VIDEO: Ricardo Hausmann Says Latin America Needs More Migrants

It won’t just be the West that will be homogenized and be subject to Cultural Marxism — the Tribe has their sights on Latin America and Asia as well.

Ricardo Hausmann (born 1956) is the current Director of the Center for International Development and a Professor of the Practice of Economic Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is also a former Venezuelan Minister of Planning and former Head of the “Presidential Office of Coordination and Planning” (1992–1993). He co-introduced several regularly used concepts in economics including original sin, growth diagnostics, self-discovery, dark matter, the product space, and economic complexity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3oWLdz8Sac

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Venezuela

COMMENTARY: Massive Anti-Government Protests In Venezuela Worsen, Patterns Emerge

This is the result of years of ‘socialism’ which is nothing more than disguised communism. This is exactly what is awaiting us all if we don’t open our eyes and realize that it is us who need to assume the responsibility and fight for our freedoms NOW. But before we start, we need to know who is who in this dirty game and not let those who claim to protect us continue to deceive us. We need to stick together in this fight, and not let them promote tensions amongst us. 

Venezuela

 

“Massive Anti-Government Protests In Venezuela Worsen, Patterns Emerge,” Source: shtfplan.com 

As protests against Venezuela’s “democratic socialist” government roll into their third month, Dr. Henrique Montbrun, who oversees the triage post in the municipality of Baruta, says the violence in the country has reached unprecedented levels. “It’s madness,” he says.

As more people take to the streets to demand their freedom back in a nation where tyranny took a firm hold shortly after the election of self-proclaimed socialist, Nicolaus Maduro, the country descended into complete government control, and the only people with money, are now those in the government.  Socialism is fair that way; as no system more equally distributes poverty, except maybe communism. But a pattern is now emerging in the battle for basic human rights and minimal freedoms.

The clashes between the demonstrators and security forces are entering their third month, and even doctors say that they can no longer predict the type of violence to prepare for, but they can predict that there will be increasing numbers of injuries and death. The only pattern emerging is one of even more violence. Dr. Montbrun says that the injuries sustained at the beginning of protests were largely superficial, usually buckshot wounds. More recently, however, as protesters have gone up against an increasingly desperate government, protestors have been treated for 5cm-deep holes caused by metal marbles shot at close range.

wound

“Violence doesn’t surprise me but the level of hatred security forces are showing towards average citizens and the use of non-conventional weapons like loading tear gas canisters with nails and marbles does take me aback,” Dr. Montbrun says.

According to the public defender’s office, 67 people (including minors, students, passersby, and national guards) have died during or as a result of the protests. On Wednesday, an 18-year-old died of an explosive-related wound to the chest and a national guard was murdered causing a rash of even more anti-government protests. And yet, despite the escalation of violence, protesters remain in the streets trying to demand their freedom.

“I am not afraid,” says Rosmery Indare, 19, who arrived barely conscious at the triage post. “They threw several gas bombs and we all ran. I tried to go into a nearby mall but most shops had closed and I was cornered.” Rosmery described how two national guards clubbed her in the legs and knees while threatening to jail her. “They’re not going to stop me from marching,” she says. “I haven’t had a chance to enjoy my country because they stole it from us but this time, I am sure, we will recover [it].” –The Guardian

As the Venezuelan government continues to starve its own people through regulations and kill for protesting their own starvation, the resolves of those living under the oppression of socialism seem to continue to harden. Venezuela destroyed their own economy with socialist policies, which are carryovers from Hugo Chavez’s reign of terror. With inflation rising by 800% in 2016 while the economy shrank by 18.6% over the same period, according to the central bank, crime has soared with over 28,479 homicides in 2016.  That leaves Venezuela with one of the highest murder rates in the world, and the worst economy. Finding food or medicine has become nearly impossible, except for the very few who can afford black market prices and the risk of death.

Unfortunately, it looks as though Venezuela’s situation will worsen before it improves.

COMMENTARY: Why Did Trump Take Venezuela’s Money?

The following article should be taken with a grain of salt. Simply because the author is a member of the tribe and a professor of economics at Harvard, the combination is a red flag, to say the least. However, if one can stay away from the Jewish communist brainwashing redrick, such as: blaming Trump (who we know is their puppet, but appears as America’s savior), the poor vs. the rich, the ‘two sides’ in the game ‘one against the other’ etc. one can clearly see the evil hand also known as Putin’s Communist Russia working behind the scenes all along. Don’t be fooled, pretty soon the whole world will look like Venezuela! Because that is their objective. 

 

Venezuela

“Why did Trump take Venezuela’s money?,” Source: business-standard.com 

The symbolism of a rich country taking money from a poor neighbor is hardly attractive

There is a certain irony in recent news that donated a half-million dollars to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration through Petróleos de (PDVSA), the state-owned oil company. Venezuela, of course, is a serial defaulter, having done so more times than almost any other country over the last two centuries.
Recently, Venezuela’s despotic socialist government has been so desperate to avoid another default (which would be the country’s 11th since independence) that it mortgaged its industrial crown jewels, including the United States-based refiner Citgo, to the Russians and the Chinese. (The Citgo brand is especially famous in my hometown of Boston, Massachusetts, where the company’s iconic sign has become a landmark in the environs of Fenway Park, where the Red Sox baseball team plays.)


It is not exactly clear why is so desperate to avoid defaulting on the country’s foreign debt that he is starving his own people, much the way Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu did in the 1980s. With such severe shortages of food and basic medicines, there is little doubt that if and when the autocrat is finally deposed, there will be some eerily familiar horror stories.
It is simplistic to portray the Venezuelan tragedy as an apocryphal tale of what happens when a country is taken over by left-wing populists. The right-wing governments of the 1980s and 1990s were also corrupt; and, while national income rose, income distribution was among the most unequal in the world. But it is true that Venezuela’s current horror show is very much a product of two decades of left-wing misgovernment.


