From Karachi to Caracas 916


I am finding Karachi an interesting place from which to view the world. Four US Presidents have visited Pakistan – Eisenhower, Nixon, Clinton and Bush Jr. Each of them visited a military dictator, in the friendliest of terms. No American President has ever visited a civilian government of Pakistan. The Americans have always been far too busy plotting the next coup.

More recent neo-con practice has of course been to eschew open espousal of military dictatorship and to present CIA-organised coups as democratic revolutions. I was of course aware of their hand behind Juan Guaido in Venezuela, but I had not fully taken on board the extent to which Guaido is purely their creature. If you have not seen this superb article on Guaido’s history in Consortium News, please do read it. Guaido has been US-funded since 2005 specifically to undermine the socialist government of Venezuela. Notably the US sponsorship of this far right puppet started at a time when Chavez’ democratic and human rights credentials were impeccable, which rather undermines the current excuse for Guaido’s elevation.

In Caracas we are seeing an attempt at a colour revolution – quite literally. Here, from a US government propaganda website (not Bellingcat, another one), we have a photograph of the overwhelmingly white opposition group in the Venezuelan National Assembly.

And here, we have from the BBC a shot of Maduro’s new pro-Government citizens’ assembly – overwhelmingly of different ethnicity.

I should be plain, that I did not accept Maduro’s ruse to set up the Constituent Assembly. But neither do I accept the CIA’s ruse to overthrow the elected President. These photographs are helpful because they crystallise the fundamental issue – what is at stake is the West’s attempt to reimpose economic apartheid on the people of Venezuela.

Here in Pakistan, I am anxious to avoid the journalists’ disease of claiming expertise on a country after a few days. But it has been very instructive, and I am impressed by the start Imran Khan has made to addressing the complex and intractable problems that have hamstrung this state of 200 million talented people. Every Pakistani government has claimed to be making efforts to tackle corruption, and the colossal misapplication of state funds, and pretty well every government has been lying about that. But Imran Khan does seem to be fighting the hydra, and with an extraordinary level of application – I heard yesterday direct and separately from a Federal Minister and a Provincial Governor examples of how remarkably closely Khan is following their work.

Internationally, the move to open dialogue with the Taliban appears, coupled with Trump’s determination to pull out, to point the way to some hope of a settlement in Kabul which must inevitably include an element of power-sharing. The conundrum of accessing funds from Saudi Arabia and China without becoming a client is very well understood. Those funds help ward off over-dependence on the World Bank and IMF, whose vultures are already hovering around the usual demands for privatisations and vast hikes in utility prices to poor people. At the same time, a relationship with those institutions is unavoidable. It is an unenviable path to tread.

Attempts to reform Pakistan always encounter massively wealthy entrenched interests. If you are trying desperately hard to do good for your country, against opposition that is often viciously self-interested, it can be hard to remember that freedom of speech must also extend to the ill-intentioned and malign. Equally, while the government may feel this is hardly the time for fissiparous forces to be given play, those with secessionist views should be allowed to express them. Where there is terrorism and political violence, it can be easy for the line to be blurred between when force is and is not legitimate, and between violent extremists and peaceful dissenters advocating similar end goals. It is particularly not easy to tackle these questions where intelligence and military have enjoyed and abused excessive long term autonomy. Getting a grip on fundamental human rights is not easy, but it has to be done.

So the government faces massive challenges in making progress in areas where Pakistan has rightly been criticised in the past, but I feel much more confident they will make progress than I did before I came. I should also say that the overwhelming kindness and hospitality I have received from people at all levels has been very touching. It is a fascinating country to visit and in the next few days I shall be seeing a large number of historical sites, following in the footsteps of Alexander Burnes.

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916 thoughts on “From Karachi to Caracas

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  • Sharp Ears

    Back to our very own Hamish deB G.

