
Minister Freeland, told the Huffington
Post on April 17 that
Canada's role in further intervention in Syria will be based on
discussions "through the G7, through the UN, through our allies
in other coalition efforts" and that "our close relationships
with the U.S. allies is to be knowledgeable and in the loop on
their ongoing plans and actions as it relates to some of the
conflict zones around the world." De Courcey added, "We have seen
[President Trump] express... views that are more closely aligned
to ours ... around multilateralism, around the importance of
NATO, around the importance, once again, of finding that lasting
peace for the Syrian people."
Canada condemned Russia's use of its veto power at the
Security Council on April 12 against a resolution designed to
authorize further U.S. attacks against Syria. The resolution was
defeated when Russia, as one of the permanent members of the
Security Council, vetoed it. Russia and Bolivia voted against the
resolution which received votes in favour from permanent members
the U.K., U.S. and France as well as Egypt, Italy, Japan,
Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine, and Uruguay. Three members abstained --
permanent member China as well as Ethiopia and Kazakhstan.
The U.S.-backed resolution demanded Syria give
access to "any and all sites" demanded by international
inspectors, provide flight plans and logs as well as the names of
military officers on request to international inspectors.
Crucially, it stipulated that failure to comply with the terms of
the resolution could justify Security Council-backed U.S.
military action under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter -- a
near-exact repetition of the U.S. attempts to obtain UN
authorization for its invasion of Iraq in 2002-2003. Vladimir
Safronkov, Russia's deputy envoy at the Security Council (Vitaly
Churkin, Russia's UN Ambassador died in New York on February 20),
stated, "The main objection to the resolution is that it
apportioned blame prior to an objective outside investigation of
the incident... The outcome of the vote was predestined, because
we disagreed categorically with a document that was fundamentally
Foreign Minister Freeland stated, "Canada deplores the
Russian veto during today's UN Security Council vote. This is
Russia's eighth veto on Syria. This systematic obstruction at the
UN callously ignores the suffering of Syrians and prevents the
perpetrators of these horrifying atrocities from being held
accountable. Of the 15 members of the UN Security Council, only
Bolivia joined with Russia, who vetoed the resolution."
On April 21 Global Affairs Canada announced stepped up
sanctions against 17 "high-ranking individuals in the Assad
regime" and five entities "linked to the use of chemical weapons
in Syria." This followed other sanctions announced on April 14
targeting 27 other "high-ranking individuals." A news release
informed that the sanctions are intended as "pressure on the
regime to immediately end indiscriminate violence against its own
people, like this month's chemical weapons attack, and engage in
meaningful negotiations." It also stated that the government of
Canada "contributes to investigations on the use of chemical
weapons and the collection of evidence to support the prosecution
of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria" despite the
fact that it has already declared one party guilty in the April 4
alleged chemical attack and that no investigation is needed.
Inside Syria on April 16, a
suicide attack by the so-called
rebels killed more than 126, including 68 children in buses being
evacuated by the government from terrorist-besieged cities in
Idlib province to liberated Aleppo. The CNN report that day
stated, "Dozens of supporters of President Bashar Al-Assad are
the latest victims of Syria's brutal civil war." This massive
loss of life, which it did not serve U.S. imperialist interests
to promote, was ignored by the Canadian government.
The moves of the Trudeau government to close ranks
Donald Trump and his nefarious deed against Syria, the depraved
bombing of Afghanistan and the dramatic escalation of war
preparations have not prevented the contradictions within the
ranks of ruling elites from emerging sharper than ever, or the
need for the people to make Canada a zone for peace.
In France for the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge,
inspected the battlefields of the First and Second World Wars and
paid tribute to "the thousands of Canadians who gave their lives
far from Canada's shores." He should remember that the First
World War was a criminal slaughter of unprecedented proportions
among the imperialist and colonial powers of the day. It killed
more than 17 million people and brought down four empires -- the
Russian Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Prussian Empire
ruling Germany and the Ottoman Empire. He should also remember
that more than 27 million Soviet citizens, more than 14 million
in China and Asia and millions more throughout Europe sacrificed
their lives to contain Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo in World War
II. The people do not want a repetition.
U.S. Ramps Up Provocations
Failed Effort to Split Russia and Syria
A G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting was
held April 10-11 in Lucca,
Italy, at the same time that U.S. Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson made an official visit to Moscow and met with Russian
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin.
Coinciding with the meetings was a U.S.-led effort to pressure
Russia to abandon its military and political support for Syria
over the alleged use of chemical weapons.
Canada joined the effort, with the Minister of Foreign
Affairs saying from the G7 meeting, "Russia needs to decide
whether it wants to double down on its support for this murderous
regime." British Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said that
"by proxy Russia is responsible for every civilian death" in the
April 4 attack. The Economist declared on April 8, "The
longer [Russia keeps Assad] in power, the more they will share
his guilt for war crimes." U.S. President Trump and UK Prime
Minister Theresa May held a joint press conference on April 10
declaring that the U.S. strike gave Russia a "window of
opportunity" to accept that "its allegiance with Assad is no
longer in its strategic interest."
In Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
the dangerous state of U.S.-Russia relations: "There is a low
level of trust between our countries. The world's two foremost
nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship." The G7
countries also declined to impose additional sanctions on Russia,
something pushed for by the U.S. and UK. Russian Foreign Minister
Lavrov stated, "We have agreed that the current stage in our
relations regarding the global agenda is not calm, to say the
least. We are being realistic and realize that in order to
overcome such obstacles we will need to imply weighty efforts on
condition that our U.S. colleagues will meet them."
U.S. Use of "MOAB" Bomb in Afghanistan
As if to underscore the point about what is in Russia's
"strategic interest," on April 13 the U.S. conducted an
unprecedented strike against Afghanistan with a GBU-43/B massive
ordnance air blast bomb (MOAB) -- a "super bomb" -- a
21,600-pound munition. The death toll was announced as 94 people.
Seeming to imply that the U.S. could soon use even more
devastating weapons in pursuit of its geopolitical striving for
domination, in U.S. media the device was repeatedly called the
"largest non-nuclear bomb." The MOAB destroys everything within a
distance of 900 metres from the point of detonation; within 1.6
kilometres it will topple buildings. It can kill up to 2.7
kilometres away, cause deafness within 3.2 kilometres and break
windows up to 8 kilometres away.
Trump told media that he has
given the U.S. military "total
authorization" to use the MOAB and stated, "we have the greatest
military in the world, and they've done their job as usual."
Asked about the use of the MOAB to threaten other countries,
Trump replied, "I don't know if it, this, sends a message; it
doesn't make any difference if it does or does not."
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
condemned the criminal act and mobilized along with Canadians of
Afghan background to demonstrate at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto
on Sunday, April 16. CPC(M-L) called for an end to the use of
Afghanistan as a proving ground for larger wars and for the
government of Canada to not be able to get away with support for
such acts. Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, himself
installed in power as a result of the U.S. invasion of
Afghanistan in 2001, condemned the attack as a "brutal misuse of
our country" and condemned the U.S. use of Afghanistan as "a
testing ground for new and dangerous weapons."
Afghanistan is also a long-standing area of contention
between the U.S. and Russia, with the latter offering to hold
peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban as well
as India, Iran, Pakistan and China. These "six-nation" talks
without the presence of any of the NATO countries occupying
Afghanistan have been held twice to date, with one meeting in
December 2016 and a second on February 15, although the Taliban
has so far refused to join.
