'Number one US target': Oliver Stone calls media coverage of Venezuela 'shameful'
RT.com April 13, 2013 03:49
Venezuela is the top target for US media, not to mention the State Department, legendary director Oliver Stone said at a special screening of his film on Hugo Chavez. Sunday's vote is a choice between two very different futures for Venezuela, he said.
American filmmaker Oliver Stone, whose 2009 film “South of the Border” attempted to help Chavez’s image in the US, bemoaned the western media’s portrayal of Chavez as a clownish thorn-in-the-side of democracy. When asked about the perception that US President Barack Obama betrayed the country, Stone reminded the audience that the people of Venezuela will ultimately be responsible for their own success on the global stage.
“I think you’re on the right path,” he said.
“The United States is a system and whoever is president seems to be sucked into this no-choice kind of situation but history has shown us the curve of ball can always break differently. We emphasize that point, there are always breaks. All of a sudden a Martin Luther King comes up, all of a sudden protestors against the Vietnam War come up, all of a sudden people turn down Hillary Clinton, who was the supposed front runner and they go with this semi-black candidate. Surprises are always in the air. What you think is going happen never happens.” Acting President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s handpicked successor, is favored to win this weekend’s election over opposition challenger Henrique Capriles. Whatever the result, Stone said, there will be great pressure from outside the country because of Venezuela’s oil supply.
“These bastards can be very upsetting and overwhelming but I always think that we have a lifesaver somewhere and there’s some kind of light that dawns on us as a people and as a world.” The filmmaker known for “JFK,” “Platoon,” “Born on the fourth of July,” and many others as well as “South of the Border” had harsh words for media outlets that spent years painting Chavez in an unfavorable light.
“As a New Yorker and following the New York Times for a long time I am still stunned by how negative these articles have been for so long,” Stone added. “About some of the worst regimes in the world there has never been this amount of coverage. I doubt Adolf Hitler has gotten this much coverage in Germany. These lies and distortions are a shame on them, it’s a disgrace.”
“I would say that Venezuela is the number one target of the United States media and the State Department that exists today. The covert actions that are going on in Venezuela are very scary. I don’t want to be in Nicholas Maduro’s shoes. I’d hate to be him because he’s in a new spotlight,” the director continued.
“They can’t go after him personally but it’s a very scary position to inherit this gigantic power. I’m sure Castro felt the same thing many years ago. This is a tough moment for Venezuela and I hope the people stick together. This is not going away. Even if he wins the election I think the United States is going to be pouring on the heat in the coming months. You’re going to see reactions and more stories. Venezuela is very important to the US and all of Latin America.”
Seated next to Stone was Miguel Tinker Salas, a Latin American historian and professor at Pomona College who specializes in Venezuelan studies. After discussing Hugo Chavez’s impact on the region Salas compared the current political atmosphere to that of the United States before the election last year that saw Americans reinstate Obama into the White House.
“ What’s at stake is really two different visions of Venezuela, two different visions of Latin America, and two different visions of how the north and the south should relate to each other. Fundamentally what’s at stake here is control over the largest oil reserve in the world,” Salas said.
“Previously there’s been a vision of Venezuela as connected to the US, as an oil-exporting country, as a nation rushing to join the first world, and one in which Venezuela is counter-imposed with the US as a model democracy.” But another future could be within sight.
“Or a vision of Venezuela that is part of Latin America that recognizes its own internal heritage and recognizes the solidarity it has with the rest of Latin America. Remember Venezuela was the first of the social conscious left governments to come to power in 1998,” the professor continued.
“So what’s at stake is the future of progressive social movements in Latin America. Hundreds of thousands of people support the change that’s been going on in Venezuela. The opposition is much like the opposition Republicans in the US who say there’s a shifting demographic in the US. Imagine that – after running a campaign that actually tried to make targets of immigrants, women, gay people, and others now they want a shift. That’s the same reality in Venezuela.”
Venezuela’s Capriles refuses to accept Maduro victory until election audit.
RT.com April 15, 2013 04:02
Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles said he will not accept Chavista candidate Nicolas Maduro’s victory until a full audit of the election results is carried out. Capriles has slammed the ruling party with allegations of election fraud.
With the vote split almost equally acting President Nicolas Maduro has won Venezuelan presidential election to replace Hugo Chavez.
Venezuelan election authorities have announced that with 99.12% of votes counted Maduro is leading with 50.66 per cent of the votes cast. Capriles is dragging behind with 49.07 per cent.
Around 77 per cent of the eligible voters cast their ballots, officials said.
Capriles stated that his party had reports of over 3,200 irregularities in the voting process and said that the Maduro really lost the elections.
“I want the truth to be known,” said Capriles in a speech. “We are going to do everything in our power to reveal it. Mr. Maduro, if you were illegitimate before, now you definitely are!”
Venezuelan authorities have announced that voting went smoothly and that there was no evidence of any irregularities with almost 200 international observers overseeing the voting. However, in the face of opposition protest Maduro has consented to an audit on Sunday’s vote.
"They [the opposition]) want an audit, we welcome the audit ... I formally request the National Electoral Commission to carry out an audit," said Maduro in a statement.
In his speech after the polls closed, Capriles urged every person to report irregularities they may have noticed.
“Today, all Venezuelans are reporters. If you see something irregular, take a picture, air it on social media,” Capriles said, adding that whatever the result would be he will “respect the will of the people.”
In his Twitter account however, Capriles lashed out at his opponents, claiming there was a plan to alter the election results. Capriles’s campaign coordinator, Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, also suggested Maduro’s party is “misleading their people and are trying to mislead the people of this country.”
Five minutes before the polling stations across Venezuela closed, a number of government Twitter accounts had been hacked by LulzSec group, including those of Nicolas Maduro, his ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. The attack was dubbed as a “desperate” move of “fascists” by the Venezuelan minister of Communications & Information Ernesto Villegas.
The day before, Maduro was slammed by the opposition for allegedly violating a media blackout. Eric Draitser, a geopolitical analyst at stopimperialism.com told RT that could indeed be an admission of failure on behalf of the opposition.
“What we see in the last couple of days are accusations already being leveled by the Capriles camp, the so-called opposition regarding the validity of the results and regarding the procedures of the actual election,” Draitser said. “Despite the international effort to propup Capriles and the opposition, it has been an abject failure... Capriles is not liked by the Venezuelan people because they understand that Capriles and the opposition means a return to colonialism and to subjugation under the thumb of the United States.”
Maduro to face ‘real problems’
The Venezuelan government said Nicolas Maduro would be formally proclaimed winner of the presidency by the election board at a ceremony and rally in Caracas to be held on Monday afternoon, despite opposition demands for a total recount.
President Putin has congratulated Maduro with the victory and confirmed he is ready for a further constructive dialogue with Venezuela in everything that refers to the mutual interests of the two states.
Cuba's Raul Castro published a congratulatory message in the newspaper Granma, where he said that Maduro's victory "shows the strength of the ideas and work of Commandante Hugo Chavez," who last month died of cancer.
Miguel Tinker Salas, a professor of Latin American history at Pomona College, told RT that Maduro would have to address “real problems” in Venezuelan society or potentially face opposition from within his own party.