    Feb, 7, 2019
    The Sarin Storyteller
    David Macilwain
    https://off-guardian.org/2019/02/07/the-sarin-storyteller/

    and ref Salisbury. BBC South Today said that Det Sgt Nick Bailey is making such a giood recovery that he will be taking part in the Salisbury marathon in August. He has set up a fund raising page in aid of the ward at Salisbury DGH where he was treated. The prop goes on…and on.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-47164044
    https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nickbailey1772

    • John Goss

      Coupled with that awful piece from the Mail published in a comment yesterday

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6676659/Third-Novichok-attacker-Britain.html

      we can see that Caitlin Johnson is right. MI6 is continuing to spread this fake news fed into the gluttonous media through disinformation specialists like Orbis Business Intelligence and Integrity Initiative. The Mail article falls at the first hurdle. There never was any Novichok or any military grade organophosphate of any description. It was Fentanyl. As I wrote in my piece on Pablo Miller:

      “On March 5 the Clinical Services Journal (CSJ) reported “a major incident after two patients were exposed to what was believed to be an opiate . . . an incident . . . in which a man and a woman were exposed to the drug Fentanyl in the city centre.” The drug Fentanyl was redacted later and replaced by “a substance” with the footnote that: “This story was updated on 26 April 2018 to remove suggestion (which was widely speculated and reported at the time of writing) that the substance found was fentanyl.” All credit to the medical journalists who were forced to change the story.

      http://dilyana.bg/skripals-poisoned-with-fentanyl/

      And all credit to the author, Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, of the blog which first exposed the Novichok lie”

      • michael norton

        John, can you think of a reason why Sergei Skripal is not calling his aged mother in Russia to assure her he is well and not being held under duress?

          • John Goss

            I thought even engineer Kempe would have worked that out. Blame Russia. If you remember it was Pablo Miller, now of Orbis Business Intelligence, who recruited both Alexander Litvinenko (when will there be an inquest) and Sergei Skripal (Where is he? Why can our limp media not ask him and Yulia Skripals questions?)

          • Clark

            “Why?”

            Indeed. Why any of the whole sorry affair? We’re nearly a year on, and we still haven’t a clue. Which is exactly what I expected at the time, which is why I took very little notice of it from the start.

          • King of Welsh Noir

            Given the numerous contradictions, illogicalities and absurdities in the Government narrative my suspicion is they were taken by surprise by something and made the story up on the hoof.

            No one who planned an event like that would include such details as discovering Novichok in the London hotel and waiting 4 months before they told the owner. Or, where the original scientist developing the nerve agent washed his hands with acid after an accidental spillage, they told the folk of Salisbury to use wet wipes.

            The only thing we know for sure is the UK government have accused Russia of a terrible crime and provided no evidence to support the claim. In fact, CEO of Porton Down, Gary Aitkenhead, said in an interview that it was not possible to determine the provenance of the Novichok.

            So Kempe, do you think the Russians did it? And if so, what is your evidence?

          • Clark

            King of Welsh Noir, that’s pretty much what I think too.

            Brainpower is a finite resource, and false beliefs have many costs such as irrational behaviour and distortion of understanding in related fields. Given its audience of hundreds of millions, this ridiculous affair must have done a lot of damage.

          • Kempe

            The pathetic attempt at an alibi by the two would be assassins is evidence enough by itself.

          • Clark

            Kempe, I don’t get that. If the Skripals were attacked by Russia with novichok, that would have been an attempt at what’s called a “signature killing”, meaning that Russia chose a weapon associated with Russia to advertise that it was a Russian action. So why would Putin then ask the operatives to appear on TV denying it? If their TV denial was part of their military service, why did they seem so shifty?

            We still have no credible motive. The timeline is inconsistent. The discarded but wrapped and sealed perfume bottle is inconsistent. Nothing about the affair makes any sense, therefore the most primary facts must be missing.

          • King of Welsh Noir

            Failure to provide an alibi does not constitute evidence that someone has committed murder, I’m sure you know that Kempe. Interestingly, the TV appearance of the two Russians happened in September, so what was the evidence Theresa May used to force the expulsion of a load of European diplomats in March?

          • Kempe

            If anyone suspected of a crime can’t explain why they were in the area at the time, especially if the cover story is as pathetic as the one offered, I doubt many juries would hesitate to convict.

