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Trump Illegally Sanctions Venezuela’s President

August 2nd, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Washington consistently and illegally meddles in the internal affairs of other countries - a flagrant international law violation.

On Monday, the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) unjustifiably sanctioned democratically elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro - following Sunday’s constitutionally permitted Constituent Assembly elections.

Elected members are tasked with revising or rewriting the nation’s constitution, aiming to promote dialogue and restore order - above all serving all Venezuelans equitably, a notion Washington fundamentally opposes.

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Assad on Syria’s Struggle Against Western Imperialism

August 2nd, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Endless war in Syria is all about US-led aggression, Assad the target, regime change the objective.

Partnered with its rogue allies, Washington wants pro-Western puppet governance replacing Syrian sovereign independence, what the imperial conflict is all about.

There’s nothing civil about it. Syria was invaded by US-supported ISIS and other terrorist groups. Endless conflict continues because America wants war, not peace.

Russia’s September 2015 intervention at the request of Assad was an important turning point, changing the dynamic on the ground, saving Syria from certain defeat, partitioning, and greater harm to its people than already.

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Senate Rejects Scaled Down Obamacare Repeal

August 1st, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Overnight Thursday, GOP Senators failed to repeal parts of Obamacare (ACA) - a cynical scheme to get something passed, conference with House leaders to agree on weakening ACA, a step toward repealing and replacing it.

The measure was defeated by a 51 - 49 margin. Provisions of so-called “skinny” legislation included:

Repealing the individual and employer mandates Suspending Obamacare’s tax on medical devices for three years

Defunding Planned Parenthood for a year

No longer requiring healthcare plans to include maternity care, prescription drugs and other minimum benefits

Expanding tax-sheltered health savings accounts, largely benefitting high-net-worth households

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America Declares Economic War Against Europe

August 1st, 2017


Eric Zuesse

On Friday night, July 28th, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he would sign into law the increased economic sanctions (passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House) against any business that is declared to have "knowingly provided goods or services ... for construction, modernisation, or repair of Russia’s energy export pipelines.”

Russia is the largest energy-supplier to the world’s largest energy-market, which is Europe, or the EU.
The biggest proportion of that trade is in Europe’s main source of energy, which is gas, which is pipelined into Europe from Russia. So: those pipelines are vitally important not only to Russia’s economy but to Europe’s.

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US Plotting to Topple Venezuela’s Government

August 1st, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Since Hugo Chavez’s February 1999 ascension to power, Washington wanted Bolivarian democracy replaced by fascist tyranny.

Earlier coup attempts failed, another likely planned, months of US-orchestrated violence a convenient pretext to act, along with imposing illegal sanctions on Venezuelan officials.

On Wednesday, the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 13 current and former Venezuelan officials, along with others, wrongfully accusing them of “undermining democracy” - a US specialty at home and abroad.

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Moscow Retaliates Against New US Sanctions

August 1st, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Russia’s move was modest, having no effect on bilateral relations.

Washington was ordered to reduce embassy and consular staff in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok to 455 people by September 1 - equaling the number of Russian diplomats and staff in America.

Its southern Moscow warehouses and Serebryany Bor property were frozen, access by US personnel suspended as of August 1.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin approved the moves. A Russian Foreign Ministry statement said “(i)n the case of new unilateral actions of the US authorities to reduce the number of our diplomats in the US, it will be followed by a tit-for-tat response.”

“We reserve the right on other mutual measures, which can affect US interests.”

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Pakistan’s Prime Minister Forced to Resign

August 1st, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Following a unanimous Supreme Court ruling to remove him from office on corruption charges, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned.

According to The Times of Islamabad, Pakistan’s Supreme Court “disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case verdict. Justice Ejaz Afzal announced the decision.”

In April 2016, leaked documents showed his sons Hassan and Hussein, along with his daughter Maryam, own at least three offshore holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, tax havens for ill-gotten gains.

Sharif’s resignation is effective on Friday. He’s been investigated since last year on corruption charges. His choice was either resigning or being forced from office.

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Imperial War on Venezuelan Democracy

August 1st, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Sunday’s National Constituent Assembly election “is the most important (one) in the (nation’s) political system because we are electing the sovereign constituent body…that is above all others, the maximum political authority,” President Nicolas Maduro explained in a nationally televised address.

He blasted US-supported fascist opposition elements, aiming to obstruct the constitutional process, adding: “They believed that in this way they were going to intimidate the people of Venezuela, but they were wrong, because there has not been a more joyous electoral campaign.”

Attempted outreach for national dialogue with opposition forces accomplished nothing. They want confrontation, not conciliation.

The Trump administration promised “strong and swift economic actions” if Sunday’s democratic process proceeds as scheduled.

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CIA Working to Replace Venezuelan Democracy with Fascist Tyranny

July 28th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Economic war along with street violence since April reflect a diabolical CIA plot to end Bolivarian democracy - complicit with Venezuelan fascists, aiming to forcefully topple the government.

During a Q&A session at the Aspen Security Forum last week, CIA director Mike Pompeo called for regime change in Venezuela, saying “we are very hopeful that there can be a transition.” Up to its old tricks, Langley is heavily involved in pursuing it.

President Nicolas Maduro denounced Pompeo’s comments, saying the agency and US government are “work(ing) in direct collaboration with the Mexican government and the Colombian government to overthrow the constitutional government in Venezuela…”

The State Department threatened Maduro, saying “(w)e are prepared to take strong and swift economic actions if the Government of Venezuela election moves forward on 30 July with a Constituent Assembly” - its constitutional right, as explained in a same day article.

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Iraqi Vice President in Moscow

July 28th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Iraqi Vice President Nouri al-Maliki served as prime minister from 2006 to 2014.

Washington forced him out for not being subservient enough to US interests. Haider al-Abadi replaced him.

Weeks later, Maliki became one of three Iraqi vice presidents. He holds the post despite efforts to abolish it.

In late 2014, he accused Washington of using ISIS as a pretext to maintain a military presence in Iraq, saying:

“The Americans began this sedition in Syria and then expanded its dimensions into Iraq and it seems that they intend to further stretch this problem to other countries in their future plans.”

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