Ignorance is the most potent weapon in the vast armoury of the privileged and powerful. The use of force and prisons to oppress citizens and deny them basic human rights is effective but tends to cause a reaction. People physically oppressed feel the pain and often resist and revolt against their oppressors.
But the locks and chains of mental imprisonment through imposed ignorance are invisible and much more effective. For those detained within prisons of ignorance do not even recognise their enslavement. Information is power and those who control the flow of information are very powerful. Keeping the populace ignorant or ensuring they are only partially informed or misinformed is how the rich and powerful maintain control.
The statement above swirled around my brain last week as I struggled to contain my anger and rage at the treatment of Venezuela and her people by Trump’s American gangsters and their hired liars and lickspittles who daily pollute our screens and newsstands with tales designed to misinform, half inform and conceal completely the motives of the mobsters in smart suits and ties who flash smiles and issue soundbites in public but who are responsible for carnage, extreme poverty and premature deaths in private.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo displayed the self-assured shamelessness of the arrogant crook he is by labeling the likes of Jeremy Corbyn and others who dare to support the democratically elected President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, as “disgusting”. He did so a few days ago as he sat appropriately alongside the dishonorable multi-millionaire UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP, so powerful he can flaunt laws and tax bills everyone else is compelled to obey and so rich he forgets to declare the purchase of seven luxury flats:”It is disgusting to see leaders, in not only the United Kingdom, but the United States as well, who continue to support the murderous dictator Maduro. It is not in either of our country’s best interests for those leaders to continue to advocate on their behalf“.
The only thing that is “disgusting” is the dishonest, deceitful display of hypocrisy by Pompeo on behalf of America as they implement a vicious economic war against the people of Venezuela in pursuit of control over their vast oil reserves, the largest reserves on the planet.
Pompeo represents the biggest bully nation in the world. The suggestion they are concerned with the human rights or welfare of the Venezuelan people is an outrageous misrepresentation of reality. The truth of the situation is crystal clear but you will only find it if you look beneath and beyond the cacophony of sneeringly dishonest media coverage that disgracefully disguises itself as news output.
Last week I listened to and watched bulletin after bulletin glowingly report the attempt of US imposed puppet Juan Guido to encourage a violent overthrow of a democratically elected President in Venezuela.Guido was given hours of coverage and acres of newsprint to proclaim the end of the elected Maduro “regime” without a hint of critical context or a sniff of journalistic questioning of the legitimacy of a self-appointed President in preference to one who attracted over 6.2 million votes in a democratic election less than twelve months ago.
Even Jon Snow and Channel 4 News have joined the ranks of the disgraced purveyors of US friendly lies and half-truths. Snow referred to Maduro, the guy re-elected President with over 6.2 million votes in a field of several candidates, as the “failed President”. The display of bias and prejudice against Maduro was sickening and nauseating.
The very same so-called ‘news’ stations like BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and CNN who promoted and encouraged an illegal, undemocratic and violent overthrow of the Maduro government then had the brass necks to condemn that government’s police and security services for quelling the isolated malcontents who threw missiles and even fired live ammunition at the legitimate police force of Venezuela.
If only they displayed such concern for ‘protesters’ when reporting the shooting of children with flags and placards in the West Bank and Gaza strip by the illegally occupying Israeli Defence Forces?
What is withheld from public view and given no or cursory coverage is the fact that Venezuela has been deliberately targeted by the US for regime change and the economic sanctions imposed have been illegal under international law and deadly to the poor of Venezuela.
Consider the Executive Summary of the devastating Report from the American based Center For Economic And Policy Research (CEPR) published last month:
“This paper looks at some of the most important impacts of the economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the US government since August of 2017. It finds that most of the impact of these sanctions has not been on the government but on the civilian population.
The sanctions reduced the public’s caloric intake, increased disease and mortality (for both adults and infants), and displaced millions of Venezuelans who fled the country as a result of the worsening economic depression and hyperinflation. They exacerbated Venezuela’s economic crisis and made it nearly impossible to stabilize the economy, contributing further to excess deaths. All of these impacts disproportionately harmed the poorest and most vulnerable Venezuelans. Even more severe and destructive than the broad economic sanctions of August 2017 were the sanctions imposed by executive order on January 28, 2019 and subsequent executive orders this year; and the recognition of a parallel government, which as shown below, created a whole new set of financial and trade sanctions that are even more constricting than the executive orders themselves.
“We find that the sanctions have inflicted, and increasingly inflict, very serious harm to human life and health, including an estimated more than 40,000 deaths from 2017-2018; and that these sanctions would fit the definition of collective punishment of the civilian population as described in both the Geneva and Hague international conventions, to which the US is a signatory. They are also illegal under international law and treaties which the US has signed, and would appear to violate US law as well”.
This rigorously researched academic report finds the US Government guilty of imposing illegal economic sanctions amounting to a form of collective punishment costing 40,000 Venezuelan lives and the fact is that most if not all readers of this column will be learning of this shocking fact for the first time.
America is guilty of breaching the Geneva and Hague Conventions designed to defend human rights; breaking international laws designed to protect the national sovereignty of nations; and causing the premature deaths of more than 40,000 Venezuelan citizens, and you are only just learning about it?
If this does not enrage you and alert you to how ill-informed we are collectively about the actions, motives and consequences of US actions you are on the side of the oppressors in the world and don’t care about such atrocities.
At the start of February I watched BBC anchor-man Andrew Neil on one of his many BBC provided platforms attack Ken Livingston for suggesting many of Venezuela’s economic problems were caused by US economic sanctions. Neil aggressively challenged Livingston to name any sanctions and suggested the only sanctions that existed were from 2015 under Barack Obama and they were “aimed solely at Venezuelan regime members”.According to Mr BBC, Andrew Neil, there were ‘no economic sanctions by the US against Venezuela which could cause any economic damage’. The exchange is promoted by the ‘Voice of Reason’ website under the headline: ‘Andrew Neil demolishes left wing myth that Venezuela’s demise was caused by America‘.
Andrew Neil and the British Biased Corporation are no strangers to the peddling of biased, misleading and unfounded views and news of course. They do it consistently and professionally. Sometimes they are caught out and reprimanded but often the damage is done in the artificial influencing and manipulation of public opinion.
Two years ago during an interview with former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, in the run up to the Scottish Parliament elections Mr Neil used out of date data and biased Tory propaganda to suggest primary school children in Scotland were “functionally illiterate”.
It was a woefully inaccurate and politically biased claim. The toothless and inadequate watchdog, Ofcom, has now found the interview to be misleading and inaccurate but a full two years after the broadcast took place. So we know how biased the mainstream media can be and should not be surprised that an academic report so damning of the US economic sanctions and involvement in undermining Venezuela is repressed. However what about the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly? Would you expect a similar report from such a respected and esteemed body to be ignored?
In September last year a detailed and comprehensive report was submitted to the HRC by the independent expert appointed on behalf of the HRC of the United Nations to examine the economic and democratic situation within both Venezuela and Ecuador. After months of interviews, examination of evidence, visitations across Venezuela and independent evaluation of contributions from all sides of the political divide within Venezuela Alfred de Zayas published his Report.
The methodology he used in compiling his report followed the principle audiatur et altera pars, listen to all sides. He stringently adhered to Article 6 of the Special Procedures Mandate Holders of the HRC which requires mandate holders to establish the facts based on objective, reliable information emanating from relevant credible sources that have been duly cross-checked to the best extent possible.
The outcome was a damning indictment of the US and its illegal use of economic sanctions to engineer a politically desirable objective. The recent academic report referred to above only underlines the accuracy and truth of this report from the HRC Independent Expert. Several direct quotations are appropriate.
In relation to Venezuela’s achievements:
“The Independent Expert noted the eradication of illiteracy, free education from primary school to university, and programs to reduce extreme poverty, provide housing to the homeless and vulnerable, phase out privilege and discrimination, and extend medical care to everyone.”
In connection with the history of US interference in other sovereign nations through economic warfare to cause humanitarian disasters to justify military interventions:
“The Charter of the United Nations rests on the philosophy of multilateralism, a commitment to international cooperation, and the sovereign equality of States. Countries must not be isolated and boycotted, but helped in strengthening their democratic institutions. Over the past sixty years, non-conventional economic wars have been waged against Cuba, Chile, Nicaragua, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in order to make their economies fail, facilitate regime change and impose a neo-liberal socioeconomic model. In order to discredit selected governments, failures in the field of human rights are maximized so as to make violent overthrow more palatable. Human rights are being “weaponized” against rivals. Yet, human rights are the heritage of every human being and should never be instrumentalized as weapons of demonization”.
On the unilateral and illegal economic sanctions imposed and supported by the US, Canada and, shamefully, the EU:
“The effects of sanctions imposed by Presidents Obama and Trump and unilateral measures by Canada and the European Union have directly and indirectly aggravated the shortages in medicines such as insulin and anti-retroviral drugs. To the extent that economic sanctions have caused delays in distribution and thus contributed to many deaths, sanctions contravene the human rights obligations of the countries imposing them. Moreover, sanctions can amount to crimes against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. An investigation by that Court would be appropriate, but the geopolitical submissiveness of the Court may prevent this.”
The US, Canada and the EU are guilty of ‘crimes against humanity’ but the Independent Expert doubts the International Criminal Court will investigate because of the identity of the powerful nations who are the perpetrators of the crimes.