  • N_

    The vile Daily Telegraph is scraping the bottom of the barrel today, as they write of how hard it was for the boss of Instagram when it finally became widely and explicitly recognised that his highly lucrative business has been contributing to causing many children to commit suicide. The Tory rag’s message is 1) we should sympathise deeply with this guy, and 2) he is helping society so much now, by having a paper policy of no longer doing what he got caught doing.

    In other words, “At times like this, sympathise with the killer” and “Look how helpful he is being now”.

    Meanwhile the Torygraph’s distributors at Google (a company which is guilty of similar crimes) served me up with the Torygraph’s article as the second top article of world news. Clearly this type of propaganda is very important for the image of big business.

    You just have to wonder how much longer this f***ing shit that is being done to society, especially against younger people, by a small number of scum who make loads of money out of what they are doing – and who, like Mark Zuckenberg, would never let their own children succumb to it – can go together with the widespread presentation of big business and their governments and politicians as if they were the greatest people-helpers since the beginning of time.

  • N_

    What is it with Cambridge academics? One of them, called Victoria Bateman, an economist and a fellow at Caius who waffles on about Brexit, has publicised her work by lecturing stark naked with writing scrawled on her body. Recently she upped her price on CelebDAQ by challenging Jacob Rees-Mogg to debate with her in the nude. You’ve got wonder what she’s going to do next. If a working class person said “Hey, Jacob, get your knickers off, let’s debate Brexit”, it probably wouldn’t get in the newspapers but if they said it in the wrong place they might very well get sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

    Lizzy Buchan, political correspondent at the Guardian, has dutifully reported the historic Bateman challenge to JRM as if it were grown-up and interesting. If a Cambridge academic ate a turd sandwich every Walpurgis Night, someone at the Guardian would be bound to report it if it came up among all the other old crap on their Instagram feed.

    The city of Cambridge also has a big “naked bike ride”, gleefully attended by hundreds of academics who annually create one of the city’s most ridiculous sights for sore eyes, often with staring eyes through which they look at you from their bikes as if to say challengingly “Yes? What is it?” as their bits protrude and dangle so unappealingly.

    • N_

      Nick Robinson, Tory political journalist at the Tory BBC who used to be the president of the Oxford University Conservative Association (can anybody spot the pattern?), interviewed Victoria Bateman.

      Although many who went to Oxford have chips on their shoulders in relation to Cambridge, Bateman at least managed to show that he did not want to look at what Bateman was offering him a freebie view of as if she expects him and everybody else to think it is so marvellous.

      Britain faces many, many problems right now from housing to the NHS, and the European Union is not the cause of those problems,” Bateman helpfully explained. She followed that up by saying “I have myself written thousands of words looking at why Brexit is bad for Britain” (is nobody interested, dear?), “but I thought it would be good marketing useful to reduce all of those words down, condense all of those words down to one powerful message: Brexit is the emperor’s new clothes – that Britain has sold itself a project that cannot possibly deliver on what it promised.

      Cannot deliver on what was promised? Would a person be like Jack the Ripper if they asked how a Cambridge academic’s act of dropping her kecks relates to that theme?

      Asked whether she is simply an ‘exhibitionist’, Dr Bateman said: ‘I am completely comfortable with my own body, I view women’s bodies as one of the big battlegrounds that we face today. (You’ve never fought a battle over anything, Victoria, and you wouldn’t know how. Or by “we” do you mean those who sit at the high table at Caius and don’t pay tax on the expensive wine they drink?) ‘And actually by engaging with society about women’s bodies, one of the things it shows is the way in which (no surprises that she uses that idiotic phrase “the way in which”) people are quick to judge women purely based on their bodies. For thousands of years men have controlled what women can do with their bodies, and women’s bodies have been seen as something purely existing for sex and for babies. So what is wrong with a modern day woman taking control of her body and using it to give voice to what is the most depressing political subject in Britain right now?’

