Archive | March 29th, 2018

Venezuela Raises the Minimum Wage. “It’s an Offense” Says the ILO, It Goes against the Rights of Corporations

NOVANEWS

Venezuela may have an economic crisis but raising the minimum wage to alleviate the burden on workers may be an offense. The International Labour Organization will conduct inquiry.

 

It is not news that Venezuela is being ostracized in any conceivable form short of an actual military invasion, although threats to that effect have also been made by the US government. Other governments and institutions like the Organization of American States have joined in what appears to be a contest for who-is-who in ganging up against Venezuela.

What is news is that the new threat comes from the International Labour Organization (ILO) with headquarters based in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization reported on March 21: “ILO Governing Body decides to appoint Commission of Inquiry for Venezuela.” [1]

Coincidentally, in what appears to be a “subtle” message to the ILO, last March 28 the traditionally neutral government of Switzerland has also joined the roll of sanctioning countries against Venezuelan institutions and senior officials. “Those on the sanctions list include former National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol and Chief Justice Maikel Moreno. The Swiss sanctions include banning the sale or export to Venezuela of arms and goods.” [2]

The ILO inquiry “refers to the non-observance of ILO Conventions No. 26 (Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery Convention, 1928), No. 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948) and No. 144 (Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards), 1976).”

But here is what would make Karl Marx rise from his grave and shout again “Workers of all lands, unite!” as inscribed on his tombstone. The complaint “alleges lack of consultation with FEDECAMARAS on laws that affect the labour and economic interests of the employers, and the adoption of numerous increases to the minimum wage without consultation with employer and worker representatives.”

It goes further to state,

“The [ILO] Governing Body has discussed this complaint six times since 2015 and had asked the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on several occasions to take measures to put an end to the alleged interference, aggression and stigmatization directed against FEDECAMARAS, its affiliated organizations and its leaders.”

Fedecamaras is the Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Production (Federación de Cámaras y Asociaciones de Comercio y Producción de Venezuela) that represents the interests of Venezuelan business and corporations. That is a legitimate role in a country where the private sector still has a strong presence, which is fully recognized by a government that is otherwise labeled as “socialist”, “communist”, “authoritarian”, or “dictatorial”.

However, Fedecamaras had more ambitious interests than trade and commerce for its “affiliated organizations” when former Fedecámaras president Pedro Carmona became de facto president of Venezuela for 47 hours during the failed coup against the government of president Hugo Chavez in April 2002.

Since its founding in 1919, the ILO has opened 12 Commissions of Inquiry. Of those, only 3 involved Latin American countries: Chile (1975) during the early days of the Pinochet regime repression; the Dominican Republic (1983) related to the employment of workers from Haiti; and Nicaragua (1987). Interestingly, the inquiry about Nicaragua refers exactly to the same issues as Venezuela today keeping in mind that in 1987 Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista Liberation Front was president.

The specific violations investigated in Nicaragua were “murder, physical aggression, and torture” among others. But the ILO has remained silent at the slaughter of more than 2,800 labour leaders and union members since 1986 in Colombia. The danger for union leaders continues to this day. “As a result of attacks on unions and other pressures, the percentage of unionized workers in Colombia has dropped from 15 percent 20 years ago to about 4 percent today.” [3]

What is striking in the case of Venezuela is that those same corporations that claim “aggression and stigmatization directed against FEDECAMARAS, its affiliated organizations and its leaders,” are believed to be responsible for lobbying for economic sanctions, hoarding of goods, creating an induced inflationary process through parallel manipulated exchange rate, all of which is undermining the purchasing power of the Venezuelan working class. [4]

Let us remember that critics are wrongly calling the manufactured economic crisis in Venezuela a “humanitarian crisis.” If that were the case, why would the Venezuelan government urgent intervention, by increasing the minimum wage level to protect the most vulnerable population, be considered inappropriate? Paradoxically, the main drivers of the economic crisis maintain that they were not consulted, and claim to be the victims of a labour transgression.

The Canadian government absurdly issued a news release stating that the “Maduro regime robs its people of their fundamental democratic and human rights, and denies them assistance to meet basic humanitarian needs.” In gross contradiction, it further supports the ILO inquiry “to examine allegations that the Maduro regime failed to comply with international labour conventions on … setting of minimum wages.” [5]

This may be a rare case where a government increase of the minimum wage is considered an offense because it affects “the labour and economic interests of the employers”. The real crime, however, is being committed by applying sanctions against Venezuela. Alfred de Zayas, a UN independent expert for the promotion of an international democratic and equitable order, stated, “it is time” for Venezuela to ask the International Criminal Court “for an investigation into the crimes against humanity committed by the United States for imposing sanctions against it.” [6]

Notes

[1] http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_622567/lang–en/index.htm
[2] https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13744
[3] https://pulitzercenter.org/projects/south-america-colombia-labor-union-human-rights-judicial-government-corruption-paramilitary-drug-violence-education
[4] https://mronline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/THE-VISIBLE-HAND-OF-THE-MARKET.-ECONOMIC-WARFARE-IN-VENEZUELA.-PASQUALINA-CURCIO-C.pdf
[5] https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/news/2018/03/statement-by-foreign-affairs-minister-and-minister-of-employment-workforce-development-and-labour-on-the-establishment-of-a-commission-of-inquiry-f.html
[6] https://venezuelanalysis.com/ANALYSIS/13745

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NATO’s 1999 “Humanitarian Bombing” of Yugoslavia, Month Two

NOVANEWS
 

March 2018  marks the 19th anniversary of  NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia

This article by David Orchard who relentlessly led Canada’s antiwar movement against NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia was published as a widely distributed leaflet and on the Internet on April 26, 1999.

