Archive | September 12th, 2019

US official: ‘Zionist spying’

A view from the North Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., Sept. 1, 2019. (Tom Brenner/Getty Images)

A senior U.S. official clam that Israel was likely being behind the placement of devices in the vicinity of the White House that can capture cellphone calls.

Noga Tarnopolsky, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, quoted the official as saying.

Politico in the article published online Thursday cited three unnamed former senior officials with “knowledge of the matter.”

Nazi officials, including P M Naziyahu, vigorously denied the report. ‘Israel’ has pledged since the 1986 capture of Zionist spy Jonathan Pollard not to spy on the United States, although since then there have been multiple instances of the countries accusing the other of spying, however.

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A ‘private Mossad for civilians’ goes worldwide to make its clients secure

Sabra Intelligence Solutions CEO Shay Chervinsky (Itzik Bellenitzki)

by Shoshanna Solomon

Sabra Intelligence Solutions brings expertise acquired in Israel’s security services to the general population with, it says, a focus on operating ethically

The rise of anti-Semitic acts globally has prompted Jewish communities and institutions in the US, Europe, Mexico and Australia to seek out the security services of Israeli firm Sabra Intelligence Solutions.

The “intelligence officers” of Israeli firm Sabra Intelligence Solutions fly around the world from their office in Haifa to provide security services to clients around the world, mapping out sites and setting up a response plan in case of emergencies.

This includes providing advice on how many security personnel are needed on the ground and where to deploy them, where to set up “sterile rooms” where people can flee if an attacker comes on the scene, and how to provide security in an unobtrusive way.

The two-year-old company, which calls itself a Mossad for civilians, is staffed by people with extensive experience in operations and training who served in classified intelligence units in the Israeli army, the Israel Police and other Israeli intelligence organizations. The teams sent to the field often include cyber professionals, lawyers, economists, and an in-house psychologist, the firm said.

The teams track and gather information — using, for example, artificial intelligence technologies on security cameras — and analyze it to suggest steps that should be taken.

The firm also says it works for Jewish communities facing anti-Semitism, but would not provide details.

The firm was set up by Eran Bachar, who recruited his childhood friend Shay Chervinsky. The two grew up together in Bat Yam and kept in touch as they developed their respective careers. Bachar, who was injured during his army service in the paratrooper’s unit in 1995, went on to serve as an officer in the Israel Police surveillance unit and also worked for the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service.

During his service, Bachar held a variety of classified operational positions. Chervinsky, who has in the meantime become ultra-Orthodox, worked in a number of firms both high-tech and low-tech and brought business skills to the joint venture.

“We saw there was a market opportunity,” Chervinsky, Sabra’s CEO, said in a recent interview with The Times of Israel. “We want to take the abilities of these various intelligence units and provide them to the general population, to the civilians who need them.”

The civilians Chervinsky referred to include not only Jewish communities around the world but also “billionaires” — people who need security services for all kinds of reasons and who are drawn by Israel’s strong security image, as its elite IDF units and Mossad and Shin Bet operations make headlines around the world.

These high net-worth individuals — including Russian oligarchs — come to Sabra with their “problems” and are looking to resolve them discreetly and with “creative solutions,” Chervinsky said.

For example, a publicly traded European company on the brink of closing a merger deal with another giant firm got shamed on social media — and the deal was scrapped.

“The board of the company was stressed, and the incident was affecting investors, with the share price of the firm dropping on the exchange. They came to us via word-of-mouth, via another client, and we flew a 4-person team out to them,” he said.

Sabra set up a local operations room — just as is done for an army operation — and “hunkered down” to analyze social media and other data. Using local operatives, the team worked round the clock and came up with next-day results indicating that a competing company was responsible for the social media smear.

The Sabra teams are also employed to find flaws in the security details of known and high-net-worth individuals, following them undercover to spot the weak links. The teams operate on the dark web, creating fake personas, to discover plots against clients. They also have undercover agents who contact and develop relationships with targets vis so- called “random encounters” to get information needed for clients, he said.

Sabra has helped a person recover some of the $50 million debt owed by an individual who claimed he couldn’t pay because he was undergoing a bad divorce, said Chervinsky. “We discovered that the person was actually still with his wife,” and went to the local authorities with that information. A Sabra teams has also advised an NBA player about improvements that could be made to his personal security.

“We showed him how he could have been kidnapped, for example, on a number of occasions,” Chervinsky said. “We showed him the weak points of his security and sat down with his team to give them tips.”

The Sabra team consists of 23 local employees and at any given moment 10 of them are abroad on missions.

“All the information we get is obtained legally and ethically,” Chervinsky hurries to underline. The firm employs a legal adviser who checks each operation; its board approves all operations it takes on and a rabbi is called when doubts arise regarding the ethics of a mission, he said.

Other more famous Israeli firms, including intelligence firm Black Cube, and cybersecurity firm NSO, have become notorious and earned global headlines for operations they have allegedly undertaken.