      In other words, “Yes, I am an exhibitionist, because I’ve got nothing else to promote my intellectually utterly vacuous guff with apart from my body. Oh look at me, please please. C’mon, you know you like it. Don’t turn your head away like that.”

      Co-presenter Nick Robinson noted at the end of the interview: ‘I want you to know that my computer screen was strategically placed so I have only been listening to what was being said.’

      I don’t blame you, Nick!

      • N_

        The short answer may be that the fellows of the University of Cambridge and its colleges effectively own the city of Cambridge and do whatever they like in it.

      • Blunderbuss

        As I understand it, it’s only illegal to be naked in public if somebody is offended by it. If you are a nubile young woman, nobody is offended so it’s not illegal. If you are a wrinkled old man, lots of people are offended so it is illegal.

        • wiggins

          But…..you are not allowed to mention AIPAC as the young Somalian lady has done – and rightfully – what strange times we are in.

    • Tom Welsh

      Although I would think that, from a practical point of view, dangling bits and rapidly rotating metal machinery would make a bad combination.

    • Baron

      Until he read this posting of yours, Nick, Baron has been unconvinced by the arguments of those saying that Brexit is a self-inflicted catastrophe, that after March 29 the rivers in this country will dry up, the air become too thin to breathe, and there will be not a glimpse of sunshine, just the backness of a permanent night forever. Seeing the young and learned Cambridge academic to sum up the coming nightmare in just one single picture, Baron’s fully convinced of the coming calamity.

      Would she be available for a spot of a leg-over dialog, you reckon?

  • Sharp Ears

    Did you last night’s QT, tightly controlled and constantly interrupted by Ms Bruce/Mrs Sharrocks from Motherwell? It was execrable and should be taken off.

    We see you
    https://wingsoverscotland.com/we-see-you/

    (Lord) Forsyth ex Tory Scottish Secretary under Major
    Fiona Hyslop SNP MSP Culture Tourism etc
    Anneliese Dodds Shadow Treasury
    Hugo Rifkind Murdoch scribbler and son of Sir Malcolm of the scam fame
    Olumede Model and actress
    https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/who-is-on-the-bbc-question-time-panel-in-motherwell-tonight-february-7-2019-1-5882981

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        The obvious counter measure would be for the SNP to boycott Question Time, put out a press statement clearly expanding why and encourage all other Indy voices to follow suit. This would escalate the issue with the BBC, but I widnae haud yer breath.

          • JOML

            able, thanks for your support of the independence movement. Insightful comment, as usual. 😂

          • able

            Seriously, everyone is just sick to death of you. Can’t vote for your independence, can’t accept the laws and institutions of this country. Give the Englsh the vote.

          • JOML

            able, the vote is there, if you and your fellow countrymen in your “this country” demand it from your MPs. You’ll have no opposition from me, if you have the balls to become a grown up, modern and progressive country – cutting ties with delusions of grandeur, based on a 19th century empire. I’d be delighted to “fuck off” under these circumstances – or any other circumstances, for that matter.

  • N_

    Founder of Momentum Jon Lansman is boasting of his support for Labour MP Luciana Goldsmith (stage name Luciana Berger), the former director of the Labour Friends of I__ael who has been secretly conveying to Tory journalists that it would be great if a “centrist” party got started by runaways from Labour that could destroy the electoral chances of the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn. (Isn’t there a word for that sort of person?)

    Members of the Labour party in Liverpool have proposed a motion of no confidence in her.

    I would like to say that Goldsmith is a disgrace to the memory of her great uncle Emanuel Shinwell, who participated in the workers’ movement on Red Clydeside in 1919. But in later years Shinwell was friendly with the government of I__ael when he was British Defence Minister shortly after the Naqba, and he later made it to the House of Lords.

    • Jo1

      “Isn’t there a word for that sort of person?”

      There is.

      The no-confidence motion was withdrawn early evening today after screeches of outrage came from various folk in the Labour Party, notably Tom Watson. Others included Chuka Umunna, Yvette Cooper, Jess Phillips.

