SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA

Feb 26 07:56

Honduran president says U.S. probe of his alleged drug ties could scuttle cooperation with Washington

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said on Wednesday that allegations by U.S. prosecutors of his involvement with organized crime could affect cooperation with Washington in fighting drug trafficking.

U.S. prosecutors, in a federal court filing in New York on Feb. 5, said Hernandez used Honduran law enforcement (here) and military officials to protect drug traffickers as part of a plan “to use drug trafficking to help assert power and control in Honduras.”

U.S. prosecutors have said Hernandez accepted a million-dollar bribe (here) from Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who was convicted in 2019 and is serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison.

Hernandez has denied the allegations and he has not been charged with a crime.

Feb 26 07:42

Mexico to Ban Glyphosate, GM Corn Presidential Decree Comes Despite Intense Pressure from Industry, U.S. Authorities

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador quietly rocked the agribusiness world with his New Year’s Eve decree to phase out use of the herbicide glyphosate and the cultivation of genetically modified corn. His administration sent an even stronger aftershock two weeks later, clarifying that the government would also phase out GM corn imports in three years and the ban would include not just corn for human consumption but yellow corn destined primarily for livestock. Under NAFTA, the United States has seen a 400% increase in corn exports to Mexico, the vast majority genetically modified yellow dent corn.

The bold policy moves fulfill a campaign promise by Mexico’s populist president, whose agricultural policies have begun to favor Mexican producers, particularly small-scale farmers, and protect consumers alarmed by the rise of obesity and chronic diseases associated with high-fat, high-sugar processed foods.

Feb 21 07:22

Colombian army committed 6,400 extrajudicial killings: Court

Colombia’s military carried out at least 6,400 extrajudicial killings and presented them as combat deaths between 2002 and 2008, a number that is at least three times higher than previously estimated, a special court has said.

The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) court is investigating crimes and atrocities committed during half a century of armed conflict between government troops and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Marxist rebels who laid down their weapons following a historic 2016 peace accord. It has a 10-year mandate.

Feb 17 07:47

UN: US, allies inflict economic damage on Venezuela economy

Following her visit to Venezuela, the UN human rights envoy has certified the information given by Caracas regarding the devastating economic consequences of the confiscation of Venezuelan gold reserves that are worth €30 billion.

The move by the United States and its allies the UK and Portugal is based on accusing the government of President Nicolas Maduro of not being legitimate. These foreign countries alleged that Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido is the “interim president” of the South American nation even though Venezuela's judiciary has ruled that he is not.

While Maduro runs a legal battle trying to recuperate the gold, the dispute has worsened the country's economic crisis as its oil companies abroad have also been illegally confiscated by the U.S and its partner nations.

Feb 16 07:59

Biden Administration Smears Nicaragua as “Dictatorship” for Forcing US-funded, Coup-plotting NGOs to Register as “Foreign Agents”

Nicaragua’s elected leftist government passed a law requiring NGOs funded by outside governments to register as foreign agents, so a CIA agent-turned-Biden State Department spokesman smeared it as “driving toward dictatorship” — despite the policy’s similarity to US legislation.

Since Nicaragua’s socialist Sandinista Front returned to power through democratic elections in 2006, the United States government has poured many millions of dollars into right-wing opposition groups in the Central American country.

These US-funded NGOs have aimed to destabilize the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, and played a central role in a brutally violent coup attempt in 2018.

Nicaragua’s National Assembly responded to the Washington-sponsored violence and destabilization efforts by passing a law in October 2020 that requires organizations funded by outside governments to register as foreign agents.

Feb 16 07:48

Government of São Paulo Will Immunize The Entire Vaccinable Population of a Small Town to Assess The Effect on Covid

The municipality of Serrana (316 km from the capital), in the interior of the state of São Paulo, will host the first study in the world to assess the so-called effectiveness of vaccines against Covid-19.

The study, called Project S, was designed and developed by the Butantan Institute in partnership with the State Hospital of Serrana, linked to the state government, and the City of Serrana.

Feb 15 09:41

It was a milestone for Mexico’s democracy. Now López Obrador wants to get rid of the country’s freedom of information institute.

One scandal featured the president's wife and a $7 million mansion built by a top government contractor. Another involved the misuse of federal AIDS funds to buy Cartier pens and women's underwear. Then there was the "Master Fraud," in which $400 million flowed between 11 government agencies, eight universities and dozens of phony companies — with half disappearing.

Each of the cases was exposed thanks to Mexico’s freedom of information system, often ranked among the world’s most effective. Created in 2002, it has allowed journalists and researchers to wrest documents from a government long known for opacity.

The system has been “one of the most important democratic advances in Mexico” since the end of one-party rule in 2000, said Roberto Rock, a journalist who lobbied for its creation.

Feb 13 07:07

Colombia armed groups turn forcibly recruited children into 'war machines': government

Illegal armed groups in Colombia are using forcibly recruited children and adolescents as “war machines” and sexual slaves amid ongoing internal conflict in the country, the government said on Friday.

Violence in Colombia fell after a 2016 peace deal with its largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), but still-active guerrillas and crime gangs continue to target minors for recruitment.

“This crime must be abolished,” said President Ivan Duque at an event commemorating the international convention that prohibits the use of children in armed conflicts. “One of the greatest tragedies humanity has seen is the recruitment of minors.”

Feb 13 06:47

Venezuela – Food Security and Sovereignty to Fight Starvation Sanctions

Mainstream media references to Venezuela always focus on the devastating economic crisis, which they directly or indirectly attribute either to the Maduro government mismanagement or to a total failure of the Bolivarian Revolution envisioned by Hugo Chávez. US sanctions are mentioned (if they are at all) as if they were a benign slap on the hand to change the conduct of a misbehaving child. More seriously, sanctions are unilateral coercive economic measures forcing “a change of conduct” in target countries as punishment for falsely reputed violation of “international norms of behaviour”.

The reality is that the US has been enforcing an escalating hybrid war on Venezuela for the purpose of changing its independent social development free from the imposition of neoliberal policies. Possibly the most lethal tools of this kind of warfare are the criminal, illegal and inhumane coercive economic and financial measures, euphemistically called “sanctions”.

Feb 11 07:13

US Sanctions Caused Thousands of Deaths in Venezuela, GAO Says

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) acknowledged that U.S. sanctions on Venezuela have killed tens of thousands of people and harmed the country’s economy, especially by depressing its oil production.

In a new report, GAO also recalled that the sanctions imposed on the country under former Barack Obama’s and Donald Trump’s administrations are also hindering U.S.-backed humanitarian aid to Venezuela.

The report “offers more evidence that the unilateral and illegal U.S. sanctions are a punishment against the Venezuelan people and they should be ended immediately,” Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said.

GAO noted that the financial sanctions imposed on Venezuela since 2015 led to a drop in oil production of 797 tons per day, which at current oil prices would represent US$16.9 billion per year in foregone oil revenues.

Feb 06 06:31

Woman's Entire Family Dies After She Hides Positive COVID Test

The family of a Venezuelan woman who tested positive for coronavirus died after she concealed her diagnosis from them.

Verónica García Fuentes, 36, from the state of Tachira in Venezuela, fell ill with a fever in mid-December. She took a PCR test which came back positive and isolated herself at home, but she told her husband and children she had a bad case of the flu.

According to the Venezuelan newspaper La Nación, Fuentes may have kept her COVID-19 diagnosis a secret out of fear. At the end of December, she told her husband José Antonio, 33, she had coronavirus as he was on his way to a family party to stop him from mixing with other relatives.

In January, Fuentes developed pneumonia but her husband and three children, one aged 17 and twins aged four, all tested negative in a rapid test.

Two weeks later, Fuentes' condition deteriorated and she was admitted to hospital. The rest of her family then tested positive for COVID-19, but appeared to be asymptomatic.