Black Cube, created by former Israeli intelligence agents, has drawn international attention for allegedly working to discredit Obama administration officials who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear agreement, as well as to protect the reputation of disgraced #MeToo Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Black Cube filed a £15 million ($19 million) lawsuit in the UK against Israeli investigative journalist Ilana Dayan after she broadcast an exposé on some of the alleged workings of the secretive company.

Herzliya-based spyware firm NSO, founded in 2010 by Israelis Shalev Hulio and Omri Lavie, has developed Pegasus, a highly invasive tool that can reportedly switch on a target’s cellphone camera and microphone and access data on it, effectively turning the device into a pocket spy.

The software has put NSO under the spotlight as dissidents, journalists and other opposition figures in a variety of countries claimed the company’s technology has been used by repressive governments to spy on them. These include Mexican, Saudi and Qatari journalists who have filed lawsuits against the company, and an Amnesty International employee who was allegedly targeted by the software.

“We have set up fences to what we do and don’t do,” said Sabra’s Chervinsky. “We have turned away business to the tune of tens of millions of dollars because we are very careful with the cases we take on.”

Source:  https://www.timesofisrael.com/a-private-mossad-for-civilians-goes-worldwide-to-make-its-clients-secure/

See also:  What is Black Cube, the Cambridge Analytica-linked intelligence firm?

Why Harvey Weinstein Turned to Israeli Intelligence Veterans to Suppress His Sex Abuse Accusers & RICO Court Docs

My Time at Google and After

Corporate espionage in NYC:  8. KILL SWITCH UNIT 8200 PARTIES IN NEW YORK PWD

How Israel Hardware Back Doored Everything – Arc Processors

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For more information: ISRAEL – THE GREATEST SPY MACHINE OF ALL TIME #OperationTalpiot

Operation Talpiot

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica’s ties to Communist Russia, DARPA and the CIA/MI5/MI6/Le Cercle

How the CIA made Google: Inside the Secret Network behind Mass Surveillance, Endless War, and Skynet

Google Wants In on 6,000 Israeli Startups Within the Next 3 Years, Says Exec

CIA Helped Sell a Mapping Startup to Google. Now they won’t tell us why! In-Q-Tel/Keyhole

Law Enforcement to Flag and Spy On Future Criminals

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on A ‘private Mossad for civilians’ goes worldwide to make its clients secure

Is Lisbon the new Jerusalem? The flood of Israeli immigrants to Portugal exposes a disturbing and parasitic mindset

Israelis devour Portugal
Introduction by Gilad Atzmon

In 2015 the governments of Spain and Portugal passed laws to allow the descendants of Sephardic Jews to apply for citizenship and passports. We now learn from the Israeli press that “millions” of Israeli Jews are eligible for Portuguese citizenship. 

The following translation of an Israeli article provides a clear window into the Israeli psyche. 

According to the Hebrew article, 2,200 Israelis apply for Portuguese citizenship every month, but not because they are enthusiastic about Portugal, its culture, its history, its language or its heritage, not because they plan to live there or, God forbid, mingle with the locals, but mainly because of the business opportunities in real estate this provides. Apparently, all it takes for an Israeli to be eligible for Portuguese citizenship is approval from the Portuguese Jewish community.

The article exposes a disturbing picture of a deeply parasitic mindset. According to the Hebrew article, “it is estimated that in Israel millions are eligible for Portuguese passports by virtue of being the descendants of Spanish Jews”. It is peculiar that Israelis, who see themselves as entitled to “return” to Portugal or Spain after a few centuries, can’t see that Palestinians who still hold the keys to their houses in Yaffa, Lod and Haifa, and who possess title deeds for those properties, can’t return to their land. 

One further thought. If those “millions of Israelis” are  sincere about their intention to acquire Portuguese citizenship and return to Portugal, the Israel/Palestine conflict  could be resolved in a matter of weeks. Sadly, it would quickly turn peaceful Portugal into a new Palestine. One may wonder where the new Gaza will be located for all the indigenous Portuguese refugees who might not fit in the new Jewish promised land.

Portuguese passport: Israeli investors discover the great business opportunity of 2019

Demand for Portuguese passports is breaking records, but it isn’t just young [Israelis] seeking new experiences, but also businessmen and investors who are taking advantage of citizenship as leverage for business development across the entire [European] continent.

In recent years we have noticed an increase of hundreds of per cent in [Israeli] demand for Portuguese passports. The passport, which provides European citizenship, opens the door to residential living on the continent, freedom of movement in [European] Union countries, free tuition, many job opportunities and the right to visa-free entry into many countries around the world, including the United States. Therefore, it is no wonder that demand is breaking records and soon tens of thousands of Israelis will hold Portuguese passports.

The law that offers Israelis the opportunity to gain Portuguese citizenship does not have a complex bureaucracy or requirements such as knowledge of the language or residence in the country. It has just one basic condition: recognition by the local Jewish community of the roots of the citizenship applicant as a descendant of Spanish and Portuguese expatriates.

Many Israelis understand the opportunities provided by the new law and seek to take advantage of it. In 2017 some 700 applications for citizenship were submitted monthly, by 2018 an average of 2,200 applications were submitted each month, three times as many – businessmen, high-tech companies and real estate investors who understood the economic potential of European citizenship.