      Watson declared poor poisonous little Luciana was being, yep, you’ve guessed it, “bullied” by her local CLP. The same Luciana has been publicly smearing Corbyn for God knows how long, talking about setting up a new Party and, generally, undermining her own at every opportunity.

      But any criticism of her conduct is recorded as being anti-S…and because of that she gets away with her treachery and gets plenty of attention in the media. Her response to the news tonight that the vote wasn’t going ahead was to whine that Corbyn hadn’t personally spoken out against her CLP’s treatment of her.

      What a nasty piece of work she is.

  • Loony

    Obviously all those in love with the EU will naturally know all about the constituent counties that comprise the aggregate whole.

    These people will obviously know that the Italian economy has entered into a recession. Here is Bloomberg setting out some of the details

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-08/how-italy-s-escalating-feud-with-macron-puts-business-at-risk

    This is probably closely connected to Brexit.

    But wait….the Italian economy today in real terms and on a per capita basis is smaller than it was in 1999. I guess the Brexit vote must have been in 1999 and not 2016 – just another example of the hated MSM spreading lies and disinformation about the real date of the Brexit vote.

    Oddly over the same period (1999-date) the German economy is in real terms and on a per capita basis 25% larger. Maybe Germans can’t read English and so don’t know that the UK voted to leave the EU.

    Just shows the dangers of literacy.

    All of this sounds like garbage to me (and I wrote it) – much more likely is that the EU is designed benefit Germany and impoverish everyone else. However that can never ever be admitted and so I guess the answer must lie in one of the more unusual suggestions – some of which I have briefly outlined.

  • Dungroanin

    Apologies If this gas already been flagged here

    https://wingsoverscotland.com/aunties-favourite/

    The NUTTER on the shoe always gets his say.
    He loves Putin-Trump-Farage and is a unionist from Scotland who supports England in football and hangs out with drummer boys, Royal palaces and Confederates!

    The stitched up propaganda narrative is falling apart like stinking leprosied extremities.

    Happy days!

      • Republicofscotland

        Close enough, £13.8 million up front.

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46722229

        Meanwhile Ruth Davidson, still hasn’t had lunch with one of Putin’s ex-ministers, wife after she paid the higest bid to have lunch with her. Lubov Chernukihin, paid £20,000 pounds to lunch with the Tory branch manager.

        Davidson whose stock has plummeted not just in Scotland but at Westminster, should do the decent thing (Tory and decent should never be put in the same sentence) and return the the 20k.

    • Jo1

      You can’t call him Fat Tom now. He’s lost seven stones.

      Yes, spot on about Berger. She’s breaking Party rules all over the shop but is protected via the anti-S card she plays constantly. She’s utter poison.

      • Dave

        Yes its the audacious ancestral madness on speed.

        Go around offending people by repeatedly calling the Labour Party and everyone who disagrees with you as “anti-Semitic” and when someone complains, make a complaint that the complaint is further evidence of “anti-Semitism”!

        And then complain your complaints aren’t being fully investigated quickly enough (which costs thousands in time and money) and then make another (easy access) media announcement that this failure to act quickly is further evidence of entrenched “anti-Semitism” in a party in which you are a well paid MP.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Tom Watson has to date trousered £500,000 from the multi-millionaire racist son of Britain’s biggest fascist Oswald Mosley. How can any sane person make sense of that?

  • N_

    From the Guardian:

    A new Brexit party, supported by Nigel Farage, has been officially recognised by the Electoral Commission, the Telegraph reports. It says ‘the Brexit party’ claims it is set to win over thousands of Tory Labour defectors.

    I fixed the quote. This is an operation against the Labour party, not against the Tory party. That’s why the Torygraph loves it.

    How the Tory government would love to turn Jeremy Corbyn into Ramsay MacCorbyn. I don’t reckon they will be successful. But the Labour party is in big trouble. It is being subjected to huge attacks and major spooking.

    Talk of another referendum is for the chattering classes only. A post-Brexit general election maybe.

    • michael norton

      Can I ask a question
      What is it with the remainer, blairite labour m.p.s
      I guess they despise Jeremy Corbyn
      but what is it they actually want ( obviously other than to enrich themselves)
      I know they don’t give a shit about their voters.