Most damning but prophetic of all the words submitted by the Independent Expert in his Report were contained in Paragraph 37. Please read the whole Report but consider, reflect on, share and re-read this essential paragraph:”Modern-day economic sanctions and blockades are comparable with medieval sieges of towns with the intention of forcing them to surrender. Twenty-first century sanctions attempt to bring not just a town, but sovereign countries to their knees. A difference, perhaps, is that twenty-first century sanctions are accompanied by the manipulation of public opinion through “fake news”, aggressive public relations and a pseudo-human rights rhetoric so as to give the impression that a human rights “end” justifies the criminal means. There is not only a horizontal juridical world order governed by the Charter of the United Nations and principles of sovereign equality, but also a vertical world order reflecting the hierarchy of a geopolitical system that links dominant States with the rest of the world according to military and economic power. It is the latter, geopolitical system that generates geopolitical crimes, hitherto in total impunity. It is reported that the United States is currently training foreign lawyers in how to draft legislation to impose further sanctions on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in an effort to asphyxiate Venezuelan State institutions.”
Open your eyes to the reality of US involvement in Venezuela and recognise it as the criminal enterprise that it is. Don’t accept the prison of ignorance built for us by the powerful. Break out and condemn them for their conscious breeches of international law and crimes against humanity.
Hands Off Venezuela. No To Economic Sanctions. Yes To Maduro & Democracy.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
Aug. 2, 1980 a massive explosion ripped apart the main waiting room of the Bologna railway station. Eighty-five people were killed and hundreds more injured. Though at first blamed on Italy’s legendary urban guerrillas, The Red Brigades, it soon emerged that the attack had, in fact, originated from within the ‘deep state’ of the Italian government itself.
The full nature of this secret parallel state would only come to light a decade laterwhen the Italian premier, Giulio Andreotti, under questioning from a special commission of inquiry, revealed the existence of arms caches stashed all around the country and which were at the disposal of an organization which later came to be identified as ‘Gladio’.
The members of this group turned out to include not only hundreds of far-right figures in the intelligence, military, government, media, Church and corporate sectors, but a motley assortment of unreconstructed WW2 fascists, psychopaths and criminal underworld types to boot. And despite Andreotti’s attempts to airbrush the group as ‘patriots’ it appeared evident to much of the rest of the Italian polity that these seemed rather more like pretty bad folk indeed. Little did they know. Follow-up research by the likes of Daniele Ganser, Claudio Celani, Jurgen Roth and Henrik Kruger traced connections to similar groups spread throughout Europe of which all were found to be deep state terrorist organizations, and all of which were found, ultimately, to be subservient unto the highest levels of the CIA and NATO command structures.
The moniker ‘Gladio’ (after the two-edged sword used in classical Rome) was eventually broadened to include a bewildering host of related deep state terrorist structures including: ‘P2’ In Italy, ‘P26’ in Switzerland, ‘Sveaborg’ in Sweden, ‘Counter-Guerrilla’ in Turkey and ‘Sheepskin’ in Greece. This (hardly definitive) European list was then found to have connections not only to virtually every US sponsored secret state terrorist organization the world over (including the likes of Operation Condor in Latin America), but also to many of the global drug cartels that provided the secretive wealth needed to fund and otherwise lubricate the whole rotting, corrupt shebang.
If all this sounds sinister enough, it pales in light of the detailed structure of the dazzlingly diabolical Gladio edifice. And it is to those details we now repair vis a vis an overview of the remarkable, if otherwise unheralded, 2015 work by journalist Paul L. Williams entitled, ‘Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance Between the Vatican, the CIA and the Mafia’. Though there are other books on the subject worthy of honourable mention (including Daniele Ganser’s seminal tome, ‘NATO’s Secret Armies’, and Richard Cottrell’s recent and stylishly written, ‘Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe’), it is to Williams that I believe we owe a particular debt of gratitude in having provided a more or less fully integrated portrait of the global machinations of Operation Gladio.
Before embarking on our grim, if yet fascinating, journey it is worth first noting that whilst ‘Gladio’ was officially acknowledged and condemned by the European Parliament (in Nov., 1990; Washington and NATO having ever after refused ‘comment’ on the matter), and its multifarious organs and factions ordered dismantled, it is hardly likely that the latter was ever fully enacted. The historical context of ‘Gladio’, then, is really the quintessential backdrop to understanding the trademark false flag events of the modern era.
The general origins of this labyrinthine network of deep state actors lay in the so-called ‘stay-behind-armies’ set up at the end of WW2 by the Allied powers (principally the US) ostensibly to act as resistance forces should the Soviets ever decide to invade Europe. Quickly, however, the raison d’etre of the ‘armies’ transmogrified into a mission to counteract, not external invasion, but ‘internal subversion’. Such would eventually result in the undermining not just of post-war European socialism, but of Italian, Greek – and later global – democracy itself.
But we get ahead of ourselves.
The primal author of the ‘stay-behind-armies’, Williams informs us, was General Reinhard Gehlen, the head of German military intelligence during the Second World War. Having foreseen early on that the Reich was doomed to defeat, Gehlen had “concocted the idea of forming clandestine guerilla squads composed of Hitler youth and die-hard fascist fanatics” ostensibly to fend off the inevitable Soviet invasion. These guerilla units he referred to as ‘werewolves’.
Not ones to miss a fascist opportunity when they saw it, the US Office of Strategic Services (the OSS, and the forerunner of the CIA), under the leadership of William ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan, quickly enlisted both Gehlen and SS General Karl Wolff (in 1945) in forming the Gehlen Organization (later to transform into the present-day German BND) and which received its initial funding from US Army G-2 intelligence resources.
The American point-man on this was Allen Dulles, the first president (in 1927) of the Council on Foreign Relations, and later the first head of the CIA. Duly incorporated into the American fold, the ‘werewolves’ were, given that their initial meddling took place in Italy, rebranded as ‘gladiators’. Operation Gladio was born.
In 1947 the CIA (having, that year, superseded the OSS) was faced with its first daunting task, i.e. how to prevent the Italian Communist Party (PCI) from forming the next government. Elections were scheduled for 1948 and the PCI was a virtual shoe-in not just in Italy proper, but in Sicily as well. Fortunately, ‘Gladio’ was ready and waiting. The gladiators had been training in a special camp set up in Sardinia under the local command of the former WW2 Italian fascist leader, Prince Junio Valerio Borghese.
In addition, hundreds of American mafioso began to arrive on the shores of Italy to lend a hand with the communist ‘problem’. The arrival of the ‘made men’ was the result of Donovan’s efforts from 1943 onward in working with American mobsters Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano and Vito Genovese to conger new (drug) funding for the OSS’s off-books’ operations, and to reinstall the Sicilian mafia on the island in the leadup to Operation Husky (the Allied invasion of Sicily). These forces were now unleashed on the Italian electorate, and through 1948 an average of five people a week were murdered by the CIA-backed terrorist units. The results were grimly predictable. Hallelujah, the PCI were defeated and the Christian Democrats returned to power.
Still, the threat remained. Fully half the Italian electorate were communist sympathizers and, moreover, leftist politics pervaded much of the rest of the diseased European body. More would have to be done. The problem, however, was money. There simply wasn’t enough of it. Thus, the initial $200 million in funding for Gladio (which had come from the Rockefeller and Mellon foundations) was quickly exhausted. And though the National Security Act of 1947 had provided the loophole that allowed for the CIA’s covert operations, it had not allowed for their overt Congressional funding. There lay the rub. Thankfully, Paul Helliwell knew how to salve the itch.
Paul Helliwell was an inner member of the original OSS (along with key scions of the Morgan, Mellon, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, DuPont and Ryan families) and, according to Williams, likely the greatest unsung hero of the nicknamed ‘Oh-So-Social’ club. It was he, who having cut his teeth in the drugs-for-arms trade by shepherding opium deals with the Kuomintang (KMT, the Chinese National Army fighting against Mao Zedung), conjured the brilliant inspiration to do the very same thing – in the United States itself.
Thus, it was at his suggestion that Donovan elected to forge the deep bond (and that exists to this day) between the nation’s intelligence services and organized crime. Enter stage left such notables as ‘Lucky’ Luciano, Vito Genovese, Meyer Lansky and the Trafficante and Gambino crime clans. Quickly the streets of, first, New York, and later many an American metropolis, were flooded with heroin. These early, halcyon days would soon lead to the infamous ‘French Connection’, thence to the ‘Golden Triangle’ (where the CIA’s very own ‘Air America’ transported drugs out of South East Asia during the Vietnam War) and, later, to the Balkan, Mexican, and Colombian drug cartels.
All very well and good. But, to begin with, there was yet a fly in the whole drugs-for-arms-for-terror ointment. To wit: how to pay off the mafioso without anyone noticing; indeed, how to stash, launder and hide all of this financial derring-do from the prying eyes of the authorities; you know, the real-enough authorities, the Treasury cops and so forth. How do you do that?
Article 2 of the Lateran Treaty of 1929 was clear and unequivocal. The Article, which served to regulate matters between the Holy See and the Italian state, expressly forbade any interference of the latter in the affairs of the former. It is hardly conceivable, of course, that the framers of the Treaty ever foresaw what such immunity could actually mean in practice. But then they probably hadn’t reckoned on the fiendish formation of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), or more colloquially, the Vatican Bank.
Established by Pope Pius XII and Bernardino Nogara in 1942, the Bank would quickly come to serve as the principal repository post-war both for the Sicilian Mafia and for the OSS/CIA wherein all of the monies and documents relating to drug trafficking and to Gladio would be stored and laundered. Already in 1945 the pope had held private audiences with Donovan to discuss the implementation of Gladio and where, as Williams reports, Donovan was knighted as an anti-Communist crusader with the Grand Cross of the Order of Sylvester. Prior to this time Pius XII had proven himself a loyal ally in working with Dulles and the OSS to establish the ratlines used to help prominent Nazis escape Europe. Now, new horizons beckoned. The first duty at hand, of course, was to destroy the communist menace in respect of the 1948 elections. To this end the pope authorized his own terror squads (under Monsignor Bicchierai) to assist the gladiators and the ‘made men’ in intimidating the Italian electorate. Task accomplished.