“He has to address head-on the question of crime, inflation and infrastructure. These are real issues that affect real Venezuelans, and although they felt the pain for Chavez, a significant number also begin to criticize and see the need for change,” Salas explained.
He added that Venezuela’s foreign policy would most likely continue unchanged, though he stressed that the country is not anti-American.
“There is a difference between criticizing the US and being anti-American. I think we’ll see a promotion of Latin American policy and a multi-polar world that is the US is not the dominant issue on their agenda,” he said.
Salas also warned that Maduro has a short window to address problems and implement change, and that the opposition will definitely be emboldened and could potentially file for a recall election within three years.
Post by TsarSamuil on Apr 16, 2013 12:25:34 GMT -5
Maduro declared Venezuela’s president-elect after narrow victory.
RT.com April 16, 2013 03:12
Venezuela’s National Electoral Council proclaimed Nicolas Maduro the winner of the country’s presidential elections on Monday. Meanwhile, seven people were killed and 61 others injured during clashes between opposition supporters and police.
In Caracas, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at masked, rock-throwing opposition supporters Monday night. Motorcyclists drove in circles around a pile of burning trash along the city's main highway.
Other members of the opposition banged pots and pans, while Maduro backers responded with fireworks and music.
Venezuelan authorities have arrested 135 people suspected of involvement in violence Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz said in a Tuesday statement.
The National Electoral Council certified a narrow victory of 50.8 per cent to Maduro versus 49.0 per cent for the opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles.
Venezuela’s opposition party has pressed for a full recount and called for peaceful protests. Sources who spoke with Reuters claim that Capriles won by over 300,000 votes, and stated it had evidence of over 3,000 voting day irregularities ranging from fraudulent IDs, and voter intimidation at polling centers.
The electoral body’s president, Tibisay Lucena, dismissed complaints of voting irregularities lobbed by Capriles and the opposition, stating that “the entire country is witness to the efficiency of the voting process” and added that few events which could have compromised the integrity of the results were noted. Maduro is now set to be officially sworn in on April 19th.
Meanwhile, Maduro and his campaign team have accused Capriles of planning a coup.
Hundreds of Capriles supporters protested in several upscale districts of the Venezuelan capital, some hoping to attract the attention of unofficial international election observers. Police fired tear gas to disperse young demonstrators who threw rocks at them. El Universal newspaper has reported of opposition supporters mounting protests in the cities of Zulia, Tachira, Lara, Barinas and Miranda.
Though he advocated against any violence, Capriles himself has stated publicly that he is sure of having won the election, and only plans to concede the race once there is a full recount.
In response, Lucena responded that “threats and intimidation will not be the path to appeal the decisions ” of the electoral body. The official also accused the US as well as the Organization of American States of attempting to interfere in internal affairs by supporting a recount.
Unlike Hugo Chavez, the former Venezuelan leader who beat Capriles in October’s last regular presidential election by 11 percentage points, Maduro’s lead quickly diminished in the run-up to Sunday’s vote. The narrow victory achieved by the incumbent Socialist Party leader suggests that his political coalition may be substantially weaker than his predecessors’.
Speaking to supporters, Maduro proclaimed his intent to extend the socialist revolution first begun by his mentor, Hugo Chavez:
"I will fulfil the legacy of protecting the humble, the poor, to protect the fatherland ," said Maduro.
Following Maduro’s victory on Sunday night, one of the members of the country’s electoral body, Vicente Diaz, had supported an audit of the vote prior to official certification. The idea was even acknowledged by Maduro himself, who spoke to supporters outside the presidential residence.
By Monday, however, the five member body seemed satisfied with the election results, and any further recounts or audits seemed very unlikely.
Venezuelan President elect Nicolas Maduro (L) raises his fist as he shows a document delivered by the president of the national electoral council, Tibisay Lucena, in Caracas on April 15, 2013 (AFP Photo / Juan Barreto)
Venezuela’s Maduro sworn into office as vote recount looms.
RT.com April 20, 2013 01:43
The inauguration of new Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro has gone ahead, even as the opposition continues to challenge his poll victory, and a vote audit is still being conducted.
Thousands of Maduro’s socialist supporters gathered on the streets of capital Caracas on Friday morning to mark the occasion.
The ceremony is attended by the majority of South America’s heads of state, and senior officials from Russia and China, which have already recognized Maduro’s victory.
Meanwhile, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles called off a rally of his backers, to avoid escalating an increasingly fraught stand-off, and asked them to play salsa music as a symbol of their protest against a result they believe was won fraudulently.
Maduro, the former second-in-command to Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer last month, won 50.8 percent of the vote on Sunday – beating Capriles by a mere 267,000 votes out of 14.9 million.
Center-right coalition candidate Capriles claims that 3,000 violations took place – such as the inclusion of 600,000 dead voters on the electoral roll, expulsion of opposition observers from polling stations, and inexplicable swings in favor of Maduro in certain districts compared to the results of last October’s election, won by his significantly more popular predecessor Chavez.
Last Edit: Apr 20, 2013 7:17:41 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Venezuela, Russia Have Huge Investment Potential – Putin.
MOSCOW, July 2 (RIA Novosti) – Venezuela and Russia have huge potential for joint investment projects, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday, the same day that Rosneft and Gazprombank signed major deals with Venezuela’s national oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela.
“Energy is an important area for joint investment projects,” Putin said after meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
“Russia’s National Oil Consortium in September 2012 launched the first oil well at the Junin-6 deposit [in Venezuela]. [Electricity trader] Inter RAO UES supplies gas turbines to Venezuela for nuclear power plants under construction there,” Putin said.
Venezuela is Russia’s key partner in Latin America, the Russian leader said, adding that bilateral trade exceeded $2 billion in 2012 and tripled in January through April this year. Russian investment in the Venezuelan economy has reached $21 billion, he said.
Putin also said the two nations had great potential for industrial partnerships.
“Russia and Venezuela are implementing joint projects in the auto industry, machine-building, transportation and infrastructure,” he said, adding that Russian truck maker KamAZ planned to set up a joint venture with Venezuela to produce trucks and buses.
Rosneft and Venezuela’s PDVSA Sign Shelf Exploration Deal.
MOSCOW, July 2 (RIA Novosti) – Venezuela’s national oil company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) and Russia’s state-owned oil-and-gas giant Rosneft on Tuesday signed an agreement to jointly develop extensive offshore deposits in South America.
Venezuelan Oil Minister and PDVSA head Rafael Ramirez, who attended the signing ceremony, said the deal envisaged joint work on five gas blocks off Venezuela, including the Mariscal Sucre project and the Blanquilla and Tortuga deposits, with their total reserves estimated at 21 trillion cubic feet.
“Investment in Mariscal Sucre alone will total at least $5 billion,” he said.
Gazprombank, which is affiliated with Russian energy giant Gazprom, said Tuesday that it had signed a deal with Venezuela’s PDVSA to invest $1 billion in their joint venture, PetroSamora.
“Today an agreement has been signed on the basic terms of financing a contract for crude oil production and delivery, with total financing at $1 billion,” said Gazprombank deputy CEO Alexander Muranov.