There was a time when a contribution such as the one made to Mr. Trump was a mere pittance in a much larger aid budget. Under its previous president, the charismatic Hugo Chávez, spread its oil money far and wide, mostly to support other populist anti-American governments in the region. Chávez even funded heating fuel for some low-income households in the US, a program made famous by former US Representative Joe Kennedy II’s 2006 television ads.
That was back when high and rising oil prices helped to maintain Venezuela’s revenues even as economic mismanagement sent oil production into a downward spiral. Mind you, was never nearly as rich as the US, so its aid budget was like giving to the poor by taking from the almost poor.
Now, with oil prices having fallen dramatically since Chávez’s death from cancer in 2013, his successor, who has all the charisma of a lifelong apparatchik, is being forced to get by without the same easy revenues. And while Chávez was also autocratic, he probably won his elections.
Mr. Maduro’s election in 2013, by contrast, was a very close affair that many people question; for one thing, the opposition was allowed virtually no television time, even if starry-eyed US academics insisted that Mr. Maduro won fair and square. It is understandable that left-leaning scholars found some of the socialist government’s redistribution and education policies appealing, as Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz did when visiting Caracas, the country’s capital, in 2007. But the left’s willingness to overlook the dismantling of democratic institutions in is more reminiscent of right-leaning Chicago-school economists’ relationships with Latin American dictators in the 1970s.
Today, Venezuela’s economy is a full-blown disaster, with the collapse in growth and near-hyperinflation causing widespread human suffering. In such circumstances, one might expect a traditional Latin American military coup. The absence of one in is hardly a reflection of strong democratic institutions. Rather, the government gives the military a free hand in running the drug trade, making many generals and officials extremely rich — and able to buy the loyalty of key troops.And this bring us back to the bizarre spectacle of this economically desperate country helping to fund Mr. Trump’s inauguration festivities. Like Joe Kennedy II, the Trump organizers can plead that if wants to spend its money on making life better for its much richer northern neighbor, who are they to say no?
Well, in both cases, the US should have said no: While the aid is transparent, the symbolism of a rich country taking money from a poor neighbor with millions of suffering people is hardly attractive. And it is particularly bizarre that even as US policy toward Mexico has greatly increased the chances of an anti-American Chávez-type character becoming president there, officials are providing positive publicity to a government that is a caricature of disastrous governance.
Mr Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, took a principled stand in US dealings with Venezuela, imposing sanctions to rein in rogue behavior, a policy that drew broad bipartisan support. The Trump administration needs to stay the course, especially as lower oil prices have weakened the Venezuelan government’s hand. Instead of bashing Latin America, the US needs to show it can be a steady and principled friend that will not be swayed by corrupt bribes of any type.
Venezuela

VIDEO: Venezuela National Guard Run Over Protesters

Once socialism took over, Venezuela was on the path to becoming a communist country. On this video, we see how the government treats those it claims to ‘care so much about’. The only objective is to steal the country’s natural resources and leave its population in complete misery. Don’t let this happen to America. Once America falls, there will be nowhere else to go. 

https://youtu.be/EMX6LdkpaZk

“Russia Sends Cuba Oil Lifeline, Filling the Gap as Venezuela Collapses,” Source: panampost.com
Russia has recently sent Cuba an energy lifeline, but the terms of the deal are shrouded in secrecy (
Russia has recently sent Cuba 250,000 tons of petroleum products, but the terms of the deal are shrouded in secrecy (SeaNews).

News of a Russian contract to supply Cuba with large quantities of diesel and petroleum has exacerbated an already strained relationship between the two nations and the United States. The Soviet Union, the Caribbean island’s longtime benefactor, once propped up the island’s economy, supplying the vast majority of its energy needs, and buying its sugar at considerably inflated prices. It is generally suspected that cash-strapped Cuba will be receiving the oil at discounted prices, or in conjunction with an offer of Venezuelan drilling rights to Russian oil giant Rosneft.

Following the 1991 disintegration of the Soviet Union, geopolitical influence in Latin America ceased to be a priority for the new Russian government. However, under the tenure of Vladimir Putin, Russia has sought to increase its geopolitical influence in the region, pursuing closer relations with a bloc of left-wing nations including Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, that are often at odds with the United States.

Terms of the deal have not been made official. However, University of Texas oil expert Jorge Pinon estimates that the deal would be valued at USD $105 million, and amount to around 1.8 million barrels of petroleum products.

Cuba once relied on the generosity of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, who showered the Communist island nation with subsidized oil, often in exchange for Cuban doctors. Chavez adeptly parlayed his nation’s vast oil riches into significant geopolitical influence in the world in general, and throughout Latin America in particular, even providing some low-income American consumers with cheap heating oil during winter months.

In the wake of his 2014 death, and the nation’s economic collapse presided over by successor Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s geopolitical influence is on the decline. As Venezuela’s political and economic situation has become increasingly dire, the nation is no longer able to spread its largesse around the region and remains diplomatically and geopolitically isolated, with only traditional ideological allies Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia in its corner.

The recent oil deal was inked by Russian oil giant Rosneft, which agreed to ship the massive petroleum delivery via tanker to Cuban firm Cubametals. The terms of the deal remain secret, which helps to obfuscate Putin’s intentions. Cuba, which is generally considered a high credit risk, is often required to pay cash up front for oil shipments. Since the purchase price was not made public, it is difficult to speculate as to whether Putin is merely selling the oil at market price, or offering the oil and diesel at subsidized prices in order to boost geopolitical influence in the region.

The secrecy shrouding the terms of the deal raises suspicions. If Russia is subsidizing the oil, it is likely that Putin is less than eager for the long-suffering Russian public to be informed as such. The once high-flying Russian economy has come under great strain lately as its massive commodities sectors, such as oil, mining, and agriculture, have contracted in the wake of falling global market prices. Russia’s largely state-controlled media is likely to be aiding and abetting Putin in obscuring the geopolitical aid, which would likely ruffle domestic feathers with the Russian working and middle classes, who have endured appreciable declines in their standard of living.

Venezuela signed an October 2000 agreement with Cuba to provide discounted oil, but it is clear that Venezuela’s rampant political instability has prompted the island Communist regime under Raul Castro to diversify its supply chain. The Venezuelan opposition, which won a large majority in last year’s National Assembly elections, has long called into question Chavez and Maduro’s longstanding oil-funded geopolitical diplomacy, suggesting that it came at the expense of the Venezuelan people. Chavez and his United Venezuelan Socialist Party are widely regarded by economists to have squandered the nation’s considerable oil wealth, buying regional loyalty to the neglect or pressing domestic concerns.

If Maduro is forced from power, the opposition is certain to revisit and significantly curtail the regime’s longstanding subsidized oil shipments around the region.

Donald Trump has recently talked tough on both regimes; breaking with Putin by launching air strikes in Syria, and repeatedly criticizing Castro’s authoritarian regime and Obama’s renewal of diplomatic and economic relations, claiming that the previous administration made a bad deal, giving away too much, while expecting too little in return, particularly with regard to economic and political freedoms for the Cuban people.

From 2005 to 2010, Russia only shipped an estimated USD $11.3 million in petroleum products to Cuba. Thus, Putin’s massive geopolitical play appears to hearken back to the Cold War era, when the Soviet Union was the island’s nearly exclusive benefactor. It appears that Raul Castro is strategizing to replace cash-strapped Venezuela with its traditional sponsor and ideological ally of yesteryear.

 

PDVSA Rusia

Russia Could Soon Take Over A Chunk Of U.S. Oil Infrastructure

This is the never ending fight for power and Russia is certainly on top of the power structure thanks to decades of American traitors combined with the public’s ignorance. PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.) owns Citgo Holding Inc. which in turn owns Citgo Petroleum Corporation that has three refineries in the United States. So if Citgo or PDVSA default, Russia’s state-controlled oil company Rosneft (mostly owned and controlled by Putin and his international friends – see last article below) could end up owning strategically important oil refineries and pipelines in the United States. This will also affect South America and it’s business with Venezuela. 

This could all be very dangerous for the US economy and that will, in turn, affect the entire world. But, isn’t that the idea? Of course, it is! Pretty soon we will begin to see that all the actions taken in the past have led to a slow Communist takeover. 