The second duty at hand, however, was longer term. Communism, socialism and, indeed, any Godless form of progressive government, anywhere, had to be stamped out at source. For this money would be needed. Lots of money. Untraceable money. Drug money. Now in the months before the 1948 election the CIA deposited some $65 million into the Vatican Bank. The source of these monies came from heroin produced by the Italian pharmaceutical giant, Schiaparelli, and which was then transported by the Sicilian mob into Cuba where it was cut and then distributed to New Orleans, Miami and New York by the Santo Trafficante family. Lucrative though this trade was, it was not nearly enough to suit the needs of the CIA and ‘Gladio’. More would be required. More drug networks and more banks. Gladio was about to global.
To start with a new alliance was forged with the Corsican mafia. Unlike the Sicilian mob, the Corsicans had extensive experience in processing heroin, a skill they had picked up through years of working with Laotian, Cambodian and Vietnamese technicians in French Indochina. A supply route then emerged running from Burma through Turkey to Beirut and thence to Marseille. Alas, there was a slight hitch when the leftist dockworkers in Marseille, being sympathetic to the rebel army under Ho Chi Minh, refused to load and unload the boats from Indochina. No worries. A deft bit of terror administered by the Corsican boys (and funded by the CIA), and problem solved. By 1951, then, Marseille had become the center of the Western heroin industry. Voila, the ‘French Connection’.
Meanwhile, Wild Bill Donovan had ‘resigned’ from the CIA to form the World Commerce Corporation (WCC) whose primary function was to facilitate the arms-for-drugs deals with the KMT. Paul Helliwell lent a needed hand at the helm by heading up Sea Supply, Inc., a CIA front company gainfully employed in shipping heroin from Bangkok. By 1958 the whole operation was so successful that a second supply route was established running through Saigon. Here, the help of Ngo Dinh Diem, the US installed despot of South Vietnam, proved invaluable.
Still, there was a potential cloud on the horizon, i.e. word of all these shenanigans was bound to leak out. What to do? The first reflex, naturally, was to pin the blame for the West’s growing heroin problem on the Communist Chinese under Mao Zedung. Check. The second, more considered response, was to organize an ongoing campaign to deflect attention away from, and burnish the image of, the CIA. And to this end, in 1953, did the CIA establish ‘Operation Mockingbird’. Under ‘Mockingbird’ the Agency recruited hundreds of American journalists to spread false stories and propaganda about the Company’s ‘benign’ activities. Eventually, this depraved fabric of anti-journalism enlisted entire news networks including ABC, NBC, Newsweek, Associated Press, and The Saturday Evening Post. Now the guys and gals at Langley could relax. Henceforth, American (and global) eyes were dutifully prismed through the rose-coloured lens of ‘Mockingbird’.
But back to the Vatican. The IOR, solid banking pillar of the Gladio community that it was, could hardly be expected to do all the heavy lifting itself. After all, the global heroin industry would, by 1980, be pulling in a cool $400 billion annually. En route an extensive and orchestrated financial network would be required to supplement God’s Bank. As with any fine orchestra it helps to have a maestro of exquisite genius to run the show. A nice round of applause, then, for one Michele Sindona. The biography of Sindona begins, humbly enough, with his degree in tax law from the University of Messina in 1942 after which, in quick succession, he rockets to stardom as a leading financial adviser to the Sicilian mafia, an agent for the CIA, and, thereafter, a financial intimate of the Holy See. By the late 1950s Sindona had become the lynchpin in a nexus between the mob, the CIA and the Vatican that would eventually, as Williams chillingly puts it, “result in the toppling of governments, wholesale slaughter and financial devastation.”
Though a full elaboration of this bewilderingly complex financial system is best left to the author, it is worth briefly savouring a few highlights. To begin with Sindona purchased Fasco AG, a Liechtenstein holding company and through which he purchased his first bank – the Banca Privata Finanziaria (BPF). The BPF then became, by way of a Chicago-based intermediary bank, Continental Illinois, a principal conduit for transferring drug money from the IOR for the purposes of Gladio. In fact, it was this banking pipeline in particular which provided the filthy lucre that fueled the 1967 coup d’etat in Greece. But more on this heady stuff in a bit.
It was through his Chicago contacts that Sindona first met Monsignor Paul Marcinkus, popularly known as ‘the Gorilla’. The Gorilla was six foot four, “a gifted street fighter…and a lover of bourbon, fine cigars and young women”. Under Sindona’s patronage Marcinkus would soon rise to become both Pope Paul VI’s personal body guard and the head of the IOR. A third musketeer in the person of Roberto Calvi (the assistant – and later full – director of the famous, Milan-based Banco Ambrosiano) came to complete the three Vatican amigos. Together they would cut a dramatic, collective figure in the global banking underworld all through the ‘anni di Piombo’ (the Gladio ‘years of lead’ in Italy from 1969 to 1987). Exactly how dramatic is illustrated, par excellence, by Calvi’s eventual dark demise. Who among us, old enough to remember, can forget the macabre spectacle (June, 1982) of Calvi’s body hanging from Blackfriars Bridge, his feet dangling in the Thames and pockets stuffed with five masonry bricks. Sindona would also later be murdered (1986) by means of a cyanide-laced cup of coffee whilst in jail and under ‘maximum protective custody’.
Calvi was a key figure in establishing a series of eight shell companies (six in Panama, two in Europe) through which drug lords like Pablo Escobar in South America were encouraged to deposit their ill-gotten loot. (The CIA put shoulder to wheel by helping ferry the Escobar cocaine in a fleet of planes operating out of Scranton airport in Pennsylvania). The monies were then transferred via Banco Ambrosiano to the IOR which took a 15 to 20 percent processing fee. From there funds were distributed to a host of European banks set up by Sindona for use by Gladio units spread throughout the continent. In addition to the flow of cash from the cartels, funds were bled from Banco Ambrosiano into the eight shell companies – again for use by the CIA in funding its covert operations.
This points up a general operating procedure of the entire Gladio ‘banking’ system, i.e. the system, far from being designed to turn a profit, was expressly designed to ‘lose’ money; that is, to have it siphoned off into covert ops. Such explains the regular and spectacular failure of a host of CIA-related banks including: Franklin National Bank (purchased by Sindona), Castle Bank & Trust, Mercantile Bank & Trust (both set up by the ubiquitous Paul Helliwell), Nugan Hand Bank (in Australia, and from which funds were diverted to undermine Prime Minister Gough Whitlam during the Vietnam War), and the infamous Bank of Credit and Commerce International (based in Karachi in aid, primarily, of the Southeast Asian heroin trade). Indeed, it was precisely the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano itself that brought both Calvi and Sindona to their untimely ends.
Finally, it is worth noting here that these august institutions were linked in a tight criminal embrace with many of the most prestigious financial firms in America including Citibank, the Bank of New York, and the Bank of Boston. The base of the iceberg, in short, extended far and wide. But then, what was all this money really doing?
Following the thwarting of Italian democracy in 1948 the Gladio ‘secret armies’ entered into a period of what one might characterize as pregnant incubation.Thus, it was during the 1950s that the various drug supply routes and financial networks were being created, as were some of the principal political organizations. Probably the most important of the latter was ‘Propaganda Due’ otherwise known as ‘P2’.
Created in 1877 as a Freemasonry lodge for the Piedmont nobility, it was banned by Mussolini in 1924 only to be resurrected post-war with the approval of Allen Dulles, himself a thirty-third degree Mason. The lodge, though at first dominated mainly by spooks, spies, military and mafia figures, would soon encompass a who’s who of Italian political, corporate, banking and media supremos to boot. Indeed, the organization would eventually spread shoots throughout Europe as well as North and South America, and its members would come to include such luminaries as Henry Kissinger and General Alexander Haig.
A ‘P2’ denizen of especial significance was Licio Gelli. The latter’s pedigree was impressive: a former volunteer in the 735th Black Shirts Battalion, a former member of the elite SS Division under Field Marshall Goering and, thereafter, a chummy employee of the US Counter Intelligence Corps of the Fifth Army. Working with William Colby, the OSS agent in France, and Allen Dulles, the OSS director, Gelli soon gained entry to the Vatican where he helped set up the Nazi escape routes to Argentina. His ties with Argentina would later prove critical in facilitating Operation Condor (the US-backed mass assassination program in 1970s and ‘80s South America). Moreover, in 1972, Gelli would emerge as P2’s supreme ‘Worshipful Master’ under whose leadership the lodge would reach its full, horrific flowering. Finally, it is worth mentioning at this juncture that it was as a result of a police raid on Gelli’s villa in 1981 that the full, tentacled structure of Gladio would come to light. But we digress.
One of the first substantive actions of Gladio was the Turkish coup of 1960. Here the incumbent Prime Minister, Adnan Menderes, made the fatal mistake of believing he was really in charge and thereafter initiating a visit to Moscow to secure economic aid. The ‘stay-behind-army’ in Turkey known as Counter-Guerilla, in alliance with the Turkish military, quickly disabused him of any such delusions by arresting and executing him. Throughout the 1970s both Counter-Guerilla and its youth wing, the Grey Wolves, would stage “ongoing terror attacks…that resulted in the deaths of over five thousand students, teachers, trade union leaders, booksellers and politicians”.
Counter-Guerilla would also figure in the Turkish coup of 1980 when its commander, General Kenan Evren, toppled the moderate government of Bulent Ecevit. According to Williams, US President Jimmy Carter phoned in his approval to the CIA station-chief in Ankara, Paul Henze, with a jubilant, ‘Your boys have done it!’ What they had done, of course, was set up a tyranny in which thousands more would be tortured while incarcerated. The Turkish Gladio boys would also be unleashed in the 1980s upon the PKK – the Kurdistan Workers Party. All of this was in keeping with Zbigniew Brzezinski’s (Carter’s national security advisor) core vision of the importance of controlling Central Asia to which Turkey was both a vital portal and, thus, a key NATO ally.