PetroSamora was established in February 2012 to develop deposits in the oil belt of the Orinoco River, which has one of the world’s largest oil reserves, estimated at 86.4 billion barrels.
Venezuela holds 60 percent in PetroSamora, while Gazprombank holds 40 percent.
Moscow Street Named After Late Venezuelan Leader Chavez.
MOSCOW, July 2 (RIA Novosti) – A street in northern Moscow was named after late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday, the same day that Russian majors Rosneft and Gazprombank inked significant deals with national oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela.
The naming ceremony was attended by current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Rosneft head Igor Sechin. It was announced that day that the Russian state-owned oil firm had signed an agreement to help develop extensive offshore deposits in South America.
Also on Tuesday, Gazprombank, affiliated with Russian energy giant Gazprom, said it had signed a deal with Petroleos de Venezuela to invest $1 billion in their joint venture, PetroSamora.
Speaking at the naming ceremony, Venezuelan President Maduro said Chavez had visited the Russian capital at least 10 times. “He never felt like a stranger in Moscow. I thank you for this gift,” said Maduro, who arrived in Moscow on Monday for a two-day visit.
Chavez, who had ruled the South American nation for 14 years, died on March 5 at the age of 58 after a two-year fight with cancer.
Last week, the acting chairman of the Moscow government’s public affairs committee, Alexander Chistyakov, said that Chavez Street (Ulitsa Chavesa) would be a 170-meter-long square.
Bolivia Furious as President Stranded by Snowden Search.
MOSCOW, July 3 (RIA Novosti) - Bolivia accused European countries of violating international law after a plane carrying the country’s president was diverted and searched Wednesday over suspicion that it might have fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden on board.
Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca was quoted as saying by CNN that a Bolivia-bound plane, taking President Evo Morales home after an energy meeting in Moscow, had been forced to land in Austria after France and Portugal revoked permission for the plane to enter their airspace.
Bolivia's ambassador to the United Nations described the rerouting as an act of aggression tantamount to "kidnapping," AFP reported.
"The decisions of these countries have violated international law... We are already making procedures to denounce this to the UN secretary general," Bolivia's UN ambassador Sacha Llorenti Soliz told reporters in Geneva, according to Deutsche Welle citing Western news agencies.
The envoy said he had no doubt that the orders to divert Morales' plane came from the United States. The United States has not commented on those allegations.
Later in the day, a spokesman for the French foreign ministry dismissed reports that the presidential plane was denied permission to fly over France and said it was free to cross its territory, but gave no reasons why Bolivian officials had claimed otherwise.
The plane landed in Vienna, where it was held up for more than 14 hours. Austria's Deputy Chancellor Michael Spindelegger said a “voluntary inspection” of the plane, permitted by Morales, revealed that “no one is on board who is not a Bolivian citizen,” Reuters reported.
The plane departed the Austrian capital at around midday Moscow time (8:00 a.m. GMT) and later entered Spanish airspace, according to reports by Western news agencies. At approximately 19:00 Moscow time (3:00 p.m. GMT), the plane landed for refueling at the airport in Las Palmas in Spain’s Canary Islands.
‘Infiltrated from all sides’: Bug found in London’s Ecuadorian embassy.
RT.com July 03, 2013 09:35
A hidden microphone has been discovered in the Ecuadorian ambassador’s office in London, said Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino. He denounced the find as yet more evidence of the loss of ethics at an international level in government relations.
“We regret to inform that we have found a hidden microphone in the London embassy,” said Patino at a press conference He added that he had received intelligence that pointed at the origin of the security breach and would reveal it later on Wednesday.
The device itself had been discovered almost three weeks ago on June 16 in the office of the Ecuadorian Ambassador to the UK, Ana Alban, in a routine security check ahead of Patino’s visit.
“I did not bring this up before because I didn’t want my visit to London to hold talks on Julian Assange to be confused with accusations over this surveillance device found in the ambassador’s office,” he told press.
The head of the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry stated that he would have to consult with President Rafael Correa on the issue and they would require an explanation from the country responsible.
Moreover, Patino clarified that he was not insinuating this discovery had anything to do with the US spy network, revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Patino went on to voice his concerns that the Ecuadorian government was being “infiltrated from all sides.”
“This is a testament to the loss of ethics at an international level in the relations that we have with other governments,” noted Patino.
During his visit to London, Patino held negotiations with his British counterpart, William Hague, to push for the safe-conduct of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to Ecuador where he has been granted asylum. Assange has now been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over a year as UK authorities threaten to arrest him if he sets foot outside the diplomatic mission.
The British government refused to grant Assange safe passage to Ecuador and reiterated their commitment to extradite the whistleblower to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over accusations of sexual assault.
Ecuador is also currently assessing the asylum request of former CIA employee Edward Snowden, who is held up in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. He is currently unable to travel as his passport is invalid.
Washington has issued an extradition order against Snowden under the espionage act and called for international cooperation in returning him to American jurisdiction.
The US threatened the Ecuadorian government with taking away a lucrative customs tax agreement if the Latin American country grants Snowden asylum.
The Ecuadorean government reacted with ire, stating that in the face of “insolence” and “threats,” Ecuador will renounce its trade benefits with the US.
Latin America rising: Outrage at ‘imperial hijack’ of Morales’ plane.
RT.com July 04, 2013 12:10
Latin American leaders are meeting to discuss the “hijack” of Bolivian president Evo Morales’ plane in Austria. Regional leaders presented a united front, defending Latin American sovereignty in the face of what they see as post-colonial imperialism.
The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the EU air blockade that forced the Bolivian President Evo Morales to land in Austria on Wednesday. France, Spain, Portugal and Italy all closed their airspace amid suspicions the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had stowed away on board the president’s craft.
The 12 nations that are part of the regional block will have a ministerial meeting in the Peruvian capital of Lima to discuss the consequences.
So far Bolivia has already resolved to take an official complaint to the UN over the incident, alleging that the US was undoubtedly the instigator.
"What's at stake here is ... the dignity of Bolivia and the dignity of Latin America," said Sacha Llorenti Soliz, Bolivia’s envoy to the UN on Wednesday in Geneva. Bolivian vice-president Alvaro Garcia Linera for his part likened the incident to an “imperialist hijack.”
In the face of furious rhetoric from Latin America, the EU and US have played down the incident.
The White House has denied any involvement in the grounding of Morales’ plane, while France has said they revoked the flying permit because they were not aware it was the president’s plane.
France apologized to Bolivia for closing its airspace to President Morales’ plane, forcing it to make a stopover in Austria.
“The Foreign Minister called his Bolivian counterpart to tell him about France's regrets after the incident caused by the late confirmation of permission for President Morales' plane to fly over (French) territory," French Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Philippe Lalliot said in a statement.
French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday that he had opened the airspace to the Bolivian presidential jet as soon as he knew Morales was onboard.
“There was conflicting information about the passengers who were on board,” Hollande noted in Berlin, cited Expatica.com.
Latin America rising?
A number of Latin American countries have banded together in there condemnation of the event, but the silence of regional key players has cast doubt whether their actions will lead to any concrete consequences.