Feb 05 06:23

Google, Facebook and Twitter black out information on Carvativir

The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, announced that researchers have elaborated a drug capable of treating Covid-19 with no side-effects, called Carvativir. He also announced that it would be manufacured in large quantities and be made available to the member states of ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas).

In doing so, he quipped about the capitalist practices of vaccine companies, emphasizing that the Venezuelan drug would come as a gift from God.

While caution should be exercised, the solution to the epidemic can only be arrived at through debate.

Social media giant YouTube (owned by Google), followed by Facebook and Twitter, are currently withholding any reports relating to Carvativir, despite having been approved by the Venezuelan health and pharmacological authorities. They deem that President Nicolas Maduro is spreading false hope and putting people at serious risk.

Feb 03 09:21

Armed conflict between Venezuela and Guyana will involve US forces

A new focus of tensions is emerging in South America. Since the discovery of oil in Guyana, this country has been increasingly approaching Washington both as an economic partner and as a political ally. The Americans see the partnership with the Guyanese as an opportunity to fill the void left in the global oil market with the economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela. But, in addition to a mere economic alliance, the ties between both countries are also rising to the military sphere, which is generating concerns in Caracas.

Jan 26 08:49

EU Drops Recognition Of Juan Guaido As Venezuela's 'Interim President'

The European Union has now officially abandoned its Venezuela mythology which deemed Juan Guaido as 'Acting President' or 'Interim President' rather than the man who actually rules the country, Nicolás Maduro (like it or not). This reaffirms a prior January 7th EU decision.

On Monday the European Union issued a new statement which merely acknowledged Guaido as a "privileged interlocutor" despite having over the prior two years joined Washington in recognizing the opposition leader of parliament as 'actual winner' in the disputed re-election of President Nicolas Maduro at the end of 2018.

"The EU repeats its calls for... the freedom and safety of all political opponents, in particular representatives of the opposition parties elected to the National Assembly of 2015, and especially Juan Guaido," the statement said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

Jan 26 07:26

Biden and the Democrats will Sow Chaos in Latin America

US President Joseph Biden, a relic from Washington’s old political establishment will continue the same imperialist policies in Latin America as did his predecessors including that of Donald Trump. There is a clear indication that Washington’s hostilities towards Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro will continue under a Biden administration.

Jan 26 07:10

First detection of Brazil coronavirus variant in U.S. found in Minnesota case

MINNEAPOLIS — A new Brazilian variant of the coronavirus has made its first known appearance in the United States in a person who recently returned to Minnesota after traveling to Brazil, state health officials announced Monday.

The Brazil P.1 variant was found in a specimen from a patient who lives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area who became ill in the first week of January, the Minnesota Department of Health said in a statement. Epidemiologists are interviewing the person to obtain more details about their illness, travel and contacts.

There was no immediate indication that the variant was spreading in Minnesota.

Jan 25 09:17

Will Venezuela Go To War Over Oil?

January 2021 is still far from over yet the pages of Oilprice already boast 6 articles about Guyana being the hottest drilling spot in the world. This is hardly surprising, considering the hot streak that ExxonMobil had over the past 5 years, with new companies coming in and stepping up the drilling game.

Jan 24 08:31

Chile ‘accidentally’ issues NATIONWIDE tsunami & evacuation warning only meant for Antarctic base after 7.0 quake

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake and several aftershocks have rattled Chile, triggering panic as authorities issued a nationwide tsunami alert while only seeking to evacuate the country’s largest research station in Antarctica.

The strongest of over half a dozen jolts struck South Shetland Islands 216 kilometers northeast of Chile’s O’Higgins scientific base at 8:36pm, while another 5.8 quake shook the Chile-Argentina border region close to the capital, Santiago around 30 minutes later.

While the warning was only meant for the coastal regions of Antarctica, people all across Chile received messages urging them to abandon coastal areas due to a tsunami threat, triggering much confusion.

Jan 23 08:27

Venezuela warned detained envoy not to cooperate with U.S., court filing shows

Venezuela’s foreign minister warned Alex Saab, a businessman close to President Nicolas Maduro who is facing extradition to the United States, not to cooperate with U.S. authorities, according to a document filed in a U.S. court by Saab’s lawyers.

Saab, a Colombian national accused by U.S. prosecutors of money laundering in connection to an allegedly corrupt deal to obtain supplies for Maduro’s government-run food subsidy program, was arrested last June in Cape Verde pursuant to an Interpol red notice. He is battling a U.S. extradition request.

In a late Thursday filing with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Saab’s lawyers argued that he should not be considered a fugitive from U.S. justice because Venezuela’s government named him a “special envoy” in 2018.

Jan 23 08:25

Imperialism Is Bipartisan: Biden Recognizes Juan Guaidó as President of Venezuela

Anthony Blinken, President-Elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, has announced that the incoming administration will continue to recognize Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela. He made the remarks on Tuesday, adding that Biden would also continue sanctions on the country but target them “more effectively.” These actions are part of the United States’ ongoing effort to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

In January of 2019, the government of Donald Trump, supported by far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, attempted a military coup against the Maduro government. The plan, orchestrated by Mike Pompeo and Elliot Abrahams, was to install right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela.

Jan 23 01:11

The History Of The U.S.'s Peaceful Transition Of Power

First peaceful transition of power in America.
It is no surprise that the initial transition of power from President Washington to President Adams took a while. Not only that, they were also just figuring out how to do it, there was no means of quick communication over a longer distance than your average ballroom. Weeks for Telegram with information about the transition to travel across the country and then more weeks for Adams and his people to actually travel to Washington. As a result, it took three months for Adams to officially become president and move to the White House after his election in December 1796. As the years passed, the technology moved the process forward, but that does not mean the transition became easier. .

Jan 23 00:53

The History Of The U.S.'s Peaceful Transition Of Power

First peaceful transition of power in America.
It is no surprise that the initial transition of power from President Washington to President Adams took a while. Not only that, they were also just figuring out how to do it, there was no means of quick communication over a longer distance than your average ballroom. Weeks for Telegram with information about the transition to travel across the country and then more weeks for Adams and his people to actually travel to Washington. As a result, it took three months for Adams to officially become president and move to the White House after his election in December 1796. As the years passed, the technology moved the process forward, but that does not mean the transition became easier

Jan 21 11:37

Biden To Keep Up Trump's Venezuela Regime-Change Policy

The Biden administration has said it will continue to formally recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela, despite Nicolás Maduro clearly being the actual leader of the socialist country.

Biden’s nominee for secretary of state Anthony Blinken told Senators on Tuesday that Guaido will be the recognized leader, a policy which began in January 2019 when the opposition leader dubbed himself 'Interim President' and also 'Acting President' at the encouragement of Washington during Trump admin attempts to foment a military and popular uprising against Maduro.

Jan 20 10:06

Senate Sergeant At Arms: History Of The Police Officer That Protects The U.S Senate Floor

Most important hall monitor
On April 7, 1789, James T. Mathers stepped into the office of head of the Office of the Corker for the first United States Congress, but not for the duties he would like to do today. At the time, the government had great trouble keeping senators to meet the quorum in Kopritol and achieving anything, so Mathers' job was essentially making sure they showed up for work and once they got there The latter did not try to remove them. He was also tasked to prevent disrupting private sessions so that the senators would not be distracted. Originally, he was the country's most important hall monitor. He was on the job for six years before Sessions went public and added security to associates and associates at the Capitol to his job description.

Jan 16 07:02

Brazil says ‘no’ to great reset: ‘Totalitarian social control is not the remedy for any crisis’

Brazil’s minister of foreign affairs says “no” to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) proposed “great reset” agenda, telling the United Nations (UN) special session on COVID-19 that “totalitarian social control is not the remedy for any crisis.”