PDVSA Rusia

“Russia could soon take over a chunk of U.S. oil infrastructure,” Source: news.vice.com

Russia may soon take control of American oil and gasoline infrastructure in a deal U.S. lawmakers warn represents a threat to energy security.
Rosneft, Russia’s state-controlled oil company, could end up with a majority stake in Texas-based Citgo after the entity that owns Citgo, Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company PDVSA, used almost half of Citgo’s shares as collateral for a loan from Rosneft.
In the midst of Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis, PDVSA is reportedly in danger of defaulting on that loan. That means Rosneft, a company specifically named in U.S. sanctions levied against Russia after its 2014 annexation of Crimea, is poised to become one of the biggest foreign owners of American oil refining capacity.
Rosneft is headed by Igor Sechin, a powerful crony of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and is often seen as a proxy for the Kremlin’s energy policies.
PDVSA put up as collateral about 49.9 percent of Citgo shares in exchange for a $1.5 billion loan from Rosneft in December. It had used the other half of Citgo as collateral for a bond deal two months before that. Should PDVSA default on its Russian loan, the Russians could relatively easily end up with a majority stake in Citgo by acquiring more PDVSA bonds on the open market.
While the exact details and time-frame of the Rosneft loan remain murky, PDVSA successfully made $2.2 billion in payments on notes that matured April 12, sending ripples of relief through financial markets.

Still, the possibility of default has set off alarm bells in Congress, where Republican and Democratic members of the House and Senate told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin they see Russia’s potential acquisition of Citgo as a threat to the country.

“We are extremely concerned that Rosneft’s control of a major U.S. energy supplier could pose a grave threat to American energy security, impact the flow and price of gasoline for American consumers, and expose critical U.S. infrastructure to security threats,” six senators wrote in a letter to Mnuchin dated April 10. Those senators include Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas.

The senators asked Mnuchin, who also chairs the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the interagency body that investigates the national security implications of foreign investments, to pursue a “thorough, conflict-free, and expedient review” of the deal in the event PDVSA defaults.

“We cannot play Russian roulette with America’s energy infrastructure.”

Another letter sent to Mnuchin and signed by Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina and Democratic Rep. Albio Sires of New Jersey warned that

“this situation if left unchecked, could undermine U.S. national security and energy independence.”

Citgo owns three large U.S. oil refineries in Louisiana, Illinois, and Texas with a combined capacity of almost 749,000 barrels a day, or a bit more than 4 percent of the total U.S. refining capacity of 18.6 million barrels a day. Citgo-branded fuel is available at more than 5,000 locally owned retail gas stations in 29 states. The company also controls pipeline networks and 48 oil product terminals.

Russia, one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of oil and natural gas, has frequently been accused of using its enormous state-controlled energy companies, including Rosneft and natural gas giant Gazprom, as levers of foreign policy. Over the past decade, for example, Russia has repeatedly cut natural gas supplies to neighboring Ukraine in the dead of winter, prompting fears that homes would go unheated and factories would be idled.

Though Moscow has maintained those cuts were related to gas pricing and payments, they also came in the midst of years of diplomatic and, eventually, military conflict between the two countries.

Ellen Wald, a consultant on energy and geopolitics and professor at Jacksonville University in Florida, said that while Putin may seek to use his country’s energy assets to pursue policy goals, Rosneft would have limited opportunities to use Citgo to disrupt the flow of U.S. energy.

“I don’t see there would be very much they could actually do with control of Citgo,” she said. “They could potentially shut down the refineries, and that would definitely cause a rise in gasoline prices. But other refineries would eventually pick up the slack. Rosneft would lose a lot of money, and other companies would make money. That would be bad for business.”

Energy security has been a key concern of U.S. policymakers ever since the 1973 oil crisis when a group of Arab oil-producing countries declared an embargo against the United States in response to U.S. support for Israel during the Yom Kippur War.

“The risk to our national security and our economy is not one I’m willing to take,” Menendez said at a press conference Monday. “We cannot play Russian roulette with America’s energy infrastructure.”

____
“How Russia sold its oil jewel: without saying who bought it,” Source: reuters.com

 
MOSCOW/LONDON/MILAN More than a month after Russia announced one of its biggest privatizations since the 1990s, selling a 19.5 percent stake in its giant oil company Rosneft, it still isn’t possible to determine from public records the full identities of those who bought it.
The stake was sold for 10.2 billion euros to a Singapore investment vehicle that Rosneft said was a 50/50 joint venture between Qatar and the Swiss oil trading firm Glencore.
Unveiling the deal at a televised meeting with Rosneft’s boss Igor Sechin on Dec. 7, President Vladimir Putin called it a sign of international faith in Russia, despite U.S. and EU financial sanctions on Russian firms including Rosneft.

“It is the largest privatization deal, the largest sale and acquisition in the global oil and gas sector in 2016,” Putin said.

It was also one of the biggest transfers of state property into private hands since the early post-Soviet years, when allies of President Boris Yeltsin took control of state firms and became billionaires overnight.

But important facts about the deal either have not been disclosed, cannot be determined solely from public records, or appear to contradict the straightforward official account of the stake being split 50/50 by Glencore and the Qataris.

For one: Glencore contributed only 300 million euros of equity to the deal, less than 3 percent of the purchase price, which it said in a statement on Dec. 10 had bought it an “indirect equity interest” limited to just 0.54 percent of Rosneft.

In addition, public records show the ownership structure of the stake ultimately includes a Cayman Islands company whose beneficial owners cannot be traced.

And while Italian bank Intesa SanPaolo leant the Singapore vehicle 5.2 billion euros to fund the deal, and Qatar put in 2.5 billion, the sources of funding for nearly a quarter of the purchase price have not been disclosed by any of the parties.

“The main question in relation to this transaction, as ever, still sounds like this: Who is the real buyer of a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft?” Sergey Aleksashenko, a former deputy head of Russia’s central bank, wrote in a blog last week.

Glencore would not comment on the identity of the Cayman Islands firm or give a further explanation of how ownership of the 19.5 percent stake was divided.

The Qatari Investment Authority said it would not comment on the deal, beyond confirming that it has participated in it.

Rosneft declined to respond to questions posed by Reuters, including a request for comment on how ownership of the 19.5 percent stake was divided, information about the identity of the Cayman Islands buyer, or details of the source of any undisclosed sources of funds.

The Kremlin did not respond to a list of questions about the deal sent by Reuters.

MATRYOSHKA DOLL

Like many large deals, the Rosneft privatizationuses a structure of shell companies owning shell companies, commonly referred to in Russia as a “matryoshka”, after the wooden nesting dolls that open to reveal a smaller doll inside.

Following the trail of ownership leads to a Glencore UK subsidiary and a company that shares addresses with the Qatari Investment Authority, but also to a firm registered in the Cayman Islands, which does not require companies to record publicly who owns them.

The Singapore-registered investment vehicle that holds the newly privatized 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft is called QHG Shares. It is owned by a London-registered limited liability partnership, QHG Investments, which in turn lists as one of its two owners another London-registered limited liability partnership, QHG Holding, created on Dec. 5.