**

For over a month Canada has been bombing Yugoslavia. Without a parliamentary resolution, without a declaration of war and without a shred of legality Canadian war planes are attacking the nation that stood at the forefront of the fight against both Hitler’s Nazis and Mussolini’s fascists during World War II.

The Nuremberg trial ruled that “to initiate a war of aggression… is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime.” Yet this is precisely what Canada and its NATO allies have done.

The Canadian government said it was bombing to force the Yugoslavian government to sign the Rambouillet “agreement” — an ultimatum which provided for NATO’s occupation of Yugoslavia. Yet article 52 of the 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, to which Canada is a signatory, states that any treaty procured by force or the threat of force, is null and void. The bombardment of Yugoslavia is a flagrant violation of the UN charter, which prohibits the use of force against a sovereign state which has not committed aggression on another state; of NATO’s own charter and of international law on a number of other fronts. NATO is dropping internationally outlawed cluster bombs and using missiles hardened with depleted uranium which vapourize upon impact releasing deadly radioactive fall-out which will, as in Iraq where similar weapons were used, leave a legacy of agony in Yugoslavia for decades to come.

Canada’s government said it was bombing to prevent a humanitarian crisis, genocide and “ethnic cleansing.” The unvarnished truth is that the bombing has increased the humanitarian crisis a thousandfold and knowledgeable observers have repeatedly stated that what was going on in Kosovo before the bombing began cannot be called genocide. In a recent article, “The fatal flaws underlying NATO’s intervention in Yugoslavia,” Lt. General Satish Nambiar, former commander of the United Nations forces in Yugoslavia, writes that he “did not witness any genocide beyond killings and massacres on all sides that are typical of such conflict conditions.”

He points out that over 800,000 Serbs were driven out of Croatia and the Muslim-Croat Federation without a word of complaint from the west. Canadian Roland Keith, a former field office director of the Kosovo Verification Mission, recently returned, reported that “the clear majority” of the violence he saw in Kosovo was instigated by the Kosovo Liberation Army, and that “there was no ethnic cleansing going on that I witnessed and certainly no genocide.” The total deaths on all sides in Kosovo prior to the bombing was 2000. Yet now, in one of the defining moments of our century, NATO has launched a massive around-the-clock air bombardment on behalf of a shadowy, armed Kosovo secessionist movement seeking to break up what remains of Yugoslavia.

For Canada to be bombing in favour of the breakup of a sister multi-ethnic state defies comprehension. In Iraq, our government said it was bombing to maintain the territorial integrity of Kuwait. Here, it is openly bombing to dismember a country, a founding member of both the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement and Canada’s staunch ally in both world wars.

The lesson NATO is teaching the world is that from now on the only sovereign nations are those capable of defending themselves with nuclear weapons. All others apparently can be bombed and now also, it appears, blockaded — another flagrantly unlawful act by NATO.

Who exactly has ordered Canada into war? Do unelected generals at NATO now determine Canada’s foreign policy, including decisions of war and peace? It is clear our Parliament does not. In a crowning abdication of responsibility, Mr. Chrétien has declared that whatever the NATO “team” decides about a ground war, Canada will go along.

Our government, through Mr. Axworthy, tells us this is a “humanitarian bombing mission.” In fact, it is a campaign of terror. Over 4000 bombing sorties, plus hundreds of cruise missiles, have struck Yugoslavia, a country one-fifth the size of Saskatchewan. Over one hundred schools and churches, including monasteries dating back to the 12th century, have been hit; as well as power stations, chemical plants (releasing toxic clouds over Belgrade and polluting the Danube), water and sewage facilities, factories, including the Yugo car plant, trains, train stations and apartment buildings; the result is untold suffering, a human and environmental catastrophe. NATO doesn’t like Yugoslavian media coverage of the damage on the ground, so it bombed the television station in Belgrade incinerating twelve young journalists, burying another eighteen, perhaps more, alive under tons of rubble.

This is not a war. It is the slaughter of a tiny, virtually defenceless nation by a vigilante gang-up of western powers. “Massive bombing,” in General Nambiar’s words, “intended to terrorize Serbia into submission.”

President Clinton told his shocked nation after the Colorado school killings that we must teach our youth to solve conflicts with words, not weapons. And who will teach NATO’s adults this lesson now that the rule of law has been thrown onto the ash heap of history?

*

This article was published as a widely distributed leaflet and on the Internet on April 26, 1999.

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Emergency U.N. Security Council Session on Bloodbath in Gaza

NOVANEWS
 

Late Friday, Security Council members met in emergency session – in response to Israeli violence in Gaza.

Nearly all SC members called on both sides to show restraint, ignoring Israeli mass murder, the session lasting a scant 66 minutes – from 7:42 – 8:48PM, accomplishing nothing for long-suffering Palestinians, especially besieged and attacked Gazans.

According to UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affair Taye-Brook Zerihoun, Israeli forces attacked peaceful Palestinian demonstrators with live fire, adding:

“The developments in Gaza today are again a painful reminder of the consequences of a missing peace between Israel and Palestine and the need to step up our efforts in support of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.”