U.S. Threats Against Korea
Toronto Pickets Against U.S. War
Preparations Against Korea
April 19, 2017 picket at Dundas Square in downtown Toronto.
April 26 --
Ontario Superior Court
(Across from U.S. Consulate)
361 University Ave.
For information: (647) 907-7915
On April 17, U.S. Vice President Michael Pence visited
the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the border of north and south Korea at
the same time that a U.S. nuclear carrier group -- including an
aircraft carrier, destroyers and cruisers -- is headed for Korean
waters and expected to arrive at the end of April. At a joint press
conference with south Korea's acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn (a
loyalist of impeached president Park Geun-hye) Pence stated:
"We hope to achieve this objective [of denuclearization
of north Korea]
through peaceful means but all options are on the table.
"Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and
resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan.
North Korea would do well not to test his resolve, or the strength of
the armed forces of the United States in this region.
"[...] we will defeat any attack and we will meet any use of
conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective
With evangelical fervour, Pence stated, "Let me assure
that under President Trump's leadership our resolve has never
been stronger, our commitment to this historic alliance with the
courageous people of South Korea has never been stronger and with
your help and God's help freedom will ever prevail on this
peninsula." Pence also spoke of his father's participation as a
U.S. soldier in the Korean War for which he earned a Bronze Star.
"I think, in some way, my Dad just might be smiling from heaven
to see the sacrifices that he and other American soldiers and
South Korean soldiers made here are now passed on to my
generation. That's not changed our commitment to the security
and prosperity of South Korea," he said.
Kim In Ryong, Deputy Ambassador to the
United Nations of the Democratic
Republic of Korea
The same day, Kim In Ryong, the Deputy Ambassador to
United Nations of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) held
a news conference stating the desire of the DPRK for a peace
treaty with the U.S. to end the Korean War and hostility
against the north. Deputy Ambassador Kim reiterated that if the
U.S. "dares opt for a military option" that the DPRK "is ready to
react to any mode of war desired by the U.S." He pointed out that
the decision of the Trump administration to deploy its carrier
strike group to Korean waters showed that the U.S. reckless moves
towards invading Korea have once again reached a serious phase.
Kim noted in response to reporters' questions that
launches conducted by the DPRK are part of the normal process of
a country building up its defensive capacity. He noted that
similar launches by south Korea, Japan and other countries are
ignored by the UN Security Council and big powers. The
"precondition to solving all the problems in the Korean
Peninsula" is rolling back U.S. hostility, the ambassador said. Kim
also rejected the decision to hold
a meeting of the UN Security Council on April 28 on the DPRK's
nuclear program, calling it "another abuse of authority" by the
U.S. The DPRK's own requests for meetings on the issue of Korea
have been ignored, he said.
Kim reiterated two
proposals supported by China for
de-escalating the situation that have also been ignored by the
U.S.: denuclearization of the Korean peninsula based on signing a
peace treaty to end the Korean War; and a freeze on U.S.-south
Korean military exercises in exchange for a freeze on DPRK
missile tests and nuclear development.
U.S. President Trump on April 13 tweeted, "I have great
confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If
they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will!"
An editorial in China's Global Times newspaper
April 18 stated, "Beijing will cooperate with Washington and
stick to its own principles. [...] However, cooperative efforts
by China and the US will under no circumstance evolve into any
kind of military action against North Korea. Beijing will never
support or cooperate with Washington when it comes to
implementing solutions that involve using military force against
Pyongyang. Nor will Beijing support increasing measures from
Washington that involve the direct overthrow of the Pyongyang
The Global Times editorial continued: "If [a
blow [against the DPRK] is heavy, the Chinese people will not
allow their government to remain passive when the armies of the
US and South Korea start a war and try to take down the Pyongyang
regime. The Chinese will not let something like that happen,
especially on the same land where the Chinese Volunteer Army once
fought in the early 1950s. It is a land covered with the blood of
Chinese soldiers who bravely fought in the early 1950s." The
editorial also stated that China is willing to impose further
sanctions against the DPRK, and that "the denuclearization of
North Korea is a priority that sits above all of its other
April 15, 2017, DPRK celebrates 105th anniversary of the birth of the
founder President Kim Il Sung.
Inside the DPRK, April 15 was filled with celebrations
of the 105th anniversary of the birth of the country's founder
President Kim Il Sung. Choe Ryong Hae, member of the Presidium of the
Political Bureau of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Central
Committee, spoke at the main rally in Pyongyang. He noted that the U.S.
is "resorting to frantic nuclear war provocations against the DPRK."
Choe stated that a pre-emptive U.S. attack of any sort, nuclear or
otherwise, will be met with a response in kind from the DPRK.
U.S. threats have been accompanied by media reports
the DPRK as unwilling to negotiate and irrational. In a
characteristic example, Victor Cha, the Korea Chair at the Center
for Strategic and International Studies, told NBC News, "The
leadership in North Korea has shown absolutely no sign or
interest in diplomacy or dialogue with any of the countries
involved in this issue." U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry told Fox
News on April 16 that the DPRK is "not interested in
negotiation." Gordon Chang, an anti-DPRK, anti-China U.S.
academic has been quoted in several media outlets explaining that
all of the U.S. attempts at negotiations to date have been
futile, covering up that it has been the U.S. which violated the
spirit and letter of each one.
On April 20, a U.S. resolution at the UN Security
condemning an alleged missile test conducted by the DPRK failed
as a result of Russia's veto. According to Russia's Permanent
Mission to the UN, the U.S. refused to include language in the
resolution stipulating that the situation on the Korean peninsula
be resolved through dialogue. The Russian mission stated that the
U.S. refused to accede to its request to include such language in
the motion, and then when the resolution failed to pass pointed to the
another example of Russia "blocking" the security council.
Despite U.S. disinformation as well as the brutal sanctions it imposes
on the country, the DPRK strives to provide a prosperous life for its
people. On April 13, the country's leadership joined
by local residents inaugurated the new "Ryomyong" (dawn) apartment
block of public housing
in the capital, Pyongyang (pictured). The complex includes a 70-storey
incorporating solar and geothermal technology and green roofs and
walls, dozens more apartment buildings or housing units, six schools,
three kindergartens and three nurseries. Construction on the project
was completed in just under one year.
Contradictions Sharpen Within U.S. Bureaucracy
Over Chemical Attack
New York rally against U.S. missile strikes on Syria, April 7, 2017. (G. Butterfield)
Opposition to the Trump administration's fraudulent
pretext for launching an airstrike against Syria on April 6 continues
from within the ranks of U.S. experts, military and political figures.
The Trump administration's position was repeated in a four-page
document issued on April 11 in which the White House laid out its case
for Syrian culpability in civilian deaths due to use of chemical
weapons by Syrian forces on April 4 in Idlib province.
MIT Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and
International Security Theodore Postol called the White House
document "an obviously false, misleading and amateurish
intelligence report." Postol stated that the document "does not
provide any evidence whatsoever that the U.S. government has
concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of
the chemical attack." It "contains absolutely no evidence that
this attack was the result of a munition being dropped from an
aircraft. In fact, the report contains absolutely no evidence
that would indicate who was the perpetrator of this atrocity," he
said. In a subsequent
detailed analysis of the alleged impact site of the attack,
Postol refuted the U.S. administration claims and stated, "No
competent intelligence professional would have made so many false
claims that are totally inconsistent with the
Also commenting on the report to media, Phyllis Bennis
Institute for Policy Studies think-tank noted that the report
"does not provide anything close to proof, or even evidence, of
the who, the what or the how of the chemical attack."