Brazilian journalist Mauricio Savarese told RT that the world would likely see a “split” in Latin America between US allies and the anti-American contingent.
“Some countries that are very closely allied to Morales have been very vocal, but many others have kept silence. That’s the case for Chile, Colombia and Brazil, the biggest country in the region,” he told RT. He added that countries closer to Morales like Argentina, Nicaragua and Venezuela were more likely to press the agenda for criticism of the US.
“The posture of Latin America might be of strong criticism on the microphones, but behind the scenes it’s going to be a little more split than it seems,” he said.
Eva Golinger, author and lawyer contradicted this, describing it as indicative of a “new era of Latin American sovereignty.”
“The 21st century is no longer the time when the US dominates Latin America or EU countries colonize Latin America. This is the dawn of a new era of Latin American sovereignty, dignity and independence,” Golinger told RT. However, she voiced doubts as to whether the Bolivian appeal to the UN will lead to a concrete result.
She also told RT’s Spanish channel that there were elements of “discrimination, racism, classism and arrogant imperialist attitudes” in the incident.
“This would not have happened if it had been the plane of a European head of state,” she told RT Actualidad.
Moreover, she said that Latin America could strike at the US and EU through trade sanctions, saying “those things are what will have the effect in the long term.”
Post by TsarSamuil on Jul 11, 2013 12:01:16 GMT -5
Latin America no longer ‘US’ backyard’ – Ecuadorian Foreign Minister.
RT.com July 10, 2013 18:16
Latin America is no longer the “US’ backyard” and the US shouldn’t be “lecturing less developed countries” on “rights and freedoms,” while breaching international law with massive surveillance campaign itself, Ecuadorian FM Ricardo Patino told RT.
Patino also said the incident involving Bolivian President Morales, whose plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Austria, cannot be ignored and that if such an incident had happened to an American or European leader flying over a Latin American country it could have sparked a war.
The Ecuadorian foreign minister spoke to Eva Golinger on RT Spanish.
RT: Mr. Patino, thank you for joining us here on RT.
Ricardo Patino: Thank you, Eva, thank you for inviting me. I would like to greet all the people who are listening to us all over the world. Listening, not eavesdropping.
RT: I would like to start with the most recent events. The presidents of Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have officially stated that they are willing to grant political asylum to former CIA employee Edward Snowden, who revealed top secret information on the US espionage program. The three countries are members of ALBA, so this step was perceived as a kind of collective asylum offer by the whole region. What is Ecuador’s stance on the neighboring countries offering asylum to Snowden? As of now, is Latin America the stronghold of justice and solidarity?
RP: While going through democratization, developing in social, economic and political spheres, Latin American countries also secured their position in the international arena and now express their own opinions. The 1954 Caracas Convention on Diplomatic Asylum states that Latin America is concerned about human rights issues. We considered Julian Assange’s request for asylum last year, and similarly, we have considered Snowden’s. We welcome other countries’ willingness to grant asylum to Snowden. After what happened to President Evo Morales there’s no doubt that Snowden is being persecuted on a global level.
RT: Mr. Patino, you said that the Ecuadorian authorities have considered Snowden’s request for asylum. Are you still considering it? That is, is Ecuador still considering the possibility of granting asylum to Edward Snowden or is it enough that other Latin American countries have offered it?
RP: In my opinion, the more countries offer asylum, the better. Naturally, Ecuador is still considering this possibility, but it’d be better if 10, 20, 100 states offered asylum instead of just three. More countries should realize what he did, what he uncovered and consider granting Snowden asylum.
RT: How significant is the information about the US mass espionage that Mr. Snowden revealed for Ecuador? Ecuador has a long history of its own when it comes to the CIA and whistleblowers. For example, in his book former CIA agent Philip Agee revealed the US involvement in a coup in Ecuador. Did this new information come as a surprise for the Ecuadorian people or were they ready for it?
RP: It was more than just a surprise – we were outraged. We knew the US was doing it, but now it’s been unequivocally proven. It just indicates that the American intelligence agencies responsible for ensuring ‘security’ have refined their tactics. In the past they planted bugs to find out what our presidents thought. They keep doing that, by the way. Recently, about three weeks ago, we found a hidden microphone in our embassy in London. But the technology has gone way beyond that. Now they know what people all over the world say, and getting close to their targets to plant bugs isn’t as important. They control communications on the global level, and many transnational corporations, unfortunately, are their partners in crime, which allows them to violate international laws and agreements.
RT: Minister, you just mentioned the recently-discovered microphone in Ecuador’s embassy in London. It was determined that the microphone belonged to a private British surveillance company. Do you believe they were spying on you according to Washington’s instructions? How are you planning to fight such outrageous violation of your country’s sovereignty?
RP: This situation certainly is outrageous. We asked for UK’s cooperation in this investigation to determine who exactly was spying, and where this information was transmitted to. According to our preliminary investigation, we suspect that the surveillance company CK was receiving the data. But we need the UK’s technical assistance to confirm this information. Also a criminal case should be started.
It is unacceptable to spy on a country’s diplomatic mission staying in another country upon the latter’s invitation. We don’t have such technical capacities as developed countries do. But we are convinced that in this case, the UK will show the proper tolerance, unlike in the case of Assange, and will help Ecuador in its efforts to find those responsible for espionage in our embassy. It’s hard to tell now when the bug was planted; it’s much easier technically to find out who was receiving the data, which we will hopefully do with UK’s help and permission.
RT: Let’s go back to the information leaked by Edward Snowden. International media have reported the recent mass espionage by the US in Brazil. What does Ecuador think about it? Do you think the US could’ve performed the same kind of espionage in Ecuador as well? If so, how would it impact your relations with Washington?
RP: Sadly, the more information we get the more we are frustrated. Other than Brazil, espionage has been reported in a number of countries, including Ecuador. I just learned about it several minutes ago. There’s evidence that the US has been spying on our countries. The entire world has been affected by the US espionage, whether it’s alleged enemies or friends and neighbors of this country. At a certain point, someone mistakenly referred to Latin America as the US’ backyard. So we’d like to ask the international community if they think the US has lost its so-called back yard and decided to establish it elsewhere. In Latin America, this kind of era is coming to an end, and we will never be anyone’s backyard the way it was during the military dictatorship times.
This is now a proper sovereign developing region, and its people are growing stronger. Our way is the way of ideology, so it looks like other regions are now becoming the US’ backyards. Some countries had been subject to espionage and sovereignty violation, but didn’t demand a response from those who breached the international conventions. Instead, they took such severe measures as in dealing with President Morales when his life itself was jeopardized. So one should be careful saying where the backyard really is right now. Latin America, including Ecuador, has a higher level of sovereignty and independence.
RT: Let’s talk about the recent plane-grounding incident when the presidential jet of Evo Morales was forced to land en route from Moscow to Bolivia. Some European countries abruptly blocked their airspace to him, and that made President Correa call an emergency summit of the UNASUR in Cochabamba. The summit came up with a statement that unanimously condemned the illegal action undertaken against President Morales. So have the Non-Aligned Movement and The Group of 77, which represent a large part of the international community. They expressed their anger over the incident and openly supported Bolivia and Latin America. But what specific measures can be taken to rebuke these European countries that committed such an offensive act against Bolivia? Are any sanctions possible?