One of the partners in QHG Holding is QHG Cayman Limited, registered at an address of the Cayman Islands office of Walkers, an international law firm.

Jack Boldarin, Walkers managing partner in London, told Reuters the law firm would not be able to confirm whether any company was its client, or comment further.

The use of an offshore company is by itself no indication of wrongdoing, but it can make it impossible to determine the true owner of an asset from public records.

The Singapore vehicle is also the borrower for Intesa’s 5.2 billion euro loan, and QHG Holdings, the London partnership that includes the Cayman Islands firm, is a guarantor of that debt.

Banking experts say Intesa would be required by “know your customer” rules to verify the borrowers’ identities. Regulators would exercise heightened scrutiny because of the size of the deal and the need to comply with sanctions on Russia.

Reuters asked Intesa whether it knew who the beneficial owners of the Cayman company were. The bank replied with a statement:

“Intesa Sanpaolo does not comment on the details of its client operations. But we wish to reiterate that the financing was completed with strict adherence to the regulations applicable to embargoes. Italian authorities found nothing that would prohibit such an operation.”

The Italian central bank, which serves as Italy’s banking regulator, declined to comment.

MYSTERY FINANCING

If the full identity of the new owners of the Rosneft stake is a mystery, so too is the complete source of the funds with which they bought it.

Although Qatar has never publicly confirmed how much it has contributed to the deal or the size of the stake that it bought, Glencore and Rosneft say it contributed 2.5 billion euros. Along with the 300 million from Glencore and the 5.2 billion loaned by Intesa, that still leaves a shortfall of 2.2 billion euros.

Glencore has said this additional money came from other, undisclosed banks, including Russian banks, but has given no further details. The Qataris and Rosneft have declined to comment on the source of this funding.

The purpose of Russia’s privatization program is to attract overseas money to cover a budgetary shortfall caused by low oil prices and Western sanctions. Putin has therefore banned Russian state-owned banks from participating in the financing of privatization deals, which would defeat the aim of bringing in foreign capital.

But public records in Singapore show that Russia’s second-largest bank, state-controlled VTB, loaned the Singapore vehicle QHG Shares the full 10.2 billion euros that it paid to the Russian state last month to buy the stake.

VTB held the 19.5 percent Rosneft stake as collateral for that loan for part of December, before relinquishing it back to Rosneft’s state-owned parent company Rosneftegaz, which in turn relinquished it back to the Singapore vehicle when Intesa’s loan arrived in January.

VTB and Rosneft say VTB’s role in the deal was solely to reduce market turbulence which would have arisen if the 10.2 billion euros had arrived abruptly from abroad to be converted to roubles on the open market.

Apart from saying that its role was to reduce market volatility, VTB declined to comment further, including when asked if the full 10.2 billion euros was paid back, or by whom.

FINDING A BUYER

Rosneft is the world’s biggest listed oil company by output and, along with natural gas export monopoly Gazprom, one of two crown jewels of the Russian state.

Even at the best of times without the added risk of Western sanctions, there would only be a few foreign investors with deep enough pockets to buy a big stake.

Glencore, one of the main buyers of Rosneft’s crude, has Qatar’s $335 billion sovereign wealth fund, the QIA, as its largest shareholder.

Russia and Qatar have backed opposite sides for years in the war in Syria, but as the world’s two leading natural gas exporters they have good reason to cooperate on energy issues and bury some of their differences over Middle East policy.

“The idea looked appealing to Qatar. They like investing in energy. They saw upside in Rosneft. They saw upside in building relations with Russia, whose role in the Middle East politics is only set to rise,” said one source involved in talks among members of the Qatar/Glencore consortium about the purchase.

According to a source close to Rosneft’s management board, the deal came as a surprise to Rosneft’s shareholders, including Britain’s BP (BP.L), which itself owns 19.75 percent of Rosneft and is represented on its board.

The Rosneft board learned about the sale from Sechin himself only on Dec. 7, several hours after Sechin recorded his televised meeting with Putin announcing it, the source said.

In response to questions from Reuters, BP said:

“Matters of the board of directors are confidential.”

Two sources in the Russian government said the deal was also a surprise there: it had been agreed between Sechin and Putin’s Kremlin, above the cabinet. “Sechin did it all on his own – the government did not take part in this,” one of the sources said.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s spokeswoman Natalia Timakova said:

“All documents and procedures needed for privatization were prepared and executed on time.”

 

 

Venezuela

COMMENTARY: Venezuela – Socialism’s House Of Horrors

Ignorants, useful idiots and those who are easily bribed, are those who help these criminals get to power. Latin America has been an easy target for Communism where they have used ethnicity as a tool to create hatred among people, feeding the masses with lies and fake promises. 

Venezuela

“Venezuela: Socialism’s House of Horrors,” Source: thenewamerican.com 

Socialism destroys countries’ economies: Under low doses of it, countries succumb slowly to its ravages, and high doses of socialism can cause a quick demise.

Proponents of socialism such as Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) often point to the Scandinavian welfare states as alleged success stories that the United States should emulate. They are, however, notably reluctant to address the many other countries around the world that have tried socialism to one degree or another with considerably less success.

Case in point: Venezuela. The nation with the world’s largest proven oil reserves is also it’s most miserable. For three years running, it has ranked number one on the world misery index, which is based on each country’s unemployment, inflation, and interest rates. It suffers from triple-digit inflation, shortages of basic necessities, poverty, crime, and corruption. Is it any wonder that Sanders refused to comment on this glittering jewel of socialism during a Univision interview last year?

From Wealth to Welfare

Why should a country sitting on one of the world’s most valuable commodities be unable to manage a welfare state when other countries are able to get by or even prosper while doing so? Socialism in any form is, of course, a bad idea, but a nation can — at least for a time — withstand moderate doses of it, particularly if it starts from a position of economic strength.

Venezuela, however, has gone far beyond “moderate” socialism. The 2016 Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom ranks Venezuela 176th out of 178 countries, ahead of only the officially communist states of Cuba and North Korea. And hand-in-hand with economic repression has come political repression, with President Nicolás Maduro becoming a virtual dictator and dissenters being silenced.

Moreover, Venezuela’s march down the road to serfdom did not begin from a position of economic strength. As former National Security Council officer Roger Fontaine pointed out in a 1996 Cato Institute policy analysis, the South American nation has never been particularly hospitable to the development of indigenous businesses. “In fact,” he recounted,

“Venezuela’s unique natural resource base was developed by foreign capital beginning in 1917 when the first oil contracts were signed by American, British, and Dutch companies that assumed the risks, generated the jobs, and paid substantial taxes to the Venezuelan national treasury.”