“Those who dislike freedom always try to benefit from moments of crisis to preach the curtailing of freedom. Let’s not fall for that trap” — Ernesto Araujo

On December 3, Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ernesto Araujo rebuked the WEF’s technocratic “great reset” of society and the global economy in a recorded speech before the special session of the UN.

Although Araujo did not say the words “great reset” or “World Economic Forum” during his speech to the UN, he made it abundantly clear in a tweet the following day that he was referring to the “great reset” agenda in his speech.

Jan 16 04:21

Some 6,500 Honduran Migrants in Caravans Traveling North to Guatemala, Officials Estimate

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Small skirmishes broke out between Honduran security forces and migrants trying to cross the border into Guatemala on Friday night, with Guatemalan officials estimating around 6,500 people to be heading north to the United States.

Groups of Hondurans continued to trickle past the border, even as the Guatemalan military detained hundreds of migrants, including many families with young children.

The spokeswoman for Guatemala's immigration authority, Alejandra Mena, estimated that there were some 6,500 Hondurans making their way north, with 3,000 to 3,500 of them already in Guatemalan territory. A Honduran police officer told local television that "more or less 5,000 people" had walked past a checkpoint along a highway as they formed a caravan.

Honduras' Security Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Jan 15 02:01

Short of oxygen, Brazilian city of Manaus forced to evacuate Covid-19 patients

Short of oxygen, Brazilian city of Manaus forced to evacuate Covid-19 patients

Issued on: 15/01/2021 - 05:18

Dozens of COVID-19 patients in the Amazon rainforest’s biggest city will be flown out of state as the local health system collapses, authorities announced Thursday as dwindling stocks of oxygen tanks meant some people were starting to die breathless at home.

Doctors in Manaus, a city of 2 million people, were choosing which patients to treat, and at least one of the city’s cemeteries asked mourners to line up to enter and bury their dead. Patients in overloaded hospitals waited in despair throughout the day as oxygen cylinders arrived to save some, but came too late for others.

The strains prompted Amazonas state’s government to say it would transport 235 patients who depend on oxygen but aren’t in intensive-care units to five other states and the federal capital, Brasilia.

Jan 13 08:00

Peruvian Court Probing Judge's Ruling Alleging Soros, Bill Gates are Creators of COVID-19 Pandemic

Despite the World Health Organisation last year confirming the coronavirus to be of animal origin, conspiracy theories that COVID-19 is man-made continue to circulate.

The Supreme Court in the Ica region of Peru is investigating a resolution by a local court, claiming that COVID-19 was invented by the "criminal elites" of Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros, the Rockefeller family, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

We "have ordered a preliminary investigation into the Chief Justices of the Criminal Appeals Chamber Chincha and Pisco to obtain evidence that will help determine the presence or absence of alleged violations", the Ica Supreme Court said in a message published on its Facebook page.

Jan 13 07:18

January 6th at Capitol Hill: Blowback and the Ongoing Crisis of Legitimacy

Two Januarys ago, an obscure politician from a minor political party named Juan Guaido assumed a one-month chairmanship of the Venezuelan National Assembly. Then he promptly declared himself the interim president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The bizarre declaration had no legal standing. But that did not stop the Trump administration and later, the European Union, from recognizing this fictional presidency.

For most in the world, this was yet another in a series of illegal U.S. efforts to control the politics of countries in the global South. Supporting dictators, overthrowing governments with violence and destroying nations have been at the center of each of the U.S. global policies since the United States became the leader of the colonial/capitalist Western alliance in 1945.

But as Malcolm X once said, “The chickens have come home to roost.”

Jan 08 11:46

The EU Avoids Treating Guaido as 'President' of Venezuela

The European Union will maintain its engagement with all Venezuelan political actors, including "Juan Guaido and other representatives of the outgoing National Assembly elected in 2015."

The European Union avoided referring to the opposition politician Juan Guaido as Venezuela's "acting president" once the mandate of the National Assembly over which he presided expired on Tuesday.

"Venezuela urgently needs a political solution to end the current impasse through an inclusive process of dialogue and negotiation leading to credible, inclusive, and democratic processes," said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

He added that the EU will maintain its engagement with all Venezuelan political and social actors, including "Juan Guaido and other representatives of the outgoing National Assembly elected in 2015."

Jan 07 06:53

Not The Onion: Maduro's Venezuela Condemns Capitol Violence, Urges "Calm & Stability"

In the ultimate irony to kick off the chaos that is 2021 - or as some are already calling this new year, "2020 on steroids" - the government of Venezuela is urging for calm and "stability" in the United States.

There's little doubt that Maduro and his Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza were giddy with excitement as the latter crafted a formal message to US leaders which "condemns the political polarization" in the USA.

Jan 06 06:57

‘Risk for future generations’? Peru clashes with Pfizer over Big Pharma’s legal immunity for Covid-19 vaccine side effects

Peru has reached an impasse with Pfizer as it negotiates a deal for a Covid-19 vaccine, the country’s health minister said, citing a conflict over legal immunity for the pharma firm that could undermine Peru’s sovereignty.

While officials have remained in “constant contact” with Pfizer since the summer, the talks ran into trouble last month amid “controversy” over some clauses of the agreement, including those linked to pricing and delivery, as well as legal immunities for the pharmaceutical giant in the case its inoculation leads to death or injury, health minister Pilar Mazzetti told lawmakers on Tuesday.

“With Pfizer there are some details where there is no agreement,” Mazzetti said, adding “This has to do with prices and the delivery schedule” as well as “the waiving of important elements such as ... jurisdictional immunity.”

Jan 04 11:04

ARGENTINA SUSPENDS CORN EXPORTS TO ENSURE DOMESTIC FOOD SUPPLIES

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Argentina will suspend sales of corn for export until Feb. 28, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday, announcing the surprise move as part of the government's effort to ensure ample domestic food supplies.

The move by the world's No. 3 corn supplier was a sign of tightening global food supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This decision is based on the need to ensure the supply of grain for the sectors that use it as a raw material for the production of animal protein such as pork, chicken, eggs, milk and cattle, where corn represents a significant component of production costs," the statement said.

Dec 31 07:54

Halliburton cuts Venezuela staff after U.S. sanctions halt operations

Oilfield services provider Halliburton Co has reduced its workforce in Venezuela as a result of U.S. sanctions limiting its operations in the crisis-stricken OPEC nation, a spokeswoman for the company said on Wednesday.

Washington in April limited the activities Halliburton - as well as rivals Schlumberger NV, Baker Hughes Co and Weatherford International Plc - could perform in Venezuela. The United States in 2019 sanctioned state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela as part of its push to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Halliburton said at the time that it had halted its operations in Venezuela. On Wednesday, the spokeswoman said the company would retain a presence in the country despite the layoffs.

Dec 29 07:12

WASHINGTON'S FAVORITE VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADER EXPOSES LINKS WITH COLOMBIAN PARAMILITARY AND NARCO NETWORKS

According to Western corporate media outlets and human rights groups, Venezuela’s far-right opposition leader Leopoldo López is a hallowed saint.

The New York Times glorified López as the would-be “savior” of Venezuela, akin to none other than Martin Luther King Jr., while Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have dubbed him a noble “prisoner of conscience” and “Venezuela’s most prominent political prisoner.”

The real Leopoldo López, however, has repeatedly shown himself to be a violent extremist committed to overthrowing Venezuela’s government no matter the cost. And the right-wing political opposition factions under his control have revealed links to drug trafficking, death squads, and organized crime in neighboring Colombia.

Dec 29 07:08

Argentina’s leader says ‘trade war’ unleashed against Sputnik V as country starts immunization campaign with Russian vaccine

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez has dismissed fears of using Russia’s Sputnik V to vaccinate the population, arguing that the inoculation fell victim to a smear campaign driven by politics.