Alas, Gladio would prove something of a disappointment in France, where, after having backed a series of assassination attempts against the regrettably too independent President Charles de Gaulle, it found itself on the receiving end of de Gaulle’s boot. Actually, it was NATO itself – at the time, headquartered in Paris – that was unceremoniously kicked out of France (in 1966, whence it took up its present cozy and famously corrupt abode in Brussels). But, of course, de Gaulle was ahead of the curve and understood all too well who was really behind the mayhem and murder.
Greece, unfortunately, did not fare as well. In 1967 the ‘Hellenic Raiding Force’, a franchise of Gladio and playing to a NATO authored script entitled Operation Prometheus, overthrew the left-leaning government of George Papandreou. The ensuing military dictatorship would last until 1974 though this would hardly signal the end of Greece’s tribulations. From 1980 until near the turn of the millennium, the nation would suffer under a reign of terror and political assassinations nominally attributed to ‘November 17’, an alleged Marxist revolutionary group, but which in fact (and here I briefly tag-team with authors Cottrell and Ganser) was yet another faction of Greek-Gladio known as ‘Sheepskin’.
This illustrates a point originally brought home by Ganser’s research to the effect that virtually every alleged ‘leftist revolutionary’ group said to have been operating in Europe throughout the post-war years was, in truth, either a Gladio ‘secret army’ unit or else had been completely infiltrated by state intelligence services, and was subsequently being steered by them for Gladio-style state-terrorist ends.
Such is well documented for the ‘Red Brigades’ in Italy and the ‘Baader-Meinhof Gang’ in Germany (the ‘gang’ being conveniently and cold-bloodedly exterminated on the ‘night of the long knives’, Oct.18, 1977, whilst under custody in Stammheim prison). It also, just by the by, speaks to the universally attested prior association of many a modern-day ‘terrorist’ and their police and intelligence handlers.
In Spain, during the early ‘70s, Stefano delle Chiaie and fellow Gladio agents from Italy provided their consulting expertise to General Francisco Franco’s secret police who conducted over a thousand violent acts and some fifty murders.Following Franco’s death in 1975, delle Chiaie moved to Chile to lend a fatherly hand in helping the CIA-backed Augusto Pinochet set up his death squads. In later years the Spanish Gladio unit would find gainful employment hunting down and assassinating the leaders of the Basque separatist movement.
Of Italy we have already mentioned the ‘years of lead’, but just to capture a few highlights. The ‘strategy of tension’ unleashed in 1969 in Italy – the same year ‘Condor’ was unleashed in Latin America – was in response to the renewed popularity of Communism throughout the country and which, itself, was partly in response to the uptick in revolutionary sentiment globally as a result of antipathy towards the US war on Vietnam. The antidote, naturally, to this woeful state of progressive affairs was a healthy dose of terror. According to Williams, “Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s National Security Advisor, issued orders to Licio Gelli through his deputy, General Alexander Haig, for the implementation of terror attacks and coup attempts.” The terror attacks began on December 12, 1969 when a bomb exploded in the crowded lobby of a bank in Milan’s Piazza Fontana in which seventeen people were killed and eighty-eight injured. Over the ensuing years (from 1969 to 1987) there followed more than ‘14,000 acts of violence with a political motivation’. The most infamous of these was, of course, the Bologna bombing in August of 1980 and which led to the initial exposure of Gladio in Italy.
Of the many attempted coups and related high-level political machinations engineered by Gladio forces in Italy (1963, 1970, 1976) and Sicily (more or less continually on tap throughout the decade), the kidnapping on March 16, 1978 – and murder a month or so later – of Prime Minister Aldo Moro was likely the most sensational. Moro had dared to include communists in his new coalition government. At first blamed on the usual suspects, i.e. the Red Brigades, further investigation (to begin with by journalist Carmine ‘Mino’ Pecorelli who paid with his life) led to the real usual suspects including CIA operative Mario Moretti (eventually convicted of the killing) and thence up the line to Gelli, then to Italy’s interior minister Francesco Cossiga and onwards to Zbigniew Brzezinski.
The high-level intrigue did not stop at the murder of a prime minister however. At least two Popes felt the sharp end of the Gladio sword as well. In August of 1978, Pope Paul VI died. His successor, the preternaturally timid John Paul I, soon gave his handlers a very real shock when, after looking at the IOR accounts, he issued a ‘call for reform’. The very next day the otherwise fastidiously health-conscious pontiff – in office barely a month – was dead. Not just dead but expired with the telltale bulging eyes and horrific grimace of acute poisoning. His autopsy was definitively thwarted by an illegal and hastily contrived embalming, and his personal papers disappeared without a trace. Archbishop Marcinkus, having been temporarily removed prior, was returned to office whilst Calvi and Sindona, also under scrutiny at the time, breathed a (temporary) sigh of relief.
Having been (almost) burned once the overseers of Gladio made sure to engineer the follow-up Papal succession. Thus did Cardinal Karol Wojtyla shuffle onto the historical proscenium as Pope John Paul II. Now, at first, John Paul worked seamlessly with the CIA and Gladio. Together they oversaw the destruction of Liberation Theology in Latin America, the continued undermining of Italian democracy, and the dispensing of black funds for Solidarity in Poland. Ah, but how the best laid plans do oft go astray. By the spring of 1981 not only were events spinning out of control for Gladio itself, but so too were they for Banco Ambrosiano, and by extension, the IOR. The Pope, inexplicably, refused to act. Compounding this lapse was an unaccountable trifecta of moral turpitude that witnessed the Holy Father suddenly breaking into treasonous song singing the benefits of rapprochement with the Soviets; recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization; and, egads, nuclear disarmament. The order from on high was given: ‘Kill the Pope’.
But best blame it on the Soviets. So issued the ‘Bulgarian Thesis’ wherein a lowly Bulgarian airline employee (Sergei Antonov) was set up as the patsy. In truth, the key actors in the Papal plot came straight from Gladio central casting. The starring role in the drama fell to General Giuseppe Santovito, the head of Italy’s military intelligence (SISMI) and the commander of the Italian Gladio units. His co-star, Theodore Shackley, was the infamous CIA mastermind who had already served as executive producer on such epics as Operation Phoenix (involving the murder of some 40,000 non-combatants in Vietnam), Operation Condor, the setting up of Nugan Hand Bank, and, along with delle Chiaie, the murder of Salvador Allende. West Germany’s BND (the national security services) garnered a significant credit by harbouring and financing the two actual assassins, Mehmet Agca and Abdullah Cath (both from Turkish Gladio). And, of course, the Mighty Wurlitzer, i.e. Operation Mockingbird, figured prominently in the aftermath grinding out endless tunes on the ‘Bulgarian Thesis’ – despite the fact of Agca’s eventual (lone) conviction in the shooting.
The production ended all somewhat anticlimactically when the Pope (on May 13, 1981) was only seriously wounded. In a fascinating denouement, however, on Christmas Day 1983, the Pope opted to publicly forgive Agca. Italian state television was allowed to record the moment when John Paul asked his assassin from whom he had received his orders. Leaning forward to hear Agca’s response the Pope appeared momentarily frozen, then clasped his hands to his face. Though the Pontiff kept it secret, there was little need to guess at the answer.
The adventures of both Agca and Cath are the stuff of legend. Indeed, Cath figures in events well beyond the time line of Gladio proper, enough to suggest that Gladio never really shut down at all. But that, as they say, is a whole other story – and one I leave to the author to take up.
* * *
Paul Williams has made a fine contribution here. Certainly, if the day ever comes when, seated across from some smug establishment interlocutor, you are taken to task for being a ‘conspiracy monger’ – well, you need only lean back, smile gently, and utter but two words….’Operation Gladio’.
Vasily Prozorov’s testimony will likely be dismissed by Western governments that support Ukraine, but there is plenty of evidence to back his claims about MH-17.
Former Ukrainian intelligence officer Vasily Prozorov’s testimony will likely be dismissed by Western governments that support Kiev, but there is plenty of evidence to back his claims.
KIEV, UKRAINE — A former top official in Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), who recently fled the country, has given explosive testimony regarding the involvement of the Ukrainian government in the 2014 downing of the MH-17 passenger plane. The incident, which killed all 283 passengers and 15 flight crew members on board, had been blamed on Russia by Ukraine’s government, the United States and much of Western media.
In addition, the former official, Vasily Prozorov, told a group of international reporters that Ukraine’s controversial Azov Battalion, known for its Neo-Nazi ideology and symbolism, ran and maintained secret prisons in contested areas of Eastern Ukraine where there is fighting between pro-government forces and pro-Russian separatists. Prozorov, who has sought asylum in Russia, also accused the United States and the United Kingdom of training an SBU division that returned to Ukraine to conduct terrorist attacks in the Donbass region, which has been the site of a civil war since the overthrow of Ukraine’s government in 2014 in a U.S.-backed coup.
Prozorov’s identity was kept secret until the press conference began, in breaking with standard protocol. Prozorov then introduced himself, stating that he had been employed by the SBU from 1999 to 2018, but — after the U.S.-backed coup in 2014 — had contacted Russian intelligence and began working undercover in the central office of the SBU. He does not describe himself as a defector, as he stated that his allegiance remains with the Ukrainian people while the allegiance of those who came to power with U.S. assistance in 2014 has long been suspect.
Prozorov then noted that, soon after the coup and before the civil war between Western and Eastern Ukraine had begun, the SBU — at Kiev’s behest — had begun to plan combat operations in the East and that the government had requested that plans be made that would result in mass civilian deaths among ethnic Russian populations, who were to be labeled as “accomplices to terrorists.”