This foreign investment paid dividends, giving Venezuela the highest per-capita income in Latin America by 1950. Observed Fontaine:

Even at midcentury, those figures were deceptive, however, because the data masked huge disparities in income. While the middle and upper classes in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, benefited from the oil wealth, the urban poor and most residents of rural areas had a far lower standard of living. Worse, Venezuela’s regulation-happy bureaucracy constituted 15 percent of the labor force. Tight controls over foreign investment discouraged real job creation, higher productivity, and rising wages. Instead, some of Venezuela’s poor were bought off with public housing and other subsidies — artificially low bus fares, for example — that were soon seen as rights that could not be taken away, at least not without violent protest.

By the time Fontaine compiled his report, more than half of Venezuelans were on the public dole in one form or another, and the populace appeared content to continue down this path under the belief that “their country is rich and its major problems can be solved by a more egalitarian distribution of existing wealth.

” Venezuela’s blindly leftist political culture, poor educational system, overbearing bureaucracy, deteriorating lower and middle classes, and super-rich who hadn’t really earned their wealth, he argued, were “the ingredients of a societal Molotov cocktail.”

Caesar Chávez

The cocktail’s fuse was lit just three years later when Hugo Chávez ascended to the presidency on a platform of combating poverty and corruption. Chávez, a self-proclaimed Trotskyist, had previously participated in a failed coup against President Carlos Andrés Pérez, who had taken some mild steps toward liberalization.

Initially, Chávez appeared to be little different from his predecessors, most of whom were run-of-the-mill Latin American leftists. But his true colors soon became evident.

In a 2006 Cato Institute report, Venezuelan anti-corruption crusader Gustavo Coronel wrote:

Although elected in democratic elections in 1999, Chávez went on to dismantle the main democratic institutions in the country, with the complicity of the majority of the members of the existing Supreme Court of Justice. A Constituent Assembly, stacked with his followers and given supraconstitutional powers, unconstitutionally dissolved Congress and most other existing democratic institutions during 1999 and replaced them with institutions staffed by people loyal to Chávez. This was a clear case of political corruption and a progressive coup d’état that ended with all Venezuelan political institutions under the control of the government and eliminated effective checks and balances. From that moment on, for all practical purposes, Venezuela ceased to be a democracy.

With most of the opposition out of the way, Chávez began implementing his hard-left ideology. He nationalized the oil industry, in the process firing 20,000 state oil company employees and replacing them with political cronies. Between 2002 and 2012, he nationalized 1,168 foreign and domestic companies. He aligned his country with some of the worst regimes on the planet, including those of Cuba and North Korea. And that wasn’t the end of it.

“Perhaps more than any other Latin American strongman in recent memory,” penned the Ludwig von Mises Institute’s Ryan McMaken, “Chávez was a ‘true believer’ when it came to socialism, and he showed his ideological devotion with his war, not just on multinational corporations and other powerful corporate interests, but on everyone he considered to be ‘bourgeois.’” The Chávez regime, McMaken averred, “intentionally crushed even the middle and working classes.” He pointed to the example of “a small-time butcher in Caracas” whom Chávez declared a “class traitor and a tool of international capitalists”; the butcher, “along with many other small business owners and retailers,” was arrested and tried for “various ‘capitalist’ crimes.” Chávez also persecuted Jews, threatened “the rich” (i.e., business owners) with “civil war” for failing to back his policies, and shut down opposition media outlets.

Meanwhile, thanks to rising oil prices, Chávez was able to give the Venezuelan people even more of the freebies they already believed were their birthright.

Successful Socialism?Scarcely

For a while, it all seemed to work, at least according to official government statistics. Thus, by 2013, Salon could run an article touting “Hugo Chávez’s Economic Miracle” — improved Gross Domestic Product (GDP); lower rates of infant mortality, unemployment, and extreme poverty; increased college enrollment; better access to healthcare — and arguing that the United States should follow Venezuela’s lead.

The article was, to be generous, misleading even at the time of its publication. For one thing, the trends in Venezuela were similar to those of its considerably less socialist neighbors, some of which actually outperformed it. For another, as even Salon admitted, Chávez’ policies had still not solved some of Venezuela’s most intractable problems, such as the country’s murder rate, which jumped from the already horrific figure of 25 per 100,000 people in 1999 to at least 58 per 100,000 by 2015. (Exact figures are hard to come by because of government secrecy; independent estimates put the 2015 rate as high as 90 per 100,000.) Today Caracas is the world’s most violent city.

Still, to the extent that the article was accurate, it’s gloating over South American socialism turned out to be premature. By October 2014, Venezuela was running a 17-percent budget deficit, the official inflation rate was 65 percent, and there were shortages of various necessities, including food, medicine, and toilet paper. Oil prices began to plummet, greatly shrinking the government’s income. In January 2015, Moody’s downgraded Venezuela’s credit rating to one step above default.

Truth be told, the country’s looming crisis was evident to unbiased observers well before 2014. Because Chávez’ new social programs cost enormous sums of money — over $100 billion in their first decade — the government began printing the necessary currency (bolivars) to fund them. When prices inevitably increased, Chávez imposed price controls, which just as inevitably resulted in shortages. By 2005, the country’s central bank was already reporting that five percent of goods were unavailable; that figure rose to 24.7 percent in 2008 and 28 percent in 2014, whereupon the government stopped publishing the information. Venezuelan economists told the U.K. Guardian in 2013 that a 20-percent scarcity rate “is similar to countries undergoing civil strife or war-like conditions.”

Chávez’ death in 2013 did nothing to alleviate his people’s plight. His handpicked successor, Nicolás Maduro, is an even more militant Marxist than Chávez — he actually studied under Fidel Castro — and has continued and expanded Chávez’ disastrous policies, blaming their manifold failures on capitalists and the United States. The inflation rate reached 800 percent in 2016 and is expected to be double that this year, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates. The IMF also estimates that Venezuela’s GDP fell by 10 percent last year; private economists think it contracted by as much as 15 percent. (As with the shortage rate, the government refuses to publish other economic data; no news, apparently, is good news, as far as Maduro is concerned.) Maduro’s continuation of Chávez’ disastrous policies, combined with the downturn in oil prices, has only deepened the problem of shortages.

The Maduro Diet

Food is one of the scarcest items in the country. Venezuela simply does not grow enough food to feed its own people, and it can no longer afford to import it. Besides, few foreigners want to sell things to Venezuela because its official exchange rates — all four of them — don’t even come close to the actual value of the bolivar relative to foreign currency.

“Other than oil, we produce close to nothing, and even oil production has decreased,” Asdrúbal Oliveros, an economist with the Venezuelan consulting firm Ecoanalítica, told the Guardian. “There is a lack of hard currency, and, in a country that imports everything, this becomes more evident with food scarcity.”

The government’s policy of redistributing large parcels of private farmland to small farmers also hurt.

“More than 3m hectares [about 7.4 million acres] were expropriated during 2004-2010. That and overvalued exchange rate destroyed agriculture,” said Oliveros. “It’s cheaper to import than it is to produce. That’s a perverse model that kills off any productivity.”

Agricultural production has fallen so dramatically that Maduro has been encouraging city dwellers to grow their own food and even issued a decree last summer stating that the government could force people to work in the fields for up to 60 days at a time — longer “if circumstances merit.”