For business people operating in Europe and their investors, a Portuguese passport allows for the expansion of job and investment opportunities. They can also relocate to any of the EU countries, work without a work permit and enjoy tax benefits and lenient banking conditions, like any European citizen.

Portugal has caught the attention of Israeli businessmen as a country that has recovered from some turbulent financial crises, and today offers plenty of investment and business opportunities – especially in the real estate industry.

For the last four years, Portugal has shown significant economic recovery accompanied by growth thanks to government reforms, and this has led to a huge boom in the tourism industry and an increase in investor and industrial confidence. In 2018 alone Portugal was visited by 21 million tourists from all over the world.

House prices have risen considerably in the country, but have not yet reached their peaks and therefore carry opportunity. Portugal’s real estate market is a growth market, demand is outstripping supply, and expectations are for a continued rise in prices – so investors are expected to make significant profits.

The country’s largest cities, Lisbon and Porto (also known as Oporto), are the focus of investor attention – the demand is mostly for small apartments, which can also be rented out on a short term basis to the millions of tourists who visit the country every year, and investors will make nice monthly profits from the rental. And the country still has a wide range of other real estate opportunities that can generate significant increases in value in just a few years.

Investment in real estate in Portugal  is expected to yield almost twice the monthly return of investment in Israel, especially because  Portuguese passport holders also enjoy attractive terms on loans to finance the purchase from local banks, and tax benefits that are very much worth checking out before investing.

Portugalis , the largest company in Israel that specialises in Portuguese citizenship applications, explains that there is indeed a dramatic increase in the number of investors and businessmen seeking to start the process. The eligibility check in their offices are free of charge and, if there is a citizenship entitlement the  process to apply to the Jewish community in Portugal for official recognition of the applicant as a descendant of the Spanish and Portugal deportees can begin immediately. After recognition, the bureaucratic process continues with the Portuguese government and takes about two years, after which the applicant will receive Portuguese citizenship, which makes the applicant a citizen of an EU country.

“We have five branches in Israel and another branch in Portugal,” says attorney Yossi Yitzhak, chief executive of Portugalis and founder of the company. “We take care of the process from one stage to the next – all stages. The Portugal branch is committed to being in continuous contact with the Jewish community and relevant government officials, and we keep abreast of the professional changes and innovations that apply in our field and with our active accompaniment with Portugal, all leading to perfect a success rate for those that use our company.”

Unlike other companies or lawyers in the field, Portugalis has a dedicated department at every stage, including a large branch in Lisbon that handles the Portuguese bureaucracy and has many employees who have accumulated experience and expertise over the years in advancing the process and solving difficulties that emerge at critical junctions. “Our exclusive expertise in the company is only Portuguese passport applications – all our resources are directed at maximising the efficiency of the process for the thousands of clients who choose to go through the process with us and this has proved itself within the field,” says attorney Isaac.

It is estimated that in Israel, millions are eligible for a Portuguese passport from the descendants of Spanish Jews deported mainly to North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, Libya and Egypt), the Balkans (Greece, Bulgaria, the former Yugoslavia), Turkey, and South America.

One of the reasons for the rising demand for a Portuguese passport at the present time is the understanding that currently Portugal has lenient legislation that may change if Portugal chooses to impose restrictions on the process and make the bureaucracy associated with it burdensome. “This is a rare opportunity that can expire at any time, and keep in mind that laws may change – we have already seen states that have impossed immigration policies on them…

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Blaming Cows and Start Targeting the Corporations that are Destroying the Amazon

By: Anthony Pahnke

Amazon burning: Brazil reports record forest fires.TV

The point is this – if we do not know how to put pressure on the right actors who have been connected to destroying the Amazon, then our efforts will be for naught. 

Most of the reporting on the fires raging in the Amazon try to identify the guilty parties.  Some of those that have been identified include ranchers and loggers, as well as the rightwing government of Jair Bolsonaro for its lack of enforcing environmental regulations.  Yet, what we need to consider is that no single actor is responsible for destroying the rainforest, but instead corporate supply chains that crisscross our planet.  To truly effect change, we need to target companies within these networks, which can occur if we restore Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) in agriculture and boycott firms that have been linked to deforestation.  

RELATED: Fines for Violating Environment Dropped Since Bolsonaro Elected

As the Amazon burns, with the number of fires increasing more than 80 percent this year when compared to the last, many have proposed solutions to the crisis.  Leonardo DiCaprio has advised us to stop eating meat, while others encourage consumers to recycle, become educated, and contact their representatives.  There are also calls to privatize the rainforest to save it, with individuals such as Jeff Bezos – who is already the owner of one Amazon – implored to invest.

These supposed solutions have serious shortcomings.  For instance, what specifically will you demand from your representative?  Is the ask that they just ‘do something?’  The problem with eliminating meat from your diet is that you do not know if you are affecting the large-scale Brazilian rancher or the struggling family farmer who lives down the road.  Moreover, studies have shown that some forms of ranching – on well-maintained pastures with rotational grazing and the limited of fertilizers – can sequester carbon and help us face climate change.  And if the Amazon were privatized, then what if it is later partitioned and sold, again to ranchers and loggers, or perhaps to the tourist industry?    