The former SBU officer also detailed how the post-coup SBU had established secret prisons where prominent dissidents of the U.S.-backed government were interrogated, tortured and even killed. One of those prisons, located at an airstrip in Mariupol, was nicknamed “the Library” and Prozorov compared it to a “concentration camp” and showed images of severely beaten detainees he claimed had been imprisoned at the site. The former SBU officer also stated that SBU’s decisions, in regards to the black-site prisons and other areas, were often “led” by foreign advisers from the United States and the United Kingdom. The SBU’s use of torture in Ukraine’s civil war has been well-documented even though the SBU blocked UN efforts to probe its extent.
In addition, Prozorov asserted that the Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, a militia that was incorporated into Ukraine’s Interior Ministry as a component of the country’s National Guard, also operates its own prisons in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zones in Eastern Ukraine. The Azov Battalion receives funding from the government of Ukraine as well as from the U.S. government and has also received weapons from the Israeli government.
Prozorov’s most shocking statements were related to the 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, or MH-17, which was promptly blamed on Russia by the post-coup Ukrainian government, the United States and much of the Western world. Prozorov stated, noting first that it was his personal opinion based on his experiences, that the Ukrainian government had been an “accomplice to the Malaysian MH-17 flight disaster.”
He continued, stating:
The amazingly prompt reaction of the Ukrainian leadership was the first thing that made me feel suspicious. My unequivocal opinion was President Pyotr Poroshenko and his press-service had prior knowledge of the affair. Secondly, hostilities had been underway for several months by then, but the airspace over the area was not closed.”
He also noted that his efforts to learn more about the circumstances of the disaster within the SBU from a senior officer were met with the following reply: “Don’t poke your nose into this business, if you don’t wish to have problems.” However, Prozorov noted that “some information has leaked out in the end, though.”
He then concluded:
On the basis of my own analysis I can speculate who was an accomplice in the crime and who was involved in concealing evidence. In my opinion, there were two men involved – the current deputy chief of the Ukrainian presidential staff Valery Kondratyuk and chief of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s intelligence directorate, Vasyl Burba.”
Though some may be quick to dismiss Prozorov’s testimony as “Russian propaganda,” many of his claims fit with independent reporting on the Ukrainian conflict. For instance, in regard to Prozorov’s claim of “black site” prisons, the SBU denied the UN access in 2016 to many detention centers in Mariupol — where Prozorov says “the Library” prison is located — and Kramatorsk. The SBU claimed that it blocked the UN inspectors access in order to protect “government secrets.” The UN had first tried to access the areas after several human-rights groups had found credible evidence of torture taking place at facilities in the area.
Prozorov’s claims that the post-coup SBU had made plans to murder ethnic Russians in the Donbass are also supported by publicly available evidence. For instance, when the civil war began, the Kiev-based government stated its intention to specifically target civilians in order “to clean the cities.” In 2016, then-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who has been called “Washington’s man in Ukraine,” called pro-Russian civilians in the region “subhumans.” In an interview aired by the U.S.-funded, pro-government Ukrainian news channel Hromadske TV, a Ukrainian journalist aligned with the government asserted that the contested region was home to 1.5 million people “who are superfluous” and “must be exterminated.” With such sentiments having been openly stated by prominent politicians and journalists aligned with the current government in Kiev, Prozorov’s assertions seem hardly unreasonable.
In regard to Ukraine’s alleged role in the downing of MH-17, it is worth noting that past reports by late American investigative journalist Robert Parry described in detail how the “independent” MH-17 investigation was almost completely dependent on information from Ukraine’s SBU in piecing together the event. According to Parry:
[This control by the SBU, combined with its past obstruction of the UN torture probe],suggests that the SBU also would steer the JIT away from any evidence that might implicate a unit of the Ukrainian military in the shoot-down, a situation that would be regarded as a state secret which could severely undermine international support for the U.S.-backed regime in Kiev. Among the SBU’s official duties is the protection of Ukrainian government secrets.”
In addition, one of Parry’s sources maintained that the CIA had, like Prozorov, found evidence that Ukraine’s government had indeed been “an accomplice” to the MH-17 incident:
A source who was briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts told me that the CIA’s conclusion pointed toward a rogue Ukrainian operation involving a hard-line oligarch with the possible motive of shooting down Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official plane returning from South America that day, with similar markings as MH-17. The source said a Ukrainian warplane ascertained that the plane was not Putin’s but the attack went ahead anyway, with the assumption that the tragedy would be blamed on the pro-Russian rebels or on Russia directly.”
Another reason Prozorov’s testimony should not be outright dismissed as propaganda is the fact that he pushed back on previous Russian media reports involving U.S. infiltration of the SBU. When asked by a reporter if he could confirm reports that foreign military officials, including Americans, occupied their own floor at SBU headquarters, Prozorov adamantly denied those claims, stating that after 2005 there were CIA officials present in SBU headquarters but that the practice had been discontinued. He stated that U.S. intelligence officials regularly visited SBU headquarters after the 2014 coup but were not based in the building.
Thus, while Prozorov’s testimony will likely be dismissed by mainstream Western media outlets and Western governments that support Kiev, there is plenty of evidence suggesting that many of his claims — including his most shocking — deserve careful consideration, not outright dismissal. Indeed, were Prozorov a defector from a country currently at odds with the U.S. — be it Russia, Venezuela or Iran — it is highly likely that mainstream media would repeat and his promote his claims regardless of their veracity. However, because he has sought asylum in Russia, his recent statements are unlikely to gain international traction merely because of where he is now located, in spite of the evidence supporting many of those statements.
Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism
Trump could not have become America’s President if he had not won the “vote” of his nation’s second-largest political donor in 2016, casinos-owner Sheldon Adelson.
Source: How America’s Dictatorship Works
Trump could not have become America’s President if he had not won the “vote” of his nation’s second-largest political donor in 2016, casinos-owner Sheldon Adelson.
In publicly recorded donations, as of 25 December 2018, Adelson and his wife donated $82,522,800 to Republican candidates in 2016, and this amount doesn’t include any of the secret money. Of that sum, it’s virtually impossible to find out how much went specifically to Trump’s campaign for President, but, as of 9 May 2017, the Adelsons were publicly recorded as having donated $20.4 million to Trump’s campaign. Their impact on the Presidential contest was actually much bigger than that, however, because even the Adelsons’ non-Trump-campaign donations went to the Republican Party, and the rest went to Republican pro-Trump candidates, and the rest went to Republican PACS — and, so, a large percentage (if not all) of that approximately $60 million non-Trump-campaign political expenditure by the Adelsons was boosting Trump’s Presidential vote.
The second-largest Republican donor in 2016 was the hedge fund manager Paul Singer, at $26,114,653. It was less than a third, 31.6%, as large as the Adelsons’ contribution. Singer is the libertarian who proudly invests in weak entities that have been sucked dry by the aristocracy and who almost always extracts thereby, in the courts, far larger returns-on-investment than do other investors, who have simply settled to take a haircut on their failing high-interest-rate loans to that given weak entity. Singer hires the rest of his family to run his asset-stripping firm, which is named after his own middle name, “Elliott Advisors,” and he despises any wealthy person who won’t (like he does) fight tooth-and-nail to extract, from any weak entity, everything that can possibly be stripped from it. His Elliott Advisors is called a “vulture fund,” but that’s an insult to vultures, who instead eat corpses. They don’t actually attack and rip apart vulnerable struggling animals, like Singer’s operation does.
So, that’s the top two, on the Republican Party side.
On the Democratic Party side, the largest 2016 donor was the largest of all political donors in 2016, the hedge fund manager Thomas Steyer, $91,069,795. The second-largest was hedge fund manager Donald S. Sussman, $41,841,000. Both of them supported Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders, and then against Donald Trump.
As of 23 January 2019, the record shows that Trump received $46,873,083 in donations larger than $200, and $86,749,927 in donations smaller than $200. Plus, he got $144,764 in PAC contributions. Hillary Clinton received $300,111,643 in over-$200 donations, and $105,552,584 in under-$200 donations. Plus, she got $1,785,190 in PAC donations. She received 6.4 times as much in $200+ donations as Trump did. She received 1.2 times as much in under-$200 donations as he did. Clearly, billionaires strongly preferred Hillary. So, it’s understandable why not only America’s Democratic Party billionaires but also many of America’s Republican Party billionaires want President Trump to become replaced ASAP by his V.P., President Pence, who has a solid record of doing only whatever his big donors want him to do. For them, the wet dream would be a 2020 contest between Mike Pence or a clone, versus Hillary Clinton or a clone (such as Joe Biden or Beto O’Rourke). That would be their standard fixed game, America’s heads-I-win-tails-you-lose ‘democracy’.
On 18 January 2018 was reported that, “Trump pulled in $107 million in individual contributions, nearly doubling President Barack Obama’s 2009 record of $53 million.” However, in both of those cases, the figures which were being compared were actually donations to fund the inaugural festivities, not the actual campaigns. But Adelson led there, too: “Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson was [the] most generous [donor], giving $5 million to the inaugural committee.” The second-biggest donor to that was Hushang Ansary of Stewart & Stevenson, at $2 million. He had previously been the CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company until the CIA-appointed dictator, the brutal and widely hated Shah, was overthrown in 1979 and replaced by Iran’s now theocratically overseen limited democracy. The US aristocracy, whose CIA had overthrown Iran’s popular and democratically elected Prime Minister in 1953, installed the Shah to replace that elected head-of-state, and they then denationalized and privatized Iran’s oil company, so as to cut America’s aristocrats in on Iran’s oil. Basically, America’s aristocracy stole Iran in 1953, and Iranians grabbed their country back in 1979, and USbillionaires have been trying to get it back ever since. Ansary’s net worth is estimated at “over $2 billion,” and, “By the 1970s, the CIA considered Ansary to be one of seventeen members of ‘the Shah’s Inner Circle’ and he was one of the Shah’s top two choices to succeed Amir Abbas Hoveyda as Prime Minister.” But, that just happened to be the time when the Shah became replaced in an authentic revolution against America’s dictatorship. Iran’s revolution produced the country’s current partially democratic Government. So, this would-be US stooge Ansary fled to America, which had been Iran’s master during 1953-79, and he was welcomed with open arms by Amerca’s and allied aristocracies.