Maduro, who blames the shortages on hoarding by private companies, began rationing food in 2014. Now Venezuelans wait in long lines for hours upon hours in hopes of purchasing what little is left that they can afford. According to a June report from the New York Times,

“A staggering 87 percent of Venezuelans say they do not have money to buy enough food,” and “a family would need the equivalent of 16 minimum-wage salaries to properly feed itself.”

Starvation is becoming a widespread problem.

“Citizens are chasing down stray cats and dogs (and the occasional unlucky pigeon) to stave off hunger,” reported The New American online. Others have taken to eating garbage. Dozens of food riots have broken out, with looting of stores commonly a part of them. “Venezuela,” the Times wrote, “is convulsing from hunger.”

The situation in prisons is even worse. Thanks to overcrowding and food shortages, prisoners are literally eating each other, leading to hundreds of riots.

“My son and two others were taken by 40 people, stabbed, hanged to bleed, and then … butchered … to feed all detainees,” Juan Carlos Herrera told reporters in October. Herrera, whose 25-year-old son had been serving time for robbery in a Caracas prison, said the inmate who informed him of this incident “told me that he was beaten with a hammer to force him to eat the remains of the two boys.”

“Prisoners have been dismembered before and some inmates have forced other prisoners [to] eat their [own] fingers. That happened in a detention center in El Tigre,” Humberto Prado, coordinator of the Venezuelan Prison Observatory, told Fox News Latino. “But inmates die not only from that [kind of violence], there are many prisoners who die of hepatitis, cirrhosis or famine.”

On the outside, starvation is driving parents to turn their children over to charities, neighbors, or even the state in an effort to keep them alive. Officials in the Caracas municipality of Sucre, which includes some of the worst slums in the region, told Reuters in December that they have seen an “exponential” increase in the number of parents giving up their children.

“It’s very dramatic to see parents’ pain when saying they can no longer look after their child,” said welfare director Angeyeimar Gil. “We’re seeing a lot of cases of malnutrition and children that come to hospital with scabies.”

Some parents are simply abandoning their children. Infants and toddlers have been found in bags and cardboard boxes. Recently, two mothers checked out of hospitals after giving birth without taking their babies.

A social-services center in Carirubana, a municipality on a peninsula far from Caracas, sees “more than a dozen parents plead for help taking care of their children” every day, up from about one parent per day in 2015, said Reuters. Maria Salas, the center’s director, said, “The principal motive now is lack of food.”

One mother who gave her young daughter to a neighbor told Reuters, “It’s better that she has another family than go into prostitution, drugs or die of hunger.” The number of children begging or prostituting themselves just to survive is growing, welfare workers said.

Enter Healthy, Leave Dead

Venezuela’s healthcare system is faring no better than its food-distribution system. “The economic crisis in this country has exploded into a public health emergency, claiming the lives of untold numbers of Venezuelans,” observed the Times:

Hospital wards have become crucibles where the forces tearing Venezuela apart have converged. Gloves and soap have vanished from some hospitals. Often, cancer medicines are found only on the black market. There is so little electricity that the government works only two days a week to save what energy is left.

Infant mortality is skyrocketing. The Venezuelan government reported that between 2012 and 2015, the public-hospital death rate for babies under a month old had increased more than a hundredfold, and the rate for new mothers had nearly quintupled.

“The death of a baby is our daily bread,” said Dr. Oselidy Camejo, a surgeon in Caracas.

Babies and mothers aren’t the only ones suffering. Practically anyone who either visits or works in a hospital is in danger. According to the Wall Street Journal, “On a recent day at the University Hospital of Maracaibo, in Venezuela’s second-largest city, patients lay on bare beds in rooms with dirty floors. There was no running water, medicine, cleaning supplies or food. Feces floated in the toilets. Medical staffers there said gang members roam the halls, forcing underpaid and harassed doctors to lock themselves in the offices to avoid assaults.” A hospital in the Caribbean port town of Barcelona lacks functioning X-ray and kidney dialysis machines, and some patients are forced to lie on the floor in pools of their own blood because of a lack of beds.

“Some come here healthy, and they leave dead,” emergency-room physician Dr. Leandro Perez told the Times.

Maduro, in typical fashion, prefers to deny the situation. In a television appearance last year, he declared, “I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one.” Lest the truth get out, doctors in state-run hospitals are forbidden to reveal data on the state of medical care, and journalists are kept out of healthcare facilities by armed guards.

In fact, Maduro’s whole approach to resolving his nation’s woes seems to be first to deny that there is a problem and then to double down on the policies that caused the problem in the first place — the more authoritarian the tack, the better. Running out of oil revenue to pay for social programs? Print more money. (The bolivar lost half its value in November alone.) Prices rising because of the new cash? Impose price controls, have the military take over food distribution and occupy stores, and fire the head of the central bank for doing exactly what he was told to do. Christmas about to be spoiled by high prices and shortages? Force retailers to have sales they can’t afford and confiscate toys from the manufacturer — be sure to accuse him of price speculation for good measure — so the government can play Santa Claus. Capital fleeing the country? Impose currency controls. Unemployment on the rise? Increase the minimum wage, guaranteeing even more joblessness. Government agencies or media outlets reporting bad news? Silence them. Citizens rioting over the lack of food? Confiscate their guns. Political opponents threatening to remove you from office? Round them up and ship them off (or worse).

Socialism’s Default Denouement

Absent major changes in policy, what does the future hold for Venezuela? Nothing good.

The Venezuelan economy is in ruins. Johns Hopkins University economics professor Steve Hanke calculated that “since the arrival of Chávez in 1999, Venezuela’s real GDP in dollar terms has vanished.” The state-owned oil company’s production has fallen 20 percent since then, and now, according to Reuters, it can’t even afford to service its vessels so it can export oil. Multinational corporations are getting out while the getting is good, even if it means taking significant losses. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens are high-tailing it for other countries.

Then there’s the country’s massive and growing foreign debt. Thus far, the government has gone out of its way to pay creditors despite desperate domestic needs. When Harvard economist Ricardo Hausmann, a native Venezuelan, publicly questioned this decision, he was, predictably, excoriated as a “financial hitman” and “outlaw” by Maduro.

But with oil prices still far below the heights of a few years ago and the nation’s economic situation increasingly dire, “it is only a matter of time until Venezuela will default on its foreign debt,” Dr. Antony Mueller, an economics professor at Brazil’s Federal University of Sergipe, asserted in January:

After a short peak in 2009, when the country’s foreign exchange reserves stood at over $40 billion, Venezuela has been steadily hemorrhaging its reserves down to $10 billion. In 2016, Venezuela started to sell gold in order to compensate for the loss of its monetary reserves. As a consequence, Venezuela’s gold reserves plunged from over 360 tons down to less than 190 tons. Other than in the case that some foreign power, such as China, for example, would jump in as a lender, Venezuela’s default seems unavoidable.

At that point, the nation would be in an even more precarious position. Argentina’s 2001 default, for instance, was met with social and political unrest, including three different presidents in the course of four days, and lawsuits that tied up its government for more than a decade. Since the state oil company owns part of Venezuela’s foreign debt, bondholder lawsuits “could severely disrupt [the company’s] operations and result in seizures of the company’s overseas assets,” explained the Times.