RP: When we talk about the Latin American response to the incident, please bear in mind the differences that we have. You can’t say all the governments think alike. Yes, there is a certain common ground. However, when a tough response is required, the governments take diverging positions. But it is true that the incident caused a strong response. Remember that the Organization of American States is meeting today and we hope it speaks no less strongly and convincingly than the countries that have already voiced their opinion on the subject.
The OAS Secretary General has already given a clear and timely comment in his praiseworthy statement. What we should do is turn those countries accountable for their behavior and make them apologize. We must make the situation clear.
It’s not like Mr. Morales was told they wouldn’t allow him to leave Russia – although that would have been a true debacle.
The incident took place during the flight, when he had already had the permission to cross France’s airspace. And that’s when they told him, “Mr. President, you cannot enter our airspace.” They endangered his life, because he wanted the plane to go back and request permission to fly over some other country, but they told him he couldn’t do that either. That’s why the presidential jet had to make an emergency landing. That was too much!
President Correa made it clear that this incident cannot be ignored. Had that happened to a European or US leader flying over a Latin American country, it could have started a war. They would have immediately sent bomber planes and troops to that country to ‘save’ their president.
So we decided we should act accordingly. What we wanted was to get those governments to apologize and assure us that would never happen again. You can’t go on discriminating against countries, believing that international law is applicable to some and not applicable to others. You can’t divide countries into first-class and second-class. That’s unacceptable! This is a violation of every international agreement and every human right – just like this pervasive international espionage. Not only does wiretapping our phone calls and reading our letters go against ethics, but it also blatantly infringes upon Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines the right to privacy, the right to be protected against being spied on.
Now, the Declaration certainly has a different wording, but I gave you the general idea. It’s high time we started to respect all the countries in the world instead of putting some of them above all others.
RT: Now that you mentioned sovereignty, international law and its violations, let’s move on to Julian Assange, who has been locked up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London ever since you granted him asylum. However, he hasn’t been able to travel to Ecuador, since the British government refuses to recognize the asylum or to grant him safe passage.
You have met both with Assange and the British government officials. Have you been able to work out a solution, or do you see a solution in the future? We can see Ecuador’s sovereignty and the rights of Julian Assange breached. So what is there to expect in the coming months?
RP: We need to make a few things clear. First, Ecuador never ceases to offer alternative ways out of this problem. We have even put forward a legal cause – though there was little need for that. It would’ve been enough to say that Assange asked us for asylum, and after looking into the situation, we decided to comply with his request. But we decided to go further. We took moral high ground vis-a-vis the British government.
By the way, when the Olympic Games started in London, we decided to postpone our ultimate decision so as not to upset political stability in the UK. We exercised a lot of caution and respect towards the UK. And it is regrettable that the UK has given us no response so far.
We listed every legally-sound reason that allows us to grant asylum as a sovereign country. And with Britain insisting on arresting Assange and extraditing him to Sweden under European law, we had to draft a detailed document explaining how and why the UK has every right to grant Assange safe passage – or rather, why it actually HAS to do that.
As the British have acknowledged, this has to do with conflicting laws. On the one hand, there is an international agreement that allows Ecuador to grant asylum to Assange. On the other hand, there are European laws that allegedly bind the UK to extradite him to Sweden. But there is a certain hierarchy of laws. In this hierarchy, international humanitarian law is what matters most. So it is more important to abide by international humanitarian law than to meticulously follow all the criminal proceedings to arrest and extradite Assange. And there are of course human rights to be respected.
So we had to explain this hierarchy in the document I handed over to the British Foreign Secretary William Hague on June 17, if I remember the date correctly. The document was supposed to convince him that he is obliged to grant safe passage to Assange under international law. We asked him, so what is the UK waiting for? Would you like Assange to grow old and die in our embassy? Or would you like to see him fall ill and receive no medical help? He has already been warned that once he leaves the embassy, he will be arrested straight away – even if he is seriously ill. Is this what you are waiting for?
I keep asking myself: how do the British and the rest of the world see this situation? It is actually rather grave. We can see here a breach of international law by the same people who have long sought to lecture us on rights and freedoms, who demand legal security from relatively less developed countries, claiming they need it for investment. But we want legal security in everything. It’s not only money that needs legal security, but so do people, too. This is the truth we want to get across to the West.
It is unfair to ask legal security for money only. What you first need to take care of is legal security for people and human rights.
RT: Considering that Julian Assange hasn’t managed to get to Ecuador this past year, do you think it’s possible for Edward Snowden to arrive in one of the Latin American countries that offered him asylum?
RP: I think it’s possible. Let’s not forget the numerous political events, toughest situation that the world faced. Take, for example, the last century – in particular, the events in Latin America. So many blood-soaked dictatorships and many cases of political persecution besides. What many European countries did in these cases, and what Latin American countries did, was protect the persecuted people. No one asked them if they had a passport or a visa or guaranteed safe passage. Those were obviously the cases of political persecution, so we took these people under our protection, transported them to other countries. I’m talking about all the countries in the world – well, maybe not all, but most of the countries that claim to be democratic and committed to protecting human rights.
We took these people under our protection. For example, many Chileans, Argentinians and Uruguayans came to Ecuador and asked for asylum. They left their home countries in any way they could to save their lives. Most European countries also protected them. They didn’t ask the persecuted to show their birth certificates or passports or visas. No. These people were running from political persecution. So I’m asking myself, isn’t it the same with Snowden? And then this incident with President Evo Morales’s plane. If anyone had any doubts about Snowden being politically persecuted, it’s become crystal clear now.
RT: And the last question. Let me ask you about an event that had a major impact on all Latin American countries – Hugo Chavez’s death. It’s been four months since he passed away. He was a leader known worldwide, but he was a particularly important figure for Latin America. He was one of the fathers of the Latin America as we see it now – united, proud, sovereign and capable of overcoming the challenges superpowers place in its way. What did Hugo Chavez mean for Ecuador and how does his legacy manifest now?
RP: Comandante Hugo Chavez was a unique person whose legacy lives on in Latin America. He was the herald of this second turning point on the way to independent Latin America. He fought for it on his own in difficult circumstances, at international meetings, where he defended Latin America’s independence, sovereignty and the right to development. The solidarity with Latin American nations that he expressed is praiseworthy.
We cherish Comandante Chavez’s memory from the bottom of our hearts, blessed be his soul. His legacy is of vital importance. It’s not only his legacy that he gave us, but his friendship and his care. We remember him with love in our hearts, and we feel the same love towards his people.
We would like to express our support to Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan government that will continue Hugo Chavez’s political course on their own, without his prominent personality or the importance it had for Venezuela and Latin America in general, but with more determination, because Latin America has high expectations of them as well. Latin America will keep developing thanks to Hugo Chavez’s legacy and Venezuela’s new government.
RT: Latin America, without a doubt, cherishes the memory of Hugo Chavez. Thank you, Ricardo Patino, Foreign Minister of Ecuador, for coming to our program.
RP: Thank you very much for this opportunity to connect with so many people at once and do it freely and legally, as opposed to other ways some countries employ. Thank you very much.