Other than the Adelsons, the chief proponents of regime-change in Iran since 1979 are the US-billionaires-controlled CIA, and ‘news’-media, and Government, and the Shah’s family, and the Saud family, and Israel’s apartheid regime headed by the Adelsons’ protégé in Israel, Netanyahu. America’s billionaires want Iran back, and the CIA represents them (the Deep State) — not the American public — precisely as it did in 1953, when the CIA seized Iran for America’s billionaires.
In the current election-cycle, 2018, the Adelsons have thus far invested $123,208,200, all in Republicans, and this tops the entire field. The second-largest political investor, for this cycle, is the former Republican Mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg, at $90,282,515, all to Democrats. Is he a Republican, or is he a Democrat? Does it actually make any difference? He is consistently a promoter of Wall Street. The third-largest donor now is Tom Steyer, at $70,743,864, all to Democrats. The fourth-largest is a Wisconsin libertarian-conservative billionaire, Richard Uihlein, at $39,756,996. Back on 19 March 2018, Politico reported that “Uihlein and his wife, Elizabeth, are currently the biggest Republican donors of the 2018 midterm elections, having given $21 million to candidates for federal office and super PACs that will support them. And that doesn’t include their funding of state candidates.” On 1 October 2016, International Business Times had listed the top ten donors to each of the two Parties, and the Uihleins at that time were #4 on the Republican side, at $21.5 million.
Of course, all of the top donors are among the 585 US billionaires, and therefore they can afford to spend lots on the Republican and/or Democratic nominees. Open Secrets reported on 31 March 2017 that “Of the world’s 100 richest billionaires, 36 are US citizens and thus eligible to donate to candidates and other political committees here. OpenSecrets Blog found that 30 of those  [or five sixths of the total 36 wealthiest Americans] actually did so, contributing a total of $184.4 million — with 58 percent [of their money] going to Republican efforts.” Democratic Party nominees thus got 42%; and, though it’s not as much as Republican ones get, it’s usually enough so that if a Democrat becomes elected, that person too will be controlled by billionaires.
For example, in the West Virginia Democratic Presidential primary in 2016, Bernie Sanders won all 55 counties in the state but that state’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention handed 19 of the state’s 37 votes at the Convention to his opponent, Hillary Clinton, who got more money from billionaires than all other US Presidential candidates combined. The millions of Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton were voting for the billionaires’ favorite, and she and her DNC stole the Party’s nomination from Sanders, who was the nation’s most-preferred Presidential candidate in 2016; and, yet, most of those voters still happily voted, yet again, for her, in the general election — as if she hadn’t practically destroyed the Party by prostituting it to its billionaires even more than Obama had already done. Of course, she ran against Trump, and, for once, the billionaires were shocked to find that their enormous investment in a candidate had been for naught. That’s how incompetent she was. But they still kept control over both of the political Parties, and the Sanders choice to head the DNC (the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Party itself) lost out to the Obama-Clinton choice, so that today’s Democratic Party is still the same: winning is less important to them than serving their top donors is.
This means that America’s winners of federal elections represent almost entirely America’s 585 billionaires, and not the 328,335,647Americans (as of noon on 23 January 2019). Of course, there is a slight crossover of interests between those two economic classes, since 0.000002 of those 328,335,647, or 0.0002% of them, are billionaires. However, if 0.0002% of federal office-holders represent the public, and the remaining 99.9998% represent the billionaires, then is that actually a bipartisan Government? If instead 99.9998% represented 328,335,062 Americans, and 0.0002% represented the 585 billionaires; then, that, too, wouldn’t be bipartisan, but would it be a democratic (small “d”) government? So, America is not a democracy (regardless of whether it’s bipartisan); it is instead an aristocracy, just like ancient France was, and the British empire, etc. The rest of America’s population (the 328,335,062 other Americans) are mere subjects, though we are officially called ‘citizens’, of this actual aristocracy.
The same is true in Israel, the land that the Adelsons (the individuals who largely control America) are so especially devoted to. On 8 November 2016, Israel’s pro-Hillary-Clinton and anti-Netanyahu Ha’aretz newspaper headlined “The Collapsing Political Triangle Linking Adelson, Netanyahu and Trump”, and reported that Ha’aretz’s bane and top competitor was the freely distributed daily Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, and:
Israel Hayom was founded by Adelson nine years ago, in order to give Netanyahu – who has been rather harshly treated by the Israeli media throughout his political career – a friendly newspaper. Under Israeli law, the total sum an individual can donate to a politician or party is very limited, and corporate donations are not allowed. Israel Hayom has been a convenient loophole, allowing Adelson to invest the sort of money he normally gives American politicians on Netanyahu’s behalf. It has no business model and carries far fewer ads than most daily newspapers. While the privately owned company does not publish financial reports, industry insiders estimate that Adelson must spend around $50 million annually on the large team of journalists and the printing and distribution operations.
Distributed for free, in hundreds of thousands of copies the length and breadth of the country, Israel Hayom … clings slavishly to the line from Netanyahu’s office – praising him and his family to the heavens while smearing his political rivals, both on the left and the right.
A billionaire can afford to use his or her ‘news’-media in lieu of political campaign donations. Lots of billionaires do that. They don’t need to make direct political donations. And ‘making money’ by owning a ‘news’-medium can even be irrelevant, for them. Instead, owning an important ’news’-medium can be, for them, just another way, or sometimes their only way, to buy control over the government. It certainly works. It’s very effective in Israel.
Adelson is #14 on the 2018 Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, all having net worths of $2.1 billion or more, his being $38.4 billion, just one-third as large as that of Jeff Bezos. Bezos is the owner of around 15% of Amazon Corporation, whose profits are derived almost entirely from the Amazon Web Services that are supplied to the US Pentagon, NSA, and CIA. So, he’s basically a ‘defense’ contractor. Bezos’s directly owned Washington Post is one of America’s leading neoconservative and neoliberal, or pro-invasion and pro-Democratic Party, media; and, so, his personal ownership of that newspaper is much like his owning a one-person national political PAC to promote whatever national policies will increase his fortune. The more that goes to the military and the less that goes to everything else, the wealthier he will become. His newspaper pumps the ‘national security threats’ to America.
Adelson controls Israel’s Government. Whereas he might be a major force in America’s Government, that’s actually much more controlled by the world’s wealthiest person, the only trillionaire, the King of Saudi Arabia. He has enough wealth so that he can buy almost anybody he wants — and he does, through his numerous agents. But, of course, both Israel’s Government and Saudi Arabia’s Government hate Iran’s Government at least as much as America’s Government does. In fact, if Russia’s Government weren’t likely to defend Iran’s Government from an invasion, then probably Iran would already have been invaded. Supporters of America’s Government are supporters of a world government by America’s billionaires, because that’s what the US Government, in all of its international functions (military, diplomatic, etc.) actually represents: it’s America’s global dictatorship. They throw crumbs to America’s poor so as to make it a ‘two-party’ and not merely a ‘one-party’ government and so that one of the Parties can call itself ‘the Democratic Party’, but America’s is actually a one-party government, and it represents only the very wealthiest, in both Parties. The aristocracy’s two separate party-organizations compete against each other. But their real audience is the aristocracy’s dollars, not the public’s voters. This “two-Party” dictatorship (by the aristocracy) is a different governing model than in China and some other countries.
The great investigative journalist Wayne Madsen headlined on January 24th “Trump Recognition of Rival Venezuelan Government Will Set Off a Diplomatic Avalanche” and he reported the possibility of a war developing between the US and Russia over America’s aggression against Venezuela. US media even have pretended that the US Government isn’t the one that customarily perpetrates coups in Latin America, and pretended that Russia’s and Cuba’s Governments are simply blocking ‘democracy’ from blossoming in Venezuela. On January 24th, Middle East Eye reported that Morgan Stanley’s CEO James Gorman had just told the World Economic Forum, in Davos, that the torture-murder of Saudi Crown Prince Salman’s critic and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was “unacceptable,” “But what do you do? What part do you play in the process of economic and social change?” and the report continued: “Gorman said he did not judge any country’s attempts to root out corruption,” and Gorman and a French tycoon joined in throwing their “weight behind Riyadh’s economic and social direction, by saying, ‘it is quite difficult and brave what the kingdom is doing’,” by its ‘reforms’. It was all being done to ‘root out corruption, and to spread democracy’. Sure. There’s “a sucker born every minute,” except now it’s every second. That seems to be the main way to win votes.
On January 26th, Trump appointed the fascist Elliott Abrams to lead this ‘democratization of Venezuela’, by overthrowing and replacing the elected President by the second-in-line-of succession (comparable in Venezuela to removing Trump and skipping over the Vice President and appointing Nancy Pelosi as America’s President, and also violating the Venezuelan Constitution’s requirement that the Supreme Judicial Trbunal must first approve before there can be ANY change of the President without an election by the voters). It’s clearly another US coup that is being attempted here. Trump, by international dictat, says that this Venezuelan traitor whom the US claims to be installing is now officially recognized by the US Government to be the President of Venezuela. Bloomberg News reported that Abrams would join Trump’s neocon Secretary of State on January 26th at the UN to lobby there for the UN to authorize Trump’s intended Venezuelan coup. The EU seemed strongly inclined to follow America’s lead. On the decisive UN body, the Permanent Security Council, of China, France, Russia, UK, and US, the US position was backed by three: US, France, and UK. Russia and China were opposed. In the EU, only France, Germany, Spain, and UK, came out immediately backing the US position. On January 25th, Russia’s Tass news agency was the first to report on the delicate strategic situation inside Venezuela. It sounded like the buildup to Obama’s successful coup in Ukraine in February 2014, but in Venezuela and under Trump. In fact, at least two commentaors other than I have noted the apparent similarities: Whitney Webb at “Washington Follows Ukraine, Syria Roadmap in Push for Venezuela Regime Change” and RT at “‘Venezuela gets its Maidan’: Ukrainian minister makes connection between regime change ops”.