All of this suggests that Maduro, whose approval ratings are in free fall, may soon be driven from office. And because he has made the peaceful transfer of power nearly impossible, he is likely to be removed forcibly.

Average Venezuelans, meanwhile, will continue to suffer the most. Until they come to realize that socialism is at the root of their problems, however, they will just keep replacing one left-wing government with another in the vain hope that someone somehow will finally be able to make an unworkable system succeed. As the Mises Institute’s Tho Bishop put it,

“The crisis that Venezuela finds itself in is purely one of ideology, and there is no hope for the country until that is understood.”

Fans of socialism in other parts of the world need to learn the same lesson. For them, perhaps, a field trip to Hugo Chávez’ “economic miracle” is in order.

 

 

Venezuela

COMMENTARY: Thanks To Socialism, Venezuelan Parents Giving Up Children They Can’t Feed

Those who still think that Communism is something of the past are so brainwashed that their perception of reality has been completely changed. The picture reads “Six cans of tuna per person”. People MUST get out of the ‘everything is ok’ trance and start educating themselves, that is where the solution lies, they will not find it anywhere else. The moment one begins to read the real history of Communism one begins to understand what the actual objective is and how they infiltrate and distort the truth. The reason why history repeats itself over and over again is due to the lack of knowledge people have about history. Keep in mind that the plan is to keep people ignorant and censor the truth in order to further their evil agenda. 

Venezuela
‘Thanks to Socialism, Venezuelan Parents Giving Up Children They Can’t Feed,” Source: thenewamerican.com

Poverty in Venezuela is becoming so severe that parents are increasingly “handing children over to the state, charities or friends and family,” reports Reuters.

The nation with the world’s largest oil reserves also has at present the world’s highest inflation rate, a shrinking economy, rising joblessness, food shortages, forced Christmas sales, and currency crackdowns.

For those fortunate enough to have a job, wages average “less than the equivalent of $50 a month at black market rates,” writes Reuters. (Forget the country’s four official exchange rates, none of which even remotely reflects the bolivar’s real value.) Prices, meanwhile, are skyrocketing, putting necessities such as food and clothing beyond the reach of the growing number of poor. Given the choice between seeing their children starve to death — or, perhaps worse, get involved in unsavory activities just to eat — and turning them over to others who may be able to feed them, many parents are, with heavy hearts, opting for the latter.

Hunger is a widespread problem in Venezuela, affecting millions. Two-thirds of 1,099 households with children in Caracas told children’s rights organization Cecodap they didn’t have enough to eat, according to a survey released by the group last week.

According to Reuters:

The Caracas municipality of Sucre, which encompasses Petare, one of the region’s largest and poorest slums, has seen an “exponential” increase in parents needing help, say officials.

“The parents come in crying,” said Sucre welfare director Angeyeimar Gil.

“It’s very dramatic to see parents’ pain when saying they can no longer look after their child,” she said. “We’re seeing a lot of cases of malnutrition and children that come to hospital with scabies.”

Some parents are simply abandoning their children. Infants and toddlers have been found in bags and cardboard boxes. Recently, two mothers checked out of hospitals after giving birth without taking their babies.

A social-services center in Carirubana, a municipality on a peninsula far from Caracas, sees “more than a dozen parents plead for help taking care of their children” every day, up from about one parent per day last year, says Reuters. Maria Salas, the center’s director, said, “The principal motive now is lack of food.” The government, despite its professed compassion for the poor, has been no help.

One of the parents who sought and received help from the center is Zulay Pulgar, a 43-year-old mother of two who lives with her five-year-old son, father, and husband in Punto Fijo, the capital of Carirubana. Pulgar’s family survives — just barely — on her father’s pension, worth $6 a month at the black-market rate. She and her husband are unemployed.

“Showing photos of her family looking plumper just a year ago, Pulgar said just one chicken meal would now burn up half its monthly income,” pens Reuters. “Breakfast is often just bread and coffee, with rice alone for both lunch and dinner.”

Pulgar’s six-year-old daughter is now in the care of her neighbor, Nancy Garcia, a 54-year-old mother of five who works in a grocery store.

“My husband, my children and I teach her to behave, how to study, to dress, to talk…. She now calls me ‘mom’ and my husband ‘dad,’” Garcia said.

Despite the pain of having given up her child, Pulgar had nothing but kind words for Garcia. Her daughter, she said, had “totally changed” for the better, including her manner of speaking. Besides, she said, “It’s better that she has another family than go into prostitution, drugs or die of hunger.” Welfare workers told Reuters that there has been an increase in the number of children begging or prostituting themselves just to survive.

Pulgar hopes to be able to take her daughter back someday but told the news agency that she “does not see her situation improving.” Such is always eventually the lot of a people living under socialism. The system imposed in the name of improving their lot invariably creates nothing but misery.

Venezuelans are learning that the hard way. Others would be wise to learn from their experience rather than chase after the chimerical “workers’ paradise” themselves — and end up having to give away their own children.

Time Bomb

DOCUMENTARY: MUST WATCH!!! – Anarchy USA

This film was produced in 1965 at the height of the Civil Rights movement in America. But, instead of being out of date, it provides lessons and insights as to how the enemies of freedom manipulate people into acts of self-destruction. This is happening in America today and people have not yet realized that they keep falling into the trap. What is Black Lives Matter if not a tool to divide us? What was the Bolshevique Revolution all about if not a tool to incite hatred? The number one enemy of freedom is Communism. Communism is Talmudic Judaism.

Talmudic Jews are after the destruction of all religions because they want to be ‘the religion’ of the world, they want to control and have the Goyim under their evil command. We have to open our eyes to this.

nicolas maduro

Vladimir Putin Awarded Peace Prize

Putin and Obama already received a Nobel Prize. Now the Nobel Prize goes to Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia for negotiating with the Devil alias FARC! Who is backing global economy with drug trade. What kind of world are we living in? Have people lost their power of discernment? Or is the Devil that clever that is deceiving them all? Unfortunately, we will be seeing more and more of this ‘Putin worship’ and it is a sign of the end times. Things have inverted, what was wrong and evil before is good now. World leaders are all Communists. They are working for World Dominion, they follow the law of men, which is, Talmudic Law. This is leading the world to its own destruction and those who have decided to turn a blind eye to what is really happening, are helping these sadic criminals further their agenda. 

nicolas maduro
“Vladimir Putin awarded peace prize,” Source: independent.co.uk

The president of Venezuela has created a new peace prize in honour of former socialist leader Hugo Chavez – and awarded it to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The award was given on the same day the annual Nobel Peace Prize was presented to Juan Manuel Santos, president of neighbouring Colombia, for his role in negotiating a peace agreement with Marxist FARC rebels.

During a televised broadcast, Prime Minister Nicolas Maduro said: “I’ve decided to create the Hugo Chavez prize for peace and the sovereignty… I think President Vladimir Putin deserves this award.”