Competitors are eager to “discredit each other,” Fernandez told TV Publica in an interview broadcasted on Monday, adding that the coronavirus vaccine market is worth “tens of billions of dollars.”

“A trade war has been unleashed and, as everyone hopes for a vaccine, there is a geopolitical debate about who imposes it.”

“They call it a Russian vaccine and not the Gamaleya vaccine,” Fernandez said, referring to the drug’s developer, the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute.

Dec 29 06:44

Maduro Claims Colombia's Mercenaries Planning 'New Attack' on Venezuela Soon

Caracas cut off diplomatic relations with Colombia in February 2019, citing Bogota’s cooperation with the Venezuelan opposition over bringing humanitarian aid into the country. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said at that time that he couldn’t “keep putting up with Colombian territory being used for attacks” against the country.

Nicolas Maduro has accused Colombia of masterminding an attack against the Venezuelan military with support from the country’s president Ivan Duque.

"Colombia is preparing new attacks against the country's military, with trained mercenaries, with funding from Ivan Duque, preparing attacks at the end of this year,” Maduro said in a speech that he shared with followers on Twitter.

Dec 28 07:41

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake strikes off coast of Chile, no tsunami risk

An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 struck off the coast of south-central Chile on Sunday, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said, but Chilean officials immediately discarded the risk of a tsunami.

Dec 24 07:58

Exclusive: Venezuela resumes direct oil shipments to China despite U.S. sanctions

Venezuela has resumed direct shipments of oil to China after U.S. sanctions sent the trade underground for more than a year, according to Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data and internal documents from state company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

Chinese state companies China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and its listed subsidiary PetroChina - long among PDVSA's top customers - stopped loading crude and fuel at Venezuelan ports in August 2019 after Washington extended its sanctions on PDVSA to include any companies trading with the Venezuelan state firm. https://reut.rs/36ZyATv

The imposition of the sanctions was part of a push by the Trump administration to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, but they failed to completely halt the South American nation's oil exports or to loosen Maduro's grip on power.

Dec 24 07:58

Venezuela: China sends ninth shipment of medical supplies to combat coronavirus

On Tuesday, Dec. 22, the ninth planeload of medical supplies from was delivered to Venezuela from China in order to help the state in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The planeload included "medicines and medical products," including" rapid tests and an oxygen concentrator," stated Chinese Ambassador to Venezuela Li Baorong.

Li emphasized the significance of joint efforts at a time when "the pandemic is spreading and the recession of the world economy deepening," as he was talking at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in the capital city Caracas.

Dec 18 15:51

Not ‘forced’ but ‘compulsory’? Brazil’s Supreme Court paves way for SANCTIONS for refusing Covid-19 jab

Brazil’s top court has ruled that citizens can be legally “required” to take a coronavirus vaccine, laying the ground for “sanctions” for those who refuse the jab, despite vehement objections from President Jair Bolsonaro.

The Federal Supreme Court (STF) ruled 10-1 on Thursday that governments at all levels may set out penalties for anyone who declines to take a vaccine, allowing them to bar citizens from certain public places, among other measures. While Justice Ricardo Lewandowski noted in his majority opinion that “forced” immunizations would be unconstitutional, he said local, state and federal officials could impose restrictions on the unvaccinated.

“Each Brazilian will have the obligation to be vaccinated, which does not mean that they may be forced to take the vaccine,” said Justice Alexandre de Moraes.

Dec 18 08:34

US Embassy Caught Scrubbing Tweets Urging Venezuelans Not to Vote

The United States embassy for Venezuela has been caught deleting tweets undermining the integrity of the December 6 National Assembly elections in the country and calling on Venezuelans not to participate in them.

“Tomorrow in Venezuela there will be no elections but rather a fraud carried out by the illegitimate Maduro regime. The world is watching. And Venezuelans are organizing to report it. Are you ready to defend democracy? I don’t vote on December 6,” one tweet read, linking to a website purporting to track election irregularities.

The concept of “defending democracy” has been one commonly employed by the opposition during their many coup attempts on the government, dating back to 2002.

Dec 17 07:00

There’s more than just Trump’s wall between the US and Mexico, & the deeper problems won’t go away with Biden

Mexico has passed new laws stopping US drug agents from having carte blanche to operate in their country. Will the new Washington administration agree to this new set-up, or will it ride roughshod over it?

You don’t hear a lot about it these days, but one should never forget that the Trump administration built its support around antagonism towards Mexico. His slogan: ‘Build a wall’ would ultimately define his presidency, not so much in terms of substance, but in terms of its nationalist appeal and message to insecure identities in the United States. The president pledged to crack down harshly on illegal immigration across the southern border, vilifying and stereotyping Mexicans as “drug dealers, criminals and rapists.”

Dec 16 06:51

Iran Uses Disguised Tanker To Export Venezuelan Oil In 'Gold-For-Food' Barter

A tanker chartered by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has been loading Venezuelan crude for export, documents from state-run PDVSA show according to Reuters, providing evidence of the two countries’ latest tactics to expand their trade in defiance of U.S. sanctions. Venezuela and Iran have deepened their cooperation this year as Venezuela has exchanged gold and other commodities for Iranian food, condensate and fuel.

According to the reports, names of scrapped vessels are being used by several PDVSA customers, including NIOC, to disguise the routes and identities of the tankers they use. A very large crude carrier (VLCC), identified in PDVSA’s loading documents as the Ndros, arrived at Venezuela’s main oil port of Jose last week to load 1.9 million barrels of heavy Merey 16 crude bound for Asia, the documents showed.

Dec 08 14:55

Brazil rejects the Great Reset

Dec 08 10:02

Iran sends BIGGEST EVER fleet of oil tankers to Venezuela, defying US sanctions – report

Iran is sending a large fleet of oil tankers to Venezuela to help the Latin American nation survive a severe lack of fuel, Bloomberg has reported, citing sources. Both countries are facing US sanctions targeting their oil trade.

According to the sources, some of the flotilla of around ten Iranian vessels will also help export Venezuelan crude after discharging fuel.

The current fleet under sail is about double the size of the one that first startled international observers in May when crossing part of the Caribbean Sea patrolled by the US Navy, they said.

The last Iranian fuel shipments sent in early October on three vessels are running out, threatening steeper nationwide shortages.

Dec 06 07:49

Top U.S. Military Commander in South America: Iran Quds Force Active in Venezuela

Iran is sending Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro’s socialist regime weapons and troops, a top U.S. military official told the Wall Street Journal Wednesday.

“We see a growing Iranian influence in there,” the head of the U.S. Southern Command, Admiral Craig Faller, told the Journal. “We’re real [sic] concerned about what Iran is up to, not just globally, but here in this hemisphere.”

He went on to cite the “alarming and concerning” arrival of military personnel from the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), notorious for its terrorist activities in other countries including Syria and Iraq. Faller also confirmed that the military is seeing an “uptick” in weapons shipments from Iran to Venezuela, although he did not specify the specific arms being supplied.

Dec 05 08:11

Biggest Iranian Flotilla Yet En Route to Venezuela With Fuel

Iran is sending its biggest fleet yet of tankers to Venezuela in defiance of U.S. sanctions to help the isolated nation weather a crippling fuel shortage, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Some of the flotilla of about 10 Iranian vessels will also help export Venezuelan crude after discharging fuel, the people said, asking not to be named because the transaction is not public.

Dec 05 07:44

What’s Happening in US Election Matches What Happened in Venezuela, Expert Says

Irregularities that have taken place in this year’s U.S. presidential election are eerily similar to voting manipulation that helped Hugo Chávez stay in power in 2004, according to a senior former CIA official.

He described Chávez, who ruled Venezuela from 1999 until his death in 2013, as a “new kind of dictator.” Upon his taking power, Chávez revised the country’s constitution to increased the presidential term of office from five to six years, but also allowed people to call off his presidency in a referendum, which required 20 percent of signatures of all 11 million voters.