Many within and on the
fringes of the U.S.
community" are also disagreeing with the official U.S. position
and taking positions that coincide with the explanation given by
the Syrian and Russian governments, that deadly chemicals were
unwittingly dispersed when Syrian jets struck a terrorist
facility containing said chemicals. Along with leaks that
contradict the official U.S. position, this paints the picture of
a split within the U.S. bureaucracy.
This explanation exculpating the Syrian government was
previously given by former senior military intelligence officer
Colonel W. Patrick Lang on April 7.
The same explanation was given by Col. Lawrence
Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell (who broke with
Powell following disagreement over the claims on which the 2003
Iraq war was based) in an April 7 interview on the Real News
Network. "I don't think [the Trump administration] cared [what
the intelligence showed]. I think they were looking for a
provocation. This one was suitable, and so they acted," he
Wilkerson gave his opinion that an aim of the strikes
give the U.S. additional leverage in any settlement of the
conflict through negotiations:
"In fact, most of my sources are telling me, including
members of the team that monitors global chemical weapons,
including people in Syria, including people in the U.S.
intelligence community, that what most likely happened -- and
this intelligence, by the way, was shared with the United States
by Russia, in accordance with the deconfliction agreement we have
with Russia -- [is] that [the Syrians] hit a warehouse that they
had intended to hit. They told both sides, Russia and the United
States, they were going to hit [it].
"This warehouse was alleged to have ISIS supplies in
indeed it probably did, and some of those supplies were
precursors for chemicals. Or, possibly an alternative, they were
phosphates for fertilizing the cotton-growing region that's
adjacent to this area. The bombs hit, conventional bombs hit the
warehouse, and because of a very strong wind, and because of the
explosive power of the bombs, they dispersed these ingredients
and killed some people."
Journalist Robert Parry, writing for Consortium News
on April 8 stated, "a source told me that [CIA Director Mike
Pompeo] had personally briefed Trump on April 6 about the CIA's
belief that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was likely not
responsible for the lethal poison-gas incident in northern Syria
two days earlier" and that subsequently Pompeo and other
intelligence figures were not included in the decision-making or
actual launch of missiles on April 6.
Philip Giraldi, a former counter-terrorism specialist
military intelligence officer for the CIA, appearing on the Scott
Norton Show radio program on April 6, stated:
"I'm hearing from sources on the ground in the Middle
people who are intimately familiar with the intelligence that is
available who are saying that the essential narrative that we're
all hearing about the Syrian government or the Russians using
chemical weapons on innocent civilians is a sham.
"The intelligence confirms pretty much the account that
Russians have been giving which is that they hit a warehouse
where the rebels -- now these are rebels that are, of course,
connected with Al Qaeda -- where the rebels were storing
chemicals of their own and it basically caused an explosion that
resulted in the casualties. Apparently the intelligence on this
is very clear."
A memorandum to President Trump issued on April 11 by
Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a group founded in
January 2003 to oppose the spurious claims used to justify war on
Iraq, provided similar conclusions. "Our U.S. Army contacts in
the area have told us this is not what happened. There was no
Syrian 'chemical weapons attack.' Instead, a Syrian aircraft
bombed an al-Qaeda-in-Syria ammunition depot that turned out to
be full of noxious chemicals and a strong wind blew the
chemical-laden cloud over a nearby village where many
consequently died," the VIPS statement said.
Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq from
to 1998, in an April 12 article criticized the White House
intelligence claims and the justification for the U.S.
"The Pentagon eventually produced what it claimed to be
radar track of a Syrian aircraft, believed to be an SU-22 fighter
bomber, that took off from Shayrat airbase and was over Khan
Shaykhun at the time of the alleged chemical attack. This radar
track was produced in conjunction with what [National Security
Advisor H.R.] McMaster called 'our friends and partners and
allies around the world,' but most likely derived from a NATO
AWACS reconnaissance aircraft flying over Turkey at the time.
According to other U.S. military sources, the same system used to
track the SU-22 aircraft also detected the release of weapons,
and the impact of these weapons on the ground, using infrared
(IR) sensors that detected the heat signatures associated with
"According to McMaster, the
intelligence linking this
documented airstrike to the chemical incident in Khan Shaykhun
was drawn exclusively from images released by rebel-affiliated
media activists, including the 'White Helmets,' and from media
reports about observed symptoms by medical personnel who claimed
contact with the victims. At this point, there is no evidence the
U.S. intelligence community used any independent information to
corroborate the reports out of Syria. Instead, a combination of
images and alleged eyewitness accounts from persons under the
exclusive control of Tahrir al-Sham [the new name by which the
Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate is known] and medical
evaluation of persons presented to medical authorities by Tahrir
al-Sham 'confirmed' the use of a nerve agent."
Ritter adds that "the evidence seems to corroborate
and Russian claims that the SU-22 aircraft used against Khan
Shaykhun employed conventional weapons, and not the chemical
weapons the rebels claimed. ... [I]t is physically impossible for
a chemical weapon to produce the impact IR signatures detected by
the U.S. and linked to the Khan Shaykhun attack. ... The IR data
collected by the U.S., when combined with the rebel eyewitness
statements and video, provides unequivocal corroboration of the
Syrian government's claim that it employed conventional weapons
against Khan Shaykhun.
Ritter noted that the type of rockets used by
SU-22 aircraft are "ill-suited for chemical weapons deployment.
There is no evidence that either the S-8 or S-24 rockets have
ever been fitted with a chemical warhead. For the U.S. case to
hold any water, Syria would have had to undertake a covert
weapons development program that designed, developed and produced
a new class of chemical warhead possessing zero military value
(the small amount of agent able to be carried, combined with the
high impact speeds, makes no military sense)."
Ritter also noted that the "open source reporting" from
social media that the U.S. claims rely on in fact contradict the
idea that sarin was used. While victims spoke of a "yellow-blue"
smoke and pungent odour, sarin is colourless and odourless, he
stated. Furthermore, "Any rescuer who handled contaminated
persons in the manner shown on the 'White Helmet' video would
themselves become victims," he said. Ritter argued that "Russian
claims [that Syria's bombing that day hit a terrorist weapons
depot containing chemical substances] remain the only viable
possibility, and as such should be worthy of the kind of
international investigation being called for by Russia and Syria,
but opposed by the United States." Ritter also stated that the
widely-cited image of a crater allegedly resulting from the Syrian
chemical attack can be shown to be unrelated to the April 4
bombings and "consistent with the impact of a high explosive
warhead from a mortar or air-to-surface rocket."
1. The main claims of the April
11 White House report are:
- "personnel historically associated with Syria's
weapons program" were at the bombed Shayrat Airfield in late March and
on April 6;
- "accounts of victims presenting symptoms consistent
sarin exposure, such as frothing at the nose and mouth,
twitching, and pinpoint pupils. This constellation of symptoms is
inconsistent with exposure to a respiratory irritant like
chlorine;" "Local physicians posted videos specifically pointing
out constricted pupils (a telltale symptom of nerve agent
exposure), medical staff with body suits on, and treatments
involving atropine, which is an antidote for nerve agents such as
- any fabrication of reports, footage or evidence
required a highly organized campaign to deceive multiple media
outlets and human rights organizations while evading
- "Amnesty International said evidence pointed to an
air-launched chemical attack;"
- "Doctors Without Borders said that
medical teams...found symptoms to be consistent with exposure to
a neurotoxic agent such as sarin;"
- "Laboratory analysis of
physiological samples collected from multiple victims detected
signatures of the nerve agent sarin;"
- "Further, the World Heath
Organization stated on April 5 that its analysis of the victims
of the attack in Syria showed they had been exposed to nerve
agents, citing the absence of external injuries and deaths due to
The Doctors Without Borders and World Health
Organization statements are here misquoted or selectively
quoted by the White House.