      • Jo1

        They definitely despise Corbyn. Their dedication to taking him out certainly confirms that.

        I’m not sure what they want. Brexit has left many of them scared witless that to challenge it will cost them their seats. Same with second referendum.

        Ultimately I think the dream is that Corbyn and Co will be toppled and David Miliband will return to take the helm and set sail for New New Labourland!

        • James Charles

          Maybe J.B.C. should be ‘despised’?

          “Jeremy, when you were first elected Leader, I’d have been delighted if you had then become PM. But now the thought is a bit like my feelings at the idea of Dafydd standing trial: it would certainly be entertaining but it wouldn’t improve matters. Because it is very clear to me Jeremy that you knew about the paedophile ring that was at work in the kids homes in Islington, which was linked to Dafydd’s gang. You were told about it by a whistleblower but you didn’t act. You knew about it before you were elected as the constituency MP anyway, because you worked for NUPE, the union which represented a lot of the social workers and managers. The business partner of your election agent went to prison for sexually assaulting children. You’re like Dafydd Wigley Jezza – you don’t come across as offensive and pompous like so many of your colleagues, but you knew that kids were being gang-raped, trafficked and that witnesses were murdered.
          When Theresa was a Councillor for Merton, she ignored the ring on her patch which was facilitated by St George’s Hospital just as Jeremy ignored the ring on his patch at Islington…”
          http://www.drsallybaker.com/uncategorized/r-i-p-julia-grant-and-many-more/#comment-106296

    • Ken Kenn

      Good to see the Nation Pub Bore back with his merry band.

      UKIP have Tommy – the small bore.

      The best thing voters for these parties can do can do in a GE is take votes off the Tories or preferably stay in.

      He’s not standing in South Thanet again is he?

      Seven times he’s had a go and seven times he’s failed.

      Cats have nine lives but I don’t know how many lives Weasels have.

      Beer in front of the media – fine wine in the privacy of the club.

      A poseur if ever I saw one.

      It was Rangers! – Celtic! on QT last night.

      The black woman’s ( Ome?) speech was great and the other panellists just looked ashamed either out of ignorance or
      worse – knowledge.

      If only Nigel had have been there for a bit of perspective on racism.

    • Jo1

      I just heard the founder interviewed by Stephen Nolan. Catherine Somebody. She screeched a lot. Also claimed “the government” were stupid to have kept interest rates low and forgot the BoE controls interest rates. Claimed there is no need for hysteria re Irish border, it’s not a problem…blah blah. Blamed housing problems on immigrants, unemployment on immigrants…blah blah.
      Sounds like a complete lunatic.

  • Sharp Ears

    Wavertree CLP have rolled over and have caved in to the pressure.

    The motion of no confidence in their MP Luciana Goldsmith, nee Berger, has been withdrawn.

    Mesdames Ellman and Smeeth and other members of the LFoI lobby + Tom Watson, member of the Trades Union Friends of Israel, are content.

    No-confidence vote in Labour MP Luciana Berger pulled
    57 minutes ago
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47178203

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Venezuela’s self-proclaimed ‘president’ Guaido isn’t ruling out ‘authorizing’ US intervention’:
    https://www.rt.com/news/451026-guaido-venezuela-military-intervention/?
    ‘…Guaido told AFP he would do “everything that is necessary” in order to “save human lives” – not ruling out the admittedly “controversial subject” of calling on foreign powers, and the United States in particular, to intervene militarily in Venezuela to remove Nicolas Maduro from power…’
    Latest development with the US’s favourite Venezuelan traitor.

  • Sharp Ears

    On one of her stop offs in London on her to and fro travels to European capitals, perhaps Theresa could make time to sack Failing Grayling.