Last Edit: Mar 2, 2015 14:18:51 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
‘Sorry is not enough’: Bolivia demands EU find culprits behind aerial hijack.
RT.com July 17, 2013 11:29
EU apologies for the aerial blockade that forced the Bolivian president’s plane to land are “not enough,” said Bolivia’s foreign minister. The presidential plane was grounded amid suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden had stowed away onboard.
The Bolivian Foreign Minister, David Choquehuanca, confirmed on Tuesday that Bolivia had received official apologies from Italy and Portugal, adding to those of Spain and France.
“Not only Spain has sent a verbal apology, but also Portugal and Italy have sent messages accounting for their actions,” said Choquehuanca at a press conference in the Bolivian capital of La Paz. However, Choquehuanca stressed that the apologies were not enough and the four countries “must identify those responsible and punish them in an exemplary fashion so that such an incident does not happen again.”
He went on to say that the apologies will be analyzed by the Bolivian government, adding that the countries in question would have “to repair the damage that has been done to the president.”
After attending an energy summit in Moscow, President Evo Morales’ plane was forced to abandon its home journey to Bolivia and land in the Austrian capital of Vienna on July 2. Italy, Spain, Portugal and France all closed their airspace amid suspicions that whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard the presidential vessel.
Latin America reacted with fury at what they denounced as the “kidnapping” of the Bolivian president. At a meeting of South American countries following the incident Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Uruguay resolved to withdraw their diplomatic missions from the offending EU countries. Bolivia will also withdraw its envoys.
"We repudiate any action aimed at undermining the authority of countries to grant and fully implement the right of asylum," said the alliance of Latin American countries Mercosur. They also accused the EU countries of adopting a neo-colonial stance towards Bolivia.
It called for "solidarity with the governments of Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela,” all of which have offered asylum to the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Bolivia alleges that the US pressured the EU countries into blockading their airspace as an intimidation tactic.
Despite offers of political asylum from several Latin American countries, Edward Snowden is unable to leave Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport because he is not in possession of a valid passport. He has filed an application for temporary asylum in the Russian Federation, the receipt of which was confirmed by Moscow on Tuesday. According to Russian law the application could take up to three months to process.
Russian Warships Arrive in Cuba on Official Visit - Report.
BUENOS AIRES, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian naval task force, led by the Moskva missile cruiser, arrived Saturday on a visit to the Cuban port of Havana, Latin American media reported.
A spokesman for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet said Friday the visit would last five days.
The Moskva, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, is accompanied by Udaloy-class destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov from the Northern Fleet and the Ivan Bubnov tanker.
During the visit, the ships will be open for public access and their crews will participate in a number of cultural and sports events, the spokesman, Capt. 1st Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachev, said.
Western military experts say the visit signals Russia’s intention to rekindle military ties with its former Communist ally in the Caribbean.
Moscow had a military presence in Cuba for almost four decades after the Cuban crisis, maintaining an electronic listening post at Lourdes, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Havana, to monitor US military activity and communications.
Bilateral military cooperation ended abruptly after the surprise closure of Lourdes facility in 2001.
In recent years, however, Russia has moved to revitalize ties with Cuba, as well as other Latin American states.
As part of this effort Moscow has written off most of Havana’s Soviet-era debt, estimated at about $30 billion, and denounced the US trade embargo against Cuba.
During his visit to Cuba in April, Russia’s Chief of the General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, met with Cuban Defense Ministry officials and reiterated that Russia and Cuba remain defense partners.
Some Russian military sources have previously indicated that if a political decision is made Moscow could resume operations at the Lourdes facility and also use airbases in Cuba for refueling of strategic aircraft.
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 27, 2013 15:48:11 GMT -5
Russian Warships Dock at Venezuelan Port for Visit.
MEXICO, August 27 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian naval task force, led by the Moskva missile cruiser, arrived Monday on a visit to the Venezuelan port of La Guaira, local media reported.
The Moskva, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, is accompanied by Udaloy-class destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov from the Northern Fleet and the Ivan Bubnov tanker.
During the visit, which will last until August 29, the crews of the Russian warships are expected to meet with their Venezuelan colleagues and bestow honors to former President Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer on March 5.
Before the visit to Venezuela, the naval task force stopped at the ports of Cuba and Nicaragua. After August 29, the warships are scheduled to visit Spain and Portugal.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 5, 2013 14:22:35 GMT -5
Brazil cancels preparations for President Rousseff US visit.
RT.com September 05, 2013 13:33
Brazil has canceled preparations for the visit of President Dilma Rousseff to the United States over reports she was the target of National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, AFP reports.
A presidential spokesperson said a trip by a Brazilian delegation to prepare for the president's October 23 visit to Washington "was cancelled."
Following the spying revelations, a Brazilian official told Reuters on Wednesday that Rousseff was set to take punitive in addition to canceling the visit, which could include a halt on plans to purchase F-18 Super Hornet fighters from Chicago-based Boeing Co.
"She is completely furious," the official said.
"This is a major, major crisis .... There needs to be an apology. It needs to be public. Without that, it's basically impossible for her to go to Washington in October," the official continued.
On Wednesday, Brazil announced an investigation into domestic telecommunications firms had been launched to determine if they had illegally shared data with the NSA after it was discovered the agency had been spying on Rousseff.
A Brazilian news program on Sunday said the NSA had spied on emails, phone calls and text messages of both Rousseff and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The report by Globo TV was based on documents leaked by fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
“It is clear in several ways that [Rousseff’s] communications were intercepted, including the use of DNI Presenter, which is a program used by NSA to open and read emails and online chats," Glenn Greenwald, the Brazilian based Guardian journalist who helped break the Snowden leaks, told AP in an email.
The Brazilian government denounced the NSA surveillance as “impermissible and unacceptable” and a violation of Brazilian sovereignty.
The American ambassador to Brazil, Thomas Shannon, denied reports the NSA was monitoring communications on Brazilian territory or collaborating with local telecommunications companies after he was summoned by the government to answer for the spying allegations.
No economic espionage? NSA docs show US spied on Brazil oil giant Petrobras.
RT.com September 09, 2013 05:00
Despite earlier US assurances that its Department of Defense does not “engage in economic espionage in any domain,” a new report suggests that the intelligence agency NSA spied on Brazilian state-run oil giant Petrobras.
Brazil's biggest television network Globo TV reported that the information about the NSA spying on Petroleo Brasileiro SA came from Glenn Greenwald, the American journalist who first published secrets leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Globo TV aired slides from an NSA presentation from 2012 that revealed the agency’s ability to gain access to private networks of companies such as Petrobras and Google Inc.
One slide specified an ‘economic’ motive for spying, along with diplomatic and political reasons.
This seems to contradict a statement made by an NSA spokesman to the Washington Post on August 30, which said that the US Department of Defense “does not engage in economic espionage in any domain, including cyber.”
An official from the NSA told Globo that the agency gathers economic information not to steal secrets, but to watch for financial instability.
Petrobras is known to have discovered some of the world's biggest offshore oil reserves in recent years.
Some of the new reserves are estimated to be around as 100 billion barrels of oil, according to Rio de Janeiro State University.