UN special coordinator for the (no-peace) Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov explained Palestinians called on everyone to exercise restraint and avoid violence, adding:

“There is fear the situation might deteriorate in the coming days.  We will continue to underline that civilians, in particular children, not be targeted and that all actors refrain from putting children at risk.”

So-called “actors” are Israelis, not Palestinians, flouting core international laws and standards. Urging them to “exercise maximum restraint” is meaningless without holding them accountable for murder, other forms of violence, and oppression of a beleaguered people.

Representing the Trump administration at Friday’s SC session, deputy political coordinator Walter Miller disgracefully blamed Gazans, not Israel for Friday’s violence, saying:

“Bad actors who use protests as a cover to incite violence endanger innocent lives.”

Russian deputy UN envoy Vladimir Safronkov shamefully urged both sides to show restraint – ignoring premeditated Israeli mass murder, continuing a decade-long pattern, perhaps much more to come through mid-May.

Bolivian envy Pedro Luis Inchauste Jordan alone among SC members condemned Israeli violence, blaming 70 years of conflict and 50 years of occupation.

Permanent observer of the State of Palestin Riyad Mansour attended the session, demanding an immediate halt to Israeli slaughter, along with holding its officials accountable for what happened, adding:

The SC “must take a stance and condemn the massacre while providing protection for the Palestinian people, (acting with) a sense of repugnance and urgency.”

“There is nothing more repulsive than a massacre of unarmed defenseless people, including women and children.”

“We call on the Council to swiftly uphold its Charter duties and the integrity and authority of its resolutions in light of the violations and provocations against the rights and legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people.”

The world body and member states have done nothing to relieve Palestinian suffering, nothing to hold Israel accountable for high crimes of war, against humanity and slow-motion genocide, nothing to end over half a century of illegal occupation harshness.

US support for the Jewish state lets its rogue officials get away with mass murder and much more.

Palestinians have been victimized for decades, no relief in prospect for a long-suffering people because the world community doesn’t give a damn about their rights and welfare.

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Russian Exodus from the West

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Image result for Russian Exodus CARTOON

By now the West – the US, Canada, Australia and the super-puppets of Europe, overall more than 25 countries – has expelled more than 130 Russian diplomats. All as punishment for Russia’s alleged nerve gas poisoning of a former Russian / MI6 double-agent, Sergei Skripal (66) and his daughter Yulia (33), who was visiting her father from Moscow.

Sergei Skripal lived in the UK for the last seven years, ever since President Putin lifted his prison sentence in 2010 in a spy swap with the UK. The pair, father and daughter, was allegedly discovered on 4 March slumped on a park bench in Salisbury, England, not far from Sergei’s home. Apparently traces of the same nerve agent were found at the Skripal home’s door. 

Russia in the meantime has started in a tit-for-tat move expelling western diplomats – in a first round 60, plus closing the US Consulate in St. Petersburg. According to Mr. Lavrov, more will most likely follow. – There will be an exodus and a counter-exodus of diplomats, west-east and east-west. It looks like a Kindergarten at play – but is of course a blatant provocation by the west on Russia and a continuation of the vilification of President Putin – especially after he has just been reelected with an overwhelming majority of over 76%. It’s a provocation with zero substance, to further justify an escalating NATO aggression against Russia. The war-bells are ringing – for a lie, an abject farce, visible to a child. Only the blind, those puppets, because out of fear or out of stupidity, who do not want to see – are supporting this new US instigated, UK executed drive against Russia.

The nerve gas, called Novichok, had been produced by the Soviet Union in the 1970s, but was subsequently banned and destroyed under international supervision. The ‘inventor’ of Novichok lives apparently in the US. Mr. Putin said, if the military-grade Novichok would have been used, the only form the USSR ever produced, there would have been no survivors.

What hardly anybody talks about is that the secretive UK Defense (War) Ministry’s laboratory of Porton Down, is but 13 km away from where father and daughter were allegedly found unconscious on a park bench. Porton Down is a highly sophisticated chemical and biological weapons lab that entertains contracts with the Pentagon of more than US$ 70 million for carrying out “experiments”, including on humans and animals. Porton Down has the capacity to produce Novichok.

See the full story on Porton Down, by Bulgarian investigative journalistDilyana Gaytandzhieva 

https://southfront.org/salisbury-nerve-agent-attack-reveals-70-million-pentagon-program-porton/ .

At this point there is no prove – other than what the police reported – that Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found on that dubious park bench. There are no civil witnesses. The UK government does not disclose where the two are treated, what their current health status is. Only on the repeated insistence of Mr. Lavrov that according to an agreement between the UK and Russia (the USSR) in the 1960s, both countries have the right to inquire and investigate about the wellbeing of their respective citizens, an official statement on 29 March from the UK said that Yulia is doing better and is on her way to recovery, while her father is still in critical but stable conditions (The Guardian, 29 March 2018). Is it true? – What if one or both recover and have enough memory of the events to go public?

What if the two have indeed been poisoned at Sergei’s home, or abducted and brought to the Porton Down laboratory to be infected with the nerve gas and then later dumped to the park bench? Why does the UK not disclose any ‘evidence’ they apparently have against Russia? – No details of where the two are being treated? – No visits allowed. Russia’s offer to collaborate in the investigation is laughed off and refused. Is this a well-orchestrated MI6 / CIA false flag, followed by outrageous lambasting by the UK’s highest leadership against Russia and her newly re-elected President Putin?