The point is this – if we do not know how to put pressure on the right actors who have been connected to destroying the Amazon, then our efforts will be for naught. 

So, what can be done?  First, we need to know which farmers and ranchers are involved in deforestation.  While identifying individuals is difficult, we can make a push for the U.S. government to bring back the Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) in agriculture.  This policy became law with the 2002 Farm Bill, which required that retailors provide information on the sources of their food.  The Obama administration later repealed COOL for beef and pork products, but not for lamb, chicken, and goat meat, perishable agricultural commodities, macadamia nuts, pecans, peanuts, and ginseng.  

If COOL were brought back and consumers saw that Brazilian beef was in their stores, then they could choose not to purchase it. Some farmer and rancher groups have been pushing for this policy’s return, as others see this as a way to assist struggling farmers in the United States.

While promoting the return of COOL would take time, now, we know of actual cases of corporations that have been connected to deforestation.  For instance, many ranchers burning the rainforest sell to the Brazilian firm JBS, which is the largest meat processor in the world.  If you are not familiar with JBS, then you may know its U.S. subsidiary – Swift & Company.  Meats with the Swift label are regularly available in most grocery stores.  

RELATED: Bolsonaro’s Govt Knew Landowners Were Planning a ‘Fire Day’

For public sector workers, namely, teachers and professors with pensions, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (or TIAA, formerly known as TIAA-CREFF) through its subsidiaries in Brazil has been involved in large-scale land deals that have been linked to deforestation and land grabbing.  Farmer and consumer rights groups have called out TIAA on this point for years.  Along with these organizations, TIAA beneficiaries could rethink how their retirement funds are invested.  

Similarly, in a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, Pizza Hut, Kroger, Subway, Wendy’s, Hormel, and Nestlé, were found to source beef in ways that contributed to rainforest destruction.  We also cannot ignore the mining industry, which is responsible for upwards of 10 percent of deforestation in the Amazon.  Vale SA is the world’s largest producer of iron ore, with operations in the Amazon.  Last year, the company entered into discussions with the Brazilian state to enlarge the world’s already largest open-pit mine, the Carajás mine, which is located in the Amazon. While most iron ore exports move to China, in the U.S., people can demand an end to the U.S.-China trade dispute, which has led Brazil to increase its iron ore exports significantly.

Leonardo DiCaprio can tell us to stop eating meat, but unless we know where the cow is from, then the protest could prove ineffective.  To confront the causes of deforestation, we need to target specific companies within global supply chains.  Now, with the right information of particular firms, the question is if we have the time to take on corporate power and the Bolsonaro regime to stop the decimation of our world’s lungs.     

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VenezuelaUS: Already Interfering in Upcoming Venezuelan Elections

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro takes part in a rally against the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, in Caracas Venezuela, August 10, 2019.
  • Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro takes part in a rally against the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, in Caracas Venezuela, August 10, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

United States President Donald Trump has maintained strong economic pressure against Venezuela, having signed numerous decrees blocking the assets of the Venezuelan authorities within U.S. jurisdiction. Giants such as the Central Bank of Venezuela and the state-owned oil company PDVSA were also included in the sanctions list.

Now, Washington has announced it will even impose sanctions against foreign citizens supporting or trading with the country.

RELATED: Maduro Says Uribe, Colombian Ambassador Plotting his Killing

A Political and Economic Blockade

The United States has moved from sanctions to a full embargo against Venezuela.

While the announcement did not include the immediate deployment of the U.S. Navy to enforce the blockade, Washington is now ostensibly forcing other countries not to trade with Venezuela in any capacity.

The United States is threatening to impose sanctions on any organization, company or institution that maintains any kind economic relationship with Venezuela.

“Donald Trump says that he is considering imposing an embargo on Venezuela meaning that no vessel enters or exits. It is a blockade,” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said.

“Criminal imperialism will not cope with Venezuela. The waters of Venezuela will be free, sovereign and independent. We will sail there the way we chose to. Get ready for a fight if you want to introduce an embargo on Venezuela,” Maduro said.

The sanctions imposed August 5 block most Venezuelan assets located in the United States, prohibits transactions between the two states and threaten all international or private organizations owning property in the United States, using the American financial system or intending to start a business in the country against doing business with Venezuela.

teleSUR English@telesurenglish

Thousands of Venezuelans marched against the criminal economic blockade against #Venezuela. #HandsOffVenezuela #TrumpDesbloqueaVenezuela17111:00 PM – Aug 8, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy159 people are talking about this

How Strongly Will Venezuela be Effected?

The mainstream media is particularly replete with fake news and exaggerations when it comes to Venezuela. If the economic situation was as catastrophic as Western media indicates, why do massive crowds (by many estimation millions of people) come to the streets in support of Maduro? 