None of the leaked slides went into the reasons behind the NSA spying on the Brazilian firm.
The US spy agency then reportedly shared the gathered information with the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The new report about US spying on Brazil could intensify the already existing tensions between Brazil and US.
The relationship between the two countries became tense as Globo reported about allegations that NSA has intercepted private communications of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and her Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto.
Brazil responded by canceling preparations for the presidential visit to the United States and beginning a probe into telecommunications companies to see if they illegally shared data with the NSA. Also, Brazil has asked for a formal apology.
During the G20 summit US tried to address the issue by US President Barack Obama pledging to work with Brazil and Mexico to address their concerns over US spying revealed in recent NSA leaks.
Brazilian president postpones visit to Washington over US spying.
RT.com September 17, 2013 17:57
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has postponed a state visit to Washington in response to the US spying on her communications with top aides. Rousseff is demanding a full public apology from President Obama.
Barack Obama spoke with Rousseff on Monday in an attempt to persuade her into following through with the trip, the Brazilian president's office said, according to AP.
Brazil’s TV Globo reported that the call between the two presidents lasted for about 20 minutes. Obama and Rousseff discussed revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) spied on the Brazilian leader’s phone calls and emails. The two presidents then “jointly” agreed to cancel the meeting, Globo reported, citing the presidential office.
The Brazilian government said in a statement that "the conditions are not suitable to undertake this visit on the agreed date." It expressed hope that the conflict will be resolved “properly” and the trip will happen "as soon as possible."
The state visit was initially scheduled for October 23. The Obama administration has confirmed that the visit was canceled.
"The president has said that he understands and regrets the concerns disclosures of alleged US intelligence activities have generated in Brazil and made clear that he is committed to working together with President Rousseff and her government in diplomatic channels to move beyond this issue as a source of tension in our bilateral relationship," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Earlier this month, TV Globo revealed in a report that the NSA monitored the content of phone calls, emails, and mobile phone messages belonging to President Rousseff and undefined "key advisers" of the Brazilian government. The NSA also spied on Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and nine members of his office.
The revelations were based on evidence provided by former CIA employee and NSA contractor Edward Snowden, which was passed to British journalist Glenn Greenwald.
A document dated June 2012 showed that the Mexican President's emails were read through one month before he was elected. In his communications, the then-presidential candidate indicated who he would like to appoint to several government posts.
The Brazilian government denounced the NSA surveillance as “impermissible and unacceptable,” and a violation of Brazilian sovereignty.
In July, Greenwald co-wrote articles for O Globo, in which he claimed that some of the documents leaked by Snowden indicated that Brazil was the NSA’s largest target in Latin America.
Greenwald wrote that the NSA was collecting its data through an undefined association between US and Brazilian telecommunications companies, but he could not verify that Brazilian companies had been involved.
Following the revelations, the Brazilian government ordered an investigation into telecommunications companies to determine whether they illegally shared data with the NSA.
Defense ministers of Brazil and Argentina signed a broader military cooperation agreement on September 13. The two governments will work together to improve cyber defense capabilities following revelations of Washington’s spying on Latin American countries.
Brazil will be providing cyber warfare training to Argentine officers from 2014.
Digitally Offended: Brazil president cancels US visit over NSA scandal.
Brazil's president has called off her visit to the United States in response to Washington's refusal to take action against the NSA's surveillance practices. This comes after whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the Latin American nation is being spied on by American operatives with personal communications from ordinary citizens, and even President Dilma Rousseff herself, being intercepted. RT's Marina Portnaya has the story.
Brazil's Rousseff to UN: US surveillance an 'affront'
RT.com September 24, 2013 14:00
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff lambasted US spying on her country at Tuesday’s UN summit, calling it a “breach of international law.” She further warned that the NSA surveillance, revealed since June, threatened freedom of speech and democracy.
“Meddling in such a manner in the lives and affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and as such it is an affront to the principles that should otherwise govern relations among countries, especially among friendly nations,” Rousseff said.
“Without the right to privacy, there is no real freedom of speech or freedom of opinion,” Rousseff told the gathering of world leaders. “And therefore, there is no actual democracy,” she added, criticizing the fact that Brazil had been targeted by the US.
“A country's sovereignty can never affirm itself to the detriment of another country's sovereignty,” she added.
Rousseff went on to propose a multilateral, international governance framework to monitor US surveillance activity. “We must establish multilateral mechanisms for the world wide web,” she said.
Rousseff said that the US’s arguments for spying on Brazil and other UN member states were “untenable”, adding that “Brazil knows how to protect itself” and that the country has been “living in peace with our neighbors for more than 140 years.”
Brazil’s specific targeting in US surveillance practices prompted Rousseff’s government to announce that it intends to adopt both legislation and technology aimed at protecting itself and its businesses from the illegal interception of communications.
A week ago, Rousseff canceled an impending state visit to Washington, scheduled to take place in October, because of indignation over spying revelations. Rousseff has stated she wants an apology from Obama and the United States.
The revelations that the US National Security Agency has been intercepting Rouseff’s own phone calls and e-mails, in addition to those of her aides and officials at state-controlled oil and gas firm Petrobras, have prompted an outcry in Brazil.
Rousseff’s predecessor as Brazilian President, Lula da Silva, said earlier this month that Obama should “personally apologize to the world.” Lula accused the US of “thinking that it can control global communications and ignore the sovereignty of other countries” in an interview with India’s English-language daily The Hindu, published Sept. 10.
Latin America voices widespread indignation at US activities
US relations with all of Latin America have recently soured. In addition to Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia and Venezuela have all voiced anger with the US over the NSA’s surveillance of their countries this year. Bolivia has been especially bitter.
“I would like to announce that we are preparing a lawsuit against Barack Obama to condemn him for crimes against humanity,” President Morales told reporters Friday in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. He branded the US president as a “criminal” who had violated international law.
In early July, a plane carrying Morales from Moscow to the Bolivian capital, La Paz, was grounded for 13 hours in Austria after it was banned from European airspace because of US suspicions it was carrying fugitive Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who has been responsible for the majority of leaks regarding NSA spying practices since June.
Venezuela wrote to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the end of last week, requesting that he take action in response to the apparent denial of US visas to some members of the Venezuelan delegation who were scheduled to attend the UN General Assembly in New York.
President Nicolas Maduro said that the denial seemed intended to “create logistical obstacles to impede” the visit, and further requested that the UN “demand that the government of the US abide by its international obligations” as host of the 68th UN General Assembly.
Tension between Venezuela and the US rose Thursday when Venezuela’s foreign minister, Elias Jaua, told media outlets that the US had denied a plane carrying Maduro entrance into its airspace. The aircraft was en route to China. Washington later granted the approval, stating that Venezuela’s request had not been properly submitted. Jaua denounced the move as “an act of aggression.”
Brazil’s Rousseff on Canada leak: US and allies must stop spying ‘once and for all’
RT.com October 07, 2013 17:23
In sharp reaction to the latest NSA leak revealing Canada’s acute interest in the Brazilian mining industry, President Dilma Rousseff condemned the “cyberwar” launched by the US and its allies against Brazil and demanded they stop the espionage.