This criminal propaganda event is so full of lies, false accusations and deceit, pulling along more than 25 (so far) western nations to condemn and sanction Russia in unison for something Russia has with absolute certainty not committed. Just apply logic – a tough challenge, I know, these days for the dumb-folded west – but logic would tell a child that there is no sense, absolutely no sense, for Russia to carry out such an evil act. So, the usual question is: cui bono – who benefits? – And the answer is also crystal clear: Profiting from this sham are the war-mongering US / NATO and their miserable vassal-allies – spineless for years – following lies, their governments are fully aware of the lies, of the untruth Russia is accused of.

Adding injury to insult is Ecuador’s new President, Lenin Moreno, who a few days ago has shut up Julian Assange, Wikileaks editor, who is in political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since July 2012. Under Moreno’s gag-order, Assange is no longer allowed to communicate with anybody in any form and shape and cannot receive visitors. The official reason for Moreno – who has clearly become a traitor on his people – is that Assange tweeted a protest against the arrest in Germany of Catalonian ex-leader, Carles Puigdemont. Moreno has condemned Assange to a sort of isolation prison in the Ecuadorian Embassy. Who gave Moreno orders to do so? – Well, I leave the guessing up to you. In any case Moreno has become a prostitute as are most of the western world “leaders”.

The real reason is most likely Assange’s strong critique of the UK government, especially PM Teresa May and her Foreign and Defense Ministers, for their vitriolic and unjustified accusations and slandering of Russia and particularly of President Putin in the Skripal poison case. Assange cannot leave the embassy for fear of being arrested and extradited to the US, where he may face torture and worse, possibly the death penalty.

Diplomatic Relations

Let’s take this a step further. Diplomatic relations between the west and Russia have totally fallen apart. The doors are closed. Russia doesn’t need the west. But the west, especially Europe, badly needs and will every day more need Russia, a close ally and trading partner for hundreds of years. The west, eventually abandoned and every day more enslaved by Washington with weaponized refugees, with false flag terror attacks, leading to increased militarization, to oppression and censorship, privatization of public goods and infrastructure – Greece is but an example – and strangulation by Wall Street private banking and troika (IMF, European Central Bank, European Commission) imposed debt, the west will beg Russia to open her doors and show them her kindness – the kindness and openness Russia has been demonstrating to the west over the past almost 20 years, despite flagrant western abuse and demonization no end.

The western Anglo-Zionist-led empire will collapse. It’s a mere question of time but collapse it will. Today, not only a few, but all western “leaders” (sic) know that they are committing suicide by teaming up with destructive Washington – and this against the will of the majority of the European people. – Yet, they push a long this path of auto-destruction. Why? – Have they been personally threatened, or else lavishly rewarded if they follow the dictate of deep state-led White House and Pentagon?

The day may come when the west will knock desperately at Russia’s door – please talk to us, we need you. But this may happen only if they have not let themselves be pulled into the abyss of annihilation by Washington. Their stupidity may just do that – another few lies, accusing Russia of crimes against humanity she didn’t commit and prompting a war, an all-destructive nuclear war. The pretext could be another false flag Syrian sarin attack on “her own people”, wrongly blaming Bashar al-Assad; or a missile landing in Israel, blaming Iran with the same no-proof propaganda fervor applied by the UK in the Sergei and Yulia Skripal case; or North Korea – in the course of negotiations between Trump and Kim Jong-un next month (April), the US / west launches a false flag missile, for example, from Guam, that lands in Japan, destroying infrastructure and killing people, blaming it immediately on DPRK, without any evidence whatsoever, but with a rigorous campaign UK-style, to the point that nobody dares to contradict the obvious lie.

What if the current UK virulent and violent Russia slandering campaign is but a dry-run for much worse to come? – By now the mental state of western society is at the level of Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, Goebbels’, statement – “Let me control the media, and I will turn any Nation into a herd of Pigs”. Yes, that’s what the west has become, a herd of pigs.

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Trump is But The Tip of a “Dangerous Iceberg”. Time for Reflection and Understanding

NOVANEWS

As I write this column it is Good Friday, the most somber day in the Christian religion. This is the day that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. It is a time for reflection and understanding. One need not be devout to recognize that Jesus, according to many various scriptures, was a man who ‘ Spoke truth to power’ throughout his 33 years of earthly life. Regardless of whether one believes that he was God or the son of God, many can ascertain that the many quotes of his were meant to teach and instruct. Writing as a political activist, I will not go into my feelings and beliefs about my own spiritual path at this time. For hundreds of millions on this planet Jesus was a special soul who was as true a role model as one could ever imagine… period!

Among the myriad of great and insightful quotes from his teachings, one sticks out to me, especially during this Easter season, in relation to just how deeply our nation has regressed:  For what shall it profit a man , if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? We have a culture that actually celebrates great wealth, so much so that so many working stiffs continue to elect the super rich to rule us. What better indication than the fact that a billionaire real estate mogul and reality television star is our president?

Trump is only the tip of this dangerous iceberg too. Look at who he and his predecessors chose to help run their governments: Mostly super rich insiders who care not for what that man on the cross was all about! Do you think this one fraction of 1% of our populace understands about the economic dilemmas facing we who work for a living? Worse than that, how about the millions of us who either cannot find viable work or cannot even get up each day to go to work? The cherished safety net has been and will continue to be cut each and every day by these scoundrels. Power and greed are what runs this nation, not empathy and cooperation!