The crowds are certainly far larger than those that came out for protests called by U.S. backed opposition leader Juan Guaido. In light of these facts, it is clear that the Venezuelan government was correct when it said that the U.S.’s latest measures are directed against the people of Venezuela.

The U.S. has broadened its attack from government targets and is now even threatening the private sector, leaving many companies in fear of being blacklisted simply for doing business with Venezuela. 

Cubanadeprimera@Cubanadprimera

No Agreements at Meeting against Maduro and #Venezuela in Lima https://cubanadeprimera.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/no-agreements-at-meeting-against-maduro-and-venezuela-in-lima/ …

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Maduro’s Response and International Negotiations

At a rally against the economic blockade, Maduro called for a substantial increase in oil production in the country to help alleviate social problems in spite of the increased foreign pressure.

At the same time, Venezuela has organized a massive petition drive, collecting signatures to showcase popular opposition to the U.S.’s blockade. At least 13 million people are expected to sign.

According to the organizers, the purpose of the action is to break through the information blockade and demonstrate the consequences of economic and other restrictive measures to people in the West.

Internal crack-downs on pro-Western elements in Venezuelan society have also begun – the Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly, loyal to President Maduro, has stripped the immunity of four members of the opposition parliament in order to strengthen its power. Three are being accused of treason and the fourth on suspicion of involvement in the April 30 coup effort.

In total, the constituent assembly deprived almost 20 deputies of immunity.

Meanwhile, international negotiations are at an impasse. On August 8, negotiations between the government and the opposition were held in Lima, but no decisions were reached.

The international conference on Venezuela which ended on Tuesday was inconclusive, ending without a joint declaration on the United States’s blockade nor any other formal agreements.

Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio presented a summary of the event saying that participants from nearly 60 countries, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, were in agreement regarding the U.S. blockade, and threatening any who might choose to violate its terms.

RELATED: Russia Denounces Plan Based in Guyana to Destabilize Venezuela

Coup Attempt

In January, the U.S. staged an open coup attempt in Venezuela. Since January 21, after the legitimate election of Maduro, mass protests began. The head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, illegally proclaimed himself the interim head of state. Several Western countries, including the United States, announced their recognition as the new president.

After the coup attempt, Maduro openly called Guaido a puppet of the United States, while other states (China, Turkey, Russia and others) supported the legitimate president.

Then, on January 28, Washington announced the imposition of sanctions on PDVSA, blocked the assets and interests of the company in its jurisdiction for US$7 billion, and also banned transactions with them.

teleSUR English@telesurenglish

Thousands of Venezuelans marched against the criminal economic blockade against #Venezuela. #HandsOffVenezuela #TrumpDesbloqueaVenezuela17111:00 PM – Aug 8, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy159 people are talking about this

Allies

The U.S. did not take into account that many Venezuelan allies (on both state and private levels) are no longer afraid of U.S. sanctions as they are already under extreme pressure. This applies to Russia (under penalties for alleged “interference” in the U.S. elections), Turkey (over various disagreements including the purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems) and China (as a result of the ongoing trade war, scandals with Huawei, etc.).

Caracas will continue to cooperate with at least these governments, and perhaps even further integrate into the Eurasian vector. For instance, Russia’s Rosneft will remain a major importer of fuel to Venezuela.

The Chinese, who condemned interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela, have launched a facility that will increase oil production in Venezuela by mixing it with lighter grades. This project will be a joint venture between PDVSA and a Chinese CNPC called Sinovensa.

Conclusion

It is rather curious that this flare-up is occurring on the eve of new elections in Venezuela – the U.S.’ tactic is obvious: to weaken Maduro’s position before they begin. The Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly will create a commission that will determine the date of the parliamentary elections; it is even possible that elections to the National Assembly will be held this year (or 2020).

In July, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that the country’s authorities were ready for the election.

Venezuela is undoubtedly in the midst of a serious crisis, yet, this crisis can also serve as an incentive for Eurasian integration and strengthening ties with other anti-globalist forces.

Destabilization in VenezuelaUS Trump blockade VenezuelaNicolás Maduro

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Nicaragua and Western Progressive Opinion

By: Stephen Sefton

A supporter of Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega takes part in an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution, in Managua
  • A supporter of Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega takes part in an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution, in Managua | Photo: Reuters

There has always been significant neocolonial left-wing opinion in North America and Europe, willingly misled by supposedly liberal or progressive news media.

Progressives in Europe and North America attacking Nicaragua’s Sandinista government consistently exclude from their version of events in 2018 the extreme, sadistic violence and economic hardship imposed on Nicaragua’s people by the country’s U.S.-supported political opposition. The demonstrable facts of the failed attempt to overthrow President Ortega stubbornly contradict the outright lies and misrepresentations promoted by the Nicaraguan opposition’s foreign supporters.

Consequently, Western progressives opposed to President Ortega’s government face various intractable dilemmas as they try in vain to distance themselves from the country’s U.S.-owned right-wing political opposition, suppressing the fact that the center-right MRS party, whose propaganda they promote, lobbied for support from extreme right-wing U.S. Congress members Marco Rubio and Ileana Ros Lehtinen. In Ireland, the latest ploy by progressives to cover up their association with Nicaragua’s right-wing has been to revive the long moribund Irish Nicaragua Solidarity Group.