By 2003, opponents of Chávez managed to collect enough signatures to trigger a referendum. “That’s when he started to panic,” the former intelligence official—who is also an expert in Latin American politics and counterterrorism—told The Epoch Times. “So he started talking to a company called Indra, which is a Spanish company that runs elections.”

Dec 04 20:25

Guess Who’s Making a Ton of Money from Covid-19 in South America? (Hint: It’s NOT Small Businesses)

In South America, just like North American, small businesses have suffered greatly under the restrictions during Covid lockdowns. But - big surprise - not everyone is losing money.

Dec 03 08:48

How long will 7 million starve before hell breaks loose in Colombia?

An estimated seven million of Colombia’s 50 million people are starving, according to multiple estimates, without the government formulating any response.

Both economic think tank Fedesarollo and the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) believe that more than 14% of the country is living off less than $1.90 a day.

Dec 02 08:46

Colombia Is Considering Legalizing Its Massive Cocaine Industry

VICE World News sat down with Senator Iván Marulanda to talk about his cocaine legalization bill, which is currently moving through Colombia’s congress.

After 40 years of U.S. - backed anti-drug policy that criminalizes the coca leaf, Marulanda and a group of members of congress want to change tack.

The bill attempts to create a legal industry that distributes cocaine to users for pain relief, not recreational use. Like that in Bolivia, it also hopes to bring hundreds of thousands of illegal coca farmers out of the shadows into a legal, homegrown industry.

Nov 30 12:33

Brazilian President Says He Will Not Take A Coronavirus Vaccine (Neither Should You)

During a press briefing broadcast live over multiple social media platforms, Bolsonaro said that he has already decided to refuse a future coronavirus vaccine.

“I’m telling you, I’m not going to take it. It’s my right,” he said.

Nov 29 08:00

Venezuela resumes direct China oil deliveries despite US sanctions

Venezuela has reportedly resumed direct oil shipments to China after brutal US sanctions against the Central American nation forced the trade to go underground for more than a year.

Two China-flagged very large crude carriers (VLCC) with the capacity to transport some nearly 2 million barrels of crude each loaded Venezuelan heavy crude at the Jose terminal in recent days, Reuters reported Friday citing internal documents from Venezuela’s state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data.

One of the vessels, the Xingye, departed from Venezuela on Thursday signaling Singapore as its destination, Eikon data showed. The other carrier -- the Thousand Sunny -- has not yet set sail, according to the report, which noted that both tankers were owned by a PDVSA-PetroChina joint venture until earlier this year when PetroChina assumed full ownership.

Nov 28 08:25

Venezuela resumes direct China oil deliveries despite US sanctions

Venezuela has reportedly resumed direct oil shipments to China after brutal US sanctions against the Central American nation forced the trade to go underground for more than a year.

Two China-flagged very large crude carriers (VLCC) with the capacity to transport some nearly 2 million barrels of crude each loaded Venezuelan heavy crude at the Jose terminal in recent days, Reuters reported Friday citing internal documents from Venezuela’s state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data.

One of the vessels, the Xingye, departed from Venezuela on Thursday signaling Singapore as its destination, Eikon data showed. The other carrier -- the Thousand Sunny -- has not yet set sail, according to the report, which noted that both tankers were owned by a PDVSA-PetroChina joint venture until earlier this year when PetroChina assumed full ownership.

Nov 28 07:59

Honduras ex-President Zelaya stopped at airport with bag of money

Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said on Friday that he had been “unjustly” detained at the Central American nation’s Toncontin International Airport for carrying $18,000 in cash, which he said was not his.

“I don’t know the origin of that money. Obviously, someone must have put it in my belongings. I have travelled 400 times and I know that you cannot travel with that amount of money. It is necessary to investigate who put that money in my belongings,” Zelaya told local media.

Nov 26 08:30

Smartmatic: Miami Herald, 2006 Link to Hugo Chavez

Miami Herald - Mar. 27, 2006: Forget Dubai - Worry About Smartmatic Instead

Nov 22 09:23

Classified US Embassy Cable Proves Smartmatic’s Connection to Venezuela

In my report on the Giuliani Legal Team’s press conference ( https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/11/19/giulianas-legal-team-prese... ), I expressed doubts about the connection the team drew between Dominion voting machines, Smartmatic software and Venezela where the technology is suspected of being used for electoral fraud.

I withdraw that doubt. Among Wikileaks’ releases of US Government data there is a classified cable that establishes the essential truth of the legal team’s charges.

Nov 18 09:24

Ebola-like virus which causes massive bleeding found to jump from human to human after Bolivia outbreak

Scientists have sounded the alarm over an Ebola-like virus from Bolivia which has been found to spread from person to person, killing three out of every five confirmed patients.

The rodent-borne Chapare virus first emerged in 2004 in the Bolivian province from which it gets its name, about 370 miles east of the country's capital city, La Paz.

New research has shed light on the deadliness of the disease and how it spread from patient zero.

Following a 2019 outbreak in the country, researchers have found that, though it comes from a different viral family than Ebola, it also causes hemorrhagic fever, which can, in turn, cause life-threatening organ failure and bleeding.

Nov 17 12:04

Isabel Marant: Designer apologises for Mexican appropriation

French fashion designer Isabel Marant has apologised after the Mexican government accused her of appropriating traditional indigenous patterns.

Mexican Culture Minister Alejandra Frausto Guerrero said she used the styles without acknowledgment.

One cape appears to use a pattern unique to the Purepecha community of northwestern Michoacan state. It is on the label's site for €490 (£440; $582).

Nov 16 06:55

Dozens wounded in Peru as protesters and police clash amid political crisis

At least 27 people have been wounded in clashes between police and protestors as thousands of Peruvians took to the streets to demonstrate against the dismissal of President Martin Vizcarra, police and rights groups said on Friday.

The unrest over the last four nights, and other more peaceful protests in the capital Lima and other cities, are piling pressure on a fragmented Congress and the new government of President Manuel Merino.

On Thursday night, police used tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters, some of whom threw rocks at police and destroyed store windows and cash machines. The demonstrations were among the largest in two decades in Peru.

Nov 16 00:31

Cable Failures Endanger Renowned Puerto Rico Radio Telescope

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The giant, aging cables that support one of the world's largest single-dish radio telescopes are slowly unraveling in this U.S. territory, pushing an observatory renowned for its key role in astronomical discoveries to the brink of collapse.

The Arecibo Observatory, which is tethered above a sinkhole in Puerto Rico’s lush mountain region, boasts a 1,000-foot-wide (305-meter-wide) dish featured in the Jodie Foster film “Contact” and the James Bond movie “GoldenEye.” The dish and a dome suspended above it have been used to track asteroids headed toward Earth, conduct research that led to a Nobel Prize and helped scientists trying to determine if a planet is habitable.

Nov 15 13:36

Peru’s President Merino Resigns Following Deadly Protests

Peruvian President Manuel Merino resigned on Sunday, six days after taking office, following deadly protests against his government.

“I present my irrevocable resignation,” Mr. Merino said in a televised address. “It is time for peace and unity.”

Peruvians celebrated his resignation, cheering in the city’s plazas and honking car horns in this coastal city of nine million people.

Nov 10 07:23

Guatemala Repeals Agreement to Allow Planned Parenthood to Operate

Guatemala has repealed an agreement it made in October that would have allowed abortion provider Planned Parenthood to operate in the country.

On Wednesday, the country’s Interior Ministry said it was rescinding its agreement, dated October 7, asserting it was “not in accord with the interests of the State of Guatemala.”

A report at Catholic News Agency (CNA) stated:

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced the repeal Nov. 2, declaring he would not allow Planned Parenthood to operate in the country. Giammattei’s response was in reaction [to] the initial agreement authorizing Planned Parenthood, which became official that same day.