One recalls when we faced that infamous subprime mortgage crisis in 2008-09, caused of course by the greed and selfishness of the banking industry. The Bush/Cheney cabal had recruited Henry Paulson, the just retired CEO of that bankster investment house Goldman Sachs to become Treasury Secretary for we 300 million drones. Henry, in his last year with Goldman, left with a compensation package of .. ready for this… $ 500 million!!Can you imagine how much money that is? If you earn let us say $ 50k a year, it would take you ONE THOUSAND YEARS  to earn that much!! Remember how he stood there, in front of the cameras, with Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid from the loyal  Democratic Party and Paulson’s fellow sharks from the Republican Party, giving him comfort. He had this look of such despair on his face as he let all of us know how the deal would be made to ‘ Save our Economy’ by bailing out the banksters… with OUR tax money of course.

Jesus is probably smirking right now up in the heaven that many of us believe in. He knows that those down here who failed to heed his words won’t be able to see him for a long time after they leave this existence. At best the Fat Cats and phony pols will have to spend a great deal of time in Purgatory before they can reach those Pearly Gates! For Mr. Trump: Location, Location, Location!

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Escalating Economic Warfare: Theresa May to Ban Russian Sovereign Debt Sales in UK?

NOVANEWS

Is this the next shoe to drop? Will the Trump administration follow suit, officials of both countries pressuring others to impose a similar ban?

Theresa May reportedly is considering a UK ban on Russian sovereign debt, escalated economic war if imposed, perhaps further illegal sanctions on Russian individuals and entities at the same time.

According to Harvard Society of Fellows research fellow Emile Simpson, “Russia can borrow in EU and US capital markets despite western sanctions and then can support the sanctioned Kremlin-linked banks and energy companies that can no longer do so.”

UK parliament’s foreign affairs select committee chairman Tom Tugendhat called for closing a loophole, letting Russian banks sell eurobonds to finance the country’s sovereign debt, saying:

“One of the ways that people are getting their money out of this country is by allowing Russian sovereign debt to be sold in the UK, and that debt to be used to reimburse Russians, in a way, to bring back their money onshore, in Moscow terms…We are…enabling those bond auctions, those debt auctions.”

Critics of the proposal say Russia will go elsewhere to sell its bonds, notably China.

A US Treasury study of the issue opposed sanctioning Russian debt, fearing a negative effect on financial markets.

Last December, Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said talks with China were held on selling yuan bonds worth $1 billion in 2018, perhaps the first offering of more to come.

Deputy Finance Minister Vladimir Kolychev said Beijing expressed interest in the idea.

Separately, Russian Direct Investment Fund head Dirill Dmitriev explained Vladimir Putin supported the idea of creating an investment vehicle in yuan.

A Sino/Russia investment fund already made 19 investments, things going smoothly.

Last July, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and China Development Bank established a joint 68 billion yuan ($10 billion) investment fund as part of Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

Both countries may also cooperate in establishing payment systems, linking Russia’s system with China’s.

Moscow’s over dependence on the West harms its political and economic security.

Paul Craig Roberts earlier explained “by accepting foreign capital and exposing the ruble to currency speculation, Washington made sure that the US could destabalize Russia with capital outflows and assaults on the ruble’s exchange value,” adding:

“Only a government unfamiliar with the neoconservative aim of US world hegemony would have exposed its economic system to such foreign manipulation.”

PCR’s current advice: “…Russia should turn her back, but not her eyes, on the West, stop responding to false charges, evict all Western embassies and every other kind of presence including Western investment, and focus on relations with China and the East.”

Moscow should have followed this advice years ago – instead of letting the country be entrapped in a US-led Western financial straightjacket, the sooner freed from it the better for its economy and security.

Foolishly believing East/West normalization is possible one day is a strategy of reckless economic, financial and political endangerment.

Washington, Britain and their imperial allies are sworn enemies of Moscow. Mass expulsions of Russian diplomats alone prove it.

Nothing suggests a positive change in Western policy ahead, things likely to worsen, not improve.

It bears repeating what’s important to stress. Russia’s future is East, not West.

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Russia-Trump Probe: Special Prosecutor to Investigate Alleged FBI/DOJ FISA Abuses

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In mid-March, GOP House and Senate members called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a special prosecutor to work jointly with Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz in investigating alleged FBI and DOJ Trump/Russia probe abuses.

House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight chairman Trey Gowdy wrote  Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, accusing the DOJ and FBI of failing to provide the FISA court with information about the Hillary/DNC-financed Trump-smearing Christopher Steele doggy dossier.

GOP Senators Grassley, Graham and Tillis also called for appointing a special counsel to investigate these alleged abuses.

The DOJ inspector general has no prosecutorial authority. The US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an investigative/prosecutorial federal agency.

When called on, it’s authorized to probe alleged prohibited practices by current or former federal officials, empowered to prosecute if warranted by credible evidence.

The OSC lacks jurisdiction to investigate or prosecute CIA, NSA and other US intelligence community staff.

On Thursday, AG Sessions declined to appoint a special counsel to investigate alleged Trump/Russia probe DOJ and FBI abuses, saying:

“To justify such an appointment, the Attorney General would need to conclude that the public interest would be served by removing a large degree of responsibility for the matter from the Department of Justice.”