RELATED: 40th Anniversary of the Sandinista Victory—But So Much More

In this context, the solidarity tag invokes the phony, US-driven, anti-monster hyperbole familiar from NATO government and media propaganda against, among others, Syria and Venezuela, rather than anti-imperialist support for governments and peoples resisting the U.S. and allied country sanctions and threats of intervention. This political alignment immediately compounds the initial dilemma facing Western supporters of the Nicaraguan opposition. Their recycling of falsehoods and misrepresentations promoted by Nicaragua’s right-wing opposition is further exposed by the lack of anyone to show solidarity within Nicaragua untainted by their association with that same US-owned right wing. Essentially, their dilemma derives from class loyalties leading them naturally to support their class counterparts in Nicaragua: unrepresentative NGO managers, marginal phony revolutionaries, minority social democrat politicians and their associated media. 

In Nicaragua, there is no credible left-wing opposition to President Ortega’s Sandinista government outside the Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN). The authoritative M&R opinion polling consultants’ survey of May this year showed that the main opposition political parties, all of whom are right-wing, together have the same level of national support they had consistently between 2011 and 2018, namely under 10%. No political left-wing with significant support exists. Implicitly recognizing this, North American and European progressives tend to argue that, absent any representative left-wing political party, they support purportedly progressive social movements opposed to the government. But a look at the role of those social movements’ in last year’s failed coup attempt reveals that they have zero claims to a progressive program with majority support.

The main participants in the failed coup attempt were: the US government supported the Sandinista Renewal Movement, along with ex-Sandinista allies like Monica Baltodano and her circle; the most reactionary Catholic Church bishops; the main private employers organization COSEP; US and EU country-funded NGOs; the foreign-funded Anti Canal Movement and the extreme right-wing Ciudadanos por la Libertad political party as well as individual local politicians, mayors for example, from the other right-wing political parties. The coup attempt was stridently supported by U.S. government-funded media oligarch Carlos Fernando Chamorro and other sympathetic right-wing media. 

Given the unprecedented psychological warfare assault, a large number of Nicaraguan students understandably initially supported the coup. But the great majority of public university students realized within a couple of weeks that the coup attempt was in fact a class war against them and their families. That was made very clear when Nicaragua’s wealthiest business leader Piero Coen, on Saturday, April 21, 2018, publicly declared his support, urging demonstrators to continue their violent protests. 

The class attack on low-income students and their families intensified with the violent, criminal occupation of the UNAN and UPOLI, universities serving students from low-income families while private universities were left untouched, and by the opposition’s attempted murder of student leader Leonel Morales because he opposed the coup attempt. Most private university students supported the opposition violence at arms’ length, so long as they were not directly affected. Likewise, opposition feminist NGO leaders, with practically no social base, openly worked in alliance with the most reactionary anti-abortion Catholic bishops, with the wealthy private business leaders of COSEP as well as with well-known right-wing politicians.

On the other hand, women opposing the coup attempt included the huge mass membership of women in the country’s labor unions, cooperative movement and popular economy organizations. Women now comprise around 45% of all cooperative members (112,000 out of 253,000 in 2014), compared to just 26% in 2006. This and similar facts, like Nicaragua’s leading global example in women’s political representation or the halving of maternal mortality since 2006, attest to the unprecedented advances of women in Nicaragua since 2006, a process led by the FSLN, guided in particular by Vice President Rosario Murillo. Those advances contradict attacks on the government by unrepresentative feminist NGO leaders, including beneficiaries of US government funding like Sofia Montenegro and Violeta Granera, and other marginal figures, like Sandra Ramos or Azahalea Solis.

After the violent events of April 18th-April 23rd, involving well organized, extremely violent armed opposition attacks in at least ten important towns and cities, including Managua, Masaya, Leon, Granada, Jinotepe, Diriamba, Estelí and Bluefields, resistance to the attempted overthrow of the government quickly consolidated.

It included all the main labor unions; all the main cooperative organizations; all the main organizations representing small and medium-sized businesses; the nationwide Association of Rural Workers which is a member of Via Campesina; the main students’ union and, too, the Senior Citizens Union. On the Caribbean Coast, most indigenous and afrodescendant organizations supported the government. That reality further compounds the dilemma facing foreign progressives opposed to Nicaragua’s Sandinista government, because it renders absolutely clear the class war embodied in the failed coup attempt of 2018.

Ex-Sandinistas like Henry Ruiz and Monica Baltodano openly allied with the private big business owners of COSEP, with the most reactionary Catholic bishops, with US-funded proxies like Felix Maradiaga, Juan Sebastian Chamorro and Sofia Montenegro, among a host of other foreign government-funded figures, including CENIDH’s Vilma Nuñez. Monica Baltodano herself was a deputy for the center-right Sandinista Renewal Movement from 2007 to 2011 and consistently voted with Nicaragua’s right-wing political parties in the National Assembly.