In a reversal of its prior position, the U.S.
claims that Syria's chemical weapons were not in fact destroyed
and the Syrian government "maintains the capability and intent to
use chemical weapons..."
The report is based on "signals intelligence and
intelligence, laboratory analysis of physiological samples
collected from multiple victims, as well as a significant body of
credible open source reporting," the latter referring to social
media posts. No evidence is presented, only a "summary" of U.S.
2. Theodore A. Postol, "A Quick
Turnaround Assessment of the
White House Intelligence Report Issued on April 11, 2017."
Also see, on the 2013 U.S. allegations, "Possible
Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence in the Damascus
Nerve Agent Attack of August 21, 2013" by former UN Weapons
Inspector Richard Lloyd and MIT Professor of Science, Technology
and National Security Policy Theodore A. Postol, published
January 14, 2014. And Robert Parry, "New
Times Retreats on
2013 Syria-Sarin Claims," Consortium News, April 6,
3. Theodore A. Postol "The Nerve
Gas Attack Described in
White House Report Did Not Occur, Expert Says of Syria Incident," Truthdig,
4. Steven Rosenfeld, "Trump's
missile attack on Syria was
justified with fake intelligence: experts," Alternet,
April 18, 2017.
5. Lang wrote:
"Donald Trump's decision to launch cruise missile
a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie. In the coming days
the American people will learn that the Intelligence Community
knew that Syria did not drop a military chemical weapon on
innocent civilians in Idlib. Here is what happened:
"1. The Russians briefed the United States on the
target. This is a process that started more than two months ago.
There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate
and deconflict (i.e., prevent U.S. and Russian air assets from
shooting at each other) the upcoming operation.
"2. The United States was fully briefed on the fact
there was a target in Idlib that the Russians believed was a
weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels.
"3. The Syrian Air Force hit the target with
weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary
explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke,
began billowing from the site. It turns out that the Islamic
rebels used that site to store chemicals, not sarin, that were
deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine
and they followed the wind and killed civilians.
"4. There was a strong wind blowing that day and the
was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties.
"5. We know it was not sarin. How? Very simple. The
'first responders' handled the victims without gloves. If this
had been sarin they would have died. Sarin on the skin will kill
you. How do I know? I went through 'Live Agent' training at Fort
McClellan in Alabama.
"There are members of the U.S. military who were aware
strike would occur and it was recorded. There is a film record.
At least the Defense Intelligence Agency knows that this was not
a chemical weapon attack. In fact, Syrian military chemical
weapons were destroyed with the help of Russia."
April 8, 2017.
6. "Wilkerson: Trump Attack on
Syria Driven by Domestic
Politics," Real News Network, April 7, 2017.
7. Robert Parry, "Where Was
CIA's Pompeo on Syria?" Consortium News, April 8, 2017.
8. The statement was signed by:
- Eugene D. Betit, Intelligence Analyst, DIA, Soviet
- William Binney, Technical Director, NSA;
co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.);
Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer and former Office Director
in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research,
- Thomas Drake, Senior Executive Service, NSA (former);
Robert Furukawa, Capt, CEC, USN-R, (ret.);
- Philip Giraldi, CIA,
Operations Officer (ret.);
- Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top
secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service;
special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United
- Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq and
Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS);
- Larry C.
Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.);
- Michael S. Kearns,
Captain, USAF (Ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic
Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units
- John Brady Kiesling, Foreign Service Officer (ret.);
John Kiriakou, former CIA analyst and counterterrorism officer,
and former senior investigator, Senate Foreign Relations
- Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA
(ret.) (associate VIPS);
- David MacMichael, National
Intelligence Council (ret.);
- Ray McGovern, former U.S. Army
infantry/intelligence officer and CIA analyst (ret.);
Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Near East, CIA
and National Intelligence Council (ret.);
- Torin Nelson, former
Intelligence Officer/Interrogator, Department of the Army;
E. Pierce, MAJ, U.S. Army Judge Advocate (Ret.);
- Coleen Rowley,
FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel
- Scott Ritter, former MAJ., USMC, and former UN Weapon
- Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State,
Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS);
- Kirk Wiebe,
former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA;
Robert Wing, former Foreign Service Officer (associate VIPS);
Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S.
9. Scott Ritter, "Dereliction of
Redux," Truthdig, April 12, 2017.
International Actions Condemn U.S.
Bombing of Afghanistan
Hands Off Afghanistan! NATO Out of Afghanistan!
End the Occupation Now!
On April 13, the U.S. dropped its massive ordnance air
(MOAB) bomb, aka the "mother of all bombs," in the Achin district
of Nangarhar province in Afghanistan, using the pretext that it
was necessary to destroy a network of underground tunnels used by
Emergency anti-war protests beginning on April 14 took
around the world -- in Kabul, Afghanistan as well as in the U.S. cities
of Boston; Minneapolis; New York City;
Washington, DC; Los Angeles; in Toronto, Canada; London, UK and Vienna,
of these were organized by youth in those countries who are part of the
Afghan diaspora, as
well as anti-war and rights organizations. TML Weekly is
posting below photos from those actions.
a tool for psychological warfare. It is a weapon of
mass destruction. It is a blast that destroys whatever is in its path
for miles and causes severe hearing damage. At the time of this
writing, an ongoing fire still rages due to the blast.
"Along with the short-term damage and injury, Nangarhar
province will be affected for generations to come from the toxic
effects left behind by the bomb in its air, water, and soil. War
is an environmental and health issue that affects us all. Our
entire planet is saturated by toxins due to these bombings in the
long term because we share the same atmosphere.
"Though the U.S. military, in collaboration with the
government, claimed to target only ISIS operatives, the truth is
that the innocent people living in Nangarhar will endure the
effects of this bomb for decades to come. [...]
"This bomb, like the drones, air strikes, night raids,
the destruction that came before it, is used as a tool for
warfare that prevents the stability of people living in provinces
all across the country. We must demand accountability for this
war crime. Afghans have suffered 16 years of this so-called 'War on
Terror' illegally waged by the US and its allies.
This war has worsened the chances for world peace. The MOAB was
nicknamed as the 'Mother Of All Bombs' but there is nothing
mothering about this or any bomb. Mothering is about reproducing
and protecting life -- not killing and destroying it.
"In 2016, when President Obama was still in office, the
dropped at least 1,337 bombs on Afghanistan, while the
international community claimed the country was safe and forced
thousands of refugees to return. And since Donald Trump took
office, there were more than 150 strikes dropped on Afghanistan,
with more than 100 airstrikes in just the first two weeks of
April. The use of the MOAB bomb signals an escalation in an
already protracted and vicious war that has cost Afghans their
The Afghan Overseas Student
Network issued a call to
in response to the use of the MOAB and the increased danger of
war that could lead to humanity's extinction. The students firmly
rejected the dehumanization of the Afghan people and the ongoing
U.S./NATO imperialist occupation of their homeland, saying in
"The recent launch of the horrendous 'MOAB' bomb by the
Trump cabinet was an insult to us and to the lives of millions of
Afghans who have been dehumanized for many years by the
illegitimate U.S. actions in waging war in Afghanistan. The
Afghan people have been decimated for many years but the recent
use of the MOAB weapon in the Achin district of Nangarhar made us
think our human lives are not important. [...]