“I recognize life from conception and therefore I will not tolerate in my administration any movement that violates what is established in our Political Constitution of the Republic, that goes against the values with which I was raised and that conflicts with my principles as doctor,” Giammattei said.

Nov 04 06:44

President Lopez Obrador urges review of U.S. drug cooperation in Mexico

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday his government would review cooperation over drug policy with the United States and how its agencies operate in Mexico after the recent U.S. arrest of a top military official.

Nov 03 11:38

Colombia Farc: The former rebels who need bodyguards to stay safe

After fighting with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) for more than two decades, Luz Marina Giraldo started a career in local politics and ran for a seat on the town council in Mesetas, a rural district in Colombia's eastern plains.

But her campaign ended abruptly last year when hooded men burst into her home and killed her partner, Alexander Parra, also a former Farc guerrilla fighter, shooting him five times in the back.

Ms Giraldo fled with her children to a nearby city and has not returned to Mesetas.

She is one of hundreds of former guerrilla fighters dressed in white T-shirts who marched into Colombia's capital, Bogotá, on Sunday to seek a meeting with President Iván Duque.

Nov 02 11:15

"Devastating" Hurricane Eta To Strike Nicaragua Early Tuesday 

With about a month left of the hurricane season, Tropical Storm Eta was upgraded Monday morning to a Category 1 hurricane while moving towards Central America, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported.

Eta is the 28th named storm and the 12th hurricane in a super active season. The hurricane could strengthen to a Category 2 or 3 before making landfall in Nicaragua on Tuesday morning.

Oct 29 07:44

Times Editorial Lets Slip Joe Biden’s Latin America Policy: More Obama-Style Coups

With less than a week to go, polling shows Democratic candidate Joe Biden to hold a 7.1 point average lead on incumbent president Donald Trump. Thus, thoughts of what his foreign policy would look like have come to the fore. Yesterday, The New York Times published a long piece discussing the 77-year-old’s plans for Latin America. The Times was hopeful, noting that Biden would seek to “repudiate” Trump’s “hardball approach” to the region, which has caused a great deal of harm, rallying round shared goals of combating climate change.

Yet buried deep in the article is perhaps the most eye-opening sentence:

"Mr. Biden’s advisers say they would seek to revive the anti-corruption campaign that set off political earthquakes across the Americas starting in 2014, but largely stalled in recent years."

Oct 29 07:17

Elon Musk becomes Twitter laughingstock after Bolivian socialist movement returns to power

Tesla CEO Elon Musk became an internet punchline on Monday after the party of Evo Morales, a left-wing Bolivian president whom Musk intimated that America had every right to overthrow, was restored to power by the Bolivian people.

The redemption at the ballot box of Morales' party, Movement Toward Socialism, was seen as a rebuke of the role of American elites in helping to oust Morales last year. Why this political battle became a viral moment for media pundits to own the brash billionaire CEO, however, is a longer story.

Oct 29 06:33

He got a coronavirus vaccine in China, but had to keep it secret. Why? OCT. 29, 2020 1:30 AM

BEIJING — The oil company worker wondered why he had to keep his vaccination a secret. Questions raced through his head as he read the confidentiality agreement, which threatened he would be disciplined if he told anyone outside company management about the COVID-19 shot he was waiting to get.
What if something went wrong? Who would take responsibility? The worker knew the vaccine maker, China National Biotec Group — part of the state-owned pharmaceutical group Sinopharm — was conducting trials of this vaccine on hundreds of thousands of volunteers in the United Arab Emirates, Peru, Morocco and other countries.

“At least they’re in a monitored, controlled situation,” he said of those trials, watching as hundreds of his co-workers lined up around him to get their injection at a clinic in Beijing. “But for us, they can’t make any guarantees. This is us making a sacrifice for the nation.”

Oct 27 06:02

Time to Flee Bolivia? Jeanine Áñez Asks U.S. for 350 Visas after Arce’s Victory

With the victory of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) in the Bolivian elections on October 18, the de facto coup government presided over by Jeanine Áñez, has requested visas from the United States for its officials according to a US-based network.

***

NBC news network journalist Tom Brokaw reported Thursday on a letter from Jeanine Áñez, in which he has requested 350 visas from the U.S. government for officials of his de facto coup government.

The report, cited by the communication platform Resumen Latinoamericano, indicates that the reason behind the request is the concern that the Bolivian de facto government has about being prosecuted by the government of President-elect Luis Arce Catacora.

The news has gone viral on social networks under the title: “Time to Escape?”

Oct 27 05:32

"Tremendous News!" - Maduro Touts Venezuelan Vaccine That Inhibits COVID

Multiple COVID-19 vaccine trials are in the final stages around the world. But in one unlikely place, that being the collapsed state of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro touted Sunday, in an appearance on state television, that his government scientists have developed a "highly effective antiviral" that kills the virus without any side effects.

Maduro tweeted: "Tremendous News! We certify the DR10 molecule as a highly effective antiviral in the fight against Covid-19."

He continued: "We have started the World Health Organization (WHO) certification process to offer this treatment to the world. I thank the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC) team for this great contribution to humanity."

Oct 26 15:13

Trump threatens to destroy any Iranian missiles shipped to Venezuela after President Maduro announced plan to buy more weapons after UN arms embargo expired

The United States has threatened to destroy any long-range missiles sent to Venezuela from Iran, after a UN embargo on Iran buying or selling weapons expired last week.

The warning comes a few days after Venezuela President Nicholas Maduro announced the creation of a Scientific and Technological Military Council that will seek the independence of the country in terms of its weapons system with the help of 'sister' nations, among which he mentioned China, Russia, Iran and Cuba.

There's no confirmation that a shipment is imminent however a US official said the countries are likely to do arms deals.

Oct 26 08:51

Venezuela opposition figure Leopoldo López leaves Spanish embassy

Leading Venezuelan opposition figure Leopoldo López has left Spain's embassy in Caracas after seeking refuge there in April 2019 and secretly fled the country, his family says.

His father said Mr López had gone to Colombia and was now heading for Spain.

Mr López took shelter in the embassy after appearing with opposition leader Juan Guaidó and calling for a rebellion to oust President Nicolás Maduro.

He was arrested in 2014 accused of inciting violent political protests.

Mr López, who has repeatedly denied the charges, received a 14-year jail sentence in a military prison.

But in 2017, Mr López - a Harvard-educated former mayor who has been prevented by the government from standing for public office - was moved to house arrest.

Oct 26 06:47

Maduro says Venezuelan scientists developed medicine that ‘cancels 100% of Covid-19’ with no side-effects

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says his country has designed “a highly effective antiviral” that decimates coronavirus without any side effects. The drug will be presented to the WHO for certification, he added.

"I want to say that Venezuela has developed a medicine that annihilates 100 percent of the coronavirus," Maduro said on Sunday, describing it as a “highly effective antiviral.”

It was designed by the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC), which has been working on a cure for the virus for the past six months, he noted.

The medicine is based on a molecule called TR-10, which was isolated and, when pitted against the virus, proved its absolute effectiveness, he claimed.

Oct 26 06:21

Indigenous Colombians, Facing New Wave of Brutality, Demand Government Action

Protesters descended by the thousands on Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, this week, horrified by a brutal wave of violence sweeping the country, one so intense that mass killings have taken place every other day on average.

Most traveled hundreds of miles, from the rural Indigenous communities that have been particularly ravaged by the violence, which they trace to government failures to protect them under the country’s halting peace process.

They call their movement the “minga Indígena.”

Minga is an Indigenous word, one used long before the Spanish arrived in South America, to refer to an act of communal work, an agreement between neighbors to build something together: a bridge, a road, a government.