More recently, she and her daughter Monica López have championed the Anti-Canal Movement, which has a limited rural base in Nicaragua’s central southern farming region and is most associated with Francisca Ramirez, a landowner and businesswoman from Nueva Guinea who poses misleadingly as a simple Campesina. They have worked closely with Nicaragua’s right-wing for years, for example with the right-wing media owner and former presidential candidate Fabio Gadea.

Not one of these so-called civil society leaders condemned the violence perpetrated by their militant supporters and paid delinquents at the numerous barricades and roadblocks set up in part to try and paralyze the country’s economic life and in part to terrorize people at grassroots.

To the contrary, they encouraged it and suppressed the truth of incidents such as the massacre of four police officers and a school teacher in El Morrito on July 12, 2018 carried out by Anti Canal Movement militants operating roadblocks under the leadership of Medardo Mairena. Vilma Nuñez’s CENIDH activists violently invaded the UNAN campus and persistently broadcast systematic lies accusing the police and security forces of extremely serious crimes now proven categorically to have been committed by the opposition, for example, the family notoriously burned to death in Managua’s Carlos Marx district on June 16, 2018.

All of this means that people in Ireland or anywhere else in North America and Europe expressing solidarity with the political opposition to President Daniel Ortega are supporting organizations and individuals allied with extreme right-wing politicians, with corporate capitalist business leaders, with local US-funded NGO mercenaries and with the most reactionary representatives of the Catholic Church hierarchy.

No other political opposition exists, either among Nicaragua’s social movements or its political organizations. The M&R May 2019 poll results categorically confirm the lack of public support for Nicaragua’s opposition. Even back in September 2018, only 28% of people in Nicaragua wanted to continue protests via barricades and roadblocks. By May 2019 that figure had dropped to 10%, with 32% of people in Nicaragua opposing President Ortega and 59% supporting him and his government. 

The dilemmas facing Western opponents of President Ortega’s Sandinista government have led them into completely demented cognitive dissonance. Progressive foreign opponents of President Ortega simultaneously say they oppose US intervention while supporting a Nicaraguan opposition calling precisely for….U.S. intervention and sanctions. They claim to be anti-imperialist while contradicting explicit support for Nicaragua’s FSLN government from the most important anti-imperialist mass political front in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Foro Sao Paulo. They claim to be democratic while deliberately omitting and suppressing abundant information available within Nicaragua that would allow the general public in North America and Europe a true and fair view explaining President Ortega’s majority support. 

These attitudes and behavior are nothing new. There has always been significant neocolonial left-wing opinion in North America and Europe, willingly misled by supposedly liberal or progressive news media and disingenuous NGOs like Amnesty International. But for the last thirty years, the same lies and psy-warfare motifs have been constantly repeated to the point where there is no excuse to fall for them yet again. As in the case of Venezuela, Syria or Iran, most Western progressives readily attack majority world governments and movements legitimately defending their national sovereignty. Nicaragua is another example of this kind of neocolonial injustice promoted by Western progressives colluding with the self-same imperialist policies they falsely claim to oppose.

Posted in NicaraguaComments Off on Nicaragua and Western Progressive Opinion

U.S.Osama bin Laden’s Son Killed in US Special Operation

An advisor from the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade flies during their deployment to Afghanistan April 12, 2019. Courtesy Sgt. Jordan Trent/U.S.

“The loss of Hamza bin Ladin not only deprives al-Qa’ida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group.”

The son of Osama bin Laden and the reported Al-Qaeda leader was killed in a U.S. counter-terrorism operation, the White House said on Saturday.

RELATED: US Navy Enters Disputed South China Sea Amid Row With Beijing

“Hamza bin Laden, the high-ranking al-Qaeda member and son of Osama bin Laden, was killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region,” a statement attributed to the president released by the White House on Saturday said.

A White House statement said the operation took place in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

“The loss of Hamza bin Ladin not only deprives al-Qa’ida of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group,” the statement said.

Hamza, believed to be about 30 years old, was at his father’s side in Afghanistan before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. He also spent time with his father in Pakistan after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan pushed much of al Qaeda’s senior leadership there, according to the Brookings Institution.

Hamza’s last known public appearance was in 2018. The 30-year-old al-Qaeda veteran had positioned himself as successor to his father since 2015, and had been involved with the terror group since he was a teenager.

In 2017, Hamza reportedly oversaw the creation of a new franchise of al-Qaeda in Syria, with the terror group consisting of former Nusra and Daesh (ISIS) fighters and declaring war on pretty much everyone, from Syria and Russia to secular Arab governments, Turkey, the US, the UK and various Shia militias.

The U.S. State Department designated Hamza a global terrorist in 2017 after he called for acts of terrorism in Western capitals and threatened to take revenge against the United States for killing his father.

Reuters reported on July 31 that Hamza had been killed, citing a U.S. official with knowledge of the matter. But Saturday’s statement represents the first time the U.S. government has confirmed the operation.