Instead, he named Obama-appointed US Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber to lead an investigation into alleged abuses explained above.

Once completed, Sessions said he’d decide whether appointing a special counsel in warranted.

Earlier Trump tweeted: “Why is AG Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse.”

“Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the IG an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!”

Newly released documents obtained by congressional members show Obama officials cooked up dubious claims, alleging Trump team/Russia 2016 presidential election collusion.

Since surfacing in 2016, not a shred of credible evidence supports them. Unverified allegations and accusations persist, unjustifiably justifying the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel last year.

Since last May, he’s conducted a colossal sham Russiagate witch-hunt investigation, continuing endlessly despite finding no evidence of electoral process collusion or interference.

Newly released information shows FBI, CIA, and undemocratic Dems used unverified “evidence” to claim Trump team/Russia 2016 presidential election collusion.

Key officials involved in the scheme included Obama’s chief of staff Denis McDonough, his CIA head John Brennan (the plot’s likely architect), former undemocratic Dem Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, former FBI director James Comey, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, and likely others.

Is it smoking gun evidence enough to expose and end the witch-hunt Russiagate probe?

Don’t bet on it!

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Zionist Bolton’s Past Advocacy for Nazi regime of I$raHell

NOVANEWS

Bolton’s Past Advocacy for Israel at US Expense Heralds Dangerous New Era in Geopolitics

Notorious war hawk John Bolton – who has long been vying for a position in Trump’s administration – has been especially eager to work with a president with minimal foreign policy knowledge or experience, allowing him maximum effect in achieving his policy goals.

This article is Part I of a series exploring the past of soon-to-be National Security Adviser John Bolton and what his recent appointment will mean for U.S. foreign policy, with a focus on the Middle East, Latin America, and the Koreas. Part I explores Bolton’s history of putting the interests of the Israeli government ahead of those of the U.S., as well as what his appointment means for Israel’s current preparations for a “three front” war and American involvement in that war.

 Last Thursday, President Trump announced that former UN ambassador John Bolton, once called the “most dangerous man” in the entire George W. Bush administration, would replace H.R. McMaster as national security adviser, making him the man in charge of what the President sees and hears regarding issues of national security. Bolton will officially take over McMaster’s post on April 9.

The appointment was not surprising. Indeed, earlier this month, MintPress reported that McMaster was soon to be replaced – largely at the behest of billionaire Republican donor and militant Zionist Sheldon Adelson – and that Bolton was a top contender for that position, largely due to Bolton’s reputation as a “stalwart friend of Israel” and his frequent calls for military action against Iran, Israel’s regional arch-rival.

Yet, Bolton’s appointment – placed in the greater context of recent changes to Trump’s cabinet – is a harrowing portent for those opposed to more U.S. regime-change wars. Mike Pompeo, another proponent of war with Iran, is set to take over the State Department; and Gina Haspel — whose nickname “Bloody Gina” speaks to her history of overseeing torture and depreciating human life — is slated to take over for Pompeo as head of the CIA. Bolton completes the triumvirate and his ultra-hawkishness speaks to the President’s posturing for war against not one but several countries — with hopes of building a unipolar world with the United States as its sole leader, a perverse distortion of his isolationist campaign promise “America First.”

Though he is just one of the war hawks now roosting in the Trump administration, Bolton is arguably more dangerous than all the rest due to his bellicose rhetoric, unilateral decision-making, and his “kiss up, kick down” style of interaction with superiors and colleagues, allowing him to be remarkably effective in getting his way. Not only that, but Bolton – who has long been vying for a position in the Trump administration – has been admittedly eager to work with a president with minimal foreign policy knowledge or experience — obviously true in Trump’s case — as it would allow him to have maximum effect in achieving his policy goals. Bolton has already exercised great influence over the president, reportedly adding statements to Trump’s speech at the United Nations without the knowledge of Trump’s staff.

Thus, Bolton is set to have a disproportionately influential role in the Trump administration, making it essential to examine what his appointment will likely mean for U.S. government policy, particularly regarding geopolitical “hotspots” such as the Middle East and the Koreas.

Freelancing for Israel

Though the domestic reaction to Bolton’s appointment was rather mixed, top ministers of the right-wing Israeli government lavished praise upon the soon-to-be National Security Adviser, calling him “one of the most outstanding” allies to Israel in U.S. politics, and a “true friend” to the Jewish state who brings “great experience and original thinking” to “the most sympathetic administration toward Israel of all time.”

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

John Bolton

@AmbJohnBolton

to Monday when I was in Israel to receive the “Guardian of Zion” award from @BarIlanU‘s Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies.

Indeed, Bolton’s ties to Israel are as deep as they are long-standing — so deep that some have posited that his commitment to extreme Zionism has led him to betray the national interest of his own country on more than one occasion.

For instance, Danny Gillerman, the former Israeli ambassador to the UN, recently noted that Bolton, when serving in the Bush administration, was prone to “direct fire on his own forces,” —  i.e., the U.S. government — in order to advance the goals of the Israeli government. Gillerman, speaking on the Israeli radio program Galei Tzahal this past Sunday, stated:

[W]hen the State Department — then headed by Condoleezza Rice, who wasn’t so friendly to Israel even though the Bush Administration was very friendly — was about to either make a decision, or not abstain, or not veto, or to advance something that was against us [Israel], Bolton would call me, and he would say ‘Danny, you’ve got to call the prime minister right now, in order for him to phone the president to stop this.’”