Abrams’s career has been devoted to “regime-change,” and is as unapologetic about it as is John Bolton. Also like Bolton, he’s an impassioned supporter of Jewish apartheid. He wrote in his 1997 book Faith or Fear, that “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live. It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart — except in Israel — from the rest of the population.” Israel is, in this and the view of many billionaires, the whole world’s ghetto, and ‘real’ Jews don’t belong anywhere else than there. And, according to that, nobody else does belong there, except people who accept being ruled by Jewish Law — the Torah. So, on 25 June 2001, George W. Bush, as the main representative of America’s billionaires, made Abrams the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations at the National Security Council. Of course, Abrams was gung-ho for Americans to conquer Iraq, because Iraqis didn’t like Israel. And the current US President hires that same agent of Israel, Abrams, now to sell internationally America’s current coup to grab Venezuela for America’s billionaires. Abrams, for years, had been courting Trump’s favor by having declined to include himself among the many Republican neoconservatives, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. He thereby has now won his new job, on the real-world sequel to The Apprentice, which is known as President Trump’s Administration. Another such winner, of course, is John Bolton, who likewise had declined to endorse Hillary.
Perhaps the US regime thinks that testing the resolve of Russia’s Government, regarding Venezuela, would be less dangerous than testing it over the issue of Iran. But Big Brother says that this imposition of America’s corruption is instead merely a part of rooting out corruption and spreading democracy and human rights, throughout the world.
The US has managed to get Venezuela in play, to control again. Some American billionaires think it’s a big prize, which must be retaken. The largest oil-and-gas producers — and with the highest reserves of oil-and-gas in the ground — right now, happen to be Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Russia, Venezuela, and US So, for example, Venezuela is a much bigger prize than Brazil.
All of those countries have an interest in denying the existence of human-produced global warming, and in selling as much of their product as quickly as possible before the world turns away from fossil fuels altogether. High-tech doesn’t drive today’s big-power competition nearly so much as does the fossil-fuels competition — to sell as much of it as they can, as fast as they can. The result of this competition could turn out to be a nuclear winter that produces a lifeless planet and thus prevents the planet from becoming lifeless more slowly from global burnout — the alternative outcome, which would be produced by the burnt fossil fuels themselves. Either way, the future looks bleak, no matter what high-tech produces (unless high-tech produces quickly a total replacement of fossil fuels, and, in the process, bankrupts many of the billionaires who are so active in the current desperate and psychopathic global competition).
This is what happens when wealth worldwide is so unequally distributed that the “World’s Richest 0.7% Own 13.67 Times as Much as World’s Poorest 68.7%”. According to economic theory (which has always been written by agents for the aristocracy), the distribution of wealth is irrelevant. This belief was formalized by a key founder of today’s mathematized economic theory, Vilfredo Pareto, who, for example, in his main work, the 1912 Trattato di Sociologia Generale, wrote (# 2135), that, though “the lover of equality will assign a high coefficient to the utility of the lower classes and get a point of equilibrium very close to the equalitarian condition, there is no criterion save sentiment for choosing between the one [such equality of wealth] and the other [a single person — whom he called “superman” — owning everything].” The article on Pareto in the CIA’s Wikipedia doesn’t even so much as mention this central feature of Pareto’s thinking, the feature that’s foundational in all of the theory of “welfare” in economics. Pareto was also the main theoretician of fascism, and the teacher of Mussolini. This belief is at the foundation of capitalism as we know it, and as it has been in economic theory ever since, actually, the 1760s. Pareto didn’t invent it; he merely mathematized it.
So, we’ve long been in 1984, or at least building toward it. But US-allied billionaires wrote this particular version of it; George Orwell didn’t. And it’s not a novel. It’s the real thing. And it is now becoming increasingly desperate.
If, in recognizing this, you feel like a hog on a factory-farm, then you’ve got the general idea of this reality. It’s the problem that the public faces. But the publics in the US and its allied regimes are far less miserable than the publics in the countries that the US and its allied regimes are trying to take over — the targeted countries (such as Syria). To describe any realistic solution to this systematic global exploitation would require an entire book, at the very least — no mere article, such as here. The aristocracy anywhere wouldn’t publish such a book. Nobody would likely derive any significant income from writing it. That’s part of the reality, which such a book would be describing.
However, a key part of this reality is that for the billionaires — the people who control international corporations or corporations that even are aspiring to grow beyond their national market — their nation’s international policies are even more important to them than its domestic affairs (such as the toxic water in Flint, Michigan; or single-payer health insurance — matters that are relatively unimportant to billionaires), and, therefore, the most-censored and least-honestly reported realities on the part of the aristocracy’s ‘news’-media are the international ones. And, so, this is the field where there is the most lying, such as about “Saddam’s WMD,” and about all foreign countries. However, when a person is in an aristocracy’s military, deception of that person is even more essential, especially in the lower ranks, the troops, because killing and dying for one’s aristocracy is far less attractive than killing or dying in order honestly to serve and protect an authentic democracy. Propagandizing for the myth that the nation is a democracy is therefore extremely important in any aristocracy. Perhaps this is the reason why, in the United States, the military is consistently the institution that leads above all others in the public’s respect. It’s especially necessary to do that, in the nation that President Barack Obama repeatedly said is “the one indispensable nation”. This, of course, means that every other nation is “dispensable.” Any imperial nation, at least since ancient Rome, claimed the same thing, and invaded more nations than any other in the world when it was the leading imperial nation, because this is what it means to be an empire, or even to aspire to being one: imposing that given nation’s will upon other nations — colonies, vassal states, or whatever they are called. When soldiers know that they are the invaders, not the actual defenders, their motivation to kill and die is enormously reduced. This is the main reason why the ‘news’-media in an imperial nation need to lie constantly to their public. If a news-reporting organization doesn’t do that, no aristocrat will even buy it. And virtually none will advertise in it or otherwise donate to it. It will be doomed to remain very small and unprofitable in every way (because the “World’s Richest 0.7% Own 13.67 Times as Much as World’s Poorest 68.7%”). Billionaires donate to ‘news’-organizations that might report accurately about domestic US problems, but not to ones that report accurately about international affairs, especially about important international affairs. Even liberal ‘news’-media are neoconservative, or favorable toward American invasions and coups. In order to be a significant player in the ‘news’-business in the United States, one has to be.
So: this is how America’s dictatorship works. This is not America’s exceptionalism: it is America’s ordinariness. America’s Founders had wanted to produce something not just exceptional but unique in its time: a democratic republic. But what now exists here is instead a dictatorial global empire, and it constitutes the biggest threat to the very existence of the United Nations ever since that body’s founding in 1945. If that body accepts as constituting the leader of Venezuela the person that America’s President declares to be Venezuela’s leader, then the UN is effectively dead. This would be an immense breakthrough for all of the US regime’s billionaires, both domestically and throughout its allied countries (such as in France, Germany, Spain, and UK). It would be historic, if they win. It would be extremely grim, and then the UN would immediately need to be replaced. The US and its allies would refuse to join the replacement organization. That organization would then authorize economic sanctions against the US and its allies. These will be reciprocated. The world would break clearly into two trading-blocs. In a sense, the UN’s capitulation to the US on this matter would create another world war, WW III. It would be even worse than when Neville Chamberlain accepted Hitler’s offer regarding the Sudetenland. We’d be back to the start of WW II, with no lessons learned since then. And with nuclear weapons.
Feb 7, 2019
The Venezuela coup currently being orchestrated by the US is so utterly blatant, even by American standards, that large numbers of people are seeing right through it. This is not a black-and-white issue. Yes, extreme socialism can lead to instability and disaster; yes, Maduro is not the greatest leader; and yes, the people of Venezuela are suffering under massive hyperinflation. However, by far and away the largest factor affecting Venezuela now is not Maduro or socialism by rather US foreign intervention.
You can read about the background of Juan Guaido here. Suffice it to say, he’s a US trained agent-provocateur or “opposition leader” who has been carefully groomed to play in a pivotal role in the Venezuelan coup. US VP Mike Pence phoned Guaido to give him the green light with the coup, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo openly proclaimed the US would be giving the Venezuelan opposition US$20 million.
Guaido’s job is to claim he is the interim president of Venezuela (under Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution) because Maduro somehow didn’t hold fair elections. However, that argument holds no legal water as this Global Research article The Failure of Guaido’s Constitutional Claim to the Presidency of Venezuela explains:
“The opening paragraph envisions six scenarios whereby a President might no longer serve … Of the six scenarios envisioned (death, resignation etc.) Guaido relies on “abandonment of his position.” This clearly never happened. Maduro isn’t gone. He’s still there … Guaido, as head of the National Assembly, only becomes involved when the vacancy occurs in the twilight zone between election and inauguration. This definitely did not happen here. Moreover, by citing Article 233 Guaido implies there was a recent (lawful) election.Finally, Guaido’s January 23 self-anointment occurred 13 days after Maduro’s January 10 inauguration. He missed the boat.”
Here’s the game: the US funds opposition in countries whose leaders and governments are hostile to it, i.e. are strongly nationalist, isolationist, refuse to let US corporations access their resources or refuse to toe the US line in other ways. If its controlled opposition is too unpopular to win free and open elections, it will proceed with its agenda of sabotage by making them not run in the elections, then afterwards claiming the elections were rigged. Then, it will claim it is supporting its puppet because it cares so much about the people of that country (Libya, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, etc.) and just wants to spread “freedom and democracy.”