"Today we ask all the U.S. citizens to hold the U.S.
government accountable for their immoral act of war. Your tax
money could be used better in helping the lives of millions of
people in this world rather than spending it on wars for the
benefit of profiteers. The effect of three decades of war is what
the U.S. military wanted to inflict upon the lives of ordinary
citizens in Afghanistan and that's to promote panic, insecurity,
fear and anger that has devastated the lives of our people. Today
every Afghan family is tired of wars and we ask all of you to
stop the aggression of U.S. imperialist war. Today we cannot go
back to our normal life, while thinking of our families and
people who are trapped under U.S. strikes. There are 100
unreported cases of U.S. drone attacks in the South and North
part of Afghanistan as Afghanistan is called the Mother of Drones
attacks. The world is apparently just watching!!!"
1. The MOAB is a weapon of mass
destruction, the largest
non-nuclear bomb in the U.S.
arsenal. Its use came one week after U.S. airstrikes on Syria, on the
spurious pretext that the
Syrian government used weapons of mass destruction, i.e., chemical
This first use of the MOAB in the field killed at least
94 people. The
U.S. military says it
dropped leaflets in the area asking civilians to leave in the
weeks leading up to the
bombing where it was already carrying out heavy fighting. This feeble
act of "due diligence,"
coupled with regular killings of civilians by NATO forces -- victims
who are infamously
dismissed as collateral damage -- surely indicates that the U.S.
military's claims that no
civilians were killed is just so much hogwash. Since the bomb was
dropped, no civilian
reporters or even Afghan military forces have been permitted into the
area to assess the
damage or the veracity of the U.S. military's claims.
Venezuela's Resistance to Imperialist
Oppose Canada's Nefarious Role!
Hands Off Venezuela!
Caracas, Venezuela mass actions defend Bolivarian Republic on
April 19, 2017.
Canada is engaging in more nefarious activities against
Venezuela as forces inside the country work to promote foreign
intervention and a coup against the government of Nicolás Maduro
and the Bolivarian Revolution. This includes through the
Organization of American States (OAS), the Washington, DC-based
agency founded and historically used by the U.S. to facilitate
its domination of the countries of Latin America and the
Canada Leads "Institutional Coup" at the OAS
A special meeting of the OAS Permanent Council was
April 3 by 20 of its 34 member countries "to consider the
recent events in Venezuela" and entertain a draft resolution said
to be supported by the same 20 countries.
Past attempts to pass resolutions against
Venezuela at the OAS failed miserably. This was no exception,
notwithstanding a declaration that the resolution was "adopted"
by a minority of the delegates while most abstained.
The meeting was called in
violation of the OAS rules of
procedure since Bolivia's ambassador, Diego Pary, who assumed the
Chair of the Permanent Council on April 1, had not been
consulted. Showing Canada's dirty role, the official request for
the holding of this special meeting was sent on the letterhead of
the Permanent Mission of Canada to the OAS, with Canada the first
country named on the list of those making the request.
The contents of the resolution submitted by Canada and
others, expressing their "grave concern regarding the
unconstitutional alteration of the democratic order in the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" and calling for the OAS to
"foster the restoration of the democratic institutional system,"
in accordance with its Inter-American Democratic Charter
represent blatant interference in Venezuela's internal affairs.
The deceptively-named Democratic Charter, a U.S. invention
adopted by the OAS at a special session on September 11, 2001, is
nothing more than a tool for violating the sovereignty and
interfering in the internal affairs of member states who like
Venezuela assert their independence and refuse to come under
The Bolivian Ambassador suspended the meeting for the
prior consultation or any information about the agenda being
provided to him as Chair. In a statement denouncing the convoking
of the meeting, Bolivia's Ministry of External Relations
explained why it had been suspended and said it would be convened
once the appropriate arrangements had been made in accordance
with the Charter of the OAS and the rules of the Organization.
The statement went on to say that while Bolivia was willing to
work on the basis of mutual respect and collaboration with all
countries of the hemisphere and the world, it rejected any
attempt to undermine its dignity and that of its representatives
and said it would never accept "any impositions or pressure on
its sovereignty as a country."
To "adopt" a resolution
after the meeting had been suspended,
Canada and others carried out what was described as an
institutional coup within the OAS Permanent Council against its
Chair and Vice Chair and the organization's own rules and
procedures. Invoking an OAS bylaw that provides for the
representative of a member state with the most seniority on the
Permanent Council to assume the Chair on an interim basis "in the
temporary absence" of the Chair and Vice Chair, the Honduran
representative, Leonidas Rosa Bautista proceeded to oversee the
Before the resolution could be voted on, the
of Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua entered the meeting hall and
raised points of order, denouncing the institutional coup. To
rescue the situation, Canada's Ambassador Jennifer Loten rose to
declare the meeting to be perfectly legal and correct and asked
the "Chair" to get on with debating the resolution Canada had
submitted on its letterhead.
Caracas, Venezuela, April 19, 2017
Mexico called for adopting the motion then and there
a vote" while Canada proposed delaying the vote for two days,
saying this would allow time to find more support (i.e., to
bribe, pressure and coerce more countries) and possibly amend the
resolution "to better reflect the will of the majority."
Regardless, Canada's representative stated that the Canadian
government "very firmly supported" the resolution as it reflected
its "grave concerns" over the "decline in democracy" in Venezuela
and "that is what the Inter-American Democratic Charter is
Despite the suspension of the meeting by the legitimate
Chair, and with four countries still present declaring their
intention to abstain, others having walked out in protest after
intervening on points of order, and many more having stayed away
completely, the coup "Chair" declared the resolution adopted by
consensus "with no objections"! One of those who made a point of
speaking in support of what had just transpired was the U.S.
representative who asserted that "everyone" was affected by the
situation in Venezuela and this made it important for the OAS to
"be involved." He declared ominously that the resolution with its
call for dialogue and a peaceful resolution in Venezuela was a
good preventive measure to take, at least until it no longer
appeared to be useful. He then issued a number of threats and
even warned Venezuela to "respect the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of its neighbours."
Unacceptable Interference by Parliamentary
On April 6, the Subcommittee on International Human
Rights of Canada's House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign
International Development held an "emergency briefing" on the
"Human Rights Situation in Venezuela." The committee, which has
held numerous similar meetings in the past, provided an official
venue for the promotion of the most egregious lies from those in
Canada and outside of it who have been calling for external
intervention to carry out regime change in Venezuela for
years. No opportunity
was provided for the official representatives of the Venezuelan
government in Canada, nor were any representatives of Venezuelan
political parties or social organizations which do not share the
aim of removing the elected government or calling for foreign
intervention invited to participate, give their views or
The main content of remarks made by the two invited
witnesses, both of whom live in Canada, consisted of half-truths,
slanderous accusations and outright lies for the purpose of "proving"
that the people of Venezuela are in dire straits, living through a
humanitarian crisis and suffering widespread human rights abuses on a
scale warranting urgent intervention against the country's government
by "the international community." The aim was also to hide the many
achievements of the Bolivarian revolution in terms of human rights and
in many other areas over the past 18 years based on its rejection of
neoliberal "solutions." After hearing testimony and engaging in a
Question and Answer session with the witnesses, the Subcommittee
passed a motion which blatantly interferes in Venezuela's
internal affairs and tries to justify Canada's actions at the OAS
just days prior. The motion was subsequently issued as a press
release by the Committee entitled Human Rights Situation in
Venezuela and the Response of the Organization of American
The essence of the Parliamentary meeting on the "Human
Situation in Venezuela" was to not permit any discussion of what
is taking place in Venezuela and why, how the lives of
Venezuela's working people have changed for the better thanks to
the Bolivarian revolution led by Hugo Chávez until his untimely
death four years ago and by President Nicolás Maduro today, and
how the pro-social nation-building project in Venezuela has come
under relentless attack by the U.S. imperialists and oligarchy
who are being deprived of power. The well-documented economic sabotage
which has contributed greatly to current hardships facing Venezuelans
was also not allowed to be examined.