In addition, Bolton garnered a reputation – as well as the ire of State Department officials at the time – for violating State Department protocol by acting unilaterally in matters of diplomacy to negotiate privately in Israel. The New York Times reported in 2005 that Bolton traveled to Israel without the required State Department clearance in 2003 and 2004 in a direct effort to undermine then-Secretary of State Colin Powell. As journalist Gareth Porter noted:

[A]t the very moment that Powell was saying administration policy was not to attack Iran, Bolton was working with the Israelis to lay the groundwork for just such a war.”

Bolton’s numerous private and unannounced visits to Israel entailed meetings with officials of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, including Meir Dagan, then Mossad’s director.

Despite his flagrant violations of government rules, Bolton remained the main liaison between the U.S. and Israeli governments under Bush.

Bolton has pressured Israeli officials to attack Iran even when calling for such an attack was not the U.S. government’s position. According to Shaul Mofaz, former Israeli defense minister, Bolton “tried to convince me that Israel needs to attack Iran,” which Mofaz recently asserted was not “a smart move – not on the part of the Americans today or anyone else until the threat is real.”

Billionaire Adelson gets his way

Sheldon Adelson with PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Bolton’s commitment to the Israeli state has manifested in other ways. For instance, he has remained a constant critic of Palestine’s right to self-determination, calling an independent Palestinian state a plot “of Israel’s opponents to weaken and encircle the Jewish state.” Bolton has called for the Gaza strip and the West Bank to be given to Egypt and Jordan, respectively. This approach, nicknamed the “Three State solution,” would eliminate any hopes for Palestinian sovereignty by giving Palestinian territories to two U.S.-allied countries that enjoy cordial relations with Israel, making this solution preferable for Israel hard-liners that wish to see an end to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

Bolton has also praised President Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel accordingly – a policy change allegedly orchestrated by pro-Israel Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson — as an “injection of reality.” In addition, he has strongly promoted the construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian land, stating recently that Israelis “ought to be able to build houses wherever they want to, including all of the lands of Judea and Samaria [Palestine’s West Bank].”

Bruce Baird@drbairdonline

“At every turn, Zionist Neocon (aka ZioCon) John Bolton has shilled for Israel – no matter the cost or consequence to the safety of the American people.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=393&v=w6zEitguxLI 

Bruce Baird@drbairdonline

John Bolton says “Well, I know my strong view is that Jews ought to be able to build houses wherever they want to, including all of the lands of Judea and Samaria.” pic.twitter.com/fnF6eE10Bw

Given his embrace of extremist Zionism, it is no surprise that Bolton has found himself replacing H.R. McMaster, whose ouster was orchestrated by billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson. Bolton has long been promoted by Adelson, as the latter personally intervened to keep Bolton in contact with the Trump throughout his presidency and had lobbied soon after Trump’s election to have Bolton appointed to his cabinet. Like the embassy move to Jerusalem, Adelson has again gotten his wish.

Adelson’s push to have Bolton installed comes at a crucial time, as Israel is currently preparing for war on “three fronts” — Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria – and is actively lobbying for American aid and involvement in launching that war. With Bolton in the Trump administration, along with numerous other staunch Israel allies in key government positions, Israel will likely get that aid in addition to American troops fighting alongside them, even if Israel is the aggressor in the imminent conflict.

The timing of Bolton’s appointment as National Security Adviser is also noteworthy, as it comes little over a month before the U.S. embassy is set to move to Jerusalem, when tensions between Israel, Palestine and its neighbors will be at their highest and when a war is most likely to break out. Bolton is set to ensure strong U.S. support for any Israeli military action that takes place during this time, even though Israel is explicitly planning to target civilians and civilian infrastructure.

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The Liberation of Eastern Ghouta. Statement of Syria Solidarity Movement

The complete liberation of Eastern Ghouta is imminent.

Just as during the liberation of Aleppo, western governments and mainstream media inflated the numbers of trapped civilians and accused Syrian government forces of deliberately targeting them, failing to provide them with humanitarian aid, preventing their evacuation, and indiscriminately bombing them in Eastern Ghouta. And, just as in Aleppo, they were proven wrong on all counts.

In Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian government provided thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to the terrorist-held enclave, from which western-backed militias shelled the city of Damascus for a period of five years, killing over 10,000 civilians, including 1,500 children, and injuring over 30,000 others. During the liberation of Eastern Ghouta, the Russian air force and Syrian Arab Army declared several ceasefires during which tens of thousands of civilians were able to escape their terrorist captors and flee along humanitarian corridors created by the SAA on the ground. Many live videos of the torrent of escaping civilians include first-hand reports from them that they were held captive by western-backed mercenaries who bullied and killed their family members, hoarded the food aid, stole their property, and fired upon them when they tried to escape. In the videos, the joyous citizens repeatedly express their gratitude to the SAA and to the government of Bashar al-Assad for their rescue. Unfortunately, as in Aleppo, no western media outlets chose to record these post-liberation events, which don’t fit into their false western narrative about Syria.

In addition, it should be noted that Mother Agnes-Mariam (right), a Catholic mother superior involved in the Syrian Reconciliation Movement and an official involved in the relief effort for the rescued Eastern Ghouta civilians, reported that a full 25% of the women and girls rescued from terrorist-held areas report that they were sexually abused by their captors.