Oct 26 06:15

US, Global Corporate Giants Not Amused Mexico Finally Forces Them to Pay the Taxes They Owe

The American Bar Association (ABA) this week lambasted the Mexican government for using heavy handed tactics, including criminal probes into tax fraud, to motivate corporate tax dodgers to finally settle their tax bills. The complaint echoes a similar broadside from the International Bar Association last month and reflects growing frustration among companies about the government’s use of more stringent audits, tighter surveillance methods, and the threat of tough legal action to crack down on corporate tax dodgers and tax frauds.

The Government says it has launched criminal proceedings against 43 companies that owe 55 billion pesos ($2.6 billion) to the treasury in unpaid taxes dating back to 2010. Most other companies that have been subject to audit in recent months have agreed to settle their tax debts.

Oct 24 06:58

Chileans go to polls to vote on throwing out Pinochet-era constitution

Chileans will go to the polls on Sunday to vote on whether they want to swap a constitution written during the Pinochet dictatorship with a new document written by a specially elected citizens’ body.

Opinion polls suggest a resounding win for the ‘Approve’ campaign for a new magna carta, with around two thirds of the vote.

A new constitution was a key demand of demonstrators engaged in sometimes violent mass social protests that broke out in October last year over inequality and elitism. A cross-party referendum deal emerged from the protests in December.

Those opposed to a new constitution argue it will be a “leap into the void” to change a document that has helped make Chile one of the region’s most stable free market economies.

Oct 23 06:48

Major Oil Discovery Puts Suriname in Global Spotlight Amid Venezuela Crisis and US-China Trade War

Although Guyana’s newly discovered oil reserves and US interests in the region have been the focus of attention, not many analysts have been noticing neighboring Suriname, one of Latin America’s poorest countries.

Guyana’s prospects have certainly changed tremendously – its economy was forecasted by the IMF to grow 85% percent this year. We should expect similar things in Suriname with the discovery of new oil fields offshore that are estimated to have 1.4 billion barrels, according to Rystad Energy. This has already attracted interest from foreign investors.

The wider Guyana-Suriname Basin is being described as the world’s number one offshore exploration. ExxonMobil has already discovered the equivalent of more than 8 billion barrels worth of oil in the region and has announced its 18th oil discovery in the Stabroek block in Guyana. Oil experts believe that what Exxon is doing in Guyana can be reproduced in Suriname.

Oct 23 06:38

America Has No Allies, Only Hostages

The new president-elect of Bolivia, Luis Arce, has told the Spanish international news agency EFE that he intends to restore the nation’s relations with Cuba, Venezuela and Iran. This reverses the policies of the US-backed coup regime which immediately began closing embassies, kicking out doctors and severing relations with those nations after illegally seizing power last year.

Arce also spoke of warm relations with Russia and China.

“We are going to reestablish all relations,” he told EFE. “This government has acted very ideologically, depriving the Bolivian people of access to Cuban medicine, to Russian medicine, to advances in China. For a purely ideological issue, it has exposed the population in a way that is unnecessary and harmful.”

Oct 23 06:19

What Bolivia Can Teach the United States About Fair Elections

Imagine the following nightmare: The United States faces a close vote in the presidential election. Trump claims voter fraud and seeks backing from the nation’s military, who then stage a coup to keep him in power.

Farfetched? The Trump Administration already did it in Bolivia last year.

Oct 22 06:11

BOLIVIANS RETURN EVO MORALES’S PARTY TO POWER ONE YEAR AFTER A U.S.-APPLAUDED COUP

IN NOVEMBER 2019, Bolivia’s three-term President Evo Morales was forced under threat of police and military violence to flee to Mexico, just weeks after he was declared the winner of the October presidential election that would have sent him to his fourth term. Installed in his place was an unelected right-wing coup regime, led by self-declared “interim President” Jeanine Áñez, who promptly presided over a military massacre that killed dozens of Morales’s Indigenous supporters and then granted immunity to all the soldiers involved. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the time cheered the coup by citing subsequently debunked claims of election fraud by the Organization of American States, or OAS, and urging “a truly democratic process representative of the people’s will.”

Oct 21 06:06

US tries to squeeze Huawei out of Brazil’s 5G network development

Brazil has become the latest battleground in the US tech war against Beijing, with the Trump administration offering the South American country lucrative financing to shift away from China’s Huawei when developing its 5G networks.

On Tuesday, an American delegation led by National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien signed a new agreement with Brazil during a four-day visit to the country. The deal, sponsored by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), is aimed at strengthening economic cooperation between the two sides and promoting US exports in various sectors, especially in the telecommunications area and 5G, according to O’Brien.

“Under the agreement, EXIM and Brazil agree to explore and identify potential opportunities for EXIM financing in a total aggregate amount of up to $1 billion,” EXIM said in a statement.

Oct 20 07:36

A NASA Spacecraft Is About to Land on an Asteroid And Grab a Sample. Watch It Live

OSIRIS-REx is the United States' first asteroid sample return mission, aiming to collect and carry a pristine, unaltered sample from an asteroid back to Earth for scientific study. The spacecraft will attempt to touch the surface of the asteroid Bennu, which is hurtling through space at 63,000 miles per hour (101,000 kilometres per hour).

If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft will deploy an 11-foot-long (3-metre-long) robotic arm called TAGSAM – Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism – and spend about 10 seconds collecting at least two ounces (50 grams) of loose rubble from the asteroid. The spacecraft, monitored remotely by a team of scientists and engineers, will then stow away the sample and begin its return to Earth, scheduled for 2023.

You can watch this sample collection "Touch-And-Go" maneuver October 20 at 5:00 pm EDT/ 2:00 pm PDT (2100 UTC) below, or on NASA Television and the agency's website.

Oct 20 06:46

Media Responds With Apathy, Disappointment as US-Backed Coup Gov’t Concedes Defeat in Bolivia

Bolivia’s Movement to Socialism (MAS) party is celebrating what appears to be a crushing, landslide victory in Sunday’s elections. Although official vote counting is far from over, exit polls show an overwhelming triumph for the socialists, and a repudiation of the right-wing military government of Jeanine Añez, who has ruled since the coup last November. At the same time, the corporate press appears less than pleased about the return to democracy for the Andean country.

In order to win outright in the first round, the top candidate needs at least 40 percent of the popular vote and a lead of 10 points over their nearest rival, and multiple polls have indicated that the MAS ticket of Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca has won more than 50 percent, and have achieved a lead of over 20 points on their nearest challenger, Carlos Mesa (president between 2003 and 2005) — quite a feat in a five-way election. The MAS is also expected to have won a large majority in the senate.

Oct 19 09:25

Chilean government agrees with new constitution, but vetoes new Constituent Assembly

Chile has been experiencing violent popular protests for over a year. The general dissatisfaction with the government of Sebastián Piñera and his allies has generated strong unrest in the country, which has worried the Chilean political elite. In this sense, fear of the consequences of the rebellions has led government officials to propose an agreement to stop the violence, but, apparently, the proposal is intended only to serve the interests of the government itself.

Oct 19 06:53

Churches Set Ablaze Amid Protests in Chile's Capital – Photo, Video

The protests in Santiago come a week ahead of the impending constitutional referendum in the country, slated to take place on 25 October.

The recent protests in the Chilean capital Santiago were marked by the devastation of two churches as the initially peaceful rallies that started on Sunday, 18 October, ended up being marred by violence, vandalism and looting.

One of the churches, located close to Plaza Italia, got "burned to the ground as hooded protesters cheered", while the second church, which also "sustained fire damage", was looted, according to AFP.

The place of worship that got "totally destroyed", the Church of the Assumption, is reportedly known as "artists' parish" and dated back to 1876.