This is why the White Helmets were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

Describing the Russian President as a “fighter for peace”, President Maduro unveiled a statue of Chavez designed by a Russian artist for the new award.

Mr Putin and future winners will receive a miniature replica of the statue.

Speaking on air, Mr Maduro said the prize would be offered to national and international figures “who have excelled in the struggle for peace,” adding that he had chosen to honour Mr Putin with the award as he is a strong ally of Venezuela.

Hundreds of thousands of people have joined pro and anti-government demonstrations in Venezuela over the past few months. The anti-government protests are led by campaigners who criticise the government for its role in the country’s failing economy.

Mr Maduro blames the problems on an “economic war,” however, which he says has been constructed by the opposition party with help from the US government.

President Putin was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, despite ordering soldiers to invade Ukraine that same year. He lost to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai, for their work against the suppression of children and young people.

 

COMMENTARY: Israel Lawfare Group Plans “Massive Punishments” for Activists

What is a cancer is Jewish Supremacism and the more we allow these people to continue with their evil lies the closer they get to destroying us all. Today their ‘enemy’ is the Muslims, tomorrow it will be Christians, and then Buddhists, until there is nothing left in the world but Jews. Let’s all support BDS. 

“Israel lawfare group plans “massive punishments” for activists,” Source: electronicintifada.net

“Why are we using the word Palestinian? There’s no such thing as a Palestinian person,” Brooke Goldstein declared to enthusiastic applause at a meeting of key Israel lobby operatives in New York earlier this month.
Goldstein is the director of the Lawfare Project, a legal group that aims, in her words, to “make the enemy pay” – that “enemy” being mainly comprised of Palestine solidarity activists and students.The Lawfare Project was founded with the support of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an important forum for anti-Palestinian organizing in the US.The clip of Goldstein denying outright the existence of Palestinians can be seen above.

At the event, she and other Israel lobby leaders revealed their latest strategies to try to defeat the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

A 58-minute edited video of the event was originally published on YouTube by the Jewish Broadcasting Service on 16 June, but was hidden a day after the journalist Ben White and other supporters of Palestinian rights began to circulate it on social media, drawing attention to Goldstein’s negation of Palestinian existence.

The Electronic Intifada is republishing the whole video under the Fair Use doctrine of the US Copyright Act:

In her presentation, Goldstein acknowledged that efforts to promote Israel as a democracy with “great beaches” had failed to stem the support for Palestinian rights, so “we have to focus on the offense, on Islamists and how they violate the basic civil rights that liberals hold very, very dear.”Efforts to exploit and promote Islamophobia as a way to build support for Israel are not new, but the New York meeting heralded a renewed push in that direction.Following the advice of pro-Israel pollster Frank Luntz to appropriate leftist and human rights language, Goldstein said the anti-Muslim message would appeal to the sensibilities of liberal and progressive college students.

She argued that pro-Israel advocates had to speak about the BDS movement

“in the terminology that Millennials will understand, which is the civil rights terminology.”

“[Students] want to be against apartheid? Let’s give them what to be against,” she said, “Let’s give them [sic] to be against Islamist gender, race and religious apartheid that is occurring in every single Muslim-majority country on the planet.”

As its contribution, Goldstein explained that her organization would be launching what she called “Islamist Apartheid Week” on campuses across the US, an apparent effort to counter Israeli Apartheid Week.

And while Goldstein markets herself as a “human rights attorney,” she proudly touts her friendship with Geert Wilders, the anti-Muslim Dutch politician who has been funded by a key player in the US Islamophobia industry.

Wilders’ anti-Muslim agenda is so extreme it has even been condemned by the Anti-Defamation League, a major pro-Israel group.

“Cancer”

Goldstein was speaking at an event on 2 June titled “BDS: The new anti-Semitism?

Organized by the World Zionist Organization, the American Zionist Movement and the UJA-Federation of New York, it was addressed by Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon.

It came just days after Israel’s major anti-BDS conference held at UN headquarters.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice-president of the Conference of Presidents, told the meeting that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement was like a deadly disease.

“We let this cancer metastasize until now on campuses across the United States,” Hoenlein said.

He claimed that the BDS movement for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality was indistinguishable from the persecutions Jews had faced throughout history.

“This started when the Romans changed the name of Judea to Philistia,” Hoenlein asserted in a bizarre appeal to ancient history and myth, “that was the beginning of BDS.”

But he was clear that the purpose of the New York gathering was to create a movement

“that uses all of our resources, all of our energies” in order to “put an end to this threat.”

Hoenlein said that pro-Israel activists need to reach youth who “communicate in 140 letters,” an apparent reference to the social media site Twitter.

Overlooking the fact that this is the most diverse and integrated generation of American college students ever, Hoenlein went on to insult the intelligence of the very youth he wants Israel to connect with.

“This is an ignorant generation, a superficial generation,” Hoenlein said.

Attacking students

The Lawfare Project’s Brooke Goldstein also indicated that her legal group was preparing another Title VI challenge against US universities, naming San Francisco State University and the University of California, Irvine, as likely targets.

In recent years, pro-Israel groups lodged complaints against several universities under Title VI of the US Civil Rights Act, alleging that administrators were failing to protect Jewish students from a hostile environment created by Palestine solidarity activists.

But these complaints were thrown out by investigators from the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

Goldstein’s revelation casts the latest attacks by pro-Israel groups on Palestine solidarity activists at UC Irvine and San Francisco State University in a new light.

Goldstein said her group was encouraging Jewish students on those campuses to file police complaints against Palestine solidarity activists, “so we can pressure the [district attorney] to bring criminal charges against those students, just like was done with Michael Oren’s speech.”

She was referring to the Irvine 11 case, in which 10 students faced criminal charges for protesting a 2010 speech at UC Irvine by Oren when he was the Israeli ambassador to the US.

These cases would also presumably be used as the pretext for the Title VI complaints.

Goldstein also used the New York gathering to argue that contrary to the unanimous opinion of the international community, Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are not illegal and that the EU was violating international law by requiring that products manufactured in Israeli settlements have accurate labels indicating their origin.

In warlike language, Israeli ambassador Danon told the gathering that their efforts to suppress support for Palestinian rights had the full support of the Israeli state.

“We will stand against our enemies. We will stand against the people who are going to boycott Israel, and we will win,” Danon said.

The violent and dehumanizing language was echoed by Yuval Abrams, a student and activist against the Palestine solidarity movement at the CUNY Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

“We need to raise the stakes for those who engage in this sort of behavior, let them know their nose is going to bleed,” Abrams, who identified himself as a former Israeli soldier, said in reference to fellow students who had advocated for a boycott of Israeli institutions complicit in military occupation and violations of Palestinian rights.

While speakers asserted several times that advocates should share positive messages about Israel and Zionism, Goldstein was frank that only repression of protest and BDS would shore up Israel’s eroding base of support.

“The goal is to make the enemy pay,” Goldstein said, “and to send a message, a deterrent message, that similar actions such as those that they engage in will result in massive punishments.”