Alongside this agenda is an idea put forward by NWO insider and mastermind George Soros. He proposed that sovereignty lies with the people not the leaders or government of a nation. Sounds just and in alignment with libertarian principles, but Soros and his cronies have something else entirely in mind. By promoting this notion, the US-led NWO (and US-controlled organizations like the UN, NATO, WTO, etc.) can now claim that a particular leader not toeing the line with the US does not represent the sovereignty of the people – and therefore needs to be toppled with a “humanitarian intervention.” It has basically become an excuse to overthrow legitimately-elected governments anywhere in the world.
The game is so obvious. Even if you just look at the last 10 years, the US has been following its foreign meddling playbook in Libya, Syria and Iran just to name a few. It destroyed Libya, couldn’t quite destroy Syria and couldn’t quite get the controlled opposition off the ground in Iran, but it’s the same game wherever it’s played. The goal is always is the same – the overthrow of the government, the destruction of the country, the installation of a friendly puppet regime, the opening of a country’s markets to foreign investment and the theft and exploitation of a country’s resources by NWO multinational corporations. Former economic hitman John Perkins detailed the blueprint perfectly.
Sanctions are a means of warfare. They can cripple, destroy and paralyze. The USG and lapdog MSM may pass off sanctions as soft, but the US has been attacking Venezuela with economic warfare for a long time. This Activist Post article refers to the work of former special rapporteur for the United Nations Human Rights Council Alfred de Zayas:
“De Zayas also called for the International Criminal Court to investigate the anti-Venezuela sanctions as a possible crime against humanity under Article Seven of the ICC’s Rome Statute, powerfully stating: “Modern-day economic sanctions and blockades are comparable with medieval sieges of towns with the intention of forcing them to surrender. Twenty-first century sanctions attempt to bring not just a town, but sovereign countries to their knees.”
The sanctions against Venezuela number 63 and counting. In the last week, neocon, Zionist, mad warmonger and National Security Adviser John Bolton announced $7bn of PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company) assets would be immediately blocked as a result of the sanctions while the company would also lose an estimated $11bn in export proceeds over the coming year. As Abby Martin noted:
“Next is Venezuela. Even though Obama added 7 sanctions in his term, Trump’s laser focus is set on destroying the country once-and-for-all. He’s already employed 63 new sanctions to strangle Venezuela and undermine any chance for economic recovery.”
Listen to how many US officials are repeating the mantra “Maduro must go” just as so many of them said “Assad must go” about Syria starting 8 years ago. Listen to John Bolton admit that “It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.” (10:06 mark). Click here to see what Venezuela’s Orinoco oil reserves, the largest proven reserves in the world, are estimated to be worth.
In what might be surprisingly to many people, not only have other nations in the world (France, Germany, UK, etc.) taken the side of the US by recognizing Guaido as president, but so have some Central and South American nations, including Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Columbia. This appears to be a collective coup. The US via the Monroe Doctrine treats Central and South America as its playground and refuses to accept influence by other global powers there.
US coups, often led by the notorious CIA ever since the end of WW2, have also become commonplace all over the world. They have been a constant phenomenon for over a century in Venezuela. During the Dutch-Venezuelan crisis of 1908, the US Navy assisted in a coup whereby Venezuelan VP Juan Vicente Gómez seized power. He went on to rule brutally and granted lucrative concessions to foreign oil companies including Standard Oil (ExxonMobil today) and Royal Dutch Shell. Decades later the US backed dictator Marcos Jimenez from 1948-1958, who gave the oil companies a similar deal.
The Bolivarian Revolution in 1998 led by Hugo Chavez turned over the apple cart. Chavez was not afraid to spit at the US and did things such as openly insulting George Bush at the UN, calling him the Devil himself. In 2002, the US was behind a Venezuela coup which temporarily removed Chavez from power for 2 days, however the Venezuelan military soon restored him to power. That particular 2002 Venezuela coup was led by neocon Elliott Abrams, the very same man Trump has just appointed to get the job done again apparently. You can watch the story of this coup in the documentary The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.
Fast forward to 2015, and Nicolas Maduro has replaced Chavez as President, but the coups continue. On February 23rd, 2015, Maduro had this to say about another US-backed Venezuela coup which was foiled:
“It is the government of the United States that is behind the plans of destabilization and coups against Venezuela. I have come here to denounce it. … We have dismantled a coup attempt against democracy, against the stability of our homeland … It was an attempt to use a group of officials from the air force to provoke a violent act, an attack.”
Now in 2019 with Washington point man and cutout Guaido, the game is unchanged.
Yes, Maduro has tyrannical tendencies and yes socialism is not good, but the overwhelming reason for Venezuela’s woes is US animosity and economic warfare. Just blaming socialism is misguided and blind in this situation. Not only does the current coup in Venezuela resemble previous ones, but it’s right out of the US Foreign Meddling and Destabilization Playbook. If the US cared about the Venezuelan people, it would lift the crippling sanctions which has tied up literally billions and billions of Venezuelan money in banks which it cannot access. If the US cared about freedom and democracy, it would respect the legitimacy of the elections and the Maduro administration and keep its nose out of foreign meddling.
Pigs might fly, too.
Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance. Makia is on Steemit and FB.
These are the ten biggest news stories going on right now that you need to know that will, in some way, affect Britain. When Brexit arrives and the consequences start to unravel, whatever they may be, the world continues to move – one threat being that Britain becomes so self-involved it gets left behind. So keep up with these brief updates as TruePublica will now start to publish more of them from now on.
Mr Putin also said that Russia would build weapons previously banned under the treaty and would no longer initiate talks with the United States on any matters related to nuclear arms control. Cold war 2.0 has clearly kicked-off. The last one was not just quite frightening, it threatened the existence of humanity.
While global markets would hail a U.S.-China trade deal, fears are growing that the European Union could be the fall guy in any breakthrough, which would allow Donald Trump to turn his attention to German cars or French luxury wines.
Alicia García-Herrero, Chief Economist at Natixis for Asia Pacific, and a researcher at the Bruegel think-tank, is among those who have warned that a deal “could cost Europe dearly” if China substitutes a large part of its European imports for U.S. goods in a bid to appease the Trump administration.
British lawmakers instructed Prime Minister Theresa May to reopen a Brexit treaty with the European Union to replace a controversial Irish border arrangement – and promptly received a flat rejection from Brussels.
With two months left until Britain is due by law to leave the EU, investors and allies have urged the government to clinch a deal to allow an orderly exit from the club it joined in 1973. So far, it has failed.
The authorities have now revived Cold War emergency plans to relocate the royal family should there be riots in London if Britain. Thousands of MI5 are now located in Northern Ireland, the Army and army reservists are on standby and police forces all over the country have cancelled all leave from April.
Did the subversion of Italian democracy by the European Union play a role in Italy’s fall into recession? Italy’s pre-existing debts were already so large that the EU got an agreement from the previous Italian government that deficit spending would be restricted to 0.8% of GDP.
The new government prepared to implement the policies it had promised in its election campaign: a reduction in taxes and an increase in certain types of welfare spending, including a basic income experiment. They proposed a fiscal plan that would increase the spending deficit to 2.4% of GDP.
The EU said no. Crash.
The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Japan entered into force on 1 February 2019. Businesses and consumers across Europe and in Japan can now take advantage of the largest open trade zone in the world.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said:
“This agreement has it all: it scraps tariffs and contributes to the global rulebook, whilst at the same time demonstrating to the world that we both remain convinced by the benefits of open trade.
Except, of course, Britain. It opted out of the EU and so the trade deal excluded it from day one.
As tensions between China and the US mount over trade and the extradition of a senior Huawei executive, Beijing has reserved its most colourful language for America’s allies.
Analysts say China is trying to isolate the US by going after its allies. Two Canadians remain in detention in China over unspecified allegations of endangering national security and a third was sentenced to death for drug smuggling after a sudden retrial — cases widely believed to be retaliation for Ottawa’s arrest of Meng at the request of the US.
Several thousand “gilets jaunes” protesters have marched through Paris and other French cities on Saturday on the 12th weekend of action against the government.
Protesters carried French flags and held signs attacking the French president as being out of touch or calling for referendums tabled by citizens.
Protesters injured in previous weeks of violence were put at the front of the protests, some of whom wore eyepatches with a target sign on them. The government warned that police would not hesitate to use ‘flashballs’ in the event of violence by demonstrators after it was authorised by France’s highest administrative court. Flashball riot control guns are banned in much of Europe.
The information commissioner has launched an audit into Leave.EU and the insurance company owned by the campaign’s key financial backer, Arron Banks, after fining the organisations a total of £120,000 for data protection violations during the EU referendum campaign.
Leave.EU was fined £15,000 for using Eldon Insurance customers’ details unlawfully to send almost 300,000 political marketing messages, and a further £45,000 for its part in sending an Eldon marketing campaign to political subscribers. Eldon was fined £60,000 for the latter violation.
The usual mainstream media suspects have their printing presses and news presenters set to max propaganda mode over Venezuela.
The CIA is working hard to stoke violence, and the genuine poor will soon start to die, both in those egged on to riot and in the security services. But do not get taken in by the complete nonsense that this is a popular, democratic revolution. It is not. It is yet another barefaced CIA regime change coup.
Eight banks are being targeted in a European Union probe that alleges traders colluded to acquire and trade euro government bonds, a month after the EU regulators implicated lenders in a separate bond-trading case.
The EU’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, is moving her attention to possible collusion between banks in the estimated $9.4-trillion market for European government debt. She’s already extracted huge fines from Google and a massive back-tax bill from Apple Inc. before she ends her five-year term later this year. While the EU’s powerful antitrust arm often lags far behind financial authorities in the U.S. and the U.K. in punishing collusion between traders, its fines can be hefty.
Featured image is from TruePublica