Just as in Aleppo, the Syrian government provided bus transportation for thousands of surrendering terrorists in Eastern Ghouta to leave the enclave with their families and small arms for the province of Idlib, thus preventing needless deaths and destruction, and opening the door to reconciliation with the small number of Syrian fighters among the terrorist militias.

The liberation of Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta compares favourably with the destruction wrought upon Mosul and Raqqa by the US Coalition in re-taking those two cities from ISIS. In Mosul, 30,000 civilians died as a result of unrelenting US Coalition aerial bombardment and artillery barrages. In Raqqa, 3000 civilians so perished. Raqqa, in fact, has been turned into a ghost town, its buildings flattened and its water supply having been also destroyed in the bombing. Following the destruction of Raqqa, its ISIS defenders were also transported out, but not to Idlib. 4000 were taken in a convoy to northeastern Syria and incorporated into the military force that the USA is trying to create there, following the defeat of ISIS, under the cover of a political Kurdish entity, in violation of international law and its own constitution.

In contrast to Mosul and Raqqa, hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees returned to their homes in Aleppo in the year following its liberation, precisely because the Syrian government chose not to carpet bomb the city but rather to liberate its occupied eastern sector house by house, street by street, and neighbourhood by neighbourhood. Many Syrian soldiers lost their lives in the process but civilian casualties and destruction was kept to a minimum in Aleppo.

The war crimes committed by the US Coalition in Mosul and Raqqa received praise from other western governments and mainstream media, whereas the very professional liberation of Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta received only hysterical condemnation – and calls from Amnesty International, as well as the Aleppo and East Ghouta “Media Centres”, propaganda arms of Al Qaeda’s White Helmet operation, to “do something.” They were calling, in effect, for direct western military intervention.

During the course of the liberation of Eastern Ghouta, the US government moved three naval attack groups close to the shores of Syria, one in the Mediterranean Sea, another in the Red Sea, and a third in the Persian Gulf. At the United Nations, US Ambassador Nikki Haley issued repeated threats of an imminent US military strike directly upon the Syrian army and government (as opposed to the US use of proxy armies of terrorists since 2011 in a failed attempt for regime change in Syria). Her threat violated Article 2 of the UN Charter which forbids even the threat of the use of force against a member state. The trigger for this threatened direct US attack on Syria, she warned, was any use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army. It should be noted that, after the chemical weapons incident in Eastern Ghouta in 2013, which was later shown to have been carried out by the terrorists, the Syrian government surrendered its entire stock of chemical weapons and joined the international convention against chemical weapons. Fortunately, the Syrian Arab Army advance on Eastern Ghouta was so fast that the terrorists had to abandon their Eastern Ghouta chemical weapons lab in their flight, before being able to manufacture the required pretext for Haley. The lab fell into the hands of the SAA which exposed its existence to the world.

The Russian government has made it clear, on two separate occasions, that it wouldn’t tolerate any direct attack by the USA on Syria which would endanger its own personnel in the country. Unlike the USA, Russia’s military presence in Syria is in accordance with international law because it was at the invitation of the sovereign government of Syria. Russia made it abundantly clear that any direct US attack on Syria would be met by the destruction of the platform from which the attack was made.

At the time of publication, Eastern Ghouta was almost entirely liberated. However, several pockets of terrorist-controlled areas continue to fester in various regions of Syria. More ominous, however, are the sizeable chunks of Syrian territory that have been seized recently by foreign powers in what appears to be an illegal attempt to partition the country and to drag out the war. In the south, Israel continues to occupy the Golan Heights and spreads its influence through the ranks of the so-called “Free” Syrian Army to areas east of the Golan. In the north, Turkish forces have seized Afrin and are advancing towards Manbij. East of the Euphrates, the USA is consolidating its hold over Syria’s oil and gas industry (which it is looting), its water supply, and some of its best farmland. The USA is augmenting its own forces with “contractors”, recycled terrorists, and thousands of Kurdish irregulars. None of these foreign military occupations have the least pretext under international law.

The Syria Solidarity Movement looks forward to the day that Syria will regain its full territorial integrity. However, the road ahead is fraught with danger, mainly the threat of a wider regional war, and even a world war involving all the great powers.

We call upon the people of all the countries, parties to the US aggression against Syria, to look past the lies and distortions of their governments and media and demand that their governments withdraw from participating in the illegal attack upon the sovereign country of Syria. Instead, they should urge their politicians to end all economic sanctions against Syria, restore diplomatic relations with the government in Damascus, and make plans to aid in the reconstruction of the country.

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Largest Military Aid in Nazi regime History: $705 Million for Missile “Defence” Programmes

NOVANEWS
 

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the US Congress had approved the largest defence aid contribution for Israel since it was created in 1948, Quds Press reported yesterday.

On Twitter, he wrote:

“I am pleased to announce that the US Congress has approved a record amount for missile defence. $705 million in 2018. We will continue to develop the multi-tier missile defence system.”

American media reported that Congress approved the $705.8 million for missile defence programmes, noting that this is $105 million more than last year’s funding.

Lieberman went on to thank the US which he described as a “great friend” of Israel, noting that it invested $6.5bn to defend the skies of Israel.

In 2016, the US approved a $38 billion ten-year aid package for Israel, the highest ever agreed. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Israel cost the US $1.6 trillion between 1973 and 2002.

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