Despite Venezuela's current economic difficulties, the
Subcommittee was not told, for example, that on February 25,
Venezuela's Great Housing Mission reached a landmark of 1.5 million new
public dwellings that have been built since the start of the project in
2011, and that by the end of 2017 another 540,000 new homes will be
handed over to Venezuelans. In 2016, mass mobilizations blocked
attempts by the political forces that Canada is supporting in Venezuela
to privatize these housing units and hand them over to landlords and
Poverty in Venezuela in 1999 stood at 44 per cent of
population while 20 per cent of the people lived in extreme poverty.
Today, poverty and extreme poverty have been reduced to 27 per
cent and 5.4 per cent, respectively. In 1998, 21 per cent of the
population suffered from undernourishment, and today this figure
is two per cent. The number of underweight children in 1998 was
5.3 per cent, a figure cut in half by 2012. Today 95.4 per cent
of Venezuelans eat three times per day, according to the National
Institute of Statistics. Access to drinking water has gone from
80 per cent of the population in 1998 to 96 per cent today.
Social investment has gone from 37 per cent of the state budget
in the years before Chávez took office to 61 per cent today.
Illiteracy has been eradicated, following the example
Cuba, and Venezuela now has one of the world's highest
proportions of citizens attending university. More than 80 per
cent of Venezuelans have accessed the country's public health
care system, and more than 10,000 health centres have been
constructed during the revolution. Infant mortality has dropped
by one-third, resulting in hundreds of thousands of lives saved.
In 1998, unemployment stood at 14.5 per cent officially. This
number has been reduced by two-thirds, and formal employment has
risen to 60 per cent of the population. More than 2.5 million
people are now receiving a state pension, versus 387,000 before
the Bolivarian revolution.
When the aims are foreign intervention and regime
change these important victories for the people's well-being have to be
covered up. Canada is following the lead of the U.S. to raise hysteria
about alleged Russian interference in political institutions while
openly interfering in Venezuela's democratic institutions, against the
sovereign will of its people. It must be condemned.
1. The delegations which requested the
April 3 special meeting of the OAS Permanent Council were those
of Argentina, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada,
Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras,
Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, the United
States and Uruguay. The Permanent Council is comprised of one
representative of each member state who is designated as the
country's ambassador. The offices of the chair and vice-chair are
held by each country's ambassador on a rotating basis, with the
terms running for three months.
2. The Parliamentary Subcommittee
meeting was addressed by:
- Maria Margarita Torres, a West Montreal municipal
councillor who was born in Venezuela but has lived in Canada for
40 years, since age 20. In her testimony she said she visits
family in Venezuela every year and claimed that through these
visits she has "witness[ed] the rapid deterioration of the
country and its people," saying she was "shocked" by "the
atrocities and violations committed against Venezuelan people at
the hands of the government."
Torres claimed that the Venezuelan government was
"political prisoners," told of people being forced to stand in
line for hours to buy basic foodstuffs and scavenging for food in
piles of garbage and claimed levels of malnutrition and neo-natal
mortality were "at an all-time high." She and her co-presenter
submitted as "evidence" for their allegations a report by OAS
Secretary General Luis Almagro -- no doubt the same slanderous
one attacking the Bolivarian government and President Nicolás
Maduro and calling for Venezuela to be suspended from the OAS,
for which he sought but failed to get approval at a March 28
meeting of the OAS Permanent Council.
Torres concluded her remarks stating, "Our hope is to
on you the urgent need that exists today to discuss and establish
a concrete set of recommendations that will lead to an immediate
action plan, one that this government can enact in order to help
us fight human rights violations in Venezuela, and in the
process, help us restore its democracy."
- Orlando Viera-Blanco, a Canadian resident and lawyer
the opposition-controlled National Assembly of Venezuela has
named as an "external adviser" to its Committee on Foreign
Affairs and Sovereignty. He is President of a group called the
Canadian Venezuelan Engagement Foundation which claims to be
"Venezuelans in exile" committed to defending the human rights of
Venezuelans still living in the country via engagement with the
Government of Canada.
Viera-Blanco tried to make the case for what he called
on-going coup d'etat" in Venezuela, asserting that "everyone is
now describing the situation as a rupture, or breakdown, of the
constitutional order and a coup d'état." He also claimed that
"changes to Venezuela's constitutional order" had led to the
suffering of the Venezuelan people "for the past 18 years" -- in
other words, since the election of Hugo Chávez to the Presidency
of Venezuela that brought undisputably massive improvements to
the Venezuelan people's social and living conditions.
The full testimony and Q and A from the meeting can be
3. Endorsing the nefarious activities of those who had
just organized an unconstitional coup at the OAS in the name of
rescuing democracy in Venezuela, the Subcommittee affirmed its support
for "the work of members of the Organization of American States (OAS)
Permanent Council to develop concrete measures to guide Venezuela to a
return to constitutional order" and applauded in particular the efforts
of OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro to "hold the Venezuelan executive
branch to account."
Their motion ended with a call for the Government of Canada and
"international community" to intervene in Venezuela on spurious grounds:
"The Subcommittee stresses the need for the Government of Canada and
the international community to develop effective measures to promote
the restoration of Venezuela's constitutional order, to address the
ongoing humanitarian crisis, and to allow Venezuelans to enjoy their
basic human rights. We urge the international community to ensure that
the Venezuelan regime is held accountable for abuses of internationally
recognized human rights."
The Chair, Liberal MP Michael Levitt (York Centre) said
the motion, "It is time to take real, concrete action to ensure
that constitutional and democratic order -- including respect for
the separation of powers and fundamental freedoms -- is restored
in Venezuela. Venezuelans have suffered long enough."
One Vice-Chair, Conservative MP David Sweet
(Flamborough-Glanbrook) stated, "The use of state machinery to
suppress dissent cannot be tolerated. The detention of political
prisoners is but one of the Venezuelan regime's many cynical
ploys to cling on to power, even at the expense of 30 million
Venezuelans and the Venezuelan constitution."
The other Vice-Chair, NDP MP Cheryl Hardcastle
(Windsor-Tecumseh), who did not attend the April 6 Standing
Committee meeting and was replaced by MP Erin Weir (Regina-Lewvan)
said, "It is crucial at this juncture that the
international community stress the responsibility of governments
to protect and strengthen democracy. Respect for human rights is
fundamental and we urge the government and oppositional
parliamentarians to show their dedication to the well-being of
their people. We support them in this endeavour."
Venezuelans Mobilize in Defence of
President Maduro addresses rally, Caracas, Venezuela, April 19, 2017.