Hamza bin LadenAl-Qaeda

Posted in Middle East, USA, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on U.S.Osama bin Laden’s Son Killed in US Special Operation

Venezuela: Maduro calls Juan Guaido, Queen of the South

President Maduro calls Juan Guaido, Queen of the South, saying the photos of the self-declared leader with the Los Rastrojos represents his “criminal alliance with the paramilitary drug gang.”

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a rally against U.S. President Donald Trump in Caracas, Venezuela September 12, 2019.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called the images of self-declared interim president Juan Guaido next to members of the Colombian paramilitary group, Los Rastrojos, a “tremendous scandal.” 

RELATED: Maduro: 12m #NoMoreTrump Petitions to be Presented to UN

During a Friday address to the nation, President Maduro said the photos represent Guaido’s “criminal alliance with the paramilitary drug gang, Los Rastrojos.” The photos were revealed Thursday over Twitter by human rights defender Wilifredo Canizares of the Fundación Progresar based in Cucuta, Colombia. 

“The Rastrojos entered Venezuelan territory to get its member, Juan Guaido, and took him (to Colombia),” said Maduro, in order for Guaido to take part in Venezuela Aid Live concert put on by multi-billionaire, Richard Branson, last February in the Colombian border city of Cucuta.

“This is the mother of all scandals,” Maduro insisted. He denounced the relationship between the opposition legislator Guaido and Los Rastrojos, an organization well-documented as drug traffickers with a track record of violent crimes that operates in Colombia, near the border with Venezuela.

“Colombia knows that Los Rastrojos kill people every day and he (Guaido) is photographed with four of their most dangerous criminals, murderers, drug traffickers in Cucuta,” said the president from Caracas.

The president asserted it was Colombian ex-president, Alvaro Uribe who gave the order for the paramilitary group to protect Guaido across the Venezuelan border to Cucuta to attend the concert and attempt to usher in trucks filled with supposed “humanitarian aid” supplies from USAID and other governments and international organizations. 

La Radio del Sur@laradiodelsur

Ministro Reverol reveló elementos que vinculan a Guaidó con narcoparamilitarismo colombianohttp://bit.ly/2lT9qBW 

View image on Twitter

2806:50 PM – Sep 13, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy559 people are talking about thisMinister Reverol reveals information that links Guaido with Colombian narcoparamilitarism http://www.bit.ly/2lT9qBW

Maduro called Guaido a “tremendous bandit, tremendous criminal, who has sided with the United States government to be the opposition leader.” Guaido claims he had taken pictures with “hundreds” of people the day he entered Colombia, trying to distance himself from any alliance with the narco group.

Maduro said that Los Rastrojos protected “Queen Guaido, drug trafficking queen, the Queen of the South,” to get through the border, comparing the U.S.-aligned Guaido with the fictional woman drug-smuggler in the Queen of the South television series. By February, the Venezuelan government already had an arrest warrant out for Guaido who was prohibited from leaving the country after his January failed coup attempt.

Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek Saab announced on Friday he has ordered a new, now the fourth, investigation against Guaido. 

“Did the government of Ivan Duque know that these drug-trafficking paramilitaries, Los Rastrojos, were going to be the honor guards of Guaido to enter Colombia illegally? We think we can assume that they did,” Saab told the press. 

Colombian President Ivan Duque told the press Friday: “We facilitated (Guadio’s) entry into Colombian territory … he was welcome in Colombian territory and protected in Colombian territory.” Duque called the fugitive a “hero.” 

One of the men in the photograph with Guaido is Jhon Jairo Duran, aka “Minor”, arrested on June 18 in Colombia after fleeing a shooting where at least 12 people were killed.

Posted in USA, VenezuelaComments Off on Venezuela: Maduro calls Juan Guaido, Queen of the South

Australian TV Channel 10’s Studio 10 program on the futile drug war

Image result for drug war CARTOON

Australian TV Channel 10’s Studio 10 program on the futile drug war

Posted: 11 Sep 2019 12:06 AM PDT

I recently appeared on Australia’s Channel 10 popular TV morning program, Studio 10, talking about the drug war and my new book, Pills, Powder and Smoke: Inside the Bloody War on Drugshttps://s3.wasabisys.com/selfagency-host/antonyloewenstein.com/Pills-Powder-And-Smoke-Inside-The-Bloody-War-On-Drugs-Network.mp4

The post Australian TV Channel 10’s Studio 10 program on the futile drug war appeared first on Antony Loewenstein.

Posted in Australia, HealthComments Off on Australian TV Channel 10’s Studio 10 program on the futile drug war

THE BACK SCATTER SCAM ‘Video’

A GIANT FRAUD

Image result for GIANT FRAUD cartoon

DESIGNED TO LET METAL OBJECTS THROUGH

The super security-conscious Israelis looked at Michael Chertoff’s airport “back scatter” scanners and declared them: “total garbage.”

This video shows why.

And nothing has changed nearly five years later.

The the fraud, and ineptitude continue so Michael Chertoff and the people he’s paying off to run this scam can continue.

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Posted in USAComments Off on THE BACK SCATTER SCAM ‘Video’


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