Rousseff’s initial fiery comments came via her Twitter account, where she posted 9 messages in a row condemning Canada’s alleged spying activities.
“That is unacceptable among countries that claim to be partners. We reject this cyberwar,” the Brazilian President wrote.
On Sunday, Brazilian TV Globo released the latest leaks on the American and allied spying network obtained by Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald from the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The report detailed how the US National Security Agency (NSA) interacted with the Communication Security Establishment (CSE) of Canada to get data from phone calls and emails flowing out of the Brazilian ministry.
It also claimed the ways and means of cracking the Ministry’s cyber defenses were discussed and shared among the ‘Five Eyes’ spy network, which includes the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Following the leak, Rousseff tweeted that it indicated that each of the ‘Five Eyes’ governments, as well as “thousands” more in companies providing intelligence services had “ample access” to the information collected in Brazil.
According to the report, Canada has been particularly interested in the Brazilian mining industry, Rousseff pointed out. This confirms that the espionage had economic and strategic reasons, she added.
The Brazilian Foreign Ministry will demand explanations from Canada, Rousseff stressed.
“It is urgent that the US and its allies stop their espionage activities once and for all,” the Brazilian President tweeted.
Brazilian-US relations have already been strained by the Snowden-exposed espionage scandal, with Rousseff recently postponing a state visit to Washington in response to the US spying on her communications with top aides. Rousseff has demanded a full public apology from the US President Obama. However, no such apology has come.
Last Edit: Oct 7, 2013 13:57:47 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Venezuela's President has accused the U.S. of refusing to provide visas for a delegation going to the UN next week. Nicolas Maduro was also apparently refused permission to fly through American airspace to get to China. Venezuela's Foreign Ministry said these incidents were an act of aggression and a violation of international law. RT's Marina Portnaya reports.
Venezuela’s Maduro granted permission to fly over US after scandal.
RT.com September 19, 2013 23:25
The US granted approval for a last-minute flight plan which allowed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to fly over Puerto Rico on his way to China. Venezuela’s FM earlier told media an aircraft carrying Maduro was denied a path over the commonwealth.
Washington told Caracas Thursday night that permission was granted even though the request had not been properly submitted, Reuters cites State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf as saying.
Maduro tweeted at around 10:30 pm local time (0300 GMT) Thursday that he had left Venezuela for Beijing.
Earlier in the day, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua told media the aircraft carrying Maduro to China was forced to find an alternate flight path. Jaua denounced the act as “an act of aggression.”
“We have received the information from American officials that we have been denied travel over its airspace,” Jaua said, speaking to reporters during an official meeting with his South African counterpart.
“We denounce this as yet another aggression on the part of North American imperialism against the government of the Bolivarian Republic,” he added.
"No one can deny airspace to a plane carrying a president on an international state visit."
There is “no valid argument” for denying travel through American airspace, Jaua said, adding that he expected the US to rectify the situation.
Harf said Venezuela did not follow proper steps in its flyover request, having given just one day’s notice instead of the mandatory three.
"Additionally, the plane in question was not a state aircraft, which is required for a diplomatic clearance," she said in a statement.
"Although the request was not properly submitted, U.S. authorities worked with Venezuelan officials at the Venezuelan Embassy to resolve the issue. US authorities made an extraordinary effort to work with relevant authorities to grant overflight approval in a matter of hours," Harf said.
President Maduro is due to arrive in Beijing this weekend for bilateral talks with the Chinese government. Jaua was adamant that the Venezuelan leader would reach his destination, regardless of any perceived interference.
The incident is the latest diplomatic spat to take place between the United States and Venezuela, who have clashed regularly since Maduro took office in April.
In July, the Venezuelan president announced that his government was halting attempts to improve relations with the US. The move was in response to comments made by the newly appointed US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, who told a Senate committee that her new role would include challenging the “crackdown on civil society” abroad, including in Venezuela.
Relations under former President Chavez had been acrimonious, as he had long held suspicions that the US had actively intervened on behalf of an attempted coup in 2002. Since his election in April, President Maduro has often made pointed criticisms at alleged US interference in Venezuelan affairs.
Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose own plane was grounded this summer allegedly due to suspicions by US authorities that the aircraft was transporting whistleblower Edward Snowden, said that ALBA bloc nations should consider a boycott of the upcoming UN General Assembly in New York as a response.
"We cannot accept that the US carries on with politics of intimidation and the prohibition of flights by presidents," said Morales, adding that the latest incident "demonstrates the country's predisposition to humiliate other governments" and commit crimes against other nations.
Dispute over visas ahead of UN summit.
The Venezuelan President also spoke of attempts by the US to set “conditions” on a visa issued to General Wilmer Barrientos, one of Maduro’s ministers who is slated to attend meetings during the UN General Assembly next week.
"They want to put conditions, if we decide to go to New York...They don't want to give a visa to my minister," said Maduro. "Do we want to go as tourists? We're going to the United Nations. You're obligated to give visas to all the delegation."
Appearing via the television network TeleSUR on Thursday, Maduro indicated that he had directed his foreign minister, Elías Jaua, and Venezuela’s Ambassador to the UN, Samuel Moncada, to “activate all mechanisms” in reference to the visa dispute.
“US, you are not the UN’s owner. The UN will have to move out of New York,” remarked Maduro.
He warned that if he has to take “measures” against the government of the US, he would be prepared to take “the most drastic measures necessary” to ensure Venezuelan sovereignty.
Welcome to US...not! 'Washington might wish to shut out Lat America voices in UN'
Venezuela has sent a letter to the UN chief asking him to take measures against the United States over the denial of visas for some members of its delegation who are scheduled to attend the UN General Assembly in New York.
Last Edit: Sept 22, 2013 13:54:58 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Slavatar: You're online every day, but you post nothing. You don't even delete the spam crap. I'm confused, brother.
Oct 10, 2020 4:12:53 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Browser is up, but I was doing other things..
Oct 12, 2020 18:58:52 GMT -5
Slavatar: OK.. Regards.
Oct 13, 2020 8:39:57 GMT -5
славянин: зиг хайль
Oct 22, 2020 15:41:37 GMT -5
славянин: дойчен зальдатен
Oct 22, 2020 15:41:56 GMT -5
Milo I.: Deutscher Sauerbraten?
Oct 28, 2020 9:59:34 GMT -5
White Cossack: Who's the best state leader currently?
Dec 6, 2020 8:57:53 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Viktor Orban?
Dec 8, 2020 5:55:50 GMT -5
Gopnik: from leader's POV, i'd say Kim Jong Un as in north korea he is not forcing any pics of himself nor making a shit ton of songs praising him unlike his dad and grandfather, but instead he is attempting to get the nation out of the shithole it is in today.
Dec 13, 2020 17:16:43 GMT -5
Gopnik: but 1000000% not kim from a citizen's point of view, the Camps in North Korea are horrible.
Dec 13, 2020 17:18:52 GMT -5
White Cossack: You're both right, fellas.
Dec 18, 2020 11:17:53 GMT -5
eternal jew: indeed goys
Dec 18, 2020 12:13:55 GMT -5