Oct 18 07:39

China Arming Venezuelan Navy With Anti-Ship Missiles

Venezuela’s propaganda videos are showing off warships armed with new Chinese-made anti-ship missiles. The C-802A missile, supplied by Beijing to the Venezuelan Navy, is designed to take out surface ships at ranges of over 100 nautical miles. The sea-skimming missile is generally analogous to the Harpoon. This arms deal should greatly increase the reach and potency of President Nicolás Maduro’s navy.

The acquisition was revealed on Sept. 25 by the Venezuelan Navy (formally known as the Armada Bolivariana de Venezuela). Footage of one test firing is now being used in propaganda videos posted online, including by Maduro’s official Twitter account (in Spanish).

The video footage is not actually of a Venezuelan Navy ship. It is taken from a Royal Thai Navy test launch of the C-802A missile. That launch, from the Thai Navy’s frigate HTMS Kraburi, can be viewed on YouTube.

Oct 17 07:43

Ex-president Morales: US trying to block my return to Bolivia

Former Bolivian President Evo Morales, who is living under asylum in Argentina, says the United States and its allies are making efforts to prevent his return in defiance of calls at home for him to seize power.

Morales made the remarks in an interview with Iran’s Hispan TV Spanish-language television network on Friday.

“The US is trying so that I won’t return. We seek freedom, which is the goal of the people…. Our intention is to liberate Bolivia in terms of political, cultural, social and even economic ideology. As the government and people, we want to take an important step and move towards industrialization after nationalization, but they (the Americans) do not like this,” he said.

The ex-president also criticized interim Interior Minister Arturo Murillo for travelling to the US last month to buy weapons for allegedly preserving democracy in the Latin American state.

Oct 17 07:20

Covid-19 vaccine to be MANDATORY in Brazil’s most populous state Sao Paulo – governor

The head of Brazil's most populous state has promised that the vaccination for Covid-19 will be compulsory for its residents. The statement quickly led to a clash with the country's president.

Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria told reporters that immunization will start once the vaccine is authorized by the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA).

"In Sao Paulo it will be mandatory, except for those with a medical note and a certificate stating that they cannot [take the vaccine]," Doria said, explaining that the state will adopt necessary regulations for the measure.

Local media reported that the Sao Paulo government hopes to have the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine approved by the regulator in time to start vaccination of medical staff in December. The trials are expected to be completed this weekend, with the results ready on Monday.

Oct 17 06:28

Mexico's Former Defense Minister Arrested On Drug Trafficking Charges By DEA

As a sign of just how the continuing US-Mexico "war on drugs" and by extension the war on cartels is going, no less than Mexico's former top leader of the armed forces has been arrested.

The country's former defense minister, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, was taken into US custody after landing at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had a warrant for his arrest - no doubt a huge shock to the high profile general given he was traveling with his family, presumably on vacation.

Mexico's foreign secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, was the first to confirm via Twitter that the American ambassador to Mexico informed him of Cienfuegos' detention.

Oct 15 05:51

A Quick Reminder Of How Venezuela Ran Out Of Food: Does This Look Familiar?

We’d all like to believe that the United States is on the road to economic recovery and that things are going to get better. Everyone wants to think the store shelves are just a few cargo ships away from being refilled. People want to believe that once 2020 is over, life will return to “normal” and that we’re just having a really bad year.

But someone pointed out an article I published four and a half years ago and when you look at the things which happened there and compare them to our situation, you may notice some uncanny similarities.

Oct 10 07:55

Pompeo The Bounty Hunter: State Department Puts Bounty On Venezuelan Official

A $5 million reward has been offered by The United States’ government for any information that will lead to the arrest of a former Venezuelan government official accused of money laundering and international drug trafficking.

On February 13, Samark López, who is in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Most Wanted List, had been designated as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control [OFAC].

Oct 10 06:21

Colombia Covid Lockdown: Collapse of Healthcare, Social Crisis, Poverty

As the confirmed Coronavirus cases in Colombia reach more than 880,000, the healthcare infrastructure in Bogota is crumbling and according to the president of the Bogota College of Medicine Herman Bayona, “We are close to collapse.” Bogota’s Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are operating at a 90% capacity, an indication of the city’s over-stretched and strained healthcare system. The Santa Clara Hospital, for example, is assisting 52 patients with only a 44-bed capacity. Ivan Duque Marquez, the president of Colombia, is adamant on re-opening Bogota and considers that “a lockdown is not the solution.”

Oct 08 10:52

President Ivan Duque Denounced for US Troops in Colombia

twenty-three Colombia’s congressmen Monday filed a disciplinary complaint against President Ivan Duque before the House of Representatives' Investigation Committee, as they consider the US troops' presence in the country a violation of the national sovereignty.

"Duque violated the Constitution since he did not have the prior Senate's authorization to allow the U.S. Army entrance to the national territory," the congressmen stated.

The President "must be investigated for omitting his responsibilities as a public servant and not respecting the separation of powers," they added.

In July, Cundinamarca's Administrative Court ordered to suspend U.S. troops’ activities in Colombia. However, Duque overlooked this decision and allowed the resumption of the foreign army’s exercises without even asking the Senate.

Oct 08 09:43

Guaidó creates a parallel consulate in Brazil

A “parallel” Venezuelan Consulate in Brazil was condemned in a recent statement by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. In late September, supporters of the Venezuelan opposition leader, the self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó, announced that they would form a new consulate in Brazil. Basically, the objective is to create a parallel Venezuelan diplomatic representation, which meets the interests of the opposition – which is supported by the Brazilian government. The decision has received strong criticism from the Venezuelan government, which considers it illegal. However, despite the criticism, the consulate is starting its operations this week in the Brazilian state of Roraima – a region strategically chosen because it borders Venezuela.

Oct 07 07:29

Venezuela Orders 71 Tons of Paper To Print New Banknotes Worth 23 Cents Each

One of the core tenets of MMT, or Magic Money Theory, is that a nation which prints its own fiat money can never go broke or be insolvent (unless a political decision to do so is taken). Well, that may be true, but in Venezuela things appears to have taken an unexpected detour into one of the more grotesque circles of economic hell as the hyperinflating country proceeded to print its way out of its endless economic crisis.

So much so that according to Bloomberg, Venezuela is now importing 71 tons of paper from Italian money printer Fedrigioni (majority owned by US Private Equity giant Bain Capital) which it will use to print new bills with the highest, 100,000 new bolivar, denomination yet. In dollar terms: each new banknote is worth about 23 cents, courtesy of the raging hyperinflation that has been sweeping the nation for the past 6 years.

Oct 06 08:13

Venezuela wins UK court decision in battle to get its gold back

The UK’s appeals court has ruled in favor of President Nicolas Maduro’s government in the battle to repatriate Venezuela’s $1 billion worth of gold held at the Bank of England, reversing an earlier decision.

The UK High Court ruled in favor of opposition politician Juan Guaido earlier this year, saying that London unequivocally recognizes him as “interim president” of the South American nation, rather than President Maduro. The judgment came as the two sides were battling for access to gold reserves stored in the vaults of the Bank of England.

Oct 06 07:29

UK Court Decision On Venezuela Gold Deals Blow To Regime Change Efforts

A United Kingdom court has handed the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro a major win today, overturning a previous ruling from a lower court that legitimized the British government’s decision to freeze Venezuelan government gold reserves held in the Bank of England. The English Court of Appeal ruled that the Conservative administration of Boris Johnson’s position that Juan Guaidó is the country’s legitimate ruler was far from equivocal, potentially paving the way for some $1.95 billion of the Central Bank of Venezuela’s gold to be accessed.

Oct 06 06:49

Venezuela's Oil industry May Never Recover

Despite President Maduro’s claims of a looming recovery for Venezuela’s economically crucial oil industry in early 2020 production keeps declining. Even measures aimed at revitalizing the industry and circumventing U.S. sanctions are failing to trigger any sustainable recovery. According to the latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report, August 2020 oil output remained flat compared to a month earlier at 340,000 barrels daily.

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