More than a million Venezuelans marched in the capital,
Caracas and throughout the country on April 19 in defence of the
country's sovereignty and
Bolivarian revolution against foreign intervention, violence and
destabilization. April 19 marked the 207th anniversary of the
beginning of Venezuela's war of independence against Spanish
"They will not return!" in reference
to the former domination of Venezuela by the imperialists and the
rich. Reports said the mobilization was the largest in recent
years, a rejection of efforts by the U.S. imperialists, the
Organization of American States, Canada and the regional
oligarchy to instigate chaos and overthrow the government of
Speaking in Caracas, President Maduro called on
to prepare for a complete, peaceful and democratic victory over
coup attempts. He said the mass mobilization marked a triumph
over attempts by foreign-sponsored groups to incite violence in
the anti-government actions also planned for that day.
President Maduro said that there are three reasons that
U.S.-aligned forces have stepped up their violence and calls for
foreign intervention: fresh support from the new Trump
administration in the U.S.; improvements in the economic
situation inside the country; and the failure of
the opposition-controlled National Assembly to address any of the
problems facing Venezuelans. Maduro also took the opportunity to
state his support for holding regional elections throughout the
country when a date is determined by the National Electoral
Mobilization Overcomes Provocations
Two deaths in the context of the anti-government
taking place at the same time bore the hallmarks of an organized
provocation to incite further violence and destabilize the
country, something seen in the previous U.S.-backed coup in
Venezuela in 2002 as well as more recently in the "Maidan" coup
d'etat in Ukraine in 2013.
Nineteen-year-old Carlos Moreno was not a protestor but
shot and killed on April 19 in the vicinity of a demonstration
and rumours were quickly spread throughout opposition protests
that he had been killed by armed government supporters. The killing of
Paola Andreina Ramirez, a 23-year-old woman who
likewise was not participating in protests, was immediately
blamed on "Chavistas" in Venezuela's privately-owned media.
Venezuela's Ombudsman Tarek William Saab called for a
investigation into the deaths and punishment for the guilty. He
also announced that a suspect in the killing of
Ramirez had been arrested. Saab also announced that a member of
Venezuela's Bolivarian National Guard, Niumar José Barrios, who
was killed the same day, had been shot by a sniper, along with
another National Guard member who survived.
These tragic events were used to fuel further organized
counter-revolutionary violence at anti-government demonstrations,
including attacks on police and public buildings with molotov
cocktails, slings and other weapons, as well as throwing glass
jars and bottles at pro-government demonstrators which led to the
hospitalization of one woman. In the days leading up to April 19,
public buildings were vandalized including a high school, a
community health centre, subsidized food markets and government
A Factor for Peace
President Maduro called the mobilization of Venezuelans
support of the Bolivarian Revolution a point in favour of peace
in the country. "When the Bolivarian people are in the street,
there is peace," he said. "Today they tried to take power again
and we have again defeated the coup plotters, the corrupt
right-wing and the interventionists."
A joint statement in advance of the April 19 Bolivarian
marches was issued by U.S.-backed governments in Latin America --
many of which are notorious for violent repression of protests
such as Honduras, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia -- calling on the
Venezuelan government to "ensure the right to peaceful protest"
and "avoid violence." A subsequent statement by the U.S. State
Department supported the call and referred to "the undermining of
democratic institutions and practices," while Organization of
American States Secretary General Luis Almagro issued his own
statement calling Venezuela a "repressive regime."
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez pointed out
hypocrisy of these governments criticizing human rights in
Venezuela. She affirmed that Venezuela, unlike these governments,
can show the whole world a participatory democracy that affirms
human rights. Rodriguez noted that the foreign intervention in
Venezuela is not simply to remove its president, but to undermine
and reverse its nation-building project and example to the
peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.
salutes the efforts of the Venezuelan working class and people who,
facing immense pressure from the imperialists and their lackeys, are
going all out to defend their Bolivarian Revolution and nation-building
project. TML Weekly calls on
Canadians to be active in denouncing any attempts by Canada to violate
Venezuela's sovereignty and to oppose disinformation to justify
Mass Hunger Strike Launched on Palestine
Prisoners' Day, April 17
Freedom for Palestine and All Political Prisoners
in Israeli Jails! Resistance Is a Right!
End the Occupation!
Palestine Prisoners' Day action in support of prisoners' mass hunger
Gaza City, April 17, 2017.
As many as 1,700 Palestinian political prisoners are now
on a mass hunger strike that began on April 17, Palestinian
Prisoners' Day. At present, a total of 6,440 Palestinians are
held in Israeli jails, including many children and youth,
detained for even the smallest acts of defiance against the
occupation. Addameer, the Prisoner Support & Human Rights
Association, informs that more than 800,000 Palestinians have
been imprisoned or detained by Israel over the past 50 years.
In an April 17 press release, Addameer reports on the
strikers' demands and calls for international support:
"The hunger striking
prisoners' demands include: family
visits, proper medical care, end to Israel's practice of
detaining Palestinians without charge or trial in so-called
administrative detention and stopping the use of isolation. As
the strike begins, Addameer Prisoner Support urges supporters of
justice around the world to take action to support the
Palestinian prisoners whose bodies and lives are on the line for
freedom and dignity.
"The issue of Palestinian prisoners and detainees held
Israeli prisons and detention centers transcends one of
individual human rights; it is also one of collective rights of
an entire people -- the Palestinian people, who continue to be
deprived of the right to self-determination and sovereignty --
basic fundamentals of international law. All Palestinian
political prisoners -- regardless of their alleged political
affiliations or charges -- are entitled to fair trial guarantees
under international humanitarian law and international human
rights laws. Palestinian political prisoners and detainees are
systematically subjected to torture and ill-treatment with
continued impunity -- highlighting the need for more solidarity
actions from people around the globe to call for immediate
release of all Palestinian political prisoners, long-denied their
"Addameer Prisoner Support & Human Rights
all people to organize events in solidarity with the struggle of
hunger-striking prisoners and detainees. 2017 marks 100 years of
the Balfour declaration; 70 years of Palestinian Catastrophe
(al-Nakba); 50 years of brutal military occupation. This is also
the year to hold the Israeli occupation accountable for its
actions and to demand the immediate release of all Palestinian
Maan News Agency reports on the inhuman treatment
by Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, particularly
those who are already ill:
"Central to the long list of demands put forward by
Barghouthi, the leader of what has come to be known as the
Freedom and Dignity strike, are a number of demands related to
lack of adequate health care in Israeli prisons, as well as what
rights groups have branded a deliberate policy of medical neglect
of Palestinian prisoners.
"Hunger strikers are calling
on the Israeli Prison Service
(IPS) to shut down the Ramla prison clinic for not providing
adequate treatment, to terminate Israel's policy of deliberate
medical negligence, carry out periodic medical examinations,
perform surgeries to a high medical standard, allow specialized
physicians from outside the IPS to treat prisoners, release all
sick detainees -- especially those who have disabilities and
incurable diseases -- and not hold prisoners accountable for
expenses incurred for medical treatment."
Maan goes on to note that "contrary to the demands
basic medical treatment for prisoners, Israeli authorities have
instead established a field hospital for Palestinian prisoners,
raising alarm that hunger strikers, who will likely face
deteriorating health conditions in coming days, will be force fed en masse --
violating international standards of medical ethics
and international law that regard the practice as inhumane or
even a form of torture.
"Israeli doctors in civilian hospitals have so far
force feed hunger strikers, despite the Israeli Supreme Court's
recent decision that ruled the practice to be
constitutional," Maan reports.
There are more than 700 sick prisoners, including 21
the Ramla prison clinic, according to Addameer. In 2016, there
were also a number of severely wounded Palestinian prisoners.