    ‘UK government cancels Seaborne Freight’s no-deal ferry contract
    LONDON (Reuters) – The British government has terminated a contract with Seaborne Freight to provide extra ferries in the event that the country leaves the European Union without a deal on March 29.
    The government’s decision to award the 14 million pound ($18.1 million) contract in December even though Seaborne Freight did not have any ships had been heavily criticized by opposition politicians and others. ‘
    /..
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-shipping/uk-government-cancels-seaborne-freights-no-deal-ferry-contract-idUSKCN1PY05S

    It’s one big joke in Whitehall. Tories Out!

  • Sharp Ears

    Joe Emersberger (who used to be rubbished by a poster on here) on Chakrabarti’s take on Venezuela and her reliance on the views of HRW and Amnesty International.

    Shami Chakrabarti really should re-evaluate her ‘trusted sources’ on Venezuela
    https://www.thecanary.co/opinion/2019/02/08/shami-chakrabarti-really-should-re-evaluate-her-trusted-sources-on-venezuela/

    ‘But both of these groups have demonstrated a clear bias in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States.’

    Have just looked at the board members of Amnesty Int’l UK
    https://www.amnesty.org.uk/meet-board
    and the salaries of the staff
    https://www.amnesty.org.uk/pay-amnesty-international-uk

    ‘The Director of Amnesty International UK is currently paid the maximum of the scale which is £102,751 per annum, whilst our Departmental Directors’ pay scale starts at £65,353 and rising to £84,119.’ Unbelievable.

    • Blunderbuss

      To summarize Amnesty International’s position:

      “Economic problems in Venezuela are still the fault of the Venezuelan government, even though said problems have been caused by US sanctions”.

      It’s just like the Tory government in Britain:

      “Cuts in social care made by local councils are still the fault of the council, even though said cuts have been caused by cuts in central government funding to local councils”.

    • Glasshopper

      I’ve been giving Amnesty a fiver a month for decades. I keep meaning to stop it, but need to pass it on elsewhere and haven’t got round to it.
      I was considering the Hawk and Owl Trust whose marvellous live cams of Peregrine nests have given me a lot of enjoyment in recent years. It’s not a lot of cash, but over a couple of decades it adds up, and small outfits like that make better use of it.

  • Sharp Ears

    Maduro resists.

    ‘Maduro kicks off Venezuela’s ‘most important military drills in history’ (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
    Edited time: 11 Feb, 2019 07:38
    Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has launched what he described as the ‘most important’ drills in history, preparing to repel any potential invasion after the US and its allies backed self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ Guaido.

    The drills will last until February 15 and are set to become the largest military exercises the country has held in its 200-year history, President Maduro reiterated, as he arrived at Guaicaipuro Fort in Miranda State.’
    /..
    https://www.rt.com/news/451155-maduro-venezuela-historic-military-drills/

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Venezuela’s election process ‘best in the world’ – fmr US president’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuIVf8czq0o
    ‘Former US President Carter: Venezuela’s Electoral System “Best in the World”:
    https://www.globalresearch.ca/former-us-president-carter-venezuelan-electoral-system-best-in-the-world/5305779
    ‘…Mérida, 21st September 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Former US President Jimmy Carter has declared that Venezuela’s electoral system is the best in the world.
    Speaking at an annual event last week in Atlanta for his Carter Centre foundation, the politician-turned philanthropist stated,

    “As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.”
    Venezuela has developed a fully automated touch-screen voting system, which now uses thumbprint recognition technology and prints off a receipt to confirm voters’ choices.
    In the context of the Carter Centre’s work monitoring electoral processes around the globe, Carter also disclosed his opinion that in the US “we have one of the worst election processes in the world, and it’s almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money,” he said referring to lack of controls over private campaign donations….’
    I reckon Carter, though certainly not perfect, was the best President since JFK (who also was far from perfect).
    Ballot-stuffing, where do they get this stuff? The land of the ‘hanging chad’, wiping black and Latin people from voting registers, illegal Suprreme Court interference in Presidential ‘selections’ and Diebold ‘switch-a-vote’ electronic voting scam machines seems to think everyone else acts like them.

  • michael norton

    Key senator vows to probe discussions about removing Trump

    It seems Trump has to go, the Clintons do not want him as president.

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