The IPS is undertaking various acts of reprisal against
hunger strikers. The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs
reports that IPS officials have transferred a number of prisoners
-- including Marwan Barghouthi and Karim Yunis -- into solitary
confinement, confiscated hunger-striking prisoners' personal
belongings and clothes, and banned the prisoners from watching
TV. The committee also reported that Barghouthi would be
"prosecuted in a discipline court" as punishment for his op-ed
published by the New York Times on April 16, which
detailed the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners in
Israeli prisons and the demands of the hunger strikers.
Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross reports
that the IPS has suspended family visits for the hunger
Canadians should give their full support for the just
struggle of the Palestinian people, their right to resist the
occupation and their right to be. Demand an end to the occupation now!
Actions Across Palestine Mark Palestine Prisoners' Day
Conditions in Israeli Prisons
Poster for the "Dignity Strike," depicting some of Palestine's most
high profile prisoners.
L to R: Fouad Shubaki, Nael Barghouthi, Karim Yunis, Ahmad Saadat and
Today, 17 April 2017, marks Palestinian Prisoners'
Day. Over 6,500 Palestinian and Arab prisoners have been detained
in the Israeli jails and detention centers under cruel and
The Palestinians [have commemorated] this day since
the cause of prisoners detained in the Israeli jails, as it marks
the anniversary of the first prisoner released in the first
prisoners' exchange deal between the Palestinians and the Israeli
occupation on 17 April 1974.
This occasion comes at a time whilst the suffering of
Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli prisons has exacerbated due
to the Israeli violations and punitive measures taken against
them. These prisoners are regularly subject to cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment, including torture; denial of family
visitation; [strip] search; night raids; solitary confinement;
medical negligence; denial of education under a decision issued
by the Israeli Prison Service on 20 July 2011;
other violations falling within
the Israeli policy against Palestinian prisoners.
The Palestinian prisoners
in the Israeli jails declared today [they are] moving to the hardest
choice, which is starting a hunger strike until their minimum human
demands are met. Statistics available at the Palestinian Center for
Human Rights (PCHR) shows, that about 1,500 prisoners in a number of
prisons and detention facilities have declared [they are] starting a
hunger strike claiming a number of human demands, the most prominent of
which are, inter alia, putting an end to the solitary confinement
policy, offering medication to sick prisoners, constant communication
with their families, ending arbitrary and degrading measures against
female prisoners, receiving magazines and newspapers [always] and the
right to education.
It is expected that other prisoners would
join them in their hunger strike which was described as a rolling
Furthermore, data and statistics available at PCHR
that over 6,500 Palestinian prisoners have been detained in 22
prisons and detention facilities, the majority of which are
located in Israel in a clear violation of article 76 of the
Fourth Geneva Convention that obliges Israel to detain the
prisoners of the occupied country in their country until they
serve their sentences therein. The majority of the prisoners are
from the West Bank, including 57 women and 300 children.
Moreover, the number of sick prisoners reached about 1,800,
including 180 suffering from serious illnesses and 26 having
The Israeli authorities continued to place 500 under
administrative detention in the Israeli prisons, including 15
members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and former
ministers, in a clear violation of their right to fair trial and
right to receive adequate defense and be informed of the charges
against them. The violation of the right to fair trial is part of the
administrative detention policy implemented without a court ruling in a
way that violates the fair judicial procedure.
Prisoners' families begin solidarity hunger strike in Salfit,
April 18, 2017.
PCHR, on this day, draws attention to the increasing
violations committed against the Palestinian prisoners and the poor
conditions under which they live in view of the Israeli authorities'
insistence on violating the rules of international humanitarian law and
principles of human rights to which Israel is a state party. PCHR
further highlights that the international
community's silence encourages the commission of more violations
Since it was established,
PCHR has been following up on the prisoners' cause, offering them and
their families the legal aid they need, working on unveiling the
Israeli violations, and calling upon:
- The High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth
Convention to fulfill their obligations;
- The international human
rights organizations to follow up the Palestinian prisoners'
cause and rally international support to pressure Israel to
stop all its arbitrary practices against the Palestinian
- The European countries to activate Article 2 of the
EU-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel
should respect human rights as a precondition for economic
- The UN bodies, International Committee of the
Red Cross and international community to pressure Israel to
improve the detention conditions of the Palestinian prisoners,
stop torture and open prisons to observers until prisoners are
1. See PCHR's website,
press release no. 70/2011 issued on 21 July 2011, PCHR Condemns
Punitive Measures against Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli
2. On 30 July 2015, the Israeli Knesset
approved in the second and third reading the amendment to the
so-called "Law to Prevent Harm of Hunger Strike." On 12 January
2016, Israeli forces force-fed Journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq, who
had been on hunger strike for about 50 days.
Presidential Election in Ecuador
Citizens' Revolution Prevails over Oligarchy
Lenín Moreno, (centre) following his win in Ecuadorian
presidential election. (Xinhua)
Lenín Moreno prevailed in the second round of
votes in the
Ecuadorian presidential election on April 2. Moreno won with 51
per cent of the vote to 49 per cent for Guillermo Lasso, a
banker. Nearly 12.5 million Ecuadorians in the country cast a
vote (nearly 80 per cent of eligible voters) along with almost
400,000 overseas citizens.
Moreno is known for fighting for the rights of people
disabilities and is former UN Special Envoy for Disability and
Accessibility and former Vice-President of Ecuador with the
Alliance PAIS party of outgoing President Rafael Correa.
According to reports, Moreno is the first paraplegic head of
state. The new administration will be inaugurated on May 24.
Moreno pledged to continue the expansion of social
pro-social policies and stand in defence of the sovereignty of
the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean that characterized
the past ten years of Ecuador's Citizens' Revolution and the
Correa presidency. This has led to more than one million people
being lifted out of poverty and greatly expanded public health
care and education.
President Correa said of the results, "The revolution
triumphed again in Ecuador. The right has lost, despite its
millions and its media." Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Guillaume
Long stated that the result "is a positive endorsement of our
plan to create a more equal Ecuador. We have made great strides
in social progress in the past decade and we will now continue to
do so for the next four years."
Moreno campaigns during presidential election, February 2017.
Moreno's election is a defeat for the U.S. imperialists
local oligarchy. Both hoped to follow the constitutional coup in
Brazil and electoral coup in Argentina against progressive forces
with a takeover of Ecuador, a member of the Bolivarian Alliance
for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) and leading country in
other mechanisms for regional cooperation such as the Community
of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and Union of South
American Nations (UNASUR). Brazil and Argentina have since been
used as players in the U.S. imperialist attacks against the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela through the Organization of
American States and other organizations.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said of the
"Conscious of the importance of the historic moment, the
Ecuadorian people dealt a strategic, continent-wide blow to the
powers that be, led by the [U.S.] State Department, which have
once again failed in their obsessive attempt to destabilize the
progressive governments in the region." Cuban President Raúl
Castro congratulated Moreno on the victory, stating that it will
"initiate a new stage of the Citizens' Revolution and will
continue the commitment of this sister nation to the unity and
defense of the sovereignty of Our America."
TML Weekly congratulates Lenín Moreno
and the people
of Ecuador for prevailing at a time when the imperialists have
stepped up their efforts to undo all the achievements of the
peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, first and foremost
the affirmation of sovereignty. Consolidating the Citizens'
Revolution in Ecuador is an important contribution to defending
the peoples of the continent and their movements.
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